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Weekend warm-up: Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich deserves more praise; Bundesliga predictions; Waiting on Peaky Blinders; and MORE!

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Joshua Kimmich is on his way to becoming a Bayern Munich legend and it has been a blast to watch develop.

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Supercup 2020 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

There are some really up-and-down feelings that come with watching sports or being a fan. Thrilling comebacks, devastating losses, excitement over acquisitions, and disappointment when your favorite players fail are all part of the game for supporters.

One thing that remains one of the best aspects of being a fan is watching a player evolve from prospect to starter to star to potential legend. For Bayern Munich, the evolution of Joshua Kimmich has truly been one to admire.

UEFA Champions League 2020/21 Group Stage Draw
Joshua Kimmich has been absolutely fantastic for Bayern Munich throughout this career.
Photo by Robert Hradil - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

From jack-of-all-trades player (and “Pub Grab Pep” moment participant) to the best right-back in the world, to flat-out one of the best players in the world (at midfield now!), Kimmich’s rise has been nothing short of tremendous.

The fun part is that we all got to be a part of it. From those early days in seeing the potential to now, Kimmich has become one of the most clutch and consistent performers on Earth.

It has been truly been a hell of a ride.

And with Kimmich being just 25-years-old, it is not close to being over. So, let’s enjoy this a little more and continue to watch “the kid” continue his journey. Even with one Champions League title in-hand, it still feels like we are closer to the beginning of his journey than the end.


Not petty, just funny

There are a quite a few Bayern Munich fans (and maybe a few executives) still stung by Sergino Dest’s decision to pick FC Barcelona over the Bavarians. I recommend that everyone moves on and lets the kid have his moment, but IF you really need something to make you feel better, well, don’t say I never helped you in a time of need:

Following in the footsteps of Ousmane Dembélé! Somehow, bombing your keepy-up effort at your Barca presentation is something of a tradition.


Sneaking a Peaky...at some point

One of the fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic is the halt in production for television/streaming shows and movies. Over the years, for some reason, I have shifted my viewing habits and rarely watch movies. The last “new” flick I watched was on HBO and it was Joker — which is fantastic for a million reasons.

But I digress...as the world starts to get back in order, many shows are getting back into creative discussions, planning, and even production. If you are a fan of Peaky Blinders (like me!), the show is getting back in order, but still is not expected to be released until the end of 2021. If you have not yet began your mandatory viewing of the period piece based in Birmingham, England, then this might be the perfect time to get started. Want to know a little bit about the show? Here you go:

  • Post World War I era + English mobsters + fantastic characters = all you need to know.

Our own Tommy Adams is such a fan that he went full Shelby for Halloween one year! Anyway, while I am disappointed to have to wait so long for the next season, I am just excited to know it is at least in the works. Heck, I waited YEARS for seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, and The Sopranos, so I can hold out a little longer for the Shelbys.

If you are wondering how I might pass the time until the Peaky Blinders new season is released? Well, maybe Tommy Shelby himself summed it up perfectly:


The Doctor is in?

Former Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was reportedly hired for the Philadelphia 76ers job. Welcome Doc, you are in for a world of frustration.

As has been famously repeated millions of times over the past few days, “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.”


Predictions

After looking like an absolute machine for months on-end, Bayern Munich has begun to show a little bit of wear-and-tear. A grueling 2019/2020 season, which included a treble (in case you forgot!), but also a grinding schedule have appeared to take a toll on the thinning Bayern Munich roster.

There was last week’s hiccup against Hoffenheim and Wednesday’s DFL-Supercup against Borussia Dortmund where the Bavarians coughed up a 2-0 lead, were saved (literally) by Manuel Neuer’s excellence, and subsequently needed a Kimmich “wonder goal” to pull out a late win.

UEFA Champions League 2020/21 Group Stage Draw
You better believe Manuel Neuer is not happy about being scored on six times in the last two games.
Photo by Robert Hradil - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

It might sound like snark, but it’s not. The fact that Bayern Munich could shake off its collection fatigue, maintain its mental focus, and fight through all of that to bounce Borussia Dortmund shows just how much mettle this squad has under Hansi Flick.

Hertha Berlin will present a challenge to the Bavarians, but I’d expect the lesson learned last weekend against Hoffenheim is still fresh on the collective minds of each player. With Flick, it likely is not about to happen again.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0 Hertha Berlin

Here are a few guest predictions, so you aren’t just tainted by my bad takes:

John Dillon: Bayern Munich is actually a good team, whereas Hertha Berlin has only gotten worse the harder they have tried to become a big-city club. Eintracht Frankfurt dispatched them 3-1 last week. Bayern won’t be as nice.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 Hertha Berlin

Samrin: Hertha looked very good against Bremen (but then again, who aside from Schalke doesn’t?) on Match-day 1 and they had a spirited second half against Frankfurt. While Frankfurt dominated most of that match, Hertha woke up in the second half and showed me enough to display that they could cause a problem or two. Their new striker, Jhon Cordoba, can be difficult to deal with as Bayern knows from experience and Bayern might be feeling tired from the Dortmund game. This might be closer than it looks on paper.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Hertha Berlin

Evan Vanderpool: While Hertha has desperately tried to climb the ranks of the upper tier in the Bundesliga, they still just aren’t there. I do think fatigue is going to continue to factor in a big way this season, but Bayern simply has the quality for this match up. Mr. UEFA, Robert Lewandowski, will want to get some goals into his 2020/2021 account and Neuer will want to rebound from conceding goals in the past couple of matches.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-0 Hertha Berlin


When it comes to the rest of the league, I literally can’t do any worse than I did last week. However, there were times where I have felt a lot worse when absorbing a loss when picking games.

On December 15th, 2002 I had an entire series of NFL bets hedge on a Jay Feeley field goal attempt in overtime. I had teasers, straight bets, money-line bets, and parlays wrapped up in a series of games and I hit them all...until Jay Feely strode on to the field in overtime for the Atlanta Falcons against the Seattle Seahawks. With a chip-shot 36-yeard attempt ahead of him, I was already calculating the four-figure swing headed my way until the unthinkable happened...he missed. From 36-freaking-yards, he missed. Seattle would later score a touchdown and the feeling in the pit of my stomach was a mix of despair and devastation.

FC Schalke 04 v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga
Can USMNT player Josh Sargent help Werder Bremen keep trending in the right direction?
Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In all, there were roughly six or seven games that I nailed and tied into all the scenarios above. But that Falcons game — and Feely specifically — ruined my potential good time. Thanks Jay!

Instead of being up four figures on the day, I was down...well, a lot. There are many lessons to be learned in gambling, but narrowing the field of bets is always a key one to remember.

Anyway, I somehow felt almost as bad taking an oh-fer in the Bundesliga last weekend in games that I had no money on. Anyway, let’s try this again (for entertainment purposes only of course):

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0 (you love me not directly stating that 0-9 record from last week...oh wait...damn it!)

Overall record: 5-14