Archive for February, 2018

Tough Day For Shiffrin/Chen, Red Stripe Steps In, All-Star Weekend

OLYMPICS

It was a tough day for Americans in the Winter Olympics. Mikaela Shiffrin stumbled in the women’s slalom finals finishing in 4th place. At 18 years old, Nathan Chen was one of the most celebrated skaters at this Olympics, but after falling in his short programs, he is essentially out of medal contention. In some uplifting news, Red Stripe saved the Jamaican bobsled team by donating a sled for them to use during competition next week. Apparently the former driver/coach of the team left them in Pyeongchang without a sled (which seems very odd), but thankfully the Jamaican beer company stepped in.  As of Friday morning, Norway leads the medal count with 19.

BASKETBALL

The 2018 NBA All-Star weekend is here. The festivities begin on Friday night in Los Angeles with the celebrity game. One of the anticipated celebrities suiting up is Justin Bieber. Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) will also be in the mix.  You can also tune in for the skills challenge, three-point contest and the slam dunk contest. On Sunday night at 8:00pm (ET), LeBron James and Stephen Curry will face off with their hand picked teams for the All-Star game.

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Shiffrin Wins Gold And No Social Media, Host Fire-Crass Comments On Kim, Griffin Sued-Obsession W/ Kendall Jenner

OLYMPICS

After waiting or days to race due to strong winds on the slopes, U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the giant slalom (an event that’s not even considered her strongest). This is her second gold medal (she won in the slalom in 2014 in Sochi).  Shiffrin is staying focused by not allowing herself to go on social media or even watch TV (other than Korean TV which she doesn’t understand). She said, “So I’ve really been away from that a bit, and that helps a lot. Because if I can’t see it then I don’t know what people are saying and it really feels like it is just me out there, and then I can just ski for myself.’’Mikaela still has the slalom (her best event), downhill and combined left in the competition.

It’s probably a good think Mikaela is staying away from listening to the media, especially after hearing what a radio host in California said about 17-year old Chloe Kim after she won the gold in the halfpipe. Patrick Connor called Chloe a “little hot piece of (expletive)” on his radio show. Connor was fired from one of his hosting gigs due to this idiotic comment.

BASKETBALL

Blake Griffin made headlines a few weeks ago when he was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons. He’s now back in the news defending himself in a palimony suit by his ex-fiancee, Brynn Cameron, and mother of his two children. According to the suit, Griffin abandoned Cameron over his obsession with reality star Kendall Jenner. Cameron said, “Griffin cared more about the glamour of dating a Hollywood celebrity than the day-to-day responsibilities of being a father and family man.” No word on how much money she’s demanding.

 

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Shaun White Wins Gold For 3rd Time, Unified Korean Women’s Hockey,Gerard Overslept Then Won Gold

OLYMPICS

Shaun White captured the Gold medal in the halfpipe and made history as the only male to win gold medals in three separate Olympics. Speedskater Bonnie Blair is the only woman to have won three golds  in 1988, 1992, and 1994. White won his first gold at 19 years old in Turin, put the sport on the map and became a global brand. He won again decisively four years later in Vancouver, but then missed medaling by placing a disappointing 4th four years after that in Sochi. At 31 years old, and even after suffering a few injuries, White still showed why he’s the greatest in the sport.  White’s win gave the United States its 100th gold in the Winter Games.

One of the most highly anticipated stories in the Olympics was the unified Korean women’s hockey team. The coach of the South Korean team, Sarah Murray, was told just about two weeks before the Games began that she would be adding 12 North Korean players to the team and would need to play 3 of them in each game. That’s not a lot of time to foster team unity, but according to Murray, “we’re really enjoying working with the North Korean players,” and then added, “the chemistry on this team is better than I ever would have predicted.” The unified team has lost two of their games 8-0 but still has a few more chances to show what they can do.

It’s hard to imagine, but the United States first gold medal was won by a teenager who overslept because he binge watched Brooklyn Nine Nine on Netflix. At 17 years old, Red Gerard, looked at the TV camera and exclaimed, “holy f*ck” when he found out he won gold in men’s slopestyle snowboarding.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chloe Kim Wins Gold, LeBron And NBA Stars Obsessed With Wine

OLYMPICS

Chloe Kim fulfilled her lifelong dream and won gold for the US in the halpipe. It’s pretty safe to say it was a lifelong dream as she is only 17 and was ready but not old enough to compete in the Olympics 4 years ago. Not going to lie, I don’t know what a 1080 is, but apparently it’s a big deal, and she’s the only woman to land them back to back (which she also did on Tuesday to win the Gold). During the qualifying rounds, Kim tweeted she’d be “down for some ice cream”, so when she won a fan gave her a cup of chocolate ice cream, which she ate while doing her interviews. Looks like Ben and Jerry’s has a new spokesperson!

BASKETBALL

ESPNw features a story of NBA players new obsession with wine. If you’re a oenophile or just a fan of some of the NBA superstars like LeBron, DeWayne Wade (who even has his own label), Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and Jimmy Butler, it’s a fun read on how they are spending their time off the court.  Carissa Mondavi, the granddaughter of Napa’s wine pioneer Robert Mondavi, reflected on why it makes sense so many of these players are interested and appreciate the complexity of wine. She said, “ NBA players are the product of so many unseen hours spent perfecting so many hidden details, all leading to the moment when the ball is tossed in the air. So too is wine crafted against countless variables — the weather, soil, harvest, tanks, the barrels and blends, the delicate alchemy of it all — until, one day, the cork is pulled. For both to shine, it takes so much work no one will ever see.“ LeBron admitted he “believes in wine’s purported physical benefits” and said,  “I’ve heard it’s good for the heart. Listen, I’m playing the best basketball of my life, and I’m drinking some wine pretty much every day. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.”

 

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Cavs Win With Fresh New Look, Fitzgerald Wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Crosby Scores 400th Goal

BASKETBALL

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded six players away at the NBA trade deadline last week.  The Cavs debuted their new-fresh look featuring Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr and Jordan Clarkson Sunday night.  The blowout 121-99 win over the Boston Celtics was their first win over a current top 5 team since the season opener. Even with Kevin Love still out with a broken hand, the Cavs chemistry seems to have improved.

GOLF

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am with pro Kevin Steelman. He’s the first professional athlete since Dan Marino in 1988 to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament. No word yet on whether Larry will continue his football career and return to play for the Cardinals next season.

HOCKEY

Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, scored his 400th career goal. Mario Lemieux and Jeromir Jagr are the only other 2 players scoring this many goals with the Penguins.

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Cavs Flurry Of Trades At Deadline, 2018 Winter Olympics Begins

BASKETBALL

The NBA trade deadline expired Thursday afternoon, but not without a whirlwind of moves by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers caused the most drama making 6 trades in just over an hour. They sent Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye (and a first round draft pick) to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. The Cavs then acquired George Hill and Rodney Hood and sent Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder to the Utah Jazz. If your head isn’t spinning yet, it should as the flurry of trades continued with the Cavs eventually sending Dwayne Wade back to Miami, where he’s said he wants to retire. The Cavs wanted to change the chemistry of the team and make LeBron happy. We’ll see how that works out in the next few months.

OLYMPICS

The 2018 Winter Olympics is finally here! You can watch the opening ceremony Friday night at 8:00 pm and witness South and North Korea walking together under one flag (an event of historic proportions, as many believe the two countries are still technically at war since no peace treaty was ever signed in 1953), South and North Korea’s women’s’ hockey team competing as one, and Vice President Mike Pence sitting feet away from North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong. The opening ceremony will feature 2,900 athletes from 90 nations. For a guide to all events and how to watch, click here.

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National Signing Day, Mom Walks Out, Wilson To Yankees, Girardi Joins MLB

FOOTBALL

With new rules allowing for an early signing period in December, Wednesday’s National College Signing Day didn’t provide the same excitement as in year’s past. At the end of the day, the following teams were ranked in the top ten for their recruitment classes: Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Clemson, Miami, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.  The most cringe-worthy moment of the day came when receiver Jacob Copeland chose the Florida Gators while his mom (sitting right next to him in an Alabama shirt and Tennessee hat) walked out, clearly looking disappointed. She eventually came back to hug her son, but as one ESPN reporter noted, “she took the attention away from her son on his big day”.

BASEBALL

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will join the New York Yankees training camp this spring. No, he’s not retiring from football, but he used to be a baseball player and has always said his dream was to play for the Yankees. Many believe this is just a publicity stunt, but even if it is, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman admitted, “This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession.”

In other Yankee news, former manager Joe Girardi joined MLB Networks as a studio analyst. Girardi won 4 World Series rings (three as a player and one as a manager). The Yankees let him go after 10 seasons with the team, but even though Girardi will now be in studio, he still hopes to get back on the field some day as a manager.

 

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McDaniels Staying With Pats, Porzingis Torn ACL, LeBron Not Waiving No Trade

FOOTBALL

New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels had an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts to become their new head coach, but he shocked the sports world by announcing he’ll stay with the Pats. There is speculation he reneged on the deal because he’s being groomed as the successor to Bill Belichick.

BASKETBALL

The New York Knicks are 1 of 6 wins without Kristaps Porzingis this season, but unfortunately they lost their All-Star on Tuesday night to a torn ACL injury. Porzingis landed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot and immediately grabbed his knee. No word yet on how long he’ll be out, but an injury like this tends to require at least 9 months of recovery.

With just two days to go before the NBA trade deadline, there’s talk on whether LeBron will leave Cleveland. After Tuesday night’s loss (their 14th in 21 games),  LeBron insisted he’s not going anywhere. He said, “I’m here for this season right now to try and figure out a way we can still compete. I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”

 

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Nowitski Hits 50,000 Minute Mark, Behind The Scenes Of Manning/Odell Ad

BASKETBALL

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitski became only the 6th player in NBA history to play 50,000 minutes on the court. Nowitski has only ever played for the Mavericks and is in his 20th year. Other players earning this distinction are: Kevin Garnett, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes. LeBron congratulated Nowitski on twitter and said, “Sheesh bro that’s insane. Congrats man! That’s what you call punching in your clock daily!”

FOOTBALL

I’m still obsessed with the Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr ad on the Super Bowl. If you are too, here’s a recap of how the ad was made.

 

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Eagles Win Super Bowl 52, Foles MVP, Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr Best Ad

FOOTBALL

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the heavily favored New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. With the win, the Eagles secure their first NFL Championship. The game was close all evening, and with just over 2 minutes left, Nick Foles marched his team downfield and threw an 11 yard pass to Zach Ertz. Ertz bobbled the catch in the end zone but kept  hold of it. It was ruled a fair catch after the officials called him a “runner” not “receiver”, because he took a few steps before entering the end zone. The Eagles were now up 38-33, and the Patriots couldn’t bounce back. The Eagles then kicked a field goal to bring the final score to 41-33.  Quarterback Nick Foles was the team’s backup just a few months ago, but certainly didn’t play like one during the playoffs and particularly during last night’s game. One of the best plays all night was before halftime where coach Doug Pederson called a trick play (called the “Philly Special”) where Foles stepped aside after the snap to let running back Corey Clement grab the ball then toss it to receiver Trey Burton who then threw it to Nick Foles in the end zone for the touchdown. Foles ended the night with a spectacular 3 touchdown passes and one receiving touchdown. He was the clear MVP of the Super Bowl, and when asked after the game how it felt, he was emotionally said, “There’s plenty of kids watching this game right now dreaming about this moment, some day will be here, and to be here with my daughter, my wife and my family, my teammates, this city. We’re very blessed.”

There’s always a debate about the entertainment during the Super Bowl, but Leslie Odom Jr singing American the Beautiful was perfection.  No player sat during Pink’s Star Spangled banner and Justin Timberlake’s hafltime show covered a lot including a tribute to Prince. As for the commercials, Tide cleverly weaved their way through multiple spots, and the dueling rappers (Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman) in Doritos vs Mountain Dew was thoroughly entertaining. The best ad, in my opinion,  (which was a promotion for the NFL) was Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr practicing their touchdown celebration to “Dirty Dancing’s” Time of My Life. Rodger Sherman cleverly tweeted after, “this is the third time Eli Manning has won a Super Bowl the Patriots were playing in”.

Congrats to Philly on their big win!

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