Archive for August, 2020

Big 10 Considering Thanksgiving Return, Jags Release Fournette, U.S. Open Starts, Jamal & Kawhi Big Nights

FOOTBALL

Just over two weeks ago, the Big 10 announced it was postponing the football season to the spring of 2021. After considerable backlash about the lack of leadership and transparency in making these decisions, the Big 10 is now mulling the idea of starting sometime around Thanksgiving.

In NFL news, the Jacksonville Jaguars released running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette was in the final year of his rookie contract and would have earned a guaranteed $4.17 million in base salary. Fournette did not have a great relationship with the team, but according to reports all was going well in training camp, so the news of his release took many by surprise.

TENNIS

The U.S. Open begins today, but many of the top-ranked players have opted out. In the men’s draw, #1 ranked Novak Djokovic is the heavy favorite particularly since rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal aren’t competing. In the women’s draw, 6 of the top 10 players aren’t playing.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA playoffs, the Denver Nuggets, thanks to a 50-point game from Jamal Murray, beat the Utah Jazz forcing a Game 7.

With a big night from Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers eliminated the Dallas Mavericks winning the series 4-2. The Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers will also be moving on to the semifinals. For more NBA playoff news, click here.

 

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NBA To Resume, Doc Rivers Speaks Of Mental Health In Bubble, NHL Joins Other Leagues In Postponing

BASKETBALL

After postponing games on Wednesday and Thursday, the NBA players voted to resume their postseason this weekend.

LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers spoke about the heated emotions coming from the players and personnel this week and attributed some of it to the emotional wear and tear of being in the bubble for more than 50 days. He said, “You forget that being in the bubble is hard. And even some of that came up [around the boycott]. I knew it was hard, but listening to some of these guys speak, just mental awareness, we got to be a little sharper on that as well…I don’t think it’s a coincidence that everyone in this bubble just seems to be a little bit more emotional and I’m not kidding. It’s true. I think part of the effect of being like jammed together every day, it has had that effect on everyone.”

HOCKEY

The NHL postponed the Stanley Cup playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday this week after receiving criticism for continuing to play on Wednesday and not joining the NBA, WNBA, MLS, and some MLB teams in protesting racial injustice.

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Bucks Leading Many Sports To Postpone, Lakers/Clippers Vote To Sit Out Season, Lewd Cheerleader Video

BASKETBALL

In the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, the Milwaukee Bucks decided they weren’t going to play their scheduled game against the Orlando Magic yesterday.  Soon after, the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder also announced they would be sitting out their scheduled games. The NBA then decided all three of Wednesday’s games would be postponed.

The WNBA, several baseball teams, and former #1 tennis players Naomi Osaka joined the NBA teams in postponing their games on Wednesday.

Later in the day, according to reports, the LA Lakers and LA Clippers voted to sit out the rest of the NBA season in protest. Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James were the most vocal calling for more action from the league’s owners.

FOOTBALL

The Washington Football team is back in the news with more examples of a culture of sexual harassment. According to a new report, the Team used their cheerleaders to make lewd videos for team owner Dan Snyder.

 

 

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Free Beer If Gardner Minshew Drafted In First Round, Messi Leaving Barcelona, Antetokounmpo Defensive Player Of Year

FOOTBALL

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has full confidence he’s going to have a great year and believes fantasy football fans should draft him with their #1 pick. As an added incentive, Bud Light announced it would send a free case of beer to fantasy owners who draft Minshew in the first round. Fantasy owners will also have a chance to win free Bud Light for an entire NFL season if they win their league championship with Minshew as their quarterback. Minshew posted the challenge in his pump-up video on Instagram.

SOCCER

Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world by announcing he will be leaving Barcelona, a club where he’s spent almost his entire life. Messi signed a contract on a napkin with Barcelona when he was only 13 years old. He’s played over 16 seasons with the team and helped them win 34 titles.

BASKETBALL

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The award was based on games played through March 11th. The Milwaukee Bucks star received 75 out of 100 first-place votes.  LA Lakers Anthony Davis came in second and Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert placed 3rd.

 

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Sixers Fire Brown, Lakers Honor Kobe W/Mamba Jerseys And Win, Alabama Surge In Covid-19

BASKETBALL

After a swift exit from the first round of the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers announced they are firing head coach Brett Brown. Brown had been the coach of the Sixers for 7 seasons. A number of names have emerged to replace Brown including assistant Ime Udoka, Villanova coach Jay Wright, former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger, and former Cavaliers coach Ty Lue.

The Los Angeles Lakers honored Kobe Bryant on Kobe Bryant Day by wearing Mamba-inspired tribute uniforms and trouncing the Portland Trail Blazers 135-115 to take a 3-1 series lead.

NCAA

The University of Alabama has confirmed 531 new cases of COVID-19 since classes resumed last week. This outbreak could have an effect on whether the SEC continues to push for playing football this season. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already canceled their seasons, but the SEC is planning for a 10-game schedule beginning September 26th.

 

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Mitchell Joins Elite Group In Scoring, Harrell/Doncic Skirmish, Doncic’s Buzzer-Beater, Kobe Bryant Day, Thomas Terminated

BASKETBALL

Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell joined Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA players to score 50 or more points in a single playoff run. Mitchell’s 51 points in a Game 4 win over the Denver Nuggets overshadowed Denver’s Jamal Murray’s 50 points. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in playoff history that two opposing players scored at least 45 points.  With the win, the Utah Jazz take a commanding 3-1 lead in the first round of the playoff series.

After the LA Clippers Game 3 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, Montrezl Harrell was caught referring to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic as “a (expletive) white boy”. Doncic also derided Harrell by telling him to “stop flopping”. Both players received technical fouls, and both players apologized for their comments.

Luka wasn’t supposed to play in Game 4 after spraining his ankle Friday night, but thankfully for the team, he joined them on Sunday. In an exciting buzzer-beater in overtime, Luka hit an astounding 3-pointer to tie the series 2-2.

August 24th is Kobe Bryant Day in Orange County, CA. The day, chosen for the two jersey numbers Bryant wore while with the Lakers, honors the basketball legend who tragically died in January in a helicopter crash.

FOOTBALL

The Baltimore Ravens terminated Earl Thomas’s contract due to personal conduct issues. According to reports, Thomas punched teammate Chuck Clark during practice. For a timeline of Thomas’s disruptive time in the NFL, click here.

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Timberwolves #1 Pick, Mets Test Positive, Chiefs Evaluate Traditions, Milk At Indy 500, Padres 4th Grand Slam

BASKETBALL

The Minnesota Timberwolves were awarded the first pick in the NBA Draft lottery. The Golden State Warriors will get the second pick, while the Charlotte Hornets landed at the #3 spot. The Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top five.

BASEBALL

The New York Mets had to postpone their Thursday night matchup against the Miami Marlins and will postpone their Subway Series against the New York Yankees due to a player and staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

FOOTBALL

The Kansas City Chiefs banned their fans from American Indian-themed traditions including wearing headdresses and painting their faces at home games. They will also be reviewing their policy regarding the Arrowhead Chop and the Drum Deck. They will continue, however, their Blessing of the Four Directions and the Blessing of the Drum rituals.

INDY 500

The Indianapolis 500 will be held on Sunday at 2:30 pm ET. The race, known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has traditionally been held on Memorial Day weekend, but due to the pandemic, it was postponed. The winner of the Indy 500 drinks milk in Victory Lane. The tradition started in 1936 when Louis Meyer won the race then picked up a bottle of milk because his mother said it would refresh him on a hot day. The dairy industry saw an opening and made it a tradition.

BASEBALL

After Fernando Tatís Jr. hit a “controversial” grand slam on Monday, the Padres have been on a roll becoming the first team in MLB history to hit grand slams in four straight games.

 

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NBA Lottery Tonight, Warriors 14% Chance Of #1 Pick, Brennaman Suspended, Arch Manning #1 QB

BASKETBALL

The 37th annual NBA draft lottery will be at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN tonight. The Golden State Warriors finished the season with the worst record, and along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, will have a 14% chance to get the #1 pick.

LaMelo Ball, Obi Toppin, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman are considered potential top prospects depending on which team secures the first pick.

BASEBALL

Veteran MLB and NFL broadcaster Thom Brennaman has been suspended indefinitely after a homophobic remark during a Cincinnati Reds broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio. Brennaman did not know his mic was on when the incident happened. During the second game of the doubleheader, Brennaman issued an apology then was immediately pulled off the air.

FOOTBALL

Arch Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, was ranked as the #1 quarterback and #5 overall player in the 247Sports player rankings for the class of 2023.  Arch is the son of Cooper Manning, Peyton and Eli’s older brother. Arch is heading into his sophomore year at Isidore Newman high school in New Orleans and has already received scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas.

 

 

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Bucks/Lakers Fall In Game 1, Tatis Jr. Hits Grand Slam Then Gets Slammed

BASKETBALL

Two top seeds fell in the first game of the NBA playoffs. As 10-point favorites heading into the game, the Milwaukee Bucks shockingly lost to the Orlando Magic 122-110. Then, the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers dropped game one to the Portland Trail Blazers 93-100. Even though LeBron James had a big game with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists, the Lakers didn’t have an answer to Portland’s Damian Lillard who had a monster game of 34 points.

BASEBALL

San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam in the 8th inning of the team’s big win over the Texas Rangers. Many traditionalists are upset this morning as they claim he violated the “unwritten rules” of baseball by swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the 8th inning while his team had a seven-run lead. The Rangers’ pitcher, Ian Bibaut, was even suspended for three games when he intentionally threw at Manny Machado, the Padres’ next batter. This rule came about in the early 1900s when there was considerable unrest and an economic depression in the U.S. Many in the sports want to “grow up” and abandon what feels like a rule for Little League.

 

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NBA Postseason, FDA & NBA Develop Saliva Test, Sens Booker/Blumenthal College Athletes Bill Of Rights, Washington Hires Wright

BASKETBALL

The NBA postseason begins today with the first round of playoffs featuring:  No. 6 Jazz at No. 3 Nuggets (1:30 pm ET); No. 7 Nets at No. 2 Raptors (4 pm); No. 6 76ers at No. 3 Celtics (6:30 pm); No. 7 Mavs at No. 2 Clippers (9 pm).

The FDA granted emergency authorization for public use of a saliva-based coronavirus test called SalivaDirect. The test was developed by Yale University with partial funding from the NBA and NBPA (NBA Players Association). Most tests cost hundreds of dollars per sample, but SalivaDirect costs around $10 and, depending on the location of the lab, could be available within a few hours.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Senators Cory Booker (NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) are leading an effort to create a College Athletes Bill of Rights. As part of the proposal, athletes would get a say in the rule-making process, have opportunities for revenue-sharing agreements, and have access to better health and safety protocols.

FOOTBALL

Washington hired Jason Wright as their new team president, making him the first Black team president in NFL history. The 38-year-old Wright replaces Bruce Allen as head of the organization’s business divisions. In addition to seven years as an NFL running back, Wright has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a psychology degree from Northwestern. He was also a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

 

 

 

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