Archive for November, 2020

Denver Tried For A Coach At QB, NFL Firings, Sarah Fuller Makes History In College Football

FOOTBALL

There were some exciting NFL games this weekend, but due to COVID-19 issues, one of the most bizarre situations was Denver trying to maneuver a way to have Rob Calabrese, their offensive quality control coach, as their starting quarterback.  The NFL turned them down, so they had to start the undrafted (from Wake Forest) practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback. Unfortunately for Hinton it wasn’t a fairytale performance. He had more incompletions than touchdowns, and the Broncos lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-3.

A few notable coaches were fired this weekend. The Detroit Lions got rid of head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn after a blowout loss t0 the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving, while the Jacksonville Jaguars fired GM Dave Caldwell after their loss to the Cleveland Browns.

For more NFL updates, click here.

Sarah Fuller made history by becoming the first woman placekicker in a Power Five college football game. The Vanderbilt soccer star kicked off at the start of the second half of the game against Missouri.

 

 

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Steelers/Ravens Canceled, Texans Destroyed Lions, Washington’s “Bumerooski” Agst Cowboys, Manning/Curry Vs Mickelson/Barkley

FOOTBALL

The Thanksgiving Football lineup promised to have at least one interesting game featuring the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers against the tough Baltimore Ravens, but that game was canceled due to a slew of positive COVID-19 tests (including Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson). The game has been rescheduled for Sunday, but that looks increasingly unlikely. The NFL is considering adding an extra week to the schedule for these teams to play.

Unfortunately, the other NFL Thanksgiving games were blowouts. The Houston Texans destroyed the Detroit Lions 41-25, while the Washington Football Team blew out the Dallas Cowboys. Other than watching Washington’s Antonio Gibson score three touchdowns, the best part of the day came on second and five where Washington quarterback Alex Smith handed the ball between his legs to running back J.D. McKissic for a first down that led to a field goal. Washington coach Ron Rivera explained the inspiration for the trick play “It actually goes back to a movie called ‘Little Giants‘ and it’s called, I hope I don’t get in trouble, ‘The Annexation of Puerto Rico. We nicknamed it the ‘Bumerooski,’ but most of these guys don’t understand it so we had to explain to them who Bum Phillips is, and we did it as a tribute to him.” Philips made this play famous when he was head coach of the Houston Oilers in the 1970’s. Washington 41, Dallas 16

GOLF

Watch Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley take on Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry on November 27th at 3:00 pm ET in the Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change golf tournament. According to Turner Sports, the event “will uniquely contribute toward and highlight diversity, equality and inclusion through donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), while raising awareness and spotlighting opportunities for diversity and equality in sports.”

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Pope Meets With NBA Players, ACC/Big 10 Coaches Won’t Wear Suits, Goff Overshadows Brady In Rams Win

BASKETBALL

Pope Francis met with a small delegation of NBA players and officials from the National Basketball Players Association to discuss social justice issues. The meeting took place at the request of the Pope, so he could learn more about the issues and what the NBA planned for the future. The last-minute meeting at the Vatican included the following players: Kyle Korver, Sterling Brown, Marco Belinelli, Jonathan Isaac, and Anthony Tolliver.

In college basketball, the ACC and Big Ten coaches decided to wear casual clothes instead of their traditional suits during games. Iona’s Rick Pitino said “I’m definitely not wearing a suit. Why would you want to wear a suit when there are no fans at the games?”

FOOTBALL

On Monday Night Football, the LA Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff overshadowed Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in a 27-24 win. Goff threw for three touchdowns and 376 passing yards in this important NFC West matchup.

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Burrow Out For Season, Hill Leads Saints, JuJu Steps On Officials’ Flag, Mahomes Last Minute TD, Jets Lose Again

FOOTBALL

The #1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Joe Burrow, is out for the season after suffering what looks to be an ACL injury to his left leg. The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback went down in the 3rd quarter, and the Bengals ended up losing 20-9 to the Washington Football Team. Burrow knew his injury was bad even before the game was over when he tweeted “Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year.”

In more injury-related news, quarterback Taysom Hill started for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday replacing Drew Brees who suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung from last week’s game. Hill led the Saints to a 24-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons and hushed some of the criticism surrounding the decision to start him.

In what appears to be a very minor injury, Pittsburgh Steelers JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his ankle from stepping on an officials’ flag in a 27-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith-Schuster is expected to play in the Steelers Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Steelers and Ravens.

In an exciting Sunday night game, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes produced a spectacular 75-second game-winning touchdown drive to edge the Las Vegas Raiders 35-31.

As expected, the NY Jets lost again (0-10). To no one’s surprise, they are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.

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Edwards, Wiseman, Ball Selected Top 3 In NBA Draft, Israel’s Deni Avdija 9th Pick, NFL Teams In Intense COVID Protocol, Canó Out For 2021

BASKETBALL

There were no surprises in the top three picks of the NBA draft Wednesday night. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards, the Golden State Warriors selected James Wiseman, and the Charlotte Hornets picked LaMelo Ball. LaMelo and his brother Lonzo (New Orleans Pelicans) made history by becoming the first pair of brothers selected in the top 5 of the NBA draft. For the full draft lineup, click here.

In other draft news, the Washington Wizards chose Israel’s Deni Avdija with the ninth overall pick. Avdija is the highest draft pick ever out of Israel. ESPN analyst Mike Schmitz remarked on air that Avdija could be the potential steal of the draft.

FOOTBALL

The NFL announced all 32 teams will operate on intensive COVID-19 protocols for the rest of the season. The restrictions include face masks worn at all times, meals served grab and go style, and prohibitions on socializing away from the facility (which could put crimps on Thanksgiving plans).

BASEBALL

New York Mets’ Robinson Canó received his second suspension for use of a banned substance and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season.

 

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NBA Draft Tonight, Theo Epstein Steps Down

BASKETBALL

The NBA draft takes place tonight at 8:00 pm ET. The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the first pick, and Georgia guard Anthony Edwards is projected to go #1. There’s also a chance a team will trade up to get an opportunity to grab LaMelo Ball. The Golden State Warriors have the second pick with Memphis’s James Wiseman as the obvious choice. Forty-five league employees will head to ESPN’s Bristol headquarters for the virtual draft.

BASEBALL

After nine seasons as president of baseball operations with the Chicago Cubs, Theo Epstein is stepping down. In an open letter to “Cubs Friends”, Epstein said he “needs his first summer away from a ballpark in 30 years to spend time with family and nonprofits. He needs a reset. After that, he intends to return to what he called his “third chapter” in baseball, preferably as part of an ownership group.”

 

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March Madness In Indy, Harden Turns Down Extension, Paul To Suns, Ryan/Rob Buy Team, Vikings Over Bears

BASKETBALL

The NCAA announced its 68-team tournament, March Madness, will take place in one city (essentially creating a bubble) in 2021. The city will likely be Indianapolis, where the Final Four was scheduled to take place. The NCAA had to cancel March Madness earlier this year and lost a reported $375 million.

In NBA news, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden turned down a $103 million extension on top of his current three years $133 million. With the new salary, he would have become the first $50 million per year player in league history. Harden has clearly stated he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

In other trade news, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns.

SOCCER

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the fifth-division English soccer team, Wrexham AFC. Reynolds and McElhenney plan to invest heavily in the club and promote the team with a documentary series. Their celebrity status and social media following will also likely help the team garner attention and fans.

FOOTBALL

The Minnesota Vikings edged out the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in a pretty uneventful game. The Vikings have now won three games in a row, while the Bears have lost four straight. Minnesota 19, Chicago 13

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GM Kim Ng Makes History, Dustin Johnson Wins Masters, Murray/Hopkins Hail Mary, Alex Smith Starts, Steelers Undefeated

BASEBALL

The Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as their new general manager. Ng has made history as the first woman hired to a GM position by any professional men’s sports team in North America.

GOLF

Dustin Johnson won the Masters in historic fashion. His 20 under par is the best in the history of this event.

In other golf news, the sport has become more hugely popular during this pandemic.  Just in the month of September, 25.5% more golf rounds were played this year over last year. The rationale is that it’s a perfect quarantine activity since you can be socially distanced and enjoy the fresh air.

FOOTBALL

The highlight from Sunday’s NFL games was watching Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray throw a hail mary pass to DeAndre Hopkins to win the game as time was running out. Check it out. Arizona 32, Buffalo 30

In another entertaining game, quarterback Alex Smith took the field for the Washington Football Team for his first NFL start since 2018. After an improbable comeback from 17 surgeries and an almost amputation, Smith led his team back from a 21-point deficit before losing to the Detroit Lions on Matt Prater’s 59-yard field goal. Detroit 30, Washington 27

Thanks to 333 yards and 4 touchdowns from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now 9-0 on the season. Steelers 36, Bengals 10.

 

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The Weeknd To Perform At Super Bowl, Colts Score In 2nd Half To Beat Titans, Officials Forgot 1st Quarter, Abreu/Freeman MVP Awards

FOOTBALL

The NFL announced three-time Grammy Award winner, The Weeknd, will perform at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 7th, 2021.

On Thursday Night Football, the Indianapolis Colts were down 13-17 to the Tennesse Titans after the first half but then scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to win 34-17.  The oddest part of the game was when the entire officiating crew forgot to blow the whistle after the first quarter was over. No one knew what was happening, so the Titans ran an extra play. The play was recalled at the beginning of the second quarter.

BASEBALL

The Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu and the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman took home the Major League Baseball MVP awards.

 

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Maryland/Ohio State Cancelled, Masters Begins Today, Bieber/Bauer Win Cy Young Awards

FOOTBALL

The Maryland/Ohio State game has been canceled (not postponed) due to eight Maryland players testing positive for COVID-19. There are 7 other major college football games either canceled or postponed this upcoming weekend.

GOLF

The Masters golf tournament begins today at Augusta National in Georgia. The Masters is traditionally played in April, but due to the pandemic was pushed back to November. CBS will air the tournament for the 65th consecutive year.

BASEBALL

Good news for Ohio fans. The Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber was the unanimous pick for the American League Cy Young Award (awarded annually to the best pitchers in each League), and Cincinnati Red’s Trevor Bauer grabbed the award for the National League. With the win, Bauer becomes the first pitcher in Reds history to win this prestigious award.

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