Archive for the 'tennis' Category

Stafford’s 4 Interceptions, Rodgers Big Comeback, Browns Can’t Win But Tie, Williams Double Standard

FOOTBALL

A few highlights from the NFL’s first week:

The New York Jets had Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford’s number. They intercepted him 4 times and intercepted his backup Matt Cassel once. Linebacker Darron Lee said, “We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line. We knew his signals. We knew everything. That’s just preparation as a defense. … It seemed like we were in his head as a defense.”  According to Elias Sports Bureau, Stafford is the first Lions quarterback since 1943 to put up four interceptions in a home opener. To make matters worse, my fantasy team started Stafford and we lost both of our games :(. Jets 48, Lions 17.

Aaron Rodgers new $134 million contract extension seems to be paying off after he led the Green Bay Packers to a thrilling comeback victory over the Chicago Bears thanks to his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. His incredible performance came after he had to leave the game in the 2nd quarter due to a leg injury. No word yet on how his injury will affect him going forward.

The Cleveland Browns finally broke their 17 game losing streak, but still haven’t won a game yet. The Browns had an opportunity to win the matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a seemingly easy field goal with seconds left on the clock, but the kick was blocked and the Browns winless streak continues at 624 days. The “Victory Fridges” with free Bud Light are still waiting to be unlocked.

TENNIS

The Serena Williams/Naomi Osaka final at the US Open continues to cause emotions to run high. To recap, Williams was called for three minor infractions during the match. On the third infraction where Serena called the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, a “thief”, he docked her a full game. Serena ultimately lost the match, but the crowd was so incensed, they booed during the awards ceremony and prevented Naomi (who also teared up) her moment in the limelight for beating one of the greatest (if not the greatest) women’s tennis player of all time and one of her idols. Many fans believe the umpire applied a double standard and acted unfairly to a woman yelling, while many men’s players have done much worse over the years.

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Eagles Win Thanks To Philly Philly Inspiration, Osaka And Williams Meet In Final

FOOTBALL

In the NFL season opener, last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, barely edged out the Atlanta Falcons in a sloppy, low scoring game. The highlight of the night was a trick play from last year’s Championship called the “Philly Special“. On Thursday night, the team renamed the play the “Philly Philly” which featured a pass from receiver Nelson Agholor to quarterback Nick Foles. The offense only gained 15 yards on the play, but the Eagles found enough energy to put the necessary points on the board for the win. Unfortunately for the Falcons, their offense struggled, and quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t connect in the red zone.  Eagles 18, Falcons 12.

TENNIS

20-year-old Naomi Osaka advanced to her first major final beating Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4. She faced 13 break points and managed to save all of them saying her motivation was to play Serena Williams. In an interview after the game, she said, “This is going to sound really bad, but I was just thinking, ‘I really want to play Serena.'” When the interviewer followed up with a “Why?”, Osaka said, “Because she’s Serena, like, what do you mean?”

Serena cruised to her ninth US Open final by holding off #19 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 6-0. With one more win, a soon to be 37-year-old Williams will secure her seventh US Open championship. In an emotional interview after the match, Serena said, “It’s honestly really incredible. A year ago, I was fighting for, literally, my life at the hospital after I had the baby, so every day I step out on this court, I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport, you know? So no matter what happens in any match — semis, finals — I just feel like I’ve already won.”

 

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NFL Season Begins, Le’Veon Bell Unsigned, Millman’s Request To Change Clothes, Djokovic To Semis

FOOTBALL

The NFL season begins tonight with the Atlanta Falcons taking on former Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t signed with the team and hasn’t reported for practice. If Bell doesn’t sign he loses $853,000 per week. If he continues to hold out for up to nine games, Bell (at age 26) will be eligible for free agency next year. According to Bell’s reps, “he wasn’t going to accept another 400 touches on a salary he felt was below his value.” Bell is high on most fantasy football drafts, so there will be many angry fans if he doesn’t sign this season.

TENNIS

In the men’s quarterfinals of the US Open, Novak Djokovic and John Millman had another tough match due to the intense heat. With just two games into the second set, Millman approached the umpire explaining he needed to change his clothes due to excessive sweating. The umpire ruled that the conditions were excessive enough to invoke the “Equipment Out of Adjustment” rule and allowed Millman to leave. Djokovic ultimately won  6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and will advance to the semifinals against Kei Nishikori on Friday.

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Williams Holds Out To Beat Pliskova, Nadal Wins In Longest Match At Open, Chicken Fingers And Coke, Nike’s Stock

TENNIS

Serena Williams started slowly but held on to beat former #1 player Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at the US Open. Williams, who is looking for her 24th Grand Slam, will face 19th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the semis.

Rafael Nadal held off Dominic Thiem in five sets. The match lasted 4 hours and 49 minutes, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) recording the longest match in this year’s Open. Nadal told Thiem after the match that he was sorry, and that he should keep going and will have plenty of time to win. Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in the semis.

In other US Open news (if you can call it news), a woman, Alexa Greenfield, was eating chicken fingers with her nephews and was spotted dipping the chicken fingers into her coke. The shot of her in action trended on social media and now according to Alexa, “People are telling me I should go to jail”.

OTHER

As reported earlier, Colin Kaepernick was named as the face of Nike’s 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, and to no one’s surprise everyone had an opinion. There was a potential fallout for Nike, however, as Reuters reported “shares of the company stock dropped three percent during early trading Tuesday, while the hashtag “Nike Boycott” trended on Twitter throughout the morning.” Nike would not have gone down this path if they didn’t think the risk would pay off, so it will be interesting to see how sales progress going forward.

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Federer Out, Nike Hires Kaepernick As Face Of Campaign

TENNIS

In a big stunner at the US Open over the weekend, 2nd seeded Roger Federer lost to unseeded John Millman. Fans were anticipating a big quarterfinal match on Wednesday between rivals Novak Djokovic and Federer, but that will have to wait for another tournament. Federer described his loss by saying, “I just thought it was very hot tonight. It was just one of those nights, I guess, I felt I couldn’t get air. There was no circulation. … Maybe when you feel like that, you start missing chances.” With a ranking of# 55, the win marked Millman’s first time beating a top 10 opponent.

FOOTBALL

Nike is grabbing headlines for making former quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of their new 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The ad shows Kaepernick’s face with the tagline “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick has been a Nike client since 2011, but the company didn’t know what to do with him since he started his National Anthem protests in 2016.  The ad campaign has already garnered both praise and backlash for featuring such a controversial figure (particularly as Nike is a corporate sponsor of the NFL).

 

 

 

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Kaepernick’s Collusion Case To Trial, Gronkowski’s New Contract, US Open Umpire Interfering

FOOTBALL

Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL will go to trial. An arbitrator threw out the NFL’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit stating there was enough evidence for the case to be heard.  Kaepernick, who started the “take a knee” movement during the National Anthem, has not played since March of 2017 when he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

At 29 years old and starting his ninth NFL season, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, signed a new incentive laden contract that could make him the highest paid tight end in the League. His maximum salary for 2018 is $13.05 million which includes bonuses for playing time, receptions and touchdowns.

 

TENNIS

On Thursday a US Open umpire demonstrated questionable behavior when he stepped down from his chair to speak to Nick Kyrgios during the second set of his match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. Kyrgios trailed 6-4, 3-0 and showed no interest in the match (which he’s been accused of doing many times before), when the umpire came to talk with him. An umpire leaving a chair to speak with a player  is highly unusual and many believe unethical. It’s not clear exactly what the umpire said, but when Kyrgios went back on the court, his attitude changed, and he came back to win the match. Kyrgios will now face superstar Roger Federer on Saturday. At a news conference, Federer expressed his opinion about the intereference saying, “It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair. But I get what he was trying to do. He (Kyrgios) behaves the way he behaves. You as an umpire take a decision on the chair, do you like it or don’t you like it. But you don’t go and speak like that, in my opinion. I don’t know what he said. I don’t care what he said. It was not just about ‘How are you feeling? Oh, I’m not feeling so well.’ Go back up to the chair. He was there for too long. It’s a conversation. Conversations can change your mindset. It can be a physio, a doctor, an umpire for that matter.”

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Bridgewater Traded, Browns Linebacker Insider Trading, Rodgers Signs Record Extension, Lonzo’s New Shot, Taking Shirt Off At Open

FOOTBALL

According to reports, the the New York Jets traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints essentially confirming that their #3 pick Sam Darnold will open the season. Bridgewater found out he was traded on Wednesday and just had time to board the bus and say his goodbyes before the team left for their final pre-season game. New Orleans will start veteran quarterback Drew Brees (39 years old), but Bridgewater may be their quarterback of the future.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks admitted to insider trading and could face jail time. Kendricks received non-public information about trades from his friend Damilare Sonoiki who used to work for Goldman Sachs (and is now a writer for the show Black-ish). Kendricks reportedly made $1.2 million off of this information and paid Sonoiki back with cash and tickets to games.

Aaron Rodgers secured his future with the Green Bay Packers signing a $134 million contract extension. At 34 years old, he’s now the highest paid player in the League.  Rodgers posted on Instagram, “It’s been an amazing ride the last 13 years; excited to start year 14 knowing that my future is here, in Green Bay, for our 100th season. I’ve grown up in this place, and grown older and a little wiser along the way. … Looking forward to making some more memorable moments this year, and for years to come.”

BASKETBALL

Lakers guard Lonzo Ball had a distinctive shooting style which many criticized (particularly during his rookie season in LA), but now Big Baller Brand posted a video of his new more traditional shot. We’ll see if it makes a difference this season.

TENNIS

The heat wave at the US Open continued on Wednesday, so during a break Alize Cornet went into the locker room to change her shirt. When she returned to the court, she saw her shirt was on backwards and reversed it.  She was wearing a sports bra, but the umpire gave her a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. According to the Telegraph, “When she returned to the court, Cornet realised her shirt was on the wrong way round and so quickly changed it. The adjustment took no more than 15 seconds and she was wearing a sports-bra. However, the chair umpire stunned Cornet by hitting her with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – though it wasn’t immediately clear if it was for a time violation or the actual shirt removal – in response to the seemingly innocent action.” Many are outraged at this action, particularly as men take off their shirts all the time. After the uproar, the US Open issued a statement of apology.

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Odell Growing Up, Le’Veon Bell’s Fake News, Kevin Hart And Manziel, Djokovic’s Ice Bath

FOOTBALL

A day after signing a record breaking contract, Odell Beckham Jr. spoke to the media and about getting to this point in his career. He wore a Giants polo shirt and said “I’m growing up”.  In response to his contract he said, “You kind of dream about this moment all your life. In fact, you’ve dedicated everything, you sacrifice weekends, your parents have sacrificed weekend after weekend traveling, doing this and that just to be able to get to this point, so it is a relief and it’s a wonderful opportunity for myself and my family.”

Running back Le’Veon Bell hasn’t reached a contract agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers yet and has sat out of training camp and the preseason. When asked if the rumors were true he’d be joining the team on Labor Day, he said “Don’t believe the fake news. I never said anything to no one”.

Comedian Kevin Hart spoke with Johnny Manziel (on his show “Cold as Balls” where he interviews celebrities while sitting in ice baths) about his disappointing football career going from Heisman Trophy  winner to a behavioral liability with the Cleveland Browns. Manziel admitted, “I don’t expect people to look at my story and feel bad for me. A lot of what I did was self-inflicted. I’m at a point now where I can look back, I can reflect and realize that I was one way. That was wrong. What can I do moving forward because I can’t change how I was.”

TENNIS

Speaking of ice baths, playing in extreme heat at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and his opponent Marton Fucsovics, took advantage of the rule allowing for a 10 minute break after the third set and sat naked side by side in ice baths to cool off. Djokovic remarked on the situation and said, “we battled for two-and-a-half hours and then we were naked in the ice bath. It was a magnificent thing.” The heat index was so high on Tuesday five players had to retire before finishing their matches.

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Wimbledon’s Historic Semi’s, Djokovic Wins, Kerber Defeats Serena, France Wins World Cup, Kylian Mbappe Captures Hearts

TENNIS

The Wimbledon men’s semifinal was one for the ages. After 6 hours and 35 minutes, Kevin Anderson beat John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4 (26-24). Isner has now played in the two longest matches in Grand Slam history. In 2010 (also at Wimbledon) Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in a match lasting 11 hours, 5 minutes over 3 days time.

Anderson ultimately lost in the Finals to Novak Djokovic (who beat Rafael Nadal in the semis).

In the women’s final, Angelique Kerber defeated Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 ending Serena’s exciting comeback after a 13-month maternity leave.

WORLD CUP

France prevailed over Croatia to bring the month-long World Cup tournament in Russia to an end. The win marked the second time in team history France has brought home the title. 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe became the stand-out star during the tournament securing his place in history as only the second teenager to score a goal in a World Cup final (the first was a 17-year old Pele in 1958). Mbappe further impressed the sports world by announcing he’ll donate his earnings from the tournament to a charity offering free sports instruction to disabled children.

 

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Serena Williams In Wimbledon Finals, Isaiah Thomas 1 Yr Deal With Nuggets, Jeremy Lin To Hawks

TENNIS

Serena Williams beat Goerges in the semis at Wimbledon in easy straight sets 6-2, 6-4. She will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Saturday in the finals. Serena is 36 years with an almost 1 year old baby girl.  Before maternity leave, Williams was ranked #1 in the world, but after 13 months off, her ranking dropped to #183. Tournament organizers, however,  agreed to seed her 25th at Wimbledon in order to show the tennis world they don’t penalize women for taking time off for maternity leave.

BASKETBALL

After a hip injury causing Isaiah Thomas to bounce around the League from Boston, to Cleveland, to the Lakers, it’s been reported Thomas will sign a one-year $2 million deal with the Denver Nuggets as their 6th man.  It’s also been reported Jeremy Lin will leave the Brooklyn Nets and head to the Atlanta Hawks.

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