NASCAR Returns To Darlington, Baker/Dunbar Armed Robbery, DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak

NASCAR

NASCAR returns on Sunday with live racing at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway. The new rules during this pandemic will require teams to race with no fans in the stands and fewer than 900 credentialed personnel (normally NASCAR has as many as 3,700 personnel including media, track workers, and others). Team rosters will be limited to only 16 members, and precautions will be taken to monitor crew member temperatures. Everyone will also be required to wear face masks.

FOOTBALL

In an odd story out of the football world, New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, and a third unidentified man have been issued arrest warrants in connection with an alleged armed robbery. According to reports, the incident occurred late Wednesday night at a party in South Florida where Baker and Dunbar were caught stealing money and watches while armed with semi-automatic firearms. Baker has also been accused of intentionally threatening victims. The Giants, Seahawks, and the NFL said the incident is under review.

BASEBALL

On May 15th, 79 years ago, Joe DiMaggio started what would become a historic 56-game hitting streak. No one has even come close to breaking this record (it’s 12 games better than any other attempt–Pete Rose had 44 hits in 1978).

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Raiders Tops In Ticket Sales And Price, Joe Buck Says Fox Will Use Virtual Fans, Rams Unveil New Uniform

FOOTBALL

According to SeatGeek, the Las Vegas Raiders are the top team in terms of the number of ticket sales and ticket prices (average price $622, 30% higher than the 2nd place Seattle Seahawks at $439). Of course, this all assumes the NFL season takes place as scheduled, and fans are able to attend games.

Speaking of the NFL season and fans, Joe Buck, the Fox Sports’ football play-by-play announcer, told SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen, “There’s probably going to be a season in doing games with no fans, which will be difficult. I think Fox and these networks have to put crowd noise under us to make it a normal viewing experience at home. On top of that, they’re looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands, so when you see a wide shot it looks like the stadium is jam-packed and in fact it’ll be empty.”

The Los Angeles Rams unveiled their new team uniform. Not surprisingly (based off of the disappointment from fans when they revealed their new logo a few months ago), social media was not kind. One fan thought the uniform looked like the team should be shopping at IKEA, while another mentioned the jersey numbers looked like writing on an ice cream cake. Fun fact: The Rams are now the only team in the NFL without a white jersey. The new jersey colors are “Rams Royal”, “Sol”, and “Bone.”

 

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NBA Stars In Discussions About Resuming Season, Pritzker Wants Sports Back

BASKETBALL

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had a call with the Board of Governors to discuss resuming the season. One of the issues they discussed is what happens if they resume play and then a player tests positive for Covid-19. Would the entire League shut down again, or would they quarantine the player and continue with the season?

A number of NBA stars jumped on a conference call to also express their desire to return to the courts. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard spoke about a “united front to resume the 2019-20 season.”

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association met on Tuesday as a first step in trying to figure and agree on issues and guidelines for restarting the season. One of the outstanding items (which wasn’t addressed in the meeting on Tuesday) is the salary cap issue between the players and the owners. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker addressed this conflict in his daily coronavirus briefing saying, “I realize that the players have the right to haggle over their salaries, but we do live in a moment where the people of Illinois and the people of the United States deserve to get their pastime back — to watch, anyway, on television. If they’re able to come up with safety precautions, as has been suggested by Major League Baseball, that works, I hope that the players will understand that the people of our United States need them to recognize this is an important part of leisure time that all of us want to have in the summer: to watch them play baseball, to root for our favorite teams.” Pritzker’s comments were ripped apart by some, as they thought he was insensitive to the actual suffering that could occur to individuals associated with baseball if the season started prematurely.

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MLB Could Start In July, Marketing Agency Accuses Zion, Family And Duke Of Violations

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball approved a proposal to start the season in early July and will feature an expected 82-game regular season. Commissioner Rob Manfred will present the plan to the players, and then the League and the Players Association will negotiate. The negotiations could get tense, as the owners would like a plan that includes a 50-50 revenue split with the players. MLB is the only uncapped team sport in the U.S., so this plan would essentially simulate a salary cap. For more information on the new plan, click here.

BASKETBALL

New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson’s former marketing agency, Prime Sports Marketing, filed a civil lawsuit against Zion claiming he and his family received gifts from Nike and Adidas before he enrolled at Duke to influence him to play at the University. Prime Sports Marketing signed Zion after his first year at Duke but then was dropped for another agency in Zion’s second season. Zion is now being asked to admit his mother and father “demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence you to attend Duke University to play basketball.” It is still unclear whether Zion, his family, and Duke are at fault or if Prime Sports Marketing is just bitter about losing out on such a profitable player.

 

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UFC First Live Event, Harbaugh’s Proposal To NFL/NCAA, Kraft Auctions SB LI Ring For Charity

UFC

The mixed martial arts sporting event, UFC249, took place on Saturday night without fans but gave the sports world their first live event. Justin Gaethje beat out the heavily favored Tony Ferguson, but Ferguson told fans afterward, “We did this for you, to bring sports back.” Even President Trump got into the action with his taped message on ESPN before the event saying, “I want to congratulate (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. They’re going to have a big match. We love it. We think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back. Let’s play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do. We need sports. We want our sports back.”

FOOTBALL

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh sent a letter to the NFL and NCAA outlining a plan to allow players the opportunity to enter the NFL draft at any point during their college careers and allow them to return to school if they don’t get drafted. Harbaugh insisted he is advocating for a system that “allows for more freedom and self-determination”, but many believe he’s mostly interested in reducing the number of elite players at his rival schools.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft decided to auction his Super Bowl LI championship ring for the fundraiser “All In Challenge.” In announcing his donation, he said, “I’ve been thinking about it for weeks. I finally thought about our experience in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons. We were down 28-3 (in the third quarter) and had 99.6% (odds) to lose. And we came back, and we won.” The winner will also receive a personal visit with Kraft and the use of the team plane to get to Boston if the winner lives too far to drive.

 

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NFL 2020 Schedule, Thomas Chased At Gunpoint, Manning’s Hilarious Roast Of Brady, UFC Returns, MLS & NBA Return To Practice

FOOTBALL

The NFL announced the 2020 schedule. Let’s hope the season really does start on September 10th with Houston at Kansas City!

Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was allegedly chased at gunpoint by his wife Nina back on April 13th. Nina tracked him down by using his brother’s Snapchat and found Earl and the brother in bed with another woman. The situation became public when TMZ reported the story yesterday. Earl took to Instagram to explain his side of the story saying, “So my agent just hit me and said that I’m going to be on TMZ tomorrow from an altercation that happened with me and Nina, Just wanted to get ahead of it. It’s really not anybody’s businesses. It pisses me off that it got out, but it’s the world we live in today. But, instead of talking about us, just keep us in y’all prayers. Stuff like this happens bro. We try to live the best lives we possibly can. Sometimes it don’t go as planned. Just pray for us as we go through this stuff. We’ve been talking. I’ve been seeing my kids. So just keep us in your prayers.”

ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP

UFC will return with a live bout (with no fans) on Saturday, May 9th at 6:30 pm ET on ESPN.

SOCCER

Several Major League Soccer teams have already returned to their training fields.

BASKETBALL

NBA players will be allowed to return to their practice facilities starting today.

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Leipsic In Trouble With Capitals, Tyson Back In Ring

HOCKEY

Washington Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic is in trouble with his team and the NHL for comments he made in what was supposed to be a private chat online. Screenshots of the chat were leaked revealing insults to his current teammates as well as “misogynistic and reprehensible remarks” aimed at women, including pregnant women and girlfriends/wives of his former teammates.  The Capitals released a statement saying they would handle the situation internally.

BOXING

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson released footage of his training routine. The footage caught the attention of a boxing promoter in Australia who offered the 53-year old $1 million dollars to fight either an Australian football star or retired rugby player in a charity promotion. All parties are hoping the match will take place early next year.

 

 

 

 

 

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Favre Received $1.1 Million For Speeches He Never Gave, Gore Signs With Jets, Edelman Raising Money For Holocaust Survivors

FOOTBALL

A nonprofit group allegedly paid former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre $1.1 million to speak at events. The Hall of Famer, however, reportedly never showed up for the events. The nonprofit, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS), is implicated in a widespread embezzlement scheme, and according to reports, DHS’s leaders “participated in a widespread and pervasive conspiracy to circumvent internal controls, state law, and federal regulations to move the money to particular places, including to family members of the leaders in question.” According to the AP, Favre does not face criminal charges.

Frank Gore signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets. The almost 37-year-old could break a record currently held by Marcus Allen as the only running back to have over 50 carries at the age of 37. Most running backs never even see the field in their mid to late 30’s, but Gore (like Allen) continues to perform at a high level. In Allen’s final season, he carried the ball 124 times for 505 yards (a record for a 37-year old) and scored 11 touchdowns.

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, and other celebrities are raising money to deliver meals for Holocaust survivors affected by Covid19. The athletes and celebrities joined with UJA-Federation and 333 Charity to teach a virtual workout class as part of Giving Tuesday to support meal deliveries for Holocaust survivors who are unable to leave their homes. According to 333 Charity, there are 36,000 Holocaust survivors living in the New York area and 40% of them live in poverty.

 

 

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Don Shula, NFL Reports Season Begins Sept. 10th, KBO & ESPN Reach Deal

FOOTBALL

The legendary Don Shula, former Hall of Fame NFL coach, died on Monday. Shula coached the Miami Dolphins for 26 years and led the 1972 team to an undefeated season, marking the only time in NFL history a team accomplished this feat. Shula was 90 years old.

The NFL announced they will be ready to publicize their 17-week schedule this week. All reports indicate they still plan to begin the season on September 10th. Most experts, however, believe the schedule will get modified a number of times before the season officially begins.

BASEBALL

In a coronavirus world, we can’t help celebrate any live sporting events, which is why we’re now focused on live regular-season baseball starting up in Korea. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has reached a deal with ESPN to air six live games per week (although the timing of the games might be during the middle of the night).

 

 

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Dalton Signs With Cowboys, U.S. Women’s Soccer Pay Discrimination, The Mountain’s World Record

FOOTBALL

Andy Dalton agreed to sign a one-year deal worth up to $7 million with the Dallas Cowboys. The 32-year old Dalton was released from the Cincinnati Bengals last week after the team selected former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. Dak Prescott is currently Dallas’s starting quarterback, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

SOCCER

A federal judge dismissed the U.S. Women’s national team’s claim of pay discrimination. According to the judge, “the WNT has been paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the MNT.” The women’s claim of unequal treatment in terms of travel, medical staff, and training equipment will still go to trial. According to reports, the women plan to appeal the decision and are requesting nearly $67 million in back pay and compensation.

WORLD RECORDS

Hafthor Bjornsson, who played Ser Gregor Clegane (The Mountain) on Game of Thrones set a world record in the deadlift. In a gym in Iceland over the weekend, he lifted 1,104 pounds (501 kilograms) beating the previous record of 1,102 pounds (500 kilograms) set by Eddie Hall in 2016.  Bjornsson who is 6’9″ and weighs 452 pounds won the World’s Strongest Man competition in 2018.

 

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