7.6.15: USA

Good morning! And, about that World Cup game last night… USA USA USA! Start your day with one of Carli Lloyd’s amazing three goals here:

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

Soccer

Like we said in the intro…Team USA won the women’s World Cup  for the first time since 1999 in dominating fashion. After scoring 4 goals (including an amazing hat trick from Carli Lloyd who won the Golden Ball) in the early part of the game, the Americans would go on to win the World Cup 5-2. Yay America!

NBA

After a wild week of free agency the major signings to report include:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs
  • DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks
  • Kevin Love re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Dwyane Wade re-signed with the  Miami Heat

Tennis

Wimbledon continues this week including a match today (at 7am) between the Williams sisters — Venus and Serena.

MLB

Major League Baseball named their starters for the upcoming  All-Star Game in Cincinnati later this month.

The Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg has a strained left oblique and will be on DL.

JUST FOR FUN

Goodbye, Portland – hello, San Antonio
LaMarcus Aldridge’s goodbye letter to Portland

 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Whoosh
The fastest time trial ever
Australian Rohan Dennis not only won the first stage of the 2015 Tour de France, but also set a new record

It began on July 1, 2015
The NBA just got a little crazier
This year saw some interesting themes: the players are looking for security, and franchises are coming to terms with their markets

For the first time
Chile won the Copa America against Argentina
The game ended 0-0 after extra time, but the penalty shootout showed a clear winner

Sibling Rivalry
Get ready for Monday!
Venus v. Serena is coming up – how do the siblings feel about that?

 

6.8.15: Twenty

Good Morning! Start your morning off with a highlight of  the amazing Serena Williams and her French Open victory…her 20th Grand Slam. Can you say impressive? Because we can.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

Last night, as we watched the second game of the NBA Finals head into overtime (just like the first!), the Cleveland Cavaliers battled their way to a final score of 95-93 against the Golden State Warriors. Although the Cavs played yesterday without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James scored a triple-double and a total of 39 points to carry the team to their win. Kyrie Irving, who sustained a broken kneecap during his team’s eventual 100-108 loss to the Warriors in Thursday’s Game 1, is expected to be out for at least 3-4 months. After this exciting Game 2, the series is tied 1-1. Make sure to catch Game 3, which will be Tuesday night at 9pm EST.

NHL

Stanley Cup hockey continued as well this weekend! The final series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning is now tied 1-1, after the Lightning’s 4-3 win on Saturday. Make sure to check out Game 3 tonight at 8pm EST.

Tennis

As we mentioned earlier, Serena Williams won her 20th Grand Slam at the French Open this weekend. This win against Lucie Safarova marks her third French Open win, as well. On the men’s side, Stan Wawrinka upset Novak Djokavic for his first French Open title.

Other

The wait is over — we have a Triple Crown victor for the first time since 1978. Congratulations to American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza for a phenomenal run!

On Saturday in Berlin, Barcelona took home the glory of a Champions League win. Their 3-1 victory over the Italian team Juventus (alongside their Spanish title and Copa Del Rey win) made them the first team to complete a Treble twice in six years.

Team USA kicks off their first game of the women’s World Cup tonight against Australia.

JUST FOR FUN

In the play pen
The furry — or not so furry — pals that keep race horses company while they’re on the road

 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Video killed the radio star
A new era
Yahoo has won the rights to live-stream an NFL game (for free!) to internet-users across the world

Champions League Final
Barcelona v. Juventus – a welcome reprieve from the controversy
Not only was the game thrilling to watch, but it reminded us that what’s most important about soccer is what’s being played on the field

Stayin’ Alive
Is the idea of a Stanley Cup miracle team just a myth?
The Lightning may have talent, but does that top the Blackhawks’ history of experience at the finals?

Hot Hot Hot
Hitting the ball out of the park
The Washington Nationals’ star player Bryce Harper is having a breakout season

3.16.15: Get into the Madness

The ball is tipped and there you are — you’re running for your life, you’re a shooting star… remember that familiar tune? Well, March Madness is here and soon enough one team will end their season with the beautiful song that is One Shining Moment, and more importantly, the National Championship. So get excited, and get into the spirit with one of our favorite shining moments from 2010.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

College Basketball

The time has come to welcome back the NCAA Tournament into your lives. It’s one of the reasons we love March and we predict that this year will live up to the hype. We’ll get to a mini-breakdown of the brackets, but keep in mind that the biggest question in this year’s tourney is whether or not #1 overall seed Kentucky can run the table and finish the season undefeated. The answer: 40-0 is looking more and more likely with each game.

Okay, now onward to the brackets. This year, the tournament seeding looks relatively even across the board. As always, there’s definitely some upset potential but this year the tournament is looking more top heavy than usual. Here’s a breakdown of the top four seeds in each region:

  • Midwest: Kentucky, Kansas, Notre Dame, Maryland
  • South: Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Georgetown
  • East: Villanova, UVA, Oklahoma, Louisville
  • West: Wisconsin, Arizona, Baylor, UNC

The play-in games kick off on Tuesday, and the real action kicks off Thursday and Friday with the opening rounds. Get ready, it’s almost go-time.

Oh, and don’t sleep on the women’s tournament — the selection show kicks off on Monday night!

NBA

There were quite a few fun NBA games over the weekend. The Houston Rockets rallied past the LA Clippers 100-98 in a game where MVP candidate James Harden posted an impressive 34 point, 7 rebound and 7 assist performance. However, the bigger story might be the return of Blake Griffin to the Clippers’ line-up, which will matter come playoff time.

Speaking of the playoffs, as we move closer to the end of the regular season, let’s take a look at who’s leading the way. In the East, the Atlanta Hawks remain in control of the top seed but the Cleveland Cavaliers may be the team to beat. Out West, the Golden State Warriors may hold the best record in the league, but the West is really good and the Memphis Grizzlies, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets look ready to go. That’s not to say that things will stay this way — there’s still enough time in the season for things to shift in the last month or so. Stay tuned.

This week, make sure to check out these big match-ups (while you’re not watching March Madness):

  • Cleveland at Miami – Monday
  • Oklahoma City at Dallas – Monday
  • Atlanta at Golden State – Wednesday (this is the game of the week)
  • Atlanta at Oklahoma City – Friday
  • Portland at Memphis – Saturday

Other

Serena Williams returned to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001 and defeated Monica Niculescu in a emotional performance through 2 straight sets. She continued to advance through the tournament with a win against Zarina Diyas on Sunday. Go Serena go!

NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick picked up another win in Arizona, this time at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Manchester United won a statement game against Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on Sunday afternoon in a dominating performance within the Premier League.

JUST FOR FUN

Smile for the camera
Carey Price takes a selfie with a fan during the Canadiens/Islanders game

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Free agency
The first day of  the NFL year was this past Tuesday…
There were trades, surprises, and a whole lot of action

Proving his worth
Kyrie Irving, welcome to the team
As of late, he’s been showing us that he’s got something special

If you’re an American woman who wants to play hockey…
You’ll play for the Boston Blades, the only U.S. team in the Canadian women’s hockey league
But, you’ll also have to work another job and fundraise to keep your professional team alive

Conflicting interests
The issues plaguing MLS players
Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, has some problems with MLS player development

12.22.14: ’twas the Monday before Christmas…

From our SQ family to yours, wishing you the very best holiday! We’ll be back next week with lots to share, so stay tuned (and check out the Pittsburgh Penguins’ version of Christmas Vacation for some added fun).

 

 

 

Edition 1.27.14

FLOTUS can dunk!  Michele Obama and Miami Heat drum up excitement for Let’s Move.


QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL                                                 

See our Pre-Superbowl XLVIII Weekend Primer 1.24.14

NBA

Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points Friday night in the Garden –  career high for him and a record breaker for the New York Knicks, and Madison Square Garden. The  Knicks might be struggling, but Carmelo saw only the net in an amazing scoring display under the bright lights of New York.  After getting a win that night and this past Sunday against the Lakers, will the Knicks continue to use this performance to propel them forward? Carmelo sure hopes so.

The Slim Reaper, Durantula, KD Trey…call him what you want, the fact is Kevin Durant is putting on a show these days. The league’s top scorer not only averages over 30 points a game, he’s also leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference. The latest magic was a triple double (32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists) in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. More impressively, he’s doing this while the Thunder’s star point guard Russell Westbrook recovers from a knee injury. Watch out world, when Westbrook is back and with this duo, the Thunder just might be unstoppable.

Two big announcements in the hoops world happened this past week:

First, USA Basketball announced the official 28-player pool for the upcoming World Basketball Championships and 2016 Olympics. The pool will winnow down to a 12-man roster.  Look for the best of the best to compete for a spot on the final squad.

Second, the fan-voted NBA All-Star starters were announced for the East and the West. The West features: first time all-star Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin while the East features: Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The remaining team members for each side are voted on by coaches and will be released soon. All-Star weekend is on February 14-16 in New Orleans.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Remaining undefeated, #2 Syracuse, #1 Arizona and #5 Wichita State keep rolling.  Syracuse improved to 19-0 after defeating Miami on the road, while Wichita State improved to 21-0 with a win over Drake. Did Arizona continue the trend? They sure did as they beat Utah in a close game Sunday night.

There’s nothing like a good in-state rival game, or at least that’s how Michigan feels today. The Michigan Wolverines knocked off the #3 Michigan State Spartans at home Saturday night. It’s probably a bigger win for Michigan than a disappointing loss for Michigan State, which was without two of their best players due to injury. Expect both teams to build off the result as Big Ten play continues.

The greatest Coach in college hoops just hit another major milestone. That’s right, Coach K won his 900th game as the #18 Duke dominated Florida State at home. After a tough loss at Clemson, the Blue Devils have been on a bit of winning streak. Look for another big road test on Monday night, as Duke travels to face Pittsburgh on their turf.

Tennis

Let’s hear it for the the new kid. Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open in the men’s final early Sunday morning. Not only was it his first time beating Rafa, it was also the first major title in his tennis career for the 28 year old Swiss player.

Continuing with the Aussie theme, Li Na topped Dominika Cibulkova to win the Australian Open on the women’s side. After finishing as the runner-up in the last three of the four Australian Open finals, it was finally Li Na’s time to shine.

JUST FOR FUN

Did Tim Gunn approve these outfits?
Check out the U.S. Olympic outfits – that sweater is really… something!

Heartwarming Memories
Take a walk down memory lane with the best Super Bowl photos of all time

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Eye Popping & Jaw Dropping
Would you rather see David Beckham #covered or #uncovered? 
Consumers can vote on whether they’d rather see David Beckham wearing briefs or ‘stark naked’ in the H&M Superbowl XLVIII ad

Brr, it’s cold in here… there must be some b-ball in the atmosphere
The NBA has committed to growing the game of basketball in Russia
They are improving community facilities and hosting clinics to help Russian youth learn to love the game

Soccer in South Africa
Zola Mahobe in 3D
The country’s complicated history is reflected in Nelson Mandela, but also in Zola Mahobe and his efforts to bring soccer to South Africa in the 1980s.

Will Canada Host the 2026 World Cup?
They’re trying to!
Canada is planning to submit a bid to host the FIFA World Cup after Qatar hosts in 2022

Hot Damn, Melo!
Carmelo Anthony was in the zone during Friday night’s game
After beating Bernard King’s Knicks Record and LeBron James’ MSG Record, what’s next?


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SUPERBOWL Weekend Primer 1.24.14

Super Bowl XLVIII might not be until next weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare!

TALKING POINTS AND QUESTIONS PEOPLE WILL BE DEBATING 

Peyton Manning – Denver’s star quarterback is the talk of the town. After overcoming a career-threatening neck injury just 2 seasons ago, Manning is back in the Super Bowl for the third time. The likely league MVP went one for two while playing for the Indianapolis Colts, and there’s no doubt that getting that second Super Bowl ring this time would be the  ultimate icing. Some folks are seeing this game as a defining moment in his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. Win or lose, he’s one of the greatest of all time.

  • Key Question: Where would a second Super Bowl ring place Manning on the list of best quarterbacks of all time?

Best Defense vs. Best Offense – The Denver Broncos have the #1 offense (Think Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and more). The Seattle Seahawks have the #1 defense (Think Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and more). So here’s the math for this game: Best Defense + Best Offense = Great Game. And don’t think the Seattle offense and the Denver defense aren’t up for the challenge. Seattle’s running back Marshawn Lynch will be ready to run and Denver’s whole defensive unit will look to stop him. Match-ups like this don’t happen often, so get ready.

  • Key Question: Will Denver’s top offense be able to overcome the strong defensive force that is the “Legion of Boom,” the Seattle Seahawks?

Richard Sherman – Everyone has something to say about Sherman, including the man himself. Expect people to keep talking this week. We’re simply going to say this: the Seattle Seahawk’s cornerback made an incredible game-winning play in the NFC Championship and is one of the best defensive players in the league. We’re looking forward to seeing him play next week.

  • Key Question: Will off-the-field distractions affect the Seahawk’s Super Bowl performance?

Russell Wilson – He may only be in his second season in the NFL, but Wilson is quickly becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Because of his height, he came into the NFL as a bit of an underdog, but he continues to defy expectations with his strong arm, quick feet, and overall leadership. No doubt about it, Wilson is great and ready to bring the first Super Bowl Championship to the city of Seattle.

  • Key Question: Can Wilson overcome turnovers and inexperience to lead the Seahawks to victory?

Weather – Picture this: Bright lights and a polar vortex? Not exactly a winning combination. This year’s Super Bowl takes place at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The stadium is beautiful but like any outdoor event in the early part of the year, it can potentially be freezing! Weather is definitely going to be a factor and poor conditions would likely favor the Seahawks.

  • Key Question: What type of weather conditions can we expect and just how cold is it going to be?

The X Factor(s) – We all know that the Super Bowl is a game of stars, but the stars don’t always win games. One great stop or one great catch can change a game. One great run or one forced turnover can define a player. Look for candidates on either team — on both offense and defense — to make something happen. After all, it is the Super Bowl; and in the game of football, nothing is greater than that.

  • Key Question: Who will this year’s X factors (coaches, players) be, and will they make or break the game?

Half-Time – That’s right, the Super Bowl is more than a game… there’s also a half-time show! This year’s event features Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but if history repeats itself there are bound to be surprises. Last year, Beyonce rocked the show and surprised the crowd with a Destiny’s Child reunion. What will this year have in store? We”ll see…

  • Key Question: Will there be any surprise cameos in this year’s half-time show? And will the lights stay on?

INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT THIS SUPERBOWL AND THE CHARACTERS

Will Peyton Manning get his second Super Bowl ring: Hey, we also want to know if he can host SNL again!

In the words of Richard Sherman: His thoughts.

Overcoming obstacles: Learn more about Russell Wilson, in this interview with CNN’s Rachel Nichols

From Eli to Peyton: Little bro is looking out for his big bro

This is awesome: Seattle’s Derrick Coleman inspires little girl and her twin

Mind-Boggling Information About Super Bowl Ads 

SQ Edition 1.20.14

Seattle Seahawk fullback Derrick Coleman is making waves on the field – not only because of his skills, but because he’s the first deaf offensive player in the NFL.  Get inspired with this commercial featuring Coleman.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL                                                 

Peyton Manning is returning to the Super Bowl. In a hyped AFC Championship, Manning looked calm and cool in a huge Denver Broncos win over the New England Patriots. The Pats tried to rally, but the Broncos got the early lead and never looked back. This year’s Super Bowl happens to be in baby brother Eli’s stadium in New York. Eli Manning had led the New York Giants to a Super Bowl win just two seasons ago in Peyton’s former stadium in Indianapolis. Undoubtedly, Peyton and the Broncos will look to repeat the pattern in New York.

The Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in an incredibly close home game. The game saw two of the league’s top defenses engage in an intense battle. Despite some spectacular plays, both quarterbacks – Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson – struggled with their offenses. In the end, the Seahawks prevailed after a late interception ended a rally by the Niners. There was also a devastating knee injury to the 49er’s NaVorro Bowman, here’s to hoping he’s okay.

Start spreadin’ the newsSuper Bowl XLVIII is here!  We’ll have a lot more coverage in the coming weeks, including stories on the characters.  Get ready for the bright lights when the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks battle in New York on February 2nd.

NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder might miss Russell Westbrook, but Kevin Durant is giving them everything’s he got. Durant dropped a career high 54 points in a huge win against the Golden State Warriors.  Stephen Curry had 37 points in a strong game for the Warriors, but Durant was nearly flawless and unstoppable. It’s these consistent efficient performances that explain why he’s at the top of the race for league MVP.

Rajon Rondo is back in the lineup for the Boston Celtics, after missing part of the season because of a torn ACL. On Friday, the star point guard had a nice performance in his first game back though they lost against the Los Angeles Lakers. It may take a while to get back in the groove, but the Celtics are sure glad to have their point guard back whether they trade him or not.

Injured Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant might not be able to play but that doesn’t mean he can’t find something to do on the road. Bryant attended an international marketing class at Boston College prior to the Celtics game. Meanwhile, the Lakers would continue with a win against the Toronto Raptors in a 19 point comeback on Sunday.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Superstar freshman, Jabari Parker put on a show as #23 Duke defeated NC State by 35 points at home in a great team effort on Saturday. Jabari wasn’t the only freshman that had a big day.  Joel Embiid nearly had a triple double for #15 Kansas in a big win over #9 Oklahoma State. Embiid might be relatively new to hoops but he’s a rising star whose NBA draft stock is skyrocketing.

In all things Big Ten, #3 Wisconsin lost for the second time this week, this time to Michigan. In a nice road win, Michigan State beat Illinois convincingly. Moving forward, #11 Ohio State looks to rebound from a string of three straight losses this week against Nebraska.

In a battle of the new ACC teams, #2 Syracuse improved to 18-0 in a big win at home against #22 Pittsburgh. Point guard Tyler Ennis had another great game for the Orange, proving that he’s another star freshman on the rise. Syracuse will look to extend their undefeated record against Miami on the road next Saturday. The only other undefeated team the college basketball, the #1 Arizona Wildcats will look to defend their streak this Thursday against #21 Colorado.

OTHER

In a big upset at the Australian Open, Ana Ivanovic defeated Serena Williams. Ivanovic took 3 sets to win beat Serena, who had been struggling with back pain coming into the match. This is the first time she has lost since August.

Canada named hometown hero Sydney Crosby captain of their hockey team for the upcoming Olympic Games. Crosby, who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was a star in the last winter Olympics and looks to lead Canada to another gold medal in the games.

JUST FOR FUN

What does Sochi and Game of Thrones have in common?
Don’t miss the BBC Winter Olympics Trailer, narrated by Tywin Lannister of ‘Game of Thrones’

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Dance Wars
Why is the NBA hating on the Sam Cassell “Big Balls” Dance?
The fine is as large as the fine for fighting and dangerous fouls… does that really make sense?

In the Name of Charity
When Manning calls “Omaha” in the AFC Championship, it helps the Peyback Foundation
It looks like some big donations are coming their way with 31 calls in Sunday’s game.

Sisterly Love
Twin qualifies for the Olympics and sends her sister in her place
When Lanny Barnes withdrew from the an Olympic qualifier race due to illness, her twin qualifying sister decided she wanted her sister to compete in the upcoming biathlon in Sochi. 

FRIENDS WE LOVE WHO’LL MAKE YOU LOVE SPORTS MORE

I am increasingly aware of the extent to which being an effective leader is predicated on a very high level of empathy…Empathy is a learned skill like anything else, and I think that diminishing opportunities for kids to play means that there is a diminishing opportunity for them to learn and practice the skills of empathy. – Jill Vialet, CEO and Founder of Playworks.

Jill Vialet is reclaiming recess and play for kids. She is the CEO and Founder of Playworks, a non-profit that has helped bring safe and healthy playground activities to over 400,000 children and 750 schools and youth-serving organizations in 23 different cities. She has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs.

Jill recognizes the power of sports in learning and development and has been committed to helping students use sports to grow and build relationships– read her LifeChats Interview with the Fuqua/Coach K Leadership & Ethics Center at Duke University.

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