Edition 7.28.14

Happy Monday! In all things impressive, start your morning with this 50 yard goal (we repeat, 50 yard goal) that Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic delivered Saturday night against Manchester United in Washington D.C.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

Football

The NFL suspended Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens for 2 games for being in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Rice was arrested for a domestic violence dispute with his then fiance (and now wife) last February. There has been quite a media firestorm surrounding the NFL decision and there is no doubt that the talk will continue.

Speaking of training camp, football season is right around the corner. Teams kicked off training camp this past week and will continue with pre-season football games through August. Next Sunday marks the first Sunday pre-season game as the New York Giants take on the Buffalo Bills in honor of Hall of Fame weekend on August 3rd.

Other interesting summer football news includes that Jordy Nelson signed a $39 million extension with the Green Bay Packers over the weekend. Expect more of this type of news to come up as we progress into August — many players want — and are likely to get — extensions or new contracts.

Basketball

USA basketball kicked off their training camp in Las Vegas on Sunday. The camp is in preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup tournament in late August. Earlier last week, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin both chose to withdraw from the camp, which leaves room for other big men to have a chance to make the squad. Both Love and Griffin were expected to make the final roster which means Team USA will have to get a little creative with post play going forward.

And the new coach of the LA Lakers is… Byron Scott! After 3 interviews, the Lakers finally announced that they’ve found their new guy. Scott, who signed a 4 year deal, is a great coach by all accounts and has been a head coach in the league before. Unfortunately, the Lakers will need more than a good coach to fix all their problems. Look for the squad to focus on rebuilding this upcoming season.

It wouldn’t be the quips if we didn’t talk LeBron James. After polling fans on social media, LeBron has decided to switch his number back to 23. It’s the same number he wore the first time he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers before switching to number 6 with the Miami Heat. Lebron announced his decision to go back to the original number Sunday on both Twitter and Instagram.

Other

Sandy Barbour is officially the first female athletic director at Penn State. The university hired the former Cal Berkeley AD this week to fill the position previously occupied by Dave Joyner.

Jeff Gordon got a big win on Sunday, on the verge of the 20th anniversary of when he won his first race on this course. The driver picked up his 5th career victory at Brickyard 500, and set a NASCAR record.

Emmanuel Mudiay is officially headed to China. The star high school point guard will forgo college basketball and will play professional basketball on a 1 year deal worth roughly $1.2 million. Mudiay had initially signed to play for Larry Brown at SMU and is widely expected to be one of the top picks in next year’s NBA Draft.

JUST FOR FUN

How do you know if your favorite movie counts as a rom com or a sports movie?
Take a look at how similar the two can be…

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Falling Harder
As bicycle technology changes, the danger of falling has increased
The bikes might be lighter and faster, but they fall apart in crashes

Team Excel
Helping high school athletes to place a higher value on their academics
Ex-Seattle Seahawk Michael Robinson understands that most athletes don’t end up in the NFL — they need to prepare for alternate futures

USA Special Olympics 2014
Motivation to succeed
Check out these photos of the outstanding athletes that competed in this year’s USA Special Olympics

Autograph Chasing
A different kind of sports engagement
Is it sad that kids are now collecting signatures to sell them?

The most powerful man in sports (who knows nothing about sports)
Attorney Michael Hausfeld of the O’Bannon case has become quite a big deal
In the coming weeks we’ll hear the ruling on the O’Bannon case — take a look at the lawyer who took on the case even though he knew nothing about the sports or the players

 

Edition 7.21.14

Good Morning! What do we love most about the summer? Well there’s a lot of things, but one of them is the ESPN Make A Wish special segment that airs on SportsCenter and shows us how sports can be used to make a positive difference. Check out this powerful piece featuring Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton and 6 year old George Gring:

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

Golf

Talk about a major weekend for Rory McIlroy. That’s right, the 25 year old rose above the rest of the field to dominate and win the British Open on Sunday. Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia were the runners-up. It was a big win for Rory, as it was his 3rd major golf tournament win. Further, he now has won 3 out of the 4 major events, and is closer to the elusive and coveted Grand Slam. At 25 years old the best is surely yet to come, and that’s good news for the future of golf.

As good of a weekend as it was for Rory, it was the exact opposite for Tiger Woods. Tiger was never really in contention and finished his last round poorly, driving more questions into whether he will win another Major ever again. For now, his next concern is whether he will make the Ryder Cup. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the Ryder Cup, the 2014 golfing event gets started September 23-28th in Perthshire, Scotland. Get ready to hear more about the tournament where the Americans face off against the Europeans as it gets closer to fall. But before that, the PGA Championship will kick off on August 7th in Kentucky.

Basketball

Tis the season for more USA basketball! This past week, USA hoops announced 19 players that will compete for a roster spot on the national team that will play for a World Championship in late August. It is a mix of familiar faces and new players including: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Chandler Parsons, Paul George, Damion Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Fareid, Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward.

The excitement surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers continues to grow as they finalize their new team. In addition to signing LeBron James and extending Kyrie Irving’s contract, the Cavs have added former Miami Heat players Mike Miller and James Jones to their roster and are looking to potentially make even more moves. The big question remains whether the Cavs will trade #1 pick Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for star forward Kevin Love or keep the team the way it is. There are arguments for both sides, and everyone has an opinion on which route will lead to better short term or long term results. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is an NBA Championship, and LeBron seems to want to team up with Love. Does the Cavs’ management feel the same way?

In other NBA news, outside of summer league that is, there were a couple of more big signings this week. Dwyane Wade signed a new contract with the Miami Heat that awarded him a no-trade clause. He joins Carmelo Anthony as the only other player to negotiate a no-trade clause into a contract this season. There are now 6 players in the league with this type of exclusive contract.

Other

In all things tennis, #15 Caroline Wozniacki got her first win of the year at the Istanbul Cup. It’s the 22nd win of her career and will hopefully propel her forward.

It may not seem like it, but college football is just around the corner and you know what means… media day! Over the weekend the ACC took their turn and a number of topics were addressed. Among them were Jameis Winston and Florida State, their off-the-field troubles, and whether they have what it takes to compete for back-to-back national championships.

The ESPYs took place last Wednesday night on ESPN. There were a number of interesting takeaways, but two of the most powerful moments took place when Stuart Scott and Michael Sam each gave incredibly thoughtful speeches. They are both worth watching.

JUST FOR FUN

Ballin’
LeBron’s 4th grade son is an awesome basketball player (shocker!) 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

The A’s, B’s, and C’s of the NBA Offseason
How are your teams looking?
Check out this NBA Offseason Report Card – if you’re a fair weather fan, it’s time to get a head start on finding a new team!

Now What?
Where is your newly found interest in soccer headed?
Since the World Cup ended, have you stayed invested in the world of soccer, or has your interest petered out?

Equanimeous St. Brown
This college football recruit has the height, the fluidity, and the athleticism 
Named for the word “equanimity” meaning “calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure,” Equanimeous is one of Sports Illustrated’s most interesting recruits

Proving Her Worth
Natalie Nakase is looking to be the first female NBA coach
She has worked as the Clippers’ video intern, but her love of the game and competitive edge might just help her shatter the glass ceiling

No Cheer for the Cheerleaders
Are cheerleaders being compensated fairly for their work?
As more and more women file lawsuits, it raises questions about how teams employ their cheerleaders

Edition 7.14.14

Good Morning! Feeling a little low now that the World Cup is over? Trust us — we are too. Let’s relive the futbol magic with this great video featuring the last time Germany beat Argentina in a championship match.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

World Cup

And then there was 1. After a tenacious final battle for the World Cup, Germany defeated Argentina to claim the championship trophy in extra time. Both teams left everything they had on the field and Mario Gotze scored the only goal for the Germans in their 1-0 victory. Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball award given to the best player in the tournament by FIFA.  It’s the 4th World Cup championship for Team Germany. Congrats!

Team Netherlands is officially the third place finisher in this year’s World Cup. The Dutch defeated Team Brazil 3-0 to cap off their overall great tournament performance and will look to build off of their success going forward in years to come. Team Brazil may not have had the finish they desired (see 7-1 … yikes) but they hosted one of the best World Cups in memory. Look for them to get healthy and bounce back.

Wait,, what? The World Cup is really over? Sadly it’s true, we’ve come to the end of the road and while some of us don’t want to let go, the time has come. The next World Cup will take place in Russia in the summer of 2018. We realize that’s not that soon but that’s a topic for another day. In the meantime, check out the MLS, familiarize yourself with the international futbol community and think back to how great each and every one of this year’s matches were in Brazil. Viva!

Basketball

LeBron James is going home. In one of the most interesting free agency decisions in while (well, actually since LBJ’s first free agency summer), the King has decided to return to his original throne in Cleveland (on a 2 year deal). Why did he decide to leave the Miami Heat, the place where he won 2 titles in 4 years? There are a lot reasons, a mix of both personal and professional, that LeBron wrote about in this must-read letter. At the end of the day, it’s a great basketball decision and there’s a lot to get excited about if you’re the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs just signed Kyrie Irving (their rising star of a point guard) to a large extension and are operating with a talented young nucleus that LeBron will be ready to lead. One last thing to watch out for is a potential trade involving newly drafted #1 pick Andrew Wiggins for Minnesota’s Kevin Love, a deal that if completed might just make the Cavs next years’ hands-down favorites. But, the coach is still denying it for now.

So what is the Miami Heat going to do without the best player in the game? Good question. So far they’ve resigned Chris Bosh for a $118 million dollar deal and added free agents Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng. Keep an eye out for an extension for Dwyane Wade and look for team president Pat Riley to make more moves to try to ease the transition.

Guess what? There is even more free agency news to talk about! Carmelo Anthony turned down a plethora of suitors to re-sign with the New York Knicks, a move that will give him a very nice new contract and a chance to build with the Zen-Master himself, Phil Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher. Other than that, Pau Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls and Paul Pierce signed with the Washington Wizards. Oh and out in Rocketsland, Jeremy Lin was traded to the LA Lakers and Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks. The offseason is exhausting!

Other

And your new women’s British Open champion is… Mo Martin! That’s right, the American golfer put on a show with her first eagle putt of the year and an overall great performance to win the LPGA major title. Boom.

At a hearing last week with the United States Senate Commerce Committee, Mark Emmert (NCAA President) stated that there should be “scholarships for life” for college student-athletes. Emmert further discussed other changes he hopes to see enacted in amateur sports as the NCAA works with Division I schools to reform the current system.

Brad Keselowski is doing big things in NASCAR. The driver won his second Nationwide Series title of the season at the Sprint Cup in New Hampshire. Congrats!

JUST FOR FUN

The Hoffs Before the Game
David Hasselhoff creates his own version of the Beats commercial “The Game Before the Game”

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

SQ EXCLUSIVE: This week, be sure to check out our latest Guest Post, A couple of reasons to make sure your daughters sit front row at this year’s World Cup games, by Hana Farahat

3 Cheers for Univision
Their broadcast of the World Cup beat ESPN’s and ABC’s by a matter of seconds
Don’t you want to shout “GOAL” before all your friends can?

Genius
Why LeBron decided to return to Cleveland
His heart told him to leave Miami, but so did his brain

Basketball in Haiti
As the country recovers from the 2010 earthquake, basketball is helping
It’s bringing members of the community together and offering youngsters the chance of better lives

Drones
Is an arms race coming to college football?
Using drones as a way to monitor and improve team practices

Ian Thorpe
The Australian Olympic swimmer addresses his sexuality
After years of speculation, the public finally has its answer — but, more importantly, after his broken shoulder, will Thorpe ever swim again?

The Business of being an Athlete
Bringing Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, and Graeme McDowell under the same roof — with Teneo Sports
The consulting firm will help star athletes to cement their brands and help them to engage with fans

 

Edition 7.7.14

We’ve been talking a lot about soccer lately (and rightfully so!), but today you have to start your day with highlights from the Wimbledon final. Why? Because who doesn’t want to start their Monday with an extra-large dose of excellence?!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

Tennis

After a wild Wimbledon full of upsets, it was only right that the tournament’s final match came down to two of the game’s biggest stars. In a thrilling championship match, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in 5 sets to win the Wimbledon title on Sunday. It was an important game for both stars, as Djokovic had just come off a French Open Final loss to Rafael Nadal and was able to get his second Wimbledon title in his professional career. Despite the tough loss for Federer, he put on a show with his ferocious comeback in the match and is still more of a tennis legend than ever.

On the women’s side, Petra Kvitova crushed Eugenie Bouchard in 2 sets to win her first Wimbledon title on Saturday. Talk about domination — the match only took 55 minutes in total. It was Kvitova’s second Wimbledon title.

What’s the next biggest tennis tournament to look forward to? The US Open, of course! Make sure to check out all the fun when the tournament begins in New York in late August.

World Cup

Here’s a quick World Cup round up from this weekend:

  • Finally, it took penalty kicks in the Costa Rica/Netherlands game to determine a winner. And with a final PK score of 4-3, the Dutch would go on to get the win and move onto their next World Cup match.

So, what’s next for each of these teams? The semifinals! Brazil will play Germany on Tuesday afternoon, and Argentina will play the Netherlands on Wednesday afternoon. After that, it’s onto the Finals which will feature the third place game on Saturday and the Championship match on Sunday. Enjoy it while lasts, the World Cup won’t come back for another 4 years!

Other

In all things NBA free agency drama, there are a couple of updates to report. Dirk Nowitzki re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks for $30 million over 3 years, Kyle Lowry re-signed with the Toronto Raptors for $48 million over 4 years, while Boris Diaw re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs for $22.5 million for 3 years. In other free agency news, the rumors around whether LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will stay or go (and if they go, where) continue to buzz buzz buzz. Stay tuned!

What’s going on in NASCAR, you ask? Well, Aric Almirola got his first win at the Sprint Cup Series race down in Daytona. Talk about a big win for RPMotorSports.

20 players in the NHL filed claims for salary arbitration at the deadline this past week. This is a way to set a salary with the help of a third party arbitrator going into next season.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Gotta catch ’em all!
A GIF of all of Tim Howard’s amazing saves throughout the USA game

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Cheering on the right team
Maybe we should root for the team that needs this World Cup win the most
A World Cup win would have a huge impact on some countries that might need the passion and support the most

$144 Million
Breaking down the conundrums of the 2014 NBA revenue
Zach Lowe tries to make sense of the Brooklyn Nets/Jason Kidd situation, and other teams that lost money this season

Winning Memories
Who is the most memorable champion of 2014?
The Seattle Seahawks? The UConn Men’s Basketball team? The UConn Women’s Basketball team? The Spurs? The LA Kings? What do you think?

Support Circle
How athletes are befriending and supporting children in need
The Marist women’s soccer team has made a big difference in the life of 9-year-old Jamie Ferretti

Tour de France?
This year, it’s starting in England
In order to keep up with the UK’s growing excitement for cycling, the organizers of the Tour de France have set the first three stages of the iconic race in England. Don’t worry, though — the bikes will be moved across the water by boat to France to finish up the race.

Social Media Madness
With the number of issues arising from social media sharing, is it really worth it?
Consider the controversies surrounding social media — accidental insults and drama. Then, consider the pros — building communities of fans and fueling passions.