Edition 5.26.14

Happy Memorial Day! Let’s remember to be thankful for all those who protect our great country. Check out this wonderful story of Casey Carroll, an army veteran and current Duke lacrosse star. Oh, and Duke takes on Notre Dame in the rematch of last year’s lacrosse National Championship game today!

 

From athletes who have served, to league partnerships with the US Military, sports and our soldiers have always had a unique and wonderful relationship.  In honor of Memorial Day, here’s a look at some of the ways they have worked together to encourage excellence in our communities and across the country:

NFL and US Army Tackle Brain Injuries
NBA partner with US Military to Serve Armed Forces Members and Families
MLB Players Who Have Served
A Look at NHL’s Finest

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

The Heat’s streak continues. The Miami Heat fought back from their Game 1 loss to beat the Indiana Pacers in Games 2 and 3 and take a 2-1 lead in the series. Saturday night’s game featured vintage Ray Allen, who went Shuttlesworth on the Pacers with a 4-4 4th quarter performance from 3-point land. The feisty Eastern Conference finals match-up continues with Game 4 on Monday night in Miami.

The Oklahoma City Thunder got forward Serge Ibaka back just in time for Game 3 against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals. Ibaka injured his calf muscle during Game 6 of their series against the LA Clippers and sat out for both of the Thunders’ bad losses to the coasting San Antonio Spurs. On Sunday night in Oklahoma City, the Thunder turned this series around and won Game 3 convincingly. We’ll find out if the Spurs will surge past the Thunder or if the return of Serge will be enough to propel the Thunder forward on Tuesday for Game 4.

The 2014 NBA Draft is right around the corner and the first pick belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers. We know what you’re thinking — yes, the Cavs picked first last year, and yes, they won this week’s draft lottery again. As of right now, the Milwaukee Bucks will pick second followed by the Philadelphia 76ers — that is, unless teams negotiate to trade picks prior to or on draft night. Most expect Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker to be among the top three chosen.

NHL

The LA Kings are up 2-1 on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals after a big 4-3 win on Saturday night in LA-LA land. Game 4 tips off of Monday night at 9pm.

In the Eastern Conference finals the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens in overtime to go up 3-1 in the series. Can the Rangers close out the series on Tuesday night for Game 5?

In all things not NHL playoffs, Team Russia defeated Team Finland 5-2 to win the ice hockey World Championships on Sunday afternoon. Team Sweden would go on to take the bronze.

MLB

Bend it like Beckett — Josh Beckett, that is. The LA Dodgers star pitched his first no hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon, and the Dodgers won 6-0. In addition to it being Beckett’s first career no-hitter, it was also the first no-hitter of the season in Major League Baseball.

Manny Ramirez is back. The former baseball all-star will serve as a player-coach for the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A team out of Des Moines, Iowa. Ramirez has not played in the major leagues since 2011 and seeks to use his baseball knowledge to mentor rising talent.

Yikes — that’s 10 losses in a row for the Boston Red Sox (their longest losing streak in 20 years). This time, defeat came in the arms of the Tampa Bay Rays who not only beat them 8-5 on Sunday, but got caught up in a brawl that led to a few ejections. Time will tell if the Red Sox can turn this losing streak around.

Other

And your new Indy 500 champion is… Ryan Hunter-Reay! The 98th Indy 500 was one of the closest races ever, as Hunter-Reay won the race by only 0.0600 seconds.

After a long week, Rory McIlroy finished up the weekend nicely by overcoming a 7-point deficit to win the BMW PGA Championship in England.

The second round of the French Open continues this week. Be on the look out for matches between all of the current tennis greats, including Serena, Rafa, Federer, Djokovic and more!

JUST FOR FUN

FIFA 2014 World Cup Team Bus Slogans
Hyundai hosted a contest for the best slogan to put on the side of each team’s bus

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Animal House 
NASCAR’s Rescue Ranch
Driver Ryan Newman and his wife, Krissie, have a growing animal shelter and education center at their Charlotte home

“The best football team in America”
The Seahawks joined President Obama at the White House
It was a celebration for the players that brought Seattle its first Super Bowl victory

What’s love got to do with it?
The Landon Donovan issue
One of the Team USA’s all-time best soccer stars was left off the World Cup roster

Transfer Politics
Why L
eticia Romero can’t leave KSU
Transfer requests rarely become headline news… so why is Kansas State restricting this basketball player’s transfer rights?

50 Signatures
The NFL Commissioner received an interesting piece of mail…
50 senators signed a letter sent to Goodell urging him to pressure Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder into changing the team’s name

SPECIAL OFFER FROM SQ AMBASSADOR ORGANIZATION 

A major reason why we at SQ love sports is because of its power to help social causes. Beyond Sport  is an organization that brings together sports power players and leaders in the social sector. Guess what?  As a SQ Ambassador Organization, Beyond Sport will be giving SQ subscribers a special offer to their upcoming event at Yankee Stadium. Watch your inboxes on Tuesday for the offer.  Share The SportsQuip with your friends so they can join in on this awesome event, too!

Edition 5.19.14

Let’s start Monday off right with a little bit of a celebration of goodness in sports. See this wonderful act of sportsmanship that occurred when Eckerd sophomore Kara Oberer was injured in a softball game against Florida Southern College…

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

We’ve reached the conference championships round of the playoffs. In the East, we have a match-up between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat. The Pacers closed out their series against the Washington Wizards to take on the Heat who were coming off a victorious series against the Brooklyn Nets. In Game 1 on Sunday, the Pacers took advantage of their home court advantage and defeated the Heat. Many, if not all, are expecting the Heat to rebound from this loss and to defeat the Pacers in this series to move onto the NBA Finals.

In the Western Conference, we have an intriguing match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Intriguing — partly because these are two of the best teams out west, and also because of a rise of injuries that could significantly alter the series. In their series-winning game against the LA Clippers, the Thunder’s third best player Serge Ibaka left the game with a calf injury. It will keep him out for the rest of the playoffs. As for the Spurs, they beat the Portland Trail Blazers quickly and easily but not without trouble for their star point guard Tony Parker,who is playing with a hamstring injury. This series kicks off Monday night, and the intrigue will only grow.

In all things NBA coaching, there have been quite a few big name moves. Steve Kerr stunned Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks and took a head coaching job with the Golden State Warriors, while Stan Van Gundy signed a deal with the Detroit Pistons to become the President of Basketball Operations and head coach. What does this mean for the Knicks? We shall see…

The NBA Playoffs continue this week — get ready for more exciting games to watch!

MLB

Prince Fielder’s longest active games played streak ended at 547. Fielder is suffering from a herniated disc, and sat out from Saturday’s game after receiving a nerve-root injection to help alleviate the pain. Add this to the list of injury setbacks for the Texas Rangers.

Sometimes a win in May can mean something in baseball, as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the second game of their doubleheader on Sunday 5-3. So, why is this significant? Well, it’s the first time since the 1960 World Series that the Pirates have won in Yankee Stadium.

The rise of Tommy John surgery is increasing among pitchers. The latest is Jose Fernandez, a young pitcher for the Miami Marlins. He is the 34th player in professional baseball to undergo Tommy John surgery which involves a elbow ligament replacement procedure. There has been much discussion about why more and more baseball players have needed the procedure.

NHL

The quest for the Stanley Cup trophy continues. In the Eastern Conference Championships, the New York Rangers are facing off against the Montreal Canadians. The Rangers currently lead the series 1-0, and Game 2 will kick off on Monday night.

Out West, the LA Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks are playing for the right to represent the Western Conference in the NHL Finals. The Blackhawks defeated the Kings in Game 1 of the series on Sunday, and will play Game 2 on Tuesday night.

Outside of the playoffs, Washington Capitals’ star Alex Ovechkin suffered a severe knee injury in the World Championships. Ovechkin was playing for Team Russia because his NHL team is currently out of the playoffs. Ovechkin is one of the best and most popular stars in the league — here’s to hoping his injury was not as bad as it looked.

The NHL playoffs continue this week with a number of games in the second round series. Check out the schedule here.

Other

California Chrome continued his winning streak with the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Led by trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza, California Chrome is poised to take a shot at winning the Triple Crown with the upcoming Belmont Stakes race on June 7th. That is, if California Chrome even races at all. On Sunday, Sherman suggested that California Chrome might not race if the New York officials do not allow him to wear a nasal strip during the competition. Expect a formal request and decision to be made soon.

Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Italian Open on Sunday afternoon. Djokovic dedicated his victory to his native country of Serbia. On the women’s side, Serena Williams beat Sara Errani to win the Italian Open championship.

Atletico Madrid is officially the champion of La Liga. After their 1-1 draw against Barcelona, Atletico gained the points they needed to win the title for the first time since 1996.

 

JUST FOR FUN

How important are your pets?
Rice University recruits high school quarterback with a letter to his cat

The most disliked people in sports
Who do you like the least? Glad we aren’t on this list!

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

A $14,000 Mistake
Did Churchill Downs overpay Wes Welker by accident?
Even if he was overpaid, Kentucky administrative regulations hold the track responsible for any calculation errors

Blurred Lines
Roger Goodell’s 2007 personal conduct policy
There may be some double standards in regards to “tarnishing the image of The Shield”

Have you heard of Dante Exum?
The Australian will be a big part of the NBA Draft next month
Check him out here

Great Expectations
Sometimes you only get one shot at a championship
What will determine the legacy of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the years to come?

Michael Sam’s Journey
OWN delays Michael Sam documentary series

After discussions with the the Rams, the Oprah Winfrey channel will postpone the project

The Comeback?
The road to recovery can be long
Baseball star Grady Sizemore has battled back from injury for a second chance at bat

Edition 5.12.14

Just like Kevin Durant said in his MVP speech, we’d like to wish all the real MVPs out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers are engaged in quite the series. After Kevin Durant won the MVP last week where he gave a heartwarming speech that acknowledged the importance of each of his teammates and coaches, the Thunder put on a show in game 2. Then in game 4, the Clippers rallied back from a double digit deficit at home to defeat OKC and tie the series at 2-2.  The Thunder and the Clippers are not the only teams to watch out west, as the San Antonio Spurs continue to dominate. The Spurs are up 3-0 on the Portland Trail Blazers and show no signs of looking back.  What does this all mean? Basically we are in for an incredible Western Conference Finals no matter which of the 4 teams play.

Have the Indiana Pacers found themselves? It sure seems that way based on their last 2 performances against the Washington Wizards which featured a gritty comeback in game 4 with a renewed confidence by Roy Hibbert. These teams meet again for game 5 on Tuesday. The Miami Heat may be up 2-1 on the Brooklyn Nets, but are they unbeatable? Brooklyn guard Paul Pierce sure doesn’t think so. The NBA’s repeat champions didn’t look too sharp in their last game against the Nets, will they turn it around and dominate in game 4? We shall see if Pierce is telling the truth when these two meet again on Monday night.

Outside of the playoffs, the NBA coaching drama continues. The Golden State Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson after a 51 game season. This means the LA Lakers, New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors are all looking for new head coaches. Expect big names (Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy and possibly even Jackson) to be considered for the job(s).

The NBA Playoffs continue this week — get ready for more exciting games to watch!

NFL

Michael Sam is officially the first openly gay football player to be drafted in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams selected Sam in the 7th round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. The former defensive end from the University of Missouri will now move on to training camp with the Rams where he will try to make the final roster and become the first openly gay football player in the NFL. Let’s go Michael Sam!

Johnny Manziel is also a new member of the NFL draftee club. After falling fairly significantly, the Cleveland Browns selected Johnny Football with the #22 pick in the first round. He was the second quarterback selected after Blake Bortles, who was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars at #3. Teddy Bridgewater was the only other quarterback selected in the first round, by the Minnesota Vikings at #32. What about the other big name quarterbacks? AJ McCarron went to the Cincinnati Bengals who selected him in the fifth round.

So what else happened in the NFL Draft? As expected Jadeveon Clowney was the first pick in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Speaking of Texas. This was first draft since 1937 where no players from the University of Texas at Austin were selected.

MLB

CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees was placed on the Disabled List on Sunday afternoon. Sabathia is suffering from knee pain and inflammation and will remain on DL until he recovers.  This is the same knee that he had meniscus repair surgery on in 2010 and a new MRI confirmed swelling in the knee. The Yankees hope to have him back in 15 days.

Yikes. Not again. The Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish played a great game and almost had a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox until David Ortiz hit a single in the top of the 9th inning on Friday. This is the second time Darvish has had this happen to him, the last time being last season against the Houston Astros. Here’s to hoping that the third time’s the charm.

Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady made his debut as a professional baseball player on Saturday. He is a rookie right-handed pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team, and played 1 2/3 innings before coming out of the game. His debut might not have gone all that well, but it was only the first game and T-Mac has stated that he is simply playing for the love of the game.

NHL

The California battle in the NHL playoffs continues as the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks get ready to face off on Monday night for game 5. The series is currently tied at 2-2. The winner of this series will meet the winner of the series between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks picks up again for game 6 on Tuesday.

On the other side of the bracket, the Boston Bruins are up 3-2 on the Montreal Canadians as we head into game 6 on Monday night. Of note is that the NHL fined Bruins forward Shawn Thornton for $2,820.52 for unsportsmanlike conduct, but he will play in game 6. The winner of this series will await the winner of the match-up between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers, a series that just got a lot more interesting now that the Rangers tied it up at 3-3.

The NHL playoffs continue this week with a number of games in the second round series. Check out the schedule here.

EPL

Manchester City are officially the champions of the Premier League.  After defeating West Ham United 2-0 on Sunday, Man City claimed the title with the big victory.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Who cares about how the NFL draft picks look in their uniforms?
It’s all about how the puppies look in uniform — check out #SNPuppyDraft for some great photos

Fast Ball
The most beautiful pitches of the season

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Happy Mother’s Day
OKC’s Kevin Durant wins MVP award
When he accepted the award, he thanked his mother for all that she sacrificed to help him become great

Kings Lakers 2002
Dissecting on the most fascinating NBA playoff series

Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams tackles the oral history of one of the NBA’s best showdowns

Suspension
The Cleveland Browns may have landed Johnny Manziel, but they could lose Josh Gordon
Gordon could be suspended for up to a year for drug violations

New CEO in Town
Dick Parsons was appointed interim CEO of the LA Clippers
The former chairman of Citigroup and Time Warner will fill the void left by Sterling

Too Full
Can you have too many postseason bowl games?
It looks like the current 39 bowl games aren’t living up to TV networks’ expectations

Bringing Home the Big Bucks
The most valuable soccer teams of 2014
Soccer transcends cultures and is popular worldwide – check out these statistics to learn more about their economic successes

Edition 5.5.2014

What’s cooler than witnessing a young star become a legend? Not much. Check out the Portland Trail Blazer’s Damian Lillard do just that with his game-winner and series winning shot.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

On Tuesday, April 29th after a league investigation concluded, Commissioner Adam Silver fined LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for $2.5 million and banned him from the NBA, effective immediately. Silver also stated that he expected to reach a majority vote among the other 29 owners to rule that Sterling must sell the team. The decision was widely applauded by players, coaches, management and the media. If the decision had not been viewed as strong enough, there was a significant chance that each team in the NBA would boycott their playoff games on Tuesday night. This is the first step in removing Sterling from the NBA, but is only the beginning of a potentially long legal battle over the rights to LA Clippers franchise.

The first round of NBA playoffs is officially over:

In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in game 7 in Brooklyn on Sunday.  The Brooklyn Nets will go on to face the Miami Heat who have been resting since sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 and concluding their series last week. The Heat and the Nets will kick off their series Tuesday night in Miami — while Brooklyn might make Miami sweat a little, expect the Heat to take control early on and win the series. The Indiana Pacers defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at home to win game 7 and the series. The struggling Pacers will need to step it up a notch if they want to beat the Washington Wizards. The Wizards won their series against the Chicago Bulls last week after a strong performance in each of their games. Game 1 kicks off Monday night in Indianapolis and although the Pacers are the #1 seed, this series could be a toss-up that could lead to the Wizards advancing.

The Western Conference has been equally exciting. After 6 competitive games, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks to win game 7 and the series at home. The Spurs will move onto the next round where they will face the surging Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets in one of the best series of the playoffs so far after Damian Lillard hit a game-winner to end the series in game 6 at home. Portland and San Antonio begin their series Tuesday night in what will likely be an exciting new series to watch. On the other side of the West, the LA Clippers won their series against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night after a gripping game 7 that was close until the very end. They will move on to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder who dominated the injured Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook’s triple double in game 7 helped turn a close series into a final game blowout and they will certainly need more of this play going forward. Both the Clippers and the Thunder have as good a shot as any to represent the West in the NBA Finals, so expect a great series between the two. Game 1 kicks off Monday night in OKC and it is expected that sometime next week Kevin Durant of the Thunder will be named the league’s MVP.

The NBA Playoffs continue this week — get ready for more exciting games to watch!

MLB

A close game between the Miami Marlins and the LA Dodgers ended with a few notable injuries.  Yasiel Puig of the LA Dodgers crashed into a wall after trying to make a game-saving catch. Puig was shaken up but would be okay and is day to day following the game. The Marlins would go onto to win 5-4 and improve their league best home record on Sunday.

Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers had a quite an afternoon. Myers hit the 2014 season’s first inside the park home-run as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 5-1 on Sunday. Myers also had 4 runs against CC Sabathia who was pitching for the Yankees.

Justin Verlander flirted with a no-hitter into the 6th inning on Sunday against Kansas City Royals. Although Verlander’s potential no-hitter was interrupted by the Royals Billy Butler’s two-out single in the 6th inning, the Detroit Tigers would go onto defeat the Royals 9-4 and sweep the series.

NHL

Welcome to round 2 of the NHL Playoffs where the quest for the Stanley Cup trophy continues. After a rocky start to the playoff, the Chicago Blackhawks continue to roll. The Blackhawks won their 6th straight game and are now up 2-0 on the Minnesota Wild. Will the Blackhawks win win their 7th straight? Find out on Tuesday when these teams meet for game 3 of their series. The LA Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks in overtime 3-2 in an exciting game 1 in what has become the battle of the California squads. Look for an equally great game 2 of this series on Monday night.

On the other side of the bracket, the Boston Bruins are now tied with the Montreal Canadians after a tough third period performance by the Bruins in game 2 led to a big victory. The series is heading 1-1 into game 3 of the match-up which kicks off Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 in game 2 on Sunday night. After 2 games, the Penguins and Rangers are tied at 1-1 heading into game 3 on Monday.

The NHL playoffs continue this week with a number of games in the second round series. Check out the schedule here.

Other

Floyd Mayweather defeated Marcos Maidana in a close, tough and contested fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Mayweather remains unbeaten and now carries the WBC and WBA Welterweight championship titles.

After a great start, California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky. 77 year old Art Sherman is the oldest trainer to lead a horse to a Derby win.

Mike D’Antoni resigned as coach of the LA Lakers last week leaving the head coaching position vacant for a new candidate. Who will he Lakers look to hire? Expect rumors to swirl around Kentucky’s John Calipari and Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie. Both are great coaches in the college game who might be intriguing options for the Lakers. Outside of the college ranks, expect the Lakers to look at Coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls and possibly Derick Fisher, who’s currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Top 10 World Cup Songs
What song will you be jamming too at the upcoming World Cup?

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

More than a Billion
Are the LA Clippers worth 1 billion dollars?

Nate Silver explains the economic value of the NBA franchises

100 MPH
The danger of velocity
A growing number of pitchers are hitting over 100 mph and the number is going up

5 Days in LA
The final days of Sterling
Ramona Shelburne breaks down the LA Clipper scandal from the inside out

New Influence
Getting to know Kevin Johnson

How Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento helped guide the NBA players through the Sterling crisis

California Love
It’s all about
California Chrome
From humble beginnings to Kentucky Derby glory

Get Tough
Training for extreme sports
A behind the scenes look at what drives extreme athletes to work hard and train harder