Edition 9.29.14

Good Morning! What do we love more than college football? Human interest stories about college football. Check out this great one about UGA star Malcolm Mitchell!

Also, remember that time that we told you we were going to talk Fantasy Football? Be sure to check out our guest post on how to get into the fantasy football conversation, written by Bruce Shalett!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

Baseball

After 20 years in the Major Leagues, Derek Jeter is officially retired. The New York Yankee finished his iconic career against none other than the Boston Red Sox. In his last game, Jeter made his 3,465th hit on a infield single. It’s hard to believe that ride is over… baseball will surely remember him as one of the best.

The Washington Nationals had quite the Sunday Funday as Jordan Zimmermann pitched a no-hitter against the Miami Marlins. It was the first career no-hitter for Zimmermann and another nice game for the surging Nats. Seriously, it’s time to turn up the Natitude, this Washington squad has one of the best records in baseball. Watch out October.

Wait, what about October? Well, it’s an important month for baseball, as it marks the start of the playoffs! And what’s more fun than playoffs? Nothing. So what do you need to know? Okay, so the Baltimore Orioles (AL East), Detroit Tigers (AL Central), LA Angels (AL West), Washington Nationals (NL East), St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central), and the LA Dodgers (NL West) have all clinched their divisions. On Tuesday, September 30th, the Oakland A’s will face off against the Kansas City Royals for the AL Wild Card spot while the San Francisco Giants will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, October 1st for the NL Wild Card Spot. Bring it on!

 

NFL

There were quite a few excellent games on football Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers rebounded from two consecutive bad weeks and handed the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss while the Tampa Bay Bucs shocked the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. Aaron Rodgers threw 4 touchdowns (and a lot of fantasy points) as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears on their home turf. The Baltimore Ravens destroyed the Carolina Panthers badly with the help of Steve Smithwho vowed to bring it to his old team. Oh and the Minnesota Vikings got a big win over the Atlanta Falcons but lost rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to an ankle injury.

In all things NFC East, last Thursday the New York Giants crushed the Washington Redskins in a game where Eli Manning had a much needed big performance with 4 touchdowns. On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints pretty convincingly. Basically, the NFC East remains interesting.

In off the field news, Commissioner Roger Goodell and Troy Vincent (NFL exec) met with the Texas Longhorns’ coach Charlie Strong to talk about his new “core values” program. Strong has gotten a lot of attention for his policy that has resulted in players being kicked off his team for not living up to his program standards. It’s unclear if the meeting touched on any other subjects.

Monday Night Football features an intriguing match-up between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. Check it out tomorrow night!

 

College Football

Moving on to college football, let’s talk about some of the exciting games from this past weekend. Kenny Hill led his Texas A&M squad over Arkansas in a great overtime match-up that was tight down the stretch. Oh and Johnny Manziel was at the game. That’s right Kenny Trill and Johnny Football in the same house, gotta love it. Also, Jameis Winston and Florida State rallied back to defeat N.C. State to keep their undefeated record and number one ranking alive.

As for this weekend’s big upset, that belongs to South Carolina who lost to Missouri in a surprising 21-20 defeat. Oh and it wasn’t an upset, but Michigan lost again… this time to Minnesota. However, Coach Brady Hoke assures that his team can win a championship title.

To update you on your rankings, there wasn’t too much movement this week. The top 5 still belongs to Florida State, Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma and Auburn in that order.

NBA

Uh-oh spaghetti-os, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has a broken hand. Unfortunately, after suffering a fall, Rondo will likely be out 6-8 weeks and the first part of the season.

Phil Jackson says the New York Knicks are ready to win! Okay, what he actually said is that he believe the Knicks will make the playoffs. They did resign Carmelo Anthony and they do have a new coach in Derek Fisher, but time will tell if the Knicks can rise to the top this season.

What else happened last week? Oh yeah, the Phoenix Suns went all in and have resigned Eric Bledsoe to a 5 year, $70 million dollar contract. Whoa!

The USA women continue to dominate the FIBA World Championship. With the help of Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, Team USA remained undefeated, won group D and defeated the Serbian National Team on Sunday. Onward!

Other

The United States lost to Europe as this year’s Ryder Cup came to a close. The American team members weren’t very happy, namely Phil Mickelson. He called to question team leadership and strategy…will this lead to some changes?

Tony Stewart will not face any charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. The Grand Jury announced their decision last week and Stewart returned to the track this week, where he finished 14th at the Dover race. Jeff Gordon on the other hand, was the big winner at Dover.

JUST FOR FUN

Stay out of the kitchen
Athletes who should have just stuck to sports 

 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

End of the Road
Thank you Derek Jeter
The Yankees star says goodbye with the grandest of plays

It’s getting bigger
College football margins of victory are growing
As teams are allowed to pick their own opponents, some of them are picking pushovers

The Raptor
Kyle Lowry finds his team
Sometimes taking the road less traveled leads to great things

Success >>> Sleep
Fireside chatting with Kobe and Arianna
Just a casual conversation between Kobe Bryant and Arianna Huffington

Deferential treatment
It’s Kyrie Irving’s time to shine, and LeBron isn’t going to get in his way
LBJ wants Kyrie to take over the court

Check your priorities, FIFA
The ladies are about to get real with you… on the grounds that they want their grass back
The Women’s World Cup is set to be played on turf (even though the Men’s World Cup was played on grass), and so the women are planning on suing FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association in a Canada court next week

Transcending Borders
Nike’s new advertisement reminds us that basketball is a global sport
It shows us how much basketball truly matters in the Philippines

Edition 9.22.14

Top of the morning! Let’s kick off this week’s edition with the latest tribute to Derek Jeter. No really, this Gatorade ad is pretty awesome.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

It was another long week as the NFL struggled to make sense of domestic violence and its impact within their organization. On Friday afternoon, Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference in which he discussed the league’s recent shortcomings in the Ray Rice situation and a new commitment to improving policies going forward. In the meantime, Goodell and the NFL announced the hiring of a few key women to take on new leadership positions within the league in the hopes that they can become a leader in society. It remains unseen just exactly how the NFL will improve their standards and what will become of the internal investigation.

Shortly after declaring that he would play in this weekend’s game, the Minnesota Vikings quickly reversed course and announced that Adrian Peterson would be placed on Commissioner’s Exempt List. This means that he can no longer play for the Vikings, but can still collect his salary. The Carolina Panthers also placed Greg Hardy on the Commissioner’s Exempt List this past week.

Looking at on-the-field action, there were quite a few exciting games over the weekend. In a Super Bowl rematch, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 26-20 in overtime in one of the better games on Sunday. Additionally, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins 37-34 in all things NFC East, while the New York Giants got their first win of the season against the Houston Texans 30-17.

Looking ahead to Monday Night Football, check out the Chicago Bears against the New York Jets tonight!

College Football

Star quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State was suspended for Saturday’s game against Clemson for a violation of off-the-field behavior policy. #1 Florida State was still able to defeat #22 Clemson 23-17 in overtime, and Coach Fisher announced that Winston will be reinstated as the starting quarterback.

In other college football news, #2 Oregon beat unranked Washington 38-31 with the help of 5 touchdowns from quarterback Marcus Mariota while #8 LSU was upset by Mississippi State in a surprising game 34-29.

Finally, Arizona overcame a large deficit to shock California Berkeley 49-45 in a game that ended in a Hail Mary and left a lot of Cal fans in shock.

Baseball

It’s almost October and some teams are getting closer to the post-season. The Washington Nationals, LA Angels and Baltimore Orioles clinched their divisions in the past week.

The MLB and the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) are in the process of updating their policy for domestic violence issues within their league. Although the current collective bargaining agreement does not end until 2016, both the MLB and the MLBPA are committed to establishing a new policy quickly and are meeting to negotiate this now.

Masahiro Tanaka returned to the New York Yankees lineup on Sunday night (the first time since early July) and received his first win as the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2.

Other

Manchester City and Chelsea finished their Sunday match in a 1-1- draw.

Chinese tennis legend Li Na has decided to retire from the game of tennis in order to get back into better health after multiple knee injuries throughout her career. The game will miss her.

JUST FOR FUN

#TBT to when Tom Brady needed a resume
If Tom Brady didn’t become a football star, what would he have done after college?

Some more TBTs
Photos of professional athletes from their awkward years

 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Important Details
More information on the Ray Rice scandal quiet
There were a lot of different people involved, but they were all invested in keeping this issue a secret — why?

Harder. Faster. Stronger
Nobody’s doing it better than Katie Ledecky
At age 17 she already has an Olympic medal and continues to shatter world records like it’s NBD

Circle of Life
The ‘kiss cam’ era is over, but it’s been replaced by something much better
Instead of capturing couples kissing on camera, the Atlanta Braves have started a new trend called the Simba Cam

Data + analytics
The NHL experiences a revolution
They need a stat that matters (kind of like WAR in baseball) to help them measure overall performance

Cultural crisis
A sobering history of domestic violence in the NFL
If you take the violence out of football, what do you have left?

 

SPORTS FOR SOCIAL GOOD

Brave Hearts Turning Heads
Turning your dedication to athletics into something more
If you want to join Lesley Paterson’s Braveheart Racing triathlon team, you have to mentor an athlete from lesser means

Edition 9.15.14

Good Morning Team SQ. We don’t often start the quips on a serious note, but it’s been quite a disturbing week in the world of professional football. In this video, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm asks the important question: What does the NFL stand for?

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Early last week, TMZ released a second video tape showing the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice physically assaulting his fiance (now wife) in a casino elevator. Public outrage soon ignited over the contents of the video and in response to the league’s initial disciplinary action towards Rice — a two game suspension. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL denied seeing the second tape and shortly after, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league and cut from the Ravens’ roster. Later in the week, the Associated Press published a report stating that law enforcement had in fact sent the video to the NFL, with a voicemail allegedly confirming the delivery. So, what does this mean? It’s understandable that many are confused and frustrated with Goodell and the NFL, and as of right now there are no exact answers. The latest news is that the NFL has selected former FBI director Robert Mueller to investigate what happened under the supervision of John Mara (owner of the New York Giants) and Art Rooney II (president of the Pittsburgh Steelers). It’s unclear when the investigation will wrap up and Rice is expected to appeal his suspension, but the story is developing rapidly, so stay tuned.

Ray Rice isn’t the only story involving domestic violence right now in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers deactivated Greg Hardy from their roster prior to Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Hardy is appealing a conviction of assault from July but has been playing up until this weekend. The San Francisco 49ers’ Ray McDonald has not been charged, but was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence on August 31st. His court date was rescheduled from Monday and he continues to play for the team.

Additionally, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was deactivated from the roster for Sunday’s game. This came after Peterson was indicted on charges of child abuse towards his 4-year-old son. Peterson turned himself in and was later released on a $15,000 bond. This case could go to trial, but it’s unlikely to occur in the next few months. Peterson is expected to make a statement sometime this week. In the meantime, both the Vikings and the NFL have said that they are monitoring the situation.

In other off the field news, the NFL also made progress on a new drug policy agreement over the weekend. The Players Association has agreed to the terms of the new agreement and the league office is expected to finalize the deal this week. The new policy has significant changes that could alter several current player suspensions as early as this season.

Outside of these issues, the NFL continued action with numerous games during week 2 of their season. Of note on Sunday, the New England Patriots bounced back from a tough week 1 loss in a win over the Minnesota Vikings, the Cleveland Browns handed the New Orleans Saints their second straight loss of the season and Robert Griffin III left the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars early with a dislocated ankle injury, although the Washington Redskins would go on to to get a big win.

Other noteworthy games include: the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks losing to the San Diego Chargers on the road, the San Francisco 49ers lost a 17 point lead and a surprising game to the Chicago Bears at home, Cam Newton returned from injury to lead the Carolina Panthers over the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers overcame a 18 point deficit to beat the New York Jets, and the Denver Broncos narrowly defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.

Monday Night Football features the Indianapolis Colts at home against the Philadelphia Eagles to round out week 2 at 8:30 pm eastern.

College Football

It was a good 4th week for the top 5 teams in the AP College Football Poll. Florida State didn’t play this week and remained #1 while Oregon looked worthy of their #2 ranking after a dominating win over Wyoming. Alabama crushed Ole Miss on Saturday to lock up their #3 ranking and #4 Oklahoma got the victory against Tennessee. #5 Auburn rounds out the top 5, making them 1 of the 7 teams from the SEC ranked in the Top 15. Speaking of the SEC, Florida beat Kentucky in a thrilling game that went into triple overtime on Saturday.

Despite the strong performances of the top 5 teams, there were plenty of noteworthy upsets this weekend. #6 Georgia (now #10) fell to #24 South Carolina (now #14) on Saturday night while Boston College shocked #9 USC (now #17) with a win at home. Oh, and Virginia Tech (then #17) dropped out of the rankings after losing to East Carolina at home.

Any other exciting things to note? Well, Kenny Hill (aka Kenny Trill) led #6 Texas A&M over Rice in a game where he had 4 touchdowns. Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel came into the game and helped UCLA get a close win over Texas.

In other news, the NCAA has ended Penn State’s post-season ban that was connected to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Basketball

USA USA USA!  That’s right, Team USA is back on top (again)! In a dominating performance, the young American team defeated Serbia 129-92 to win the 2014 Fiba World Cup. Kyrie Irving led the squad with 26 points and 4 assists and with this victory was named MVP of the tournament. It’s back-to-back World Championships for Team USA and Coach K… Congrats to the Champs!

The WNBA Finals wrapped up this week and your 2014 champions are… the Phoenix Mercury! The Mercury defeated the Chicago Sky without star center Brittney Griner on Friday night under the great play of Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree. Let’s hear it for the Mercury!

The Atlanta Hawks’ situation continues to take hold of the NBA this week. After he admitted to sending a racist email, owner Bruce Levenson is still trying to sell his majority share of the team and GM Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence. Ferry reportedly read racist remarks about Luol Deng on a conference call about free agency with some of the team’s owners. It’s not exactly clear what happened and the story is still developing, but regardless the remarks said about Deng were inappropriate. Luol Deng (now with the Miami Heat) released this public statement in response.

In college basketball news, Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats is reportedly planning a 2 day combine event for NBA scouts to come view his current team play this upcoming season. The event will be held in October prior to the beginning of the season.

Baseball

After a scary injury against the Milwaukee Brewers, it looks like Giancarlo Stanton is going to be fine. Stanton, a Miami Marlins player, suffered facial fractures and a deep laceration after being hit in the face with a 88 mph pitch. Stanton is one of the best young players in the league and will likely be done for the rest of the MLB season.

First baseman Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles has been suspended for 25 games without pay after testing positive for amphetamines. Davis is in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug program and has accepted the suspension. The Orioles are currently the leaders of the NL East.

In all things California, both Los Angeles teams are continuing to prove that they’re two of MLB’s best squads. Despite losing to the Houston Astros on Sunday, the LA Angels defeated the Astros on Saturday night in a game where Mike Trout had 2 home runs and pitcher Jered Weaver collected his 17th win on the mound. The Angels currently lead the AL West. The LA Dodgers are not doing so badly themselves. After defeating the San Francisco Giants 17-0 (no, really — 17-0!) on Saturday night, star pitcher Clayton Kershaw led the squad to another win over the Giants on Sunday. The Dodgers are currently in the lead of the NL West. The hunt for October play continues!

Other

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic star, was found guilty of culpable homicide on Friday. Pistorius has been on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was found not guilty for more serious charges and it remains unclear if he will serve jail time going forward.

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals said that he is fully healed after suffering a knee injury at the Hockey World Championships earlier this summer. He expects to be ready to go when the NHL season begins.

Would you look at that — Manchester United is winning again. On Sunday, Man U defeated QPR 4-0 to get their first win under the leadership of Louis van Gaal. Angel di Maria had a really great goal in the big win for Man U.

With this putt, you win a trip to space? Actually, in this tournament it appears that you do. Golfer Andy Sullivan won the trip after hitting a hole in one at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. Sullivan remains undecided on whether he will accept the prize.

JUST FOR FUN

Hank the dog gets a bobblehead
The Milwaukee Brewers celebrate their mascot


STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Coping
The importance of a support system during the tough times
Even the biggest, strongest football players need a shoulder sometimes — check out how the Bengals and Devon Still are working together to cope with his daughter’s cancer

Nothing but the best
Clayton Kershaw
When you break down the stats, it’s clear that the Dodgers have a rock star on the mound

Speaking of nothing but the best…
Check out Serena Williams’ new commercial for Beats by Dre
All that amazingness is the result of hard work

Ever wonder how Coach K makes even the best players better?
For all the non-believers out there, believe us Dukies… he’s awesome
How he managed to get some of the world’s wealthiest athletes to come together and play their hearts out for Team USA

All’s fair on the hardwood court
But some courts are definitely better looking than others
Assessing the coolest (and lamest) NBA courts (because, let’s be real… we spend a lot of time looking at them!)

Head Trauma
Concussion data is looking pretty grim
The NFL reported in federal court documents that 1/3 of their players are expected to be affected by brain trauma

Edition 9.8.14

There are many reasons to love September, especially when you can fall into fall with endless sporting events. We’ve got lots to talk about this week (can you say FOOTBALL and tennis and hoops, oh my?) but why not start it out with some baseball?? Check out our favorite rising star, Mo’Ne Davis, who threw out some of her signature pitches to Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

US Open

Serena Williams is nothing short of amazing. The #1 tennis player in the world defeated #10 Caroline Wozniacki in the US Open Final in 2 dominating straight sets to win her 18th Grand Slam. After the win, Serena honored her good friend Wozniacki and spoke about how the best is yet to come. This victory means she is now tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and is well on her way to amplifying her own status as a tennis legend. When discussing what this win means for her, she stated: “It means a lot to me, who could ever imagine I’d be mentioned with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova? I was just a kid from Compton with a dream and a racket.”  Okay, so Serena is more than just amazing… she’s an inspiration.

The US Open Finals on the men’s side may not feature the usual suspects, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited. On Monday night at 5pm, #11 Kei Nishikori (who upset #1 Novak Djokovic) will face off against #16 Marin Cilic (who upset #3 Roger Federer) in the championship match. Of note, Nishikori could make history for Japan, as the he is the first Asian man to compete in a Grand Slam final.

Double(s) or nothing. That’s right, the #1 Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, did their thing and won their 100th tournament title with their record 5th US Open Championship victory. That’s pretty awesome.

NFL

Remember the Super Bowl, when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in a rout of all routs? Well, both teams are back in action and have looked rather awesome in their respective debuts. On Thursday night, Seattle and the legion of boom dominated the Green Bay Packers to kick off Thursday Night Football. And on Sunday night, the Broncos looked like they brushed last season’s tough loss off their football padded shoulders in a strong performance against the Indianapolis Colts. Oh and by the way, with this win, Peyton Manning has now beaten all 32 teams in the league. Anyhow, it’s too early to say that these two will be back in the Super Bowl, but if they keep up their strong play, a rematch wouldn’t exactly be a surprise.

Let’s move on to your injury report following the first weekend. Quarterback Cam Newton continues to recover from a rib injury and sat out against Tampa Bay as his Carolina Panthers defeated the Bucs. And, Houston Texans star rookie Jadeveon Clowney had to leave his team’s game against Washington early with a knee injury that is feared to be a torn meniscus. The Texans would go on to win the game but might lose Clowney for 4-6 weeks if he needs surgery. Finally, it was a tough week for the Kansas City Chiefs, who not only lost to the Tennessee Titans but also lost Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito to achilles tears during the game.

We don’t know about you, but we certainly enjoyed the opening week of NFL play. Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis and the San Francisco 49ers put on a show against Tony Romo, his three interceptions, and the Dallas Cowboys. The Atlanta Falcons rallied in overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints in a wild game that included a team record 448 yards from Matty Ice. The Pittsburgh Steelers won with a game-winning field goal over the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles stormed back from down 17 after a rocky start in a comeback win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the New England Patriots started their season with a surprising loss to the Miami Dolphins.

What else, what else!?! Well, week 1 isn’t over just yet… tomorrow night the New York Giants kick off their season against the Detroit Lions in the early game while the San Diego Chargers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the late MNF match-up. And then we get to do it all over again next week for week 2. Yay football!

Oh, and one more thing. You may or may not have heard about this whole fantasy football thing. Now, we know we didn’t give you a primer on how to prep for it, but we still want to talk about why it’s so fun. So stayed tuned because we’re going to have a few things coming out on why it brings the awesome.

College Football

Quack Quack Quack… wow, Oregon, wow. In an exciting second week of college football, #3 Oregon (now number #2 in the latest poll) rallied from behind and scored the last 28 points to pull away with a dominating victory over #7 Michigan StateTo recap, they were down 27-18 in the third and managed to score 4 unanswered touchdowns in a row. We repeat… wow, Oregon, wow.

What else happened in college football? Let’s see, unranked Virginia Tech beat #8 Ohio State on the road in an a upset, #16 Notre Dame beat Michigan in a surprising 31-0 shutout at home, #2 Alabama crushed Florida Atlantic 41-0,  and #1 Florida State cruised past The Citadel to their 18th straight win.

Finally, in all things in state rivalries, #14 USC topped #13 Stanford with a late game-winning field goal and pulled away with a 13-10 win. Also, during that game USC AD Pat Haden had a bizzare interaction with the refs over a unsportsmanlike penalty call.

So, what exactly did we learn? Well, it’s still early but there are definitely some contenders to watch. Just another weekend in college football…we’ll be back for more next week!

Baseball

Talk about a good night for Albert Pujols. The LA Angels star had quite the evening in a big win over the Minnesota Twins. Not only did he help his team win 8-5, he did so in grand fashion and notched a couple more career milestones with his career 2,500th hit, his 25th home run of the season and his 1,500 career run. Not bad, not bad at all.

How do you say goodbye to one of the best in the game? The New York Yankees honored captain Derek Jeter Sunday afternoon with a retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium. Jeter has been a transcendent star for the Yankees and one of the best of all-time in Major League Baseball. His legacy will live on. So how do you say goodbye? You really can’t, but let’s all tip our hats and try. Thank you Jeter.

It was a rough week for the Texas Rangers. Longtime manager Ron Washington resigned from the team and the Rangers announced that star pitcher Yu Darvish wouldn’t be returning to the lineup this season. It’s a decision that makes sense for the team since they’re not going to make the playoffs, and pushing a pitcher to come back from an elbow injury too quickly is not worth the risk.

Basketball

Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson will sell his majority share of the team. The decision was announced on Sunday after the discovery of a racist e-mail Levenson sent two years ago. He self-reported it to the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, who spoke about the NBA’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in a statement.

Speaking of Adam Silver, the Commissioner talked about the role of sports betting in our society at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit this past Thursday. Calling it “inevitable” that sports gambling will become legal, he suggested that the NBA might be open to modifying their policy going forward.

In other hoops news, Team USA continues to play well in Spain at the FIBA World Cup. After easily defeating Mexico, the Americans will move onto the quarterfinals where they will face Slovenia this week.

Finally, the WNBA Finals tipped off on Sunday as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 83-62 in game 1 on Pheonix’s home court. Game 2 takes place this Tuesday and features some of the best in the game including two of the game’s youngest and brightest rising stars in Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne.

Other

And the top seed in NASCAR’s Chase event next Sunday goes to… Brad Keselowski! The driver led all but 17 of the 400 laps in Saturday’s race to secure the top spot heading into the Sprint Cup Series Championship. It’s his 4th win of the season.

Legendary Connecticut women’s basketball Coach Geno Auriemma called Mo’Ne Davis to congratulate her for her play in the Little League World Series. Nice gesture, right? We thought so… but the NCAA didn’t necessarily agree. They viewed it as a secondary recruiting violation.

We never talk about the MLS, and we really do like soccer, so let’s give them some love. Check out this awesome goal from Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls against Sporting KC.

JUST FOR FUN

Homecoming
Watch Cavs fans recite LeBron’s homecoming essay

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Let the rain fall
Did it rain on you during the US Open?
A history of the notorious wet weather that attendees seem to always experience

Way above average
Check out Tommy Morrissey
It’s pretty cool that he’s a golf rockstar at the age of three — but then we found out that he only has one arm. Go, Tommy, go!

 

SPORTS FOR SOCIAL GOOD

Turning the frown upside-down
Bringing gender equality to Taiwan
After she encountered difficulties as a basketball player, Yu-Tsien Tseng is now on a mission to break down the barriers that exist for female athletes across Eastern Asia

Think pink
In remembrance of those who are fighting breast cancer
Carolina Panthers’ running back DeAngelo Williams is the champion who convinced the NFL to let players wear pink for breast cancer awareness month

Edition 9.2.14

Welcome to September! How did we celebrate the end of August? With a sports-filled LDW, of course. Seeing how college football season started up, it’s only fitting that we lead today with two of the best touchdowns of the weekend from none other than Georgia’s Todd Gurley.

 

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

How does it feel to get paid $100 million? You’ll have to ask defensive end JJ Watt. That’s right, sources say the Houston Texans have awarded him a new 6 year contract that could pay him up to $100 million. Who else is about to get paid? That would be Alex Smith. The Kansas City quarterback signed a $68 million contract extension for 4 years. It’s a big contract for Smith, and even better to get it done prior to the beginning of the season.

The Gronk is back. Next week marks opening weekend for the NFL and the New England Patriots’ star tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has been cleared to play. After suffering a season-ending knee injury last season, Gronkowski will be ready to go next Sunday when Patriots face the Miami Dolphins. The real question is, will he be able to stay healthy and on the field?

The NFL has made some major changes to their domestic violence policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the changes this past week, which will include an immediate 6-game suspension suspension for a first violation, and a lifetime ban for a second violation.

After an official appeal, Josh Gordon’s suspension stands. The league announced that Gordon will be banned for a year after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This is a big loss for the Cleveland Browns, as Gordon was one of their star wide receivers and best players.

Michael Sam did not make the final roster for the St. Louis Rams, and was cut on Saturday. After clearing the waivers on Sunday, Sam is now free to sign with any practice squad of his choosing. It’s unclear which team that will be, but we will continue rooting for Sam to accomplish his football dreams.

The NFL kicks off the regular season this week, so finalize your fantasy rosters and get your game-day food ready — it’s RedZone time! Specifically, the Seattle Seahawks (reigning Super Bowl champs) will take on the Green Bay Packers this Thursday (September 4th) at 8:30pm. Woo!

College Football

In a wild first weekend of college football, #1 Florida State overcame a close game against Oklahoma State. The game was full of excitement, including a spectacular running touchdown by quarterback Jameis Winston, and the Seminoles came away with a 37-31 victory. FSU also announced that they are lifting Jesus “Bobo” Wilson’s suspension.

#2 Alabama may have defeated West Virginia in a close game, but that doesn’t mean they had a winning weekend. Two of the Crimson Tide’s starters, Jarrick Williams and DeAndrew White, both suffered injuries that will sideline them for at least a couple games. Also interesting: Coach Nick Saban says Alabama is considering a 2 QB system.

Texas quarterback David Ash is experiencing concussion-like symptoms and will not be able to play this coming weekend. After suffering a concussion last year, Ash took a medical red-shirt and missed 10 games. Unfortunately, after a hit against North Texas, those symptoms have returned.

Baseball

The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter and bench coach Dave Trembley on Monday. It’s a big move for the Astros, who have struggled this season.

It was a no-hitter kind of day for the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. The Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-0 and under the pitching of Cole Hamels and 3 relievers, the rotation combined for a impressive no-hitter. It’s the 4th no-hitter of the MLB season.

The Oakland A’s have traded for the rights to Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox. It’s nearing the end of the road for Dunn, and this might just be his first shot at the playoffs with the talented Athletics squad.

Basketball

Remember that time we told you Kevin Durant might leave Nike for Under Armour? About that… it’s not happening. Nike decided to match Under Armour’s offer, which means he’s getting more than their original $285 million offer. Congrats to Kevin Durant, and congrats to Nike who will keep the two best players in the game (see: LeBron James) on their shoe roster.

Congratulations to Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union! The Miami Heat guard and the star actress were married over Labor Day weekend in Miami.

Team USA defeated Team Turkey in a close game on Sunday in Spain at the FIBA World Cup. The Americans also beat Team Finland over the weekend. The United States plays New Zealand in their next game on Tuesday.

Where will Ray Allen play this year? That is the question… no really, we’re curious to see if he will play and if he does, where. So far the rumored squads pursuing the veteran guard include: the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, the LA Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs. Speaking of the Clippers, Coach Doc Rivers signed a 5 year extension with the team.

Other

In all things tennis, Serena Williams has dominated her way into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open while Caroline Wozniacki defeated Maria Sharapova.  On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic cruised in his last match to reach his 8th quarterfinal in a row and Andy Murray overcame recent struggles to advance as well.  There’s even more great players to watch, so stay tuned as these matches are only going to get more interesting.

Tony Stewart returned to the track this Sunday in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series after three weeks off after the tragic death of Kevin Ward Jr. Stewart didn’t finish the race due to a blown tire.

What do we love more than the regular season? The post-season, and lucky for us it’s the WNBA playoffs! In the Western Conference, MVP Maya Moore led the Minnesota Lynx to a win over the Phoenix Mercury to force a game 3. In the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Fever lost in double overtime to the Chicago Sky to tie up the series.

JUST FOR FUN

College football over everything
Admit it… sometimes you feel like an outsider for not understanding the college football hype. But, here are some reasons that might change your mind!

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Star Character
Michael B. Jordan takes on another sport
Friday Night Lights’ QB will be playing Apollo Creed’s grandson in the next installment of Rocky — are you ready for this?!

The Voice
Tom Durkin retires from the races
After a legendary 43 year career narrating horse races, he’s ending on a high note

A Renaissance or a Revolution?
What’s Manziel going to do for Cleveland?
Browns fans and the NFL are looking to Johnny Football to save the franchise

One Man Team
This Brewers’ prospect carried all of the Manatees on his shoulders
He managed to play all nine positions in one game — why wouldn’t the Brewers want him after this?

Everyone loves a good story
Now that we’re nearing the end of baseball season, what are you looking for?
Ready for the Royals to get to the playoffs? Sad to see Derek Jeter retire? We’re excited to see what’s in the cards!

Now let me take a selfie
There’s a new statue at Baylor’s McLane Stadium…
Robert Griffin III got so excited about his statue that he took a selfie with the entire Baylor freshman class