The Play by Play
The Weather Woes Worsens
Only a few days after Harvey swept through Texas, Hurricane Irma has set it sights on Florida (and possibly Georgia and the Carolinas). As one of, if not the, largest storms in history, the southern states and cities prepare for the worst. Because neither home turf can call itself safe, the Miami Dolphins’ home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been postponed. While this means their fans will have to wait an additional week to welcome the start of football, they will then get to watch 16 games straight because the game has been rescheduled to week 11, during both of their bye weeks (a week that is usually left free, to give the teams some time to regroup). Better safe than sorry!
The Spotlight Doesn’t Always Shine Brightly
In recent years, the NFL has gained notoriety for some less than impressive reasons, most notably incidents of domestic violence. Players like Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Ray McDonald made headlines just last year, with a total of 15 players being accused in the last 2 years alone. This week, Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension, due to charges filed last year, was both upheld and put on hold, meaning the Dallas Cowboys can start the season with but might later have to play without their best offensive weapon. Looking at his last season stats — 3rd in rushing touchdowns, 2nd in first downs gained, and most rushing yards in the league — his absence will certainly be a loss for the ‘Boys.
As time goes on, the League is taking a stronger and stronger stance in these matters and it’s important to remember that many more players are doing good work than otherwise. One true All-Star, both on and off the field is Jason Witten, a tight-end and teammate of Elliott (and formerly of Greg Hardy). Having witnessed domestic violence first hand, Witten advocates for the cause, particularly through his Score Foundation. Additionally, every year the Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given to a player who demonstrates leadership both on and also, more importantly, off the field, with Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald taking home the prize in 2016.
Colin Kaepernick, the player who first decided to kneel during the national anthem, still doesn’t have an NFL team, despite players like Cam Newton believing that he is “better than some of these starting quarterbacks.” And his girlfriend’s most recent tweet might have just made it harder. Reports abounded that the Baltimore Ravens were considering adding Kap to the roster, as insurance against Joe Flacco’s bad back. Then Nessa Diab compared Ray Lewis (former Ravens linebacker) and Steve Bisciotti (Ravens owner) to two characters in Django Unchained, a comparison that Lewis interpreted as a “racist gesture.” So much for moving to Maryland Colin.
Violence in Vegas
While in town to watch the McGregor-Mayweather fight, Michael Bennett, a football player for the Seattle Seahawks, experienced something unimaginable. Following Floyd’s victory, Bennett was leaving the arena with hundreds of other people when they heard something that sounded like gunshots. Bennett took off, along with everyone around him, to get as far away from the situation as possible, only to be confronted by Las Vegas police. His re-telling detailed aggressive treatment- both verbal and physical- with eventual handcuffing, prior to the men learning he was a famous athlete. As he stated, “Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Not even celebrities are immune to today’s realities.
The Faces and Facts
Bryce Harper(Baseball): An All-Star, and exceptionally handsome, outfielder for the Washington Nationals. He continues to miss games due to a bone bruise on his knee, that makes something as simple as walking exceptionally painful. While the Nats are hopeful for a postseason return, and baseball is certainly more attractive with his presence, Harper definitely struck out with his latest hair-do.
Sloane Stephens(Tennis): After a semi-final filled with American women, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys made their way to the US Open finals. Stephens came out on top, defeating Keys in two sets. Ranked 934th in the world prior to the tournament, the spotlight is now entirely hers.
Eric Berry(Football): A defensive player for the Kansas City Chiefs diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014. He battled back and regained his starting position in 2015 and soon became the highest paid safety in the NFL. Sadly his 2017 ended in Thursday’s opener against the New England Patriots. While the Chiefs dealt the Super Bowl champs a crushing, and surprising, loss (42-27), Berry tore his achilles tendon and will now only be supporting his team from the sidelines.
20: Not just the age we claim to be. It’s the longest winning streak in baseball’s American League, a title held by the Oakland Athletics. But the Cleveland Indians are making a run for it, having won 17 in a row, with no signs of stopping.
While it’s true people love to hold hands, hold their breath or maybe hold perfectly still (remember the mannequin challenge?), holding, and certain touching, in football is NOT so good (unless you are holding onto the ball).
OH: When an offensive player uses his hands/arms to restrict the movement or alter the path of a defensive player. It results in a 10 yard penalty (the ball being moved 10 yards further away from the end zone they are trying to reach).
DH: When a defensive player tackles or restrains anyone other than the offensive player with the ball. This is a 5 yard penalty (the ball is moved 5 yards CLOSER to the end zone the offense is trying to reach) and an automatic first down.
Unnecessary Roughness: As the name entails, this occurs when a player uses unnecessary force to push or shove an opposing player OR makes contact that is otherwise avoidable after the whistle has blown. Often a referee will first say, “Personal Foul” followed by the words unnecessary roughness. Football is dangerous enough DURING play. No need to touch someone when it isn’t needed.
Nadal vs. Anderson: The men’s final of the US Open is set to take place at 4pm today (Sunday, September 10th). Taking down del Potro in the semis, Anderson is one of the most surprising finalists in years. If he wins, it would make for one of the most historic upset ever.
Monday Night Football: The first MNF game of the season. The New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings, otherwise known as Adrian Peterson’s new team playing his former team.
The Social Hour
Fashion Forward: In addition to relaxing its rules on celebrations, the NFL is also now allowing for custom cleats to be worn. Because we all know how crucial clothing is to our self-expression.
Best Bars: With 16 regular season games in football and 162 in baseball, you certainly can’t always play hostess with the mostest. That’s where sports bars come into play. Not only does it alleviate the stress of entertaining, it also allows for you to meet fellow sportsmen and women, cheering victories and lamenting losses together. Check out the top bars in the United States! Your city not on the list? Simply google “Best sports bars in ____” and voila.