The Play by Play
The Streak Continues
Getting to the gym even three days in a row seems daunting. And then there are the Cleveland Indians, who have done what no other MLB team has accomplished in history, winning 22 games and counting. First they blew past the American League’s 20 game streak set by the Oakland A’s and then earlier this week swung past the 21 games held by the Cubs and White Stockings (what the now Chicago White Sox were called in the 1800s). Up for debate is whether the 26 game streak of the New York Giants in 1916 (now in residence in San Francisco) technically counts, as the twelfth win was tied and then rescheduled due to weather delay, which the Giants then won. Either way, it’s an impressive feat of which Charlie Sheen would certainly be proud.
First Pitch Phenom
There’s a new MLB super-fan and super inspiring girl in town and her name is Hailey Dawson. Having Poland syndrome, she was born missing three fingers on her right hand. Rather than wait around for a child prosthetic that may never materialize, Hailey’s mother Yong reached out to students at University of Nevada Las Vegas to build her one using a 3D printer. At the age of 5, Hailey’s wish came true when she not only received a wrist-operated prosthetic, she also scored an invite to throw out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles baseball game. Having had the opportunity to also do this for the Washington Nationals, Hailey now dreams of throwing out the first pitch at every MLB stadium. And the teams are stepping up to the plate, utilizing twitter to extend open invitations. Sport at its finest.
PEDs are B.A.D
To become a professional athlete, clearly there’s a competitiveness that pushes far beyond our own capabilities. But sometimes this drive, this need to win, leads to rule bending or outright breaking. As was the case with Brian Cushing, a linebacker for the Houston Texans. He received a 10 game suspension, starting this week, for breaking the NFL’s performance enhancing drug (PED) policy. And sadly, this was not his first rodeo, having had another negative drug test back in 2010. In an attempt to gain unfair advantage, he actually achieved the opposite, forcing his team to play most of the season without him.
The Faces and Facts
Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr(Tennis): Serena Williams gave birth to a beautiful baby girl earlier this week. Say hello to the next generation of tennis
Cole Beasley(Football): The new Odell Beckham Jr (an outstanding wide receiver and godson to Shaquille O’Neal when it comes to ridiculous catches. In last week’s Sunday Night Football game against, you guessed it, Odell and the NY Giants, Beasley pulled off an amazing over the shoulder, one handed catch. Even OBJ couldn’t deny the skill.
Marshawn Lynch(Football): A running back who came out of a one-year retirement this year to play for the Oakland Raiders. Nicknamed “Beast Mode” he has one of the NFL’s biggest personalities- which can often get him in trouble or part of highly viewed youtube videos. Recently he was fined $12,000 for flipping the bird, twice. His favorite candy is skittles. He really loves them. A lot.
There are two main ways that a football team’s offense can move the ball down the field in an attempt to score points.
Passing: Only certain players on the field are eligible to catch a pass from the quarterback. Wide Receivers and Tight Ends are the most common targets and spend most of their time running down the field to get open. Running backs, despite their name, are also free to catch passes thrown their way. Offensive linemen, the big guys forming a barrier between the defense and their quarterback, can only catch a pass if they tell the referee before the play.
Running: Literally any player can run with the ball. It is the primary job of the running or full backs to carry the ball up the field. But lineman, quarterbacks and receivers can all get in on the fun if needed or when a trick play is designed. Just remember, hold on tightly so the play doesn’t result in a fumble!
Pass Interference: As football has evolved passing has become far more popular and so has the most common penalty involved with it. Pass interference can be committed by either the offensive player, trying to create some distance from the defense to increase his chance of catching the ball OR by the defense, in trying to disrupt the catch. It boils down to this: once past the line of scrimmage, a player cannot interfere with either the receiver’s ability to catch the ball or the defender’s ability to cover the offensive player attempting to catch it.
There are two big football games this weekend worth a watch:
Denver Broncos v. Dallas Cowboys: A great Broncos defense, led by Von Miller, the Super Bowl MVP two years ago (and sporter of awesome glasses), against an explosive Cowboys offense with Dax Prescott at the helm. Prescott was the 2016 Rookie of the Year who often points to the sky after big plays, signaling to his mother who died in 2013. Kick off is at 4:25 pm EST on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers v. Atlanta Falcons: A rematch of last year’s NFC championship, which meant the winners, the Falcons, went to the Super Bowl and the Packers went home. Two great offensive teams will battle it out, the Falcons for a repeat and the Packers for redemption. Keep your eye on both Jordy Nelson and Julio Jones, two outstanding wide receivers who are frequently targeted by Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB) and Matt Ryan (Falcons QB). Two of the top Quarterback-Receiver duos in the league. Get ready for an explosive Sunday Night Football match up.
The Social Hour
We’re all busy people, no doubt. And sometimes, okay most of the time, we can’t spare 3 hours to watch a game. So here are a few great iPhone apps you can download to keep up-to-date on sports of all kinds, while putting in minimal effort:
ESPN app: Highlight your favorite teams or sports and receive news and score updates in real time. Or just open it up and check the games being played on any given day.
Bleacher Report: Compiles the latest news and information from across multiple sites, including the Bleacher Report blog. This one’s better if you have a specific team or league you wish to follow.
If you really want to fall down the rabbit hole of apps, check out this list of the top 50!