The Play by Play
Sexism in Sports
During an interview earlier this week, Cam Newton answered a reporter’s question by saying it was “funny to hear a female” ask about routes (the direction and way a receiver runs down the field). Needless to say, the backlash was strong and swift. While some players have stood in support of Cam, most notably retired Falcons’ receiver Roddy White, most recognized there was nothing comical about his comment or its implications. Within only 24 hours, Dannon Yogurt dropped Cam as their spokesperson, expressing dismay at the actions of the quarterback. Others of Newton’s sponsors have voiced their disagreement but have yet to take similar action. He has since issued a video apology but the incident serves to underscores the sexism that still exists in the world of sports, even in 2017.
Interesting Back Story, Uninteresting Game
Only four teams out of thirty two remain winless after the first four games of the NFL season. Two of them are set to play on Sunday- the Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Giants. While this unfortunate start may sadden those in LA, in San Diego, where the Chargers used to play, people could not be happier. In fact, one restaurant is offering a free taco every time the Chargers lose, viewing each defeat as payback for abandoning their loyal fan base further south. And as it would turn out, if anyone were to hate the Chargers MORE than San Diegans, it would have to be the Manning family, one of whom is Eli, the starting quarterback of the NY Giants. Back in 2004, the then San Diego Chargers had the first pick in the NFL draft and desperately wanted Mr. Manning. Eli, however, said he would sit the entire season if they drafted him, hoping it would dissuade the organization from picking him. It did not and led to one of the best draft-day pictures of all time. The Mannings were NOT happy campers. He was traded later that day to the Giants (phew) but ironically, the Chargers remain one of the only teams Manning has never beaten. Despite the interesting back story, that’s about as exciting as the game will get. Feel free to not tune in.
The Faces and Facts
Flow/Salad: Both terms used to reference the hockey hair you might see now that the NHL season has started. Ranging from afros to mullets, from high school to professional, it’s not a hockey season without some good flow.
Jaromir Jagr (Hockey): Age is truly just a number. Having just signed a one-year contract to play hockey with the Calgary Flames, Jagr enters his 24th year in the league, at the ripe old age of 45. He hopes to break the record for most career NHL games ever played, with just 57 to go. Over the years he has tallied not only numerous goals but also major points on the epic hair scale, most notably for his mullet. He even has a band of fans, the traveling Jagrs, from around the league, who rock the mullet in admiration of their favorite player and his flow. If you ever wondered, here’s what some of the most famous athletes would look like if they too sported Jaromir’s infamous salad.
DeShaun Watson (Football): The Houston Texans’ rookie quarterback who has led his team to some very high scoring games. He donated his first NFL paycheck to three cafeteria workers at Houston’s NRG Stadium who were affected by Hurricane Harvey back in August.
Laurene Powell Jobs: Steve Jobs’ widow and now a part owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals. Forking over around $500 million, Laurene purchased 20% ownership in the company that owns both teams. This makes her one of only a handful of women owners in any of the professional leagues, most having come into their positions following the death of their husbands. Billionaire Girl Power!
Michigan v. Michigan State (Football): In week’s past we’ve talked about some of the NFL’s biggest rivalries. Well, this weekend it’s college football’s turn when Michigan State faces off against Michigan, a rivalry that dates back to 1898. While the Michigan Wolverines are favored, having met 110 times over the years, it is bound to be an exciting matchup. Saturday, October 7th at 7:30 pm EST.
Nashville Predators v. Pittsburgh Penguins (Hockey): A rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup finals. Led by their captain Mike Fischer (husband to Carrie Underwood) and defenseman P.K Subban (who was traded, and then tearfully returned for a game, from the Montreal Canadiens in 2016), the Predators are out for blood, which tends to run a bit more readily in hockey than any of the other professional sports. Problem is, they are once again playing against Sidney Crosby, considered by many to be the best player in the league, if not one of the greatest of all time. Sadly, it airs at the same time as the Michigan game, starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday, October 7th, so you’ll have to choose one and then catch the other’s highlights.
MLB Playoffs (Baseball): Both the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians are up 2-0 over their competition (Red Sox and Yankees respectively). If they win Game 3, they move on to the American and National League Championships, and one step closer to the World Series. The Astros v. Red Sox is set for 2:30 pm on Sunday, October 8th, directly followed by the Indians v. Yankees at 7:30 EST.
The Weekend Social Hour
With fall in full swing, it is time to think seriously about Halloween and there’s certainly more way than one to infuse October 31st with sports. For starters, let’s talk jack-o-lanterns. It’s the perfect opportunity to show off the face of your favorite player or league, outline a ball/equipment of choice, or opt for a team’s mascot. You can go basic or get as elaborate as you desire. Just make sure you choose the right pumpkin and have the right tools. Next week we’ll tackle costumes, where the ideas are limitless and both classic and/or topical.