The Portis Punch

The Play by Play

#MeToo in Sports

Following the Harvey Weinstein story, actress Alyssa Milano took to twitter encouraging those who have been victims of sexual harassment or assault to tweet #MeToo, to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The responses poured out, including posts from numerous well-known actresses. And on Wednesday, McKayla Maroney added her voice to the movement, reminding us that this behavior is not exclusive to Hollywood. Opening up about her own personal story, Maroney recounts the repeated abuse she suffered at the hands of a long time team doctor, even during the 2012 Olympic Games. As she states, This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse.” Hopefully because of her bravery, and that of those who have also tweeted #MeToo, change is on the way.

Portis Punch

The Chicago Bulls have suspended their power forward, Bobby Portis, for the next eight games. Why? Because he punched his own teammate, Nikola Mirotic, in the face following a heated workout on Tuesday. Mirotic suffered a concussion and multiple facial fractures that will likely require surgery, leaving him unable to play for at least 4-6 weeks. Now down two players, the Bulls have some serious soul searching to do in order to right the ship so early in the season. The craziest part? This isn’t the first time a professional athlete has injured his own teammate. Back in 2015, IK Enemkpali of the New York Jets punched his team’s starting Quarterback Geno Smith in the face, breaking his jaw. Their disagreement over a $600 plane ticket meant that Smith was out for 6-10 weeks and the Jets never fully recovered from the incident. I guess their kindergarten teacher didn’t teach them that violence is never the answer.

The Faces and Facts

Chris Long (Football): Son of Howie Long, commentator and Hall-of-Fame player, and brother of Kyle Long, offensive guard for the Chicago Bears. Following the violence in Charlottesville back in August, Long donated his first six paychecks to provide two scholarships to students from his Virginia hometown. And this week, he’s decided to play the rest of the season for “free,” gifting his remaining 10 week salary to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign. He and his wife selected four organizations to support in the three cities where he has played throughout his career (St. Louis, New England and currently Philadelphia). With a 2017 base salary of one million dollars, that’s certainly a powerful statement.

Claire Jeffress (Football): One week after being crowned Homecoming Queen at Glenda Dawson High School, senior Claire Jeffress laced up her cleats to kick a game winning 30-yard field goal during Dawson’s game against Pearland. From diamond tiara to grass-stained polyester, Jeffress can do it all.

The Playoff Beard: When a team makes it into the playoffs, often times a player decides to abstain from shaving for as long as his team remains in the hunt for the championship. While the hockey rink remains the most likely location to spot such a beard, it has slowly made its way into baseball as well. Back in 2010, then San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Brian Wilson brought his facial hair front and center during their playoff birth, spawning his very own catchphrase “Fear the Beard.”  Some teams or players have more success than others (sorry Sidney Crosby) but everyone certainly gives it their best effort. And even though Justin Turner’s been working on his beard for months, not solely for the playoffs, there’s rumors that if the Dodgers win the World Series, he would shave it all off!

The UpComing

Houston Astros v New York Yankees (Baseball): Game 7. Win or go home. Tonight’s game decides who moves on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers (who clinched with last night’s 7-1 victory over the Cubs) in the 2017 World Series. Each team has won its home games, which bodes well for the Houston Astros. But you can’t count out the Yankees. Ever. Tune in at 8:08 pm tonight to see what happens.

New England Patriots v. Atlanta Falcons (Football): A rematch of last year’s unbelievable Super Bowl, when the Patriots rallied to scored 31 points in the second half and win the game.  The Falcons definitely have some unfinished business with the Pats but it’s expected that Tom Brady will lead his team to yet another victory. In preparation for Sunday’s game, and to really rub it in, Patriots owner Robert Kraft teamed up with Nike to fashion a pair of shoes from game balls used during last February’s showdown. The kicks are set to be auctioned off by the team and sure to bring in quite a paycheck.   

Vancouver Canucks v. Detroit Red Wings (Hockey): The Detroit Red Wings are one of the league’s original six teams (along with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs), meaning they’ve been around since 1942. As a hockey institution, they are set to face off against the Vancouver Canucks who, while much younger, boast one of the most attractive players in the league (Erik Gudbranson). They are also the team that Taylor Kitsch a.k.a Tim Riggins, avidly supports, as a native of Vancouver. Puck drops on Sunday at 7pm ET.

The Weekend Social Hour

The World Series is fast approaching, with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday, October 26th. Chances are you will be invited to or, if you’re lucky enough, hosting a party (or multiple, since a team needs to win four games to take home the trophy). Either way, you’ll want to contribute some food and/or beverages to the festivities. Consider making a Mickey Mantle or Golden Glove to quench people’s thirst. Or whipping up an Oreo baseball pop. Keeping it baseball themed is bound to earn you high praise!  

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