The Play by Play

Oh Marta….

On Monday, Atlanta said goodbye to the Georgia Dome and hello to one of the most comical sports memes. The Dome had been a staple of Georgia sports for the last 25 years, serving as home field for the Falcons through the 2016 NFC Championship. Yet with a brand new, 70,000 person stadium just next door, it was time to say farewell with a massive implosion. A cameraman for the Weather Channel stood waiting to capture the event on film only to have a MARTA bus block the shot just as the show started. If the man’s expletives weren’t hilarious enough, Atlanta’s transportation system notoriously stinks, ranked between Baghdad and Tehran in efficiency, making the MARTA interference all the more priceless. And the rest of the sports world took note, photoshopping MARTA into various clips throughout the week. Each time she strategically blocked a big play.


Looks like fans are attempting to be like Steph Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, in more way than one. Beyond taking his classes online, individuals have started imitating his epic trick shot, witnessed during warm ups on November 6th. Similar to the way in which the “Drive By Dunk” (when someone- NBA players included- stops at a stranger’s basketball hoop to dunk) took social media by storm earlier this year, so too has attempting Steph’s floater. Called the #CurryChallenge, one fan in particular, tried to make the shot with items other than a basketball in places beyond a basketball court. He took the challenge so far that his video prompted Curry to speak out about being safe and respectful while attempting the shot.  

The Faces and Facts

Featured Female- Dani Rylan (Hockey): Founder and Commissioner of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Rylan, a former collegiate hockey player herself, started the league in 2015. Despite some disputes amongst investors, players and others involved, nothing has deterred Rylan from her mission of spreading women’s ice hockey. As a result, season three is in full swing. Check out the website for game schedules!

Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball): One of the best centers in NBA history or, for the children of the 90s, the star of Kazaam, a movie in which he was a genie who lived in a boom box. Shaq played in the league for 20 years, spending most of that time with the LA Lakers, alongside Kobe Bryant. Now an NBA commentator on TNT, Shaq, known for his big personality and sense of humor, has gotten into the holiday spirit a bit early. Using basketball rims, all reportedly broken by him over his career, O’Neal built a “broken rim tree.” ‘Tis the season!

Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues (Basketball): The shortest player in NBA history, standing at only 5 foot-3 inches. In a league where the average height is 6’ 6” or 6’ 7” (and the shortest current player is Isaiah Thomas at 5’9”) Muggsy’s 14 year career (retiring in 2001) certainly impresses. Bogues earned his nickname growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. His defense proved so strong, opponents claimed he was mugging them. You may be asking yourself “So, if he’s the shortest, who’s the tallest?” Well, that would be Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan, both at 7 feet-7 inches, over two feet taller than Muggsy (a difference that seems way more drastic in photos). If interested, check out a list of the ten shortest and tallest players in league history!

Carlos Beltran (Baseball): A 9-time all star who played for seven teams over his twenty years in the MLB. Moving from rookie of the year in 1999 to one of the most respected players in the league, Beltran finished his career as a world champion, winning his first world series with the Houston Astros. Nothing better than walking away from the game you love on top.

The Midweek Rundown

This week it is time to dive into the most severe (other than ejection or suspension) infractions in the NHL: the major penalty. These are called rarely and only in response to extremely dangerous or reckless play. There are a handful of minor penalties (some of which were outlined last week) that can be upgraded to a major if the referee deems the act particularly violent or intentional. The most common of these would be: boarding, charging, cross checking, kneeing, elbowing and interference. Slashing, hooking, checking from behind and clipping (making contact at or below an opponent’s knee) also qualify as major penalties when it results in injury.

Infractions that are automatically a major penalty, and result in serving 5 minutes in the penalty box (or even immediate ejection or suspension) are:

  • Spearing: When a player intentionally hits,  pokes or stabs another with the point of his stick blade.
  • Check to the head: When a player checks another and the primary point of contact is the opponent’s head
  • Head butting: Assessed when a player intentionally hits another with his head or helmet.  
  • Fighting: When a player repeatedly punches (or attempts to punch) an opponent. This penalty is often but not always coincidental. Because a fight usually involves two individuals willingly engaging, a player on both teams is penalized. In this case, two go to the box and the teams play with 4 players each. This is not considered a power play because the same number of players are on the ice for both teams.

Often, along with a major penalty, the offender also receives a game misconduct (for apparently and intentionally hurting a player). This leads to automatic ejection for the remainder of the game. While sometimes committing a minor penalty is advantageous to the team (it prevents a goal etc), a major is never strategically beneficial.

The UpComing

LA Lakers v. Sacramento Kings (Basketball): An Intra-California battle, in which two first round draft picks face off for the first time this season. While Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox’ teams have played each other in 2017, the two have yet to meet. Lonzo Ball sat out of both the LA v. Sacramento summer league and preseason games, making this the long anticipated reunion of the college rivals. Tipoff on Wednesday 10:30. (Note: the existence of the LA Kings can create some confusion. The LA Kings are a hockey team. The Sacramento Kings play basketball.)

Thanksgiving Football: Watching football this Thursday has become as traditional to Thanksgiving as turkey and mashed potatoes. There are two teams you will always find on the field: the Detroit Lions, having played on Thanksgiving Day since 1934,  and the Dallas Cowboys, who have missed only two holiday games since first taking the field in 1966.  The Lions are set to play the Minnesota Vikings at 12:30pm, the Cowboys face off against the Los Angeles Chargers at 4:30pm , and in the (added in 2006) evening game the Giants meet the Redskins at 8:30pm. The 9+ hours of football available means you can watch while preparing, eating and digesting your Thanksgiving meal.

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