The Play by Play
Camp is in Session
As of this week, all 32 NFL teams have officially started training camp, a sure sign that the 2018 season is only a handful of weeks away. Across the league, teams took to social media in order to keep fans up-to-date on their practices and extracurriculars. From Cam Newton receiving a fast food delivery from a fan to Drew Brees decapitating a piñata, it’s hard not to enjoy the shenanigans. It reminds us that although they make millions (particularly Taylor Lewan, who recently became the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history), they are, in fact, still human.
Despite a somewhat awkward start to the game, during which neither team appeared to understand which direction to dribble, the WNBA’s All-Star game certainly offered the league’s best a chance to shine. Liz Cambage ended the game with a dunk. Maya Moore won MVP, for the third year in a row. And Allie Quigley walked away the three-point shooting champion after tallying an astounding 29 points in a minute (2 points for every “money” ball she sunk and 1 point for every other ball). Her score was higher than any NBA participant. Ever.
Dollar Dollar Bills Y’all
With both the NBA and the NFL finalizing their 2018-19 teams, a lot of contract talk is in the air. Kevin Love, a star player for Cleveland, who previously moved to the Cavaliers in order to play with LeBron, signed up for an additional four-years in the Midwest to the tune of $120 million. Todd Gurley’s 4 year $60 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Rams, of which $45 million is guaranteed (no matter what happens – trades, injuries, performance – he will walk away with no less than $45 million), becomes the largest guarantee ever given to a running back in NFL history. Many believed it would be Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell receiving the massive payday but instead he’s left to congratulate Gurley while his own contract remains in negotiation. Lastly, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat received an offer of $25 million to play in China for three years. Currently a free agent on a team that can’t match that dollar amount, many wonder if he’ll take China up on their generosity.
The Faces and Facts
Featured Female – Katie Sowers (Football): The second full-time female coach in the NFL, and the first who is openly gay. Entering her second year with the San Francisco 49ers, players and staff alike readily embraced her presence on the sidelines and in practice, thinking nothing of her gender or sexuality. Having played in the women’s professional football league, Sowers has loved the sport her entire life, even dressing up as Deion Sanders on hero day in elementary school.
Anthony Rizzo (Baseball): The first baseman for the Chicago Cubs found himself in some new territory earlier this week. After continuously pestering his manager for the opportunity, he finally took to the mound and delivered two pitches in the 9th inning of Chicago’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He now, jokingly, boasts the best ERA in the MLB.
Thomas Tramaglini (Track and Field): Otherwise known as the serial pooper. Back in May, Tramaglini, the superintendent of a nearby school district, was charged with lewdness, littering and defecating in public for repeatedly (on a daily basis) leaving feces on the football field of a local New Jersey high school. Following the charges, he took a leave of absence which recently turned into a resignation.
Debbie Spander (Basketball): Back in 2011, after years within the legal offices of production companies like MTV and Fox Sports, Spander started her own company A-Game Media to represent broadcasters with whom she’d previously worked. In just five years she grew her roster to 50 individuals, including some of the biggest coaching names in the NBA, transforming her into a prominent agent in a field typically dominated by men.
Geraint Thomas (Cycling): Winner of the 2018 Tour de France. The Welshman had ridden support during previous tours, helping Chris Froome in all 4 of his earlier victories. But this year the tables turned, with Froome and others cheering Thomas over the finish line.
PGA Championship (Golf): Beginning on Thursday, August 9th, the world’s best golfers assemble at Bellerive Country Club for the 102nd PGA Championship, also referred to as the US PGA. The 4th and final of this year’s major tournaments, players hope to end the season on a high note. And following the amazing show at the British Open, many expect to see some great play, particularly from Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, winner of this past weekend’s Canadian Open.
Milwaukee Brewers v. Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball): Only two games separate the records of these two teams and they sit at the top (or near it) of their divisions, meaning we’re in for some good baseball. Both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain of the Brewers have been the players to watch since Spring Training, bringing versatility and veteran wisdom respectively. For the Dodgers, keep an eye on Cody Bellinger, named the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
The Weekend Social Hour
Sports serve so many purposes, particularly as a social outlet. Whether joining an intramural team or a more competitive league, participating breaks the ice and levels the playing field, so to speak. Oftentimes companies join in the fun, including one of the most prestigious offices in all the land: The Supreme Court. Years ago, the official date and architect are unknown, an old storage space was converted into a basketball court where the judges and their clerks let off some steam. It’s certainly fun to think about The Supreme Court on a basketball court.