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Tampa Bay and Los Angeles Are For 2020 Champions

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: TAMPA BAY RAYS/TWITTER
SOURCE: TAMPA BAY RAYS/TWITTER

The GIST: Tampa Bay has the Stanley Cup. LA has the NBA Championship. Now it’s up to the Tampa Bay Rays and LA Dodgers to decide once and for all (for 2020, at least), which sports city reigns supreme.

Tell me about it: The World Series kicked off on Tuesday, and it’s already proving to be a battle of the best. The Dodgers took Game 1 in a spectacular 8–3 win, with eight-time All Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw giving us a masterclass from the mound and fielder Mookie Betts stealing a base and winning tacos for the nation.

  • The Rays were having none of that last night, though. They started the game with an early home run from Brandon “Bamm-Bamm” Lowe and never looked back, taking Game 2 with a 6–4 win.
  • Still, history could be on the Dodgers’ side here: 20 of the last 25 World Series winners won Game 1, including 14 of the last 17. But the Rays love to disprove their perennial underdog status, and after last night’s dominating performance, we wouldn’t be surprised if they disprove this stat.

Awesome. Any other news?: Oh, just a little herstory. With her Game 1 call on ESPN Radio, Jessica Mendoza became the first woman ever to serve as an analyst in a World Series national broadcast. Tune in tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET to hear the softball Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist call Game 3. We love to hear it.

🏆Russian Military Hackers Target Tokyo Olympics

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: DAVID RAMOS/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: DAVID RAMOS/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: We weren’t happy when we learned that Russian hackers are actively sabotaging the Presidential election. And get this: word is they’re going after the 2020 Olympics, too. GTFO.

What happened?: Earlier this week, U.K. security officials broke the news that Russia’s military intelligence service, GRU (how fitting), had been planning cyber attacks on the organizers and sponsors of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Reminder: Russia is banned from all major international sporting events until 2023 due to widespread doping offenses.

  • This news came just a day after U.S. authorities outed GRU for its cyber attacks on the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The malicious attacks wiped computer data and disabled networks in an effort to sabotage the Games. Confidential medical records of over 250 athletes were also stolen and published online. Just horrible.

What happens now?: Six Russian military officers have been charged by the FBI for their involvement in the PyeongChang attacks, which were said to have been done in retaliation of the doping ban and to further Russia’s geopolitical standing. We’re not sure sabotaging the beloved Olympics is gaining you any brownie points, Russia.

  • The 2020 Games are still a go for next summer, and Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Katō, has assured Olympic organizers and participants that Japan will do everything it can to prevent cyberattacks. Anyway, off to watch Icarus...
🏆

This Week in Golf, Soccer, Lacrosse

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: LPGA/TWITTER
SOURCE: LPGA/TWITTER

⛳️Golf: The LPGA should have teed off today in South Korea, but COVID-19 nixed those plans. Instead, the Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee — a brand new stateside tournament — will fill our golf-loving hearts.

  • Danielle Kang won the OG Drive On Championship back in August, and she’s back this weekend to try to win a matching trophy. Major winner and ultimate underdog Sophia Popov, American Lexi Thompson and World No. 2 Nelly Korda’s sister Jessica (sorry, Nelly’s sitting this one out) will try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Follow the leaderboard here.

⚽️Soccer: We have a name! The NWSL’s highly anticipated new team, based in Los Angeles, will be called Angel City FC (FC stands for Football Club). The league’s 11th team, which will start competing in 2022, also named additional investors to the already star-studded ownership group: WNBA star Candace Parker (and her daughter Lailaa, so cute), Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn (and her fiancé P.K. Subban) and tennis legend Billie Jean King (and her partner Ilana Kloss). Sounds like heaven.

🥍Lacrosse: Athletes Unlimited, a collection of new pro sports leagues that highlights women’s sports and works to put the athletes first, is introducing lacrosse as its newest undertaking. Joining the already successful softball and volleyball leagues, the lax league will feature some of the top American lacrosse stars.

  • Superstar Kayla Treanor and her U.S. national team teammates Megan Douty, Michelle Tumolo and Emily Parros have all committed to the month-long series, which starts July 19th, 2021. Mark your calendar!

🏒Joe Thornton Signs With Maple Leafs

October 20, 2020
SOURCE: DARREN YAMASHITA/USA TODAY
SOURCE: DARREN YAMASHITA/USA TODAY

The GIST: On Friday, the Leafs signed St. Thomas local Joe Thornton to a one-year deal at the league-minimum of $700K. Welcome to the big smoke, Jumbo Joe!

Whoa! Isn’t Thornton pretty old?: In hockey terms, yes. The 41-year-old played for the San Jose Sharks for 15 years, and left after the Sharks’ miserable 2020 season. Thornton, who has never won a Stanley Cup in his 23-year career, thinks the Leafs have a roster that will help him finally raise the cup. *crosses fingers, knees and toes*

What does he bring to the table?: A veteran presence, for one. Thornton also ranks seventh all-time in assists, with more than a thousand, and is expected to be a big contributor on the power play. Guy still has some game left!

So...no concerns?: Well, not exactly. The Leafs’ top guys are clearly talented, with proven scorers Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and captain John Tavares. Our worry is that Thornton, alongside 37-year-old Jason Spezza, might slow down the third and fourth lines.

  • While Thornton brings great veteran savvy, the Leafs still need help defensively and we’re not convinced just how much help he’ll be. The Leafs have made a lot of moves recently, so only time will tell how they all pan out!

🏈No COVID Postponements in NFL This Week

October 20, 2020
SOURCE: JOE SARGENT/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: JOE SARGENT/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: It’s certainly been a bumpy ride, but the NFL might have things (somewhat) under control. *knocks on wood* For the first time in three weeks, the NFL played on without any last minute COVID-19 postponements. *knocks on wood again* Let’s celebrate with some highlights!

On the money: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback (QB) Ben Roethlisberger tossed a perfect 36-yard pass to wide receiver (WR) Chase Claypool during the Steelers’ 38–7 rout of the Cleveland Browns.

  • The Steelers remain undefeated and Canadian Claypool’s rushing touchdown (TD) on Sunday gives him six TDs through five games, tying a rookie WR record. Damn, Canada!

Don’t stop me now: Tennessee Titans running back (RB) Derrick Henry could not be stopped on Sunday. Henry opened up the fourth quarter with this 94-yard (!!!) TD run. The King (move over LeBron) called “game” with this sneaky TD to lift the undefeated Titans to a 42–36 overtime (OT) victory over the Houston Texans.

For the mems: Future hall-of-fame QBs Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers met for just the third time in their storied careers on Sunday. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers easily took the win in this hyped up matchup, scoring 38 unanswered points to defeat Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers 38–10.

  • Our favorite play was this throwback TD connection from Brady to tight end (TE) Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate who came out of retirement to reunite with Brady in Tampa Bay. A bromance for the ages.

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(c/o - @malschman_55)On this day last year, the Toronto Raptors raised their championship banner and got their rings. 💍🔥
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(c/o - @raptors)This is HUGE! 👏🔥
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Secret Deodorant has committed $1 million to the PWHPA this season with Secret running the Dream Gap Tour in 2021. And for the first time, players will play for a cash prize in six tournaments across North America. 🏒
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The Dream Gap Tour will feature 125 of the sports top players, 38 of them Olympians - including Team USA's Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hilary Knight, and Brianna Decker and Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, and Sarah Nurse. There will be five teams based in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
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FYI, the PWHPA was formed in 2019, shortly after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) folded, citing an "economically unsustainable business model." Though there still is a professional league in North America - the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), many of the world’s top players opted out of playing for the league.
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This is the largest corporate commitment ever made for professional women's hockey in North America. We absolutely love to see it! #thegistLouder for the people in the back! 🗣
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U.S. hockey world champion and Olympic gold medalist Hilary Knight, dropping straight facts in response to a tweet from BBC Sport. Knight succinctly breaks down the “sport” vs. “women’s sport” label argument (while rocking the WNBA’s most coveted merch of the season).
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For this story, and much more, make sure to check your inbox for this morning’s newsletter! 💌 #thegistIt’s all tied up! ⚾️
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Tampa Bay Rays player Ji-Man Choi became the first Korean-born player to record a hit in the World Series tonight. Represent!👏
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The Rays are now tied 1-1 with the LA Dodgers in the World Series. #thegist
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(c/o MLB)We’re loving these Halloween costumes!! 👏 #thegist