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⚾Tampa Bay and Los Angeles Are For 2020 Champions
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
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
⛳️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
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
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.