#SportBits … Weekend WrapUp

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Happy Monday, #SportBits readers!

Here is your weekend sports wrap up.

In what felt more vintage than a 79’ Dead shirt, the Australian Open men’s and women’s final gave everyone the #goodfeels.

I can’t tell you how many texts and comments on my social media I received from people expressing how happy the finals made them feel. Four legends of tennis back in the championships.

I think after a month of crazy political upheaval and uncertainty, having these four familiar players in the finals felt reassuring and safe. I LOVE how sports can do that.

The Williams sisters met for the 28th time for the women’s championship.

Venus, at age 36, is at a stage in her career where she seems to be playing for the pure joy of it. She’s already made her mark. She’s got nothing more to prove.

She could have retired after she fell out of the top one hundred in 2012, or when she was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease. But she didn’t. She battled back. She had faith in herself and her game. #goodfeels

Sister Serena, at age 35, is playing for the numbers. She’s been tied with Steffi Graf at #22 Grand Slam totals which has been an annoying monkey on her back.

Their match was a competitive, awesome display of tennis. Serena won 6-4, 6-4 and not only breaks the tie with Graf, but regains the #1 ranking she lost to Angelique Kerber in September of last year.

I think the best part was their speeches afterward. #goodfeels galore.

On the men’s side, 35-year-old Roger Federer took on 30-year-old Rafael Nadal. These two have played each other 35 times. Sunday’s final was another epic showdown.

Roger, having missed the second half of last season with a knee injury, came back in Federer style by winning the championship in 5 sets. He was down a break in the 5th but somehow found the magic and extended his Grand Slam victories to 18.

Rafa also battled injuries last season with wrist problems. I think I wasn’t alone in wondering if he could return to his top form. He did.

Ultimately, I think his 5-hour semifinal win over Gregor Dimitrov on Thursday took too much out of him.

Never the less, it was a wonderful weekend of tennis, the likes of which we may never see again.

On the NFL Pro Bowl….

The AFC took this one, 20-13, over the NFC. The game was played in Orlando, Florida, instead of its usual Hawaiian destination.

The game wasn’t a TOTAL snooze fest, but it still was the Pro Bowl – where players are playing to NOT get hurt in a game that doesn’t matter one bit.

Maybe this one was a bit more interesting because it had so many newcomers. They weren’t tired of it yet. And the teams actually played some defense.

But if I’m being totally honest, I watched the SAG Awards instead.

I mean, did you SEE Winona Ryder’s face while her costar gave his speech after receiving “Best Drama Ensemble” ~> priceless!

 

The NHL All-Star Game happened here in Los Angeles over the weekend, and there was hockeyness all around the Staples Center.

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-11-35-32-amIt started with the NHL100 on Friday where the top 100 players in hockey were chosen, in no particular order.

On Saturday, there was the skills competition.

The League, in an effort to stay current and hip, had Snoop Dogg perform at the event. And Snoop being Snoop didn’t feel the need to censor his song “The Next Episode” so the FBombs dropped for all of Staples and TV Land to hear. I had to laugh.

Here is a recap of all the winners from the skills competition.

In Sunday’s main event, The Metropolitan captured the All-Star Game title by beating the Pacific 4-3 after toppling the Atlantic 10-6 in the first round of play. The Pacific beat the Central 10-3 in the first round.

There were lots of games in the NBA over the weekend. Here are your scores and highlights.

College hoops are starting to heat up as we inch our way towards March Madness. Here is the latest AP Poll – and scores from the weekend.

In case you hadn’t heard, #SuperBowl51 is next Sunday, February 5th from Houston, Texas. The city will turn into a small-scale Olympic Village in order to host the mass of football fans and media that are expected.

The New England Patriots are playing the Atlanta Falcons.

Here is a schedule of all the events taking place this week and a schedule for game day events.

Country star Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem. The cast of Hamilton will be performing at the festivities, and Lady Gaga will be the halftime show. CAN’T WAIT!

Ok people, hopefully, this is enough sports info to get you out there and talking with your family, friends, and coworkers!

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more sports news, scores and highlights.

#SportBits … a little bit of info is all you need.

 

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#SportBits … Ladies, It’s Your “Fall Sports Preview”

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Summer is over. The Olympics are done. School is starting. Sadness rains and we all get wet! Ha!

No need to be sad loyal #SportBits readers. There are plenty of exciting sporting events on the horizon. Here is a quick look at what’s coming up this fall and what you need to know so you can #jointheconversation. Ladies, it’s no fun being left out because you don’t know what the big game is…am I right?

August 29th – September 11th: US Open, Flushing Meadows, NY
The U.S. Open is the fourth and final event of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The New York crowd is always rocking, the outfits are NEVER white, and those nighttime matches are a party! No. 1 seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokavic made early exits in Rio – let’s see if they can pull it together for another GS win in the big apple.

September 30th – October 2nd: Ryder Cup, Hazelton National Golf Club, Chaska, MN
The Ryder Cup is a men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States, played every two years. The venue alternates between courses in the USA and Europe. Players are chosen on a point system, which closes on Sunday, August 28th. So far five players, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka, have mathematically qualified for the Cup. It’s the USA v. Europe on our homeland…so there’s a lot of pride on the line. If there’s one golf tourney to watch this year, it’s the Ryder Cup.

October 4th – October 23rd: Major League Baseball Playoffs
OCTOBER BASEBALL!!! THE BEST. Check in here to see how your team is doing.
Here is the schedule for all the playoffs and World Series games.

October 25th – November 7th: MLB World Series

August 26th – December 10th: 2016 NCAA College Football Season
The College Season ended last year with Alabama winning the national championship. They are the Pre-Season #1 team and have a DOOZIE of a first game v. #19 USC on September 3rd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (8pm ET. ABC)

September 8th – January 1st NFL: Regular Season
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Well, get ready because it’s here, and this articlewill give you a quick preview of the upcoming season.

October 25th – Wednesday April 12th: NBA Regular Season
The biggest news in the off-season in the NBA was the signing of Kevin Durant by the Golden State Warriors. Everyone is anxiously awaiting to see if the Warriors will dominate as expected. Mark your calendars for Christmas Day when the Warriors will meet NBA Champ LeBron James and the Cavaliers for a tasty holiday rematch treat!

OK, this should get you started ladies. I’ll be keeping track of scores, news, and interesting sports stories on social media, so give me a follow. Remember, you just need a little information to join the conversation. #SportBits

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#SportBits ..Sports Update

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Hello HerDaily readers! I’m back on my #SportBits mission to help you stay in touch with what’s happening right now in sports. Just a little bit of info is all you need people – so you can chat it up with your partner, kids, or co-workers. I recently had a friend tell me she likes my Instagram feed because she’s finding herself sprinkling sport bits in her conversations with her hubby. He keeps giving her the “how did you know that” look. Ha! Pretty soon, he’ll stop giving the look, and just accept that she knows a little bit about sports! #victory

Here are 3 sports stories you should know about this week:

WIMBLEDON:

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Getty Images

The Championships, Wimbledon came to a close on Sunday.

On Saturday in the ladies final, No. 1 seed Serena Williams beat No. 4 Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-5 6-3, to win her 22nd Grand Slam title. This ties her with Steffi Graff for the most majors in the Open Era of professional tennis. I’m betting there will be no rest for Serena as talk will now turn to breaking the ALL TIME record of 24 titles, held by Margaret Court. Three hours after her win, Serena was back on Center Court with sister Venus, and the Williams sisters won the ladies double final by beating fifth-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-4.

On Sunday, No. 2 Andy Murray, who ended 77 years of the British waiting for a men’s singles championship when he won his first Wimbledon in 2013, beating Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) for his second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam.

Tennis now moves on to the hard court season in preparation for the last Grand Slam of the year: the U.S. Open.

EURO 2016

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It’s party time in Lisbon! Portuguese fans are celebrating their first European title after their underdog national team triumphed in the face of adversity. With their captain and star player Cristiano Ronaldo going out with a knee injury just 25 minutes into the game, Portugal held on to beat hosts France 1-0 after extra time in the Euro 2016 final.

MLB ALL-STAR GAME:

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Scott Varley/Daily Breeze

The 2016 MLB All-Star Game, aka Midsummer Classic, is coming at you this week from Petco Park in San Diego, California. Players from theAmerican League battle those from the National League, with the winner taking home field advantage in the World Series. Starting infielders are voted in by the fans; pitchers voted in by managers, and the reserves are chosen by the managers and players. This year, the Chicago Cubs made history when their entire infield was selected to start in the game.

That’s it…so now you know. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram,and Twitter for news, scores and updates. #dropmic

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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Vintage Television

 

Right now I’m watching #RFed v. Cilic in the men’s quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Yesterday, both Williams sisters won their matches putting them in the semis, and on course for an all-Williams final. Lordy, who wouldn’t want to see that? Who would you root for?? Venus, at 36 years old? Or Serena – who is going for her 22nd Grand Slam – tying her with Steffi Graf? #quandary

Here are all scores from yesterday’s matches.

MLB: The 2016 All-Star roster was announced yesterday and the Chicago Cubs made history by becoming just the second team ever to have its entire infield start an All-Star Game.  The Boston Red Sox placed an AL-best six players on the team, the most they have sent to an #ASG since also sending six to the 2011 game.

MLB: New York Mets at San Diego Padres
Petco Park will host the 2016 All Star Game on July 12th. PhotoCredit: Jake Roth

 

Here are scores from yesterday’s games.

Breaking:

Double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The University of Tennessee has reached a financial settlement with a group of women who sued the school in federal court for the way it handled their allegations of sexual assaults by student-athletes. According to documents obtained by ESPN, the university will pay the eight women $2.48 million.

The latest #RioWorry: Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5. #awesome

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A man runs next to a sewage system flowing on Copacabana beach in Rio. Photocredit: Reuters

Ok. That’s it. So now you know. #shortsweet

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Happy July 5th…Hope you had a fun day yesterday. Getting a late start today …

Here is some sports news to take with you this morning.

NBA:

The NBA just got a bit more interesting AND boring at the same time. How, you ask? Well, former MVP and OKC Thunder star Kevin Durant made his decision to jump ship and join current MVP Steph Curry in Oakland. In the “Next Chapter” on the Player’s Tribune, Durant cited his growth as a man and a player, and his need for a new challenge as reasons for leaving. But we all know it’s about the bling…and the Championship ring he wants so desperately.  You can’t really blame him…although ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith does. The move sets up a SUPERPOWER in the western conference, which isn’t good for the game if you ask me. When one team dominates, as this team will, it’s bad for the league, and for basketball fans…unless you’re a Warrior fan of course.

The OKC organization had a CLASSY response…no sore losers here…I was impressed.

After Durant signed with Golden State, the dominoes started to fall. Here is an update on the #freeagencyfrenzy .

At Wimbledon, No.2 seed Andy Murray beat Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios, 7-5 6-1 6-4, to reach his 9th Wimbledon quarter-final. The 29-year-old has now won eight matches in a row on grass, and joins Pete Sampras and John McEnroe in reaching nine consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals.

No. 3 seed Roger Federer moved into his 14th quarter-final with ease yesterday beating American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 7-5.  Federer moves one step closer to contesting for his eighth title at the All England Club, which would be a record. Only one man – Rafael Nadal – has captured eight or more titles at the same Grand Slam championship.

On the women’s side, the Williams sisters can move closer to a finals reunion should they get through their quarter-final matches today.

World No 1 Serena, with six Wimbledon crowns to her credit, will play Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last eight after the defending champion romped to a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Five-time champion Venus takes on Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova after becoming the oldest Wimbledon women’s quarter-finalist for 22 years.

More Wimbledon scores….here.

MLB news:

LOTS of games yesterday…check scores here.

And a friggin bald eagle found freedom and flew through Dodger Stadium at the Orioles game!

http://abc13.com/video/embed/?pid=1413602

It’s a short one today….but at least now you know.

 

 

 

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#SportBits … Monday recap

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As I’m sure you know by now, Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued legendary boxer, who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” died Friday, June 3rd after being admitted to a Phoenix-area medical facility for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old. Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which had slowly robbed him of both his verbal artistry and physical aptitude. I could spend the whole article writing about the Louisville Lip, and what his legacy means, but I already did that over on HerDaily.com … Instead, I’ll let Ali speak for himself. Here is an except from his 2013 autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey:

 “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

 

#SportBits …

NBA: In the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors C R U S H E D the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-77, in Game 2 in Oakland last night. The Warriors lead the series 2-0 heading to Cleveland for Game 3, Wednesday. Warriors’ Draymond Green scored 28 points and Cleveland lost star forward Kevin Love to “concussion protocol.” Here’s hoping LeBron and Co. can GET IT TOGETHER and take care of business at home. I’m not counting him out yet…but … #laststand

TENNIS: I bet Andy Murray is feeling a bit like the Cavs because no matter what he does, he can not beat Novak Djokovic at the Slams. World No. 1 Djokovic beat Murray in four sets at the French Open and became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments. In his 12th appearance and fourth final, the Joker finally captured the one title that has eluded him. Next up: Wimbledon.

On the women’s side, World No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final on Saturday. Muguruza won her first career Grand Slam while denying Williams the opportunity of tying Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight in San Jose. The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the series 2-1. In a nutshell, the Penguins need to capitalize on their speed, and the Sharks need to take more shots! All the while, the beards keep growing…

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.37.21 AMJoe Thornton

MLB: Check here for weekend scores and highlights. In the meantime:

  • Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner REALLY wants to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All Star game. After watching the show he put on at battling practice Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, I can see why. But it ain’t gonna happen…Giant manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t want ANYTHING happening to that arm…or legs…or hands..or … #riskybusiness
  • The LA Dodgers cut ties with  Carl Crawford and must eat the remaining $34.6 million left on the under-achieving outfielder’s contract. That is one expensive meal. #stomachache
  • Those sneaky Dodgers…after being accused last week of using lasers to mark spots on the outfield for defensive purposes, they hoped to supply some sweet music to umpire Joe West’s ears on Sunday. West, the longtime umpire who has two country albums to his credit, was behind the plate for Sunday’s game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Dodger players used his songs as walk-up music for their first at-bats. Hilarious…and what’s even better? It was Chase Utley’s idea. #sneakiest

MMA: I had a ticket dropped in my lap last night to see the Zac Brown Band at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Didn’t know one song, but man, he was good. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Forum hosted UFC 199 where 37-year-old Michael “The Count” Bisping shocked the MMA world by knocking out defending champ Luke Rockhold in the first round. Even more exciting was the announcement that a welterweight rematch between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will headline UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 20. #BookItDano

Copa America: After losing their opening match, 2-0, to Columbia, the #USMST travels to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday. Check here for all results, matchups, and upcoming schedule.

In other soccer news, a federal district court in Chicago ruled in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation, saying the women’s national team is subject to a contract that prevents players from striking. The previous agreement expired in 2012,but, according to U.S. Soccer, it was modified and extended to last from 2013 to 2016. The modification included a no-strike clause. U.S. Soccer brought a lawsuit against the players’ union after the union’s lawyer denied that there was a valid contract and the federation saw that as a threat to strike.  Basically, now that they can’t strike, their bargaining chip is gone in their battle for equal pay.

I’m going to end with more Muhammad Ali. One of the things I remember most as a kid watching Ali was his wacky and unlikely friendship with sportscaster Howard Cosell. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen another relationship like it in the world of sports and sports media. Take a look:

 

Have a great week everyone. Remember to check in with me on social media for scores and highlights during the week, and with #SportBitsDaily for daily news, scores and TV schedules.

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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NBA: The bench came up HUGE last night for the  Golden State Warriors to help give them the win over Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Warriors won by 14, 104-89, because their bench, lead by Shaun Livingston’s 20 points, outscored the Cavs 45-10. Super star Warrior duo Steph Curry and Klay Thompson had 20 points combined, their fewest all season. LeBron James kicked off his sixth straight finals with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Game 2 is Sunday in Oakland, 8pm ET. on ABC.

Comedy break: Jimmy Kimmel Live –  Mean Tweets – NBA Edition

 

FRENCH OPEN: Semi Finals happening RIGHT now on tennis channel & NBC.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic v. Dominic Thiem

No. 2 Andy Murray v. No. 3 Stan Wawrinka

No. 1 Serena Williams will play No. 4 Garbine Muguruza in the FINALS tomorrow, 9am ET on NBC.

RIO OLYMPICS:

Cyclist Tejay van Garderen is the first American athlete to back out of the Games due to concerns about the Zika virus.  It’s time to consider moving the Olympics. Seriously. Either move it to another location, or move it to 2017 to give time to fix all that is wrong in Rio. But it’s all about the Benjamins, right? And NBC and all their sponsors would have a hissy if it didn’t go off as planned…. #greediness

But take note greedy networks and sponsors…karma can be a bitch sometimes….just watch what happens to the sneaky ketchup in this one …who likes ketchup on their hotdogs anyway?

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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The OKC Thunder went postal and routed the defending champs for a second consecutive time in the NBA #WCF. The 118-94 win puts Golden State on the brink of elimination heading into Game 5 in Oakland on Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins came out with a 5-2 win  in their elimination Game 6 last night in Tampa.  They force  Game 7 v. the Lightning to be played on Thursday in Pittsburgh. G A M E 7  – winner goes to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Serena Williams breezed through her first round match at the French Open 6-2, 6-0, and probably had a great night sleep after her two main threats to the title were ousted from the tourney. N.3 Angelique Kerber, who beat her at the Australian in January, lost to number 58th ranked  Kiki Bertens, and No.5 Victoria Azarenka, one of only two other women to beat Williams this year, bowed out in the first round due to a knee injury. #sweetdreamsSerena

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist won’t race at the Belmont Stakes due to illness, and the much anticipated rematch with Preakness winner Exaggerator, will not happen after all. #Dangittohell

It sounds like the Oakland Raiders are pretty serious about moving to Las Vegas. Owner Mark Davis says he’ll move his team if the city comes through with financing needed to relocate (how much is that??). Another concern is whether the city has a strong enough fan base to justify the move. The Raiders on the Strip?? I mean who’s not coming watch that!!

Well, it’s Under Armour’s world, and we’re just living in it! Yesterday, the company announced a $280million apparel deal with UCLA. This ranks as the largest shoe and apparel sponsorship in college sports history. FYI: the athletes are NOT part of the payout..in any way.  #UA wanted a bigger west coast presence…and they got it. #DressToExcess

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and DeMar DeRozan had 32 as the Toronto Raptors evened the #ECF finals by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 in Game 4 last night. Game 5 is tomorrow in Cleveland. Don’t think it’s panic time for LeBron & Co, but things sure did get a bit more interesting.

Golden State Warrior Draymond Green avoided suspension for his “accidental” kick in the crotch to Thunder’s Steven Adams on Sunday. It’ll cost him $25grand and an upgrade to a flagrant-2 foul. Plus, it’s provided mega-motivation for all in Toronto. I’m thinking fans are going to let Green hear it tonight in Game 6.

The-Oklahoman-Front-Page-For-Monday-KickStart The Oklahoman

The San Jose Sharks are one win away from going to the Stanley Cup Finals with their 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. Game 6 of the #WCF is tomorrow in San Jose.

At the French Open, defending men’s champ Stan Warwrinka avoided an historic first round upset, and No. 2 seed Andy Murray dropped 2 sets before taking out Stepanek in 5. Both No. 1 seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic play their first round matches today. Security is uber tight this year at Roland Garros in wake of the Paris attacks.

Deflate-gate goes on… The NFL Players Association has filed a petition with a federal appeals court asking for Tom Brady’s case to be reheard by a panel of judges. In April, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL in the Deflate-gate case, effectively reinstating the New England Patriots quarterback’s original four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

So now you know…

 

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#SportBits… Monday Recap … #jumpin

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Hello #SportBits reader! Thanks for stopping by. It tells me you DO want to know a little bit of what’s happening in the world of sports…for whatever reason. Now if you would just leave me some comments below, I could fine-tune this bad boy to make #SportBits even more enjoyable for YOU! #jumpin

It was a beautiful weekend here is Southern California…one of those weekends where it was really hard to be inside watching sports. But for you loyal readers, I made sure to catch the noteworthy contests.

First up in Maryland, we had the running of the 141st Preakness. After a decisive win at the Kentucky Derby, undefeated Nyquist hoped to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. It was a day of rain and fog, which many felt favored Nyquist’s main competitor, Exaggerator. Jockey Kent Desormeaux ran a beautiful race and guided Exaggerator to a 3-½-length victory over Cherry Wine on the sloppy track. Nyquist finished third. If you missed it, you will get a chance to watch these two compete again in three weeks at the Belmont Stakes. It will be their 6th time running against each other, with Nyquist up 4-1. #rivalry

At the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in Irving Texas, Spaniard Sergio Garcia made par on the first playoff hole on Sunday to beat Brooks Koepka for his ninth career PGA Tour victory, matching the late Seve Ballesteros for the most by a Spanish-born player. #vamonos

The 2016 French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, kicked off at Roland Garros stadium this week. Sunday started with cloudy and soggy conditions, forcing play to stop. Rain continued to fall today/Monday, causing additional delays after only 10 of 32 scheduled matches were completed on Sunday. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that plays on a clay court, and so weather conditions can have a huge impact. This year, top seed Serena Williams will be playing for her 4th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf. Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic will be playing for the only Grand Slam title missing from his impressive résumé. Check in HERE for scores and match schedules. And for more French Open analysis, see my article on HerDaily. #crosspromotion

The NBA playoffs continue. In the east, the Toronto Raptors won Game 3 at home on Friday, 99-84. Cleveland leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in Toronto, 8:30pm ET on ESPN.

In the West, the OKC Thunder clobbered the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, 133-105. The Thunder leads the series 2-1. Game 4 at OKC, Tuesday, 9pm ET on TNT.

ICYMI: the NBA lottery took place last week and the Philadelphia 76ers won first pick. The LA Lakers got second and the Boston Celtics took third. The draft is June 23rd in New York, with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram considered the top two picks.

The WNBA season is just underway, and the league is getting great PR from some of their NBA counterparts. Golden State Warrior Draymond Green said last week: “In the NBA there’s always a guy who is only around because he can jump. He doesn’t have a clue about the fundamentals. I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake.” And when Clipper star Blake Griffin guested on Broad City last month, he said the WNBA was, “So good. I literally steal moves from them all the time.” He then went on to say, “Some of the moves they do, I can’t even — like — I can’t even think of in my head. It’s just like the best version of basketball there is.”

The WNBA is where it’s at, people. Check it out. Here is a great place to start.

The NHL playoffs continue with the Western Conference series tied at 2 after a strong performance by the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Saturday. Game 5 v. the San Jose Sharks is tonight, in St. Louis, at 8pm ET on NBCSN.

In the #ECF, the Tampa Bay Lightning staged comebacks scoring two tying goals, the second of which forced overtime with 3:16 to go in regulation in what became a 4-3 overtime victory over the Penguins in Game 5. They lead the series 3-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and can advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win in Game 6, Tuesday night in Tampa Bay.

In MLB news… a few interesting rule changes are in the works. At the owners meeting last week, the Competition Committee approved a change in the strike zone, which now starts below the knee. The change move the zone to the top of the hitter’s knee. Also, if a pitcher wants to walk a batter, he will soon be able to signal the umpire instead of having to throw the old-fashioned 4 pitches to a standing catcher. Both these changes could go into effect next season and are meant to pick up the pace of the game, which is a priority for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

A crappy thing happened at Petco Park on Saturday night, and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus is calling for an investigation. A mix-up occurred at the Padres v. Dodgers game, when a recording of a woman’s voice was played over 100 male chorus members who had taken the field to perform the national anthem. No attempt to stop the recording or usher the singers off the field was made, so the chorus stood there looking embarrassed and humiliated. Donald Trump Fans were heard yelling, “you sing like a girl” as they walked off afterwards. Padre officials said it was a mistake and have fired the person responsible for the error. I hope it was a mistake because that sh*t ain’t cool.

Here is a link to all the scores and current team standings.

In college sports, there are a bunch of tournaments happening, but I’m going focus on lacrosse and softball this week.

In the women’s lacrosse, the tournament final four is set: #1 Maryland will play #4 Syracuse, and #3 North Carolina takes on Penn State in the semifinals on Friday. The championship game will be 12pm ET on Sunday.

On the men’s side: #1 Maryland plays #5 Brown, and North Carolina takes on #7 Loyola (Md) on Saturday, with the championship game on Monday. College lax is fast past, exciting to watch and becoming more and more popular by the day. You should try and catch some if you get chance. Most games are televised on the ESPN networks.

In women’s softball, the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is the final portion of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. The tournament format consists of two four-team double-elimination brackets. The winners of each bracket then compete in a best-of-three series to determine the Division I WCWS National Champion.  The top 4 seeds this year are: Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Auburn. Teams are currently competing in the best-of-three Regional Series. Check here for teams, scores and schedules.

In other news…

Our old pal Johnny Manziel is in the news again. On Friday, Manziel got kicked out of a Las Vegas club for punching a patron in the face at an impromptu Drake concert. Now there is word the NFL is investigating the Cleveland QB’s role in a car crash that happened on the Sunset Strip last month. Manziel was a passenger in the rental car which was heavily damaged. The owner now claims Manziel refuses to pay for repairs – and he is PO’d. TMZ reports the car crash probe is part of a “larger Manziel investigation, which is ongoing.” #staytuned

Today is the deadline for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to appeal his deflate-gate case, and it’s looking like he is going to proceed. Lord have mercy, when will it end? I’m tired of it…You can read more about it here.

Ugh. According to documents obtained by ESPN’s Outside The Lines, a new congressional report is out implying that the NFL sought to “improperly influence” a major government study on connections between football and brain disease. The report says the NFL gave the National Institutes of Health a $30 million unrestricted gift in 2012, but later sought to pull $16 million in funding from that gift away from one researcher, and reroute it to researchers working on the league’s own brain injury committee. When the NIH declined to redirect the funding, the NFL “balked at paying for the study, despite having signed documents it would do so.” Taxpayers were then on the hook to pay for the study. Not cool NFL…not cool at all. The brain injury study begins next week in Boston.

The Olympic doping scandal continues. Over the weekend, Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva accused anti-doping and Olympic bosses of discrimination against Russia and violating her human rights. Russia’s athletics team has been suspended from international competition since November, after the publication of an independent report into systemic doping in Russian athletics. A decision on whether to lift that ban in time for Rio will be made by the International Association of Athletics Federations on June 17.

L A S T L Y…. and let’s see if you made it to the end of this VERY long article… I want you to check out this video from last nights #OKCvGSW game and tell me if you think the kick in the crotch by Draymond Green on Steven Adams was intentional. He was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul which is being reviewed today. Opinions are falling on both sides. I have no question what I think. What do YOU think? #owie

Alrighty then…that’s it for #SportBits. Thanks for stopping by. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news and scores and just plain fun.

 

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#SportBits….#QuickChat with Phil Jackson

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Hello #SportBits readers! How are you handling the #madness? It certainly was a great weekend of college basketball- both men and women’s. Bummed I have to wait until Thursday before it starts up again. We’ll get to the scores and highlights in a minute. But first, I want to pass along some interesting information and insight I got from NY Knick president and former Laker and Bulls coach, Phil Jackson. That’s him in the cover photo. It was the only shot where he’s smiling, so I had to use it! He came into the vintage watch store I work at with a couple beautiful timepieces to be repaired – one was a gift from Jerry Buss, given to him when he was kicked out of a game for defending Kobe. Naturally, I took the opportunity to chat him up. His son Charlie was with him, and it was fun quizzing them both on some #SportBits topics.

We started out with a little tourney talk and it turns out that, like me, they both have Kansas winning it all. #greatminds

Next came a quick question on the state of the Knicks head coaching position. Former Laker and Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was let go in February, and veteran assistant (and former Laker) Kurt Rambis was named interim coach. According to an ESPN.com article, Jackson took some blame for Fisher’s performance. He said he could have done a better job mentoring him. I asked PJ (that’s what Charlie calls him) if Rambis was his permanent pick, and if there was any truth to the rumors he might step back into the coaching arena and coach some Knick home games? “At this point, I haven’t made any decisions,” Jackson said. The Knicks are 5-11 under Rambis and near the bottom of the Eastern division. I mentioned my theory on Kobe’s coaching aspirations, as it seems he’s doing a lot it from the bench this season. I jokingly suggested to Phil he might want to hire him for the job. He smiled and said, “No comment.”

Next was my standard question on concussions in sports. I asked Coach if he knew then, what we know now, would Charlie be able to play football as a kid? He looked at Charlie and said, “Well, ask him about that.” Charlie told me he was NOT allowed to play football growing up. “My mom saw too many injuries in the game and didn’t want us getting hurt,” Charlie said. “We weren’t allowed to play.” I asked him if he was bitter about that and he responded, “Not at all. I’ve got two young boys and I’m not sure what I’ll do when they get old enough to play. Hopefully, they will have figured out proper safety measures by then.”

The last topic I touched on was the Adam LaRoche controversy. If you haven’t heard, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche retired from baseball last week because the team president asked him to “dial back” his son’s time in the clubhouse and on the field. LaRoche walked away from $13 million dollars remaining in his contract to put #familyfirst. Charlie Jackson answered this one too. He explained that growing up in Chicago while his dad coached the Bulls, and here in Los Angeles with the Lakers, he was rarely allowed in the locker room. “Kids and wives were not on the team planes or in the same hotels even. That’s not the atmosphere Dad wanted. It was business. But I think things are a little different now. It’s a different generation.” Phil agreed. “I’ve got to think there is some kind of compromise here,” Charlie said. I agreed with them both. Surely, there must be a better way to work this one out. Lots of support coming on both sides of the issue, and I’m hoping there can be an amicable resolution before the boycotts begin. The whole thing is ridiculous if you ask me. Kids in the workplace…yes or no?

That was all the time I had with Phil. I was surprised he let me snap a picture (photocred: Charlie). I thanked him and asked permission to post. I then told him it was his friend Jeannie Buss who I REALLY wanted to interview, and asked him to put in a good word. #workit

On to the #madness… It was a fun weekend of hoops filled with some wicked upsets and bracket busters (HELLO Middle Tennessee State (men’s side),  U of Albany in the women’s); a phenomenal half court buzzer beater, tip-ins and those Cinderella teams no one expected to advance. So much happened over the four days, it’s just too much to cover here. If you want to get all the details, check this article. Here are a few of my take-aways from the men’s side:
• The Sweet 16 round is made up teams mostly from the power conferences. Other than Gonzaga, the mid-majors melted away.
• The biggest upset of the weekend had to be No. 2 seed Michigan State falling to Middle Tennessee State in the first round. It killed my bracket.
• The ACC conference is the big winner with 6 teams heading to the Sweet 16.
• There are zero African American coaches in the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row. #S16sowhite

Here is a look at the bracket going in to the second weekend. How have your teams done?

In the women’s tournament, the two big stories are Syracuse advancing to its first Sweet 16 in program history, and powerhouse Tennesee advancing after a hugely disappointing regular season. Other teams moving on: No. 5 Mississippi State, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State. Check here for the full bracket. If you haven’t watched any of the women’s games, you should check them out. They are just as entertaining and exciting as the men’s games.

In the NBA there were a few noteworthy games over the weekend.

LeBron and the Cavaliers were pummeled by Dwayne Wade and the Heat on Saturday, 122-101. Down 20 at the half, the Cavs fell behind by as much as 30 in the 3rd quarter. Let’s keep an eye on LeBron’s twitter and instagram feeds this week to see if he’s posts anymore cryptic messages. His latest instagram had everyone in a tizzy once again.

San Antonio held Steph Curry to 14 points and defeated the Golden State Warriors 87-79 to stay perfect at home this season.

One night after dominating the 76ers in Philadelphia, the OKC Thunder were back in action on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers and came out with a 115-111 win. Kevin Durant had 33 points while Russell Westbrook put in14. Paul George of the Pacers had 45 in the losing effort.

In what could be a first round matchup in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers came up short against the Grizzlies 113-103 in Memphis. Former Clipper Zack Randolph has his way with his former team, scoring a triple double (28pts/11 rebounds/10 assists). On Sunday, the Clippers fell 109-105 to the New Orlean Pelicans. It’s panic time in Clipperland.

Check here for all NBA scores.

NHL News:

Last Monday, the NFL made news when the league’s vice president of health and safety, Jeff Miller, acknowledged a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NHL did NOT follow suit however. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said:

“Well, first of all, I don’t feel that it’s either necessary or appropriate for me to comment on what the NFL says or does,” Bettman said. “Secondly, I think it’s fairly clear that playing hockey isn’t the same as football. And as we’ve said all along, we’re not going to get into a public debate on this.”

Good luck with that Mr. Commissioner. Currently, over 100 NHL players are involved in lawsuits claiming the league did not do enough to educate or protect them from the long-tem effects of concussions. The League says players could have done research and figured out the connection on their own. #whatheWHAT? Looks like a resolution is nowhere in sight.

Last week, the League leading Washington Capitols became the first team to clinch a playoff sport with their overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. On Sunday, they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins who extended their win streak to 6.

On Saturday, LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick helped his team win its fourth in a row and clinch a playoff berth in the West. They beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 at the Staples Center.

Anaheim Ducks beat the Winnipeg Jets in OT.

Check here for all NHL scores.

In college hockey, the 16 teams were announced on Sunday for the Division-1 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament. If you’ve never watched college hockey, you should check it out. It’s very fast paced and exciting. Here is a look at the bracket. Games start March 25th with the Frozen Four meeting in Tampa on April 7th. Championship game is April 9th, 8pm ET on ESPN.

On the women’s side, Boston College was attempting to cap off only the second undefeated season in NCAA history against the Minnesota Gophers in the championship game on Sunday. The Gophers came up with the upset winning 3-1 in Durham, NH.

In tennis, the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells came to a close, but not without some major controversy. Event CEO Raymond Moore spoke at a press conference before the women’s final on Sunday, and made some remarks that we’re outright sexist. Moore claimed that both the Women’s Tennis Association and its players ride on the coattails of men, used the term “lady player,” and commented on the physical attractiveness of a couple of the tour’s best young athletes. He quickly tweeted a hasty apology but I’m thinking his days are numbered.

Meanwhile, in the women’s final, No. 13 seed Victoria Azarenka dominated the early stages of the match before holding off a second-set fightback to defeat Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 . Serena commented on the controversy after the match and she didn’t mince words.

On the men’s side Novak Djokovic dominated Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0 to cliam his 5th Indian Wells title. After the match he added to the controversy by stating men should be given more prize money because they bring in more TV viewers. Guess Novak was unaware that at last years US Open, the women’s final sold out before the men’s. #Joker

I’m going to end with my #HOLYCRAP moment of the week. F1 racecar driver Fernando Alonso should definitely play the lottery after walking away from this one. Check it out.

That’s it for #SportBits. I’ll be following the Knick head coaching story closely because something tells me this decision is going to make or break Phil Jackson’s tenure with the team. And hey, if you’re ever down in the South Bay, stop by MB Watch Repair and Vintage Watches. We’re always talking food, sports and of course, classic watches! Follow me on social media for more news and updates. See you back here next Monday. #out

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