Equal Playing Field: The Altitude Football Project

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In just a few days, 30 women from 25 countries will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to break the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude FIFA-regulation football/soccer game ever played, to call for equality, opportunity, and respect for women in sport.

In today’s society, women’s sports remains under-represented in science studies, media coverage, participation, and leadership positions. Female athletes and sports team continue to be under-supported and under-valued. The Equal Playing Field’s (EPF) Altitude Football Project hopes to raise awareness for not only equality in sports, but to “challenge the social norms for girls and women in sport” and acknowledge “the systematic, structured inequality that girls and women face in most aspects of their lives.”

The climb, expected to last seven to ten days, will involve women scaling nearly 6,000 meters (19,330 feet) of Africa’s highest mountain. According to CNN, after reaching the summit they will descend to 18,799 feet and play a 90-minute, 11-a-side match on a volcanic ash pitch at an altitude not attempted before.

The footballers, ranging in age from 18 to 66 years old and representing 20 nationalities, include retired US international Lori Lindsey, former England midfielder Rachel Unitt, ex-Germany international Petra Landers and former Mexico captain Monica Gonzalez.

The fight for women’s equality is not a new topic in sports.  In April, the US women’s national soccer team ended a long-running dispute over pay and conditions by agreeing a new deal with US Soccer, the country’s governing body. US women’s hockey threatened to boycott the world championships before agreeing a pay deal just three days before the start of the tournament, while a tennis tournament director was forced to resign in March after saying female players “ride on the coattails of the men.”

Equal Playing Field’s co-founder, Laura Youngson, believes in the power of sports. “Sport brings friendships and community, commitment and leadership, and strength and health. No girl should miss out on those benefits because of her gender.”

I agree completely, but am amazed at the lengths we must continue to go to in order to close the gender gap in sports.

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Good morning…here’s some sports news for you. Take it => use it => impress someone with your knowledge. Why the hell not?

SOCCER:

#Brexit Part Two: In a shocking upset, England lost to Iceland, 2-1, in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament yesterday. Right after the loss, Roy Hodgeson pulled a Lionel Messi and resigned as team manager. English fans lost their minds, the Iceland announcer almost lost his voice, and the country once again lost all that they thought was right and just in the world.

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Not quite as dramatic, but almost as impressive, was Italy’s defeat over two-time defending champion Spain in the round-of-16. Does this mean the end of Spain’s reign (mainly in the plain)? Who knows. There is so much soccer going on right now, I’m just trying to stay afloat here, people. Spain’s manager Vicente de Bosque doesn’t think so, however.

BASKETBALL:

Legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt died this morning. She was 64 years old. Summitt, who built the Lady Vols into a major powerhouse, was the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball. She passed away after battling early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s type,” according to a statement from the Pat Summitt foundation.

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The #USABMT was “officially” announced yesterday…but the roster had been leaked and it was all kinda anticlimactic.

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FOOTBALL:  (not soccer)

Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison agreed yesterday to sit down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the league’s investigation into performance-enhancing drugs among it’s players  (mainly himself) –  but only on his terms. This is the instagram he sent out:

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Harrison was implicated (along with Peyton Manning) in an Al-Jazeera report back in December, but has refused to meet with the league to discuss the allegations, until now. In the meantime, he seems to be enjoying taking shots at Goodell and the NFL on Twitter.

Former NFL coach and defensive wizard Buddy Ryan died this morning. He was 82yrs old. Ryan coached in the NFL for 35 seasons, and was known for building some of football’s top defenses.

The attorney who inadvertently sent a text message to The Associated Press expressing doubt about whether Johnny Manziel could stay clean has withdrawn from representing Manziel in his domestic violence case. Manziel, 23, is accused of hitting and threatening his former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, during a night out in January. He is facing a misdemeanor assault charge that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

BASEBALL:

#STUDALERT: Chicago Cubs third-baseman Kris Bryant hit 3 home runs in an 11-8 win over the Reds on Monday night, supplanting Ernie Banks as the youngest in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Bryant, 24, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles and six RBIs, is 10 days younger than Banks was when he hit three homers in 1955.

Thor lost yesterday…. first time in over a month.

The Yankees and Stub Hub have ended their feud over the team’s elimination of the print-at-home service, with a $100million dollar deal that benefits…. well, you decide.

Yesterday’s MLB scores…here.

CWS: JC Cloney pitched a four-hitter for Arizona and the Wildcats beat Coastal Carolina 3-0 in Game 1 of the College World Series. Game two is tonight.

TENNIS:

The first round continues on day two of Wimbledon and there have been no major upsets thus far…unless you’re upset that the eventual Champions may lose $400,000 because of #Brexit.

Wimbledon scores and highlight…here.

That’s it for now, folks. Check in with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news throughout the day. #ttyt

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Monday

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Hello #SportBits readers! I’m back after a week away. Did you even notice? Oy. Don’t answer that.  I took the kids east for their summer camp jobs in the glorious Adirondack Mountains. We even managed to squeeze in a Dead and Company show. #familytime . Did you miss me? I feel like so much has happened since we last spoke…HELLO NBA CHAMPIONS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS! I’m happy to be writing my daily reports again, so let’s just dive right in.

SOCCER:

I’ll be on the east coast for a bit, and dealing with the time change is a TOTAL DRAG for watching my games. Last night I had to stay up until ALMOST 11PM to watch the end of the Copa America championship game! But it was worth it…unless you’re a Lionel Messi fan. His Argentinian team fell short for a second year in a row to Chile in overtime penalty kicks. Messi himself missed a PK (first time EVER according to the broadcast), and was so devastated by the loss, he announced his retirement from international play shortly thereafter. It was painful to watch.

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Lionel Messi trying to figure out how it all happened.

In a rematch of the tourney opener, the #USMNT once again fell short against Columbia, 1-0, who ended up with the bronze medal. Who wants third place anyway?

BASEBALL news:

Well, this isn’t earth shattering news, but it always amazes me when some dumbass fan runs out onto the field for his/her 15seconds of fame. So here is said dumbass fan, running out onto the field during a Cardinals v. Mariners game. I say, if you’re going to run out in the MIDDLE OF THE PLAY, at least try and catch the ball. #doofus

Albert Pujols hit career homer #574 last night, passing Harmon Killebrew on the all-time list, and is nine away from tying Mark McGwire.

The NY Mets signed former star shortstop Jose Reyes, a move that has left many scratching their heads. First off, Reyes is not the player he was when he left the team in 2011. But even more controversial is that Reyes was arrested for domestic violence charges after he allegedly assaulted his wife in Hawaii last October. He was suspended during legal proceedings, but reinstated after his wife refused to cooperate and charges were dropped. Apparently the suspension was enough under the MLB policy. Dude got big cheers from fans, kids included, when he made his first at-bat yesterday, which just feels WRONG.

Here are yesterday’s scores

The best-of-three-games College World Series finals begin tonight (7 ET on ESPN), with the Arizona Wildcats (48-22) taking on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (53-17) at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha (cue Peyton Manning).

TENNIS:

Wimbledon begins today and here’s all you need to know about that!

The NBA season may be over (and what a finish it was!!) but the basketball news doesn’t stop there. Unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant has chosen his list of teams by whom he’d like to be courted: OKC, Golden State, San Antonio, Boston, Miami, and the Clippers – corsages not mandatory. Of course his current OKC team is a-hoping and a-praying he signs a 2year deal with an opt-out, but if he’s focusing on that ring (he’s not getting any younger!) I don’t see that happening. I see a move to the Bay Area and GSW, which would TOTALLY suck for my Lakers. #sadface

The Olympic roster for the USA men’s team was announced yesterday:

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There are some notables missing, Steph, LeBron, Russell, Blake, to name a few, but it’s still an impressive group.

In other Olympic news, swimmer Ryan Lochte was denied a chance to defend his Olympic title in Rio in the 400-meter individual medley when he finished third behind a pair of college teammates who raced right by him on the closing laps. The 11-time Olympic medalist looked slow in the pool and was apparently hindered by a groin injury sustained in the morning prelims. It’s called #FatherTime my friend …and it’s a bitch.

Last week the World Anti Doping Agency suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories.  The suspension, which took effect on June 22nd, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples. It may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.

39 days until the games begin.

That’s it for now. I’m dealing with some spotty wifi here folks.  I’m hoping to get my sh*t together and post a bit earlier in the AM. But with the kids gone, that extra hour (or two) of sleep is soooo tempting. Have a good day. #ttyt

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA:

GET READY FOR GAME 6 OF THE NBA FINALS!! The Cavs are trailing 3-2, so if they lose tonight in Cleveland, it’s ova! Draymond Green will be back in the lineup for the Warriors, but big man Andrew Bogut, is out. An MRI revealed that Bogut has multiple bone bruises in his knee and will be out six to eight weeks. The injury will not require surgery. His shot blocking ability will be definitely be missed.

To quote #POTUS, there has been a lot of “yapping” between these teams…with wives getting into the mix…and emotions are high. It’s going to be an exciting game. And what makes it even better…YES BETTER…is ESPN’s announcement yesterday that longtime TNT announcer, Craig Sager, known for his outrageous suit ensembles, will be the sideline announcer. Sager, currently battling an aggressive form of Leukemia, has never worked the Finals. Classy move by ESPN. Can’t wait to see what he wears tonight! #NBAFashion

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photocred: The Lead Sports

 

MLB:

Old man Ichiro Suzuki broke Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 after a double during the Miami Marlins’ game against the San Diego Padres yesterday, but Rose said he wasn’t counting Ichiro’s hits in Japan. The Miami Marlins outfielder has a career total of 4,257 hits – 2,979 in MLB and 1,278 in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. God love Pete Rose…. he’s always got something to say…but does he maybe have a point??

 “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro — he’s had a Hall of Fame career — but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high school hits.” ~ Pete Rose

 Here are yesterday’s MLB scores, news and highlights.

TENNIS:

Five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova can’t play tennis for 2 years because she took a drug called meldonium, which was banned starting in 2016. She has officially appealed the decision seeking to wipe out or reduce the ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation. Fellow tennis player and Head racquet client, Andy Murray, thinks the ban is progress in the battle against doping, and that Sharapova should have know about the ban.

“I don’t really see that as being a valid excuse. If you’re taking any medication, it’s your responsibility as the athlete to check and make sure what you’re taking is legal…if you’re taking medication, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t know whether it’s on the banned list or not.” ~ Andy Murray

SOCCER:

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Copa America continues!  The #USMNT take on Ecuador tonight in the quarterfinals. And here are yesterday’s results.

European Championships results are here.

GOLF:

The 116th U.S. Open begins today from Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. 156 of the greatest golfers in the world will compete for the United States’ biggest prize in golf. Settle in folks…we’ve got 4 days of great competition ahead, from a course that many say is probably one of the hardest courses played. I’m #TeamRickie all the way…who do you want?

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

 

 

 

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#SportbitsDaily … Wednesday

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NHL:

The NHL has settled on Las Vegas as it’s choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with the $500 million fee. They’re calling them the Black Knights (love it!!) …and they’ll make their debut (most likely) in 2017. Next to Vegas…the Oakland Raiders!

SOCCER:

Copa America continues…here are yesterday’s results.

UEFA Euro results….here.

Team Russia was handed a suspended disqualification yesterday, and a fine of $168,000 for the actions of Russian fans following a 1-1 draw in a game against England in Marseille. Should more violence occur in the stadium, Russia will automatically be disqualified from Euro 2016. Put down your beer and chairs people, and just watch the match fahcrissakes.

NFL:

A lawsuit launched by a group of Patriots fans against the National Football League regarding the handling of the “Deflategate” investigation was dismissed by a federal judge. Major props for trying though..

MLB:

MLB scores and highlights…here.

The NCAA College World Series tournament is set…here is your lineup, game times and TV schedule.

ICYMI:

The 2016 Rio Olympics medals were unveiled yesterday….hmmmmm. #jurysout

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Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

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#SportBits … Weekend Recap

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It is with a heavy heart I write my recap today, after the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida. These tragic and senseless shootings continue to happen at an alarming rate. It’s sad, confusing, and maddening that we cannot figure out a way to battle this epidemic. Watching sports is a way for me to step out of the insanity for a little while. I’m reminded that these games are just that…GAMES…and they offer joy and reprieve during times where joy is hard to find…and I am thankful for that. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families today.

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NBA:

The Golden State Warriors are 1 game away from winning their second consecutive NBA title. The can take it tonight at home – but they’ll have to do it without forward Draymond Green. Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul and suspended for 1 game for what the NBA said was a “retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” of LeBron James on Friday. The flagrant 1 gave Green his fourth flagrant foul point of the playoffs, which carries an automatic suspension. He will be allowed to participate in postgame celebrations if the Warriors win (they will). Draymond has been caught swiping the groinage before…kinda weird.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden have removed their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s 2016 Rio Olympics team. They are the latest star athletes to opt out of the games this summer. While neither mentioned the Zika virus as the reason – that’s the reason. I don’t care what anyone says.

The LA Lakers announced that Magic Johnson is no longer a ceremonial (i.e. non paid) Vice President of the organization. Why? Because he’s often critical of the team on social media – sounding somewhat teenagery at times – and the Lakers want all to know that “his opinions, comments and social media posts are solely his, and do not represent or reflect those of Lakers ownership of management. Hopefully this will eliminate any confusion over this issue in the future.”

This was one of my favs:

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#teenagery

NHL:

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup with a 3-1 Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks. This is their 4th title in franchise history. Team Captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

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Gordy Howe, the Hall of Fame forward, also known as “Mr. Hockey” died on Friday. He was 88 yrs. old. Howe scored 975 goals in 2,186 games for four teams in two leagues—during a professional career that spanned 32 seasons from 1946 to 1980. In his final season, he scored 15 goals in 80 games for the Hartford Whalers.

MLB:

The 2016 MLB draft is over…. and here is what should know about that.

Here are the weekend scores and highlights.

In a TOTALLY DRAMATIC FINISH, UC Santa Barbara stunned Louisville with a walk-off home run to earn their first trip to the College World Series. FYI: Louisville was 47-0 this season when leading after 8 innings…and the FRESHMAN pinch hitter (Sam Cohen) had hit only 1 home run all year. I LOVE SPORTS!!!!

 

USCB will be playing Coastal Carolina, who clinched its first-ever trip to the College World Series Sunday night as the Chanticleers were able to earn a walk-off win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Can’t wait for the CWS – and here is what you need to know about it.

 

HORSE RACING:

There was no Triple Crown on the line; but the finish was still dramatic at the $1.5million Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Three-year-old gray colt, Creator, closed the race with a mad rush and caught Destin at the wire in the photo finish. Heavily favored Preakness winner Exaggerator wound up in 11th place. Creator co-owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay is certainly cooking up celebratory feast for friends today.

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SOCCER/FOOTBALL:

Big sigh of relief for the #USMNT. After a 2-0 loss in their opener v Colombia, a 4-0 rout of Costa Rica put them back on track. On Saturday, the USA team beat Paraguay 1-0 on a Cliff Dempsey goal, which puts them in the Copa America quarterfinals.

#DUMBASSfanalert: English and Russian soccer fans hurled bottles and chairs, clashing with each other and French riot police in Marseille on Saturday ahead of their teams’ opening Euro 2016 match. One person suffered a heart attack while another England fan was knocked unconscious. There were also clashes in the stadium following England’s 1-1 draw with Russia, after Russia fans appeared to rush at England supporters. My suggestion would be to move the 9pm start to earlier in the day…leaving less time for fans to get hammered and act like IDIOTS before, during and after the game. #forfucksake

GOLF:

Canada’s Brooke Henderson claimed her first major title yesterday, beating world number one Lydia Ko in a sudden-death play-off at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

 

That’s its for now folks… enjoy the game tonight (9pm ET on ABC)…lots of drama surrounding it…should be a great one. Follow me on social media, HerDaily.com and right back here for daily sports news, scores and highlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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Fifteen thousand people are expected to attend an interfaith service that will be held at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m. today for boxing great Muhammad Ali. Former President Bill ClintonBilly CrystalBryant Gumbel, and Ali’s wife, Lonnie, will give eulogies. Also expected to speak is Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. The service is open to the public.

NHL:

After wild first period goal-fest in Game 5 in the #StanleyCupFinals, the San Jose Sharks held on to win in Pittsburgh, 4-2, to force a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday.

Hockey legend Gordie Howe died this morning, the Detroit Red Wings have confirmed. He was 88. The Hall of Famer played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. He retired from hockey for good when he was 52.

NBA:

After winning Game 3 on Wednesday by 30 pts. without Kevin Love, a game which they were going to win NO MATTER WHAT, word has it the Cavaliers are wondering if they even need the injured star forward in the lineup for Game 4, tonight. He’s got to pass the concussion test before he’s cleared, which will probably be something like riding a unicycle while explaining the Theory of Relativity. …in Mandarin.

MLB:

The Philadelphia Phillies had the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft yesterday and took this guy. Here is more draft news from Day 1.

Manny Muchado was suspended 4 games for taking a swing and a miss at pitcher Yordano Ventura , who got 9 games for nailing Muchado with a fastball.

NFL:

Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Von Miller could sit out the entire 2016 season. His contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos have hit a snag over what part of the 6yr, $114million will be guaranteed.

#RIPdabbing … Cam Newton announced yesterday the dab is done. We can all go back to living our lives now.

TENNIS:

Rafa Nadal will skip Wimbledon this year because of his recurring wrist injury.

Finally…

Loving the spirit of 7 yr old cancer survivor and Cub fan Beckham Zobrist. Retinoblastoma took his eye, but it couldn’t take his Cub spirit. Check out his prosthetic:

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Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA:

Big sigh of relief… The Cleveland Cavaliers found their shooting arm, LeBron scored 32, and the Cavs walloped the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night. From the start of the game the Cavs dominated, building a 20pt lead in the first quarter. Steph Curry had another off-night with 19pts and 6 turnovers. I just want a flippin’ game where both teams are playing well…this series has been a snoozefest. Through 3 games, the average margin of victory is 26pts. #dramafree

TENNIS:

Five time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova was suspended two years by the International Tennis Federation on Wednesday for doping, a ban she called “unfairly harsh.” She plans to appeal. In a statement on her Facebook page Sharapova said:

 “While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

A two-year ban, when everyone seems to agree that Sharapova didn’t know the substance, Meldonium, had been banned, seems a little harsh. Nike agrees…and they are sticking with her. Porsche is awaiting the appeal decision. Tag Heuer cut ties but MAY work with her again, and Avon said “see ya – wouldn’t want to be ya.”

MLB:

The MLB Draft starts tonight…is 40 rounds.. and lasts for of 3 days. You can watch on MLB Network and MLB.com. #yawn

A day after Yordano Ventura zinged a 99mph fastball at Manny Muchado – causing a bench-clearing brawl – the Kansas City Royals are reportedly reaching out to other teams to trade the controversial pitcher. Apparently Ventura’s attitude and immaturity seem to be the catalyst for the trade talk..that, and the series of on-field altercations he’s created over the last couple of season by hitting opposing batters. #thehell

Snoop Dogg threw out the first pitch at the Padre game yesterday. God love him…

 

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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COPA AMERICA:

In a make-or-break game for the #USMNT last night, Cliff Dempsey had a goal and two assists, and the U.S. rebounded from its opening loss with a convincing 4-0 victory over Costa Rica. The Americans are now in a position to advance to the knockout stage when playing Paraguay in its group finale on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

NBA:

Speaking of make-or-break games….the Cleveland Cavaliers MUST win Game 3 at home tonight. No team in history has come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals. Good news  for Cavs fans: the team is 7-0 at home this playoff season.

Hours after interviewing for an assistant-coaching job with the New York Knicks on Tuesday, former NBA center Sean Rooks  collapsed and died in a Philadelphia restaurant. Rooks had a 12-year NBA career, including stops with the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, New Orleans and Orlando Magic. He had been a player-development coach for the past two years with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Score one for #TeamNike. Projected No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Ben Simmons announced Tuesday that he has signed an endorsement deal with the company…why? Well, Simmons hired agent Rich Paul, who is a longtime friend of, and now agent for, LeBron James => #NikeGod ..and every shoe deal Paul has negotiated for his clients has been with Nike.

GOLF:

Tiger Woods announced yesterday he would miss the US Open and the Quicken Loan Invitational due to his continuing rehab on his surgically repaired back. The 14-time major champion hasn’t played a competitive round on the PGA Tour since finishing in a tie for 10th in the Wyndham Championship last August. I’m thinking that just like the Bernie Sander campaign – it might be time for Tiger to throw in the towel – and start designing courses.

NFL:

Rookie Mistakes: (paging D’Angelo Russell)… Minnesota Vikings’ top draft pick Laquon Treadwell is feeling the wrath of his new fan base. Dude was snapped wearing an Oakland Raiders hat, and when that pic hit snapchat? Ooooooh, fans let him have it. I get it…. cause I’ll tell you right now, if some #Cuse freshman showed up on campus wearing a Duke hat? #doneski

abda0723cbf91f87f2e4310a90e1659f.jpgLaquon Treadwell

The NFL twitter account was hacked and the culprits falsely tweeted out that ‘ding dong the commissioners dead’.  Roger Goodell took it all in stride, tweeting out his own response. We can’t get rid of him that easily folks.

The drama filled off-season for the SuperBowl champs continues…The NFL said yesterday they are investigating a shooting incident involving Bronco Aqib Talib. What we know for sure is Talib must have had quite a buzz going early Sunday morning when he to accidentally shot himself in the leg. What is unclear is whether it happened at a park while he was hanging with some friends, as he told police – OR – if it happened at a nightclub where an unknown suspect shot two people in a disturbance around the same time. Does Talib actually have a permit to carry a gun? Will he de disciplined by the team? Dunno…but the NFL is investigating it all.

MLB:

I mean really…no one likes getting hit by a 99 MPH fastball… Baltimore Royals starter Yordano Ventura hit Orioles shortstop Manny Machado with a wicked pitch.. and a big ole bench clearing brawl ensued. Both guys were ejected.

 

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

 

 

 

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#SportBits … Memorial Day

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Happy Memorial Day #SportBits readers! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Today I am very thankful for all the women and men in the military who bravely serve this country. Their commitment affords my kids and me the freedoms we experience every day – and often take for granted. Thank you.

You know what else I’m thankful for? Sports! Following my teams and chatting about it on Twitter, at work, or with my family is fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a great museum, or hitting up that killer Memorial Day Sale at Nordstrom’s, but knowing that I get to watch Game 7 tonight between #OKC and #GSW really makes my day. What about you? What’s making YOUR Memorial Day?

There were so many games, tournaments, and races to keep up with this weekend…I gave it my best-shot people….here we go.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final is set. The Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the San Jose Sharks for the coveted trophy. The Sharks are in the finals for the first time in franchise history, while Sidney Crosby and the Penguins return for a 5th time. Game 1 is TONIGHT in Pittsburgh (8pm ET. on NBC) . There are many interesting storylines in this one…but I’m just excited to watch the fast and frantic pace that is expected in this series, along with the playoff beards that just keep-a-growin’.

NBA: Thank goodness for the Sharks because the Golden State Warriors have put the #NoCal fans in a tizzy. Over the weekend, the Warriors went to #OKC facing elimination in Game 6, and came out with an improbable win. Only 9 times in NBA history has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit. We’ll see if the Warriors can do it TONIGHT in Oakland for Game 7. Watch this game folks (9pm ET. TNT) – or if you have $29,000 – you can get a floor seat. If it’s anything like the last one, it might just be worth it!

Waiting in the wings from the East Conference is #KingJames and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having beaten the Toronto Raptors in 6 games, the Cavs are hoping to bring the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Cleveland, where no professional sports team has won a championship in nearly 52 years. #Ouch. James is back to the NBA Finals for a record 6th straight time. THAT’S impressive…but it won’t mean squat if he doesn’t win the title. Finals begin Thursday.

MLB: It was a great weekend for me because I was able to watch 2 Dodgers games on TV. Don’t get me started on the Dodger/TimeWarnerCable BS that we are STILL experiencing out here in Los Angeles. Just … don’t.

The Dodgers traveled to New York to take on the World Series runner-up NY Mets, and this rivalry is officially ON. It began with the Mets accusing the Dodgers of cheating with lasers. The Mets contacted Major League Baseball about the possibility of the Dodgers using lasers to gain an unfair advantage in their defensive positioning. Next there was the Dodger debut of 19-year old lefty phenom pitcher Julio Urias. The Mets didn’t appreciate all the hype surrounding the kid, and made his first outing a rough one. Over the course of 2.2 innings, Urias allowed three earned runs and five hits while walking four batters and striking out three. He’s been sent back to his room Triple-A, Oklahoma City team and can not come out to play (in the majors) for a bit…

Oh, it doesn’t end there…things got really chippy on Saturday night. Mets Thor-esque pitcher Noah Syndergaard was given the quick boot for throwing a pitch behind Dodger Chase Utley. The 99-mph fastball appeared to be in retaliation for Utley’s leg-breaking slide to former Mets infielder Ruben Tejada in the NLDS last season. Twitter went nuts and Mets fans were M A D as many felt Thor should have been given a warning first.

In other baseball news, USA softball star Jennie Finch became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team on Sunday. Finch was a guest manager for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. Her aggressive base running strategies helped lead the Bluefish to a 3-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Finch is now 1-0. #girlmode

Check here for MLB scores and highlights.

Soccer: The 100th anniversary of the oldest international soccer tournament kicks off this Friday at Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA when the U.S. meets Columbia in the first round of the Copa America Centenario. The 16-team competition will be played in 10 U.S. cities over the next month. It’s a great test for the USNMT going into the summer Olympics…and who doesn’t want to win the 100th anniversary title? Here is a complete TV guide for upcoming matches. If you’re a soccer fan, you’re in for a treat.

In NCAA news: so many tournaments… lacrosse, baseball, softball, ultimate Frisbee .. too many to cover. Sorry folks. Check here for final scores and updates on what’s happening in college sports sports.

Tennis: It’s been a nightmare year in tennis so far, and the hits just keep on coming. A match-fixing scandal began the year at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova is out of tournament play due to a drug suspension. Roger Federer skipped the French because of an undisclosed injury. Clay King Rafa Nadal withdrew on Friday because of a wrist injury. And on Sunday, home favorite 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired after pulling his groin. Add all this to the ongoing bickering over equal pay, and the announcement by several high profile players that they are skipping the Olympics. #noreliefinsight

Speaking of the Rio Olympics, more than 100 prominent physicians, bioethicists and scientists from around the world posted a letter Friday urging World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan to exert pressure on Olympic authorities to move the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro or delay the Games because of public health concerns over the Zika virus, according to the Washington Post. In the open letter posted Friday on Twitter and Facebook, the authors said evidence shows that “Brazil’s Zika strain has more serious medical consequences than researchers previously knew, that Rio de Janeiro is one of the hardest-hit areas of the epidemic, and that Rio’s mosquito-killing efforts are not meeting expectations.” #ongoing

Golf: Texas native Jordan Spieth won his first PGA tournament in his home state on Sunday. A sure cure for his Master’s meltdown blues, Spieth birdied the last three holes in front of family and friends to win the Dean and Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Spieth is the reigning U.S. Open champion and will try to defend that title at Oakmont in three weeks. #cantwait

The Russian doping scandal continues. According to the Associated Press, 8 more Russian athletes tested positive in the retests of doping samples from the 2012 Olympics. The IOC is using newer methods to test samples. Russia has already been banned from competing in track and field, including at the Rio Olympics, by the international track and field federation. The IOC said Friday that 23 athletes from five sports and six countries tested positive in retests of 265 samples from 2012.

A very sad story from the NFL: New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment early Saturday morning. Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. According to police, the resident of the apartment, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to Dejean-Jones but did not get an answer. Dejean-Jones kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun through the door, striking and killing Dejean-Jones. It’s not clear at this time whether any substance played a part in this horrific tragedy.

Let’s end with the great underdog story from the Indianapolis 500! In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in the Formula-One sport, 24 year old California native Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” on Sunday. The 66-1 long shot used super speeds and a savvy fuel strategy to take the checkered flag, giving the Andretti family the biggest win of their storied careers. Columbian runner-up (for the 2nd time in 4 yrs) Carlos Munoz was not happy it all came down to fuel consumption – but a win is a win…#dealwithit. Rossi, on the other hand, had the best quote of the day: “The emotional roller-coaster of this race is ridiculous,” he said. “There were moments I was really stoked, really heartbroken, really stoked. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ll need to see a psychiatrist after this.” #pagingDr.Phil

That’s is for #SportBits this week. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day. Fire up the BBQs and watch some of great games tonight. Don’t know about you…but I’m stoked! Check in with #SportBitsDaily for TV schedules and quick updates…and don’t forget twitter, Facebook and instagram. #socialmediaOVERLOAD

 

 

 

 

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