If you looked up the definition of an underdog in the dictionary there would be a photo of Iceland’s Euro 2016 soccer team next to it. In their first appearance ever in a major tournament, the team has impressed even the toughest critics with their win in an elimination game this week over soccer royalty England.
Making their own Northern Lights,
The Last Night’s Game Team
PS – We are very excited to announce that Last Night’s Game will be a weekly contributor to Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling, a website that unites, empowers, supports and promotes women in business. Every Wednesday we’ll share with their readers how to use the highlights of this week in sports to join the conversation. Check them out on Twitter, Facebook or read today's post.
Five things to know about Team Iceland
- Iceland is the smallest country ever to have qualified for a major international soccer tournament. (Total population 330,000)
- The team’s manager is also a part-time dentist. For comparison sake, England’s manager (who resigned immediately following the loss to Iceland) makes £3.5 million (approximately $3.9 million USD).
- Iceland’s supporters are called “Tólfan” (The Twelve), as they are the “twelfth man on the field.” They’re a well traveled fan club - 8% of Iceland’s population traveled to France to cheer on their team in this tournament.
- 10 of the 11 players who started in Iceland’s first Euro 2016 game had last names that ended in "son." The one who didn’t - Eidur Gudjonsen. So close.
- There are more volcanoes than professional soccer players in Iceland. There are 120 professional players, while there are 126 volcanoes.
Iceland will now look to upset host country France in their quarterfinal game this Sunday.
NCAA Baseball (College)
Don’t let the mascot fool you. Last night the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina tied up the best-of-three series in the finals of the College World Series. The University of Arizona Wildcats were ahead in the series 1-0 but it all comes down to tonight’s game (8 pm EST on ESPN) to see who takes home the title of college baseball champs.
NCAA Basketball (College)
- Lasting legacy. Legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away yesterday at the age of 64. Summitt suffered from Alzheimer’s disease which caused her to step down as head coach in 2012. A Hall of Fame coach, Summitt wrote the book on women’s college basketball. She still holds the record for the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history (men or women). While the statistics and titles may try to show it, her impact on sports is immeasurable.
- U.S.A Basketball announced their roster for the Summer Olympics. Although many of the top NBA stars have passed on the opportunity to play in Rio the United States is well represented with this roster that includes:
- Kyrie Irving, 2016 NBA Champions Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
See the complete roster here. You can catch the team in action when they play five exhibition games in Las Vegas starting July 22nd.
- Chicago Cubs third baseman Chris Bryant had a historic night on Monday. In five at bats, Bryant hit three home runs and two doubles. No player has ever managed three home runs and two doubles in a single game.
- He clearly listened to his coach about being a good person. Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was on a flight this weekend when a fellow passenger suffered an apparent heart attack during the flight. Tebow came to aide of the family, leading them in prayer. Once the flight landed, the man was transported to the hospital. Tebow helped the family with their luggage, accompanied them to the hospital and was with them when they received word that their loved one had passed away.