sports

The Rundown: Weekend Preview Edition - Is it hot enough for you?

It’s almost the weekend and you know what that means? Pool time and sports.

Served up with a tall glass of lemonade,

The Last Night’s Game Team


F1 (Formula One)

Start your engines eh? This weekend’s F1 race will be in Montreal. Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg has a commanding lead in the standings going into the Canadian Grand Prix which can be seen on Sunday at 2 pm EST on NBC.

Horse racing

No crown here. The third leg of the Triple Crown takes place at the Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday at 6:32 pm (EST) on NBC. Unfortunately, there will be no Triple Crown winner this year. Nyquist, winner of the Kentucky Derby, lost in the Preakness (the second race of the Triple Crown) and due to sickness, will not race this weekend. Exaggerator, winner of the Preakness, is the favorite to win at Belmont.

NBA (National Basketball Association)

Cleveland conquest. Home court advantage proved pivotal in the NBA Finals. Cleveland bounced back to beat Warriors on Wednesday night. The Cavs were led to victory with outstanding play from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The Warriors still lead the series 2-1 (wins-losses) with game four tonight at 9 pm EST.

NCAA Softball (College)  

Sooner celebration. University of Oklahoma won the Women’s Softball College National Championship on Thursday, beating University of Auburn in the best-of-three series 2-1.

NHL (National Hockey League)

Sharks victory. Last night San Jose Sharks squeaked out a win in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Even with a win the Pittsburgh Penguins still lead the series 3-2 (best-of-seven series) going into game six on Sunday (8 pm EST on NBC).

Soccer

Playing it safe. Euro 2016 begins today. Due to numerous threats of terrorist attacks, the host country (France) has banned game viewing on televisions outside of bars and restaurants to prevent large groups of people gathering.

Tennis

A champ sidelined. Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years for testing positive for a banned substance. Sharapova took the supplement for years for health purposes but it was added to the naughty list on January 1st. Because it was ruled that she did not take the drug as a performance enhancer, her sponsors will continue their relationship with her. (Sharapova makes $30 million a year in endorsements). She is also appealing the suspension.  

Overtime

15,000 people are expected at the funeral of “The Greatest” today in Louisville, KY. The service was scripted by Muhammed Ali himself. Eulogies will be given by Former President Bill Clinton, Will Smith (who portrayed the boxer in the movie “Ali”), Billy Crystal, Bryant Gumbel (sportscaster) and Ali’s wife Lonnie. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Will Smith will be pallbearers alongside three of Ali’s family members.

Sideline stat

Forbes released its list of the world’s highest paid athletes (including salary and endorsements). They are:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer) - $88 million  
  2. Lionel Messi (soccer) - $81.4 million
  3. LeBron James (basketball) - $77.2 million
  4. Roger Federer (tennis) - $67.8 million
  5. Kevin Durant (basketball) - $56.2 million

Coaches’ Corner

What is Euro 2016? UEFA European Championship (or simply Euro 2016) is a tournament to determine the best team in Europe (similar to Copa America). A few facts - the competition has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams with Team Iceland making their debut this year. Also new this year, stadiums will be smoke-free.

The Rundown: Five Things to Know About J.J. Watt

It’s not football season so you may be wondering why we’re talking about a football player. Well Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt isn’t just any football player whose time in the media is confined to just football season. This guy is everywhere, including in women’s hearts, and you’ll see him tonight alongside Erin Andrews (five things to know about Erin Andrews) co-hosting tonight’s CMT (Country Music Television) Music Awards.

Giddy up,

The Last Night’s Game Team

PS - At your next sporting event don't forget to tag Last Night's Game (@lastnightsgame) in your Instagram photo. 


Five things to know about J.J. Watt

Born and raised a cheese head, Watt’s college career started in Central Michigan as a tight end (recruited by now Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly). He left Central Michigan and a scholarship behind after his freshman year to walk on at Wisconsin. While at Wisconsin had to deliver pizzas to pay tuition. He was drafted into the NFL after his junior year.  

He has a tattoo in Chinese on his chest that means “family.” It also includes the initials of his siblings. His brothers (one of which plays in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers) also have the same tattoo. Now that’s family bonding.

He started the J.J. Watt Foundation to provide after school activities for middle-school aged children to become active in athletics where they learn the positive traits associated with sports in a safe environment. The Foundation recently raised $2 million in a charity softball game. You may recall a ‘memorable for the wrong reason’ photo of Watt’s teammate Vince Wilfork who wore overalls at the game.  

He is by all accounts, including his own, just your average 26-year-old bachelor who enjoys eating, working out, shirtless photos and signed a six year, $100 million deal in 2014. At the time that was the highest contract for a defensive end in the NFL (although not anymore).

Ladies aren’t the only ones who like him. He spends his time in the celebrity circle, hanging out with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Lil Wayne and his biggest fan and partner-in-crime for literacy, former First Lady Barbara Bush. His coach loves him too as he’s good at what he does. Watt is a three-time defensive player of the year and four-time Pro Bowler (NFL All-Star game).

NFL (National Football League)

Hacked. Tuesday afternoon NFL fans received shocking news via the NFL’s official Twitter account. A tweet was sent stating that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had passed away at the age of 57. A few minutes later another tweet was sent out which made it obvious the account had been hacked. Goodell is very much alive but should we be concerned that nobody seemed too upset at the news of him passing? 

MMA (MIXED MARITAL ARTS)

R.I.P. Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson) passed away at the age of 42 Monday night. He had been diagnosed with heart failure and was waiting on a heart transplant. Slice gained fame by participating in backyard fights, which I am sure you have all viewed on YouTube, or not. Slice parlayed his fame into an MMA career, fighting with UFC and headlining the first ever MMA fight card on primetime television on CBS. Kimbo Slice had a crazy, tough guy persona, but Kevin Ferguson was a great human being and family man. 

Soccer

Victory. Team U.S.A. secured a much needed win in the Copa America Centenario, beating Costa Rica. With a win on Saturday against Paraguay they can advance into the next round.

No strike for you. Following up on a story we talked about awhile back involving the women’s soccer team’s quest for equal pay. A judge ruled that the U.S. Women’s Soccer team does not have the grounds to strike in regards to disputed pay. The women filed a complaint in March and the strike could've taken them out of the Olympics. 

Overtime

In Olympic news, Zika is still a trending topic with Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie cancelling her trip to Rio because of her pregnancy. American cyclist Tejay van Garderen decided against Rio because he and his wife have a baby on the way and it wasn't worth the risk. Yesterday, NBA’s Steph Curry announced he will not join Team U.S.A. in Rio not because of Zika but because of his knee.

Sideline stat

Cleveland Cavaliers may be down in the NBA Finals, but that is not stopping guard J.R. Smith from living his dreams. Smith announced a Kickstarter project for a reality TV show. The announcement came the day the Cavs lost by 30+ points to the Warriors. Smith has accumulated around $44 million during his career, but needs your help to fund the project which is a reality show about himself and his celebrity bodyguard he hired to protect Smith from himself. Priorities.  

Coaches’ Corner

Kimbo Slice fought in MMA and UFC, what’s the difference? MMA is the sport (think football) and UFC is a league (think NFL).