This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly recap to help you learn how to talk about sports right now. If you’re just starting to learn about sports, or want a quick summary of the headlines, or even if you just want to fake a modicum of sports knowledge at work or at the bar, read on. Here’s how to talk to a sports fan the week of May 5, 2019.
how to talk sports the week of May 5, 2019
First, some short takes. We’ll start out gently for those who may still be recovering from yesterday’s Kentucky Derby. Hat hair, mint julep hangovers . . . we feel you, party people. Maybe just roll straight into the Cinco de Mayo celebration? Hair of the dog and all that.
a historic run at the Kentucky Derby
The “most exciting two minutes in sports” occurred yesterday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and it turned out to be history-making. But not for a good reason. The thoroughbred Maximum Security led for nearly the entire race. But a “ruling upon objection” (one of the jockeys called a foul) caused the horse to be the first winner ever disqualified in the Triple Crown. So Country House, who crossed the line second, was declared the winner. He’s the second-biggest underdog ever to win, at 65-1. Some lucky bettor may now be able to buy a country house, thanks to Country House. So it’s not all bad news.
Ronda Rousey is Sonya Blade
Mixed martial arts champion Ronda Rousey provides the voice (and the grunts and groans of battle) for the character of Sonya Blade – the strongest woman in the world – in the new release of the video game Mortal Kombat 11. Rousey made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Friday night, sporting a cast on her hand that resulted from an injury during a recent wrestling match. She rocked a black leather catsuit, charmed the host, and left with his autograph on her cast. Love her or not, the woman is a certified badass. And we respect that.
Tom Brady touts the benefits of marrying well
And in further late-night news, on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last week, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady declared that he can afford to take a pay cut to play for the New England Patriots because his wife “makes a lot of money” and “I’m a little smarter than you think.”
The issue arose because while Brady is indisputably the best quarterback in the NFL right now, having won 6 Super Bowls, he’s only the 18th highest-paid quarterback in the league. He makes $20 million less annually than the highest-paid quarterback will in the upcoming season. In the interview, Brady went on to explain that his haircut on pay allows the Pats to surround him with better players. And that keeps their dynasty going.
You see why we love this dude? It’s cool that he’s taking one for the team. But more notably, it takes a real man to acknowledge and celebrate his wife’s earnings power. OK, that’s not the only reason we love him. But it doesn’t hurt.
Now that we’re warmed up, let’s get to the real deal updates.
how to talk to a sports fan the week of May 5, 2019
For Those Who Do Not Avidly Follow Professional Sports and Want to Be Able to Talk to a Sports Fan, here’s what you really need to know if you want to know how to talk sports during the week of May 5, 2019.
The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, and the semifinals have been pretty exciting. In an epic, historic Game 3 on Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 140-137 in a game with four overtimes. CC McCollum scored 41 points in the game. They have a 2-1 series lead as of this posting, and this game is one for the record books. It’s tied for the longest game in NBA playoff history. The last time there were four overtimes was in 1953.
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In the West, the conference semifinals see the Houston Rockets facing off against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. As of this posting, the Warriors are up 2-1 over the Rockets after a Game 3 loss last night in Houston. Still, the Warriors seem to be hitting their stride right on time. The games have been hard-fought. In fact, the Rockets have been claiming that the referees favor the Warriors.
As noted previously, the Denver Nuggets are playing the Portland Trail Blazers. They meet again in Game 4 tonight. Our Sports Desk is partial to the Blazers, so there was joy and a victory dance when they won at home on Friday. We’re happy for the Blazers, and we can confirm that you haven’t lived until you’ve seen our Sports Desk dudes dance. So its All. Good.
In the East, the Toronto Raptors are taking on the Philadelphia 76’ers. Toronto is down 2-1 right now, after being crushed on Monday night. We were in London this week with a bunch of Sixers fans, and they stayed up most of the night to see what ended up being an epic victory for their team. Game 4 is this afternoon.
Finally, the Milwaukee Bucks are facing the Boston Celtics. The Bucks and their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo are up 2-1 after defeating the Celts at home on Friday night. The Celts crushed the Bucks in Game 1, but the Bucks have recovered, and they dominated in the second and third games. They meet again on Monday night. The Boston Slam is looking precarious, with the Celts and the Bruins both losing on Friday night (although the Bruins did win last night). Ugh.
Rumors are heating up that Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant (KD) is itching to leave the team this summer as a free agent. He’s said to be tired of being criticized for joining a team that was already a championship winner. He’s playing better than Steph Curry right now, but continues to live in his shadow.
Will KD join the New York Knicks, or maybe the LA Clippers? And if the Knicks get him, will they pair him with another high end free agent (like Kahwai Leonard of the Raptors) and then draft Zion Williamson or Ja Morant? Could there be a New York super-team in the making? Or is it all a dream? Watch this space for further updates, dear reader. It could be big fun.
The second round of the NHL Playoffs is underway, and the games have generally been good ones. As of this posting, the Boston Bruins lead their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2, after a Game 5 win at home last night.
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The New York Islanders lost Game 4 to the Carolina Hurricanes. They’ve been eliminated from the playoffs after a 0-4 series loss. The Isles went from winning Round 1 of the playoffs in a sweep to losing Round 2 in a sweep. New Yorkers are now officially uninterested in anything that happens in these playoffs going forward.
The San Jose Sharks have a 3-2 lead over the Colorado Avalanche in a Game 5 victory last night. The Dallas Stars lead the St. Louis Blues are 3 -2. The series is in New Orleans right now, and they meet again this afternoon.
This week, the New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia became only the 17th pitcher (and only the 3rd lefty, along with Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson) to strike out 3,000 batters. Wow. It’s an impressive achievement, and now the discussion is whether or not Sabathia has sufficient stats to make it to the Hall of Fame.
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Bryce Harper is starting to hear the boo’s from notoriously tough Philly fans. He is only hitting .240 with a .388 on-base percentage, a .490 slugging percentage, six home runs and 20 RBI. That’s not what fans want to see from their $330 million man.
After losing his last 2 starts (he has never lost three in a row), New York Mets ace Noah “Thor” Syndergaard threw a complete game shutout of the Cincinnati Reds. He was also responsible for the only run, as he hit a homer to win the game 1-0. The dude was a one-man baseball machine! The last time a pitcher threw a complete game and hit a home run to win 1-0 was the Dodgers’ Bob Welch in 1983.
There’s continued Monday morning quarterbacking of last month’s NFL draft. Our Sports Desk reports that most of the reviews for most of the teams are actually pretty kind. The one that really sticks out is the New York Giants picking Daniel Jones, the Duke quarterback, at number 6. There’s some criticism of the Oakland Raiders’ number 4 pick, Clelin Ferrell, too. Both are being viewed as picks that were made unnecessarily high in the draft, and that the players were taken much sooner than they should have been.
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The Kansas City Chiefs’ problems with domestic abuse continue. Tyreek Hill has now been suspended, pending further investigation of claims of child abuse.
Because apparently it is NEVER too early to think about the 2020 Super Bowl, the odds-makers have issued some predictions. Vegas has the Conference finals teams as the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs at 6-1, and the LA Rams and New Orleans Saints at 8-1.
If you want to dive deep into this matter with your sports fan, you can float some of what our Sports Desk has to say in response. Which is that at least two of these teams won’t make it to the Conference Championship. They’ll be replaced in the AFC by the Indianapolis Colts or the (dysfunctional) Pittsburgh Steelers. And in the NFC by the Philadelphia Eagles or the LA Rams. The Cleveland Browns are favored to win the AFC North, and our Sports Desk thinks they’ll finish behind the Steelers. Will the Steelers be able to right their dysfunction? Will the Browns rookie head coach be able to manage the team’s “diva filled” roster? Discuss among yourselves. You have the entire summer to bat these pressing issues around over a beer.
That’s how to talk to a sports fan the week of May 5, 2019. You’re good to go. See you next week!
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