This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly recap of everything you need to know in the world of sports the week of July 7, 2019. Straight from our Sports Desk, here are the headlines and a preview of the week to come in sports for the week of July 7, 2019.
this week in sports talk: July 7, 2019
We begin with some short takes.
fifa women’s world cup
Team USA has now won 12 consecutive matches. They defeated England in the semi-finals on Tuesday in Lyon. In a bit of cheekiness, Alex Morgan celebrated scoring the 2nd goal by pretending to drink a cup of tea. The US team meets the Dutch today at 11:00A Eastern in the Final. This World Cup has been a continuing match-up of the New World versus the Old World, which has given rise to some interesting trash talk about a re-match of the war of 1812. There has been some controversy over officiating. But then, it wouldn’t be soccer if fans didn’t complain about the officiating.
In another bit of controversy, Team USA’s Megan Rapinoe – known to be outspoken – declared her displeasure that there are three title matches in soccer today. Her concern is that the World Cup Women’s final won’t be the main focus. Shortly after the Women’s World Cup final ends, Brazil and Peru will play in the final for the Copa America (South America’s men’s championship). Then tonight the US men will play Mexico for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. That game is the Final for the biennial international men’s football championship of the North, Central American, and Caribbean region.
The first week at the Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon has been the talk of the sports world. And that’s to continue to be the case in the sports headlines during the week of July 7, 2019. In the men’s tournament, so far there have been no major upsets. The “big three” – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovik – have all advanced.
Nadal had a little more trouble in this round than the others. He played the “bad boy” Nick Kyrgios of Australia. As usual, Kyrgios showed flashes of brilliance sprinkled with periodic meltdowns. There was some drama with the chair umpire, too. Kyrgios was particularly vocal in his complaints about Nadal asking for more time between serves. That’s technically not allowed, but the chair umpire would not do anything about it. After the match, Nadal’s uncle shared this thought about the Australian: “ATP should take some decisions, because in the long term you can no longer cope with him.”
In the women’s tournament, there was a lot more news this week. There were several upsets, including the story of the week. Venus Williams was upset by 15-year old American Cori “Coco” Gauff. Having entered Wimbledon ranked 313th, Gauff is the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the professional era. After defeating her idol and role model, Gauff became the youngest woman to win a match at the All England Club since 1991, when Jennifer Capriati reached the semifinals at 15.
Gauff then proceeded to win the next two rounds, as well. She rallied after a deficit to defeat Hercog 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5. Serena Williams has also advanced, and now the buzz is that there might be a Williams-Gauff final. Which would be a truly epic match. For now, Gauff plays former No. 1 Simona Halep in the fourth round tomorrow. Naomi Osaka, who won the last two Slams, was eliminated early. The world is watching to see if this Cinderella story will continue this week.
Also at Wimbledon this week, fan favorites Andy Murray and Serena Williams won in mixed doubles.
meanwhile, in the world of hot dogs
This week, competitive eater Joey Chestnut ate 71 hot dogs to win the annual contest at Coney Island on the 4th of July. But that was short of last year’s record 74 dogs. The talk of the sports world is whether Chestnut is experiencing the hot dog “cliff.” Just like everyone is always predicting for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
sports headlines July 7, 2019
Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of July 7, 2019:
Last weekend in London, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played two games that turned out to be epic “barn burners.”
In the first match-up, they ended up scoring 30 runs combined. The game lasted just 3 minutes short of an all-time record for the longest game in the MLB. The first inning alone was one hour! And the two teams were tied 6-6 at the end of the first inning. Neither starting pitcher made it to the end of the first inning. Ultimately, the Yankees won 17 – 13. The Yanks won the second game, as well. If the goal was to get the Brits and all of Europe excited about the sport, then well done, MLB! We doubt they’ll get games this good every time MLB teams play in London. But what a way to start!
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This week is the All Star Game on Tuesday, July 9th in Cleveland. The highlight for fans is always the Home Run Derby. This year, the winner of the Derby will receive $1 million. A sum like that can be very significant for a rookie like the Mets’ Pete Alonzo. It’s meant as an incentive to keep star sluggers participating in the event.
Heading into the All Star break, here are the headlines for baseball fans:
As of this posting, the Yankees sit at the top of the AL East, 7.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. And 10 ahead of their arch-rivals the Boston Red Sox. The Minnesota Twins are up 6.5 games in the AL Central, and the Houston Astros are at the top of the AL West.
In the National League, the LA Dodgers continue to dominate in the West, with 5 walk-off wins in the last couple of weeks. They’re the first team to reach 60 wins this season, and they’re currently 14.5 games ahead in their division.
In the MLB, fans are increasingly experiencing a Tale of Two Leagues. The teams with big payrolls keep winning, while smaller franchises slide further and further back. Said another way, the rich continue to get richer, and the poor poorer. The differential between the leading teams and the laggard teams grows ever greater. For example, the Baltimore Orioles are 30.5 games back in the AL East.
The New York Mets continue to slide, with news reports that Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen threw a chair in a meeting with coaches after the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Phillies this week. The Mets did manage to win 6-5 last night.
Finally, in very sad MLB news, this week 26-year old pitcher Tyler Skaggs of the LA Angels, who had been fine at the game earlier that day, was found dead in his hotel room just hours before a game against the Texas Rangers. The cause is still unknown.
Among the biggest sports headlines for July 7, 2019 are the announcements of player signings in the NBA. The free agency period has seen some stunning and unexpected moves that are likely to reshape the fortunes of several teams in the coming season.
The Brooklyn Nets started the fun when they announced that they’d signed both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. With those moves, the team immediately becomes a contender.
In perhaps even bigger news, Kawhi Leonard, the star of this year’s playoffs, is leaving the Toronto Raptors for Los Angeles. But not for the Lakers – he’s signed with the Clippers.
The Clippers also announced a trade for Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It was a stunning turn of events. The experts say that Kawhi “out-LeBron’ed LeBron.” Apparently, Leonard lobbied Paul George hard to go to the Clippers. And then lobbied the Clippers hard to get him. In hindsight it’s clear that Leonard did not want to be second fiddle to LeBron with the Lakers. But he did want to go to LA. Well played.
LA becomes hugely interesting now for NBA fans: with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on one side of town, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the other, it’s ON.
And as of this posting, Vegas odds-makers have the Clippers as the favorite to win the NBA Championship next year!
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In other news, Klay Thompson re-signed with the Golden State Warriors, as expected.
With all this action, who’s the Biggest Loser in the NBA this week? Sadly for those of us who live in Gotham, it’s the New York Knicks. They ended up without a superstar signing at all. The team went from a scenario where at one point they could have conceivably drafted Zion Williamson, and signed Durant and Irving, setting themselves up as a super-team. Instead, they ended up getting none of those players.
The sports headlines for July 7, 2019 are reasonably low-key in the world of pro football. In Patriots Nation, the Showtime sports documentary “100% Julian Edelman” aired. In it, the player explained that his father Frank was not at all happy with his Performance-Enhancing Drug suspension. Edelman said that his dad didn’t speak to him for 81 days. Also, Rob Gronkowski has reportedly lost a lot of weight. He had announced his retirement, but fans were hoping he’d change his mind and return for this season. Now fans think that perhaps he’s not as likely to make a surprise return to the team. Watch this space for further updates.
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It was a sad week of injury and mortality for sports stars in the NFL, as well as in MLB. A defensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, Kendrick Norton, was in a horrific car accident. Norton had to have his arm amputated to remove him from the wreckage.
Also, the former back-up quarterback for the New York Giants died this week at 38. Jared Lorenzen was also known as “The Hefty Lefty” and the “Pillsbury Throwboy.” A phenomenal athlete from Kentucky, he achieved and maintained both high school and college records. He was not drafted, but was picked up by the Giants to be Eli Manning’s backup. Lorenzen played for the Giants the year they beat the then-undefeated New England Patriots. He battled his weight for years, and documented his struggles in order to help others. While he had been working on reducing his weight and perhaps returning to the football field, Lorenzen was hospitalized after suffering from kidney and heart issues.
We spent the July 4th holiday in the great city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. So we’re closing with a very cool story about a legendary player for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher college football team.
There’s a legend about how Bronislau “Bronko” Nagurski came to play football at the University of Minnesota. The story goes that Clarence “Fats” Spears, then the team’s coach, got lost near Nagurski’s home town of International Falls. In his search for the nearest town, he spotted Bronislau plowing his family’s fields . . . without a horse. When Spears asked for directions, Nagurski picked up his plow and used it to point toward where Spears needed to go. Spears signed him to a full football scholarship on the spot.
Nagurski went on to play both fullback and defensive tackle for the Gophers from 1927-29. The Golden Gophers went 18-4-2 during the time he was a member of the team, winning the Big Ten championship in 1927. His most memorable game was a clash with Wisconsin in 1928. While wearing a corset to protect cracked vertebrae, Nagurski recovered a fumble deep in Wisconsin territory. He then carried the ball six straight times for the go-ahead touchdown. He sealed the victory for the Gophers with an interception later in the game.
In 1993, the Football Writers of America established the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to college football’s best defensive player.
Go, Golden Gophers!
Those are the headlines for this week in sports, July 7, 2019. You’re good to go. See you next week!
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