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This Week in Sports Talk: September 29, 2019

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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of top headlines and sports news, plus a preview of what’s up next. Heading into the week of September 29, 2019, here’s the top sports news, with a twist. Skim it, and you’ll be good to go all week.  

This Week in Sports Talk: September 29, 2019

We begin with some short takes in sports news heading into the week of September 29, 2019.

Hot in Miami

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will jointly headline the Super Bowl LIV halftime show on February 2, 2020 in Miami.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in February 2020.

NFL’s Eagles lead the way

The Wall Street Journal reports that front office of the Philadelphia Eagles is the most gender-diverse in the NFL. While nearly half of the NFL’s fan base is female, only 18% of the senior executives at the 32 NFL teams are women. Nine teams have only one woman at the VP level or higher. In Philadelphia, though, more than half of the top team is female. Could that good karma be part of the reason the Eagles beat the Packers on Thursday night? Maybe . . . 

Aileen Dagrosa, Tina D’Orazio, Ryan Hammond, Jen Kavanagh and Catherine Carlson of the Philadelphia Eagles front office. Photo Credit: The Wall Street Journal.

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Medical marijuana in Michigan

Former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, who spent nine seasons in the NFL, has revealed that he smoked marijuana once a week during his NFL career. Pretty much after every game. It was the best form of pain management for him, and he was never sanctioned for it, although it did violate the league’s rules at the time.

Midnight run in Doha

Maybe you hadn’t heard that it gets really hot the desert? The women’s marathon at the world track and field championships in Qatar began at 11;59p local time Friday night, when the temperature had dropped down to 90 degrees. Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya won 2 hours, 32 minutes and 43 seconds later. Almost every other event is held inside an air-conditioned stadium. Only marathoners and race-walkers (and their fans) have to deal with “the late-night cauldron” outdoors.

sports news week of September 29 2019
The women’s marathon at the world track and field championships in Qatar 2019.

W.N.B.A Finals begin

This afternoon is Game 1 of the WNBA finals. The Washington Mystics meet the Connecticut Sun in the best-of-five series.

The Washington Mystics meet the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA Finals this week.

NCAA college football headlines

In Week 5,  top-ranked Clemson barely squeaked out a win over unranked North Carolina, 21-20. #8 Wisconsin remains undefeated, winning over Northwestern 24-15. #18 Virginia lost to #10 Notre Dame, 35-20. And #21 USC lost on the road to #17 Washington, 28-14. Oh, and Alabama won. Again.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) scores a touchdown on a three-yard run to tie North Carolina 14-14 in the second quarter on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of September 29, 2019

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of September 29, 2019:

1. MLB

Must Know:

The regular MLB season ends this evening, and the wildcard games begin on Tuesday.

For the first time in MLB history, there are four 100+ game-winning teams in a single season: the Houston Astros, LA Dodgers, New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. This is the 12th consecutive season for most strikeouts in a regular season. And there have been more home runs this season than ever before. As of this posting, there have been 6,685 homers, almost 600 more than the previous record of 6,105 set in 2017. And there are still a handful of games left to play today.

American League headlines

For the third straight season, Houston is at the top of the AL West. It is the second time in Astros history they’ve won three consecutive division crowns (1997-99). They have the best record in baseball at 106-55 and will be the top seed heading into the playoffs. The New York Yankees won the AL East, and the Minnesota Twins have clinched the AL Central. The two wild cards are the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s.

The Houston Astros have the best record in baseball.

The Astros will play the winner of the wild card game, and the Yanks will meet the Twins. Pinstripe fans are feeling pretty good about that. The Yanks and Twins have played 15 post season games since 2003.  The Yanks have won 13 of them, including the last 10 in a row, and are 5 for 5 defeating the Twins in post-season play

As the regular season wraps up, we just need a moment of silence for our Boston Red Sox . . . dudes! What happened?

National League headlines

In the National League, the LA Dodgers are at the top with a 105-56 record. They’ll play the winner of the wild card game.

The LA Dodgers have won the NL West division championship for 2019.

The Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East and they’ll play the St. Louis Cardinals, who clinched the NL Central on the last day of the regular season. The Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Nationals have secured the wild card slots.

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Nice to Know:

Last night the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso broke the record for most home runs in a rookie season, surpassing the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge. The 24-year old hit his 53rd homer of the season at Citi Field, and his team later shut out the Atlanta Braves, 3-0.

Judge handled his move to second place with characteristic grace and charm.I’m happy for him, man — I got a chance to meet him this year and talk with him a little bit, and no better individual to represent not only the Mets, but the city of New York,” he said. Then he offered to take Alonso out to dinner, with the tab on him. To which Alonso replied “do I get to pick the place? If he picks, it could be McDonald’s. If I pick, it’s gonna be Peter Luger’s [steakhouse].” We’re sure they’ll work it all out. Nicely done, gentlemen.

Pete Alonso of the New York Mets breaks the record for most home runs in a rookie season with number 53.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander reached a pair of milestones last night, becoming the 18th major league pitcher with 3,000 career strikeouts and the 19th in the modern era (since 1900) to record 300 strikeouts in a season.

Justin Verlander, ace pitcher for the Houston Astros.

Chicago Cubs fans are crestfallen after their team’s epic melt down in the final weeks of the season. At the beginning of the month they were holding a wild card slot – but they proceeded to lose 9 games in row and have been eliminated. Expect a clean sweep of the Cubs’ front office in the off-season.

Conversely, the Milwaukee Brewers have won 7 in a row this month. And that’s after their best player and MVP candidate Christian Yelich broke his knee cap and was sidelined for the season. Very impressive.

No Bryce Harper, no problem. The Washington Nationals were devastated when they lost Bryce Harper in the off-season to the Philadelphia Phillies. But it’s the Nats who are heading back to the playoffs — not the Phillies. 

Extra Credit:

Is the ball juiced? That’s the million-dollar question as the regular season cones to a close. The New York Yankees are still battling the Minnesota Twins for the most homers in a season. A couple of days ago, the Twins became the first team in MLB history to hit 300 home runs in a season. The Yanks currently have 304 homers for the season-to-date.  The Commissioner has said that after the World Series, the league will examine the issue. 

The Minnesota Twins this week became the first team in MLB history to hit 300 home runs in a single season. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

And finally, later this fall the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will bestow their honors for the best of the 2019 season. Rookie of the Year, the Cy Young for pitching, MVP and Manager of the Year will all be announced between November 12-15, 2019.

2. NFL

Must Know:

Heading into Week 4, three teams had made surprisingly good starts: the San Francisco 49’ers and Buffalo Bills, who were 3-0, and the Detroit Lions, who were 2-0-1 (they tied their first game this season).

Conversely, two teams had made surprisingly bad starts season-to-date until today: the Pittsburgh Steelers (0 – 3) and the Cleveland Browns (1 – 2). 

As of Sunday evening, some of those trends began to reverse. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Detroit Lions by a closer-than-expected 34-30. The New England Patriots are now 4-0 after a 16-10 victory this afternoon over the Buffalo Bills.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones continued the impressive start to his career with a 24-3 win over the Washington Redskins. And the Cleveland Browns’ offense got back on track with an impressive 40-25 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

Four teams remain undefeated as of this posting: the reining champions the New England Patriots; Kansas City Chiefs; Dallas Cowboys; and San Francisco 49’ers. The Cowboys game isn’t over yet, though, and San Francisco had a bye this week.

Is anybody going 16-0? Stay tuned . . . 

The New England Patriots meet the Buffalo Bills this afternoon. Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)

Nice to Know: 

Thursday Night Football

Thursday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers was a thriller. The score was close right ’till the end, when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers started closing in on the goal line in the hope of forcing overtime. But Rodgers’ pass was intercepted in the end zone (on the 1 yard line!) The Eagles won, 34-27.

Rogers has never had an interception that close to the goal line, and it’s also the first time in 58 games he’s ever lost after the Packers were up 10 points in a game.  The only one with a longer streak? New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who had 80 consecutive games of that type.  

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.

Week 3 Headlines

Last Monday night, Chicago’s defense set the tone early in the Bears’ 31-15 win over the Washington Redskins. And today, they kept it going with a 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Also in Week 3, several veteran quarterbacks, including Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees did not play. But the good news is that the back-ups all did just fine.

The New York Giants’ Daniel Jones in particular won kudos for his performance defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, the New York Post has dubbed him “Danny Darling.” Unfortunately for the Giants, running back Saquon Barkley hurt his ankle in the first half of last week’s game and wasn’t able to take the field today against the Washington Redskins. 

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Photo Credit: USA Today.

Washington fans have their own agita over quarterbacks at the moment. Dwayne Haskins is a top draft pick (who many thought would be better than Jones as quarterback) but he’s been on the bench. The Redskins stayed with journeyman quarterback Case Keenum this week.

The much-hyped Cleveland Browns are now 2 – 3 after a dominant performance over division rivals the Baltimore Ravens today. As the season continues, it will be interesting to watch how the chemistry will work between Odell Beckham Jr (OBJ), first-year head coach Freddy Kitchens and quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

To add more spice to the mix, Mayfield and Antonio Brown (you remember him, right?) have been embroiled in a Twitter war this week. Seriously??? Also piling on, the Browns’ ex-Coach Ryan, now a commentator for ESPN, criticized Mayfield. Who then clapped back that there is a reason Ryan is out of a job now.  

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Extra credit:

Jalen Ramsey wants to be traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars due to disputes with the front office and the coach. But the Jags do not want to let him go. 

NFL team owners have backed off a bit from their attempt to lengthen the NFL season. At first, they were advocating an 18-game regular season. Now, they’ve lowered that to 17.

Bonus round:

Running back Melvin Gordon finally gave up in defeat and returned to the San Diego Chargers. He gave up a big contract offer and held out for more. Now, he will play under his original contract. And he’s being fined $2 million for all the missed games and practices during his hold-out. Ouch!

This Week in Sports News September 29, 2019

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of September 29, 2019. Have a good one, and see you next week. Go Pats!!!

Join our Community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light. 

see luxury in a new light

Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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