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This Week in Sports Talk: February 9, 2020

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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 February 9, 2020, 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: February 9, 2020

We begin with some short takes in sports news heading into the week of February 9, 2020. Because even on Oscar weekend, there’s sports news to share.

the intern did it!

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that it was an intern with the Houston Astros organization who came up with the algorithm that enabled the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the organization and ended the careers of several senior members of the team’s front office at the time. Yep, you heard that right. One of the biggest scandals in Major League Baseball ever was originated by a temporary (presumably college-age and probably unpaid) intern. Wow.

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the XFL kicks off

Yesterday, the resurrected XFL kicked off its season. After an almost 20-year absence, on Saturday the spring football league debuted with eight all-new franchises. There are XFL teams in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington. The plan is for a 10-week regular season, leading up to a championship game in April.

The XFL is back after almost 20 years. Courtesy Photo.

Regular readers of the TWIST will remember that two years ago, the nascent independent professional football league the Alliance of American Football (AAF) folded before its first season was complete. Perhaps the XFL has a better plan? Watch this space for further updates.

Is Mookie Betts still heading for LA?

In a blockbuster trade in Major League Baseball last week, the Boston Red Sox announced that their star and MVP Mookie Betts was heading to the LA Dodgers. It was a three-way deal that also included the Minnesota Twins. Now the trade is temporarily on hold, as the Twins have pulled out. It’s all due to the medical results for Brusdar Graterol, who was supposed to go from the Twins to the Red Sox. The expectation is that the deal will ultimately still get done, but now there are lots of new details to be worked out. 

Boston Red Sox player Mookie Betts. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports.

Assuming that this deal is consummated at some point soon, the consensus view as the pitchers and catchers report to spring training next week is that the early favorites to compete in the World Series this year are the New York Yankees and the LA Dodgers. Media executives definitely hope that it will turn out that way!

mets deal falls apart

Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has withdrawn from the agreement to pay $2.6 billion to buy the New York Mets from the  team’s current owners, the Wilpon family. Both sides cited irreconcilable issues in finalizing the agreement. Mets fans are dismayed, as they viewed Cohen as an owner who would invest at the level needed to compete with the crosstown Yankees.

female athlete to begin 2020 Olympics torch relay

Greek shooting champion Anna Korakaki is set to become the first woman in history to launch the Olympic Torch Relay. Korakaki will attend the flame lighting ceremony for Tokyo 2020 in Ancient Olympia on March 12. After High Priestess Xanthi Georgiou lights the flame, Korakaki will serve as first torchbearer,

Anna Korakaki of Greece will the first woman ever to launch the Olympic torch relay. AP Photo/Hassan Ammar.

ronaldo scores!

Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, has become the first player in Juventus history to score in 10 consecutive Series A matches. On Saturday, the Portuguese player surpassed David Trezeguet’s record of scoring goals in nine consecutive matches, set in 2005.

Christiano Ronaldo. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of February 9, 2020

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of February 9, 2020:

1. NFL

Must Know:

Super Bowl LIV

Surely you’ve heard by now that the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl 31-20 over the San Francisco 49’ers a week ago. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a mediocre game until the last 8 minutes, and then caught fire, The Chiefs trailed the 49’ers 20-10 with just seven minutes left in the game. But they closed with three successive touchdown drives.

This is why you should never leave the Super Bowl party early, people.

the coaches

Head coach Andy Reid has won his first Super Bowl in a long and distinguished career. Most sports fan are happy for him. Let it also be said that the Old School is victorious again: the winners of the Super Bowl have been almost unerringly the “old guys” (e.g., Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll) rather than the “young guns” (e.g. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay).

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

49’ers head coach Kyle Shanahan probably comes in for the most grief in the aftermath of the big game. He has now lost two Super Bowls and was out-scored 46 to nothing in the 4th quarter or the two games. He’s starting to have a reputation as a “choker.”

the parade

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs had their first championship parade in 50 years on Wednesday. The Super Bowl champs rode through the streets of Kansas City, Missouri – they were reportedly cheered on by a crowd twice the size of the total population of the city.

The Super Bowl LIV champions the Kansas City Chiefs held their victory parade on Wednesday.

CBS Sports reports that the highlight of the day was MVP and winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes making a one-handed catch of a beer can before chugging it. Let’s face it: the dude has skills.

Back in Miami, word is that former New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski threw the Super Bowl Party of the Century. His former coach Bill Belichick even showed up! 

Nice to Know:

Meanwhile, the discussion about the future of New England Patriots quarterback and free agent Tom Brady is reaching a fever pitch. In the aftermath of the San Francisco 49’ers loss in the Super Bowl last week, some are even saying that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should to be traded. And that the 49’ers should sign Tom Brady, with the Pats signing Garoppolo. That seems highly unlikely. Meanwhile, Julian Edelman is reportedly lobbying Tom Brady to stay in New England. You think?

The other off-season conversations concern the draft, which happens in Vegas on April 23. The Cincinnati Bengals, who had the league’s worst record at 2-14, have the No. 1 pick. Will they choose top quarterback prospect Joe Burrow? And who will land the injured college football star Tua Tagovailoa?

Extra Credit:

Super Bowl MVP Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes becomes eligible for a contract extension during this off-season. Speculation is rampant over whether or not he will become the first $40 million quarterback. Or whether he’ll take the approach that Tom Brady has always followed, and accept less pay so that the team can afford to attract and retain the talent necessary to be Super Bowl contenders every year.

2. NBA

Must Know:

The trade deadline was Thursday, and there was a flurry of last-minute activity. The major moves were the LA Clippers landing Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas. The Miami Heat traded for Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder. And the Minnesota Timberwolves got D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and some draft picks for the Golden State Warriors.

Marcus Morris was traded from the New York Knicks to the LA Clippers this week. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Morris gives the Clippers another 3-point shooter and defender, and may position them to win the epic Battle of LA against the LA Lakers this season in the Western Conference. It’s Kawhi Leonard against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

The Miami Heat may now be real contenders in the East. But they have a long way to go to catch the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nice to Know: 

Thursday was NBA All-Star Game draft day. The two captains — Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James — went pick for pick.

The starters for Team LeBron are Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic and James Harden. The starters for Team Giannis are Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker and Trae Young.

All-star Weekend is coming up in Chicago this weekend.  Fans can expect a heartfelt tribute to the late great Kobe Bryant. Kobe and his daughter Gianna will also be remembered and celebrated at the Staples Center in a memorial service scheduled for February 24.

Extra credit:

Damian “Dame” Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers continues his absolutely scorching-hot run. His point average for the last 8 games and last 10 games, respectively, are at record levels. He now has over 50 points in 9 games, and is currently number 10 on the list of career games over 50. He has averaged 48.8 points in the last 10 games. They need to put this dude on the Wheaties box asap – whatever he’s doing, we should all be doing it!

Portland Trail Blazer Dame Lillard.

Finally, the New York Knicks organization fired president Steve Mills this week. During his tenure with the team, the Knicks were 117-365 and never once made the playoffs. It’s rumored that owner James Dolan may hire longtime sports agent Leon Rose to replace Mills. Meanwhile, fans are voluble in their demand that the Dolan family just capitulate and sell the team. It’s a wasting asset that someone can probably do a lot more with at this point.

This Week in Sports News February 9, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of February 9, 2020. Now we’ve got to go get ready for our Oscar party! Have a good one, and see you next week.

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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.

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