The Lists

This Week in Sports Talk: March 22, 2020

this week in sports talk March 22 2020

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 March 22, 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: March 22, 2020

Wow, dear reader – a LOT has happened since our last sports update. We hope that you and yours are safe and healthy in this challenging time. 

Our Sports Desk (and everyone here at Dandelion Chandelier) is OK and operational, and we’ve found that even in this difficult moment, there is sports news to report. So here goes.

We begin with some short takes in sports news heading into the week of March 22, 2020.

global shutdown of professional sports

Nearly every event in professional sports has been cancelled or postponed, including March Madness, the NBA season, the NHL season and the start of Major League Baseball.  The NFL draft is still scheduled to go on, but without the large public gatherings that surround it.    

Join our community

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

sign up now >

increasing pressure on the Tokyo Olympics

While for the moment, July 24 is still the opening day for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, there is increasing pressure for the IOC to postpone or cancel the event. Athletes, fans and national Olympics officials are more and more vocal in calling for postponement. There are serious obstacles to training for athletes, and also a strong belief that the IOC appears tone-deaf given all the challenges around the globe at the moment. Watch this space for further updates.

notable sports figures have tested positive for COVID-19

A number of recognizable names in professional sports have been diagnosed as having the coronavirus. In the NFL, the most prominent is head coach of the New Orleans Saints Sean Payton. In the NBA, there now a total of 14 players with COVID-19, including Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Celtics guard Marcus Smart

We still have wrestling – and Gronk

Nearly every other sport is on hiatus right now. But this week the WWE announced that WrestleMania 36 will be held on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5.

this week in sports talk March 22 2020

Rob Gronkowski attends Gronk Beach at North Beach Bandshell on February 1, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

For the first time in history, the company’s flagship event will be held over the course of two nights. And it’s going to be hosted by former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

a renaissance for cycling and running

With health clubs and cycling studios in major cities across the world closed, there has been a renaissance in some of the most basic – some would say primal – forms of exercise. The New York Times proclaims this morning that running outside is “the perfect sport for a pandemic.”

Biking outdoors, roller-blading and good Old School walking are all effective methods of staying fit and mentally healthy during a time of social distancing. Of course, there’s also Peloton for those days when the weather is inclement (full disclosure: I’m a board member of Peleton Interactive).

we can still play golf and tennis!

Other amateur sports that are still on the “OK” list? Golf and tennis, where social distancing is actually achievable in most cases. Golfers have been asked to follow a strict protocol, though: for example, players are warned not to remove flags (no touching the flags in the holes), and to smooth over the sand in sand traps with their feet, not their hands.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of March 22, 2020

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of March 22, 2020:

1. NFL

Must Know:

Tom Brady exits New England

Even if you’ve been avoiding the news, we bet you already know that quarterback Tom Brady has departed the New England Patriots and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, TB goes to TB (is that why he close that team?).

Word on the street was that there was no real effort to keep Brady in New England, and that this is a lot about his relationship with head coach Bill Belichick (aka “Hoodie”). Fox Sports reports that Belichick offered to trade Brady to the San Francisco 49’ers – instead of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo – back in 2017. Team owner Robert Kraft put a stop to the proposal, but when Brady learned of it, the relationship was permanently soured.

The deal Brady signed with Tampa Bay – $50 million for 2 years and another $4.5 million per year in incentives – is reasonable, and not dissimilar from what the Patriots paid him last year. So, this really doesn’t seem to be about money. Apparently, it’s a lot more about pride, and the relationship between Brady and Belichick. Each is now out to prove that he can triumph without the other.

This week in sports talk March 22, 2020: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in better times.

On that note, the Vegas odds-makers rate Tampa Bay’s chances of making the playoffs higher than the Patriots’. Reports are that players and coaching staff are more interested in leaving the Pats and less interested in joining the franchise without Brady. And supposedly, many players are inquiring about joining the Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay . . . 

Tampa Bay fans are understandably happy, and ticket prices and sales increased immediately after the announcement. The Bucs still have some slots to fill to support their new star. The rumor was that Brady wanted Antonio Brown to join Tampa Bay. But Bruce Arians coached Brown in Pittsburgh and he apparently said “No!” We‘ll see. Maybe Josh Gordon instead?

Back in the AFC East, it might be the Bills’ time

For the first time in 20 years, the Patriots will need to decide on a new quarterback. Our Sports Desk notes that the usual Pats playbook is to get decimated early in the free agency period, and then make really smart bargain basement acquisitions. If the Patriots are going to go outside for a new QB, they may only have four realistic options at this point: Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston or Joe Flacco.

The Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins have picked over the Patriots other free agents. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, and defensive back Duron Harmon are all departing New England.

Meanwhile, every team in the AFC East has visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, now that their nemesis is gone. For the first time in a long time, Buffalo is favored to win the AFC East, not the Patriots

Nice to Know:

Despite the freeze in most sports, the NFL free agency period has been active, with a flurry of deals earlier this week. 

Head-scratching moves

The Chicago Bears have acquired quarterback Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The consensus reaction to that move is “Huh?” Foles, who will be joining his third team in as many seasons, started just four games last year and won . . . well, none of them.

In another head-scratching and widely mocked move, the Houston Texans have traded a top-3 wide receiver and for a player considered by many to be subpar. The Texans are sending All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals “for basically a bag of balls.” Actually, they’re picking up the injury-plagued running back David Johnson and a second-round draft pick. Reports are that head coach Bill O’Brien was jealous of the influence Hopkins had with other players on the team.

DeAndre Hopkins and Bill O’Brien.

Meanwhile, New York Jets fans want to know why their team didn’t pick up Hopkins, since they really need “an elite weapon” to support their quarterback Sam Darnold.

other notable NFL trades

On Thursday, Todd Gurley was cut by the LA Rams after five seasons, and he immediately signed with the Atlanta Falcons. That’s viewed as a good move – the Falcons offense now boasts 10 former first round picks.

Todd Gurley

Running back Melvin Gordon – last year’s unsuccessful holdout at Chargers training camp, has signed a two-year deal with AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has a two-year deal with Drew Brees  and the New Orleans Saints. Our Sports Desk suggests that you mark your calendars now for the two NFL games on the schedule featuring Brees versus Bradythat’s gonna be must watch TV, people.

Former Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy will be the backup for the New York Giants Daniel Jones.

Extra Credit:

Even after all that, there are still some big names left in free agency still to be signed, including quarterback Jameis Winston, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Related Post

you need to see these national championship rings

read more >

2. NBA

Must Know:

With March Madness cancelled due to COVID-19, the NCAA will vote on March 30 about whether to grant another year of eligibility to the college basketball players that lost a season or post-season due to the coronavirus.

Related Post

who are the best-dressed NBA players right now?

read more >

Nice to know:

In the annals of COVID-19, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has earned at least a footnote. It was his positive test that set in motion the suspension of not only the NBA season, but sports across the country.

Rudy Gobert

Gobert was vilified in social media and the press when he jokingly (mockingly? irresponsibly?) touched microphones and other surfaces in episodes that proceeded his diagnosis. Then it turned out that he actually had COVID-19. No one is sure if he’s the reason that so many NBA players have tested positive for the virus. But suffice it to say, he hasn’t cloaked himself in glory during this chapter in his life.

extra credit:

Meanwhile, adorable Steph Curry comes to the rescue with an episode to make us smile even in the depths of the coronavirus outbreak. Callaway Golf asked the two-time Most Valuable Player how he’s “playing through.” Curry responded on Twitter with a video of himself acing a trick golf shot from home. Curry hit an off-the-wall chip shot directly into a standing cup. Catch his reaction here

3. MLB

Must Know:

In further bad news for fans of the Boston Red Sox (that would be us), the team announced that pitcher Chris Sale’s elbow injury requires Tommy John surgery. Bringing an end to his 2020 season before it even started, and leaving his status in doubt for the start of next year as well. Ugh.

Related Post

why should I learn how to talk about sports?

read more >

This Week in Sports News March 22, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of March 22, 2020. Stay safe and healthy out there, and we’ll see you next week.

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.

Forward This Article

Join our community

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

sign up now >