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This Week in Sports Talk: March 29, 2020

this week in sports talk March 29, 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 29, 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 29, 2020

We begin with some short takes in sports news heading into the week of March 29, 2020.

spittin’ mad and losing our marbles

At a time when sports fans are desperate for some form of competitive viewing, the Marbula One race has emerged as a viral sensation. That’s right: we’re talking marble racing. The rules of the sport are the same ones you remember from childhood: players release marbles down a track, and whichever marble gets to the bottom or the end first wins. Wow. Even we can understand those rules.

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020: Marbula One.

If you want to talk like a cool kid, name-check “Comet” and “Pollo Loco.” Those are names of marbles that compete in the Marble League. 

ESPN2 is televising a range of unusual sports competitions in addition to marble runs. Including cherry pit spitting, sign spinning, and the Stupid Robot Fighting League.

Ah, what a time to be a sports fan! The water’s fine . . . come on in.

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Tokyo Olympics postponed

Shortly after we reported that the IOC was facing intense pressure to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the national teams of Australia and Canada announced that they would not compete, even if the Games went forward.

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed due to COVID-19.

That seemed to be the final straw, and the IOC capitulated the following day, postponing the global competition to a date no later than summer 2021. While no new date has been set, the organizing committee President said in an interview yesterday that “the Games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September.”

calculating the cost of cancelling March Madness

The cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament March Madness due to COVID-19 will have a significant impact on the economics of the college teams affected. The NCAA’s annual distribution to Division I schools will be $225 million this year, which is down from an expected total of $600 million. Thanks to an insurance policy, the NCAA recouped $270 million; it will also dip into $50 million of its reserve accounts.

will the college football season be postponed, too?

Not to pile on with bad news, but conversation has already started about whether the upcoming college football season will be affected by coronavirus. The season is currently scheduled to start about a month after the Tokyo Olympics were supposed to start. Reports are that this week’s postponement of the 2020 Games has college athletic directors and coaches starting to acknowledge that college football could also be affected by the outbreak. Ugh.

remember the XFL? it kinda worked, actually

While the spring season football league the XFL didn’t complete its first season due to COVID-19, there were a couple of good outcomes for players and the league.

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020: XFL quarterback P. J. Walker has been signed by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Photo Credit: Sky Sports.

CBS Sports reports that the Carolina Panthers signed XFL quarterback P.J. Walker, who will back up Teddy Bridgewater. The Kansas City Chiefs signed XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu to compete with Kyle Shurmur and Chad Henne for a chance to back up Patrick Mahomes.

remembering “Curly”

Beloved iconic member of The Harlem Globetrotters Fred “Curly” Neal passed away at age 77 this week. One of the most famous faces of the franchise’s golden era, along with Meadowlark Lemon, Neal played in over 6,000 games in 94 countries. As our Sports Desk notes: in an age of “load management” in the NBA, props to a man who gave his all on the court. Rest well, Mr. Neal.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of March 29, 2020

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of March 29, 2020:

1. NFL

Must Know:

This year’s NFL Draft will go on as scheduled from April 23-25, even though many of the General Managers would have preferred a delay. That’s in part because all NFL-related physicals have been indefinitely stopped until it is deemed that the coronavirus has passed. So teams cannot assess free agents or draft prospects. Originally planned as a made-for-television spectacle from Las Vegas, the event will now be televised, but held at various remote locations.

Likely number one NFL draft pick Joe Burrow is expected to go to Cincinnati.

Nice to Know:

There’s continued chatter and finger-pointing in the saga of Tom Brady’s exit from the New England Patriots. Joe Montana declared that “someone screwed up in New England” letting Brady go. Terry Bradshaw (the original TB?) remarked that Brady let his ego drive a move nobody wanted. Everyone has an opinion, and yet few actually know what went down. But most seem to believe that head coach Bill Belichick is the bad actor here.

Brady’s new coach in Tampa Bay, Bruce Arians, still says “no way” to Antonio Brown joining the Buccaneers.

The new “TB to TB” (Tom Brady to Tampa Bay) jerseys were the biggest seller this week in NFL merchandise. The branding agency that represents Brady filed a trademark application for the phrase “TB x TB” last week. And EA’s Madden 20 video game gives fans a chance to see a virtual Tom Brady in his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey.

Madden 20 previews Tom Brady in his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey.

We’re showing Tampa Bay running back Chris Godwin some love in our lead photo this week – the dude has agreed to surrender his number – 12 – so that his new teammate can remain TB12 when he takes the field for the Bucs.

Meanwhile, back in New England, so far the Pats have not made any serious moves to replace Brady. They did sign Brian Hoyer, who was previously a back up quarterback for New England and was cut by the Indianapolis Colts last week.

Extra Credit:

Last week Teddy Bridgewater signed with a 3-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. As expected, now Cam Newton is leaving the team – but not in the way that many expected.

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020: The Carolina Panthers have released Cam Newton. Photo Credit: New York Times.

After watching to see where he might be traded, in the end, the Panthers cut Newton after nine seasons. It was an abrupt end for a player drafted first overall in 2011 who won Rookie of the Year, MVP and who made a Super Bowl appearance.

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2. NBA

Must Know:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said this week that he’s optimistic that NBA season will resume in mid-May.

Nice to Know: 

It’s unclear whether the league will finish out the remainder of the regular season once games restart. Reports are that the rest of the regular NBA season could be canceled in order to go straight into the playoffs.

Superstar LeBron James, 16-time All Star, is against that idea, suggesting a trucated 10-game wrap up to the regular season. In other news, James confirmed that his film “Space Jam 2” is still on schedule despite prevalent postponements in the movie industry due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Whew!

Extra credit:

All Utah Jazz players and staff have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health after completing their respective periods of isolation and quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus, according to a team official.

Rudy Golbert, Utah Jazz.

More than two weeks ago, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was one of three NBA players to test positive for COVID-19, prompting the NBA to suspend play. One day later, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive. 

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3. MLB

Must Know:

Reports are that MLB is targeting early June for the season opener (which was supposed be last Thursday). Depending on when the season can start, the current plan is for a reduced regular season down from 162 games.

In the meantime, the league and its Players Union have reached an agreement on key economic issues in hopes of salvaging the majority of the season, even if it means playing the World Series in late November.

The league will reportedly provide a $170 million salary advance for players, with that total sum being spread over two months.

If there is no 2020 season, the league and owners have agreed that players will get the same service time for 2020 as they had in 2019. That means players who were set to hit free agency this winter (like Mookie Betts) will still be eligible to do so.

Nice to know:

Both sides have agreed that MLB can shorten this year’s draft to as little as five rounds, if they so choose (it normally consists of 40 rounds.) The draft will also be pushed back from June to July or August at the earliest.

And MLB: The Show has been released for PlayStation 4. Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Báez is the cover star.

Extra Credit:

The snake-bitten New York Mets are experiencing setbacks before the season even starts. The team announced this week that Noah Syndergaard tore his UCL and successfully underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday.

This week in sports talk March 29, 2020: The New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard is out for the season.

Syndergaard is one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in baseball history, and was expected to anchor the Mets’ rotation alongside ace Jacob deGrom. He’s now going to be out until the 2021 season.

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This Week in Sports News March 29, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of March 29, 2020. Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll 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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