Weekly Top 10 Sports News Headlines and Major Events: Feb 6, 2022
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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For February 6, 2022, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know: the big stories and major events in sports news this week, including football, basketball, tennis and baseball.
weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: February 6, 2022
The Winter Olympics are underway in Beijing. China won its first medal – a gold – today in speed skating, and Norway won its first two gold medals. The U.S. won its first medal – a silver – in women’s snowboarding. And snowboarder Shaun White announced that this will be his last appearance at the Olympics.
Here are the other big stories and events to know in the world of sports right now.
1. Cincinnati Bengals win AFC Championship.
Last Sunday, the Bengals tied the record for the largest comeback in AFC Championship Game history, rallying from a 21-3 deficit to beat the Chiefs, 27-24, in overtime. CBS Sports notes that the Bengals’ Joe Burrow has become the first quarterback drafted No. 1 overall to reach the Super Bowl within his first two seasons.
The game was a thriller, as nearly all of the playoff games were this season. After losing the overtime coin toss and risking never even getting the ball, an intercepted pass gave the Bengals possession. A few plays later, they scored a field goal for the win.
There was shock in Kansas City, as the previous Super Bowl champion Chiefs collapsed. Fabled quarterback Patrick Mahomes had stunned fans with a come-from-behind win just a week ago. But this time, a series of Chiefs errors helped the Bengals achieve their own dramatic comeback win.
2. LA Rams win NFC Championship.
Also last Sunday, the Rams overcame a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit, beating the San Francisco 49ers 20-17. It’s the largest fourth-quarter deficit comeback win in conference championship history.
Rams quarterback Matt Stafford was traded from the Detroit Lions to to LA just one year ago – and he has achieved what he and his new team were hoping for. It was only two weeks ago that Stafford won his first playoff game. Now he’s headed for the Super Bowl, and playing in his team’s home stadium. And that worked out pretty well for Tampa Bay last year.
With the 49ers having blown a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the Rams in the NFC Championship, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s tenure with the team may be at an end. Rumors are rampant that he’ll turn up in Pittsburgh next season. Watch this space for further updates.
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3. It’s official: Tom Brady is retiring.
After 22 seasons, seven Super Bowl wins, five Super Bowl MVPs, three MVPs, and several major NFL passing records, quarterback Tom Brady officially announced that he’s retiring at the age of 44.
The accolades have poured in, and here’s one of our favorite statistics: when he won his first Super Bowl, Brady became the youngest quarterback ever to win. And when he won his last Super Bowl, he became the oldest quarterback to win.
Mic drop. Brady out.
4. NFL head coach picks stir lawsuit and controversy.
new head coaches named in Vegas, Jacksonville, NY
Longtime New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been named head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. He was previously head coach of the Denver Broncos for just one season. In 2018, he first accepted the head coaching job for the Indianapolis Colts, then changed his mind and returned to the Pats.
The former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson, will become the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in the 2017 season, and did not coach in any capacity this past season.
Pederson was instrumental in developing quarterback Carson Wentz, and the hope is that he’ll be able to do the same thing with No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence.
Like the Raiders, the New York Giants also chose an offensive coordinator as their new head coach: Brain Daboll. Daboll was previously with the Buffalo Bills, where he won kudos for his work with quarterback Josh Allen. The Giants hope he can repeat that magic with Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones.
flores files suit against the nfl and several teams
But the news of the week on this front is what happened after these announcements. Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores announced that he is suing the Giants, Broncos, Dolphins and the NFL as a whole in a class action suit for racial discrimination in its hiring practices.
In a truly weird twist, this episode started when longtime New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick texted Flores to congratulate him on getting the Giants head coaching job. The problem? Flores had not even interviewed with New York yet. Belichick apparently had meant to text Brian Daboll, who later did get the job. Flores later participated in what he later labeled a “sham interview.” The NFL’s Rooney Rule requires teams to interview a diverse slate of candidates for all head coaching jobs, which is allegedly the reason the Giants talked to Flores.
In what may prove to be an even more explosive accusation, Flores also alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss in the 2019 season, in an attempt to improve the team’s draft picks. Also known as “tanking,” fans joke about this phenomenon (remember “tanking for Tua?”). The allegation asserts that coaches are actually incentivized by team owners to do it. Ross denies this charge. The NFL released a statement saying that Flores’ claims are “without merit.”
A day later, Hue Jackson released a statement saying that the Cleveland Browns’ Jimmy Haslam paid him to tank during his time as head coach for the team.
5. Jim Harbaugh is staying with Michigan.
After showing serious interest in returning to the NFL as a head coach — and even interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings this week — University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is staying put. A huge sigh of relief has washed through Ann Arbor now that he’ll start his 8th year as Wolverines head coach this fall.
After a rocky start, Harbaugh delivered for his alma mater this past season. Michigan made the College Football Playoff for the first time – and beat archrival Ohio State for the first time since 2011.
Meanwhile, it’s being reported that the Vikings will hire the LA Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. After his team plays in the Super Bowl, of course.
6. Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat tied for first in NBA Eastern Conference.
The Eastern Conference is without a clear lead team as the second half of the NBA season unfolds. As of this posting, two teams are tied for first place, and three others are within 2 games of first place. The NBA trade deadline is this Thursday February 10, and there’s speculation about whether there will be any surprise moves to set one or more of these franchises up for the post-season.
The Miami Heat (34-20) and the Chicago Bulls (33-19) are tied for first place.
There’s also a tie for third place, with the Milwaukee Bucks (32-21) – the defending national champions – and the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-21) both 1.5 games back. The Philadelphia 76ers’ (31-21) round out the top 5 at 2 games back.
The once-resurgent Brooklyn Nets (29-23) remain in sixth place, and after a rough week, they’re now 4 games back.
7. Phoenix Suns lead the NBA Western Conference.
The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry passed the late Kobe Bryant for the most career 20-point quarters this week.
But the Phoenix Suns (39-9) are still in first place in the West. The Warriors (40-13) trail by two and a half.
Further south, the LA Lakers (25-28) still seem to be snake-bitten this season. LeBron James has missed several games, and won’t return to the court until swelling in his knee subsides. They’re currently in 9th place and have fallen below the .500 mark.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies are hanging onto third place in the West at 35-18, 6.5 games back.
8. MLB spring training start in jeopardy.
Ongoing labor negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union have stretched into their third month. And that may mean that spring training starts late this year.
The Cactus League and Grapefruit League seasons are scheduled to begin Saturday, February 26. Working backward from that date, several sportswriters have concluded that there won’t be sufficient time to agree upon and ink a deal. CBS Sports reports that open issues still under negotiation include higher minimum salaries, the timeline for arbitration and luxury tax thresholds.
9. Australian Open recap.
In the women’s singles competition, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian to win the Australian Open title since 1978. She won every set in this tournament, finishing with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) triumph over American Danielle Collins.
On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal overcame a two-set deficit, topping Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to win. With this 21st major title, he pulls ahead in what was a three-way tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the most major championships ever won by a male tennis player.
This win was particularly inspiring, given Nadal’s recent health challenges. He has struggled with a foot injury since the spring of 2021, and he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated last December.
10. Washington football team has a new name.
The Washington Football Team has changed its name to the Washington Commanders. But as Meta has learned the hard way, sometimes a name change isn’t enough to erase the stains of the past. This week, six former team employees joined leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee to discuss workplace misconduct inside the organization. And the accusations against owner Dan Snyder are hair-raising. He denies them all. If even half of them are true, it’ll take more than a new moniker for this franchise to command widespread respect.
Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: February 6, 2022
That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead including what to know about football, basketball, baseball and tennis. Stay well and safe, 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.
Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She’s all in with the Pats, the Warriors, the Red Sox and the Wolverines. Also Naomi and Coco. And Roger. She would like to thank her advisors on the Sports Desk, without whom this column would not be possible.