Ira Winderman: NBA can't tackle football, so Heat wind up in a waiting game
Perhaps we now have our answer, one that comes for reasons beyond a 2019-20 NBA season dramatically delayed due to a pandemic.The NBA, based on the signals offered during these playoffs, might as well permanently time shift its future schedules to start on Christmas Day or later.First came the Sept. 10 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, a game that featured the NBA’s biggest star and best scorer.And, even then, the league opted to start at 7 p.m. Eastern (4 p.m. Los Angeles time), despite the matchup of LeBron James vs. James Harden.That one tipped off with exceptional TN...
When Gotham was Eden: The great wins and good times of a magical year in Big Apple sports
NEW YORK — When the Knicks routed the expansion Seattle SuperSonics by 25 points in the season opener at Madison Square Garden, Oct. 14, 1969, the Mets were two days away from winning the franchise’s first World Series title at Shea Stadium in neighboring Queens.Shea’s football denizens had already done their part to electrify New York City sports fans earlier that year, when the Jets marched to Super Bowl III victory, their brash quarterback Joe Namath guaranteeing the win over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts three nights before the big game.With a young Tom Seaver at the front of a pitch...
New York Daily News
Matt Calkins: It's time for Pac-12 to start playing football. Those who are behind will catch up.
SEATTLE — Sometimes, even unity can be taken too far. Occasionally, getting your act together trumps moving together as one.That’s the burden facing Pac-12 leaders right now. Their desire to keep a unified front may simply be holding them back.This is what San Jose Mercury News reporter Jon Wilner explained in a column Saturday morning. The Pac-12 presidents were expected to vote this week to start their season on Oct. 31, when suddenly there was pushback from schools who didn’t think they would be ready by then.Among them was UCLA, which has not been able to lift weights or engage in any sign...
The Seattle Times
It's not only football players. The postponement of fall sports affects so many college athletes — just without the outcry.
CHICAGO — When Loyola Chicago senior midfielder Giann Magno learned the fall soccer season was postponed because of COVID-19, he processed a mix of emotions.He was disappointed not to compete. He was relieved to have some finality to questions about whether he should continue preparing for fall games. Quickly, he moved on to acceptance.“On my team there is more so understanding,” Magno said. “We had this conversation: Even if we were to have a season or try to have a season, it wouldn’t be smart. It would take just one person on one team for that team to get shut down. We all know this is a pr...
Michael Cunningham: Falcons in trouble if defensive backs still can't cover
The Falcons are supposed to have a deep group of defensive backs by now. With good drafting and player development, Desmond Trufant wouldn’t have been the best cornerback of a bad group in 2019. His departure wouldn’t have left them lacking in pass coverage now.At this point, I wonder if it’s fixable.Six defensive backs on the most current two-deep depth chart were drafted by the Falcons. Half of them were picked 58th overall or higher. And yet the Falcons spent much of last season struggling to play tight coverage. It happened again during Sunday’s 38-25 loss to Seattle.Once Russell Wilson wa...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jim Souhan: NFL displays anti-racism slogans, but still has a long way to go
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played football in an empty stadium during a pandemic on Sunday, artificial crowd noise droned, sometimes drowning out the voices of players and coaches on the field. It sounded something like locusts.In the strangest, saddest edition of their rivalry, the Packers won 43-34 as the Vikings defense observed social distancing norms, frequently staying at least six feet away from Aaron Rodgers and his receivers.What you noticed most, sitting in a massive press box and staring at acres of empty purple seats, was the silence of the horns.O...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Sideline Chatter: What was NASCAR doing that day? Tire rotations?
Who needs the moon in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars?The sporting world lined up quite an impressive first of its own on Thursday — with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA all playing on the same day.———Headlines— At Fark.com: “Padres’ Eric Hosmer suffers fractured finger. On the other hand, he’s fine.”— At TheOnion.com: “Monster truck chased down by torch-wielding regular trucks.”———Net Loss Dept.Top-ranked Novak Djokovic got defaulted from the U.S. Open after a ball he struck in anger hit a line judge.On the plus side, he was immediately credited with a one-hit shutout.———...
The Seattle Times
Mike Jensen: Here's one vote for every team making the NCAA Tournament
PHILADELPHIA — News item: The Atlantic Coast Conference is proposing having all teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament.In a normal year, my opinion would be: No way, horrible idea, don’t mess with near-perfection. Since this is 2020, all that is out the window, out of sight — including the idea that March Madness should be sacrosanct.This is a good idea.Not necessarily for the big boys like the ACC. For all the little guys. For the players, all of them. For the simple thought that maybe everyone would get to enjoy something in this year where nobody has been able to enjoy much of anything.Also,...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Mark Zeigler: Coronavirus craziness could play into Padres' hands
The first major professional sports league to return after coronavirus shutdowns was Germany’s Bundesliga, on May 16. Borussia Dortmund hosted rival Schalke 04 in an empty Westfalenstadion; Dortmund won 4-0.Then something strange happened. Home teams suddenly stopped winning with no fans to cheer them — geisterspiele, or ghost games, as Germans call them. Over the next 22 geisterspiele, home teams won just twice.The first U.S. pro league to return was the National Women’s Soccer League, which played a preliminary round starting June 27 followed by a single-elimination tournament in Utah withou...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Mark Bradley: For better or worse, college football has begun
There already has been more college football than I figured there would be. (Doesn’t say much for me as a seer, huh?) It involved Austin Peay, which lost to Central Arkansas 24-17 on Saturday in large part because the Governors ran low on long snappers.We in sports journalism have our little joke. When a fellow scribe says he/she might need to write about a long snapper, that means he/she has exhausted all other ideas, coverage-wise. The long snapper usually sees action only to snap the ball, duh, a long way — as for punts. Nice work if you can get it, but not quite the 21st century equivalent...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution