Sarcastaball, Spygate: Baseball Edition, & Jon "Estrogen" Jones.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quick Hits
  • Sarcastaball. The NCAA is exploring the possibility of eliminating kickoffs as a safety measure, which will move college football closer to South Park's soft "Sarcastaball" League than we ever thought possible.
  • Early Exit. Croatia overcame a 2-0 deficit to bounce the U.S. from the 2016 Davis Cup, an annual tennis tournament between national men's teams. Croatia will play France in the World Group semis this September, with the winner advancing to the Final in November. That's right, the U.S. has already been booted from a tournament that has a solid four months left. Good work, boys.
  • The Football Future Is Now. The NFL will place microchips in footballs during preseason games to gather stats on field goal conversion rates. Based on this data, the NFL may narrow the uprights to make field goals more difficult. What an age we live in. And yet, the league is still trying to figure out what a catch is.
  • Slap Retirement. 2x NFL Pro Bowl cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman, the fumble-forcing expert, announced his retirement with a video of himself slapping things out of people's hands, including a cupcake from his young daughter. Happy birthday, to the ground!

The Main Event
Well, Russia, you've really done it this time. Yesterday, an independent report produced by a Canadian law professor was published, revealing widespread, state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes across several sports and international competitions since 2011. Now, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wants Russia's head on a spit, having recommended to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that all Russian athletes be banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Que an "ooooo" from all other participating Olympic countries as if they were kids in a classroom, and someone (Russia) just got called up to the front by the teacher for getting in trouble.

So how much detention time will Russia serve? Quite a bit, considering the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, Russia's Federal Security Service (known as The FSB, successor to the infamous The KGB), and their Deputy Minister of Sport, Yuri Nagornykh, all had a hand in an elaborate scheme centered around doctoring their athletes' urine. Russia's Pee Party methods ranged from sophisticated - Russian laboratories purposefully tampering with screen results to show false positives - to juvenile - FSB staff members would sneak vials of piss through a literally glory hole to exchange clean urine at a Sochi sample collection room. All told, more than 580 positive tests were tampered with, leaving Russia FUBAR.

Say "dasvidaniya" to the Olympics, Putin!

Good Sport
NFL Olympic First
For the first time in history, the NFL will be represented by current and former players at the Olympics. Former Detroit Lions walking concussion running back Jahvid Best will piss on his California/U.S. roots by representing Saint Lucia in the 100-meter dash, while current New England Patriots special teams player Nate Ebner made the 12-man, U.S. rugby sevens squad. Olympic rugby officials will undoubtedly keep a sharper eye on ball air-pressure now that a Patriot has jumped into the fray.

The Bulls Are Back, Sort Of
Denzel Valentine is the Michael Jordan of the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League. The Chicago Bulls rookie guard stepped up big in the Summer League championship game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, hitting a field goal to send the game into overtime before sinking an OT buzzer-beater to give the Bulls the 84-82 win. Hooray for the pretend NBA champions!

"Honorable" Mention: Former MLB commission Bud Selig received a lifetime achievement award last night at the Global Sports Summit (gathering of franchise owners and presidents from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), because why not honor the man who flubbed one of the biggest steroid abuse scandals in sports history.

Bad Sport
Terry Ryan's Big Joke
The Minnesota Twins are the worst team in the American League (33-59), which means their general manager must be the worst in the AL too, right? The Twins finally realized that, and fired GM Terry Ryan after four and a half seasons of shit baseball. However, we now have a deeper appreciation for Ryan's joke on Opening Day this year, when he said, “I think we’re a playoff-caliber club.” It was a long set up for the punch line, but we think it was worth the wait.

BB Guns Bring Us Back
Along with Pokémon, another childhood favorite toy that's all the rage are BB guns. After a pair of Georgia football players were arrested in April for shooting up their dorm room with a BB gun, two Florida football players (one being the No. 2 receiver in the nation) were just arrested for the same offense. Still, it's less dangerous to play with a BB gun than it is to play Pokémon Go.

Spygate: Baseball Edition
Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa received a 46-month prison sentence for hacking the Houston Astros' database to steal "closely guarded information about players." How did Correa access the database? He used the computer password of a former Cardinals employee, who decided to use the same password after taking a job with the Astros. We're sure the genius who neglected to change his password is the same type of person who uses their birthday as their ATM pin too.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: UFC girly-man Jon Jones' suspension for a failed drug test prior to UFC 200 has been extended after tests determined he tested positive for two anti-estrogen drugs. He'll remain suspended until a formal hearing later this year.

Never Forget
That sweatpants are never a good replacement for an athletic cup. Never forget.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
MLB. Mets at Cubs - 7pm on ESPN
WNBA. Sparks vs. Fever - 8pm on ESPN2
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