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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Quick Hits

The Main Event
March Madness isn't just for basketball. A noticeably less drunk crowd than that of college hoops descended on Portland, Oregon this past weekend to watch 500+ athletes from over 140 countries compete at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. The biennial games featured a number of track and field events for men and women, including varying distance runs, relays, high/long/triple jump, shot put, pole vault and pentathlon/heptathlon.

The United States kicked ass once again, leading with 23 overall medals, including 13 golds. For some perspective, Ethiopia came in second with just 5 medals, two of which were gold. That's some serious ass kickery. It shouldn't come as too much of surprise though, because the U.S. has come away with the most gold and most total medals for every World Indoor Championship since 2006, when Russia took home the most total medals/golds. Speaking of Russia, their track and field athletes took a forced rain check from the tournament due to their affinity for doping. Considering the World Indoors are "the second biggest global athletics event of 2016," it's a big blow for Putin and his comrades. Russia's participation in the 2016 summer Olympics is still up in the air as well.

Had we known the U.S. would perform this well at the World Indoors and our March Madness brackets would turn out this shitty, we may have binge-drank through a different sport this past weekend. Dammit, Michigan State, you made us miss out on almost two dozen booze-fueled "USA!" chants.

Good Sport
Elián González-Style
The Tampa Bay Rays will play the Cuban national baseball team in front of President Obama today in Havana. The milestone moment is MLB's first visit to Cuba since 1999, which has already included an emotional reunion between Cuban-born player Dayron Varona and his family he hasn't seen in over three years. MLB is hoping to leverage this opportunity to ignite a conversation about creating a safer pipeline from Cuba to the U.S., as Cuban players are still forced to defect from their home country in order to play in the MLB. Considering it's 2016, It's about time we establish other ways for Cuban players to reach the MLB besides having to Elián González themselves across 90 miles of open ocean via rickety tin boat or floating door, which we all know never ends well.

Bad Sport
Say No To Novak
"I see your dumbass sexist comment, and I'll raise you an even dumber, dumbass sexist comment." This was clearly the thought running through world No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic's head when he responded to Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore's controversial statements at the 2016 Paribas Open about women's tennis, where Moore (who has since resigned) said "lady players" "ride on the coattails on men." Instead of denouncing Moore's remark, Djokovic piled on by suggesting male players deserve to make more money than females. The wage-gap issue isn't a hot-button subject these days, so we're sure this'll all blow over for Djokovic. (fart noise)

Soccer Is Crazy
This week's murder attempt on a soccer field is brought to you by Spanish soccer team Alhaurín de la Torre CF. After a match for the club's B-team, fans rushed the field and tried to choke a 24-year-old player named Samuel G.P. to death. When that didn't work, one of the more resourceful fans pulled out a knife and stabbed him twice in the chest, hitting his heart. Samuel is reportedly going to live after undergoing open heart surgery. When asked about the stabbing, Samuel's coach said, "Soccer is crazy." Sounds like a perfectly reasonable reaction to us.

Somewhat Related: In slightly less horrifyingly-violent soccer news, an errant kick from FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi went flying into the stands and broke a woman's arm, who passed out from the hit/shock and was later taken to a hospital. What didn't break is Barcelona's unbeaten streak, which stretched to 39-straight games with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal CF.

Never Forget
It's never too early to give up on your dreams. Never forget.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
MLB. Spring Training Baseball: Rays vs. Cuba - 1:30pm on ESPN
NBA. Rockets at Thunder - 8pm on TNT; Grizzlies at Lakers - 10:30pm on TNT
NHL. Kings at Wild - 8:30pm on NBC Sports
COLLEGE BASKETBALL. NIT Basketball Tournament: Valparaiso vs. St. Mary's - 7pm on ESPN; NIT Basketball Tournament: BYU vs. Creighton - 9pm on ESPN
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