Fun Fact of the Day: The NFL’s ratings have decreased 11% from this time last year. In response, the NFL sent around an internal memo to try and get everyone to stop freaking out and simmer down. The league blamed lackluster matchups and competition from the presidential debates for the decline in viewership.
- Cleveland Indians will advance to the ALCS, after sweeping the Red Sox. It was sweet, sweet revenge for Indians manager Terry Francona, who coached the Red Sox to their 2004 and 2007 World Series titles, before he was let go in 2011. Unfortunately, it was a disappointing end for retiring Red Sox DH David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who bid adieu to his adoring Boston fans.
- Both NLDS series are going to 4 games. Last night, the Washington Nationals beat the L.A. Dodgers 8-3, to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Then, the San Francisco Giants outlasted the formidable Chicago Cubs 6-5 in a 13th inning walk-off to avoid elimination. The Cubs still lead the series 2-1.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Carolina Panthers (17-14). The Bucs managed to beat the Panthers thanks to a last second field goal from their kicker Roberto Aguayo. The 3rd time was the charm for Aguayo, who missed 2 field goals earlier in the game and has a sad 3-7 league-worst record on field goals this season. Meanwhile, everyone is asking, ‘What happened to the Panthers?’ Last season, they had the best record in the league and QB Cam Newton had plenty to dance about. Now, they are off to a brutal 1-4 start thanks to a porous defense and string of injuries, including the recently concussed Newton. Only 7% of teams that have started the season 1-4 have made it to the playoffs.
Seen and Heard
Stuck in a sand trap. Tiger Woods announced he is withdrawing from this week’s Safeway Open. It was supposed to be his first tournament in 15 months, after undergoing two back surgeries last year. Woods said that he’s finally feeling healthy, but his game still needs a bit more work before he can compete against the best golfers in the world.
Another tough blow. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby sustained a concussion during practice and it’s unclear when he will be able to return. Why are Penguins fans are having a terrible case of déjà vu? Crosby suffered a concussion in 2011 that shortened his next 2 seasons. Fortunately, he made an incredible comeback, including leading the Pens to a Stanley Cup this spring and winning the Conn Smythe trophy (for MVP of the playoffs). This summer, he capped it off by leading his homeland Canada to victory and winning another MVP award in the World Cup of Hockey. Hopefully, he’ll get back on his skates soon.
Time to use those sick days. Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak has been diagnosed with a complex migraine condition. The team has ordered him to get a little R&R this week, so he’ll miss their game against San Diego Chargers this Thursday. There’s no harm in being careful. After all, Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke in 2013 while he coaching the Houston Texans.
For richer, for poorer, in truth and in fabrication. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte got engaged to his former Playboy model girlfriend this past weekend. The two started dating in January of this year. Lochte’s family asked him if the engagement was “a little too soon,” but he said he knew she was the one because she stuck with him through tough times earlier this year. *Ahem* i.e., that little international “robbery” from the Rio Olympics.
NLDS: Best of 5
- Washington Nationals (2-1) @ L.A. Dodgers (2-1). 5pm ET on FS1
- Chicago Cubs (2-1) @ San Francisco Giants (1-2). 8:30pm ET on FS1