The One Where We Reach for the Summitt

Fun Fact of the Day:  The Cleveland Indians just did something the Cavaliers didn’t!  They have now won 11 games in a row—the longest winning streak for the Indians since 1982!


Today's Rundown

OLYMPICS 

Olympic-sized expectations.  Get ready to meet some new faces at the Rio Olympics! 10 swimmers who have claimed spots for Rio so far, are 1st time Olympians. Unfortunately, that means some of the swimmers that you vaguely remember from the 2012 London Olympics haven’t been doing so well in the qualifying rounds. Reformed-bro Ryan Lochte missed the mark in the 400-meter individual medley (the only event where he took home gold in London) and Missy Franklin came in a dismal 7th place in her 100m backstroke qualifier. The good news is that both swimmers still have chances to qualify for other events later this week, and Lochte has already clinched a spot in the 4x200 relay. If you really don’t like meeting new people… Don’t worry, it won’t be all newbies in the pool. Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky are still doing just fine.

 

NFL 

Defense wins championships.  Former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator James David “Buddy” Ryan passed away at the age of 85. He was known for building the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears defense that helped them win the Super Bowl.  He named it the “46 defense” and it was known for wreaking havoc on offenses by sending in more blitzing players than an offense could block. Sound simple?  As Ryan used to say, "Some say the 46 is just an eight-man front. That's like saying Marilyn Monroe is just a girl."  Two of Ryan’s sons are carrying on the family business. Rex Ryan is the head coach of the Buffalo Bills and he just hired his fraternal twin brother Rob as defensive coordinator (formerly with the New Orleans Saints).


Spotlight on Pat Summitt

Yesterday morning, Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt passed away after a long battle with early onset Alzheimers.  She was a pioneer in women’s college basketball, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to 8 national titles and 1,098 victories—the most in Division I college basketball history (men or women).  Here are a few more things to know about the legendary Pat Summitt. 

The pioneer.  Summitt was one of the earliest faces of women’s sports and she helped prove that they could succeed.  In the early days coaching the Tennessee’s women’s team, Summitt made just $8,900 per year and fought with physical education classes for practice space in a multiuse gymnasium. Of course, she was also multitasking—coaching the team the while earning her master’s degree and training for the Olympic team.

The leader.  Summitt was widely regarded as one of the toughest coaches in college basketball history, men's or women's. She was best known for giving her players an icy stare in response to poor play, and it worked.  In 38 seasons as a coach she never had a losing season. Tennessee once asked Summitt to consider coaching the men's team, but she responded “Why is that considered a step up?

The Volunteer.  Pat Summitt’s name is nearly synonymous with Tennessee.  One of the best anecdotes that shows her love for her state was when she went into labor while on a recruiting trip. She  insisted on flying home to have her baby in Knoxville.  Her son Tyler Summitt also went on to play basketball for Tennessee and tried to follow in her footsteps with a (short-lived and disgraced) women’s basketball coaching career.


Hot Read

TENNIS

Wimbledon.  Serena is still trying to go for her 22nd Grand Slam.  So far, she’s been making it through the early rounds, but it’s a bit harder than expected.  Check out the early rounds 7am-4:30pm ET on ESPN.

 

COLLEGE BASEBALL 

College World Series Finals.  Last night, Coastal Carolina beat Arizona 5-4, to tie up the series to a game apiece. Tune into the tie-breaker tonight at 7pm ET on ESPN.