Fun Fact of the Day: ICYMI, many NFL players and teams are protesting the national anthem to make a statement about social injustice against African Americans. Baltimore Orioles star outfielder Adam Jones said that you shouldn’t expect MLB players to follow suit, because baseball is a “white man’s sport.” He was right about the demographics: 68% of NFL players are black, while that figure is only 8% in MLB.
Week 1 concludes. Last night, we had our last two games of the opening week of football. Here’s what you need to know:
- Pittsburgh Steelers beat Washington Redskins (38-16). The Steelers got off to a slow start, because they are missing a few of last year’s key players to suspension, injury, and retirement. But they took care of business thanks to QB Big Ben Roethlisberger, running back DeAngelo Williams, and the best wide receiver in the biz, Antonio Brown.
- San Francisco 49ers beat LA Rams (28-0). The 49ers got a resounding win in coach Chip Kelly’s debut with the team. It was the 49ers’ first shutout since 2012. 49ers backup QB Colin Kaepernick and several other members of the team continued their national anthem protest.
Well, that was short-lived. After getting hit in the 1st game of the season, Cleveland Browns QB Robert Griffin III (“RGIII”) will be out until Week 10 with a broken shoulder. So much for that comeback! RGIII won Rookie of the Year back in 2012, but then he struggled with injuries and never bounced back. Last year, he fell all the way down to the Washington Redskins’ 3rd string QB and didn’t play in a single game. The Browns acquired him this year to try and revitalize his career and their team. Unfortunately, he was hit at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, when he failed to protect himself by sliding—an old habit that’s frustrated fans and worried his mom for years. Now, the Browns are back to their 37-year-old QB Josh McCown, who went 1-7 in the 8 games he started last season.
Flushing away opportunities. The NCAA announced that they’re moving 7 championship events (including the early rounds of March Madness) out of North Carolina because of the controversial HB2—that’s the law that wants you to bring your birth certificate with you to the bathroom. This wasn’t the first sports event to move out of the state. The NBA also decided to move the 2017 All Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans because of the law.
Spotlight on Jimmy Garoppolo
New England Patriots fans were getting nervous before the start of the season, and who could blame them? Their star QB Tom Brady was suspended for the first 4 games because of Deflategate. They were left with his backup—some guy named Jimmy Garoppolo, who had only thrown 31 passes in his first 2 years in the NFL. Here’s what you need to know about the Patriots QB sub:
He’s not used to the limelight. College football programs weren’t interested in Garoppolo when he was in high school. He only got into Eastern Illinois because one of his high school coaches was a former NFL quarterback, who recommended him. By the end of college, Garoppolo had improved and was looking like a promising NFL prospect. He finished his senior year with a 12-2 record and 5,050 passing yards beating alum Tony Romo’s school record.
How’d he do in his big debut? This weekend, Garoppolo led the Patriots to victory against the Arizona Cardinals (23-21). He managed to stay calm, cool, and collected against the Cards’ defense, which was one of the best in the NFL last year. The win was even more impressive because the Pats were missing 2 of their best offensive players: tight end Rob Gronkowsi (hamstring injury), and running back Dion Lewis (knee injury). After that tough matchup, the next 3 games should be a breeze, because the Pats will play at home against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.
Is he going to replace Brady? Cool your jets. Brady’s expected to start in Week 5 as soon as his suspension is done. But Garoppolo is a great sign of the Patriots’ future, whenever Brady finally does decide to call it quits.
Seen and Heard
Dancing with the Fraud! During last night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars, 2 men rushed the stage wearing anti-Ryan Lochte T-shirts. They yelled that they were against publicizing a liar as a star, while they were forcibly removed by security. They clearly haven’t forgotten that time Lochte “overexaggerated” about an “armed robbery” in Rio and caused an embarrassing international incident at the Olympics.