The Playoff Push

Fun Fact of the Day:  Serena Williams won her 306th career Grand Slam match last night. She is now tied with Martina Navratilova for the most in women's history.


Today's Rundown

NFL

The fashion police. In case you were wondering, this Colin Kaepernick controversy is not going away any time soon. Yesterday, a photo of the San Francisco 49ers QB wearing socks patterned with cartoon police-“pigs” went viral. As you might imagine, the police didn’t like that very much. Kaepernick defended the fashion choice by discussing rogue police officers that have given good cops a bad name and put communities in danger. He also pointed out that the photo was from an August 10th practice, and he hasn’t worn the socks since because he didn’t want to distract from the real issues. Then in last night’s preseason game, Kaepernick was greeted by boos when he took a knee instead of standing during the national anthem. But this time he had company, teammate safety Eric Reid joined him, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane also sat out the anthem during his game in Oakland. 


Spotlight on the Last Month of Baseball

There’s only 1 month left of the regular season, so we thought it was time for a spotlight to catch you up on what’s happening with the playoff race!

Psst—can you remind me who makes the playoffs again?  In MLB, there are 10 teams that make it to the playoffs: the team with the best record in each of the 6 divisions, and 4 wild card spots comprised of the 2 teams with the next best records from each of the American and National Leagues. This is what the playoff race looks like today:

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Who’s definitely making the playoffs?  The Chicago Cubs lived up to all the hype and have been #1 in the standings all season long, except for 1 day. They’re on pace to hit an incredible 104 wins, something they haven’t done since 1910, back when William Howard Taft was president. They’ll likely be joined by the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals, who also have pretty comfortable leads in their divisions.

Who’s still fighting it out?  Basically everyone else.  There are 14 other teams (!!!!!!) that are still legitimate playoff contenders. They are duking it out in the last 2 division races and 4 wildcard spots. It gets messy in a hurry, if you try and think about all the different permutations. Instead we’ll just cover a few different teams you should watch out for: 

  • The NL West Rivalry.  Division rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are neck-and-neck in the NL West. The Giants had an 8 game lead back in June, but they let it slip through their fingers and now are sitting 2 games behind the Dodgers. Meanwhile the Dodgers are weirdly heating up, even though they lost their best player P Clayton Kershaw. This will likely be an exciting fight to the finish, because the teams play each other 6 times in the last 2 weeks of the season.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays are well positioned to make it to the playoffs, because they have been peaking at the right time. They had the best record in baseball over the past 91 games.
  • Last year’s champs, the Kansas City Royals were looking pretty shaky at the beginning of August. Everyone had basically written them off, until suddenly they caught fire and went 18-6 in their past 24 games. But they still have zero room for error in September if they want to make it to the playoffs.

Seen and Heard

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Break out the tissues.  Here is a touching tale to warm your cold, dark heart. This week the Florida State Seminoles visited a local middle school. During lunch, wide receiver Travis Rudolph sat down to eat with a young autistic boy, who was sitting alone. Someone snapped a photo and showed it to the boy’s mom, who posted this moving message on Facebook.


Hot Read

COLLEGE FOOTBALL 

So much football.  Yay! College football is back with a vengeance. Some people are calling it the best opening week schedule ever. Here are the highlights for your long weekend:

  • #3 Oklahoma v #15 Houston, Saturday 12pm ET ABC
  • #5 LSU v Wisconsin, Saturday 3:30pm ET ABC
  • #1 Alabama v. #20 USC, Saturday 8pm ET ABC
  • #2 Clemson @ Auburn, Saturday 9pm ET ESPN
  • #10 Notre Dame @ Texas, Sunday 7:30pm ET ABC
  • #4 Florida State v #11 Ole Miss, 8pm ET ESPN

Don’t have any clue what’s going on with college football this year? Check out yesterday’s post with the biggest college football storylines.