The Wild Card Race Gets Wild

Fun Fact of the Day: Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz is the only rookie QB to start and win his team’s first 2 games with no turnovers. Are you on board the Wentz wagon yet?


Today’s Rundown

MLB

Hold onto your baseball caps.  The NL wild card race just got close. Very close. The San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and N.Y. Mets are all tied for a wild card spot. Looking ahead to the last 11 games of the regular season, the Mets should have the easiest schedule left because they don’t have to play a single playoff contender. Meanwhile the Giants have a series against their division rivals the L.A. Dodgers and the Cards have to play the scary good Chicago Cubs. That said, the Mets just lost 2 straight games to the team with the worst record in the NL, the Atlanta Braves and their formerly stellar starting rotation just got thinner. Yesterday, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom announced that he is getting season-ending surgery on his ulnar nerve.


Spotlight on Lamar Jackson

If you don’t know the name Lamar Jackson yet, you will soon. He’s Louisville’s sophomore QB, who led his team to a landslide victory over #2 Florida State this past weekend. The big win helped rocket Louisville up to #3 in the rankings.  Here’s what you need to know about this early Heisman trophy favorite.

Why’s he so special? He’s a dual threat: he’s one of the fastest players on the field and his impressive passing game is getting better every day.

What’s the big deal?  Jackson is torching his opponents. In the first 3 games of this season, he’s already accumulated 8 passing and 10 rushing touchdowns. To put that in perspective, if Jackson was a team, his 18 touchdowns would be tied for 8th in scoring, ahead of 114 Division-I football teams. If he can keep it up, he’s set to break all kinds of records.

Why’d he go to Louisville?  Even though Louisville has a great football program, it’s not on the same level as a perpetual contender like Alabama. Jackson decided to go to Louisville, because he wanted to play QB. He knew a lot of big football programs would just shove him into a skill position to take advantage of his speed. Louisville almost made that mistake once, too. During a practice last year, Jackson’s coaches asked him to return punts. Afterwards they got a call from Jackson’s mom, who made sure that they would never ever do that again. Now, Jackson only plays QB.

What’s next for Jackson? Louisville’s expected to breeze through most of the season. Their only big test is in 2 weeks against #5 Clemson.


Seen and Heard

NBA

To be revealed.  A court ruled that the woman who is suing New York Knick Derrick Rose for rape must reveal her identity. The victim alleges that Rose and 2 of his friends trespassed into her apartment while she was intoxicated and unconscious and gang raped her. Rose and his co-defendants say that she was not intoxicated and the encounter was consensual. In other words, this is an ugly case of he-said/she-said. It does not help that Rose and the victim previously dated non-exclusively for 2 years.

 

NFL

Anthem escalation. San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick revealed that he has received death threats because of his national anthem protest. ICYMI, Kaepernick has been taking a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice against African Americans. The controversial move has sparked outrage, but it has also inspired other athletes to take a knee for the cause, including several NFL players, US women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and high school athletes across the country. Kaepernick has also put his money where his mouth is; he has donated $1M to help communities in need.