The Highs and Lows of Pitching in the Postseason

Highs and Lows of Pitching in Postseason
(Twitter/SNFaizalKhamisa)

The biggest story of the sports week was the heartbreaking end to the Los Angeles Dodgers postseason hopes and dreams. The Dodgers, one of baseball’s best teams, won more than 100 games and seemed like a surefire lock to play in their third consecutive World Series. Then Clayton Kershaw happened.

During the regular season, he’s a generational talent. In the postseason, he’s anything but, and a relief performance that started well fell completely apart after he gave up two home runs late in the game as the Washington Nationals took the NLDS series.

We now go to a live highlight of Kershaw’s relief efforts:

Kershaw will never be able to escape the narrative of his playoff collapses, and he knows it, but man, you can’t help but feel for the guy.

The loss did lead to some great trolling. After it looked like the Dodgers were going to walk all over the Nationals, the LA Kings got in a ruthless jab after the 8-2 win.

This tweet sure didn’t age well, as the Dodgers collapsed just a few days later. The LA Kings also played that day, and they lost by a familiar score of, you guessed it, 8-2. I wonder if the Washington Capitals had anything to say about that funny coincidence?

One pitcher who is having no shortage of success over the last few months is the Cardinals Jack Flaherty, who was on the mound for the series-clinching annihilation of the Atlanta Braves. Flaherty credits his success to his mom, who adopted him when he was three weeks old. And after the win, there was only one person he wanted to celebrate with.

The Philadelphia Flyers have become the first pro sports team with a ‘rage room’, as fans can rent time in 5-minute intervals to let out their frustrations and…well, basically just destroy shit. They can throw an adult temper tantrum, all for the low price of $35.

I like the idea, I just expected in a more sports-troubled city, such as Cincinnati. No team with Gritty for a mascot should need a rage room.

Finally, in the lowlight of the week. A golfer on the European tour was interrupted during his backswing, a major no-no on the golf course. Someone slammed a door right as he was about to take his shot. The mystery culprit? His fiancé.

The Best Tackle This Week Was by a Dad During Baseball Playoffs

Juan Soto's Dad Tackles Him
(Twitter/Cut4)

The NFL is a great league to follow. Fantasy football has made looking at box scores fun, which is amazing. Gambling has made football interesting to sports fans across the spectrum, even to those in cities that only have amateur football (looking at you, Cincinnati). There’s just one problem with the current state of the NFL…it’s just not a lot of fun to watch.

While the future health of the sport lies in concussions, CTE, declining youth numbers, etc. etc., the current NFL has a game flow issue, which falls a lot on the officiating. The pass interference review was a novel idea, but no one understands what a pass interference really is, and even the most obvious evidence on tape isn’t enough to change an official’s mind.

And then you have plays like the one from Thursday’s game between the Rams and the Seahawks, when Clay Matthews got hit with a hard-to-swallow roughing the passer flag for leading with his helmet. Only…he didn’t.

It’s certainly important to protect quarterbacks, I get that. But, at the same time, the NFL needs more consistency with their officiating, and the answer can’t just be “treat every linebacker like he’s Vontaze Burfict.”

The Bucs had a big win last week, and gave the game ball to their GM, Jason Licht. Only Jason wasn’t at the game, as he was with family after the death of his father the day before. So the team Facetimed him after the emotional win to let him know. It’s a cool moment!

The other big sports dad moment this week happened in baseball, as the Washington Nationals won their wildcard game thanks to Juan Soto’s game-winning hit. And his dad stole the postgame celebration, reacting in the way that just about any dad anywhere would react if his son helped win a playoff game. –

In bad dad news, legendary magazine Sports Illustrated is officially falling apart. While it’s not shutting down yet, it was sold again, and then saw its staff get ruthlessly cut in half by a media company no one has ever heard of. The magazine featured the very best when it came to sports writing and chronicling the world of sports, and it’s a sad day to see the icon fully hit a decline. I think everyone’s dad was legally obligated to subscribe to Sports Illustrated, even if some were only in it for the Swimsuit issues.

The craziest highlight of the week, a week that features the return of the NHL, the prime part of football season, and playoff baseball, comes from girls basketball, naturally. I have attempted this shot in pickup games many times, and I have never been remotely close to this result.

For a Minute, Tony Romo Was a World-Class Golfer

(Getty/Jonathan Ferrey / Stringer)

Tony Romo was a great NFL quarterback. Tony Romo currently is a good NFL TV analyst. And, for the briefest of moments this week, Tony Romo was one of the best golfers in the world.

Romo, an amateur golfer, played in his fourth PGA event this week, competing in the Safeway Open. While golf is a passion of Romo’s and nothing more than a hobby in the eyes of his bosses at CBS, Romo had everyone rethinking that after a stellar opening round. Romo shot 2-below par, putting himself in range to make the cut for the first time in a PGA event.

Romo had a better round than scores of pros, including golf legend Phil Mickelson. He did tell one interviewer how he got good at golf.

“It’s embarrassing to stink” Romo told PGATour.com.“I stunk a lot, so just trying to continue to improve and get better.”

And yeah, it is embarrassing to stink, but stink is the ceiling for almost every amateur golfer. And Romo was more than just a novelty story, as his underdog success came with a grateful nation hoping for him to pull off the impossible. Why? Because he had a chance to shut up one of Twitter’s biggest blowhards.

Things got real enough that CBS had to draft a backup plan in case Romo was playing in the final round, instead of being available to broadcast his normal Sunday afternoon NFL game.

Ultimately, he fell short, shooting six-over par on Friday evening. But his great round definitely opened some eyes, and will hopefully be a harbinger of things to come. And maybe someday, if we all root hard enough, he will silence Darren Rovell forever.

Elsewhere in golf, Rory McIlroy got roasted by his dad. Playing together in a pro-am in Scotland, the younger McIlroy, the one who has won multiple majors, found himself bargaining over how much cushion to give his dad. Apparently, it was too much the first day, as the elder walked away with a win. And Dad McIlroy made sure to zing him for it.

In the most 2019 story ever, a sign asking for free beer turned into $2 million of donations to a children’s hospital. And, because nothing can ever be simple and pure, a reporter for the Des Moines Register went through his entire online history and found some offensive tweets the beer sign guy made WHEN HE WAS A MINOR. Total weak move.

And because brands panic at the first sign of discord, Anheuser-Busch cut ties with the beer sign guy and took away their offer of free beer for a year.

So then people looked up the online history of the snitch reporter and found he had made some bad tweets long ago, and he got fired. There’s a lesson in all of this, but I don’t think it’s the one we need. You aren’t your entire online history, people can change, and maybe we can all agree to stop trying hard to ruin everything that’s nice?

Here’s one thing that’s pure, MLB broadcasting legend Marty Brennaman, officially ended his Hall of Fame career after 46 years in the booth. He started by calling Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run and ends his run as one of the game’s greatest radiomen. And this tribute to Marty is incredible and well worth your time.

Back to roasting. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had some trouble with placekicking, as they lost a game due to a missed 34-yard field goal. If that wasn’t bad enough, they had USWNT star Carli Llyod roasting them in a newspaper ad (with the help of…a deodorant?).

Lloyd, who continues to toy with the idea of trying to kick professionally in the NFL and has kicked some long field goals in practice, is shown mid-kick in the ad, along with the copy “Hey Bucs fans, do you sweat 34-yarders? Carli Lloyd doesn’t.” Which is pretty savage.

She may or may not be able to kick 34-yard field goals in a game, but we definitely know she can kick a guy when he’s down.

The Sports Dads Who Won the Week

Sports Dads Win The Week
(Twitter/WNBA Instagram/venuswilliams)

The sports week was full of terrible news (more on that later), but it also featured three professional sports dads that made waves in different ways. One NFL dad, one WNBA dad, and one tennis dad, all standing out in their own way.

It starts with icon Gardner Minshew, who has made a splash in the NFL in relief of injured Jaguars QB1 Blake Bortles. First, it was for his fashion, which, admittedly, is pretty iconic.

Then it was for his play, as he threw a pair of touchdowns in the Thursday night win and has looked more than capable through his first few games. And then it was for his dad, His reaction shot caught by the NFL Network during the game was quickly given the meme treatment.

He wasn’t the only pro sports dad people took note of. In the WNBA playoffs, Connecticut Sun standout Courtney Williams has had some great games, and there was no bigger cheerleader out there than her dad.

And her dad came through with the dynamite quote, too, when he was asked how it felt to watch his daughter playing in the WNBA playoffs.

“It’s a feeling that if I could put it in a bottle and give it to people, I’d be a multi-millionaire…Every man that has a daughter wants what’s best for his daughter,” he said. “He wants to see his daughter succeed. Especially on this level. A daddy to a girl to see her succeed? Ah, I can’t describe it.”

And when the haters came for her dad (it’s the internet, everything fun has haters), Courtney stuck up for him.

And tennis legend Venus Williams had a sweet tribute to her dad, tennis coach Richard Williams, as she prepares for another tournament.

“My last practice before China. Dad, the OG came out, he always comes out,” Venus captioned the post on Instagram. “I know you all don’t get to see him on tour as much anymore, but he never misses a home practice.”

And of course, there were some pretty gross stories. Antonio Brown’s free fall from grace did not happen slowly. Earlier this week, news broke that he was being sued by a doctor after Brown farted in his face repeatedly (oh, and also didn’t pay any of his doctor bills) during the exam. This was seemingly verified in clips Brown himself shared to social media weeks ago. And this bizarre story is among the best of the news for Antonio Brown’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

When it comes to flatulence, Brown said the doctor thought the story was funny, and he has the receipts to prove it, What he does not have, however, are any texts from the doctor about the unpaid bill, totaling over $10,000 (which, honestly, seems a little outrageous). But the thing about texting is, those receipts work both ways. And Brown is facing far bigger accusations at the moment, as he’s been accused of sexual misconduct on several occasions.

This is the second time the star wideout has been released in the last few weeks, which makes it likelier that we’ve seen the last of Brown on the field. His erratic behavior, coupled with his mounting off-field legal problems, make him completely undesirable. Brown’s four catches and one touchdown during his brief stint with the Patriots will most likely be the final output we see from the fantasy favorite.

And if you’re a fan of meaningless college football, which can actually be a ton of fun to watch, you’re not going to do much better than Tulane’s epic comeback win over Houston. Down big, Tulane fought back to take to the game to overtime. Or, at least that’s what everyone thought was going to happen.

And then they pulled off an equally ridiculous deep touchdown pass to finish off the comeback.

The Bill That Could Change College Sports

The Bill That Could Change College Sports
(Twitter/FirstTake)

The biggest story in college sports this week was the bill that passed the California Senate, allowing collegiate athletes to earn endorsement money. The governor of California has 30 days to sign the bill, which would go into effect in 2023. The bill could radically change the landscape of college sports.

A story of this magnitude draws plenty of takes, but Tim Tebow had one of the worst ones. He tries to make this about the purity of the amateur sporting experience and about school pride and some other nonsense. It’s an antiquated idea that exists mainly in fiction crafted by 65-year-old sportswriters. These days, it’s tough to argue college sports isn’t big business when the highest-paid employee at every major school is the football coach, usually followed in pecking order by a few other football coaches (and usually the head basketball coach, for good measure).

Most athletes are on the other side of the argument, including one of the biggest stars of all time.

Cam Newton is killing it this season. Sure, not on the football field where he’s had a rough start for fantasy owners, including a Thursday night loss to the Bucs. But he is killing it in the fashion department, where he has no parallel.

It’s certainly more interesting than some of the moves Tom Brady has pulled in the past.

 

Rob Gronkowski gave an interview this week where he revealed he’s had more than 20 concussions in his career. He also said brain damage was reversible, which is probably something you’d say as the result of getting 20 concussions.

Kobe ruthlessly dragged a child in an Instagram post. Coach Kobe was giving out accolades to his team when he mentioned one girl wasn’t in the team photo because she was at a dance recital, so you can ‘see where her focus was’. Coach Kobe, what a guy!

DeAndre Hopkins had one of the best highlights of the young NFL season. The Texans receiver is unquestionably the best at his position, but he showed another level of his game in week 1 when he body-slammed a cornerback.

And in the lowlight of the week, the Panthers-Bucs game endured the dreaded weather delay. And fans handled it about as typically as you’d expect an NFL fan base to respond, with a massive brawl!

The Cheerleader Who Caught a Long Pass With Her Nose is a Good Sport

Elizabeth Scott His in Face With Football
(Instagram/elizabethsc0tt Twitter/bubbaprog)

Football is back! Weekends feel more complete with a full slate of college and NFL action like all is right with the world. The return of football has been more painful for some (hi Antonio Brown fantasy owners) than others (hi Ezekiel Elliott fantasy owners) but a cheerleader from Louisville probably had the roughest return to action during the Cardinals opening game against Notre Dame.

Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book was evading pressure when he launched the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack. And he threw it far enough that an unsuspecting cheerleader caught the ball with her nose.

The Louisville cheerleader took her broken nose in stride, thanking the ND QB for his errant throw and making note of her moment in the spotlight.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’ve never liked my nose anyways

A post shared by Liz (@elizabethsc0tt) on

The Notre Dame quarterback apologized to her through Instagram, but she said she doesn’t blame him and that ‘anything can happen’ on the sidelines. She also took to social media to post a new pic of her now slightly more crooked nose.

Elsewhere in sports this week, Antonio Brown added a new chapter to his quickly deteriorating mental state. In the preseason, he sat out because of his weird helmet situation. Now, Brown is furious with a fine his new team hit him with, and he had to be physically restrained during a heated confrontation with the GM. The team is reportedly planning to suspend him, and who knows what we’ll see on the field this season from the star wideout.

In one of the better feel-good stories of the week, a rookie long shot defensive tackle made the Detroit Lions final roster. He had been playing in honor of his dad, who is currently undergoing cancer treatments, so the family definitely has something to celebrate now.

LeBron wants Taco Tuesday. The NBA great has quickly drawn a following for his Taco Tuesday posts on social media. And now…he wants to trademark the term. Can nothing be pure, LeBron???

If the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Miami Marlins and no one is there, did it really happen?

And the best display of sportsmanship this week belonged on the court after prodigy Coco Gauff fell to the top player in the world.

The Best and Worst Reactions to Andrew Luck’s Retirement

Reactions to Luck Retirement
(Twitter/dpalm34)

The retirement of Andrew Luck shocked the sports world. The initial shock was one of those “remember where you were when it happened” moments as the shockwaves reverberated through group-texts and social media. Surprisingly, the majority of the response was positive. Sure, to resign so close to the season and as an athlete in his prime, it made people pay attention. But Luck’s heartfelt press conference and explanation won most people over. Who wouldn’t love to retire at age 29? Of course, a retirement this shocking consumed the sports world for a solid week (and running), bringing out the best and worst of the sports world.

For starters, this guy reacted the way most rational Colts fans should:

Then you have what is probably the worst take of the week, coming from marginalized talk show host Doug Gottlieb.

He was then dragged viciously all week long, and rightfully so. One of my favorite clapbacks came from NFL legend Troy Aikman.

Outside of Doug, one of the most disappointing reactions had to be from the Colts fans at LucasOil Stadium when the news broke, and BOOED their star quarterback off the field, after putting his body on the line for them for years. Some fans even began canceling tickets. But the best response of the week came from the former Colts player who offered to buy all the tickets bandwagon fans were ready to part with, so he could donate them to Children’s Hospital.

That’s a much better way to respond to the controversy than the OJ Simpson tweet, which is still too bizarre to even link to.

In other sports news, UFC stars Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have had a longstanding feud, but it was one that Jones put aside to console his rival after the recent passing of his father. It’s always refreshing too when athletes take a minute to be real and recognize when something is bigger than the sport.

Brewers Star Christian Yelich changed his walkup song recently to own a random Twitter critic. Yelich was admonished by an anonymous person for posing in ESPN’s “The Body” issue, and he brushed it off pretty brusquely.

In his first at-bat since the Twitter exchange, he walked up to the song “Roxanne” by The Police.

And tennis icon Serena Williams survived a U.S. Open scare from a teenager. 17-year-old Caty McNally gave Williams a quick scare by taking an early set from her. It was a big moment for the young player ranked No. 111 in the world, and it may be a sign of things to come for McNally. For Williams, it was just yet another in a long line of kids she’s defeated.

Aaron Rodgers Wants Cheaper Beer to Make Fans Louder

Aaron Rodgers Beer Chug Fail
(Twitter/ESPNNFL)

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants what every football fan wants: cheaper beer prices. Rodgers, answering a reporter’s question about the ridiculous foghorn the Packers experimented with, said he’s in favor of anything that will make fans as loud as possible and that slashing beer prices is a good idea.

Yes, it’s obviously a pretty great idea to cut beer prices at sporting events. Spending more than $8 for a Bud Light is something that only happens at professional sporting events. You will be hard-pressed to find too many enemies of cheaper beer.

That being said, football attendance has been dropping steadily over the past few years, and that’s not just because the game is so much easier to watch on TV. Obscenely drunk and utterly hopeless fans have also done more than their part to tarnish the game day experience. I can’t remember the last time I went to an NFL game and didn’t see someone in my section who made me immediately think “this guy’s a problem.”

And that’s a problem that isn’t going away with cheaper beer prices. Ultimately, I think this entire campaign is a way for Rodgers to get people to forget about the fact that he’s by far the worse quarterback when it comes to chugging a beer.

Cheap beer does help the on-field product: At least that was the case for the minor league soccer team in Phoenix. Some of their most highly-attended games are for their $1 beer promotions. And, over the four years they’ve been doing it, it is working. The team has put together an incredible unbeaten streak during $1 nights, going an impressive 13-0-0.

While everyone loves $1 beer, I don’t know that anyone loves it as much as this kid loves his foul ball he snagged. Watching the video, it takes all of a 0.5 seconds for this kid to fall completely in love with the piece of rubber wrapped in rawhide.

UFC fighter Conor McGregor has been making news in recent weeks as a video was released showing him punching an old man in an Irish pub. McGregor has come out and said he was fully in the wrong for attacking the decades-older man. If you haven’t seen the video, it is not a good look for Conor. His form is terrible and the old man barely looks fazed. Not the image you want to project as one of the best fighters on the planet.

Mike Tyson, on the other hand, seems pretty chill when it comes to ex-fighters. And it’s probably due to the $40,000 of weed he said he smokes every month. Which…is a lot of weed. But, definitely the right kind of press to get if you were opening a marijuana-themed resort. We should encourage a lot more fighters to go this route. You end up with a podcast instead of aggressively punching the elderly in bars.

The Little League World Series had a lot of cool moments. We’ve covered some of them, including the first female player in the tournament in 5 years. This coach speaking to his team after a loss is definitely near the top, as it’s one of those goosebumpy sports movie-esque speeches.

Cleveland Browns Kick Returner Goes From Homeless to Hero

Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi in Pile Up
(Twitter/Browns)

Preseason football has never been more forgettable. More than ever, starters are left on the bench and college also-rans get their shot to make the final roster spots. The scores are ridiculous (like the Giants breaking 30 points) and the outcomes meaningless. But one moment in the Cleveland Browns preseason game has captivated the sports world.

It’s one of the coolest stories in football. Kick returner Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi has been out of competitive football for years. He managed to lie his way into a workout with the Browns, where his 40-yard-dash time convinced scouts to give him an actual tryout. The only problem? Sheehy-Guiseppi spent his last dollar getting to the workout, and the actual tryout was a week away.

He wasn’t willing to let go of his dream, so he alternated between sleeping outside (!) and sleeping at a 24-hour fitness center. He wandered neighborhoods, eating one meal a day at whatever sidestreet cookouts he could find. When he finally got his shot, he earned a preseason contract with the Browns. This at least got him three meals a day and a place to sleep while chasing his dream.

On Thursday, he got to return his first kick. And took it straight to the end-zone.

Seriously, go read his entire story, it’s incredible.

Cleveland isn’t supposed to be likable. It’s the Browns. They are a perennial joke. But now they have not only the heartwarming story of the week in sports, but they have an actually compelling roster. A star wideout in OBJ, a very good young running back, a true franchise quarterback for the first time in forever. And speaking of that quarterback, even being at a baseball game didn’t stop him from delivering an elite performance.

Baker wasn’t the only standout at a baseball game this week, as this dad went viral for his incredible one-handed catch while holding his baby.

Houston Texans star JJ Watt broke some kid’s bike. The Houston Texans had a joint practice with the Packers, and Watt got to take part in a longstanding Green Bay tradition of riding a fan’s bike the short distance to the practice field. The Wisconsin native was overjoyed to take part in the fun preseason ritual…until the bike, he picked broke on his ride.

Watt has already hooked the boy up with a brand new bike. And if you’re a star, this is the type of preseason news you want to make. Anything that’s not an injury or a bizarre, helmet-related holdout (we’re looking at you, Antonio Brown).

One of the craziest moments of the week happened in golf. One PGA pro narrowly missed his putt, until a huge gust of wind blew it back into the hole. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed for this exact moment to happen during a round of golf and I’m overjoyed someone finally got to experience this miracle.

LeBron James Is Loving His Sports Dad Life

LeBron's Dad Celebrations
(Twitter/SLAM_HS/Ballislife)

With the passing of the trade deadline in major league baseball and with the start of football season drawing nearer, we’re getting so close to meaningful sports action. But you can’t tell we’re not quite there yet with what the sports world fixates on: this week, it was…LeBron’s overenthusiastic parenting.

Pundits and hot take robots filled airwaves and TV shows with their pontificating about how LeBron needed to tone down the antics at his kid’s AAU games. On one hand, sure, when you’re the greatest player in the NBA, you attract a certain spotlight at your kid’s games, so it makes sense to be somewhat refrained. On the other, and much more joyful hand, LeBron is acting like the dad he didn’t have growing up and is fanning out. And it’s hard not to smile watching this.

I mean come on, he loses his damn shoe then does a kick after getting it back. It’s hilarious! Everyone complaining about this simply doesn’t have enough joy in their lives. Before you scramble to add a whining “tsk, tsk” to the pile, consider the following: his son loves him being there, his teammates love him being there, their parents love him being there, opposing players love him being there, and he showers kids on both teams with respect and well-wishes after the game. He takes an active interest in all of the players on his kid’s team, going above and beyond in that respect.

I promise you, I will celebrate that hard if any of my kids ever throws down a dunk like that. Finally, before you make up your mind on this, know that Jason Whitlock of former ESPN fame is one of the leading critics here. A good rule of thumb in any situation is to find out what Jason Whitlock thinks about something and then go the other way.

LeBron spoke about his attitude toward being a dad last summer on his HBO show and said:

“When I was younger, I didn’t have a dad. So my whole thing was like, ‘Whenever I have a kid, not only is he going to be a junior, I’m going to do everything that this man didn’t do.’ They’re going to experience things that I didn’t experience — the only thing that I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course, whenever that time comes.”

Plenty of professional athletes were supporting LeBron. Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum was one of the most prominent, but he was far from alone.

In non-LeBron news, NBA star DeMar DeRozan was running his youth camp in California when he took on the campers in a game of knockout. You’d think an NBA star would be a shoo-in to defeat a group of kids, but it’s knockout, and crazy things can happen. And DeRozan’s response is awesome.

The San Diego Chargers have signed one of the most appropriately named players of all time.

And one of the best fights in recent history, the Cincinnati Reds responded to a cheap shot by a Pirates pitcher with a benches-clearing brawl. There’s a lot to love here, such as this iconic shot of Amir Garrett taking on the entire Pirates team by himself.

The completely nonchalant police officer

Or the fact that Yasiel Puig was in the middle of a brawl, sticking up for his teammates despite being traded several innings before, making his final moment as a Red being ejected. But, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the fact that Reds manager David Bell, who had been ejected earlier, came back onto the field to try and fight the Pirates manager, and was ejected a second time.

Just an epic way to show you’ve got your players’ back.

The NFL Is Back and Jalen Ramsey Wants to Cash In

Jalen Ramsey Wants to Cash In
(Twitter/Jaguars)

The NFL season is officially underway now that most players have reported to training camp. It marks the official end of the sports summer and leads right into the glorious fall of playoff baseball, college football and the NFL, which parlays nicely into basketball and hockey season. Basically, there are a few months every summer where sports fans who aren’t into baseball get bored for a while unless there’s an Olympics or a World Cup (USWNT) to take interest in. And now those months are over. The beginning of training camps means the beginning of fantasy football talk (analysts were already freaking out over the running back pecking order in Miami) and the season of overhyped expectations. It also means bizarre antics heading into camp, like when Jalen Ramsey showed up in an armored car, for a reason that may make sense to somebody.

He…hired a hype man? And the onlookers sounded very much not hype. Hopefully, he didn’t spend too much of the money in the truck on the gimmick.

It’s also rookie hazing season, and the Patriots first-round draft pick is begging Tom Brady not to give him the standard rookie haircut. Now that Gronk is retired, Brady needs all the help he can get, so he’d be wise to let the rookie keep his hair.

Houston Rockets star James Harden made a splash on social media for his dramatic 1-on-1 with a kid at his camp. Of course, being an MVP-caliber NBA star, Harden took it easy on the kid. Just kidding, he ran the kid in circles until he broke his ankles and viciously threw down a dunk. Respect.

Brooks Koepka is one of the hottest golfers in the game right now, but that doesn’t make him immune from dad jokes. As a CBS analyst was making a point at how many golfers Koepka has defeated this year, his dad couldn’t resist taking a jab. Because #dadsrule.

In the scariest story of the week, the entire fanbase of the Washington Nationals suffered from a horrific case of baby shark.

USWNT breakout star Rose Lavelle got to meet an admiring young fan this week…named Rose Lavelle. The meeting between the Lavelles was one of the sweeter sports moments of the week.

And in the best near-miss of the week, LeBron’s 14-year-old son showed flashes of his dad’s game when he drove through the lane and almost posterized a defender. Though he narrowly missed the dunk, it’s tough to actually discern that from the crowd reaction. People lost it on the athletic play from Bronny Jr. And his dad has a warning for the future.

Proud Dad Dismayed When His Kid Throws Back Home Run Ball

Kid Throws Back Homer
(YouTube/MLB)

The joy in the eyes of a kid who snags a foul ball is pretty special, which is why it blows my mind when adults will stick their gloves over the head of a pack of kids to snag one for themselves. You see the same thing at any sporting event when they throw out t-shirts. People sitting in $200 seats will act like animals, fighting over a $2 shirt they will never wear.

So it’s always heartwarming when a kid does end up with a ball. Like this dad, who managed to get a home run ball and handed it over to his kid. He was a little dismayed though when the kid immediately threw the ball back (acting with the fandom of someone who has been sitting in the bleachers for 20 years). This is not the type of throwback dads appreciate.

At least this one was better, as one boy snagged a foul ball and gave it to another kid, and then they shared a heartwarming hug. Much better for the soul than seeing some grown-up spill a beer on a kid while hustling to snatch away the foul ball.

The Chiefs had a big week, as they announced their star receiver Tyreek Hill would not be suspended. This news has huge ramifications for fantasy drafts starting in a few weeks and is even bigger for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Does it feel a little sketchy still? Yeah, kinda, but there’s certainly no shortage of that in the NFL. Earlier in the week, Mahomes had social media stirring for throwing a football out of the stadium.

Devin Hester was one of the most electric kick returners in the NFL during his playing days. He moved like he was controlled by a joystick, leaving helpless defenders in his wake. And his skills seem to run in the family after he posted a video of his kid at a skills camp juking and burning other kids allll day long.

LeBron also got into dad-promo mode this week, responding to a MaxPreps story about what to expect from his son’s upcoming high school season. He’s pretty good about not reacting to press about himself, but it’s a different game when sportswriters are talking about your kid.

Most of the NFL spent the week mad, as the ratings for Madden were released. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence recently signed a 5-year, $105 million contract, but that’s not enough to keep him happy after he got an 89 rating from Madden. He called for all of Cowboys Nation to boycott the game. Keenan Allen and Mike Evans also said they aren’t playing the game because of their ratings, and plenty of other NFL players had strong opinions about the video game.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady is loving his vacation, as he’s been posting videos all week on social media. He’s been cliff-diving with his daughter and…riding horses with a machete? OK, riding horses with a machete.

That may be an even more terrifying version of Tom Brady than the two-minute drill down six version. But, if you’re Tom Brady, you should be fully enjoying the offseason, you deserved it.

Angels Honor Fallen Teammate With an Unbelievably Magical Game

Angels Honor Tyler Skaggs
(Twitter/espn/PitchingNinja)

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was only 27-years-old when he died tragically in early July. While the official cause of death won’t be known until the fall autopsy (police have ruled out foul play and suicide), his death has rattled his teammates. The Angels honored Skaggs Friday in their first home game since his passing, and it was an emotional night all around. His mom threw out the first pitch, everyone on the team wore his No. 45 jersey, and in a feel-good moment that wouldn’t even be believed in a movie, the team threw a combined no-hitter, just hours before what would’ve been his birthday.

The Angels were not messing around, and the numbers were never far from Skaggs memory. Mike Trout homered on the first pitch he saw, hitting it 454 feet (Skaggs wore No. 45). The Angels scored 7 runs in the first inning, and 13 runs overall (Skaggs birthday is 7/13). This was the first combined no-hitter in the state of California since July 13, 1991. That was the same day Skaggs was born, in, yep, California.

It was a magical night, an emotional tribute to a player that was lost far too soon, and a reminder that sports can be good.

In big NBA news, Russell Westbrook was shipped from OKC to Houston, making the Rockets a viable threat in the west again. Westbrook will be paired up with his former teammate, James Harden, in a lethal backcourt combination. It’s crazy to think the Thunder once had those two AND KEVIN DURANT, but couldn’t win a title. Westbrook did have a classy goodbye post on IG.

If you’re going to bring your kid to a baseball game and pay for the really expensive seats, you make sure they earn their keep. And that’s exactly what this Blue Jays dad did.

The NFL offseason is supposed to be relaxing, as the regular season is an emotional and physical grind. And how does Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman relax? He takes it easy by JUMPING OVER BULLS in Pamplona.

The celebratory tour for the USWNT feels like it’s still going on, from the locker room celebrations in France to the ticker-tape parade in New York, an award-winning appearance at the ESPYs, and late-night TV appearances for the captains (in which they talked about how tiring the partying can be). America’s team is enjoying its moment in the spotlight, and rightfully so.

There was a tired/drunken rendition of “We Are the Champions” after their flight landed.

And legendary news outlet CNN ran a story with the very respectable headline of “Watch Alex Morgan Twerk!”, which is very bizarre to see from a hard news outlet. And it was little more than a snippet from the awesome post-game locker room celebration, captured by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris on IG.

And to end on an adorable note here’s a 4-year-old singing the national anthem at a WNBA game. The toddler went viral earlier this year for a video of him performing the anthem before preschool graduation.