The 2020 World Series

By: Caden Ligman

So far, 2020 has been a series of unfortunate events. Since March, the pandemic has affected everyone’s lives and we have lost many things, including sports. However, by the end of the summer, all major sports leagues in the U.S. were able to return. Leagues such as the NBA and the NHL thrived under the new COVID protocols, reporting very few cases throughout the season.

MLB on the other hand struggled with 104 cases being reported among players during the regular season alone. Despite all of the struggles, MLB finally concluded their unusual season after game 6 of the World Series, on October 27.

The 2020 World Series was played between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the 7 game series after winning game 6 and going up on the Rays, 4 games to 2.

Game 6 however, seemed to be going in the favor of the Rays. Their starting pitcher, Blake Snell, was hot through six innings; throwing 9 strikeouts and only allowing two hits and one earned run. Snell looked ready to dominate the rest of the game.

Then, in the sixth inning, Ray’s head coach Kevin Kash pulled Snell from the game, replacing him with Nic Anderson. This decision proved to be quite controversial, and was evidently the turning point for the Rays in game 6. Nick Anderson immediately gave up a run and was pulled shortly after.

The Dodgers winning the World Series during these unusual times was exciting, however, the biggest headline of the night came from Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

Late into game 6, he was mysteriously pulled from the game. It later emerged that he had actually tested positive for COVID-19. Turner was isolated immediately after he was pulled, however, after the game, he was seen on live TV celebrating with his teammates out on the field.

This carelessness, by the players and coaches in the Dodgers organization, capped off a roller coast of a season for the MLB: 43 regular season games cancelled, and 104 positive cases in players (by far the most of any of the major sports leagues).

Hopefully, MLB can walk into the 2021 season more prepared.

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USAG’s culture of abuse

By: Elizabeth Woxland

For over two decades, over 370 gymnasts (primarily minors) encountered sexual abuse “by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for gymnastics programs across the country,” according to an interview in ‘Vice’. Throughout those years, USAG silenced the gymnasts and continued to ignore the reports of molestation, specifically by a USAG doctor, Larry Nassar, who is now named in hundreds of lawsuits for engaging in sexual abuse.

Over 265 women came out to the public, addressing the abuse they faced, which became one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in sports history. This scandal led to the questioning of USAG’s way of training their gymnasts.

After the first allegations of sexual abuse were brought to the attention of USAG, Nassar continued to work for many months after. Maggie Nichols, the athlete who took part in the first allegation, was secretly taken out of the public eye for representing USAG. Many believe Nichols would’ve competed in the 2016 Olympics if she didn’t come forward with her sexual abuse. Nichols’s specific situation was detailed in the Netflix movie ‘Athlete A’ and she was also  interviewed by NBC.

Other abuse scandals started to arise after the sexual abuse scandal was brought to the public. Bela and Martha Karolyi are head coaches for USAG, and are now facing backlash for their abusive way of coaching.

The training that the girls in USAG have is now being criticized for a toxic culture and unsafe way of training. The average competitive gymnast for USAG trains year round for as much as 12 hours a day.

It was a very regular thing for girls injuries to be overlooked. In a ‘PE’ article they state: “Nine out of every 10 gymnasts we interviewed said that they had continued to train on injuries that resulted in broken bones or surgery or that they had resumed training without getting clearance from a doctor.” Think of the so-called “inspiring moment” when Kerri Strugg broke her leg on her first vault, and her coaches convinced her to still do a second vault.

This goes to show the toxic culture of winning at all costs in the mindset of USAG coaches and
trainers.

UFC 254 build up

By : Jalalaisa Geleto

There has been a lot of excitement around UFC 254. It puts the legendary, undefeated, Khabib Numergamdov, up against one of his toughest foes yet, Justin Gaethje.

Justin Gaethje might be one of Khabib’s hardest matchups yet. So much so that thousands are betting Gaethje will stop Khabib’s lightweight title reign.

Stylistic Khabib, and Gaethje, come from the same background: wrestling. They are both phenomenal wrestlers but Gathje hasn’t used his wrestling at all during his UFC career and mostly focuses on striking (punches, kicks, elbows, knees). Khabib on the other hand stuck with his grappling (wrestling, jiu jitsu, judo, etc.) and has won most of his fights by out grappling his opponents.

People believe that Gaethje will use his D1 level wrestling with his precise striking to beat Khabib. They believe that Gaethje’s defensive wrestling (which we’ve never seen from him in the UFC) will stop Khabib from getting any takedowns and dominating Gaethje. If Khabib can’t get any takedowns, then he would be outmatched in a striking match by Gaethje.

On the other side, Khabib fans believe that literally no one can defend themselves from a barrage of attempted takedowns from khabib. They believe that Gaethje’s defensive wrestling can’t stop Khabibs attempts, or that Khabib will make, or find, an opening eventually. They believe that once it gets to the ground (takedown successful) Khabib will keep on striking him and holding him down making him support all his weight. They believe that Khabib has the endurance to completely wear down Gaethje.

Earlier this summer, Khabib’s father passed away. Many believe a fight a couple months after a loss like that will impact Khabib and he won’t be at his best. You can tell by his recent interview, the man has really low energy and seems depressed. Others believe that his father’s death will motivate him to give us his best performance yet, in the name of his deceased father.

Justin Gaethje has shown a lot of respect towards Khabib and there hasn’t been any trash talking at all between them. It’s just two men looking for glory and honor and that’s what’s attracting so many people to this fight.

According to Dana White, the fight is predicted to make 26 billion dollars, and that’s with conservative information used to make this prediction. Justin Gaethje vs. Khabib Numergumaduv is looking to break the UFC pay-per-view record, which was just broken a month ago with Adesanya vs. Costa.

This will be a fight to be remembered.

This year will be the 37th anniversary of Wrestlemania you do not want to miss this‼ ‼ ‼ ‼

By: Khadar Greer

Wrestlemania 37 will be taking place at the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on March 28th, 2021. This page will be your main hub for our Wrestlemania 37 predictions. This mostly could possibly have matches that we think could take place at the event.

Drew McIntyre is in the middle of the most aggressive push he’s received in his WWE career at the moment, and deservedly so. He has spent over a decade scratching and clawing his way to the top of the card, and he was finally rewarded for his efforts in the form of a Royal Rumble victory in January. Of course, his future as a main event-caliber competitor was started after beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36. The hope from there is that he’ll be able to maintain momentum and have a successful title reign. Regardless of whether he loses the belt before WrestleMania 37 or not, he should walk into next year’s spring spectacle as the WWE Champion.

There aren’t many men from the ‘SmackDown’ and ‘Raw’ rosters who’d make sense to face him for the championship, but ‘NXT’s’, Adam Cole, should be considered a strong candidate. It’s all but a guarantee that Cole and the rest of Undisputed Era will be a part of the main roster by the close of 2020. They have accomplished everything imaginable in ‘NXT’ and have been ready to move to ‘Raw’ or ‘SmackDown’ for awhile now.

There’s still time for this WrestleMania match to happen in Tampa, Florida, on April 5, but based off how John Cena has been advertised as returning to ‘SmackDown’ on February 28, and Velveteen Dream recently returned to ‘NXT,’ the chances of it coming to fruition any time soon are slim to none.

According to WrestleVotes, Cena has creative freedom to face who he wants at WrestleMania this year, making it all the more mind-boggling that Elias has recently been rumored to be his opponent at the event. Granted, they’ve interacted on ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’ for the past two years, but the musician is the wrong person to be elevated by working with him. For what it’s worth, Cena went on the record, two years ago at an Orlando convention, to say he would rather have a match with Velveteen Dream over Adam Cole and Ricochet because of how unique of a character he is.

Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey was easily one of WWE’s hottest feuds in 2019, but it can be argued that it wasn’t blown off the right way at WrestleMania 35.

Of course, fans got what they wanted with Lynch pinning Rousey in the main event and reigning supreme as the new ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’ women’s champion, but the finish of the match felt botched and abrupt.

In other words, “The Man” did not decisively defeat “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” as it looked like Rousey’s shoulders weren’t completely pinned down to the mat. Rousey returning to reclaim what she believes she shouldn’t have lost is a natural story to tell. It would have been the perfect WrestleMania match this year, but it’s clear WWE is headed in a different direction with Lynch and ‘NXT’ upstart Shayna Baszler. Anything can happen with the ‘Raw’ women’s division between now and WrestleMania 37, though. Lynch could well lose her spot as the red brand’s top dog, but if she can remain relevant, a rematch with Rousey will be the way to go.

How is the NFL still making money with no fans?

By: Jimmy Somerville

As you may know, the NFL season is back and in action even with the coronavirus. But there is a catch – there are either no fans allowed or very few allowed.

And the NFL is a business at the end of the day, whether you think of it as a business or not, so their goal is to make a profit (money).

So, since they aren’t allowed to have fans, or some teams will allow a maximum of ten thousands fans, where the average NFL stadium can fill up around 70,000 fans, how is the NFL still going to make money, and are they going to be in financial trouble?

The answer is the NFL would lose around 15.47% of their profit if they did not allow one single fan to buy a ticket. Because, in 2018, the NFL made up 15.47% of their profit by selling tickets. So, assuming the 2020 data would be similar to the 2018 data, the NFL would lose around 15% of their profit.

Now, 30 years ago, ticket sales would probably make up around 50% of the NFL’s profit because now, there is more advanced technology where the NFL can sell jerseys and other fan apparel online.

Losing 15% of profit can hurt, but the NFL made 15 billion dollars in 2019, so they will be just fine, and remember, they can still bring in some fans, so they will probably lose around 12% of profit, which is more than noticeable, but won’t hurt them too badly in the long run.

So, to answer my final question, the NFL will still make around roughly 88% of the profit they would’ve made without the coronavirus, this season, by having their games televised with expensive TV deals. And, like I said earlier, they also make money by selling jerseys and other fan apparel. In 2015 the NFL made more than 50% revenue from just TV deals. So the NFL will be fine.

-Jimmy Somerville

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Be sure to watch the best of the best battle to win a NBA championship ‼️

By Khadar Greer

The playoffs have been amazing so far with a lot of shocking upsets and endings that you never would’ve seen coming. Especially to East; the East was full of surprises.

I mean, look at how the Miami Heat eliminated the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, in the semifinals with the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on that team.

Also, the Heat eliminated their rivalry team, the Indiana Pacers, in the first round with key players like Jimmy Butler, averaging 19.9 points per game in the playoffs, and and Bam Adebayo averaging 17.8 points per game.

They also have rookie Tyler Herro averaging 13.5 points per game in the playoffs and it’s only his rookie year⁉️ And, they have great role players coming off the bench.

At the time of this writing, the Eastern Conference Finals had the Heat with a 3-1 lead against the Boston Celtics (who had also been on an amazing path eliminating last year’s NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, and what a fantastic battle they had).

The Celtics and Toronto Raptors went to game 7, with only one team coming out on top. The Celtics also eliminated their rivals the Philadelphia 76ers, which was a squashed series because the Celtics dominated that series 4-0.

The Celtics have some incredible talent too with 2 All Stars on this team: Jason Tatum, averaging 25.2 points per game, and Kemba Walker, averaging 19.9 points per games.

A lot of people thought that the Milwaukee Bucks we’re going to be winning this whole thing, or at least make it to the finals, but now since that’s out the picture, this series should be interesting.

Will the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 4-1 or will the Boston Celtics come back from a 3-1 lead to overcome the Miami Heat? Who Ya Got? 

*Note: We obviously know how that one played out now.

Now, let’s talk about the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets shocking the world with defeating the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Nuggets came back from the Clippers having a 3-1 lead, and also came back from a 3-1 lead by the Utah Jazz. This left them as the only team to come back from a 1-3 deficit twice to win both series.

This is why NBA fans feel that the Nuggets are very underrated. It is a very crazy day to be the number 2 team in the Western Conference.

But now they have an even tougher challenge.

Right now (at the time of this writing) let’s see if they can come back from another 1-3  deficit. Though now, they’re playing the number one team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers, and that team has LeBron James (the debatable greatest of all time everyone says that he’s a goat but it’s hard because he’s very debatable) and they also have five All Stars that have played the Lakers.

I mean, they even say LeBron is better than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, so this series has to be tough, and and I’m pretty sure everyone’s going with the Los Angeles Lakers, but with the Nuggets being the underdogs, we can’t sleep on the Denver Nuggets. Especially with the intensity and energy they’ve been playing with so far in the playoffs. Can the Nuggets dethrone the Lakers, or will the Lakers beat them? For only one can advance to the finals: who you got?

*Note: The finals are now set, and it will be Heat vs. Lakers.

The NFL is back!

By: Caden Ligman

On September 7, the Kansas City Chiefs played the Houston Texans to kick off the 2020 NFL season. Due to COVID-19 this season is unlike any other.

Most of the teams have decided that there will be no fans in attendance for their games this season, however there are a few exceptions. The Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Dallas Cowboys will all allow between 2,500 and 17,000 fans to attend their games.

The NFL is also allowing individual players to opt out of this upcoming NFL season because of COVID-19. So far, a total of 66 players have already opted out with nearly half of the players who have opted out being linemen. Players who choose to opt out will be guaranteed $350,000 if they prove that they are high risk for getting the virus. Players who aren’t high risk are guaranteed $150,00.

There were a total of 16 games played week one of this year’s NFL season.

During the Vikings game against the Green Bay Packers, both teams chose to honor George Floyd in their own way. The Vikings did not sound their signature Gjallarhorn at the beginning of the game to honor Floyd. The Packers on the other hand, stayed in their locker room during the playing of the nation anthem.

NFL Draft 2020

By: Grace Bumer-Lamotte

This was the 85th annual NFL Draft. The 2020 NFL Draft started on April 23rd and lasted through April 25th. The first round was held on April 23rd. Then on April 24th, the second and third rounds were held. Finally, on April 25th, rounds 4-7 were held and that concluded the NFL Draft for 2020.

Due to COVID-19, lots of safety regulations were taken, and the Draft was virtual. The Draft was originally supposed to take place in Paradise, Nevada but the safety regulations were mandatory.

The Draft was broadcasted on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Radio. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broadcasted the picks from his home in Bronxville, New York.

Many different college players were recruited from a numerous number of teams. According to Wikipedia, the final overall player selections were 39 Linebackers, 35 Wide receivers, 27 Cornerbacks, 21 Safeties, 20 Defensive tackles, 20 Offensive tackles, 18 Offensive guards, 18 Running backs, 17 Defensive ends, 13 Quarterbacks, 12 Tight ends, 9 Centers, 3 Placekickers, 2 Punters, and 1 Long snapper. All of that equals 255 players drafted.

According to 247Sports, the top picks in the 2020 NFL Draft were:

  • Jedrick Wills; picked by the Cleveland Browns. Wills has a four-year contract with a total of $19,702,914. Baker Mayfield (quarterback for The Browns) needs more time and protection and they believe that Will’s could provide that.
  • CJ Henderson was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henderson has a four-year contract with a total of $20,516,188. His position is a defensive back. During his college season as a freshman, he had a total of four interceptions, and then when he was a sophomore, he had another 2 interceptions.
  • Isaiah Simmons was picked by the Arizona Cardinals. Simmons has a four-year contract with a total of $20,664,055. He could end up being one of the best Draft picks. He can play multiple positions and he is also one of the most athletic players in the NFL.
  • Derrick Brown was picked by the Carolina Panthers. Brown has a four-year contract with a total of $23,621,405. He had an average of 3.1 sacks per season.
  • Justin Herbert was picked by the Los Angeles Chargers. Herbert has a four-year contract with a total of $26,578,755. He was the third quarterback drafted.
  • Tua Tagovailoa was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa has a four-year contract with a total of $30,275,437. Tagovailoa does have past injuries that could come back.
  • Andrew Thomas was picked by the New York Giants. Thomas has a four-year contract with a total of $32,345,588. Last year, the Giants drafted a quarterback and this year they drafted his protection.
  • Jeff Okudah was picked by the Detroit Lions. Okudah has a four-year contract with a total of $33,528,522. He is one of the top-paid rookies in the league. He had three interceptions and 9 pass deflections this year.
  • Chase Young was drafted by the Washington Redskins. Young has a four-year contract with a total of $34,563,595. He had 21 tackles and 16.5 sacks at Ohio State this past season.
  • The top pick was Joe Burrow, drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. Burrow has a four-year contract with a total of $36,190,137. Burrow was the number 1 pick in the draft as a quarterback. The Bengals now have a strong quarterback on their side.

 

Gender pay gap between the NBA and the WNBA.

Image taken from: ttps://www.slamonline.com/wnba/wnbpa-opt-out-cba-after-2019-season/

It’s no secret that the NBA has a larger fan base than the WNBA, but why? People have shown that they don’t really care about the WNBA, and they have been given many opportunities show that they care. According to Sports Illustrated, “In 2007, the WNBA and ESPN reached an eight-year television agreement, thus assuring high-impact exposure.” Even with that exposure, the WNBA is still less popular. Another reason why this is is that they play in the summer and play about half as many games as the NBA teams will play in a season.

Another argument against the WNBA is that it is simply not as fun or interesting as the NBA; you are more likely to see somebody dunk or fly over an opponent in the NBA. Most of that is just genetics and the fact that most women physically are unable to dunk. 

The WNBA started on April 24, 1996 when the NBA board of governors approved the idea of the WNBA to start playing in June of 1997. This year they are celebrating their 23rd season.

They have 12 teams, with either 11 or 12 players on each team, meaning that they have a total of 144 roster spots available. The NBA has 15 players per team with 34 teams, this leaves them with 510 open roster spots. The WNBA has less spots so they are a more exclusive organization, but they still have a smaller fan base. 

The largest difference between the NBA and the WNBA is the pay gap. The average salary for an NBA player is $7.7 million, according to CNBC. The rookie salary for the #1 draft pick, Deandre Ayton, is set at $6.7 million dollars, the #2 draft pick will start at $6 million. Comparatively, the average salary for a WNBA player is only $75,000. The rookie salary in 2019 was $41,965. The WNBA has decided for the 2021 season that they will have a maximum salary of $130,000. 

Some people argue that the WNBA players are overpaid as it is. Others believe that they deserve their pay because in 2017 the WNBA made $25 million in revenue and the NBA made $7.4 billion that same year, according to GrandStand Central. It’s obvious that male sports are generally more popular than their female counterparts playing the same sports. 

Sports schedule for: Mar 2-7

MONDAY DATE:   March 2nd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
3:15 p.m.   Badminton Practice Begins    
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs.

Dakota United

at Humboldt High School  
TUESDAY DATE:  March 3rd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
WEDNESDAY DATE:   March 4th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
7:00 p.m. 5:30 / 8:20 p.m. Boys Basketball Sectional vs. South St. Paul at South St. Paul

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     March 5th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
         
FRIDAY DATE:    March 6th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
         
SATURDAY DATE:    March 7th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
1:00 p.m.   Boys Basketball Sectional TBD  
         
SUNDAY