TWIST: This Week in Sports Talk is a weekly recap of the three (and only three) things you need to know this coming week if you want to know how to talk about sports. Game on.
We begin this week with the Jerry McGuire, show-me-the-money news that Forbes has calculated the roster of the most valuable sports teams in the world. The Dallas Cowboys are #1 at $4.8bn, followed by Manchester United $4.12; Real Madrid $4.08; FC Barcelona $4.06 and the New York Yankees at $4.0. We can only assume that the NBA owners’ group is a bit miffed at this news.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of France’s World Cup victory, French President Emanuel Macron went a little cray-cray. In Helsinki, the US President congratulated the Russian President on a “best ever” World Cup. In return, the Russian gave him a soccer ball, as the US will host the World Cup in 2026. Qatar is the next host, in 2022. It will be winter there, so plan your wardrobe accordingly.
For Those Who Do Not Follow Professional Sports, here’s what you need to know this week.
3 for the week of July 22, 2018:
PGA British Open weekend. Must know: Golf’s British Open was held this weekend at Carnoustie Championship Course in Scotland, and Italian Francesco Molinari was the winner, finishing at 8-under par (he takes home the Claret Jug, and is the first Italian to win the British Open). Nice to know: Fans had hoped that Tiger Woods would grab his first win in five years. While he played well – and even briefly held the lead – he faded on the final afternoon, and finished in the top 10 but missed a chance at a comeback win. Extra Credit: The winner receives $10.5 million in prize money.
MLB News. Must know: Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper won the Home Run Derby in dramatic fashion – a particularly sweet outcome, since the Derby and the All Star Game were both held in DC (it’s been a miserable season for both Harper and the Nats). The American League won the All Star game in extra innings; a new home run record was set this year with 10 homers (one hit by Yankee slugger Aaron Judge). Nice to know: This weekend, the New York Mets and Yankees have another subway series, this time at Yankee stadium. Going into the weekend, the Yankees were 29 games over .500, but still 4.5 games behind their arch-rivals the Boston Red Sox. The Yanks need another pitching starter, and the Mets need to start a rebuild; both teams have what the other needs, but the chances of these cross-town rivals actually pulling off a trade is probably zero (at least, according to our Sports Desk). Extra Credit: Slugging just isn’t what it used to be: Yankee Aaron Judge in almost 2 seasons has struck out 382 times – in 13 seasons with the Yanks, slugger Joe DiMaggio struck out only 369 times.
NFL Training Camp. Must know: While the Baltimore Ravens opened their training camp on July 18, all the other NFL teams open this week. Member of Patriots Nation will note that Rob Gronkowski swam with the sharks during the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” and says he’ll be reporting to camp on Monday. So does Tom Brady. Meanwhile, James Harrison – who was traded from the Steelers to the Patriots last season – said that Bill Belichick is a better head coach than Tomlin, and that while he disliked Tom Brady before joining the Pats, he now knows he is a really great guy, and that all the noise about Belichick and Brady fighting is baloney. Glad we got that all straight. Nice to know: Almost as quickly as it was announced, the NFL and the Players’ Association have agreed to suspend the new National Anthem policy as the two sides try to work out an agreement before the start of the season. Extra credit: Future Hall of Famer New York Jets player Darrelle Revis announced his retirement last week. LeVeon Bell was tagged as a franchise player, and will remain in Pittsburgh for what will probably be his last season – he was holding out for more money than the team would pay. Similarly, Julio Jones still has no contract, and it’s unclear if he will show up for training camp.
Finally, in off-season NBA news, Kawhi Leonard was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Demar DeRozan and other players. Leonard is unhappy and doesn’t want to play in Toronto (he now says he wanted a move to LA). He may last with the Raptors for only one season. Meanwhile, the Toronto player who was traded to San Antonio is also unhappy – he felt lied to by the Raptors. Observers not that the Raptors – who had the best record in the league – first fired their coach and now have traded one of their best young talents. They’ve done all of this at a time when their long-time nemesis, LeBron James, has departed the Eastern Conference. So they probably could have won this year. It’s a head-scratcher.
That’s it. You’re good to go. See you next week.