The Lists

how to talk about sports this week like a pro

TWIST: This Week in Sports Talk is our weekly recap of what you need to know to talk sports this week without having to fake it. Even if you’re not an avid sports fan, you can do this. Here are your talking points for the week of November 4, 2018.

We begin this week with a tip of the hat to the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series on Sunday night, 4-1. However, we’re disappointed that even after this epic victory, the Sox are showing extremely poor sportsmanship by continuing to troll the New York Yankees. At this week’s victory parade, Red Sox General Manager Alex Cora was heard to say: “Yankees can s**k it!” Come on, dude. You guys are better than that.

Good luck to the 50,000+ runners in today’s New York City Marathon. Defending men’s winner Geoffrey Kamworor is aiming to make it two in a row.

The New York City Marathon

For Those Who Do Not Follow Professional Sports, here are the happenings that you should know about for the week of November 4, 2018:

1. National Football League (NFL) news. Must know: It’s Week 9, and the LA Rams are still undefeated. On Thursday night, in what was expected to be a ho-hum game, third- string quarterback Nick Mullens had an impressive debut for the San Francisco 49’ers versus the Oakland Raiders. He scored three touchdowns, had no interceptions, and ended with a QBR of 151.9 – the highest rating for a debuting QB since 1970. Maybe the 49’ers can live without Jimmy Garapollo after all. Meanwhile, under head coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders are closing in on the title of worst team in the NFL – they lost to the 1-7 49’ers who were playing with a first-time QB.

Nick Mullens of the San Francisco 49ers

Nice to Know: There are five marquee match-ups this weekend: expect an AFC North slugfest when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Baltimore Ravens; the undefeated LA Rams head to New Orleans to face the 6-1 Saints (who haven’t lost a game since week 1). On Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers head to New England to face the Patriots at home. This is a star quarterback versus star quarterback game – Aaron Rodgers vs Tom Brady. Our Sports Desk says it should be a high-scoring game, as neither team has much of a defense. The two other big games? The LA Chargers at the Seattle Seahawks, and the Houston Texans at the Denver Broncos.

Quarterbacks Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers

Extra credit: In “just can’t get a break” news, the New York Giants’ backup quarterback Kyle Lauletta – who many were speculating would be Eli Manning’s replacement sooner rather than later – was arrested this week for reckless driving violations, including endangering a police officer. The Cleveland Browns have finally had enough of Head Coach Hue Jackson, firing him this week after a 2-5 start and 3-36-1 record after two and a half seasons in the role (yep, you read that right). The team named Greg Williams the interim Head Coach. He’s the same dude who was suspended when he was Defensive Coordinator for the New Orleans Saints during the “Bountygate” scandal (an incident in which members of the Saints were found guilty of paying out bonuses, or “bounties”, for injuring players on the opposing team). And the Green Bay Packers have traded running back Ty Montgomery, who cost his team the game when he fumbled during a kickoff return late in the fourth quarter of a 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, rather than take a knee in the end zone as he was instructed by the coaching staff.

2. NCAA college football news. Must know: It’s Week 10. After a months-long investigation into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died after suffering from heat stroke after a series of drills, the University of Maryland fired its head coach D.J. Durkin and announced the retirement of its president Wallace Loh and the resignation of the head of the board of regents, James Brady. The team’s strength coach had previously resigned.

Nice to know: The most highly-anticipated game this weekend was #1 Alabama at #4 LSU. The Crimson Tide was favored to win by 14.5 points favorites, and despite the pre-game warning “don’t sleep on the Tigers at home in Baton Rouge,” ‘Bama easily won, 29-0. #5 Michigan traveled to meet #14 Penn State and won 42-7 – it was an important win for Wolverines Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, as Michigan alums have been getting inpatient with his record of losing the big games. Extra credit: Two other games to know about: #5 Georgia beat #11 Kentucky 34-17 (our Sports Desk said expect the Bulldogs to roll, and they were right – with this win, Georgia clinched its second straight SEC Eastern Division title) and #12 West Virginia squeaked past #15 Texas, 42-41. And in case anyone cares, in the Ivy League, Princeton remains undefeated, beating the previously undefeated Dartmouth 14-9 this weekend.

Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers

3. NBA update. Must Know: The LA Lakers and LBJ (LeBron James, for those just joining us) continue to struggle with a 3-5 start to the season. Nice to Know: The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired Head Coach Ty Lue, after seeing the team start the season at 1-7. Extra Credit: The Houston Rockets are off to a poor start – despite adding Carmelo Anthony to their roster, they’re standing at 3-5 – this after taking the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination during last year’s Western Conference finals.

Some of our readers have asked why we don’t give more attention to the NHL, so here goes: this week, Eric Staal scored his 400th career NHL goal to help the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues.

Here at home, Team Dandelion won $1 when the Red Sox won the World Series. At the moment, we’re in second place in our friendly NFL pool. Wish us luck. Go Pats!

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