It's hard to believe that the NCAA Football regular season is about 2/3 over, and the Conference title races are starting to take shape. In the middle of the Big 10 as usual, is Ohio State. Defensive lineman disruption specialist Chase Young of Ohio State has shored up the Buckeyes defense in a way that their last few teams didn't have. In their biggest game of the year, he showed up to play. He had six tackles, including 4 were sacks, a fifth was for a loss. Throw in two forced fumbles that were recovered by the Buckeyes. The result, a discombobulated Wisconsin Badgers offense, and a 38-7 win over their best opponent to date. There seems to be little in between the Buckeyes and another Big 10 title game, and this year, very likely a playoff berth. While the Buckeyes have weapons on offense, it's Heisman candidate Young and that defense that seems to be the difference. Chase Young is a sure-fire NFL Top 5 pick, and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
In what was billed as an epic heavyweight American League Championship Series, the little guy won. The Houston Astros and New York Yankees were tied 1-1 coming into three key games in New York, and Jose Altuve helped deliver the American League West Champion to their second World Series bid in three years. He started Game 3 with a solo home run in the first, then ended the series with an epic walk off 2-run home run off of fireball closer Aroldis Chapman to defeat the Pinstripes. For the week over 4 games, Altuve went 5-16, 1 2B, 2 HR and 6 runs scored (out of his team's 19 runs). He also walked 3 times and never struck out. The three-time American League batting champion is the leader of the Astros and has them in position to win a second title. He is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Major sports benchmarks are made for breaking. Not the least of which is the 2 hour marathon. After millions of tries, it has now been broken. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge shattered the milestone by 40s, a mere 0.3% below but the best ever. Kipchoge ran the record in the Ineos Marathon in Vienna. He's been winning major marathons for 5 plus years, in Chicago, London, and Berlin. Also won Olympics and attempted to break the 2 hour mark in a controlled event but fell short. But now the record has fallen, and Kipchoge is the one that will be remembered with the Roger Banisters, Usain Bolts, and Michael Johnsons for redefining the event. The 34 year old may even top that mark, time will tell. But he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Baseball postseason is in full swing and it doesn't take long for stars to emerge. The National League Wild Card Washington Nationals surged from May to the end of the season to overtake the league competition and secure a spot in the postseason. And they took advantage. Stephen Strasburg proved pivotal in the Wild Card game as the Nats came back on the Milwaukee Brewers to win 4-3 Strasburg notched 3 critical innings of relief and got the win (3IP, 2H, 4K). He then followed up with 6 innings of dominant ball (6IP, 3H, 1ER, 10K) to secure NLDS Game 2 for the Nationals to head home with the series even. He's tapped to start Game 5 in LA and may propel his team to their first NLCS. But Strasburg has emerged as a co-ace to Max Scherzer nad is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
The NFL season is young, and too many times a team is counted out before it has a chance to hit its stride. Such is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Given up for dead after an 1-2 start against suspect competition and double digit underdogs heading to NFC Champion undefeated Los Angeles Rams, the Bucs delivered. Especially Chris Godwin. In racking up 55 points, the Pirates in Pewter Pants went to Goodwin 14 times. He caught 12. All 12 were a first down, two were TDs. And he racked up 172 yards, one of the top performances this year. The Swashbucklers aren't on a lot of radars for the playoffs. But with the Saints QB injury, slow start by the Falcons and Panthers, they may be a team to watch. Thanks to Chris Godwin, the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!