I would have lost a bet that I would have had an eSports entry into my Blog as Sportsman of the Week, but not all bets are sure things. And this week's winner is a legitimate athlete when they let him play. Or drive. A car that is. Alex Bowman is one of the younger favorite drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and pulled a big upset on Sunday in winning at Talladaga. Or at least, virtual Talladega. In a spectacular 70 lap race on the fastest track in NASCAR, Bowman survived several late wrecks and outdueled Corey Lajoie in overtime for his first iRacing win. Bowman is a fan favorite and finally scored a reality win at Chicagoland in 2019 and now becomes only the second driver to win both a real and virtual event on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. The eNASCAR/iRacing events are a fun way to spend a Sunday and our Sportsman of the Week is a big reason why!
It's time to get back to American soil and sports. And that means H-O-R-S-E. Yes, the favorite kid's game in the driveway. Except played by professionals. And who came out on top? Utah Jazz guard Michael Conley. The 4th overall pick in 2007 schooled Tennessee hoops star and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings, NBA 5-time All-Star Chauncey Billups, then current NBA star and two-time All-Star dunk contest champion Zack LaVine. He did it with outside shots on one leg shots, and trick shots. Just like that bully on the hard court. In this case, everyone won because $200K was donated to charity. But Conley will have his etch in history, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Belarus is carrying the sports world right now and this Blog is here for it. This week, we focus on the Belarus Premier soccer league (a.k.a.Vyšejšaja Liha) which in Week 4 is starting to sort itself out with favorites. One of the stronger teams is Torpedo BelAZ which has emerged as the top team in the league at 3-1-0 with only two goals against. Brazilian Gabriel Ramos notched his second goal in four weeks in a crucial victory over previously unbeaten Energetyk-BGU in a match of heavyweights. Unfortunately, only 287 fans attended The goal tied him for second overall in the league. The 24-year old midfielder's aggressive style has netted 2 yellows in four games which probably means he's in trouble or has to sit out the next game (I tried to read the rules of the league but they were in Belarusian). Anyway, Ramos is good and he's our Sportsman of the Week!
The hottest league going is the Belarus Extraleague hockey. You read that right. It's finals time, and bragging rights for all of Belarus. And it was Yunost Minsk's time. In dramatic fashion in the final three games they won all. Two in overtime. It was the Yunost's second title in a row and 3 out of 5. Think San Francisco Giants 2010 - 2014. It was Maxim Parfeyevets overtime shot in Game 5 that sealed the deal against Shakhter Soligorsk. He also tallied an assist earlier in Game 5 and a key goal in Game 4 exerting the dominance of Minsk. The real winners are fan who are still getting hockey. Congrats to Parfeyevets for the Sportsman of the Week!