Sports in the United States and the world continues it's comeback. The second half of 2020 will be awesome. This week, it was NASCAR that returned to live events. Sure, no fans in person, but over 6 million tuned in to the Real Heroes 400, recognizing front line heroes in the medical field who have helped us through this pandemic. And the race was fun. Nobody had even a practice lap in Darlington, but once the engines roared, it was on. The ultimate winner was one of the best drivers and teams of this generation. Kevin Harvick from Stewart-Haas racing took the checkered flag for the 50th time in his career. As he edged Alex Bowman off of the last yellow flag restart, it wasn't close. Before that though, the race was fraught with strategy and adjustments as teams adjusted their car to the conditions. But Harvick prevailed and it was a small step to normalcy. Even if no fans were there to cheer.
Our society is inching closer and closer every week back to live sports at least on television. A preview was on Saturday night, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship staged a fan-less event and it worked. In the lightweight event, Underdog (+160) Justin Gaethje punished Champion Tony Ferguson through five rounds for a TKO that would have thrilled a crowd had it been in attendance. After a couple of rounds that were pretty close including big blows by both combatants, Gaethje really turned the tide in the third round and a battered Ferguson never seemed to recover. By the 5th round he was done, with just 82 seconds left before the final bell it was all but over and the ref stopped the fight justifiably. A new champion emerged. And more importantly, it showed sports will go on and sooner than later. Justin Gaethje is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
World records in weightlifting have a physical limit of how much the body can endure, but this week a new record was broken. Hafþór Björnsson / Hafthor Bjornsson deadlifted 501 kg; over 1100 lbs on his way to breaking the prior world record. By 1 kg. The 6'9", 425 behemoth Bjornsson is known in pop culture for playing Ser Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain on the Home Box Office (HBO) captivating series Game of Thrones but has been an elite power lifter for years having won the World's Strongest Man Competition in 2018. The 31-year old Icelandic hulk felt like he could have gone for more, but scoffed at the notion at this point. With the world and his country locked down due to the social restrictions, it's a gift he gave his country and the world. Bjornsson is the epitome of Sportsman, and this is his Week.