Despite expert opinion in early summer, the NFL season has kicked off (literally) with a bang. Story lines abound as teams establish their favorite status for a playoff run. One of the more surprising teams may be the Seattle Seahawks but it should be because their quarterback has been elite for years. And this year, really elite. Russell Wilson continues to be overlooked as one of the best QBs in the NFL despite an NFL championship and now setting more records. In a victory against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Wilson went 27-40 with 5 TDs and no interceptions. The effort included an easy 2 minute drill TD to turn a 1 point deficit into a 7 point win. Having defeated the Cowboys, Falcons, and Patriots three straight with 14 TD and 1 INT, he's making the league forget about other QBs of the prior era. Not to mention, his Seahawks defense, once vaunted, is averaging allowing 28+ PPG so his effort is needed. The road to the Super Bowl appears Wide Open and Wilson is ready to lead his team again. A worthy Sportsman of the Week!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Once again, defying COVID odds, another sport had an amazing competition with an unexpected outcome. The Tour de France, a tradition of over 100 years, slipped about 6 weeks and despite having little crowd control, managed to execute safely. With a result nobody expected. With favorite Primoz Roglic winning by a near one minute margin coming out of the crucial Alps stages, it was thought the final few days would be a coronation. Oh but for the Time Trial. Most of the Tour de France is run in packs where moves can be countered and precious seconds over rivals are hard to generate. But the Time Trial is an event in which each cyclist is on his own for, in this case, about an hour. And it's easy to lose time. And lost time Roglic did. To his fellow Slovenian countryman Tadej Pogacar (Tah-dey Po-GAH'-cha). Pogacar reeled in his 57 second deficit and tacked on a minute advantage in winning the Time Trial on Stage 20, the penultimate stage. He demolished the field by 2 minutes, even Roglic finished 5th out of 100+ cyclists and looked like he got whooped. Pogacar had seemed the strongest rider the last week, but couldn't make up the time he had lost early on a mechanical failure combined with cross winds that cost him nearly 2 minutes early. But the best cyclist won. Oh, and Pogacar is only 21 years old (22 today, actually). He may be the future of cycling and many more Sportsman of the Week honors to come!
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Hardly anyone expected a no hitter to be pitched in 2020. Odds were strongly against TWO no hitters. What if both were from teams in the same city? One of the most unlikely candidates for the Chicago Cubs defied odds. Alec Mills eased his way through 9 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers with no batted ball in play that resulted in a baserunner. In other words, a no hitter. The soft tossing Mills drew contact but nothing that was able to land safely. The 28 year-old only struck out 5 while having well more than that hard hit balls. Sprinkle in 3 walks, no runners due to error, and it seemed way too easy. Mills had only started 15 games with but 5 career wins. But his sixth will be memorable for sure. And earns him the Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, September 7, 2020
The first Saturday in May is a fixture of sports for the Kentucky Derby. Of course, 2020 has been different, so no later than the first Saturday in September all was made right with the world with the 146th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. What was expected to be a coronation for the most dominant horse of 2020 and Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, instead a surprise winner emerged. The lone entry by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert that wasn't scratched, Authentic held off a meager charge by Tiz the Law to win almost wire-to-wire. Jockey John Velazquez ran nearly a perfect race by getting Authentic up front and fending off all challengers. Word was that Authentic couldn't handle the full mile-and-a-quarter but it appeared to be no problem. No Triple Crown winner this year, as Authentic with Velazquez made sure of it. John Velazquez is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!