Need some quick odds on the week’s biggest storylines? (“Need” might be an overstatement; kind of want?) You’ve come to the right place. Let’s run through the newsworthiest happenings and transpirings from the world of sports, entertainment, and politics from the last seven days.
We may find out sooner than later if the Oakland Raiders will be heading to Vegas. With NFL meetings beginning next week, it’s being reported a relocation vote will take place during that time.
Raiders owner Mark Davis made the decision that it’s time for a change when he filed an application to move the team in January. Davis needs 24 of 32 votes from league owners for the relocation application to pass, and if that happens, the Raiders could be calling Las Vegas home by 2020.
Some bad news for Raider fans, the ones who live in the Bay Area anyway: a few owners are reportedly saying they “think it’ll be approved” or that the deal “will get done”.
Connor McDavid, Edmonton: 3/2
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: 13/7
Brad Marchand, Boston: 7/1
Patrick Kane, Chicago: 9/1
It’s a four-man race at the top of the NHL’s leaderboard. The race is so tight that only a handful of points separate first and fourth. McDavid and Crosby have been sitting one/two on the list for pretty much the whole season, while Marchand and Kane have quietly turned on the jets in the last few weeks.
This is a race that is sure to go to the bitter end. Crosby is averaging the most PPG, but the Pens, along with the Hawks and Bruins, have the toughest schedule to close out the season. The three teams each play the other two one more time this year. So saying that, the odds are on McDavid’s side if he can stay healthy and hot.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has come forward saying he’d be willing to cut his salary if the league shortened the schedule in order for players to get more rest. It all started a few years back when Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich started sitting an aging Tim Duncan. He was often dressed and “ready to play,” but didn’t. Other teams soon followed suit, seeing the benefit fatigued stars can get from even one game off.
More recently, both the Warriors and Cavaliers sat their best players during prime-time Saturday night games on ABC. That had the network livid. NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the issue and the competing interests at stake, saying it would be discussed at an upcoming governors meeting.
Coaches are asking for the schedule to be shortened from 82 games to 75. But even though the commissioner seems somewhat understanding, the likelihood of that actually happening isn’t very good. The league and owners make big bucks off each game, and losing seven nights of revenue would hurt the bottom line significantly. Plus, that’s seven fewer chances for advertisers to get their name out there and make money as well.
According to Kerr, they’re working to extend the 2017-18 season by seven to ten days, creating more rest days over the course of the year. That might be a band-aid solution to an issue that has been floating around for ages.
With the USA winning it all for the first time ever, the chances are pretty good we’ll see the tournament take place again in 2021. The future of the tournament was up in the air after low earnings in the previous event. But this year, with the U.S. having such a strong outing, it turned out to be an overwhelming success. The event drew over one million fans to parks across the globe, shattering the previous record-high attendance. TV ratings were also up, with 3.1 million watching the championship game in the U.S., alone. Merchandise sales also saw a 50-percent increase. So all of that points to a big ol’ YES for the tourney to be played again in 2021.
Woods spoke publicly for the first time this week since withdrawing from a tournament in Dubai in February. He appeared on Good Morning America, saying he is working everyday to get back and playing, and didn’t rule out a return at the Masters next month.
It’d be a good story if he did, as it’s been 20 years since he won his first green jacket. But at 41, Tiger has only been able to play a handful of tournaments over the last few years, and the reality of a Tiger-less PGA tour seems more and more real.
Woods is working hard to stay in the spotlight, using the anniversary and his new book release to keep people talking, but how long can that last? You can bet Tiger will take part in the hoopla surrounding the Masters, but actually playing in the tournament is not so clear. In my opinion, Tiger will do everything he can to take part in the tourney, and if he doesn’t, it will signal just how close to the end we really are. This could be the glimpse into the rest of his career that fans and the media were looking for.
News came earlier this week that German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger was heading to Chicago on a one-year contract. Surprising? Yes and no. Schweinsteiger previously captained Manchester United and is giving up a hefty salary to join the MLS, but he also wasn’t getting much playing time and is on the downside of his career, hence the move.
Big names moving overseas is nothing new for the MLS. Orlando City FC have Kaka, the N.Y. Red Bulls have Bradley Wright-Phillips, N.Y. City FC have David Villa, and Toronto FC have Sebastian Giovinco. Expect more soon.
Who? See below.
All the players listed have one thing in common: they’re in their 30s. That usually means they only have a few more years of good soccer left in them (if that), and could make the most out of those years by moving to the MLS, where they would still be big-men on campus, so to speak.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United: 2/1
Although he’s new to Manchester United, the 35-year-old might not be sticking around for long. He’s “holding off” on signing a new contract with the club, and it’s been reported the L.A. Galaxy are looking to make him the highest paid player in MLS history. That’s an incentive if I’ve ever seen one.
Daniele De Rossi, A.S. Roma: 7/2
The midfielder’s contract expires this summer, and he’s made it public that he’d like to “spend time” in New York. No doubt the Big Apple clubs heard that.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United: 6/1
A day after Schweinsteiger announced he’s leaving Man U for the MLS, reports surfaced Wayne Rooney may also be saying goodbye to Old Trafford. With Rooney looking for more playing time, it appears China and the MLS are the options he’s considering. Any MLS team would bend over backwards to get him, but if he’s after the money, then China might be where he’ll end up.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid: 9/1
Reports started swirling as early as two years ago that Ronaldo would head stateside in 2018. And it could be true, as it just happens to coincide with Miami (the team David Beckham backs) joining the league. Ronaldo spends a lot of time in the city, and being the poster boy for a new franchise could be enticing.
Mario Gomez, VfL Wolfsburg: 25/1
There was a rumor out there last year that Gomez was being offered a $9 million deal by an MLS club. Joining the league has been in the back of his mind for a while, but with the Chinese Super League a new destination for soccer stars, coming to North America might be a thing of the past for Gomez.
Photo credit: BrokenSphere [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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