- Football, football, football: It was another full day of football. Sunday culminated with a record-breaking moment from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning but there was lots of action before that. Get all the information you need to engage in football small-talk from our NFL One Liners column.
- NASCAR single elimination: Three NASCAR drivers needed to win Sunday’s race to stay alive in the playoffs, called the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Only one driver could win. That was Brad Keselowski who needed and got a little help on the last lap from Matt Kenseth. Coincidentally, the two of them had gotten into a physical altercation after the previous week’s race. NASCAR, it’s like professional wrestling except with cars.
Line: Car racing, like politics, makes for strange bedfellows.
- Liverpool gets a gift: Own goals (scoring on yourself) happen in all sports but they’re most tragic in soccer where goals happen so rarely. Queens Park Rangers had climbed their way back to a 2-2 tie against Liverpool yesterday when, right before the game ended, Steven Caulker scored against his own team! Gah!
Line: Losing on an own goal in extra time has got to be the worst (sports) thing ever!
Cue Cards is a series designed to assist with the common small talk about high-profile recent sporting events that is so omnipresent in the workplace, the bar, and other social settings.
- Down and out in Kansas City — The Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots 41-14 last night and the game didn’t even seem that close. The Chiefs dominated the Patriots in just about every way possible. They were better at running the ball. They were better at throwing the ball. They were able to keep the Patriots from running the ball successfully and, when the Patriots tried to pass, the ball seemed just as likely to end up in an opponents hands as one of their own. It was a complete beat-down.
Line: I know the Patriots always seem to turn it around, but this year their team seems really bad.
- Two little bits of soccer — Other than the football game, the sports world was pretty quiet yesterday. You know it’s quiet when the other biggest score of the day is Stoke City 1, Newcastle United 0. Both these teams are relatively weak teams in the top British soccer league, the English Premiere league. According to this ESPN article, Newcastle United’s manager might get fired because of the result. Also their nickname is the Magpies! The other interesting soccer news is that Chivas USA is being sold and as part of the deal will skip the next two seasons! It’s an unorthodox move. Chivas had been one of Major League Soccer’s most interesting franchises because it was owned by the owner of a Mexican soccer team and operated almost as a minor league team. Apparently that has not been successful and the new owners insisted on the team taking a break from competition while they rebrand and potentially relocate the team.
Line: Soccer seems so wacky compared to other sports. Who names a team the Magpies? Who buys a team but insists that it stop playing?
Yesterday — Monday, August 25
- Traditional Hegemony Trickling Back in Baseball? One of the unique and refreshing things about this season in Major League Baseball is that most of the traditional powers have been struggling and some teams that have been very bad for decades have been doing well. The two extreme examples have been the New York Yankees who are the winningest team ever but have not been good this year and the Kansas City Royals who have been one of the sorriest teams for the past thirty years but are doing great this season. Yesterday the two played each other and the Yankees won 8-1. This was their fifth win in a row and makes me wonder/worry if there’s enough time left in the incredibly long baseball season for things to turn back around.
- The U.S. Open Begins — Big tennis tournaments usually start pretty quietly. There’s enough predictability in tennis and the tournaments are big enough that the first few rounds are usually pretty easy for the big names who get to play much less well known names. The most common story (until there is an upset) will be how some well-known player almost lost or, when that’s not possible, how the well-known player had to try harder than expected. In day one, Andy Murray had to try harder than expected against Robin Haase and Venus Williams had to try harder than expected against Kimiko Date-Krumm and an annoying bumble bee.
- Rematch of British Titans — Last year’s English Premier League Champions, Manchester City, and Runners-Up, Liverpool, played yesterday afternoon. This might explains some funny furtive departures from the office in mid-afternoon and then more funny returns smelling slightly like ale. The defending champions trounced Liverpool 3-1 and from watching part of this game, I can tell you that it wasn’t even that close. Manchester City dominated almost as much as Germany did Brazil way back a few months ago. The English Premier League is fun to watch but mostly makes me miss the World Cup.
Yesterday — Sunday, August 24
- Sam Bradford’s Knee — St. Louis Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford tore his ACL and will miss the entire upcoming National Football League season. Bradford was the last quarterback drafted under the previous collective bargaining agreement when rookies made way more money than they do now, so, as upsetting as it is to lose your team’s starting quarterback before the season even starts for Rams fans, at least this means the team will definitely move on to a more affordable quarterback option next year.
- Angels beat the Athletics — It’s rare that the two best teams in any sport are in the same division. In baseball right now, the two teams with the best records are not only in the same division but in the same state. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they’re actually called these days) beat the Oakland Athletics last night 9-4 to move into first place. Of all the major league sports, baseball has the fewest playoff teams, so this jockeying for position really does matter.
- Sunderland ties Manchester United — The most famous team in the world, Manchester United, has a new manager this year, the way-out-there Dutch Louis Van Gaal. In two games so far this season, they still haven’t won with him at the helm. Yesterday they drew with the decidedly mediocre Sunderland. Let’s all just wait quietly for the Van Gaalian eruption to happen.