NBA Possibly Returning?!

NBA Possibly Returning?!

The NFL Draft has recently come to an end, Covid-19 cases are starting to die down, and the NBA SEASON MAY RETURN?! A tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski stated the NBA will allow all teams to re-open their practice facilities. While the original date was May 1, the Atlanta Hawks were not able to meet the deadline. Adrian Woj stated that the NBA practices will resume on May 8. This is the NBA’s first step to get the season to continue. Currently, it is not official on the NBA returning 100%, but with teams being able to practice soon, there is hope for us basketball fans to finally watch some games again.
Personally, I think the NBA will come back sooner than we think. With COVID-19 still lingering around, the NBA is not going to simply open arenas and go back to normal right away. There will be huge changes and precautions before any games or practices. When the virus began, the first notable player to get COVID-19 was Rudy Gobert. Then it was reported Rudy Gobert infected his teammate, Donovan Mitchell. As the weeks went by, other NBA players had to isolate themselves because they were infected too. Before the NBA can open up (during the pandemic) all players should be tested before practices begin.
With the days counting down to NBA practices opening, there are many questions that need to be answered. Since the sport includes everyone touching a ball and being physical defensively, would the NBA have players wear facemasks at all times? Will players need gloves and hand sanitizer at all times during practices and games? Will we get to see who the best team is in the 2019-2020 Corona season? All of our questions will be answered in the upcoming weeks, so stay home everyone!
Are the New York Rangers Playoff ready?

Are the New York Rangers Playoff ready?

With the National Hockey League (NHL) having a rough outline for a possible return in July. It seems to be a given that the league will finish the regular season and begin the chase for the Stanley cup. But a question, most fans have had when discussing a restart for the NHL is, what happens to the few teams that were in the hunt for the playoffs that were getting hot when the season was paused? What do they Do Just give up?
The answer for those teams is no, Don’t Stop fighting. A team that should take this advice is the New York Rangers. When the season was paused back in March the Rangers were sitting a game out of a playoff spot and had momentum coming off a strong 5-4-1 record in their last ten games before the stoppage. Each game showed promise and the team looked like a sleeper candidate to sneak into the playoffs and surprise people like Carolina in 2019. As the Hurricanes were a team that barely slipped into the playoffs and made some noise making it to the conference finals but getting swept by Boston. The Rangers were having the same performance before the NHL was forced to stop play due to the coronavirus. But is the team ready to take the next step to play in the playoffs or is the rebuild not finished yet?
Even with Artemi Panarin and the wonderful Mika Zibanejad finally morphing into one of the NHL’s most dominant centers the team still has a lot of youth with minimal playoff experience if any. With the Rangers being the youngest team in the NHL, can they compete against teams like Boston or Washington? In my opinion, I believe they would be dangerous but not great, as a team like the Rangers would need to have to be playing at 110% to beat teams such as Boston or Washington but it is possible as the NHL has shown fans, especially in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anything can happen to any team all it takes is a little bit of luck and the Rangers have the speed and power to compete with the big teams all they need is a little bit of luck.
Being in the playoff chase is exactly what this Rangers team full of youngsters need. The youth on this team in a league competing in meaningful games during the last few weeks of the season will give them a drive and a feeling of accomplishment. With that comes confidence and the sense that winning the Stanley cup is possible.
When the NHL starts again every single game is going to be valuable and even though the entire NHL experience will change. Once hockey is back the last few weeks of the season are going to be very important and very tough. With the NHL season restart possibly in the near future, every Ranger fan remembers the magical runs the teams of yesteryear went on. It may be time for the kids to get a taste of what is in the future. Making the playoffs this season would be a gift like no other, but the journey, as they say, is so much more important than the destination.
A possible end to the debate over college athletes being paid?

A possible end to the debate over college athletes being paid?

In recent weeks the NBA G league has swayed top college basketball recruits away from signing with their schools of choice and instead signing with a select G League team for up to 14 times the maximum league salary. This could pose a threat to the NCAA. If top players decide to skip college and get paid to go pro the NCAA could stand to lose a massive amount of revenue.
Top recruits like Jaylen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix have signed with the G League for the 2020-2021 season for salaries of up to $500,000. If more and more recruits continue to do this the NCAA will produce a less exciting product with worse players and potentially lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
In response to this the NCAA has released a new NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) policy that will go into effect for the 2021 season. Essentially the NCAA will allow athletes to profit off of their personal brands without being paid by schools. Players can profit off of signing endorsement deals, signing autographs etc. However, it is strictly prohibited that a school pay a student-athlete.
This ruling seems like the NCAA’s long awaited compromise to the debate over college athletes being paid. In my opinion this is a step in the right direction. As an avid college sports fan and a staunch believer that athletes should be compensated this appears to be progress. This initial ruling will allow the NCAA to be able to afford to sponsor athletic competition and athletes to profit off of their hard work. This ruling by the NCAA could possibly be the end of the debt over college athletes being paid.
The Righty who Reached the Major Leagues Left-Handed

The Righty who Reached the Major Leagues Left-Handed

When baseball fans hear the name Billy Wagner, they think of the lefty closer who blew hitters away with fastballs in the upper 90s. His successful 16-year career included seven all-star seasons and 422 career saves, his season high coming in 2003 for the Astros with 44.
All these numbers are eye popping, especially when you consider Wagner pitched with his non-naturally dominant hand. That’s right, Billy the Kid is a natural righty.
As a young child, Wagner grew up poor living with his grandparents. Loving both football and baseball, Billy and his neighbor Chip would often play football with a hat because a real football was unaffordable. It was when the two were playing hat football that Chip landed on Billy, breaking his right arm.
Even with a cast, Wagner wanted to stay active. He began throwing a baseball left-handed in effort to continue playing the sports he loved.
Wagner’s arm healed and his cast came off, but it soon went right back on. Shortly after his cast was removed, Chip once again landed on Billy’s right arm during hat football. Two breaks were enough for Wagner.
Wagner was a southpaw hurler from then on. As he aged, Billy the Kid excelled at sports but struggled with his home life.
At 14 years old, Billy moved in with his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Despite falling a year behind in school, Wagner was bumped up to high school because school administrators feared his hard pitches would injure his middle school classmates.
The lefty continued bringing the heat all through high school and signed with Ferrum College as a football and baseball player. Coaches at Ferrum recommended Billy focus on baseball and stop playing football. I wonder why.
Billy blossomed as a pitcher in 1992, setting single-season records for strikeouts per nine innings with 19 ⅓ and fewest hits allowed per nine innings with 1.88.
One year later, Wagner reached the top of the mountain after he was selected 12th overall by the Astros in the 1993 MLB draft. The pitcher who was a natural righty achieved his dream by using his non-dominant arm, which became historically dominant.
UFC 249 is back on and with one hell of a card

UFC 249 is back on and with one hell of a card

UFC 249 was originally scheduled for April 18th in Los Angeles, California, until UFC president Dana White was forced to cancel the event. As the spread of COVID-19 was starting to take its toll on the U.S. Dana White was determined to keep on schedule with the planed fights for the next few months. Though as things started to shut down, UFC 249 started to be in jeopardy of happening. First the main event of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson for the UFC Lightweight Championship had to be changed as Khabib got stuck in Russia when the country shut down their broader. Then, the governor of California wanting the event cancelled, went over Dana White’s head to the Head of Disney to have the event shut down. As Disney owns ESPN, who broadcasts the pay-per-views, Disney has the power to control weather or not a UFC event happens.
Now a week after 249 was supposed to happen, Dana White announced that UFC 249 will take place on May 9th at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. The UFC is able to make UFC 249 happen this soon as FL has deemed sports an essential business. In a world that live sports is at a stand still UFC looks to move forward with their events and they are starting back up with a massive card. Looking first at the main card, the main event Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje for the Interim Lightweight Title. Ferguson currently riding an eight-year, twelve fight win streak desperately wanting that title fight with Khabib. Gaethje is coming into this fight with three straight 1st round KO/TKO victories, though has no been on a PPV since December of 2017. This is going to be a hard-hitting fight with two power house fighters, but Tony Ferguson be too focused on the fight with Khabib that he still hasn’t got. next, the co-main event of Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz for the Bantamweight Championship. This fight probably has the most interesting background of any fight on this card. This is Cruz’s first fight back after being out of action while over a year due to injury. After a recent fight Henry Cejudo called out Cruz to set up this match up, which was a strange turn of events snice Cejudo is the champion. This fight is personal for the two as they use to be on the national wrestling team together and there is some resentment between the two. This will be a strong technical matchup between the two best bantamweights in the world and could main event it’s own PPV. The third match on card, a heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannu vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik. These are two hard hitting monster and this will surely be a slugfest for the ages. This is a big fight for both men, with the #1 heavyweight Daniel Cormier on the self a win would give #2 Ngannou a title shot. If Rozenstruik wins over the #2 heavyweight it would bring him up the rankings and closer to getting a title shot. The second fight on the card Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar, a featherweight bout between two extremely talented fight who are looking to climb the ranking. The main card will open with Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castroin the heavyweight division. The former NFL player, Greg Hardy has only had a few fights in the UFC, but is looking to make a name for himself as a fight. A win for Hardy here will go a long way to help his young MMA career. This is a card that for a Casual fan like myself, that makes me want to buy the PPV. For those fans who can’t justify spending $80 on a PPV there is going to be three and a half hours of prelim fights with prelim main event of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. UFC 249 is the first event of many as UFC plans to put on four cards in the next month. Though it will be in an empty arena it will be nice to see some form of live sports again. Hopefully this could lead to the rest of live sports coming back in the U.S.