‘So…This Happened’ is our quick-hitting weekly round-up of some of the biggest stories in sports. Take a read and own the water cooler sports conversations, if any of you actually have a water cooler that you hang out by to talk sports.
We have flipped the calendar page to September! Labor Day Weekend is a thing of the past. As is the summer. The kids are going back to school.
But enough about that. Turning to the world of sports, NFL fans are at peak anticipation, with football season about to kick-off. Fantasy teams have been drafted. Ezekiel Elliot has gotten PAID. Gronk is gone, but Brady returns for a 20th season. Former So…This Happened poster boy, Odell Beckham, Jr., has moved from NY to Cleveland. Antonio Brown has moved from Pittsburgh to Oakland, where he has spent all off-season whining about helmets and burning his feet in a cryogenic freezing chamber. FUN! At least he’s in a place where the fan-base is comfortable with dysfunction! Oh, and did you hear? Andrew Luck retired!!
MLB is moving into the stretch run of the regular season. The Pennant and Wild Card races are heating up, as the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros battle for the best record in baseball. Home runs continue to be hit at a record pace, with the Twins already breaking the record for HRs hit by a team in a season and the Yankees breaking the record for HRs in a month. The balls are just a flyin’ out of stadiums!
There’s also tennis! The US Open is heading to its Finals this weekend, and the favorites are falling in Flushing – say that three times fast!- left and right. Down goes Djokovic (retired due to injury)! Down goes Federer!! Down goes 15 year old phenom Coco Gauff (to No. 1 seed, Naomi Osaka)!!! And then Down goes No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka!!!!
All of these are “nice” stories, but let’s get to The Three.
1. NFL Free Agent DE Ryan Russell Reveals He Is Bisexual:
In a brave and stunning letter, former Cowboy’s defensive end, Ryan Russell came out as bisexual.
“Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly. I want to live my dream of playing the game I’ve worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I’ve always been. Those two objectives shouldn’t be in conflict. But judging from the fact that there isn’t a single openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL, brings me pause. I want to change that – for me, for other athletes who share these common goals, and for the generations of LGBTQ athletes who will come next.”
His letter reminds us that there is currently not one single “out” LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL.
2. Is 2019 The Year of the Black Quarterback?
With Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Russ Wilson, DeShaun Watson leading the way, and youngsters like Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson trending up, an article at The Undefeated heralded 2019 as ‘The Year of the Black Quarterback.’
Interestingly, you know what year was also “The Year of the Black Quarterback’?
2014. According to this five-year olf New Yorker article, which was ALSO titled ‘The Year of the Black Quarterback.’
We have come a long way in ridding the NFL of the stereotypes that black men were not “cerebral enough” to play QB or that “real athletes” should play other positions. The game has evolved. This also demonstrates the power of representation. Young black football players today can look out and see pro quarterbacks like them and want to and believe they can be quarterbacks.
But its also worth noting that one of those QBs in 2014 was Colin Kaepernick. So, we’re not quite all the way there yet.
3. A Tale of Two Walk-Off Home Runs: Yankees Walk It Off. Mets Get Walked Off.
Over in MLB, the Yankees and Mets are headed in opposite directions.
It was quite a week for the Yankees. A magical season continues!
This Magic Moment featuring Mike Ford pic.twitter.com/LOBP1ojYTS
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) September 1, 2019
For the Mets, less so. They blew a 6 run 9th inning lead to lose to the Washington Nationals.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 4, 2019
That, as they say, is baseball.
Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP