Olympics, Baseball, Football and more
By Scott Murphy
What‘s making the rounds and what they’re talking about…
Olympics or Bust
Head of the International Olympics Committee Thomas Bach claims he is “very confident” that audience members will be able to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games next year. Bach is currently in Japan to discuss preparations for the postponed event, which is now due to be held next July.
“We are putting really a huge tool box together in which we will put all the different measures we an imagine,” he said after meeting Japan‘s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. “This makes us all very, very confident we can have spectators in the Olympic Stadium next year.“
Both Japan and the IOC have dismissed the possibility that the Games will be cancelled, though it is possible that both country delegates and audience members may be reduced. Other options, such as a call for less applause and test events early next year, have also been discussed.
There is also no word on whether non-Japanese attendees will be allowed due to the global Coronavirus epidemic. Currently, the Games are expected to cost US$12.6 billion with delays adding an additional $2-3 billion on top of that. A University of Oxford study claims these will be the most costly Summer Olympics ever. 11,000 athletes from nearly 200 countries are expected to take part, if and when it all begins on July 23rd, 2021.
First Ever Female MLB GM
“It feels amazing,” says Kim Ng.
Who is she and why did she say it?
The 52 year old has just been named General Manager of the Miami Marlins baseball team in the US. The appointment makes her the first female to hold such a position in any major US sport. It also marks the first time a person of Asian-American descent has ever held such a title in Major League Baseball.
Ng started as an intern in 1990 and later served as an Assistant General Manager for both the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. “It’s just a symbol or so many women who are trying to work their way to the top,” she told CBS Morning News. “All I can say is that I‘m happy it’s happened and I look forward to running the Marlins, hopefully to a championship.”
They Shoot...Sort of Score
The US based Major League Soccer, plagued by Coronavirus issues all season long, just announced that they‘ll use points per game to determine playoff places in the league standings, as well as seedings for the playoffs. The league has already reduced its number of regular season games from 34 to 23.
The top 10 teams from the Eastern Conference and the top eight teams from the Western Conference will qualify for the playoffs, which begin on November 20th. They‘ll conclude with the MLS Cup on December 12th. Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City currently sit atop their respective conferences. And the David Beckham owned team Inter Miami FC, have also locked up a spot in their debut season.
MLS have announced that they plan to begin the 2021 regular season in March.
Meals Fit For A Linebacker
Guajillo chili chicken, coffee-braised brisket and pork chops smothered in candied apples and onions.
Getting hungry yet?
How about Grass-fed flank steak, sweet potato hash with diced chicken and chocolate-chip pancakes?
The above are just some of the items on the menu for UCLA football players, as the Los Angeles based university spent more than US$5.4 million dollars on non-travel meals for the team in 2019 alone, according to the Los Angeles Times. Reportedly, one of the reasons why the university‘s food costs are so high is because the team’s US$65 million Wasserman Football Center doesn‘t include a dining hall, so all team meals need to be catered.
Some of the purchases included US$40,000 for meals from an Arizona based barbecue restaurant and peanut, butter and jelly sandwiches at US$5 apiece. The program — largely requested by the players, includes three meals a day and take home meals on the weekends.
The overall food figure dwarfed that of the next-closest school in the Pac-12 league, Arizona, which spent US$1.2 million on football meals.
Just A Card? Hardly...
Collectors were reminded yet again not to throw out their old baseball card colllections this month when a rare 1909-1911 T206 Honus Wagner card set an auction record by selling for more than US$1.4 million. The price was reportedly the most ever paid for a low-graded Wagner card, according to Goldin Auctions. Only 50 graded copies of the card are believed to exist.
Wagner played 21 seasons in the major league and was one of the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
Some see the figure as yet another indication that sports cards are currently on an investing rocketship. Auction house PWCC Marketplace recently determined that the best 500 cards printed before the year 2000 produced a return of investment of 216 since 2008. By contrast, the S&P 500 rose 135 percent during the same period.
Death Of A Legend
Spare a thought for the family of Paul Hornung, a US football legend who died last week at the age of 84 in Louisville, Kentucky.
His football stats are dizzying. In college at Notre Dame, he played both offense and defence, becoming the only player to win the Heisman Trophy while playing for a losing team. Later, he would become one of only seven players to win both the Heisman Trophy and be named NFL MVP.
As a running back for the Green Bay Packers, he lead the team to four titles and also scored 176 points in one year, a record that stood for nearly five decades. He also had a title game record by scoring 19 points in a single game, which included one rushing touchdown, three field goals and four point after tries. He lead the league in scoring from 1959-1961. He was also the only player in NFL history to score 50 touchdowns and kick 50 field goals.
Hornung later became a sports broadcaster on CBS. In 2016, he sued sports equipment manufacturer Riddell Inc., claiming that the football helmets he used while playing didn’t protect him against brain injury. Hornung‘s cause of death was dementia.