As we all continue to hold down the fort, here are some positive thoughts and moments from the sports world to get us through
We hope everyone’s MDW still brought a great kick-off to summer with good food, good company, and of course, some cold drinks – despite the current circumstances. Let us not forget those who are sacrificing for us, both here at home and overseas, who make our lives more comfortable and give us freedom. The crew at Best.Day.Ever. wants to give a special thank you to all the troops and those on the frontlines who exemplify American heroism each and every day.
This past weekend we were blessed with “The Match II,” as super-star athletes Tom Brady and Peyton Manning teamed up with golf legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to raise $20 Million for COVID-19 relief. The pairing of Woods and Manning won the contest, but like this offseason and most NFL Sundays, it was Tom Brady who stole the show – and in a way that made me feel so much better about my golf game. Between ripping his pants and shanking a few shots, Brady showed the world he is in fact, human. Ultimately “The Match II” revealed that people miss sports – A LOT. According to Turner Sports, The Match II was the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television, seeing an average of 5.8 million viewers.
News from leagues this past weekend look to keep things moving in the right direction…
We kick things off this week on the ice, as the NHL and NHLPA agreed last week on a 24-team playoff plan that will hopefully crown a Stanley Cup Champion this season. Under the plan, the top four seeds in each conference (determined by their standings points percentage when the regular season was paused on March 12) would receive byes through a round of best-of-five, play-in series featuring seeds 5 through 12. Those play-in series would determine which teams advance to a traditional 16-team Stanley Cup playoff bracket. The length of the first- and second-round series in the 16-team tourney are to be determined, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated that the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final would be best-of-seven series. The timeframe for officially dropping the puck is still to-be-determined, but early June looks to be the goal for the league to begin letting players go to team facilities.
The NBA might be harnessing the magic of Disney World to resume its’ season, as the league has engaged with The Walt Disney Company around playing at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. According to NBA spokesperson Mike Bass, the NBA is targeting late July to complete the season under a ‘bubble’ concept. There’s still much to be determined to get all stakeholders and necessary parties on board with the tentative plan, but things look to moving in the right direction for a late summer tip-off.
With most sports in the U.S. remaining idle, NASCAR has continued to race and is moving into the national spotlight in our country. This past weekend, Brad Keselowski won a wild Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sunday’s race was the longest race, by miles, in NASCAR history lasting over six hours. For those looking for some live action and perhaps new-found sports passion, tune in tonight to the Alsco Uniforms 500 at 8PM ET on FS1.
With working out being a complete non-factor in my life since the pandemic, professional athletes who need to stay fit for their livelihoods have turned to Peloton to get their cardio in during this pandemic. Turning an everyday hobby into a cause for good, ESPN and Peloton have teamed up to bring us the Peloton All-Star Ride, airing this Saturday at noon ET on ESPN. This unique charity event will feature a combination of personalities and professional athletes such as Gordon Hayward, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, and Rory McIlroy, who will compete across two divisions. If the athletes collectively reach an output of 3,000, Peloton will donate one million meals to the Food Bank for New York City. ESPN continues its’ positive momentum, adding another piece of content to captivate viewers at home, and doing so for a great cause.
Former Pro-Bowl wide-out Chad Johnson, better known as Chad “Ochocinco”, left a tip for $1,000 at a local restaurant that recently re-opened during the pandemic. As generous as his trash-talk, this was an extremely nice gesture for restaurant workers who are in desperate need during this time.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson is a making sure minority-owned businesses in need get the money they deserve. EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., along with MBE Capital Partners, are partnering to loan $100 million to minority- and women-owned companies. Johnson owns a controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Co and went on MSNBC recently to discuss the need for contributing to minority-owned businesses, saying “These are incredible businesses, small businesses, that have been the pillar of our community that also employ a lot of black and brown people in our community.”
Former Syracuse Orange, New York Knicks, and current Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony wants to give students a role model he never had. Anthony, in partnership with the Jordan Brand, announced 32 scholarships for students today to help them achieve their full potential. The Jordan Brand “Wing Scholars” are receiving a full ride to a four-year college or university of their choice, or any post-secondary education program. During these uncertain times, individuals like ‘Melo are making the ultimate investment by donating to the future of our world.
That’s it for this run! Be sure to check back same time next week for more features, stories, and updates that fill the current sports void in our lives.