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Football

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Chicago: Thank you, next

March 18, 2021
Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

🏈Bears: As soon as free agency hit, the Bears went after a new QB. Their first choice? Seattle Seahawk Russel Wilson. But despite a v. generous offer, da Bears came up empty. Next on the shortlist? Dallas Cowboy Andy Dalton, who agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Monsters of the Midway on Tuesday. 

  • After nine years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting QB, Dalton went 4-5 last season as the Cowboys’ starter after Dak Prescott suffered a serious injury. Hello darkness, my old friend...
  • TBH, Dalton is not exactly the game-changer we were hoping for. The Bears desperately need a star-powered QB, and from what we can tell, Dalton just doesn’t have it. 

🏀MBB: The Loyola Ramblers are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018, which was the year they, along with national icon Sister Jean, were America’s most beloved Cinderella story (besides the Hillary Duff version). 

  • Sister Jean, who is now 101 years old, is back, vaccinated and ready to attend the No. 8 seed Ramblers’ first-round game vs. the No. 9 seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT. 
  • Check out our deep dive for more details on the Chicagoland teams playing in the tournament this weekend. Time to dance!
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LA: Trading places

March 18, 2021
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

🏈Football: The Rams agreed to trade QBs with the Detroit Lions back in January, and it turns out they weren’t done dealing with Motor City. The Rams sent defensive tackle Michael Brockers to the Lions yesterday in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick. We’ll miss the defensive co-captain, but the team was determined to creatively clear cap space.

  • Meanwhile, the Chargers strengthened their offensive line by signing All-Pro center Corey Linsley and guard Matt Feiler yesterday. We like the idea of more protection for QB Justin Herbert...that 45–0 drubbing is still fresh in our minds. 

🏀Basketball: Kawhi Leonard called the Clippers’ inconsistency “very concerning,” and last night’s 105–89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks was definite proof of that. The Clips literally have not strung together consecutive wins since mid-February. Welp.  

  • As for the Lakers, they take on LaMelo Ball (yep, those Balls) and the Charlotte Hornets tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. LaMelo is apparently “not really” excited to play his oldest brother’s former teammate, LeBron James. Kids these days.
  • LaMelo probably won’t show any more enthusiasm for his bros’ old college team, but hey, we’re pumped to watch UCLA and USC in March Madness. Catch up here before the madness begins tonight at 9:57 p.m. ET/6:57 p.m. PT.
🏀🏈🥎

Seattle: Everyday we’re shuffling

March 18, 2021
Source: Billy Hardiman/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Billy Hardiman/USA TODAY Sports

🏈Seahawks: While the Seahawks never seriously entertained the idea of trading QB Russell Wilson, we still breathed a sigh of relief to see all four teams on his list shut the door. Better news? The ’Hawks traded a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, picking up some protection that Wilson so desperately craves. 

  • But the Griffin twins might both be gone. Although the ’Hawks were reportedly close to re-signing him, top CB Shaquill Griffin bade farewell to Seattle for Jacksonville. No official word yet on Shaquem, but he’s expected to leave too. Sad.
  • Without Shaquill, the ’Hawks are bringing in CB Ahkello Witherspoon, who was injury-prone during his tenure with the 49ers. The ’Hawks also picked up TE Gerald Everett, reuniting him with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. S’cute.

🥎🏀College: No. 6 UW softball swing into Pac-12 action with a four-game series against No. 7 Arizona starting tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The Huskies lost the last time the teams met, but there’s nothing the Huskies do better than revenge

  • ...especially if pitcher Gabbie Plain is in the circle. In her 16 appearances this season, she recorded 139 strikeouts and allowed just six runs. Superstar.

P.S. The Gonzaga and EWU men's basketball teams tip off March Madness on Saturday. It’s championship season, baby.

🏈🏀

Dallas: I got the horses in the back

March 18, 2021
Source: Roger Steinman/AP Photo
Source: Roger Steinman/AP Photo

🏈Cowboys: With the Dak Prescott saga behind them, the Cowboys have been able to focus on building around their QB1. There haven’t been any blockbuster deals yet, but the ’Boys did re-sign cornerbacks C.J. Goodwin and Jourdan Lewis, two key members of the defense. Welcome back.

  • Meanwhile, QB Andy Dalton won’t be returning after signing with the Chicago Bears — don’t let the door hit ya, TBH. Now Dallas is in the market for a new backup and some much-needed additions to the defense. Time to pay up, Jerry.

🎓🏀MBB: North Texas teams will be balling out on the big stage in Indianapolis. Odds are on hometown favorites like No. 1 Baylor and No. 3 Texas to make deep runs. But No. 14 Abilene Christian could spoil the Longhorns’ fun, while No. 13 North Texas looks poised for a first-round upset of their own. Check out our full preview before the action tips off tomorrow.

  • And the Big D is flyin’ high beyond the March Madness bubble too. The SMU Mustangs will make their fourth NIT tournament appearance beginning with today’s first round matchup vs. Boise State at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Pony up, y’all. 

🏀Mavericks: Thanks to a team-leading 42 (!!) points from Luka Doncic, the Mavs rebounded from Monday’s loss, defeating the LA Clippers 105–89 last night. We love to see it. The Mavericks return to the court tomorrow for a 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT battle with the Portland Trail Blazers. Time to gain some ground.

In off-court news, our thoughts are with former Maverick Shawn Bradley, who announced yesterday that he was paralyzed following a bicycle accident in January. Maverick for life.

🏈🏒

Boston: Singin’ dollar dollar bill y’all

March 18, 2021
Source: Patriots Wire/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Patriots Wire/USA TODAY Sports

🏈Patriots: If you ever feel guilty after an online shopping splurge, just remember the time Bill Belichick spent over $200 million (!!!) in one day. The Pats have made a flurry of free agency moves, including signing star tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Taking Dolla Dolla Bill to a whole new level.

  • And Belichick kept things rolling yesterday, bringing back linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Prior to spending last year with the Miami Dolphins, Van Noy played four seasons with the Pats and won two Super Bowls. HYFR.

🏒College hockey: We might not have any schools in this year’s March Madness, but the Hub sure knows how to hockey. The No. 1 Northeastern Huskies women easily won their quarterfinal matchup on Monday to make their first Frozen Four in school history. They’ll face No. 6 Minnesota Duluth today at 2 p.m. ET. Herstory in the making.

  • And while the No. 1 B.C. men lost yesterday’s Hockey East semis in a double overtime heartbreaker, the Eagles should still hear their name called at Sunday’s national championship selection show. Fly, Eagles, Fly. 

❤️RIP: Boston Marathon icon and Holland, Massachusetts-native Dick Hoyt passed away yesterday at age 80. Hoyt finished 32 Boston Marathons while pushing his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy. A true inspiration.