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🏈Patriots' Sunday Preview

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: JIM DAVIS/THE BOSTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: JIM DAVIS/THE BOSTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Still sad the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts? Same. Wash away the pain with a Dunkies and dig into the Patriots’ Sunday matchup.

Who are we playing?: The Pats will aim to spoil National Tight Ends Day (yes, that’s actually a thing) for George Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. After a rough outing last week, partially due to a lack of practice, look for the Pats to improve their passing game by involving wide receivers Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry more often.

  • Here’s the thing: while the Pats got beaten up by COVID-19, the Niners’ defense has been hit hard by injuries to its top players. It will be up to QB Cam Newton and co. to take advantage of the situation (and spoil former Patriot backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s return to Foxboro).

How’s the Pats’ COVID-19 situation?: Looking better. Three players came off the reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday, and no new players were placed on it. *knocks on wood* And even though three other players returned to yesterday’s practice from the injured reserve (different from the COVID-19 one), starting right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor was put on it. Two steps forward, one step back.

Anything else?: Yes actually! GISTers, we’re so grateful for your support of our regional content and would love your help to make it even better by completing this v. short survey. Thanks so much!

🏀

Dodgers Tied Up in World Series, Clippers Have New Head Coach

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: ROBERT GAUTHIER/LA TIMES
SOURCE: ROBERT GAUTHIER/LA TIMES

The GIST: The Dodgers are all tied up in the World Series, while the Clippers hope to address their yearly playoff woes with a new head coach.

⚾️Struck out: The Dodgers came back down to earth yesterday, losing Game 2 to the Tampa Bay Rays. They couldn’t replicate their electrifying Game 1 success and cycled through pitchers faster than traffic has ever moved on the 405. Shortstop Corey Seager tried to spark the Dodgers’ comeback bid with a home run in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t meant to be.

  • First pitch of Game 3 is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:08 p.m. ET/5:08 p.m. PT. Friday they bounce back.

🏀New-ish guy: The Clippers made it Facebook official on Tuesday: Tyronn Lue is their new head coach. Lue, who served as former head coach Doc Rivers’ top assistant this past season, will be tasked with creating better team chemistry after their recent (and horrid) playoff collapse. Yeah, good luck with that.

  • Speaking of basketball, it’s been a minute since fans stepped foot in the home of the Clippers, Lakers and Sparks. So why not visit Staples Center as it transforms into a vote center beginning on Saturday until Election Day. Get your vote on!

One more thing: GISTers, we’re so grateful for your support of our regional content and would love your help to make it even better by completing this v. short survey. Thanks so much!

🏆

This Week in Golf, Soccer, Lacrosse

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: LPGA/TWITTER
SOURCE: LPGA/TWITTER

⛳️Golf: The LPGA should have teed off today in South Korea, but COVID-19 nixed those plans. Instead, the Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee — a brand new stateside tournament — will fill our golf-loving hearts.

  • Danielle Kang won the OG Drive On Championship back in August, and she’s back this weekend to try to win a matching trophy. Major winner and ultimate underdog Sophia Popov, American Lexi Thompson and World No. 2 Nelly Korda’s sister Jessica (sorry, Nelly’s sitting this one out) will try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Follow the leaderboard here.

⚽️Soccer: We have a name! The NWSL’s highly anticipated new team, based in Los Angeles, will be called Angel City FC (FC stands for Football Club). The league’s 11th team, which will start competing in 2022, also named additional investors to the already star-studded ownership group: WNBA star Candace Parker (and her daughter Lailaa, so cute), Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn (and her fiancé P.K. Subban) and tennis legend Billie Jean King (and her partner Ilana Kloss). Sounds like heaven.

🥍Lacrosse: Athletes Unlimited, a collection of new pro sports leagues that highlights women’s sports and works to put the athletes first, is introducing lacrosse as its newest undertaking. Joining the already successful softball and volleyball leagues, the lax league will feature some of the top American lacrosse stars.

  • Superstar Kayla Treanor and her U.S. national team teammates Megan Douty, Michelle Tumolo and Emily Parros have all committed to the month-long series, which starts July 19th, 2021. Mark your calendar!

🏈Big Ten, Chicago College Sports Are Back

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: NUSPORTS.COM
SOURCE: NUSPORTS.COM

The GIST: The Big Ten is so back, and so are the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats, who begin their delayed season this weekend.

I-L-L-I-N-I: The Fighting Illini will kick off the return of the Big Ten against the Wisconsin Badgers tomorrow night — just over a year after Illinois’ one-point upset victory over Big Red.

Go ’Cats Go!: Northwestern is ready for a better season than their 3-9 record last year, starting with a win against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. The ’Cats have a strong defensive core returning to the field, and should improve offensively with new QB Peyton Ramsey, a veteran transfer from Indiana.

  • Look for Ramsey to connect with his more experienced options, including senior WR Riley Lees and TE grad transfer from FAU John Raine. If Ramsey and the offense can execute, Saturday’s game against the Terps will be a great first matchup for the Purple and White.

One last thing: GISTers, we’re so grateful for your support of our regional content and would love your help to make it even better by completing this v. short survey. Thanks so much!

🏈No New Name For Washington Football Team

October 22, 2020
SOURCE: SUSAN WALSH/AP
SOURCE: SUSAN WALSH/AP

The GIST: The Washington Football Team (WFT) will stay the WFT while they look to snap a five-game losing streak against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. Six isn’t a charm.

What’s in a name?: Sounds like the WFT name is sticking around for at least another year. On Tuesday, WFT president Jason Wright said, “We want to grow this fan base as part of our new identity.”

  • Our question: How can a “new identity” be built over two years, just to have another one built after that? After finally removing an 87-year-old racial slur moniker and racist mascot in July, we understand the desire to do things right this time. But is it just us, or does this seem like a money grab? Speed it up!

A glimmer of hope: On the field, the WFT face their longtime rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Cowboys look shaky without star QB Dak Prescott and having backup QB Andy Dalton at the helm instead. This means WFT cornerback Kendall Fuller, who is tied for the league lead in interceptions, could make a serious impact. Thanks to the dumpster fire that is the NFC East, the WFT are somehow, improbably in the playoff race.

One more thing: GISTers, we’re so grateful for your support of our regional content and would love your help to make it even better by completing this v. short survey. Thanks so much!