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WTF Moment: Heiko Vogel

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

The crime: During a recent match, Heiko Vogel, the head coach of Borussia Mönchengladbach's under-23 team, got into a verbal altercation with a referee. Based on the severity of the incident, the Western German Football Association (WDFV) decided Vogel needed to be reprimanded for his unsportsmanlike conduct.

The punishment: Vogel was ordered to pay a fine, banned from a couple of matches, and — here’s the ‘pièce de résistance’ — forced to coach a women’s team for six sessions. As punishment. We can’t even.

  • This incomprehensible decision by the league was addressed by Nicole Selmer of Frauen im Fussball (Women in Football), who said, “It shows that at whatever level women and girls play football, they are not taken as serious as men and boys.” F*** that.

The cinema: And we can’t help but be reminded of how life imitates art. Next month, Disney+ is releasing Big Shots, a series that stars Uncle Jesse, er, John Stamos as a temperamental men’s college basketball coach who gets fired and is forced to coach a high school girls’ team. Can we not?

🏀🏈🏒

D.C.: Out with the old, in with the older

March 18, 2021
Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

🏈WFT: It wasn’t the most exciting of moves, but the WFT’s starting QB looks set: 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick, last with the Miami Dolphins, is replacing 36-year-old Alex Smith. Not the long-term solution we were looking for, but hopefully he provides stability after last season’s QB merry-go-round. FitzMagic, welcome to the District.

  • Fitzpatrick has good targets to sling the football to. Former Carolina Panther wide receiver (WR) Curtis Samuel is expected to sign a three-year deal, reuniting him with his old head coach, Ron Rivera, and college teammate, WR Terry McLaurin. That speedy tandem could be dangerous.

🏒Capitals: The Caps beat the NY Islanders in Tuesday’s highly anticipated showdown, taking over the East Division lead with a 19-6-4 record (wins, losses, overtime losses). Back on top, baby!

  • But the best part was captain Alex Ovechkin netting a classic Ovi power play one-timer for his 718th career goal, moving into sixth in all-time scoring. The Great 8 strikes again.
  • The Caps face lowly opposition for their next six games...so circle your calendar for that April Fools’ Day rematch against the Islanders. Joke’s on them. 

🏀Basketball: The Wizards continued their downward spiral yesterday, posting their fifth-straight loss. Oof. If you’re hoping to see some winning basketball, may we suggest checking out our guide on the potential eight college men’s teams representing the DMV in March Madness instead?

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New York: When you’re up, you’re up, and when you’re down, you’re down

March 18, 2021
Source: AP Photo
Source: AP Photo

Islanders: Isles captain and star left winger Anders Lee is out for the season after tearing his ACL last week. Our hearts break for Lee, but thankfully his doctors expect a full recovery and have already scheduled surgery for later this week. 

  • But where does that leave the team? Well, in their third game without Lee, the Isles’ nine-game winning streak came to end. They lost 3–1 to the Washington Capitals, who then overtook the Isles for the top spot in the East Division. 
  • The team will likely try to add some snipers to make up for Lee, who’s tied with center Brock Nelson as the Isles’ leading scorer. But the front office better move fast, because the Isles only have more tough games ahead

Rangers: The Rangers’ star left winger, Artemi Panarin (AR-TEE-MEE PAN-UH-RIN), returned to the ice on Saturday after taking a nine-game leave of absence in response to allegations brought against him by his former Russian Kontinental Hockey League coach last month. 

  • On Monday, he made his first public statement about his time away, saying that while he has nothing to hide, he is waiting to further address “everything” until after the season. 
  • Clearly his return has provided a spark for the Rangers, who earned a 9–0 win (yes, you read that right) over the Philadelphia Flyers last night. Consider our interest piqued. 

🏀Philadelphia: Start the fire, make the pizza

March 18, 2021
Source: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

’Nova Nation: The 5-seed Wildcats have a storied March Madness history with three National Championships, including their 1985 win as a No. 8 seed. This Cinderella story still holds the record for lowest seed to ever win the title. Never count out the ’Cats. 

  • The team needs some of that ’85 magic this year as they enter the tournament without co-Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie. His season ended with a torn MCL earlier this month. Tragic.
  • Thankfully, guard Justin Moore is back after suffering a severe ankle sprain and is ready to help high-scoring forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl show the NCAA what they’ve got. 
  • The Wildcats open the tournament against the Big South Conference champion and No. 12 seed Winthrop Eagles in the first round on Friday. The Eagles have lost only one game this season, but the ’Cats are ready to make it two. 

Do it like Drexel: This is Drexel’s fifth-ever March Madness appearance and their first in 25 years. The No. 16 seed Dragons have a first-round face-off against the No. 1 seed U of I Illini, whom many bracketeers consider a strong contender for the title. Sounds like a job for a fairy godmother.

  • Drexel guard Camren Wynter leads the team in average points per game, but sophomore forward Mate Okros has gotten hot lately, leading the team with 14 points in their conference championship win. Catch them at tip off on Friday at 1:15 p.m. ET. 
🏀🏈

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!