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Looking ahead

November 13, 2020
Looking ahead

The GIST: With the Washington Football Team (WFT) facing another beatable opponent and the Spirit’s roster in flux, our emotions are...right back where they were last week: all over the place.

🏈On the gridiron: After a disappointing divisional loss last week, the WFT will look to rebound against the 3-5 Detroit Lions on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. With quarterback (QB) Kyle Allen undergoing season-ending surgery, comeback kid Alex Smith will start for the first time in almost two years. Just like riding a bike, right?

  • Meanwhile, if he plays, running back (RB) Antonio Gibson will look to take advantage of Detroit’s poor rushing defense. If Gibson has a good day, it’ll be especially significant, as this is the first time the WFT will be playing WFT-turned-Lion RB Adrian Peterson, who they cut earlier this fall. Peterson will of course be playing “with a chip on [his] shoulder.”

⚽️ In low spirits: Tonight’s the night: the Spirit will find out which players they’re sending to Racing Louisville FC in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft. While the Spirit’s protected list (players that Louisville cannot select) wasn’t too much of a surprise, they’ll still potentially lose players like forward Kumi Yokoyama and midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard. We’re not too good at goodbyes.

🥊One last thing: We’ve partnered with our friends at BoxUnion to bring our regional GISTers a complimentary LIVE fitness class on Saturday, November 21st at 12 p.m. ET. Register here for the class, plus the chance to win a three-month subscription to BoxUnion Digital and exclusive GIST swag. Come get your Laila Ali on!

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Tired of sucking

November 13, 2020
SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: After Monday’s scare against the still winless NY Jets, the Patriots have a much tougher test ahead on Sunday Night Football: their American Football Conference (AFC) foe, the Baltimore Ravens. Eek.

🏈Back in primetime: Before the Pats beat the Jets, we briefly wondered (even if Cam couldn’t) if it was part of head coach Bill Belichick’s master plan to tank for Trevor. The upside from Monday’s great escape? Quarterback (QB) Cam Newton looked much better, finding a reliable target in breakout wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Progress.

  • However, Newton and Meyers will need to watch out for Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who should be back from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday. And of course, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson always poses a challenge, especially for a struggling Pats’ defense. Buckle up.

🏒Drop the puck: Circle November 20th on your calendar, because college hockey is back, baby! Hockey East announced yesterday that the season will open with the Boston College women and men facing off against New Hampshire, while the UMass men take on Maine. Let’s do that hockey!

🥊One last thing: We’ve partnered with our friends at BoxUnion to bring our regional GISTers a complimentary LIVE fitness class on Saturday, November 21st at 12 p.m. ET. Register here for the class, plus the chance to win a three-month subscription to BoxUnion Digital and exclusive GIST swag. Come get your Laila Ali on!

🏈Anything but the Bears

November 13, 2020
SOURCE: DAVID BANKS/USA TODAY SPORTS
SOURCE: DAVID BANKS/USA TODAY SPORTS

The GIST: While we wait the whole agonizing weekend to probably be heartbroken again by the Bears on Monday, let’s soak up all the college football we can, because at least these football teams know how to win (looking at you, Matt Nagy).

🏈The Wildcats: Thanks in large part to their rock-solid defense, No. 23 Northwestern has been great so far this season, sitting at 3-0 and atop of the Big Ten West. The ’Cats didn’t allow any points in the second halves of their first three games, which gave the offense breathing room to settle in and consistently drive to the end zone. Hopefully they make the 2-0 Purdue Boilermakers’ blood boil on Saturday.

  • The Boilers’ success has been driven by quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who’s gone for 653 yards for five scores in two games. Because the two teams have opposite strengths, the win will come down to a battle of the Northwestern offense against the Purdue defense.
  • Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin are the three remaining teams vying for the Big Ten West championship. The Wildcats face the Badgers next weekend (meaning one of them is guaranteed a loss), so this game is arguably more critical for the ’Cats than the Boilermakers.

The Irish: After a huge win last weekend against the Clemson Tigers, No. 2 Notre Dame will take on the 5-3 Boston College Eagles in what should be a solid victory, as long as the Irish can avoid repeating history.

The Illini: The 0-3 Fighting Illini will take on the 1-2 Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday, and fans are hoping this week brings their first win. Fingers crossed. But, even if U of I’s football team disappoints, fans can hold out hope for the now Top 10-ranked men’s basketball team. Winter sports, WYA?

🥊One last thing: We’ve partnered with our friends at BoxUnion to bring our regional GISTers a complimentary LIVE fitness class on Saturday, November 21st at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT. Register here for the class, plus the chance to win a three-month subscription to BoxUnion Digital and exclusive GIST swag. Come get your Laila Ali on!

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Bop to the top

November 13, 2020
SOURCE: EMILY HARRINGTON/FACEBOOK
SOURCE: EMILY HARRINGTON/FACEBOOK

⚽️Soccer: It’s Draft Day! With Racing Louisville FC joining the NWSL next season, the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft is taking place today. This draft is a bit different from normal entry drafts in that the new team gets to build its roster by drafting players from other teams in the league.

  • Louisville’s roster already features Yūki Nagasato and Savannah McCaskill, who were traded from the Chicago Red Stars in October, so tonight, they’ll select 16 additional players, two from each of the remaining teams. Learn more about the format here, and follow the action here.

🏈Football: As the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list — which now includes undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — grows longer and the possibility of more canceled games continues, the NFL team owners have approved a contingency plan.

  • In the case that some teams aren’t able to play all 16 scheduled games in 17 weeks, the league will expand the playoff field from 14 to 16 teams to help those who may have missed a meaningful game.
  • The owners also approved a new diversity plan that rewards teams with draft picks for developing minority hires into coaching and executive positions. We can definitely get behind this plan if it means more women and BIPOC in the league.

🧗🏻‍♀️Climbing: Let’s end on a high...literally. Free-climber Emily Harrington made herstory last week when she became the first woman to free climb (without a protective harness) the Golden Gate route of El Capitan in a day. Emily climbed 3,000 feet in just over 21 hours to conquer El Cap, a rock formation in Yosemite National Park featured in the documentary Free Solo. High five!

🏈Don’t let me down

November 13, 2020
SOURCE: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: We love a Sunday. And this one is going to be even better thanks to exciting matchups for the Rams and Chargers.

🏈Ready to rumble: The Rams return from their bye week with a big National Football Conference (NFC) West divisional battle against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT. Under head coach Sean McVay, the Rams are 4-2 against the Seahawks. Hopefully Sunday makes it five.

  • To grab the dub, quarterback (QB) Jared Goff must take advantage of a porous Seattle pass defense (and not repeat last game’s four turnovers). And of course, the Rams will rely on defensive tackle Aaron Donald to stop Seattle QB Russell Wilson from cooking.

Bolt up: As for the Chargers, Sunday’s 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT tilt against the Miami Dolphins features a highly-anticipated rookie QB showdown between Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa (pronounced TWO-AH TUNG-O-VAI-LOA), who were picked adjacent in the 2020 draft. Will this finally, finally be the week that the Bolts stop finding new ways to lose?

🥊One last thing: We’ve partnered with our friends at BoxUnion to bring our regional GISTers a complimentary LIVE fitness class on Saturday, November 21st at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. Register here for the class, plus the chance to win a three-month subscription to BoxUnion Digital and exclusive GIST swag. Come get your Laila Ali on!