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Chicago: Red Stars earn first 2021 season win

May 27, 2021
 Source: Red Stars/Twitter.com
Source: Red Stars/Twitter.com

 ⚽️Red Stars: After starting the season with a loss and a draw, the Red Stars earned their first win last night, beating Kansas City FC 2–0. Striker Kealia Watt scored her first regular-season goal, and less than two minutes later, forward Makenzy Doniak doubled their lead

  • Thanks to our depth in the midfield, we didn’t miss Julie Ertz too much, but sadly the MCL sprain she suffered in the Red Stars’ opener is likely going to keep her off the pitch until she joins the USWNT for the Olympics. Sadboi hours

🎓🥍Wildcats: The undefeated Northwestern women’s lacrosse team has been tearing through the NCAA tournament, earning their spot in the Final Four by beating Denver 19–4 in the second round and Duke 22–10 in the quarterfinals. Go off. 

  • Next, the No. 2 Wildcats will take on the No. 3 Syracuse Orange in the semifinals at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT tomorrow. Time to dominate.

Rapid Recaps: 

  • ⚾️Third baseman David Bote put the Cubs on the board against the Pittsburgh Pirates with his two-run homer in the second inning last night, and the North Siders never looked back, beating the Pirates 4–1. Goin’ back-to-back. 
  • ⚾️The White Sox lost 4–0 to the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday, but you know what’s worse? The Sox changed Loretta’s Lounge (a concession stand named for a long-time stadium worker) to LaRussa’s. SMH. At least they know their target market?

🏀The Sky lost 93–80 to the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday for their second straight loss. Hopefully the squad can snap this streak tomorrow night when they take on the LA Sparks at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.  

🏀🏈🏒

Boston: Patriots Spygate scandal back in the news

May 27, 2021
Source: Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

🏈Patriots: JLo and Ben are back together, iCarly is returning and Spygate is in the news. What year is it again? ESPN dropped a bombshell yesterday, detailing how former President Donald Trump potentially intervened to prevent a congressional investigation into the 2007 Spygate scandal. We’re still picking our jaws up off the floor, so we’ll let the story speak for itself.

🏀Celtics: As we mentioned above, the C’s dropped Game 2 to the Nets on Tuesday, falling to 2-0 in the series. Womp. Game 3 tips off tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET and, not only is it a must-win for Boston, it’ll also be former Celtic Kyrie Irving’s first game back at the Garden with a crowd. Let’s keep it strictly basketball and pull out the win, please.  

⚾️Red Sox: Outfielder Hunter Renfroe blasted a (literal) monster home run, but the Sox still fell x–x to the Atlanta Braves yesterday, marking Boston’s third straight loss. Let’s hope they can turn things around for tomorrow’s 7:10 p.m. ET game vs. the Miami Marlins, before a full crowd returns to the stands on Saturday. Can’t wait to see ya, Fenway faithful. 

⚾️Red Sox: Outfielder Hunter Renfroe blasted a (literal) monster home run, lifting the Sox to a 9–5  win over the Atlanta Braves yesterday. Let’s hope they can keep the offense going for tomorrow’s 7:10 p.m. ET game vs. the Miami Marlins, before a full crowd returns to the stands on Saturday. Can’t wait to see ya, Fenway faithful.  

🏒Bruins: The Bruins put their down time to good use, but the wait for their second round opponent is over. The No. 3 B’s will face the No. 4 NY Islanders with a trip to the Stanley Cup semifinals on the line. The date and time for Game 1 is still TBD, but we know it’ll be on home ice at the Garden. Drop that puck. 

🏀🏈

Dallas: Luka Doncic shines as Mavericks win and move on to Game 3

May 27, 2021
Source: Yahoo Sports NBA/Twitter
Source: Yahoo Sports NBA/Twitter

 🏀Mavericks: Don’t mess with Texas, or Luka Doncic. As we mentioned, the Mavs took a 2-0 series lead over the LA Clippers on Tuesday. Doncic poured in 39 points while Kristaps Porzingis — who was recently fined for violating COVID-19 protocols — had 20. The series now heads to the Big D, with Game 3 set for tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT. Pop those bottles. 

🏀Wings: The Wings battled in Monday’s back-and-forth game with the NY Liberty, but came up just short, falling 88–81. They’ll look to rebound in tonight’s 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT contest against the Atlanta Dream, before hosting the Phoenix Mercury in a Saturday tilt at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Bring home those Ws.

⚾️Rangers: The Rangers lost 9–8 to the LA Angels yesterday, taking their second loss in the two-game series. Luckily, they’re back in action tonight at 10:10 p.m. ET/9:10 p.m. CT for the first of a four-game series against another AL West foe: the Seattle Mariners. Watch to see if outfielder Adolis García can claim sole possession of the home run leader spot. Hats off

🏈Cowboys: They say you can’t buy happiness, but turns out you can buy your favorite jersey number. Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith paid six figures to change his number from 54 to 9. According to NFL rules, Smith had to buy out the current inventory of jerseys and shirts featuring his old No. 54. Worth it. 

🎾Guide to Tennis

May 26, 2021
Giphy.com
Giphy.com

The GIST

Today, tennis is a racquet sport that is played individually or in doubles. Tennis is played on a court — grass, clay or hard surface. The point of the game is to hit the tennis ball over the net so that the opponent can’t return the ball back. Points are awarded when one player isn’t able to get the ball back over the net.

Scoring tennis is a bit weird and wacky. Each match is made up of sets made up of games. That’s where the phrase ‘Game, Set, Match’ comes from! The score of each game goes from zero (called love), to 15, 30 and finally 40. If the game is tied 40-40, that’s called deuce, and players have to win two straight points (the first is called advantage) in order to win the game. Get full details on scoring here.

How is it organized?

Men play under the ATP (Association of Tennis Professional) and women play under the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). Each league hosts tournaments throughout the world and throughout the year, but the most important are the 'grand slam’ events, also called majors, which are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. These events get the most media attention, have the highest payouts, attract the best players and offer the most ranking points (i.e. are the most important to becoming No. 1 in the world).

The most prominent of the majors is Wimbledon which is played in London, England every July. Wimbledon started more than 125 years ago and is played on a grass surface, which makes the game move a lot faster. Wimbledon also has a strict dress code where players must wear only white, a tradition dating back to the 1800s when players were concerned with inappropriate sweat stains showing on clothing. Yup, you read that right.

The best of the best

Although tennis might be old school at heart, it is the only mainstream sport that pays out women and men equal prize money in tournaments and, for the most part, gives males and females the same airtime on TV. The U.S. Open (atta be, USA!) was the first of the majors to award equal prize money in 1973, while the oldest tennis tournament in the sport’s history, Wimbledon, didn’t reach that milestone until 2007.

Some of the best in the world on the women’s circuit include Romania’s Simona Halep, Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. However, the number one in our hearts is superstar American Serena Williams, who blew us away by climbing back into the Top 10 of the WTA rankings after being OOO while she was pregnant with her first baby, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

Prior to giving birth, Serena dominated the courts as the world record holder for the most Grand Slam wins across female singles and doubles play! You may also recall Serena absolutely slaying in Beyonce’s “Sorry” music video. And did we mention that she was pregnant when she won the Australian Open in 2017? Like WHAT!? 

On the men’s side, being the best in the world continues to be a three-way battle between Switzerland’s Roger Federer, Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH). But Federer is often touted as the best male tennis player of all time with 20 Grand Slam titles. Off the court, he’s a total gentleman and remarkably has two sets of twins!

What about Americans?

We already talked up tennis GOAT Serena Williams, but we also have to give major props to young up-and-comer Coco Gauff! At just 15 years old, she became the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the WTA and has a career-high ranking of No. 68 in the world. Is that a future tennis queen in the making we see?

On the men’s side, John Isner is the highest ranked American player and has been ranked as high as No. 8 in his career. He’s never won a Major tournament, but made it to the semis of Wimbledon in 2018, and twice to the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open. Not too shabby.

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Guide to Soccer

May 26, 2021
Guide to Soccer

The GIST

Soccer is played on a field called a pitch with nets on both ends. Each team has 11 players (including a goalkeeper). A game is made up of two 45 minute halves. The object of the game is to score goals by kicking or heading the ball into the other teams’ net. The soccer ball cannot be touched with hands or arms unless you’re the goalkeeper or completing a throw in. Consequently, the game is known as “football” pretty much everywhere except North America. This name, of course, makes much more sense in comparison to NFL or CFL football, a sport played primarily using your hands. SMH at whoever came up with that name.

How is it organized?

Soccer is a wildly popular global sport mostly due to its accessibility — you literally just need a ball to play it. As a result, almost every single continent has its own professional soccer league (which can get a little confusing). The most popular men’s leagues are the English Premier League (EPL), Spanish La Liga and Major League Soccer (MLS). MLS is played in North America.

Unlike other sports with a regular season and playoffs, teams collect points for wins at home or away, and goals home or away, so that at the end of the season a champion can be named. Playoffs start after the season champ is determined. On top of that, because soccer is a worldwide sport, there are huge tournaments where players represent their countries rather than the professional teams they’re signed to. These are the World Cup (played every four years) and the Euro Cup (also every four years but in the even-numbered year between World Cups).

Women in Soccer

Unlike men’s soccer, which is well established in Europe, women’s soccer is most popular in North America. The best league in the world is the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with all teams based in the US. The NWSL was the first pro sports league in the US to return from the COVID-19 sports shutdown, with the Houston Dash winning the inaugural Challenge Cup. And with the regular season being disrupted, the North Carolina Courage will be going for a NWSL title three-peat this year after hoisting the trophy in 2018 and 2019.

Another major tournament to have on your radar is the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League. The tournament is an international competition, pulling together the best club teams from across Europe. Check here for more deets on the Champions League structure and keep your eyes on USWNT members Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle, lighting up the UEFA Champions League with Manchester City. So proud. 

And, speaking of the USWNT, we have to talk more about our favorite squad. Most recently they made epic headlines for winning back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019. In fact, dating back to the first women’s World Cup, our American squad has never placed worse than third place. Unreal.

Though she is retired, Abby Wambach is the team’s all-time top scorer and second on the all-time list for international goals scored. More recently, Megan Rapinoe dominated headlines in 2019 for her World Cup performance and vocal fight for gender pay equity, earning her Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year honors (an article that is worth every second of your time). We aren't worthy. 

Stuff to Know About Soccer

  • Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, being played in over 200 countries!
  • No one knows exactly when soccer was created, but the earliest versions of the game can be traced back 3,000 years. Woah.

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