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🏀Chicago Sky move on to the WNBA finals

October 08, 2021
Source: Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images
Source: Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Game 5: Tonight’s matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the Phoenix Mercury is for all the marbles. The No. 5 Mercury led the series 2-1 going into Game 4, but the No. 2 Aces showed total dominance, winning 93–76. Guard Chelsea Gray had 22 points as one of four Aces players who scored double digits.

  • Given the back-and-forth nature of this series, tonight’s game is impossible to predict, but there is one key factor missing: starting Mercury guard Kia Nurse won’t play after suffering a knee injury in Game 4.
  • Watch this one on TSN4 at 9 p.m. ET. Not not stressing.
  • Watch this one on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET. Not not stressing.

The Finals: With the No. 6 Sky as the lowest ranked team still in the postseason, whoever wins tonight will host the first two games of the Finals, set to begin Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

  • Game 2 is scheduled for October 13th, and the rest of the best-of-five series will happen every other day after that. Yes, your calendar is booked.

🏈Week 5 updates from the NFL

October 06, 2021
Source: Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images
Source: Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

NFL: The LA Rams kicked NFL Week 5 off with a bang, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 26–17 on Thursday Night Football. After a slow start, the Rams scored two touchdowns in the third quarter en route to the win. As for Seattle, quarterback (QB) Russell Wilson left the game with a finger injury, adding insult to...injury.

College football: Another week, another packed slate of key matchups. Kicking things off tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET is the “Red River Showdown,” which features No. 21 Texas vs. No. 6 Oklahoma. Oklahoma has won the last three matchups, and they look poised to make it four with Heisman Trophy candidate QB Spencer Rattler leading the way.

  • Then at 4 p.m. ET, two unbeaten teams — No. 4 Penn State and No. 3 Iowa — go head-to-head. Someone has to lose, and these teams are so evenly matched that we’re not sure who it’ll be. A must-watch.

Hungry for more? Feast your eyes on the inaugural BBQ Bowl, where the losing team must serve their opponent a postgame barbecue meal. Order up!

Wild Card single elimination begins in the MLB

October 06, 2021
Source: Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Source: Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

American League (AL): Last night’s AL Wild Card game was a battle between two bitter rivals — the Boston Red Sox and the NY Yankees — and the Red Sox prevailed, beating the Yankees 6–2. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts got things started early with a two-run home run in the first inning and the Sox never looked back.

  • Next up in the AL, Boston will face the Tampa Bay Rays in a five-game divisional series (ALDS) beginning tomorrow at 8:07 p.m. ET.
  • The other ALDS between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros also begins tomorrow, but a bit earlier at 4:07 p.m. ET.

National League (NL): Tonight’s NL Wild Card game features two of the hottest teams in baseball: the defending champion LA Dodgers and the St. Louis “defy the odds” Cardinals. It also features two veteran pitchers in 37-year-old Dodger Max Scherzer and 40-year-old Cardinal Adam Wainwright. Age is but a number.

  • ICYMI: yesterday’s special edition newsletter has everything (else) you need to know about the MLB playoffs. You’re welcome.

Player's request accepted: Steve Baldwin out Washington Spirit CEO

October 06, 2021
SOURCE: RANDY LITZINGER/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: RANDY LITZINGER/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

The latest: Steve Baldwin is out as the Washington Spirit’s CEO (at the players’ request). After helping to foster a toxic workplace during his three-year tenure, including his recent mishandling of (now former) abusive coach Richie Burke, Baldwin announced his resignation yesterday.

The context: The resignation came just hours after Alex Morgan, Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly appeared on The Today Show, where they continued their call for action within the NWSL, as three investigations — from FIFA, U.S. Soccer and the league itself — are now underway.

For more background on this ongoing saga, as well as our own thoughts/feelings/concerns, check out Tuesday’s episode of The GIST of It..

🏀Game 4 previews of the WNBA Finals

October 06, 2021
Source: NASCAR on NBC/Twitter
Source: NASCAR on NBC/Twitter

No. 1 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 6 Chicago Sky: These teams are way more balanced than the rankings show, with the league-best Sun losing by just three points in a hard-fought Game 3. So don’t be fooled: the Sky, who are leading this series 2-1, have all the tools to take tonight’s game — and the series — from the once-surging Sun.

No. 2 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury: We heard you like underdogs, so here’s another. The lower-ranked Mercury are also leading their series 2-1, and will actually get to host tonight’s potentially series-ending game in their home arena, the Footprint Center.

  • The NBA’s Phoenix Suns originally had a preseason game scheduled at the same time at their shared home, but they moved their match to earlier in the day to instead lead a double-header. We love to see it.

Off-court: The NY Liberty’s Michaela Onyenwere (pronounced own-yen-WEH-ray) was named Rookie of the Year yesterday, as the league announced its full All-Rookie Team. Onyenwere’s teammate DiDi Richards, Atlanta Dream's Aari McDonald, the Sky’s Dana Evans and No. 1 draft pick Charli Collier of the Dallas Wings rounded out the roster. Stars in the making.