Monday, March 23, 2020

Sports this 'n' that

There may not be an Olympics this year, and the International Olympic Committee is actually considering that option.

Already, Australia & Canada have announced they will not send teams to Tokyo for the Games, scheduled to start July 24. Team USA's swimming & track teams, and Germany have called for the Games to be postponed due to COVID-19. You could say the IOC and host Japan are being optimistic about the pandemic having run its course by summer, but we don't know for sure if that's going to actually be the case.

Let's say the travel bans and all the other coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted by, say, Memorial Day. That's still not enough time for athletes to get back into more coordinated group training. The basic idea is to push the Olympics back a year, to July 2021, to allow athletes to make up for the lost training time.

Optimism, even cautious, is one thing. Reality is another.
Right now, the Carolina Panthers don't have a starting quarterback.

Cam Newton is a free agent after 9 seasons in Charlotte. Kyle Allen was just traded to Washington for draft picks. The new ownership regime in Carolina is bent on changing the team's culture in the post-Ron Rivera era, while Allen joins Rivera in Washington. Yahoo! was suggesting Newton would be a reclamation project for Bill Belichick in New England. In truth, yogurt salesman Newton, who's been plagued by injuries in recent years, may be doomed to be a journeyman backup no matter where he lands, just like Robert Griffin III, whose run in Washington was similarly cut short by injuries, and was last seen caddying for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.

Replacing Newton AND Allen? How about the uncrowned XFL MVP, P. J. Walker? Word is that the Panthers will sign Walker, who was lights out for the undefeated Houston Roughnecks.
Speaking of the Patriots, which we really weren't, their second dumb move of the postseason in as many weeks came today with the release of kicker and leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski, who's almost certain to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay unless another team claims him first.
Another former Patriot, party boy par excellent Rob Gronkowski, is officially in the WWE.

Introduced by his good buddy, Mojo Rawley, Gronkowski appeared on Smackdown on Friday, announcing he will be this year's emcee for Wrestlemania, now a 2-night, pre-taped (!) event on WWE Network April 4-5. You'll recall it was Gronkowski who helped Rawley win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at the big dance a couple of years ago. Had it not been for COVID-19, which is forcing WWE to tape their shows in advance this week and for next week, as well as taping the Showcase of The Immortals, in virtually empty arenas, Gronkowski likely would've entered the battle royal himself. However, the battle royals are off this year's card due to COVID-19-centric restrictions.

Already, the rumor mill is churning that former NBA & WCW star Dennis Rodman wants to fight Gronkowski. I'd sooner see him taking collections for Kanye West, but that's just me.
With ESPN starving for programming due to COVID-19, they're adding a late afternoon replay of First Take on ESPN2, ensuring that viewers will need to reach for the Maalox or Alka-Seltzer after listening to Screamin' A. Cosell (Stephen A. Smith) pretend for two hours that he actually knows something about a sport besides basketball, and getting taken to school by Max Kellerman day after day. Maybe Bayer, which acquired Alka-Seltzer and the rest of Miles Laboratories' line of products years ago, should be a sponsor.

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