Friday, November 13, 2020

Sports this 'n' that

 COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the college football landscape.

A number of games on Saturday's schedule, including Maryland-Ohio State and Alabama-LSU, have been cancelled or postponed due to outbreaks of the disease on campuses across the country. The SouthEastern Conference (SEC) is hoping to reschedule the Alabama-LSU game for next month. Ohio State and Maryland, however, have outright cancelled their game due to a tight Big 10 schedule created because of the virus.

Of course, it hurts the leagues and their media partners (i.e. CBS, Fox). In the case of Alabama-LSU, the game was scheduled for a 6 pm (ET) kickoff following CBS' coverage of The Masters golf tournament, and now they don't have a game on tap, ceding the ratings for football, for a week, to ABC/ESPN.
Just to show how unpredictable the NFL can be from week to week, the Indianapolis Colts overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans, 34-17, by shutting out the Titans in the 2nd half, 21-0. The resurgent Colts move into first place in the AFC South by virtue of the victory. The two teams will meet again on November 29 in Indianapolis.
Ex-Colts punter Pat McAfee has returned to NXT, now fronting a stable known as The Kings of NXT, comprised of himself, former UK champion Pete Dunne, and current NXT tag team champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.

The plan appears to be to posit the "Kings" against the Undisputed Era at NXT Takeover: War Games, set for December 6. It'll be McAfee's 2nd pro wrestling match, and everyone's expecting him to take a beating, despite the fact that he hung tough with TUE captain Adam Cole at an earlier PPV before losing. In order to keep the story going, Team McAfee likely wins.

Then again, he's showing more grit in the ring than Tampa Bay tight end/party boy Rob Gronkowski.....
Speaking of NXT, on Wednesday's broadcast, Johnny Gargano, who won the North American title two weeks earlier, had a jury-rigged wheel set up so he could have a very easy opponent for his first title defense, the story being that, like current Smackdown women's champion Sasha Banks, Gargano has had trouble holding onto championships.

Well, the wheel landed on jobber Leon Ruff, who signed a formal contract over the summer, leaving the Evolve promotion, after playing rent-a-jobber since his TV debut in March. Former champion Damien Priest, from whom Gargano won the title two weeks earlier, was in the audience to taunt his enemy. Gargano took his eyes off Ruff, and it cost him the title, in the biggest upset in NXT history.

Backstage, after the match, Ruff gets a little help in getting out of Dodge.....

Later in the show, Gargano tried to deny he lost the title, but admitted he rigged the wheel, which to some people might seem like a subtle jab at a certain WWE Hall of Famer who recently suffered a huge loss.
No post-season hardware for the Mets this year. Jacob deGrom finished 3rd in the balloting for the National League Cy Young Award, which went to pending free agent Trevor Bauer (Cincinnati), while Shane Bieber won the AL version. Rookie infielder Andres Giminez landed one 3rd place vote while finishing 7th in the Rookie of The Year balloting in the NL (Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams won the award).

But for Mets fans, there is solace, especially with Steve Cohen as the team's new majority owner. Pitcher Marcus Stroman, who opted out of 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19, accepted a qualifying offer to return for next season, rather than become a free agent. The Mets are among the suitors for Bauer, as are the Yankees, but Mets fans are already looking at a possible rotation that would include Bauer. Let's not put the cart before the horse, ok?

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