Evan Hilbert, USA TODAY
Published 7:31 a.m. ET Oct. 20, 2019
LeBron’s most digraceful moment
The fallout from Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet continued, as LeBron James shared his feelings about the situation. USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken says it was the most disgraceful moment of LBJ’s career. It’s too early to know whether LeBron’s comments will hurt his image or bottom line, but some experts believe the controversy will be short-lived. And commissioner Adam Silver revealed later that the Chinese government asked him to fire Morey. Silver’s response? No way.
Little guy, big bat
The Houston Astros are in the World Series for the second time in three years thanks to Jose Altuve, who launched a walk-off homer late Saturday night off Aroldis Chapman to defeat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS.
The moment proved that Altuve is “everything that’s right about the Astros.”
While Houston revels in another pennant, the Bronx Bombers are forced to reckon with a historic failure for their franchise: the Yankees did not win a pennant in the 2010s, the first time they have not advanced to the World Series in a decade since the 1910s.
The Talkers: Quick reads you need
- A scary moment at the Oklahoma-West Virginia game.
- Retired DE Chris Long couldn’t believe the blown call that cost the Lions a game and says the NFL’s officiating is a mess.
- Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan and Harrison Barnes show they have big hearts.
- Ricky Williams’ Heisman Trophy was auctioned off. For a lot.
- All Justin Verlander wants is to hang out with Deshaun Watson.
- Normal lawsuit.
- Some professors determined the biggest rivalry in college football. The winner? You guessed it … Arizona-Arizona State?
- Welcome to the Brooks Koepka-Rory McIlroy rivalry no one asked for!
Bryce Harper is totally not upset
The Astros’ opponent in the World Series is the Washington Nationals, just as no one predicted. Last season, Washington let superstar outfielder Bryce Harper walk, and he signed with the division-rival Phillies. Harper, who is now quite the villain in D.C., says he’s happy for his former team.
“I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”
For the Nationals, Tuesday’s series-sweeping win vs. the Cardinals was a moment of celebration. Not only are the Nats in the World Series for the first time in their franchise history, this is the first D.C. baseball team by any name to make the Fall Classic since 1933.
Get ready to hear a lot of “Baby Shark.”
A girls soccer team in Vermont is on a mission. The Burlington Seahorses are making a stand for pay equity, joining the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team in advocating for gender equality. They’ve been spreading the #EQUALPAY message, and on Friday, following a goal, several girls removed their jerseys to reveal T-shirts with #EQUALPAY emblazoned on them. The players got a yellow card, but it seems that it was worth it.
NFL MVP gets major scare
The Kansas City Chiefs got within one game of the Super Bowl last season, thanks to quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ MVP performance. So imagine how Chiefs fans felt watching Mahomes go down with a knee injury Thursday in Denver. Mahomes underwent an MRI on Friday, and it appears that the star QB should only miss three to four weeks with a dislocated kneecap.
Pickle juice, anyone?
The Eagles and Cowboys face off Sunday night. Both teams are 3-3 and, it seems, the stakes are always high when these two meet. So why not relive the nine best Eagles-Cowboys games?! If you’re unfamiliar with the “pickle juice” game, you’re going to want to check this out.
Only at the USA TODAY Sports Network
From original reporting to some of the nation’s best columns, these are stories you can only get from the USA TODAY Sports Network:
- Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell soaking up knowledge from his idol, Stephen Curry.
- 10 bold predictions for the 2019-20 NBA season.
- Meet the watermelon farmer turned NASCAR driver. That ol’ chestnut.
- Now we know why Russell Wilson got that huge contract.
- Heads-up play by a high school football player.
- It appears these NHL coaching changes are working.
- More than 20 years ago, Northwestern RB Darnell Autry fought the NCAA about his name and image and won.
- Chris Long explains why he retired. And why he might return.
- Mike Shanahan has quite the coaching tree. He breaks down his former assistants, who are now succeeding on their own.
- Dak Prescott has a unique way of looking at losses.
- A squirrel dressed as a college football player. You’re welcome.
- Chloe DeLyser scored her 317th goal Tuesday night, setting a new national record for a high school girls soccer player.
All eyes on Tua’s ankle
Another strange day in college football – No. 6 Wisconsin lost at Illinois, somehow – ended with the nation’s No. 1 team holding its breath as star Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the Crimson Tide’s game against rival Tennessee with an ankle injury.
Early returns say he should be back for the LSU game at the beginning of November, but no doubt college football fans across the nation will have their eyes peeled for updates on the Heisman contender.
Here are the other highlights from Week 8:
- Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt lost his mind for a minute there after an atrocious turnover by his quarterback.
- Michigan falls short in another big game as Penn State stages late goal-line stand.
- Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes are still alive after an impressive comeback at rival Washington.
- Talk about FIRED UP.
- You’re not allowed to literally punch your opponents in football.
Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner crashed on the field in a scary moment.
R.I.P. PATRICK DAY
We end this week with some sad news: the death of Patrick Day, a 27-year-old boxer out of New York who died Wednesday after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a bout last Saturday in Chicago.
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