Let the Games Begin
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan, as the Opening Ceremony premiered live on NBC Friday morning at 6:55 am EST but will be re-broadcast at 7:30 pm EST. The Games go until August 8th. For the first time in history, spectators will not be in attendance, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s Olympics will feature over 11,649 athletes – representing 206 nations – who will be competing in 339 events over 33 sports in 42 venues around Tokyo. Baseball and softball are back, while surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding and karate are making their Olympics debut.
Some fun facts, because this Fangirl loves her fun facts:
- Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.
- Miraitowa and Someity, the two Olympic mascots, were chosen by more than 16,000 elementary school students who voted on their favorite design options.
- The Tokyo Olympic torch was designed to resemble cherry blossoms, which are the renowned symbol of Japan.
Let the medal count begin!
The Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team is making a long-overdue change, as the previously known Cleveland Indians will become the Cleveland Guardians after the 2021 season.
The previous name has been in existence since 1915, but the club decided to make a change last year. It will be the team’s fifth name and it comes from the Cuyahoga River on the Hope Memorial Bridge, where there are a large number of sculptures known as the Guardians of Traffic.
The NFL and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, the Minnesota Vikings and offensive assistant Rick Dennison are parting ways, as he has opted not to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Dennison has been the team’s offensive line coach and run game coordinator the last two seasons.
All Tier 1 staff, which includes coaches, must be vaccinated, as the NFL said earlier this summer that the loss of Tier 1 status means coaches cannot be on the field, in meeting rooms or have direct contact with players.
Although players are not required to be vaccinated, the NFL told teams on Thursday that if there is a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, and the game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season, the team with the outbreak will be forced to forfeit the game. Unvaccinated players will also have to adhere to very strict protocols throughout training camp and the season.
It’s been a week for the city of Tampa…again. The Buccaneers got their Super Bowl rings, while the Rays are making deals.
On Thursday, the reigning AL champs acquired DH Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins in a four-player trade, and on Friday, they sent pitcher Rich Hill to the New York Mets in exchange for relief pitcher Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer.
The pitcher-hungry Mets get the 41 year-old Hill who is 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 19 starts this season. New York will be the 11th team the left-hander has played for.
Welcome to Miami
Former Seattle Seahawks’ LB Shaquem Griffin has a new home, as he signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins on Friday. In three seasons with Seattle, Griffin, who had his left hand amputated when he was 4 due to amniotic band syndrome, played in 46 regular-season games, had one sack, 25 tackles and six QB hits.
The Dolphins had a busy start to the weekend, signing CB Cre’Von LeBlanc, while waiving DE Nick Coe and LS Rex Sunahara.