PLAYER OF THE DAY

Ryan Shazier (NFL) is a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. On December 4th, 2017, Shazier was rushed to the hospital after a tackling attempt against the Cincinnati Bengals. It looked like an everyday tackle, but he didn’t get up. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery a few days after the injury but did not regain movement in his legs until the following February. He was told there was a chance he would never walk again, but Shazier continued to believe. He has completed so many milestones since that day, including walking, jogging, driving a car and even walking across the stage at the 2018 NFL Draft with the help of his fiancee, Michelle Rodriguez. On Friday, Shazier walked down the aisle with his brand new bride and even danced with her at their wedding. Now that is what you call an accomplishment. 

Talk about a #MotivationalMonday. Congrats on the wedding and the progress, Ryan!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Country House Takes It Home
Not without Maximum Security
(Horse Racing) 
Although sometimes we like to think the Kentucky Derby is just one big outdoor cocktail party, there are horses that race and there is a lot of money at stake. Maximum Security was the overall favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby with his odds at 9-2 — if you were betting and you put $2 down for Maximum Security, you would get $9 if he won. He,not surprisingly, led the race the entire way and crossed the finish line first.

Something extremely rare happened minutes after the race, however. Country House, the horse who crossed the line second, was declared the winner of the race. Well that doesn’t seem right… There was an objection to the original conclusion, claiming that Maximum Security interfered with other horses, illegally ruining their chances of winning. The stewards, or the ‘horse race refs,’ decided that Maximum Security was, in fact, disqualified from the race for almost coming in contact with another horse during the home stretch. Country House was thought of as a long-shot — his odds were slightly less than Maximum Security’s at 65-1 and only $520,907 was put down on him going home with the win.

This was the first time in Kentucky Derby history that a winner was disqualified for a foul committed on the track. The stakes are just ‘so high’ that objections just don’t swing the outcome of a race like this. Maximum Security’s owner plans to file an appeal and he will skip the Preakness in protest. Just when you thought there was no action in horse racing…

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And down the stretch (and then some) this went…

Reds Homer x3
I’m goin’ back to back (to back)
(MLB) 
The Cincinnati Reds hit home runs on three consecutive pitches from San Francisco Giants’Jeff Samardzija on Sunday. The last time a team hit back-to-back-to-back home runs on three consecutive pitches was in 2007, when the Los Angeles Dodgers did it against the New York Mets. The homers made the game 4-0, but the Giants came back and won the game 6-5. 

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Red-Hot Hitting not enough to secure the win for the Cincinnati Reds

It’s Not Over Til It’s Over
And I care because…?
(NBA) Bear with us because a lot happened this weekend in playoff central. This may be old news to some of you, but the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets played in a marathon of a game on Friday. There were FOUR overtimes. It’s the first four-overtime playoff game since 1953, and left the players (and fans) gassed. The Blazers won that one, but the Nuggets won last night to tie the series 2-2. 

That’s a lottttta bball

The Toronto Raptors evened their series against the Philadelphia 76ers last night. Sixers star Joel Embiid felt so sick early Sunday morning that he texted his coach saying he may not play. He ended up playing but was definitely not himself. In Game 3, Embiid scored 33 points for the win; last night, he scored 11. Get well soon, Joel. 

Kawhi Not? Kawhi Knots Up the series with epic performance in game 4

The Houston Rockets kept their season alive with a win against theGolden State Warriors on Saturday. James Harden matched a Kevin Durant scoring point explosion (46 points) with 41 points of his own, including the 3-pointer that clinched Game 3 in overtime. He wasn’t alone, though; Rockets guard Eric Gordon had one of the best games of his season, scoring a playoff career-high 30 points, and Warriors star Steph Curry missed a dunk at the end to the delight of social media. Game 4 is tonight — will the Warriors go up 2 games on the road, or will the Rockets tie it at home?

Fear the Beard… And his crazy-eye killa vibes

Last but not least, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was incredibly aggressive in Game 3 on Friday, scoring 32 points with 22 free-throw attempts in the teams’ road win against the Boston Celtics. He relentlessly attacked the lane and repeatedly got fouled in the show he put on in TD Garden. Boston looks to tie the series in Game 4 at home tonight.

The Greek Freak Keeps doing his thing… Bucks up 2-1 in the series

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Do or Die
More Game 7’s on the docket?
(NHL) 
The St. Louis Blues have forced a Game 7 against the Dallas Stars with their win last night. In a win-or-go-home Game 6, the Blues were confident and impressive, winning the game 4-1. 

Remember the controversial call in Game 7 of the San Jose Sharks’ series against the Vegas Knights? Well, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski has been out for the first five games of this series recovering from concussion symptoms and a ‘pressure cut’ that required staples. He may be back for Game 6, which would could help the Sharks close out the series against the Colorado Avalanche. Don’t count the Avs out, though; Philipp Grubauer has been hot in goal and had 37 saves in Game 5.

The Boston Bruins could end their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a win tonight, too, but Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella promised that his team would be back in Boston for a Game 7 so who knows.

Torts being Torts… See you in Boston for game 7?

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ON THIS DAY

In 1988, New Jersey Devils (NHL) coach Jim Schoenfeld called referee Don Koharski a ‘fat pig’ and told him to “have another doughnut” in what is known as the original ‘Doughnutgate.’ Koharski was the lone referee in the playoff game against the Bruins, and Schoenfeld was not pleased with some of his calls. For a little hockey history, there used to be one referee and two linesmen, but now there are two referees and two linemen.

Schoenfeld was suspended without proper hearing, but Devils GM Lou Lamoriello called a judge and ordered a temporary restraining order for Schoenfeld against the NHL to allow Schoenfeld to coach Game 4.

The officials were not pleased, and they skated off the ice right before puck drop. They ended up scraping together some back-up refs and were able to play the game. The Devils had to find a replacement coach after that game, and Lamoriello stepped in. They did end up losing that series, though… guess it was a lot to handle.

This ‘doughnutgate’ is not to be confused with Ariana Grande’s donut-licking incident of 2015. She was taped licking powder off doughnuts, claiming that she ‘hates Americans.’ She apologized afterward, but if you’re interested in the latter doughnutgate, you can read more here


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