The NFL needs to do better. • It’s a glorious time to be a Toronto sports fan! • Our Canadian women’s rugby sevens team is slaying the game. • Seattle is likely getting a new NHL team this week. • The NFL playoff picture is starting to come together. • Another coach bites the dust.• Can Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir date already?! • And see what’s up this week.
Dear NFL, Be Better
The GIST: Kansas City Chiefs’ star running back Kareem Hunt has gone from hero to zero after TMZ released a video showing him shoving and kicking a woman in his Cleveland hotel residence back in February.
WTF!?: Ugh, we know. And it gets worse. Turns out the NFL had been investigating theincident, but never actually talked to anyone involved—not Hunt and not the woman. We’re no Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper, but that seems like a pretty lackluster sleuthing effort.
So What Now?: The Chiefs cut Hunt from the team almost immediately after the video surfaced on TMZ. However, the Chiefs basically said it was because Hunt lied about the incident and not because the violence happened in the first place. *facepalm* TheNFL followed suit and placed Hunt on their exempt list, meaning he can’t play or practice until the league says so.
Then Came the Apology: On Sunday morning, Hunt appeared in an interview on ESPNasking for forgiveness and admitting to lying to the Chiefs about the incident. The thing is, the interview left a pretty bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. Hunt didn’t reallyseem that apologetic and seemed to act like he was the victim instead, saying he’s “just not that type of guy” over and over again. Well, the video shows otherwise, buddy.
Meanwhile, in Washington..: It was a tough week for the NFL. In case you needed another reason to dislike the Washington Redskins, (seriously, when will this team change their name?!), the team found themselves in hot water this week for claiming(picking up) linebacker Reuben Foster just hours after his latest arrest for domestic violence charges. Players were shocked, teams were shocked, fans were shocked. At best, the decision is tone-deaf, at worst, it’s the team saying they don’t care how terrible of a person you are, as long as you’re good at football.
Start Planning the Parade(s)?!
The GIST: Not to jinx it or anything, but things are looking mighty fine for Toronto sports fans.
Hoop Dreams: The Toronto Raptors are in T-Rex mode destroying everyone in their path. They’re the first NBA team to crack 20 wins this season and are cruising on an eight-game win streak that has them at the top of the NBA standings. In other words, our North squad is the team to beat right now and we are so here for it.
Hands to Hold: A big part of that success has been Kawhi (pronounced KAH-WHY) Leonard, who the Raps traded long-time star DeMar DeRozan for in the offseason. Nicknamed ‘The Claw’ for his MASSIVE hands and defensive skills, Kawhi has had six games this season where he’s gone beast-mode and scored over 30 points! Casual. P.S. does all this talk of ‘The Claw’ remind you of Toy Story or is that just us?
Hooked on Hockey: The William Nylander saga is FINALLY over and he’s coming hometo Toronto on a 6-year deal worth $6.9-million AAV (average annual value), which is just under his $7-million asking price. Even without Willie playing yet this season, theLeafs have hovered around the top of the NHL standings. It’s gonna take a couple of games for Nylander to get his skates back underneath him, but once he does, the Leafs might be some kind of unstoppable.
GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know
- Canada just keeps getting better at women’s rugby sevens. Not familiar? Sevens is a faster-paced version of rugby with seven players per team instead of the regular 15, and shorter seven-minute halves. Anyway. Canada slayed at the Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Dubai this week, winning silver and losing only to New Zealand—one of the biggest rugby powerhouses in the world. It might not be gold, but silver is still pretty freakin’ sweet.
- The NHL is probably getting a new team this week to bring the league to 32 franchises. New meat coming through! Just two years after the league added theVegas Golden Knights, commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to confirm a Seattle franchise on Tuesday. The hope is the new team will hit the ice by the 2020-21 season, but only if their renovated arena is ready. TBH, unless they hire the Property Brothers, it feels like these things rarely get done on time...
- The Los Angeles Rams are the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot after crushingthe Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. With only four weeks left in the season and an 11-1 record, no team in their NFC West division can pull ahead of them. Oh, and BTW, this makes them back-to-back division champs! On the flip side, the Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy just hours after getting beat by the v bad Arizona Cardinals, one of the worst teams in the NFL. Ouch.
- Canada’s favourite couple that isn’t actually a couple (but seriously, can they not just get married already?!), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame this weekend. The figure skating duo never fails to make us swoon, despite just living in the friend zone.
What’s Up This Week
Tuesday: The sassy blonde William Nylander will hit the ice with the Leafs for the first time this season when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET. We gave you all the deets on Buffalo and their impressive winning streak in our last newsletter. FYI, that streak came to an end last week, but this will still be a good test for the new-look Leafs.
Wednesday: The Philadelphia 76ers are in town to visit the Toronto Raptors at 8 p.m. ET. With a 16-8 record, the 76ers are the next closest team to cracking the 20-win mark this season. They’re also rammed with star power in Joel Embiid (pronounced JOE-ELLE EM-BEED) and the recently acquired Jimmy Butler. We filled you in on all of Butler’s dah-rama earlier this season. This one is gonna be fun.
Shout-Out: Holla to some of our beloved gals who won the fourth Day of GISTMAS - Elizabeth Pipes, Stacy Costa, Sabrina Popat, Emma Watt and Sarah Dickson! WE LY, thanks for spreading the gift of The GIST this holiday season. <3