December 17th

Aaron Rodgers FINALLY threw an interceptionDa Bears are playoff boundThe Cleveland Browns are surprisingly decentYou gotta see the ‘Mack Back Sack’.Alexander Ovechkin literally won’t stop scoringTampa Bay has a REAL good goalieLook, a puppy on the ice! NBA players can be nice tooTessa Virtue is a Google-magnetAnd, clear your Wednesday night.

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Revenge is Best Served Cold  

The GIST: There are just two weeks left in the NFL regular season which means these last few games are important AF for teams trying to make the playoffs.
 
Even Legends Make Mistakes: Green Bay Packers’ quarterback (QB) Aaron Rodgers had one helluva streak heading into Sunday. Since September 30th, Rodgers had thrown a record 402 passes without an interception. However, as Nelly Furtado taught us, all good things come to an end. Rodgers’ streak ended in the fourth quarter yesterday against the Chicago Bears. Da Bears ended up winning the game 24-17. With this win, Da Bears officially knocked the Packers out of the playoffs AND more importantly clinched a playoff spot. This is a BFD as Da Bears haven’t made the playoffs in eight years. Lucky number eight as they say, right?
 
Baby Got Back: Kinda like sticking to your diet during the holiday season, getting a sack (that’s when the defensive team tackles the QB) in football is v hard. But, there’s one guy in the NFL that makes it look easy as pie (mmmm pie). Da Bears’ Khalil Mack is a sack machine. This year he has 12.5 sacks, which is more than the ENTIRE Oakland team. LOL. And on Sunday, this dude made a doozy sack with his BACK. Although it might not look like much, he backed that @$$ up and used his back strength to bring Rodgers down. You gotta watch what we’ve proclaimed ‘the Mack Back Sack’ here.
 
Browning Around: For over a decade, the Cleveland Browns were notorious for being bad. Like, REALLY bad. But this year, by the slimmest of margins, the Browns have had playoff hope. After a huge 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday (their first win in Denver since 1990... just take that in for a second), the Browns were feeling hopeful. But, with the Pittsburgh Steelers win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, the Browns were effectively knocked out of playoff contention. There’s always next year, Browns fans!
 
No Pain, No Gain: Ben Roethlisberger is not real. The Pittsburgh Steelers QB played through last week’s game against the Oakland Raiders with multiple cracked ribs. This week? ‘Big Ben’ didn’t practice because of the injury. Then he led his team to an underdog 17-10 victory over the Patriots. What, like it’s hard?

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Battle of the Blades

The GIST: We’re over a third of the way into the NHL season and there’s no shortage of highlight-reel plays coming out of this league.
 
Ovi Over Everything: Remember how hype we were about Alex Ovechkin scoring his 21st hat trick? Well, in his very next game on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes he did it AGAIN! It’s the first time in 17 years that an NHLer has scored back-to-back hattys on multiple occasions. Casual. Unfortunately, Ovi couldn’t make it three in a row. Instead, he only scored the game-tying goal and shootout winner against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.  
 
Got Saves?: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are two of the best teams in the NHL right now, so getting to see them face off on Thursday was a real treat. The Leafs lost 4-1, and the difference-maker was Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (pronounced VAH-SUH-LEV-SKI). He was an absolute brick wall, stoppingalmost 50 shots (that’s a lot!) after being out for a  month with a foot injury. If any team is going to top the NHL-leading Lightning, they’ve got to find a hole in that wall.
 
Puppy Therapy: On Thursday, we told you about a fight between two St. Louis Blues players at practice. This week, to lighten the mood, the team brought a puppy to practice. So freakin’ cute we literally can’t even.

GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know

- Oklahoma City Thunder’s Khal Drogo Steven Adams gets our Good Guy of the Week Award. You’ve gotta see this play where Adams stops mid-layup to protect his opponent from a nasty fall. In a league where the biggest play you can make is literally slam dunking the ball in the face of the other team, this play had us grinning for a different reason and we loved it.
 
- Tessa Virtue couldn’t have won two Olympic gold medals without the help of her pairs figure skating partner Scott Moir, but it’s Virtue alone who was Canada’s top searched Canadian this year. YASSS KWEEN, GET IT!
 
- It’s no secret that playing hockey can be expensive. So to support more girls getting into the sport, a Vancouver high school is removing fees and creating a gear library with lightly used equipment. Now this is the grassroots change we need to level the playing field!
 
- Moguls skier Mikael Kingsbury already won the Lou Marsh Trophy (that’s the year-end award decided by sports media and given to the best Canadian athlete), but the award doesn’t mean he’s slowing down. This weekend he got sick with food poisoning, lost six pounds basically overnight, and still won two more World Cup gold medals. Like, HOW!?

What’s Up This Week

Wednesday: Cancel your Wednesday night plans, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are taking on Ovechkin and the Caps at 8:00 p.m. ET. We can’t get enough of these two superstars and their fierce rivalry. They both joined the NHL in the same season (‘05-’06) and have led their teams to a Stanley Cup (or three!). Let's go!
 
And, if hockey isn’t your thing, be sure to watch the Toronto Raptors host the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Raps remain in the top spot in the NBA (and in our hearts).

Shout-Out: Holla at our GISTer sister Leigh Paulseth and the four other GISTers for winning the eighth day of GISTMAS! WE LY, thanks for spreading the gift of The GIST this holiday season. <3

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