January 10th

USA Basketball made a huge big boo-boo. We wanna be besties with P.K. Subban.Carey Price says ‘see ya’ to All-Star Game. Philly is flying through goalies. Theslope-slayer is back on the skis. Bianca Andreescu is shooting up the tennis rankings. This NFL referee is making her-story. Join our NFL playoff bracket for a chance to win some sweet swag. And, see what’s up this week.

The GIST Quote of The Week

“Y’all want this? Win three f***ing games.” - New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton, went into the Saints locker room with the Lombardi Trophy (trophy you get for winning the Super Bowl) on top of $250k cash (Saints’ players Super Bowl bonus) to “encourage” his team to win. Jokes. Oh, also. Y’all wanna win The GIST’s NFL Playoff Bracket? Win seven f***ing games. Play for free here.  

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Mo'Money Mo' Problems  

The GIST: Maori Davenport is a high school basketball sensation in Alabama, but will not be allowed to hit the court in her senior year (aka grade 12 in Canadian terms) due to a “clerical error” by USA Basketball involving a $850 cheque.
Hold Up. What’s Going On?: Last August, Davenport was a major key to the USA Basketball team’s under-18 championship win. Like many amateur tournaments, theplayers were not paid to participate, but were given an allowance to help offset costs. As a result, Davenport was given a cheque from USA Basketball in the amount of $857.20. HOW-EV-ER, when she cashed the cheque, she violated the rules of theAlabama High School Athletics Association (AHSAA).
What do you Mean, “Rules”?: So. In the U.S., every state has different rules regarding whether amateur players can receive money (including allowances) for playing sports. In Alabama, payments more than $250 are not allowed. Unfortunately, USA Basketball never checked the AHSAA rules, something theorganization is calling a “clerical error”. *rolls eyes* 
What Did Davenport Do?: When Davenport’s family realized the mistake, they immediately paid back the money. We get it though, why TF wouldn’t you trust money coming from an organization like USA Basketball?
So, Why Can’t She Play?: The AHSAA doesn’t care that it was a mistake and doesn’t care that Davenport returned the cash. The association immediately ruled her ineligible to play and even released a statement on Monday defending the ruling. Gutless. Throughout it all, Davenport has remained calm, cool and classy which is v impressive because we would be losing our FREAKING MINDS over this BS.
Can Anyone Help?: LOTS of people are trying. After espnW published this articleon Davenport’s story, a number of players and coaches in the WNBA and NBA have spoken out in support of Davenport. It hasn’t made a difference (yet). Davenport is a top 20 college prospect for the 2019 class (one of the best high school ballers in thecountry), but as it stands right now, still can’t play for her high school. Ugh. The dah-rama of this story is seriously so high school.


Poured Over Ice

The GIST: We figured you might be practicing dry January, so we’re serving up a little hockey news on the rocks instead. Because what’s hockey (or whiskey) without ice?  
Avada Kedavra Racism: Okay. We are v proud of Canadian (prior Canadien) and undisputable nice guy P.K. Subban (pronounced SUE-BAN). After hearing about a teenage hockey player who was the target of racist taunts, the Nashville Predators defenceman, texted the kid this encouraging video. In it, Subban said, “let nobody tell you what you can and can’t do. Especially if it’s because of the colour of your skin.” PREACH, Subban!
Hey Now, You’re an All-Star: Get your game on, go… home? Carey Price, star goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, is the latest NHLer to back out of the All-Star Game. He’s skipping what would have been his sixth All-Star appearance to recover from a nagging lower-body injury. He’ll join Alexander Ovechkin in serving a one-game suspension (mandatory by the league) for ghosting skipping the game. And honestly, we don’t blame him. January is all about ~self care~.

A Quick Update: We’re almost halfway through the NHL season so we figured you could use a quick, high-level update. Click here for the NHL standings. Notable mentions to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals who are leading theEastern Conference and the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames who are running the show in the Western Conference. Also, a special shout-out to theToronto Maple Leafs who remain in playoff contention with 27 wins. Atta be, boys!

GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know

- The world’s most winningest woman, skier Lindsey Vonn (who is actually dating P.K. Subban - the sweetheart we mentioned above) is ready to return to the slopes after missing two months with a knee injury. Vonn is chasing the all-time World Cup wins record (that includes all alpine disciplines - slalom, downhill, Super-G, combined and giant slalom). Four more wins would tie her at the top. So four for you Glenn Coco. You GO, Glenn Coco.
Oh and P.S. American Mikaela ‘How Are You So Good’ Shiffrin that we mentioned in Monday’s newsletter didn’t win her race on Tuesday. Sad.
- It’s no secret the glass ceiling can be especially hard to break in sports circles. Turns out, many officials face the same barriers as athletes. Two female referees in Alberta are struggling to crack into the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), despite being more than qualified and having top-level certification. Why? Their gender. Ugh, honestly WTF Hockey Alberta.

Meanwhile, in football, Sarah Thomas will make history on Sunday as the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game! We never thought we would say this but… Alberta, you could probably learn something from our neighbours down south.
- The man and Toronto legend Vince Carter returned to the #6ix on Tuesday when his Atlanta Hawks took on the Toronto Raptors. Why TF should you care? Because Carter was a Raptors icon. He played for the dinos from 1998-’04 and helped put theRaps on the map with his INSANE slam dunks and playoff appearances. Although his Raps career didn’t exactly end well, he made a serious impact on the game up here in Canada.
Anyway. Back to Tuesday. ‘Vinsanity’ was greeted by a standing ovation, but theRaps still got the 104-101 win. Carter is now a 41-year-old geezer (geezer just in pro-athlete terms, don’t @ us) and is only the fourth player to play 21 NBA seasons. Although the dude is expected to retire at the end of the season, the way he plays the game keeps us young.

What’s Up This Week

Saturday: After suffering a groin injury on December 22nd, Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender, Frederick Andersen, is expected to make his return to the ice against theBoston Bruins. Meanwhile, coach Mike Babcock said he doesn’t think Freddie will be ready to go until Monday but shhh, let us have this one Babs! Watch it for free on Hockey Night in Canada at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Weekend: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?! There are four games on the NFL schedule this weekend for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. On Saturday it’s the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Kansas City Chiefs at 4:35 p.m. ET followed by theDallas Cowboys vs. the Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Then on Sunday, it’s the Los Angeles Chargers vs. the New England Patriots at 1:05 p.m. ET and the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New Orleans Saints at 4:40 p.m. ET. All home teams are favoured, HOW-EV-ER, last week three underdogs came out with wins, so anything can happen!
And, in honour of the NFL postseason, we’re hosting a FREE NFL playoff bracket. So, instead of just the standard pick-em pool that we hosted every week, this week you’ll be completing a bracket. That means, you’ll be picking a winner for each game for the rest of the playoffs... all the way to who you think is gonna win the Super Bowl. What’s on the line? Winner gets an epic GIST Swag Bag. Heck yes! Complete your bracket FOR FREE here. Your bracket must be in by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. Good luck!


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