The NFL Conference Championship Games BROUGHT THE DRAMA. The LA Rams got lucky. Yet again, Tom Brady showed why he’s the GOAT. The Larry Nassar saga continues. Three-time Olympic Medalist, Kaillie Humphries filed a harassment complaint against Bobsleigh Canada. Things are just starting to heat up in the land down unda’. See what’s up this week. And see what the stars are telling us.
And Then There Were Two
The GIST: The stage is set for Super Bowl LIII (roman numerals for 53… how fancy). The LA Rams beat the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in dramatic overtime (OT) fashionto win the NFC title and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 ALSO in OT to win the AFC title. What a time to be alive!
NFC Championship Game: Like all good soap operas, this NFC game brought the drama. Trick plays? Check. A comeback? Check. A hot coach? Check. A controversial missed call? Check.
Fill Me In on This Controversy: With only 1:45 remaining in the game, the Saints were marching the football down the field *oh when the Saints go marching in plays in the background* when quarterback (QB) Drew Brees threw the ball to Tommylee Lewis inside the 10-yard line (very close to the touchdown zone). HOW-EV-ER, Lewis didn’t have a chance to try to catch it because he was tackled by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey Coleman before the ball arrived. Watch the play here.
So what?: Tackling before the ball arrives is a major no-no in football and normally results in a penalty for pass interference. But, the refs clearly forgot to put their contacts in because they didn’t call the penalty. It’s one of the worst missed calls we’ve ever seen - even the league admitted to missing the call. So, instead of the Saints potentially going for a touchdown, they had to settle for a field goal. Yikes.
Over in the AFC: This game was one for the ages - there were four (!!!) lead changes in the fourth quarter alone, all leading up to an anxiety-inducing OT where the Patriots won the coin toss, opted to receive the kick, and scored a touchdown on their first drive.
But Here’s The Thing: We don’t think the NFL’s OT rules are fair. Why? Well, at the start of OT there’s a coin toss for which team gets to receive the ball (catch the ball from the kick-off and go on offence). And, IF the receiving team scores a touchdown on their first drive, they win the game… the other team doesn’t even get a chance to come back. We find this wildly unfair. You would think both teams should at least get a chance at scoring, no? Otherwise, it’s as if the teams’ fate is kinda decided by the flip of a coin.
What’s Next?: The Super Bowl! Super Bowl LIII will be hosted in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3rd with Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi highlighting the halftime show. More importantly, we’re hosting a party for the big game and would love for you (ya, YOU) to watch with us! We’re talking tons of food, tons of drinks, tons of prizes and tons of fun. Get your ticket here.
Things That Make You Shake Your Head
The GIST: There are a lot of things that make our heads shake these days. And this week, unfortunately, we found our heads shaking over two big disappointments in the sports world.
Down South: Last week, Michigan State University (MSU) interim president, John Engler, resigned after he claimed Larry Nassar’s victims were ‘enjoying’ the spotlight and that he would not support any further investigations. Are you f***ing kidding, man?!
“You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!”: Engler resigned last Wednesday after learning that MSU was going to fire him on Thursday. So petty. And in response, Engler’s resignation letter was a legit novel. He wrote 11 pages trying to convince MSU that he made the institution ‘dramatically better.’ Good try buddy. Don’t let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out.
Meanwhile, in Canada: If you’re Canadian, you’ve probably heard of Kaillie Humphries. She’s a three-time Olympic medallist in bobsleigh, a trailblazer for gender equity in sport, and a fighter against the stigma around mental health. In September 2018, Humphries announced that she was taking a year off from competition.
Why?: At first, a lot of people just thought she needed a well-deserved break from the sport. Turns out, that wasn’t the case. On Saturday, Humphries revealed that last year she filed a harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada and because of the ‘impaired workplace environment’, she couldn’t compete.
What Now?: Neither Humphries nor Bobsleigh Canada has revealed what type of harassment she is alleging. Bobsleigh Canada has confirmed they forwarded the complaint to an independent investigator, so we’ll have to wait and see what comes of the investigation. Ugh, we are so sick and tired of these stories - harassment of any kind should never be tolerated. We support you, Humphries.
Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees, with Lots of Plum Trees
The GIST: A sheep or two a kangaroo. The first Grand Slam of the tennis season, the Australian Open, is down to the eight best singles players. Here’s #thegist of what you need to know:
- During the wee hours of this morning, the most epic match of the tournament thus far went down. No.1 seed Simona Halep took on former No.1 and current No.16 seed Serena Williams. It was a battle of the best of the best and Williams prevailed beating Halep 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Can you say, GOAT?
- In the most shocking plot twist since learning that Jeff Bezos didn’t sign a prenup, reigning champ, and No.3 seed Roger Federer was beaten by up-and-comer No.14 seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas (pronounced SEE-SEE-PASS) yesterday. Sad to see you go, R-Fed.
- The good news? A Canadian remains! Last night, No.16 seed Milos Raonic (pronounced MEE-LOSH RAU-NITCH) upset No.4 seed Alexander Zverev in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 7-6. Easy as pie.
- Otherwise, check out the schedule here to see who else remains #inthemix.
What’s Up This Week
Tuesday: Our Toronto Raptors are hosting the Sacramento Kings at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Wednesday: The Toronto Maple Leafs are taking on the reigning Stanley Cup champs the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. ET. This game is a BFD as many think it’s likely these squads will face off against each other in the playoffs this season.
Let’s go to the beach, beach, let’s go get away: It’s so frigid outside it’s almost unbearable. Wanna get the heck outta dodge and go somewhere warm? We thought so. Get 40% off when you book your 5-star resort in Mexico and Dominican Republic (we’re talking Cancun, Vallarta, Punta Cana and Riviera Maya) with The GIST. Chatwith our GIST travel agent today to learn more and book your trip. Enjoy the vitamin sea!
P.S. This company is one of The GIST’s affiliate partners. This means when you book your trip through The GIST, we get something in return. TYSM.
Veteran Virgos Making Moves
The GIST: We’re 2-1 on horoscope predictions so far, as German Angelique Kerber lost her #AusOpen Round of 16 match to American Danielle Collins on Saturday. BUT on Sunday, Tom Brady got his Leo on and is headed to the Super Bowl, just like we predicted.
Horoscope: We’re calling it now: it’s going to be the battle of the hardworking, focused veteran Virgos on Wednesday night with Leafs’ Patrick Marleau (Sept. 15, 1979) and Caps’ Alex Ovechkin (Sept. 17, 1985) both getting on the scoresheet. These old guys are going to shine bright.
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