Lombardi Revisited

The Super Bowl 50 matchup: Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos (cropped photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson).

Week one of the NFL’s 2016 season begins with a rematch of Super Bowl 50 as the Carolina Panthers head to Denver to take on the defending champion Broncos. This is the first time that Super Bowl opponents from the previous season will square off in the opening game of the season. After Peyton Manning’s retirement following the end of the season, the Broncos will look for answers under center, as back-up Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans. Will veteran journeyman, Mark Sanchez take the snaps or will rookie Paxton Lynch have moved to number one on the depth chart? Panthers’ play caller Cam Newton, the 2015 MVP, will be looking to avenge his championship game loss with a strong performance. Other games of note this weekend: SNF – New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals and MNF – Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco Giants.

Back On Campus

Photo courtesy of Rhett Maxwell.

With one week in the books on the gridiron, the action continues to heat up with some marque matchups as the race for the College Football Playoff gets its initial kick-start. Although the playoff rankings do not start officially until early November, each week of the season serves as a “knockout” scenario as teams jockey for position in the AP and Coaches Poll. Here are some of the games of note for Week 2 on campus: Louisville at Syracuse (Friday 9/9), Penn State at Pittsburgh, South Carolina at Mississippi State, Arkansas at TCU, and Tennessee at Virginia Tech.

Serving Aces

Dimitrov Photo by Francisco Carbajal
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria serves during the 2014 US Open (photo courtesy of Francisco Carbajal).

The hardcourts of the U.S. Open Tennis Center continue to heat up in New York City all week. As the calendar turns to the second week of the final major of the season, semifinals and final match-ups will all take place this weekend with the following questions in mind:

  • How will Adidas and Nike continue their fashion statements (see French Open controversy) at the one tournament that treats their courts like the runway?
  • Which of the usual suspects will take home the men’s (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Roger Federer) and women’s (Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber or Victoria Azarenka) titles?

Regardless, the Big Apple will be at fever pitch to see the current greats of the game hit power serves, land delicate volleys, and rip winners down the line. 

The Race Continues

golf shot from sand bunker golfer hitting ball from hazard

With two events already down (The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship) and the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs in full swing, the BMW Championship is ahead this weekend. The third leg of the playoffs will be played this weekend at Crooked Stick GC in Carmel, IN. Only the Top 70 points leaders will qualify after this weekend’s past results. Will major winners Danny Willet and Dustin Johnson lead the pack, or will other superstars such as Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler have something to say coming down the stretch of the PGA Tour’s season?

A Look Back…

September 1936 – The first Olympic torch relay happens, taking runners from Olympia, Greece to the host city, Berlin through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. There were 3,331 torchbearers who ran a total of 3,187 kilometers and used 3,840 torches to make the trip – runners pass the flame on to one another, not the actual torch. Because Olympia was difficult to reach, race organizers had to build roads for the relay to happen. The relay was filmed for a controversial Leni Riefenstahl documentary called Olympia. Though the first relay was influenced by Nazi propaganda, the idea comes from ancient Greek lampadedromia (torch races). Once the torches are used, torchbearers can buy the torches and keep them, though officials insist that they do not re-light the flame. Some sell the torches online for thousands of dollars.

olympic cauldron in vancouver
The Olympic Cauldron at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada (photo courtesy of Noel Richards).

Notable torchbearers in history:

  • Singer will.i.am carried the torch for the 2012 Olympics.
  • Donald Trump gave new meaning to “you’re fired” when he took the torch through New York City in 2004.
  • TV host Ryan Seacrest took the torch for a trip around Los Angeles in 2004.
  • Tom Cruise carried the Olympic torch through Dodgers Stadium in 2004.
  • Superman actor Christopher Reeves carried the Olympic torch for the 2002 Olympics in his wheelchair.
  • The late Boxer Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremonies in Atlanta at the 1996 Games.
  • OJ Simpson, former athlete plagued by legal issues, carried the torch in 1984.
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Previously a contributing writer for Scout.com ‘Cuse Nation and a recent graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He enjoys writing stories across digital platforms and producing podcasts. His FAN F1RST favorites include the Steel City 360 package and stories about sports hall of fames. An avid fan of Boston professional sports teams, he has had the privilege of attending Celtics NBA post-season games, the 2004 World Series, and seeing the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And whether in person or on TV, he enjoys watching Tom Brady slice up defenses on Sundays. The former Red Sox shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, will always be his sports hero. Aside from his love of Beantown, his three favorite sports moments involve being present for his alma mater’s – the UAlbany Great Danes – first America East Conference tournament championship in 2006, their first NCAA Tournament game and near upset of #1 seed Connecticut that same year, and Peter Hooley’s game winning three-point to win the conference for the second time and advance to the NCAAs in 2015.