With Christmas falling on a Friday, chances are that many of you missed quite a bit in the sports world this weekend. There were several shocks of the weekend that surrounded the NFL, a surprising death of a former MLB star and a human growth hormone (HGH) controversy that involves several sports stars in American professional sports.
1o. Dave Henderson dies
Henderson passed away on Sunday from a massive heart attack at the age of 57. The former MLB star played 14 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals, and is best known for his two-run home run in the 1986 World Series for the Red Sox.
9. NBA injuries
The NBA has been able to survive from the injury history that the NFL has had to deal with, but the players are starting to drop before 2016 has even come. The Utah Jazz lost Alec Burks on Saturday to a fractured left tibia and the Phoenix Suns lost Eric Bledsoe to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Both players have suffered from multiple injuries in their careers, but things like this aren’t fun for anyone.
8. Matt Barnes suspended
Barnes is an NBA tough guy but he was handed a two-game suspension for an October altercation involving New York Knicks‘ head coach Derek Fisher. The incident occurred on Oct. 3 in Redondo Beach, Calif., but the NBA recently finished its investigation. It took them over two months to come to a conclusion, but we all thought a suspension would be handed down at some point.
7. Washington Redskins win NFC East crown
Believe it or not, the Redskins won the NFC East title after pummeling the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night in Philly. This is the same team that many analysts and journalists alike picked to finish dead last in the division, but the play of quarterback Kirk Cousins is a big reason the team has excelled.
6. Atlanta Falcons end Carolina Panthers perfect season
Most fans expected the Panthers to lose at some point in the past few weeks, but the honor was handed down by the Falcons on Sunday. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had a great game and rookie Vic Beasley forced a fumble of Cam Newton with a minute left to seal the 20-13 win. There are corks popping around the Miami area as the Dolphins’ perfection has been saved once again.
5. New England Patriots OT debacle
The Patriots were able to come back from a 17-3 deficit against the New York Jets on Sunday, but the biggest story came in overtime. The coin toss was won by New England and they chose to kick instead of receive and give Tom Brady the ball first. And it cost them dearly when the Jets went down and scored a touchdown on their first drive of overtime.
4. Manchester United lose again
With Jose Mourinho lurking in the shadows at Old Trafford, United lost yet another game in a 2-0 loss to Stoke City. Manager Louis Van Gaal needs his team to win on Monday against Chelsea or he will be sacked and Mourinho is likely to take over for the Reds.
3. Peyton Manning involved in HGH controversy
Manning has vehemently denied a report by Al Jazeera that the Broncos quarterback received HGH shipments to his home under his wife’s name. There were other players involved in the controversy as well (James Harrison, MLB’s Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman), but the report has since been recanted. We never thought that we would hear “Manning” and “HGH” in the same sentence, but alas, it has happened.
2. Rams punter gets chippy with Seahawks
Sunday provided NFL fans with an unusual situation involving Rams punter Johnny Hekker and Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. Following a punt by Hekker, he played search and destroy by blindsiding Avril and getting flagged for a personal foul penalty. Later in the game, Avril and Michael Bennett went after Hekker and the punter fell down and played dead before the two Seahawks could hit him. As they say, punters are people too.
1. Virginia Tech-Tulsa fireworks
Virginia Tech was wanting to send their coach, Frank Beamer, out with a win in the Camping World Independence Bowl, which is something that they were able to do in a 55-52 win over Tulsa. The most shocking thing about the win wasn’t Beamer dabbing in the locker room, rather that both teams combined for four touchdowns in the first four minutes of the bowl game.