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Shocks of the Weekend: Japanese Journeymen

This past weekend presented something never seen before in Major League Baseball, as two former teammates in Japan faced one another, and it is only fitting that they lead the charge in the shocks of the weekend.

10. Masahiro Tanaka and Hisashi Iwakuma face each other

Former Rakuten Golden Eagles‘ teammates, Tanaka and Iwakuma, pitched against one another for the first time in their careers and there were plenty of winners in the game. Tanaka bested Iwakuma, but the nation of Japan tuned in at 2 a.m. local time to witness a game that wasn’t going to disappoint. A little MLB history didn’t hurt, either.

9. Brandon Browner reunion

The Seattle Seahawks and Brandon Browner are reuniting, and it feels so good. The “Legion of Boom” is getting back together and Browner is very excited to be back with the team on a one-year deal. Opposing offenses will have some time to prepare for Browner and the Seahawks, but will it be long enough?

8. NBA Game 1 provides big issues

The biggest issue with the first games of the NBA playoffs is that they provided more than enough….boredom. It was blowout after blowout, and here’s to hoping that the games become more competitive or the next 40 days will feel like 40 years worth of torture.

7. Barcelona struggling

Barca has some of the best talent on its roster in La Liga but they have now lost three games in a row and the struggles are attempting to cost them a league title. Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are both closing in on one of the best clubs in the world, and suddenly La Liga is becoming must-watch television.

6. NHL playoffs providing plenty of drama

The Nashville Predators find themselves with a 2-1 advantage over the No. 1 seed Anaheim Ducks, the third-seed San Jose Sharks have a 2-0 lead on the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Islanders are using late game heroics to stake themselves to a 2-1 series lead over the No. 1 Florida Panthers. There has been more drama and plenty of brawls to give them the lead in postseason play over the NBA.

5. Jamie Vardy sent off in 2-2 draw with West Ham

Vardy received his second yellow card of Saturday’s match in the second half and was sent off for diving. The play will be debated over the next few weeks, but the Foxes were able to overcome a 2-1 deficit and add a point to their total as they continue to march towards a Premier League title. Vardy is likely out until May 1 because of his behavior following the red card, but was it a dive?

4. Chris Beard loves Waffle House

Okay, so we aren’t sure if Beard likes Waffle House or not, but after his waffling this past week, he might own one. Beard was named the UNLV basketball coach and a week later he bolted for Texas Tech. And because of his sudden waffling, he will owe UNLV $1 million as a buyout payment. He had the following to say about his departure:

“It’s like when Bear Bryant left Texas A&M for Alabama,” Beard said Saturday at a campus news conference. “He said, ‘When momma calls, you’ve gotta go home.’ Texas Tech is my momma, and I’m home. I’m so glad to be here,” via ESPN.

3. Nick Ahmed’s Jeter impression

Arizona Diamondbacks‘ shortstop Nick Ahmed made a brilliant play against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, and it looked like a play that Derek Jeter became famous for. The play by Ahmed landed on MLB’s Top 5 Plays of the Day for Saturday as well.

2. Rashad Evans victim of TKO

Evans is known for his knockout power, but the former UFC champion was on the losing end of a brutal Glover Teixeira knockout in the first round. Teixeira took the fight on five weeks’ notice after Mauricio “Shogun” Rua suffered an injury and backed out of the fight versus Evans. The recent loss could mean that Evans’ UFC career could be over, and UFC president Dana White had even more to add.

“I think Rashad is probably going to retire,” said UFC president Dana White during his backstage interview following the event in Tampa’s Amalie Arena in Florida, according to MMAWeekly.

1. Florida Gators turn softball triple play

The No. 1 ranked Gators turned a triple play against No. 5 Louisiana Lafayette, and it was a thing of beauty. While triple plays don’t often happen in softball, the Gators couldn’t have asked for a better play against a top-five opponent. Florida continues to march towards another national championship and seems to be at the top of their game at this point of the season.


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