It was an interesting weekend for sports fans, as there wasn’t much to focus on other than soccer, hockey, NCAA basketball and the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. Many football fans were likely trying to figure out ways to deal with no football for the first time since August, but the shocks of the weekend show must go on.
10. Jenrry Mejia sets MLB record for all the wrong reasons
New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia became the first MLB player to ever accomplish something — get banned for life from baseball. If there was a Darwin Award (awards for dumb people) in sports, Mejia would be the back-to-back champion. Mejia tested positive for performance enhancing drugs; not once, not twice, but THREE times. He must have been confused about how “The Decision” works, but he is no longer MLB’s problem as he will no longer be playing baseball in the majors.
9. Minnesota Wild fire Mike Yeo
The Minnesota Wild are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and have yet to win in 2016, so it isn’t all that shocking that Yeo was axed as the head coach. Minnesota has made the playoffs the past three seasons but currently sit at 23-22-10 this season and in 10th in the Western Conference. Yeo becomes the third NHL coach fired this season and is likely not the last.
8. Another weekend of upsets in the NCAA
College basketball has brought plenty of parity this season and there is no clear championship favorite as we approach the month of March. Saturday provided college basketball fans with nine upsets in the Top 25, and fans should count this as one of the best seasons in recent memory because of the upsets that we have seen so far. With March Madness around the corner, is there a chance that we could see a No. 16 seed finally upset a No. 1 seed?
7. Nevada’s Oliver sets Mountain West record
The first season of Eric Musselman‘s coaching career at Nevada has had its ups and downs, but the amount of talent he has brought to the Nevada Wolf Pack is something we haven’t seen in years. Nevada freshman forward Cameron Oliver scored 20 points to go along with a Mountain West-record 24 rebounds in the Wolf Pack’s 77-72 overtime win over Fresno State on Saturday.
6. Jack Eichel is Mr. Hustle in the NHL
Jack Eichel should never be questioned about how hard he plays for the Buffalo Sabres, and Saturday’s first period goal against the Colorado Avalanche showed just how special he can be. After weaving in and out of the Avs’ line during a line change, Eichel fired a shot to put the Sabres up early.
5. 196 points scored by West in NBA All-Star Game
If you enjoy watching an All-Star game that provides absolutely no defense but plenty of offensive fireworks, then Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was worth watching. The West scored a whopping 196 points in the victory, and came so close to putting up 200 points in the game. It is really hard to wrap one’s head around, but it is one of the more enjoyable all-star games that is played for this reason. And Stephen Curry was his usual half-court heaving self with a three-pointer at the buzzer for the West.
4. NBA Dunk Contest for the ages
For the first time in years, the NBA dunk contest was actually fun to watch, and Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon left fans and players in awe with their creative, rim-rocking display on Saturday night. Some fans think Gordon got robbed, but fans were just glad that we were able to witness something that reflected the dunk contests of old in the NBA.
3. Leo Messi the magician
Messi is one of the greatest soccer players to ever lace up his cleats and roam the grass fields, and there is a chance that he has to pay for grazing rights with how much he moves during a soccer match. This weekend brought calls of disrespect or dynamite after his penalty kick assist to Luis Suarez. Watch the kick and decide for yourself, but know that there are times when haters hate because they haven’t thought up new strategy in their collective sport.
2. Manning assault allegations
In a more serious story from the weekend, a group of women has filed a lawsuit alleging that athletes and the school violated Title IX regulations and created a “hostile sexual environment.” The biggest surprise is what name appeared in the lawsuit: Peyton Manning. In an ESPN report, Manning allegedly “put his naked genitals on the face of a female athletic trainer while she was examining him for an injury.” In light of Manning’s poster boy reputation, the allegations should make people think twice about every athlete that they idolize, and this lawsuit could dramatically impact his reputation and NFL legacy.
1. Russell Westbrook wins All-Star Game MVP
For the second consecutive season, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook won the NBA All-Star Game MVP. It was a night to remember with the amount of points scored during Kobe Bryant‘s last all-star game, but Westbrook showed how tenacious he is as a player. He finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and became the first NBA player to win back-to-back MVP awards in the All-Star game since Bob Pettit (1958-59), and deservedly so.