Villanova just beat North Carolina to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. Both teams had three pointers right at the end, but Villanova hit one at the buzzer to win.
Basically everyone is reporting that Peyton Manning is about to retire from the NFL now that he’s won a Super Bowl with the Broncos. This isn’t much of surprise to anyone in Colorado since it’s been widely expected that he would be replaced after not really doing so well.
The Ivy League has just passed rules to outlaw tackling in football practices. The changes still need to be officially passed, but were approved by all the coaches. Obviously, the main motivation of this would be to prevent injuries – and especially the kinds of brain injuries that are turning out to be incredibly common in football. The Ivy League has a history of passing rules to do much more than most of the NCAA to make sure that athletes are actually real students and to keep them safe, so this is another example of the league being one of the leaders in improving conditions for college athletes. Hopefully, the rest of the NCAA will follow and start passing similar rules.
The Denver Broncos just defeated Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, redeeming themselves after their shameful performance two years ago.
Also, apparently Super Bowl L wasn’t good enough for branding purposes so they stopped using Roman numerals, at least for this year.
In sad news this week, beloved baseball player Yogi Berra died at the age of 90. He’s been one of the most popular retired Yankees players for decades and now is known almost more for his absurd sayings than for his actual playing. Of course, he also remains one of the best catchers of all time and was probably the most famous remaining Yankees player from his era.
Boston has dropped its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The plan was never particularly popular with the people who actually live there, and the mayor refused to sign the host contract due to concerns about possible cost overruns. Given Boston’s experience with the Big Dig, this was probably a financially prudent decision. Now it looks like Los Angeles is going to try to take over the US bid for 2024.
Not only is the US taking on FIFA’s endemic corruption, the US women’s team defeated Japan 5-2 in Vancouver to win the Women’s World Cup. All in all, I would say that this has been an excellent year so far for US soccer.
This week in bizarre news stories, the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team for hacking into the Houston Astros’ computer systems. Apparently this was to obtain confidential data on players. What’s not so clear is why the Cardinals would even bother. The Astros just switched over to the American league and while they’re doing well this year, their performance has mostly ranged from decent to terrible since 2000. The Cardinals have been one of the best teams during that period, so it’s not clear why they would even bother spying.
In the wake of the massive academic fraud scandal involving athletics, the University of North Carolina’s main campus at Chapel Hill has been put on probation for one year by its accreditor. While this punishment sounds pretty light, there probably isn’t much else that the accreditor can do short of outright revoking accreditation. Regardless, this is hugely embarrassing for a major university like UNC and seems entirely deserved. Still no word yet on what the NCAA is going to do. Some people in the comments are also pointing out that there could be further consequences if the Department of Education finds that federal funds were misused.
A horse finally won the Triple Crown for the first time since the 1970s. A few days ago, the horse American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes to finish the Triple Crow, which if you don’t know, consists of winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes races in a single year. Of course, horse racing is a pretty anachronistic sport and I don’t actually know anyone who regularly follows it. The sport has had more than its fair share of controversy in recent years, since horses breaking legs and being euthanized on the track is not an unusual occurrence.