Category Archives: Featured

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The Golden State Warriors and The Greatest Five-Year Run in NBA History

The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of the greatest five year run in the history of the NBA. They punched their ticket to their fifth consecutive trip to the NBA finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers and they did so in unbelievable fashion. In three of the four games, they trailed by as many as 17 points before coming back to win each of those games. Portland played very good basketball in games two through four but couldn’t keep the Warriors at bay. It’s no wonder live betting lines at 888 Sport New Jersey have had them as heavy favorites in each game this season. They refuse to lose.

The Assembling of a Juggernaut

The Golden State Warriors juggernaut started with the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. They selected an undersized, sharp shooting, point guard from a mid-major, Stephen Curry. Curry has revolutionized the game with his unlimited range and slick ball handling. Two years later they selected another sharp shooting guard with the eleventh pick, Klay Thompson. Thompson is the perfect compliment to Curry. He doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands to be a lethal scorer. In 2016, Thompson scored 60 points and this quote from Kevin Durant says it all, “I don’t even know what to say, it was crazy because he probably has the ball in his hand for probably not even two minutes in the whole game. He was catching, shooting, cutting.” Thompson only took 11 dribbles in that game. In the 2012 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors stole Draymond Green in the second round. Green has been their heartbeat ever since and a defensive stalwart. They also have added key bench pieces like Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, and many others who seem to fit like a glove.

Battling the Cleveland Cavaliers

There are two items that separate the Golden State Warriors from the early 1960s Boston Celtics. The first is the limited competition Boston had to run through, there were only eight teams in the NBA in 1960. The second is the team Golden State had to beat in the NBA finals. LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Before the return of James, Cleveland selected Andrew Wiggins with the number one overall pick in the NBA draft, and promptly traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love once James returned. This gave Cleveland a potent big three with James, Love, and Kyrie Irving; they were the favorites to win the NBA title going into the 2014-2015 season. Golden State ran into a bit of good luck in the playoffs as Love went down early in the playoffs and Irving fractured his knee cap in game one of the finals. However, Golden State finished the deal and won the NBA title. The following season proved to be the low point in the Warriors run, and that is amazing because the broke the regular season win record with 73 wins. The Cleveland Cavaliers saw historic performances from Lebron James and Kyrie Irving as they led them to the NBA title after falling in a three games to one deficit in the finals.

The Infamous Phone Call

The Golden State Warriors were devastated after losing at home in game seven of the NBA Finals. They were coming off an NBA title in the 2014-2015 season, and won 73 games in the regular season of the 2015-2016 season. After game seven of the NBA Finals in the 2015-2016 season, Draymond Green called Kevin Durant from the parking lot and told him they needed him. Durant was set to be a free agent and had come up short in the Western conference finals that year to these very same Golden State Warriors. Durant obliged and joined. The following two seasons saw Golden State dominate Cleveland and win two more NBA titles. Golden State is such a dominant juggernaut that they are making another team on a historic run, the Cleveland Cavaliers, an afterthought.

Finishing the Run

In order for Golden State to become the greatest dynasty in NBA history, they need to finish the run with another Larry O’Brien trophy this season. There are murmurs that Kevin Durant, a free agent following the season, has one foot out the door already. There are also talks that Klay Thompson, who is also a free agent following the season, might be looking to branch off on his own. The question is, if Golden State wins the NBA Championship this year, will they go down as the greatest dynasty in NBA history?

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Saskatchewan Roughriders Training Camp Battles

After a very long off-season that consisted of everything from a wild free agency period, a tutorial in provincial labour laws thanks to the CBA negotiations and everything in between, football season is almost here. Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp battles will be the consuming the headlines in the weeks to come, below is a primer of who will be competing at what positions before week one. Under the watch of new head coach Craig Dickenson, there will be plenty of positions up for grabs.
Back-up Quarterback
Last season around this time, it was a battle for the starting quarterback position that was dominating headlines. Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge duked it out for the starting spot. Collaros ended up winning out but Bridge saw plenty of time in Collaros’ absence, including the West Semi-Final.

That brings us to 2019, after striking out on Bo Levi Mitchell, Mike Reilly and Trevor Harris, the Riders brought back veteran pivot, Collaros. But it didn’t stop there, Saskatchewan brought aboard journeyman quarterback Cody Fajardo to compete with David Watford. Many fans will remember Watford getting his reps during Chris Jones’ infamous quarterback carousel in Collaros’ absence.

Fajardo brings with him three years of CFL experience but just 414 yards passing to show for it. His rushing stats are what stand out, however, with 437 yards and 13 touchdowns to show for his work.
Wide Receiver
The receiver position has overgone an overhaul over the last number of seasons. Back in 2017, Duron Carter, Bakari Grant and Naaman Roosevelt led the way. All three eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards that season. The up and coming Caleb Holley also put up 600 yards of his own. Now, two years later, just Roosevelt remains.

In the CFL’s off-season depth chart series, second-year player Shaq Evans appears to have the boundary receiver position held-down. However, opposite of him there’s a battle of Nationals at the field receiver position between Cory Watson and Mitch Picton. Watson was added this past free agency to provide a veteran presence on what is otherwise a young receiving corps.

Watson appeared in 18 games last season for the BC Lions, hauling in 38 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns. Picton, on the other hand, has been biding his time on the Riders practice roster over the last two seasons. With Collaros firmly supplanted as the team’s starting pivot, both receivers should have equal opportunity to build rapport and prove their worth over camp and pre-season.
Offensive Line
The Riders have an interesting mix of young and old on the offensive line, which may come as a benefit. Left tackle is presumed to be anchored by Takoby Cofield, though Terran Vaughn started the first seven games of the 2018 season. At left guard, Brendon LaBatte will enter as the starter. However, it certainly helps that the Riders signed Dakoda Shepley who can step in if needed. Injuries hit the Riders offensive line in waves last season. Dan Clark will hold down the center position.

The most intriguing battle in the trenches may come at right guard. 33-year-old Philip Blake and former 11th overall pick in 2017 Dariusz Bladek appear to be vying for the starting spot. Both are nationals. At right tackle, Thaddeus Coleman will likely hold his spot as he did in 2018.
Cornerback
Again, citing the CFL’s off-season depth chart, it appears Crezdon Butler will be moving outside after spending a few seasons at defensive halfback. The emergence of Nick Marshall last season at least ensures one of the two cornerback spots are solidified. However, Murray McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post reported May 20th that slotback Kyran Moore was going up against Butler in various drills. Assuming Ed Gainey and Loucheiz Purifoy hold onto their spots, Butler with his experience would be a good fit opposite of Marshall.
Middle Linebacker
Finally, at middle linebacker, an interesting battle is taking place. Let’s pretend for a second that Solomon Elimimian is pencilled in at the weak-side linebacker spot and Derrick Moncrieff is on the strong side. That leaves Cameron Judge and Sam Hurl to compete for the middle linebacker position. Hurl has the experience of having been in the league since 2012 and has also been a major contributor on special teams. Judge, on the other hand, is a former second-overall selection from the 2017 draft. He burst on to the scene last season with 41 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Both Hurl and Judge are nationals. This may be the most interesting battle at Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp.
The Last Word
Needless to say, there are plenty of more battles that are going to take place at the Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp. Players mentioned above may be surprise cuts or perhaps traded. Others may emerge as dark horses that many did not see coming, such as Marshall last season. No matter how you look at it, competition brings out the best in others and the Riders have plenty to offer in 2019’s training camp. Rider fans will hope it all translates to on-field play come kick-off June 13th against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

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EuroLeague Final Four Preview

While the NBA Playoffs have reached the conference finals, the Euroleague is also reaching its climax. The Euroleague Final Four tips off this Friday, May 17. The single-game-elimination matches will begin with Fenerbahce Beko and Anadolu Efes, both based out of Istanbul. That game begins at noon, and should prove to be a good one. The next game tips off directly after the first, in a matchup between Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow. Can Real Madrid defend their title without teen sensation Luka Doncic? Can Anadolu Efes pull off an upset? Let’s take a look.
Fenerbahce Beko vs. Anadolu Efes
These teams had an interesting season series. They faced off five times on the hardwood, with Fenerbahce Beko winning three games to Anadolu Efes’s two. A big reason why Fenerbahce is favoured by basketball betting to win in the Final Four is their dominance in the games that they did take in the regular season. Fenerbahce was plus-35 in their three wins, with their largest victory being by 18 points. Anadolu Efes, on the other hand, was just plus-eight in their two wins.

Familiar names to NBA fans are featured on both teams. Shane Larkin, formerly of the Brooklyn Nets, and former San Antonio Spur James Anderson are both key contributors for Efes, and Fenerbahce has former Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Tyler Ennis, former Denver Nuggets guard, Erick Green, and another former Spur in Joffrey Lauvergne.

The slight edge that Efes does have in this matchup is Fenerbahce’s injury-troubles. Lauvergne and Luigi Datome are out, and Czech big man Jan Vesely is doubtful. If Efes can exploit the absence of those key players, they could be moving on to the Euroleague championship.
CSKA Moscow vs. Real Madrid
This should be an interesting matchup. Real Madrid took the title last year, but that was with budding superstar Luka Doncic at the helm. With Doncic now in America playing in the NBA, it will be interesting to see if Real Madrid can repeat. CSKA Moscow took the season series 2-0, but the games were decided by just five and four points respectively. With the games being played in the Fernando Buesa Arena, Spain, Real Madrid will have the benefit of a home crowd.

Madrid has former Cleveland Cavaliers seven-footer Edy Tavares down low, who’s shooting 79% from the field this season. In addition, Anthony Randolph (12.6 points per game) and Sergio Llull (10.6 points per game) could present problems for Moscow.

CSKA Moscow has been getting hot-shooting from former Toronto Raptors guard, Nando de Colo. The Frenchman has averaged 18 points on 47.1% shooting from deep in the playoffs so far. All-Euroleague First Team performer, Will Clyburn (13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game), and former Euroleague champion, Cory Higgins (14.8 points per game on 49% shooting from three-point range) are other names to watch for CSKA Moscow in the Final Four.
Looking Ahead to the Euroleague Championship
The winners of the two Euroleague Final Four matchups are to face off on Sunday, May 19, in a winner-takes-all-style game. The winner of Sunday’s game will be crowned the new Euroleague champion, or, in Madrid’s case, the repeat winner. Regardless of the outcome, it should prove to be an exciting weekend for European basketball.

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Top Five Quotes from Today’s Top Five Most Inspirational Athletes

Sports all over the world continue to defy the accusation of frivolity and absurdity. What their critics fail to recognize is their ability to bring people together, and encourage young people to push their limits—be they physical, gender-based, racially-based, or simply psychological. Lottoland recently published a list of their top 10 most inspirational athletes in history, showcasing the struggles and boundaries encountered by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Jackie Robinson, and more of the like. While these athletes all notoriously pushed barriers and left legacies of success, in an ever-evolving world, who are we to look to in a more inclusive, albeit not completely unprejudiced, sports landscape today?
Quotes from Today’s Most Inspiring Athletes
Serena Williams

I don’t like to lose — at anything… Yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.

Want to hear about overcoming adversity, look to Serena Williams. Through every climb, no matter the outcome, Williams has played tennis professionally for nearly 25 years, and she’s still out there winning titles. Many of her efforts have occurred both alongside and against her sister, Venus Williams, whom she infamously defeated in the 2017 Australian Open to take the trophy while eight weeks pregnant. Now, she’s a new mom, and back in the top ten. She’s also an activist, using her campaign with Nike to women to “dream crazier,” and supporting movements and organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Goodwill, and UNICEF.
J.J. Watt

Success isn’t owned – it’s leased. And rent is due every day. Every single day, someone’s coming for your job. Someone’s coming for your greatness. If you’re the greatest, someone wants to be the greatest, and so if you’re not constantly improving your game, somebody else is.

The Houston Texans defensive end is more than just the greatest player at his position, J.J. Watt is also a champion of philanthropy. Known for his efforts benefiting the victims of Hurricane Harvey which have raised over $37 million, he also is dedicated to using sports as a medium through which to educate and assist children and at-risk youth. In 2017, he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
Tiger Woods

“You have to look at the past in order to learn from it and move on.”

And that’s just what Tiger Woods did this spring, when he won his 15th major – his first in over ten years – at the 2019 Masters Tournament. Woods may have a troubled past, after scandal broke up his marriage in 2010 and he was arrested for a DUI in 2017. Still, Woods has proven himself a success, leading one of the most impressive comeback stories ever. One of the greatest lessons that can be learned from Woods is that the past can be learned from in multiple ways, and Woods has not only learned from his personal transgressions, but from the young boy he once was, back when all he wanted was to be the best. Now, once again, he is.
LeBron James

“All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough. They will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. They will tell you no. A thousand times no. until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no. Quite firmly and very quickly. And you will tell them yes.”

While his success with the Los Angeles Lakers organization remains to be seen, LeBon James’ three championship wins prove that not only is he “enough,” but even more. His efforts on the court are only rivaled in importance by his work outside the stadium. Known for his support of non-profit organizations, James has acted on his passion for education, donating millions of dollars to museums and children’s funds, and opening a public elementary school through his foundation in Akron to help keep struggling students stay in the education system.
Simone Biles

You don’t have to be serious all the time to do a good job.

Simone Biles is the only woman ever to win three all-around world championships in a row in gymnastics. She followed those titles up with four gold medals, as well as one bronze, at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, marking one of the best showings of all time. Biles has also faced significant challenges in her career; most notably as a victim of sexual abuser Larry Nassar, the American women’s gymnastics physician. Overcoming her abuse has not been easy for Biles, but in 2018, she and her fellow survivors were awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and Biles still continues to compete as one of the leading gymnasts of the generation. And no matter how difficult a journey it has been, Biles doesn’t forget what brought her to sports in the first place—the fun.

Roger Federer

“I fear no one, but respect everyone.”

Lindsey Vonn

“It’s sexy and beautiful to be strong.”

Usian Bolt

“Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat. How will you pay for your goals?”

Peyton Manning

“The most valuable player is the one that makes the most players valuable.”

Tom Brady

“You wanna know which ring is my favorite? The next one.”

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Ranking the First Overall CFL Draft Picks since 2010

Lost in the shuffle amidst the CBA negotiations (or lack thereof) is the fact that the CFL Draft arrives on May 2. Over the years the CFL has been doing more to promote the young Canadian talent that moves in through the U Sports program.

But before we dive into the 2019 draft, this seemed like a good time for reflection on the impact former number one overall players have made on their respective teams since the turn of the decade.
9. Mark Chapman (2018) – Receiver – Central Michigan: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
It goes without saying but Chapman’s placement on this list has little to do with his level of talent. In 2017, Chapman put up 59 receptions for 875 yards and five touchdowns at Central Michigan. Stalled contract negotiations with the Tiger-Cats have prevented Chapman from seeing action in the CFL. It would be great to see an agreement come to fruition but until that happens, Chapman lands at nine here.

Mark Chapman(85) WR #Denver #Broncos hauls in 2 receptions #MinnVsDen #NFL #BroncosCountry #OrangeAndBlue #DenverBroncos pic.twitter.com/stF6n8Ab3w
— Fred Weinrauch (@Proplayersagent) August 12, 2018

8. Faith Ekakitie (2017) – Defensive Tackle – Iowa: Winnipeg Blue Bombers
After a disappointing rookie season, Ekakitie was released from the Bombers just 13 months after being selected first overall in the 2017 draft. He played just 14 games and registered five tackles. After signing with the Montreal Alouettes, Ekakitie suffered a devastating Achilles injury causing him to miss the entire 2018 season. Montreal released him in January and has yet to find a new home.
7. Shomari Williams (2010) – Linebacker – Queens: Saskatchewan Roughriders
Shomari Williams came into the league with much fanfare. Largely in part due to the lengths the Roughriders went to get him. A day prior to the draft, Saskatchewan traded punter Jaimie Boreham and the second and fourth overall picks for the first and eighth overall picks. After largely playing special teams his first two seasons, Williams registered 59 tackles his third season.

That subsequent offseason, Williams would sign with Hamiton for the 2013 season but played in just six games. After being traded back to Saskatchewan in 2014, he resumed his role on special teams before playing in Calgary for the final season of his career. Williams is now an assistant coach for the Queens Gaels.
6. Josiah St. John (2016) – Offensive Lineman – Oaklahoma: Saskatchewan Roughriders
After a dismal 2015 season, the Roughriders were awarded the first overall selection in the 2016 CFL draft. Chris Jones and his new regime opted to select standout Sooners lineman, Josiah St. John. However, a contract impasse held St. John to the sidelines to begin 2016. He started six games his rookie season. Unfortunately, St. John started just one game in 2017 and began 2018 on the six-game injury list. The emergence of last year’s first-round pick Dakoda Shepley may be a reason why St. John is still on the market.
5. Linden Gaydosh (2013) – Defensive Tackle – University of Calgary: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Gaydosh tried his hand with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers first before signing with the Tiger-Cats in 2014. An Achilles injury in 2015 sidelined him that season but since 2017, Gaydosh has found a home in Toronto that allowed him to capture the 2017 Grey Cup. Gaydosh’s longevity in the league despite his injury setbacks ranks him in the middle of the pack.
4. Pierre Lavertu (2014) – Offensive Lineman – Laval: Calgary Stampeders
Lavertu likely would have been top three, if not number one on this list, if not for unfortunate injuries. Lavertu was instrumental to the 2014 Grey Cup winning Stampeders and earned himself West Division All-Star honours in 2015. However, injuries cut Lavertu’s 2016 season to just eight games and he was sidelined the entire 2017 campaign before deciding to hang up his cleats.
3. Ben Heenan (2012) – Offensive Lineman – University of Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Roughriders
Ben Heenan was an anchor on the right side of the line throughout his first three seasons with Saskatchewan that included a Grey Cup victory in 2013. His stellar play allowed him the opportunity to sign the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. However, it was there where he suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee during Colts training camp.

Despite speculation, his decision to retire wasn’t injury related but rather a curiosity for life outside of football. Despite just three seasons playing in the CFL, Heenan’s dominance at his position allowed him to finish top three on the list.
2. Alex Mateas (2015) – Offensive Lineman – Connecticut: Ottawa Redblacks
These last two selections were quite tough to come to a conclusion to. Mateas has been nothing but spectacular for the Ottawa Redblacks who selected him after coming off a 2-16 inaugural season. Since then, Mateas has not played in less than 17 games in his CFL career, anchoring the centre of the Redblacks line.

His play gave him the nod as a East Divison All-Star the last two seasons. Truly a home run CFL Draft pick for a young franchise that has fielded some potent offences since its inception.
1.Henoc Muamba (2011) – Linebacker – St. Francis Xavier: Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Though his CFL career has been twice interrupted by NFL stints, Muamba has been a contributing factor for every team he’s played on. Starting with the team that drafted him,  the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Muamba put up 61 tackles, three sacks and five forced fumbles in just his second season. In 2013 he would post 93 tackles while holding down the Winnipeg defence.

Muamba then tried out for the Indianapolis Colts, who waived him in September of 2015. Joining the Alouettes mid-season, Muamba registered just 14 tackles. In 2016, the Roughriders signed the star linebacker after the Dallas Cowboys released him in September. As 2017 rolled around Muamba would play his first full season in the CFL since 2013. Again, he displayed his full range of talent racking up 82 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Stopping Henoc Muamba (@HenocMuamba) is NOT easy, and he has his first sack of the day! #CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/U5mOIJI16j
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) October 28, 2018
Though the Alouettes weren’t able to put together many wins in 2018, the newly signed Muamba played in all 18 games, registering a career-high 108 tackles and five sacks. The star middle linebacker has contributed everywhere he’s gone in the CFL, earning him the number one spot on this list.
The Last Word
The CFL Draft is being held this Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 pm EST on TSN, TSN.ca & TSN Direct. The Toronto Argonauts hold the first pick in the 2019 CFL Draft as the Montreal Alouettes forfeited their pick to select offensive lineman Tyler Johnstone in the 2018 supplemental draft. As can be seen above, there’s the opportunity for the Argonauts to draft a franchise-altering player. With the NFL to compete with, contract negotiations and scheme fit, there’s always a risk involved — but that’s what makes it so much fun.

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Tiger Woods Wins 5th Masters Title; First Major Victory Since 2008

Tiger Woods already had an all-time great career a decade ago. By 2008, Woods had 14 Major titles and seemed unstoppable. It was a question of when, not if, he would pass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 and cement himself as the undisputed greatest player of all time. Then, from a sports perspective, disaster struck. Personal issues followed by injury knocked Woods out of the top players in the world. A devastating back injury with major surgeries followed a few years later. No one knew if we would ever see Tiger play again, let alone play at top form. In the past year or so he has looked competitive at top tournaments, but no one could have honestly expected what we saw at Augusta here today.
Sunday’s Action
To start the final round, Francesco Molinari seemed to be by far the player to beat. He wasn’t putting up eagles or major birdie numbers, but he just wasn’t missing shots. The Italian was playing the course perfectly, and did not hit a single bogey from the 11th hole on Thursday until the 11th hole on Sunday. Molinari held a three-stroke lead at -13 with as little as eight holes remaining. He then shot a double bogey after hitting the water on 12, and did the same on 15. Those were his only over-par holes of the day, but they were enough to knock him way out of contention.

Meanwhile, around the course, players were moving. As Molinari collapsed, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele joined the leaders at -12. Dustin Johnson came roaring back into the picture, birdying three of the final four holes to join the leaders. Brooks Koepka, whose struggles on Friday kept him from easily leading this tournament, almost took himself out of contention by also hitting the water on 12, but came right back into the picture with an eagle at 13. He also shared the -12 lead at one point.

Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, and a few others made late charges as well (and we have plenty of Final Round highlights), but no one else reached -12 to join that group above.
Tiger Emerges
No one, that is, except for Tiger Woods. And as the situation emerged for him, the old Tiger returned. He hit a tremendous approach at the Par 5 15th to give himself a look at eagle. The easy birdie putt let Woods take his outright lead at -13, and the champion never looked back. A perfect tee shot at the Par 3 16th set him up for an easy birdie and a two-stroke lead on the field.

From there, Tiger Woods played the perfect golf that we were accustomed to seeing from him a decade ago. He reached the 17th and 18th fairways perfectly in regulation, and easily made par on 17. Koepka missed a birdie chance at 18–which would have cut the lead to one stroke. With a two-stroke cushion at 18, Tiger Woods had nothing to fear. With the extra shot in hand, he navigated the wind to safely lay up in front of the green. A good chip and two (relatively) safe putts later, and Tiger Woods earned the Green Jacket once again.

The championship is Tiger’s 5th Masters and 15th Major overall. With the win, he is the second-oldest champion in Augusta history. And now, a decade after we stopped thinking he would catch Nicklaus’ record of 18, it’s time to start wondering the Golden Bear’s all-time mark is in play once again.

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The 7 Most Important Pieces of Winter Running Gear

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Winter Running Gear The right winter running gear can make a world of a difference. Discover the most important pieces of running gear you need to stay safe and warm here.In the warmer months, going outside for a run can be a great way to get exercise and enjoy the nice weather. In winter, when it starts getting cold out, it can be a lot harder to motivate yourself to complete that same workout.The problem isn’t really with the weather, though. It’s with your preparation or lack thereof as the case may be.In order to get the most of your winter run, you need the right winter running gear. Having the right clothes, equipment and accessories will make your winter runs safer, more effective, and more enjoyable.Below, we’re detailing the 7 most important pieces of winter running gear that you should purchase in anticipation of the cold months ahead. The better prepared you are, the safer and warmer you’ll be and more likely to stick to your exercise regime throughout the winter season. 1. Topple Wireless BeanieAs the temperature drops and the winter winds pick up, frostbite on exposed skin can become a real concern for runners. Our ears can be especially sensitive to cold temperatures, but the right winter running gear can provide a layer of protection.The Topple Wireless Beanie will keep your ears warm and protected, but it’s the added features that make it such a great winter running product.It’s integrated with wireless Bluetooth headphones so you can easily listen to your favorite running playlist. It’s also machine washable, making it easy to clean even after your sweatiest, snowiest run.The Topple Wireless Bluetooth Beanie is a fun and functional option for hardcore Winter runners! 2. TrailHeads Power Ponytail HeadbandFor anyone with long hair, finding the headwear for winter running can be a challenge. Beanies are great, but if you run with your hair up in a ponytail, they aren’t a practical option.The TrailHeads Power Ponytail Headband is the right winter running gear to solve that unique challenge. A special slit opening at the back of the headband is designed for your ponytail to slip through, so you can wear the product comfortably.The headband also provides a great fit due to its stretch and comes in four different colors so that you can make a choice that matches your running style.It’s also a great option for non-ponytail wearers and is slim enough to be worn underneath a hat on days when one layer of protection just won’t cut it.We know the TrailHeads Women’s Ponytail Headband is perfect for some of you out there with long, gorgeous hair! 3. Sub Sports Thermal Base LayerLayering is an essential element of dressing for winter runs. To keep your body at a comfortable temperature, you need start from the inside out.This thermal base layer from Sub Sports is designed with that principle in mind. Internal fibers will help keep your core warm in the coldest temperatures, and the moisture-wicking quality will help you stay drier and more comfortable.The fit of the garment is tighter than some other running tops, but that’s intentional. Not only does it provide compression for your muscles, it also makes it easier to add extra layers.Sub Sports Women’s Compression Long Sleeve Top Vest Thermal Base Layer 4. INBIKE Fleece Thermal PantsNot all runners feel comfortable in close-fitting tights, but when the air outside gets really cold and bitter, having long pants can make a big difference.These INBIKE Fleece Thermal Pants have a looser fit more similar to a trouser than traditional running tights. What makes them great for winter, in particular, are the fleece lining and the windproof exterior. Even the harshest conditions are manageable with these pants.A zipper opening at the leg and the elastic waistband contribute to the comfortable fit as well, and reflective details make them safe for running at any time of day.5. Merino Wool SocksWool doesn’t seem like it would make for great running gear but these socks are an exception.Made from high-quality Merino wool, the socks are a cushion for your feet and the warmth they provide will keep your toes from going numb or getting uncomfortable.The breathable mesh also has a moisture-wicking quality, which, especially in the winter months, can be an important quality in preventing blisters while you’re out for a run.And while these socks make great winter running gear, the merino wool is a versatile enough material that you can wear the socks any time of year and still be comfortable.The Inbike Fleece Thermal Pants! 6. Trailheads Running Gloves (with Touchscreen fingers)The Trailheads running glove is made for the very purpose of outdoor running in cold weather.  They have similar properties to a technical running shirt or pant which is a blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex with moisture-wicking technology.  Though it is a glove that’s intended to keep you warm, because of it’s moisture-wicking abilities, it is not intended for the coldest days of Winter.   It’s intended for those who find it too cold to run without gloves at the start of a run, but then they warm up during the run and don’t even need gloves.  The touchscreen ability gives the glove a versatile profile which means you can use it for more than just running!  Mine get used as my driving gloves more than running!  (that was my little secret til just now!)They also feature 4-way stretching ability so you’ll have performance without sacrificing dexterity!  They’re easy to machine wash and air dry.Here’s something unique!  If you’re not totally satisfied, you’ll get a full refund with no fine print as a limitation, and NO TIME LIMIT!  That’s a lifetime, no hassle refund policy, so you really stand to lose absolutely nothing!  Sounds like a good deal to me!The Trailheads running glove is a versatile piece of Winter wear that can be used for a lot more than just running! 7. LED Safety LightIn the winter, fewer daylight hours and cloudy skies can make it hard to find a good time to run. If you’re running in the morning or evening hours, visibility becomes a real issue.The EverLight LED Safety Light is a great product that makes it easy for you to run safely, no matter how dark it is outside. It can easily clip on to your clothing or shoes and recharges fast so you can always have one ready to go.Ready to Shop for Winter Running Gear?Running in the winter provides a unique set of challenges, and there’s a lot to think about before you hit out to pound the pavement.It may not be as simple as running in the summer, but accomplishing a winter run can be even more satisfying. When you know you have the right gear at your disposal, it’s that much easier to motivate yourself to stick to your running routine.This collection of winter gear should help you prepare to go running in even the coldest, windiest, and darkest conditions.For more information about the right gear to help you have great fun, please feel free to contact me at any time.  Also, you’ll for sure want to check out THIS ARTICLE which outlines some of the key pieces of advice that are crucial for running in cold weather!The Everlight LED for runners can hold a charge for up to 16 hours of use!   The post The 7 Most Important Pieces of Winter Running Gear appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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CFL Studs and Duds Weeks 13 through 16

CFL action in the month of September featured a ton of pick-sixes, perfect Canadian kickers, a halftime show announcement, questionable coaching, a logo controversy, and a bad day for CFL games.
CFL Studs
Battle of Alberta
In Week 13 the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos combined to score 90 points from 1,073 yards of offence. The Eskimos prevailed 48-42, escaping a near Juwan Brescacin Hail Mary walk-off touchdown. Romar Morris scored four touchdowns, three receivers went over 100 yards and Bo Levi Mitchell set a new career-high for passing yards with 491.
Bo Levi Mitchell
Speaking about Mitchell, the star quarterback threw for 1,068 yards in his last three games, tossing eight touchdowns. Mitchell set a career-high in passing yards (mentioned above), which was previously set in Week 11 this year (452 vs Winnipeg). Mitchell’s efforts have allowed the Stamps to clinch a playoff spot before October, and keep Calgary atop our power rankings week-in-week-out.
Pick-sixes
There were an abnormal amount of pick-sixes in the past four weeks. Defenders across the CFL recorded 10 interceptions for touchdowns, highlighted by the three pick-sixes in the Banjo Bowl. Saskatchewan’s Willie Jefferson’s absurd 97-yard return was the most memorable of the 10.

Willie Jefferson (@Stmn_Willie_Bmn) takes the scenic route to the end zone while completing a PICK SIX for the @sskroughriders.#CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/q0k4UfjHOa
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) September 8, 2018
Cabbing back to a football game
Blue Bombers receiver Kenbrell Thompkins took a nasty hit from Ed Gainey in the first quarter of the Banjo Bowl. Thompkins was stretchered off and taken to the nearest hospital. Typically getting rushed to the hospital indicates a serious injury and the end of the individual’s day. Although Thompkins did not go back on the field, he actually took a cab back to Investors Group Field and was on the sidelines in full uniform for the third quarter.
Canadian kickers
Redblacks’ rookie kicker Lewis Ward and the Roughriders’ Brett Lauther have continued their unbelievable seasons during the past four weeks. During the last four weeks, Ward went 10/10 (he’s made 37 straight) and Lauther went 12/12. Both Canadian kickers are converting over 90% of the field goals and are the likely nominees for Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. Lauther’s 56-yard kick gave Saskatchewan a much-needed win over Toronto in Week 15.

Brett Lauther nails a 56-yard field goal to put the @sskroughriders up 30-28 with 1:14 remaining in the game.#LiveMic #CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/4YEfIlIoI8
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) September 23, 2018
Alessia Cara
On Saturday the CFL announced that Alessia Cara will be headlining the halftime show at the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton. Cara, 22, was born in Brampton, Ontario and is a growing star in the pop music genre. She’s known for songs such as Here, Wild Things, Scars To Your Beautiful, Stay, and 1-800-273-8255. Cara is a great get for the CFL.
John Rush
The second-year Bombers fullback chopped off his luscious hair two weeks ago and transitioned to a Walter White-esque look. Multiple people in Rush’s family carry a gene that puts them at an increased risk of getting breast cancer. As a result, Rush grew his hair out for three years and is donating his now-cut hair to someone going through chemotherapy treatments. Rush’s story can be viewed here.

Shoutout to @Wpg_BlueBombers @cancersociety and everyone who supported me and made this happen! Hopefully we were able to make it a little easier for someone battling cancer! 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/LeXyxBu9nS
— John Rush 🏈🇨🇦 (@JohnRushAthlete) September 20, 2018
CFL Duds
Toronto Argonauts
The Argos were 3-7 going into Week 13 and still had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. After losing three straight in the past four weeks, the defending Grey Cup champions will likely miss the post-season. In a nine-team league that has 66% of the teams make the playoffs, the Argos’ 2018 season is even more depressing. McLeod Bethel-Thompson has been decent at quarterback, but Toronto’s issues exist throughout their whole roster.
Respecting the logo
Last week, controversy arose when the B.C. Lions Twitter account posted a video of several Lions dancing on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo on the field at Tim Hortons Field. Respecting/honouring your logo is important. That being said, stepping on a team’s logo in the locker room isn’t cool. Stepping on a team’s logo on their football field is not a big deal. The Ti-Cats didn’t win by 30 because of the Lions dancing on their logo. They won by 30 because they’re a better team than B.C., and were likely looking to avenge their loss at B.C. This story was way overblown. The Ti-Cats Twitter handled the situation well, though.

Thanks for stopping by, @BCLions. Safe trip home!
🕺💃🕺💃🕺💃🕺💃🕺💃🕺💃🕺 pic.twitter.com/oMeMCD36t9

— Hamilton Tiger-Cats (@Ticats) September 29, 2018
Fall Sunday games
Sunday CFL games before September are fine. But once the CFL schedules games (aside from the playoffs) head-to-head with the NFL, they lose mass amounts of viewers. The Alouettes hosted Saskatchewan last Sunday, and host the Argonauts in Week 20 on a Sunday. Even I will watch NFL over a meaningless Alouettes game. Regular season fall Sunday games should not be a thing; I’d even suggest the CFL move the playoff games and the Grey Cup to Saturdays.
Darian Durant
Darian Durant’s decision to retire before the 2018 season, and after collecting a $70,000 signing bonus, is in the past. The near-weekly news regarding Durant’s possible comeback is just silly. Durant’s playing ability spiraled downwards after he left Saskatchewan – I was even skeptical of the Bombers signing him at the time. At this point in the season, no teams could realistically use Durant.
June Jones punting
Jones infamous decision to punt from B.C.’s 37-yard line while up seven points with 59 seconds left cost his team a win. Lirim Hjarullhau likely makes that kick, and if not Chris Rainey unlikely turns a missed kick into points the other way. Instead, Jones seemed to punt for a rouge on purpose, the Lions came back to tie the game on the last play of regulation and then win in double overtime.
B.J. Cunningham
In the month of September, the Alouettes number one receiver caught five passes for 53 yards. You could debate that Cunningham is talented enough to be an elite CFL receiver, but 53 yards over three games says otherwise. Cunningham is Montreal’s go-to guy; he needs to put up better numbers.
Edmonton Eskimos non-offensive scoring
Week 17 is approaching, and so far every single Eskimos touchdown in 2018 has come from their offence. That being said, I don’t doubt that Mike Reilly can do it all, but a little help for the reigning Most Outstanding Player would likely be appreciated by him. Despite ranking second in interceptions and third in sacks, no Eskimos defender has found the end zone. Edmonton’s return game has been dreadful though, ranking last in both kick and punt return average.

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CFL Week 16 Power Rankings – Edmonton Eskimos Find Rock Bottom

After a weekend filled with blowouts here is where the CFL Week 16 Power Rankings stand with the Edmonton Eskimos discovering rock bottom just as the Western Division playoff race begins to really heat up.
1. Calgary Stampeders
Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders remain in an echelon of their own as they improved to 11-2 last weekend. Despite losing yet another rising star in Reggie Begelton Mitchell found a way to eclipse 300 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. The Stampeders continue to fight their way through injuries for wins. They will travel to Montreal to face the Alouettes this Monday.

Last week: 1
2. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Another win in the books for Chris Jones and the Roughriders although this time, it was not all thanks to their defence. Zach Collaros put together his best outing of the season throwing for nearly 400 yards with a touchdown with a single interception. The Riders offence looked promising and will need to continue that form going forward if they want to be serious contenders come November.

Last week: 2
3. Ottawa Redblacks
The Redblacks watched their closest divisional opponent creep a little bit closer on their weekend off. They will host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this Friday looking to regain a four-point lead in the Eastern Division

Last week: 3
4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Hamilton-Tiger Cats bounced back in a big way last Saturday against the Lions. Jeremiah Masoli threw for under 200 yards and the offence produced just 315 as a unit. This was mainly thanks to a pair of defensive touchdowns and overall good field position. The Ti-Cats will get a week off before heading to Toronto looking to sweep their season series with the Argonauts.

Last week: 6
5. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
After beating the Montreal Alouettes people were still doubting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but that doubt will surely be gone after the thrashing they handed Edmonton at Commonwealth. The Bombers defence was what won them this game generating three interceptions and recovering three fumbles. However, their offence will need to pick it up next week after producing just 254 yards of total offence. That is if they hope to keep pace with the red-hot Redblacks.

Last week: 7
6. B.C Lions
Jonathan Jennings threw a pair of touchdowns last weekend in Hamilton. Both of which were to the Tiger-Cats. Jennings returned to his true form opening up the door for Cody Fajardo who came in and threw for 69 yards, a touchdown, and most importantly, no interceptions. The Lions have an important decision to make at QB going down the stretch. They are still very much in the Western Division playoff race with a game in hand on both the teams they are narrowly trailing. Keeping their playoff hopes intact will start with a win at home against the Argonauts this weekend.

Last week: 5
7. Edmonton Eskimos
Mike Reilly and the Edmonton Eskimos got beat down 30-3 in front of their home fans last weekend finishing September at 1-3. Even Reilly said himself “after a game like that there is nowhere to go but up” and that stands true given their recent results and new position in the CFL Power Rankings. Things don’t get much easier for Edmonton as they will have to regroup and travel to Regina to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders this Monday.

Last week: 4
8. Toronto Argonauts
A fifth consecutive loss for the Argos this time at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders. James Franklin produced Toronto’s only touchdown again this week while McLeod Bethel-Thompson continues to play just well enough to not get benched, but not good enough to win. Toronto will look to stop their skid as they will look to play spoiler in B.C this Saturday against the Lions.

Last week: 8
9. Montreal Alouettes
Johnny Manziel threw a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions en route to another Montreal Alouettes loss. With four games left in the season, Montreal will be looking to get their franchise quarterback his first CFL win. Otherwise, the last month is simply academic for the Als at this point.

Last week: 9

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Saskatchewan Roughriders Final Stretch

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5) find themselves four points back of first with two crucial divisional matchups against the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers ahead before a date at McMahon Stadium with the Calgary Stampeders October 20th. The Saskatchewan Roughriders final stretch proves to be no easy task. However, it’s hard not to look ahead at that matchup and get excited for what it potentially means. The Roughriders are winners of six of their last seven games finishing up their final matchup against an Eastern Division opponent this past Sunday. A 34-29 victory over the Montreal Alouettes helped the Riders finish with a record 5-3 against Eastern opponents. Two of their most notable losses came at the hands of the Ottawa Redblacks.
A Look Ahead
Edmonton
Thanksgiving Monday could give the Roughriders and their fans a little extra to be thankful for. With a win over the struggling Eskimos and a Bombers loss, the Riders would clinch a playoff spot. Edmonton is trying to right the ship after appearing to have a stranglehold on second in the West mid-season. The Eskimos falling 30-3 at home against the Bombers doesn’t invite much confidence for this group going forward. However, any team with Mike Reilly under center should be taken seriously, regardless of recent performances. Reilly leads the league in passing yards with 4,383 and is currently second in passing touchdowns with 27. His favourite target, Duke Williams, leads the league in receiving yards (1,337) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Winnipeg
After a favourable 5-3 start, the Bombers have found themselves in a tailspin themselves going 2-4 since. At 7-7, the Bombers are in the middle of a dogfight for their playoff lives along with the Eskimos (7-7) and BC Lions (6-7). Three of these four teams will make the playoffs. One of which will be crossing over into the East to visit either the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or the Ottawa Redblacks. Nichols has maintained his starting job since standing on shaky ground post-Banjo Bowl, posting an 80% completion rate against Edmonton last week. For all their flaws, the Bombers will be another difficult test for this Roughriders squad that continues to squeeze out victories.
Calgary
Finally, the matchup that is sure to be circled on many fans’ calendars is the tilt on October 20th against the surging Stampeders. There is still an outside chance this game will have implications on first place in the West. However, the Riders have a number of factors working against them. The first being that the Stampeders are currently four games up on the Roughriders with a game in hand. Moreover, Calgary’s next two games are far more favourable than what the Riders are up against. While Saskatchewan will be playing the two aforementioned playoff-hungry teams, Calgary will be travelling to the 3-11 Alouettes and then host the hot and cold Lions a week later. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to suggest that Calgary could be 13-2 going into Week 19’s matchup. Even if the Riders go 2-0 as well, that still places them at 11-5 with just one game to play.
The Last Word
The Roughriders, however, have a slight advantage thanks in part to those who put together the 2018 CFL schedule. The Riders have their third and final bye on the last weekend of the regular season (Week 21). Regardless if the Riders finish second, third, or crossover to the East, they will have a bye week to prepare for whoever they match up against. There has been plenty of debate surrounding the benefits of bye weeks heading into the playoffs. Some view it as an opportunity to get a head-start in preparation on their opponent while others see it as the resting team developing “rust”. First place being out of reach may be of benefit for the Roughriders. If they were able to miraculously leapfrog the Stampeders, they would have two weeks off before the West Final. This is something Ottawa fans feared last season though it never came to fruition.

It’s difficult to not look ahead and get excited for all the potential playoff scenarios that exist for Saskatchewan. However, it starts with Monday’s game against a desperate Eskimos football club. If the Riders don’t respond with the same sense of urgency, as if their season is on the line (and it mathematically still is) then these scenarios become a lot less fun in the weeks to come.

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