Sports Shorts

  • Scheduling conflicts have precluded the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots from being welcomed to the White House for a customary ceremonial visit. The irony has been well noted—given that owner Robert K. Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and All-Pro QB Tom Brady are hardly the NFL’s version of Megan Rapinoe. But what doesn’t get enough attention—especially in the problematic era of the Trump presidency—is why there are White House congratulatory ceremonies for professional athletes in the first place. A presidential welcome should only be extended to athletes who have represented their country—from World Cups to Olympiads—not their franchise employers.
  • Congrats to Tampa Bay Tech grad Michael Penix Jr, who turned in an impressive debut as Indiana University quarterback. The redshirt freshman threw for more than 300 yards and a TD in IU’s’s 34-24 win over Ball State.
  • The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the second-tier USL still envision being part of MLS, but it still remains beyond reach. And it had to be a bit disheartening, but hardly unexpected, to see MLS continue to expand—but not yet to this market. For the record, MLS added Cincinnati this year as its 24th franchise. Next year will bring Nashville and Miami. Austin is targeted for 2021 and St. Louis in 2022. Moreover, the St. Louis franchise will be the first female-majority-owned team in MLS history. Ultimately, MLS plans to expand to 30 franchises. That window is nearly closed.
  • Wisconsin 49, USF 0. Nothing more to be said.

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