Sports Shorts

* Sports Illustrated’s “Game of the Year” is the Rays’ dramatic comeback, 8-7 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series. The one where Randy Arozarena slid home for the stunning win. Moreover, SI’s “Play of the Year” went to the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos for his highlight goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals against Dallas. It was Stamkos’ first—and only—post-season appearance.

* USF women’s basketball: Now ranked in AP’s Top 20. Go, Bulls.

* The NHL will allow advertising on players’ helmets this season, as teams cope with lost revenue. That’s understandable. But, no, it won’t look like NASCAR.

* Bad news that Nikita Kucherov, the leading scorer and a key offensive catalyst in the Lightning’s success, will miss the 2021 regular season. It could be worse. The Bolts should make the playoffs, and Kuch should be ready by then. That could be very energizing. Plus, it’s a lot easier to deal with such a potentially devastating injury when you’re still celebrating the Stanley Cup.

* It wouldn’t be Christmas, arguably, without a full slate—noon to 10:30 p.m.) of (five) NBA games. Don’t players, if not networks and sponsors, deserve better? Speaking of priorities, it’s a reminder that during non-pandemic seasons, the NHL has a policy of no games on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Priorities, such as players and their families, still matter.

* The Associated Press’ male athlete of the year is—for the fourth time—LeBron James. Well-earned—again. Moreover, the honor also honors, more importantly, his high-profile impact off the basketball court. He’s spoken out effectively on behalf of “Black Lives Matter” and his “More Than A Vote” organization brought in more than 42,000 volunteers to work at polling stations in November–and helped some former felons earn back their voting rights.

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