All posts by Kaelyn Green

My life has always been affected by sports and nothing is more entertaining than a good game. It started in college when I was on the dance team and I watched from the sidelines and my interest took off from there.  Whether I'm shooting the hoops or watching the Superbowl, there's nothing like the adrenaline of an eventful-filled match in front of a roaring crowd. Sure, there's plenty of heartbreak watching some of my favorites like the Chicago Bulls or the New Orleans Saints (yes, I realize I live in Atlanta and I'm a traitor for also liking the Falcons). But what can I say. My posts always aim to please, but we all know facts are facts!

PRESEASON MEET & GREET WITH ATLANTA DREAM HEAD COACH NICKI COLLEN

 It was a lively event at McCoughtry’s Ice Cream in downtown Atlanta this past Friday the 13th as fans of the WNBA Atlanta Dream team gathered to meet with Head Coach Nicki Collen.  

Participants could purchase Dream gear, enter a raffle for swag bags handed out by Collen herself and buy fun ice cream flavors such as strawberry lemonade or banana pudding. McCoughtry’s was opened in 2017 by Atlanta Dream player and two-time Olympic gold medalist Angel McCoughtry. 

Collen was friendly and approachable, hugging fans and taking pictures. President of the team Theresa Wenzel was also in attendance. She thanked fans for their participation and invited everyone out to the opening home game against Dallas on May 26. 

The coach gave a few words about the recent WBNA draft after thanking her staff, who were also present.  

“We addressed a lot of needs we felt like we had in terms of depth,” she said. “We have great players that complement each other.” 

Coach Collen also took questions from the audience regarding her thoughts about the upcoming season.  

About her current roster she said “I think we have the players and the versatility to get it done. We have the players it’s just getting them to understand what their role is.” 

On the topic of the upcoming season she commented that every game was important in getting to the coveted championship position. She left the crowd with a big promise: 

“I would definitely rap in centennial park if we bring it home…when we bring it home.” 

MONSTER AND NASCAR TOGETHER AGAIN…FOR NOW?

The Monster Energy and NASCAR announced Tuesday April 10, 2018 that they will be extending their two-year partnership deal into 2019. However, according to NASCAR COO Steve Phelps it is “highly unlikely” the sponsors will continue the deal after that. 

NASCAR is planning to change their sponsorship model altogether. The company has reportedly discussed putting together a new model to make navigation easier for sponsors. This could include bundling top sponsorships with television partners and advertising buys.  

The discussion is on-going, and results could apparently be “radically different, somewhat different or maybe minimally different” says NASCAR Senior Vice President Daryl Wolfe. 

Both parties have agreed that the partnership has been very productive on both ends. Monster was looking to tap into NASCAR’s older fan base while NASCAR hoped that Monster would bring in a younger crowd.  

“Monster Energy successfully utilized our sport as a platform to elevate its brand and drive business, while introducing NASCAR to new audiences,” said Phelps. “NASCAR and Monster Energy enjoyed a productive first year and both parties have benefited significantly from the partnership.” 

This Monster/NASCAR relationship came after Sprint decided to step away from the title in 2015. Previous sponsors of NASCAR title series have included Nextel, who later merged with Sprint, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. 

Monster Energy’s adventurous brand is already well established in the motor sport department. They currently also sponsor Monster Jam, motocross, and drifting in addition to MMA and professional bull riding. 

Meanwhile this past Sunday, Kyle Busch took home first place in the Monster Energy Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway with Kevin Harvick finishing just behind him in second place. The series will continue this Sunday April 15 in Bristol, Tennessee at the Food City 500. 

GETTING WILDER WITH JOSHUA

Heavyweight Anthony Joshua has challenged WBC champ Deontay Wilder to a showdown and Wilder has officially accepted.

After defeating Joseph Parker last Saturday, Joshua had some confident words for his upcoming opponent.

“2018 is the time to capture all the belts and we are one belt away now.”

Joshua now holds the IFC, WBO and WBA belts, needing only the WBO belt to complete his collection. The 28-year old boasts 21 professional fights and 6 world championship fights, but Wilder, 32, is a seasoned professional at 40-0.

The British boxer condemned Wilder’s earlier remarks stating: “I want a body on my record”, but assured fans “it’s no problem” to take on the American fighter.

The unification match will decide the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Negotiations are still underway between the two management teams as to whether the first match will take place in the U.S. or the U.K in the two-fight deal.

This will be the first time in years that two undefeated heavyweight champs will face-off for the global title.

HELMETS UP

The NFL has officially passed a new ban that penalizes players for lowering their helmet to initiate contact. The ban officially states “It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent…The player may be disqualified. Applies to any player anywhere on the field,” according to the NFL. 

In 2017, roughly 291 concussions were recorded which is the highest ever recorded on NFL history. One out of every two helmet to helmet collisions resulted in these concussions making this a point of concern for NFL’s chairman of the Competition Committee Rich McKay.  

“This is a pretty significant change,” said McKay. “We felt it was time for a change of this magnitude. 

A 15-yard penalty will be enforced for this offense in an effort to reduce head injuries in 2018.  

This change comes after last season with players such as Steeler’s linebacker Ryan Shazier suffering career-changing injuries. Shazier suffered a severe spinal injury during a head to head collision in a game against the Bengals and is still recovering in a wheelchair. 

The specifics regarding this new change are still under review for the coming months and are expected to be finalized by May. 

YOUNG IS ALL GROWN UP!!!

Trae Young, who has been compared to a young Stephen Curry, has officially announced that he is leaving the University of Oklahoma for the NBA Draft in June.

Young has made a name for himself as a freshman guard with excellent passes and an impressive 3-point shot. During Young’s first and only season the Sooner’s made the #4 ranking in the national polls and are 18-14 overall this season.

The first team All-American is currently averaging 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game making him the first college basketball player in history to lead in both categories. He previously shattered the Big 12 conference freshman scoring record with over 800 points beating out runner up Devonté Graham by over 250 points. Averaging 9.9 points per game more than any other player in the league, Young is the first to lead by such a gap in 20 years.

Young is already predicted to be the lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He tells ESPN “I’ve been preparing most of my life to join the NBA. That time has come for me now.”

Earlier this season the Sooners held a 10-game winning streak before their NCAA dreams were dashed in the first round of the tournament against Rhode Island. The second half of their season has been rough and given the OU history before Young’s appearance they will have to overcompensate for the loss of this star player and his impressive stats.

Venus Brought the Racket

For the first time in nearly four years, Venus Williams beat out her sister Serena Williams in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This was their 29th meeting after last years Australian Open.  

Venus came out strong in the 1 ½ hour match, breaking Serena at love in the sixth game. With a 6-3 6-4 game she took the lead with back-to-back aces clocking in at over 100 miles per hour. She definitely caught her groove breaking 4-2 after her first two service games. Venus now ranks as one of the top 10 players in the world and was seeded eighth in the event. 

Serena faced 41 unforced errors several of which were on her forehand side. The new mother has mentioned in previous interviews that it will take time to return to her Grand Slam championship status. She does still hold a 17-12 advantage over her sister and she did score a winning backhand shot down the line for a deuce in the second set.  

The sisters have boycotted the Indian Wells for 14 years after their last match when Venus pulled out of the semi-finals with a knee injury.  

As Venus moves forward in the Indian Wells, Serena will be preparing for her next tournament in the Miami Open.  

Harvick Goes the Hardest!

The Vegas favorite Kevin Harvick took home his 100th career victory at the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. After his 39th Cup win he becomes the fourth driver in history to accomplish this along with Richard Petty, Kyle Busch, and David Pearson.

From early on Harvick took the lead with 214 of 267 laps, winning the first 2 stages. He finished with a 3-second lead after dominating last week in Atlanta at the Folds of Honor.

Jimmie Johnson who has experienced several technical issues this season started off at the back after failing 3 car inspections. Kyle Busch, who still managed to finish second, and Chase Elliot were also set behind during a crash later in the race.

 

Kaelyn Green
Kaelyn Green -My life has always been affected by sports and nothing is more entertaining than a good game

Laps on Laps on Laps!

Atlanta Motor Speedway was the place to be on Sunday February 25 as the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicked off the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.  Driver Kevin Harvick clinched his spot in the second race of the season as leading the scoreboard with 56 points and 181 of 325 laps.

The day started off with a 2 ½ hour rain delay with Kyle Busch leading the starting lineup. But that didn’t stop Harvick, who started in 4th place, from gaining up to a 10 second lead during the race. Harvick has actually led more laps than any of the other drivers at Atlanta with an overall total of 1,152. He celebrated his victory just as he did 17 years ago on his first win of the series, with a 3-finger salute honoring Dale Earnhardt.

Close behind him was Brad Keselowski, who came in 2nd place by 2.6 seconds. Keselowski was one to watch after winning this race last season and racking up 3 straight Atlanta Top 10s. He did jump ahead after a penalty temporarily slowed Harvick. Even though he won stage 2 of the race, he too fell victim to Harvick’s incredible speed.

With 28 laps to go Treyvor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, had a mishap as his engine blew trailing plumes of smoke behind him. This also led Bubba Wallace and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to crash, taking both of them out of the competition.

Austin Dillon, the recent Daytona 500 champion, started from the rear of the field and finished in 14th place. Dillon was also one to watch after winning the first race of the series just a week before.

Next up is the Penzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube which will take place on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday March 4, 2018.

 

 

Kaelyn Green
Kaelyn Green-My life has always been affected by sports and nothing is more entertaining than a good game.

Gold Is A Girl’s New Best Friend

There is no stopping Team USA as the women’s ice hockey team brought home the gold in the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics on February 21st. This is the first time since 1998 that the U.S. has beat out Canada for the win, which happened in overtime on Wednesday.

There was an intense back and forth with the Americans scoring in the first and third rounds and the Canadians scoring twice in the second. Team USA definitely dominated possession of the puck in the second period. However, in overtime, player Megan Killer was hit with a penalty for an illegal play, giving Canada the upper hand. Both teams showed top notch skills making the outcome incredibly unpredictable
For the fans, this was an emotional match on both sides complete with roaring chanting show downs for their respective teams. They were just as hungry as the players for that gold medal win.

After a close game, with a score of 2-2 in regulation time, everything came down to a sudden-death shootout. Even though Canada’s star goalie, Shannon Szabados, showed her amazing skills in the 3-hour game it was USA goalie, Madeline Rooney who made that last winning save.

We did it 🥇

A post shared by Maddie Rooney (@maddie_rooney35) on

The U.S. has now racked up 8 gold medals behind Germany, Canada, and Norway. With a 21-medal total, it’s soon to be determined how Team USA will continue in these final days of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

All Around Awesome for the All Stars

Yet again, this NBA All-Star weekend was nothing short of awesome as Team Stephen and Team LeBron geared up to battle it out on Sunday February 18th.

Friday night kicked off the events for the weekend with the NBA All-Stars Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles. Team Clippers (75) took the victory over Team Lakers (66) led by Quavo from the Migos. Also featured on the team was actor Michael B. Jordan, television personality Nick Cannon, and Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin. Team Lakers starred Black-Ish actor Anthony Anderson, singer Jamie Foxx, and Masters Champion Bubba Watson.

Saturday evening was All Star Night which featured three main events: the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the JBL Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk. In the first event, Stephen Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets, took home the trophy for his with his major skills. When it came to the second event, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns made history as he shot 28 points, winning the three-point contest. And Lastly, Donovan Mitchell, from the Utah Jazz, and his impressive second dunk over his son, his little sister, and comedian Kevin Hart, was the proclaimed winner of the dunk contest.

On Sunday, LeBron James gave an MVP worthy performance, leading Team LeBron for a victory over Team Stephen in the 67th NBA All Star Championship Game. With a 148-point James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, and Russel Westbrook dominated on defense and proved their champion status.