By Xavier Bleuel –
While you were off campus, celebrating your summertime with vacations, late nights, and sleeping in, the sports world was more active than any summer in recent history. With the shocking news of a NFL tight-end, to a record breaking baseball probe, to a heavily scrutinized NBA center skipping town.
You know your sports, we get it, but you can’t keep up with everything while relaxing on the beach.
Here’s a look at a few of the top stories of the summer of 2013.
The buzz around Patriots camp this year was the emergence of Aaron Hernandez as the focal point of the New England Patriots offense this season. Hernandez just inked a new five-year, $40 million, contract extension with the team and was expected to be Tom Brady’s number one target with the loss of his top four receivers from last year.
On June 18th, reports surface that Hernandez was being questioned by the police to investigate a possible homicide of Odin Lloyd. It was reported that Hernandez wasn’t considered a suspect. Two days later, investigators obtain a search warrant of Hernandez’s house, and law enforcement sources cite that the house’s security system and video surveillance had been destroyed.
On June 26th, Hernandez was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, nine days after friend Odin Lloyd’s body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home. Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours later. There was no indication of what the charges would be, though many people thought it could have been obstruction-to-justice. It was later found out that Hernandez would be charged with the first degree murder of Odin Lloyd and five firearm charges.
At 3:30 a.m. on June 17th Lloyd was killed in what a prosecutor called an execution-style shooting orchestrated by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could face life in prison, if convicted.
After red-shirting his first year in college station, the former Parade All-American was an unknown headed into camp. He took the college world by storm by breaking the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense in an amazing display that reminded fans of Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton. He stamped his mark as the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy.
Being the most polarizing player in college football history, it has its ups and downs. Some people handle their fame differently, whereas Manziel took full advantage of his. For better and worse, it’s been an offseason to remember for the Aggie quarterback. Parties with celebrities, courtside at NBA games and a whirlwind of controversy has consumed Manziels summer. Here’s a small sample of incidents involving Manziel.
- December ’12 Becomes the first Freshman to win the Heisman Trophy after a remarkable season re-writing the SEC record books for total offense
- February 19 The San Antonio Express-News reports Manziel is taking only online classes at Texas A&M because of his celebrity was too overwhelming on campus
- March 25The San Antonio Express-News reports Manziel shoved a graduate assistant after the assistant celebrating Manziel throwing an interception during a practice on March 23.
- June 16 Manziel sends a tweet saying “Bullsh*t like tonight is the reason why I can’t wait to leave college station…whenever that may be”
- July 13 Manziel is asked to leave the Manning Passing Academy in New Orleans after being late to meetings, later it was found out that he had been on Bourbon Street the night prior, he denied being hung-over
None of these incidents compare into the latest obstacle that hampers Johnny Manziel. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Heisman winner signed numerous articles in exchange for $75,000. While his past instances can be viewed as trouble, this latest accusation could cost Manziel his chance to defend his Heisman trophy. The next time we might see Manziel is in the NFL. Hopefully, for our viewing pleasure, he will be cleared to play.
MLB Baseball probe
On July 22nd, Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the MLB season (65 games) without pay for taking performance drugs after vehemently denying any wrong-doing. This opened up the flood gates when two weeks later in August, 13 players were suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Not since the infamous Black Sox’s scandal, where eight players were banned for life for their part in fixing the 1919 World Series, has there been this magnitude of suspensions at once. Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, Rangers’ Nelson Cruz, Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta, Phillies’ Antonio Bastardo, Mets’ Jordany Valdespin, Padres’ Everth Cabrera, Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli, Mariners’ Jesus Montero, Mets’ Cesar Puello, Astros minor leaguer Sergio Escalona, Padres minor leaguer Fautino De Los Santos, Yankees minor leaguer Fernando Martinez, and free agent Jordan Noberto. All but Rodriguez accepted their 50 game suspensions. Rodriguez is appealing while playing for the rest of the season. On the 17th, Royals infielder Miguel Tejada received the longest suspension sans Rodriguez was suspended 105 games.
The Los Angeles Dodgers has provided positive news for baseball. On June 21st, the Dodgers were 30-42, 9.5 games back in the NL West, and were on the verge of replacing their managers when they went on a magical run, posting a 40-8 record, the best 48 game performance since the 1942 St. Louis cardinals went 41-7. (Keep updated)
Dwight Howard can’t catch a break; his waffling back-and-forth certainly doesn’t help his cause. Once the dust settled from a dramatic exit from Orlando last summer, he decided to do an encore this year. After a disappointing first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard spent a few weeks being courted by the Lakers, Nets, Rockets, Warriors, and Mavericks. He decided to leave the pressure and spotlight of Hollywood and signed with James Harden and the Houston Rockets. We will see if Howard can utilize the resources around him with Hall-of-famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin McHale.
After close calls and comebacks in the 2013 playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley cup in four years in stunning fashion as Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored goals 17 seconds apart to comeback and beat the Boston Bruins to win 3-2.
Finally, the part you really care about; your beloved football Cardinals. Louisville is ranked ninth in both the AP and Coaches poll, the highest pre-season ranking in school history. With Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater at the helm and what would some call a soft schedule, this should be one unforgettable season for the Cardinals before joining the ACC next season