The month of August for sports fans is the one that is filled with angst and opportunity. Your favorite college football teams are gearing up with faint hopes of winning a national championship, making a bowl game or just defeating your rival. Your favorite NFL team is in training camp, trying hard to prepare for the upcoming season while not injuring half of the starting lineup. Your favorite MLB team is either frantically trading for last-minute additions to the roster, or your team is off-loading talent just to save a few bucks.
This is the month of August, and the combination of football season returning and playoff baseball around the corner, and business is starting to pick up.
Once again, we’ve decided to break out the athletes, moments and other things of interest that won and lost at sports in the month of August. Some will be truly awesome moments of spectacle. Others will only be here to make you laugh. Because winning at sports is important.
Loser: Geno Smith
Some will say that New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith was punched in the mouth by IK Enemkpali because he didn’t attend Enemkpali’s charity event and reneged on paying back the $600 cost for a flight that Enemkpali paid for. The reality is, Smith got punched in the mouth by Enemkpali by abusing the power that comes with being the quarterback and telling the linebacker that he wasn’t going to pay him in his face. Smith ended up with a broken jaw and will be out of the starting lineup. Enemkpali was cut from the team immediately, but did Enemkpali lose?
Winner: IK Enemkpali
Yes, Enemkpali did lose his job from the New York Jets. However, here’s what he won.
- The ultimate respect from anyone in the locker room moving forward
- The love of Jets fans who wanted Geno Smith out of the lineup
- A job with Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills
Sounds like Enemkpali will be just fine.
Loser: Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed, the former kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, decided to take his talents to the annual Hall of Fame Game this year in Canton, Ohio. Unfortunately, the former Steelers kicker was escorted from his seat for allegedly fighting with another fan. A Steelers fan at that. Regardless of who started, you can’t be out here getting into fights when you’re retired. Not a good look.
Winner: Sydney Seau
Sydney Seau had a promise made to her by her father before he passed. Junior Seau told his daughter before his death that he wanted her to speak on his behalf if he was ever chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Initially, the Hall of Fame (NFL) wasn’t too keen on allowing Sydney to speak her mind due to a fear of her referencing concussions and the effects it has on many players. Of course, Sydney never mentioned the football-related issues that afflicted her father, but she stood tall and represented her father’s family very well.
(ICYMI, here is the actual speech she couldn’t give at the induction ceremony.)
Loser: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan, at the age of 52, is still out here hosting his annual basketball camp for kids who want to improve their game and spend some time near His Airness. However, one young whippersnapper acted like he didn’t have any hometraining hit Jordan with a popular internet thing. That thing? Asking MJ, “WHAT ARE THOOOOOOOOOSE?” on his feet? All of the kids who are hip to internet things lost their minds. To be fair, MJ actually did know what was on his feet.
“Hey, look man, I’m lost on that Vine stuff,” Jordan said. “What are those? These are XX9 Lows.”
Even when Jordan loses, he still kind of wins.
Winner: James Harden
James Harden set the world on fire this season and was considered by some to be the league’s MVP. With Harden’s hard work came an offer from adidas that he simply could not refuse. Harden signed a $200 million signature shoe deal for 13 years with adidas after Nike chose not to match an offer. Oh, and he’s dating one of the Kardashians (Khloe) as well. Depending on who you are, this is an additional victory or a slight defeat.
Loser: Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva was in court in August after testing positive for multiple banned substances after his win over Nick Diaz in January. Silva had to explain in front of a judge why drostanolone metabolites and methyl androstane, a form of endogenous testosterone, were found in his system. His answer? He said he took a “sexual stimulant” he got from his former training partner who gave him a blue vial with clear liquid in it from Thailand.
The Nevada Athletic Commission weren’t feeling Silva’s testimony and felt that Spider was playing games in court as he denied knowingly taking steroids.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Bethe Correia decided that she would be the one to take trash talking to a whole new level with the UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. In the lead up to UFC 190, Correia got directly in Rousey’s face and made references about the champ’s family history in Portugese.
Rousey eventually got hip to what Correia was saying about her, and she might’ve used those words as motivation in the Octagon. Rousey landed a vicious knockout at just 34 seconds into the first round.
“I said the exact same thing she was saying to me at the weigh-ins when she was screaming in my face at weigh-ins. She was saying ‘Don’t cry’,” Rousey quipped after the fight. “So I turned around to her after I knocked her out and I said ‘Don’t cry’.”
Loser: Bethe Correia, Floyd Mayweather, Cris Cyborg
No one can win against Ronda Rousey. Here’s three examples.
For Bethe Correia, losing to the UFC champion in 34 seconds is one thing, but having your own words used against you while getting KO’d? Take the L.
For Floyd Mayweather, to keep clapping back at Ronda Rousey, it’s a fight not worth fighting. Figuratively and literally. Take the L.
For Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino, the fact that she has the stain of a failed steroids test on her record from 3 years ago has continually kept her out of the UFC promotion. Add that to only wanting to fight Rousey at a 140-145 pound catchweight? Take the L.
Winner: Jason Day
Jason Day won his first major of his career in August as the young talent from Australia won the PGA Championship. What’s amazing is that he is the first player in major-tournament history to score a 20-under final tally. Day’s feat was paired with Jordan Spieth playing in his final group, and while Spieth played well, Day thoroughly dominated and the contest was never close.
Loser: Matt Barnes
Memphis Grizzlies’ forward Matt Barnes had a crush on Rihanna, which is similar to millions of people across the world. However, Barnes’ mistake was making a false claim by saying that “it just passed the crush stage” with the BBHMM singer. Miss Fenty quickly took to Instagram to set Barnes straight with a slew of hashtags.
#bishwhere #thedevilisaliar #shesnotthatintoyou #shesnotintoyouatall #shesneverevenmetyou #thisactuallyhurtmyfeelings #defamationofcharacter
Rihanna 1, Matt Barnes 0
Winner: Jonathan Martin
Jonathan Martin surprised the football world when he announced he was retiring from football at age 25. The former San Francisco 49er and Miami Dolphin reportedly is due for back surgery and wasn’t going to be available for the 2015 season, but now it sounds like dealing with his health wasn’t the only reason he decided to hang up the spikes.
Martin’s name rose to prominence due to Miami Dolphins bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito back in 2013. Martin has hardly ever divulged personal commentary about his life, but that all changed with one lengthy post that he shared across his social media channels. In posting, Martin shared his personal struggles when his family moved to Los Angeles, his first experiences as a NFL pro and explaining his belief that money and fame truly don’t matter.
Loser: J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith was offered a chance to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for $6.4 million before the start of free agency started. Smith declined and took his chanced on the open market. The net result? J.R. Smith re-signed with the Cavs for $5 million. Smith essentially lost $1.4 million and seven weeks of free agent stress because he wanted to give the Cavaliers a stare-down. Smith did garner a second year on his new deal with a player option, so not all bad.
Winner: Hisashi Iwakuma
Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma became just the second Japanese-born pitcher after Hideo Nomo to throw a no-hitter in the Major League Baseball. In pitching a 3-0 shoutout against the Baltimore Orioles, Iwakuma looks to be fully recovered after missing 2 1/2 months in the season after straining a muscle in his back and side.
Loser: Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling is in plenty of hot water after sending a Tweet Tuesday comparing Muslims to Nazis. Immediately following the tweet, Schilling was pulled from his assignment in covering the Little League World Series and his future is not known at this time. Quick reminder for everyone who reads this, it’s probably not a good idea to compare Muslims to Nazis on national television. Ever.
Winner: Ryan Broyles
Ryan Broyles, the Detroit Lions wide receiver, is in the third year of a four-year contract worth $3.6 million with more than $1.42 million guaranteed. The former Oklahoma Sooner admitted that he and his wife have lived on an annual budget of $60,000 since he entered the league in 2012. In fact, Broyles still has his 10-year old Chevrolet Trailblazer from his time in Norman and drives a Ford Focus rental car at training camp. Broyles is focused on putting all his extra money toward investments and retirement savings.
Well done Ryan, well done.
Loser: Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers announced that Pro Bowl wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the entire 2015 season after tearing his right ACL in the first quarter of Sunday’s 24-19 loss in an exhibition game to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nelson had proven to be one of the most reliable wideouts in the NFL, and was counted on by Rodgers to be the No. 1 option for the prolific offense.
Now, the Packers must decide how to move forward. Can Randall Cobb step up as a legit, carry the offense wide receiver? Does Green Bay have enough receiver depth on the roster with Davante Adams and rookie Ty Montgomery? Aaron Rodgers must figure out how to keep things humming without Nelson in the lineup, as it’s too late to bring in reinforcements to the roster.
Winner: Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs
The Blue Jays and Cubs have each won 18 games in the month of August (as of the 27th) and are on track to become formidable opponents in the MLB postseason. Both teams were looked to be a year or so away earlier in the season, but the Jays’ ability to wheel and deal along with the Cubs’ committment to let young talent mature on the fly makes for two intriguing teams to watch this Fall. Could Toronto really win the AL East? Could the Cubs actually win this early into their process? This is what makes baseball fun.
Loser: Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios did what a lot of athletes do when competing against an opponent, they say anything possible to hopefully get someone off their game. Unfortunately, Kyrgios made a statement that was completely out of line towards Stan Wawrinka, and microphones just happened to catch him telling Wawrinka mid-match that his girlfriend cheated on him with another tennis player.
The end result: Kyrgios will be fined $25,000 and suspended for 28 days if he draws another fine over $5,000 or for any fines from a verbal or physical abuse towards an ATP tournament over the next six months.
Winner: Jim Harbaugh
Michael Jordan reportedly reached out to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh because the Wolverines agreed to an apparel contract with Jordan Brand in July. Word on the street is that Harbaugh would only conform to having his football team wear the Jumpman logo if Jordan himself picked up the phone and asked him personally. Beginning in 2016, Michigan will no longer be wearing adidas apparel anymore, all thanks to be given to His Airness.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”