Weekly Replay 04.20

Ducks Got Game – 

The WNBA Draft 2020 presented by State Farm was conducted virtually on Friday night without any fans in attendance.  The New York Liberty selected Oregon’s start point guard, Sabrina Ionescu, who was the unanimous National Player of the Year. It was a big night for Oregon Women’s Basketball they had a total of three players selected in the first round.  Lady Ducks forwards Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard were selected with the No. 2 (Dallas Wings) and No. 8 (Chicago Sky) picks respectively. 

During the program, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert named Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester as honorary draft picks.  These young ladies were Mamba Sports Academy teammates, who played on a youth basketball team coached by NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and tragically passed away in a helicopter accident on January 26.  The league also announced the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, a new annual honor that will recognize an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels.

See all of the draft picks.

Madden All Stars –   

Athletes, entertainers and ESPN personalities are kicking off the first round of the Madden NFL 20 Celebrity Tournament today.  The tournament to benefit Feeding America, started yesterday with a bracket reveal show. Gamers ranging from Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to rappers Lil Yachty, Snoop Dogg and YG are participating.

From April 20 – 25, the players will grab their controllers and show off their game skills at noon ET each day.  The first match will air this afternoon on the ESPN app.  The championship match will be on Sunday, April 26, at noon ET on ESPN2. The winner will receive a $25,000 donation to Feeding America in their name.

I am picking Snoop Dogg to win this tournament.  Tha Doggfather has been studying this game a long time.  He started Snoop Youth Football League in 2005 to use football and cheer to teach youth in Los Angeles values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, discipline, and self-respect, while also stressing the importance of academics.  I think the father of five (four sons), Billboard Music Award and Rolling Stone winner has been tested by younger talent and will be the inaugural champ of this Madden competition.

Check out the full bracket.

NFL Draft – 

The 2020 NFL Draft will be hosted virtually, April 23 – 25, not in Las Vegas as originally planned.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be at home instead of a stage at the famed Bellagio Hotel and Casino to announce the picks.  This year the event will not only welcome the NFL’s newest players, it will be a three-day fundraiser.  The “Draft-A-Thon” will benefit the following six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need: 

  • American Red Cross and its work to maintain a sufficient supply of blood while continuing to deliver its lifesaving mission due to the Coronavirus Outbreak
  • CDC Foundation’s All of Us: Combat Coronavirus Campaign to support vulnerable communities and bolster laboratory capacity, clinical research, data and technology infrastructure and local response efforts
  • Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund to help member food banks meet the increased need due to school closures, job disruptions, and current health risks
  • Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund to ensure local communities have what they need to feed the at-risk elderly population
  • Salvation Army and its network form a safety net for individuals and families living in poverty or experiencing homelessness by providing food, shelter, hygiene kits, as well as support to first responders
  • United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to help those in need access food and shelter, childcare for first responders and more while bolstering 211, United Way’s go-to information resource in times of crisis

NFL Draft Schedule

Thursday, April 23 (8 – 11:30 p.m. ET)

Round 1 — ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

Friday, April 24 (7 – 11:30 p.m. ET)

Rounds 2 and 3 — ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

Saturday, April 25 (12 – 7 p.m. ET)

Rounds 4 through 7 — ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

The Last Dance – 

The documentary about the Chicago Bulls 1997 – 1998 season premiered last night.  It is a 10-part miniseries that goes behind the scenes of the NBA team that dominated the 90s.  Episodes 1 and 2 aired last night.  In the debut, viewers were immediately exposed to all of the tension centered around Coach Phil Jackson’s contract, forward Scottie Pippen’s bitterness about his salary and Michael Jordan.  The title actually comes from the theme that Jackson had for that season.  In one scene, he shows us the old team book with “The Last ‘Dance’?” on the cover. 

I enjoyed seeing the players raw and unfiltered.  It’s not the polished Nike, Gatorade, Fruit of the Loom, Space Jam, Michael Jordan.  It’s the Jordan most of us have only heard about.  Joking and embarrassing General Manager Jerry Krause.  Yelling and getting in his teammates as…, I  mean behinds.  What makes the footage even better is having the characters reflect on the situations and discuss.

Catch the replay of episodes 1 and 2.  The series continues on Sunday, April 26 with episodes 3 and 4 starting at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.  Tell me what you think!

Game On,

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