Happy Monday! Tonight, I will be attending the NBA Washington Wizards Girls tryouts finals here in Washington, DC. Don’t let the reality shows and Brett Favre’s sexting fool you—these girls are true athletes, despite the go-go boots. I will be live tweeting–IF my, let’s just call it “Shmerizon” phone gets a crummy signal. Til then, here are 5 of the big headlines from last week…
1) Golfer Hunter Mahan was winning the RBC Canadian Open this weekend, possibly his first PGA Tour tournament victory, when he hit a very happy hazard: his wife Kandi went into labor a month early. He immediately withdrew to fly to Dallas and attend the birth of a healthy Zoe Olivia Mahan.
2) The Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season on suspicion of taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). He was accused in 2011 as well, but absolved. Now, not only has he been tied to the Biogenesis Clinic scandal, but many other players are accusing him of “throwing them under the bus” and doing anything it took to get his way. Biogenesis is a former anti-aging/hormone replacement clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., that was allegedly a front for providing PEDs to numerous A-list athletes, including the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
3) Speaking of PEDs, Lance Armstrong rode in the “RAGBRAI” ride across Iowa last week, his first public appearance on a bike since his admission of drug use and subsequent loss of his Tour de France titles. Armstrong claims this annual event helps keep him connected with the sport, and that he received support and no “wave of hostility.” Meanwhile, actor Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Contraband) has been selected to play Armstrong in an upcoming biopic.
4) The U.S. men’s soccer team won their first Gold Cup since 2007 in Chicago on Sunday, beating Panama 1-0. Brek Shea scored the winning goal in the 69th minute after a missed kick by Landon Donovan (still named MVP). The team won without its coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, who was suspended for his outburst against officials in the previous match against Honduras. The title is a big step forward for the team, gaining important momentum before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
5) Hall of Fame boxer Emile Griffith passed away July 23 at age 75. He was the first fighter from the U.S. Virgin Islands to be world champion, but he was mostly known for a tragic 1962 welterweight fight during which his opponent, Benny Paret, was knocked unconscious and died 10 days later. The controversy overshadowed the rest of Griffith’s career, and even referee Ruby Goldstein never worked again. Sports Illustrated reported that Griffith’s rage might have been fueled by an anti-gay slur from Paret during weigh-ins. Griffith later hinted he was gay, or at least bisexual, though he married a woman and adopted children. Griffith died of dementia pugilistica, a disorder affecting athletes who receive repeated concussions.