Category: World

COVID 19 By the Numbers

          By: Austin Maki      

Scott Stinson: In this time without sports due to COVID-19, there ...

Empty Scotiabank Arena, what will be the new norm during the Pandemic

The novel Corona virus, or as it is popularly known as COVID 19, has caused an upheaval in society not seen since the world wars. The short-term effects are being felt presently, the long-term ramifications though will be felt for years to come. We here at Sports Aces website are a sports-based website and we of course we mainly want to focus on the sports side of this. There is however a very real human impact as well.  Let us look at some numbers to try to put in perspective how devastating COVID 19 has been for not only sports, but the entire world.

4.71 Million: Worldwide cases of COVID, including 77,309 confirmed cases in Canada.

15 percent: The amount of the schedule that remained in the NHL regular season before the season was cancelled due to the pandemic. How that gets made up is yet to be determined. The NBA on the other hand had 21 percent of the regular season remaining.

$610,000: The amount of money Major League Baseball is losing from every missed home game this season according to the numbers released by the owners. The MLB season was supposed to start on March 26th and is still yet to get under way.

10,000: That is the number of COVID-19 tests per week Major League Baseball would is hoping to administer and process to return to play. This includes overhauling stadiums and in-game settings to encourage social distancing and play during the pandemic. With testing in the United States limited already, this seems ambitious.

40-5: 40 and 5 represent the amount of rounds that the MLB draft used to be and what it will be, for this season at least because of COVID. What this does to the farm systems of teams and development of baseball players in general.

6.3 million: The viewers for the first episode for the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” in the United States. The single highest ratting for any television event since the Pandemic started. This number shows how desperate people were to consume anything sports related or new.

25-30 million: The amount of money the salary cap could go down in the National Basketball Association is current economic trends continue due to Corona. The ramifications this would have on team building are almost impossible to comprehend. What would this mean for free agents, or players who recently signed an extension is equally unknown.

1945: The last time Wimbledon was cancelled due to World War 2. It was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

$869 million: The amount of money the NCAA lost by cancelling the 2020 NCAA tournament. This event makes up almost 3 quarters of the organization’s income. We can take issue with the NCAA’s amateur model, but without question, the loss of so much income will have ripple effects extending to many other college sports.

30 million: Americans have filed unemployment claims since midMarch, the highest number since the great depression of 1918. While not specifically a sports related stat, these are the people that consume sport for entertainment. If they have no disposable income because they do not have a job, where does sport fit into that.  As of the beginning of May, 15 percent of the American work force did not have a job. While Canada has avoided such disastrous numbers thus far, experts predict it might not to be far away. Sports will directly feel this.

$5 million: The amount money raised for COVID related relief projects on May 17th by Rory McIlory, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Mathew Wolf in a televised skin game.

14 Days: The amount of time any international citizen would have to Self Isolate if entering Canada. After the 14-day period they would be able to rejoin team activities.  

150 million: The amount of money the CFL has asked from the Canadian Federal government to cover operating costs across the next two seasons. The CFL revealed teams were bleeding money at a staggering rate, collectively losing anywhere from $10 to $20 million last season. A major part of there income come from gate revenue, which even with a season, would not exist. The existence of the league itself may be in jeopardy.

Mid-2021: The date Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become available. A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop. Researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months. That would be a huge scientific feat and there are no guarantees it will work.

MOCK TWEET: The numbers behind the COVID 19 pandemic paints a dark picture. In this article we look at some of those numbers and what the mean going forward.

Sports Never Stop: How the Sporting World has Prevailed Over the COVID-19 Pandemic

Joe Burrow of LSU listening in to the NFL draft from home. The First overall pick’s selection isn’t the only event keeping sports fans entertained in quarantine, as the sporting world finds numerous ways to provide content, even amidst a global pandemic.

By: Riley Gillespie-Wilson

 COVID-19 has swept the nation. The pandemic surrounding the illness has robbed a lot of people of a lot of things. For sports fans, the main compromise has been being able to enjoy game action at the end of the day. The NBA was the first to pull the plug, and the NHL and various other leagues were quick to follow. 

These same fans were thieved of some major events as well, March Madness, the grand finale of NCAA Men’s Basketball being a prime example. Now, they very well may be forced to go without the wrap-up of the NHL and NBA also, as playoffs would normally be taking place in April, and we’re well into May. 

Most recently, the MLB delayed the start of its season indefinitely, leaving sports fans to feel that the sporting season is lost, save Bundesliga soccer and a few other sports continuing with no fans. Even if that’s the case, however, there are still a lot of events happening that can put a smile on a sports fan’s face. 

There are a lot of events happening that prove the versatility of sports, and the fact that there is always some form of content, even in a glorified offseason for every sport.

Virtual Reality 

With large gatherings off the table, the NFL had to get creative for their draft. Seemingly, the only possibility was to go live from each player’s respective home, and have commissioner Roger Goodell run the draft from a remote location. 

With fans so desperate for sports, and entertainment for that matter, reactions to the draft were rampant on social media. 

Social media wasn’t the only place the draft was generating a buzz. A lot of people tuned in, shattering the previous viewership record. The first round alone was up 37% over 2019’s viewership numbers, with over 15.6 million people tuning in. 

The numbers didn’t slow down from there, and the NFL’s virtual draft is proof that an entertaining product can still be put on by not only a sport during a global pandemic, but a sport in its offseason, for that matter. 

Free Agent Frenzy 

Just because there are no games going on, doesn’t mean there aren’t transactions, and these transactions have been key conversation starters during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NFL, being in its prime acquisition window, has led the charge, the biggest news coming out of what is now being dubbed “Tompa Bay.” That is, because possible NFL “G.O.A.T,” and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late March, on a two-year, $50 million deal. 

Brady isn’t the only big name to sign in the Bay, as he was joined weeks later by former teammate Rob Gronkowski.

Aside from the big names, Andy Dalton is a notable inking for the Dallas Cowboys, and highlights the fact that sports never stop. Even in dire times, fans still have relocations to keep their sporting appetite satisfied. 

Playoffs?! 

Outside of the NFL, some leagues weren’t so lucky to be in the offseason when the outbreak began. As mentioned, two leagues specifically, the NHL and the NBA, were just gearing up for their respective playoffs, while the MLB was getting primed to kick off the season.

That begs the question, what next? It’s no news that not playing games is detrimental to the major sports leagues. Just how detrimental, though? The tune of $5 billion over two months, according to Forbes. The MLB will lose the most (around $2 billion), while the NHL, NBA and others will all lose around $1 billion apiece.

Several playoff formats have been discussed for the NBA and NHL, with Doc Rivers suggesting a format involving a play-in tournament for an NBA bracket the same size as years past.

The NHL, meanwhile, is reportedly discussing a 24-team, conference-based tournament for its playoffs. 

Even without games, the possibility of competition, and how it should look, is keeping fans on the edge of their seats. 

Making Do

While there are clearly better times ahead, as demonstrated, there are still outlets available for sports fans to get their fix. 

Be it a league going virtual to bring them a draft, signings getting done remotely, or conversation about if and how a league should return, sports simply never stop. Not even COVID-19 can stop sports. 

MOCK TWEET: Most sports may be off, but there’s no shutting down the sporting world.

COVID-19’s Impact on the NBA and Basketball World

How the NBA is staying relevant

The NBA has been shut down for 72 days and will lose hundreds of millions if the season doesn’t return.

By: Quinn MacDonald

Being a professional basketball player sure comes with its benefits; Fame, status and money to name a few. They’re viewed as celebrities and inspirational icons, who are extremely talented at what they do. 

But imagine being at the forefront, or even a potential cause for the COVID-19 outbreak. How do they deal with this pandemic on top of all the added pressure of being famous?

This article breaks down what some of the top tier NBA players and the league have been doing amidst this pandemic – how they’ve been helping others and how they’ve been staying relevant.

The Beginning of the End

It all started on Wednesday March 11th in Oklahoma City. Team doctors were seen rushing onto the court to inform officials that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Days prior Gobert jokingly touched all the reporters microphones following a press conference. Gobert’s ignorance isn’t so funny now. 

Gobert’s teammate, Donavon Mitchell, tested positive for COVID-19 and was reportedly furious with Gobert’s actions – rightfully so!

NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, immediately took action the next day and suspended the NBA for a minimum of 30 days. Which was soon followed by all other major sporting leagues as the virus became more severe. 

The Worst has yet to Come

Over the next few days several players and staff for several organizations tested positive for COVID-19. All of which had played the Utah Jazz (or teams that played against Utah) within the last two weeks. 

Brooklyn Nets star, Kevin Durant was the most notable NBA player to test positive along with three of his teammates. Durant was spotted with Toronto artist Drake just a few days prior which had the whole music industry holding their breath. 

The NBA shut down soon after, restricting players from leaving the country and implemented self-isolation protocol. At which point the NBA decided to stop releasing information about players’ health for their own privacy. 

Making the Best of it

Since then the NBA has struggled to make headlines and entertain their fans. Initially TSN and Sportsnet re-ran the Raptors Championship run which was exciting, but pales in comparison to the real thing. 

Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” documentary was a huge success, drawing in over 23 million international viewers in the first four weeks. It’s helped sports show tremendously, sparking the debate of who is the “Greatest of All-Time” (GOAT).

But the most interesting thing the NBA did to stay relevant and entertaining was the “Horse Competition” which was won by Mike Conley. It was a great way to give basketball fans some content they’ve been craving during this quarantine. WNBA and NBA players had the chance to show off their skills and personality which made for great entertainment. 

Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors kept on entertaining his fans via Instagram. Whether it’s taking part in internet challenges, or motivating others to stay in shape with workout videos, Ibaka surely made the most of this quarantine time.  

We are all in this Together

The entire world has been affected by COVID-19 and it doesn’t seem like things will be back to normal anytime soon, if ever.

There have been a ton of players giving back to the community during these trying times. NBA Stars such as Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Zion Willamson, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and many team owners have donated money to help cover lost wages for arena staff.

Former President, Barack Obama, took to twitter to commend those players who are helping out.  There is no amount of money that could put this pandemic to ease, but it’s certainly nice to see those athletes giving back to those who’ve helped them all along.

Magic in the Air 

The latest news regarding the NBA is that they green-lighted the idea of resuming play in a central host location. And it just so happens to be in the “happiest place” in the world, Walt Disney World Resort. 

The infrastructure is perfect to host major sports with a 220-acre athletic complex that features numerous courts to host several games at the same time, hotels to lodge either 30 or 16 teams depending on if the NBA resumes the regular season or jumps straight into the playoffs.

Player health and safety is the top priority and will be closely monitored leading up to a potential return. Things are looking hopefully as the world works its way back to normalcy… whatever the new normal might be.

Mock Tweet: “Go check out my latest article on COVID-19’s impact on the NBA. Breaking down the whole basketball world and how the industry has stayed relevant. All that and more only on sportsaces.net” @Quinn_MacD

Super Bowl 54 in Numbers: Kansas City Chiefs Vs. San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl 54 will take place on Sunday, February 2, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

By: Riley Gillespie-Wilson

The stage is set for Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs’ high-flying offence, which generated the second-most passing yards per-game in the playoffs, will have a tough test in a 49ers defence that gave up the fewest passing-yards per-game in the regular season this year. That’s not to say the 49ers offense is anything to sneeze at, either. They were actually the fourth-ranked offense this season, while the Chiefs were the sixth. 

The 49ers won the last meeting between the two teams, 27-17, but that was an August 24 preseason meeting. Clearly, there’s a lot more on the line this time around. All in all, fans have agreed this has the makings to be one great Super Bowl. Why? Let’s go by the numbers. 

25: 49ers coach Kyle Shannahan has been known throughout his career as an offensive guru. However, his defense gave up just 25 yards per-drive this season. (including playoffs) That’s the second-best in the NFL behind only a New England Patriots unit that stifled offenses all year long. The 49ers’ defense has simply had an incredibly easy time getting the opponent off the field this season. 

125.2: The 49ers ‘D’ will have a handful in facing Patrick Mahomes, though. 2018 MVP Mahomes clearly likes to throw the deep ball, and he’s very, very good at it. He completed 36 of 69 passes of 20 yards or more this season, connecting on a league-leading 15 majors and just two interceptions. That gave him a league-leading 125.2 passer rating on these throws. For comparison’s sake, the league average on the deep ball was just 85.7. Mahomes has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, and Tyreek Hill’s lightning-like speed opens up the lengthy strike for him. 

36.4: Mahomes may want to avoid one cornerback on the vaunted 49ers defence. Richard Sherman has given opposing quarterbacks nightmares all season long. QB’s targeting Sherman have just a 36.4 passer rating in the regular season and playoffs combined. Crazily enough, that rating is lower than a quarterback gets for throwing an incompletion on every throw. (39.6) That’s just a bonkers stat. Sherman will likely be tasked with covering the speedster Hill, which will put that impressive rating to the test, as Hill racked up the 15th most receiving yards this season, but the fourth most yards per-reception. 

3.2: Speaking of Hill, he is lethally quick. He averaged 3.2 yards of separation from his primary defender at the time of the catch this year. That’s tied for the tenth-biggest gap among receivers this season. Apparently, though, Hill was only warming up in the regular season. He increased that digit to 3.5 in the AFC Championship game against the Tennessee Titans. 

80: Sherman isn’t the only cog in the 49ers defence Mahomes and company will have to lookout for. Rookie Nick Bosa was the first 49ers rookie voted into the Pro Bowl since 2007, (Patrick Willis) and for good reason. Bosa’s 80 quarterback pressures were the most by a rookie pass rusher since Pro Football Focus started tracking them in 2006. Bosa had the sixth-most quarterback pressures among edge-defenders this season. He will be a threat to bring down Patrick Mahomes in this game, if the Chiefs struggle to contain him, like most offensive lines did this season. 

.815: Football fans around the world are debating whether Chiefs head coach Andy Reid needs this win to cement his legacy. One thing is for sure: he’s in a good position to do so. When Reid rests, Reid wins. His teams are 22-5, (an .815 win percentage) during the regular season and playoffs, immediately following a week off. Whether it’s just the rest, good film study, a little bit of both, or something else entirely, Reid sure knows how to make the most of a bye week. 

38.9%: If the Chiefs can get past the stifling coverage of Sherman and into the red-zone, there’s one man in particular they’ll be looking for. Including the playoffs, Travis Kelce’s 24 red-zone targets rank second in the league, and 14 of Kansas City’s 36 targets (38.9%) in goal-to-go yardage have landed in Kelce’s hands. That’s the highest ratio in the NFL. 

Whether it’s Reid’s bye-week magic, Tyreek Hill’s separation speed, Richard Sherman’s lockdown coverage, or another factor that decides Super Bowl 54, the numbers dictate this being one spectacular game. The one number not mentioned: 1: the number of chances each team gets at this game. One tilt for all the marbles. Super Bowl 54. 

TWEET: Beyond the players, and the halftime show, there are the defining digits. Super Bowl 54 by the numbers.

Offense or Defense Wins Championships? Chiefs, 49ers, Super Bowl 54 Preview

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Last years MVP Patrick Mahomes Flexing after his Chiefs dispatch of the Titans

By: Austin Maki

  The National Football League will wrap up its 100th season in Miami Florida Sunday night with Super Bowl 54. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in the history of the big game.  This will be the 11th time Miami has hosted the Super Bowl, the most for any city.

This is the first Super Bowl appearance for the Chiefs in 50 years. The last time Kansas City made it this far, it was 1970, when the Chiefs topped the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV for their first — and only — Lombardi Trophy. A win would end the second-longest Lombardi Trophy drought among teams that have already won a Super Bowl. Only the New York Jets (51 years) have endured a longer stretch in between titles.

The 49ers on the other hand are one of the most successful organizations in the history of the NFL. This will be there seventh Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco went to five Super Bowls between 1981-1994 and won all five of them, then returned to the big game in 2012, loosing the Baltimore Ravens. With a win the 49ers would tie the Patriots and Steelers for the most Super Bowls wins at 6.

There is always hype going into a Super Bowl, and 54 is proving no exception. The game presents clashing styles, and philosophies, both steams strength match the other weakness.

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Andy Reid Celebrating first AFC championship

 It’s a matchup that sees Veteran head coach Andy Reid, taking his second team to a Super Bowl (Eagles 2004) against the third youngest head coach in the NFL Kyle Shanahan. Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, won the super bowl in 1997 and 98 with the Denver Broncos. If the 49ers were to win, they would become the first father son duo to win separate Super Bowls. 

On the field, the 49ers greatest strength is its defense, which ranks first in the playoffs and second in the regular season, as well as first in total pass defense. Overseen by Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh, they’ve allowed just 15 points per game in the postseason after surrendering just over 19 per game in the regular season. It starts up front, led by rookie pass rusher Nick Bosa, who has logged three sacks in the playoffs alone. Fellow D-linemen and pro bowlers Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner combine to give the Niners one of the most fearsome front fours in the league.

And they will have to be going against last year’s MVP (and presumptive favourite to win Super Bowl MVP) Patrick Mahomes and the fearsome Kansas City offense. While their regular-season numbers weren’t always gaudy, the Chiefs eclipsed 35 points in both of their playoff games and have three different players among the best at their position: Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. In the AFC Championship game, Mahomes also showcased his legs, leading Kansas City in rushing. He is a true duel threat. While the Chiefs can run the ball here and there, but their chief mission (no pun intended) is to beat you through the air. To show how good this guy has been in his first 2 years, The Chiefs have never lost a game by more than seven points with Mahomes as their starter.

The 49ers on the other hand thrive keeping the ball on the ground. San Francisco led all playoff teams in rushing yards after ranking second among running teams in the regular season. The 49ers have used a rotation of running backs all year but in the NFC championship game it was all about Raheem Mostert. Mostert totaled 220 yards and four touchdowns that night dominating from start to finish. Where questions are being asked is third year starter Jimmy Garoppolo appearing in his third super bowl, but first as a starter. He only threw 8 passes against the Packers though, and questions have been asked about whether he can rise to the occasion.

The last unit we must look at is the Kansas City Chiefs defence. It is last for a reason, the less said the better about a unit that at best could be described as average.  However they have been much better in the post season holding Derick Henry to 69 yards in the AFC championship game. Defensive backs Bashaud Breeland and Tyrann Mathieu figure to play a key role on defense for the Chiefs. Both veterans have had a knack for being around the ball this year, particularly in the postseason.

What sets these two teams apart, is San Francisco’s defence. The Niners rank dead last in passing yards allowed and sixth in total sacks. If the front seven can establish dominance early against Kansas City’s questionable offensive line, this game – and their sixth Lombardi – is theirs for the taking. What the 49ers don’t have though is Patrick Mahomes, a generational special talent. It is impossible to predict or anticipate what he will do. This Super Bowl won’t provide the final answer but could shed some light on the one of sports greatest debates. What wins a championship Offence or Defence.

Nationals Defeat Astros In Game Seven To Win 2019 World Series

APTOPIX World Series Nationals Astros Baseball

The Washington Nationals celebrating on the field after clinching the World Series title.

By: Raegan Subban

Entering the 2019 MLB season the Washington Nationals were far from favorites to win the World Series. They lost arguably their best player, Bryce Harper, in the offseason to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

With a 19-31 record after the month of May, it wasn’t looking good for the Nats to even make the postseason.

However, after breaking into the 2019 Major League Baseball postseason as a wildcard team, the Nationals defied the odds and won it all. Washington defeated the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series to win for the first time in franchise history.

Continue reading “Nationals Defeat Astros In Game Seven To Win 2019 World Series”

Athletes & Activism

The 3 Most Influential Athletes who took a stand for Social Justice.

Several African-American athletes who have advocated heavily for social justice

Whether it be the Black Lives Matter movement, protests against the Vietnam war, protests against racial discrimination and most recently, tensions between China and the NBA, sports athletes have been very effective at causing social change. 

Continue reading “Athletes & Activism”