Boston Red Sox Used Apple Watches to Steal Signs Against Yankees

Excerpt from this article:

For decades, spying on another team has been as much a part of baseball’s gamesmanship as brushback pitches and hard slides. The Boston Red Sox have apparently added a modern — and illicit — twist: They used an Apple Watch to gain an advantage against the Yankees and other teams.

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and very likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

The Tinderization of the NBA

Excerpt from this article:

Since the late 1980s, the winning percentage of road teams has been rising in the NBA. After speaking to dozens of players, coaches, and team officials, Tom Haberstroh found a fairly accepted answer: “NBA players are sleeping more and drinking less”. Players are taking their careers more seriously and partying less on the road while transportation coordination has improved. Ubiquitous cameras and big sponsorships keep bad behavior in check. An additional factor is that with apps like Tinder and Instagram, companionship can be delivered to a player’s hotel room like Seamless or Postmates without the need to drink at the club for a few hours beforehand.

How Video Games Are Changing the Way Soccer Is Played

Excerpt from this article:

As Iwobi suggests, however, they increasingly do more than that: They are not merely representations of the game, but influencers of it. Iwobi is not the only player who believes that what he does on the field has been influenced by what he has seen rendered on a screen.

Ibrahimovic said that he would “often spot solutions in the games that I then parlayed into real life” as a young player. Mats Hummels, the Bayern Munich and Germany defender, has suggested that “maybe some people use what they learn in FIFA when they find themselves on a pitch.”

Wenger’s assertion several years ago that Messi was a “PlayStation footballer” was meant more as an explanation than an insult: Messi does things that seem to belong on a pixelated screen because that is, in part, how he has learned to see the game. Just like Iwobi, his conception of what is possible and what is not was forged by fantasy.

Leslie Jones Is Officially Going To Rio For The Olympics

Excerpt from this article:

So by now you’ve probably seen that comedian Leslie Jones has THE BEST tweets on the Olympics. We can’t show you the ones where she’s giving commentary along with her TV, but please, do yourself a favor and check them out. In fact, the SNL and Ghostbusters star’s coverage from her couch was so good that NBC invited her to come to Rio.

Weird Internet trend ‘The Running Man Challenge’ has infiltrated the NBA

Excerpt from this article:

“The Running Man Challenge” is the most glorious new physical comedy meme on the world wide web today. Picture some version of planking, or Gangnam Style, or the Harlem Shake — but set to the 1996 hip-hop hit “My Boo.”

Now the challenge has left college behind for good, breaking through into the NBA. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up.

This all started a couple weeks ago with some University of Maryland basketball players who started posting videos of themselves doing variations of the running man dance to “My Boo,” the throwback track by Ghost Town DJ’s. (At least, that’s when it started getting attention, but here are some high school kids doing it four months ago.)



Ties After Three Periods Send the Fans to Twitter

Excerpt from this article:

“I noticed there was real currency in being retweeted, and people used to get real mad at me when they’d guess right but I didn’t pick them as one of the random winners — I’m talking real mad — but then they started getting really creative and including funny GIFs with their disappointment tweet, so I started retweeting some of those, too,” Buccigross said.

Twelve days later, when Alex Ovechkin scored with 68 seconds left in regulation to tie Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and force the extra session, Buccigross gave the game a name and started using the hashtag #bucciovertimechallenge. (Tampa Bay won the game on Vincent Lecavalier’s overtime goal.)

Now, #bucciovertimechallenge becomes an instant trending topic across North America anytime a playoff game, or even a regular-season game, goes into overtime.

Demand was strong enough that he decided to sell them, with all profits to be donated to hockey-related charities at the end of the year. That first year, he had no website for his business, so buyers would send cash or checks with their orders in the mail. He raised enough money to donate $17,000 to charities like Defending the Blueline, the Mario Lemieux Foundation, You Can Play, the Travis Roy Foundation and Hockey in Harlem.

Sports Newsletter



Trending at Halftime: N.B.A. Players Checking Their Phones

Excerpt from this article:

The professional sports locker room is a sanctuary, a place that is supposed to be free of outside distractions. At halftime of an N.B.A. game, for instance, players sit attentively, absorbing the coach’s instructions. They rehydrate, and maybe even change into a fresh uniform. Their focus for those 15 minutes rests entirely on what must be done in the second half to win the game.

Except when they’re flicking through their smartphone notifications on the sly.

“I don’t think you should necessarily be coming in at halftime and start going through your mentions, but it’s just become habitual,” said Spencer Hawes of the Charlotte Hornets, who are playing the Miami Heat in the first round of the N.B.A. postseason. “What do you do when you’ve been away from your phone in any situation? You come in, check it, check if anyone texted you. I think halftime is kind of no different.”

The ritual has challenged the popularly held perception of the professional sports locker room as a scene of intense focus on the task ahead. It may not affect performance on the court, but it nonetheless signals a significant cultural shift for the veteran players who remember older times and a place, the locker room, that was free of digital distractions.