The Game That Won’t Be Canceled

December 11, 2020

Good Morning,

There’s one game that won’t be canceled this weekend. The 121st annual Army-Navy game will be played at West Point for the first time since 1943. Plus, the uniforms are all-world.

Tune in for history (Saturday, 3:00 pm ET, CBS).

Letter Rip!

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NFL

The Rams Get Revenge

Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images

Rams Rip the Patriots Apart (24-3) in Rematch of Super Bowl LIII

Just when we thought the New England Patriots were back after a 45-0 win last Sunday, they go and get run over in primetime. Thursday night’s rematch of Super Bowl LIII brought a long list of storylines between the Rams and Pats. That 13-3 loss left a sour taste in L.A. for much of the last two years, but revenge was found last night. Rams’ running back Cam Akers (194 total yards) tallied the most yards by a rookie against a Bill Belichick-coached defense, and L.A. cruised to a 24-3 win.

Playoff Implications
The Rams (9-4) find themselves as the current 3-seed in the NFC playoff picture with the outright lead in the NFC West, while the Patriots (6-7) might need to win out to make the playoffs. New England hasn’t missed the postseason since Tom Brady tore his ACL in 2008.

Watch: Rams-Patriots Highlights

Additional Storylines
B/R: Cam Newton Benched for Jarrett Stidham in 4th Quarter of Rams-Pats
USA Today: RB Cam Akers Had a Historic 1st Quarter Rushing Against the Patriots

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NCAA

Coach K Makes the Call

Photo: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Duke Cancels Remaining Non-Conference Schedule Amid COVID-19 Concerns

The Duke men’s basketball program wasn’t off to a great start this season, and now they’re packing it up. After head coach Mike Krzyzewski stated his concern regarding playing basketball in the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic, the program canceled all remaining non-conference games on the schedule.

What It Means
The decision only affects one remaining game before the holiday break — a Dec. 19 date with Gardner-Webb. But it also means Duke won’t revisit previously postponed matchups with Elon and Charleston Southern. They’ll play Notre Dame next Wednesday (Dec. 16) before a 13-day break until an ACC matchup with Pittsburgh (Dec. 29).

“Making sure that we’re doing the right thing for our players, just for safety… We’re going to play conference and hopefully get to play all of them.” — Coach K

Additional Storylines
ESPN: Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Questions Playing Basketball During Pandemic
USA Today: Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats Wonders if Coach K Would Say The Same if Duke Were Winning

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MLS CUP 🏆

MLS Finals: Repeat or Rebirth?

Photo: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew
(Saturday 8:30 pm ET, FOX)

Saturday night in Columbus should be an instant classic. A historic clash between the defending champion Seattle Sounders (14-5-6) and revitalized Columbus Crew (15-6-5) will answer the question of dynasty or redemption?

Repeat: The Seattle Storyline
The 2-seed Sounders will appear in their fourth MLS Cup Final in the last five seasons, having won two of the previous three, including last year’s 2019 MLS Cup. They’ve lost just twice since the beginning of October (12 matches), and they’re coming in hot off a miraculous 3-2 comeback win over Minnesota in the MLS West Finals.

Rebirth: The Columbus Storyline
The 3-seed Crew return to the MLS Cup Finals for the first time since 2015. The club has only one MLS Cup trophy in franchise history (2008), but now they’re back after a clean run through the playoffs. Columbus hasn’t given up a goal since Nov. 21, but they’ve also had the benefit of facing the 6-seed, 7-seed and 8-seed en route to the Finals. Seattle will be a much tougher test.

Will it be a repeat or a rebirth? We’ll find out Saturday night.

Additional Storylines
SB Nation: The Sounders are the MLS Cup Final Opponent the Crew Needs
ESPN: Columbus Crew Have Another New Positive COVID-19 Test Before MLS Cup Final

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OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

⚽️ USMNT Smashes El Salvador
The USMNT looked as good as ever with a 6-0 win against El Salvador in Wednesday night’s friendly (delayed story).

⛳️ Olson’s Ace Leads U.S. Women’s Open
Amy Olson (-4) sits atop the leaderboard after Round 1 of the LPGA U.S. Women’s Open thanks in large part to a spectacular hole-in-one on Hole 16.

🏈 Frank Gore Jr. Rips Off 73-Yard TD
The son of NFL legend Frank Gore scampered for a 73-yard highlight touchdown for Southern Mississippi on Thursday night.

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THE STORYLINES

🏀 Most Intriguing NBA Preseason Games
The NBA preseason typically isn’t too long, but it will be even shorter than usual this year. And that’s just one of the ways that the buildup to the 2020-21 season is different than most. Here’s a look at several intriguing matchups on this year’s preseason schedule. (Bleacher Report)

⚾️ Winners & Losers From Winter Meetings
The stove was mostly cold during this week’s virtual event. In an underwhelming week where virtually nothing happened, here are the winners and losers from MLB’s winter meeting circus. (CBS Sports)

⚽️ Champions League Power Rankings
The 16 remaining teams in the Champions League are still chasing one team… Bayern Munich is vying for a Champions League repeat, and nothing from the group stage and start to the season indicates that the German power is in jeopardy of losing its crown. (Sports Illustrated)

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📰 THE HEADLINES 

Clippers Give Paul George 5-Year, $226 Million Max Contract Extension
(Bleacher Report)

Boston College Becomes First Team to Opt Out of Bowl Game
(Yahoo! Sports)

NBA Begins Crafting COVID-19 Vaccine Policies for Widespread Use
(ESPN)

Philadelphia Phillies Nearing Deal With Dave Dombrowski as Team President
(USA Today)

James Harden Adds Bucks & Heat to List of Preferred Trade Destinations
(Sports Illustrated)

SEC Reaches 10-Year, $3 Billion Deal for TV Rights With ESPN/ABC
(NY Times)

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🗓️ WEEKEND SCHEDULE

The Must-Watch List

The holiday sports-watching season is almost upon us. Both NFL and College Football continue to clear up the postseason picture this weekend. The NBA returns with preseason action, and we’ll crown an MLS Cup champion in Monday’s edition. Enjoy!

MLS Cup Finals
Seattle vs. Columbus (Sat. 8:30 pm ET)

NFL: Week 14 (Sunday)
Chiefs vs. Dolphins (1:00 pm ET)
Cardinals vs. Giants (1:00 pm ET)
Colts vs. Raiders (4:05 pm ET)
Saints vs. Eagles (4:25 pm ET)
Steelers vs. Bills (8:20 pm ET)
Full NFL Week 14 Schedule

College Football (Saturday)
#1 Alabama vs. Arkansas (Noon ET)
#9 Georgia vs. #25 Missouri (Noon ET)
Army vs. Navy (3:00 pm ET, CBS)
#10 Miami vs. #17 N. Carolina (3:30 pm ET)
#6 Florida vs. LSU (7:00 pm ET)
Full College Football Schedule

College Basketball (Men’s)
#3 Iowa vs. Iowa State (Fri. 9:00 pm ET)
#11 W. Virginia vs. #19 Richmond (Sun. 1:00 pm ET)
#2 Baylor vs. #13 Texas (Sun. 3:00 pm ET)

College Basketball (Women’s)
#2 Louisville vs. N. Carolina (Sun. 4:00 pm ET)
#8 Oregon vs. #15 Oregon State (Sun. 7:00 pm ET)

Soccer (All Leagues)
EPL: Manchester Derby (Sat. 12:30 pm ET)
SPA: Madrid Derby (Sat. 3:00 pm ET)

LPGA: The U.S. Women’s Open
Houston, Texas (All Weekend)

Boxing: Heavyweight Bout
A. Joshua vs. K. Pulev (Sat. 8:00 pm ET)

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READER POLL

Results

Yesterday, we asked if you thought the Big Ten made the right call by changing the rules to allow Ohio State into the Big Ten Championship. You said:

No (53.5%) | Yes (46.5%)

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