Bucs On a Boat

February 11, 2021

Good Morning,

Tom Brady’s first six Super Bowl parades took place on Boston streets in February. This was Tampa, on boats, in 70-degree sunshine. Let’s let Tommy have this one.

Letter Rip!

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SBLV PARADE 

The Buccaneers Boat Parade

Photo: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski & The Party in Champa Bay

It’s funny. The irony of sports media, that is. We hang on every word of athletes and coaches as we scrutinize them all year long. But after you win a championship, we throw a parade, get everyone drunk and hand them a microphone with zero criticism whatsoever. In fact, we celebrate the escape from the day-to-day coach speak and buttoned up media responsibilities, because who needs responsibility when you just won the Super Bowl?

Bucs On A Boat

Wednesday’s Super Bowl parade in Tampa was a one-of-a-kind celebration amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tom Brady arrived on his newly-purchased $2 million yacht, then proceeded to shovel the Lombardi Trophy over the Hillsborough River into the arms of Cameron Brate. Rob Gronkowski drank beer, of course. Scotty Miller dropped Chris Godwin’s phone into the river. Devin White rode his horse ‘Dream’ around the stadium while carrying the trophy. And Bruce Arians cursed his way through a “viewer discretion advised” speech.

“We’ve got the best coaching staff in the NFL, and we’ve damn sure got the best players in the NFL… We’re going for two and we ain’t stopping. We’re going to keep this band together, and they know how to win.” — Bruce Arians

That’s about all we can show you. In the end, the Tampa Bay Bucs chartered their way down Florida waters in a parade fit for Pirates. Brady tweeted about tequila. No one cared. Seven rings will do that for ya.

Sports in America, everybody. What a strange but beautiful sight.

Additional Storylines

ESPN: Highlights From the Bucs Super Bowl Victory Parade

SportsNet: Tom Brady’s Antics Steal the Show at Buccaneers’ Boat Parade

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GOLF

Pebble Beach Predictions

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

Storylines to Know for Today’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am

One of golf’s great spectacles has finally arrived, but it’ll tee off without the usual list of celebrity amateurs. This year’s event is strictly for the pros due to COVID-19 safety measures, other than a five-hole match-play spearheaded by actor Bill Murray. But that doesn’t take anything away from one of the best courses in the world. There are plenty of storylines to follow this weekend. Here are just a few:

No Dustin Johnson: The World No. 1 won’t be in attendance after playing in Saudi Arabia last week. He had the best odds to win. Now, it’s anyone’s game.

Is Jordan Spieth Back?: Spieth is coming off his best tournament in years. He finished 17-under — just two back of winner Brooks Koepka — at last week’s Phoenix Open. He hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since 2017. Could this be the one?

Meet Kamaiu Johnson: The best feel good story of the weekend is a 27-year-old first-timer. Once homeless, the former high school dropout has been playing in mini-tours across California. His first appearance on the Tour is sure to capture a lot of hearts.

Featured Group Tee Times (ET)

12:03 PM: M. Homa, P. Casey, P. Mickelson

12:14 PM: S. Cink, F. Molinari, B. Snedeker

1:09 PM: N. Taylor, R. Fowler, J. Spieth

1:20 PM: S. Kim, P. Cantlay, J. Day

All Tee Times (Round 1)

Best Odds: P. Cantlay (+700), D. Berger (+1400), P. Casey (+1600), W. Zalatoris (+1800), J. Day (+1800), J. Spieth (+2200), F. Molinari (+2200)

Additional Storylines

PGA: Kamaiu Johnson Finally Gets His Opportunity at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

GolfWeek: ‘It’s in the Hole!’ There Will Be Celebrities at Pebble Beach After All

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NCAA

The Countdown to Madness

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

30 Days to Selection Sunday: Time to Make Your NCAA Tournament Plans

It’s been 23 months since the last NCAA Division I basketball tournament, and no one is more excited for this year’s March Madness than me. The tournament will look a little different this year, featuring a single-site location in Indianapolis, but that’s not all. The schedule includes one significant twist. The first two rounds will be played Friday-Monday instead of the traditional Thursday-Sunday format. Here are the dates for the long-awaited March Madness 2021.

Dates for March Madness

– Selection Sunday: March 14

– First Four: Thursday, March 18

– Round of 64: Friday-Saturday, March 19-20

– 2nd Round: Sunday-Monday, March 21-22

– Sweet 16: Friday-Saturday, March 26-27

– Elite 8: Sunday-Monday, March 28-29

– Final Four: Saturday, April 3

– National Championship: Monday, April 5

For the first time ever, each Sweet 16 game will have its own time slot. That means day games in the second week, and I like it.

Additional Storylines

ESPN: Jay Bilas Unveils the Best 68 Teams in the Nation Right Now

NCAA: The Predicted March Madness Bracket by Andy Katz

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TENNIS

The Champ Exits Early

Photo: William West / Getty Images

Defending Champion #4 Sofia Kenin Upset in 2nd Round of Australian Open

Another one falls! The women’s draw in Melbourne keeps getting shredded with parity and upsets at the top. The defending champion of the event, 4th-ranked Sofia Kenin, was a straight-set victim to Kaia Kanepi (6-3, 6-2). She got out-aced 10-0 in the defeat, and she became the third top-10 player on the women’s side to be eliminated in the first two rounds.

Match Highlights (Men)

(6) A. Zverev def. M. Cressy (7-5, 6-4, 6-3)

(7) A. Rublev def. T. Monteiro (6-4, 6-4, 7-6)

(9) M. Berrettini def. T. Machac (6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3)

N. Kyrgios def. (29) U. Humbert (5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4)

Match Highlights (Women)

(1) A. Barty def. D. Gavrilova (6-1, 7-6)

(2) S. Halep def. A. Tomljanovic (4-6, 6-4, 7-5)

(3) N. Osaka def. C. Garcia (6-2, 6-3)

K. Kanepi def. (4) S. Kenin (6-3, 6-2)

(6) K. Pliskova def. D. Collins (7-5, 6-2)

In Action Overnight: C. Gauff, (5) E. Svitolina, (2) R. Nadal, (4) D. Medvedev, (5) S. Tsitsipas

Additional Storylines

NBC Sports: American Shelby Rogers Reaches 3rd Round of AUS Open for First Time

SI: Venus Williams Loses After Suffering Injured Ankle & Knee

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NBA

5 Highlights: NBA Scoreboard

Giannis Drops 47, Misses Game-Winner

Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied a season-high 47 points in the Bucks-Suns meeting last night, but he missed his final shot — a good look at a game-winner from the top of the key. Suns won, 125-124.

Trae vs. Luka Ends With Drama

Wednesday’s meeting between Luka Doncic and Trae Young had a wild finish. The Mavericks won (118-117) behind a Doncic triple-double (25-10-10), but Young was furious after a no-call on the final possession.

Lakers Overcome 3rd-Straight OT

Three straight games have went to overtime, but the Lakers have won them all. Wednesday’s win over the Thunder (114-113, OT) was courtesy of more LeBron James heroics.

The Bulls’ 3-Point Party

Zach Lavine was the catalyst with 46 points and nine 3-pointers, but he wasn’t alone in Chicago’s 129-116 win over the Pelicans. The Bulls hit a franchise record 27 triples.

Denver Doesn’t Miss

The Nuggets routed the Cavs (133-95) in one of the most fascinating offensive performances of the season to date. Denver shot 60 percent as a team (51-for-85). Thirteen Nuggets players scored, and only two shot under 50 percent.

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THE STORYLINES 

⚾️ The MLB Player Tracers

Major League Baseball players must wear electronic tracing wristbands from the start of spring training next week, and punishment for violations could be at an all-time high. (Sports Illustrated)

🏀 NBA All-Star Picks

The 2021 NBA All-Star rosters will be announced one week from today. While we wait, the B/R Staff makes their picks: Who really deserves a spot? (Bleacher Report)

🏈 The 2021 Hall of Fame Snubs

You saw the new names in the 2021 Hall of Fame class, but are we forgetting anyone? These deserving candidates will have to wait at least another year before getting the call to Canton. (CBS Sports)

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📰 THE HEADLINES