Credit: NFL

Sportswriter At-large

 

NFL, college football emerge from the shadow of a pandemic

At the outset of the 2021-22 season of the National Football League, it’s only fitting to report the great Hall of Famer Jim Brown, formerly of Syracuse University and the NFL Cleveland Browns, was enshrined with a bronze statue Sept. 4, outside of Brown’s Stadium… After each home game at SoFi Stadium during the 2021 NFL season, Los Angeles Rams Tackle and team captain Andrew Whitworth will make a $20,000 donation to help repair homes in his home state of Louisiana and move Angelenos facing housing insecurity into homes as part of his “Big Whit Homes for LA Families” program, Now that’s benevolence. 

WNBA star Sue Bird and the women’s gold medal-winning Tokyo Olympic basketball team, along with two of her WNBA Seattle Storm teammates—Brianna Stewart and Jewell Loyd could also win the WNBA championship. What a double conquest that would be … our LA Sparks is now coached by Derek Fisher, former star guard of the World Champion Lakers.

LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are fighting it out to win the Western Division to earn a 2021 World Series bid. Only 2 1/2 games separate the teams with one month to go in the regular season … Double threat LA Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani was still among the leaders in the majors with 44 homeruns and sports an 10-1 pitching record as of Sept. 15. Homers ... Major League Soccer (MLS) will feature its all-star game in LA this week with skills competition and the best MLS players versus Liga MX, the Mexican League All-Stars … This week the MLS playoffs will begin with both LA teams—the LAFC and LA Galaxy. Sports are really heating up and that’s good for the  soul.

 

And, in my final note, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is having quite a rough go of things in this most recent chapter of her professional tennis career. Since winning the 2020 US Open, Osaka been on an emotional rollercoaster, experiencing a series of setbacks and losses, the latest, a U.S. Open loss to unseeded 18-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez—a match she was heavily favored to win. That Osaka is battling some emotional antagonists is not the question. But, what is, is why? In her post-match news conference, she teared up, giving the world, saying recent victories did not bring her happiness, but "more like a relief. And then when I lose I feel very sad. And I don’t think that’s normal.

 

"This is very hard to articulate,” she said. "Basically. I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match."

Osaka is the world’s highest-paid female athlete and daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. -Choya