Authors: Rio Sports
1) Now in its 10th season, the NFL International Series bandwagon rolls back into London for the first of its four-game run on Sunday. Before the annual helping of Jacksonville Jaguars, UK gridiron fans had to make do with NFL Europe and its predecessor the World League of American Football. The Union Jags have a long way to go before they are afforded the affection of the UK’s original franchise, the 1991 World Bowl champions London Monarchs. It is hard to understand why they were such a monumental flop based on their wonderfully 1990s series of TV ads. The Monarchs also provided Jeff Stelling a break as a jobbing sports reporter for Channel 4 and played host to the American football career of outspoken NBA dad Lavar Ball. Perhaps the biggest success story of NFL Europe is former Amsterdam Admirals quarterback, and collector of bizarre weaponry, Kurt Warner. A year later he was Superbowl XXXIV MVP and the star of the Greatest Show on Turf but Classic YouTube is sure the 1998 season, where Warner led NFL Europe in passing yards and touchdowns as the Admirals fell short of the World Bowl, is what he dreams about at night. Meanwhile, from more recent times in the NFL, this from Tod Gurley is quite the hurdle, and here is an example of the peril that cheerleaders subject themselves to.
2) Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight belt against Wille Monroe Jnr last weekend but it was Saunders’ son who got in the first dig at the weigh-in, delivering a low blow to Willie. Pre-fight shenanigans are nothing new of course and back when he was still fighting other boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr was a master. This clip from before his 2007 superfight with Oscar de la Hoya makes you wonder how Conor McGregor would have reacted to a live chicken. MMA’s creep into boxing’s territory is partially fuelled by its ability for pre-fight promotion. If Sean O’Connell was half as good a fighter as he is an entertainer he’d be a superstar. Sadly, with a UFC record of 2-5, he’s not.
3) Want to see Kasper Schmeichel and Tom Ince playing football as toddlers in the tunnel at Old Trafford? Of course you do. I bet you also want to see Dirk Kuyt’s five-year-old son score a wondergoal too?
4) Forget fidget spinners, 2017 is the year the underarm serve comes back into fashion. Renzo Olivo is the latest to go all Michael Chang (or Martina Hingis, depending on preference) but Laurent Lokoli and Pablo Cuevas have also been at it.
5) Who doesn’t love a dog on a football pitch? And credit to the journalists from Sportia TV for trying to interview the mutt afterwards. While we’re on the subject of dogs … they can make handy ice hockey training partners.
6) Atlético Junior’s Teófilo Gutiérrez files his entry for worst penalty ever. And Yoann Barbet stakes a claim, too.
1) Football Italia-era nostalgia is always a dangerous route into a day lost to YouTube. Don’t say Classic YouTube didn’t warn you. Here’s a Roberto Mancini backheel goal from corner and a wild Lazio 4-4 Milan game where a youthful Andriy Shevchenko partners George Weah and Marcelo Salas scored the most dynamic header in human history.
2) Matt Hall takes it as close as you’d want to in the Red Bull Air Race.
3) Inspired by Weah’s ‘Coast to Coast’ goal, here’s the original Ronaldo; Saeed Al-Owairan and Paulo Wanchope.
4) When you said “Baker Mayfield goes all Graeme Souness”, does it really compare to this?
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