2020 Olympics

Bryce Harper as hype as you'll see him calling for major-leaguers in Olympics

Bryce Harper as hype as you'll see him calling for major-leaguers in Olympics

When was the last time you saw Bryce Harper this fired up off the field?

Harper joined Barstool's Starting 9 podcast with Dallas Braden and Jared Carrabis this week and one of the topics that came up during the two-hour interview was Olympic baseball.

Harper was adamant that major-leaguers should be representing their countries, calling the status quo a "travesty."

The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo will feature baseball for the first time since the 2008 games. Previously, major-leaguers on 40-man rosters were not permitted to compete, with top minor-leaguers playing instead (such as Roy Oswalt and Ben Sheets in 2000 just before they reached the bigs, for example).

Here was Harper's impromptu, impassioned take:

"You wanna grow the game? You wanna really take it to different countries and different places? You put the baseball back into the Olympics but let the big-league players play. Can you imagine being in a foreign country standing on the line listening to your anthem blare? Dude, there is nothing better, it fires me up sitting here. There's nothing better, bro. U.S.A. across your chest, just absolutely put a pounding on [another] country and you're standing there saying, 'What's up?' 

"It is such a travesty to me — I'm not saying this as disrespect to minor-leaguers — the (2021) Olympics are in Tokyo, and you're not sending big-league guys? Are you kidding me? You wanna grow the game as much as possible and you're not gonna let us play in the Olympics because you don't wanna cut out on money for a two-week period? Like, OK, that's dumb.

"Can you imagine walking into the Olympic village or you're walking into frickin' opening night ... I am so fired up right now."

"And (the fans) are sitting there watching in the States. You're going, this is the best baseball in the world. ... This is the world. You have (Shohei) Ohtani going back and playing for Japan and facing Mike Trout. Just imagine that. Hopefully, Trout goes deep 900 feet in the Tokyo Dome. Those are the situations that you're sitting there going, we have to get back into the Olympics. 

"The 2021 Olympics are next year. Why not shock the world and put all your big-leaguers back in it?"

Harper threw the video up on his Instagram, asking who else is in. It didn't take long for his teammate/buddy/favorite player J.T. Realmuto to back him up.

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Why Carli Lloyd's NFL target date is being pushed back 'a year or so'

Why Carli Lloyd's NFL target date is being pushed back 'a year or so'

Two-time Olympic gold medalist, New Jersey native, and huge Eagles fan Carli Lloyd hasn't been shy about her desire to cross over from women's soccer legend to starting NFL kicker as her pro athlete career continues.

It seemed at one point that Lloyd had her eyes set on picking up tryouts or potential training camp looks as early as this summer, after lighting it up last summer at Eagles training camp with a 55-yard field goal (see story).

But with the sports world on hold - including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Lloyd hoped to compete for one last gold medal - Lloyd said over the weekend she's likely pushing her NFL timeline back by at least a year.

"First and foremost, I'm focusing on soccer at the moment, but I've always been a kid who loves a challenge," Lloyd said during a Women's Sports Foundation e-panel hosted by Yahoo! Sports.

"I never back down from any challenge, and I know with proper training, and the right technique, and someone showing me how to kick, I know that I could do it. So it may have to get pushed a year or so, we'll see. I know the times right now are a little up in the air. So we'll see. I'm not ruling it out, you never know."

Lloyd, 37, could have theoretically segued from the 2020 Olympics, which were slated to end in early August, into a few training camps, or at least turned her attention fully to the 2021 season, but with the Olympics re-scheduled to next summer, things have changed. Lloyd has said multiple times that she is keeping soccer at the forefront.

Lloyd's decorated time with USWNT obviously deserves her full attention, and when she spoke with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark last month, Lloyd also explained she wanted to focus on her club soccer career:

I don't know. I mean, I'm sure I'm going to be part of our NWSL league, playing for Sky Blue FC this summer, but who knows? I'm going to take it one day at a time. Obviously, soccer is my big passion at the moment, and I'm focusing on that.

So it might be 2021, or even 2022, until Lloyd has a full-effort shot at making an NFL roster.

But Lloyd's interest in the NFL has been a two-way street, and if she's still interested and still booming 55-yarders when next summer's Olympics wrap up, those football aspirations can resume - ideally with a third gold medal in tow.

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Carli Lloyd discusses her life on pause now that 2020 Olympics have been postponed

Carli Lloyd discusses her life on pause now that 2020 Olympics have been postponed

The news was officially released early Tuesday morning that the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Now, athletes who were planning to participate have had their lives put on pause, just like the majority of the world — awaiting the next steps to take during this time. 

South Jersey native and USWNT forward Carli Lloyd is just one of many whose training has been halted due to the news. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark was able to catch up with Lloyd following the announcement. 

“Life is on pause with literally everything around the world,” said Lloyd. “I think the olympics was sort of the elephant in the room for the last several weeks.”

It will ultimately become quite an adjustment — to see how pushing this event back will affect the Olympians that were planning to head to Tokyo, Japan in the summer. 

“I think all of the athletes around the world have been wondering what’s going to happen,” said Lloyd. “All of their training has been halted some way shape or form and it’s unfortunate. 

“I think a worst case scenario, they would have just cancelled it altogether. So, I’m happy for the postponement. I know it probably is going to affect so many different athletes in so many different ways, but I’m looking forward to it.”

This is the first time in a while where Lloyd’s life has been put on pause. While she will still be training to some degree with her home gym and backyard space, she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband. 

Lloyd further discusses the impact of the postponement of the Olympics and what her plans could possibly include for the summer in the video above. And of course, she makes sure to state her excitement for this upcoming Eagles season.