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Beyond the Scoreboard: Tiger and the PGA Championship, plus NHL parity

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: Tiger and the PGA Championship, plus NHL parity

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

 

TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST, CLICK HERE

 

  • Thanks to Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka…and John Daly, fitness and longevity take center stage at this week’s PGA Championship. As the PGA of America prepares to host its annual Major this week, PGA Tour veteran and former PGA Championship winner John Daly is also making headlines in New York. For the first time since pro Casey Martin, Daly has received approval to use a golf cart during the tournament, citing arthritis in his knees that prevents him from navigating the hilly Bethpage Black course. While Daly is an old school product of the Tour – he reached his peak before hitting the gym was a regular part of the pro golf regimen – “today’s crop of PGA Tour pros, led by the likes of Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka, are finely-tuned athletes, seeking out fitness and recovery techniques that will keep them healthy on the course much longer,” said Jeff Conroy, CEO of regenerative medicine leader Embody, which has developed an innovative collagen based microfiber implant designed for use in Achilles’ and rotator cuff repairs – a common affliction in golf. Between rotator cuff and Achilles injuries, Embody’s orthopedic solutions address a combined market exceeding 750,000 surgical cases in the U.S. annually. 
  • This year’s Stanley Cup parity is the "world Commissioner Gary Bettman envisioned” when the league instituted a salary cap in 2005,“ according to the Associated Press. While all four division winners have been eliminated, Bettman "prefers to call it ‘competitive balance,’ and it’s the thing he trumpets the most about the state of the league.” There is “not a lot of national buzz” when teams from Raleigh and Columbus meet in the Eastern Conference Finals, and absent a potential Bruins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final, there are “some combinations that don’t exactly sizzle for those who aren’t avid fans.” NBC Sports reported the “highest first-round ratings in the network’s history.“ If more big markets go out, that picture "could change and interest could wane, but Bettman believes it all evens out over time.” There are many other positive factors besides ratings. In Raleigh, according to insider sources, thanks to their playoff run, the Hurricanes have already sold $3.6 million in new ticket business for next season. 
  • ISM Connect will expand its Allegiant Airline Network with the addition of two new Minor League Baseball teams, the Salt Lake Bees and Boise Hawks, in June and by 20 more stadiums in 2020, nearly doubling the size of the existing network. ISM launched its network across 25 ballparks on the MiLB’s Opening Night, officially introducing the world’s first and only integrated, in-venue smart network of fan engagement technology. ISM Connect has already delivered targeted marketing and custom branded content to an engaged audience of nearly five million MiLB fans. Already, over 15 local and three national brands, including Allegiant, Applegate, and BAM, have joined the network. Across the 25 active ballparks, ISM published 400 pieces of content on Opening Night, including local and national content and advertising. Additionally, several original series went live. "Logo Love” dives into the unique world of MiLB logos and team names, while “Better Up” traces the youth baseball training evolution. Within weeks, fan engagement with the Ballpark Insider social community quickly swelled to nearly 3,000 followers.

 

Beyond the Scoreboard: Change atop the Big Ten and more on DeMarcus Cousins' recovery

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: Change atop the Big Ten and more on DeMarcus Cousins' recovery

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

 

TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE OF THE PODCAST, CLICK HERE

 

- Kevin Warren, a trailblazer in the pro football ranks, will soon leave his mark on college sports. The Minnesota Vikings’ COO has been named the new Big Ten commissioner. He will replace Jim Delany, who is retiring in 2020 after 30 years at the helm. Warren has spent 21 years working in the NFL, the past 14 with the Vikings. In his new job, Warren becomes the Big Ten’s sixth commissioner and the first African-American to head one of college sports’ Power 5 conferences. Warren, 55, will succeed Jim Delany, who has been the Big Ten commissioner since 1989. Warren begins his new role on September 16. Delany will officially step down on January 1, 2020, following a 30-year career with the conference. A member of the Vikings for the past 20 years, the last four as COO, Warren has been the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for an NFL team and the first African-American to hold that position in the pro football league. Warren, a Sport Business Handbook contributor, played a key role in the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium as well as the Vikings’ TCO Performance Center. 

- While some major league teams balk, the MiLB Iowa Cubs proactively expand netting. According to the Des Moines Register, team President and General Manager Sam Bernabe said the Cubs plan to extend the nets all the way down to both fouls poles for the start of next season. The move has been in the works for quite some time now, but the precautionary measure has become a national subject after Chicago Cubs outfields Albert Almora Jr. laced a line drive into the stands that hit and injured a young girl. The incident has prompted plenty of debate about whether more protected netting needs to be added to ballparks. As far as Bernabe is concerned, it’s not a debate. It will happen at Principal Park. Bernabe said his organization has been talking about making the move long before the scary situation occurred in Houston. Netting around parks reentered the forefront of the baseball safety conversation last week after Almora’s line drive into the stands. It’s great to see some clubs taking the matter into their own hands before the more cumbersome decision – often involving collective bargaining – is made at the major league level.

- Boogie-ing through injury, Cousins helps Warriors. By some estimates, DeMarcus Cousins’ torn Achilles tendon last season cost him at least $100 million because it happened right as he was entering free agency. As he rehabbed, Cousins joined the Warriors for a mere $5.3 million – "pennies in the NBA economy,” per the Los Angeles Times. While Cousins should be just fine, “In many orthopedic applications like Achilles or rotator cuff repair, with traditional materials like allograft or acellular dermis, you are limited to the void fractions, porosity, strength and bioactivity of the raw material,” said Jeff Conroy, CEO of Embody, whose goal is to restore peak performance for orthopedic patients through advanced regenerative technologies. “However, we are able to tune the attributes to mimic the native tissue intended to enhance cell remodeling with greater cell adhesion (tenocytes) and more tendon-like tissue formation. This is particularly beneficial in high demand applications like rotator cuff, ACL and Achilles repair where the re-tear rates far exceed an acceptable norm for surgeons or patients.” While Cousins is not an Embody patient, Conroy noted that Embody’s implantable devices can significantly improve patient outcomes in soft tissue surgical applications and get pro athletes back in record time. 


8 things to do in DC this weekend

8 things to do in DC this weekend

What a perfect DC weekend coming up! The weather - at least as of post time - is supposed to be great (for most of the weekend). It's Father's Day. And, the Nationals have an important homestand against the Diamondbacks. Here's our top things to do in DC this weekend: 

1. Cheer on the Nationals in a key homestand against Arizona. The four-game homestand starts Thursday night and includes Obi Sean Kenobi Bobblehead day on Saturday. Tickets are still available for all games.

2. Or go to Baltimore to boo the Red Sox against the Orioles. Sunday is Father's Day fedora hat. Tickets are available here starting at $15.

3. Cheer on the USWNT. The red white and blue take on Chile on Sunday at noon. Need a place to watch? We got you covered.

4. The Washington Valor welcome league-leading Empire. Welcome might be the wrong word there. But the Valor return to Capital One Arena for the first time in nearly a month on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here, starting at $11.

5. The Washington Mystics are looking for revenge against the Seattle Storm. The Storm beat them in a heartbreaking finals series last season. Now, Seattle's missing a few key players in their first matchup against Washington of the season. Tip-off is Friday, 7 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Tickets start at $9.

6. DC JazzFest continues. Four main stages with events on the District and Transit Piers are free. See the entire schedule of events here. 

7. Do some yoga at the Washington Monument. The Embassy of India in partnership with Friends of Yoga is holding an event Sunday morning in celebration of the Fifth International Day of Yoga. More information and registration is here.

8. Check out some of DC's trucks at the 2019 Citywide Truck Touch. Saturday morning at RFK Stadium, a "host of DC government agencies will present and demonstrate nearly 30 vehicles used to clean and repair streets, change traffic lights, collect refuse, clear snow, provide emergency services, administer mobile health care, and more." The best part? According to the Department of Public Works, kids are encouraged to climb onto the trucks and adults can test out some of the equipment. More information here.

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