Wednesday was a tough day in the world of sports as many notable names at ESPN lost their jobs and one NFL star disclosed he’s already suffering from memory loss. On the other hand there were positive and happy stories as well such as Jim Harbaugh meeting the Pope and Marshawn Lynch’s return.
ESPN lays off nearly 100 talent and production employees
On Wednesday morning, the day that many at ESPN were dreading arrived. The expected layoffs at the company would begin, claiming upwards of 100 jobs. Over at Awful Announcing, we had a lot of content about the rough day at ESPN.
Here you can find our piece that’s a running list of all former ESPN employees who have acknowledged their firing or whose names have come up.
Here you can find our piece of all the on-air tributes that aired on various ESPN shows such as SportsCenter and Around the Horn and Baseball Tonight in honor of those who were laid off.
Here you can find our piece chronicling various ESPN staffers who weren’t laid off and others throughout the sports media industry who took to Twitter to express their sadness over the layoffs.
And finally, here is our piece about a major move by ESPN to move their ESPNU studio operation from Charlotte to Bristol.
Browns’ offensive tackle Joe Thomas is already suffering from memory loss
Joe Thomas was the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and has played in Cleveland his entire career. The offensive tackle is a 10x pro bowler, 7x first team All-Pro, and 2x second team All-Pro. Thomas hasn’t missed a game during his 10 NFL seasons.
He’s also experiencing memory loss.
“I definitely expect memory loss,” Thomas said. “I’m already seeing memory loss, and maybe that’s just because of my old age, or maybe it’s football. It’s hard to tell, I mean there’s no double-blind studies when it comes to people’s lives.”“You walk to the grocery store and you’re like, ‘Huh, I can’t remember what I needed to get.’ You know, just little stuff like that,” Thomas said.
Jim Harbaugh met Pope Francis. JIM HARBAUGH MET POPE FRANCIS!
Michigan may not be very fond of the Fighting Irish, but on Wednesday’s agenda in Italy, the Wolverines got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the top Catholic there is.
The Michigan Wolverines continued their visit to Rome with one of the coolest highlights of the trip when they met with Pope Francis in Vatican City. They came bearing gifts for the pope as well. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh presented the pope with a customized Michigan football helmet and a pair of Jordans. Harbaugh even took off his Michigan hat for the moment.
@UMichFootball Coach Jim Harbaugh giving #PopeFrancis a little something from Michigan this morning. @CoachJim4UM pic.twitter.com/tTxSwJgZ2T
— Alan Holdren (@AlanHoldren) April 26, 2017
Ahhhhh…?? for his holiness @Pontifex Pope 266 "Non rinunciare ai tuoi sogni di un mondo più giusto" ?? #ForzaBlu ????⛪️ pic.twitter.com/7HdMxPl1Fc
— Michigan Equipment (@HailEquipment) April 21, 2017
Pope John Francis got a pair of @umichbball Jordan 5 PEs! Here's how: https://t.co/0fpwSrY944 pic.twitter.com/0sCwFkM0yi
— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) April 26, 2017
There is no word to describe the inner beauty that shines through the eyes of our Holy Father and his words… "Pray for me" pic.twitter.com/doUpeajuRp
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 26, 2017
Marshawn Lynch is BACK.
The Oakland Raiders are have unlocked Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch’s return to the NFL is finalized, with the Raiders signing the former Pro Bowl running back to a two-year contract.
It's time. pic.twitter.com/sgIQgZlkVM
— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) April 26, 2017
Lynch will reportedly earn $3 million in 2017, with an incentive bonus of $2 million if he gains 1,000 rushing yards. As reported by NFL Network, the max value of the contract comes out to $8.5 million.
Adding Lynch to the offense to go with MVP-caliber quarterback Derek Carr could help the Raiders get over the last hurdle to being a legitimate contender in the AFC.
After his signing became official, Lynch decided to wear his helmet home.
Behind the scenes: @MoneyLynch comes home. pic.twitter.com/IP8PYK3ImL
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) April 26, 2017
– Former University of Michigan tight end and top NFL Draft prospect Jake Butt was the Butt of a joke and is now the player half of possibly the best player-company endorsement in sports history.
Have you seen the #CharminDumpTruck driving through? We've got a special destination for a butt-load of TP pic.twitter.com/ek9zBDF9wn
— Charmin (@Charmin) April 25, 2017
Maybe the best endorsement deal ever! @JBooty_88 signing with @Charmin right before then #NFLDraft @UMichFootball @wsyx6 @B1Gfootball pic.twitter.com/Uwt8mQj7E1
— Chetan Rakieten (@chetanrakieten) April 26, 2017
Draft prospect Jake Butt just got a special delivery. pic.twitter.com/FyDXRF755d
— 97.1 The Fan (@971thefan) April 26, 2017
– Predators rookie Kevin Fiala was carted off the ice in game one of the Western Conference semifinals against the St. Louis Blues after a brutal collision with the boards.
Luckily, good news came shortly after he got to the hospital.
Update: Fiala is going to a local hospital for further evaluation. He is alert and in stable condition. #STLvsNSH
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 27, 2017
– Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue is hosting a Raptors-Bucks watch party with… 1,800 wings.
Tyronn Lue having 60 or 70 people from organization at his house tomorrow. 1,800 wings part of menu. #Cavs pic.twitter.com/RV4VAOJ7oB
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) April 26, 2017
– Heineken did what Pepsi couldn’t, release an ad that successfully and positively address political differences.
– Khloe Kardashian is being sued by someone for sharing a picture of Khloe Kardashian.
When Khloe Kardashian came across a photo of herself online, she decided to share it with her Instagram followers. That simple action has landed her in a legal battle with the person who took the photo.
– Our own Adam Patrick took the time to rank the best names in this year’s NFL Draft class.
– Hamidou Diallo might never play a minute for Kentucky and John Calipari is probably fine with that.
“With the information that will be available to Hami and the feedback he will receive by going through this process, I fully support his decision,” Calipari said. “It’s in Hami’s best interests to evaluate if now is his time or if he would be better served returning to school. Whatever Hami ultimately chooses to do, you’re talking about an athletic guard with great ball skills, an unbelievable finisher and a terrific defender. He’s gotten so much better in his four months with us and he’s only going to continue to get better.”
– Our own Andrew Coppens posed the following question: Is it time to say goodbye to the college football spring game? Money says no.
“After slogging through 14 spring games across the Big Ten and plenty more outside that footprint, one thing has become crystal clear to me: These “games” are doing a disservice to everyone involved. I’m well aware that every school puts different emphasis on the spring game and spring practice in general. Situations off the field, injuries and coaching philosophy largely dictate what a specific spring game or camp looks like. But there has been a growing trend towards irrelevance of the spring game on the field over the past three or four years.”
– The 2017 NFL Draft is slated to begin in Philadelphia on Thursday night and it’ll feature the famous Rocky steps.
– The Pittsburgh Pirates made history this week by calling up Gift Ngoepe, the first African born player ever.
#Pirates’ Ngoepe will be not only first major leaguer born in South Africa, but also first from entire African continent, per @adamdberry.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 26, 2017
– Burnley midfielder Joey Barton was suspended 18 MONTHS for gambling on soccer matches and even against his own team!
One Joey Barton bet: £600 on his Manchester City side to beat Fulham in '06. Fulham hadn't won away all season (17 games)…and then won 2-1
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) April 26, 2017
– Apparently Serena Williams accidentally let the world know she was pregnant by pressing the wrong button on Snapchat.
Serena's snap suggests that she won the Australian Open without dropping a set while pregnant. pic.twitter.com/ltPndJRJBq
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) April 19, 2017
“I was on vacation, taking time for myself, and I have this thing where I’ve been checking my status and taking a picture every week,” she says. “I’ve been just saving it, but you know how social media is — you press the wrong button and…” Williams shrugs. “My phone doesn’t ring that much, and thirty minutes later, I’d missed four calls. So I picked it up and realized, ‘Oh no.’”
– Our own Brad Gagnon re-mocked the 2016 NFL Draft. Unsurprisingly, Jared Goff wasn’t the quarterback Brad said the Los Angeles Rams would’ve drafted first overall.
A Random “The Office” Video:
Wednesday was National Pretzel Day. I repeat, Wednesday was National Pretzel Day.
One Last Glorious Moment of Procrastination:
Bonus The Office! Here are some glorious Stanley moments in honor of National Pretzel Day.