Around the Water Cooler
In case you were too busy dipping apples in honey or waiting in line to pre-order the iPhone 5, here’s what you missed this past weekend in the world of sports …
HOCKEY—This past Saturday, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHL and its players expired. Without a new deal in place, the league is now officially locked out. Reports indicate that the two sides are still far apart in negotiations, so no one is forecasting a quick end to this work stoppage. As the lockout rolls on, expect some NHL players to seek out other opportunities to play this year, especially in Europe. Evgeni Malkin was the first major pawn to drop, signing with Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) on Sunday. Pavel Datsyuk also reached an agreement on the weekend to play in the KHL with Ak Bars. The reported deals are signed through the 2012-13 season, meaning that even if a new CBA were reached, the two would remain in Russia. Well folks, the dog days have arrived.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—The NCAA football season entered its third week this past weekend, filled with a number of standout games. Top-ranked Alabama opened their Southeastern Conference (SEC) schedule against Arkansas and couldn’t have made it look easier. They defeated the Razorbacks 52-0, removing any doubt that they’re currently the top team in the nation. Things didn’t go as well for Matt Barkley and No.2 ranked USC, who were upset by No.21 Stanford. Barkley, the expected first overall NFL draft pick in this year’s upcoming draft, played particularly poorly, throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns. No.5 ranked crushed Wake Forest 52-0. If that result isn’t impressive enough, the Seminoles have outscored opponents 176-3 through their first three games.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL—Legendary Head Coach Jim Calhoun announced his retirement this past week from his position as the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball coach. Calhoun spent 26 years as the Huskies’ coach, building the program from virtually nothing to a perennial national powerhouse. He won three NCAA titles with the program, and exits men’s college basketball as its sixth-winningest head coach. Former Husky Kevin Ollie takes over for Calhoun, but will be in a tough spot entering his first season as coach. UConn is banned from postseason play for the 2012-13 season because they failed to meet the required score on the Academic Progress Report. Here’s to Ollie pulling a Coach Carter.