Ever win a big lottery prize? Me neither, but some people are just born to win. Like Bobby Johnson of Virginia.

Johnson cracked a $100,000 jackpot in the EZ Match game run by the Virginia Lottery in March 2020, which is great for him but he did it again late last month, winning another $100,000 in the same game. Here’s the catch: he won both times using the same numbers. The odds are already big for anyone to win that much in a lottery but to have those exact same numbers come up twice? I’m good at math but not that good. For future reference, Johnson’s numbers are 1-2-20-25-27. Pray for me, gang. Anyway:

I smell a windfall

The Cleveland Indians will be no more as of the end of the 2021 season. They will be known as the Cleveland Guardians after the team announced the name change earlier this month. Great, right? Sure … but there’s one catch.

While the team thinks it will be calling itself the Guardians, the crack staff doing the research must not have known/bothered to find out that there is a sports outfit in Cleveland which already goes by the Guardians. A men’s flat-track roller derby team calls itself by that moniker and this was pointed out almost immediately following the announcement.

Problem? Yes. Opportunity? Absolutely. You see, if the roller derby outfit plays its cards right, hires the right people and has a keen eye for its financial future, it could potentially score a huge pay day from the baseball team. And don’t think someone within the Guardians roller derby team hasn’t already thought about that while counting the Benjamin Franklins. How much is enough? Whatever the roller derby outfit thinks is enough. It’s all about how bad the baseball team wants the name and the rights that go with it.

The Guardians should play hardball with the wanna-be Guardians. Their future arena will thank the ball team for it.

It’s just a photo

Being in sports – or, as some in this newsroom like to remind me, the “toy department” – one of the things I always try to get is an amazing action shot. Something real sexy-like that makes you look twice. Just not mixed-martial arts, right, James Williams? Ask him about it one day.

Anyway, the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka didn’t like a photo posted by the Reuters News Agency on July 27 which showed one of its Olympic weightlifters in an “unflattering” light – “ugly” was the word the embassy used. It was of Zhihui Hou, who competed in the women’s 49-kg category in Tokyo and who won gold. You know what the photo looks like? It’s of Hou grimacing and bulging out as she lifts the bar. That’s it. Not like she popped out of her singlet anywhere or had an unfortunate mishap, like watching her forearm snap in half while frozen in time, or anything like that. Just Hou grinding out a snatch lift.

I wonder why they got so upset? Have a look at the photo and see if you can find it. Let me know because I’m genuinely puzzled.

And finally …

Good Idea: Not biting your opponent in a boxing match.

Bad Idea: Biting your opponent in a boxing match.

Yes, we have another instance of a poor man’s Mike Tyson. This time, it was in the Olympic men’s boxing tournament.

We take you to Tokyo for a heavyweight contest between David Nyika of New Zealand and Youness Baalla of Morocco. Nyika was well ahead on points and was on his way to winning the contest but Baalla decided to leave his mark on the festival au emptiness. Baalla opened up wide and went all Tyson/Holyfield, trying to gnaw off Nyika’s right ear. He didn’t exactly try to hide it, either. He wound up and just gave ‘er.

Baalla was disqualified (shockingly, I know) for what officials determined an “intolerable action.” Sure, I’ll buy that reasoning but those same officials could have simply said cannibalism is strongly frowned upon during times of COVID-19 and we take the situation very seriously and we’ll engage with stakeholders on this very important matter and we would like to have that conversation and re-imagine what Olympic boxing would look like if we work toward a future where defunded manoeuvres of an oral nature could never happen again.

Imagine if Nyika catches the Covid because of this? At least he can still hear.

Until next time, folks …

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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