Across The Pond with Mac White

YET another month of sports have passed for University of Leeds students. Are you feeling the need to impress your extended family with some knowledge at the dinner table this holiday season? The Gryphon has you covered; here’s the North American sports round up! 

But first, a brief recap of some of the topics mentioned in last month’s article.

In the MLB, the Kansas City Royals won their first World Series title in 29 years, defeating the New York Mets in five games. The two teams will renew hostilities next April when they become the first ever World Series opponents to meet on Opening Day.

In the NHL, 18-year-old phenomenon Connor McDavid has been sidelined since 3 November with a broken left clavicle. Playing against players who are twice his age McDavid is looked at as ice hockey’s next star. He’s expected to be out for up four months.

Finally, while there were six undefeated teams in the NFL a month ago, but only one remains without a loss. Led by their brazen and superbly talented quarterback Cam Newton, the 11-0 Carolina Panthers have shocked the rest of the league and don’t appear to be slowing down.  However, the Panthers’ undefeated streak is minuscule compared to the run that the Golden State Warriors have been on. The Warriors, last year’s National Basketball League (NBA) champions, are currently 19-0, which is the longest winning streak to begin a season.

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 20:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after running for a first down during their game against the St. Louis Rams at Bank of America Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Image: Huffington Post

Led by guard and last year’s league MVP Steph Curry’s 31 points-per-game, the Warriors have utterly dominated opponents. Their excellent passing and clutch shooting has often made a mockery of their competition.  They do have a long way to go before setting the all-time NBA win streak record of 33, which at the current rate would be broken on 4 January. If any team is to challenge the 71-72 Los Angeles Lakers, a team with four Hall of Famers, it looks to be this year’s Warriors. They are that good.

On the other end of the basketball spectrum is the Philadelphia 76ers. The rebuilding 76ers began their season 0-18. Going back to last season, Philadelphia had lost 28 straight games, an NBA record.  However, on 1 December, Philadelphia finally won their first game of the 15-16 season. The victory came against a Lakers squad also struggling mightily in the early goings.

Aging Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant had announced before the game that he’d be retiring at the end of the year. The thirty-seven-year-old is a five-time NBA champion and 17-time All-Star who is a slam-dunk pick to be in the Hall of Fame.  Peyton Manning is another aging star that hasn’t seen his typical success this season. On 15 November, against the Kansas City Chiefs, the quarterback Manning became the NFL’s career passing-yards leader, surpassing Brett Favre’s 71,838.

Image: Isports web

Despite his record-setting day, Manning completed only five of 20 passes and had four throws intercepted by the defence. He was pulled from the game in the second half and hasn’t seen any game action since. The 39-year-old is a five-time NFL MVP and 14-time Pro Bowl selection who also has the record for most touchdown passes thrown at 539. He is owed $19 million in salary next year.

Finally, the MLB off-season has concluded, leaving teams scrambling to fill up their rosters with what they believe to be the missing pieces. The baseball free agent market is renowned for its massive contracts.

Recently, former Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann signed a five-year $110 million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers. However, this is not even the biggest contract signed this past week.

On 1 December, the Boston Red Sox inked pitcher David Price to a seven-year $217 million dollar deal. To put the deal into perspective, Price will make $84,931.50 a day, every day for the next seven years, an amount that is more than twice the yearly American minimum wage salary.  According to’s Jerry Crasnick, another free agent pitcher, Zack Greinke, is said to be looking for a five to six-year deal where the average yearly salary would be above Price’s. This would equate to around $32 million a year.

So there you have it, a cheat-sheet on the wide spectrum of the overseas sporting world guaranteed to astonish anyone this holiday. Who says school never teaches you anything? See you in 2016!

Mac White 

Featured image: Getty Images 

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