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Sunday, February 25, 2018

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US curling team gets stonewalled by Delta despite gold medal

US curling

Not even a gold medal at the Olympics could help the US curling team score an upgrade with the rigid folks at Delta Airlines.

Team USA curling won its first ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics when John Shuster’s team defeated Sweden 10-7 on Saturday in South Korea. Feeling pretty good about their gold medal status and newfound fame, the person running the USA Curling Twitter account decided to shoot their shot with Delta.

The USA Curling account told Delta that they were flying home from the Olympics on Monday and asked for an upgrade.

Delta congratulated them via Twitter, said they were honored to be their ride back home, but shot down the upgrade request.

There shall be no special treatment for anyone! Not even gold medalists!

Perhaps the curling team should have booked their flights through United Airlines, which is the official U.S. sponsor of the Olympics. They might have been more likely to provide the hookup. But as this fellow showed us, it’s never a bad idea to shoot your shot, regardless of how long the odds may seem.

Shareef O’Neal officially decommits from Arizona, reopens recruitment

Shareef O’Neal, the son of basketball icon Shaquille, is backing out of his commitment to the University of Arizona.

O’Neal announced Saturday that, in light of recent events at Arizona, he is reopening his recruitment and assessing other options.

No surprise here. O’Neal, a five-star forward, had hinted shortly after the Sean Miller news broke that he was probably going to back out of Arizona and go elsewhere. No one can blame him for that. It’s doubtful that he’ll be the last to make such a decision.

Report: Arizona would owe Sean Miller $10 million if fired for cause

Sean Miller

It’s safe to say that Arizona coach Sean Miller’s career is in major jeopardy right now, but if this is the end, he’s at least in line to get a big payday.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Miller’s contract with Arizona is structured in such a way that he’ll be owed roughly $10 million of the $12 million left on the deal, even if he is fired for cause.

Considering the activities that Miller allegedly took part in, being fired for cause looks like a very real possibility. On the other hand, the Wildcats may want to see if they can negotiate that figure down.

10 biggest disappointments of the 2018 Winter Olympics

NBC Olympics

Many athletes come to the Olympic Games with very high expectations, both for themselves and from their country. Many of them are world champions in their chosen sport and have been building up for four years just for this moment. One can only imagine, then, the disappointment and heartbreak if things don’t go as planned, be it their own fault or something outside of their control.

Here are 10 big disappointments from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

1) Olympic hockey being determined by shootouts

There is a practical reason why Olympic hockey games — both men’s and women’s — have been settled by so many shootouts. The nature of the tournament — and the small window of time in which the games must be played — makes it impractical to play limitless overtime periods to settle tie games. Still, there’s something somewhat unsatisfying about seeing high-pressure games come down to what is ultimately a skills competition, which is how the American women won their gold medal and how the American men were knocked out of the tournament. It’s hard to suggest an alternative, but it’s just another reason why the Olympic tournaments are vastly inferior to, say, the Stanley Cup Playoffs in terms of quality. At the least, perhaps medal games should not be determined by shootouts.

2) U.S. female figure skaters

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Mikaela Shiffrin: Olympics were a ‘massive success’

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin had some ups-and-downs to her 2018 Winter Olympics, but looking back on things, she views the Games as a “massive success.”

Shiffrin began the Olympics with a gold medal in the giant slalom on Thursday. The following day she competed in the slalom — her best event — and came in fourth, which was a disappointment.

After that, Shiffrin decided to sit out Saturday’s super-G and the downhill on the following Wednesday so she could focus on the combined on Thursday. She won silver in that event.

Initially expected to compete in five events and do well in several of them, Shiffrin had to cut out two events and medaled in two. She’s proud of what she accomplished even if it’s not quite what she was hoping for before the Olympics began.

“Sitting here with you, I can look back and say this was a massive success. I’m pretty over the moon about it,” Shiffrin told NBC’s Mike Tirico in an interview that aired on Friday night in the US.

Shiffrin also said the weather conditions, which pushed several events back on the schedule and ultimately led her to drop out of two events, was the toughest thing for her to deal with.

“That was the most difficult part of this Games for me. The schedule changes, and then having back-to-back races in my two best events, especially with my strongest event being held second. That was maybe the most difficult thing for me. I don’t think I could have done any better (in the slalom).”

Shiffrin finally realized that much of what happened was out of her control, and she’s learned to accept that and be proud of what she was able to accomplish given the circumstances. She now has two golds and a silver in her Olympic career. The two Olympic gold medals tie her for the most ever by an American alpine skier.

Considering what her initial reaction was to her slalom performance last week, she’s come a long way in changing her feelings about things.

Jimmy Butler to undergo MRI after X-rays on knee were negative

Jimmy Butler locker room

Jimmy Butler will undergo an MRI on his right knee, but the positive news so far is that X-rays were negative.

Butler exited Friday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves-Houston Rockets game after injuring his right knee on a non-contact play late in the third quarter.

The Vertical’s Shams Charania reports that the X-rays Butler underwent were negative. Butler is set to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

This was Butler’s first game in over a week as he opted not to play during the All-Star Game.

Report: Jonathan Martin detained after seeking help at hospital

Former NFL offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was reportedly detained after attempting to check himself into a hospital for treatment.

A source close to the situation told A.J. Perez of USA Today Sports that Martin attempted to seek help at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Friday. He was ultimately taken into custody at the hospital after attempting to check in for treatment, hours after making a disturbing social media post that prompted an area high school to close as a precaution.

In his original post, Martin appeared to threaten violence against Harvard-Westlake School, his former high school. This prompted police to take Martin into custody, and a full investigation is ongoing.

Martin seems aware that he needed help, though given the nature of his post, the authorities had little choice but to detain him.

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