The Sports Desk’s summer breakdown

RV sports may have just started, but there were a number of sporting events and stories that took shape over the summer
The Sports Desks summer breakdown
The World Cup trophy, taken in 2019 (Francisco Seco/AP via NPR)
Womens World Cup electrifies sporting world

By Adrienne Austin, Sports Editor, and Autumn Austin, Staff Writer


Step aside men, this summer was the woman’s chance to battle it out on the field for a chance at winning the coveted first place trophy, and to make their countries proud at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Racking up millions of viewers worldwide, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup took over headlines covering not just major upsets and shocking results, but also controversies, with many questioning the role of many coaching staffs.  

The tournament took place from July 20 to August 20. For the first time, the tournament was co-hosted by two countries, Australia and New Zealand. 

The competition started in the Group Stage, where the top two teams in each of the 8 previously assigned groups of four advance to the next stage. Notable teams that did not make it out at this stage were Brazil and Argentina. This shocked many, considering that Argentina’s men’s team won the world cup, and Brazil alum Marta Vieira da Silva has the record for most scored goals in the tournament, mens and womens. 

Next stage is the “Round of 16”, where the U.S., the reigning champs, fell surprisingly early after losing to penalty kicks (5-4), against Sweden. 

 ‘“The penalties were tough. It’s just emotional because it’s probably my last game ever. It’s just tough. It’s an emotional time. It obviously sucks. Penalties are the worst” ’  midfield Julie Ertz told CNN. After playing on the USWNT for 10 years, Ertz announced her retirement not too long after the devastating loss.

Not too long after, the USA’s head Coach, Vlatko Andonovski, resigned. Though many speculated that this was a forced resignation due to the team’s recent loss.

This forces the team to quickly find new management before the 2024 Paris Olympics. Despite the loss, Andonvski expressed his love for the team. ‘“While we are all disappointed by the outcome at this year’s World Cup, I am immensely proud of the progress this team has made, the support they’ve shown for each other, and the inspiration they’ve provided for players around the world” ’ said Andonvski

The final game of the tournament took place on August 20 at Stadium Australia, in Sydney Australia. The match was between Spain and England. Spain won 1-0 at a goal scored by Olga Carmona at the 29-minute mark. 

Both teams worked extremely hard but with Spain’s possession based formation and amazing defenders they were able to hold the 1-0 lead. While England was notably disappointed, both teams made history by having competed in the first world cup finals for their countries. 

England even got significant attention from Prince William through X (formally known as Twitter) saying, “Although it is the result none of us wanted, Lionesses you have done yourselves and this nation proud. Your spirit & drive have inspired so many people and paved the way for generations to come, Thank you for the footballing memories. Congratulations to Spain “.

As Prince William shows his support for the girls win or lose, Spanish Soccer Federation president Luis Rubiales hasn’t been as considerate to his players welfare. 

Rubiales has been getting backlash from non-consensually kissing player Jenni Hermoso as a celebration when being awarded for their World Cup win. Many players and coaches took to Hermoso’s side, with ten coaches going to such lengths as quitting their job when Rubiales refused to take responsibility for his actions. 

Hermoso took to social media saying, “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part, simply put I was not respected”.

Even while Hermoso states this act was against her will Rubiales continues to justify his actions and refuses to resign by declaring the kiss was purely consensual and claiming he is a victim of “false feminism.”

Throughout this whole controversy, the RFEF (Royal Spanish Soccer Federation) issued an official statement, saying “The RFEF announces that, this morning, it has received the notification from FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee regarding the provisional suspension of Mr. President, Luis Rubiales Béjar, while the disciplinary proceedings are being conducted.” The statement continues by adding, “Luis Rubiales has stated that he will defend himself legally in the competent bodies, placing full trust in FIFA’s processes. He reiterates that this approach provides him the opportunity to initiate his defense in order to uphold the truth and demonstrate his complete innocence.”

Despite the controversies, the 2023 Women’s World cup grossed millions of worldwide views and supporters, and despite the ups and downs, there is still much more to come next summer with the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will highlight more of these powerhouse teams.

Iggles to the Super Bowl or bust

By Sherm, Benevolent Overlord


In August, both Fox Sports and ESPN listed the Eagles as the second best team in the NFL. They also listed the Kansas City Chiefs as the top team to beat on the road to the Super Bowl.

And ya know what? I think they’re right — about the Eagles, because after Thursday night, I’m not so sure about the Chiefs.

The Birds are favored to be the team to beat among many sports news outlets, and Jalen Hurts is one of the most drafted QBs on fantasy teams (along with WRs DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown and the entire defensive line). The addition of the “Philly Dawg Five” from Georgia over the last two years (Michael Clay, Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith, Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo) will make the defense and special teams will be forces to be reckoned with.

Full disclaimer: I did start writing this before the Eagles-Patriots game last night, and I am finishing now after the game. The game highlighted the fact that we are certainly not perfect and have some things to work on — namely our pass rush and our pass coverage. The Patriots had way too many opportunities, even after big plays by Darius Slay and the D-line in the first quarter.

A couple things, however, are clear. One: Jalen Hurts is a true leader who can recognize when he makes mistakes and grow from them. On the field, he has a commanding presence, and great decision-making. Even though he had a lot of pressure on him last night, he was able to scramble a number of times and knew when to slide. Off the field, he’s a locker-room leader, and still makes headlines from his all-female management team and major contract from last spring.

This could be a pivitol year, however, for our offensive line. Frontmen Lane Johnson and Philly-favorite Jason Kelce are getting up there, and it’s clear retirement is on their minds at this point in their careers. Vet players like Jordan Mailata and Cam Jurgens will have more pressure to perform. I have a lot of faith in our WRs, particularly Brown, Smith and Quez Watkins, are fast and healthy, and will give defenses headaches. I was also super impressed with our run game last night. RB Kenneth Gainwell held onto the ball despite rainy conditions, and while 54 rushing yards may not be amazing objectively, it took some of the pressure off Hurts, and he even racked up a couple receiving yards from short passes. The days of the work house running back seem to be going out of style, as football is becoming more and more of a quarterback game, but it was nice to see a solid mix of pass and rush last night, especially in tough weather conditions.

Overall, I am humbled by last night’s performance, and we have a short week ahead with the home opener on Thursday against the Vikings, who are always a tough go. But I maintain my hope and faith that the Birds will climb their way to the top playoff seed in the NFC and will have a solid shot at the Lombardi this winter.

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