Sports

Monday, March 16, 2020

MLB Season Postponed Due to COVID-19

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 11:43 AM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
Major League Baseball's 2020 season is being indefinitely postponed due to the growing coronavirus pandemic. The MLB statement:

Today Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball.  Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance.

MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead.  The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins.  We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit.  MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

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High School Sports on Hiatus Until at Least March 28

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM

LOGAN BURTCH-BUUS, TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA
  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
As more and more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are announced in Pima County, and the Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction call for the closure of all public schools, high school sports have been put on hold.

Marana Unified led the way, cancelling all athletic competitions through April 6, in addition to a variety of other activities.

“The health and safety of our students, staff and school community is of paramount concern to the Marana Unified School District,” said MUSD Superintendent Dr. Doug Wilson. “We continue our proactive efforts to provide a healthy and positive educational environment in our schools. District leadership is closely monitoring this ever-changing situation. We are consistently analyzing developments and monitoring student and staff absenteeism, and we are committed to taking actions aligned with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pima County Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Arizona Department of Education.”

The district’s announcement, made before Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman’s joint address on Sunday, also including cancellation or evening school events, school-wide assemblies, fundraising, parents’ groups and district-sponsored events.

Marana Unified will reassess its closures in April.

Not long after school closures were announced, Marana High School Athletic Director Sarah Whaley communicated to coaching staff that no athletic practices of any kind will take place.

“As frustrating as it may be for our student athletes, we must follow the guidelines set in front of us and wait for further instruction on when we can continue team lifting, practices, competitions and camps,” Marana High School Football Coach Louie Ramirez wrote in an open letter to his athletes and their parents.

In a Monday release, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board announced that it has not decided to postpone or cancel the spring championship season.

“The governor’s office and the state health department have recommended a two-week suspension of school and activities,” wrote AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky. “If this timeframe holds true, it should hopefully not impact postseason tournaments.”

The association also announced that there will not be any interscholastic competitions until Saturday, March 28. The earliest possible date for the resumption of competition will be Monday, March 30 unless otherwise notified.

“Our first objective is to get students back into the classroom and then have them return to the athletic arenas when appropriate,” Polansky wrote. “As Board members we will work diligently with our constituents to ensure a smooth transition back to school as usual.”

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Tucson Sugar Skulls and Indoor Football League Postpone Season Until Further Notice

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 2:16 PM

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The Tucson Sugar Skulls have announced that all Indoor Football League play has been postponed indefinitely:

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of this weekend’s games in Frisco and Sioux Falls, along with the state of California’s limit on the size of crowds due to the pandemic, the Indoor Football League will be postponing its season until further notice following Saturday night’s games in Oakland and San Diego.

Both games are still scheduled to kick off at 6:05 PT, but will be played with no fans in attendance. Each game will be broadcast live on Youtube.

“This is an unprecedented situation that we are taking very seriously,” said IFL Commissioner Todd Tryon. “We are monitoring this on a constant basis and are working with the local municipalities and arenas in all of our markets. Our goal is to resume play as soon as possible. The health of our players, coaches, staff, fans, and sponsors is of utmost importance to our teams and to the league, and we will not compromise on those values.”

The IFL will continue to evaluate ongoing events and the safety of our players and will rely on the guidance of public health experts and our league’s Board of Directors in determining when to restart the 2020 season.

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March Sadness: NCAA Cancels All Tourney Play; Pac-12 Cancels the Remainder of Tournament Over COVID-19 Fears

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 1:50 PM

The NCAA has canceled March Madness and all other tournament play for the remainder of the season.

Likewise, the Pac-12 Conference released a statement Thursday morning canceling the rest of the men's basketball tournament and all future Pac-12 events until further notice.

Here's the full statement:

The Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to cancel the remainder of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and all Pac-12 sport competitions and Pac-12 Championship events, effective immediately, until further notice. This decision has been made in consultation with our member universities in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, campus personnel, working and event personnel, and all those who attend Pac-12 events.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Tucsonan Makes U.S. Olympic Marathon Team

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 3:12 PM

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Tucsonan Abdi Abdirahman qualified on Saturday, March 1, for the men's 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the 43-year-old's 5th time representing the U.S. at the Olympics. He is the oldest American runner to make the team.

Abdirahman finished third with a time of 2:10:03, just behind Jacob Reily, who finished with 2:10:02. Four-time Olympian Galen Rupp came in first place with a time of 2:09:20. All three will represent the U.S. in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Abdirhman, a native of Somalia, graduated from Tucson High School in 1995 and the University of Arizona in 1999. He became a U.S. citizen in 2000. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Picks of the Dragon: Playoff Predictions

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 12:23 PM

Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon - KELLY RASHKA
  • Kelly Rashka
  • Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon
It was a weekend of voodoo curses and dynasties dying but somehow I managed to get ahead, going 3 out of 4 on the picks. It would appear I forgot that the Saints are cursed in the post-season and Kirk Cousins was really liking it. Otherwise we are on pace for a great post-season sitting at $133 in the bank to work with. Let's see if we can’t wrangle up some winners for the second round and build this bankroll going into championship weekend.

Game 1: Vikings at 49ers (49ers -7)

After an excellent performance in the Wild Card weekend for the Vikings, they are flying out west on a short week to face the fearsome 49ers. 49ers looked unbeatable in the first half of this season, but after some injuries they returned to their expected mean of an 8-win team for the second half, dropping a game against the abysmal Falcons.

The Vikings are looking like a playoff team after last week, with Dalvin Cook at full health and defense playing to their ability. The 49ers could run away with this one but I think that there are some jitters here with it being Shanahan and Garoppolo’s first playoff game. Zimmer is a phenomenal coach and will have his guys ready. This is also right in Cousin’s wheelhouse of a nice daytime game. I’m more than happy to take a touchdown and see how this one plays out.

Bet: Vikings +7 for $25 to win $22.50

Game 2: Titans at Ravens (Ravens -10)

The legend of Tannehill and the phoenix rising from the ashes continued last weekend as the Titans snuffed out any Patriots hopes of a repeat. The real story of the game here is Derrick Henry, who is the 2019 NFL rushing champion. He is a force to reckon with and has really come into his own. Luckily for the Ravens' defense, they have some practice going against elite rushing offenses as they practice against their own. Lamar Jackson is simply the most fun player in the NFL I’ve seen in my lifetime. While I enjoyed the Titans story, I can’t see myself laying money against the Ravens this year. Too explosive, too hard-headed, too much smash-mouth football for a Titans team who’ve had a great story so far but it ends early. I’m not a fan of the 10 points but I see an opportunity teasing this one with the Chiefs game for 7 points to get the spread down to 3.

Bet: See below Chiefs game

Game 3: Texans at Chiefs (Chiefs -9.5)



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Friday, January 3, 2020

Picks of the Dragon: NFL Playoffs Predictions!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 3, 2020 at 3:21 PM

Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon - KELLY RASHKA
  • Kelly Rashka
  • Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon
With a hypothetical $100 and a dream, join Weekly betting guru Tyler Vondrak (aka The Dragon) as he takes his fictional dough and places bets on the big games of the week. This time around, The Dragon places his bets on the NFL playoff picture.

Game 1: Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans (Texans -2.5)

The whole season, bettors have jumped on and off the Buffalo Bill bandwagon. Josh Allen is a stellar sophomore season, and the supporting cast of John Brown and Devin Singletary catered a 10-win season and a slot in the opening weekend of the playoffs. The real star of this team however has been its defense, keeping teams to an average of 16.2 points per game.

Unfortunately for the Bills, they are running into one of the next generation of the NFL’s two greatest players: Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. Playoffs are often decided by experience and Josh Allen just doesn’t have any yet. While the whole country seems to be on Bills bandwagon I’ll fade and go with the short home favorite to pull this one out by more than a field goal.

Pick Texans -2.5 for $20 to win $18

Game 2: Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (Patriots -5)


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Laughing Stock: Punch Lines

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Giving a whole new meaning to punch line

“I feel like, as opposed to LA, everyone in Arizona can actually defend me in a fight,” says comedian Jamie Kilstein. He likes it here. That’s a lucky thing because five months ago he moved here on a whim. “I have actually grown more (here) artistically than in my life in L.A. and New York,” he says.

Not that those great comedy cities treated him badly. He debuted on Conan. He’s been on MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Showtime, The Joe Rogan Experience and BBC America. He launched two podcasts, and he earned a national reputation for smart, edgy political comedy, joking about arcana that actually matters. He’s lately joking about other facts of life, but all the high-speed punches arise from the same energy.

Kilstein performs with fellow cult favorite Ian Harris and Albuquerque up and comer Ron Swallow at 8 p.m. Sunday, December 15 at 191 Toole.

Kilstein and Harris became friends in Los Angeles. “We kind of clicked because we both have political material. Oddly enough, we also train and coach Mixed Martial Arts.

“I think people who fight oftentimes don’t have much of an ego because we get our ass kicked a lot,” he says. “So, the idea of splitting a bill was more exciting to us. I just want to make art with people I like.”

Ian Harris started both fighting and doing impressions at age 6, inspired by the movie, Rocky. “As a kid I’d watch all the boxing matches,” Harris says, “and I would do all the play by plays and the interviews after the fight for my parents. I would be Muhammed Ali being interviewed by Howard Cosell.”
He says his whole family were really funny, so it’s not surprising that he would find jokes everywhere, even in taboo subjects. “I can’t avoid it. Even on accident I talk about religion or politics. Those are the things that interest me. Bur I personally steer away from (drug humor). I don’t do a lot of alcohol or relationships.” Nor do either he or Kilstein do jokes about martial arts.

“I think a lot of my stuff comes from a very nerdy kind of scientific background,” Harris says. “Like ‘Look at these weird beliefs. Conspiracy theories, religion, and why do we believe in these things when the evidence so clearly is the other way.”

Of the show, he says, “It’s going to be nerdy and edgy. I think it’s going to be really fun.” Tickets are $12 and $15 via Rialtotheatre.com. Doors open at 7.

Mega Lineup at Casa Marana

Dave Margolis presents a blockbuster lineup at the December 12 edition of his free semi-monthly Casa de Comedy Show at Casa Marana. Featured are Andrea Salazar, Nick Chant, Dominic DiTolla, Ashley Anna Tappan, Stephanie Lyonga, Monte Benjamin Roxy Merrari and Charles Ludwig. Most have headlined bigger shows in Tucson. Hear Margolis co-hosting the weekly Is This On comedy radio show at 9 p.m. Wednesdays at xerocraft.org/listen.php .

Applause for the Paws!

Sarah Kennedy headlines at The O to benefit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13. A 6:30 cocktail hour features an adoption event to make the day a lucky one for some shelter pets.

Kennedy started performing comedy in 2009 a few blocks from her Albuquerque home. After producing many shows, and sweeping her hometown papers’ Best Comedian awards, she left for the bright lights of NYC.

There, she appeared on the Today Show and MTV, wrote for The Advocate and Reductress and was a finalist in a national, NBC Stand-Up for Diversity competition.

Now back in Albuquerque she’s been a welcome guest on Tucson stages. Also performing are a hometown favorite drag queen, Miss Nature, and Autumn Horvat, creator and host of Comedians Who Aren’t Men. Eli Turner hosts. Tickets are $10 via support.hssaz.org/event/applause-for-paws/e255190.

Free Centenary Retro Game Show!

The longest-running live show in Tucson just keeps growing as its lascivious send-ups of mid-century TV game shows pack trendy Club Congress month after month.

The ensemble’s 100th show, and 8th-year anniversary, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, welcomes back six popular “celebrity guests” from shows gone by to play an anniversary round of The Mismatch Game. The towering and authoritative host Chatty Kathee presides with her sassy executive assistant Swish Marley.

To celebrate, the show is free with a donation to Toys for Tots. Seating is first come, first served, and there will be no splash zone.

The Pirates Who (almost) Stole Christmas

Kids from the audience help improvise the storyline of Elves Gone Bad: A Pirate’s Christmas at 1 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, through December 22. Reservations are $5 at unscrewedtheater.org/events/

The story is that Santa and the missus have retired to Tucson, leaving the North Pole elves unemployed. What with the melting Polar Ice Cap, apparently, an evil pirate captain sails to Santa’s workshop to recruit the elves as pirates. Pirates, of course, steal presents instead of giving them. Mayhem ensues, and only audience members can put things back right, somehow.

We think all the elves and reindeer should move to Tucson, form a union and put Jeff Bezos out of business. How about you?

Lots More Comedy

Friday, Dec. 13: Standup with Keith Carey featuring Matt Holt at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Beefeaters and Improv 501 Showcase at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre (TIM)($5). Improv Blox student showcase at 6 p.m., Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and Freeform Friday at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8). Burlesque with The Manly Manlesque Show: Silent Night, Deadly Night at 10 p.m., Surly Wench Pub ($10 to $20)

Saturday, Dec. 14: Kids improv, F.O.M.P. (Friends of Make Pretends) at 2 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre ($5) Standup with Keith Carey featuring Matt Holt at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with the Ugly Sweater Show and Harold Omega at 7:30 p.m., and The Family of Things and The Dating Scene at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Family-friendly Elves Gone Bad: A Pirate’s Christmas at 1 p.m., Unscrewed Family Hour at 6 p.m., and NBOJU: Uncensored at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy, The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m., The Mint.
Thursday, Dec.19, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Staff Pick

Canceled: Sahba Home and Patio Show

Featuring more than 300 exhibitors come and see what is new in home improvement trends, remodeling and… More

@ Tucson Convention Center March 6-April 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

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