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  • 🌭 Dog Days of Summer are Approaching - McCaffrey Lands Madden Cover and Finals Heat Up Tonight

🌭 Dog Days of Summer are Approaching - McCaffrey Lands Madden Cover and Finals Heat Up Tonight

From Joey Chestnut's Hot Dog Ban to NBA Finals Showdown and More: Catch Up on the Latest Sports News and Highlights

Good Morning Blitzers 👋 

You know the dog days of summer are approaching when one of the top headlines is as ironic as today, but we must(ard) and relish the moment. “The Finals” are nearing their crescendo this week - and Christian McCaffrey scores Madden 25 cover. Plus, an early look at ranking the field in Pinehurst, North Carolina, for this year’s US Open, which is set to tee off tomorrow. We’ve also sprinkled some Michael Jordan throughout today’s letter - for good measure. Let’s roll.

WTF Stat Of The Day: Michael Jordan is the only player in NBA history to win the scoring title, the NBA MVP award, and the NBA Finals MVP award in the same season—an astonishing feat he achieved four times (1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998).

Written By: TorchPro and Jeff Yonder

🏀 NBA Finals: Porzingis is probable for Game 3. Celtics’ center Kristaps Porzingis has a rare tendon issue in his left calf that was suffered in Game 2. That diagnosis has him day-to-day, but he’s still expected to be available for Game 3 tonight in Dallas. (CBS Sports)

🏒 Stanley Cup Finals: Oilers’ star Leon Draisaitl delivered a high hit on Aleksander Barkov in Game 2 Monday night. The NHL reviewed the play and decided not to fine or suspend Draisaitl, which would have been a massive blow to Edmonton’s Cup chances. The series returns on Thursday. (Yahoo Sports)

Joey Chestnut stretching his mouth | Source: USA Today

The Dog Days of Summer 🌭 - Joey Chestnut ‘Gutted’ After Receiving Ban From July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest Because of Deal With Rival Brand

 A real gut-punch for Joey Jaws! Everyone’s favorite hot dog-eating champion was hit with a bizarre ban for the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 in Coney Island. Joey Chestnut is the 16-time event champion over the past 17 years, and he’s world-famous for his hot dog eating record (76) set back in 2021. Chestnut was banned by MLE (Major League Eating) yesterday because of his marketing deal with a rival hot dog brand, Impossible Foods. They’re a food company that makes plant-based, vegan hot dogs and a competitor to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

 “It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ‘I’m going to represent Adidas, too.” — MLE Organizer George Shea.

 Take it easy, George. While that analogy might make you laugh your buns off, Chestnut took to Twitter/X to say he was “gutted” by the news. But we have to assume Joey has a pretty strong gut at this point. He’ll be back.

 “Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!” — Joey Chestnut.

NFL - McCaffrey → Madden 25 Cover 🎮️ 

Source: EA Sports Madden25

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey Becomes 1st Running Back in a Decade to Earn Madden Cover Honor

Running backs are making a comeback! Over the past few years, we’ve published many stories about the ‘Death of the Running Back,’ but Run CMC is reviving the position. After his record-setting contract extension last week, 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is now the new cover athlete of EA Sports’ popular Madden 25 video game. He’s the first running back to grace the game’s cover since 2014 (Adrian Peterson) and the first 49ers player ever.

“Lifelong Dream Come True! 🙏 “ - Christian McCaffrey

Madden Curse Lifted?

Much has been about the ‘Madden Curse’ dating back to the early 2000s — a notion that players who earned the cover spotlight got injured or declined soon after — but it hasn’t held up since roughly 2020. Michael Vick, Vince Young, Odell Beckham Jr., and Antonio Brown were some of the main culprits. The past four editions have featured Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, and Josh Allen. Here’s to nothing but good vibes for CMC in ‘25.

⛳️ Ranking the U.S. Open Field - Of course, it starts with Scottie Scheffler, but who else is primed to win this year’s US Open at Pinehurst #2? The next major challenge is waiting, and one look at the field shows which players have the suitable game to benefit at historic Pinehurst. (CBS Sports)

OF NOTE: The field will not have to contend with Jon Rahm either, as he withdraws from the U.S. Open due to a foot injury.

🏀 Women’s Team USA Basketball Roster - After much speculation about who wasn’t invited, the Team USA Women’s Basketball roster was revealed yesterday. Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson, and Breanna Stewart headline the list of veterans heading to Paris next month. (Yahoo! Sports)

🏀 Laker Rejections: Is LeBron Next? - UConn head coach Dan Hurley made a judgment call on the Lakers’ future. It might be hard for LeBron James not to do the same. A critical stretch for L.A.’s front office lies ahead, and their new head coach will know he wasn’t the first choice. (The Ringer)

⚾️ MLB

🏀 WNBA

⚽️ Soccer

International Soccer Break

During the famous "Flu Game" in the 1997 NBA Finals, how many points did Michael Jordan score to lead the Chicago Bulls to victory over the Utah Jazz?

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On June 12th, 1991, The Chicago Bulls clinched their first NBA Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This victory began the Bulls' first of three consecutive titles. In his first NBA Finals appearance, Michael Jordan was named the Finals MVP. Over his illustrious career, Jordan would go on to receive a total of six NBA Finals MVP awards.

🏀 NBA Finals

  • Gm 3: Celtics at Mavericks (8:30 pm ET, ABC)

  • BOS Leads Series (2-0)

⚾️ MLB

  • Guardians at Reds (7:10 pm ET, ESPN+)

  • Phillies at Red Sox (7:10 pm ET, NESN)

  • Rangers at Dodgers (10:10 pm ET, MLBTV)

⚽️ Soccer (Friendly)

  •  🇺🇸 USMNT vs. 🇧🇷 Brazil (7:00 pm ET, TNT)

🏀 WNBA

  • Sun at Sky (8:00 pm ET, WNBA LP)

Trivia Time Answer

C.  38. In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan battled flu-like symptoms but still scored 38 points, leading the Chicago Bulls to a crucial 90-88 victory over the Utah Jazz. This iconic performance, the "Flu Game," is one of the most memorable moments in NBA history, showcasing Jordan's determination and resilience. His effort played a pivotal role in the Bulls securing their fifth championship.