Entertainment Music

Lizzo treats ER staff to say thank you

Turns out Lizzo is 100% that generous.The singer treated some of those on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic to a meal.On Monday a verified Twitter account Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit tweeted a thank you to Lizzo for providing lunch for its emergency room staff.

“SURPRISE! @lizzo treated our ER staff at #HenryFordHospital to lunch today and shared a message of thanks to our #HealthcareHeroes on the front lines,” the tweet read. “#Lizzo, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for making our day brighter with your generosity.”The tweet included a video of the “Truth Hurts” singer thanking the hospital workers.”I just wanted to say thank you so much for all that you’re doing during this pandemic,” Lizzo said. “It’s definitely not easy and you guys are putting yourselves on the front line so because of that I wanted to treat y’all to a meal.”And Henry Ford wasn’t the only hospital to benefit.

A tweet from the verified Twitter account for M Health Fairview in Minneapolis, Minnesota, read on Monday “That moment when you’re working the ER and @Lizzo surprises you by sending over some lunch!”Lizzo was born in Detroit and moved to Houston, Texas and Minneapolis later in life.

By Lisa Respers France

Entertainment Music

Nipsey Hussle: Family and friends remember rapper on anniversary of his death

The marathon continues.Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.He was gunned down March 31, 2019, near the clothing store he owned in South Central Los Angeles.Hussle was 33.

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The rapper’s brother, Samiel Asghedom, posted a photo on Instagram Tuesday showing Hussle weeks before he was killed attending the 2019 Grammy Awards with his daughter, Emani.Others tweeted about Hussle, including the NAACP and rapper/producer Termanalogy, with many using the hashtag “The Marathon Continues,” the name of the rapper’s famous 2011 mixtape.

“#RestInPower to the young brother #NipseyHussle,” a tweet from the NAACP’s official Twitter account read. “Your life and legacy of community building will not be forgotten. #TheMarathonContinues.”Frederick Joseph, founder of We Have Stories, a philanthropic organization for creatives from diverse communities, met the artist during an interview and after his death shared on Twitter stories of Hussle’s philanthropy.On Tuesday, Joseph tweeted a tribute to his slain friend.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year,” Joseph wrote. “Thank you for always trying to figure out what we can do for the community. Don’t worry, we are still down here doing the work. RIP NIP. #TheMarathonContinues.”

By Lisa Respers France,


ESPN Moves Up Michael Jordan ‘The Last Dance’ Documentary Release Date

ABC’s and ESPN’s debut of The Last Dance is being moved from June to April 19, ESPN confirmed Tuesday morning

The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand first reported the news Monday night. After the announcement, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press shared the full broadcast schedule for the documentary:

The 10-part Michael Jordan documentary was originally teased in December:

Fans have been clamoring for an early release amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has halted sports globally. LeBron James joined the chorus last week:

As of March 17, The Last Dance was not completed and therefore was not under consideration to have its debut hurried.

“I know some have asked about The Last Dance, and the reality is that the production of that film has not yet been completed, so we are limited there at the moment,” ESPN executive vice president of programming, acquisitions and scheduling Burke Magnus said, per Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune. “Obviously, you can’t air it until it’s done.”



Coronavirus: UEFA Champions League final postponed indefinitely

The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League final has been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak, UEFA announced on Monday.

The final of Europe’s elite club competition had been scheduled for May 30 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

UEFA also announced the postponement of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final and the Europa League final, both originally scheduled for May.

“No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates,” the UEFA statement said. “The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, will analyse the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course.”

Twelve teams remain in this season’s Champions League after only half of the competition’s round-of-16 ties could be completed before UEFA postponed the remaining matches due to the virus outbreak.

Four teams advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals last week, including Atletico Madrid, who beat holders Liverpool across two legs, and Paris Saint-Germain, who overcame Borussia Dortmund. Atalanta advanced past Valencia, while RB Leipzig beat Tottenham.

Four round-of-16 second-leg ties have yet to be played: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, Juventus vs. Lyon, Barcelona vs. Napoli and Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea.

Euro 2020 has been postponed until 2021 after UEFA reached an agreement with key governing bodies last week.



Carlos Vela: LAFC held up Barcelona loan move in 2019

Reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela agreed to join Barcelona early last year, but the move was held up by LAFC wanting to keep hold of their star Mexican forward.

Vela’s potential move to the Catalan side was reported back in January 2019 and the 31-year-old was keen to go.

“Barca set up a scenario of [going there for] four months at that time and I accepted it because it was a very good opportunity,” Vela said in the new edition of GQ Mexico magazine. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘Oh, I want two years, and if not, I’m not going.’

“They said four months and I’d have gone for four [months],” he continued. “But LAFC did not make it easy for me to leave, although it is understandable. In the end, they seek the best for themselves and everyone else does too. I tried, it didn’t come off and there’s no problem because I am more than happy here.”

Vela is no longer playing for the Mexican national team despite his dominant performances in MLS and stated he hasn’t particularly enjoyed the off-field aspects of the game.

“I don’t like the soccer industry and yes, I do like to play,” said Vela. “The truth is I’ve been through a lot and you see that this is a job.

“It’s not like for fans, for whom it is a feeling and a passion,” the Cancun native went on. “As a player, seeing what I see and how they treat and handle us, you end up seeing it in that way [as a job].

“You say: Well if I’m fine, perfect, and if not, I have to know what the best for me is and that’s it. I am not a person who loves to watch games and that doesn’t mean I don’t like soccer. I take advantage to do other things in my free time.”

Vela scored twice over the first two games of the 2020 season and was instrumental in helping LAFC overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to advance past Liga MX’s Club Leon in the round of 16 in the CONCACAF Champions League.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United: Assessing his first year as full-time manager

It says everything about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s roller-coaster year as Manchester United’s full-time manager that the coronavirus crisis has come at a bad time for the Norwegian, just weeks after he was begging for the start of the winter break.

The shutdown has halted a run of 11 games unbeaten in all competitions, including 29 goals scored, two conceded, nine clean sheets, two victories over Manchester City and one against Chelsea. In a statement issued to season ticket holders on Friday, United said “the club fully supports the collective intent to complete the Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA club competitions.” It is because they have much left to play for. But just two months ago that looked unlikely.

At the end of January, Burnley — looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation places — came to Old Trafford and left with a comfortable 2-0 win. It came three days after a chastising, if expected, 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield and contributed to a run of five defeats in 10 games. There have been plenty of times when supporters have wished to “end the season now” — particularly after defeats to West Ham and Newcastle, the draw at home to League One Rochdale and another humiliating afternoon at bottom side Watford in December.

Now, though, a year on from his appointment as permanent boss on March 28 2019, Solskjaer is slowly beginning to win them round. If self-interest plays a part, more than half the league could find reason to argue that this season should be declared null and void. United would not be one of them, even if it did mean effectively petitioning for Liverpool to win the title.

The numbers from Solskjaer’s time in charge at Old Trafford do not really make sense. After taking over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018 as caretaker, he guided United to 14 wins from his first 17 games, only to follow that with a run of just two wins from 12 to end the season. He has masterminded away wins at Manchester City (twice), Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal but has also lost at home to Cardiff, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Crucially, even during low moments, Solskjaer has kept the majority of players onside. David De Gea went through a disastrous run of form at the end of last season, but Solskjaer kept faith. The show of solidarity was a big reason behind the Spain international finally committing his long-term future to the club in September.

By Rob Dawson


Chicago Bears Are NFL Offseason’s Biggest Losers So Far

Timing is of the essence when it comes to NFL free agency and offseason acquisitions. The perception of moves can drastically change based on when something happens. 

The Chicago Bears epitomize how poor timing can wreck an offseason and make their moves look far worse in retrospect.

Even without that added caveat, general manager Ryan Pace’s plan looked suspect from the start since he invested heavily in aging veterans.  

When both factors are taken into consideration, the Bears simply failed at the start of the new league year and had the offseason’s worst overall effort. 

Free agency, like spring, serves as a renewal period. The GM’s job is to properly manage the roster so the most growth can occur during the following season. Certain players are pulled, while others are added. 

Chicago’s execution relied far too heavily on players with significant question marks, while better or comparable alternatives are/were available. 

Everything starts with the team’s mishandling of the quarterback position.

The organization dug its proverbial heels in when it came to Mitchell Trubisky. 

“We believe in him, we believe in the player, we believe in the person, we believe in the trajectory that he’s on,” Pace told reporters last month at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We believe we need to be better around him, and that’s what this time of year is all about. And that’s through things we’re doing with coaches, things we’re doing with scheme, things we’re doing with personnel we’re adding and then his growth as a young player. They all grow at different rates, and it’s just projecting his growth.”

Pace added, “The best teams we’ve been a part of, there’s competition everywhere.”

So, the Bears GM left the door slightly open, and less than a month later, Chicago flipped the 140th overall pick in April’s NFL draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Nick Foles. 

On the surface, the move makes a lot of sense.

Foles is an ideal backup for Trubisky during the 25-year-old’s development. If the 2017 No. 2 overall pick falters or is injured, the Bears have arguably the league’s best quarterback on the bench. Foles proved his worth with the Philadelphia Eagles while playing behind franchise signal-caller Carson Wentz. The 31-year-old has the hardware to show for it too. 

Foles should make a relatively smooth transition since he has a working history with Bears head coach Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. 


Former MLB All-Star Jim Edmonds hospitalized, being tested for coronavirus

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Jim Edmonds has been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms and is being tested for coronavirus.

The four-time All-Star shared his experience Saturday on Instagram, writing: “Held off as long as I could. I thought I was tough enough to get through. This virus is no joke. #gethealthy.”

He has not posted an update on the results of his test.

The Cardinals tweeted: “Thinking of our friend, Jim Edmonds, and hoping he starts feeling better soon!”

Edmonds, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, helped lead the Cardinals to the 2006 World Series title. He played most of his 17-year career with the Los Angeles Angels and the Cardinals.

He currently works as a broadcaster for Fox Sports Midwest.


MLB, players reach deal addressing key issues

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have finalized a deal that addresses both salary and service-time issues, among others, as the entire sport continues to wait out the coronavirus pandemic.

With no start date set for the 2020 season, the two sides had been negotiating for the past couple weeks in an effort to figure out how to handle the potential for a shortened season.

Both MLB and the MLBPA are committed to playing as many regular-season games as possible, leaving open the possibility of the schedule going into October and the postseason being played into November.

No agreements were made regarding the schedule, but given the current uncertainty, the deal leaves enough flexibility for the two sides to work together toward that shared goal. Both MLB and the MLBPA have formed subcommittees to continue discussing any unresolved issues related to the 2020 season.

The Commissioner’s Office will put together a schedule at the appropriate time, then the union will have input before it is finalized. The postseason format could also be altered for 2020, including the prospect of some games being played at neutral sites.

Players will, however, collect prorated service time based on the number of days on the roster or injured list. A regular year of service time is 172 days, so regardless of how many games are played in 2020, a player who is on the roster or IL for the entirety of the season will accrue 172 days of service time.

In the absolute worst-case scenario of a canceled season, players will receive the same service time they did in 2019, which would allow players who are one year or less from free agency — a group that includes Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto — to become free agents next fall no matter what.

All suspensions of 80-or-fewer games will be served in 2020 if games are played. Should the season be canceled, those suspensions would not carry over to 2021.

The union voted to accept the deal Thursday, while the owners voted unanimously Friday to ratify the deal.

All transactions are frozen as of Friday until a date to be determined by both MLB and the union. Roster expansion was not included in the agreement, but the issue will be discussed by the two sides between now and the start of the season.

As part of the agreement, MLB has the right to move the 2020 Draft past its currently scheduled date of June 10, but no later than July 20. The Draft can also be reduced to a minimum of five rounds, though MLB can choose to have anywhere from five to 40 rounds.

MLB will have the right to run a combine for amateur players in both 2020 and 2021 if the league determines it makes sense to do so.

Drafted players will receive no more than $100,000 of their signing bonuses up front, receiving 50 percent of the remainder by July 1, 2021, and the other 50 percent by July 1, 2022. Undrafted players will be able to receive no more than $20,000 as a signing bonus.

Signing bonus values will remain at their 2019 level in both 2020 and 2021, according to terms of the new deal. MLB can also reduce the 2021 Draft to as few as 20 rounds.

As a result of the deal, the start of the international signing period may also be delayed from July 2, 2020, to as late as Jan. 15, 2021, while next year’s international signing period can also be pushed back. Teams will also not be allowed to trade Draft picks or international bonus slots in 2020 or 2021.

Entertainment News

Alex Trebek reciting Lizzo is 100% what we needed right now

We didn’t need a DNA test to know we 100% needed this moment.”Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek recited a Lizzo lyric as a clue to a question on the episode that aired Thursday night. And while his rendition was far from musical, it was still music to our ears.A contestant picked the category “Lyrics of Today” for $1,000. Up came the clue: “Her: New man on the Minnesota Vikings, truth hurts, needed something more exciting, bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay.”Another contestant answered correctly with “Who is Lizzo?”, to which Trebek deadpanned, “Yup — and I did it exactly like she does, didn’t I? Yeah.” And the audience laughed.

They were, of course, the lyrics to Lizzo’s Grammy-winning song, “Truth Hurts.”Having a beloved game show host recite lyrics from the singer who makes us feel body-positive — and fully aware of the humor while doing it — is the perfect kind of feel-good moment these days.It’s not the first time Lizzo has been featured on the show, either. After she was the answer to a question last October, she celebrated on Instagram.”I MADE IT I LOVE YOU ALEX TREBEK,” she wrote.So to quote from another Lizzo song, “Baby how you feelin’?”We’re feeling a lot better now. Thank you, Alex Trebek.

By Melissa Gray