The Seawanhaka Sports Run Down is a weekly roundup of five stories that examine developments in sports news at the local, state, and national, and international level.
By: MADISON MCCARTHY / SPORTS CO-EDITOR
NASCAR Cup Series Kicks Off Season at Coliseum
The NASCAR cup series kicked off the 2022 season with the annual Busch Light Clash, but with an unusual twist this year. Drivers raced on a temporary track built inside of the famous L.A Memorial Coliseum with the goal of exposing the sport to a new west coast market. Over 50,000 fans were in attendance last weekend, with about two-thirds of fans who had never been to a NASCAR event. The track was exactly a quarter-mile long, about the size of a running track, making it the shortest track the sport has raced on in nearly 50 years. NASCAR executives made the bold decision to run the competition with more of an entertainment factor in mind, including a half-time show featuring Ice Cube and performances by team owner, Pitbull. According to Fox, the event pulled in 4.28 million viewers, a 168% increase from the previous year’s Clash.
The race was run exhibition-style; therefore the results have no effect on season point stands. The race style also gave way to a qualifying procedure that left many of the sports stars without a spot in the final event, including series champions Brad Keselowski and Kurt Bush. After an exciting day of wrecked cars and high tempers, Team Penske’s Joey Logano walked away with the win in the historic event.
New Orleans Saints' Kamara Arrested After Pro Bowl
After New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara participated in this years Pro Bowl, catching eight targets for 23 yards, he was arrested shortly after the game. Kamara was arrested on suspicion of battery, resulting in substantial bodily harm according to police documentation. However, the NFL is now facing backlash because the league was informed of the warrant prior to Kamara's appearance in Sunday night's game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the controversy later in the week following the arrest. "Our security team was contacted by the police in Las Vegas just prior to the game saying they would like to meet with Alvin after the game and our team made sure that that happened so our security team did what they were asked to do and accommodated them," Goodell told reporters at the Super Bowl news conference.
Men's Basketball Wins Battle of Brooklyn
In the 47th annual Battle of Brooklyn between LIU and Saint Francis College, the Sharks came out on top with a final score of 74-69. For the second year in a row, Ty Flowers and Eral Penn were named Co-MVPs of the game. Flowers finished the game with 32 points and 12 rebounds while Penn scored 24 points as well as six rebounds. The game consisted of nine lead changes and six tied scores. LIU leads the all-time Battle of Brooklyn Series 27-20 after winning the past two years. The sharks host Bryant on Saturday, February 12 at 2 p.m.
Russian Figure Skater Valieva Tests Positive for Banned Drug
Weeks before the Olympics, 15- year-old Russian skating star Kamila Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned substance, putting into question her team's gold medal and continued participation in the Olympics. Trimetazidine, a heart medication, is often used to boost athletic performance by aiding in prolonged endurance and increasing blood flow. The controversy follows Valieva's gold medal Olympic debut in the team event on Monday.
After being banned after the 2014 Winter Olympics for drug use, Russia formed the Russian Olympic Committee in order to still compete at the games, which is now under fire for the same allegations. During the figure skating event, this week's medal ceremonies were delayed for an ongoing “legal situation." The “legal situation” refers to the World Anti-Doping Agency protection of young athletes who may be too naive or unaware that they have taken a banned substance. The Olympic Committee is expected to make a decision next week as to whether Valieva can continue competing and if the Russian Olympic Committee will keep its gold medal.
Harden Traded to the Sixers
Just hours before the NBA trade deadline the Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers. The deal included Harden and Paul Millsap in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round draft picks. The move came just over a year after the Nets acquired Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving as their “big three”. At the time, the idea of three of the game’s top players on their team seemed like a dream for Nets fans, but the three only shared the court for 16 games together. For the 76ers, the trade ended a saga of controversy surrounding Simmons, who has sat out every game this season and been away from the team due to mental health reasons. It is widely believed that a new environment would enable Simmons to return to action and fans are excited to see the 25-year-old, three-time All Star return to action.