The Titanic Survivor Who Refused Amputation And Became A Tennis Champion

Richard “Dick” Norris Williams II has washed off the deck of the HMS Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912 – he was just 21 years old at the time and the boat was doomed. Falling into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, he spent several hours submerged below the waist in the freezing waters before being rescued by a lifeboat. The frostbite on his legs was extreme, so bad that when he came face to face with a doctor they wanted to amputate his legs nearly immediately.

nyt.com

Williams would have none of it and said that he liked his legs a lot, so he would prefer to keep them. Thank god that he did because he went on to make great use of them during his Tennis career. Born in Geneva in 1891 to American parents, Williams had a very privileged upbringing studying at some of the best Swiss boarding schools and later on in life studying at Harvard. As a result, growing up he had always been playing tennis, especially, as father was an accomplished tennis player in his own right.

They were both on the Titanic as first-class passengers as they were sailing to America to take part in a tennis tournament. When the boat started sinking and taking on water, they both had no intention of leaving the ship so went to the gym to stay warm. Eventually, they were thrown from the Titanic – it is thought his father died when crushed by a collapsed funnel. Williams himself was hurled into the air luckily far enough from the suction zone was able to swim back up to the surface. He recounts finding a collapsible boat half floating and clutching onto it with about thirty other people. When another lifeboat picked them up only eleven people had survived, the rest died from the cold.

Later he found himself on the HMS Carpathia where he was told he should let the ship’s doctor amputate his legs. He refused to let his tennis career be cut short and declined the doctor’s advice, instead, he did everything he could to get the blood flow going again. This was a big potential risk for his life, but he just kept hobbling around until he fell asleep. Even then he forced himself up every two hours and would keep walking around. This tactic proved successful and he just kept ramping up his activity until he finally regained full movement of his legs.

Within one year, Williams became the intercollegiate tennis champion in singles and then won the U.S. Championships in 1914 and 1915. What a comeback.

Aaron Rodgers And Uncertain Future With Packers

After helplessly watching his team of 15 seasons draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft instead of a wide receiver, quarterback Aaron Rodgers began to express doubt about his future with the Green Bay Packers.

bleacherreport.com

Rodgers has long expressed his desire to finish his career with the Packers, but that desire became all the more difficult when the Packers not only selected but traded up for Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. That’s what makes this move puzzling. The Packers, who were one game away from being in the Super Bowl, opted to select a player who isn’t immediately helping contend, but rather someone who is a piece for the future. With a plethora of talent at the receiver position in this draft, the Packers didn’t draft a single one.

When Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005, Brett Favre was 36 years old and showing the normal signs of progression. The similarity here is uncanny, as the 36-year-old Rodgers has also shown his age during the past few seasons, as injuries and lack of a consistent long-ball are evident.

Then again, Rodgers did sit behind Favre for three seasons as his backup before taking the helm. If Rodgers can work with Love and develop him for when Rodgers is ready to move on from the Packers or football altogether, then all parties win in this situation.

Rodgers is still under contract for four more seasons after signing a $134 million contract in 2018. Being one of the most gifted throwers of the football, Rodgers is still a hot commodity and the Packers would have no trouble finding a trade partner if relationships continue to sour.

Rodgers has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns the past two seasons, proving he still has the capabilities to be an effective quarterback and lead a team.

Durant Won’t Return This Season

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant won’t return to the court this season, even if the NBA waits until mid-summer to resume play.

essentiallysports.com

Since his Achilles injury in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Durant left the Golden State Warriors and joined the Nets with guard Kyrie Irving. The two friends were in long-talks to play together, with many rumors tracing their coming together to the New York Knicks. Instead, the two went across town and chose to play in Barclays Center instead of Madison Square Garden.

The dysfunction of the Knicks the past two decades impacted that decision, as it has impacted every major free agent decision for the Knicks.

By the time Durant suits up for the Nets, he will be 32, owed three years of a max contract and fresh off an Achilles injury that normally ends careers. But, with Durant’s style of play, there is optimism that he will return and be the same MVP-caliber player as before.

The Nets, who have endured a less-than-satisfying season (seems to be a trend with Irving-led teams), are looking forward to next season, when a healthy Durant and Irving can finally share the court together.

The ultimate element working against Durant and Irving are on-court chemistry, which is what the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors (has no one mentioned how incredible the Raptors look without Kawhi Leonard? This is a serious NBA Finals contender) and Boston Celtics all have together. Before the Nets make the NBA Finals, they will have to overcome those teams.

Durant has shown that winning doesn’t solve everything. Even as the NBA Finals MVP for the Warriors’ teams that won back-to-back titles, Durant was never content with the situation and wanted more. Playing alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson was too much for him. And if that’s the case, how is Irving going to make that transition any easier?

Quincy Enunwa Out For 2020 Season

The New York Jets wide receiver, Quincy Enunwa, will miss the entirety of the 2020-2021 NFL season after a neck injury he sustained in the 2019-2020 NFL season, which limited the young receiver to only one game.

nydailynews.com

After his second season in the league, where he caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns, Enunwa injured his neck and had surgery to repair, forcing him the miss the entire 2017 NFL season. He rebounded with 449 receiving yards and one touchdown in newly drafted quarterback Sam Darnold’s rookie season. The bounce back season earned him a four-year, $33.4 million contract extension with the Jets, as the team attempted to surround Darnold with talented skill players.

In his one game of 2019, Enunwa caught only one pass before being ruled out with a neck injury. Now his career is in jeopardy, and the promising receiver may be forced into retirement due to the circumstances. Enunwa has played only one game on his $33.4 million contract.

The Jets, who didn’t trade up in the draft to select one of the many promising receivers, are also without receiver Josh Bellamy for the entire 2020-2021 season with a shoulder injury. Breshad Perriman and Josh Doctson are now the two main receivers for the Jets; an organization who has only two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the past decade, both of which being in 2015 with Brandon Marshall (1,502) and Eric Decker (1,027).

Drafting Enunwa in the sixth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jets thought they found a diamond in the rough, as Enunwa quickly became a glue-piece for the team. The franchise will need to put more talent around Darnold if they wish to succeed, and only signing a 17-year veteran as backup running back isn’t the answer.

Frank Gore Signs With Jets

The New York Jets are signing running back Frank Gore to a one-year contract for the 36-year-old running back to play in his 17th season.

nytimes.com

The signing allows for more depth for the Jets, who have Le’Veon Bell in the backfield and under contract. Surprisingly, the Jets didn’t move up in the draft to select one of the many talented receivers. If the Jets could’ve traded Bell, who is a running back who continues to age and eat up cap space, to trade up and give Sam Darnold some much needed help, the Jets could be a legitimate contender in the AFC East.

But now here they are, signing Gore instead of useful receivers.

Last season with the Buffalo Bills, Gore rushed for 599 yards (the lowest of his career) and two touchdowns, while ceasing carries to rookie Devin Singletary. Being with Gore helped Singletary. The two trained together and Singletary was one of the premier rookies in the league. Gore has become a journeyman in the NFL, now on his fourth team since leaving the San Francisco 49ers after the 2014 season.

Gore trails only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton in career rushing yards, finishing last season with 15,347 career rushing yards. Gore has added 79 rushing touchdowns and 18 receiving touchdowns over the course of his career.

His career has been somewhat on an outlier. With him being the third all-time in career rushing yards, spectators would assume that Gore is one of the all-time great running backs, but a further deep dive at his career would show that Gore was routinely not a top-five running back in the league at any point in his career. 2006, Gore’s sophomore season, was his best season when he rushed for 1,695 yards.

Gore has a worthy career, but his Hall of Fame case will be an interesting argument.

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020-2021 Season

In the midst of the COVID-19 fears, the NFL has canceled all five scheduled international games ahead of the 2020-2021 season.

pitchcare.com

With the NFL releasing the full 17-game regular-season schedule this week, it was previously announced that four games would be played in London and one in Mexico City. The Jacksonville Jaguars were set to host two of the games in London at Wembley Stadium. The other two London games would be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Mexico City game was scheduled to be played at Estadio Azteca.

As the fears about COVID-19 continue to ensue, international traveling for teams is impossible.

The league is set to tell teams about the change in schedule early this week.

The NFL season is in jeopardy of starting, especially if teams are unable to compete in training camps and practices. The Miami Dolphins have devised a stadium plan that would allow fans to be at the games and simultaneously adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphins home-site, can seat 65,000 plans, but with the social distancing adjustments, can fit roughly 15,000 fans. Even if teams are properly able to provide adequate service to fans at games, the publics fears about COVID-19 may keep them at home to watch safely from the couch.

AS originally scheduled, the NFL plans to start the season Sept. 10 and have the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida (will Tom Brady host a Super Bowl?). The NFL discussed waiting until October to start playing games and will adjust as needed to the NFL schedule because of COVID-19.

Just a side note: the NFL Draft was the most viewed draft in NFL history and raised more than $100 million for COVID-19 relief.

Bears Decline Option On Trubisky; Cowboys Sign Dalton

After a lackluster third season in the NFL, the Chicago Bears have declined to pick up the fifth-year extension for 2021 on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

bleacherreport.com

In 2018, Trubisky’s second season in the league and one in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl, saw the Bears go 12-4 and lose in a devastating fashion to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round. (sorry to mention the “Double Doink” Bears’ fans.) Trubisky threw 24 touchdowns and 3,223 yards while completing almost 67% of his passes and only 12 interceptions.

Although he threw for nearly the same amount of yards in 2019, Trubisky passed for only 17 touchdowns and completely and routinely disappeared in the second half of tight games. Heading into the season, both Trubisky and the Bears were seen as a dark horse Super Bowl contender and had actual pressure to succeed for the first time in over a decade.

After the disappointing 2019 season, the Bears traded for Nick Foles. The trade allows for quarterback competition between the two, especially since Foles is a Super Bowl MVP (Brady should’ve been the MVP despite losing. Still the best quarterback performance of all-time.) Foles can potentially bring out the best or worst in Trubisky, so Bears’ fans will soon find out if he is the franchise quarterback moving forward.

In the midst of Dak Prescott contract negotiations, the Dallas Cowboys signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year, $3 million contract that has incentives to $7 million.

The move surprised many, as Dalton was seen to be a starter for a team like the New England Patriots. Instead, he will be used as ammunition against Prescott to hastily sign a contract or be replaced. The Cowboys now have a quarterback option in case something goes south with Prescott.

2020-2021 NBA Season Postponements

Due to the recent vanishing of sports because of COVID-19, the NBA is considering starting the 2020-2021 NBA season in December, with the playoffs potentially starting in mid-summer.

si.com

As of right now, the current NBA format starts the season the week before Halloween, with the NBA Finals wrapping up around mid-June. That stretch of time correlates with the second half of the NFL season, including the full playoffs and Super Bowl, the NHL season and most of the MLB season, although that is in the early parts of the season and dog days of summer.

For sports fans, it’s great. There are sports seemingly every day, with an abundance of related content at the same time. For the owners, it is a nightmare, as different leagues compete with one another for ticket sales, advertisement revenue and television contracts.

The past half-decade has seen the NBA world call for a change of schedule. More recently, All-Star weekend was extended, and back-to-backs were limited to give players an extra break throughout the year, as neither owners nor players wanted to lose money from shortening the 82-game schedule.

Now that the 2019-2020 season is postponed until further notice, the fate of the 2020-2021 season is uncertain. With money and legacies on the line, the 2019-2020 season will be finished, even if that means a reduced playoff schedule and less regular season games.

But moving forward, the NBA is considering starting the 2020-2021 season in December, with the NBA Finals not finishing until mid-August. That change would give the NBA that prime slot in the late summer stages when the only sport to watch is baseball, and even die-hard baseball fans are waiting for October by that time. The NBA would own that, with their best product being on the floor for the playoffs and NBA Finals.

Bengals Release Andy Dalton

After nine seasons of mediocrity, the Cincinnati Bengals release quarterback Andy Dalton just days after drafting the most recent Heisman winner: quarterback Joe Burrow.

thespun.com

Dalton, 32, was the Bengals second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after being the all-time leader in wins at Texas Christian University. Dalton threw for 204 touchdowns with the Bengals, making him the all-time touchdown leader for the team, as well as appearing in the playoffs five times, losing in the Wild Card round each time.

Dalton was entering the final year of his six-year, $96 million contract with the Bengals. In order to sign the incoming rookie class, Dalton’s $17.7 million salary for the next season had to disappear. The Bengals had the worst record in the league last season and spent more than $145 million this offseason to improve the roster; one that still features receiver AJ Green.

Dalton’s final record with the team is 70-61-2, throwing 31,594 yards, 204 touchdowns and 188 interceptions in nine seasons, while being selected to the Pro Bowl three times. The Bengals haven’t made the postseason since 2015.

Although the Bengals tried to trade Dalton, no intriguing offers were found. There are rumors of the New England Patriots being interested in the veteran quarterback, especially since the team didn’t spend an early draft pick on one of the better prospects in the draft this year.

The Burrow Era is officially underway in Cincinnati. Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns last season en route to winning the Heisman trophy and the national championship. Burrow will now join the AFC North that features other Heisman winners Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Robert Griffin and Mark Ingram. This will be an entertaining division regardless of how many wins and losses there are.

LaMelo Ball Declares For Draft; College Athletes To Be Paid

Amidst the slew of top prospects opting to forgo their college experience for the NBA G-League, the NCAA top governing body has allowed for college athletes to start making money from their name and likeness through endorsement contracts.

The schools will not be involved in the payments.

This past September, California became the first state to allow college athletes to profit from their play with the passing of the “Fair Pay to Play” law. With California being the only state at the time to allow of this, that could give schools in that state an unfair advantage to sign top prospects. One of those top prospects, five-star point guard Daishen Nix, decommitted from UCLA to join the NBA G-League.

Nix, who was ranked 20th in the ESPN 100 for 2020, joins the number one prospect, Jalen Green, and five-star forward Isaiah Todd in their ventures in the NBA G-League. The three players have set a precedent for future top prospects to give an alternative route. The NCAA is feeling the pressure of losing these top prospects, thus leading to the recent ability for college athletes to start profiting in 2021.

Todd, the number 13 recruit for the 2020 class, decommitted from Michigan to pursue the NBA G-League route, which provides up to a $500,000 salary for playing in games. Other top prospects from the 2020 class to expectedly skip college are Makur Maker, MarJon Beauchamp and Kenyon Martin Jr.

When RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball decided to skip college and play professionally in Australia, other top prospects took notice and decided to copy the alternative approaches.

bleacherreport.com

Ball, who is the younger brother of NBA point guard Lonzo Ball, declared for the 2020 NBA Draft and is slated as the number one overall pick depending on which team receives that pick. Ball played 12 games professionally in Australia, averaging 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.