|KNOW THE BEST IN SPORT|
|January 26-February 2, 2021|
The so-called “Brady vs Belichick debate”
Tom Brady (USA) could become the first NFL player in history to win 7 Championships, in 2 weeks time -if he can beat Patrick Mahomes (USA) and the Kansas City Chiefs-. By beating the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers (USA) -to many the bet Quarterback in the regular season- he qualified to his tenth Super Bowl, just in his first season in the team.
The Patriots, meanwhile, had a losing record of 7-9. For many this settles a debate that has ensued about whether Tom Brady or Bill Belichick (Patriots’ Head coach and General manager) were more important fo the dynasty that the Patriots established in American football for the last two decades
Sporting success is the result of a series of systems that are put into place for a machine to deliver. Belichick and Brady were part of the critical gears needed for the systems to work. Assembling the rest of the team and making sure that it works is critical and so is delivering on the field. But in sport it is always the sportspeople. Everything else is a series of services and facilitators for the sportspeople to shine.
The players are the most important. Indeed being in the right place at the right time are a sine qua non for success. The country in which you were born, the diet that you take, the luck of having been found by a scout, the sacrifices made to pursue success, and indeed the management and people that support an individual are crucial factors to achieve success.
This does not mean that other individuals and systems cannot be held accountable for results. Coaches always are.Their obligation is with the correct management of the resources (human, financial, etc.) available to them. Right now Bill Belichick lost his most important asset -and several other players that aged, retired or opted out in the pandemic- and the playbook is not enough, even if he is -or not- the best in the world at the playbook.
Sport is in the end about those who play it and deliver. What Brady is doing is historic and for the sport aficionados to enjoy and savor, because players like him, with his commitment to success, his game intelligence and overall management and leadership -such as his influence in bringing Antonio Brown (USA) and Rob Gronkowski (USA)- to a team are very rarely seen.
If Brady wins the Super Bowl in two week time it will be hard to argue against considering him the greatest American football player of all time. He achieved it thanks to Bellichick and the rest of the Patriots. That is fine, because sportspeople always need the right systems in place to succeed.
|Five things to know from last week|
- Around the world in 40 days. No one will break the record of the round-the-world voyage for the Trophée Jules Verne this season, which is 40 days. The Gitana team had to abort their second attempt. Frustratingly, they were one day faster than the current record (Idec Sport, 2017), and broke the record for the fastest descent of the Atlantic before encountering breakages in their boat, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. (Watch the first accounts – Trophée Jules Verne)
- Cristiano Ronaldo, the striker with most goals. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) scored his 760th goal as a professional in Juventus’ triumph 1-0 over Napoli to win their fifth Italian Super Cup in the last nine years. This number makes him the striker with most goals as a professional, of all time. Robert Lewandowski (POL) also achieved a milestone by scoring his 500th goal as a professional, with Bayern München. (The Sportspedia – on the Super Coppa)
- Alpine Skiing. Sofia Goggia (ITA) won both Downhills in Crans-Montana (SUI) and has now won 4 consecutive World Cup Downhills. Fellow Italian, Marta Bassino won both Giant Slaloms at Kranjska Gora (SLO) and has won 4 of the last 5. Para Alpine Skiing hosted its first World Cup, in Veysonnaz (SUI). Among several double gold winners we can highlight Anna-Lena Forster (DEU) in women’s sitting, who has now won 12 races in a row between World and European Cups. (Read the full report- Paralympic)
- Monsieurs vainqueurs. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) and Julien Ingrassia (FRA) won their 8th Monte Carlo Rally, surpassing the historic 7 of Sébastien Löeb (FRA) and Daniel Elena (MCO), in the opening Rally of the WRC season. Another Frenchman, Rémy Coste, achieved another milestone in a different sport, but also in the alpine mountains: he won his fifth Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc, one of the top mushing competitions. (Watch a video of the last stage)
- Freestyle Skiing. This was a busy week for freestyle skiing. Fanny Smith (SUI) broke Ophelie David’s (FRA) 26 World Cup wins with 2 golds at the Ski Cross World Cup in Idre Fall (SWE). Alizée Baron (FRA) on the other one. In Russia, Maxim Burov won his fifth straight World Cup Gold in Aerials, by taking the individual and team competitions. (See Burov’s gold jump – FIS)
|GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK|
|Gold: Amélie Wenger-Reymond|
(Switzerland, Telemark Skiing)
Amélie became the first skier (of any sex or discipline) to reach 150 World Cup victories. She won five golden and one silver medals this week on the Bad Hindelang / Oberjoch (DEU) round. Amélie triumphed in the two Sprint events, the two Classic and one Parallel Sprint events.
Watch a highlight video of the Parallel action (FIS Telemark)
|Silver: Francesco Friedrich/Thorsten Margis|
Friedrich won both, the 2-Man and 4-Man World Cup races at Königssee (DEU). He became the first man to win 50 Bobsleigh World Cup races and has now won 9 World Cup races in a row. Margis won gold with him in both races and has now won eight golds this season.
Watch a video with highlights from Königssee (IBSF)
|Bronze: Fanny Smith|
(Switzerland, Freestyle Skiing)
She won two golds and a silver at the FIS Freestyle World Cup in Ski Cross, held at Idre Fjäll (SWE). With her second gold she broke the record for most Ski Cross World Cup race wins of all time, between men and women, with 27.
Watch a highlights of her Skiathlon gold (FIS)
|GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA|
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will hold the Daytona 24 Hours, with a stacked World-CLass grid among its five five categories. Ice Racing’s Trophée Andros has its season finale at Val Thorens.
The Winter X Games will take place. They will feature Jamie Anderson (USA), who just won her fifth Laax Open in Ski, although they will not include Chloe Kim (USA), who won the Laax Open in her first competition since 2019.
The Vendée Globe Race is set to have its closest finish ever and five sailors can still win gold.
Luge will hold its World Championship. Will Germany dominate?
Cyclo-Cross will also hold its World Championship. Will Lucinda Brand (NED) win, as she has donde in most races this season? Is the men’s race limited to Mathieu van der Poel (NED) and Wout van Aert (BEL)?
FIS World Cup Schladming (Slalom) (AUT)
FIS World Cup Kronplatz (WGS) (ITA)
FIS World Cup Garmisch Partenkirchen (DEU)
FIS World Cup Chamonix (FRA)
African Nations Championship
Copa Libertadores Final
Domestic Cups (Copa del Rey Round of 16, Coppa Italia Quarter-finals, DFB Pokal etc.)
Domestic Leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A, Liga MX, Brasileirão Assaí, Barclays FA Women’s Super League, etc.)
Aussie Rules Football:
AFL Women’s Regular Season starts
Bangers Champion of Champions (Ipswich, ENG)
D1GP (Tsukuba, JPN)
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – Daytona 24 Hours (USA)
King of the Hammers starts (Johnson Valley, California)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (East Bay Raceway Park x4, Bubba Raceway Park x2USA)
Trophée Andros – Val Thorens (FRA)
HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020
XXIX Championship of Russia. Super League – 2020-2021 Stage I
Liga Mexicana del Pacífico Final
Serie Nacional de Béisbol de Cuba Quarter-Finals
FIBA Basketball Champions League Regular Season
NBA Regular Season
Miami Jai Alai games
Campeonato Parejas Clasificación Liguilla
Main nue Pro individuel – 2ème Journée
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup (Australia x2)
PWBA Tour (USA)
World Boxing Association World Heavy Title – Manuel Charr (SYR) vs Trevor Bryan (USA)
World Boxing Association World Cruiser Title – Beibut Shumenov (KAZ) vs Raphael Murphy (USA)
International Boxing Federation World Super Middle Title – Caleb Plant (USA) vs Caleb Truax (USA)
vacant International Boxing Federation World Female Super Fly Title – Micaela Milagros Lujan (ARG) vs Débora Vanesa Gómez (ARG)
Tata Steel Chess Tournament
UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD CUP (France) *Possible
2019–21 ICC World Test Championship (Various)
Australian Big Bash League
Women’s ODI: South Africa vs Pakistan
Women’s T20 International: South Africa vs Pakistan (x2)
FIS World Cup (Sweden)
World Loppet (USA, Italy)
UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships (Belgium)
Arena of Valor – RoV Pro League 2021 Summer
Arena of Valor – Arena of Glory Spring 2021
PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season 0 League Finals
Quake Pro League Season 2: Stage 2
Starcraft Brood War – AfreecaTV StarCraft Team League Season 2
Winter X-Games (Colorado)
World Cup Feldberg Ski Cross (DEU)
European Tour (United Arab Emirates)
PGA Tour – Farmers Insurance Open (USA)
27th IHF Men’s World Championship Direct Elimination rounds
Harness Racing World Championship – 100ème Grand Prix d’Amérique 2021 (FRA)
Horse Racing (Flat):
His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Cup (Imported), His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Cup (Local Bred), Bahrain Oaks, Bahrain Derby (Bahrain)
Derby Bangalore (India)
Thorndon Mile (New Zealand)
Cape Town Met, Cape Flying Championship, Majorca Stakes (South Africa)
Kontinental Hockey League Regular Season
NHL Regular Season
Major Arena Soccer League Regular Season
Glory 77: Verhoeven vs. Ben Saddik 3
Red Bull King of the Air 2021
Ladies’ Gaelic Football:
All Ireland Club SemiFinals
FIL World Championship (DEU)
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship (Indianapolis x2, USA)
Trophée Andros – Val Thorens (FRA)
IFSS World Cup Snow (Finland, Norway)
Nordic Combined Skiing:
FIS World Cup Triple – Seefeld (AUT)
Home Range Cup 2020/2021
APTA Grand Prix Series – Grand Prix Series – Western New England Men’s and Women’s NRT
GCPC – The Sterling Cup – High Goal
Snow Polo World Cup (SUI)
The $100,000 World Cup by Audi – 0-40 Goal starts (USA)
Vendée Globe ends
ISSF Grand Prix Shotgun (MAR)
F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup
FIS World Cup (DEU)
World Cup Women (DEU)
World Cup Parallel Slalom (RUS)
Winter X-Games (Colorado)
FIS World Cup (France)
Red Bull Magnitude
World Surf League – Sunset Open (USA)
FIS World Cup (Germany)
WTA Gippsland Trophy, Yarra Valley Classic (AUS)
*This agenda is based on official information at time of publication. All events are subject to change and/or cancellation.
Sport’s best values
|Exemplar: Hank Aaron|
Henry Louis Aaron (USA) passed away, aged 86. Aaron had the Major League Home Run record for 33 years (755), until he was surpassed by Barry Bonds (USA) in 2007 (762), although Bonds’ record is an asterisk record as he was helped by the use of prohibited steroids.
Aaron managed to hit 24 or more home runs each year from 1955 to 1973 and in 1982 he was inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. He still holds the record for being selected to the All-Star Games most times (25, played 24), most RBIs (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856). He also ranks in the top five in other categories: hits (3,771), runs (2,174), at-bats (12,364), and games played (3,298).
He was, without a doubt, one of the best players in the history of baseball. MLB made this video to remember him, where they recall how a black man was receiving a standing ovation in the Deep South, in times of severe discrminination. May he rest in peace.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.”
Thomas Bach (DEU)
International Olympic Committee President