The World’s Game


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back 

Well, what do we have here? A shortened week lies ahead for Thanksgiving and the 2022 FIFA World Cup is officially underway. We’ve got football, family, food, and we’ve got the world’s game at the highest stage. Give thanks, sports fans. You’ve earned this.

Letter Rip!



Qatar’s World Cup Kickoff

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Qatar Becomes 1st Host Nation to Lose World Cup Opener


The 2022 FIFA World Cup is officially underway, and it began with a bit of history — both good and bad — on Sunday. Morgan Freeman and camel-riding soldiers kicked off the 2022 tournament with a memorable opening ceremony, but the first match was anything but memorable for the host nation. Qatar became the first host team in World Cup history to lose the opener when they fell to Ecuador (2-0) at Al Bayt Stadium. Enner Valencia netted both goals for the Ecuadorian side in the first half, and the Qatar squad failed to fire a shot on target. A big start to a month in Qatar, but a sad start for the hosts.


Watch: Ecuador Tops Qatar to Open World Cup (2-0)


USMNT Set to Kickoff

The United States Men’s National Team begins their 2022 World Cup campaign this afternoon against Wales. All four Group B clubs in the “group of death” are in action today with England and Iran set to kick off this morning.


Today’s Schedule

England vs. Iran (8:00 am ET)

Senegal vs. Netherlands (11:00 am ET)

USA vs. Wales (2:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

USA Today: Qatar’s World Cup Legacy Will Be Horror Stories, Not Beautiful Stadiums

Yahoo! Sports: Tyler Adams Named USMNT Captain in Historic First for 2022 World Cup



Week 11 Round-Up

Photo: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Top Highlights, Storylines, Stat Leaders & More From Week 11 in the NFL


Week 11 in the NFL saga was downright wild. If you blinked on Sunday, you missed an epic ending somewhere in the league. The Cowboys slaughtered the Vikings — after we put them at No. 1 in our power rankings last week (sigh) — while nine other games were decided by 10 points or less. Nail-biters in Indy, Los Angeles, Denver, New Orleans, New England, and Atlanta saw late-game drama galore. With an overload of storylines, here are a few, as well as the stat stuffers and highlights from Week 11’s chaos-filled Sunday.


Week 11 Storylines & Highlights

Week 11 Stat Leaders

QB J. Burrow (CIN): 24/39, 355 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs

QB P. Mahomes (KC): 20/34, 329 yards, 3 TDs

QB J. Brissett (CLE): 28/41, 324 yards, 3 TDs

RB T. Pollard (DAL): 21 touches, 189 yards, 2 TDs

WR D. Adams (LVR): 7 receptions, 141 yards, 2 TDs

TE T. Kelce (KC): 6 receptions, 115 yards, 3 TDs


Week 11 Scores & Highlights

Chiefs def. Chargers (30-27) | Falcons def. Bears (27-24) | Bills def. Browns (31-23) | Eagles def. Colts (17-16) | Patriots def. Jets (10-3) | Saints def. Rams (27-20) | Lions def. Giants (31-18) | Ravens def. Panthers (13-3) | Commanders def. Texans (23-10) | Raiders def. Broncos (22-16, OT) | Cowboys def. Vikings (40-3) | Bengals def. Steelers (37-30) | Titans def. Packers (27-17)


Monday Night Football

49ers at Cardinals (8:15 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

NFL: Week 11: What We Learned From Sunday’s Games

B/R: NFL Week 11: Biggest Takeaways From Sunday’s Games

CBS Sports: Week 11 Overreactions & Reality Checks: Are Cowboys Contenders Again?



Vols Get Gut-Punched

Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images

Tennessee Takes Blow After QB Hendon Hooker Goes Down With Torn ACL


Tears for Tennessee… The Volunteers may have had a magic 2022 season behind Heisman-hopeful QB Hendon Hooker, but it’s over now. Hooker suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter of the Vols’ blowout loss to South Carolina on Saturday, effectively ending his college career and ending any playoff hopes for Tennessee. Elsewhere in college football, the top-4 in the CFB Playoff picture all needed narrow escapes to remain unblemished. TCU and Michigan had nail-biting wins that saved their season, and USC’s three-point win puts the Trojans in the mix for a playoff bid. Here’s what happened — and what changed — over the weekend:


Notable Highlights

#1 Georgia def. Kentucky (16-6)

#2 Ohio State def. Maryland (43-30)

#3 Michigan def. Illinois (19-17)

#4 TCU def. Baylor (29-28)

South Carolina def. #5 Tennessee (63-38)

#7 USC def. #16 UCLA (48-45)

#12 Oregon def. #10 Utah (20-17)


AP Top-10

1. Georgia (11-0) | —

2. Ohio State (11-0) | —

3. Michigan (11-0) | —

4. TCU (11-0) | —

5. USC (10-1) | ↑2

6. LSU (9-2) | —

7. Clemson (10-1) | ↑2

8. Alabama (9-2) | —

9. Tennessee (9-2) | ↓4

10. Oregon (9-2) | ↑2


Full AP Top-25


Additional Storylines

ESPN: USC Gets 1st Top-5 Ranking Since 2017

USA Today: Tennessee’s Heisman Trophy Candidate Hendon Hooker Out for Season



Utah’s Cinderella Start Continues

Photo: Alex Goodlett / Getty Images

Jazz Take Down Blazers to Maintain First Seed Out West


We’re over a month into the season, and the number one seed in the West is…..the Jazz? With the surprisingly slow starts from the Warriors and Clippers, the conference has been wide open, and Utah, of all teams, has pounced on the opportunity. They faced off against the Trail Blazers (a surprise in its own right as the west’s second-best team) on Saturday night and picked up a big 118-113 road victory to move to 12-6. Lauri Markkannen continued his breakout season, leading the way for the Jazz with a 23-point 10-rebound performance. While it’s still too early in our opinion to crown Utah as a legit threat, it’s been great to see a team written off by so many turn heads the way they have thus far.


Watch: Jazz vs. Trail Blazers Game Highlights 


Other NBA Highlights


Celtics Win Streak Reaches 9Boston improved to a league-best 13-3 after a 117-109 victory over the Pelicans on Friday, marking their ninth win in a row. While Jayson Tatum has been in a bit of a shooting slump recently, Jaylen Brown (27 points, 10 rebounds) and Derrick White (26 points) picked up the slack.


A Wild Ending in AtlantaThe Hawks and Raptors faced off in an overtime thriller on Saturday that went down to the buzzer. With 3.8 seconds left in OT, OG Anunoby hit a pair of free throws to tie the game, but a quick inbound from Atlanta had Toronto scrambling and left AJ Griffin wide open under the basket for a wide-open alley-oop and one of the most uncontested game winners you’ll ever see (124-122).


Ben Simmons Steals the ShowKyrie Irving returned to the lineup for Brooklyn’s Sunday night matchup against the Grizzlies. However, his modest 14 points took a backseat to Ben Simmons (yes, really), who had his first big game as a member of the Nets to lead his team to a 127-115 victory. He posted 22 points on a hyper-efficient 11-13 from the field, while also chipping in 8 rebounds and 5 assists.


Additional Storylines

ESPN: Grizzlies’ Ja Morant Week-to-Week With Grade 1 Ankle Sprain

CBS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Montrezl Harrell Involved in Postgame Scuffle That Includes Ex-MVP Knocking Over Ladder



🏒 NHL: Devils Streak Hits a Dozen

Make it 12 straight for the New Jersey Devils. A busy weekend on ice saw the Devils extend their win streak to a dozen with a 5-1 beatdown of the Senators thanks to Yegor Sharangovich (1 goal, 1 assist) and a 25-save night from Akira Schmid.


⛳️ PGA: Rahm & McIlroy Win DP World Tour Challenge

Jon Rahm (-20) captured the DP World Tour’s season finale on Sunday in Dubai, and Rory McIlroy (-16) finished four strokes back but earned the DP World Tour Player of the Year.


🏀 NCAA Basketball

M: #2 Gonzaga def. #4 Kentucky (88-72)

M: #5 Baylor def. #8 UCLA (80-75)

W: #1 South Carolina def. #2 Stanford (76-71, OT)

W: #6 Louisville def. #3 Texas (71-63)

W: #5 UConn def. #10 NC State (91-69)