Wait, Serena Williams Is Engaged to Who?
And other top news from Baltimore sports this week.
By Max Weiss. Posted on December 30, 2016, 12:22 pm
-Courtesy of Instagram
Serena Williams engaged to this guy.
Wait. Whoa. What? According to People, Serena Williams is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who’s from Columbia. We didn’t even know they were dating—and it’s our job to know this stuff. Congrats to the happy couple, who—when they’re done being the world’s greatest tennis player and caretaker of the “internet’s front page”—could apparently make excellent spies. Here’s a profile we did of Ohanian in 2015.
Ravens booted from playoff contention.
It had all the makings of a classic showdown—and in many ways, it was. The Ravens went into Heinz Field on Christmas day with their playoff hopes still alive. For the Steelers, the game was a chance to lock down the division and send their fiercest rivals home with a lump of coal in their (purple and black) stockings. The Steelers took an early lead and then were aided by the Ravens’ bizarre botched field goal attempt (the snap was mishandled so Justin “The Golden Foot” Tucker never even got a chance to kick it) in the second quarter. Still, the Ravens came charging back and went into the fourth quarter with a 17 to 10 lead. Then, with the score 20 to 10, the Steelers scored two quick touchdowns to take the lead. But the Ravens weren’t done yet. They scored a touchdown on a Kyle Juszczyk 10-yard scramble, taking a 27 to 24 lead, with 1:18 on the clock.
It came down to this: If the Ravens could keep the Steelers out of the end zone on the final drive, their playoff hopes would be very much alive. But it wasn’t to be. The Steelers drove down the field and then, as time expired, Antonio Brown stuck his pesky forearm into the end zone for a game—and division—winning touchdown.
Since the game, there has been lots of second guessing. Should Juszczyk have taken a knee at the one yard line instead of scoring so quickly and leaving Big Ben and the Steelers a chance to rally? (My personal opinion: No. You only take that kind of chance with the lead. Who’s to say the Ravens would’ve scored otherwise?).
And of course, would the Ravens have won the game if they hadn’t gacked that field goal? (We’ll never know, but you can play the “What if…” game on virtually every play of every game.)
The final question is: Will you watch Sunday’s meaningless game against the Bengals? Sure. The Ravens gave us an uneven but entertaining season and deserve our loyalty, to the bitter end. Not to mention this:
Steve Smith, Sr. says he’ll retire at the end of the season.
If it’s really his last season, it was a helluva career. As of today, he ranks 7th all-time in the NFL in receiving yards (and with a particularly great game on Sunday, he could actually move up to number six). And he played with a feistiness, a tenacity, and a chip on his shoulder that made him an absolute blast to watch—as long as he was on your side. That being said, there’s some reason for skepticism (or optimism, in this case). Smith said he was retiring last year and he came back (although that could be attributed to his season-ending injury—he didn’t want to go out like that). Also, never take the word of a man still reeling from a big loss. Finally, we watched the guy play all year. He still seems to have a lot of game in him, and if he’s healthy, well…stay tuned. If this truly is his last game, all the more reason to tune in and cheer on the boys in purple and black.
Terps Kick Off Big 10 Play in Style
The Terps were favored to win Tuesday’s game against Big 10 rivals Illinois, but not by a lot. First of all, the Fighting Illini were on a six-game winning streak of their own and the Terps, while going an impressive 12-1, had demonstrated an annoying tendency to fall behind and come charging back at the last minute for a narrow victory. Throw in the fact that the team’s big men, Michal Cekovsky and Damonte Dodd, were both on the bench nursing injuries, it seemed a recipe for a close game. Well, the team had other ideas, blowing Illinois off the court for a surprisingly easy 84 to 59 romp. Melo Trimble continued his stellar play, but we were particularly impressed by guard Jaylen Brantley, who, at 5’11” (at most), is usually the shortest guy on the court. In the beginning of the season, some experts were suggesting that Brantley would struggle for playing time, but he has inserted himself into the lineup with his aggressive and confident play. The Terps freshman class is a thing of beauty, with a different player stepping up each game. This time, it was a chance for guard Anthony Cowan to shine. The kid is fast as hell, has great court vision, and can finish at the rim. We think we’re in love.
Speaking of love…
A guy proposed to his girlfriend on the Terps Kiss Cam and it was freaking adorable.
SHE SAID YES! ????????????
Congrats to Terp fans Jeff Wehberg and Carly Smith who got engaged during yesterday's kiss cam! https://t.co/FwJdI3fXYl
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) December 28, 2016
And speaking of adorable…
Boomer Phelps has his own Instagram account and it does not disappoint.
Max Weiss is the managing editor of Baltimore and a film and pop culture critic.