Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for December 3, 2018

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Inconnu swimmers win 11 aggregate awards at Sadownik Memorial

The Inconnu Swim Club held the first annual Sadownik Memorial Swim Meet last weekend, hosting three other teams for three wild, fast days of racing. The club had 11 swimmers win aggregate awards, including first for Julian Kemp in boys 11 and 12, and first for Owen Lang in boys 13 and 14. For all 11 wiiners, click here. Next up for the club is the J.P. Fiset Swim Meet in Edmonton, Dec. 13 to 16.

Second Base - Packers fire Mike McCarthy

Rumours were swirling all year that the Green Bay Packers would fire longtime head coach Mike McCarthy before the start of next season. The only questions was when. Well, after an embarrassing 20-17 loss at home to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, the Packers made the decision to cut ties with McCarthy. The Packers were bad this year and getting worse with each game, so firing their coach was understandable. But the argument can be made that at this point, with just four weeks left, they should have waited until the offseason. There's also a lot of discussion about the souring relationship between Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy, and that Rodgers was involved in this decision. We'll likely never know, but either way, the Packers are a hot destination for prospective coaches, and with Rodgers recently turning 35, the team won't have a lot of time to get used to a new leader and roll out a contender. 

Third Base - William Nylander signs with Leafs, teammates excited about return

I can't believe I'm saying this, but William Nylander is back. He signed a six-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday just minutes before his deadline to do so. The contract will see him make an annual average of $6.9 million a year. This is great for the Leafs and Leafs fans, but I feel a bit weird about it, because I was prepared for him to not come back. I had already moved on and accepted that the team was good enough without him. However, both sides did what they had to do and an agreement was reached, so everything else is in the past and the Leafs can focus on working Nylander into the lineup. He may be back in the lineup for Tuesday's big showdown against the Buffalo Sabres, but nothing is official, as he may need a couple more days to get game-ready. For their part, both the Leafs players and head coach Mike Babcock are thrilled to have Willy back, and it's fun to think about how good this team can really become.

Home Base - Chargers pull off comeback to beat Steelers on Sunday Night Football

The week 13 slate of NFL games were mostly disappointing, with a couple big upsets here and there but no thrilling games. However, the Sunday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers really delivered. The Steelers were up 23-7 at the half and it looked like another disappointing outing for the Chargers in an important game. But then, they rattled off 23 straight points in the second half. The Steelers tied the game up with a touchdown with four minutes left in the game. But the Chargers used up the full four minutes left in the game to drive down the field and actually win with no time left, kicking a 29 yard field goal. The Chargers seemingly never pull these kinds of wins off, and they tried very hard to lose this one too, as Michael Badgley missed a 39 yarder. However, the Steelers were offside, so Badgley kicked again, this time being blocked from 34 yards out. However, Pittsburgh was offside again. On the third try, the Steelers were still offside, but Badgley made the kick. It was one of the more amusing finishes to a game that I can remember, and shows how hard it can be for a team that is used to struggling in one portion of the game consistently - late game field goal tries to win - to get over the hump. Phillip Rivers was great in the game with 299 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chargers, at 9-3 are still in the hunt to steal the AFC West title from the 10-2 Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Steelers fell to 7-4-1, and their chance at being the second seed in the AFC are slim. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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