Since 2013, GreenSportsBlog has told the stories of the great environmental work being done by teams, managers of venues and athletes. But as far as the sports side of the Green-Sports equation was concerned, we really didn’t go there.
Until last September, that is.
It was then that we launched GSB Eco-Scoreboard: Catching Up with Green-Sports Leaders on the Field, an occasional series highlighting recent on-field/court results of the greenest teams and athletes. Why? Because if they do well, their green messages will gain a wider audience.
And if they struggle? Well, those of us engaged in the climate change fight know what struggle is all about. We can relate.
With that in mind, please enjoy our fifth Eco-Scoreboard.
JOSH ROSEN, CLIMATE CHANGE-MINDED ROOKIE QB, STARTS HIS NFL JOURNEY IN ARIZONA
“Josh Rosen Impresses Cardinals Brass, Teammates at OTAs”
Some version of this headline blared across media reports about the Arizona Cardinals’ rookie quarterback at his first spring practices, or “Organized Team Activities”.
Rookie QB Josh Rosen at Offseason Team Activities (OTAs) for the Arizona Cardinals (Photo credit: Cards Wire/USA Today)
Why does GreenSportsBlog care about Rosen, selected out of UCLA with the 10th pick in the first round of April’s NFL Draft?
Because climate change is a big concern of his, that’s why!
From an in-depth, pre-draft interview on espn.com with Sam Alipour, Rosen declared, “One cause I’ll champion is the environment. It touches everything. I mean, the war in Syria started because of the drought and famine that destabilized the country and led the population to revolt against the government. I know global warming is a partisan issue for some stupid reason, but it touches everything.”
So even though my New York Jets, with the third pick in the draft passed on Rosen to take cross-town rival QB Sam Darnold from USC, you can be sure GSB will be following the Cardinals’ new signal caller.
All of the Rosen reviews I read had the same tone as Sean Wagner-McGough’s, writing for CBSSports.com on May 18:
“The positive reviews came pouring in immediately after [Rosen took the field]. It turns out, Rosen looks very much like a quarterback who
“He stepped in the huddle and had a lot of pizzazz,” left tackle D.J. Humphries said. “He didn’t seem like he was choked up at all. Voice didn’t crack none. He wasn’t talking low. He was excited. He was asserting himself into the huddle, and I was pretty excited to see that.”
“Josh looked great today,” coach Steve Wilks said. “Some of his timing and his throws with the quarterback and tight ends I thought were right on point.”
The conventional wisdom is that, while Rosen is deemed to be the most NFL-ready of the five QBs drafted in the first round*, the Cardinals will start veteran QB Sam Bradford, at least to begin the season.
But that conventional wisdom may not be so wise.
Per Jess Root of the Cards Wire blog, Coach Wilks “is open to the idea of Rosen winning the job.”
My take is that Bradford will likely be the opening day starter vs. Washington. But with a long injury history and a precocious, climate change aware QB chomping at the bit, I think the odds are good that Rosen will take the reins at some point this season — and sooner rather than later.
SUTTON UNITED AND DARTFORD F.C. FALL SHORT OF PROMOTION
GreenSportsBlog has given a lot of oxygen to England’s Forest Green Rovers, the “Greenest Team in Sports.” Promoted from the fifth to the fourth tier (League Two) of English football after last season — their highest level ever — FGR was able (barely) to avoid relegation and will look to make a move upward next season.
Two other mid-tier English clubs with green in their DNA made runs at promotion this season but both fell short (barely).
Sutton United looked to join Forest Green Rovers in League Two via promotion. They hosted a promotion playoff match vs. Boreham Wood on May 6 at Gander Green Lane, the first football stadium to achieve The Planet Mark™ sustainability certification##. Reducing its carbon footprint by 13.6 percent in 2016 and diverting 88 percent of its waste from landfill helped the club earn the designation.
Unfortunately from the Sutton United perspective, their promotion dream died that day as they fell behind 2-0, got a goal back before conceding again in the 88th minute. A stoppage time goal for the home side was not enough as Boreham Wood prevailed 3-2.
On the same afternoon, Dartford F.C. looked to join the league Sutton United hoped to escape by moving up from the sixth to the fifth tier. To do so, they would have to knock off Braintree Town F.C. in a playoff semifinal.
Like Sutton, Dartford hosted the playoff contest. The 4,100-seat Princes Park, which opened in 2006, is top tier, sustainability-wise: It was the UK’s first sustainable, purpose-built, small-sized stadium, featuring on-site solar panels, energy efficient lighting, a state-of-the-art green roof, and an advanced reclaimed rainwater system.
Princes Park, with its distinctive and state of the art green roof, serves as the home of Dartford F.C. in Kent England (Photo credit: Sustainability in Sport)
Like Sutton United, Dartford was unable to close the deal, falling to Braintree Town 1-0 as they let in a second half goal.
So the status will remain quo in the 2018-19 season, league-wise, for Sutton United and Dartford F.C. Both teams have made player moves early in the offseason to prep to make promotion runs when the new campaign starts this summer.
ECO-OUTFIELDER STEPHEN PISCOTTY MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT UPON RETURN TO BASEBALL POST BEREAVEMENT
GreenSportsBlog first wrote about Stephen Piscotty in January 2017 after learning that the then-Cardinals outfielder had majored in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering at Stanford and is an investor in renewable energy.
Piscotty was coming off of a stellar rookie campaign in 2016 but 2017 proved to be challenging on and off the field.
On the field, Piscotty dealt with two stints on the disabled list with hamstring and groin injuries along with a sophomore slump at the plate. The double whammy led to a brief demotion to the minor leagues.
The off field news was much, much worse as Piscotty’s mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS^ or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Over the winter, Piscotty was traded by the Cardinals to the Oakland A’s, only an hour’s drive from his parents’ home. Both the Cardinals and the A’s acknowledged that Gretchen’s illness was a factor in the trade. Amazing, no?
After winning the A’s starting right fielder job in spring training, the Stanford man got off to a slow start as his mom’s condition worsened. Sadly, Gretchen Piscotty passed away on May 6 at 55, about a year after her diagnosis. Her son took bereavement time before rejoining the A’s as they headed to Boston to play the Red Sox on May 16.
Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty and his mom Gretchen (Photo credit: People)
And, in a kind of “Field of Dreams” moment, Piscotty, in his first at-bat in his first game back, the A’s outfielder slugged a home run over Fenway Park’s famed left field wall, the Green Monster.
“It was pure joy,” Piscotty said of his blast in the A’s 5-3 victory over the Red Sox, per . “It’s been an emotional week. I’ve been a little cried out, so I didn’t tear up or anything. It felt real good knowing family was watching and my mom was watching.”
* Three QBs were picked ahead of Rosen: Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, the #1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, Darnold to the Jets at 3, and Josh Allen, from Wyoming, went to Buffalo at 7. The Baltimore Ravens, with the 32nd and last pick of the first round, chose Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
^ ALS = Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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