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What Had Happened Was: 10/11/17

Oh, you didn’t know? We got you.

Game. blouses.

  • For the first time since 1986, the U.S. men’s national team will not participate in the World Cup. The United States needed just a draw against Trinidad and Tobago to punch a ticket to the 2018 tournament in Russia, but the Americans were upset 2-1 on Tuesday night. Combined with victories from Honduras and Panama, the men’s national team found itself in the fifth spot in the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football standings and thus outside the fourth-place finish it needed to remain in contention for a berth in Russia.
  • The NFL discreetly altered its rule on the kind of punishment a team would face if a player was not on the field for the national anthem, but no one knows when it was changed. Deadspin broke the story on Tuesday, the night after ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen tweeted a picture of the current policy. In the 2014 version of the NFL’s game operation manual, it says teams may be disciplined by the league if a player was not on the field at the start of the anthem. In the latter version, the disciplinary actions include fines, suspensions, forfeiture of draft picks, etc.
  • Argentina’s Lionel Messi kept his team in 2018 World Cup contention by scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Ecuador in Quito on Tuesday night. Argentina moved into the third-place spot in the South American standings, having begun the night in sixth. The top four countries would qualify, while the fifth would face New Zealand in an intercontinental playoff. Argentina joined Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil as qualified teams, while Peru will battle in next month’s playoff.

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On this day in sports history

On Oct. 11, 1992, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders played in a 1 p.m. game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Florida, playing on defense, offense and special teams, and flew 2.5 hours to Pittsburgh that night to join the Atlanta Braves for a 9 p.m. game in the National League Championship Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although he didn’t end up playing in the NLCS that night, Sanders played in Game 4 the night before, hopping a flight to Miami afterward, and still suited up for Game 5.


Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.