Monday morning. Your alarm goes off for the first time in two days, you head back to the office and then spend the first few hours of the workday planning out how you’ll survive until closing time on Friday. Luckily, Poker Central and Death Wish Coffee have you covered. The world’s strongest coffee gives you a “Morning Perk,” recapping the weekend sports action on Monday and then the best from across the internet on Friday.

For most, the weekend isn’t over. President’s Day has shortened the work week but there are no days off for the “Morning Perk”. The second straight, two down, 28 to go, weekend without the National Football League was highlighted by the world’s best exhibition game and NBA All-Star Weekend. This is a time of flux for sports fans but thankfully, starting next week, NCAA March Madness hype can start and soon after that, baseball begins a marathon journey through the spring, summer and fall. Until then, here was the best from this weekend.

I’ve already mentioned in past “Perks” that the FA Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world. That hot take was made when, earlier this year, semi-professional Sutton United advanced to the Round of 16 in England’s biggest soccer tournament. I’ll stick with that greatest description after Lincoln City advanced to the FA Cup Quarterfinals this past weekend. Lincoln, which is also a non-league side, which is another way to say semi-pro, beat Burnley FC with a last minute goal to become the first non-pro side to make the quarterfinals in over 100 years. Sutton United have a chance to do the same, when they play world power Arsenal on Monday afternoon.

All in favor of having New Orleans host every All-Star Game until the end of time? The atmosphere in New Orleans this weekend, coupled with Mardi Gras, was fantastic and the action on the court just added to the excitement. The Verizon Slam Dunk contest was won by Glenn Robinson III but, thanks to some NYC bias, Kristaps Porzingis winning the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and having the Unicorn go viral was my favorite pre-All-Star Game storyline.

Leading up to the actual All-Star Game, the only thing people seemed to want to talk about was the current relationship between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Westbrook did everything he could to avoid answering questions about his former teammate over the course of the weekend but then, when they finally got on the court together, they picked up right where they left off in Oklahoma City. Westbrook and Durant may not be friends again, they may never truly love each other like they once did and I’ll never forgive them for breaking up but I’m happy sports brought them back together, even just for one play.

If you didn’t watch the All-Star Game, Steph Curry laying on the floor was more or less the standard for defensive effort throughout the game. In total, 374 points were scored and New Orleans’ own Anthony Davis lead the West All-Stars to victory thanks to a record breaking 52-point effort. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokonmpo was one of the East’s standout players and after “The Greek Freak” did this to Curry earlier, it’s no surprise he wanted to get out of the way when Giannis was on the break.

Recent obituaries:

Mannequin Challenge, 121 days. The viral internet video trend, called the Mannequin Challenge, where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background, died Friday night in New Orleans. It was 121 days old. The cause of death was a failed Mannequin Challenge in the middle of the 3rd quarter in Friday’s Celebrity All-Star Game. Romeo air balled a three-pointer and then less than half of the players on the court seemed to actually know what was going to happen next. Eventually, the players all found their mannequin poses but by then, it was too late.

Sports teams and celebrities have been rolling out their own versions of the Mannequin Challenge for the last few months but the viral video trend has been on life support since the Korean Basketball League attempted to do one of their own during their All-Star Game. The Mannequin Challenge is survived by Mark Cuban, Peter Rosenberg and the little kid rolling his eyes at the midway point of this video. 

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