Kings Prepared To Fire Karl, Derek Fisher Gets Ax, McCoy Under Investigation, Cooper Released

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The Sacramento Kings suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The loss not only hurts their dwindling postseason chances, but it might cost their head coach his job. Sources indicate the Kings are preparing to release George Karl after only one year coaching the team. The Kings are 21-31 this season. Cleveland Cavaliers 120, Sacramento Kings 100.

Karl isn’t the only NBA coach in hot water. After less than two seasons with the New York Knicks, head coach Derek Fisher got the axe on Monday. The Knicks have been in a bit of a rut lately, losing 9 of their last 10 games, including a 5-game losing streak they’re hoping to break Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards. Veteran assistant coach Kurt Rambis will serve as the team’s interim coach until further notice. The Knicks are 23-31 for the season.

FOOTBALL

LeSean McCoy 2With the Super Bowl fresh in the books, there’s not a lot of good news coming out of the National Football League. Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is under investigation for his involvement in an altercation with two off-duty police officers. The injuries sustained by the officers were serious enough to warrant hospital treatment for one of them. The incident occurred at a nightclub in Philadelphia (McCoy played for six years in Philly after being drafted in the first round of 2009). He was traded to Buffalo last year.

Speaking of Philly, the change-ups continue. The Eagles just released wide receiver Riley Cooper. Cooper was a favorite of former head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was fired by the team six weeks ago, before the end of the 2015 season. Kelly has since been hired as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

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Broncos Beat Panthers In Super Bowl 50, Lynch To Retire

SUPER BOWL 50

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 7.54.20 AMThe NFL Post Season is over. The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, giving Peyton Manning his second Super Bowl ring and the opportunity to end his career on the highest of notes. Asked about his retirement plans immediately following the victory, Manning demurred. Manning said he would take the advice of his former coach Tony Dungy and refrain from making an emotional decision. Instead, he told reporters, he’d take some time to reflect, kiss his wife, and drink a lot of beer. If he does retire, Manning will be in good company. Former Bronco’s quarterback and current General Manager John Elway famously retired after winning Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999.

Lombardi Trophy 2Lombardi trophies aside, it wasn’t a spectacular day for Manning. He completed 13 of 23 passes, fumbled twice, threw one interception and had zero touchdowns. It was indisputably a defensive victory for Denver. Their sole touchdown came from the secondary, after linebacker Von Miller strip sacked Cam Newton. Miller was named MVP of the game. He had 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and six total tackles.

On the other side of the game, newly crowned NFL MVP Cam Newton had a pretty rough day. Just 24 hours after being voted the league’s Most Valuable Player, Newton was ravaged by the AFC’s number one defense. The Broncos came after Newton again and again, sacking him a total of seven times, forcing two fumbles and one interception. The frustrated quarterback was curt with reporters after the game, ultimately walking out in the middle of the press conference. Luckily for Newton, it was no fluke that the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl this year. The team went 15-1 in the regular season and dominated in the playoffs. They look primed to roar back to life next September and have another go at winning the franchise its first Super Bowl title. Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10

In other news, Marshawn Lynch looks to be hanging up his cleats. The 29 year old Seattle Seahawks running back hinted at retirement on Twitter this Sunday when he posted a picture of cleats hanging from a telephone wire. His teammates seemed to confirm the retirement, responding with messages of their own praising the running back and wishing him well. Sunday was the first time in the last three years Marshawn Lynch and his fellow Seahawks were not in the Super Bowl.

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Super Bowl Sunday-What You Need To Know

FOOTBALL

Super Bowl 50 is finally here. Sunday at 6:30 pm on CBS, tune in for the big game featuring the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers! Btw, kudos to the NFL for advertising it as Super Bowl 50 instead of Super Bowl L (the Roman number for 50). Apparently the NFL will go back to using Roman numerals next year, but personally I’m happy with this year’s change.

Here’s what you need to know for Sunday!

Peyton Manning at 39 years old is the oldest QB to play in a Super Bowl. This could be Manning’s last game so his fans desperately want him to win one more before his certain future induction in the Hall of Fame.  If the Panthers win, Cam Newton, could become the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, College Football National Title, the NFL MVP, and the Super Bowl. He’s also all over the news with his famous “Dab” celebration.

Make sure you also check out Newton’s offensive line. Left side tackle is Michael Oher (player featured in the great book and movie, Blindside).

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 8.50.56 AMEven if you’re not a big football fan, tune in for the advertisements. This year, ads cost $5 mill per 30 seconds. Look for T-Mobile making fun of Drake’s Hot Line Bling, Bowie’s Starman and Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen’s Bud Light Party.

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Curry Wows Again, National Signing Day, Anderson Announces While Skydiving

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Steph Curry 2Steph Curry continues to wow. He scored 51 points including 11 three pointers in Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards. He’s the only player in NBA history to shoot 11 three pointers in multiple games and the only player this season to record multiple 50 point games. To cap off the week, the Warriors are heading to the White House to celebrate last season’s NBA title.

FOOTBALL

Wednesday marked National Signing Day for the most highly sought after high school football recruits. According to Scout.com, the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide signed the top ranked class with 25 of the most elite players in the country. According to ESPN, the Florida State Seminoles recruited the top class (with Alabama ranked at #3). Coach Jim Harbaugh was feeling pretty good as his Michigan Wolverines secured the #1 recruit  defensive tackle, Rashan Gary. Many players try to creatively announce their decisions, but this year’s Deontay Anderson took the prize by announcing his commitment to Ole Miss while jumping out of a plane! Check it out!

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Manziel Worn Out Welcome, Prostitution Sting In San Jose, Lady Gaga To Sing National Anthem

FOOTBALL

Johnny Manziel, AKA Johnny Football, has worn out his welcome in Cleveland. The Browns, who traded up to get Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, are reportedly cutting ties with the troubled quarterback after his most recent transgression. Police were called last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas to investigate an altercation between Manziel and an ex-girlfriend. This was not his first run-in with police. Not by a long shot. In some ways, his rap sheet is far more impressive than his stat sheet. Manziel has started in only 8 games over the last two seasons, spending most of his time playing second fiddle to the quieter, more consistent quarterback Josh McCown. Browns’ EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown released a statement condemning Manziel’s behavior, but declined to comment further. Due to salary cap considerations, the Browns will need to wait until March to officially cut Manziel from the team.

Johnny isn’t the only one getting sent packing. Denver Bronco’s rookie safety Ryan Murphy and his brother were detained by police yesterday during a prostitution sting in San Jose. His brother was cited for solicitation, according to several sources. The Broncos have determined that these are precisely the kind of distractions they don’t need in the days leading up to Super Bowl 50. Murphy isn’t being cut from the team, but he was sent back to Denver. Strangely enough, Murphy isn’t the first NFL safety to find himself in this position. Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. Those were different times though, as evidenced by the fact that Murphy played in the Super Bowl the next day against the Denver Broncos. He probably shouldn’t have though. He botched coverage on an 80-yard touchdown pass from John Elway. The Broncos won 34-19.

In other Super Bowl news, Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem in Super Bowl 50!

 

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TNF Increases To 10 Games, Media Day, Players Only Meeting For Cavs

FOOTBALL

The NFL is expanding Thursday Night Football, increasing the number of Thursday games to ten from last season’s eight. The games will be split between CBS, NBC and the NFL Network. Thursday Night Football started as a programming exclusive to the NFL Network, but CBS has produced and aired numerous Thursday night games for the last few seasons. Combined, CBS and NBC are paying approximately $500 million to air five Thursday Night games each in the 2016 season.

Cam Newton 2In San Jose, California, Monday was the kickoff to “Super Bowl Week,” also known as Media Day, or the day when Cam Newton and Peyton Manning get asked the same questions hundreds of times by different reporters. In the coming week, expect to hear a lot more noncommittal soundbites from Manning about his possible retirement and to read plenty of think-pieces on Cam Newton’s recent, racially-charged comments.

NBA

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a tear since head coach David Blatt was fired late last month. But the change in leadership wasn’t the only thing that reinvigorated the team. New reports reveal that an extended players-only meeting was held shortly after the shake up. Stars Lebron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were all in attendance as teammates spoke their minds to one another. A prominent topic of discussion was ‘accountability,’ including the perception that some members of the team were playing by a different set of rules than the others. The cathartic, at times contentious meeting seemed to do the trick in rallying the troops together. Despite a disappointing loss to the Chicago Bulls shortly thereafter, the Cavs have gone on to five straight wins, including Monday night’s OT victory over the Indiana Pacers.

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Team Irvin Trounces Team Rice, Megatron To Retire, John Scott’s Rise, Djokovic Wins Open

NFL

Pro Bowl 2The Pro Bowl took place Sunday in sunny Hawaii, with the league’s best players divided into two teams captained by Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice. Team Irvin won by a whopping 22 points in a game that saw Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson throw for three touchdowns, earning him offensive MVP honors for the game. The players all seemed to be having fun, though the game has been getting increasingly benign with every passing year. No one wants to sustain a career-threatening injury in a game that doesn’t really matter. As a result, the players are far less physical and aggressive than they are in regular exhibition games. A record 47 players selected to play in the Pro Bowl declined to participate, due to injury, personal reasons or because they’re playing in the Super Bowl next week (the Carolina Panthers had ten players selected for the Pro Bowl, while the Denver Broncos had 4). Team Irvin 49, Team Rice 27.

Calvin JohnsonIn other NFL news, Detroit wide-receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson apparently told family and friends he would be retiring now that the 2015 season is over. Once considered the greatest receiver in the league, Johnson has dealt with a smorgasbord of injuries over the years. He managed to play every game of the 2015 season though, amassing 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. Only 30 years old, Johnson is far from past his prime. He allegedly made coach Jim Caldwell aware of his plans to retire, but the team’s management is still holding out hope he’ll change his mind.

NHL

It’s been a long, strange trip for John Scott. Earlier this month, the heretofore unremarkable player was picked as the Pacific Division’s Captain for the NHL All Star game in a fan vote that started off as something of a joke. John Scott isn’t a star. Most people had never even heard of him before. But in a bizarre groundswell of support, Scott was given honors usually reserved for the most elite. The NHL was not amused.

Scott was immediately traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens, then demoted to the AHL, the NHL’s awkward kid-brother. The trade was seen by many as a deliberate attempt to keep Scott out of the All Star game. Scott claims NHL brass even called him and asked that he not play, suggesting the ordeal might embarrass his children. But the obscure Montreal enforcer decided to give the fans what they wanted, and the NHL decided to let him. Scott captained the Pacific Division as planned. He scored two goals in the 3-on-3 tournament held over the weekend in Nashville. He was crowned MVP and won an SUV as a result. He’ll need it. He and his wife are expecting twins any day. The Pacific Division defeated the Atlantic division in the championship game, 1-0.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray to win his sixth Melbourne title in the Australian Open. Murray got off to a slow start he was never able to recover. Djokovic is considered one of the best players in the world. The Serbian tennis star is currently second-to-none, having beaten Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal multiple times on some of the biggest stages the game has to offer.

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Broncos Wear White, Grounds Crew Big SB Mistake, Phelps In Curtain of Distraction, Williams & Djokovic In Final

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Who says outfits don’t matter? Not John Elway. The Denver Broncos GM announced his team will be doing something a little bit differently than they did two years ago when the Seattle Seahawks destroyed them 43 to 8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. The team decided to wear their white away jerseys for Super Bowl 50, despite technically being the “home team.” The main reason? The Broncos have never won a Super Bowl while wearing orange. They’re 0-4 in orange, 1-1 wearing white and 1-0 wearing blue alternative jerseys.

In other Super Bowl news, the grounds crew in charge of painting the end zones at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, accidentally painted two Broncos end zones. They painted over one side with the Panthers logo and all will be fine by Feb 7th, but you can imagine their embarrassment when they realized their mistake.

BASKETBALL

Michael Phelps 2The Arizona State’s “Curtain of Distraction” is well know in college basketball circles. The “Curtain” is pulled out by the students to distract free throw shooters. On Thursday night, ASU took it to another level by having Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps appear from behind the curtain clothed in only his speedo and Olympic medals. The distraction worked as Oregon State’s shooter missed both foul shots.

TENNIS

Serena Williams crushed it in the semifinals against Agnieszka Radwanska. Williams finished her opponent off relatively quickly, winning straight sets and wrapping things up with a final game that included three aces in a row. Williams has a chance for her 22nd Grand Slam title. First, she has to face down Angelique Kerber in the finals.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer fell to top seed Novak Djokovic in the men’s semifinals. It was the 45th meeting for the two players. Djokovic is now on top of the rivalry, with a record of 23-22 against Federer in head-to-head matches.

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Cam Newton Reacts To Critics, Lebron Not Coach Killer

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Cam Newton 2Carolina Panthers’ QB Cam Newton reacted to criticism about his character and his demeanor. He said, “I’ve said it since Day One, I’m an African-American quarterback. That may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.” Cam is almost certain to be the NFL MVP this season and whether you like him or not, he’s led his team (with an infectious joy) through an incredible season and on to the Super Bowl.

BASKETBALL

LeBron James responded to allegation he was “a coach killer” and the reason the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt and hired Tyronn Lue. In response to media inquiries, he said,  “It sucks. But what can I do about it? I’ve never, in my time since I picked up a basketball, ever undermined a coach, ever disrespected a coach.” And with only 3 games under his belt as a head coach, Lue was named the Eastern team head coach for the NBA All Star Game Feb. 14th.

 

 

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Blake Griffin Broke Hand In Argument, Kobe Injured, Mannings Last Rodeo

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Blake GriffinThe Los Angeles Clippers won a close game against the Indiana Pacers on a day full of distractions. Before the game even started, all attention was on All Star forward Blake Griffin, who broke his shooting hand during an altercation at a restaurant. The injury will force him to miss at least 4-6 more weeks. He broke his hand, bizarrely, on the face of friend and team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi. Griffin was already on the bench after a Christmas Day quadriceps injury. He was in the final stages of recovery and was expected to return soon.

All Star guard Chris Paul was among the Clippers to step up and rally for another victory. They’re now 12-3 without Blake Griffin.  Clippers 91, Pacers 89

Speaking of incapacitated All Stars, Kobe Bryant had to watch from the bench while his Los Angeles Lakers lost by two points to the Dallas Mavericks. This is Bryant’s final season, and he’s spent nine games of it on the bench. Right now, his shoulder is giving him issues. “I couldn’t really move the thing,” he said of testing it out Tuesday morning. The shoulder’s been bothering him for a long time. He hopes to heal for his 18th All-Star game in February.  Mavericks 92, Lakers 90

FOOTBALL

After the Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots for a ticket to the Super Bowl, cameras overheard Peyton Manning tell Pats’ Coach Bill Belichik “Hey, listen, this might be my last rodeo. So it’s been a pleasure.”

Manning is under contract for next season, but any retirement discussion between him and GM John Elway will have to wait until after the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl 50.

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