Archive for January, 2016

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

FOOTBALL

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.

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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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Warriors Dominate Spurs, Lue’s First Victory For Cavs, Pats O Line Coach Fired, Federer In Semis

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The Golden State Warriors took on the San Antonio Spurs in a battle of the NBA’s two best teams. Steph Curry led the Warriors to victory, pounding in 37 points, including six 3-pointers, to beat the Spurs by 30 points. Together, the Warriors and the Spurs teams held the highest combined win-record for two teams meeting this late in the season. But Steph Curry left little doubt who was truly number one in the league. With the loss, San Antonio goes down to a 38-7 win-loss record, while the Warriors go up to 41-4, continuing their march towards NBA dominance. Golden State 120, San Antonio 90.
Lebron JamesElsewhere, the Clevland Cavaliers pulled out a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving new coach Tyronn Lue his first NBA victory. The Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt on Friday, following a nasty loss to the Warriors. Lue runs a faster offense then his predecessor, and the team still seems to be adjusting. But Lebron James and company came to play, sticking out a somewhat shaky game for the win. Cleveland 114, Minnesota 107.

FOOTBALL

Tom Brady isn’t the only one reeling after Sunday’s loss to the Broncos. The game, which saw Brady hit a record 23 times, prompted top brass to fire Offensive Line Coach David DeGuglielmo. The offensive line is responsible for protecting the quarterback, and this year’s injured lineup allowed Brady to get sacked a gruesome 38 times over the course of the season. Here’s hoping 2016 will be gentler on the Pat’s star QB.

TENNIS

Roger FedererRoger Federer beat Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open quarter-finals. After some tense moments early on where Berdych appeared to have the upper hand, Federer found his rhythm and came back swinging. This will be the 12th time in the last 13 years that Federer has reached the semifinals in Melbourne.
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Patriots Deflated, Cardinals Routed And The Broncos And Panthers In Super Bowl 50

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Peyton Manning 2Peyton Manning has his defense to thank for helping him squeak past the always tough New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. In a game that went down to the wire, the Denver Broncos couldn’t relax until the final few seconds when Tom Brady had the opportunity to tie the game and force an overtime with a 2-point conversion after a four yard TD pass to his favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski. The 2-point conversion was intercepted and then after the Broncos recovered the onside kick, the game was over. Brady needed to go for the 2-point conversion instead of the extra point because the Pats’ kicker, Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point attempt after the Pats first touchdown. The fact the game came down to the difference between one or two points is a bit ironic as Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick lobbied to get the extra point moved back 13 yards because it wasn’t competitive enough at the 2 yard line. With that said, Gostkowski hadn’t missed an extra point since 2006, which just proves that strange things can happen in pressure packed playoff games. With the win, the Broncos face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Manning, at 39 years old, will be the oldest starting QB in a Super Bowl.  Broncos 20, Patriots 18.

In the NFC matchup, the Carolina Panthers completely routed the Arizona Cardinals. Led by Panther’s QB Cam Newton’s 4 TD’s (2 passing and 2 rushing), the Cardinals never had a chance. Newton, who has had an MVP season and is not showing any signs of slowing down, played with such joy and confidence, he’s inspired his teammates. As cornerback Josh Norman said, “He’s awesome. He put on his cape and he flew.” The defense did their part as well forcing Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer into 4 interceptions and 2 fumbles.  Panthers 29, Cardinals 15.

Super Bowl is on Feb 7th at 6:25 pm ET.

 

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Kids Korner By Lucas Korn

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Steph Curry 2Friday night in the NBA, former MVP Steph Curry had another amazing night. He finished with a tripple double(Double digits in 3 different categories of stats) 39 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. He also hit two shots from beyond the half court line, one that counted, and one that didn’t. Steph has continued to have amazing performances like this and has led his 1st place warriors to an ongoing 40-4 season. This was also head coach Steve Kerr’s first game back as the warriors head coach, due to 2 back surgeries and migraines.

In other matters, the Cleveland Cavaliers fired their head coach David Blatt. This was surprising due to the large success that Blatt has had with the Cavs (taking them to the NBA finals but then falling to Steph Curry’s Warriors). Blatt is the first coach in NBA history to be fired a year after being first place in his division.

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Sunday’s Title Games: Historic Brady Vs Manning Matchup, Flawless Cam Vs Nervous Carson

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The NFL title games on Sunday will determine which teams head to the Super Bowl.

Brady & Manning 2In the AFC Championship, the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots. This game features two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks battling it out against each other for the 17th time in their careers. Interpreting the stats for the game can be interesting but also inconclusive. For example, if you’re a Bronco fan, you’ll love hearing that Peyton Manning has a 2-1 edge over Tom Brady in conference championships and Brady has never beaten Manning on the road in the playoffs. If you’re a Pats fan, however, you’ll be excited to hear with a healthy Julian Edelman in the lineup for New England, the Patriots haven’t lost a game.  Sports media has been mentioning these stats but spending even more time talking about the rivalry between these two great quarterbacks.  To Brady and Manning’s credit, they continue to show their class by complimenting each other’s performance and career. When asked about Brady, Manning stated,  “As the quarterback it’s always a great honor and privilege to have competed against [Brady] over the course of the past 16, 17 years that he and I have been in the league together.” After watching this NFL promo video, you won’t want to miss this historic game! Sunday 3;05 pm.

In the NFC Title game on Sunday at 6:40 pm ET, the Carolina Panthers will host the Arizona Cardinals. Panther’s QB Cam Newton has been practically flawless this season leading his team to an almost perfect season.  Unlike for Manning and Brady, however, performing in an NFL title game is new to Cam. When asked if he was nervous about the game, Newton appeared confident and appreciative, “This is why you play football games. I idolized the quarterbacks that would be in these positions and dream like, ‘Man, I hope, I pray I get an opportunity to do it.'” And speaking of relaxing, Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer needs to find his inner zen as he looked nervous and unsure of himself in last week’s OT win over the Green Bay Packers. Granted it was Palmer’s first career post-season win but he’s got a trip to the Super Bowl on the line so we’ll see what he brings on Sunday.

 

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Bills Hire First Full-Time Female Coach, Warriors Destroy Bulls, Curry’s Jersey #1

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History has been made. The Buffalo Bills have hired the first full-time female assistant coach in the NFL. Kathryn Smith was hired as the special teams quality control coach. The Arizona Cardinals made some waves last year when they hired a woman as an assistant coach in training camp but Smith’s hire is the first full-time position filled.

BASKETBALL

Steph Curry 2The Golden State Warriors are on pace to eclipse the win record set by the Michael Jordan led 1996 Chicago Bulls. Fans couldn’t help discussing the record especially after the Warriors destroyed the Bulls Wednesday night. You can’t compare anyone to the legendary Jordan, but Steph Curry is certainly gaining influence.  The NBA announced his #30 jersey is the top selling uniform in the League (not surprising to my family as that’s all my son will wear).  Warriors 125, Bulls 94.

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Fantasy Bad News In Texas, American Pharoah World’s #1 Horse, Big Losses At Australian Open

FANTASY

DraftKings and FanDuel continue to get bad news. Texas joined New York and Illinois in declaring daily fantasy sports sites violate state law. Texas’ Attorney General claimed that any site that takes a cut for the house is illegal. DraftKings and FanDuel claim they offer games of skill so shouldn’t be penalized. It remains to be seen if these fantasy sites continue to operate in Texas and elsewhere.

HORSE RACING

American Pharoah 2American Pharoah was named the world’s #1 racehorse in 2015. American Pharoah, owened by Ahmed Zayat, stunned the racing world by winning the elusive Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) and then capped the year by running away with the Breeders Cup Classic. Congrats to the American Pharoah team!

 

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal was not too happy down under. At the #5 seed, no one expected him to lose in the first round of the Australian Open but unfortunately after 5 sets and 5 hours, Nadal lost to Fernando Verdas.  Venus Williams also lost in the first round and was fined $5000 for failing to make an appearance at her mandatory post-match media interview.

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Match-Fixing Allegations In Tennis, Curry Smells Champagne In Locker Room Before Trouncing Cavs

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Roger FedererThe big news out of the tennis world is talk of match-fixing in mens tennis. A buzzfeed/BBC report is causing an uproar as 16 players and a US Champion are suspected. No one has been named as of yet, but many in the tennis arena are outraged. Novak Djokovic admitted that someone in his entourage was approached in 2007 offering to pay Djokovic $200,000 for losing a first round match in a tournament in Russia. Djokovic made clear that the offer was immediately rejected and it was “an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport”. Roger Federer also weighed in revealing his disgust that something like this could happen. He stated,  “I would love to hear names, then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation. Like I said, it’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport. So how high up does it go?”

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The Cleveland Cavaliers felt disrespected before their matchup with the Golden State Warriors when Steph Curry made the following comment,”Obviously, walking in that locker room, it’ll be good memories. Hopefully, it still smells a little bit like champagne.” Curry was simply referring to the amazing feeling he and his team had after winning the Championship last season. The Cavs, including Lebron James felt the comment was “disrespectful”. Unfortunately for the Cavs, their feelings of “disrespect” did not fire them up enough to put up even a small fight against the Warriors. Golden State trounced Cleveland 132-98.

 

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