Archive for August, 2017

Irving/Thomas Trade Official, Alabama-Florida State Saturday, Gators Suspend 10 Players

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The Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers blockbuster trade sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas is finally official. The trade almost didn’t happen when Thomas’ physical didn’t go as planned (showing he was still suffering from a hip injury). After the Celtics threw in a 2020 second round draft pick via the Miami Heat, the Cavs accepted the deal.

FOOTBALL

The much anticipated college matchups for the week/weekend includes the Ohio State Buckeyes taking on Indiana Thursday night and the heavily hyped Alababama vs Florida State Saturday night (which many anticipate could be a preview of the College Football National Championship).

The Florida Gators are not starting off the season in a good place after having suspended a total of 10 players for their season opener against Michigan. Nine of the players were caught purchasing items from the school bookstore (with funds they didn’t have) and then selling the items for cash. Two players were also suspended for possession of marijuana (with one of the two already suspended in the bookstore scandal).

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Rangers Criticism For Not Swapping Games, J.J. Watt Raises Over $5 Mill, Chris Sale’s Record Strikeout

BASEBALL

With Hurricane Harvey and life-threatening conditions in the area, the Houston Astros moved their game against the Texas Rangers to Tampa Bay. Before relocating the series to Tampa Bay, the Astros asked the Rangers if they would consider swapping their home games. This week’s series would be played in Arlington and the September games would be played in Houston. The Rangers organization refused claiming it wouldn’t be fair to the fans. Their response caused an uproar on social media. One baseball fan, wrote, “The Rangers have just become the most classless, selfish organization in all of sports. I thought Texans were supposed to stick together!!!! https://t.co/lC9wvOvy0, — Aaron Alvarado (@AaronAlvarado21) August 29, 2017. Rangers 12, Astros 2.

In other Hurrican Harvey news, the Rockets owner Leslie Alexander increased his donation to Hurricane relief from $4 million to $10 million. And, the Houston Texans J.J. Watt is using his celebrity to raise money through crowd funding. He’s already surpassed his original goal and is now at $5 million.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale threw for his 1,500th strike out in a record 1, 290 innings. No other pitcher in Major League Baseball History has pitched this many strikeouts in fewer than 1,300 innings. After a slow start to the season, Sale has become a leading candidate for the American League Cy Young Award.

 

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Mayweather Remains Undefeated, 49ers Reid kneels During Anthem, Browns Stand & Rookie Kizer Starts, Isaiah Thomas Fails Physical

BOXING

The most hyped boxing match in recent memory between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor lasted for 10 rounds, before the judges called the match in favor of Mayweather. After the match, McGregor claimed the scoring was biased as he thought he won the first 3 rounds. Even so, he accepted defeat and even complimented his opponent, “I enjoyed the fight, it was a great contest … It was an honor to share the ring with him.”  McGregor said in his post-fight interview. Mayweather recorded his 50th win and could retire undefeated (50-0). He earned $100 million from this fight, while McGregor earned $30 million.

FOOTBALL

San Francisco 49er safety Eric Reid previously said he would not continue to kneel during the National Anthem this season (he kneeled with Colin Kaepernick all last year), but changed his mind Sunsay night against the Minnesota Vikings. According to Reid, “I just had a change of heart. A lot of thinking, a lot of praying, talking to Colin [Kaepernick].”

Just a week after 12 players from the Cleveland Browns took a knee during the national anthem, the whole team stood Saturday night. The legendary Jim Brown reportedly spoke to the team before the game and said, “do not disrespect your country, do not disrespect the flag”.

In other Browns’ news, the team announced their rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will start during the regular season. Kizer was selected in the second round of the draft, the 52nd overall pick (and the 4th quarterback taken). The top 3 quarterbacks in the draft appear to be starting the season on the bench.

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The recently announced blockbuster trade sending Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers may not happen. Thomas failed his physical which could cause the Cavs to void the whole deal or ask for additional compensation.

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Cabrera Starts Bench Clearing Brawl, Kevin Hart Goes To Rams, Mayweather/McGregor Fight Finally Here

BASEBALL

Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera started a bench-clearing brawl when he shoved New York Yankees catcher Austine Romine Thursday afternoon. Cabrera claimed Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle aimed a pitch at him. Eight players were ejected in the Tigers 10-6 win over the Yankees. Cabrera defended his actions by saying, “You don’t want to see that. You don’t want to see people hit in the head. You don’t want to see fighting on the field. But people have to understand, we’re human. Sometimes, in the heat of the game, when people throw at you at 97, right at your wrist. You react sometimes.”

FOOTBALL

NFL pre-season practices and games are in full swing. Most practices are pretty grueling and boring, but the Los Angles Rams got a treat when comedian Kevin Hart and actor Scott Eastwood showed up for the workout. At the end of the day, a tired Hart told the team he’s a fan!

BOXING

For months we’ve heard about the big fight between undefeated (49-0) 40 year old boxing phenom Floyd Mayweather vs the 29 year old mixed martial artist Conor McGregor. The pay per view spectacle takes place Saturday night August 26th and already ranks as the most bet fight in Nevada history. For more info on the fight and how and where to watch, click here.

 

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Hill’s Almost No-Hitter, Rally Outside NFL HQ In Support Of Kaepernick

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Rich Hill mesmerized the crowd on Wednesday night with an almost perfect game. Unfortunately for Hill fans, he lost his incredible moment when the Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison hit a homer in the 10th inning causing Hill to be the first pitcher since 1906 “to lose a decision despite throwing at least nine innings with one or fewer hits and no walks allowed” (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).  Hill’s story is one of perseverance and tragedy, which is why his almost no-hitter was so disappointing to his fans. Hill was taken in the 4th round of the MLB draft in 2002 (out of the University of Michigan) then 8 teams later and a 2014 devastatingly tragic loss of his infant son due to medical complications shaped Hill’s determination and perseverance.  Hill was characteristically classy in complimenting his teammates after the game and said, “I try to keep everything as simple as possible and don’t think of it as bigger than it is.”

FOOTBALL

“United We Stand” organized a rally outside the NFL headquarters to demand a meeting with the NFL prior to September 7th, the start of the season, in order to discuss protecting players who are socially active. The crowd voiced their grievances about the treatment of Colin Kaepernick and his inability to get hired by any team in the NFL. Among the 500 people gathered was Stephen A. Green of the People’s Consortium who stated, “We have come today to assert to the NFL that we are demanding that you enact a policy that will protect the freedom of expression of the players to be able to speak about the issues of social justice that matter to them. We are demanding that they be safeguarded from humiliation, from ostracization and from exclusion — so much so that if they find themselves in a predicament that they can fine the NFL. We want to make sure that they continue to speak up for the lives of black and brown people in this country.” NFL Vice President of communication, Brian McCarthy responded to the group by trying to set up a meeting in the coming weeks, but, according to McCarthy, the group declined.

 

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Kyrie Irving Trade To Celtics For Isaiah Thomas, ESPN’s Robert Lee Relocated

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It was no surprise the Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving, wanted out of Cleveland, but the trade with the Boston Celtics appeared lopsided to many sports fans. The Celtics gave up Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick for Kyrie. LeBron James took to social media to express his appreciation of his time with Irving and said, “That’s the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode”.  LeBron and Irving will face each other early on when the Celtics head to Cleveland on October 17th for the first game of the NBA regular season.

FOOTBALL

With the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA, ESPN was concerned for their broadcaster Robert Lee, who shares a similar name to the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, whose statue was removed this month. ESPN apparently consulted with their broadcaster and asked if he’d prefer to be relocated from covering the Virginia-William and Mary game, and Lee agreed. ESPN explained the decision by saying, “We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue.”

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Odell Beckham Jr And Brandon Marshall Injuries, 12 Browns Take Knee

FOOTBALL

Pre-season games don’t mean much, unless someone gets injured, which unfortunately happened on Monday night. The New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall both suffered what appeared to be minor injuries, but the team will access the severity when they return home.  Beckham Jr limped off the field with an ankle strain and Marshall with a shoulder injury. Many fans are upset that the Brown’s Briean Boddy-Calhoun’s hit on Beckham was dirty and he should be fined.

In other news from the Giants pre-season loss to the Cleveland Browns, 12 Browns players took a knee in prayer during the National Anthem. According to rookie Jabrill Peppers, “There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now. We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.” Browns’ tight end Seth DeValve became the first white player to kneel. According to the Seahawks Michael Bennett, it would take a white player kneeling to change the conversation.  No word on whether the players will continue to take a knee during the regular season.

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Magic And Lakers Investigated For Tampering, Boldin Announces Retirement

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The NBA is investigating the Los Angeles Lakers and specifically their President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, for tampering with a potential trade of the Indiana Pacers Paul George. George will be a free agent next summer, and shortly after expressing his desire to play for the Lakers, the Pacers traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They didn’t get great trade value for him, however, as (according to the Pacers), no team would want a player who is planning on leaving anyway. The Lakers deny there was tampering, but if the investigation proves there was any kind of side-deal, the Lakers could lose draft picks and suffer a financial fine. In addition, George might be disqualified for playing for the Lakers.  This whole incident stemmed from Magic Johnson’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel where he joked about wanting George on the team.

FOOTBALL

After 14 years in the NFL, Anquan Boldin announced he’s retiring. Two weeks ago he signed with the Buffalo Bills but now says he’d like to devote his time to fighting for human rights. Boldin and his wife have been actively involved in charitable work including sponsoring scholarships for college. In 2015, Boldin focused his attention on criminal justice after his cousin was fatally shot by a police officer when his car broke down on a highway. In his statement to the press he said, “Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority.”

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Cutler Solid In Dolphins Debut, NFLPA Says Work Stoppage Certainty In 2021

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Former Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler came out of retirement as a fill-in for Miami Dolphins backup QB Ryan Tannehill (who is undergoing surgery). Cutler was only in for 9 plays in his pre-season debut against the Baltimore Ravens but looked solid. According to Dolphins coach Adam Gase, “His tempo was really good. I think we gotta get used to that a bit, the rest of the guys, because he’s ready to go a little sooner than everyone else.”

We can enjoy a full football schedule for a few seasons, but according to the head of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, there’s “virtual certainty” a work stoppage will occur after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement in 2020. He told Sports Illustrated, “I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout is almost in ’21 a virtual certainty.” Some of the issues needing resolving is the revenue split between owners and players and how much power NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has in instituting the personal conduct policy for the league.

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Falcons Chick-fil-A Closed On Sundays, 49ers Lynch Refusing To Stand Divisive,

FOOTBALL

The Atlanta Falcons are getting heat for their new billion-dollar stadium and the Chick-fil-A restaurant. As any football fan knows, most games are played on Sunday (other than an occasional Thursday night or Monday night game), and Chick-fil-A is not open on Sundays. According to the restaurant’s website, the founder, Truett Cathy, decided to close the restaurant in 1946, so employees could have a day of rest. Fans have been grilling the team on social media with comments like, “If you ever think you make bad decisions, just remember they’re putting a Chick-Fil-A in the new Falcons stadium”

SF 49ers general manager, John Lynch, weighed in about players sitting for the National Anthem (Raiders Marshawn Lynch and Seahawks Michael Bennett this week sat). Lynch said he personally thinks refusing to stand is “divisive“, but also said, he understands  and “guys see things and they’re not happy. They have that right. And I think we’ll always respect people’s rights. That doesn’t mean I believe that. I believe this game should be celebrated for what it is — I think, a tremendous unifier for our country, and for the way things should be.”

 

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