Archive for March, 2018

Rams Male Cheerleaders, LeBron Matches Jordan, Kemba Walker Leading Scorer, MLB Season Begins

FOOTBALL

The Los Angeles Rams are breaking ground by having the first male cheerleaders in the history of the NFL. Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies went through the same grueling 3-week audition process as all of the prospects and will now join the 40 person squad.

BASKETBALL

Adding yet another record to LeBron James outstanding career, on Wednesday night the future Hall of Famer matched Michael Jordan’s run of 866 consecutive double-digit scoring games. Asked about the feat, LeBron said, “Anytime I’m mentioned with some of the greats, and arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time in Mike, it’s just another feat for me to be just appreciative and humbled by what I’m able to do.”
Also making history Wednesday night was Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker who became the all-time leading scorer in franchise history, passing Dell Curry.

BASEBALL

Major League baseball season begins today. As with any opening day, everyone has an opinion on which teams will make it to the post-season and which teams have a chance of winning the World Series. For an early analysis click here, but important to remember it’s unlikely for teams to repeat as World Series champs (last time was the NY Yankees in 1998), and the season is 162 games spanning 6 months.
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Gronk Best Dancer In NFL, LiAngelo Available For NBA

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Many in the sports world have been speculating whether Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft is concerned that tight end Rob Gronkowski will retire this year. After Gronk’s now famous “dance off” with Shaquille O’Neal over the weekend at the debut of Shaq’s Fun House in Miami, Kraft was thrilled with Gronk’s athleticism and said, “I must say, I sort of got excited seeing him vault up on Shaq’s shoulders. For a guy that size to be able to hop up on a 7-foot-2-inch, or whatever Shaq is, is pretty cool. So, that speaks well about his potential athletic moves this coming year.’’ When Gronk does retire, he says wants to win “Dancing with the Stars” and that he’s “the best dancer in the NFL.”

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LiAngelo Ball, the former UCLA player who was involved in a shoplifting scandal in China and is currently playing in Lithuania with his younger brother LaMelo, has indicated he’ll be available for the NBA draft this year. LiAngelo seems to be playing well in Lithuania, but it’s unclear whether NBA teams will be interested in him.

 

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UConn, Mississippi State, Notre Dame Louisville Advance To Final Four, Markelle Fultz Returns, OBJ To Rams?

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UConn crushed #2, South Carolina, to advance to the Women’s Final Four, marking a record 11th consecutive time reaching the semis. Even though UConn has appeared in the Final Four more than any other women’s division 1 team, this powerhouse did not win the Championship last year. They lost to Mississippi State in overtime last year. The UConn Huskies will face Notre Dame on Friday night with the hopes of avenging last year’s disappointment in not making it to the championship game.

Mississippi State will make its second-ever appearance in the Final Four after beating UCLA. They will play Louisville. Games begin at 7:00 pm Friday night March 30th.

In NBA news, #1 pick in the 2017 draft, Markelle Fultz returned to the court on Monday night and scored 10 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds in only 14 minutes. Fultz has been injured most of his rookie season, but now that the Philadelphia 76ers have secured a spot in the playoffs, the team is bringing him out to see what he can do.

FOOTBALL

There’s been much discussion lately about where the New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr will end up. The Giants want a first-round pick and other incentives for their star receiver. The latest suitor is the Los Angeles Rams. Remains to be seen if they can make a deal.

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Final Four:Loyola Chicago Vs Michigan, Villanova Vs Kansas, Last Game For Grayson, Curry New Injury

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The Final Four is set! After beating Kansas State on Saturday, # 11th seed Loyola Chicago matched only three other teams in the history of the NCAA tournament as the lowest seed to make it to the Final Four. Loyola Chicago will face Michigan, whose defense helped the team cruise past Florida State.

Villanova didn’t surprise anyone with their big win over West Virginia to take their seat in the semi’s. They will take on Kansas who heads to the Final Four after a tough fought overtime battle against Duke. Duke’s loss marks the end of one of the most controversial players college careers, Grayson Allen. Allen was a breakout star for Duke, but bizarrly kept sabotaging his reputation by a series of tripping incidents and inappropriate behavior. Allen had a chance to be hero at the end of regulation, but missed his shot sending the game to overtime, where Duke seemed to lose steam. After the devastating loss, Allen spoke to the press and maturely said, “I’ve learned so much in my four years here, coming out a completely different person and for the better. And the relationships I’ve built with Coach, the coaches. Some of my teammates who are guys I call my brothers now, those will last for a really long time. And that’s one of the things I’ll cherish. Those don’t go away.”

In the NBA, Steph Curry is out again indefinitely after a freak accident on Saturday night in a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks when teammate JaVale McGee fell on his knee causing a Grade 2 MCL sprain.  Curry believes he’ll be back in time for the playoffs, but coach Kerr wants to make sure he’s fully rested. The Warriors are also now dealing with Kevin Durant’s rib injury, Klay Thompson’s hand injury, and Draymond Green’s pelvic issue.  They all expect to be back soon, however.

 

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Kansas State & Loyola-Chicago Improbable Run, Michigan & Florida State Elite 8, Reid No Kneeling, Manziel Throws

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Just another crazy night in the NCAA tournament. Both underdogs, #9 Kansas State and #11 Loyola-Chicago, continue their Cinderella run by overpowering Nevada and Kansas respectively. Loyola-Chicago’s improbable run has created a superstar in their 98-year-old Chaplain and biggest fan, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. The athletic department has been sorting through over 75 interview requests (including Good Morning America) for Sister Jean since the team’s success over the past week.  Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago now face each other in an exciting Elite Eight round on Saturday (the first #9/#11 matchup in NCAA history). In other Sweet 16 rounds, Michigan dominated Texas A&M and Florida State overpowered Gonzaga. #3 Michigan and #9 Florida State will face each other in the Elite 8 Round on Saturday.

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Free agent safety Eric Reid, who has complained he’s not getting offers from teams because he’s been outspoken about racial injustice and knelt all season during the National Anthem, now explains he’ll continue to be active but not by kneeling. He said, “I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country and improve on the issues happening in this country. I don’t think it will be in the form of protesting during the anthem. I say ‘during’ because it’s crazy that the narrative changed to we were ‘protesting the anthem,’ and that wasn’t the case. I think we’re going to take a different approach to how we’re going to be active.”

Johnny Manziel wants back in the NFL. At Pro Day in San Diego, he attempted 38 passes in front of 13 NFL teams.  The Cleveland Browns took Manziel, former Heisman trophy winner out of Texas A&M, with their first-round pick, but drugs, alcohol and inappropriate off-field behavior, led to his downfall. Manziel is now married and training rigorously to get back in the game.

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Sweet 16 Rounds, Howard Historic 32-30, Marry Darnold Don’t Date Him

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The March Madness sweet 16 round begins Thursday night with #7 Nevada vs #11 Loyola-Chicago, #3 Michigan vs #7 Texas A&M, #5 Kentucky vs #9 Kansas State and #4 Gonzaga vs #9 Florida State. On Friday, we’ll have four more games featuring #1 Kansas vs #5 Clemson, #1 Villanova vs #5 West Virginia, #2 Duke vs #11 Syracuse and #2 Purdue vs #3 Texas Tech.

The Charlotte Hornets’ Dwight Howard had a historic night against the Brooklyn Nets by scoring 32 points and grabbing 30 rebounds. Howard is only the 8th player in NBA history to record these stats, and the only other player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976 to post a 30-30 game against the Nets.  Howard credits a text from a friend saying,  “Got a text at halftime from somebody and it kind of got me motivated and gave me some extra energy.”

FOOTBALL

The NFL draft is only 5 weeks away and the big question is which quarterback will go #1. USC’s Sam Darnold had a solid pro-day workout on Wednesday with many speculating he’ll go #1 to the Cleveland Browns. Other potential #1 quarterback picks are Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. According to Darnold’s trainer, Jordan Palmer, “Sam is not the kid you speed-date. He’s the kid you marry. As he goes through this process and gets to spend a bunch of time with Cleveland and some of these other teams, it’s very predictable for people — like myself — who are in his circle that people will fall in love the more they get to know him.”

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AAF Debut, NFL’s Definition Of Catch, Dinosaurs Pets Of Big People, Greeny’s New Show “Get Up”

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Alliance of American Football (AAF) will debut February 9th, 2019. The 8-league team will run for 10 weeks. According to co-founder Bill Polian, AAF will be a feeder to the NFL, as the games will take place during the NFL off-season. Troy Polamalu, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety and now head of the AAF’s player relations, said, “I think this will be complementary to the NFL.” AAF will look very different from a regular NFL game as the new League eliminated the kickoff and extra point, and the team scoring a touchdown will get the ball back.

The NFL announced a new definition of a catch. The new rule will clarify what has become a controversial issue in many games (including in this year’s Super Bowl). Slight movement of the football in a receiver’s hands will constitute a catch, and the “going to the ground” rule (where a player who has caught the ball and is falling to the ground will need to maintain control of the football while on the ground) will be eliminated.

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Boston Celtics Guard, Kyrie Irving, had the sports world buzzing last year when he spoke about this “flat earth theory”, and now for some more wacky news, Cleveland Cavaliers Guard Jordan Clarkson claims dinosaurs existed but were the pets of bigger people. “So, I think it was bigger people in the world before us, and, like, the dinosaurs was their pets.”

OTHER

For all ESPN “Mike and Mike” fans, April 2nd at 7;00 ET marks the long-awaited debut of Mike Greenberg’s new show. For a behind the scenes look at “Get Up”, featuring Greenberg, Michele Beadle and Jalen Rose, check out their new twitter account.

 

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Tyronn Lue’s Health Issues, Justin Timberlake’s Half-Court Shot, Justin Turner’s Wrist

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In a statement to the press, Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue announced he’s taking a leave of absence due to health issues. He said he’s been suffering all season from “chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep”. He went on to say, “I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.” Lue believes he can be back in a week and is working to improve his health by taking medication, hiring a new chef, getting some exercise and rest.

Is there anything Justin Timberlake can’t do? Timberlake stopped in DC on his concert tour and spent the afternoon before his performance shooting baskets at the Washington Wizards practice court. Timberlake showed off his skills including this shot from half-court. Timberlake and wife Jessica Biel are minority owners of the Memphis Grizzlies.

BASEBALL

For the first time in 50 years, all Major League baseball teams will play their official first game of the season on the same day, March 29th. The reigning National League Champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, suffered a slight setback to their season after finding out their star third baseman Justin Turner suffered a broken wrist after getting hit with a ball in a spring training game. According to experts, a broken wrist can mean missing 6-9 weeks.

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Only Two #1 Seeds Left, Curry Gifts UMBC,Jordan Poole Hero For Michigan, UConn Sets Records

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What a weekend for March Madness! First, #1 seed Virginia lost to the Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers (UMBC) marking the first time a #16 team has beaten a number one ranked team in tournament history. Unfortunately for UMBC, they lost in the next round to Florida State, but they still secured their place in history and received a special gift from Steph Curry. Under Armour represents Curry and the UMBC team, so after their historic win, Curry sent them his limited released shoes and some miscellaneous items.

In other crazy tournament news, only two #1 seeds are in the sweet 16 round after #1 seed Xavier fell to #9 seed Florida State. One of the most exciting games of the weekend featured Michigan’s Jordan Poole sinking a buzzer-beater three-pointer to secure a seemingly improbable win over Houston. For more on the sweet 16 teams, click here!

In the women’s bracket, #1 seed UConn just keeps setting records. In their first round matchup against St. Francis (PA), they set a record for number of points scored in the first half (55), then a record for number of points scored in the half (94), then finally set a record for number of points overall, 140. Finally, they also set a record for number of assists in a game (38). Is there anything this team can’t do?

 

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Pac-12 Out, Reid’s Activism Hurting, Skipper Extorted By Cocaine Dealer

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After selection Sunday, many criticized the committee for not including USC in the NCAA tournament. USC is part of the Pac-12 and many wondered how bad the Pac-12 must have been for USC to get snubbed. Well, we’ve now got an answer. After the first day of the tournament, and for the first time in the history of the tournament, ALL Pac- 12 teams are out. According to ESPN stats, “no major conference has failed to send a team to the round of 32 since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996-97”. For a recap of the winners and losers from day 1, click here. And, spoiler alert, Penn will not be the Cinderella story of the tournament, but #13 ranked Buffalo could be with a blowout win over #4th ranked Arizona.

FOOTBALL

The former San Francisco 49er safety Eric Reid is claiming his activism is hurting him in free agency. Reid was the first player to kneel beside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem. Reid told ESPN, “I would say I understand that’s a possibility. And I’m completely fine with it. The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.” Kaepernick is actively looking for a team to sign him as well.

OTHER

John Skipper, former ESPN president, abruptly resigned last December. In a newly released article from the Hollywood Reporter, Skipper admitted he was being extorted by a cocaine dealer.

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