Archive for August, 2018

Kaepernick’s Collusion Case To Trial, Gronkowski’s New Contract, US Open Umpire Interfering

FOOTBALL

Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL will go to trial. An arbitrator threw out the NFL’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit stating there was enough evidence for the case to be heard.  Kaepernick, who started the “take a knee” movement during the National Anthem, has not played since March of 2017 when he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

At 29 years old and starting his ninth NFL season, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, signed a new incentive laden contract that could make him the highest paid tight end in the League. His maximum salary for 2018 is $13.05 million which includes bonuses for playing time, receptions and touchdowns.

 

TENNIS

On Thursday a US Open umpire demonstrated questionable behavior when he stepped down from his chair to speak to Nick Kyrgios during the second set of his match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. Kyrgios trailed 6-4, 3-0 and showed no interest in the match (which he’s been accused of doing many times before), when the umpire came to talk with him. An umpire leaving a chair to speak with a player  is highly unusual and many believe unethical. It’s not clear exactly what the umpire said, but when Kyrgios went back on the court, his attitude changed, and he came back to win the match. Kyrgios will now face superstar Roger Federer on Saturday. At a news conference, Federer expressed his opinion about the intereference saying, “It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair. But I get what he was trying to do. He (Kyrgios) behaves the way he behaves. You as an umpire take a decision on the chair, do you like it or don’t you like it. But you don’t go and speak like that, in my opinion. I don’t know what he said. I don’t care what he said. It was not just about ‘How are you feeling? Oh, I’m not feeling so well.’ Go back up to the chair. He was there for too long. It’s a conversation. Conversations can change your mindset. It can be a physio, a doctor, an umpire for that matter.”

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Bridgewater Traded, Browns Linebacker Insider Trading, Rodgers Signs Record Extension, Lonzo’s New Shot, Taking Shirt Off At Open

FOOTBALL

According to reports, the the New York Jets traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints essentially confirming that their #3 pick Sam Darnold will open the season. Bridgewater found out he was traded on Wednesday and just had time to board the bus and say his goodbyes before the team left for their final pre-season game. New Orleans will start veteran quarterback Drew Brees (39 years old), but Bridgewater may be their quarterback of the future.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks admitted to insider trading and could face jail time. Kendricks received non-public information about trades from his friend Damilare Sonoiki who used to work for Goldman Sachs (and is now a writer for the show Black-ish). Kendricks reportedly made $1.2 million off of this information and paid Sonoiki back with cash and tickets to games.

Aaron Rodgers secured his future with the Green Bay Packers signing a $134 million contract extension. At 34 years old, he’s now the highest paid player in the League.  Rodgers posted on Instagram, “It’s been an amazing ride the last 13 years; excited to start year 14 knowing that my future is here, in Green Bay, for our 100th season. I’ve grown up in this place, and grown older and a little wiser along the way. … Looking forward to making some more memorable moments this year, and for years to come.”

BASKETBALL

Lakers guard Lonzo Ball had a distinctive shooting style which many criticized (particularly during his rookie season in LA), but now Big Baller Brand posted a video of his new more traditional shot. We’ll see if it makes a difference this season.

TENNIS

The heat wave at the US Open continued on Wednesday, so during a break Alize Cornet went into the locker room to change her shirt. When she returned to the court, she saw her shirt was on backwards and reversed it.  She was wearing a sports bra, but the umpire gave her a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. According to the Telegraph, “When she returned to the court, Cornet realised her shirt was on the wrong way round and so quickly changed it. The adjustment took no more than 15 seconds and she was wearing a sports-bra. However, the chair umpire stunned Cornet by hitting her with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – though it wasn’t immediately clear if it was for a time violation or the actual shirt removal – in response to the seemingly innocent action.” Many are outraged at this action, particularly as men take off their shirts all the time. After the uproar, the US Open issued a statement of apology.

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Odell Growing Up, Le’Veon Bell’s Fake News, Kevin Hart And Manziel, Djokovic’s Ice Bath

FOOTBALL

A day after signing a record breaking contract, Odell Beckham Jr. spoke to the media and about getting to this point in his career. He wore a Giants polo shirt and said “I’m growing up”.  In response to his contract he said, “You kind of dream about this moment all your life. In fact, you’ve dedicated everything, you sacrifice weekends, your parents have sacrificed weekend after weekend traveling, doing this and that just to be able to get to this point, so it is a relief and it’s a wonderful opportunity for myself and my family.”

Running back Le’Veon Bell hasn’t reached a contract agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers yet and has sat out of training camp and the preseason. When asked if the rumors were true he’d be joining the team on Labor Day, he said “Don’t believe the fake news. I never said anything to no one”.

Comedian Kevin Hart spoke with Johnny Manziel (on his show “Cold as Balls” where he interviews celebrities while sitting in ice baths) about his disappointing football career going from Heisman Trophy  winner to a behavioral liability with the Cleveland Browns. Manziel admitted, “I don’t expect people to look at my story and feel bad for me. A lot of what I did was self-inflicted. I’m at a point now where I can look back, I can reflect and realize that I was one way. That was wrong. What can I do moving forward because I can’t change how I was.”

TENNIS

Speaking of ice baths, playing in extreme heat at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and his opponent Marton Fucsovics, took advantage of the rule allowing for a 10 minute break after the third set and sat naked side by side in ice baths to cool off. Djokovic remarked on the situation and said, “we battled for two-and-a-half hours and then we were naked in the ice bath. It was a magnificent thing.” The heat index was so high on Tuesday five players had to retire before finishing their matches.

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Beckham Jr. Highest Paid Receiver, Ginobili Retires

FOOTBALL

Odell Beckham Jr. worked out a five-year deal with the New York Giants making him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. According to reports, Beckham Jr. will receive $95 million over 5 years with $65 million guaranteed. The pro-bowl wide receiver hasn’t played in the pre-season but will be on the field for the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 9th. Odell commented on his contract, “Honestly, I don’t even know how to explain it. I don’t know if it’s a relief, I don’t know — it’s a combination of everything. You’ve worked all your life to get to this point and it’s finally here.”

BASKETBALL

After a successful 16 season, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili tweeted he’s retiring. At 41 years old, he wrote,”Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams.” Many current and former players responded to the announcement with their own admiration for Ginobili. Steph Curry summed it up with his tweet, “You embody how basketball is meant to be played,”

 

 

 

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Hill And Beadle Out At ESPN, Brady Ends Interview, USC’s True Freshman QB, Bryce Love’s Love Of Football

ESPN

Over the weekend, ESPN announced a few shakeups. Jemele Hill, once touted as a rising star at the network, ruffled feathers this year after making numerous politically controversial statements. Among her most talked about social media comments was when Hill tweeted President Trump was a “white supremacist”. ESPN, under new leadership, has been trying to avoid politics, and Hill wasn’t a good fit anymore, so they bought out her contract.

In other ESPN news, Michelle Beadle is leaving the new morning show “Get Up” this week. Beadle made her own controversial comments last week when she stated she wasn’t going to watch football anymore. She said, “There’s a reason why this will be the second season I don’t watch NFL and I don’t spend my Saturdays watching college football either. I believe that the sport of football has set itself up to be in a position where it shows itself in the bigger picture to not really care about women — they don’t really care about people of color.” Beadle, who has a $5 million dollar contract with the network, will now work in Los Angeles for NBA Countdown.

FOOTBALL

New England QB Tom Brady hung up the phone and abruptly ended an interview on a Boston radio station after repeated questions about his trainer Alex Guerrero. Last season Guerrero was banned from traveling with the team due to his “unorthodox” training methods. He’s seemingly very close to Brady, however, and traveled on the team plane this week in their matchup with the Panthers. It’s unclear why he doesn’t want to answer questions about Guerrero.

In college football news, USC named freshman (a true freshman not a redshirt) JT Daniels as their starting quarterback this season.

Stanford running back Bryce Love, a Heisman candidate, wrote a first person account in the new issue of Sports Illustrated explaining why he loves football, and why he chose to remain at Stanford for his senior year instead of entering the NFL draft. Love explained there’s life after football, and his dream is to become a pediatrician. He said, “As much as I desperately wish to play in the NFL, I am also passionate about becoming a pediatrician—something else I’ve dreamed of ever since my doctor cured me of pneumonia when I was little.” Love also defended his decision to skip media day this summer to attend class.

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LaVar Destroyed Lithuanian Team, Kopech’s Racist/Homophobic Tweets, Sherman Launches Fantasy Site

BASKETBALL

LaVar Ball is back in the news after his son’s Lithuanian coach posted on Twitter a letter complaining about LaVar destroying the team. The coach also mentioned his disappointment in the sons LiAngelo and LaMelo claiming, “The most disappointing fact was that they had no inner drive to become better.” He went on to say, the brothers’ talent was “nowhere near the level of the LKL (Lithuanian league), let alone the NBA.”

BASEBALL

Pitcher Michael Kopech made a solid major league debut on Tuesday night with the White Sox, then soon realized he’s back in the news for racist and homophobic tweets he made 5 years ago at the age of 17.  Kopech responded to the criticism by saying, “It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally, but it’s not who I am now. Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now, and it’s not who I want to be.’’ Kopech joins major leaguers Trea Turner, Sean Newcomb and Josh Hader who also had to apologize recently for old racist remarks surfacing on their social media accounts.

FOOTBALL

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman launched a daily fantasy sports site called Daily Number. As a co-founder of the company, he’s believed to be the first player to own or co-own a fantasy game.

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Urban Meyer Suspended 3 Games And Showed No Remorse, Browns Asst Coach Hates Stretching, Helmet Rule Remains

FOOTBALL

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was suspended for 3 games for how he handled the domestic abuse allegations against his assistant coach  Zach Smith. Meyer held a press conference Wednesday night apologizing to the University for how the situation was handled. He never admitted, however, he knew anything about the years of abuse Smith’s wife, Courtney, suffered, even though Courtney shared her suffering with Meyer’s wife via text messages. Meyer even knew  there was a police investigation. Many are upset with Meyer’s lack of emotion and contrition during the press conference, never mentioning Courtney’s name or her years of suffering.

Cleveland Browns assistant coach Bob Wylie made it very clear he hates stretching and went on a rant about how unnecessary it is for athletes. In defense of his beliefs he brought up the athleticism of soldiers and said, “Did you know, World War I and World War II, all those guys that fought in that war … they did pushups, jumping jacks, situps, climb the rope and ran. None of this fancy (expletive). And they won two World Wars. Do you think they were worried when they were running across Normandy about (expletive) stretching?”

The NFL decided its new controversial helmet rule will remain in place, with the clarification that unintentionally contact will not be called. An NFL executive explained “The committee resolved that there will be no changes to the rule as approved by clubs this spring, which includes no additional use of instant replay. The committee also determined that inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or face mask is not a foul.”

 

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Marchiol Accuses Texas A&M Of NCAA Violations, Smith Suspended For Domestic Abuse, Nationals Throw In Towel

FOOTBALL

Linebacker Santino Marchiol accused Texas A&M of alleged NCAA violations.  Marchiol left the program last season and transferred to Arizona, accusing coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff of violations including giving cash to players for hosting recruits and holding training sessions that violated  NCAA rules. Part of the reason Marchiol is airing these complaints is he’s hoping he can convince the NCAA to allow him to be eligible to play at Arizona this season instead of sitting out due to transfer rules.

The Baltimore Ravens  cornerback Jimmy Smith has been suspended for four games for domestic violence and illegal drug use by his former girlfriend. Smith said, “I take full responsibility for my past conduct. Moving forward, I will work with the NFL and the Ravens to ensure that what happened in the past will never happen again. I will take all necessary steps to be a positive role model for both my sons, for the NFL and for the entire Ravens community.” The Ravens organization stated, “Our player’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong” but they plan to keep Smith on their roster and expect him to play when his suspension is over.

BASEBALL

The Washington Nationals traded All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals. With these two trades, the fans and media are all saying the Nationals have “thrown in the towel” after their disastrous season.

 

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Peterson To Washington, Luck Optimistic, Alabama Ranked #1, Knicks Fan Selling Fanhood

FOOTBALL

Adrian Peterson is reportedly signing a deal to play with the Washington Redskins this season. Peterson suffered a neck injury last season, but based on his past performances as a running back in the League (drafted 7th in the 2007 draft by the Minnesota Vikings), he could still have a productive season with a new team.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is optimistic after his poor performance in Monday’s pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens. In only his second start after a year away from the game due to injury, Luck stated, “I think we were just sloppy a little bit.” He went on to say, “I don’t think it’s very complicated. Pretty simple. We’ve got some stuff to work on.”

To no one’s surprise, defending champion Alabama ranked at the top of the College AP pre-season poll. The Crimson Tide has been ranked #1 the past three seasons which is only the second time in AP Poll history a team has accomplished that feat.

BASKETBALL

One disappointed fan in the New York Knicks has had enough of the team losing and decided to sell his fanhood on ebay. Ebay user evanperl wrote”Infuriated New York Knicks fan has had enough, selling my fanhood.” The price for his fanhood is $1, 973 (the last year the Knicks won the NBA Championship). The winner will get the right to tell evanperl which team he’ll root for going forward.

 

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Biles Wins 5 Golds And Wears Teal To Acknowledge Victims, Sherman Thinks Helmet Rule Idiotic

GYMNASTICS

Simone Biles won all five Gold medals at the US Gymnastics Championship Sunday night. According to the coordinator of the women’s team, “Biles is so spectacular, it’s pretty much a given that everyone else is competing for second place when she’s around.” Biles didn’t just compete and win her events, she also made a statement by wearing a teal colored outfit. Teal is the color of sex abuse survivors, and Biles wanted to make the hundreds of gymnasts abused by Larry Nasser were acknowledged for their suffering. Meanwhile, USA Gymnastics new CEO Kerry Perry had a chance to address the media. Unfortunately, Perry didn’t use the platform to recognize the victims of sexual abuse and properly acknowledge the changes that need to be made in USA gymnastics.

FOOTBALL

Much has been said in the last couple of weeks about the NFL’s new helmet rule which attempts to make the game a safer place for the athletes. Players and fans alike have criticized the rule saying it’s too subjective and impossible to properly enforce. According to San Francisco 49er cornerback Richard Sherman, “it’s idiotic”. He went on to say, “To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target. You will soon realize it’s impossible.” Sherman also tweeted that if the rule stays in place, the NFL “will be flag football soon.”

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