Archive for September, 2018

Browns Finally Win! Kaepernick Receives Harvard Honor

FOOTBALL

The Cleveland Browns finally snapped their losing streak and won a game! Down two touchdowns to the New York Jets on Thursday night football, rookie Baker Mayfield (the #1 pick in the 2018 draft) came off the bench, ignited the offense, and led the team to victory. Browns’ running back Carlos Hyde had many reasons to celebrate. He rushed for two touchdowns then rushed to the hospital for the birth of his baby boy. Fans all around the city celebrated the Browns first win since December 24th, 2016 with free beer thanks to the Bud Light promotion which automatically opened vending machines all around the city. Browns 21, Jets 17.

Colin Kaepernick will receive Harvard University’s highest honor in African and American studies, the W.E.B. Du Bois medal. The medal recipients are recognized for  “their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind.” Past recipients have include Muhammad Ali and Maya Angelou.

 

 

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Cuban Donates $10Mill, Vontae Explains Retirement, Gordon At Patriots, Dodger’s Puig On Fire

BASKETBALL

The NBA held an internal investigation into “sexual harassment charges and improper workplace conduct” against the Dallas Mavericks organization over the last 20 years. According to the NBA, “investigators concluded that Mavericks’ management was ineffective, including a lack of compliance and internal controls, and that these shortcomings permitted the growth of an environment in which acts of misconduct and the individuals who committed them could flourish.” Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, responded by announcing he’ll donate $10 million to “organizations that are committed to supporting the leadership and development of women in the sports industry and combating domestic violence.” He also stated, “I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I’m just sorry I didn’t recognize it.”

FOOTBALL

Last weekend Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis (younger brother of Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis) went into the locker room at halftime of the teams’s loss to the Chargers and abruptly retired. His teammates were outraged, the media was baffled, and fans were furious. A few days later, Davis explained his sudden move to ESPN’s The Undefeated and said, “I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me. I don’t belong on that field anymore.” The 30 year old went on to say, “I left everything the league wanted me to be, playing for my teammates while injured, the gladiator mentality, it all just popped. And when it popped, I just wanted to leave it all behind. So that’s why I don’t care what people say. That experience was personal and not meant for anyone else to understand. It was me cold turkey leaving behind an identity that I carried with me for so long.”

Former Cleveland Brown Josh Gordon appeared at the New England Patriots practice on Wednesday, although coach Bill Belichick still won’t confirm Gordon is officially part of the team claiming the terms haven’t been completed. And, assuming Gordon is “officially” on the team by the weekend, there’s no word on whether Gordon will be healthy enough to play. Gordon tore his hamstring last weekend on a promotional shoot for a brand he’s promoting. The incident was seemingly the last straw for the Browns as they’ve had issues with Gordon in the past.

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodger’s Yasiel Puig has been on fire hitting his sixth home run in 18 at bats. Puig’s performance has boosted the Dodgers to a 2 1/2 game advantage in the National League West.

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Josh Gordon Traded To Patriots, Dropkicks, Kickers Fired, Hall Of Famers Demands

FOOTBALL

The Cleveland Browns traded troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick. At 27 years old, Gordon is still considered a solid receiver but has suffered from substance abuse the past four years. The Browns stuck with him, but according to reports the team did not “trust” him anymore after showing up to practice on Saturday with an injured hamstring which occurred while shooting a promotional video at the stadium for a line of clothing he’s promoting.

If you were watching the Chicago Bears/Seattle Seahawks Monday night football game, you might have noticed a few unusual kicks. It wasn’t your imagination, Seahawk rookie punter Michael Dickson dropkicked a kickoff and onside kick. The dropkick was fashionable 100 years ago before the shape of the football changed to make it more aerodynamic. As for the rest of the game, Chicago’s Khalil Mack (traded by the Oakland Raiders) provided most of the highlights as he brought pressure on Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson and caused turnovers. Khalil leads the NFL in sacks (10 this season so far). Chicago 24, Seattle 17.

After a day of unprecedented missed kicks, the Minnesota Vikings cut Daniel Carlson (who missed three field goals on Sunday) and the Cleveland Browns cut Zane Gonzalez (who missed two field goals and two extra points on Sunday).

In other football news, a group of NFL Hall of Famers sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell saying they wouldn’t attend the Hall of Fame ceremony unless they were given a list of demands. According to ESPN Arash Markazi “Pro Football Hall of Famers said they would not attend the annual hall of fame induction ceremony until they received health insurance and an annual salary that included a share of league revenue.” The Hall of Famers who signed the letter are: Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Carl Eller, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jackie Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Kurt Warner and Sarah White, the widow of Reggie White.

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19 Missed Kicks In Week 2, Browns & Vikings Bad Kicking Days, Davis Retires At Halftime, Fitzpatrick Channels McGregor

FOOTBALL

In week two of the NFL, we saw 19 missed field goals and point after touchdowns. Nineteen misses in one day!  In one particular matchup, the Cleveland Browns had an opportunity to finally win a game, but their kicker Zane Gonzalez (who had already missed an extra point earlier in the game and who heartbreakingly missed a game-winning field goal last week), missed again. To add insult to injury, Gonzalez had a chance to tie the game a few plays later but missed a field goal, and the New Orleans Saints took the win. The Browns haven’t won a game since December 24th, 2016. Saints 21, Browns 18.

As depressing as the day was for Zane, the Minnesota Vikings rookie Daniel Carlson’s day was worse. Carlson missed all three field goals including two in overtime which could have given the Vikings a win over the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers might have won the game in regulation play (instead of tying in overtime) if it wasn’t for a confusing roughing the passer call on Packer’s linebacker Clay Matthews that negated a potentially game-ending interception by Packers’ cornerback Jaire Alexander. According to Matthews, “You see how it changed the game. I know there’s an emphasis on protecting quarterbacks, but it’s gotten out of control.” Vikings 29, Packers 29.

One of the oddest occurrences during the day on Sunday was when Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis played in the first half of the game, went into the locker room at halftime and retired from football.  It’s Vontae’s 10th season in the NFL and first with the Bills. After the game, Bills’ Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander reacted by saying he’s never seen anything like it and called it “disrespectful”.

Backup Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he’s having a blast on the field and off. With another week of throwing for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns, Fitzpatrick became the first quarterback in franchise history with 4 TDs in consecutive games. During the press conference after the win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick dressed up as mixed martial artist Conor McGregor amusing his teammates and reporters. When asked about his getup, he said, “The chest hair is mine”.

 

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Bengals Start 2-0, Gronk/Ramsey Matchup To Watch, Wright Will Take Field

FOOTBALL

With their win on Thursday night, the Cincinnati Bengals quieted their critics by taking down an AFC rival and posting a 2-0 start to the season. Quarterback Andy Dalton found receiver A.J. Green for three touchdowns (with Dalton throwing 4 TD’s in all).  The Ravens fought back, but it wasn’t enough and the Bengals won 34-23.

One matchup to watch this weekend features New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski against Jacksonville Jaguars’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey. This game should be particularly entertaining as Ramsey said in an ESPN interview a month ago “I don’t think Gronk’s good. Let me say — I don’t think Gronk is as great as people think he is.” When asked recently about these comments, Gronk said, “I feel like that talking right there, going out preparing and showing what we can do Sunday is louder than just talking trash all week. It makes it fun, though.” Yes, it should be fun, tune in Sunday 4:25 pm ET.

BASEBALL

The NY Mets announced they will activate their third baseman and captain, David Wright on September 25th, and he will play during the Mets final home game on September 29th. Wright has been fighting off injuries since May of 2016. In the press conference announcing his return to the field and implying he’ll retire afterward, Wright said, “playing baseball is ‘debilitating’ to his health and that ‘there’s not going to be an improvement’ in the problems that have cost him so much time.” Wright then told his teammates, “it’s truly been an honor to take the field with you, and serve as your captain. To the fans, words can’t address my gratitude.”

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Westbrook Surgery, Curry Defends Williams, Red Sox 100 Wins, Allen To Start For Bills

BASKETBALL

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s MVP from the 2016/17 season, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee this week, forcing him to miss the team’s preseason. No word on whether he’ll be ready for the team’s season opener on October 16th against the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors Steph Curry weighed in and defended Serena Williams on how she handled her loss to Naomi Osaka at the US Open. Curry is friends with Williams and has shot many Chase bank commercials with her. He said, “The way Serena handled the situation, I think she handled it with such grace and class. At the end of the day, I hope everybody understands and celebrates Naomi because she’s the U.S. Open champion and that’s pretty dope.”

BASEBALL

The Boston Red Sox took only 146 games to reach 100 wins, becoming the fastest team to do so since the Seattle Mariners in 2001. The team has only reached 100 wins four times in their franchise history (with the last one in 1946).

FOOTBALL

The Buffalo Bills announced they will replace their rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman with the number seven overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, Josh Allen. Allen will start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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De La Hoya To Run For President, Red Sox Clinch, deGrom Sets Record

BOXING

Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya announced he’ll run in the next election for President of the United States. While in Vegas promoting a match, he stated, “That’s the beauty of our nation. If Arnold (Schwarzenegger) can be governor, if (Donald) Trump can be President, then why can’t a Mexican-American who won an Olympic gold medal, who’s over 35 and a U.S. citizen, run for presidency?”

BASEBALL

With 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season and nine games ahead in the American League East, the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth.

The New York Mets lost to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, but Cy Young candidate, Jacob deGrom set a Major League Baseball record with three or fewer runs in 26 consecutive starts. deGrom, a favorite to win the prestigious award, broke a 108-year-old record set by Leslie “King” Cole.

 

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Stafford’s 4 Interceptions, Rodgers Big Comeback, Browns Can’t Win But Tie, Williams Double Standard

FOOTBALL

A few highlights from the NFL’s first week:

The New York Jets had Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford’s number. They intercepted him 4 times and intercepted his backup Matt Cassel once. Linebacker Darron Lee said, “We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line. We knew his signals. We knew everything. That’s just preparation as a defense. … It seemed like we were in his head as a defense.”  According to Elias Sports Bureau, Stafford is the first Lions quarterback since 1943 to put up four interceptions in a home opener. To make matters worse, my fantasy team started Stafford and we lost both of our games :(. Jets 48, Lions 17.

Aaron Rodgers new $134 million contract extension seems to be paying off after he led the Green Bay Packers to a thrilling comeback victory over the Chicago Bears thanks to his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. His incredible performance came after he had to leave the game in the 2nd quarter due to a leg injury. No word yet on how his injury will affect him going forward.

The Cleveland Browns finally broke their 17 game losing streak, but still haven’t won a game yet. The Browns had an opportunity to win the matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a seemingly easy field goal with seconds left on the clock, but the kick was blocked and the Browns winless streak continues at 624 days. The “Victory Fridges” with free Bud Light are still waiting to be unlocked.

TENNIS

The Serena Williams/Naomi Osaka final at the US Open continues to cause emotions to run high. To recap, Williams was called for three minor infractions during the match. On the third infraction where Serena called the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, a “thief”, he docked her a full game. Serena ultimately lost the match, but the crowd was so incensed, they booed during the awards ceremony and prevented Naomi (who also teared up) her moment in the limelight for beating one of the greatest (if not the greatest) women’s tennis player of all time and one of her idols. Many fans believe the umpire applied a double standard and acted unfairly to a woman yelling, while many men’s players have done much worse over the years.

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Eagles Win Thanks To Philly Philly Inspiration, Osaka And Williams Meet In Final

FOOTBALL

In the NFL season opener, last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, barely edged out the Atlanta Falcons in a sloppy, low scoring game. The highlight of the night was a trick play from last year’s Championship called the “Philly Special“. On Thursday night, the team renamed the play the “Philly Philly” which featured a pass from receiver Nelson Agholor to quarterback Nick Foles. The offense only gained 15 yards on the play, but the Eagles found enough energy to put the necessary points on the board for the win. Unfortunately for the Falcons, their offense struggled, and quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t connect in the red zone.  Eagles 18, Falcons 12.

TENNIS

20-year-old Naomi Osaka advanced to her first major final beating Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4. She faced 13 break points and managed to save all of them saying her motivation was to play Serena Williams. In an interview after the game, she said, “This is going to sound really bad, but I was just thinking, ‘I really want to play Serena.'” When the interviewer followed up with a “Why?”, Osaka said, “Because she’s Serena, like, what do you mean?”

Serena cruised to her ninth US Open final by holding off #19 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 6-0. With one more win, a soon to be 37-year-old Williams will secure her seventh US Open championship. In an emotional interview after the match, Serena said, “It’s honestly really incredible. A year ago, I was fighting for, literally, my life at the hospital after I had the baby, so every day I step out on this court, I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport, you know? So no matter what happens in any match — semis, finals — I just feel like I’ve already won.”

 

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NFL Season Begins, Le’Veon Bell Unsigned, Millman’s Request To Change Clothes, Djokovic To Semis

FOOTBALL

The NFL season begins tonight with the Atlanta Falcons taking on former Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t signed with the team and hasn’t reported for practice. If Bell doesn’t sign he loses $853,000 per week. If he continues to hold out for up to nine games, Bell (at age 26) will be eligible for free agency next year. According to Bell’s reps, “he wasn’t going to accept another 400 touches on a salary he felt was below his value.” Bell is high on most fantasy football drafts, so there will be many angry fans if he doesn’t sign this season.

TENNIS

In the men’s quarterfinals of the US Open, Novak Djokovic and John Millman had another tough match due to the intense heat. With just two games into the second set, Millman approached the umpire explaining he needed to change his clothes due to excessive sweating. The umpire ruled that the conditions were excessive enough to invoke the “Equipment Out of Adjustment” rule and allowed Millman to leave. Djokovic ultimately won  6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and will advance to the semifinals against Kei Nishikori on Friday.

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