Archive for January, 2019

Disappointment In Goodell’s Press Conference, Payton Coped With Ice Cream & Netflix, TV Producer Fired For Brady Cheater Reference

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No one seemed particularly pleased with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual pre-Super Bowl press conference. Goodell claimed the league addressed the botched Saints call in the championship game immediately (although it’s not clear how they addressed the issue). Many were also disappointed in how Goodell dealt with the issue of why a large number of musicians (who are still upset with the NFL for how they’ve been dealing with Colin Kaepernick and the issues of social injustice) turned down the opportunity to play at the Super Bowl halftime show. Rihanna, for one, refused to take the stage. One reporter, Nancy Armour, summed up the feeling in the room, “No one expects complete transparency from Goodell. But a little sincerity, a little humility, a little accountability would go a long way in letting fans know they’re not being taken for granted. Or, worse, taken for fools.”

On Wednesday, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton also addressed the blown call preventing his team from making Super Bowl LIII. He said, “Much like normal people, I sat and probably didn’t come out of my room. I ate Jeni’s ice cream and watched Netflix for three straight days. There’s certain vices you gravitate to. For me, it’s probably sugar.”

While Goodell isn’t acting quickly concerning NFL issues, a Pittsburgh station took only minutes to fire a TV producer, Michael Talek, for writing “Known Cheater”, a reference to Deflategate, in the chyron underneath Tom Brady’s graphic. According to Talek, “it’s Pittsburgh, we hate the Patriots, we hate Tom Brady, so it was a little win for fans.” Friends of Talek set up a GoFundMe page to keep him afloat while he’s looking for a new job.

 

 

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Anthony Davis Fined $50K, McCourty Twins Play Together In Super Bowl

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The Anthony Davis drama continues. The NBA will fine Davis $50K because his agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN he wanted to be traded. According to the NBA collective bargaining agreement, players or agents can’t publicly request trades and that Paul’s statements were “an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.” Davis is making over $25 million this season.

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One of the great stories in this year’s Super Bowl will be seeing twins Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty play as teammates for the New England Patriots. #32 Devin (safety) has played on the team since 2010 while #30 Jason (cornerback) was picked up this year from the Cleveland Browns. The McCourty’s are the first set of twins to play in a Super Bowl. Check out their journey and the influence of their strong mother, Phyllis Harrell (who goes by the Twitter handle @MamaMcCourty).

 

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Warriors On Fire With 11th Straight Win, Davis Trade Request Affecting League, Gronk Retiring?

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The Golden State Warriors are on fire, winning their 11th straight game, the longest win streak in the NBA this season, and their 10th straight game on the road. Steph Curry said the team is in “playoff mentality time”. The team is also enjoying their new center, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins returned to the court on January 18th (after suffering from an extended injury), where he’s immediately adding to the team’s success.

Everyone in the NBA is talking about New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis requesting a trade and how that could affect the League. In a tweet from Los Angeles Times reporter, Brad Turner, “Hearing from sources if Lakers want Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade, LA has to start the deal with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick.” The NBA trade deadline is February 7th and according to ESPN, the Pelicans don’t have plans to trade Davis unless they receive an “overwhelming package” in exchange.

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The media is not only focused on whether New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will retire after the season (he says zero chance) but also whether Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski will continue to play. Gronk, who’s always the life of the party, almost retired after the Super Bowl last year. Gronk is an almost certain future Hall of Famer but has suffered from multiple injuries throughout his career, so it’s a big possibility he will move on after the season.

 

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Osaka & Djokovic Win Australian Open, Brady Zero Chance Of Retiring, Davis Requests Trade

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In the Australian Open, 21-year-old Naomi Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova to win her second grand slam tournament. She won last year’s US Open over Serena Williams in an uncomfortable way after Williams argued with the chair umpire for accessing her point and game penalties. Williams heated exchange with the umpire overshadowed Osaka’s first grand slam win, but now she’s on top of the world becoming Japan’s first player to achieve a #1 ranking.

In the men’s final, Novak Djokovic captured his 15th career Grand Slam championship (breaking a tie with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson for most career Australian Open titles) by defeating long-time rival, Rafael Nadal. In his 53rd matchup with Nadal, #1 ranked Djokovic easily won in 3 sets

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Super Bowl Sunday storylines continue all week, and New England quarterback Tom Brady is getting his share of attention. One of the ongoing questions for him is whether he’ll retire after the game. On an ESPN segment, Brady shut down that line of questioning and emphatically said, “zero” chance of retiring. He continued, “I’ve said that for a long time. I feel like I’m asked that a lot, and I feel like I repeat the same answer. But no one believes me.” If the Patriots win on Sunday, Brady, at 41 years old, will become the first player in NFL history to win six Super Bowls titles.

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New Orleans Pelicans forward, Anthony Davis, has requested a trade. His agent said, “Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.” Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James, and according to reports, the Los Angeles Lakers would be very interested in acquiring Davis in a trade.

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NBA All-Star Game Starters, LeBron & Giannis Captains, 10-Year Old Wins Science Fair Claiming Brady Cheater

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The NBA named their 2019 All-Star Game starters with LA Lakers’ LeBron James serving as the Captain for the Western Conference (tying Kobe Bryant for the record for the number of All-Star Game starts at 15). Rounding out the Western Conference starters: Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Paul George.

In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo will Captain the team while Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, Boston’s Kyrie Irving, and Charlotte’s Kemba Walker round out the starters.

LeBron and Giannis will choose their teams on February 7th from any of the starters (regardless of conference) then from the reserves (which will be announced on January 31st). Last year the NBA adopted this new format. All-Star weekend festivities take place February 15th-17th.

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A 10-year old boy won his science fair with a project claiming New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady is a cheater. Ace Davis conducted experiments proving that deflated footballs (remember Deflategate) traveled the farthest, so Brady had a competitive advantage. After winning his school science fair, he’ll be competing in the district’s competition. Ace is clearly not a Brady fan (had pictures on his posterboard of Brady crying) and thinks Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback of all time.

 

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Harden Ties Kobe For Most Pts At MSG, Oladipo Injury, LA Rep Wants Goodell To Testify

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James Harden started with a four point play on Wednesday night against the NY Knicks and didn’t slow down. Harden finished with 61 points,  15 rebounds and 5 steals, tieing Kobe Bryant for the most scoring points for a visiting player at Madison Square Garden since 1968. Rockets 114, Knicks 110.

In some unfortunate news, it looks as if the Indiana Pacers All-Star guard, Victor Oladipo, suffered a potential season ending injury in a non-contact play against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night.  Oladipo is the Pacers leading scorer this season.

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First it was a lawsuit against the NFL and Roger Goodell, and now a New Orleans congressman, Cedric Richmond (D-LA) wants Goodell to testify in front of the Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee about the blown call against the Saints in the NFC Championship game. Richmond said, “The Saints should be on their way to Atlanta to play in the Super Bowl. Instead, they are left with the memory of officials who failed to create an equal playing field and deprived them of that opportunity. Officials should not have the ability to determine the fate of a team who rightfully earned their place in NFL championship history.”

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Mariano Rivera Receives 100% Votes For Baseball’s Hall Of Fame, NFL Sued Over Blown Call

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Baseball’s Hall of Fame announced its 2019 class on Tuesday with Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and Roy Halladay receiving the required 75 percent votes needed for induction. Rivera, who was baseball’s all-time saves leader, made history by becoming the first player to receive 100% of the votes. Ken Griffey Jr held the previous record with 99.32%.

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Saints fans are still outraged over the blown call in the NFC Championship game against the LA Rams on Sunday. One fan purchased billboards all over Atlanta (where the Super Bowl will be played) saying “SAINTS GOT ROBBED” and “NFL BLEAUX IT!” And, as of Tuesday, a New Orleans attorney, Frank J. D’Amico, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding they enforce Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1 from the NFL rulebook which says,”The Commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game.” Basically, the Commissioner could reverse the game’s results or demand the game is replayed. It’s HIGHLY unlikely any of this will happen, but the NFL could make some changes in officiating next season.

 

 

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Carmelo Anthony’s Trade, Thompson Sets 3-Point Record, Harden’s New Stat Ties Chamberlain

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The Carmelo circus continues. According to reports, the Houston Rockets will trade Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls, who will then waive Anthony so he can sign with another team. The Bulls will receive cash compensation in the trade, while the Rockets will save $2.6 million in luxury tax fees. Now the question is where will Anthony end up? There’s some talk he’ll go to the Lakers to be with his buddy, LeBron.

Golden State Warriors guard, Klay Thompson, set an NBA record Monday night hitting 10 straight 3-pointers to start the game. Thompson was on fire all night, finishing with 44 points and helping the Warriors cruise to a 130-111 victory over the LA Lakers.

The Houston Rockets James Harden continues to impress. In yet another night of scoring at least 30 points (his 20th consecutive), he answered questions about being in the same conversation as NBA great, Wilt Chamberlain (who is the only other player to have 30 plus points in 20 consecutive games), and said, it’s a “credit to the work that I put in”. Even with Harden’s impressive stats, the Rockets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, 121-93.

 

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Saints March Home After Controversial Call, Pats Win In OT But KC Doesn’t Touch The Ball

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The NFC and AFC Championship games on Sunday were jam-packed with excitement, controversy, and overtimes.

NFC Championship: Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in OT

The Rams fell behind 13-0 in the first quarter, but came back strong and, thanks to a blown call by the referees in the final minutes of regulation time, were able to tie up the game and head to overtime. In overtime, the Saints QB Drew Brees threw an interception which allowed the Rams Greg Zuerlein to kick a 57-yard field goal for the win. All anyone can talk about though is the missed call at 1:45 left in the 4th quarter where Nickell Robey-Coleman was not called for pass interference on Tommlee Lewis. Saints’ Coach Sean Payton said the NFL’s head of officials admitted to him the Referees “Blew the Call”. Social media is going crazy with some congratulating the refs on their victory over the Saints and hashtags such as #theywererobbed, #someonecallthepolice, and #inept.

AFC Championship: New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 37- 31 in OT

The Patriots came out to strong in the first half, but the Chiefs, thanks to QB Patrick Mahomes, rallied back to set up an exciting and close 4th quarter. The Patriots won the toss in overtime, which made all the difference in the game. Tom Brady drove the team downfield and scored, but the with the rules of overtime, the Chiefs’ offense never even got on the field. Game over. Fans are complaining that the rules of overtime in the playoffs need to be changed.

In a classy gesture after the game, 41-year-old Tom Brady (who will be heading to the Super Bowl for the 9th time) asked a security guard if he could share a few private moments to speak with 23-year-old Mahomes.

The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will play for the Championship at the Super Bowl in Atlanta on February 3rd.

 

 

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NBA Refs Answer Q’s, Beasley’s Practice Shorts Mistake, Urban Meyer’s Job, Conf Championships

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NBA referees will embark on a new initiative next week where they will answer questions on Twitter from fans during games. The NBA tried the concept successfully last season in a Finals game. On Monday’s Golden State Warriors/LA Lakers game and Wednesday’s San Antonio Spurs/Philadelphia 76ers, fans can tweet @OfficalNBARefs or #RefWatchParty for answers and clarifications on calls in real time during the game.

The Lakers’ Michael Beasley provided a bit of comic relief during Thursday’s games. In the first quarter with the Lakers trailing the OKC Thunder, Beasley attempted to enter the game, but after he stripped off his warmup pants, he noticed he had his black practice shorts on instead of his yellow uniform. He trotted back to the locker room and changed, but it’s a great look on his face when he discovered the error. Without a still injured LeBron, the Lakers went on to win in overtime 138-128.

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According to the Sporting News, recently retired Ohio State football coach, Urban Meyer, is reportedly close to signing a deal to join Fox Sports as a college football analyst.

It’s the NFL Conference Championship weekend. The winners of the NFC and AFC conferences will go on to the Super Bowl. Click here for a guide to the matchups!

Sunday 3:05 pm ET: #1 New Orleans Saints vs #2 Los Angeles Rams (NFC Championship)

Sunday 6:40 pm ET: #1 Kansas City Chiefs vs #2 New England Patriots (AFC Championship)

 

 

 

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