Grayson Allen Is Back, LiAngelo Ball Left China, Alabama Tops CFR

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Duke’s Grayson Allen, the player everyone loved to hate last season, showed his critics he’s back and ready for a great season. With 37 points and 7 of 11 three-pointers in a win over Michigan State, Allen seems to have matured since last year and could be a high draft pick in the NBA at the end of the season. Duke 88, Michigan State 81.

LiAngelo Ball and his two UCLA teammates Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, are on their way back to the United States after their arrest for shoplifting in China. UCLA hasn’t said what the basketball players’ punishment will be, but expect LiAngelos’s dad, the outspoken LaVar, to weigh in on the verdict.  LaVar’s third son, LaMelo has already committed to play at UCLA, but if LiAngelo’s punishment is unacceptable to LaVar, he could decide to have LaMelo skip high school and go straight to the pros.

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In the latest College Football Rankings, Alabama took the #1 spot (in place of Georgia who lost to Auburn last week), with Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin filling out the top five.

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Bellinger And Judge Win Rookie Of They Year Honors, Newton Leads Panthers Over Dolphins

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The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger captured the National League Rookie of the Year honors. The votes were unanimous for Bellinger who hit a rookie record 39 home-runs this season (despite only starting on April 29th). This is the second year in a row a Dodger rookie won the award. Last year, Corey Seager unanimously won.

In the American League, The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge also unanimously secured the honor after hitting 52 home runs this season. PepsiCo sees star quality in Judge and made him a national spokesperson. According to their senior director of sports marketing, “His style of play embodies fun and excitement, and that’s what we’re all about. From his amazing catches to his monstrous home runs, whether you are a Yankee fan or not, you have to watch him. How he handles himself makes him a great ambassador for our brand and company on and off the field.”

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Quarterback Cam Newton carried the Carolina Panthers to a monstrous win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Newton passed for four touchdowns with 95 rushing yards. Panthers 45, Dolphins 21.

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The U Crushes Notre Dame, Georgia Goes Down, Alabama Survives, Empty Seats, Jones Dispute

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This was a crazy weekend in college football with some key upsets mixing up the rankings and the playoff hunt. One of the biggest shockers was #7 University of Miami crushing #3 Notre Dame. With the 41-8 win, the U is now a potential playoff contender. The other shocking win was 10th ranked Auburn cruising to victory over #1 Georgia 40-17.

Alabama still sits at the top of the rankings with a win over Mississippi State. The team trailed entering the 4th quarter for the first time since January 2016 but with the help of their calm quarterback Jalen Hurts who threw a game winning touchdown, the Crimson Tide survived with a 31-24 win.

In the NFL games played over this Veteran’s Day weekend, fewer players sat during the National Anthem, but fans are continuing not to show up. Twitter account, Empty Seats Galore, posted pictures of empty seats all over the country.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has publicly taken on  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of the National Anthem issue as well as other issues which Jones believes has contributed to the decline of attendance at games and decline in viewership. Over the weekend, Jones’ attorney sent a letter to all of the NFL owners with a quote from the compensation committee consultants stating Goodell’s contract is “the most one-sided deal they have ever seen.” Jones and compensation committee chairman, Arthur Blank (owner of the Atlanta Falcons) are in a heated dispute, and as of Saturday night, Jones has been removed as a non-voting, ad-hoc member of the league’s compensation committee. Stay tuned for more drama.

For a roundup of the NFL games and scores, click here.

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Sherman Out With Torn Achilles, CA NAACP Bans Anthem, LeBron Interested In Buying Cavs

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This is continuing to be a tough season for injuries in the NFL, and on Thursday night Richard Sherman became the latest casualty. The Seattle Seahawk’s cornerback ruptured his achilles tendon in the team’s 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Sherman entered the League in 2011 and hasn’t missed a game until this injury. Many players, including Sherman, have criticized the NFL for adding games on Thursday night claiming it’s too hard on their bodies to play on only three or four days of rest. Sherman even referred to Thursday Night Football as a “poopfest”.

Colin Kaepernick continues to remain in the news. The California chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) passed a resolution at their state conference banning the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem. Part of the impetus for removing the song is to help Kaepernick’s chances of playing again in the NFL. According to NAACP California chapter president, Alice Huffman,  “We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick, I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”

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LeBron James said if the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, decided he ever wanted to sell the team, he’d be interested. According to Forbes, the latest valuation of the team is $1.2 billion. LeBron is listed as the second highest paid athlete at $86 million (and that’s not including his lifetime Nike contract estimated at more than $1 billion). LeBron stated, “If this thing opened up and I’m in a position financially, and I’ve got the right team around me, obviously. But who’s to say Dan will (sell)? I’ve always kept it just player/owner at this point. I guess once I come down to that point, if the conversation needed to be had, I’ll have it. But I don’t have it right now.”

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Jerry Jones Threatens To Sue Goodell, UCLA Players On Bail

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to sue the NFL if Commissioner Roger Goodell is granted an extension on his contract after the 2018 season. According to Outside the Lines, Jerry Jones is one of  “four or five owners” who think Goodell should step down. Jones hired NY lawyer David Boies to look into how the NFL has been economically affected by the decisions Goodell has made regarding player discipline, punishments and the National Anthem controversy. Since he was elected Commissioner in 2006, Goodell has made more than $200 million. It’s unclear how many owners are in Jones’ camp and whether it’s enough to oust Goodell.

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In a follow up to the arrest of the UCLA players who allegedly shoplifted a pair of sunglasses from Louis Vuitton in China, specialists in Chinese law believe the players will likely not serve jail time. According to reports, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley have been released on bail (and confined to their hotel). The Chinese legal system does not normally include bail, so many think this is a good sign the players won’t be sent to jail for 3-10 years (as was reported by Yahoo sports). It’s also considered good timing for the players that President Trump is currently in China meeting with President Xi Jinping.

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LiAngelo Ball Arrested, Georgia Tech Drama

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LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested in China for allegedly shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store. UCLA is in China to play Georgia Tech on Friday. LiAngelo is the son of the infamous and controversial LaVar Ball and the brother of the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball. LaVar, not one to normally keep quiet, has been instructed to remain silent “due to the legal nature of the matter”.

Georgia Tech players were not arrested for shoplifting, but Georgia Tech is going through its own scandal right now. Coach Josh Pastner’s longtime friend Ron Bell, reportedly violated NCAA rules by giving monetary benefits to two of its players, Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson (who have both been suspended indefinitely). The story takes on a dramatic twist as Bell and Pastner were “like brothers” until Bell reportedly “turned” on Pastner.

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Lions Win In Green Bay, Texans Discussing Kaepernick, Josh Gordon Drugs/Alcohol Before Games

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The Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in a must-win game to salvage their season and boost the team’s psyche after three losses in a row. With the win, the Lions are now at 4-4 and could potentially make a run for a wild-card playoff spot. Lions 30, Packers 17.

The Houston Texans have discussed signing former SF 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick now that their star quarterback Deshaun Watson is out with a season ending injury. Their current quarterback Tom Savage struggled in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and the team needs to make some decisions. Kaepernick has filed a complaint against the NFL owners that claims teams are colluding against him because he started the anthem protest movement. The Texan players did not kneel during the anthem this week, but last week they all took a knee in solidarity against the team owner’s statement saying, “We can’t let the inmates run the prison”. NFL analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison believe it would be foolish for the Texans to pass up a competent quarterback like Kaepernick. Harrison said, “As a player, I would lose all respect for my coaches and my organization if there was a guy out there that actually started a Super Bowl that is better than the guy that we have. How do you have confidence in your coach? How can you trust what your coach is trying to sell, the system that he is trying to sell, when he is not doing everything in his power to win football games?”

The Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will rejoin the team after a lengthy stint in rehab. In a current interview he gave to GQ magazine, he admitted to using drugs and alcohol before every game (including while he was playing in college). He said, “I would have these little pre-made shots. I used to love Grand Marnier. I could drink it down smooth. I could usually drink a lot of it. But if it wasn’t that, it might be a whiskey or something. And I would drink probably like half a glass, or a couple shots to try and warm my system up, basically. To get the motor running. That’s what I would do for games.”

 

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Major Fights In NFL, American Woman Won Marathon, Verlander/Upton Wed

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Three majors fights broke out on the field on Sunday.  Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey were needling each during the first half of the game,  then as the half was almost over, Green touched Ramsey’s shoulder and Ramsey shoved him back. Green then put Ramsey in a choke hold and the rest of the teammates jumped into the fray. Green apologized during the press conference and said, “I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I apologize to my teammates, [Bengals owner Mike] Brown, and everybody, because that’s not who I am. It just got the best of me today.” He went on to say, “As a player, as a man, and a father, that’s a reflection of me. I should have walked off in that whole situation. I definitely learned from this experience. It’s never going to happen again. I regret my actions. Whatever the punishment, I accept it. I put myself in that situation.” Jaguars won 23-7.

In all, five players were ejected on Sunday and many more could be fined during replays this coming week. In addition to the Bengals’ A.J. Green, and the Jaguars Jalen Ramsey, the 49ers’ Carlos Hyde and the Cardinals’ Frostee Rucker and Haason Reddick all left the game.

MARATHON

For the first time in 40 years, an American woman, Salame Flanagan,  won the NYC Marathon.  She crossed the finish line in two hours, 26 minutes, and 53 seconds.

BASEBALL

Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander is having an exciting week. Just days after celebrating his team’s World Series win, he flew to Italy over the weekend to marry his supermodel fiancée Kate Upton.

 

 

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Watson Suffers Season Ending Injury, Luck Out For Season, Ball Scoreless

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Houston Texans’rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season ending ACL injury during Thursday’s practice session. Watson was enjoying a record-setting rookie season, tieing for first in touchdown passes and first in rushing yards. The Texans were on pace to be competing in the AFC South, but now with Watson’s injury and their star defensive end J.J. Watt’s injury, the team’s prospects aren’t too encouraging. The Giants Odell Beckham Jr, who also suffered a season ending injury last month, sent Watson a note of encouragement saying, “Lil bruh I know at this time things may be scary. Your first year in the league; running for MVP; trying to win a championship, trying to get the spot you deserve, to defy the odds, to do the things they said you can’t, and it all gets taken away.“ He went on to say, “Everything is a blessing in disguise. Truly believe that this all happens for a reason. Take this time to evaluate and appreciate everything you’ve been blessed with. Life’s still good, kid. WE LIVINN!! And we will be back better than ever. I’ll see you this off-season lil b.”

Speaking of injuries, the Indianapolis Colts announced their quarterback Andrew Luck will not play at all this season. Luck has been suffering from a shoulder injury since 2015 and has now been officially placed on injured reserve. Luck has the bigggest contract in Colts history, so it’s no surprise they were hesitant to take him out for the season.

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Lonzo Ball became the only starting point guard this season to go scoreless in 25 or more minutes when he failed to score a point in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Portland Trailblazers Thursday night. Lakers coach Luke Walton explained Ball’s poor outing by saying he was too passive. “We want him to be more aggressive with attacking the defenses. I feel like tonight was one of those nights where he was more passive with it than looking to really attack them.”

 

 

 

 

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Houston Astros Win World Series First Time In Franchise History, Proposal, Papa Johns Blames Anthem For Poor Sales

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The Houston Astros sailed to an easy game 7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to secure their first World Series Trophy in franchise history! This was a sentimental and well-deserved victory for the Astros. Four years ago no one would have expected this team to be in the winners circle having lost at least 106 games for three years in a row. Outfielder George Springer dominated the Series and unanimously earned the MVP award with 5 home-runs and a .379 batting average. Astros Catcher Brian McCann summed up the feeling on the team when he said,  “The view I get, the talent I get to watch every night, we’re going to look back in five, 10, 15 years and it’s going to be, ‘I can’t believe all those guys were on the same team.’ That’s the kind of talent I get to witness every night.’’ Congratulations Astros!

Houston shortstop Carlos Correa stunned his girlfriend, Miss 2016 Texas USA Daniella Rodriguez, and stunned the announcers when after the game (in a seemingly rote interview), he asked Daniella to marry him. Watch the proposal!

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The CEO of Papa Johns, John Schnatter, told WDRB.com that the reason their third quarter pizza sales are down is because of the national anthem controversy. Papa Johns is famously linked to football via a deal with the NFL but most recognizably through their future Hall of Fame spokesperson, Peyton Manning. Schnatter said, “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago. Like many sponsors, we are in contact with the NFL and once the issue is resolved between the players and the owners, we are optimistic that the NFL’s best years are ahead. But good or bad, leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.”

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