Elliott’s Salvation Army Jump, Pats Clinch AFC East Division, Brock Benched, Raiders In Post-Season, Duncan #21 Retired

FOOTBALL

Ezekiel ElliottThe Dallas Cowboys win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought the team closer to an NFC East title and a first round bye, but the game was littered with mistakes and some missed opportunities. Ezekiel Elliott provided the most entertainment when he jumped in a Salvation Army kettle after scoring his 13th rushing touchdown (setting a team rookie record). According to Elliott, he saw the kettle during warmups and thought about diving in. Cowboys 26, Bucs 20.

The New England Patriots secured their place in the post-season. In a win over the Denver Broncos, the Pats clinched the AFC East Division Title and a first-round bye. Patriots 16, Broncos 3.

The Houston Texans benched their expensive quarterback Brock Osweiler after he threw two interceptions in the first half. Even though the team paid $72 million dollars over 4 years for Osweiler, the benching proved to be a good decision as backup Tom Savage turned the game around to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans are still in the hunt for a division title, so they will have to make a tough decision this week on which QB to play. Texans 21, Jags 20.

After 14 years, the Oakland Raiders are finally going to be playing in the postseason. With a win over the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders secure a playoff appearance. Raiders 19, Chargers 16.

BASKETBALL

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-9-37-07-amThe San Antonio Spurs retired Tim Duncan’s number 21 jersey. Duncan played 19 seasons with the Spurs.  He won 5 titles for the team including 2 MVP awards. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich summed up the emotional presentation saying, “His empathy, his ability to make people welcome, and lead quietly, but with dignity and gravitas, made him special beyond most anybody that you could imagine.”

 

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Beloved Reporter Craig Sager Lost Battle With Leukemia, Seahawks Won NFC West

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craig-sagerThe legendary sports analyst and longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager passed away after a two year battle with leukemia. Sager was beloved through the sports world by fans and players alike, and his colorful and sometimes outrageous suits made him a fixture on the sidelines. It was said best by Turner President,  “There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.” For more on Sager, watch this beautiful tribute from ESPN.

FOOTBALL

With a win over the Los Angeles Rams Thursday night, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West guaranteeing them at least one home game in the playoffs. The win comes after the Seahawks lost a tough game Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. After Sunday’s game,  Seahawks’  cornerback Richard Sherman complained about having to play again in 4 days. He called Thursday night football a “Poopfest.” He went on to say, “We got home like 1 o’clock in the morning, something like that, on Monday, and then you’ve got to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again. But they’ve been doing it all season, so I guess we’re the last ones to get the middle finger.” Seahawks 24, Rams 3.

 

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Wakeyleaks Continues, LeBron Sportsperson Of Year, Phelps Greatest Olympian

FOOTBALL

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-51-43-amThe Wake Forest scandal, nicknamed “Wakeyleaks” by the sports media, is heating up. Louisville’s athletic director Tom Jurich confirmed radio announcer Elrod gave “a few plays”  to the Louisville’s offensive coordinator before their matchup with the Demon Deacons.  What’s so outrageous is Louisville acknowledged they cheated but has asked to be left alone so they can prepare for their bowl game. And, what about Wake Forest’s poor quarterback who was sacked numerous times during that game and other games because team’s knew the plays ? It’s mind boggling football coaches would think it’s morally acceptable to use confidential information from an informant to win games. In fact, Wake Forest recently contacted Army to see if they received leaked game plans as well. The Atlantic Coast Conference is researching the scandal and it’s likely this story won’t go away anytime soon.

OTHER

LeBron JamesSports Illustrated named LeBron James Sportsperson of the Year and Michael Phelps the “Greatest Olympian of All-Time”. LeBron has been on the cover of SI 26 times and has been named twice as sportsperson of the year. Phelps ended his Olympic career as the most decorated Olympian with 23 Gold medals (28 medals overall).

 

 

 

 

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Cavs Big 3 Not Playing In Memphis, Wake Forest Scandal

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The Cleveland Cavaliers play the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, but don’t expect to see their three big stars, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.  After the Cavs beat the Grizzlies at home 103-86 on Tuesday, Coach Tyronn Lue announced his Big Three needed some rest and would not travel to Memphis for the game tonight. The players are taking a bit of heat for not joining the team and disappointing fans who bought tickets intending to see the stars, but LeBron fired back stating, “My coach wants me to rest. I don’t buck my coach.  I’ve been in this league 14 years. I shouldn’t have to explain me sitting out a game or not playing games.”

FOOTBALL

wake-forest-2Tommy Elrod, a former Wake Forest football player, football coach then radio announcer, is under investigation for providing game plans to the teams’ opponents.  Elrod was fired as a coach in 2013 then took a job as the University radio announcer, giving him access to the team’s game plans.  The University sent out a statement saying,  “Based on emails, text messages and phone records,  Elrod provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparation on multiple occasions.” The university believes Elrod began to betray his alma mater back in 2014. It’s not clear if Elrod accepted money for the information he provided or if he was just bitter for his firing in 2013.

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Brady Is Key, Rams Fisher Fired, MLB Bans Rookie’s Dressing Up

FOOTBALL

The best part of Monday Night Football’s matchup was Tom Brady. With three touchdowns and 406 yards, Brady didn’t let up and led the Pats to a 30-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Everyone, including Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh, knew Brady was the key to the Pats win and, at the end of the 4th quarter the crowd at Gillette Stadium started shouting “Brady”!

After the Atlanta Falcons destroyed the Los Angles Rams last weekend in yet another devastating loss, the Rams took action and fired head coach Jeff Fisher for “a performance-related issue.” With the loss, Fisher tied the NFL record for most career losses (165).

BASEBALL

Mets RookiesMajor League Baseball has banned rookie hazing including, “requiring, coercing or encouraging players from dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.” Teams have had a tradition of annual dress up days for their rookies as a form of bonding. As an example, the Cubs had their team dress as Disney Princesses, and the Mets had their rookies go to Starbucks dressed as characters from the movie “A League of their Own”.

 

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Lamar Jackson Wins Heisman, Giants D Steps Up In Cowboys Loss, Packers Stun Seahawks, Jets New QB

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lamar-jackson-2Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Heisman trophy on Saturday, bringing Louisville its first ever Heisman. Lamar became the frontrunner for this prestigious award and finished the season with 51 touchdowns. Accepting his reward, Jackson said, “I’m extremely proud to represent this class and Louisville as their first Heisman Trophy winner. For my teammates, it’s an award for all of us. I can’t wait to cherish it with all of you.” As the youngest player to ever win the Heisman, Jackson credited his single mother. He said, “Everything I do is for my mother,”

After 11 straight victories, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants on Sunday thanks to a Giants defense who stepped up even though defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul underwent surgery and is likely out for the season. The Giants also got some big plays from wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr to cement their 10-7 victory. Dallas rookie QB Dak Prescott didn’t perform up to expectations, but is still expected to remain at the helm over veteran Tony Romo.

The Green Bay Packers stunned the Seattle Seahawks in a 38-10 rout. The Packers defense intercepted Seahawks QB Russell Wilson five times, and an injured QB Aaron Rodgers put the game away by the end of the 3rd quarter. If the Packers continue to play with this dominance, they will be a major threat in the NFC.

The New York Jets win over the sinking San Francisco 49ers in overtime didn’t look pretty, but Jets QB Bryce Petty (who took the reigns from Ryan Fitzpatrick) showed mental toughness and kept his cool to lead his team to a 23-17 win. Maybe he’ll be the answer going forward for the 4-9 Jets.

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Tyreek Hill’s Dramatic Punt Return, Houston To Hire Kiffin

FOOTFALL

Tyreek HilWith a big win over the Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs are now tied with the Raiders in the AFC West. The most exciting part of the game came in the 2nd quarter when the Chiefs‘ Tyreek Hill lined up for a punt return, and the fans in the stadium started chanting his name. Hill responded dramatically with a 78 yard punt return. After the game, Hill said, “It was crazy, man. I didn’t know what to do, for real, except for give them what they want, I guess.” Chiefs 21, Raiders 13.

In college football, Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin looks like he’ll be the University of Houston’s next head coach. Kiffin was head coach at USC then offensive coordinator at Alabama since 2014. Houston’s President still needs to sign off on hiring, but all signs point to Kiffin taking the job.

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Chapman Signs $86 Mill, UConn Streak, LeBron’s Water-Bottle Challenge

BASEBALL

aroldis-chapman-2Aroldis Chapman signed an $86 million over 5 years contract with the NewYork Yankees, the largest reliever contract in the history of the game. Chapman was traded to the Yankees in December of last year, but in July the Yankees traded Chapman to the Cubs where he helped them secure their World Series Title.   At 28 years old, Chapman should have a lot of baseball left in him, but he’s had some off the field issues including violating the domestic violence agreement and suspended license for speeding.  Chapman told ESPN he’s excited to go back to the Yankees, “Every player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they don’t it’s because they never got the chance.”

BASKETBALL

On Wednesday night, #1 UConn defeated their rival,  #2 Notre Dame 72-61.  With the win, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball won its 83rd straight game. Their win streak is one of the most dominant in all of sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had some fun on the bench during their routed of the New York Knicks Wednesday night. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving sat on the bench doing the now infamous water-bottle challenge.  After a 126-94 win, LeBron said, “I always have fun. The game of basketball is always fun for me.”  My son’s opponents last weekend in 12 year old travel basketball were also trying to have “fun” with the water-bottle challenge, but the refs wouldn’t have it as they found it distracting and annoying, so they awarded our team an extra free throw. Wonder if there’s anything in the rule book about this.

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JPP Out For Season, Former Heisman Winner Found In Park, John Wall Posts 52 Points

FOOTBALL

jason-pierre-paul-2 The New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul will likely be out for the rest of the season due to surgery on a sports hernia. The defensive end rallied back from a freak accident last year during 4th of July festivities. He lost his right index finger and partial injuries to other fingers after the fireworks accident, but was having a successful resurgence this year. The Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, was found dead in a park in Colorado. There are no reports of foul play. Salaam played for the University of Colorado and won the coveted Heisman in 1994. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1995 draft, but didn’t last long in the NFL (according to Salaam after he retired) because he partied too much off the field. Salaam was 42 years old.

BASKETBALL

A night after the Warriors Klay Thompson scored 60 points in 3 quarters, the Washington Wizards John Wall shot an impressive 52 points against the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately his effort wasn’t enough to win the game. Magic 124, Wizards 116.

 

 

 

 

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Klay Thompson’s 60 Points In 29 Minutes, Westbrook’s 6th Straight Triple-Double, Luck Dominates MNF, Heisman Candidates Announced

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klay-thompson-2Klay Thompson was on fire Monday night against the Indiana Pacers. Klay scored 40 points in just the first half, then scored 20 more in the 3rd quarter. At 60 points in 3 quarters and only 29 minutes of play, who knew how many points he would have scored if he stayed in the game. Steph Curry went crazy on the sidelines cheering his teammate on. After the game he said, “That’s a feat that I’d put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball. It’s unbelievable.” Warriors 142, Pacers 106.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook continues to shine with his sixth straight triple-double in a win over the Atlanta Hawks Monday night. Wilt Chamberlain still holds the record for 9 straight triple-doubles back in 1967. Thunder 102, Hawks 99.

FOOTBALL

Even a die-hard football fan probably turned off the Indianapolis Colts vs New York Jets on Monday Night Football. With QB Andrew Luck’s 4 touchdowns carrying his team to a devastating 41-10 win over the Jets, the Colts are now in a first place tie in the AFC South.

The ceremony for the most prestigious award in college football, the Heisman trophy, will take place Saturday December 10th. The five finalists, announced Monday night, will travel to New York City to attend the ceremony. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is considered the favorite, but Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and WR Dede Westbrook, Michigan linebacker Jabril Peppers, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson are all in the running.

 

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