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World, Meet Odell Beckham Jr.

Posted by on 5:09 pm in NFL | Comments Off on World, Meet Odell Beckham Jr.

World, Meet Odell Beckham Jr.

So, I don’t know if any of you watched last night’s game, but it was a game that turned out entirely differently than how I thought that it would. The Cowboys were visiting the Giants in the Meadowlands for their second division game of the season. A lot was on the line for the Giants, who needed a win in order to stay in contention for the NFC Wildcard playoff, while a lot was on the line for the Cowboys, who needed a win to stay tied for the division lead with the Eagles. Considering how both the Giants and Cowboys had been playing going into the game, there wasn’t much hope for the giants. However, the Giants have a reputation of pulling out big wins, and the Cowboys have the reputation of blowing big games. So the outcome was pretty up in the air. However, the Cowboys ended up winning, and the game itself was a nail biter right to the end. But, there was a lone bright spot for the Giants by the time the game ended. Odell Beckham Jr. Odell Beckham Jr. was the Giants’s first pick in this year’s draft, in a class of rookie wide receivers that have been unseen in the NFL before. Kelvin Benjamin, Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Jordan Matthews, and Mike Evans have been making splashes in the NFL unlike other rookie receivers before them. And all of them are having amazing years. Beckham, the new centerpiece of the Giants’s offense, isn’t a big receiver, measuring in at just under 6’0″. He’s a speedy, high-jumping, play making machine, not much different from Victor Cruz. He’s the type of receiver that turns 15-yard designed crossing-route plays into 55-yard gains. He’s a big play in a small body. That concept couldn’t have been more epitomized than last night, when Beckham finished the game with 10 receptions for 146-yards and 2 touchdowns, a much superior stat-line from an already good one he put up against the Cowboys just a few weeks ago. Beckham dominated throughout the first half, and in spectacular fashion. His second touchdown grab might be the greatest catch I’ve ever seen made on a football field during a game. And he made it look so easy. I don’t know about you, but in the first photo, that sure looks like Beckham Jr. made that catch with three fingers. Furthermore, the fact that he was fouled on the play getting a defensive pass-interference call and coming down with the ball with one hand, all in one single motion is pretty impressive. Though the Giants couldn’t pull out the win, and are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs entirely, unless everything goes wrong with Philly and Dallas, the rest of the season should be at least very entertaining with this guy on the...

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What Can the NBA Do About Sterling?

Posted by on 9:47 pm in NBA | Comments Off on What Can the NBA Do About Sterling?

What Can the NBA Do About Sterling?

The Players Association is calling for the greatest penalties against Donald Sterling for the audiotape of his racist remarks released by TMZ last week. What the players are really gunning for is the NBA to force Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. The president of the NPBA is Clippers guard, Chris Paul, and since he is not able to make a public statement because of the complicated situation of the subject in question being his team’s owner, in the middle of playoffs, he passed those duties off to Kevin Johnson. Paul, Johnson and other team reps met to establish the Players League stance on the recently revealed comments from Donald Sterling. Johnson then said in a press release that the players, “want to know within the bylaws and the constitution, what are the maximum sanctions that are available for the commissioner to mete out?” The reason there is so much confusion over whether the NBA can force Sterling to sell the team is that the NBA’s constitutional bylaws are confidential and the NBA has not revealed what they are able to or prepared to do in this situation. Although some believe that the NBA has the power to boot him out, sports law expert Michael McCann says that constitution wasn’t built for situations like this. In this case, removing Sterling has more to do with public embarrassment than and the bylaws “cover very limited circumstances and these circumstances concern team finances- namely, when an owner can’t pay his bills.” However, there may not need to be a specific bylaw to help get Sterling out of there. If there was a general agreement between most of the owners the league could use “broad powers” that are referenced in the constitution to put pressure on Sterling. They could also make such a move informally, which has been done before, namely Ted Stepien in 1983. However, this situation is a little different that than because Stepien had owned the Cavaliers for three seasons, while Sterling is the longest- tenured owner in the NBA. This is a big moment for the league. They had all known about Donald Sterling’s racism for many years but chose to do nothing about it. Now that it is in the public spotlight, everyone is watching to see how they will handle the situation. What they decide to do will have lasting...

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Chris Johnson Joins New York Jets

Posted by on 5:45 pm in NFL | Comments Off on Chris Johnson Joins New York Jets

Chris Johnson Joins New York Jets

Well, if you didn’t have a reason to not draft running back Chris Johnson in your fantasy league this coming season, you have one now. Chris Johnson is confirmed to have signed with the New York Jets: We’ve signed @ChrisJohnson28. – http://t.co/bsZv0lOfPP Welcome CJ2K to #JetsNation! pic.twitter.com/rNlcNPrDO0 — New York Jets (@nyjets) April 16, 2014 The Jets, who have had a relatively quiet and conservative offseason made one of the splashiest moves by signing Johnson to a two-year $9 million deal, as reported by NFL Insider, Adam Schefter. Reportedly, the base value of the deal is $8 million, and includes another $1 million in incentives. Johnson’s deal has a team option for the second year at $4 million, which would have to be picked up by February 2015. “I’ve always been a big fan of the Jets,” Johnson told the team’s official website. “There was some thought into this, but just at the end of the day, I was comfortable here. I just felt like it was the right situation.” Johnson was released on April 4th from the Tennessee Titans, and generated little interest from other teams upon his release. The only team he visited with was with the New York Jets. “I see this as a team on the rise,” Johnson told the team’s official website. “This is a winning team. They didn’t make the playoffs last year, but I think they were a game out of the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. So I feel like this is a team that can do some good things.” Johnson was one of the sport’s elite players, and was for some time considered the best running back in the NFL. He’s rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all of his six NFL seasons, and rushed for 2,006 yards in his 2009 season, earning him the nickname “CJ2K”. However, declining production and an overbearing salary led to his being ousted from the Titans organization. The Jets were reportedly one of four teams that had inquired about trading for Johnson, however they didn’t want to have to take on his salary along ($8 million) with the player or surrender a draft pick. The Jets finished out last season ranked 6th in rushing and has all of their 2014 running backs returning this season, yet felt the need to add more speed to their stable. Johnson is one of the fastest running backs in the league, although he’s coming off of his worst season of his career, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. He additionally sustained a torn meniscus to his right knee, and had the injury repaired in late January. Despite only resuming running a month ago, the Jets seem confident he’ll regain his...

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Chris Johnson Let Go from Titans

Posted by on 5:05 pm in NFL | Comments Off on Chris Johnson Let Go from Titans

Chris Johnson Let Go from Titans

The Tennessee Titans have, as expected, released Chris Johnson. The player had knee surgery that has continued to affect his performance and contributed to a steady decline in his four-year $53.5 million contract extension he signed with the team in 2011. However, Johnson is not yet out of the game. The New York Jets have shown interest in the former star running back to re-construct their offense. The Jets will pick up Johnson if they can get him for a good price. They are among a few teams that have inquired about the now-available players among the Bills, Dolphins, and the Falcons. The Jets need to beef up their back field to have a successful team. They had tried to sign a free agent from the colts before the Chargers nabbed Donald Brown. Johnson is a great player who has declined in recent years due to injury. However, before he knee had trouble he was known as CJ2K and rushed for than 1,000 yards for six seasons in 2013. The Jets have been careful and judicious during this free agency period. Even though Johnson has not been performing at the same level, he would still be a great addition to the Jets’ backfield along with Chris Ivory. If Johnson and Ivory were to play together it would bring the team great improvement to their running game compared with last year. Johnson was a first round pick in 2008 and may not have the same playing power he did when he left college, but he can still do some damage on the field if given an open space. The 5-11 208-pound player may have a future with the New York...

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DeSean Jackson, Goodbye Eagles, Hello Redskins

Posted by on 9:14 pm in NFL | Comments Off on DeSean Jackson, Goodbye Eagles, Hello Redskins

DeSean Jackson, Goodbye Eagles, Hello Redskins

DeSean Jackson, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles has signed a three-year contract to join the Washington Redskins. The wide receiver’s big move was made public on Wednesday when the Redskins posted a picture of Jackson signing his contract on their Twitter page. The tweet read, “IT’S OFFICIAL: 3-time Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson (@DeseanJackson10) signs his contract at #Redskins Park.” IT’S OFFICIAL: 3-time Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson (@DeseanJackson10) signs his contract at #Redskins Park pic.twitter.com/LB42RM2vSN — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) April 2, 2014 Jackson’s new contract with the Redskins is worth $24 million with $16 million of that money guaranteed. Jackson’s move was decided on and executed quickly. He went to Virginia on Monday and after dinner with the Redskin coaches and after dinner recreation with Redskin players Pierre Garcon and DeAngelo Hall, he was ready to talk about the deal on Tuesday. Both Garcon and Hall and Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III had publically stated that they were interested in having Jackson on the team. Griffin said of Jackson that he is a, “very exciting player. Determined to show he is the best and hungry to win. My kinda guy.” Later Griffin tweeted about Jackson’s commitment to join the team; we have a “new member of the family.” Jackson is a great addition to the team because of his excellent performance on the field. His career average is 17.2 yards per catch. This is a boon to the Redskins because they haven’t had a receiver average more than 17 yards with at least 50 receptions since 2005. In fact only two receivers since 2008 have averaged more yards per catch, Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd. Jackson is also coming off of a great season. Last year he had 82-catches and 1,332 yards with nine touchdowns, marking his career high. The Redskins have welcomed in a very valuable...

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Los Angeles Clippers Sniffing Danny Granger

Posted by on 4:16 pm in NBA | Comments Off on Los Angeles Clippers Sniffing Danny Granger

Los Angeles Clippers Sniffing Danny Granger

The Los Angeles Clippers met with representatives of swingman Danny Granger during Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets and have nudged ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the race to sign Granger on to a short-term contract in time for the playoffs. The Clippers have become widely regarded as the team that would offer Granger the most opportunity for playing time as well as the championship contention that Granger has been looking for since he entered the league. The Clippers have considerably stepped up their pursuit of the former All-Star, partly due to growing concerns within the organization regarding shooting guard J.J. Redick’s status, who has missed the past nine games and is out indefinitely with a back injury. Further increasing LA’s concern over the swingman position and spot-up shooting duties, Jamal Crawford left last night’s win over the Rockets with a calf injury. Crawford has been starting in place of Redick and has been playing a huge part, along with star power forward Blake Griffin, in keeping the Clippers amongst the Western Conference’s top-four teams while starting point guard, Chris Paul, was out with a shoulder injury for roughly a month. The Clippers organization, at the behest of coach Doc Rivers, have already made several in-season signings, amongst them Stephen Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Sasha Vujacic, to try and improve the perimeter rotation. Rivers has since confirmed the team’s interest in Granger, citing the need for spot-up-shooting on the perimeter, something the Clippers have done effectively all season, making them very dangerous. ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that there is mutual interest between Granger and San Antonio, which poses the greatest threat to the Clippers acquiring Granger. The Spurs are said to have commented that Granger is, culturally, the perfect fit with the team, however, they don’t have the space to offer as big of an on-the-court role as the Clippers can offer, now that swingman Kawhi Leonard is back from a 14-game absence due to a finger injury. Granger, who keeps an offseason home in Los Angeles, has been known to train at the Clippers’s practice facility during the offseason, was officially waived on Wednesday after completing a contract buyout with the Philadelphia 76ers after having been traded to them by the Indiana Pacers before the trade deadline, for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. In addition to San Antonio and Los Angeles, it’s been reported that Dallas and Houston, the other two teams in Texas, are also sniffing Granger, and potentially in contention to wedge themselves between Granger and Los Angles/San Antonio. However, sources have reported that Granger is likely to verbally name a team that he plans to go to before he formally clears waivers at the end of the day on...

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Derek Jeter Announces Retirement At End of 2014 Season

Posted by on 3:53 pm in MLB | Comments Off on Derek Jeter Announces Retirement At End of 2014 Season

Derek Jeter Announces Retirement At End of 2014 Season

The announcement has been made, the table is set; Derek Jeter, face of the New York Yankees for 19 seasons, and one of the greatest shortstops of all time, will retire at the end of the 2014 season. Jeter, every season, generally arrives at training camp early, to get a jump on spring training down at the New York Yankees practice facility in Tampa Bay, FL. But this Wednesday was different – out of the ordinary to say the least. Instead of fielding grounders and warming up his swing, and then joining his teammates in daily exercises, he did something different. He made a phone call. A phone call doesn’t sound like much, but sometimes, even the smallest things you do in this life could lead to the largest changes. Jeter’s phone call was to majority owner, Hal Steinbrenner, to say that he had come to a fateful decision: that the 2014 season would be his last season in the major leagues. Nobody in the Yankees front office saw the decision coming. Hours later, Jeter made his decision public, posting a 14-paragraph letter to the fans on his official Facebook page, that began with a simple thank you. “I’ve experienced so many defining moments in my career,” he went on to say. “Winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees’ captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all, I’ve never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.” Jeter’s career, beginning in 1995, has been amongst the best in baseball history, garnering 5 World Series rings, 13 All-Star Game selections, and being a member of the 3,000 career hits club while being a member of the Yankees organization, being the first man to enter the club while being a member of the Yankees organization (his 3,000th hit was a home run – which is typical Jeter fashion). Jeter is one of the most admired players of this generation of baseball, adulated by Yankees fans the world over, and even loved by those who desperately have cheered against the Yankees for the last 19 years. But whether you love him or hate hime, he is universally respected for his talent and skill at the game, and the achievements he has accrued, while being one of the few players that has remained loyal to a single team his entire career. He has powered his way through numerous injuries, and has never brought any scandal or criticism to his beloved Yankees organization. But most of all, he was a big play player, coming through in moments where he needed to put the team on his back. Jeter is most likely a first-ballot Hall of...

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Richie Incognito’s Texts Aren’t Helping His Case

Posted by on 6:36 pm in NFL | Comments Off on Richie Incognito’s Texts Aren’t Helping His Case

Richie Incognito’s Texts Aren’t Helping His Case

Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin haven’t been in the news much for a while…until recently. In light of the latest announcement regarding Michael Sam coming out as a homosexual, coupled with the additional media publications regarding his homosexuality being a potential “lockerroom distraction”, the spotlight has been recast on bullying issues. Who better to be the face of that than those closest to the bullying scandal that rocked the NFL for a few weeks this very season? Incognito has recently taken to Twitter to express his feelings on the pending bullying investigation, and they have been incendiary to say the least. It goes without saying that bullying can be expressed in 140-characters or less. Incognito confirmed this – and more – in a Twitter meltdown on Wednesday, which revealed that this bullying issue is truly an onion made of many, many layers…and so is Incognito. Here are some of the tweets he sent out: I’m ready to move on with my life and career. I’ve been dragged through the mud for months by my “best friend”. #betrayed #railroaded — Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014 Dear Jon Martin….. The truth is going to bury you and your entire “camp”. You could have told the truth the entire time. — Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014 Jon Martin—you started all of this when Kenny Zuckerman released the VM to ESPN. The same VM we joked about with @brianhartline — Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014 Kenny Zuckerman from Priority Sports…. What do you have to say for your actions? Why did you release the VM. What was your goal ? I’m guilty of being a loyal friend and good teammate. I apologize for my poor language and rude remarks. I’ve never denied it. — Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014 FACT: Jonathan Martin told me he thought about taking his own life in MAY 2013 b/c he wasn’t playing well. Told me he felt worthless. — Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014 That last one is very, very telling. And this is eight days after Incognito tweeted out unequivocal support for Martin and the investigation. Even worse, Incognito, who claims himself to be Martin’s best friend, outed Martin as being suicidal on Twitter. That’s not really something you do if you’re best friends with someone, and furthermore, Twitter isn’t the most appropriate place to out someone as being suicidal. There aren’t many appropriate places to do that. However, this is very consistent with the behavior of a bully. It really doesn’t look good for Incognito that he’s accused of bullying someone that was, assuming Incognito’s tweet is true, suicidal at one point or another. Furthermore, the timing of his rant is terrible. The investigation by attorney Ted Wells is still ongoing as long as a determination hasn’t been released, and that report is set to be finished this week. Why have a Twitter rant...

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Michael Sam – First Openly Gay NFL Draft Prospect in History

Posted by on 3:53 pm in NFL | Comments Off on Michael Sam – First Openly Gay NFL Draft Prospect in History

Michael Sam – First Openly Gay NFL Draft Prospect in History

This morning, all-american, all-SEC, college defensive-player of the year, Michael Sam, formerly of the University of Missouri Tigers, announced that his is gay, making him the first ever openly-gay NFL draft prospect. Michael Sam announced his homosexuality this morning in a press-release and was interviewed by ESPN, The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. Sam racked up 11.5 sacks on the season, and has been projected to be drafted all over the place, from the third round to the seventh round, but it goes without saying that he will probably be drafted as he is in the top-ten overall defensive draft picks of the year. There are layers to the announcement of his homosexuality. The first is that it happened, and there was no more than the expected amount of bigoted reactions to his announcement. The second is how it happened. This was a very, very coordinated media announcement, evidenced by the simultaneous announcement to two of the largest sports news media circulators in the world (ESPN and SI), as well as The New York Times, almost on the scale of Lebron James’s “The Announcement” back in 2010. The timing is interesting. Sam made his announcement three weeks before the start of the NFL Combine, and three months before the NFL Draft, giving the story ample time to develop prior to draft-day, as well as allow teams the opportunity to come to grips with the possibility of making history and bringing the NFL’s first openly gay athlete into the fold – additionally giving the “controversy” the chance to die down. Mainly, the announcement serves the purpose of coming out before Sam is added to any team instead of it coming out after the draft and it seeming like he had something to hide before being drafted. The initial reaction from players has been resoundingly supportive. It’s no secret, that there have been gay athletes in the NFL, just none who have come out, at least according to Deion Sanders, who has been around the league for long enough to be somewhat trusted with information like that:   Michael Sam isn’t the 1st gay player in the NFL although he is the 1st 2 come out.#realtalk Let’s show him love like a family member. Truth — DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) February 10, 2014 However, the response from NFL executives and GM’s alike has been disappointingly antiquated. Some have been quoted as to saying that Michael Sam’s stock will be hurt by this, or even his announcement could cause him not to be drafted at all, which is troublesome considering the NFL’s influence and ability to mobilize social change. However, the good news is that for Michael Sam, this is a win-win situation. If he gets drafted, then he’ll make history has the first ever openly gay athlete in the NFL, perhaps even spurring others in the league to come out, as well as open the door for many other entrants into the league to not fear coming out to their teammates, and change the perception of the presence of homosexuality within a team’s dynamic and within the locker room itself. If he doesn’t get drafted, then every single team in the NFL will have to explain why not, especially considering talent-wise, there’s nothing that should stop him from being...

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Seattle’s Best – How Seattle’s Defense Burned Down Peyton Manning’s Touchdown Factory

Posted by on 7:45 pm in NFL | Comments Off on Seattle’s Best – How Seattle’s Defense Burned Down Peyton Manning’s Touchdown Factory

Seattle’s Best – How Seattle’s Defense Burned Down Peyton Manning’s Touchdown Factory

Last night we saw Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in New York. It was the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks. I don’t know if anybody watched it, it may have been a bit under the radar, but, boy, was it a game. It was anticipated to be one of the best Super Bowl matchups in recent history, featuring the best statistical offense of all time, led by probably the most seasoned and surgical quarterback of all time, against this year’s best defense, codename “Legion of Boom”. The Seattle Seahawks did not disappoint with their defensive prowess, and shattered those expectations, utterly trouncing the Broncos in almost epic fashion. The final score: Seattle 43, Denver 8. It was a defensive bloodbath, and was further a statement that in the matchup of the best offense against the best defense in the big game, the best defense truly has the edge. How was it though that Seattle was able to so effectively dismantle Denver’s prolific monstrosity of an offensive scheme? How did Pete Carroll’s Zone-3 defensive coverage scheme force Peyton Manning into throwing two interceptions and holding him to 280 yards through the air and a single touchdown, with four receiving options in Damaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas? What was it about Seattle that truly defeated Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl of his quarterback record shattering season? The first play of the game did not start things off on the right track for Denver. Taking the kick off as a touchback and starting on the 20-yard line in their own territory, Peyton Manning stepped into the pocket for the first snap. As he’s checking down the defense, Denver’s center Manny Ramirez sends a high snap to Peyton Manning, over his head and was recovered inside the end-zone. There was a flag on the offense, but it was declined. Seattle got a safety, already on the scoreboard before the first minute of the game finished. 2-0 Seattle. It all went downhill from there, and it’s something that needs to be addressed; that one play can define the entire game. This rang true very loudly last night. Seattle on offense did incredibly well, Russell Wilson finishing the night with 206 yards through the air and two touchdowns, as well as getting 26 yards on the ground from several scramble runs. Wilson was an unsung hero of the night. Percy Harvin, in his only full game played of the season was monstrous. He finished the night with 137 all-purpose yards, including an 87 yard punt-return for a touchdown in the third quarter, off of a punt that was specifically designed to not be returned. Harvin shined brightly last night, and showed that no matter how ineffective he may be throughout the regular season, all he needs is one game to showcase his raw and unfettered talent. He had two options last night, best game of the season or taken out of the game on the first play; this time he chose the former. The defense was the star of the game though. The most apt visual of the night isn’t Manning’s constantly disappointed face, but his constantly moving feet. Of the 51 drop-backs Manning had, only 6 of them were blitzes from the Seahawks. That’s a telling number....

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