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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Report: Judge Adalaide Byrd could be removed from UFC 216

Judge Adalaide Byrd’s immediate future is in question after she turned in a scorecard for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight Saturday night that was highly criticized. Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a draw in their superfight. One judge scored it 115-113 for Golovkin; another had it 114-114; and Byrd scored it 118-110 for Alvarez. Her…Read More

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Evan Engram says crotch grab was unintentional, calls penalty ‘bullcrap’

Evan Engram crotch

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram scored the first touchdown of his NFL career Monday night, but it came with a cost after he was penalized for what the officials deemed an inappropriate gesture. However, the rookie insists he did not have a lapse in judgement.

Following the Giants’ 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions, Engram said he did not intend to grab his crotch area and called the 15-yard penalty “bullcrap.”

“I don’t know what they were talking about, I did nothing intentional,” he said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “That was bull-crap, there was nothing intentional. I was just trying to dance. One of the guys came in and bumped into me. I was really shocked. I was trying to talk to the refs and let them know. I guess I accidentally touched something. Nothing intentional. It was a bad thing.”

The crotch grab didn’t seem blatant, though it’s to tell if it was truly an accident. Here’s the video:

Engram’s penalty left the Giants kicking from their 20-yard line. The penalty combined with a kickoff going out of bounds gave Detroit the ball at the New York 45. The Lions ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive.

A few years back, Engram’s gesture probably would have been ignored by the officials. He can thank Marshawn Lynch for making everyone so sensitive to it.

UCLA alum may buy naming rights to Rose Bowl

For the first time since the stadium opened in 1922, the Rose Bowl could soon have a name other than just the Rose Bowl.

Richard “Tod” Spieker, a Silicon Valley real estate investor and UCLA alum, is planning to donate $10 million of his own money and help raise $40 million in total for stadium improvements and upgrades. Because of his unprecedented generosity, the Rose Bowl Operating Company sought approval this week for a way to incorporate Spieker’s name into the venue.

According to Chris Yee of the Los Angeles Daily News, Spieker’s name will likely appear on the hedges that surround the field at the Rose Bowl but not on the field itself. The name also will not be dropped during broadcasts, so the sponsorship won’t be like some others we have seen. Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl, says he understands concerns about renaming the field but believes it is in the best long-term interest of the venue.

“We’re guardians of the Rose Bowl,” Dunn said. “We help steers it and make decisions that take care of it and look to its future. The Rose Bowl certainly is iconic and has a cache to it, but at the same time we need to generate more revenue so we can reinvest into it and take care of it.”

The Rose Bowl is owned by the city of Pasadena, so the city council will have to determine whether Spieker’s donation will be accepted in exchange for naming rights. If and when that happens, Spieker’s name will be associated with the stadium for at least 25 years.

The goal is to raise $40 million by the Rose Bowl’s 100th anniversary in 2022, so Spieker is covering 25 percent of that goal by himself. Stadium improvements will include new stadium lights, seating and WiFi in addition to updated safety elements, concession stands and bathrooms.

Jordy Nelson quad injury reportedly not serious, could miss one game

Jordy Nelson left the Green Bay Packers’ game against the Atlanta Falcons early on Sunday night and never returned, leading some to speculate that he may have suffered a serious injury. Fortunately, that is not the case.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Nelson suffered a quad injury that is not considered anything major. However, there’s a chance the 32-year-old receiver could miss Green Bay’s Week 3 showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nelson bounced back last year with a 1,257-yard, 14-touchdown season after he missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL. He isn’t quite as explosive as he was earlier in his career, but his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers makes up for that.

Wide receiver Randall Cobb also left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury, though an MRI showed his injury was not serious, either. The Packers will be looking to bounce back after losing a tough one to Atlanta, and that shouldn’t be difficult even if Nelson and Cobb don’t play. The Bengals are dealing with some injuries of their own and are seemingly in disarray.

10 things the college football polls got wrong after Week 3

Jim McElwain

A new set of college football polls have arrived, and with them comes the usual griping about who’s overrated and who’s underrated. After a week that saw a few top 25 teams put in quality performances — and a few others significantly underwhelm — there’s more than ever to try to make sense of.

Here’s a list of 10 questionable items spotted in this week’s set of polls, both from the writers and the coaches.

AP voters did too much for Florida

It would be a stretch to call Florida’s 27-20 victory over Tennessee impressive. The Hail Mary that won them the game certainly was, but it was a season-defining highlight in a game that otherwise saw neither team look particularly impressive. Nevertheless, both the AP and Coaches polls gave Florida a pretty good jump; the AP, in particular, lifted them four spots to No. 20. That’s too high — the coaches have them at a more reasonable 22. But when you take into account their loss to Michigan, it’s just not a team that has really set the world alight.

Coaches are too high on South Florida for now

Ranking the Group of Five is always a challenge, especially when the team you’re trying to place lacks a signature win against a really talented team. That is where South Florida sits. They may end up being the best team to come out of the Group of Five this season, but so far, their three wins have come against San Jose State, Stony Brook, and Illinois. None of those wins are particularly impressive, and the Bulls only managed to top Stony Brook by two touchdowns. Nevertheless, the coaches jumped them four spots to No. 17 this week. The AP has them at a more reasonable 21. They deserve to be ranked, but not quite in the top 20 yet.

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Andrew Bogut reportedly will sign with Lakers

Andrew Bogut

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly adding some depth to their frontcourt.

The Vertical’s Shams Charania says Andrew Bogut has agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers.

Bogut signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season after receiving a buyout from the Dallas Mavericks. But the center broke his tibia in his Cavs debut, so he only played in 27 games last season.

Bogut is said to be fully healed, which led him to pick between teams. He has apparently decided on the Lakers, who have Brook Lopez, Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant on the roster at center.

Matthew Stafford has ‘Kershaw’ audible seemingly about friend

Matthew Stafford

The Detroit Lions’ offense has one of the coolest audibles we’ve heard.

During the third quarter of the Lions’ Monday night game against the New York Giants, quarterback Matthew Stafford could be heard saying “Kershaw” for one of his calls at the line of scrimmage:

The “Kershaw” audible seemed to be a nod to Stafford’s childhood friend, Clayton Kershaw.

The two grew up playing sports together in Highland Park, Texas, and Stafford even served as the southpaw’s catcher in high school.

We certainly have heard a bunch of interesting audible calls this season that appear to honor sports figures. The Cowboys showed off their “Shanahan” one in Week 1.

Report: Judge Adalaide Byrd could be removed from UFC 216

Canelo GGG

Judge Adalaide Byrd’s immediate future is in question after she turned in a scorecard for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight Saturday night that was highly criticized.

Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a draw in their superfight. One judge scored it 115-113 for Golovkin; another had it 114-114; and Byrd scored it 118-110 for Alvarez. Her scorecard suggested she saw Alvarez win the fight easily. Most people who watched it felt it was a close fight, with many thinking GGG had the edge. Social media was not kind to Byrd after the fight as these tweets show, and now it sounds like the Nevada Athletic Commission may take action.

The Irish Independent reports that NAC executive director Bob Bennett said he would give Byrd a “small break.”

“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett reportedly told the Independent. “She’ll still be in the business, but she needs to catch her breath.”

On top of that, CBS Las Vegas reporter Chris Maathuis said Byrd had been removed from the UFC 216 fight card she was set to judge on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas.

Bennett may have been getting ahead of himself in his comments to the Irish Independent, because he later told MMA Fighting that they will decide Byrd’s fate over the next week. It could be that news about Byrd leaked out quicker than the commission was ready for, leading them to ask for patience in an announcement.

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