The scandal that rocked the soccer world early Wednesday morning was serious enough that several FIFA officials were arrested at their hotel in Switzerland, but that wasn’t going to stop one IRS official from delivering a clever one-liner.
While discussing the corruption charges — which include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering — against the FIFA officials on Wednesday, IRS official Richard Weber described the scandal as the “World Cup of fraud” and said FIFA is being issued a “red card.”
We haven’t seen a joke that inappropriate since Adrian Peterson’s agent made this Bill Belichick reference outside a courtroom after Peterson pleaded not guilty to felony child abuse.
Then again, unveiling new material in front of an audience that big takes some serious brass. In a way, you have to respect it.
H/T The Big Lead
The Houston Texans have been chosen as the team that will be featured on the latest installment of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” according to a report.
Tania Ganguli of ESPN reported on Wednesday morning that the Texans — labeled the favorites for the show a week ago — will be letting HBO’s cameras into their training camp this summer. There should be no shortage of entertainment.
J.J. Watt is one of the most ferocious players in the NFL, and he does some incredible things off the field as well. Arian Foster has a long history of toying with the media, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to production crews joining the team during training camp.
In addition to being able to follow plenty of colorful personalities, it will also be intriguing to monitor Jadeveon Clowney’s recovery from knee surgery and the quarterback competition between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. We don’t expect the Texans to disappoint.
- Filed Under:
Johnny Manziel is in the process of repairing his public image, and the Cleveland Browns quarterback has been calling on LeBron James’ most trusted confidant to help him achieve that goal.
Manziel has been spending a lot of time with Maverick Carter, LeBron’s longtime business partner and right-hand man, since he was released from rehab last month. Browns safety Donte Whitner spoke about the relationship between Manziel and Carter on Tuesday.
“He’s taken a big responsibility in making sure that Johnny’s doing all the right things,” Whitner told Mary Kay Cabot of Northeast Ohio Media Group. “(Manziel) has a mentor, somebody to talk to, certain things that he really didn’t have the ability (to do) or somebody to talk to before. It looks like it’s working out so far.”
Carter and James are co-founders of the LRMR marketing firm. Manziel signed with LRMR as soon as he decided he was leaving Texas A&M for the NFL, but he seems to be spending a lot more time with Carter as of late. The two have been spotted sitting courtside together at Cleveland Cavaliers games during the playoffs. Manziel has also spent time with LeBron.
“(Manziel) understands that you can’t be in Vegas or Miami or any of these other places, you have to be here,” Whitner added. “If you have to come in a day or two extra for an hour or two per day, that’s what quarterbacks do. And no matter if you like it, you have to be here.”
LeBron is arguably the biggest sports superstar in the world, and Carter has helped him maintain a clean image off the court. Manziel tried to use LeBron’s image strategy before his rookie season, but he kept making headlines for the wrong reasons and played poorly when called upon to start for the Browns.
Manziel took second-team reps behind veteran quarterback Josh McCown at the first day of organized team activities on Tuesday. If he can remain on a clean path with the help of Carter and not put himself in any compromising positions like this, there’s no reason we should write off Manziel just yet. He’s only 22.
Details have started to emerge from the latest domestic violence arrest for NFL defensive end Ray McDonald, and they paint a disturbing picture of what happened before the 30-year-old was taken into custody early Monday morning.
In a phone call to 911, the mother of McDonald’s ex-fiancee told emergency dispatchers that her daughter had barricaded herself in a bedroom with her infant child after McDonald began acting violently. The woman claimed that McDonald “broke down” the door to the bedroom and tried to take the baby from his ex before eventually leaving by himself.
“She said she received a call from her daughter … advising that her boyfriend Ray McDonald was being violent,” the dispatcher said, via Robert Salonga of the San Jose Mercury News. “She tried to lock herself in her bedroom but he broke the door down … Ex is trying to leave now with her infant.”
After arriving at the scene, police determined that McDonald had physically assaulted his ex-fiancee while she was holding the baby. McDonald’s attorney admits there was an argument but insists it never became physical. McDonald is currently free on $15,000 bail.
The woman McDonald allegedly assaulted on Monday is the same woman who accused him of domestic violence last August, when she was pregnant and still engaged to the former San Francisco 49ers lineman. No charges were filed and McDonald was later cleared by the NFL in that incident. He signed with the Chicago Bears this offseason but was released after Monday’s incident.
McDonald was also investigated for an alleged sexual assault back in December. No charges were filed in that incident, and McDonald filed a defamation suit against the accuser. She responded with a counter-suit and alleged that McDonald and former 49ers teammate Ahmad Brooks made sexual contact with her when she was semi-conscious after falling by a pool.
Don’t be surprised if McDonald has played his last snap in the NFL.
- Ray McDonald
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova has developed a reputation this postseason for being an agitator. Some have even called him a dirty player, which is a label that Atlanta Hawks broadcaster Steve Holman seems to agree with.
When Dellavedova checked into Game 4 on Tuesday night, Holman referred to him as “Tonya Harding.”
Dellavedova checks into the game for Kyrie Irving. Hawks radio broadcast says "Tonya Harding" checking in.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 27, 2015
For those of you who don’t get the reference, Harding is a former Olympic figure skater who is infamous for her involvement in hiring someone to injure fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg so Kerrigan would not be able to compete in the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
What does that have to do with Dellavedova? The 24-year-old has gotten three players injured or ejected so far this postseason. The first was Taj Gibson, and it appeared that he was tossed after Dellavedova put him in a leg lock. A similar thing happened in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals when Delly was all over Al Horford and Horford was ejected for retaliating.
Dellavedova also injured Kyle Korver diving after a loose ball in Game 2, and some believe he did it intentionally.
For what it’s worth, all of the aforementioned incidents contributed to the Cavs getting to the NBA Finals. Dellevedova may be developing a lousy reputation around the league, but I’m sure his teammates are just fine with his playing style.
- Filed Under:
The Cleveland Cavaliers took a 59-42 lead into halftime of their blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, and Charles Barkley was not impressed with Mike Budenholzer’s squad. We know that because he compared the Hawks to a certain breed of dog that isn’t exactly known for it’s ferocity.
During the TNT halftime show, Barkley urged the Cavs to not let up on the “chihuahuas” they were facing.
“These some chihuahuas out here from Atlanta,” Barkley said. “There’s a pit bull out there in Golden State, so you can’t take no chances.”
The Cavs took no chances, and they kept their foot on the gas en route to a 118-88 victory and an Eastern Conference Finals sweep. Between Barkley’s commentary at halftime and what J.R. Smith’s mom said after the game, we were treated to some fantastic quotes on Tuesday evening.
H/T GIFD Sports
J.R. Smith was a major contributor in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference Finals sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, and his mother could not be more proud.
After the Cavs won Game 4 in convincing fashion, Smith’s mother, Ida Smith, used a line from a Drake song while reflecting on what has been a tumultuous season and career for her son.
“My mom was on the court when the confetti fell down, and she said, ‘Talk about started from the bottom now we here,'” Smith said, per SLAM Magazine.
Ida could have been referring to a number of things. Most recently, Smith was suspended for the first two games of Cleveland’s series against the Chicago Bulls after he hit a Boston Celtics player in the face on this brutal play. He vowed to be a better player and person after the suspension.
Smith has had plenty of problems with previous coaches and has been known to spend more time partying than he does practicing. However, LeBron James urged the Cavs to acquire Smith earlier this season and assured them that he would keep the sharp-shooter in line. After Smith averaged 18 points per game against Atlanta, Cleveland’s brass has to be pleased.
- Filed Under:
Multiple FIFA officials were arrested at a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday and will be extradited to the US to face charges of corruption, The New York Times reports.
The officials were in Zurich for their annual meeting. FIFA was expected to re-elect Sepp Blatter as president for a fifth term at the meeting, but this shake-up may change that. Blatter was not at the hotel and is not expected to be arrested, according to the NY Daily News. Recent reports have said he will not set foot in the US for fear of being arrested.
FIFA is the international organization that oversees soccer, the most popular sport in the world. It is an organization that has been accused of corruption for years, including officials and voters accepting bribes and kickbacks concerning events such as the World Cup.
The Times says the officials will face charges of “include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.”
“We’re struck by just how long this went on for and how it touched nearly every part of what FIFA did,” a law enforcement official told The Times. “It just seemed to permeate every element of the federation and was just their way of doing business. It seems like this corruption was institutionalized.”
In charging the officials, he US Justice Department is using the same authority it employs when bringing cases against international terrorists. All the law requires is a loose connection to the US, such as the use of US banks or ISPs.
FIFA has averaged nearly $1.5 billion in revenue each of the past four years. There is a lack of transparency within the organization and accusations of widespread corruption described as “institutionalized.”
Below are a few photos of the roundup:
Swiss law enforcement getting room numbers for FIFA execs they are heading upstairs to arrest pic.twitter.com/F69djqpcu5
— Michael S. Schmidt (@MichaelSSchmidt) May 27, 2015
— Auskar Surbakti (@AuskarSurbakti) May 27, 2015
Picture of plainclothes Swiss police showing documents to FIFA hotel clerk: pic.twitter.com/LVV8Ai9hxt
— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) May 27, 2015
- Sepp Blatter
Mike Francesa: elite radio talent.
At least this was arguably better than the time he was shocked to learn soccer players kick with both legs.
H/T Awful Announcing
- Filed Under:
- Mike Francesa
TNT microphones caught a beautiful message Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt shared with LeBron James towards the end of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
With a sweep of the Atlanta Hawks ensured and the Cavs on their way to the NBA Finals, Blatt reflected on how much LeBron meant to Cleveland and congratulated him for coming home and leading the team to the Finals. He then told LeBron that he deserved the success he’s achieved.
“What you did for the team, for this city coming back, you deserve it,” Blatt said.
James seemed to really appreciate the message and even wanted to give a special handshake to his coach who was too busy finishing coaching and left his star player hanging:
Given how ugly things were between the two parties earlier in the season, it’s really impressive to see how far they’ve come. LeBron even had his arm around his coach.
Before the Cavs can celebrate too much, they now likely will have to worry about the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.