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Saturday, November 1, 2014

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Ray Allen only needs a week to be ready for NBA action

Ray-Allen-Shuttlesworth-jersey

The NBA season got underway this week and Ray Allen remains unsigned. The 39-year-old sharpshooter is a free agent by choice and says he has been doing everyday things like taking his kids to school while staying in excellent shape.

Allen, who had no shortage of suitors over the offseason, would only need a week to be ready for NBA action, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

“I’m working out, taking care of my body. I’m in great shape. I’ll just watch how the season progresses, and if I do feel the desire to continue to play, then I’ll decide what situation is viable for me …” Allen said via the Sun-Sentinel.

“I still feel certain aches and pains; that’s definitely old age,” he said. “To be able to run, and back off a little bit, lift, and back off a little bit instead of going at it 100 percent all the time like I’ve been doing has helped.”

Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge speculated that Allen may wait until the All-Star break to sign with a team. The Cavaliers would likely be the favorite to sign him if he does choose to continue playing, though that could change.

Cubs fire Rick Renteria; Do some think Joe Maddon is being ‘classless?’

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The Chicago Cubs appear on the verge of hiring Joe Maddon. The team announced on Friday that Rick manager Rick Renteria has been fired, which lends credence to recent reports indicating the Cubs have agreed to terms with Maddon.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he and the team’s front office were faced with a dilemma — to be loyal to Renteria or be loyal to the Cubs organization.

Despite rumors that the Cubs kept Renteria in the dark, the team reportedly informed him that they were working on a deal with Maddon earlier this week. Epstein said Friday that he and general manager Jed Hoyer had provided Renteria with updates and have informed him of the change.

It seems obvious that Maddon knew the Cubs job was waiting for him when he decided to opt out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, some MLB managers and executives felt it was wrong of Maddon to go after someone else’s job.

Amid widespread expectation in the industry that Maddon will be named Cubs manager, and conflicting reports about whether the hire has already happened, lifers were saying that the mere possibility did not look good. Maddon is well-liked, and his competitors are hoping that the full details, when they emerge, will prove more flattering. For now, the fraternity is displeased.

“The whole industry is talking about what a classless act (this is),” said one high-ranking major league executive.

“I certainly know that at the winter meetings, some of the older (managers), they’re going to think it looks real bad to go after someone else’s job,” said one current MLB skipper, whose team was not linked to Maddon after the former Tampa Bay manager opted out of his Rays contract last week.

Said another manager whose job was not threatened by Maddon’s surprise free agency: “I am shocked he would do this. This surprises me.”

Timing will be important. It’s hard to argue that the Cubs should pass up an opportunity to hire one of the best managers in the game. If Maddon made his intentions clear when the season ended, the Cubs should have fired Renteria then and blamed it on the 73-89 season. If Maddon just recently made up his mind, there’s really nothing Epstein and company could have done. Professional sports is a selfish industry.

Bill Belichick doesn’t care for weather forecasts

Bill Belichick media

Weather could potentially be a factor on Sunday afternoon when the Denver Broncos travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. Forecasters are calling for chilly temperatures with wind and possibly some rain, which could work to the Patriots’ advantage given Peyton Manning’s history with cold weather.

Bill Belichick insists he isn’t even giving it a thought.

When speaking to reporters on Friday, Belichick offered some of his trademark wise cracks when asked about the forecast for Sunday.

“When you play in New England, you’ve got to be ready for everything. Based on the forecasts we’ve gotten so far this year, none of them were very close to what the game conditions were. There was a 100 percent chance of rain last week, and the only water I saw was on the Gatorade table,” Belichick said, per Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe. “It is what it is. We’ve got to be ready for whatever it is.”

When the Patriots hosted the New York Jets in Week 7, forecasters were calling for heavy downpours throughout the game. It rained during the day in Foxboro, but rain was not a factor when the two teams took the field.

“My experience of going with the forecast, in this area, two days before the game, I’d bet a lot that they’re wrong, just based on history, because they’re almost always wrong,” Belichick said. “An hour before the game? Maybe, you might have something to work with there. But if you start game planning for what the weather is going to be and you game plan wrong, you’ve wasted a lot of time.”

There’s an old expression people from New England like to use — “If you don’t like the weather here, just stay an hour.”

But regardless of what Belichick says, we live in an era where every minuscule detail is analyzed.

The Broncos don’t exactly play in a warm climate. Don’t expect anyone to be intimidated if they can see their breath at kickoff.

Dez Bryant, Joseph Randle reportedly get into it before practice

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Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle may soon discover that he is not a very popular man in the locker room in the wake of his idiotic arrest for stealing from a department store. In all likelihood, the events surrounding the arrest were the reason Randle and Dez Bryant got into it before practice on Friday.

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Randle and Bryant got into a “snit” that ended when Jason Witten stepped in and told Randle to “shut up.” Hill added that he suspected the dust-up was a result of something Randle said on his arrest video.

As we showed you on Thursday, Randle said a number of idiotic things to officers while he was being booked for shoplifting. In addition to offering a jailhouse employee $100 for a massage, the 22-year-old also wondered out loud why teammate Josh Brent hardly got into any trouble for driving drunk. He apparently also made reference to Bryant’s family violence incident from two years ago.

[WATCH: Joseph Randle's arrest video]

It seemed obvious whose side Witten was on.

At this point, you have to wonder why the Cowboys would even keep Randle on their roster. He’s a talented player, but it was bad enough that he got arrested for stealing cologne and underwear. There’s no reason to let him become a problem in the locker room.

DeAngelo Hall re-tore his Achilles while getting pizza in his kitchen

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Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall tore his Achilles against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3, and he has been working to rehab the injury in order to be ready for training camp next summer. After losing a battle with a slice of pizza, Hall’s recovery is going to take a bit longer than expected.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters on Friday that Hall re-tore his Achilles earlier this week while he was in his kitchen getting a slice of pizza. You can’t make this stuff up, right?

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network speculates that Hall’s setback will delay his recovery time by about a month and a half, which means he still should be able to get back in time for training camp.

As we have learned over the past year, pizza can be very dangerous for professional football players. Remember what happened to former Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson that kept him out multiple weeks? Pizza is no joke.

Former Redskins QB Jay Schroeder has dumbest comment about team name

Jay-Schroeder

There are so many people out there who would be much better off keeping their opinion about the Washington Redskins’ team name to themselves. Former Redskins quarterback Jay Schroeder is near or at the top of that list.

Schroeder, who played in the nation’s capital from 1985-1987, recently expressed frustration with the controversy surrounding the Redskins name debate. Warning: You will be dumber after hearing his argument.

“I think it’s been blown way out of proportion,” he told Chris Tomasson of The Pioneer Press. “I think that the Washington Redskins have represented the Redskins name very well through the years and bringing glory to it.

“Let’s take the context of the word Panthers. It’s an animal, but let’s recall what happened in the 1960s with the militant groups (the Black Panthers). If you’re going to take that context, you can take every word and look at it and decide what your own meaning is going to be.”

There you have it, folks. Daniel Snyder may be a moron for buying “keep the name” shirts and watching games with a disgraced Navajo Nation president, but I highly doubt he will ever offer an opinion as idiotic as the one you just read from Schroeder.

H/T Deadspin

This is the best JJ Watt Halloween costume

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I have never been a fan of throwing on some football equipment and a jersey and going as your favorite player for Halloween. It’s fine when kids do it, but it’s something childish that adults shouldn’t be doing when they’re going to a party to get hammered. Unless, of course, you go as JJ Watt with a bloody nose.

The young lady you see above officially owns Halloween 2014.

Even Watt himself appreciated the effort.

Unlike some of the wildly offensive costumes we have already seen, that one was as close to perfect as it gets.

Russell Wilson and Madison Bumgarner were once roommates

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What do Russell Wilson and Madison Bumgarner have in common aside from championships in their respective sports? The two were roommates back in the day.

In the wake of Bumgarner’s dominant Game 7 relief performance on Wednesday, which cemented his place as the greatest World Series pitcher in history, Wilson shared an interesting story with reporters.

“So, funny story about Madison Bumgarner,” Wilson said before practice on Thursday, via the Seahawks official website. “We were roommates at the East-West Showcase coming out of high school, [for] the top 100 players.”

Wilson, as many of you know, was a two-sport star. He played shortstop and hit .467 his senior year of high school and was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He was even selected by the Texas Rangers last year in the Rule 5 baseball draft.

Fortunately for Wilson, he was on the same team as Bumgarner in the Showcase.

“I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years,” he explained. “I haven’t got in touch with him lately. So yeah, I used to play with him. We were on the same team and I think we won it all that Showcase. It was a good experience.

“I’m excited for him. He’s a true competitor. I used to play against [San Francisco Giants catcher] Buster Posey, too. To watch those two guys – him catching and Bumgarner throwing – it’s pretty special.”

Considering how their careers have gone, I’d say Bumgarner and Wilson both chose the right paths.

Jimbo Fisher gets videobombed by creepiest dude ever

After Florida State came back to defeat Louisville in a crucial road game on Thursday night, the creepiest man alive took the internet by storm. Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher was being interviewed by ESPN’s Sam Ponder when some guy with a camera dropped a vintage eyebrow-raise videobomb. It was perfectly fitting for Halloween.

Jimbo-Fisher-videobomb

Little is known about this man or why he felt the need to terrorize us all, but ESPN 680’s Mark Ennis claimed he was a bowl representative who sat in the press box during the game.

If that guy was in charge of the bowl game I was invited to, I’d decline the offer.

Aren’t videobombs (like this one) supposed to be funny? For the love of God, man, don’t ever do that again.

H/T @cjzero
Screenshot via UPROXX

Deaf high schooler defies odds, makes cheerleading team

Iliana Delgado is one of 27 girls on the Downey High School (Calif.) junior varsity cheerleading squad. Unlike the other 26, Delgado can’t hear the fans that she is encouraging to cheer.

Delgado, 15, is the first ever deaf cheerleader to make the squad at Downey. Iliana earned her spot on the team during a tryout that featured more than 100 girls, despite the fact that she is unable to hear any of the audible signals or cues.

“I put her on because Iliana earned it,” cheerleading coach Leslie Patterson told KTTV in Los Angeles. “She tried out just like any other girl. She worked hard just like any other girl and her scores fell within the lines just like any other girl.”

Of course, there are challenges. Iliana has trouble with timing, mostly because she has to look at what the other girls are doing and can’t rely on listening like the rest of them. Rather than using a normal countdown, a coach will tap Delgado to let her know when it’s her turn.

“I feel good about myself,” Delgado said through sign. “Sometimes I feel a little frustrated because I struggle when I can’t hear something but people encourage me and I keep going on.”

Iliana-Delgado

Those of us who can hear will never fully understand how difficult it must be to do something like cheerleading when you hear nothing. The fact that Iliana is the first deaf cheerleader to make the squad at Downey shows how gifted she is.

For more heartwarming stories like Delgado’s, click here.

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