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Sunday, March 1, 2015

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AEG fights dirty, calls Inglewood stadium a terrorism target

Inglewood NFL stadium

AEG is not happy about the efforts of competing Los Angeles-based cities to lure an NFL team and has decided to play dirty.

According to The Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer, AEG, which owns the LA Galaxy, LA Live, Staples Center, 50 percent of the LA Kings, and part of the Lakers, commissioned a study by a former Homeland Security officer that concluded the proposed stadium in Inglewood is a terrorism target.

From The Times:

In a 14-page report, Ridge suggests that because the Inglewood stadium proposed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke would lie within three to four miles of Los Angeles International Airport and beneath the flight path of airliners, terrorists might try to shoot down a plane or crash one into the stadium, scenarios Ridge described as “a terrorist event ‘twofer.’ “

Ridge is Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, who wrote the report. He said that the proposed stadium should give people “pause.”

Ridge said people “must be willing to accept the significant risk and the possible consequences …. This should give both public and private leaders in the area some pause.”

Those who proposed the Inglewood stadium on the Hollywood Park property say the stadium will comply with FAA regulations.

The Inglewood/Hollywood Park proposal seems to be the leader in the pursuit of an NFL team after city leaders voted unanimously during the week to begin construction on a stadium. The stadium would be constructed on land partially owned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. AEG, which is headquartered in Downtown LA and owns Staples Center as previously mentioned, has long backed a proposed stadium in Downtown LA, which explains their opposition to the Inglewood proposal.

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Russell Westbrook gets dent in cheek after knee to head (Video)

Russell Westbrook continued his torrid February with another incredible game Friday, though he did take a physical beating while his team came up short in the end.

Westbrook became the first player since LeBron James to post a triple-double in three straight games by going for 40, 13 and 11 in a 118-115 loss at Portland. He missed his last two shots and went 2-for-3 at the free throw line with his team down by three in the final seconds. After making the final free throw attempt, he crashed the boards and got pushed to the ground. Teammate Andre Roberson accidentally kneed him in the head, leaving what many called a “dent” on his cheek.

Russell Westbrook dent

That’s not exactly having your faced sliced open by a hockey skate, but it looked pretty painful.

Westbrook refused to exit the game despite taking the beating, though he was evaluated after it ended. We would not be surprised to learn that he fractured his cheekbone, though even if that did happen, he probably wouldn’t miss any games. That guy’s determination is second to none.

Photo/video via @TheCauldron

Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected after getting into it (Video)

Tyler Hansbrough Festus EzeliTyler Hansbrough and Festus Ezeli were ejected from Friday’s Raptors-Warriors game after getting into a scrap towards the end of the third quarter when Golden State was winning by a blowout.

Ezeli and Hansbrough were fighting down low for position, and their physical play continued as they went up the court, with Ezeli going at Hansbrough’s throat. Hansbrough went crazy after that and went right after Ezeli. Luckily officials broke it up pretty quickly and tossed them out of the game with double-technicals.

“It’s not something I should bother myself with, somebody like that,” Ezeli said about Hansbrough, who everyone knows can be an irritant.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey was actually happy to see one of his players show some fight on a night when they got crushed 113-89.

“I was glad to see somebody ready to hit somebody,” Casey said via the AP.

It’s no surprise that it was Hansbrough in the middle of things; he’s down to fight whenever, just as long as it’s not Metta World Peace on the other end.

Alexey Shved commits one heck of a blooper (Video)

Alexey ShvedAlexey Shved attempted a shot during the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 121-115 double-overtime win over the Pistons on Friday that was so bad it gives him a guaranteed spot on “Shaqtin’ a Fool” next week.

Shved was driving the lane, did a Euro step, and then wildly threw up some sort of baby hook towards the basket (he probably threw up the shot hoping for a foul). The ball went so far above the hope it went flying into the stands. Shved was only 4-for-12 on the night, so it’s no surprise he was more than a little off the mark with that one.

Maybe he was just going for the 25-point Rock ‘N Jock hoop.

How much money Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano will make for their fight

Cat Zingano Ronda Rousey

How much money will Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano make in their fight that will headline UFC 184 Saturday? Maybe not as much as you would think.

According to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, Rousey will earn $65,000 in guaranteed money for the fight, plus $65,000 as a bonus if she wins. Zingano is set to earn $100,000 guaranteed plus she has a $100,000 win bonus.

Obviously that is not the extent of Rousey’s full earnings for the fight, because we all know she is the main draw and there is no way she will be earning less than Zingano. Rousey undoubtedly has a deal that will also pay her a portion of the pay-per-view buys. Pugmire says a UFC source told him she will earn over $1 million depending on how well the fight sells. Bloody Elbow suggests her deal could pay her around $2-3 per buy over 100,000 buys.

If Rousey is set to earn around $1 million for the fight — which is well deserved — then how much money is Arianny Celeste making as a UFC octagon girl? Rousey has complained about Celeste making more money than the fighters, so the model is probably pulling in a pretty penny.

Adrian Peterson’s father: Cardinals, Cowboys, Colts interested in AP

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson’s father knows of at least three NFL teams who have interest in his son, and all of those teams are contenders.

Peterson’s father, Nelson, spoke with the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson and told the writer that he has heard the Cardinals, Colts and Cowboys have interest in his son should the Vikings make the All-Pro running back available in a trade.

“I’ve heard rumors, Arizona,’’ Nelson said in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. “I’ve also heard the rumors of Indianapolis and the Colts, going there with a quarterback the caliber of (Andrew) Luck. I’ve also heard the Cowboys, coming back home with the Cowboys, behind that offensive line that they have.’’

The Vikings insist they want Peterson back, but “All Day” has expressed interest in having a fresh start with a new organization. How tense is the situation? Peterson’s agent and a Vikings employee got into an altercation and had to be separated.

Peterson is set to earn $12.75 million this season but may have to take a pay cut with a new team. If I were him, I’d force a trade from Minnesota.

Pittsburgh Pirates issue statement about ISIS executioner wearing team hat

Jihadi John Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates on issued a statement about ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” whose identity was unmasked in a photo released by Sky News in Britain Friday.

“Jihadi John,” whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi, has been shown in multiple hostage beheading videos released by ISIS. He was born in Kuwait, raised and educated in Britain, and is one of the world’s most wanted men.

The photo of Emwazi is from his college days at the University of Westminster and shows him wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates hat, something that alarmed the baseball franchise.

“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride. It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo,” the Pirates said in a statement via KDKA in Pittsburgh.

We understand their horror in response to seeing the executioner wearing their franchise logo. We wonder if they also have concerns about their “P” being used to represent the Pirus gang in Compton, also seen in a tattoo on DeShawn Stevenson’s face. They probably don’t like that either, but few things could be worse than having your logo associated with one of the most evil men associated with a terrible terrorist organization.

Dez Bryant camp believes Cowboys are behind video rumors

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant is trying to figure out who is responsible for all the recent rumors that have been spread about a potentially damaging video involving him, and a new report says his camp believes the Dallas Cowboys are the source of the leaks.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, Bryant’s camp believes the Cowboys leaked rumors about the video to try driving down the price of the talented free agent wide receiver. Cole notes that the Cowboys have publicly denied knowledge of the video and that it wouldn’t make sense for them to spread damaging information about one of their star players. Nevertheless, Bryant’s side reportedly believes the Cowboys are behind it.

TMZ separately reported that Bryant’s mother believes someone is trying to sabotage her son, and she is trying to figure out who.

This information would run contrary to the report we shared about Bryant potentially being blackmailed by someone his old agent was paying off. If that were the case, then Bryant’s camp would more than likely know who is behind the video.

What also seems to contradict to this report is that the Cowboys supposedly had interest in a 2011 Walmart surveillance video that supposedly involves Bryant. If the Cowboys already knew about this video and were behind the rumors, then why would they be interested in the tape? It seems like someone else is behind it.

Charles Barkley rips analytics again (Video)

If you have paid any attention to Charles Barkley in recent weeks, you know he despises the use of analytics to build a basketball team. So when someone accused Chuck of making an argument using analytics on Thursday night, he did not appreciate it.

Prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ win over the Golden State Warriors, Barkley said he wanted to watch whether the Warriors’ backcourt advantage would outweigh Cleveland’s front court advantage. It did not, and Chuck noted that results like that will “not get it done” for Golden State.

That’s when someone tweeted at “Inside the NBA” to accuse Barkley of using analytics. He disagreed.

“Analytics are like when you’re black or white,” Barkley said. “When you’re black they call you a cook. When you’re white they call you a chef. They just call it analytics so they can charge you more for it. They’re just stats. Everybody pays attention to stats.”

Charles-Barkley

The best part was Ernie Johnson begging Chuck to not get started again. Earlier this month, Barkley went off on Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over analytics. He obviously gave Ernie a headache.

Vince Young to work out at NFL Veteran Combine

Vince YoungThe NFL will hold its first ever scouting combine for veterans next month, and some notable players will be looking to prove they still have what it takes to be on an NFL roster. Vince Young is one of them.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Young has registered for the March 22 combine. He’ll turn 32 in May.

Perhaps the most surprising part about Young registering is that he landed a job with his alma mater several months back. Texas announced in August that it had employed the two-time Rose Bowl MVP to help raise money for first-generation college students and students from low-income situations.

Before taking the job at Texas, Young said that he felt his retirement was “definitely official” after he had been cut by several teams during training camp over the past two seasons. Apparently he has changed his mind.

Young’s NFL career got off to a solid start when he made the Pro Bowl twice with the Tennessee Titans, but it was all downhill from there. His last regular season pass attempt came with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011. His expectations can’t be very high, but Young wouldn’t participate if he felt he had no shot. We wish him the best.

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