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Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Eastern Michigan has gray turf for new field nicknamed ‘The Factory’

Eastern Michigan The Factory

Eastern Michigan is joining the alternate field surface color crew this fall. Like Boise State, Eastern Washington and Central Arkansas, EMU will be playing home games on a non-traditional surface color. They decided that gray will be their color.

The process of installing the gray FieldTurf at Rynearson Stadium will begin in July so that the new field surface will be ready for the team’s home opener Aug. 30 against Morgan State.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to invest in our football program and the new gray Field Turf this summer,” said EMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “With the gray field being installed, we will be the only ones in the country with such a design. Most importantly, it helps us build an identity that matches the toughness of our team and connection with our community. This facility enhancement is an important brick in the foundation of Coach Creighton’s vision.”

Boise State plays on the famous blue surface; Eastern Washington plays on a red field; and Central Arkansas plays on a field that alternates purple and gray. Now we will be able to include Eastern Michigan on the list. And their concrete gray.

Helmet smack to Eye on College Football
Photo: Twitter/emuathletics

Antonio Cromartie: Me and Darrelle Revis are two best corners in league

Antonio CromartieSomeone better keep an eye out on Richard Sherman’s Twitter account for a response, because we know he won’t like what Antonio Cromartie had to say recently.

Cromartie was on NFL Network’s “Total Access” Thursday and was asked to rate some of the best cornerbacks in the league. Cro was shown the results of a fan vote where Sherman was selected as the best cornerback over Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson and Revis. He disagreed with that and wondered where his name was.

“If y’all just want to go off one or two seasons … that’s fine and dandy,” Cromartie said. “But go over the longevity of my career and then match it up against these right here.”

Cromartie then explained why he or Revis should get the nod for best all-around corner in the game.

“To me, right now, it’s either me or (Revis),” Cromartie continued. “You got three guys that’s up and coming, but right now it’s either me or this guy — when we’re healthy.

“And when we’re healthy we know what we can do on the football field. We’ve both shown it in a Rex Ryan defense with zero help. We tell that safety to roll up to the other side. … I want these guys to be on an island by themselves and play zero coverage. They (haven’t) done it yet. They (haven’t) done nothing that me and Rev have done in Rex Ryan’s defense.”

We’ve heard this same argument before. Sherman only plays on one side of the field and doesn’t shadow the opposing teams’ top receivers. Maybe we don’t know how great he is because he hasn’t done that, but few are playing better than he is. I don’t think that should be taken away from him. And I’d put Sherman ahead of Cromartie but probably on a similar level to Revis.

Only 52,000 fans watched Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter on SportsNet LA

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

Clayton Kershaw had one heck of an outing on Wednesday night. It was one of the most dominant pitching performances in MLB history. It would have been nice if most Dodgers fans in LA could have seen it.

According to the LA Times’ Joe Flint, Nielsen metrics say only 52,000 people in the LA market watched the Dodgers game on TV Wednesday night. The game drew just a 0.60 TV rating.

The problem is that an estimated 70 percent of households in the Los Angeles area do not have Time Warner Cable and therefore do not have access to watching the Dodgers on TV. Time Warner Cable owns the Dodgers’ TV rights and created a channel called SportsNet LA to air the games, but their rights fees for the channel are so high, other providers like DirecTV, Dish Network, Cox and Charter don’t carry it.

For most of LA, the team has been a non-entity this season. Most fans literally cannot watch the team on TV.

I can’t watch them and it’s frustrating. My mom, a lifelong Dodgers fan who rarely misses a chance to watch them on TV when she’s home, had no idea about Kershaw’s no-hitter until I called her in the 9th inning. Even Vin Scully is blacked out of the games.

Who will blink first in these negotiations? Tell TWC to lower the price; they’re asking for too much.

Darrelle Revis: Bill Belichick is a ‘players’ coach’

Darrelle-RevisIsn’t it amazing how fast a player’s tune can change after he switches teams? Two years ago, Darrelle Revis called Bill Belichick a “jerk” and later said he was sticking to it. Of course, that was when Revis was a New York Jet. Now that he is a member of the New England Patriots, it sounds like Revis considers The Hoodie to be a close friend.

“When you’re on the outside looking in when you’re playing with another organization, you look at things totally different,” Revis told reporters Thursday, via CSNNE.com’s Phil Perry. “Especially coming from New York and New England being up here, it’s a lot. You look at things totally different. … Everybody here has accepted me as much as they can to make it feel like home. Even Bill has. I feel fine with it. I’m fine. We’re on good terms.”

That all sounds pretty standard, but some might be surprised to hear Revis describe Belichick as a “players’ coach.”

“One, he’s a great coach,” Revis said. “I really respect him for winning three championships. I really do. Another thing is that I feel like he’s a players’ coach. A lot of people might not say that outside looking in, but we’re with Bill everyday. We hang out with him every day. We’re in the meetings with him every day, so we’re around him all the time. I really feel like he’s a players’ coach.”

That’s not just Revis kissing up. A lot of people take Belichick’s snarky attitude with the media to mean he is tough to work for, and that rarely seems to be the case. He definitely has a no-nonsense attitude, but there’s a reason so many players respect him. He hates talking to reporters. He doesn’t hate coaching.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Tony Parker stole Larry O’Brien trophy to take picture with new baby

Tony-Parker-baby-Larry-O'Brien-trophy

Tony Parker had himself some unauthorized alone time with the Larry O’Brien trophy after the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA title, but he had a great reason for it. During his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night, Parker admitted that he stole the championship trophy so he could bring it home and snap a photo with his newborn baby.

“Actually, I stole the trophy the night of the celebration,” Parker told Kimmel while discussing the photo. “I stole it. True story. I was like, ‘I want to keep the trophy tonight.’ So I left with it and everybody was calling me like, ‘Tony did you take the trophy?’

“I’ll bring it back tomorrow. I just wanted to take a picture with Josh. I wanted to have a good memory, so I took it.”

Parker has helped the Spurs win four of those bad boys, so I’m sure nobody minded. Hey, it’s better than what Mark Cuban did with the Larry O’Brien trophy after the Dallas Mavericks won it a few years back.

Video via SI Hot Clicks
Photo: Facebook/Y100 San Antonio

Police investigating fans who jumped out of wheelchairs to cheer at World Cup

World-Cup-stadium

Police are reportedly investigating a group of fans who attended a World Cup game in wheelchairs for possible ticket fraud. According to The Telegraph, several photos shown on CCTV and seen on social media sites appear to show Brazilian fans that claimed to be wheelchair-bound jumping out of their seats in celebration.

Police believe the fans may have purchased the tickets through the secondary market and wound up having to use wheelchairs to get into the stadium with the seats they bought. A Brazilian law requires 1% of the stadium’s capacity to be devoted to disabled fans. Here is one of the photos in question.

By illegally purchasing seats that are reserved for disabled patrons, fans would have access to specific seats and concession stands that are only supposed to be available to fans who need wheelchairs. The tickets also cost roughly half the price of a regular seat.

While we don’t want to speculate about the condition of the fans in the above photo, you can only hope someone wouldn’t take advantage of the system like that.

H/T Deadpin

Brandon Phillips responds to heckling fan with autographed ball, selfie

Brandon-Phillips-heckler-selfie

Brandon Phillips may have successfully turned a drunk Pittsburgh Pirates fan into a Cincinnati Reds fan earlier this week. A recent story that was posted on Reddit describes a scene in which a Pirates fan started giving Phillips the business after a rain delay in the seventh inning. The Reddit user, who was the brother of the guy doing the heckling, said Phillips found it pretty funny.

“(My brother was) yelling, ‘Hey everybody, look how slow Phillips is!,'” he wrote. “My brother said the stadium was almost empty at this point, so his heckles rang loud and clear. According to him, Phillips even looked over and chuckled at one point.”

After that, Phillips walked over to the fan, put on a big smile and posed for a selfie. He even gave the guy an autographed ball with a hilarious message on it.

(more…)

Chris Cooley on Redskins potential name change: I’m protesting the Chargers name

Chris-Cooley-Loves-Watching-Tony-Romo-ChokeFormer Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley does not support the efforts to change his former team’s name. Cooley, who hosts a show on ESPN 980 with Steve Czaban, spent a good portion of their Wednesday show ridiculing sports writers who are calling for the Redskins to change their nickname.

Czaban and Cooley criticized the “guilt-ridden white liberal sports writers” for trying to take a stand. Keep in mind ESPN 980 is owned and operated by Dan Snyder’s company Red Zebra Broadcasting. Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog transcribed some of the highlights (lowlights?) of the segment for us.

Czaban: It’s a cause. They need a cause to feel good about themselves. They will then say it doesn’t matter if it’s 70, 80 percent — if one person is offended, then that’s enough.

Cooley: You know what, Steve? We need a cause. You and I need a cause. And you know what that cause is going to be? I don’t like the Chargers because I want to protect the ozone, all right guys? I feel like there’s a global warming issue, and I don’t like the name Chargers, because they’re promoting electricity. Eff electricity, and eff the Chargers name. I have a problem with them. All I’ve got to do is a pamphlet and 10 percent of a couple people and maybe a Senator or two that wants to protect the ozone and we’re off and running.

Galdi: Call Olbermann. Call Deadspin.

Their rant seemed to be aimed more at upper class sports writers who are trying to take a righteous stance, but the way Cooley and Czaban went about making their point came off as arrogant and insensitive. Not surprisingly, the National Congress of American Indians found the remarks offensive and addressed them in a press release.

“Chris Cooley’s comments represent a sadly typical attempt to dehumanize Native Americans by pretending we do not exist,” the statement read. “In this case, Mr. Cooley insultingly pretends that the Native American groups representing hundreds of thousands of Native Americans haven’t been leading the fight to end the Washington team’s use of a racial slur. In this Mr. Cooley proves exactly why this slur is such a problem – in defending the team’s insistence to retain the name and profit off a racial slur, he apparently sees Native Americans not as people, but as mere mascots to be ignored and denigrated. These kinds of degrading comments are completely inappropriate and unacceptable in today’s society, and we as Native peoples should not be subject to such characterizations.”

Chris Cooley an obnoxious loudmouth? Nooooo….

Matt Joyce hits ball into pitching machine, machine spits it back (Video)

Matt-Joyce-pitching-machineTampa Bay Rays outfielder Matt Joyce had himself a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Thursday. The rare moment actually came before the game while Joyce was taking batting practice.

Joyce was taking pitches from a pitching machine and fouled one off the top of the cage. It somehow deflected off the cage and back into the pitching machine, causing the machine to spit it back before Joyce even had time to realize what had happened.

What are the odds of that? Joyce can’t be happy about it. It’s kind of one of baseball’s unwritten rules to not quick-pitch a hitter before he’s ready, yet the machine went and blew a strike right past him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some retaliation before Friday night’s game.

Jimmy Clausen caught attention of Bears staff

Jimmy-Clausen-PanthersThe Chicago Bears signed Jimmy Clausen earlier this month as a potential backup to Jay Cutler, and the former Notre Dame star may actually have a shot at making the team. According to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com, Clausen “caught the coaching staff’s attention” during minicamp this week.

“We’re going through the process today of trying to work a little bit with our roster,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said on Thursday. “I think that Jimmy has competed, and done a good job for the time that he’s been here. I expect that he’ll be with us.”

The Bears signed Clausen just 10 days before minicamp. Jordan Palmer is currently the team’s No. 2 quarterback, but he reportedly struggled during minicamp while Clausen impressed Chicago’s coaches. Trestman said he was impressed by what Clausen did off the field as much as on it.

“No. 1 is how he handled the room. That room is hugely important; the chemistry, the karma, whatever you want to call it,” Trestman said. “In that room, the communication’s got to be good. Jimmy’s done a very good job, very maturely fit in and taken the place of trying to learn and work to learn the offense. He’s grinded at it. He spent long hours here.”

Trestman added that he expects Clausen to be one of the guys the team brings back. Clausen, who signed a one-year, $645,000 deal with the Bears, has not played in an NFL game since his rookie season in 2010. The Carolina Panthers drafted him in the second round that year, but Clausen struggled with just three touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 13 games. They drafted Cam Newton the next year.

Depending on how he has developed while holding a clipboard over the past few years, Clausen could be a viable backup option.

H/T Rotoworld

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