Aaron Hernandez is currently in jail awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, but that may not be the only serious charge he faces when all is said and done. Investigators are reportedly looking into Hernandez’s possible involvement in a double murder that took place in 2012 in Boston. In addition, there has also been speculation that he was involved in a shooting in Gainesville back in 2007 and another incident during college when he allegedly ruptured a bouncer’s ear drum.
Hernandez never got into any serious trouble with the law while at Florida. It’s possible his name is being unfairly thrown into the mix with past incidents of fighting and gunfire, but there is a growing belief that Urban Meyer and the Gators protected Hernandez. As Bob Hunter of The Columbus Dispatch pointed out, Meyer’s wife and daughter seemingly defended him earlier this week.
When will we start holding individuals accountable for their own decisions/actions and stop blaming any/everyone else? #liveyourliferight
— Shelley meyer (@spinnershells) July 3, 2013
— Gigi Meyer (@GG_40) July 3, 2013
When Hernandez allegedly punched the bouncer and broke his ear drum in 2007, one report says Gainesville police recommended a felony charge. Instead, Florida reached a settlement with the victim and it all went away. His name was also included in the incident report from the 2007 shooting in Gainesville, but nothing ever came of that.
Athletes at schools with elite sports programs receive special treatment all the time. Hernandez was no different, but many feel Florida crossed the line in protecting him and helped create a monster. We’ll never really know if that was the case.
H/T Wesley Lowery
Aaron Hernandez jerseys and memorabilia have been turning a serious profit on sites like eBay since he was arrested and charged with murder last Wednesday. The former New England Patriots tight end may never play in the NFL again. Despite the alarming accusations that continue to pile up, Hernandez’s jerseys and autographed items remain in high demand.
However, many sports memorabilia stores in New England are refusing to hike prices on Hernandez items. TMZ spoke with the owners of several stores, all of who agreed they are sticking to business as usual despite the rise in demand.
“We don’t want to make money off this incident,” the owner of Sportsworld USA in Saugus, Mass. said. “It’s what we consider blood money. We just want to get our money back.”
The owner of Your Sports Memorabilia in Boston echoed those sentiments.
“I do not stand for what he allegedly did and wouldn’t want to profit off an individual who was murdered,” he said “… Sports memorabilia is a dirty industry and this is one of the reasons why.”
The person in charge of SureShot Promotions in Hanson, Mass. said they have even been discounting some Hernandez apparel, calling it a “sad situation.” And to prove demand truly is high, the owner of New England Pictures in Manchester, NH told TMZ they sold more Hernandez jerseys the day he was arrested than they did in the previous six months.
As for the auction market, ESPN’s Michele Steele spoke with the head of an auction house who downplayed the idea that Hernandez memorabilia has become more valuable. The source said Hernandez jerseys have “no value” and that he “cannot emphasize that enough.”
On Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports told us about a vigilante who has been submitting winning bids for Hernandez items on eBay and then refusing to pay, instead sending the sellers hostile messages.
“I don’t think that I will be getting paid,” one seller wrote to Yahoo! Sports. “The person emailed me stating I should ‘burn the jersey and stop seeking money for that morons (sic) actions’. Looks like the person has some kind of social agenda.”
Apparently a number of sports memorabilia stores have a similar agenda. Money isn’t everything — at least for some.
Grabovski spent five seasons with the Leafs, but his dip in production last season (9 goals and 7 assists) made the four years and $27.5 million he had remaining on his contract too much for Toronto to handle. After learning of his release, Grabovski went on an expletive-filled tirade in an interview with TSN. The Toronto Sun transcribed the outburst, which included a lot of bad words.
“Of course I feel (expletive) sad … I played (expletive) five years here,” Grabovski said. “I’m supposed to feel upset about that. I loved it (here). … Toronto fans are the best fans in the world.
“I play in the (expletive) KHK, I make lots of (expletive) points and what’s going to happen. … He (Leafs coach Randy Carlyle) makes me (expletive) play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again. Yeah, I don’t score goals. I need to work more about that. I know that. But if you feel support from your coach … I don’t feel any support from this (expletive) idiot.”
You think the bride is worried? The NHL free agency period opens on Friday and Grabovski is only 29 years old, so he will be able to find another job. Hopefully he got all the F-bombs out of his system before the big day.
Video via Twitter/Sean Leahy
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Dwight Howard is expected to make a decision on where he will sign on Friday, meaning teams are running out of time to make their sales pitch. The Golden State Warriors have reportedly been desperately trying to clear out salary cap space after meeting with Howard earlier this week, which has led to speculation that they could be about to sign the big man.
The Houston Rockets were once believed to be a legitimate contender to land Howard, and that may still be the case. On Friday morning, Rockets GM Daryl Morey posted the video you see above on Twitter with the following message:
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) July 5, 2013
I suppose that could tug at the heart strings a bit, though rapper Slim Thug already gave a list of extremely compelling reasons why Howard should sign with the Rockets. If Howard does end up signing with Houston, Morey’s daughter can say she helped land the biggest free agent of the 2013 offseason.
H/T Ball Don’t Lie
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Los Angeles Dodgers rookie phenom Yasiel Puig has taken baseball by storm over the past month. The 22-year-old Cuban hit four home runs in his first 5 games in the big leagues. He is hitting .430 over a 29-game span and his defense has arguably been better than his bat. Puig looks like a lock to make the NL All-Star roster for years to come, but could 2013 be one of them?
Mike Scioscia feels Puig needs to put in more time in order to be selected to the All-Star team.
“I think he needs to go a little farther to earn it,” the Los Angeles Angels manager said, via the LA Times. “If he’s not an All-Star this year, he’s going to be an All-Star for years to come. But I do think you have to play enough to earn a spot on the All-Star team.”
“I don’t think MLB will discount what he’s done, even though it’s a limited number of at-bats,” Scioscia said. “There’s a pull to bring the best players to the game, because of the bearing it has on home-field advantage in the World Series. That’s going to give him a deeper look than maybe it would have been in any other situation.”
Giving Puig any type of crown after 29 MLB games would be silly, but the point is the MLB All-Star game is considered one of the most boring events of the calendar year for sports fans. The game has “meaning” in that it decides home-field advantage for the World Series, but that has not resulted in more buzz or popularity. As we learned from how fast his merchandise has been selling, Puig is a fan favorite. The All-Star game needs as many of those as it can get.
H/T Hardball Talk
This just in: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is a human being. The 21-year-old is in only his second full season in the majors, but opposing hitters already know that they have to hit the ball way over the wall if they want to pop a home run in his direction. Trout has mastered the art of robbing home runs, but he actually gave one away earlier this week.
When St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay hit a long fly ball to center on Wednesday night, it looked for a second like Trout was going to make one of his signature phenomenal catches. Instead, the ball went off his glove and over the wall. The replay makes it hard to tell if Trout actually turned a potential wall ball into a homer, but the point is we have grown accustomed to him coming down with it.
- Mike Trout
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was photographed for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, which is due out next week. The second-year pitcher has dominated this season, going 7-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 123 innings. His hot start was enough to make him a person of interest for ESPN’s shoot, and the magazine sent out a tease of what his photos will look like. You can see that tease below:
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) July 2, 2013
Though Harvey was covered by the robe in that photo, he will be naked in the magazine.
“It was all hanging out,” Harvey told the New York Post last week. “It won’t be hanging out in the pictures, but I was definitely hanging out during the shoot.”
Harvey already told The Post he plans on taking heat from his teammates for the shoot. I bet he didn’t realize how much heat he’d be taking from the online crowd.
Posing with his “sup girl?” face, Harvey’s tease photo naturally became a meme. Most of them contained strong sexual innuendo. Some are pretty dirty. We’ve posted them below:
- Matt Harvey
It’s hard to believe, but it has been four years since Steve McNair was found shot to death inside a Nashville condominium on July 4, 2009. It is believed that he was killed by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi, in a murder-suicide.
McNair was drafted by the Houston Oilers and served as the franchise’s quarterback all throughout its time in Tennessee until the team locked him out of their facilities in 2006. The Titans decided to move on with a new quarterback and drafted Vince Young third overall that year. McNair was traded to the Baltimore Ravens.
Though McNair had an ugly split from the team, he was still a huge part of the franchise’s history, and Young has always acknowledged that. Despite all of Young’s failings off the field, he has pledged to take care of McNair’s sons and treated them well since their father’s death.
On Thursday, the fourth year since the death of Air McNair, Young paid tribute to the man he calls “pop” with a series of photos:
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Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel was unexpectedly drafted by the Boston Red Sox last month, and the junior now has a backup plan in case football doesn’t work out.
Driskel was selected in the 29th round by the Sox and confirmed over Twitter Thursday that he signed with the team:
Yes I signed with the Red Sox. Nothing changes. I am still a full time student athlete at UF, fully committed to playing football. #GoGators
— Jeff Driskel (@jeffdriskel) July 4, 2013
Though Driskel’s mother told the Orlando Sentinel that her son hadn’t done anything since being drafted, his father confirmed to the paper that his son signed.
“Heck yeah he signed,” Jerry Driskel said. “If football doesn’t work out, he’ll play baseball, but he’s still playing football [at Florida next season].”
Driskel is a top athlete and helped lead Florida to an 11-2 season last year. He threw for 1,646 yards while rushing for 408. He accounted for 16 touchdowns (12 passing/four rushing).
- Jeff Driskel
Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album was released this week, and the rap star talks about stealing New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano from superagent Scott Boras in the song “CROWN,” as pointed out by FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager.
“Scott Boras, you over, baby. Robinson Cano, you coming with me,” he says in the song.
Jay-Z also mentions Kevin Durant in another song, referring to the Oklahoma City Thunder star as “KD.”
Cano, who will be a free agent after the season, signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in April. The hip-hop mogul has also added women’s basketball player Skylar Diggins and NFL player Victor Cruz in addition to Durant and Cano.
Boras seems unfazed by the dis.
“What I’ve learned through my time in the business is that you can’t worry about external factors,” Boras said Wednesday, per ESPN New York. “You just have to focus on being the best you can be.”
Boras will attract top MLB players as clients for years to come, but you can’t tell me that he isn’t at least slightly worried about some athletes signing with Jay-Z. When top guys like Cano and Durant are signing with Roc Nation, you’re forced to take notice.