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Monday, September 25, 2017

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Spurs-Timberwolves game in Mexico City cancelled because of smoke in arena (Video)

Smoke Mexico City ArenaThe San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves were supposed to play a game in Mexico City on Wednesday night as part of the NBA’s continual efforts to expand the sport, but the game was cancelled — or postponed — because of excessive smoke in the arena.

The NBA later said the smoke was the result of a faulty generator inside the arena.

The arena was evacuated about 45 minutes prior to the scheduled tipoff time, with the players leaving while still in uniform.

The game will be rescheduled for a later date with the Timberwolves hosting the game at the Target Center.

What a bummer for Mexico City and the NBA. That arena looked like it just got crop dusted with all that smoke.

Video via @cjzero

Larry Sanders nightclub fight video released

Larry Sanders fightLarry Sanders was cited by police for disorderly conduct and assault and battery charges for his role in a November 3rd fight at a Milwaukee nightclub. Sanders won’t face criminal charges, but he has to pay a fine and appear in court in January.

The Milwaukee Bucks center actually injured his thumb in the fight and has been out for a month because of the injury. He’s still recovering from the surgery.

Anyway, video from the incident has finally been released. It’s in black and white and it’s hard to tell exactly what is going on, but the action starts to heat up around 50 seconds in. It looks like Sanders gets pushed into a VIP section, tries to pull someone in with him, gets handed a couple of bottles and throws them. Someone then jumps on his back, and a mini-scrap breaks out. That’s probably when he hurt his thumb.

Did you see him tossing those bottles like grenades? That’s reckless, my friend. One person said he needed stitches after Sanders hit him in the face with a bottle.

Sanders is planning to fight the fines. Maybe they’ll use the defense that you can’t tell who’s who in the video.

H/T The Point Forward

Aqib Talib: Josh Gordon reminds you of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson

Josh GordonJosh Gordon broke an NFL receiving record over the last two weeks, and he’s earning a ton of respect throughout the league.

The Cleveland Browns’ second-year wide receiver became the first player in league history to record back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. He caught 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in a Week 12 loss to Pittsburgh, and he had 10 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 12 loss to Jacksonville. He’s second in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson with 1,249 receiving yards this season, and he has earned comparisons to the Detroit Lions stud.

“He reminds you of those names, the Calvin Johnsons, the Andre Johnsons, just bigger guys with little guys’ speed and quickness. He can turn an 8-yard curl into a touchdown in a heartbeat. Definitely a challenge,” Aqib Talib said of Gordon, via WEEI.

Talib figures to cover Gordon when the Browns visit the New England Patriots on Sunday. Talib is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, so that should be a great matchup.

Gordon was taken in the supplemental draft by the Browns after having multiple problems in college. He also was suspended for the first two games of the season for a substance abuse policy violation. He blew up for 10 catches, 146 yards and a touchdown in his first game. He has six 100-yard games out of the 10 he’s played this season. There was chatter throughout the season that the Browns could trade him, but with the way he has played, they would have to be crazy to deal such a great weapon.

Caller tells Mike Francesa Jacoby Ellsbury deal might be best since Babe Ruth

Jacoby EllsburySome folks are really loving that Jacoby Ellsbury signing for the New York Yankees. One guy even thinks it might be the Yanks’ best acquisition since Babe Ruth.

A guy named John in Connecticut called Mike Francesa on WFAN Wednesday to make his case for the big Ellsbury signing. He started off his call saying that it might be the best deal since Babe Ruth. John admits he’s a Red Sox fan, so it’s possible he could have just been stirring the pot with sarcasm, but that doesn’t make the phone call any less entertaining.

Many people listen to Francesa for his arrogance, to mock him, or because they enjoy his great banter with the callers. This phone call would definitely fit into that category. It is full of gold.

Thanks to David for the tip

Ekaterina Bychkova thinks Maria Sharapova-Grigor Dimitrov relationship is a PR move

Maria Sharapova Grigor Dimitrov

Russian tennis player Ekaterina Bychkova doesn’t make a whole lot of noise for her play, but she’s made some noise for questioning the relationship between Maria Sharapova and Grigor Dimitrov.

In an interview with Tribune Russia, Bychkova didn’t necessarily question whether the two tennis players were in love, but she did suggest that the relationship is a PR move.

Here’s how the interview Q&A went based on Google Translate:

– There was talk that she is not acting for any other reason …

– Pregnancy? Nonsense! Do you believe that Sharapova and Dimitrov …

– … Sharapova Dimitrov and love each other, and there are fears that this may adversely affect their professional careers.

– Love is love, and that’s fine, but this love PR still gives a bit … (laughs)

Tennis World had an even harsher translation of the comments.

“Love is love, but the one between her and Dimitrov seems like public relations stuff… It’s difficult to have relationships when you constantly travel around the world.”

If Sharapova and Dimitrov are together to enhance their images PR-wise, it wouldn’t be the first time celebrities got together for that reason. Many have said that’s what’s going on between Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods. But I don’t necessarily think that’s the case with Sharapova and Dimitrov.

If their relationship were just for PR purposes, then why didn’t Sharapova confirm it for several months? And if she were in a relationship to get a PR boost, wouldn’t her handlers have chosen a more marketable/well known male?

Sharapova certainly does some very creative things for PR purposes, but I don’t think this is one of them.

Ex-USC coach Kennedy Polamalu hired by UCLA

Kennedy PolamaluUCLA has raised the stakes in the rivalry with USC. The Bruins on Wednesday hired ex-Trojans fullback and coach Kennedy Polamalu to join the staff.

Polamalu played fullback for the Trojans from 1982-1985. He then went to UCLA as a graduate assistant and had stints as a coach with San Diego State and Colorado before returning to USC as their running backs and special teams coach from 2000-2003.

Polamalu was known as a great recruiter and coach beloved by his players. He left USC after the 2003 season after asking Pete Carroll whether he would become the team’s offensive coordinator. Carroll told him that position would go to Lane Kiffin, so Kennedy left for the NFL.

Polamalu spent 2005-2009 as the running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was hired by the Tennessee Titans, however, he never coached a season with them because USC hired him back.

There was actually an issue over USC hiring Polamalu; Titans coach Jeff Fisher (a former USC player) accused Kiffin of not following proper protocol of asking for permission when making the hire. The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke reported in 2010 that it was athletic director Pat Haden who made the Polamalu hire, not Kiffin.

Tension possibly dating back to their time as assistants under Carroll may have loomed between Kiffin and Polamalu. You may recall that the two got into a fight before the Sun Bowl and that Polamalu was let go in February, shortly after signing day. If he has any bitterness towards the Trojans program, he’ll have his chance to get even now that he’s part of UCLA’s staff. His hire was first reported by Bruin Sports Online.

Dana White did not apologize to GSP or say he won the fight

Dana WhiteDana White denies that he called Georges St-Pierre to apologize the morning after his outburst following UFC 167 in Las Vegas.

Last week, we told you that GSP’s trainer, Kristof Midoux, told the Quebec Journal that White called GSP to apologize for going off on the decision that gave St-Pierre a controversial split-decision win over Johny Hendricks. White denied that that was the case.

“I had heard that, but no, that’s not true,” White told MMAjunkie. “I have not watched the fight yet.”

Not only did White say that the report was not true, but he also took a shot at Midoux while saying he never even re-watched the fight.

“I have not watched the fight,” White told MMA Junkie. “I still haven’t watched the fight. This guy’s like one of the new Kardashian sisters. This guy pops up out of nowhere, and now he’s everywhere.”

Now it comes down to whom do you believe? Do you believe what Midoux said or White? Did Midoux make something up? Was his interview lost in translation? Is White not being truthful? I seriously have no idea what’s going on here, but I still know that it was one controversial decision. I also think White had an unnecessarily harsh reaction to the UFC 167 decision.

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Santana Moss: NFL officiating this year is ‘worst I’ve ever seen’

Santana-Moss-RedskinsThe Washington Redskins were the victims of a major gaffe by the officiating crew and chain gang on Sunday night that may have cost them a win over the New York Giants. A miscommunication led to the chain gang showing first down on the down box and a referee signaling that it was third down. The Redskins wound up running a deep pass on 3rd and 1, likely because they were led to believe it was first down.

Bad calls are simply part of the game, right? According to Redskins receiver Santana Moss, they have become an epidemic this season.

“It’s probably been worse this whole year as a total, not just this team,” Moss said of the league’s officiating on Wednesday, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “But I’ve watched a lot of football this year. It’s been the worst that I’ve ever seen.”

In particular, Moss said he has seen too much ambiguity pertaining to what constitutes a legal catch.

“You’ve got guys that’s catching balls and they take two steps and they get tackled,” he said. “The ball come out after they hit the ground. It’s no good. And you have another guy do it the next week, he gets the catch. Come on. Somebody has to change that rule.

“I hate the calls now where you see guys — and this is mostly receivers I’m looking at — catching a ball and you fall out of bounds, and you have a [defensive back], now …  you’re out of bounds and the guy is still swiping at the ball. And now the guy hits the ball and it bobbles in your hand but you still have the ball on you — no catch. Someone has to change that.”

There have been plenty of bad calls around the league this year, but it seems like that happens every season. That’s all part of the human element of the game, and instant replay has been miraculous in correcting a lot of it. Moss could be right, but he’s obviously biased after what happened on Sunday. It’s hard to blame him for that.

Old guy kicks Arizona State student in the face (Video)

Old-guy-kicks-ASU-studentAn old guy and an Arizona State student walk into a football game. Anyone heard this joke before? That’s because it’s not a joke.

The old dude kicks the Arizona State student directly in the face, that’s what happens.

We don’t really have much context to provide other than to tell you a Deadspin reader sent this video in this week after capturing it at the Arizona-Arizona State game on Saturday. It’s pretty self explanatory that the senior citizen and young man were angry with each other over something. The next thing you know a boot is flying and fists are raining down.

Don’t let my gray hair fool ya.

Kellen Winslow picked the Patriots and Broncos for the AFC Championship

Kellen-Winslow-JetsThrough the first two months of the season, the New York Jets looked like they might actually make some noise in the AFC East. Then the bye week came, and Rex Ryan’s team has not won since. New York’s 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday was its third straight. Geno Smith and company have scored a total of 20 points in the past three weeks, and guys like Kellen Winslow IIseem to be getting discouraged.

By record alone, the Jets are not out of the playoff race. The AFC remains wide open, with the Baltimore Ravens and their 6-6 record clinging to the second wild card spot — just ahead of the 6-6 Miami Dolphins due to the head-to-head tie-breaker. Despite that, Winslow recently gave an interesting prediction for the AFC Championship Game.

“I got the pats vs broncos in AFC championship game and Panthers vs Seahawks in NFC championship,” he tweeted at free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth on Monday, according to Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin.

Winslow has since deleted the tweet. He also sounded discouraged when speaking to reporters after Sunday’s loss.

“We’ve lost three straight, so, obviously [that’s] not good,” he said, via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “But we’ll go down swinging. We have to go to work. This is our job. It’s not like the season is over. It might be record-wise, but it’s still football. We still love it.”

The Jets are only one game out of the playoff race, but really two because the Dolphins and Ravens both hold the tie-breaker over them. With four games remaining in the season, you’d like to think they haven’t throw in the towel. Having said that, they see the same product we see on the field every weekend. The offense is getting worse by the week. When your starting quarterback has thrown eight interceptions and zero touchdowns in five games, confidence is tough to find.

H/T Deadspin

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