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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Blog

Gilbert Arenas Has Changed from Agent Zero to Business Arenas

The Washington Wizards are trying to change their public image and a lot of it began with a fun start to the season. The franchise held a Midnight Madness practice for its fans at midnight and blew out the Patriot Center on George Mason University’s campus like a big-time college team. They had musical performers, introduced the players one by one, and then ran a typical practice. If you’re a hardcore fan, the event looked like a lot of fun. If you’re Gilbert Arenas, it was a nuisance.

Suspended last year for his gun incident, Gilbert Arenas was much different than usual. He was quiet at media day Monday, keeping his interview time short and his smiles to a limit. He was sporting a beard which was the product of a bet with Nick Young. The formerly gregarious superstar with one of the more charming personalities in the league has bottled himself up and decided to keep emotions to himself. After getting justifiably destroyed by the media for the gun incident and subsequent mocking, he’s a different man.

Not only does Arenas feel burned by the media because of his new bad boy image, but he also likely feels cast aside by his team. The former franchise player was introduced second-to-last by the Wizards at the Midnight Madness event; the top billing was reserved for top overall pick John Wall. Though the Wizards have been planning to move ahead with Wall as the face of the franchise, Gilbert still has a chance to win everyone back.

If Arenas returns to pre-knee injury form on the court, the adulation from the media and fans will return. After the knee injury, Arenas became too much talk. Now, he’s lost weight and is in his best physical condition in years. Let’s not close the book on Gil’s career just yet. And you know what, not only will the fans be back, but so will the smiles. After all, nobody likes Business Arenas. We want Agent Zero back.

Chris Bosh Looking for New Pregame Ritual Suggestions with Miami Heat

If the Miami Heat were the Three Tenors, LeBron James would be Luciano Pavarotti, Dwyane Wade would be Placido Domingo, and Chris Bosh would be The Other Guy.

Bosh was drafted by the Toronto Raptors and played seven season for their organization. Despite making the All-Star Game five years in a row, he has by far the lowest public profile of Miami’s Bermuda Triangle. After all, this is the same guy who filmed a used car salesman video to get into the All-Star Game.

To try and change that, CB4 used the summer free agent frenzy to build his persona. It appears to have worked, as Bosh’s twitter followers are just past a quarter million and many more fans know of him. Still, Bosh is looking for more ways to make himself more identifiable with fans.

LeBron James tosses up baby powder into the stands just before games and he used to goof around when he was with Cleveland. Although he was extraordinarily creative in the All-Star video using his humor and technological skills to separate himself from all other candidates, Bosh is looking for help to choreograph his pregame ritual. I have a few suggestions.

To me, the best ritual for Bosh would be in the LeBron mode. Instead of filling his hands with baby powder, Bosh should lotion up with some sunscreen at the scorers table as a nod to sunny South Beach. As a bonus, the team could easily find a sunscreen company to sponsor that item. If that’s a no-go because it’s a ripoff of LeBron, then maybe Bosh should break out his cowboy hat and do a lasso move before the game. That would definitely distinguish him, although it would be too disrespectful to the opponents. I’m in favor of the sunscreen idea, what about you?

Nick Collins Fight with Fan Video Completely Overblown

The NFL is reviewing an incident that took place in Chicago following the Bears/Packers game on Monday night. Green Bay safety Nick Collins, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness late in the game, went off on a fan as he was exiting the playing field.

Collins started yelling at the fan and then threw his mouthpiece at the fan. The fan seemed to have instigated by leaning over the railing to heckle Collins, using racial slurs according to the Green Bay safety. Additionally, cameras show the fan gave him the middle finger. Sports by Brooks has video of the incident which was captured by WITI cameras at the game.

Obviously we all want players to ignore fans and keep their composure at all times, but I wouldn’t classify Collins’ behavior as very bad. Maybe a small fine to remind him not to mess with the fans is in order, but to call this anything more than a minor incident would be inaccurate.

I’m all for protecting fans and their rights, but buying a ticket to a game does not entitle one to act like a complete jerk and hooligan. Fans need to be held responsible for their behavior at games and what this fan did seems to be equally as bad, if not worse than Collins. The whole incident was completely overblown.

Two UConn Football Players Arrested After Fight…With Each Other

I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to inform you about a story that has to do with my alma mater and is this ridiculous, could I?  UConn Football players Dave Teggart and Jerome Williams were arrested Monday night for breach of peace after being involved in a fight.  Teggart, a kicker, and Williams, a linebacker, will most likely be suspended as would be the case with any player who got arrested for getting into a fight.

Unless, of course, the only two parties involved in the fight were the players themselves.  That’s right, Teggart and Williams were arrested for fighting each other.  Head coach Randy Edsall said the two players won’t miss playing time because they were the only two involved.  As if the situation isn’t embarrassing enough, Edsall also had this to say:

It will be handled quite well. Nobody got hurt. No black eyes, nothing like that. It was like a cat fight.

A cat fight?  Ouch.  If you’re going to get taken to the clink for fighting with a teammate you might as well leave a bruise.  Apparently these two just scratched and clawed.  Their coach phrasing it that way to the press is probably punishment enough.

H/T to SbB Live

Dez Bryant Treats Cowboys Teammates to $54,896 Dinner

Good news for the Dallas Cowboys regarding rookie Dez Bryant: the wide receiver seems to have made nice with his teammates after refusing to carry Roy Williams’ shoulder pads during training camp this summer.  At the time we saw nothing wrong with Bryant’s refusal, considering Williams has been somewhat of a bum since coming to Dallas from Detroit.  In retrospect, maybe the rookie should have just carried the pads like all the other newbies.

If he had, he might be $54,896 richer today.  That’s right, according to ESPN Dallas Dez Bryant treated his teammates to a $54,896 dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.  The original plan was to treat only the offense to dinner, but apparently Williams took the liberty of inviting the defense.  Needless to say, the gang was all there and brought their appetites.

Players supposedly ordered everything on the menu and took a few bottles of wine to go.  The fact that someone can dish out that amount of money for a dinner and continue living their life is amazing to me.  You would think Bryant’s teammates would cut him a bit of a break and keep the total to — oh I don’t know — under $10,000?  Would that be unreasonable?

Note to all NFL rookies of the future: just carry the shoulder pads like Travis Ivey did and accept the bad haircuts.  It could be a lot worse.

Working the Waiver Wire: Week 4 Free Agent Pickup Advice

As well as one can draft their fantasy football team, inevitably a combination of injuries and surprises arise throughout the year. As a result, working the waiver wire is a key component of winning your fantasy league. Here is some advice on whom to pick up and whom to leave alone in the free agent pool:


MUST-HAVE

Lance Moore, WR, Saints – He’s not going to get easy 80-yard touchdown catches like that again, but he did have 10 touchdowns in 2008 and his six catch, 149 yard day makes him desirable.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots – Injuries and a trade have opened this spot up in New England and it looks like the lawfirm will be the beneficiary. The Pats actually run it when they’re up and looking to burn clock, so you can do worse as a starting running back than him.
Paris Lenon, LB, Cardinals – Has averaged nine tackles per game and even picked up a sack and interception against the Raiders. The high tackle totals should continue.
*Make sure they’re not still available: Peyton Hillis, Kyle Orton

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LBS NFL Power Rankings Week 4

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0, +3)

There’s no question right now that this is the top defense in the NFL. We said before that if they could survive and go 2-2 in Roethlisberger’s absence they’d be okay. If they can beat the Ravens next week, no one in the AFC will be in better shape.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2-1, +3)

Their week one loss is looking more and more like a minor speed bump. Denver is one of the tougher places to play in the NFL and they controlled the game once again. Consider them back on track after the Texans caught them off guard.

3. New York Jets (2-1, +6)

Two huge wins in a row for the Jets as they were both against AFC East rivals and both without Revis for the most part. Whether Braylon Edwards should or should not have played, he helped the Jets earn a huge victory.

4. Atlanta Falcons (2-1, +8)

They knocked off the defending champs and looked damn good doing it. Matt Ryan looks like he’s recovered from the sophomore slump and Michael Turner appears to be healthy again. They’ve only lost to the Steelers, and you know how we feel about them.

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Charlie Weis Delayed Gall Bladder Surgery to Coach Chiefs

Coaches typically don’t get recognition for working through pain on Sundays but Charlie Weis may be an exception. The Kansas City Star tells us that Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis coached on Sunday despite knowing he needed emergency gall bladder surgery for an infection.

Weis apparently was ill beginning on Friday but delayed the surgery so he could coach on Sunday. His decision, however painful, paid off.

The Chiefs had their biggest offensive output of the season posting 31 points. Weis even got creative in the game, going for a reverse pass out of the single wing formation where quarterback Matt Cassel was lined up as the flanker. The result was a 45-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe that gave Kansas City a 17-3 lead.

Though we bashed Weis for having poor seasons at Notre Dame which resulted in his firing, it was the Irish’s defense that was the problem, not the offense. We always felt that he was much better suited as an offensive coordinator than a head coach and that appears to be the case.

Luckily the gall bladder infection does not appear to be a serious medical issue. Weis for some reason has been a magnet of health problems. He had a brush with death following a gastric bypass surgery gone wrong, this gall bladder problem, and of course there was the time he tore his ACL on the sidelines for Notre Dame. Now that he’s no longer on the Irish’s sidelines, he’s a lot more likable. We’re definitely wishing him the best.

PTI, Around the Horn Move to New HD Set for 3D TVs

Fans of ESPN’s afternoon talk shows Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn were in for a welcome surprise when they tuned in on Monday. Both shows had changed up their looks and layouts. The shows announced they’re now in HD, but you can tell it’s actually more than that. The graphics were fuzzy and seemed to be made specifically for 3D TVs.

ESPN is actually leading the way in the 3D TV movement, broadcasting certain sporting events in that manner. Even though I’ve never seen anything broadcast on a 3D TV, I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews. In fact, most viewers had supportive comments on twitter, though hardly any of them seemed to realize the 3D association, focusing mostly on the HD aspect. Here are some of the reviews from people on twitter:

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High Schooler Marky Thompkins Hurdles an Upright Defender (Video)

It appears we’re in the midst of a freak athleticism epidemic across the nation, particularly with regard to football players hurdling defenders.  Looks like the hurdle is starting to become as common as the spin move.  A little over a week ago we showed you a Kentucky recruit leap clean over a defender who was standing on both feet waiting to make a tackle.  On Saturday, South Carolina running back Brian Maddox did the same and kicked the defender in the head in the process.

It’s instances like the Maddox hurdle that have led to the acrobatic maneuver being deemed an illegal one in many high school conferences.  While the play may not have stood, because rules prevent a runner from hurdling a player who has one or two feet on the ground under OHSAA regulations, East Liverpool High School’s Marky Thompkins hurdle video is still amazing to watch.  Check it out:

H/T to Deadspin for the video

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