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Thursday, March 30, 2017

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DeAngelo Hall: It will be a miracle if RG3 is back opening day

robert griffin kneeRobert Griffin III had total reconstructive knee surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn ACL and LCL. He reportedly is expected to need 6-8 months to recover, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Griffin would be back in time for the Washington Redskins’ season opener. One of Griffin’s teammates feels differently.

Defensive back DeAngelo Hall told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he doubts RG3 will be ready when the season begins.

“I hope Robert [Griffin III] is back on the field next year, trust me,” Hall told Anderson. “But it will be a miracle if he’s back opening day and I definitely don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s interesting the way the ball drops. I want him back on the field like everybody else, but we have to be realistic and he has to be safe.

“[Former Redskins running back] Tim Hightower tore his ACL in Week [7 of the 2011 season] and he wasn’t back for the [2012 regular season] and we ended up having to cut him. That was almost a year. [Vikings running back Adrian Peterson] tore his Week 16 against us but he’s back in time for the start of this season. It just depends. It just varies. Now you consider that Robert tore the same ACL twice, so it could take longer and be harder to come back from. [Peterson] is just a freak of nature. There’s no way around that one.”

Hall was asked if he didn’t consider Griffin a freak of nature like Peterson.

“Yes he’s freakish athletically, but from a recovery standpoint that may or may not be a different story. I don’t know a lot about ACLs. I have never injured one. I don’t know all the details about the process. All I know is that I wish him the best and I want him to come back as soon and as safe as possible.”

Hall isn’t being Mr. Negative so much as he’s giving an honest assessment. As he pointed out, each injury situation is different. And just because Adrian Peterson came back in time for the season to begin and was a stud doesn’t mean everyone coming back from ACL surgery can do the same thing. Derrick Rose tore his ACL in April and still isn’t back for the Chicago Bulls.

I’m not saying that I don’t think Griffin will be back in time for the team’s season opener but, like Hall, I have my doubts.

Golfer Brian Acker has iPhone stolen by raccoon on golf course, finds it using GPS

RaccoonUsing a cell phone while on a golf course is typically frowned upon. The Okeeheelee Golf Course in Palm Beach County is lucky enough to have a raccoon on staff to help keep golfers from spending time on their smart phones and screwing up the rate of play. That’s right — a raccoon.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a golfer named Brian Acker recently had his iPhone 4 stolen while playing on the second hole of the Eagle Course at Okeeheelee. The device was taken by a raccoon that course workers and regulars call Rocky. He is known for snatching various items from unsuspecting players such as wallets and food, but the way Acker recovered his cell phone makes the story even more entertaining.

Because of a GPS app, Acker was able to “ping” his phone and trace it to the top of a palm tree on the second hole of the course. Workers used a ladder to climb the tree and found Acker’s cell phone case before snagging the phone itself about 12 feet up the tree. It was accompanied by several food wrappers.

“He has a taste for open food items left in golf carts and shiny items,” Okeeheelee General Manager Mac Hood explained. “The raccoon just saw something he liked and he went in there and grabbed it.”

Acker said the incident will not discourage him from returning to the course, but it will make him rethink bringing his cell phone along.

“I’ll be back,” he said. “This time I will leave my cellphone in the car.”

As we’ve learned over the years here at LBS, animals causing problems on golf courses doesn’t just happen in movies like “Caddyshack.” Whether it’s a live shark on the course or an alligator nearly killing a golfer, problems with creatures and critters aren’t tough to come by.

H/T Eye on Golf

South Carolina paper runs ad searching for missing Vincent Smith helmet after Jadeveon Clowney hit (Picture)

South-Carolina-paper-Vincent-Smith-helmet

Unfortunately for Michigan running back Vincent Smith, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is one of the best players in college football. Otherwise, the Wolverines may have won the Outback Bowl rather than Smith feeling the wrath of Clowney and essentially fumbling the game away. That, and there wouldn’t still be South Carolina newspapers making jokes at Smith’s expense.

As you can see from the photo above that Twitter user @AdamCTwitty passed along (via the Detroit Free Press), a South Carolina paper recently ran a sarcastic advertisement asking if anyone has seen Smith’s helmet. If for some reason you have forgotten the hit that Clowney put on Smith that sent his helmet flying and shook the universe, go ahead and click here.

If it’s any consolation to Smith, Clowney would likely be the top overall pick in the NFL draft if eligibility rules weren’t forcing him to stay at South Carolina for another year. My guess is the 256-pound sophomore hasn’t sent his last helmet flying through the air.

H/T Eye on College Football

Brandon Jennings: I have my swag back with Jim Boylan coaching Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have won both of their games under Jim Boylan since the interim head coach took over for Scott Skiles at the beginning of the week. Brandon Jennings scored 29 points in the Bucks’ win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and 35 in a win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. Jennings looks like he has received a burst of energy from the coaching change, and the fourth-year guard said it has to do with his swagger.

“At first, it was tough for me, just the fact that Skiles was my coach my first four years in the league,” Jennings said according to CSNChicago.com. “Of course, Boylan’s been here for the four years, too. But I know the first night, when we first had him, it was a little different looking on the sideline and (Skiles) wasn’t there. But Coach Boylan, he’s been here for four years, we’ve worked together in the summertime, so he knows my game and I know what to expect from him.

“I felt like I can do what I want. I’ve got my swagger now. I can clown around, dance, do what I want. I might end up changing my hair back again. I think just overall, the confidence that the team has. Everybody’s playing with confidence. Guys are just playing free. We’re not really thinking right now; we’re just hooping.”

Of course, that’s all easy to say after just two games. The Bucks finished the 2011-2012 season with a record of 31-35, and they are 18-16 so far this season. That means at the moment they are still around a .500 team. That being said, teams generally perform better when their superstars are content. At roughly this time last season, Jennings expressed his frustration with the direction of the organization. The fact that he says he is enjoying himself — even if that means bringing back his bizarre hairdo — is certainly a positive for the organization.

Chest bump to Ball Don’t Lie

New York Times runs blank front sports page after Hall of Fame voting (Picture)

New-York-Times-blank-Hall-of-Fame

The fact that no players were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday has everyone buzzing, and the New York Times came up with the perfect way to encapsulate the hype. On the front page of the “Sports” section on Thursday morning, nothing was printed except a headline that read “Welcome to Cooperstown.”

Most people felt as though Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds had no business receiving any votes, while others believed players like Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza belong in the baseball Hall of Fame. It’s possible the voters were simply trying to make a point, but in any event the elite group that resides in Cooperstown is no larger today than it was at this time last year.

J.J. Watt may not agree with it, but neither he nor anyone else should be stunned by the results.

H/T SI Hot Clicks
Photo via Twitter/Kevin Negandhi

J.J. Watt shows support for Craig Biggio after he misses Hall of Fame (Picture)

JJ-Watt-Craig-Biggio-jersey

No former MLB players were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, but former Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio came the closest. Biggio, whose name has been loosely associated with steroids like almost every other player who played in the 1990s, received more votes than any other player on the ballot but still came up 39 votes short. J.J. Watt was disappointed in the results.

As you can see from the photo above that Houston Texans insider Nick Scurfield passed along, Watt wore a Biggio jersey during his press conference on Wednesday to show his support for the former Astros star.

“I’m disappointed he didn’t make the Hall of Fame,” Watt said according to the Houston Chronicle. “He was a great, great player.”

Some of the biggest stars to ever play the game were left on the outside looking in, including a certain pitcher who used a quirky font on Twitter to thank the fans for their support. Unfortunately, this has been a long time coming in the wake of the so-called “steroid era.”

H/T Shutdown Corner

Denard Robinson will reportedly play wide receiver at the Senior Bowl

Denard Robinson may have once been a Heisman Trophy candidate as a quarterback at Michigan, but the game is much different in the NFL than it is at the college level. Robinson’s legs were more of a threat that his arm during his days as a Wolverine. He set an NCAA record for career rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,495 and was used as a receiver and running back when he returned from injury for Michigan’s final two games this past season.

It’s highly unlikely that an NFL team will draft Robinson with the intention of making him a quarterback, which is why he has reportedly decided to accept an invitation to the Senior Bowl as a wide receiver. The Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday that Robinson has committed to the Jan. 26 all-star game, where he could also see time at running back.

Last month, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. speculated that Robinson could try to improve his draft stock by attending the Senior Bowl as a receiver, the same way Antwaan Randle El did 10 years ago after he played quarterback at Indiana.

“There’s a lot of people hoping that he goes down to Mobile, Ala., and plays in that Senior Bowl and does what Antwaan Randle El did coming out of Indiana as a quarterback, goes there and shows that he can catch the football and return punts,” Kiper said. “If Robinson does that, we know he’s got tremendous speed, a tremendous burst, we know he’s a tough kid, we know he can run with the football in his hands, you can put him in the backfield. He could be a situational back, you could put him in the slot, in the wing, you could put him in the return game, you can get him the ball in space.

“I think as long as he shows he can catch the ball effectively, he’s got a chance to be a second-round draft choice. I really believe that’s where he could potentially go.”

The second round sounds like it could be a bit high for a player who is being drafted to play a position other than the one that made him famous in college, but it’s not out of the question. Robinson has a rare combination of speed and athletic ability. NFL coaches can usually find somewhere to put guys like that.

H/T Black Sports Online

Lakers have gotten so bad Mike D’Antoni is making suicide jokes

Mike-D'Antoni-LakersThe Los Angeles Lakers lost on Wednesday night — again. This time, it was the San Antonio Spurs that added to L.A.’s losing streak, which currently sits at five games. As the new head coach who is supposed to turn his talented roster into a championship contender, Mike D’Antoni is under a tremendous amount of pressure. Perhaps even too much.

“At least they put my (hotel) room on the third floor, so if I did jump I would just hurt my ankle a little bit,” D’Antoni said Wednesday night, via the LA Times.

The Lakers are doing plenty of scoring. Kobe Bryant is averaging over 30 points per game. Steve Nash has averaged over 10 assists per game during the losing streak and the team has scored 100 or more points in 18 of its last 20 games. Their defense, on the other hand, has been abysmal.

With a record of 15-20, it won’t be long before L.A. fans have to start wondering if their team is in danger of missing the playoffs. It may only be January, but the pressure continues to build as the losses pile up. And if the team wasn’t struggling enough when healthy, Dwight Howard has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury.

Most NBA fans thought this Lakers team would be fun to watch, but they thought that fun would come in the form of blowout victories — not gross incidents involving towels. If D’Antoni can’t get his team to figure out how to stop opponents from scoring on every possession, L.A.’s season could be ending early.

Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Katherine Webb reportedly cancels interviews, changes her phone number

Katherine-Webb-AJ-McCarronKatherine Webb is familiar with what life is like in the public spotlight. As someone who was crowned Miss Alabama USA last year, she wasn’t exactly unknown before she became A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend. However, it sounds like the attention Webb is receiving in the wake of Alabama winning the national championship and ESPN’s broadcasters drooling over her has started to take its toll.

According to TMZ, Webb released a statement on Thursday confirming that she had canceled eight interviews but insisting it was not at the request of McCarron. Earlier in the day, there was speculation that the Alabama star was becoming upset that his girlfriend is receiving more attention than he is.

“I want it to be about me and him,” Webb said in the statement. “He’s a guy I can see myself having a real future with.”

Webb said she decided to cancel the interviews because she doesn’t want her relationship with McCarron being viewed as merely a “celebrity status” thing. Remember, Katherine claims she and A.J. met when they were tagged in a mutual tweet and insists she had no idea he was the quarterback of the best college football team in the country.

A report from the NY Post also says Webb has decided to change her phone number. Donald Trump, who knows Webb through their mutual connection with Miss Universe, said the calls have become too much for her.

“She was forced to change her phone number,” Trump reportedly said. “She was getting thousands and thousands of calls. Katherine has to stay grounded now that she’s become a big star.”

McCarron may have just led the Crimson Tide to its third national championship in four years, but Webb is the talk of the town. If A.J. is unable to get past NFL players hitting on his girlfriend and seeing her face on every tabloid magazine in the country, their relationship could be doomed.

Photo credit: Twitter/Katherine Webb

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Robert Griffin III was worried about his knee in the first quarter

robert griffin kneeRobert Griffin III may have suffered a major injury to his right knee in the fourth quarter of the Washington Redskins’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but the rookie quarterback was concerned about the knee the entire game. Griffin was seen limping after he rolled out and threw an incomplete pass in the first quarter. He completed a 4-yard touchdown pass on the next play, but sometime after that he admitted to offensive tackle Trent WIlliams that he was worried about the knee.

The conversation between RG3 and Williams was captured on the NFL Network’s “SoundFX” and can be heard here. It began when Williams asked Griffin if his knee felt OK.

“Yeah, I’m going to be safe,” Griffin replied.

“You tweaked it when you were trying to back up?” Williams asked.

“Yeah, my foot kind of went wah-wah,” RG3 explained.

“Did that shock you a little bit?” Williams continued.

“Yeah, scared the s— out of me,” Griffin said with a chuckle.

The conversation ended when Williams told Griffin to “be smart” and the rookie promised that he would. Of course, RG3 went on to tear up his knee in the fourth quarter and required surgery to have it repaired. He also came back from a torn ACL in 2009 at Baylor, so we know he’s capable of being an explosive player even after a major injury.

However, the injury history has to be a major concern for Redskins fans. Even if Griffin does return to form next season, his style of play makes his susceptible to these types of injuries. If anything is going to derail RG3’s promising career, it will most likely be injuries that stem from his aggressiveness.

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