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Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Sloane Stephens denies celebrating when Serena Williams lost at Australian Open

Sloane Stephens smilingA new layer of drama was added to the rocky relationship between Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams when it looked like the youngster was happy to see the veteran tennis star lose at the Australian Open over the weekend.

7 Sports in Australia was filming Stephens’ reaction to watching Williams lose her fourth-round match to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Stephens was working out in a gym at the time and Channel 7 says they had a right to film the shot, which showed Stephens smiling and appearing to celebrate Serena’s defeat.

However, Channel 7 says she was mimicking the elaborate celebration from Ivanovic’s entourage rather than cheering Serena’s loss. Stephens, for her part, lost in the fourth-round of the tournament as well, and expressed displeasure with Channel 7 for showing her reaction.

“Yeah, it’s a little much,” Stephens said of 7 Sports. ”Then for them to put it on TV was a little extra.”

Stephens also explained that she was imitating Ivanovic’s crew, not celebrating Serena’s defeat.

“At the end of the match, Ivanovic’s coaches pretty much gave each other headbutts and kisses and I thought that was the funniest thing ever,” Stephens said after her defeat to Victoria Azarenka via the Sydney Morning Herald. “Andrew [hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick] and I were like, ‘Oh my God, we, we’re going to do the same thing.

“Then, of course, in posts and everything … I’m cheering against Serena, which had nothing to do with it. So that was it. We were just having some fun.”

So was Stephens just laughing about the reaction from Ivanovic’s crew, or was she celebrating that Serena lost? That’s up to you to decide. And if you are unfamiliar with the tension between Sloane and Serena and don’t understand why Stephens theoretically would be happy to watch Serena lose, read this.

I know that Sloane likes to smile a lot by nature, but I’m not sure if I completely buy her excuse. I think she was probably happy to see Serena lose, and for good reason.

Northwestern fans paint chest to show support for Purdue

Northwestern students Purdue

Northwestern’s student section displayed a strong sense of compassion on Tuesday during the school’s basketball game against Purdue.

There was a shooting Tuesday on the Purdue University campus that left a 21-year-old senior dead. The shooting occurred inside the school’s electrical engineering building, and it is believed the victim was targeted by the 23-year-old suspect.

Purdue’s men’s basketball team traveled to Evanston for a game against Northwestern, and a group of males in the Northwestern student section aka “Wildside” painted their chests to spell “Stand With Purdue.” It was a great gesture by the Northwestern students during a time of tragedy.

Photo via Twitter/@NU_Sports

Kicker Steven Hauschka told Pete Carroll not to try field goal; Seahawks scored touchdown instead

Steven Hauschka SeahawksOne of the biggest turning points in the NFC Championship Game was when the Seattle Seahawks elected to go for it on 4th and 7 early in the fourth quarter instead of attempting a 53-yard field goal into the wind. Russell Wilson drew the San Francisco 49ers offsides to give them a free play, and he hit Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown pass to put his team up 20-17 — a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Now we’re learning that the play was possible thanks in part to the recommendation of kicker Steven Hauschka, who dissuaded head coach Pete Carroll from attempting the difficult field goal.

“I didn’t really want to kick it, to tell you the truth,” Hauschka told Newsday after the game. “It was into the wind . . . I didn’t think it was the right decision and I let coach Carroll know that.”

Hauschka told Newsday that he had never before turned down a kick, but he didn’t think this one was one he could make given the conditions.

“You have to be honest with yourself,” he said. “It was the wind at that moment. Sometimes you can make that, but I felt the wind at that moment was into the face enough to not want to try that kick. I grabbed him on the sideline as I ran out because I could see the flags [on top of the uprights] and I told him: ‘We shouldn’t kick this.’ ”

The Seahawks initially sent out their field goal team to attempt the kick, but Carroll called timeout and sent out his offense. The move paid off — the touchdown may have been the biggest play of the game.

As another interesting note, the play the Seahawks called for 4th and 7 changed once San Francisco jumped offsides. The receivers ran streaks instead, which is how Wilson ended up throwing a touchdown pass to Kearse.

H/T Shutdown Corner
GIF via GIFD Sports

MLBPA member reportedly wants Alex Rodriguez to be thrown at when he returns

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is seemingly on a mission to alienate himself from everyone and anyone in an attempt to clear his name. Now that his suspension has been reduced to 162 games, A-Rod has turned his attention toward suing both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

Rodriguez’s decision to sue MLB makes more sense than his decision to sue the MLBPA, which chose to allow him to hire his own legal team and lead his own defense. The MLBPA had to weigh getting involved with A-Rod’s case against supporting those players in the union who want stricter performance-enhancing drug investigations.

In a 90-minute conference call the day A-Rod sued the MLBPA, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that players from the union “overwhelmingly agreed that Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of the MLBPA.” Players pay $65 per day during the season for union dues, and most of them are probably furious that their money will now be spent in connection with A-Rod’s witch hunt.

“That’s what everyone was thinking,” one unnamed player reportedly said. “We wanted to get on this call and not let him back. [To say,] ‘This is our game and we don’t want you in it.'”

Rodriguez’s legal team has alleged in federal court that the MLBPA “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez.” Unfortunately, it is not possible to just kick A-Rod out. That said, it should be noted that not a single MLBPA member defended Rodriguez during the conference call. One player told Yahoo! Sports that A-Rod should be concerned about players taking matters into their own hands if he returns to the baseball diamond.

“When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard,” the player said. “That’s what I’d do. He sued us. Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz screwed up. You know what? They owned up to it. They took their medicine.

“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”

Other players said they respected A-Rod for fighting his suspension the way he saw fit but ripped him for turning on his “brothers.” As you can see, Rodriguez is losing friends left and right. He probably should have taken the 50-game suspension deal that the MLB reportedly offered him last spring, but we’re not surprised he didn’t. A-Rod only cares about one person — A-Rod.

Ryan Leaf intentionally missed meeting with Jim Mora so Colts wouldn’t draft him

Ryan LeafRyan Leaf was so intent on being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1998 instead of the Indianapolis Colts that he went along with a plan to miss a meeting with then Colts head coach Jim Mora to ensure the team did not select him No. 1 overall.

Leaf and Peyton Manning were viewed as the two top players in the draft and everyone knew they were going 1-2. The only question was who would Indy take first, because San Diego traded up from the third spot to the second because they wanted one of the two QBs.

“I think the consensus of opinion is that two guys like (Manning and Leaf) don’t come along very often,” Charger General Manager Bobby Beathard said in 1998. “If we’re going to be successful in getting that type of quarterback, we’re going to have to give up something, and we really did.”

Beathard said the Chargers have no preference on whether they get Manning or Leaf.

“Each one has the ingredients to be a top-level quarterback in this league,” he said.

The Chargers were happy to have either guy, so it just came down to whether Indy would choose Manning or Leaf. But Leaf did not want to go to Indy because he preferred the weather and laid-back style in San Diego, according to his agent. So he decided to sabotage his chances of being picked by the Colts.

In his new book, former superagent Leigh Steinberg says he suggested to Leaf that he miss his meeting with Mora. Steinberg knew Mora would go nuts about Leaf missing the meeting and wouldn’t want to take him.

From Steinberg’s book “The Agent” via USA Today Sports:

(more…)

Denver billboard rips Richard Sherman for having ‘no class’ unlike Champ Bailey

Denver-billboard-Richard-Sherman-no-class

Richard Sherman has quickly become public enemy number one for Denver Broncos fans. The Seattle Seahawks cornerback rubbed plenty of people the wrong way when he went crazy on Michael Crabtree during his postgame interviews on Sunday. As a result, Broncos fans and countless other fans across the nation are hoping he gets burned by Peyton Manning and company.

At least one appliance store in the Denver area believes Sherman has no class, as evidenced by the billboard you see above that Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports called our attention to on Tuesday. I can’t really figure out what having class or not having class has to do with appliances, but maybe I’m missing some sort of obvious play on words. It wouldn’t be the first time a joke flew over my head.

Nevertheless, it just reaffirms how the people of Denver feel about a player who could have a huge impact in the big game. It also reaffirms how much the people of Denver love their sports-related billboards.

Danilo Gallinari undergoes ACL surgery nine months after tearing it

Danilo GallinariDanilo Gallinari underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair the torn ACL in his left knee and will be out for the season, according to a report.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news and says the Denver Nuggets expect to have Gallo back early next season.

Gallinari first tore his ACL last April. He underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus, but ACL surgery was delayed because the doctor was hopeful that the ligament could strengthen on its own. That didn’t happen, and now Gallinari underwent reconstructive ACL surgery.

Gallinari has not played in a game since suffering the injury on April 4. He’s already missed nine months and will miss several more months. I’m not sure how this can be viewed as anything other than a miscalculation by the doctor.

Michelle Beadle going back to ESPN

Michelle Beadle

Michelle Beadle is headed back to ESPN after nearly two years away from the network, according to a report.

SI’s Richard Deitsch reported the news on Tuesday and says Beadle, who became well known through her work co-hosting “SportsNation” with Colin Cowherd, will head back to the network where she had her most success.

Beadle was one of the top female personalities at ESPN at the time of her departure. Often compared with Erin Andrews, Beadle left ESPN for NBC Sports, where she co-hosted an afternoon talk show called “The Crossover,” worked for NBC during the London Olympics, and also appeared on “Access Hollywood.”

Beadle’s show was cancelled after less than a year, and on the Fang’s Bites podcast, she expressed dissatisfaction with the network over a number of issues, including the way her show was promoted.

Deitsch says Beadle left ESPN on good terms and will be welcomed back by the network. He says we can expect her to host or co-host a New York-based show at some point. She can leave NBC in March, he says.

John Stamos, men of ‘Full House’ reunite for Super Bowl commercial (Video)

Have you missed your old familiar friends, waiting just around the bend? Not to worry, Danny Tanner, Jesse Katsopolis and Joey Gladstone are back in action just in time for Super Bowl XLVIII.

That’s right, the men of the 1990s sitcom “Full House” have reunited for a yogurt commercial that will air during this year’s big game. John Stamos has been the face of Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt for quite some time, and some marketing genius has decided that it is a good idea to get him back on-screen with former co-stars Bob Saget and Dave Coulier.

“Don’t you think it’s time we all get our own places?” Saget jokes in a teaser for the commercial that was shared with Good Morning America.

Full-House-Super-Bowl-commercial

I can’t wait to see the full version. Will the producers stick to the “Full House” theme or will Saget bust out some of his infamous X-rated jokes? Unfortunately, it’ll probably be the former.

Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans offering $1 billion for a perfect NCAA bracket

March-Madness-celebrationMathematicians have estimated that there is a roughly 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance of filling out the perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. Two years ago, there were only two perfect brackets remaining out of 6.45 million ESPN entrants before the end of the second day of game action. This March, filling out the perfect bracket could literally change your life.

Quicken Loans and investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s company, have teamed up to offer a $1 billion prize to anyone who enters their contest and can correctly predict every single winner in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth?” Quicken Loans president and chief marketing officer Jay Farner said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat.”

The companies are also offering to split $2 million among the creators of the 20 most accurate brackets in the contest. Quicken was founded by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Buffett is proud to insure a $1 billion prize — which will be paid in a lump sum of $500 million or $25 million per year for 40 years — for something that simply involves filling out a piece of paper online.

“Millions of people play brackets every March, so why not take a shot at becoming $1 billion richer for doing so,” the multibillionaire said. “While there is no simple path to success, it sure doesn’t get much easier than filling out a bracket online.”

Participants can register for free at this Facebook link from Monday, March 3 through Wednesday, March 19. While filling out the perfect bracket may be next to impossible, there’s no reason you can’t be one of the 20 people who wins $100,000 for filling out the most accurate bracket.

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