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Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Don Shula Thinks Packers Can go Undefeated

Don Shula was the coach of the Miami Dolphins when they went 17-0 in 1972. They remain the only team to go unbeaten in NFL history. The Patriots came close in 2007, but they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and finished 18-1. Now the NFL has the Packers who are 11-0, and expected to be favored by at least six points in each of their remaining games. Shula believes they have a good chance at going undefeated.

“If they do it, I’m going to be the first to call their coach (Mike McCarthy) and congratulate them,” Shula told FOX Sports Florida. “They’ve got a real shot at running the table.”

“They’re just so strong,” Shula said. “Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback and they’ve got a great coaching staff. Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game, and you’ve got to have a great quarterback playing great (to go undefeated).”

This is certainly a different tone from Mercury Morris, who said two weeks ago that the undefeated Packers wouldn’t be better than his ’72 Dolphins.

The Packers have a good shot at going 16-0, but going 19-0 is the truly difficult part. The NFL hasn’t had a team reach (not win) back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did in 2003 and 2004 (they won both). The Packers have a good shot of doing it, and really it all comes down to Aaron Rodgers. He’s having the best season ever by an NFL quarterback. If he can finish the season without having one less-than-excellent game, they’ll win it all. But that’s a lot to ask of him.

Texas A&M CFO Jeff Toole Admits He Called School President a ‘Putz’ and ‘Puppet’ on Message Board

Texas A&M CFO and associate athletic director, Jeff Toole, admitted Tuesday that he called the school’s president a “putz” and “puppet” on the popular message boards at TexAgs.com.

Toole had been posting under the alias UtayAG. In separate posts on the same thread, Toole had described school president R. Bowen Loftin as a “putz” and a “hopelessly underqualified puppet.”

One of the forum’s other users, iPanic, chased down a year-old post on the boards where Toole had identified himself as the CFO of athletics.

Toole admitted Tuesday he made the posts.

“I was posting what I thought was an anonymous opinion,” Toole said Tuesday afternoon, adding of his prior admittance of his job as A&M athletics CFO under the UtayAg handle, “That slipped my mind.”

All his posts on the forum still exist. Here are our favorites:

via Bryan D. Fischer

Video: TBJ Pranks Thunder Fans, Says Team Is Moving Back to Seattle

Our friends at The Basketball Jones have spent the lockout traveling around the country on tour. Their latest stop was in Oklahoma City where they screwed with Thunder fans by telling them the team was moving back to Seattle. The video is awesome, and just another example of TBJ’s creative humor. Check it out:

The best part of the video was the woman who said she had already heard about the move. Man, where does she get her news!

Ozzie Guillen Shares a Smooch with His Pooch on ESPN the Magazine Cover

Ozzie Guillen recently renewed his wedding vows with his wife of 28 years, but she may actually have some competition. The new Marlins manager is pictured on the cover of ESPN the Magazine sharing a mouth-open kiss with his dog, DH.

DH is an English bulldog who got his name from Ozzie because he’s lazy. Guillen says the dog was the star of the show when the camera crew came over to his house for the photo shoot.

See, this is exactly why the Marlins hired Ozzie. They’ve changed their name, their uniforms, their home stadium, and they hired a manager who could get them on the cover of national magazines.

How many other managers would be pictured on the cover of a magazine smooching with their bulldog? Then again, how many other managers are as crazy as Ozzie?

Pic via ESPN the Mag

Roy Williams Upset with North Carolina Fans Who Sold Their Tickets to UNLV Fans

North Carolina lost its only game of the season Saturday at UNLV. Coach Roy Williams is not only unhappy that his team lost, but he’s also upset with Tar Heels fans who sold their premium tickets to rowdy UNLV fans. Williams was particularly bothered that UNLV fans ended up behind the Heels’ bench, which is where he was expecting to have some supporters. He went off on the fans during his radio show Monday.

“I am not friendly with anybody else on the other team and for some of our fans to get their tickets through the Ram’s Club and sell their tickets to UNLV boosters that are sitting right behind our families, I don’t like that. And if the shoe fits, wear it. I don’t care who it is, I’ll tell the sucker face-to-face, I do not like that, will not like that and don’t ever forget it…

“Ninety-nine percent of the Tar Heel people that were there were cheering like crazy and trying to help us through a tough situation, but it bothers me more about some sucker – and I don’t care, if it ticks somebody off, that’s fine – if you sell your tickets that you get from the Ram’s Club to somebody else and they come in cheering for UNLV, then I’ve got no use for you. And that’s as blunt as I can put it.”

Williams thought UNLV’s crowd was “marvelous” overall, but he felt some of the fans were inappropriate. And dammit, he doesn’t want his most loyal fans selling their tickets anymore! With that sort of attitude, he’d never be able to coach at UCLA, where selling tickets is more important than having fan support.

Here is audio of Roy Williams’ comments on his radio show via WRAL:

[audio:http://larrybrownsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/roy-williams-fans.mp3|titles=roy-williams-fans]

Josh Freeman Hurt His Thumb at a Shooting Range

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has endured a rough season, both on the field and off of it. A year after throwing for 25 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, the third-year player is second in the league with 16 picks. His team already has a worse record (4-7) than it did last year (10-6). Things are so bad for Freeman, he’s even hurting himself when firing guns at a local shooting range.

The Tampa Tribune reported Tuesday that Freeman needed five stitches to repair a cut on his right thumb that occurred when there was an unexpected recoil. The incident happened on Halloween and the stitches were removed a week later.

Freeman already had sustained a serious thumb injury a week earlier in a loss to the Bears. They’ve lost all of their games since Freeman hurt his thumb (five in a row). The injury was termed a thumb sprain, and Freeman was playing with a protective wrap on his thumb for a few games (pictured), though he hasn’t used it the last two games.

NBA Players Who Signed with Chinese Teams Could Be Stuck There Until March

The NBA and NBA Players Association may have finally reached a labor agreement over the weekend, but that does not mean all players will be eligible to return to action on Christmas Day.  Remember a few months ago when it was made perfectly clear that the Chinese Basketball Association was only open to signing NBA free agents, not players under contract with NBA teams?  And remember how they said that any player who signed with a Chinese team would be obligated to finish out their contract and play overseas until the season concluded in March?  Now that a scheduled start date has been announced for the 2011-2012 NBA season, those stipulations have become a reality.

As Adrian Wojnarowski reminded us on Monday, players like J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and Aaron Brooks who chose to sign with CBA teams during the lockout will remain obligated to fulfill their contracts before returning to America.

“They can play, get paid [in China] and return to the NBA in March,” one Chinese team official told Yahoo Sports!. “Or they can not get paid, and return to the NBA in March.”

“If they think that they’re going to make things difficult, not play, create problems, what’s going to happen is that the teams will not release their letters of clearance they’ll need to sign in the NBA,” another CBA official added. “There’s no way out.”

While this is troubling for the players and likely annoying that they can’t pursue a free agent contract with an NBA team over the next month, it was a risk they were willing to accept.  Rather than get a job coaching at the college level or playing pickup games at a prison, a handful of players chose to play in an actual organized league and make money doing so.  Unless the Chinese teams for some reason decide to be super generous and release them from their contracts, we’ll see the aforementioned players and a few others in March.

Deron Williams Has Jersey Retired by Turkish Team Besiktas After 12 Games

Deron Williams only played 12 games for Turkish team Besiktas, but that was enough for the franchise to retire his jersey.

Williams was the first NBA star to sign with a foreign team during the lockout, and he’s returning to the U.S. now that the labor dispute seems to have ended. Williams’ first two games with Besiktas came in the Eurocup where he did not play too well. As he grew more comfortable with the team, he became its assist leader and one of its top scorers.

D-Will averaged 19.7 points and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 54.9% in seven Turkish league games. His EuroChallenge numbers were spectacular — 33.7 points on 62.5% shooting in three games. His average was boosted by a 50-point game. The special performance probably was enough to convince the team to retire his jersey Tuesday. Here is a video of the ceremony:

All stats via EuroBasket.com, HT Tracking SI

NFL Says Players Are Allowed to Pee on the Sidelines, Just Cover it Up

Remember how we commended that Chargers trainer for coming up with the huge assist when San Diego kicker Nick Novak had to relieve himself on the sidelines?  It turns out we were right.  As long as someone like that guy is there to provide a makeshift curtain for you and make sure no small children walk away from the game asking their parents what that thing was, the NFL says feel free to tinkle away.

“When this occurs, the player has been shielded from public view and there have been no issues with it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the NY Daily News. “If a player goes to the locker room, he may not be available when his team is counting on him to be on the field.”

There you have it.  The league has no policy about peeing on the bench, and they shouldn’t.  Considering Novak insisted he usually does that about “two or three times a game,” there is obviously an unspoken agreement between camera people and teams to keep that kind of thing off of live television.  That being said, the league is right to allow it.  As long as players continue to utilize the buddy system when they have to go potty, there’s no reason for them to stray too far from the pack should the pack need them.  As for number two: well, that could present a problem.

Mike Gundy: I Would Put Alabama Ahead of Oklahoma State in Rankings

With the way it stands, the BCS National Championship game is destined to be a rematch between LSU and Alabama. Assuming all of the relevant parties win out, it should be. LSU is the consensus No. 1 team in the nation and the only undefeated remaining. Alabama, who lost by three points in overtime to LSU on the road, can obviously make the strongest case of any one-loss team. Even Mike Gundy, whose Oklahoma State Cowboys are ranked third, can’t argue with that.

“If somebody sat me down and said (I) had to make a decision, with where we’re at right now, Alabama lost to what would be the No. 1 team in the country (LSU), and Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State,” Gundy explained Monday according to the Daily Oklahoman. “In our situation, if I was doing it fair, I don’t know how I could put us in front of (Alabama) right now.”

Gundy’s calm demeanor would seem to indicate that nobody in the room wrote something nasty about his quarterback or was wearing an Oklahoma shirt.  As College Football Talk pointed out, Oklahoma State has actually faced four teams in the top-25 of the most recent BCS standings and defeated all four of them.  Alabama, on the other hand, has faced only three teams currently ranked in the top-25 and lost to one of them.

Are we saying OSU is more qualified than Bama?  No.  Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State was a bad one whereas Alabama’s loss to LSU was as good a loss as a loss can be.  That being said, it would not be insane to make a case for the Cowboys — especially if you’re their head coach.

I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here, don’t you? Gundy is afraid of the Honey Badger, and I can’t say I blame him.

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