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Friday, March 24, 2017

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Ian Poulter thinks the Olympic golf format should be match play

Golf will be making its glorious return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games after a staggering 112-year absence. But even though that moment is four years from coming to fruition, Ian Poulter is already assuming the role of an Olympic organizer and expressing ideas for what he thinks would be in the sport’s best interest.

The current plan for Brazil is to use a 72-hole stroke-play tournament format, similar to what we see almost every week on the professional tours. But Poulter thinks the Olympics should abandon uniformity and go for entertainment value by utilizing match play.

“Most other sports are one-on-one,” the Englishman told The Telegraph. “And that’s why I think viewers enjoy match play more. It’s more exciting and plays out better on TV. I think match play would suit the Olympics better.”

In fact, Poulter wouldn’t be upset if match play started popping up more frequently on the calendar.

“How about every week?” Poulter added. “The more we play, the better. I love the cutthroat, face-to-face nature of it and find the buzz a refreshing change from what we play week-in and week-out.”

Pretty bold idea from a guy with a pretty bold sense of style in his own right.

But, ultimately, people aren’t going to care what format in which golf is played during the Olympics, so long as stars like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are on the course. And, yes, we too crack a smile at idea of Tiger possibly hanging out at Rio.

Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Olympics blog Medal Detector.

Photo credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports via US PRESSWIRE

Lance Stephenson gives choking gesture after LeBron James misses FT (Video)

The Miami Heat began falling apart in the third quarter of Game 3 against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Thursday, and Lance Stephenson was sure to let them know. The Pacers benchwarmer gave a choking gesture after LeBron James missed a technical foul free throw late in the third quarter.

James missed nearly every field goal he attempted in the second half after starting off the first half well. Dwyane Wade went 2-for-13, and Shane Battier missed all seven of his field goal attempts.

I’m not sure if you call this a choke, but it was another poor effort from the Heat.

Chest bump to Eye on Basketball

Martin Brodeur not a fan of Madison Square Garden

The Devils evened their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Rangers with a 3-2 win in Game 2 on Wednesday. Martin Brodeur allowed two goals for the second straight game, and he was particularly irked about the first goal he allowed in Game 2 — one that was scored thanks to a rebound off the boards.

“It’s a tough place to play,” he said of Madison Square Garden after the game. “There’s so many bad bounces. The ice is not good, the boards are awful and the glass makes crazy bounces everywhere. In the second period I think two or three just went right in front of my net. So mentally it’s a tough game to play because you really have to look at the puck all game long.”

Even though Marc Staal’s goal bothered him, he was happy just to have the win.

“But I feel pretty good whenever I win. Doesn’t matter how I play, I feel good.”

Below is a video of the goal in question:

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Rolando McClain gets 180 days in jail for alleged reckless assault, lawyer appealing

It’s not often that the legal system comes down hard on a professional athlete, but that’s what happened to Rolando McClain — at least for now.

The Raiders linebacker was found guilty of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and menacing and wrongful discharge of a firearm, and he was sentenced to 180 days in jail on Thursday — 60 days for each crime.

The conviction stems from an incident that took place last November in Decatur, Alabama where McClain allegedly beat up 30-year-old Rishard Tapscott. McClain supposedly punched and kicked him, leaving Tapscott with a broken nose, mild concussion and cracked ribs. He also held a gun to his head, threatened to kill him, and allegedly fired beside the man’s head.

McClain’s lawyer is appealing and seeking a jury trial.

McClain was an All-American linebacker at Alabama and drafted eighth overall by the Raiders in 2010. He’s known for being a productive linebacker who’s very quiet with the media. Sometimes it’s the quiet ones you have to worry about.

Below is video of McClain leaving the courthouse Thursday:

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Bees delay Rockies-Diamondbacks game (Video)

The Rockies-Diamondbacks game was delayed a few minutes on Thursday because of a swarm of bees that invaded Coors Field. The bees invaded a camera bay next to the Rockies dugout in the top of the 5th inning. The swarm was so massive that the cameramen left their positions, but no players had to be cleared off the field. Once the bees were contained, umpires determined play could continue.

An inning later a beekeeper arrived and sucked all the insects into a cool device where they could be transported to a hive. Hey, it’s a much easier problem to deal with at a stadium than fire ants, that’s for sure.

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Tim Duncan reportedly hates Kevin Garnett

Any casual NBA can tell you that Kevin Garnett is not one of the most well-liked players in the league. His teammates love him, Celtics fans love him, and a few Timberwolves fans might still feel a connection to him. Otherwise, most of what we hear about The Big Ticket as a person is negative.

On the court, he and Tim Duncan have always been compared. Duncan and K.G. are the two most dominant power forwards of the current era. Duncan has averaged 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds throughout his career, while Garnett has averaged 19.3 and 10.6.

Duncan gives off the nice guy vibe, whereas Garnett is often called one of the dirtiest players in the NBA. In a recent profile of Duncan that is a must-read for all Timmy fans, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard touched on the feelings Duncan has toward K.G. As you might expect, they aren’t great.

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Rangers fans could win a free 17-minute flight to New Jersey for Game 3

If you’re a Rangers fan living in the New York area and you can’t find a ride to New Jersey to catch Game 3 on Saturday, you need new friends. The joy of a subway playoff series is that, well, the home arenas for both teams are just a short train or car ride away. Transportation to all seven potential games is made easy, and airline travel is taken out of the equation. Unless it’s put back into the equation, which is exactly what Delta Airlines has decided to do.

By filling out a quick form on the Rangers website, Rangers fans can enter to win a plane ticket to the Prudential Center to watch the visiting team square off against the Devils. The flight will leave Laguardia Airport at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and arrive at Newark Airport roughly 17 minutes later. Ground transportation to and from the airport is also included along with gifts and prizes. According to CBS New York, Rangers legends Rod Gilbert and Ron Duguay will also be on board, so lucky fans might even get the chance to say “hello” to them before the 17 minutes are up.

Fans have until 5 p.m. ET to fill out the form for a chance to take part in the unique experience. Assuming these fans have to go through airport security, is it even worth it? What happens if the flight is delayed or there’s bad weather? I’d have to be in a real bind to want to go through that hassle for a 17-minute flight. Plus, my ears hurt on the descent.

H/T Puck Daddy
Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

ABC station in Chicago calls Metta World Peace ‘Lakers Idiot’ (Picture)

On Wednesday night after the Lakers melted down and lost Game 2 to the Thunder, a humorous screenshot began circulating around the Twitter world. It appeared as though Chicago’s ABC affiliate channel had enough of all the elbowing and talk about Oklahoma City’s women being naturally beautiful, so they decided to refer to Metta World Peace as the “Lakers Idiot.” Busted Coverage pointed out that the screenshot could have been an easy photoshop job if someone felt like creating a buzz, but it turns out the photo was legit.

The screenshot you see above came from a video that Deadspin dug up, which proves that the ABC station did in fact briefly flash a graphic that described World Peace as “Lakers Idiot.” Well played, graphic technicians. Well played indeed.

Jonathan Papelbon sounds like a complete moron referring to himself as ‘Cinco’ during a Boston interview

Like any closer not named Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon had his fair share of ups and downs during his seven seasons with the Red Sox. There were times when he was the most dominant closer in the game, and others when it felt like no lead was safe with him on the mound. Whether he was succeeding or failing, however, Papelbon always managed to maintain his eccentric personality. During an interview with WEEI earlier this week, Pap did his best to make Boston fans happy the team chose to let him walk.

With the Phillies set to host the Red Sox this weekend, Papelbon discussed what he expects it to be like to see some of his old teammates.

“It won’t be weird,” Papelbon said. “It might be a little weird for Pap, but it won’t be weird for Cinco. Cinco is like a Great White, when he smells blood he attacks.”

“Cinco” of course refers to Papelbon’s nickname for himself, which is “Cinco Ocho.” It feels like we’ve heard something similar to that before, but knowing Pap I bet he thinks he came up with it. When he was asked if he feels badly for the way things ended in Boston last season and the way the team fell apart in September, “Cinco” gave the following answer.

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