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Monday, February 19, 2018

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Louie Sanchez, Marvin Norwood plead guilty in Bryan Stow beating

Louie Sanchez Marvin Norwood

Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood pleaded guilty Thursday to beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in 2011.

Sanchez, 31, received an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony mayhem charges for punching Stow from behind, causing the 45-year-old former paramedic to fall on the pavement and suffer serious brain damage.

Norwood, 32, got four years in prison for felony assault for joining in on the beating after Stow was already down. Norwood has already served his time in jail for the Stow case, but he will remain in jail until a US Marshal takes custody of him for illegal gun possession.

All other charges were dropped. Sanchez and Norwood were originally charged with mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.

Sanchez received harsh words from judge George Lomeli, who tried to put things in perspective. Sanchez could be seen smirking at one point as if he wasn’t taking things seriously enough:

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US women’s hockey came an inch away from gold over Canada (GIF)

The US women’s hockey team suffered a heartbreaking loss to Canada in the gold medal game on Thursday. It was a bittersweet feeling for the US as they received their silver medals after blowing a 2-0 lead with just 3:26 remaining in the game.

Canada was able to cut America’s lead to one on a goal from Brianne Jenner. Marie-Philip Poulin then tied the game with 55 seconds remaining and an extra attacker on the ice for Canada. They went on to win on a power play goal in overtime.

To make matters worse for the US, there was an opportunity for an empty-net goal with roughly a minute left that rung off the post. The US literally came an inch away from a gold medal, though Canada deserved to win the game. The Canadians never gave up and played with a sense of urgency until the final whistle. They could have just as easily packed it in.

US-womens-post-Canada

GIF via @PeteBlackburn

NESN says Jenny Dell is free to pursue other opportunities

Jenny Dell Will Middlebrooks

Less than a month after NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell was taken off Red Sox games, it appears she is leaving the network altogether. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees NESN’s on-air operations, told reporters on Thursday morning that Dell is free to pursue other opportunities.

“I think that we talked about it internally because I think Jenny is a terrific reporter,” Werner said, per Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com. “I think we came to the conclusion, and Jenny came to the same conclusion, that it would be a distraction for her to be a reporter. So, she’s moving on.”

While Werner did not make it sound like Dell had been forced to leave, he said that she is free of any contractual obligations even though she has been offered other positions with NESN.

“It wasn’t sort of a black-and-white decision because [she could] divorce her personal life from being a professional,” he said. “But we decided that in the end it would be better to move on and not have it be a distraction. She’s looking for other opportunities. Nothing’s been set but I think she’s looking for other opportunities. We’ve offered her other positions at NESN, whether she wanted to be an anchor or on an evening show or do other stuff.”

In other words, NESN would have retained Dell if she was willing to be demoted. The decision to pull her off Red Sox games almost certainly had to do with her now-public relationship with third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

Given her popularity, it makes sense that Dell would search for work elsewhere. While she may want to remain close to Middlebrooks, you would have to think Jenny can easily land another solid sideline reporter job.

Photo: Twitter/Middlebrooks

LeBron James thanks father for never being there

LeBron-James-father-quotew

LeBron James and his multimillion fortune are not going to get much sympathy from your average American, but everyone has their problems. For LeBron, one of them was growing up without a father.

LeBron’s mother Gloria gave birth to him when she was 16. His father, Anthony McClelland, was never in the picture. During his recent interview with GQ Magazine, LeBron said his father’s absence is one of the reasons he has become the man he is today.

“Like, ‘Wow, Dad, you know what, I don’t know you, I have no idea who you are, but because of you is part of the reason who I am today.'” James said. “The fuel that I use — you not being there — it’s part of the reason I grew up to become who I am. It’s part of the reason why I want to be hands-on with my endeavors. And be able to put my guys that’s with me now in position.

“Like Maverick Carter, my right-hand guy in my business. Rich Paul, my agent. Randy Mims, my friend — he’s my manager, you know. So me in a position allowing people around me to grow, that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had two parents, two sisters, a dog, and a picket fence, you know?”

LeBron also posted the quote in a graphic on his Instagram page Wednesday night.

“Because of you Pops! Thanks all along,” he wrote alongside the photo. “Could have said why me with u not being there but look what I made of myself. Thanks to Huffington Post for the graphic. #StriveForGreatness”

Whether you like LeBron or not, I think we can all agree he turned out just fine. Growing up without a father can’t be easy. Unfortunately, it’s an obstacle many people are unable to overcome. LeBron deserves to take pride in the way he handled it.

Former Cowboys DE Greg Ellis: Michael Sam should be careful with butt slaps

Michael Sam MissouriMost of you probably have no idea who former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Ellis is, and those of you who do have likely forgotten about him. And as we know, players who have been forgotten often enjoy reminding people of their existence by making idiotic comments. Ellis did just that with his recent remarks about Michael Sam.

Ellis joined KESN-FM on Tuesday and began his discussion about Sam by saying having an openly gay teammate would have to “affect the football team” on some level.

“If he can make it through that first initial wave,” Ellis said, via the Dallas Morning News. “If he can get out there — he doesn’t need to say anything. He needs go in there, close his mouth and play football to let the guys know that, ‘Hey if you guys give me a chance to welcome me into this fraternity of this football team, I can contribute and help us win football games.’”

Considering all rookies are generally advised to shut their mouths and do their jobs, that is a valid point. Ellis probably should have stopped there.

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Oklahoma self-reported players eating too much pasta to NCAA

Pasta-meatballsSchools self-report minor infractions to the NCAA every year, most of which the public never hears about. Most of the violations have to do with recruiting players, but every now and then a team like the Oklahoma Sooners will report an eating violation.

Earlier this week, Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman shared a list of minor infractions that Oklahoma’s athletic programs have self-reported over the past 18 months. The football team’s revelation that three student-athletes ate too much pasta is by far the most entertaining.

Violation: Three current student-athletes received food in excess of NCAA regulation at a graduation banquet. The three had graduated from the school but returned for an additional season of competition. The players were provided pasta in excess of the permissible amount allowed. Resolution: The three were required to donate $3.83 each (the cost of the pasta serving) to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated. The department provided rules education to applicable athletics department staff members.

Now that’s hilarious. The NCAA later thanked Oklahoma for their honesty and commitment to minding the rules, but said there is no penalty for large portion sizes.

The players who were involved joked about their charitable donations on Twitter.

Does it sound crazy? Sure, but I guarantee programs have been penalized for less. I don’t blame Oklahoma for playing it safe.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Report: Darren Sharper involved in sexual battery investigation in Miami

Darren SharperThe hits just seem to keep on coming for former NFL safety Darren Sharper, who is currently under investigation for several sexual assault cases. Sharper was formally charged with drugging and raping two women last week, but there is plenty of reason to believe his troubles won’t end there.

In addition to the seven rapes and 11 druggings Sharper has been named as a suspect in, he has also reportedly been named in another sexual battery investigation that stems from a report filed in Miami last month. The details of that investigation were recently publicized, and you can read them here.

According to NBC Miami, Sharper was also involved in an investigation stemming from another incident in Miami Beach in 2011. The accusations made by the alleged victims in that case were similar to those that have been made against Sharper in the other sexual assault cases. Two women who were visiting Miami from Georgia on spring break claimed they fell asleep in Sharper’s condo and woke up to find either Sharper or his brother “behaving inappropriately and exposing himself.” The case was closed because no evidence of sexual battery was found.

The latest case Sharper has reportedly been named in means his name is now associated with sexual assault cases in five different US states. The former New Orleans Saint’s reputation is getting worse by the day.

H/T Deadspin

Joe Philbin takes responsibility for Dolphins’ mess

Joe-Philbin-DolphinsMiami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin took responsibility on Thursday for the drama that has unfolded in the team’s locker room over the past four months involving offensive linemen Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, and others. He described the behavior that is outlined in the Ted Wells report as “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.”

“It needs to be corrected. It needs to be looked at. It needs to be fixed,” Philbin told reporters, according to the NFL.com’s Around the league. “I want everyone to know that I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins’ facility. I’m the one that’s in charge of the work place. … We’re going to do things about it.”

The Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner, who was named in the Wells report as having participated in the harassing of a player, on Wednesday night. They also fired an athletic trainer who was allegedly involved. The report concluded that Philbin was unaware of the problems Martin was having until he left the team in October, which the coach alluded to on Wednesday.

“The majority of things I did not know about when they were going on,” he said.

Previous reports indicated that Incognito, who was part of the Dolphins leadership council, was asked by coaches to toughen Martin up. Philbin denied naming Incognito a leader of the team.

“I didn’t necessarily name him a leader,” he said. “There’s a leadership council we have in place.”

If Incognito was part of that “council,” who named him a leader?

Philbin is going to keep his job for at least another season. On one hand, the Wells report exonerates him for the fact that he was unaware of the type of harassment that was going on and the affect it was having on the workplace. On the other hand, how could a head coach be so oblivious given some of the disturbing details that have surfaced? Philbin is on a very short leash.

Hakeem Nicks signs with Roc Nation Sports

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsRoc Nation Sports added another talented athlete to its growing list on Thursday, as the agency announced that it has signed New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Victor Cruz, Nicks’ teammate, was one of the first big names to sign with Jay-Z’s agency last year. Like Cruz, Nicks will be represented by both Roc Nation and CAA.

Not long after signing with Roc Nation, Cruz was able to land a five-year, $43 million contract extension with the Giants. That type of money would be a stretch for Nicks, who did not catch a touchdown during the 2013 season. He has only missed a handful of games in the past three years, but Nicks always seems to be battling some sort of nagging injury.

At age 26, Nicks will certainly be able to find a few teams who are willing to take a chance on his less-than-stellar resume. He hauled in 155 passes for more than 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and there is no denying that the former North Carolina star has as much raw talent as any receiver in the league.

In all likelihood, Nicks won’t be returning to the Giants. They already have a lot of money invested at the wide receiver position and reportedly had to fine him multiple times last season. A divorce seems inevitable, but Nicks should be well represented when he hits the open market.

H/T Darren Rovell

Kate Hansen shares video of possible wolf in Sochi Olympics hallway

Sochi-Olympics-wolfThere have been a number of stories about stray dogs wandering around Sochi at the Winter Olympics. Some have been adopted by athletes while others are left to bark at skiers during their training runs. Stuff got real on Wednesday night when US luger Kate Hansen may have spotted a wolf roaming the hallways of her dormitory.

Could it have been a husky? Siberia is only 2,666 miles from Sochi, so I guess that’s possible. If you Google the differences between wolves and huskies, you’ll notice that wolves have a longer, more defined snout than huskies. The animal spotted by Hansen looked like it had a pretty long, narrow snout, which is more characteristic of a wolf.

Needless to say, you can now add “possible wolves wandering hallways” to the growing list of #SochiProblems. Thankfully, Hansen didn’t come running out of her room to show the wolf her trademark dance moves. Who knows how that would have ended.

UPDATE: The wolf was real, but the video was not. Another classic hoax from Jimmy Kimmel.

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