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Saturday, July 22, 2017

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Brian Urlacher: If the fans can say whatever they want, why can’t we?

Jay Cutler has been taking some heat over the past few days after it appeared that he swore at Chicago Bears fans on his way to the locker room before halftime of a win over the Carolina Panthers. The Bears offense had played poorly and the fans were booing, so it made sense to think that. Of course, Cutler denied blasting the fans and said he was simply angry with the way he and his teammates played.

But if he was swearing at the fans and letting them know how he felt about their boos, Brian Urlacher would have had no problem with it.

“If the fans want to boo, why can’t we say what we want to say?” Urlacher said on the Waddle and Silvy Show this week. “They’re allowed to say what they want, so can we.”

Urlacher also acknowledged that the fans had every right to boo and that the only way to stop the boos is to play better, so he clearly understands where the fans are coming from. As for the fans being able to say what they want, it’s important to remember that they are paying customers. The players are the ones getting paid.

Your boss may be allowed to say whatever he or she wants in the workplace, but you may not have the same luxury. The money fans pay to get into a game goes toward the players’ paychecks. Fans buy tickets hoping to see a win, but the players are getting paid win or lose. That, to me, gives the fans the right to say whatever they want while the players tune them out.

Helmet knock to Eye on Football

LeBron James looked extremely happy to be taking a picture with Alex Morgan

“Hey, I know you! We were at the Olympics together! What, this thing? That’s my new championship ring! I know, I didn’t think this day would ever come either! Yup, and then we beat the Celtics!”

LeBron James looked pretty excited to be posing for a photo with US women’s soccer star Alex Morgan at his Samsung party on Tuesday night, and why wouldn’t he be? LeBron was on top of the world. He is finally the proud owner of this stunning championship ring. His teammates didn’t even let the ring ceremony distract them, as they made relatively easy work of their biggest rival to kick off the 2012-2013 season.

Did King James light up like a Christmas tree for this photo? Sure, but the bottom line is there isn’t a whole lot for him to be frowning about.

Mark Cuban on Lakers: I hope they suck

The Los Angeles Lakers unveiled their new-look lineup at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, but the Dallas Mavericks were there to spoil their debut. On paper, most fans, analysts and so-called experts expect the Lakers to run away with the Western Conference once their core of superstars begins to mesh. Mark Cuban, who has been quick to remind people that championships are not won on paper, hopes that won’t be the case.

“I don’t know, I don’t care, I just hope they suck,” Cuban said when asked for his take on the Lakers before Tuesday’s game. “You know, like any other team.”

This is the same guy who hoped his own country sucked in the Olympics, so we’re not surprised. Cuban praised the Lakers talent level but also noted that talent doesn’t mean a thing without chemistry.

“Obviously Nash is great. He’s phenomenal, Dwight’s phenomenal, Kobe … but it takes a team,” he continued. “They’ve got to come together and play as a team. Hopefully, they won’t figure it out tonight.”

They did not. The Lakers got out to a hot start and scored 29 points in the first quarter, but their offense sputtered from there while the Mavericks remained consistent. Does that mean L.A. isn’t as good of a team as we thought it would be? Hardly, but it is important for fans to remember that not all “Super Teams” win a championship in their first season together like the Celtics did in 2007. The concern with the Lakers is obviously age. They may need some time to figure things out, but guys like Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant don’t have a ton of that.

Dwight Freeney says he ‘would love to hit’ Peyton Manning

Prior to this season, Dwight Freeney called Peyton Manning his teammate for an entire decade. Now, it would be Freeney’s job to try to level Manning in the event that the Indianapolis Colts played the Denver Broncos in the playoffs this year, which is still a possibility since both teams have a 4-3 record.

If the matchup were to take place, Freeney would have no problem hitting his good friend. In fact, he would enjoy it.

“Peyton obviously is the staple of Indianapolis and this organization for years,” the defensive end told our friends Dave Dameshek and Adam Rank during their Tuesday podcast. “I went after him in practice year in and year out and never got a chance to hit him. So yeah, I would love to hit him.”

The only difference is when Freeney was going after Manning in practice, that red shirt Peyton was wearing told him he had to put the brakes on. The navy and orange colors of the Broncos would not send the same message.

Dameshek pointed out that Freeney made the comment in a friendly manner, but he did say he would be “excited” to play the Broncos in the playoffs if that’s what it came down to. We may already be used to the sight of Peyton in a Broncos jersey, but seeing Freeney sack him would still be pretty bizarre.

H/T Around the League

Miami Heat receive championship rings (Pictures, Video)

LeBron James finally has a ring. That is a sentence you probably heard numerous times last summer after the NBA Finals, but LeBron officially has the ring in his possession after the Miami Heat held their championship ceremony before defeating the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

The rings the Heat received have plenty of bling, to say the least. According to the Miami Herald, each one is made of 14K white and yellow gold and has a modest 219 diamonds — or 10.8 total carats. The ring weighs a quarter of a pound, which sounds like a ton for one piece of jewelry. As you can see from the photos below, the ring features the Larry O’Brien trophy on top with a large diamond in the shape of a basketball.

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Dwyane Wade: Rajon Rondo’s flagrant foul was a ‘punk play’ (Video)

During the final seconds of Tuesday night’s game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, Rajon Rondo was called for a flagrant foul after he grabbed Dwyane Wade from behind by the shoulders and neck. The foul was unneccesary considering the Celtics were trailing by nine and there was virtually no way they were going to come back. Wade was not pleased about it after the game.

“I got my kids watching so I stopped myself but it was a punk play by him,” Wade said according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. “He clotheslined me.

“I’m here to play basketball, man. If you want to do something else, then go do something else. Boxing, this is not it. I was glad I was able to stop myself in that very moment and move on from it. We’ll see next time we play.”

Windhorst also said Wade indicated he will remember the play when the two teams face each other again in late January and wouldn’t rule out retaliating. While Rondo certainly wasn’t going for the ball and the foul was out of line, it’s not the hardest foul we have ever seen. The play was made out of frustration but it wasn’t as bad as Wade is making it out to be.

We already knew the Heat and Celtics didn’t like each other, as evidenced by Kevin Garnett completely snubbing Ray Allen toward the beginning of the game. Rondo’s flagrant on Wade simply adds fuel to an already-roaring blaze.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Jaguars reportedly trying to trade for Tim Tebow

The Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly are making a push to acquire quarterback Tim Tebow from the New York Jets ahead of Thursday’s NFL trade deadline.

Action News in Jacksonville, which is the website for TV stations WTEV and WAWS, says the Jags are “making a play to trade for Tebow.”

This report contradicts what most of the more informed and reputable reporters have been saying. ESPN New York reported last week that the Jets were not going to trade Tebow before the deadline. The New York Daily News followed with a similar report a few days later.

FOX’s Jay Glazer also reported on Sunday that while Jaguars owner Shad Khan still maintains interest in Tebow, the team’s coach and GM are not interested in the quarterback.

The Jags were the other team in the running for Tebow when the Broncos traded the quarterback to New York in March. It looked like the Jags were going to get him, but Tebow chose to go to New York because he believed he’d have a better chance of playing there, and because he wanted to go somewhere he was wanted. He hasn’t had much of an impact with the Jets through eight games, but that doesn’t mean the team is eager to get rid of him. They acquired him because he’s a major media and box office draw. That hasn’t changed.

After the report emerged, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that the two teams haven’t had any trade discussions. We tend to believe him more than Action News Jacksonville.

Photo: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

David Stern calls Hurricane Sandy Hurricane Katrina

David Stern may have had a senior moment on Tuesday night. Speaking before the Heat and Celtics tipped off in their first game of the new NBA season, the commissioner offered his thoughts to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The only problem? He mistakenly called it “Hurricane Katrina.”

“Before we begin, I know that everyone here and everyone watching has in their thoughts those who are affected by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath …”

The fans immediately began making noise, likely because they noticed his slip-up. We have no doubt that Stern knew the difference between the hurricanes, but sometimes people make mistakes while speaking live. This also might be the sort of reason the 70-year-old recently announced his retirement plans.

Shaq challenges Jason Whitlock to a fight

Former NBA All-Star center and current TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal responded to a tweet about his weight from FOXSports.com’s Jason Whitlock by challenging the writer to a fight.

Whitlock sent the following tweet to “Inside the NBA” before Tuesday’s season-opening game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat began:

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