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Friday, December 19, 2014

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Report: Some teammates refused to acknowledge Johnny Manziel in pregame

Johnny Manziel tape Browns

Despite a horrendous performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, Johnny Manziel has the support of Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine for at least another week. Can the same be said of Manziel’s teammates?

According to Pam Oliver of Fox Sports, some of the Browns players may not have been behind Manziel before last Sunday’s game. During an appearance on CBS’ “We Need to Talk,” Oliver reported that some of Manziel’s teammates refused to acknowledge him during pregame warmups.

“Mike Pettine, when he was debating about Brian Hoyer, he said all the right things about how (the Browns) were winning with him. To make that flip flop to Manziel – I don’t think (Manziel’s) teammates have embraced him just yet,” Oliver said, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I was watching the introduction line with the pyrotechnics and all of that, and everybody runs through (their teammates). He was the last one to go. Some people kept their hands to themselves (and didn’t acknowledge him).”

As Cabot notes, Manziel was in the middle of the group of players and was not the last to run out. She also reviewed the tape and noticed all of the players slapping Manziel’s hands as he went by. Perhaps Oliver had a bad angle?

It’s interesting to note that previous reports have indicated that Brian Hoyer had the full support of his teammates. While the Browns went 7-6 with Hoyer as their starter, the players had to have realized they were staying in the playoff hunt in spite of him, not because of him.

Manziel was atrocious against Cincinnati, but one of his teammates feels he is so talented that he is a “nightmare” to practice against. How much can the Browns really miss a guy that threw zero touchdowns and seven interceptions over his most recent three starts? It’s not like Hoyer is an elite talent.

Manziel could do himself and his teammates a lot of favors by protecting the ball on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. That would help put an end to the noise, at least for the time being.

H/T CBS Sports

Kevin Durant calls bulls— on stars not wanting to play with Kobe Bryant

Kobe-Bryant-Kevin-Durant

Kevin Durant isn’t buying all of the stories about Kobe Bryant costing the Los Angeles Lakers top free agents because of his attitude.

In a recent interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, Durant said he would be perfectly content playing alongside Kobe. And to those who claim Bryant has deterred quality players from signing with the Lakers, Durant offered a very clear message.

“Excuse my language, but that’s (expletive),” the Oklahoma City Thunder star said. “I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day.

(His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS.”

Durant was referring to an October article from ESPN the Magazine that basically blamed Kobe for the recent downfall of the Lakers. While it’s obvious Bryant didn’t get along with Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal, there have been plenty of others — Pau Gasol for one — who have thrived alongside Kobe.

“He doesn’t mind being an (expletive), and he comes to work man,” Durant added. “He’s intense. He demands a lot out of his teammates, and I’ve seen that just playing alongside him in the Olympics (in 2012). He demands a lot out of everybody. He makes them better. Everybody out on the court. You’ve got to respect that.”

We recently saw how hard Kobe can be on his teammates during practice when he ripped them for being soft like a certain brand of toilet tissue. For what it’s worth, the Lakers won their next two games — including an overtime victory over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.

Paul George was said to be one of the players who didn’t want to play with Kobe, but he later blasted the report.

A lot of this comes down to personality. Plenty of athletes get along with one another and plenty don’t. Kobe isn’t really an exception either way.

Report: Ray McDonald’s home searched as part of rape investigation

Ray McDonald 49ers

Police reportedly searched the San Jose home of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald on Tuesday in relation to a rape investigation.

According to to ABC 7, San Jose police received a call from a local hospital regarding a patient who was being treated as a possible sexual assault victim. Officers spoke with the alleged victim, who claimed she may have been sexually assaulted the previous day.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the alleged suspect was McDonald.

This is the second time in less than four months that McDonald has been accused of assaulting a woman. The 30-year-old was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence in late August after his pregnant fiancee claimed McDonald had assaulted her.

Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh made some very strong remarks about domestic violence after the first incident, but McDonald was not convicted. A San Jose police officer reportedly responded to a personal phone call from McDonald the night he was arrested in August and was supposedly at a party at McDonald’s house before he went on duty.

Under the NFL’s new personal conduct policy, the league can suspend McDonald if he is charged or if an NFL investigation determines that he may have committed a violent crime. Don’t be surprised if he is placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List immediately.

UPDATE: Niners general manager Trent Baalke announced on Wednesday afternoon that the team has terminated McDonald’s contract, citing a pattern of “poor decision-making.”

H/T Pro Football Talk

Bo Pelini takes swipe at Nebraska

Bo Pelini cat

Bo Pelini was formally introduced as the new head football coach at Youngstown State on Wednesday, and he wasted no time taking a shot at his former employer.

Pelini now works for Jim Tressel, who won a national championship at Ohio State. Tressel, the school president at Youngstown State, knows a thing or two about football. Apparently Pelini does not feel that the same can be said for Nebraska’s administration.

Whether or not you think Pelini is a good coach, the man won at least nine games in each of his seven years with the Huskers. That’s why he feels slighted.

But Bo seemed to be in a great mood on Wednesday. In fact, he even made a great joke about the infamous fake Bo Pelini Twitter account.

If you don’t follow @FauxPelini, you should. It’s one of the most popular Twitter parody accounts, and for good reason. Youngstown State’s mascot is a penguin. If you want to understand how the cat comes into play, you can read about that here.

Andre Iguodala gets technical foul for mocking Mike Conley travel (Video)

The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night thanks in part to a late-game travel from Mike Conley that was not called. With just over three minutes remaining, Conley gave the Grizzlies a seven-point by taking one step too many on his way to the basket.

The Warriors were furious, and rightfully so. Conley clearly traveled, though we know traveling is rarely ever called at the NBA level. Andre Iguodala was so upset with the no-call that he decided to mock how badly Conley traveled.

The dance resulted in a technical foul.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was also slapped with a technical for complaining, which gave Memphis two free throws. The Grizzlies hit both of them, which basically erased any chance the Warriors had of coming back.

After the game, Iguodala made a joke about being T’ed up.

I don’t think Iguodala did enough to warrant a fine. Then again, I didn’t think this Kevin Martin dance was that bad, either. There will be no fun on Adam Silver’s watch.

Andre-Iguodala-travel-dance

H/T The Big Lead

Chicago news station to Bears: Cut Jay Cutler or cut your wrists (Video)

Like everyone else in the state of Illinois, the people at WLS-TV in Chicago are fed up with the 5-9 Bears. They just have an incredibly inappropriate way of showing it.

After the Bears were blown out by the New Orleans Saints on Monday, sports anchor Mark Giangreco went on a rant about how dysfunctional Jay Cutler and company have become. A graphic next to Giangreco displayed a message to the Bears ownership group.

Mark-Giangreco-Jay-Cutler-cut-wrists

The Bears owners should commit suicide if they don’t get rid of Cutler? That seems reasonable, right?

We don’t know if Giangreco came up with the message on his own or not, but someone should be fired over it. We know Mike Ditka has bashed the Bears and is clearly sick of watching them lose, but jokes about suicide take things to another level.

H/T Deadspin

Chris Conte: I’d rather play in the NFL and die 10-15 years younger

Chris-Conte

Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte has missed time this season with a variety of injuries, most notably two concussions. Considering he is only 25, you could understand if Conte was already worrying about the long-term health risks associated with playing in the NFL.

But he’s not.

During a pregame show on WBBM-AM 780 Monday, Conte basically said he doesn’t care if football takes years off his life.

“I’d rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 to 15 years earlier than not play in the NFL and have a long life,” he said, as transcribed by Rich Campbell of The Chicago Tribune. “I don’t really look toward my life after football. I’ll figure things out when I get there. As long as I outlive my parents.”

Conte, who is tied for the Bears’ team lead with three interceptions, will be a free agent after the season. Despite his various injuries, he has missed just five games during his four years in the NFL.

“I’m not saying I’m going to go die when I’m 45, 50,” Conte added. “I’m fortunate to go out and play football.”

The more we learn about concussions, the more concerned people get — and rightfully so. There’s a reason some of the most prominent athletes in the world have openly admitted they will not allow their sons to play football. For Conte, the love of the game makes it all worthwhile.

H/T Sports Illustrated

Woody Johnson ‘accidentally’ favorites tweet about John Idzik being fired

Woody-Johnson-John-Idzik

The New York Jets could be making some changes within their front office after the season, starting with evaluating current general manager John Idzik. Idzik, who has been partially responsible for the Jets’ inability to find a quarterback, may lose his job.

Earlier this week, Jets owner Woody Johnson added to the speculation that Idzik is going to fired by favoriting an anti-Idzik tweet.

On Tuesday night, Johnson said he inadvertently added the tweet to his favorites when he was scrolling through his Twitter feed.

I suppose he could be telling the truth. We doubt Russell Wilson would be dumb enough to add a graphic porn image to his favorites on Twitter, but we all saw what he did last week.

Given all the money Jets fans raised to put up that anti-Idzik billboard, it’s safe to assume most of them hope Johnson was sending a message when he favorited the tweet.

H/T Bart Hubbuch

Referee accidentally pokes Dwyane Wade in the eye (Video)

Flop or not? You tell us.

Dwyane Wade is known for being one of the biggest floppers in the NBA. In fact, the Miami Heat star even admitted that a little kid at his basketball camp asked him why he flopped in the NBA Finals. But did Wade overreact on Tuesday night when a referee accidentally poked him in the eye? I don’t think so.

The slow-motion replay showed that the official caught Wade right in the eyeball.

Dwyane-Wade-poked-in-eye

Have you ever been poked in the eye? It doesn’t feel good. We have seen some horrible flops from Wade in the past, but this isn’t one of them. Cut the man some slack.

Video via SB Nation

Jabari Parker out for season with torn ACL

Jabari-Parker

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a torn ACL during his team’s win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The rookie will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

Parker, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, was the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. The 19-year-old was averaging an impressive 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 29.5 minutes per game. He was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month in October and November.

After winning just 15 games all of last season, the Bucks are off to a 13-12 start this year and are starting to look like a legitimate playoff contender. Whether they can continue that without Parker remains to be seen.

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