Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been considered rivals throughout their careers, and Brady is hoping that rivalry continues next season.
Brady was asked about his counterpart Thursday and said he hopes Manning returns for another season.
“What a great player he’s been for this league,” Brady said via NFL.com. “He’s a great competitor, and I’ve been fortunate to play against him a bunch of times. I certainly hope he comes back, because the league will miss him if he doesn’t. But those decisions are up to him. I’m sure it’s up to whether he’s mentally and physically — that’s what he wants to do. But I certainly hope he’s back.”
Manning flamed out of the playoffs in the divisional round and did not look like himself the last month of the season. We later learned he had a quad injury that was pretty severe, which could have explained his struggles passing the ball. At last word, the belief was that Manning would return next season if he passes his physical.
As for Brady’s future, he has said he will continue to play until he’s not good anymore. Given the way he played in leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl, we’re not envisioning a retirement any time too soon.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski shockingly announced Thursday that Rasheed Sulaimon had been kicked off the team for consistently being unable to live up to the standards of the program. There was no specific incident given as the reason for the junior guard’s dismissal, but it sounds like multiple issues led to this.
“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” Coach K said in a press release. “It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”
Sulaimon’s minutes have steadily declined since his freshman season where he averaged 29.2 per game. He was averaging 19.3 minutes per game this season and likely was unhappy with his role.
SI’s Seth Davis reports that Sulaimon had been kicked out of practice a few times this season:
Coach K has tossed Sulaimon from practice a few times this season. Sulaimon played 12 mins, shot 1-6 fg in loss to NDame.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 29, 2015
“It was an accumulation of a whole lot of residue,” a source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “It had built up over time.
“His issues didn’t outweigh his talent.”
Sulaimon played in Duke’s loss to Notre Dame on Wednesday, so many think something happened after the game or during the team’s road trip.
Duke beat reporter Laura Keeley says “it was a recurring conduct issue” with Sulaimon. Keep in mind that Sulaimon also was suspended for a game last year.
Duke is now down to eight scholarship players, though the quality of those players is extremely high.
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- College Basketball
Katy Perry is more than just a halftime act at the Super Bowl — she’s also here to crack football jokes.
Perry held her press conference Thursday ahead of her big performance Sunday during halftime of the Super Bowl. At one point Perry made a Marshawn Lynch reference by saying she was there so she doesn’t get fined. She also had another great quote when she said she could assure everyone that nothing about her performance would be deflated.
Did someone give her the material or was this Perry acting on her own? Between all this and her crush on a certain Oklahoma QB, we can’t rule it out that Perry is just a big football fan who knows her stuff. Now let’s just see if her singing can match her wits!
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- Katy Perry
The Aaron Hernandez murder trial for the death of Odin Lloyd got underway Thursday in Bristol County, Mass., with both sides giving their opening statements. In his opening statement, Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg listed all the evidence that ties Hernandez to the crime, and it seems to be pretty strong.
According to The Boston Globe, Bomberg said that a marijuana joint found next to Lloyd’s body contained DNA from both Lloyd and Hernandez. They also say that a footprint matching Hernandez’s shoe was found at the murder scene in the industrial park in North Attleboro where Lloyd was killed. Hernandez’s DNA was also said to have been found on a .45-caliber shell casing in the car he rented.
There is even more evidence that ties Hernandez to having a weapon.
Bomberg reportedly said “a valet saw Hernandez standing that night outside a downtown Boston hotel, shoving a gun into the waistband of his pants and then covering the gun with his jacket before leaving the area with Lloyd.”
Despite evidence suggesting Hernandez had a gun that evening and was at the murder scene, the former Patriots tight end’s attorney says there is no evidence that Hernandez killed Lloyd.
“Mere presence is not enough in our system,” attorney Michael Fee said. “We can’t be convicted of a crime just because we hang with the wrong people or are in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Fee contends that Hernandez and Lloyd were friends and that Hernandez had no motive to murder his buddy.
One important thing to keep in mind with the case is that prosecutors do not have to prove Hernandez pulled the trigger to get a murder conviction, but that the former NFL player knowingly participated in the murder.
Despite the aforementioned evidence in the case, we learned in December that a lot of key evidence was thrown out, which should help Hernandez’s case.
Before we provide you with some more information on the Deflategate investigation, we should note one thing — the NFL is not a court of law. If the league followed the same guidelines and regulations as our legal system, the New England Patriots would probably be off the hook already.
On Thursday, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino held a press conference with the media during which he updated reporters on the Deflategate investigation. One of the more interesting revelations Blandino made is that the NFL does not log the PSI (pounds per square inch) of each football before games.
As Jeff Howe of the Boston Globe noted, Blandino said the exact PSI of the AFC Championship game balls was not logged before the game or at halftime. Instead, head referee Walt Anderson simply approved of disapproved each ball.
This could be the sole reason Bill Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft seem so confident that their team will be exonerated. Is Anderson’s word all the NFL needs to sanction the Pats?
One of the first reports about Deflategate indicated that New England’s game balls were approved before the game and found to be two PSI under-inflated at halftime. A more recent report claims the balls were only one PSI under.
Aren’t details important here? If Anderson didn’t log any of the numbers, how sure can he be? Will he remember the exact PSI of each ball? I highly doubt it.
At the very least, the process of checking footballs is going to be revised next season (and for the Super Bowl). The PSI of each ball will be logged before every game and probably at halftime going forward. But if Anderson didn’t do that before the AFC Championship Game, it makes it harder to believe that the NFL was running a sting operation. Either that, or it was was a horribly planned sting operation.
The more we learn, the more it becomes obvious that this piece of evidence could be the most important thing the NFL has.
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has been battling a shoulder injury since the NFC Championship Game, but he has every intention of playing in the Super Bowl. In fact, the four-time Pro Bowler has declared himself fully healthy.
One day after telling reporters that his shoulder was perfectly fine, Thomas got a love letter from the NFL.
Yesterday I said my shoulder was a 10 … Wake up the next morning and I have a blood test for HGH .. League office distraction
— Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas) January 29, 2015
HGH has been used by athletes in the past to help them heal faster, so you can understand why Thomas feels the timing of the drug test was not a coincidence.
One fellow Seattle athlete, Mariners outfielder Logan Morrison, feels Thomas and NFL players have it easy.
Yo @Earl_Thomas your a great player, but you think your testing is bad. Come hang out with us. urine and blood test before or after games.
— Logan Morrison (@CupOfLoMo) January 29, 2015
If anyone should be upset over “random” drug testing, it’s this NFL punter. As for Thomas, what does he expect? It’s Super Bowl week and the NFL is already waist-deep in a deflated football investigation. They aren’t taking any chances.
- Earl Thomas
Josh Gordon has admitted to drinking alcohol and failing a test because of it. However, the Cleveland Browns receiver claims he did not know the NFL would be testing him in the offseason.
In a lengthy piece “he” wrote for The Cauldron, Gordon called out Charles Barkley, Cris Carter, Stephen A. Smith and other media personalities who have said he has an addiction problem. He also explained his most recent mistake.
Gordon said he drank two beers and two mixed drinks on a flight to Las Vegas with his teammates. He said it was the first time he had consumed a drop of alcohol since his DWI in July and that he was surprised to learn he was being tested upon landing in Vegas.
“It doesn’t matter if I thought that the league-imposed restriction on drinking had expired at the end of the regular season; what matters is that I didn’t confirm whether or not that was the case,” Gordon wrote.
The entire piece is worth reading. Gordon said he is not making excuses for the mistakes he has made, but he also seems to have one for every time he was busted. He claims he was prescribed the codeine he was accused of using as a recreational drug and stuck to his second-hand smoke excuse for a failed marijuana test. Gordon insists he has not once smoked marijuana since he entered the NFL in 2012. He also noted that his blood alcohol level was only .01 over the legal limit at the time of his DWI arrest.
It’s almost impossible to believe that Gordon was unaware of the circumstances surrounding his alcohol testing. Given how many times he has got into trouble, you would think his agent would make sure he knew what he can and can’t do to avoid making a potentially career-ending mistake. If the report we shared with you before Gordon’s failed alcohol test was true, his Browns career is likely over.
- Josh Gordon
Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth pleaded guilty to reckless driving on Thursday and will now serve five days in jail.
That’s better than the 10-day sentence Werth was initially given over a month ago, but some are shocked that Werth will actually have to spend time behind bars for admitting to driving his Porsche over 100 mph down the freeway.
Of course, the 35-year-old veteran is getting some special treatment. According to Justin Jouvenal of The Washington Post, Werth will serve his sentence only on weekends so he can continue to rehab his surgically-repaired shoulder.
I hope this NBA star is paying attention. Speeding is obviously nothing to joke around about.
- Jayson Werth
Richard Sherman may be just days away from the most important game of his life, but the Super Bowl is not the only thing on the All-Pro cornerback’s mind.
Sherman and his girlfriend, Ashley Moss, are expecting their first child any day now. Moss is expected to give birth to the couple’s son at some point within the next week, meaning there’s a possibility she could go into labor on Sunday.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Sherman if he is prepared to miss the big game if his son arrives on the day of the Super Bowl.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he told reporters, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “We’re not thinking about the possibility.”
Sherman was asked a similar question during his press conference on Thursday.
“He’s going to be a disciplined young man and stay in there,” he joked. “He’s going to do his father his first favor.”
We can’t imagine Sherman missing the game regardless, but you never know. Family comes first for a lot of players regardless of the circumstances.
While Moss has been a mainstay at Sherman’s games throughout the season, she’ll likely watch the Super Bowl from some place more comfortable than a box seat on Sunday.
Photo: Instagram/Ashley Moss
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was a bit more talkative during his “chat” with the media on Thursday, but not for the reasons reporters were hoping.
Lynch begin his brief press conference by criticizing the media for continuing to show up when he clearly has no interest in talking.
“Look, I told y’all what’s up,” he said. “For some reason y’all continue to come back and do the same thing that y’all did. I don’t know what story y’all are trying to get out of me. I don’t know what image you’re trying to portray of me, but it don’t matter what y’all think or say about me.
“I come to y’all event. Y’all shove cameras and microphones down my throat. When I’m at home, in my environment, I don’t see y’all. But y’all mad at me. And if y’all ain’t mad at me, what y’all here for? My requirements have been filled, so for these next three minutes I’ll just be looking at y’all the way that y’all looking at me. Thank you.”
For the next four minutes or so, Lynch gave various shoutouts to cities and his teammates. Surprisingly, he did react when a reporter asked him about the possibility of the NFL fining him for the “Beastmode” hat he has been wearing. And by react, we mean Lynch proudly adjusted the hat as if to say “this ain’t going nowhere.”
Another reporter followed up by asking Lynch where they can buy his gear. He had no problem providing shouting out his website, BeastModeOnline.com.
While scenes like this one from Conan O’Brien’s show give us a different glimpse into the type of guy that Lynch is, the truth is he is making himself a story by being so defiant. If he just provided boring answers to questions rather than getting so upset, there would be less buzz surrounding his press conferences.