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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Tom Brady uses ‘Rex Ryan’ as audible call (Video)

Tom Brady audible

Not only is Tom Brady performing as the top quarterback in the NFL, but he also can troll with the best of ’em too.

During the New England Patriots’ opening drive against the Buffalo Bills on “Monday Night Football,” microphones caught Brady calling out “Rex Ryan” as an audible.

Commentator Jon Gruden speculated that “Rex Ryan” was a call meaning to tell the offense the play was going to the right. Sure enough, a handoff to LeGarrette Blount went to the right.

We know based on another hilarious past incident that Bill Belichick doesn’t like when his players troll Ryan, so this makes you wonder whether the head coach approved the line call.

Whatever the case, you can be certain that the fans appreciated it.

Jason Garrett puts kibosh on group touchdown celebrations

Terrance Williams Dez Bryant

Jason Garrett put the kibosh on group touchdown celebrations after Terrance Williams was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

After catching a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver teamed with Dez Bryant for some matching dabs.

Williams was hit with a 15-yard penalty as a result, and the Dolphins got great field position on the kickoff.

On Monday, Garrett said there would be no more joint touchdown celebrations.

Dallas still won the game handily 24-14, but being assessed a 15-yard penalty never helps a team.

Rod Carew came back from the dead after massive heart attack

Rod Carew

Hall of Famer Rod Carew has opened up about the health challenges he has faced lately, which are marked by a massive heart attack two months ago that left him facing death.

The 7-time batting champion and career .328 hitter spoke with SI’s Steve Rushin and shared the details of his heart attack and current health.

Carew was playing golf in Corona, Calif., on Sept. 23 when he suffered a massive heart attack. He told Rushin he blacked out at one point and woke up in an emergency room getting revived by someone in paddles. Carew’s heart stopped beating twice, and he is lucky to be alive.

“I was dead,” Carew told SI, “and they brought me back to life.”

Despite coming back from the “widow maker” heart attack, Carew still has a lot to battle. He underwent a lengthy open-heart procedure to insert a Left Ventricular Assist Device in his body that pumps blood for him. The device is connected to a computer controller on his waist that has tubes running from the device to through his abdomen and into his chest. He needs to charge the batteries for the device regularly.

Carew, 70, is hoping to receive a heart transplant. His age makes him a borderline candidate to receive one, but he is not losing hope. The 1977 AL MVP is now aiming to raise awareness for heart health. Sharing his story is a good way to start.

Referees want Mike Budenholzer suspended for contact with official

Mike Budenholzer referee

The National Basketball Referees Association wants Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer suspended for making contact with an official during Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Budenholzer received a technical foul and was ejected for bumping referee Ben Taylor during the second quarter of the game after getting upset with the lack of a foul call.

Budenholzer felt the ejection was excessive for what he said was unintentional contact. The NBA agreed as they only fined Bud $25,000 for the gesture. The relative light punishment left the referees dissatisfied.

“Referees operate in an environment in which an influential NBA team owner has repeatedly mocked the efficacy of fines as means to change bad behavior,” NBRA General Counsel Lee Seham said in a statement. “Recent League precedent dictated that a coach who aggressively charged onto the floor during live action and physically interfered with a Referee would be suspended. We are now operating at a lower level with less transparency, degraded safety, and diminished respect for the Game. Coaches should compete by creating better teams, not by physically intimidating officials.”

The contact was minor — there is no debate about that — but if you don’t referees to be bullied by coaches, then heavier penalties are called for. Apparently the league did not feel what Budenholzer did called for much more.

How I broke into sports media – interview with Bacon Sports

LB Bacon Sports

Last week I recorded an interview with Rob Cressy of Bacon Sports for his series on “How To Make It In Sports Media.”

Rob certainly did his background research on me (I’m seriously worried that he’s a private eye in his spare time) and asked me some good questions.

We talked about how I broke into sports media, some of the secrets to success, the sports blogging/website industry and more. The interview was recorded as a video and podcast. The video is below. If you prefer the podcast form, visit Rob’s site to download it.


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David Ortiz responds to latest ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit


David Ortiz was once again the center of a hilarious “Saturday Night Live” skit over the weekend, and Big Papi is being a great sport about it.

In honor of Ortiz’s recent revelation that he will retire after the 2015 season, SNL’s Kenan Thompson returned to poke more fun at Ortiz. The skit involved faux Big Papi proudly talking about all the advertising and business opportunities he has lined up for his post-playing career. One of them was a gym Ortiz works out at called “Iguananox.”

“You like working out at the gym but you wish there was a bunch of lizards in there, too?” Thompson, posing as Ortiz, joked. “Check out Iguananox. Very few deaths.”

On Monday, Ortiz posted the photo you see above on Facebook.

“Hey kenan…..found the first member of our new gym @nbcsnl,” Big Papi wrote.

Here is the segment from Saturday:

Thompson does a tremendous job of impersonating Ortiz. The only sports-related SNL skit we like better is the Stephen A. Smith spoof, which you can watch here. Kudos to Ortiz for joining in on the fun.

Ron Rivera agrees being underdog at Dallas ‘is a little disrespectful’

Ron Rivera PanthersThe Carolina Panthers are 10-0 and somehow they were listed as underdogs on the point spread for their Thursday game against the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys.

During his Monday news conference, a media member asked Panthers head coach Ron Rivera if being an underdog at Dallas felt disrespectful. He agreed.

“We’ll just take it in stride,” Rivera said via the Charlotte Observer. “As I said we’ll play them one at a time, and as far as we’re concerned everybody’s 0-0 and we’ll see how it comes out.

“It is a little disrespectful but apparently they know something we don’t. We’re just going to prepare and get ourselves ready to play on Thursday.”

The Cowboys are finally healthy now that they have Tony Romo back, to go along with Dez Bryant and Greg Hardy — key players who have all missed time this season. When they’re at full strength, the Cowboys are a playoff team, which partially explains why they were favored.

Now the Panthers are getting an extra source of motivation for the game, which is something the Cowboys did not need.

Bruce Arians intimates Cardinals tipped refs off about cadence issue

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians intimated on Monday that the Arizona Cardinals tipped off referees about the cadence issue with the Cincinnati Bengals that helped the Cardinals win Sunday night’s game between the teams.

At the end of the game, the Cardinals were lining up for a 45-yard field goal to break a 31-31 tie, but the Bengals were called for unsportsmanlike conduct for mimicking the snap count. The penalty moved the Cardinals up and made it easier for them to nail a 32-yard kick to win the game.

On Monday, Arizona’s head coach hinted his side was responsible for alerting the refs to the Bengals’ practice of interfering with cadences.

Arians is not the first coach to do something like that. Teams often give referees a heads-up about important things. For instance, if they’re planning onside kicks, they often give refs notice so they can watch to make sure the ball traveled 10 yards etc.

There is nothing wrong with what Arians did. In fact, this is another example of what makes him such a successful coach. The only question is whether the Cardinals are now going to be known as tipsters the way the Colts were.

Jimbo Fisher not commenting on LSU job out of respect

Jimbo FisherJimbo Fisher has been mentioned in connection with the LSU job, but the Florida State head coach says he is not willing to talk about the position out of respect.

LSU boosters reportedly want to buy out Les Miles’ current contract even at the cost of $15 million. With the program prepared to move on from Miles, Fisher is said to be one of their top targets.

Fisher was asked about the job rumors at a news conference Monday but would not comment.

“I have no comment on that,” Fisher said via the Orlando Sentinel. “I have a policy: I don’t speak about jobs, that’s unfair to the players that are there, the players that are here and the coaches here and there. There’s no job opening. That’s a policy that I have. I’m not going to comment on any job in any way, shape or form.”

Fisher is a natural fit for LSU. He joined the program’s coaching staff under Nick Saban in 2000 and continued as a quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator when Miles took over. He eventually left prior to the 2007 season for Florida State to become the head coach in waiting for the Seminoles.

Fisher’s specialty is something Miles has lacked at LSU lately: developing quarterbacks. He helped coach Matt Mauck, JaMarcus Russell and Josh Booty at LSU, and he did the same with Jameis Winston at FSU.

Johnny Manziel reportedly went on two-night party bender

Johnny Manziel partying

Johnny Manziel spent some time in a rehab treatment facility over the summer, but we already know he has not given up drinking. Apparently he still likes a good rager, too.

Video footage shows Manziel holding a bottle of champagne and partying in a nightclub in Austin, Texas last week. A report from TMZ describes the scene as “the second night of a back-to-back bender” that supposedly took place Thursday and Friday night.

From the report:

Multiple sources tell us … Manziel started off his bye week festivities at RIO Rooftop nightclub in Austin on Thursday night … where witnesses say he partied and boozed with friends all night long.

The next night, he hit up Summit — where he grabbed champagne and kept the party rolling. Witnesses tell us the bottle wasn’t just a prop … he was boozing there too.

It doesn’t look like Manziel got himself into any trouble, and it is certainly legal for him to be drinking and partying. But now that he has been named the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, the team has to be concerned that it appears he is back to his old ways.

For a while, Manziel was intent on showing people that he is starting to focus solely on football and cool off on the partying. However, Manziel admitted to having been drinking earlier in the day last month when he was questioned by police following an argument with his girlfriend. After that incident, reports surfaced indicating the Browns have concerns about their young quarterback.

As long as Manziel doesn’t get into trouble with the law and avoids boneheaded mistakes like this, none of this will be an issue. History tells us there’s no guarantee he won’t let it become one.

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