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Thursday, May 5, 2016

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Peyton Manning reportedly told TV networks he is not interested

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning has reportedly decided that he is not going to pursue a career as an NFL analyst, at least in the immediate future.

According to the New York Daily News, Manning has shown “no interest” in pursuing a job in television for the 2016 NFL season. His representatives have reportedly informed interested networks of the decision.

After playing football for the last 18 years and rehabbing from multiple neck surgeries, it’s possible Manning wants to take a year off to spend time with family. The two-time Super Bowl champion reportedly asked John Madden for advice on becoming an analyst, and Madden supposedly tried to steer him away from it.

Ultimately, Manning’s goal could be to follow in John Elway’s footsteps by pursuing a career in an NFL front office. We know of at least two teams that are said to have interest in hiring him if he decides to go that route.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Refs admit Dion Waiters should have been called for offensive foul

Dion Waiters foul

The NBA admitted after Monday night’s game between the Thunder and Spurs that everyone who watched the game was not hallucinating — Dion Waiters should have been called for an offensive foul.

With 13.5 seconds left and Oklahoma City leading by a point, Manu Ginobili was trying to prevent Waiters from inbounding the ball. In order to clear enough space to get the ball to Kevin Durant, Waiters threw a blatant elbow at Ginobili. After the game, head referee Ken Mauer told a pool reporter that his crew missed the foul.

“On the floor, we did not see a foul on the play,” Mauer said for the NBA’s mandatory last-two-minutes report. “However, upon review we realize and we agree we should have had an offensive foul on the play. It’s a play we’ve never seen before, ever. We should have had an offensive foul on the play.”

Durant was stripped and the Spurs got the ball anyway, but an offensive foul would have given them possession and allowed them to set up a play. You can see a great angle of the shove here.

San Antonio ended up missing a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and the Thunder held on to win. Gregg Popovich complained to the officials as he walked off the court, but he said it “won’t mean anything” if the league admits the mistake because the result remains the same.

The whacky ending resulted in a Western Conference semifinal series that is now tied at 1-1. But don’t ask Thunder coach Billy Donovan if his guy was guilty of committing a foul. He didn’t see a thing.

Angels 1B Ji-Man Choi says he saw ghost at haunted Milwaukee hotel

Pfister-Hotel

As legend would have it, the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is home to some spiritual activity. Ghosts, in other words. Many ballplayers have stayed at the hotel and left believing the tales they have heard about it being haunted. And now, one MLB player who wasn’t even aware of the history also claims to have seen a ghost.

Los Angeles Angels first basemen Ji-Man Choi, a rookie from South Korea, said he felt a ghost in his room with him at the Pfister Sunday night. When asked how he slept, Choi was very blunt.

“Oh, not good,” he said, per MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. “Not good.”

Choi said through an interpreter that he could feel a spirit standing over his bed. Interestingly enough, he says it is not the first time he has encountered a ghost. The first time was after he had back surgery in 2011, when Choi claims a spirit woke him up by touching his chest and making the bed slump.

“I’ve seen ghosts plenty of times,” Choi said. “I was scared at first, so I didn’t want to open my eyes. I dealt with that a lot more times after that.”

How did Choi know he was dealing with a spiritual presence at the Pfister? He says he always has a tough time sleeping in hotel beds, so he knows there is a ghost present when he happens to be comfortable.

“I hope it’s a girl,” Choi joked. “Nah, nah. Just kidding, you know. … I’ve dealt with it so many times, I don’t really care anymore.”

Other players have told their own spooky stories about the Pfister Hotel, so Choi isn’t alone. And it’s not just that hotel, either, as Randy Johnson could tell you. If I was a visiting team playing the Brewers, I’d find different accommodations.

HS football player Hunter Osborn arrested over indecent yearbook photo

Hunter-Osborn

An Arizona high school football player was arrested over the weekend after a prank went way, way too far.

Hunter Osborn, a 19-year-old student athlete at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, was taken into custody over the weekend after a photo of him exposing himself in the school’s yearbook was discovered. The photo went unnoticed by school officials and was also printed in the football program and sold at games to students and their families.

Osborn has been charged with 69 counts of misdemeanor indecent exposure and one felony count of providing obscene material to a minor. He was released from jail and ordered to wear an electric monitor for the time being.

According to court documents obtained by KNXV, Osborn told police he “was dared by a football teammate” to expose himself during the team photo and is “disgusted” by what he did. He was 18 at the time it was taken.

If convicted, Osborn could be forced to register as a sex offender.

“The school and district are conducting an investigation to determine what actions might have prevented the publication of the photograph, so appropriate safeguards can be put in place going forward,” Red Mountain High School said in a statement. “While the small size of the photograph as published makes the details difficult to discern, the yearbook has been recalled so the school can make a minor but critical edit for the inappropriate content.”

That’s not nearly as bad as some of the other things we have seen high school football players arrested for, but there’s no denying it is a decision that could haunt Osborn for the rest of his life.

Stephen Curry wife Ayesha rejected him first time he went for a kiss

Stephen Curry wife Ayesha

Stephen Curry has always been smooth on the basketball court, but there have been times where he can’t find the same kind of rhythm off of it.

Just ask his wife.

In an entertaining interview with Alan Shipnuck of Parents Magazine, Curry and his wife Ayesha opened up about their personal life and how their marriage came about. The two were in the same church group together as teenagers, but it wasn’t until Curry was a junior at Davidson that he reconnected with Ayesha on Facebook and asked her out.

At first, Ayesha thought Stephen had asked her to hang out as friends. But when he tried to plant one on her, things got awkward in a hurry:

Fast-forward a few years. Stephen is a rising junior at Davidson College [in North Carolina], you’re pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles, and he comes to town for the ESPYS sports awards show. He found you on Facebook, and you spent a day hanging out—does that count as your first date?

AC: I mean, it was friend vibes … until I dodged his first kiss.

SC: Yep. I struck out.

We need the play-by-play.

AC: He was in mid-conversation and came flying at my face like a thief in the night. So I was like, No. Then I thought, “Oh, I didn’t know this is what was happening.”

How about that — Stephen Curry got SHUT DOWN the first time he tried to kiss his own wife. Who woulda thunk it?

Nowadays, Stephen has a tattoo honoring his wife since he can’t wear his wedding ring while he plays. The couple has two children, Riley and Ryan, together. And have you seen the way Ayesha goes nuts celebrating Steph’s big plays? I guess you could say they have come a long, long way.

H/T Bleacher Report

Billy Donovan hilariously plays dumb about final play (Video)

Billy Donovan

If postgame press conferences were a game of poker, the chips would have been pushed all-in on Billy Donovan because the OKC Thunder head coach was so clearly bluffing with one of his answers.

All anyone could talk about after the Oklahoma City Thunder escaped with a 98-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs was the incredibly wild ending, which included Dion Waiters pushing Manu Ginobili; Ginobili stepping on the out of bounds line; Russell Westbrook having his jersey grabbed; and a Spurs fan holding Steven Adams’ arm. There were so many angles to that nutty play there’s no way someone who watched the game — much less coached in it — wouldn’t know what you were talking about.

Yet that’s exactly what Donovan tried to convince the media of:

C’mon, Donovan. Who do you think is actually buying that?

Referees miss critical Dion Waiters push on inbounds play

Dion Waiters foul

Referees missed a critical call on the final possession of Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs Monday.

Dion Waiters was looking to inbound the ball with the Thunder up 98-97 and 13.5 seconds left. Struggling to find someone to pass to, he pushed defender Manu Ginobili in what many thought was a foul:

Those who subscribe to the “ball don’t lie” notion would feel vindicated as the Spurs came up with the ball on a turnover and had a chance to win it. Unfortunately, Patty Mills’ shot at the buzzer to give the Spurs the win was short of the basket, giving the Thunder the win.

Though San Antonio did end up with the ball and a chance at winning the game, the argument is that if a foul were called, they would have been able to set up a play, which might have been more effective. Some also feel a technical foul should have been called. But those people should also be made aware that it looked like Ginobili was out of bounds:

Waiters also noted this after the game.

Oh, and if all that weren’t enough, a Spurs fan grabbed Steven Adams and held him by his arm:

The end result is that the Thunder have evened the series at 1-1 after being blitzed by 32 points in a Game 1 defeat. And with their victory, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can put this incident behind them.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook argue during Game 2

Kevin Durant Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got in a tense sideline argument during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of their playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

Durant had just missed a shot after Westbrook gave him the ball in a mismatch, but he may have wanted Westbrook to help him by setting a screen. That never came. Then in transition, Danny Green hit a 3-pointer that went undefended by the Thunder.

Perhaps the defensive lapse led to this exchange on the sidelines:

If you say this is a sign that Durant is likely leaving the Thunder as a free agent, that would be a stretch. He and Westbrook get along well. This is just part of what happens during the heat of battle.

Larry Bird noncommittal on return of Frank Vogel

larry-bird-call-pacer-soft

The Pacers surprised some by pushing the Raptors to seven games in their first round playoff series. Unfortunately, they fell short, leaving questions to be asked heading into the offseason. Among them is whether or not Frank Vogel will be back on the bench next season.

Vogel was named the interim head coach after Jim O’Brien was fired during the 2010-2011 season. Since then, he’s guided the Pacers to 250-181 record during the regular season and 31-30 in the playoffs, including appearances in the postseason in five of the past six seasons.

Like many teams in the NBA, Indiana wanted to play at a more uptempo pace this season. Changes were made to the roster, including trading Roy Hibbert to the Lakers and experimenting with Paul George at power forward. After mixed results to start the season, Vogel changed course, often using Ian Mahinmi and Myles Turner together in the front court which moved George back to his more familiar small forward position.

The Pacers ultimately made the playoffs, but scoring points was an issue. As Larry Bird has stated on a few occasions, he wants Indiana to score more, which may lead to him bringing in a new head coach.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Bird told the Indianapolis Star. “What I don’t want to do is leave Frank hanging. There’s other jobs out there he could get.”

Perhaps the Pacers come to the conclusion they have reached their ceiling under Vogel, and that’s certainly within their right. His place among coaches in the NBA can be debated and would likely elicit varied responses. However, as is generally the case when replacing coaches, who could Indiana get that’s decidedly better and is currently looking to get back into coaching? That’s what Bird and the Pacers organization is tasked with trying to determine.

H/T NBC Sports

Dana Stubblefield charged with raping woman who interviewed for babysitter job

Dana Stubblefield

Former All-Pro defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield is being charged for allegedly raping a woman who came to his home last year to interview for a babysitter job.

Stubblefield, 45, is best known for his seven NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He is being charged with five felony counts related to assault, according to the San Jose Mercury News, and he was in custody as of Monday night, with an arraignment set for Wednesday. His bail is set at $250,000.

Stubblefield is accused of communicating with a woman through a babysitter website and inviting her over to his home for an interview. After she left following the interview, Stubblefield allegedly sent her a text message telling her to come back to get paid. She claims he then carried her into a room and raped her and forced her to orally copulate him.

Stubblefield allegedly then paid the woman $80. She immediately drove to a police station and reported she was raped by a man named “Dana.” DNA matched that of Stubblefield.

The woman is said to be developmentally delayed and is described as having a severe speech impediment.

Stubblefield’s attorney says the accusations are “false.” Stubblefield reportedly says the sex was consensual and that the woman asked him for a job and money afterwards. He says he only learned of the allegations in February after the incident took place last April, while prosecutors say they took their time to ensure they got things right with the case.

The former NFL DT has faced legal problems since his career ended in 2003. He was involved in the BALCO performance-enhancing drugs scandal in 2008; he was sentenced to jail not long after for stealing an ex-girlfriend’s mail; and he resigned from a coaching job after accusations emerged that he was harassing an ex-girlfriend.

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