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Did Stephen A. Smith drop an N-bomb on ESPN First Take?

During a discussion about Kobe Bryant’s foot injury on ESPN First Take Thursday morning, Stephen A. Smith said something that has the internet buzzing. It wasn’t completely audible so we cannot say for sure, but it certainly sounded like Stephen A. said “n**ga please” in the middle of one of his rants.

The video was called to our attention by The Big Lead, and they are unsure of what they heard as well. We’ve seen him flip the bird during discussions on TV before, so you can’t completely rule out that Stephen A. had a slip of the tongue. It’s also not the first time he has been accused of using the “N” word on TV.

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Jim Nantz butchers ending of Jets-Patriots game (Video)

CBS announcer Jim Nantz loves to script his endings, and in this case, it looks like the practice backfired on him.

Nantz completely butchered his call for the ending of the New England Patriots-New York Jets game on Sunday, saying not once, but twice that the Jets had won. The Jets, in fact, lost 29-26 in overtime when Mark Sanchez lost a fumble following a Patriots field goal. Don’t tell that to Nantz, though, who inexplicably declared the Jets the victors in the game.

“If it holds up, which we expect it will, it’s going to be a stunner. The biggest underdog of the week,” he said before the referees announced the fumble would stand.

Then after the call stood to give the Patriots the game, Nantz made another mistake.

“The New York Jets stand alone in first place now … the New England Patriots … at 4-3 … what an amazing game here.”

Yikes. Someone is going to have to find out what Nantz was thinking there, because that was dumbfounding.

H/T Jimmy Traina

Paul Ryan mistakes Colt McCoy for Brandon Weeden

Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan made an embarrassing blunder while meeting with the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.

Ryan and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice attended the team’s practice in Berea, Ohio, after a rally at nearby Baldwin Wallace University. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Ryan mistook starting quarterback Brandon Weeden for backup quarterback Colt McCoy while addressing the team.

The Plain Dealer says Ryan (pictured above speaking with lineman Joe Thomas) praised Weeden, “whom he recalled watching play for Oklahoma State,” while pointing to McCoy.

How did the VP candidate backtrack?

“You always had your helmet on,” he reportedly said of Weeden.

Linebacker Scott Fujita confirmed the blunder and even had some fun with it on his Twitter account.

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TBS misspells Willie Mays’ name on graphic (Picture)

TBS might need a new graphics person.

The network showed a graphic during the fifth inning of ALCS Game 1 between the Yankees and Tigers on Saturday, and they had the last name of Hall of Famer Willie Mays misspelled.

The graphic showed the players who appeared in MLB’s postseason before age 24 and after age 40 in honor of Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, who was pitching in the game. Unfortunately they made a pretty poor error by spelling Mays’ last name “Mayes.”

Between this and the “Carl” Ripken Jr. mistake, TBS really needs to double-check all of its graphics before airing them.

H/T Jimmy Traina

ESPN accidentally aired report saying Bobby Valentine was coming back for second season (Video)

ESPN was so prepared for the Red Sox to make an announcement on Thursday about the future of Bobby Valentine that they had Tim Kurkjian create two television reports: one in case Valentine were fired, and the other in case the Red Sox brought him back. Even though it was like 99.99999% certain Valentine would not be back, the network wanted to make sure they were prepared for either scenario.

Unfortunately, after the Red Sox announced Valentine would not be back, SportsCenter aired the report saying he would be returning. The result was a humorous conflicting message from ESPN; the scroll on the left side of the screen read “Bobby Valentine fired,” while Kurkjian was telling us in a prerecorded report that he’d be receiving a second chance.

“Valentine is getting a second chance because he never had his A-team on the field for even one minute this season,” the report said. “Major injuries to (Carl) Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and others, had Valentine juggling new lineups everyday. He’s getting a second chance because the vaunted rotation once led by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester was terrible.”

ESPN quickly realized the error and pulled the report before it was done running. This sort of mistake is nothing new in broadcasting and print, but it sure produced a funny moment.

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Lolo Jones inadvertently taunts paralyzed Eric LeGrand after being asked to race

Lolo Jones figured she was just responding to another boastful athlete when she challenged Eric LeGrand to a race, but she was left embarrassed and remorseful after learning the former Rutgers football player is paralyzed.

LeGrand is a former defensive tackle who was paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury during a Rutgers-Army game on Oct. 16, 2010. LeGrand has been in a wheelchair since then, but he’s remained in the public eye because of his positive attitude and inspirational response to the injury.

LeGrand happened to tweet at Jones on Tuesday, challenging the Olympic hurdler to a race:

Jones likely saw from LeGrand’s Twitter profile that he bills himself as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (his former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano signed him to a one-day contract with the team), and she began taunting him in response.

“Get Checked for a concussion,” she wrote back to LeGrand. “Clearly, u’ve been hit in the head… Cos u arnt beating a track athlete.”

Lolo then raised the stakes.

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University of Minnesota at Crookston logo painted on 45-yard line (Picture)

See anything out of the ordinary here? At first glance, the photo you see above looks like that of a standard college football field ready for some action. Upon further examination, you might notice the fact that the grounds crew at the University of Minnesota, Crookston painted the school’s logo on the 45-yard line. Those of you who have watched football before know that it’s a bit more traditional for logos to be placed on the 50-yard line, so everything is nice and symmetrical.

Hey, these things happen. It’s nothing a little paint remover can’t fix. At the end of the day, no game-day screwup is going to be quite as bad as this high school football banner.

Photo via UM-Duluth quarterback Chase Vogler