Rihanna song pulled from CBS Thursday Night Football opener


CBS decided to make several changes to their planned programming for their first “Thursday Night Football” game of the season in light of the Ray Rice incident, and the most notable change includes removing the song featuring Rihanna from the intro.

Rihanna, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, was the victim of domestic violence committed by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009. Rihanna then infamously went back to Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault.

Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna was scheduled to play as the intro song, with actor Don Cheadle providing a voiceover narration setting the scene for kickoff. CBS also had a comedic bit planned but decided to scrap it, according to SI’s Richard Deitsch.

Deitsch says CBS will open “with a report from CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell, who interviewed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday. O’Donnell will be on the set in Baltimore with Thursday Night pregame host James Brown.”

The NFL sent out a press release last week detailing the plans for each “Thursday Night Football” pregame show.

The Thursday Night Football open will be accompanied by the narration of Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle. Cheadle’s narration sets the scene to kick off the NFL week on Thursday nights, highlighting the division rivalry games. And, asking the question, who will “Run This Town”?

Thursday Night Football will feature a customized open each week highlighting the teams and storylines. Featuring Cheadle’s narration with music sung by Rihanna, the open matches the size and drama of each Thursday night game. This open, which was filmed in an airplane hangar, was produced and directed by 28-time Emmy Award-winning producer Pete Radovich, who serves as CBS Sports’ creative director.

This was a smart move by CBS. Given the context of this week’s events, this is the appropriate way to handle things.

The Daily Show takes on Michael Sam shower report (Video)

ESPN’s report on Michael Sam’s showering habits could not be complete without getting “The Daily Show” treatment. And nothing could put the ridiculousness of the report in its proper place quite like the comedy of Jon Stewart.

The Axe “garlic and rotten egg” body wash bit was great, but nothing topped when they threw it to sports correspondent Samantha Bee, who pointed out all the ironies of the homosexual locker room “boys will be boys” behavior that exists in sports.

Jon Stewart garlic rotten egg

Ronda Rousey: ‘I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world’

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey still dominates opponents with little effort in the octagon, but mixed martial arts is not the only thing on the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion’s mind. Rousey has been open about her passion for acting, which she discovered with her role as Luna in “The Expendables 3.” But the 27-year-old doesn’t want to be known as a fighter who has been in movies. Eventually, Rousey hopes to be a well-known and respected actress.

“I didn’t grow up wanting to be an action star,” she recently told ESPN the Magazine. “I just didn’t think it was in the cards. Now that it’s a possibility, I’m like, “Screw it, I don’t give a s—, if The Rock can become the world’s highest-grossing actor, I can have that same goal.” I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world someday.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who gained his fame through professional wrestling, was the top-grossing actor of 2013 after his movies — including “Fast & Furious 6″ — raked in $1.3 billion globally. The Rock was second behind Robert Downey Jr. on the same list in Forbes this year.

Rousey still has a contract with Dana White and UFC and could end up fighting Gina Carano in what would be one of the most-watched female MMA fights of all time. Despite that, she said she did many of her own stunts in “The Expendables 3.”

“I did all of my own stunts, except for a couple of falls,” she explained. “I had a fight that December, so Dana White wouldn’t let me do anything too dangerous, but nobody else could do a lot of those fight scenes, so it fell to me. I’m an adrenaline junkie, and I love jumping off of stuff, so they promised to let me do my own falls if I don’t have a fight next time.”

In addition to “The Expendables 3,” Rousey also has roles in the upcoming “Fast & Furious 7″ and “Entourage.” She has already put together a fairly impressive resume. I doubt Rousey will ever be the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood, but a full-time acting career is a definite possibility after she is done fighting.

H/T MMA Junkie

Drake debuts ‘Sidepieces’ song at ESPYs and it is great (Video)

Drake ESPYsDrake hosted the ESPYs in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and while his opening monologue needed a lot of work, his best stuff came when he began performing songs.

He performed a song called “Honorable Mention” where he recognized athletes and teams that finished in second place. That led into an even better song that he performed with Brian McKnight called “Sidepieces.”

Sidepieces, of course, was about all the secondary girlfriends/boyfriends athletes have on the road/side whom they hope their main girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands never find out about.

Drake also threw in a personal line to the song when he shouted out his crush, women’s basketball player Skylar Diggins.

“Skylar this is the one thing that I would be for you.”

Video via @CorkGaines

Jim Parsons at Eugenie Bouchard’s Wimbledon matches – they’re friends

Eugenie Bouchard Jim Parsons

Eugenie Bouchard has a celebrity fan who is probably cooler than most tennis players’ fans.

The emerging Canadian tennis star is friends with actor Jim Parsons, who is best known for playing Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” The actor even spent time at Wimbledon watching her play.

In a recent feature for New York Magazine, Parsons says the two came in touch because Bouchard is a fan of his show. They began emailing after her matches and have developed a pen pals sort of relationship.

“She played her first professional Wimbledon last year, and her manager contacted my manager, and apparently she watches Big Bang, and he knew I was a fan of tennis and he said, ‘Is there any chance Jim could come to Wimbledon? He could sit in the players’ box with us,’ ” Parsons recalled of the friendship during an interview with ESPN.

Parsons has been at Wimbledon for over a week watching Bouchard play and has even sat in her box for her matches.

“It was really beyond my expectations the chance to sit in the player’s box. She is a cold-hearted killer out there,” Parsons said.

The 20-year-old has reached the finals of the tournament, meaning Parsons’ stay at the All England Club has probably gone longer than he anticipated. Parsons shouldn’t mind; not only is he on vacation, but he enjoys sports. He describes himself as a sports fan who watches the Rockets, plays fantasy football and loves watching the Masters golf tournament.

While taking in Wimbledon, Parsons has been living it up. He took selfies with Chris Evert and Hannah Storm:

[Read more...]

Rapper Black Rob performed ‘Whoa!’ at Derek Jeter’s birthday party

Derek JeterDerek Jeter is at that level of stardom where he has famous people attending and performing at his birthday party because, you know, he’s Derek Jeter.

Jetes turned 40 on Thursday and went out to dinner with a group and then a club to celebrate the big day. Page Six reports that folks like Michael Strahan, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada and music moguls P. Diddy, LL Cool J, and rapper Timbaland were all there.

And you know how awesome Jeter is? Rapper Black Rob came to perform his hit single “Whoa!,” which Jeter uses as his at-bat song. That’s pretty cool. I wish Black Rob would come perform at my birthday party.

Oh, and I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but girlfriend Hannah Davis was also there for the celebrations and cozy with Jeter. That’s what we like to hear.

The song was made in 2000 and it’s still awesome.

Tip via David B.

Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel from ‘Girl Meets World’ take on Dodgers game

The stars from upcoming TV show “Girl Meets World” were at Dodger Stadium Wednesday to partake in pregame festivities. For many of us, that means seeing the familiar faces of Cory and Topanga.

Tell me this doesn’t bring you back to childhood:

Ben Savage Danielle Fishel

Yup, Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, who will be parents in the new series, were joined by Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter at Dodger Stadium. Blanchard will play their daughter in the new show, which is a spinoff of TGIF favorite “Boy Meets World.”

All that was missing was Mr. Feeny.

The series debuts June 27 on Disney Channel. Will you be watching?

Photo: Twitter/Dodgers