Ryan Leaf intentionally missed meeting with Jim Mora so Colts wouldn’t draft him

Ryan LeafRyan Leaf was so intent on being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1998 instead of the Indianapolis Colts that he went along with a plan to miss a meeting with then Colts head coach Jim Mora to ensure the team did not select him No. 1 overall.

Leaf and Peyton Manning were viewed as the two top players in the draft and everyone knew they were going 1-2. The only question was who would Indy take first, because San Diego traded up from the third spot to the second because they wanted one of the two QBs.

“I think the consensus of opinion is that two guys like (Manning and Leaf) don’t come along very often,” Charger General Manager Bobby Beathard said in 1998. “If we’re going to be successful in getting that type of quarterback, we’re going to have to give up something, and we really did.”

Beathard said the Chargers have no preference on whether they get Manning or Leaf.

“Each one has the ingredients to be a top-level quarterback in this league,” he said.

The Chargers were happy to have either guy, so it just came down to whether Indy would choose Manning or Leaf. But Leaf did not want to go to Indy because he preferred the weather and laid-back style in San Diego, according to his agent. So he decided to sabotage his chances of being picked by the Colts.

In his new book, former superagent Leigh Steinberg says he suggested to Leaf that he miss his meeting with Mora. Steinberg knew Mora would go nuts about Leaf missing the meeting and wouldn’t want to take him.

From Steinberg’s book “The Agent” via USA Today Sports:

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Grantland’s Bill Simmons apologizes for errors concerning Dr. V’s Magical Putter story about transgender inventor

Oracle GX1 putter

A story published by Grantland last week has captured the attention of the online journalism and LGBT communities, and it has sparked debate about the roles of writers, reporters and editors, and the media’s treatment of transgender people.

Last week, Grantland, a subsidiary website of ESPN founded and overseen by Bill Simmons, published a long feature about the story of a special golf putter. The feature told the story of the putter and the person behind it, and it exposed the inventor as a liar who made many false claims about her background. The story also outed the founder of the putter as a transgender. The woman who invented the putter committed suicide in October, likely at least in part because of the writer digging into her personal background against her wishes, and outing her to one of her top investors.

If you are curious to learn more about this story so that you can properly be informed about the issue, you have to read the entire feature to gain an understanding about it. But I’ll do my best to summarize.

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Richard Sherman-Michael Crabtree beef supposedly started at offseason charity event

Richard-Sherman-Michael-Crabtree-butt-patHere is what we know for sure about the relationship between Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree — it is not a good one. Sherman tore into Crabtree after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Some of the animosity may have stemmed from comments Crabtree made last week about Sherman not being the best cornerback in the NFL. However, the feud may have started as far back as last offseason.

On Sunday evening, Sherman opened up to NFL.com’s Michael Silver and explained why he dislikes Crabtree.

Later, Sherman explained that he was angered by something Crabtree had said to him while the two were socializing with other players (including then-49ers receiver Kyle Williams, now with the Kansas City Chiefs) at a function associated with Fitzgerald’s charity softball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., last April. Sherman wouldn’t share specifics, saying only that ‘(Crabtree) said something to me, and I told him I’d make him pay for it on the field.’”

That story matches up with one that Sherman’s older brother Branton told Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times recently.

Sherman has been upset with Crabtree since last summer. Both attended Arizona star receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity event. While there, Sherman went to shake Crabtree’s hand, and Crabtree tried to start a fight, according to Sherman’s older brother, Branton.

‘I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,’ Richard Sherman vowed that day.”

So there you have it. These two players obviously dislike each other a great deal, and that hatred was just too much for Sherman to contain after he tipped a pass away from Crabtree that sealed the biggest victory of his career. Personally, I would have liked to see Sherman take the high road and not take attention away from a great team win. Considering Seattle is headed to the Super Bowl, I’m sure he’s already been forgiven.

Related: Richard Sherman goes off in hilarious interview with Ed Werder (Video)
Related: Richard Sherman goes on epic postgame rant with Erin Andrews (Video)
Related: Michael Crabtree fires back at Richard Sherman on Twitter

Richard Sherman goes on epic rant in postgame interview with Erin Andrews (Video)

Richard Sherman’s trash talking knows no limits. Apparently he and Michael Crabtree were talking during the NFC Championship Game in Seattle on Sunday, so he really went off on the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver after making a huge play to set up an interception that sent Seattle to the Super Bowl.

After tipping the pass to set up the game-clinching interception, Sherman gave Crabtree a sarcastic pat on the butt and then gave the 49ers a choke sign that resulted in a personal foul penalty. But that was only the start. The real fireworks came when Erin Andrews interviewed him on the field.

All you had to do was wind Sherman up and let him go.

“I’m the best corner in the game!” Sherman began. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me!”

Andrews, slightly confused, asked Sherman who was talking about him.

“Crabtree! Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick!”

So there you have it. There was trash talk exchanged between the two, and Sherman got the upper hand.

Love him or hate him, Sherman is definitely one of the biggest characters in the NFL. You know, if guys who could double as WWE villains also played in the NFL.

He has the look down and everything:

Richard Sherman Erin Andrews

Video via @JimmyTraina

Cool Runnings: Jamaica bobsled team may have qualified for Sochi Olympics

Jamaica Bobsled

For the first time since 2002, it looks like Jamaica will have a bobsled team in the Winter Olympics.

Jamaica’s two-man sled of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon needed to be in the top 30 of the world rankings as of Jan. 20 in order to qualify for the Sochi Games, and they accomplished that with a clean run at qualifying in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Because the team is ranked 30th in the world, the Sochi Games announced on Twitter Saturday that the Jamaican sled qualified for the competition next month. However, things are not official until the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation announces the field of competition.

That didn’t stop Team Jamaica from sending this awesome tweet on Saturday:

What’s ironic about the story is that much like the fantastic 1993 movie “Cool Runnings” about the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, this team says it needs funding in order to participate in Sochi. Watts told The Associated Press that he is aiming to raise $80,000 to cover travel and equipment costs and he’s hoping the country’s Olympic federation will step up and sponsor them now that they’ve qualified.

I don’t even think Watts needs to worry about that. If every fan of “Cool Runnings” donated a dollar to the cause, you know how much money they’d raise? A heck of a lot more than Sanka Coffee did singing on the street.

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!

Darren Sharper investigated for sexual assault in Louisiana

Darren SharperLess than a day after we learned that Darren Sharper was arrested on suspicion of rape in California, a report emerged saying that he is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault complaint in Louisiana.

WDSU reports that a woman complained in Sept. 2013 that Sharper sexually assaulted her.

“The NOPD is investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Darren Sharper,” the New Orleans Police Department told WDSU.com in a statement. “As with every case alleging sexual assault, information gathered is extremely sensitive and the top priority of the detectives is to protect the person who filed the complaint. Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time.”

The incident between Sharper and the woman allegedly took place at a private residence in the Warehouse District. Sharper played for the New Orleans Saints for two seasons and won a Super Bowl with the team. The case is open and active.

Sharper was arrested Friday after being linked to two separate sexual assault allegations — one in January, and the other in Oct. 2013. He was booked in jail and released on $200k bond. NFL Network has suspended him for the time being.

Geno Smith kicked off Virgin American flight after dispute

Geno Smith airport

Geno Smith was kicked off a Virgin American flight on Friday after getting in a verbal dispute with a flight attendant, according to reports.

According to TMZ, the New York Jets quarterback was sitting in his seat on the plane at LAX listening to music when an announcement was made instructing passengers to turn off all electronic equipment. Smith apparently didn’t hear the announcement. He supposedly says the attendant came over and physically unplugged his headphones. That led to a yelling match between the two, and Geno got up and supposedly refused to sit down. Both sides supposedly called police, and Smith was escorted off the plane.

The New York Post reports a similar story. They say Geno was ordered off the plane for refusing to get off his phone. They described it as Geno pulling an “Alec Baldwin. ”

Now the story gets even better.

Deadspin had a source tell them that Geno began cursing out and being obnoxious toward Virgin American personnel because he was on standby for a flight from LAX to Las Vegas and that officers had to escort him out of the terminal.

Piecing it all together, my guess is that Geno was kicked off the initial flight for some sort of issue relating to using electronics, and that he caused a further disturbance while waiting for a second flight.

So, two issues with airport people in the same day. Much like his turnovers, Geno’s airport problems seem to come in bunches.