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Monday, October 23, 2017


ESPN cancels Barstool Sports show after one episode

Pardon My Take

ESPN made a surprising decision recently to partner with Barstool Sports for a late-night TV show, but the partnership was incredibly short-lived.

On Monday, ESPN announced that it has cancelled its new show “Barstool Van Talk” after just one episode. ESPN president John Skipper admitted in a statement that the network was hoping to be able to distance itself from the Barstool brand despite working with two of its employees.

Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter are cohosts of “Pardon My Take,” which has quickly become one of the most popular podcasts in the country. The Barstool personalities released a statement of their own after the news broke.

It’s almost impossible to believe ESPN didn’t know there would be backlash after partnering with Barstool. What network executives probably didn’t expect was one of their own employees leading the charge in bashing the World Wide Leader for getting into bed with a site that has been criticized for its content, which is exactly what Sam Ponder did in a series of tweets last week.

Joe Thomas will miss rest of season with torn triceps

Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas saw his incredible streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps played come to an end on Sunday when he suffered an injury, and the All-Pro offensive tackle’s consecutive games started streak is going to meet the same fate.

The Browns revealed on Monday that Thomas suffered a torn triceps in his team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the Cleveland Browns could say they had their left tackle on the field for every offensive snap since 2007. Thomas’ streak is easily one of the most remarkable in sports, and it’s a shame to see it come to an end.

Ezekiel Elliott will play in Week 8 after judge denies request to expedite case

Ezekiel Elliott

If Ezekiel Elliott is going to have his six-game suspension reinstated, it will have to wait at least another week.

Elliott received a temporary restraining order last week that blocks his suspension for 14 days, at which point a judge will rule on whether the suspension should stand or the star running back will be granted a preliminary injunction. In response to that, the NFL filed a request to expedite Elliott’s case so a ruling would be made before the Dallas Cowboys play the Washington Redskins in Week 8. That request has been denied.

It still seems likely that Elliott is eventually going to come out on the losing end of the battle, but the case is playing out similar to the way Tom Brady’s Deflategate case unfolded. With a series of court filings and appeals, Brady dragged out his case long enough to allow him to play the entire 2015 season. However, he ended up serving his four-game suspension at the start of last season.

Some of the comments Jerry Jones has made about Elliott’s case make it seem like the Cowboys are not all that concerned. Zeke rushed for 147 yards on 26 carries and added a 72-yard touchdown reception in Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Hue Jackson critical after DeShone Kizer stayed out late Friday

DeShone Kizer

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson got a rather unpleasant surprise in his postgame news conference after a local news station got video of quarterback DeShone Kizer out drinking until 1 a.m. early Saturday.

Jackson was only made aware of video of Kizer at a bar in the early hours of Saturday morning from a question in the press conference — and he did not seem happy to learn about it.

Kizer tried to defend himself when asked about the video after the game.

Perception means a lot for quarterbacks, who are viewed as team leaders expected to set an example. Kizer being out late at a bar a 36 hours before his winless team plays a game is a pretty bad look, even if he wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. It doesn’t appear to have factored into his benching — Jackson didn’t even seem aware of it until after the game was over — but it certainly may have some negative implications for him going forward.

Browns bench DeShone Kizer again, bring in Cody Kessler

DeShone Kizer

For the second time in three weeks, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has been benched.

After throwing back-to-back interceptions on consecutive drives, the Browns benched Kizer early in the third quarter of their game against the Tennessee Titans, replacing him with Cody Kessler.

Kizer had been 12-of-20 for 114 yards, but his two interceptions were a deciding factor, especially as the Browns had only managed three points during Kizer’s time on the field.

Coach Hue Jackson continues to talk up Kizer, but now he’s benched the rookie twice this season. It’s hard to see where the Browns go from here.

Report: Jerry Jones was only voice of opposition at anthem meetings

Jerry Jones

NFL executives and owners met with players on Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding national anthem protests, and most of the reports we have heard about the dialogue were positive. However, Jerry Jones has apparently not softened his stance on the subject.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Jones was “quite vocal” in expressing his opposition to anthem protests during the meeting. In fact, he was the only owner who went against a lot of the things the players were saying about the demonstrations.

Jones was the only owner to rail against the handful of players who are still regularly kneeling, standing or staying in the locker room during the playing of the anthem, the sources said, pronouncing his disagreement with how the NFL is policing the matter before all 32 teams. On Tuesday, when a select group of owners and league officials met with players and NFLPA leadership, there were no dissenting voices or debate about how the ongoing protests were being handled. But that changed on the second day of the meetings, with Jones expressing his feelings several times in what sources describe as a “firm and forceful” manner, but restrained and not over the top.

More specifically, Jones expressed a desire to have the NFL’s game-day manual changed to outline potential punishments for players who do not stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” There were reportedly no other owners who supported his stance.

Most of what we have heard about the meeting indicates the discussions were positive, so it doesn’t sound like Jones created any kind of divide or created a tense environment. Given the public stance he has taken against anthem protests, it is no surprise Jones was the lone voice of opposition.

Sports Illustrated has prescient covers for both World Series teams

SI Astros cover

Sports Illustrated may be the big winner in the 2017 World Series matchup, as they have an applicable cover for each representative: the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. The SI jinx will apply to one team, while their cover will prove prescient for the other.

Back in June, 2014, SI ran a cover declaring the Astros the 2017 World Series champs. Consider that the Astros had just had three consecutive seasons without winning more than 56 games and that they went 70-92 in 2014. That is what made the cover the boldest of bold predictions.

But it doesn’t end there.

After the Dodgers went through a 50-game stretch with a 43-7 record, SI asked whether the Dodgers were the best team ever.

If the Astros win it all, SI will look incredible for their 2014 magazine cover. Heck, they already do just for Houston having made it. And if the Dodgers win it all, SI will have been vindicated for their cover, which may have jinxed LA at one point.

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