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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Stories by Gordon Dixon:

Eddy Pineiro sends great tweet after nailing game-winning field goal

Eddy Pineiro

Eddy Pineiro sent a great tweet shortly after kicking the Chicago Bears to a victory over the Denver Broncos.

When the Broncos took a 14-13 lead with just 31 seconds remaining in regulation, odds were stacked against the Bears. However, a Mitchell Trubisky pass to Allen Robinson put the Bears in field goal range with just one second left on the clock. Pineiro came on to convert a 53-yard field goal to prevent the Bears from falling to 0-2 on the season.

Following the game, Pineiro, who is in his first season as the Bears’ kicker, took to social media to sum up the emotions after his big moment.

The Bears and their fans endured heartbreak last year as a result of performances by kickers. Pineiro stepping up on Sunday wasn’t lost on one of the team’s stars, Khalil Mack.

It looks for now like the Bears have found themselves a kicker.

Freddie Freeman has interesting way to test bone spur in elbow

Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman has an interesting way of testing a troublesome bone spur that he has in his elbow.

The Atlanta Braves first baseman left Friday’s game against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning with what was described by the club as “elbow soreness.”

Freeman has dealt with the bone spur for multiple years and has been able to play through discomfort in the past. Since the issue developed, Freeman has found that washing his hair serves as a test for how the spur will bother him any given day.

Freeman’s “good to go” proclamation was confirmed when his name appeared in the Braves’ lineup for Saturday afternoon’s game.

The spur has not been a big hindrance to Freeman so far this season. He’s played 148 of Atlanta’s 149 games and has posted a batting line of .302/.392/.566 with 32 doubles, 38 home runs, and 117 RBI.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang annoyed debate overlaps with NFL game

Andrew Yang

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang took to social media Wednesday to question the date and time of his party’s debate this week.

On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will kick off Week 2 of the NFL season on “Thursday Night Football”, beginning at 8:20 pm ET. Beginning at 8:00 pm ET, the 10 leading Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage in Texas for what is scheduled to be a three-hour debate, which will run essentially the same length as the football game.

Yang will be among the candidates participating in the debate. He used Twitter to question why the debate will overlap with the NFL game, understanding how the ratings for NFL games often dwarf all other programming on TV.

The NFL is enormously popular in the U.S., so having the debate compete with the game could be a losing battle in an effort to reach the maximum amount of viewers. However, Yang probably just scored some points among football fans.

Kevin Durant not ‘moved’ by pursuit of being basketball’s GOAT

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is in the conversation for best basketball player in the world. Over time, he may even have a place in debates over the greatest player of all time (aka “GOAT”). But Durant says being considered the “GOAT” isn’t what drives him.

Durant is quite active on social media and often engages in conversations with those who reach out to him. Another such instance occurred on Twitter Wednesday. The exchange began with a question that was posed to Durant, asking him whether he thought he belonged in the conversation with Michael Jordan.

Durant and the fan then talked about the value of championship rings on player legacies.

Then came the GOAT debate, and that’s when Durant said being the GOAT isn’t something that “moves” him.

Durant has been seen as someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. While the quest to be the best ever is a mantra that rings true with athletes across the sports world, Durant claims to not be one of those athletes.

Is that because he knows he’s already too far behind to catch up to the likes of LeBron James or Michael Jordan? Or because he knows it’s an argument you can never win? Either way, at least KD is using social media in a much more positive way now.

Texas thinks LSU LB K’Lavon Chaisson faked injury against them

LSU Texas pregame

The Texas Longhorns seem to think some of the trips made by trainers to the field during their game against LSU may not have been for legitimate injuries, and a nugget shared by a reporter suggests that.

LSU beat Texas 45-38 on Saturday evening in what was the second game of the season for both teams. Among the talking points after the game was the notion that LSU players faked injuries during the second half to slow down Texas’ offense. In a Yahoo! Sports article, Pete Thamel says Tigers linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson winked at the Texas coaching staff before going to the ground with an apparent injury.

Thamel spent a week with Texas football for his story, so it’s pretty clear he’s getting Texas’ side of things, and the implication is Texas believed Chaisson was faking. However, the Longhorns’ belief that Chaisson was faking may be unfounded.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said Monday that a few of his players are out this week and that Chaisson is in a walking boot.

Chaisson has some history with Texas. He threw shade at Sam Ehlinger entering the game and then drank the Longhorns’ water before the game.

Whether the injury was gamesmanship or legitimate, this will be a storyline that will likely surface prior to next season’s rematch between the teams, not to mention the air conditioning debate.

Yankees troll Red Sox with clubhouse music after eliminating Boston from AL East

Red Sox Yankees

The New York Yankees have added more to fuel to what is already one of the biggest rivalries in North American sports.

With a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox on Monday, the Yankees eliminated the Red Sox from contention for the American League East division title race. Following the game, the Yankees blasted Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” inside the visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park.

This marks another addition to a history of trolling between the two franchises. New York played the same song last year after winning Game 2 of the ALDS in Boston. Then Boston played “New York, New York” after clinching the series at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox didn’t stop there. They again played “New York, New York” in the clubhouse after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series to win the championship.

If there’s one thing the Yankees and Red Sox enjoy it’s sticking it to the other franchise whenever the opportunity presents itself. With New York cruising towards the postseason, Boston’s hopes of making it rest on the wild card game. They are currently eight games back of the second wild card spot with 18 games remaining. Should the Red Sox be eliminated from contention there as well, there will surely be more joy in the Yankees clubhouse, wherever they happen to be at the time.

Jerry Jones: Deal with Dak Prescott is ‘imminent’

Dak Prescott

Another key member of the Dallas Cowboys could be receiving a lucrative contract extension in the not-so-distant future.

Last week, the Cowboys locked up star running back Ezekiel Elliott for the foreseeable future with the richest running back contract in NFL history. Elliott’s backfield mate, Dak Prescott, could soon be joining him.

Following Sunday’s season-opening win against the division rival New York Giants, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said a new deal for the team’s franchise quarterback was “imminent.”

Prescott got his season off to a great start by completing 25-of-32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns on the way to a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. With Prescott, Elliott, and wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have premier talent at the offensive skill positions. Jerry Jones is hoping to keep it that way for a while.

Baker Mayfield undergoes X-rays on right arm, has hand in wrap

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield underwent X-rays on his right arm following the Cleveland Browns’ season opening loss to the Tennessee Titans and had his hand in a wrap.

During Sunday’s game, Mayfield was was hit by Cameron Wake in the end zone, resulting in a safety for the Titans.

Later in the game, Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty made the observation that something didn’t look right with Mayfield’s arm.

Daugherty looks to have been correct because Mayfield was seen headed for the X-ray room after the game.

We will likely receive an update from the Browns in the coming days. For now, speculation will likely stem from a wrap that was on Mayfield’s throwing hand as he left the stadium.

Mayfield was 25/38 for 285 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the Browns’ 43-13 loss. The game was disappointing both for Mayfield and Cleveland after an offseason of hype.

UPDATE: Mayfield’s injury is not considered serious