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#pounditSaturday, October 24, 2020

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Joe Buck offers explanation for leaked military flyover video

Joe Buck

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were criticized earlier in the week after a leaked video clip appeared to show them mocking a military flyover prior to Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Green Bay Packers game, but Buck says the footage was taken entirely out of context.

The clip, which went viral on Monday (you can see it here), showed Buck and Aikman mocking the flyover for being a waste of tax dollars. Aikman was also heard saying the flyover, which was over an empty stadium, would not have happened if Joe Biden were in office. According to Buck, the two broadcasters were being completely sarcastic.

Buck spoke about the video clip on his “Daddy Issues” podcast with co-host Oliver Hudson. He said he and Aikman were mocking a member of the FOX crew who made political remarks at a dinner the night before.

“This person happens to be very far left and said, ‘Well, under Biden-Harris, you know that’s not going to happen,’ and Troy was repeating that watching the flyover,” Buck explained, as transcribed by Mollie Walker of the New York Post.

“So they clipped that as if he’s saying that and as if he’s a Harris-Biden fan. But he’s repeating something that somebody said the night before, which is unbelievable. If you know Troy at all, he was being 100 percent sarcastic. Repeating for the person in the truck to hear, like ‘Ha, ha, ha.’”

Buck said he was also poking fun at the unnamed crew member.

“And then I go into a 1950s voice, like, ‘There’s your hard-earned tax dollars at work,’ or whatever … Then run a headline that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck bash flyovers, which it had nothing to do with any of that. It was a political conversation amongst our group that somebody clipped and sold for the exact reason that we’re doing this. And it stirs people up. And words get weaponized. And then people have to weigh in. ‘Oh, well, screw those guys. They don’t like the military.’ WHAT?!”

Buck went on to explain that he is very pro-military and that both his father and grandfather were in the service. His father, Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, was awarded a Purple Heart after being shot during World War II.

The clip that was leaked was recorded during a pregame rehearsal, and Buck says it wasn’t even FOX footage. Aikman addressed the comments with a lengthy tweet this week, but Buck’s explanation answered more questions.

Austin Barnes does it all in Dodgers’ Game 3 win

Austin Barnes home run

Austin Barnes was a versatile star for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the team’s 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Friday night.

Barnes called and caught Walker Buehler’s gem, which included 10 strikeouts over six innings. On top of that, he produced from the nine-hole in the Dodgers’ order.

In the top of the fourth, Barnes laid down a textbook safety squeeze bunt to make it 4-0 Dodgers. Two innings later, Barnes went deep to the bullpen in left-center for a solo home run to make it 5-0.

Barnes went 1-for-3 in the game with the two RBIs. That was his first home run of the postseason. More importantly, the hit broke a 0-for-22 streak in the World Series Barnes had dating back to 2017.

Barnes is batting .350 this postseason with three runs and three RBIs. He was filling in for Will Smith with the start and gave the Dodgers exactly what they were looking for.

Zach Randolph’s wife files for divorce after ‘hacked’ tweet

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph’s wife has filed for divorce a month after being the alleged subject of an offensive tweet from Randolph’s Twitter account.

According to Mike Walters of The Blast, Faune Drake filed for divorce from Randolph last week in Los Angeles County Courts. The couple had been married for six years, have known each other since childhood, and have five children.

The divorce filing comes over a month after a bizarre incident involving Randolph’s Twitter account.

On Sept. 2, Randolph’s account tweeted “I MARRIED A H-E” (censored by LBS).

That tweet was quickly deleted, followed by a new message where Randolph claimed his account was hacked. That tweet has also been since deleted. Other users discovered at least one other tweet from several months earlier hinting that Randolph was unhappy with the marriage.

It is not clear if the couple had a prenuptial agreement. Randolph has yet to respond to the filing.

Randolph played 17 seasons in the NBA — eight with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 39-year-old made two All-Star teams during his career and tallied career earnings of nearly $200 million. Randolph also made headlines a few years ago for a major marijuana arrest.

H/T Egotastic Sports

Walker Buehler makes some history with strikeout total in Game 3

Walker Buehler

The Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 3 of the World Series 6-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Friday night, and Walker Buehler’s pitching helped them get the win.

Buehler allowed just one run on three hits and a walk in six innings and left with a 6-1 lead. He struck out 10 batters in the outing.

According to MLB Communications, Buehler is the first pitcher in World Series history to record double-digit strikeouts in no more than six innings pitched.

Buehler has been dominant this postseason for the Dodgers. He’s 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and a whopping 39 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Catcher Austin Barnes was highly complimentary of Buehler.

Buehler says a fearless approach has helped him pitch well in the pressure situations.

“I feel like I’ve failed in these moments. I’ve taken the failures that I’ve had and tried to learn from them,” Buehler said in his postgame interview on FOX.

The Dodgers now have a 2-1 series lead.

Video: Ray Lewis breaks down film of terrible defense across NFL this season

Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis did a great film breakdown on this week’s episode of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

Lewis, a Hall of Fame linebacker, has been upset with the poor quality of defense played this season. For his film breakdown, he singled out a handful of plays from Weeks 5 and 6 and analyzed where the defenses went wrong.

The first clip showed how a poor choice by Houston Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham played a role in Derrick Henry’s 94-yard touchdown run for the Tennessee Titans. Lewis ascribed the problem to a lack of trust by Cunningham in his teammates.

The second clip showed how the Carolina Panthers’ defense failed to communicate on a touchdown run by Todd Gurley in the team’s 23-16 Week 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The third clip showed the Washington Football Team’s poor defense on a Daniel Jones zone read keeper in a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants.

The fourth clip showed the Dallas Cowboys’ defense failure to communicate on a four-receiver set passing play by the Arizona Cardinals in their embarrassing 38-10 home loss on Monday night.

Lewis may have been picky by choosing just a few plays that were obvious defensive breakdowns, but seeing his analysis for where they all went wrong is top-notch stuff. You can also see why his ability to read things and communicate helped make him a Hall of Famer.

Deion Branch not happy after being left off Patriots’ all-dynasty Team

When a team has a period of success as lengthy as the New England Patriots have, some players are going to feel that they didn’t get their due for their contributions. Deion Branch is one of them.

The Patriots’ Hall of Fame announced its All-Dynasty Team on Thursday. The undertaking is part of the creation of an exhibit to celebrate the franchise’s success since 2001, and was selected via a combination of fan voting and a panel of experts. Every member of the team played in at least one Super Bowl.

The voters selected four wide receivers: Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, Troy Brown, and Wes Welker. Notably absent was Branch, and he did not hide his displeasure with that on Twitter.

It’s hard to argue with the inclusion of Edelman. Moss had three remarkable seasons with New England, even though he did not win a Super Bowl. Brown never played for any team other than the Patriots. His best season came in 2001, though that was his only 1,000-yard year and he has the least impressive profile statistically. Welker posted some huge numbers, but he, too, never won a Super Bowl. That said, he was Tom Brady’s favorite target for many years, and the two stayed close even after Welker left the organization.

Branch not only won a Super Bowl, but he was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX, when he caught 11 passes for 133 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he never had a 1,000-yard season either.

A team like this is meant to create arguments. It has succeeded, although it seems to have stung Branch a little bit.

Pat Riley hints at Heat re-signing Goran Dragic this offseason

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic’s season did not end how he would have hoped, but it sounds like he will get a chance to run it back with the Miami Heat again next year.

Speaking with the media on Friday, Heat president Pat Riley hinted at the team re-signing Dragic, an unrestricted free agent, this offseason. Riley made a point of mentioning Dragic as a player that the Heat would like to take care of, per Five Reasons Sports Network.

Dragic, now 34 years old, was Miami’s top scorer and primary ballhandler for much of their NBA Finals run. However, he tore the plantar fascia in his left foot and played a total of just 34 minutes in the championship series. With the Heat winning two games against the Los Angeles Lakers without Dragic and being within striking distance in a couple of others, a healthy Dragic likely would have made a big difference.

In any case, Dragic has been with the Heat since 2015. Over that years, he has constantly sacrificed for the team, accepting reducing roles and stepping aside at times for Miami to focus on developing their young players. Dragic even said before that he was open to take a discount to return. It seems only right though for the Heat to reward him for his loyalty and selflessness.

Video: Ji-Man Choi does full splits at first base

Ji-Man Choi

Ji-Man Choi went full gymnast in order to get an out in the field during Game 3 of the World Series between his Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The first batter of the game was Mookie Betts, who grounded a ball to short off Charlie Morton. Willy Adames fielded the ball with his backhand and then bounced a throw to Choi, who stretched for the out. Choi went full splits to get Betts:

It’s the World Series, and players are willing to do anything to win. For Choi, that means going full splits to get an out. What an athletic play.

Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has stunning first half in first career start

Graham Mertz

Redshirt freshman Graham Mertz was pressed into duty Friday night for his first career start, and it’s so far gone better than anyone could have imagined.

Mertz, a four-star recruit from Kansas, started against the Illinois Fighting Illini after regular starter Jack Coan underwent foot surgery earlier in October. Mertz promptly went 14/14 in the first half, throwing for 190 yards and four touchdowns.

They weren’t easy touchdowns, either. Mertz’s fourth score was a perfectly floated pass to wide receiver Danny Davis to beat the secondary.

Mertz’s performance even gained the attention of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mertz was recruited by the likes of Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama, but ultimately decided to join the Badgers. He came with a pedigree, having gained attention after throwing five touchdown passes and winning MVP honors at the 2019 All-American Bowl. If this is a sign of things to come, they’ll be very happy about that. It also means that, at this rate, Coan might not have a starting job once he’s healthy again.

Video: Players and announcers hilariously fooled by flying shoe in Illinois-Wisconsin game

Wisconsin shoe

Sometimes, football players have to deal with their equipment malfunctioning on the field. More rarely, that malfunction fools just about everyone both on and off the field.

That’s what happened during Friday’s Big Ten opener between the Wisconsin Badgers and Illinois Fighting Illini. Wisconsin tight end Jake Ferguson caught a pass over the middle, and as he was being tackled, his shoe flew off. One problem: his shoe looked an awful lot like a loose football.

The errant shoe got the cameraman, the announcer, and at least a handful of players. It’s pretty easy to see why.

Normally we see great plays fool the camera like this. There’s plenty of room for something weird like this too, though.