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#pounditFriday, April 16, 2021

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Daniel Snyder goes to court against Bruce Allen over negative stories

Daniel Snyder

Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder’s quest to uncover the source of negative reporting against him has taken him to one of the people he once worked most closely with.

As first reported by Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Snyder has filed suit in federal court asking that his attorneys be allowed to search the communications of former Washington president Bruce Allen. Snyder alleged that Allen is one of those being used as a source for negative stories about Snyder, citing the fact that Allen’s name does not come up in the stories despite working closely with Snyder for over a decade.

Snyder also alleged that Allen spoke frequently with the attorney for Washington’s former minority owners while they were suing Snyder over his attempt to block their sale of their shares of the team. Snyder believes that Allen shared extensive conversations with the attorney prior to the stories being published.

Allen was fired in 2019 after long being one of Snyder’s closest confidants. That doesn’t matter here, though, as Snyder is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to discover who he thinks is leaking negative information about him. He’s even gone after the wife of a former employee for the same reason.

Video: Benches clear in first inning of Indians-White Sox game

Adam Eaton Andres Gimenez

The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox played a matinee game on Thursday, and it took no time at all for tempers to flare between the two AL Central rivals.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and outfielder Adam Eaton followed with a base hit to right field. Anderson went first to third on the hit, which resulted in the throw going to third and Eaton trying to take second. Eaton was initially safe when he slid into second, but he was called out after he lost contact with the bag. That’s when the trouble started.

Eaton felt that Cleveland infielder Andres Gimenez shoved him off the bag, which resulted in the out. Eaton jumped up and gave Gimenez a light shove before pleading his case to the umpire. Things escalated from there and both benches cleared, as you can see below:

Gimenez may have nudged Eaton off the bag with his leg, but you can understand why the umpire missed it or chose not to call it. There was no blatant shove, and it looked like Gimenez bumped Eaton off the bag just by coming out of his crouched position.

The MLB season is young, but this is not the first bench-clearing incident we have seen. Fortunately, the two teams were separated quickly.

Michael Jordan will be presenter for Kobe Bryant at Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame next month, and he will have a very fitting presenter.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday announced the list of presenters for the upcoming inductees, who will be enshrined on May 15. Michael Jordan will do the honors for Kobe and the Bryant family. You can see the full list of presenters below.

Jordan was the obvious choice, and there is little doubt he was honored to accept the invitation. Kobe idolized Jordan and modeled his game after the six-time NBA champion. We were reminded of that when “The Last Dance” aired last year, as Kobe gave Jordan credit for his own five championship rings when he was interviewed for the documentary.

Kobe openly tried to play like Jordan, talk like him, lead like him, and win like him. Even his love letter to basketball was just like Jordan’s. Bryant wanted to help pass down all his knowledge to younger players upon retiring, and that is probably because of everything he took from Jordan.

Bryant’s enshrinement in the Hall of Fame will be emotional for many people. Jordan should make for the perfect presenter.

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez announce they have split

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez denied the rumors last month that they had called off their engagement, but the couple has now officially split.

In a joint statement to TODAY on Thursday, Rodriguez and Lopez announced they are going their separate ways. They said the split is an amicable one and that they will remain friends.

“We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects,” the statement read. “We wish the best for each other and one another’s children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support.”

A-Rod also shared what looked like a breakup video on his Instagram story with Coldplay’s “Fix You” playing in the background.

A-Rod and J-Lo responded to the breakup reports a month ago by saying they were “working through some things.” There have since been several hints that their engagement is off, including a photo Lopez posted where she wasn’t wearing an engagement ring. Rodriguez also announced recently that he was buying a stake in the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Lopez’s name was not included. That was noteworthy since the two tried to buy the New York Mets together last year.

We know one controversial former MLB player who predicted the split earlier this year. It turns out he was right.

Peyton Manning to host ‘College Bowl’ quiz show

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning has repeatedly turned down offers from networks to become an NFL analyst, but the legendary quarterback is still landing TV gigs.

The once-popular quiz show “College Bowl” is returning to NBC in June, and Brian Steinberg of Variety reports that Manning is going to host it. Peyton’s brother Cooper will also be involved in some capacity.

After debuting as a radio program in the 1950s, “College Bowl” moved to CBS and then NBC and aired from 1959 to 1970. The show involves teams of three that represent some of the top colleges in the country working together to answer questions on a wide range of topics. Manning’s alma mater, the University of Tennessee, is one of the schools that will be represented. Others include Ole Miss, where Eli Manning went to school, the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

Manning made a funny comment a couple months back about how his face is on TV too much, but he clearly enjoys it. While many expect him to eventually get into broadcasting or perhaps join an NFL team’s front office, it sounds like his focus will be elsewhere for the foreseeable future.

Aldon Smith agrees to deal with Seahawks

Aldon Smith Cowboys

The Seattle Seahawks have had interest in acquiring Aldon Smith since at least last season, and they have finally landed the veteran pass-rusher.

Smith and the Seahawks reached an agreement on a one-year deal Thursday, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Smith, 31, spent the 2020 season with the Dallas Cowboys. The Seahawks tried to trade for him last year but their offers were turned away.

Prior to last season, Smith was out of the NFL since 2015 due to a host of legal and personal issues. He has, by all indications, kept his head on straight since being reinstated. Smith also made some physical changes that appear to have helped him last year.

Smith had five sacks last season and 50 QB pressures. Signing him should be an inexpensive way for the Seahawks to bolster their front seven.

LaMarcus Aldridge announces retirement from NBA over heart issue

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge was considered a key addition for the Brooklyn Nets last month as they continue to load up for a championship run, but the veteran big man has surprisingly decided to call it a career.

Aldridge announced his retirement in a statement on Thursday. He revealed that he played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat during Brooklyn’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and called it “one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.” The 35-year-old says he has since felt better but that the episode made him realize he needs to focus on his family and health.

You can read the full statement below:

Aldridge averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game between the Nets and San Antonio Spurs this season, so he was still capable of contributing. He was pursued by multiple teams before he signed with Brooklyn after his Spurs buyout. He played 26.0 minutes per game in five contests with the Nets, which shows that they considered him an important part of their rotation.

Aldridge finishes his career with seven All-Star appearances, the most recent of which came in 2019.

Woman drops sexual assault lawsuit against Deshaun Watson over privacy concerns

Deshaun Watson

A judge ruled last week that most of the women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson must reveal their identities in their suits, and at least one of the alleged victims will not be moving forward because of that decision.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, one of the women who had previously sued Watson under the pseudonym Jane Doe has dropped her suit. She cited “privacy and security concerns” and indicated she may refile the lawsuit at a later date.

There was a report earlier in the week that a woman had dropped her lawsuit against Watson, and it sounds like this could be the same person. TMZ notes that the total amount of lawsuits is now back down to 22 after another massage therapist, Erica Chapman, filed one this week.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Justin Fields has made a noteworthy change in his game

Justin Fields

Justin Fields threw for NFL teams at his second Pro Day on Wednesday, and San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was one of the people the former Ohio State star was hoping to impress. One theory is that Fields may have made some customizations to his game in an attempt to capture Shanahan’s attention.

William McFadden of The Falcoholic made an interesting observation about the way Fields took snaps on Wednesday. When he was standing in the shotgun, Fields had his right foot back. That was different from the way he took shotgun snaps during games at Ohio State, which was with his left foot back.

Why is that noteworthy? McFadden reviewed film and discovered that Matt Ryan took snaps with his left foot back until 2015, when Shanahan became the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

Could that have been a coincidence? Possibly, but we doubt it. It was reported earlier in the week that Fields was working on specific drills that might impress Shanahan.

All of the talk has been about the 49ers taking a different QB at No. 3 overall, but we won’t know until the pick is in. Fields appears to still be in the mix, at the very least.

Video: 76ers fans taunt Kevin Durant during win over Nets

Kevin Durant

Philadelphia 76ers fans got the chance to taunt Kevin Durant a bit during Wednesday’s game.

Joel Embiid was at the free throw line late in the Sixers’ 123-117 win over the Brooklyn Nets. As he was at the line, Sixers fans broke out with the “KD sucks” chant.

That was a pretty loud chant for only having an attendance of 4,094 fans at Wells Fargo Center for the game.

The Sixers and Nets are competing at the top of the Eastern Conference. Thanks to their win, the Sixers have the top spot in the East by a game over Brooklyn. The Bucks are also in the mix with those two as the top teams in the East. But there is definitely a rivalry brewing, which explains the fans’ behavior.

It’s really nice to hear fans taunting an opposing player again. Even one player said as much this week, though we’re not sure Durant would feel similarly.