You gotta love Philip Rivers. The guy is so competitive that he not only brings out the best in his teammates, but also the opposing teams and their fans. And how does he do it? By playing the roll of the heel in opposing stadiums.
Check out the way the Chargers quarterback trolled Kansas City fans after Los Angeles pulled off a stunning 29-28 comeback win over the Chiefs on Thursday night:
Rivers such a legend for this pic.twitter.com/2mxIu4cZEv
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 14, 2018
Yup, that was Rivers sarcastically waving to all the Chiefs fans as he ran off the field at Arrowhead Stadium. That wasn’t a “thanks for the support” wave. That was a “haha suckers, how do you like them apples?” wave. It’s the same reason why opponents may not like Rivers, but they respect him: he’s a good heel.
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Anthony Lynn offered a great quote about his ballsy decision to go for two to end the Chargers’ game against Kansas City on Thursday night.
Los Angeles scored a touchdown with four seconds left against the Chiefs to make it 28-27. They could have attempted an extra point to tie the game, but instead, Lynn had the team go for two. They converted after the Chiefs had a completely busted coverage and won it 29-28.
After the game, Lynn explained things simply, calling it a “no-brainer.”
“We didn’t come here for a tie. We came here to win. To me, it was a no-brainer.” – Anthony Lynn on going for 2 vs. the Chiefs.
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 14, 2018
He’s absolutely right. They didn’t want to let the Chiefs’ offense have the ball and win it in overtime. This was a chance to end the game, and a good one based on how well the offense had been executing. They took advantage. Plus, also factor in the historic Chargers choke factor, and making the extra point was no lock.
The Chargers are now tied with the Chiefs for the best record in the AFC at 11-3 and have a legit shot at winning the top seed in the conference. They also ended a 9-game losing streak to the Chiefs, doing so with a statement.
- Anthony Lynn
What seemed improbable before the season began could end up happening: the Los Angeles Chargers could enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
The Chargers came back from multiple 14-point deficits to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28 with a two-point conversion on Thursday night to improve to 11-3. They have now tied the Chiefs for the best record in the conference, with the teams having split their head-to-head meetings.
So how can the Chargers end up with the top seed?
LA hosts the Ravens in Week 16 and visits Denver in Week 17. The Chiefs visit the Seahawks in Week 16 and host the Raiders in Week 17.
If the Chargers finish with a better record, which they could conceivably do if they win out and KC loses another game, they would be the top seed. However, if the teams tie with the same record, Kansas City would have the tiebreaker due to their better division record. KC went 5-1 in the AFC West compared to 4-2 for the Chargers owing to a loss to Denver.
The real shame is that what appears to be the two best teams in the AFC may be from the same division, so only one will get a bye while the other will be seeded fifth.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers was furious after the officials missed a hit to his head on the Los Angeles Chargers’ final drive against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
Rivers was down after scrambling on second down and goal at the KC 10-yard line and was hit in the head by Dorian O’Daniel. Rivers immediately was calling for a penalty flag, but none was thrown.
Here’s a look at the play, which proves Rivers was right that a penalty should have been called.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 14, 2018
Rivers wasted about 10 seconds complaining about the lack of a flag before the Chargers finally called a timeout to stop the clock with 13 seconds left. On the next play, the referees called a defensive pass interference penalty on the Chiefs as if it were a makeup call. The Chargers got a 1st-and-goal at the KC 1 and scored a touchdown, then went for two and converted to win 29-28.
There were 17 total penalties called in the game, which took away from the enjoyment somewhat.
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- Philip Rivers
Mike Leach still does not have fond feelings for Craig James, nor should he.
James, the former SMU star, led a very public smear campaign against Leach that resulted in the coach’s firing from Texas Tech in 2009. James felt his son, Adam, who was a wide receiver on the team, was mistreated by Leach after suffering a concussion in mid-December. The firing led to lawsuits filed by both sides that took years to resolve.
Leach went on to coach at Washington State beginning in 2012 and has been very successful, while James fell off the sports broadcasting map and had an unsuccessful run for senate in Texas.
What does Leach think about where James has ended up?
“You create your own karma. It looks like he might have created his. I think he’s a dishonest person and the sport is better off without him. And that’s pretty clear-cut,” Leach told Yahoo’s Pete Thamel for a piece on James.
Leach is not wrong. He has shown he is still an important figure in college football, one who can do wonders at difficult programs. James took an ill-advised foray into politics and is barely heard from these days. Both men are in spots where they should be.
Jabari Parker’s time in Chicago is turning into a major bust.
Parker, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, signed a 2-year, $40 million deal with the Bulls over the offseason. But his time with the team could be coming to an end soon as his role dwindles.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported on Thursday that Parker is being dropped from the Bulls’ rotation.
The 23-year-old has started 17 of Chicago’s 28 games this season, averaging 31 minutes per game. But he hasn’t played in more than 30 minutes in a game since Jim Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as head coach. He’s become a bench player and didn’t even crack 20 minutes in the team’s most recent game — a loss to Sacramento.
This news makes it clear that the Bulls will not pick up Parker’s option for next season. This is also a hint that Parker could be traded if other teams show interest.
The Bulls have become a mess. They fired Hoiberg, suffered their worst loss in franchise history, and players have revolted against Boylen and his practice methods. Now one of their biggest signings is seeing his role significantly reduced.
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- Jabari Parker
NBA players like to make fashion statements before games, and they tend to get even more creative before nationally-televised games. Such was the case for James Harden, who went all-out before Houston’s game on TNT Thursday night against the Lakers.
Harden was seen strolling into Toyota Center wearing a snake skin outfit that included a long-sleeve button down and some short shorts. Charles Barkley was not a fan.
"OH MY GOD."
Chuck's not feeling James Harden's pregame look pic.twitter.com/0hWbiFF0Bl
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 14, 2018
Forget Chuck. Let me tell you something: This outfit is total FIRE. I don’t just want this outfit. I NEED this outfit.
Holiday season is here. If anyone wants to know what to get me, it’s this. This is so much better than LeBron’s shorts effort.
- James Harden
Cain Velasquez could be making his long-awaited UFC return.
Velasquez is in serious talks with the UFC about headlining their February event in Phoenix on ESPN, according to a report. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani says the fight would be between Velasquez and Francis Ngannou. It is not finalized yet but moving in the right direction.
UFC is in serious talks to book Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou as the main event for UFC Phoenix on Feb. 17, according to multiple sources. The fight isn't finalized just yet, sources say, but is currently moving in the right direction. https://t.co/ujYDrFevm4
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 14, 2018
Velasquez has not fought since beating Travis Browne at UFC 200 in July 2016. This would be his first fight in over two and a half years.
Velasquez, 36, began his career 9-0 and won the UFC Heavyweight title with a win over Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010. He fought numerous times over the next three years but has only fought twice since 2014 due to multiple injury issues.
The heavyweight has missed time due to a surgically-repaired knee, shoulder, and back problems. Fans would love to see him back in the cage and may soon get their wish.
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James Harden made a statement early in the Houston Rockets’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Harden blew past Lonzo Ball around the 3-point line and then drove to the hoop for a huge dunk on JaVale McGee:
Jaames Harden dunks on Javale McGee and flexes pic.twitter.com/uzbLVVbxAN
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 14, 2018
Harden knew he had delivered a big play because he even flexed afterwards.
Houston is only 12-14 on the season and needs to start turning things around. Maybe plays like that will help them build momentum.
Stan Van Gundy absolutely roasted Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver with a great zinger.
Van Gundy was talking on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Thursday about Sarver’s threat to move the Suns to Las Vegas or Seattle. Sarver wants Phoenix to agree to pay for arena renovations, which the voters and city representatives are resisting.
What does Van Gundy think about Sarver’s threat? He had a great response.
Owner Robert Sarver (worth a half billion) wants the people of Phoenix to help pay to renovate the Suns arena & has reportedly threatened to move the team if it doesn’t happen. Never mind that Arizona is already so desperate for public funds IT SOLD OFF ITS STATE CAPITOL BUILDING pic.twitter.com/SWwVnnC96v
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) December 13, 2018
Sarver has owned the Suns since 2004. They were successful at first under Mike D’Antoni with Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire, but that broke apart before long. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010 and is headed for its fourth straight season with fewer than 25 wins. Maybe Van Gundy is right.
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