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Sunday, July 12, 2020


Oakland Raiders selected to appear on ‘Hard Knocks’

The Oakland Raiders built a roster of characters that were meant for HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Fittingly, they were announced Tuesday as the team that will be featured on the training camp show.

“If you’re a fan of football or great storytelling, HARD KNOCKS with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television,” HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson said. “We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp.”

“Since the AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders have been a part of some of the most iconic moments in League history,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “We at NFL Films have been thrilled and honored to showcase the mythology of the Raiders from the Holy Roller, Sea of Hands, Ghost to the Post all the way to today with Coach Gruden and this unbelievable cast of players and coaches. Needless to say, we’re very much looking forward to this season of Hard Knocks.”

This will be the 14th edition of the program, which began in 2001. HBO said in their press announcement that episodes of “Hard Knocks” have averaged 3.9 million viewers over the past four seasons.

What makes the Raiders so perfect for the show? Let’s start with head coach Jon Gruden, who was a television personality for ESPN several years prior to his return to coaching. Then they have Antonio Brown, who forced his way out of Pittsburgh and is now in his first season with the Raiders. They also added Vontaze Burfict, a player who’s been fined more money than any other player in the history of the league. Their GM Mike Mayock also was just a TV analyst for NFL Network.

There should be no shortage of entertainment with this year’s version of the show.

Julian Edelman to star in Showtime documentary

Julian Edelman

Tom Brady made headlines for starring in a documentary last offseason, and his favorite receiver is doing the same heading into 2019.

According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, a Showtime Sports documentary called “100%: Julian Edelman” is set to air on Friday, June 28 at 9 p.m. The documentary will chronicle Edelman’s path to the NFL in addition to the obstacles he has faced in recent years, which include his four-game performance-enhancing drug suspension last year and the torn ACL he came back from prior to that.

Edelman has always been one of the most interesting stories in football, as he went from being a dual-threat quarterback at Kent State to becoming the 232nd pick in the NFL Draft back in 2009. From there, the Patriots turned him into one of the best slot receivers in football. He has gone on to enjoy incredible success playing alongside Tom Brady and was named the MVP of Super Bowl LIII.

While Edelman is 33 and has battled some injuries, the Patriots recently proved that they still value him a great deal. The documentary should be an interesting one for all football fans.

Watch: Bruce Willis’ baseball swing is not the prettiest

Bruce Willis

Diehard Phillies fan Bruce Willis was at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Wednesday to hang out with the Phillies and throw out the ceremonial pitch before the team’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He also decided to take some batting practice on the field prior to the game, and let’s just say his swing could use some work.

Willis made some solid contact and even drove a few balls, but his form was more on the unconventional side.

He later one-hopped his ceremonial first pitch:

He’s probably not the first player you’d call to fill a spot on your slow-pitch softball team, but he has to be a great clubhouse presence.

Willis, 64, is one of the best known actors in the world. He’s the star of the “Die Hard” franchise, and has other prominent credits such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Armageddon,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Sin City,” and much more. He grew up in Carneys Point Township, New Jersey and was a Phillies fan.

Giannis Antetokounmpo passed on role in ‘Space Jam 2’

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo passed on a role in “Space Jam 2” because he is not interested in going “Hollywood.”

LeBron James is starring in a “Space Jam” reboot and set to film this summer. He has been seeking other NBA stars to join him in the film, but the Milwaukee Bucks emerging star turned down the role.

“I don’t like being Hollywood,” Antetokounmpo said via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I don’t like all this extra drama. I am just going to try to be me.”

Antetokounmpo also apparently did not want to give up two weeks of private workouts to train for the movie.

Though passing on such a role will limit Antetokounmpo’s chances of growing in popularity and becoming known among a new audience, NBA fans have to respect his choice. The guy seems extremely focused on his craft, which helps explain why he has jumped to MVP levels so quickly in his career.

Joey Bosa to make appearance on new ‘Game of Thrones’ season

Joey Bosa Chargers

Anticipation is building for the premiere of the eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” in two weeks, and Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa will be more than just one of the millions of devoted fans to tune in.

He’s part of the show.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Bosa is set to make a cameo appearance during an upcoming “Game of Thrones” episode.

While Bosa certainly has the size and stature to play a role on the hit series, it will be tough for him to top Noah Syndergaard’s cameo appearance from a couple years back. Still, between that and Bosa’s younger brother Nick expected to be a top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, April is going to be an exciting month for the Bosa family.

Spike Lee jokes about Knicks during Oscars: ‘We’re trying to tank’

Spike Lee can’t even escape the New York Knicks during the Academy Awards.

Lee on Sunday night won his first Oscar, receiving the nod for Best Adapted Screenplay for his movie “BlacKkKlansman.” Prior to the announcement of the award, actor Samuel L. Jackson, who was presenting along with Brie Larson, made an announcement on TV to Spike, telling him that his beloved Knicks had broken their 18-game home losing streak with a 130-118 win over the San Antonio Spurs. News like that would ordinarily make a fan happy, but Lee shot back that the Knicks are “trying to tank.”

Nobody ever said Lee wasn’t a fan in the know. He understands the team’s goals, which is to land the major game-changer, not to mention potentially sign Kevin Durant.

Watch: Mahershala Ali played college basketball for Saint Mary’s

Mahershala Ali

Long before he became an Oscar-winning actor, Mahershala Ali was actually a college basketball player.

Ali, 45, grew up in Hayward, Calif. and attended Saint Mary’s College, where he played basketball for four seasons. Take a look at this clip of some of his highlights while playing for the Gaels. Back then, Ali was known as Mahershala Gilmore.

Ali played in 97 games for Saint Mary’s, averaging 3.6 points per game during his career. He averaged 7.0 points per game as a senior.

In recent years, Ali has become a star in the acting world thanks to his performances in movies such as “Moonlight,” “Green Book,” and TV shows like “House of Cards,” “True Detective” and “Luke Cage.”