Month: August 2017

NFLPA to vote on whether director DeMaurice Smith will face opponents

The NFLPA could be making a huge change to how it elects its director.

According to The Washington Post, the NFLPA has decided that if the 14 selection committee representatives unanimously approve of a current director, he or she won’t have to face any challengers. If less than half the committee reps approve, the job would be declared “open.”

The total number of people who watched any regular-season game grew by 5 million in 2016, SportsBusiness Journal reported Monday, and a Fox Sports executive pointed to those numbers as evidence that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest had no negative impact on viewership.

“That is in conflict with the idea of a boycott (by fans upset about Kaepernick’s actions),” Fox Sports executive vice president of research, league operations and strategy Mike Mulvihill told SBJ. “If there was really a meaningful boycott going on, you’d see reach go down. And we didn’t.”

That’s not to say the NFL’s overall ratings dip had nothing to do with politics — it just wasn’t Kaepernick’s politics. Mulvihill cited coverage of the presidential election as the top factor in fewer people choosing to tune into football on a regular basis than in previous years.

The SBJ report notes that the trend could continue into 2017 due to continued strong ratings for cable news networks covering President Donald Trump’s administration.

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Categories: Hockey News


Celtics trade Avery Bradley to Pistons

The Boston Celtics are finalizing a trade to send perimeter defender Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Celtics will also send a 2019 second-round pick in exchange for forward Marcus Morris, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

The trade is one that will help create cap space for Boston’s pending free agency acquisition of Gordon Hayward, who agreed on July 4 to a four-year, $128 million max contract to join the Celtics. Boston must now create the room to fit his contract into its payroll.

In mid-July, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke on The Jump about the deal that almost was, stating that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert.
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Indiana pulled out of the deal, though, according to Wojnarowski, and later said yes to the Thunder’s offer.

Howie Long Womens Jersey Had Paul George gone to Cleveland, maybe David Griffin keeps his job with the Cavs, Russell Westbrook is out preparing for another one-man show season, and Kevin Love is living in a new home. Maybe LeBron James isn’t concerned about this Cavaliers offseason, either.

But that’s some alternate reality, and here on Earth we have George joining Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Victor Oladipo and Damontas Sabonis in Indiana. We’re also left wondering if this Cavs team will do anything to shake this lineup up ahead of the season.

For now it looks like no team is ready to challenge the reigning champion Warriors.

Cavaliers management hedged on paying its role players

He remains popular internationally, especially among Canadian basketball fans, and that will only continue as he improves on the court. Basketball is a global sport where international appeal matters. Plus, since he’s already signed to Adidas, it has a jump on showcasing his success to an international audience.

The biggest reason Wiggins doesn’t have as much national appeal now is because the Timberwolves haven’t been good. Adding Karl Anthony-Towns to the mix as the Wolves’ best player didn’t help Wiggins’ shoe stock, even if it made the Timberwolves better.

But the Wolves have made solid moves this offseason and should compete for a top-five seed in the West. Making the playoffs would be huge for Wiggins’ stature, even if he’s not the first- or second-best player on his team with Jimmy Butler in the fold.

Elite Kids D’Onta Foreman Jersey The year following Thompson’s deal, it was Smith’s turn to get paid. After all, he had turned himself into a legitimate two-way wing and was integral in bringing Cleveland its first-ever NBA championship in 2016.

But again, Cavaliers management hedged on paying its role players, especially one who would be 34 in the final year of the deal. The discrepancy in pay led to a contract holdout that led to more than three missed weeks of training camp.
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Smith and Cleveland eventually agreed on a four-year, $57 million contract with $45 million guaranteed.

But Minnesota finished No. 29 in defensive efficiency overall (despite the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio) and advanced defensive metrics like adjusted plus-minus grade Wiggins quite harshly.

Kawhi Leonard suddenly decided to smile this summer, which is delightful

Kawhi Leonard doesn’t smile; it’s not in his DNA. Not after the Spurs traded for him on draft night, not after he became the third-youngest Finals MVP ever, not after winning 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, and not after he emerged as the best two-way player in the NBA.

Authentic Youth Matt Darr Jersey But this summer, something’s been different. Just like Carmelo Anthony has Hoodie Melo, deadpan Kawhi has been smiling all offseason. He doesn’t have the disposition of a man whose team was swept out of the Western Conference Finals.

Authentic Youth Graham Glasgow Jersey Look, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, and Kawhi has a lot to smile about. He’s the third-youngest Finals MVP ever, he’s one of the top five basketball players on the planet, he’s in the third year of a five-year, $94 million contract, and odds are he’s probably going to win at least one NBA championship, Defensive Player of the Year, or league MVP in the next five years.

I wish McDonald’s still did promotional things like this. I don’t need an excuse to eat more cheeseburgers from that establishment but I’ll take one to make myself feel better about it.

I’m not sure anyone every really wanted Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to play on the same team in NBA, or college for that matter, but it was fun that these two storied rivals joined forces on the Dream Team. This shirt is extremely 1992.

Steelers vs. Giants 2017 live stream: Start time, TV channel, and how to watch online

The Pittsburgh Steelers will boast one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses in 2017. We just probably won’t get to see much of it on Friday.

Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell won’t be playing when the Steelers travel to New Jersey to open their preseason against the New York Giants. Roethlisberger and Brown get to rest, while Bell is continuing to hold out. Bell is not officially under contract until he signs his franchise contract tender.

The Seahawks went 10-5-1 and advanced to the Divisional round last season, but it felt like a disappointment after so many key injuries wiped out their depth. Most of the horses are back, though — Earl Thomas is healed from a broken leg, while Tyler Lockett (also a broken leg) is getting close, though he’s already been ruled out of this game. Doug Baldwin had a practice scare when he got his foot stepped on, but he’s fine.

The scariest injury situation didn’t even happen on the field. Second round defensive tackle Malik McDowell got in an ATV accident that resulted in severe head injuries. The team has been extremely vague on the details, perhaps out of respect to McDowell and his family, but the general feeling is that he won’t play this season. That’s a big loss for the Seahawks, who drafted McDowell to help shore up a suspect interior line.

In non-injury news, Seattle’s running back competition will be heavily scrutinized. Free agent Eddie Lacy is the presumptive favorite, but incumbent Thomas Rawls isn’t going away, and in fact worked exclusively with the first team in practice last week. There’s also pass-catching specialist C.J. Prosise to account for. The Seahawks’ backfield was ruined by injuries last season, but it’s a promising unit on paper if everybody stays healthy.redskins_083_c2b6005825f95d4a-180x180

After being cut by 49ers and Jets, Bruce Ellington made a huge impact for Texans

Bruce Ellington needed fewer than four minutes to make an impact with the Houston Texans. The fourth-year wideout, matched up against All-Pro Malcolm Butler, used his explosive lateral speed to create playmaking separation in his first drive with the team, gaining 60 yards on three targets — all completions — to emerge as the latest threat in the Texans’ offense.

Damaging Goff’s development was a lack of help. In just seven games he was sacked 26 times and had to rely on Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin to throw to. A poor season from Todd Gurley didn’t help much either.

Now it’s crucial that Goff rebounds from those rookie struggles, because it’s the Rams’ best shot at being good any time soon.

If Goff makes significant progress, a potentially upstart offense will be paired with defense that finished top 10 in yards allowed in 2016 and has pieces in place like Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn.
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There were other pieces in the deal, but at its core, the Rams traded away a second-round pick for Watkins. If he plays up to his ability, stays healthy, and remains with the team after 2017, that’s a steal.

The Broncos will have other new faces on their much-maligned offensive line. Free agent addition Menelik Watson is listed as a starter while recent acquisition Allen Barbre is currently Max Garcia’s backup at left guard, but he could easily move into a starting spot once he has more time with the team under his belt.

One player who won’t make his Broncos debut yet is Jamaal Charles, according to Joseph. The veteran running back is still being eased back from a knee injury that cost him most of his final season with the Chiefs.
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The Panthers went into their two-minute drill and Webb got them into field goal range. However, he committed an ugly turnover when he badly overthrew a ball in the end zone, leading to an easy interception by Texans safety Corey Moore.

This is clearly the correct option, though.

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Authentic Adam Gotsis Jersey Gray’s appeal isn’t that he’s the greatest pitcher on the market or that he’s exceedingly dominant and will be for years. His appeal is that he’s under contract through 2019 and cheap. While the Dodgers are very much into the idea of that kind of pitcher — see, Alex Wood — it’s not really the upgrade they’re shooting for. They want a postseason rotation that breathes fire.

Gray would make them markedly better, but his 2017 season has been a story of consistency, not dominance. His high in innings pitched this month is 6 1/3 innings, and his low is 6 IP. All four starts have been quality.

This is clearly the correct option, though. If they’re going to ditch prospects, ditch them for a fire-breather. Technically, Darvish has been something of a disappointment, with a 4.01 ERA (3.99 FIP) and a 6-9 record that isn’t as nice as the Rangers would have hoped. He’s striking out nearly two batters fewer per nine innings this year, and he allowed 10 earned runs in his last start. Kershaw has allowed 12 earned runs in 10 starts since the end of May.

Plus, Darvish could very well leave at the end of the season, and with the new collective bargaining agreement complicating the rules for compensation, there was a chance the Rangers would lose twice: first, lose out on a playoff spot, and then, see Darvish leave for another team as a free agent, with only a pick in the 75-80 range coming back to them as compensation.

You know the World Series you want. Your job is usually to set those expectations on fire.

Think about 2013. It could have been A’s/Pirates! That would have been a small-market delight, but it also could have been Dodgers/Tigers, a classic matchup of two original teams without a lot of championship success in the last 30 years. Heck, even Rays/Braves would have been interesting, just because of the freshness.

Mets trade Lucas Duda to the Rays for RHP Drew Smith

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is heading to Tampa Bay,’s Mark Feinsand reports. There have been rumors that the Rays were interested in both Duda and Addison Reed in recent days, and the trade came together quickly after initial reports of the swap this afternoon. Joel Sherman was the first to report the connection.
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Duda is currently hitting .246/.347/.532, a respectable bounce back from a season plagued by injuries last year. He has 17 home runs in 219 plate appearances to go with that line. He’s been with the Mets since 2010, and has 125 career home runs in 760 games.

Tampa Bay already has a first baseman in 29-year-old Logan Morrison, but as Ken Rosenthal notes, the Rays have increased roster flexibility to slot Duda’s left-handed offense into their lineup in the designated hitter slot now that former DH Corey Dickerson is proving himself more than capable in the outfield.

Sale started the All-Star Game last year as a member of the White Sox, so this start makes him the first to ever do it in consecutive years for different teams. This isn’t Scherzer’s first All-Star start, either, as he began the game for the AL back in 2013 while with the Tigers.

Womens La’el Collins Jersey As for the lineups, the National League is taking advantage of having a designated hitter at their disposal to make their lineup even more frightening and full of muscle:

Don’t sleep on the AL’s lineup, even if it lacks the same kind of established names of the NL’s starting nine: all of these dudes are having a wonderful 2017, and it’s still a situation where last year’s MVP runner-up is batting ninth. Sure, we’d all love to see Mike Trout share a field with Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton and Betts and Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, but this is still some fine baseballing to look forward to. And we’ll get subs often for the same reason the pitchers won’t be leaned on too heavily.

Jaguars activate CB Jalen Ramsey from PUP list

Second-year Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was activated Saturday off the physically unable to perform list, the team announced.

Ramsey, a 2016 first-round pick, had two interceptions (one returned for a TD), 55 solo tackles, 14 pass breakups and one forced fumble. He was named to’s 2016 All-Rookie team.

New England’s bye week comes at a convenient time, in the middle of the season and before a tough road game in Denver. Then comes a long road trip to Mexico City and a game against the Raiders, a fellow contender in the AFC. That game against Oakland, given the location and the strength of opponent, might be the toughest game on New England’s schedule. It comes right before the first of two Dolphins games in three weeks.

The final month of the 2017 regular season for the Patriots is a Steelers sandwich with AFC East bread. New England’s final road game of the year, in Pittsburgh and with a late kickoff, could come with massive playoff implications. We certainly are not going to suggest the last two home games of the season, against the Bills and Jets, will carry such weight.

Patriots schedule 2017, record prediction: 12-4
If we’re being honest, every single game on the Patriots’ 2017 schedule is winnable for the best team in the NFL. Considering the impressive offseason moves they made — not including the soon-to-be-completed NFL Draft — another undefeated slate similar to New England’s 2007 season is not a crazy suggestion.

But too many talented, playoff-caliber teams — the Chiefs, Texans, Falcons, Broncos, Raiders and Steelers among them — present traps for the Patriots, whose occasional lapses into complacency would be totally understood. That said, expect the Super Bowl 51 champions to be right back in contention for the Super Bowl 52 crown.


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Categories: Basketabll News


Preseason NFL schedule 2017: Team-by-team, week-by-week game matchups

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No, NFL preseason games do not matter. And yes, many have issues with the league’s preseason format (and ticket pricing). But the NFL preseason schedule does at least present fans chances to see teams that otherwise would not come to their cities given the 2017 divisional matchups for the regular season.

Ryan O’Reilly Jersey The 2017 NFL preseason schedule includes eight nationally televised games, including the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game, which this year features the Cowboys and Cardinals.

Meanwhile, receiver Sammy Watkins, who the Rams acquired from the Bills in a three-way trade Friday, did not dress for the game.

Neither Cowboys second-year QB Dak Prescott nor sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott played, either. While Elliott was handed a six-game suspension Friday for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, Darren McFadden provided optimism for the Dallas ground game. McFadden carried the ball six times for 28 yards, once leveling a defender with a stiff arm, and hauled in a catch for eight more yards. As noted by Pro Football Focus, he took all 19 snaps with the first team offense.

Cowboys rookie defensive end Taco Charlton, the No. 28 overall pick out of Michigan, made his presence felt in L.A. Saturday night, tallying three solo tackles and this first-quarter sack of Rams QB Sean Mannion.

Pittsburgh endured a four-game losing streak through mid-October and early November in 2016, and this portion of the schedule won’t be easy. Rivalry games against Baltimore are always physical, and two weeks later comes a rematch of the Steelers’ AFC divisional playoff game vs. the Chiefs. It will be interesting to see where the Bengals fit in the AFC North race when the teams meet in Week 7. From there, Pittsburgh’s first Sunday Night Football game of the season is a trap game at Detroit.