Monthly Archives: December 2016

After O’Neal was traded to Miami and Jackson’s contract wasn’t extended

Elite Womens Mike Schmidt Jersey Kobe would get off on beating Chopra to the office in the mornings. He was touched when one of the young editors on the crew volunteered to work through Thanksgiving rather than go home to see his family. Kobe admired the commitment and saluted it with a plate of food from his own table.

“It’s hard to even describe what it was like,” Chopra said. “He just has this relentlessness that is both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. But now I look back and … I miss that to some extent.”

It’s not hard to see what was happening. The crew became his new team. The movie became his new life. If he couldn’t live like a legend anymore, if his body wouldn’t allow it, at least he could start memorializing the life he led.

“I was like, ‘How about we just try it a different way? Just try.'” Fox said. Kobe looked at him and asked why he should do anything differently when his way had gotten him to where he was.

“Then I started running his résumé through my head,” Fox said. “This was after we’d won a few championships and he’d elevated himself to the top player in the league. And I’m like, ‘Who am I to say your way isn’t the better way?’
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“At a certain point, we just needed to get out of the way.”

Fox eventually did. After O’Neal was traded to Miami and Jackson’s contract wasn’t extended, Fox wasn’t sure he could deal with the Black Mamba unchained. He already had a bad foot injury and a neck problem. So he told the Lakers he was going to retire with one year left on his contract. The team tried to change his mind. He wouldn’t, and so they traded him to Boston. He never played another game.

“I knew [he] was going to be hard-core all the time,” Fox said. “I thought I would reinjure myself and be walking with a cane the rest of my life. … I just couldn’t do it.”

Charles Woodson’s son literally steals the mic and tells reporters his dad’s the ‘best player in the NFL’

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Charles Woodson has one more week with the Raiders and the NFL before he retires, but Thursday’s home game — his final home game — against the Chargers was no doubt an emotional one for him and Raiders fans. The Raiders won in overtime and the game was basically an all-around tribute to Woodson.
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The story of the Giants season has been their inability to finish games. No club has suffered more heart-breaking defeats than the G-men, and they’ve done it in historic fashion. The Giants are the first team since 1970 with five losses where the game-winning score came in the last 10 seconds or in overtime. Their six losses by four points or fewer are the most in the NFL this season.

For much of the season, the Vikings’ winning formula has been simple: Give the ball to Adrian Peterson and let him run. Rinse, repeat. Minnesota is third in percentage of called rushing plays, and is 9-0 when it runs the ball at least 25 times. While that strategy is often good enough to beat mediocre teams, it’s not a solid game plan against the league’s best. The Vikings are 1-4 against teams with a current winning record and 8-1 against everyone else.

The key to the Vikings’ success down the stretch — and whether they can make some noise in the playoffs — is a more diversified offense that is rounding into form. While Peterson is still the team’s most important offensive weapon, Bridgewater also needs to be able to make plays with his arm in order to keep opposing defenses honest.

Over the last two weeks, Teddy Bridgewater has shown that he can be more than just a passenger in the Vikings offense. Against Arizona and Chicago, Bridgewater completed 75 percent of his passes for 566 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. If he can continue this career-best stretch of football, the Vikings will be a tough out in January.

This is the Knicks team Phil Jackson envisioned

Phil Jackson usually sits in a section near midcourt when he attends New York Knicks home games, about 10 rows back from the floor. He¡¯s sometimes flanked by other members from the Knicks’ front office, a celebrity guest, or an old teammate, like Bill Bradley.

But Jackson wasn¡¯t in his customary seat on Tuesday night for the Knicks¡¯ victory over the Pacers. Wherever he was, he was probably pleased with what transpired.

Game Youth Rodney Hood Jersey Each of Jackson¡¯s big-name additions played a big role in New York¡¯s comeback victory over Indiana.

It began with a professional peak for Langston: Undrafted in 2010, he worked his way up from the NBA D-League to earn a two-year, $10 million deal (with a player option in Year 2) to play close to home with the New Orleans Pelicans.

On July 5, 2016, the day before he officially agreed with the Pelicans, though, trauma struck. Alton Sterling, an unarmed black man, was killed after being pinned to the ground by two white police officers and was shot by at least one of them. Less than two weeks later, three officers were fatally shot and three more were wounded.

“So much stuff has happened in so many other places,” said Sabrina, whose late father was a police officer, “but for it to happen at home really made it more surreal.”

“This Baton Rouge,” Langston said. “Little ol’ Baton Rouge.”

“That’s the police force my dad worked for,” Sabrina said.
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One month later in August, while Langston trained in Los Angeles, the disarray continued.

Jets DL Sheldon Richardson may be disciplined over profanity-laden video

Troubled defensive end Sheldon Richardson faces possible discipline from the New York Jets after making a profanity-laced Snapchat video in the locker room before Saturday night’s loss to the Miami Dolphins — a game in which he served as a captain.

In the seven-second video, Richardson uses four expletives, including a derogatory comment about women. With teammate Rontez Miles standing in the background, Richardson, using Miles’ Snapchat account, appears to say, “Don’t f— this guy.”

Coach Todd Bowles, made aware of the video late Sunday morning, was appalled by Richardson’s comments. He said he will meet “very soon” with him to discuss it.

Authentic Womens Robert Bortuzzo Jersey Bowles didn’t rule out in-house discipline.

“We’ll take care of it here,” he said. “That’s not something we condone or we encourage. That’s unacceptable.”

Elite Youth Malik Jackson Jersey The gang got together Thursday night to get fitted.

Last year around Christmas, the Steelers line received individual platinum series watches from Swiss manufacturer Omega, courtesy of Roethlisberger.

The quarterback has a tight relationship with his linemen, saying the offense goes as “the Big 5” — Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert – goes.

Roethlisberger has been sacked 16 times in 12 games, which is the second-best clip in the NFL behind the Oakland Raiders (13).

“We’re his guys,” Gilbert said recently about the dynamic with Big Ben. “He rides with us, we’re going to ride with him no matter what. He’s our leader. We’ve just got that great relationship. We’ve been with him for so long that we believe in him and what he can do. He’s going to take us places that he’s been and we want to get there. So, why not follow his lead?”

Everson Griffen has eight and Brian Robison is two off his career high at age 33 with seven

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan just surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the sixth consecutive season and stands second in the league with 4,050 passing yards, right behind New Orleans’ Drew Brees (4,170).

Could Ryan join the list of five quarterbacks, including Brees, who have reached 5,000 passing yards in a single season? It’s still possible with three games left, but it’s certainly not at the forefront of Ryan’s thoughts, with a division title at stake.

Ryan, who averages 311.5 passing yards per game, would have to average 316.6 the final three games to reach 5,000 and break his career-best mark of 4,719 (2012). He will face three teams ranked in the bottom 10 in total defense in San Francisco, which surrenders a league-worst 415.3 yards per game, Carolina (362.5 yards per game), and New Orleans (366.7 yards per game).
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No defensive line in the NFL this season has been as adept at sacking quarterbacks as the Vikings’ group, which has 30.5 of the team’s 35 sacks. Hunter is fifth in the league with 10 1/2 sacks (in only 472 snaps), Everson Griffen has eight and Brian Robison is two off his career high at age 33 with seven.
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That the Vikings have three talented and studious pass-rushers is a significant key to the group’s success, as Patterson is quick to point out. But so is Patterson’s tutelage, which has molded the Vikings’ pass-rushers in a way that runs counter to the approach taught by many coaches around the league.

“Most coaches try to tell you, ‘Use loops. Flip your hips. Try to use the space to your advantage; try to get wide to make your offensive lineman come out and get you,'” defensive tackle Tom Johnson said. “He actually teaches the exact opposite of what you’ve been told to do a lot — which, in film, if you watch us do it, it looks a lot quicker. You eliminate those [extra] steps. He tells us to go attack the man where you want to be at instead of trying to go around him.”

The Seahawks made a late push to round out the top five in this year’s rankings

The Seahawks made a late push to round out the top five in this year’s rankings, finishing out the year by winning six of seven with historic numbers from quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seattle defense may not be as potent as it’s been in recent years (though it did give up the fewest points for the fourth straight season), but the Seahawks have a much more efficient and consistent offense this year than they’ve had in their last two years. For once, it looks like the offense may carry Seattle in the postseason and with the way they’ve been playing, it’s not farfetched to imagine the Seahawks advancing to their third straight Super Bowl.

Like Arizona, they feature balance in all three phases of the game, particularly with Tyler Lockett exploding of late in the return game.

Meanwhile, the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots finish at the No. 6 spot in our rankings. After their 10-0 start, New England had looked like an unstoppable juggernaut, but things have changed. They grabbed the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the AFC but limped into the postseason with a 2-4 record over their final six games.

Authentic David Backes USA Jersey Both statements were relatively innocuous at face, but there has been speculation around Detroit that Johnson may be hanging up his career — murmurings that weren’t dispelled by the statements. Birkett spoke to a former teammate of Johnson’s who said that the wideout has taken a significant physical toll from the game, which is unsurprising for a 6’5, 240-pounder who made a Hall of Fame career out of bullying defensive backs.

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“There has been some conversations about it, not asking me how it is,” said one former teammate who asked to remain anonymous because of the personal nature of his talks with Johnson. “But I think the guy’s beat up. I think he’s been through enough. And I think it’s just his time. He’s made the money, got the records, but whatever. I don’t know for sure if he’s going to do it. I don’t know if he’s going to get that itch to keep going. I really don’t know.”

Reasons to question Chapman deal? 86 million — and one

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The Yankees¡¯ record-setting, five-year, $86 million deal with Aroldis Chapman might never hurt the Bombers financially, given their massive revenues, but it¡¯s highly unlikely to work out for them on the field, given the unhappy track record of long-term contracts for relievers, and it¡¯s a reprehensible signing, given what they know about Chapman¡¯s character and actions.

I¡¯ve identified 12 deals of four or more years given to relievers since 2000 but before this winter. In the past three weeks, teams have already handed out three more, to Chapman, Mark Melancon and Brett Cecil, with Kenley Jansen still unsigned. The track record of long-term deals for relievers is terrible, yet MLB teams are acting like a bunch of goldfish, so when some or all of these deals go south, please remind them that the little plastic castle was always there.

Is Aroldis Chapman ready to deliver on his five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees? He wouldn’t be the first free-agent reliever to disappoint — and there are other reasons to worry.

Chapman¡¯s performance on the field might merit this salary, but not a contract of this length.

Melancon went first at the winter meetings, signing his four-year, $62 million deal. Chapman found a taker in the Yankees last week at five years and $86 million. Jansen will now slot in just behind Chapman. The three deals are the highest three ever paid to a relief pitcher.
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Jansen showed he was worth it — not only this past season, when he had a 1.83 ERA and 47 saves, but also ever since the club shifted him from catcher to pitcher in 2009. Over the past three seasons, he has saved 127 games and did not post an ERA above 2.76 in any of those seasons.

Jansen has saved 189 games in his career, a Dodgers record. He has 632 strikeouts, also a Dodgers record for a reliever.

He is a commodity the Dodgers decided they simply could not live without, even if they had to shell out so much money for a player who has never thrown 77 innings in one season.

The Seahawks’ offense has a couple things going for it right now

The Seahawks’ offense has a couple things going for it right now. The run game has finally found its footing with 519 yards (6.41 yards per carry) the past three games. And Seattle is healthy with all 11 starters expected to be available Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

There are still questions up front, but even with the clunker against the Bucs a couple weeks ago, the Seahawks are averaging 26.20 points per game in their last five, which ranks seventh in the NFL.
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The game plan can go in different directions depending on the week and the opponent. But the setup was the key versus Carolina.

“That¡¯s football,” Cable said. “You’re looking at this to see whether you’ve got that. And it was there.”

Kansas City has won 20 of its last 24 games and is, with a huge game looming Thursday night, the biggest thorn in the side of the Raiders’ storybook season. The Chiefs have a quarterback — hand-picked by Reid — who perfectly suits Reid’s offense. They play with discipline, don’t turn the ball over and are in every game — winning more than a few when it looks as if they shouldn’t.

We’ve seen him go for two when one would tie the game. We’ve seen him go for a touchdown when a field goal would tie the game. We see him at 10-2, currently the top seed in the AFC by a whisker over the Patriots. Del Rio’s mission this season was to take a team that looked talented enough to win and make sure it learned how — quickly. The risky in-game moves he’s made have paid off and helped deliver those lessons.
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“My mentality from the day I started playing sports was that you get up, you dust yourself off and you do it again,” Thomas says. “Some people lay on the ground after they get hurt and they say, ‘Boy, that hurts. I wonder if I’m hurt. I’d better get it checked out.’ That’s not part of my thought process.

Steelers vs. Bengals 2016 live stream: Start time, TV schedule and how to watch NFL playoffs online

Wild Card Saturday concludes with another round of the league’s best grudge match, an AFC North battle between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers and Bengals split their two meetings during the regular season, but Pittsburgh has owned the rivalry recently. The Black and Gold are 9-3 against Cincy since the start of 2010, including a 5-1 mark at Paul Brown Stadium. Their only other playoff matchup came in 2005, when Cincinnati lost at home to the Steelers in the Wild Card round, after then-Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer severely injured his knee early in the game.

Why they’ll make the Super Bowl: The Steelers boast the conference’s best and most explosive offense to go along with a Hall of Fame quarterback and champion coach. If the Steelers’ attack is clicking, there’s not a team in the AFC that can keep up.

Game Youth Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey Why they won’t make the Super Bowl: Every now and then, they put up a dud (Exhibit A: that Week 16 loss to the Ravens) and the defense isn’t going to win games by itself.

Prediction: The Steelers make it all the way to the AFC Championship, where they fall in a shootout to the Patriots.

Why they won’t make the Super Bowl: Because they’re still the Bengals and they’re still led by Marvin Lewis, who has never won a playoff game as a head coach. If Dalton doesn’t play Saturday against the Steelers — and all signs point to him needing at least another week — Cincinnati will have trouble putting enough points on the board to keep up with Pittsburgh, no matter how many times Reggie Nelson is able to pick Big Ben off.

Authentic Brian Hoyer Jersey There was a flag all right … on the Bengals. Pacman Jones did not take well to Porter being out there and shoved the coach. The referee then threw a flag on Jones for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Tom Coughlin no longer in running for Eagles head coach

Tom Coughlin has decided not to pursue the Elite Youth Michael Griffin Jersey Philadelphia Eagles’ vacant head coaching position, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The former Giants head coach met with Philadelphia on Monday, and was the sixth candidate the team had interviewed. Now, Schefter reports that they are zeroing in on Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson.

Coughlin, 69, also interviewed with the Elite Chris Thompson Jersey San Francisco 49ers earlier in the week. However, the 49ers hired Chip Kelly as their new coach on Thursday, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network had previously reported that Coughlin didn’t see the West Coast team as a fit for him anyway.

Coughlin stepped down from his position with the Giants after spending the last 12 years with the team. He led them to six winning seasons, five playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles, but his teams have failed to make the playoffs each of the past four years.

After going into the fourth quarter trailing the Minnesota Vikings 9-0 last week, the Seattle Seahawks finally found their offense and scored 10 unanswered points to take a 10-9 lead.

It looked as though that might all be for naught as Minnesota marched down the field into field goal range, but a shocking miss from Blair Walsh sealed the game for the Seahawks and punched their ticket into the next round. The Seahawks hope that a trip out of below-zero temperatures will help bring the offense back to life.

With the win last Sunday the Seahawks improved to 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games per the OddsShark NFL Database. Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog of 2.5 points or less.

The Carolina Panthers fell a game short of a perfect regular season, but with a 38-10 blowout over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers shook off their upset loss to Atlanta in convincing fashion.