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24 Aug 2016 12:03:51 -0400
Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments
A lawsuit that was filed against the NFL earlier this month over the cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game was refiled on Tuesday, and the lawyer leading the charge believes his case has gotten even stronger. If you remember, the NFL’s first preseason game was cancelled because of a disaster with the field turf. Fans did not find out until shortly before kickoff that the game would not be played, and attorney Michael Avenatti claims the league is guilty of fraud in that it knew the game had been called off well before informing fans. Last week, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee said on his podcast that players were specifically instructed to not post anything online after they were informed the game would not be played. Avenatti has added McAfee’s revelation to his U.S. District Court filing in California. Here’s the new portion, courtesy of Deadspin: Avenatti told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Tuesday that there are also text messages that will prove the NFL is guilty of fraud. “We f

24 Aug 2016 12:02:31 -0400
Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded
Blake Griffin has no plans to leave Los Angeles next summer and the Clippers have no intentions of shipping him off before then, according to a report. Citing sources close to Griffin, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote Tuesday that Griffin is “not open to going anywhere” other than L.A. next season. Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers recently said he expects Griffin to retire with his current team. Here’s more from Kyler: Sources close to the situation say win or lose, Rivers is not open to trade talks on Griffin or (Chris) Paul and that he’s not worried about either walking away in July. If that is genuinely true, then there is no point in speculating about Griffin. The Clippers can and likely will offer more money in free agency and with Griffin’s business interests in the L.A. market, the odds of him picking up and walking away are pretty slim. The only scenario in which that becomes remotely plausible is if the Clippers just fall apart and even the har

23 Aug 2016 15:10:47 -0400
Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season
We all know how Sam Bradford felt about the Philadelphia Eagles trading up to draft Carson Wentz, but it sounds like the veteran does not have to worry about losing his job to the rookie this year. In his lengthy report from Eagles training camp, Jason La Canfora of predicted that Wentz, who is dealing with a rib fracture, won’t see the field at all during the regular season. I can’t imagine he plays this week and we’ll see if he can do anything in the fourth preseason game (though with starting linemen likely to play so little, that might not make sense). This is looking like a redshirt year for him (unless the Eagles fall way out of contention quickly. In the meantime the rookie is trying to absorb as much as he can. “It’s just one of those things that takes some time (to heal),” he said. The Eagles were in no rush with Wentz, anyway. They signed Bradford to a two-year contract this past offseason for a reason. Although he doesn’t like it, Bradford is likely a temporary br

23 Aug 2016 14:39:29 -0400
Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song
The Minnesota Wild, after courting fan opinion, have announced that Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” as the team’s official goal song in tribute to the recently departed and beloved local music icon. The Wild have been using Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” to get Wild fans at Xcel Energy Center pumped up for years, but when the team played the Prince classic during Game 6 of its playoff series against the Dallas Stars on April 24, the crowd erupted. Given the decision to play the Prince classic came only days after the beloved musician’s tragic death, it’s not surprising how warmly it was greeted by fans, making for a poignant and emotional moment. And now, starting with a Wild preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 27, “Let’s Go Crazy” will be played every time the Wild scores a goal in its home rink. The change was due in large part to an outpouring of support for the change after an email was sent out to the Wild’s season-ticket holders. “Our in-arena experience

23 Aug 2016 13:43:38 -0400
Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant
Gabby Douglas is used to judges determining her fate in competitions, and now the 20-year-old gymnast will get an opportunity to see what it feels like to be on the other side. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Douglas has joined the panel of judges for the upcoming 2017 Miss America pageant, which will take place on Sept. 11. The three-time gold medalist’s fellow judges will include singer-actress Laura Marano from the Disney Channel, Sara Foster of VH1’s “Barely Famous,” singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes among others who will be named later. “Miss America has been such an amazing event for so many years and I am excited to have the opportunity to judge the competition this year,” Douglas said. “The contestants are a great example of strong women across America and I especially look forward to hearing the platforms that each of them will represent.” Douglas, 20, won two gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and another earlier this month

23 Aug 2016 13:04:26 -0400
Recruit decommits from Michigan after mail mistake
Michigan lost a four-star defensive tackle recruit this week because somebody wasn’t paying attention. Aubrey Solomon, a U.S. Army All-American from Leesburg, Ga., announced on Twitter Monday that he is re-opening his recruitment after previously committing to the Wolverines. God Bless — Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) August 22, 2016 Solomon, who has not completely ruled out Michigan but is now strongly considering in-state Georgia, later revealed more details of what happened. Apparently someone from Michigan sent Solomon a letter in the mail thanking him and his mother for attending a barbecue at the school. That would have been a nice gesture if they actually attended. “A day or two ago, they sent my mom a card thanking us for going to the Michigan bbq, but we never went,” Solomon said, via Kipp Adams of “I do not know which recruit they were talking to, but it was not me. It was just a little heartbreaking, for me to supposedly be so high

23 Aug 2016 12:00:31 -0400
Dez Bryant reportedly suffers concussion at practice
Injuries limited Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last in 2015, and this season isn’t off to a better start. The former All-Pro selection will miss the Cowboys’ preseason game Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks, as he recovers from a concussion, according to multiple reports. Bryant, who played in only nine games last season, suffered the injury in practice Monday, and it’s still unclear how much time he will miss. Foot and ankle injuries slowed Bryant in 2015, limiting to just the nine games, and he was relatively ineffective during his time on the field. Bryant caught just 31 passes (on 72 targets) for 401 yards and three touchdowns. It was a big drop-off from recent seasons, as Bryant established himself as one of the NFL’s best receivers. In the three seasons prior to 2015, the 27-year-old averaged 91 catches and 14 touchdowns per season, including a league-high 16 scores in 2015. Perhaps most disappointing for the Cowboys and Bryant is how good he’s looked in limited action this

23 Aug 2016 10:31:44 -0400
Kobe Bryant to be honored with his own day in LA on 8/24
Kobe Bryant has been among the more prominent members of the Los Angeles sporting landscape and community for the past 20 years. On Wednesday, the city will honor him in a special way. It was announced on Monday that August 24, 2016 will be “Kobe Bryant Day” in Los Angeles. The date 8-24 was chosen because Bryant, of course, wore both numbers on his uniform during his Hall of Fame career. The City of Los Angeles declares 8.24 "Kobe Bryant Day." — Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 23, 2016 The event will be another in an eventful week for Bryant. He rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Bryant also announced he’s launching a $100 million investment fund called Bryant Stibel. On Tuesday, Bryant will celebrate his 38th birthday. Not a bad week at all for the Mamba.

22 Aug 2016 21:01:02 -0400
Colts sign Antonio Cromartie
The Indianapolis Colts on Monday announced that they have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie. The Colts worked out Cromartie and other cornerbacks on Monday in response to a rash of injuries that have hit the team. Six of the 11 cornerbacks on the Colts’ roster have dealt with injuries during the preseason. The big blow was Vontae Davis spraining his ankle during practice on Thursday. Cromartie, 32, struggled last season with the Jets and has dealt with a hip injury, which is why it took him so long to sign on with a new team.

22 Aug 2016 20:52:22 -0400
Connor McDavid: 'I’m not some 18-year-old kid anymore'
Entering his second season in the NHL, Connor McDavid is once again facing enormous expectations which may even dwarf the ones he experienced last year. McDavid will turn 20 in January and is looking to prove himself after a 2015-16 season which saw him suffer a serious injury while still posting over a point-per-game pace with 47 points in 45 games. What does McDavid have to say heading into his second season? Via Sportsnet: “I just want to go in and have a good (training) camp and show everyone that I’m not some 18-year-old kid anymore.” McDavid’s statement is correct (he’ll be 19 in camp), but his comments aren’t meant to be taken in a literal fashion. McDavid is trying to convey that he’s grown as a player and shouldn’t be viewed as a youngster in a men’s game even though he only has 45 NHL games under his belt. As McDavid tries to shift his image, there’s the very real possibility that he may eventually become the next captain of the Oilers. Some have already reported ...

22 Aug 2016 17:55:13 -0400
Aguayo seeks out mental coach after missing kicks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo found kicking pretty simple in college. However, the rookie is having a rough time of it in the NFL so far, and he’s trying to take corrective measures. Aguayo, who famously never missed an extra point or a field goal from inside 40 yards while at Florida State, has already missed two field goals and an extra point in the first two preseason games. In response, he has reached out to former NFL kicker Ryan Longwell and former Buccaneers special teams coordinator Billy Miller to help him with his mechanics. He has also contacted a mental coach, admitting that his confidence has been shaken slightly by the misses. “I’m just focusing on relaxing and sometimes not thinking about it too much,” Aguayo said, via Roy Cummings of 620 WDAE in Tampa. “When you’re overthinking like, ‘OK, I have to do this and this and this,’ you get too many thoughts in your head. Sometimes you have to sit back and relax and just kick it. That’s the mindset going into practice

22 Aug 2016 17:38:04 -0400
Josh Norman unloads on Goodell: He is 'straight horrible'
Josh Norman vs. Odell Beckham Jr. is one of their fiercest 1-on-1 rivalries in the NFL, but Norman might have one brewing with commissioner Roger Goodell, too. The Washington Redskins cornerback is on the upcoming cover of ESPN The Magazine, which also features a pretty interesting feature on the polarizing defensive star. On Newsstands Friday: ESPN The Magazine’s 2016 NFL Preview, Part 1: Revenge of the Defense — NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 22, 2016 While the magazine hasn’t been released yet, The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg published an excerpt from Kevin Van Valkenburg’s feature, which includes an interesting tidbit about Goodell. “Spend any time around Norman and it’s easy to understand how he became one of the NFL’s most interesting, and polarizing, players. Riding in an Uber past the Eiffel Tower and during hours of idle conversation over the next two days, he offers thoughts on everything and everyone, including NFL commi

22 Aug 2016 15:58:50 -0400
Siemian named Broncos starter for third preseason game
Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak announced on Monday that Trevor Siemian will be the team’s starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams in the third preseason game. #Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Trevor Siemian will start Saturday vs. Rams. — Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2016 Normally, the third preseason game is an extended dress rehearsal for the starters, who often play into the second half. With a three-way battle going on for the starting quarterback position, that might not happen for the Broncos at this time. Kubiak also added that Siemian, Mark Sanchez, Paxton Lynch will all play and play around the same amount of time in the game. Saturday will be Siemian’s second straight preseason start. He also started the Week 2 preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and threw a terrible pick-six to Eric Reid (watch here). Mark Sanchez started the preseason opener against the Chicago Bears. At least in terms of preseason games, neither Lynch, Sanche...

22 Aug 2016 15:23:10 -0400
Report: Dodgers 'trying to give away' Yasiel Puig
In a span of about two years, Yasiel Puig has gone from one of the most promising young prospects in baseball to a player no MLB team wants. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been “trying to give away” Puig but are not having any luck. Puig was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this month, and one team official told Cafardo he is hoping the 25-year-old matures at some point. “At some point, the talent, the maturity is going to take hold,” the official said. “Someone will benefit from it. We hope it’s us, but it’s hard to envision it right now.” Puig is hitting over .400 in Triple-A, which is no surprise. Everyone can see he has MLB talent; it’s just a matter of remaining focused. All that said, he is owed only $14 million over the next two years. He’s a bargain in many ways from a talent standpoint. It’s hard to imagine teams won’t take Puig if the Dodgers are really trying to “give him away.” Perhaps they are trying to get somethi

22 Aug 2016 14:01:34 -0400
Stephen Strasburg headed to DL with sore elbow
The Washington Nationals are running away with the NL East, holding an 8.5-game lead over the second place Miami Marlins with just 39 games left to play. But the Nationals rotation took a hit on Monday when the team placed Stephen Strasburg on the DL with a sore right elbow. Major news: Strasburg placed on DL with sore elbow. AJ Cole recalled and will start tonight. — Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 22, 2016 Strasburg’s last start was on Wednesday in Denver, and the Rockies took him to the woodshed. He recorded just five outs, allowing nine runs on nine hits, walking three and striking out just three hitters -- a season low. His last three starts, all losses, have been poor – his ERA rose from 2.63 to 3.59, as Strasburg gave up 19 runs on 24 hits in 11 2/3 innings, walking six and striking out 18. His velocity has also dropped, though not substantially, since the All-Star Break. It’s probably not *that* serious, however – Joel Sherman is reporting that this is just pre...

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