Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ken Griffey Jr. photographs son scoring first college touchdown at Advocare V100 Bowl (GIF/VIDEO)

Yes, that was Ken Griffey Jr. wielding a camera with the 600mm lens on the sidelines of the Advocare V100 Bowl Tuesday.

Griffey, who recently joined Instagram, has been sharing a fair number of photos through Twitter and was on the Independence Stadium field as a credentialed media member for ESPN.

Hopefully, the former Seattle Mariners slugger snapped some nice shots for ESPN, but there was one photo that will definitely be front and center in his family's storied album after Griffey's son, Trey, scored his first career touchdown for the Arizona Wildcats. Trey, a receiver, hauled in a 26-yard touchdown against Boston College and scored again later.

And there's no question where Trey got that leaping ability.

Dude Perfect makes incredible trick basketball shot from 561 feet (VIDEO)

Dude Perfect, the guys who have pushed the game of H-O-R-S-E to new heights, are at it again — literally.

For their latest trick, the boys simply threw a basketball into moving basket in a parking lot. The terrifying part, it was tossed from the deck of the Reunion Tower — 561 feet in the air.

Though the basket is “moving” with the goal of making the ball go inside of it (it’s being carried by two other Dudes), it doesn’t change the degree of difficulty or danger. The free falling ball could realistically reach a speed of about 125-mph and do some serious rebound damage.

This feat obliterates the previous world record of only 321 feet, accomplished by Australian trick shoot group “Dude Significantly Less Than Perfect.” 

It's doubtful the guys actually got this on the first try — despite the careful editing — but it's still pretty amazing to see. 

Georgia Tech punter tackles himself on fake kick (VIDEO)

Georgia Tech punter Sean Poole attempted to catch Ole Miss by surprise during the Music City Bowl but only succeeded in stumbling his way into a comical turnover on downs. 

During a fourth-and-11 play at midfield during the second quarter on Monday, Poole attempted a fake punt. He received the snap and then took off running rather than kick the ball to the Rebels. The senior took several steps before losing his footing and going down untouched without even reaching the original line of scrimmage.

Ole Miss would go on to defeat Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl 25-17.

Weirdest way to revive a fighter after knockout ... ever (VIDEO)

This is one of the featured fights during the recent Musangwe Boxing Tournament in South Africa — one of the most brutal boxing shows you will ever see. The sport takes place inside a spartan ring made of spectators where the bare-knuckled fighters go at it on a canvas of dirt.

The fight can only end if one of the fighters loses a massive amount of blood, someone is knocked out, or one of the fighters gives up.

In this video, one fighter takes a wicked right to the head and his cornermen come to his aid with a unique type of CPR.

I don't know whether to score this a knockout or happy ending.

Chargers LB Thomas Keiser arrested for battery: Report

San Diego Chargers linebacker Thomas Keiser was arrested on Sunday night on suspicion of misdemeanor battery, according to U-T San Diego. The arrest happened just hours after the Chargers beat the Chiefs to claim the final wild card berth in the AFC.

Keiser was at a bar in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego when he got into an altercation that eventually turned into a fight.

"We're aware of the issue involving Thomas," the Chargers said in a statement. "We'll continue to monitor the situation and let the legal process run its course."

The incident is still under investigation, but San Diego Police Captain Dino Delimitros did provide a few details to the Associated Press.

"He got in a fight with somebody, the bouncers got involved, the police came up and somebody demanded a citizens' arrest," Delimitros said.

Keiser's bail was set at $8,000, according to U-T San Diego, and he was released at some point on Monday.

The 24-year-old Keiser is in his first season with the Chargers after spending his first two years with Carolina. He opened the season on the Chargers practice squad, but was later signed to the active-roster in October. The linebacker has played in 12 games this season with three starts and is third on the team with 4.5 sacks.

The Chargers open the NFL playoffs on Sunday in Cincinnati against the Bengals.

Monday, December 30, 2013

LeSean McCoy unveils a rushing title championship belt and LeBron James gets jealous

LeSean McCoy had a championship belt slung over his shoulder during a victorious postgame chat with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya. When asked about it, McCoy, this season's NFL rushing champion, laughed about the golden trophy you wear around your waist.

“It’s a joke. My friend, he’s from Texas, he told me he was going to give me the rushing title belt if we won the game, so here it is right here.”

Dejected Cowboys fan LeBron James was so enamoured of the gilded belt, he blasted out a tweet wondering where he could get one.

Luckily for LeBron, The Rock was there to help.
Now King James has a belt to match his crown.

Niners' Dan Skuta rips off opponent's shoe and sock (GIF)

The 49ers' Dan Skuta just returned from the IR after a foot injury and it looks like the linebacker still holds a grudge against the appendage — anybody's.

The Niners led the Cardinals with less than four minutes to go in the third quarter when Skuta took out his aggression on someone else's size 15-EEEs during a pile-up.

Maybe it was the wrong size.

Woody Johnson emails Jets season ticket holders: 'Rex has more passion than anyone I have ever met.'

The New York Jets 20-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins Sunday did more than end the Fish's playoff hopes and extend Rex Ryan's future in New York, it inspired Woody Johnson to sit at keyboard and screen to wax poetic.

Shortly after the inspirational victory, and after Johnson told a choked up Ryan and Jets players in the locker room that Ryan would be back next season, the owner emailed season ticket holders a letter reiterating his belief in his head coach. Here's the full letter obtained by the N.Y. Daily News:

"Our 2013 season ended earlier today with a victory over the Dolphins. It’s no secret that when this season started many people outside the Jets organization had low expectations for our team. But not us – we set out this year, and every year, with the high expectations of winning games and making Jets Nation proud.

I am writing to you, a valued Jets Partner, today to address 2014 and beyond.
Obviously, one of the first steps in moving forward is making a decision about our Head Coach. I hired Rex Ryan in January of 2009 for many reasons, but one of his strengths really stands out. Rex has more passion than anyone I have ever met. Passion for the Jets. Passion for teaching and motivating his players and coaches. Passion for winning. Like any NFL Head Coach, he’s had ups and downs, but Rex has been a tremendous leader of this football team.

That is why, after today’s game, I informed the team of our carefully-considered decision: Rex Ryan will continue as Head Coach of the New York Jets.

We won three of our last four games, but we're obviously not satisfied with our overall up-and-down 2013 performance. There were many moments, including today, when we showed real signs of progress and reasons for optimism, with a young, talented, competitive, and resilient team. But there were also too many games where we couldn’t sustain that progress. The reality is that we’re not yet the complete and consistent team that you demand and deserve.

We're confident that, with the leadership of General Manager John Idzik, working closely with Rex, we will enter 2014 with great opportunities to improve. We have the resources in place to continue to build our team, including more draft picks and roster flexibility than in previous years. In short, we’re on the right path. We are going to continue to move forward together, always looking to be better and stronger, building on our successes and learning from our failures.

We are focused on fielding a consistently competitive team with the sole mission of winning. We have our work cut out for us, but I know that we have the grit and determination to get the job done. We’ll continue to set high expectations and then work hard to exceed them. And I promise you that not one person in this organization will rest until we meet our ultimate goal of fielding a championship team.

Thank you for your intense loyalty and unyielding support for the Jets."

Now, about that contract extension...

Spurs' Tony Parker under fire for alleged 'Nazi' gesture: Report

San Antonio Spurs star guard Tony Parker came under fire on Sunday for his alleged use of an anti-Semitic gesture described as a “reverse” Nazi salute. Parker was asked by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to apologize.

French media outlets published a photo taken earlier this year of the French-born Parker doing the “quenelle,” as it is known, at the side of Dieudonne, a comedian and accused anti-Semite who coined the gesture, according to The Algemeiner, a New York-based newspaper that covers Jewish and Israel-related topics. 

“It’s the Nazi salute in reverse,” Roger Cukierman, leader of the French partner of the World Jewish Congress, told Reuters.

Parker was photographed pointing his right arm down and laying his left hand near his right shoulder to make the gesture.

The Parker news came a day after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka was blasted for his use of the same gesture following his goal for West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at West Ham in the English Premier League

Sunday, December 29, 2013

F1 legend Michael Schumacher in coma, 'critical' after ski accident: Report

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was in critical condition after undergoing brain surgery following a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday, doctors said.

The Grenoble University Hospital Center said the retired driver arrived at the clinic in a coma and underwent immediate surgery for a serious head trauma.

It was not clear whether the 44-year-old German was still in a coma but the hospital statement, which was signed by a neurosurgeon, an anesthesiologist and Marc Penaud, the hospital’s deputy director, said “he remains in a critical condition.”

The retired driver fell while skiing off-piste in Meribel earlier Sunday and hit his head on a rock, according to a statement from the resort. Resort managers said he had been wearing a helmet and was conscious when rescuers first responded to the scene.

Earlier in the day, the Meribel resort said Schumacher had been taken to Grenoble for tests and authorities said his life was not in danger.

But the situation began to look more serious when the resort said that orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gerard Saillant had traveled from Paris to the hospital to examine Schumacher. 

In an email to The Associated Press, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said the retired driver was on a private skiing trip and “fell on his head.”

“We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone,” Kehm said. Schumacher’s 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened, the resort said.

Schumacher retired in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton. He came back to the sport in 2010 and drove for three seasons for Mercedes without much success before retiring again last year.

Eli Manning limps out of press conference on crutches (PHOTO)

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning left Sunday's season finale against the Washington Redskins with a sprained ankle and did not return to the game, which his team won, 20-6.

Backup Curtis Painter played the second half at quarterback for the Giants and was 2 of 8 passing for 11 yards and an interception.

Manning started his 150th consecutive game before he was was hit hard by defensive lineman Chris Baker while attempting a pass with a minute left in the second quarter. He had to be helped to his feet by an official and was limping badly, but he stayed in the game.

Later, limping with a boot on his left foot, Manning left the post-game press conference on his own power, but then needed a pair of crutches for support. The team said he was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.

Brook Lopez to have another surgery on broken foot: Report

While this season has already been a bumpy ride for the Brooklyn Nets, the outlook further down the road just took another grim turn.

Brook Lopez will undergo surgery on his foot Jan. 4, the team announced Saturday.

The Nets 7-foot center, who will not play the rest of this season, will have the fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot repaired. The team said further information will be released after the surgery.

This will mark the third surgery on the same bone for the 25-year-old Lopez who originally fractured the bone in December 2011. A screw, placed in the foot when the first break was repaired, was replaced in a procedure last off-season.

He was examined on Tuesday by the team's medical director, Dr. Riley Williams III, as well as Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad to see precisely what would be the best way to proceed in repairing the repeatedly injured foot.

Although no specific recovery timetable has been given, the Nets hope to know more once the surgery has been completed. Before going down, Lopez was leading the Nets in scoring at 20.7 points per game despite missing nine games while battling a sprained left ankle.

Lopez broke the bone again in a Dec. 20 overtime loss in Philadelphia.

The injury dealt a devastating blow to the Nets, who are 10-20 a 105-91 loss Saturday night to the Indiana Pacers.

Chris Bosh sinks long-range three to beat Blazers (VIDEO)

What's a team to do when it is playing on the road against the West's best team (record-wise) on the second night of a back-to-back without your best player (LeBron James)?

The Heat called on Chris Bosh — that's all.

Down 107-105 in the closing seconds against the Trail Blazers, Dwyane Wade's drive was cut off so he kicked out to an open Bosh who drilled a deep 3-pointer to win it for Miami.

It capped a 37-point, 10-rebound game for Bosh and lifted the Heat to what might be called a  warning to the West.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Childhood image of Mike Trout found hidden on homeowner's basement wall

Finding a valuable painting in a basement happens every so often, but finding a baseball-related image of a superstar in the depths of your house — on a wall, no less — has to be even more unusual. That's what happened according to Reddit user DimensionsInTime, who said they moved some old boxes to reveal this drawing and signature in the childhood home of Mike Trout.

The silhouette on the left, showing the hand-drawn image of a young boy, is clearly labeled with a handwritten "Mike Trout" in what might one of the earliest Trout autographs on record. The figure on the right reportedly belongs to Mike's brother Tyler.

The discovery does come with some provenance because DimensionsInTime said that they purchased the Millville, N.J. house from Mike's parents.

While it's clearly no Shroud of Turin, the skeptics on Reddit are having a field day debunking the mysterious — and possibly collectible — find, while the believers are already planning ways to view it for themselves.

Either way, it will be hard to see or prove now. The image of the young Angels All-Star wasn't cut from the wall or preserved in any way. And, according to DimensionsInTime, they've already painted over the artwork.

And to think what they could have charged for admission.


Irish RB George Atkinson III suspended for Pinstripe Bowl after texting during a team meal: Report

Notre Dame will be without second-leading rusher George Atkinson III for Saturday's  Pinstripe Bowl matchup with Rutgers at Yankee Stadium, according to sbnation.com.

The school announced that Atkinson's suspension was due to a violation of team rules. The junior running back offered a more detailed explanation in a tweet, which he has since deleted.

Collegespun.com took a screen shot of Atkinson's Twitter page this morning that said, "For those of you who are wondering I was suspended from today's game for texting friends and family during team meal, as I did all season."

Atkinson had 93 carries for 555 yards and three touchdowns this season. His 6.0 yards per carry average led the Irish. Notre Dame has rotated its backs throughout the season, led by Cam McDaniel (135 carries for 625 yards and three TDs). Freshman Tarean Folston emerged late in the season and enters the Pinstripe Bowl with 71 carries for 397 yards and two touchdowns.

A surprising punishment for such a minor infraction especially since Rutgers brings the nation's fourth-best run defense into the game.

Piers Morgan gets busted up by Australian bowler on cricket pitch (VIDEO)

After CNN's Piers Morgan criticized England's cricket team in November for being "too slow," former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee challenged him to a one-on-one battle so Morgan could get a taste of what the game is really like.

And the former America's Got Talent judge might have made the wrong decision by accepting. Think Charlie Rose facing Randy Johnson.

On Thursday, in front of 2,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, the pot-bellied Morgan suited up to face six balls from Lee — one of the fastest bowlers in the world — to hilarious and painful results.

Lee showed no mercy as Morgan was pummeled by the 90mph throws. The 48-year-old journalist backed away from nearly every delivery before landing on his fanny.

Morgan ended up bloodied, with a bruised rib and a cracked wrist but remained unbowed after his humbling experience.

"It's made me reassess what you need out here on an Ashes tour and that is courage, fortitude and a Churchillian spirit of never giving in despite overwhelming odds," he said.

Um ... whatever you say Guv'nor.

Antrel Rolle goes off on Twitter after Pro-Bowl snub

Antrel Rolle has never been one to keep his opinions to himself.  So it was no surprise that after the New York Giants strong safety was selected to join the NFL Pro Bowl team as an alternate, the outspoken Rolle vented his displeasure at not being voted to the team outright.

Rolle, who picked off six passes and has a team-high 93 tackles this season, took to Twitter to express his frustration at the perceived snub.

“Tell me which safety has better numbers and made more game changing plays than me this year???? I’ll wait!!!!” Rolle wrote. “This probowl sh-- is a joke.”

Rolle was named a second alternate. He finished behind Kansas City's Eric Berry, Seattle's Kam Chancellor and Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu. 

While some of these are deserving names, others seem to have made the list based strictly on name — or hair — recognition. Rolle leads all safeties in interceptions and has one of the lowest opposing quarterback ratings, according to Pro Football Focus.

Some Giants fans tweeted the comparisons.

And guess what?  The numbers don't lie.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Peyton was mic'd up when he broke single-season TD record (VIDEO)

Everyone knows about Peyton Manning's record breaking day last week against the Texans. Now see and hear the Bronco quarterback's reactions as he throws touchdowns number 48 through 51.

Longhorns are still college football's most valuable team: Report

Texas may be south of the Top-25 when it comes to the college football pollsters, but for the fifth straight year, the 8-and-4 Longhorns are still number one with the accountants.

The Longhorns football team is now worth $139 million, almost 20% more than any other team in the country, according to Forbes Magazine.

Texas has been college football’s most valuable team since 2009, when it took over the top-spot from  Notre Dame with a value of $119 million. The team’s unprecedented value is built on the back of the nation’s most dedicated fan base, which has helped Texas lead all schools in merchandise sales, secure the most lucrative school-specific TV deal and become the only college football team in history to cross $100 million in revenue, which the Longhorns have done for the last two seasons.

College football’s second-most valuable team in 2013 is Notre Dame, which rebounded to $117 million after suffering a down year. The 14% surge in value is mostly tied to the Fighting Irish “hosting” an additional home game (which was played in Chicago’s Soldier Field), providing support to academic programming that’s unmatched by any team in college football and qualifying for the BCS National Championship, which netted the school a unique $6.2 million payout.

Alabama has risen from sixth to third this year, with the Crimson Tide’s value up 15% to $110 million. It’s the first time an SEC team has cracked the top three since Georgia held the No. 3 spot in 2007. Alabama’s rise stems not only from the financial rewards of dominating on the field, where the Crimson Tide have won three of the last four BCS National Championships, but also the one-time payout it received for playing Michigan in a season-opening game at AT&T Stadium last year.

To determine college football’s most valuable teams, Forbes considers each team’s value to its athletic department, its university’s academic endeavors, its conference and its school’s local economy. Athletic value consists of football profit that is directed toward supporting non-revenue sports, like softball or gymnastics, while a team’s value to academics consists of money that supports football scholarships or other non-athletic programming, like faculty support, non-athletic scholarships or a library fund. Conference value consists of revenue generated for other conference teams by participating in a bowl game, and a team’s value to its local community consists of the direct spending injected by fans visiting the area on days of the team’s home games.

The Longhorns are still number two in Lone Star State football though. The Dallas Cowboys dwarf their college rivals with a value of an estimated $2.3 billion.

Following Texas, Notre Dame and Alabama, says Forbes, are LSU, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State and Nebraska.

Mike Woodson still expects Knicks to win division: Report

Only a day removed from the 29-point Christmas Day rout by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mike Woodson, treated the New York Knicks’ current struggles like a long forgotten memory and predicted a second straight Atlantic Division title following practice on Thursday.

“We won it last year,” the beleaguered head coach said, “and I expect us to win it this year.”

Woodson’s confidence was based on the fact that the 9-and-19 Knicks play in a division that is so weak that they are 6-6 in their past 12 games. Forgetting that most of those wins have come against some of the worst teams in the NBA helped Woodson keep his sunny outlook. 

Woodson asked himself rhetorically, “Do I see some light at the end of the tunnel?” and answered, “I do.”

The mediocrity of the division and a freakish amount of injuries to key players have probably helped excuse Woodson from losing his job—for now.

"The bottom line is I'm the coach of this team," he said. "I have very high standards in terms of what I do and what I expect players to do. And it starts with me."

The Knicks have a chance to gain some ground Friday night when they begin a home-and-home with the division-leading Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden.

Woodson knows that the 11-15 Raptors are just three games ahead of the Knicks and his team can make a big statement this weekend.

But it's still unclear if Carmelo Anthony, who didn't practice because of a sprained left ankle that kept him out of the Christmas Day game, will play. Woodson called him "day-to-day."

"Eventually we’ll get healthy and we’ll see how it all plays out," Woodson said. "The beauty about all of this that we’re going through is nobody’s running away with it in our division and I’m pushing our team to win our division still."

Punches delivered at Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (VIDEO/GIF)

Things got a little spicy at the start of the second half during the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl between Bowling Green and Pittsburgh Thursday night.

Bowling Green's BooBoo Gates returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter 94 yards for a touchdown, but it's what was delivered away from the ball that is the real story.

Falcons linebacker D.J. Lynch was spotted taking several shots at Panthers tight end Manasseh Garner away from the play.

They were called for offsetting penalties and, despite the extra cheese on the field, the touchdown stood and game stayed tied at 17.

Pitt ended up topping Bowling Green 30-27.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jason Kidd calls out Nets after Christmas blowout: Report

The only thing uglier than the Brooklyn Nets soccer uniforms Wednesday afternoon was the embarrassing 95-78 loss to the Chicago Bulls on their home court.

There was only about a minute  left in the third quarter when the chants of “Fire Kidd” briefly ran through the crowd at Barclays Center on Christmas Day, a loud commentary on the fate of first-year coach Jason Kidd if the fans got what they wanted under their trees.

When that chant failed to catch on, the fans instead took to intermittently booing the entire team.

After the game, an exasperated Kidd called his players out in the locker room, according to an ESPN report.  

"At the end of the day, the coach can only hold you responsible for energy and effort," he said. "If you're not giving it, I have to take you out. If you're missing shots, that's just part of the game. But if you're not giving energy or effort, I've got to take you out."

Not only did Kidd chew out the team, but team leader, Kevin Garnett, reportedly vented his own frustration with the listless team before hitting the showers.

Tired and upset with a lack of effort, Kidd's outburst came after the Nets dropped their fourth straight game. The first-year head coach said Monday after a 103-86 loss to Indiana that the Nets were becoming too comfortable with losing. He said it again on Christmas Day.

"I think again, it's easy, it's simple," Kidd told reporters after Wednesday's rout. "When we don't put the ball in the basket or we miss shots that are makeable, it translates to our defense of transition for us where we'll give up a layup and then that turns into another layup for the opposing team. ... That is the carryover of missing shots and not giving the effort. The bottom line is effort, and we're not doing that right now."

The Nets signed a group of All-Stars and high-priced veterans in direct response to the humbling Game 7 loss to Chicago in the playoffs last season, acquiring superstars Garnett and Paul Pierce, among others.

But the team has been ravaged by injuries to key players, including Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Pierce,Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko. Lopez broke his foot Friday and has been ruled out for remainder of the season.

The Nets wanted to increase their toughness by adjusting an attitude and identity that Kidd described as “vanilla” when he arrived.

You could say he got a big bowl of Rocky Road instead.

Blake Griffin ejected after mixing it up with Andrew Bogut (VIDEO)

The tension between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors has been steadily building for a couple of seasons now and — after Blake Griffin and Andrew Bogut got tangled up in each other's arms while battling for position Christmas night — the rivalry has firmly established itself as one of the testiest in the NBA.

After some pushing, arm-bending and wrestling in their new short sleeves, Griffin was assessed a technical foul (his second of the game) and ejected from the game. Bogut was given a flagrant-1 foul and was allowed to stay in the game. He also earned himself a technical foul during the free throw attempts by Ryan Hollins.

What exactly did Griffin do during this skirmish that warranted the ejection from the game? That's not entirely clear, but he already had 20 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists during 33 minutes of action before getting tossed.

Griffin had some angry words for the Warriors and officials after the 105-103 loss.

"If you look at it, I didn't do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to they (referees) fell for it," Griffin said. "To me, it's cowardly basketball. I don't know their intentions, but it worked. ... If I knew the answer I'd probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing."

Ahh ... Christmas — that time of getting.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Giants rookie renting out condo with MetLife Stadium view during Super Bowl

A New York Giants player found a way to cash in on the Super Bowl even though he won't be playing in it.

Rookie Cooper Taylor is renting out his New Jersey condo with roof-deck views of MetLife Stadium — because it will be too depressing to stick around for the madness, he told the N.Y. Post.

While New York City hotel room rates have already skyrocketed for the big game, the defensive back and his girlfriend, real-estate broker Susan Carlson, are offering up their 2-bedroom, 2-bath Rutherford apartment for $9,000 during Super Bowl week across the Hudson River.

“We thought it would be the best time to get out of the city and go on vacation because that week will be a madhouse,” said the 23-year-old Taylor. “I am definitely disappointed that we are not playing in it. It would make it a lot more fun.”

The couple opted not to mention Taylor’s NFL career in their Craigslist and AirBnB ads — but did drop some subtle hints.

“We are big fans of a local team here and unfortunately will not be attending this year,” they wrote in a Craigslist pitch for the space.

The 1,000-square-foot apartment is outfitted with a 70-inch TV, a pair of comfortable couches, and a pile of freshly washed NFL-player-used linens — all within one mile of MetLife Stadium. The Manhattan skyline is an added bonus.

The couple rent their furnished apartment month-to-month for $2,700.

A late-round draft pick who was unsure if he would even make the team this year, Taylor pulls in a relatively modest $450,000 annually and said he could use a quick Super Bowl cash  payout to finance a mini-vacation.

No Jets fans allowed.

Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to be posted: Report

The best gift of the season might be arriving a little late for one lucky baseball front office now that the Rakuten Golden Eagles will officially post Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, as announced on Christmas Eve.

Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana made the announcement Tuesday night, according to multiple sources, ending the long back-and-forth that had left the pitcher's status in limbo.

The highly sought Tanaka is expected to command roughly $100 million, with bidding expected to be driven up by the Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs, Diamondbacks and the Yankees, who have extensively scouted the righthander.

Expect MLB's Christmas rush for this year's Cabbage Patch Kid to begin before the last egg nog is poured. 

Tanaka is considered one of the crown jewels of the offseason. The 25-year-old went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 2013 and led the Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title.

Rakuten controlled Tanaka's rights through 2015 season, but under the new posting system between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, U.S. teams can bid up to $20 million for the right to negotiate with Tanaka. If multiple teams tie for the high bid, they can all deal with Tanaka. Only the team that Tanaka agrees to go to actually has to pay the $20 million "release fee" to Rakuten. The fee does not count against a team's luxury tax bill.

"I'm grateful to the team for allowing me to try. Now, I've made a first step," Tanaka told the AP. "I hope I would receive offers from as many teams as possible so I have a wider option."

The Yankees seem to be an ideal fit. According to people with knowledge of the team's thinking, Tanaka has long been an attractive target, especially with a rotation that could use a live young arm.

Cute golf chick handles wood pretty well (VIDEO)

Everyone knows one of these types — that person that halts a backyard party mid-stream so they can enthrall everyone with some blue-belt karate moves or their wizardry around the barbecue grill.

This cute, attention-seeking woman halted the keg-line long enough to show off her inner Tiger Woods with a trick shot. She even did a regulation drop to get things going.

The denim-skirted hottie uses a giant wood to drive a golf ball into an aluminum bottle held by a steady-handed guy on the shortest fairway ever. Trust me.


Grandma invades soccer pitch and gives security a piece of her mind (VIDEO)

This spunky septuagenarian has been called a “Hooligran" by some, and the label sure fits. Watch this grandmotherly lady rush onto the pitch during a match between Portuguese Primeira League teams Braga and Maritimo, take on a security guard, and then scold him for it.

The game ended 2-2 following a controversial non-call within the final 10 minutes, and tempers flared when it was over. Fans ran onto the field to confront the players and the refs— with the Golden Girl in the center of the action.

You'd think they would stop serving Geritol by the 60th minute.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paul Pierce gets flagrant-two foul and ejection for clothesline of George Hill (VIDEO)

Late in the third quarter and with the Nets trailing by 19 points to the Pacers at Barclays Center, Paul Pierce took out his frustration with a cheap foul on George Hill.

As Hill raced toward the other end for what appeared to be an easy fast break score, Pierce chased him down to give a no-layup type of foul, but since he caught Hill in the head and then followed through by taking him down around the neck, the officials ruled it a flagrant-two, which comes with it an automatic ejection.

Pierce—who was already 0-for-7 from the field — might have been trying to send a message to Hill, but only showed his 36-year-old legs can't keep up with the young Pacers anymore.

It was more Get off my lawn! than Not in my house!

Hill managed to keep control of the ball and, more surprisingly, kept his cool after the unnecessary foul.

Power outage forces Red Wings to practice in dark (VIDEO)

Things looked pretty dim for the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena even before the team faced the New York Islanders Monday night, after a Detroit brownout darkened the rink during the team's morning skate.

The temporary power outage occurred at 9 a.m. and affected much of The Joe’s lighting, as well as the surrounding area in downtown Detroit, but was restored two hours later as the Wings were wrapping up practice. Although the rink was a little bit darker than normal, the Red Wings adjusted to the issue by simply conducting most of their drills on the brighter of the two ends.

“It’s been interesting for sure,” Wings defenseman Brendan Smith said. “I didn’t know if we’re even going to get to practice at the start but I guess we had to play half ice because half of the rink was lit up. But it’s been alright, I mean it’s just a little adversity but it’s cool to have a change sometimes maybe it will help us out somehow.”

Too bad the team's lack of power continued into the evening and the Isles' Evgeni Nabokov shined brightly— by making 23 saves for his 56th career shutout— in a 3-0 win over the home team on Monday night.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cameraman takes nut shot from Packers QB Matt Flynn (GIF)

During the Steelers 38-31 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, one television cameraman got sacked by a quarterback.

Throwing from behind the Packers end zone, Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn tossed the ball away out of the end zone — but inadvertently connected with the man's groin.

The guy didn't go down or drop the camera after the direct hit, but earned the utmost respect of Hans Moleman — the star of "Man Getting Hit By Football."

Peyton Manning was worried about getting record-setting ball back from Julius Thomas (VIDEO)

Peyton Manning reclaimed the record for throwing the most touchdown passes in an NFL season on Sunday. The Bronco quarterback's fourth touchdown toss— in an AFC West-clinching win against the Texans— a 25-yard completion to tight end Julius Thomas with 4:28 left in the game, gave Manning 51 touchdowns for the season.

At the post-game presser, the humble Manning said his record-setting touchdown pass was a “team record” and expects it to be broken, but he will savor it for now.

“I’m sure it’s just a temporary record, but I will enjoy it,” he said.

Manning did admit he was worried about getting the historic ball back from his tight end after the catch.

"It wouldn't surprise me if Julius  went and handed it to some babe up in the stands and tried to get her phone number in exchange for the ball, " joked Manning. "That would be right up Julius' alley ... pretty in line with his thinking all the time."


Manning received a standing ovation at Reliant Stadium after breaking the record and got plenty of love from his teammates and coaches on the sideline.

Later, Broncos coach John Fox presented Manning with the game ball in the locker room and Manning was ready to walk away before his teammates implored him to make a speech.

“Like coach Fox said, the best news I heard all day, we won our division today,” Manning told his teammates in his typical style. “That’s a heck of an accomplishment. Let’s keep it going next week. I just can’t thank you guys enough. A lot of people contributed to this (record.) I really think this is a team accomplishment – defense getting us the ball back, receivers catching a lot of passes.”

No way Thomas was handing that ball to some chick in the stands.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kickboxer knocks out opponent with cartwheel kick (VIDEO)

During this kickboxing match, the guy in red and black (and without headgear) immediately shows off some serious skills.

But when he does a perfectly executed cartwheel kick to his opponent's head for the knockout, you'll be shaking your own head and gasping "Oh my gawd" too.

That sure ain't your sister's cartwheel.

Angry wife rats out bar's $600K Super Bowl pools because of husband's betting

This is one guy nobody at his local tavern will be buying a round for — and he might not want to be seen around — after his wife dropped a dime on the bar for running illegal Super Bowl pools.

The missus — furious with her football-obsessed husband losing money on Super Bowl  "boxes" at a New York watering hole — contacted authorities which sparked a rare gambling raid that shut down $600,000 in ­Super Bowl pools at the Staten Island bar last week, reports the N.Y. Post.

“How can the SLA allow a $1 million illegal football pool at Talk of the Town?” the angry spouse wrote the State Liquor Authority on Nov. 13. before a familiar lament:

“My husband spends all his money on these pools and not on our children.”

The SLA then put a rush investigation on the anonymous complaint and, last Sunday night, two investigators barged into the neighborhood saloon’s annual Christmas party. They flashed badges and snapped photos of pool boards taped to the mirrored bar back, witnesses told The Post.

The Talk of the Town Tavern was advised to shut down the gambling. SLA lawyers are now reviewing whether to slap the owner with violations carrying a typical fine of $2,500 for a first offense. The bar has told patrons the pools are dead and bettors will get ­refunds, sources said.

The crackdown comes as New York/New Jersey hosts the first-ever local Super Bowl on Feb 2.

The 71-year-old Talk of the Town tavern, known for its cheap drafts and sawdust-covered shuffleboard table, has been running Super Bowl pools for decades. And — like thousands of other bars in New York City and around the country — its barkeepers sell random boxes to mostly blue-collar and civil-servant patrons for six different pools.

But the innocent-sounding tradition of plunking a few bucks into a barroom Super Bowl pool to make the game more interesting violates a 1930s-era liquor law that bans any gambling in gin joints, in apparent conflict with other NY state laws that seem to allow it. And these are high stakes cash pools at the Talk of the Town where the "house" is reportedly taking 10 percent off the top.

One pool goes for $2,000 a box, bringing in a total of $200,000. Two pools are worth $100,000 each, and four are $50,000 each.

Under state liquor law, “No person licensed to sell alcoholic beverages shall suffer or permit any gambling on the licensed premises.”

“It’s really a victimless crime, but a money-making operation for the SLA,” an insider said.
“The fines are substantial considering the severity of the violation.”

But the potential winnings are big. The Post found a bar in The Bronx last year with a “5,000-point-per-box” pool — code for a $500,000 total prize at $5,000 per box.

A few years ago the infamous million-dollar Wall Street Super Bowl pool was busted —after a long annual run — when somebody blabbed and the IRS got wind of it.

That pool cost $10,000 a box. The winner took home $1million ... cash.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Brook Lopez breaks foot, out for season: Report

The New York Daily News is reporting that Brook Lopez, the Brooklyn Nets star center, broke his foot and will miss the rest of the season.

Stefan Lopez tweeted the bad news Saturday morning:

Lopez played 44 minutes Friday night against the 76ers after missing the previous two games with an ankle sprain. The seven-footer scored 22 points but looked soft in the paint during Sixers' 121-120 overtime victory in Philadelphia.

No further details were available.

Fugitive sister-in-law of Jalen Rose arrested after 36 years on the run: Report

A woman who eluded Texas authorities for nearly four decades and who was arrested this week in Michigan is former basketball star Jalen Rose's sister-in-law.

The former Indiana Pacers and Michigan Wolverines star confirmed that Kathlyn Regina Huff is married to his brother, Kevin Rose, The Detroit News reported.

Authorities say she was indicted in 1977 by a grand jury in Bexar County, Texas, on attempted murder charges. She's accused of shooting her common-law husband, who survived.

The fugitive evaded capture by leaving San Antonio, getting married and changing her name to Kathlyn Regenia Rose. U.S. Marshals arrested the 58-year-old Huff on Wednesday outside her suburban Detroit home in Farmington Hills.

I guess a Rose is still a Huff by any other name.

Huff is jailed in Oakland County and faces extradition. Jalen Rose told the newspaper that he will pay for her lawyer.

Chris Bozeman, U.S. Marshals spokesman in San Antonio, said the case was referred to the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force Cold Case Squad by both San Antonio police and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. Marshals first tracked Huff to Seattle and then to Farmington Hills, where they found her parking her car in her driveway.

Bozeman said the marshals have no information to suggest any of her immediate family knew about the San Antonio warrant or tried to hide her. He also said that Jalen Rose's name did not come up during the investigation.

Marshals did interview her ex-husband, the alleged victim in this case. Bozeman declined to identify the ex-husband.

Thomas McCollum's Winter Festival mask features Chris Farley (PHOTO)

The week leading up to the Winter Classic on New Year's Day will feature a massive Winter Festival taking place at Comerica Park with multiple outdoor games. That means even more specialty equipment for the event. We've already seen Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek's adorable snowman pads, now we have Thomas McCollum's tribute to Chris Farley.

On the backplate of McCollum's Grand Rapids mask, he prominently features the late actor as the title character from the 1990s comedy classic Tommy Boy. The rest is pretty standard specialty logos for the special occasion, with images commemorating Grand Rapids' Calder Cup title from last season.

Me likee.

LeBron feels badly about nasty dunk on McLemore (VIDEO)

LeBron James dunked on Ben McLemore so hard Friday night in Miami that he actually felt badly about it.

The 20-year-old Kings guard found himself playing King James in an NBA game for the first time and — as the video and poster shot will attest — it didn't take long for LeBron to say hello to the rookie in a royal way.

With the Heat leading the visiting Kings 21-19 with 4:48 remaining in the first quarter, James blew by his defender on the wing and came roaring toward the rim. McLemore set his feet and attempted to take a charge. The four-time NBA MVP rose up and over McLemore and threw down an emphatic, right-handed slam dunk.

“It sucks that it was him, too, because I like him," James said after Miami's 122-103 win, via The Palm Beach Post. "I’ve been talking to him since he was in high school. So it sucks.”

Asked about the dunk, McLemore explained what he was trying to do defensively on the play. He also suggested that officials would be unlikely to whistle James for a charge in that situation.

“Just knowing LeBron, I knew they weren’t going to call that call (a charge on James),” McLemore said of the play, via the Sacramento Bee. “I was just playing my defensive principles. Going in, being the low man and taking the charge.”

And LeBron felt bad.

Friday, December 20, 2013

New York Rangers unveil Stadium Series jerseys in comedy sketch (VIDEO)

New York Rangers have released the jerseys they'll wear for their two Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium this January.

Just in time for a last-minute Christmas pick-up, the team unveiled the uniforms they'll be wearing for the games — and they are a little underwhelming.

The team debuted the uniforms in a video posted Friday afternoon, featuring the Rangers'  Dan Girardi and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

In the video, hockey Girardi has his jersey switched by the equipment manager in the scripted skit. After he goes to complain about having a Yankees jersey in his stall, the video cuts to the Yankees manager's office, where baseball Girardi is fully decked out in the Rangers' new get-up.

The Rangers will technically be the away team in both outdoor games at Yankee Stadium, taking on the Devils on Sun., Jan. 26 and the Islanders on Wed., Jan. 29.

The Islanders already released their jerseys, and the Devils will go retro with the red and green color scheme for the outdoor game, so we now more or less know what each team will look like.

Publishing houses never heard about alleged A-Rod tell-all book: Report

Recently, the New York Post reported that Random House and HarperCollins were in a multi-million dollar bidding war for an Alex Rodriguez tell-all book about the slugger's battle with Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis scandal.

The real truth is that A-Rod might have more of a chance of publishing a fairy tale about centaurs and minotaurs than ever seeing his version of that story come to life.

According to the N.Y. Daily News,  no one has told Random House and HarperCollins about it:

“It’s totally fake,” said one publishing insider. The insider also said no house would be foolish enough to plunk down that kind of money for an A-Rod book project given the risks.

 “One reason he’d never get anywhere near that money is the obvious risk that as soon as the book was published, it could and probably would be discredited,” said the insider.“He’ll say anything as long as it’s not under oath.”

Rodriguez has been slapped with a 211-game doping ban by MLB commissioner Bud Selig in connection with Biogenesis, but he is appealing and has denied using performance-enhancing drugs beyond 2001-03, when he was a Texas Ranger.

Another source said there’s “no way (Rodriguez) will get anywhere near $5 million, even if he does do a book, and at this point it’s anyone’s guess if he will actually try.”

A-Rod could always schmooze his Yankee teammate, and new publishing mogul, Derek Jeter. The Yankees' captain announced last month that he is partnering with Simon & Schuster to launch his own adult nonfiction and children’s book division.

He could title it Lord Of The Ring.

NY mobster denied furlough from house arrest to see Rangers game with family

A Brooklyn judge has rejected a Genovese mobster's unusual request for a furlough from house arrest so he could take his wife and kids to the New York Rangers hockey game on Sunday.

According to the N.Y. Daily News, federal Judge Pamela Chen denied Felice Masullo's request to see the team battle the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden without giving a reason. Masullo's probation officer had objected because it would set a bad precedent, according to court papers. Prosecutors in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office took no position on the request.

Masullo is confined to his home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for six months as part of his sentence for illegal gambling.

And the puck drops at 7:30.

"I'm sure he'll have a happy Christmas with his family regardless," said his disappointed defense lawyer Brendan White.

Wadda ya think this is ... Goodfellas?

Bruce Springsteen rocks Duke-UCLA game at Madison Square Garden (PHOTO)

Those weren't boos you heard at Madison Square Garden Thursday night during the Duke-UCLA game, they were calls for Bruuuuce — as in Bruce Springsteen.

The Boss himself was spotted sitting courtside rooting for the Blue Devils with his Duke undergrad daughter Jessica while the whole place was rocking.

The Yankees cap was a nice touch.

It sure wasn't the first time the pride of New Jersey heard those calls in this venue, but even Springsteen had to be thrilled watching another Big Man, Jabari Parker lay down this monster jam.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coughlin questions Eli about facing Lions behind second-string 'O' line: Report

To call it throwing Eli Manning to the Lions might be an understatement. Ford Field might not be the Coliseum, but all signs point to a thumbs-down day for the Giants quarterback this Sunday.

The Giants' offensive line is so banged up and depleted, relying on the last remnants of the depth chart, that Tom Coughlin had to ask Manning if he was comfortable enough to play a meaningless game (for the Giants at least) behind it against one of the league's most ferocious defensive fronts.

"As a matter of fact, we've talked about this,'' Coughlin said. "He wants to play and he's looking forward to playing and competing and having a better game. I wouldn't expect anything different.''

Manning downplayed his conversation with Coughlin as less than a passing chat.

"It never came up as a question whether I wanted to play or not, and I never thought about it any other way but going out there and playing,'' Manning said. "I want to compete. I want to make improvements and try to run this offense more efficiently and go out there and try to do the best I can and try to get a win.''
The Lions, on the other hand, will be playing for their playoff lives and Manning might end up being fresh meat for Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley with the Giants'  patchwork protection. 

Manning, who has played 149 consecutive games,  already has been sacked a career-high 36 times this season. Last week against the physical Seahawks he had to cower and curl up to avoid injury by the third snap of the game.

Protection has been an issue all season, as have injuries to the line. Both current starting guards — David Diehl and James Brewer — missed practice Wednesday, and those guys were already backups to previously injured starters. That left Dallas Reynolds and Brandon Mosley taking reps on either side of Kevin Boothe, who had to slide to center several weeks ago when the Giants lost backup Jim Cordle for the season after putting projected starter David Baas on IR.

"You want to be out there protecting your guys and fighting with your teammates,'' said Diehl, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday's game. "Yeah, it definitely plays in your mind.''

One can only hope Manning isn't in for a reality check.

"I think our guys, they'll be ready,'' Manning said. "They'll compete. Hopefully, we get some guys back, but whoever is in there we'll handle, we'll have a good plan and have all the faith in the world they'll do a good job.''

That may require more than faith, though.

"We're not going to put a new guy playing one-on-one on Suh all day and take seven-step drops and pump and go this way and that way,'' Manning said. "You've got to be smart about it in a sense, but you've still got to run our offense, and we'll make the best of it.''