February 2017

I don’t know. Even though I barely mentioned them in my playoff picture primer, I’m starting to think the Hawks are good. Defense matters, and Atlanta is quite excellent at stopping opponents. The Hawks may not have enough offense to win another playoff series, but stranger things have happened.

Speaking of the Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard was ejected in the third quarter for hanging on the rim. It was his second technical. The NBA said after the game that Howard shouldn’t have been ejected. It didn’t end up mattering as Atlanta won, but what if Boston would have come back? Officiating errors that change not just one play but the entire contours of a game are really bad.

This Celtics fan thought she was getting Dwight’s jersey after he was ejected. “LMAO,” Howard thought to himself as he pulled the okeydoke.

Kyle Lowry hurt his wrist and will sit a few weeks. This had better not derail Toronto’s playoff run.

Limited Youth Rob Gronkowski Jersey The case for Gordon Hayward as the NBA’s most underrated dunker.

Stockton Malone Shorts is the real name of a real high-level amateur player in Utah.

Seeing the Cubs play is going to be pretty expensive this season. Bleed Cubbie Blue tells you how to see them without emptying your 401K or giving up your firstborn child.

Jarrod Dyson could be the solution to the Mariners never-ending leadoff man problems.

The Giants farm system might not be deep, but they have some guys who could help them sooner rather than later.

Limited Mens Shaun Hill Jersey On the occasion of such a massive public screw-up as the Oscars, Over the Monster decided to take a look at the five biggest Red Sox screw-ups of all-time.

Guess what? Tim Tebow’s back, everybody!

Watch two kids freak out when they get Mike Trout autographs, just like you would if it happened to you. Don’t even pretend you’d be able to keep it together.

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If you’ve been hoping to finish up on your seven-round mock draft, you can now officially do that, because we know where all 32 teams will be picking during April’s NFL Draft.

The final piece of the puzzle was released on Friday when the NFL awarded 32 compensatory selections to 16 teams. Although the exact formula the league uses to award picks hasn’t been released, we do know that it basically comes down to this: a team that loses more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

Using that “formula,” the big winners this year were the Bengals, Broncos, Chiefs and Browns, who all received four extra picks. The Dolphins (3), Rams (2) and Seahawks (2) were the only other teams to received multiple compensatory picks.

If no one is willing to give Bell the kind of contract he wants even without losing draft picks, he’d be eligible to stay in Pittsburgh on a one-year deal that equates to, per a league source, 5.892 percent of the 2017 salary cap. That’s considerably less than the 7.257-percent rate that applies under the franchise tag for running backs.

Based on a $165 million salary cap, those percentages equate to a franchise tender of $11.97 million and a transition tender of $9.72 million. For the Steelers, the question becomes whether it’s worth the extra $2.25 million to prevent another team from trying to pilfer Bell.

If the Steelers believe that no other team would break the bank for a guy who a significant injury history, a groin injury that was bad enough to at least make surgery an option, and a pair of substance-abuse policy violations, it makes plenty of sense to save the money and retain the rights to a running back who has been great when healthy and available, but who isn’t healthy and available often enough (he has missed 20 total games in four seasons) to justify that kind of investment.

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Similarly, one good pie seems to override the common sense that pies in general are trash. It¡¯s a deception to posture otherwise. They don¡¯t taste good. There¡¯s too much going on with them. They¡¯re messy. And even worse, they look bad. They look like the Lord of the Rings: Battle of the Five Armies dwarves of pastry foods.

It¡¯s redundant but important to repeat this: cakes are delicious. Just thinking of them now fills me with joy. They are the epitome of what a dessert should be. The shining example to the imposters. Everything, every food, event or injury, is made better or is healed when a cake is part of the equation.

They are simply the best.

When Bobby Valastro was arrested back in 2014, he didn¡¯t try to argue his way out by referencing his community work or by apologizing. He said ¡°You can’t arrest me! I’m the Cake Boss.¡± Because cakes mean something in this world.
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Authentic Womens Julius Peppers Jersey Now, if there was no cake available and he absolutely had to eat a pie to stave off starvation, then fine. That¡¯s an understandable situation, though it still leaves a bad taste in one¡¯s mouth. Pies should be a last resort in a desperate situation. They¡¯re what you eat when you can no longer sleep off the hunger.

That might be a bit hyperbolic, but that¡¯s how awful pies look when compared to cakes. When they¡¯re held up to closer inspection, when compared to the light that is the cake, pies don¡¯t cool off, they crumble. They¡¯re shown to be nothing more than a distasteful and crude collage of ingredients, packed and packaged as something better than it really is. Used as the title of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan ¡ªwho definitely should have not won that Nobel Prize¡ª Don Mclean, The Beatles, and James Taylor.

All to no avail because no amount of propaganda can change the nature of pies. They¡¯re bad.

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Super Bowl 49 is a good matchup in its own right — the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots were both No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences — but two weeks of drama, from DeflateGate to fretting about what Marshawn Lynch does with his hand after touchdowns, have added a thick layer of intrigue. The whinging is almost over: The two teams will kickoff Sunday in Glendale, Ariz., at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will appear in their sixth Super Bowl together with the Patriots. The two have been the biggest constant on perhaps the NFL’s most consistent franchise since the turn of the century. Brady is once again quarterbacking one of the league’s best offenses. New England averaged 40 points scored in its two postseason wins after finishing the regular season fourth in scoring at 29.3 points per game.

The average over the last nine years was one minute, 56 seconds, but a couple have come in way over and way under. In 2012, Kelly Clarkson completed the song in a mere one minute, 34 seconds, while Alicia Keys took two minutes, 35 seconds in 2013.

There has also been controversy over the national anthem wager. In 2011, Christina Aguilera was well on her way to the OVER when she skipped a verse. Her performance resulted in a PUSH for many casinos. Some elected to refund customers as nobody had noticeably flubbed the lyrics in that manner. Aguilera’s performance also resulted in the addition of the wager on whether the singer will miss a word. Menzel did not miss any words in her performance.
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Limited Youth Mike Pouncey Jersey Zibanejad nearly made it 2-0 on a power-play goal late in the period. The goal was disallowed after a review for offside.

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After all the wheeling and dealing, I’ve got the Mariners projected to finish right smack in the middle in runs, a drop from last season.

But the run prevention does look better, and that adds up to another run at a wild-card spot. Seems like a familiar outlook, but at least the process will look different.
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Erik Walden Elite Jersey San Francisco Giants: Turn on the hoses.

Generally, I’m not a big fan of handing out huge contracts to relief pitchers. But if any team can be forgiven for making such a splurge, it’s the Giants. Closer Mark Melancon signed a four-year deal worth $62 million to ease Bruce Bochy’s ninth-inning pain. That aching, on a scale of 1 to 10, had reached 11 by the time the Giants were eliminated by the Cubs in the National League Division Series.

The Giants blew a big league-high 30 saves last season even though they finished fourth in overall bullpen ERA. San Francisco entered the All-Star break with the NL’s best record, but with the bullpen blowing lead after lead, they went 12 games under .500 during the second half. Then, to put an exclamation on it, Bochy cycled through five relievers in the ninth inning of the Giants’ last game against the Cubs. Chicago put up four runs, won 6-5, and knocked San Francisco out of the bracket.

Beyond signing Melancon, the Giants did little in the way of bringing in outside talent. Relievers Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo all walked as free agents, though Lopez remains unsigned. Starter Jake Peavy is also gone, as is outfielder Angel Pagan.

Facts are facts. Weaver had a 5.70 ERA and 1.596 WHIP in 36? innings. The 25-year-old Wacha had a 5.09 ERA and 1.478 WHIP in 138 innings and has had his shoulder give out on him late in each of his past two seasons.

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“Stone Cold” Steve Austin has stunned 46 percent of the people in this photo, including the president.

This is one of the greatest observations anyone has made in 2017 — hands down. Getting hit with the Stone Cold Stunner is a rite of passage for anyone who has stepped into the squared circle with Steve Austin, and this group all shares a common bond.

Linda McMahon was confirmed as Administrator of the Small Business Administration on Tuesday, which meant a photo opportunity with President Trump. Trump is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and has deep ties to the McMahon family. His hotels hosted several Wrestlemanias, and he quickly became the face of …

“It’s never an easy decision when you put a lot into something,” retired NFL star Peyton Manning told GolfChannel.com from last week’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “One thing I always took a lot of pride in was having good timing as a quarterback, good timing with my receiver. It felt like it was the right time for me.

“It might have been the right time no matter how it ended up,” said the two-time Super Bowl champion who went out on the highest of notes by winning his sport’s biggest tournament, “but it certainly made it sweet, being able to go out winning your last game.”

The way things are going, the man with 14 major titles among 79 PGA Tour wins may not even show up for a press conference called to announce his retirement. He’ll either be too physically unwell for a sit down with the media (as he apparently was for this week’s scheduled, rescheduled, and, finally, cancelled presser at Riviera) or too proud to call it quits, even though it appears it’s past time for him to make the determination that all professional athletes know is coming but most can’t believe they’ll ever have to make.

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The Broncos have also been pleased with the progress of the three backs who finished the season on injured reserve — C.J. Anderson, Kapri Bibbs and fullback Andy Janovich. Anderson has said he expects to be “better than ever” in his recovery from surgery just before Halloween.
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It’s all on the same to-do list, McCoy said, and no one will be exempt from the repairs.

“There [are] a number of things that, I think when you look at the offensive line, it’s not just them,” McCoy said. “It is everybody. That has got to be the emphasis with our whole entire team. We’ve all got to look at ourselves first, and we’ve all got to say, ‘OK, how are we going to get better? What really is good enough as an offense?’ We’re going to push the limit every day … I will say this, Jeff Davidson and John will make them play better, and they will play better next year.”

Meanwhile, Jermaine Kearse’s third-down numbers were among the worst in the league this season. Among 144 qualifying players, Kearse had the worst catch rate (26.3 percent) in the NFL on third down. Wilson targeted Kearse less (on 12.3 percent of his routes) on third down than the other players, and the pair struggled to connect all season long. It’s worth noting that in the previous four years, Kearse caught 56.3 percent of his third-down targets and converted 45.8 percent of his targets into first downs. The Seahawks have to hope he can bounce back in 2017.
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Seattle has several areas to hone in on to improve its third-down efficiency next season. The offensive line has to be better — both in protection and on short-yardage runs. A healthier Wilson will make a difference. And the coaches have to make sure they have the right personnel on the field.

When the Seahawks return to practice in a couple months, Pete Carroll and the coaches will emphasize third-down improvement as much as ever.

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Limited Womens Paul Coffey Jersey News broke this evening that Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has died.

Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, co-founder of Little Caesars, has died at age 87, the Ilitch organization has confirmed.

The Ilitch family says it will have a private funeral for Mike Ilitch, and a public event is still being planned.

Ilitch was a massively influential player in the sports history of Detroit and it¡¯s safe to say that without him, most of us wouldn¡¯t be Red Wings fans today. Our condolences go out to the Ilitch family on Mike¡¯s passing.

When coach fired in season, almost 100% of time new coach says “we are going to be in better shape, or play at higher pace”..

… exactly. There¡¯s not much that can be changed in-season, so this is the standard post-firing line. And, really, how much better could the Bruins be implementing their system? They¡¯re suppressing and creating better than any team in the league. Pucks just aren¡¯t going in.

How much can philosophy or new voices make a bounce go their way more often?

So, it¡¯s hard to buy the voice thing Sweeney is selling. It¡¯s easier to buy the underlying message he was dealing under the table: Claude didn¡¯t like the roster he was given.

Zadorov was asked by The Denver Post after the game about the hit and had some interesting things to say about Trouba jumping him. Here¡¯s his take on the hit:

Zadorov said of the hit itself: ¡°I saw him with his head down and I just tried to put on the brakes and tried to step up. I think I caught him cleanly. Good thing he didn¡¯t get injured. I don¡¯t want to see him injured, but it¡¯s a hockey play.¡±
While confirming that Scheifele was okay after the game, Jets coach Paul Maurice said that he wasn¡¯t convinced the hit was legal.

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For an NFL team that’s looking for an up-and-coming playcaller to be its next head coach, the 500-point offense is the gold standard.

Those offenses are coveted, celebrated and chronicled. Those teams are framed as groundbreaking and ahead of the curve, as the ones that have cracked the code.

And then they almost never win the Super Bowl.

The 2016 Atlanta Falcons were the 19th team in the Super Bowl era to finish a season with 500-plus points on offense. Yet with their historical, confounding collapse in Super Bowl LI on Sunday, the Falcons became the 15th team to score 500 points in a season yet not win the Super Bowl.

Even as the league continues to tip the rulebook toward offense, most of the highest-scoring teams in league history continue to conclude their seasons devoid of the Lombardi trophy. In fact, seven of the teams to finish a season with at least 500 points didn’t even make it to the league’s title game. The 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 St. Louis Rams and 2009 New Orleans Saints are the only teams to score 500 points in a season and go on to win the Super Bowl.

“The Brady 6” became noteworthy because of Brady’s Super Bowl success.

Game Kids Reto Berra Jersey One day, perhaps “The Prescott 7” — Jared Goff (No. 1, Rams), Carson Wentz (No. 2, Eagles), Lynch (No. 26, Broncos), Christian Hackenberg (No. 51, Jets), Jacoby Brissett (No. 91, Patriots), Cody Kessler (No. 93, Browns) and Cook (No. 100, Raiders) — will be as noteworthy.

Game Darren Daulton Jersey Being selected with the 135th pick, “just allowed the chip to grow,” Prescott said. “It’s hard for me to say there’s 134 people better than me in this [draft]. It’s hard for me to say seven other quarterbacks that are better than me. So you just sit down, watch that, expecting to go a lot higher than I did, which allowed the chip on my shoulder to grow. I go out there each and every day remembering that, trying to prove my worth in practice, in the weight room and in the games on Sunday.”

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The Jets had four quarterbacks on their roster last season, and it’s quite possible that none of them has a future with the team. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are pending free agents. Bryce Petty was awful (19.4 QBR) in a four-game audition. Christian Hackenberg received so little practice time that it’s difficult to know anything about him in an NFL context. The Jets found that they weren’t nearly as close to competing as they thought they were after a 10-6 season in 2015. It’s going to be tough to do much about that this offseason. The Jets are projected to be more than $8 million over the 2017 salary-cap limit, the worst projected situation in the entire league.

They should be able to find a blue-chip player with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft. Who knows? The Jets wouldn’t be the first team to pull a decent starting quarterback from nowhere. (They did so just two years ago with Fitzpatrick.) They could upgrade their draft assets or possibly get a good player in return if they trade defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.

“This is bulls—!” Cousins yells at Salvatore. “They don’t want to listen!”

“Take a deep breath!”

“No, you take a deep breath!”
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Elite Kids Shane Ray Jersey A source who attended the session says 14-year veteran Matt Barnes has been the teammate this season most likely to talk Cousins down from the ledge — but today, in this conference room, nobody intervenes. This one is just too loaded.

Of all the issues that have plagued Cousins over his career, his relationship with officials is among the most exasperating — to Cousins, to his coaches, to the NBA. Since he entered the league in 2010, Cousins has amassed 107 technical fouls, 24 more than Russell Westbrook, who ranks second. Last year Cousins was the only player suspended for eclipsing the threshold of 16 technicals in a season.

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