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The Confidential for Monday 10/5

Oct 05, 2015 -- 10:06am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday Oct 5th. If you have a story that you think is confidential worthy email it to me or tweet it to @realmattlanta. Enjoy...

Monday Confidential

Georgia Fans On Twitter Got #FireRicht Trending

Georgia laid another egg in a big game against Alabama Saturday afternoon, getting blown out at home by the Crimson Tide, 38-20. It was only the Bulldogs’ first loss of the year, but as you’d imagine, fans are upset. Hundreds have taken to Twitter to call for the school to fire Richt. In short, they’re upset that UGA can seemingly never get over the hump.

Here’s a roundup – there are plenty worse out there, too. The hashtag #FireRicht was trending on Twitter for a bit.

Roy G Biv @jtdbear

Thanks @MarkRicht. Looks like the wife & I r getting divorced due to your coaching. Stop breaking up families. Pls resign. #FireRicht

redovian @redovian

dont worry UGA fans at least Coach Richt is a really great guy. its sooo much fun to watch this embarrassment every year. #firericht

Shane @Defy_Reality

I can't expect anything less. Richt is a perennial chole artist against top 10 foes. #FireRicht #Pathetic #UGAvsBama


DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

Murray said he knew what he signed up for in Philadelphia, where the plan going in was to spread the opportunities among multiple running backs. Still, Murray expected more.

“I knew I was going to be the lead guy,” Murray said. “I knew [Darren] Sproles and [Ryan] Mathews, two great guys. I knew this offense, a lot of guys touch the ball.”

So will he take it up with the coaching staff?

“I don’t need to go to anyone,” Murray said. “It is what it is.”

After four games last season, Murray had 99 carries for 534 yards. After four games this year? 29 carries for 47 yards. Yikes. At this rate, Murray, whom everyone expected to cross the 1,000-yard rushing mark, needs an average of 80 yards a game for the remainder of the season to reach that benchmark.

The worst part is he had a 30-yard rush in this game, meaning he came in with 11 yards in three games.

Considering he has yet to reach 50 yards this season, he may not accomplish it without some injuries to other players.


Decision on Philbin's future expected today

According to a report, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin will learn his fate Monday.

Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com reports that Stephen Ross will decide if he'll keep Philbin as head coach by Monday.

Despite lacking an internal candidate to replace Philbin, the report says that Ross wants to show key players he's committed to winning.

The Dolphins have started the season 1-3 and are heading into their bye week.


Todd Gurley “exploded” this week

Rams running back Todd Gurley took more than a half to get rolling against the Cardinals on Sunday, but the train really picked up speed once it left the station.

Gurley ran for more than 100 yards in the fourth quarter and finished with 146 yards on 19 carries that did plenty to show why the Rams made him a first-round draft choice this year. Gurley reeled off several big plays, including a 52-yard jaunt that set up a touchdown, on his first big day as a professional player.


Max Scherzer Becomes First Pitcher Since Nolan Ryan In 1973 To Throw Two No-Hitters In Same Regular Season

Max Scherzer, who in June came within an out of a perfect game and sandwiched that no-hitter with a one-hitter and five more perfect innings, no-hit the Mets tonight en route to becoming the first hurler since Nolan Ryan in 1973 to hold two teams hitless in the same regular season.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Scherzer’s only baserunner came via a Yunel Escobar error on a routine ground ball. He struck out 17, including nine in a row in the final three innings


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Compares Cowboys D to Poor Border Control

Sometimes Politicians are funny on Twitter.

Other times you wonder how in the world did they get elected. Every time I think that, I just remember that we had a member of the Bush family as Presidents for 12 total years and another is trying to get in. I also remember that Donald Trump is now a viable presidential candidate. This is the society we live in.

So, I can’t even be surprised by this tweet from Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Gregg Abbott Border Cowboys Tweet

I am sure he will say he was hacked or give a fake apology soon enough, but I think this Twitter user had the correct way to handle this.


Awful Humans Infest Cardale Jones' Mentions

Cardale Jones threw for 245 yards and a touchdown in a road win against an undefeated Power-Five opponent on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, this performance was deemed unacceptable by many Buckeye "fans," who took to Twitter to lambaste the college student putting his body on the line for our entertainment.

Warning: The following Tweets feature profanity and general idiocy.

Please jump off a cliff so JT can start. You have horrible mechanics and force way too much RT @CJ12_: S/O to them Bucks 5-0

— Sean Michael (@HBK_SeanMichael) October 4, 2015

@CJ12_ Aren't you 6 foot 5. I didn't know they stacked shit that high #jt #barrett # OSU

— Chandler (@chandler_staats) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ is a 3 hit wonder. Please bench him Urban! #ByeFelicia

— Jennifer Janssen (@jen_thaboss) October 3, 2015

Last year I left during any OSU game that @CJ12_ made it into, now I'm wondering how bad JT looks in practice to loose his job to this scrub

— Craig McClain (@cmichaelmac) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ you're ass . Idk how the fuck you won a championship for us.

— pidge(diehard216fan) (@pidgemerkin) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ you're so trash it's hard to watch I hope you know that

— Ryan Lair (@RyanLair) October 3, 2015

Kevin Harris @BeTru2ThaGame

@CJ12_ hey u stupid bitch get 2 more TDs and I won't wish aids on u tonight

Joshua Talarcek @jtalarcek

@CJ12_ stop tweeting Rhonda rousey and start playing football you dumb fuck!


Jones is undefeated as a stater, so perhaps this backlash is a bit of an overreaction.

It's understandable to have differing opinions about the quarterback situation, but only the worst among us vent those opinions through hateful social media speech aimed at a college student.


Brian Cushing’s wife gets upset with Houston talk show host

Megan Cushing, the wife of Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, wasn’t about to let a Houston sports talk radio host criticize her husband’s teammates without at least some objection.

Our friend Nick Wright, who hosts locally for 610 Sports in Houston and CBS Sports Radio nationally on the weekends, was critical of Texans tight end Garrett Graham while watching the team get destroyed by the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. He posted a perfectly fair opinion/criticism, but Cushing did not appreciate it and told him so:

nick wright ‚úĒ @getnickwright

Garrett Graham just isn't good. Simple as that.

Megan Cushing @megan_makena

@getnickwright why don't you go out and there and try it yourself ??

nick wright ‚úĒ @getnickwright

Being better than a talk show host at football isn't the goal. It's to be better than your weekly competition...

Megan Cushing @megan_makena

@getnickwright as a "talk show host" you can criticize them with some respect..

Wright then followed up with a legitimate question, asking Cushing what a respectful way is to criticize a player. Cushing didn’t respond, but things got semi-awkward when Graham’s wife Ericka stepped in and encouraged everyone to share a group hug.

The exchange just goes to show that it is easy to criticize when there are no consequences, but it’s an entirely different thing when you know people are listening or following what you say. Oh, and Mrs. Cushing probably should stay above the fray even though watching the Texans get crushed is frustrating.


Cops: Priest Pulled Gun On 8-Year-Old Because He Was A Cowboys Fan

Father Kevin Carter of St. Margaret of Cortona in Little Ferry, Nj. was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of fourth degree aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of third degree endangering the welfare of a child for an incident that occurred back on September 13. According to Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli, Carter pointed an antiquated Civil War-era musket, which apparently was still functioning, at the boy and said, “I’m going to shoot you.” The reason, according to Molinelli, was:

“The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that.”

Carter is a Giants fan and that other football team is apparently the Dallas Cowboys, according to persecutors. You may recall that September 13 was the day that the Giants and Cowboys faced off and the Giants laid down a truly impressive collapse.Carter, 54, called the boy into a rectory room, where he had him stand against a wall. Then he pointed the gun at his head, according to several witnesses. A colleague contacted the archdiocese two weeks later, who then in turn contacted local cops. Carter has worked at St. Margaret for two years. Ironically, he is the current police chaplain for the Little Falls Police Department.

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The Confidential for Monday 9/28

Sep 29, 2015 -- 8:57am

Here is an early look at my Confidential stories for Monday September 28th. Enjoy!

If you have a story for the confidential send it to me on twitter - @realmattlanta or email it to matt@680thefan.com.



Son of Jets coach trash talks Geno Smith, Antonio Cromartie


The son of New York Jets tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson displayed some of the most foolish Twitter behavior we have ever seen.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee, Johnson’s son was tweeting from the Twitter handle “@JimmieJ82” from the Jets’ locker room after the team’s loss to the Eagles Sunday. In one tweet he called Geno Smith a “bum a–” and shared a photo of the quarterback taking a photo with some kids:

Next he took aim at Antonio Cromartie. What he probably wasn’t planning for was to get a response from the cornerback, which is what happened. Take a look:

Johnson deleted the tweets, apologized for them, and changed his Twitter handle. Here are the apologies from his new account:

Those tweets were really stupid on my part. Will apologize to both of them if I get the chance.

— J (@Jtre88) September 28, 2015

Social media damage is already done but I'm apologizing to Cro again tomorrow.

— J (@Jtre88) September 28, 2015

And we all thought Marshawn Lynch’s mom was creating a controversy with her comments? This was easily the most questionable use of Twitter by a coach or athlete’s family member we’ve seen.


SportsCenter Verified account @SportsCenter

Nick Chubb recorded his 12th straight 100-yard rushing game, tying Herschel Walker for longest streak in UGA history.

@ESPNStatsInfo: Devonta Freeman: 5th RB in Falcons history with 100 Rush yards and 3 Rush TD in a single game (1st since Michael Turner, 2010)

@RLiuNFL: The @AtlantaFalcons are 3rd team in @NFL history to have rusher w/ 100+ yards & 3+ TD AND receiver w/ 150+ yards & 2+ TD in same game

Scott Kacsmar@FO_ScottKacsmar - football outsiders

Matt Ryan: 1st QB to reach 30 GWD before his 10th season. He's 3 games into his 8th season. @TheFalcoholic

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Todd Gurley’s Rams debut contains no highlights

It’s a good thing the Rams have preached patience with running back Todd Gurley.

Because his professional debut gave little indication that he’s 100 percent recovered from his injury, or close to his pre-injury form.

The No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft made his NFL debut yesterday, but had just 9 yards on six carries, with one 5-yard reception in their loss to the Steelers.



Wife of Dolphins CB arrested for battery before game


Damn Miko

Video evidence shows Grimes on the ground yelling and screaming profanity as she is handcuffed. In the video you can hear people talking about Grimes crossing where she wasn’t supposed to be.

Grimes, who is the wife of Dolphins CB Brent Grimes, was arrested by Miami-Dade police and charged with battery of a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest with violence.

Grimes is accused of breaking through a restricted area despite warnings from police officers and then becoming belligerent, telling them they couldn’t tell her what she could do. She apparently was seen as a threat to officers and was taken down to the ground. She allegedly only calmed down after being threatened with a Taser.

Local 10 News in Miami says Grimes allegedly head-butted a police officer and continued swinging her elbows and kicking as she was put into a police car.

Brent was made aware of the incident after the game but did not comment about it to reporters. Here is video from the incident.




Cam Newton: Ref told me I wasn't 'old enough' to get call


There has always been suspicion that some star players get calls in their favor based on reputation, and Cam Newton seemed to confirm that after Carolina’s win Sunday over New Orleans.

The Panthers quarterback says he was told by referee Ed Hochuli that he was “not old enough” to get a personal foul call after being hit late on a play in the fourth quarter against the Saints.

“I was really baffled by what was said to me,” Newton said after the game via The Charlotte Observer. “I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some type of opportunity to get a completion and the defensive lineman, you know, kind of hit me. It was close. It was right on the cusp. Was it a late hit? I don’t know. But the response that I got was, ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’”

The play happened when Newton rolled out to throw a pass to Greg Olsen in the fourth quarter and was hit by the Saints’ Tyler Davison.

“I’m looking at him like what? Jesus. I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that,” Newton said. “You just have to be accountable. It’s one thing to be frustrated in a situation where you see a personal foul on the opposing quarterback get called, and then for me when it’s something around the same range and for that flag not to be called, it’s…I’m ticked off. Really.”

Pro Football Talk reports that Hochuli denies making that comment. What, like you actually believed he would admit to saying it if he did? The guy forcefully stands by even his bad calls.

It’s fairly well known that rookies and young players don’t get the same calls veterans do. There’s a reason the phrase “star treatment” developed.



Kevin Sumlin's 'Everybody' speech leads to epic celebration


Just when Arkansas and head coach Bret Bielema thought they were minutes away from upsetting No. 14 Texas A&M Saturday night, the Aggies pulled the rug from underneath them, defeating the Razorbacks in overtime, 28-21, to remain undefeated. 

Texas A&M was obviously excited in the locker room after the game. And as head coach Kevin Sumlin gave his “Everybody” speech, the anticipation continued to build. The team was ready to erupt, as you can see from this video posted by AggieFBLife.



J.J. Watt has tremendous ‘Saved by the Bell’ Twitter exchange


JJ Watt had the kind of social media exchange Sunday that any true child of the ’90s would die for.

Watt, who had five tackles in the Texans’ 19-9 win over the Buccaneers, shared a photo on Twitter of him with actor/TV host Mario Lopez.

JJ Watt ‚úĒ @JJWatt

Bayside must have had a BYE week. #WhereIsKellyKapowski

Watt captioned the photo with a “Saved by the Bell” reference by shouting out Bayside High, the fictional school where the show’s cast members attended. Then his hashtag was “where is Kelly Kapowski,” which was actress Tiffani Thiessen’s name in the show.

Thiessen caught wind of the tweet and sent a fantastic response.

@jjwatt I heard you were looking for me. I'm in LA catching up on my reading. Btw, good game today.

The Instagram photo shows her reading the Men’s Fitness magazine featuring Watt on the cover:

That left Watt’s mind blown. “This. Is. Awesome.” was his response.


Purpoted Sex Tape of Jennifer Lopez & Ojani Noa's Eyebrows to Be Released by Noa's Business Partner

Lopez withdrew her claims to the footage while the case was in arbitration, freeing up Noa's business partner to unveil the videos.

Lopez and Noa were married from February 1997 to January 1998. And, apparently, 

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The Confidential for Thursday 9/17

Sep 17, 2015 -- 12:27pm

Here is an early look at my confidential today. 

If you have any confidential stories for me email them matt@680thefan.com


Terrell Owens' Verbal Altercation Outside Starbucks Captured on Video

Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens was involved in a verbal altercation with a man outside of a Brentwood, California, Starbucks. 

According to TMZ Sports, the man threw a cup of liquid and was shouting racist remarks at Owens, leading to the former All-Pro getting in the man's face. TMZ Sports released a video of the incident both inside and outside of the establishment. (WARNING: Videos contain insensitive language):

The man has reportedly filed a police report against Owens, claiming he was hit with a hot cup of coffee, and police are still investigating.

TMZ Sports identified the man as "Arman," who denied throwing anything at Owens and claimed Owens "kicked me in the Starbucks." He also said he wanted to make Owens "mad and sad."

There is no evidence in the video, which was captured outside of the coffee shop, that Owens physically assaulted the man. The two have a heated exchange for just over one minute before they appear to go their separate ways.      


LSU leads all colleges with 40 players on NFL rosters

No college football program produces more NFL talent than LSU.

The NFL today released a breakdown of Week One rosters that showed 40 NFL players went to LSU, more than any other college. The Tigers have had at least four players selected in 10 consecutive NFL drafts. Last year’s draft class was among the best that any college has ever sent to the NFL, with Giants receiver Odell Beckham winning the rookie of the year award and LSU teammates Ego Ferguson (Bears), Jeremy Hill(Bengals), Jarvis Landry (Dolphins), Trai Turner (Panthers), Lamin Barrow (Broncos), Zach Mettenberger(Titans), Alfred Blue (Texans) and James Wright (Bengals) all getting drafted as well.

After LSU, Miami comes in second, with 37 players on NFL rosters, followed by USC with 35. Alabama and Georgia each have 34, Florida and Florida State each have 31, Oklahoma has 30, Notre Dame has 29 and Clemson has 28.

Four of the six colleges that have the most players on NFL rosters are from the SEC. None of the Top 10 are from the Big Ten.


Report: Mike Lupica out at New York Daily News in wave of layoffs

Mike Lupica appears to be out at the New York Daily News. That’s according to a report by POLITICO Media’s Joe Pompeo, who named the sports columnist as the biggest name among the round of layoffs the paper was enacting on Wednesday.

Initially, it was reported that Lupica essentially had a “target on his back,” as one of the Daily News‘ highest-paid staffers. Sources later told Pompeo that management and Lupica were unable to reach terms on a new contract, presumably one that would have cut his salary significantly. Sports editor Teri Thompson is also among those who have been laid off.

Lupica had been with the Daily Newsfor nearly 40 years, since 1977. At the time he joined the paper, he was the youngest writer to ever have a sports column at a New York newspaper. For that reason alone, Lupica’s layoff would be huge media news. With that tenure, he can rightly be considered a New York sports institution. Just last year, the Daily News named him as one of the 50 most powerful people in New York sports (ranking him No. 21), something that must now seem bitterly ironic.


Curry’s Under Armour deal reportedly in Harden range

Now, the player who beat Harden for MVP – Stephen Curry – is getting his own mega-sponsorship deal.

Under Armour release:

Stephen Curry made a surprise appearance at Under Armour’s Global Headquarters in Baltimore today to join Founder and CEO Kevin Plank in announcing the extension of his partnership with the brand through 2024.

Steph Curry's initial Under Armour deal paid him about $4m per year - new deal said to be closer to Harden's $200m adidas deal with stock.

Curry – who still has two years remaining on his four-year, $44 million contract extension – is one of the most underpaid players in the NBA. Apparently, he was also one of the league’s most underpaid endorsers.


Jonathan Taylor at Southeastern La. after Georgia, Alabama dismissals

Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who was dismissed from Georgia and Alabama after arrests on allegations of domestic violence, is now on the football team at Southeastern Louisiana, Outside the Lines has confirmed.

An athletic department spokesman for SLU, a Football Championship Subdivision school, verified that Taylor is enrolled and a member of the football team. However, Taylor is not eligible to play until 2016, his final season of eligibility, spokesman Kemmler Chapple said.

Taylor was arrested in a July 2014 incident in which he allegedly assaulted his then-girlfriend in a dorm at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs dismissed him immediately, and he enrolled and played the 2014 season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, where, according to his attorney, Kim Stephens, numerous SEC schools began recruiting him.


Blake Bortles: Fans questioning our play calling are like kindergartners questioning college students

Jaguars fans have been criticizing the team’s play calling after Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, and quarterback Blake Bortles thinks that criticism is based in ignorance.

Asked today what he thinks about fans saying the Jaguars’ play calling needs to get better, Bortles bristled.

“I don’t know,” Bortles said. “It’s like a kindergartener saying something to a college kid.”

In one sense, Bortles is right: NFL quarterbacks and coaches know far more about the game plan and the playbook than the fans do. Fans who question quarterbacks and coaches about play calling are questioning people who know far more than they do.

But that’s what fans do, and Bortles had better get used to it. The fans’ passion is the reason Bortles gets paid millions of dollars to play football, and when Bortles plays badly as he did on Sunday, the fans are going to have a problem with it. Fans will also have a problem with Bortles comparing them to kindergartners, a statement that he probably wishes he could have back.

Todd Gurley participates in first full practice with Rams

Rams coach Jeff Fisher and his staff informed Gurley that he'd been cleared to return to practice in seven-on-seven and team drills a couple days ago. Since, he'd been champing at the bit to get back on the field and do more than just the individual work and side sessions with athletic trainers that had been his staple in this training camp.

After doing some light work in seven-on-seven, the Rams installed Gurley with the first-team offense at about 5:18 p.m. CT. Quarterback Nick Folesfaked a handoff to Gurley and threw downfield. On the next play, Gurley got the ball on a pitch, darting to the left.

To Fisher's eye, all was well for Gurley on his first day involved in all aspects of practice.

As expected, Gurley wore the yellow "no contact" beanie on his helmet after receiver Brian Quick removed it permanently Tuesday morning. Quick handed it off to Gurley in a short but quick ceremony.

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Here is an early look at my confidential for Thursday August 13th

Aug 13, 2015 -- 9:25am

Sean Weatherspoon has setback in recovery from hamstring injury

The Cardinals signed linebacker Sean Weatherspoon to a one-year deal this offseason in hopes that he’d stay healthy and recover his old form after missing 25-of-32 games over the last two seasons.

Their wait to find out the answer to the latter question will be extended a bit longer because Weatherspoon hasn’t been able to solve the former through this point in training camp. Weatherspoon hurt his hamstring during the first practice of camp and then suffered a setback in his attempt to return while going through some individual drills on Tuesday.

“Just not feeling as strong as it needs to be to sustain the practice,” Weatherspoon said, via the Arizona Republic. “I want to practice. I want to go out there with my guys, get that timing down. But the main thing is, I’m on a one-year deal so I’ve got to be healthy before I get out there.”


Ryan Seacrest will replace Mary Carillo as NBC late-night Olympics host for Rio 2016

NBC’s late-night Olympics coverage will be going in a very different direction in 2016. In Sochi in 2014, their primary late-night host was Mary Carillo, who also held that role in London, Vancouver and Beijing. Next year in Rio, they’ll be going with…Ryan Seacrest?

With just under a year to go until the Opening Ceremony, NBC Olympics announced today that Ryan Seacrest will serve as host for NBC’s late night coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Seacrest served as a correspondent for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Games, which was the most-watched television event in U.S. history with more than 217 million viewers. In London, Seacrest interviewed U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and was one of the hosts of the Closing Ceremony.


Going blue? Michigan football social media accounts were hacked

Michigan football has surely been trying some new tactics for recruiting since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach, but this probably isn’t what he or the program had in mind.

As of early Wednesday morning, the Michigan football Twitter and Facebook accounts appear to have been hacked. Either that, or the program’s social media department is adopting some very different ideas of what might interest alumni and fans.


As of 7:30 a.m. ET, it appears that Michigan football’s Twitter page has been scrubbed of all extraneous, viral, non-football content. But its Facebook page is still populated with a bunch of pop culture and gossip detritus. Here are just a couple of screen caps:



Someone’s probably going to be chewed out by Harbaugh this morning, or at least receive a very intense stare.

At the very least, a Michigan athletics social media coordinator is likely going to be attacking these posts with enthusiasm unknown to mankind this morning.


Todd Gurley likely to miss start of season for Rams

Todd Gurley won't play a snap this preseason. Don't expect to see him on the field in Week 1, either.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport wrote in a dispatch from Rams camp on Tuesday that the team expects their first-round pick to miss the "first couple games" of the regular season. Gurley is viewed as 90 percent recovered from his torn ACL, but the area around the repaired ligament isn't far enough along for the team to feel confident about a full return to action.

Which is not to insinuate that Gurley has suffered a setback. Rapoport wrote Tuesday that "team personnel can barely contain themselves" about the potential of Gurley, a college star at Georgia who has drawn comparisons to a young Adrian Peterson.


NFL might be making Super Bowl 50 Media Day a primetime event?

It’s the news Deion Sanders has been dreaming about for years.

Yes, per Fox Sports’ NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the league is kicking around the idea of moving Super Bowl media day—held every Tuesday before the big game—to primetime to maximize television exposure.

It’s a wonder they didn’t come to this decision sooner. Why has the NFL been wasting moments like this on the stuck-on-the-couch-at-noon crowd all these years?

Reading the responses to Garafolo’s tweet, the media seem to hate the idea, but from a logistical standpoint, moving the three hour event to primetime makes a lot of sense this season, as the Super Bowl is being played on the west coast, putting the start time for Media Day already into the early afternoon in the east.

If the league has no choice but to start an event at three o’clockin the east anyway, why not just wait another four hours, put the thing on at 4 p.m. PT and get a little primetime bump out of half the country getting home to watch the hilarity ensue?

Oh, and it will ensue. Media Day at the Super Bowl has become less about the NFL providing a day for the actual media and more about the NFL creating a fishbowl atmosphere for the fans to see just how many different types of media love to cover the league.


Bettor Cashes In on Historical MLB Night, Wins $100,000 on $78 Parlay Bet

One bettor in Dublin had himself a pretty good day this week, all thanks to his betting on the home team in every MLB game on Tuesday.

According to ESPN.com's David Purdum, a 46-year-old bettor at the William Hill sportsbook in the United Kingdom turned a (relatively) small parlay bet into more than $100,000. That bet may have been the result of nothing more than luck.

Fifteen games, 15 wins by the home team. According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN), Tuesday was the first time in MLB history that the home team won every game in which there were 15 games played on that day.

That historical night paid off in a big way for one lucky person. The bettor put down 50 pounds ($78.10) on a 15-leg parlay that featured every MLB home team on Tuesday and two correlated round-robin wagers. The result: a 64,543-pound ($100,810) payout.

Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay, per Purdum, said that the historical night was a "terrible night" for his business, as it lost on 11 of the 15 games. While the sportsbooks may have had a rough night, it was a night to remember for one fortunate bettor.


Ex-NFLers including Michael Strahan rip Tom Brady for ringing that nanny

Ben Affleck, then girl Jennifer Garner and their three kids are on vacation in the Bahamas with nanny Christine Ouzounian.

Affleck leaves on a private jet, with Ouzounian, and they pick up New England cheating quarterback Tom Brady.

And the douchejuice's 4 Super Bowl rings. 

In a photo obtained exclusively by The Post, Christine Ouzounian, 28, is wearing the rings.

The NY Post asked some former NY Jets and Giants what they thought of Brady ringing the nanny.

“I saw the picture and was like, ‘What the heck is he doing carrying around all his rings?’ ” former Giant Michael Strahan told The Post’s Dana Schuster.

Retired Giant Shaun O’Hara has one 2008 Super Bowl ring and says most active players don’t wear their rings, “because they don’t want to dwell on the past.

“By no means do I wear the ring for a random night out,” he told The Post’s Tashara Jones.

Though there’s no word of what Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen thinks, “I know my wife would not want the nanny wearing my Super Bowl rings,” said Damien Woody, who played for the New England Patriots and has two Super Bowl rings. “I have my rings locked up.”

The funny thing here isn't Ouzounian, sporting a brand new Lexus, thinking that A) Affleck is going to marry her or B) That anyone would ever (ever) hire her as a nanny again. It's Michael Strahan, of Regent Beverly Wilshire fame, weighing in on a pro football player ... playing.


Madden 16 ratings revealed for Falcons, NFC South

EA Sports revealed the Madden NFL 16 team ratings for the Atlanta Falcons and the rest of the NFC South.

Here's how things shake out within the division:

Panthers: 80

Saints: 78

Falcons: 77

Buccaneers: 74

Ratings for some of the Falcons' offensive players were also unveiled:  Matt Ryan (90 overall), Julio Jones (94 overall), Roddy White (84 overall), Leonard Hankerson (76 overall), Devonta Freeman (75 overall) and Tevin Coleman (74 overall).

And on defense: Vic Beasley (77 overall), Desmond Trufant (90 overall) and Justin Durant (84 overall).

A 77 overall rating seems accurate for a team that finished 6-10 last season and is shrouded in a bit of uncertainty with several new faces among coaches and players.

The Saints being rated higher than the Falcons is a tad confusing, particularly when you take into consideration the fact Atlanta swept them last season. They're also without Jimmy Graham, who was traded away to the Seattle Seahawks.

What do you think the Falcons should've been rated?

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The Confidential for Thursday 8/6

Aug 06, 2015 -- 8:57am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Thursday August 6th. If you have a story for the confidential, email it to matt@680thefan.com or tweet it to @realmattlanta. 


Braves release prospect charged with rape, kidnapping

The Braves have released Elmer Reyes, a minor leaguer who was arrested in May and charged with rape and kidnapping.

Reyes has not played for Triple-A Gwinnett since May 22, the night the alleged incident occurred. According to police, Reyes met the victim and another woman after a game in Columbus, Ohio, and the pair agreed to accompany him to a bar.

The woman said Reyes then paid for a hotel room because he didn't want the women to drive after they had been drinking. One of the women fell asleep upon entering the room, and Reyes allegedly pinned the other to the bed and forced her to have intercourse.

Court records show Reyes waived his right to a preliminary hearing, but prosecutors still have not presented the case to a grand jury for indictment. They have a Sept. 1deadline to do so. Reyes has been out on $50,000 bond since shortly after his arrest.

Baseball America rated the 24-year-old infielder the No. 29 prospect in the Braves' system following last season.


Rex Ryan will eat a dog biscuit on Thursday

Bills coach Rex Ryan’s next goddamn snack is going to be a dog biscuit.

Ryan was challenged by a Buffalo news anchor to eat a dog biscuit as part of a challenge organized by the Erie County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to raise awareness of their efforts. On Wednesday, Ryan said he was accepting a challenge that will come easily to him and that he’ll enjoy his treat on Thursday.

“I believe I’ve been challenged to eat like a dog biscuit or something like that,” Ryan said, via ESPN.com. “With the name Rex, obviously I’ve eaten a lot of dog biscuits in my day, so this is no problem. I accept the challenge. I thought it was kind of funny when I got challenged by this person, and I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s do it. It’s on.’ Give me one of them small biscuits though. I had the lap band [surgery], can’t be the big ones, the large ones.”

Ryan wouldn’t reveal who he planned to challenge in return, saying only that it was going to be “big” because he wants “to make sure” that the media shows up for his Thursday press conference. Whether or not dog biscuits are involved, it’s hard to imagine that Ryan needs anything but his presence to guarantee an audience.


Percy Harvin dishes on his former team


Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin seems to finally have found his niche in Western New York, but only after a tumultuous season and-a-half stint with the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle ultimately resulted traded him to the New York Jets midway through the 2014 season, then Harvin signed with Buffalo this offseason. Harvin spoke up about his trying time in Seattle (via ESPN):

“Seattle, at times, I kind of felt as I had to come in and be the guy to sit in the back of the room, not say too much, kind of walk on egg shells. That in itself drew frustrations on top of not being accepted in my receiver group, so just kind of never was able to get comfortable in Seattle.”

Harvin reportedly got into a locker room confrontation with Seahawks former wide receiver Golden Tate before Super Bowl XLVIII. He also was reported to have gotten into another altercation with wide receiver Doug Baldwin prior to one of the during the 2014 preseason games.

Harvin concluded that the Seahawks receivers found him to be a threat.

“My teammates (in Buffalo) accept me a little more. What I mean by that, I always felt when I went to Seattle, a lot of the receivers kind of took me as a threat, rather than accepting me as a teammate. I always told those guys, I pulled them to the side several times after seeing a couple of the comments they was making to the media, ‘Hey, guys, I’m here to ball with you guys, I’m here to take us to the next level.'”

During the interview, Harvin indicated he could have handled things much better in Seattle. However, he still feels some resentment to the team that gave up big money and draft picks to acquire him in 2013.

Here is Harvin’s complete interview for those who want to hear the full details.

Harvin will now kick off the 2015 season on his fourth team. That’s quite the questionable résumé for a guy who is only 27 years old. And, other than a kick return touchdown in the 2014 Super Bowl, Harvin hasn’t made any highlight-reel plays since his days with the Minnesota Vikings.


Donald Sterling Files For Divorce From His Wife Shelly

Donald Sterling filed for divorce from his wife of 60 years Wednesday, potentially beginning yet another legal battle against Shelly Sterling. The documents filed in LA Superior Court cite irreconcilable difference, and note that the Sterlings have been separated since August 2012. 

The LA Times reports that the court filing allege that “Shelly Sterling has refused to distribute her husband’s share of the record $2-billion sale of the Clippers,” and Donald Sterling attorney Bobby Samini told the paper that “Donald hereby demands an accounting and distribution” of proceeds from the sale. 

If you recall, over a year ago Shelly had Donald examined by two doctors, who felt that he was mentally incapacitated. She used those determinations to take over control of the Sterling Family Trust—which held the Los Angeles Clippers—and reached an agreement to sell the team to Steve Ballmer. Donald tried, and failed, to block the sale with a lawsuit.

Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers was finally wrested away from him… Read more 

Currently, Donald Sterling is suing the NBA, Shelly Sterling, and the two doctors who found that he was mentally incapacitated in federal court. Since he has not signed off on the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer—even though the team was sold by the Sterling Family Trust, which he did not have control of—Donald Sterling’s half of the $2 billion is currently being held in escrow by the NBA. ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne sent out a handful of tweets tonight with added context:

Shelly Sterling said that of the $1 billion that was transferred into the trust she controls, she’s paid out $600 million in taxes and fees. Donald Sterling’s lawyer Bobby Samini has asked for a full accounting. “We want to know where the money went. A billion is a lot of money.” Donald Sterling, essentially, has received nothing yet from the sale because he’s still suing the league and Shelly. Shelly Sterling controls the family trust, if you remember, because doctors declared him mentally unfit to control business and legal affairs.


Bill Belichick tells funny Snoop Dogg story 


FOXBORO, Mass. — It ain’t always easy being B-I-double-L, but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick dropped it like it’s hot during Wednesday’s Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

During his speech, the 63-year-old applauded inductee Willie McGinest for his superior leadership qualities and stunning athleticism. Belichick also reminisced about the time McGinest helped his daughter Amanda meet rapper Snoop Dogg before Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston.

No, that’s not a typo. Bill Belichick indeed once hung out with the legendary Snoop Doggy Dogg.

“The day before the game we go out and take pictures for all the families,” Belichick said. “Willie said to me before, ‘Hey, you know my boy’s here. Would it be OK if Snoop came down on the field?'”

The Patriots coach, in true OG fashion, accepted McGinest’s request.

“It was an awesome moment to go through the day and take pictures and all that,” Belichick said. “And when we come to the end, my daughter Amanda comes over to me and she is pleading with me with those big girl eyes, ‘Dad, dad, can we get a picture with Snoop?’

“So I said let me talk to Willie and see if we can swing it. So there it is, myself, my daughter, Willie and Snoop in his full length, red — the color of Willie’s Hall of Fame jacket — fur coat.”

The Patriots coach probably didn’t get his style from the famed rapper — sleeveless hoodies are more Belichick’s speed — but we do know one thing for sure: Someone definitely needs to find that picture.


ESPN Stats & Info ‏@ESPNStatsInfo9h9 hours ago

After allowing 12 hits, Braves have given up 10+ hits in 7 straight games for the first time since April 12-21, 1990

Brad Adgate ‏@badgate 41m41 minutes ago

CBS says it has sold a 30-second ad in next February's Super Bowl for a record $5 million.


Arby’s to Jon Stewart: 'Thanks for being a friend'

Arby’s, long the butt of Jon Stewart’s tongue-in-cheek jokes on “The Daily Show,” is trying to get the last laugh.

The Atlanta-based fast-food chain decided to buy ads on Wednesday night’s next-to-last show with Stewart as host of the Comedy Central hit.

The spots featured a wrap-up of many of the barbs directed at the roast beef king, including: “Arby’s: It’s like shock and awe for your bowels,” “Arby’s: Isn’t there anywhere else we can eat;” and “Arby’s: Why not challenge your stomach to a fight.”

The Arby’s ad used “Thank You for Being A Friend” as its theme song and concluded: “I’m not sure why, but we’ll miss you.”

The reasons for Stewart’s fixation on Arby’s have never quite been clear, and some have even wondered if it was a clever product placement campaign. The company says it wasn’t. But it chose to welcome the visibility and chatter.

“We’re actually going to miss Jon’s mentions of Arby’s,” the company said Wednesday. “It goes to show, though, that if you keep your sense of humor, you can turn what could have been a negative situation into something positive and fun for the brand.”

When Stewart announced his plan to leave, Arby’s tweeted, “Jon, feel free to reach out to us at careers@arbys.com.” To which the show responded with another barb: “Arby’s, come for the tweets, run from the meats.”

This week, the company introduced the “Daily Deli” sandwich, a double corned beef, mustard on marble rye, in Stewart’s honor. It’s not on the menu but can be had by those in the know who ask for it.

“We’re happy to serve Jon one at his nearest Arby’s whenever he’s ready,” the company said.

Arby’s real last laugh may come from the bottom line. It says same-store sales rose 9.6 percent in the first quarter and 7.6 percent in the second.

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Confidential 7/27/15

Jul 27, 2015 -- 9:24am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday July 27th. Enjoy and if you have a story for the confidential email me - matt@680thefan.com or send it via twitter @realmattlanta

LeSean McCoy releases new set of party rules

Hold the phone — LeSean McCoy has a message for all of us: He has switched up his party "strategy."

Last week, the Buffalo Bills running back announced he was going to host a "ladies only" party  in Philadelphia before he skips town for good. However, the application process to simply be invited was worse than any college application process.

Apparently, all of us took McCoy's shadily detailed "before camp party" invite out of context. So, he released a new set of rules Sunday night: Everyone is invited (except Hulk Hogan). Alcohol will not be served, just a smoothie bar. And you don't have to sign a confidentiality agreement. Huge.

Shady wrote this on Instagram:

Since the media and Internet took my before camp party outta context , I had to switch up my party strategy . 
So tonight I'll be inviting everyone to my back to business party . Featuring DJ @DonaldTrump on the 1's and 2's . Special invited guests @RexRyan , @chipKelly ,@Rogergodell , my man Barack .oprah, Carli Llyod , and even that terrible waiter with the awful service from the burger joint is invited. Don't bring your Id because there won't be any alcohol anyway. 
Open smoothie bar all night tho . Don't worry bout the confidentiality agreement. No only are ladies invited but everyone is invited , except hulk hogan he can't come . Maybe even @meekmill and @drake will hit the stage together . Turn up time party time !!!!



Signing bonus, guarantees an impediment for Russell Wilson deal

Regardless of how much the Seahawks are offering quarterback Russell Wilson on an annual basis, the question of how it will be paid out continues to be a major impediment.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, confirming Saturday’s PFT item pointing out that the Seahawks had moved to $21 million per year, reports that the biggest issue at this point is “cash up front and guarantees.”

It’s believed that Wilson, whose agent has in recent years has exclusively represented baseball players, wants a significant portion of the contract to be fully guaranteed. Because the NFL requires all future fully-guaranteed payments to be funded at the initiation of the deal by putting the money into escrow, the Seahawks are expected to push back.

Not because owner Paul Allen can’t afford to set the money aside. He definitely can. But the thinking is that he doesn’t want to, either because he disagrees with the funding concept or because the league wants teams to resist making greater percentages of player contracts fully guaranteed.


Horn: What ESPN plans to do in 90-minute Cowboys training camp special

Coming to a TV set near you on Aug. 4, a Tuesday, will be a live 90-minute special from the Cowboys’ Oxnard, Calif., training camp.

The idea is to take viewers through an afternoon practice with Kenny Mayne, Jon Gruden and Darren Woodson as tour guides.

This will be ESPN’s second such foray into training camp. Last summer the concept debuted with the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. If you think the New England Patriots, the Seahawks’ successors as kings of the hill, would be the logical choice for this summer, you haven’t been paying attention.

So when ESPN producer Jay Rothman decided on an encore performance of his inside training camp experiment, he went directly to a team with “meat on the bone” that doesn’t mind offering a taste. The Cowboys provide the perfect ingredients, including an owner who likes cameras and a magnet that draws eyeballs.

In an interview this week, Rothman said he approached the receptive Cowboys at the Super Bowl and got the final approval last month.

“Jerry Jones is terrific, he gets it,” said Rothman, whose main role is producing Monday Night Football. “And there’s no secret that with the Cowboys, the ratings are big.”

The idea for the training camp series popped into Rothman’s head while he watched an ESPN special that focused on Boston Red Sox batting practice soon after the start of the 2014 season.

Rothman thought the idea would easily translate to the NFL.


Antoine Walker explains how he blew $108 million


If someone handed you $108 million, you’d probably think you were set for life. But it’s not that simple for some people.

Antoine Walker is perhaps better known for blowing through his $108 million earnings over his 12-year NBA career - most of which was spent with the Boston Celtics - than for his accomplishments on the basketball court. And Walker explained to CNN Money just how that happened.

“I created a very expensive lifestyle,” he said, per ProBasketballTalk. “That’s how you lose your wealth real bad at the beginning.”

But it wasn’t just cars and homes for himself that depleted his savings. Walker also estimates that he helped at least 30 people get themselves in “better situations” without expecting any repayment.

“I gave them whatever they wanted and spoiled them,” Walker said. “You can’t do that. It ended up being an open ATM throughout my career.”

Walker also had a gambling problem, but he said that wasn’t what ultimately finished off his millions. The former forward says it was the collapse of his Chicago real estate firm, Walker Ventures, during the latest recession that left him for broke.

“We got caught in the recession,” Walker said. “We had a ton of undeveloped real estate. It went bad. The banks wanted their money back.”

Walker announced in 2013 that he’s debt-free and now works with other young athletes to help them avoid a similar fate to his.


You want Price? Better send Tigers MLB-ready starter in return

The Tigers might be willing to grant a potential trade partner a two-day window to work out a new contract with David Price.

As the baseball industry readies for the possibility that Detroit Tigers ace David Price will become available on the trade market — which could occur as early as Sunday or Monday — here are two key details to remember:

The Tigers aren't necessarily opposed to granting a 48-hour window during which the acquiring team could negotiate a possible contract extension with Price, a free agent after this season. While such windows are rare in Major League Baseball trades, a high-ranking Tigers official said the team has no policy against them. (The added years of control could increase the caliber of players the Tigers receive in return.)

• Sources say the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs have interest in Price. To obtain the left-hander, a team almost certainly would need to surrender a pitcher who fits into the Tigers' 2016 rotation.


Smoltz took his time with his HOF Speech but he got it just right

@darrenrovell: John Smoltz, who wore #29, had an HOF induction speech today that lasted 29 minutes & 29 seconds

Juan Uribe has alot to move to NYC

@DOBrienAJC: Uribe had 5 cars from his fleet shipped to ATL for what ended up being 2 months with #Braves. #Baller


LSU's Leonard Fournette trolls Florida player on Instagram


Sometimes you just have to let people know how much work you’ve put in, even if it means using a little photographic evidence. And very early Sunday morning, LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette wanted to do just that by posting a picture on Instagram of him standing over Florida’s standout cornerback and best defensive player Vernon Hargreaves III, who appears to be lying limp on the ground. 

The Tigers won last year’s matchup in Gainesville, 30-27, after Fournette carried the ball 27 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. So just call it extra motivation for this season’s October 17 meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Fournette rushed for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman in 2014, and Hargreaves is thought to be one of the best defensive backs in the country. This should be fun to watch.


Former Florida State Ball Boy 'Red Lightning' Turns Pro, Joins Falcons - Juan Uribe has alot to move to NYC

While NFL teams spend countless hours scouting college players, they also do their homework in order to create the best staff possible.

The Atlanta Falcons upgraded their staff this offseason by adding the best ball boy college football had to offer—Frankie Grizzle. You may know him as "Red Lightning," formerly of Florida State.

On Sunday, Grizzle announced that he would be taking his talents to the next level:

Frankie Grizzle @daonlyBigRed

A new journey begins today... Training Camp with the @AtlantaFalcons #RiseUp #DirtyBirds

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