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Matt's Confidential for Monday January 11th

Jan 11, 2016 -- 9:41am

Here is an early look at my Confidential....enjoy

The playoffs payoff

@SportsTaxMan: Playoff pay for #NFL #DivisionalRound weekend Players on each team in round receive $25K Players on practice squad on those teams $6,600.


6 arrested in assaults at Steelers-Bengals game

Emotions ran high on the field and in the stands during the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers Wild-Card game Saturday night, leading to at least six fan arrests by the game's end.

The rivalry between the two teams reached a boiling point in Saturday's game that concluded the Bengals' playoff dreams with a 18-16 loss. That tension extended to some fans who chose to take out frustrations with punches, headbutts, and one man even urinated on another inside Paul Brown Stadium, according to police. In total, three Bengals fans and three Steelers fans were arrested.

The first altercation occurred in a line to get inside the stadium around 8 p.m. just before the game's kickoff. Police said it began when Jared McCarty, 19, of Reading, argued with a woman about cutting in line at an entrance gate and stole her Bengals hat.

McCarty, who wore a Bengals jersey, threw the hat away, police said, and the two groups separated only to run into each other again at their seats inside the stadium. The argument resumed in the stands and McCarty allegedly punched the woman in the head, causing her to fall to the ground, according to court documents.

Police discovered a fake identification card on McCarty upon his arrest. The teen admitted to drinking alcohol, police said.

McCarty is accused of falsification, underage drinking, theft, and assault. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

A Steelers fan who traveled from Westville, Indiana, is accused of punching a woman in the face as he exited Paul Brown Stadium around 10 p.m. Tyler Matthys wore a Steelers jersey when police arrested him and accused him of the assault. His court date is not yet scheduled.

Martin Cooke, 33, of Germantown, Kentucky, was arrested after police said he urinated on the person in front of him in Paul Brown Stadium. Cooke, who wore a Bengals hoodie, is accused of fighting with the man and punching him in the face, court documents state. He is facing disorderly conduct and assault charges. Cooke is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Police said David Grillo, 25, of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, walked up an aisle in the stadium and threw a beer at a fan during the game. Grillo was wearing a black jersey at the time, police said, and his Facebook page indicates he is a Steelers fan. The beer hit the fan in the face and caused lacerations, police said. Grillo is accused of assault. His court date is not yet scheduled.

A Cheviot man who wore a black shirt to the game, is accused of head-butting a man in the face. Phillip Ross, 29, was arrested at Paul Brown Stadium and is accused of assault. His Facebook page suggests Ross is a Bengals fan.

Andrew Robles, 28, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was being ejected from the game for an unknown reason when, police said, he escaped officers and punched a woman in the face. Robles, who wore a Steelers jersey, is accused of assault and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

CB Adam Jones rips ref on Instagram, then deletes post 

Rumors that Burfict was also spitting on players, I mean, beyond disgraceful.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones lashed out on social media Saturday night after receiving a key penalty near the end of his team's 18-16 AFC wild-card loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Referring to referee John Parry, Jones said in a video posted on Instagram that "The ref did a horrible f---ing job"

Porter had come onto the field during a stoppage in play while Steelers officials were attending to receiver Antonio Brown. Porter presumably was checking on Brown, who had taken a hit to his head by the Bengals' Vontaze Burfict. Burfict was given a 15-yard penalty for the hit.

Jones then was called for unsportsmanlike conduct as he argued with Porter and other members of the Steelers. Parry, umpire Mark Pellis and field judge Buddy Horton were all in between Porter and Jones. At one point, Jones appeared to bump into Horton in an attempt to get closer to Porter. Horton threw the flag, giving the Steelers an additional 15 yards and setting up Chris Boswell's game-winning 35-yard field goal.

Jones deleted the Instagram post, but he later posted a second video in which he said: "All right, I'm good now. I've had my 10 minutes. I still don't believe I should have gotten a flag for talking to a coach that's on the field behind the huddle. That's my opinion."

Jones also took issue with the call on Burfict. He told NFL.com's Michael Silver of Brown, who is in the league's concussion protocol, "Man, that [expletive] was [expletive] acting. He flopped. He needs a [expletive] Academy Award for that performance."

Smitty in the big apple today

@AdamSchefter: Former Falcons HC Mike Smith now scheduled to interview w/ Giants on Monday, per source. Smith highly impressed Dolphins with HC interview.

Seattle joined a very exclusive club that the Atlanta Falcons are already in

ESPNStatsInfo: The @Seahawks are the 3rd team in NFL history to win a postseason game after not scoring in the first 3 quarters (1978 Falcons, 1948 Eagles)

Since the merger, teams were 1-43 when shut out through 3 quarters in a playoff game (0-2 this postseason). Only win: Falcons vs Eagles,1978.

Just when you thought the shenanigans with Rex Ryan in Buffalo could not get any more out of hand, this happens.

FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez reports that Rob Ryan will join twin brother Rex’s staff with the Bills.

Source tells @NFLonFOX that Rob Ryan is joining @buffalobills defensive coaching staff working under/with his twin brother Rex.


ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo 17h17 hours ago

Entering Sunday, kickers were 188-190 on FG attempts that were 27 yards or shorter this season


Rapper Snoop Dogg thanks the Bengals and Adam Jones for helping the Steelers advance in the playoffs

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a supporter in Snoop Dogg, and the rapper took to Instagram following the Wild Card victory to thank Cincinnati for the game.

Rapper Snoop Dogg has long been a devout fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite him appearing at other venues wearing other jerseys, he has publicly pledged an allegiance to the black and gold, and when things go wrong, he lets people know about it.

Snoop Dogg has openly chastised offensive coordinator Todd Haley on more than one occasion, but after the Steelers 18-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game, he took to Instagram with a much happier tone, a 'Thank You' was even in order.

Check it out:

Snoop Dogg's thank you note to the Bengals and Adam Jones couldn't come at a worse time for Bengals fans. After watching the streak of years without a playoff loss nearly come to an end, they have to be absolutely sick to their stomachs over the outcome of the game.

Nonetheless, like Snoop Dogg says, "Pittsburgh Steelers, we moving the [expletive] on. Denver here we come".

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The Confidential for Wednesday 12/16

Dec 16, 2015 -- 3:47pm

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Wednesday December 16th...enjoy. If you have a story for the confidential email to me - matt@680thefan.com or tweet me @realmattlanta.

Joey Bosa, Jared Goff go 1-2 in first 2016 Mock Draft


This first mock draft is based on our initial evaluation of the prospects that is ever-evolving as our analysts dig deeper into each player during the offseason. Don’t be surprised to see some changes down the line.

Here is our first projection of all 32 first-round picks for the 2016 NFL draft:


1. Tennessee Titans: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

We don’t know what defensive scheme Tennessee will be using next season, due to impending turnover on the Titans’ coaching staff, but it doesn’t matter with Bosa. He is the draft’s most disruptive player after leading the nation in pass-rushing grade each of the last two years (+56.6, +45.2) and leading the way against the run this year as well (+26.0). The Titans got their franchise QB in Marcus Mariota in last year’s draft; this year, they get a future cornerstone on defense.

2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, California

3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

4. Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

5. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

6. Dallas Cowboys: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

7. Detroit Lions: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

8. Miami Dolphins: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

10. Chicago Bears: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

11. St. Louis Rams: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

12. New Orleans Saints: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

13. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Bullard, DE/DT, Florida

15. Atlanta Falcons: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Any number of positions are in play for the Falcons, but given how one-dimensional their passing offense has been with WR Julio Jones the only viable option, they’ll look to add a playmaker early in the draft. Coleman had a breakout season with 20 receiving touchdowns and a 3.86 yards-per-route average that ranked for third in the nation. He would have finished higher in our receiver grades had the Bears not suffered so many injuries at quarterback.

16. Oakland Raiders: Desmond King, CB, Iowa

17. Philadelphia Eagles: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

The Eagles add to their depth on the edge here. Floyd brings a lot of versatility to the linebacker position. He’s still learning how to play in coverage, but his +24.8 pass-rush grade and a +13.2 grade against the run are good places to start.

18. Buffalo Bills: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

19. Houston Texans: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Su’a Cravens, S/LB, USC

21. Washington Redskins: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona

22. Indianapolis Colts: A’Shawn Robinson, DE, Alabama

23. New York Jets: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

24. Minnesota Vikings: Leontee Carroo, WR, Rutgers

25. Kansas City Chiefs: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

26. Seattle Seahawks: Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame

27. Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama.

29. Denver Broncos: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas

30. Arizona Cardinals: Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford

31. New England Patriots: No Pick (Vacated)

32. Carolina Panthers: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State



Will Peter King Step Down From the MMQB at the End of the Season?

Peter King, the popular veteran NFL writer, started the Monday Morning Quarterback website nearly three years ago. The site was announced in early 2013, and it rolled out in the summer of 2013. His deal with the website is up at the end of this season, and the biggest media rumor in NFL press boxes the last two weeks has been: Is Peter King bailing on the MMQB?

So Jason Mcyntire of the The Big lead texted King this week to ask about the scuttlebutt, and he called me a few minutes later. Polite as ever, but sounding tired after a radio interview, he spoke glowingly about the site – “I love my job, it’s the best job of anyone in the media” – but admitted the workload is heavy.

“Three years ago, I was writing Monday Morning Quarterback, and two columns, and going on NBC Sunday nights,” King, 58, said. “Now, on top of that, I’m running a website, and it is clearly a bigger job than I had before. I hate to be vague, but I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.”

Those who know King well say this feels like Howard Stern’s recent situation with Sirius, which went down to the wire, but was resolved amicably, pleasing everyone involved. Sirius, Stern’s staff, and his legion of listeners all exhaled.

Sports Illustrated started a college football stand-alone site – Campus Rush – this Fall, and while it has quickly become a site loaded with information nuggets, it isn’t built around a media star.


South Carolina to name indoor practice facility after Spurrier


Even though Steve Spurrier won’t step on the field ever again as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, future players and coaches will see him every single day they go out to practice.

The team’s indoor practice facility will be getting a new name that honors the legendary college football coach and his wife:

NEW: @UofSC trustees approve naming the #Gamecocks' indoor football practice facility after Jerri and Steve Spurrier

It’s part of a massive new project around the team’s football programs and the facilities it uses to prepare for battle:

No word on if construction crews will quit halfway through putting Spurrier’s name on the side of the building.


LeGarrette Blount out for season with hip injury


New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has been placed on injured reserve.

Mike Petraglia of WEEI was first to report that Blount will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a hip injury during Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans.

Blount left the game in the first half and was able to walk to the locker room under his own power. However, he was spotted walking around on Tuesday with the help of crutches.

Losing Blount is another significant blow to a New England offense that has dealt with numerous injuries throughout the course of the season. Dion Lewis, who had emerged as the Patriots’ best backfield player, is already done for the year with a torn ACL. Julian Edelman is likely out until the playoffs. Fortunately the Patriots got Rob Gronkowski back after just one week without him.

The Patriots are left incredibly thin at running back and without their best power runner. Brandon Bolden and James White, who have just 51 rushing attempts between them this season, will likely carry the load down the stretch.


LeBron: 'When I write my book, (Celtics) will have a chapter'


BOSTON — The Celtics have played a huge part in LeBron James’ NBA career.

So, naturally, when James gets around to writing a book, the historic franchise will be included.

“It was (a great rivalry),” James said after Tuesday night’s Cavaliers win over the Celtics at TD Garden. “As I continue to say, at one point when I write my book, they will have a chapter. Paul, Ray, Perk, KG, what they did for my career.”

James has played against the Celtics in the NBA playoffs five times, three with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008, 2010 and 2015, and twice more with the Miami Heat in 2011 and 2012.

James was eliminated by Boston in 2008 and 2010, and it was the second defeat that saw him leave Cleveland and team up with superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. James finally beat the Celtics in the 2011 playoffs and eliminated Boston again in a seven-game Eastern Conference Finals series in 2012 en route to his first championship.

The rivalry between James and the Celtics doesn’t have the same luster as it used to, mostly because the five key members of those Boston teams — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo — all play on different clubs or have retired.


Celtics, Heat and Bulls Lining Up for DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has drawn significant trade interest from the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, league sources tell SheridanHoops.

Sacramento is listening, but the Kings are in a holding pattern and currently have no plans to make a deal despite sitting in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference, the sources said.

But should owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Vlade Divac and coach George Karl decide to change course, they have been made acutely aware what is available from the Celtics, Heat and Bulls.

And if Cousins stays put in Sacramento, do not discount the possibility of Miami and Houston swapping centers, Dwight Howard going to the Heat and Hassan Whiteside going to Houston, our publisher, Chris Sheridan, is reporting.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has long been enamored with Cousins, and he has a plethora of draft picks – including Brooklyn’s unprotected 2016 and 2018 first-round picks – plus young assets (Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Marcus Smart, etc.) and the expiring contract of David Lee to make a deal happen. This is a similar formula Ainge used in the past to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Heat president Pat Riley and the organization are no strangers to getting the most out of talented but troubled players. Hassan Whiteside, the latest reclamation project for Miami, and rookie Justise Winslow would be the centerpieces of any trade proposal, along additional players who would be added to make the salaries match.

Why would Miami consider parting with Whiteside, the league’s top shot blocker?

Look no further than this upcoming summer when Whiteside will become one of the league’s top free agents.

Because of NBA rules, there is almost no way the Heat can keep him.

After originally signing a two-year deal with Miami, Whiteside falls short of full Bird Rights. As a result, the only way Whiteside can be signed without regard to the salary cap is by accepting a minimum salary or the Early Bird average salary of $8 million as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel has noted. Neither of those scenarios is plausible since Whiteside will command close to max money on the open market due to his current play and the dearth of available young centers.

It would be ironic to say the least if Whiteside were traded to the Kings after Sacramento selected both him and Cousins in the 2010 draft.

As for Chicago, the Bulls are loaded with expendable frontcourt talent. Joakim Noah’s $13.4 million expiring contract and Taj Gibson are available, along with a young asset or draft pick. With former first-round pick Bobby Portis stuck behind a crowded frontcourt, Chicago is looking to clear a path for him to play more, one source said.

And if there is a chance to get their hands on the guy I have named the best center in basketball, the Bulls, Celtics and Heat are willing to do it.

Derek Jeter Sued He Didn't Want Undies 'Too Gay' ... But Jeter Says BS

Derek Jeter didn't want his fancy male undies on gay people -- this according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports ... though Jeter says the allegations are pure BS. 

Jeter has been locked in a $30 MILLION legal war with the people behind the Frigo underwear line -- and in new court docs filed in Delaware, the undie people say Jeter was not cool marketing the skivvies to gay people. 

"[Jeter] demanded that [Frigo] not market to the gay community and states that he did not want the Frigo brand to be 'too gay.'"

The underwear company claims it had a deal with Jeter in which he would serve as a director of the company and do major publicity events -- but Jeter backed out, in part due to the marketing strategy. 

As we previously reported, the company claims Jeter also pitched a fit when it selected 50 Cent as a brand ambassador because he felt it would make the brand "too urban" ... allegations Jeter denied

In the new docs, the company also claims Jeter demanded the company ditch efforts to make the undies "sporty" because he thought it would harm his relationship with Nike. 

We reached out to Jeter -- who says the allegations are "categorically false" and says he's disgusted by the accusations.


Jonathan Papelbon has 17 teams on no-trade list including the Braves

Papelbon's well-documented reputation for stirring up controversy isn't the only obstacle that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo will have to surmount if he plans to trade the veteran closer and remake the Nationals' bullpen this offseason.

A provision in Papelbon's contract allows him to submit an annual list of 17 teams to which he can't be traded without his consent. ESPN has obtained Papelbon's no-trade list for 2015, and it includes the following 17 clubs where he can block a deal: Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.

The remaining 12 teams that Papelbon can be traded to without his consent, according to the list: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.

Although The Washington Post reported that Papelbon recently updated his no-trade list, the 17-team group obtained by ESPN makes up the most recent known list filed by Papelbon with the Nationals and the MLB Players Association.

Players typically devise no-trade lists for strategic purposes as well as personal preference. For example, Washington was on Papelbon's no-trade list during trade discussions with Philadelphia in July.

Papelbon took advantage of his leverage and signed off on a deal only after the Nationals agreed to restructure his contract and gave him assurances that he would remain in the closer role.

Papelbon, 35, is a six-time All-Star who ranks 11th on baseball's career list with 349 saves. He is scheduled to make $11 million next season in the final year of his contract.

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The Confidential for Tuesday 12/8

Dec 08, 2015 -- 12:58pm

Muschamp takes shot at UGA during first South Carolina press conference

New South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, a self-described “blue-collar” guy , is a simple man who doesn’t always like long-winded questions from the media.

So when he fielded one from a Gamecocks reporter during Monday’s introductory press conference, he used it as an opportunity to take a shot at SEC East rival UGA, which also happens to be his alma mater.

“Did you see where I got my undergraduate degree? I don’t think I understand the question,” Muschamp said.

Likely a calculated attempt to curry up some favor with his new fan base, Bulldogs fans may not mind the jab much given that Muschamp is 1-4 against his old school since 2011.

One thing’s for sure, though: Muschamp is already carrying on Steve Spurrier’s legacy of UGA-bashing pretty well.


Leonard Fournette, teammates unhappy with Heisman Trophy finalists snub

LSU tailback Leonard Fournette broke LSU’s single-season rushing record with 1,741 yards and scored 18 touchdowns, but it was not enough to earn a trip to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Fournette stormed into the lead during the early part of the season with three consecutive performances with at least 200 rushing yards. He fell out of the spotlight as quickly as he had entered it. The sophomore ran for just 230 yards and two touchdowns during LSU’s three-game losing streak and that rut removed him from contention.

There was plenty of reaction from LSU fans and players alike, but Fournette didn’t even need words to describe his dismay.

Fournette tweeted an unhappy face emoji.

Les Miles echoed Fournette’s disappointment, but still took pride in Fournette’s incredible season.

Les Miles  @LSUCoachMiles

Feeling is mutual Leonard 😒. Still extremely proud to be your coach. LM.

Plenty of teammates jumped to Fournette’s aide and supported him on Twitter. Senior long snapper Reid Ferguson was outraged by the decision to leave Fournette out of the Heisman race.

Reid Ferguson @SnapFlow50



GM Hoyer: Cubs 'in the right,' not worried about Kris Bryant's grievance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Chicago Cubsgeneral manager Jed Hoyer said the team isn't concerned about the service-time grievance filed early in the 2015 season by National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. The grievance was made public for the first time Monday.

"We've known about this since May," Hoyer said. "We have a great relationship with Kris. We feel like we were in the right."

The dispute stems from the team's insistence that Bryant needed more seasoning in the minor leagues and keeping him there, thus preventing him from being eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Because Bryant spent the first eight games at Triple-A Iowa, he won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. He was called up on the first day after the deadline.

"This is something that will be handled through due process," Hoyer said. "It was filed in May, and to the best of my knowledge, it sits in the same place that it has been."

It is unknown what Bryant is seeking in damages, as there is no precedent for a service-time dispute going to a hearing. At the time, Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, was critical of the Cubs and claimed they were more concerned about money than winning.

"Cubs ownership has a choice," Boras said. "Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? [Team owner and chairman] Tom Ricketts said they were all about winning."

Bryant defended Boras' comments and wondered why he couldn't break camp with the big league club.

"I think the spring I'm having so far is putting me in a pretty good position," Bryant said in March. "We're told we can go out there and win a spot, and I really took that to heart at the beginning of spring. I came out here with a chip on my shoulder and wanted to play as hard as I can."

Bryant led all hitters with nine home runs in spring training but was still sent to the minors. Despite missing eight games, Bryant went on to win rookie of the year after hitting 26 home runs and driving in 99 runs.


Aroldis Chapman accused of firing shots and ‘choking’ girlfriend


Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman is in hot water after a police report stemming from an incident at his home in Miami this past October shows he allegedly fired eight shots in his garage and “choked” his girlfriend.

The report was obtained by Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and it paints a dark picture. However, no arrests were made at the time of the incident in question, which started after his girlfriend found something on Chapman’s cell phone.

Chapman is denying these allegations.

“I’ve reviewed the facts as portrayed,” Jay Reisinger, Chapman’s attorney, told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. “On behalf of Mr. Chapman, we vehemently deny the allegations as stated. Beyond that, we have no further comment at this time.”

This news breaks at a particularly tricky time for Chapman, the Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chapman was on his way to being traded to Los Angeles Monday, but the entire deal is being held up at this time because of these allegations, sources told Yahoo Sports.


Tiger Woods on injuries: 'I'm far from being done'

Tiger Woods gave some pretty downer interviews last week at the Hero World Challenge. The kind of stuff that got us thinking about retirement for Big Cat

Over the weekend, he joined Golf Channel to discuss the touranment his foundation was hosting and talk a little bit more about those press conferences.

"The difference is the health is different than it used to be," Woods told Golf Channel. "I understand this is very different. Does that mean I'm not going to rehab and train and fight to get back? Of course I am. I'm far from being done.

So that's ... encouraging.

"I have to be patient which I'm not very good at when it comes to that side of it. When it comes to this stuff -- I love to train, I love to bust my butt and I love to get out there and try to get better. That was a hard transition for me to wrap my head around because it's so counterintuitive of how I've always been."

He also noted that there's no timeline for either coming back or starting rehab. 

"That's one of the reasons you saw the interviews the way they were. I had to take a different perspective, a different look at it. I had to step back and say 'well I can't do much. I can't do anything at all.' Is that hard? Absolutely it's hard."

I actually get that part. But it doesn't change the fact that Woods might not, you know, physically be able to come back from everything that has happened to him over the past 20 years. Time will tell, but at least Woods seems more optimistic than he was last week.


Search is on for NFL quarterback Jay Cutler's brother-in-law

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Investigators are trying to piece together what happened to NFL quarterback Jay Cutler's brother-in-law, whose hasn't been heard from since his car was found abandoned more than a week ago near a remote dirt road in Utah.

Michael Cavallari, 30, lives in Southern California and was arrested on an allegation of making threats there Nov. 23, authorities said Monday.

Four days later, a rancher found Cavallari's car with its engine on and the air bag deployed in Utah, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said. It was about 200 miles south of Salt Lake City and 5 miles south of Interstate 70, in a part of the state that's home to several national parks.

Cavallari apparently was driving by himself, though it's unclear where he was going, authorities said. He is the brother of reality TV personality Kristin Cavallari, who married Cutler in 2013.

Evidence shows Michael Cavallari's 2014 Honda Civic hit a couple of big rocks and washes, likely causing the air bag to deploy, White said.

White said crews have been searching the area on foot and by helicopter but they have found no trace of Michael Cavallari. It's difficult to find footprints in the frozen ground, he added. Temperatures in the area have been at or below freezing every night since the car was found up against a small embankment.

There were no signs of foul play.

Hours before his Honda was discovered, Michael Cavallari — who lives in San Clemente, California — stopped at a convenience store about 60 miles away and asked for directions to Salt Lake City.

Credit card transactions and surveillance video show he was at the store in the town of Monticello at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 27.

In California, Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeffrey Hallock said Monday that deputies arrested Michael Cavallari on suspicion of making criminal threats Nov. 23. He bailed out of jail Nov. 25.

He was arrested outside Dana Point City Hall with a loaded shotgun following a report from a woman who called the sheriff's department to say he had been outside her apartment with a shotgun, according to a police report.

The unnamed woman told deputies the two had argued days earlier, and she was afraid because he kept returning to her apartment. Police reported smelling alcohol on Michael Cavallari's breath when he was arrested. He acknowledged having a loaded shotgun in his trunk, the report said.

He was taken into custody without incident, and he denied doing anything to the woman, who reported the incidents to authorities.

Michael Cavallari works for his father's corporation, White said. He is single and has no kids.

Kristin Cavallari rose to fame in the mid-2000s when she appeared in the MTV reality series "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills." She and Cutler have three children together.

On Monday, Kristin Cavallari posted a photo on Instagram of her and her brother as kids at the beach with a message thanking people for their thoughts and prayers.

"We remain hopeful and I will share any news that we receive," she wrote.


Georgia woman tried to buy baby for her 14-year-old daughter

A 47-year-old woman was arrested after attempting to illegally obtain a baby for her teenage daughter.

Detectives started investigating Elaine Williams after a citizen called police about a suspicious Craigslist ad. The post asked for unwanted babies, saying mothers could drop them off in a "baby box".

According to investigators, Williams was attempting to buy a baby for her 14-year-old daughter. Police say Williams told them "her daughter wanted a baby and would get one with or without her help, so she decided to help."

Williams is charged with Domestic-Unlawful Advertisement/Inducement for Adoption of Children. The teen also faces related juvenile charges.



'Charlie Brown' voice actor headed to prison

Good grief.

A former child actor who was the voice of Charlie Brown in three major Peanuts specials is headed to prison, reports the Associated Press, despite a last-ditch effort to withdraw his guilty plea to charges of making criminal threats.

A judge sentenced him to almost five years in prison on Monday.

Peter Robbins, now 59, lent his voice to a slew of Charlie Brown holiday staples, including 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas and 1966's It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. According to IMDB.com, Robbins was the first actor to voice Charlie Brown, beginning at age nine until he was 13. Robbins quit acting in 1972.

Robbins' recent legal trouble stems from sending threatening letters to a manager at a mobile home park in suburban Oceanside, where he had been living, according to the AP. He also sent letters to members of the media in which he offered to pay money to have San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore killed.

The threatening letters were all sent from his jail cell.

He was first arrested January 2013 at the U.S.-Mexico border on stalking charges. He later pleaded guilty to stalking an ex-girlfriend and the plastic surgeon who had operated.

Robbins was sentenced to five years probation, but violated its terms and was arrested again. The former actor has been in jail since late February 2015.

According to San Diego local affiliate NBC 7, Robbins has been prone to outbursts in court, this June telling the judge, "I hope you drop dead of a heart attack." At a following court date in November, Robbins claimed to suffer from a mental illness.

"This is what happens when you are bipolar. You behave as if you are on drugs," he said in court. "I want justice to be served, but I'm mentally ill. ... To stick me three years into a state prison is not benefitting the justice system. I feel I'm entitled to at least a second chance."

Robbins was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

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The Confidential for Monday 12/7

Dec 07, 2015 -- 11:03am

Here is an early look at my confidential for Monday December 7th.

-Smart $$$

- Muschamp a liar?

- Lebron's portfolio expanding

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

Georgia spending Smart money

Kirby Smart agrees to a 6 year deal worth $3.75 Million a year

Smart at $3.75 million, has a higher salary than Mark Dantonio, Dabo Swinney, Mike Gundy and Jim Mora just to name a few.  Annually, he'll receive a $400,000 base salary and $3,350,000 from UGA's apparel deal.

The buyout terms on either side are both spelled out in the memo

  • Smart would owe $3.75 million if he leaves in 2016, $3 million if he leaves in 2017, $2.5 million if he leaves in 2018, and continues to descend along those lines the final three years.
  • If Georgia terminates Smart it would owe: $13.5 million in 2016, or $10.8 million in 2017, or $7.050,375 in 2018, or $4.700,250 in 2019, or $2.35,125 in 2020, or 62.67% of his remaining salary if it happens in 2021.

There are various performance bonuses in Smart’s contract:

  • $400,000 for winning the SEC championship or $150,000 for winning the SEC East. (He would not receive both.)
  • $1 million for winning the national championship, or $600,000 for playing in the game. or – $500,000 for advancing to the national semifinal game. (Again, he would not receive both.)
  • $200,000 for a top-5 finish in either the AP or coaches polls.
  • $200,000 for playing in any of the other College Football Playoff bowls, though not in the playoff.
  • $100,000 for making the Citrus Bowl.
  • $75,000 for playing in one of the so-called Six-Pack bowl games (Taxslayer, Outback, Belk, Music City, Texas or Liberty).
  • $50,000 for playing in the Birmingham or Independence Bowl.


Smart putting his staff together

UGA’s Kirby Smart steals important Alabama staffer from Nick Saban.

Alex Martin Smith -seccountry.com

Nick Saban will need to find different friends for his defensive meetings next season.

New Georgia coach and current Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is already putting together a staff in Athens, and it now includes former Alabama associate director of player personnel Glenn Schumann.

According to FootballScoop, Smart and Schumann were the only other people in the room with Saban for defensive game plan meetings.

As of now, it’s unclear what Schumann’s position at Georgia will be, but DawgNation.com‘s Seth Emerson noted that Jeremy Pruitt and Kevin Sherrer held similar title at Alabama before moving on to Georgia.


Mother of top recruit calls Will Muschamp a 'pure liar' - Smart putting his staff together

The mother of the top 2016 recruit that knows exactly where she stands with Muschamp, though.

Jennifer Coney, mother of Rashan Gray, a defensive tackle that has a perfect .9999 score on 247sports, is upset that Muschamp was not upfront with her about his plans to leave Auburn.

Speaking with 247sports:

“If you get a head coaching position, of course you might leave. But he should have been honest. He should have said, ‘Well, if I get the opportunity.’ I would respect that. I would have understood. It’s a job for them. But he didn’t. Muschamp is a liar. A pure liar.”

Those are some harsh words that don’t help Auburn’s chances of recruiting Gray. 247sports pegs Michigan as the favorite to land the 6-foot-5, 293-pound tackle.

While we understand the frustration, you have to wonder what Muschamp must have said or promised to make her so angry that her son can’t follow through on anymore.


Shelby Miller watch

Late Saturday afternoon, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the D-backs were still attempting to land Miller from the Braves, who have made it known that they would need an impact bat and a Major League-ready starting pitcher to be included in any return for Miller.

Diamondbacks have pushed on Shelby Miller in talks with Braves; ATL seemingly focused on OFers, especially Pollock, possible expanded deal.

When the D-backs first inquired about Miller, the Braves requested the return would have to include A.J. Pollock, an outfielder that Arizona's front office termed as relatively "untouchable" earlier this week.

Pollock hit 20 homers this year -- the first double-digit total of his career -- and he has compiled an .861 OPS over the past two seasons. The 28-year-old Gold Glove center fielder could certainly provide the offensive upgrade the Braves are seeking.




Jeff Passan@JeffPassan 14m

How exorbitant is the price on Jose Fernandez? Sources say the Marlins have asked the Dodgers #1 pitching prospect Julio Urias and Corey Seager. and probably another player

Dodgers said no -- can't imagine Seager going anywhere for anyone -- but the sides have continued talking about plenty, including Fernandez.

Jon Heyman@JonHeymanCBS 43m43 minutes ago

Astros lookin at Aroldis chapman, Andrew miller, Mark melancon first. Then Drew Storen could be a fallback option for them.

Tigers are looking at yoenis cespedes and Alex Gordon as OF option. They loved cespedes. Quiet OF market could heat up soon

Ken Rosenthal Verified account @Ken_Rosenthal 10h10 hours ago

Sources: Zobrist visited #SFGiants today. #Mets, #Nationals closer to his home in Nashville. #Braves behind. Priority is to join contender.

The Perfect State Warriors

The Warriors beat the Nets 114-98. Golden State is now 22-0. No team has ever gone 7-0 on a road trip … the Warriors are 4-0 on their current trip. [SF Gate]

LeBron James's Media Company Gets $16 Million From Warner Bros.

LeBron James’s new multimedia venture has secured a $15.8 million investment from Warner Bros. Entertainment and Turner Sports.

Uninterrupted, which was created earlier this year by the four-time NBA MVP and his business partner Maverick Carter, will use the money to create more content and attract more partners. The venture currently makes videos about athletes, including real-time shorts and original digital series.

The Cleveland Cavalier’s All-Star isn’t the only athlete developing a media company. The National Football League Players Association earlier this year announced plans to create a content company. And in October, retired Yankee superstar Derek Jeter launched The Players Tribune, an online publication that several athletes have used to break news unfiltered by a traditional media company. Most recently, Kobe Bryant, who is an investor in Players Tribune, used the platform to reveal his intention to retire after this season.

In exchange for its investment in Uninterrupted, Turner Sports will get an equity stake and will serve as the newly expanded venture’s primary sales arm. Turner’s Bleacher Report already distributes Uninterrupted videos.

Previously, James’s company signed a deal with Facebook Inc. that includes a five-episode series called “Striving for Greatness,” which documents his preparation for a National Basketball Association season. The final episode was released Tuesday and garnered more than 200,000 views on the social media platform in its first 24 hours.

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The Confidential for Monday 11/16

Nov 16, 2015 -- 9:33am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday November 16th. Enjoy and remember if you have a story for the confidential email it to matt@680thefan.com or tweet it @realmatlanta

Report: Alabama’s Lane Kiffin Interviewed For The Maryland Job

Lane Kiffin could be headed to the Big Ten. 

According to a report by InsideMDSports.com’s Jeff Ermann, the Alabama offensive coordinator recently interviewed for the Maryland job. Kiffin, who’s been with the Crimson Tide since 2014, “seems unlikely to return next year,” per the report

Kiffin hasn’t been a head coach since getting fired by USC in 2013. 

A Big Ten East Division with Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio, James Franklin and Lane Kiffin? Yes, please.



Texans coach Bill O'Brien interested in University of Maryland opening

Jason La Canfora

Texans embattled coach Bill O'Brien, perhaps headed to a showdown with general manager Rick Smith this offseason as ownership mulls a change in its power structure, is very intrigued by the opening at the University of Maryland, according to several sources close to the school, and his interest in the job is not lost on the school's primary boosters.


O'Brien, who had a successful but brief college head-coaching stint with Penn State before taking the Texans job, coached previously at Maryland as an assistant and, according to sources close to the school, prominent Maryland alumnus Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, and other key figures in the hiring process are aware of O'Brien's interest. It is clear to many in the Texans organization that significant change is likely coming, with O'Brien and Smith not both remaining in the current roles in all likelihood, and owner Bob McNair has long championed Smith, creating an uneasy climate within the franchise.

O'Brien is only in his second year with the team, but turmoil has been increasingly common. The Texans are falling far short of expectations, and it is becoming increasingly common for coaches to be gone after just a year or two. The Maryland job is more attractive than many on the outside perceive, especially given Plank's financial and emotional commitment to the school and his desire to turn it into a Big Ten power, including a plan to build state-of-the-art training facilities.



'Bonus' Bobby Petrino in line for another big payday after victory

Louisville’s football coach is staking claim to a new nickname: “Bonus Bobby.”

Bobby Petrino led the Cardinals to their sixth victory of the season Saturday against Virginia, making Louisville bowl eligible and all but assuring that Petrino will get a nearly $300,000 bonus.

This will be in addition to the $500,000 bonus that was triggered a little more than two weeks ago when Louisville’s athletics compliance determined that the football team’s new single-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate will be at least 935.

The payments are by far the two most lucrative bonuses that have been earned by a public-school football coach so far this season, according to USA TODAY Sports’ analysis of coaches’ contracts and tracking of their bonuses. The next-largest bonus achieved so far is the $200,000 that Penn State coach James Franklin stands to get from a bowl appearance by the Nittany Lions (7-3).

Last season, Petrino was paid nearly $800,000 in bonuses — second among FBS public-school coaches to Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, who totaled $900,000, according to data compiled by USA TODAY Sports for football head coaches who are at the same school that employed them as the head coach last season.

On Saturday, the Cardinals (6-4) became the eighth bowl-eligible team for the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has nine guaranteed bowl bids this season.

Among the ACC’s six remaining teams, five are already eliminated from bowl consideration because they have seven losses – Boston College, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Petrino’s achievement of the APR bonus increased the value of his bowl bonus, which, according to his contract, gives him an amount equal to 1/12th of the sum of his $3 million basic annual pay and the APR bonus if he gets it. So, if Louisville participates in a bowl game, Petrino will be due $291,667 rather than $250,000.


Houston Trolls Baylor After Loss With “Only Undefeated Team In Texas” Tweet

There are just five undefeated teams left in college football, and only one of them resides in Texas. Houston, behind an incredible fourth quarter comeback against Memphis that featured three touchdowns in the game’s final 13 minutes, is now 10-0 on the season. Baylor, after falling to Oklahoma 44-34, is now 8-1.

The Cougars decided to have a bit of fun at the Bears’ expense, sending out an interesting tweet right as the OU vs. Baylor game ended. Check it out:

#HTownTakeover @UHCougarFB

Houston - the ONLY UNDEFEATED team in the state of Texas. #HTownTakeover #GoCoogs



Reports: Julian Edelman suffered broken bone in foot vs. Giants, season ‘in jeopardy’

11.15.15 at 9:16 pm ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots’ thrilling win over the Giants came with a cost.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman broke a bone in his foot in the first quarter, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo said his season is “in jeopardy,” but he could return for the playoffs.

Garafolo adds the injury is to Edelman’s fifth metatarsal and is believed to be a true Jones fracture.

On the final play of the opening quarter, third-and-4 at the Giants 26-yard line, Edelman caught a pass for 12 yards and was tackled by linebacker Jasper Brinkley at the Giants 14-yard line. Edelman went to the sideline and was checked out by doctors before walking to the locker room.

He was spotted in a walking boot and on crutches being carted to the team bus following the game.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter added later Edelman will have surgery Monday and “there is hope” he can return this season.

Edelman has been Brady’s most dependable receiver this year, catching 61 passes for 692 yards and a career-high with seven touchdowns.


From a tree stand in the woods, Brett Favre congratulates Peyton Manning

Brett Favre sent his congratulations to Peyton Manning like only Favre could: In a video message shot from a tree stand on a hunting expedition.

Manning on Sunday broke Favre’s NFL record for career passing yards (although he was later benched in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs).

Favre, who held the mark of 71,838 yards until Sunday, told Manning in a video message posted on the Broncos Facebook page: “I’m in tree stand. Yeah, you’ve interrupted me again,” before offering his congratulations. Favre called Manning, "The best."


Garnett becomes 5th player in NBA history to play 50,000 minutes

Minnesota Timberwolves veteran Kevin Garnett surpassed the 50,000-minute mark against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon.

The 39-year-old is just thefifth player in NBA history to reach that milestone.

NBA Minutes Rankings (Career)





Kareem Abdul-Jabbar



Karl Malone



Jason Kidd



Kevin Garnett

> 50,000


Elvin Hayes


Garnett was selected fifth overall by the Timberwolves in the 1995 NBA Draft, spending 12 seasons with the franchise before being dealt to the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2007-08 campaign. He won his first and only championship in 2008 as a Celtic.

Garnett's a 15-time All-Star, former league MVP (2004), four-time All-NBA first team member, and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2008


Michael Jordan's Final Bulls Jersey Sells for $173,240 at Auction

How much is an iconic moment worth? In the case of Michael Jordan's final regular-season game with the Chicago Bulls, we have an answer: $173,240.

That's how much an unnamed person paid for the jersey at an auction Sunday, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

"No one who has been out of the game fewer than 15 years has had items sell for these kinds of prices," said Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions. "Michael Jordan is the collectible equivalent of Babe Ruth."

The jersey is by far the priciest Jordan-related item sold at auction. Previously, the pair of shoes he wore during the infamous "flu game" sold for nearly $105,000.

What's remarkable about the jersey is that it's not the final time Jordan ever wore the white and red No. 23. He led the Bulls through the entire playoffs that season, culminating in his game-winning shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals over Bryon Russell. Had that jersey sold for $173,240, given the story attached to it, it would have inherently held more value.

Instead, this just goes to show the power of the Jordan legacy nearly two decades after he last donned a Bulls uniform.


Chicago Cubs announce plans to create their own cable network in 2020

The Chicago Cubs want to branch out on their own. Having been part of the old Fox Sports Net Chicago and now, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Cubs have shared cable channel space with the Blackhawks and White Sox. In cases of conflicts with the Blackhawks playoff run or during the summer with the White Sox, the Cubs often aren’t the Most Favored Nation having to move to an alternate channel.

So the Cubs with eyes on the end of their Comcast contract are hoping to launch their own regional cable network in 2020, possibly sooner. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney told a local radio station that the team will move forward with plans to create its own channel.

“2019 is our last year with Comcast, so we’ll move over and launch our own channel in 2020.”

As it currently stands, the Cubs have an ownership stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, but apparently, that won’t be enough. The Cubs also have TV deals with WGN and WLS which also expire in 2019 and that will allow the team to put most or all of its games on the new channel.

Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein hinted that the team could even leave earlier if a buyout with Comcast could be worked out:

“My understanding is that we’d be open to a deal earlier than that as well, as long as a good one presents itself.”

As we have seen with the Dodgers, launching a network on its own can have growing pains. SportsNet LA is not available in all of the Los Angeles market as cable and satellite providers have balked with the channel’s per subscriber price. And Dodgers fans who were used to getting all of the games when the TV contracts were with Fox Sports West and KCAL have to depend on the radio now.


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The Confidential for Monday 11/9

Nov 09, 2015 -- 4:02pm

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday November 9th. Enjoy and if you have a story for the confidential, email it to matt@680thefan.com or tweet me @realmattlanta.


Plaxico Burress thinks Michigan State-Nebraska refs are corrupt and wants his dogs to take over

Michigan State lost its first game of the season and it wasn't without controversy. Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Reilly went out of bounds as he ran his route, only to come back in, make the catch and score the go-ahead touchdown. There is debate whether he was forced out -- as the officials ruled -- or went out on his own and should have been flagged for illegal touching.

Many thought Reilly should have been flagged and the touchdown nullified. Former Michigan State wide receiver Plaxico Burress was among them.

While there are arguments for both sides of the call, we would be interested in seeing Burress' dogs try to referee. Good dogs.

Plaxico Burress @plaxicoburress

When is running out of bounds as a WR come back in bounds and catch a TD! What the fuck is going on out here? @NCAA


Piece of shit ass officials! @ncaa Motherfuckers cheating and stealing!

I can't wait to hear their reason for this bullshit tomorrow. PIECE OF SHIT officials! All you girls should be fired! Fuck y'all!



Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema Accidentally Combines His Thoughts, Results in TMI

Come on, Bret. There are some things you just don't share with the media.

After his Razorbacks pulled out an unbelievable 53-52 overtime victory over the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had an awkward moment at the podium during his postgame press conference when his thoughts got mixed together.

It was something that should've only been talked about between a husband and wife (if it was actually what he meant to say, of course).

Fortunately, Bielema immediately corrected himself and was able to laugh off the slip-up.


Missouri player says many on team don't support practice boycott

A Missouri Tigers player said Sunday night that the entire team is not united over the decision to stop practicing until grad student Jonathan Butler ends his hunger strike.

"As much as we want to say everyone is united, half the team and coaches -- black and white -- are pissed," the player, who wished to remain anonymous, told ESPN. "If we were 9-0, this wouldn't be happening."

The player, who is white, spoke on the condition of anonymity because coaches told the team not to talk to the media as they thought the situation "would blow over eventually."

On Sunday, coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades issued a statement that Missouri did not practice Sunday and indicated "it was clear" the Tigers "do not plan to return to practice until Jonathan resumes eating."

Mondays are regular off-days for the football team. The coaches told the players to watch film on their iPads and keep preparing for Saturday's game against BYU in Kansas City, the player said.

The player indicated the team had been aware of Butler's hunger strike for several days. However, some black players didn't decide to take action until Butler met with some players Saturday night.

"Not everyone agrees with the decision [to stop all football activities]," the player said. "Most people are pissed, including the black guys [on the team]."


Bill Belichick confirms it's 'always good to score points' while playing football  - A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO BILL BELICHECK

Bill Belichick is one of the most masterful football minds in the history of the sport. He just chooses to keep all that insight to himself and instead offers the media revolutionary tidbits like this.

"It's always good to run the ball. It's always good to throw the ball. It's always good to score points."

These things are all true and no one can deny it. Somewhere a casual observer probably saw that and thought this guy is an NFL coach? Yes, yes he is, a brilliant one.


Cam Newton snatched a Packers banner and now the fans want it back

The Carolina Panthers hosted the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Some Packers fans attended the game in Charlotte and some even brought a banner to show their support.

Cam Newton was not a fan of that banner, so he grabbed it and removed it.

After the game, Newton said grabbing the banner was about respect to the Panthers in their home stadium.

"We take pride in having an edge in playing in Bank of America Stadium, of playing in front of the Carolinas each and every week," Newton said via ESPN. "I feel it's my due diligence to protect this house. It wasn't just about tearing down a sign. It was respect."

Cam Newton on Packers banner in Charlotte: "You're not going to sell a Whopper at McDonald's."

While it may be a bit unnecessary for Newton to police the banners hung around the stadium, it's hardly the first time this has happened at a NFL game. Jason Taylor once ripped down a Cowboys fan's sign while Terrell Owens did the same to a sign in Cleveland.

The difference this time? Mike Dobs, the fan who owned the Packers banner, was upset to have it ripped down and taken. Via FayObserver.com:

Dobs wants the banner back so badly -- he said he paid $500 to have it made last year to hang in his home's "man room" -- that he told the police at the stadium that it was stolen, and he complained to the Panthers' management.

It's Dobs' understanding that the banner was destroyed. A Panthers employee said the organization would make it up to him, he said.

Assuming the fan merely wants the banner back, he may be in luck.

Jeff Darlinngton said he went to see if Cam tossed banner in trash. Nope. Security guard told me he folded it up, put under arm & walked into locker room with it.

As for the Panthers' official policy on signs, here is the section on signs supporting visiting teams:

No banners or flags expressing support of visiting teams may be affixed to or displayed on any surface. Hand held signs or posters that are in compliance with the balance of this policy are acceptable.

The NFL may need to call up Ted Wells to launch an investigation into whether the sign was affixed or not. Either that or the Panthers can return the sign/compensate the fan and make everything right.


Reggie Bush to sue city of St. Louis over injury suffered vs. Rams

Running back Reggie Bush, who suffered a season-ending and potentially career-threatening knee injury after slipping on concrete surrounding the field in St. Louis, has procured legal representation and plans on suing the city of St. Louis over the matter, according to a source close to the player. High-powered attorney Shawn Holley and her KWIKA firm is handling Bush's case, which will take aim at the Edward Jones Dome -- owned and operated by the city of St. Louis through its Sports Authority and Convention Bureau.


The NFLPA contacted the NFL about the safety issue at the stadium following the latest incident on the concrete, sources said. Bush was carted off with a season-ending injury and one, given this stage of his career, that could jeopardize his ability to play professional football again. The league and the Rams worked with the operators of the stadiums to make sure the problem is corrected, but obviously that's after the fact for Bush, a former first-round pick who had only recently gotten back on the field for the 49ers after battling injury.

Bush's suit will likely seek gross negligence given the potential danger of having such a slippery surface abut the playing field, the source said, especially considering this was not the first incident of this sort to take place there.

Holley was a member of the famed O.J. Simpson legal team working with Johnnie Cochran. Bush has been a client of hers in the past, and she has also served as an attorney for celebrity clients like Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan. Bush, 30, signed a one-year deal with San Francisco with a $1.6-million base salary and $500,000 roster bonus as well as the chance to earn $18,750 for each regular-season game for which he is active.


Byron Scott: Kobe said this could be his last year

NEW YORK — Lakers coach Byron Scott asked Kobe Bryant recently how he wants to handle his minutes this season.

Bryant's response was about next season - there might not be one.

Scott said Sunday that was when Bryant first told him this could be his last season in the NBA.

With the 37-year-old Bryant coming off Achilles, knee and shoulder injuries that cut short his last three seasons, Scott talked to him over the summer about how Bryant would be used, particularly when the Lakers played on back-to-back nights.

"We've talked about it a few days ago. Talked about it again and his feeling was, `Coach, this might be my last year. So if possible I would like to try to play every game,"' Scott said.

Bryant hasn't said if his 20th season will be his last. He told reporters Saturday that "if you asked me today, this would be my last year," but that he was leaving it open. His comments Sunday echoed that.

"My message has been consistent all the time. If I change my mind, I'll come back and play. If I don't, I won't," Bryant said. "I've been pretty consistent with that, so I don't know how much, what else can I say?"


Royals fan crowdfunds to try to keep Zobrist, Gordon in KC


So, ummm…this is something.

Shortly after the World Series ended, Kansas City Royals fan John Karpinski hit the internets and set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising enough money to keep both Ben Zobrist and Alex Gordon from packing their bags and heading elsewhere.“We’re in the second smallest market in MLB,” Karpinski wrote. “Did you get $10, $100, $1000 worth of enjoyment from this team? My guess is yes, and this is a way to help show Alex Gordon and Ben Zobrist that KC fans are different.”

It would appear as though the idea is to raise one million dollars(!) in an effort to prove to the All-Stars that Cowtown is the place to be. If the total is raised, the players get to keep the money or, as Karpinski hopes, donate it to charity.

Sounds cool, but, still…that’s not how baseball’s free agency system works, right?


Donald Trump Lifts ‘Saturday Night Live’ To Best Ratings In Years

Donald Trump once again proved his ratings Midas touch, with NBC’s Saturday Night Live the latest to get “the Trump bump.” The Presidential candidate’s highly publicized, controversial and met-with-mixed reactions hosting gig on the light-night show averaged a 6.6 rating in the metered-market households and a 2.7 in adults 18-49 in the local people meters with musical guest Sia, easily season highs in both categories.

The 6.6 metered markets household rating was the highest for Saturday Night Live in almost four years, since Jan. 7, 2012 (7.0/18 with host Charles Barkley and musical guest Kelly Clarkson). The 2.7 18-49 rating was the show’s highest in close to two years, since Feb. 1, 2014 (2.9/12 with host Melissa McCarthy and musical guest Imagine Dragons).


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