College Blog Blog Network

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Tributes pour in following death of golf legend Arnold Palmer

09.26.16 at 8:10 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Falcons at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Watford at Burnley, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The sports world, already mourning the tragic death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez on Sunday morning, took another blow when it was announced that golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away Sunday afternoon at the age of 87.

Arnold Palmer Enterprises CEO Alastair Johnston said Palmer was admitted to a Pittsburgh hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems.

A 62-time PGA Tour winner, including seven majors, “The King” continued to rank among the highest earners in golf until his death due to his endorsement deals.

“It is not an exaggeration to say there would be no modern-day PGA Tour without Arnold Palmer. There would be no PGA Tour Champions without Arnold Palmer. There would be no Golf Channel without Arnold Palmer,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

“No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it. It has been said many times over in so many ways, but beyond his immense talent, Arnold transcended our sport with an extraordinarily appealing personality and genuineness that connected with millions, truly making him a champion of the people.”

President Barack Obama paid tribute Sunday, tweeting: Here’s to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.

— When the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finally ended their contract dispute just before training camp, there was hope in New York that the Harvard product could repeat his performance of last season and make the Jets playoff contenders.

That does not appear to be the case.

Fitzpatrick had an especially rough day Sunday, throwing a career-high six interceptions and posting a passer rating of 18.2 as part of a miserable overall performance by the team in a 24-3 loss to the Chiefs.

“Went out there and didn’t play well today, obviously that’s an understatement,” Fitzpatrick told reporters afterward.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Arnold Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick,

Thinking Out Loud: Bill Belichick offers further proof of his supremacy

09.23.16 at 5:44 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Mikey, and does he still like it?

— Lou Merloni tweeted this week: Would the Sox get more attention if Brady weren’t suspended? Maybe, but hey, Lou? Would the Sox get more attention if they weren’t up against the Patriots playing?

— Or if most MLB games didn’t last more than three hours? Or if the season were shorter? Or if players stayed in the batter’s box? Or if pitchers stopped scratching and adjusting themselves before pitches? Or if the sport actually allowed home plate or basepath collisions to happen again? Just sayin’.

— We now resume our regularly scheduled football discussion. Find me on Twitter under the hashtags #killeverybodytour and #scorchedearthtour.

— What did we witness Thursday night? Two things, the way I see it. One, if there was ever any doubt that Bill Belichick is one of the best to have ever plied his trade (I’m looking at you, Steve in Fall River), it has been snuffed out. Or, you’re just ignorant (again, straight at ya, Steve).

— Two, Houston, you still have a problem. Turtling in big games won’t earn you any more respect than those letter jackets you wore a couple of years ago.

— I love Thursday night games. And I hate them, too. I’ll wager if you polled NFL players on “love or hate,” hate would conquer overall. Part of that is, of course, the short recovery time they get after a Sunday beatdown.

— Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe wrote an excellent piece this week on the double standard the league has with instituting new injury prevention rules and making $$$ on Thursday nights. All you need to know is if the league really cared about its on-field employees’ health and well-being, they’d do away with TNF. Spot-on stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Ortiz, Jimmy Garoppolo,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Vikings-Panthers game still on despite violent protests in North Carolina

09.23.16 at 8:16 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays 7:07 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 10:30 p.m. (MLB)
College football: Wyoming at Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: TCU at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: USC at Utah, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Bundesliga, SC Freiburg at Borussia Dortmund, 2:20 p.m. (FS1)


— Sunday’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina, between the Panthers and Vikings remains on as scheduled, despite a state of emergency in the city due to protests over a police shooting earlier in the week.

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement that the team has been in contact with local authorities and the league, noting: “We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday’s home game.”

Players interviewed Thursday showed support for playing the contest despite the violence that has gripped the city.

“If you take this game away I think it is going to just continue to add to the stress and add to what is already going on in a negative way,” Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said.

However, there was concern among players.

“My wife usually takes the kids uptown and they tailgate with family and friends, but we said maybe this week we should just come to the game, park in our lot and go up to your seats and get settled in,” Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said. “Is it worth moseying around in a town that is in such a heightened state of chaos?”

Panthers safety Tre Boston said he is considering joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, but he plans to do more research before coming to a decision.

“You have to find a way you are not disrespecting people and that everybody understands where we are coming from, but at the same time you want to get your message across,” Boston said. “And sometimes it can feel disrespectful when you send your message across and somebody doesn’t believe in it. We’ll see.”

— Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger apologized Thursday after sending out tweets critical of protesters in Charlotte and President Barack Obama, including one that read, “Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Timberwolves reportedly working on buyout of Kevin Garnett

09.22.16 at 8:17 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Texans at Patriots, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
College football: Clemson at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, United States vs. Czech Republic, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Finland vs. Russia, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

— Kevin Garnett’s second stint with Minnesota appears headed for an end, as reports emerged Wednesday that the Timberwolves are working on a buyout of the former Celtic’s contract if he does not retire.

With training camp set to open Tuesday, the 40-year-old Garnett reportedly has yet to inform the team if he plans to return for a record 22nd NBA season — 13 1/2 of which he has spent with Minnesota. He is under contract for $8 million this season.

Garnett, who was sent from the Nets to the T-Wolves late in the 2014-15 season, was limited to 38 games last season due to knee and leg issues. Although he only averaged 3.2 points and 3.9 rebounds, he still provided solid defense and has been lauded for his leadership role on the young team.

Garnett has expressed an interested in eventually becoming an owner of the team. He apparently was going to partner with former coach Flip Saunders, but Saunders died a year ago after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Tom Thibodeau, who was an assistant coach for the Celtics when Garnett led the team to the 2007 NBA title, is about to begin his first season as T-Wolves coach.

— Colin Kaepernick might be the most disliked player in the NFL (at least according to a poll of 1,100 people conducted by E-Poll Marketing Research), but his protest continues to grow.

During the national anthem before Wednesday night’s WNBA playoff game in Indianapolis, the entire Indiana Fever team kneeled and locked arms. Two members of the visiting Phoenix Mercury also kneeled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: kevin garnett, Richard Sherman,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Following death threats, Colin Kaepernick says violence toward him ‘would move this movement forward’

09.21.16 at 8:12 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Mariners, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA playoffs: Mercury at Fever, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
WNBA playoffs: Storm at Dream, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, North America vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Europe vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Augsburg at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Hertha BSC Berlin at Bayern Munich, 2 p.m. (FS1)


Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

— As the shooting of another unarmed black man by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stirred up racial tensions across the country, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he has received death threats for his national anthem protests.

Kaepernick said he considered he possibility that he might be targeted when he decided to start kneeling during the anthem.

“To me, if something like that were going to happen, you’ve proved my point,” he told reporters Tuesday. “It would be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. That would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now. Granted, I don’t want that to happen. But that’s the realization of what could happen.”

Kaepernick said he heard racial slurs among the insults hurled his way prior to the 49ers’ game this past Sunday against the Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina — where there were riots Tuesday night following a police shooting of a black man in that city.

“There’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism and people want to take everything back to the flag but that’s not what we’re talking about,” Kaepernick said. “We’re talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that happen across the nation.”

In Tulsa, officers responded to call about a stalled vehicle Friday night. Video of the incident shows Terence Crutcher — who police say was not cooperating with their requests — walking away from officers with his hands up, and he is tasered and fatally shot when he gets to his vehicle and puts his hands on the driver’s side.

“His car was broken down, he was looking for help and he got murdered,” Kaepernick said. “That’s a perfect example of what this is about. I think it will be very telling what happens with the officers that killed him because everybody’s eyes will be on this.”

Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis weighed in on the situation as well, tweeting: It’s time 4 all people 2 value all life! This is disgusting as a country -to let anybody get away with this. It must stop. #TerenceCrutcher

Lewis, who was indicted on double murder charges after the fatal stabbing of two men in January 2000 but eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges, added: All deserve life, dignity. -We’re not going to sit back and watch these tragedies go on! We need real changes! #TerenceCrutcher

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Colin Kaepernick,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Carroll ‘disappointed’ after Seahawks fined, lose draft pick for OTA incident

09.20.16 at 7:59 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. United States, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Finland vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund at VfL Wolfsburg, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Hamburg SV at Freiburg, 2 p.m. (FS2)


Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll

— Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he was “disappointed” with the NFL’s decision to hand out fines and take away a 2017 fifth-round draft pick as punishment for allowing excessive contact during a non-contact organized team activity in early June.

The Seahawks, who also ran afoul of the rule in 2014, were fined $400,000 and will lose a week of OTAs — for which players still will be paid — in 2017. Carroll was fined an additional $200,000.

The league said Carroll was responsible for the practices and needs to intervene when “prohibited conduct occurs.”

“We’re trying to do this really well and trying to be great at it, and I was really disappointed it came to this. But they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do,” Carroll said. “We’re going to continue to work really hard to do this really well. We practice hard around here, we always have, and we have to do it right. We’ve made strong efforts to do that, but we’re still working at it.”

Carroll said in the incident in question, on June 6, two younger players collided while pursuing the ball during a drill, causing both to be injured.

“They both got banged in the head pretty good,” Carroll said.

The league and the NFL Players Association reviewed the practice video and agreed the team violated the contact rule.

— Tim Tebow began his stint with the Mets’ instructional league team, working out with the squad in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in front of hundreds of fans.

Wearing No. 15 (the same number he wore as a quarterback), Tebow displayed some power during batting practice but also showed that he has a long way to go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Pete Carroll, Tim Tebow,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Megan Rapinoe again kneels during anthem before USWNT game, despite objections from U.S. soccer

09.19.16 at 8:18 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Padres, 10:10 p.m. (FS1)
NFL: Eagles at Bears, 8:300 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Europe vs. Czech Republic, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Russia vs. North America, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe

— U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe again knelt during the national anthem Sunday, despite implications that she might face punishment from U.S. Soccer.

Rapinoe, who started her protest while playing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League and continued it with the U.S. national team, heard a mixed reaction from some in the crowd before Sunday’s game against Thailand in Atlanta.

“Obviously there were boos tonight, boos and cheers tonight. I totally respect that,” Rapinoe said. “People feel a certain way, and I want to be respected for the way that I feel. I think that’s their right to do that. I totally understand that. That said, there’s some people that support me.”

Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling protest and continued it Sunday before the 49ers played the Panthers, but Rapinoe is the first to protest while representing her country.

Rapinoe said she met with her coach and a media relations representative from U.S. Soccer — which previously stated that it expects all players to stand during the anthem — and “talked through my process.”

“I want to keep everybody in the loop,” she said. “It’s sort of an ongoing thought process. What’s the best way to handle everything and, for me, what’s the best way moving forward? And then, obviously, it affects everyone, so I want to appreciate and make sure I’m keeping everyone in the loop and hearing their opinions and giving mine as well.”

The U.S. team next plays Oct. 19 in Utah, while the Reign close out the regular-season Sunday in Houston. Rapinoe implied that she plans to continue her protest during those games.

“I don’t know why [the end of the protest] has to be the most important thing in this,” Rapinoe said. “I think in a large way it’s ‘OK, you’ve knelt, you’ve made your point.’ But I don’t necessarily feel like that. I don’t know what that looks like. Do I kneel forever? I don’t know, probably not. But I think until I can feel like I’m being more effective in other ways, then this seems appropriate to me.”

— The Patriots aren’t the only AFC contender with injury problems. The defending Super Bowl champion Broncos lost a key player on their defense Sunday when linebacker DeMarcus Ware fracture his right forearm after colliding with teammate Von Miller during the second half of a 34-20 victory over the Colts.

Ware will visit a specialist Monday to determine if he needs surgery.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: DeMarcus Ware, Megan Rapinoe,

Thinking Out Loud: Despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive debut, let’s keep Tom Brady around

09.16.16 at 5:42 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … and wondering whatever happened to Craig James.

— For all of the angst over Tom Brady’s NFL suspension, most of it dissipated like squeezing air out of a balloon as Jimmy Garoppolo’s Arizona desert debut unfolded. Now I’m hearing fans say, “Trade Brady!” What is wrong with you people?

— I’ll pony up here: After watching Jimmy G. during camp this summer, it’s clear he’s learned while performing as TB12’s understudy. Plus, Josh McDaniels hasn’t given him anything he can’t handle — yet. He should do the same this week against Miami.

— Most impressive against the Cardinals was his ability to stand in the pocket. Haven’t really seen that yet from him, but the early returns are positive. And he still hasn’t played with Gronk opening up a defense for him.

— He could have handled TB12’s face staring over his shoulder from that banner at Gillette, too. Make no mistake about that. If you’re focused on a banner, then you aren’t focused on your job. Ridiculous. But a good call, nevertheless, by the Patriots for taking it down. We’re on to the next one.

— New England now is playing with house money. Did anyone really figure the Patriots would win at Arizona? You hoped, but you didn’t know. Anything short of 4-0 during the TB12-less portion of the schedule will be considered disappointing, right? Be careful with that one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: U.S. Soccer disappointed after Megan Rapinoe protests anthem before USWNT game

09.16.16 at 7:57 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Rhode Island at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NESN Plus)
College football: Baylor at Rice, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Arkansas State at Utah State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Arizona State at Texas-San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Freiburg at Koln, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Chelsea, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe

— Soccer player Megan Rapinoe continued her protest of the national anthem Thursday, but this time she became the first player to refuse to stand while representing the United States.

Rapinoe, who started her protests while playing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League, kneeled during the anthem prior to the U.S. women’s national team’s 9-0 rout of Thailand. It did not sit well with U.S. Soccer.

“Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer,” the governing body said in a statement released during the game. “In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.”

The 31-year-old has not started for the USNWT since tearing her ACL last December, and she remained on the sideline for the start of Thursday’s game. She entered at the start of the second half.

Afterward, Rapinoe defended her decision, saying she “would like to be involved in any way I can.”

“We need to look at all the things the flag and the anthem represent and all the things it means, and is it protecting everybody?” Rapinoe said. “There are people who don’t feel as protected as I do every day. I know it’s a time-honored tradition. Especially in a sports environment, it’s something the country is very passionate about, but there is a bigger conversation here that is more important than sports.”

The U.S. team next hosts the Netherlands on Sunday in Atlanta.

— The Raiders moved one step closer to relocating in Las Vegas, as the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously to recommend $750 million in public funding for a new stadium.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Megan Rapinoe,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Tony La Russa questions Colin Kaepernick’s ‘sincerity’ regarding anthem protest

09.15.16 at 8:10 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Jets at Bills, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alcorn State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Houston at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Mystics at Dream, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, AS Saint-Etienne at FSV Mainz, 1 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Manchester United at Feyenoord, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: EUFA Europa, Schalke 04 at OGC Nice, 3 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, United States vs. Thailand, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa

— Former major league manager Tony La Russa jumped headfirst into the racial debate that’s gripped the nation, refuting Orioles outfielder Adam Jones’ comment about baseball being a “white man’s sport” and questioning Colin Kaepernick’s “sincerity.”

La Russa spent two years working for Major League Baseball after his retirement from managing, and while he acknowledged there is an issue — only 8 percent of MLB is African-American, according to USA Today — he said attempts have been made to bring the game to the inner city.

“When he says it’s a white, like elitist, kind of sport, I mean, how much wronger can he be? We have tried so hard, the MLB, to expand the black athletes’ opportunity,” La Russa said in an interview on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard program. “We want the black athletes to pick not basketball or football, but want them to play baseball; they should play baseball. And we’re working to make that happen in the inner cities. We have a lot of Latin players. We have players from the Pacific Rim.”

As for Kaepernick, La Russa said he’s not impressed with the 49ers quarterback’s decision to protest the national anthem.

“I was there in the Bay Area when he first was a star, a real star. I never once saw him do anything but promote himself. And all of a sudden now he’s a second-stringer and he’s got this mission … and I just don’t trust his sincerity,” La Russa said. “And even if he was sincere, there’s ways to express your belief in some of the issues that face blacks around this country without disrespecting the country you live in or the flag that it represents.”

La Russa said he “absolutely would not allow” one of his players to sit during the anthem, forcing him to leave the field until the song ended.

“I would tell [a player who wanted to protest the anthem to] sit inside the clubhouse,” La Russa said. “You’re not going to be out there representing our team and our organization by disrespecting the flag. No, sir, I would not allow it. … If you want to make your statement, you make it in the clubhouse, but not out there. You’re not going to show it that way publicly and disrespectfully.”

— The ACC became the latest organization to pull events from North Carolina due to the state’s law limiting protections for LGBT people, as the Council of Presidents voted to relocate the league’s championships until the law is changed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, tony la russa,