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SB Nation writer claims Patriots have a ‘Trump problem’

01.13.17 at 12:09 am ET
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SB Nation— The Clinton-Kaine signs were still up on the afternoon of December 24, sagging in the snow like tombstones of hope. They flashed by the windows as I drove through my hometown of Lincoln, Massachusetts, where 77.7 percent of residents voted for Hillary Clinton. Hanging off porches behind some of the Clinton signs were New England Patriots flags.

For over a decade now, people outside of New England have reviled the Patriots for turning winning into a science and, many believe, cheating to do so. Pats fans doubled-down in response, and a fierce loyalty took root in Massachusetts that, through the sagas of Spygate and Deflategate, seemed unshakeable.

But recently, that blind faith has faced its greatest test in the form of the team’s connection to Republican president-elect Donald Trump.

The trouble began when Patriots reporters spotted Brady with a Make America Great Again hat in his locker in Foxboro in the fall of 2015 (feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?), soon after Trump announced his candidacy and called Mexicans rapists in the same speech. Over the past year and a half, the team’s ties to Trump have only grown stronger.

I was at a neighborhood holiday party in Lincoln a few days before Christmas, talking to the parents of several friends I grew up with. They asked about my job, so the conversation turned to sports. And then, naturally, to the Patriots. And then, naturally, to Trump.

“Oh, Susan Pease won’t even watch anymore,” one of my friend’s moms said. “She used to watch every Sunday with her family, and now she just can’t do it.”

I called Pease a few days later to ask her if this was true.

“Yeah, I just will not watch,” she said. “I really enjoy watching the game with my family. I like what it means for my family to sit down and talk and laugh and watch and snack and now … I just, it’s just ruined for me. It’s not the worst thing about this, of course — this whole thing stems from my tremendous disappointment over this election and country. But it will forever color my opinion of the team. I will not watch, I will not buy any more jerseys. I’m done.”

Over the course of reporting this story, I’ve received countless emails and Facebook messages from people in Massachusetts telling me how disappointed they are in their team. Writing those letters almost seemed like catharsis for many: Several ended with sentiments along the lines of “it feels so good to get this off my chest,” and “I’ve been thinking about this so much.”

Some of these notes I got were filled with anger. People wrote things like “fuck Brady,” and “I used to think Belichick was a genius and now I hate him,” and “I actually take delight when they lose.” Pease isn’t alone — at least six other people told me they can’t bear to watch Pats games anymore, either. A few told me that they were looking for a reason to give football up already because they find the NFL immoral and what it does to men’s bodies indefensible. Trump was the final straw that eliminated any feelings of loyalty.

Is Wilder trying to argue Patriots fans have stopped watching games or denounced the team because it has a connection to Trump? If so, she uses this to make her case: at least SIX people said they stopped watching games, PLUS Susan Pease, so that’s at least seven. 

Also, she doesn’t mention any of the names of these six people who contacted her about not watching the games. So her sources are unconvincing.   

If you’ve talked to so many people, why not include that in the story and maybe name some of them?
Her argument is weak also because, as Kirk Minihane mentioned, she has no substantial proof to back up her claims the Patriots have a Trump problem.

Wilder says the problem is here: It’s hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump anymore. The connection reverberates far beyond the place I grew up.

OK, so what are some of those conversations that reverberate far beyond Massachusetts?

Because from what I’ve seen it is not hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump. It’s actually pretty easy. I have heard and been a part of many, many, many conversations about the Patriots that have nothing to do with Trump. I hadn’t heard any conversations about the Patriots and Trump for a while until this thing was published.

No matter how anyone feels about the team or the president-elect, the two have become as woven into each other’s histories as Trump’s hair is to his head. The difference is that while the rest of the country doesn’t really have a stake in this connection, Patriots fans in liberal Massachusetts who find Trump abhorrent have to grapple with the emotional implications.

This is how Wilder concludes her piece. Are Patriots fans grappling with emotions because some people involved with their favorite football team support Trump? Not at all from what I have seen. And when I think of the history of the Patriots, one of the last things I think of is Donald Trump. And the history of Donald Trump is going to be full of a lot more important things than his connection to the Patriots. This is a little dramatic.

What are we supposed to take away from this? I honestly have no idea. If she had named a few sources or cited some data showing this is a real problem and people have stopped watching games or supporting the team, then she might have a story here. But this is pretty weak.

Petition to ban Joe Buck, Troy Aikman from calling Packers games has almost 24,000 signatures

01.12.17 at 2:25 pm ET
By   |   Comments–Get Troy Aikman and Joe Buck banned from announcing Green Bay Packer’s games

Andrew Dorff, Brookfield, WI

This is a petition to get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman banned from announcing/commentating on the Green Bay Packers. 

On behalf of the Green Bay Packers fans across the world, we would like action taken to prohibit them from giving their constant negative input about our team. We are sick of the biased announcing always coming from them.

Letter to

Roger Goodell
FOX News
FOX Broadcasting Company

Yeah, this will definitely work. Petitions like this always do.

And Roger Goodell definitely cares. I’m not sure this is even his jurisdiction.

But I like this guy’s succinct explanation for this matter of great importance to his life.

My favorite part of petitions like this is the “Reasons for signing” section. The option to give your reason was made for petitions like this.

Here are some of them:

“They’re biased and annoying to hear. Joe buck needs a new face. Troy needs to keep it to 2 beers before games.”

“I hate Bucket”

“Troy is a biased punk and Joe is annoying”

“Cause I don’t need Boy Aiken and Blow Shmuck drooling over the Cowgirls for 4 hours….Geeeezzzz”

“They are bias and borring to listen”

“You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. Joe and Troy try to say all the right things but their anti-Packer feelings still bleed through. Sometimes it’s not what they say it’s what they don’t say.”

“I woudl liek ot see Joe Buchk and Aikman not only banned from this game – but banned from announcing all games, in any sport, forever and ever. Amen”

And on and on and on it goes.

Good luck to Andrew Dorff. If enough people agree with him, absolutely nothing will happen.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Chargers players react to plan to move team to Los Angeles; Tim Tebow not invited to Mets major league camp

01.12.17 at 8:28 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NHL: Boston at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Montreal at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Indiana at Denver, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA: Chicago at New York, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Detroit at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Belmont at Morehead State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at URI, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona State at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Austin Peay at SIUE, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Rutgers, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: SMU at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Washington at California, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Portland, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UCLA at Colorado, 11 p.m. (FS1)


— The Chargers organization is expected to announce as early as Thursday the team will move from San Diego to Los Angeles.

The Chargers notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league owners of their plans to move the team for the 2017 season but nothing is set in stone. The team’s chairman has not yet sent a formal relocation letter to the NFL nor notified members of the Chargers organization or public officials in San Diego or Los Angeles.

“At first, I hoped it was fake news,” said former Charger Dan Fouts. “It’s something that is unfathomable, but it is reality.”

The organization has reportedly scheduled a staff meeting for 11 a.m. on Thursday but the topic of the meeting is unknown.

Chargers players reacted on Twitter with a lot of emojis:


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Would you pay $50 for a selfie with Johnny Manziel?

01.11.17 at 10:34 am ET
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ProFootballTalk — If you’re going to the Super Bowl next month, start saving your pennies.

Johnny Manziel will be in Houston, too, and he’ll be charging for autographs and pictures.

Manziel will be at two different Stadium Signatures stores, one on Feb. 2 and one on Feb. 3, to greet fans. Per the Stadium Signatures Facebook page, selfies will cost $50. Manziel will sign any item for $99, and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and Browns 2014 first-round pick will personally inscribe those items for an extra $29.

Manziel’s quest to be relevant again continues.

There are absolutely people who will pay for this and good for Manziel and his people for realizing this and taking advantage of his Texas connection to the Super Bowl.

I’m sure he will use this money to turn his life around.


Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy compares Roger Goodell going to Foxboro with Hitler visiting Israel

01.11.17 at 9:25 am ET
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The question of if Roger Goodell will come to Foxboro has been a hot topic. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

The question of if Roger Goodell will come to Foxboro has been a hot topic. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

El Presidente’s stance is pretty clear.

After being the topic of conversation over the last 24 hours for the insinuation that he would wish bodily harm on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy went on the Kirk & Callahan Show Wednesday to clarify his stance (listen to the interview here).

“I would like him to come [to Gillette Stadium],” Portnoy said. “If somebody tripped him, he fell down and he broke his arm, I would laugh. I’m glad that happened. I would not be the tripper. I do not condone murder. I do condone spitting on him. I think you can spit on him fairly.”

Portnoy also explained he can understand Goodell’s hesitation to come to Foxboro considering the commish’s status in New England.

“It should be risky and I don’t think it’s because of anything I said or what anybody else has said. It’s because what that jerk has done,” Portnoy said. “You make your bed and you sleep in it. We’re responding to him. That’s like Hitler killed a bazzalion Jews and he goes to Israel and they thought it would be a great spot for him.”

So will Goodell show up? Portnoy said you shouldn’t be holding your breath.

“No chance,” he stated. “Not maybe ever. Maybe in like 20 years, but not now.”

To read more on why Goodell might not get near the Patriots, read John Tomase’s column by click here.

When is the next time Roger Goodell shows his face in Foxboro?

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Duke’s Grayson Allen shoves FSU assistant, appears to not have learned lesson

01.11.17 at 8:27 am ET
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Sports IllustratedDuke guard Grayson Allen shoved a Florida State assistant coach as he was falling into the bench chasing a loose ball during Duke’s 88–72 loss to the Seminoles on Tuesday.

The game was Allen’s third since serving a one-game suspension for tripping an opponent.

Late in the game with Florida State leading by 14, Allen is chasing a loose ball near the Florida State bench and saves the ball before it goes out of bounds. As he is mid-air and about to fall into the Florida State bench, Allen shoves Florida State assistant Dennis Gates with two hands.

Both Allen and Gates fell to the floor. Allen left the game minutes later with a head injury and did not return, finishing with nine points, five assists and three rebounds.

It appears as no one was asked about the incident after the game, but Duke interim head coach Jeff Capel said Allen did not appear to be affected by Florida State’s crowd.

“I don’t think what other people say, chant or do wears on him that much,” Capel said. “The kid has been through a lot — he brought a lot of it on himself, but some of the things that have happened are just crazy.”

Boy, this kid just won’t quit.

Seems like his “indefinite suspension” that lasted just one game wasn’t enough to wake him up and stop being a brat.

But here we go again. Allen is back at it, this time shoving an innocent assistant coach.

And how about Capel saying Allen has “been through a lot”?

He has not been through a lot and is not a victim and has obviously not learned his lesson here. Capel should not be defending Allen, he should be benching him.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Athletes react to Barack Obama’s Farewell Address

01.11.17 at 8:11 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NBA: Washington at Boston, 8 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Memphis at Oklahoma City ESPN
NBA: Cleveland at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Washington, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Women’s college basketball: St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis, 12 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball:
George Washington at VCU, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Houston at East Carolina, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Dayton at UMass, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Georgia at Mississippi, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Marquette, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Memphis at Tulsa, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: North Carolina at Wake Forest, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Butler at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina State at Boston College, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Temple at UConn, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)


— President Obama gave his Farewell Address on Tuesday night and athletes took to social media to react to the speech.

THANK YOU Prez!!! Barack

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on



And then Jose Canseco dropped this bit of crushing news:

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bill Walton dresses as Uncle Sam, goes on marijuana rant during ESPNU College Football National Championship game

01.10.17 at 9:41 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NBA: Boston at Toronto, 7:30 p.m. (CSN, NBATV)
NBA: Miami at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Boston at St. Louis, 8 p.m. (NBCSN, NESN)
College basketball: Baylor at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Syracuse at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Florida at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana at Maryland, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Providence at DePaul, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kansas State at Texas Tech, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: San Jose State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Women’s college basketball: South Florida at Connecticut, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)


— Bill Walton was part of ESPNU’s broadcast coverage of the College Football National Championship game on Monday night and did not disappoint when it came to unconventional commentary.

At one point, the broadcast came back from commercial to Walton, dressed as Uncle Sam, explaining why he thinks marijuana should be legalized.

“Marijuana should not be a Schedule 1 drug,” Walton could be heard saying after the commercial break.



Walton also showed he did very little preparation for this game:

        And he invited ESPN’s Michelle Beadle back to his room:

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Rob Gronkowski makes 300-pound pal ride bull, doesn’t work out well

01.09.17 at 3:01 pm ET
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At least Gronk wasn’t on the bull.

That was the first thought that must have gone through anybody’s mind the minute they see video of Rob Gronkowski watch his 300-pound best buddy, “Bobby Goons,” — who is the tight end’s contractor/chauffeur — get on the 1,200-pound bull named “Lieutenant Dan.”

(To watch the video on TMZ Sports, click here.)

The endeavor, which took place at the Monster Energy Buck Off in New York City this weekend, lasted just one about second. Gronk attempted to get his friend back on the bull in an attempt to beat the performance of former Patriot Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson.

Bill Belichick spotted napping on Nantucket ferry, photographer declines ESPN’s request to use photo

01.09.17 at 10:06 am ET
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We’ve seen this before when the person who shot the video of Brady throwing a football around during his suspension denied ESPN’s request to use the video, citing Deflategate as the reason.

Why would ESPN even want this picture of Belichick? Why would anyone want this picture of Belichick? A little creepy of Markopoulos to take the picture, but at least he’s using it to defend the wall.