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Heisman candidate Todd Gurley suspended indefinitely by Georgia

10.10.14 at 10:57 am ET
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What started as a promising year for University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley might now be over halfway through the season.

The Heisman Trophy candidate was suspended indefinitely by the school Thursday as administrators investigate the possibility that Gurley violated NCAA rules. Georgia did not specify what Gurley did to get suspended, but a SI.com report, using an anonymous source, said Gurley reportedly took $400 to sign various pieces of memorabilia.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he is trying to be focused on the team’s upcoming game.

“I’m obviously very disappointed,” Richt said in a statement. “The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri.”

Though NCAA says players must be declared ineligible if they have committed any type of rule violation, there is a possibility that Gurley could return this year. It is not unprecedented for a school to apply for a player’s reinstatement after an investigation is concluded. In 2010, Cam Newton was deemed ineligible and then reinstated after an investigation concluded he was unaware his father solicited money from Mississippi State University.

Regardless if Gurley does come back this year, he will not be in the lineup against Missouri. Freshman Nick Chubb is expected to be the primary tailback in his place.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Prosecutors seek new arrest warrant for Adrian Peterson after admission of marijuana use

10.10.14 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Royals at Orioles, 8:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
NBA preseason: Celtics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Thunder at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football: Washington State at Stanford, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: San Diego State at New Mexico, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Fresno State at UNLV, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Boston College at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
MLS: Whitecaps at Sounders, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Ecuador, 6:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European, Netherlands vs. Kazakhstan, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Texas prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Adrian Peterson based on his admission that he smoked marijuana while out on bond. Peterson allegedly confessed to a drug tester that he “smoked a little weed” before he was tested during Wednesday’s court appearance to address a child abuse charge.

Peterson has been free on $15,000 bond since being charged with felony child abuse. Using illegal drugs usually is a condition for revocation of bond.

“In light of this statement, and the fact that it was made during the urinalysis testing process, and the term ‘weed’ is a common slang term for marijuana, the state argues that the defendant has smoked marijuana while on bond,” the district attorney’s office wrote.

MASHUP POLL: Should Adrian Peterson go to jail for using marijuana while on bond?

  • Yes, if he breaks the rules he should be treated like everyone else (66%, 121 Votes)
  • No, he's not a threat to anyone and it would be unnecessary and unreasonable to imprison him (34%, 62 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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No action can be taken on the matter until a hearing is held on whether a new judge should be appointed in the child abuse case. Prosecutors asked that the judge be replaced after a comment he made about the lead attorneys playing to the media.

A trial date tentatively was set for Dec. 1 for Peterson, who did not enter a plea during Wednesday’s hearing.

The 29-year-old running back remains on paid leave from the Vikings, who placed him on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list last month. He is not allowed to participate in any activities, although he continues to draw his $11.75 million salary.

— Colin Kaepernick revealed Thursday that he was fined $10,000 for wearing Beats by Dre headphones after the 49ers‘ victory Sunday.

The NFL has a contract with Bose. Kaepernick, who has an endorsement deal with Beats, knew he could be punished for wearing the Beats headphones — a pink version in honor of breast cancer awareness month in October.

Tweeted Kaepernick: I support breast cancer awareness! My grandma is a survivor!

Asked if Beats would pay his fine, Kaepernick said, “We’ll let that be unanswered.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Beats by Dre, Colin Kaepernick,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Adrian Peterson gets court date, eager to defend himself

10.09.14 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Avalanche at Wild, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
NFL: Colts at Texans, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: BYU at Central Florida, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Hampton at North Carolina A&T, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Euro 2016 qualifier, Slovakia vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Honduras, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, eager to go to trial as soon as possible on child abuse charges, will head to court Dec. 1, as a Texas judge set the tentative trial date Wednesday

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said his client is “chomping at the bit” to get the chance to explain his decision to punish his 4-year-old son by whipping him with a tree branch and leaving marks that lasted for more than a week. Peterson, who said he was disciplined the same way when he was growing up, faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of causing injury to a child.

Peterson, who is on paid leave from the Vikings while the charges are pending, did not speak during his court appearance.

“He just keeps getting hammered without the ability to respond,” Hardin told Judge Kelly Case. “This is the place to resolve all those allegations.”

MASHUP POLL: Do you think Adrian Peterson be convicted of abusing his son?

  • Yes, anyone can see that he went way too far and deserves to be punished (63%, 66 Votes)
  • No, there will be support for him as a parent who has the right to discipline his child (37%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 105

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Added Hardin after the hearing: “This is a case about parenting decisions and whether something unfortunate happened when a parenting decision was made by a man who believes strongly and loves his children very much.”

Peterson will not have contact with the child until the case is resolved.

— Heat forward Chris Bosh said Wednesday that he has not spoken to LeBron James since James’ decision to return to Cleveland.

Bosh’s Heat play James’ Cavaliers on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, and Bosh responded with hesitation when asked if he was looking forward to seeing his former teammate.

“Yeah … I don’t know,” Bosh said, adding: “I’m in the mode where I’m trying to lead my team, help these guys out around here. … If guys aren’t in this locker room, I don’t have much time for them — if any.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Chris Bosh, LeBron James,

Washington coach Jay Gruden to look into players laughing following loss

10.08.14 at 11:15 am ET
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A loss to the Seahawks apparently was not enough to keep some Washington players from smiling and laughing.

Following the 27-17 defeat to Seattle on Monday night, veterans Pierre Garcon and Trent Williams were part of a contingent that was joking around in the locker room. Coach Jay Gruden was not around to see it unfold, as he was holding his postgame press conference.

The coach said there should be almost no reason for his players to be happy after the loss and plans on investigating further.

“Hopefully it was taken out of context or what have you, but I have no idea what it was like,” Gruden said. “If it was upbeat, it shouldn’t be, and that is disappointing that it was because they played their hearts out. They played hard, I thought. We lost the game. No reason to be upbeat, though, whatsoever.”

From what Gruden saw Monday night, the players looked, according to him, “dejected.” That feeling would come as no surprise to anyone. Washington finished last year with a 3-13 record and has started this season at 1-4. But the lack of one big leader, though, could be the reason why some on the team did not take the loss as hard.

“We have guys that have leadership qualities,” Gruden said. “We just haven’t had that guy stand up and really take charge.”

Read More: Jay Gruden,

NFL owners meeting Wednesday to review league’s conduct policy

10.08.14 at 9:54 am ET
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Amid criticism that the NFL is not doing enough with domestic abuse cases, owners are meeting Wednesday in an attempt to move forward with the league’€™s personal conduct policy.

Football has taken heat over the past month and a half for not doing enough to discipline its players, such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, who have committed violent acts off of the field. Commissioner Roger Goodell has especially faced scrutiny for his inaction or delayed reactions in dealing with the players in question.

“We need to limit this,” Texans owner Robert McNair said of the violence in the league, “so punishment is not an issue.”

During the meeting, representatives from the player engagement department intend to speak about how those in the league can be educated on the subjects of domestic violence and abuse. Goodell sent the owners a memo earlier this week to describe just why the conduct policy needs to be reevaluated.

“For the past seven years, the personal conduct policy has brought credit to the league and to NFL players,” Goodell said in the memo. “But during that time, we did not sufficiently review the policy to keep it current and ensure that it properly reflected our values and those of our society.”

The meeting also gives the owners the chance to approve the sale of the Bills to the Pegula family and review the possibility of adding more NFL games in London.

Read More: Roger Goodell,

Ray Allen’s NBA future not clear despite speculation he will join Cavaliers

10.08.14 at 9:52 am ET
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Despite rumors claiming he has agreed to terms with the Cavaliers, guard Ray Allen remains uncertain about his future in the NBA, said his agent Jim Tanner.

The former Celtics player, a two-time NBA champion, played with LeBron James the last two seasons in Miami. Together, they were able to make consecutive NBA Finals, taking the title in 2013. James then left the Heat to join the Cavaliers for the second time earlier this offseason.

After James made the move, some speculated Allen would follow suit and go to Cleveland as well. But according to Tanner, the top 3-point shooter in the history of the NBA game has not decided if he will play in the NBA again.

Tweeted Tanner on Tuesay: Ray’€™s position has not changed. Ray has not decided if he will play this season nor has he signed w/the @Cavs.

It would be the 39-year-old’€™s 20th season in the league if he does decide to come back. Last year in Miami, he averaged 9.6 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field.

Read More: Ray Allen,

Adrian Peterson to plead not guilty in child abuse case

10.08.14 at 9:47 am ET
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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson intends to plead not guilty on charges of child abuse in court on Wednesday, said a spokesperson for Peterson’€™s attorney.

Peterson came under fire in September when it became known that he disciplined his young son with a small tree branch. For his role in the incident, Peterson has been charged with reckless or negligent injury to a child.

Despite the chance he could get on the field quicker with a guilty plea, Peterson intends to plead not guilty if asked Wednesday in the Montgomery County, Texas, court.

“If the court asks for a plea tomorrow [and we do expect that to happen], it will very definitely be NOT guilty,” said spokesperson Mary Flood in an email to ESPN.com. “We hope that a trial date is also discussed but don’t yet know how the court’s docket is looking.”

Now that Peterson intends to plead not guilty in the case, it appears that any chance that he returns to football this season is dwindling. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer would not say Tuesday if he thought Peterson could make a comeback in 2014 with Minnesota.

“Honestly, I want the best for Adrian, number one, OK?” Zimmer said. “But I also have to coach the guys that are here and go forward. If things get resolved and it’s a good thing, then the more power to him,” Zimmer said. “We will worry about that when the time comes.”

Read More: Adrian Peterson,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Josh Beckett announces retirement after Dodgers’ elimination

10.08.14 at 7:48 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Flyers at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA preseason: Knicks vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)


— Following the Dodgers’ elimination at the hands of the Cardinals on Tuesday night, pitcher Josh Beckett said he plans to retire.

Beckett pitched a no-hitter in May, but a torn labrum in his left hip forced him to the disabled list for most of the final three months of the season. A pending fee agent, Beckett said he plans to have surgery in May but will not attempt to return to baseball after that.

“I just don’t see me going through that rehab and coming back to pitch at this point in my life,” he said (via MLB.com).

Beckett was traded from the Red Sox along with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto late in the 2012 season. He missed most of the 2013 campaign while dealing with thoracic outlet syndrome. He no-hit the Phillies on May 25 and posted a 6-6 record with a 2.88 ERA this season, but his body could not hold up.

The 34-year-old is 138-106 with a 3.88 ERA in 14 seasons. He was MVP of the 2003 World Series with the Marlins and won another title in 2007 with the Red Sox. A three-time All-Star, Beckett was runner-up for the American League Cy Young Award in 2007, when he went 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.

— Jets coach Rex Ryan is not shying away from the fact that his job is on the line, with his team losing four of its first five games, including Sunday’s 31-0 shellacking at the hands of the Chargers.

Ryan acknowledged he won’t be around much longer if the team’s four-game losing streak balloons.

“If that’s the case and we don’t this thing on the right track, I don’t think for a minute I’ll be here,” Ryan said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show.” “I know I won’t, but I believe this team will right itself and we’ll find a way.”

Added Ryan: “If the season ended today, you’re probably dead on. There’s no ‘probably’ about it. But the season is far from over and I think we have time to get this going.”

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Read More: Josh Beckett, Rex Ryan,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots nemesis Bernard Pollard out for season with ruptured ACL

10.07.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Dodgers at Cardinals, 5 p.m. (FS1; WEEI-AM)
MLB playoffs: Nationals at Giants, 9 p.m. (FS1; WEEI-AM)


— Titans safety Bernard Pollard, known around these parts for his role in major injuries to Patriots players Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker, suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.

Pollard, who signed a multi-year deal with the Titans in the offseason after leading the team in tackles last year, was hurt trying to block the decisive extra point as the Browns completed an NFL road record 25-point comeback Sunday. The 29-year-old, who had never been on injured reserve in his career, tweeted that he is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning.

“Bernard has been a good leader and a good player for us,” Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That happens in this game. It’s unfortunate. We’ll certainly hope he stays involved with our team, which I think is an important piece of it. But I know how disappointed he was [Sunday] night, as we all are.”

Pollard played for the Chiefs when his hit on Tom Brady‘s knee tore the quarterback’s ACL in the opening game of the 2008 season. He never hit Welker but was defending for the Texans when the receiver tore his ACL at the end of the 2009 season. And Rob Gronkowski suffered a severe ankle sprain in a January 2012 playoff game while being brought down by Pollard, then with the Ravens. The hard-hitting safety also concussed Stevan Ridley with a helmet-to-helmet blow in a Patriots-Ravens playoff game in January 2013.

MASHUP POLL: Do you harbor ill feelings toward Bernard Pollard?

  • Yes, he clearly doesn't mind causing injury to others and now got what he deserved (74%, 601 Votes)
  • No he's just a hard-hitting safety and wasn't being dirty when he injured Patriots players (26%, 208 Votes)

Total Voters: 809

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While Pollard is not popular in New England, Titans players sang his praises Monday.

“I learned a lot from that guy,” second-year defensive back Daimion Stafford said. “He is a stand-up guy. He taught me a lot, no matter if we were competing for a spot or whatever. So I’ll take all the knowledge he passed on to me, and once I get my shot, I’m going to show him I was listening.”

— Dolphins defensive lineman Derrick Shelby was suspended indefinitely by the team after his arrest at a nightclub early Saturday.

Shelby was tased three times and faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and trespassing at a nightclub after he allegedly touched women without their permission. The 6-foot-2, 282-pounder appeared intoxicated and took an aggressive fighting stance when police attempted to take him into custody, authorities said.

Shelby’s agent released a statement saying he was disappointed by the team’s decision to suspend the player, but coach Joe Philbin said it seemed like the right thing to do.

“We’re still gathering information,” Philbin said. “I feel like from the information I have at the present time, I took the appropriate action and suspended him indefinitely.”

Teammate Jared Odrick said he was shocked, because Shelby is “such a smart guy.” Odrick also said black players have to be careful in public.

“The thing we’re reminded as professional athletes and black men is we’re targets more than anybody else walking down the street,” Odrick said. “We’re targeted sometimes, and we have to understand we have to uphold standards and society’s rules more than a regular passerby. We have to set the example.”

— One day after Michael Phelps announced plans to seek treatment following his second DUI arrest, USA Swimming suspended the Olympic legend six months, which will force him out of next year’s world championships — the biggest international meet leading up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The suspension is for violating the organization’s code of conduct, and while Phelps still can train with his North Baltimore club, he will lose funding totaling over $10,000.

“Michael’s conduct was serious and required significant consequences,” USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said. “We endorse and are here to fully support his personal development actions.”

Phelps’ representatives at Octagon released a statement saying: “Michael accepts USA Swimming’s sanctions. He has apologized for his actions and, as he shared [Sunday], is taking steps to address them.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): The seventh of October has not been a successful day for the Red Sox throughout the years. On this date, they lost World Series games in 1946 and 1967, and playoff games in 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2005. They did have one big victory on Oct. 7, when in 1975 they beat the A’s, 5-3, to sweep the three-game ALCS. Who was Boston’s winning pitcher?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Absolutely not [true]. I’€™ve always had input. There’€™s not one play that’€™s ever been called in a game that I’€™ve said, ‘€˜Look, I don’€™t want to run that play.’€™ That’€™s not the way it works.” – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, during his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan, on reports that there has been tension between him and the offensive coaches

STAT OF THE DAY: $2.6 billion – Reported revenue for the NBA from its contract extension with ESPN and TNT

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval makes an impressive diving catch of a popped-up bunt in the seventh inning of Monday’s loss to the Nationals.

Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly skates around while singing “O Canada” prior to a British Columbia Hockey League game but doesn’t see the carpet at center ice and takes a tumble.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go, was born on this day in 1975.

Read More: Bernard Pollard, Derrick Shelby, Michael Phelps,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan takes blame after Jets’ latest embarrassment

10.06.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Nationals at Giants, 5 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB playoffs: Dodgers at Cardinals, 9 p.m. (FS1)
NFL: Seahawks at Washington, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)


— While the Patriots appear to have righted their ship with Sunday’s rout of the Bengals, things are only getting worse for the Jets. In New York’s 31-0 loss to the Chargers, Geno Smith was yanked in favor of Michael Vick, but neither quarterback could find the end zone.

Coach Rex Ryan attempted to deflect the blame after his team fell to 1-4.

“First off, I apologize to our fans — those that are left,” Ryan said. “This is on one person and that’s it. It’s certainly not on a quarterback and one individual that way. It’s on me. Clearly got outcoached. I thought we had a good plan going in and obviously that wasn’t the case.”

Added Ryan: “Even if we had Joe Namath, it wouldn’t have made a difference.”

MASHUP POLL: WIll Jets coach Rex Ryan last the season?

  • No, this team is being embarrassed and is desperate for a change (73%, 374 Votes)
  • Yes, he's earned enough respect to not get fired midseason (27%, 138 Votes)

Total Voters: 512

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Smith, who reportedly missed a team meeting Saturday night because he and a few teammates were at a movie and got confused by the three-hour time change between New York and San Diego, completed 4-of-12 passes for 27 yards and had a 7.6 passer rating when he was pulled at halftime for Vick (9-of-20 for 47 yards).

Smith acknowledged that it was “a pathetic show on my part. I didn’t help at any point during the game, so I’m going to look myself in the mirror.”

However, Ryan said he still plans to start Smith next Sunday when the Jets host the Broncos, despite the frustrating loss.

“I’ve never been in a spot like that,” Ryan said. “We’re scratching, we’re clawing, anything we can do, but it seems like — at this stage — like too great a challenge, but I know it’s not.”

— Multiple reports out of San Francisco indicate Jim Harbaugh will not return to the 49ers after this season, with the relationship between the fiery, opinionated coach and the front office getting worse.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer said Harbaugh’s style has “worn thin” with the organization, adding: “I don’t see any way Jim Harbaugh comes back next year as the head coach of the 49ers, even if they hoist the Lombardi [Trophy].”

Team owner Jed York attempted to downplay the rumors Sunday, tweeting: Jim is my coach. We’re trying to win a SB not a personality or popularity contest. Any more questions?

— Five days after his second arrest for DUI, Michael Phelps announced that he will enter a six-week program to help him “better understand myself.” Although he will not swim competitively at least through mid-November, Phelps did not indicate any desire to give up his comeback bid.

“The past few days have been extremely difficult,” Phelps said in a statement. “I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself.”

Added Phelps: “Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”

Phelps retired from swimming after the 2012 London Olympics with 18 gold medals. He is bidding to compete in the 2016 Rio Games and appeared on track to get back to form.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 6, 1906, which Red Sox player homered in his final at-bat, as he committed suicide before the following season, shortly after he was named manager?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Tonight was just kind of our night. A lot of things went in our favor. We made a few things happen and that was good. We just have to really give all the credit to the players for the way they played. They’€™€™re resilient, they’€™€™re tough and they worked hard this week and they played hard tonight. I’€™€™m proud of them for that.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick, after Sunday’s 43-17 victory over the Bengals

STAT OF THE DAY: 6 – Quarterbacks in NFL history with 50,000 passing yards, as Tom Brady became the latest during Sunday’s victory over the Bengals

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): During the Royals’ series-clinching victory over the Angels, Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain makes two impressive catches in the fifth inning.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon, was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: Geno Smith, Jim Harbaugh, Michael Phelps, michael vick