Tony Romo’s greatest feat as a broadcaster was explaining how Bill Belichick screws with opponents

The most pleasant surprise of the NFL season so far has been Tony Romo’s Madden-esque color commentary. Hands down.

His weekly display of broadcasting greatness started when Matthew Tkachuk Jersey he predicted that Drew Brees would throw a touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman in the second quarter. His soothsaying was on display last week too. He’s watching the field, how defenses and offenses line up and presenting Tom Waddle Womens Jersey that information to you from the quarterback’s point of view. That’s just not what we’re expecting to get from a color guy; it’s a hundred times better.

Romo’s ability to demystify the game went to another level later on, when the Patriots had things well in hand against the Saints. What did he do that topped predicting plays? Oh, not much … he only explained what the hell Bill Belichick was thinking.

The Patriots show blitz with the Saints inside the 10-yard line, putting five guys on the line ready to send them at the passer. What they usually do with this look is drop two of those guys back into coverage.

It wasn’t the best basketball-themed celebration of Week 1. That was Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris shooting a free throw while Tyreek Hill acted as the hoop. But the Falcons had a specific reason for this celebration, and it was all Julio Jones’ idea.

“It’s ‘Hoop.’ His name is Austin Hooper, so we did a little shot. … Yeah, it was easy. Mo did it. Hoop did it. It was good,” Jones said, via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

Jones is hoping to get into the end zone soon, too. He has a celebration plan, but he’s not ready to share it just yet.

“I just have to show you,” Jones said, via McClure. “I’ve just got to get in the paint first.”

Sunday’s celebration was the very first in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the Falcons are hoping there will be many more.

NFL celebrations are fun again. FINALLY.

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Week 1 fantasy football winners and losers

Whether you won or lost, there’s no equal to the excitement of a brand-new fantasy football season.

Much of that is from following how your team gets to its outcome: That fourth-round pick who drops an NFL debut performance for the record books in the Thursday opener, that late-round sleeper whom you had to start in your 16-team league, or that “ironclad lock” you selected No. 2 overall who completely let you down.

Yes, they’ve all happened so far in Week 1, and right here, we’ll recap these winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 1 and 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) games for our picks of the week’s best and worst.

The players and public safety officials also will stand together during the national anthem, and the players said they’ve asked the Haslam family, the team’s owners, to stand with them too.

The pregame show of solidarity comes after discussions among the players, the Haslams and law enforcement officials following some Browns players’ decision to kneel in prayer during the national anthem before the team’s second preseason game last month.

In the wake of the players’ kneeling, the Cleveland police union said it would not participate in the Browns’ tradition of having fans and civil servants help unfurl and hold an oversized American flag on the field. Instead, USO members are scheduled to hold the giant flag this Sunday.

Following news of the Browns’ planned pregame show of solidarity, the police union said it had accepted an invitation to participate.
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Those jerseys have been an occasional nightmare for colorblind fans

In doing so, they revealed the new look for the rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces: red and white jerseys with navy blue accents and a primary crest logo featuring a shark-toothed fighter plane.

“We wanted to make this reveal as memorable of a moment as possible because it really signified the start of our new chapter as the Flying Aces,” said Brendan Kelly, the team’s chief operating officer. “To be able to do this in Bloomington at such a big event for the city is really symbolic of how we want our identity to become an integral part of the community — both here and throughout Central Illinois.”

“We knew we wanted to have red as our primary color because of the special significance it holds in the area and the qualities of power and speed that it evokes,” Kelly said. “Between that, the logo and name, we feel that our new identity really embodies the talent of the rising stars we have playing for us.”

Those jerseys have been an occasional nightmare for colorblind fans, but that won’t be an issue with Michigan’s light all-maize look and Florida’s darker “flooded blue.”

Nike says the uniforms are a celebration of Michigan’s bicentennial and “in honor of the 150-year anniversary of the school’s official colors, maize and blue.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh floated the idea of an all-maize look before last season, according to then-Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis. Players seem to love it.nets_024

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Attention NFL players: Leave your nipple rings at home

Football is a dangerous sport and it’s difficult for any team to get through training camp without suffering any injuries. The last thing any player needs to do is to come to camp with another way to get hurt.

The weight goal for Poe on Wednesday, when Falcons players reported to camp, was 330 pounds. That’s the weight the team wants him to play at this season, and he’s there.

Poe’s last weigh in was in June, and he was expected to be under 340 pounds. He passed that one with flying colors, too. Overall, Poe has $500,000 in weight incentives built into his contract.

He’s not the only NFL player to have a nice bonus hit the bank account this week. Alex Smith had a generous incentive to show up for training camp this week.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith collects a $2 million reporting bonus today for showing up to camp, per @FieldYates. NFL’s biggest report bonus.

That’s a big chunk of change just for showing up for training camp, which is mandatory for all players, anyway.

Congratulations to Poe and Smith for earning a lot of extra money this week for losing weight and showing up for work.

Playing at right tackle, James had a promising rookie year, but a toe injury limited him to just seven games in 2015. He played all 16 games last year, mostly being a league-average player. That’s probably not good enough for Miami to give him the fifth-year option, which would cost around $8.1 million. James’ spot on the right side is entrenched with Laremy Tunsil moving to left tackle next year. patriots_029-180x180

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, location, odds for Super Bowl 52

It’s never too early to start planning for the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 52, set to be played Sunday, Feb. 4 2018, will take place in a dome just like Super Bowl 51 did … but much further north, where the weather outside the venue won’t be as inviting.

Granted, Minneapolis, with its state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium, will be ready to host the Super Bowl and show off its fancy digs to the world.

Super Bowl 52, also known as Super Bowl LII, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 4. The kickoff time would be determined at a later date.

Super Bowl 52 will be played in Minneapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium, which will have just finished hosting its second Minnesota Vikings season after being built in time for the 2016 NFL season.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced in May of 2014 that Minnesota and its new stadium would host the Super Bowl in 2018. The stadium seats 66,200 but can be expanded to fit up to 70,000 people.

Terms of the contract were not announced, but reports expect Elway, 57, accepted $30 million to $35 million for the extension to make him the NFL’s highest-paid VP/GM (note: Pats coach Bill Belichick, the team’s de facto GM, is paid a reported $7.5 million per year, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who serves as his team’s GM, also makes more).

“I appreciate the trust and confidence that Joe has shown in me,” Elway said in a statement. “(Team owner) Pat Bowlen has always put outstanding leadership in place, and I’m grateful for the support Joe gives us to compete for championships each and every year.

“This is a special place, and the Broncos are home to me. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, I’m excited about the future of this team and this organization.”

Elway, a three-time Super Bowl champion, is entering his seventh season as an executive. Since that time, Elway has led the Broncos to 67 regular-season wins, five AFC West titles, two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl 50 win.t_rangers_006-115x115

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Kristaps Porzingis injury update: Knicks star will miss some time

New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis will miss some time with an injured ankle, but he has apparently avoided more serious damage.

The Vertical reports that Porzingis will be out several days, but cites a source saying there is no ligament damage.

Porzingis turned his ankle late in the second quarter of the Knicks’ 119-104 loss to the Cavaliers Thursday night. He limped off the court and did not return, and he was spotted in a walking boot after the game, raising concerns.

The multitalented 7-3 center missed eight games earlier this season with an Achilles injury. He is averaging 18.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season.

76ers: The second biggest winners of the night. Remember, not only does Philadelphia hold swap rights to the Kings’ pick this year, essentially giving the Sixers Sacramento’s lottery balls, but they also own the Kings’ 2019 unprotected first-round pick. Yes, that means the Kings traded away a less protected draft pick for Luka Mitrovic and Arturas Gudaitis (and cap space to sign Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Kosta Koufos) than the one they acquired for Cousins. Yeah. That one’s not going up on Vlade Divac’s refrigerator.

Teams who need a playmaker (looking at you, Cavs and LeBron James): Galloway is an interesting idea for the Cavs as a shooting, off-ball 1 who also defends well. If the Kings do end up releasing Tyreke Evans, he fits what LeBron wants. Other playoff teams who could be looking for a buyout playmaker: Detroit, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Washington.broncos_116

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NBA playoffs 2017: Rockets beat Thunder despite Russell Westbrook’s big night

Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point triple-double in the playoffs. But it came in a losing effort.

Tuesday’s game was televised on TNT and the Bulls have now won 21 straight games on the network.

The Nuggets were the first eight seed to beat a one when they upset the SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 playoffs. The Knicks then knocked off the Heat in 1999 and became the first eight seed to reach the NBA Finals, losing to the Spurs in five games. Those first-round series were best-of-five. The Warriors in 2007 became the first No. 8 seed to beat the top seed in a seven-game series when they outlasted the Mavericks in six games.

The Grizzlies beat the top-seeded Spurs in six games in 2011 and the 76ers also had a 4-2 series win in 2012 to upset the No. 1 Bulls.

The Celtics are the first No. 1 seed to lose the first two games of an opening-round playoff series since the Suns in 1993. The Suns actually won three straight to eliminate the Lakers in five games, so all hope is not yet lost for the Celtics.

In the six minutes Westbrook was off the floor, the Rockets outscored the Thunder 27-9. Westbrook was visibly gassed in the fourth quarter, going just 2 of 11 from the floor. Westbrook was still able to hustle to a couple of rebounds in the final minute to keep the Thunder close, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Thunder alive.

“I just don’t settle for being not as great as I can be. It’s not going to result in a stat line like this every night. When my mind is fresh and in the moment, sometimes certain things like this happen, so I don’t know.

“I can’t even really appreciate it. I’ll let you guys write your words about it and go from there. Only thing that matters is a win, and that’s what I’m here for.”
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Mets minor leaguer attacked by homeless man with tire iron

Mets minor league pitcher Logan Taylor is recovering from a concussion after being attacked by a homeless man over the weekend.

Salt Lake City police told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a man later identified as Joshua Cruz hit Taylor in the back of the head with a tire iron Saturday after demanding the pitcher’s wallet. Cruz also was carrying a sock filled with rocks at the time of the attack.

Boeheim believes the offense the Knicks have been running is the main reason for Anthony’s perceived struggles. Former Knicks team president Phil Jackson implemented his famous triangle offense, and Boeheim thinks it was a mistake.

“The triangle is the worst offense ever, unless you have Michael [Jordan] or Kobe [Bryant],” Boeheim said, via ESPN.com.

Anthony and trade rumors have been synonymous with one another for a couple seasons now. This offseason is no different, with the Rockets and Cavaliers reportedly interested in the aging small forward’s services.

“He likes New York,” Boeheim said. “He wants to play in New York.”

While that may be true, Anthony also likes to win, which is something the Knicks won’t be doing any time soon.

With a no-trade clause in his contract, Anthony ultimately gets final say over any proposed move. He has shown no signs of wanting to leave New York, but that could change this offseason with his chance at an NBA championship dwindling.
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Colin Kaepernick gives away custom suits outside parole office

Matt Stafford has never enjoyed the luxury of playing with an elite-level running back during his eight seasons as Lions quarterback. The drought continues after general manager Bob Quinn eschewed the position with all nine of Detroit’s picks. This is great news for Abdullah, who will be leading the committee approach along with Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner in 2017.

Like the Eli Manning-led New York Giants did with Cal’s Davis Webb in Round 3, the Chargers could have targeted an heir apparent for Rivers. By not drafting a quarterback, the 35-year-old Rivers won’t have to look over his shoulder knowing the clock is ticking on his time with the Chargers for at least another season.

Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job in the NFL, so he’s helping others find employment.

The former 49ers quarterback was seen Monday giving away free suits outside a parole office in New York.

In cooperation with 100 Suits, an organization that works to reduce recidivism rates by helping “formerly incarcerated individuals, homeless individuals, gang members and survivors of domestic violence,” Kaepernick dropped off two large boxes of custom-made suits at a parole office in Queens.

Kaepernick, who was named last month in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2017, has vowed to stand during the national anthem this season after drawing criticism for kneeling last year. Still, numerous reports have indicated NFL front offices have blackballed Kaepernick so as to avoid a perceived distraction.
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40 takeaways from the NFL Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine can be an information overload where you’re interviewing players, head coaches and team executives, tracking workout sessions, and getting as much information from teams as possible.

With that in mind, in honor of the 40-yard dash, here are 40 takeaways and things we learned at the combine leading up to the 2017 NFL draft.

The talk early in the week at the combine was all about LSU running back Leonard Fournette. When he jumped 28.5 inches, everyone began to question his play. Is he out of shape? Is 240 pounds too big? Is he overrated? Then when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, those questions mostly went away.

Roy Friggin Williams, ladies and gentlemen! Howard came in as a first-round pick and now it’s just figuring out how high he goes. At the worst, his draft range starts at No. 12 and the Browns and the furthest he’ll probably drop is the Giants at No. 23.

“Now everybody’s has got social media, and we don’t need “The New York Times” to find out what in the dickens is going on in the country. You know, our president tweets out more bullshit than anybody I’ve ever seen.”
Here’s the video:

Roy Williams on social media and the president’s tweeting habits… If you know anything about Coach, you know this is worth a listen!

Roy, we salute you for using the phrase “what in the dickens” and taking a shot at Donald Trump seconds later. That’s how you do it.

Right. They don’t. The team and NHL think most of their fans and corporate sponsors live in the East Valley, making a drive out west to Glendale a real road trip.

The Coyotes can opt out of their Gila River Arena lease after next season.

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