The Cleveland Indians are dropping the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms next year after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature used in one version or another since 1947 is racist.
"Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. He said the logo "is no longer appropriate for on-field use." The Indians will continue to wear the Wahoo logo in 2018, and even after it is gone from the uniform, the club will sell merchandise featuring the mascot in the Cleveland area. Of course they will... Meaning they're still going to make a buck off him even if Francisco Lindor is no longer wearing him on his cap and uniform jersey in 2019.
Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig always took a hands-off approach to the Chief Wahoo question, saying a decision to do something about the logo rested with the team. I agree.
I don't think it's the commissioner's job to tell a team what logo they can and cannot put on their uniforms unless it's a symbol of unadulterated evil. Doesn't he work for MLB's 30 teams, not the other way around? Shouldn't this commissioner have bigger things to do than pushing teams to change over 70 years of their history? Manfred certainly didn't take this deep a dive into Miami's Derek Jeter dismantling his team to save money.
But then again it’s always about the money in the end. Lets make those paying offended customers happy and get rid of the chief, but let’s not remove him from the souvenir shops.
Funny, I always thought Chief Wahoo, the Atlanta Tomahawk and the Yankee top hat logos were about nothing more than a day in the sun at the ballpark.
Why is it in 2018 that so many are offended by so much?? What’s next? Will the Audubon Society demand the Orioles and Blue Jays change their names because it’s offensive to bird watchers?
The Yankees have been connected to Yu Darvish in recent weeks, though there’s basically no way to make it work without either blowing up the luxury tax plan or making another move(s) to shed salary. My guess is Darvish winds up with the Cubs, with the Twins being the runner-up. In my opinion, the Yanks wait till the trade deadline before upgrading the staff.
Siri and Echo (Alexa) are popular intelligent personal assistants. When each was asked who would win the Super Bowl, only Alexa was brave enough to really go out on a limb. She picked the Eagles. When Sir was asked, no pick was offered, instead just saying that the Patriots are favored by 5 points in the odds. Maybe we should ask Google Home.
NFL great Howie Longs son Chris has announced he will retire. Long, plays defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and will end his career after the Super Bowl. He and his wife, Megan, are donating his last 10 game checks to three different organizations devoted to educational equality in the three cities in which he’s played football (St Louis, Boston, and Philadelphia). Very cool.
There are four new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Last nightt it was announced Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman have been voted into Cooperstown by the BBWAA. Hoffman just snuck over the 75% threshold for induction. The other three sailed in with ease. Edgar Martinez fell only 20 votes short of induction. Ouch. He belongs in, as does Mike Mussina.
Former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young girls. Nassar was the team doctor for USA Gymnastics for two decades and had a busy sports medicine practice at Michigan State University. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina when announcing the sentencing said: "You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again; I just signed your death warrant". Agreed!
In one week the Miracle of Minnesota quickly turned into the Massacre in Philadelphia, and the Patriots in another comeback win (yawn), found a way to get to the Super Bowl for the eighth time in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. A bad day for New York area football fans.
Up in Foxborough, the Jaguars played almost a perfect game, It was all Jacksonville early, with the Jaguars jumping out to a 14-3 lead with a pair of lengthy, ball-control drives of 76 and 77 yards that each ended with touchdowns in the second quarter. Blake Bortles looked better than ever.
New England (stitches and all) closed the gap with an 85-yard touchdown drive just before halftime, and slowly clawed back into contention. The Jags could feel the avalanche enveloping them as it happened. Yet they had no way to escape. Facing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, Brady threw two touchdowns to Danny Amendola to give the Patriots a 24-20 lead with less than three minutes to play. The Pats were unstoppable as the Jags great defense disappeared. The score remained the same and Belichick finally smiled.
It was an entertaining game, unlike what happened in Philadelphia. No one saw this coming.
Nick Foles came into this game as a roundly dismissed, laughed-off signal-caller who seemed destined to leave everyone wondering what could have been with Carson Wentz at the wheel. Instead, Foles played his finest game in four seasons, tugging the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 13 years with a performance that saw the backup passer take shots downfield, thrive against pressure and display plenty of confidence.
After a quick Viking touchdown, the underdog Foles led Eagles win off of 38 unanswered points in a 38-7 romp.
So who do we root for on Super Bowl Sunday?? Tough choice. But look at the bright side. What if it was the Cowboys going to Minnesota instead of the Eagles?
Ok so were down to the NFC and AFC championships. Both the Vikings and Jaguars find themselves in the championship games of their respective conference against number 1 seeds, the Eagles and Patriots.
Everyone is talking about the absence of Carson Wentz and Tom Brady’s hand. Maybe they should talk about the fact that since coming into the NFL in 1995, the Jaguars have a winning percentage of .091 against the Patriots, the lowest of any team against any opponent. That's a 1-10 record, if you're scoring at home. Meanwhile in reference to Nick Foles having opportunities downfield (15 yards or more), he is 2 of 15, 20.0 accuracy percentage, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 13.8 passer rating. Chew on that for a moment.
Jaguars vs Patriots Sunday, 3:05 PM ET
Figuring out who Tom Brady is trying to get the ball to, and what Josh McDaniels' overall plan is, makes a huge difference, because of one simple equation: Jacksonville's talent on defense vs New England's talent on offense. It might be up to Pats receivers Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola to win their matchups. The Cooks - A.J. Bouye face-off in particular will be of importance. That's because I see the Jags locking up Rob Gronkowski with Jalen Ramsey.
If Blake Bortles the much-maligned Jag passer plays at or near the level he did in the Divisional Round, Jacksonville wins. But don’t hold your breath.
Patriots 26 Jaguars 20
Vikings vs Eagles Sunday, 6:40 PM ET
Ok so the Vikings got lucky with the missed tackle and we had a so called miracle. The matchup between Minnesota's "back-up" QB, and the Eagles' pass defense will decide Sunday's affair in Philly. Doug Pederson's team might be playing with house money at this point, too, as no one expected the Eagles to get this far with Nick Foles playing in Carson Wentz's place.
If the Eagles D line can force Case Keenum to force some downfield (he did that last week and got lucky), and Nick Foles doesn’t do the same and…the Eagles can run the ball, they will make it a game, but I don’t think so. The Vikings become the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field.
Vikings 29 Eagles 24
All New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams had to do was … well, anything other than what he did. What he didn’t do was make an old fashioned “wrap your arms around the ball carrier” tackle. Instead he did what most defensive back do these days…he threw his shoulder at Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. He missed and Diggs turned and ran for what will go down as one of the greatest, craziest touchdowns in NFL history. It was the Miracle in Minnesota, that sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship game.
For years and years and years when we watch the replay we’ll see Diggs make the catch, turn and run for the end zone as time expired to give the Vikings a miracle 29-24 win. And every time we watch the replay, we’ll see Williams put his right shoulder down and come up with nothing but air.
Drew Brees had driven the Saints in position for Wil Lutz's go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds remaining, punctuating a rally from a 17-point deficit that stood until 1:16 was left in the third quarter. The Saints had this one. Not.
The Vikings were out of timeouts and nearly out of options when Case Keenum dropped back with only 10 seconds to go from his 39 and threw high into a crowd. Diggs jumped in front of Williams, who was right behind him. All he needed to do was tackle him, but instead the miss and the crowd erupted. Game over, miracle finish.
Tackling, for the most part, has become a lost art in today’s NFL because players don’t spend much time on it in practice, and prefer the easy way of dropping their shoulder at a runner’s legs. Defensive backs are literally throwing their bodies around, compared to actually grabbing on and holding on to make a tackle.
People criticize baseball players because they don’t know the fundamentals of bunting. It’s the same thing. (If) you don’t work on things, when game time comes, you won’t be successful at it. I know why it’s happening. No one wants to get hurt. Too much money on the line for both the players and teams.
And because of this lost art, the Saints go home and the Miracle in Minnesota sends the Vikings to Philadelphia.
Of my four NFL picks for this weekend, I’m most nervous about the Saints over the Vikings in a close one. While I think anyone who knows football (especially a family member…lol) will tell you, the real NFC championship game takes place in Minnesota on Sunday, and I’m rooting for the Saints.
Of the 4 picks, this game was the toughest. Here's why…
After ripping off more than 100 yards rushing in 8 consecutive games following the team's October decision to trade Adrian Peterson, New Orleans has been held to fewer than 100 yards rushing in four of its past five games, including a paltry 41 against the Panthers last week.
Fully aware of the dangers Ingram and Kamara present, teams have started to stack extra bodies at the line of scrimmage to take away those opportunities.
The Panthers did that last week. Offered a chance to throw against a vulnerable, exposed secondary, Drew Brees threw for 376 yards, spreading the ball around to a receiving corps that was led by Michael Thomas' 8 catches and 131 yards, but also got help from Ted Ginn Jr., tight end Josh Hill and Brandon Coleman.
But that fact might not keep Minnesota from trying more of the same on Sunday. The Vikings, who boast the NFL's No. 1 defense, have a better secondary than Carolina. Minnesota might be content to take its chances with All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes and All-Pro safety Harrison Smith roaming around.
In my humble opinion, the Saints must continue to run, even with an extra Viking or two on the line of scrimmage. Ingram and Kamara must pound the line to wear them down and Brees must exploit any crack in the secondary he can find.,and the Saints defense must play at a high level.
Minnesota will present a stiff test, but I’m sticking with my gut. Saints win a close one.
As we approach week two of a four game schedule on the road to the Superbowl, I believe the divisional round will feature four future HOF quarterbacks, all of who’s teams should advance. Heres why…
Falcons vs Eagles 4:35p
Nick Foles and the Eagles are underdogs at home because they're facing Matt Ryan and a Falcons team that's playing some of its best football. For the season, Foles has appeared in seven games and has thrown five touchdowns and just two picks but his 79.5 passer rating probably better reflects who he is. Everyone knows Julio Jones is a freak, whos going to stop him?
Falcons 20 Eagles 16
Titans vs Patriots 8:15p
With all the distractions coming out of New England, don’t think for a moment, Brady and company won’t be focused. Bill Belichick has an impeccable record against young quarterbacks. Marcus Mariota isn't a rookie or anything, but, again, this is his second playoff start. It's a tough spot.
Patriots 23 Titans 10
Jaguars vs Steelers 1:05p
The Steelers are 5-0 straight up and 5-0 against the spread as a home playoff favorite under Mike Tomlin. The Jags can’t overcome Blake Bortles short comings. Roethlisberger has been on point in recent games. No reason why that changes.
Steelers 26, Jaguars 16
Saints vs Vikings 4:30p
As remarkable as Case Keenum has been, Drew Brees has been that much better. Brees has one of the league's top running games and a top-10 defense. Of course, you can counter that the Vikings' offense is almost as efficient (fifth vs. second) and their defense is better (second vs. eighth) but I keep coming back to one thing: Brees' experience.
Saints 24, Vikings 20
So, there it is. Veteran QBs will lead the way for Falcons, Steelers, Pats and Saints.
Oh what a game! In a a nail-biter for Alabama fans, the Crimson Tide trailed by 13 at halftime only to make a surprising change at quarterback, tie the game and win the National Championship in overtime. College football’s greatest modern dynasty gets its most dramatic title victory with a 26-23 win over Georgia.
It was just another night at the national championship game for Nick Saban and the Tide. Since he took over Alabama’s program in 2007, Saban’s team has played for the national title 6 times, winning 5.
The surprise change at QB occurred at halftime when Saban replaced a a struggling Jalen Hurts and inserted freshman Tua Tagovailoa (try pronouncing that name) who threw three touchdown passes, including the game-ender, a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith.
A little less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, there was more pain for many of the local Georgia fans. With the title game being held 70 miles from Georgia's campus in Athens, Dawg fans packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but it turned out to be sweet home for Alabama.
As much as I rooted for Georgia, it’s tough to bet against Saban and the Tide. This victory (not coincidentally, coached by one of Saban’s longest-tenured former assistant coaches in Kirby Smart) removes any argument for Saban’s case for the G.O.A.T.
What made this win even more special: The game included the most courageous call of Saban’s career—the benching of Hurts (25-2 in his career) for the true freshman, Tua Tagovailoa who showed the college football universe just how cool and collected he was in turning the tide (no pun intended) in the game.
Because of the best—and gutsiest—call of Saban’s career, Bama are now the national champions, which gives Saban his 6th undisputed title, and reaffirms his standing as the best college coach ever.
Yeah, I’m back from a long holiday break. Let me start off by wishing all a Happy and Plentiful New Year.
I could go into the Giant’s search for a new head coach, or the Brady – Belichick rift, Serena Williams withdrawing from the Australian Open, John Gruden’s departure from ESPN or even the Islanders recent skid. But let’s face it, the next three days are about football. NFL Playoff football and the college National Championship.
The marquee names in the NFC may be largely absent this year (no Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks or Giants from last January, for example), but it’s still will be interesting. In the AFC, things are clearer.
Titans vs Chiefs 4:35p
Kansas City is just the better team with the better quarterback. Smith has to let it rip. The real difference? Hunt, Hill, Kelce.
Chiefs 30, Titans 20
Falcons vs Rams 8:15p
The Rams with the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, against a Falcons defense that has carried them down the stretch as Ryan and the offense has been hit-and-miss. Gurley, who led the NFL in combined rushing and receiving yards gives the Rams the win.
Rams 31, Falcons 27
Bills vs Jaguars 1:05p
Bills offense will either be missing LeSean McCoy, or have a hobbled McCoy. Bortles has to avoid messing up and giving the Bills a chance. Jacksonville needs a big day from Fournette.
Jaguars 26, Bills 20
Panthers vs Saints 4:30p
The Panthers have a mighty run defense that shuts down most teams, but the Saints have Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. It's much easier to go with Brees and the Saints in the Superdome, where they lost only one game all season.
Saints 27, Panthers 23
Alabama vs Georgia 8:00p
For all the storylines that will emerge from the matchup between Saban and Smart, it comes down to the old-school football principle of running the ball vs. stopping the run. You can’t bet against Saban especially if Jalen Hurts, comes up with those few plays that make the difference.
Alabama 35, Georgia 24
Well that’s it, my two cents. Stay warm…Enjoy!!
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