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Published: Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 8:27 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 5:16 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The NFL is investigating the possibility that that New England Patriots purposely deflated footballs during Sunday night's AFC Championship game, NFL spokesman Michael Signora said.
The Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.
A reporter from Indianapolis was first to report the news of a story that was quickly dubbed "deflate-gate." In a series of tweets, Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com said, "A league source tells me the NFL is investigating the possibility the Patriots deflated footballs Sunday night. More to come."
Two minutes later, he tweeted, "I'm told at one point the officials took a ball out of play and weighed it. Should hear more tomorrow on this subject."
During his Monday morning radio appearance with Dennis & Callahan on WEEI, quarterback Tom Brady called the claim ridiculous.
“I think I've heard it all at this point,” Brady said, adding it was the last of his worries.
"I don't even respond to stuff like this,” Brady said.
Deflating a football makes it easier to throw and catch, especially in the rain, which was falling in buckets for portions of the second half.
According to the NFL rulebook, the home team is required to send 12 official game balls to referees more than two hours prior to kick off. The balls are tested for pressure. The rulebook also says the balls then remain under a referee's supervision until they are delivered to a ball attendant just before kickoff.
Here's the actual rule from the NFL rulebook: The home club shall have 36 balls for outdoor games and 24 for indoor games available for testing with a pressure gauge by the referee two hours prior to the starting time of the game to meet with League requirements. Twelve (12) new footballs, sealed in a special box and shipped by the manufacturer, will be opened in the officials' locker room two hours prior to the starting time of the game. These balls are to be specially marked with the letter "k" and used exclusively for the kicking game.
The game operations manual also notes that people who alter footballs or allow an unapproved football to be used in a game can be disciplined with fines or other punishments.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says the team will cooperate fully with the NFL's investigation.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:20 PM
— Controversy has hit the Winter Olympics before the torch has been lit in South Korea, as four U.S. Olympians — plus one “furious” ice skater who didn’t end up making the cut — preempted a White House invite from President Donald Trump by turning it down.
Skiers Gus Kenworthy and Lindsey Vonn, and figure skaters Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon have all said publicly that they will not accept a White House invite from the president in the event that they receive one.
Figure skater Ashley Wagner said the same, but she didn’t make Team USA.
Kenworthy and Rippon, who are both openly gay, said that they do not support Trump’s policies and do not want to appear that they do by visiting the White House.
“I am very proud to represent the U.S. but I don’t stand by Trump and his cabinet and their policies,” Kenworthy said. ”I do not want to feign approval for policies that are in place and things that are being pushed at the moment, by going. If I was invited I would decline my spot.”
Rippon said that he felt it is his “duty” not to go.
“Athletes are given a really special platform. It’s our duty, as athletes, to be role models. I won’t go to the White House,” Rippon told the BBC. “I won’t go because I don’t think somebody like me would be welcome there. I know what it’s like to go into a room and feel like you’re not wanted there.”
USA Today reported that Nathan Chen and Ashley Wagner would also decline an invite. In Wagner’s case, it is moot since she did not qualify for Team USA.
Wagner notably missed out on an Olympic appearance, said that she was “furious” about the decision-making by the judges and that she believed that she wasn’t treated fairly.
“I’m furious. I am absolutely furious. I know when I go and I lay it down, and I absolutely left one jump on the table. But for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition, as solid as I skated, and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so,” she said. “I am absolutely OK with [judges] being strict on my [jump] rotations […] but you know it needs to be across the board. I don’t necessarily feel like it’s been that way at this event, so we’ll see how things pan out.”
The U.S. Figure Skating selection committee responded that the judges “absolutely made the right call.”
Wagner later changed her tune.
Lindsey Vonn said as early as the beginning of December that she hoped to “represent the people of the United States, not the president.”
When asked if she would accept an invite she replied “Absolutely not.”
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 12:15 PM
Booger McFarland has weighed in on the reports that former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze met with Alabama coach Nick Saban about a possible position on the Crimson Tide’s staff.
On Monday night, reports surfaced that Freeze was in Tuscaloosa to speak with Saban, who’s trying to fill the Crimson Tide’s vacant offensive coordinator role. CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee reported that Freeze could try to land an offensive analyst role rather than become Alabama’s offensive coordinator after the Buffalo Bills hired away Brian Daboll on Sunday.
On Tuesday, McFarland appeared on The Paul Finebaum Show and gave his take on the Freeze rumors. The ESPN analyst spoke about how Saban’s approval could rehab Freeze’s image after the former Rebels coach resigned in July.
“Nick Saban understands that his stamp of approval is basically like God now in the coaching industry,” McFarland told Finebaum. “And if you come work for him, you’re almost guaranteed that whoever works for him is going to get a job somewhere else, especially if Nick Saban signs off on you. He did it for Lane Kiffin. He’s done it for other coaches. Steve Sarkisian moved on even though he was there for only a minute. So if Hugh wants a job as an analyst, and he can learn something and also bring something … I really don’t care one way or another. I think it would be good for Hugh. I think Hugh has been through enough.”
McFarland is right. Saban hiring Freeze would go a long way toward helping the former Ole Miss coach repair his image, after numerous examples of off-field trouble in Oxford during his stint there.
McFarland added that he’s all for giving someone a second chance. For Freeze, a job on Saban’s staff would qualify as such. Will it happen? It remains to be seen. But working at Alabama could be the best possible outcome for Freeze at this point.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) January 16, 2018
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:46 PM
— The halftime show of Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors featured a dancing 5-year-old whose moves amazed thousands of NBA fans around the world.
With the Cavaliers’ Scream Team in the background, young Tavaris Jones danced to the song “Rolex” by Ayo and Teo, according to media reports.
The video has gone viral as nearly 50,000 people have watched in on YouTube alone.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:30 AM
NFL Draft 2018 is close with NFL Playoffs having conference championship games. Find 2018 NFL mock drafts below.
Much of the narrative around the 2018 NFL Draft is focused at quarterback. Mock drafts from Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks littering the top 10.
Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts from around the internet, plus Land of 10’s own projection.
|1||Cleveland Browns||Sam Darnold||USC||QB|
|2||New York Giants||Connor Williams||Texas||OT|
|3||Indianapolis Colts||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Mike McGlinchey||Notre Dame||G|
|5||Denver Broncos||Baker Mayfield||Oklahoma||QB|
|6||New York Jets||Josh Rosen||UCLA||QB|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|8||Chicago Bears||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DL|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||Derwin James||Florida State||DB|
|10||Oakland Raiders||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Alabama||DB|
|11||Miami Dolphins||Roquan Smith||Georgia||LB|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals||Orlando Brown||Oklahoma||OL|
|13||Washington Redskins||Courtland Sutton||SMU||WR|
|14||Green Bay Packers||Joshua Jackson||Iowa||DB|
|15||Arizona Cardinals||Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||DB|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Calvin Ridley||Alabama||WR|
|18||Seattle Seahawks||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
|19||Dallas Cowboys||Christian Kirk||Texas A&M||WR|
|20||Detroit Lions||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Oklahoma||LB|
|21||Buffalo Bills||Josh Allen||Wyoming||QB|
|22||Buffalo Bills||Arden Key||LSU||DL|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||Rashaan Evans||Alabama||LB|
|24||Carolina Panthers||Maurice Hurst||Michigan||DL|
|25||Tennessee Titans||Sam Hubbard||Ohio State||DL|
|26||Jacksonville Jaguars||Marcus Davenport||UTSA||DL|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||Vita Vea||Washington||DL|
|28||New Orleans Saints||Harold Landry||Boston College||LB|
|29||Pittsburgh Steelers||Malik Jefferson||Texas||LB|
|30||Philadelphia Eagles||Tremaine Edwards||Virginia Tech||LB|
|31||Minnesota Vikings||Billy Price||Ohio State||OL|
|32||New England Patriots||Derrius Guice||LSU||RB|
|1||Cleveland Browns||Sam Darnold||USC||QB|
|2||New York Giants||Josh Rosen||UCLA||QB|
|3||Indianapolis Colts||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Alabama||DB|
|4||Cleveland Browns (from Texans)||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|5||Denver Broncos||Baker Mayfield||Oklahoma||QB|
|6||New York Jets||Connor Williams||Texas||OT|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DE|
|8||Chicago Bears||Courtland Sutton||SMU||WR|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|10||Oakland Raiders||Roquan Smith||Georgia||LB|
|11||Miami Dolphins||Derwin James||Florida State||S|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals||Orlando Brown||Oklahoma||OT|
|13||Washington Redskins||Josh Allen||Wyoming||QB|
|14||Green Bay Packers||Calvin Ridley||Alabama||WR|
|15||Arizona Cardinals||Lamar Jackson||Louisville||QB|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Derrius Guice||LSU||RB|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Vita Vea||Washington||DT|
|18||Seattle Seahawks||Marcus Davenport||UTSA||DL|
|19||Dallas Cowboys||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
|20||Detroit Lions||Maurice Hurst||Michigan||DT|
|21||Buffalo Bills||Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB|
|22||Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)||Harrison Phillips||Stanford||DL|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||Joshua Jackson||Iowa||CB|
|24||Carolina Panthers||Anthony Miller||Memphis||WR|
|25||Tennessee Titans||Taven Bryan||Florida||DT|
|26||Atlanta Falcons||Da’Ron Payne||Alabama||DT|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Tremaine Edwards||Virginia Tech||LB|
|28||Pittsburgh Steelers||Malik Jefferson||Texas||LB|
|29||Jacksonville Jaguars||Mark Andrews||Oklahoma||TE|
|30||Philadelphia Eagles||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||CB|
|31||New England Patriots||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Oklahoma||LB|
|32||Minnesota Vikings||Chukwuma Okorafor||Western Michigan||OT|
|2||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|4||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DE|
|6||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|7||Mike McGlinchey||Notre Dame||OT|
|9||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||CB|
|11||Derwin James||Florida State||S|
|14||Harold Landry||Boston College||DE|
|18||Tarvarus McFadden||Florida State||CB|
|22||Christian Kirk||Texas A&M||WR|
|23||Sam Hubbard||Ohio State||DE/LB|
|25||Chukwuma Okorafor||Western Michigan||OT|
|26||Dre’Mont Jones||Ohio State||DT|
|32||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
Pick Nos. 1 through 20 are set now that the regular season is finished.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Denver Broncos
6. New York Jets
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Buffalo Bills
22. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers