J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve nab Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

This image provided by Sports Illustrated shows the cover for the December issue of the magazine, featuring Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, and Houston Texans' J.J. Watt. On Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, the two were honored by Sports Illustrated when they were given the magazine's prestigious Sportsperson of the Year award. (Sports Illustrated via AP)
AP
This image provided by Sports Illustrated shows the cover for the December issue of the magazine, featuring Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, and Houston Texans' J.J. Watt. On Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, the two were honored by Sports Illustrated when they were given the magazine's prestigious Sportsperson of the Year award. (Sports Illustrated via AP)(AP)

Two Houston sports icons are bringing home another colossal title: Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and the Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve nabbed the honors from the vaunted sports publication thanks to Watt’s massive collection efforts on the part of Hurricane Harvey relief, and Altuve’s ability to bring home a World Series title to a city still reeling in the aftermath of the storm.

Says S.I.:

By the third week of September, less than a month after Hurricane Harvey had devastated Houston and its surrounding region, Watt had raised more than $37 million in relief aid. The SOTY candidacy of the Texans’ defensive end was unaffected by the gruesome, season-ending leg injury he suffered in Week 5. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year—the best defensive player of his generation, really—could have had the best season of his career, or the worst. His place as a Sportsperson of the Year had already been engraved.

“Nothing J.J. Watt has achieved in his career, or might still achieve, will measure up to what he did for Houston,” Peter King, The MMQB’s editor-in-chief, said.

For Altuve’s part, the American League MVP was lauded for his inspirational impact on the city:

The 5′ 6″ Altuve had his own contribution to Houston’s post-storm recovery. The personal journey of the Astros second baseman is an inspirational one, a classic tale of an underestimated athlete overcoming the longest of odds. And this fall, Altuve was the joyous catalyst for one of the most unlikely World Series runs in recent memory. Championships don’t save communities, and we should be careful to assign too much weight to their powers of healing. But what other event can bring a million-plus people together and provide a platform, however ephemeral, to cast aside the differences that drive so many of us to sports in the first place?

“The city of Houston has treated me really good,” Altuve told S.I.’s Tom Verducci. “I felt at that time that I owed them something. So when they were having a hard time, I wanted to give something back to them.”

Jim Johannson, GM of USA Hockey, dead at 53

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:39 PM

Jim Johannson, who helped put together the 2018 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, died Sunday morning.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Jim Johannson, who helped put together the 2018 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, died Sunday morning.(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jim Johannson, the assistant executive director of USA Hockey and general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, died in his sleep Sunday morning, USA Hockey said in a statement. He was 53.

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USA Hockey said Johannson died at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We are beyond shocked and profoundly saddened,” USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher said in the statement. “As accomplished as Jim was in hockey, he was the absolute best, most humble, kind and caring person you could ever hope to meet. His impact on our sport and more importantly the people and players in our sport have been immeasurable. Our condolences go out to his entire family, but especially to his loving wife Abby and their young daughter Ellie.”

Johannson’s death comes a few weeks before the United States competes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The Games begin Feb. 9.

Johannson has been with USA Hockey since 2000. This season was going to be a challenge for the American team, as it would be competing without NHL players for the first time since 1994.

Johannson played college hockey at Wisconsin from 1982 to 1986 and led the Badgers to an NCAA title as a freshman. He played for the U.S. men’s hockey team in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.

This year’s U.S. hockey squad is coached by Tony Granato, who was Johannson’s teammate on the 1988 squad.

Vikings seek trademark for 'Minneapolis Miracle’ nickname

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:33 PM

Stefonr DIggs' electrifying touchdown last weekend is becoming profitable for the player and for the Minnesota Vikings.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Stefonr DIggs' electrifying touchdown last weekend is becoming profitable for the player and for the Minnesota Vikings.(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings are the owners of a remarkable victory in last weekend’s NFL divisional playoffs. Now, the team wants to own the nicknames that have been attached to it.

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Stefon Diggs’ stunning 61-yard touchdown catch and run on the final play of the game gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory against New Orleans, giving birth to the nicknames “Minneapolis Miracle” or “Minnesota Miracle.” Monday, the Vikings filed for three trademarks for “Minneapolis Miracle” and one for “Minnesota Miracle,” according to filings published Friday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Vikings want to own the rights to the nickname on more than 100 items, including cell phone straps, football helmets, charge cards, computer game software, DVDs, compact discs and videotapes, according to the filings.

Already, the team is selling a T-shirt with the slogan, “Minneapolis Miracle 1-14-18,” ESPN reported. Diggs began selling shirts licensed by the NFL Players Association with his image and the words “Minneapolis Miracle,” on Wednesday and already has sold more than 1,000 of them online, ESPN reported.

It’s not the first sports nickname that has had a trademark application. For example, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris trademarked the phrase “Franco’s Immaculate Reception,” after his last-second catch-and-run for a touchdown off a deflected pass that gave Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs.

Riles & Co., the corporate entity of former NBA basketball coach Pat Riley, trademarked the phrase “Three-Peat” in 1989.

The Vikings play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

No respect? NFL Facebook Super Bowl promo ignores Jaguars, Eagles

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:23 AM

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is hoping to reach the Super Bowl for the eighth time.
Elsa/Getty Images
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is hoping to reach the Super Bowl for the eighth time.(Elsa/Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars have complained this season about not receiving any respect. They reached the AFC playoffs but were written off as losers, but Jacksonville defeated Buffalo and then stunned Pittsburgh during the first two rounds of the postseason.

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The Jaguars are decided underdogs against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship game, which is not surprising. But the Jaguars believe they have a chance to win, even if it appears like the NFL does not share that sentiment.

The NFL’s official Facebook page began touting Super Bowl LII, which will be held Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, with a teaser noting that “your team is headed to Super Bowl LII.” The promo was adorned with photos of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, with no mention of the Jaguars or the Philadelphia Eagles, who are the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Well, the NFL had to pick someone, and Brady, who has played in seven Super Bowls already, is a natural candidate.

It makes for great bulletin board material for the Jaguars and Eagles. Whether that translates into victories on Sunday remains to be seen.

You can't buy the gloves Tom Brady is wearing

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 3:58 AM

Tom Brady's glove is produced specially for NFL players.
Boston25News.com
Tom Brady's glove is produced specially for NFL players.(Boston25News.com)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady deflected questions about why he wore gloves to an indoor media conference Friday, but Under Armour answered a simple question about them.

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An attempt to locate the gloves on the Under Armour website proved fruitless, and a query to the athletic apparel company revealed why.

The brand Brady wears is not available to the general public. 

“Thank you for reaching out,” Under Armour said in an email. “The exact glove that Tom is wearing in the picture is a glove that is only offered to Under Armour's NFL players.”

>> Patriots’ Tom Brady ‘not talking about’ possible hand injury

The company explained a similar glove available for purchase contains “HeatGear back of hand for moisture management and a compression like feel.” 

A spokesman for Under Armour added, “we are hopeful the additional exposure of the gloves will lead to an uptick in sales.”