5 Things You Need to Know To #Win Thursday

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the National Fantasy Football Convention play to depose NFL commisioner Roger Goodell as part of their $1 million lawsuit against the league for last year’s failed event.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his National Fantasy Football Convention have no plans to back down on their lawsuit against the NFL for tortious interference in the canceling of last year’s event.

Romo and his partners are asking for more than $1 million from the league.

Not only are the two sides heading to court in Dallas on Monday for a hearing on a summary judgment on the NFL’s motion to dismiss the suit, but the lawyers for the NFFC have filed paperwork to depose league commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL has filed a motion to block Goodell’s deposition.


MLB-Lineups-Divisions

The NHL had a novel idea this season: It broke up its All-Star Game into semifinals, with the individual stars from each division playing short exhibitions against each other in a tournament format. They played a 20-minute semifinal — giving fans an actual All-Star bracket — and then a championship between the winners. A clever idea, to be sure, and one that not only made the All-Star format itself more exciting, but also allowed more star players to be seen by their fans. (It also ended up leading to the John Scott story.)

I’m not sure baseball should do this — it already has the best All-Star Game and doesn’t need to radically reinvent it, though getting rid of the “Now It Counts” business is long overdue — but it is an enticing thought experiment. Imagine if the All-Stars from each division played, say, a series of three-inning games in a double-elimination format that ended up determining the best division in baseball over a three-day stretch. It’s probably too much, but it’s fun to think about: Now that the divisions are more geographically aligned, there’s as much division loyalty, pride and solidarity as there is with leagues, maybe more.

It’ll never happen — and again, it probably shouldn’t happen — but I’m gonna take part in the thought experiment anyway. Let’s come up with a preseason All-Star team for each of the six divisions and imagine who would win such a tournament. Rather than go through matchup-by-matchup, we’ll just rank them.

Here’s how the teams might look. I’ll be cheating a little bit by just allowing for three outfield spots rather than LF/CF/RF, but hey: This is an All-Star Game.

Read: If each MLB division had an All-Star lineup, what would it look like?


LarryBird

For several days in the summer of 2014, I debated a question whose answer seems obvious. Was Larry Bird a pure shooter? I kept this debate internal — I drafted emails for friends and basketball writers asking for their opinions, but never sent them, for fear of their reaction and eventual abandonment. Instead, I went back and forth with the question. Calling someone a pure shooter can be used as an insult, if pure becomes synonymous with “only” or is the first half of a compound sentence that begins “He’s a pure shooter,” and ends “but he can’t play any defense or put the ball on the floor.”

Bird belongs in the discussion for the greatest shooter of all time, but simply calling him a pure shooter might erase the way he controlled the game with his passing, rebounding, tenacity, team defense and floor game. Is calling Larry Bird a pure shooter the ultimate compliment or an underestimation? Praise or pejorative? But then if Bird isn’t a pure shooter, who the hell is?

Regardless of definitions and labels, Bird’s greatness as a shooter can get lost when discussing his career. His all-around brilliance separated him from everyone else. He could dominate without taking a shot, but it was still that shot that made everything else possible.

Read: How the jumper turned Bird into Larry Legend.


Andy Pettitte had six heavy-use postseasons in his career. (via Chris Ptacek)

At the end of my last article at THT, “The In-Season Aging Curve,” I indulged in some speculation about whether older pitchers’ skills eroded faster during the playing season than in the offseason. The data I used gave me no grounds for a conclusion either way. Were the erosion to happen faster in-season, though, it raised the unfortunate possibility that pitchers who had longer seasons—meaning those who pitched deep into the postseason—would be worn down by the grind and pitch worse the next season, and possibly beyond.

I teased that I might have more to say on the matter in months to come. Teasing isn’t really nice, so I got to work on the matter right away.

I wound up both narrowing and expanding the question I posed. I looked at just the following year after a heavy postseason workload, and I did not limit myself to older pitchers. This was probably a wise shift, since two of the biggest controversies surrounding pitcher workloads and the postseason in recent years have involved younger hurlers.

Read: Pitchers and the Seven-Month Season – The Hardball Times


New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sued ESPN and NFL reporter Adam Schefter on Wednesday for tweeting his medical records over the summer.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade County in Florida, alleges that Pierre-Paul’s privacy was violated — as was the state’s medical records statute — by the report. The lawsuit claims Schefter “improperly obtained Plaintiff’s medical records from a hospital” and then tweeted them out, writing that “ESPN obtained medical charts that show that Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today.”

Paul injured his right hand in a fireworks accident July 4. Schefter posted a photo of Pierre-Paul’s medical chart July 8

Read: Jason Pierre-Paul of New York Giants sues ESPN, Adam Schefter for posting medical records

Weekend Update: Boom Goes the Dynamite


Mo-Mo-Motorius:

In case you missed it – the Daytona 500 was this weekend and ther finish was the closest in the computer-timed era, that began in 1993 – .01 seconds.  Just watch the video and see an incredible final lap, even if turning left a-lot is not your forte.  Denny Hamlin passing three of his own teammates to squeek out a victory over Martin Truex – leaving Joe Gibbs to proclaim this #win over any Superbowl.

Maintaining the Motor theme – the Pistons wore Motor City on their jerseys last night and Anthony Davis motored right by.  Davis dropped the clutch on Detroit to a tune of 59pts and 20 rebounds in the Pelicans 111-106 win, (Davis was an 89 on #FanDuel and 93.5 on #DraftKings).

It was a career high for the “Brow” and also the highest total in the #NBA this season.  Fact: Only two other players have ever scored more than 55pts and grabbed at least 20 boards in a game – Wilt Chamberlain and ShaQ-Fu.


NBA

Kobe Is A Dick And Talks About It On HBO

Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Five NBA championships, 18 All Star Game appearances, one MVP award. Despite how unbelievably good Kobe is at basketball, no one has ever confused him with being a good teammate or a particularly nice guy. Although he’s currently on a Derek Jeter-like retirement tour, it’s not so much an admiration for the man himself, but rather an appreciation for the player that Kobe Bryant was.

+ Read: Kobe is a dick and talks about it on HBO

Since he was essentially anointed the next face of the NBA over the past year, Anthony Davis’ season has been a little disappointing on a number of levels. His per-game numbers are as good as ever — 24.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks — but after last year’s surprise playoff run, the Pelicans have underperformed due to injuries throughout the roster and an awkward coaching transition from Monty Williams to Alvin Gentry. In the eyes of the casual NBA observer, the next shiny toy to get excited about has already become Timberwolves rookie phenom Karl-Anthony Towns.

+ Read: Anthony Davis joins elite company with 59-point game.

The Donatas Motiejunas trade between the Pistons, Rockets and 76ers isn’t the only one held up by a physical.The Cavaliers’ trade for Channing Frye still isn’t complete, either.

+ Read: Channing Frye trade still not complete, as Cavaliers continue to test former(?) Magic player – ProBasketballTalk

It took a few days to finally happen but the New York Knicks signed Jimmer Fredette to a 10-day contract on Monday. This will be Fredette’s third attempt at sticking with an NBA team this season.

+ Read: Knicks make it official, sign Jimmer Fredette to 10-day contract – CBSSports.com


MLB

Jimmy Rollins

The White Sox announced on Monday that they’ve added shortstop and former Phillies cornerstone Jimmy Rollins on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Rollins is a client of MVP Sports.

+ Read: White Sox Sign Jimmy Rollins To Minors Deal – MLB Trade Rumors

Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds, baseball’s home run king, made it clear “I’m a Hall of Famer” at an introductory news conference Saturday.Bonds, in his familiar No. 25, wore a major league uniform for the first time in nine years this week — aside from a weeklong stint as a guest instructor with the San Francisco Giants two springs ago.

+ Read: MLB Notebook: New Marlins hitting coach Bonds introduced, says ‘God knows I’m a Hall of Famer’ | West Central Tribune

It came as a shock on Friday when the news broke that longtime former Major Leaguer Tony Phillips had died of an apparent heart attack. A man determined and fit enough to suit up for an independent league team last season is now gone far too soon, at age 56.Phillips stood out for his personality, but even though he enjoyed an 18-year career in the big leagues, his on-field accomplishments flew a bit under the radar. He never made an All-Star team, only once showed up on an MVP ballot and received a single vote in his only year of Hall of Fame eligibility.

+ Read: Phillips most versatile player in MLB history.


NFL

Plenty has been said about how the New England Patriots unearthed a gold mine when they selected franchise quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Four Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVPs and a supermodel wife — there isn’t much more for the future Hall of Famer to accomplish.

+ Read: 12 funny factoids about the 198 players picked ahead of Tom Brady in 2000 | FOX Sports

The NFL Combine has become very similar to the “Winter Meetings” of Major League Baseball over the last decade.The media interviews, workouts and drills are televised on the league’s network, but much more happens in Indianapolis during late February. Certainly, it’s a showcase for players to demonstrate their physical ability. It’s also a time for teams and player representation to come together and continue working on the offseason activities.

+ Read: 7 secrets of the NFL Combine | FOX Sports


College

A day before his team played for the national title in Glendale, Ariz., Alabama coach Nick Saban remained fired up about the same topic he had harped on six months earlier at SEC Media Days. After Clemson coach Dabo Swinney answered a reporter’s question about some of the Tigers’ best underclassmen mulling whether to stay in college or to enter the 2016 NFL draft, Saban chimed in with his own take.

“Could I make a comment about that? Because I’m going to call Dabo after the game, and last year after our game against Ohio State I tried to develop a little energy from college coaches who had players that are in this situation you just asked about, and the NFL moved the draft back. I wish they’d move the declare date back,” Saban said. “I wish they’d make a rule that says you can’t even give a player what his draft status is from the NFL [draft advisory] committee until they’ve finished their competition as a college player, so that you don’t put them and their family in this situation where there’s a big timing issue relative to competition.

+ Read: The case for an underclassmen NFL scouting combine

If there was a weekend to start getting fans excited about March Madness, last week was a good one. There was the Duke-Carolina game that lived up to its hype and a 31-point game from St. Bonaventure sophomore guard Jaylen Adams to lead his team to an upset over No. 13 Dayton.

+ Read: Louisville-Duke game was a great reminder that college basketball is broken | For The Win


Overtime

The daily fantasy sports industry is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings has raised in excess of $500 million since 2012, while FanDuel has brought in over $300 million. The two daily fantasy sports entities lead the way in terms of user acquisition and retention, and they both continue to operate in the State of Florida despite legal concerns regarding same.

+ Read: DraftKings And FanDuel Are Playing With Fire In Florida – Forbes

Tuesday Morning Dimes – 2-16-16

You would have thought the doldrums of the major league baseball season drug on like water-boarding seminars at Gitmo, during this #NBA All-Star Break – it has.  For me, and I’m not sure I believe I’m saying this is, I miss basketball.

Look back a year ago at what we talked about here at the DiRT Canon, it was non-stop sports news of what seemed like epic proportions – even the NBA Trade deadline was huge – remember its glory here.

This no basketball, is tension and chaos.  I’ve resigned myself to naming ravens and crows outside the DiRT Canon Bunker Dumpster, creating action on who ends up with the most discarded food stuffs – Ol’Bossy has been killing it.  Funny thing about crows and ravens.  A pack of crows can destroy an owl or an eagle, but a single big bad Boss Raven will attack a whole gang of crows and rip the hearts out of its leaders – most crows would rather kamikazee into an oncoming windshield than go head-to-head with a Boss Raven.

It’s the downtime that’ll getcha – maybe that’s why D-Wade decided to get Kobe Bryant a year-long subscription to Netflix for his retirement-all-star-gift.  Could you imagine Mamba kickin’ back, filling his days with some binge-watching House of Cards?  You know he’ll commit and watch like no one else has before – he’ll dress up in his finest compression socks, drink some fine Italian wine and dig in to “Making A Murderer” like the “Boss” he is – evermore.


+ Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has another blood-clot scare

Chris Bosh's status for the rest of the season is uncertain after another blood-clot scare.

Bosh pulled out of the All-Star Game and the 3-point contest over the weekend because of what he and the Heat described as a calf strain. He was shut down at the All-Star break last season because a blood clot had found its way to one of his lungs, and that issue is something that Bosh believes started as a calf problem.

He went to Toronto expecting to participate in All-Star weekend, then was examined there – presumably because of the calf pain – and the NBA subsequently announced on Friday afternoon that Bosh was withdrawing from the game and the 3-point event. Bosh remained in Toronto to cheer on his Eastern Conference teammates, then returned to Miami and met with team medical personnel Monday….

Source: Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has another blood-clot scare – NY Daily News


+ Watch Every Perfect Score in Dunk Contest History

dunkcontest

Saturday night’s dunk contest was pretty much immediately dubbed one of the best, if not the best dunk contest of all time.

Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon put on a remarkable show, combining for a whopping eight 50/50 scores, five for LaVine and three for Gordon.

The question is, was LaVine and Gordon’s performance better than Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan in the 1980s? Better than Vince Carter in 2000?

To help you decide for yourself, a YouTube user has created a truly incredible video, a 52-minute compilation of every perfect score in dunk contest history.

Source: The Comeback  |  By Alex Putterman


+ From Projected Top Pick to Struggling Reserve: The Decline of Skal Labissiere

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The trajectory of Skal Labissiere since he arrived at Kentucky has been the equivalent of a hot new stock taking an unexpected nosedive once it reaches the market.

Labissiere was one of the top two prospects by every recruiting service, and both Rivals and Scout had him at No. 1 ahead of LSU’s Ben Simmons.

“As a junior-to-be, he worked Karl Towns over,” Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi told Bleacher Report. “The summer before out in Vegas, he was ridiculous. He looked like a guy who was ready to play in the NBA from a skill level right then and there.”

Labissiere had also impressed NBA scouts during the Nike Hoops Summit last spring and at Kentucky’s combine in the fall….

Source: From Projected Top Pick to Struggling Reserve: The Decline of Skal Labissiere | Bleacher Report


+ It’s All Outta Order…

Peyton Manning

Tis’ the political season and no one is safe.  Not even in your cozy little nook with nothing but your sports blanket keeping you warm.  People say they turn to sports to get away from “it”, without knowing what “it” really is and when you find out what “it” is, they go and change “it” on you, making you confused if you were ever with “it” in the first place.

Lately, and more specifically quarterbacks, have been dragged into a political arena were pundits demand you choose based on criteria no one should care about, except for performance.  The Sports-Media appears to be as much muck-rackers and click-baiters as their counterparts in politics – with equal parts of sewage-ethics and empathy.

Hypocrisy never knows no bounds and is on full display here.  Your opinion may vary by the tint of your glasses, but Daniel J Flynn from Breitbart, believes that Peyton has picked some fine enemies.

Read: With Enemies Like These, Does Peyton Manning Need Friends? – Breitbart

 

What 5 Things You Need To Know On Wednesday

1. Influence:

About a decade ago, Eric Musselman recalls, NBA players doing elaborate two-ball dribbling drills before a game would elicit laughter.

“I can vividly remember being in Orlando with Coach (Chuck) Daly and trying to do two-dribbles with guys and they wouldn’t do it,” said Musselman, a longtime NBA coach who’s now coaching the University of Nevada men’s team. “Then you try to explain to them, ‘Hey look, this is going to help with your hand speed. This is going to help with ball speed, and this is going to make you ball-friendly.’ I used those three terms, and guys wouldn’t do it or another assistant coach would kind of snicker……

Read: How the Golden State Warriors are influencing college basketball

2. Who’s Next?

With the NBA trade deadline right around the corner and rumors heating up, which five players are most likely to be dealt?

Despite the 2015-16 NBA season being quiet in terms of trades so far, we could see that change in an instant with the February 18 deadline right around the corner. The rumors are heating up, the speculation is getting more ridiculous, and the trade machine experimentation is crazier than ever. If we step away from that craziness for a minute, though, which five players are most likely to be traded?

Read: NBA Trade Deadline: The 5 players most likely to be dealt

3. Steve Smith HOF?

Steve Smith has been one of the most explosive young wideouts in NFL history, one of the most productive old receivers in NFL history and perhaps the greatest small wide receiver in NFL history.

As the 2016 Pro Bowl captains, Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin recently vouched for Smith as a legend who will some day join them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

No doubt I see him there,” Irvin said at the Pro Bowl, via theRavens‘ official website. “He’s an incredible player, he’s been an incredible player for a long time. There’s no doubt in my mind that, one day, he shall definitely wear a gold jacket.”

Read: Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin: Steve Smith is a Hall of Famer – NFL.com

4. Phil Is Back:

Month No. 1 on the PGA Tour has invited questions about bounce–backs (Rory McIlroy) and burnout (Jordan Spieth). But one question looms largest as we pause amid the Phil Swing — last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, outside San Diego, and this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open — during which the Tour visits Mickelson hometowns 1 and 1A, respectively.

How much does Lefty have left?

Read: Phil Mickelson Is Flashing His Old Form — Good and Bad | Golf.com

5. Harbaugh Pokin’ The Bear?

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Aside from the typical drama that often accompanies national signing day, it’s been a relatively quiet month for college football since the 2015 season officially came to an end.

Unlike a year ago, there haven’t been any surprise returnees likeCardale Jones, any juicy graduate transfer speculation as there was with Everett Golson and Braxton Miller or even any new head coaches making a significant splash by generating publicity at their new schools. Even national signing day was relatively quiet, with the usual suspects of schools—Alabama, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State—winding up withthe nation’s top-ranked classes.

Read: The Growing Feud Between Jim Harbaugh and the SEC Is Great for College Football

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What You Need To Know…#SB50 Weekend Update

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1.

Orange Crushed:

Everyone was betting on Carolina. All the experts were picking Cam and company. Good thing the powers that be decided to go ahead and play the game on the field anyway. After all the intensity of the regular season, Super Bowl 50 was pretty anti-climatic and one of the more boring ones. The highlight video alone is less than 4 minutes long letting you know there weren’t that many. You can check it out here.

Denver must not have known they were supposed to lay down as the underdog. The Broncos opened up the scoring as Manning drove the offense easily down the field before settling for a field goal. 3-0 Denver with the oldest quarterback in Super Bowl history looking healthy and sharp.

Read: Super Bowl 50 High Anticipation Low Return for Cam Newton’s Panthers Plus those ads


On Thursday, three days before the winningest quarterback in NFL history would play The Last Game (or at least the game we’re sure is the last one), he lined up his offense around the defensive 20-yard line and barked out signals. This would be the last full series of plays in the Super Bowl 50 practice week for Denver at Stanford Stadium, their home for the week … and maybe the last full series of practice plays in Peyton Manning’s life.

The sun was nearly touching the top of the west stands of the stadium on this beautiful California winter afternoon, creating an image of a sunset and lengthening shadows on the field as Manning directed traffic.

“Be alert! Be alert!” he called out, motioning Emmanuel Sanders across the formation. And Manning shouted out the play, which began with “Z Motion!” And then the snap, and then … nothing. No one open.

“One more time!” Manning yelled, annoyed. “Do it again!”

And the offense did, Sanders trolling the back of the end zone and Manning hitting him for a touchdown.

Read: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos beat Panthers in Super Bowl 50 | The MMQB with Peter King


The dirty secret about all Super Bowls is that ultimately they’re just football games. Take away the halftime shows, the $25 glasses of wine, the tired commercials with tired celebrities doing tired lines, all of it, and these Super Bowls have to rise and fall on the games themselves. Last year, the Super Bowl seemed like the pinnacle of American popular culture because Left Shark and the dead Nationwide kid and all the other memes nestled themselves comfortably alongside a taut, terrific game between two all-time teams at the peak of their powers. Cap it off with one of the most infamous boneheaded play calls in the history of the sport at the end, against the most hated (and successful) team, and damn, that’s entertainment.

That is not what happened this year.

Read: Broncos’ Super Bowl win wasn’t pretty, but it was dominant.

+ Denver wins Super Bowl despite low yardage total

The Broncos defeated the Panthers, 24-10, to win Super Bowl 50 despite gaining only 194 yards. That was the lowest yardage total by any of the 50 teams to win a Super Bowl. In fact, only seven teams that lost a Super Bowl gained fewer than 200 yards; Denver’s was the lowest total by any team in the big game, win or lose, since the Giants were held to 152 yards when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV 15 years ago.

+ High-scoring Panthers neutralized by Broncos defense

Carolina led the NFL with an average of 31.3 points per game during the 2015 regular season. Denver was the sixth team to win a Super Bowl by holding the league’s highest-scoring team to 10 or fewer points. The others were Green Bay vs. Kansas City, 35-10 (following the 1966 season); Kansas City vs. Minnesota, 23-7 (1969); L.A. Raiders vs. Washington, 38-9 (1983); Pittsburgh vs. Seattle, 21-10 (2005); and, ironically, Seattle vs. Denver, 43-8, just two years ago.

+ #2 outplays #1 in Super Bowl

Von Miller, who was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 50, had 2.5 sacks againstCam Newton on Sunday. As even Stephen Colbert noted last night, Miller was the second pick in the 2011 draft, chosen immediately after Newton. Colbert failed to mention that there was no other Super Bowl in which the top two picks from the same draft faced each other. But it did happen in the 1942 NFL Championship Game, when the Redskins defeated the Bears, 14-6. Ki Aldrich, the top pick in the 1939 draft, played for Washington, and future Hall of Famer Sid Luckman, taken second in 1939, played for Chicago.

null+ For this one time, Manning is carried by his mates

Peyton Manning, the first quarterback in 30 years to start a Super Bowl with a sub-70 passer rating during the season, passed for 141 yards and no touchdowns in the Broncos’ win. Inevitably it will be said that Denver and its top-ranked defense reached and won Super Bowl 50 not because of its quarterback but despite him. Only three other QBs started and won a Super Bowl passing for less than 150 yards and no TDs: Bob Griese (following the 1973 season), John Elway (1997), and Ben Roethlisberger (2005).

But let’s give Manning his due: Each of his three previous Super Bowl starts was made for a team that ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in defense (that is, yards allowed): the 2006 Colts (21st), 2009 Colts (18th), and 2013 Broncos (19th). Only two other quarterbacks started even two Super Bowls for “bottom-half” defensive teams: Jim Kelly with the Bills (27th in both 1991 and 1993) and Tom Brady with the Patriots (24th in 2001, 31st in 2011).

null+ Broncos’ kicker is flawless in Super Bowl run

Finally, let’s not overlook the role of Brandon McManus in Denver’s run to the Super Bowl. McManus made all 10 of his field-goal attempts during the postseason. Only one other player in NFL history kicked as many as 10 field goals in one postseason: Adam Vinatieri was 14-for-15 for Indianapolis in the playoffs following the 2006 season. The previous record for FGs without a miss in one postseason was nine, by Chuck Nelson of the Vikings (1987).

After 38 Seasons, Wade Phillips Is A Guy With A Super Bowl Ring

2.

Between Cam Newton’s unraveling and Peyton Manning’s brand smooching, you might be having a hard time finding something to be unabashedly happy about in the wake of Super Bowl 50. Allow me to submit Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as a target for adulation.

What do you think about when someone says Wade Phillips’s name? The question is easy to answer this morning: he’s the engineer behind the fearsome Denver defense that spent the last month making all-world quarterbacks look like rattled third-stringers.

Read: After 38 Seasons, Wade Phillips Is A Guy With A Super Bowl Ring

3.

Cam Newton had a dreadful performance in Sunday’s Super Bowl. The league’s MVP followed that up with an even uglier showing in his press conference.

Newton, who abruptly walked off the podium, was unenthusiastic, brief and clearly dejected. Understandably so.

Newton, however, drew some criticism from NFL Media’s Deion Sanders after his presser.

Read: Deion Sanders sums up Cam Newton’s ugly press conference perfectly | FOX Sports

4.

On the field, the Super Bowl might not have been the most fast-paced of all time, but at least the ads provided some extra entertainment. Here’s a look at the commercials that rose above the rest.

Read: What were the best ads of Super Bowl 50?

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5.

Marshawn Lynch, Done?

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6.

After the Golden State Warriors fended off the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 116-108 win, Ron Adams, Golden State’s assistant coach and defensive guru shrugged, “I don’t know how to stop him. I coached him and I don’t know how to stop him.”

Adams was referring to Kevin Durant, whom he worked with as an assistant in Oklahoma City from 2008 to 2010. That’s quite a concession from Adams, known to be one of if not the top defensive assistant in basketball. The admiration is mutual. Before the game, the two warmly greeted each other. The 27-year-old Durant said of the 68-year-old Adams, “We always had a great relationship. He was hard on me. He expected a lot out of me and that’s the type of coaching I like and he never shied away from how he thought.” Durant continued, “Always spoke his mind to me so I’m always going to respect him, always going to be family to me. Whatever team he goes to man, he imposes his will and just changed the whole thought process of the team. He’s a great assistant.”

Read: NBA: Kevin Durant can’t overcome Warriors

null+ Curry and Warriors on record pace after beating Thunder

The Warriors equaled the best 50-game start in NBA history by defeating the Thunder, 116-108, in Oakland. Golden State improved to 46-4 on the season, which is tied with the 1966-67 76ers for the best start to any season in league history. In fact, only one other team besides Golden State and Philadelphia won 46 of 50 games at any point of a season – the Mavericks had a 46-4 stretch in the 2006-07 campaign.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 26 points and 10 assists in their victory over Oklahoma City. Including Saturday’s contest, Golden State has earned a win in each of the last 20 games that Curry has compiled at least 20 points and 10 assists, including a 7-0 record in such games this season.

null+ Durant posts big numbers versus defending champs

Kevin Durant had a huge night in a losing effort, scoring a game-high 40 points for the Thunder while securing 14 rebounds, one shy of the team lead. In the last 40 seasons (1976-77 to 2015-16), only two other players totaled at least 40 points and 14 rebounds in a game against the defending NBA champions. Karl Malone (45 points, 17 rebounds) did that in 1995 against the Rockets, and Blake Griffin (43 points, 15 rebounds) did so in 2014 versus the Heat.

What No-One Tells You About #SuperBowl50 Drinking Games

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Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

1.

Johnny Be Gone…

In the latest development in the Johnny Manziel saga, his agent released a statement Friday saying he is cutting ties with the Cleveland Browns quarterback.

“It is with deep regret that, after several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, his doctors and my client himself, I have made the decision to terminate my professional relationship with Johnny Manziel,” agent Erik Burkhardt said in a statement.

Clearly there’s smoke, but at the very least there is a pattern, and it shows that the rehab-parade was just wishful thinking – a PR stunt.  These allegations could keep him out of the NFL for good and makes Johnny more OJ than Reggie in troubled Heisman winners.  When does the Heisman House make Johnny give back his cement statue, after-all precedent has been set with past discretions.

At least for Manziel he’ll be out of football before the evil monster, CTE, get him – so there’s that.

Read: Agent cuts ties with Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel

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2.

Golden Boy:

This almost isn’t fair. Nobody deserves an eternal life of greatness regarding all things he touches in sports, but here is John Elway, so charmed that his Denver Broncos are practicing for Super Bowl 50 up the road at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Guess where Elway starred in college? Uh huh.

“I’ll tell you what — the throwback was that I actually had my first wedding anniversary reception where we’re staying this time, too, over there at the Santa Clara Marriott,” Elway said. “And actually, we had a draft party over there [when the Broncos made the legendary Stanford quarterback the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick in 1983], too. We rented a suite over there and watched the draft with a bunch of Stanford guys.”

This is the same Elway who played his first football game ever in the sixth grade, and he scored six touchdowns … by halftime….

Read: John Elway is the Broncos’ grand pooh-bah.

Here’s Extra Mustard’s super special drinking game for Super Bowl 50

3.

#SuperBowl50 Drinking Game:

Responsibly sip your drink when…

  • The cameras flash at kickoff.
  • Peyton Manning throws a wobbly pass.
  • CBS shows an actual fan in the crowd.
  • Phil Simms says the word “elite.”
  • Cam Newton runs for a touchdown.
  • CBS uses the Pylon Cam.
  • CBS shows B-roll of the Golden Gate bridge.
  • Mike Carey is wrong during a replay review.
  • Jim Nantz clearly uses a phrase he wrote two weeks ago at the end of the game.
  • Roger Goodell is booed during the trophy presentation.

Sip your drink twice if…

  • Ted Ginn drops a pass.
  • The cameras cut to Steph Curry watching from the stands.
  • Phil Simms says “talking about.”
  • CBS shows B-roll of Lombard Street.
  • Someone at your Super Bowl party double dips.
  • You think about how much cooler Beyoncé is than Bruno Mars.

Buy a pair of Google Glass if…

  • Peyton Manning dabs.
  • The cameras cut to a fan in the stands wearing Google Glass.

Finish your drink if…

  • Phil Simms or Jim Nantz say “HGH.”
  • Lady Gaga forgets a word during the national anthem.
  • You get bingo on our commercial bingo card.
  • Jay-Z makes a surprise appearance.
  • Someone at your Super Bowl party dabs.

Run a naked lap if…

  • Coldplay has a wardrobe malfunction.

Source: Here’s Extra Mustard’s super special drinking game for Super Bowl 50

Which NFL Team Has The Worst Alumni?

4.

The Worst NFL Alumni:

It’s Super Bowl week, which means that both ESPN and your local sports talk blowfest will be flooded with even more useless former NFL players than usual. One of the perks of being a Super Bowl champion is that, until the day you die, you get to spend one week a year gallivanting around Radio Row and tricking yourself into believing the world still gives a hoo-haw about you.

This is why Mark Schlereth is way too comfortable talking publicly about the origins of the solar system. No one should listen to Mark Schlereth talk about anything, but winning a Super Bowl often confers a sense of validation upon these men. All that adoration and love you get in the wake of winning a title hardens into a permanent delusion of your own importance. You are now a LIVING LEGEND, and that’s how you end up with half these guys thinking they’re heads of state.

Read: Which NFL Team Has The Worst Alumni?

5.

My Favorite Trends/Props:

SUPER BOWL AGAINST-THE-SPREAD TRENDS

Carolina -5.5 Denver

— The last time a Super Bowl favorite of at least three points both won and covered was Super Bowl XLI in 2007, when the Colts beat the Bears, 29-17, as seven-point favorites.

— The last 10 teams to score 40 or more points in a playoff game — as the Panthers did against the Cardinals in the NFC championship game — went 1-8-1 ATS in their next game.

— Take that back to 1996, and teams that scored 40-plus points in a playoff game are 4-22 ATS in their next game.

Fun Props to run at your party:

Who will have more?

Stephen Curry three-point field goals made: pick ’em +110

Greg Olsen receptions: pick ’em -130

Who will have more?

Rory McIlroy fourth-round score: +0.5 -110

Emmanuel Sanders receiving yards: -0.5 -110

Will there be a successful two-point conversion?

Yes +330

No -400

Will there be a missed extra point?

Yes +300

No -360

Coin Toss

Heads -102

Tails -102

Will there be a safety?

Yes +550

No -800


 

6.

…and Finally…

If continuity is king in the NFL, then Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has reached the league’s title game a much different way.

Super Bowl 50 will be the fourth time Manning has been behind center in the NFL’s championship game, and Gary Kubiak is the fourth different coach Manning has played for that advanced to the Super Bowl.

“I’ve enjoyed learning from coach Kubiak this year,” Manning said. “Continuity is always a great thing, but when you have a chance to play with some different coaches, you want to take advantage and learn from them. … I’ve learned something from all of them.”

Read: Peyton Manning: Four Super Bowls, four head coaches

What 6 Things You Need to Know Thursday – #NFL #MLB

name of site - hunter thompson styleFictionalFootballers

1.

Who’s The Best in Fantasy?

There is little debate over who should win the NFL MVP award, with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton likely to snag that honor. So instead, we decided to examine a more uncertain question — who is the best fictional pro football player of all time?

Read: Which fictional professional football player is the best?

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2.

Re-Watchability…

The endless two-week build up before the Super Bowl can get tedious, but tripping down memory lane helps the time move faster. From the recent instant classics to the one-sided routs from the 1970s and ’80s, and even the sepia-toned matchups that spurred the AFL-NFL merger, every big game had its own unique quality.

As some have done already, we wanted to take a look at every Super Bowl in terms of the excitement factor, but with an emphasis on how well the game has aged, and how eager we would be to rewatch each one.

Read: Which has been the most exciting Super Bowl to date?

3.

2 Sports:

It’s a football kind of week, even in the world of baseball.

Before we get to Spring Training (less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers!) and before we even get to Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, there is today’s college football National Signing Day.

Naturally, all this palaver about pigskin has us thinking about the glorious occasional conversion between the stars of these two very American athletic undertakings.

Read: 13 football players who became Major Leaguers | MLB.com

1980x1100-BB-Campaign-Slogans

4.

Politico…

The presidential race and the baseball season share a certain symmetry of scheduling.

February is not only the time the presidential candidates spend a disproportionate amount of time campaigning in faraway locales in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s also the month clubs begin spending an inordinate amount of time training in faraway locales in Florida and Arizona. And the goal of each campaign, of course, is to accumulate small victories early, surge in the summer and then obtain the ultimate prize in the fall.

With that in mind, let’s reimagine each team’s 2016 declaration of intent in the form of a political slogan.

Read: What if baseball teams had political slogans?

Yu Darvish's slider is in a league of its own. (via Matthew Straubmuller)

5.

Slider In…

Let’s take a visual stroll across Statistical Boulevard and meander past Analytics Way as we dissect the slider (as classified by PITCHf/x) in various ways. The intent of this article is to show some interesting visuals on the aforementioned slider and perhaps bring to the surface an interesting tidbit or two.

We begin with a brisk walk on Top Season Street and take a peek at the top slider-throwing seasons since 2009. I’ve excluded 2008 since it was the first season to have PITCHf/x data, and it showed some weird inconsistencies with the rest of the data set. 2008 will be excluded from all data in this article. The graph below is courtesy of FanGraphs’ leaderboards feature.

Read: The Slider: A Visual Analysis – The Hardball Times

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6.

Turnaround…

It’s nearing the time of year when experts and prognosticators release their predictions for the 2016 Major League Baseball season, but only one thing is certain — nobody ever fully knows what to expect.

Look no further than just last season, when the Astros, Cubs and Mets all blazed a path to the postseason, despite most believing each club was still a year or two away from contention. Though it was a bit more prevalent last year, it turns out almost every season during the Wild Card era has featured at least one team making an unexpected postseason run.

Since the introduction of the Wild Card in 1995, only the 2005 campaign did not include at least one team that qualified for the postseason after finishing the previous year with a losing record. This was true for four of last year’s 10 qualifiers, with the Rangers joining the aforementioned trio with a drastic turnaround of their own. It’s also worth noting that there have been at least two such postseason qualifiers in each of the four seasons since a second Wild Card berth was added to each league in 2012.

Overall, about one in four postseason teams since 1995 were coming off of a losing season. While these improvements were more expected in some cases than others, there has been a fair share of surprising postseason runs a la last season.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at which team(s) is most likely to continue this trend in 2016. The following is a look at each of the 14 teams that finished with a losing record last season, as well as their prospects for reaching the postseason in ’16. The teams were broken down into three categories — “Work in progress,” “Borderline contenders” and “Eye on the prize” — based on the likelihood of qualifying for the playoffs next season.

Read: Which sub-.500 teams can make a run in 2016?

These Things I Think Tuesday – #GroundhogDay Edition

name of site - hunter thompson style

1.

Un-Sink-able Levi Stadium:

Will the turf at Levi’s Stadium swallow a player during Sunday’s Super Bowl the way it nearly did with Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker in a game earlier this season?

The NFL’s playing-surface guru says no way.

“I think we’re in great shape,” Ed Mangan, the league’s field director, said in a phone interview Monday.

The field has had its issues during Niners’ home games. Tucker missed a key field goal attempt during the Ravens’ loss to the 49ers in October when the turf gave way beneath him and his left leg slipped on the kick.

Read: NFL vows sinkhole field at Levi’s Stadium will be Super Bowl-worthy – The Washington Post


2.

Opening Night…

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s a football game scheduled for Sunday. The game isn’t set to be played for another six days, but, really, Monday night marked the beginning of Super Bowl 50.

Welcome to Opening Night of Super Bowl 50, formerly known as Media Day, where seemingly half of the West Coast’s population congregated on Monday night.

The press certainly showed up.

 

So did Katy Perry’s dancing shark pal.

 

And so did the players, from the quarterbacks — Peyton Manning and Cam Newton — to the outspoken cornerbacks — Aqib Talib and Josh Norman. If you missed Opening Night, we’ve got you covered.

Read: Broncos, Panthers star on Opening Night for Super Bowl 50: 11 takeaways – CBSSports.com


3.

No Sunset Yet…

There was no hiding for Peyton Manning. Faced with the prospect of sitting at a podium for an hour on Media Day at Super Bowl 50, Manning was locked into getting questioned about his potential retirement in the wake of comments to Bill Belichick about his “last rodeo.”

His only real defense? Humor.

Read: Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning finally explains his ‘last rodeo’ remark – CBSSports.com


3.

Free and Risky WiFi…

The free high-speed wireless Internet access being offered at Super Bowl 50 events is “very likely” to attract significant cyber threats, according to the FBI’s cyber threat assessment.

An FBI document obtained by CBS San Francisco warns that hackers could target open Wi-Fi networks at the events.

“Open Wi-Fi is just that, it means that there is no security on the Wi-Fi system, they need to realize whatever they are sending out there, it can be viewed by others,” said Jeff Harp, a former FBI agent and CBS San Francisco security analyst.

Read: Super Bowl 2016 cyber threat? Free, open Wi-Fi could be risky – CBS News


4.

He Gone…

The room was dark and there was a table in front of him. That much Justin Tuck remembers about his dream. That and what was written on the sheet of paper that slid in front of him.

Tuck’s dreams are usually nonsensical. This one, though, was poignant and perhaps an answer to his prayers for guidance. Though he’s not sure who passed him the note, he’s perfectly clear about what was written on it.

Retire.

Read: Justin Tuck is retiring after 11 seasons with Giants, Raiders | FOX Sports


5.

No Thanks…

The Phoenix Suns have strong interest in former star guard Steve Nash for their coaching vacancy, but Nash is not interested in going into full-time coaching at this time, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that Suns owner Robert Sarver, even before firing Jeff Hornacek early Monday morning after the team’s overnight arrival in Phoenix following a four-game road trip, has had Nash high on his list of potential targets to take over the team.

Read: Steve Nash not interested in Phoenix Suns coaching vacancy, despite team’s interest


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6.

#FanDuel Ultimate Value Lineup

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about it in our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6,500 – well my friends this is the #NBA Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – Check Back Before 4:30p MST everyday and see who we like, and let us Teach You How To #Win!!!

pablo (2)

The DiRT Canon Weekend Update – #Megatron Edition

name of site - hunter thompson style

1.

Detroit Breakdown:

Word comes down that Calvin Johnson is done.  No more nagging injuries.  No more missed opportunities.  No more chance for the Lions to cut him.  Megatron gets to go out on his terms, with plenty of energon left in the tank.  What is it about Detroit that seems to see franchise icons walk away?

This feels different than Barry Sanders walking away.  It feels different because the game has changed.  Perceptions have changed.  No longer are today’s players willing to risk further destruction for a few extra moments.  It also feels different because we thought Barry was just sick of losing in Detroit and that he was gonna resurrect his career in a new uniform.  Calvin seems at peace and contentment with his decision.  The calendar just struck 30 for Calvin, and what better way to heal a tired warrrior’s body then spending the salad days on a beach, earning 20%.

EXTRA – EXTRA….

+ Megatron drops a mega-bomb

ESPN reported on Sunday that Calvin Johnson has planned since last summer to make 2015 his final season in the NFL. If Johnson sticks to that plan, his total of 1,214 receiving yards will be the highest in NFL history by a player in his final season in the league. Three other players gained at least 1000 receiving yards in their last season: Sterling Sharpe (1,119), Reggie Langhorne (1,038), and Jimmy Smith (1,023).

+ Johnson’s absence would be felt by Stafford

Calvin Johnson accounted for 31 percent of Matthew Stafford’s passing yards since the Lions drafted Stafford in 2009. During those seven seasons, only one other receiver was responsible for a greater percentage of a quarterback’s passing yards than Johnson was for Stafford (minimum: 5000 passing yards). A.J. Green has accounted for 32 percent of Andy Dalton’s total.

2.

MMQB with Peter King…

Before building the Broncos into a winner, John Elway cut his teeth in player personnel by watching his father. Plus, the Joy of Cam, Marvin Harrison vs. T.O. in Hall of Fame voting, Doug Williams recalls the greatest quarter in Super Bowl history and more from San Francisco as Super Bowl week kicks off

+ Read: John Elway, Broncos GM, learned from father Jack Elway | The MMQB with Peter King

+ Watch: Your Pro Bowl Highlight Is Richard Sherman Dropping An RKO On Clay Matthews

3.

SuperSnooze?

While we prepare for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, you may have wondered if the game is gonna be any good – we all remember some stinkers.  So when thinking about makes a good Superbowl, The Washington Post has given us the 10 Least watchable Superbowls of all time. They arrived at these conclusions by asking a few questions: Was there exciting drama? A legendary performance? A moment that we still can’t forget? Or were they just all hype and no substance?

So, here are the 10 least watchable Super Bowls.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments.

+ Read: Ranking the watchability of every Super Bowl ever played – The Washington Post

4.

Put That In Your Pipe…

The smile that flashed across John Scott’s face again and again throughout the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game was the perfect symbol of his adventure at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

It also looks like the NHL may have gotten this right. If you actually watched the NHL All Star game, you might have enjoyed it!  As well as, John Scott giving it to Jeremy Roenick. Roenick apologized to It was a good job by both Roenick for the apology and Scott for acknowledging it….with a dig, that made this a true Cinderella story.

+ Read: Scott named MVP of Pacific’s All-Star Game victory

5.

Suns of Anarchy?

You may have never felt like Jeff was that good anyway.  The year they broke out and won 48 games, everybody seemed to be having career years, running around without any perceived strategy. Every game was Dragic+Bledsoe driving to the basket – Frye shooting 3’s off the pick n roll – Green chuckin’ it as soon as he gets it – or the Morris brothers taking and making contested mid range shots. There never appeared to be any real ball movement.

The Phoenix Suns fired Jeff Hornacek on Sunday night, ending his tenure as head coach with a 14-35 start to the 2015-16 NBA season.  How many of those guys above are still with the team and how much of that sliding win% is Hornacek’s fault.  Screams more of #FirstWorldProblems from ownership having unrealistic expectations.  I cold be wrong.

+ Read: Jeff Hornacek Fired by Suns: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction 

6.

Rising Arizona?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have two of the best hitters in baseball, but not much else around them.

Apparently, general manager Dave Stewart feels the acquisition of shortstop Jean Segura from the Milwaukee Brewers in Saturday’s five-player trade will help remedy that shortcoming.

However, except for a stellar first half of 2013, Segura has been an average to below-average major league player. Over the past two years, he’s posted a .252/.285/.331 slash line in hitter-friendly Milwaukee.

+ Read: Jean Segura joins better offense in Arizona, but won’t really help it

Thoughts on #SuperBowl50 in #Murica

name of site - hunter thompson style

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If you consider all the things about football, it’s the simple mistakes that might be the difference between winning or losing, particularly a Big game — read Playoffs, read esp. Super Bowl. We are talking about small failures, here — basic mechanical failures, mental errors and blind spots of memory. Foolish laziness that nobody noticed in the first three games of the year will loom gigantic in the playoffs. A simple dropped pass in the fourth quarter will haunt a football player for the rest of his life and cause him to scream in his sleep. Those things will never be forgotten.

Indeed. There are many cruel Rooms in the mansion, and many deep holes in the Road. Keep alert or get stabbed. Of all the shocks and pains that every football season brings, the worst of all is the ending of it. And that is what we face now — two Sunday’s from now, in fact, before the bell tolls. There will be no appeal, no extension, no replay. That will be the end of the football season, no matter who complains.

A few geeks will, of course. A few swine always do. No barrel is utterly clean. That would be atmospherically impossible, right? And rest assured that nothing on this Earth is 100 percent clean. Nothing…. Maybe you are one of those people who honestly believes that Cats are clean? I hope not, because you are saddling up for a serious fall. Cats are filthy, and they don’t mind passing it around. The smell of a large cat (as in Lion or Panther) at room temperature in a sea-level house is so powerful and so disorienting as to derail the human brain. The odor of a mountain lion in the wild is far more terrifying than the sight of the beast, even on a frozen night in the snow. It will literally “take your breath away” at 10 or even 20 yards. Your whole nervous system will seize up and be paralyzed, even your lungs. So stay away from all animals that are bigger than you are, especially at night when they are nervous. A brown bear will eat your whole body in 24 hours. Beware.

What? Why are we worrying about bears and cats at this time of year, days before the Super Bowl? I’ll tell you why: Because every time I think about Denver in the Superbowl and Football and Patriotism all at once, I think of Nixon and dangerous wild animals and his lust for power. Nixon was a football fan — and so am I, as it happens, and I can tell you from years of keen observation that us football fans have a way of getting together, no matter where we are.

There is nothing supernatural about it, but I have witnessed it happen over and over. Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and Football is often the only thing we have in common. We recognize each other instantly, even if we have to speak in sign language, or raised eyebrows. No doubt it has something to do with the gambling instinct, which is also universal.

The next time you find yourself in need of conversation in some backwoods foreign airport, as I have from time to time, take this tip and look around for the nearest public TV set that is tuned to a football game. That will be your oasis, no matter how long your layover may. You will get your questions answered.

Gaming is another universal language, along with simple mathematics, cold beer, and wild sex. Any traveler who is conversant in these tongues and football too will find friends in any town. Take my word for it.

It goes without saying, of course, that extreme behavior in all these lines is not recommended. Heavy drinking and berserk gambling among strangers will usually lead to trouble on the road, and you want to keep in mind that airport bars are no longer as tolerant as they used to be. Last year’s fun is today’s crime. Even tying your shoes in an airport could get you locked up.

It will not be long before all major airlines will require all passengers to disrobe and change into standard Hospital gowns before they board a plane. This is already in the planning stage, according to a lawyer from Albuquerque who also assures me that sleeping gas will be introduced later this year on flights of 40 minutes or longer. “The gas has already been market tested,” he said. “Passengers are heavily in favor of it.”

“What passengers?” I asked him. “Not football fans on their way to Santa Clara, I bet, or people who have to write speeches on airplanes.”

“There will be no exceptions,” he assured me. “Only uniformed soldiers and police officials licensed to carry concealed weapons.”

“That’s good,” I said. “I have a machine gun license.”

“Very funny,” he said. “Don’t push your luck these days. That’s why we have these new secret prisons.”

I hung up and crossed his name off my guest list for the Super Bowl. Nazis are not welcome at this party. They can’t be trusted.

So how about the Big Game, sport? Who is going to win?

Who indeed?! But if I were a betting man I would go with…Find out later,  I might even go double on it. Why not? It’s the last game of the year. I won’t lose….


The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released over nearly 400 prop bets for wagering. Click on the picture for a PDF with all of them, and enjoy.

Click for all PROP-BETS