Author Archive: jdiddy

Doubts Still Remain Over London Based NFL Franchise

2014 saw three NFL games played in London as part of the expanding International Series, which is now seen as a forerunner for attempts to create a UK based franchise in the English capital. The Guardian calculates around $25 million was taken in gate receipts alone for the three games played in London over the course of the 2014 season.

CipherCloud shows that the vast sums of money involved in three sellout crowds watching teams from the middle to lower levels of the League play in the London Fall have made it increasingly likely that a London based franchise will soon become a reality. Problems do remain for the NFL and any potential franchise owners looking at London as a good base for a expansion team in the coming seasons. The test for the future of a UK based franchise could come soon with rumors stating the NFL will expand the International Series to five games in the near future.

Despite the large crowds and vast sums of money involved, the NFL in the UK remains a hard sell. Problems could include where any franchise would be based, Wembley Stadium, home of the International Series is home to the England soccer team, who have already expressed concerns over the state of the playing surface after NFL games. The problems of high taxation levels in the UK and different health and safety rules could also come into play as a franchise may struggle to attract players to life in London.

Michael Jordan: NASCAR Fan?

With Denny Hamlin competing for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, NBA Legend, Michael Jordan, was hoping to obtain tickets to watch his good friend race for the title. “He asked for tickets,” Hamlin said after finishing seventh in the race, narrowly missing out on his first title. “I told him we could handle that.”

Denny Hamlin met Michael Jordan at a Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) game a few years ago. Jordan, who owns the Hornets, became close friends with Hamlin and eventually Hamlin joined the “Jordan Brand” team. Hamlin wears the “Jumpman” logo on his firesuit, and had the logo on a truck series truck last season.

Jordan, a noted race fan himself, came to Homestead, Florida, the site of the final race of the season, to support his good friend in his quest to race for a title. Jordan was seen before the race in Hamlin’s pit box and after the race he gave Hamlin a hug so big he’s going to need a trip to North American Spine for treatment.

Pats Prove Themselves

The New England Patriots have a penchant for doing great things in surprising ways. Whether it was the acquisition of a fading Randy Moss, and his subsequent return to glory, or the propping up of players like Donte Stallworth to become meaningful contributors. Well, the Patriots did it again and they did it during primetime. The newest ‘nobody’ to reach new heights was rookie running back Jonas Gray. Gray is the starting running back for the New England Patriots due to the injury of Stevan Ridley. After last Monday’s performance, however, we’re not sure he’ll be leaving the starting role any time soon. With FreedomPop’s free wifi service, I was able to watch play-by-play as Gray personally dismantled the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

Billed as the football game of the year, the Patriots and Colts met on a chilly Monday night to battle it out for the billing of ‘best team in the NFL’. The over-under for the game was ridiculous and many people were expecting to see a vertical shoot out unrivaled by anything else in the season. Jonas Gray had other ideas. The rookie back, who seemed so small next to guys like Rob Gronkowski, ended up stealing the show. Gray totaled up almost 200 yards and 4 total scores on the ground en route to a huge Patriot victory.

The Patriots ended up winning the game 42-20 and now fans everywhere are scrambling to learn more about Gray. To be honest, he’s a pretty interesting fellow with football set aside. He came into the league undrafted and only made the team thanks to injuries. When he’s not playing football he is opening at comedy clubs for guys like Dustin Diamond (Screech!). Well, he may be a part time comedian but nobody is laughing right now.

LeBron’s Sons Won’t Be Playing Football

LeBron James makes headlines on and off the court. He recently returned home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which caused an uproar throughout the basketball community and the city of Cleveland. Now that the hype has calmed down a bit, LeBron is making national news on CNN concerning a situation off of the basketball court. My friend Jared Haftel is a huge LeBron James fans and he tells me has two sons aged ten and seven.

According to TIME, James doesn’t want his boys to play football at this age due to safety concerns. He mentioned if his sons are interested when they get to high school, they will talk about it. Right now, though, it is not necessary for them to put themselves in such danger at their ages. They participate in soccer and basketball, but are not allowed to play football or hockey. James himself played football in high school as a way to escape the dangers of the inner city. He just doesn’t find it necessary to put such young children in such a physically demanding sport.

Cricket Matches Involve Spectators

A Cricket spectator named Andrew McCulloch has won $5000 after catching an excellent shot landed off a right-armed breaking hit in a local county match between the Otago Volts and the Wellington Firebirds. It was an excellent shot played by the batsman Bracewell.

Bracewell is from the New Zealand cricket team, and has proved to be a good all-rounder. The shot was very nice to watch actually, as the batsmen played the shot very gently and without any difficulties.

Not coming down the track, the batsman stayed at the crease and waited for the ball to come to his bat, hitting it at the centre of the bat. As the momentum at which batsman hit the ball was great, the ball started going up and up, covering the maximum distance there.

Though the ball turned and bounced, the batsman made full use of the turn and the height to convert it to the big hit. And watching the ball very carefully, a spectator from the crowd ran forward towards the ball and made the amazing catch one-handed. Reifler was amazed when he saw the video online.

It was Andrew McCulloch who made the lucky catch. First, Andrew started walking towards the ball, but after that he felt the ball moving around towards his right. Observing it, he just put his right arm to the ball, and the next moment the ball was in his hands.

Video of the event can be found here.

Incognito Working Out With Broncos

The Denver Broncos worked out the free-agent offensive guard Richie Incognito on Monday. This was an attempt to do their due diligence while they considered hiring him. Earlier this year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs also gave Incognito some thought, but there were problems.

Incognito got booted out of the Miami Dolphins for hazing offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. The hazing caused Martin to seek mental-health counseling. The Dolphins suspended Incognito in November 2013. Martin has since been traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Incognito has also argued with coaches before, and his other NFL stops ended on unfriendly terms since Incognito started his career in Nebraska. He was also admitted to an Arizona psychiatric care unit in February after smashing his Ferrari with a baseball bat.

The Broncos coaches know Incognito from coaching him at the Pro Bowl a few years back. Incognito has been working out in Arizona to catch up with the team. Fans like Jared Haftel have observed that the team is having problems with their run game, but they shuffled their offensive line and managed to beat the Oakland Raiders in Week 10.

The Broncos have passed on signing up Incognito, but they say they will consider it after they play the Rams and the Fins. Incognito has been an unrestricted free agent since March 11. He probably would appreciate the break at this point.

Employee Fired for Serving Booze to a Toddler

A mix-up has cost a Colorado employee their job. Apparently, the chain known as Joe’s Crab Shack has two drinks with similar names on the menu. One is called a Shark Nibble – a kid’s beverage and one is called a Shark Bite – and contains alcohol. Both are topped with a toy plastic shark, which obviously, just adds to the confusion.

Joe’s Crab Shack has held the employee responsible accountable and since has relieved them of their duties. Apparently, a round of the alcoholic Shark Bites were served to the table of six children ages 2-8 instead of the kid’s version the Shark Nibble. And while the children sat and downed their drinks, the family was not informed of the mix-up until approximately a half hour later.

No one has been charged in this underage drinking case. However, it seems that not only should Joe’s take action against the employee involved, but I agree with Bruce Levenson on this one that Joe’s should shoulder a little bit of the responsibility themselves. After all, having a kid’s drink and an alcoholic drink with such similar names and toys on top, seems to be a recipe for disaster.

Giants lose due to 346 on the Ground

The New York Giants have lost again this time to the Seattle Seahawks with a score of 38 to 17. With the loss the Giants fall to 3 – 6 and Seattle 6 – 3 on the year.

This one was closer than the score indicates with the Giants winning at halftime and the score tired through three quarters. The fourth quarter had the breaks all go the Seahawk’s way with an Eli interception, two fumbles by Seattle that they recovered, and a run game that seemed dominate on the night. Russel Wilson did throw two interceptions which were caught by Zach Bowman and Quentin Demps.

Eli and Odell Beckham played well for the Giants, but several costly false start and holding penalties by the offensive line derailed otherwise promising drives in the second half of the game. With Seattle’s run game being dominate the time of possession went the way of Seattle, which Bruce was disappointed to see, particularly during the third quarter when an 8 minute drive limited the opportunities for the Giants.

Marshawn Lynch had 146 yards and 4 touchdowns and seemed unstoppable for much of the night. Wilson had numerous quartback sneaks on roll outs that the Giants did not properly contain.

The loss all but pushes the Giants out of the division race given the strong performance by Dallas. Seattle is still in the hunt for the division but last year’s Super Bowl winners are still trailing the division leading Arizona Cardinals.

Actress Keira Knightly Combats Photoshopping By Posing Topless for Interview Magazine

English actress Keira Knightley, queen of cinematic period pieces, has taken an interesting tactic to combat the myriad of paparazzi and cyber pervs who manipulate her appearance via Photoshop. She willingly released a black & white image of her posing topless. The semi-nude image, which was done in fashionable taste, was released to Interview Magazine, which was founded by the iconic artist Andy Warhol.

Her image was released sans any editing whatsoever. It reveals her natural high-fashion looks and figure. Knightley admitted that her visage has been marred extensively by paparazzi, film posters, and others. She stated that she was okay taking the photograph as long as it would not be retouched. She hopes that it will help others realize the shape of their body doesn’t matter. Admittedly, there are a number of overweight and obese people who would love to have her figure.

Knightley explained that the figure of a woman is a battlefield. Modern photography has contributed to this with attempts to make a woman always look beautiful. That may be true, but judging from her untouched natural beauty, she doesn’t have any trouble looking beautiful at all times. The star of the film “Sense and Sensibility” stated that it is a struggle for her to maintain a normal life. During her interview, she was chomping on a biscuit. In good humor, she had to apologize for almost choking on it while trying to address the reporter.  Support her cause, and glad I saw the pic on Skout.

Marc-Andre Fleury Will Remain In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is known for having die hard sports fans. They support the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates in a way no other city does. Each Pittsburgh sports fan usually has a favorite within these three teams. They like the sport just a little bit more than the rest. And for those who love hockey and the Penguins are their team, then the news about Marc-Andre Fleury definitely made your day. According to some reports, the team has signed Fleury to a year four year contract extension. This deal is worth $23 million dollars, so we are sure Fleury is smiling with all of his fans.

He was the first overall draft pick in 2003 and in 2009 he went on to win the Stanley Cup. He is not perfect and has his days, but overall Fleury is a household name in Pittsburgh and fans have his back throughout his ups and downs. Christian Broda is not even a huge hockey fan, but he has heard of the goaltender. Maybe this is what he needed to give him the confidence to play his hardest. Either way, Penguin fans are excited to keep this guy around.