Category Archives: Sports

Steelers Hines Ward Retiring

The Grio

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Hines Ward believes he can still play football. The longtime Pittsburgh wide receiver known for his high-wattage smile and his bone-crunching blocks just couldn’t stomach the thought of doing it in some strange uniform on some strange field with nary a Terrible Towel in sight.

“I just wouldn’t feel right,” Ward said.

So rather than play for a 15th season — and his first outside the Steel City — a tearful Ward opted to retire on Tuesday and secure a legacy unmatched in the franchise’s long history.

“I can say I’m a Steeler for life and that’s the bottom line, that’s all I’ve really ever wanted,” Ward said.

Ward holds every significant franchise receiving record, including receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. His 1,000 career catches rank eighth all time and he is one of two players with at least 1,000 receptions and two Super Bowl rings.

The decision comes three weeks after the 36-year-old was released by the Steelers in a salary cap maneuver. Ward says he was contacted by several clubs but never had any formal discussions. He insists there are no hard feelings for his release, understanding that football is a business. As if to prove the point, Ward embraced Steelers owner Art Rooney II after stepping away from the podium following the announcement.

“Thank you (Mr. Rooney) for giving a small town boy from Forest Park, Ga., a chance,” Ward said.

The former third-round pick out of Georgia was due to make $4 million next season, an expensive option for a player whose role diminished significantly in 2011 when he finished with 46 receptions, the fewest since his rookie season in 1998. He embraced his role as mentor to Pro Bowlers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown even though he knew they were chewing into his playing time.

“I know the wideouts are going to be in great hands,” he said. “They’re full of talent.”

And they’re part of an offense that didn’t exist when Ward made his debut 14 years ago. He spent most of his first three seasons blocking for running back Jerome Bettis, something he did better than any receiver in the league.

Over time, the Steelers evolved from the grind-it-out attack that has been the club’s identity for decades. Ward’s breakout season came in 2001 when he set a franchise record with 94 receptions then obliterated that mark in 2002 when he finished with 112 catches.

He made four straight Pro Bowls from 2001-2004 and seemed to get better as he aged. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Super Bowl after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 21-10 victory over Seattle, the franchise’s first championship in 26 years. The Steelers added a second title in 2009 to give them six, more than any other team in the league.

Ward hoped to get the Steelers their seventh Lombardi Trophy but didn’t catch a pass in a 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round of last year’s playoffs. Only one pass came his way, a dart down the sideline by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Pittsburgh’s final drive in regulation. Denver cornerback Champ Bailey swatted the ball to the ground and Ward walked off the field and into the unknown.

The former “Dancing With the Stars” champion could have a lucrative postseason career in front of a camera — he worked the red carpet during the Oscars — but he maintained after his release he could still contribute. He still does.

“I feel like I have a few more good years in me left, Ward said. “I would love nothing more to get back to the Super Bowl.”

He wasn’t willing to do it, however, outside Pittsburgh.

“I want to go down as one of the greats to wear the black-and-gold and that’s how it should end,” Ward said.

Ward laughed when asked if he could go into coaching one day, taking a jab at coach Mike Tomlin, who isn’t sure how Ward’s passion would play in the locker room. One of the most respected players in the league because of his contributions on and off the field, Ward leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.

“On behalf of the NFL players, I want congratulate Hines on an extraordinary career,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “I know he will continue to be a leader and example to our men.”

Ward’s already started by urging Wallace to do what he can to remain with the Steelers.

“I told Mike you may get a chance to go other places but there’s not another place like Pittsburgh,” Ward said.

Certainly not for Ward. His No. 86 jersey has long been one of the team’s top sellers, and his blue-collar attitude rang true to a fan base where hard work is a way of life. Ward understands the unique relationship the Steelers have with the city and to tarnish it by making a last-gasp attempt to pad his career stats didn’t interest him.

“I want my legacy here to say, you know what he was one hell of a football player who gave it his all,” Ward said. “I’m truly blessed. I played in three Super Bowls, won two Super Bowls, was Super Bowl MVP … what more could a player want out of his entire football career?”

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Royce Reed And Dwight Howard In Custody Battle

TMZ

The mother of NBA star Dwight Howard‘s son wants the judge in their custody case removed stat … because she claims he has it out for women who have children out of wedlock with NBA stars.

Royce Reed is battling Dwight in court in an effort to retain primary custody of their son. Dwight filed docs earlier this month to try and wrangle custody from her … claiming she interferes with his relationship with their son and makes it difficult for him to see the boy on his scheduled days.

The “Basketball Wives” star came back this week with a motion of her own … to have Judge Tim Shea taken off the case. She claims he has a bias against baby mamas and she fears he may side with Dwight because he’s a local celebrity.

In her filing, Reed claims Shea wouldn’t let her present her side during a court hearing last month. Reed’s lawyer also filed an affidavit saying that during the hearing, Judge Shea said he would award Howard custody, then decided to delay his decision … despite the fact no evidence had been presented.

Reed also claims there might be a conflict of interest since Shea’s own website lists one of Howard’s lawyers, Mayanne Downs, as one of his endorsers (see below).
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Roland Martin Suspened From CNN

CNN has suspended political analyst Roland Martin for two Super Bowl tweets that rights activists said advocated violence against gay men.

“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” CNN said in a statement reported by The Washington Post. “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”

Martin’s first tweet involved an H&M underwear ad featuring British soccer start David Beckham. The other pertained to a New England Patriots player dressed in pink.

“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”

“Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.”

Monday, in what he said were his “final thoughts” on the Super Bowl tweets, Martin denied advocating violence against gays and bullying. “That is furthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused,” he said. He also said that he had been bullied as a child.

On Tuesday, the gay-and-lesbian-rights group GLAAD called on CNN to suspend Martin, and today it welcomed the action.

“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” spokesman Rich Ferraro said in a statement. “Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it.”

MY THOUGHTS

What Martin said was not in the least bit homophobic. Homophobia is defined as an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against. One automatically thinks that he is referring to gay people because Beckham is a man and pink is a feminine…one should never assume. GLADD seems to not have its eyes on the prize, instead of worrying about what Martin tweeted, I haven’t heard not a peep on the attack of a young man in Atlanta for his clothing options. THIS IS VIOLENCE 

Organizations like GLADD and PETA need to stop worrying about trivial stories/situations and worry about the big stuff. Martin’s tweets were not violent and if you follow Martin on Twitter, you would know that the #teamwhipdatass is a hashtag that he uses often and anyone with common sense would know that he is not promoting violence. I’m sure Martin had some clauses in his contract about “inappropriate” language but this seems to tread on the line of silencing freedom of speech…what he said can be deemed ignorant but for someone to lose their livelihood over makes no sense to me.

Also, no GLADD, your “fight” is  in no way shape or form like the fight of civil rights for Black people. No one will know if a person is gay but a person of color can’t hide their skin. Gay people are not denied jobs, were not told to seat in the back of a bus, were not attacked by police dogs, denied education, were made to eat in the basement of restaurants, enter in the back entrances of establishments, etc. Your fight is not the same TO ME and be GLADD about it!

My Favorite Super Bowl Commerical 2012

There seemed to be a running theme for the Super Bowl commercial’s last night…dogs! Dogs ruled the TV and the one that I liked best was Man’s Best Friend by Doritos. The word on the street is that the spot cost $20 to make but I highly doubt it. If you wanted a 30 second spot, you had to divvy up 3.2 millions dollars…with that kind of money, there are a lot of companies that are 3.2 million dollars short that delivered forgettable ad’s.

Hopefully next year, companies will bring back the creativity.  

What was your favorite commerical?

Does Vanessa Bryant Get It From Her Mama?

According to Vanessa Bryant’s step-father, Stephen Laine, she got her golddigging ways from her mother.

According to TMZ, Laine was married to Vanessa’s mother from 1990 to 2003 and helped raise her from a child into adulthood.

Laine states, “Her mother taught her well to wait for the ten-year mark [before divorcing].”  He explains, “In California … it’s considered a long-term marriage and then she gets paid for life or until she remarries … just like her mother is doing to me.” Laine continues, “I have to pay her mom $1,800 every month and clearly they don’t need it.”

Well, I have to say if Kobe wasn’t smart enough to have this “random” chick not sign a pre-nup then that’s on him. Back in 2003, after the rape scandal, he should’ve told her to sign a pre-nup so he knows it’s real (especially when you know you’re a cheater)! Not having her sign one because you’re “deeply in love” was not a smart business move. I seriously doubt that she will get remarried anytime soon…what a sucka.

I wonder how the conversation went down when Kobe told his mother Vanessa was going to be his wife? Answers we will NEVER know 😀

Vanessa Bryant Files For Divorce

After 10-1/2 years of marriage, Vanessa Bryant, has filed for divorce from NBA player Kobe Bryant.

The reason for the split…Vanessa belives that Kobe has been cheating again. As you recall, she stood by her man’s side in 2003 when he was charged with sexually assaulting a Colorado woman. As a gift to his undying love, he gave her a 4 million dollar ring but I guess the ring didn’t mean a thing. There was no prenup so that means that so Vanessa is entitled to half of all his earnings over the last decade.

Reports have surfaced that Kobe is really worth $150 million instead of $400 million but it doesn’t matter…$75 million is not bad at all. According to the legal documents,Vanessa is asking for joint custody of their 2 daughters , 8-year-old Natalia and 5-year-old Gianna. Kobe has moved out of their LA home and is paying Vanessa the spousal support that she has asked for.

Vanessa’s Purple Diamond Ring

If the allegations are true that he was cheating, Vanessa should’ve known that he was going to it again. Maybe she was playing her cards right and waiting for the ten years, because according to California law, if a couple is married for 10 plus years there is lifelong alimony. Is there any coincidence that she filed AFTER the NBA lockout was over? HMMMMM, the world will never know. 😀

Jerry Sandusky First Interview

Jerry Sandusky will give his first interview tonight on NBC. During the interview, he said that he is innocent of the child sex abuse charges that have rocked Penn State and cost Joe Paterno his job, though the former defensive coordinator admitted he “horsed around” and touched kids.

In a telephone interview, Sandusky responded, “No,” when Bob Costas asked if he was a pedophile.

“I am innocent of those charges,” the 67-year-old Sandusky said. “… I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

The interview with Costas was Sandusky’s first public comment on the charges. When asked  if there was anything he did do wrong, Sandusky said, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”

When Sandusky retired in 1999, he cited his desire to devote more time to The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk kids. According to a grand jury report,  Sandusky was a sexual predator who used The Second Mile and his Penn State connections to prey on young boys.

The interview came on a day when the president of The Second Mile resigned. Jack Raykovitz, a practicing psychologist who had led the group for 28 years, said he hoped his departure would help restore faith in the group’s mission. The Second Mile also announced it had hired Philadelphia’s longtime district attorney as its new general counsel.

The interview airs tonight at 10/9c on NBC

Joe Paterno Fired By Penn State

I have to admit that I don’t follow college football and the college I attended didn’t have a football team but why are the students of Penn State rioting and acting a fool. Let’s see, this football coach, who was more powerful than the university president had the moral obligation to do more than just tell his boss of the sexual abuse allegations.

The actions of the students and people alike that are saying they don’t want the image of Penn State to be tarnished but what about the tarnished lives of the children that were abused by Sandusky. Do these people not care? Such a sad and sickened case of sweeping things under the rug and the abuse of power!

 

Riot police were deployed in State College, Pa., on Wednesday night as thousands of Penn State supporters vented their anger at the firing of Joe Paterno amid a scandal over the school’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations.

At around 12:20 a.m. local time Thursday, the university issued an official police dispersal order via Facebook, warning students to vacate downtown State College immediately. It came after several violent scenes in which protesters flipped over a media van and destroyed other property.

About 2,000 people gathered at Old Main and moved to an area called Beaver Canyon, a street ringed by student apartments that were used in past riots to pelt police, myFOXphilly.com reported.

But while several arrests were made, the disorder was controlled amid a strong presence from state police as the crowds returned to Old Main.
The disorder escalated after the school’s Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting Wednesday night and later announced at a news conference that they had dismissed Paterno, the longest-tenured coach in major-college football, and Graham Spanier, the school’s president for the past 16 years, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The actions followed the indictment over the weekend of Paterno’s longtime assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, on charges of child sex abuse over a 15-year period.

Hundreds of students gathered at the HUB-Robeson Center, the student union, to watch the news conference on a big screen. When the announcement came that Paterno would not coach again at Penn State, students gasped and hushed. Women began to weep.

John Surma, the board’s vice president, said he called Paterno at home Wednesday to deliver the news. He said the board’s vote was unanimous.
About two hours after the firing, Paterno came out of his house to greet about 200 students who had gathered there, myFOXphilly.com reported. “Pray for the [sexual abuse] victims,” he told the crowd. “We love you.”

He also issued a statement, obtained by Fox News, saying that he was disappointed with the board’s decision but would have to accept it.

“A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed,” his statement said. “I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm, and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.”

Paterno added, “I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt.”

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno had announced that he would retire at the end of the season, the WSJ reported.

He had planned to coach Saturday against Nebraska in what is the team’s final home game of the season. Just before 4:00pm local time, he left his home to attend football practice.

“At this moment, the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” he said. “They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.”

 

NBA Commissioner Cancels More Games

According to the Associated Press NBA Commissioner David Stern has cancelled all NBA games for the month of November. This happened after labor negotiations broke down for the second time in a week. Stern stated, “It’s not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now.”

What’s not practical is there not to be any basketball. There is money to be made hand over foot, so what’s the real problem? I’m going to need these grown men to man up and come to some type of agreement. While I don’t know all of the intricacies behind the lockout; first and foremost their money should be guaranteed and I don’t believe they’re asking for too much. It takes a lot to be an athlete and I don’t think the commissioner is understanding that. To me, all he sees is dollar signs.

Thoughts?

Michael Vick Covers UPTOWN Magazine

Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick, is on the cover of UPTOWN Magazine talking victory, failure & deliverance in the October/November Issue. He discusses signing with his new team, playing the game of football, the reaction from fans when returning to play against the Atlanta Falcons and his road to redemption.

Here are some excerpts from the interview

On signing with the Philadelphia Eagles
I never thought this day would come. [Two years ago], I was happy just to be on a team. When I was in prison, I prayed for another opportunity. And when I signed with the Eagles, that opportunity had come. I was ecstatic at that point, and I’m even happier now.

On taking precautions during the game
I play the game the way I know how to play it. You have to take precautions, but this is what I love to do. I want to be there for my team and do what I have to do as a quarterback to be successful.

On the fans reaction when he returned to play the Falcons as an Eagle
It was awesome. When I was running out onto the field I was listening to see what the reaction was going to be, I was very pleased. I really didn’t expect that reaction, but I was very thankful.

Where he is and where he wants to go
I am determined to become a better student of the game and I knew I had to work at it. I was young when I was in Atlanta. I’m older now. I’ve been through a lot and I think I’ve matured. I had some good years there, but I’m just so thankful to be in Philadelphia right now. I could not have landed in a better city. This is my home. This is where I want to be, and I take this opportunity seriously.

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