College Blog Blog Network

Bill Belichick avoided testifying in Aaron Hernandez trial, partially because he was difficult to reach

04.13.17 at 10:38 am ET
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Bill Belichick hasn't spoken extensively about Aaron Hernandez since 2013. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick hasn’t spoken extensively about Aaron Hernandez since 2013. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick was expected to testify at Aaron Hernandez’s double murder trial. But he was able to get around it.

As the jury entered its fifth day of deliberation Thursday, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke said Belichick’s attorney called to see if his client was in trouble for failing to appear at the witness stand. Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, said his team subpoenaed Belichick towards the end of the trial, but ultimately decided to forego his testimony. Baez said they didn’t think it was “critical” to hear from the coach.

Hernandez’s team tried to reach Belichick earlier in the proceedings, but Baez said it was difficult to get in touch with the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“The reason for the delay on that part was the community where he lived. Our process server was not able to get him numerous times,” Baez said, via TMZ.

No member of the Patriots organization testified during this case. Owner Robert Kraft was called as a witness during the Odin Lloyd murder trial.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: St. Louis sues NFL over relocation of Rams; Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton reportedly to retire

04.13.17 at 8:48 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pittsburgh at Boston, 2:05 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Texas at LA Angels, 5 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m. (USA)
NHL: Nashville at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Calgary at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The city of St. Louis has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 teams and their owners claiming they illegally approved the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016.

The suit was filed on Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court and the city is seeking damages and profit restitution for the past 15 months since the move.

The suit claims St. Louis has lost $1.85 million to $3.5 million per year in ticket tax revenue, plus $7.5 million in property tax and $1.4 million in sales tax revenue and “millions” in earning taxes.

It also claims the league ignored bylaws in the move and is allowing it despite failing to “satisfy the obligations imposed by the League’s relocation rules” and the relocation “was not supported by the required statement of reasons or the adopted relocation standards.”

In addition, the suit claims the Rams and the team’s owner Stan Kroenke “made false statements regarding the team’s intent to engage in good faith negotiations” with the city of St. Louis.

The entire lawsuit document can be found here.

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Read More: Los Angeles Rams, Terrance Knighton,

Watch Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett reminisce on Celtics championship team

04.12.17 at 4:54 pm ET
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Players’ TribuneI first met this tall, skinny kid from South Carolina named Kevin when we were both still in high school. I got to show him around Inglewood, California, when he came out here for an AAU tournament.

Somehow it took 20 years for us to play together again.

In 2007, on our first day as teammates, Doc said to all of us, “We’re going to win the NBA championship … but we have to do it now.”

Other people were saying things like, It’s going to take a while to jell. You’re going to need a year to figure it out.

We knew we couldn’t wait. And we just hit the ground running, like we’d been playing together for years. I think the secret that first year was that we were all comfortable being ourselves. KG and I both came from losing teams. Us being in Boston was about what we were trying to achieve together. So we asked ourselves, Is it about numbers, or is it about winning?

By the end of the year, only one number mattered: 17.

The 17th title in Celtics history.

That video is Celtics porn.

You’ve got two of the big three (I’m assuming Ray Allen was not even invited) talking about their glory days ten years (it’s been TEN YEARS) after the Celtics’ last championship season began, going through everything from their first impressions of each other to Doc Rivers’ coaching style to winning the title in 2008.

This is also real estate porn, as Pierce has a pretty sweet house. And he even has a Celtics basketball court in his backyard. If that doesn’t prove how much Boston means to him, I don’t know what does.


Boston Globe columnist chastises Donald Trump supporters for their poor grammar

04.12.17 at 4:42 pm ET
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Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump's ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump’s ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Northeastern liberals are often accused of being an elitist bunch. A Boston Globe columnist deciding to chastise others, and Donald Trump supporters in particular, for their poor grammar only feeds into the stereotype.

Globe columnist Scot Lehigh published a piece Wednesday titled, “Just say what you mean, and say it right.” In it, he expresses his reverence for a British man named the “Grammar Vigilante,” who walks around Bristol at night and changes grammatically incorrect street signs. After three paragraphs, Lehigh shifts his focus to those in the U.S. who regularly violate grammar rules, beginning with the Trumpkins:

“First up: a frequent mistake by those ardent acolytes of King Donald the First. Given the passion of their self-styled patriotism, I know it’s unrealistic to expect them to put grammar first,” he writes. “Still, in the interests of insult efficacy, a remedial reminder may be in order.

“Many of the e-mails they send me start this way: ‘Your an idiot. Or: ‘Your a moron.’ Those are withering put-downs indeed. Still, the otherwise sharp and piercing point of an e-mail arrowhead is dulled a little if its author has been confounded by the ever-so-vexing your/you’re distinction.”

As somebody who also receives a lot of nasty notes from Trump voters –– an emailer this week called me a “teenage punk libtard,” which has a nice ring to it –– I understand Lehigh’s point. It’s difficult to take criticism seriously when it comes from somebody who appears incapable of passing the third grade. But it’s important to note that folks on both sides of the aisle commit whopping grammatical errors. While Trump tweets lies about President Barack Obama ordering the authorities to “tapp” his phones, comedian Chelsea Handler makes fun of his family’s “jeans.” There’s plenty of stupidity to go around.

Lehigh doesn’t limit his scorn to Trump supporters, by the way. He also admonishes waiters who call his meal selection “excellent” and say “no problem” when he asks for grated cheese. When you’re serving Scott Lehigh, apparently it’s best to keep the compliments and pleasantries to yourself.

As valid as Lehigh’s arguments may be, there’s no way to write about grammar usage without sounding like a snobby dweeb. Articles like these guarantee he’ll continue to be slammed with poorly written hate mail. In fact, it seems as if he’s asking for it.

Read More: Boston Globe, Donald Trump,

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly pressuring Indians to eliminate Chief Wahoo logo

04.12.17 at 2:14 pm ET
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Chief Wahoo may not be around for much longer.  (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Chief Wahoo may not be around for much longer. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The years-long battle over the Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo may be nearing its conclusion.

The New York Times reports MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is pressuring the organization to eliminate the logo, which Native American groups say is offensive. In a statement to the Times, MLB acknowledged discussions are underway.

“We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,’’ a spokesman said. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.’’

Controversy over the logo came to the forefront during last year’s American League Championship Series, when an indigenous Canadian citizen filed for an injunction to prohibit the Indians from using the symbol in Toronto. The Indians opposed the injunction, along with MLB, and it wasn’t granted.

Many activists and scholars have spoken out about the red-faced caricature over the years. But unlike the Redskins, who have taken more combative stance against critics of their mascot, the Indians have demonstrated a willingness to engage. Former president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro, who’s now the CEO of the Blue Jays, said last October the symbol “personally bothered” him. Under Shapiro’s leadership, the Indians deemphasized Chief Wahoo and featured the “Block C” logo more prominently. But it hasn’t disappeared entirely. On Opening Day this season, Chief Wahoo was embroidered on the left sleeve of the blue jerseys Indians players were leaving.

There’s no recent data that shows how Native Americans feel about Chief Wahoo. Last year, a Washington Post poll found nine in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by the Redskins name.

Read More: Cleveland Indians,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Rob Gronkowski makes appearance at SmackDown Live; Sergio Garcia considers wearing Masters green jacket at wedding

04.12.17 at 9:29 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Atlanta at Indiana, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Milwaukee at Boston, 8 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: New Orleans at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Boston at Ottawa, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: NY Rangers at Montreal, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (USA)
NHL: St. Louis at Minnesota, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: San Jose at Edmonton, 10 p.m. (USA)


— Rob Gronkowski made his second WWE appearance on Tuesday night, this time at SmackDown Live in Boston.

Gronkowski appeared at Wrestlemania 33 earlier this month and began a feud with WWE personality Jinder Mahal and continued it at SmackDown. 

During Mahal’s match with Gronkowski’s friend Mojo Rawley, he stared down Gronkowski, who was wearing “Stay Hyped!” shirt, near the announcer’s table and and the two exchanged words. Gronkowski responded by throwing a drink at Mahal from behind the barrier, drenching him. Mahal then lost his match. 

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Golf announcer is facing heat for saying Sergio Garcia’s fiancée was wearing ‘shortest skirt’ at the Masters

04.11.17 at 4:06 pm ET
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Sergio Garcia and Angela Akins announced their engagement in January. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Sergio Garcia and Angela Akins announced their engagement in January. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Sergio Garcia’s fiancée garnered a lot of attention during the Masters Sunday. But one commentator is getting criticized for going too far.

BBC color analyst Peter Alliss was caught on a “hot mic” making a crude remark about Angela Akins’ outfit. After Garcia sunk the winning putt in his playoff round against Justin Rose, the camera panned to Akins, who was celebrating in the gallery. Alliss, 86, pointed out the length of her skirt.

“She’s got the shortest skirt on campus,” he said.

The BBC released a statement apologizing for the quip.

“Whilst believing he was off air Peter made a lighthearted remark which he now knows was inappropriate,” a network spokesman said.

This is the second time in three years Alliss has come under fire for comments he’s made about women on the air. In 2015, during Zack Johnson’s Open Championship win at St. Andrews, he said the golfer’s wife was probably thinking she would “get a new kitchen” if he won the tournament.

Read More: Sergio Garcia, The Masters,

United will win in the long-run, because greedy corporations almost always prevail over the people

04.11.17 at 12:39 pm ET
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United Airlines will almost certainly weather this PR storm. (Bob Stanton/USA Today Sports)

United Airlines will almost certainly weather this PR storm. (Bob Stanton/USA Today Sports)

United is getting crucified for forcibly removing a man from an overbooked plane, but it will win in the long-run. Desperate travelers have few airline options to choose from and people have short attention spans. In fact, with recent revelations about the passenger’s troubled past, the news cycle is already beginning to move on. Now, it’s victim blaming time.

The three institutions at fault, United, the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Department of Aviation, handled the fallout poorly. In an email to employees, United CEO Oscar Munoz said the man who was dragged out of the airplane, and bloodied in the process, was “disruptive” and “belligerent.” He praised his staff for following protocol.

The public statement from Munoz, who was named “communicator of the year” by PRWeek last month, isn’t much better. He said the airline apologizes for having to “re-accommodate” the four paying customers it ejected from the Chicago-based flight. They were kicked off the plane, because United sold too many tickets and needed to make room for additional crew members who were also traveling from Chicago to Louisville, Ky. After nobody willingly rescheduled their flight in exchange for a voucher, the airline randomly selected patrons to forfeit their seats.

The word “re-accomodate” personifies the soulless corporate speak that executives use instead of phrases with actual meaning. They lie to their customers, because they know they won’t be held accountable. As evidenced by Munoz’s “communicator of the year” honor, this kind of behavior is rewarded within the industry.

The statement from the Chicago Police is equally callous. In it, the department says the 69-year-old passenger, Dr. David Dao, “fell” before he was carried out. Video, however, shows Dao getting slammed into an armrest before he’s dragged across the floor. The Chicago Department of Aviation placed the guilty officer on leave, but declined to identify him. No word on whether he’s being charged for assault or another crime.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Martha Stewart jinxes Yankees perfect game; Giants score 3 runs on swinging bunt

04.11.17 at 9:55 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: St. Louis at Washington, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Houston at Seattle, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Oklahoma City at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Phoenix at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)


— Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was seven outs away from pitching a perfect game against the Rays on Monday when Martha Stewart decided to ruin it for him with a simple tweet.

The lifestyle guru was in attendance for the potential history-making game and wanted everyone to know she was there. During the seventh inning, Stewart tweeted: “It’s top of the seventh here at yankee stadium and the Yankees are pitching a perfect game versus the Tampa rays.”  

After this tweet was posted, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria hit a double to left field to break up the perfect game and any chance of a no-hitter.

The number one rule during a perfect game or no-hitter is to not mention it’s happening and this is why. Fans on Twitter were not pleased with Stewart’s tweet and the Rays even responded with their own jab:

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Read More: New York Yankees, Sam Francisco Giants,

Caitlyn Jenner reveals she’s had sex reassignment surgery

04.11.17 at 9:47 am ET
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Caitlyn Jenner reveals in her new memoir she's undergone sex reassignment surgery. (Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun via USA Today Network)

Caitlyn Jenner reveals in her new memoir she’s undergone sex reassignment surgery. (Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun via USA Today Network)

Two years ago, Caitlyn Jenner revealed she was a transgender woman during a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer. Now, in a new memoir, she says she’s recently undergone sex reassignment surgery to complete the transition.

Radar Online published excerpts Monday of Jenner’s book, “The Secrets Of My Life,” which will be released April 25. In it, the two-time Olympic gold medalist says she went through with the operation in January.

“The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,” she writes. “I am telling you because I believe in candor. So all of you can stop staring. You want to know, so now you know. Which is why this is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it.”

Jenner, 67, underwent facial feminization surgery in March 2015. She explains the gender reconstruction procedure was the next step.

“So why even consider it? Because it’s just a penis. It has no special gifts or use for me other tan what I have said before, the ability to take a whiz in the woods,” Jenner writes in the book. “I just want to have all the right parts. I am also tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.”

After coming out as transgender, Jenner starred in an eight-part reality series, “I am Cait.” It tied for best Outstanding Reality Program at the GLAAD Awards in 2016.

Read More: Caitlyn Jenner,