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SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder goes unchallenged in ESPN Radio interview

01.16.17 at 10:31 am ET
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SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder turned down an interview with Kirk & Callahan last week, but she did pay a visit to the cozy confines of ESPN Radio following her controversial article about Patriots fans having a problem with the team’s affiliation with President-Elect Donald Trump.

In an appearance Sunday on The Morning RoastWilder reiterated her claim that the team is experiencing a significant amount of Trump-related backlash. “I heard from people who were like, ‘Man, I can’t believe they like this guy –– they like Trump. I hate Trump.’ And sort of up in arms,” she said. “But the majority of people I talked to or that I saw leave comments on Brady’s Facebook page –– there were thousands, hundreds –– the people that struck me the most, somebody put it really eloquently and I quote him in my story, he was like, ‘Look, I don’t care what they do off the field. I don’t care who they vote for.’ … But there’s this deep hypocrisy to some fans who think, ‘Here’s Belichick, who’s famously gruff with the media, who says, ‘We’re onto Cincinnati. We’re onto Cincinnati. We’re onto Cincinnati.’” And then, they felt that when it was beneficial for him, or when he felt like he didn’t have to follow his own rules, where the rules have been the media policy and the no distractions and the ‘do your job’ has been something that fans have really bought into. They feel sort of betrayed. It’s like, ‘Wait, you’re not following the one thing that we thought we all agreed on was our thing.’”

Hosts Domonique Foxworth, Clinton Yates and Mina Kimes didn’t challenge Wilder’s conclusion, despite the fact she only quotes one fan, Susan Pease of Lincolin, who says Tom Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s friendships with Trump propelled her to stop watching. Wilder declined my request to be interviewed for this piece.

Later in the conversation, Wilder says many Patriots fans are experiencing an existential crisis in the wake of Trump’s victory. “Some people have stopped watching. As I said in the piece, the majority of people aren’t going to stop watching or stops supporting. But what I was focusing on are the people who are having issues with this, not the people who aren’t,” she said. “If you don’t care about this, great. I’m glad there’s a way some people are able to compartmentalize. But I think when you have an identity –– being a fan is so much about identity –– and your identity is tied into that of your team. And then when you team gets tied up into an identity that fundamentally breaks from yours, then it’s this real kind of moment of crises where you’re like, “Wait, where are the venn diagrams here? Where can I separate myself, how can I compartmentalize this?” And it might seem silly, because it’s sports, but it’s not silly, because sports are kind of everything.”

It seems as if most Patriots fans were able to put their supposed mental distress aside and watch Saturday’s game against the Houston Texans. The contest drew a monstrous 42.2 rating in Boston.

Read More: Donald Trump, ESPN, New England Patriots,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Death of Jimmy Snuka gets range of reaction on Twitter; Chiefs’ Travis Kelce rips referee for holding call

01.16.17 at 9:05 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NHL: NY Islanders at Boston, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Washington at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Charlotte at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Atlanta at New York, 1 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: New Orleans at Indiana, 4 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Cleveland at Golden State, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Oklahoma City at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Marquette at Butler, 12 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Creighton at Xavier, 2 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: UT Arlington at South Alabama, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: DePaul at St. John’s, 4:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Boston University at Loyola Maryland, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: N.C. Central at Hampton, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Jackson State at Texas Southern, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Women’s college basketball: Notre Dame at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Women’s college basketball: Wisconsin at Penn State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)


— WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka has died at the age of 73 his daughter, Tamina, announced on Sunday on her Twitter account. It was reported in December Snuka was in hospice with six months to live.

Snuka was the legendary WWE character “Superfly” but was charged in 2015 with the 1983 murder of his then-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. The charges were dropped earlier this month when he was found incompetent to stand trial.

Because of this, reaction to his death was both positive and negative in social media.

      Jimmy Snuka is a murderer. His place in wrestling history is cemented but no one’s legacy in a business outweighs murder. Come on, simple. — TOMÁS RÍOS (@TheTomasRios) January 15, 2017

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Read More: Jimmy Snuka, Travis Kelce,

Thinking Out Loud: Tough week for Providence basketball

01.13.17 at 11:49 am ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud…while wondering where M.L. Carr is waving his towels these days.

— Having a hard time coming up with a more devastating defeat than the one the Friars suffered this week on the road at DePaul, losing 64-63 after a last-second miss from Kyron Cartwright. At least, not in recent memory. You’ve heard the twisted cliché “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?”

— That’s exactly what happened in PC’s final appearance at the All State Arena in Rosemont, Illinois this week. Providence’s defense gave up 20 points in four minutes, after giving up 44 points in the previous 36 minutes. That it happened against DePaul, rather than against Villanova or Xavier, is telling.

— Ironically, the old Rosemont Horizon has actually been kind to Providence through the years, with a 10-7 record in the Windy City. DePaul will move into their brand new Wintrust Arena for next season. It might be the big boost a once-proud program really needs to become relevant again.

— DePaul’s All State Arena reminds me of what the Dunkin Donuts Center was like before the renovations in the mid-2000’s. A definite dark, dank 1970’s feel to it. Which was about the last time the Blue Demons were really any good, with a guy named Mark Aguirre playing for them.

— Personally, I haven’t been as deflated from a game like the DePaul game this week since PC lost to a nationally-6th ranked Pittsburgh team by 27 points in 2004, when the Friars were ranked 12th themselves. This time though, it’s different. Both of these teams are struggling. And the Friars struggled more than the Blue Demons.

— Part of the struggles come from injuries, as both Cartwright and Jalen Lindsey are less than 100 percent. Cartwright has knee tendonitis that has become very painful at times, and he’ll need to come to the conclusion very soon that it’s simply something he’ll have to play through.

— Lindsey sprained the thumb on his non-shooting hand in a late fall against Creighton. Why that kept him out of the entire game in Chicago, against a beatable team, I don’t know. But I do know this, it shouldn’t be a surprise PC lost at DePaul without both of those players, really.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Chargers face funny backlash on Twitter after releasing new Los Angeles logo, reportedly plan to hire Anthony Lynn as new coach

01.13.17 at 8:08 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NBA: Boston at Atlanta, 8 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Detroit at Utah, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: Detroit at Oakland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Toledo at Central Michigan, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rider at Manhattan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Women’s college basketball: St. John’s at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)


— The Chargers are officially moving from San Diego to Los Angeles and unveiled a new team logo Thursday in their rebranding of the franchise. The reaction on Twitter to the design was swift and unforgiving.  

Other sports teams even got in on the jokes:  

Then the Chargers clarified this new logo will not be on uniforms.


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Read More: San Diego Chargers,

SB Nation writer claims Patriots have a ‘Trump problem’

01.13.17 at 12:09 am ET
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SB Nation— The Clinton-Kaine signs were still up on the afternoon of December 24, sagging in the snow like tombstones of hope. They flashed by the windows as I drove through my hometown of Lincoln, Massachusetts, where 77.7 percent of residents voted for Hillary Clinton. Hanging off porches behind some of the Clinton signs were New England Patriots flags.

For over a decade now, people outside of New England have reviled the Patriots for turning winning into a science and, many believe, cheating to do so. Pats fans doubled-down in response, and a fierce loyalty took root in Massachusetts that, through the sagas of Spygate and Deflategate, seemed unshakeable.

But recently, that blind faith has faced its greatest test in the form of the team’s connection to Republican president-elect Donald Trump.

The trouble began when Patriots reporters spotted Brady with a Make America Great Again hat in his locker in Foxboro in the fall of 2015 (feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?), soon after Trump announced his candidacy and called Mexicans rapists in the same speech. Over the past year and a half, the team’s ties to Trump have only grown stronger.

I was at a neighborhood holiday party in Lincoln a few days before Christmas, talking to the parents of several friends I grew up with. They asked about my job, so the conversation turned to sports. And then, naturally, to the Patriots. And then, naturally, to Trump.

“Oh, Susan Pease won’t even watch anymore,” one of my friend’s moms said. “She used to watch every Sunday with her family, and now she just can’t do it.”

I called Pease a few days later to ask her if this was true.

“Yeah, I just will not watch,” she said. “I really enjoy watching the game with my family. I like what it means for my family to sit down and talk and laugh and watch and snack and now … I just, it’s just ruined for me. It’s not the worst thing about this, of course — this whole thing stems from my tremendous disappointment over this election and country. But it will forever color my opinion of the team. I will not watch, I will not buy any more jerseys. I’m done.”

Over the course of reporting this story, I’ve received countless emails and Facebook messages from people in Massachusetts telling me how disappointed they are in their team. Writing those letters almost seemed like catharsis for many: Several ended with sentiments along the lines of “it feels so good to get this off my chest,” and “I’ve been thinking about this so much.”

Some of these notes I got were filled with anger. People wrote things like “fuck Brady,” and “I used to think Belichick was a genius and now I hate him,” and “I actually take delight when they lose.” Pease isn’t alone — at least six other people told me they can’t bear to watch Pats games anymore, either. A few told me that they were looking for a reason to give football up already because they find the NFL immoral and what it does to men’s bodies indefensible. Trump was the final straw that eliminated any feelings of loyalty.

Is Wilder trying to argue Patriots fans have stopped watching games or denounced the team because it has a connection to Trump? If so, she uses this to make her case: at least SIX people said they stopped watching games, PLUS Susan Pease, so that’s at least seven. 

Also, she doesn’t mention any of the names of these six people who contacted her about not watching the games. So her sources are unconvincing.   

If you’ve talked to so many people, why not include that in the story and maybe name some of them?
Her argument is weak also because, as Kirk Minihane mentioned, she has no substantial proof to back up her claims the Patriots have a Trump problem.

Wilder says the problem is here: It’s hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump anymore. The connection reverberates far beyond the place I grew up.

OK, so what are some of those conversations that reverberate far beyond Massachusetts?

Because from what I’ve seen it is not hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump. It’s actually pretty easy. I have heard and been a part of many, many, many conversations about the Patriots that have nothing to do with Trump. I hadn’t heard any conversations about the Patriots and Trump for a while until this thing was published.

No matter how anyone feels about the team or the president-elect, the two have become as woven into each other’s histories as Trump’s hair is to his head. The difference is that while the rest of the country doesn’t really have a stake in this connection, Patriots fans in liberal Massachusetts who find Trump abhorrent have to grapple with the emotional implications.

This is how Wilder concludes her piece. Are Patriots fans grappling with emotions because some people involved with their favorite football team support Trump? Not at all from what I have seen. And when I think of the history of the Patriots, one of the last things I think of is Donald Trump. And the history of Donald Trump is going to be full of a lot more important things than his connection to the Patriots. This is a little dramatic.

What are we supposed to take away from this? I honestly have no idea. If she had named a few sources or cited some data showing this is a real problem and people have stopped watching games or supporting the team, then she might have a story here. But this is pretty weak.

Petition to ban Joe Buck, Troy Aikman from calling Packers games has almost 24,000 signatures

01.12.17 at 2:25 pm ET
By   |   Comments–Get Troy Aikman and Joe Buck banned from announcing Green Bay Packer’s games

Andrew Dorff, Brookfield, WI

This is a petition to get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman banned from announcing/commentating on the Green Bay Packers. 

On behalf of the Green Bay Packers fans across the world, we would like action taken to prohibit them from giving their constant negative input about our team. We are sick of the biased announcing always coming from them.

Letter to

Roger Goodell
FOX News
FOX Broadcasting Company

Yeah, this will definitely work. Petitions like this always do.

And Roger Goodell definitely cares. I’m not sure this is even his jurisdiction.

But I like this guy’s succinct explanation for this matter of great importance to his life.

My favorite part of petitions like this is the “Reasons for signing” section. The option to give your reason was made for petitions like this.

Here are some of them:

“They’re biased and annoying to hear. Joe buck needs a new face. Troy needs to keep it to 2 beers before games.”

“I hate Bucket”

“Troy is a biased punk and Joe is annoying”

“Cause I don’t need Boy Aiken and Blow Shmuck drooling over the Cowgirls for 4 hours….Geeeezzzz”

“They are bias and borring to listen”

“You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. Joe and Troy try to say all the right things but their anti-Packer feelings still bleed through. Sometimes it’s not what they say it’s what they don’t say.”

“I woudl liek ot see Joe Buchk and Aikman not only banned from this game – but banned from announcing all games, in any sport, forever and ever. Amen”

And on and on and on it goes.

Good luck to Andrew Dorff. If enough people agree with him, absolutely nothing will happen.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Chargers players react to plan to move team to Los Angeles; Tim Tebow not invited to Mets major league camp

01.12.17 at 8:28 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.

NHL: Boston at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Montreal at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Indiana at Denver, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA: Chicago at New York, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Detroit at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Belmont at Morehead State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at URI, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona State at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Austin Peay at SIUE, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Rutgers, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: SMU at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Washington at California, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Portland, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UCLA at Colorado, 11 p.m. (FS1)


— The Chargers organization is expected to announce as early as Thursday the team will move from San Diego to Los Angeles.

The Chargers notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league owners of their plans to move the team for the 2017 season but nothing is set in stone. The team’s chairman has not yet sent a formal relocation letter to the NFL nor notified members of the Chargers organization or public officials in San Diego or Los Angeles.

“At first, I hoped it was fake news,” said former Charger Dan Fouts. “It’s something that is unfathomable, but it is reality.”

The organization has reportedly scheduled a staff meeting for 11 a.m. on Thursday but the topic of the meeting is unknown.

Chargers players reacted on Twitter with a lot of emojis:


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Read More: San Diego Chargers, Tim Tebow,

Would you pay $50 for a selfie with Johnny Manziel?

01.11.17 at 10:34 am ET
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ProFootballTalk — If you’re going to the Super Bowl next month, start saving your pennies.

Johnny Manziel will be in Houston, too, and he’ll be charging for autographs and pictures.

Manziel will be at two different Stadium Signatures stores, one on Feb. 2 and one on Feb. 3, to greet fans. Per the Stadium Signatures Facebook page, selfies will cost $50. Manziel will sign any item for $99, and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and Browns 2014 first-round pick will personally inscribe those items for an extra $29.

Manziel’s quest to be relevant again continues.

There are absolutely people who will pay for this and good for Manziel and his people for realizing this and taking advantage of his Texas connection to the Super Bowl.

I’m sure he will use this money to turn his life around.


Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy compares Roger Goodell going to Foxboro with Hitler visiting Israel

01.11.17 at 9:25 am ET
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The question of if Roger Goodell will come to Foxboro has been a hot topic. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

The question of if Roger Goodell will come to Foxboro has been a hot topic. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

El Presidente’s stance is pretty clear.

After being the topic of conversation over the last 24 hours for the insinuation that he would wish bodily harm on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy went on the Kirk & Callahan Show Wednesday to clarify his stance (listen to the interview here).

“I would like him to come [to Gillette Stadium],” Portnoy said. “If somebody tripped him, he fell down and he broke his arm, I would laugh. I’m glad that happened. I would not be the tripper. I do not condone murder. I do condone spitting on him. I think you can spit on him fairly.”

Portnoy also explained he can understand Goodell’s hesitation to come to Foxboro considering the commish’s status in New England.

“It should be risky and I don’t think it’s because of anything I said or what anybody else has said. It’s because what that jerk has done,” Portnoy said. “You make your bed and you sleep in it. We’re responding to him. That’s like Hitler killed a bazzalion Jews and he goes to Israel and they thought it would be a great spot for him.”

So will Goodell show up? Portnoy said you shouldn’t be holding your breath.

“No chance,” he stated. “Not maybe ever. Maybe in like 20 years, but not now.”

To read more on why Goodell might not get near the Patriots, read John Tomase’s column by click here.

When is the next time Roger Goodell shows his face in Foxboro?

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Duke’s Grayson Allen shoves FSU assistant, appears to not have learned lesson

01.11.17 at 8:27 am ET
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Sports IllustratedDuke guard Grayson Allen shoved a Florida State assistant coach as he was falling into the bench chasing a loose ball during Duke’s 88–72 loss to the Seminoles on Tuesday.

The game was Allen’s third since serving a one-game suspension for tripping an opponent.

Late in the game with Florida State leading by 14, Allen is chasing a loose ball near the Florida State bench and saves the ball before it goes out of bounds. As he is mid-air and about to fall into the Florida State bench, Allen shoves Florida State assistant Dennis Gates with two hands.

Both Allen and Gates fell to the floor. Allen left the game minutes later with a head injury and did not return, finishing with nine points, five assists and three rebounds.

It appears as no one was asked about the incident after the game, but Duke interim head coach Jeff Capel said Allen did not appear to be affected by Florida State’s crowd.

“I don’t think what other people say, chant or do wears on him that much,” Capel said. “The kid has been through a lot — he brought a lot of it on himself, but some of the things that have happened are just crazy.”

Boy, this kid just won’t quit.

Seems like his “indefinite suspension” that lasted just one game wasn’t enough to wake him up and stop being a brat.

But here we go again. Allen is back at it, this time shoving an innocent assistant coach.

And how about Capel saying Allen has “been through a lot”?

He has not been through a lot and is not a victim and has obviously not learned his lesson here. Capel should not be defending Allen, he should be benching him.