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Man gets butt tattoo to commemorate Falcons’ blown lead against Patriots in Super Bowl LI 03.15.17 at 1:30 pm ET
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Last month, a Patriots fan made headlines when he got Tom Brady’s face tattooed on his butt to commemorate the team’s historic comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Though that’s an odd spot to put some ink, the sentiment is understandable.

The same can’t be said for an Instagram user named ““orrazib_,” who recently got a tattoo on his tush of a Fox chyron that shows the Falcons leading the Patriots 28-3 in the third quarter.

In an interview with SB Nation, the man says he went forward with the tattoo so he could stick it to Patriots fans. Huh?

“I just live in Connecticut and cant stand these Pats fans so when i tell them to kiss my ass they will be reminded that they were gettin blownout !,” he said.

That’s all well and good, but he knows the Patriots wound up winning the game, right? Also, if he wants to make the ink visible to all, the buttocks may not be the best place.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI,
UMass responds to lawsuit, denies men’s basketball staff members intimidated woman 03.14.17 at 3:31 pm ET
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A woman is suing the University of Massachusetts, because she says members of the men’s basketball coaching staff intimidated her in an attempt to keep her from leaking potentially damaging information about the program. The school responded to those allegations Tuesday.

In a statement, athletic director Ryan Bamford says the school became aware of the alleged incident in December and hired an outside investigator to look into it. According to Bamford, the investigator didn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing.

AyAnna Hickman, who used to date assistant coach and former UMass player Lou Roe, says he and two other staff members prevented her from leaving his office one night in December 2013. The lawsuit states Roe had told her about the use of banned substances by players and domestic violence committed by some coaches against their family members. It also says recently fired head coach Derek Kellogg covered up the episode.

UMass confirmed to WEEI.com Monday it’s aware of the lawsuit. The University also said Kellogg’s dismissal was unrelated to the case. Roe is currently on administrative leave.

Hickman is suing for $75,000 in damages and wants a jury trial.

Read More: UMass,
There’s nothing endearing about LaVar Ball’s greed and delusion 03.14.17 at 1:54 pm ET
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Laval Ball (right), says he wants to secure a $1 billion shoe contract for his sons. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

LaVar Ball (right), says he wants to secure a $1 billion shoe contract for his sons. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament starting this week, expect to start hearing a lot about UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball. The standout freshman is pegged for NBA superstardom, and will likely be a top pick in this year’s draft. Since the Celtics control the lowly Nets’ first-round selection, there’s a chance he could wind up in Boston.

If the Celtics draft Ball, that means his delusional and greedy father would likely come here as well. Turner Sports, which broadcasts the tournament, may attempt to soften LaVar Ball’s image over the next three weeks with puff pieces and lighthearted interviews. SB Nation has already started, publishing an article about how Ball is a “good sports dad.”

But don’t let the potentially forthcoming PR blitz fool you: There’s nothing endearing about this shallow, egotistical man.

Ball’s repulsive persona is highlighted in a recent USA Today profile, titled, “LaVar Ball and his boys are here to change the world.” In it, the family’s patriarch brags about buying his boys luxury cars, his plans to secure them a $1 billion shoe contract and an apparently fabricated college football tryout. He sounds like a total jerk.

Perhaps the biggest headline to emanate from the piece is Ball’s desire to ink a $1 billion merchandise deal for his kids. His two other sons, LiAngelo (high school senior) and LaMelo (high school sophomore), are already both committed to UCLA as well. Last month, LaMelo Ball attracted headlines –– and criticism –– for a 92-point performance during one of his high school games.

With that kind of talent talent under his roof, Ball says he’s holding out for one of the biggest shoe contracts in history.

“A billion dollars, it has to be there,” he said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”

That figure would put the Ball boys in line with LeBron James, who inked a deal with Nike last year worth more than $1 billion. While it’s nice to be proud of your kids, calculating their worth in the form of a high-priced shoe contract seems grotesque and exploitive. It sounds like something a less charming Gordon Gekko would say if he were to have children.

But then again, this is the man who buys his boys $100,000 BMWs, because they’re so damn good at basketball.

“To get my boys a little $100,000 car, that’s nothing,’’ he said. “I don’t have to pay for education. I’m saving over $1 million dollars.”

Questionable math aside –– as USA Today points out, Ball would only save around $400,000 if all of his kids went to UCLA for all four years –– this sounds like a man who’s intent on flaunting his alleged wealth. There’s nothing cool about a show-off, especially when he appears to be using his kids as props.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Lonzo Ball,
ESPN’s Max Kellerman: Bill Belichick will retire this season 03.14.17 at 9:18 am ET
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Last year, ESPN’s Max Kellerman predicted Tom Brady would soon “fall off a cliff.” Considering Brady led the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship last season, he couldn’t have been more wrong.

But that doesn’t mean Kellerman is out of the Patriots hot take business –– no, no. The bloviating talking head now says Bill Belichick is getting ready to retire, perhaps as early as this season.

On “First Take” Monday, Kellerman said he thinks Belichick’s impending exit is the reason why the Patriots have been so aggressive in free agency. Last week, the team handed cornerback Stephon Gilmore $40 million guaranteed and traded its first-round pick to the Saints for star wideout Brandin Cooks.

“He knows that Brady’s, and his, days are numbered –– obviously. Since when do the Patriots load up by trading their highest draft picks for players?,” Kellerman asked. “When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present? You know when? Right now. He is getting ready, for his and Tom Brady’s swan song. Now, my belief is, that will be this season. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe his belief is he’s got another two seasons. But the point is, he knows the end is coming. He is absolutely loading up to win a least one more Super Bowl, because at this moment they are so clearly the odds on favorites.”

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed he knows when Belichick is going to hang it up. But unfortunately for Kellerman, Kraft guaranteed it won’t be this year.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
In a lawsuit, woman says UMass basketball staff members intimidated her 03.13.17 at 10:03 am ET
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Former UMass coach Derek Kellogg is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Former UMass coach Derek Kellogg is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

A woman says members of the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball coaching staff intimidated her in an attempt to keep her from leaking potentially detrimental information about the program, according to court documents.

In a civil suit, AyAnna Hickman alleges assistant coach and former UMass great Lou Roe prevented her from leaving his office during an incident in December 2013. The lawsuit states Roe had told Hickman “about the use of banned substances by team members; domestic violence by certain staff members against family members; incidents of infidelity and quashing of potential criminal complaints against unidentified team members.” She says assistant coach Shyrone Chatman and former strength coach Richard Hogans aided Roe in his efforts to trap her. Hickman and Roe used to date each other.

The University confirmed to WEEI.com it’s aware of the lawsuit, but declined further comment. Roe was placed on administrative leave in December and Chatman remains in good standing. Hogans left the program in 2014.

Recently fired head coach Derek Kellogg is named as a defendant, but the University says his dismissal was unrelated to the case. The suit says he “encouraged and participated in a cover-up” of the incident.

Hickman’s attorney, Harry Miles, declined comment when reached by email Sunday night. She’s suing for $75,000 in damages and is seeking a jury trial.

Read More: UMass,
Witness says Aaron Hernandez called repairman when his car ran out of gas 03.10.17 at 3:45 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd’s murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez doesn’t appear to be a car aficionado.

During his double murder trial Friday, the former president of Fox Toyota was called to the witness stand. Jack Fox leased the Toyota 4Runner to Hernandez that authorities say he was driving when he shot and killed Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in the South End in 2012.

During one exchange, Fox was asked about his relationship with the former Patriots tight end. He said he entered a promo agreement with Hernandez, and would regularly service the vehicle free of charge. In exchange, Hernandez would give Fox tickets and other perks.

About three or four weeks into the lease, Fox said Hernandez told him the car wouldn’t start. He went to Hernandez’s house, only to find that the 4Runner didn’t have any gas in it.

The 4Runner has been off the road for over three years, as authorities seized it around the time Hernandez was arrested for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd in June 2013. Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder the following year.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,
Tom Brady’s 2020 presidential election odds are better than Donald Trump’s three years ago 03.10.17 at 1:58 pm ET
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Tom Brady has a better chance to be president than Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady has a better chance to be president than Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Three years ago, Donald Trump’s odds to be elected president were 150/1. Tom Brady’s chances to be sworn into the Oval Office in 2020 are better than that.

According to Bovada, Brady’s chances to be the next President of the United States sit at 125/1. That puts him in line with U.S. senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT). Leonardo DiCaprio, Chelsea Clinton, George Clooney, Kanye West and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have 125/1 odds as well. Johnson is the only person in that group who’s hinted at making a presidential run, telling reporters last year he “wouldn’t rule it out.”

In an interview with GQ in 2015, Brady said he doesn’t have any desire to seek higher office.

“There is a 0.000 chance of me ever wanting to do that,” he said. “I just think that no matter what you’d say or what you’d do, you’d be in a position where –– you know, you’re politicking. You know? Like, I think the great part about what I do is that there’s a scoreboard. At the end of every week, you know how you did. You know how well you prepared. You know whether you executed your game plan. There’s a tangible score.”

While Brady expressed support for Trump during the campaign, he never explicitly revealed his political views. Earlier this year, Brady implied on Kirk & Callahan he might disagree with some of Trump’s policies.

“If you know someone, it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do,” he said. “You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”

Thanks to Trump’s improbable rise, the next presidential race will likely feature some unorthodox candidates. Oprah Winfrey, who Bovada says has 66/1 odds of winning in 2020, signaled last week she might be warming up to the idea of giving it a shot.

Currently, Trump has 9/4 odds at being reelected. The person most likely to unseat him is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s chances of winning are 8/1.

Read More: Donald Trump, Tom Brady,
Stephen A. Smith: Jimmy Garoppolo’s Instagram post wasn’t a hoax 03.10.17 at 12:40 pm ET
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Stephen A. Smith says he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo wants out of New England. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Stephen A. Smith says he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo wants out of New England. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo says his now-deleted Instagram post with a “peace out Boston” captain was a hoax. Stephen A. Smith ain’t buying it.

On ESPN’s First Take Friday, Smith said he thinks Garoppolo knew about the post when it appeared on his account.

“I think it’s indicative of what Garoppolo actually wants to happen. I don’t believe it was a hoax,” he explained. “I think he had everything to do with that post. I don’t care what anybody says.”

While ESPN’s Adam Schefter is adamant the Patriots will keep Garoppolo, trade rumors continue to swirl. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the Browns intend to make a strong run at the highly coveted backup, freshly armed with a 2018 second-round pick they received from the Texans in exchange for taking on Brock Osweiler’s entire salary.

If Garoppolo stays in New England, he’ll almost certainly sit behind Tom Brady in 2017. Though his rookie contract expires at the end of the season, the Patriots can franchise him, keeping Garoppolo under their control for an additional year. Smith said he thinks Garoppolo is anxious to start after spending the first three years of his career on the bench.

“Garoppolo is feeling himself a little bit. He knows that at no time the market is going to be as high as it is appears to be for him right now,” Smith said. “He senses a prime opportunity for himself to land someplace else, be a starting quarterback in the NFL and get some shine. And I think he wants to capitalize on it.”

In a statement Friday, Garoppolo’s agent Don Yee said the quarterback’s Instagram account was hacked. Hours before the cryptic post, Garoppolo took a Snapchat video from the Blackhawks game Thursday night. If he was hacked, perhaps responsibility lies with somebody who was with him.

Regardless, Garoppolo’s future with the Patriots will likely remain a major topic for the foreseeable future. Since there’s no timetable on a trade, the drama could even extend well into training camp.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,
Bill O’Reilly agrees with Mike Francesa about women not being able to coach men’s teams 03.10.17 at 11:41 am ET
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Bill O'Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa's back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Bill O’Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa’s back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

On his radio show last week, WFAN host Mike Francesa said it would be “impossible” for a woman to coach a men’s sports team. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly agrees.

In a segment Thursday with HBO “Real Sports” contributor Bernard Goldberg, O’Reilly defended Francesa’s logic –– though he slightly misconstrued the Sports Pope’s words.

“I don’t disagree that women can coach a men’s basketball team. Twelve players … it could happen. He was talking about baseball and football and I agree with Francesa, it would be almost impossible on a number of different levels for that to happen,” he said.

Francesa wasn’t just talking about baseball and football, however. He made a blanket statement about women coaching all men’s sports teams.

“Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to have to manage 25 men? Or 50 men? Do you know how impossible that would be?,” he asked. “It wouldn’t be tough, it would be impossible. You’re gonna tell me that you would think a woman would walk into an NFL team and coach as a head coach 15 assistants and 50-60 men?”

A caller pressed Francesa on whether he thinks former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, who won eight champions with the Lady Volunteers, could’ve coached men. He said no.

“NBA? No,” he said. “She would have said, ‘I don’t belong there.’ But she could not coach an NBA team, nor would she even wanna try.”

This week, Francesa expounded on his take, saying he thinks it would be a publicity stunt if a men’s team hired a female coach. That’s an asinine statement to make, considering there’s nothing worse for a franchise’s publicity than a losing season. Seemingly no club would sacrifice on-field or on-court success for the sake of a short-term PR boost.

That’s not to say Francesa’s argument doesn’t have a kernel of truth to it. It probably would be difficult for an accomplished female coach to be in charge of a men’s team –– just because of its unprecedented nature. There isn’t a single woman coaching men at the collegiate level, and in the NBA, there are only two female assistants: WNBA great Becky Hammon with the Spurs and two-time Olympian Nancy Lieberman with the Kings. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Women have risen to the highest levels in other male-dominated fields. Why not sports?

Naturally, after briefly addressing Francesa’s claims, O’Reilly and Goldberg turned their attention to a familiar target: the liberal PC police.

“(They) will punish you if you’re not PC enough and that’s what’s happening here,” Goldberg said.

Francesa, who reportedly makes $5 million per year, is almost certainly not being punished. In fact, his ratings have probably increased as a result of this episode.

Read More: Bill O'Reilly, Mike Francesa,
Adam Schefter is staking his reputation on the Patriots keeping Jimmy Garoppolo 03.10.17 at 10:28 am ET
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Adam Schefter (left) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter (light) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter is adamant the Patriots will keep Jimmy Garoppolo. If he’s wrong, it will cost him his reputation.

This all started back in December, when Schefter said on Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first- and fourth-round pick in return for the backup quarterback. That statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley, which resulted in Schefter firing back.

“I can tell you that nobody in New England has ever told me a certain price that they want or are expecting on Jimmy Garoppolo. I can promise you that,” he said on K&C earlier this year. “The New England brass is not using me to get a price out on Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s a fact we can dispel right there. That’s incorrect.”

Then last week, Schefter dropped another bombshell: the Patriots aren’t expected to trade Garoppolo at all. The acclaimed NFL Insider doubled-down on his assertion with OM&F later that day, saying he guaranteed Garoppolo would stay in New England.

It’s not unusual for Schefter, or any journalist, to defend their reporting. But Schefter has gone beyond that in recent days. He’s launched a full-blown PR campaign, bristling at anybody who dares to suggest the Patriots may still make Garoppolo available.

When members of an ESPN NFL panel brought up the topic Thursday, Schefter appeared agitated.

“You guys want to keep talking about this,?” he muttered.

Despite Schefter’s guarantees, there are still murmurs about Garoppolo heading elsewhere. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the Browns intend to make a strong run at Garoppolo, freshly armed with a 2018 second-round pick they received from the Texans in exchange for taking on Brock Osweiler’s entire salary. But on “SportsCenter” Friday morning, Schefter said the Patriots have no intention of trading Garoppolo to Cleveland, even if they were offered several first-round selections.

“The facts are the facts: Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be on the Patriots, but we can continue to talk about [it], he explained. One person there said, ‘If they get four [first-round picks], they wouldn’t trade him.”

That seems a tad hyperbolic, which might be why Schefter didn’t repeat the claim afterwards on K&C. But he channeled his inner-Skip Bayless once again, declaring the Patriots would be destined for futility if Tom Brady were to get hurt and Garoppolo wasn’t on the roster to take his place.

“If they traded Jimmy Garoppolo and something were to happen to Tom Brady next season, the year after, they would be the Cleveland Browns,” he said. “It would the Cleveland Browns. What would they be doing at quarterback? What was it like for that franchise before Tom Brady came along?”

To make matters even more bizarre, while Schefter was making these grand proclamations, Garoppolo’s Instagram account posted a goodbye message to New England. The reported hoax was deleted at 9:30 a.m.

There’s no doubting Schefter’s flawless reputation in NFL circles. According to a Washington Post profile, he often swaps information with teams, exchanging scoops for scoops. But his steadfast denial about the Patriots even entertaining a Garoppolo trade flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and frankly, common sense. Though quarterback is the most important position in sports, it seems unfathomable to suggest the Patriots would never consider trading Garoppolo –– even for multiple first-rounders. Every player is believed to have a price, especially considering Brady played arguably the best football of his career last season. In February, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who used to cover the Patriots for the Boston Herald, reported the team wants to extend Brady’s contract past 2019. Considering Garoppolo’s rookie deal is up after this season, it’s difficult to imagine why the Patriots would want to re-sign Brady if they’re planning on handing the reigns over to him. It’s also hard to see why Garoppolo would want to stay and back up, when he could be a starter elsewhere.

Due to his refusal to cede any ground, Schefter is at odds with many of his colleagues in the NFL media. He better be right, or else his word will no longer take precedent over theirs.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,