Category Archives: Sports

FSU, SEC top preseason coaches’ poll

Unlike in years past, the Amway (nee USA Today) coaches’ poll will have no bearing, outside of possibly influencing the members of the College Football Playoff selection committee, on college football’s postseason. In fact, it’s turned into nothing more than what the Associated Press‘ version has been for years: an exercise to give the fans something to argue and/or whine about in between/before the start of games.

With that in mind… the first coaches’ poll of the year is here!!!

In the first-ever Amway coaches’ poll, and as expected, defending champion Florida State will enter the 2014 season ranked No. 1. FSU was tapped first on 56 of the 62 coaches ballots.

Others receiving first-place votes were Oklahoma with three while Oregon, Ohio State and South Carolina took one each. Interestingly, the No. 2 team wasn’t among them as Alabama, 88 points behind the Seminoles, wasn’t deemed worthy of a first-place nod, at least as of yet.

The Sooners and Ducks were right behind the Tide at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, with the Buckeyes at No. 6 and Gamecocks at No. 9. The remainder of the Top 10 consists of BCS runner-up Auburn (No. 5), UCLA (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 8) and Baylor (No. 10).

Conference-wise, and just as expected, the SEC led all leagues with seven teams in the Top 25. The were followed by the Pac-12’s six, four each from the Big Ten and Big 12 and three each from the ACC. There were no non-Power Five conference teams in the initial mix, with Notre Dame and its ACC affiliation claiming the remaining spot.

Below are the full poll results. Below that you bitch, whine or moan about your team’s placement in the comments section.

1. Florida State (56 first place votes)
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma (3)
4. Oregon (1)
5. Auburn
6. Ohio State (1)
7. UCLA
8. Michigan State
9. South Carolina (1)
10. Baylor
11. Stanford
12. Georgia
13. LSU
14. Wisconsin
15. USC
16. Clemson
17. Notre Dame
18. Arizona State
19. Ole Miss
20. Texas A&M
21. Kansas State
22. Nebraska
23. North Carolina
24. Texas
25. Washington

Report: Dez Bryant ‘visibly upset’ after Tyron Smith extension

Dez Bryant is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Dallas Cowboys, and he is hoping he does not have to play it out. While Bryant has been vocal about wanting a new deal, nothing is imminent. At the moment, it appears the Cowboys have focused most of their money on offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

Smith signed a remarkable eight-year extension with Dallas on Wednesday that is reportedly worth around $110 million. He had two years remaining on his current deal, so the new contract will keep the 23-year-old with the Cowboys through 2023. Was Dez bothered by that?

 

Bryant has been one of the best receivers in the league for the past three seasons, so you can understand why he feels slighted. He has averaged 10 touchdowns per year during his young career, which typically is plenty to get a receiver paid. However, some off-field concerns may help explain why the Cowboys appear to be dragging their heels.

While Ian Rapoport reports that Smith’s extension makes it “nearly impossible” for the team to hammer out a new contract with Bryant, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones insists the goal is to keep both in Dallas for life.

“We’re totally committed to make Dez a Cowboy for life,” Jones told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram earlier this week. “Our plans from Day 1 … figure a way to get Dez and Tryon extended.

I highly doubt the Cowboys let Bryant leave, but anything can happen in the NFL. Bryant could tear an ACL this season and his value would instantly decrease. You can’t blame him for wanting to get paid ASAP.

But you also have to figure the Cowboys are working on the numbers for Bryant too. I would think the Cowboys’ nation is holding their breath that Dez doesn’t have a temper tantrum over this.

Rangers’ retirement gifts for Derek Jeter: Yankees cowboy boots, signed George W. Bush photo

Derek Jeter‘s farewell tour continued Wednesday evening in Arlington, Texas …

 

 

And that’s a picture of Jeter and George W. Bush from the 2001 World Series, signed and presented by the former president himself. Those shots come courtesy of Mark Feinsand from the New York Daily News.

Jeter also received a $10,000 check from the Rangers for his Turn 2 Foundation, which helps at-risk youths.

60 New Zealand Retirement Community Residents Perform an Uplifting Remake of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Music Video


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60 talented residents of the Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch, New Zealand came together to perform a fantastic remake of the music video for the hit song “Happy” by Pharrell. Their uplifting rendition of the music video is appropriately titled “80-odd Years of Happy.”

Here is the original music video:

Rangers made defensive error straight out of Three Stooges (Video)

The Texas Rangers took embarrassing to a whole new level on Tuesday night with this defensive blunder committed against the New York Yankees.

The Rangers were down 7-4 with two outs in the top of the sixth inning when Brett Gardner hit a fly ball to right center. Alex Rios was coming over from right and thought he had it, while center fielder Leonys Martin was also tracking the ball and close to it. The ball went off Rios’ glove and caromed off Martin’s head and fell for a 3-base error for Gardner.

What happened there? Rios definitely had the ball tracked but seemed to get hesitant at the last second, likely because he sensed Martin was there. Martin said after the game he could not hear Rios calling for the ball, which resulted in them converging on the ball at the same time.

It’s one thing to have outfielders unable to make the play on a ball in the gap, but it’s another when the ball deflects off a glove and knocks a teammate in the noggin just like a “Three Stoges” skit. It’s just been that kind of season for the Rangers.

0HSUahJ

 

Report: Three more Longhorns could face a suspension

When four players were dismissed from the Texas Longhorns program last week, there was speculation more players would follow. Three more players have been identified by HornsDigest.com’s Chip Brown as being at risk.

Wide receiver Daje Johnson and offensive tackles Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle all face suspension, according to Brown. The trio are apparently down to their “last strike” with the program.

It should be pointed out that Texas has not announced anything and these three players may simply be facing internal pressure to conform with head coach Charlie Strong’s new approach.

If we do take a moment to consider the possibility of any of these players being suspended, it would be a major blow to the Longhorns’ offense.

Harrison and Estelle are projected to the team’s starting bookends at offensive tackle. The Longhorns lack experience behind their starters and protecting quarterback David Ash with a pair of neophyte offensive tackles could prove to be disastrous. Kent Perkins, who is projected to start at guard, would likely be asked to move back to right tackle, while sophomore Camrhon Hughes would be thrust into the starting lineup.

At wide receiver, Johnson has shown the potential to be a dynamic play maker. While it may be difficult to replicate what Johnson can do within the offense, it could eventually prove to be an opportunity for a young receiver — whether it’s Jacorey Warrick, Jake Oliver or one of five incoming freshmen — to earn playing time and possibly produce.

It wouldn’t be surprising with Strong’s recent track record to find out that one or all of these players are eventually suspended, but we wanted to stress the fact that it hasn’t happened or hasn’t been announced at this time.

DeMarcus Lawrence carted off from Cowboys practice

An historically bad Cowboys defense won’t get any better in 2014 if its players can’t stay healthy.  While no injury this year can be as bad for the effort as the one suffered in the offseason by middle linebacker Sean Lee, each and every additional injury makes it harder for the Cowboys to turn things around.

The latest injury happened at practice on Tuesday night, with rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence exiting practice via cart ride, per multiple reports.  Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says it could be an ankle injury.

Whatever the specific injury, it’s not a good development for a team that had an embarrassingly bad defense in 2013.

Lawrence, the 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft, is expected to help fill the void created by the release of DeMarcus Ware, a rare bright spot who was dumped due to concerns that his salary is to high — and who then got more money this year from the Broncos.

A Drone’s Eye View of the Buildings and Artwork of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles photographer Ian Wood flew a quadcopter outfitted with a GoPro through Downtown Los Angeles to find some beauty in the more visually stunning buildings and artworks of the area, including the Arts District and Chinatown.

Above the grit and noise of the street, downtown Los Angeles quietly provides some of the most amazing visual detail in its buildings and public art works. This is a selection of those buildings and public arts filmed across some 50 different locations in the immediate downtown area and the arts district. There are many many more locations that are not included and are equally if not more impressive.

Disciplinary actions at Texas are helping recruiting

Charlie Strong had many challenges facing him when he took over as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. The biggest of which was relating to high school coaches in the state of Texas after they became accustomed to the ways of Mack Brown over the past 16 years.

Strong’s recent disciplinary action — he suspended or dismissed six players last week, including two potential starters — wasn’t seen as a negative around the state. Strong is establishing a new culture in Texas, and high school coaches are taking notice.

“The high school coaches I’ve spoken with say they want to send players to a place where is sound discipline,” Daron Roberts, a Texas graduate who will coach at the high school level this season, told Bleacher Report’s Ben Kercheval. “Everyone knows that Strong means what he says.”

The high school coaches don’t just want their athletes to play for the University of Texas. They want them to become better men under the supervision of Strong.

“We’re in the development business,” Todd Moebes, the head football coach at Abilene Cooper High School, told Kercheval. “We want to make our players better citizens in society, but you also have to look at how that affects the program. I admire him.”

Strong is quickly setting the tone within his program and changing expectations around the state. And it’s working.

Texas currently ranks 20th overall in Rivals.com’s 2015 class rankings. The program didn’t rank in the Top 20 during Brown’s last full recruiting cycle. The team finished 24th. And the Longhorns received a pair of verbal commitments from wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) and defensive lineman Du’Vonta Lampkin (Houston/Cypress Falls) since the suspensions.

It will take time for Strong and his staff to fully ingratiate themselves into recruiting the state of Texas, but the coach has certainly set the right tone early in his tenure.

Report: Raiders could move to San Antonio

Raiders owner Mark Davis doesn’t make threats.  He makes plans.

With the Raiders on a one-year lease at O.co Coliseum and with the A’s possibly getting a 10-year lease that would complicate efforts to tear the Cow (Pie) Palace down and build a new venue on the same site, Davis is exploring options in a state that already has a pair of NFL teams.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Davis and a pair of “top lieutenants” recently met with San Antonio officials to talk about a move of the Raiders.

Per the report, the meeting began on July 18, with Davis and company touring the Alamodome and other locations during a two-to-three day visit.

If a move happens, the Alamodome likely would be the temporary home until a new stadium is built.

Davis reportedly wants “a small, intimate” stadium in front of which he can place a statue of his father, the late Al Davis.

“We don’t have any information about it, so there is no reason for us to comment,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Express-News on Tuesday. “We have received no applications from any of our teams to relocate at this point, so there is nothing for us to respond to.”

The window for filing an application to relocate opens after the season, and it’s possible that Davis will make an application to move somewhere/anywhere absent a tangible plan to build a new home for the Raiders in the Bay Area.