Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Alex Ovechkin is ready.

The Washington Capitals‘ superstar winger scored a pair of goals in Monday’s first-round series win over Columbus, and the Metropolitan Division winners are once again set to meet Pittsburgh in Round 2 as a result.

Even after being eliminated in each of the past two postseasons by the Penguins, Ovechkin is embracing the challenge.

“I can’t wait,” he said, per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. “It’s a huge opportunity for us to take a step forward.”

Ovechkin has, of course, been key to the Capitals’ success to date, recording five goals and three assists in six games against the Blue Jackets.

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A candidate to be selected No. 1 overall in the draft on Thursday, Baker Mayfield seems to have made a negative impact in his pre-draft interview with the Los Angeles Chargers, who own the No. 17 selection.

Mayfield admitted last week to a lack of preparation for the interview, saying, “I didn’t look at (the Chargers) playbook as much as I should have. It could have gone a little bit better … but at the same time, I’m prioritizing which playbooks I’m going to learn. No offense to them, but I’ve got a lot on my plate,” according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco got his chance to respond on Monday, and he’s apparently not letting Mayfield off the hook for his busy schedule.

“I’m probably not prepared to comment on that. My plate’s pretty full. No offense, Dan,” Telesco told Woike.

It remains to be seen how the Cleveland BrownsNew York GiantsNew York Jets, or the other QB-hungry teams picking at the top of the draft feel about Mayfield’s treatment of the Chargers.

Randy Carlyle’s job is apparently safe for now.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray made it clear Saturday during his exit interview that his head coach will return next season, but said he’s also looking to make changes to the team’s style of play, according to Mike Coppinger of The Los Angeles Times.

Carlyle guided the Ducks to the playoffs for the second time in as many seasons since returning behind the Anaheim bench before the 2016-17 campaign, but his club was swept out of the first round by the San Jose Sharkson Wednesday night.

The Ducks made it to the Western Conference final in Carlyle’s first season back in Orange County before losing to the Nashville Predators.

Carlyle is under contract through 2018-19, according to CapFriendly.

He also coached the team from 2006-07 to 2011-12.

Former NFL Pro Bowler Greg Hardy will make his professional fighting debut on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Nolan King of MMA Today reports.

Hardy will appear on the June 12 episode of the show where he’s expected to fight Brandon Sayles, a former Army veteran with a 5-1 record.

All fighters on the series are contenders to earn a contract with the UFC.

Hardy last appeared in the NFL in 2015 and has since been competing in mixed martial arts at amateur levels. He has finished all three of his fights via knockout, ending his most recent bout in 14 seconds.

Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats in 2014 and drew a 10-game suspension from the NFL. Domestic violence charges against him were dismissed in February 2015.

The Minnesota Wild‘s season was prematurely put to bed, and the team’s owner isn’t enjoying the afterglow.

Craig Leipold offered an adult-themed analogy when asked Monday to follow up on a comment that his team hasn’t been good enough.

“I just don’t see us with this team getting to the (Stanley Cup Final),” Leipold told reporters, including The Athletic’s Chad Graff, as he addressed the decision to not renew general manager Chuck Fletcher’s contract. “I think we’re a good team but not good enough right now.”

A reporter then asked what “good enough” looks like, to which Leipold replied, “It’s like pornography. You know it when you see it.”

The Wild have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last six campaigns, but lost in the opening round in the last three and failed to advance past the second round during Fletcher’s nine-season tenure.

There’s a joke in there about going unfulfilled, but we’re not going to make it.

Throughout his over 40 years of being in the pro wrestling business, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has seen thousands of names make an indelible mark, as well as the same amount flounder and never make a successful career out of it. Throughout the infancy of Raw, and lasting nearly 15 years, J.R. was instrumental in adding a much-needed emotional element in matches that not only assisted with the storyline and kept the fan interest, but also successfully win the Monday Night War against their WCW rival. In addition, J.R. has called numerous memorable WrestleMania matches, adding an extra level of fondness to them.

Despite all the legendary names who J.R. has seen debut, there is one on the top of that list. That person is Ronda Rousey.

During a recent interview with MMAJunkie Radio, Ross elaborated on his thoughts of Rousey’s pro wrestling debut at WrestleMania.

“I thought that Ronda’s debut was the most impactful pro wrestling debut that I have seen in my 40-plus year career. If you look at her skill set, experience-wise, from this genre in pro wrestling, it was almost non-existent,” said Ross. “But she had so much pressure on her. The hype was amazing. The expectations were mixed. Some die-hard wrestling fans don’t even like her being there, which is absolutely insane. They are [sic] and goofy, no doubt about that. So, I was absolutely blown away by what she did and how she executed. She looked like an athlete; we knew she is an athlete. She’s a winner.”

J.R. also had a message for those who use Rousey’s two straight UFC losses as leverage to prove a point.

“Now look, some say, well, she lost her last two fights. Kiss my a**,” said Ross. “How’s that? C’mon. She won a lot of fights, guys. You know what I mean? She’s a winner. She goes to the Olympics and medals. She’s a winner. So I knew that she was not going to drop the ball.”

Despite the circumstances and criticisms, Ross felt that Rousey was very impressive at WrestleMania 34, and handled the pressure of having over 70 thousand fans at the stadium, and millions more at home, watch her compete in a WWE ring for the very first time.

“It’s WrestleMania, guys. If you’re an MMA fan, then you say, ‘Well, what does it matter? It’s still pro wrestling.’ There was almost 80,000 people there,” Ross said. “She had so much pressure at this massive event, it would’ve been very easy for her to slip the bit and not have a great outing. If she continues to train as diligently and as ferociously as she has been, the sky’s the limit for her. She can be really, really good.”

Source: MMA Junkie

Two cheerleaders who have recently filed discrimination lawsuits against the NFL say they would settle the case for $1 in exchange for a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.

The offer comes from the representative for former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware, and was delivered to NFL attorney Steven Hurd on Tuesday, ESPN reports.

Davis accused the Saints of firing her for policy violations she has disputed and having separate rules for their male players and female cheerleaders. Ware filed a complaint in April claiming she was discriminated over her gender and religion.

Both would settle for a “good faith” meeting between Goodell and four cheerleaders. They’ve given the NFL a May 4 deadline for a response.

“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit that there is anything wrong, but if they do want and expect that cheerleaders should have a fair working environment, as they have stated, then it doesn’t make any common sense why the answer would be no,” lawyer Sara Blackwell told the New York Times.

A number of current and former cheerleaders have recently spoken out about the dangers and unhealthy environments of the job.

The claimants are also seeking for the NFL to institute rules and regulations for all NFL teams.