Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

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According to sources speaking to PW Insider, Kurt Angle is said to be somewhat underwhelmed with WWE’s choice of opponent for his WrestleMania 35 retirement match. The Olympic Hero ‘named’ deposed Raw General Manager Baron Corbin as his end-of-career boss on this past Monday’s episode of Raw, though murmurings emerging from the dressing room suggest he was hoping for someone more high-profile.

At this stage – and despite Kurt’s wife making a since-deleted ‘fourth-wall breaking’ social media post lamenting the choice – it’s understood that Corbin has not been named as misdirection leading into a better opponent, and that the match named is the one expected to go ahead come 7 April.

Further muddying the picture is that WWE have gave their scriptwriters permission to mention dissatisfaction amongst their audience with the pairing as part of their coverage. Obviously, we’re still two weeks out from WrestleMania and the card is always subject to change, but for now, it’s looking like the End of Days for Angle’s end of days.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft won’t accept a plea deal being offered by Florida prosecutors, a source told CNN’s Kevin Conlon and Jason Carroll, as relayed by Jake Tapper.

The deal would require Kraft to admit he’d be proven guilty in court for soliciting prostitution at a day spa that’s tied to an international human trafficking ring.

The proposal would also require Kraft to do 100 hours of community service and complete a course about prostitution, among other things.

Kraft’s attorneys filed a joint protective order Wednesday along with the other 24 men being charged in an attempt to prevent the release of investigation evidence including video surveillance footage from inside the day spa.

The Patriots owner has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were revealed in late February.

The 77-year-old Kraft’s arraignment is currently set for March 28.

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Since falling to Ronda Rousey at WWE Evolution, Nikki Bella has taken some time off from the ring to work on a variety of other projects.

Nikki hit the red carpet recently where she spoke with Reel Talker about now being part of the entertainment industry and her reaction to Daniel Bryan’s heel turn and new title.

“I love it because there is so much truth to it,” Nikki said of the new Daniel Bryan. “When a character has the foundation of truth of who you are, there is just so much passion and you get invested in the passion and get connected to it. Everything Bryan is saying is how he truly feels. Him changing the title, like what a heel thing to do. It’s hilarious.”

The Bellas don’t always get the credit they deserve for their contributions to the women’s revolution. But Nikki says she still feels proud at the levels that women’s wrestlers have reached and that helps validate the work that she put in.

“It’s like being a proud mom,” Nikki said of the current state of the women’s revolution. “You just watch with such pride and that’s what it makes me feel. All my hard work there meant something and made a change, and continues to make a change.”

Much like her ex, John Cena, Nikki continues to transition over into Hollywood and just being on red carpets like the one she was on gives her a dignified feeling that isn’t always there in a wrestling ring.

“I grew up being in love with the Hollywood starlets. Crossing over more to this world and doing this glam stuff, it gives me this Marilyn Monroe feel. It kinda makes me a little soft and I like it, gives me this grace,” stated Nikki.

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Doc Rivers has put to bed any questions surrounding an offseason departure from the Los Angeles Clippers, telling reporters he and team owner Steve Ballmer have agreed to a contract extension.

“This is a great place to work,” Rivers said, via the L.A. Times’ Dan Woike.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers and Ballmer agreed to a shorter extension last summer that included an opt-out after this season. However, Rivers said Tuesday that’s been replaced with a long-term deal.

“This coach has chosen to stay where he’s at and he’s very happy about that,” Rivers added, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

Questions about Rivers’ future arose after a weekend report from veteran NBA journalist Peter Vecsey asserted Rivers had an “ardent ambition” to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. Current Lakers coach Luke Walton is widely rumored to be a candidate for termination after the season.

Rivers has coached the Clippers since 2013, compiling an 887-654 record going into Tuesday. He also served as president of basketball operations for three seasons before ceding those duties to Lawrence Frank in 2017.

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The Los Angeles Rams have signed former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to a two-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

Matthews, who spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Packers, can make up to $16.75 million on his new deal, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports.

The 32-year-old celebrated the move on Twitter.

Matthews is a six-time Pro Bowler and was the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year runner-up. He leaves Green Bay ranking first in franchise history in sacks (83.5) and tackles for a loss (121), and second in forced fumbles (15). He recorded 10-plus sacks in four of his seasons with the Packers.

The USC product joins a Rams defense that’s lost safety Lamarcus Joyner and linebacker Mark Barron during free agency, with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also possibly set to depart. Matthews is the second major addition to the Rams’ defense this offseason after the team acquired safety Eric Weddle last week.

Matthews, a Los Angeles native, accumulated 43 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and one forced fumble during the 2018 campaign.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar on Wednesday, becoming the first NFL team to employ two full-time female coaches.

Locust will be joining the team as an assistant defensive line coach while Javadifar will be the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” said Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians in a statement. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.

“I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game. I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”

Locust most recently served as the defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football. Last year, she spent time with the Baltimore Ravens as a defensive coaching intern. She began her coaching career after playing for four years in a women’s semi-professional league.

Javadifar last worked as a physical therapist. She also played basketball at Pace University in New York.

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The presence of Ben Roethlisberger on the Pittsburgh Steelers contributed to Le’Veon Bell‘s desire to leave when the opportunity presented itself.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas, the New York Jets‘ new running back admitted “it was a factor.” He added he wished he shared a “more open, more genuine, more real” partnership with his former quarterback.

“The organization wants to win. (Coach Mike) Tomlin wants to win,” he said. “Ben wants to win – but Ben wants to win his way, and that’s tough to play with. Ben won a Super Bowl, but he won when he was younger. Now he’s at this stage where he tries to control everything, and (the team) let him get there. So if I’m mad at a player and I’m not throwing him the ball – if I’m not throwing (Antonio Brown) the ball and I’m giving JuJu (Smith-Schuster) all the shine or Jesse (James) or Vance (McDonald) or whoever it is, and you know consciously you’re making your other receiver mad but you don’t care – it’s hard to win that way.”

Bell sat out the entire 2018 season amid an extended contract dispute. The 27-year-old watched from home as the relationship between Roethlisberger and Brown, one of the top quarterback-receiver tandems in the league, deteriorated.

Brown threw a football at Roethlisberger during practice in Week 17 as their simmering feud reached a boil. The star wideout later accused Roethlisberger of carrying himself with an “owner’s mentality” and lacking accountability.

“When I was there, there were no major problems like that, maybe little things like being on Facebook (in the locker room), being uncomfortable,” Bell said. “I know Ben and AB personally. I know how personalities can get. I can see where things went wrong. A lot of things AB said, it had a lot of truth to it. I’ve had some of those interactions. I don’t react like AB does. AB isn’t the only bad guy in the situation. Ben isn’t the only bad guy, either. It’s not just one person. It ain’t just me. It’s everybody.”

The trio of Bell, Brown, and Ben were known as the “Killer B’s” in Pittsburgh. Despite each player’s individual success with the Steelers, the group never got to a Super Bowl together.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.5-million deal with the Jets in free agency after five seasons with the Steelers.