Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

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Oakland Raiders fans may not have seen the last of running back Marshawn Lynch in silver and black.

“We’d love to have him back,” head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Gruden added he’s unsure if Lynch plans to continue playing.

Lynch, a native of Oakland, spent the last two seasons with the Raiders after returning from his one-year retirement. However, his 2018 campaign was limited to just six games due to a groin injury.

Turning 33 years old before the 2019 season, Lynch has rushed for 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns, with another 235 yards receiving over 21 games with his hometown team.

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Alexa Bliss will compete inside a WWE ring for the first time since October 2018 this weekend (27 January), having announced her official participation in the second women’s Royal Rumble during last night’s Raw.

The former Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champion broke the news during her new Moment Of Bliss segment. A big brawl featuring some of the match’s other participants broke out before dissipating, and with Alexa left alone on the ramp, she announced she’d be competing.

Lacey Evans would then interrupt and run down the women’s division, though Bliss’ imminent return is the bigger story here.

While Alexa technically took part in a couple of house show matches last October, she took no bumps. This means that her last true match was versus Ronda Rousey at September 2018’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.

Bliss has been slotted into a variety of different non-wrestling roles since then, as her concussion issues refused to clear. Recent weeks brought talk that she’d resumed training at the Performance Center, however, and she has now been cleared to resume her true career.

A welcome addition to the women’s Royal Rumble, and it’ll be great to see Bliss competing again.

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Tony Romo broke the bank as an NFL quarterback, and he may be on the verge of doing the same in the booth.

CBS is prepared to give Romo a substantial raise before his contract expires following next season, sources told Andy Marchand of The New York Post.

Marchand adds that it’s difficult to see how the former quarterback doesn’t become the highest-paid NFL TV analyst.

Romo stole the show during the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, correctly predicting the results of key plays.

His salary currently sits in the $4-million range, and he would be a sought-after free-agent analyst should his contract expire. In the event it does, CBS would have the right to match any offer from another network.

John Madden was the highest-paid NFL analyst in history, earning between $7.5 million-$8 million annually after receiving $8 million from FOX in 1993, according to The Ringer.

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Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick will be making a ninth Super Bowl appearance as a tandem at the helm of the New England Patriots after sneaking past the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

The two future Hall of Famers shared a familiar emotional embrace on the field after the win. Brady says the moment was indicative of their relationship.

“We’ve always gotten along great,” Brady said in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Mut and Callahan Show” on Monday, as reported by ESPN. “We’ve worked together for 19 years. So we’ve had the same goals in mind for 19 years. He’s been just a great, great mentor in my life, a great coach. He’s taught me more than anyone ever could about the game of football.

“I’ve always just loved playing here and playing for him. He’s the greatest coach of all time and we’ve just had some incredible moments together.”

The two will be trying to win a sixth championship together when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

It’s the Patriots’ third consecutive trip to the Super Bowl and fourth in five years.

They finished the 2018 regular season atop the AFC East yet again with an 11-5 record, earning their ninth straight first-round bye and a 10th consecutive postseason appearance.

Belichick has been named Coach of the Year three times during the dynastic run while Brady has won three regular-season MVPs and four Super Bowl MVPs.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are inching closer to signing Auston Matthews to a contract extension.

On Tuesday, general manager Kyle Dubas said that the two sides have made progress on a new deal, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Dubas added that he’d like to get an extension done as soon as possible for long-term clarity before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

Contract talks between Matthews and the Leafs began last July.

The 21-year-old is a pending restricted free agent in the final year of his entry-level pact. He ranks second on the club in goals (20) and fourth in points (42) despite being limited to 34 games this season due to injury.

Fellow Leafs forward Mitch Marner is also a pending RFA, but Dubas said the club isn’t negotiating with Marner at the request of the winger’s agent, Darren Ferris, who told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun earlier this month that his client “100 percent” doesn’t want to engage in contract talks until season’s end.

Dubas insisted Tuesday that he isn’t pressuring Matthews or Marner to sign quickly, but said that’s his preference.

“Yes, it would be selfishly for me beneficial,” the GM told reporters, according to Johnston. “But for the players, I think they have to make sure they’re fully comfortable in going into any arrangement.”

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Christian spoke with TV Insider about All Elite Wrestling, his show with Edge on the WWE Network, and the finals months of his WWE in-ring career. Below are highlights from the interview:

Thoughts on All Elite Wrestling:

“I think that they need to focus on themselves. I think the knock TNA had is they seemed to worry too much about what WWE was doing instead of focusing on their own. That would be the way to go, in my opinion. As far as new signing Chris Jericho goes, he is obviously one of the biggest names in the history of the industry. So that is a major feather in their cap right off the bat that they are legit and going to try to make it work. Otherwise, Chris is a professional. He wouldn’t have attached himself to it if he didn’t think AEW had a bright future.”

The Edge & Christian Show on the WWE Network:

“I’m excited to work with all the talent, because many are playing against type of what you’re seeing them portray on television on a weekly basis. We try to have a fun environment when there’s not the pressure of live television. It’s just a very easygoing atmosphere with tons of room to ad-lib and make things your own. We definitely had certain people in mind for different skits. Bray Wyatt, for me, from the first season and second with the midwife skit, which was to me, so funny. Then there was Samoa Joe with the Girl Scout cookies. Even doing throwbacks with the superstars of the past. I think everyone really has delivered, and I’m just really happy with how the season has gone.”

Looking back at the end of his in-ring career with WWE:

“For me, I’ve never been the guy to go out there and say, ‘That’s it. I’m done.’ Honestly, I think what happened is when I got hurt, nobody knew this was going to be the end. It was a bit of a process. It was four or five months down the line when we realized I wasn’t coming back from it. So, it’s kind of hard to go back after and say, ‘Remember five months ago when I was off TV? Well, guess what?’ It got to a certain point when it was too hard to go back and do anything. I’m completely fine with my career. I feel like I accomplished everything I ever set out to accomplish. On to the next chapter.”

Christian also discussed his new show, Knight Fight on the History Channel. You can read the whole interview here.

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The WWE women’s division had a momentous 2018, with such feats as the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match last January, four different matches at WrestleMania where women were featured performers, and their grandest feat yet – the first-ever, all-women’s PPV, WWE Evolution this past October. Stephanie McMahon has been an outspoken proponent of the progressing women’s division and believes they’re receiving appropriate recognition for their success.

Stephanie recently sat down with Variety for an interview and among the topics discussed, Stephanie would acknowledge Ronda Rousey’s impact on WWE’s ever-changing women’s division before turning the attention to events that happened prior to Rousey ever signing. Stephanie recounted WWE’s tour of Abu Dhabi in late 2017, where Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss would become the first two women to compete in a match in Abu Dhabi.

“Ronda wanted to be a part of this change, and it happened actually before she came on board,” Stephanie said. “Which was something that disappointed her to a certain level, and on the other level, she was excited to come be a part of it, and she certainly helped raise the bar. But there’s a really important story that I think needs to be told, and that is just the power of this movement and what it really means, and the power of digital and social media, and the power of your voices; The power of all our voices.

“So, just over a year ago, in Abu Dhabi, our women were allowed to perform for the first time,” Stephanie continued. “And they had to be completely covered except for their heads and their hands. And during the match, a chant broke out, both men and women, chanting this is hope. This is hope in Abu Dhabi during a WWE women’s championship match. And our performers in the ring said they saw tears in the eyes of little girls in the front row. And that’s what this movement is really about. It’s about giving that share of voice and making change.”

With Rousey’s unparalleled popularity, the legitimacy added with her Ultimate Fighting background, the growing women’s division that continues blossoming new opportunities, including the upcoming WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship belts, and even reports from The Observer that women may potentially headline WrestleMania this year, the future seems bright for the women of WWE. Stephanie explained to Variety just how much of a wave WWE has made, mentioning that Evoltuionhad trended #1 over the final game of the World Series and Sunday Night NFL Football.

“We did sign Ronda Rousey and then we, also, in October, had our first-ever all-women’s PPV live streaming event called, Evolution,” Stephanie said. “Just to give you some perspective, it was available on WWE Network, which as of Q3 had over 1.6 million, and it trended #1 world-wide for over 2 hours during the last game of the World Series and NFL Sunday Night Football, and that’s because of our fan base and our women that kill it, by the way! And it’s not giving them this opportunity because they’re women, it’s giving them this opportunity because they’re the best and they deserve this spot.”