Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

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Just like old times, Joe Montana and Steve Young have contradictory opinions.

While Montana believes fellow former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s lack of employment is justified, his former teammate is startled to see the pass-thrower without a team.

“I’m surprised, even with the situation last year with the kneel-down during the national anthem, that people can’t see through that and see, here’s a good player that wants to play and is not toxic in the locker room,” Young told KNBR of Kaepernick, according to Daniel Mano of The Mercury News. “But he’s got to fit too. He’s the kind of guy who’s going to come off a play fake, see a guy, throw it.

“If you want him to read through, you want him to find the fourth receiver, the outlet – that’s probably not his game. So he’s got to find the right spot for himself.”

Young understands teams’ potential skepticism of Kaepernick’s focus and says he would want to “look him in the eye” when discussing the quarterback’s commitment to football.

Kaepernick was briefly linked to the Seattle Seahawks this spring, but a contract was not reached. He has reportedly had no other interest from potential suitors.

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USA Today’s “For the Win” blog has a feature on former WWE superstar Ivory, whose real name is Lisa Moretti. In the piece, Ivory discusses the accuracy of Netflix’s GLOW series and how far WWE has come.

“I thought it was a perfect thing to make a show from,” Ivory told For the Win of Netlix’s GLOW: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. “As far as telling our story and whether it was true to life, I thought they made a good mix. … I’m glad it’s not a documentary because it’s probably going to be way more entertaining with the really good writers and producers who put it together.”

Ivory competed in GLOW under the ring name Tina Ferrari, where she held the GLOW Championship, represented by a crown, not a belt.

GLOW was founded in 1986 and a reunion show was ran in Las Vegas in April 2012. While Ivory can’t pinpoint the exact reason for GLOW’s longevity, she has some ideas.

“I understand it now because I worked with the best of the best, but I didn’t get at first that people have an extreme passion for wrestling and the wrestlers. The fans are really intimately connected with each wrestler,” Ivory said. “I also think that anything that has a collection of women, there will be a sisterhood that people will relate to whether they are guys or girls. There is a power to sisterhood.”

“I also have come to learn that we had a large gay population that appreciates GLOW. In the mid-1980s, there wasn’t a representation of gayness on television,” Ivory continued. “Our glitter and our goofiness and our great costumes made in Vegas; the cheekiness and campiness of the show, it turns out little boys who were gay coveted our act. I went on one of the GLOW cruises last February and all the fans were gay guys. We had so much fun together. That was a new education to me.”

Ivory stepped away from the wrestling business in the early 1990s and was eventually brought to WWE in 1999 as one of the women that accompanied The Godfather to the ring. Vince McMahon ended up giving her a job and the Ivory character was born.

“They needed someone who looked good in a dress and could take a bump or two or three,” Ivory recalled.

While she went on to become a three-time WWE women’s champion, Ivory worked in an era where females in the company competed in gravy bowl matches, slop bouts and pillow fights.

“Everybody got fired or left and all the boobie girls came in and everything was very embarrassing, I thought,” she told For the Win. “At one point, the wrestling girls population referred to the GLOW girls, but at least we were falling down and trying to do legitimate wrestling. We didn’t have any legit training.”

“I don’t think they wanted the Divas Search girls to have any training. They wanted them to look sexy and stupid, unfortunately,” Ivory recalled. “A lot of those girls later on went to get trained and do great things in the wrestling world. I’m not badmouthing them. They were just put in a situation that was unfair.”

Ivory, 55, is thrilled to see the changes to how WWE pushes their female talent under the women’s wrestling revolution.

“They’re wrestling. They are entertaining to me now,” Ivory said of female superstars in WWE. “A few of them had different types of bodies. I was very pleased to see that things have come far, far away from the Diva Search days where it was, ‘Let’s have a bunch of girls in bikinis flop around and look stupid so the public can vote them on or off the show.'”

Ivory retired from professional wrestling in 2006. She was featured on WWE Network’s Table for 3, along fellow wrestlers Alundra Blayze and Molly Holly last January. You can read more comments from her exclusive interview with USA Today’s “For the Win” blog by clicking here.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado much prefers his position on the field as opposed to being in the stands when it comes to enduring a Major League Baseball game.

Machado was on hand for the All-Star Game in Miami earlier this week as a spectator for the first time in three seasons. While he said he enjoyed cheering on teammate Jonathan Schoop and several other friends, he found the game a touch mundane.

“Yeah, it’s a little boring to watch it,” Machado said, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN. “I don’t know how people go out there and watch games. Now I know why sometimes people don’t come to games.”

Machado isn’t the first MLB superstar to take a shot at the sport.

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper said prior to last season that he believes baseball is a “tired sport” because players can’t express themselves.

Fortunately for Machado and Harper – along with other players and fans who share their views – MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is looking to speed up the game by trying to eliminate some of its dead time, while also encouraging players to show emotion while playing.

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Ron Burkle would gladly have given up the money earned through expansion if it meant holding on to Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner mentioned his great reluctance to part ways with the goalie in an interview with Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“What Fleury did for us by being more of a stand-up person than you could ever imagine anybody being and (general manager Jim Rutherford’s) call to keep him all year, which was exactly the right thing to do – I wish we could have given the $15 million (expansion fee) back and kept him forever,” Burkle said.

Burkle is referring to Fleury taking a back seat following the emergence of Matt Murray and handling the situation like a consummate professional.

There were other factors in play, of course – notably, a salary cap that makes it difficult to carry two bona fide starting goalies and a market that dictated Fleury likely would have been traded.

In the end, Fleury was exposed in the expansion draft and selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, giving them an accomplished netminder right out of the gate.

Fleury was selected first overall by the Penguins in 2003 – four years after Burkle, along with Mario Lemieux, helped save the club from bankruptcy and potential relocation. He won 375 regular-season games and three Stanley Cups during his time in Pittsburgh.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

The Boston Celtics jersey has been Photoshopped on his image, and the next chapter in Gordon Hayward‘s career is about to begin.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, despite all reports of Hayward “agonizing” over his decision to part ways with the Utah Jazz, the writing was very much all over the wall prior to his official announcement.

Brooklyn Nets forward and former Jazz player Trevor Booker told the Tribune the weight of having the Utah franchise on his shoulders was something Hayward never wanted.

“Gordon’s a guy who doesn’t really want to be the man,” Booker said. “… I’m not sure he wanted a franchise on his shoulders. Gordon’s a great player, and one of the best players in the league. But I wasn’t really surprised at his choice. I heard the rumors.”

As the Tribune outlines, the Jazz spent most of the past year trying to orchestrate the correct moves that would keep Hayward in Utah, which most recently prompted them to acquire point guard and expert playmaker Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

While the Jazz worked on creating a strong core for Hayward, his inclinations to leave have been apparent to others since before this year’s draft. Sources told the Tribune that Hayward made it clear to teammate and friend George Hill in a phone call that returning to Utah “was nowhere close to guaranteed.”

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Everyone in the league has their own solution to address tanking, but Miami Heat president Pat Riley’s suggestion might be the most entertaining.

Riley wants non-playoff teams to play a tournament for the right to select first overall, instead of having a random lottery with weighted odds determine their fate.

“What I’d like to have is a two-out-of-three lottery playoff … The lottery teams play a tournament for that (No. 1) pick,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

Riley added, “No more tanking at the end … so play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft.”

The current rules reward those at the bottom and penalize teams that come closest to making the playoffs. A franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers that had no aspirations of winning landed the second pick for a third straight year, while a team like the Heat that refused to tank after a 11-30 start got the No. 14 selection following a brilliant finish.

Under Riley’s structure, there would always be an incentive to build the strongest roster possible. The Heat didn’t make the playoffs, but their roster would have ranked as a favorite to win the lottery sweepstakes and take the top pick. At the very least, it would create an entertaining product.

But there are flaws, too, with Riley’s plan. Low playoff seeds might choose to tank into the lottery if they prefer a strong chance at a pick over a small chance in the postseason. This structure might also leave poor franchises without any chance of upward mobility through the draft.

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A return to Montreal, a Mexico debut, or a new team in the Carolinas are all potential future scenarios for Major League Baseball, commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday.

Speaking prior to the Home Run Derby in Miami, Manfred remained adamant the the league’s current priority is finding new stadiums for both the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics, but acknowledged he believes MLB could be sustainable in three other cities.

“I know the mayor of Montreal has been very vocal about bringing baseball back to Montreal,” Manfred said, according to Mark Newman of MLB.com. “Charlotte’s a possibility. And I’d like to think that Mexico City or some other place in Mexico would be a possibility.”

MLB hasn’t expanded since 1998 when the league added Tampa Bay and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and hasn’t relocated since the Expos left Montreal for Washington at the conclusion of the 2004 season.