Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford says he wasn’t taking an intentional shot at the Columbus Blue Jackets when he made an assessment about Jack Johnson‘s usage that didn’t sit well with John Tortorella.

“I have nothing but respect for the Columbus Blue Jackets,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey. “They’ve got a good city, a good franchise, a great owner, and (president of hockey operations) John Davidson to run the franchise. I feel bad that it either (came) out the way it did or it upset people; that certainly wasn’t my intent. They have a very good franchise there, and it’s very well run.”

After the Penguins made the signing of Johnson to a five-year, $16.25-million deal official on the first day of free agency, Rutherford told reporters the following about the veteran defenseman, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline:

“I don’t think he had a bad year. He was a healthy scratch at the end of the season. I know the reason why. It wasn’t because of how he was playing.”

When asked Thursday to clarify what he meant by the latter remark, Rutherford declined to elaborate.

“I don’t think that’s going to do anybody any good at this point,” he told Mackey. “We feel comfortable with the homework that we did on this player.”

Rutherford’s initial comments, along with Johnson telling reporters on July 1 that, “I’ve been really wanting to be a part of a winning culture and a place where the expectations to win are as high as they can be,” clearly irked Tortorella at the time.

The always forthright Blue Jackets head coach issued an expletive-laden response in which he said that for Rutherford “to question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a fucking magician,” later adding that the Penguins GM should “shut the fuck up,” and that Johnson’s statement was “utter bullshit.”

Johnson was scratched in all six of the Blue Jackets’ playoff games this spring and he collected only 11 points in 77 regular-season contests in 2017-18.


WWE Hall of Fame Jeff Jarrett appeared on Prime Time with Sean Mooney and spoke about Owen Hart, who Jarrett noted had an incredibly mind inside the ring, which tends to get forgotten after his legendary ribbing stories and his tragic passing at the WWE Over the Edge PPV in 1999.

“Owen’s in-ring ability, he was incredibly, athletically gifted, had been around the business, [had great] timing,” Jarrett said. “At WrestleMania X against Bret [Hart], Owen was, man, just really, really super good. A lot of times that gets lost people obviously remember the tragic accident and the ribbing, but his in-ring ability was incredible.”

Jarrett was asked about what his perspective was like at that Over the Edge PPV where Owen fell from the rafters during a stunt where he was to rappel down to the ring as part of his Blue Blazer gimmick. Although multiple attempts were done to revive him, Hart was pass away due to internal bleeding from blunt force trauma.

Jarrett said after the two dressed together, he was quickly called for his segment after being notified Owen had an accident, not knowing at the time how serious it was.

“When I say ‘going through the motions’ that is something that is strictly instinct. Me and Owen dressed [together], it was a small building, every nook and cranny was filled with wrestlers or production crates, and we had found a small locker room,” Jarrett said. “I can remember him walking out of the dressing room and I was on after him. I knew that I had a good 15-20 minutes and it was literally minutes I hear someone screaming, ‘You’re up! You’re up!’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not.’ and they’re like, ‘yeah!’ I was essentially ready and I had no idea, I remember walking down the hall and they said he had an accident. Nothing in your wildest dreams, it’s a blown out knee or whatever, something so trivial. You get on set – and I haven’t watched it back – you get on set and all of a sudden a mass of people come through and there’s a gentleman on top of Owen doing CPR and compression.

“I knew something was wrong then, the aura, and the vibe, walking through the curtain after [my] match. The police car they had set up for me, I drove immediately to the hospital and I remember one of the ER people walking out and meeting me and giving me the news. It’s a complete tragedy – in so many ways – but I like to remember Owen on the fond days and the good days.”

Jarrett went on to talk about how he since has dealt with that night and the difficult decision Vince McMahon had to make about continuing (or stopping) the show after the accident, noting that neither was the right answer.

“I’ve been around enough things in my life to know that accidents happen. Could everybody been more careful? Absolutely. On so many levels, but it is truly a tragic situation that happened and everybody that was a part of it was dealt that hand and everybody dealt with it differently,” Jarrett responded. “I chose to deal with it with it by not discussing it, not talking about it, moving on in the most positive light. Always talking glowingly and never wanting to go to that dark side and talk about those kind of issues that happened.

“I still believe this, Vince McMahon – solely Vince – nobody else, not Linda [McMahon], not any of his inner circle at that time. It rests squarely on his shoulders and he had a decision that was wrong, regardless of the decision he made [about continuing the show]. Knowing Vince, he knew that. That’s tough, but he took it and it got into a litigated part of life, but he put his best foot forward and ‘kept on keptin’ on.’ My hats off to him and his family, because it’s truly a tragedy.”

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS broadcaster Tony Romo says people shouldn’t read too much into reports of tension between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Appearing on NFL Network, Romo compared the Belichick-Brady relationship to that of a married couple.

“I just think when you work together for 15, 20 years, whatever it is, I think that, invariably, when you have the success they have, people have to come up with stuff,” he said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.

“… I don’t really think there’s a whole lot to it. I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years and then they also love each other.”

Romo was also asked if he could see Brady playing for another team besides the New England Patriots.

“My rough guess is that he’s going to finish his career in New England, no question,” Romo said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars return with much of the same roster from the 2017 season, but quarterback Blake Bortles thinks the team may have lost one of its greatest strengths after its shocking appearance in last year’s AFC Championship Game.

“I think last year we kind of caught some teams by surprise …” Bortles said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access,” according to Kevin Patra. “I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen this year. The way we play, as good as our defense was, I think we’re definitely a bit on people’s radar now as far as a team that’s headed in the right direction and a team to be taken seriously.”

The Jaguars defense ranked second in the NFL – and first in the AFC – in both yards and points allowed last season. Only the Baltimore Ravens recorded more takeaways.

Bortles, for his part, was rewarded for his most successful season to date with a three-year, $54-million extension in February. General manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone were also signed through 2021 after the season.

After last season’s success, the 26-year-old quarterback is expecting a more difficult path this year, as the team goes for its second consecutive division title with a target on its back.

“I think we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” said Bortles. “And the AFC South is going to be tough … it’s our goal every year to win that.”

Natalya spoke with The Sun about her Father (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) not wanting her in wrestling, training at the Hart Dungeon, and how he family has influenced her wrestling career. Here are some of the highlights:

Training in the Hart Dungeon:

“There was only one other girl in there with me and about 25 different guys coming in and out over the years. So for the most part there were only men to train with. We got treated all the same. I’m grateful for those days because nothing was handed to me – it made me stronger. Training with men made me tougher. I had to learn to stand on my own two feet. When I look back, it’s helped me so much. There’s nothing I can’t get through in WWE.”

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart not initially being thrilled with her getting into wrestling:

“He was very protective. I have two sisters and he didn’t want us in the ring. When he was competing, there wasn’t a prominent women’s division. He came from a different era and he didn’t want us to get hurt. Females become more dominant in WWE with Trish Stratus and Lita, but it wasn’t until he saw me have my first match … he’s been my biggest fan ever since.”

How family has influenced her wrestling career:

“My family have influenced me heavily. I loved Owen’s style – I’m not a high flyer but I love looking back at his matches for his personality.Bret was always great at selling and he’d always make you believe. Bret was also compatible with everyone he worked with. Whoever it was, they’d always say Bret was their favorite match – from Roddy Piper to Steve Austin. And British Bulldog was so agile for a guy his size. He could do just about anything. I’m a bigger girl – sturdy and I can do a lot of power moves, but I’m also agile on my feet.

“Every time I do the surfboard submission hold I think of British Bulldog – I pay homage to him. And the Sharpshooter is me paying homage to Bret and our family’s legacy. And my father was about power. Just the way he moved around in the ring… we have a lot of the same mannerisms. I look back at old matches and think we’re so much alike. When I first started I didn’t want to do the things they did or wear the same colors because I didn’t want people to think I was riding off my family’s coattails. Now I see it differently – I’m proud of them.”

Natalya also discussed more about her family. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Tenille Dashwood’s WWE release came out of nowhere for most fans. She was just coming off two good matches with Asuka and even though Tenille lost both encounters she was at least chosen to be Asuka’s first opponent on the main roster. Tenille Dashwood didn’t skip a beat and when her no-compete clause was up on January 27th she was off to the races in making a name for herself on her own.

Ring Of Honor was starting their Women Of Honor tournament at the time and Tenille Dashwood fell right into the bracketology. Although she didn’t win the tournament Dashwood certainly established herself as a totally different person from her WWE persona.

ROH is holding a huge Best In The World pay-per-view this Friday and Tenille Dashwood is excited to be a part of a star-studded eight-woman tag match. Tenille recently spoke on a media call where she went into several topics including the fact she could see Bayley in Women Of Honor as well. Then she discussed how important it was for her to distance herself from the comedic stigma Emma might have left on her.

“I definitely want to be taken seriously,” Tenille Dashwood said when I asked about distancing herself from Emma’s comedic persona. “I didn’t feel like I had something to prove if anything it was for myself. I wanted to wrestle. I wanted to enjoy wrestling again and to meet all my fans and have competitive matches and those were all goals I had for myself. So I definitely want to be taken seriously to show myself I could do it still and you know to give that back to the fans too.”

Tenille Dashwood is able to meet her fans, make her own schedule to a great extent, and have longer matches without restraint. She is also open to a new world of possibilities including intergender matches which Tenille also said she would have no problem participating in as well.

Dating back to his days at Florida StateJameis Winston has struggled to keep the spotlight on his achievements on the field instead of his issues off it.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ quarterback is again in the news for all the wrong reasons, as he’s set to miss the first three games of the season after the NFL deemed accusations he groped a female Uber driver in March 2016 were “consistent and credible.”

Ex-Bucs head coach Tony Dungy, who says he’s talked to Winston “quite a bit” since he was drafted in 2015, believes Winston’s actions aren’t indicative of who he is as a person.

“I know he has a good heart. He wants to do the right thing,” Dungy said, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s very aware of his role as a leader, his role as someone kids need to look up to. I think he knows the right things to do. Now he just needs to follow through on that with good decision-making.”

Dungy said he expects the Bucs’ leadership to make it clear they need more of Winston in terms of acting like a franchise-level player.

“I’m sure they’ve had a conversation with Jameis, and probably with everybody on the team: This is where we are, this is what we expect,” Dungy said. “You do hope that everybody grows from this and learns from it.”

Winston has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and next offseason would’ve likely been the time for Tampa Bay to extend its starting quarterback. However, after this latest incident, Winston’s future with the team appears far less secure.