featured image by Jamie Esquire

 

 

Congratulations to The New England Patriots on their stunning FIFTH Super Bowl win over The Atlanta Falcons!

 

Via New York Times:

When James White sneaked into the end zone from 2 yards away, completing a 34-28 victory (IN OVERTIME) that defied the bounds of credulity and secured the Patriots’ fifth title, his teammates stormed onto the field, flung their helmets and hugged anyone who moved.

Across the field, the Falcons watched from their sideline as if fossilized in amber, too exhausted and dumbstruck to move.

The Patriots trailed by 25 points with 2 minutes 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter — and by 19 with 9:48 left in regulation — and they won.

They won because of Dont’a Hightower’s critical strip-sack and Julian Edelman’s Velcro hands and the clock management and coaching of a maestro, Bill Belichick, but mostly because of a truism that has beleaguered the league’s other 31 teams for 16 years running: the Patriots have Brady, and no one else does, not even the Falcons, who boasted the N.F.L.’s most valuable player in Matt Ryan.

Not including their 3-second possession at the end of regulation, the Patriots, after mustering only a field goal on their first seven drives, scored on their final five possessions.

“At halftime, I would say we weren’t down at all,” Brady said. “We were disappointed in the way we played, and we knew that we could go out and do a lot better in the second half.”  read more here

 

 

The Williams sisters ROCK, and Serena, once again, makes history!

 

Via Associated Press:

 

Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, and her sister was right there on the court to give her a congratulatory hug.

The all-Williams final — the first at the Australian Open since Serena won the first edition of the family rivalry here in 2003 — went to the younger sibling 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday night.

With her record seventh Australian title, the 35-year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era. Margaret Court has the all-time record and was also in the crowd for the final at Rod Laver Arena.

Court won 24 majors but collected 13 of those before the Open era which began in 1968 after the sport became professional.

The victory also ensured Serena Williams will regain the top ranking, which she lost in September after 186 straight weeks when Angelique Kerber won the U.S. Open.

It was Serena’s seventh win in nine all-Williams Grand Slam finals and the first since Wimbledon in 2009. It was 36-year-old, No. 13-seeded Venus Williams’ first trip back to a major final in 7 ½ years.

Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate before Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug.

 

“This was a tough one,” Serena Williams said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration.

“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank-you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”

Williams has won 15 majors since last losing to Venus in a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon in 2008. That was the seventh and last major title that the older of the Williams sisters won.

Venus hadn’t made the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011, and made her return to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.

“She’s made an amazing comeback … I don’t like the word comeback,” Serena Williams said. “She’s never left. She’s been such a great champion.”

 

Congrats to both ladies!

 

 

Team owner and Chairman of the Board, Dean Spanos, made the official announcement that the Chargers will relocate from Sand Diego to Los Angeles.

“Turning the page and beginning a new era as the Los Angeles Chargers” is the plan for the organization, despite negative reaction from a lot of Chargers fans and NFL fans alike.

Read official letter below, which is also posted on the team’s website.

 

A letter from Dean Spanos

A photo posted by Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) on

It was 1994 when the world of figure skating, which is usually uncorrelated with drama, was rocked by a scandal that seemed like it was birthed off the pages of a dramatic movie script.

Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding were not only the two most popular figure skaters of that time, they were apparently friends away from the rink. That is, until a widely publicized attack against Nancy Kerrigan took place after a practice session at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt hired someone to break Kerrigan’s right leg so that she would be unable to compete at Lillehammer. When she stepped off the ice after practice and walked behind a nearby curtain into a corridor, her attacker struck her on the knee with a telescopic baton. The injury forced her to withdraw from the national championship.

Here comes the doozy….Tanya Harding won that event.

Since that incident,  both Tanya and Nancy were selected for the 1994 Olympic team. By that time, Kerrigan had fully recovered from her attack.

Chile’, that whole scandal was enough to call Olivia Pope! I had never witnessed so much drama in sports, especially in figure skating! I can recall one moment when Harding boo hooed on the ice during the Olympics, because the laces to her skates “broke”, leaving her to plead with judges to allow her to change them. Meanwhile, Nancy was on the other side of the rink, appearing cool, calm, and collected while practicing her triple axel combination and double toe loops like a G!

 

Nancy fell behind Oksana Baiul by taking the silver medal, but that didn’t stop the world from cheering her on. I think everyone and their mama tuned in to the Olympics that year, JUST to see “The Young & The Restless” on ice!

We were all glued to the television, on edge, hoping Nancy wouldn’t fall, but she delivered so effortlessly! Her entire performance was a huge middle finger for Tanya Harding.

Then there was this….

 

Gillooly accepted a plea bargain in exchange for his testimony against Harding. Gillooly, Eckhardt, the attacker, and the getaway car driver all served time in prison for the attack.

Harding avoided further prosecution and a possible jail sentence by pleading guilty on March 16 to conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers.[20] She received three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine.

Harding’s involvement in the attack of Nancy Kerrigan led to months of media frenzy and overwhelming news coverage. She also became the laughing stock of every comedic joke on late night television, the subject on every magazine show, and was put on everybody’s shit list.

The last known shenanigans of Tanya Harding included releasing a sex tape and a short-lived boxing career. A return to the ice is unknown.

 

God bless her

 

As a Ravens fan, I’m deeply saddened to see Steve Smith Sr. go.

He’s shocked Ravens fans with his recent announcement to retire, making the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals the last game of his career.

Via Sports Illustrated:

Smith, 37, has played 16 seasons and sits in seventh place on the NFL’s all-time career receiving yards list with 14,697 yards. He has 67 receptions for 765 yards and five touchdowns in 2016.

“I’m about 89 percent sure,” Smith said.

Smith finishes his career having played in five Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls. In 2005, he led the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns and remains the lone wide receiver since 1992 to accomplish the triple crown. Smith is also one of just 14 receivers with more than 1,000 career receptions.

Click here for Smith’s press conference

 

 

 

Former NFL player, Keion Carpenter died Thursday morning in a Florida hospital. The former Buffalo Bills/Atlanta Falcons player was only 39-years-old.

According to Yahoo Sports, Carpenter was vacationing in Florida with family when he took a freak fall while playing with his son.

Via Yahoo Sports:

Carpenter was on vacation with his family in south Florida when he fell while playing with his son. A cousin, Jamila Smith, told the Baltimore Sun, “They were running to the car when (Carpenter) slipped, fell, hit his head and slipped into a coma. It was just a freak accident. He was always healthy; he went to the doctor, ate well and worked out.”

Listed at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, Carpenter entered the league in 1999 with the Bills as an undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech. He played three seasons with Buffalo, playing in 37 games, and starting 22 in his second and third seasons with the team. Buffalo traded Carpenter to Atlanta in 2002.

He spent four years with the Falcons, starting 39 of 46 games. Carpenter missed the entire 2004 season due to a torn ACL, but returned the next year to start 15 games. It would be his final NFL season.

In all, Carpenter played 83 games (61 starts), with 14 interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown, and 198 total tackles.

A Baltimore native, Carpenter was both the quarterback and star safety at Woodlawn High, known for his 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, and was also a standout basketball player.

At Virginia Tech, Carpenter was a special-teams phenom, blocking a school-record six punts, his final one coming in his last game with the team, the 1998 Music City Bowl.

In a statement, former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said of Carpenter, “Cheryl and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Keion Carpenter. Keion was the one of the rocks around which we built our program at Virginia Tech in the 1990s. He was a tenacious punt blocker and a relentless player on defense. More importantly, he had a heart of gold. His work with The Carpenter House and other charitable organizations to help those in need truly embodied the Virginia Tech spirit. Our condolences to Keion’s family on the loss of a great Hokie.”

After retiring from the NFL, Carpenter founded The Carpenter House in Baltimore; according to the foundation’s website, among its goals were “to support the development of healthy homes and environments for low income children to thrive and reach their highest potential for academic success…Our goal is to invest in, build and inspire communities of change.”

One of the programs at The Carpenter House is Shutdown Academy, which combined classroom instruction with football and cheerleading instruction. Carpenter founded Shutdown Academy with Aaron Maybin and Bryant Johnson, two other Baltimore natives who went on to the NFL.

 

Sending prayers to the entire Carpenter family, Keion will be sorely missed.