Friday’s selection marks the 11th time Kramer has been a finalist for the Hall

After missing 13 games with a back injury last year, Texans coach Bill O’Brien is confident the defensive end will come back even stronger this season.

I can tell you right now the guy’s going to be at the top of his game, O’Brien told TheMMQB.com. He’s had a great training camp. I think he’ll be better than he was.

Watt was humbled by his coach’s comments, saying O’Brien knows better than anyone what he’s experienced while rehabbing during the offseason after spending the majority of last season on injured reserve.

The former Packers guard, whom Vince Lombardi once called the best guard in football, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class by the Hall’s Senior Committee. Robert Brazile, a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Houston Oilers, was also named Friday as a 2018 finalist.

Friday’s selection marks the 11th time Kramer has been a finalist for the Hall, but the first time since 1997.

Kramer is widely regarded as the most overlooked player from the 1960s Packers teams that won five championships in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls. No player has been a finalist more than Kramer without receiving induction into the Hall.
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Now 81-years-old, Kramer was a three-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection over an 11-year career for Lombardi’s Packers. He is perhaps best known for the key block that paved the way for Bart Starr’s game-winning quarterback sneak to beat the Cowboys in the 1967 NFL championship game, otherwise known as the Ice Bowl. Kramer was elected to the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975.

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Kony Ealy reportedly lands with Jets after Patriots release

Kony Ealy didn’t waste any time latching on to a new team after being released by the Patriots on Saturday.

According to ESPN.com, the Jets scooped up Ealy on Sunday to help bolster a defense that could see a lot of the field this season.

Ealy, who was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Panthers, has 14 sacks through three seasons. He will now be on the same team as his cousin Sheldon Richardson.

The Jets figure to struggle offensively this season, mainly due to their lack of a legitimate starting quarterback on the roster. Bryce Petty looked sharp in Saturday’s 32-31 preseason loss to the Giants. He threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, but left the game with an MCL injury.

Ealy will have to show the organization something quickly to make the final roster.

Colin Kaepernick has an ally in ownership. Unfortunately for the former 49ers quarterback, that owner is in the NBA.

“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Washington Post. “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights.”
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Rudy Gobert plays song about ‘loyalty’ on Instagram after Gordon Hayward’s departure

Gordon Hayward announced he was leaving the Utah Jazz for the Boston Celtics on the Fourth of July. Not surprisingly, this left people in Utah rather upset, not the least of which was his former teammate, Rudy Gobert.

Yes, Gobert posted himself waving goodbye and singing along to Loyal by Chris Brown. The chorus, for those unfamiliar, is These hoes ain’t loyal.
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Joffrey Lupul Womens Jersey Gobert won’t have too much time to be bitter, though. Hayward’s departure means the Jazz will be rallying around him instead. The team tweeted as much, then later deleted it. Here’s a screenshot.

Porter finally came along in his fourth season, just in time to shore up a max-level second contract. It’s incredibly unlikely he’ll earn it anywhere other than Washington, D.C., since Porter is a restricted free agent. The Wizards didn’t make Bradley Beal sign a max offer sheet elsewhere a year ago, and they are unlikely to change course with Porter.

Otto is a solid wing defender who became an incredibly high-efficiency scorer in 2016-17. If he were an unrestricted free agent at age 24, there’d be a huge battle for his services, as there will be for Hayward. But Porter fits right in with the Wizards, and they’ll gladly be the ones to pay him big bucks.

By this point, Hayes’ and Parker’s relationship was deteriorating, per the suit. Though Parker complimented Hayes on improving the attitude of the staff and his overall leadership skills, the suit says that Parker referred to Hayes as the large, angry black man. Even when Hayes objected to that label, Parker allegedly continued.

Lamar Odom was one of the most exciting parts of the Lakers back-to-back title runs in 2009 and 2010.

Hello. We don’t talk enough about how Larry Bird had perhaps the most savage, ruthless, I-don’t-give-an-eff sports performance in history. One game, bored by his normal right-handed shooting, Bird decided to go an entire game shooting only with his left hand.

Lamar Odom was one of the most exciting parts of the Lakers back-to-back title runs in 2009 and 2010. The year he finally won actual Sixth Man of the Year, he averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and three assists per game. He also shot 53 percent from the floor while being a 6’10 big man that could pass like a point guard. One of the original point-forwards of the game before it became commonplace today. He was such a joy to watch on the court.

Elite Mens Chris Kirksey Jersey That’s largely true. Both Nike and Adidas have marketing and advertising budgets worth billions of dollars, while Under Armour is still growing in that area. Last year, the brand suffered from slow growth and had a .7 percent decrease in net revenues because of struggling sales. Their stock values have also been up and down throughout 2017, despite the success of the Golden State Warriors.

Elite Mens Pekka Rinne Jersey Under Armour has Curry, but he needs help to keep the brand afloat. Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Bryce Harper are all part of that but none of them have the same appeal NBA players do.

Under Armour has to find a way to climb that metaphorical mountain, and ponying up for flashy athletes at the top of their basketball roster is the best way to grow and make up that difference. With Smith, Under Armour is doing exactly that.

Andre Iguodala marvels at Draymond Green’s ability to dominate basketball while sucking at every other sport

Andre Iguodala is part of TNT’s golf coverage team of the PGA Championship, and it didn’t take long for him to reveal the worst golfer on the Golden State Warriors team: Draymond Green. Iguodala went on and on about Green too, citing that he was one of the smartest basketball players he’s ever been around…but also one of the least athletic.

Monk showed his cocky side Saturday, repeating that he’d beat Hornets owner Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one. Jordan might have been the greatest player of his generation – maybe ever – but, as Monk noted, he is 54.

Limited Youth Steve Atwater Jersey Monk averaged 19.8 points per game for Kentucky last season, and the No. 11 overall pick is expected to bolster the Hornets backcourt and give the team another reliable three-point shooter behind Nic Batum.

At this point so many people have said they could beat Jordan, he should just step up and play all comers. Who wouldn’t watch that on TV?

Dion Dawkins Youth Jersey Before the expansion draft, the mediocre Phoenix Suns worked out a deal with Charlotte. They’d made Jahidi White, a veteran big man, available in the expansion draft. There was not much demand for White in Phoenix, Charlotte, or anywhere, especially give his $6 million salary. (This was enormous for a late-rotation player in those days.)

But the Suns had grand designs in free agency and desperately wanted to free up cap space. They needed Charlotte to select White in the draft. So they agreed to send $3 million and a future first-round pick if Charlotte promised to select White. The Bobcats, needing bodies and salary filler, took the deal.

Panthers vs. Titans 2017: Start time, TV channel, and how to watch online

Week 2 of the NFL preseason continues Saturday with the Carolina Panthers hitting the road to take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The two teams have spent the week participating in joint practices, and will have a good opportunity to experiment with their play-calling come game time.

Saturday’s only afternoon game will start at 3 p.m. ET and air on NFL Network. Viewers can also stream it on Watch NFL Network.

The Panthers won’t have quarterback Cam Newton under center again Saturday, but the team didn’t have a problem coming away with a Week 1 preseason win over the Texans without him. The emergence of rookie rusher Christian McCaffrey started slowly, but his elusiveness and burst through the seams are worthy of all the hype he’s been getting. He finished his first NFL contest with 33 yards on seven carries against Houston.

Likely to be one of the offense’s most targeted weapons, McCaffrey will see more touches in the preseason until rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel makes his way back to the field. With Newton slowly making his return and Samuel having yet to get in more than a day’s reps in training camp, the offense as a whole will be looking for others to step up, like wideouts Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Russell Shepard.

Newton made some progress during joint practices this week, throwing during team drills for the first time since July 30. He’s still a little ways off from making a full return, but head coach Ron Riviera isn’t concerned that the quarterback will be ready for the regular season opener against the 49ers.

“Today was a good step. It was very positive,” Rivera said, via the official team site. “A lot of good things happened. I’m really pleased with his progress.”

Newton could even be ready to play in next week’s preseason game, according to NFL.com.

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World Junior Championships gold a beacon of hope for Team USA

John Tortorella said it in September, after his U.S. team went 0-3 in group play (including a one-sided loss to host Canada) at the World Cup of Hockey. The American coach told reporters that Team USA was looking at a fantastic future thanks to a group of young players who were ready to join the national program.

Torts was referring to players like Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews and Johnny Gaudreau, plus Brandon Saad and Seth Jones from Tortorella’s Blue Jackets, who took the ice for Team North America in the World Cup. That U.S./Canada, 23-and-under mashup was a crowd favorite in Toronto. Maple Leafs savior Matthews had much to do with that, but it was also a really good club.

There were many factors which led the Maple Leafs to a Stanley Cup playoff appearance last season after finishing dead last in the NHL two years ago, but the most impactful was the contribution of their rookie class, headed, of course, by 2017 Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews.

Authentic Mens Lane Taylor Jersey Matthews, the first Toronto player to win the Calder in 51 years, led the NHL in rookie scoring and broke club rookie records for points (69) and goals (40). But the 19-year-old center was by no means the only first-year pro to have a significant impact with the Leafs.

Limited Youth Rhett Ellison Jersey Fast forward to Thursday night, when another U.S. team was playing against host Canada, this time in the final of the World Junior Championships in Montreal. This was the next wave of talent behind Eichel, Matthews, et. al getting its shot on an international stage.

This is how it will almost certainly be for the 2017 Home Run Derby.

In recent years, the Dodgers have had a plan: Pitch Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill or whomever is hot and available on short rest. Some years it’s just Kershaw on short rest. Some years it’s Kershaw and Hill or Greinke. Every permutation has Kershaw, though. And it’s never worked out as well as they’ve hoped.

This year, the Dodgers have Kershaw. They have Rich Hill. They have Alex Wood. All three deserve to start a postseason game. But it takes four deserving starters to avoid the short-rest bogeyman in the postseason. If the Dodgers were a normal team, they would be fine with trusting one of Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda, or Hyun-jin Ryu for that fourth slot. Any of those pitchers would be roughly as good as the No. 4 starters they’ll face in the postseason.

Weston Richburg Mens Jersey Verlander is 34, he’s owed $28 million over the next two years, and he’s pitching poorly this season. There’s pickle juice in that cocktail, and there might not be enough booze to save it. I’d like to cherry pick some micro-splits to suggest that Verlander is on an upward trajectory, but …

You want Judge and Stanton. The fans at the ballpark want it. The people watching on TV want it. The players want it. Their agents want it. Rob Manfred would sacrifice a chicken to get it. And when you look up, it’s going to be Mike Moustakas and Charlie Blackmon, and there’s not a damned thing you’ll be able to do about it.

They’re fine players, and they’ll still hit the ball really far, and all. It’s just not Stanton and Judge.
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We can take that bit about the possible World Series matchups back for years and years, and the story is generally the same. The best potential pairing rarely happens, mostly because of the tyranny of permutations.

The new MLB CBA has a very important clause about toilet paper

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The new baseball CBA became publicly available on Friday, and many people are focusing on various international plans, spring training proposals, and what is or is not fair game when it comes to using statistics in arbitration hearings.

But there’s one passage that is particularly humorous, mostly because it seems like the clauses it includes should be more than obvious for any ball club in 2017. Yet, it exists. Because apparently somebody had to be told.

Clubs shall ensure that home and visiting clubhouses are fully stocked with grooming items (e.g. soaps, shaving, hair products, deodorant, etc.), toiletries (e.g. toilet paper, hand wipes, wet wipes), towels and washcloths (replaced annually), and a safe or lockbox for valuables.

The safe or lockbox portion makes the most sense to include, as not all ballparks may have them built in for players or readily available for visiting teams.

Over that 13-3 run, the Cubs have a team ERA of 3.71 while averaging 6.54 runs per game on offense.
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Arizona has not enjoyed a second-half surge like the one that the Cubs are on. Instead, the Diamondbacks are hovering around .500, going 7-9 through their first 16 games out of the All-Star break. With the Los Angeles Dodgers running away with the NL West, Arizona’s main focus over the next month will be to hold on to a wild card spot.

The Diamondbacks enter Tuesday with a five-game lead over Milwaukee in the wild card standings. Arizona is just 2-8 in its last 10 games against Chicago.

The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams at the sportsbooks.

At 60-45, Arizona has a better season record than Chicago’s 56-48 coming into this series, but the Cubs seem to have the momentum. Wednesday’s game will pit Zack Godley against Jake Arrieta, and Thursday’s game sets up as a pitcher’s duel between Zack Greinke and Jose Quintana.

NFL to relax footwear rules during warmups

After notoriously being dubbed the “No Fun League,” the NFL is lightening up.

According to a memo sent to coaches and equipment managers on Monday and obtained by ESPN, the league intends to relax its footwear rules and let players wear more personalized cleats during pregame warmups.

Tannehill missed the final three games of the regular season and the Dolphins’ playoff loss to Pittsburgh after spraining ligaments in the same knee. He opted against surgery at the time and was wearing a brace for training camp workouts.

Tannehill went down with a non-contact injury last week while scrambling toward the sidelines. After initial reports that he had merely hyperextended the knee and an inconclusive initial MRI, his and the Dolphins’ worst fears were finally confirmed.

Last year’s injury was a first for Tannehill, who had started all 77 games for the Dolphins since being selected eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Now he’ll spend the 2017 season watching and rehabbing as his last-minute replacement Jay Cutler leads the Dolphins.

Speaking to Vic Lombardi on Altitude Sports 950 AM in Denver, Billups revealed he was aware Kyrie Irving was upset with his situation in Cleveland. As we found out Friday, Irving has requested a trade from the Cavs because he reportedly doesn’t want to play alongside LeBron James anymore.

Billups said when that report dropped, he wasn’t as shocked as the rest of the NBA community.

“It didn’t surprise me, I knew as they were doing their due diligence on me I was doing the same thing on them. I knew so much about the situation that the rest of the world doesn’t know. But it’s unfortunate man because he’s a special talent. So much of what he’s been able to accomplish on and off the floor has been as the beneficiary of LeBron James. That would be alarming to me if I was a team looking to get him.
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