– The player rep for Packers’ TE Jermichael Finley said Thursday that the Packers would prefer to sign the free agent to a long-term contract rather than apply the franchise tag. The agent said, ”We’ve been speaking and they’ve made it clear they would like him to be back there, and Jermichael’s made it clear he would like to be back there.” A long-term deal would open the franchise tag for QB Matt Flynn.
– Jets’ owner Woody Johnson stated Thursday that WR Santonio Holmes will be back with the team in 2012. ”He may be one of the best players we’ve ever had.” Holmes signed a $45.25M contract in late July. RB LaDanian Tomlinson called the rift between Holmes and QB Mark Sanchez “as bad as I’ve ever been around,” and isn’t sure the relationship can be mended. Johnson, though, is “concerned but confident” that things will be fine come next season.
– WR Terrell Owens has accepted an offer to be a player and will have an ownership stake in the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. The Wranglers, who open their season February 25 at home, extended the offer to Owens last month. They posted on their website Thursday that they were excited to announce it was official. The 6-time Pro Bowler tweeted,
“Uh-oh, it’s official. I’m headed back to Texas. That’s right, IFL, here I come. Allen, Texas, here I come. I’m going to be me. … Allen, Texas, I’ll see you in the end zone.”
The 38-year-old Owens didn’t get any NFL offers to play last season after surgery on his left knee. Over 15 NFL seasons with five teams, Owens had 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards with 153 touchdowns. He is sixth in career receptions, and second in yards receiving and touchdowns behind Jerry Rice.
– Citing sources inside the organization, ESPN 980 Washington’s Chris Russell reports the Redskins are “very interested” in free agent QB Matt Flynn, contrary to earlier reports. Russell knows “for sure” that coach Mike Shanahan and OC Kyle Shanahan had a “detailed conversation” two weeks ago on Flynn’s six-touchdown, 480-yard performance against the Packers in the finale.
– Free agent WR Jerome Simpson was indicted Thursday for allegedly trafficking over eight ounces and under five pounds of marijuana. Simpson, who was sure to draw interest on the market following his highlight-reel flip touchdown, has killed any momentum he may have had. Simpson faces Class D felony charges and 1-5 years in prison. He’ll likely end up settling and re-signing with the Bengals.
– The Vikings have named former Colts DBs coach Alan Williams as DC and Brendan Daly DL coach. Mike Singletary is being kept as “special assistant” to the head coach. Williams spent the past decade with the Colts.
– The Saints are reportedly set hire ex-Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo as DC. The 52-year-old was head coach in St. Louis the past three seasons and was fired in January after going 10-38 with the Rams. Before that he was DC for the Giants, a stint that included a Super Bowl upset of the Patriots.
– According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins are expected to announce their new head coach on Friday. Joe Philbin and Todd Bowles sat down with team on Wednesday, with Mike McCoy wrapping up the second round of interviews on Thursday. McCoy is rumoured to be the frontrunner.
– Nets’ F Brook Lopez (foot surgery) remains on target to return in roughly 2-4 weeks. Lopez has been out of his boot for two days, has been shooting and rebounding at practice Thursday. His arms reportedly “look muscular” thanks to all the weight lifting he did following surgery. Lopez averaged 22.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over the final 22 games of last season.
– Magic’ F Dwight Howard and Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant are still leading their respective conferences in votes for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. Howard leads all players with 1,161,797 votes in the second ballot return, while Bryant has pulled in 1,110,379 to pace the Western Conference. Heat’ F LeBron James is first among Eastern Conference forwards, with 972,580 votes, followed by the Knicks’ F Carmelo Anthony (779,945). Bulls’ G Derrick Rose leads guards with 1,040,210 votes, followed by the Heat’ G Dwyane Wade (972,015). Thunder’ F Kevin Durant leads Western Conference forwards with 973,152 votes, followed by the Clippers’ F Blake Griffin (619,913). Clippers’ G Chris Paul (835,026) is again second to Bryant among guards, while Lakers’ F Andrew Bynum is still tops among the West’s centers with 777,365 votes. Starters will be announced on February 2 for both conferences. The 2012 All-Star Game takes place on February 26 at Amway Center in Orlando.
– Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared on ESPN to promote his new movie, Red Tails. During the interview, Cuba mocked Allen Iverson’s infamous “practice” sound bite, then stopped himself short before dropping a no-no on national TV:
– According to ESPN, Floyd Mayweather Jr. called Manny Pacquaio on the phone after weeks of asking for a March 5 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In an interview with a Filipino television network, Pacquiao also said that they spoke and that it was about making the fight and doing it on a 50-50 purse split.
“They spoke. Floyd called him last night and the context of the conversation is between the two of them.”
“I can’t say what exactly was said. But Floyd wants to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 5 and he went as far as to reach out to Manny Pacquiao personally last night. Floyd has shown more than a willingness to get this fight done and this is really, really what he wants to do and what he wants to give to the fight fans.”
– Four-time X Games gold medallist Sarah Burke has passed away Thursday after a January 10 crash during a training run in Park City, Utah. She was 29. Tests revealed the Kelowna, B.C. native sustained “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest,” according to a statement released by her publicist, Nicole Wool, on behalf of the family. Wool said Burke’s organs and tissues were donated, as she had requested before the accident. Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge said in a statement:
“Our hearts go out to Sarah’s husband Rory and her entire family. It’s difficult for us to imagine their pain and what they’re going through. Sarah was certainly someone who lived life to the fullest and in doing so was a significant example to our community and far beyond. She will be greatly missed by all of us at the CFSA and the entire ski community.”
– IceDogs’ D Dougie Hamilton has been suspended 10 games for an illegal check to the head.
– According to the NY Daily News, Brewers’ OF Ryan Braun’s PED suspension appeal was heard on Thursday. Braun “pleaded his case” in front of a “three-member panel,” who will come to a decision on the matter soon. The 2011 National League MVP is denying that he has ever used performance-enhancing drugs, but a test in October came back positive for synthetic testosterone. The 50-game suspension will likely stand.
– According to a report by broadcaster Yancen Pujols, Indians’ RHP Fausto Carmona was arrested in his native Dominican Republic for using a false identity. Maximo Baez Aybar, who works PR for the Dominican police, confirms that Carmona (whose real name is actually Roberto Hernandez Heredia) was arrested outside the consulate while trying to secure a work visa. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) avoided jail time in the D.R. after faking his identity and even agreed to a new contract with the Marlins this week. Oviedo, however, is still trying to get his visa situation fixed–something Carmona/Heredia could soon encounter. The Indians picked up his $7M club option for 2012 in October, despite a 5.25 ERA over 32 starts last season.
– According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, the Rockies have signed RHP Rafael Betancourt to an extension. The new deal guarantees Betancourt his $4.25M option for 2013 and tacks on a $4.25M salary for 2014. Betancourt, 36, posted a strong 2.89 ERA and 73/8 K/BB ratio in 62 1/3 innings last season while serving primarily as a setup man, but will become the team’s new closer.
– Hall of Fame C Gary Carter’s health has taken a turn for the worse. The 57-year-old, diagnosed last May with a malignant brain tumour, received results of his latest MRI exam Thursday, according to the online journal of his daughter, Kimmy Bloemers. She writes,
“I wish I could say that the results were good. … There are now several new spots/tumors on my dad’s brain. I write these words with tears because I am so sad for my dad.”
Carter, a former member of the Montreal Expos, had the MRIs Friday in North Palm Beach, Fla., and they were sent to his doctors at Duke University for evaluation. A day earlier, he fell at a doctor’s appointment and completely tore a rotator cuff, Bloemers wrote, adding that he also fell on Christmas Eve.
– According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Indians are interested in free agent 1B Carlos Pena. Pena, 33, batted .225/.357/.462 with 28 home runs and 80 RBI in 606 plate appearances last season for the Cubs. They’ve also expressed some interest in 1B Casey Kotchman. He’s also being considered by the Yankees and Tigers.
– According to GM Jon Daniels, the Rangers spent two years scouting Japanese RHP Yu Darvish before signing him this season.
“It wasn’t just sitting behind the plate with a radar gun.”
“It wasn’t like the clock started on Day 1 and we were a brand new entity. They were open with us and talked with us and gave us access. You hear about other negotiations where you’re completely shut off from the player or the family, and it wasn’t handled that way.”
“We’ve had more and more of our American professional scouts and some of our best evaluators go over there, just knowing that, not just with Yu, that there was going to be opportunity.”
“As it became more and more evident, whether it was this year or next year at some point there was a chance Yu would get posted, we really ramped up our efforts. We knew the size of the investment was going to be big and we were going to have to be really thorough in our presentation to ownership and be convicted if this is what we decided to do. Our guys really did their homework, and we feel really good about the process.”
– According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s are nearing a deal with OF Jonny Gomes. Slusser’s source says Gomes, a native of Northern California, “could be in green and gold by Monday.” The 31-year-old is a poor defensive outfielder, but has a sparkling .281/.375/.501 career batting line against lefty pitchers and could be a nice platoon option.
– A Los Angeles judge has ratified a binding agreement between outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his former wife Jamie McCourt in their divorce case. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Thursday signed off on the settlement reached in November that calls for Frank McCourt to pay his ex-wife $131M by the end of April. Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball agreed late last year that the Dodgers and the team’s media rights would be sold. The team filed for bankruptcy protection in June after the league rejected a television contract with Fox. Among those who have expressed interest in buying the Dodgers is a group that includes former manager Joe Torre and another group with ex-Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.
– Rockies’ LHP Jorge De La Rosa (elbow) has begun mound work. De La Rosa is ahead of schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and is hoping to miss only the first month of the 2012 season. “They have told me to take my time, that they aren’t going to rush me. But I believe I can be back in the big leagues in May.” He’s due $10M in 2012.
– NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the league’s expiring CBA (September 15).
“Anything we have to say about collective bargaining – the system, the agreement – we’ll do it with the players association quietly. The fact is, we’re having another terrific season; this will be another record-breaking season for us, both in terms of revenues and attendance and I don’t see any reasons for anybody to be distracted by collective bargaining, certainly not now.
Bettman also spoke about the current state of the Coyotes, who are being run by the league along with the support of the Glendale City Council. Bettman stated that “nothing is imminent” when it comes to Phoenix.
“At some point, if we can’t get it resolved for next season, we’ll have to consider our alternatives – but that’s not new news.”
Bettman also praised the work of new director of player safety Brendan Shanahan.
“This job is everything he expected – and more. But I also think the players are hearing him. I think particularly with the videos, there’s greater clarity as to what is expected on the ice and what won’t be tolerated.”
“He aged probably five years in the last five months. This is a hard, hard job that he has. The decisions are hard and nobody’s ever happy.”
– Flyers’ D Chris Pronger’s (concussion) wife, Lauren, has opened up about her husband’s recovery:
– The Predators have claimed F Brandon Yip off waivers from the Avalanche. Head coach Barry Trotz said, ”Against us, we always thought he was a guy who could move up. He had a little bit of size, a little bit of speed, a little bit of goal scoring touch, and when he came on waivers, from our standpoint, I was a little surprised we actually got him. I thought there would be a few more teams interested in him.” Yip has 23 goals and 41 points in 113 games with the Avs, but was held scoreless in 10 games this year.
– Devils’ D Henrik Tallinder (acute thrombophlebitis) is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a blood clot in his left leg. Tallinder has six assist with a -11 rating in 39 games this season.
– UFC 143 will be the first-ever UFC event to be broadcast in 3D in movie theaters across the United States. Fathom Events, which syndicates special events to movie theaters, will be broadcasting the event in 3D. Tickets for the historic event will cost approximately $26, according to a source at Fathom. The official event synopsis:
The interim UFC welterweight championship is on the line at UFC 143, as the fiery and unpredictable Nick Diaz brings an 11 fight undefeated streak, a win over BJ Penn, and an attitude and style like no other into the Octagon for a showdown with “The Natural Born Killer,” former WEC champion and exciting finisher Carlos Condit.
Plus, powerhouse wrestlers Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce battle to make their case for a future shot at the 170-pound title. UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit – Saturday, February 4th, live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
– “The Icon” Sting has made his official debut to social media on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. He welcomes Stingers from across the world with the following message:
– Velvet Sky indicated in an interview promoting TNA Wrestling’s upcoming tour of the United Kingdom that she would be interested in a “Beautiful People” reunification with Angelina Love. When asked by Zoo Today if there will be a reunion, she responds, “You can never say never in wrestling, hint hint TNA creative.
“Don’t get me wrong I am enjoying my run just now as a singles competitor. When we were a group that was one of the best times I’ve had. Angelina and I, and she’ll agree, we’ve just had this amazing chemistry, especially when we were doing promos and talking.
“I feel like we were made for that role and Madison Rayne was a great fit to the group when she joined. You know it’s a lot harder for female acts to make an impact in the wrestling world. At the time of the Beautiful People we were confident it would work, but surprised to the extent of its success where we really connected with the fans. You couldn’t have just thrown any two people together to create the Beautiful People. A special bond and on-screen chemistry made it work and so successful.”
Sky was also asked about the impact of the Internet on the professional wrestling industry. She feel it’s fantastic for fan interaction but that wrestling news outlets are damaging. She cites a recent report.
“Aside from the positives from the likes of Twitter and Facebook, the internet in general has had quite a negative effect on the business,” she says.
“Some people report false information on professional wrestling and those in the industry, just so they can have a story. It was reported that the onscreen persona of Karen Jarrett and her negative dialogue of me was what TNA officials thought of me. That is complete and utter bullshit! It is just false. This is just a small example of how the internet can have a negative effect on wrestling and affect my character.”
“I laugh at it more than anything. It’s just frustrating because I have worked so hard to try and keep a good name for myself in this business. Don’t get me wrong as I said the likes of Twitter and Facebook have also had a positive effect because it has helped tremendously with fan interaction. Before social networking fans could only interact with us through autograph signings and events like that. But now with a click of a button fans can get in touch with us and that’s a great thing for us too.
– Stanislas Wawrinka awkwardly coped a feel on a line judge during the Australian Open. Check it out:
– WWE star Chris Jericho spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press about his future with the company:
“I have no intentions of leaving anytime soon. I’m in the best shape of my life I feel great. The thing for me is I always have lots of other stuff going on and I always have. So sometimes I leave to work on other projects, but I’ll always come back. “When I was growing up in Winnipeg I wanted to be two things: I wanted to be a wrestler and I wanted to be in a rock and roll band and I’ve been lucky enough to have both of those dreams come true.”
– Maryse Ouellet says her desire for “bigger and bigger things” in her career prompted her decision to part ways with WWE. She tells Radar Online,
“I have aspirations and there’s other stuff I want to work on, so I decided to go. That and for the simple fact that I didn’t want to be with the WWE for 25 years. I was there six years, I had my run, I wanted bigger and better things.”
The former Divas Champion was also asked why she said in a recent interview that she would not be joining TNA Wrestling.
“I decided to leave wrestling for other aspirations I have. I’m not going to go to TNA, I’m loyal to WWE — it wouldn’t make any sense!”
– Chyna posted rambling diatribes Wednesday and Thursday on Twitter accusing Vince McMahon and WWE of trying to ruin her life. She, however, vows to take on her former employer.
“I’m coming for you Vince…….You won’t leave mw alone, so let’s go. ??? Call me?? Coward. ur so lame. a fan? Of you? ur talent? f u.”
Here is her post in its entirety. I suggest going to the bathroom first, it’s rather long:
“Hey My fans! I love you see you at AVN! Hey Vince! For all your abuse!! You are a loser and always will be. let me show you how
Knock knock who’s scared of a great big bully (that I made since no one else will join) Not me!!! Let’s go Vince! I am not scared of you!
This is me and you. Return my call. Who made ur money u pay people off to? It’s on now, Live free or die hard b*tch! I’m a fighter.
you can follow my schedule start trouble sue whatev but not pick up the phone?? If u don’t have ur x pac punks out the window I’m showin up
And the taxes and the money and the radio. It’s 2012 suck dick Vince, who cares..but don’t abuse. U will be accountable,hhh,xpac watch!
I need to fila another official restraining order. Death threats affect my reputation… damn Sorry Buffallo.
Taxes? Witnesses? Trauma, hell just respect, sue me Vince so everyone can figure it out please. And quit using my name. Psycho F*ck!
I won’t quit Vince. You won’t…and I’m nothing like you. You’re a punk. I’m good with me. I’ll take whatever punk setup you got. IKEx10
thanks 4 following my schedule so u could mess it all up. Why u scared of me Vince. i could talk, really talk, but it’s me and u…..
Your’e a chump Mother playing with kids and superheroes…U make me ur life now me 2 cause i want nothing to do with you. pig!
HHH and x pac follow me on Twitter?? yeah so then this is why. Back off. Murderers and bullies. If it came time time to pop on ur own/ Ha
Say my name asshole…say it!!! I want @0k for all those that paid it and mine noe too. Shirts doll, freaky chinese sex tapes, Truth baby
So follow this WWE…….I’m not going anywhere, but I will try to make you feel every bit that u put on me and my loved ones. Alive.
It’s CHYNA That’s how much jerko?? No names they make money. …….I call you the punk b*tch clique..
can I buy and copywright that??? LOl!!! Really guys??? I’m fightin…. Everyone sits back and let’s that happen? Really?
I’m coming for you Vince…….You won’t leave mw alone, so let’s go. ??? Call me?? Coward. ur so lame. a fan? Of you? ur talent? f u
u wanna rape me and lie and video and laugh and threaten?? Why you so worried? u disrespectful ego psychos. I’m not scared..le’ts go.
I have a lot to say that’s not so funny, you bring it b*tch! I’ll explain and we’ll let the judge decide. If I can show up!! you F!!!
Oh and Vince..it’s CHYNA…and for ur death pole between Scott Hall and i..Damn I’m already under cause of u. All the drugs and ur protect
ur protection keeps them alive..with the billions we, meaning me and the fans…and ur talent..ahem I didn’t say men…. you wanna fight.??
If he can and you can than why can’t I tell the truth. They’re threatening my life. What’s the problem??
like they haven’t??? That’s why I am standing up.. I know babe, but it’s not OK and I stand behind that. until he leaves me alone.
Don’t start none won’t be one..Damn really still…Do I look like a b? What do you boys think???? So then don’t treat me like one damnit.
That’s what’s up HHH and X Pac who have been following and then some. Direct threatening me. ENOUGH.
Anybody? Boys? Vince’s peeps?? Anything?? yeah, I thought so…. nobody. Then why r xpac hhh still able to get away with their abuse?
You boys stay at home with your kids and quit worrying about me. Cause i can’t wait to open forum….
U just try me more and my family who I love. I’ve already taken bullets, I’ll go again!!! You punks! Leave me alone!
Goodnight all, positive thoughts. Be strong. Love, trust, loyalty??? Think about it. Stop pushing me. Not funny,
signing out. Now let’s get back to pretty if we can…..”
She continued Thursday, “I guess for life means you live and die there…even if it’s at the very end… Umm I’m not competing w Scott Hall for a Death Poll!.
Does that make money cause if I’m on top two I should be making some bank??? Hello? Anyone? Does Vince have al the lawyers paid? Sorry rude
He is master of manipulating the law..That’s why f it I’m going for it now!! No more abuse!!! And Hey guys be scared for Vince not me.
I do my taxes like a fiend, even though no money, health, work? Now the name again? Really It’s the same bad mo fo Vince Me! Nothing you!!
On Way to AVN’S soon. I have alerted the threat that has happened so many times so I can fight back when he comes this time.
Or whatever sneaky whatever. Tell you what a contract means…Tear it up and do a new one….. I’m covered. Blood sport. Not cool. Boys?
lock up your daughters!!! (cept for me!! I’m single and looking! LOL!) xxx I’ll take whatever Vinny but not without a fight you got??
I love my boys, my family, this is between Vince and his severe abuse to me and still continues. And it’s not OK…. HHH, Stephanie, X PAC!!
in the mean time w out probs please can’t wait to see everyone in Vegas for the AVN’S. Thank you VIVID!!! I’m so proud to be with you
OH Yeah!!! Here I come!!!! I feel strong and happy and now I’m pissed. Move out of my way. U’ll get run over….. Probably for real w Vince.
I’m still 4 life, even for principle, and I loved my family and Vince, I’m not killing myself lately..notice? But it was because of you.
Now come out and explain and you wanna play bully? I don’t work for you, you can ask Mr. Hirsch, oh and get with him on everything . legal.
I can slam some drinks, but when x pac puts ghb in them u don’t get it till years later.. never happen to you right? HHH good friend right?
So let’s have fun at the AVN’s this is huge huge for Vivid and the industry!! So excited. Be safe and be careful. We’re watching. And keep!
Thank you to all for making my dvd w VIVID such a success and a new start for me. The quality is so beautiful. I’m ashamed of DX now…
not my athletic ability and the fans, Oh I weep still, but that whole group os so gross. Would you work for him? that PG? And Public? Woa??
well let it be the hhh xpac and vince and steph show!!!! Save the rest of them the bs!! Let them do it!!! AVN”s Yaaayyy!!!
I got my smile and I’m good with me, no matter what. I know that. Fight big!!!!!!! Plus I have sh 2 do and I’m gettin irritated now!
AVN!!!!!! See you in Vegas all I love you!!!…. xoxo like Ali in his prime.. I guess those words just fly out finally. The truth hurts!!!
I’ll fight you tooth and nail Vince. II made a vow to change my life. That means you now have some answers to give. Mr. great Business boss?
So glad u tried to degrade me and made it through cause i love VIVID!! and wanna wrestle at Bunny Ranch anyone? HHmmmmm??????
Off in a bit. Stand up, fear and money, root of all evil. Kick ass and take names….sometimes you have to, ugh!!
Accidents happen remember..so be careful. (that’s what they tell me) but be safe have fun don’t drink and drive and come to AVN”s!!!!!
and if any of you Mother f ers have anything to say!!! Now’s the time!!! (o ren ishi….and ilegal aliens!!) hee heee see you there! Love
And that is why I am the Queen Of Sports! I saved my life from you and didn’t even touch them, Sean many times. They need to leave me alone
Get your own material and do your own piece of sh show….. Truly admirable!! Yah!!! Just watch the AVN’s No more $ FOR..What r their names?
I forgot, but VH! had to pay Vinny a mint,,, Where’s my dough?? I know that’s my name vince and it’s all me? Wanna get it straight in court?
In the justice system there are consequences for your actions…. just in case you forgot. And you aren’t the justice system too. IRS??
Besides you cheapscate billionaire!! Spend some money would ya?? Charity or somethig??? Court costs?? LOL! Bye all See you at AVN’s”
Chyna also wrote to WWE employee Howard Finkel, “on this date pass to Vinny that he is the worst thing that ever happened to the human spirit.”
– WWE has been named on a list of companies supporting the controversial SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) bill currently going through congress. For an explanation of exactly what SOPA is and why it is so dangerous to website publishers and anybody who visits websites, click here.
Tell Congress to vote “no” on SOPA. Contact your congressman to tell them your against the bill, either by calling their office, writing a letter, or sending a prepared message though americancensorship.org.