Chiefs QB Alex Smith upset over low, late hit to knees vs. Steelers

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith usually keeps his temper in check but had some pointed words for Mike Mitchell after the Pittsburgh Steelers safety dived into the back of his knees following a third-quarter pass in Sunday’s game.

“Certainly when I got fired up, I thought [the hit] was pretty late,” said Smith, who screamed something at Mitchell after the hit. “I mean, when you get hit in the back of your knee like that, I didn’t understand how that happened. Certainly guys falling, rushing the quarterback, I get it when it’s happening from the front and guys are trying hard. That one to me just seemed so weird to get hit that low coming from behind.”

Pole dancing is not like everyone thinks it is, you need to actually watch it to understand.

Competitions started but they were very amateur, with friends of friends doing the judging. My goal initially was to make it more professional.

I feel like we have achieved the impossible, everyone told us that we would not be able to get pole dancing recognised as a sport.

Having grown rapidly since it was founded in 2009, the IPSF is now made up of 25 national federations, including Spain, Japan and Mexico, and is due to welcome new members from the US and China next year.

In 2012, it hosted the first World Pole Sports Championship, which launched to coincide the with London 2012 Olympic Games.

And I hope people will give the owners the benefit of the doubt that it takes time to get up to speed on these issues. We aren’t there yet, but we are getting there.sabres_012

It’s hard work to make adjustments to the game and having injuries and things like that.

The matchup that matters most: Quintana (and the lefty relievers) versus Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy. Quintana held lefties to a .584 OPS compared to .732 versus righties. As mentioned here before, Harper had a sizable platoon split this season, with a much worse strikeout-to-walk ratio against southpaws. Yet in the eighth inning of Game 2, Joe Maddon let Carl Edwards Jr. face Harper (who represented the tying run) instead of bringing in Mike Montgomery. Boom. Game tied. With three lefties in the pen — Montgomery, Brian Duensing and Justin Wilson — Harper shouldn’t see a right-hander in a tight game unless it’s closer Wade Davis.

The prediction: The Nationals hit a lot better at home this season (.287/.352/.471 versus .245/.312/.428), so that may favor the Cubs. Quintana has been very good of late, with a 45-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his final six starts. Scherzer’s health is a wild card, but it seems he may have to pitch a gem. Here’s saying he does. Nationals win 4-2.

There’s not many LeBrons out here, guys that don’t get injured. There’s not many Russells [Russell Westbrook], but even Russell’s gotten injured. There’s not many guys like that. I think Derrick has done a great job of fighting through injuries and coming back and fighting through injuries and coming back and it takes a strong mental guy to be able to do that. I fought through a lot myself.”

Keep an eye on Mack, who had by far his best pro game in Week 5. He rushed for 91 yards on nine attempts, including a nifty 35-yard run and a touchdown. He’s clearly the Colts’ most explosive back, and while Frank Gore is the unquestioned starter, Indy might have found something in Mack with his Week 5 usage. The hope is that can serve as a springboard game, making Mack a savvy add and stash.ravens_136

The 0-4 Chargers and Giants play each other in Week 5.

Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner missed Sunday’s game against the Cowboys because of a hamstring injury and remains “week-to-week,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. McVay added that Joyner has made “a lot of good progress,” and it looks like he at least has a chance of being available against the Seahawks. Joyner, the NFL’s third-highest-graded safety by Pro Football Focus, acts as both a free safety and a slot corner for the Rams. If he can’t go, Cody Davis will get the reps at free safety and Nickell Robey-Coleman will see time at slot corner. — Alden Gonzalez

The other winless teams — the 49ers and Browns — have winnable games. So which team will get its first victory?

Bowen: I’ll take the Giants to get their first win of the season at home against the Chargers. Los Angeles can’t run the ball, and it can’t stop the run. That’s a bad combination at any level of the game. Maybe this is the week the Giants establish some sense of tempo with the ground game and get an explosive play over the top from Odell Beckham Jr. to pull away from the Chargers late.

Clay: It feels sacrilegious to go against the Chargers, but I actually expect both the Giants and Browns to notch their first wins this weekend. The Chargers-Giants game should be a tight one and can certainly go either way, but the Browns should get a boost with Myles Garrett, Danny Shelton and Jamie Collins potentially back in the lineup. I have them knocking off the overachieving Jets 22-20 in the Dawg Pound.kings_1703779

Panthers’ Cam Newton listed as questionable for season opener

Cam Newton remains on the mend.

The Panthers quarterback is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report ahead of the regular-season opener Sunday against the 49ers, but coach Ron Rivera still expects his starter to be under center.

“As far as injuries go, Eric Berry looks like he has an Achilles tendon potential tear,” Reid said (via the team’s website). “We’ll find out more after his MRI and that whole deal.”If Berry’s Achilles is torn it will end his season, marking another bump in the road for the talented defender who all but shut down Rob Gronkowski Thursday.

He’ll undergo an MRI on Friday, the team said.

Berry, the highest-paid safety in the league this season, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Dec. 8, 2014, but returned to make the Pro Bowl in 2015. He then built on that season by earning his fifth Pro Bowl appearance in 2016 after finishing with four interceptions and two touchdowns.

Though Berry has never had more than 92 tackles in a season, he has been a star contributor at all levels of the defense over his six-year career.

“When an assistant coach becomes a head coach, it’s different,” Hurney told co-host Gil Brandt and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio during Panthers training camp. “I’ve heard a lot of guys say, ‘Man, when can I get back just to coaching ball?’

“It’s the same as a general manager. It’s not fantasy football. You’re not just picking guys. You have so many other things to address. There’s a lot of balls in the air at once.”nike_cardinals_1604

The 49ers have won five Super Bowls, though the last championship was in 1994.

This projection has the Saints going 7-1 at home, with the only home defeat coming against the Patriots. While Drew Brees landed solidly in Tier 1, some voters thought there were signs he was slipping physically and could fall off. The assumption here is that Brees will continue to do what he did last season, which was give New Orleans a chance to win in spite of a defense that is striving for subpar after a run of historically bad.

Vegas has set the Redskins’ win total at 7.5. I’ve got them beating that with Kirk Cousins leading shootout victories over the Raiders (home) and Chargers (road). I didn’t go into this exercise thinking the Eagles would sweep the Redskins after going 0-4 against them over the past two seasons, but it worked out that way when picking games week by week.

The 49ers have won five Super Bowls, though the last championship was in 1994. It’s a historically great franchise that has fallen on tough times. The team is hoping that this is the season that starts a turnaround under its fourth new head coach in as many seasons, Kyle Shanahan, and general manager John Lynch.

Jump on board with the Seahawks and you’ll join one of the liveliest fan bases in the country. They call themselves the 12th Man, and they’re loud. Like, really loud. It makes playing at CenturyLink Field a real challenge for opponents.

The Bears have more former players in the Hall of Fame than any other team, with 33, and they also have the most wins in NFL history with 744. But the Bears have just one Super Bowl win, back in 1985. After a 3-13 season last year, that’s not likely to change in the immediate future.

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The site is the brainchild of Brian Watkins, an e-commerce veteran who saw the rise of nontraditional subscription rental businesses such as clothing and watches and decided the jersey market was ready for a similar disruption.

The Peoria Rivermen released their promotions schedule Monday for the 2017-18 SPHL season.

The team’s plan includes special themed jerseys, indoor fireworks, wiener dog races, an appearance by a Chicago Blackhawks legend, giveaway items, special guests and more.

Both the red and white jerseys have the same white, red, light blue and navy piping on the sleeves, while the white jerseys, which will be worn at home for the first half of the season, have red trim on the shoulders.

Melvin Gordon’s father, freed from prison, will finally see him play NFL game

For Melvin Gordon III, Sunday’s preseason game against the Seahawks will be an emotional affair.

Millennials are on their phones all the time anyway, said Jets president Neil Glat. Boarding Pass is a smart way to appeal to fans who might like the novelty and surprise of sitting in different seats on any given Sunday.

“Some games you’ll be upstairs, some game you’ll be downstairs, some games you’ll be in a club,” promised Glat here at MetLife Stadium’s Toyota Club, where the Jets held their second annual “upfront” presenting news ticket plans, food offerings and customer experiences.

Glat declined to comment on how many fans he expects to purchase the 10-game season pass. But the team does say do say that if a fan attends all 10 games, the face value of the tickets is “guaranteed” to exceed the purchase price.

Boarding Pass sounds like a great idea. But it also shows the mighty NFL is no longer Teflon after an 8-percent drop in TV ratings last season.

Moving forward, more clubs like the Jets are going to have to get creative to retain season ticket holders.

With the exception of the elite squads – the Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers and Giants, namely – the days of just mailing out a renewal notice may be over. Especially if the economy doesn’t improve.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers are not operating with any sense of urgency on finding a Kyrie Irving trade. League sources say they are continuing to field calls and talk through ideas, but that there is no sense of closure on the situation looming. In fact, there does not seem to be much urgency in how the Cavs are approaching the situation at all.

Sherman then brought up an interesting point.

He then named names. Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now — whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible — have jobs. He also mentioned Kaepernick being better than Blake Bortles and Jared Goff.

Felix Potvin Game Jersey All issues aside, Sherman advocated for others in the NFL to speak up on Kaepernick’s behalf. Not a lot of guys are willing to step out there, he said. So the guys not speaking up for him are doing him a disservice.
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Sherman then brought up an interesting point. He mentioned his teammate Michael Bennett also being outspoken in favor of Kaepernick, and added, but on our team it’s like, ‘They’re a bunch of hippies over there.’

Bennett, who also spoke with Bell, brought home a major point that is often overlooked when it comes to Kaepernick’s situation.

There are (accused) rapists and drunk drivers in the league, Bennett said. But he’s somebody who didn’t do anything to anybody.

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott weren’t on the field, but a couple of other Cowboys stepped up to give us some highlights.

Even the tight end position could be interesting again. The Giants have spent years shuffling between mediocrities like Will Tye and Larry Donnell, but now they have an intriguing rookie in first-round draft pick Evan Engram. The Ole Miss prospect was touted as one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the draft, and Engram is capable of lining up in multiple positions, giving Eli a versatile weapon at tight end he hasn’t really had since Martellus Bennett’s brief run in 2012.

There is potential on this offense, but also a lot of question marks, so New York will need its defense to step up once again.

Michael Jordan bets hundreds of thousands of dollars on golf, according to Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley says Michael Jordan likes to bet a lot of money on golf.

How much? Hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Barkley.

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, the NBA analyst said he once saw MJ bet $300,000 on a putt.

Barkley said he’s not sure why Jordan bets so much, but thinks it’s probably because he’s so competitive.

He also shared his own troubles with gambling, saying that he’s won a million dollars five times, but probably lost a million dollars 25 times.

Patton had a distinct matchup edge inside against an undersized Rhode Island frontcourt, but was unable to take advantage. He got into foul trouble quickly, and ended up being disqualified from the game after only 21 minutes of playing time. It was an extremely underwhelming performance after an extremely underwhelming second half of the Big East season.

Prior to Mo Watson’s injury, Patton was averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on a ridiculous 74 percent field goal percentage. Without Watson, those numbers fell to 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds on 61 percent shooting. Those numbers aren’t bad, but questions still abound about him from NBA decision-makers. He’s another player that wouldn’t be guaranteed to go in the first round if he was to leave. He will also not have an extremely easy decision, given that Creighton returns a lot of the talent on its roster next season.steelers_133

Schroder and Millsap won their individual matchups this time

There is no shortage of general managers around the league who are not much interested in Anthony. So, who might be?

The Clippers remain the logical destination, according to other executives, though, it should be stressed, they’re merely speculating. We’re a long way from Anthony winding up in LA. But should the team fizzle out in the postseason for the fourth straight year of Doc Rivers’ tenure, changes are sure to be made. Four Clippers starters are heading into free agency, and three of them are looking at major payouts: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick.

“That might be the best bet,” the West exec said. “I think you’d need both sides to be a little desperate, and if things don’t work out for the Clippers, they might be as desperate for changes as the Knicks.”

Regardless of how much Wall was “fazed” by the defensive intensity, Schroder and Millsap won their individual matchups this time, and that may be the key to making a comeback in this series. In the two previous games, Wall and Morris won and talked the talk. The tables turned Saturday, if only for a night.

“They did what they were supposed to do,” Wall said. “We took care of home court. They came home — we knew the crowd was going to be amazing for them. They got Game 3. Our job is to put the pressure on them to win Game 4.”

Before Game 3, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told Schroder to calm down on the trash talk. According to Schroder, Budenholzer wanted him to act more like Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Schroder being Schroder, he pleaded to Budenholzer that the talk was all in fun and that it made him play harder.

“I’d like it if everybody was quiet and played beautiful basketball,” Budenholzer said. “I know the trash talk is part of the game, but I also want my guys to be in control and focused.”