random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata


jadevean clowney


…Merril Hoge has said some controversial things as an ESPN commentator.  He’s also said some stupid stuff.  Time will tell on his latest comment about potential first round, first overall draft pick Jadevean Clowney.  Despite being projected by some as the top player taken in the upcoming NFL Draft, football analyst Merril Hoge doesn’t believe Jadeveon Clowney is a good football player. You might have seen or heard Hoge make such comments in his appearance on SportsCenter from Monday. Aside from calling the former South Carolina standout “not a very good football player,” Hoge also went on the record as saying Clowney’s fundamentals are “atrocious.” In fairness, Clowney’s fundamentals may have some room for improvement. The same goes for his work ethic. But there’s no denying his athleticism and the fact that his physical gifts are second to none among any other player in the NFL Draft. This fact alone makes Hoge’s comments seem a bit extreme. But that’s nothing new.

…The latest person to join the party and pile on the criticism of Clowney is Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who questioned whether or not Clowney has the “fire” to do everything he will be asked to do at the next level. “My grandfather taught me something a long time ago. He said ‘You will never get more money by doing less work,’” Sapp said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I look at Jadeveon Clowney’s [game] tape and I don’t see a guy that is playing the game with his hair on fire, making plays, running up and down the field sideline to sideline, doing all of the things. “That’s the real issue with me: What else is he doing not waking up?. The next job you have is rushing the quarterback, young man, getting ready for the NFL. If you wake up every morning and you’re not ready, prepared to go out and do the things you have to be to be a [defensive] end, outside linebacker – a pass-rushing specialist – what else is there?”

…Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri will not be fined or punished for the expletive he uttered Saturday at a pep rally before the Raptors’ home playoff opener, according to sources familiar with the league’s ruling. Sources told ESPN.com that Ujiri received a formal warning after separate conversations Monday with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and president of basketball operations Rod Thorn. But the league, sources said, decided that no further sanction was justified in this case, given Ujiri’s spotless history as a executive with both the Denver Nuggets and Raptors and the fact that the incident took place at a pep rally designed to get Toronto’s fans fired up for Game 1 of its series against Brooklyn. Ujiri shouted “F— Brooklyn!” at a fan rally outside Air Canada Centre prior to Game 1 of his team’s first-round Eastern Conference playoff series Saturday against the Nets — a 94-87 Brooklyn victory.

…Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson was arrested on charges of misdemeanor spousal battery early Monday morning at his Los Angeles home, according to the city’s CBS affiliate. Police responded to a call from Johnson’s home around 12:30 a.m. PT regarding a possible assault. “When deputies arrived, it was determined that the resident and his ex- girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute,” the LASD said. Johnson, 41, posted $20,000 bond at 9:15 a.m. and was released. Johnson played 11 NFL seasons — four with the Jets, four with the Buccaneers, two in Dallas and one with the Panthers. He has been an ESPN analyst since 2007. A spokesperson for ESPN told Pro Football Talk that the company is aware of Johnson’s arrest and “looking into it.” TMZ is reporting that Johnson smashed his ex-girlfriend’s phone, gashing her hand.

…Officials made the wrong foul call near the end of Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, the league announced Monday. Down one point with 10.8 seconds left in overtime, Rockets center Dwight Howard appeared to be fouled by Blazers forward Joel Freeland after going in for a rebound. Instead, the officials called the foul on Howard, which was his sixth. Howard finished the game with 27 points and 15 rebounds. If the officials had made the correct call, Howard, a 55 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, would have been sent to the line with a chance to take the lead. “After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets’ Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime,” Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, said in a news release. “The foul should have been called on the Blazers’ Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws.”

…And that wasn’t the onoly crucial mistake by the NBA zebras.  The NBA announced after the fact that instead of losing the ball out of bounds, Clipper guard Chris Paul was actually fouled.  Happening near the games end, the Clippers were down 2 when the incorrect call was made.

…On Friday, former professional boxing champion Kassim Ouma was arrested in Los Angeles on battery charges for allegedly beating a man who made gay advances toward him. This is according to a report by TMZ Sports. According to the report, Ouma was spending time in Hollywood early Friday when he met the man and eventually invited the individual over to his house for a drink. This is allegedly when the guy tried to make a move on Ouma. The former IBF junior middleweight champion respectfully declined multiple advances before the man tried one last time when Ouma was getting ready to move. This is when Ouma allegedly shoved him, which sparked an altercation, before Ouma eventually knocked the guy out cold.

…I admit that I do possess a little sports memorabilia, but this item won’t make my list. Is anyone in the market for a game-used cup by Tyler Seguin? If so, this strange “collectible” could be all yours for a cool price of $250, assuming you take advantage and buy the item from eBay. Apparently, the cup was worn when Seguin played for the Boston Bruins. He now suits up and plays hockey for the Dallas Stars. Here are some more details on the one-of-a-kind piece: Up for sale is Tyler Seguin’s game used cup from his jock strap. Acquired after the Bruins had flopped to the Capitals in the 1st round. The cup was purchased before the annual Bruins equipment sale at Pure Hockey in Medford. My buddy worked at Pure Hockey and manage to set aside a few items. One of the items was the jock strap. The fabric of the jock strap had a nasty sweat smell plus was torn on the side so I threw it out but kept the plastic cup. Purchasing the cup was ment (sic) to be a joke. Comes with a COA. As the Bleacher Report notes, the purchase comes with a worry-free piece of paper known as a certificate of authenticity, so you don’t have to feel concerned that the game-used cup isn’t legit.

…Giants safety Will Hill is facing another suspension from the NFL for a violation of the league’s drug policy, according to Mike Garafalo of FOX Sports. Garaflo reports Hill plans to appeal the decision. Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports even if Hill wins an appeal, he is likely done as a Giant. Hill already has served two previous NFL suspensions. In 2012, he was suspended four games in 2012 for a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs after testing positive for Adderall, and he later sat out another four games last season for violating the policy on substance abuse. Hill said he tested positive for marijuana. Another suspension under the performance-enhancing policy could bring an eight-game suspension for Hill. An additional violation of the substance abuse policy could result in a season-long ban.

…Joakim Noah has sued former shoe sponsor Le Coq Sportif for making shoes that may have damaged his feet and for screwing him out of more than $1.65 million. According to a report by TMZ Sports, Noah filed a lawsuit against the French company in a Washington D.C. court in November, alleging that Le Coq Sportif inked him to a 6-year, $6 million deal in 2007, but failed to completely compensate him for the full $6 million. Here’s more on the story from TMZ: In the suit, Noah says he was pumped about the deal at first — but shortly after he signed, LCS shut down its U.S. offices, fired the guy who signed Noah, and started looking for ways to back out of the deal.  Noah claims things came to a head in 2013 when they suddenly stopped paying him money he believed they were obligated to pay. Noah says despite the negative energy, he held up his end of the bargain — and wore Le Coq shoes in every NBA game he played even though he claims they were “not well designed and likely contributed to [my] development of plantar fasciitis.”

…New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday night’s game with the Boston Red Sox in the second inning for having a foreign substance on his neck that he was applying to the baseball. In a bizarre sequel to an April 10 game between the Yankees and Red Sox, in which Pineda was suspected of having pine tar on the palm of his pitching hand, Red Sox manager John Farrell asked home plate umpire Jerry Davis to check Pineda. After a mound conference in which Davis checked Pineda’s hand, the ball, and finally, the right side of his neck, Pineda was ejected from the game. At the time, Pineda had a 1-2 count on Grady Sizemore. He was replaced by David Phelps, who completed the strike out.

…Pity the poor Cubbies.   The Chicago Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field in the most appropriate way: with a gut-wrenching loss. They entered the ninth inning with a three-run lead. They were one out from victory. And then they collapsed. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five runs in the ninth to beat the Cubs 7-5 Wednesday. “That one finished not like we would have wanted, obviously,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “It seemed like the inning kept opening up, and we weren’t able to end up in the end putting a stop to it.”  Hey, Wrigley doesn’t look bad for 100!  It doesn’t look a day over 88.

…The joe Paterno story refuses to go away much like the Aaron Hernandez story.  And you and I both knew it was just a matter of time.  Construction workers tore down Penn State’s iconic Joe Paterno statue on campus two years ago — but this town might not be without one for much longer. Two alumni already have received the OK from the borough to install a projected $300,000 life-sized bronze sculpture downtown, about two miles from the original site. And they’re hoping the statue, which will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading Virgil’s “Aeneid,” will be installed by fall of next year. They have commissioned an artist, Zenos Frudakis, and will seek to raise $50,000 for “Joe’s Bench” on the funding platform Kickstarter come July. “We just felt that the university was not ready yet” to honor Paterno, said Kim Intorre, one of the organizers. “But the community is.” on’t expect any statues for Hernandez however.

…The mess in New York may escalate before it gets any better.  Why? Knicks president Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan are already at odds just a few weeks after joining forces in New York? The rumored tension centers on a New York Daily News report that Dolan is having trouble ceding his decision-making power. Frank Isola of the Daily News brings the latest rumblings: Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees. According to the source, Dolan’s reaction to Jackson’s request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team. To say that “minor friction,” as one Garden source called it, can be classified as Jackson’s honeymoon with Dolan being over may be stretching it a bit. If you hire Phil Jackson you better expect that he will want full control.  But Dolan has never been one to keep his fingers out of the pie.

…Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing, via a statement released by the team on Wednesday. Wilson said the decision was not easy and respectfully asks for “prayers and understanding and privacy during this difficult time.” The couple was married in January 2012 after his final college football season at Wisconsin and prior to his being drafted by the Seahawks with the 12th pick of the third round. It isn’t known whether Wilson’s short stature for a quarterback played a part in the decision.

…TCU wide receiver Brandon Carter was arrested on Tuesday for alleged possession of marijuana during a traffic stop by Fort Worth police, according to a report on Wednesday from Deanna Boyd of the Star Telegram. The college senior was pulled over at approximately 5:12 p.m. in downtown Forth Worth on Tuesday after local police discovered that a 2010 Lexus being driven by Carter had a “warrant” registered to its license plate. Carter and former teammate 22-year-old Alexis Harris, who owns the vehicle, were then taken into custody for alleged possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. According to Boyd, citing the police report, Carter was also arrested for two other outstanding warrants and was released from jail on Wednesday morning.

…New Mexico suspended running back Crusoe Gongbay indefinitely after he turned himself into authorities and the school says he is facing rape charges, reports the Associated Press. According to KOB-TV, Gongbay, 20, and another man face two counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count of kidnapping. Gongbay was jailed on a $50,000 bond, and the second suspect is being held on a $100,000 bond. More from the AP: The charges stem from April 13, when a female student reported she was the victim of sexual assault. Investigators say they consulted with the district attorney’s office before requesting arrest warrants, according to the report. “We are aware of the allegations involving Crusoe Gongbay” head coach Bob Davie said in a statement released by the school. “Once this process is complete and all the details have emerged, we will handle the outcome appropriately. As this is an ongoing situation, we will not be able to comment any further at this time.”

…At 52-years-old, Herschel Walker is far from what most would consider a decent age to play professional football. However, the former Heisman winner believes he could still put on the pads and hang with the best of ’em these days. “I can play in the NFL today,” Walker insisted to USA TODAY Sports. “I couldn’t take every snap. But running backs nowadays don’t play every down. Now they send in the choir section. “Physically, I can still do it.” Walker’s comments come 25 years after the Dallas Cowboys traded him to the Minnesota Vikings for a package that included a whopping five players and six draft picks. It is often revered as one of the most lopsided trades in the history of the NFL. You know what?  He might be right!

…The NFL?  If you didn’t read it you may not believe it.  The NFL released its 2014 schedule on Wednesday, and curiously the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks have just one nationally televised game at home: the league’s season opener against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4. Citing a league source, Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports reported on Thursday that the reason the Seahawks are scheduled to play three of their four nationally televised games on the road next season is that the league is “wary,” according to the report, of giving the Seahawks primetime coverage at CenturyLink Field because of their track record of blowouts in Seattle.

…Last add Seahawk tv schedule – the Packers, Eagles, Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys — each host three nationally-televised games in 2014. Another 15 teams host two primetime games. The Seahawks get just one at home.

…Say it ain’t so!  The poor fans of the Buffalo Bills may lose their best reason to cheer – the Buffalo Jill cheerleaders!  Just days after five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed a lawsuit against the organization, the franchise has suspended operations on the Buffalo Jills. The suit suggests that the Bills cheerleaders were underpaid and “mistreated,” a claim similar to those filed earlier this offseason by former members of the Oakland Raiders cheerleading squad, The Raiderettes, and Cincinnati’s Ben-Gals. There was no mention of how long the suspension of operations regarding the Jills would be or if the cheerleading squad is being removed permanently.

…It looked like the Clippers were on a roll and even the jackass owner Donald Sterling couldn’t screw this one up.  And then … Yep, he did it again.  If you have lived off the grid in a cave for the past 5 years you still probably knew that something was seriously amiss with Sterling.  In fact, there were so many  smaller, less known incidents (Baylor, rental discrimination lawsuits) I wonder why the former NBA honcho David Stern never stepped in.  Now it is up to the new guy to settle this.

…Obviously I can’t speak for the players who are really caught between a rock and a hard place.  It would pain me to put more  dollars in the pocket of the dolt, but I wouldn’t want to be known for tanking  either nor disappoint the loyal fans who in essence are footing most of the  bill.  Part of me says he’s 81 years old and that’s the kind of things 81 year olds say.  The other part says how could he not know that “V” was trying to goad him into saying something along the lines he did.  Maybe because he’s 81!


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