random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

teal field
…It took a little while to really catch on, but a bunch of schools are hopping on the colored field bandwagon that is famously driven by Boise State. Last year, Eastern Michigan put
in a gray field that has received mixed reviews. Now, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are jumping in on the trend with a teal field. The program released a rendering of the field on
Twitter. It’s not quite as jarring as Eastern Michigan’s field or the red field at Eastern Washington, but it is still a pretty interesting look.

…Another view on deflategate – Aaron Rodgers says NFL referees take air out of footballs to be used in games, and he doesn’t think it should happen. In fact, the Green Bay Packers quarterback believes there should be a minimum air pressure and no limit to how much game balls are inflated. This comes after reports that the New England Patriots purposely deflated footballs used in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts, a charge the NFL is investigating. “I have a major problem with the way it goes down, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said Tuesday on his ESPN Milwaukee radio show. “The majority of the time, they take air out of the football. I think that, for me, is a disadvantage.” Rodgers said he likes the ball to be inflated because of his strong grip pressure and large hand size but doesn’t believe that’s the norm. “The majority of quarterbacks, I would say more than half,
are maybe on the other end of the spectrum and like it on the flatter side,” he said on his show. “My belief is that there should be a minimum air-pressure requirement but not a maximum. There’s no advantage, in my opinion — we’re not kicking the football — there’s no advantage in having a pumped-up football.

…Under a new proposal by Major League Baseball, pitchers would be required to finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the
end of all between-inning commercial breaks, sources told ESPN.com. Similarly, hitters would have to be in the batter’s box, ready to start their at-bats, 20 seconds before the end of
each break. In order to help speed up games, MLB is proposing that hitters be in the batter’s box 20 seconds before the end of each break. Both proposals are designed to tighten the
time between half-innings, which has grown, on average, to more than three minutes, even though regular-season commercial breaks during games that are not nationally televised are
supposed to last just 2 minutes, 5 seconds. Baseball officials believe that if play is ready to resume moments after each break ends, they could shorten games by 10 to 15 minutes. Just
those efforts alone would bring the average game time to below three hours without enacting any other pace-of-game measures.

… Tiger Woods has another reason not to like cameras — his agent said it cost him a tooth. Woods made a surprise visit to Italy on Monday to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn capture
her record 63rd World Cup race. The photo that generated all the buzz was Woods missing his front tooth. The culprit, according to his agent, was a camera. According to his agent,
Tiger Woods had a tooth knocked out by a video camera while celebrating with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn on the podium following her record 63rd World Cup skiing victory. “During a crush
of photographers as the awards podium at the World Cup event in Italy, a media member with a shoulder-mounted video camera pushed and surged toward the stage, turned and hit Tiger
Woods in the mouth,” Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports said in an email. “Woods’ tooth was knocked out by the incident.” Race organizers said this was not reported to them. They added
that Woods did request extra security and a snowmobile to exit the finish area, and organizers met both requests. “I was among those who escorted him from the tent to the snowmobile
and there was no such incident,” Nicola Colli, the secretary general of the race organizing committee, told The Associated Press. “When he arrived he asked for more security and we
rounded up police to look after both him and Lindsey.”

…In order for a NHL team to come to Las Vegas, a total of 10,000 season ticket deposits must be received by the league, out of the 18,000 seats in the new arena that is being built
to host the team. Deposits would be refundable if Las Vegas doesn’t secure a franchise. Las Vegas currently doesn’t have a team in any of the four major professional U.S. sports
leagues. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, billionaire Bill Foley, along with Joe and Gavin Maloof, who are part owners of the Palms casino and former owners of the Sacramento
Kings NBA franchise, are among business leaders in Las Vegas spearheading the effort to get the NHL team in town. As for the arena, the project is a $375 million facility from MGM
Resorts and Anschutz Entertainment Group. It will be located behind New York-New York casino and next to Monte Carlo casino, the Review-Journal reported. All parties behind the effort
are hoping for a NHL team in time for the 2016-2017 season. The arena, with or without a NHL team, will open in April 2016. It will host other sporting events such as boxing matches. A
name for the potential Las Vegas NHL team has not yet been decided. Poker pro and huge hockey fan Daniel Negreanu is actively doing what he can to aid the effort to bring a team to Sin
City.

…While there were plenty of wonderful moments during the most recent college football bowl season, what happened at the end of the first Miami Beach Bowl between Memphis and BYU was
not one of them. Players from both teams exchanged blows instead of handshakes after the game in the ugliest scene of the bowl season, if not the entire college football season. As a
result, Memphis announced Tuesday that 12 players from its football team will be issued some sort of suspension. Suspensions for returning players in 2015 will range from half-game to
two-game suspensions on top of suspensions from other team activities such as practices and scrimmages, according to The Commercial Appeal. Which players will serve what suspension has
not been confirmed, as a review of the incident may require some additional work before making those decisions. “We hold our student-athletes to the highest standards of sportsmanship
and personal conduct at the University of Memphis,” Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in a released statement. “The actions of a few members of our football program in Miami
were completely unacceptable. I can assure our community, fans and stakeholders that we have and will continue to hold our young men and women accountable and will use this unfortunate
incident as a teaching tool for all our student-athletes moving forward.” BYU has not issued any disciplinary actions at this time.

…Former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, who is married to US women’s soccer star Hope Solo, was reportedly arresting in Los Angeles this week for driving while under the influence.
Solo was with him at the time, and she was apparently not all that cooperative with police. According to TMZ, Stevens was pulled over just before 2:00 a.m. Monday morning when officers
noticed him swerving on the road. Solo was reportedly “acting belligerent” during the stop and even pulled out her cell phone at one point to record the officers. A law enforcement
official told TMZ that both Stevens and Solo “were a major pain” and that Hope came very close to being arrested for disorderly conduct. Both Stevens and Solo allegedly pulled the
“don’t you know who we are?” card with police. Stevens refused to submit to a breathalyzer, so officers obtained a warrant to have his blood tested and he was eventually booked for
DUI. Solo was slapped with a 30 day suspension from the U.S. Soccer team.

…The man who luckily caught the football tossed into the crowd by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse after he scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the NFC
Championship Game sure could have used a positive development in his life, and he undoubtedly received it. Scott Shelton, seated in the end zone seats, obviously was well beyond
ecstatic when Kearse hauled in the 35-yard touchdown pass to punch the Seahawks’ second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl. And it got only better for him when Kearse heaved the ball
into the crowd and he ended up in possession of the prized piece of pigskin. Shelton, an unemployed father of two, says he has been offered upwards of $20,000 by a sports memorabilia
dealer for the football. But he insists that after he was contacted personally Monday morning by Kearse himself, he has no plans to part with the ball unless he gives it to the wide
receiver who joyfully tossed the ball into the stands in the first place.

…Four days after Robert Allenby says he was kidnapped, beaten and robbed, the Honolulu Police Department issued its first public statement about the case. The news, though, was that
there is no news. No arrests have yet to be made and suspects are still being investigated. “Detectives are reviewing witness statements and gathering security video footage,” read the
statement, issued around 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday. “They are also looking into recent charges made on Mr. Allenby’s credit card. No arrest has been made. “Detectives have opened second
degree robbery and fraudulent use of credit card investigations. Second degree robbery is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment; fraudulent use of credit cards is punishable by up
to five years.” Following a missed cut at the Sony Open, Allenby went to the Amuse Wine Bar in Honolulu on Friday night. While he says his memory is hazy, there is video footage of the
PGA Tour veteran leaving the establishment with other people. He was later found in a park with abrasions on his face and his left eye nearly swollen shut. Allenby thanked the homeless
woman who helped him after the attack, Charade Keane, by giving her a $1,000 gift card on Monday, but some remain skeptical about the events of the evening. While the Aussie has stuck
firmly to his story, there have been conflicting reports about how far away from the bar he was when he was found and who put him in a cab and paid for his ride back to the hotel.

…The Patriots are always looking for bulletin board material to increase their motivation. So, here you go. Seattle Seahawks starting nickel cornerback Jeremy Lane paused for a
moment Thursday when asked what makes New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski so good, because Lane disagrees. Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane said he doesn’t think Patriots
three-time All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is that good. “I actually don’t think he’s that good,” Lane said. “He’s OK. He does have a big body. But from what I’ve seen on tape, he
doesn’t like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won’t catch that many balls.” Gronkowski (6-foot-6, 265 pounds) is a three-
time All-Pro selection, including this season when he caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. But Lane said the key to stopping Gronkowski is hitting him at the line of
scrimmage.

…According to Entertainment Weekly, actor Ryan Reynolds is starring in a new film involving poker, called Mississippi Grind, that will likely hit U.S. theaters sometime this year.
Reynolds plays a nomadic poker player who teams up with a character played by Ben Mendelsohn to “hit the road together to try to make a high-stakes poker tournament in New Orleans,” as
the EW report phrased it. Gerry, the character played by Mendelsohn, is apparently a degenerate gambler and looks to the younger Curtis (Reynolds’ character) for help to turn his luck
around at the casinos. The movie was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

…Darren Woods, a World Series of Poker bracelet winner in 2011, has been sentenced to 15 months in jail over in the United Kingdom and ordered to repay a hefty sum of £1 million
after he cheated for years at online poker. Woods engaged in fraudulent misconduct on 888.com and several other sites by setting up an elaborate scheme to play multiple hands at once
at the same online poker table, according to the Grimsby Telegraph. The report added that he will receive six more years in jail if he doesn’t pay back £1 million.

…Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title-winner Jeff Gordon will make 2015 his last full season in the Sprint Cup Series. Gordon, who entered NASCAR’s premier series full-time in
1993, made the announcement Thursday morning via a news release in which he dispelled the notion that he’d be retiring full-time. “As a race car driver, much of what I’ve done
throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions,” Gordon said in the release. “I thought long and hard about my future this past year and
during the offseason, and I’ve decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship. I won’t use the ‘R-word’ because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and
there’s always the possibility I’ll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that. I don’t foresee a day when I’ll ever step away from racing. I’m a fan of
all forms of motor sports, but particularly NASCAR. We have a tremendous product, and I’m passionate about the business and its future success. As an equity owner in Hendrick
Motorsports, I’m a partner with Rick (Hendrick) and will remain heavily involved with the company for many years to come. It means so much to have the chance to continue working with
the owner who took a chance on me and the incredible team that’s stood behind me every step of the way.”

…The investigation involving the Patriots and deflated footballs isn’t the only game-integrity probe currently happening in the NFL. The league also is exploring whether texts were
received or sent by members of the Browns’ coaching staff during games. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, coach Mike Pettine has acknowledged that the league
paid the Browns a visit. “The investigators came in here, I spoke with them,” Pettine said. “When that’s resolved, I’ll be in a better situation to speak on it.” Earlier this month,
the Plain Dealer reported that former Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had concerns about the fact that “a high-ranking personnel member texted from the press box to the
sidelines about play calls.” PFT flagged the issue as a potential violation of the NFL’s electronic devices rule, others began to ask the NFL about it, and an investigation was
launched. “Obviously I’m aware of it. I do know that’s an ongoing league investigation. At this time I’d prefer not to talk about it.”

…While the academic scandal involving the University of North Carolina athletic department has drifted into the background in recent months, there has yet to be any action taken by
the NCAA (and who knows if the governing body will deem it necessary to take action). Thursday afternoon it was reported by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today that two former UNC student-
athletes, football player Devon Ramsay and women’s basketball player Rashonda McCants have filed a lawsuit against the university and the NCAA. The lawyers in the case, who are also
representing the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, would like to see the case given class action status. Among the allegations made in the lawsuit are that North Carolina failed
to provide “academically sound classes with legitimate educational instruction,” and that the NCAA was negligent in its work to prohibit academic fraud from occurring. The suit seeks
unspecified damages and asks for “the formation of an independent commission to review, audit, assess, and report on academic integrity in NCAA-member athletic programs and certify
member-school curricula as providing comparable educations and educational opportunities to athletes and non-athletes alike.” Yesterday it was reported by The Chronicle for Higher
Education that the NCAA is currently investigating allegations of academic fraud at 20 schools with 18 of those being Division I members.

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