random ramblings fred riecke gamblersdata

… Rory McIlroy now has something else that once belonged to Tiger Woods — the cover of EA Sports’ latest video game. Electronic Arts Inc. announced Monday that McIlroy will be the new face of its golf series. “Rory McIlroy PGA Tour” will be released in June and will be the first EA Sports series to use the new Frostbite technology that provides sharper pictures and eliminates load times between holes. EA Sports built its PGA Tour series around Woods from 1998 until it ended its relationship with him in 2013, when Woods was still No. 1 in the world. McIlroy has been No. 1 since August. McIlroy and Woods shared the cover in 2011. The game will be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

…What type of idiots pick the teams and game sites for this year’s NCAA hoops tourney? How in the world do you give a team a home game for the play in spot? The Dayton Flyers were treated to a home game against Boise State Wednesday night. So, yes, that made it a road game, not a neutral site game, for Boise. And sure enough the crowd was a huge factor in Dayton’s come from behind 56-55 win. In fact, Boise’s final shot to win the game resulted in a non-call that is called about 98% of the time in college hoops. What a travesty. Credit goes to the tv announcers who made it clear they felt Dayton got a monstrous advantage. Of course, we are talking the NCAA, so none of this should surprise.

…Some guys have class. Former New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork announced Monday that he will sign with the Houston Texans. Wilfork will sign a two-year deal
worth $9 million, including $5 million in guaranteed money, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The 33-year-old said he wanted to turn the Texans, who have missed the
playoffs the past two seasons after winning back-to-back division titles in 2011 and 2012, into a contender again. “My goal is to help this team win as many games as possible and bring
winning to this town,” he said. “I think we deserve that, so that’s my No. 1 goal.” Wilfork tweeted his decision to join the Texans and also posted a screenshot of a lengthier message
in which he thanked the Patriots. Nice to hear a guy thank his former team rather than trash them. Good luck, Vince.

…Jameis Winston, who is widely projected to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick, does not plan to attend the 2015 NFL draft, as he currently prefers to spend that day with family
and friends in Alabama, his father told ESPN.com on Monday. Jameis Winston, who could be the No. 1 overall pick, may spend draft day with friends and family instead of shaking hands
with commissioner Roger Goodell. Antonor Winston told ESPN.com’s David Hale that the plan for now was for his son not to attend the draft, but the decision “was not set in stone.” The
draft will be held in Chicago from April 30 to May 2. Ohio State defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1994, was the last No. 1 overall pick to
not attend the draft. Winston, the Florida State quarterback who won the 2013 Heisman Trophy, recently flew to New York to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league
officials. Several draft experts, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, have Winston being selected No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I see nothing wrong with
spending the time with friends and family. But one wonders if Jameis is afraid his troubles may affect his status. I doubt that.

…Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald confirmed to ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Monday that he plans to sue the woman accusing him of rape. “I feel like what I am doing
is the right thing because I know that I am not this bad person that people are making me out to be,” McDonald told ESPN on Monday. “I’ve been fired from my job. I know some teams
don’t even want to talk to me because of this past accusation. All I am trying to do is clear my name and move on with my life.” Ray McDonald has yet to catch on with another NFL team
since he was released by the 49ers for a “pattern of poor decision-making.” McDonald has been investigated by local law authorities on suspicion of sexual assault. He has not been
charged with any crime. The San Jose Mercury News earlier reported that McDonald’s lawyer, Steve M. DeFilippis, would file a lawsuit on Monday morning. McDonald has been trying to
catch on with an NFL team since he was released by the 49ers in December for “a pattern of poor decision-making.”

…Add McDonald suit – “In the eyes of the NFL teams, the unresolved threat of charges being filed against him, even though factually unfounded, continues to present a roadblock to
this remarkable athlete being able to move forward in his career,” DeFilippis said in a release. “This lawsuit is intended to vindicate him … and return his good name.” According to
court documents that were written by San Jose police investigators to obtain a search warrant for McDonald’s home, the accuser told authorities she fell and hit her head on the ground
near the pool and has no memory of the sexual encounter that occurred in McDonald’s San Jose house, which police say occurred Dec. 14, a few hours after the 49ers returned from a 17-7
loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. The woman stayed with McDonald at his home the next day and drank vodka with McDonald, according to the papers. That’s when McDonald conceded that a
sexual encounter occurred, according to the court documents.

…The new MLB commissioner could make a move that would make a lot of people happy and a lot of people mad. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he has received a
formal request from Pete Rose asking that his lifetime ban be lifted and that he will consider the all-time hits leader’s request “on its merits.” “I want to make sure I understand all
of the details of the Dowd Report and Commissioner [Bart] Giamatti’s decision and the agreement that was ultimately reached,” Manfred said after a meeting with Los Angeles Dodgers
players in Arizona on Monday morning. “I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I’ll make a decision once I’ve done that.” Rose’s previous efforts to gain leniency from commissioners
Fay Vincent and Bud Selig were never considered. Rose, 73, played from 1963 to 1986, amassing 4,256 hits, still a major league record. Three years after he retired, Rose agreed to a
permanent ban from baseball amid accusations he gambled on games while playing and managing for the Cincinnati Reds. Personally, I would be happy to see Pete get in the Hall.

…It has been a years-long process, but roughly 3,500 more people will soon be getting their Full Tilt Poker money, the group who is facilitating the remission process said Monday on
its website. Garden City Group said that it was informed by the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section that a new round of payments have been approved.
This round is for players who disputed their account balances, as long as the amount in question was less than $2,000. Several thousand poker players believed they had more in their
accounts when the site shut down in 2011 than what they were told by Garden City Group. They were right. In total, $2.8 million will be repaid this month to Full Tilt’s victims. The
site’s disgraced former owners—Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Ray Bitar and Rafe Furst—didn’t receive jail time in what the feds once called a “global Ponzi scheme.”

…Sanchez joining up for another ride will have to be put on ice. The football world was buzzing on Monday when word broke that Tebow was working out as a quarterback for the Eagles,
but it looks like we’ll have to keep waiting if Tebow is going to get another chance at an NFL job. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Tebow’s visit to the Eagles on Monday has come to
an end and that the team has no plans to sign the former Bronco, Jet and Patriots “at this time.”

…The Toronto Raptors recently invited one-time power forward Charles Oakley — more famous for his stints with the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks — to a game, to honor him. Oak
used the occasion as an opportunity to speak his mind about the state of the NBA. And he doesn’t love it.”Who do I like watching? It’s hard to watch,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s
just, it’s a different game. It’s some good games and a lot of bad games. More bad games than good games these days. Everybody says the game has changed, instead of talking about the
guys I got a chance to see them first hand. It was kind of bad. The mind is not — you don’t have to be strong to play this game no more. I don’t know what it is. “They just roll you
out there like a basketball. That’s why … you see the same teams in the finals or winning 55 games. Strong teams, strong-minded coach. Just the players, they don’t think it, they
don’t know how to play together. So that’s one of things I see the weakness is: Communication, the guys don’t love the game. They play the game, but they don’t play with their heart.”
You know what, I tend to agree with Oakley. I can watch college games from start to finish. NBA I’ll watch the last 5 minutes or less.

…Three Morgan State football players were stabbed in a fight outside a dining hall Tuesday afternoon, leaving one player in serious condition, according to Baltimore police.
University spokesman Clint Coleman said the players were stabbed when someone began swinging a knife wildly. Coleman says one of the players was slashed across the chest, another was
cut in the cheek and the other in the arm. They were taken to a hospital. A suspect was taken into custody. It’s not immediately clear what started the fight. Police spokesman Ruganzu
Howard says officers, who were called to the university for reports of a stabbing, discovered one person suffering from a stab wound to the chest. Howard says that person is alive, but
the wound is serious. Police commissioner Anthony W. Batts confirmed that the victims were football players, although there identities have not been released. The stabbing marks the
third instance of violence on Morgan State’s campus in less than a week. A male student was stabbed Friday with scissors by his roommate after an argument over the cleanliness of their
dorm room. Early Saturday, an on-campus party was broken up after fights broke out.

…Colorado senior Askia Booker has decided to skip the College Basketball Invitational, apparently deeming it not worthy of his time. He has the support of his coach and many
teammates, who will play without him. Askia Booker led Colorado in scoring with 17.2 points per game but has chosen not to participate in the CBI postseason tournament. The CBI ranks
third among college basketball’s postseason events, behind the NCAA tournament and the NIT. In years past, teams have declined invitations to participate in the CBI, but the Buffaloes
accepted and are prepared to play without Booker, their leading scorer. Booker’s decision has sparked both criticism and support among fans and social media commentators, but the
Buffaloes are standing by him.

… The NHL may introduce both 3-on-3 play during overtime and the availability of a coach’s challenge as early as next season. Both items gained traction and support during this
week’s general managers meetings here. Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed both changes have the potential to be implemented for the start of the 2015-16 season, though the rules must
be approved by the NHL’s competition committee. Red Wings GM Ken Holland has pushed for change to the NHL’s overtime rules in an effort to get more games decided during the OT period
rather than shootouts. Bettman said the league will present two different formats for the overtime change, one of which would mirror the new AHL rule where teams play 4-on-4 for the
first three minutes and then — following the first whistle thereafter — go to 3-on-3 for the remainder of the seven-minute period. The other option is to play 3-on-3 for an entire
five-minute period.

…The University of North Carolina will pay a $335,000 settlement to Mary Willingham, the former learning specialist who was the whistleblower in the school’s academic fraud case.
Willingham filed suit against the school with claims she was retaliated against and demoted for drawing attention to the nearly two-decade fraud. The Raleigh News & Observer received a
copy of the signed settlement from Heydt Philbeck, Willimgham’s attorney, on Monday. The case has been settled and closed. “We believe the settlement is in the best interest of the
university and allows us to move forward and fully focus on other important issues,” UNC spokesman Rick White said in a statement to the paper.

…Wealthy poker player Rick Salomon and actress Pamela Anderson are going through a divorce, and the latter is alleging in court documents that Salomon won $40 million playing poker
last year, with a lot of it coming from billionaire poker player Andy Beal, according to TMZ. Anderson reportedly is looking to claim half of that poker money won last year. According
to Anderson, in one weekend Beal and Salomon played at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and Beal was up $13 million at one point in the session before ending their heads-up match down $16
million to Salomon. Beal also recently lost $5 million to Todd Brunson. Anderson filed for divorce just days after Salomon cashed for $2.8 million in last year’s $1 million buy-in
event at the World Series of Poker. He finished fourth. Their split was actually the second time the couple has separated. In 2007, after just two months living happily ever after,
Anderson and Salomon said enough was enough. Anderson and Salomon actually got hitched the first time thanks to spending a lot of time together in a poker game. Anderson reportedly
lost $250,000 to Salomon in that game.

…Floyd Mayweather isn’t known as “Money” without good reason. It’s a fitting nickname of course due to the millions upon millions of dollars he’s earned during his boxing career. His
flamboyant approach to flaunting his wealth — not to mention his penchant for wagering obscenely fat stacks of his earning on sporting events — certainly help provide his nickname’s
legitimacy. His nickname apparently also is a fitting moniker for the boxer in light of how much he’ll pony up to have a personal chef on call 24/7 ahead of his bout against Manny
Pacquiao on May 2. TMZ reports that Mayweather is paying a personal chef a whopping $1,000 per meal until the fight. Given that 46 days remain until the highly anticipated bout, TMZ
calculates at an estimated four meals per day, it will cost $184,000 to keep said personal chef on Team Mayweather’s payroll. The personal chef set to experience a substantial
financial windfall goes by the name of Chef Q and she will be at Mayweather’s beck and call until the fight. “My daily schedule for Floyd is ‘There is no schedule’ … I am here for him
anytime. 24 hours, 7 days a week,” she said. “If he needs me at 3 A.M., I am there cooking up breakfast.”

…Speaking of food and fighters, with the biggest fight of his life coming very soon, Manny Pacquiao may have new incentive to win against the seemingly unstoppable Floyd Mayweather.
With a cash prize of over $100 million on the line, Gerry’s Grill in California (Pacquiao’s favorite eating spot) has offered Pacquiao something very special. If he can do the
unthinkable and defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr, he will be able to eat there for free, for life. The deal would allow Pacquiao to eat there for unlimited meals through the day and will
have no limit as to what he can order. However the restaurant does have a couple of catches for the deal. The first is that only Manny can eat for free. Apparently his 50 plus people
entourage always eats with him, and they aren’t paying for them. And secondly, there will be no take out, so they really want to make sure it’s just for Manny.Pretty smart of the
restaurant. What are the chances that Manny will walk in there alone to eat?

…Here’s the dish on some more food news. Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond has been given the nickname “The Hamburglar,” mostly because his mask features Alfred E. Neuman
dressed up as the infamous burger pilferer. The moniker has since taken off due to his stellar play between the pipes this season, as Hammond has gone 10-0-1 in 12 appearances while
sporting a sparkling 1.39 GAA. In light of his great nickname and even better play, Hammond has received a card from an Ottawa McDonald’s franchise owner that gives him free fast food
for life. John Bergeron, the owner of six McDonald’s locations in the Ottawa area behind the gesture, is the father of Chris Bergeron, who coached the goalie at Bowling Green for three
seasons. The elder Bergeron was so appreciative of the publicity generated by “The Hamburglar” nickname that he suggested a hamburger giveaway at Canadian Tire Centre. It was
ultimately decided that Hammond should receive free McDonald’s for life.

…Thanks to Steve Delvecchio and Yardbarker.com for this absurd look at V. Stiviani and Donald Sterling. Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his ex-girlfriend
(current?) V. Stiviano have apparently held no grudges against one another. Or, at the very least, Stiviano wants everyone to know that she still loves Sterling very much. On Tuesday,
Stiviano shared a photo to Instagram of her sitting on Sterling’s lap at some bizarre party. Here’s what she wrote: “I will forever be your ANGEL. Don’t let the evil witch of the west
Rochelle (Shelly) Sterling suck the living life out of you. I’m here for you. I’ve always been here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m turning the other cheek while unveiling the truth. Mask
the pain with LOVE and compassion for thy enemy. When things get hard wear the visor and let your tears of joy flow. There’s nothing you can’t handle. Don’t give up on life now. You
know the truth and that’s all that matters. This too shall pass. I LOVE you. I’ve learn from some of the best people in the world. Lucky and very bless and so it is.” Gross.

…The hits keep coming for the San Francisco 49ers. According to a report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines, linebacker Chris Borland notified the team that is planning to retire from the
National Football League due to concerns over the long-term impact of repeated head trauma. Borland, a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, joins Patrick Willis as a key member of
San Francisco’s roster to hang his cleats up over the past week. Replacing Willis as a rookie last season, Borland recorded 107 tackles and two sacks in 14 games (eight starts).
He joins Jake Locker, Jason Worilds and the aforementioned Willis as players under the age of 30 that have retired since the start of the new league year last Tuesday.

…Add 49’er woes – Borland had this to say about his decision: “I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and
what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been, for me it’s wanting to be proactive,” said Borland. “I’m concerned that
if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late. … There are a lot of unknowns. I can’t claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don’t want to have
any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”

…Mitt Romney is going to take a beating. No, he’s not running for President again, but rather the former Massachusetts governor is set to go head-to-head with Evander Holyfield in a
charity boxing event. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the event will take place in Salt Lake City on May 15. “It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked
unconscious,” Romney said. “It won’t be much of a fight. We’ll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit.” The 68-year-old politician will be at an obvious
disadvantage against the five-time world heavyweight champion, but the event will benefit Charity Vision, a humanitarian organization that donates medical equipment to countries in
need. Romney also assured that there will be actual fights, and not just the one between himself and Holyfield, which likely won’t last very long. “We just thought it would be a lot
better to provide this kind of entertainment rather than just have dinner and listen to speakers,” Romney said. Vegas has not posted a line on the fight.

…The Baltimore Ravens cut Bernard Pierce only hours after the reserve running back was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol early Wednesday morning.
Pierce was the third Ravens player to be arrested this offseason, and the Ravens have now cut all three within a day of learning of their off-field incidents. The Ravens’ words and
actions this offseason gave them little choice but to cut Bernard Pierce after his DUI arrest, and they acted swiftly. Pierce failed a field sobriety test after being pulled over near
the Baltimore beltway just before 2 a.m. ET Wednesday and was arrested, according to Baltimore County police. He is charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving
while impaired by alcohol, exceeding maximum speed (55 mph in a posted 30 mph zone) and driving a vehicle in excess of reasonable and prudent speed on a highway.

…Significant changes to the use of video replay, including reviewing all fouls called by game officials and a rule change that would allow teams to try for a “bonus” point after a
successful 2-point conversion, are among proposals that will be presented by the NFL’s competition committee at next week’s owners meetings in Phoenix. The committee Wednesday outlined
23 proposed changes to rules and procedures, which will be discussed and voted on at next week’s meetings. Nineteen of the proposed rules changes were submitted by teams with the other
four proposed by the competition committee. The Lions proposed a rule that would permit the instant replay system to correct an officiating error. In addition to these proposals, the
owners are expected to discuss expanded playoffs and the “catch-or-no-catch” rule, though specifics on those rules will not be publicly released until the owners receive them Monday.
Owners will also consider four bylaws changes and one resolution at the meetings.

…The Rangers may not be AL West contenders this year, but their concessions just may be. The Texas Rangers are investing in more fryers this season as they prepare to roll out menu
items to satisfy discerning fried-food lovers. The Fried S’mOreo — a fried marshmallow breaded with graham crackers plus fried Oreos — can be found at the Rangers’ new fried food
stand. Shawn Mattox, the general manager of the Rangers’ food and beverage operations for concessionaire Delaware North, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that fans at Rangers games will find
a new stand called State Fare, a tribute to famous items fried at the State Fair of Texas. The star of the stand will be the Fried S’mOreo, which is marshmallows breaded in graham
cracker crust that is deep fried, mixed with two deep-fried Oreos on a skewer and drizzled with chocolate sauce and Cool Whip ($8). A chicken-fried corn on the cob fried in a
buttermilk batter ($5) also will be an eye-catcher. “Fried items in the past haven’t done as well as we’ve hoped, and we think that’s because there hasn’t been one location to find
it,” Mattox said. “We’ve now solved that problem.” The stand also will have fried pickles, funnel cake fries and brisket macaroni-and-cheese balls.

…The Riviera Hotel-Casino on the Las Vegas Strip will close for good on May 4, after it celebrates its 60th birthday in April. The casino is one of the oldest still standing in Las
Vegas. Last month, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors voted in favor of buying the Riviera for $191 million. The property is part of a larger plan for
the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District project. The Riviera was once home to a six-table poker room, but it closed in 2013.




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