We don’t touch on sports as much as I might like around here, but that’s cause things are already lacking any sort of laser focus. But this story gives us a fun crossover that involves The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun, and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers…
It looks like Ed O’Bannon gets to chalk up a victory for him and his class action lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA. According to ESPN and Gamespot, the NCAA has decided not to renew their contract to produce video games using the NCAA name and likenesses. It means that NCAA Football 14, the most recent edition released this month, will be the last of the series for the time being. It turns out that the potential lawsuit started by O’Bannon has presented itself as an obstacle to continuing the relationship between the video game maker and collegiate body without incurring more wrath financially and legally from others.
For those that don’t remember, Ed O’Bannon was a former college basketball player that was frustrated with seeing his likeness in video games and other licensed products from the NCAA and was not getting paid for it. So, like any American would, he sued both EA and NCAA for lost royalties and licensing profits. Other former student athletes followed suit and the grand total they believe stands at billions of dollars that need to be paid out to them. The video game part of it plays a major part in it as we gamers know that the names are NEVER used in the game but the numbers, height, weight, speed, strength, and how they play are put exactly in the game even as they lack an identifying marker. Some people even go as far as just renaming the players to the original name just to have the full experience. Obviously, this is a hotly debated part playing out in the legal system as we speak.
What does this mean for us gamers? Well, that copy of NCAA Football 14 with Denard Robinson on the cover? That’s the last game you’ll see with any NCAA likeness and names in a game from EA. Now, there’s still going to be a college football game for next year from EA Sports, most likely to be called College Football 15. They still are able to partner with the Collegiate Licensing Co. in order to include teams and leagues so we won’t see the game completely using NAIA teams or community colleges not affiliated with the NCAA. They just have to negotiate with each team and league individually in order to get them included in the game. There have been talks to have one featured team such as an Alabama or Ohio State to represent the game as powerhouses to help overcome the loss of the big license but that remains to be seen.
What we can probably see from here on in is even more generic football players that won’t look like the players or resemble them by number or likeness, so as to not throw gas on the fire. The NCAA is obviously spooked by this lawsuit and wants to get away from EA Sports, who continue to put players in the game that resemble the underclassmen. They don’t want to get into deeper hot water so they’ve decided to cut their losses and move on and see how this legal dilemma plays out. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this will affect games. While not as big as Madden, the NCAA games still represents a good portion of the EA Sports cash cow and if there’s a lot of changes coming to the games, it just might be time for them to cut their losses too.
Every year, ESPN Magazine likes to do what they call the Body Issue. They gather up athletes of all walks and sports and get them to pose nude (covered of course) to show off they’re physically toned and perfect bodies while the rest of us struggle to get through a pick-up game of basketball. Some of the athletes are recognizable, such as 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick with his array of tattoos that drape his body, to volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings pre and post-pregnancy, to even 77-year old Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player.
So without further ado, we’ve decided to help limit your Google searching for the ESPN Mag issue and just put together the gallery right here for you. If anything, it’ll make you want to rethink buying that pallet of Twinkies when they come back soon and head to the gym.
And for the ladies, we’ve even got some men for you. Because we know you wanted to see that 77-year-old Gary Player is way more in shape than your current guy.
There I was, minding my own business, when across my twitter feeds comes this.
Of course the word vomit is going to get my attention, I’m only human. So I go looking for what on earth could be going on in this Louisville game. Part of me wishes I hadn’t because damn, that will turn your stomach. In one of those “freak” moments where something innocuous turns horrific, Ware goes up for a block and when he comes down his lower leg literally snaps in half. His teammates and coach are understandably shaken and upset as they gather around their fallen teammate. 3G pitch experts and safety inspectors have responded to these injuries by researching into the many ways that the court can be mad safer.
If you haven’t seen it, and have a weak constitution, don’t. If you are morbidly curious, you have been warned.
In a show of good taste, CBS chose to not replay it during halftime or game “highlights”, but like other gruesome injuries in years past, this will be a defining moment in Kevin Ware’s life. Much like Joe Theismann’s infamous career-ending injury in 1985 against the Giants and Shaun Livingston’s “exploded” knee in 2006, Kevin Ware will be remembered by this game.
Hopefully, this won’t be the end of his story though. Granted Ware’s injury is more along the line’s of Alabama wide reciever, Tyrone Prothro in 2005 (who was not able to return to playing), but there have been athletes who have returned from awful injuries. Marcus Lattimore is preparing for the draft and amazingly, Livingston is playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, so it is possible. It goes without saying, we here at Grizzly Bomb hope for the best for this young man.
Marcus Lattimore, knee injury against Tennessee
Joe Theismann, broken leg against New York Giants
Tyrone Prothro, The Catch (if you really want to see the broken leg, click here, but it is really bad)
We are all familiar with the pedophile’s playground that was Penn State. We gazed on in horror and disgust at the structural and institutional abuse that was allowed to go on. We downloaded the Freeh Report, an independent review that looked into the abuse of Jerry Sandusky, and read in shock as the details unfolded on how this was permitted to continue for so long. The report was the basis and rationale for the NCAA dropping an incredibly harsh penalty that was designed to severely punish the football program for creating a culture that, at a bare minimum, allowed this to occur and not be reported.
In the roughly seven months since the release of the Freeh report, Penn State and the rest of us have been able to succeed on closing this chapter and begin healing some of the wounds. I will not speak to the damage done to the victims, because that is their own and no one can begin to understand what this all means to them. The Nittany Lions had a great football season (by B1G standards anyway) and the university took some steps to move forward.
Today the scab over that wound was picked off by the Paterno family (I bet they ate it) with the release of their privately commissioned report, “A Rush to Injustice”. While I understand the desire to protect the image of the disgraced and deceased football coach, there really is no good that can come of it. It comes off like a child trying to rationalize their bad behavior.
The main claims of the Paterno Family report is that the investigation was done inappropriately and that JoePa never attempted to hide any information or hamper any investigation. First, the Freeh Report was by no means perfect, but attacking it for any deficiencies is like the pot calling the kettle black; the Paterno Report suffers from the same short comings such as lack of subpoena power and access to information. Secondly, nobody gives two craps that Joe did not hide information; it is that he did not scream it out while leading the charge to serve Sandusky up to the authorities.
Finally, saying he did not hamper any investigation is like claiming he did not pet any unicorns or that he did not visit Camelot. Those things do not exist and neither did any meaningful investigation.
The self-serving report does nothing to help or heal. It is stupid and simply serves to flame the fires that had died down. What the Paterno family should have spent their time, fame and fortune on was helping victims of abuse. They should have acknowledged the mistakes and flaws of JoePa, and then taken every penny they had and supported one of the national charities that helps victims of child abuse. That is the way they could have begun the process of rebuilding the Paterno name, not this attempt at blame shifting.
The 2012 NFL regular season has come to an end. For those that advance to the playoffs, congratulations, you get to continue on your march towards the grand prize: The Lombardi Trophy and the legendary status of being a Super Bowl winner. However, for the others, some of you get to pack your bags because the NFL sometimes stands for Not For Long.
Today is Black Monday, the first Monday after the end of the regular season and the day where the pink slips are handed out to coaches and general managers for failing to achieve the only goal in the NFL and of Charlie Sheen: Winning. Today was especially bloody as we saw long-term coaches get canned, as well as some of the newer ones that probably did not get the chance they deserved to see the improvement through.
Regardless, let’s recap to who is looking for new jobs this winter.
Andy Reid is probably the biggest, and yet least surprising name on the list. The Philadelphia Eagles dismissed the 14-year head coach today after a massively disappointing 4-12 season. Despite six division titles, five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance, the record that stands out is his last two years where he was 8-8 in 2011 after collecting superstars such as Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Dominque Rodgers- Cromartie. The defense was horrid and took even more of a hit after changing coordinators mid-season this year. He also was 1-4 in NFC Championship games and the Philly faithful won’t forget that. He knew this was coming and I’m sure he will welcome the change. It has been a rough few years as he had a myriad of family issues in Philadelphia that came to a head when his son was found dead at the Eagles training camp. He already is trying to inquire about coaching openings and building a staff so he should get right on his feet. I do think Philadelphia will miss him because his teams always makes runs at the division or the playoffs but after the last two years, it was time to move on.
On the somewhat surprising front, Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears was also let go just as his team was eliminated after the Minnesota Vikings victory over the Green Bay Packers Sunday night. After nine years with the Bears, he made the Super Bowl once in 2006 losing to Peyton Manning’s Colts. Again, a solid coach with a good record (81-63 with the Bears) but the collapses of recent years and the offensive struggles did him in. Last year, the Bears started out 7-3 before going 1-5 the rest of the way and this year started 7-1 before going 3-5 the down the stretch and missing the playoffs again. The end of the year consistency has not been there and despite having Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte the offense has ranked 2nd to last in yards per game since being hired as head coach. Something had to change, especially with the NFC North offenses being powered by Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Adrian Peterson. They needed people to keep up with the vaunted defenses he fielded during his tenure. Again, he’ll definitely find work again, if anything as a D-Coordinator because he always employs great defenses dating back to his times with Tampa Bay and St. Louis.
In Kansas City, after locking up the 1st pick yesterday after getting thrashed by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Romeo Crennel was let go by the Chiefs. Again, no shock, but surprisingly GM Scott Pioli remains employed and most definitely, it’s the personnel that did in the Chiefs, not just the coaching. The reverse actually happened in New York when the Jets let go of GM Mike Tannenbaum and kept coach Rex Ryan. Again, personnel depth and the Tim Tebow trade probably destroyed Tannenbaum’s chances to redeem himself for 2013.
In San Diego, Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith finally got canned after constant disappointment in their organization. Watching Philip Rivers regress and the drafting of LT replacements go south made the decision easy for the Chargers brass. I still think A.J. Smith should’ve been fired years ago after the way he handled LaDainian Tomlinson’s exit from the Chargers, and getting rid of Drew Brees. Plus getting rid of Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season was pretty stupid, especially since the reason was because they had a ‘dysfunctional relationship’.
In other news, the Cleveland Browns got rid of coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert. New ownership took over so they just wanted their own people to take over and start fresh considering the ridicule the franchise gets nowadays. Shurmur has a great offensive mind so it will interesting where he ends up because of the job he did to help Sam Bradford (before he regressed). The Buffalo Bills also got rid of Chan Gailey after three losing seasons so that comes as no shock. With the Bills not making the playoffs since 1999, they carry the longest playoff drought in the league. The $100 million dollar signing of Mario Williams signing didn’t help the expectations as well so he had to go.
For now, the Arizona Cardinals end the red slip list with the firing of their coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves. Despite making the Super Bowl in 2009, the team could not recover from the Kurt Warner retirement and have been languishing in the bottom ever since despite having Larry Fitzgerald. The GM Graves didn’t help things by trading to get Kevin Kolb and handing him a $63 million dollar contract. Also getting destroyed 58-0 by the division rival Seattle Seahawks didn’t help keep the spotlight off their ineptitude.
So that’s the list so far, I guess we’ll see if we add more names to the list. Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers are probably on the clock as we speak…
For the last six or so years of watching the NBA, I have finally enjoyed a draft night. For years, my favorite team has either: a) traded picks to avoid luxury tax, or, b) drafted the inferior one of siblings. Let’s take a look at a list of players my team could have drafted had we kept our picks: