No NBA head coaches were fired during the season for the first time in 46 years.

This isn’t a recent trend, either. At least one NBA head coach has been fired during each of the past 45 seasons. Marc Stein of ESPN reported earlier this season that the last campaign without an in-season coach replacement was 1970-71, when the league was 17 teams deep, Nixon was President and the ABA existed.

However, that streak has ended. No NBA head coaches were fired during the season for the first time in 46 years.

As we first noted in November, few coaches came into the season under threat of firing. Alvin Gentry was a hot candidate early, but the New Orleans Pelicans dealt with injuries and made a brief run toward respectability once Jrue Holiday became available. It now seems his job will be at risk once the season ends.

Other coaches who have flirted with midseason dismissal include Fred Hoiberg of the Chicago Bulls, but amid a playoff race and a massive contract the franchise held on. We’ll see if that patience extends to the offseason.

Manning’s former receiver on the Indianapolis Colts, Reggie Wayne, had a different explanation for Omaha, but also admitted that there was “no way” it still had the same meaning so many years later.

You’ll also note that Omaha is not unique to Peyton Manning. See his little brother:

You can bet on the number of times Manning will say OMAHA during the Super Bowl — the line was set at 27.5 — and there’ll be plenty of talk about his love for the Nebraska town. But the word serves a very functional purpose, just as any other quarterback’s cadence (Russell Wilson will use Blue or White and a number, for instance) tells a story.
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I say all that to say NFL fans should sometimes listen to college fans and sometimes ignore us.

Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1 would’ve still happened, Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t have lasted until anywhere near No. 31, and Aaron Donald would’ve gone about 10 spots higher than No. 13, but …

Johnny Manziel would’ve been top-five, even if only for entertainment value. (If we’re talking a certain segment of college fans, at least. He had plenty of detractors, all of whom ended up being proved right about his game and otherwise — if you’re a Texas fan who’s had little to celebrate over the last five years other than Manziel’s pro career, then congratulations — but most younger fans like those in SB Nation’s aura would’ve co-signed Johnny.)

I say all that to say NFL fans should sometimes listen to college fans and sometimes ignore us. Winner: Patriots. Jackson started nine games in 2015 before missing the 2016 season due to injury. Cardona is an anonymous long snapper, which means he’s doing his job well. Cooper and Pullard have combined for four starts in their careers, and Hundley is a solid backup quarterback in Green Bay. All things considered, the edge goes to New England.

The FBS all-time receptions leader, Jones is consistently grouped among the top receivers in the 2017 NFL Draft. His Senior Bowl showed his red-zone ability, and his interior catch finishing is impressive. But much of his college film is almost unusable for his NFL projection.

Jones will be drafted in the first three rounds, but expecting more than a volume slot receiver who will have an adjustment in getting separation in the NFL would be a mistake.
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LeBron James usually makes it to the NBA Finals regardless of seeding

After a 29-point blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers relinquished their standing as top seed in the Eastern Conference. That title bediamondbacks_342longs to the Boston Celtics, at least for the day.

The loss sent a once self-assured Cavaliers locker room into disbelief, having devolved into the league’s second-worst defense since the All-Star break. Cleveland has the league’s worst defensive rating in the month of March.

What’s unclear, though, is how much seeding matters to a Cavaliers team that had been No. 1 since Nov. 2017. Or, on a larger a scale, how much it matters to LeBron James, who has made the NBA Finals for six consecutive seasons while only having the top seed twice.

The Jazz are quite good, and will likely hit 50 wins. But they are no better than the fourth-best team in the West, and that’s where expectations pegged them in the preseason. It’s not fair to discount the work Snyder has done to get the Jazz over the hump from intriguing upstart to legit challenger, but that’s what we have to do given what other coaches have pulled off. Snyder is hurt by so many of us recognizing that Utah could be awesome.

I, fan of a contending NHL team, really enjoyed watching the NHL players play in the Olympics until I saw John Tavares get injured last time and miss the rest of the season.

2017 NFL Rookie of the Year race: E.J. Manuel, Marquise Goodwin impress in Week 11

Back in April, the Buffalo Bills turned in their card and made E.J. Manuel the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. They also made him the future of the franchise and started designing an offense to fit his strengths.

While an injury briefly derailed Buffalo’s plan, Manuel has shown more flashes than many expected from him in making the transition from Florida State’s offense. While Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon got all of the attention during the college football season, Manuel has NFL quarterback most worthy of praise.

He and his fellow rookie wide receiver headline the Week 11 rookie report.

There is serious debate everywhere as to whether Doc Rivers is actually a good coach. I would argue in the affirmative, but … no, he’s not the Coach of the Year with the Clippers hanging on to the No. 5 seed for dear life.

One of these coaches will make the playoffs. Malone’s reputation as a defensive master is clearly misplaced, and it took him too long to devote his life to the siren song of Nikola Jokic.

Stotts followed up a shockingly good season with Portland with a shockingly mediocre campaign. He’s still a good coach, but falling this short of expectations disqualifies you for Coach of the Year.
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NFL power rankings 2017, Week 12: Broncos, Seahawks vie for top spot

If the season were to end right now, the Browns and Titans would be flipping a coin at the NFL Scouting Combine because the two teams have the same strength of schedule and conference record.

Defense: Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, New York Jets: The Defensive Rookie of the Year race may come down to Sheldon Richardson and Star Lotulelei. Both were again dominant in Week 11, which has come to be expected. If the NFL could re-draft, both Richardson and Lotulelei might be top five picks. They’ve been that good. Richardson gets the nod here because voters will likely see his production as more impressive, though Lotulelei’s impact goes beyond the stat sheet. Both are deserving of recognition.

The Kansas City Chiefs defensive end left their loss to Denver in the first quarter with what was being called a knee injury. DeVito left the field under his own power, and did not appear to be seriously hurt. However, he did not return to action.

The No. 1 pick of last year’s draft injured his shoulder against Denver and did not return. Fisher was seen getting treatment on his shoulder on the sideline from Chiefs medical personnel. The right tackle came out in the fourth quarter and remained on the sideline.

More impressively, the Warriors shut down Kawhi Leonard rather well, trapping to get the ball out of his hands. Giovani Bernard, Running Back, Cincinnati Bengals: Again, there is no change in our Offensive Rookie of the Year pick. Giovani Bernard’s production and impact on his team has surpassed that of any other rookie in this class. He’s become a focal point of defenses when preparing for the Bengals’ offense. He had another 80-plus yards of total offense on 14 touches. The more his touches increase, he will continue to put up better and better statistics.cardinals_1194-115x115

Mets’ Jeurys Familia suspended 15 games for violating domestic violence policy

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement regarding the decision:

“My office has completed its investigation into the events leading up to Jeurys Familia’s arrest on October 31, 2017. Mr. Familia and his wife cooperated fully throughout the investigation, including submitting to in-person interviews with MLB’s Department of Investigations. My office also received cooperation from the Fort Lee Municipal Prosecutor. The evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2017. Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline.

The recent NFA 7v7 Southeast Regional tournament at IMG Academy was the best I have seen FSU commitment Isaiah Bolden look. Ever.

The lawsuit describes a culture of sexual violence within Baylor’s athletics, in which the school implemented a “show ’em a good time” policy that “used sex to sell” the football program to recruits. A Dallas-area high school athlete, according to the suit, said former assistant coach Kendall Briles once asked him, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”

Art was fired as head coach of the Bears during the offseason when the scandal broke. Kendall spent much of 2017 with public shows of support for his father, paying tribute to him during the season opener and joining with other coaches on the staff to challenge the Baylor administration’s handling of the situation.
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49ers vs. Redskins 2017 odds: San Francisco favored by 3.5 points

The San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins are both coming off back-to-back losses, but oddmakers expect the Niners to put another tick in the win column this week. San Francisco was favored by 3.5 points on the opening line, according to OddsShark.com.

Snelling was pulled over by police on Friday morning around 3:35 a.m. after the car he was driving was having trouble staying in its lane, per CBSSports.com. When the car was pulled over, the officer noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming form the vehicle, at which time Snelling disclosed he had been smoking marijuana at a friends’ house prior to driving.

Along with the charge of possession of marijuana, Snelling was charged with expired of no driver’s license, failure to maintain insurance, failed to maintain lane, improper use of dealer license plate, possession of drug related materials, and no registration. The Falcons suspended Snelling for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Snelling has been a backup running back for the majority of his career, which began in 2007 with Atlanta. Snelling’s best season came in 209 when he amassed 613 rushing yards. Losses are disappointing, that’s a given, but Manning was given free reign to operate inside the pocket while the vaunted Chiefs pass rush wasn’t able to make a real impact.

He brought in a red wagon, which he pulls behind him via a 10-foot rope he’s tied to his waist. Every time he rounds an aisle, he knocks Cheerios and shit off the end cap. The wagon is full of frozen chicken nuggets and vinegar. He’s going to make soup. He’s gonna cook it in a giant sack over a bonfire. The bonfire is fueled by old furniture people leave out in the alleys. He calls it “burniture.” He laughs and laughs.
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The New York Jets aren’t likely to catch either Denver or Kansas City for the No. 5 seed

The San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers will face off on Sunday in a Week 10 matchup. San Francisco (6-2) is coming off a bye week and is riding a five-game winning streak, while Carolina (5-3) is riding a streak of four consecutive wins.

San Francisco has beaten the better competition this season, by a narrow margin, and they don’t have any egregious losses on their record like Carolina does (Buffalo, Arizona). Still, it should be an exciting matchup between two of the better defenses in the league and offenses led by dynamic, young quarterbacks in Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton.

Let’s take a look at both teams below, starting with the home team:

There has been only minimal movement at the top of the AFC and NFC in recent weeks with both Seattle and Kansas City holding firm. That could change this week and the Chiefs could potentially drop all the way to the No. 5 seed.

Kansas City will travel to Denver to face the Broncos with the winner holding the AFC West lead and the rights to the No. 1 seed in the AFC while the loser will be the No. 5 seed in the first wild card spot. That may not last long, however, with the two teams set to face each other again in Week 13, this time in Kansas City. Those two games could go a long way to deciding the AFC West and the top of the AFC.

The New York Jets aren’t likely to catch either Denver or Kansas City for the No. 5 seed, but the Jets are in firm control of the sixth and final playoff spot. At 5-4, the Jets have a full game lead over the other wild card contenders. Miami had a chance to tie New York at 5-4, but lost to the previously winless Bucs on Monday Night Football.15

Trent Richardson injury: Colts RB misses 2nd practice, but still expected to play

Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson continues to miss practice but it’s expected he will play this weekend against the St. Louis Rams, according to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone against the Chicago Bears in Week 9, but he hopes to return as soon as Week 12. Rodgers didn’t want to rule himself out for the team’s Week 11 game, but said Week 12 is a more realistic goal.

Former Oakland Raiders tight end Todd Christensen died on Wednesday after complications from surgery. He had formerly struggled with liver disease. Christensen was a five-time pro bowler and two-time Super Bowl Champion.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is dealing with concussion symptoms after the team’s Week 10 win over the Miami Dolphins. Bowers was in the game on the final series, so it’s unclear when he suffered the injury. He recorded his first sack of the season on Monday night.

I’ve disparaged the city of Indianapolis more times than I can count, and here, my dear friend Pete affords me the opportunity to place it in context. I’ve called it “The City by the Land” and “Mashed Potatoes: The City.” It really does have less going for it than other American cities of similar size.

It’s possible they’re getting lulled by success in practice, considering that Dallas’ historically atrocious secondary almost surrendered its FIFTH 400-yard passing game of the season while the front seven allowed Mark Ingram to double his career NFL yardage in one game. The Year of the Hamstring Pull in Dallas claimed Sean Lee on Sunday night, and the rest of the season is basically shaping up like a Trent Reznor lyric.

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Dallas Green, former Phillies, Yankees, Mets manager, dies at 82

Dallas Green, a towering baseball figure who won a World Series as a manager in Philadelphia and paved the way for lights at Wrigley Field as president of the Chicago Cubs, died Wednesday. He was 82.

No cause of death was announced, but Green had been suffering from kidney failure and had been in declining health for much of the past year.

“The game lost a great baseball man today,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said in a statement released by the team. “Dallas held many different positions in baseball, and his passion and love for the game was evident in every role he played.

“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality. Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Dana, John, Kim and Doug.”

Then a weird thing started to happen. Gonzaga was back the next year. The year after that, too. And the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that.

Suddenly, the Bulldogs were every bit as much of a March fixture as Duke. But it wasn’t just March. Gonzaga was scheduling major-conference opponents and playing in big early-season tournaments in November and December, and they were winning. They were winning a lot.

Mark Few — who had taken over the year after Gonzaga’s initial Elite Eight run after Dan Monson ironically bolted for Minnesota — had somehow taken a program from the lowly West Coast Conference and turned it into a perennial national player. This, like the Zags’ original run, was cool with America. A new name on the national scene, and one with humble beginnings and a much taller annual wall to climb than the established powerhouses. How could it not be cool?
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