Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FOX acquires rights to US Open golf broadcasts

FOX Sports and the United States Golf Association announced today that the two entities have reached an agreement that will bring USGA events, most notably the US Open, to FOX beginning in 2015. The agreement runs through 2026. The network will also broadcast the US Women's Open, the US Senior Open Championship, and the USGA's national amateur championships.

The move is a major one for FOX Sports, with its FOX Sports 1 channel set to launch this month. The new network, along with FOX's many other television properties, gives them a large palette of choices to broadcast the 146 hours of championship golf that comes with the USGA deal.

Complete Madden 25 demo details

The demo for Madden 25 releases Tuesday, August 13th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Ahead of that, here are the full details about what the demo has to offer, from EA Sports:

• Two options will be available for Play Now matchups: A Ravens v. 49ers Super Bowl rematch or a Seahawks v. Packers matchup.

• Skills Trainer, which made its EA debut in NCAA Football 14, will be available to try out and includes four drills to help you adjust to the new game mechanics: Precision Modified Running, Total Control Passing, The Option and Ball Hawk.

• Also included are two videos, one of which showcases some of the new features of the Madden franchise. The other breaks down the new Owner Mode and is hosted by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Monday, August 5, 2013

FOX announces NFL broadcast teams; SNY's Kevin Burkhardt joins the group

FOX released its announce teams for the 2013 NFL season earlier today and while the pairings were mostly the same as last season, there were a few notable changes.

SNY's Kevin Burkhardt, known mostly for his work as an on-field reporter for Mets broadcasts, will join the network as its #4 team play-by-play broadcaster. Burkhardt, one of the best sideline/on-field reporters in the business, will be joined by John Lynch in the broadcast booth and Erin Andrews on the sideline. Burkhardt also has NFL experience as the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys since 2011.

Dick Stockton will be joined by new FOX addition Ronde Barber to form the #6 team. Mike Martz and Ron Pitts won't be returning while Rob Riggle will remain as the comedy man during the Sunday pregame show.

Video: Madden 25 Packers v. 49ers full gameplay

With Madden 25 set to release in three weeks, new gameplay footage was made available today by the fine people at 4WardProgressMadden. Below is a full game between the Packers and 49ers, by way of Pastapadre.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dropping Links: Monday, July 15, 2013

Some links from around the World Wide Web late on this Monday evening:

• As expected, the Knicks agreed to terms on a two-year deal with Metta World Peace this afternoon. The Clippers were another rumored NBA destination, as well as the tease by World Peace that he would play in China. In the end, the Knicks were able to add the former Ron Artest and native New Yorker to the roster.

• Speaking of the Knicks, JR Smith had another knee surgery and will be out 3-4 months. If all goes well, he'll likely only miss a few regular season games. The timing of the surgery is a little questionable, though, since he's known about the injury and the Knicks' season has been finished for over a month.

• The latest Suits promo, titled "Game of Suits," features the show's newest cast members, Conleth Hill and Michelle Fairley, both of whom come to the series from Game of Thrones.

• DeJuan Blair is still a free agent, but the Wizards are showing interest in the forward. His former team, the Spurs, are willing to help Blair get to a team that doesn't have the cap space to sign him outright.

Pastapadre has details about team chemistry effects in Madden 25's Ultimate Team Mode. The game releases August 27th in the United States.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lakers sign Chris Kaman, amnesty Metta World Peace

The Lakers had a busy day today as they continue to move on from the wreckage of our latest "Dwightmare."

First, reports surfaced that the team had agreed to a deal with free agent big man Chris Kaman. The former Clipper returns to Los Angeles to help fill the void left by Dwight Howard.

With Kaman in the fold there was some thought that the Lakers could amnesty Pau Gasol, who is owed more than $16 million this season in the final year of his contract. Instead, Los Angeles will amnesty Metta World Peace, ending the former Ron Artest's Lakers tenure. Even though World Peace is only (only?) owed $7.7 million in the one year remaining on his deal, the Lakers will actually save about $30 million thanks to the new CBA and luxury tax penalties they would have incurred.

World Peace will now go through the waivers process, with the highest bidding team getting his rights and the Lakers on the hook for the rest of the $7.7 million. If no one claims World Peace, he'll be free to sign with any team he chooses. Teams over the salary cap can only sign amnestied players if they clear waivers and will accept the veteran's minimum.

Even though he has declined in recent years, World Peace is still a great defender. Plenty of teams will be interested in his services, especially coming at a reduced rate thanks to the new CBA's amnesty clause.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recapping the weekend's NBA trades and signings

It was a busy weekend in the NBA, with many of the most coveted free agents choosing new homes. Our most recent "Dwightmare" came to an end, Josh Smith and OJ Mayo are relocating, and Andrew Bynum and Monta Ellis remain the biggest names without teams.

Let's take a look at all the action, none of which can be finalized until July 10th:

• Dwight Howard made up his fickle mind, settling with the Houston Rockets and forfeiting an additional $30 million in salary in the process. While the Rockets were the favorite to land Howard all along, the Warriors and Lakers seemed in the running until Friday evening.

Dwight Howard definitely improves the Rockets but I'm not sure they're a Western Conference favorite just yet. The team is reportedly shopping Jeremy Lin with hopes of acquiring a third superstar to pair with Howard and James Harden. Omer Asik is unhappy with the arrival of Howard and has reportedly asked to be traded, but the Rockets seem uninterested in that idea.

• The Warriors agreed to terms with Andre Iguodala. Iggy joins Steph Curry in the Golden State backcourt, forming a formidable scoring duo. The team improved last year and should be even better this year with a healthy Andrew Bogut and the arrival of Iguodala.

Following the signing, Golden State traded Richard Jefferson and Andres Biedrins to Utah to clear cap room for Iguodala's contract.

• Josh Smith decided to take his talents to Detroit in a somewhat surprising move. The Hawks had shown little interest in retaining J-Smoove's services but as late as Saturday afternoon there were rumors of Houston hoping to work out a sign-and-trade with Atlanta to acquire Smith.

• OJ Mayo left Dallas after his only season with the team, agreeing to terms with the Milwaukee Bucks. The team also signed Zaza Pachulia.

• While the Hawks lost Smith and Pachulia, they were able to sign Paul Millsap away from the Jazz. Pairing Millsap with Al Horford gives Atlanta a very strong 4-5 combo and the team is reportedly interested in Monta Ellis as well.

• Andrew Bynum is drawing interest from the Mavericks, who have missed out on their big free agent pursuits in each of the last two offseasons. Any time that adds Bynum will likely do so after tireless consideration of his injury history and investigation of his medical records.

(Image courtesy Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Video: Joey Chestnut devours 69 hot dogs en route to world record

56 game hitting streak. 100 point game. 69 hot dogs.

When it comes to the greatest sports records of all time, eating 69 hot dogs is... disgusting. But Joey Chestnut set a new world record Thursday, forcing that many hot dogs into his face hole without vomiting during the 2013 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joe DiMaggio would be so proud.

(Video via Awful Announcing)

Report: Tyreke Evans headed to Pelicans in three-team deal

Restricted free agent Tyreke Evans was reportedly ready to sign a four-year, $44 million offer sheet with the New Orleans Pelicans with the hopes that his current team, the Sacramento Kings, wouldn't match. Rather than lose Evans and get nothing in return or match a contract they didn't want to pay, the Kings have worked out a three-team sign-and-trade with the Pelicans and Trail Blazers, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

In the deal, Evans - former Rookie of the Year - heads to the Pelicans, Greivis Vasquez goes to the Kings and Robin Lopez becomes a Blazer. Sacramento also gets two second round picks from Portland while the Blazers will receive Terrel Harris from the Pelicans.

Moving Lopez frees up the necessary salary cap space for New Orleans to add Evans and Jrue Holiday, whom the team traded for on draft night. Evans and Holiday join Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers in the backcourt for the Pelicans.

The deal can't be officially completed until July 10, when the new league year begins, but terms have been agreed upon.

(Image courtesy USA Today)

Report: Bobcats will sign Al Jefferson

The Bobcats and Al Jefferson have agreed to a three-year contract worth $41 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The third year of the deal is a player option.

Jefferson is only 28-years-old and is coming off a contract that paid him $15 million per year with the Jazz. Joining the Bobcats is somewhat surprising - especially since any of the teams that miss out on Dwight Howard would likely have given Jefferson a look - but money talks. Jefferson will also be the focal point of the offense in Charlotte.

(Image courtesy Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Florida knocks out Nebraska in wild 15-inning WCWS game

Florida defeated Nebraska in a 15 inning marathon Saturday night in the Women's College World Series, knocking out the Cornhuskers in a game that lasted 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Florida took a 6-3 lead into the 7th (and, usually, final) inning but a series of strange plays helped Nebraska score three runs and tie it. Florida took the lead in the 10th but Nebraska again tied it with a solo homer to extend the contest.

The game ended in the 15th inning, well after 11pm local time. Michigan and Arizona State watched the final eight innings from beyond the outfield fence, as they were slated to play after the conclusion of Florida-Nebraska. The Wolverines knocked off the Sun Devils, 2-0.

LeBron James: "I don't complain about calls too much"

Following Saturday's game 6 loss to the Pacers, when discussing his technical foul for running the complete length of the court after being called for a rare foul, LeBron James said this to the media:
“I had to run down the court to stop from being kicked out,” James said. “I thought it was a pretty bad call. I don’t complain about calls too much. I thought me and Hibbert met at the mountaintop. I didn’t throw an elbow. Basically I went straight up. And I knew he was going to go high hands, like he had been doing. So I went to a double‑clutch to try to let him go down. Then I was able to go over the top. I don’t have no idea why that was called an offensive foul.

“So, you know, it just stopped me from being ejected. I think at that moment I just got away from the ref that called it. I ran down the court to get me away from the scene of the crime, I guess.”
LeBron James - who, in his mind, has never missed a shot in the lane without being fouled - thinks he doesn't complain too much. Although I guess technically he doesn't complain about the actual calls as much as he complains about non-calls.

Really, though, c'mon 'Bron. Watch a Heat game and tell me LeBron isn't spending 70% of the time between plays barking at refs, making the face you see in the included picture, and generally looking like a whiny child.