Sherman objects to his Seahawks throwing at goal-line
A decision to pass from the 1-yard-line instead of running the ball cost the Seattle Seahawks a Super Bowl victory two years ago, and the team’s star cornerback, Richard Sherman, objected to that ill-fated tactic being reprised, repeatedly, for Thursday night’s game against Los Angeles. Sherman angrily confronted coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines during the third quarter, with the Seahawks comfortably in control of the game. “I’m upset about us throwing from the 1,” Sherman told reporters after his team’s 24-3 victory. “I’d rather do what most teams do and make a conscientious decision to run the ball. I was letting him know. We’ve seen that, and I’m sure you guys have seen that play enough times.”
Between the Lines: Perhaps Sherman’s mood was not enhanced by the Gatorade-colored uniforms his team had to wear for color-rush Thursday. ESPN’s Mike Wilbon said the Seahawks looked like “radioactive frogs.”
Fake story gets traction: Vikes’ stadium open to homeless
An untrue story was tweeted that the Minnesota Vikings would open U.S. Bank Stadium to homeless people as a shelter from sub-freezing temperatures. A Minneapolis gym owner with a verified Twitter account claimed to be breaking a news story that was total fabrication. But many mainstream outlets picked up the story and circulated it. The fabricator later recanted the story, saying he was trying to put pressure on the football team to do what he thought it should have done without being prodded.
Beckham throws shade on Elliott for jump into kettle
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration when he jumped into the Salvation Army kettle near the end zone after he scored a touchdown Sunday night against Tampa Bay. When the NFL announced it would not fine him for the action, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. complained by tweet: “That’s funny there’s no fine for that. I could only imagine if I was the one to do it. Just bein honest.”
Dear Odell: You’re just bein a diva. The Salvation Army applauded because it received a huge spike in donations. It estimated Elliott’s kettle move raised $182,000. Your tangling with the kicking net and subsequently kissing it benefited nobody.
Gophers threaten boycott over suspensions of accused rapists
When ten football players for the Minnesota Golden Gophers were suspended indefinitely after being accused of sexually assaulting a young woman, many of their teammates said they would boycott the Holiday Bowl unless the suspensions were lifted. They later rescinded that threat, but not before being widely criticized for insensitivity. As originally reported by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, the disturbing incident occurred on Sept. 2, involving a 22-year-old female student and a group of Gophers’ players accompanied by a high-school recruit at an apartment bedroom. The alleged victim, who said she was drunk when the encounters began, later went to a hospital to have a rape-kit examination. The next day she spoke with Minneapolis police about the incident. The players admitted to having sexual intercourse with the woman but insisted it was consensual. The university administration thought otherwise after reviewing an 80-page police report and text messages from some of the accused players. Five players who were issued restraining orders were recommended for expulsion: Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson.
Chapman speaks out on Maddon overusing him in Series
Closer Aroldis Chapman, the hardest-throwing pitcher in the major leagues, felt Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon overused him in the World Series, causing him to wear out and blow a lead in Game 7 that almost led to defeat. “Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me,” Chapman said, “but he is the manager and he has the strategy.” Chapman, who throws at triple-digit speed, saw no need for Maddon to send him out to pitch the ninth inning of Game 6, with his team leading Cleveland by seven runs. Chapman already had pitched the seventh and eighth innings. “The next game I came in tired,” he said, speaking after signing a 5-year, $86 million contract with the New York Yankees.
MLB tries to stop rookie hazing: no more dressing in drag
A big-league baseball tradition is that rookies are required on a designated day to dress as women. Most seem to enjoy going along with the gag, but apparently some do not. In an effort to avoid offending anybody’s sensitivities, Major League Baseball issued an edict prohibiting the “coercing or encouraging” of players to cross-dress or wear “costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation or gender identity or other characteristic.” Legalistic language which would seem to cover all costumes of any kind. Oakland A’s closer Huston Street, who is 33, was offended by the commitment to political correctness. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, he wrote: “I believe in the rite of passage. I believe it’s team-building, and I believe that it can be done in a way that is sensitive but allows that team-building process to unfold.”