Jeter’s new blog: Russell Wilson says he was a bully
When retiring Yankees superstar Derek Jeter announced he was starting a website, ThePlayersTribune.com, that would show professional athletes unfiltered as the people they are, there was much media skepticism. Surely this would be a website run by publicists. But Jeter’s website opened with a bombshell: Russell Wilson, the adorable little quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, was a childhood bully. So blogs Wilson himself: “I used to beat people up. . . . I was a bully. . . . In elementary and middle school, I threw kids against the wall. I rubbed their heads in the dirt at recess. I bit them. I even knocked teeth out. . . . I had a lot of anger that I didn’t know what to do with.”
Wilson blogged that he “was saved by my faith,” and he sees the hazardous duality of football players being violent on the field and loving and peaceful away from it. “As NFL players, we do not play a gentle game. But our hits, our anger, our aggressive behaviors need to be regulated and confined to the field.”
Jaguar mascot mocks Steelers fans: ‘Towels carry Ebola’
Jacksonvile Jaguars mascot Jaxson Deville held up a hand-lettered sign during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers: “Towels carry Ebola.” It was a reference to the traditional “Terrible Towel” waved by Steelers fans. Many people did not appreciate the humor, and the Jaguars’ front office apologized for the handiwork of Curtis Dvorak, who has been playing the role of team mascot since it was introduced in 1996: “The team was unaware of this inappropriate sign, which was hand-made by Jaxson during the fourth quarter. . . . We are handling the mater internally and taking it very seriously. We extend our sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended.”
Patriots pay tribute to a player on another team
Cincinnati Bengals lineman Devon Still has a 4-year-old daughter, Leah, suffering from a rare cancer, neuroblastoma. He received support from the most unlikely of places, the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium. As part of the halftime show Sunday night, the Patriots cheerleaders wore the No. 75 uniform of Still, whose eyes teared up during the tribute performance. Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced that he was donating $25,000 to Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital.
Panthers GM told Smith he’s ‘a shell’ of what he was
Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith remains bitter over the Carolina Panthers all but shoving him out the door. Smith Sr., as he now styles himself, said on Charlotte’s WFNZ radio that general manager Dave Gettelman told him he was “a shell of the player I once was, a distraction to the team and jealous of (quarterback) Cam Newton. I say, ‘Well, is this about a pay cut?’ He laughs and says, ‘No, but thanks for asking. We’re going to trade you.’”
Smith has used the Panthers’ snub as motivation this year. He ranks among the NFL leading receivers, averaging 96.2 yards per game in receptions.
Sherman says Garcon ‘doesn’t matter in this league’
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman complained that wide receiver Pierre Garcon pulled his dreadlocks during Monday night’s game in Washington. “When you can’t get open, you gotta do whatever you can,” Sherman told CSN Washington. He added that Garcon “doesn’t matter in this league.” When asked if he really meant that, Sherman said, “I mean exactly what I said.”
In response, Garcon tweeted: “Silence is the best reply to a fool.”
Dear Richard: Although he caught only two passes in that game, Garcon is a very significant receiver. You should be less concerned with him pulling your hair than DeSean Jackson completely undressing you on a 60-yard TD.
Torii Hunter says this season ‘physically burned me out’
After his team was swept by Baltimore in the AL Division Series, Detroit Tigers veteran outfielder Torii Hunter said, “This season physically burned me out. I don’t think I’ve gone through another season like this.” The Tigers have one of the major leagues’ highest paid and most talented rosters, which added to the disappointment. “There’s nothing about this that makes any sense when you consider all the talent that’s in this clubhouse,” said catcher Alex Avila.
Nationals skipper doesn’t regret pulling Zimmerman
Washington Nationals rookie manager Matt Williams insisted he did not regret pulling starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman with two outs in the ninth inning, one runner on base (via walk) and clinging to a 1-0 lead against San Francisco in the National League Division Series.
“Anytime you make a decision on something and it doesn’t work, you kick yourself. However, you have to put your guys in position to do their jobs. So I don’t have a problem with it.”
But others did. Media observers pointed out that the Giants had not had a hit off Zimmerman since the third inning. But Williams did not want Zimmerman pitching to Buster Posey, who had a single early in the game and lined hard to third base in the seventh inning. So closer Drew Storen entered, allowed a single to Posey and a game-tying double to Pablo Sandoval. The Nationals lost the game in 18 innings.