The Reds are awesome with a great fan base and great ball park.

Gunter, an undrafted second-year cornerback from Miami, held his own against Jones. Jones was targeted five times and Gunters tight coverage was a factor in each of Ryans two incompletions when throwing to Jones. In both cases, Gunter had help with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix over the top.

Jones, who had 83 catches for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season, had some success last Saturday against the Seahawks. He caught six passes for 67 yards and a score while being shadowed for most of the game by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Jones7-yard touchdown against the Seahawks was the same play the Falcons ran against Green Bay for Sanus game-winning score. Only instead of Sanu outside, it was Jones ducking underneath to catch an uncontested pass.

The Reds are awesome with a great fan base and great ball park. I’m excited.

Lewis is a 6-2, 188-pound shortstop from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and is perhaps the most complete position player in the draft. He’s a power-speed player who hit.388 with four home runs and 25 stolen bases as a high school senior.

Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright was also considered an option before he surrendered seven runs on eight hit’s in 6 2/3 innings in Saturday’s 9-2 loss to top-ranked Oregon State in the Super Regionals. Wright is a 6-4, 220-pound right-hander who was 5-6 with a 3.40 ERA this season. Wright, undrafted out of high school, was selected fifth overall by the Braves and will join former Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson in the organization.

Signability could be an issue, but the Twins have over $14 million in their bonus pool for the first 10 rounds, and can allot up to $7.7 million to get Lewis under contract. The Twins also hold the 35th and 37th overall selections. falcons_021

Roger Goodell trolled for avoiding AFC title game

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Roger Goodell won’t be in Foxborough this weekend to watch the Patriots and Steelers play in the AFC Championship Game. Instead, the NFL commissioner plans to be in Atlanta for the Packers and Falcons NFC Championship Game.

Goodell has not made an appearance at Gillette Stadium in two years, since Deflategate, and the internet thinks he’s a coward.

I dont really know where its at today, Fassel said Monday afternoon. I hope to get a chance to talk to Kevin and Les about whatever they want to talk about whether its a head coaching interview or whether its an information gather on where I see the team headed and where it needs to head to become what we want it to become. So, whatever you want to call it, I would very much welcome the opportunity to sit down and just have a good football conversation about, from my perspective, what I think its going to take for the Rams be an NFC West division champ.

I talked to Kevin a few days ago, a few days before the game, and he said to keep Monday evening, Monday night available to talk about the job and the future of the Rams. It was a little bit open-ended, but I looked at it as just an opportunity to talk football, especially since its fresh in our mind, as far as what went right and what went wrong and how we fix what went wrong. I hope we get to talk a little ball.
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As for those Rams assistants, defensive line coach Mike Waufle is one of the league’s most respected position coaches and won’t be unemployed long.

The Rams’ first season back in Los Angeles was beyond disappointing with a 4-12 record and seven straight losses to close the schedule.

Demoff sent a letter to season ticket holders on Monday telling them the Rams will begin interviewing head-coaching candidates on Tuesday. One of those candidates is expected to be Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Steelers’ Bud Dupree says he was fined for brutal Matt Moore hit

Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree was indeed fined for his nasty hit on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore last week, ESPN.com reported.

According to Dupree, he hasn’t seenthe dollar amount yet, but he plans to appeal the fine.

ESPN also reported that the fine is$18,231, standard for a first-time roughing the quarterbackcall.
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Moore was hit by the crown of Dupree’s helmet in the chin area, causing his head to snap to the side. He leftthe field after a few minutesbut missed onlyone play as a result of the hit.

Moore returnedto the game, but the Dolphins eventually lost, eliminating Miami and sending Pittsburgh to the AFC divisional round.

Moore said after the game he felt like hedidn’t sustain a concussion, but the NFL andNFLPA are investigatingwhether the league’sconcussion protocol was followed.

A month later, the Generals were voted the AFA’s national champions of minor league football; Jamie King became the Minor League Coach of the Year. But the moment he had looked for all his life happened just moments after that final game. Frank King, who along with Jamie’s mother had watched the game from inside their car, was presented the game ball.
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Frank, then in failing health, accepted it from Mark Moseley, thanking the team and promising the ball would stay with him always.
It had, for all intents and purposes, done everything I’d always hoped to in one gesture, Jamie said. That’s why we called it ‘A Game Ball for Frank.’ It definitely for me was the one thing I did that was right. It brought it full circle.

Detriot chased Boston left-hander Drew Pomeranz after 4 1/3 innings pitched.

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Upton gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first inning, following up a Castellanos two-run homer, with an RBI single four batters later. Upton struck again with an estimated 337-foot grand slam off Pesky’s Pole in right field during the fifth inning of the Tigers’ 8-3 win.

Detriot chased Boston left-hander Drew Pomeranz after 4 1/3 innings pitched. He was scored with six runs (five earned) allowed on eight hits after Heath Hembree served up Upton’s grand slam on a 96 mph fastball. Ian Kinsler added an RBI single to give the Tigers a five-run fifth inning and its eighth and final run of the game.

Boston managed six walks and 12 hits, including seven off starter Daniel Norris, but the Red Sox left 12 runners on base and were left with just three runs to show for it. With nearly a third of June complete, Boston trails the Yankees by four games in the AL East.

Upton’s grand slam was the third of the day in MLB, joining Paul Goldschmidt and Corey Seager with the memorable home runs in an exciting day of baseball.

Jaylon Smith Jersey White Sox second base prospect Yoan Moncada (our No. 1-ranked prospect) has recently been dealing with a bruised thumb, but he seems poised for a June call-up after a blistering start to the season at Triple-A (.331/.401/.504 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases in 34 games). The switch-hitting Moncada will need to improve his pitch recognition to succeed in the majors, but he’s shown the ability to make adjustments and should eventually adapt to the quality and sequencing of big league pitching. More fundamental are the flaws in his righthanded swing, which will require either significant mechanical changes or a decision to only bat lefthanded. In any case, he remains an electric talent with plus speed and tantalizing power potential. Once he’s healthy, it will be hard for the Sox to keep him out of their lineup.

NFL players union: League should pay cheerleaders fairly

With a potential class-action lawsuit by NFL cheerleaders brewing, players union executive director DeMaurice Smith called out the league for not ensuring the women were treated properly.

“I think the league should be better than that,” Smith said Thursday during the annual NFL Players Association news conference, via ESPN.com. “I think it requires better leadership and I think it requires a better decision by a group of people that everyone in this business can be paid fairly, and we’ll jump into any fight where we think people aren’t.”

According to the lawsuit, league executives and team owners are accused of conspiring the ensure cheerleaders’ wages were kept to a minimum.

Smith said he hasn’t spoken to the group of women who filed the class-action suit, but he remembers the lawsuits filed against individual teams over sex discrimination and minimal wages.

Curling is often the butt of jokes curtailing the less-attractive sports in the Winter Olympics opposed to the Summer Games, but sometimes people find hobbies in the most unlikely of places.

Davis would like to help expand the sport of curling to more African Americans, who he feels may not know a lot about it right now.

“Right now, I feel like a lot of African Americans don’t really know too much about the game of curling,” Davis told The Undefeated. “A lot of times I find that, when people don’t know about something, they kind of shy away from it. If we can continue to introduce the sport of curling to more African Americans, African Americans can then say, ‘Hey, here’s another option for me, maybe I should take this up, maybe I should do this.”texans_130

No rest for the wicked: Patriots preach preparation ahead of Super Bowl 51

Tom Brady has been through this before. The Super Bowl has become old hat for the Patriots quarterback, who will be playing in his seventh Super Bowl when the Patriots take on the Falcons Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston.

With a two-week break between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, teams put in most of their game plan before they arrive in the host city.

Although Kaepernick regained his starting position last season, the 49ers went 1-10 in his starts and ended the season 2-14, leading to the ouster of general manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly.

Now, with Kyle Shanahan expected to take the reins of the 49ers after the Super Bowl, there has been speculation about whether Shanahan could work with Kaepernick.

The quarterback and the team have fallen on hard times since he led them to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season and was hailed as a quarterback prototype of the future. After a return trip to the playoffs in 2013, San Francisco has gone 15-33 the last three seasons.
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Kaepernick is better known now for his controversial refusal to stand for the national anthem before games last season.

One of the biggest winners from the East-West Shrine Game, the athletic tight end from USC was a shocking omission from the official invite list. McNamara offers awesome seam positioning and finishing ability with strength in traffic, and he proved as much during Shrine Game practices.

Womens Kyle Juszczyk Jersey Still, as a non-Combine invite, McNamara might have an uphill battle to secure a draft position. As talented as the running back class is, this might be the deepest tight end class in recent history, and McNamara will have to continue to win over teams during the process, most notably at his Pro Day.

How the Blue Jays’ Devon Travis became one of MLB’s hottest hitters

To take a step forward, sometimes you have to take a step back. Not only is it wise philosophical advice, but in the case of the Blue Jays’ Devon Travis, those words of wisdom are quite literal.

After a dreadful first month of the season in which Travis slashed .130/.193/.195 and was worth a paltry wRC+ of 1, he completely turned around his season in May. Over the course of 26 games in May, Travis slashed .364/.373/.646 and his wRC+ in May alone skyrocketed up to 171.

Another cliché: Baseball has a way of policing itself. The unwritten rules can get a little wonky at times but it’s no different than any other sport. There are just certain things you don’t do: Throw at a batter’s head, style when your team is down big. It’s not all that complicated.
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Can baseball players act like spoiled kids in Toys ‘R’ Us? Of course. Egos can be more fragile than a Jenga tower on a sailboat. The way it should work: You flip your bat down that big, I plunk you on the buttcheek, we go back to sharing drinks with our agent after the game. It’s not always that simple, but it should be.

There’s nothing wrong with flipping a bat. But players need to stay within the moment and remember to not always make it about them.
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If they don’t, well, that’s worth flipping out about.

It’s not as black and white as it seems. But people are also overcomplicating the entire ordeal.

Bautista apologized during the game to catcher Kurt Suzuki, it appeared. But that’s more than likely because the Blue Jays and the Braves finish their four-game set tonight in Atlanta and he realized his ridiculous and untimely flip is probably going to get a teammate drilled tonight, if not Bautista himself, and he wanted to grill up any beef.

Devonta Freeman can’t escape the Super Bowl LI loss, especially on social media

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman hasn’t had an easy time getting over that Super Bowl LI loss. People on social media don’t want to let him forget about it, either.

Freeman said he can’t control what they say, and he doesn’t respond. But that hasn’t stopped folks from reminding him about that blown 25-point lead:

Lynch didn’t just bike around with fans, he was also streaming live on Instagram Stories, and regrettably, that app does not archive streams. So unfortunately, there isn’t any recorded footage from his perspective of the bike ride. It’s a bummer, because from what I recall on the stream, one of Lynch’s pals did a really sick wheelie for what felt like a minute.

Goodell consulted with players before the celebration rules were relaxed.

“The reality is you know that the players want to celebrate; you know they want to exhibit their individuality and excitement that they’re feeling at that point in time. And they’re very creative, as we all know.”

For a league that prides itself on toughness, old-school coaches like Lewis can get sensitive when it comes to something as simple as a celebration in the end zone.

Many of today’s celebrations bring culture to the game, connecting fans with faceless players. It could be through dance, memes, or even other sports. It’s what has made a player like Odell Beckham Jr. so appealing to younger fans.

He helped make the whip a sensation in 2015, turning it into a signature celebration during his rookie season. He’s done tributes as well, including ones to Michael Jackson and LeBron James. Even for those who might not enjoy the NFL as much as more dedicated fans, it’s another way of welcoming people to the game.
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Michael Oher still absent as Panthers begin OTAs

Michael Oher continues to miss voluntary offseason workouts for the Panthers, but he is expected to be present for mandatory minicamp next month, a source told ESPN.

The veteran offensive tackle still needs to clear concussion protocol, which he has been under since September. He missed the last 13 games of the season due to the head injury.

Carroll, 30, was pulled over by a Dallas police officer early Monday morning on an unspecified traffic violation. Carroll was booked into the Dallas County Jail and released Monday afternoon after posting bond.
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Carroll, a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2010, spent the last three seasons with the Eagles and started every game last season. He has eight career interceptions and was expected to be a starter this season for the Cowboys after signing a three-year, $10 million contract. Carroll’s signing was followed by the departures of Cowboys cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.

The Cowboys, who resume organized team activities Tuesday, say they’re aware of the situation. Carroll could be subject to a fine or suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

The Cowboys did select three cornerbacks in April’s NFL Draft, taking Chidobe Awuzie in the second round, Jourdan Lewis in the third and Marquez White in the sixth round.

The video that surfaced in January after Maty Mauk’s redshirt junior season was old at the time it became public. That doesn’t stop the memory from being there, a moment he remembers like it was yesterday.

Tom Johnson Game Jersey Mauk doesn’t party anymore, and he says of the old friends who put him in those bad spots: Well, they are part of the past.

His father did make it through treatment and, last year, received a diagnosis of full remission.

Brett Gardner’s three-run homer in the ninth gives Yankees win over Cubs

Brett Gardner just took the wind out of the Cubs’ sails.

The defending World Series champs were up 2-0 on the Yankees with two outs and a 1-2 count on Brett Gardner.

The Yankees did have two runners on base, but with a 25-mile-per-hour wind blowing in and Gardner at the plate the Cubs had to feel confident.

Well, they felt confident until Gardner did this.
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In Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, as the Cubs were battling for their first championship in 108 years, Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo confided in a mic’d up David Ross that he was teeming with nervous energy.
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I’m an emotional wreck, Rizzo told Ross for millions to hear.

It’s only gonna get worse, the veteran Ross responded.

It was a viral, human moment that echoed what It’s a Long Way to October achieved in 1982, but it was also a reminder that we’re unlikely to see anything on that scale again.

It would be much tougher to do this now because Major League Baseball has such stringent rules on microphones, where the cameras can be and where the crews can be, Diamond said. It would be so much more involved.

Not to mention the potential for controversy, as even one hateful word or unfortunate exchange that happens to be recorded can ruin an athlete’s image 鈥?especially in the social media age.

People are more cautious now with the microphones. People have to be careful and more politically correct and those types of things. Back in ’82, we didn’t have all that, Diamond said. In some ways, back then, Long Way to October’ was more authentic of behind the scenes (happenings) than what you see now.