Out of Rehab, Johnny Manziel Issues an Apology Statement

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Johnny Football issues an apology.
"With the 22nd pick, the Cleveland Browns select Johnny Manziel, quarterback from Texas A&M."

It's hard to believe that it was less than a year ago when Johnny Manziel heard his name called at the NFL Draft. At that time, he was barely removed from a three-month period where he became a social media hermit and (in retrospect) an "Eddie Haskell on steroids," focused on his workouts and saying all the right things. The future was bright; Johnny Football was movin' on up.

But almost literally from the moment the announcement left the mouth of Roger Goodell, it's been a reversion back to the college days of "JFF." I mean literally, as in Manziel walked out of the back making the money sign with his hands.

Well, the reversion back was a downward spiral, and when you head downward, eventually you hit rock bottom. Manziel landed in rehab after the season was over, and stayed there for ten weeks.

This week he got out, and Friday morning, he issued his first public statement since leaving the facility.

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2015 NBA Playoffs: Rockets-Mavericks Preview and Prediction

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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As the NBA regular season was winding down this week, one popular debate in Houston, particularly after the Memphis Grizzlies' losing to the Clippers on Saturday pushed the Rockets into a control-you-own-destiny situation for at least the five seed in the West, was "Which would be a better scenario for the Rockets -- a first round as the two seed against Dallas or a first round as the five seed against a banged up Portland?

Keeping in mind, the Rockets would have home court in either series, there was a line of thinking that Portland would at least be the easier first round matchup, what with injuries up and down their roster. The Rockets would probably not have home court for the rest of the playoffs after that, but so many Rocket fans just want to win one series right now, the thinking is deal with the second round when it comes.

And as I stood in the Toyota Center on Wednesday night after a Rockets win over the Jazz watching the Pelicans upset the Spurs, thus launching the Rockets into the two seed against the Mavs, all I could think is how stupid the debate as about which first round opponent the Rockets would rather face.

Because the Rockets are not playing for the first round. They're playing for a championship. And the two seed is clearly the more logical path. Plus, are we really scared of the Dallas Mavericks?

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Fan Fighting League! Baseball Season Is Underway As Oriole Fan Punches Yankee Fan

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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YouTube
SPORTS!
The winter typically provides a lull in when it comes to my Fan Fighting League. You all know the FFL, right? It's my fictional league that I created (and proclaimed myself commissioner of) in order to bring attention to fans from opposing teams beating the snot out of each other at sporting events.

Fact of the matter is that football season is always going to be prime FFL season, since that's a sport in which fans punching each other in the stands is as embedded a tradition as fight songs and cheerleaders.

During the dead of winter, we see almost no fights, since the NBA is not really a "crowd brawl" kind of sport, especially since Ron Artest renamed himself Metta World Peace and then disappeared.

But baseball. Oh sweet baseball. We love you. Especially up in the Northeast, where the hate between fan bases should have a color coded alert system, like the terror level.

So it's nice to get the FFL baseball season started with a sweet set of fisticuffs between an Oriole fan and a Yankee fan in Camden Yards!

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Aaron Hernandez: Guilty Of First Degree Murder And Lots Of Other Stuff (w/ Verdict VIDEO)

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Screengrab from Facebook.com/AaronHernandez81
Needless to say, some teams (especially the Patriots) may be doing some double and triple checking on their weed enthusiast prospects the next couple weeks.
The NFL Draft begins exactly two weeks from today. Teams will spend the subsequent three days putting all of their exhaustive film study, research, interviewing, and background checking to work.

They spend millions on this stuff, trying to get it right. In fact, I don't know that I can think of an industry where more is spent on getting it right in which they get it wrong so often. Some of it's not their fault. There's only so many spots in the NFL, math will wipe out a majority of the guys who are picked, particularly in later rounds.

But some of the misses have nothing to do with a player's talent. Some of the misses are either poor vetting, or more likely, a willful ignorance in which they gauge the likelihood of criminal activity against the likelihood of a guy making the Pro Bowl.

The Patriots saw value in 2010 when Aaron Hernandez dropped to the fourth round.


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The Final Houston Rockets Playoff Scenario Post Of The 2014-15 Season

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Marco Torres
The Amazing Race (of Clank)!
Well, this time tomorrow it will all be over. We will know the answers to the test.

Eighty-two games, a bunch of twist and turns, some injuries along the way (a few minor ones, a couple fairly catastrophic ones, one that is still a TBD until they take the training wheels off of Dwight Howard). It's really incredible when you think about it, just how razor thin the margin is between hope and despair in the NBA.

Every game, every shot, will in some way wind up counting this season, and by tomorrow morning we will know who comes out ahead. And of course, I'm talking about this:

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Rockets Playoff Scenarios: How to Avoid the Dreaded Sixth Seed

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Well, that didn't quite go as planned now, did it?

Heading into Wednesday night's slate of NBA games, as outlined here, the Rockets were sitting in the two seed in the Western Conference, controlling their own destiny, with the franchise's next MVP Award firmly in its sights.

It was all downhill from there. As James Harden was staging his own viewing of "How To Lose An MVP Award In Three Days" (with help from an ungodly barrage unleashed by Steph Curry Thursday night against Portland), the Rockets themselves were losing back-to-back games to the San Antonio Spurs, one in a blowout and the other in heartbreaking final play fashion.

Amazingly, when it was all said and done, the four teams battling for spots 2, 3, 5 and 6 in the West (Portland is locked in at No. 4) literally flipped all the way around, effectively making their portion of the standings, by Sunday night, a mirror image of Wednesday's.

Here's how it looks now:

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Texans Announce Preseason Opponents, Re-Sign Offensive Lineman White

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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The NFL will unveil its regular season schedule sometime in the next few weeks. It's then that we can begin to formulate opinions and handicap how we think the 2015 season is going to go for the Houston Texans.

Much the same way that the preseason is sort of a subdued dress rehearsal for the regular season, so too is the unveiling of the preseason schedule a subdued rehearsal for the release of the regular-season schedule. There's a fraction of the intrigue, a fraction of the pomp and circumstance, but still enough for us to at least have a few talking points.

With that in mind, let it be known that the Texans released their preseason list of opponents and weeks in which they'll play them yesterday, and here's the skinny:

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Donatas Motiejunas Is Done for the Season With Back Injury

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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thepanamerican via flickr
Through the first three weeks of the NBA season, Donatas Motiejunas was floundering. Through 12 games, he was shooting below 37 percent and knocking down three pointers at a frigid 17.6 percent clip. It was being openly debated if he was the least effective rotation player in the league.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Motiejunas found himself. He found his shooting stroke, became suddenly comfortable making low post moves, and even found a go-to move, a hook shot that was one of the most, if not the most, converted hook shots in the league.

And by the time he was being put on the shelf two weeks ago with a back injury, you could say that D-Mo belonged to an exclusive marksman club:

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What Do the Rockets Need to Do to Lock Up the Two Seed?

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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So I'm in the middle of a project right now that involves the Rockets' 1995 NBA champions, and along the way, I've been conversing with several members of the team who played, coached and covered the team. It's been fun, in large part because that team did something historical.

They won the NBA title from the six seed!

When you're an underdog like that, every series win feels like a combination of euphoria and house money. It's awesome. That said, I'd prefer that I never have to root for a Rockets team in the six seed again, and especially not this season. Of course, naturally, the Rockets currently sit in the two seed with only two games separating them from the dreaded (yet morbidly fun) six seed.

So what's in store the rest of the season and what do they need to do in order to lock up the two seed in the Western Conference? Let's take a look...

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Duke 68, Wisconsin 63: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Three weeks and 67 games in the books, and we have our 2015 men's basketball champion, as the Duke Blue Devils knocked off the Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 Monday night to capture head coach Mike Krzyzewski's fifth title as head coach in Durham.

It was a strange game in this way -- if you listed bullet points necessary for a Wisconsin win, the Badgers probably got several important ones. They got Jahlil Okafor, Duke's freshman beast of a center, into foul trouble, they got a big game out of their Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky (21 points, 12 rebounds), and they protected the basketball (five turnovers).

However, Wisconsin shot the ball poorly, especially down the stretch, getting outscored 29-15 in the final 11 minutes, and Duke got to cut down the nets. As always, there were winners and losers, so let's get to it....

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