Jockey Faces New Allegations of Shocking Horse at Sam Houston Race Park

Categories: Sports

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Screenshot from race video from Sam Houston Race Park via Blood-Horse.
Jockey Roman Chapa rode thoroughbred Quiet Acceleration to victory in the Richard King Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in January 2014, as seen. He and Quiet Acceleration went on to win the 2015 Richard King Stakes, but now the Texas Racing Commission is alleging Chapa used a buzzer in the 2014 race as well.
A jockey still facing criminal charges for allegedly using a buzzer to shock a horse during a stakes race at Sam Houston Race Park in January has now been accused by the Texas Racing Commission of using a buzzer to shock the same horse in the same race at Sam Houston Race Park in 2014.

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Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Testifies at Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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We are a couple months into the Aaron Hernandez trial now, and after a slow several weeks of nondescript law enforcement characters and forensics experts, business picked up this week.

It started with the continuation of the testimony of Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez's fiancé and the mother of their two year old daughter. To say that Jenkins's testimony was difficult to believe would be like saying the smell of the ship channel chemical plants is difficult to detect.

Jenkins' selective memory and implausible deniability when it comes to things like the large box she urgently removed that likely contained the murder weapon the day after the murder of Odin Lloyd were laughable. The question now comes did she say enough to keep herself and her fiancé out of jail.

Then on Tuesday, we got our first huge name witness, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft took the stand.

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Ousted Texas Hoops Coach Rick Barnes Quickly Lands In Tennessee

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Aaron Vasquez via Wikimedia Commons
Despite a school record 402 wins and a virtually perennial trip to the NCAA tournament each season (16 trips in all, as many as the school had in its history before Rick Barnes arrived), in the end, Rick Barnes career resume was not enough to save him from his last few annual performance evaluations.

Thus, over the weekend, the University of Texas chose to part ways with Barnes after a seventeen season run that was highlighted by one Final Four (2003) and four Big XII Coach of the Year awards.

However, one school's trash is another school's treasure, and what wasn't good enough to stay employed at one UT was most certainly good enough to get hired -- and get hired QUICKLY -- at the other UT.

So it was that Rick Barnes was hired on Tuesday as the next head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.

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Patrick Beverley Declared out for the Season

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Houston Rockets
Patrick Beverly
On Monday night, the Rockets were in Toronto, trying to win a basketball game, which it just so happens is something they haven't done in that city since sometime during the Yao Ming era. They still haven't. They lost the game 99-96, and while every game is crucial right now in the Western Conference playoff race, Monday's news will be remembered more for what (or whom) they lost in the bigger picture.

While the Rockets were in Toronto losing that game to the Raptors, Patrick Beverley was on a Southwest flight from Chicago (his hometown) back to Houston. I know this because my 15-year-old son happened to be on his flight. My son (a HUGE Pat Bev fan) texted me to tell me Beverley was on the flight. His assessment of Bev's mood?

"He looks kind of sad," my son said.

That would stand to reason, since presumably Beverley was a mere few hours removed from the news that we all found out after he did -- Patrick Beverley's 2014-2015 season is over, the frustrating result of a torn ligament in his left wrist.

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Up and Out: NFL Veterans Are Expected to Train the Lower-Priced Players Replacing Them

Categories: Sports

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Photo by Max Burkhalter
Chris Myers has been mentoring Ben Jones, who'll likely take his place.

When Chris Myers got the phone call on March 4 asking him to come to NRG Stadium, he knew. He knew that the Texans weren't asking him to come in and help lay out their draft board or shoot a video for Texans TV. It was his time, and time was up.

Seven seasons a Texan, 112 consecutive starts in the middle of the Texans' offensive line, the Houston chapter of Myers's decade in the NFL was coming to a close. The Texans informed Myers that they would be releasing him with one year remaining on his contract. The move would absolve the Texans of Myers's $6 million salary in 2015 and, more important to the team, create an equal amount of valuable salary cap space to sign some free agents.

This is the business of the NFL. Capable veteran players over the age of 30 get cut every off-season, not because they can't play but because they're scheduled to get paid too much. In a league where the average player's career is less than four years, players like Myers, who just finished his tenth season in 2014, are fortunate to get to this stage of the NFL life cycle, but that doesn't make getting released any less harsh.

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NCAA Elite Eight: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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thinkstock.com, Monica Fuentes
When you write the many, many thousands of words that I do here all year long, you stumble upon concepts that become part of your writing "brand," and I suppose that "4 Winners, 4 Losers" is one of those things for me.

I originally started using it as an easily consumable way for Texans fans to process exactly what they saw, both with the Texans and around the league, on Sunday. Bulletized lists are easy brain food on a hungover Monday. Slowly, I've started using it for other sporting events and the occasional pop culture phenomenon.

So, of all the "4 Winners, 4 Losers" posts I've done, in theory the one about the Elite Eight should be the most straightforward one, right? I mean, by definition, that's exactly what the Elite Eight yields -- four winners and four losers. But it's never that simple. There are layers, there is nuance, and that's what I'm here to decipher.

Or try to, at least. Let's give it a go....

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Fantasy Crime League Update: Saints CB Dixon Nabbed for Resisting Arrest

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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I have the good fortune of being able to say that I've never been arrested. It's nothing I go around bragging about. To me, being a law abiding citizen is merely the cover charge to get into the club of good human beings. It's no reason to stump for VIP human being status.

But my lack of tussles with law enforcement leaves me without a personal barometer for exactly what constitutes "resisting arrest." This much I do know -- it would seem that to be resisting arrest you have to be getting arrested for something.

That's what makes Saints cornerback Brian Dixon's dustup with the law so perplexing. Courtesy of the Baton Rouge Advocate, here's the detail of this offseason's latest Fantasy Crime League entry:


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Dear NCAA: For the Love of God, Please, No More Basketball Games at NRG Stadium

Categories: Sports

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John Royal
This is the view from the NRG Stadium stands for Sunday's game. Yes, tickets were sold for these seats.
Basketball in football stadiums suck, especially NCAA tournament games. The depth perception is thrown off, no matter where the giant black curtains are hung. Fans pay high prices to sit in lousy seats with horrible views of the game. It's a lousy experience for all involved. So let's just stop playing basketball in domed football stadiums.

The basketball played in the NCAA South Regional at NRG Stadium this weekend was horrendous. Many three pointers were shot, but very few were made. Duke shot over 40 percent in defeating Utah 63-57 Friday night. Gonzaga shot 44 percent in its 66-52 loss to Duke yesterday (the Duke win sends the Blue Devils to the Final Four for the 12th time under head coach Mike Krzyzewski), and Gonzaga made 40.3 percent of its shots in defeating UCLA 74-62 on Friday. But no team came close to making half its shots, and UCLA and Utah were lucky to hit on 30-plus percent of their shots on Friday night.

The players refused to blame stadium conditions this weekend. Players from Utah, UCLA, Duke, and Gonzaga were all quick to note that the godawful depth perception had nothing to do with their inability to hit shots they'd normally make in their sleep -- these were all some good shooting teams with skilled three point shooters. But as Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak noted after his team's loss on Friday night, in no other NCAA tournament site did the players have to deal with the conditions seen in Houston.

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Jadeveon Clowney Feels Good About How His Knee Is Healing

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher
Is it a bad thing that we are nearly a year into Jadeveon Clowney's tenure as an employee of the Houston Texans and it still doesn't feel like he is actually a real person? Like he's some mythical creature (with one horrific knee)?

With just a few dozen plays under his belt as an NFL player, Clowney feels more like a unicorn than he does an edge pass rusher, so any news of his recovery from microfracture going swimmingly has to be tempered by remembering just how snakebitten Clowney has been since being selected with the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, we open this week with news of Clowney's speaking for the first time publicly (into microphones, at least) since last November!

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Wrestlemania 31 Preview and Predictions

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Simon Q via Flickr
You can measure how far we've come technologically as a species since 1985 in a number of ways.

You can look at medical advancements and our ability to treat certain diseases or heal certain injuries. You can look at transportation, and how much easier it is to get from one place to another quickly and efficiently. You can look at communication and how technology allows us to convey messages electronically in seconds while actually seeing the recipient on a TV screen!

Hell, we don't even need to wait for nudity to arrive in the mail anymore! (Is Playboy still a thing?) The interwebs serves it up to us within seconds! WHAT A WORLD!

However, I'm an old soul, and for me, the advancements of 30 years can be summed up in one nuance...the way in which we consume Wrestlemania.

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