ESPN Reports On Michael Sam's Showering Habits (VIDEO)

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Marcus Qwertyus
Before making doing a final save of each of my posts on this blog, I select a few categories that indicate the nature of the subject matter.

Prior to saving this particular post, I chose the usual categories of "Game Time" (code for "Sean wrote this") and "Sports" (because that's what I generally write about), and I also checked off "Football." But "football" isn't entirely accurate. I mean, this is a post about football insomuch as it pertains to Michael Sam, who is a football player for the St. Louis Rams.

However, the post itself has very little to do with the actual game of football. Since it's a report from Rams' training camp, it should, in theory, have everything to do with the game of football -- it should be about Michael Sam's ability to rush the passer, his contributions on special teams, or maybe his sack of Johnny Manziel on Saturday night.

But it doesn't. And we have ESPN to thank for that.

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Houston Texans Begin The Roster Trim Down To 75 Players

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Monica Fuentes
There will be cuts...

If you listen carefully, that sound you hear is the sound of hundreds of NFL dreams being shattered (or at the very least, put on hold, but "put on hold" doesn't sound nearly melodramatic enough for the internet).

My co-host Ted Johnson, he of three Super Bowl rings and a decade in the NFL, was a second round draft choice of the New England Patriots in 1995, who then became a quality stalwart on their defense. So he wasn't routinely in a training camp situation in which he was in danger of being cut (although, to be fair, once you get a veteran's salary, you're always in danger of something -- pay cut, being cut, paper cut, lots of cuts). To that end, Ted has said in his time in the league, he made a point to never learn the names of rookies in camp because chances are most of them would be gone in a month.

And nobody likes emotional good byes, right?

On Monday, the Texans began the process of the tearful adieus to many of the training camp bodies that were the foundation of the waning moments of blowouts in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason.


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O.J. Brigance Takes The Ice Bucket Challenge (VIDEO)

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Screen shot of the Brigance Brigade YouTube page
Like any internet meme, even one that is unequivocally benevolent and productive, we knew that eventually the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness and funds for ALS, would reach the stage where human nature pushes a significant portion of society to nitpick at and tire of the repetition of the message.

That's the way it goes, I guess.

Even though the Ice Bucket Challenge has been an undeniable success in getting people to donate to a worthy cause (since the challenges began in July, contributions are up over tenfold from the same period last year), people get "sick of it" because the uploaded videos have the nerve to clog their Facebook news feeds. ("How am I supposed to find out which 'Game of Thrones' character I am on this Buzzfeed quiz, if I have to keep wading through these videos that have raised tens of millions of dollars?")

The other common complaint is that people are doing these videos without making an actual financial contribution to ALS research, that there's some degree of narcissism involved with at least a portion of these uploaded efforts.

Ok, to that I say this:


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Will Astros Games Soon Be Viewable On Your IPad? Maybe

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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MLB's Advanced Media is a great option for watching games, unless it's your home team
The Associated Press reported last week that Major League Baseball may be close to ending parts of its idiotic blackout policy that prevents people living in a team's home market from seeing that team's games. Calling it an incremental step, the head of MLB's online business, Bob Bowman, stated that people would be able to stream the home team's games on mobile devices or through online services such as MLB.TV.

There's just one slight catch, however. For fans to watch the games of hometown teams on their iPads or through MLB.TV, they will have to prove that they have a subscription for a cable or satellite operator that carries that particular team's regional sports network. And if you're thinking, hey this does me no good because I have DirecTV and DirecTV doesn't carry CSN Houston, well, you're right, it doesn't do you any good. And if you live in Las Vegas and wonder why you have to subscribe to the costliest DirecTV bundle option just so you can watch the Padres, well, you're still equally screwed.

"Everyone's trying to solve it," Bowman told the AP. "If our hands were 4 feet apart three or four years ago, they are now 6 inches apart. We're moving in the right way. We continue to talk. The dialogue is professional."

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Texans 18, Broncos 17: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJDFNOsZ2HU
For the most part, preseason football is very boring.

I don't think I'm breaking any new ground with that white-hot take. Unless you're completely into the 90-to-75 cutdown bubble, or you're a degenerate gambler, there's not a whole lot of compelling stuff going on in the fourth quarter of a Preseason Week 3 game.

And so it was on Saturday night that me and my Sports Radio 610 colleagues, Mike Meltser and Seth Payne, sat in the studio watching the fourth quarter seconds tediously fall off of the clock, every one second feeling like it took ten seconds, as we waited to host the post game show for the Texans-Broncos preseason "game."

At the time, the Broncos led 17-10, and were lining up for a 36 yard field goal that would give them a 20-10 lead, effectively icing the game. I stared at the television with the same blank stare I'd had the entire second half, wondering what compelling angle we could possibly pull from this snooze for a three hour post game show.

"This is what it must feel like to write a eulogy for one of those weird recluses on Hoarders," I thought to myself.

Then, it happened.

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Texans-Broncos: Five Roster Battles to Watch

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Going out to Texans practice during the preseason is one of the more enjoyable parts of my job.

Typically, it's well attended by fellow media members, so it serves in part as a decent social outing each late July and early/mid August morning. In fact, the first day of Texans training camp is the closest thing to a first day of school that I've experienced in my adult life.

Also, you get to be like 15 feet away from NFL players hitting each other, so that's pretty cool.

That said, I'm not all that bummed out about the Texans' traveling to Denver this week to practice with the Broncos, even if it did deprive us of a week of practice to cover here in Houston. Why, you may ask? Well, look at the storylines that were either born or advanced since the Texans arrived in Denver:

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Here's a Few Suggestions to Fix MLB, Not that the New Commissioner Asked

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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There's about to be a new guy running Major League Baseball.
Rob Manfred was appointed the new MLB commissioner last week. And even as the news was announced, the speculation began as to what Manfred could do to improve the sport, seeing as how he's not old and ancient like Bud Selig, the man he's replacing. Not that he's asked me, but I have a few suggestions, so...

INCREASE THE SPEED OF PLAY

Baseball's always been a leisurely game, but crap, no 1-0 nine-inning game should ever take over three hours to play. There's been talk about cutting down on coaching visits to the mound, on the number of pitchers who can pitch in an inning, and other such stupid nonsense. But here's a simple suggestion: Enforce the damn rule book.

Rule 8:04 is simple and to the point: If the bases are empty, a pitcher has 20 seconds to throw the pitch. If he doesn't, the umpire is instructed to call a ball.  And rule 6.02 instructs the batter to remain in the batter's box, and that if he refuses to step back into the box upon an umpire's request, then a strike should be called.

If we really want to improve game speed, let's enforce the rules before implementing others.

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Zapruder Analysis of the Latest Swimming Pool Dunk (VIDEO)

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Screen shot from JamBroz
I have to say, Internet, rarely do I chastise you. Rarely do you let me down.

But I'll be honest -- the lack of acrobatic suburban white kid swimming pool dunks from you has been disappointing. Frankly, those dunks were a big part of what sustained me last summer from a content standpoint. (Aaron Hernandez's addiction to killing people was the unfortunate other part.)

However, if you're going to make a late run in the latter part of August, I may be willing to forgive and forget. The latest pool dunk you've given us is a pretty good start toward mending fences.

Not only a pool dunk, but apparently a pool dunking faction that I was unaware of! Like a WWE stable whose gimmick is perfectly timed jumps off diving boards and rocking GoPro cameras on their heads!

Say hello to the Jambroz, who if I'm not mistaken authored the "ring of fire" dunk I Zaprudered earlier this summer.

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J.J. Watt Finally Speaks About a New Contract

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Photo by Groovehouse
"You've got guys in the Hall of Fame that have been franchised in back-to-back years. The franchise tag is worth something to the team, and you can't be afraid to use it." -- Bob McNair, 8/8/14

Whether it was Intentional or unintentional on the part of Bob McNair, if you're looking for a salvo that may have led to the rare contractual candor from J.J. Watt on Tuesday afternoon in Denver, that might be it.

Since about the time Watt was putting the finishing touches on his second season in the league, a football masterpiece that concluded with 20.5 sacks and the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award, his next contract has figuratively hung over NRG Stadium like an ominous cloud, blanketing more and more of the sky with every pass he defended and every quarterback he dropped for a loss.

When asked about a new contract previously, Watt would smile, defer, spit out a line or two about being "just a football player," and essentially cut the line of questioning off at its knees.

That is, until Tuesday.

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2014 Heisman Odds: Three Sleepers Who Are Off the Board

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Ready for Heisman season?
How do we know the college football season is almost here?

Well, not all that long ago, it would have been because the best of the preview magazines were hitting the stands -- Athlon, Lindy's, Street & Smith's. When you saw the cover with the best player of whichever the hottest team in your region was, you knew that it was almost time. (This still applies today, but magazines have slid to the back burner.)

Certainly, in 2014, we know the season is almost here when a new network-that-owes-its-existence-to-college-football launches. A few years ago, it was the Big Ten Network. A couple years after that, it was the Longhorn Network. The Pac-12 Network closely followed LHN, and finally, just a few days ago, the most highly anticipated of all of them -- the SEC Network -- launched as an adjunct to ESPN's family of networks.

Me, I prefer to see the proliferation of prop bets on the board in Vegas as the sign that college football is almost here.


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