<![CDATA[NBC New York - Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usWed, 28 Sep 2016 17:18:40 -0400Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:18:40 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Emotional Scenes at Jose Fernandez Funeral Procession]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:33:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/092816+jose+fernandez+memorial+3.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Tebow Homers in First Instructional League At-Bat]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:45:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tebow-home-run-0928.jpg

Tim Tebow didn't waste time making an impact in his first professional baseball game Wednesday.

USA Today reports that the former Jets backup and current Mets instructional league player hit a home run during his first at-bat against minor leaguers for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Video tweeted by a reporter for WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, shows Tebow smacking the ball over the center field wall as fans erupt in cheers.

Tebow, who has also been working as an analyst for ESPN's SEC Network, signed an instructional league contract with the Mets after working out for several MLB teams earlier this summer. 

The former quarterback, who won the Heisman Trophy while playing at the University of Florida in 2007 and played a central role in national title-winning seasons in 2006 and 2008, failed to find lasting success under center in the NFL.

But he decided to take up baseball, a sport he hadn't played since high school, earlier this summer in a final attempt to play professional sports. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Greg Hardy Arrested on Drug Charges]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:27:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Greg-Hardy-mug-shot.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy faces a felony drug charge after he was arrested Sunday night in Richardson, police say.

Hardy, who is an NFL free agent after playing for the Cowboys in 2015, allegedly had 0.7 grams of cocaine in a wallet in his car. It was discovered after a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal, a police affidavit states.

Hardy was stopped about 11:22 p.m. after turning onto Midway Drive from the 300 block of North Glenville Drive. The officer gave Hardy a verbal warning for the traffic violation but asked for his consent to search his 2010 white Dodge Challenger, the police report says.

He told the officer that he didn't know what the substance was and said he believed he got it while he was at a party Saturday night, according to police. Hardy said he passed his wallet around at the party because he was paying for everybody, and he said that must have been when someone put the substance in his wallet.

Hardy was booked into the Richardson City Jail, where he remained Monday afternoon. Bond was set at $5,000.

Hardy spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, before joining the Cowboys in 2015.

Hardy hasn't garnered much attention in free agency since he and the Cowboys parted ways after the 2015 season. He recorded six sacks in 12 games while playing for Dallas.

The defensive end made news stemming from a 2014 arrest for assaulting an ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her. The charges were eventually expunged from Hardy's record.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Richardson Police Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Wear No. 16 for Jose]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 05:31:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16270851118909.jpg

No one on the Miami Marlins will ever wear Jose Fernandez’s No. 16 again, owner Jeffrey Loria announced Monday, a day after the star pitcher was killed in a boating accident.

But that will only take effect after Monday night, when Marlins players honored Fernandez by each wearing his jersey number during their game against the Mets, in which he had been scheduled to start.

And second baseman Dee Gordon started the game with an almost unbelievable tribute to his teammate, slamming the third pitch out of the park for a lead-off home run. 

Gordon was overcome as he touched home, hugging his teammates as he walked back to the dugout.

Fernandez and two others were found dead on Sunday morning when the boat they were on, which authorities have said appeared to be traveling very fast, crashed on a jetty off Miami Beach.

That day, the Marlins held an emotional press conference where the players and coaching staff fought back tears remembering the 24-year-old ace. The team also painted his No. 16 on the pitcher's mound and placed flowers alongside the rubber.

Fernandez dazzled on the mound for Miami in his brief career and the team will recognize his achievements in Monday's game.

The Marlins canceled Sunday's game against the Braves following Fernandez's death. Barring a need for that contest in the playoff race, Miami will only play 161 games this season.

The Marlins' gesture to have every player don Fernandez's number is reminiscent of the league's annual remembrance of Jackie Robinson. Every season, every player on every team wears his No. 42 for one day in April.

Fernandez will likely go down in history as the last Marlins player to wear No. 16, besides the players wearing it in his memory. While the team has not announced the plan officially, Monday's gesture points in that direction.

The game Monday night also included a moment of silence.

It's the first time in Marlins history that an active player has died. It is a rare event in sports and one that has no playbook. Miami could opt to hold more tributes for Fernandez next season as well, including at the 2017 All-Star Game.

Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP
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<![CDATA[Elena Delle Donne Opens Up in Video]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:11:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-514542562.jpg

Chicago Sky superstar Elena Delle Donne is well-known for her exploits on the court and her status as the defending WNBA MVP, but what you may not know is the story of how her bond with her sister resurrected her basketball career.

In a new video released by Gatorade, Delle Donne recounts the story of how she walked away from the UConn women’s basketball team to take care of her sister Lizzie, who has cerebral palsy and is blind and deaf.

"Lizzie has always been my strength, but going away to play college basketball meant that I had to say goodbye, and I just wasn't ready," she said. "Everybody thinks I came home to take care of her, but she was the one helping me."

She took a year off from basketball, but ultimately decided to come back to the sport and became a star at the University of Delaware. In the video, she describes how her sister’s love of the wind helped give her a new perspective on life.

"If you close your eyes, and you can't hear anything, and the wind comes across your face and blows your hair, it makes you feel a certain joy. To her, it's just pure joy and it's incredible to watch something that simple make her so happy," Delle Donne shared.

"I'll step outside after a rough practice, feel the wind, and it's like, 'Oh. There you are Liz,'" she added. "Liz has taught me so much. You don't focus on what you don't have - you celebrate what you do." 

Delle Donne has gone through other obstacles in her career as well, including contracting Lyme disease during her sophomore season. Eventually she overcame those challenges and was drafted by the Sky with the second overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

Unfortunately for Delle Donne, she has more adversity to go through now, as she’s dealing with recovery following thumb surgery earlier this month. The star forward is hoping to return to the court during the WNBA playoffs, but her timetable for recovery is unknown at this point.

Even with that latest setback, Delle Donne proves in the video that she is willing to take on any challenge, and going through adversity is something she’s become very adept at in her career.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[British Open Organizers Pay Tribute to Arnold Palmer]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:58:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Arnold-Palmer.jpg

Organizers of the British Open paid tribute to Arnold Palmer on Monday for his "immeasurable" contribution to golf's oldest major, a tournament that he won twice in the early 1960s and helped bring to international prominence. 

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient, called Palmer "a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport." 

Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at the age of 87, won seven majors, including the British Open in 1961 and '62. He last played the Open in 1995, 35 years after his first appearance. 

"His contribution to The Open Championship was, and remains, immeasurable," Slumbers said in a statement. "He will be missed and forever remembered by all at The R&A and throughout the world of golf as a charismatic and global champion of our game." 

Palmer first played the British Open in 1960, finishing runner-up in what he later called one of the biggest disappointments of his career. But his appearance invigorated the British Open, which Americans had been ignoring for years. 

"Without question Arnold's participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalize golf," European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said. "The fact he was loved and recognized by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on." 

Palmer was made an honorary member of The European Tour in 1995. 

"In this week of the playing of the 41st Ryder Cup in particular, we remember fondly his time as a six-time Ryder Cup player and two-time captain," Pelley said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."

<![CDATA[Jets Not Very Attached to Ball in Kansas City Debacle]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:42:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610456744-NFL-KC-NYJ.jpg

The Jets needed to play mistake-free football to beat the Chiefs at home Sunday. 

How'd that turn out? 

Let's face it, when you turn the ball over on eight of your 11 possessions, you're sort of making things difficult for yourself. Oh yeah, they did get a field goal and two punts out of those other three possessions. Maybe they were better off just turning it over. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick turned the pick-6 on its head at Arrowhead Stadium, tossing a half-dozen INTs. Two went to KC's second-year corner Marcus Peters, who catches more passes (12 picks in 19 career games) than any Jets tight end in recent memory. 

Meanwhile, we learned something new about emerging wideout Quincy Enunwa: he’s not much of a tackler. Then again, I wouldn’t fault the Jets’ offense if they felt like they were playing both ways like it was the days of leather helmets, given how many times they had to chase the home team after interceptions. 

You'd think Todd Bowles might've thought about pulling Fitz after three or four of those errant passes, but as this game was no contest from about 12 seconds in, maybe the coach didn't think there was any point. 

Can you really blame him? What would KC's D have done to Geno Smith? Or Bryce Petty? Or Christian Hackenberg? Or Browning Nagle (just wanted to make sure you're still with me). 

Hey, Joe Namath is only 73. Yeah, his knees aren't what they were, but at least he knows to throw it to the guys in green. 

On the plus side, the visitors ran the ball OK on Sunday. Then again, when the opponent knows you need to score points in a hurry to have a shot, they're not exactly loading the box to thwart 4-yard gains. 

And by the way, how do you score only 24 points when the other team gives up the ball like it’s on fire? If Dean Smith held Michael Jordan under 20 points, I get the feeling Andy Reid would've had MJ averaging about 5 a game if he'd been coaching. 

Obviously, Gang Green has to put this disaster behind them with a very tough stretch still ahead, kicking off with Seattle coming to town this weekend. 

But the stink of this one will be hard to shake.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Drop Seesaw Game to Washington]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:36:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Giants+0925.jpg

The Giants suffered a bitter 29-27 defeat to Washington on Sunday, undone by ghastly turnovers and bonehead penalties at the worst possible times. It was a seesaw game with five second-half lead changes, and there were a lot of ups and downs for both teams.

On One Hand: Eli Manning threw for more than 350 yards for the second straight week.
On the Other Hand: He threw as many touchdown passes (1) as he did interceptions in the end zone.

On One Hand: Shane Vereen stepped in for the injured Rashad Jennings and totaled 66 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown.
On the Other Hand: He fumbled for the second straight week.

On One Hand: Vereen’s failure to protect the ball opened the door for Orleans Darkwa, who had 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown.
On the Other Hand: Giants coaches will probably overlook the fact that Vereen and Darkwa combined for 118 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns and go back to running Rashad Jennings into the back of linemen’s butts.

On One Hand: Defensive end Olivier Vernon had his first sack as a Giant.
On the Other Hand: His penalty for smacking Kirk Cousins in the back of the head on third down allowed Washington’s game-winning drive to continue.

On One Hand: The Giants were ahead 21-9 in the second quarter, with a blowout seemingly imminent.
On the Other Hand: One second after learning that the Giants hadn’t allowed a single play of more than 30 yards all season, they allowed two such consecutive passes to DeSean Jackson – covering 80 yards and a touchdown.

On One Hand: The Giants are now minus-6 in the turnover department.
On the Other Hand: It’s pretty amazing they’re 2-1 with such a bad differential.

On One Hand: Kirk Cousins cost Washington 3 points and maybe 7 points by holding the ball too long and taking a sack at the end of the first half, when Washington still had one timeout left.
On the Other Hand: He didn’t commit any turnovers and Eli Manning was the one who threw two fourth quarter interceptions.

On One Hand: Neither team played particularly well on special teams.
On the Other Hand: Only the Giants allowed the opposing team’s punter to throw a long pass down the sideline to convert on fourth down.

On One Hand: Washington played it conservative by running the ball on third down late in the game, with the Giants stopping them and forcing a punt.
On the Other Hand: You sensed Manning and the Giants weren’t going to pull it out.

On One Hand: Odell Beckham had seven receptions for 121 yards, including one stiff arm of Josh Norman.
On the Other Hand: On the team’s final possession, he committed an obvious pick on Norman and earned a penalty that negated a pass to Sterling Shepard and backed the Giants up. Oh, and he looked like he was about to cry after Manning’s first fourth quarter pick, when Beckham vented by throwing his helmet into the kicker’s practice net.

On One Hand: The Giants’ version of Cerberus (Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz) all had more than 70 yards receiving and once again proved that defenses have to pick their poison in stopping the Giants’ three-headed receiving corps.
On the Other Hand: The team only had one passing TD and managed just two field goals in the second half.

On One Hand: The Giants played a third straight game decided by less than a field goal.
On the Other Hand: This is the first one they’ve lost.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jose Fernandez Remembered by MLB Teams]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:49:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/187*120/GettyImages-610389982.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ 'King of Golf' Arnold Palmer Dies at 87]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:02:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ARNOLD+PALMER+DIES+87.jpg Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away from heart complications Sunday at the age of 87. Palmer brought golf to the masses, representing the working man in a sport long-representative of high society. Bruce Beck reports. Alastair Johnston, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed that Palmer died Sunday afternoon. Johnston said Palmer was admitted to the UPMC Hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days."Today marks the passing of an era," said Johnston, Palmer's longtime agent at IMG. "Arnold Palmer's influence, profile and achievements spread far beyond the game of golf. He was an iconic American who treated people with respect and warmth, and built a unique legacy through his ability to engage with fans."]]> <![CDATA[Mike Ditka on Kaepernick's Protest]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:06:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mike+ditka+GettyImages-463267928.jpg

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka has weighed in on the protests sparked by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and he certainly did not hold back. 

"I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag," Ditka said in a radio interview Friday. "If they don't like the country, they don't like our flag, get the hell out, that's what I think."

"I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick, he probably has no respect for me," the Hall of Fame coach continued. "That’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country. I respect our flag."

"And I don't see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on," he added. "I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunities. Now, if they don't want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything."

"But this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. Now if you don't work, that's a different problem," he concluded. 

Ditka's disapproval of the protests came just days after three players on the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists at Soldier Field ahead of the Bears' home opener Monday night. 

That demonstration joined the national conversation ignited by Kaepernick who sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the national anthem beginning in August to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States. 

Since then, Kaepernick has been joined by several other NFL players, including four members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.

While some have expressed support for the message of the demonstrations, the protests have sparked outrage among others, including local police unions in Miami and San Francisco, both of which have threatened some form of boycott. 

A recent poll found Kaepernick to be the most disliked player in the NFL, which was conducted just days before his cover for Time Magazine's October issue was revealed. 

He revealed Tuesday that he has received death threats over his protest, and pledged to donate $100,000 in each of the next 10 months to organizations that work toward goals consistent with his message of fighting racial inequality.

This is not the first time Ditka has spoken out on social or political issues. A well-documented conservative, he has publicly expressed support for Donald Trump and flirted with the idea of speaking at the Republican National Convention in July.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez's Career in Photos]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:21:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/021714+jose+fernandez.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fans, Marlins Mourns Death of Pitcher Jose Fernandez]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:06:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488189159.jpg

Baseball fans and players awoke Sunday morning to the tragic news of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez's death.

The ace right-hander was one of three people killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach. The Cuban-born athlete was just 24 years old. 

Miami Marlins players gathered at the team's ballpark to grieve together following the death of their teammate.

"A lot of words were said, meaningful words and emotion and prayer," Marlins president David Samson said at a news conference, surrounded by more than two dozen players wearing black Marlins jerseys. "Jose is a member of this family for all time."

Manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill flanked Samson and fought back tears.

"When I think about Jose, it's going to be thinking about a little kid," Mattingly said. "I see such a little boy in him ... the way he played. ... Kids play Little League, that's the joy Jose played with."

The Marlins' game Sunday against Atlanta was canceled. Their home game Monday night against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled, the team said.

"Deep in our hearts there is a lot of pain," third baseman Martin Prado said. "Somehow we've got to overcome that."

Fans, athletes and sports teams took to social media Sunday to mourn Fernandez's death, tweeting condolences and prayers for his family and the Marlins organization.  

"Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion," Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Kaep Joins High School Protest]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 08:55:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Castlemont+Football.jpg

High school students in the East Bay are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and helping to shine a light on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States — this time by lying down during the national anthem.

Since August, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has taken to kneeling before games – something he did alongside the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland on Friday.

When the first strains of the national anthem floated across the field and Kaepernick knelt, the Knights lay on the ground with their hands up in the air.

"It's basically showing our vulnerability ... them being the authority and the power, and us being the citizens," said protest organizer and senior player Jadan Starks.

Head coach Edward Washington supports his team's actions.

“Black men and brown men have been assassinated unarmed, hands on the ground,” he said. “We had to protest and stand against this because it's not right."

Friday’s protest came after nearly a week after the team knelt during the National Anthem before another game and tweeted a picture of it. Kaepernick retweeted the Twitter post and it went viral, sparking a conversation between him and the school.

“He had reached out through a fraternity brother and a mutual friend and he was like, ‘I want to come over and talk to the kids,’” Washington said.

And that's exactly what Kaepernick did, catching the players by surprise.

“This is your family, these are your brothers,” he told the team. “I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength, I see your power, I see your courage, your confidence.”

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Speaking to the athletes in their locker room before the game, Kaepernick said he attended their game to stand – or kneel as the case may be – in solidarity with them.

“The same way y'all took a stand and stood with me, I had to come out here and stand with you’ll,” he said.

Kaepernick also encouraged his rapt audience to “lift each other up” because “that’s what this is about.”

He assured the Castlemont students that their actions, thoughts and words have value – both on and off the football field.

“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters,” Kaepernick stressed.

Earlier in the week, a school band of roughly 155 middle and high school students from the Oakland Unified School District knelt as they played "The Star Bangled Banner" before an Oakland A's game on Wednesday.

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San Francisco’s Mission High School football team has also decided to take a knee at every game in the season when the national anthem is played. The Bears are slated to face Millbrae’s Mills High School Saturday.

According to Castlemont coach Bryan Parker, this is just the beginning of a movement among young students and athletes, and those who motivate them.

"We want to keep a dialogue going, getting rid of the dehumanization of black and brown people all around the country, but specifically in Oakland," he said.

School officials say they plan to continue working with community leaders, politicians and law enforcement, going forward.

Social unrest has rocked the U.S. this week. Police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have spawned massive demonstrations and even riots. Amid this social landscape, Kaepernick’s ongoing protest has ignited a maelstrom of conflicting reactions.

His face will grace the cover of Time magazine next month, but he has also received death threats and a recent poll reflects his unenviable achievement of being the most disliked player in the National Football League.

Closer to home, the NFLer has had not only the 49ers head coach Chip Kelly in his corner, but even a muralist, who created artwork on the side of an Oakland wall to remind Kaepernick, “We got your back.”

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Photo Credit: Castlemont Football
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<![CDATA[Anthem Protests Spread to Colleges, WNBA Player Sits]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:19:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

Liberty guard Brittany Boyd sat on the bench with her head bowed during the national anthem before a WNBA playoff game.

Hours earlier, college football players for Michigan and Michigan State, along with a group of students at North Carolina, raised their fists during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner on Saturday. 

Since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem before NFL preseason games, citing racial injustice and police brutality, his movement has slowly spread across fields and courts in the U.S. On Saturday, college athletes and professional athletes joined together to follow his lead after a week punctuated by riots in Charlotte, North Carolina , and the killing of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Boyd had sat on the bench during the anthem at the team's last home game on Sept. 13, too. Her New York teammates stood, arms locked with their heads bowed before their WNBA playoff game with Phoenix. Mercury players Mistie Bass and Kelsey Bone kneeled, just as they had done during their first-round playoff game. Bass was inspired that younger athletes were joining an effort that until this weekend, had been mostly led by the pros. 

"I think it shows that the younger generations are about this and they did it together," she said. "They are understanding what is going on in our society. It's perfect because they are so caught up in their phones. To see them standing up for social injustices and wanting things to be right in their communities I think is awesome." 

Three Michigan State players — Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod — held their right fists in the air while standing on the sideline before the No. 8 Spartans hosted No. 11 Wisconsin.

"Whether somebody salutes, puts the hand over their heart or does something else, everybody has a choice to make," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio added after the Spartans' 30-6 loss. "Our young people are in college, and I can promise you one thing, that when the flag is presented in some respect, I guess it becomes much more important now. It's not just, oh by the way, we'll just stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'

"All I can do is try and lead the best way I can, and be positive and accepting to our football team and our players," the coach added.

Several players for No. 4 Michigan also had their fists up before facing Penn State in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among them were Khalid Hill, Mike McCray, Devin Bush, Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Jourdan Lewis.

Most college conferences play the anthem before the teams take the field. The Big Ten is among the exceptions.

The University of Michigan is 6 miles from Eastern Michigan University, where chanting students marched on the field Friday night after the school's 27-24 victory over Wyoming. The students were protesting racist graffiti on the campus earlier in the week.

"We have great respect for our students engaged in the constructive efforts underway to address the issues we face," Eastern Michigan President James Smith said in a statement Saturday.

Before North Carolina hosted Pittsburgh, students wearing black shirts remained seated with fists raised. Some 60 to 70 black and white students participated.

Nebraska players Michael Rose-Ivey, Daishon Neal and Mohamed Barry also kneeled before the No. 20 Cornhuskers' game at Northwestern.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was Kaepernick's coach for four seasons in San Francisco. Last month, Harbaugh said he supported Kaepernick's motivation to speak out but took exception to his method.

After Saturday's game, Harbaugh said he had been thinking a lot about the issue the past couple of weeks and that he supports his players. 

"This is something that's not going away. It's going to keep happening," Harbaugh said after the Wolverines' 49-10 victory. "It's not something that's going to keep them out of heaven. So I'm not going to worry about it. As long as it doesn't keep them out of heaven for supporting their minds, I support it."

Kaepernick was at a high school football game on Friday night. He spoke to players from Castlemont High School and joined them on the sideline before the game. A photo by former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison on Twitter shows Kaepernick kneeling while the rest of the team laid on their backs with their hands up during the anthem.

Saturday's gestures came a day after it was announced that Tommie Smith and John Carlos will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. The raised-fist salutes by the American sprinters on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics became a political flash point.

Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harsha]]>
<![CDATA[Smart Football Helmets]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:14:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Smart+Helmet.jpg The Friday night lights will illuminate high school football stadiums across the country this evening -- while new helmet technology is shedding light on one of football's long-time concerns: Concussions.

Photo Credit: CNBC]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Executive Produces New Sitcom for NBC]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:45:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-588692562-LebronJames.jpg

Gentrification is a phenomenon affecting nearly every major U.S. city, and apparently NBA champ LeBron James sees it material ready made for television.

Alongside "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence, James is co-producing a new sitcom about a white family moving into a predominately black neighborhood in Cleveland. NBC has picked up "There Goes the Neighborhood" through a script contract with penalty, penned by "Community" veterans Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and "Powerless" star Ron Funches. 

"There Goes the Neighborhood" must hold a special place in James' heart, as it’s set in his team's city. With its community-centric bent, the sitcom may even prove that "Cleveland is great for the whole family," as James humorously insists in the 2015 film "Trainwreck."

James appears to be on a roll both on and off the court.  Springhill Entertainment, James' company co-led by partner Maverick Carter, also sold a sports medical drama to NBC last week. "There Goes the Neighborhood" will be James’ fifth turn as an executive producer.

Photo Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top NYC Bars for Bears, Cowboys Fans This SNF]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:23:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/sunday+night+football.jpg

Week three of Sunday Night Football is underway and fans are gearing up for the Chicago Bears vs. the Dallas Cowboys game! Here are some the best bars to cheer on your favorite team.

The Gael Pub, 1465 Third Ave., is a home for Chicago Bear fans to gather. The Manhattan bar has a cheap drink menu which includes $5 Honkers Ale, $5 312 bottles, $14 Lite pitchers and free Jello shots at halftime. The game-day food menu features wings, burgers, wraps, salads and Chicago-style dogs while you sing along to the Bears fight song “Bear Down” played for every Bears score.

Stone Creek Bar & Lounge, 140 E 27th St., is the hot spot for hardcore Dallas Cowboy fans. Stone Creek offers fans the ultimate experience with half-time raffles, and prizes along with drink and wing specials. The game also plays on a "Texas-sized" 90-inch television screen.

Canal Bar, 270 3rd Ave., features outdoor grilling. Chicago Bears fans can build their own "Chicago Dogs" or bring their own meat to grill at their leisure. The Brooklyn bar also offers drink specials including $5 pints of Bloody Marys. Fans can sign up to meet up with other fans in Brooklyn.

Stillwater Bar & Grill, 78-80 E. Fourth St., is the hub for Cowboy Fans. Fans can watch the Bears vs. Cowboy game while keeping up with all other Sunday night games on nine of their HD TVs. Stillwater also offers an affordable drink menu with $6 margaritas.

Overlook, 225 E. 44th St., is the largest Bears bar east of Chicago. Overlook serves up a menu especially for Chicago Bear fans featuring Chicago fire Buffalo chicken dip, Italian beef sandwiches, and The Briggs Burger. Bears fans can watch the game indoor or outdoor on its roof deck projection screen and surround sound system.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Giants vs. Washington: A Look to the Future]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:52:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Odell-Beckham-Jr-Josh-Norman-Dustup-1221.jpg

The Giants face each NFC East opponent twice per season, and it’s always interesting to see how fortunes have changed for the respective teams in between their two head-to-head matchups. But instead of looking back to how things have changed between Then and Now for the Giants and Washington (since, ya know, they haven’t played each other this year), let’s try something new and look ahead – to how things will change between this Sunday’s game and the teams’ next matchup in the regular-season finale on Jan. 1.

Now: It’s 2016.
Then: It’ll be 2017.

Now: New York is 2-0 and Washington is 0-2.
Then: The Giants will be playing for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and Washington will be playing.

Now: Washington coach Jay Gruden is calling out quarterback Kirk Cousins and saying he needs to play better.
Then: Cousins will once again be among the league’s best quarterbacks and Washington will plan to reward him by slapping the franchise tag on him again and make him sing for his dinner for the second straight season in 2017.

Now: Odell Beckham Jr. has zero touchdowns.
He’ll have more than a dozen, helped by the three he’s going to post on Washington cornerback Josh Norman this week.

Now: Rashad Jennings is the Giants’ starting running back.
Then: The Giants’ offensive brain trust will still be driving fans nuts by consistently running him on first down.

Now: I spend an ungodly amount of time reading the SI Vault.
Then: Nothing will change.

Now: The Giants have a turnover ratio of -4.
Then: They’ll be really dangerous when luck helps that ratio to balance out.

Now: Cowboys fans are quietly thinking they still have a shot at winning the NFC East because they hung with the Giants in Week 1 and beat Washington last week.
Then: Cowboys fans will be talking about how good the Yankees are going to be in 2017.

Now: Sterling Shepard is an early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Then: He’ll be a late favorite to win it.

Now: High-priced free agent acquisition Olivier Vernon has no sacks.
Then: He and Snacks Harrison will still be quietly winning in the trenches and setting the tone for the entire defense.

Now: Washington is 25th in the NFL in rushing.
Then: Matt Jones will have about 25 fumbles.

Now: Ben McAdoo seems to be wound a bit too tight.
Then: He’ll maybe stop acting like a cliché football coach.

Now: I’m enjoying all things pumpkin spice.
Then: I’ll be enjoying all things gingerbread.

Now: Washington safety DeAngelo Hall sniped at former teammate and current Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson for criticizing his old team, with Hall saying he didn’t even know Robinson was on a roster this year.
Then: Robinson’s comment that his old team had a toxic locker room will still describe Washington.

Now: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed give Washington a potent downfield passing game.
Then: Reed will hopefully be leading my fantasy team to a championship and Jackson will probably be injured.

Now: Jay Gruden is Washington’s head coach.
Then: He’ll have thrown most of the Potomac basin area under the bus.

Now: We live in a republic led by President Barack Obama.
Then: Let’s enjoy the present, shall we?

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jets Need to Fight Uphill at Arrowhead]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:59:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/282*120/smith-alex-red-chiefs-vs-chargers.jpg

On a neutral field, I’d take the Jets over the Chiefs. Unfortunately, they play very few NFL games on neutral fields: you’ve got one or two in London everyone forgets to watch because of the time difference and, oh yeah, the Super Bowl. 

Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium is anything but a neutral field. The ancient (at least in today’s pro sports world, where new stadiums are seemingly built every 2 or 3 minutes) edifice provides an enormous home field advantage, as do the 76,000-plus screaming Chiefs fans who pack it for every contest. 

If anything, the Chiefs have gotten even tougher to play at their place since head coach Andy Reid took the helm before the 2013 season. In Reid’s time in KC, the Chiefs are 18-7 at Arrowhead. Their performance at home has essentially propelled them to the playoffs in two out of the past three years. Of course, once in the postseason, they haven’t fared so well. That pattern is every bit as established as their prowess at home. 

KC has made the playoffs 12 times since 1990, but only got as far as the AFC Championship Game once, and that sole appearance should come with an asterisk, because Joe Montana was under center. Montana could win vs. the Harlem Globetrotters. 

However, many think it will be different this year. In fact, a lot of prognosticators are calling for the Chiefs to make it to the conference title game and beyond. 

I don’t buy it. I think Reid is a lot better at turning around a franchise in trouble than he is at making a pretty good team great. Additionally, if your faith in your QB is as shaky as the coach’s is in Alex Smith, then you’re basically playing with one hand behind your back (hopefully not the one you throw with). 

Now in his 12th NFL season, Smith is who he is: the quintessential game manager, a guy who doesn’t make many mistakes and takes even fewer risks. Reid keeps the reins very tight on his quarterback, amping up the pressure both on KC’s running game and defense. As for the former, it gets a big boost this week if the enormously talented but extremely fragile Jamaal Charles returns to the lineup for the first time since suffering an ACL injury nearly a year ago. 

When he’s healthy, Charles is as good as any back in the game. But you’ve gotta wonder if he’ll be anywhere near 100 percent after this much time off the field. 

As important as Charles’ return is for the home team, the ongoing absence of LB Justin Houston is equally crucial. Houston, the one-man sack machine, is also recovering from ACL surgery, and he may miss the entire season. Two games in, the Chiefs’ D -- one of the league’s best in 2015 -- looks a bit less formidable without their star ‘backer. 

I don’t think they’ll go very far this season -- not as far as the team coming to Arrowhead this weekend. But prevailing there will be an uphill battle for Gang Green.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Utley Makes Ridiculous No Look Play For Dodgers]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:20:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Utley+ridiculous+play.png

In case you haven't seen every defensive play in the book from Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, here's another one for the future Hall of Famer's collection.

The Dodgers were hosting the Colorado Rockies at the Ravine on Thursday night in the opening game of a four-game series, the final homestand at Dodger Stadium.

There were two outs in the top of the fourth inning and the Rockies were threatening to add to their 3-1 lead. Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood was at the plate, and he hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to Utley at second base.

Only Utley bobbled the ball, but he somehow stayed with the play and tossed the ball behind his back without looking to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the final out of the inning.

Check out the videos of the play below, the first, complete with the legendary Vin Scully on the call, and the second, a zoomed in replay. Enjoy.

As he came into the dugout, Utley told his manager Dave Roberts that he was sorry for bobbling the ball, and that he should have made the play more cleanly.

Roberts was stunned, but expected nothing less from his veteran second baseman.

"First thing he said was 'I can't believe I missed the ball,'" Roberts said. "He makes this crazy no look pass to first base, and instead of acknowledging the greatness of that play he says he should have made it a lot cleaner."

Utley himself didn't have any answers either.

"It was maybe a little instinctual and maybe a little lucky," he said smiling.

Part of me wants to believe that the 37-year-old bobbled the ball on purpose in order to wow us with his jaw-dropping no-look out, but knowing Utley, he really was more frustrated he had to do what he did.

Utley was also named the Los Angeles Dodgers recipient of the annual Roy Campanella Award on Thursday. The 11-year honor is given to the Dodger player that best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Dodgers.

No play exemplifies that spirit and leadership than the remarkable one he made in the game on Thursday night. Utley will be presented the award by members of Campanella's family on Saturday night before the game.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>