<![CDATA[NBC New York - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:41:23 -0400 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:41:23 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Murphy Leads Mets to Sweep of Phillies, 9-5 in 13 Innings ]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:16:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mets+082715.jpg

Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the 13th inning after making a spectacular defensive play to end the 10th, leading the New York Mets to their seventh straight victory, 9-5 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.

Reliever Carlos Torres led off the 13th with a single to center, went to second on Curtis Granderson's single to left and they both scored on Murphy's opposite-field hit off Hector Neris (2-2). Helped by two errors by Neris, the Mets scored two more runs in the inning.

Murphy sent the game to the 11th with a tremendous defensive play. Jeff Francoeur's hard liner deflected off Torres' leg toward first base. Murphy made a diving stop before flipping a no-look toss toward the bag that was caught by hustling Torres, who beat Francoeur by a half-step.

Torres (5-5) pitched 2 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Travis d'Arnaud homered for the Mets, who thrilled the large contingent of New York fans by sweeping the four-game series to give them nine straight wins over Philadelphia. New York remained 6 1-2 games ahead of Washington, a 4-2 winner over San Diego, in the NL East.

New York has averaged 10.4 runs during their winning streak.

Darin Ruf went deep for the Phillies, who have dropped 12 of 13 to the Mets this year and 29 of the last 36.

The game took 4 hours, 32 minutes.

Philadelphia had a chance to win it in the 12th, but third baseman David Wright made an excellent defensive play on Andres Blanco's chopper with two outs and Cesar Hernandez coming home from third. Wright charged the ball, fielded it on a short hop and then gunned down Blanco to keep the Mets' hopes alive.

Five Mets relievers pitched seven scoreless innings.

The Phillies scored five runs in the third to open the game's scoring.

Francoeur's two-run single and Ruf's opposite-field shot off Jonathon Niese highlighted the inning. Niese entered 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last seven games against the Phillies, but he got a no-decision after allowing five runs and five hits in six innings.

But the Mets came back with two runs in the fourth on d'Arnaud's opposite-field drive before tying the game in the fifth on Cespedes' two-run homer to right and Johnson's solo shot to right. All three homers came off Aaron Harang, who gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings. Harang entered tied for the most losses in baseball with 14.

It was the sixth homer in seven games for Cespedes, who tied his career-high with his 26th of the season. He has 15 RBIs in the last seven games and is batting .303 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs with the Mets since they acquired him from Detroit on July 31.

The Mets set a franchise record for homers in a month with 43.

In the second inning, a woman sitting five rows off the field was hit in the forehead by a foul ball off the bat of Freddy Galvis of the Phillies. The team said she was evaluated and didn't need to go to a hospital.

Commissioner Rob Manfred talked at Citizens Bank Park before the game and said there was a chance that extra safety nets could be put up around the majors as early as next season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: Catching prospect Jorge Alfaro singled and caught three innings in a rehab start for the Gulf Coast League Phillies on Thursday. One of the prospects acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade, Alfaro had been sidelined since June 11 with a left ankle injury. . LHP Elvis Araujo left with a left groin strain after throwing one pitch to Cespedes, the second batter he faced, in the 11th.

UP NEXT

Mets: New York opens a three-game home series against Boston on Friday night with RHP Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.57) facing Red Sox LHP Henry Owens (2-1, 4.50). Harvey is 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his last 7 starts at Citi Field dating to June 16.

Phillies: Rookie RHP Aaron Nola (4-1, 3.59) takes the mound for Philadelphia in the first of a three-game home series against San Diego on Friday night. Nola pitched eight shutout innings, allowing three hits, in his last start in Sunday's 2-0 win at Miami. RHP Ian Kennedy (8-11, 4.01) starts for the Padres.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[10 Bets for the Jets-Giants Preseason Game]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:32:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/coughlin+bowles.jpg

Allow me to be the first human being to predict that Saturday’s preseason game between the Giants and the Jets is going to be the first of three match-ups between the teams this season. They also meet during the regular season (Dec. 6, when the Jets have to travel to face the Giants) and they will also meet in Super Bowl 50. 

Think I’m sniffing glue? Right you are. But that is irrespective of my belief that both of these teams have the same chance of reaching the Super Bowl as the other 30 NFL teams. The Giants with Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Steve Spagnuolo have proven they can reach and win the title game even when they have mediocre regular seasons. And the Jets, well can always trade for Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson before the Nov. 3 trading deadline.

Impossible? Maybe. But still, even without those upgrades at their weakest positions, the Jets can definitely reach the playoffs with their resurgent defense, a reasonable facsimile of Brandon Marshall circa 2012, and a quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick) who had a 95.3 passer rating for the Texans last year — and yet somehow got traded to the Jets for a conditional draft pick, paving the way for the highly anticipated Brian Hoyer era in Houston.

Fitzpatrick finished with the 9th-best QB rating in the league, ahead of players like Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and -- way down at 31st -- Brian Hoyer (76.5).

IK Enemkpali might be playing for the Bills this year, but I’m still picking him as my Jets 2015 Most Valuable Player. Fitzpatrick does not suck -- at least relative to three-quarters of NFL quarterbacks.

Want to bet on a Giants-Jets Super Bowl? Shoot me an email at cdavidmartin@yahoo.com. As always, the wager is this.

In the meantime, here are 10 things I bet will happen in the season's first matchup between the Giants and the Jets.

10. Odell Beckham Jr. will catch his first pass of the preseason. OB3, who last week got angry when Jaguars safety Sergio Brown contemplated the possibility of dislodging him from the ball (which didn’t become a thing because Beckham never caught a ball) is going up against Darrelle Revis, who’s not only the best cornerback in the league, but the savviest contract negotiator. Seriously, has anyone in the free agent era played the game -- both on and off the field -- better than Revis? He’s smart enough to recognize that holding out is one of the few tools a player can leverage to maximize their worth. Giants fans can look forward to the day when Beckham pulls a Revis and holds out for a better deal.

9. Eli Manning will be mentioned as potentially the highest-paid player in the league. Manning is looking to sign a new contract. He figures to make more money than Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, his 2004 draft mates, and thus be the best-compensated mammal in the NFL.

8. Geno Smith will be caught smiling on the sidelines. Smith, who had his jaw broken by IK Enemkpali, is out for a few months, but I’m willing to bet he’ll be grab-assing with teammates on the sidelines. And you can bet that fans and media members are going to lose their minds that Smith isn’t displaying the proper solemnity about the situation. Please smile, Geno. Better yet, make jokes with Sheldon Richardson, the guy who received a four-game suspension for smoking the devil's plant and still has to answer for that whole smoking weed/driving-143 miles per hour-resisting arrest-loaded handgun-12-year-old kid-in-the-car thing. Smith and Richardson sharing a laugh would make my August.

7. A Giants defensive back will taunt Jeremy Kerley (76 overall rating in Madden 2016) for not being as good of a receiver as J.J. Watt (78 catch rating).

6. Leonard Williams will sack Eli Manning. In their last preseason game, the rookie from USC had 5 tackles, 1 ½ sacks and a safety — in less than a half. The “Big Cat” was drafted sixth overall and might turn out to be the steal of the draft.

5. A picture of the MetLife Bowl trophy. Yes, the annual preseason game between the Jets and the Giants is called the MetLife Bowl because it features the two teams who play home games at MetLife Stadium. Try to keep up. The winner of the game is awarded a bronze trophy of Snoopy, the MetLife mascot, wearing a college helmet and mimicking the stiff-arm stance of the Heisman Trophy. No one seemed to consider that the Giants and Jets are not college teams. Well, the Giants anyway.

4. A long interview with new Jets coach Todd Bowles, who sounds exactly like Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop” -- ya know, when he makes fun of his fellow police officer by saying, “We’re not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe.” Sorry, but I can’t listen to Bowles without thinking of that scene, so now I’m sharing my burden with you.

3. A fight in the stands. You can rest assured that if the Jets ever won a Super Bowl, their fans would quickly become the worst fans in sports. The Red Sox were lovable losers. The Jets are just losers; there is nothing lovable about them. Many of their fans -- but not all! -- are antisocial miscreants. Want a worst-case scenario? The Eagles versus the Jets in the Super Bowl. Everybody in the stands would be wearing green and white, increasing the likelihood that someone would accidentally punch out a fan of their own team. Don't start sending me hate mail. I’m not prejudiced! I have friends who are Eagles and Jets fans!

2. More penalties on the Jets than they had last week. In their last preseason game against the Falcons, the Jets had 17 penalties for 125 yards, and yet somehow still won. Let’s see if they can get 20 and still pull out a W.

1. More players getting injured and lost for the season. A four-game preseason is way too long. Impact players on Super Bowl-viable teams (Jordy Nelson, Maurkice Pouncey) have already been lost for the year, joining a slew of injured players from other teams. Each team should play two preseason games at most. We can still have our beloved MetLife Bowl each year. But do we really need four games, mostly spent holding our breath and hoping players don’t blow out an ACL? By the way, it’s 2015. Why do we even need ACLs anymore? Get on it, Doogie Hausers.



Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Files Suit Against Bulls Star Derrick Rose]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:17:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-458331240.jpg

A woman has filed a lawsuit against Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, claiming he and two friends drugged and gang-raped her.

The unidentified woman, who says she dated Rose from 2011 to 2013, says she was drugged at a Beverly Hills home and later attacked at her apartment.

Rose denied the woman's claims in a statement he released late Thursday.

"I am just focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the season," he said. "I am not going to comment other than to say - I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.”

The lawsuit, which was first reported by TMZ Wednesday and made public Thursday, says the incident took place in August of 2013.

Rose’s spokesperson, Lisa Cohen, said on behalf of his legal team that the lawsuit is “nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete" and called the claims "outrageous."

"Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff, and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago," she said. "We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated."

Cohen also claimed this is the third attorney the woman has hired in an attempt to sue Rose.

The Chicago Bulls released a statement on the issue Wednesday.

"We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts,” the team said. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Rose’s agent could not immediately be reached for comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald Indicted on Rape Charges]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:03:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/th-may-25-ray-mcdonald-mug.jpg

Former San Francisco 49’ers and Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald was indicted on Wednesday on one count of rape and on one count of violating a restraining order by a Santa Clara County Grand Jury, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

McDonald, who was signed by the Bears in March and released by the team after new domestic violence allegations surfaced against him a few months later, was accused of raping an intoxicated woman at a party in December 2014. The incident caused the 49’ers to release him, with the team citing a series of poor decision-making as the reason for the decision.

McDonald’s former teammate Ahmad Brooks was also indicted for his role in an incident at the same party, the newspaper reported.

If convicted on the rape charge, McDonald faces a maximum of eight years in prison, with another year possible with the restraining order violation charges.

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<![CDATA[Long Island Native Noah Rubin Wins Opening Match in U.S. Open Qualifier]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 22:59:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/noah+rubin+qualifiers.jpg Long Island native Noah Rubin won his opening match in the U.S. Open men's qualifying singles tournament. John Chandler reports]]> <![CDATA[ESPN Pulls Former Red Sox Star From Air After Posts Compare Muslims Extremists to Nazis]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:50:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/138886369.jpg

ESPN has pulled Curt Schilling from the air after the former Red Sox and Phillies star posted a photo comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis on his social media accounts.

The photos, posted Tuesday, were deleted and Schilling apologized. ESPN announced that the company has removed Schilling as a broadcaster for the Little League World Series "pending further consideration.”

"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," ESPN said in a statement.

Schilling issued an apology on Twitter, saying he understands his suspension and that the situation is "100% my fault." 

 

 He has also apologized to some online commenters individually.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NFL Files New Argument in Tom Brady Appeal]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 06:47:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tom-brady-patriots-nfl.jpg

The NFL filed a new argument Monday in the Tom Brady appeal.

The letter, sent to Judge Richard Berman, questions the NFL Player's Association presentation during a hearing last week in which the NFLPA submitted a list of 19 examples of rulings in which a court vacated an arbitration award.

The NFLPA suggested those cases set legal precedent for the judge to throw out the NFL's decision to suspend Tom Brady for four games in response to his alleged role in Deflategate.

The NFL says those cases are not similar to the Tom Brady case.

Another hearing is set for next week in Brady's appeal. 



Photo Credit: WHDH]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Gymnastics Coach Suspected of Molestation]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:55:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149434037.jpg

An Olympic gymnastics coach was arrested early Monday morning in Indianapolis on suspicion of child molestation, a spokeswoman for an Indiana prosecutor's office told NBC News.

Marvin Sharp has not formally been charged, said Marion County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Peg McLeish, adding that her office is sharing its investigation with federal authorities.

NBC affiliate WTHR reported that the investigation began with a complaint from a female gymnast at Sharp's Gymnastics Academy, and that USA Gymnastics is cooperating with the investigation. On Sunday evening, detectives searching for child pornography removed computers and other electronic devices from Sharp's home, the station reported.



Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jets Rookies Prove Maccagnan Has Eye for Talent]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:12:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/leonard+williams1.jpg

Halfway through their preseason slate, the New York Jets’ first-teamers haven’t exactly performed like a juggernaut during their limited time on the field. However, while splitting the first two exhibition games -- a 23-3 loss to the Lions that was every bit as ugly as it the score indicates and a 30-22 win vs. the Falcons that was a whole lot prettier -- Gang Green’s key rookies showed that new GM Mike Maccagnan may know a thing or two about building through the draft. 

As I’ve said before, I didn’t like the selection of defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the 2015 NFL Draft’s sixth overall pick, because I don’t think a franchise coming off a 4-12 pick should be drafting for depth instead of filling vital areas of need. Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson are both stalwarts that are still in their mid 20s, while the immovable Damon Harrison -- you don’t get the nickname “Big Snacks” for your slightness of frame -- is a load in the middle at the age of 26.

However, as we’ve seen over the past few weeks, the Jets’ defensive line appears to have the depth of your average kiddie pool. Wilkerson, who’s in the final year of his contract and seeking a huge new deal, has been inactive in the preseason with a hamstring injury, while Richardson is apparently thinking of leaving pro football behind for a starring role on “America’s Most Wanted.”

Then, there’s the fact that Williams showed on Friday night that he’s a force in his own right. The precocious 21-year-old out of USC got to Atlanta’s QBs with impugnity, racking up 1.5 sacks and getting on the scoreboard with a safety. Meanwhile, LB Lorenzo Mauldin, a third-round choice out of Louisville, has shown that he too can consistently pressure the passer, although he may be out for some time after injuring his knee during Sunday's practice.

On the other side of the ball, after appearing out of his league -- the NFL, that is -- in the first exhibition game, QB Bryce Petty looked like a different player against the Falcons. Petty connected on 12 of 19 pass attempts on Friday night, including a 13-yard scoring strike to DeVier Posey that was a testament both to Petty’s arm strength and the receiver’s hands.

Before Game 2, I’d viewed Petty largely as a product of a Baylor system that allows no-name quarterbacks (not including RGIII, that is) to put up Madden-like numbers without the talent to back it up. I don’t anymore. He not only has a solid arm, but good feet. He may not be much on the 40-yard dash, but he’s athletic enough to get out of trouble and make a good play out of a difficult situation. I look forward to seeing more from Petty. And, when the 2016 NFL Draft is upon us, I’ll defer to Maccagnan’s judgment just a bit more than I did this time around.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:12:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/topSports-AP_815986155748.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pearl Harbor Vet Throws 1st Pitch]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 10:46:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/WW+II+Veterans+1st+Pitch.jpg

The oldest survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor threw the ceremonial first pitch Sunday before the San Diego Padres game at Petco Park.

Raymond Chavez, 103, who served on the U.S. Navy coastal minesweeper USS Condor, was joined by Jack Paris, who served on the U.S. Navy battleship USS Colorado and was on it in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered to end World War II.

Chavez threw his pitch to reliever Kevin Quackenbush while Paris threw his to coach Dave Roberts. The crowd of more than 30,000 gave both men a standing ovation for their effort and to thank them for their service.

The Padres have a longstanding tradition of honoring the Military at home games on Sundays.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Padres 10-3, hampering their attempt to sweep their third series this season and second in a row.

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<![CDATA[Beckham Jr.'s Preseason: Auditioning for a Prima Donna Role]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 10:26:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Odell-Beckham-Jr-One-Hand-Catch.jpg

Odell Beckham Jr. is starting to act like a prima donna who seems to believe that defensive players are supposed to sit back like fans and watch him attempt acrobatic catches without doing the job they’re hired to do. Namely, knock players like him into next week with good, clean hits.

That was the biggest takeaway from Saturday’s 22-12 preseason victory over the Jaguars. Sure, Eli Manning looked pretty dreadful (4 of 14 for 46 yards); new linebacker J.T. Thomas made a number of big plays and looks like a much-needed playmaker on an otherwise blasé defense; and Jon Beason twisted his knee to continue the Giants’ love affair with injuries. But the prevailing memory from the second preseason game will be of Beckham – no catches through two games – losing his cool.

Twice on the Giants first few series, Manning attempted to throw over a cornerback along the sideline to Beckham. Both times the pass fell incomplete and both times Beckham went after Jaguars safety Sergio Brown – and for no good reason.

On the first attempt, Brown was right in the play and helped to break it up. He didn’t go low, throw an elbow or toss confetti in Beckham’s face. He made a good, clean play, but Beckham still burst up and went after him.

In the next instance, Manning overthrew Beckham by a healthy margin and Brown was a good five yards from Beckham when the ball hit the ground. Still, Beckham seemed to be thinking that Brown was angling to tackle him – ya know, do his job – and so Beckham ran right at Brown and shoved him for having the audacity to even think of hitting him.

Beckham obviously feels like he has a target on his back, what with last year’s exploits – The Catch, the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, the Madden cover, his regular need to show off in practice by catching balls with one hand (we get it, dude, you have big mitts) – but he’s not the first guy to burst on the scene making breathtaking plays and he won’t be the last.

Attention is a double-edged sword, and so far he’s only proven he can handle the soft, cuddly-edged side.

Beckham has openly admitted that he needs to control his emotions, and that he’s too easily egged on by defenders. It’s one thing to stand up for yourself when someone takes a cheap shot. It’s something else to have a hissy fit because someone breathes on you.

Beckham is an otherworldly talent and a joy to watch. But if thinks defenses are going to just sit back and let him entertain the fans, he’s probably wrong.

Witnessing Beckham's antics against the Jaguars brought to mind the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Just hear me out. For years, I've marveled at how David Ortiz has regularly killed the Yankees, both in the regular season and the postseason. And yet no matter how many times Ortiz has come through in the clutch, the Yankees have never deployed the oldest pitching trick in the book -- making the batter move his feet.

Now, I'm not saying they should throw at Ortiz's head. But you have to be willing to dust him on occasion, and you have to make him know that you're willing to dust him. When Ortiz is in the batter's box against the Yankees, he's so comfortable he's practically sitting in a rocking chair.

Replace the rocking chair with pins and needles and you'll decrease your chances of being owned. And I say that as a Red Sox fan.

In Beckham's case, it doesn't portend good things if he's rattled when a safety on the Jaguars casts a shadow in his personal airspace. How's he going to react when he gets jacked for real on a crossing route against the Eagles?

Next up for Beckham and the Giants: the Jets and Darrelle Revis. Yeah, not exactly the matchup you’d like if you’re looking to get off the schneide. Still, no time like the present to stop acting like a prima donna and just be a hard-nosed playmaker.

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<![CDATA[Watch: Swiss Cliff Jumper Laso Schaller's Epic Plunge]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:16:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/schaller.jpg

Famed jumper Laso Schaller made headlines for setting "a new cliff-jump world record" when dramatic video of him plunging nearly 200 feet into a pool of water was released on Aug. 18.

But a technicality will keep the Swiss 27-year-old out of the official record books — the feat is too dangerous for Guinness.

During the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Schaller completed a 192.9-foot jump into a 26-foot-deep pool of water. Red Bull, which sponsors the event, said he set a record.

Guinness World Records no longer monitors that category “due to the obvious dangers involved and the inadvisability of sanctioning such a record,” a spokesperson said.

Though Guinness doesn't track cliff-jumping anymore, they do keep a record of who has the most Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series titles. Four-time winner Gary Hunt is the current record holder.

Red Bull, which sponsors the event, has not yet responded for comment.

Even with Schaller’s experience, there was a lot of extra preparation needed to make the jump.

His team built a platform that extended out from the top of the waterfall to clear a rock wall for the jump, according to a blog post from Red Bull. The team also explored the pool using scuba gear and placed six aerating tanks in his projected landing area to "soften" the water.

Schaller, a canyon guide and athlete by trade, regularly participates in high-dive shows, which involve jumping roughly 80 feet, 20 times in a day.


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<![CDATA[Flynn Gives Jets Much Needed Veteran Presence as Backup QB]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:08:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/matt+flynn+jets.jpg

Joe Montana. Joe Namath. Matt Flynn. One of these names doesn’t belong, and that’s not because it lacks a "Joe."

Montana and Namath aren’t only two of the all-time greats, but also the only two QBs who have started for both a national champ in college and a Super Bowl winner. 

Flynn, who led LSU to a national title in 2007, could have been the signal caller in Seattle these past few years, if only the Seahawks didn’t draft some kid named Russell Wilson after every other team in the NFL dismissed him because he wasn’t tall.

Would Flynn have taken the Hawks to the promised land, as Wilson did? Some would argue that any quarterback could win it all with Seattle’s dominating defense and Beast Mode in the backfield (and add that, had they gone to the latter on that infamous last play, they’d have been the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls in a decade).

I would argue differently. I’d take Wilson over any QB in the world not named Rodgers or Brady, whatever all these advanced metrics no one understands say. For all the hype surrounding Andrew Luck, he looks an awful lot like Andy Dalton when it comes to the playoffs.

But I digress. Since being brought in to start in Seattle just three years ago by GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, Flynn has redefined the term “journeyman,” even suiting up for three different franchises in 2013.

To date, Flynn has only seven NFL starts to his credit, and except for the last game of the 2011 season, when Flynn put up Arena League-type stats (480 yards, six TDs) against Detroit in a game that didn’t have much meaning (both teams were already assured of their postseason slots) but still did feature 11 actual Lions defenders at all times, the seven-year NFL veteran hasn’t done much to distinguish himself.

Still, he’s an in-the-flesh professional quarterback, which means he’s arrived in New York not a moment too soon. Given a nagging hamstring injury, the 30-year-old Flynn isn’t expected to play in Friday's game against the Falcons, and he’ll need to immerse himself in Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s playbook before he can really contribute.

Still, he gives Gang Green a solid option if Ryan Fitzpatrick goes down to injury as QBs are wont to do -- sometimes even without leaving the locker room. Rookie Bryce Petty may be a quality pro one day, but that day certainly doesn’t appear to be coming this fall.

Like Fitzpatrick, Flynn isn’t the Jets QB of tomorrow. If his hamstring doesn’t heal soon, he may not even be the backup QB of today. But he’s got much needed experience at the most important position in pro sports, and, if he can just manage to carry his new team to a Super Bowl win, he’ll join some very exclusive company. No problem, right?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Women's World Cup Hero to Pen Book]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:57:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Carli+Lloyd+golden+Ball+Womens+World+Cup.jpg

World Cup soccer star Carli Lloyd, whose three goals in the 2015 final led the U.S. to a 5-2 victory over Japan, has a book deal.

The 33-year-old Lloyd is working on a memoir that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release in fall 2016. The publisher announced Thursday that the book, currently untitled, will cover her rise from nearly quitting soccer in 2003 and her emphasis on physical and mental strength. An edition for young readers also is planned.

Earlier this summer, the midfielder and Olympic gold medalist scored six goals in seven women's World Cup matches, including a hat trick against Japan.

In a statement released through Houghton Mifflin, Lloyd says she looks forward to sharing her thoughts on a "long journey, sometimes rewarding, sometimes challenging, but worth every moment."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gymnast's New Routine for Rio '16]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 22:26:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/082015+danell+leyva.jpg

One look at Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva and you'll notice the changes.

"He's way better than he was in 2012," said Leyva's coach and step-father, Yin Alvarez.

America fell in love with the 20-year-old from Miami at the London Olympics, where he won Bronze in the Men's All-Around. But since then, Leyva's grown up, physically and mentally.

Now 23, and training for another Olympic run in Rio de Janeiro, Leyva is noticeably leaner, yet stronger. His teeth are adorned with braces. But maybe the most important change in Leyva, is that he's happier.

"Right after the games I was like, 'Man you have to do this, I need to do this, to prove to myself, to prove to these people,'" Leyva said. "And now I have a completely different mentality. I want to do this. I can't wait to do this."

Leyva finished a disappointing sixth at the P&G Championships last week, but was still selected for the U.S. National Team competing at the World Championships in Scotland in October.

And if you know anything about Leyva, who defected from Cuba to Miami at age one, you wouldn't count him out.

He trains six days a week at Universal Gymnastics in West Kendall, a gym owned by his parents. His face and the Olympic rings are all over signs greeting you at the gym. And he serves as an inspiration to the next generation of Olympic hopefuls who come from all over the world to train with Alvarez.

"It's always funny to see that initial reaction, when they realize, 'Wait that was you?'" Leyva said. "I'm like, 'Yeah it's me. They're like that's so cool, I saw you on TV.'"

Leyva said the youngsters inspire him too. He's increased the difficulty of his all his routines. He's also eating healthier now. The days of consuming big bowls of Reese's Puffs for breakfast are gone from his diet, though the 20-year-old Leyva loved them.

"It's not that I can't eat it, I can still put it down no problem," Leyva explained. "I just know it's not helpful, not good for me, so I choose not to."

After a shoulder injury in 2013, Leyva was off the team for the World Championships, but he bounced back. Now, he's confident he'll be there in Rio representing Team USA in 2016. 

But while Leyva isn't getting ahead of himself, his bombastic coach will.

"I [don't] believe that he's only going to be in Rio," Alvarez said. "I believe he's going to win the gold medal in Rio. This is his year. This is his time."

When he's not training in West Kendall, Leyva's spending a lot of time these days working on his next athletic endeavor: soccer. Leyva said he hopes to play professionally when he's done with gymnastics. A long shot? Sure, but Leyva's heard that before.



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>