Friday, August 23, 2013

SMU looking into Deion Sanders Jr.'s backstage visit with Lil' Wayne

Maybe SMU is being proactive or they're still snakebit by the death penalty they received in 1987, but the school is looking into a backstage visit made to rapper Lil Wayne by Deion Sanders Jr. and some of his teammates.

Last week, photos appeared on social media websites of SMU wide receiver Deion Sanders Jr. and some of his teammates hanging out backstage with rapper Lil’ Wayne.  The father of the SMU receiver told Adam Lawson of the Valley Morning Star that “his son was being investigated because ‘they’re trying to say (he) got into the concert because (he’s) an SMU player.’”  The elder Sanders went on to explain that Lil’ Wayne is one of his best friends.

While the former Florida State star claimed that the NCAA is investigating his son, his son’s school claims otherwise.

“It’s not the NCAA. It’s our compliance office. Just doing their due diligence,” SMU official Brad Sutton said via text message when asked about who was probing what. “We don’t expect to find anything amiss, but it’s our responsibility to check stuff like this out.”

This is almost the same thing as Jay-Z making an appearance in the Kentucky basketball team locker room 

I'd be nervous if I were SMU since the NCAA likes to hammer the smaller schools. And since they received the death penalty before the mighty NCAA probably would hit them with three years probation for this one.

The whole thing is rather harmless as the younger Sanders was probably treating his teammates to a good time and the school is making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

Rays make a sand sculpture of Mariano Rivera

The Mariano Rivera farewell tour is making its final rounds. Teams have been giving the New York Yankees closer gifts as passes through their city one final time. Unless the Yankees make the playoffs Rivera will be retiring at the end of the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have unveiled a sand sculpture to honor Mariano Rivera on the New York Yankees closer's last regular-season visit to Tropicana Field.

The sculpture, located in the rotunda near the main gate, will be on display for fans to see throughout the three-game series that concludes Sunday.

The Rays also presented Rivera with a check for $3,150 - a number that represents $50 for each save he has earned against Tampa Bay - for the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

Texans' J.J. Watt and Arian Foster will be featured in GQ magazine

Superstars J.J. Watt and Arian Foster are perfect examples of how much the Texans have increased their popularity over the past couple years.

The duo is featured in the September NFL Kickoff issue of GQ, which describes 38 things that are making the NFL the most exciting it's ever been.

In the article on Foster, the magazine lists 10 reasons why the three-time Pro Bowler is GQ's favorite running back in the game.

In the Watt feature, which is titled "Big Tex", the defensive end talks about his rise from pizza delivery man to stardom and the NFL's 2012 Defensive Player of the Year.

Nice to see some positive stories coming out of professional sports.

Redskins GM Bruce Allen calls the NFC East the 'SEC of the NFL'

The NFC East has probably been the most competitive division in the NFL since the mid 1980's. There might have been a few to come close but none that come to mind immediately. Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs, Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Andy Reid and Buddy Ryan had a lot to do with that run of excellence.  

Maybe that's why Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen  called the division the 'SEC of the NFL. During a recent interview with Chris Russell and Rich Campbell on ESPN 980, Allen explained why the NFC East has always been the top division in the league.

“There’s so many changes in the playoff teams each year — I think half of them change each year anyway,” the GM noted. “And in our division, you know, we’re in the SEC of the NFL. This is the big leagues. I think when the Giants last won the Super Bowl, they won it with a 9-7 record. So we have to keep competing in our division, and that’s what our focus is.

“And if we can hold our ground in the division, we’re going to be ok, because they are elite teams in our division,” Allen continue. “That’s where our focus has to remain. We were successful [last year] — 5-1 in the division — and that leads to good things. I think once again the young talent that we have on the team, they tasted success. As long as they’re not spoiled by that little bit of success, then it bodes well for our future.”

Sounds like SEC-speak to me. But Allen's words do ring true. You win the division, you get in the playoffs. From that point on anything can happen. Save for Donovan McNabb's meltdowns in NFC title games and the Dallas Cowboys not being able to win a playoff game in forever, the division has done well for itself in the playoffs.

Despite pasting New England, the Lions shouldn't be too high on themselves

The Detroit Lions beat the New England Patriots handily, 40-9, in both teams' third preseason game.

The third preseason game is usually a good indicator of how a team will play in the regular season. Even though the Lions beat down the Patriots, I'm not buying it. I think it was possibly the worse thing that could happen. It's always good to get that winning mindset but I think Lions players might get a little full of themselves.

True the defense played with a lot of fire and the defensive line showed that if everything is clicking they are a force to reckoned with. But as always the old bugaboo came back to haunt the Lions. Personal fouls. And coach Jim Schwarz has seen enough. After the first two against Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley, Schwartz benched defensive end Willie Young for the rest of the game for taunting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and drawing a flag in the process.

Defensive end Jason Jones was impressive with two sacks and three tackles for loss. Jones said the defensive line was trying to send a message and their mission was accomplished.

"Everyone's eye was on the Patriots, not us," he said. "But it's cool. We did our thing.

"Watching the game, people can see what kind of talent we have on the defensive line. And man, we're not even playing with (safety Louis) Delmas right now. He's going to add another dimension to our team."

While the offense has struggled somewhat in the preseason it's good to see the defense have a game like last night. But instead of using words like mission accomplished, they should just realize that when it all comes together they can be good, because their mission is far from accomplished. If the Lions players think so, they're in for a rude awakening. Just check out last season. I think the players felt that since they made the playoffs in 2011 that they arrived.

I have a feeling that they're starting to think too highly of themselves after a preseason win.