Archive for September, 2012

SEC suspends South Carolina’s Swearinger for ‘dangerous’ hit

For the second week in a row the Southeastern Conference suspended a player for what it considers to be a “flagrant and dangerous” hit against a defenseless opponent.

This time, though, the league didn’t punish a relatively anonymous player from one of the league’s second-tier teams. D.J. Swearinger, a senior safety for No. 7 South Carolina, will sit out his team’s game vs. Missouri Saturday after the SEC determined his hit on UAB’s Patrick Hearn violated rule Rule 9-1-4.

That rule states: “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.”

No doubt the ruling will inspire some hand-wringing from Internet tough guys who believe these kind of rulings soften an inherently violent game. But take a look at the video above and it’s clear the suspension is justified because Swearinger launched into Hearn with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit.

You can make a case that Elston’s suspension …

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Coughlin blasts Tampa coach for ‘dirty play’

Giants coach Tom Coughlin (right) rips into Bucs' coach Greg Schiano after the game Sunday. (AP Photo)

Giants coach Tom Coughlin (right) rips into Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano after the game Sunday. (AP Photo)

The victory formation is not generally a controversial play.

It turned out to be Sunday, however, when Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano ordered his team to treat it like any other play and go after Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was trying to take a knee and run out the clock in New York’s 41-34 victory.

Tampa brought pressure on the play, knocking Manning to the ground. Giants coach Tom Coughlin was outraged and let Schiano know about it at midfield after the game.

“I don’t think you do that at this level,” Coughlin told ESPN later. “You don’t do that in this league. You don’t jeopardize the offensive line, you (don’t) jeopardize the quarterback. Thank goodness we didn’t get anybody hurt, that I know of …”

The usually placid Manning wasn’t too happy about it either.

“That was a first,” he told ESPN. “Obviously I think it is a little bit of a cheap shot. Going down, we are …

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Ex-Bulldog kicker Walsh perfect as a pro

Former University of Georgia kicker Blair Walsh, now with the Vikings, has made all six of his field goal attempts in his first two NFL games, including a 51-yarder to open the scoring Sunday against the Colts.

Walsh struggled as a senior at UGA, missing 14 of his 35 field goal attempts.

But last week Walsh became the only player in NFL history to win his debut by sending the game into overtime at the end of regulation and kicking a field goal in overtime.

Blair Walsh

Blair Walsh

Other highlights from Sunday’s NFL games:
Danny Amendola of the Rams caught 16 passes for 160 yards. The receiver tied an NFL record with 12 first-half receptions.
– The Cardinals (2-0), coached by former Georgia Tech and Falcons player Ken Whisenhunt, have won nine of their last 11 games.
– Former Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, who had five catches in his NFL debut last week, had no catches Sunday against the Steelers.
Cam Newton of the Panthers threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 …

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NHL shuts down again: Does Atlanta notice, care?

The Thashers left after the 2010-2011 season.

The Thashers moved to Winnipeg.

Hockey fans in 30 cities are about to get a taste of what Atlanta has gone through in the last 16 months — no hockey.

Unable to reach agreement on a new labor deal, the National Hockey League locked out its players this weekend. The lockout came one season after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets. Atlanta also lost an NHL team in 1980 when the Flames moved to Calgary.

The Flames left after the 1979-80 season.

The Flames moved to Calgary.

The lockout is the fourth shutdown for the NHL since 1992. As usual in pro sports, the issue is splitting money, in this case $3.3 billion in revenue. The owners want to decrease the amount that goes to players, while the union wants a guarantee that players get at least the $1.8 billion in salaries paid out last season.

The sides are so far apart that they didn’t even meet Sunday on the first day of the lockout. Here’s the latest news.

Do you still follow and miss hockey? Or are you bitter about Atlanta losing another team …

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Here’s proof Missouri’s not ready for SEC

Missouri looked good for three quarters against Georgia last Saturday, and many observers were quick to say the Tigers proved themselves ready to compete in the SEC.

There’s some pretty compelling evidence, however, that they’re not there yet.

A group of Missouri fans took out a newspaper ad this week thanking Georgia fans for coming to Columbia and providing a memorable experience.

Our thanks to all of you Georgia Bulldog fans! What a terrific bunch of visitors you were — friendly, gracious and fun. We don’t like to lose around here, but both of our teams played an undeniably exciting and awesome game! You gave us an unforgettable first game in the SEC, and we thank you for that. We hope you enjoyed your visit to mid-Missouri, and look forward to seeing you next time.

Best Wishes from the fans & residents of Tiger Town, USA.

Nice. But can you imagine Auburn or Tennessee fans taking out such an ad after a loss to Georgia? Can you see Georgia fans taking out an ad in the The …

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Auburn’s Chizik mum on possible NCAA probe

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik refused to comment Tuesday on reports the NCAA is looking into the Tigers’ recruitment of running back Jovon Robinson.

While the NCAA has not implicated Auburn in any wrongdoing, al.com, the website of the Birmingham News, reported that the NCAA has had contact with Auburn over Robinson’s eligibility and recruitment.

According to al.com, Chizik responded to a reporter’s question at his weekly news conference by saying he was focused only on playing Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday:

“I have one thing on my mind, and that’s winning a football game this week. I’m not getting into that.”

That’s probably a wise move. The Tigers, less than two years removed from a national championship, are 0-2 after losses to Clemson and Mississippi State, and Louisiana-Monroe is coming off a stunning upset of Arkansas on Saturday.

Robinson, considered one of the top 10 high school running backs last year, participated in Auburn’s fall practice but was ruled academically …

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Wrestling legend Lawler collapses on camera

Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Pro wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler has been involved in lots of outrageous and scary moments over the years, most of them contrived.

But Monday night, Lawler endured his most frightening episode when he collapsed on camera after suffering a heart attack.

Lawler, 62, was serving as the ringside announcer for WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” at Montreal’s Bell Centre when he was stricken.

He was tended to by medical personnel and taken backstage before being transported to a Montreal hospital.

In a statement, the WWE said:

“Jerry “The King” Lawler suffered a heart attack while commentating during last night’s broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal. We are hopeful Jerry makes a full recovery and returns to WWE in the near future. Our thoughts are with Jerry and his family.”

There was no official word on Lawler’s condition.

Lawler is a former heavyweight champion but is perhaps best known for his “feud” with the late comedian Andy Kaufman, …

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Al Pacino may play Paterno in movie

Al Pacino will play the part of Joe Paterno in an upcoming movie about the legendary Penn State Coach’s life and downfall, according to Deadline New York, an entertainment website.

The film will be produced by ICM Partners, and is based on the biography “Paterno” by former Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski, the website reported.

According to Deadline New York:

ICM Partners next week will be taking a package for a movie about former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, with Al Pacino attached to play the man called JoePa by most students at Happy Valley. The package will be built around Joe Posnanski’s biography Paterno, which is now atop The New York Times Bestseller List in its second week. Pacino’s manager, Rick Nicita, will produce. …The book – and the movie – isn’t just about Paterno’s demise but rather his life before Penn State, his family and the iron grip he held over Penn State football and politics until his downfall.

It wouldn’t be Pacino’s …

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Former Tech receivers have big games in NFL Sunday

Former Georgia Tech standout Stephen Hill had two TD catches in his NFL debut with the Jets Sunday.

Hill had five catches for 89 yards in New York’s victory over the Bills.

Stephen Hill (84) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown.

Stephen Hill (84) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown.

Two other former Tech receivers had big games too.

Demaryius Thomas of the Broncos had five catches for 110 yards against the Steelers and Calvin Johnson of the Lions finished with six catches for 111 yards against the Rams.

A look at some other performances, good and bad, in Sunday’s first week of the NFL season:

Blair Walsh, Vikings: The kicker from the University of Georgia had four field goals, including a 55-yarder as regulation ended, and another in overtime.

Drew Butler, Steelers: Former UGA punter had a 47.3-yard average (three punts) against the Broncos.

Robert Griffin III, Redskins: Heisman winner beat the Saints in his first game as a pro. He was 19 of 26 for 320 yards, with two TD passes and no interceptions. He also ran …

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Crowell has two TDs for Alabama State

Former University of Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell has two touchdowns in his second game for Alabama State Saturday night.

Crowell, who led the Bulldogs in rushing last season as a freshman with 850 yards, was dismissed from the team in June following his arrest on three weapons charges. He enrolled at Alabama State, where he was eligible to play immediately.

Crowell had 16 carries for 60 yards and one reception for 14 yards Saturday night in a 29-7 win over Mississippi Valley State.

He had nine carries for only 18 yards, with two receptions for 17 yards, in the Hornets’ season opener, a loss to Bethune-Cookman.

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