by Cass Waters
One year after bringing Tim Tebow to Broadway, creating a nationwide fascination that slowly evolved into controversy, the New York Jets on Monday made the long-anticipated move of releasing one of the NFL’s most popular players.
The Jets confirmed the release in a three-paragraph news release, a long way from his Super Bowl-sized news conference last March.
“We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we all had hoped. Tim is an extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in this offseason. We wish him the best moving forward.”
The team’s plan always was to take no more than five quarterbacks into its organized team activities. When no other team offered even a seventh-round draft pick for Tebow by the conclusion of the NFL draft on Saturday, the decision was imminent, sources said. The Jets had given permission this offseason to Tebow’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, to try to seek a trade, a source familiar with situation said. More than one team reached out to see whether Tebow was willing to switch positions from quarterback to tight end, but he was not.
Various members of the Jets organization were warming to Tebow this offseason, which is one reason Idzik released the quarterback Monday morning, the source said. Idzik did not want the type of Tebow distractions in 2013 that last year’s team endured. The Tebow trade never came close to living up to the hype, as Tebow played only 77 offensive snaps. It became apparent late in the season that he’d be one-and-done in New York.
The final Tebow bill: It cost the Jets a fourth-round pick and $1.5 million in salary, plus $2.5 million they had to pay the Denver Broncos to satisfy part of the trade agreement.
Known for his eternal optimism, Tebow has refused to bash his New York experience.
“I felt like it was a learning opportunity for me,” he said at the end of the season, reflecting on the year that wasn’t. “There was a lot that I’ll take from it. There’s a lot that I learned, and there are lot of relationships that I’ve built, so I know that it happened for a reason.”
by Cass Waters
Everyone in the Miami huddle was bracing for a grind to the finish. On the other end, the sense around the Milwaukee bench was that an upset was there for the taking.
Then the Heat landed a swift knockout punch.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points, LeBron James finished with 19 and the Heat used a frantic start to the fourth quarter to pull away and beat the Bucks 98-86 in Game 2 of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series on Tuesday night. Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen all scored 10 points for the Heat. James’ postseason streaks of 22 straight games with at least 20 points, and 16 straight games of at least 25 points, both came to an end.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which got 16 from Mike Dunleavy and 14 from Larry Sanders. The Bucks’ starting guards, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, combined for only 15 points — after teaming up to score 48 in Game 1.
And for the entirety of the third quarter, the Bucks hung around, though the Heat showed some signs of getting things going. Bosh had a dunk for a six-point lead, then made a jumper — on a play that James started by running down a loose ball and flicking it between his legs for a save along the sideline — for a 68-60 lead, what was then the biggest Heat margin of the night.
The Bucks got within 68-65 to end the third, but then came the run that Miami had been waiting for all evening.
It’s the 11th time the Heat have gone up 2-0 in a playoff series. They’re 10-0 in the previous instances. … Milwaukee has lost 21 of its last 29 playoff games. … Sanders was third in the NBA’s Most Improved Player voting, behind Indiana’s Paul George and New Orleans’ Greivis Vasquez. “Look where he was last year and where he is today. The improvement is very obvious,” said Boylan, who thought Sanders should have won. … Jennings was held without a first-half basket for only the fifth time all season.
by Cass Waters
The X-games started this year in April 18 and ran till April 21, meaning the summer X-games are over and we will have to wait until next year for the winter X-games.
American Scott Speed stunned the field Sunday in the Ford RallyCross final at X Games Foz, storming to the front in the last lap, then pulling away to beat Toomas Heikkinen by .007 seconds to snatch a surprise gold medal in his RallyCross debut. Speed’s stunning RallyCross upset beat out such favorites as X Games medalist Travis Pastrana, defending silver medalist Ken Block, and Tanner Foust, last year’s overall Global RallyCross Championship winner. Pastrana, Block and Foust were all ousted from the event early after getting caught up in a tangle off the line in a scuttled first start.
In Moto X Freestyle, Taka Higashino of Japan grabbed his second-ever gold with a win over Australian Rob Adelberg and American X Games rookie Wes Agee. He stormed to an early lead after the first of two runs in the nine-man finals on the back of a rock-solid backflip double-grab combo and never looked back to add to his X Games Los Angeles 2012 Moto X Freestyle gold.
Earlier Sunday, Brazil’s golds came from Leticia Bufoni, who won women’s Skateboard Street to secure her first gold in a buzzer-beater over American Lacey Baker, and Pedro Barros winning men’s Skateboard Park.
Barros turned a complex concrete course into his personal playground to earn his third X Games Skateboard Park gold in four years in front of the raucous home crowd. Barros, 18, skated faster and higher than the rest of the field — as has become his hallmark over the past few years. After clinching gold when silver medalist Rune Glifberg failed to earn the 44-point score that would have tied Barros, Barros punched his board a few times then grabbed a Brazilian flag and waved it in front of the packed bleachers.
George Allen “Pat” Summerall dies at the age of 82 tuesday evening. Summerall was checked into Zale Lipshy University Hospital in Dallas, Texas, for surgery on a broken hip. Later Summerall was pronounced dead after having complications with cardiac arrest.
Summerall had a long lived broadcasting career. He was introduced it the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 1994 and won National Sportscaster of the Year in 1977. He was also referred to as the “voice of football” by John Madden a long time colleague
By Cass Waters
The next Masters Golf Tournament starts tomorrow in Augusta, GA and Tiger Woods is ready. Woods cringed at the notion Tuesday that this would be his 19th Masters, but also suggested that his career has a long way to go and that plenty of opportunities exist to add to his total of 14 major championships. Woods, who two weeks ago returned to No. 1 in the world after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his third victory of the year, will begin his quest for a fifth Masters title on Thursday at 10:45 a.m. ET, playing with Luke Donald and Scott Piercy at Augusta National.
Tiger started playing golf when he was just 19 years old. He says, ‘I would have never foreseen that when I first came here at 19 years old. It was a bit overwhelming to play here and to be part of the Masters’. Woods has four victories and 10 top-five finishes in the Masters, but he hasn’t won the event since 2005, when he defeated Chris DiMarco in a sudden-death playoff.
Since then, Woods has had six top-6 finishes. Last year he finished tied for 40th, his worst as a pro. ”I’ve been there, and unfortunately just haven’t gotten it done,” he said. Tiger goes on to say that he is excited to be playing again since his game has improved and is ready to give it his all and win it.
By Michael Bradford
March madness has finally come to an end. Today will mark the end of the 2012-2013 NCAA men’s basketball season. Louisville and Michigan will face off tonight in the Georgia Dome. both teams are full of talent and NBA hopefuls. Louisville the number one overall seed in the tournament has big named stars such as Gorgui Dieng, Russ Smith, and Peyton Siva. These three give Louisville a complete team combining scoring, rebounding and defensive pressure. Michigan on the other has the NCAA basketball player of the year in Trey Burke and standout freshman Mitch McGary. Michigan’s talent runs deep in there bloodline with players such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III. Tonights matchup should be one to remember at 9:23 PM ET.
by Cass Waters
(we found the whole ceremony for you to enjoy)
The Lakers retired Shaq’s No. 34 jersey on April 2, 2013. A ceremony was held in his honor with many of his friends and former team members. Some of his former team members, from the Lakers, had many stories to tell of the big man himself.
“Congratulations to you, the most gifted physical specimen I’ve ever seen play this game with size and agility,” Bryant said to uproarious applause. As loud as the building got for Bryant’s message, the din reached a fever pitch when the microphone was handed over to Phil Jackson. Jackson focused on the fun that team had with O’Neal at the helm, recalling the “indelible images” of O’Neal showing up to practice late wearing nothing but sneakers and another time when O’Neal showed the Sacramento Kings what a “full moon really looked like” when the Lakers left Arco Arena following Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals.
O’Neal said the testy relationship with Bryant may have actually helped L.A. achieve the success it did, rather than hamper its chances.
“The task was to win championships. We won three out of four,” O’Neal said. “If we would have tried to be all buddy, buddy, it might have went differently.”
O’Neal was asked if he had any regrets from his 19-year career that featured four championships, three Finals MVP awards, one regular season MVP, two scoring titles, Rookie of the Year and 15 All-Star appearances. He has two: “I missed 200 games. I missed 5,000 free throws. Other than that, I had fun. I did it my way. It was a great experience.”
“My father told me it could happen and I believed him,” O’Neal said. “That’s why I developed a style of play that he designed for me to play. He knew I was going to be bigger and stronger than everybody. That’s why I developed that style. It was a style that he developed for me. I could have gone with the finesse and tried to shoot jumpers, but he was like, ‘Play this way, play this way, it will pay off for you in the long run.’ And, I guess it has.”
So what do you think about Shaq retiring? Tell us in the comments below what you remember about the Big Man, whether it be in his games, movies, whatever you remember him in, let us know.