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Covering the top sports headlines day by day

"The Stack" 8-28-16

Endwell, New York, is World Series of Little League. The team beat South Korea 2-1 in the LLWS Championship on Sunday.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Monday and football is back officially.  Yay!! The college football season kicks off this Thursday in earnest though we did have a couple of college football games this weekend.  California took down Hawaii 51-31 in Sydney, Australia, in FBS and North Dakota State knocked off Charleston Southern 24-17 in OT in FCS.  Everyone else kicks off this week.  We will have our college football season preview on Thursday so we will be working on that the next couple of days.  Of course if there is any big time news that comes up we will try and throw a quick post and put it up, but otherwise it is this post until Thursday so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Monday, August 29th:


Colin Kaepernick takes a stand (while sitting of course)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has created quite a stir when he didn’t stand for the national anthem in Friday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.  Come to find out, he’s been doing it the entire preseason because, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” 


Now it’s true that there have been a number of different instances lately where it seems like African Americans are dying at the hands of police officers and it seems like there is a true race issue in America.  It sucks.  It shouldn’t be like this.  This isn’t the 1960s or 70s.  We as a country are better than this.  It may only be a few officers in a few cities in the country, but it only takes a couple to make people distrust the system.  That is what is going on right now in this country. 


Kaepernick’s teammate, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, says that we should respect his opinion even if we disagree.  Others certainly don’t feel that way including Kaepernick’s former teammate, Minnesota Vikings guard Alex Boone.  Kaepernick said on Sunday, “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, that’s something that needs to change. That’s something, that, this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now. … I’ll continue to sit. I’m continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel that that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people in the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”  Kaepernick is ready to lose endorsements and possibly his career to take this stance.  That’s pretty big.  There is a report out there that the 49ers are getting rid of Kaepernick, but it would be for football reasons, not for the national anthem issue.  They are standing by him in a way. 


I’m having a hard time with this one.  Certainly Kaepernick has every right not to stand during the national anthem, but it is very disrespectful.  Then again, so is what is going on America with a lot of these shootings involving African Americans.  As I said above, we as a country are better than this. 


This brings about a very interesting position for sports fans.  Often times we hear that folks want athletes to take a stand on important issues.  Kaepernick is taking a stand on the violence going on in America by choosing not to stand for the national anthem.  Would I do it?  No.  Would some do it?  Yes.  Would most?  Unlikely.  However, should we be criticizing Kaepernick just because we disagree with what he is doing?  It can’t be both ways.  If we want athletes to get involved in these social issues, then we can’t complain or get angry when they do something that we don’t think is right.  It’s hypocritical.  Again I’m not saying what Kaepernick is doing is right or something I would do, but if he truly feels that way and wants to put his career in jeopardy, who are we to stop him?  And if we want the sports stars to not say or do anything other than to entertain us, why are there so many people clamoring for athletes to do exactly that in times when issues come up?  It can’t be both ways.  If there was an issue with white people, wouldn’t a lot of people like someone like Aaron Rodgers to say something?  Would we be reacting the same way?  I think it is definitely something for us all to think about.  Respect the flag.  Respect the national anthem, but also respect those who are trying to raise awareness to an issue and get involved in the dialogue and the discussion constructively rather than criticize a celebrity and then do nothing else about it.


Tony Romo out 6-10 weeks


Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has looked awfully good this preseason and now the Cowboys will need to see if that preseason play transitions to the regular season.  Prescott’s services will be needed right away as starting quarterback Tony Romo has a broken bone in his back suffered after getting hit on the third play of the Cowboys’ game against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night.  The timetable for Romo to be out is 6-10 weeks though Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says that he isn’t ruling Romo out yet for week one.


This is a huge concern for the Cowboys.  Romo has had back issues in the past.  Once he comes back from this injury will he be gun shy?  Will he get injured again?  Romo may be reaching the end of his playing career.  It may be wise to call it quits sooner than later before he gets seriously injured.  Preseason and regular season are completely different ballgames especially for rookie quarterbacks.  If Prescott can keep up his impressive play it would be really stunning.  The Cowboys season was looking somewhat promising despite their suspensions on defense.  It still could be good and promising, but there are some significant questions and doubts raised now that a rookie is being thrust into the starting lineup.


U.S. Open gets underway


Tennis’ final grand slam event of the season gets underway in New York.  This is always a fun tournament with the crowds flooding into Arthur Ashe Stadium and other venues along the complex.  On the men’s side, it’s hard not to like Novak Djokovic and his chances though Andy Murray really seems to be playing with a great deal of confidence having won Wimbledon and a gold medal in the Olympics.  He is a very good pick as well. 


On the women’s side, how can you not pick Serena Williams?  She may be slowing down a little bit this year, but won her first major of the year at Wimbledon.  I don’t trust Venus Williams.  Maybe Madison Keys can make a deep run, but in the end I will take Serena Williams to win and avenge her semifinals loss in this very tournament last year that prevented her from winning the season grand slam.


Before we go, congrats to the Little Leaguers from Endwell, New York, who took down Seoul, South Korea, in the LLWS championship 2-1.  It is New York’s first championship since 1964.  It is first championship for the U.S. since California won in 2011.  Great game.  Fun last eleven days in Williamsport.


Coming up Thursday: 2016-17 College football season preview

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Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers are nowhere closer on a contract it appears after Bosa's camp rejected what the Chargers announced was their best offer to him. The regular season is fast approaching.     Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended six months by U.S. Soccer for her comments after Team USA's loss to Sweden in the Olympics.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Friday with a couple of headlines from Wednesday, but also some things from yesterday as well as we head into the weekend.  Let’s take a look and find out what’s in “the stack” for today, Friday, August 26th:


Chargers pull offer from Bosa


Wednesday had a couple of eyebrow raising headlines.  One of them involved the San Diego Chargers who once again are playing hardball with one of their rookies.  Or maybe it’s just that folks like Eli Manning and Joey Bosa know that there is something fishy about the Chargers and they don’t conduct business very well (which should be a concern to the team since they are trying to get a new stadium approved this November).  The Chargers said they made their best offer to Bosa, but Bosa declined.  That set off the Chargers who unleashed a scathing statement regarding the negotiations.  Unfortunately this seems like a far too common occurrence involving the Chargers, but Bosa needs to sign.  At some point soon, hopefully before the start of the regular season he will, because this is money he will never get back.  Both sides need to negotiate in better faith, but it appears there is some irreparable damage that has been done.  Hopefully for both Bosa and for the Chargers sake (on the field anyway), a deal gets done and Bosa can help the Chargers defense and help the team win games.   


Solo suspended from team USA


On the surface it seems like a bigger deal than it actually is.  Team USA women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended six months by U.S. Soccer.  She called Sweden, “a bunch of cowards” after they beat Team USA in the Olympics.  This isn’t the first time that Solo has done something that surely makes her teammates and U.S. Soccer cringe.  She’s been involved in some domestic violence disputes.  She was suspended in 2015 30 days after an incident at a team camp.  She’s been outspoken in the past.  This isn’t the first rodeo.  She is only missing a few friendlies so it’s not like she is missing anything significant.  At age 35, she clearly still has something otherwise Team USA would have just outright dismissed her.  Alas though she is still with the team, but her teammates and U.S. Soccer have to be getting sick of all of these little incidents time after time after time.  It gets very tiresome after a while and Solo isn’t exactly the most well liked teammate on the squad.  We’ll see if she learns anything from this, but based on her statement it appears she has not.


Another U.S. Olympian who made plenty of headlines for dumb things he did in Rio is facing charges in Brazil.  Brazilian police would like to charge Ryan Lochte with a false crime report charge.  We’ll see how far this goes, but Lochte has really created a mountain out of a molehill with situation.


College football kicks off


The college football season is upon us and it kicks off down under of all places.  California and Hawaii start the season up tonight at 10 PM ET on ESPN.  Cal is going to be very bad this year.  This may be the only game they win all year.  Actually that is what I have predicted.  Hawaii is in for a tough season, but they will probably pull out more wins than Cal this year….just not in this game.


Saturday night then if you want your FCS fix, the five-time (that is five straight) defending national champion North Dakota Bison take on Charleston Southern at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN live from Fargo, North Dakota.  Good luck Charleston Southern.  Will the Bison make it six in a row?  Someone has to stop them right?  Please?


The college football season really kicks off in earnest next Thursday.  We’ll have a college football season preview next week to get things started.


Thursday’s NFL games recap


The Miami Dolphins topped the Atlanta Falcons 17-6.  The biggest takeaway from this game was that the Dolphins offense looks pretty good with that up-tempo look.  They could be pretty dangerous this year if they can survive the first month of the season.  Matt Ryan threw another pick for the Falcons.  It was reminiscent to last year when Ryan made so many throws that just left you shaking your head.  He needs to make better decisions.


The Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-17, but it’s all about the Cowboys in this one.  Tony Romo left three plays into the game after getting hit in the back by Cliff Avril.  Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Romo could have come back into the game if necessary, but Romo is already getting nicked up and he has had back problems before.  Makes the presence of Dak Prescott all that much bigger as he continued his strong preseason showing.  Played very well, but the Cowboys don’t want Prescott to play in any games unless it is a blowout win for them.  Romo’s health though has to be concerning.


Friday’s NFL preseason games include:


New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM ET


Buffalo Bills @ Washington 7:30 PM ET


Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 PM ET CBS


Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints 8 PM ET


Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers 10 PM ET


The rest of the games will be on Saturday and Sunday.  All three games on Sunday will be nationally televised.  The regular season is almost here. 


Coming up Monday: Reaction to top stories from the weekend in the sports world.

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Josh Hamilton has been released by the Texas Rangers. He is currently out for the rest of the year after having surgery in July to deal with torn cartilage in his left knee.     Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Is Josh Gordon on the trading block? The Cleveland Browns say no, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that multiple teams are thinking about trading for Gordon. Everybody has a price.
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Wasn’t necessarily planning a post today, but there seems to be enough headlines going on in the sports world yesterday and on Monday so The Stack says let’s post something.  Today’s post does not include the dismissal and indefinite suspensions to the Notre Dame football team.  Not good, but I’m not giving up on the Fighting Irish this year.  Find out what’s in “the stack” now for today, Wednesday, August 24th:


What we’ve missed since we’ve been gone…


  • Ryan Lochte lost all four of his sponsors on Monday.  That would be Ralph Lauren Polo, Speedo, Airweave (they make mattresses) and Gentle Hair Removal.  They all dumped him after his Rio Olympic vandalism and subsequent escapade.  NBC’s Matt Lauer asked Lochte on Saturday night if he thought this might happen.  It did on Monday and it isn’t surprising at all.  It should have happened and now we can only hope that Lochte goes out of the public eye for good.


  • The Texas Rangers released Josh Hamilton on Tuesday.  He’s been plagued by injuries lately and is done for the season after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee in July.  There may be a chance that the Rangers try to re-sign Hamilton, but that means he will have to be healthy, something he has been unable to stay lately.


  • The Little League World Series continues from Williamsport.  We’ve seen lots of great action so far.  Here’s to many more great games until the end of the tournament this weekend.


  • Speaking of baseball, Tim Tebow will make his pitch (haha, see what I did there?) to MLB teams next Tuesday with a private workout in Los Angeles.  It is rumored that some 20 teams will be there.  Why not?  Tebow hasn’t played baseball in over a decade, but has incredible athletic ability.  What’s the worst thing that could happen by sending some scouts to see him try out?  They don’t like what they see and tell him, “no thank you.”  That is likely to happen, but it only takes one team to fall in love.  I personally think the Tampa Bay Rays are a great fit for Tebow since he could sell a bunch of tickets for them beings that Gainesville is fairly close to Tampa and St. Petersburg.  Just a thought.  I am almost fairly certain (just like everyone else) that Tebow will never make it out of the minors if he even gets there, but if all goes well next week, all it takes is one team.  Remember the movie Million Dollar Arm?  That was based on a true story and the Pittsburgh Pirates took a chance on both young men.  Who’s to say that another team won’t take a chance on Tebow?  I think someone will assuming all goes right next week.


  • The Minnesota Wild have switched their goal song to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.”  Prince, a Minnesota icon died unexpectedly last spring.


  • Some teams are looking into trading for Josh Gordon according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but the Cleveland Browns at this point have no interest in trading him.  Everyone’s got a price and Gordon comes with a lot of risk given his substance abuse, but if one team is willing to give the Browns a lot, it’s going to be tough to say no.  They want him there though and it’s not hard to understand why.  He’s a dynamic playmaker. 



Coming up later this week: College football season unofficially kicks off plus other top stories in the sports world

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