What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas…

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas…

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The 49ers had a SuperBowl matchup against the Chiefs in Las Vegas that they may want to just forget about… It wasn’t just the fact that they lost the game, it was the way they had lost it. There will be discussion all offseason about San Francisco’s choice to start the game with the ball first in overtime . Following the game several 49ers players admitted that they were unaware of the new overtime rules and regulations. The fact they didn’t know the rules in the biggest game of the year adds to the criticism they will get all offseason for this loss.

For a long period a team’s score concluded overtime. Following that, the rule was changed to allow both teams to have the ball, pending a touchdown by the first offensive team to score. In that scenario, the game would end on that touchdown, just like most recently in Super Bowl 51 when New England defeated Atlanta 34-28.

However, the most recent rule change required that even in the event that the first offensive team scores a touchdown, both teams are entitled to the ball for at least one possession during postseason games. These days, college overtime formats are even more similar to NFL playoff overtime, with teams trading possessions. Additionally, teams in college frequently prefer to have the ball second because they can better assess their needs for the drive.

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After driving for a field goal in overtime on Sunday, the 49ers were defeated 25–22 by Kansas City after Patrick Mahomes led the team 75 yards the opposite way to win the game. They could have gone for a touchdown there if they had realized that three points wouldn’t have been enough.

The Chiefs were down three and faced a fourth-and-one situation from their own 34 when they decided to go for it because Kansas City had the advantage this time. After converting, they finally made it to the end zone when Mahomes found Mecole Hardman on a three-yard touchdown pass.”We had a conversation about that,” San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan stated. “All of us don’t have a lot of experience with it.”

Some 49ers players, though, said they were unaware of the rule. Arik Armstead, a defensive lineman for San Francisco, stated, “It was surprising to me because I was unaware of the new playoff overtime rule.” “I wasn’t even really aware of what was happening with that.”

Shanahan says he discussed potential overtime scenarios with his analytics team prior to Sunday’s game. At least some of his players don’t seem to have heard about that conversation.

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“I was unaware that the playoff rules were different in overtime,” said Kyle Juszczyk, a fullback who graduated from Harvard. “I’m assuming that all you want is for the ball to go for a touchdown and win. That must not be the case. I’m not really sure what the strategy is there. No, we hadn’t discussed it ”.

On the other hand, Chiefs players said that they had known about the new overtime playoff rules. Defensive tackle Chris Jones stated, “We talked about new overtime rules for two weeks.” “Kick off the ball to the opponent. We attempt [a two-point conversion] if we score”.

Safety Justin Reid said the Chiefs discussed the rule change during training camp. Reid said, “We’ve talked about it all year.” “We discussed in training camp how the regular season and postseason had distinct rules. During each playoff week, we discussed the overtime rule.

Andy Reid, the head coach of the Chiefs, acknowledged that it’s difficult to figure out the best course of action on what to do in that situation even with prior planning and knowledge of the rules. Regardless of if it’s a hard situation or not to deal with, the fact that the 49ers were not aware of the rule at all, after having so long to prep for the game is inexcusable. Someone needs to be held accountable for this mistake, because it cost them the biggest game of the year in sports.

Reinforcements to the Big Apple

Reinforcements to the Big Apple

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Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks were acquired by the New York Knicks from the Detroit Pistons on trade deadline day in the NBA in exchange for guards Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, and Ryan Arcidiacono as well as two second-round picks.

With injuries to OG Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle, New York hopes to finish in the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference. Adding two veterans who can enter the rotation right away will help strengthen the club.

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With Julius Randle out, Bogdanovic who averaged 20.2 points and shot 41.5% from 3-point range for Detroit this season, will take over as the team’s starting power forward right away. Once their injured players start playing again, Bogdanovic, a dynamic scorer and shooter, will help relieve some of the strain on All-Star Jalen Brunson and provide the Knicks with extra scoring off the bench.

Additionally, Bogdanovic’s contract for the upcoming season is partially guaranteed, so the Knicks may decide to keep him on the team or let him go based on their salary limitations.

According to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, “The Knicks rank just 15th in three-point accuracy (36.9 percent) and 14th in made threes per game (13.1)”, both of these being areas where Bogdanović would help the team out tremendously. Another premier scoring option for the Knicks is definitely something they needed to help their star players out.

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Before agreeing to a contract with the Pistons, Burks, 32, played for New York for the 2020–21 and 2020–22 seasons. In his first season, he averaged 12.7 points, while in his second, he scored 11.7. Burks averaged 12.6 points and shot 40.1% from three-point range on 5.7 tries per game in 43 games for Detroit this season.

Since Alec had already played for the Knicks and under coach Tom Thibodeau, he has a sense of the system that the Knicks play and is a good bench role player for them. In addition, he can handle the ball well and has shot at least 40% from beyond the arc in each of the previous four seasons.

He will figure to be a key part of the Knicks 3 point shooting success for the hopeful deep playoff run they look to go on this season. Burks will also be a good filler guy for the injuries the team has and look to keep the team rolling with their winning ways.

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Grimes, 23, was chosen by New York with the 25th pick in the 2021 NBA draft. He started for the Knicks for the majority of the previous season before being benched late this year. However, as a career 37.9% 3-point shooter on five attempts per game, he should fit in nicely on the wing for the Pistons, a team that needs shooting pretty badly.

He scored 11.3 points on 46.8 percent shooting, including 38.6 percent from three, on average in his sophomore season, both career highs. Nevertheless, Grimes’s role diminished as Donte DiVincenzo was acquired by the team this offseason, sending Grimes to the second unit. Grimes averaged 7.3 points on 39.5 percent shooting, including 36.3 percent from three, in 45 games this season.

Following his exclusion from Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation the previous season, Fournier, 31, has played in just three games this season. Should he manage to break free from Detroit, he would be a valuable asset for teams in the race for a buyout. He has a team option for the upcoming season.

For the final two pieces headed to Detroit, Flynn had just moved to New York last month when New York traded for Anunoby, and Arcidiacono had only played mop-up minutes off the bench for New York in 20 games this season, without ever scoring a point. This trade just before the 3pm EST deadline on trade deadline day seemingly was a need for the Knicks as they wanted to add more depth and better shooting from beyond the arch. The Knicks roster is now set for a hopeful deep playoff run and championship for the 2023 season.

The Best of The Best

The Best of The Best

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The WWE has so many talented superstars on their roster currently, and the future is looking bright for all of them. From the Tribal Chief, Seth Rollins, and CM Punk to rising stars such as Cody Rhodes, LA Knight and Gunther, the WWE has many people on their roster they could expect to be the best of the best in 2024.

Many people tend to have their own opinions on who they think the top superstar is in the WWE. In order to really tell who the top superstars are, you have to take into account their success this last year and how they are looking for this next year from Wrestlemania on…

These are my opinions on the top 5 superstars for the next year and beyond.

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1. Roman Reign

Who else would be at the top of this list? The Tribal Chief is still currently the undisputed universal champion of over 1,000 days. Even while he may no longer refer to himself as the Big Dog, Reigns is currently the biggest name in professional wrestling, and that title is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. As the main attraction on the WWE main stage, he is a legitimate draw for both television viewers and ticket sales.

Even though he doesn’t defend his title as much as people would like to see, there is no denying how much of a legacy and long lasting impact Roman has left on the WWE, while also carrying one of the companies most historic storylines, The Bloodline. There are a couple different rumors on who his next Wrestlemania title defense may be against, with the two most popular people being Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson and Cody Rhodes.

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2. Cody Rhode

For the first time in 26 years, there was a back to back Royal Rumble winner, and his name was Cody Rhodes. Rhodes told an almost unbelievable story while spending the most of 2023 as the biggest babyface in wrestling. After winning the Royal Rumble in a valiant effort to stop Roman Reigns’ championship run at WrestleMania, he turned into a star in recovery after failing to finish his story. Careers can be destroyed by setbacks like the one Rhodes suffered at Wrestlemania. Nevertheless, Rhodes was unfazed, viewing the previous year as a time for redemption and used this as a way to get the WWE universe behind him.

It seems that this next year for him is his time to finally finish his story. There could potentially be a roadblock in the way of him completing his story at Wrestlemania, aka The Rock. But even if Dwayne Johnson takes his place against Reigns at Mania, the American Nightmare may still win in the long run. It remains to be seen if that occurs at SummerSlam, WrestleMania, or at another event. Even so, it’s difficult to see the year passing without Rhodes winning and solidifying his status as the top attraction in wrestling, which he may already hold in the eyes of many people.

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3. Seth Rollins

Coming in at number 3 on my list is the current WWE world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins. For WWE, Rollins has been a reliable performer who consistently puts on excellent matches and has an excellent connection with the audience. As much as Rollins has helped legitimize the world heavyweight belt, it has also helped him. With his extravagant attire, self-assurance when speaking, and his acrobatic style, Rollins has consistently shown himself as one of the biggest talents in pro wrestling.

Rollins recently revealed that he suffered a torn MCL and partially torn meniscus during his latest title defense that doctors said will sideline him. Before being challenged by Gunther, Rollins nevertheless promised to defend his title at WrestleMania 40, perhaps paving the path for a match at Wrestlemania. Another possible opponent for Seth at Wrestlemania could be Cody Rhodes if his match with Roman Reigns ends up falling through

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4. CM Punk

“The Best in the World” appears to be more inspired and driven to prove he is that after Punk’s unexpected return to the WWE. Everything old is new again after more than ten years away from the WWE arena, and Punk, along with Roman Reigns, is probably the company’s biggest star.

His success in AEW more than justifies this position in my rankings, but with the run of appearances he’s going for in WWE, he’s nearly guaranteed to move up a few spots. Punk’s comeback has helped WWE immensely, but he also appears to be having more fun with wrestling than ever. During the Royal Rumble, Punk suffered a real injury that would force him out of wrestling action for a couple of months, causing him to miss Wrestlemania. This leaves such a big hole in the companies plans for the event since he is such a huge star and attraction. Punk will look to surely rebound after he has recovered from injury and continue his success moving forward.

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5. LA Knight

Knight has risen to the top of the card at the age of 41 thanks to his combination of in-ring work, on-the-mic ability, and his signature “Yeah” catchphrase. Knight was working as the manager of the Maximum Male Models not too long ago, with no chance of making an appearance at WrestleMania. He’s already one of the most recognizable faces in the entire business, and if he keeps up his incredible ascent to the greatest stage positions, a title may be in his future.

A number of fans have compared Knight’s bold promo style and gimmick to that of Dwayne The Rock Johnson or Stone Cold Steve Austin, praising his memorable catchphrases and viewing his endearing, trash-talking persona as a throwback to the Attitude Era of wrestling. Fans have shown Knight nothing short of extraordinary support on social media and on television. His standing as a fan favorite is cemented by this unrelenting support from the WWE universe.

Long Term Vision For The Visionary

Long Term Vision For The Visionary

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On the latest edition of Monday night Raw, Seth Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal to successfully defend his World Heavyweight Championship, but he potentially suffered a loss much greater than any title defeat. According to Wade Keller of PWTorch.com, Rollins had a real knee injury during the match, which required medical attention and caused him to limp visibly backstage. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, there will be an MRI where the results will determine the extent of the damage done to Rollins knee. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select stated the WWE would have more information regarding the injury very shortly once the MRI results came back. It would be disastrous for WWE and the man himself to lose their workhorse champion for any length of time, much less have to go into WrestleMania 40 without one of the competitors that would provide the foundation for a major plot point on the show. It is impossible to avoid envisioning what WrestleMania might look like without The Visionary, even in the absence of an official diagnosis or an estimate of how much time Rollins may miss.
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CM Punk was widely expected to face the world champion at WrestleMania ever since he first entered the ring at Survivor Series in Chicago, when he was greeted by the cheers of his local audience and simultaneously infuriated Rollins to the extent of a screaming fit. Little clues here and there have continued to sow the seeds for the confrontation, and a heated promo showdown between the two further raised the anticipation for the match at WrestleMania.

Until Rollins provides an update, this is all pure speculation. However, if he is forced to miss the biggest show of the year, Triple H and WWE Creative will have to find a replacement for both CM Punk and the World Heavyweight Championship, which The Revolutionary would probably have to give up in that case. Because he hasn’t yet main event WrestleMania, a story he hopes to wrap in Philadelphia, and because of his enormous star power, Punk probably remains a crucial piece in that equation.

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Speaking of CM Punk finishing his story at WrestleMania, there is someone else who’s story could greatly benefit if Rollins is sidelined for the big event. Rumors have been circulating that The Rock will face Roman Reigns in an incredible dream match when he enters the ring for the first time since 2013. This may take Cody Rhodes out of the main event title scene. This rumor could set up The American Nightmare to be finishing his story elsewhere, for perhaps a different title at WrestleMania… Cody Rhodes is the most obvious and sensible superstar to replace Rollins should he be held out due to injury. As one of the company’s faces, Rhodes is a work horse who continues to make appearances long after the show concludes. It makes sense to put him in a position where he can challenge Rollins for the title if necessary, and it also gives Rhodes the opportunity to finish out his story by winning the title that his father, Dusty Rhodes, was never able to win. Additionally, it sets up an easy feud with a returning Rollins, who can object to his opponent winning the championship and even go so far as to say that The Visionary’s lack of opportunity to complete his own story is the only reason Rhodes was able to finish his.
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Seth Rollins has done everything that you want to see a champion do in the WWE. He works every Monday night on RAW, frequently leaves the building as the main event attraction, attends all of the live events, and has successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship more times in the last month than Roman Reigns has successfully defended his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the previous six months. He is what you would call a fighting champion. He has dedicated himself to his character on film, is among the best workers in the business, and has earned this title of champion. It would be a huge disappointment for a guy who fought his way back to the top of the card to possibly have to give it up, as he did ten years ago following a devastating knee injury that occurred during his first heel turn and forced him to miss the biggest show of the year. Rollins has earned the chance to see his title reign through to its conclusion with one of the main matchups at WrestleMania, just as much as Punk, Rhodes, and even Drew McIntyre have earned the right to finish their storylines and see their respective dreams come true. Whether or not he’ll get to do that, only time will tell.
Yamamoto Sweepstakes

Yamamoto Sweepstakes

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Now that Shohei Ohtani is out of the picture, Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the focus of the baseball world. The 25-year-old is anticipated to earn a huge contract as the best available free agent pitcher, even more than two-time Cy Young winner Blake Snell. Teams are lined up to add Yamamoto to their rotation, which is not surprising given that he put up a stunning 1.16 ERA over 171 innings for the Orix Buffaloes last year.

The contract offers will be significant just as they were for Ohtani, but only one team will truly be satisfied. Yamamoto, on the other hand, will have plenty of options for where he starts his MLB career. There are 3 landing spots for Yamamoto I will be discussing that I feel make the most sense for this Japanese sensation.

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1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers recently gave Ohtani $700 million in guaranteed money, but they still have money to work with because the two-time MVP decided to defer a whopping $680 million of his contract. Is there room for one more Japanese superstar?

If the finances work out, Yamamoto could be persuaded to move to Los Angeles by Ohtani’s presence and his desire to play in a major market. The Dodgers are in dire need of pitching, as seen by the uncertainty surrounding their rotation and the fact that Clayton Kershaw, a free agent, is expected to miss the start of 2024. It also helps the Dodgers chances of landing Yamamoto by having 4 MVP’s sitting in on the meeting in Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman.

Yamamoto would just add to an already star studded Dodger team, and would give him the best chance to compete year in and year out.

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2. New York Yankees

There have been numerous rumors indicating that the Yankees are leading the Yamamoto sweepstakes, having already met with the free agent. New York was reportedly in a “solid position” before the meeting, according to Andy Martino of SNY. If Yamamoto decides to sign with the Yankees, he would be teaming with former MVP Aaron Judge, the current AL Cy Young winner, Gerrit Cole, and recent addition Juan Soto, one of the best young players in the game. If Yamamoto enjoys performing in front of the brightest lights possible, New York is the place to be.

The Yankees still have a lot of work to do on their roster, and the starting rotation is the top priority despite their huge acquisition for Soto. The Yankees are short on options behind Cole, Carlos Rodon, and Nestor Cortes Jr. with Michael King traded, Luis Severino out of the picture, and Frankie Montas a free agent after sitting out almost all of 2023. With Cole at the top of the rotation, adding Yamamoto would give the Yankees a potentially formidable one-two punch. However, it is unclear how a deal would affect the team’s chances of re-signing Soto in the long run.

Given that Masahiro Tanaka and Hideki Matsui are two of the most adored players in recent Yankees history, Yamamoto may look up to those two Japanese icons as role models for what life in New York could be like.

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3. New York Mets

Despite Steve Cohen’s enormous bankroll, the Mets didn’t take Ohtani seriously, and they haven’t been as influential this offseason as they were a year ago. One explanation for this is the belief that 2024 will be a year of transition rather than championship contention. While some players may not align with that long-term strategy, Yamamoto does. When the Mets finally establish themselves as title contenders, Yamamoto, who is only 25 years old, will still be at his peak for a number of years.

Kodai Senga, who arrived from Japan a year ago and had a fantastic rookie season, is the Mets’ top starter going into 2024. Senga may help Yamamoto feel at home in a foreign land and make an outstanding tandem at the top of New York’s rotation.

Given their history of making big-time purchases when the opportunity arises, the Mets might make Yamamoto’s biggest offer, and that might just be enough to land him.

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While all three of these teams are the best fits for Yamamoto, they still have to work out some sort of contract with the young pitcher. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Yamamoto might be able to fetch a $300 million contract. If a team signs Yamamoto, they will also have to pay his posting fee, which could be as much as $35 million, depending on how close the transaction is to $300 million.

Although Yamamoto was initially anticipated to sign a contract in the $200–$225 million range, the Japanese star is poised to take full advantage of multiple suitors and a comparatively sparse free agent class outside of the top few players. After agreeing to a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees in 2019, Gerrit Cole became the only pure pitcher in MLB history to receive a $300 million contract. Although Yamamoto is four years younger than Cole was when that agreement was inked, it’s unclear if he has any chance of shattering Cole’s record.

Yamamoto has until January 4th to sign with a team, so these sweepstakes could very well come down to the wire. Whoever lands Yamamoto will certainly be gaining a future ace for years to come in their rotation.