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.

Photo Credit: nypost.com
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.

All Star Worthy

All Star Worthy

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With the 2024 NBA ASG approaching in a few weeks, there were many well-deserved selections to represent the Eastern and Western Conference reserves. Knicks PG Jalen Brunson (27.3 PPG, 6.5 APG, 41.3 3P%), Magic SF Paolo Banchero (23 PPG, 7 RPG, 5 APG), 76ers PG Tyrese Maxey (25.9 PPG, 6.4 APG, 1 SPG), and Raptors F Scottie Barnes (20.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG) were all selected to the ASG for the first time in their careers. Curry, Lebron, Giannis, Jokic, Doncic, Tyrese Haliburton, and more were selected as starters. However, there were a few players that deserve their recognition, even though they weren’t selected for the annual game in Indiana. With that in mind, here are 4 ASG snubs that were definitely worthy of being voted as a reserve/starter…

1. Kings PF Domantas Sabonis

A big reason why the Sacramento Kings sit in 5th place in the West (29-20) is because of the contributions of Sabonis. Sabonis has always been known for being a double-double machine ever since his breakout 2019 season with the Indiana Pacers. Ever since he got dealt to the Kings, his playmaking has gone up considerably. After averaging over 7 assists a game last season, Sabonis has upped his APG to over 8 this season (7th in NBA) while maintaining over 13 RPG (1st in NBA) and averaging 19 PPG. He is shooting around 62% from the field (highest in his career) and 43% from 3PT (2nd highest in career). In addition, Sabonis already has 45 double-doubles and an outstanding 15 triple doubles (he had 14 all of last season). All of these factors show that he is definitely worthy of being an All-Star.

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2. Kings PG De’Aaron Fox

Another reason for the Kings’ success so far has been the stellar play from De’Aaron Fox. Fox has been a stud for the Kings ever since his sophomore season, as he has had 5 straight seasons of recording 20+ PPG with at least 5 APG. This season, he has increased his scoring (27.3 PPG) while maintaining his other stats (5.3 APG, 4 RPG). He has also recorded his highest SPG average (1.8), which is one of the highest among guards in the NBA, and has shot his most efficient from 3pt range at a higher clip (37.8% on 8 attempts per game). Fox is well-deserving of a trip to Indiana, as he has been outstanding and integral for the Kings so far this season.

3. Jazz PF Lauri Markkanen

The Jazz have rebounded from a horrendous start to the NBA season by going on an incredible run and rising up to a play-in spot in the West (25-26). A big part of their excellent stretch has been from Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen was amazing in his first season in Utah (26 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2 APG) and has followed up with a nearly identical line this year. He has shot nearly 50% from the field, over 40% from 3PT, and nearly 88% from the FT line, which are all incredible for a big man. He has been consistently great for a red-hot Jazz team that is quickly rising in the Western Conference. Lauri should’ve been rewarded for his efforts by receiving a trip to Indiana.

4. Pistons PG Cade Cunningham

When you read about the Pistons, you usually think of their 6-43 record, or anything historically terrible. In the midst of their historically bad season, Cade Cunningham has been a bright spot in Detroit. He is averaging over 22 PPG, 4 RPG, and 7.5 APG (9th in NBA). He has also shot a career high 44.8% from the field and 34.4% from 3pt. In addition, Cade has averaged a steal per game and has recorded 9 double doubles this year. With all the pain Detroit has gone through this year, Cunningham receiving an ASG invite should’ve been a pleasant surprise for a season to forget for the Pistons.

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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.

Photo Credit: wrestlinginc.com

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.



(Baltimore Ravens flopping as they normally do)
Another year, another crumbling playoff run by the overrated Baltimore Ravens. Earlier this year I heard some pundits even say this team was better than the one that won the Super Bowl last: the one with Ray Lewis, Terell Suggs, and Joe Flacco. I’m sorry but if saying nonsense is how you get on TV, no wonder I’m still a writer. Crap opinions like that on impressionable people is dangerous.

In all seriousness, this was the biggest number-one seed fluke in the history of the NFL, even worse than the Atlanta Falcons 16-0 season. When will people learn that Lamar Jackson cannot and will not EVER be able to win a Super Bowl, but no let’s give him the MVP award because that’s how far the credibility of the award has degraded.

(Lamar Jackson failing again)
And for people saying he should win it, WHY? Why should he win it? What did he do (apart from running the ball) that was astronomically better than someone like Jordan Love? Low ranked (15th) in passing yards, passing TDs (11th), and 4th in QBR, but let’s give this average at-best QB the award. Oh but, but, he won a playoff game. CONGRATULATIONS! He now has the same amount of playoff wins as Dak Prescott who is constantly torn down by the media.

And don’t get me started on Zay Flowers. Proving your age on the biggest stage is embarrassing. Taunting? Really? You can’t just play your ball without being a nonce? Then diving for the goal line because OBVIOUSLY the game was on the line and this was the last play that mattered. Idiotic.

All I’m saying is John Harbaugh needs to retire. Not for anything he did, but to preserve the coaching legacy he created so that these bunch of prats taint it for future generations to see.



(Rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl)
For some so-called “experts”, this Super Bowl match-up between the 49ers and the Chiefs comes as a surprise, but not to me.

Since September, the week after Miami crushed Denver and put up 70 points, Philly started great, and Baltimore looked good, I made one prediction; Niners – Chiefs Super Bowl. There was no evidence throughout this season that could have changed my mind in the least.

Yes, Mahomes and his guys were making hard work of the regular season dropping passes like it was a hot potato, but only an idiot thought they weren’t going to be here today.

(QB sensation Patrick Mahomes)
As for the NFC, name a team that was better than San Francisco, I’ll wait. No team has the depth and quality plus experience that the Niners possess. People talk about Philly, but one injury to Lane Johnson and the season was derailed. Dallas? Ha! Check, please! Detroit? They were boys who got too big for their bridges.
(Brandon Aiyuk making THAT catch that changed the game)
The AFC was much more competitive, yes, but I’ll be honest and will contest this with anyone, Baltimore made it to the Championship game because Joe Burrow was injured. If he was fit, certain teams would go in at a different seeing and Baltimore would crumble as they always do under Lamar Jackson. I hoped that Buffalo could’ve ended Mahomes but again they fell to the best team in the league.

This upcoming Super Bowl will be close by only the scoreline. I would love for the Niners to win and take the trophy back to the NFC, but as a realist, that defense isn’t enough to stop Mr. Mahomes.