Review Category : National Sports

Atlanta Falcons Headed to the Super Bowl

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — The Atlanta Falcons have defeated the Green Bay Packers and are headed to the Super Bowl for the second time in the franchise’s history.

The Falcons will face either the New England Patriots or the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 5.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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Major League Baseball Mourns the Deaths of Two Players

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic at the age of 25. In a separate car crash also in the Dominican Republic, former Major League infielder Andy Marte was killed. He was 33.

ESPN is reporting on the deaths of each pitcher, both of which took place Sunday morning.

Ventura made his Major League debut with the Royals in 2013 when he was 22-years-old. He posted a 38-31 career record with a 3.89 ERA.

Ventura was a friend of former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Tavares, who was died at 22 in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in 2014. Days are Tavares’ death, Ventura paid tribute to his friend while pitching in Game 6 of the World Series against the Giants, a game the Royals won. Ventura wore a cap with “RIP O.T #18” written on it.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore released the following statement:

“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing. He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”

ESPN reports Ventura was killed in the town of Juan Adrian.

Marte was reportedly driving a car that hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel.

Marte, who was considered a top prospect when he signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2000, played the past two seasons for the KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization. His final Major League game came against the Royals on Aug. 6, 2014, a game in which Ventura started. Marte did not have an at bat against Ventura in the game.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark released a statement that read:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura. It’s never easy to lost a member of our fraternity, and there are no words to describe the feeling of losing two young men in the prime of their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends, teammates and fans throughout the United States and Latin America.”

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Visiting Steelers Awoken by Pulled Fire Alarm at Hotel

Peter Aiken/Getty Images(BOSTON) — NFL fans have dubbed it #Alarmgate.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were awakened by a pulled fire alarm at their hotel at 3:40 a.m., the night before their game against the New England Patriots to decide the AFC Championship, according to police.

The prank immediately reminded fans of past scandals involving the Patriots, but the alarm was pulled by a man who was not a member of the New England team, according to police.

“State Police have arrested an East Boston man who pulled a fire alarm at the Logan Airport Hilton hotel,” Massachusetts State Police (MSP) wrote in a statement. “State Police and Massport Fire responded to the report of an alarm at the hotel at about 3:40 a.m. Firefighters and troopers determined it was a false alarm.”

MSP identified the suspect as Dennis Harrison, a 25-year-old man from East Boston. Troopers charged him with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and setting off a false fire alarm, police said.

Police said he was found walking on the hotel property after the incident.

“He was not a guest at the hotel and had no legitimate reason to be on the hotel property,” police said.

The statement said that Harrison is being detained, pending bail.

Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the disturbance was quickly handled by officials.

The Patriots host the Steelers Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

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Top Ranked Player Andy Murray Loses in Stunning Fashion at Australian Open

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Mischa Zverev defeated world No. 1 Andy Murray in the fourth round of the Australian Open in four sets 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, advancing to the quarterfinals to face Roger Federer.

The unseeded 29-year-old German journeyman completed the massive upset in a match that lasted less than four hours. He told ESPN afterwards, “I didn’t know how I pulled it off.”

There are now only three players who have won a grand slam left in the tournament: Stan Wrawinka, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. The second-ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic, lost in the second round.

ESPN reports that a year ago, Zverev was ranked 171st in the world, unable to automatically qualify for grand slams. He’s also the lowest ranked player to beat a number one seed since 2004.

Now he’s could crack the top 40 for the first time in his career.

“It means the world to me,” Zverev said afterwards. “It’s just amazing. I don’t know yet how I feel because everything is new to me, and everything feels a little bit unreal.”

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DeMarcus Couins Angered at Referees Following Loss to Bulls

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — DeMarcus Cousins expressed anger and frustration about the officiating in the Sacramento Kings’ 102-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Cousins, who has a long history of criticizing officials, sarcastically talked about the great game they called, saying, “Incredible job by the referee crew tonight. I don’t have a complaint in the world.”

Cousins appeared furious after a questionable call went against him late in the game. Bulls guard Dwyane Wade was driving to the basket while the game was tied at 99, and went up for a dunk but missed the shot. Replay appears to show Cousins lightly touching Wade, but in a way that most likely would not have altered his shot.

A foul was called, and the Bulls took the lead and eventually won the game. Cousins was sarcastic when talking to reporters about the play, saying the officials “made the absolute right call.”

ESPN reports Cousins made angry gestures towards officials on his way to the locker room after the game, and was apparently seen throwing trash cans.

The carnage after Cousins headed to the locker room in frustration. pic.twitter.com/iQTNOewu7n

— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 22, 2017

Other players on the team expressed their frustration as well. Point guard Darren Collison called the foul “deflating” and “hurtful.”

The tough loss marks the fifth in a row for a struggling Kings team. They’ve won just twice since the start of the New Year and sit near the bottom of the Western conference.

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Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Fined for Postgame Comments

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The NFL fined Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce $21,615 according to ESPN. He was fined for actions he made during and after the team’s 18-16 AFC Divisional Round playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kelce was fined $9,115 for shoving Pittsburgh Ross Cockrell to the ground after a play ended. He was also fined $12,500 for postgame comments about referee Carl Cheffers.

Cheffers penalized Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher for holding on what would have been a successful two-point conversion late in the game. The play would have allowed the Chiefs to tie the game with less than three minutes to play.

Instead, they had to try the two-point conversion again and were unsuccessful.

“Ref No. 51 [Cheffers] shouldn’t even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again,” Kelce said after the Chiefs lost, “He shouldn’t even be able to work at f—ing Foot Locker.” He further added the referee took the game “out of our hands.”

ESPN reports that Cheffers will be the referee for Super Bowl LI.

The incident marks the second time Kelce has been fined this season. He was fined $24,309 for throwing a towel at an official who penalized him in a November game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kelce was ejected from that game.

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Head Coach Alvin Gentry Furious after New Orleans Pelicans Blowout Loss to Brooklyn Nets

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) — New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry described the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night loss to the Brooklyn Nets as a “piss-poor effort” by his team.

New Orleans lost 143-114, the highest point total given up by a team this season. Brooklyn’s 43 points scored in the third quarter tied the Pelicans’ franchise record for most points allowed in a quarter.

In addition to the blowout loss, star Anthony Davis exited the game after suffering a right quad bruise. He left in the third quarter with the Pelicans down eighteen.

Gentry called the game an “everything breakdown,” adding, “Everything sucked. The effort that we played with sucked. The coaching sucked. The ball movement–everything about it was just horrendous.”

The win is just Brooklyn’s ninth all season, and it is only their second win on the road this year.

Players voiced frustration similar to Gentry’s. Solomon Hill called the loss the worst of his career.

The Pelicans are 17-27 (.386) this season and currently do not have enough wins to make the playoffs. They play five more games over their six game home stand, all of which come against winning teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers are their next opponent.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 1/20/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte 113 Toronto 78
Philadelphia 93 Portland 92
Orlando 112 Milwaukee 96
Memphis 107 Sacramento 91
Golden State 125 Houston 108
Atlanta 102 Chicago 93
Brooklyn 143 New Orleans 114
OT Utah 112 Dallas 107
L.A. Lakers 108 Indiana 96

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Chicago 1 Boston 0
OT Buffalo 3 Detroit 2
Pittsburgh 7 Carolina 1
Montreal 3 New Jersey 1
SO Nashville 3 Edmonton 2
Vancouver 2 Florida 1

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Mark Trumbo Agrees to 3-Year Deal with Orioles

Getty/Jim McIsaac(BALTIMORE) – After a career year with the Orioles, Mark Trumbo has decided to stay in Baltimore for another three seasons.

According to ESPN, the first baseman agreed to a three year, $37.5 million deal if Trumbo passes a physical.

“We are happy that we were able to bring Mark Trumbo back to the Orioles,” general manager Dan Duquette said in a statement. “We like his presence in our lineup and professional work ethic along with elite power he brings to our ballpark.”

In Trumbo’s first season with the Orioles, he led the American League with 47 home runs, a career best. He also was named an All-Star for the second time in his career.

Trumbo looks to help the Orioles make it back to the playoffs again this year, as they have appeared in the postseason three times in the past five years.

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LeBron Calls Spurs’ Pop ‘Greatest Coach of All Time’

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(CLEVELAND) — Two power houses collide on Saturday when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the San Antonio Spurs. Cavaliers’ star LeBron James had high praise for Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich when asked about him leading up to the game, calling him the greatest coach of all time.

“A guy to be able to do what he’s done in an era of basketball where it’s changed so much and he’s been able to have a growth mindset and be able to change with the game,” James said. “He’s just continued to build around [Tim Duncan] and Manu [Ginobili] and Tony [Parker] and bring pieces in – in and out throughout his whole tenure.”

James is also impressed with Popovich’s adaptability. “We went from a league where it was inside out, where every time you came down it was throw it to the big, and then it goes to every time down pick-and-roll, and then it goes to every time down shoot a 3, he said. “Pop has been able to adjust every single time and still, for some odd reason, keep those guys under the radar. I don’t understand it.”

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