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Danica Patrick Says She’s Dating Fellow NASCAR Driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Danica Patrick didn’t live the single life for long.  Patrick recently confirmed rumors about the nature of relationship with her fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. when she spoke with The Associated Press.  “I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,” she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP.  “I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this,” Patrick laughed.  Patrick, 30, announced that she and her husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing back in November.

Stenhouse, 25, is one of NASCAR’s up and coming was the Nationwide Series rookie of the year in 2010.  This season, Stenhouse and Patrick will compete against each other as they move up to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.  Both drivers say that their relationship will not impact how they compete against each other on the track.  “Obviously, we’ve been racing together for a couple years now, him and I have always gotten along, we’ve always had a lot of respect for each other on the track, there’s never been an issue out there,” Patrick said. “I always say I’ll race people how they race me until they do something to make me change my mind. I don’t anticipate that changing at all, or us having any issues on the track.”

“It won’t affect how I race on the track. I want to go out and win, I race everyone hard,” Stenhouse added.

The best part about this news for NASCAR executives is that this high-profile courtship is sure to lure more eyes to television sets this racing season.

Check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

The Dovid Dobin Show 12/17/2012: Hour 2

Sanchez v. RexA preview of Jets-Titans, reaction to the game (and pre-game) in Dallas, and a look at baseball’s Hot Stove Season thus far.

The Dovid Dobin Show 12/17/2012: Hour 2

Titans QB Jake Locker’s Shoulder Could Keep Him Out Weeks

Results from the MRI on the left shoulder of Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker revealed no structural damage, coach Mike Munchak announced on Monday.  Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans when he was sacked just six minutes into the first quarter by Glover Quin.

Locker has now dislocated the same shoulder twice already this season, an injury the team fears may linger unless they are careful with the former first-round pick..  For the time being, the Titans are going to be cautious with his play, and will likely keep him out at least a couple of weeks, with Matt Hasselbeck being named the starter for this week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Locker and the Titans hope to avoid surgery, but the truth is, surgery may be the better option to avoid a more serious shoulder injury down the line.

The same injury occurred in week one against the New England Patriots, which could be reason for concern because each time the shoulder dislocates it becomes easier and easier for a recurring problem.  The team will reevaluate the shoulder after this weeks game before a quick turn-around with the Thursday night game at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Locker has thrown for 781 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his first four career starts for the Titans.  

Luckily for Tennessee though, they have a legitimate backup with veteran Matt Hasselbeck who can handle the team in Locker’s absence.  Hasselbeck played the remainder of the game against the Texans and completed 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards with a pair of touchdowns.  He did however throw two crucial interceptions that were returned for touchdowns which sealed up the game for the Texans.

Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Houston Texans Vs. Tennessee Titans: Week Four Injury Update

As the NFL season enters it’s fourth week, the Houston Texans are beginning to show some early signs of wear and tear on a few key players. With that being said, only WR Lestar Jean (knee) missed practice Thursday after several guys missed practice the day before.

As of Thursday, only WR Andre Johnson (groin), DE Antonio Smith (ankle/illness), and CB Johnathan Joseph (groin) were limited in practice while the rest of the team was full go. Of these three, only Joseph is still questionable for Sunday and hasn’t indicated one way or another if he’ll suit up to take on the Titans. The encouraging news regarding Joseph is that he missed practice early in the week before participating Thursday, so he appears to be making improvements.

Whether Joseph plays on Sunday or not might depend on the availability of Titans’ WR Kenny Britt (ankle), who has not practiced this week. The Texans certainly want their top shutdown corner to play, but if the Titans #1 wide receiver isn’t going to play on Sunday, it might make sense to give Joseph a rest.

On the Texans’ official injury report, there are twelve additional players who are listed with injuries, but have participated fully in practice. Some of the notables include QB Matt Schaub (left shoulder, right elbow), RB Arian Foster (knee), G Antoine Caldwell (ankle), ILB Bradie James (chest), SS Quintin Demps (thumb) and FS Glover Quin (hand). All starters, none appear any threat to miss Sunday’s game with the Titans.

For the Titans, aside from the injured ankle of Britt, G Steve Hutchinson and LB Colin McCarthy have not participated in practice this week. Additionally, TE Jared Cook and DT Mike Martin have been limited in practice. None of these players have been ruled out of Sunday’s contest yet. Additionally, the Titans only have three other players listed with injuries, bringing their total walking wounded to eight players compared to the Texans’ sixteen.

Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Justin Timberlake to the Memphis Grizzlies? No, Really

Sources say that the latest Grizzlies prospective owner, Robert Pera, has recently had talks with Memphis-native Justin Timberlake regarding minority ownership of the Grizzlies franchise. He’s already “committed to joining Pera’s team”, according to ESPN.

What does this really mean for Grizzlies fans though? Time will tell if Jay-Z’s partial Nets ownership will actually net them a championship (bad pun, sorry) but it can’t exactly hurt to have a guy like JT pitching deals to potential free agents. Furthermore, it looks like the Grizzlies future in Memphis is gradually looking like more and more of a guarantee as the days go by.

Pera and Timberlake, both being technology and basketball nuts, will probably be seen together at the sidelines of the FedEx Forum for the next couple of years. Chance are that this newly harvested bromance will surpass that of Shawn Carter and Mikhail Prokhorov. 


Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

The Top Ten Power Forwards of the NBA Today

This is one of the most highly debated ranking that we have had this off season at Hawks101. The best power forward appears to be a matter of preference; do you like your guy to be a jump shooter or a high flyer? Do you like the younger and raw talent or do you like the older crafty vet? Either way we have decided to give you a top ten, rather than a top five. This top ten was taken from a panel of sports minds that all sent in their votes and from those votes, we made our list.

  1. Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
  2. Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  3. Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
  4. Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
  5. Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)
  6. Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)
  7. Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks)
  8. Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
  9. Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)
  10. Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks)

Note: LaMarcus Aldridge was not added to the list due to the season ending hip injury he suffered during last season.

What is clear to see from the voters that were polled is the fact that the guard has not yet changed and guys like Blake Griffin and Josh Smith still have work to do if they want to reach the top half of the list. When Aldridge is back and healthy, we can see him fitting into the middle of the rankings and pushing someone out. All of our voters either ranked Amar’e Stoudemire number ten or had him not on the list, with someone else in his place. This season, with reports of Amar’e working with the great Hakeem Olajuwan, we hope to see Stoudemire back at the top of his game. 

Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Drugs In Sports

It comes as no surprise to anyone, anymore when high-profile athletes get busted for drugs. Sports headlines are filled with players testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) or having run-ins with the law for illegal substances. This last week has been a terrible week for athletes and drugs.

In the sport of baseball, steroids have dominated the news for years. Names and legacies of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jose Conseco and so many more will forever be linked to scandals involving steroids. This week we saw two other big name baseball players test positive and get suspended for use of PEDs, namely synthetic testosterone. Melky Cabrera of the Giants and Bartolo Colon of the A’s both received 50-game suspensions for testing positive to the banned substance.

Whenever players get busted for such substances in the sport of baseball it spurs on a lot more talk and speculation about other players in the sport. ESPN analyst (or clown, depends on what you think of him), Skip Bayless alluded this week that he believed that the only way Derek Jeter is playing so well in the twilight of his career is because of the use of PEDs. We may never know but I do believe that it goes without being said, that there are rampant steroid, testosterone and PED problems in the game of baseball.

But is baseball the only sport with such problems?

What seems like such a simple questions tends to start varying arguments. There have been cases of juicing in professional football, cycling and even Olympic athletes. These cases tend to be smaller or somewhat brushed aside by the media but have happened.

One particular case that hasn’t been brushed aside by the media is the case of Lance Armstrong. Believed by many to be the best cyclist of all time, and even some would claim the best athlete of all time, Armstrong has been battling claims of steroid use for years and years. After winning 7 Tour de France titles, battling cancer and running one of the most successful athlete-run foundations, Armstrong has been held in high esteem his entire career. Yet claims that he was using PEDs have somewhat altered the trajectory of his legacy.

Armstrong had been fighting against the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Angency) for quite some time when Thursday night he called it quits. He said he would not fight the claims any more. He never fully confessed guilt but that is the way it is being judged by the general population. The USADA will strip Armstrong of his titles and he will be banned from the sport of cycling for life.

Despite this trouble, no one can take from Armstrong what he has done to inspire people worldwide through his foundation or just his story alone.

Performance Enhancing Drugs are not the only type of drugs that athletes find themselves getting in trouble with. In fact, in a lot of sports steroids seem to be almost completely absent. In the sport of basketball, for instance, there has been very little talk of these performance enhancing drugs. Why?

Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers was quoted saying, “Steroids make you too big, you need to be fluid to play basketball. You’d be too slow if you used steroids in the NBA. Honestly I don’t think steroid use happens in basketball at all.”

This isn’t to say that the game of basketball is necessarily a clean and wholesome sport, full of role models and upstanding citizens. Basketball is a sport riddled with marijuana use and players getting DUIs. The people here in Portland are all too familiar with such circumstances.

Throughout the “Jail Blazer” era, the local sports media was plastered almost daily with a new drug arrest. Literally, there were multiple players arrested for possession of marijuana. Some even tried to get through airport security with their “calming medicine” wrapped in tin foil.

I am not saying that anyone is perfect and I am really not trying to be the moral police for professional athletes, they will do what they want, because they have been blessed with the money and ability to have access to anything. But that is exactly my point. As members of the media, sports fans, or even really coaches of the teams, there is very little that can be done to alter these athletes’ decisions.

Yes, the media can go on and on about certain players and scandals. Yes, fans could boycott games or even certain products. Yes, coaches and organizations could fine, suspend or trade a player. But we have seen over and over again that these things don’t happen, and if they do, they don’t factor into the decision making of the athletes.

The only thing I really wish for in a time like this is for a little perspective. These athletes live in a whole different world than the rest of us. They get paid more, live in better neighborhoods and have access to things the masses don’t have. A lot of fans see them as gods, heroes, idols but really they are just entitled individuals that will make decisions for themselves, no matter what you think.

So next time a steroid scandal rips through the local or national news, just remember that these athletes are part of a sport that is for our entertainment. Don’t get wrapped up in the scandal and investigation. It really means nothing. Just flip to the next channel and watch the game that’s on, and don’t worry about who is and who isn’t juicing.


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Titans Trim Roster to Get Down to 75 Players

The Tennessee Titans made a handful of roster moves on Sunday in preparation for roster-sizes being cut down to 75 players.

Among the moves made, wide receiver Marc Mariani was placed on injured reserve after breaking his leg, making him ineligible to return to the team in the upcoming season.

To get down to the roster limit, the Titans also released 11 players (listed below).

  • QB Nick Stephens
  • RB Herb Donaldson
  • TE Joey Haynos
  • WR Laquinton Evans
  • WR Chase Deadder
  • WR Marcus Harris
  • OL William Vlachos
  • OL George Bias
  • OL Jonathan Palmer
  • S Christian Scott
  • K William Batson

Rookie Safety Markelle Martin on was put on the Reserve/ Physically Unable to Perform list , meaning he will miss the teams first six weeks.  He is eligible to return on Oct. 21 in against the Buffalo Bills.

The Titans have until Friday, Aug. 31, to make their final roster moves to get down to the NFL‘s 53-player limit.

Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Could the AFC South Be Better than Expected?

I hate the preseason. I hate “what-if” scenarios. But for the sake of discussion, could the AFC South actually better than the widely held public perception that it’s one of, if not the worst, division in football? Through three weeks of the preseason, the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Jacksonville Jaguars have shown enough promise that maybe, just maybe, they can avoid the dubious award of worst division in the NFL. This isn’t a full fledge season preview of the division (that will be coming soon), but simply an acknowledgement that each team has reason for the preseason optimism bestowed upon the respective fan bases.

Starting with last season’s 2-14 Colts, they drafted QB Andrew Luck, who thus far has lived up to as much of the hype as humanly possible to this point. The “greatest QB prospect since John Elway” has definitely shown flashes of greatness, albeit in training camp and the preseason. This leads to tremendous enthusiasm toward the Colts’ 2012 prospects, even if the franchise gutted much of roster that helped Peyton Manning and Co. win seven out of nine division titles during his reign. The Colts probably wont make a push for another AFC South championship, but when analyzing their schedule it’s not too farfetched to believe the Colts could win six games in 2012. Quarterback is the unquestioned most important position in the NFL, and it appears the Colts have another great one, which always keeps a team competitive. If the pieces around Luck (both new and old) can contribute at a high level, the Colts could maybe surprise and win as many as 7-8 games.

The most precarious team in the South is the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is a very realistic scenario in which the Jags finish 2012 as the worst team in the NFL. Stud RB Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out (even if word is he’ll end it soon), and QB Blaine Gabbert was wildly underwhelming in his rookie season a year ago. Of the four teams in the division, the Jags are the only team that I don’t think has any chance of finishing with a winning record. But 6-10 is very different from 2-14 or 3-13. The Jags did have the sixth overall defense in 2011 and made slight improvements in the offseason. Should MJD end his holdout, the leading rusher will finally be joined by a few playmakers on the outside in WRs Laurent Robinson and rookie Justin Blackmon. Finally with several weapons on the offense, should Gabbert be at least mediocre, the Jaguars can win five or six games.

The most enigmatic team in the AFC South is the Tennessee Titans. Last year’s division runner up has a lot to be optimistic about, but they are the biggest “what-if” team in the South. Second-year QB Jake Locker finally takes the reigns of the offense and has shown promise between last season’s sparse playtime and this preseason. That’s the first “what-if”, the list of others includes: What if Chris Johnson regains his 2,000 rushing yard form (or even 1,200)? What if Kenny Britt gets his shit together and becomes the top-10 receiver indicative of his talent? What if Johnson and Britt are joined by WR Kendall Wright and TE Jared Cook to form one of the NFL’s top offensive skill units? The Titans are really the only threat to dethroning the Texans as the AFC South champs. They finished 9-7 in 2011 with glaring holes on both the offense and defense and with rotating QBs. They play a difficult schedule, but should the Titans find some consistency on both sides of the ball and Locker shows he can be a capable NFL starting QB, the Titans can win as many as 10 games in 2012 and could seriously challenge the Texans.

Now, the Titans could challenge the Texans, but that’s only if the Texans seriously falter. Texans 101 has discussed at length the Texans’ numerous weaknesses and possibilities that the team staggers to an eight or nine win season. On the flip side of that, the Texans could win 12 or 13 games in 2012. They sport one of the top defenses in the NFL, THE top rushing attack despite the turnover on the right side of the O-line, and have a veteran QB with a stable of serviceable playmakers on the outside headlined by Andre Johnson, who is still a top 5 WR. The Texans bit an awful injury bug last season, yet still won the division and a playoff game (and frankly, played well enough to beat the Ravens too).

The ceiling for the 2012 Texans is the Super Bowl. They should win the AFC South, even if the division isn’t as awful as most think, and have a realistic shot of obtaining a first-round bye in the playoffs. The sky is the limit for the Texans.

So what do you think, is the AFC South better than public perception? Comment below and let us know what you think.

Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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