Best Sports Stuff Right Now: Mike Vick, Women’s Football and Super Bowl Trucks! – Bleacher Report
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February 7, 2017
The sporting world stopped to watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots pull off the best comeback of all time in the Super Bowl’s first overtime affair.
But the hold on the pause button didn’t last long. Now the best things going in sports pertain to drafts, wild rumors ahead of deadlines, Hall of Fame debates and beyond.
And the above is just a sampling. Football is the main course of any sporting calendar but the looming month of March and everything else steps into the spotlight right about now to take control.
Without further ado, this is the best sports stuff right now.
Mock Draft Season Begins
So it begins.
With all 32 teams now eyeing the draft, mocks can officially roll out the door faster than an automaker’s production line. Big names include Mike Williams, Jabrill Peppers, Leonard Fournette and a hodgepodge of quarterbacks sure to trade time in the spotlight.
The most interesting team, of course, is the Cleveland Browns. For their efforts, the Browns hold the first and 12th picks in the draft, making them the headline act of every mock.
The Michael Vick Debate Has Arrived
Let the debate begin.
Michael Vick officially announced his retirement recently and the immediate question wasn’t whether it would last, but whether he will make it to Canton.
Good question. Vick was one of the most dynamic, explosive players in NFL history who also redefined the quarterback position. It’s impossible to talk about the years surrounding his reign without mentioning him.
But Vick also had the prison stint thanks to an illegal dogfighting ring that had him miss 2007 and 2008.
This one is just getting started, with both sides of the spectrum bringing plenty of valid points.
Trade Deadline Madness Takes Off
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Like rumors? The next few weeks are tailor-made goodness just for you.
The NBA trade deadline hits on February 23. Things could get crazy there with the way LeBron James has campaigned about the Cleveland Cavaliers adding weapons. There is also the drama between the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony.
Not to be outdone, the NHL also had a trade deadline coming up on March 1. Bleacher Report’s Lyle Richardson broke down some of the crazy rumors flying around, including big names such as Martin Hanzal and Marc-Andre Fleury, among others.
For those who love to watch the mills endlessly spin, enjoy.
LeBron-Westbrook Showdown Pt. II
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Speaking of LeBron, his Cavaliers (as currently constructed, at least) get the final of two showdowns against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
Unless the two make the Finals, of course (ain’t happening, Thunder faithful, sorry).
In the first meeting LeBron dropped 25 points and Kyrie Irving another 29 in the 107-91 blowout in Cleveland. Westbrook only managed 20 points on a putrid 7-of-26 effort.
Westbrook can claim revenge at home this Thursday, though, making for one of the most interesting games of a slow week.
Aldon Smith Gets Another Chance
The man who once tallied 19.5 sacks in a season is on the way back.
Aldon Smith, who missed 2016 when the contending Oakland Raiders could have certainly used him, is ready for reinstatement in March, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Smith has already dropped some videos talking about his comeback. Between his return and quarterback Derek Carr healing, the Raiders are now one of the most interesting teams on the path to the draft after what looked like a serious shot at the title before Carr went down.
The Fate of the Super Bowl Truck
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Brady owes running back James White a truck.
Fine, not really. But White could get one anyway.
Brady led the epic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, sure. But it was White who quietly went underappreciated while running for the game-winning touchdown. It was one of two rushing scores, not to mention the fact he led the Patriots with 14 catches for 110 yards and one score.
“I think James White deserves it. It’d be nice for him,” Brady said, according to Fox Sports’
Cameron DaSilva. “It took a real team effort.”
And deserve it as he may, it doesn’t sound like White will get a truck because, well—it doesn’t exist. According to TMZ Sports, the Super Bowl truck isn’t a thing anymore.
Bummer. But…Brady said White deserves a truck. Maybe the quarterback will go out and get his star running back something nice to make up for it.
The NBA’s Budding Hometown Hero Trend
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LeBron has created a monster.
Everybody knows the man went back to Cleveland, his hometown, and won a title. What they might not know, though, is he has started one noteworthy trend.
FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring took a deep dive into the new hometown hero phenomenon. Dwight Howard went to Atlanta. Dwyane Wade went to Chicago. Joakim Noah, New York. Jeff Teague, Indiana.
These heroes are finding varying degrees of success at home, but this trend is something to keep on the mind as the trade deadline approaches.
NBA’s Unexpected Risers
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Don’t look now, but the NBA belongs to the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks.
Go ahead and guess the top two teams after the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. No, it doesn’t involve Toronto or Atlanta.
Boston actually sits second, winners of seven of the last 10 entering Monday. MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas has the team rolling, as does John Wall for the third-place Wizards. Entering Monday, Washington had won nine of their last 10.
In the Western Conference, Dallas isn’t in the playoff hunt. But Dirk Nowitzki’s team isn’t a laughingstock anymore, either, not after going 7-3 over the last 10 entering Monday.
Maybe this is an odd stretch before the All-Star Game and nothing more. Or maybe the NFL Playoffs this year are about to get weird in the best possible parity-riddled way. Stay tuned.
An Epic Passing of the Torch
Speaking of Thomas, his Celtics clashed with the Los Angeles Clippers recently came away with a 107-102 victory.
There, Thomas dropped a game-high 28 points at home while sparring with Boston legend Paul Pierce, who got the honorary start for the Clippers during his last career game in Boston.
After, Pierce shared a special moment with Thomas, transcribed above. It’s a major co-sign for Thomas, the leader of the Celtics who averages 29.9 points and 6.4 assists per game.
It really doesn’t get any better than the above.
Duke vs. UNC
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Don’t scramble for a calendar to see if it’s March yet, but it sure feels like it with Duke and North Carolina about to do battle.
The No. 8 Tar Heels pay the No. 18 Blue Devils a visit Thursday at 8 p.m. ET to resume one of the sporting world’s greatest rivalries.
There, Justin Jackson (18.6 points per game) will spar with Duke’s Luke Kennard (19.8) in a search for ACC supremacy and movement in the rankings.
The best part? It’s a preview of the season-ending finale set for early March in Chapel Hill.
New York’s Women’s Pro football Team Takes the Spotlight
Would you pay $825 a season to play football?
Maybe not, but the incredible women of the New York Sharks do each year. They’re currently going viral thanks to an in-depth, excellent look at the team provided by BuzzFeed’s Alex Wong.
Wong provided a breakdown of women’s football in North America today:
The New York Sharks, one of the longest-running women’s tackle football teams in the United States, started play in 1999 as part of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), which is composed of 33 teams. The IWFL, along with the WFA, which has 43 teams, are the two biggest women’s football leagues in North America.
This is easily one of the best things going in sports right now and something finally rising to the forefront of the conversation. Where it goes from here is something worth watching.
James White Tackles Disney World
White didn’t receive individual hardware for his Super Bowl performance—but he did get to take a trip to the Magic Kingdom.
This wild outcome for White is one of the best feel-good stories in sports today. He hails from Fort Lauderdale and helped the local St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders win a high school title back in 2008.
A fourth-round pick in 2014, White returned to Florida in the best possible way Monday—as a Super Bowl champion.