Petco Park is completely flooded and the photos are wild

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Bailiff’s career has been defined as much as anything by strong hires. Indeed, he gave well-regarded young coaches early-career breaks. And you could say he’s staking his latest turnaround on another couple of young guys.

Billy Lynch has been around for a while now. He’s entering his seventh season at Rice and his fourth as at least co-coordinator. The Ball State grad was able to figure out a decent path in 2016 — the Owls’ offense only improved from 102nd to 97th in Off. S&P+, but it did improve by quite a bit later in the season.

The Lynch offense was a pretty familiar one for Rice; it had a high tempo and created a decent number of solo tackles (indicating spread-out defenses), though the Owls did run a bit more than they previously have. Quarterback Tyler Stehling had his moments of mobility; not including sacks, he rushed about six to seven times per game at about six yards per carry. QBs rushed more times in 2016 than in 2015, when Driphus Jackson was behind center.

Still, Rice went from rushing 68 percent of the time on standard downs (20th in FBS) to 58 percent (80th); the Owls also ran more on passing downs than they did the year before, a product of some combination of Stehling’s scrambling and an attempt at unpredictability.

The San Diego Padres¡¯ stadium is looking a little different.
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A series of events in San Diego led to Petco Park being completely underwater late on Monday night. A storm in Southern California, paired with drainage that couldn¡¯t keep up with the rain, turned the field into baseball¡¯s best duck pond.

Normally drainage systems can handle this amount of water, but the situation was exacerbated by a lack of turf on the field. Grass had been removed to accommodate a monster truck event on Feb. 18, and crews were in the process of re-sodding the field when the rain poured down.

The Eagles’ offense is overrated in the sense that Chip Kelly’s baby is often hyped at the expense of the team’s other two units

And that’s not to say it is bad. It certainly had an awful outing against the 49ers, but units should be forgiven for the rare meltdown, especially on the road against a tough opponent.

The Eagles’ offense is overrated in the sense that Chip Kelly’s baby is often hyped at the expense of the team’s other two units. The Eagles’ special teams have been outstanding this season. Darren Sproles and Chris Polk have been spectacular additions to the return game, and the Eagles were seemingly a threat to block every punt and kick the 49ers made on Sunday (nevermind the one they did). The Eagles’ defense was terrific until it got gassed after being on the field so long — the 49ers won the time of possession battle 42:17 to 17:43.

With just a mediocre performance on offense, the Eagles might have won this game.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (concussion)
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Elite Womens Marshawn Lynch Jersey Bottom line for the Bears is that their offense has been strong and their defense has been better than expected, but they’re in for a dogfight in a tough NFC North division.

Even the Vikings, who after three weeks looked like afterthoughts, found new life this week with a quarterback change. Teddy Bridgewater got his first NFL start and led the Vikings to big win over Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Bridgewater threw for 319 yards on 19-of-30 passing and added 27 yards and a touchdown rushing the football.

Bridgewater’s presence also seemed to spark the Vikings’ run game, and Minnesota ran roughshod over Atlanta, to the tune of 241 yards and four touchdowns on 44 attempts. Bridgewater hurt his ankle late in the game but X-rays were negative. If he can return quickly and continue to make that Vikings offense more dynamic, Minnesota is yet another contender in the wide-open NFC North.

Eleven teams get compensatory third-round picks

Half the teams in the league ended up with extra draft picks Friday, with 11 teams getting an extra third-rounder.

The league announced compensatory choices, which are awarded to teams for net free agent losses the year before.

The highest pick, the 97th overall, went to the Dolphins, who were picked over last March, with defensive end Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller among their losses.

The Bengals, Browns, Broncos, and Chiefs each got four extra picks.

A total of 32 choices were handed out, with 16 teams receiving at least one. Unlike previous years, comp picks can be traded this year, which should spice up the second and third days of the draft. Here’s a look at the picks awarded:

Before Super Bowl XLVI, Belichick gave his team a 30-minute break in the middle of practice in order to simulate the halftime show.

“It really gets into a whole restarting mentality,” Belichick said at the time. “It’s not like taking a break and coming out in the second half. It’s like starting the game all over again. It’s like playing a game, stopping, and then playing a second game. It’s like a double-header in baseball, if you will.”

The reason for the Falcons’ 34-28 overtime loss likely has nothing to do with the halftime show and has way more to do with the fact that their defense was gassed after being on the field for 93 plays (the Patriots defense was only on the field for 46 plays).

Oh, and the Falcons probably should’ve run the ball on every play in the second half.

It wouldn¡¯t be the most disciplined way to handle the cap, but do we know if Wimpy ever really paid for those burgers?

If we believe their stated philosophy of the last few years, then it makes more sense to designate Romo as a post-June 1 cut when the league year begins. (They can¡¯t use the designation until March 9.)
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Stephen Jones has said countless times that free agency does not solve all of the problems and the production does not equal the money paid out. Also, it could keep the Cowboys from restructuring more contracts in March, say Dez Bryant’s and/or Tyrone Crawford’s, that would raise their cap figures in future years.

Youth Brandon Allen Jersey But if the Cowboys — well, really, Jerry Jones — want to go all-in, cap be damned, as he chases a Super Bowl with a young quarterback in Dak Prescott and running back in Ezekiel Elliott, they can create all the cap room necessary they want.

It wouldn¡¯t be the most disciplined way to handle the cap, but do we know if Wimpy ever really paid for those burgers?

It shows that the abstract numbers are hardly the fun of sports. It might seem like it for some people, especially during trades, but the emotional connection to the game and its people fuels that perspective. Heroes seem like heroes because we genuinely feel that they are, and villains seem like villains for the same reason. When LeBron James hits a game-winning shot against our team, it feels like a personal attack. If he does it for our team, it feels like he honestly cares for us. This perspective is irrational, but it sells because emotions aren¡¯t rational at all.

But that¡¯s still only on the court. When we meet our heroes away from the arena and they¡¯re terrible people, that delusion is broken and the luster goes away. And when we see a supposed villain professing his love for regular people, trying not to cry at the hurt of leaving them, it breaks our heart and reminds us how ruthless the basketball business is. We only understand that when we look at people as people.

Once that happens, we realize how sad it is to see DeMarcus Cousins leave the city of Sacramento, even if he needed to leave the Kings.

Westbrook and Durant’s tables were positioned directly across the room from each other.

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A workmanlike performance saw Millsap score five points, grab five rebounds and hand out three assists in 13 minutes, the lowest total for any East player. Millsap’s evening was punctuated by a pair of highlights — a left-hand outlet pass to set up a fast break and a play won which here he faked a defender at the 3-point line and drove for a scoop layup.

Through three periods, Antetokounmpo’s 28 points led the East and were third overall behind Davis and Westbrook, giving him a shot at winning MVP in his All-Star debut. Sadly, by the time he got back on the court, there was just 1:15 remaining. Twelve of Antetokounmpo’s 14 field goals were dunks, including several steals he turned into pick-sixes (one of them with Curry memorably laying down instead of risking getting posterized). Later, Curry couldn’t avoid getting dunked on when Antetokounmpo went over him for a tip. The Greek Freak also blocked Davis, the eventual MVP, from behind early in the game.

They took pictures together in the locker room, like they did with Kobe Bryant last year at his final All-Star Game, a photo both cherished. They would dance with each other before, during and after the game. Their lockers were always side by side, just like in Oklahoma City. This year, special requests were made to make sure their lockers were apart. The league accommodated, placing their lockers on opposite sides.

At Friday’s availability, Westbrook and Durant’s tables were positioned directly across the room from each other. But before he went to his table, Durant joined SportsCenter for an interview on a stage with Sage Steele, Westbrook’s seat just a few feet to his left. When Durant finished, he stepped off the stage and Steele noted that Westbrook should be right there. Durant looked over the gathered media scrum to see if Westbrook was there yet. Westbrook wasn’t, some 30 minutes late for his availability.
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The offensive regression was even worse than imaginable. Southern fell from 40th to 101st in Off

Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle

The third member of the Bengals’ free agency trifecta, Whitworth is one of the best on the market in terms of current skill set. The left tackle has been a perennial superstar, earning Pro Bowl honors in each of the past two seasons.

What differentiates Whitworth from his teammates, however, is his age. The 35-year-old, who can also play guard, will be a highly coveted player in free agency, but his decision-making process might not be as financially based as those of the younger players on the market. If Whitworth decides he wants to leave Cincinnati, it’s hard to imagine the Bengals would tag the 11-year veteran considering the circumstances and the team’s younger players hitting the market.

Kickers and punters

There are a couple of interesting names on the market — Steven Hauschka (Seahawks), Greg Zuerlein (Rams), and even 42-year-old Phil Dawson (49ers) could be in play — but it doesn’t appear as though any special teamers will be tagged this year, barring an NFC West bidding war.

The offensive regression was even worse than imaginable. Southern fell from 40th to 101st in Off. S&P+, and despite the return of two strong option quarterbacks (Kevin Ellison, Favian Upshaw) and star running back Matt Breida, the Eagles fell from ninth in Rushing S&P+ to a stunning 117th.

Southern’s identity remained the same in terms of tendencies — the Eagles ran 78 percent of the time on standard downs (sixth in FBS) and 52 percent on passing downs (seventh) — but the confidence was gone.

Technically, Southern got better at throwing the ball, improving from 76th to 61st in Passing S&P+. But what has made Southern so terrifying in years past was sporadic at best. You can’t fake the option.

Safety is merely 8 feet in front of him, a distance the stressed Wall chooses to cover on tiptoes

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JOHN WALL LOOKS down to discover that the nice, safe carpeted floor beneath him has disappeared. Impossibly, he is suddenly swaying on a wooden plank, the width of a diving board, 30 feet above a rusty pit. His heart races. Just the slightest wobble could be fatal.

Safety is merely 8 feet in front of him, a distance the stressed Wall chooses to cover on tiptoes. He’s about halfway there when someone nearby gives him an instruction: “Turn and step off the plank.” Wall shakes his head. He won’t do it.

Authentic Mens Michael Saunders Jersey After telling himself over and over that this can’t possibly be real, he finally turns to his right, steps off the plank and plunges into the abyss below.

Then Wall peels the black virtual reality headset off of his face, relieved to rejoin the safety of the physical world as we know it.

Welcome to the bleeding edge of the NBA’s 30-team wrestling match to find a competitive edge, where a hot new frontier is the use of virtual reality to get into the heads of NBA players as never before.

It was the kind of opportunity Nowitzki has seized so many times throughout his 19-year career, most memorably on the Finals stage during Dallas¡¯ title run. It was the kind of moment that McCollum, a four-year veteran in his second season as a starter, has been waiting for.

He has excelled in clutch situations — during the fourth quarter or overtime, with less than five minutes remaining and neither team ahead by more than five points — this season, scoring 121 points in 136 minutes while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor, per NBA.com stats.

¡°The best players enjoy having the ball,¡± McCollum said. ¡°They enjoy rising to the occasion. You¡¯ve got to be OK with missing. You¡¯ve got to be OK with failing sometimes. I think that¡¯s what makes players the best.¡±

DeSean Jackson, who had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the Eagles from 2008-13, could end up back in Philadelphia.

Authentic Marshawn Lynch Jersey Make a run at A.J. Bouye. The Eagles don’t have a ton of cap room — they would be at just over $29 million if they made those three moves from the first suggestion — but if they’re going to invest in a position, it should be in a cornerback to play behind that defensive line. Leodis McKelvin was burned far too frequently in 2016 and was released last week, and starter Nolan Carroll II is a free agent.
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Bouye, 25, is still young enough that general manager Howie Roseman would be signing a cornerback who could expect to be in his prime over most of his free-agent deal. His versatility in moving around the formation would come in handy in a division in which there are great slot receivers, such as Jamison Crowder, and great receivers who move into the slot, such as Beckham. Bouye is going to get a lot of money from some team, and the Eagles don’t have the sort of financial flexibility other teams have, but the fit is there.

Below are quarterbacks who are realistic options if the Steelers are so inclined:

Colin Kaepernick: Kaepernick won’t exactly have a robust market if/when he opts out of his contract in San Francisco. He’d be an entertaining backup in Pittsburgh, which can redo the Mike Vick signing from two years ago with a younger and faster model. Kaepernick posted a respectable 90.7 passer rating with minimal playmakers in San Francisco last year. He could be worth high-level backup money somewhere.

Owens’ antics are as memorable as his play. His touchdown celebrations were varied and entertaining, from eating a fan’s popcorn to pulling a Sharpie out of his sock to autograph the ball for a fan. Some of his off-field incidents were more troubling, like the time he overdosed on hydrocodone, or when he spit in DeAngelo Williams’ face during a game.

Former wide receiver James Lofton, also a Hall of Famer, disagreed with Fouts about Owens’ candidacy.

NHL trade rumors 2017: Penguins will move Marc-Andre Fleury if he requests a trade

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As the March 1 NHL trade deadline has drawn closer, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has gotten more talkative about the state of his goaltending conundrum.
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Just last week, Rutherford admitted that splitting time between Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in goal has been ¡°difficult¡± on both players, who are each hungry to play.

On Thursday, Rutherford went a step further, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he¡¯d be willing to trade Fleury if the 32-year-old veteran asked for one. Emphasis is ours:

The one thing I’ll have to watch for and keep the lines of communication open with the player is, is he OK with the situation that he’s in?¡± Rutherford said. ¡°Going back to last year and to this point in time, he has handled it like a true pro. No issues at all. It may play out that we may be able to go right through having two top goalies on our team. We just have to keep an eye on what direction Marc wants to go here in the next few weeks.¡±
As the Trib story notes, Rutherford knows all too well the value of goalie depth in the playoffs considering the Penguins won the cup with three quality netminders (Fleury, Murray, and Jeff Zatkoff) on their roster. The window is still wide open in Pittsburgh, and the team is still (arguably) the best in the NHL, so it¡¯s likely Rutherford won¡¯t trade Fleury unless he¡¯s specifically asked to.

But if Fleury does want to move on, it¡¯s also likely Rutherford will grant his wishes; it¡¯s clear the respect between Fleury and the organization runs both ways deeply after so many years together. The trick will be finding a trade partner willing to take on Fleury¡¯s contract, which pays him $5.75 million annually through the 2018-19 season.

Lady Gaga makes high-flying entrance to Super Bowl halftime show

Kids Craig Smith Jersey In the lead up to the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga had been teasing that she wanted to start her halftime show by jumping off the roof of NRG Stadium.

Kids Kelly Olynyk Jersey And though she did not actually jump off the top of the roof, the video opening and her acrobatic performance gave the illusion she had, and it electrified the crowd.

At her media conference on Thursday, Gaga would not say whether she would be making a political statement during the performance, but said, ¡°the only statements that I¡¯ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I have been consistently making throughout my career. I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality.” She started the concert by performing America the Beautiful but did not have a political message.

Gaga performed seven songs in the 13-minute performance: A mashup of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land,” followed by “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” “Million Reasons” and “Bad Romance.” As she finished Bad Romance, fireworks went off above the stadium.

There were rumors that Houston native Beyonce would be a special guest for the halftime performance, but Gaga announced before the game that there would not be any guest performers joining her onstage.

Gaga had only one outfit change — a quick switch to shoulder pads while she was on stage. Her meat dress did not make an appearance.

And on the game-tying drive at the end of regulation, Brady also completed passes to five different receivers (Hogan, Mitchell, Edelman, Amendola and White). The Pats were unstoppable because of Tom Brady, who made damn certain they just had too much to stop.