Category: Sports


After last night’s lost to Marquez I think we all know without a shadow of a doubt who the best is. Mayweather don’t even play with Marquez; unlike Pac Man, who has had trouble with this guy every single fight culminating in a knock out to make it unquestionable.Pac Man vs. Marquez

Teammate testimony key in USADA case against Lance Armstrong

One former teammate of Armstrong’s, George Hincapie, issued a statement confirming his own role in the doping conspiracy and saying he told investigators the truth ‘about everything I knew.’

3:07PM EST October 10. 2012 –

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday said it is releasing its evidence against Lance Armstrong – a dossier of more than 1,000 pages with sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 cyclists with knowledge of Armstrong’s doping activities on the U.S. Postal Service Cycling team.

The evidence includes testimony from cyclist George Hincapie, a longtime close associate of Armstrong’s who on Wednesday admitted his role in the doping conspiracy and said he told investigators what he knew about others.

“I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did,” Hincapie’s statement said.

In a statement, USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said, “The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

USADA DOCUMENT: Read the entire case against Lance Armstrong

USADA said the evidence includes “direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.”

Eleven Armstrong teammates testified against him and were suspended for their own doping: Hincapie, Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

“Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy,” USADA said.

All of the material will be released this afternoon, USADA said.

Hincapie’s statement acknowledged that he had cheated.

“Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans,” Hincapie wrote.

In a statement, Armstrong attorney Tim Herman attacked the credibility of USADA’s case.

“Tygart’s statement confirms the alleged ‘reasoned decision’ from USADA will be a one-sided hatchet job — a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat -induced stories,” Herman wrote.

USADA is releasing the report as required by its decision in August to give Armstrong a lifetime ban and strip him of his seven titles in the Tour de France. In June, the agency formally accused Armstrong and other team officials of using banned drugs and blood transfusions to gain an edge in competition over several years.

By rule, USADA was mandated by the World Anti-Doping Code to deliver a detailed report on its decision to the interested parties, which include the World Anti-Doping Agency and the athlete’s international federation.

In this case, the Armstrong’s international federation for cycling is the International Cycling Union (UCI). After receiving the report, UCI has 21 days to appeal the Armstrong sanctions. If an appeal is lodged, the matter will go to arbitration at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

UCI previously has been critical of USADA’s case against Armstrong, questioning whether he received his due process. UCI also questioned the fairness of making deals with other riders to testify against Armstrong in exchange for less severe punishment for doping.

USADA shot back at UCI and accused the organization of having a lackluster record on doping and a cozy relationship with Armstrong. In “The Secret Race,” the recent book by cyclist Tyler Hamilton, the author alleges Armstrong worked with UCI to have a positive drug test covered up at the Tour of Switzerland in 2001.

Armstrong could have fought USADA’s charges by going to arbitration in front of a three-person panel, with one panelist picked by both sides and the other selected by the other two. But he claimed the process as “rigged” against him and announced in August he would no longer fight the charges.

He maintained his innocence, saying he never failed a drug test. USADA noted that Armstrong’s team used sophisticated techniques to avoid testing positive and that there is no test for blood transfusions.

In a letter sent to USADA on Tuesday, Armstrong’s attorney, Herman, said that some of the witnesses against the cyclist are “serial perjurers.” _repost from  Brent Schrotenboer

Top Finishers of the Tour de France Tainted by Doping

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round 4

kaspakapaz sports pac man and marquez

While eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao waited for promoters to pump up his fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Monday, “Pac-Man” wrote “I need a knockout” on a piece of paper, according to trainer Freddie Roach (per ESPN.com), showing that his motivation is back.

Not leaving everything to writing on a piece of paper, Pacquiao spoke of his desire to beat Marquez in a clear-cut fashion on December 8 to ESPN.com:

I want to erase the doubt of the last three fights. There’s so many people still asking if I won the fights. I think to myself, ‘Something is wrong. I have to do it again.’ This time, I will train hard to put this fight up in the history of boxing. I want to make this fight short. I want to knock him out.

Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) is not usually one to call someone out, but his determination to beat Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) by KO shows he must have re-evaluated his less-than-stellar showings in the ring the past few fights.

Most boxing fans were disappointed when the fourth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez was announced, but the increased motivation being shown by Pacquiao should create some added excitement for the bout.

Pacquiao went on to tell ESPN.com, “I want to be the other Manny Pacquiao, like when I was 24, 25 years old. I want people who watch this fight to be satisfied. I don’t care about a belt. I don’t care about the money. I want the win.”

With Pacquiao’s career nearing the end, getting a glimpse of the “old” Pacquiao would be a nice change from the seemingly distracted and unmotivated fighter we have seen the past few times he has fought.
For more on this….

 Patriots-Tita…

 

Patriots-Titans Preview

Although Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses last year, expectations are even greater this season with the addition of deep threat Brandon Lloyd.

 

The Tennessee Titans‘ offense figures to be far less dynamic with Jake Locker starting his first game at quarterback, but their defense is showing signs it’s capable of slowing down the defending AFC champions.

 

Brady looks to lead the high-powered Patriots to their ninth straight season-opening victory Sunday when they visit a Titans team brimming with confidence after an encouraging preseason.

 

New England, which won its eighth AFC East title in nine years last season with a 13-3 record, is set to play its first meaningful game since falling to the New York Giants 21-17 on a last-minute touchdown in February’s Super Bowl. The loss obviously stung at the time, but the team has moved on.

 

“I honestly don’t think about last year much,” Brady said. “This is a whole different team and we’re in a different situation. You have to go out here and establish what this team’s going to be all about.”

 

This year’s team will once more revolve around Brady and the offense.

 

A year ago, the Patriots finished third in the league in scoring at 32.1 points per game, with Brady throwing for 5,235 yards — second-most in NFL history — and 39 touchdowns.

 

Wes Welker led the league with 122 receptions for 1,569 yards, and Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez created the NFL’s best tight end tandem, combining for 169 catches, 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns.

 

New to the mix is Lloyd, who had a league-best 1,448 receiving yards in 2010 for Denver. He has been reunited with former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who was the offensive coordinator with the Patriots from 2006-08.

 

“We are developing as an offense and we’re trying to integrate as much of the running game and pass catchers as possible,” said Lloyd, who had 966 receiving yards last season with Denver and St. Louis.

 

With BenJarvus Green-Ellis now in Cincinnati, second-year backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen will play bigger roles in the running game.

 

“We have plenty of players that can make a contribution on offense,” McDaniels said. “Hopefully, every skill player that plays in the game has an opportunity to make some plays for us, whether that be in the backfield or tight end or at the receivers position.

 

New England’s offense didn’t show much in the preseason, scoring six touchdowns. Lloyd caught one pass and Welker had none, but this matters little to an established franchise like the Patriots.

 

“You have confidence that you can do it when it matters,” Brady said.

 

The Titans, meanwhile, had an impressive preseason and are hoping to bridge that success into the regular season.

 

Tennessee, which went 9-7 last year but missed a wild-card playoff berth on a tiebreaker, gave up the fewest points in the AFC in the preseason (16.8 per game) and led the league with eight interceptions after managing 13 a year ago. They also finished the preseason with 13 sacks compared to 28 last season, second-fewest in the NFL.

 

“You get a confidence going,” second-year coach Mike Munchak said of the preseason. “You start getting a confidence going in each other. To me, when you’re playing a game it doesn’t matter. It’s all about playing your best. I think our guys approached it that way in the preseason that we needed to establish an identity a little bit more that we can go and make those kind of plays.”

 

Munchak is turning the offense over to Locker, believing he gives the team its best chance to win the AFC South.

 

Locker, the eighth pick of the 2011 draft, threw for 542 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions coming off the bench in five games as a rookie. He beat out Matt Hasselbeck, who started all 16 games last year.

 

“By no means has this job been given to him,” Munchak said. “He’s earned it.”

 

Locker’s job will be much easier if Chris Johnson can rebound from the worst season of his career.

 

Johnson ran for a career-low 1,047 yards in 2011 after missing almost all preseason in a holdout before signing an extension. He insists reaching 2,000 yards for the second time is a goal.

 

“I’m ready to get ready for New England,” Johnson said.

 

The Patriots were 31st in total defense last year at 411.1 yards per game, but 15th in scoring at 21.4 points allowed. They’ve lost endsAndre Carter and Mark Anderson, who accounted for half of the team’s 40 sacks, but expect first-round picks Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower to contribute immediately.

 

While Munchak feels good about the way his defense is playing, the unit has been overwhelmed by Brady and company in the past.

 

In their last meeting in 2009, Brady passed for 380 yards and matched a career best with six touchdowns in a 59-0 victory. The Patriots have averaged 45.7 points in winning the last three matchups since a 24-7 loss in 2002.

 

The Patriots haven’t lost in Week 1 since 2003, and their eight-game winning streak in openers is tied for the fifth-longest streak in NFL history.

 

In last season’s opener, Brady threw for a team-record 517 yards in a 38-24 win over Miami.

Rondo: Key factor

Will the Celtics hop on Rajon Rondo’s back again this season?

For the final installment of this year’s Summer Forecast series, we wanted to close with a focus on the key element of the Celtics’ 2012-13 season, the one topic that will be in the spotlight more than any other, and the one that would ultimately dictate the success of this year’s team.

SUMMER FORECAST


We’re breaking up the summer doldrums by trying to predict exactly how the 2012-13 season will play out for the Boston Celtics.

We had to close with Rajon Rondo.

During our 15-part series, we’ve touched on a variety of key topics, including who will emerge as the team’s starting shooting guard, whether a rookie like Jared Sullinger is ready to make an immediate impact, and if this is the year that Boston finally gets a much-needed boost from its bench.

Along the way we also debated who would emerge as the team MVP and it was a landslide victory for Rondo. It’s not hard to see why: The 26-year-old point guard is vital to the success of the team and will be the focal point on a star-studded roster.

It also seemed appropriate to end with Rondo given the way the Celtics offseason played out. Sure, the team put its core back together and added some supplementary pieces, but the biggest story line was the departure of Ray Allen — officially ending the Big Three era. In the aftermath, Celtics coach Doc Rivers came out and again hammered home the notion that this Rondo’s team.

Our panel, which did a spectacular job carrying this series all summer long, nails it again with this one. We’ll let them do most of the talking. But one theme jumped out and it’s something we’ll spotlight here before passing the microphone.

The most intriguing aspect about Rondo is his continued growth and development. We’ve seen him morph from a deep-on-a-bad-depth-chart rookie to the spunky young point guard that defenses ignored on a championship team to now the focal point of a title-caliber team littered with Hall of Famers. And we’re all left wondering the same thing: What’s next?

Each year, Rondo has taken a step in his progression. Each year, he wows us with something new in his arsenal or an improvement in another area of his game. He’s come far in six seasons, but there’s this excitement about what still lies ahead.

And it’s with that growth that the Celtics jump on Rondo’s back a little bit more.

Read on as our panel explores the importance of Rondo.

Jason Terry’s mouth is ready to back up the guarantee that his latest tattoo suggests.

Jason Terry becomes a dedicated Boston Celtic

kaspakapaz/sports

Last week, we noted that the new Celtics guard modified his tattoo of the Larry O’Brien trophy to include Boston’s leprechaun logo. Terry, of course, got the original NBA championship trophy tattoo prior to the Dallas Mavericks’ run to the 2011 title.

Was the tattoo addition his way of guaranteeing a 2013 title for the Celtics? Duh. Of course it was.

WEEI.com reports that the always brash and confident Terry has officially guaranteed that the Celtics will be the 2012-13 NBA champions.

“There’s the lucky leprechaun,” he told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton during an interview Thursday at Canton’s Reebok Headquarters that will air Sunday night on Sports Final, “and he’s spinning the Larry O’Brien trophy, which we will win this year.”

“If I looked at our team and what they accomplished last year, they’re one game away. They’re one game away from going back to the NBA Finals, and I think they win it. This year, put a little ‘Jet Fuel’ into the mix, and I think we have the team.”

He furthered that sentiment in speaking with the Boston Herald.

“Where I’m at right now in my career — I can’t speak for the other guys — but where I’m at in my career, it’s about winning championships, and I got the taste. They let me taste it. They should’ve never let me taste it. And I got one, but as you know, the Celtics, they’re going for No. 18. And so I’m a big basketball fanatic. I’m a historian. I love the game, a student of the game. So I know what it means to put that uniform on. So I think we’ve got a good opportunity this year to win again.”

Terry’s swagger, surely, is music to the ears of Celtics fans. Maxing out confidence and expectations is the only way things can be done for a franchise with Boston’s history and with a roster that’s fully committed to winning now rather than building for the future. It’s a smart way for Terry, who signed with Boston back in July, to make a good first impression.

His assessment isn’t totally off-base either. Thanks to an eletric few months from LeBron James, a time that has seen him win his first NBA title and his second Olympics gold medal while capturing regular season and Finals MVP awards, it’s easy to forget that his back was against the wall in TD Garden, the Heat down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals. Indeed, it took a legendary performance from James in Game 6 to push the series back to Miami, where the Heat were essentially held even by the Celtics for three quarters before they finally pulled away in stunning fashion the fourth.

Had Chris Bosh not returned from an abdominal injury just in the nick of time, had James not put on that legendary performance, had one or two Celtics entered that series in slightly better health… the what if’s are seemingly endless for a Boston team that has been one of the league’s most successful playoff teams over the last five years. They’re always there, lurking, even after being written off multiple times.

Next year’s Celtics will be a new-look group thanks to the departure of Ray Allen and the addition of Terry, Courtney Lee and rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Jeff Green is also expected back after missing the entire 2011-12 following heart surgery. That, plus the evergreen trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo and the return of promising young guard Avery Bradley, puts the Celtics back into the mix once again.

On paper, Miami is still the clear favorite in the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers (everybody important is back), Brooklyn Nets (a totally re-tooled roster), Chicago Bulls (assuming Derrick Rose returns sooner rather than later) and the Philadelphia 76ers (with the addition of Andrew Bynum) all loom as teams that could compete for homecourt advantage. But none of those teams, at least right now, would seem to give Miami as many problems as Boston.

Don’t be surprised if the Heat’s path to the Larry O’Brien trophy runs through Terry and the Celtics, just as he’s predicting, and don’t overlook how close the 2011 East finals really were. The Celtics might not be one of the three consensus title favorites — the Heat plus the two obvious Western Conference powers, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder — but they will need to be accounted for, once again.

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Athletic Glutes!!!

Athletic Glutes

For those who don’t believe the NBA’s regular season matters, look no further than the 2012 Boston Celtics. A clashing mixture of grizzled warriors, self-aware journeymen, and still developing flowers on the cusp of a grand spring bloom, this unit grew into their individual roles, remodeling from a top heavy bag of creaky bones to a versatile, well-muscled monster in just under six months. Very few basketball teams are able to squeeze out every single drop of talent like these Celtics just did. From Kevin Garnett’s resurgence as one of the NBA’s most valuable, and dominant, two-way forces, to Rajon Rondo making his final emphatic steps from economy to first class, to Ray Allen and Paul Pierce limping with gritted teeth through the most physically exerting action their sport has to offer, to timely gut checks from the likes of Greg Stiemsma, Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, and Brandon Bass, all that was asked for was delivered; in a way, watching it take place was even more fulfilling than a championship—although one of those would have been warmly embraced. Today, that group and their season is permanently in the rearview mirror, and neither is ever coming back. As Danny Ainge looks ahead to the team’s most significant offseason in half a decade, several options lay at his feet, the most (un)popular being for him to “blow it up.” I never understand what people mean when they use this term for the Celtics. When the Charlotte Bobcats traded Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, they blew it up. When the Portland Trailblazers fired their coach, hired a new general manager, and traded two veteran starters for a sack of unproven bench players and draft picks, they blew it up. When the Orlando Magic finally decide to deal Dwight Howard, they too will have blown it up. To me, blowing it up means purposefully sabotaging a team’s infrastructure by replacing key figures with the hope of building a brand new foundation through the draft and cleared cap room. Blowing it up is becoming bad on purpose so that one day you can be really good. When you just came within one cold eight minute stretch of breaking into the NBA Finals, a complete overhaul probably isn’t the answer, and because of two crucial mid-first round draft picks made in the past six years, I don’t believe Ainge could if he really wanted to. Read the rest of this entry »

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