TIME Baseball

The ‘Churro Dog’ Now Exists

Arizona Diamondbacks made the hot dog into a dessert

The Arizona Diamondbacks have finally come up with a way to make the ballpark staple hot dog into a dessert with their newest item, the Churro Dog.

The treat features a cinnamon and sugar coated churro topped with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce, and loaded onto a bun that looks like a Twinkie split in half.

Before the 2014 season the Diamondbacks unveiled the Dbat Dog, an 18-inch corn dog filled with cheese and bacon, which proved so popular with fans that Chase Field sold nearly 10,000 by the end of the season, according to ESPN.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Football

Steve Weatherford, Sidney Rice Will Donate Brains to Science

New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and former NFL receiver Sidney Rice both announced on Tuesday’s Fox and Friends that they will donate their brain to science research after their death.

Rice, who retired last July, estimated that he sustained eight to 10 concussions during his football career, the first of which he believes occurred when he was a child. Weatherford said he thinks he has sustained two concussions while in the NFL.

Weatherford said he’s doing it “more to help generations after us.”

“You study [Rice’s] brain, by comparison to my brain. Just because you [haven’t] had traumatic head injuries doesn’t mean you don’t need your brain studied because they’re going to have brains to compare to other ones. For me, it’s about overall health right now, but you want to help the future and pay it forward,” he said.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Philadelphia Eagles to Trade LeSean McCoy to Buffalo Bills for Kiko Alonso

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Jim McIsaac—Getty Images LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Dec. 28, 2014

The Philadelphia Eagles will trade running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The trade is expected to be made official next week, once the new league year begins on March 10. McCoy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on Twitter that a deal has not been finalized but discussions have been held.

McCoy, 27 in July, finished third in the NFL in rushing with 1,319 yards. He added five touchdowns and had nine runs of 20-plus yards. As a receiver, McCoy caught 28 passes for 155 yards.

McCoy is signed through 2017 and due a $9.75 million base salary in 2015 with an $11.95 million cap hit, according to Spotrac.com. Alonso is signed through 2016 and will make a $941,418 base salary with a cap hit of $1.17 million.

Rosenhaus and McCoy “will make noise about wanting an extension and/or declining to report” to training camp, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. La Canfora also reports Alonso had asked to be traded.

Over six seasons, McCoy, Philadelphia’s second-round draft pick in 2009, has rushed 1,461 times for 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns. He also has caught 300 passes for 2,282 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Alonso, 25 in August, sat out the 2014 season after suffering a torn ACL. In 2013, his rookie season, Alonso appeared in 16 games and recorded a team-high 159 tackles with two sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and four interceptions.

The Bills finished 9-7 in 2014 and hired former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan earlier this offseason. The Eagles finished 10-6. Both teams missed the playoffs.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Baseball

Yankees Employee Fired For Vulgar Tweets About Curt Schilling’s Daughter

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is honored before a game between the Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves on May 28, 2014 in Boston.
Boston Globe via Getty Images Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is honored before a game between the Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves on May 28, 2014 in Boston.

Yankees rep says they have "zero tolerance for anything like this"

The New York Yankees have fired a part-time ticket seller who allegedly sent vulgar tweets about the daughter of former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, according to NJ Advance Media.

Last week, Schilling sent out a tweet congratulating his daughter, Gabby, who will be a member of the softball team at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI next year.

On Sunday, Schilling published a blog post detailing how he received many vulgar and sexually explicit responses about his daughter. Schilling posted screencaps of several of the tweets, focusing on two of the men in particular and giving identifying features.

The Dennis and Callahan Show of WEEI later identified one of the men as Yankees employee Sean MacDonald.

The team’s director of communications, Jason Zillo, told NJ Advance Media that MacDonald was hired in January and had worked about 18 hours over four days so far before being fired on Monday.

“We have zero tolerance for anything like this,” Zillo said. “We’ve terminated him.”

In his blog post, Schilling explained why he decided to screencap and call out the people who sent the tweets.

“These boys have yet to understand one of life’s most important lessons,” he wrote. “In the real world you get held accountable for the things you say and if you are not careful that can mean some different things.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Football

NFL Salary Cap Hits $143.28 Million for 2015

An NFL shield logo is painted on the field before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2013.
Mark Cunningham—Getty Images An NFL shield logo is painted on the field before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2013.

Teams must be under the 2015 salary cap by March 10, when the new league year officially begins

The NFL’s salary cap for 2015 has officially been set at $143.28 million, the league announced Monday.

This is the second straight year in which the NFL’s salary cap jumped by $10 million. The 2014 salary cap was $133 million.

According to OverTheCap.com, the current leaders in estimated cap space are the Jacksonville Jaguars ($68.2 million), Oakland Raiders ($55.4 million), Cleveland Browns ($53.7 million), New York Jets ($51.4 million) and Indianapolis Colts ($45.2 million).

The new league year will officially begin March 10, which also marks the beginning of free agency. Teams must be under the 2015 salary cap by this date and have submitted any qualifying offers to restricted free agents.

Clubs must designate franchise or transition players by 3 p.m. CT on Monday. Negotiations may begin with unrestricted free agents on March 7.

Franchise tag values based on position were also announced.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME mma

After 14-Second Victory, Will We See a Rousey vs. Justino Matchup?

UFC 184: Rousey v Zingano
Jeff Bottari—Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images Ronda Rousey celebrates her victory over Cat Zingano in their bout during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2015

So much to say, so little time.

Like, 14 seconds.

No, that’s not the amount of time we have here to illustrate, assess, and sing the praises of Ronda Rousey — we could go on for an eternity, and we will, long after she’s finished decorating what might become the gaudiest resume in the annals of fighting.

That “14 seconds” was in reference to the slim chapter added this weekend to The Book On Ronda Rousey, because that’s all the time it took her to finish off the woman she’d described before their fight as “the toughest chick I’ve ever come across.” Cat Zingano contributed greatly to the brevity of the UFC 184 main event Saturday night, charging across the octagon at the start with a bold, if reckless, flying knee. From there we got a concise clinic on virtuosity, all courtesy of the champion.

A lot happened in those 14 seconds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and that it happened so quickly made its precision all the more astonishing. The flying knee missed, but Zingano used her momentum to grab hold of Rousey and drag her to the canvas. It was “Rowdy Ronda” who landed in the advantageous position, though, and that was no accident. She’s been scrambling at a high level ever since she was a teenage judoka with an Olympic dream. So of course Ronda ended up on top. She always does.

From there, Rousey’s transition to a submission hold was swift and a bit abra cadabra. Seeing her finish with an armbar was nothing new — that’s always been her weapon of choice, as inimitable and inevitable as a Kareem skyhook. She has ended nine of her 11 victories with armbars. But none from the past were quite like this one, which came out of nowhere, like a rabbit from a top hat. It was all legs and hips that trapped the right arm and in one instant snuffed out all nine of Cat’s lives.

Fourteen seconds. The fastest finish ever in a UFC championship fight, and tied for the fastest submission in the promotion’s two-decade history. It was Rousey’s eighth win in under a minute. Her last two fights have gone a combined 30 seconds. Her last three, barely a minute and a half.

To refer to Ronda Rousey as dominant — as we’ve done ever since she burst on the scene in 2011 and ascended to the top of the game in less than a year — now feels like understatement. We’re watching early Mike Tyson carving a path of destruction.

But where does Rousey Road lead from here?

“Rowdy Ronda” already has established herself as the biggest star in the UFC. The buy rate for UFC 184, the third pay-per-view Rousey has headlined, might not bear that out, but star power takes many forms. Ronda is the one athlete in the promotion whose appeal has crossed over into the mainstream, both in sports and in the culture at large. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and was in the ESPN Magazine Body Issue. Within the next few months, she has two major Hollywood movies coming out, Furious 7 and Entourage. Late-night talk show hosts from Conan to Kimmel love having her on. She’s burst out beyond the MMA bubble.

Inside the octagonal bubble, though, what’s next? Now that Rousey has taken out Zingano, there simply are no challengers left in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. There are only sell jobs. Carnival barker Dana White will be getting back to us about one of them someday soon, but on Saturday night Rousey took the opportunity to address the situation herself. “I was really impressed with Holly Holm tonight; I always like to test myself against that level of striking,” she said during an interview in the cage after her short night’s work. “And Bethe Correia, she’s undefeated; I’d like to take that ‘0’ away from her.”

Hmm. Let’s just say that if Rousey’s armbar skills were at the level of her salesmanship chops, she wouldn’t have a single win on her record. Sorry, Ronda, we’re not buying either Holm or Correia as a legitimate threat. Yes, Holly won in Saturday’s co-main event, but a split decision victory over Raquel Pennington doesn’t beget a title shot. And as for Bethe, sure, she’s beaten two of Rousey’s close friends, so there’s some heat there. But neither Jessamyn Duke nor Shayna Baszler was ranked, and neither have been any of the others on whom the Brazilian has built her 9-0 record. Because the UFC loves a good story line, Correia might indeed get the next shot. But she has no shot.

There’s only one fight for Ronda Rousey. The UFC knows this. It was no coincidence that on the same weekend that the 29-year-old Californian was defending her belt at the Staples Center, the company’s online streaming service, UFC Fight Pass, broadcast an MMA show held two miles away at Shrine Auditorium. Headlining the Invicta FC card was a 46-second KO by Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, who before Rousey came along was the alpha female of combat sports. She believes she still is, and she’s not alone in that belief. It’s time to find out.

There are complications. There always are complications (see Mayweather vs. Pacquiao). Justino competes at 145 pounds, Rousey at 135. And because Ronda is the champion of her division, both she and Dana White have insisted that a “Cyborg” bout must be contested at bantamweight. Justino, a 29-year-old out of Curitiba, Brazil, has said she’ll try to cut those extra 10 pounds for what would be the biggest fight in women’s MMA and one of the biggest in the sport, period.

Justino’s manager, George Prajin, told ESPN that “we’re working hand-in-hand with the UFC.” There’s even a plan in place: “Cyborg” will fight July 10 for Invicta at 145 pounds, then make the cut to 135 for another Invicta bout in the fall. If all goes well, Rousey vs. Justino could happen by the end of the year.

This makes some sense from a business standpoint, even as it applies to personnel matters. It allows Justino to take her time with the weight cut, and allows Rousey to go off and film a movie — a plan she alluded to in Saturday’s post-fight press conference, without revealing the film she’ll be working on. Invicta gets a couple more nights in the spotlight. The UFC maybe gets to squeeze in a less risky Rousey defense. Building up the suspense a little appears to work for all parties involved.

Well, almost all parties. The fans’ hopes must hang in the balance while all of this plays out. Maybe the Tyson Effect has numbed us to the lack of competition in front of Rousey. Maybe plopping down $60 to watch a 14-second fight is a worthwhile expenditure when you consider that you’re witnessing greatness unparalleled. But patience is a virtue not shared by sports fans. We see a fight for the ages on the horizon, and we want to reach that horizon posthaste. We want John McCathy to be standing in the octagon RIGHT NOW, flanked by Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and to say “Let’s get it on!” We don’t want to wait till year’s end to hear those words.

If I am “Cyborg,” I’m skipping dessert tonight. I am immediately declaring myself to be the love child of Mike Dolce and Jenny Craig. I am going to get to 135 pounds as quickly as I can, because that’s where the money is. And it might not still be there if I take my sweet time. Stuff happens. Maybe Ari Gold, fresh off the Entourage set, makes Rousey a Hollywood offer that takes the fight out of her.

The other reason Justino should act with haste: Rousey gets better and better every passing day. If this summit meeting had taken place around the time when Ronda defeated Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce belt, “Cyborg” likely would have been the favorite. (It cannot be ignored that one good reason the fight couldn’t have taken place was that, following a December 2011 fight in that same promotion, Justino tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.) Back then, Ronda was an Olympic medal-winning judoka with no standup game to speak of. Today, she’s rounded out her skill set and is an all-around elite fighter.

Factoring in the significant “Cyborg” weight cut, I’d now favor Rousey if this fight comes to be. But, actually, I’d prefer that there be no extra cut. If Ronda were to defeat a Justino who looks gaunt from a severe weight loss, it would taint the victory. There still would be doubts.

There’s no need for doubts. Rousey won her Olympic judo bronze medal at 70 kilograms, or 154 pounds. She began her MMA career at 145 pounds. Why not meet “Cyborg” halfway, at 140? That’d be a badass move, and Ronda is as badass an athlete as there is. C’mon, save us from having to cover our eyes while Rousey and Justino ravage overmatched stopgap opponents in the meantime.

Let’s make the thing happen, UFC belt be damned. The belt is a marketing tool, and this fight needs no such thing. It will sell itself. It already has. On a weekend in LA when a 145-pound Cris “Cyborg” Justino won in 46 seconds and 135-pound champ Ronda Rousey got it done even more quickly, in 14 seconds, the fight that needs to be made is right there in front of us. Dana White & Co. even can recycle a promotional line of recent vintage. The time is now.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

James Harden Kicks LeBron James in Groin During Rockets’ Win

Houston Rockets guard James Harden appeared to kick Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James in the groin during the third quarter of Houston’s 105-103 win in overtime.

The kick came after James tried grabbing the ball from Harden as Harden was falling backward. Once on the ground, Harden’s left foot appeared to kick James.

After the game, Cavaliers players were upset Harden wasn’t ejected for the kick.

Harden said his kick was not intentional.

James was also involved in an earlier incident with Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the third quarter. After Beverley tried to take a charge on James as he was driving to the hoop, James landed on top of Beverely before the two shoved each other.

James finished with a game-high 37 points, in addition to eight rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Cavaliers (37-24). He did miss two key free throws in overtime to seal the win for Houston. Harden led the Rockets (41-18) with 33 points, adding eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Beverley scored 12 points with five rebounds and five assists.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Marshawn Lynch on Super Bowl Call: I Was Expecting the Ball

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
Kevin C. Cox—Getty Images Marshawn Lynch handles the ball during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 1, 2015

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch expected to receive the ball on a crucial play with less than a minute to go in the Super Bowl, according to an ESPN.com report.

Lynch initially did not address reporters after the Seahawks 28-24 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, in which Seattle, trailing by four on second down from the one-yard line, opted for a quick Russell Wilson pass instead of a run to the prolific Lynch.

New England intercepted the pass, sealing the Patriots’ win.

On Sunday, Lynch spoke publicly about the play call on a television show in Turkey, where he and Carolina Panthers‘ Deangelo Williams were representing the American Football Without Barriers program.

“To be honest with you, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I was expecting the ball. Yes, I was expecting the ball. But in life, these things happen. Like I told a reporter after the game, it’s a team sport,” he said in the interview.

“I had no problem with the decision of the play calling. I mean, you know, I think it was more of a … how do I say this? When you look at me, and you let me run that ball in, I am the face of the nation. You know, MVP of the Super Bowl, that’s pretty much the face of the nation at that point of time.

“I don’t know what went into that call. I mean, maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get the ball. I mean, you know, it cost us the Super Bowl. I mean, I have full … I have full confidence in my teammates to execute that plan because we’ve done it so many more times. But would I love to had the ball in? Yes, I would have.

The Seahawks reportedly offered Lynch a ‘huge’ contract extension just hours before the Super Bowl. The free agent is reportedly considering retirement, however, and has not made up his mind about whether he’ll sign with another team.

In 2014, Lynch ran for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns to help lead Seattle to its second consecutive Super Bowl.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NBA

NBA Star Garnett to Give Away 1,000 Tickets

NBA: Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves
Jesse Johnson—USA Today Sports Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) pounds his chest before a game against the Washington Wizards at Target Center on feb. 25, 2015.

"Enjoy the game on me"

Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett has purchased 1,000 tickets to an upcoming Timberwolves game to give away to the team’s fans as a gesture of appreciation, the team announced Sunday.

Beginning at 9 a.m. central time Monday, fans can sign up to claim tickets for that evening’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers at a dedicated website. The first 500 fans to register will receive a pair of tickets.

Kevin Garnett: The Kid who changed the game (and the Timberwolves)

The 19-year NBA veteran played in Minnesota for 12 seasons before being traded to Boston prior to the 2007-08 season.

After spending a season and a half with the Brooklyn Nets, the 38 year old was traded back to his original team on Feb. 19 for Thaddeus Young.

“The response and support I’ve received from Wolves fans since my return to Minnesota has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been unbelievable,” Garnett said in a statement.

“As a gesture of thanks, I would like to treat some fans to Monday night’s game against the Clippers. Love you all, and thanks for the love. Enjoy the game on me.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Crime

Ex-Louisville Guard Chris Jones Pleads Not Guilty to Rape, Sodomy Charges

Duke v Louisville
Joe Robbins—Getty Images Chris Jones of the Louisville Cardinals looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the game at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 2015

Former Louisville guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of raping one woman and sodomizing another, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

A judge released Jones to home incarceration and set his cash bond at $25,000 after Jones appeared in court on Thursday. Two others, Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford, were arrested and charged in the incident, according to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Walker was charged with one count of rape and held on $75,000 bond. Tilford is charged with one count of rape and one count of sodomy. His bail is set at $100,000.

You can view a copies of Jones’ arrest warrants here. (WARNING: Contains graphic content.)

According to the warrant, Jones is accused of forcing one alleged victim to engage in vaginal and anal intercourse. The woman was able to identify Jones because she recognized him as a University of Louisville basketball player. She also said that Jones told her his name.

A second warrant states that Jones, and two other individuals, allegedly forced the second victim to have oral and vaginal intercourse. She also identified Jones from the basketball team.

The alleged incidents both occurred on Sunday, according to the warrant.

In a separate incident on Feb. 17, Jones had reportedly threatened a female student in a text message, according to a Louisville police report, saying he would “smack” her after she “messed up” his room. The woman did not want Jones to be prosecuted.

Jones was suspended from the Louisville program on Feb. 17. He returned to the team two days later and played 36 minutes and scored 17 points in the Cardinals’ 55-53 victory over Miami.

Jones was dismissed from Louisville’s basketball program on Sunday. No reason was given for Jones’ dismissal at the time, but Louisville said in a statement released Thursday that Jones had been dismissed when it learned that he had “violated a curfew and there were other accusations, without knowing specifics.”

Louisville said they can’t comment because of the ongoing investigation and will cooperate with authorities in the matter.

“While Chris is no longer a member our team, we understand that the charges are very serious,” the statement said. “We certainly expect our student-athletes to uphold certain standards, including their treatment of others.”

Jones, a senior, was the team’s third-leading scorer (13.6 points per game) and leader in assists (94) this season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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