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 Football

Adrian Peterson Can Return to NFL After Suspension Overturned

Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson arrives for a hearing for the appeal of his suspension in New York on Dec. 2, 2014.
Seth Wenig—AP Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson arrives for a hearing for the appeal of his suspension in New York on Dec. 2, 2014.

But it's not yet clear if he'll return to Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson‘s suspension has been overturned by a judge.

In December, the NFL Players Association filed a 75-page lawsuit on Peterson’s behalf against the NFL in U.S. District Court in an attempt to get the suspension overturned. Judge David S. Doty heard arguments in the case on Feb. 6.

The NFL can appeal Judge Doty’s decision overturning the suspension. The league said it would review the ruling.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a statement on Thursday following the judge’s ruling:

“This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness. Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights. This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.”

Peterson was suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the NFL season in November after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault for allegedly hitting his four-year-old son with a switch. The plea came after Peterson was indicted in Texas on charges of child abuse in September, after which he was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

The running back only played one game in 2014.

Peterson appealed the NFL’s indefinite suspension to an arbitrator appointed by commissioner Roger Goodell, but the appeal was denied on Dec. 12.

Under the terms of the suspension, Peterson would not be reinstated until at least April 15, at which point he would have been required to petition Goodell for reinstatement.

Despite the judge’s ruling, Peterson’s future with the Vikings remains unclear. Though he is under contract for next season, the three-time first-team All-Pro running back told ESPN he is “still uneasy” about playing in Minnesota in 2015. Peterson’s agent reportedly had a dispute with Vikings executive Rob Brzezinski at the NFL combine.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.


Cleveland Browns Refresh Logo by Simply Brightening Orange Helmet

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Larry French—Getty Images The Cleveland Browns warm up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Dec. 28, 2014

For the Cleveland Browns life is all about orange.

The Browns unveiled a new logo today, tweaking the helmet over words logo they have used recently by giving the helmet a different orange color and adding brown to the facemask. The team also announced that it will follow up the fresh branding with new uniforms, which are set to be introduced April 14.

Ahead of the new logo rollout, some expected Cleveland to use an actual logo, something different from an orange helmet. History even had fans wondering if we might see a return of Brownie the Elf. Instead, we received just a different orange helmet than in the past.

“Our updated helmet logo is reflective of today’s modern Cleveland,” the team said in a statement. “The design honors the past while evolving into the future. The iconic brown and white stripes stand tall over the orange helmet — a new orange color that matches the passion of the Dawg Pound.”

The new brown facemask is said to represent the “strength and toughness” of Cleveland.

While the new orange is “brighter and richer,” the brown color remains unchanged. The wordmark of Cleveland Browns that sits under the helmet comes in a bolder font than before.

This, the 30th anniversary of the Dawg Pound, was reason enough to change that group’s logo, too. The old-school animal face was refreshed with a modern, growling dog over the words Dawg Pound, all set in a box full of the new orange.

Don’t expect any major changes for the helmet. While we’ll see the brighter orange mostly on our television screens replacing the older orange helmet, the April uniform reveal will continue to give us a logo-less helmet.

This article originally appeared on SI.com


Marshawn Lynch Files Trademark for ‘I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined’

Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade
Christian Petersen—Getty Images Marshawn Lynch addresses the media at Super Bowl Media Day inside U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix on Jan. 27, 2015

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch filed a trademark last week for the phrase, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Mike Baker of The Seattle Times reports.

The phrase was made famous during Super Bowl media day when Lynch answered every question with the phrase to avoid a fine by the NFL.

Lynch was fined $100,000 for not complying with the league’s media policy earlier last season and often repeats the same phrase in interviews.

Last year, Lynch answered questions with, “I’m just about that action, boss.” He applied for a trademark for that phrase, and now sells items with “About That Action Boss” on his website. Lynch first trademarked “Beast Mode” in 2008, after his rookie season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Adrian Peterson Says He’s ‘Still Uneasy’ About Returning to Vikings

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings arrives for a court hearing on charges of child abuse at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Nov. 4, 2014 in Conroe, Texas.
Bob Levey—Getty Images Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings arrives for a court hearing on charges of child abuse at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Nov. 4, 2014 in Conroe, Texas.

Minnesota Vikings running back said he felt being put on the Commissioner's Exempt list was an "ambush," in an interview with ESPN

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson told ESPN he is “still uneasy” about the idea of returning to the team next season.

Peterson said he felt the organization working with the NFL to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list in September was an “ambush” and made him question the support he has from the Vikings.

There were people that I trusted, who knew exactly what was said, that weren’t heard from [in the decision-making process],” he said.

“It shows you can have all the loyalty toward someone and toward an organization, a fan base, but when things really shift and it’s you or the empire, they’re gonna put you out on a leash.”

Peterson, who sat out the final 15 games of last season following an indictment on child abuse charges, is currently serving an indefinite suspension. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault and is eligible to apply for reinstatement on April 15. The NFLPA is suing the league to get him immediately reinstated.

Last week, owner and president Mark Wilf said he supports Peterson’s return to the team. On Wednesday, Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman said he wants Peterson to return to in 2015 and expects the running back to be a Viking.

“I know there are a lot of people in the organization who want me back,” he told ESPN. “But then again, I know the ones who don’t. It’s a difficult transition, and it’s not just about me. I have a wife who was able to sit back and see how people in Minnesota said this and said that, how media in Minnesota took the head of the situation with my child, and were digging into things that weren’t even relevant … This came from the state I love so much, that I wish to bring a championship to? This is how they treat me when I’m down and out? You kick me? My wife [and I], we’ve had several conversations about me returning to Minnesota, what the best options are. If I left it up to her, I’d be somewhere else today, and that’s with her weighing everything. It’s a lot for me to weigh; she understands that. But there are some things that I’m still uneasy about.”​

Peterson is under contract with Minnesota for next season and is set to earn a $12.75 million base salary.

In his last full season, 2013, Peterson ran for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games.

This article originally appeared on SI.com


Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.
Donald Miralle—Getty Images Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.

Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are pursuing the possibility of building a joint stadium in the Los Angeles area, the teams announced on Thursday.

The plan would be to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson that they would share, according to the Los Angeles Times. The venue would be privately financed.

Both teams will continue to look to get a deal done for new stadiums in their home markets and are looking for public subsidies, according to the Times. From the joint statement:

We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.

The teams said they understand the NFL’s rules for relocation and “respect the right of the NFL’s owners to decide on all Los Angeles-related relocation issues.” All relocations most be approved by three-fourths of the league’s owners.

Both teams are currently in year-to-year leases in their home stadiums and have long been the subject of relocation talk.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Launches Searing Verbal Attack on Fan via Twitter

"Get better at life!"

Colin Kaepernick, the talented but often criticized quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, lashed out at a fan on Twitter on Wednesday.

The outburst started after Kaepernick posted this on his timeline:

To which the fan, Stephen Batten, replied:

That was enough to prompt Kaepernick to let loose with a volley of tweets going after Batten.

It is unconfirmed if Batten indeed had eight followers when he sent out the first tweet, but as of publishing he now has over 1,500 followers — and that number is climbing fast.

Batten has yet to respond to Kaepernick’s broadside, while the quarterback retweeted the support he received from fans and media alike, including the famous sportscaster Erin Andrews.

This is the second time in two weeks that a controversial athlete has become embroiled with a fan on social media. Last Monday, embattled Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III got into a heated argument with a fan on Instagram.

TIME Football

NFL Reportedly Fires Employee for Selling ‘Deflategate’ Footballs

Deflated Footballs
Charles Krupa—AP Tom Brady throws a pass during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough, Mass. on Jan. 18, 2015.

An NFL employee reportedly sold footballs used in the AFC Championship Game

An NFL employee has been fired after selling footballs involved in the Deflategate controversy, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

The balls were supposed to be donated to charity, Schefter reports, but were instead sold for profit.

“There are a few different league officials, according to people I spoke with today, at the game, who handled the footballs,” Schefter said on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, according to ProFootballTalk. “League employees: League Employee 1, League Employee 2 and League Employee 3, we’ll call them, for lack of a better phrases, whose jobs are to handle the balls on game day. And League Official 1, he’s also supposed to take the balls out of play and then send them off to a charitable endeavor to raise money for a charitable endeavor that the league is embarking upon.

“Only on this day, and since that day, the league has since fired that employee for allegedly selling off some of those footballs on the side. So that employee — League Official 1 — has been fired since the AFC Championship Game.”

McCANN: Aaron Hernandez’s Blackberry is key to Day 9 of trial

The NFL is investigating whether the Patriots intentionally deflated their footballs during the AFC Championship game. It was originally reported that 11 of the 12 balls were between one and two pounds per square inch under-inflated, but subsequent reports have indicated that only one ball was two PSI under the limit.

ESPN reported Tuesday that a Patriots staffer tried to give an official an unapproved kicking ball during the game in question.

Browns ‘proud’ of Johnny Manziel’s decision to enter rehab​

Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann notes that the Patriots could argue the NFL’s investigation should be dropped if Schefter’s report is accurate.

At a press conference on Jan. 24, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick attributed the low pressure levels of the footballs to atmospheric conditions. Quarterback Tom Brady denied altering the balls “in any way” on Jan. 22. Owner Robert Kraft said at a press conference before the Super Bowl that the league should apologize to his team if the investigation reveals no wrongdoing.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME France

Watch Chelsea Soccer Fans Push a Black Man Off Paris Metro

The group of men then began chanting "We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it"

A video showing a group of Chelsea soccer fans harassing and pushing a black man off a Paris Metro train has gone viral.

The short clip shows a group of rowdy men, fans of the English Premier League team Chelsea, chanting on a metro train while it was stopped at Richelieu–Drouot station on Tuesday evening when Chelsea was in the city for a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain. The video then shows a black man attempt to step onto the train with them, before being twice blocked and shoved by the men. The men are then shown singing and chanting the words, “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”


The clip, which was first published by the Guardian, has drawn widespread condemnation, particularly from English soccer fans.

Chelsea released a statement following the video’s release, saying: “Such behavior is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders.”

British expatriate Paul Nolan filmed the video on his mobile phone after he realized the disruptive men were English. He told the BBC that before the clip began the men had also made references to World War II. Nolan said it was unclear whether the men were intoxicated, adding “I think there was a certain amount of pack mentality.”

Read next: Watch the Abuse This Jewish Man Gets as He Walks Through Paris

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Football

Recruiting Site Rivals Starts Monitoring Its First Sixth-Grade Prospects

The recruiting website Rivals.com has begun actively monitoring its first two sixth grade college football prospects ever, it announced on Friday.

The site added two Class of 2021 prospects to its database: Running back Tyson Thornton and quarterback Daron Bryden. Thornton is a 5’11” RB from Massachusetts, while Bryden is listed as a 5’2″ pro-style quarterback from Connecticut.

Rivals.com said the two were “so impressive” at the recent NextGen Boston camp for sixth, seventh and eighth graders that they “were moved up to compete against the eighth grade prospects.”

From Rivals.com:

Thornton is a 5-foot-11, 167-pound running back with great explosiveness and surprisingly good body control for a kid his size and age. Bryden, a small quarterback with a big arm is incredibly composed and very polished — and he can make every throw. And with a father standing nearly 6-foot-7, he may soon have the body to match his arm.

The site does not currently have any Class of 2020 players in its database. There are 15 eighth graders from the Class of 2019.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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