Helio Castroneves wins Indy 500 for record-tying fourth time

By Erin Walsh  |  Last updated 5/30/21

Helio Castroneves beat Alex Palou to win his record-tying fourth Indy 500 title on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Brazilian then scaled the fence for his victory celebration in front of about 135,000 fans, the most spectators at a sporting event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 2:

33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Team Needs = QB, TE, CB, OT, S
Selection – Pat Freiermuth, TE Penn State

34. New York Jets: Team Needs = QB, WR, RB, TE, CB
Selection – Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota

35. Atlanta Falcons: Team Needs = QB, TE, LB, EDGE, RB
Selection – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame

36. Miami Dolphins: Team Needs = WR, OL, EDGE, RB, LB
Selection – Creed Humphrey, C Oklahoma

37. Philadelphia Eagles: Team Needs = QB, WR, CB, LB, TE
Selection – Rondale Moore, WR Purdue

38. Cincinnati Bengals: Team Needs = OL, WR, IOL, CB, EDGE
Selection – Terrace Marshall Jr., WR LSU

39. Carolina Panthers: Team Needs = QB, CB, TE, LB, OT
Selection – Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB Syracuse

40. Denver Broncos: Team Needs = CB, OT, IOL, IDL, QB
Selection – Wyatt Davis, OG Ohio St.

41. Detroit Lions: Team Needs = WR, OT, LB, IOL, CB
Selection – Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas

42. New York Giants: Team Needs = LB, WR, EDGE, CB, TE
Selection – Nick Bolton, LB Missouri

43. San Francisco 49’ers: Team Needs = IOL, CB, S, QB, EDGE
Selection – Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

44. Dallas Cowboys: Team Needs = OT, CB, EDGE, LB, IDL
Selection – Eric Stokes, CB Georgia

45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Team Needs = QB, TE, CB, OT, S
Selection – Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota St.

46. New England Patriots: Team Needs = TE, WR, QB, OT, LB
Selection – Brevin Jordan, TE Miami (FL)

47. Los Angeles Chargers: Team Needs = OT, CB, WR, LB, IOL
Selection – Josh Myers, C Ohio State

48. Las Vegas Raiders: Team Needs = EDGE, IOL, LB, S, TE
Selection – Jevon Williams, S Oregon

49. Arizona Cardinals: Team Needs = CB, RB, IOL, S, TE
Selection – Javonte Williams, RB North Carolina

50. Miami Dolphins: Team Needs = WR, OL, EDGE, RB, LB
Selection – Jabril Cox, LB LSU

51. Washington Football Team: Team Needs = QB, WR, CB, OT, LB
Selection – Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR USC

52. Chicago Bears: Team Needs = QB, OT, WR, IOL, WR
Selection – Kyle Trask, QB Florida

53. Tennessee Titans: Team Needs = EDGE, IDL, WR, CB, TE
Selection – Christian Barmore, DL Alabama

54. Indianapolis Colts: Team Needs = OT, WR, CB, TE, EDGE
Selection – Hunter Long, TE Boston College

55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Team Needs = OT, CB, WR, IOL, RB
Selection – Daviyon Nixon, DL Iowa

56. Seattle Seahawks: Team Needs = EDGE, OT, IOL, RB, TE
Selection – Quincy Roche, EDGE Miami (FL)

57. Los Angeles Rams: Team Needs = OT, EDGE, IOL, LB, CB
Selection – Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn State

58. Baltimore Ravens: Team Needs = EDGE, WR, OT, S, TE
Selection – Jaelon Darden, WR North Texas

59. Cleveland Browns: Team Needs = CB, IDL, WR, EDGE, LB
Selection – Alim McNeill, DL NC State

60. New Orleans Saints: Teams Needs = CB, EDGE, LB, IDL, WR
Selection – Elijah Moore, WR Ole Miss

61. Buffalo Bills: Team Needs = LB, OT, EDGE, CB, TE
Selection – Tommy Togiai, DL Ohio State

62. Green Bay Packers: Team Needs = OT, WR, CB, IDL, LB
Selection – Paulson Adebo, CB Stanford

63. Kansas City: Team Needs = IOL, OT, WR, LB, IDL
Selection – Trey Smith, OG Tennessee

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Team Needs = EDGE, IDL, IOL, WR, RB
Selection – Ronnie Perkins, EDGE Oklahoma

To continue to Round 3 of the 2021 NFL Mock Draft click HERE.

Five mid-major teams poised for Cinderella runs in March Madness

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports
By Shane McNichol  |  Last updated 2/18/21

Much of this college basketball season has focused on the typical blue-blood programs. That is the case every year, yet this year there has been a different reason for all the media attention paid to the usual suspects. Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, and Kentucky are each having their worst season in recent memory.

While there’s plenty to dissect in those situations, that discourse has taken away from another key element of college hoops. This season is littered with mid-major programs fully prepared to make an impact in March. Gonzaga is undefeated and atop the rankings. Houston is highly-ranked with just two losses to its name.

Deeper into the college basketball rankings, there are programs preparing for their Cinderella runs. I’ve culled five of those teams below, with apologies to the group sitting atop the Atlantic-10. St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, VCU and Richmond are all capable of winning games in the Big Dance, but it’s unclear which of them will be able to earn a bid to the tournament.

San Diego State

Last year will largely go down as the forgotten year in college basketball. We didn’t crown a champion or even seed and bracket the NCAA Tournament. Much of the accomplishments of last season will be forgotten to time.

We should not forget that San Diego State was undefeated deep into February and primed to be a factor in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Brian Dutcher lost three starters from that team, but still has the Aztecs in position to secure an at-large bid in this season’s tournament. With a swarming defense and the two returning starters from last year, Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell, combined to post 30 points per game, San Diego State could make noise in this year’s bracket.
Drake senior forward ShanQuan Hemphill dunks the ball in the second half against Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at the Knapp Center. Bryon Houlgrave/The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Drake

The Bulldogs received a ton of attention as one of three remaining unbeaten teams in college basketball before losing at Valparaiso in early February. That attention was plenty deserved as Darian DeVries has built a strong team in Des Moines. Even after losing leading scorer ShanQuan “Tank” Hemphill to a broken foot, Drake is in a strong position to make its way off the bubble and into an at-large bid. Sunday’s win in overtime in the second game of a back-to-back against Loyola-Chicago was a crucial victory to keep Drake trending in the right direction.

There’s optimism that Hemphill could return in time for the conference tournament or the Big Dance, which would be a massive break for the Bulldogs. Slotting him in next to Roman Penn, a Siena transfer who leads the offense from the point guard position, makes this Bulldog team dangerous.
Dec 15, 2020; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Loyola Ramblers head coach Porter Moser directs his team during the game with the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center.  Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

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Report: Two-time MVP Candace Parker to leave L.A. Sparks for Chicago Sky

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 1/27/21

For the first time since she starred for the Tennessee Lady Vols ahead of a legendary WNBA career, Candace Parker will play for an American team other than the Los Angeles Sparks. 

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Wednesday that Parker is making the move from the Sparks to the Chicago Sky. 

The Sparks selected Parker first overall in the 2008 draft and served as her only WNBA home for 13 consecutive seasons. With Los Angeles, Parker became an all-time great who helped the Sparks win the 2016 WNBA title. She earned Most Valuable Player honors in 2008 and 2013, Finals MVP in 2016, and the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Award during her tenure with Los Angeles. 

She’s the only player in WNBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP the same season. 

Shelburne explained that Parker, 34, wanted to play for her hometown of Chicago during the twilight of her career even though the Sparks wished to re-sign her this offseason after she finished the 2020 campaign third in MVP voting. Parker has averaged 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds during her WNBA career. 

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Dodgers set record with 11 runs in first inning of Game 3, knock Kyle Wright out

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Larry Brown | Last updated 10/14/20

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost the first two games of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, but they set out to change that in Game 3 on Wednesday with a record-breaking start.

The Dodgers batted around in the first inning of Game 3 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, put up 11 runs, and knocked Braves starter Kyle Wright out of the game.

Corey Seager got the scoring started with an RBI double in the first. Will Smith made it 2-0 with an RBI double. Then the Dodgers really started to roll with two outs. Cody Bellinger walked, Joc Pederson followed with a 3-run home run to make it 5-0, and then Edwin Rios went back-to-back with a solo home run to make it 6-0.

Wright was finally removed after walking Chris Taylor. The six runs he allowed were as many as the entire team gave up in their previous six postseason games. He was charged with a seventh, meaning he was responsible for more runs allowed in one inning than the Braves had allowed throughout the playoffs prior to the game.

Grant Dayton entered in relief of Wright and didn’t fare much better. He allowed a walk and run-scoring single to make it 7-0. And then things got even worse with a Max Muncy grand slam to make it 11-0.

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Over 20,000 fans attend NASCAR All-Star Race

Over 20,000 fans were in attendance at Wednesday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway to watch fan-favorite Chase Elliott pull off another win. The event is believed to have the highest attendance of any sporting event in America since the pandemic began.

The event was set to allow up to 30,000 spectators, and while there was no official count, it’s estimated that there were at least 20,000 fans who were socially distanced throughout the venue. NASCAR has been slowly ramping up attendance, as 10,000 fans were at Road America in Wisconsin last week.

The All-Star Race is typically held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it was moved to Bristol Motor Speedway because Tennessee allowed Speedway Motorsports to sell a percentage of the seats. Bristol can hold up to 140,000 people, so the event was set to max out at around 21% of total capacity. While fans were required to wear masks while entering the venue and moving around, they were allowed to remove their masks once they were seated.

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By Blake Harper | Last updated 7/16/20

July 1 in sports history: One last, magical fight for ‘The Bird’

Here’s a look back at notable sports news on July 1 through the years:


1982: In 1976, rookie right-hander Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was a phenomenon with Tigers, finishing 19-9 and winning AL Rookie of the Year. His strange gyrations on the mound and his talking to the baseball and assorted other goofiness made him a fan favorite.

By 1980, though, Fidyrch was out of the big leagues, done in by an arm injury. Hoping to work his way back to the bigs, he signed on with Boston’s Pawtucket, Rhode Island, minor league team.

On a magical night, nearly 9,400 fans somehow packed the Pawtucket ballpark designed to accommodate 5,800 to watch “The Bird” pitch against the Yankees’ Triple-A farm team. Slumping Dave Righetti, the 1981 AL Rookie of Year who had been sent down to the minors, started for Columbus.

Nearly 125 media members had credentials for the game — mostly to see Righetti. “I have never seen anything like it,” Columbus manager Frank Verdi told the Boston Globe.

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By John Banks | Last updated 6/26/2

NASCAR welcomes fans to June 14 Homestead-Miami race, June 21 Talladega event

Pockets of NASCAR fans won’t have to wait long to watch live racing in person despite concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, NASCAR announced its plans to welcome spectators to Sunday’s (June 14) Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and to the June 21 GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Per an official statement, NASCAR explained all fans will be screened upon arrival, they will be required to wear masks and they are asked to respect social-distancing guidelines at six feet apart. Social distancing will be enforced by track staffs.

Spectators won’t have infield access. While tailgates are prohibited, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway will both offer concessions. Forty-four RV camping spaces will be made available for the GEICO 500 atop the Alabama Gang Superstretch. Screening for those spots begins Friday, June 19.

The NASCAR statement added that 1,000 South Florida military members will be honorary guests for the Dixie Vodka 400. Up to 5,000 fans can attend the GEICO 500. Ticket information is found on the official websites for those venues.

To continue reading the full article, click HERE.

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 6/9/20

Evander Holyfield interested in charity boxing match with Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield is open to a charity boxing match with Mike Tyson.

Both Tyson and Holyfield have been posting videos on social media that hint at boxing returns, and they seem to be building toward a fight with each other. Holyfield says he would do it so long as Tyson asks.

“If I ask him, it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,” Holyfield told the BBC. “I don’t want pressure on me that ‘you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him’.”

On May 6, Holyfield even posted a message on Instagram saying he would be returning to the ring for a charity boxing match.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Larry Brown | Last updated 5/25/20

Belmont Stakes moved to June 20 without fans as race is shortened

The Triple Crown series won’t be business as usual in multiple ways this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported by ESPN and other outlets, the New York Racing Association announced Tuesday that the Belmont Stakes has been rescheduled from June 6 to June 20. The race has been shortened from 1½ miles to 1⅛ miles, and fans will not be permitted to attend.

NYRA president Dave O’Rourke offered the following statement:

The Triple Crown’s other races were previously rescheduled. The Kentucky Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5, and the Preakness Stakes will serve as the final leg on Oct. 3.

“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times. While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020. Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy.”

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/19/20