On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas kick things off with some words for Ray Lewis, who felt the need to preach about Odell Beckham Jr.’s relationship with God. After that ethering, with coaches and the media making a big deal out of voluntary NFL workouts and players either attending (Odell Beckham Jr.) or not (Khalil Mack), OOB breaks down the actual significance of offseason workouts in “The Step-Back.” Gil, who always says what he means, has a problem with the very concept of “voluntary” in the NFL. Sticking with football, the team tackles some Patriots drama following a report that coach Bill Belichick “chastised” star tight end Rob Gronkowski in front of the team last season over his TB12 workouts. Is it the beginning of the end for New England’s empire or just a smart coaching tactic? Next, the crew reacts to admitted steroid user Mark McGwire saying he could’ve hit 70 home runs clean. Let’s just say the panel is skeptical on several fronts. Plus, Gil and Pierce break down the fascination with hypothetical sports debates and Gil shares his favorite one. Finally, after police at LAX arrested Packers receiver Trevor Davis for making a joke about packing a bomb, OOB runs down the top five stupidest reasons that athletes have been arrested. With so much f*ckery in sports, making this list is harder than winning a championship. And as Gil gives a heartwarming explanation for his Cavs sweatshirt…Adam quickly corrupts the moment in true degenerate gambler fashion.
Rest in peace to the Clippers’ Wesley Johnson, who was the victim of a homicide by James Harden crossover last night (check out the full story on the Complex: http://www.complex.com/sports/2018/03/james-harden-broke-wesley-johnson-ankles-clippers-spirit-with-crossover-of-year). Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds team react to the move…and the long pause…and the look…that have everyone talking, and Gil shares the story of the time Dwyane Wade made a fool of him on the hardwood. Keeping it in the NBA, the guys discuss the anti-tanking memo Commissioner Adam Silver sent owners, and Gil explains how to identify and punish tankers. Moving to the NFL, the gang gets into the reported beef between star tight end Rob Gronkowski and the the Patriots, who tried to prevent him from praising the TB12 Method, Tom Brady’s diet and workout plan. Then, with Johnny Manziel telling the story of the time the Browns caught him in Vegas when he was supposed to be in Cleveland treating a concussion, OOB ranks the top 5 ways athletes have tried to hide their f*ckery. Gil shares a couple amazing Danny Fortson stories you do not want to miss. Finally, following a report that Russia will allow fans to bring weed, coke, and heroin to the 2018 World Cup if they have supporting medical documents, the team imagines how that’ll play out, wonders how you get a heroin prescription and if there are ulterior motives behind this, and decides if they would risk bringing drugs to Putin’s party.
On today’s show, special guest Kenyon Martin joins Gil and the #OutofBounds gang to talk the day’s biggest sports stories. The convo kicks off with the looming NBA trade deadline and how trades affect team chemistry. Next, the crew discusses the three-year extension Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams just signed with the Clippers. Did he sell himself short in seeking stability and security? With late breaking news that the Cavs are trading Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and their protected first-round pick in 2018 to the Lakers for Larry Nance, Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, our “In Play” look at Cleveland’s big nationally-televised Sunday matchup in Boston — when the Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s jersey — is extra spicy. Adam and Pierce break down the impact that the trade will have on both teams, as well as how it will affect the big game. Finally, following a report that Rob Gronkowski could retire from football to become a Hollywood action star, the team weighs in on how good he’d be, and also makes picks for athletes who would be great flexing muscles on the big screen.
Further proof that Kyrie Irving has emerged as a sneaker-selling star for Nike Basketball, the brand is using Christmas Day as a platform to showcase the 4-time All-Star's new signature sneaker.
In Goove 101, the league's top handler displays his skills with the rock, with some help from Rob Gronkowski, Jayson Tatum and 9-year old hoop prodigy Jahlil “Jah Swish” Owusu. The spot, which also features music by an orchestra, highlights the “Ankletaker” Kyrie 4, which is available now at nike.com and Nike Basketball retailers.
If we asked you to guess who you think the NFL’s “most liked” player is at the moment, who would you pick? At this exact second, it would be a little bit hard to argue against J.J. Watt. The guy has single-handedly helped raise more than $25 million—and counting!—for the city of Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
It would also be hard to argue against a guy like Drew Brees, who has meant so much to the city of New Orleans over the course of the last decade. There are also a handful of players—Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, and Matt Ryan come to mind—who have been fantasy football beasts over the last few seasons, which makes them plenty “likable” in the eyes of many NFL fans out there.
But the guy who is actually the “most liked” NFL player? According to a recent poll conducted by E-Poll, it's…
That’s right. The Cardinals wide receiver, who is now entering his 14th season, topped the list of the NFL’s most likable players. The poll was based on a variety of factors, including “awareness,” “dynamic,” and “exciting.” While Fitzgerald didn’t land at the top of the rankings for all of those factors, he did rate very favorably among them all. That helped him land the title of “most liked” player in the NFL.
NFL fans aren’t the only ones who like Fitzgerald: according to a report that came out this week, Fitzgerald has gotten into the habit of offering to pay fines for defensive players who hit him high instead of going low and taking out his legs. Lions safety Glover Quin revealed that Fitzgerald is more than happy to pick up the tab for opposing players if it means extending his career.
“He’ll tell you on the field, like, 'Hey, bro, I’ll pay your fine for you,'” Quin said. “Like, 'Don’t hit me in the legs.' He’ll rather you hit him up high. Don’t take his legs, because obviously, you need your legs to run.”
The NFL might not necessarily want to hear that, due to all of the controversy surrounding concussions these days. But it sounds like Fitzgerald has turned into a real people-pleaser both on and off the field.
The 2016-17 NFL season featured one of the most exciting endings in NFL history. After falling behind 28-3 to the Falcons in the third quarter of Super Bowl 51, the Patriots came storming back to win 34-28 in overtime in improbable fashion. It helped Tom Brady earn his fifth Super Bowl victory, and it solidified the Patriots as the cream of the crop in the NFL. It also robbed Matt Ryan and the Falcons of the chance to win their first Super Bowl ever.
It’s going to be tough for the NFL to top that ending this season, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to try. On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Patriots will host the Chiefs on the NFL’s opening night and jump start what should be another exciting season for NFL fans. As we prepare to dive headfirst into NFL action, we decided to step back for a moment and assess what should be the biggest stories heading into the new NFL year. Here are the three storylines to look out for this season if you are an NFL fan.
Can anyone beat the Patriots?
The Patriots may have won the Super Bowl in February, but that didn’t stop them from making a few major moves during the offseason to get even better than they already were. They worked out a trade with the Saints that netted them speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and they also signed former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a deal in free agency. Additionally, they’ll get Rob Gronkowski back after he sat the end of last season with a back injury.
The Patriots did suffer a huge setback during the preseason when wide receiver Julian Edelman went down with a season-ending ACL injury. But even without Edelman in the lineup, New England is still the team to beat in the AFC this season. They should be able to cruise to the top of the AFC East and clinch a playoff berth early, and once they’re there, they’ll likely be favored to win all of their postseason games as they head towards another Super Bowl. The Raiders, Steelers, and potentially even the Broncos, Titans, and Ravens could present problems for the Patriots. But they will once again be the team to beat.
Will the Falcons be able to bounce back from their devastating Super Bowl loss?
Historically, teams that lose in the Super Bowl struggle during the following season. Cam Newton and the Panthers made a trip to Super Bowl 50 in February 2016, but after losing to the Broncos, they went just 6-10 last season and finished at the bottom of the AFC South while their division rivals, the Falcons, went to the Super Bowl.
This season, it will be the Falcons trying to overcome a Super Bowl hangover—and it’s not going to be easy for them to do. Unlike the Panthers, the Falcons probably should have won the Super Bowl if not for a big blown lead during the second half of the game. So they’re going to have to shake off whatever negative feelings they have heading into the season and find a way to put Super Bowl LI in the past.
The good news for the Falcons is that they’ve got all of their major weapons back this year. Matt Ryan will still be lining up under center and playing quarterback. Julio Jones will still be presenting matchup nightmares for opposing cornerbacks at the wide receiver position. And Devonta Freeman, who signed a contract in August making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL, will still be running all over the field for the Falcons. Plus, Atlanta will begin playing at their brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which should take their minds off what happened in the Super Bowl.
But still, it’s hard to imagine them not thinking about the Super Bowl loss from time to time, and it could impact them this season. And if they struggle because of it, could you even blame them?
Which rookie quarterback will prove to be the best of the bunch?
There are at least four rookie quarterbacks that could see some playing time this season. DeShone Kizer has already been named the starting QB for the Browns after beating out Brock Osweiler in training camp. But Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was taken No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes could play in regular-season games as well.
None of the four are expected to have the kind of impact that then-rookie Dak Prescott had for the Cowboys last season. But then again, no one saw Prescott having the impact he did, so who knows? Maybe Kizer will end up leading the Browns to a 13-3 record and a playoff berth just like Prescott did for Dallas last season!
Er, or maybe not. But chances are, at least one of these rookie QBs is going to make his team’s fan base very happy this season. Which one ultimately has the most success is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be fun to see how productive they are when they finally take the field for their respective teams.