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Super Bowl Has Rare Matchup Of Top 2 Regular-Season Teams

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This year’s Super Bowl features a rare meeting of the NFL’s top two regular-season teams.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs were the league’s only 14-game winners, marking only the sixth time since the 1970 merger that the teams with the best regular-season records met for the championship.

The last time it happened was after the 2013 season when Seattle defeated Denver 43-8 in a game between two teams with 13 wins.

The margin of victory in the previous five powerhouse matchups was 21 points, which was relatively typical of these meetings.

Washington’s 37-24 victory over Buffalo following the 1991 season was the closest game. San Francisco defeated Miami 38-16 at the end of the 1984 season, Dallas defeated Denver 27-10 at the end of the 1977 season, and Oakland defeated Minnesota 32-14 the previous year.

This is the 15th time that the top team from each conference has advanced to the Super Bowl since seeding began in 1975. The previous time followed the 2017 season when the Eagles won their first Super Bowl by defeating New England 41-33.

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Breaking Records At The Super Bowl

This is also the third time that both Super Bowl teams won at least 14 games during the regular season, though both Kansas City and Philadelphia needed victories in the extra 17th game to do so. In 1998, Atlanta and Denver did it in 16-game seasons, as did Miami and San Francisco in 1984.

The Chiefs and Eagles have also dominated the postseason, with neither team trailing in the standings. The only other times both Super Bowl teams did this were in 2004 (Patriots vs. Eagles), 1991 (Bills vs. Washington), and 1966. (Packers vs. Chiefs).

Patrick Mahomes will attempt to do something unprecedented in NFL history by winning the Super Bowl after leading the league in passing yards during the regular season.

During the regular season, Mahomes threw for 5,250 yards, 511 more than second-place Justin Herbert, the largest margin between first and second place since Kurt Warner beat Peyton Manning by 699 yards in 2001.

Manning is the only player to have reached the Super Bowl after throwing for more yards in the regular season than Mahomes, with a record 5,477 yards in 2013. In the Super Bowl, his Broncos were defeated by Seattle 43-8.

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An Impressive Tight-End Move By Mahomes

Before Mahomes, the player who led the league in passing yards made it to the Super Bowl six times, all losing. Tom Brady (2017 season), Brady (2007), Rich Gannon (2002), Warner (2001), and Dan Marino were the others (1984).

Andy Reid, the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, joins Dan Reeves as the only coach to have previously faced a franchise in the Super Bowl.

Reid led the Eagles to their second Super Bowl victory after the 2004 season before being fired at the end of the 2012 season. He quickly transformed Kansas City into a powerhouse and is now preparing for his fourth Super Bowl appearance as a head coach, making him the ninth coach to do so.

Reid will hope for better fortune in his rematch than Reeves did after the 1998 season against a Denver team, he led to the Super Bowl in 1986, 1987, and 1989 before losing all three. In the Super Bowl, the Broncos defeated Reeves and the Atlanta Falcons 34-19.

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Many Catches And Touch Downs By players

Two other coaches defeated their former teams in the Super Bowl: Jon Gruden led Tampa Bay past the Raiders following the 2002 season, and Weeb Ewbank led the Jets to a huge upset over the Colts following the 1968 season.

Nick Sirianni will join Doug Pederson, Reid, and Dick Vermeil as the sixth franchise to reach the Super Bowl under four coaches.

The Raiders, 49ers, Colts, and Rams had four coaches, while the Broncos had a record five.

Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs has a playoff career that is perhaps only surpassed by Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time.

Kelce has 127 catches for 1,467 yards and 15 touchdowns in 17 career playoff games. Rice was the only player with more than 151 catches for 2,245 yards and 22 touchdowns in 29 playoff games.

The Mahomes-Kelce connection is also one of the best, with 13 touchdown passes in the playoffs trailing only Tom Brady’s 15 to Rob Gronkowski.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

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NEW ORLEANS — Miami’s Jimmy Butler was one of four players tossed after a scuffle early in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 106-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

“I don’t think I should have gotten thrown out of the game,” Butler said, stressing that he was attempting to keep Pelicans player Naji Marshall away from Kevin Love when he placed his hand on Marshall’s throat.

Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and two Pelicans, Marshall and Jose Alvarado, were dismissed when fisticuffs broke out with 11:19 remaining and Miami leading 84-81.

The altercation erupted when Pelicans star player Zion Williamson stole the ball from Butler, and Love grabbed Williamson to prevent an uncontested layup.

As Love whistled for a foul, Williamson fell to the ground, and Marshall raced in to protest how he was fouled.

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“I wasn’t tripping about K-Love because he actually protected me on my fall,” Williamson told ESPN. “All of a sudden I see Butler kind of lunging towards Naji, so I’m trying to get there like, ‘Yo, relax, like what’s going on?'” Williamson stated.

However, Williamson stated that the intensity demonstrated throughout the standoff is “hard not to love.”

“It’s people competing — people riding for their teammates,” he stated.

Butler suggested that Williamson failed, saying Williamson “knew he shouldn’t have done that.”

“Then (Marshall) came and put his hands on K-Love, and that’s how it escalated,” Butler said.

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

Butler confronted Marshall, and they briefly held each other by the neck while teammates and coaches gathered around them.

“It was just, I think, a misunderstanding of the play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I believe Zion stumbled on the play when K-Love grabbed him, and it appeared worse than it was. And then everyone overreacted.

“I believe they misinterpreted that K-Love threw Williams down. On K-Love’s best day, I doubt he could knock him down.”

After it looked like officials had successfully separated the teams, Bryant and Alvarado continued arguing near the scorers’ table and exchanging blows as a fresh scrum built around them.

Emotions rose in the stands as well.

As Alvarado and Bryant scuffled, a fan wearing a Pelicans jersey began hurling objects at Miami players, prompting security to remove him. Soon later, a supporter wearing a Heat jersey was led out.

Officials watched videos of the altercations for several minutes before settling on the four ejections. Love was given a common foul.

Marshall and Alvarado, both popular reserves known for their aggressive play, received a standing ovation as they exited the court. Marshall and Alvarado exited the arena without speaking to the media.

The NBA may impose penalties, including fines or suspensions, in response to the altercation. However, Spoelstra stated that the energy on the court that resulted in the melee is “what competitors want.” This is what the supporters desire. It’s what everyone desires, and it occasionally boils over, regrettably.”

butler

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“We’ll just see what happens in the league,” Spoelstra stated. “Everybody’s intentions were right at first but you get a bunch of competitive people out there and it kind of boiled over.”

Butler said he wouldn’t be shocked if some of the heat from Friday’s game spills over to the team’s next matchup in Miami on March 22.

“We’ll beat them the next time, too,” Butler added. “We are just a better squad.

“Our team is so ready for anything that anybody’s thrown at us,” he said. “We’re playing some amazing basketball together. It doesn’t matter who we’re up against right now. “It is that time of year.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

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Major League Baseball players have encountered an unexpected issue ahead of the new season: a defective outfit.

Players and spectators have previously expressed issues about the new jerseys worn this season, and on Thursday, as spring training games began, MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark expressed concern over the pants.

“A lot of the rhetoric is confirmation that the trousers are see-through,” Clark stated, according to ESPN. “It’s been a continuing conversation, with each day bringing something new that appears to make less sense than you’d like.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“Universal concern,” Clark remarked, “is the pant.”

The jerseys for the new uniforms, designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, have already received criticism from fans for seeming cheap, lightweight, and having an unappealing appearance. Meanwhile, a Baltimore Orioles player described the new jerseys as “a knockoff” from TJ Maxx.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve landed in a place where the uniforms are the topic of discussion,” Clark said.

According to a news release, Nike collaborated with over 300 athletes to create a more breathable, lightweight, and stretchy jersey.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

The corporation has yet to react to CNN’s prior request for comment on criticism of the uniforms, and Fanatics has declined to comment.

Players wore them during last season’s All-Star Game, and Nike and MLB reported that they were favourably received.

“They’re designed to be performance wear rather than what’s traditionally worn, so they’ll be different,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said of the uniforms.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“I think after people wear them a little bit, they’re going to be really popular.”

This year’s Opening Day is set for March 28, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play two regular-season games in Seoul on March 20 and 21, marking the first MLB games in South Korea.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The Russian Olympic Committee has lost its appeal against the IOC’s suspension.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that it had denied the ROC’s appeal against the October suspension. The IOC protested the ROC’s incorporation of four sports bodies representing eastern Ukrainian regions, calling it a “breach of the Olympic Charter.”

The IOC already forbade Russia from entering competitors for the Paris Olympics under its flag, and the suspension did not deter the IOC’s efforts to have Russians compete as neutral athletes without national emblems.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC executive council’s suspension “did not violate the principles of legality, equality, predictability, or proportionality,” according to CAS.

The ROC stated that the CAS verdict, which has yet to be published in full, “practically copied out the IOC’s arguments” and overlooked the Russian case. The ROC has the right to file an appeal with the Swiss Supreme Court, but it has yet to state whether it would do so.

“This CAS ruling is yet more evidence that civil and sports discrimination directed against Russians has reached an unprecedented scale in the run-up to the Games in Paris,” the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) stated in a statement.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

According to the ROC, CAS “confirmed that the Olympic team of Russia, Russian athletes and officials will not take part in the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris, just as it excluded any possible cooperation by the ROC with athletes who the IOC recognises as meeting the criteria of so-called neutrality.”

The IOC stated Friday it was “pleased” with the CAS’s decision that its suspension of the ROC was legal.

The decision by the ROC to incorporate the sports bodies for the four Ukrainian regions “constitutes a breach of the Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the (National Olympic Committee) of Ukraine, as recognised by the IOCin accordance with the Olympic Charter,” the IOC stated.

The suspension in October ended the ROC’s right to receive IOC funds, but it did not affect the many Russians competing in international sports as neutral competitors to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics as part of an IOC-supported effort.

According to prior IOC statements, they would compete in the Paris Games as Individual Neutral Athletes.

olympic

Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC has already stated that it will ban “athletes who actively support the war” in Ukraine, but it does not require Russian athletes to speak out against it. According to the IOC, the suspension eliminates the need to speak with the ROC when deciding which athletes to select.

The ROC stated on Friday that the neutral athlete protocol included “humiliating criteria” and that athletes who agreed to them risked breaking Russian law.

A similar Individual Neutral Athlete arrangement applies to athletes from Russia’s ally Belarus, although the NOC is not suspended. The IOC stated that it will discuss athlete selection for Paris with the Belarusian NOC.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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