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Utah, Washington to play Saturday after Arizona State game canceled – ESPN

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30383795/utah-washington-play-saturday-arizona-state-game-canceled

Utah, Washington to play Saturday after Arizona State game canceled - ESPN

Utah and Washington will play Saturday in Seattle, the Pac-12 announced Tuesday.

The game came together just hours after Utah’s game against Arizona State was canceled, leaving both the Utes and the Huskies without an opponent this week. Washington’s Apple Cup rivalry game against Washington State was canceled on Sunday.

“The scheduling of this game is consistent with the Conference’s commitment to provide opportunities for student-athletes through maximum scheduling flexibility while still prioritizing health and safety,” the Pac-12 said in a statement.

When the Pac-12 announced that it would allow nonconference games, it included a stipulation that should any Pac-12 team become available by Thursday of a given week, a nonconference matchup would be called off in order to prioritize a conference game. That rule would have prevented a BYU-Washington game from taking place, had the schools’ early-week discussions led to an agreement to play.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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NFL hires first Black female game official, Maia Chaka – Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/nfl-hires-first-black-female-game-official-maia-chaka

NFL hires first Black female game official, Maia Chaka - Fox News

The NFL has hired Maia Chaka as the first Black female official in league history. She will work games during the 2021 season.

“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Chaka enters the NFL after working in the Pac-12 and Conference USA. She was selected in 2014 for the NFL’s Officiating Development Program, which identifies college officiating talent with the goal of showing them some of the same experiences as NFL officials before determining if they have the ability to succeed as an NFL official.

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“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance — including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program — have earned her a position as an NFL official,” said Troy Vincent, who oversees the league’s football operations. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

A graduate of Norfolk State, Chaka earned her bachelor’s in education in 2006. She is a health and physical education teacher in the Virginia Beach public school system.

The NFL did not specify which officiating position she will work.

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HELLO BROOKLYN! Nets likely landing spot for Blake Griffin after Pistons buyout – NetsDaily

https://www.netsdaily.com/2021/3/5/22315692/hello-brooklyn-nets-likely-landing-spot-for-blake-griffin-after-pistons-buyout

HELLO BROOKLYN! Nets likely landing spot for Blake Griffin after Pistons buyout - NetsDaily

After working a buyout with the Pistons Friday, Blake Griffin appears headed to Brooklyn, according to various reports on Twitter.

Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the buyout story, also reported that the Nets were among the leaders for the six-time All-Star’s services.

The Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be among the teams Griffin will be considering for his next stop, sources tell ESPN.

Griffin, 31, is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams, sources said.

Assuming the buyout and waiver takes place Friday, Griffin would be an unrestricted free agent by Sunday, the day of the NBA All-Star game … and the end of the Nets three 10-day contracts held by Andre Roberson, Tyler Cook and Iman Shumpert.

Griffin is close to DeAndre Jordan, with whom he played eight years as part of the Clippers‘ “Lob City.” He also worked out with the Nets “Big Three” in Los Angeles last summer and played two years in Detroit with Bruce Brown.

Griffin was owed $76 million over this year and next. No word on how much Griffin will receive, but if he requires more than a vets minimum deal to sign, the Nets have the taxpayers MLE (as long as Joe Tsai is willing to pay more in luxury tax.) Yossi Gozlan, Hoopshype’s capologist did the math…

Griffin, of course, has lost more than a bit of his once staggering athleticism to injury. Over the past several years, he’s had issues with both knees, his right big toe, his right ankle, with the most recent event, arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in April 2019, leading to a big drop-off.

Kevin Pelton of ESPN wrote this following news of the impending buyout…

As has been much noted, Griffin has yet to successfully dunk this season. Per analysis of data from Basketball-Reference.com, Griffin is the only player taller than 6-foot-7 to attempt more than 150 shots this season without a single dunk.

Last season, when he was limited to 18 games, Griffin averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 boards and 3.3 assists. Here’s video all his field goals from 2019-20.

This season, he played only 20 games before the Pistons shut him down late last month. He was averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Two years ago, when he was last healthy, Griffin averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 boards and 5.4 assists while shooting 36.2 percent from deep.

“If Blake is bought out, there would be significant interest, but how much of a savings is Blake willing to take?” executive for an Eastern Conference playoff team told HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto last month. “He could provide a spark off of the bench. If he’s healthy, he could start if the team had a need, but he’s probably more of a rotation player right now.”

Similarly, Zach Lowe on a recent episode of his “Lowe Post” podcast suggested that Griffin, with his BBIQ, post and passing, could fit as a back-up 5.

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If Seahawks trade Russell Wilson, Zach Wilson could be good replacement – Field Gulls

https://www.fieldgulls.com/2021/3/5/22315298/film-room-zach-wilson-russell-wilson-qb-byu-nfl-draft-2021-highlights-video-scouting-report

If Seahawks trade Russell Wilson, Zach Wilson could be good replacement - Field Gulls

Nobody wants to trade Russell Wilson. I would never support trading Russell Wilson. He is objectively a Top 5 quarterback and through the first half of the 2020 season, he was the best quarterback in the entire NFL according to Pro Football Focus. While this may be the case, the rumors of him wanting to be traded are certainly unsettling. In this video breakdown, I wanted to look at the case where if Russell Wilson was traded to another team – say the New York Jets – who the Seattle Seahawks should take to replace him. In my opinion, if they could grab BYU’s Zach Wilson, he could be a great replacement for Russell Wilson and a perfect fit in Shane Waldron’s offense.

For those that don’t know Zach Wilson, he was BYU’s quarterback this past season. He finished the season with a 73.5 percent completion rate, 11 yards per attempt, 33 touchdowns, and only 3 fumbles. Wilson was the model for big plays combined with excellent decision-making. Plus his upside with his ability to create off-script really stood out to me on film.

Due to Zach Wilson’s meteoric rise from a relatively unknown prospect to where is now, I think it will take a Top 3 pick in order to select him. I mentioned the New York Jets in the introduction and at #2 overall that is roughly where I see him going. I know Russell Wilson “wants” to play for the Chicago Bears, but they simply don’t have the draft capital to get the Seahawks high enough to pick a great quarterback like Zach Wilson. Again, I’m certainly not advocating the Seahawks trade him, but if they did, you could do a lot worse than Zach Wilson on a rookie contract in Shane Waldron’s offense.

This video is almost 9 minutes long. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Edit: If the video above does not play, please click “Watch on YouTube” or follow this link!

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Tom Brady-signed rookie card sells for pretty penny, with another gaining steam – Fox Business

https://www.foxbusiness.com/sports/tom-brady-signed-rookie-card-millions-auction

Tom Brady-signed rookie card sells for pretty penny, with another gaining steam - Fox Business

Tom Brady’s rookie card is the latest hot commodity on the sports card market.

A signed 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket card featuring Brady sold for $1.2 million on PWCC Marketplace on Thursday night. The card was graded a Near-Mint 8 by Beckett’s Grading Services and the autograph was graded a 10.

PWCC Marketplace said it was the highest price for a football card ever.

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James Park, the CEO of Fitbit and a Brady fan, purchased the card.

“Given Brady’s uncontested status as GOAT in football, this card is an important piece of sports history and of any collection and I’m incredibly excited to now own 1 of only 100 of Brady’s best rookie card,” Park said in a statement.

“I lived in Boston for 10 years and so am a huge fan of Brady. The last Super Bowl win was just a mind-blowing accomplishment. I’ve also had a love of collecting cards since I was a kid.”

JOE MONTANA HUDDLES WITH NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE CONTROLLED BY FANS

There were only 100 of that particular card printed.

Additionally, Leland’s is selling another Brady rookie card from the same manufacturer.

A signed 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket featuring Brady, which has a blue background, hit the auction block last week. There are already nearly 50 bids in with the current bid up to more than $742,000.

Tom Brady-signed rookie card sells for pretty penny, with another gaining steam - Fox Business

A signed 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket featuring Brady, which has a blue background, hit the auction block last week. (Leland’s)

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This particular card, different from what was sold on the PWCC Marketplace, was graded an 8.5 by Beckett Grading Services and the autograph was graded a 9.

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Recap: Denver Nuggets complete perfect road trip, beat Indiana Pacers 113-103 – Denver Stiffs

https://www.denverstiffs.com/2021/3/4/22314512/recap-denver-nuggets-indiana-pacers-113-103-nikola-jokic-michael-porter-jr-nba-domantas-sabonis

Recap: Denver Nuggets complete perfect road trip, beat Indiana Pacers 113-103 - Denver Stiffs

The Denver Nuggets won three in a row on the road coming into tonight and looked to make it a perfect 4-0 on the road with a win against the Indiana Pacers. They got out to a big start and their big three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr delivered once again. Indiana ends up fading late on a second night of a back to back and spoiled good games from Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Denver wins 113-103 and heads to the all star break riding high.

The Nuggets got things rolling out of the gate behind Will Barton and Porter Jr who were draining threes every time down. Denver jumped out to a 13-2 lead before Indiana found some momentum. They also got some lucky breaks, including a Turner bank three, and rattled off a 15-0 run to take the lead and force coach Michael Malone into a timeout. The run made it to 17-0 before Monte Morris finally got a basket, that didn’t stop the disappearing act on defense that Denver was performing though. Things tightened up down the stretch of the quarter, Denver was able to put the clamps on everyone except Sabonis who kept the Pacers in front. The Nuggets closed out the quarter strong though and pulled back within one after one.

P.J. Dozier gave Denver life off the bench to start the second, first knocking down a three and then following it up with a mid range jumper to put Denver back in front. The Nuggets were back in rhythm, particularly with their passing which was superb and resulting in high percentage looks at the rim. Denver got the lead all the way up to seven but they still struggled to contain the Pacers on the offensive glass which kept Indiana within striking distance. When Denver’s starters came back in their offense oddly stalled out a bit but Indiana was really cold from the floor, save for some second chance points (again) there wasn’t much to speak of for Indy’s offense. Denver found their range from three with the half drawing to a close, a Joker three put them up by twelve with just over two minutes to go. Indiana got some life right at the end of the half and pushed back but after two quarters they still trailed by nine.

Denver was sloppy to start the second half but it didn’t hurt them out of the gate because the Pacers still couldn’t seem to get the lid off the rim. The game continued to be sloppier than joe with the quarter progressing and Denver’s lead hovering around ten points. The sloppiness eventually caught up with them and Indiana went on a 14-2 run to tie the game and force Malone into a timeout. Jokic was really struggling on the night but he started to find a groove with his passing and got some easy buckets for his teammates. That, along with Dozier and Vlatko Cancar, sparked a run to put the Nuggets back up by eight. Indiana really struggled to string together good possessions on their end which kept the Nuggets lead from getting smaller. At the end of the third quarter Denver was still up by eight.

Denver’s offense kept cooking to start the fourth and kept them in front. The Pacers weren’t going to go quietly though and found a way to string together some baskets to keep the Nuggets from closing it out early in the fourth. Porter was not going to be deterred from a win and started knocking down some threes which made the lead grow to fourteen. Around the halfway point of the quarter he erased a Malcolm Brogdon layup with a gorgeous block which led to a Murray dunk and it felt like that was the nail in the coffin. Still, Indiana gave it one last push and got back within eleven with two minutes to go. Denver slowed things down to make the Pacers play against the clock and they couldn’t overcome it. Denver wins 113-103

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