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Posted at 12:19 AM ET, 10/31/2014

2014 Breeders’ Cup preview

The biggest extravaganza in horse racing is here! The Breeders’ Cup is set to take place on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. When all is said and done, an unrivaled $26 million will have been won in 13 total races. Here are the details (all times Eastern):


TV: NBC Sports Network, 5-8 p.m.

Juvenile Turf

Time: 5:25 p.m. Distance: 1 mile. Purse: $1 million. Favorite: Hootenanny (3-1 odds)

Dirt Mile

Time: 6:05 p.m. Distance: 1 mile. Purse: $1 million. Favorite: Goldencents (6-5).

Juvenile Fillies Turf

Time: 6:50 p.m. Distance: 1 mile. Purse: $1 million. Favorite: Sunset Glow (7-2).


Time: 7:35 p.m. Distance: 1 1/8 miles. Purse: $2 million. Favorite: Untapable (5-2).


TV: NBC Sports Network, 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. NBC, 8 p.m.-9 p.m.

Juvenile Fillies

Time: 3:05 p.m. Distance: 1 1/16 miles. Purse: $2 million. Favorite: Angela Renee (3-1).

Filly & Mare Turf

Time: 3:43 p.m. Distance: 1 1/4 miles. Purse: $2 million. Favorite: Dank (5-2).

Filly & Mare Sprint

Time: 4:21 p.m. Distance: 7 furlongs. Purse: $1 million. Favorite: Judy the Beauty (5-2).

Turf Sprint

Time: 5:05 p.m. Distance: 6.5 furlongs. Purse: $1 million. Favorite: No Nay Never (9-2).


Time: 5:43 p.m. Distance: 1 1/16 miles. Purse: $2 million. Favorite: Daredevil (5-2).


Time: 6:22 p.m. Distance: 1 1/2 miles. Purse: $3 million. Favorite: Flintshire (3-1).


Time: 7:01 p.m. Distance: 6 furlongs. Purse: $1.5 million. Favorite: Secret Circle (9-2).


Time: 7:40 p.m. Distance: 1 mile. Purse: $2 million. Favorite: Toronado (5-2).


Time: 8:35 p.m. Distance: 1 1/4 miles. Purse: $5 million. Favorite: Shared Belief (9-5).

The Classic is the marquee race of the event and, arguably, of the whole year in horse racing. It features four horses vying to be considered the top three-year-old of 2014. Shared Belief, the undefeated favorite, missed the Triple Crown races with a foot injury. California Chrome won this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, while Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. Bayern came on strong after the Triple Crown races and won the Pennsylvania Derby, which included California Chrome, on Sept. 20.

Washington Post horse racing columnist Andrew Beyer picked Shared Belief to win the Classic.

By Des Bieler  |  12:19 AM ET, 10/31/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  breeders' cup

Posted at 10:52 PM ET, 10/30/2014

The return of LeBron James was suitably grandiose

LeBron James played the first game of his second go-round with the Cavs Thursday, and it was, not surprisingly, quite an occasion. Hours before the game against the Knicks, fans began swarming around Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

The crowd was treated to a concert featuring Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. Also, a 10-story-high banner of James was unveiled, directly across the street from the arena.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

If anyone had any doubts about whether James would reprise his signature pre-game chalk toss, that banner provided a pretty big hint that he would. Another indication came from LeBron’s Twitter account  a couple of hours before the game, when a tweet revealed the results of a poll to see if Cavs fans wanted to see the familiar ritual.

So, yeah, it was a lock that this would happen.

(Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Before that moment, James and the rest of the team were introduced to a fired-up home crowd. Here’s how that looked:

Nike, never a company inclined to miss a marketing opportunity, debuted this ad, designed to make people feel so good about LeBron’s return to the literal embrace of Clevelanders that they would rush out and buy some of his sneakers.

Then the game started! And James … was not very good. Oh, his first basket was pretty nice.

The problem was that it was LeBron’s only basket. Of the entire first half. Amazingly, the Return of the King resulted in 1-for-9 shooting, 4 points and 4 turnovers in the first 30 minutes.

So, really, it was a win-win for everyone. The fans on the scene got something about which to get extremely excited, and those observing from afar were given all sorts of material for snarky comments.

Oh, and it was also a win for the Knicks. That’s right, a team nobody takes very seriously, that got blown out the night before on its home court, went to Cleveland and trolled everyone in attendance.

By Des Bieler  |  10:52 PM ET, 10/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James

Posted at 09:55 PM ET, 10/30/2014

Eric Decker invites feedback from Jets fans — and, go figure, it wasn’t all positive

Having been raised in Minnesota and having spent his first four NFL seasons in Denver, Eric Decker may or may not have been prepared for a fan base armed with a potent blend of New York attitude and decades of frustration. Either way, he’s a lot more familiar with it now.

On Wednesday, the wide receiver, in his first year with the Jets, invited fans to give him some feedback on their feelings about his new team.

Of course, Decker was looking for positive feedback, and, initially, that’s what he got.

But as word of Decker’s invitation spread, it wasn’t long before plenty of folks took the opportunity to give Decker decidedly less heartwarming comments about his 1-7 squad.

The #JetsDieHardFan tweets continued well into Thursday, and they continued the mix of supportive and hilariously bitter, but you get the point. One person who took note of the negativity was Decker’s wife, country singer Jessie James, who had her own messages to post on Twitter. Per, they went like this:

You think he really cares what y’all think haters? He’s laughing his ass alllll the way home…. Life is pretty good here. Can’t complain ….

I would have embedded the original tweets, but for some reason, James disabled her Twitter account at a later point on Thursday. Can’t imagine why.

By Des Bieler  |  09:55 PM ET, 10/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Eric Decker, New York Jets

Posted at 08:24 PM ET, 10/30/2014

Re-live Game 7, this time in glorious Taiwanese animation

Well, baseball season has come and gone, and that’s left are quickly fading memories of an exciting Game 7 of the World Series. Well, fear not, because those zany Taiwanese animators are here to remind you of how that do-or-die affair went down! Well, at least you’ll get their over-the-top take on the game, which is pretty darn entertaining.

The team at TomoNews takes shots at the Game 7 starters, “old man Hudson and not-so-young Guthrie,” takes full advantage of Pablo Sandoval’s “Panda” nickname, mocks “yoga pants” Hunter Pence’s high black socks, and depicts Madison Bumgarner as arriving on the field “Terminator”-style — i.e., naked inside an energy field. The only thing missing is Chevy Guy, but perhaps even the Taiwanese animators feel he’s been made fun of enough.

Take a look:

// $("#movideo-player-element").player({ apiKey: "movideoNM-Tomo-US", appAlias: {flash:"NMTomoUS-universal-flash",android:"NMTomoUS-universal-android",ipad:"NMTomoUS-universal-iPad",iphone:"NMTomoUS-universal-iPhone"}, mediaId: 152107912904704 }); //

By Des Bieler  |  08:24 PM ET, 10/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval

Posted at 07:00 PM ET, 10/30/2014

Where’s ‘Thursday Night Football?’ It’s on NFL Network, not CBS, now

It’s moving day for “Thursday Night Football.”

The nationally televised game, which features a Week 9 matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, will be shown on the NFL Network and NOT on CBS. In fact, for the next eight weeks, the game will be shown solely on the NFL Network.

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are not going anywhere, however. They’ll do the commentary along with Tracy Wolfson.

“TNF” games were simulcast on both CBS and the NFL Network for the first eight weeks.

By  |  07:00 PM ET, 10/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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