All posts by KUPDATES

Todd Gurley’s Suspension Extended by the NCAA, UGA Appeal Denied

It only took a memorabilia deal gone wrong for Todd Gurley, running back for the Georgia Bulldogs to get suspended and now, the NCAA has extended this suspension by two more games. The punishment now stands at suspension for four games, 40 hours of community service, and reimbursement of part of the $3000 the player said he received from memorabilia dealers in return for signing his autographs on merchandise.
 
In the midst of all the drama, the NCAA is being ridiculed for taking this too far, when everyone knows that the news was blown sky-high only because a certain dealer was unhappy with what he got out of Gurley. Now, with the body extending Gurley’s suspension, the voices against the decision, as well as the NCAA’s high-handedness are getting louder. Even when news of the earlier suspension had spread, several people came forth and expressed their displeasure. “I don’t condone breaking rules. But no one will ever convince me that Todd Gurley getting paid for signing his name harms anyone,” tweeted Mike Greenberg. Bomani Jones tweeted his opinion treading the same line too, stating, “I don’t know what Gurley’s situation was, but it sounds like he needed dough. Either way, being offended by this is befuddling to me.”
 

 

The absence of Gurley in the ranks hasn’t seemed to affect the Bulldogs’ run though, and this should be good news for the team’s fans. The team’s coach Mark Richt chose not to focus on the ruling, rather putting his efforts and thoughts into the team’s performance. “Right now we are not really worried about that. We’re just really trying to stay focused on getting ready for this game. That’s all we can do right now,” he said, pointing out to the upcoming game against Florida. When asked what his personal reaction to the Gurley situation was, Richt again chose not to make any strong statements, instead saying, “My reaction is, quite frankly, that we could only control certain things. My goal is to control how well we practice and how hard we practice.”
 
On his part, Gurley simply wants to get back to doing what he does best. In a statement released on the Georgia Dogs website even before the University of Georgia filed an appeal with the NCAA, Gurley stated, “I want to thank the University, coaches, teammates, and the Bulldog Nation for their patience and support. I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made, and I can’t thank the University, my coaches, and teammates enough for supporting me throughout this process. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field with my teammates.”
 
The NCAA denied UGA’s appeal, and means that Gurley, a proven star in college football and possibly a future NFL star, would play his next game on November 15th when his team takes on the Auburn Tigers. Here’s hoping everyone involved has learned a lesson from the episode!
 

 

The Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard Scuffle Story

It isn’t every day that Kobe Bryant gets into a scuffle. The man is well respected in the NBA and, even more than his game, is appreciated for his cool head and single-minded drive to win in a clean manner. His differences with Dwight Howard have been discussed often, and as a former Lakers teammate who now plays for the Houston Rockets, finally came to blows on opening night.
 
Some might say the incident was a long time coming, if the mood on the court was anything to go by. The crowds in the stands booed Howard as soon as he was introduced and this of course may have played on his temperament, even if he denied it all with just a smirk. The disturbing chanting and comments from fans disappointed in him continued well into the game and Howard did his best to ignore it. The showdown came in the fourth quarter of the game with Howard grabbing a rebound and Bryant confronting him to block a pass. Howard used his elbows in a bid to free up some space and the second time he made the move, his elbow connected with Bryant’s jaw. This set off Bryant and then it all went down to some serious trash talking. Officials rushed in to separate the two though it did not appear the clash would get physical at that point. The damage was done though and while Bryant picked up a personal and a technical foul, Howard was assessed a flagrant 1 foul as well as a technical.
 
After the game, Bryant played down the incident saying, “It’s fantastic. That’s the game. That’s all part of the game. Elbows are part of the game. Trash talking is part of the game. I don’t know where the NBA became so sensitive. It’s all part of it.” He explained his reaction to Howard’s moves too. “He elbowed me in the face, and I’m gonna let him know, I don’t like that. It’s that simple,” Bryant said. So what were his thoughts on Howard then? “You can’t help but like him,” a smiling Bryant said. “He’s a teddy bear. You can’t help but like him. I really meant that. He’s a really nice kid. But you know, when you’re competing, you have a goal in mind. I know one way to get there. There’s certain times when we don’t see eye to eye, but that wasn’t one of those situations.”
 

[fvplayer src=”https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/D0B15A3E771139109532086493184_3feba7c861e.0.1.11483074238846171163.mp4?versionId=vp3BNCMSWW5r6XSeadQ1gjoose.GRo6F” width=”400″ height=”400″]Teddy bear you say? Teddy bears are soft.

 

On his part, Howard put it all behind him too, refusing to give out any reactions. “What do y’all want me to say, because I’m not [going] to give y’all nothing. It’s stupid. We won the game. It’s over with. I mean, there’s no need to go into it. We won the game. It’s about basketball. I mean it’s over with. It’s nothing. I’m not even focused on it.”
 
Well, there was certainly a lot being said about the scuffle, and for all we know, it was only some friendly old banter between two fierce competitors!

 

 

End of the Road for Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin

Yet another celebrity relationship has come to an unforeseen end with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin breaking up. The 24-year old heartthrob of the masses and the 37-year old of Coldplay fame have been together for only a few months and have called off their relationship already. It was only in June, after Lawrence had been away from her ex Nicholas Hoult for some time, that the young actress and Martin had got together. Martin had just ended his marriage with Gwyneth Paltrow, a relationship that lasted ten years.
 
Lawrence and Martin certainly had their good times, even though it all lasted only a few months. An eyewitness had earlier shared the attraction the two felt for each other at a Coldplay concert, saying “They were talking the whole time and being really flirty. There was a whole party of people wanting Chris’ attention, but his eyes were only for her.” Only earlier this month a source had even said that Martin was positive about the relationship. “He sees this relationship going the distance,” the source had said. Well, that distance certainly turned out to be a short one for the couple.
 
The constant pressure of the paparazzi was certainly not one of the reasons for the split, as was evident from the fact that the couple was hardly ever caught in public eye, of course apart from the fact that both were topnotch celebrities in their own right. The two had only been seen at Coldplay concerts or during the band’s rehearsals, apart from attending the Kings of Leon concert together, where they were even reported to have indulged in some newsworthy PDA. Apart from these outings, none of the two had in fact even confirmed their relationship in any official way.
 

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin Split Up by splashnews
 
So what was the reason behind the split then? Well, for now, none of them is willing to talk about it and a story doing the rounds is that it all happened because of Martin’s ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow supposedly still held sway in Martin’s life and this was something Jennifer Lawrence just couldn’t take any more. Well, though this isn’t confirmed news and is only one of the many going around, watch this space for confirmed updates.
 
Here’s hoping these good souls find the soul mates they are looking for, at least the next time around!
 
 

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Luis Suarez Makes a Mark But Ronaldo and Gang Prevail

Luis Suarez was worth the wait as he came on to the pitch after a four-month ban, making several valuable moves for Barcelona, one even resulting in goal by Neymar. The Uruguayan will have to wait some more to taste victory though, as Real Madrid marched full steam ahead in the first El Clasico of the season. At the end of the encounter, the scoreboard read 3-1 in favor of Madrid, but the action on the pitch made every moment of the match a thrilling one for fans of both teams.
 
2014-oct-el-clasico-2 
Even in the days leading to the match, the match was being touted as one that would revolve around Suarez’s first appearance after the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but with stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, James Rodriguez, Neymar, Karim Benzema, Iniesta, Pepe, Ramos, Xavi and more, the limelight couldn’t possibly stay on a single player for too long. The line ups of both teams boasted of some of the best players in the world and the duel did not disappoint.
 
2014-oct-el-clasico-3 
The action began early on with Suarez passing the ball brilliantly to Neymar, who in turn made the most of the opportunity and ensured it found the back of the net. The possession percentage was strongly in favour of Barcelona and the first goal seemed to reiterate their prowess on the field. This wasn’t going to hold back Real Madrid for long though and a handball by Pique in the box resulted in a penalty being awarded to them. Ronaldo stepped up and did not miss the spot kick and both the teams were at par on the scoreboard.
 
2014-oct-el-clasico-4 
Though the ball seemed to be with Barcelona for most of the game (after the game their possession was 55% compared to Madrid’s 45%), the moves made by the attacking line of Madrid eventually made a difference. As Kross’ corner kick found Pepe’s head, Real Madrid surged ahead in the game, leaving Barcelona reeling under yellow cards and the pressure to equalize. The last significant move that changed the scoreboard to 3-1 was Benzema’s and Barcelona’s fate was sealed, at least for the night.
 
2014-oct-el-clasico-5
 
Suarez lived up to expectations as did the rest of the team, but the night was Real Madrid’s and no one could take that away from them. Barcelona had their chances, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net in spite of brilliant attacks. The encounter was a great match and certainly justified the hype around it in every way!

 

Images from SPORT HD’s YouTube
 

 

Ben Roethlisberger Throws 522 Yards in Record-Setting Performance

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the crème de la crème list of football players on Sunday, throwing for 522 yards and setting a new NFL record in the process. The Steelers recorded a thumping 51-34 win and Roethlisberger’s 522 passing yards and 6 touchdowns were the highlights of the day. In the history of the league, only 15 quarterbacks have achieved the glory of throwing more than 500 yards in one game, but Roethlisberger has managed this twice, making him the first quarterback ever to accomplish this. In 2009, he had a brilliant game against the Green Bay Packers and racked up 503 yards.
 
Ben-Roethlisberger-522-yards-2 
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate Roethlisberger’s achievement. After all, you don’t see records set or broken on a regular basis. On October 26th, 2014, against the Indianapolis Colts, Roethlisberger was unstoppable and when play ended, a new record was set in the history books of the NFL. This day, his 522-yard game tied the performance set by Boomer Esiason of the Arizona Cardinals in 1996 in a game against the Washington Cardinals. If you compare this one set during overtime to what Roethlisberger did only in regular time, the latest one is even more impressive. Considering the time factor, this one stands third on the list.
 
Even his opponents rallied in to congratulate him on his achievement. Coach Chuck Pagano of the Colts had this to say about Roethlisberger, “I said earlier that he is my first ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion. He’s unbelievably accurate. He’s big, he’s strong, he makes all the throws. You have to be able to get him on the ground.” On Sunday, Pagano’s team just couldn’t hold Roethlisberger back and the Steelers’ QB singlehandedly stopped the Colts from extending their five-game winning streak.
 
Ben Roethlisberger 522 yards 3 
There was another record on the cards too, as this was Roethlisberger’s 100th win in only his 150th career start. This puts him in the same league as football greats such as Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Terry Bradshaw. Roethlisberger acknowledged his record-setting run and the honor of his name in the NFL record books saying, “I’ve been so blessed to play on some great football teams and to be a part of a great franchise. To have my name on a list with the other guys up there is a humbling honor.”
 
A great record set by a worthy player made for yet another exciting day in the NFL! Congratulations to Ben Roethlisberger!
 

Images by steelers.com: Game Day photos, Steelers vs. Colts

 

 

Oscar Taveras Dies in a Car Accident Leaving His Team and Fans Shocked

A young life being taken away in a sudden tragedy is always a shock, and when news of Oscar Taveras being killed in a car accident came in during a game in the World Series, the impact was as dreadful.
 
A promising young player of the sport, Taveras was a rookie with the St. Louis Cardinals and had only begun to make a mark in his career. Just recently, during a National League Championship game on October 12th, Taveras hit a pinch-hit home run that helped his team tie the game at the last minute. News of his death came as a complete shock and sad reactions soon began pouring in.
 
I simply can’t believe it. I first met Oscar when he was 16-years-old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest,” said John Mozeliak, the general manager of the Cardinals, remembering Taveras.
 
Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. also expressed his shock in a statement saying, “We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family. Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.
 
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig expressed his sorrow saying, “Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago.
 
Tony Clark too reacted to the news with a heavy heart. “It’s never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and to lose one so young is devastating news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of both, as well as to the St. Louis Cardinals organization and Oscar’s many fans in the United States and the Dominican Republic,” Clark said in a statement.
 
Taveras was driving between Cabarete and Sosua in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic when he lost control of his car and crashed. Police sources said a young woman was traveling with him at the time and both of them died instantaneously. Just like that, a bright future came to an end, leaving his family, friends, teammates and fans shocked and saddened.
 

R.I.P. Oscar. You will be missed.
 

Featured image by Bryan from Florida (Oscar Taveras) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

San Francisco Giants Pay Tribute to Actor, Comedian And The Team’s Diehard Fan Robin Williams

At the AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday, the San Francisco Giants honored the memory of one of the team’s greatest fans, Robin Williams, in a way the comedian would have approved of. His kids were there. So was his good friend Billy Crystal. More importantly, the place was among the ones he loved most in the world – a place where he could cheer loudly for his favorite Giants.
 
Game 5 of the World Series was a perfect setting for the tribute, when the San Francisco Giants went head to head with the Kansas City Royals. Before the action on the pitch began, the Giants used the opportunity to pay their respects to the memory of one of their greatest supporters and a comedian loved by the world. The screen in the stadium came alive with the cheerful face of Robin Williams and the entire stadium cheered his children on as they took to the mound at the center of the field. Zak, Zelda and Cody were specially invited for the ceremonial first pitch as was Billy Crystal and all that followed was an emotional celebration of every element of Robin Williams’ life.
 
As Williams’ life played out on screen with his most memorable characters regaling the crowds, his oldest son Zak, with Zelda and Cody by his side, threw the first pitch to Billy Crystal, and found his glove too. The scoreboard had photographs of Williams cheering on the Giants in different games and everyone present in the stadium witnessed and acknowledged the immense love the actor had for the Giants.
 
Williams’ children issued a statement expressing their feelings saying, “We are honored to be here in support of the tribute to our father, someone who loved his hometown and especially the Giants. For all of us, it is a tremendous delight and a little surreal to throw out the first ceremonial pitch of a World Series game for our team to our dad’s best friend. We could not think of a better way to celebrate his memory. Let’s go Giants!”
 
Billy Crystal played his part of best friend well on this day too, giving up the honor of shouting out “Play Ball!” in favor of Robin Williams’ doing so himself. A clip from a 2010 playoff game was played for the crowds in which Williams yells “Let’s Go Giants” into the mic, then going on to hug Lou Seal, the team’s mascot.
 
It was a good day, and even though Robin Williams couldn’t be there to cheer his favorite team on, everyone in the stadium sure felt his presence!
 
Image Source: 6abc.com, AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
 
 
 

Seventh Installment of Fast and Furious Series is Now Furious 7

The Fast and Furious movie franchise’s seventh edition is on its way and while fans await the movie starring the late Paul Walker, they at least have a new title to talk about. Universal Studios has announced that the latest edition in the series has been named ‘Furious 7’, a departure from the names of previous movies in the series, all of which included the word ‘Fast’ in them.
 
The production house hasn’t really put in too much thought into the titles associated with this particular movie franchise before, playing around with the words ‘Fast’ and ‘Furious’ in different ways, so clearly, no one really expected them to do so this time around. The older titles include The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, this one comes as little surprise.
 
In the news of Paul Walker’s shocking death in a car accident reminiscent of the movie’s storyline based on fast cars, the series is a popular one, generating billions at the box office and making the franchise Universal’s most successful one ever. Director James Wan is set to bring this version of the franchise alive with his breakthrough skills and while Paul Walker’s death is set to grab the limelight, fans of the actor will have the opportunity to see their favorite star doing what he does best on screen, driving fast cars and making it look easy. Though the movie is bound to remind Walker’s family, friends and fans of his fatal car accident, it will also be a celebration of Walker’s eventful life. After Walker’s passing in November last year, his brothers Caleb and Cody had made themselves available on the movie’s sets in memory of their brother. Both had been reported to have filled in for Paul and even shot some action sequences to help complete what their brother started.
 
Furious 7 is slated for release in the first week of April next year and boasts of a strong cast starring Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black and Ludacris, and of course the late Paul Walker and his brothers.
 

Featured image via Fast & Furious’ Facebook
 

 

Paul Pogba Strikes New Deal with Juventus

Paul Pogba has entered into a new contract with Juventus that will see him playing for the club until 2019. Though the financial details of the contract haven’t been confirmed yet, early reports have the figure in the range £70,000 per week.
 
The 21-year-old has been on the wish list of several clubs and his prowess on the field has capped his stories of popularity beautifully. His partnership with Andrea Pirlo has been an advantage Juventus has explored amazingly well. The club has been reaping the benefits too, with consecutive Serie A titles coming its way. A rare talent who can play equally well in both defensive and offensive positions on the field, Pogba came to Juventus in 2012 after a move from Manchester United on a free transfer.
 
Alex Ferguson had at the time voiced his displeasure saying, “Pogba signed for Juventus a long time ago as far as we’re aware, which is disappointing. I don’t think he showed us any respect at all so, to be honest, I’m quite happy.” There were talks of his transfer back to Man U earlier this year, where the number quoted for this move was said to be around £60 million. The deal, however, did not go through and now, Pogba is Juventus’ to keep till the year 2019. An older contract between Pogba and Juventus was scheduled to expire in 2016.
 
“We have signed Paul Pogba’s renewal until 2019,” Giuseppe Marotta, the administrator of the club announced during the body’s shareholders’ meeting on Friday. The pay Pogba receives now is around £23,000 pounds a week and the new deal has reportedly helped the player increase this amount three times over, though a confirmation from the club is still awaited.
 
The FIFA Young Player of the Tournament in Brazil is a great catch and Juventus will be happy to keep Pogba on their side for a few years more. Great news for Juventinos!
 

Featured image via juventus.com

 

 

John Denver Gets Star On Hollywood Walk of Fame

On Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, John Denver’s memories and music have found yet another insignia in the form of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Honoring the memory of the musical legend and unveiling the star on Hollywood Boulevard was John’s daughter Jesse Belle Denver. The timing of the event was just right too, matching the opening of an exhibition of the star’s photos on display at the Substrate Gallery. Titled ‘Sweet Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver,’ the exhibition is a celebration of the artistic traits of the multi-talented John Denver.
 
Denver’s family, friends and diehard fans stood witness to the grand unveiling of the star with a cover band playing his greatest hit ‘Annie’s Song’ in the background, a song Denver had dedicated to the memory of his wife Annie. Apart from his daughter, his son Zak Deutschendorf, lyricist and Denver’s close friend as well as musical partner Joe Henry was present too.
 
“I’m afraid I’m not really a speaker, I’m a writer, but it seems like John and I sort of had a fated collaboration that was pretty instantaneous whenever we got together. We had a real blessed collaboration, I think. So, I’m honored to say a couple of words on his behalf. He was a brother to me. Thank you for being here,” Henry said, reliving the memories of his great friend. His daughter Jesse shared some memories of her father too, saying, “I remember him being super sweet and having a lot of fun with him. I don’t remember much of my childhood; I was real – I was about seven when he passed. But I may have blocked some things out cause I was young but I remember him being a really great dad and helping me be very healthy as a young kid and going on adventures. And I miss him.”
 
The musical scene of the 70s had come alive with beautiful works by the singer such as ‘Rocky Mountain High’ and ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy.’ Come November, a box set titled ‘All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection’ is set to hit stores, a celebration of the life’s works of Denver.
 
An enthusiastic pilot, Denver left the world in 1997 after a personal airplane he was flying crashed. His music will always serve as a reminder of the great singer’s talents and now, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in his honor, the world has paid him yet another fitting tribute.
 

Featured image via abc7

 

 

Back Troubles For Steve Nash, Out for Season

Serious back troubles have forced Steve Nash out of the 2014-15 NBA season, and the setback may very well mark the end of his career. While his fans still hope that the old-timer will recover and come back next season, the current season will end without Nash seeing court time for the Lakers.
 
The Los Angeles Lakers player has had an injury-filled run with the team and not everything has gone well with the pairing ever since 2012 when Nash was signed on to the team for a whopping $27.9 million in a three-year deal. The age of the player did not seem to be a deterrent at the time as his place on the All-Star team that year waS a strong motivating factor. After all, how many players have made the All-Star squad in their late thirties? Kareem-Abdul, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone were the only ones. Nash’s entry at the time was touted as one of the best the Lakers had made. With a line-up boasting of players such as Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, the addition of Nash to the equation was promising indeed. In hindsight, nothing substantial came out of it all with Nash fracturing his leg in only his second game, after which serious nerve issues have plagued the player.
 
Nash did not sound very hopeful even when he started camp this year, neither of his physical well-being nor of the possibility of another season. “I was in a really, really bad place last year during winter. I was largely unaware of how bad I was until I got out of it. Now I realize this is my last year,” he had said. “There’s no guarantee I’ll get to play any games this year. The truth is, I have a lot of miles on my back, and a day or two into training camp, it could all be done,” he had explained. His current condition is no doubt frustrating for the player, one who is known to have asked a friend help him get a cast off his broken arm and going on to play a league basketball game the same night.
 
“Being on court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now. I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health,” Nash announced in a press release. The Lakers and their fans stand heartbroken of course. “As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve. We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try and get his body right for the rigors of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time. Steve has been a consummate professional, and we greatly appreciate his efforts,” said Mitch Kupchak, General Manager of the Lakers.
 
Here’s to good health for Nash while he recovers as he has been one of the best point guards to play in this generation!
 

Featured image by www.nba.com/lakers