Bensons play Game of Thrones, New Orleans-style

January 22, 2015 – 11:55 pm by Hickey


The following story is to be filed in the remarkably thin manila folder marked “Be Glad You Weren’t Raised By Rich People.”

The palace intrigue is thick in New Orleans this week as accusations and lawsuits are flying between factions of Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s family — i.e. his daughter and grandchildren versus he and his wife who is not their mother/grandmother.

The original chain of succession for ownership upon Benson’s death was supposed to go to his daughter Renee and her children, Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc. Rita had been a Saints executive since 2000 and was vice chairman of the board for the Saints and Pelicans until this week, when her company car and phone were taken away and Benson’s 67-year-old wife Gayle was announced as his successor. She is the 87-year-old Benson’s third wife, with the pair marrying in 2004.

“Gayle will own the teams upon my death and as I noted, Rita will not be involved in the ownership or management in the Saints or Pelicans,” Benson said in a written statement reiterating that his granddaughter is being cut off. “My family, just as they have been for their entire lives, will be taken care of.”

And that’s where the fun begins. The no-longer future owners of the Saints and Pelicans fired back with a lawsuit claiming their grandpappy is mentally incompetent and being manipulated by his gold-digging wife.

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Report: Peyton Manning will return to Denver Broncos in 2015

January 21, 2015 – 5:50 pm by Ryan Phillips

The Denver Broncos can stop holding their collective breath, because they will have their quarterback in uniform next season. According to Woody Paige at The Denver Post, Peyton Manning plans to return to the Broncos next season.

Paige says that Manning won’t make his decision official until after he takes the annual physical examination mandated by his contract, but he’ll be back if everything checks out. Last year the results of his physical were known at the beginning of March and Manning let the Broncos know he planned to return on March 9, which was the day before teams must exercise their rights on veteran players under contract. Manning will turn 39 on March 24 and is due $19 million next season.

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Doug Marrone puts the ass in assistant coach

January 21, 2015 – 1:17 am by Hickey


Days after guiding the Buffalo Bills to their first winning season in a decade, coach Doug Marrone abruptly walked away from his contract, as was his right during a three-day window at the year’s end. It was a stunning move, but one that made sense if he somehow managed to have something better lined up elsewhere. Otherwise, he was just a completely delusional idiot.

And now we can officially chuckle and say “More like Doug MORON, AMIRITE?”

Marrone not only failed to land a head coaching gig with his gamble to leave Buffalo — he was the presumptive favorite to land the Jets job but reportedly bombed his interview — but he also failed to even land a job as a coordinator. Or even get hired by a respectable franchise.

Marrone was hired by the Jaguars as their offensive line coach on Tuesday.

It’s an embarrassing fall down a flight of stairs for Marrone, who was the head coach at Syracuse for four seasons before being hired by the Bills, and served as the Saints’ offensive coordinator from 2006-08.

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Atlanta Falcons hire Kyle Shanahan as OC, wait on Dan Quinn

January 19, 2015 – 5:38 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Dan Quinn

The Atlanta Falcons made a big move on Monday, as they have reportedly hired Kyle Shanahan as their new offensive coordinator. The Falcons still have not officially hired a head coach, but all signs point to Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn getting the job. Quinn will have his second interview with Atlanta on Monday but that could just be an opportunity for both sides to firm things up. He cannot be officially hired until Seattle’s season is over.

Shanahan has developed into a solid offensive game-planner and usually has solid schemes. He has seven years of experience as an offensive coordinator and was at the helm of the Cleveland Browns’ offense in 2014. The Browns were solid offensively for about the first half of the season before things fell apart. Still, with Brian Hoyer at quarterback and missing top receiver Josh Gordon, Shanahan managed to make Cleveland’s offense competitive.

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2015 NFL Draft: Final list of early entrants

January 15, 2015 – 12:00 pm by Ryan Phillips
    2015 NFL Draft logo

The 2015 NFL Draft will kick off on April 30 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have the No. 1 overall pick and will be selecting from what should be a deep group of talent.

Underclassmen have already started declaring their intentions to enter the draft and over the next few weeks we should expect a tidal wave of entries to emerge. Below is the list of players who have decided to forgo further college eligibility and enter the draft. We will keep the list updated as more players make their intentions known. The deadline to declare for the draft was January 15.

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It’s time for Mayweather to give boxing fans what they want

January 15, 2015 – 3:34 am by Ryan Phillips
    Manny Pacquiao Floyd Mayweather

One half of what would be the biggest fight of all-time has been agreed to. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that Manny Pacquiao has agreed to terms for a fight with Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao has been pushing hard for the fight for years now and things are one step closer to happening. All that remains is for Floyd Mayweather to agree and finally give boxing fans the fight they’ve been wanting for the better part of six years.

Pacquiao wants to fight Mayweather so badly that he agreed to pretty much every concession to make it happen. Though he agreed to full, random drug testing years ago and has actually voluntarily been strictly tested for his last few fights, Mayweather has claimed that has been the big stumbling block. That can’t be claimed as an issue anymore, as Pacquiao has even agreed to allow the United States Anti-Doping Agency to perform the tests, when he had been using the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency for his previous fights.

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Will Bears be next to trot with Fox?

January 13, 2015 – 1:36 am by Hickey


The Broncos sent coach John Fox packing on Monday after Denver’s disappointing playoff exit to Indianapolis, but he may not have to change the colors in his wardrobe.

Logic dictates that the defensive-minded coach would be a logical fit for the defensively challenged Bears, who have yet to fill their vacancy after firing Marc Trestman at the end of the regular season.

Fox was hardly a failure in Denver, winning AFC West titles all four years he was in town, which is even more impressive when one considers Tim Tebow was his quarterback in Year 1 of that venture. He even won a playoff game with Tebow and before that reached a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme in Carolina. What’s to say he couldn’t be the guy to replicate those levels of success with the always baffling Jay Cutler?

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Can Rex Ryan be the savior of Buffalo?

January 12, 2015 – 2:14 am by Hickey

Rex Ryan

Only in Buffalo could a coach coming off a 4-12 season be turned to as the man with the answers.

But when you’ve missed the playoffs 15 straight years in an era where the rules are very heavily rigged to prevent such incompetence, at some point you’ve got to do something splashy. And pass or fail, the Buffalo Bills jumped into the pool with a cannonball (I swear, that’s not a “heavy guy” joke) by hiring Rex Ryan as their head coach on Sunday.

Though Rex’s Jets teams weren’t always good — they were downright horrible the past three seasons — at least you were guaranteed some form of entertainment. And for much of the nation, the Bills are simply another thing that was cool in the ’90s that isn’t worth paying attention to anymore — Zubaz, hacky sacks and Murphy Brown once held the same place in our collective consciousness as Buffalo’s football team. Now you’ll be lucky to find anyone under 25 who can identify more than one of the four things I just mentioned.

It won’t be that way with Rex around.

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