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Justice for Erin

Way to go, Erin! (E Online)

Privacy is something most of us take for granted in today’s digital age of smartphones and social media. We simply assume the things we say or do could be broadcast around the world at the push of a button—and many of us do whatever is necessary to prevent this from happening.

Others love this kind of attention and document every mundane activity from their lives on websites like Facebook and Instagram. I mean, why else would people share images of the dinner they’re preparing to eat or post endless, narcissistic “selfies” of themselves making duck lips?

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to the Internet and our digital loss of privacy—a dark side that sportscaster Erin Andrews knows all too well.

In 2008, a video surfaced online of Andrews in a Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University—a nude video. She didn’t film and post it herself, though. A peeping Tom named Michael Barrett did. And the entire video was shot through the keyhole in her hotel room door without her knowledge.

As you might imagine, any video of a beautiful, naked woman garners seemingly endless attention online. And when the woman is as well-known as Andrews, it grabs even more attention. What’s worse is that removing the video once it hits the web does nothing. It exists eternally in cyberspace and, in the case of this video, has been viewed more than 17 million times.

Erin in court (US Magazine)

The good news is that Andrews took action and sued those responsible not only for the video, but for allowing it to be recorded at all. Barrett, the hotel owner and the hotel operator were all deemed responsible. And yesterday, a jury ruled in Andrews’ favor, awarding her a judgment of $55 million.

Andrews took to Twitter shortly thereafter to express her gratitude over the ruling: “I would like to thank the Nashville court, the court personnel and the jury for their service. The support I’ve received from the people of Nashville has been overwhelming. I would also like thank my family, friends and legal team. I’ve been honored by all the support victims around the world. Their outreach has helped me be able to stand up and hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone’s safety, security and privacy.”

Personally, I could not be happier for Erin and commend her on being so brave. And I sincerely hope that her life can return to normal now that those responsible have been punished.

Congratulations, sister! I’m proud of you!

D is for Denver

Von Miller strips the ball from Cam on the way to a defensive score (NFL/CBS News)

Congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos!

In a tough defensive battle against the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers—the favorite to win thanks to their dynamic quarterback, Cam Newton—the Broncos held the NFC South powerhouse to 10 points and eventually took home a 24-10 victory.

Although the Panthers limited Peyton Manning’s team to only one offensive touchdown—a one-yard C.J. Anderson run late in the fourth quarter—it was a key, Von Miller forced fumble and defensive touchdown in the first quarter that more-or-less sealed the Panthers’ fate. Granted, they were able to punch in their own Jonathan Stewart TD—and to score a Graham Gano field goal—but sadly, that was all the offense that NFL MVP Newton and his crew could muster… and it simply wasn’t enough.

The Sheriff came to town and took home the win (Pinterest)

The Super Bowl win was the second for future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning—tying him for bragging rights with his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning—and this could well signal the end of his NFL career as many feel Manning will retire—especially since he would be going out on top.

Yes, the Sheriff may ride off into the sunset—not on a horse, but on the back of the best defense in the NFL. Way to go, Broncos!

Last Team Standing

Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos mascot

What a relief! (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

At long last, the unthinkable has happened: the previously undefeated New England Patriots have finally lost a game!

The dethroning of the AFC’s last unbeaten team came at the hands of the Denver Broncos—and Peyton Manning wasn’t even at the helm. Instead, backup quarterback Brock Osweiler made clutch plays to lead his team to victory, including an overtime audible that ended with running back C.J. Anderson rumbling 48 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

“That’s what becoming a team is all about,” Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak said after the game. “You never know who’s going to make that play. Everybody stayed the course tonight and that is what is exciting about this team.”

The win elevated Denver to 9-2 and placed them three games ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West. At 10-1, New England still has full command of the AFC East, with the 6-5 New York Jets their closest competition.

Of course, this win also means only one undefeated team remains in the NFL: the 11-0 Carolina Panthers. And here’s hoping Cam Newton and company can keep this train rolling to 16-0!

World Champs!

USA v Japan: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015

The U.S. women will bring the World Cup trophy stateside! (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s National Team!

Thanks to a strong offensive attack—including a hat trick of goals from Carli Lloyd, the first ever to achieve this feat in the FIFA Women’s World Cup—the USA defeated defending champion Japan 5-2 to bring home the trophy.

It’s their first national title since 1999 and their third overall.

“Pure elation” is how head coach Jill Ellis described the victory. “I’m just so, so proud of this team. I’m so happy for them, so happy for every little girl who dreams about this.”

In the highest scoring final in Women’s World Cup history, the U.S. struck early and often, with the first goal coming in the third minute—the fastest ever scored in this competition.

By the 16th minute, the U.S. led 4-0 and never looked back. And now they are the undisputed world champions.

Way to go, USA!

Perfect Balls

No one touches Tom Brady's balls but him... and a few staff members (Sports Central/YouTube)

No one touches Tom Brady’s balls but him… and a few staff members (Sports Central/YouTube)

Last week, attorney Ted Wells released the findings of his investigation into Deflategate, the name given to allegations that the New England Patriots deflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage over the Indianapolis Colts during January’s AFC championship game.

Implicated in Wells’ report was the NFL’s golden boy—quarterback Tom Brady—who initially denied having any knowledge of footballs being underinflated and then failed to cooperate in the investigation. As a result, he has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season and his beloved Patriots will lose not only a $1 million fine, but also two draft picks—a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

Some (mostly Patriots players and fans) are calling the punishment too harsh, but many others feel it’s time that a sketchy Patriots organization pays for stretching—and even breaking—NFL rules so consistently.

Personally, I’m fine with the punishment since it means Brady won’t be on the field in week one against my Pittsburgh Steelers. I respect his skills, but I much prefer to see him sitting on the sidelines.

Of course, he might have a future as a pop star given this VIDEO just released of him. It’s a spoof of him singing his latest hit “These Balls Are Perfect.” And if you’re interested in a good laugh, I suggest you take a look.

After all, no one knows balls like Tom Brady!

Farewell to Troy

Troy does his best Superman impression (NFL/Getty Images)

After 12 incredible seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler, veteran safety and all-around defensive powerhouse Troy Polamalu plans to retire from the NFL. The announcement came down today and for most Steelers fans, the news was bittersweet.

Yes, Troy’s production has been waning for the last few years, primarily due to injury. But the fact is that without him, the Steelers wouldn’t have been the same team—and they surely wouldn’t have won two Super Bowls.

During his tenure, Troy was a difference maker, for lack of a better term. He broke Steelers’ defensive records, represented the team at eight Pro Bowls and was a leader in the locker room and on the field. Teammates respected him, fans loved him and opponents feared him.

And honestly, watching games without seeing his bushy hair flying around will be depressing, to say the least.

So on behalf of Steelers fans everywhere, I want to say thanks to Troy Polamalu—one of the greatest to wear the black and gold, and one hell of a great guy to boot. We’re going to miss you, my brother.

Dookies Rejoice!

The Blue Devils are national champs… AGAIN! (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils on their fifth men’s college basketball national championship!

Last night, Duke bested Frank Kaminsky and the Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 to take home the title.

Freshman Tyus Jones led his squad with 23 points and 5 rebounds, followed by out-of-nowhere freshman Grayson Allen, who added another 16 points to the mix.

Way to go, Duke! Let there be no doubt that when it comes to sheer power, the ACC is where it’s at! Woohoo!

Arousing Rousey

Last Saturday night, UFC women’s bantamweight champ and ass-kicking machine Ronda Rousey defeated Cat Zingano in only 14 seconds and moved her overall record to 11-0. Of course, Rousey isn’t just the most dangerous woman around; she is also one of the sexiest… and here are some pics to prove it. Enjoy!


Most Watched

Sorry, Seattle. Better luck (and play calling) next year (AP)

As hard as it is to believe—given all the scandal and hype leading up to the underwhelming Super Bowl XLIX—the “Big Game” broke U.S. television history by becoming the most watched show of all time.

Apparently, New England’s 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks brought in more than 114 million viewers and became the highest-rated Super Bowl in the last 30 seasons… despite having the worst ending and the dumbest play call in SB history.

So congratulations to Tom Brady and the Patriots for chalking up another Super Bowl victory, the fourth of Brady’s career. Granted, he and his cohorts may have deflated some footballs to get there, but ultimately they won because Seattle decided against winning by throwing the ball on 2nd and goal.

I still can’t believe it…


The new Vince Lombardi Trophy? (Steve Sack/Star Tribune)

I don’t know which is more deflated: the semi-flat footballs discovered during the recent AFC Championship Game or the ongoing investigation into Deflategate.

According to the lawyer hired by the NFL to investigate cheating accusations against the New England Patriots, things won’t officially wrap up for “at least several more weeks.” This means that no one will be punished or fined until after Super Bowl XLIX—even if they are guilty of tampering with footballs to gain a competitive advantage over the Indianapolis Colts.

To make matters worse, the investigation now seems to be focused on a Patriots locker room attendant now considered to be a “strong person of interest.” Apparently, surveillance camera footage showed him entering a bathroom with two bags of footballs—one for New England and one for Indianapolis—and then emerging 90 seconds later to deliver the footballs to the proper place.

I’m sorry, but 90 seconds is roughly the amount of time needed to take a quick piss and return to your duties. If anything, I might accuse this attendant of not washing his hands properly after urination. But accusing him of entering the bathroom—which may or may not have been empty—and then hurriedly deflating 11 of 12 Patriots’ footballs before exiting? That seems a little far-fetched, if you ask me.

god super bowl press conference

Who’s God taking in the Big Game this year? Tune in Sunday to find out! (Kurttoons/YouTube)

Of course, this opens up a host of new questions: Why would a locker room attendant do such a thing on his own? Is he such a die-hard Pats fan that he tried to fix the game all by his lonesome? Or is it possible someone asked or even paid him to do it? And could it be the same culprit now responsible for throwing this attendant under the bus?

I’m afraid we may never know what really happened, even after the Deflategate investigation concludes next month or later this spring. The sad fact—at least from the perspective of non-Patriots-fan observers like me—is that the Patriots can do no wrong. Of all the teams in the NFL, New England is the only one constantly accused of cheating.

Sure, New Orleans suffered through Bountygate, which resulted in some pretty harsh penalties for its coaches and players, but nothing this harsh will ever be imposed on the illustrious Patriots. And honestly, that’s a real shame since they make the NFL look worse than anyone—except maybe Ray Rice. Oh well.

On a slightly related note, a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service indicated that 1 in 4 Americans believe that God will decide who wins Super Bowl XLIX. If this is true, then it stands to reason that the Patriots can’t win if they’re cheaters. If they do, though, does that mean there is no God?

I’m sorry, but if there is a God, I’m pretty sure He has better things to do than rig football games. Sheesh…

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