Ben Rohrbach

  • Anthony Davis literally forces everyone to rethink everything about basketball

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Just as we suspected, New Orleans Pelicans power forward prodigy Anthony Davis is forcing everyone to rethink everything when it comes to the game of basketball. Quite literally, as it turns out.

    The 21-year-old with a wingspan of some 7 feet, 7.75 inches is putting up numbers we've never seen before, and his Pelicans (7-5) are in early playoff contention as a result, putting pressure on those whose bottom line depends on such matters to rethink their strategy when it comes to Davis.

    But it's his influence on the business surrounding basketball that isn't quite as easy to see.

    His production is so outrageous that daily fantasy basketball strategists are penning articles entitled, "The Anthony Davis Strategy." While his price tag on FanDuel has climbed north of $11,000 and takes up roughly one-fifth of the allotted $60,000  daily salary cap for nine players, handicapping an owner into filling the rest of the roster with cheaper alternatives, Davis produces twice the points of an above-average draftee.

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  • Referee cites Odell Beckham Jr. 'flop' as reason for picking up key flag

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    In one of the strangest explanations you'll ever see,  referee  Bill Vinovich picked up an unnecessary roughness flag against Dallas Cowboys safety Barry Church and instead offered this rationale following another first-down reception for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday night.

    "There is no foul for unnecessary roughness on the play," the veteran ref explained after Beckham's third-quarter catch moved the chains to Dallas' 18-yard line. "The runner was still in bounds — and took a flop."

    It was the first time Al Michaels had heard flopping cited as the reason for picking up a flag, and the  play-by-play ace has seen an awful lot of football games. For those of us who aren't veteran sportscasters recently celebrating our 70th birthday, no other such references immediately comes to mind, either.

    The explanation appeared even more bizarre since — while Beckham called for the flag in a floppy manner on his way to the ground — Church clearly made contact with him after the rookie sensation stepped out of bounds. An argument could be made a flag was warranted despite the acting job by Beckham.

  • Matthew Stafford makes boneheaded play of the day

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Trailing the Patriots 27-9 in New England and in desperate need of a momentum-shifting play on a fourth-and-10 early in the fourth quarter, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tucked the ball and scrambled down the field.

    With a surefire shot to move the chains in front of him, Stafford opted instead to avoid contact and slide ... a yard shy of the first down. The Patriots took over on downs and ate another four minutes off the clock, effectively sealing a 34-9 blowout.

    It was an appropriate exclamation point on Stafford’s afternoon. With all those weapons around him in Detroit, the former No. 1 overall pick completed just 18-of-46 attempts for 264 yards and zero touchdowns against one interception.

    The Lions drove inside New England’s 40-yard line on six occasions, including one march to the 2 that stalled when Stafford missed tight end Christian Fauria in the end zone. In those six trips, Detroit connected on three field goals, missed another and punted once before Stafford’s scramble punctuated a frustrating afternoon.

    Sliding short of a first down during a failed fourth-quarter comeback attempt certainly didn’t help silence Stafford’s doubters.

  • T.Y. Hilton has baby in the morning, scores touchdown in the afternoon

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    T.Y. Hilton's wife Shantrell gave birth to the couple's baby on Sunday morning, and a few hours later the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver delivered on the first promise he made to his newborn daughter.

    Hilton's agent Erik Burkhardt broke the news on Twitter, assuring fantasy owners the star wideout would be in the lineup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the pledge, "It's the right thing to do to get her a TD."  

    CONGRATS to my man @TYHilton13 and his wife Shantrell on the birth of their beautiful baby girl this morning!!! 👶

    For all fantasy footballers: Yes, @TYHilton13 will make it to the stadium by kickoff & told me "it's the right thing to do to get her a TD"

    Sure enough, Hilton scored on a 73-yard connection from Andrew Luck that gave the Colts a 20-3 lead in the third quarter, and the 25-year-old celebrated appropriately, cradling the ball like a baby in the end zone.

  • Cut from Steelers, LeGarrette Blount scores on first Patriots carry

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Six days after walking off LP Field early in Pittsburgh's 27-24 road victory against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, erstwhile Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount trotted into the Gillette Stadium end zone as a member of the Patriots, giving New England an early lead against the visiting Detroit Lions.

    Upset about not receiving a touch for the Steelers, who understandably let Le'Veon Bell rush for 204 yards on 33 carries last week, Blount reportedly headed to the locker room prior to the final whistle on Monday, and Pittsburgh cut the mercurial running back after a series of disruptive decisions throughout the year.

    Blount scored just twice for Pittsburgh this season and hadn't reached paydirt since September. The Steelers had apparently grown tired of his off-field transgressions as well, as Blount was arrested in the preseason for marijuana possession and recently went on a Pittsburgh radio station to complain about his lack of carries this season. His early departure in Tennessee was the last straw.

  • LeBron James wants you to know this is most challenging chapter of his career

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Every team in the league wanted LeBron James this summer, and the four-time NBA MVP chose Cleveland over Miami, because, in his words, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball." The Cavaliers also happened to have Kyrie Irving, enough assets to acquire Kevin Love and a few other young pieces that made the city an attractive destination from a basketball perspective.

    Nine games into his homecoming season, James told ESPN's Chris Broussard this is the most trying experience of a career that has seen its share of trying experiences since he entered the league in 2003.

    "This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship," James told ESPN.com on Wednesday, hours before his Cavaliers hosted the San Antonio Spurs. "Because that was a personal goal of mine. Doing this was never a goal until I decided to come back to Cleveland."

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    In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

  • Bengals fan who had ball stolen by Saints curmudgeon gets last laugh

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 7 days ago

    Remember the female Cincinnati Bengals fan who had a game ball snatched away from her by an ornery New Orleans Saints fan in the Superdome? You know, the one who seemingly got elbowed by an old man as he wrestled away a pass from tight end Jermaine Gresham aimed at the only Bengals fan in the vicinity of his touchdown?

    Well, she got the last laugh on "NFL AM."

    "I think I first just said, 'Seriously?'" said Christa Barrett, the displaced Bengals fan who moved from Cincy to New Orleans this past summer, "because I was just so surprised. Afterwards, the video of me pleading for the ball was basically just me and my sister asking, 'Hey, can we just get a picture with it?' My sister told him, 'I'm a good Christian woman. I won't steal your ball. I promise.'"

    @PrincipalCara Truly sorry about you guys not getting that ball. I'll make sure you guys receive something greater for compensation.

  • Dwight Howard's concerning child abuse allegations won't go away

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    In a sad state of affairs surrounding Dwight Howard, TMZ released successive reports the past two days conflicting about whether or not the Houston Rockets center abused his 6-year-old son.

    Over the weekend, the celebrity news organization reported Howard had been cleared by the Florida Department of Children and Families from allegations brought forth by the boy's mother, Royce Reed, who reportedly filed a complaint in August alleging Howard had whipped their son with a belt.

    On Monday, however, TMZ obtained DCF documents that support Reed's claim. The doctor assigned to investigate the alleged abuse reportedly discovered injuries "consistent with Braylon being struck with the buckle end of the belt" and "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse."

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  • Noted character Stephen A. Smith takes issue with Michael Carter-Williams calling him a character

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith's vociferously articulated diatribes have become a part of pop culture, even being lampooned on "Saturday Night Live," and once we enter the wormhole of his rants it's tough to tell where the Smith we see on "First Take" begins and Jay Pharoah's impression ends.

    So, it wasn't all that surprising when young Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams used Smith as an example in his Players' Tribune piece of the circus atmosphere that surrounded his team during its 26-game losing streak last season. At least, not to those of us who aren't Stephen A. Smith.

    Before we get into Smith's somewhat bizarre reaction to Carter-Williams' rather benign criticism of him, here is a condensed version of the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year's comments about the talking head.

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  • DeSean Jackson joins Robert Griffin III in ripping Redskins teammates

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 9 days ago

    If Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III stabbed his teammates in the back after Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then wide receiver DeSean Jackson twisted the knife on Monday.

    A day after Griffin announced in the wake of his two-interception performance, "It doesn't take one guy, and that's proven," Jackson backed his quarterback's claims with a photo on Instagram of the following quote.

    "You can't do epic (expletive) with basic people."

    Now, Jackson may be lumping Griffin and even himself in that "basic people" population, but it sure seems like the three-time Pro Bowl wideout is frustrated by the team's 3-7 record after losing to a two-win team.

    There lies some truth beneath his statements, but Griffin would be better served keeping quiet as the de facto leader on a team tied for last place in the NFC East.

    That won't be such an easy task with games at San Francisco and Indianapolis the next two weeks.