Ben Rohrbach

  • J.J. Watt living in log cabin in 'middle of nowhere' to train for next NFL season

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 22 hrs ago

    Much like Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky IV," J.J. Watt is training in the "middle of nowhere" to defend his title.

    While Balboa chopped wood and lifted a sack full of rocks with a pulley in an old barn somewhere in Siberia, Watt — who will almost surely earn his second NFL Defensive Player of the Year honor when the Associated Press announces the winner on Saturday afternoon — will retreat to a remote log cabin in Wisconsin.

    [Watch the Super Bowl live on Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET]

    “It’s really minimalistic,” Watt said. “The only thing I have to focus on is training and that’s the way I like it. There’s no frills, there’s nothing to distract you up here.”

    His description of his new offseason home: “It’s just an empty space and a log cabin and snow.”

    The NFL should be shaking in its boots at the thought of an improved J.J. Watt next season, so long as he remembers to download "Hearts on Fire" onto his iTunes before venturing into the woods.

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  • Damian Lillard thanks everyone who didn't vote him into NBA All-Star Game

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    When the league tallied coaches' votes and revealed the 2015 NBA All-Star Game reserves, Yahoo's own Marc J. Spears dubbed Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard the most notable snub, and it's hard to argue a guy who deserved his spot with slightly inferior numbers last year doesn't belong again.

    Given a night to sleep on the snub, Lillard didn't pull any punches when asked about it by The Oregonian and other media gathered for a morning shootaround at Philips Arena, where his Northwest Division-leading Blazers are scheduled to face the Eastern Conference's top-seeded Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

    Still, if Lillard somehow does use the snub as motivation to come back even stronger, NBA beware.

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  • Josh Gordon pens open letter to critics: 'You don't even know me'

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    In an open letter to his most vocal doubters, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon addressed his alleged sixth violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, which could cost him the entire 2015 season.

    Responding on to, among others, ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith and Cris Carter as well as NBA on TNT's Charles Barkley — who respectively said, "I harbor no sympathy for him whatsoever," "my concern is his well being," and "Gordon is going to die if he keeps going on this road" — the 2013 All-Pro dismissed those who cast aspersions, if only because they do not know him.

    But you know what, Charles, Stephen A., Cris and everyone else?  I also have succeeded.

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  • Dwyane Wade has 'no idea' when he'll return from latest hamstring injury

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Miami Heat suffered a potential blow to their playoff chances on Thursday, when star guard Dwyane Wade announced his latest hamstring injury will prevent him from playing for the foreseeable future.

    At an impromptu press conference called a day before the Heat host the Dallas Mavericks on national TV,  Wade told The Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman and others  that the right hamstring he pulled against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday will keep him out of the lineup for a minimum of 2-3 weeks.

    “I won’t be seeing y’all for a little while, so take a good look at this face.” [...]

    “You can’t put a time on it,” Wade said. “You can’t look at the hamstring and say you’re going to be out this amount of games. Like many muscle strains, you’ve got to go day-by-day.” [...]

    “Where this thing has me is frustrated and where I stand I have no idea,” Wade said. “It’s just the second day of a pulled hamstring."

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  • Another false fire alarm wakes up Patriots at Super Bowl hotel

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    While New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been popping garlic like PEZ to get over his cold, the best remedy is a good night's sleep, and someone has been trying to prevent that the past few nights.

    For the second time in three nights, the hotel where the Patriots are staying for the Super Bowl in Phoenix experienced a false fire alarm, according to a Twitter post from the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones.

    [Watch the Super Bowl live on Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET]

    However, Brady said Wednesday night's alarm didn't disrupt his dreams, since the false alarm apparently occurred in a different portion of the hotel than where the players are staying. Our own Eric Edholm is live on the scene to give us the latest on the QB's all-important cold remedies and sleeping patterns.

  • Tom Brady battling a cold amid Super Bowl preparation

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    If New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's voice sounded a bit strange on Media Day, it wasn't because he's cracking under the deflate-gate pressure. The two-time NFL MVP is battling a cold.

    "I've had it for four or five days," he conceded during Wednesday's media availability. "My kids got sick, and then my wife's pretty sick right now, so I brought it, unfortunately, to Phoenix. But I'll be fine. I'll be good."

    While folks who wonder why Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl since his blind date with Gisele Bundchen in 2006 can now add this to their list of reasons for believing in the supermodel's curse, the three-time champ doesn't expect his sniffles to hinder his ability to battle the Seattle Seahawks come Sunday.

    "I'll be at 100 percent," Brady added. "Yeah, I'll be great. I'm not worried about it all."

    Likewise, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels helped quell concerns about his quarterbacks ailment. "I know he's sick," offered McDaniels, "but he's watched more Seahawks tape than anyone."


  • A New Englander's guide to labeling every other NFL team a cheat

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    It's tough being a New England Patriots fan. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown and all that.

    Sure, (arguably) the greatest coach in NFL history sports a Patriots logo on his sleeveless sweatshirt, and (arguably) the best quarterback of all-time dons a Flying Elvis on his helmet, but every other God-fearing football fan across this great nation has yet to bow at the altar of Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

    Discussions about football would be a whole lot simpler if everyone could get it through their thick skulls that the game we all knew in a bygone era has since been reinvented by that holy trinity. Instead, you can't log onto Facebook or travel south of Hartford every February without somebody pointing out the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since the Spygate scandal revealed them to be cheaters.

    So, if you're from the Northeast corner like I am, know that the best way to crawl under every other football fan's skin is to offer up the only excuse that should be universally accepted in NFL circles by now: Everybody cheats. 

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  • Glen 'Big Baby' Davis gives unfortunate Phoenix Suns fan a lunar eclipse

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    During a recent Los Angeles Clippers game, Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman asked color commentator Brian Scalabrine how much he thought former Boston teammate Glen Davis weighed.

    "At least 300 pounds," Scal said, and neither man behind the mic batted an eyelash at the thought.

    The Clippers currently list Davis at a trim 289 pounds, the heftiest of any player on an NBA roster today — including those with as much as six inches of height on him. Any weigh you slice it, Davis is a big boy.

    And while he's nicknamed Big Baby, Davis is the last player you'd want falling into your lap, particularly if you're a dimunitive female fan who ponied up big bucks to sit front row for Sunday's Phoenix Suns game. Yet, Davis did just that, settling his rather considerable backside directly on her ... well ... see for yourself.

    As far as stadium snacks go, surely she would have preferred popcorn.

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    (h/t r/NBA)

  • NBA 2K honors Hassan Whiteside's request after triple-dozen

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    If you don't know, now you know: D-Leaguer turned Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside is a beast.

    Of course, you would've already been hip to that fact had you read a piece earlier this month on Mr. Whiteside opening up the NBA's eager eyes, but the former second-round pick erased any doubt about his ability with a 14-point, 13-rebound, 12-block effort in Sunday's 96-84 win over the Chicago Bulls.

    Among Whiteside's earliest detractors — and there were many, including every NBA team who idled by as he dominated D-League and overseas opponents since the Sacramento Kings waived him in July 2012 —was the NBA 2K franchise, which ranked him among the league's worst with a 49 rating in 2K12.

    Man that's crazy 2k12 gave me a rating of a mascot they should of jus left me injured lik I was in the season dam lol

    Just as the Bulls and everyone else in the basketball world did on Sunday, the video game company heard Whiteside loud and clear, increasing his 2K15 rating 18 points to 77 within a matter of hours.

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  • Reminder: Brad Johnson paid for Super Bowl footballs to be doctored

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 10 days ago

    As deflate-gate reaches DEFCON 1 levels — refocusing on Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots under the microscope — we are reminded of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson's admission he paid to have footballs doctored prior to Super Bowl XXXVII.

    Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud recounted the story he originally published in 2012, when the 2002 Bucs were honored during the 10th anniversary of their championship season. Johnson told Stroud he shelled out $7,500 to ensure "the balls were scuffed and ready" when the title game kicked off in San Diego.

    "I paid some guys off to get the balls right," Johnson now admits. "I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them."

    How much did it cost Johnson? "Seventy-five hundred [dollars]," he said.