Posts by Ben Rohrbach

  • Young NFL fan takes Cam Newton to task in elementary school newspaper

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    A hot take on the Carolina Panthers from my son's elementary school newspaper.

    In some respects, the Carolina Panthers had a successful 2014 campaign. They won their division, made the playoffs and even won a wild-card weekend game against the Arizona Cardinals before losing to the then-defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Cleveland Browns fans pray for such a season.

    But one elementary school student isn't buying that hype. Not by any stretch of the child's imagination. In a piece penned for a grade-school newspaper and shared by Virginia-based Ph.D. student Jeff Atkins on Twitter, a young NFL observer sums up the Panthers' problems better than most football scribes could.

    My favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers. I feel that they need a better quarterback. The quarterback is Cam Newton. The team never seems to win and I think he is the reason. He gets intercepted a lot.

    There is a spot for him on the team. That is as a running back. That would probably use his talents better. Now that I think about it ... the Panthers were never a very good team. Maybe he is not the only bad player.

  • Man is set to win $1 million should Michigan State cut down NCAA nets

    Ben Rohrbach at The Dagger 6 hrs ago

    The odds still aren't all that great, but surely the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino is sweating a potential $1 million payout should Michigan State win the NCAA title a whole lot more than it was a couple weeks ago.

    [DraftKings: Play Fantasy College Basketball – Draft your team today!]

    In early December, Derek Stevens, who owns a couple hotels himself in downtown Las Vegas, put $20,000 down on 50-to-1 odds from the Golden Nugget that a Spartans team that started the season with a 5-3 record would cut down the nets at the end of the NCAA Tournament, according to

    Interestingly, the Golden Nugget reportedly declined Stevens' original bet, but the hotel bigwig persuaded his friend and neighboring business owner Tilman Fertitta to take on the $1 million longshot over the phone.

    As the story goes, Stevens — a University of Michigan alum — will watch Saturday's game from his own hotel surrounded by Spartans fans, which seems like a nightmare scenario for all Wolverines but one.

  • Doug Williams: Redskins haven't given up on Robert Griffin III ... yet

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Channel's "The End Zone" show over the weekend, former Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who now serves as a personnel executive in the organization, placed a portion of the blame for widespread criticism of Robert Griffin III on social media.

    So, Williams attempted to quell any concerns about Griffin's future before Mariota rumors spread too far.

    After Griffin's impressive 2012 rookie campaign, knee and ankle injuries derailed his last two seasons, resulting in almost as many interceptions (18) as combined passing and rushing touchdowns (21). Williams cited the contrasting offensive styles of Gruden and Griffin — the former's West Coast approach and the latter's read-option history — as one reason for the necessary "adjustment," and the Super Bowl XXII MVP hopes this year's hiring of new Redskins QB coach Matt Cavanaugh will help in that regard.

    So, while "nobody has given up on him," Griffin's status as a starting quarterback isn't set in stone, either.

  • Vegas oddsmakers: Knicks would be heavily favored against Kentucky

    Ben Rohrbach at The Dagger 4 days ago

    Las Vegas sportsbooks pay oddsmakers handsomely to set accurate point spreads that will split bets evenly on both sides, because without them there are no Las Vegas sportsbooks. Super Bowl XLIX was essentially a pick 'em game that came down to the final play. They try to be wiser than the wisest of guys.

    [DraftKings: Play Fantasy College Basketball – Draft your team today!]

    And so when the Westgate Las Vegas Race and Sports Book tells ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" that the New York Knicks would be heavy favorites over the Kentucky Wildcats, we should listen, and put an end to this silly debate over a 37-0 college basketball team's chances in the NBA — even against the Knicks.

    NERD NOTES: If the Knicks & Kentucky played on a neutral floor with college rules, NYK would be a 13.5 point favorite. (via @Westgate_LV)

    Heck, even Calipari conceded his team wouldn't stand a chance in the NBA when Georgetown College coach Chris Briggs raised this half-cocked hypothetical upon losing to Kentucky by 70 in November.

    Related Video:

  • Tyler Ulis says disrespected Kentucky was out to crush West Virginia's spirit

    Ben Rohrbach at The Dagger 4 days ago

    If it seemed like Kentucky was out to destroy West Virginia's confidence, it's because they were.

    [DraftKings: Play Fantasy College Basketball – Draft your team today!]

    Addressing West Virginia freshman guard Daxter Miles Jr.'s pregame guarantee that NCAA basketball's lone remaining unbeaten was "gonna be 36-1" after Thursday's Sweet 16 showdown, Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Ulis admitted in the aftermath of a 78-39 that his Wildcats were out for blood.

    "They should have kept their mouth shut and it might not have been like that," Ulis told Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones. “Our whole plan was to crush their spirit — beat 'em by 50 for disrespecting us."

    36 and won

    Lot of talkn lot of tweetin till

  • Monta Ellis doesn't think Rajon Rondo is the problem with the Mavericks

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Despite an impressive victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, no team’s win percentage has fallen so sharply in the second half of the season as the Dallas Mavericks', who transformed from a team that won two-thirds of its games to a .500 club soon after the New Year.

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    Rajon Rondo has become the easy scapegoat, since the change came a few weeks after Dallas acquired him in exchange for their previous starting point guard (Jameer Nelson) and a pair of role players (Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder) who were key contributors to the team’s 20-8 start.

    Rondo’s public feud with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle only added fuel to that fire, but at least one member of the team isn’t buying what the public is selling — namely Monta Ellis, to

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  • Troy Murphy makes dean's list at Columbia, misses NBA socks

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    As Troy Murphy explains it in a wonderful profile on the erstwhile NBA player by New York Times scribe Andrew Keh, there isn't much he misses about a game he once played at the highest level for 12 seasons.

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    “I miss the socks. The socks were unbelievable. There’s something about NBA socks.”

    “My life has always been planned out,” Murphy said, smiling. “You got a schedule in August, and you knew on St. Patrick’s Day you’d be playing in Cleveland, or you’d have an off day. It’s exciting not knowing. Not knowing is intriguing.”

    Very cool, and not just because Murphy circled St. Patrick's Day as soon as the NBA schedule dropped.

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  • Nothing says love quite like Tony Allen singing 'Whoomp! (There It Is)'

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Joi Pescatelli & Duane Stewart get engaged at Tony Allen Karaoke Night

    It is, I assume, every Memphis couple's dream to be serenaded by The Grindfather at their engagement.

    For Duane Stewart and Joi Pescatelli, that fantasy became reality on Tuesday night, when the former proposed to the latter at Grizzlies defender extraordinaire Tony Allen's charity karaoke event to benefit JIFF, Inc. — a local non-profit organization that provides intervention services for troubled youths.

    While one karaoke competitor submitted the worst rendition of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" you'll ever hear, Allen made up for it with the only song everybody can universally agree captures what it feels like to be a young couple in love — Tag Team's 1993 classic "Whoomp! (There It Is)."

    So, congrats Duane and Joi. We can only hope Zach Randolph is available to officiate the wedding.

  • Kevin Love isn't 'best friends' with LeBron James, so let's all freak out

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    At this point, the relationship between LeBron James and Kevin Love has been scrutinized more than Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s marriage, but alas the two Cleveland Cavaliers teammates keep fanning flames, and the media firestorm rages on.

    While promoting chocolate milk, as if chocolate milk needed promoting, Love appeared on two national radio shows and made comments about James on each that could be perceived as veiled references to a strained coexistence. Admittedly, it’s speculation, but neither Love nor LeBron have done all that much to quell concerns in Cleveland.

    First, we’ll start with Love’s appearance on “Mike & Mike,” during which he was asked about the relationship in the context of LeBron’s Instagram post featuring six other members of the Cavaliers — none of whom were Love — and the caption, “Clique Up!!”

    Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts

    Regardless, teammates on championship-contending teams are not required to be best friends. I’m pretty sure Shaquille O’Neal said as much about Kobe Bryant in a rap once. But there are those who contend winning titles is easier when everyone gets along.


  • Roger Goodell on Chris Borland's retirement: 'You have to respect his decision'

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 8 days ago

    As the retirement of 24-year-old San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland over concussion fears signaled a step toward players making long-term health a priority over short-term football fame, raising concerns about the sport's future, the NFL remains steadfast "the game has never been safer or better." 

    In a wide-ranging interview with Peter King for The MMQB, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell echoed the statement issued by his senior vice president of health and safety policy, Jeff Miller, who in the aftermath of Borland's announcement last week declared, "By any measure, football has never been safer."

    The MMQB: You had a surprising event last week with a 24-year-old linebacker for the 49ers, Chris Borland, retiring. What was your initial impression when you heard it?

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