Author Archives | Paula Duffy

NFL Week 2 highlights and lowlights

Atlanta Falcons over Philadelphia Eagles 35-31: Falcons QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons to the game’s two final scores in the fourth quarter for the comeback win. The final score by Michael Turner came after Turner sprinted for a 61-yard run early in the drive. Former Falcons’ QB Michael Vick returned to the Dome where it all began and was outplaying Ryan throughout the game on the stat sheet. But after two untimely fumbles, Vick left the game late in the third quarter with a concussion. Turner finished with 21 carries for 114 yards and one TD while Matt Ryan finished with four touchdown passes.

Dallas Cowboys over San Francisco 49ers 27-24: San Fran QB Alex Smith looks like he’s having fun on the field under the tutelage of his head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Smith threw for 179 yards on 16-of-29 passing and added two TD tosses and one INT. Cowboys RB Felix Jones was on and off the field with an injury and rushed for 25 yards on nine carries while QB Tony Romo left the game early in the third quarter with a broken rib. After back-up Jon Kitna threw two picks, the second one leading to a Niners’ TD, Romo came back in to lead his team to a late 4th quarter drive to send the game to OT. Romo stayed in the game in overtime and connected on a 77-yard pass to rookie Jesse Holley that led to a game-winning FG.

New England Patriots over San Diego Chargers 35-21: Patriots QB Tom Brady picked up where he left off in Week 1and finished 31-of-40 passing for 423 yards and three TD’s. WR Chad Ochocinco joined the party this week with two catches in the first half for 45 yards while tight ends Rob Gronkowski (two TDs) and Aaron Hernandez (1 TD) found the end zone. The Chargers turned the ball over four times and you can’t beat the Patriots like that.

Houston Texans over Miami Dolphins 23-13: Miami kicker Dan Carpenter missed one FG and had another blocked; it was that kind of day for the Dolphins. Houston ran Ben Tate 23 times for 103 yards, while Arian Foster carried the ball only 10 times for 33 yards. Texans QB Matt Schaub threw his second of two TD passes to favorite target Andre Johnson early in the fourth quarter and that ended the scoring for both teams. Dolphins’ QB Chad Henne finished with 12-of-30 passing for 170 yards, one TD and one INT.

Denver Broncos over Cincinnati Bengals 24-22: No Knowshon Moreno, no problem for the injury-riddled Denver Broncos. RB Willis McGahee picked up 101 yards and scored one touchdown in a game where yet another Broncos starter went down. Tim Tebow was inserted on a couple of plays as the third receiver; the crowd acknowledged it with an ovation. Kyle Orton held his own with two touchdown passes. Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton was 27-of-41 for 332 yards and two TDs.

Buffalo Bills over Oakland Raiders 38- 35: Both teams are for real and the Raiders cleaned up some of their sloppy play from their Week 1 win over Denver. Game was close with both teams exchanging leads until Bills’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s TD throw with 14 seconds left was the difference. Raiders RBs Darren McFadden and Michael Bush ran for one TD each, with McFadden adding a second score on a from Jason Campbell.

Detroit Lions over the K.C. Chiefs 48-3: Lions D has two sacks and five turnovers squashing the Chiefs offense. QB Matt Stafford threw for four touchdowns on 23-of-39 passing for 294 yds. Lions mascot “Roary” inadvertently got in on the act, knocking Chiefs RB Jamal Charles out of the game after a collision on the sidelines.

N.Y. Jets over Jacksonville Jags 32-3: The Jets put a lot of points on the board despite QB Mark Sanchez throwing two picks to go along with his two TD passes. The Jets defense pinned Jags’ QB Luke McCown for a safety and kicker Nick Folks added three FGS. Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert replaced McCown in the second half.

Tampa Bay Bucs over Minnesota Vikings 24-20: A late score for Tampa Bay was the difference in the team’s road victory over Minnesota. Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount’s second TD of the day sealed the comeback win and helped squash a 17-point Minnesota lead. Adrian Peterson scored the only touchdown for the Vikes and ended with 125 yards. Donovan McNabb had another unimpressive day, throwing for under 200 yards on 17-of-29 passing and is now 0-2 as a starter in Minnesota.

Tennessee Titans over Baltimore Ravens 26-13: The Titans defense shut down Joe Flacco, forcing a couple of INT’s and holding the Ravens offense to one touchdown. On the offensive side of the ball, Tennessee found its rhythm in Nashville with veteran QB Matt Hasselback passing for more than 300 yards and one TD.

Washington Redskins over AZ Cardinals 22-21: Sexy Rexy was not as sexy this week but still got the job done for the 2-0 Redskins. The Cardinals D picked Grossman off twice and he responded with two TD throws. The Cards’ Larry Fitzgerald scored on a 73-yard pass from QB Kevin Kolb but it was Grossman who led his team on a 4th Quarter game-winning drive that led to the winning FG.

Green Bay Packers over Carolina Panthers 30-23: Cam Newton’s Week 2 performance was again impressive. Although the rookie No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft threw three picks and only one TD, he connected on 28-of-46 passes for 432 yards. The Panthers took an early 13-7 but Green Bay responded with four unanswered drives for the win. Aaron Rodgers threw for 303 yards and two TD’s.

Cleveland Browns over Indy Colts 27-19: Colts QB Collins threw for the only touchdown his team could produce with only 24 seconds left in the game but it wasn’t enough as the Colts are proving how bad they miss their MVP Peyton Manning. With veteran PK Adam Vinatieri supplying most of the scoring, Browns RB Peyton Hillis scored twice on 94 yards rushing in the win.

New Orleans Saints over the Chicago Bears 30-13: On an emotional day when Bears LB Brian Uhrlacher returned to play only one day after his mother’s funeral, the Saints found their offensive groove. Saints QB Drew Brees connected on three TD passes to three different receivers. Bears QB Jay Cutler spent a lot of time on his back (6 sacks) and had a tough day with kicker Robbie Gould accounting for almost half of the Bears points.

Pittsburgh Steelers over Seattle Seahawks 24-0: The Steel Curtain was back as Pittsburgh did an about face from its embarrassing beatdown at the hands of the Ravens last week. The Steelers defense limited the Seahawks to under 50 yards on the ground and 159 through the air. Big Ben had a solid performance with one touchdown on 22-of-30 passing. After squeezing into the playoffs last season, the Seahawks fell to 0-2.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NFL0 Comments

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez improves to (38-0-1) with win

There was another big fight on Saturday night besides the controversial Floyd Mayweather KO of Victor Ortiz; this one at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (38-0-1 28 KOs) fought veteran Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2 12KOs) on a satellite venue as a Mayweather-Ortiz undercard bout.

Canelo, a 21-year-old Mexican fighter, is the pride of the Golden Boy Promotions boxing stable and holder of the WBC Super Welterweight championship belt. He successfully defended his title for a second time with a sixth round TKO when the fight was stopped at 2:36 of the round after Canelo seemed to be landing blows without any defense from Gomez.

To that point, other than a quick knockdown in the first round, Gomez had been scoring points and effectively landing punches against Canelo. While none rocked the youngster, he seemed to be practicing his defensive skills rather than finding Gomez with power punches.

Photo/Steve Jurvetson Wikimedia

The young champ won his title and made his first defense against two older fighters — Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes — who looked small next to the bulky Alvarez and gave away nine and ten years respectively.

While no one would question the talent and heart of Alfonso Gomez, he is another fighter with a decade on Canelo, who has seen his best days.

Many have criticized Golden Boy Promotions for babying their Latino cash cow fighter who fills arenas in Southern California.  After last night’s less than overpowering performance against Gomez, it just might be time for Oscar De La Hoya’s company to test tougher and younger waters in the next Canelo bout.

In his post-fight comments, Gomez decried the decision of the ring referee to stop the bout.

“He hit me hard but I think the referee was looking for a reason to stop the fight. He’s a great puncher but I think the fight was even to that point. It is what it is. I wanted to go the distance.”

Canelo Alvarez had no doubt he’d put his opponent away.

“I am very happy we worked hard we knew it was gonna pay off. I did my job at the beginning. I knew it was a matter of time.”

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in MMA/Boxing, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Bonds legal fiasco coming to an end

Barry Bonds’ legal ordeal will come to a close when the former slugger is sentenced for obstruction of justice in the upcoming months. In the end, Bonds was convicted of one count of obstruction by a San Francisco jury in April, one of four charges that were levied against him.

The jury hung on three counts of perjury related to his testimony in 2003 that was occurred before a grand jury that was investigating the BALCO labs and its distribution of illegal drugs and steroids.

How defense bloodied prosecution witnesses

Bonds attorneys asked Susan Ilston, the trial judge, to either set aside the conviction or order a re-trial on the matter. This was based on the assertion of his defense team that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient for a jury to find against him. The judge refused the requests and will sentence the slugger on December 16, 2011.

The prosecution team was stunned by the jury’s rebuke of its attempts to prove that Bonds lied under oath regarding knowingly using steroids or HGH obtained from BALCO and had considered retrying Bonds on the three perjury counts. But they announced earlier this week that they will not do so while reserving their right to reconsider until the final date available to them at the end of September.

The time and expense of another trial was taken into consideration and the feds came to the conclusion that the almost decade-long BALCO matter should finally end.

Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the trial was when Bonds’ mistress went on the stand and talked about hair loss and testicle shrinkage.

Bonds is the final individual to be involved in and complete the legal process stemming from that BALCO investigation. He is the only the third person that decided to take his matter to trial rather than admit guilt and take a plea deal.

In earlier trials, track coach Trevor Graham and Olympic cyclist Tammy Thomas were convicted of lying under oath and Judge Ilston didn’t impose a prison sentence on either defendant although sentencing guidelines would have allowed her to do that.

The same is expected to happen to Bonds but the prosecutors will be sure to argue and plea for jail time. Graham and Thomas’ sentences included time under house arrest.

Each side has claimed victory and vindication in this Bonds fiasco, with Bonds team saying that he was not convicted of lying while the prosecution stressed he is now a convicted felon.

In truth, neither won much but both lost a bundle; of time, energy and money. The federal prosecution of Bonds was costly in terms of money as well as staffing and Bonds never truly cleared the name he sought to protect when he stonewalled during his grand jury testimony.

What’s remains though, is the stench on MLB and the game of baseball and the cloud over several athletes, including Bonds, who may never reach their sport’s hall of fame as a result of what occurred during the steroids era.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, MLB0 Comments

Agbeko files complaint to IBF, controversy lingers

Showtime will replay the controversial Abner Mares victory over Joseph Agbeko on Tuesday night 10:30 pm EDT, on its Showtime Extreme channel. The bout was entertaining but a formal protest was filed to the IBF by Agbeko’s camp after several low blows were ignored during the fight.

With the win, the undefeated Mares took Agbeko’s IBF Bantamweight belt and became the winner of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament.

Photo/Tom Casino Showtime

The victory came amid more than a dozen low body blows by Mares, at least one of which was a direct shot to the protective cup. Not only didn’t referee Russell Mora deduct a point after five warnings to Mares he credited Mares with a knockdown on the final direct-to-the-crotch shot.

Mares recorded a majority draw decision that was scored 113-113, 115-111, 115-111, leaving room for the possibility that had referee Russell Mora done his job, there could have been a different outcome.

A protest was filed with the IBF and the Agbeko camp called for an immediate rematch which has yet to be decided.

Full breakdown of the fight; “Mares takes Agbeko’s belt”.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in MMA/Boxing0 Comments

Mares vs. Agbeko fight ref controversy

The second knockdown in the 11th round of this IBF Bantamweight fight was controversial. Abner Mares clearly hit Joseph Agbeko low but it was one of several that referee Russell Mora either ignored or merely warned Mares about and Jim Gray called him out on it.

When the bout was over, Mares took a majority decision and Agbeko’s IBF Bantamweight belt. The Showtime Bantamweight final was the first ever for Mares but don’t expect the controversy to end anytime soon.

Credit/Tom Casino Showtime

The homegrown product of Golden Boy Promotions outworked Agbeko, scoring a knockdown in the first round but the verdict may be officially challenged by Agbeko’s camp.

Despite the countless number  of blows below the belt, not one point was ever taken from Mares. The fight was scored 113-113, 115-111, 115-111 and could have turned had the referee taken at least one point from mares and called the fight as one would have expected.

The Showtime broadcast team, including Jim Gray certainly didn’t pull any punches, going at the ref during the post-fight interviews. A rematch seems likely.

For more on the fight visit my Examiner column here.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, MMA/Boxing, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Agbeko vs. Mares for bantamweight title

Al Bernstein previews the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament that will crown an IBF bantamweight champion Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. IBF bantamweight belt holder Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko (28-2 22KOs) squares off with the undefeated Abner Mares (21-0-1 13KOs).

The fight was postponed from an April date due to Agbeko getting off an airplane prior to fight week with sciatica that crippled him. Both fighters kept their poise and are more than ready to decide this once and for all on Saturday night, live on Showtime at 10:00 pm EDT and PDT (delayed on the west coast)

The winner of the bout will have survived a one and done tournament against the two other top bantamweights in the world. Will Nonito Donaire be on the agenda for tomorrow night’s winner?  Only time will tell.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in MMA/Boxing0 Comments

NBA owners and players battling in court

In an attempt to counter litigation by NBA players claiming the league violated U.S. antitrust laws by imposing the lockout, the league asked a federal court to declare the lockout legal and not in violation of law.

The owners also issued a formal complaint to the National Labor Relations Board that the players’ union violated law when they threatened filing to de-certify the union. The threat to de-certify is a similar move that was made by the NFLPA during football’s lockout.

While complaining about the players threatening, the league engaged in threatening of their own. The AP reported that within the NLRB complaint was a request by the owners to terminate all existing contracts with players if the union is allowed to disband.

All these aggressive legal actions add to the nasty tone that has come out of the league office since the NBA Finals concluded.

David Stern is attempting to stop the players from directing the action. If this thing ends up in court, it’s going to be Stern and his 29 owners getting the jump on players. While the NFLPA were prepared to de-certify and file a suit, Billy Hunter and the NBA players were not, prompting the bold move by the league to file ahead of the players.

While Stern seems to be taking control of the public posturing that occurs during these kinds of negotiations, the only significant talk about the lockout regarding the union has come from individual players who are looking for paychecks in Europe or Asia.

Many expected the NBA to try to prevent that and keep their assets healthy until the league re-opens for business but several players are already running the courts overseas. Stern has responded opposite as expected, telling players to have fun but get their own insurance.

The owners appear to be willing to have their financial positions take a hit if it breaks the will of the union….time will tell if that maneuver works. In the meantime fans are getting a taste of the sport watching Kevin Durant tear up Rucker Park as he takes his street ball tour for Nike through New York City.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, NBA, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Michael Vick becoming a mentor?

After hearing quarterback Vince Young entered the revolving door for NFL quarterbacks and would be inked by the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick told media what VY could learn from him.

Vick who tolerated scathing responses from fans and media when he returned to the field after serving almost two years behind bars can teach Young how to grow thicker skin, that’s for sure. No one could say anything worse to Young than was said to Vick yet the player stayed focused and made one of the best comebacks in the history of sport.

With Young’s ability to make plays with his legs, development of QB skills that complement an ability to change plays on the run is another topic on which Vick could opine.

Finally, Young’s “character issues” that included giving a beat-down to a man in the office of a strip club, can be addressed and for Young those seem to be the center of his attention. With Vick being a guy that has “been there done that” then bounced back in impressive fashion, who could be better mentor?

Vick looks forward to getting to work with Young, particularly on the “team comes first” concept. Vick wants to get Young caught up not only on the playbook, but his skills then film study.

Welcome to NFL quarterbacking, team leadership and skill development immersion classes, Vince. That’s how Vick learned after returning to take snaps after being out of the league for two years. He had to accept that the way he went about his business in the pre-prison days was a thing of the past. Will Young be receptive? With his history of trying to buck the system, who knows but he will have a better mentor than Vick did.

While Donovan McNabb was said to have welcomed him, he sometimes seemed annoyed on the sidelines in season one with Vick, when he was pulled to give his back up a couple of reps behind center and who’s to blame him with the competition for starting QB positions in the NFL being so fierce.

Philadelphia is becoming the quarterback incubator of the NFL. Will it make Vince Young into the next Michael Vick?

Used with permission of the author

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NFL0 Comments

Clemens mistrial decision, what’s next?

Roger Clemens mistrial decision in his perjury case led to his defense team exiting the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. victorious for the moment.

Clemens bolted from the courthouse with dozens of media and photographers trailing then ducked into a restaurant to get a bit of time alone with Rusty Hardin, his chief legal counsel. They must have been exchanging high-fives and contemplating how to attack the feds’ expected motion to retry one of MLB’s most dominating pitchers ever.

Hardin will argue that a second bite at the apple constitutes double jeopardy while prosecutors will say Clemens hadn’t been acquitted and the potential jury trial not tainted by their mistakes.

The gaffe wasn’t intentional, the government lawyers will stress. So how did it happen? No one will ever know except members of the prosecution team who didn’t excise a bit of video tape from a series of clips being shown to the jury this morning.

Was it a mistake or intentional?

Prior to this trial, the judge heard motions about what evidence would and wouldn’t be allowed during the course of the trial. The judge made clear that Clemens’ former teammate and friend Andy Pettite’s testimony would be admissible (that testimony included Roger admitting he juiced with HGH).  But Andy’s wife, Mrs. Pettite’s statements that she talked with her husband about that conversation that included the admission were off limits so she was struck from the potential witness list and the feds were barred from using her statements in evidence presented to the jury.

That’s where this mistrial decision came in.

There in the videotape being played in front of the jury and court that included Congressman Elijah Cummings facing Clemens at the 2008 hearings and discussing Mrs. Pettite’s corroboration. Although the defense didn’t jump up and object, the judge asked that the tape be paused and asked the jury to leave the courtroom.

After discussing with the lawyers from both sides what to do about the bonehead move, Rusty Hardin moved for a mistrial and after deliberating a few minutes, the judge granted the motion.

What does it mean?

For now the case is dismissed and the prosecution gets to make a motion for a re-trial with a new jury but Clemen’s defense team will argue that granting that request will constitute double jeopardy. The judge will decide at that time whose argument has more merit and announce that decision on September 2, 2011.

By not omitting Mrs. Pettite’s portion from that tape, the prosecution ignored the judge’s earlier decision and wrapped the noose around their own necks. It doesn’t matter whether it was intentional or a mistake because the jury heard it and were therefore tainted.

While the prosecutors asked the judge to instruct jurors to simply ignore that portion of the videotape, the feds had earlier inserted other banned testimony into their opening arguments that ticked off the judge and led to this latest mistrial decision.

Thus far, the time and money spent by the U.S. Attorney’s office on bringing the case to trial may have been spent in vain unless the judge allows the circus to continue with a whole new jury this autumn.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Jocks Behind Bars, MLB0 Comments

2011 home run derby winners; the Canos

2011 home run derby winner Robinson Cano, had an impressive showing while facing his father on the mound. The 27-year-old Cano edged Adrian Gonzalez by one homer in a final round and had an edge since he was so familiar with the pitcher.

But there was more said about the father-son combo than merely noting Cano’s comfort level with the man who has pitched to him since childhood. ESPN broadcaster John Kruk called the Cano win a “Field of Dreams” moment after Jose Cano hugged his son who leaped into his arms.

Kruk’s point is certainly an interesting one to contemplate.

Most players in Major League Baseball are likely to have had a father in their lives that introduced them to the game and became the first pitchers they faced as youngsters.

It isn’t only those that go on to play professional ball that feel that connection but the ritual of fathers bringing their sons to baseball games is also well documented.

In the recent “30 for 30” documentary entitled The House of Steinbrenner several men in attendance for the final game at old Yankee Stadium reminisced about their dads taking them to their first game in the “House that Ruth Built.” There were even three generation families represented in the interviews. Adult men got choked up when discussing the strong connection between playing or loving baseball and the relationship with their fathers and that brings us back to Jose and Robinson Cano.

Robinson, who is named after the late great icon Jackie Robinson, treasures his bond with his father and with the number of fatherless households growing in America, it spoke volumes the evening of the State Farm Home Run Derby.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, MLB, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Stay Up to Date