Falcons’ New Stadium Will Have a Chick-fil-a, Which Won’t Be Open on Sundays

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source– Sure, most everyone loves Chick-fil-A, but the popular restaurant chain will be closed during a majority of the Falcons’ home games in 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

In fact, the only day the Chick-fil-A inside the stadium will be open, is on December 7, when the Falcons host the Saints on Thursday night.

I cannot possibly overstate how much I love this move. It’s genius. Pure, unadulterated genius by Chick-fil-a. Outside Taco Bell, no fast food company understands human nature and the marketing game quite like Chick-fil-a. The fastest way to get someone to want something is to tell them they can’t have it. Anytime I drive past a Chick-fil-a on Sunday, my cravings for the sweet, succulent chicken sandwiches go through the roof. It’s all I can think about. My desire to spend money at Chick-fil-a consumes me. And I’m only one guy. When the dozens of Falcons fans who’ll pack Mercedes-Benz Stadium walk by the ghostly visage of a closed Chick-fil-a, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be working at an Atlanta area Chick-fil-a come Monday mornings in the fall. Talk about a mob scene. I guarantee this sends business skyrocketing. Chick-fil-a is going to make a killing off this, once again proving that being closed on Sundays is one of the greatest business decisions of all time. They’re the anti-McDonald’s. If you have a way to keep something exclusive, do it. Don’t make breakfast all day because now no one cares about McDonald’s breakfast. Don’t open Chick-fil-a on Sundays because then no one will experience seeing a closed Chick-fil-a. It’s so simple, but it’s why Chick-fil-a is king.

As for the Falcons, the losses just keep on coming. First, they suffer the worst defeat in the history of professional sports. Then, their new stadium doesn’t even work. And now this. Sure, this is great for Chick-fil-a, but it’s horrible for the Falcons. What were they thinking? How can you let yourselves, an NFL team coming off an albeit doomed Super Bowl appearance, get completely dominated by a fast food joint? I’ve never seen anyone get cucked harder than this. I’d love to have been in the room for when this was pitched. Probably some 45-year-old father of four brought this idea to the board like “Hey, guys, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s get a Chick-fil-a in the stadium! It’s what’s hip with the kids these days, I’ve heard. Sure would be great to have young people talking about the Falcons in a positive light. I sure am tired of getting destroyed on the Twitter, how about you fellas?” Great idea, man! Too bad Chick-fil-a is run by geniuses (they’re probably not geniuses they’re just really religious, but accidental genius is still genius) who would never pass up an opportunity to build business and throw their balls on the table like this. I bet the Falcons paid for everything, too. The probably bought the franchising rights, paid for the construction, hired the staff, took care of all the overhead costs, everything. Too bad they forgot Chick-fil-a bends for no man. Unbelievable. This is why it amazes me every time I see people say the Falcons are going to be good this year. Are you kidding? This franchise is completely and utterly broken. The Patriots killed them. The losses keep piling up with no end in sight. The players all snapped and hate each other. The coaches are going to be second guessing everything they do. They’re going to treat closing the retractable roof as a real accomplishment. Their legion of devoted fans disappeared as quickly as it burst onto the scene. They’re getting mercilessly dunked on by Chick-fil-a. It’s over for the Falcons. They might not win a game this season. Honestly I’d be surprised if they did. It’s going to take something monumental to get this franchise back on the right track, and I see that miracle happening anytime soon.

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Marvin Bagley Reclassifies and Will Attend Duke Next Season, Celtics to Win 2018-19 NBA Championship

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Huge news day for college basketball yesterday. Not only did Jim Calhoun throw his name back out there, but 2018 top recruit Marvin Bagley III decided to reclassify and attend Duke this upcoming season. Duke now enters the season as the clear number one team and is probably going to win the championship, unless they wind up choking again in the tournament/Coach K decides he needs another surgery and takes a few months off, ruining team chemistry but preserving his record. Oh, well. If Duke didn’t win every once in a while, they wouldn’t be Duke anymore. They’re not really Duke, anymore, anyway. All these fancy one and done guys even though Coach K has always preached against one and dones and praised four year guys. Funny how his legendary morals seem to change whenever he finds a way to benefit from something new. Odd how that works out.

Anyway, Bagley’s a stud. The ultimate modern day big man, he’s being called the best prospect since Anthony Davis. He’s a freak athlete, he can shoot, he can handle the ball, and he’s 6’11”. Seems like a decent combination of skills to have. If only there was an NBA team that was one guy away from winning the next five championships. Oh, wait, there is! And, as fortune should have it, the Celtics could theoretically end up with the first two picks in the draft next year, barring unexpected leaps in performance from the Nets and Lakers. I was already gearing up for the Celtics to get previous top prospect Michael Porter, Jr., but now they’ll get Porter and Bagley? Whooooo, baby. Now that LeBron and Kyrie have both feet out the door in Cleveland, I can’t see a realistic scenario where the Celtics don’t at least make the Finals in perpetuity. What a time to be a Celtics fan. Think of everything they’ve got going for them. Top pick Markelle Fultz The NBA’s best guard defender Avery Bradley A great coach and a million young guys that all play the same position. Can’t beat that. Hope Marvin likes green.

Jim Calhoun Hints He Might Want Back In

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source– Former UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun, a Hall of Famer, may be coming out of retirement.

He would not say where, but multiple sources said he has had serious discussions with the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford about its new men’s basketball program and has been offered the job.

“I’ve got a couple of other things in the works, one involving basketball, which I’m intrigued by,” Calhoun said. “It’s coaching.”

But this appears to be serious. St. Joseph is starting a Division III men’s basketball program, to begin play in 2018, and posted an opening for a head coach in late June. Calhoun would only say that the school was local, but sources confirmed it is St. Joseph. A decision could come within a week.

I realize this might be more relevant to people in my neck of the woods, but anytime Jim Calhoun is trying to get back in the mix, I’ve got to give my two cents. As a notable UConn graduate (they’ve yet to update the Wikipedia page yet), Jim Calhoun is my guy. I loved the old UConn basketball teams (they were pretty much the reason I went there), he was still the coach my freshman year when they won the title, and he built the team that won my senior year. So, yeah, I have Jim to thank for a lot of happy memories. I still remember how he walked to the bench before home games. The locker room tunnel was on the opposite corner, so he had to walk all the way around the court to get to his seat. The whole time, he’d just walk and wave to the students. He walked like if you put a frog on it’s hind legs, which made it better. And you could always hear him scream at the players no matter how loud the crowd was, which was a nice touch. I fully support any school that wants to get Jim back out there.

If he really is going to this DIII school, all I’ve got to say is that I never actually played athletics. Hard to believe, I know, but I’ve got all four years of eligibility left. I think I could average 8-10 points per game in DIII. Add in like 5 dimes and 6 boards. I’d get to the line a lot and wouldn’t be afraid to commit hard fouls to send a message. What I’m trying to say is that I should probably be getting recruited by University of St. Joseph right now. I’d be a pretty easy get. I’m not swimming in offers right now. As long as I get a sweet illegal benefits package I’m in. No one investigates DIII, so just throw a bunch of money and cars at DII talent and watch the wins pile up. Knowing Jim, He’ll have USJ up to DI in like, five years. By then, a crop of his old players’ offspring might be ripe for recruiting. Get Ray Allen’s kid, Rip Hamilton’s kid, Cliff Robinson’s kid, Donyell Marshall’s kid, hopefully he lasts long enough to get Charlie Villanueva’s kid, too. We could be looking at a new college basketball power in the making. Or just a way for a retired legend to spend his weekends. One or the other.

Premier League 2017-2018 Season Preview

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After a seemingly never-ending offseason (just kidding, the fùtbol offseason is like, three weeks long), the lads are back, ready to take the pitch and knock it into the old onion bag. The pubs are starting to fill with fervent supporters and the children are dancing in the street. This season promises to be a memorable one, and, surprisingly, I've got some opinions on it. Correct opinions, too. I should start by offering some disclosure: I am a Crystal Palace fan supporter. I've been a diehard Palace Head (still workshopping the name) for about three years, now, so you know my loyalty runs deep. I pretty much picked them because I needed a Premier League team and didn't want to just jump on some bandwagon, so I picked the one with the coolest name. I fully expected to never feel true glory and be happy in the lower middle of the Table. After all, I'm allowed to have one team that doesn't win every year, right? Well, Leicester City ruined that two years ago, and now I'm convinced Crystal Palace is taking the league this year. Last season they had horrible luck with injuries and started the season with Allen Pardew as manager. Hard to win with those circumstances. But, we've got a new manager (Frank de Boer), some splashy new signings loans, and some sharp new kits. Things are pointing up! Crystal Palace, 2017-18 Premier League Champions.

Outside the title winner, there are some other storylines this season, as well. Fortunately for someone like me (a football (my football, for all my devoted international readers)-obsessed American who spends the majority of his brainpower in the fall pouring over football stats and highlights like it was my job (sadly, it isn't)(yet) and only devotes a portion of his free time to the Joga Bonito) (But I still know everything about the Premier League and will correctly predict the League Table with astonishing accuracy) (Amazing, I know), literally every relevant plot point and potential narrative revolves around the Big Six: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham. Forgive me for not going deep on Burnley's transfer window, but, outside the Big Six and Crystal Palace, no other team really has a shot at a Champions League spot. Now, plenty of random teams will be exciting. Probably more exciting than Chelsea, at least. Maybe everyone will be more exciting than Chelsea. Well, everyone except West Brom. But as far as making a real impact? Not so much.

The coveted Transfer Window Championship is, as of now, split between the two Manchester teams clubs. United, again, made sure to have the single biggest singing, finally getting Romelu Lukaku away from Everton. Add in underrated midfielder Nemanja Matic from rival Chelsea and another year for all of last year's huge singings to get acclimated to the Special One's system, and expectations are flying high in Old Trafford. Expectations are always flying high there, though, and that hasn't lead to much of anything (by their standards) recently. City decided to remedy last year's somewhat disappointing third place finish by throwing a ton of money around. They've spent a lot more money than anyone else, and, while they haven't gotten any huge names, everyone they've picked up is relatively young and already really good. Kyle Walker is one of the best right backs in the world, and Bernardo Silva could become a superstar. Chelsea kind of had a head scratching transfer window. They need center backs, but sent two on loan. They need wingers, but sent two on loan. They need another midfielder after puzzlingly letting Matic go, but sent their most promising one on loan (Crystal Palace, bitch!). I don't necessarily think they're done making moves, but just adding Morata, probably losing Costa, and then settling for, what, Danny Drinkwater? I don't know, man. Not really sure what the strategy was Tottenham, the lovable losers who can't seem to win anything despite having the second best team in England the last two years, didn't add anyone. In fact, their only transaction of note was selling Kyle Walker. I guess they have faith in manager Maurico Pochettino and their young, talented core. I'm sure all the Arsenal fans out there are feeling good. They brought in Alexandre Lacazette, the haven't lost anyone yet, they can't choke in the Champions League because they didn't make it, Wenger hasn't lost the locker room yet, everything's going well. Butttttttt, Alexis wants out. Bad. Like, he said he's not going to try this season for Arsenal and leave for free next year. Mesut Özil is always a little flighty. Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsay are always popular transfer rumors. The other shoe is going to drop for the gunners, and it's going to drop hard. I know I'm falling into the classic "talk about the Cowboys no matter what" trap we have over here, but Liverpool is probably the most interesting team to me on a philosophical level. Theoretically, I should like them. The same people that own Liverpool own my beloved Red Sox. But I hate the Red Sox owners and all they represent. They haven't won anything in forever, but carry themselves like they've won ten straight titles. Jurgen Klopp turned down $100 million for Philippe Coutinho because he thinks they're in position to win now. How do you turn down $100 million for anyone, let alone someone like Coutinho, who's good, but not that good. And all they added was Mo Salah, a great player, but certainly not enough to singlehandedly change them into world beaters. Look for Liverpool to be walk into another relatively underwhelming season.

Without further ado, it's time to unveil the Official Brian's Den Premier League Table. No, I'm not a licensed psychic, but you can still take my predictions for scripture. I'd even go so far as to suggest using this to place wagers, but we all know I don't condone that sort of thing.

Premier League Table

  1. Crystal Palace
  2. Manchester City
  3. Manchester United
  4. Tottenham
  5. Chelsea
  6. Arsenal
  7. Liverpool
  8. Everton
  9. West Ham
  10. Leicester City
  11. Bournemouth
  12. Southampton
  13. West Brom
  14. Watford
  15. Stoke City
  16. Newcastle United
  17. Burnley
  18. Swansea
  19. Brighton
  20. Huddersfield

Love Me Some Little League World Series Action

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Everyone, rejoice. Exhale, kick your feet up, and celebrate. We’ve made it through the darkness that is the sports calendar of July and early-August and come out relatively unscathed. Now, we’ve got NFL training camps and Hard Knocks, the MLB stretch run, and the Little League World Series is heating up. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing those kids put on their tight jerseys and run around in the summer sun. Wait, that came out wrong. But the Little League World Series is awesome, and not for the typical “oh, it’s so pure” crap you’ll see Cardinals fans and the people who have always taken J.J. Watt at face value will give you.

For starters, you can bet on it. Does it feel dirty? Not for me. Maybe you have some qualms making money off of 12-year-olds, but I suffer no such moral obligation. It’s fun. I’d never put a lot of money on it, I’m financially responsible. Literally anything can happen. When you bet college football (a favorite, if destructive, pastime of mine), you have to assume there’s going to be at least one play per game that’s completely inexplicable: the QB throws into quintuple coverage and it gets deflected and the receiver comes down with it for a TD, multiple fumbles on the same play, an onside kick returned for a TD, just something crazy. Well, Little League games are like that on crack. Every pitch could yield a million possible results, and, unless the pitcher is the one Roger Clemens/Danny Almonte manchild in the field and strikes everyone out, odds are the least likely outcome will come to pass. It’s a wild experience that really can’t be replicated in any other environment. As I said, you’re not going to get rich doing this. You’re going to lose in some of the most absurd ways possible, but it’ll be a good time. I swear. Now, I won’t tell you where you can take part in this disgusting practice. You’ll have to find that for yourself, since that’s half the fun (and I won’t be accountable for any legal trouble you might find yourself in).

Piggybacking off that, the highlights and characters that come out of the LLWS are second to none. We’re still in the regionals, but already there’s been some all-time moments.

The 6’7″ “12-year-old” and the super fat kid are staples of Little League. All that’s left is the kid with the hot mom, the coach who’s trying too hard, and the Japanese kid with a 0.00 ERA and we’ll have LLWS Bingo. Again, this is still regionals and there’s been some amazing clips. Expectations are sky-high for Williamsport.

Lastly, I just love seeing other people unhappy. When I was their age, I was insanely jealous of the kids who got to play in the LLWS. I was convinced I was better than them and couldn’t understand how some 4’5″, 75lb kid lucked himself into a home run while I was stuck ripping doubles. And, because I’m emotionally unhealthy, that never went away. So whenever these entitled little shits start crying because they airmailed a throw to first base or gave up ten straight hits, I feel vindicated. Hey, Timmy, I always said I was better than you! Sure, you might not have been alive yet when I was playing, but your emotional breakdown proves it! I win again! Enjoy your orange slices, pussy! Sorry, might have gotten carried away, there. Either way, seeing preteens unhappy brings joy to my soul, feel free not to judge me for it. Little League World Series, always a good time.

Who’s Ready for Some Hard Knocks?

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As is tradition, the start of NFL training camp brings us another season of Hard Knocks, the first real sign that the NFL season is nigh. The groundbreaking documentary series has changed the way we think about training camp, and, really, the way we think about sports documentaries in general. If you don’t have ultimate access, I’m not watching. If I don’t know what the third string QB’s meal plan is, why should I even care? Still, at this point I love what Hard Knocks represents more than I love the actual show. Much like with All or Nothing, any kind of football is good enough for me at this point, particularly when it means we’re mere weeks away from college and NFL kicking off for real. But the seemingly never-ending streak of getting super boring teams for Hard Knocks probably isn’t going to change with the Bucs this year. Hard Knocks is only as good as the head coach, and Dirk Koetter is…. well, he’s alive. I think. I honestly don’t think I could pick him out of a lineup. That’s a bad sign. Still, I’m going to watch it. You’re going to watch it. Everyone’s going to watch it and wonder why we’re doing so in the process. It’ll be great. As an experienced Hard Knocks viewer, there are certain things that appear time and time again. Time is a flat circle, and nowhere is that more apparent than on Hard Knocks. Here’s a quick primer for everything you’re going to see this season.

You’ll Find Out What Dirk Koetter Looks Like

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This is pretty unique for this season, but the fact remains that, unless you’re one of the dozens of diehard Bucs fans, this will be your official introduction to Dirk Koetter, and, if this picture is any indication, you won’t be in for much. My guess is he either loves to fish or play golf and stays until all hours of the night watching film. A real breath of fresh air in the coaching world.

There Will be a Heated Battle Amongst the Assistant Coaches for the Title of Coolest Coach

Happens every year. Every coach thinks this is his time to shine. Turn up the personality to 11, say the F word ten times a sentence, make a ton of sex analogies that don’t really work, talk about drinking or smoking, have a scene where they’re playing cards together, really anything to seem cool and relatable. Looking at the Bucs’ coaching staff, I’ve got together some prime suspects:

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Not the most promising batch of coaches. A lot of old guys, a lot of guys who look like they haven’t been out of a team facility in 20 years. I’m not positive these are the guys, but they’re some of the youngest looking, and defensive line coaches are always a little wacky. Same goes for the strength and conditioning coach. He looks like he’ll murder you and wear your skin if your squat form is a little off. He could be electric! Just kidding with Mike Smith. He’s the most boring person of all time.

The One Assistant Coach Who Used to be a Head Coach and They Awkwardly Talk About How He Failed In His Last Job

Hey, speaking of Mike Smith!

The Stupid Player Who They Exploit for Some Easy Quotes

One of the best traditions Hard Knocks has is filming a football player who hasn’t read a book that didn’t start with “play” since the first grade talking about something other than football. These guys’ world views are so skewed, anything could come out of their mouths! Tune in tonight to find out what they say! Anyway, there’s only one possibility for the Bucs. Anytime HBO can combine their Idiot screentime with their Starting QB screentime, you have to do it.

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Seeing Jameis Winston say something dumb is pretty much the only reason I’m excited for this season. Jameis was made for Hard Knocks. Everything that comes out of his mouth is liable to start and internet firestorm, and the beauty is that he doesn’t know any better. He’s so innocent (allegedly) and means well, but he can’t get out of his own way. He’s like a puppy without a leash, and he’s going to light up the screen.

The One Player Who Proves Himself to be the Zaniest on the Team

Similar to the war of attrition between the assistant coaches, all the players want that valuable screentime, too, and the best way to get it is to be super crazy and quirky. Is it forced? Almost always. Is it entertaining? Sometimes. But it’ll happen nonetheless. Luckily for us, the Bucs’ roster isn’t filled with J.J. Watts, so the competition might be that fierce (actually, I have absolutely no idea if that’s valid or not. I can name, like, five Bucs players. For all I know, it might be the biggest collection of hams outside a Smithfield store). Jameis, when he’s not obliviously saying something moronic, will undoubtedly try waaaaaaaaaaay too hard. It’ll be cringeworthy. I think Mike Evans has something going on, but who knows. I think it’ll be Gerald McCoy.

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This guy’s so zany. How do I know? Well, he wears oversized glasses all the time! What a wildcard! He’s so quirky and unique! McCoy’s been a great player since he came into the league, but has been relatively anonymous because of where he plays and the fact that he’s eternally tied to Ndamukong Suh since they were drafted in the same year. Look for HBO to try and pump him up as the unknown star who has a crazy personality.

Someone Will Have an Absurd Collection of Cars/Jewelry/Some Other Expensive Thing

Quickest way to kill some time is to show the viewers that no, these guys aren’t just like us. They have millions of dollars and don’t have to go to work for six months at a time. Someone’s possessions will redefine opulence for the millionth straight year.

The Guy Who Gets Cut

Easily the most recognizable and beloved of the Hard Knocks tropes. Notice someone you’ve never heard of soaking up screentime? Maybe we’ve met his wife and young daughter? Learned about his crippling debt or tough upbringing? Well, he’s getting cut. Sorry.

That’s pretty much all there is to Hard Knocks. It’s not a complex show, and this season may be particularly formulaic. But hey, it’s football.

Neymar Officially Joins PSG

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source- Neymar said he followed his "heart" after sealing his €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona. 

Neymar became the world's most expensive player after PSG opted to trigger his buyout clause and told reporters at his unveiling on Friday: "My heart told me that it was time to sign for Paris Saint-Germain."

The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful four-year spell with Barcelona, winning one Champions League title, two La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey as well as one FIFA Club World Cup and one Spanish Super Cup, but he said he was relishing the new challenge.

A source has told ESPN FC that Neymar will be paid around €30m per year after taxes and has been handed a major signing bonus in excess of his net annual sum.

$260 million. Let that sink in. $260 million for one player. The previous record was $123 million. Absolutely mind bending number. After weeks and weeks of leaks, foreplay, non-commitment, denial, and accusations of tampering, Barcelona finally sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for $260 million (or €222 million for the very few non-American fútbol fans out there). From PSG's standpoint, why the hell not? They've got unlimited funds thanks to that sweet, delicious oil money, and you've go to do something to shake off the "perennial Champions League chokers" stink, and not winning the French League last season was probably pretty embarrassing for one of the richest teams in the world. For Barthelona, it's not like they need the money or anything, but it's pretty hard to turn down $260 million for one guy regardless of how good they are, especially if the player seems pretty determined to leave. Hurts to lose someone of Neymar's caliber, but something tells me they'll be okay in the long run.

It's pretty hard to miss the obvious parallels between this and the Kyrie Irving situation in Cleveland. Neymar is better at soccer than Kyrie is at basketball, but the fact remains: supremely talented individual on a team with an even more supremely talented individual that has had success and won wants to move out of the shadow of the transcendent mega-star and prove they can do it on their own. I mean, if you're Neymar, I don't really see the downside, here. You know that, as long as he's still playing (and probably long after he retires), Messi will always be king. Everything will always be compared to Messi, and even if you someone elevate your game to the alien plane of existence Messi occupied, he's so beloved you'll never measure up. Why would you even bother? You've already won every trophy there is to win at Barcelona, go to the French League, score 50 goals a season, win the league every year, make $35 million or whatever it is a year, and just have fun. I have zero issue with it, just like I have zero issue with Kyrie wanting his own squad. I don't really have my finger on the pulse of the Spanish media market, but if they operate like the NBA fans here, I'm sure Neymar's getting roasted left and right. "Where's the loyalty?" "Why would you want to leave Barcelona?" He's just doing it for money/stats!" It's just so stupid. So you're not allowed to choose to join a "super team," but now you're not allowed to leave, either? What? As I've said countless times before, players are people, too. They're allowed to make decisions. And Neymar decided he didn't want to come in second to Messi for the rest of his life. He wanted to prove he could carry a team as The Guy. Since when is that something we frown on?