Dale Earnhardt Jr. Among Drivers Who Like NASCAR’s New Concussion Rules

It might’ve taken a while, but NASCAR has increased its emphasis on concussion protocol and treatment, and its drivers are showing their approval.

NASCAR announced Friday that its partnering with American Medical Response in revamping its concussion protocol, effective immediately, according to NASCAR.com. Under the new rules, if a driver has their car suffer damages that cause the vehicle to enter the garage or go behind the pit wall, the driver must visit the Infield Care Center to be evaluated.

Moreover, physicians must incorporate the SCAT-3 diagnostic tool when screening for head injuries, and AMR will provide additional consulting during NASCAR events and will work with NASCAR to further develop the protocol going forward.

To some degree, the rule change certainly is a response to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s extended concussion-related absence during the 2016 season. Dale Jr. is set to return for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and he appears to be happy about returning to a safer sport.

This is a positive step toward protecting our drivers. Good to see progress being made and implemented. Health and safety is top priority. https://t.co/ERu118eCO0

— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 17, 2017

Earnhardt isn’t the only driver who appears to be in favor of the rule changes. Joe Gibbs racer Denny Hamlin acknowledged uncertainty about the previous protocol, but believes the new regulations are necessary.

“I think there was some confusion last year,” Hamlin said Friday at Daytona International Speedway, via The Associated Press. “They sometimes have to protect us from ourselves. But we also want to make sure we’re racing on the track with people that are 100 percent. I’m all for that. I think it’s important we keep safety first.”

Since 2004, NASCAR has identified 50 concussions across its three national series, according to The AP. Many drivers have talked about perhaps driving when they shouldn’t have, so seeing how much that number increases could be a major story all season.

Thumbnail photo via Thomas Hawthorne/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK Images

Filed under: Auto Racing, NESN Fuel, Top Stories

NBA 3-Point Contest Results: Rockets’ Eric Gordon Wins In Sudden Death

The JBL 3-Point Contest featured eight of the NBA’s best shooters from beyond the arc, and the competition definitely did not disappoint.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon claimed the title in exciting fashion: A bonus, sudden-death round win over Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving.

.@TheofficialEG10 drops 21 PTS in OT to claim the #JBL3PT! 🚀pic.twitter.com/CEQAyCHMxR

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

The competition headed to an extra round after both shooters were deadlocked at 20 points following the championship round.

#KyrieIrving takes the lead with 20 PTS in the #JBL3PT Championship Round 👌pic.twitter.com/KhNDZ4o2cv

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

We’re headed to OT in the #JBL3PT! 😳pic.twitter.com/B4fNue3TKc

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

The 3-Point competition certainly got fans excited before the night’s main event, the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Adam London, NBA, Top Stories

NBA Skills Challenge Results: Kristaps Porzingis Dominates Competition

Despite all the drama and negative headlines surrounding the New York Knicks, they do have something going for them — Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis put on a show in the NBA Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday at Smoothie King Center, as he emerged as the best big man and then beat Gordon Hayward in the final.

FOR THE WIN! 🦄@kporzee defeats #GordonHayward to claim the #TacoBellSkills 🏆pic.twitter.com/r0v6aufFHO

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

“This one is for the bigs.” #KristapsPorzingis is your 2017 #TacoBellSkills Champion! pic.twitter.com/cn6OKQxSyX

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

Porzingis beat Nikola Jokic and DeMarcus Cousins on his way to the final.

The Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas made it to the second round, but he eventually lost to Hayward.

#IsaiahThomas is locked in!

Moves on to 2nd round of #TacoBellSkills along with #GordonHayward pic.twitter.com/ASj2Lbw1y8

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

#GordonHayward came to take the 🏆

Advances to #TacoBellSkills Final after outshooting #IsaiahThomas pic.twitter.com/sa2GEasgwu

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Boston Celtics, Cameron McDonough, NBA, New York Knicks, Top Stories

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Says Celtics Are ‘Well Positioned For The Future’

The Boston Celtics have had a tremendous season thus far, and their success isn’t going unnoticed around the league.

Heading into the NBA All-Star Break, the C’s have a 37-20 record and are just three games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Not only that, but Boston is loaded with assets, including possession of the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 and 2018 first-round draft picks.

Considering the team’s bevy of draft picks, combined with their already impressive roster, the Celtics have the opportunity to become an NBA powerhouse. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knows what it takes to be a premier team in the league, and believes Boston has set itself up to do just that.

“They’re well positioned for the future,” Kerr told CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely. “Because of the young talent, because of the coach (Brad Stevens) and because of the draft picks that they have coming up. They could end up with the number one pick in the draft, which is remarkable.”

The Warriors coach went on to praise Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who’s been instrumental in the team’s continued rise.

“That doesn’t happen often when you’re talking about a team that’s one of the best in the league already,” Kerr said. “Boston’s in a great place. I have a lot of respect for Brad and Danny (Ainge) for what they’ve done and obviously, Isaiah Thomas. They’ve been a great story this year.”

The Celtics will visit Oracle Arena to take on the Warriors on March 8.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Adam London, Boston Celtics, NBA, Top Stories

16-Year-Old Zion Williamson’s Dunk Skills Will Make Your Jaw Drop

No offense to Aaron Gordon or the rest of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest participants Saturday night, but 16-year-old Zion Williamson likely already has them all beat.

The junior from Spartanburg Day School in Spartanburg, S.C. likely someday will be a household name if he continues to make plays like these, which were posted by Bleacher Report on Saturday.

Zion Williamson’s in-game dunks are getting crazier & crazier 😳 (via AyyyeeItsFrank, @TelanteWebber, and taddhaislop/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/iD8Q8R6bmS

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 19, 2017

Oh. My. God.

Let’s just cancel the dunk contest and let Williamson show off his incredible skills for an hour.

Filed under: Cameron McDonough, NBA, Top Stories

2017 Clash At Daytona Live Stream: Watch NASCAR’s New Season Begin

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finally is upon us.

Saturday night’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway only is an exhibition, but it’s high-octane racing nonetheless.

This 75-lap, non-points race comes in two segments, split by a competition caution at Lap 25. Drivers must satisfy at least one of the following criteria to qualify for the race: 2016 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016. Moreover, all 16 drivers from the 2016 playoffs also are eligible.

And although Daniel Earnhardt Jr. will spend the race in Fox Sports One’s broadcast booth, seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Jimmie Johnson is set to compete.

Here’s how to watch the 2017 Clash at Daytona.

When: Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:24 p.m. ET
Live StreamFox Sports Go.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Auto Racing, NESN Fuel, Top Stories

Did Gisele Bundchen Point At Roger Goodell Clown Shirt After Super Bowl?

As you probably can imagine, Gisele Bundchen was pretty happy after her husband, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, led New England to its epic Super Bowl LI comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.

We saw a glimpse at just how happy Bundchen was in a short clip tweeted out by the NFL after the remarkable victory, and we saw even more Friday thanks to a tweet from Barstool Sports’ Jerry Thornton.

In the new video, you can see someone holding one of Barstool Sports’ Roger Goodell clown shirts — yes, the same one Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wore — and it sure appears as though Bundchen points toward it.

Gisele celebrating a Goodell Clown shirt right after #SuperBowlLI is everything good in this life @barstoolsports pic.twitter.com/OQPb9TApG2

— Jerry Thornton (@jerrythornton1) February 17, 2017

That could explain why the original video wasn’t longer.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Cameron McDonough, New England Patriots, Super Bowl, Top Stories

Patriots’ Cyrus Jones Says He Reached Point Where He Didn’t Want To Play

For most NFL rookies, winning a Super Bowl in your first year in the league would be a dream come true, but Cyrus Jones’ rookie campaign certainly wasn’t what he’d imagined.

After being drafted in the second round in 2016, Jones was expected to make an immediate impact in both the Patriots’ secondary and special teams as a return man. However, troubles with ball security and overall inadequate performance caused for Jones to be a healthy scratch for five of New England’s final six games, including Super Bowl LI.

Jones was technically a part of the Super Bowl-winning team, but as he told the Baltimore Sun on Thursday, his lack of contribution made him feel undeserving of the accolade.

“I’ll never take credit for something I don’t feel I contributed to,” Jones told the Sun. “I was part of the team, but I didn’t feel a part of it.”

The Alabama product seemed unable to get out of his own way, and his consistent struggles affected his overall mentality.

“I honestly felt cursed,” he said. “I reached a point where I didn’t even want to play. I just didn’t have it.”

Playing for an NFL juggernaut such as the Patriots, failing to live up to expectations causes for backlash from the fans and media. Jones didn’t pretend to not hear the comments, and shared just how much they messed with his psyche.

“It was hell for me,” he said. “That’s the only way I can describe it. I didn’t feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me.”

Still, Jones is confident in his abilities and believes that his rookie season will not define him as an NFL player.

“This is not the end of the world for me,” Jones said. “I have no doubt I’ll be back and this will be a thing of the past. It’s not like I forgot how to play football overnight.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Adam London, New England Patriots, NFL, Top Stories

Martellus Bennett Reflects On Julian Edelman’s Crazy Super Bowl LI Catch

The New England Patriots pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history in Super Bowl LI, and Julian Edelman pulled off one of the greatest catches on the biggest stage.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots wideout miraculously hauled in a deflected pass, which was an integral component of New England’s game-tying drive.

Here’s a reminder of just how crazy Edelman’s catch was.

“I caught it! I caught it!” @edelman11 mic’d up during his incredible catch: https://t.co/YrGHqGgkO9

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 9, 2017

The incredible grab was not lost on Martellus Bennett, who gave his thoughts on the catch via Twitter on Saturday.

Just thinking that if it was anyone taller or with longer arms they wouldn’t have caught the ball @Edelman11 caught. It had to be him.

— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) February 18, 2017

Bennett’s hardly the only player to be in awe of the jaw-dropping reception. Tom Brady and Dion Lewis both “couldn’t believe” Edelman’s acrobatic snag.

Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Adam London, New England Patriots, NFL, Super Bowl, Top Stories

2017 NBA All-Star TV Guide: Schedule, Channels, Rosters, Live Stream Info

The NBA’s best players have descended on New Orleans for All-Star Weekend.

Before this year’s Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars hit the court Sunday night for the 66th All-Star Game, the extraordinary talent of these athletes will be on full display in the Rising Stars Challenge and All-Star Saturday night, including the much-anticipated slam dunk contest.

Here’s the complete All-Star schedule, with TV and live stream information for each event. Click here to view the rosters for both conferences.

Friday, Feb. 17
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game: 7 p.m. on ESPN (Live Stream)
BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge: 9 p.m. on TNT (Live Stream)

Saturday, Feb. 18
NBA All-Star Practice: noon on NBA TV
NBA D-League All-Star Game: 2:30 p.m. on NBA TV
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night: 8 p.m. on TNT (Live Stream)
–Taco Bell Skills Challenge (first event)
–JBL Three-Point Contest (second event)
–Verizon Slam Dunk (third event)

Sunday, Feb. 19
66th NBA All-Star Game: 8 p.m. on TNT (Live Stream)

Thumbnail photo via Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images

Filed under: Boston Celtics, NBA, Top Stories