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WATCH: St. Louis Rams pull off sensational fake punt return vs. Seattle

- October 19th, 2014

You’ve heard of a fake punt.

You’ve heard of a fake field goal.

But a fake punt return?

Yep, it’s possible. And the St. Louis Rams pulled off a sensational trick return that turned out to be the difference in their 28-26 win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon.

It started like any other Jon Ryan punt.

But watch Rams kick returner Tavon Auston draw Seattle’s special teams unit to the bottom portion of the screen.

While that’s happening, St. Louis wide receiver Stedman Bailey drops back to the 10-yard-line to receive the punt before taking it to the house – giving Seahawks coach Pete Carroll a dose of his own trick play medicine.

Fantastic stuff.

Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper pitches save-of-the-year candidate

- October 18th, 2014

We’re only a handful of games into the 2014-15 season, but rest assured this paddle stop by Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper will be on every end-of-the-season highlight reel.

With the game tied 1-1 in the third period, Kuemper preserves the score after a cross-ice pass by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry appeared to deflect off the skate of Wild defenceman Jonas Brodin. It made the diving stop all the more impressive.

Minnesota eventually lost 2-1, but Kuemper’s teammates threw praise the goaltender’s way.

“Kuemper played a (heck of a) game again,” Wild winger Nino Niederreiter said. “He kept us in the game.”

Insane soccer brawl leads to 12 red cards, match abandoned

- October 17th, 2014

A massive brawl. Twelve players ejected. Riot police involved. Game suspended.

What would you expect? An NHL game from the mid-70′s, likely involving the Philadelphia Flyers?

Nope, it had nothing to do with hockey.

It was just another day in Division 3 soccer, Argentina-style.

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Earlier this week, a game between Deportivo Roca and Cipolletti, two rivals in the Argentine league, degenerated into a swirling mass of brawling players that led to riot cops coming onto the field, players being taken out of the stadium in ambulances and the referee abandoning proceedings.

It was an ugly, ugly mess that appeared to be sparked by — what else — a diving player faking an injury, which resulted in an opponent being tossed out.

When the dust settled, 12 players had been red-carded and the game officials had scurried off the field.

In the grand scheme of things, the game has little importance on the sporting landscape. But if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, the video is pretty darn funny to watch.

University basketballer just wants to play before dying

- October 15th, 2014

Unlike most university athletes, Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill just wants to play.

And the sooner the better.

In Hill’s case, it’s not a matter of impatience or teenage petulance. She simply doesn’t have much time to waste. Literally.

According to a report from Yahoo!, Hill, a 19-year-old freshman with Mount St. Joseph, a Division III school in the Cincinnati area, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour last fall and given less than two years to live. But rather than wallow in misery, she’s gone on with her life, enrolled in college and endeavoured to play basketball for her school.

In fact, playing collegiate basketball would be a dream come true for the young forward.

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With a month to go before Mount St. Joseph’s scheduled season opener on Nov. 15, fear is rising that Hill might never get the chance to play. She had an MRI last month that showed the tumour has grown and doctors now believe she might not live beyond December. That means she could be too ill to play in another month.

So her parents asked Mount St. Joseph coach Dan Benjamin if he could somehow move the team’s opening game to an earlier date. Although NCAA rules ban games that count in the standings to be played before the middle of November, Benjamin went to bat for his young player. He got an exemption from the NCAA and convinced Hiram College to play the game on Nov. 2 at Mount St. Joseph, which was also a change of venue.

“I’ve been coaching in the Cincinnati area for 25 years and part of the reason you coach is to make an impact on people’s lives,” Benjamin said. “In this case, a small change could make a big difference, so it was definitely an easy decision to try to help her make her dream come true.”

This story might not have a happy ending, though.

Hill’s health is apparently sliding — vertigo is a common issue, along with headaches, nausea and poor hand-eye coordination — and she might not be well enough to play on Nov. 2. Even the new date could be too late.

“In two weeks there is no guarantee what condition she’s going to be in,” her mother, Lisa Hill, said. “I do know she will fight tooth and nail to keep herself together and get to that game because she wants to put on that jersey, be on that floor and fulfill her dream of playing on the college level.”

By all accounts, Hill is a fighter. How else would you describe a player who remained dedicated to the sport even though she was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for most of her senior year in high school. But a will to hold off this insidious disease long enough to play one game — just one damn game — might not be enough.

“The two things that have driven her are her dreams to play at the college level and to spread awareness about this ugly disease,” Lisa Hill said. “If she accomplishes both, she goes out the way she wants to go out. That in itself is priceless.”

Heartbreaking.

Hopefully Hill will find a way to step onto the court and fulfill her dream.

Aaron Rodgers’ doppelganger fools Green Bay residents, finally meets Packers QB

- October 15th, 2014

It was months in the making, but Aaron Rodgers’ look-alike, Tom Wrigglesworth, finally met the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Wrigglesworth, a 38-year-old comedian from Sheffield, England, was told back in March that he looked like the 30-year-old Super Bowl champion Rodgers.

 

And so began the British comic’s quest to meet the American football star, which ended with him travelling all the way from London to Green Bay, Wisc., last month.

Check out the video below as Wrigglesworth documents his trip to the city where he fools young fans in a restaurant, and visits the football club’s locker room, where he surprises many of Rodgers’ teammates before meeting the QB himself.