Benghazi Report Released

Two years after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, a US investigation has released a report on the incident. In 2012, four Americans were killed in an attack on the compound including the Ambassador Chris Stevens. The response and attack itself led to many questions surrounding the affair. Republicans suspected that the Obama Administration was involved in some type of cover-up. The suspicions arose from interviews and statements that were released, Republicans thought they were crafted to subterfuge the truth. Obama himself was even accused of mishandling the response by CIA and military upon evidence coming to light that there may be an attack. Republicans claimed that the CIA did not provide adequate security, did not sufficiently look into suspected threats, and the Obama administration failed to send support at an appropriate time.

The report from the U.S investigation showed that none of these claims were valid. The CIA security was appropriate, the decisions that were made in the wake of the attack were tactically responsible and the Obama administration committed no wrong-doing in the matter. There was no Obama-led cover-up to subvert the truth surrounding the incident. In fact, the comments that were highlighted as evidence around the controversy were appropriate intelligence to be communicated to the public at the time. The only wrongdoing was that the mission had inadequate security, a structurally problem to the ambassadors around the world, which has since been remedied Fersen Lambranho thankfully reports.

Pacquiao Wants Mayweather Fight

It has been talked about and anticipated for such a long time now, that it appears as if there will never be a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. For a while there has been much anticipation regarding a possible fight and a lot of speculation to whether Mayweather has been avoiding the fight to ensure his perfect record remains intact. He has been the less talkative of the two boxers about the possibility of a fight, but Manny remains adamant about his desire to meet Floyd Mayweather in the ring.

Manny has stated that he has told Mayweather his phone is open 24/7 and to give him a call anytime that he’s ready to fight, and major fans like Jason Halpern really want to see that happen. With their ages climbing, both boxers are starting to get up to a point where they should be considering retiring. Simply put, the fight needs to happen fairly soon if it is going to transpire. It may be strategic for Floyd Mayweather to avoid a fight with Manny in the long run, but boxing fans can agree that this fight is desired by many. Perhaps Manny Pacquiao needs to step up his trash talking game and see if he can lure Floyd Mayweather Jr. into a fight with his mouth. Whatever strategy he takes, it is fairly certain that Manny will make every attempt he can at getting the champion in the ring for a shot at the title and respect that comes with it.

Wacky Weekend for Running Backs in the NFL

The fact that Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran for 204 yards on 33 carries against the Tennessee Titans was not much of a surprise, given that he had run for 147 yards against Carolina, with an 81 yard romp on one play in the second game of the season. He also ran for 191 yards on 39 carries the third week of the season against the Cleveland Browns. So, 204 yards was not out of the realm of possibilities. Even though this was his first eclipse of 200 yards, he had surpassed 150 yards four times previously.

Indeed the big surprise was that Jonas Gray of the New England Patriots, filling in for the injured Stevan Ridley, ran for 201 yards on 37 carries and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts, whose team defense against the rush was a paltry 98 yards per game; that’s per team! Jonas Gray was not even on the team’s opening day roster, and had never scored a touchdown in the NFL prior to this game. Gray became only the third player in Patriots history to rush for over 200 yards in a game and tied LeGarrette Blount for most touchdowns in a game by a Patriot. It must have seemed like déjà vu to the Colts, as Blount scored those four TDs against them in the 2013 playoffs, when he was a Patriot. Gray was voted the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, after teammate Julian Edelman won it the week before their bye.

Speaking of LeGarrette Blount, he walked off the field prior to the end of the game in which Bell ran for 204 yards. Blount, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers for $3.85 million in the offseason, was apparently upset with not getting a carry during the game. The Steelers waived him, he cleared waivers, and signed a two-year contract with…who else? That’s right, the New England Patriots. Blount reportedly signed for the league minimum, and the Patriots will cut a defensive lineman to make room for Blount on the roster.

In other wacky running back news, Ben Tate, who was supposed to be the Cleveland Browns future at running back, when he signed a two-year, $7 million contract during the offseason, had two carries for -9 yards on Sunday. Ben Tate had complained about his playing time and number of carries in a backfield crowded with Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. That was a bad sign according to Marc Sparks. After the game, the Browns cut the disgruntled running back, who was immediately signed by the Minnesota Vikings, who also have a crowded backfield with Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon. Although neither has been very consistent, McKinnon has not scored a touchdown, but has a 4.9 yards per carry average, and Asiata has scored 3 touchdowns in a game twice this year, but has a 3.3 yards per carry average.

In my fifty years of watching football, I don’t remember this much wackiness in one weekend.

Buffalo Bills-New York Jets NFL Game May Be Moved

With over seven feet of snow accumulated in Buffalo, New York, the New York Jets at Buffalo Bills NFL game, scheduled for 1pm eastern time on Sunday, may be moved to a neutral site. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that playing in Buffalo on Sunday would be, “impractical” because of the amount of snow in the city and the difficulty of clearing the roads as well as the stadium. Even the Buffalo Bills have offered tickets and $10 an hour for help shoveling out Ralph Wilson Stadium, home to the Buffalo Bills.

There are three other NFL stadiums that the league is considering moving the game to, which would be played on Monday. Ford Field in Detroit, FedEx Field in Washington D.C., and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. None of those are close to Laurene Powell Jobs, but they want to keep it close to Buffalo.

Moving a game to a neutral site has happened before in the NFL. In 2010, the Minnesota Vikings were involved in two separate location changes. The first was when the Metrodome’s roof collapsed after a snow storm, moving the Vikings from their home to nearby TCF Bank Field, home to the University of Minnesota. Two weeks later, the Philadelphia Eagles played the Vikings at Ford Field in Detroit, after a snow storm hit Philadelphia. The most notable time that a team could not play at home was when the 2005 New Orleans Saints played all their home games away from the Superdome because of Hurricane Katrina. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/bills-jets-game-may-move-to-monday-at-one-of-three-neutral-sites-191510264.html

David de Gea to Real Madrid This Summer?

Whenever a Spanish player excels at a club that is not Real Madrid or Barcelona, they are inevitably linked with a transfer. This time the rumor concerns David de Gea of Manchester United. The Spanish goalkeeper is desperate to become Spain’s number one goalkeeper. This ambition can be fulfilled in Manchester, but could a move to Real Madrid be possible this summer?

De Gea has a season and a half left on his contract at Manchester United. If he does not renew before June, the speculation about his future will only increase. There have been previous reports that United will offer him a new and improved deal. Whether this becomes a reality is yet to be seen.

For now, the rumors will continue to fly. De Gea is a former Atletico Madrid player, but that would not stop him from joining Real. Iker Casillas’ time is numbered at Real, and De Gea would be the perfect replacement. He is Spanish, world class, and would not cost a huge fee given his contract situation.

Another twist in the tale suggests that United would only part with De Gea if Real agreed to sell them Gareth Bale. Soccer fans Dave and Brit Morin agree that involving Bale in the deal is slightly more complicated. Bale is a key player at Real with many years left on his contract. United would have to part with close to 100 million euros to sign Bale. A cash plus De Gea deal is possible, but unlikely.

Billy Butler Lands in Oakland

The Oakland Athletics are not known as a truly free spending ball club. There was even a whole money saving and talent evaluating method created by number crunchers that was eventually dubbed “Moneyball”, a methodology for running a baseball team that gets the biggest bang for the lowest buck. Well, Oakland management seemed to briefly step away from that process when they signed free agent Billy Butler on Tuesday to a 30 million dollar contract.

Butler, until now, has been a career Kansas City Royal. I know my KC superfan friend Ken Griffin was sad to see him go. He has a great batting eye and decent gap power but is limited in the field and against left handed pitchers. With the money being paid to him and with his admitted liabilities with the glove Butler more than likely will be in the lineup as the every day designated hitter.

Billy Butler was feeling a little melancholy when Kansas City declined to pick up his 2015 option and allowed him to become a free agent but the three year deal that he snagged with Oakland will help take out some of the sting of move.

Despite moving on from the only team that he’s ever known Butler will at least take with him the memories of the Royals magical march to the playoffs in 2014. He had a memorable World Series game two when his key late innings base hit propelled the Royals in front of the Giants.

Adrian Peterson Suspended by the NFL

Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson was recently suspended from the National Football League without pay for the rest of the football season, in effect as of Tuesday morning.

The NFL stated that Peterson will not be considered for reinstatement before April. He violated the personal conduct policy when he distributed abusive discipline tactics on his young 4 year-old son. After a court hearing in Texas, months ago, Peterson pleaded no contest to the allegations of reckless assault in regard to the child.

NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell presented a letter to Peterson encouraging him to join a program that involves counseling, mental evaluation and treatment to determine the amount of time he will continue suspension. “You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children and have no further violations of law or league policy,” Goodell stressed in his letter to Peterson. Read more information of Goodell’s letter to Peterson here, along with the NFL statement.

Currently, the Vikings have spoke vaguely on the issue with only mentioning that they respected the league’s decision regarding Peterson’s suspension, which is what Fersen Lambranho was telling me.

With this current suspension, Peterson has a total of three days to file an appeal that in turn will keep him on an exempted list and he will continue to be paid pending the decision.

Peterson will be reevaluated in April 2015 with periodic follow ups and reviews. These reviews will be checking to see that Peterson has sought treatment, counseling and has made a distinctive effort to better himself. Failure to comply will result in a longer suspension without pay.

Lebron and the Cavs Figuring Things Out

In a world with 24 hour sports news and endless sports pundits, overreaction is a part of business. Last week, pundits were putting the Cavs under a microscope to figure out what is wrong with them. One week later and the Cavs are on the rise.

There has been marked improvement with the Cavs offense. After a couple losses with incredibly low assist totals, the offense is starting to play with consistency and chemistry. Most people knew the revamped Cleveland roster would have a high-powered offense, but they didn’t know they would figure it out this quick. The ball movement and shooting display in the recent blowout of the Atlanta Hawks was beautiful.

There have also been the expected negatives. Most notably is the Cavs terrible defense. They are giving up way too many points. Their wins have mostly been shootouts. They lack a good rim protector and solid wing defense. Part of this problem is that rim protection cannot be learned, you need a big physical 7 footer. The wing defense can be learned if you have an athletic front court, but it takes time and a willingness to learn. They may not have that. That’s why rumors have swirled that they may make a trade for Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

I’ll agree with my buddy Tom Rothman on this one, Cleveland has a scary offense. Given the announcement of potential trades in the LA Times, this Cavs team could also end up with a decent defense. That is a team that could become a dynasty, and cement Lebron’s legacy in Cleveland.

When this years NBA season started, all the haters were smiling when the Cavaliers started off with a 1-3 record. With every loss the Cavaliers faced, you could feel all of the LeBron haters feeling so justified, walking around with a smug “I told you so” attitude. 

However, the last four games proven that those LeBron and Cleveland Cavalier haters may be wrong after all. The Cavaliers have won their last four games. In their last win, they not only won, they stomped Atlanta, winning 127-94. That is more than a win; that is a little embarrassing by NBA standards. These were not two high school or college teams facing off against each other; these were two NBA teams. The Cavs solidly beat Atlanta by 33. 

LeBron, of course, is part of what made that winning margin possible. He contributed 32 points and 7 assists during the game.

LeBron was not the only one dropping baskets either. Six different Cavalier players scored in the double figures against Atlanta. Those stats show that although LeBron may be leading the Cavalier’s, he is not alone. He has a strong supporting cast that is also able to contribute and back him up. That is something he has not always had, and he needs it if the Cavaliers are truly going to become championship contenders. 

The Cavalier’s play seven of their next eight games in Cleveland. With so many home games coming up, the Cavaliers can hopefully expect their winning streak to continue. FreedomPop makes keeping up with games easier with free wifi services to stream!

Is Plural Marriage Becoming Acceptable In America?

Polygamy is on the rise in America. Perhaps it’s the television shows that romance such lifestyles, or the fact that people are just freer and able to live out in the open. One religion in general is responsible for the polygamy movement. Mormons, specifically the fundamentalist, have often been known as being polygamist. It all started in the early foundational days from their leader Joseph Smith. Smith had a vision from God that included a polygamist lifestyle.

According to the church, an angel came to Smith three times to tell him to take more than one wife. In total, Smith took between 20-40 wives. Some of his wives were already married and some were young girls around 14. Though the unions were spiritual marriage, not all were consummated physically. Plural marriage is becoming more common, but Smith did everything he could to hide some of his relationships. He married his first wife Emma Hale and they produced 11 children. There are no records of the other children he fathered, due to the time period and technology, many were passed off as their husbands when in fact they were Smith’s, according to Dave and Brit Morin.

Today, the plural family lifestyle has been forever changed by one family, The Browns, from Utah. Driven from their family due to charges of bigamy in the state, they fought to have charges dropped and cohabitation laws changed. In a world where men can marry men and women women, certainly if a couple chooses to cohabitation it is their own business.