This Week in Sports: 2/28-3/5

Sunday 2/28: Jimmy Johnson ties Dale Earnhardt with 76 wins.

I follow NASCAR, but it’s only because my grandfather used to watch it all the time and when he’d come up to my house for Sunday dinners, we’d always watch the race while we were eating. He was a big Jeff Gordon fan, so it kind of rubbed off on me. I mostly watch it now between football and baseball season, because I need some sort of sport to watch.

On Sunday in Atlanta, Jimmy Johnson got his 76th career win, tying Dale Earnhardt. Upon crossing the finish line,

Johnson stuck three fingers out the window — Earnhardt’s car number — on his victory lap. He never got to race the Intimidator, who died on a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

“It’s such an honor,” Johnson said. “I had to throw a three out the window to pay respects to the man.” (From ESPN)

Only six drivers have won more races: Richard Petty (200), David Pearson (105), Jeff Gordon (93), Bobby Allison (84), Darrell Waltrip (84), and Cale Yarborough (83).

Monday 2/29: You get a franchise tag, you get a franchise tag, everyone gets a franchise tag!

Franchise tag is upon us. Here’s everyone who got tagged:

  • Muhammad Wilkerson – New York Jets defensive end: he will earn $15.07 million if he signs his tender.
  • Justin Tucker -Baltimore Ravens kicker: he is due $4.572 million if the Ravens can’t work out a long-term deal.
  • Cordy Glenn – Buffalo Bills tackle: he is due $13.7 million from the Bills.
  • Alshon Jeffery – Chicago Bears wide receiver: a long-term deal could be difficult to work out. He will likely play for almost $14.6 million, which is his franchise tender.
  • Josh Norman – Carolina Panthers cornerback: the two sides will continue to try to work out a long-term deal to determine his season salary.
  • Olivier Vernon – Miami Dolphins defensive end: Miami owes him $12.7 million in 2016, but any other team can sign him to a long-term contract.
  • Von Miller – Denver Broncos outside linebacker: he was hit with the exclusive franchise tag and teams can’t try to trade for him; no word on dollar amount yet.
  • Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins quarterback: the tag is worth $19.953 million.
  • Eric Berry – Kansas City Chiefs safety: both sides are working toward a long-term deal; no word on amount yet.
  • Trumaine Johnson – Los Angeles Rams cornerback: he will earn $13.952 million this season.

Tuesday 3/1: Aroldis Chapman accepts a 30 day suspension for a domestic violence incident.

He was investigated for an incident involving his girlfriend on October 30 in Florida where he allegedly her after an argument. His girlfriend also claims that after he choked her, he went into the garage and fired eight shots from a handgun.

Prosecutors declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence. Recently, MLB has instituted a domestic violence policy, and under this, commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Chapman for 30 games.

Chapman will be able to participate in spring training games but will not be able to play during the first month of the regular season. He continues to deny the allegations, but he has accepted his suspension because of the “bad judgement” he used.

Whether or not Chapman actually did it, I’m glad that MLB is taking a stand against the allegation and issuing punishments. Maybe the NFL could take a few tips from Manfred…

Wednesday 3/2: Crimson Tide football team was honored at the White House.

This was the fourth trip for Alabama to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to see President Obama. He congratulated the team on its historic run and spoke very highly of star running back Derrick Henry, who declared for the draft.

Obama joked and said he’d like to welcome the team back in 2017, but there’s a little thing called term limits. He praised the team’s off-the-field achievements, like being the first in the SEC and third in top 25 schools in graduation rates and players volunteering at retirement homes, hospitals, and schools in the Tuscaloosa area.

I feel like a proud mother bear seeing my babies back at the White House. They deserve every moment of their victory tour, and although Obama won’t be there next year, here’s to hoping the Tide return to the White House in 2017.

Thursday 3/3: Ex-Titan and Redskin Albert Haynesworth says he almost died from two brain aneurysms.

Lately in the NFL, brain injuries and the consequences of the rough and toughness of football has been a talking point. Although the NFL has been doing more to curb concussions, we are learning more about post careers and how older players are being afected by the brain trauma they were subjected to during their time in the NFL.

Haynesworth told a Nashville radio station that during November 2014 he suffered two aneurysms. He went to his doctor, who noticed the defensive tackle’s blood pressure was through the roof and admitted him to the hospital, where it was discovered the aneurysms was ready to rupture. He was in the hospital for 11 days after surgery.

He says that he struggles with writing his own name or sending long texts, although there has been no concrete conclusion what brought on the brain issues. Um, I clearly don’t have a PhD, but I think his 10 year career in the NFL might have something to do with it…

Friday 3/4: Tony Romo is having surgery next week to fix his clavicle.

Romo has suffered three broken clavicles in the last six years: once in 2010 by the New York Giants and twice in the past season by the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers. At the end of the 2015 season, he said he was going to have surgery to fix the whole broken left clavicle thing, however, there are conflicting reports about what procedure he is actually having.

A radio station in Dallas is reporting he will have a plate inserted into his collar bone while a source at ESPN.com says he will have the “Mumford procedure,” which is when the bone is shaved down to release pressure.

Regardless of what surgery he has, the recovery time will be six to eight weeks so he will be able to return to play by May. The only problem now is that how durable will Romo be during the season? While he was sidelined last season, washed up Matt Cassel and poor Brandon Weeden were his backups and led the Cowboys to seven straight losses.

Hey Jerry Jones: RG3 will be available soon if you want another injured QB on your roster.

Saturday 3/5: University of Illinois to hire Lovie Smith as head coach.

The University fired Bill Cubit, the football team’s head coach, who was coaching the team on an interim basis last season. The Fighting Illini finished 5-7 under Cubit. His contract was set for two years, however, the new athletic director, Josh Whitman, decided a change needed to be made.

Rumor has it that Lovie Smith will replace Cubit. Smith has been away from the college game for over twenty years. He is best known for coaching the Chicago Bears and just recently was fired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after going 8-24 in two seasons.

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