Hall of Fame coach Bill Fitch dies, leading Celtics to 1981 title

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Bill Fitch, who led the Boston Celtics to one of their championships during a three-decade Hall of Fame coaching career, has died. Fitch, two-time NBA Coach of the Year, died Wednesday in Lake Conroe, Texas. Fitch coached 25 seasons in the... (Author: Gardener)

Bill FitchFILE - Boston Celtics coach Bill Fitch reacts as he gets off the ground at the Boston Garden on Sunday, May 4, 1981 after the Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 91-90 to win the NBA Eastern Conference. Bill Fitch, who guided the Boston Celtics to one of their championships during a three-decade Hall of Fame coaching career, has died. Fitch, two-time NBA Coach of the Year, died Wednesday, February 2, 2022 in Lake Conroe, Texas. (AP Photo/File) CLEVELAND (AP) -- Bill Fitch, who guided the Boston Celtics to one of their championships during a Hall of Fame coaching career spanning three decades, has died. Fitch, two-time NBA Coach of the Year, died Wednesday in Lake Conroe, Texas. Fitch coached 25 seasons in the NBA, beginning with the Cleveland Cavaliers expansion in 1970. He was Larry Bird's first professional coach with Boston in 1979, won a title with the Celtics in 1981, and spent time with the Houston, New Jersey and Los Angeles Clippers. While he found his greatest success in Boston, Fitch is perhaps best remembered for his early seasons with the Cavs. He helped build a fledgling team that won just 15 games in its freshman season before making the playoffs in 1976 and shocking the Washington Bullets in what became known as the "Richfield Miracle." Fitch was voted Coach of the Year that season. "Coach Fitch was a great friend and trusted mentor and teacher to so many throughout the basketball community, while his impact on the game and the lives of those he touched spanned generations. Fitch was hired by the Celtics in 1979, the same year Bird came to Boston. The Celtics went 61-21 in Fitch's freshman season and won the championship the following year by beating the Rockets in six games. Fitch, who retired in 1998 with a coaching record of 944-1106, was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.


2/2 Game Preview: Hornets vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics will look to continue their recent winning streak when they host the Charlotte Hornets for the second time this season on Wednesday night. Boston earned its second straight win in dominant fashion on Monday, rolling past visiting Miami 122-92. (Author: Gardener)

Game PreviewThe Boston Celtics will look to continue their recent winning streak when they host the Charlotte Hornets for the second time this season on Wednesday night. Boston earned its second straight win in dominant fashion on Monday, rolling past visiting Miami 122-92. The Celtics finished the 30-point win in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two places behind Charlotte. The Celtics shot 52.4 percent from the field and made 16 3-pointers in their last game. They have won four of their last five games and outperformed their opponents by an average margin of 30.5 points in those recent victories. "It shows us that if we pay the attention we've been up to now, we'll have a good chance every night," said Boston coach Ime Udoka. "And when the offense starts playing faster, making shots and sharing the ball, it becomes contagious." Jaylen Brown had 29 points and Jayson Tatum had 20 to lead six Celtics by double digits in Monday's game after the duo had one on Saturday combined performance of 69 points against New Orleans. Brown was 11-to-19 from the field and hit three 3-pointers as he ended January with a 26.1 point-per-game average. "The games, we're accumulating those wins, the more wins you keep getting, the better you feel," Smart said. “You start to feel better, the shots you were missing start to go, things like that. Charlotte won consecutive games before Sunday's 115-90 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, who capitalized on a 7-0 run late in the third quarter and an 11-3 run early in the fourth to claim the win. The Journey to Boston is Charlotte's only away game in a series of seven that began last Friday. The Hornets, who played without former Celtic Gordon Hayward (health and safety record) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (left ankle sprain), were 90 points and 32.7 percent shooting held at a season low. We could have had better shot selection overall," said Charlotte coach James Borrego. "They're a good defense but offensively we just stayed dry. We struggled late in the third and early in the fourth, obviously." LaMelo Ball was a bright spot for Charlotte as he had 23 points and 10 assists for his 16th double-double of the season, his fourth straight game with 20 or more points Ball scored a triple-double and Terry Rozier had 28 points and 10 assists to help in a 111-102 away win over the Celtics on Jan. 19, the second of four straight meetings between the teams this season to take the lead The Hornets are 10-22 all-time in Boston Boston posted a 140-129 overtime win over Charlotte in the first meeting on Oct. 25.


Adele confirms Brit Awards performance, her first since postponing entire Las Vegas residency

Adele confirmed she will perform as scheduled at the Brit Awards on February 8, but gave fans no update on her postponed Las Vegas residency. (Author: Gardener)

Las VegasThere's no word on her completely postponed Las Vegas stay, but Adele has squashed another string of rumors by announcing she will be performing at the Brit Awards as planned. "I'm so excited to say I'll be playing for the Brits next week!!" she posted on social media on Tuesday. "Anddddd I'll also be stopping by to meet Graham for a chat on the couch while I'm in town too!" Adele also seemingly dismissed another gossip - that she and sports agent boyfriend Rich Paul were having issues, huh contributed to their Vegas bailout - by noting in her post, "Oh, and Rich is sending his love." Hi, I'm so excited to say I'll be performing for the Brits next week!! Anddddd I'll be stopping by to meet Graham on the couch too while I'm in town too! Video: Adele postpones Las Vegas residency: 'It was impossible to finish the show' | Billboard News (Billboard) Adele postpones Las Vegas residency: 'It was impossible to finish the show' | Billboard News Joe Rogan breaks silence on podcast controversy and promises to 'balance things' in the future | Billboard News Joni Mitchell Will Pull Music From Spotify In Solidarity With Neil Young | Billboard News Britney Spears calls her sister Jamie Lynn Spears 'scum' for 'making her money' | Billboard News Madonna Wants to Tour With Britney Spears: 'We Could Recreate the Original Kiss' | Billboard News YouTuber Tasha K Vows To Take Cardi B's Defamation Lawsuit 'All The Way To The Supreme Court' | Billboard News Travis Scott Fans Petition to Let Him Perform at Coachella 2023 | Billboard News Doja Cat Releases 'Get Into It (Yuh)' Music Video | Billboard News Rihanna Is Pregnant, Debuts in Photos With Baby Bump With A$AP Rocky | Billboard News Rihanna Is Pregnant, Debuts in Photos With Baby Bump With A$AP Rocky | Billboard News Rihanna is pregnant in photos with boyfriend A$AP Rocky over the weekend of January 30-31 in New York City. BTS' Jimin undergoes surgery for appendicitis and tests positive for COVID-19 | Billboard News BTS' Jimin undergoes surgery for appendicitis and tests positive for COVID-19 | Billboard News BTS' Jimin has become the latest member of the K-pop supergroup to test positive for COVID-19. Adele is nominated for four Brit Awards at the February 8 ceremony, including Best Album (for '30') and Best British Female Artist. But given her abrupt departure from Las Vegas last month on the eve of the launch of her announced 'Weekends with Adele' residency, reports began circulating that the 'Easy on Me' singer was also dropping her commitment to the awards show. Her performances at the Brit Awards and Norton's Show will mark her first full-scale performance since the Vegas debacle. On January 21, the day her shows were due to begin at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Adele happened to FaceTimes with fans visiting the gift shop next to the venue. While neither the singer's camp nor Caesars Palace have given fans — many of whom flew thousands of miles just to learn of the postponement upon arrival in Vegas — an update on the future of their shows, the venue has begun to announce its to compensate for losses. Country guitar rocker Keith Urban has pushed back the start of his Colosseum concerts to March 25 and will fill in some of the blank calendar dates left by Adele. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Adele confirms Brit Awards performance, her first since postponing her entire Vegas residency


Charlotte Hornets vs Boston Celtics Odds, Tips and Predictions

Analyzing Wednesday's Charlotte Hornets odds and lines at the Boston Celtics, with tips, predictions and best bets from NBA experts. (Author: Gardener)

Charlotte HornetsThe Boston Celtics (27-25) host the Charlotte Hornets (28-23) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden. ET tip. Celtics odds and lines and meet our expert NBA tips, predictions and bets. Charlotte was on a two-game winning streak on Sunday after being defeated 115-90 by the Los Angeles Clippers as a 6-point home favorite. The Hornets have 6-4 straight up (SU) and 5-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games. Boston has won four of their last five games (4-1 ATS), including two in a row. The Celtics beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-97 on the road Saturday and the Miami Heat 122-92 at home on Monday. Charlotte and Boston split their first two meetings this season, with the road team winning and covering both. The Celtics are 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Hornets in Charlotte. Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; For a full list, visit the USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub. Hornets +190 (bet $100 to win $190) | Celtics -240 (bet $240 to win $100) Hornets +5.5 (-108) | Celtics -5.5 (-112) SG (Ankle) Likely PG (Achilles) Likely C (Toe) Likely Deposit $10 or more and get $100 in betting credit instantly at Tipico Sportsbook! Place your legal online sports bets at Tipico. BET CELTS -5.5 (-112). Boston is only 27-25 SU but is seventh in net rating and has the best net rating in the NBA over the past seven games with the best ATS margin of plus -8.4 according to The Celtics are eighth in adjusted shot quality difference, according to, and have a minus 4.2 win margin, which essentially means Boston should have four more wins. Also, the Celtics are fourth in defensive standings and the Hornets are struggling against good defense. Charlotte is 7-12 SU over top 10 defenses, 22nd in adjusted net rating (down-5.7) and 22nd in ATS margin (down-3.2). The Celtics were without Williams III and PG Marcus Smart in their loss to the Hornets earlier this season. Williams has an adjusted on/off net rating of plus 6.7. With Williams in Wednesday's lineup, I expect the Celtics to do a better job of rebounding and protecting the paint. Boston is third in Paint Points per Game (PPG) and Charlotte is fourth in Paint PPG. PASS with a lean on the over 223.5 (-108) as the over has bucked in nine of the last 13 Hornets Celtics meetings. Bet online legally with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, the Official Sportsbook Partner of Sportsbook Wire in CO, NJ and soon IA. Bet now! Bet now! If you're looking for more sports betting recommendations and tips, access all of our content on and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for viewer recommendations on betting services. Tipico has no control over, nor is such revenue in any way dependent on or connected to the newsrooms or reporting. gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).


The Celtics can win even if the Jays are cold

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were cold Wednesday, but the Celtics still beat the Hornets. Here are five takeaways of a big win. (Author: Gardener)

JaysAfter overcoming the Hornets 113-107 on Wednesday, the Celtics have now won five of their last six games and 10 of their last 14 games. You could see a good stretch coming if you peered at the team for the first few months, even as it threatened to crack and fall apart. This year's team is much more than just Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's show. Even if you squint, you probably have a hard time imagining games like Wednesday, where the Celtics beat a solid playoff team, taking just 34 points on 31 shots from Tatum and Brown. Here's the benefit of all that extra depth: Tatum and Brown combined for 15 assists and six of the eight players who played scored double-digit goals. Two players scored more than 20 points and neither of them belonged to the Jays - Josh Richardson lost 23 points while Marcus Smart scored 22 points. As a team, the Celtics finished 31 assists. Smart, who sparked controversy earlier this season when he criticized Tatum and Brown for not moving the ball, said the team's ball movement was very encouraging. The game plan that everyone has is to get the Jays to pass the ball," Smart said. That way it just opens up the ground for them on the stretch where it's time to take over and it makes it harder for defense to charge up when guys are kicking the ball, making shots and making the right play. It could be this symbiosis that makes the current solid track of the Celtics something sustainable. "We always want to play right, make or miss and then rely on our defence," said Ime Udoka. There will be nights when they don't take shots but the look was the same as last game when we didn't take them and tonight we hit them. 2. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, NBC Sports Boston showed a worrying chart on its show: The Celtics were 4-12 in games decided by five points or less. Back then, they led by less than five points. The Celtics haven't finished games well, but they've blown out some mediocre teams lately. Those blowouts swelled the team's net rating, while narrow losses didn't erase the difference. In other words, for the Celtics, net rating — which is usually a pretty good metric to predict a team's success — didn't tally with their record. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics should have 32 wins by now based on their net rating. In fact, the Celtics are nowhere near level with the Bucks and have a lot of ground to gain. The good news? There are 29 games left. The Celtics may not be able to gain home field advantage in the playoffs, but they could still easily put themselves out of the play-in game with a good finish. "The league is a lot about confidence," said Josh Richardson. "And instilling that confidence in the guys, getting those shots on the track and getting those shots and making plays and getting in the paint and making stops is tremendous." 3. After Marcus Smart recovered from his injury/COVID- When his absence returned, he initially got himself into the groove mainly through moderation. However, on Monday and Wednesday he made nine and 11 shots respectively - his highest total since his return. Smart is taking his shots: He's 13-for-20 since returning to the lineup. More importantly, his shots get into the flow of offense — the Hornets made it clear they wouldn't let Tatum and Brown hit them. Smart proved up to the task. "I only take what the defense gives me," Smart said. "Tonight on the Jays they did a really good job on certain aspects of this game, forcing the ball into their hands and getting other guys to take shots like me, J-Rich, Grant [Williams], Al [Horford] , Rob and everyone else out in the square. 4. The Celtics secured the game with a big play from Robert Williams - he flew forward to beat P. "I actually said [Williams], 'You look like me out there. You're going to hit me because I'm one of the best defenders out here. I'm proud of you,'" said Smart. "Rob is phenomenal. We need Rob every night to be that Rob.” 5. Dennis Schröder played 16 minutes on Wednesday. As noted by The Athletic's Jay King, this is Schröder's fifth straight game with 17 minutes or less. The Celtics are healthier so it stands to reason that fewer bank minutes would be available, but given the time of year - only eight days until the close! - It's hard not to wonder if the Celtics will wrap Schroeder in the air should a team make them a solid offer.


Brady, Big Ben and the End of an Era

Tom Brady has always had an innate sense of timing. Consider it a requirement -- perhaps the most important -- if you're going to spend a generation in the NFL. (Author: Gardener)

BradyTom Brady has always had an innate sense of timing. Ben Rothlisberger too. Old school in its own way. Remove the "TB12 Method" branding, shield your eyes from the jewelry of Brady's seven Super Bowl rings and his supermodel wife and all that "GOAT" merch and you might just become the most successful grinder found in the history of the league. A slow, unremarkable sixth-round pick squeezing every last ounce of talent — and then some — from a body that barely screamed "possibly all-time leader in pretty much everything" as the Patriots flyed a flyer at the scrawny kid took out Michigan with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft. Roethlisberger arrived with more fanfare four years later when Dan Rooney insisted the Steelers nab the 6-foot-5-man kid from Ohio with the 11th pick. But while Brady did everything he could to set his image apart from the prospect, who ran the 40-yard run in 5.28 seconds (that's not a typo), Roethlisberger embraced his "Big Ben" persona while he - right like Brady - franchise icon developed from game master to game master. "Ben defied the TB12 method throughout his career in favor of the 'Throw Some Ice On It' method and ended up an All-Time Great with 6 Pro Bowls and 2 Super Bowls," Brady tweeted after Roethlisberger's March 27. "There's more than one way to bake a pie!" Maybe, but the pie looks a lot different today than it did when Brady and Roethlisberger began their respective ascents in the early 2000s. The position that Brady and Roethlisberger helped define is changing. When the Steelers and Buccaneers point out that they're not trying to find the next Roethlisberger or Brady at this week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, they're not kidding. For all their size and the golden jackets that await them in Canton, Ohio, the game has evolved. The future that Roethlisberger and Brady fought off to the bitter end is finally here. The baton they have carried skillfully for so long has been passed down to (or inherited from) players who grew up with them. Lamar Jackson. JustinHerbert. Justin Fields too. While they're all being told to win like Brady and Roethlisberger have for so long, the way they're supposed to do it is changing. Quarterbacks can no longer stand in the pocket like Brady and make a series of micro-decisions while chaos envelops them. They need to do more than block defenders with one arm and hurl game-changing passes with the other, like Roethlisberger did. Watch Allen drop his shoulder to take on linebackers. Watch Jackson spin the defenders into the ground. Or Mahomes, zigzagging like a kid running away from his classmates during a tag game. Even Burrow, who's as close as you can get to being a Brady clone, used a pair of scrambles to end Cincinnati's stunning rally on Mahomes and the Chiefs in last week's AFC Championship game. "The AFC is the quarterback conference," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday. And probably years to come. Mahomes is 26. Allen, Burrow, and Jackson are 25. Herbert is 23. They'll probably spend the next decade alternating between appearing in the Super Bowl and gracing the cover of "Madden"—hell, Jackson and Mahomes already did it it - and to fill the top 10 annual jersey sales. Their rise has helped fuel a further surge in TV ratings for a league already capable of capturing public attention in ways other sports simply cannot. As unlikely as Brady's rise to GOAT status seemed 20 years ago, he and Roethlisberger both fit the archetype of what an NFL quarterback is supposed to look like — and play. A month and a day before Brady was drafted, Dan Marino retired as the NFL's career leader in yards passing and passing touchdowns, a crown he passed to Brett Favre, then Manning, then Brees, and finally Brady. And while Vick's unique talents always make him the ultimate runaway, he provided a blueprint that Allen, Jackson and others are using to lead the league into its second century. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin became acutely aware of this in the fall, as his team struggled to contain players like Mahomes, Burrow and Herbert, who were in a combined 5-0 win against Pittsburgh that season while posting at times stunning numbers. When asked repeatedly throughout the year what he was looking for in order to find Roethlisberger's replacement, he repeatedly spoke about quarterback mobility. This does not mean that Tomlin is looking for Vick version 3.0. But the job requirements for what Tomlin and his brothers are asking their quarterbacks to do in 2022 bear only a passing resemblance to what Roethlisberger and Brady were tasked with doing in 2004. Winning never goes out of style. It's the way teams deal with it that's changing. Brady and Roethlisberger's records will likely fall someday — expanded game schedules and quarterbacks playing at a high level into their late 30s and beyond will see to that — but after more than 100 years of a position being dominated by a particular paradigm , the tide has changed. Perhaps Brady, who studies the game as perceptively as anyone, could see it coming. He accepted the mantle as the standard-bearer of the position and took it to once unimaginable heights. Moving into the next phase of his life, he's watching the players who raised him play a game - to paraphrase something the great golfer Bobby Jones once said about a young Jack Nicklaus - that Brady is unfamiliar with . Brady and Roethlisberger took position as much as possible. The old school was dismissed. The New School is in session.


How Purdue basketball can win the Big Ten championship in the last 10 games

Purdue begins the second half of the Big Ten season Wednesday in Minnesota (Author: Gardener)

the second halfMINNEAPOLIS — Purdue is halfway through its Big Ten season. With a 7-3 league record, the Boilermakers are in contention for the regular-season title and are a game behind Wisconsin and Illinois and a half-game behind Michigan State ahead of Wednesday's matchup in Minnesota. Here are 10 things - and one bonus item - on Purdue's agenda. Only one loss came after the Boilermakers held a 10-point or more lead when the Scarlet Knights won with a last-second 3-point lead from Ron Harper Jr. The Boilermakers have shown they are good enough to extend those leads but need to hold onto the advantages to the end to remember what put them in a favorable position. A bugaboo that led straight to two of the losses and there might have been more had Purdue not played well in other areas. The Boilermaker shot 74.3% off the line in the non-conference season but is down to 65.6% against Big Ten competition. Purdue has the nation's top offense by metrics, but nothing ends a promising season faster than a poor shooting off the line. Ten games into the Big Ten season and we pretty much know who the Boilermakers are. Asking this group to mirror other Purdue teams on the defensive end is not going to happen. But Matt Painter's team has to be better to win the championship. The transition defense isn't strong, but the Boilermakers can do more by tuning their defense, and that's what happens when they're efficient on offense. Iowa presented the most problems, forcing a total of 32 turnovers across the two games. Otherwise, the Boilermakers held up, minus the four in the last four minutes on Sunday. This is a key area, however, as Purdue is strong on offense. More shot attempts mean more chances to score. Forcing more turnovers would also bring the defense up to the level of offense. BUZZER-BEATER: "Wrong Way" ends right for Ivey, Purdue Can take games and bring the Boilermakers back from behind - see Indiana - or come up with big shots when opponents are on a run - see last game in Iowa. He has recovered from the hip flexor injury and has increased his level in the last two games. Ivey will sometimes stray off-offensive, but his ability to make plays is why Painter recruited him. His combination of scoring and passing will be difficult for opponents to handle. Hit the ball further in to Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. They have shown that they can carry the offensive over distances. They average nearly 27 points and 16 rebounds in Big Ten play. Williams appears to be on the other side of his bullet hole and Edey sets the tone early on, putting his opponents in terrible trouble. But Williams and Edey need to be more productive on the line to take full advantage of these situations. The Boilermakers are one of the best in the Big Ten and the nation. They're shooting just under 40% in the first 10 conference games and the number probably needs to increase. Sasha Stefanovic can carry the perimeter shooting - he scored 11 goals in five minutes on Sunday - and Ivey's percentage has made significant progress since his debut season. The timely contributions of Isaiah Thompson, Eric Hunter Jr., Mason Gillis and Ethan Morton must continue. His ability to recover, defend, be tough and deliver big shots make the New Castle native invaluable to this team. With Williams and Edey getting a lot of the attention, Gillis will continue to benefit. The senior guard seems to be picking up steam at the right time. Hunter was solid in a starting role or came off the bench. His defense has led to fast break opportunities and he's delivered a couple of big 3-pointers in the last five games. Must keep watching the ball and getting the offense moving. His composure, experience and composure that led to Ivey's victory on Sunday allowed for the drama to unfold. Hunter plays with a sense of urgency. This area was strong for most of the season and received solid production from the reserves. Morton has added a defensive presence with his versatility to play in multiple positions, and Caleb Furst's length adds size to the frontline. Purdue's depth has been a win this season. Which record will win the Big Ten? Does everyone play the same number of games? The Boilermakers probably won't lead the table, but neither will anyone else. But beating Minnesota, Northwestern, Maryland and Rutgers is necessary to stay competitive. Winning all three away games at Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin is unlikely and protecting the home court will become important in the final month. Next week's showdown against Illinois at Mackey Arena is imminent, and playing back-to-back road games against MSU and Wisconsin will be a crucial stretch. Mike Carmin covers Purdue Sports for Journal & Courier.


Justin Herbert states he wants Mike Williams back with the Chargers, discusses improvements to his game and more

Herbert practically sat down with CBS Sports and talked about the Chargers' season (Author: Gardener)

ChargersJustin Herbert has already had the best start for a quarterback in NFL history. Herbert has the most passing yards (9,350) and passing touchdowns (69) after his first two seasons, rewriting the quarterback record books. Herbert's 2021 season was one of the best for a sophomore quarterback in NFL history. He completed 65.9% of his passes for 5,014 yards with 38 touchdowns from 15 interceptions for a 97.9 passing rating -- becoming only the third player (Patrick Mahomes and Dan Marino are the others) to shoot for 5,000 in one of his seasons Yards threw first two years. What Herbert has achieved after two seasons has been phenomenal. He has the most completions (839) in the first two seasons of a career in NFL history and holds the Los Angeles Chargers' single-season records for touchdown passes (38), passing yards (5,014), and completions (443) - all of which were set this season. In an exclusive one-on-one interview with CBS Sports, Herbert sat down and spoke about the Chargers' season, what he needs to improve on in 2022, and Los Angeles' prospects for the future. From day one, you and Brandon Staley seemed to be on the same page all year long. When was the moment you knew you would meet him as equals? Herbert: "I knew pretty early on what kind of guy he was. Everyone on the team believes in him. Brandon Staley has been aggressive all season. Personally, I loved it, but I know it's been controversial at times, does that mean for you as a young quarterback to know that your coach trusts you so much? Herbert: "I think that's one of those things that we believe in. We believe in crime. We know that when we go out on the field we have guys on the outside, especially the guys up front who give me enough time. “At the same time, you believe in defence. It meant a lot to all of us to have that belief in everyone.” That Raiders game in particular, it felt like Brandon was trying every time. Herbert: “We had to do that to get back into the game. To piss those guys out there - Mike Williams, Jared Cook - they made games when we needed them most. I know he's a free agent, but how bad do you want him back in L? Herbert: "Mike and I have a great relationship and I've been talking to him about it all year. He's one of those guys that's so athletic and has done such a great job all year. He works so hard, knows what he's out there doing and playing. It's out of my control, but I'm a big Mike Williams fan.” The Chargers had a really good year, but you ended up losing three out of four and missing out on the playoffs. Herbert: “You have to win these games. In order to get into the playoffs, you need to win those games at the end. I felt we were better than our record showed and that's the unfortunate thing about it. The NFL is so good and everyone gets paid to go play and you have to find a way to win. There's a lot of hard work that goes into the off-season, but I really believe in this team.” Is there anything you could have done better towards the end of the season? Herbert: "I think there's a lot of things we can go back and look at and say, 'You know what, I could have done this better or I could have done this better.' In the off-season there is a lot of room for improvement. Shane Day (Chargers quarterbacks coach), Joe Lombardi (Chargers offensive coordinator) and I, we're going to spend a lot of time talking about offense, footwork, drops, throws and all of that stuff. "When next year comes, we will be ready to go." Herbert: “The presence of bags was great. Just having a feel for the bag, stepping forward and when the pressure is right in the face, being able to deliver a punch. Instead, I was able to step forward and get the ball out fast enough." Well, from sophomore to third year, what do you think you need to improve the most? Herbert: "I need to keep developing pocket presence. You need to get in be able to step up and have steady feet in the pocket, get the ball out quickly. At the same time, entering the second year of this offense we're able to learn and have a solid understanding of it and get to every single game that we need to get in and out of checks, audibles like that - I think that would be huge for us." When you see Chiefs-Bills, Chiefs-Bengals, you see the young quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow. What do you think as you watch the future of AFC right there - and you're locked into it? Herbert: "It's a lot of fun. You want such a competition. There's a lot to learn from these guys and they've all had so much success over the past few years. How close do you think the Chargers are to making that happen? Herbert: "I don't know. We really believe in the team and the coaching staff and whatever happens, happens. We'll put in a lot of work off-season, so we're ready to try next year." Believe that Game leaning towards running quarterbacks? Herbert: "I think it's a huge advantage to get out of the bag and run. When all else fails and coverage gets under the routes and everything is covered in bottom field, to be able to crawling out and finding four or five yards to get the third down conversion — I think that's tremendous for an offense." To be able to do that and have a quarterback that's capable of that — like the Bengals and like the Chiefs – you've seen a lot of conversions because of that." She and Patrick Mahomes seemed to have had some good conversations at the end of their two games this year. Herbert: "It's always just about the basic D inge. Good game and stay healthy for the rest of the year. I look forward to watching you. Just stuff like that.” What do you think the Chargers need to do to beat the Chiefs next year? Herbert: “It will take a lot. It takes all three phases of the team - offense, defense and special teams - and we came awfully close this year. We just have to keep working because we believe in "The guys that we have up front. We believe in the tight ends, the receivers, the running backs and most of all the defense that's coming along well. "The second year of this coaching staff is going to be big for Be us." Reigning Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year Herbert is giving rookie cruisers a chance to win a vacation trip to their destination of choice. If Herbert had a choice, it would be the Bahamas or somewhere tropical travel. "It's a great opportunity for someone to go out, take a vacation and have fun," Herbert said. It's a great opportunity for someone to experience cruising for the first time." From now through February 28, fans can visit to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win their first cruise.


Earlier Holocaust commentary surfaced, Brian Kendrick retired from AEW debut

Kendrick, who has been a household name in wrestling circles since 1999, has since apologized for the comments. (Author: Gardener)

Brian KendrickEarlier claims that the Holocaust did not happen resurfaced this week, leading to the withdrawal of 42-year-old ex-WWE wrestler Brian Kendrick from his anticipated debut with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Dynamite on Wednesday. Kendrick, who has been a household name in wrestling circles since 1999, has since apologized for the comments. "I apologize for all the pain and embarrassment my words have caused. Up until about an hour before his Dynamite match against Jon Moxley was due to begin, AEW President Tony Khan confirmed the match was canceled. We have responded to obnoxious & abusive comments made by Brian Kendrick in the past. There is no place in AEW for the views expressed by Brian. We think it's for the best for everyone that Brian is taken off the map tonight while we gather more information. — Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) February 2, 2022 AEW Dynamite is a televised professional wrestling competition and has been running since 2019. Kendrick's comments were not limited to Holocaust denial. A summary of his comments was published on the Culture Crossfire website back in 2013, as the Post reportedly said the Holocaust was "exaggerated and the Red Cross said only 250,000 Jews were killed, and the number was blown up to make up for it." to justify the founding of Israel,” according to the website.


5 Ups & 4 Downs of AEW Dynamite (February 2nd)

MJF defeats CM Punk in Chicago, Moxley and Danielson clash, Brandi and Lambert confuse. (Author: Gardener)

5 Ups & 4 Downs of AEW DynamiteDan Lambert and Brandi Rhodes are two of the most polarizing characters in AEW for various reasons, good and bad, but whether or not you like the duo, the characters they play, and the word choices they use, their Dynamite segment was a Target mess. Both played heels here. Brandi started her promo by shooting for the host city heat, which meant Lambert (a self-professed "rich, angry, sexist, anti-AEW old man") got a babyface pop when he interrupted her. He ranted about "breaking culture," effectively calling Rhodes a prostitute plumbing his usual depths, while Brandi fired back by negating Ethan Page and insulting Dan himself (thankfully not as blatantly). When Brandi hit Lambert, Dan said he had a better idea, even though hitting her in the back was on his bucket list. Structurally, this could have worked if Lambert, a total heel, pitched a killer to attack a babyface. Brandi didn't even go around the line here. She was a heel. There's nothing wrong with Rhodes playing this role, but it has to be balanced against babyfaces. People whose side the audience is on. There's no one to cheer for, no reason to get behind these folks, and sadly no signs of it ever getting better. A muddled, confused, dysfunctional segment, poorly written and conceived, primarily performed by two people actively trying to get the audience to mock them.