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Raiders file paperwork to move to Las Vegas

The Oakland Raiders have filed paperwork to make a big move that will undoubtedly be controversial with fans.According to The Associated Press, the Oakland Raiders filed official forms Thursday to move the football franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas. The team has not been able to secure a satisfactory stadium option in Oakland, prompting the desire to move, according to sources.

Oakland Raiders file papers to move to Las Vegas. https://t.co/YQhabEgnKP #NFL #sportsbiz pic.twitter.com/4GHr2IoPcN— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) January 19, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

>> Read more trending stories The Raiders will need to gain the support of 24 NFL team owners to make the move official. That vote would occur in the spring. The Chargers announced recently that the team is moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, giving the city two NFL teams after having no team for 20 years. The St. Louis Rams relocated to L.A. for the 2016 season.

>>Fans react to Chargers new logo

Golfer sues course, claims he was hit by portable toilet

Golfers deal with many hazards on the course — water, trees and sand traps, to name a few. But an Illinois man said he never expected a portable toilet to affect his game or his well-being, and he has filed a lawsuit for some relief.

 

>> Read more trending stories

 

Brian Berg claims he was hit and seriously injured by a porta-potty that was being hauled by a forklift driver while he played a round at a suburban Chicago course in August, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

 

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Berg said he was watching his 6-iron approach shot to the seventh green at the Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village on Aug. 11. According to the lawsuit, he alleges that a course employee, operating a forklift that was carrying a portable toilet, was driving "blind" on a golf cart path and the potty "completely obscured his view," hitting Berg from behind 

 

After Berg was knocked to the ground by the "initial blow," the forklift did not stop, causing him to suffer an injured shoulder, a cut chin, a cracked rib, a bruised bicep and a "large, deep bruise to his leg," the lawsuit claims. Berg also claims he was knocked unconscious by the force of the forklift's blow. 

 

Berg filed suit against the Elk Grove Park District, which owns and operates the Fox Run course, and the forklift operator. He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and alleges in the lawsuit that the worker was driving "with complete and utter indifference to the probability that a golfer would be in the path of a porta-potty." He also alleged that the golf course "uses unsafe means and methods of transporting toilets."

 

Officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the Sun-Times said.

Chargers reveal new logo before move to Los Angeles; fans react

The former San Diego Chargers will become the Los Angeles Chargers as the team leaves the city it has called home for the last 56 years and moves north, Chargers CEO Dean Spanos confirmed Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories  

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," Spanos said in a statement. "Today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers."

A letter from Dean Spanos pic.twitter.com/rTNIvrsN1A— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Chargers revealed a new logo later in the day, which caused a buzz from both fans and critics.

Many people said they didn't like the new logo, and many compared it to the L.A. Dodgers' logo.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/chargers-logo/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/chargers-logo.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Chargers logo" on Storify]

But Spanos is determined to make the best of the changes. 

"We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans," he said. "The Chargers are determined to fight for LA, and we are excited to get started."

Chargers confirm move to Los Angeles

The San Diego Chargers will move north to Los Angeles, Chargers CEO Dean Spanos confirmed Thursday.

The move will end the team's 55-year stay in the city.

>> Read more trending stories

The Chargers notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league owners of their intent to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, ESPN reported. Annie Heilbrum of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted Wednesday that the team was expected to make an announcement sometime Thursday.

I'm told by a #Chargers source that the team is expected to officially announce tomorrow. Still getting the word "expected."— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) January 12, 2017

The Chargers are expected to share the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the Rams for the next two seasons before moving into a $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, which is expected to open in 2019, ESPN reported. 

The move gives Los Angeles two NFL franchises after two decades without a team. The Rams returned to Los Angeles last season, going 4-12.

The Chargers were established in 1960 and played their inaugural season in L.A. for the old American Football League before moving south to San Diego in 1961.

Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News tweeted that the Chargers will consider rebranding but noted it wouldn't be done in time for the 2017 season, if it's done at all.

"More than anything I'm shocked," Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget told ESPN. "I didn't think it was going to happen. I thought we were going to stay in San Diego. I thought something would've got done and worked out...So I guess L.A. is our new home then." 

An NFL source told ESPN on Wednesday night that Chargers chairman Dean Spanos had yet to send a formal relocation letter to the NFL or notify public officials in Los Angeles or San Diego of the team's move. 

"At first, I hoped it was fake news. It's something that is unfathomable, but it is reality," Chargers quarterbacking great Dan Fouts told ESPN. 

Chargers wideout Keenan Allen told ESPN that "It's different to hear the Los Angeles Chargers, but it should be dope." 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the front of Chargers Park was egged amid reports of relocation.

How's San Diego taking news of imminent relocation? Front door of Chargers Park egged tonight. San Diego police monitoring facility now. pic.twitter.com/t0gYwfpauF— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) January 12, 2017

During the Chargers’ time in San Diego, they won the 1963 AFL championship and made Super Bowl XXIX, losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

Spanos has unsuccessfully tried to land a new stadium with taxpayer funding for more than two decades, according to Bleacher Report. Qualcomm Stadium, which opened in 1967, is the fifth oldest among current NFL stadiums. 

In November, San Diego citizens voted against funding for a new Chargers stadium.

Plane carrying Miami Heat skids on taxiway in Milwaukee

A charter flight carrying the NBA’s Miami Heat basketball team slid on a taxiway after it landed at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, WISN reported.

>> Read more trending stories

However, the plane stayed on the pavement as it taxied toward the terminal, and team officials said nobody was hurt.

The incident, which occurred at 9:20 p.m., was caused by ice on the runway, WPLG reported. The plane had to be towed to safety, the television station reported.

Flights arriving and departing at the airport were temporarily suspended earlier in the evening due to icy conditions in the plane parking/taxiway area, WITI reported. The suspension was lifted 90 minutes before the plane carrying the Heat landed.

The Heat will play the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Miami played Golden State on Tuesday night.

Upon landing in Milwaukee tonight the team plane slid while taxiing but never left the pavement. Everyone on board has deplaned and is ok.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Pitt comeback falls short against Louisville in 85-80 loss

If you had told me the Panthers would score 80 points tonight, I would have given them a pretty good chance to win. Louisville's offense hasn't been stellar and it was the defense that Pitt had to worry about.

Unfortunately, as we saw Saturday when the Panthers outscored Syracuse in the second half but were dominated in the first 20 minutes, there are two halves to a game. Pitt won the second half against Louisville handily (54-38) but were beaten worse than that margin (47-26) in the first half. Add it all up, and the Panthers fell 85-80 on the road in their latest ACC game.

The end result, of course, isn't disappointing. Sorry, but if you're expecting a win against a Top 15 team on the road vs. a program that Pitt has struggled badly with through the years, you might be setting unrealistic expectations. What's not unreasonable, however, is to expect the team to just come out and not get killed in the first half of a game.

If you're keeping track at home, that's now twice in a row we've seen this out of Pitt. Falling behind by 20 points at halftime in any conference game is just flat out embarrassing. To do it twice is sort of surreal. I don't have a problem with Pitt losing games like these at all this season. What I have an issue with is getting run out of the gym in the first half the very game after that same thing just happened.

Jamel Artis was nothing short of sensational. If you're not convinced that guy will get NBA looks, all you have to do is check out the tape from tonight. I'm not sure he'll land on a roster or get drafted but teams will be watching. He's been an offensive juggernaut all season long but this was the best game of his Pitt career. Artis had 43 points on 15-22 shooting to go along with seven three-pointers. He didn't do much else but anytime a guy gives you 43 points, you don't quibble. Artis has defensive deficiencies but, man, that guy can score.

Michael Young was far less impressive. With a double double (17 points and a team-high 11 boards), Young was hardly terrible. But he also made only five shots all night (out of 14 attempts) and, worse, was 4-11 from the free throw line.

Those free throws, by the way, were an absolute killer. His seven misses accounted for more than half of the entire rest of the team's and, in a five-point game, you certainly don't need me to tell you how important those were. Young is an 81% free throw shooter so to see him come out and lay an egg at the line is just ugly. And given that four of his misses came in the last ten minutes of the game, well, that didn't do the team any favors as they tried to come back and win.

In the absolute 'dog' category was Cameron Johnson, for a second straight game. Cam is now 3-20 in his past two contests and, at the moment, is making my comments about him drawing NBA attention in one of the recent articles look a bit foolish. I still believe that Cam is capable of getting looks by the time he's a senior but these last two games have not helped the team at all. Pitt can live without a third guy scoring when you're getting 60 points from Artis and Young. But the team has to play defense and can't have guys jacking up ten shots while only making one of them.

And with Cam out there for 31 minutes, he didn't exactly fill up the box score elsewhere, either. In all, to have one rebound, one assist, and no steals with that much time on the court is sort of embarrassing. You have to find a way to contribute elsewhere if the shots aren't falling. For example, it's a little easier to overlook Sheldon Jeter struggling on the offensive end if he's pulling in 7-8 rebounds.

Earlier this week, I wrote that Ryan Luther needed to step up. He took some baby steps towards that tonight with six points and six rebounds off the bench, but it was hardly a great game for him. He played a ton, getting 27 minutes, so his production is muted a little considering that. His only field goal came at the very end with the game ending and he also had four turnovers (something I mentioned was an issue in that article). The rest of the bench contributed only one point but didn't play all that much.

If the game was closer at halftime, do we see Pitt surge like they did? Eh, I don't know. Maybe Louisville keeps up the intensity and doesn't let Pitt get as close as they did tonight. But one thing's clear. Pitt has to get the sluggish starts out of their system. It's one thing to start slowly and trail by 6-8 points at halftime. But if you're trailing by 21 to a ranked team on the road, the game is practically over. The team has to come out with more intensity and find a way to knock down more shots early on.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Dallas Cowboys now accepting bandwagon fans

The Dallas Cowboys are welcoming all fans, even those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

At 13-3, the NFC top seed is preparing to play the Green Bay Packers in a divisional playoff game on Sunday. The Cowboys have a dynamic offense this season, led by a pair of rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

>> Read more trending stories 

To make it easy for bandwagon fans, the Cowboys posted an application on the team’s official Twitter page. The humorous document asks about any previous experience in being a Cowboys fan, and if the applicant has ever talked trash about the Cowboys. The document asks whether the applicant has ever cheered for any of the Cowboys’ adversaries, which, the application notes, could lead to further questioning. As a nod to the Cowboys’ schedule, which traditionally includes a Thanksgiving game, applicants are asked if they mind working on Thanksgiving.

Thanks for your inquiry about the Dallas Cowboys' bandwagon. Spots are filling up fast, don't miss out! Download: https://t.co/RljLeEaqHo pic.twitter.com/2euKnUZ30N— Dallas CowboysJanuary 10, 2017

The team said bandwagon spots are filling up fast.

Against the Odds: Louisville big favorites over Pitt

Pitt goes on the road against a ranked team and Vegas is taking notice and favoring the Cardinals by double digits.

Pitt travels to Louisville to take on Rick Pitino’s Cardinals tonight. The game starts at 7PM at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is 13-3 and 1-2 in the ACC. All three of their losses are to ranked teams in Baylor, Virginia, and Notre Dame. They are battle tested and have taken down the likes of Kentucky, Indiana, and Purdue this season. Louisville comes into the contest ranked 13th and 14th respectively in the polls. Vegas certainly is taking this into consideration and has made the Cardinals a 12 point favorite over Pitt.

Pitt enters tonight at 12-4 and 1-2 in the conference. After the close loss to Notre Dame and the upset of UVA, Pitt seemed to be on the upswing. Syracuse brought them back down to earth hard and that probably led to the big point spread this evening. Pitt must play more like they did after the 30-2 run the Orange laid on them in the first half, this past weekend, if they want to have a prayer.

Louisville’s Pitino brings in his usual pressure defense squad and that could pose some huge problems with the Panthers. Their lack of ball handling guards makes this a less than ideal matchup. Pitt has to find ways to break U of L’s press and crash the boards with aggression. Louisville is 11th in the country in rebounding, so Sheldon Jeter will be of great importance on the glass.

As with most of the ACC schedule, this is another tough game for Pitt. There is a flip side to that though. If they can overcome the Vegas oddsmakers and pull off another upset, it’s easy to gain recognition around the country.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

Young cancer patient gets personal video from Patriots’ Gronkowski

A plea on Twitter took less than 24 hours to go viral and get a response from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

>> Read more trending stories

The Twitter campaign is for 13-year-old Hunter Pietrowski, who is battling cancer and about to undergo his final treatment.

"What's up, Hunter, it's your buddy Rob Gronkowski here," Gronkowski says in the video's opening.

Hunter was hoping for a meet and greet with Gronkowski, but said the video was just as special.

"I was excited and speechless,” Hunter said.

Hunter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in June. It already had spread to his spine when doctors found it.

Treatment began a short time later at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina, where his family now lives.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady visited the hospital, but Hunters’ favorite player, Gronkowski, wasn’t able to join him.

After that, the family began a Twitter campaign to get Hunter a meet and greet.

"Just hearing about your story Hunter so I just want to say congratulations on your last chemo session coming up on Thursday,” Gronkowski told him in the personalized message. 

It seems what kept the tight end off this playing field put him on the same one as Hunter.

"We're both going through a little setback right now, but we're both gonna come back with major comebacks, Hunter, so let's do it. Stay strong and let's fight through this, let's go,” Gronkowski said.

Hunter couldn’t be happier.

"Just getting something from your favorite player, it's just something you wouldn't expect,” he said.

The video has been playing on a loop in Hunter’s room.

"It's really nice to see that twinkle and that smile and I think we've probably played it 50 times last night just over and over so we'll continue to keep playing it over and over,” said Hunter’s mother, Tiffany Pietrowski.

@PatriotsUnite12 ⚡️ “Gronk RTs” by @DanversPolicehttps://t.co/5VcAo7bZbD — PatriotsFan-Mom (@Tedybruschifan) January 11, 2017

J.J. Watt visits hospital bedside of boy injured in crash, replaces destroyed jersey

He has the looks. He has the skill. And apparently, he has the heart.

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt answered a social media call when one his fans was injured in a New Year's Eve crash.

Noah Fulmer was injured when a driver hit two parked cars in Houston. One of the cars hit Noah, his younger sister and two other family members, KPRC reported.

Noah was injured, and as paramedics attended to the 8-year-old they had to cut off his favorite football jersey.

The jersey was Watt's number 99.

Noah's father, Cory, said his son was fighting the paramedics to save his beloved jersey.

>> Read more trending stories  

Noah's cousin took to Twitter to give the boy hope while he was recovering, telling Watt what happened.

To their surprise, Watt responded, telling the family that he'd personally deliver a new jersey to Noah's hospital room, ESPN reported.

That is terrible, is he ok? Tell him I'll bring him a new jersey tomorrow. https://t.co/jSYhbhxU1H— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 3, 2017

Last week, he did.

@JJWatt @HoustonTexans JJ Watt surprised Noah after surgery. Thank you Watt #Nfl #JJWATT #thankyou #teamnoah #prayfornoah #hejustwokeup pic.twitter.com/d68wMhDelT— Marc (@carapia116) January 3, 2017

Watt actually showed up with several jerseys, including his game jersey. Watt autographed that one with a message of hope for Noah. The jersey is as big as Noah, blanketing him before he headed to the operating room.

Noah went in for his 3rd surgery. He will be having more to prevent infections since he was hit at a beach. #TeamNoah #PrayForNoah #JJWatt pic.twitter.com/haUiwOk3hH— Marc (@carapia116) January 6, 2017

Noah is recovering from two broken legs and a damaged foot. He's already had at least three surgeries to fix the damage.

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