Ex-NFL RB Darren McFadden Arrested On DWI Charges After Falling Asleep In Fast Food Drive-Thru

According to McKinney (Tex.) police, via the Dallas Morning News, former Cowboys and Raiders running back Darren McFadden was arrested early Monday morning in the Dallas suburb and charged with driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. McFadden was discovered asleep in his car by employees of a McKinney Whataburger just after midnight. He was arrested shortly after.

McFadden was released from police custody on personal recognizance after being booked just after 10 a.m Monday morning. Collin County arrest records show that McFadden, who does not have an attorney listed, was ordered by a court to install an ignition interlock device on his car.

McFadden was selected fourth overall by the Raiders in the 2008 draft after an outstanding college career with Arkansas. He spent seven seasons with Oakland and parts of three seasons with Dallas before retiring following his release in Nov. 2017.

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NFL investigating laser that was aimed at Tom Brady

If the Chiefs defense couldn’t, what chance did a laser have?

The NFL is “looking into” a report by a Kansas City television station that a laser pointer was aimed at New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the AFC Championship game on Sunday.

KMBC shot video that showed a green dot flickering around Brady’s shoulder and face.

“It didn’t affect the game, as far as we know,” NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy said.

According to the television station report, the laser was visible around Brady’s face and shoulder before he threw an interception in the fourth quarter. Police officials in Kansas City told the Boston Herald that they had not received an official complaint, but would pursue it if brought forward.

“We’ve had some issues of lasers around the airport, but not at the stadium,” Sgt. Jacob Becchina, spokesman for the K.C. police department, told the paper.

“We will investigate, though, if we receive a police report.”

The Patriots declined to comment on the report, and the Chiefs said they were not aware of the incident during the game, won by New England, 37-31 in overtime.

— With Field Level Media

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Dee Ford, Chiefs stunned after offsides penalty leads to heartbreak

Dee Ford and the Chiefs got a hard reminder Sunday that football is a game of inches.

With Kansas City leading 28-24 with 54 seconds left and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Ford lined up against the Patriots’ offense as it faced a third-and-10. Quarterback Tom Brady’s pass glanced off the hands of tight end Rob Gronkowski and into those of Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward for what should have been a game-sealing interception.

Except the yellow penalty flags flew, signaling Ford’s neutral-zone infraction that gave New England’s drive life. It led to a touchdown and a 31-28 lead in the AFC Championship game the Patriots would go on to win in overtime.

“… They said I was in the neutral zone,” Ford told reporters of the costly penalty. “I’ve got to see the ball. I’ve got to see the ball. Especially at that time in that game and what was at stake, I’ve got to see that ball.”

Different camera angles of Ford’s penalty offered non-definitive views, which Kansas City players and coaches will be left to mull in the wake of the defeat.

“[Ford is] one of the quickest outside linebackers in the National Football League and they call him offsides,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “So I’ll take a peek at that, see what it looks like. We gave ourselves opportunities to finish the game.”

Reid was hesitant to blame one player for an outcome that denies him a chance to finally win a Super Bowl, though the emotional roller-coaster of the last-minute play seemed to weigh on Ford, who will be looking for a new contract this offseason.

“Yeah, it was very up and down,” Ford said. “We’ve got to be better. Me especially on that play, we’ve got to be better in these games. Every play counts.

“We’re definitely stunned. We feel like we should have come out with the dub, especially being here in Arrowhead, the history, the moment. We definitely wanted to bring it back, so it stings.”

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Michael Thomas lobbying for new result after blown call sinks Saints

Michael Thomas is diving deep into the NFL rule book hoping for a late Hail Mary.

Still clearly upset with the brutal blown call in Sunday’s NFC Championship, the Saints wide receiver tweeted in the early hours of Monday morning, “Rule 17 Section 2 Article 3 @NFL,” with a broken heart and and Fleur-de-lis emoji.

That article is labeled, “Penalties for unfair acts,” and states that the commissioner has the power to impose “the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred.”

The lack of a pass-interference call late in the fourth quarter could certainly be described as unfair or extraordinary. With the game tied 20-20, 1:49 left, the Saints at the Los Angeles 13-yard line and the Rams down to one timeout, Drew Brees threw a third-and-10 pass to Tommylee Lewis. Before he had a chance to catch it, he was drilled by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, and the pass fell incomplete with flags nowhere to be seen.

The Saints — who could have drained the clock all the way down to seconds left before kicking a game-winning field goal had a pass interference been called — went on to lose, 26-23 in overtime.

Saints coach Sean Payton said after the game that the league office already had called him and admitted the blown call, but that’s likely as far as it will go.

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N.F.L. Playoffs Live: New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs Updates and Analysis

Click here to refresh for updates from the Patriots vs. Chiefs game.

[The Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints, 26-20, in the AF.C. championship game earlier Sunday, and will face the winner of this game in the Super Bowl. See how they did it here.]

Second Quarter: Brady Intercepted in the End Zone

The Chiefs’ defense, after failing a series of tests to start the game, came up huge on 3rd-and-goal, with Reggie Ragland intercepting Tom Brady’s pass attempt to Rob Gronkowski, thus stealing some momentum back for Kansas City.

Up until that point, the Patriots had seemingly been doing anything they wanted, using runs and short passes to expose a front-seven that is good at rushing the passer but far worse at putting up with the quick hits that the Patriots can accomplish with their small wide receivers and their talented group of running backs.

In all, the drive went 43 yards on 11 plays, but the Chiefs were able to escape, still trailing by 7-0.

New England had gotten the ball back quickly thanks to a fairly inept first drive by the Chiefs’ offense in which Kansas City generated minus-6 yards as a result of a sack of Patrick Mahomes that came after he had his first two pass attempts of the game fall incomplete. The only positive movement of the drive for the Chiefs came thanks to a 5-yard run by Damien Williams — which he followed with a 2-yard loss — and a 5-yard penalty by the Patriots’ defense.

Now Mahomes will get a second chance to show what he can do.

First Quarter: Chiefs’ Defense Challenged Already

It was clear coming in that this game would be a tough test for the Chiefs’ defense, and the unit looked almost helpless on an opening drive by the Patriots in which New England marched 80 yards on 15 plays, punching the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard run by Sony Michel.

The seemingly endless drive chewed up 8 minutes 5 seconds of the first quarter and has Kansas City on its heels.

The Patriots got off to a quick start on an 11-yard run by Michel, and proceeded down the field through a combination of short passes — Rob Gronkowski had two catches on the drive after having just one all game last week — and runs by their three-headed monster at running back (Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead).

In all, Brady threw for 38 yards and the running game contributed 42.

Brady Has Been Here Before

It’s a clash of old and new, with the establishment (New England) facing off against the up-and-comers (Kansas City). The last time they played, back in Week 6, the Patriots came away with the win, but not before Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs made them sweat in the second half.

Here is what to know now:

Mahomes is in his first year as a starting quarterback and is playing in just his second playoff game. Tom Brady, on the other hand, has been a starter for 18 years and is playing in his 39th playoff game. When Brady beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, Mahomes was only 6 years old.

Both teams have effective running games but not necessarily from the players they expected coming into the year. Kansas City has been powered by the surprise emergence of Damien Williams. New England continues to employ a variety of options at running back, but the group is led by the rookie Sony Michel who has picked up right where he left off in a celebrated career at Georgia.

Despite the cold conditions of Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, there could be a great deal of passing in this game. Not only do both teams feature terrific passing offenses, but they both struggled on the defensive end as well. The Patriots were ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed per game, and the Chiefs were 31st.

Benjamin Hoffman is a senior staff editor and regular contributor to the Keeping Score column in sports. He joined The Times in 2005. @BenHoffmanNYT Facebook

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Marcus Peters confronts Sean Payton in Rams-Saints postgame scrum

Marcus Peters was a sore winner.

The heat between the Rams and Saints did not end when Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard field goal in overtime to lift Los Angeles to a 26-23 comeback win in Sunday’s NFC Championship in New Orleans.

Peters, the Rams cornerback who had tangled verbally with Saints coach Sean Payton in the week leading up to the game and earlier this season, ran across the field to confront Payton after the game, apparently talking trash, leading to a scrum of players from both teams.

It was a boil-over moment from the first time these teams tangled, when Saints receiver Michael Thomas beat Peters for a 72-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Afterward, Payton tweaked Peters, saying, “They were going to travel Marcus to [Thomas], and that was fine by us. We thought we liked that matchup — a lot.”

A few days later, a peeved Peters said, “Tell him to keep talking that s–t, and I hope you see me soon. We’re going to have a nice little bowl of gumbo together.”

This past week, Peters downplayed the friction, saying: “I see you all trying to make it something that it’s not. All respect to Sean Payton and what he does. I just love the fact that he’s a competitor.”

Emotions ran high in the closing moments of Sunday’s game after a controversial no-call on a possible pass interference let the Rams have a chance that they took to a Super Bowl berth.

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Is Jared Goff dating swimsuit model Christen Harper?

It appears Sean McVay isn’t the only member of the Rams with a personal cheerleader.

Quarterback Jared Goff is said to be dating swimsuit stunner Christen Harper, according to SportsGossip.com. An insider tells the sports site Goff “is hiding her from everyone except some friends.” The brunette beauty also was photographed at a past Rams game.

While Goff, 24, and Harper do follow one another on social media, their rumored relationship is not yet Instagram official.

It remains to be seen if Harper will be in New Orleans on Sunday, when the Rams face the Saints in the NFC Championship game. Should he defeat Drew Brees, Goff would punch his ticket to his first ever Super Bowl.

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Football tips: Arsenal vs Chelsea – Prediction, odds and betting guide for Premier League clash

Arsenal vs Chelsea – Prediction, odds and betting guide

Lose and they will be at least seven points off the Champions League spots and out of the running.

  • Eden Hazard to score, Chelsea to win, 11/4 with William Hill
  • Arsenal to score inside the first 10 minutes, 13/2 with Sky Bet

The Gunners haven’t beaten Chelsea in the league since 2016 and they have found it difficult against the top teams under Unai Emery – they’ve already lost to Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea.

Eden Hazard has been the standout performer in the Premier League this season and the Belgian is a tidy 11/4 to score in a Chelsea win with William Hill.

Arsenal started very quickly against Liverpool before conceding five goals and they’re 13/2 to score inside the first 10 minutes with Sky Bet.

SunSport's betting tips and news

SunSport's Betting Tips page

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What time is kick-off?

THIS key Premier League clash is set for Saturday, January 19.

Kick-off at the Emirates is set for 5.30pm.

What TV channel is Chelsea vs Newcastle on and can I live stream it?

This game will be shown live on BT Sport 1 with coverage starting from 5pm.

BT Sport customers can live stream it online or via the BT Sport mobile app.

Alternatively, you can follow all the updates via our dedicated SunSport LIVE BLOG.

 

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The N.F.L.’s Minority Head Coaching Ranks are Thinning

The number of minority coaches in the N.F.L. is likely to fall by half next season, suggesting that the league’s recent efforts to promote diversity in hiring are still a work in progress.

Two weeks after the end of the regular season, nearly every new head coach hired has been white, which is certain to reignite the debate over whether a league in which roughly three-quarters of the players are black is doing enough to promote people of color into positions of power.

This season, there were eight minority coaches, tied for the most ever. Yet including those fired midseason, five of the eight coaches who lost their jobs were black, leaving just three minority coaches — two black and one Latino — among the 32 coaches in the league.

Thus far, six out of the seven coaches hired by teams have been white.

The sudden reversal of fortune for minority coaches comes after the 32 N.F.L. owners announced in December that they were strengthening rules that obligate teams to consider minority candidates when hiring coaches and executives.

At the time, the league denied that it amended the so-called Rooney Rule, named for Dan Rooney, the late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who championed its creation in 2003, because it was not effective enough. The rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate in their searches for new coaches.

The N.F.L. declined to comment on coaches hired this month.

With such a small sample size, big fluctuations can happen when a handful of teams have down years. The sudden decline in the number of coaches may look startling, but Richard Lapchick, the director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, said that number is bound to rise again.

Lapchick noted that there were a record eight minority coaches in 2011 before the total declined only to have it return to a record eight coaches last year.

“You can’t not notice when that number of black coaches gets fired,” he said. But he added that it was “a part of the natural cycle” of coaches getting fired and hired. “I definitely think it has a chance to go up.”

Lapchick, who compiles a “Racial and Gender Report Card” on the N.F.L. and other professional sports leagues, said having eight minority coaches in a 32-team league, is reasonable. Rather than comparing the percentage of minority coaches to the number of minority players, he uses the percentage of people of color in the entire country as a benchmark.

Cyrus Mehri, the co-founder of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which helped establish the Rooney Rule and monitors its implementation, said his group cannot tell teams which coach to hire. Rather, the key is ensuring that teams give minority candidates an equal shot at obtaining a job, and this year, every team with an opening has followed the rules and interviewed at least one and sometimes several minority candidates.

“You don’t overcome decades of history just by snapping your finger, but we have to say the process was fully followed this year,” he said.

Mehri is focused on strengthening the pipeline of minorities in junior coaching jobs so the pool of candidates for head coaching spots deepens. He noted the percentage of minority offensive coordinators and quarterback coaches is still low. Minorities account for roughly 30 percent of N.F.L. assistants.

“We think the league has a lot of work to do,” he said, though “in the long run, we’re feeling good where things are, and what’s been accomplished.”

Still, the league has been criticized by advocates and former coaches, who have said teams have been skirting the rules.

Last year, it was not clear that the Oakland Raiders conducted any good faith interviews with minority candidates for their vacancy at coach before they ultimately hired Jon Gruden, who is white.

Now that teams have started to fill their coaching vacancies this year, the number of minority coaches may fall by half.

The Arizona Cardinals replaced Steve Wilks, who is black, with Kliff Kingsbury, a college coach. The Green Bay Packers followed by choosing Matt LaFleur as their coach, while the Tampa Buccaneers hired Bruce Arians to replace Dirk Koetter. All three new coaches are white.

The Cleveland Browns followed by hiring Freddie Kitchens, a positions coach with the team who is white. He replaced Hue Jackson, who is black and was fired during the season.

Also last week, the Denver Broncos replaced Vance Joseph, who is black, with Vic Fangio, a longtime defensive coordinator, who is white.

And on Monday, the Jets hired Adam Gase, who had been fired by the Miami Dolphins, to take over the team’s top spot. Gase, who is white, replaced Todd Bowles, who is black.

The Cincinnati Bengals, who fired longtime coach Marvin Lewis, who is black, are reportedly considering hiring Zac Taylor, who is white.

Thus far, the lone exception has been the Dolphins, who are expected to sign Brian Flores, the linebacker coach of the New England Patriots, once his team is eliminated from the playoffs.

If Flores is hired, he would join Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers as the only minority coaches.

There are only a handful of minority general managers as well. Reggie McKenzie, who was named the N.F.L. executive of the year in 2016, was fired midseason by the Oakland Raiders, where he was the chief football executive. Ozzie Newsome, the first African-American general manager in league history, retired after working with the Ravens since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996.

To be sure, coaches are hired and fired for many reasons, including most of all, success on the field. For instance, Joseph was 11-21 in his two seasons in Denver, while Wilks was 3-13 in his one season with the Cardinals.

Teams also change strategic directions, and are increasingly looking for offensive-minded coaches to match the success of high-scoring teams in Los Angeles and Kansas City.

Some black coaches also get other jobs elsewhere. Bowles, for instance, was quickly hired as the defensive coordinator in Tampa.

Still, the N.F.L., where nearly every owner and many top team executives are white, has battled the perception it does not do enough to promote minorities.

Under the new regulations enacted in December, teams looking to fill positions must interview at least one minority candidate from a list kept by the league’s Career Development Advisory Panel, or a minority candidate not currently working with a team. Teams also must keep detailed records of who they interview, which is perhaps a response to criticism from minority candidates who say they are routinely called, but not formally interviewed, by teams trying to do the least possible to fulfill their obligations.

After it was first established in 2003, the Rooney Rule appeared to be having an impact. By 2011, eight N.F.L. teams had coaches of color, the most to that point, or since.

Now, it looks like the league has taken a step back, with the number of minority coaches expected to fall to just four.

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Sean McVay gets special shoutout on girlfriend’s T-shirt

https://www.instagram.com/p/BskFIgUnL7X/

Expect Sean McVay’s good-luck charm to be present Sunday, when the Rams take on the Saints in New Orleans.

Following Los Angeles’ 30-22 victory over Dallas on Saturday night, McVay’s girlfriend, Veronika Khomyn, shared a quick clip of her specialty T-shirt, in honor of the Rams’ head coach.

“On to the final four 💛💙,” Khomyn captioned the video, which featured her white “McBae” top.

McVay, 32, and Khomyn continued the postgame celebrations at Hollywood hotspot Delilah on Saturday, according to TMZ.

A native of Ukraine, Khomyn reportedly starting dating McVay while he was the tight ends coach of the Washington Redskins back in 2011. After he was hired to coach the Rams in 2017, Khomyn helped clear out their Virginia townhouse while he took over the top job in Los Angeles, per Sports Illustrated.

“The best love is the kind that awakens your soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds,” Khomyn gushed of McVay while vacationing in the Bahamas last year.

As for the Rams’ game plan for this weekend’s NFC Championship game, perhaps McVay will clue Khomyn in ahead of kickoff.

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