Kansas City Chiefs’ Mecole Hardman Scores Super Bowl-Winning Touchdown: ‘I Blacked Out’

Mecole Hardman of the Kansas City Chiefs told CNN he “blacked out” after scoring the touchdown that would win the Chiefs the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. 

During overtime, wide receiver Hardman caught a pass thrown by Patrick Mahomes to beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 after a close game through all four quarters. 

Hardman told reporters that even though the moment was glorious and he was surrounded by the roaring cheers of the crowd, it took him a minute to truly understand that he won the Super Bowl. 

“When I blacked out, I didn’t know what was going on until [Mahomes] came up running and was like, ‘You’re a champion! We just won!.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re right, we did.’ And we started celebrating after that. But I definitely blacked out, for sure.”

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During overtime, Quarterback Mahomes pulled off a 75-yard touchdown drive, which is what led to the three-yard pass to Hardman that won them the game. 

Hardman said he was “just overwhelmed with emotions” when asked what it felt like to win the Super Bowl. 

The Kansas City Chiefs have now won back-to-back NFL championships, something that has not happened in the league in 19 years. The last time a team won back-to-back championships was in 2004 and 2005 with the New England Patriots. 

Hardman also talked about what the environment was like in the locker room during halftime when the Chiefs were trailing the 49ers 10-3.

“Travis [Kelce] said everything, honestly. He definitely had a good little speech to get everybody going, put the fuel to the fire.”

“We came out in that second half like a totally different team,” Hardman said.


Yoshinobu Yamamoto Reportedly Signs With The Los Angeles Dodgers For Huge $325 Million Contract

Sources have told ESPN that Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto is reportedly signing a 12-year $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This would mark one of the largest deals for a pitcher in Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers will also pay an additional $50.6 million posting fee to the Orix Buffaloes, Yamamoto’s previous team. Sources also stated Yamamoto himself will get an additional $50 million signing bonus. 

The deal is pending a physical, and marks the end of a massive free agency bidding war. The New York Yankees were the initial favorite to sign Yamamoto with a $300 million offer, but the Dodgers beat them out with their deal. The Dodgers themselves have accounted for more than half of the spending across the MLB free agency this winter season, ESPN said. 

25-year-old Yamamoto has won three consecutive MVP awards and Sawamura Awards. “Over 820⅓ innings, he has posted a 1.65 ERA, struck out nearly five times as many hitters as he has walked and allowed one home run every 28 innings,” wrote ESPN’s Jeff Passan. 

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“With a fastball that runs up to 99 mph, a devastating split-fingered fastball and a looping curveball that often buckles batters’ knees, he brings as good an arsenal as any pitcher who has come to Major League Baseball from Japan. 

At 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds, Yamamoto lacks the size of a typical frontline starter, but teams interested in him were not concerned, focusing more on the quality of stuff his body can generate,” Passan wrote. 

MLB teams have been lining up for over a year to sign Yamamoto, including the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Dodgers president Andrew Friedman, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Giants president Farhan Zaidi and Chicago Cubs president Jed Hoyer all traveled to Japan this year at some point to see Yamamoto in person, as were many others.  

Yamamoto also toured across America during his free agency to meet with each team and see the cities, in the end, it seems like Yamamoto will be heading for sunny LA.


13-Year-Old Skateboarder, Cui Chenxi, Is China’s Youngest Asian Games Gold Medalist 

13-year-old Cui Chenxi of China has become the youngest gold medalist at the Asian Games for skateboarding. Teenage girls in general have been dominating the sport. 

In multiple interviews with Chinese state media outlets, Cui discussed how she first began skating at just three years old when she got a pair of roller blades; she actually didn’t take up skateboarding until around three years old. 

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She took on the sport during the Covid-19 pandemic when the world was on lockdown. Within just one year, Cui was able to compete at a professional level at provincial events. 

Born in Shandong, Cui is the Chinese national team’s youngest athlete while competing in Hangzhou. According to reports from Reuters, Cui landed an incredibly difficult high rail landing, while many of her competitors avoided. 

She celebrated by proudly parading around the Qiantang Roller Sports Center with the national flag wrapped around her shoulders. 

“This is just the beginning. We must continue to work hard and strive for the Paris Olympics and get good results.”

18-year old Zeng Wenhui, Cui’s teammate, won the silver while 16-year-old Ito Miyu of Japan won bronze.

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Skateboarding initially made its debut at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2014, and quickly launched into mainstream competitive sports competitions, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

According to CNN, “the street event requires competitors to perform tricks on a track scattered with stairs, rails, ramps, benches and more. Skaters arrange their own routes and moves as they wish, and are scored over two runs and five tricks to determine the final score.

While the men’s sport tends to be dominated by athletes in their late teens or early twenties, women’s skateboarding has skewed increasingly younger.”

Back in September, Cui got to the finals of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games qualifier, WST Lausanne Street, with a score that was higher than what bronze medalist Funa Nakayama earned at the 2020 Olympics. She’s on track to continue dominating the sport in the road to the Olympics.


How AI Could Help Prevent Brain Injuries In Contact Sports 

Artificially intelligent computers are now being taught how to identify on-field head impacts, within the NFL and other contact sports, as a means of preventing and identifying brain injuries right away as opposed to waiting for the player to get checked out. 

NFL’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, spoke with The Guardian about how the new technology is helping to reduce head injuries and major impacts, as well as advancing the equipment medical teams in professional sports leagues have access to. 

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At the NFL match between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans in London, the technology was used to analyze the level and rate of head impacts for the players, and using that information to teach better techniques for the players as a preventative measure. 

The technology, if adopted, would be used within sensors in the football helmets, so it can analyze the force of each tackle and conclude how severe a given injury may be when it occurs. In Europe, rugby teams became the first to adopt smart mouthguard technology to flag major impacts in real time. 

If a player is hit, and the force exceeds a certain threshold, the player will automatically be taken off the field for head injury assessment by a doctor. Dr Eanna Falvey, World Rugby’s chief medical officer, calls it “a gamechanger  in potentially identifying many of the 18% of concussions that now come to light only after a match.”

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The technology can also be utilized in sports like boxing to get the most accurate readings as to whether or not one of the athletes is potentially concussed.

According to Dr Ross Tucker, a science and research consultant for World Rugby: “we are still only scratching the surface when it comes to how smart mouthguards and other technologies could make sports safer.”

“Imagine in the future, we could work out that four impacts above 40G creates the same risk of an injury as one above 90G, or that three within 15 minutes at any magnitude increases risk the same way that one at 70G does. There are so many questions we can start asking,” Tucker says

“It’s one thing to assist to identify concussions, it’s another entirely to say it’s going to allow coaches and players to track exactly how many significant head impacts they have in a career – especially with all the focus on long-term health risks. If they can manage that load, particularly in training, that has performance and welfare benefits,” he says.


Simone Biles Makes Epic Return To World Championship 

Simone Biles has had an epic run so far during the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and the gymnast isn’t done yet. 

The US is looking to win its seventh consecutive world title as Biles is set to participate in the women’s team final. Biles made history on the opening day of the championship in Antwerp, Belgium after finishing first in the women’s all-around qualification. 

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Biles also became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault at an international competition. The double pike vault is known as a highly difficult skill that has historically only been done by men. 

This championship also marks Biles first competition back on a world stage since the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, when she left the competition after suffering from the “twisties,” which is a mental block condition gymnasts experience when they lose track of their positioning in midair. 

Since then, however, Biles has shown the world why she’s one of the most prolific and expert gymnasts of our time. She won a record eighth national all-around title, and by competing in Antwerp she became the first woman to represent the US at six artistic world championships.

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Skye Blakey, Shilese Jones, Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong are the US teammates joining Biles at the team final on Wednesday. The world championship began on September 30th and will be running until October 8th.

The US’s five-woman team will be competing in the final of the team event on Wednesday, while Biles will also be competing in the women’s individual all-around final on Friday. She will also be competing in the women’s vault and uneven bars finals on October 7th, and the balance beam, and floor exercise finals on the 8th. 

To watch the competition in the US, viewers can tune into NBC while UK viewers can watch the finals on the BBC. 

Some countries can also watch the competition on All Gymnastics TV, the International Gymnastics Federation’s streaming hub, according to reports


Simone Biles Wins Record 8th US Gymnastics Title, 10 Years After Winning Her First 

Simone Biles won a record eighth all-around title at the US Gymnastics Championships, a full decade after winning her first national title. 

This victory was made just weeks after Biles returned from a two-year break from competing to focus on her mental health, and solidified a successful comeback to the top of the sport for Biles. 

“It feels really special. I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight. I guess it’s a lucky number this year.”

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Biles received a standing ovation after earning a 15.400 for her floor exercise, as well as a 14.850 on the Cheng vault, which was also the highest score of the night, as was her 14.8 earning on the beam. 

With a combined total of 118.450, she was able to slide into first place with Shilese Jones earning second place by just 3.9 points. 

“It’s really amazing. Everybody in here believes in me. So I just need to start believing in myself a little bit more, but it feels amazing and I love the fans, I love the crowd. It was really special.”

Biles also was victorious at the US Classic two weeks ago following her two year break. Biles started to take a break to focus on her mental health at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021.

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At the time, Biles revealed that she was experiencing “the twisties,” which is a mental phenomenon that impacts the way a gymnast perceives their positioning while in the air. Experiencing this phenomenon is very dangerous, as the technical work that goes into a gymnast’s routine is dependent on the individual’s ability to know how they’re moving and where they’ll end off. 

Shortly after her experience with “the twisties” she pulled out of the Tokyo Games, later claiming that the emotional toll of competing was what prompted her withdrawal. 

Now, Biles has made her return, and fans are ecstatic to see and hear that the record breaking gymnast is doing better mentally and feels confident being back on the floor. 

The victory on Sunday made Biles, who’s 26, the oldest woman to win a national title since the competition was taken over by USA Gymnastics in 1963, according to reports

Additionally, Biles has won 25 medals at world championships, including 18 golds, which is more than any man or woman has earned in gymnastics history. For now, Biles is keeping her plans to compete in the Paris Olympics to herself. 


NFL Broncos’ KJ Hamler To Step Away For Treatment Of Heart Issue 

KJ Hamler of the Denver Broncos’ announced this week on his Instagram account that he has been diagnosed with a “mild heart irritation” known as pericarditis. He will be missing some time with his team while he receives treatment with medication, but fully intends on coming back this season. 

“After feeling some chest pains while working out on the break before camp started, I got everything checked out and was diagnosed with mild heart irritation, called pericarditis. I’ve got a great treatment plan with medicine and am taking a quick break to get this all taken care of so I can get back to doing what I love,” Hamler said in his Instagram post.

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“I will be back on the field—better and stronger than ever—as soon as possible this season! I feel great physically and this is very frustrating for me to deal with. I know most of you have heard or know of my story and these past few years what I’ve been going through on and off the field.”

Hamler played seven games last season before being placed on injured reserve in December due to a hamstring injury. He only missed three games in 2021, and also suffered from a torn ACL and hip injury. 

“It’s tough to deal with this when I was ready for a breakout year, but adversity is nothing new to me. I have been through hell and back, but it’s hard to reach paradise if you don’t go through hell first.”

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I’ll get past this just like everything else on this journey! I will continue to elevate. I forever stand on business.

This is not a farewell, this is not a good bye, this is a see you soon as I take a break for my health,” Hamler continued in his post

Hamler opened training camp on the team’s non-football injury list, so he didn’t participate in any practice. 

“I’m so grateful for my teammates & coaches. Appreciate the support from the Broncos Country and encouragement I have been receiving. This is something to bring awareness to anybody. So anyone with chest pains please get checked out by your doctor!

Stay true, Be you, stand on Ten, Never bend,” Hamler concluded.


UFC’s Robbie Lawler Says He ‘Just Felt It Was Time’ To Retire After 22 Year Career 

Robbie Lawler will be competing for the final time on Saturday night at UFC 290, marking his 47th match over a long and successful 22 year career. 

Lawler is a former UFC welterweight champion and a soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer. He announced his plans to retire from MMA following his upcoming match with Niko Price. Lawler admitted that there wasn’t a specific moment that led him to the announcement, he just felt it was time for him to hang up the gloves. 

“It’s just a feeling I got over time. I’ve been doing this a long time, accomplished a lot, just felt it was time.”

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Lawler has been involved in MMA since he was a teenager, and since his professional debut in 2001, he’s competed every year, except for 2018, which is an amazing accomplishment for professionals in UFC. 

Lawler says the unknown is always scary, especially when leaving something he’s been involved in for two decades. 

“I would say there was fear, because it’s freaking unknown. I’ve been training and competing my whole life, even when I was supposed to be in high school or middle school. I’m concentrating on how to get better at wrestling or football or whatever, fighting, when I should be doing my homework. That’s where I’ve always been.”

“One thing that I feel I’m going to get out of this is I’m going to actually just be able to train for fun again, which is huge,” Lawler explained. 

“My body feels better when I’m training for fun. When I’m training for a fight, it just doesn’t feel as good as it used to and I don’t have to recover now,” he stated. 

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“I can actually torture myself, which seems weird, but that’s my goal: To torture myself, to beat myself down, and that’s how I gain strength. Now, since I’m older, I can’t recover as fast. So now I’m going to be able to torture myself a little bit more and give myself more rest.”

Lawler is also fully intending on remaining involved in the realm of MMA in the future, he just will be doing the work outside of the cage. 

“I’m definitely going to be around the sport. This sport has given so much to me. The reason that I am where I am today and been able to last this long is because of all the people helping me,” Lawler said. 

“So I’m going to give back, all these little tidbits I’ve learned over time and we have a really good gym at Kill Cliff FC, and just being able to help guys get stronger so that they can make money and compete at a higher level, and that’s what I feel martial arts is about. Giving back and showing techniques.”

“I think it could [get emotional], and it has come up, but I try not to because it’s a lot. I’ve been freaking doing this a long time,” Lawler concluded.


Paris Olympic Organizers Being Investigated On Suspected Corruption Case 

According to officials, French investigators searched the Paris Olympic organizers’ headquarters on Tuesday as a part of corruption investigations into contracts linked to the Games.

The Paris organizing committee released a short statement confirming that the search at their headquarters was underway in the suburb of Saint-Denis, and did not comment further. 

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The Tuesday search is also linked to two preliminary investigations related to the Olympics, that before this point have not been made public. According to an official with the financial prosecutor’s office, one previous probe was opened in 2017, and the other began last year. 

The Olympic Games have dealt with a multitude of corruption allegations throughout the past decades. 

For Paris 2024, the Games are being seen as a celebration of openness after two Olympics were closed off by the pandemic. 

Organizers and Paris officials have stressed their commitment to transparency and social justice initiatives. The opening ceremony will be outdoors along the Seine which will be free for up to half a million people. The Games are currently scheduled to occur from July 26th to August 11th 2024. 

The anti-Olympics group Saccage 2024, argues that the Games cause ecological and social damage, and have claimed that they are “very pleased” hearing the news of the recent raids in Paris, according to ESPN.

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“For us, an event of Olympic proportions cannot be held without corruption. It’s the size of the event that makes it necessary, whatever the country.”

The prosecutor’s office has stated, according to ESPN, “the probe opened in 2017 is looking into suspected embezzlement of public funds and favoritism, and concerns about an unspecified contract reached by Paris organizers.”

The 2022 probe followed an audit made by the French Anti-corruption Agency. The prosecutor’s office has also stated that this case targets a suspected conflict of interest and favoritism involving contracts reached by the organizing committee and the public body in charge of Olympic infrastructure.

The IOC said in a statement it was “informed by the organizers that they are cooperating with authorities.”

IOC president Thomas Bach told reporters early Monday the meeting “of course will be about Paris, where we have some good news after the visit of the coordination mission and after my visit to France, to President Macron, and also the organizing committee.”


Kevin Durant Signs Lifetime Endorsement Deal With Nike

Kevin Durant and Nike have come together for a lifetime endorsement contract, making Durant just the third NBA player to receive a deal of this size; Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the other two players with deals. 

The Phoenix Suns’ 13-time All-Star player has had an ongoing relationship with Nike since around 2007; the two have released 15 different sets of shoes with a 16th set on the way. 

“When I first signed with Nike, I couldn’t have dreamed of how far we’d go in this partnership,” Durant said in a statement.

“We’ve done amazing work creatively and philanthropically. We’ve traveled the world together and built a business that will now last forever. I’m excited for the future and honored to be in rare company with this deal.”

According to both parties, the lifetime deal will include apparel such as shoes, along with other “community and philanthropic collaboration focused on grassroots basketball.”

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According to Durant, “It means a lot man, it’s a dream come true. It’s something that I’ve been working towards since I was a kid and having a partnership with Nike. To be in that company is a blessing. Looking forward to what we can do in the future.” 

Durant’s time in the NBA has been multifaceted, playing for Seattle, to Oklahoma City, to Golden State, to Brooklyn, and now to Phoenix. As a 19-year-old entering into the NBA in 2007, Durant claims he always knew he would find success thanks to his hard work and dedication.

“I did think that if I stay focused and stay locked in to what I know I can do, I could do some big things and I can have a huge partner like Nike,” Durant said. 

“It’s just a matter of staying focused and having that endurance to keep getting up and doing this every day. So yeah, I had confidence that I could do so. But I had to put in a lot of work to get here.”

Durant joined the Phoenix Suns in a midseason trade with the Brooklyn Nets. 

John Slusher, the Nike executive vice president of global marketing, stated that “as one of the best basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has been an important part of the Nike family for the past 16 years.” 

“We look forward to continuing to serve the next generation of athletes together,” Slusher concluded.