NFLX, MLB Diamond Dust, Armstrong stripped, UFC 151 cancelled, Barclays + Free Plays for Friday, August 24, 2012

News from the NFL preseason

IN NFLX action last night, the Green Bay Packers flicked the switch with a 27-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Aaron Rodgers was 12-22 for 154 yards and a pick but scored twice on runs of 5 and 12 yards. The Packers outrushed the injury riddled Bengals 184-68 and dominated with better than 36 minutes TOP. Andy Dalton had a miserable 5-17 for the homies who could only generate nine first downs. The Ravens put a 48-17 beatdown on the Jags with Joe Flacco shredding the Jacksonville secondary for 266 yards and two TDs in seven drives. Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, and Curtis Painter combined for 37-48 for 440 yards and 5 TDs. Justin Blackmon was the lone bright spot for the Jags with four catches for 72 yards. In the night’s finale, Tennessee edged Arizona 32-27 thanks in large part to five Cardinal turnovers. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb did little to settle their quarterback dual as both were largely ineffective and threw three picks between them.

There are six games on tonight’s NFLX schedule starting with the Eagles traveling to Cleveland to face the Browns. The game opened Cleveland -3 and 39 but has been bet to -4.5 with the total dropping to 37. This game figures to be VERY vanilla as these two meet again in two weeks in their respective season openers. Atlanta is a three-point favorite at Miami, the high/low up from 39.5 to 41.5. Ryan Tannehill is probable for the Fish. Showers are expected in the first half. Thunderstorms are also predicted in Tampa Bay where the Patriots are a full touchdown favorite over the Bucs. Tom Brady is expected to see extended action, the total is unmoved at 44. The Vikings (-3, 41) host the Chargers at the Metrodome. Philip Rivers is out for San Diego. The Giants host the Bears at the Meadowlands in their “Go” game. Big Blue is favored by three with the total up a point under perfect conditions at the Meadowlands. In the nightcap, Seattle has taken all the money as they travel to Kansas City for a date with the Chiefs. The game opened KC -1 with an over/under of 41.5 but Seattle is now a FG favorite, possibly due to the early week announcement that Russell Wilson would get the start. There is a 30% chance of thunderstorms predicted tonight for Kansas City.

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MLB Diamond Dust

The Tampa Bay Rays are on a 14-3 run since the return of Evan Longoria and now trail the Yankees by just two-and-a-half games in the AL East. Tampa Bay continued their hot play blanking Oakland 5-0 behind a four-hit complete game shutout from Alex Cobb. Matt Joyce had a two-run double and Longoria a RBI single in the Rays five run fifth. If the playoffs started today, the Rays would be the first wildcard.

Lance Armstrong stripped of all seven Tour de France titles

In late breaking news, Lance Armstrong has given up his fight against doping charges brought by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and Olympic bronze medal. In a statement issued by Armstrong ….

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”

“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” he said. “The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense.”

SP3 will be following this story as more details emerge.

Henderson tears MCL, UFC 151 cancelled

Just eight days out, Dan Henderson suffered a partially torn MCL in training forcing him to withdraw from the main event of UFC 151. When light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen as a replacement, Zuffa was forced to cancel the first event in company history. On Thursday, a not real happy Dana White announced that the entire September 1st card at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas would be cancelled and that Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida would become the new main event at UFC 152 in Toronto on September 22nd.

Dana White is not to happy with Jon Jones, a must listen for MMA fans

Harrington has early lead at The Barclays

Padraig Harrington fired a seven-under par 64 to grab a one-shot lead at the Barclays Championship at Bethpage. Brian Harmon and Nick Watney start the day a shot pack. In the super pairing, Tiger Woods shot a three-under 68, one shot better than Rory McIlroy. Red-hot Sergio Garcia is in the mix at five-under along with Justin Rose (-4), KJ Choi (-4), and Dustin Johnson (-4). Vijay Singh has made an early Friday charge and is -3 after six hole today, -6 for the tournament.

Barcelona 3-2 over Real in 1st leg Super Copa

Barcelona/Real Madrid and Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo renewed their rivalry in the Spanish Super Copa. Messi and Ronaldo both scored as Barcelona held on for a 3-2 first leg win at the Nou Camp. After a 0-0 first half, Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a brilliant header from just inside the box, converting a well place Ozi header. It took Barca just one minute to respond when Pedro knocked home a breakaway. Messi got into the act converting a penalty with just 20 minutes left after Sergio Ramos took Andres Iniesta down in the box. Iniesta to Xavi made it 3-1 seven minutes later. Madrid’s DiMaria closed the scoring with a bunny when Barca goaltender Victor Valdez carelessly mishandled a ball in front of his own goal. The teams neet August 29th in the second leg.

Free Plays

(NFLX) New England/Tampa Bay Under 43.5 7:30 PM EST

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(NFLX) New York Giants -3 over Chicago 8:00 PM EST

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(MLB) San Francisco (Vogelson) -125 over Atlanta (Sheets) 10:15 PM EST

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(MLB) Baltimore (Britton) pick over Toronto (Villaneuva) 7:05 PM EST

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