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Brees to 'make another run at it' with Saints
12:09 PM ET METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees isn't done yet. The New Orleans Saints quarterback and the NFL's career passing leader will return for a 20th season after posting to Instagram on Tuesday that he will "make another run at it." Brees, who turned 41 in January, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 18, but he has made it clear for the past several years that he has no interest in testing the open market. So his only choices were staying in New Orleans or retiring. The two sides will need to work out a new contract, but that shouldn't be contentious. The last time Brees was a free agent, in 2018, he agreed to a two-year, $50 million contract that was slightly below market value -- with only one year of salary guaranteed. The Saints will also have to decide whether they want to try to keep both of their backups: unrestricted free agent Teddy Bridgewater and restricted free agent Taysom Hill. Coach Sean Payton said in late January that he thought it would be "very difficult" and "unrealistic" to keep all three quarterbacks with the Saints slammed tight against the salary cap. That would seemingly make Bridgewater, 27, the odd man out for financial reasons -- especially if another team is willing to pay him like a starter on the open market. Bridgewater went 5-0 as a starter while Brees was sidelined by a thumb injury in 2019, which should make him more attractive than he was as a free agent last year. Hill, 29, will be easier to retain as a restricted free agent. The Saints can match any offer he might sign with another team. And depending on the size of New Orleans' qualifying offer to Hill, teams would have to give up either a first- or second-round draft pick if the Saints don't match the offer. A first-round tender will likely cost somewhere between $4.5 and $5 million. Category All-Time Rank Pass TD 547 1st Pass yards 77,416 1st Comp pct. 67.6% 1st -- ESPN Stats & Information There have also been multiple reports that Payton views the versatile QB/RB/WR/TE/special-teams monster Hill as a future franchise quarterback, despite the fact that he has attempted only 15 career passes, including the playoffs. No matter who ultimately becomes Brees' successor, he will have to wait at least one more season. Brees said he wanted to take time with his family after the season to decompress and mull his future -- something he has done after each of the past three seasons. But it would have been a bit surprising to see him walk away now, since he is still playing at such a high level. He finished with the best passer rating of his career in 2019 (116.3) and helped lead the Saints to a 13-3 record, despite missing those five games early in the season with the thumb injury. He was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Month for December, when he threw 15 touchdowns with zero turnovers and completed a NFL-record 29-of-30 passes in a Week 15 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Brees had a disappointing performance in the Saints' wild-card playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings (208 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble), but that was all the more reason to expect him to come back and try to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the Saints won their only championship in the 2009 season. Apparently Brees also wasn't ready to concede his NFL records for career passing yards (77,416) and touchdown passes (547) to 42-year-old Tom Brady, who is in striking distance of both marks. Although Brees is no longer throwing for 5,000-plus yards per season and doesn't dial up the deep ball very often anymore, he has continued to adapt his game by being even more efficient. He just posted the three best completion percentages in NFL history over the past three seasons (72.0 in 2017, 74.4 in 2018 and 74.3 in 2019) and has a total of 18 turnovers over the past three years combined. Payton said in late January that he hasn't seen any drop-off in Brees' performance. "I'm watching this guy perform, and again his numbers this year exceeded last year's. The job is for him to win, and he's done that," Payton said. "Look, is the ball going down the field the same way? Maybe it's not. And yet his yards per completion and all those things have been real good." Brees said late last season that when you combine that efficiency with "all the experience and wisdom, I think that just allows you to maintain your prime for longer and longer." "I really do feel like I should be better every week and every year," Brees said.
espn.com
Why Bachelor Nation Thinks Dean Unglert and Caelynn Miller-Keyes Secretly Got Married
Just married? Bachelor in Paradise couple Dean Unglert and Caelynn Miller-Keyes are sparking marriage rumors! The speculation started over Valentine's Day weekend when Caelynn shared a sweet tribute to her beau on Instagram. Alongside a picture of the couple in Yosemite National Park, Caelynn wrote, "Life is so much better with you in it. Happy Valentine's Day." In the comments of the post, a fan told the couple to "get married," to which Caelynn replied that they "already did." While it's likely that Caelynn is just joking with her followers, the couple's recent social media activity is still raising some eyebrows. On Sunday, Dean took to his Instagram to share photos of him and Caelynn, along with their adorable dog, from their time at Mirror Lake Loop Trail. Dean captioned the post with the lyrics, "don't you know happiness isn't a place, it's a road you take." In the comments, Caelynn told Dean that their weekend trip was the "best honeymoon ever." To add to the speculation, in Dean's latest Instagram Story videos, he can be seen wearing a ring. Instagram But, despite the questionable social media commentary, Dean and Caelynn have yet to officially address their relationship status. So, we'll have to wait and see! As fans of Dean and Caelynn will know, the reality stars had a bit of a bumpy start during their time on Bachelor in Paradise over the summer. While they initially sparked a connection, Caelynn was left in tears when Dean decided to leave Paradise, ending their time together. However, he later returned to the beach in Mexico, asking Caelynn to come along with him, which she accepted. Since that time, Dean and Caelynn have been traveling all over the world together, from his infamous van to planes, trains and automobiles. "It has been so much fun because he brings out a very different side of me. Our relationship is different than any other ones that I have had. He challenges me and pushes me in different ways," Caelynn told E! News in Oct. 2019. "He takes me skydiving and puts me on the back of a motorcycle. He brings out the adventure side of me but also challenges me intellectually as well." Instagram "He is one of the best communicators as well. He has made me a better communicator," she continued. "In relationships, I tend to close myself off if I am having a problem or an issue and he makes me be more vulnerable." In late 2019, Dean was hospitalized after a ski accident in the Swiss Alps, and Caelynn was there by his side as he was discharged. She told her followers at the time, "Busted @deanie_babies out of the hospital today and explored a little bit of Switzerland." On Tuesday, Kumail Nanjiani took to Instagram to share a behind-the-scenes video from a recent promo shoot with Dean, Issa Rae, and fellow Bachelor Nation stars. "During our promo shoot for @TheLovebirdsMovie, @IssaRae and uncovered some wild #BachelorNation news," Kumail captioned the post. "Congrats @Deanie_Babies. I think? Maybe?" In the video, the group addresses speculation that Dean and Caelynn got married in Europe after Dean broke his leg. Watch the video above to see Dean's reaction! Watch E! News weekday mornings at 7 a.m.!
eonline.com
President Trump Pardons Ex-49ers Owner Ed DeBartolo, Jerry Rice Celebrates!
Exclusive Hayden Panettiere BF Arrested for Dom. Violence Again ... Allegedly Punched Her 2/18/2020 8:40 AM PT Breaking News President Trump Pardons Ex-SF 49ers Owner ... Jerry Rice Celebrates! 2/18/2020 8:28 AM PT Breaking News ATL Braves' Nick Markakis Astros Cheaters 'Need a Beating' ... Mark Cuban Rips MLB 2/18/2020 7:43 AM PT Exclusive Justin & Hailey Bieber Looking to Buy, Complete 1st Home ... Could Spend $20 Million 2/18/2020 7:32 AM PT Exclusive Details Kobe Bryant Insane Tribute Lambo Up For Sale ... $170,000!!! 2/18/2020 12:50 AM PT Chris Stapleton Belts Out 'Tennessee Whiskey' On Tyler Perry's Madea Tour 2/18/2020 6:47 AM PT Kanye West Stands by North's Side As She Performs Her Own Song!!! 2/18/2020 6:54 AM PT Exclusive Mama June Spotted in Florida with Geno ... Waiting for Buffet 2/18/2020 1:00 AM PT Exclusive Rapper Gorilla Zoe Busted for Packing Heat at TSA 2/18/2020 7:59 AM PT Breaking News Prairie View vs. Jackson St. College Hoops Brawl Pops Off ... In Handshake Line! 2/18/2020 8:11 AM PT Exclusive Dog the Bounty Hunter My Family's Nuts, Just Like Normal ... But We're Good!!! 2/18/2020 6:49 AM PT Breaking News Dwyane Wade 'Struggled' About Going Public With Daughter's Gender Identity Story 2/18/2020 6:13 AM PT Breaking News SF Giants Ban Aubrey Huff From W.S. Reunion After 'Unacceptable' Tweets 2/18/2020 6:18 AM PT Exclusive 'Beverly Hills Cop' Actress Mauled by Her Own Pit Bulls!!! Hospitalized, Gory Wounds 2/18/2020 12:40 AM PT Kaia, Kendall & Hailee Love is in the Air ... at London Fashion Week 2/18/2020 6:44 AM PT Exclusive 'Recess' Voice Actor Jason Davis Death Looks Like Possible Heroin OD 2/18/2020 12:30 AM PT Guess Who This Braided Beauty Turned Into! 2/18/2020 12:01 AM PT Exclusive 'The Price Is Right' Halts Production After Drew Carey's Ex-Fiancee's Murder 2/17/2020 1:30 PM PT Breaking News Nascar's Ryan Newman Hospitalized After Fiery Daytona Crash ... In 'Serious Condition' 2/17/2020 7:22 PM PT Exclusive Julius Erving Gordon Should've Won Dunk Contest ... But It Was Super Close!! 2/17/2020 4:11 PM PT
tmz.com
Kanye West Stands by North West's Side as She Performs Own Song
Breaking News Mark Cuban Clowns MLB Over Astros' Scandal Glad I Didn't Buy A Team!!! 2/18/2020 7:43 AM PT Exclusive Justin & Hailey Bieber Looking to Buy, Complete 1st Home ... Could Spend $20 Million 2/18/2020 7:32 AM PT Exclusive Details Kobe Bryant Insane Tribute Lambo Up For Sale ... $170,000!!! 2/18/2020 12:50 AM PT Chris Stapleton Belts Out 'Tennessee Whiskey' On Tyler Perry's Madea Tour 2/18/2020 6:47 AM PT Kanye West Stands by North's Side As She Performs Her Own Song!!! 2/18/2020 6:54 AM PT Exclusive Mama June Spotted in Florida with Geno ... Waiting for Buffet 2/18/2020 1:00 AM PT Breaking News Prairie View vs. Jackson St. College Hoops Brawl Pops Off ... In Handshake Line! 2/18/2020 6:56 AM PT Exclusive Dog the Bounty Hunter My Family's Nuts, Just Like Normal ... But We're Good!!! 2/18/2020 6:49 AM PT Breaking News Dwyane Wade 'Struggled' About Going Public With Daughter's Gender Identity Story 2/18/2020 6:13 AM PT Breaking News SF Giants Ban Aubrey Huff From W.S. Reunion After 'Unacceptable' Tweets 2/18/2020 6:18 AM PT Exclusive 'Beverly Hills Cop' Actress Mauled by Her Own Pit Bulls!!! Hospitalized, Gory Wounds 2/18/2020 12:40 AM PT Kaia, Kendall & Hailee Love is in the Air ... at London Fashion Week 2/18/2020 6:44 AM PT Exclusive 'Recess' Voice Actor Jason Davis Death Looks Like Possible Heroin OD 2/18/2020 12:30 AM PT Guess Who This Braided Beauty Turned Into! 2/18/2020 12:01 AM PT Exclusive 'The Price Is Right' Halts Production After Drew Carey's Ex-Fiancee's Murder 2/17/2020 1:30 PM PT Breaking News Nascar's Ryan Newman Hospitalized After Fiery Daytona Crash ... In 'Serious Condition' 2/17/2020 7:22 PM PT Exclusive Julius Erving Gordon Should've Won Dunk Contest ... But It Was Super Close!! 2/17/2020 4:11 PM PT Breaking News Houston Astros Top Prospect Banned 162 Games ... For PED Use 2/17/2020 3:25 PM PT Exclusive 'New Amsterdam' Star Ryan Eggold Coronavirus Could Infect Our Show ... Or Some Kinda Outbreak 2/17/2020 2:53 PM PT Exclusive 'M*A*S*H' Star Kellye Nakahara Dead at 72 2/17/2020 1:08 PM PT
tmz.com
Justin Bieber Opens Up About Lyme Disease and Health Struggles in Docuseries
Breaking News Philip Rivers Gets The Axe From Chargers ... Time To 'Turn The Page' 2/10/2020 10:22 AM PT Justin Bieber Lyme Disease Diagnosis Was a Blessing ... I'm Focused on Getting Better Now!!! 2/10/2020 10:13 AM PT Exclusive Sean McVay Eric Weddle Is A Hall of Famer 2/10/2020 9:34 AM PT Lori Loughlin Olivia Jade's Fake Rowing Resume ... Good Enough for USC, But Who Wrote It??? 2/10/2020 9:01 AM PT Exclusive Russell Wilson Man Bun In The Oven New Look W/ Pregnant Ciara 2/10/2020 8:43 AM PT Exclusive 'Parasite' Director Bong Joon-ho Oscar After-Party Rolls On ... Drinking til Morning??? 2/10/2020 7:59 AM PT Breaking News NFL's Kenny Britt Former 1st-Round Pick ... Arrested For Weed 2/10/2020 7:02 AM PT The Bounce-Back Stripper Falls Off Two-Story, 15-Ft Pole Gets Up, Keeps Twerking!!! 2/10/2020 6:32 AM PT Breaking News NFL's Nnamdi Asomugha I'm A Broadway Actor Now!!! ... Starring in Play 2/10/2020 6:51 AM PT Exclusive Justin Bieber and Quavo Spark Donations To Homeless Shelter ... With New Music Video 2/10/2020 1:00 AM PT Scorsese, Theron, Aniston No Oscar? No Problem! Still Down to Partaaaaaay!!! 2/10/2020 7:03 AM PT Justin Bieber Hockey Time ... Looks Fun as Puck!!! 2/10/2020 6:50 AM PT Breaking News XFL Players Chug Hard Seltzers After First Win ... 'Stone Cold' Style!!! 2/10/2020 6:00 AM PT Breaking News Oliver Luck Kaepernick Wanted 'Exorbitant' Salary ... To Play In XFL 2/10/2020 7:54 AM PT Breaking News Brad Pitt Wins First Acting Oscar Incredible Speech, Comes Full Circle 2/9/2020 5:38 PM PT Exclusive Kim Zolciak Cosmetic Enhancements ... Yup, There's a Limit!! 2/10/2020 12:50 AM PT Exclusive Brett Favre I See No Decline In Tom Brady's Game ... He's As Good As Ever!!! 2/10/2020 12:40 AM PT Exclusive 'Bad News Bears' Star Jeffrey Davies Takes First Steps ... w/ Help from Exoskeleton 2/10/2020 12:30 AM PT Exclusive 3 Doors Down's Matt Roberts Doctor Acquitted in His Death ... Could Lose Medical License 2/10/2020 12:20 AM PT Guess Who This Striped Sweetie Turned Into! 2/10/2020 12:01 AM PT
tmz.com
Inside the XFL's opening weekend: Faster football and a promising start
12:00 PM ET At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, a man and his son sat in a mostly empty parking lot in southeast Washington. The hatchback of their SUV was up. A half-eaten sub sandwich sat atop a folding table. A Yeti cooler brought promise of additional provisions. The Lucks, Andrew and Shawn, were the very first tailgaters at the very first game of the new XFL. (No, it wasn't that Andrew Luck.) They are lifelong D.C. sports fans. Andrew took all three of his kids out of school to attend the first Washington Nationals game in 2005, and he gave similar treatment to the XFL's D.C. Defenders. "There's only one first game," he said. "We do this for all of our teams, and these guys' team and this league are no different." The XFL enjoyed the benefit of the doubt throughout its debut weekend, receiving a generally positive reaction to its innovative brand of football. Four modestly sized but enthusiastic crowds remained engaged throughout the first four games. Full television ratings are not yet available, but the first game -- a 31-19 Defenders victory over the Seattle Dragons -- averaged roughly the same average number of television viewers (3.3 million, not including streaming numbers) as did the now-defunct Alliance of American Football in its first week in 2019, during which it made a prime-time debut. The AAF's ratings famously tanked thereafter, but those involved with the XFL's opening weekend emerged confident that its product had piqued the public's curiosity. 2 Related In an interview aired on ESPN, normally sober-minded commissioner Oliver Luck said he couldn't have imagined a better debut in his "wildest dreams." The games, Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops said, "were competitive and good." And New York Guardians coach Kevin Gilbride said fans were probably "surprised by how good the play is, and how good the quality of coaching is." After his Guardians defeated the Tampa Bay Vipers 23-3, Gilbride added: "Anybody who loves the game of football saw with their own eyes that, 'Hey, this is something I can watch and enjoy and get behind.'" ESPN dispatched reporters to all four games, bearing witness to the XFL's funky kickoff, new levels of in-game access and weirdly similar numbers of fans. (The XFL's announced attendance for each game fell in a range between 17,163 and 17,815.) New fast-paced rules in action The XFL's vision calls for fast-paced games, with more scoring and fewer dead plays than the NFL version. To that end, Week 1 was met with mixed results. Only one game got close to its over-under number: The Defenders and Dragons' 50 combined points fell 0.5 points short. Five of the league's eight teams, in fact, scored fewer than 20 points. And the average game lasted about 2 hours, 56 minutes, shorter than an NFL game but 11 minutes longer than the XFL's goal of 2:45. On the other hand, the XFL's most ambitious rule change was a rousing success. Its revamped kickoff alignment minimized touchbacks and fans caught an intriguing glimpse of how teams will adjust. Of the 35 kickoffs over the weekend, 32 were returned (91%). For context, in 2019, 60.9% of NFL kickoffs went for touchbacks and just 36% were returned. The biggest play was a 59-yard return Sunday from the Guardians' Austin Duke. The new kickoffs in the XFL are different 👀 pic.twitter.com/eeuE7dceUV — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 8, 2020 "It's like an offensive scrimmage play," Stoops said. "Everyone runs the outside stretch, the inside zone. That's what you've got. You're not just putting the ball down at a certain spot. You got a chance that somebody splits it and makes a big play." The goal of the kickoff scheme was to ensure returns by moving the kicker back to the 30-yard line, while also minimizing high-speed collisions by moving the coverage team and blockers downfield before the kick. That funky alignment brings its own challenges, Defenders safety Rahim Moore said, but teams will soon get the hang of it. "The kickoff and the kickoff return is harder than what you might think," Moore said. "Everybody is pretty much down there when the ball is kicked. So there really isn't a gaping hole. There's no wedge. In the NFL, it's a little different. Here, it's challenging in a different way. But if you hit it the right way, which we will one day, it's [to the house.]" Meanwhile, the league's efforts to speed up the game were on full display. One of the most visible people on the field was an official wearing a red hat and carrying two extra footballs -- one in a pouch wrapped around the waist -- whose only job was to spot the ball. Their efforts helped the XFL cut time between plays and start a 25-second play clock, which is 15 seconds shorter than the NFL. As a result, XFL games averaged about the same number of offensive plays per game (124) as the NFL (126) despite games that were on average 10 minutes shorter. XFL teams averaged 5.0 yards per offensive play in Week 1; NFL teams averaged 5.5 during the 2019 regular season. Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker threw a league-high four touchdown passes. Other Week 1 stars included Seattle receiver Austin Proehl (two touchdown catches), Tampa Bay receiver Daniel Williams (six receptions for 123 yards) and D.C. cornerback Bradley Sylve, who returned an interception 69 yards for a game-clinching touchdown. play 1:41 P.J. Walker throws for 272 yards and four touchdowns as the Roughnecks beat the Wildcats 37-17 for their first XFL win. The Defenders' Moore said the pace helped the action approach NFL-level intensity. All offensive skill players, and six defensive players, have helmets with speakers to hear playcalls, a technological effort that allows them to line up on the ball quicker. Los Angeles Wildcats receiver Nelson Spruce, who has spent time with four NFL teams and also played in the AAF, said the elevated XFL tempo was noticeable on the field. "It's fast-paced and I think you get winded a little bit more quicker than other leagues," Spruce said after the Wildcats' 37-17 loss to Houston. Everything is on TV The XFL worked closely with its network partners, ABC/ESPN and Fox, to allow new levels of player and coach interaction. Three innovations drew immediate interest. Sideline reporters interviewed players on the bench after big plays, a sampling of playcalls and line checks were broadcast in real time, and the viewer was brought inside the locker room and replay booth for halftime adjustments and all replay review deliberations. Relive the NFL's greatest games, original series and more. Watch on ESPN+ Dragons offensive lineman Dillon Day provided the XFL's first in-game viral moment, using a profanity on ABC as he talked about an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Speaking after the game, Day said he didn't realize he cursed until he checked his phone after the game. "You get a lot of true emotion," Day said. "Whoever you are as a person, that's going to come out. You don't have time to kind of butter something up. It was a little different, but it's cool." All of the XFL's coaches have their roots in the NFL, where play terminology and in-game interactions are guarded like state secrets. But they long ago signed off on the XFL's plans to broadcast everything and have incorporated it into their weekly game planning. Dragons coach Jim Zorn joked that he might give quarterback Brandon Silvers a wristband and just call plays by number. Defenders coach Pep Hamilton, on the other hand, said coaches will have no choice but to scout television broadcasts for trends and clues, while adjusting calls the way baseball teams change their pitch signals. "It's going to add time to our process of preparing for the next opponent," he said. "Not only will we watch the broadcast of their game, but I'm sure they will watch the broadcast of ours. We have to take that into consideration and make the appropriate adjustments. And we knew that coming in. Our league has been great allowing us to be a part of setting the rule and having the dialogue with the head coaches, who are the football experts, before they ratify certain rules." The league also wasn't shy about sharing off-color moments from the locker room. After their 15-9 victory over the Renegades, the St. Louis BattleHawks tweeted a video of two players, Nick Fitzgerald and Taylor Heinicke, shotgunning spiked seltzer. Victories taste better with SELTZER. Let's take a look inside the @budlight seltzer lounge with @nickfitz07 & @Taylor_Heinicke! 😂😂#ClearedToEngage x #ForTheLoveOfFootball pic.twitter.com/lNTfvetaJh — St. Louis BattleHawks (@XFLBattleHawks) February 10, 2020 New strategy and endgame math The XFL's attempts to change traditional strategy were evident throughout the weekend, especially in the fourth quarter. Teams can't kick extra points and instead must decide whether to go for one point from the 2-yard line, two points from the 5-yard line or three points from the 10. The league office provided teams with data that showed the 2-point play was the most efficient decision, but coaches chose the 1-point option after 11 of 19 touchdowns. There were eight 2-point attempts and none for three. That didn't stop Houston fans from chanting "Go for three" after the Roughnecks' first touchdown on Saturday night. And the 3-point option clearly lurked deep in the minds of coaches who envisioned one possession leading to nine points. Zorn said he was surprised at the depth of the thought process required as the Dragons attempted to come back from a 12-point deficit earlier Saturday. At one point, he called for a field goal attempt to make it a one-score game. He accepted a penalty that erased the ensuing kick, but the Dragons fumbled the ball away after their offense returned to the field. To celebrate 100 years of pro football, Peyton Manning travels the country to see the people and places that made the NFL the NFL. Watch on ESPN+ » More » "As coaches, we talked a lot on headsets about setting it up," Zorn said. "When you're down 12, it's either two touchdowns, or it's a touchdown and possibly going for three, or a field goal. That was surprising to me. That rule change, being able to go to one, two or three with the extra point, there's a lot of strategy in that, especially toward the end of the game. You could possibly go for three and make it a one-score game, or make it a one-score and a field goal game. That surprised me. "That's something we'll work on, having more of a plan down there. It didn't end up affecting us because we fumbled, but that was the issue: If we scored quick, were we going to go for three? And I was." In the end, the point-after-touchdown options combined with unique rules in the final two minutes -- the XFL clock stops after every play during that period to allow teams to get back to the line of scrimmage -- helped maintain interest until the end of games. Indeed, ABC's ratings Saturday peaked to an average of 4 million viewers in the fourth quarter as the Dragons attempted their comeback. The top-rated local market in the country for the game was Seattle-Tacoma, which registered a 6.4 rating. Dallas Renegades running back Marquis Young looks for open field against the St. Louis BattleHawks on Sunday. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsAnd even with a big lead over Tampa Bay, the New York crowd stayed through to the end. "With this being the first game and kicking off the first XFL game in New York, we didn't know what to expect fanwise," Guardians linebacker Ryan Mueller said. "Even though we were winning by a lot at the end of the game, they were sticking around. Our place was rocking." Identifying and measuring the audience The XFL largely filled D.C.'s 20,000-seat Audi Field and attracted an average of 17,454 by selling mostly lower-bowl tickets to the three larger stadiums used over the weekend. Interviews with those who showed up for all four games revealed them to be fans who were interested in seeing professional football at lower prices. Videos narrated by XFL officiating chief Dean Blandino, shown on the scoreboard during breaks in the action, helped explain the league's new rules. The XFL's business model called for a family of four to attend games for $100. The Lucks paid $75 per ticket to sit on the 50-yard line in D.C. Meanwhile in Arlington, Texas, Todd Arnold, Jimmy McCammon and Kevin White arrived four hours before the game time to tailgate. They are Dallas Cowboys fans but don't have season tickets because "nobody can afford Jerry [Jones'] prices," Arnold said. play 0:55 Jamar Summers recovers the fumble from Nick Truesdell and runs 13 yards for the touchdown. New Renegades fan Scott Scarbrough said: "It's pretty cheap. You can get a ticket for like $30, so that's not bad at all." The Renegades game, played at the former home of the Texas Rangers, drew Dallas sports royalty. Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman roamed the concourse, supporting his friend and Renegades executive Daryl Johnston. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who went to high school in Allen, Texas, was in attendance as well. So was retired coach Steve Spurrier, whose son Scott is a Renegades assistant coach. In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Ron Gonzalez took his 17-year-old son, Max, and three friends to the Vipers-Guardians game for a birthday present. They paid $30 per ticket, and another $30 to park. Max said he expected hits in the XFL to be "a lot better than the NFL." And in Houston, fans received free T-shirts that said "HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS. HOME OPENER. FEB. 8, 2020" but were still lined up to buy gear, including jerseys priced at $89.99. Ultimately, XFL teams attracted enough fans to create a traditional football atmosphere in the stadium and on television. Monday morning, Fox Sports reported that Saturday night's game between Los Angeles and Houston earned a 2.3/6 metered market rating. There was anecdotal evidence of social media interest as well; the XFL topped Twitter's U.S. trending list Saturday afternoon. But perhaps the biggest data point is yet to come. The true measure reaction to the XFL's debut will be television ratings and attendance figures in Week 2. Will the audience return, or even grow? Was its benefit of the doubt justified? In 2001, ratings for the XFL's first incarnation dropped 50% in the second week. So did the AAF's in 2019. The new XFL eagerly awaits that judgment. NFL Nation reporters Todd Archer, Sarah Barshop and Rich Cimini contributed to this story.
espn.com
Inside Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Star-Studded 2020 Oscars Party With Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott and More
Beyoncé and Jay-Z had all of the A-list stars partying late into the night. The superstar couple held a celeb-filled bash after the 2020 Oscars on Sunday evening, with stars like Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott, Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian all in attendance. Portman, wearing jeans, was among the first guests to arrive at the bash, alongside her husband, Benjamin Millepied. Other celeb guests included Sean "Diddy" Combs, Lauren Sanchez, Jessica Alba, Cash Warren French Montana, Anthony Anderson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, America Ferrera, Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble. While inside, Kim, Kanye, Kris, Corey and Kylie were all spotted dancing together. According to a source, guests at the bash were served chicken empanadas, avocado bites, and various dessert pastries with chocolate and vanilla frosting. Jerk chicken and lamb were also passed around for attendees to enjoy. "The theme of the party was also was also a representation of Houston and Brooklyn, where both Jay and Beyoncé are from. There were pool tables set up and it was made to feel like a dive bar," the insider tells E! News. "It wasn't overly extravagant and it seemed like they wanted everyone to feel casual." The source adds, "They played a lot of '90s music throwbacks and throwbacks of their own hits including 'Empire State of Mind,' and 'Deja Vu' and 'Crazy in Love.'" According to the insider, when any Beyoncé song was played, the lights turned to her and Beyoncé "was mouthing and dancing to the words." "Everyone was around her, and bowing down to her," the source tells E! News. "She even got on the mic at one point and sang a few lines and remixed 'Brown Skin Girl' and 'I Care,' with a few other songs of hers." According to the source, Jay-Z played "I Just Wanna Love You" and got on the mic and rapped his lyrics of the song. "Everyone was dying over this and was jumping up and down loving it," the source tells E! News. "Beyoncé and Jay-Z definitely were putting on a show while playing their greatest hits. They took turns passing the mic while blasting their favorite songs from their hits. It was all about them." Bey, who has become BFFs with actress Witherspoon in recent weeks, was spotted sharing a huge hug with the Big Little Liars star. "It seemed like they were besties," the insider shares. "They were both really excited to see each other." Instagram Kim, Kylie, Kourtney and Khloe were spotted posing for photos together and made their rounds to say hello to Beyoncé. "Everyone said hello and seemed very excited to see her and be together. Kylie, Khloe and Kourtney had drinks in their hands and were dancing to the music," the insider shares. "They all seemed like they were having a blast." 42 / BACKGRID "Travis Scott met Kylie inside the party. They were together the entire night," the source tells E! News. "It seemed like Travis is on good terms with the family as Kourtney and Khloe were talking with him for several moments. He had drinks with Kourtney and Kylie and were all taking photos of each other." The source notes that while Travis and Kylie "didn't show overly PDA" they were standing together the entire night and "having fun together." According to the insider, Kourtney, Khloe, Travis and Kylie all left together before 3 a.m. Charlize Theron was also spotted at the bash making her way from the outside portion to the inside dance floor. "She was approached by many people," the source shares. "Charlize said hello to Jay and Beyoncé and they all hugged. They all seemed excited and had huge smiles." For a recap of the 2020 Oscars, watch E! News Monday at 7 a.m. and Pop of the Morning at 11 a.m.
eonline.com
Patrick Mahomes to the rescue just in time to save Chiefs
The QB saved the day for the Chiefs much like he had all postseason long.
espn.com
G-Eazy and Megan Thee Stallion Kiss and Go Instagram Official
And your Super Bowl weekend MVP goes to ... G-Eazy!!! Give the man some kinda trophy, 'cause looks like he scored in Miami with Meg Thee Stallion. Meg and G were all over each other ... hugging and snuggling as he planted kisses all over her face.…
tmz.com
Aaron Hernandez Documentary Blindsided, Pissed Off Odin Lloyd’s Family
The new Aaron Hernandez documentary is making it near impossible for the family of Odin Lloyd -- the ex-NFL star's murder victim -- to recover because they were blindsided by the film. Sources close to Lloyd's immediate fam tell TMZ ... they feel…
tmz.com
Conor vs. Jorge debate: Will it happen? Risky for Conor? BMF belt at stake?
Speculation about the UFC's two biggest names fighting each other has never been hotter. Our panel debates various aspects.
espn.com
Why five teams were overhyped; why five were undervalued
With just over a month of the season behind us, it's time to examine the reasons behind the pundits' worst predictions.
espn.com
Celebrity Cat Lil Bub Dead at 8
The world is a little less bubbly ... because the famous cat with a sparkling personality and super cute looks has sadly taken her last breath. Internet sensation Lil Bub -- a kitten-size cat with 2.3 million Instagram followers, an album, a book,…
tmz.com
Twitter to ban political ads from next month
Twitter is banning all political advertising from its service, saying social media companies give advertisers an unfair advantage in proliferating highly targeted and misleading messages.
How True Love Helped Jennifer Lawrence Believe in Marriage Again
It's not as if Jennifer Lawrence gave up on love. But for a spell in late 2015 she wasn't feeling super confident that it was in the cards for her. She had ended her five-year romance with fellow actor Nicholas Hoult more than a year earlier and a year-long on-and-off romance with rocker Chris Martin had fizzled as well, leaving the then-25-year-old secure in telling ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she had stopped envisioning herself as a bride. While she was absolutely sure that she would have kids ("I definitely want to be a mother,") she was less certain on the husband front.  "I don't know if I ever will get married and I'm OK with that," the already well-decorated actress asserted in a Nightline interview that November. The solid friendships she'd held onto before she skyrocketed to Hollywood's top tier and the pals she collected since (she had kicked off her enviable BFF bond with Amy Schumer just six months earlier) provided enough companionship. "I don't feel that I need anything to complete me," she explained. "I love meeting people—men, women, whatever; I love people coming into your life and bringing something."  Then Cooke Maroney arrived and brought with him some hope. Some eight months after the lauded star (since exploding onto the scene with 2010's Winter's Bone, she's collected three Golden Globes and won an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, her second of four nominations) began quietly dating the 34-year-old art gallery director, she accepted his proposal in February, her rep confirmed to E! News.  "I definitely wasn't at a place where I was like 'I'm ready to get married.' I just met Cooke, and I wanted to marry him," she explained her change of heart on the NAKED With Catt Sadler podcast in June. "We wanted to marry each other. We wanted to commit fully."  Tonight they will, with a source telling E! News they've invited 150 guests to watch them wed at the Belcourt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Roughly a year-and-a-half into their romance, the once-marriage shy star has no doubts about her choice. "You know, he's my best friend," the 29-year-old told Catt Sadler. "I feel very honored to become a Maroney." Felipe Ramales / SplashNews.com It's a future she couldn't envision just a few year back. To be fair, she was admittedly lost after calling cut on the relationship with Hoult that had consumed her early adult years. She and the British actor, 29, had met in 2010 while filming X-Men: First Class, just as the Kentucky native was on the precipice of becoming an award show darling. They split briefly in 2013, but were brought back together for X-Men: Days of Future Past before calling it quits again in August 2014.  Suddenly Lawrence was looking at a world that didn't include her most formative relationship to date. Nor was she set to get covered in the blue body paint required to play X-Men's Mystique or don Katniss' braids, with filming on The Hunger Games franchise wrapped as well.  "These movies had been my life for so long and they had to come first in everything," she said. "I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years and that was my life. So my life was this person and these movies and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies. Being 24 was this whole year of, 'Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?'" By his own assertion, Lawrence's relationship with Hoult hadn't been jarred by her quick ascension to the A-list or Hunger Games fans' rabid desire to know every piece of her world. "The privacy thing obviously changes but the rest pretty much stays the same," he told V Magazine months ahead of their final breakup. "It's like that thing whereby you don't believe your own hype. Enjoy the good times, but don't get swept away with it. I think that's something she's capable of doing, and that's what makes her special, but yeah, it is very odd, and I am just kind of a bystander in many ways. It is well deserved for her. I haven't really seen any change in her." The problem, a source told Us Weekly, was he simply wasn't seeing enough of her. No longer committed to the same film set (he went on to film Dark Places, Mad Max: Fury Road and Kill Your Friends), "They just weren't together a lot," said the source, "her life is a whirlwind. They have gotten back together before, it just got to be too hard for now." Nor did a subsequent romance with Coldplay frontman Martin, 41, pan out, with a source once again citing scheduling issues. Lawrence began seeing her second British beau five months after his divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow. And though the Goop queen seemed to approve, telling Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show that her ex-husband "wouldn't be with someone who isn't great," Martin struggled to balance Lawrence, kids Apple Martin, 14, and Moses Martin, 12, and his much-desired me time.  "Chris doesn't really want the relationship to end, but he needs to be flexible so he can see his family as much as possible with his own work schedule," a Martin source explained to E! News in August 2015, after the pair had ended things for the second time. "He's crazy about Jen but wants to keep his own schedule and be able to do what he wants when he wants to do it."  But Lawrence had no interest in being someone's fourth priority. As a friend put it to E! News, "She was tired of him being so noncommittal."  Isaac Brekken/Mark Davis/Getty Images for Clear Channel After all, she was just a simple midwestern girl looking for your average nice guy. She could see how potential mates could be threatened by her whole J. Law persona, what with two major movie franchises under her belt and a partnership with writer-director-producer David O. Russell that had netted her some of her best roles, but there was no need to be a jerk.  "No one ever asks me out," she revealed to Vogue's December 2015 issue, her relationship with Martin now firmly in the rearview. "I am lonely every Saturday night. Guys are so mean to me. I know where it's coming from—I know they're trying to establish dominance—but it hurts my feelings. I'm just a girl who wants you to be nice to me. I am straight as an arrow. I feel like I need to meet a guy, with all due respect, who has been living in Baghdad for five years who has no idea who I am." And if she were to find that in-the-dark gem, she really felt they could have something special. But for now she was navigating the type of romances typical to most twentysomethings. Describing one ex as "sexy," she told the venerable fashion mag, "but I didn't like how he made me feel. When someone makes you insecure, it's strangely exhilarating because you keep trying to fight for that validation." She knew it wasn't healthy, per se, but ultimately she was able to find that silver lining: "It's what you want to have before you get married, so that you don't seek it out once you are." Her wisdom was coming mainly from friends who had just committed to tying the knot, assistant Justine Ciarrocchi was already wed and best friend Laura Simpson (the pair met at an industry event and "hit it off over a mutual respect for Chandler Bing," Simpson shared in a blog, "and we've been eating pizza together ever since,") was next.  Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic And she was confident she had what it took to handle matrimony head on. "I can't wait to be married," she said. "I feel like if I find that one person who I want to spend the rest of my life with, who I want to be the father of my children, that I would absolutely not f--k it up." As for who that perfect man would be, well, she had a list of imminently reasonable criteria.  She'd like a guy who shares her penchant for reality TV and wouldn't mind an evening spent vacillating from Dance Moms to Doomsday Preppers to the entire Real Housewives oeuvre. "I love Intervention, New York Housewives—and Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and Atlanta Housewives," she told Vanity Fair in 2014. "I mean, I love them all, but Miami—oh, my God! Miami is really special." And though she works in an industry whose bread and butter is turning life partnerships into near-unattainable stories of romance, she was simply looking for a mate who, "you know, isn't afraid to fart in front of me [rather] than to have big, passionate love. I'd rather have just a peaceful time. [Those relationships] are deeper because you can be your true self with somebody, and somebody can be their true self with you." She'd also like to skip the unnecessary tiffs. "I don't like fighting, and I find argumentative people the most annoying people on the planet," she added. "Like, why do you still want to be fighting? It's just unattractive." Plus, that's time that could be better spent cozying into the couch. "We should both just move on and watch TV. Basically, what I'm saying is all I need in a relationship is somebody to watch TV with me." That wasn't quite what she found in famed director Darren Aronofsky. She and the Oscar-nominated director linked up after finishing work on their widely-panned film mother! in 2016. Had Lawrence had her way, it would have been far sooner, having immediately labeled the 49-year-old as "hot" after their initial pitch meeting. "I remember I was holding my dog and I shut the door and when the door shut I went, 'Pippy that's called sexual tension," she shared with Marc Maron on his WTF with Marc Maron podcast last February. "He played hard to get for like nine months, maybe longer, which just killed me." Greg Allen/Invision/AP Together for the whole of the press tour, Lawrence later admitted that critiques of their masterpiece, meant to be an indictment on the disrespectful way we've come to treat Mother Earth, took a toll.  "Normally, I promote a movie, you put the work in to promoting it, ask people to go see it, and then it's just kind of out of your hands. I normally just kind of let it go," she told Adam Sandler during a November 2017 installment of Variety's "Actors on Actors" series. "Dating the director is different."  When they'd get back to the hotel after a long day of shilling for the film, "the last thing I want to talk about or think about is a movie," she said. "He comes back from the tour, and that's all he wants to talk about and I get it. It's his baby. He wrote it. He conceived it. He directed it. I was doing double duty trying to be a supportive partner while also being like, 'Can I please, for the love of God, not think about mother! for one second?'" Listening to him read the reviews aloud was even more grueling. "I finally was just like, 'It's not healthy. Neither of us are doing it because if I read it, I start getting defensive.' Especially because it's my man."  So it made sense that when pal Simpson mentioned she had someone in mind who was industry-adjacent (Maroney's gallery, Gladstone 64 represents bold-named artists such as Lena Dunham's father Carroll Dunham) but decidedly not part of Hollywood, Lawrence was interested. It's not as if she was holding any animosity to the previous men she had dated, all as well-known as herself. "I'm friends with all my exes, actually. For the most part, yeah," she told Maron. "I have a theory. I think it's because I'm blunt. I don't think that you can have any sort of bad relationship with anybody if you're just blunt. Everybody always knows how you feel at all times and there's no lying, it's just honesty. Everybody's a good guy to each other. All my boyfriends have been wonderful. Nick [Hoult] was a great boyfriend." Elder Ordonez / SplashNews.com None had left her crushed, really, though each split was admittedly a blow to her confidence. "Every time I go through a breakup, it's not like my heart isn't broken. They just never did anything to like, devastate me. They were just good people. Maybe that's also the secret. I'm attracted to good people." But she was ready to find one that could really last. "I have not had sex in a very long time," she confessed to Stern on his radio show. "I would like to have a relationship, you know—it's hard out there!" So with longtime crush Larry David once again not responding to her overtures at pal Schumer's February 2018 vows, she agreed to a set-up.  Weeks into her romance with Vermont-bred Maroney, a fixture at high-end art openings in New York City, they went from being careful not to be seen together, to openly in love, going about their relationship much like any Manhattan couple. On any given day, they could be spotted at The Smile, a favorite of Lawrence pal Justin Theroux, Italian restaurant and wine bar Felice 64, taking in a New York Rangers game or simply picking up groceries, with trips to two of the world's most romantic cities—Paris and Rome—thrown in for good measure.   By January, according to Us Weekly, the duo were bringing their bags back to a shared apartment. "Things between them are very serious," an insider told the outlet. "They definitely appear to be in it for the long haul."  A source tells People the pair gelled over a mutual love of arts and culture "and living a life that includes both of their passions, yet sits outside of it," but for Lawrence determining that Maroney was right for her came down to a few simple questions. "I don't know, I started with the basics. How do I feel? Is he nice? Is he kind?" she shared with Sadler. "It's just—this is the one, I know that sounds really stupid but he's just, he's—you know. He's the greatest person I've ever met."
Trump defends asking foreign governments to investigate Bidens: Live updates
President Trump Friday morning claimed that his calls to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden deal with corruption, not politics.
abcnews.go.com

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