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LSU Legend Marcus Spears Dirty LSU Chant Is 'Terrible' ... But We Gotta Keep It!

10/19/2018 6:36 AM PDT

LSU has been trying like hell to stop the student section from chanting, "Suck that Tiger d**k, b*tch" during football games ... but LSU legend Marcus Spears says it just ain't gonna happen. 

A little background ... whenever the LSU marching band plays Cameo's 1984 hit, "Talkin' Out The Side Of Your Neck," the student section shouts out the explicit alternate lyrics instead.

The school has made a concentrated effort to phase out the dirty chant -- but it hasn't worked. Here's video of the kids in Baton Rouge busting out the song as Joe Burrow and co. thumped Georgia in the real Death Valley last Saturday. You can even hear it during live TV broadcasts. It's crazy. 

Enter Spears -- who won a National Championship playing for the Tigers in 2003 and was a consensus All-American defensive end in 2004. He now works for ESPN and agrees the chant is pretty bad.

"It's terrible, man. It's terrible."

But, Spears says the students love it and it fires up the players -- so, he doesn't really want to see it go either. 

"It's a legitimate gripe, but at the same time, it's a part of the atmosphere. It's a part of the gameday thing."

"If you could somehow convince [the students] to clean it up, that would be great. But, we know what Neck is about, Neck is about getting the team motivated."

So ... to all visiting teams and fans ... if you find yourself on Nicholson Drive on a Saturday we got one word for you ... EARMUFFS. Neck is forever.

Burt Reynolds Helped Lee Corso Bang Chicks At FSU

9/6/2018 3:13 PM PDT

Did you know ... ESPN's Lee Corso was Burt Reynolds' college roommate back in the day? 

It's true -- the two lived together at Florida State when Burt was a member of the Seminoles football team. And, according to Lee, Burt would often help him out with the ladies! 

Lee used to tell the story when talking to college athletes back in the day -- and recounted it at a football event back in 2007. 

"We would send him out for bait," Corso said ... "He would go to the student union and bring two girls back. One was gorgeous and the other one was ugly."

"He always took the beautiful girl ... and gave me the ugly one."

"But, you know what I found out early? Burt Reynolds' ugly girlfriends were better than anything I could get on my own."


NFL Network Settles Lawsuit With Marshall Faulk Accuser

9/6/2018 12:40 PM PDT

The NFL Network has reached a settlement with the former wardrobe stylist who claimed she was sexually harassed by several high profile network stars including Marshall Faulk

As we previously reported, Jami Cantor sued the network in 2017 claiming she was "subjected to ongoing and continuing sexual harassment by current and former on-air talent." 

Among those mentioned in her suit ... Faulk, Warren Sapp, Ike Taylor, Donovan McNabb, Heath Evans and Eric Davis

The allegations were graphic -- Cantor claimed Faulk pulled out his genitals in front of her and asked invasive questions. She claimed some of the other men sent her sexually explicit text messages and penis pics.

In her suit, Cantor claims she complained to NFL Network execs but nothing was ever done. Instead, Cantor claims she was fired in 2016 and replaced with a much younger woman.

The network suspended Faulk, Taylor and Evans in wake of the lawsuit ... and McNabb and Davis were fired from their gigs with ESPN.

NFL Network had previously filed legal docs denying wrongdoing and suggesting Cantor consented to the misconduct ... but now, new court docs show NFL Network reached a settlement deal with Cantor and the case will be dropped.

The details of the settlement were not disclosed in the document. We reached out to NFL Network -- but a rep declined comment.

Donald Trump Starts Petition for 'Spineless' ESPN ... To Play Anthem On 'MNF'

8/22/2018 11:35 AM PDT

Donald Trump is taking his beef with ESPN to the masses -- he's launched a petition to try and get the "spineless" network to play the national anthem during the "Monday Night Football" broadcast. 

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro had said last week that "We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year."

Trump was PISSED and sent an email to his supporters announcing that he's started a petition to get "The Star-Spangled Banner" on TV. 

"Just after we heard a sitting governor trash America, ESPN has now decided it will no longer play the National Anthem before Monday Night Football," the email from Trump said. The governor referred to is NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ... who made headlines last week for saying America "was never that great."

Trump's email continues ... "If 'America' is too offensive for anyone in our country, then what are they doing in America?"

"I’m calling on you to join me in denouncing this SPINELESS surrender to the politically correct liberal mob. I was the first person to sign this petition. Now I need you to follow my lead and be the second."

Trump began railing against ESPN at Tuesday's rally in West Virginia -- where he told the crowd, "It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they just won't broadcast when they play the national anthem."

"We don't like that," Trump added.

"So, while the players are kneeling, some of them not all of them at all, you're all proudly standing for our national anthem."

Trump has made his position on the anthem crystal clear -- he wants to fire any player who does not stand for the entire song. 

Trevor Bauer Apologizes To ESPN ... You Didn't Make Me Look Crazy

8/20/2018 4:58 PM PDT
Breaking News

Trevor Bauer is much less pissed off at ESPN today ... 'cause it turns out the company DIDN'T actually air a tweet that he says made him look like a "lunatic" after all.

ICYMI ... the Indians superstar is famous for being a baseball brainiac -- and when he broke his leg last week, a reporter had some fun at Trevor's expense with the diagnosis news.

"Trevor Bauer says that the doctors' timeline for his return is based on outdated mainstream medicine and he's begun a course of blood transfusions and colloidal silver to rid his body of CIA nanites," Ringer staff writer Michael Baumann tweeted.

"He anticipates missing two starts, three tops."

Bauer initially found the tweet hilarious ... but when he believed MLB Network and ESPN ran with the tweet as fact -- he was not happy.

"Presenting it as fact on tv, thus painting me as some lunatic that’s off his rocker, is not ok at all," Bauer tweeted.

He continued in another tweet: "Hey @MLBNetwork and @espn I would like public statements on social media and on your networks clarifying that the information you wrongly reported as fact earlier regarding my recovery timetable and process is false and not a quote from me. The report is damaging and absurd."

Turns out ... ESPN didn't actually run the tweet -- which caused Trevor to issue a 35-second apology video Monday evening.

"It appears the information I was given and what I believed to have seen was wrong, and ESPN never aired the fake tweet."

"As spreading misinformation that damages people's reputations is what I was originally angry about, I wanted to set the record straight and apologize to ESPN for wrongly accusing them of broadcasting this misinformation."

ESPN Not Airing National Anthem ... On 'Mon. Night Football'

8/17/2018 11:09 AM PDT
Breaking News

The President of ESPN says the network will NOT air the national anthem -- and the drama that goes along with it -- during the 2018 season of "Monday Night Football." 

"We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year," ESPN prez Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement reported by Axios' Sara Fischer

"Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem. Again that could change. It's unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we're not."

Obviously, the anthem has become a hot button issue -- with player demonstrations becoming such a big issue, everyone from team owners to the President of the United States have weighed in

Of course, Trump has said he wants players who don't stand to be fired. Several players have said they are not demonstrating to disrespect the flag, but rather to put a spotlight on racial injustice and police brutality. 

NFL's Christian Ponder Newborn Baby Undergoes Emergency Surgery

7/30/2018 2:36 PM PDT
Breaking News

Ex-NFL quarterback Christian Ponder and his wife, ESPN host Samantha Ponder, say their newborn is home and recovering after undergoing emergency surgery just days after she was born. 

Sam -- who hosts ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" -- said their daughter, Price, "ended up in emergency surgery in the middle of the night" after a series of "terrifying and sudden events."

"We were short on time and frankly, in shock," Ponder wrote on social media. 

Ponder didn't specify the details surrounding the medical emergency -- but says the surgery was a success and now Price is at home and recovering. 

"Her recovery in the #NICU was nothing short of miraculous for a tiny body that had just undergone such trauma."

She added, "Now, back to holding and singing (terribly) to this special girl. Thanks for loving and supporting our family in the good times and bad."

2018 ESPY Awards Drama, Jokes and Danica Hosts ... Go Behind the Scenes!!!

7/18/2018 7:39 PM PDT

The 26th annual ESPYs brought the feels early with an intense recap of the year's most exciting and touching sports moments ... then Danica Patrick lightened the mood.

Danica -- the show's first ever female host -- came out hard with jokes ... about Cleveland sports, J.R. Smith's Finals blunder, LeBron's hair, Ben Simmons joining the Kardashians -- and even the National Anthem controversy.

As you can see, some went over better than others.

Then it was on to the awards, with Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell kicking things off with an ESPY win for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Other winners included the U.S. Women's Hockey Team for Best Game, Baker Mayfield for Best College Athlete, and Nick Foles for Best Championship Performance.

Chloe Kim took home the ESPY for Best Female Athlete, Alex Ovechkin nabbed Best Male ... and the Houston Astros won Best Team.

The evening also included powerful tributes to Bills QB legend Jim Kelly, who received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, Best Coach going to the 3 coaches killed in the Parkland shooting ... and the sister survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar being honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Check out the pics for a behind-the-scenes look at more of the ESPYs excitement.

Samantha Hoopes Loves Saquon's Naked Pics ... You Gotta Be a Model!!

7/4/2018 12:10 AM PDT

Game respects game ... 'cause Sports Illustrated smokeshow Samantha Hoopes says Saquon Barkley's naked pics are so good, he OWES IT TO THE WORLD to keep modeling!!!

You gotta watch the video ... Samantha's reaction to Saquon's nude pics in ESPN's Body Issue is real, and she's legit impressed!!!

"I do think that you're kind of limiting yourself with a body like that if you don't model," Hoopes says about the 21-year-old NY Giants running back.

"You know, 'cause we all work out to look like that and so if you've already got it, you might as well flaunt it. Right?!"

Samantha knows a little something about the modeling game ... she's posed for Guess, Levi's and has become a fan favorite in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. 

There's more ... the 27-year-old blonde also weighs in on Gisele's recent comments about it being tougher for models to make it big these days thanks to social media. 

Hoopes explains why she believes Gisele has a solid point. 

Saquon Barkley My Naked Pics ... Going Up On My Wall!!

6/29/2018 8:20 AM PDT

Saquon Barkley is gonna put his big, round, sweaty, naked ... THIGHS ... on his wall -- 'cause the NY Giants star tells TMZ Sports he's framing his ESPN Body Issue pics!!

And ... can ya blame him??

Espn Body Issue ☑️ @espn

A post shared by Saquon Barkley (@saquon) on

The 6-foot, 233-pound running back showed off his oily, clothesless body for the mag's annual nude edition ... and we gotta say -- he killed it.

As for how he got that jacked body ... Barkley told us at CC Sabathia's charity softball game at Yankee Stadium ... it's sometimes fueled by spicy chicken sandwiches, french fries and strawberry milkshakes.

Dude says he doesn't even consider that a "cheat meal" too!!

Some guys have all the luck ... and biceps.

Meek Mill I'm Not Back in Prison! No Matter What PA Says

5/10/2018 11:01 AM PDT

Meek Mill is back behind bars ... is what the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would have you thinking if you eyed its online records. He's not locked up, and there's actually some good news for Meek.

An alert went out early Thursday morning to people signed up for VINELink, an inmate notification system. It said Robert Rihmeek Williams was in Chester State Prison as of 4 AM. 

We double checked the inmate records at the facility, and sure enough ... it still shows Meek is there, and the reason is kinda funny. The PA Dept. of Corrections tells TMZ ... this is all about getting Meek paid!

We're told the "full release process includes the processing of Mill's final paycheck." Meek's name will remain in the system until he gets that check. VINELink alerting his name appears to be an electronic error.

As for that final check ... we're told Meek's got $15.12 coming to him, plus $644.90 that was deposited in his inmate account by family and friends. Total windfall ... if he wasn't already a super-rich and successful rapper.

If ya needed more proof Meek's still free -- he was on ESPN Thursday morning with Stephen A. Smith. Oddly, they did NOT discuss his pending payday. 

John Skipper Ex-ESPN President Gets New Job

5/8/2018 6:06 AM PDT
Breaking News

Just 5 months after leaving ESPN over a cocaine problem, former president John Skipper has a new gig ... running an international sports media company.

The 62-year-old has accepted the role of Executive Chairman at Perform Group -- which collects, produces, packages and distributes content from all sports, in all formats, across one digital platform.

The company is based in the U.K. but Skipper will work out of NYC -- overseeing all of Perform Group's operations and strategy and report to the board.

According to its website, Perform Group works with with everyone from the NFL to the BBC, the Premiere League, MLS, UFC and more.

Skipper left ESPN back in December to focus on treating "substance addiction" -- which he later revealed to be a coke problem

LeBron James Sued for Ripping Off TV Show You Have No Business in My Barbershop!!!

4/16/2018 2:34 PM PDT

LeBron James stole something extremely valuable at a barbershop ... so claims a company that is suing the basketball legend for allegedly jacking their idea for a TV show.

Adventure Enterprises claims in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ Sports, it pitched a TV show to LeBron called "Shop Talk." The backdrop for the show was a barbershop where celebs share their business success stories while getting a haircut.

The company claims it had numerous talks about the idea with LeBron's company, UNINTERRUPTED, over a period of 2 years ... fleshing out the idea and figuring out a strategy for pitching it to various networks.

According to the lawsuit, LeBron went and cut Adventure Enterprises out of the picture and created a ripoff show called "The Shop," featuring LeBron in a barbershop with his contemporaries, "while engaging in an intimate conversation describing cultural experiences." The show aired as a webisode.

Adventure Enterprises claims it confronted LeBron's people, and what they got back was an apology and assurances it was a one-time deal and wouldn't happen again.

Apparently it did happen again, because another segment aired on ESPN no less.

Adventure Enterprises is gunning for an injunction prohibiting LeBron and his company from producing any more episodes. They also want some serious cash.

The company is also suing LeBron's business partner, Maverick Carter.

A source close to LeBron and Maverick tells TMZ calls the lawsuit "totally frivolous and publicity seeking."

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