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Roger Goodell to Marshawn:

QUIT YER BITCHIN'

Media Day Is Part Of Your Job!

1/30/2015 11:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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NFL commish Roger Goodell has a message for Marshawn Lynch -- stop being a baby and do your job ... which includes answering questions from the media. 

Goodell is clearly not happy with Marshawn's Super Bowl Media Day "I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined" stunt -- and moments ago, he took Beast Mode to task in front of the very reporters Lynch snubbed earlier this week. 

Goodell explained that talking with the media is part of Marshawn's job, whether he likes it or not.  

"There are a lot of things we don't like to do in our jobs, but it comes with the territory ... and it comes with the privilege of playing in the Super Bowl."

We'd call Marshawn for comment, but ... well ... you know. 

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Devon Still

Crucial Day For Leah ...

Starts New Treatment This A.M.

1/30/2015 7:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Video

013015_devon_still_launchBig day for Leah Still -- because her father told us the 4-year-old starts a new round of chemotherapy this morning that will hopefully crush her disease so badly, she can finally begin stem cell therapy.  

Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still is out in AZ -- and told us that while the cancer is still in Leah's body, she's fighting like hell to beat it. 

"We're just hoping for the best and just trusting in the doctors to their best for her," Still told us. 

Still also told us why he and Leah decided to write a children's book about Leah's battle with pediatric cancer -- and it's truly inspiring stuff.  

#LeahStrong

NFL Hall of Famer

It's Time to forgive Ray Rice

'He's a Good Man'

1/30/2015 6:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

013015_jonathan_ogden_launch_v2Ray Rice is a "good man" -- and has proven that he deserves a second chance in the NFL ... so says NFL Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, who played with Rice on the Ravens. 

Ogden is out in Phoenix for the Super Bowl -- and laid out the case for the running back, telling TMZ Sports:

"We understand that the man made a huge mistake, but he's done everything he could over the past year to make up for it."

Ogden continued, "I think his record before that speaks to the fact that he really is a decent human being ... and hopefully somebody will give him a chance because hes a good running back and a good man."

Ogden says there's no way in hell the Ravens will resign him to the team -- but says, "Somebody should give him a chance."

Super Bowl XLIX

Horny Fans Burning Up Tinder

1/30/2015 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Super Bowl Tinder

There will be tons of scoring OFF the football field in Arizona this weekend ... cause TMZ Sports has learned that the dating app Tinder is BLOWING UP with randy pigskin fans looking for some tight ends. 

We spoke to our Tinder sources (we have them) and they tell us ... since Wednesday activity in the Phoenix area -- where the game is being played -- has "tremendously spiked." 

We're also told ... with 300,000 people expected for the big game some type of upswing is normal -- with other sporting events like the World Cup and Olympics (hello Olympic village) seeing the same thing -- but they can't explain why usage shot up so far ahead of the big event this time. 

We might have an idea ...

Tiger Woods happens to be playing in the Phoenix Open this week. #JustAThought.

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Stephen A. Smith

Fires Back at Josh Gordon ...

'Your Letter's Pathetic'

1/29/2015 4:13 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0129_josh_gordon_stephen-a-smith_gettyStephen A. Smith just UNLOADED on Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon -- saying the letter he directed at Stephen, Charles Barkley and Cris Carter is "pathetic," "small minded" and "ignorant."

As we previously reported, Gordon ripped the media members -- claiming they were out of line for personal comments directed at him in the wake of his NFL and legal troubles. He demanded a retraction.  

But Smith just appeared on ESPN Cleveland Radio and tore Gordon (and his letter) apart -- saying, "I'm sad for him. It's pretty pathetic ... the fact of the matter is that it's his actions that got him to this point."

Smith goes on ... "What he's not realizing is that we're not speaking about you as an individual, we're speaking about what you represent" -- a black man who came from poverty and made it to the NFL.  

"So for you to be blowing these kind of opportunities not just speaks to you but it speaks to an abundance of individuals out in this world, particularly those from the African-American community that could possibly find themselves in this position but somehow someway blow it."

"That's what we say when we say 'we care' ... when we say we're disgusted with you." 

"So the fact that [Josh] took the liberty to write this letter ... just also at the same time heightens your level of ignorance, because you're not getting the big picture."

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Justin Bieber

Parties w/ UCLA Football Player

(Who Happens to Be Diddy's Son)

1/19/2015 7:43 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

011915_justin_combs_launchJustin Bieber turned ALL THE WAY UP with a Division 1 football player this weekend -- a defensive back at UCLA -- who also happens to be the heir to the Bad Boy empire. 

Bieber rolled up to a mansion in Bel Air on Saturday night ... for Justin Combs' 21st birthday party -- a '90s-themed shindig MC'd Branden King that featured appearances by a ton of stars including Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Mase, French Montana and, of course, Diddy himself.  

Combs is a redshirt sophomore for the Bruins ... though he only had one tackle in the 4 games he played in during the 2014 season.

It's possible Diddy's kid could play on the same team as Snoop's son next season -- UCLA has been recruiting Cordell Broadus -- though C.B. is reportedly still weighing his options.

Common

Bears Should Hire Rex Ryan

'That'd Be Dope'

1/6/2015 6:48 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

010615_common_launchRex Ryan to the Bears???

There's one huge Chicago guy who likes the idea -- Common -- who tells TMZ Sports it would be "dope" if the former NY Jets coach blew into the Windy City. 

Sure, he was ran outta NY, but Common says Rex could be a perfect fit in Chicago ... where Bears chairman George McCaskey just ousted the previous head coach Marc Trestman. 

So, why does the "Hell On Wheels" star like Ryan so much? He's got an interesting reason ... check out the clip.

'Modern Family' Star

Might Have to Miss Oregon Game

... If Work Calls

1/6/2015 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

010515_tyler_burrell_launch_v2 "Modern Family" star Ty Burrell has proof that a $170k-a-week job can have drawbacks ... with the Oregon Ducks superfan saying he might have to miss the National Championship -- if work calls. 

As we previously reported, Burrell is a hardcore Ducks supporter and personal friends with the head coach -- and publicly declared he'd be at the game in Texas to cheer on UO against Ohio St. 

There's just one thing that can stand in his way ... "Modern Family" ... and when we got Burrell in L.A. on Monday, he admitted if push comes to shove ... it's a fight he knows he can't win. 

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When Jameis Winston

Met Jamie Foxx

#WillieBeamen

12/31/2014 6:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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So, Jameis Winston met ANOTHER big time Hollywood movie star last night ... but this time, he didn't get bitched out in front of his teammates

The Florida State quarterback hung out with Jamie Foxx -- and apparently gave the guy some FSU gear to wear when the Seminoles take on Oregon in the Rose Bowl Thursday. 

Funny thing ... Winston posted a pic on Instagram with the caption, "Got to meet the great @iamjamiefoxx #WillieBeamen."

It's an obvious reference to Foxx's role in "Any Given Sunday" ... a movie about an extremely talented, extremely flashy QB who's constantly making bad decisions off the field.  

Sound familiar? 

ESPN's Skip Bayless

Johnny Manziel Is An Alcoholic

12/29/2014 10:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

122914_skip_bayless_manziel_launch_v2ESPN star Skip Bayless just unloaded on Johnny Manziel ... claiming he's spoken with several people close to the Browns QB and he is convinced Johnny is an alcoholic and a liar. 

Bayless made the comments on "First Take" -- telling Stephen A. Smith he's spoken with many people "in and around the Cleveland Browns" organization and is convinced the 22-year-old has a serious drinking problem.

Skip's comments come in the wake of media reports that Johnny skipped a team treatment session on Saturday following a raging party on Friday night. 

Bayless expanded ... saying, "I believe that even [Johnny's] parents are fed up to the point that they believe he needs to get some help."

Skip says his sources have told him Johnny has been lying to team executives, coaches and teammates -- and they're sick of it. 

We reached out to Manziel's rep for comment -- so far, no word back.

Oprah Winfrey

Back in Business with Michael Sam

12/11/2014 10:46 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1211_oprah_micheal_sam_TMZOprah Winfrey hasn't written off Michael Sam after all ... with her OWN Network announcing they will air a 90-minute special on the football star later this month ... plus a sit-down interview. 

Initially, Sam was reportedly supposed to be a part a docuseries -- just like the network did with Lindsay Lohan

But after a MAJOR backlash from the NFL community, the project was called off.  Sam was recently cut by the Dallas Cowboys and is currently a free agent. 

Unclear if Sam's employment status contributed to the network's decision to run a special ... which is set to air on December 27th. 

OWN says Oprah will sit-down with Sam to discuss everything that has unfolded since the NFL Draft. 

According to OWN, "the documentary captures the moment when Michael was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, the intense media scrutiny that immediately followed, and Michael’s struggle to stay focused despite the pressure and chaos."

"Additionally, the documentary explores Michael’s relationship with his boyfriend Vito and the challenge of balancing his personal life alongside his pursuit of NFL stardom."

The news seems to be a shock to Sam .. who recently told TMZ Sports he didn't expect to have any sort of a professional relationship with Winfrey after the docuseries was called off.
 
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Hulk Hogan

WWF Rejected Big NFL Stars

12/8/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

120514_hulk_hogan_sports_launch Just because you can play in the NFL doesn't mean you're tough enough to WRESTLE -- so says Hulk Hogan who tells us all sorts of NFL tough guys have tried to cross over to the ring ... and FAILED.

And not just no-name scrubs ... we're talking some pretty famous NFLers who couldn't quite hack it with Vince McMahon's organization ... guys like Oakland Raiders legend Lyle Alzado.

Unclear why Alzado -- a maniac on the field -- didn't get a contract with the WWE (then WWF) ... but Hulk says he wasn't the only NFL star who didn't make the cut.

Hogan names names ... Bill Fralic (4-time Pro Bowler), John Matuszak (2-time Super Bowl champ) ... and explains that it takes a special sort of toughness to fake fight in the squared circle.

"You gotta be able to work hurt," Hogan says ... "You can't be taking a day off from wrestling because you twisted your pinkie if you're wrestling the main event at Madison Square Garden."

So, does Hogan think Sam has a shot?? Check out the clip ...

Fun Fact -- Matuszak went on to have a pretty decent career as an actor and famously played Sloth in "Goonies."

Ricky Williams

White People Don't Understand Police Brutality

12/4/2014 4:53 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1203-ricky-williams-getty-01Ricky Williams says white people can't understand the pain African-Americans feel over the issues in Ferguson or NYC ... because they have no clue what it's like to deal with police brutality.

TMZ Sports spoke with Ricky about the critical remarks his old New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka made about the Rams players who gave the "Hands Up" gesture before a recent game. The remarks caused a stir on social media, with some going so far as to call Ditka a racist.

Williams says he KNOWS Ditka's not a racist ... but says he doesn't think Ditka can fully understand the issue because of his skin color. 

"He's a white guy. White people don't relate to police brutality."

The former Heisman Trophy winner says he's experienced racial profiling first hand ... even on his own college campus. 

"I was arrested for failing to provide identification when I was at Texas, I told them my name was 'Ricky' when my lD said 'Errick.' This when I was the best player in college football."

Ricky also says that most white people -- almost inherently -- use racially insensitive language on a routine basis.

"Put a video camera on most white people all day long, you're going to hear something that black people would consider to be racist. Whether they mean it or not."

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