2020 National Championship Burrow vs. Lawrence Who'd You Rather?!

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The Tigers and Tigers are set to face off in the 2020 National Championship Game on Monday ... which means one of these hunks is going home with a shiny, new trophy.

Clemson superstar Trevor Lawrence and LSU's Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, have led their teams to the biggest night of the season ... and both have looked damn good in the process.

Numbers-wise, the winner is Burrow ... who threw for 5,208 yards and 55 TDs and added 310 yards and 4 TDs on the ground ... while Lawrence threw for 3,431 yards and 36 TDs and rushed for 514 yards and 8 TDs.

While the LSU Tigers are favored to take home the hardware, Clemson's been on this stage a lot as of late ... it's the reigning national champs.

But, that's not why we're here. We can focus more on the footballs Monday night. The REAL reason we're here is to ask ... who'd you rather!?!?!

Who'd You Rather?!

Montae Nicholson Investigation Woman's Death Ruled Accident ... 'Fentanyl Intoxication'

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The woman who died after being taken to the hospital by NFL player Montae Nicholson passed away due to an accidental fentanyl overdose ... TMZ Sports has learned.

We broke the story, back on Nov. 14, Nicholson and a friend found 21-year-old Julia Crabbe "foaming at the mouth" in Nicholson's Ashburn, Virginia home after a night out.

According to police documents, Nicholson and the friend took Crabbe to a nearby hospital ... where she was later pronounced dead.

Now, TMZ Sports has learned Crabbe's death has been ruled an accident ... a spokesperson for the county medical examiner tells us Crabbe died of "fentanyl intoxication."

FYI, the CDC characterizes fentanyl as an opioid pain reliever that is "50 to 100 times more potent than morphine."

Patriots' Patrick Chung Cuts Deal In Cocaine Case ... No Jail Time

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Big win for Patriots safety Patrick Chung ... the New England DB just cut a deal in his cocaine case -- and he will NOT have to go to jail despite a felony drug charge.

Court officials tell TMZ Sports Chung and prosecutors made an agreement Monday in which Chung's charge will be dropped if he meets several requirements.

Officials say Chung's got to keep his nose clean for 2 years, submit to random periodic drug testing and complete 40 hours of community service.

It's a sweet deal for the 32-year-old New England defensive back ... because he was facing up to 7 YEARS behind bars for the charge.

As we previously reported, Chung was busted back on June 25 after cops in New Hampshire say they discovered drugs in the Patriots player's possession.

Chung initially pled not guilty to the charge at a court hearing in August.

As for why prosecutors cut the deal ... they said in statement there were numerous factors that led to the agreement.

Prosecutors say Chung had no prior criminal record, he was fully cooperative with police, the amount of drugs they allegedly found on Chung were "small" ... and they also say Chung passed a substance abuse evaluation.

Chung is still subject to NFL discipline based on the league's personal conduct policy.

Chung -- who's been a key member of the Pats during their last four Super Bowl appearances -- is in the middle of a 3-year, $11.7 MILLION deal with New England.

Houston Astros Fire Manager A.J. Hinch and GM ... After MLB Drops Hammer In Cheating Probe

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3:38 PM PT -- Hinch just released a statement, saying, "I regret being connected to these events, am disappointed in our club's actions within this timeline, and I accept the Commissioner's decision."

Hinch reiterated that while he did NOT endorse the sign-stealing scheme ... he admitted, "I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry."

Hinch added, "I apologize to all of you for our mistakes but I'm confident we will learn from it - and I personally commit to work tirelessly to ensure I do."

1:43 PM PT -- We just got Ted Cruz out at Reagan Airport in D.C. ... and the Texas senator says he's DEVASTATED by the MLB's findings.

In fact, it sure seems like Cruz is starting to wonder if the 2017 World Series title should now be considered tainted!!

HATE TO SEE IT
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12:06 PM PT -- The Astros just fired A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow ... saying the team needs to start fresh.

When asked if the team's 2017 World Series championship was tainted as a result of the scandal ... 'Stros owner Jim Crane said, "Absolutely not."

FIRED!!!
Houston Astros

The MLB just laid the hammer down on the Astros over sign-stealing allegations ... suspending manager A.J. Hinch for 1 YEAR -- and hitting the team with all kinds of other punishments for cheating.

MLB commish Rob Manfred just made the announcement ... saying the league found the Astros DID, in fact, steal signs from opponents beginning in the 2017 season.

Per Manfred, the league interviewed 68 witnesses -- including 23 current and former Astros players -- and found the cheating allegations to be credible.

As part of the punishment, Manfred announced 1-year suspensions for both Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow ... as well as a fine of $5 MILLION AND the loss of draft picks.

Manfred said the Astros will be forced to give up their first AND second-round picks in both the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

Per the league's report, the Astros used a complicated scheme where they filmed signs, decoded them in a separate room and relayed the upcoming pitches to batters by banging on dugout trash cans.

The report says former Astros bench coach and current Red Sox manager, Alex Cora, was the mastermind behind all the cheating.

Ryan Braun Defends Tim Tebow He Can Make Mets' Roster!

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JUST TRYIN' TO HELP
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Tim Tebow getting an invite to Mets' spring training is NOT a publicity stunt ... so says Ryan Braun, who tells TMZ Sports the ex-NFL QB has a real chance to make NY's roster!

Of course, a lotta people are saying otherwise ... convinced Tim's only getting the opportunity this year because it draws fans to the Mets' preseason camp.

But, Braun told us out at the California Strong Charity Softball event Sunday he thinks Tim's definitely got the goods to make the Mets' opening day squad.

"I would never count that guy out," the Brewers superstar says. "He's proven that he's the type of dude that can make it in anything he aspires to be great at."

Tim's had a VERY up-and-down baseball career since he gave up football in 2016 ... with the former Heisman Trophy winner having more lows than highs in the Mets' minor league system.

In his four years in the minors, Tebow's batting average is just .223 -- although he did make a prestigious All-Star game during a solid 2018 season.

The Mets appear to be determined to give him every chance to make their roster (this is the 4th straight year they've invited him to camp) and Braun says he wouldn't be surprised to see Tebow finally make The Show this season.

"If you look at the numbers of guys who make it to the minor leagues, it's so difficult to ever get to the Major Leagues," Braun says.

"But, being at Big League camp, being that he's a tremendous athlete -- he's an all-time competitor -- I certainly wouldn't count him out."

Patrick Mahomes' GF Lost Her Damn Mind During Chiefs' Comeback

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MAKE SOME NOISE!!!

No one -- on Earth -- was more fired up about the Chiefs' epic comeback against the Houston Texans than Patrick Mahomes' girlfriend, Brittany Mathews ... and it's all on video.

Brittany WENT FULL-ON BERSERK while watching her boyfriend engineer one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history ... screaming, yelling, talking trash!!!

The 23-year-old was watching the game from a VIP suite at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City ... surrounded by other Chiefs players' GFs and her BFF Jackson Mahomes, Pat's younger bro.

As the Chiefs started cutting into the Texans 24-0 lead, Matthews could barely believe it -- LOSING HER MIND while Patrick went off on the field.

"THAT'S MY BOYYYYYYYYYYYYY," she yelled from the suite ... adding, "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"

Once it became clear the Chiefs were taking control, Matthews sent a video message to all of her haters ...

"All those people that doubted us and hated on us, that thought we were gonna lose this game? GUESS AGAIN!!!"

Matthews ain't exactly a wallflower at Chiefs games -- she's as loud and rowdy as they come -- which might be why Patriots fans heckled the crap out of her during a regular-season matchup at Gillette Stadium toward the end of the season.

The good news for Brittany ... the Chiefs will be back at Arrowhead next weekend to take on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game.

BETTER BRING THE ENERGY!!!!

Antonio Brown Throws 'Bag of Dicks' at Baby Mama ... In Police Showdown

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AB GOES OFF ON COPS

Another bizarre police incident at Antonio Brown's Florida home -- this time, cops responded after a dispute with his baby mama ... and it turned VERY nasty.

We've reached out to cops to find out exactly why they were called to the home -- and who made the call. But, here's what we know so far ...

Several Hollywood Police Dept. officers arrived at Brown's home around 10 AM local time on Monday ... and Brown's baby mama, Chelsie Kyriss, was there too. They have 3 children together.

Brown repeatedly told the officers he had previously evicted her from his home -- but allowed her on the property so she could pick up her kids and take them to school.

But, Brown claims during the handoff, Chelsie tried to steal one of his cars -- and he wasn't having it.

LeBron James Gets Over Flu ... By Raging Onstage With Bad Bunny!!!

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THE HYPE KING
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Forget NyQuil ... Bad Bunny is apparently the perfect cure for the flu -- 'cause after he brought LeBron James onstage Sunday -- the Lakers star looked magically cured!!!

LBJ has been battling a bad cold this past week ... and he was feeling so crappy over the weekend, he missed L.A.'s game against the Thunder on Saturday.

But, on Sunday, clearly, all the guy needed was some Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton to feel better ... 'cause when Bad Bunny brought him onstage at Calibash at Staples Center, LBJ raged his face off!!

Watch the video ... LeBron sure looks like he's feeling okay to us -- boppin' around and getting the crowd fired up. He even got in a little dance sesh with Bad Bunny himself!!

The Lakers play the Cavs on Monday night ... and based on Bron's performance Sunday -- we're pretty positive he'll make his return to the hardwood for the game.

Sorry, John Beilein.

Mexican Wrestling Star La Parka Dead ... After Tragic In-Ring Injury

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Mexican wrestler La Parka -- a superstar in Lucha Libre AAA -- died on Saturday ... a little more than 2 months after he suffered a severe injury during an October wrestling match.

La Parka -- aka Jesus Alfonso Escoboza Huerta -- did a leaping dive through the ropes at an opponent in Monterey, Mexico ... but tragically hit his head on a guard rail before falling to the ground.

Escoboza Huerta underwent emergency surgery to save his life ... but the wrestler was reportedly still left paralyzed from the fall.

After battling the injuries for the last several months ... Lucha Libre AAA said Escoboza Huerta was put on assisted breathing Friday after he showed signs of kidney failure.

A day later, the wrestling org. announced Escoboza Huerta passed away after his lungs and kidneys failed. He was 54 years old.

Escoboza Huerta began wrestling in 1987 and wrestled under the "La Parka" moniker for more than 20 years, Lucha Libre AAA said.

He famously won championships in the Triplemanía Cup and Antonio Peña Cup ... in addition to winning the King of Kings event that's annually put on by Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide.

Wrestling superstars Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and others posted tributes to Escoboza Huerta on social media after learning of his death.

The "La Parka" character was originally created by wrestler Adolfo Margarito Tapia Ibarra ... who wrestled in WCW and now goes by the name of "L.A. Park."

NFL's Bill Cowher HOF Nod On Live TV?! 'Pretty Surreal!!!'

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HALL OF FAME MOMENT
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How did Bill Cowher feel when he was surprised with his big Hall of Fame news on live TV on Saturday???

"IT WAS AWESOME!"

The legendary NFL coach was still giddy on Sunday when we spotted him out in NYC -- telling TMZ Sports he was stoked he got to share that special moment with the world

"It was pretty awesome. Pretty surreal to be honest with you," Cowher said ... "Very surprised!"

Cowher was doing his thing on the CBS pregame show before the Ravens vs. Titans game, when Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker suddenly walked in and interrupted to inform Bill he's getting a gold jacket!

The moment was amazing -- Bill got super emotional and thanked everyone who helped him along the way ... all while his cohosts cheered their faces off!

The very next day, Baker surprised Jimmy Johnson on the set of the NFL On Fox pregame show and delivered the same news to the ex-Cowboys coach. His former player, Troy Aikman, was so moved, he choked back tears.

Another emotional moment. Great stuff!

Congrats!!

Terrell Owens On Julian Edelman Arrest ... 'That's Edelman Being Edelman!'

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EDELMAN GONNA EDELMAN
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"That's what happens when you feel like you're on top of the world!"

That's Terrell Owens weighing in on Julian Edelman's arrest in Beverly Hills over the weekend -- telling TMZ Sports the Patriots WR clearly feels untouchable.

We broke the story, Edelman was arrested Saturday night for misdemeanor vandalism after cops say he jumped on the hood of a Mercedes-Benz during a night out with Paul Pierce and Danny Amendola.

Owens, who knows exactly what it's like to be a top-flight NFL star, didn't seem too shocked by Edelman's alleged actions ... saying, "That's Julian Edelman being Julian Edelman."

Edelman was scheduled to appear and participate in the California Strong Celebrity Softball Game at Pepperdine University on Sunday ... but never showed up. It's pretty obvious why.

But, a TON of stars did attend the event -- including Owens -- to help raise money for people affected by the wildfires and the mass shootings in Southern California.

The org. was created last year by Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Ryan Braun, Jared Goff, and Mikey Attansio.

Dana White UFC Doc Says ... Conor's In 'Best Shape' Of Career

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GONNA BE INTERESTIN'
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"The UFC doctor is actually saying he thinks Conor's in the best shape he's ever seen him in."

Dana White says Conor McGregor has been training like such a maniac to face Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246, even the docs are impressed!

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We spoke with the UFC boss about the sport's biggest star returning to the Octagon on Jan. 18 (only available on ESPN+) ... and White says all signs point to the return of the old, dominant McGregor.

"Conor and I have not seen each other face-to-face yet, but we have been texting and I'm hearing that he's in phenomenal shape right now."

"Head seems to be in the right place."

Conor has bulked up for the Cowboy fight -- he fought Khabib at 155 lbs back in Oct. 2018. He'll be at 170 this time around.

But, White is warning fans ... don't count out Cowboy -- a future Hall of Famer who holds the record for most wins in UFC history (23) and most finishes (16).

"I think that the level of disrespect shown to Cowboy Cerrone by the media, a lot of the fans and definitely the sportsbooks in Las Vegas is insanity."

"This is the type of fight that Cowboy Cerrone is an absolute spoiler in. This is his deal. These are the type of fights he likes to be in."

'Jeopardy!' Star Austin Rogers G.O.A.T. Tournament Is Freaking Fun!!! These Guys Are Like LeBron

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WE'RE WITNESSING HISTORY
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Austin Rogers is freaking out over the stunning abilities of Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer ... the "Jeopardy!" sensation says these G.O.A.T.s are the LeBron's of trivia.

We got Austin -- who captivated America back in 2017 with an impressive 12-game winning streak on Alex Trebek's show -- in Harlem, and he couldn't stop gushing over the trio duking it out for a million-dollar prize.

Austin took home a whopping $411,000 during his run at the top, but he says he's been blown away watching Ken, Brad and James make some extremely difficult questions look like child's play ... and he's putting them on par with the greatest athletes on Earth.

Boosie Badazz Planning Huge Bash for Joe Burrow ... If LSU Wins Title

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BURROW OR BUST
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Not like Joe Burrow needed any motivation ... but here's Tigers superfan Boosie Badazz telling TMZ Sports he's planning a rager for the ages if the QB brings home a title for LSU!!

Of course, Boosie is a life-long Purple and Gold backer and is a HUGE Burrow guy -- he even FaceTimed the Heisman Trophy winner back in November.

We spoke with the rapper before Burrow faces off against Trevor Lawrence and Clemson in the national championship on Monday ... and he says there's gonna be some models waiting for the guy if he comes up with the dub.

"I'm thinking about throwing Joe a party at my house," Boosie says. "Everybody got their clothes on though. Real model-type women. Joe needs the prettiest model in the game right now."

"Joe needs somebody like Scarlett Johansson. Joe a big dog. Y'all don't see it right now, but this the next Tom Brady."

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As for the game, Boosie is confident Burrow can lead the Tigers to the promised land because "he has no fear in his heart ... he is the truth and I stand behind Burrow."

How confident is he?? Boosie says he's planning to throw up to $40k on the game to back up his talk.

Chiefs Eric Fisher Celebrates TD 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin Style!!!

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The Chiefs beat the Houston Texans in spectacular fashion this weekend -- but nothing was more spectacular than one of their offensive tackles busting two beers together.

As Patrick Mahomes made a touchdown pass to Blake Bell at the top of the fourth quarter in Sunday's playoff game ... the guy's teammate Eric Fisher ran over to celebrate with him and showered in the glory with brew and an homage to Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Fisher ran over to the stands and grabbed what appeared to be two waiting beer cans that were conveniently placed, and then smashed them over his head like SCSA used to.

Looks the apparent owner of the beers -- the guy with the glasses -- wasn't too upset with the move either -- if anything, Fisher was getting cheered on by all the Chiefs fans.

Kansas City went on to beat the Texans 51-31 ... we'll peg it to the beer.

John Leguizamo I Love J Lo for Halftime ... And You Know Who Else???

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LOVIN' LATIN LEGENDS
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Jennifer Lopez performing at the SB Halftime show will be HUGE for the Latino community -- but to make it truly momentous, others should join ... so says John Leguizamo.

We got the veteran actor Sunday at LAX, where he was touching down ahead of the Critics' Choice Awards later tonight. The guy's one of the nominees for his work on "When They See Us," and he was definitely in a chatty mood. Today's topic ... Super Bowl LIV.

Our camera guy asked if J Lo performing -- alongside Shakira and, possibly, Pitbull too -- is a good thing for Hispanics at large. John certainly seems to think so ... telling us every Latinx person watching will probably be at home doing a little dance in celebration.

He took it one step further though, offering up a bunch of other big Hispanic names who could show face during the performance and really amp things up. Among them ... Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Maluma, Cardi B and even Mariah Carey -- who comes from Afro-Latina descent. JL notes even if she doesn't usually identify as such, he's claiming her regardless.

BTW, J Lo is definitely teasing some major star power ahead of her performance next month. She's already filmed a commercial featuring her fiance, A-Rod, and DJ Khaled. Time will tell who else joins her onstage -- but if it was up to John, it'd be a full docket of talent.