Tom Brady NFL Is 'Softer' Now ... QB Slams Penalty Calls

BACK IN MY DAY
‎Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray/SiriusXM

Tom Brady is so upset with all the ticky-tack fouls in the NFL these days ... he's officially dubbing the league as "softer" now.

The quarterback explained his stance on his 'Let's Go!' podcast with Jim Gray this week ... saying the way penalties are being called has changed the game completely, particularly for quarterbacks.

Brady says he believes guys like Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and other mobile signal-callers are thriving simply for the fact that defenders are more timid to hit now due to flag-happy refs.

"I think they're calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact," Brady said. "There's a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now, that are flags for defensive players, that probably weren't that way 10 or 15 years ago."

"So I'd say the game is a little softer than it used to be."

Of course, this ain't the first time Tom has expressed some unhappiness with the league's direction this season ... just a few weeks ago he slammed the NFL for allowing defensive players to wear single-digit jersey numbers.

He also put himself firmly in the camp that criticized NFL officials this week for all of the excessive taunting penalties that were called on Sunday.

Hey, Tom is 44 years old now ... and whether you agree with him or not -- he's certainly earned the right to have some "get off my lawn" arguments at this point.

Packers Star Aaron Jones Finds Pendant Containing Dad's Ashes ... After Frantic Search

11:56 AM PT -- Jones just tweeted pictures of the pendant along with a thank you message to Engel, saying, "Found at 1:45 am Thank you to our trainer Bryan 'Flea' Engel I'm forever grateful."

You can see in Jones' photos, the piece of jewelry is VERY small ... showing just how amazing it was that the pendant was ultimately recovered.

7:35 AM PT -- Amazing news ... Jones just revealed Tuesday morning that his dad's ashes have been found!!

The running back announced on the "Steve Czaban Show" that Green Bay trainer Bryan Engel stayed out on the field well into the night and eventually recovered the jewelry.

THEY FOUND IT!
The Steve Czaban Show - 97.3 The Game

7:35 AM PT -- "[Engel] found it so we're perfect," Jones said. "Thank you, thank you to him. He was out there 'til like 1:45. It shows how much they care about us."

The Packers' big win over the Lions didn't come without a heavy price tag for Aaron Jones, who says he lost a pendant containing his dad's ashes on the field in the victory.

The Green Bay star -- who scored FOUR touchdowns in the Pack's 35-17 drubbing of Detroit -- told reporters after the game he believes he lost the necklace at some point during one of his endzone runs.

DID IT FOR DAD
Green Bay Packers

Jones, though, was far from torn up over losing his dad's ashes ... in fact, he seemed to be at peace with it -- saying if he was going to lose it, he's sure glad it was in a touchdown scamper at Lambeau Field.

"If there was any place to lose it, that's where my dad would have wanted me to lose it," the 26-year-old running back said. "I know he's smiling."

Jones got the pendant -- a small black locket in the shape of a football -- sometime in the past few months ... following the tragic death of his dad, Alvin Jones Sr., who passed away in April at 57 years old from COVID-19 complications.

Aaron and Alvin were VERY close ... and in an emotional press conference back in May, Aaron revealed he was dedicating the rest of his football career to his pops.

5/25/21
"HE KEPT ME GOING"
Green Bay Packers

Aaron said Green Bay's grounds crew was helping him look for the jewelry after the game had ended ... though as of Tuesday morning, it still hadn't been found.

Aaron, though, reiterated to reporters he's sure his father would've been grinning ear-to-ear following his huge game regardless.

"Just go home and tell him, 'I did it, Dad,'" Jones said of what he would've told his father after the game if he were still alive. "Went out there and played at a high level and gave it my all."

Originally Published -- 6:33 AM PT

NBA's Jaxson Hayes Police Union Blasts District Attorney ... You Put A Target On Cops' Backs

A huge LAPD police union is going scorched earth on the Los Angeles District Attorney after he decided NOT to charge Jaxson Hayes with a felony, following the arrest of the New Orleans Pelicans star in July.

"George Gascon's latest criminal's first airball puts a target on the back of every police officer in Los Angeles," the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells TMZ Sports.

The LAPPL -- which reps over 9,000 cops in L.A. -- continued, "Gascon's refusal to prosecute Jaxson Hayes for violently attacking and injuring an officer during his n-word laced tirade is nothing more than a declaration that it's open season to attack cops and it's shameful."

CHAOTIC ARREST
Los Angeles Police Department

The union is livid that Gascon's office decided against charging Hayes with any felonies ... despite the fact he seemingly pushed an officer on video.

FYI, Gascon is a polarizing figure. His critics have accused him of being soft on crime ... and failing to protect law enforcement officers.

Still, Hayes isn't totally out of the water criminally ... it's still possible the city attorney could levy a misdemeanor charge(s) against Jaxson.

We broke the story, 21-year-old Hayes -- the 8th overall pick in the 2018 draft -- was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer after Jaxson got physical with a cop who was investigating a domestic violence call after Hayes' GF allegedly said she was scared her hooper BF was going to physically harm her.

911 AUDIO
Los Angeles Police Department

Police released body camera footage ... and it seems Hayes pushed an officer, injuring him in the process, according to LAPD.

What happened next has caused some controversy.

Cops eventually got Hayes to the floor, but the struggle continued. An officer deployed his taser at least once. At one point during the arrest, Hayes said he couldn't breathe.

As a result, LAPD launched an investigation to determine if excessive force was used. That investigation is still ongoing.

As for the LAPPL, they weren't done ... they also went in on the NBA for failing to discipline Hayes, or condemn his actions.

"As for the NBA, their silence is deafening when it comes to one of their players assaulting an officer and thwarting a domestic violence investigation. Apparently, their policy on preventing domestic violence was created more for SportsCenter than it is to actually hold its players accountable. Real classy."

We reached out to the DA's office ... but they declined comment.

We also reached out to the NBA. So far, no word back.

UFC's Devin Clark On Gruesome Jaw Injury ... Pain Was 7 Out Of 10

ROAD TO RECOVERY
TMZSports.com

Devin Clark sustained one of the most gruesome injuries you'll ever see in a combat sports event ... and now the UFC fighter is answering the question -- how much it did hurt?!?

"It was probably a 7 or 8 after the fight. You fight the fight. He got his hand raised. Then that adrenaline starts coming, and it comes down quick. And, by the time I'm leaving the cage, I'm like, 'Okay, that hurts,'" Clark tells TMZ Sports.

If you didn't see the injury (lucky you) ... it was incredibly gross. Devin was fighting fellow light heavyweight fighter Ion Cutelaba at UFC Fight Night Saturday afternoon.

31-year-old Clark ate a heavy knee in the 2nd round ... a shot so hard it literally displaced Clark's teeth.

It was bothering him so much during the fight, he went back to his corner before the 3rd round, and told his team something was wrong with his teeth.

The ringside doctor even examined Clark at one point ... but somehow let him continue.

And, continue he did, despite the pain.

After the fight, Clark went to the hospital and they patched him up. On Tuesday, he plans to see his dentist ... and the road to recovery won't be easy or quick.

Unfortunately for Devin, he ended up losing via a unanimous decision. But, win or loss, NOBODY can ever question this dude's toughness.

Aaron Rodgers Fires Away At Critics After Rebound Game ... 'Absolute Horses***!!!'

Aaron Rodgers is letting his trolls HAVE IT today after he returned to MVP form against the Lions ... slamming his critics and calling their vitriol last week "absolute horses***."

"It's chicken s***," the Packers star said on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Tuesday afternoon. "It's so ridiculous that people get a platform to do this and it's the same type of people."

Rodgers was lambasted by media members and even one of his former teammates, Jermichael Finley, after he was awful in Green Bay's opening game against the Saints.

Finley said Rodgers looked like he had lost his "hunger" to play ... and added to TMZ Sports that he believed the Packers should seriously consider benching the guy for backup Jordan Love.

HIS HEART'S NOT IN IT
TMZSports.com

While Rodgers didn't mention Jermichael by name in his rant Tuesday ... he made it clear after balling out on "Monday Night Football" that he heard ALL of the negative rhetoric thrown his way after the Week 1 loss -- and he didn't like it one bit.

"I was just surprised after Week 1 that there was such a story out there," Rodgers said. "What's crazy to me is to let one storyline, by a person who has no contact with me, who I have zero relationship, to that become some sort of narrative that's out there that now I somehow don't care about ball because of my Zen attitude in the offseason, that's the bulls*** I was talking about last night."

Rodgers did say he anticipates more ups and downs throughout the season ... but he's clearly hopeful the criticism is kept to a minimum as Green Bay goes through it all.

"The truth and fact should not be replaced by ill-founded conjecture," Rodgers said ... before adding, "Hey, look, think about who's saying these things."

New Orleans Saints Superdome Catches On Fire ... Flames And Smoke Billow From Roof

FIRE AT THE SUPERDOME
FOX8

12:28 PM PT -- Superdome officials say they believe the fire began in a gutter tub on the roof after a pressure washer had caught fire.

Officials added the fire has since been extinguished, and damage to the stadium's structure is "still being assessed."

11:45 AM PT -- The New Orleans Fire Department tells TMZ Sports ... they were dispatched to the scene at 12:35 PM and believe the fire started where workers were working on the roof.

Officials say the fire, however, "doesn't appear to be a major incident."

As for injuries ... the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services announced one person has been transported to a nearby hospital due to minor burns.

The Superdome caught on fire Tuesday morning ... with thick smoke and flames billowing out of the famed New Orleans arena's roof.

It's unclear what caused the issues at the Saints' stadium ... authorities so far have only told us "the fire is not burning anymore."

We're working to get further details.

As we previously reported, the Saints have relocated out of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Ida -- moving their Week 1 game against the Packers from the Superdome to Jacksonville.

The team -- which beat Green Bay in the opener but lost to the Panthers in Carolina on Sunday -- is not currently scheduled to play in the N.O. stadium until Oct. 3 against the New York Giants.

No decision yet has been made regarding the location of that game.

Originally Published -- 11:02 AM PT

Report: Ben Simmons Giving Sixers Silent Treatment ... Plans To Leave Team

Ben Simmons' time in Philadelphia appears to be all but over -- the NBA star will reportedly bail on Sixers training camp next week ... and has given the team the cold shoulder for more than a month.

The 25-year-old has been rumored to want out of the City of Brotherly Love this offseason ... and according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons appears to be standing his ground.

Woj also says Simmons is fully prepared to be fined or suspended until he is shipped off to a new team.

If it is, in fact, the last time the guard plays for Philly, his last appearance will leave a bad taste in fans' mouths -- he averaged 9.9 points a game in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Atlanta Hawks this past postseason.

NO FIX NEEDED
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Despite the offensive struggles, NBA/BIG 3 star Joe Johnson told us last week BS' jump shot is NOT broken ... and said it's a confidence issue more than anything.

Jumper or not, Ben's relationship with the Sixers is seemingly beyond repair ... and it'll be interesting to see if any team takes a chance on him.

Tommy Lasorda MLB Legend's Widow, Jo Dead At 91

Sad news ... Tommy Lasorda's widow, Jo, has died at 91 years old -- just a few months after the MLB legend's passing.

The Dodgers announced Jo -- who had been married to Tommy for 70 years -- died Monday night at her home in Fullerton, CA. They added she was "surrounded by her loved ones."

"We send our deepest condolences to the Lasorda family at this time," the Dodgers said.

Jo and Tommy met at a minor league baseball game and later got married in 1950. They had two children together.

They were often spotted at Dodgers games together ... even well after Tommy's retirement in 1996.

As we previously reported, Tommy -- one of the greatest baseball managers in the history of the game -- tragically died in January after suffering a heart attack. He was 93 years old.

Funeral services for Jo have yet to be announced.

RIP

NBA's Cedric Ceballos 'I AM Home' After Long Battle W/ COVID

Great news for Cedric Ceballos ... the former NBA star says he's finally home after battling COVID-19 in the ICU for weeks.

The 1992 NBA Dunk Champ first announced he was in the ICU for 10 days on Sept. 7 by posting a photo of himself with an oxygen mask on -- saying COVID was "kicking my butt".

And, even after testing negative for COVID a week later, he was still in the ICU with breathing issues linked to the virus -- and asked everyone to pray for him.

Well, the prayers apparently worked ... Ceballos thanking everyone -- including medical professionals -- on Tuesday for getting him back home alive.

"Hello everyone, after 20 straight days on death row, through his grace and your well wishes and prayers, I AM HOME," Ceballos said on his social media.

"I can not thank each and every one of you enough for your help. The doctors and nurses did a great job especially in my darkest days, when I needed that extra push."

Ceballos added, "There are two things that get you through something like this whether you were vaccinated or not. 1, your will to fight and want to live and 2, your health care, because you are treated way different if you are covered, than not."

"Thanks again everyone and I will see you soon…."

The 52-year-old played in the NBA for 11 season with the Suns, Lakers, Mavericks, Pistons and Miami Heat -- mostly known for his blindfolded dunk in the 1992 Slam Dunk competition.

Ceballos also made the 1995 All-Star team and played overseas after retiring from the NBA.

Welcome home!

Dallas Cowboys Fans Pummel Chargers Fan In Insane Brawl In SoFi Stadium Parking Lot

SOFI SUCKER PUNCH
TMZSports.com

A Chargers fan was socked in the face repeatedly by Dallas Cowboys supporters in a wild, violent brawl Sunday ... and the insane scene was all captured on video obtained by TMZ Sports.

The crazy fight began in the parking lot area of SoFi Stadium following the Cowboys' win over the Chargers ... when two women got into a heated argument.

You can see in the footage -- the two screamed at each other ... and then nearly came to blows.

As the scuffle was escalating, though ... one Cowboys fan screamed to a man trying to break up the tiff to "control your bitch."

That's when the L.A. supporter lost it -- calling the man a bitch as well, before charging at him and yelling, "F*** you!"

Complete chaos then ensued ... with several Cowboys fans rushing the man and whaling on him.

At one point, you can see in the clip, a man in a Troy Aikman jersey brutally tagged the Chargers fan in the face with a flurry of punches.

Eventually, the combatants separated ... and witnesses tell us the aftermath was bad, with blood all over one car -- while another car's side mirror was busted.

We're also told despite bystanders calling for cops and security ... nobody showed up until the fight was long over.

The brawl was far from the only altercation at the stadium following Dallas' big win ... with one scrap escalating so heavily, it ended up with people inside the stadium's water feature.

Of course, there were several other brawls at NFL stadiums throughout Sunday ... clearly showing the league is having a huge issue with violence as fans return to venues following the league's COVID year in 2020.

H.S. Cheerleader Claims She's Blocked From Being On Field ... Because Wheelchair Might Damage Turf

A cheerleader at a Missouri high school says the athletic department is blocking her from joining her team on the field this year ... because officials claim her wheelchair might damage the football turf.

Lacy Kiper -- who was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 5 that breaks her bone easily -- told FOX 8 that this would have been her second year cheering, but Truman High School is keeping her from being with the team.

The reason behind the school's restriction -- Lacy claims she was told it's due to her wheelchair potentially damaging the turf.

"They didn’t want my wheels, I guess, to be too heavy and damage a little bit of the turf for me to get stuck in it," the 18-year-old says.

"But, even for the basketball gym, they said no. And I was like, 'That’s a floor that I go on all the time.'"

Lacy's father, Charles, is totally against what the school is doing ... but told the outlet he is willing to do anything to allow his daughter to join the team on the field this season.

"I told the school I would put her on the mats if they want, I will be there at every game if they want," Charles says.

"I'll make sure that she's got someone to assist her in anyway to be a part of this team and they have pretty much turned me down on most everything."

The Independence School District released a statement on the matter ... saying it cannot explain its side of things due to not having consent from Lacy's parents.

"The District cannot substantively respond to such inaccuracies without consent to release student records from the parent. In this matter, the parent chose not to sign HIPAA and FERPA releases to allow the District to respond."

"Without those releases, the District is limited in what it can discuss. While the Independence School District cannot respond substantively to the editorial, the District would like to reiterate that it takes the safety of all involved in our activities seriously, and remains committed to ensuring that our programs and activities are inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all students."

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