<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usSun, 04 Dec 2016 21:38:01 -0500Sun, 04 Dec 2016 21:38:01 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bengals Blow Out Eagles 32 to 14 ]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:14:03 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Carson-Wentz-Interceptiont.jpg

The Eagles are circling the drain.

The 2016 season that started off with so much promise has quickly turned into a complete disaster.

In a game that had no juice coming in, the Eagles couldn’t score, couldn’t stop the Bengals and lost, 32-14, at Paul Brown Stadium in front of half-full (half empty?) stands.

The Eagles won the coin toss Sunday afternoon; that was the last thing for a while that went their way. They quickly went three-and-out and the Bengals took their first lead on the ensuing drive. The Eagles then got down big.

With the loss, the Eagles fell to 5-7 on the season as their playoff hopes have all but completely evaporated. They have now lost seven of their last nine games.

After losing to Green Bay, 27-13, last Monday night, head coach Doug Pederson said he thought the Eagles were heading in the right direction and he based that theory on the effort his saw on the field.

Five days later, the Eagles were blown out by a team that entered Sunday with three wins.

Sure, the Eagles put up two touchdowns in the second half, but they let the Bengals build a 29-0 lead beforehand.

Turning point
The Eagles went three-and-out on their first possession and never got anything going.

Key stat
The Bengals’ lackluster offense scored on their first six drives Sunday.

First half

After winning the coin toss, the Eagles switched things up and elected to receive the ball. They promptly went three-and-out and the Bengals, after a bad punt, moved the ball into field goal range and went up 3-0.

And the game was virtually over.

The Bengals tacked on 16 more points in the first half and out-gained the Eagles, 242-104, in the first half. They also doubled them in first downs, 14-7.

Wentz had a tough first half, completed 8 of 18 passes for 67 yards and was lucky he wasn't picked off. Wendell Smallwood had eight carries for 19 yards in the first half.

The Bengals got their first touchdown by marching 81 yards in the first quarter. The big play of the drive was a 50-yard bomb from Andy Dalton to Cody Core, who beat Nolan Carroll in coverage.

After adding a field goal in between, the Bengals went on a 93-yard drive just before the end of the half to go up 19-0 heading into the locker room.

Offensive stud
Paul Turner had his first NFL catch and ended up leading the Eagles in receiving yards. He finished with six catches for 80 yards.

His day Sunday is better than any receiving day Nelson Agholor has ever had in the NFL. Agholor was a first-round pick a year ago; Turner was an undrafted rookie this year who spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad.

Offensive dud
Wentz didn’t have his best performance. He overthrew plenty of his receivers and should have been picked off several more times than he was. Wentz completed 36 of 60 passes for 308 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Sunday was the first three-interception of his young career.

His 60 passing attempts are a record for an Eagles rookie in a game. It’s the second-most ever for a rookie in NFL history.

Defensive stud
Bennie Logan and Nigel Bradham each forced fumbles.

Defensive dud
Nolan Carroll had another bad outing. He gave up the 50-yard bomb and just hasn’t looked very good recently. But he of course wasn’t alone. The Eagles’ defense, which was once heralded as the strength of the team, has completely collapsed.

Injury report
Jordan Matthews (ankle) missed the first game of his career after being listed as questionable. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Ryan Mathews both missed their second straight weeks with MCL sprains.

Up next
The Eagles return home next week to face Washington at the Linc. They lost in Washington, 27-20, in Week 6.

]]>
<![CDATA[Temple Beats Navy for 1st American Athletic Conference Title]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 00:29:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/usa-romond-deloatch-temple.jpg

Temple bided its time, waiting a year for a chance to wash out the sting of last year’s American Athletic Conference title game defeat to Houston.

And on Saturday, the Owls let out a year’s worth of frustration as they achieved the goal they’ve talked about for months now.

They can stop talking about it because Matt Rhule and his Owls can finally call themselves the AAC champions.

On the backs of seniors Phillip Walker and Jahad Thomas, Temple (10-3, 8-1 AAC) rocketed out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, leaving No. 19 Navy (10-3, 7-2 AAC) in the dust Saturday afternoon in a 34-10 rout in the AAC title game field at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.

It’s the second conference title in program history and first since the Owls brought home the Middle Atlantic Conference crown in 1967.

Walker ripped Navy’s lackluster passing defense apart for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player for his efforts.

But just as impressive was how the Owls handled Navy’s potent triple-option attack, especially after the way Army dominated Temple for 328 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in a 28-13 loss at Lincoln Financial Field in the season opener.

The Owls held Navy to just 168 rushing yards Saturday. The Middies came in averaging 342 yards on the ground per game, second most in the nation. A big reason for that was an ankle injury to Navy quarterback Will Worth, the leader of the triple-option, who left in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return.

Temple now has 24 hours to celebrate a mission completed before learning of its postseason fate.

Bowl outlook
Let’s start here since this is the most pressing issue after Saturday’s result.

Is Temple still eligible to be invited to the Cotton Bowl, this year’s New Year’s Six at-large bowl? Yes.

But with MAC champion No. 17 Western Michigan sporting a 13-0 record after Friday’s win over Ohio in the conference title game, the odds of the selection committee picking a three-loss Temple team over an undefeated WMU squad are slim.

But anything is possible. On the slight chance Temple is selected for the Cotton Bowl, a rematch from September with No. 7 Penn State is possible.

We’ll find out Sunday afternoon when the bowl selections are announced.

Turning point
On the opening drive of the game, Temple wideout Keith Kirkwood dropped a Walker dart on 3rd-and-7. Instead of having freshman kicker Aaron Boumehri kick into the wind from the Navy 28, Rhule decided to go for it on 4th-and-7. Kirkwood made up for his mistake with a 13-yard reception. Thomas bounced to the outside on the next play and set the tone for the day for Temple with a 15-yard touchdown run that put the Owls up 7-0.

With the Owls leading 14-0 two drives later, Worth hit Dishan Romine down the seam for 24 yards, setting Navy up at the Temple 25-yard line. The only reason the play didn’t end in the end zone was because of safety Sean Chandler’s touchdown-saving tackle. On the next play, Navy tried a screen to Darryl Bonner, who was stripped by Chandler. Temple recovered the fumble and Walker hit Kirkwood on 56-yard bomb for a touchdown three plays later to extend Temple’s lead to 21-0.

You could have started shining up the trophy from there.

Big men on campus
Walker, a four-year starter, was stellar in his penultimate act as an Owl. He completed big pass after big pass to lead to Owls. His 56-yard touchdown rainbow to Kirkwood was a beauty as he put just the right amount of touch on it. He also had a clutch 3rd-and-12 completion to Ventell Bryant in the fourth quarter that eventually led to a field goal that made the score 27-10.

Thomas was his usual productive self with 19 rushes for 62 yards and a score.

Kirkwood had a big day in the receiving department with five catches for 98 yards and a score.

On defense, Chandler had a monster afternoon eight tackles a pick and forced fumble. Linebacker Jarred Alwan led the Owls with 12 total tackles.
 
Abey filled in admirably for the Middies with 104 passing yards and 70 rushing yards, but there was only so much he could do against a vicious Temple defense.

Injury report
Temple senior linebacker Avery Williams, the Owls’ leader on defense, was hurt in the second quarter after hitting Abey following a pitch. Williams limped off the field, but he couldn’t return even if he wanted to as he earned a targeting call for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Abey after the pitch and was disqualified from the game. It was a good call as Williams forcefully drove the crown of his helmet into Abey’s chin.

Navy’s offense was depleted by injuries in the first half.

Worth, who captains the Midshipmen’s triple-option attack and entered Saturday as the nation’s leader in rushing touchdowns with 25, left limping early in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. Needless to say, losing Worth was a critical blow to Navy’s chances of a comeback.

Navy senior running back Toneo Gulley and junior back Darryl Bonner, the latter of whom is the Midshipmen’s second leading receiver, both left Saturday’s game in the first half with injuries and did not return.

History has been made
In addition to winning the first conference championship for the program since 1967, the Owls now have back-to-back 10 win seasons for the first time in program history. They’re also heading to a bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time ever.

Temple also set a record for points in a season with 427, breaking last season’s record of 417.

The Owls’ 20 wins over the last two seasons are the most in consecutive years in program history. Matt Rhule also now has 28 wins as the Owls’ head coach, tying him with Bruce Arians for sixth most in school history.

That 2-10 season in Rhule’s first season in 2013 seems like ancient history now, doesn’t it?

Up Next
Its regular season complete, Temple now awaits its bowl fate. The AAC’s bowl ties are as follows: AutoNation Cure Bowl (vs. Sun Belt in Orlando, Florida), Miami Beach Bowl (vs. MAC in Miami), Boca Raton Bowl (vs. Conference USA in Boca Raton, Florida), St. Petersburg Bowl (vs. ACC in St. Petersburg, Florida), Military Bowl (vs. ACC in Annapolis, Maryland), Birmingham Bowl (vs. SEC in Birmingham, Alabama).

It’s entirely possible the Owls could be right back here in Annapolis for the Military Bowl on Dec. 27.

The American also has a tie to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, but Navy is already scheduled to head there to face a Big 12 team. The Midshipmen will head there after their annual showdown with Army next week in Baltimore.



Photo Credit: CSN Philly/USA Today Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Phillies Tree Lighting, Holiday Sale]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:01:13 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018200967_1200x675_822992963748.jpg NBC10’s Rosemary Connors talks with Phillies radio announcer Scott Franzke and Francis Winkey, senior merchandise manager for the Majestic Clubhouse Store, about the Phillies upcoming tree lighting event and holiday sale.]]> <![CDATA[Soccer Players Who Missed Doomed Flight Cope With Loss]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:23:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/soccer-plane-crash.jpg

As the recovered bodies of Brazil's Chapecoense soccer team begin to be returned to families Friday, the players who did not travel on the team's ill-fated flight are left mourning their teammates, NBC News reported.

"I still have the chance to hug and kiss my children, but my teammates can't do that anymore," said Chapecoense defender Demerson Costa.

The crash killed 71 people, including 19 people from the soccer team. The pilot reportedly told a Colombian air traffic controller he had run out of fuel just moments before the plane crashed into the Andes Mountains.

One player, Matheus Saroli, didn't board the flight because he forgot his passport. He lost his father, coach Caio Junior, who was on board.



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[John Kruk to Join Phillies Broadcast Team]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:20:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kruk1.jpg Phillies fan favorite John Kruk will join the broadcast team as a commentator next season. Kruk will replace Matt Stairs who is now the Phils hitting coach.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of Year]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:23:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kingjamesja.jpg

LeBron James delivered on a promise and ended decades of Cleveland sports misery in 2016.

For leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title and ending the city's 52-year title drought, James was chosen as Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year on Thursday, joining Tiger Woods as the award's only two-time winners since its inception in 1954.

"I'm honored," James said following shootaround before the Cavs hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. "I'm more happy for my family, my kids, for my wife, my mom, and for my foundation, for the kids that I represent and the kids that use me as a role model and an inspiration."

Appearing in his sixth straight NBA Finals in June, James rallied the Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the favored Golden State Warriors, who won 73 games during the regular season but couldn't put Cleveland away. James scored 41 points in Games 5 and 6 and made a key block in the final minutes of an epic Game 7, making the Cavs the first Cleveland major sports franchise to win a title since the Browns in 1964.

James was selected finals MVP for the third time in his career.

The 31-year-old James returned to Cleveland as a free agent in 2014 and pledged to bring a title to his home state. He did it in his second season, an achievement that ranks as the greatest accomplishment of his career.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taking the Plunge: Michael Phelps Looks to Dip Into Tech ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/mikemikemike.jpg

Michael Phelps wants to dive into Silicon Valley's investment opportunities as he tries to make the transition from Olympic swimming star and product pitchman to entrepreneur.

"I would love to get involved, whether it's in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes," Phelps said in an interview during a recent visit to San Jose, California while appearing at an Intuit software conference.

For now, Phelps isn't providing any details about what he is going to do, though he says he has been getting advice from venture capitalists and other experienced investors in Silicon Valley startups.

Getting into tech investing would be a new direction for Phelps, whose business experience to date consists mostly of his own line of swimwear and endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Visa and Wheaties.

These and other big brands have paid him an estimated $75 million during his career. That's far more than the $1.65 million that he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Speedo for winning a record 28 medals, including 23 golds, in five Olympics. He's still promoting products; he is currently doing commercials for computer chipmaker Intel in a campaign that began in October.

Whatever he does next, Phelps isn't ready to start his own investment fund, like retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant did earlier this year with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. And if Phelps has ideas for founding a startup of his own, he's keeping them to himself.

Making the leap from pitchman to businessman won't be easy, said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute. "Athletes come and go and many talk a big game, but they don't follow through," he said. Phelps "is really going to have commit to learning about business and demonstrate his seriousness about it."

Other celebrities have ventured into the tech industry in search of riches, with decidedly mixed results.

[[388677371, C]]

Notable successes include rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, who was part of the founding team that sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion 2014. Actor Ashton Kutcher co-founded an investment fund in 2010 that made early investments in startups such as the ride-hailing service Uber, the home rental-service Airbnb and the music streaming service Spotify. The fund's value had soared to $250 million from $30 million, based on a review of its books earlier this year by Forbes magazine.

Among the flops: HJR Capital, a tech-investment firm that collapsed in 2009, a decade after former San Francisco 49er lineman Harris Barton founded it and later enticed ex-teammates Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott to join him. In Rhode Island, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling started a video game company that went bankrupt in 2012.

Phelps is exploring ways to expand his business ventures beyond a line of swimwear and other clothing bearing his "MP" logo. Other products are in the pipeline for next year, though he won't say what. "I am getting my feet wet," Phelps said with a grin. "2017 will be a big year."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[I Miss Him: Barkley Reveals He and Jordan No Longer Friends]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:16:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/jordanbark.jpg

NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley gave an interview on the Dan Le Batard radio show this week where he explained, despite a recent photo that had been making the rounds, he and once close pal Michael Jordan have not buried the hatchet.

[[403830466, C]]

Barkley said a recent pic taken by TNT colleague Kenny Smith mistakenly spread the belief the two had made amends from a long-running feud. But Barkley recalled it as a brief, awkward encounter at a public event they just both happened to be attending.

[[403831486, C]]

"I love Michael. I miss Michael's friendship. He was a great friend to me for a long period of time. And I love him and miss him like a brother. But we just happened to be at the same place so we took a picture together," Barkley said. "We are not back to where we use to be."

Barkley explained Jordan holds a grudge for criticism Barkley levied at him as owner of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. Barkley said Jordan surrounded himself with 'yes' men who wouldn't challenge some of his questionable personnel decisions. 

"Some people, when you're their friend, expect you to have their back no matter what. And part of my job sucks some times when I have to criticize people I like or a friend," Barkley said. "He took it personally and got really angry. And I haven't really spoken to him in years."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Serena Williams on Sexism: Being a Woman Is Not a 'Flaw']]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:26:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/serenaserena.jpg

Serena Williams served up another ace. Only this time it was in the form of an open letter about sexism and wage disparity between males and females in sports.

The letter, initially written for Porter Magazine’s 'Incredible Women of 2016' issue, was reprinted by The Guardian on Tuesday. Williams dedicated it to “all incredible women who strive for excellence” as she wrote about gender discrimination in sports that she and other women face.

"When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts," Williams wrote. "I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you."

The gender wage gap in professional tennis has been a topic of conversation this year. The New York Times reported in April that last year, Roger Federer received $731,000 for defending his title at the Western & Southern Open. At the same tournament, Serena Williams received $495,000 for defending her respective title. It was just one of many instances in which the compensation disparity was evident.

Williams has made it clear on many occasions that she wants to be the “best tennis player in the world,” not “the best ‘female’ tennis player in the world.” In her letter she pointed out how descriptions tend to exclusively gender-mark women. While people call her one of the greatest “female” athletes, they do not similarly say LeBron James or Tiger Woods are considered some of the greatest “male” athletes. Instead, they are just considered great athletes.

“As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success,” Williams wrote, “One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw.”

Former professional tennis player Ray Moore brought sexism in tennis to light earlier in the year with his controversial comments about how female tennis players “ride on the coattails of men” and how they should thank prominent male tennis players like Federer and Nadal “because they have carried this sport.”

But despite ongoing ignorance in the sport Williams closed her letter offering encouragement to young women to follow their dreams with resilience.

“We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Audemars Piguet]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Images: Colombia Plane Crash]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:52:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Lamia+Debris+4.jpg

Photo Credit: Aeronáutica Civil]]>
<![CDATA[Thursday Night Football: Cowboys Go for 11th Straight Win]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:03:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16330088209607.jpg

Dak Prescott will face as good a pass defense as he has seen all year when the rookie quarterback tries to run the Dallas Cowboys’ winning streak to 11 in-a-row on Thursday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings.

The teams face off on NBC at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Minnesota is coming off a loss to Detroit in the last seconds that was their fifth in six games following a 5-0 start. Prescott, a fourth-round draft pick who has supplanted Tony Romo, threw for a TD and ran for another on Thanksgiving Day.

The Vikings will play without their coach Mike Zimmer. He will miss the game following emergency surgery to repair a detached retina. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the interim head coach.

The Vikings’ defense has allowed 13 TDs through the air and picked off passes 12 times. Against the comparably dangerous Philadelphia defense, Prescott made a couple of shaky throws, including an interception in the end zone. But he also led Dallas back from a late 10-point hole and threw a winning TD pass in overtime.

Minnesota QB Sam Bradford should have an easier time against the Cowboys’ secondary. The sixth-year-player is on pace to blow away his previous best in completion percentage. A 31-for-37 game against Detroit bumped him up to 71.3 on the year and he’s at nearly 80 percent in November.

Four to watch:

Dallas RB Zeke Elliott: Another rookie enjoying a breakout year for the Cowboys; he’ll be leaned on heavily. His next yard will be 1,200 for the season and 200 ahead of the nearest competitor.

Dallas CB Anthony Brown: The rookie cornerback had a howler against Washington, and figures to be targeted heavily by Bradford and top Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. 

Minnesota CB Xavier Rhodes: Leads the Vikings with four interceptions this season, all in the last eight games, including one he took back for a touchdown.

Minnesota DE Danielle Hunter: Has 3.5 of his 7.5 sacks this season in the last three games. He’ll go up against a line that has allowed 15 all year.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Crowd Boos Kaepernick]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:00:07 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/KaepernickDolphins.jpg

Playing in Miami on Sunday just days after getting tangled in a "heated" discussion about Fidel Castro with a newspaper reporter, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick received a "flood of boos" from the South Florida crowd, CSN Bay Area reporter Matt Maiocco tweeted.

Kaepernick's Castro talk began months ago when he flashed a shirt featuring the former leader of Cuba, who passed away late Friday, meeting with Malcolm X. The lettering across the shirt read, "Like minds think alike."

After the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Dolphins, Kaepernick was asked about some of the statements he made, in which he defended Castro’s record of education in Cuba.

"I said was that I agree with the investment in education," Kaepernick said. "I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement in him helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everybody agrees that those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did, it’s just not true."

Kaepernick, who again wore a T-shirt depicting Malcolm X following Sunday's contest, was asked about his shirt selection.

"I’ve worn many Malcolm X shirts," Kaepernick said. "He was a great man, and he lived the life that he talked about. He was someone that truly walked the walk and was a great leader for the African community and someone I admire."

When asked Sunday if he understands concerns that arose with his decision to wear a shirt that portrayed Castro, Kaepernick said, "I can understand the concern. But for me what I said was that was a historic moment for Malcolm."

Kaepernick added, "I’m not going to cut out pieces of Malcolm’s life. In 1960 when they met in Harlem, that was a historic moment. That’s something that I will always be true to, what Malcolm was, what he represented, because I’m not going to cut out history.”

During a conference call earlier this week, a Miami Herald reporter, who is reportedly related to Cuban exiles, questioned the San Francisco signal caller's choice to don the shirt with Castro, to which Kaepernick responded by saying, "I'm not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression. I'm talking about Malcom X and what he's done for people."

The reporter then condemned Kaepernick for changing the subject of the discussion away from Castro's history of abuses. The quarterback responded by applauding Castro for investing more in education instead of criminal punishment.

Kaepernick answered the jeers Sunday by leading his offensive unit to the end zone on the team's first drive of the game. He finished with 296 yards through the air and three scores to go along with 113 yards on the ground.

CSN's Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Eric Espada, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jordan's Medal of Freedom Reaction Sparks New Memes]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 19:54:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/mj+tears.png

Michael Jordan may be “more than just an internet meme,” but his emotional reaction to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Tuesday became just that.

With tears in his eyes, the five-time MVP was presented with one of the highest civilian honors by President Barack Obama at the White House – and the Twitter-verse took notice.

Images of Jordan’s face during the ceremony quickly sparked a flurry of new and old memes as the sports icon became yet another viral sensation.

Yet, in celebrating Jordan’s achievements, Obama noted that the NBA icon is more than just some of the historic moments he made in sports history.

“MJ is still more than those moments, more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time – the dream team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls—he’s more than just a logo, more than just an internet meme,” Obama said, referring to the infamous "Crying Jordan" meme.

Jordan’s tear-stained face during a 2009 speech at his Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony became a viral meme on social media, used by the sports world as the go-to symbol of sadness in defeat. The meme often features Jordan's watery mug superimposed onto losing team's players, fans, mascots, coaches and beyond, employed to comment on any number of sports failures.

“[He’s] more than just a charitable donor, or a business donor committed to diversity,” Obama added. “There is a reason we call somebody 'the Michael Jordan of' — the Michael Jordan of neurosurgery or the Michael Jordan of rabbis or the Michael Jordan of outrigger canoeing. They know what you're talking about. Because Michael Jordan is the Michael Jordan of greatness.”

But as Jordan’s eyes filled during Obama's remarks, the "Crying Jordan" meme came to life in front of our eyes, and the Twitterverse churned out a new batch of memes: Crying Jordan 2.0

Photos of Jordan’s emotional reaction began sprouting on the social media site, many side-by-side with his long-viral meme.

Jordan was among 21 recipients for this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, including fellow sports icons Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, and Vin Scully, who spent 67 seasons as the broadcaster of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.

They also included Ellen DeGeneres, who has advocated for equality and fairness, and Tom Hanks, who has worked for social and environmental justice.

Obama said the activists, athletes and artists "helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way." He added that the medal is "a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better."



Photo Credit: NBC
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>