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Jets fire GM Maccagnan- name Adam Gase as interim

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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No, that is not a headline from “The Onion” online. And, yes, the Jets are making a GM switch in mid-May and turning to a coach who they just hired in January, Adam Gase, to help them.

New York CEO Christopher Johnson made the stunning announcement that they had parted ways with Mike Maccagnan through the team’s website and social media late Wednesday morning:

As you are probably aware, Gase was previously the Dolphins head coach for the past three seasons, before back to back losing campaigns cost him his job last December. Gase debuted in South Florida with a playoff season (10-6) in year one, but his next two teams sunk to 13-19, missing the playoffs both times.

However, Gase didn’t stay out of work long, as the AFC East rival Jets hired him just over a week after the season ended, and we wrote at the time that soon to be Hall of Fame QB, Peyton Manning, gave Gase a huge endorsement to Johnson and the Jets.

It’s not surprising that the former Broncos and Colts Super Bowl winning QB, Manning, made a phone call on Gase’s behalf. It’s very well-known from when Gase was hired by the Dolphins that Manning was also advocating for him then, to owner Stephen Ross about Gase getting his first head coaching opportunity.

Gase and Manning worked together, when Manning arrived to Denver in 2012 and later made the Superbowl together. And, obviously his fondness for his former quarterbacks coach has continued.

Back to the Jets situation, Maccagnan was responsible for drafting QB Sam Darnold a year ago, landing former Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell in free agency in March, and then taking DT Quinnen Williams from Alabama with the third overall pick last month.

Still, it apparently wasn’t good enough for him to keep his job.

Now, Gase has more authority, albeit likely only in the short term, as interim GM. An interesting tidbit is that Gase is the only NFL head coach to have those titles, at the moment.

And we did write about how Jet fans and media destroyed Gase’s opening press conference performance back in January, too. So, New York sports radio and the internet have to be exploding with punch lines this afternoon.

Time will tell on whom and when, the Jets will bring in to assist Gase.

And you have to wonder, if Ross isn’t having a private laugh at the Jets expense.

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Former Gators kicker Pineiro is Chicago hero- for now

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Every week in the NFL there are heroes in the clutch for different franchises. However, in a market like Chicago with the rabid, massive following like the Chicago Bears, when you do something dramatic to help them win everything is taken up to a new level.

That’s something that new kicker, and former Florida Gator Eddy Pineiro, is experiencing after his dramatic game-winning 53 yard field goal with no time left in Denver Sunday gave the Bears a 16-14 win.

First, it looked as though the Bears had blown the game when they allowed Denver’s Joe Flacco to lead a last-minute scoring drive that resulted in a dramatic touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders with :31 seconds left. And, then, the two hooked up on the go ahead two-point conversion to Sanders for 14 – 13 lead.

But undaunted, the Bears, led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, got into scoring position on a 25-yard completion to the Broncos 25 to Allen Robinson with just :01 remaining.

That’s when Pineiro, who had kicked two lengthy field goals earlier in the game, stepped on the Mile High turf and calmly, with 80,000 Bronco fans going berserk, booted home a line drive game-winner to make the Bears 1 – 1.

As we wrote earlier this month, Pineiro, a second year player, had won the Bears kicking job coming out of preseason. Pineiro won the spot over Elliott Fry by hitting a 58-yard field goal against the Colts, followed by another 3-for-3 against the Titans in August.

And Gators fans will remember the Miami native having a good college career at Florida. He made 17/18 FG’s during the Gators miserable 2017 season. And combined with his 21/25 the year before, he totaled an 88% field goal career mark.

Pineiro declared for the 2018 NFL Draft after only two seasons with the Gators, but went undrafted. He signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders in May of 2018, however, he was placed on injured reserve last September. Earlier this summer, he was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Finally, let’s keep in perspective that we are not talking Chicago icon status like: Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks and Patrick Kane have.

Still, it was a large moment early in his tenuous Bears kicking career and Pineiro is celebrating, like he should.

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Many state fans still without ACC Network

ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference launched the 24-hour ACC television network in the middle of last month. But for all of the fanfare and build up, there are still hundreds of thousands of football fans in the state of Florida who are without the channel headed into the first weekend of September.

And now, that’s about to be problematic with a scheduled Saturday triple-header of games that will involve FSU, the Miami Hurricanes and the USF Bull’s all being televised, exclusively on the channel.

Now, the ACC and ESPN announced Thursday night a deal with Cox Communications, which serves a good portion of the state and will obviously make their customers happy:

The ACC, led by Commissioner John Swofford (above),  also previously announced a deal with Spectrum Communications to carry the ACC Network. That is a significant amount of coverage in Florida.

And, the ACCN is also available through satellite services like DirecTV and Dish. Plus, it’s available on streaming services like Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV for individual fees.

However, while the ACC and ESPN continue to update new deals being done with providers, customers with Comcast / Xfinity, Frontier Communications and AT&T U-verse are still waiting for the channel. And, those outlets represent hundreds of thousands of college football fans in the combined markets of Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

Fans in those markets with those providers already missed last Thursday night’s opener with #1 Clemson and Georgia Tech, were without last Saturday’s ACCN games, and more importantly, possibly won’t to see their favorite school on the triple header Saturday.

That starts with USF at Georgia Tech at 2 p.m., followed by Florida State hosting Louisiana-Monroe and capped Saturday night by Miami’s opening conference game at North Carolina.

All to be shown exclusively, on the ACCN.

The crux of the problem is the amount of money that ESPN is looking to recoup from each individual customer of the provider. It is the same model that they have followed previously with the SEC Network and with their biggest channels like ESPN and ESPN2.

ESPN and the SEC had much more leverage five years ago at the launch of that television network with a much more rabid following. The SEC Network was picked up by every major provider in the state of Florida before games were ever played in the 2014 season.

Again, ESPN and the conference are negotiating non-stop and may very well get deals with the above major providers that are still holding out. But, it’s entirely possible that when the Noles, the Canes and the Bulls hit the field Saturday many of their fans in the state will not be able to see it, on TV, an app, nothing.

You’ve been warned.

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