DAILY LINKS: Alabama wins National Championship again

Alabama’s Unlikely Offense Extends College Football’s Dominant Dynasty – Sports Illustrated
Alabama won its fifth title in nine years under Nick Saban, but this championship victory against Georgia was different than all of the others. And it all started because of a seamless transition at quarterback after halftime.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa Instantly Went From Untested Backup to National Title Game Legend – The Ringer
Trailing Georgia in the second half, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban turned to a true freshman quarterback. Tagovailoa responded by giving a performance that will be remembered for generations to come.

On Final Play, Tua Tagovailoa Took Everything Georgia Gave Him – Deadspin
After the Bulldogs had put up three in their half of overtime, Tagovailoa held on to the ball too long and took a sack on first down, a terrible, terrible decision—you can’t lose yardage there. Or maybe you can, as long as you drop a 41-yard championship-winning dart to DeVonta Smith on the very next play.

AUDIO: Ted Leitner: “If The Padres Want To Add Another Piece (In Hosmer) To Excite The Fans While They Wait For These Prospects, I Think That’s A Win-Win”
Ted Leitner, voice of the Aztecs and Padres, joins the program Monday morning to discuss the 1st chunk of MW conference play for San Diego State, plus his thoughts on the Padres offseason including the Eric Hosmer rumors, recent trades, and more.

Myers looks to rebound from ‘toughest year’ – MLB.com
In January, the slugging first baseman signed a six-year contract worth $83 million, assuring he’d be in San Diego through at least the 2022 season. Then Myers opened the season with a red-hot April, which included the second cycle in franchise history.

Things went south from there, though. Myers slumped to a .214/.310/.378 slash line in May, and he never recovered. Despite a handful of impressive power surges, Myers mostly struggled during the season’s second half.

He finished with a career-high 30 homers to go with 29 doubles and 20 steals, but his batting average dipped to .243. Myers himself called his 2017 campaign, “my toughest year yet,” and he’s determined to put it behind him.

AUDIO: Will Brinson: “Bills And Jags Was Like A Toddler Rock Fight”
CBS NFL reporter Will Brinson broke down the “complementary” wild card weekend, Chiefs stunning loss at home, odd officiating and why it’s safe to look ahead to Steelers and Patriots.

Column After LaVar’s latest criticism, Lakers must decide whether it’s worth it to remain in the Ball business – Los Angeles Times
The message from Lonzo was as flat as his jump shot, and now this ongoing drama grows even thicker. The Lakers have to wonder how much the father’s loud and constant discontent is affecting the son, worry that maybe some of it is coming from the son, all of which is building toward a very serious question: Is Lonzo Ball worth it? Do the Lakers really need to stay in the Ball business?

LaVar seems beyond restraint, Lonzo isn’t either strong or mature enough to shake off his influence, and together they are creating unnecessary rumbling under the feet of a young team not yet rooted enough to withstand it.

Steve Kerr Calls LaVar Ball the ‘Kardashian of the NBA’ – Sports Illustrated
On Monday, Kerr said he was thinking about the recent ESPN layoffs and how the society has moved from “covering the game and getting closer to sensationalized news. It’s not even news, it’s just complete nonsense.”

In November, Kerr asked reporters if the media could stop covering LaVar Ball amid his feud with President Donald Trump. Ball refused to thank President Trump for assisting in getting his son LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players out of China following their arrest for shoplifting. Kerr says that reporters have been told by their bosses that they have to cover Ball.

North Korea to send athletes, officials, and cheer squad to Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – USA Today
North Korea said Tuesday it would send a large delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, a notable diplomatic breakthrough between the two countries after months of rising tensions over the North’s missile and nuclear weapons programs.

South Korean officials said the delegation will consist of athletes, a cheering squad and high-ranking officials. The two Koreas also agreed to hold military talks aimed at easing border tensions and to reopen a key military communications hotline suspended two years ago, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

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