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New stars, old faces, shine at 2016 Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards

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Jonathan Ogden is a huge man. We met the greatest LT in NFL history following the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards.

Jayson Tatum and Sydney McLaughlin took home the hardware as they were named Gatorade Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2016. We were on hand at the L.A. Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for the festivities hosted by ESPN’s Sage Steele.

This prestigious award for high school athletes has been an annual tradition since 1985 (when it was know as the Player of the Year Awards), and this was our fifth year covering this fun event. The event was attended by sports stars including Cam Newton, Karl-Anthony Towns, Todd Gurley, April Ross, Abby Wambach, Landon Donovan and Matthew Stafford.

Read about it here.

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#SmellEm If You Got ‘Em! All-access at the 2016 ESPYS and after-party

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I asked Cam Newton to teach me how to dab and this was his response.

In the first 15 minutes at the official after-party of the 2016 ESPYS, I shook Richard Sherman’s hand, met former Lakers’ player/coach Byron Scott and told him he got a raw deal after his recent firing, and got a selfie with former Detroit Pistons “bad boy” John Salley.

As part of the launch for two new spots for the new “Smell ‘Em Who’s Boss” campaign (and two new Old Spice Guys: Swagger Guy and Desperado Guy), Old Spice set me up with full access to the ESPYS and after party.

Read the full story here.

Could you stop Landon Donovan from scoring a goal? These people tried outside a Buffalo Wild Wings

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How surreal would it be to go to your local Buffalo Wild Wings for some food and have Landon Donovan, the greatest male soccer player in U.S. history, stop you at the entrance and challenge you to a game of one-on-one?

Recently, at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Los Angeles, the above scenario played itself out. Would you have the guts to jump in the net and try to stop the all-time leader in goals and assists for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS? The answer may not be so easy after you watch this video:

We had the opportunity to speak to Donovan about his experience making the video, hanging out with fans and life after retirement. Read the interview here.

 

How good with the Warriors be with Kevin Durant?

Kevin Durant has declared his independence and taken his talents to Oakland. He’ll sign a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to form a super-team and finally win a title.

I don’t blame Durant for leaving, it’s his decision, yet I also feel bad for the fans in Oklahoma City. As a Cavs fan I know how they feel. But I am a little confused by this decision, as Durant had a very good team in OKC with a clear shot at getting back to the Finals. He clearly didn’t have to leave, which makes this even more painful for OKC fans.

Many assume that Durant and the Warriors will be unbeatable, but how many scorers can a team accommodate? We’ve seen Kevin Love and Chris Bosh make real sacrifices to win a title in a Big Three environment. Who will make the sacrifices here? Who takes the big shot at the end of the game? Durant thrives on ISO basketball. What happens now?

Chemistry is critical in basketball, so now we’ll have to see what kind of chemistry develops in Golden State.

Also, the Warriors will have to shed salary in order to make this happen, so say good bye to players like Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. Who will play center now for the Warriors? How will they handle bigger teams? Will Draymond Green wear down as he’s forced to handle the load against big centers over a long season? The starting five of the Warriors looks like a dream team, but there’s so much more that goes into winning a title.

In many ways this is great for the NBA, driving some serious buzz heading into next season. Lebron James and the Cavs can play the role of underdog yet again. It should be fun to watch!

Rough night for Messi and Argentina

Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick. Argentina lost the Copa America final against Chile. Then Messi announced he’s retiring from the Argentina national team without ever having won a major international title.

Wow. That was quite a bad day for Argentina football. Let’s see if Messi eventually let’s the emotions of the moment subside so he can gear up for the 2018 World Cup. It’s difficult to imagine him refusing another opportunity to perform on the world stage. It’s critical to his legacy.