No. 17 UCLA to face Baylor in Holiday Bowl

No. 17 UCLA to face Baylor in Holiday Bowl

SAN DIEGO (AP) The 17th-ranked UCLA Bruins and Baylor Bears will play each other for the first time when they meet in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Bruins (9-4) won the Pac-12 South Division and are coming off a 27-24 loss to No. 8 Stanford in the conference championship game.

``I know I speak for the coaching staff and our players when I say that the UCLA football team is very excited to continue our 2012 season in the Holiday Bowl,'' coach Jim Mora said. ``We have accomplished some good things this season, and are looking forward to playing one last time together as a team.''

Baylor (7-5) closed the regular season with three straight victories, including a 52-24 upset of then-No. 2 Kansas State on Nov. 17. At the time, K-State was ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings.

On Saturday, the Bears beat Oklahoma State 41-34, knocking the Cowboys out of the Top 25.

``I'm extremely proud of our team for getting us into a bowl game, especially a bowl with the national reputation that the Holiday Bowl has earned through the years with all of the great games played there,'' Baylor coach Art Briles said. ``It's an honor for Baylor to play a really good UCLA football team.''

Baylor's offense ranks first nationally and boasts the national leaders in total offense and receiving yards: senior quarterback Nick Florence (387.7 yards per game) and senior receiver and Biletnikoff Award finalist Terrance Williams (1,764 yards), respectively. The Bears rank fifth nationally in scoring, averaging 44.1 points per game.

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Michael Wilbon rips Washington's statement, calling it 'annoying' and 'tone-deaf'

Michael Wilbon rips Washington's statement, calling it 'annoying' and 'tone-deaf'

Washington's football franchise released a statement on Monday that announced the official retirement of the name 'Redskins' and logo, ending an 87-year era of the name. The announcement came just 10 days after Washington stated it was conducting a formal review of the moniker.

Washington's statement caused plenty of reactions from both people inside and outside the sports world. Former Washington great Darrell Green said he is embracing the team's next step, while D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser said the name is hardly the only issue.

ESPN analyst and longtime D.C. resident Michael Wilbon weighed in on the matter as well on Monday evening, ripping the team and owner Dan Snyder for what he called a "tone-deaf" statement.

"The statement was just sort of annoying and bogus, as things that come out of that camp usually are," Wilbon said on Pardon the Interruption. "It was bogus. It was tone-deaf. It didn't acknowledge anything. It didn't acknowledge anything but try and pat itself on the back."


While the statement itself clearly bothered Wilbon, he said that the fact that it annoyed him doesn't come as much of a surprise.

"So, the statement annoyed me, but probably everything the Washington football franchise does has annoyed me for 10-15 years at least," Wilbon said.

Additionally, Washington announced that the team has yet to finalize a new replacement name, stating Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera are "working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition-rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years."

For Wilbon, he doesn't want the process of coming up with a new name to be drawn out in the slightest bit.

"Just get a name already. I don't need to chronicle this every day," Wilbon said. "I know there is a need to update it as a news story and it is that, but I don't need to follow every inch of this. When you get a name, I don't want finalists, I don't want quarterfinalists, I don't want to hear all that. Get a name, put it out there, and let's see what it is."

With Monday's announcement, Washington is officially moving on from the name 'Redskins' just seven years after Snyder said he would "never" change the name. That's quite the 180-degree turn.

What Wilbon is looking forward to in the coming months, more than finding out what Washington's new moniker will be, is finding out what caused Snyder to ultimately change his mind on the name.

"What I want to find out later on, somebody is going to do great reporting on this, and it's going to tell us Snyder's real reaction around him instead of these stupid statements that everybody puts out now, which is just junk and somewhere between spinning and lies," Wilbon said. "I want to find out what was going on behind the scenes, and what did they have to do? Did they have to sudate Snyder to get him to understand that the name is gone, and that you're going to go along with this?"

To finalize the segment, Wilbon reiterated how unmoved he was by the team's statement.

"Again, that statement that the team released today was sort of embarrassing," Wilbon said. "Then again, most of the things that franchise does is."


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Wizards, Mystics have discussed turning Capital One Arena into a place to vote

Wizards, Mystics have discussed turning Capital One Arena into a place to vote

With a growing list of NBA teams offering their arenas as presidential polling places for this November's election, members of the Wizards and Mystics are hoping the same can be done in Washington with Capital One Arena.

Wizards center Ian Mahinmi said there have been discussions on the matter among Wizards and Mystics players, as well as members of the front office. He mentioned several by name: Bradley Beal, Natasha Cloud, Ish Smith and LaToya Sanders, a group he described as leading the charge on using the teams' platforms to create social justice change.

"This is something that we have talked about and that would be amazing," Mahinmi said.


Voting rights and awareness has become a central issue for Mahinmi, who is originally from France. He has been studying social justice matters worldwide and feels voting can create necessary change in the United States. Mahinmi has been motivated, as many have, by recent events such as the death of George Floyd in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis.

"I think it's our job to provide a platform and to help the people that are lacking space and time to do and exercise their right. When you look around the country, across the country, and what's going on as far as the ability to vote, providing this for the people would be such a great move. I think it would be the right move for our organization," Mahinmi said.


Mahinmi said recently he plans to wear the word 'vote' on the back of his Wizards jersey when NBA games return in Orlando. The league is allowing players to replace their names with nessages centered around social justice.

Clearly for Mahinmi, it's about more than a slogan. He, his teammates and his friends from the Mystics are looking to take action.

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