Nationals

Snyder hopeful Klein can start for No. 3 K-State

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Snyder hopeful Klein can start for No. 3 K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Bill Snyder has always been secretive when it comes to discussing injuries.

Or just about anything else in his program.

The longtime coach at Kansas State said Tuesday he expects Heisman Trophy frontrunner Collin Klein will be able to start the third-ranked Wildcats' game at TCU this weekend, but he once again refused - politely, of course - to discuss anything specific to his star quarterback's injury.

The nature of it, the severity of it, the process by which Klein would be cleared to play - even the timetable involved in making that decision, which must happen soon.

``Let's cut to the chase,'' Snyder said. ``Would I expect him to play? I certainly hope that's the case, and I would expect that to take place.''

Klein was hurt in the third quarter of last Saturday's 44-30 victory over Oklahoma State, likely on one of three straight runs that resulted in his 50th career rushing touchdown.

He remained on the ground an extra moment after a sneak finished off the drive, and then jogged over to the sideline. Klein spoke for several minutes with trainers on the bench, and then his helmet was taken away and he spent the rest of the game watching from the sideline.

All of those signs are indicative of a head injury, which has taken on increased scrutiny across the football landscape, from the professional level all the way down to youths - and is another reason why Snyder was reticent to discuss the details of Klein's injury.

``My interest in our players is beyond football, and I always want to do the right thing for young people in our program, and I think anybody would feel the same way,'' Snyder said. ``I don't want to put any young person in jeopardy. That's why I don't address injuries.''

Sure, the secrecy may give Kansas State a competitive advantage against the Horned Frogs, who will also have to spend time preparing for backup quarterback Daniel Sams.

But the sagely Snyder truly believes that it's in the best interest of Klein to keep him out of the spotlight, which is why the senior wasn't available to the media on Tuesday.

``Collin was perfectly comfortable coming here and visiting, and I wanted to not put him through that,'' Snyder said, ``because I know the bombardment he would have had to endure.''

Klein already had put together another big performance before leaving last Saturday's game, throwing for 245 yards and running for 64. He's averaging nearly 175 yards per game through the air, with 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions, and close to 78 yards on the ground.

He has 17 rushing touchdowns to go with 27 last year, making him the record-holder in the Football Bowl Subdivision for rushing TDs by a quarterback in consecutive seasons.

Considering all that, it's little surprise that he's 20-4 as a starter, and that three more wins would push him past Ell Roberson and Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Bishop for the most wins by a quarterback since Snyder stepped into Manhattan to resurrect the program in the late 1980s.

If the kid nicknamed ``Optimus Klein'' is unable to start Saturday, the challenge of moving the Wildcats - No. 2 in the current BCS standings - one step closer to the national championship game will fall to Sams, an elusive freshman with more raw athleticism but far less experience.

``He did a nice job for the most part in the ballgame. He was 5 of 6 throwing the ball, managed the game well enough,'' Snyder said. ``The more opportunities you have, the better you get.''

TCU coach Gary Patterson said he wouldn't assume that Klein will play, but he also said that both of the Kansas State quarterbacks present problems with their ability to scramble.

``Sams, the redshirt freshman, as far as I could see, he ran the same plays as Collin does,'' Patterson said. ``They both have patience running the football.''

Kansas State running back Angelo Pease also said that the offense won't change regardless of who is under center, and that the Wildcats have confidence in either quarterback.

``If Collin plays, he plays, if he don't, he don't,'' Pease said. ``The only difference with Collin is he's more of a leader, only because he's more experienced.''

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Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

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USA Today

Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

Jacob deGrom could've been a unanimous Cy Young award winner Wednesday. Instead, he won with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

The only voter who chose not to give deGrom a first-place vote was John Maffei of the San Deigo Union-Tribune

"What is stunning to me is the blowback from the fans, especially in New York," wrote Maffei. "Dozens of emails — some venomous — ranging from 'hey dumbass,' 'incompetent,' 'idiot,' 'moron' and 'clown.' Several called for my head, my job."

Shocking. Keyboard warriors furiously typing out their frustration and overreacting to something they didn't like.  

Maffei joined Steve Somers of WFAN in New York as well, which ended up being the shortest interview in the history of interviews.

Maffei points out that he chose to vote for Scherzer over deGrom for many reasons. One being, despite a 1.70 ERA over 217 innings, he had 10 wins and nine losses.

After he talked with other baseball experts, looked at Scherzer's 2.53 ERA and his historic 300-strikeout season — making him one of only 17 pitchers to do that since 1900 — Maffei says his vote was swayed in the direction of the Nats' ace.

One thing's for sure, Maffei may not have made any friends in New York, but he's made plenty of new ones in Washington. 

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Austin Rivers wants to interview Jay-Z and Barack Obama; still cant John Wall on his podcast

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USA Today

Austin Rivers wants to interview Jay-Z and Barack Obama; still cant John Wall on his podcast

Just one episode into his new podcast 'Go Off,' Wizards guard Austin Rivers is already learning plenty about the media world. With plans to become a television analyst when his playing days are done, Rivers is gaining a new appreciation for what it takes to speak at-length without stumbling over his words.

He's also starting to realize one of the biggest pain points for a media member: waiting on guests. Rivers has tried to line up interviews with his teammates and it's been much easier said than done.

Rivers is set to have Dwight Howard on as his first guest, but the original plan was point guard John Wall. Wall, though, has been giving him the runaround.

"That's the hardest thing is getting guests to show up," Rivers said. 

"It's impossible to get John on my podcast. At this point, I just don't expect it anymore. He says he'll do it next week and then the week comes. John has like 15 things to do a day. I don't know what these guys do. I play in the league, too. I know how un-busy my life is outside of this. And I've got a kid. John has a brand to run. He's a different level. Sorry, you can see the frustration on my face with not getting John on my podcast, man."

Rivers hopes to have many of his teammates on. He mentioned Kelly Oubre Jr. and how an interview with Oubre "might be a little out there." He also gave a hint about what his conversation with Howard will be like.

"I'm definitely gonna have some interesting topics to bring up with Dwight. I told him 'listen, you might want to check with your publicist before coming on my podcast.' We only talk about real conversations on here," Rivers said.

Rivers says he plans to start with fellow NBA players and then work in special episodes with guests outside of the league and even outside of basketball. He hopes to record an episode with financial advisors to talk about money and investments. He wants to take a deep dive into the AAU circuit and how it can be fixed.

Eventually, Rivers wants to aim very high with his guests. He gave a list of his dream interviews and there are some big names.

"Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. Dwyane Wade is my favorite player. I'm gonna get Dwyane Wade on my podcast, for sure. I'm gonna go ahead and put that out there," Rivers said.

"Off-the-court, I would love to get Denzel Washington on there. That would be my dream... I want to do a podcast with me and my dad and Jaden Smith and Will Smith. I think that would be really dope, talking about parent-to-son success and how he related to his son to have a work ethic and how my dad did it to me."

Rivers went even higher. He wants to interview a president.

"I guess if I could go the highest, I would go Jay-Z or [Barack] Obama. But let's be realistic, here," Rivers said.

"[Interviewing Obama] would be incredible, bro. I would be so nervous. I'm not there yet, I'll be honest. I need like six or seven or eight more podcasts before I can get Obama on there because I'm gonna be stuttering. I can't do it with Obama yet. I don't know if I could handle Denzel right now."

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