NHL player Erik Haula pays tribute to unborn daughter after her death: ‘We cannot wait to hold you one day in heaven’

Carolina Hurricanes center Erik Haula and his wife, Kristen Haula, took to Instagram to announce the tragic loss of their unborn daughter this week. 

“While it’s not what is best for everyone, it personally feels best for us to share,” Kristen explained of the family’s decision to make the loss public. She revealed that after feeling “amazing” during her entire pregnancy, which the couple announced in November, that an ultrasound on Monday revealed their baby had lost her heartbeat. 

“While it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel on some days going forward, and some may be harder than others to understand why this happened, the complete joy & excitement she has brought to us and those who love her will be with us forever,” she continued. “Mommy and Daddy know she is being taken care of in heaven.”

Erik Haula echoed his wife’s heartbreaking sentiments in his own post on Wednesday, which revealed that the death occurred on December 30. 

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Fans are voting for Tacko Fall to make the NBA All-Star Game and Twitter is divided

The NBA revealed the first returns of voting for the 2020 All-Star Game on Thursday, and many fans on Twitter are up in arms over some players on the list. 

Fan votes account for 50 percent of the vote to determine which 10 players will make it to the All-Star Game, which is being held at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16. Shortly after the list was published, two players who were included immediately started trending on social media: Alex Caruso and Tacko Fall. 

Fall, in particular, has become a cultural phenomenon among fans of his Boston Celtics and beyond. The 7-foot-5 Senegal native has only appeared in three games so far this season, totaling just 11 minutes — but according to voters, that’s enough to get him to Chicago. Over 110,000 fans have voted for Fall to make the Eastern Conference All-Star Roster, which puts him sixth on the list of frontcourt players in the East.

While some were quick to praise Fall as a “legend” or laugh at the situation, many others didn’t find the situation comical and called for an end to the fan vote. 

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Carley McCord, sports reporter killed in plane crash, honored at Sugar Bowl

A seat was saved for late sports reporter Carley McCord at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Wednesday. 

McCord, 30, was one of five people killed in a plane crash in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday while she was en route to the Peach Bowl between LSU and Oklahoma in Atlanta. The Louisiana native worked as a reporter for local NBC affiliate WDSU as well as an in-game host for the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The Sugar Bowl, which is held annually in New Orleans’s Mercedes-Benz Superdome, paid tribute to McCord by reserving a spot for her in the press box that included a vase of yellow roses and a card featuring her name. 

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Colts GM addresses possibility of Andrew Luck returning in 2020

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard spoke for over an hour on Thursday, addressing his team’s shortcomings in 2019 and plans for 2020 — and his feelings on a potential return by retired quarterback Andrew Luck. 

While Ballard was clear that “the jury is still out” on current starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett, he said he didn’t believe that Luck, who played for the Colts from 2012 to 2019, would be returning to save the day.

“Look, Andrew is retired,” he said during his final press conference of the season. “I think we all need to accept that.”

Luck suddenly retired from the NFL this past August after news broke of his impending announcement during the Colts’ final preseason game, a 27-17 loss against the Chicago Bears. Brissett, who was traded to Indianapolis by the New England Patriots in 2017, assumed the role of starting quarterback and led the team to a 5-2 start — but the rest of the season didn’t go as planned, and the Colts finished with a 7-9 record. 

Ballard called the losing record a “stain that does not wash away.”

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Eli Manning reveals the truth: Being Daniel Jones’s backup was ‘no fun’

When the news of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s demotion to backup was announced in Week 3 of this season, the NFL veteran remained positive — at least in the public eye. 

“There’s a lot to be grateful for,” he said. “I’m going to accept my new role and make the best of it.”

The team’s new starting quarterback, No. 6 overall draft pick Daniel Jones, stated at the time that Manning was “nothing but supportive” of him amid the team’s decision. 

Late in the year, when an injury to Jones’s ankle provided Manning with the opportunity to start for the Giants again, he opened up a bit more about how he felt this season, stating that he was “eager” to play and that he missed being on the field leading his team. 

On Monday, the day after the Giants finished the regular season with a 4-12 record and fired head coach Pat Shurmur, Manning was a bit more honest about the reality of being Jones’s backup, calling the job “no fun.” When asked if he would consider being a backup for another year, Manning rejected the idea. 

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Love pours in for Lions’ Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison after emotional interview about his NFL future

The Detroit Lions finished the 2019 regular season with a 3-12-1 record, and seemingly no one is as upset about it as defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison, who is mulling his future in the NFL.

“I’ve given everything I could give,” Harrison said after the Lions lost the final game of the season to the Green Bay Packers 23-20. “Nobody’s more disappointed about this season and my performance than I am. I’m hard on myself.”

Harrison, who has been in the league since 2012, started 15 games this season and posted 48 tackles, a career-low for him when he has played 15 or more games. He had two sacks, down from 3.5 in 2018, and was on every Lions injury report for the second half of the season after missing much of training camp and the preseason. 

His injury-plagued performance has forced Harrison, who also played for the New York Jets and Giants, to consider retirement.

“I’ve given everything to every team I’ve played for,” the 31-year-old said through tears. “I’ve got a lot of thinking to do this offseason. I’m going to seek some different options and try to figure it out but if I can’t be that guy that I want to be, that I know I can be, then I’ve got to hang it up because everybody deserves better.”

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Husband of sports reporter killed in plane crash reveals he missed her final text and call

LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and his family suffered a tragic loss on Saturday with the death of his son’s wife, Carley McCord, just hours before the Tigers took the field to face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Peach Bowl. 

McCord, 30, was one of five people killed in a plane crash on Saturday morning en route to Atlanta, where LSU’s game was being held. Witnesses stated that the plane, which was attempting to return to the airport from which it took off, appeared to strike power lines and collided with vehicles in the parking lot of a local post office before being engulfed in flames. A sixth passenger on the plane survived and has been listed in critical condition

The news of McCord’s death was so shocking to her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., that he had to be rushed to the hospital and sedated — but he was later able to watch LSU’s game and, in text messages with Sports Illustrated, recall details of his phone call with his father and the final time his wife attempted to contact him. 

Ensminger Jr. revealed that McCord had texted and called him earlier in the day while he was at work, but that he missed both because he didn’t have his phone on him. 

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USWNT stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris marry in star-studded ceremony

Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are teammates on and off the soccer field, and on Saturday, the two World Cup champions officially tied the knot. 

Krieger, 35, and Harris, 34, wed on December 28 at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida, surrounded by family and friends — and several fellow stars from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, including Megan Rapinoe, Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, who took to Instagram to share snaps from the celebration. 

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Baby bumps, hair touch ups, and wedding goals.

A post shared by Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) on

Krieger also shared a sneak peek of the couple’s full wedding video, which shows that the reception featured a speech by Rapinoe, a rainbow wedding cake and plenty of dancing. 

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Rob Gronkowski implores NFL, other pro sports leagues to allow CBD use

Rob Gronkowski has hung up the cleats on his larger-than-life on-field persona and is taking on a new role in retirement: Mr. Recovery.

The former New England Patriots tight end has spent the five months since announcing his retirement focused on recovering from his injury-riddled NFL career. 

He says CBD is the product that has helped him most, and now he’s asking the NFL and other professional sports leagues to update their stances on the substance.

“It’s just time,” he said. “It would have made a huge difference for me, I believe, during my playing career. I want the same opportunity for my friends and teammates out there.”

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Drew Brees praises ‘maturity’ of young quarterbacks like Mahomes, Mayfield

Over the past 20 seasons, NFL fans have been treated to the likes of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers regularly gracing their television screens on any given Sunday.

The talent of such a group of quarterbacks is undeniable, with 10 Super Bowl victories between the quartet, as well as countless NFL records set, broken and set again. 

While age may be just a number in some aspects of life, that’s not the case for professional athletes, as much as Tom Brady would like you to think so. Brady, the oldest quarterback in the league, turned 42 earlier in August. Brees is right behind him at age 40, with several other stars including Aaron Rodgers in their late thirties. 

The harsh reality is that many of these quarterbacks will be out of the league within a few years – possibly even sooner than anticipated after the retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck at the age of 29. 

According to Brees, though, the league will be left in good hands. 

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