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Fan backs up Ryders Cup trash talk by making putt PGA stars couldn’t

A fan at the Ryder Cup won a spot in the Heckler’s Hall of Fame by nailing a putt Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan could not during a practice round Thursday.

A video shows the heckler making jokes as he practices his putt before hitting the ball. 

>> Read more trending stories

The crowd erupts with cheers and applause as the ball goes in the hole and the heckler pumps his fists in the air.

This is enough to get even Allen Iverson excited about practice.

Whatever he does with that $100, it probably won’t be spent on a drink anywhere golfers hang out.

The Brawl is Back: Pitt to face WVU in basketball

Pitt and West Virginia to resume hoops series

The University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University announced today that the two schools will renew the Backyard Brawl on the hardwood. The series will be a four year deal with the first game being in Pittsburgh next season and again in 2019, while West Virginia will host the game in 2018 and 2020.

Pitt and West Virginia have met 184 times throughout history, with the Mountaineers edging the Panthers 96-88. According to the press release on the official Pitt website, the Panthers have won 10 of the past 14 meetings, including five of the past six games held at the Petersen Events Center.

The game has always been a spirited rivalry, and new Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings acknowledged that as well while watching from the outside.

“I saw the passion and intensity of the Pitt-West Virginia series from afar and felt it was important that we work to renew the series,” said head coach Kevin Stallings. “Our goal in scheduling is to put together games that will generate great interest from our amazing fan base as well as prepare our team for conference and postseason play. Bob Huggins is an outstanding coach and competing against his program enables us to accomplish both of those things. I can’t wait to witness this rivalry firsthand.”

One of requests by the fan base to new athletic director Scott Barnes was to upgrade the basketball non-conference schedule. Whether it was warranted or not, the non-conference schedule by Jamie Dixon in recent years was under heavy fire by both the fans and the media. Barnes has listened to a degree, and getting a home and home with West Virginia is a great start. It’s a competitive game for one, and one filled with passion. Some of Pitt’s old Big East rivalries still resonates more with the fan base than games against ACC opponents.

The Backyard Brawl will be coming back in football in a few years as well. Last September the two schools got together and made that official. With West Virginia off in the Big 12 and Pitt is the ACC, the rivalry has more less died. Conference realignment has claimed plenty of rivalry casualties, but it’s nice to see Pitt and West Virginia get this done, especially in basketball. Scheduling games in football is complicated that takes years of planning. Basketball, on the other hand, takes very little effort. It’s been a shame the game has been on a three season hiatus.

This rivalry has provided many memorable moments. Since the 2001-02 revival of Pitt basketball, the two programs have played in some epic showdowns. West Virginia made the final four in 2010, and they have a fantastic team that crushed Pitt in Morgantown. Nine days later, however, a scrappy Pitt team defeated the Mountaineers in Triple overtime 98-95 in perhaps the craziest game in Petersen Events Center history.

There was also the 2008 game that will be remembered for the Ronald Ramon buzzer beater to beat the Mountaineers 55-54. One more that sticks out is when the 14th ranked Panthers beat the 9th ranked Mountaineers 57-53 on February 10, 2006. It will be remembered mostly for the shutout of an all-time Pitt villain, Kevin Pittsnogle. He was held scoreless on 0-12 shooting.

What has made this rivalry great the past 10-15 years or so, has been the emergence of both basketball programs. Jamie Dixon had Pitt as a perennial top 25 team making the tournament annually while a member of the Big East conference. John Beilein and then Bob Huggins had West Virginia enjoying similar success. Every time the two teams met in recent memory, it seemed to be a nationally televised game with either one or both teams in the top 25. Meaningful showdowns against a local rival makes for fun games. It may not be the same as it was in the Big East, but the renewal of the Backyard Brawl is a positive measure for both programs.

The Brawl is Back

Pitt and West Virginia to resume hoops series

The University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University announced today that the two schools will renew the Backyard Brawl on the hardwood. The series will be a four year deal with the first game being in Pittsburgh next season and again in 2019, while West Virginia will host the game in 2018 and 2020.

Pitt and West Virginia have met 184 times throughout history, with the Mountaineers edging the Panthers 96-88. According to the press release on the official Pitt website, the Panthers have won 10 of the past 14 meetings, including five of the past six games held at the Petersen Events Center.

The game has always been a spirited rivalry, and new Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings acknowledged that as well while watching from the outside.

“I saw the passion and intensity of the Pitt-West Virginia series from afar and felt it was important that we work to renew the series,” said head coach Kevin Stallings. “Our goal in scheduling is to put together games that will generate great interest from our amazing fan base as well as prepare our team for conference and postseason play. Bob Huggins is an outstanding coach and competing against his program enables us to accomplish both of those things. I can’t wait to witness this rivalry firsthand.”

One of requests by the fan base to new athletic director Scott Barnes was to upgrade the basketball non-conference schedule. Whether it was warranted or not, the non-conference schedule by Jamie Dixon in recent years was under heavy fire by both the fans and the media. Barnes has listened to a degree, and getting a home and home with West Virginia is a great start. It’s a competitive game for one, and one filled with passion. Some of Pitt’s old Big East rivalries still resonates more with the fan base than games against ACC opponents.

The Backyard Brawl will be coming back in football in a few years as well. Last September the two schools got together and made that official. With West Virginia off in the Big 12 and Pitt is the ACC, the rivalry has more less died. Conference realignment has claimed plenty of rivalry casualties, but it’s nice to see Pitt and West Virginia get this done, especially in basketball. Scheduling games in football is complicated that takes years of planning. Basketball, on the other hand, takes very little effort. It’s been a shame the game has been on a three season hiatus.

This rivalry has provided many memorable moments. Since the 2001-02 revival of Pitt basketball, the two programs have played in some epic showdowns. West Virginia made the final four in 2010, and they have a fantastic team that crushed Pitt in Morgantown. Nine days later, however, a scrappy Pitt team defeated the Mountaineers in Triple overtime 98-95 in perhaps the craziest game in Petersen Events Center history.

There was also the 2008 game that will be remembered for the Ronald Ramon buzzer beater to beat the Mountaineers 55-54. One more that sticks out is when the 14th ranked Panthers beat the 9th ranked Mountaineers 57-53 on February 10, 2006. It will be remembered mostly for the shutout of an all-time Pitt villain, Kevin Pittsnogle. He was held scoreless on 0-12 shooting.

What has made this rivalry great the past 10-15 years or so, has been the emergence of both basketball programs. Jamie Dixon had Pitt as a perennial top 25 team making the tournament annually while a member of the Big East conference. John Beilein and then Bob Huggins had West Virginia enjoying similar success. Every time the two teams met in recent memory, it seemed to be a nationally televised game with either one or both teams in the top 25. Meaningful showdowns against a local rival makes for fun games. It may not be the same as it was in the Big East, but the renewal of the Backyard Brawl is a positive measure for both programs.

Marshall Starting QB Chase Litton expected to play vs. Pitt

The top passer returns after missing last week’s game with a concussion

Earlier this week, I mentioned that the Panthers’ success in defending the pass against Marshall on Saturday may rest on which quarterback they see. It appears like they’ll be fully tested as the Thundering Herd’s starter, Chase Litton, returns to the lineup after missing their last game with a concussion.

Litton returned to practice on Tuesday and all signs point to him playing against Pitt. That obviously makes things more difficult for the Panthers.

So far this year, the sophomore quarterback has been pretty good. In the team’s opener, he threw for 309 yards and six passes against Morgan State before being pulled in a 62-0 blowout win. Against Akron, he was forced into three interceptions but still threw for 413 yards and four more touchdowns. Litton has also been pretty accurate, connecting on nearly 62% of his passes.

Obviously, he hasn’t seen anything like the Pitt defense yet. And with the three picks in an ugly loss to Akron, he’s been proven to make a few mistakes. But the amount of yards he’s passed for in those two games should be concerning for a Pitt secondary that’s struggled mightily the last two weeks.

Litton’s replacement, true freshman Garet Morrell, didn’t fare too well against Louisville last week. He was only 9-21 on the day with 59 passing yards. Suffice to say, facing him would have given Pitt’s secondary a much better chance at success. That’s not to suggest they can’t stop Litton, but there’s obviously no comparison between the two right now.

Hopefully Pitt’s secondary can step up to the challenge on Saturday.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert pays Charlotte body shop $3,900 in coins

Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert said he paid a car repair shop over $3,000 in coins after they wouldn’t accept his check.

In an Instagram post Tuesday, Tolbert warned anyone in Charlotte and the surrounding area to avoid the body shop.

Queen City and surrounding areas!!!! If you need any motor work or anything done to your car I urge you DO NOT I repeat DO NOT go to this place! I was quoted a price and a 10 day completion time frame!!! 2 1/2 months later still not done and upped the price from the original quote! Terrible business and owner! I expected a level of professionalism that I did not receive and the owner expected me to pay more because I'm "a millionaire"!!!! Charlotte beware they are crooks to the fullest extent!!! A photo posted by Mike Tolbert (@yogidagreat35) on Sep 26, 2016 at 3:24pm PDT

He said he was quoted a price and a 10-day completion time frame, but after 2 1/2 months later, the repairs were still not done, and the shop upped the price form the original quote.

>> Read more trending stories  

“I expected a level of professionalism that I did not receive, and the owner expected me to pay more, because I'm ‘a millionaire,’" Tolbert said.

Tolbert spoke to the media Wednesday, saying he went to the bank and got $3,900 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

“So what kind of respectable establishment won’t take a check? So they wouldn’t take my check. They said it wasn’t going to clear the bank, so I was like, ‘Hmm, you throwing shots. I got one for you.’ So I went to the bank and got $3,900 in coins.”

When asked what did the body shop say? “Oh they was upset. You’ve got to sit there and count, basically, four grand in coins, you’ll be mad too. They got what they asked for,” Tolbert said. 

The body shop responded with a Facebook post saying:

"From the beginning, he attempted to get us to do work for free because he is 'Mike Tolbert.' So today, I am disappointed that it came to this, I had to call the police on Mike Tolbert. He and his buddy threatened me. CMPD actually banned him from the property today. They forced him to pay his bill before leaving though."

The body shop's response has been removed. 

Heartbreaking video shows Jose Fernandez's joy when he learned he was having a daughter

In August, Jose Fernandez nervously cut into a cake with his smiling, pregnant girlfriend, Maria Arias, nearby.

POR FIN YA ME TOCABA SER ABUELOPosted by Orlando A. Sanfiel on Thursday, August 11, 2016

The cake was pink. The two were going to have a baby girl.

“I knew it! I knew it!” Fernandez can be heard saying in a video posted on Facebook by Arias’ father, Orlando A. Sanfiel.

It was clear the Marlins’ star pitcher was excited to be a dad.

>> Watch the heartbreaking video here

On Wednesday, Fernandez's teammates, family and friends celebrated the 24-year-old’s life, which was cut short Sunday in a fatal boating wreck that also killed two of his friends.

The Marlins held a public memorial service for Fernandez, starting with the departure of the funeral motorcade, which was followed by a public viewing at St. Brendan's Catholic Church.

As the motorcade entered the roads alongside Marlins Park, fans could be heard chanting, “Jose!"

The funeral motorcade departed from the park at 2:16 p.m., a time set in honor of Fernandez’s jersey number, but not before his teammates had an opportunity to pay their respects and surround the hearse.

>> WATCH: Dee Gordon pays tribute to Jose Fernandez with emotional home run

The procession came with the sobering reality that this would be the last time that Fernandez’s body, a body that just days ago represented the hopes of a fan base and the city's Cuban community, would be at Marlins Park.

Following the departure of the hearse, Marlins Tom Koehler and David Phelps went over to the memorial wall that was set up by the Marlins and left their friend and teammate one final note.

Several other teammates also took time to sign the memorial wall.

>> Read more trending stories

Fernandez’s family, including his grandmother, who was wearing a Marlins jersey with pink lettering, arrived at the church a short time after the procession departed.

Following a priest blessing the casket, Fernandez’s family placed his All-Star Game and Marlins jerseys on the casket.

Doctor Robert: Pitt-Marshall Injury Report

Here’s a look at the Panthers’ injuries heading into this week

Since the ACC requires its members to provide injury reports for in-conference matchups, Pitt released an official report last week. But with the Panthers playing a non-conference team this weekend, that’s not mandatory so we’re left a little more in the dark.

The good news is that it didn’t seem like there were any major injuries coming out of the North Carolina game. However, the team does still have some injury news to watch for this week.

The latest injury news was surrounding starting linebacker Mike Caprara, who didn’t play against the Tar Heels with a ‘lower body injury.’ If you’re keeping score at home, Caprara is already the second key linebacker to miss time with Elijah Zeise out for the season. Head coach Pat Narduzzi said during his press conference this week that he expects Caprara to play.

Keep in mind, however, that Caprara was listed as probable for the North Carolina game and wound up not playing, so it’s hard to tell at this point. Plus, Craig Meyer of the Post-Gazette noted that Caprara and fellow linebacker Bam Bradley were wearing yellow jerseys at practice on Wednesday, meaning they weren’t full participants. Obviously something to watch going forward.

Another key thing here is that freshman cornerback Damar Hamlin could be on the field sooner rather than later. He’s been a full participant in practice per several media members on Twitter and seems like he could be ready to go soon. Pitt’s cornerbacks have struggled so far but the question is when Hamlin could be ready to play after having missed so much time.

Finally, on top of the season ending injuries, wide receiver Dontez Ford will obviously miss this one since he’s expected to be out for quite a while longer with his shoulder injury. Head coach Pat Narduzzi hasn’t commented much on Ford, but Ford’s high school coach did confirm that he underwent surgery earlier this month. His loss continues to hurt as the team hopes to improve upon its passing game.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Cowboys WR Cole Beasley endures brutal hit, inspires time travel meme

Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley is known for his speed and toughness, but he also has a good sense of humor.Beasley took a vicious hit during Sunday night's game against the Bears. As Beasley came across the middle and made a catch, he was knocked back by Chicago safety Adrian Amos. 

>> Read more trending stories While Beasley was momentarily shaken up, he stayed in the game. The Cowboys won 31-17.A meme has popped up on Twitter showing that the hit was so hard, it sent Beasley traveling back in time. Beasley told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he and his wife were "dying laughing" after watching the clip and that it was one of the funniest videos he'd ever seen.

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett announce retirement

Former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce announced on The Players Tribune that this season will be his last as a player in the NBA. 

>> Read more trending stories  

"It's time to move on from the game of basketball," he wrote. "Just like any difficult decision, I think you've got to be at peace with yourself. I'm at peace with retiring, but I've got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity."

Pierce, 38, was originally selected by the Celtics in the first round of the 1998 draft, with the 10th overall pick. He played 15 seasons in Boston, winning a championship in 2008 and returning to the NBA Finals in 2010.

He was traded to the Brooklyn Nets along with Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett in 2013 and spent one season in Brooklyn, before playing with the Wizards in 2015 and the Clippers in 2016. 

"After 18 NBA years, it's hard to believe I'll be playing in each arena for the last time," Pierce wrote. "So I'm going to enjoy every practice, every bus ride, every team dinner, every time running out through the tunnel. I'm going to do my part to give us a shot at the ultimate goal."

Pierce was named MVP of the NBA Finals in 2008,  when the Celtics beat the Lakers for the championship. He teamed with Garnett and Ray Allen to form "The Big Three" that led Boston to the title. 

He is a 10-time NBA All-Star. 

Pierce's announcement came three days after Garnett posted a video on Instagram, saying, "farewell" and "thank you" after 21 seasons in the NBA.

The Associated Press reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves plan to waive Garnett so he can collect all of his $8 million salary for next season.

"I'm just thankful, man. I can't ever put that into words. I'm just thankful," Garnett said in the video. "I'm just thankful for everybody, and the love, I never would've thought that people would love me like this, but for it to be reality is just something else. Man. We gonna be (all right), man. I don't expect this to be easy, but so far, so good. Stay tuned." 

To be continued... A video posted by Kevin Garnett (@tic_pix) on Sep 23, 2016 at 2:42pm PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are among other notable athletes who retired this year.

Tim Tebow homers in first professional at-bat

Football star turned baseball player Tim Tebow homered Wednesday in his first at-bat in the instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Florida. 

>> Read more trending stories  

Tebow, who signed a pro contract with the New York Mets organization, homered to left-center off left-hander John Kilichowski. Kilichowski is a member of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. 

ESPN posted a video of the home run. 

Tebow, 29, is a 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback. 

The 255-pound outfielder received a $100,000 bonus when he signed with the Mets in an arrangement that allows him to maintain his commitment as an analyst for the ESPN-owned SEC Network.

Before signing with the Mets, Tebow hadn't played organized baseball since 2005 during his junior year at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA Today reported.

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