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Son of Dusty Rhodes carves out his own American dream in pro wrestling

Born the son of one of pro wrestling’s most beloved figures, Cody Rhodes had been part of that colorful community of performers and fans for most of his 32 years. Also for about 32, he has run into spoilsports and naysayers who can’t wait to opine that wrestling is fake.

>> Read more trending news

Fortunately, he’s had decades to come up with a pithy comeback.

"I usually say, ‘Well, Christian Bale’s not Batman,’” said Rhodes, whose late father was the legendary “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, and whose brother is Dustin Rhodes, also known as “Goldust.” 

Cody Rhodes will visit West Palm Beach on Friday with Ring of Honor Wrestling. You can spot him wrestling simply under the name “Cody.”

Rhodes has been in the family business for about 12 years and spent time with World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling. He defends what he does, not only because people worldwide love it, but because he loves it, too.

“Every now and then, someone from so-called ‘higher’ forms of entertainment will look down their nose at it," he said. But having grown up with Dusty Rhodes as  his father, Cody's been ready to defend wrestling for a long time. 

“I got started when I was 19, but for some reason, and I don’t know what I was thinking, I went to L.A.. I started acting classes there for a year, and wasted a bunch of money. I really enjoyed the classes, but I kept thinking ‘When I make it as an actor ...’ but then I thought ‘This is kind of dumb. Be a wrestler. Just do the thing you want to do.”

Currently a heel, or a villain, ROH’s Cody bills himself as “The American Nightmare,” a riff on his father’s famous salt-of-the-earth persona. Dusty Rhodes, born Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., didn’t look like other athletes. He wasn’t professionally trained. But what he was, his son said, was real.

“He communicated to people who he thought would need (his message). He needed it as much as they did. His whole image, being ‘the son of a plumber,’ that whole story was real. They had no money,” Cody Rhodes said. 

“I really think the idea that your friend, someone in your family in real life could get in the ring and do amazing, was what it was, because Dusty was like them. He was overweight. He had a different look. I honestly think it gets explained too much. He just had that thing that everybody wants. He had a way. He wasn’t selling you a product. He wasn’t even selling you himself. He was just bringing you along for the ride.”

Anyone who’s ever seen wrestling up close and personal knows there’s a difference between watching it in your living room and being there in person. 

To Rhodes, who also wrestles for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, “the live experience is the lifeblood of wrestling. The live experience in ‘Ring of Honor’ is a party. Essentially it’s going to a party with a ton of people that you don’t know, some of the greatest people you’ll ever know. People make friends in the meet-and-greet line.”

Those fans in the line, Rhodes said, are loyal, diverse and involved. He says it’s his job and that of companies like Ring of Honor to give them what they want.

“We try to have as much as fun as we can. There shouldn’t be that many rules for going to a wrestling show,” he said. “Give them that experience and guarantee they’re leaving having had a good time. It’s hard to get people’s money — it’s hard to get my money — so it’s gotta be good.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use parrot to deliver 4th-round pick in NFL draft

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be winging it during the latter stages of the NFL draft.

>> Read more trending news

The NFL announced Monday that the Bucs will have a parrot deliver its fourth-round selection from the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium to an announcer during Saturday’s televised Day 3 draft show.

The parrot, a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa, is based at the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Hudson, Florida.

The bird is not the first animal to participate in an NFL draft. Last year, an orangutan aided in the Colts announcing their fourth-round selection of offensive lineman Zach Banner, the NFL reported on its website. 

Reaction on the Buccaneers’ upcoming pick ranged from humor to squawks of surprise. One website, JoeBucsFan, posted a video of The Three Stooges’ 1936 comedy short, “Disorder in the Court,” where a parrot is figured prominently in the climactic court scene.

Undoubtedly, some fans will post the iconic parrot sketch from “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Regardless, the Bucs will be giving the NFL the bird on Saturday.

5 things to know about the NFL draft

The 83rd NFL draft is this week in Arlington, Texas. 

Here is what you need to know before the league’s annual talent grab kicks off: 

1. Round one is Thursday night, and fans will have more viewing options. 

For the first time, the entire draft will be available on broadcast television as Fox will simulcast the NFL Network’s coverage of rounds 1-3 on its broadcast channel. ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of rounds 4-7. 

Along with the traditional broadcast on ESPN, the College GameDay crew will provide a “college-themed viewing option of round one” on ESPN2. 

The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday night and the rest of the draft will be held Saturday. 

2. Quarterbacks will dominate the storylines even more than usual. 

Josh Allen of Wyoming, Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Rosen of UCLA, Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Lamar Jackson of Louisville are all in the mix to be taken in the first round. 

The last time five quarterbacks were taken in the first round was 1999, when the Browns took Tim Couch out of Kentucky with the No. 1 pick and the Bengals selected Akili Smith out of Oregon two picks later. 

The most QBs taken in one draft is six (1983). 

3. The Cleveland Browns will pick first for the second year in a row. 

Last year, they went with Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. 

This time they are expected to pick a quarterback, though they could go with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. 

The Browns pick again at No. 4, so they could end up with the PSU star and their quarterback of the future.  

4. The Cincinnati Bengals pick 21st. 

The Bengals traded down from the 12th slot to get offensive lineman Cordy Glenn from the Bills. 

That helped address a glaring need in Cincinnati, and team officials say it makes picking addressing a need and picking the best player available easier rather than having to choose one or the other. 

RELATED: 7-round mock draft

They might go for another offensive tackle, address the overall team speed on defense or perhaps take a center. 

5. Ohio State will be heavily involved again. 

Eleven Buckeyes were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine with Denzel Ward, Billy Price and Sam Hubbard considered the best available prospects

Ward and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be at the draft. 

If Ward chosen in the first round, Ohio State would become the first school in the common draft era (since 1967) to have five defensive backs selected in the first round over a three-year span. 

One of the potential storylines to watch Saturday: Will anyone take a flier on J.T. Barrett

Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for 'joke' prom date gun photo 

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely said he was trying to be funny when he posed in a Twitter photo standing between his daughter and her prom date holding a pistol, but in the wake of the Parkland shootings in February, social media posters did not appreciate the joke, WFLA reported.

>> Read more trending news

Feely, who played in the NFL from 2001 to 2014 and is an analyst for CBS Sports, apologized Sunday. 

In the photo, Feely has his left arm around his daughter and a pistol in his right hand at his side. Next to Feely is his daughter’s prom date, who is smirking. 

"Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom," Feely wrote, using the hashtag "#BadBoys."

The reaction from some on social media was swift and critical.

“Oh yay -- American dads have kicked off the season of 'let’s pretend I’m going to shoot my daughter’s date for impugning her chastity' pics," tweeted Shannon Watts, who is the founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“The Stoneman Douglas shooting was 2 months ago,” author Geraldine DeRuiter posted on Twitter. “But sure, let's make jokes about murdering high schoolers.”

The backlash was vocal enough for Feely to issue an apology Sunday on Twitter.

“The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking," he wrote. "I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue."

Some Twitter users defended Feely’s post, noting that he was referencing the movie “Bad Boys 2.”

“He’s referencing a scene in the movie #BadBoys2,” Twitter user Mike McLeod wrote. “The kid knows it’s a joke -- it’s not pointed at anyone and barely in the picture. I’m sure there’s a picture with his daughter and just the date also. This isn’t anything to blow out of proportion.

White Sox pitcher in critical condition after suffering brain hemorrhage

Chicago White Sox officials said reliever Danny Farquhar remained in critical condition Sunday after suffering a brain hemorrhage during Friday night’s game, The Chicago Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he has kept his players advised of Farquhar’s condition but did not go into too much detail out of respect for the pitcher’s family.

“We made sure they knew that he’s still in critical condition but stable and that the best thing for us to do would be to give them space,” Renteria told the Tribune. “Let the medical staff do what they can do and then at the appropriate time, everybody will let us know when it’s OK to go ahead and reach out and go see him.”

Farquhar, 31, is at Rush University Medical Center. He passed out in the dugout during the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Houston Astros, ESPN reported. He regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital.

The White Sox said Saturday that additional testing revealed the brain hemorrhage was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, ESPN reported.

“Besides him being a great teammate and part of this brotherhood, I have to be respectful of his family,” pitcher Carson Fulmer told the Tribune. “He’s a brother, he’s one of our teammates and we’re all here for him and his family.”

Renteria said Saturday that Farquhar "had a strong heartbeat, a good pulse and was breathing well'' when he left the stadium, ESPN reported."Nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox pitcher James Shields said. “When one of your brothers goes down, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being. We are praying for him. We hope everything goes well.

"He's got a long way to go and he's fighting. One thing we know in this clubhouse is Farky is a fighter."

WATCH: Oakland A's Sean Manaea pitches no-hitter against Red Sox

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

>> Watch the final out here

According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.

>> Read more trending news 

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.

Read more here.

LeBron James sends Cavaliers to Game 3 in matching suits

Basketball superstar LeBron James has made a habit of buying his teammates gifts during the NBA playoffs.

>> Read more trending news

Previous gifts have included Beats by Dre headphones, Apple watches, Samsung Edge phones and even personalized shields. This year, James wanted his teammates to look sharp when they arrived for Game 3 of the Cavaliers’ first-round series, which shifted to Indianapolis on Friday. So, he bought matching suits for all 15 players, ESPN reported.

The Cavaliers arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wearing gray suits, a white oxford shirt, a gray tie and a gray cashmere cardigan sweater, ESPN reported. Players also received black leather boots, overcoats and bags.

The Cavs looked good before the tip-off, but Indiana’s players were not impressed. The Pacers won 92-90, sending Cleveland to a 2-1 deficit in the series.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card fetches record  $2.88 million at auction

Mickey Mantle baseball cards are coveted by collectors, and the 1952 Topps card of the New York Yankees’ Hall of Fame outfielder remains the gold standard for post-World War II collectibles.

>> Read more trending news

The bar was raised even higher Thursday night, as a ’52 Mantle in mint condition -- graded PSA 9 by Professional Sports Authenticator -- sold for $2,880,000 in an online event hosted by Heritage Auctions. That price, which includes the buyer’s premium, is the most ever paid for a post-World War II trading card and the second-highest for any trading card, Sports Collectors Daily reported. 

The highest amount was $3.12 million for a T206 Honus Wagner card sold in October 2016 by Goldin Auctions.

“The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is more than just a baseball card,” PSA President Joe Orlando said in a news release. “It is pop culture art and the symbol of the card collecting hobby itself.”

There were 21 bids cast for the Mantle card, which was part of Heritage Auctions’ Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction. The previous record for a 1952 Mantle graded PSA 9 was set in 2006, when Memory Lane Auction sold one for $282,588, PSA said in its release. The previous record for a Mantle card, regardless of grade, was a PSA 8.5 that sold in 2016 for $1.13 million.

The card that was sold Thursday night was owned by former NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis, who played for six teams during his professional career. Wednesday night, Mathis spoke with with ESPN’s Bob Ley about the card and his love for collecting. Mathis said he sold the card to finance a new home in Tennessee, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

Mantle’s 1952 card is not the slugger’s true rookie card, but it is the first card that Topps issued. The 1951 Bowman card of the Mick is considered his rookie card, and one graded PSA 9 sold during this week’s Heritage Auctions sale for $750,000.

“The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card captures the attention of baseball fans, serious collectors, and investors alike and this auction made it one of the most valuable sports collectibles in existence,” Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage Auctions, told Sports Collectors Daily. “It’s a phenomenal price, a world record, but it’s also the natural progression of a trend we’ve seen building for years.”

Reds fire Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins

The Cincinnati Reds, who are off to their worst start through 18 games since 1931, fired manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins on Thursday.

“At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dick Williams in a statement. “We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of Baseball Operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve."

» COMMENTARY: Marcus Hartman: Firing Bryan Price shows winning might actually matter to Cincinnati Reds

» REACTION: Social media reacts to firing of Reds fire manager Bryan Price

Bench coach Jim Riggleman will serve as interim manager. He has managed 12 seasons in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals. His career record is 662-824.

Pat Kelly was promoted from Triple-A Louisville to serve as interim bench coach. Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin will be the Reds’ pitching coach.

The Reds announced they “will conduct a thorough managerial search for a permanent replacement.”

The Reds fell to 3-15 on Wednesday with a loss in Milwaukee. They are off today and start a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday. They have the worst record in baseball. This is their worst record through 18 games since they were 2-16 in 1931.

This was Price’s fifth season as Reds manager. His final record was 279-387. The Reds never had a winning record in his tenure, finishing 76-86 in his first season and then 64-98 in 2015, 68-94 in 2016 and 68-94 in 2017.

» MCCOY: Groundhog day for Reds, who lose 2-0 again

Price, 55, replaced Dusty Baker after the Reds won the wild card in 2013. Price served as Reds pitching coach from 2010-13.

On Sunday at Great American Ball Park after the team fell to 2-12 with a loss to the Cardinals the previous day, Price expressed confidence the Reds would turn the season around.

“It’s not fun,” Price said. “It’s not comfortable. It always turns; it will turn. When you’re in it, you feel, ‘When is it going to turn?’ You get impatient. We’re all impatient and frustrated, but inevitably, it will turn.”

Last September, Price talked about his job prospects, knowing the Reds would have to improve if he wanted to remain manager.

“You should get what you earned,” he said. “Since I’ve been the manager here we haven’t been real competitive. That shouldn’t put me on sound footing as the manager. What should is that from 2017 to 2018 we make significant improvements or they’re going to have to look at the direction of the club. One thing we do is we play hard. I don’t feel like I’m getting questioned a ton about managerial decisions, bullpen usage, lineup issues, etc. The last thing I’m going to worry about is the contract, because All-Star break 2015, the baseball community had me out of here – but I’m still here, and that’s really a credit to our ownership and front office to understand what we’re doing and what’s ahead of us. You get what you earn here. Until we show signs of great improvement, I’m in exactly the position I should be in.”

Legendary Pittsburgh wrestler, Bruno Sammartino has died

Legendary wrestler, Bruno Sammartino has died. He was 82.

Sammartino grew up in Italy, but moved to Pittsburgh in 1950. He held the WWE Championship title for nearly eight straight years, which remains a record to this day.

Sammartino went on to perform many feats in the ring.

>> Read more trending news 

He held the WWF Title for 12 years, the longest anyone held the title. He survived a broken neck and went back to the ring to fight again. He sold out Madison Square Garden 187 times.

He left wrestling in the 1980’s.

After wrestling he stayed in Pittsburgh where he was most loved.

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