Dotson Lewis Benchwarmers Blog
There have been many sports headlines this past week. Here are the two leaders. High school football practice starts in just over a month. It’s about time to start talking about something worthwhile. Hang in there!
Patriots Fans Rush to Swap Aaron Hernandez Jerseys
Fans of the New England Patriots rushed to trade in jerseys bearing the name of former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is being held without bail at Bristol County Jail on charges of first-degree murder.
A fan shields his head in the sun while waiting to exchange his New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez football jersey at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Saturday.
Prosecutors have said that Hernandez orchestrated the execution of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd – found dead near Hernandez’s home in June. The Patriots released Hernandez less than two hours after his June 26 arrest.
On Wednesday, the team issued a statement announcing that over the weekend the Pro Shop at Gillette Stadium would offer fans the opportunity to trade in the disgraced player’s jersey for that of another player on the team.
A saleswoman at the Pro Shop in Foxborough, Mass., said Saturday that the store was “very busy” with fans opting to swap their No. 81 jersey. Close to 1,200 jerseys had been traded in by the afternoon, NBC Sports reported. Jerseys for quarterback Tom Brady and nose tackle Vince Wilfork were among the most popular sought in trades, the team said.
Still, some fans view their Hernandez jersey as collectible and have chosen to auction their jersey online. On Saturday, there were more than 750 results listed on eBay for Aaron Hernandez jerseys. Some sellers were asking for up to $1,000 for a jersey with his autograph.
Peter Leventhal, a sports memorabilia dealer at Boston’s Kenmore Collectibles, says there is little value to the Hernandez jerseys.
“There was a small bump [in sales] when O.J. Simpson was on trial,” Leventhal said, “but that didn’t last.”
Vintage Simpson jerseys are being auctioned online for between $12 and $200 – asking prices that are similar to Simpson’s football contemporaries with untarnished reputations.
Leventhal said he would never sell a Hernandez jersey in his store, adding, “I find it distasteful.”
Dwight Howard will join Houston Rockets
After 20 months of twists and turns in the Dwight Howard saga, he made a decision on where he will play next season, the Houston Rockets.
"I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets," Howard tweeted. "I feel its the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I'm looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best."
Howard's deal with Houston is worth $88 million over four years. If he had stayed with the Lakers he could've made another $30 million and one more season.
Dwight Howard vs. Tim Duncan
Late Friday evening, Howard had changed his twitter avatar to him wearing a Rockets uniform.
Howard informed all the teams in the running of his decision one at a time, with the Lakers coming later in the day.
"We have been informed of Dwight's decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we're disappointed," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career."
For all the allure of the Lakers that he was so excited about after the trade that brought him to Los Angeles in the summer of 2012, Howard ultimately went with the team that gave him the best chance to win a championship now rather than later.
Dwight Howard vs. Tony Parker
The Rockets had gone to great lengths to clear the way for his arrival, remaking their roster and offering a chance to partner with James Harden on the team that went 45-37 last season and pushed his former Oklahoma City Thunder team to six games in a first-round playoff loss.
After being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal a year ago, Howard entered the summer unsure of what he might do because of the awful Lakers season that had unfolded.
He will be happy only if the spotlight is on him…look out James Harden!
James Harden-Houston Rockets Star
I didn’t know much about Dwight Howard and really cared less, until he decided to sign with the Rockets. Now after some research, I believe it’s a question of attitude (Howard’s). What do you think of the deal, now that he is in our back yard? Call the Benchwarmers and let us know. It should be a fun year, especially “Spurs vs. Rockets.”