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AP
Steve Smith, left, and Michael Irvin, right, perform during a program before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

HONORS PROGRAM

Steve Smith is retired from football, but that doesn’t mean he’s off his game.

During an NFL Network segment on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, Michael Irvin said Flacco hadn’t had a trustworthy receiver since Anquan Boldin left in 2012. But Smith, a former Ute, played for the Ravens in 2014-16.

“I understand you have the rings,” Smith told Irvin, “but I passed you statistically years ago. There ain’t no route I could run that you hoped you could run. I got a doctorate in route running, you got an associate’s degree."

Let’s just say in trash talking, Smith graduated magna cum laude.

A STERN REBUKE

Jacob Wiegand
Jazz fans cheer near Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) during the Utah Jazz's 100-87 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Salt Lake City.

Jazz fans are the NBA’s best (worst?), according to former commissioner David Stern.

Asked by Big East Shootaround to name the league’s “best” fans, Stern said, “We’ve got some crazy fan bases all over, but they’re about as intense as it comes in Utah.”

Thanks for noticing.

But there’s another thing about Jazz fans the ex-commish should know: People still think the draft lottery is rigged and he should have fired Dick Bavetta.

EARLY WAKE-UP

Scott G Winterton
Passing Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Aaron Roderick talks with media after a walkthrough in their indoor practice facility in Provo on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.

BYU quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick said before the Cougars’ game with Wisconsin, “The margin between a ranked team and us isn’t that much … every week at this level, you have to be ready and you always have a chance.”

Brownie points to Roderick for saying that before the Wisconsin game, not after.

COMING SOON

AP
Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward speaks to members of the media, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at the team's NBA basketball practice facility in Boston. Hayward is working his way back from a broken leg. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Gordon Hayward expects to be ready for the Celtics’ season opener.

He told reporters, “With each step I get some joy. Now we’re at the final step.”

For Jazz fans, the final step is when Donovan Mitchell dunks on his noggin at Vivint Arena.

CARRY ON

Bozeman, Montana, was the site of the first-ever Rocky Mountain Wife Carrying Championship.

In real life, isn’t it usually the other way around?

DOGGIE DEALINGS

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando shared video of himself and his dog heading a soccer ball back and forth. The exchanges reached seven before Rimando blinked.

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This may be nothing but a cute dog video. On the other hand, it might mean Rimando’s dog thinks they’ll have a (pun alert!) ruff time making the playoffs.

SCREEN CRASH

The Jumbotron at George Washington University’s basketball arena crashed to the court, last week.

Officials were quick to claim it was unrelated to last year’s 15-18 basketball team.

EXIT STRATEGY

AP
Texas defensive lineman Charles Omenihu (90) celebrates a stop against USC during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 37-14. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

People are saying it was wrong for the Buffalo Bills’ Vontae Davis to retire at halftime of Sunday’s game with the Chargers.

That’s not so bad. USC retired at halftime of its game against Texas, right?