Chelsea Transfer Rumours and News Tracker: Week of December 22

The opening of the winter transfer window is upon us, and the rumour mill is beginning to kick into gear.

Chelsea are among the clubs being linked with high-profile moves for some of Europe’s finest talents, while some stars of their own are catching attention.

As always, Bleacher Report will keep you up to date with the latest breaking news on the ins and outs at Stamford Bridge.

Stay tuned to keep on top of all the rumours surrounding your club.


Last update: Monday, Dec. 22.

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Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Melo”

Just in time for the holidays, Jordan Brand has released Carmelo Anthony’s limited edition version of the Air Jordan 1. The special edition sneaker features a classic color-blocking with an upper constructed of black nubuck alongside a mesh collar and metallic gold leather paneling. Furthermore, Melo adds his unique touch with his own logo on the tongue tag and completes the design with a contrasting white midsole. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Melo” is now available at Atlanta’s Wish.

The post Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Melo” appeared first on Highsnobiety.

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Seahawks-Cardinals: 10 things to know from Seattle’s 35-6 win –
Seahawks-Cardinals: 10 things to know from Seattle's 35-6 win
With the Cowboys victory earlier in the day, the Seahawks entered Sunday night's game vs. the Cardinals knowing Seattle's playoff ticket already had been punched. The Seahawks could afford to play loose and have fun, even though they were playing the …
Seahawks smother Arizona on way to control of NFC WestThe Seattle Times
Seahawks 35, Cardinals 6Reuters
Seahawks Back in NFC Driver's Seat, with Super Bowl Straight AheadBleacher Report
San Jose Mercury News
all 856 news articles »

Top 10 winter activity breaks in Europe

Winter breaks can come with a twist, whether it’s sleeping inside a snowball, staying on a reindeer farm or even building an igloo. Here are 10 spins on the usual snow-based fun

Southern French Alps
Once you’ve reached your remote spot by snowshoe, and had some expert tips on good and bad construction, you’ll realise that building your own igloo is nowhere near as easy as it looks in cartoons. But the graft will be well worth it when you’re standing at the snowy door arch of a dwelling of your own creation, having had dinner under the stars. Undiscovered Alps runs Winter Multi Activity Holidays in and around the Écrins national park, where you can pick your activities for the week based on a points system. Alongside the igloo expedition, it offers ice-climbing, ski-joering, snow-scooting, paragliding, snake sledging, a giant zip wire and more traditional snow activities, such as ski touring and snowshoeing.
Seven nights’ from £342pp, including accommodation in the Orcieres 1850 resort, or nearby ski villages, snowshoes and poles, unlimited use of swimming pool and ice skating and nine activity points (a two-day igloo expedition is five points including dinner and breakfast, snowscoot is one, as is a moonlit snowshoe walk), 0845 009 8501, Monarch flies from Manchester to Grenoble from £58 return

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NFL ticker: Did QB Tony Romo break the December curse? – Detroit Free Press

NFL ticker: Did QB Tony Romo break the December curse?
Detroit Free Press
In ending a four-year playoff drought, Tony Romo also silenced critics of his performances in December. The common joke in the past was that Romo would always choke in the big games of December. Well, not anymore. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback is …
Decked-out Cowboys fans revel in team's success, get their Christmas wishDallas Morning News
Broken down in TexasFort Wayne Journal Gazette
DeMarco Murray active vs. ColtsESPN
Big Country Homepage -The Journal News |
all 1,275 news articles »

Seahawks Passing Offense Flourishing with Emergence of TE Luke Willson

Let’s talk about Luke Willson for a second. Not the younger brother of Owen Wilson. No, this Luke Willson is a tight end for the Seattle Seahawks.

In the midst of a 35-6 blowout on Sunday Night Football he became his quarterback Russell Wilson‘s best friend. The Wilson-to-Willson connection against the Arizona Cardinals‘ pass defense resulted in a career night for the 24-year-old tight end.

His three receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns were enough to lead the team in receiving.

Prior to his special evening, Willson hadn’t really been a factor in Seattle’s offense. Looking at his game log from 2014, he’s only broken the 50-yard receiving mark once—versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11.

But on Sunday, it was a different story. Credit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for lining him up in great spots. His play-design and structure was impressive. Those calls allowed Willson to take advantage of poor coverage and gash the Cardinals’ secondary whenever he touched the football.

The one moment that stands out above anything else came on his second touchdown catch.

On that particular play, he was lined up against Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote. Not known for his coverage skills—Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has him listed as the 58th-ranked inside linebacker in that category—Willson was able to easily expose those flaws.

With 11:59 left in the fourth quarter in a 14-6 game, Willson beat Foote down the seam. That allowed Russell Wilson to connect with him on a lead pass in the end zone.

It was a beautifully construed play that put the tight end’s speed to good use.

Like so many other Seahawks, Willson himself was a late-round pick during the 2013 draft—he was taken in the fifth round. His scouting report on described him “an under the radar tight end prospect who played second fiddle to teammate Vance McDonald at Rice.”

The best part about that entire summary was the last sentence: “He offers upside but must commit to football and find a team willing to develops his skills.” What better environment is there for a young tight end to thrive in than up in Seattle? We’ve seen so many mid-to-late round guys blossom into stars.

Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell. The list goes on and on.

With Willson, it seems like the team has done a good job of bringing him along and now he’s finally starting to emerge at the perfect time.

According to PFF‘s data, the snaps he’s taken this season have varied. But as of late, they’ve started to see a level of consistency.

Of course situations and game-planning have something to do with those numbers, but prior to the Sunday Night Football contest, his 473 snaps were by far the most of any tight end on the roster this season. 

When you catch two touchdowns and go over 100 yards on three receptions, you’re going to get a lot of love for the media and fans.

Bleacher Report NFL contributor Sean Jensen was one of those supporters:

Even Al Michaels got in on the lovefest when he called Willson “the most famous Luke Willson in the country” on the broadcast.

In fact, the second-year pro’s night carried a historic vibe with it. Twitter user WGB84 dug up this great stat from Pro Football Reference:

When Seattle parted ways with Percy Harvin earlier this year, there were questions about how this pass offense would function and where would they generate game-breaking plays from.

The answer has come by way of a variety of players. Tonight, it was Willson’s turn to take up that role and literally run away with it.

When you get production like that out of one player, it allows the passing game to flourish. Russell Wilson’s numbers prove that to be true.

Completing 20 of his 31 attempts throwing the football, the Seahawks QB finished up with 339 yards and two aerial touchdowns. On the ground, he also ran the ball six times for 88 yards and completed it with a ridiculous score.

Games like these have washed all of those Harvin concerns away. The Hawks are now 11-4, and barring a loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 17, the road to Super Bowl XLIX looks like it’s going to run through CenturyLink Field.

The emergence of this tight end is simply more proof that Russell Wilson is an exceptional quarterback. Like Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead tweeted, he’s “Russ-diculous.”

Heading into their clash with St. Louis, it’s going to be fascinating to see if Bevell utilizes the pass-catching Willson more. Based on what we saw versus the Cardinals, I’m thinking that wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The Hawks could use him to take advantage of the Rams’ core of linebackers. PFF‘s grading scale has handed out dismal pass coverage grades to every linebacker in that locker room aside from James Laurinaitis, and even he hasn’t been great in that area.

Despite ESPN‘s conclusion that the Rams have only allowed 599 yards receiving and two touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2014, the threat of Marshawn Lynch and the ground game should give Willson a chance to make himself stand out.

Again, going down the PFF route, not counting the team’s Week 16 game Willson has been called on in run-blocking situations 226 times this year. His involvement there should free him up when the team decides to dial up any sort of play-action pass.

Will we see another 139-yard performance? That probably won’t be the case. But if the game plan is reminiscent of what we saw against the Cardinals, he will get his opportunities.

Keep on eye on Luke Willson. That flash of dominance we saw tonight could become yet another thing teams have to watch out for when they play the Seahawks.


Unless noted otherwise, all game scores and information come courtesy of  

Amid Distress, J. Cole Kicks Knowledge & Spreads Love


J. Cole is coming off of an incredible high.

His third studio album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, debuted number 1 on the Billboard 200 last week. It amassed over 375K album unit sales (streaming included) in its first week, making it the biggest hip-hop release of 2014 (beating out Rick Ross’ Mastermind, that tallied 179k, by nearly 200k units).

It also broke Spotify’s record for most one-week streams, previously held by One Direction at 11.6 million, by racking up 15.7 million streams. Absolutely incredible.

So how is it possible for an artist – not named JAY-Z or Beyoncè – to experience this much success, releasing unexpectedly, with no album promotion, or radio single manning the airwaves?

It’s because J. Cole, like very few in this industry (i.e. Kendrick), is a poster-boy for authenticity in a world filled with many of the opposing. He is a voice speaking on behalf of the people; providing the blueprint for makin’ it, the honest way, all while chronicling the struggles that we’re subject to on a daily basis. 

And there’s no better time than now, amid the discouragement that national headlines have lended within communities nationwide, for a respected, relatable voice to emerge and hold us down with substance-laced punchlines and a willingness to speak from the heart.

In promoting his latest project, Cole has gone on an incredible media tour delivering the type of content that is often overlooked at the moment, but appreciated decades later – like vintage ‘Pac footage.

A legendary performance on David Letterman, an FMSL (Fuck Money, Spread Love) bus tour and one amazing interview, with Angie Martinez on HOT 97, highlight his recent efforts.

To lend a hand in helping you STAY WOKE (if you’ve been living under a rock) or simply refresh your memory, we provide you with a breakdown of his awesomeness, below:


Cole performed the emotional “Be Free” track live on David Letterman 


…Then had an honest, unfiltered conversation with HOT 97′s Angie Martinez


On capitalism, selfishness…


On “Fire Squad”, the system and the future of hip-hop…

“Let the culture be pushed by something real, not capitalism”


On industry music, today…

“We’ve been pimped.. we’ve gotten into a cycle of thinking that this music that we sell to the world – or that we ingest – really represents us… We really think that this music represents who we are… If you really take a listen to what’s being played right now, it really doesn’t represent us anymore.. Or i don’t know if it ever did! Or if it just represented what could be sold, or what could be marketed.”


On Love & Hip-Hop, and selling out…

“It’s trash… it’s corrupting people. What other shows do they show you, that could counter [reality TV]?”


On politicians, Barack Obama…

“I don’t know what else he could’ve done.. You could only work within the confines of the system..”


On his success, love and values…

“We place our importance, as a world, on the wrong things.. We’ve let this system tell us that these things are important… Have your things, but don’t place value in them.. It ain’t real.. LOVE is real”


The elementary concept of spreading love, is one of the ways Cole believes we could unite as a people and live happier lives. In attempts of practicing what he’s preached, he engaged in twelve city bus tour surprising loyal fans with dope gestures.
This included visiting their homes, playing pick-up football at LSU, buying Behinana’s for select Atlanta fans and renting out an entire movie theatre to watch Chris Rock’s “Top FIVE” with Charlotte fans – all to thank them for their constant support.

FMSLSpearheaded by J. Cole, consciousness, authenticity and love is trending up…

Which is awesome, because it’s certainly needed during these emotionally trying times.

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life