Stewart says a lot without saying much

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Ask Tony Stewart a question, and he begins roughly half his answers with some variation of “I’ll be honest.”

It’s more than just a verbal tic. It’s also an acknowledgement that he always wears his heart on his sleeve.

Stewart did just that when pressed about the worst slump of his career for 27 minutes Tuesday morning on the semi-weekly NASCAR media teleconference.

He seemed downtrodden at best discussing the results of his No. 14 Chevrolet, which has one top 10 in 18 starts and is ranked an eye-popping 28th in the standings.

“It’s been a disappointing year,” Stewart said. “We’re desperately trying to figure out what it’s going to take to move the needle.”

The mediocre results have meant precious few media opportunities this year for Stewart, whose 48 wins and 298 top 10s in 572 starts have made him a frequent face on media center dais around the circuit. Before Tuesday, the last time he spent significant time facing a plethora of reporters was in the preseason, and his mood was far different.

After a turbulent 18 months that included missing 15 races in 2013 with a broken right leg from a sprint car crash and skipping three races last year while grieving after his sprint car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr., Stewart was embracing his buoyant and impish side heading into the 2015 season.

An encouraging and refreshing offseason had cleared the mental and physical cobwebs, and Stewart strutted through the preseason Media Tour in late January and Speedweeks in February with the vigor of anticipating a return to championship form.

Tuesday’s sullen tone was markedly different, and Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Utter asked Stewart if the wind had been knocked from his sails by the struggles early this season.

“Yeah, it did,” Stewart said. “I wish I could say, ‘No, it didn’t.’  But it did.  I mean, the whole year’s been frustrating. It just seems like everywhere we go, we seem to fight the same balance. That’s the part that’s been frustrating for the whole 14 car.

“We’re trying a ton of things and just can’t seem to find anything that moves the needle and seems to make significant change. Just seems like the further we go into the year, the more frustrating that gets, too.”

The weariness was plainly obvious Tuesday.

His answers were mostly clipped and rote as he eschewed the big-picture eloquence he can provide with unique authority. “Smoke” always will be known as the guy who slapped away a tape recorder and kicked at a photographer, but he is a bright and thoughtful soul who is the best interview in NASCAR when he wants to play ball.

In the same media teleconference a year ago, Stewart waxed poetic for nearly an hour about the plight of youth seeking rides in racing, the sanctity of the Brickyard and the safety initiatives he had spurred in sprint cars.

That expansive rumination was missing Tuesday — a telling indicator of where things stand for a superstar who stunningly has seemed lost on the track much of the year despite a reputation as the most versatile driver of his generation.

During a brilliant and beguiling career filled with amazement, statesmanship and petulance, Stewart has been called many things, but one label never has applied: insincere

He has a wicked sardonic streak — his deadpan interview lauding wrecks at Talladega Superspeedway three years ago was comedic performance art that rivaled Andy Kaufman — but he always expresses how he feels, even when he isn’t painfully blunt. Sometimes, his tone and choice of words speak volumes instead.

And that brings us to what might have been the most important question he faced Tuesday.

Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY Sports asked whether, given Jeff Gordon’s impending retirement at 44 and Mark Martin’s decision to race into his mid-50s, Stewart had considered how much longer he would race.

The subtext was clear: Does being mired in your third consecutive nightmarish season have you pondering the end of your career?

The answer took 18 words.

“Right now, I’m just trying to figure out how to get my car working better,” Stewart said, “to be honest.”

He always is.

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2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule: Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for today’s games

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The 2023 NFL Playoffs have been filled with nothing short of excitement! The action continues this week with the Championship Round on Sunday, January 29. First, at 3:00 PM ET Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will head to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for the full AFC, NFC Championship Round schedule as well as additional information on how to watch each game.

Click here for the full 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Conference Championship Round Schedule:

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

RELATED: Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts met in a 2019 college football classic


2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)


What 4 teams are in the NFL playoffs?

The San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2023 MLB on Peacock Schedule: How to watch, live stream Sunday morning baseball games online

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The MLB is coming back to NBC and Peacock for a second straight season of baseball excitement that you won’t want to miss. This year’s exclusive Sunday Morning MLB package will feature a total of 19 live games beginning on Sunday, April 23 as the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies host the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Live coverage begins at at 12:05 PM ET.

Additionally, each of NBC and Peacock’s 19 games will be featured as the exclusive home of live MLB action until 1:35 PM ET that day. See below for the full 2023 MLB on Peacock schedule as well as additional information on how to sign up for exclusive Peacock content.

2023 MLB on Peacock Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Matchup
April 23 12:05 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies
April 30 12:05 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins
May 7 11:35 a.m. Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves*
May 14 11:35 a.m. Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Guardians
May 21 11:35 a.m. New York Yankees at Cincinnati Reds
May 28 11:35 a.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at Tampa Bay Rays
June 4 11:35 a.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
June 11 11:35 a.m. Arizona Diamondbacks at Detroit Tigers
June 18 1:05 p.m. Baltimore Orioles at Chicago Cubs
July 2 12:05 p.m. Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles
July 9 12:05 p.m. Texas Rangers at Washington Nationals
July 16 12:05 p.m. San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates
July 23 12:05 p.m. San Diego Padres at Detroit Tigers
July 30 12:05 p.m. Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays
August 6 12:05 p.m. Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians
August 13 12:05 p.m. Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
August 20 1:05 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
August 27 12:05 p.m. Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets
September 3 1:05 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers

Be sure to check out NBC’s Circling the Bases Fantasy Baseball podcast for the latest baseball analysis, injurie news, and storylines surrounding the 2023 MLB season!


How to watch the MLB on Peacock:                           

Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch all 19 MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

If you have a Peacock account but don’t have a Premium plan, Sign In and select Account in the upper right corner. Under Plans & Payment, you should see an option to Upgrade to Premium.

What devices can I watch Peacock on?

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices;  Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices. To learn more about Peacock and how to sign up, visit PeacockTV.com.

What else can I watch on Peacock?

Here’s what else you get with Peacock:

  • New movies straight from theaters—plus hundreds of movies from major Hollywood studios such as Universal, DreamWorks Animation, and Focus Features.
  • Thousands of hours of hit TV shows, including highly anticipated Peacock Originals and current hits from NBC & Bravo.
  • Peacock Channels playing your favorite movies, shows, and clips 24/7. Scroll less and stream more with NBC Sports on Peacock, SNL Vault, Fallon Tonight, TODAY All Day, and True Crime.
  • More LIVE sports than any other streamer, including Sunday Night Football and Premier League.
  • Kids’ movies and shows, including Where’s Waldo? and Curious George.
  • Hit Spanish-language TV shows and news from Telemundo.

Pegasus races planned for Gulfstream and Santa Anita in 2024

Horse racing on Opening day of the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita Park.
Getty Images
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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – After seven Pegasus World Cup events, it’s evidently time for change.

1/ST Racing, which has hosted the entirety of the Pegasus series to this point at Gulfstream Park, is planning for two Pegasus days in 2024 – one at Gulfstream and the other at Santa Anita. Details aren’t finalized and it’s unclear how it would fit in the racing calendar, but 1/ST is planning for both dirt and turf Pegasus races as part of the Santa Anita program.

Gulfstream played host to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on the dirt Saturday, along with the $1 million Pegasus Turf and the $500,000 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf.

“I’d really love to see that we bring it to the West Coast,” 1/ST President and CEO Belinda Stronach said. “That will probably happen in 2024. What we did this year for 2023 was said, `OK, we have a number of great race days, let’s coordinate those better and call it the 1/ST Racing Tour and recognize great achievements within our own footprint.”

Saturday marked the first stop on that new 1/ST Racing Tour. Along with some of the biggest race days at 1/ST tracks – like Florida Derby day at Gulfstream on April 1, Santa Anita Derby day on April 8 and the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 20 – there are a pair of days where the tour will be running simultaneously.

This coming Saturday, Gulfstream will play host to the Holy Bull while Santa Anita has the Robert B. Lewis – both of them Kentucky Derby prep races.

And on March 4, Gulfstream has the Fountain of Youth, another major Derby prep, while San Anita has the Big Cap. Plans call for coordinated post times at those two tracks on those days to provide the best racing action every 20 minutes, as well as some unique betting options.

“We can never rest on our laurels,” Stronach said. “We have to keep moving forward. We have a great team that’s really committed.”

The main Pegasus race is one of the biggest-paying races in North America. Art Collector claimed about $1.8 million from a $3 million purse with his win on Saturday. In 2022, only the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf featured bigger prizes among U.S. races, and the $3 million Pegasus purse is equal to the one offered last year at the Kentucky Derby.

Regardless of what happens with the Santa Anita plan for future Pegasus events, Stronach insisted Gulfstream will continue having Pegasus days. There has even been talk about Gulfstream playing host to Breeders’ Cup races again, something that hasn’t happened since 1999.

“This is staying here in Miami,” Stronach said. “Pegasus has a home here in Miami. We can’t move Pegasus from Miami. We have great partners here and it’s more than just a day now. We have deep roots here in Miami.”