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Dennis Green paved his own way


In the fall of 1983, Dennis Green invited me into his office as Northwestern head football coach. His first season had been an 0-11 dud. His second was a 3-8 jump. You would have thought entering that third one in ’83 that Dennis Green was 22-0.

A first-team All-Pro back in 2014, Bell is an integral part of the Pittsburgh offense. He’s one of the top running backs in the league when he’s playing and on his game, and any missed time is huge for Pittsburgh. Bell is 24 years old and in 35 career games has 2,777 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground, with a per-carry average of 4.3 yards. He also has 1,389 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

DeAngelo Williams served as Authentic Shaun Alexander Jersey Bell’s backup last season and looked good doing it. The first-year Steeler and 10-year NFL veteran managed 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games with the Steelers last season. With Bell set to miss more time, Williams will once again be a featured back in Pittsburgh’s offense.

Roger Goodell often comes across as a talking-point spewing robot, pushed in front of the cameras to lay down a defense of the league and whatever scandal Authentic Steve Largent Jersey is brewing at that moment. So I guess it’s no surprise that he went to Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab to learn about empathy using the same virtual reality devices we typically associate with quarterback training.

Lauren Goode from The Verge and Mark Bergen from Recode, our Vox Media sister sites, visited Stanford’s VHIL labs for the latest episode of Recode’s Too Embarrassed To Ask podcast where they spoke with Stanford professor Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the VHIL, about how VR is being used for empathy training as well as lots of other applications.

“He came here to learn about empathy,” Bailenson said. “He really wanted to understand how to think about issues of race, issues of gender. A lot of our lab’s research is about having people think about becoming someone else, and that’s why Goodell came.”

In the spring, USA Today wrote about the NFL’s plans to tap into virtual reality to soften its edges a bit. But now we get to learn more about Goodell’s trip there, including the revelation that he would not jump into a virtual pit during the plank exercise.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver visited the labs too, to learn more about the fan experience at NBA games.

The discussion about Goodell’s visit starts at the 25-minute mark, but Bailenson talks more about VR and empathy training and other sports related applications throughout the podcast. It’s worth your time.

Playoff odds and predictions for all 32 NFL teams


Last year, the two worst divisions in the NFL were clearly the AFC South and the NFC East. But those two divisions have gone in very different directions this year.

As it turns out, investigations aren’t any easier for the NFL than for law enforcement. Welcome to the murky world of domestic violence cases. Prosecutors don’t often bring charges without a cooperating witness, and most alleged victims have reasons not to press the case — whether they fear retaliation or don’t want to break up a family or have hope that the perpetrator won’t ever hurt them again.

Victims don’t want to talk to the NFL any more than they want to talk to cops. Probably less, in fact. Molly Brown didn’t, and neither did Colleen Crowley after former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was pulled over in Ohio. The NFL Cody Latimer Jersey investigated that case — when multiple people called 911 to report a reckless driver — and the NFL cleared Manziel. Crowley later alleged that he hit her hard enough to cause temporary deafness in one ear. That case is still pending.

Brady knows he’s not the fastest, but Darian Stewart Jersey joked Wednesday, “Don’t tell my mom that. She would totally disagree with that. She thinks I’m very fast. She’ll say, ‘I think you’re the fastest person on the field.’ I say, ‘Mom, you’re crazy. There’s no way.’ That’s moms.”

The topic, which generated laughter in the media workroom, came up when Brady was asked about how fresh he feels from missing the first four games of the season because of suspension. The questioner was curious if Brady feeling less wear and tear might lead to better performance from a mobility standpoint.

Brady didn’t necessarily endorse the connection, but did acknowledge, “It feels like I’m just kind of getting going in football season and it’s already the halfway point.”

Baldwin has spearheaded the Seahawks’ “Building Bridges” campaign which aims to bridge the gap between police officers and the communities they serve. He has demanded that attorney generals from all 50 states review their training policies and “eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management measures.”

Already this season, Baldwin has hosted a meeting with Seattle police officers at the Seahawks’ practice facility. And he has the backing of Washington’s state attorney general.

Baldwin has his dad’s support, too.

Growing up, Baldwin Jr. saw the fun side of being a police officer. He would go down to the station to hang out with his dad, or tag along on trips to the training facility and go through some of the digital courses they had set up.

But he didn’t know that when his dad left for work, he was often working undercover in narcotics. He was always a little worried, but Baldwin Jr. didn’t know the degree to which his dad was putting his life in danger on a daily basis.

Clay Matthews, James Harrison and Julius Peppers agree to be interviewed by NFL for PED investigation


While Manning got most of the attention in the report, a few of the most prominent defensive players in the NFL were also named. The report was mostly dismissed after the main subject of the leaks recanted his claims of doping as false. Still, the NFL is thoroughly investigating the claims for themselves before dismissing the allegations.

The continued investigation without Charles Tapper Jersey much proof to support the claims frustrated the NFLPA, which criticized the league for its attempts to “publicly pressure the players into submission.”

Albert Breer of The MMQB tweeted images of a letter from NFLPA associate general counsel Heather McPhee to the NFL’s senior vice president of labor policy Adolpho Birch, which McPhee sent on behalf of James Harrison.

Is the NFL aware of any credible evidence – other Chaz Green Jersey than the recanted remarks by one individual shown by Al-Jazeera – that indicates that there is any validity to the remarks about Mr. Harrison?

In the letter, McPhee says that Harrison has asked the league one simple question, and he has yet to receive an answer. She closes by saying that Harrison will cooperate and agree to be interviewed as a “professional decision.”

NFLPA president Eric Winston said the decision to cooperate is up to each player involved:

NFLPA president Eric Winston says each player will decide whether to submit to PED interview demand but he would fight, if it were him.

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 17, 2016
Harrison has made it very clear on social media that he isn’t happy about the way the NFL has proceeded with the investigation, and he continued to protest even after he agreed to be interviewed.

James Harrison suggests TV cameras show his interview w/ NFL officials re Al-Jazeera report live. Says: I have nothing to hide.

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 19, 2016
James Harrison says, “I never took a PED in my life. I never failed a drug test. It’s simple.”

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 19, 2016
In July, the league reportedly rejected written affidavits submitted by Harrison, Matthews and Peppers, demanding to speak with each at training camp.

Peyton Manning was interviewed by the league and cooperated throughout its investigation. The NFL determined that Manning did not use PEDs, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Ryan Fitzpatrick still believes in himself, even if most don’t


For the first time all season, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t start for the New York Jets. He was sidelined in favor of Geno Smith after a poor outing on Monday Night Football in Week 6 led to Smith getting the starting nod against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7. But Fitzpatrick got another opportunity to step in for the Jets after Smith left the game with a knee injury.

The Jets were 1-5 with Kyle Long Jersey Fitzpatrick as the starter. He leads the NFL in interceptions. Still, Fitzpatrick said he thinks he should be the starter going forward.

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 23, 2016
On Sunday, Fitzpatrick took care of the football against the Ravens, completing 9 of 14 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. He committed no turnovers.

“I try to be a professional Lamarr Houston Jersey and do my job every day,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Jets went into the Week 7 matchup against the Ravens with a 1-5 record, and New York desperately needed a win. Fitzpatrick said this game felt different for the Jets.

“This was the first time, where the offense and defense were feeding off each other … I think today was a good indication, good showing, that we’re not done yet,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick had no ill feelings toward Smith despite the fact that Fitzpatrick was demoted from the starting role this week.

Atlanta had a shot with a last-second field goal attempt to pull off the win, but Matt Bryant just barely missed the 57-yard attempt. Atlanta was able to get into field goal range despite what appeared to be another blown pass interference call on a ball intended for Julio Jones.

On the first possession of overtime, the Falcons were stopped on fourth-and-1, turning the ball over on downs. The Chargers started with good field position, and were able to get into field goal range. Josh Lambo nailed the 42-yarder, securing the win for the Chargers.
Last week, the Chargers were able to defeat the Broncos, who had looked like one of the best teams all season up until that point. Then, there was Sunday afternoon, when the Chargers were able to come back and defeat the Falcons.

The Chargers improve to 3-4 and establish a two-game winning streak, while the Falcons hold their lead in the NFC South despite falling to 4-3.

Calderon led the dinos with 16 points and 7 assists


That was the dagger. The final score was Indiana 110, New York 98. The only blight on Dunleavy’s evening was that he blew a couple shots down the stretch that would have given him a new career-high, including a three-point airball with under a minute to go. Fun fact: Two of Dunleavy’s 36-point this have come against the Knicks. Fun fact 2: ‘s coaching resume now includes two which his team gave up a Christian Yount Jersey career-high to Dunleavy Jr. and lost because of it. Final warning: I really, really think we need to send the authorities to Dunleavy’s house and have them check his basement for body snatcher pods. And fast. This kid is good. Really good. Every time I watch play, I find myself chanting M-V-P! Even when he’s sticking his boot the butt of hometown Bulls, which is exactly what he did last night by scoring 37 points and dropping 13 dimes the Hornets’ 108 win. But it was more than just the numbers; delivered the game-breakers, too. He dropped a three-pointer Cody Kessler Jersey with 2 left the fourth quarter to tie the game at 96-all. Then, on his team’s next possession, he hit Chandler with alley-oop pass to give the Hornets their first lead since half-time. Take me to bed or lose me forever,. Whoa. Sorry. ‘t know where that came from. Anyway, Bonzi wells hit a couple free throws and dunked one home to finish Chicago off. The Bulls got 31 out of wee little and 23 points and 12 rebounds from Drew Gooden’s beard. The Genuine Draft Yeah, Right Moment of the Night: Duhon didn’t make the trip to New Orleans due to flu-like symptons. Uh huh. Calm down there, T.J. Ronnie Price, whom you ‘t know as Utah’s backup point guard, led a 24 fourth quarter run that led the Jazz to a 96 win over the still Bosh-less Raptors. But his biggest contribution might have been some killer D on T.J. Ford, who apparently didn’t like it. Ford was upset after getting called for offensive foul the fourth, he charged referee F. Rush and got himself ejected. ‘Cause, see, they still ‘t allow that. Kyle Korver capped off this Night of the Living Roleplayers for the Jazz by scoring 17 off the bench.

Calderon led the dinos with 16 points and 7 assists. These teams suck, Part 1. Charlotte versus Memphis. Way to jumpstart heart. About the only thing even vaguely interesting about this one – which the Grizzlies won 98, by the way – was that arose from his sarcophagus to score a -high 17 points for the Bobcats, which I presume is all-time NBA record for a dead. Sad fact: Even during a blowout his team’s favor, Kwame Brown played only two minutes and 27 seconds. He grabbed one rebound. Meanwhile, Cardinal added to his growing consonant collection by getting yet another DNP-CD. These teams suck, Part 2. The L.A. Clippers versus Minnesota. It’s like a dark shadow has passed over eyes, and all I have for the sport of basketball is being drained from me. Need…to end this…quickly. Timberwolves 99, Clippers 90. Al…double-double…of 22 points and 14 rewhatevers. Maggette scored some points and, uh, rhymes with spaghetti. Must stop now. Random, useless statistic: Minnesota improved to 4 when scoring less than 100 points.

If we assume that a healthy Nerlens Noel goes first or second historically thin draft, he lost somewhere between $4 million and $5 million over the next three years-all because he vaporized his knee February while playing amateur basketball as a nominally unpaid intern at Kentucky. Today, Spain played Italy the semifinal of the Confederations Cup. It was a great game, likely the best of the tournament, because for the first time years, Spain looked vulnerable. Italy countered Spain’s dominance possession by countering quickly when they won the ball, attacking through wing play or….

I’m hoping it’s Tech, but that’s just me.


I’m hoping it’s Tech, but that’s just me. There are some issues there. BIGGEST WEAKNESS Widespread doom and gloom was predicted for last year’s offensive line, which consisted of two returning John-Michael Liles Jersey starters and three freshmen – yet under the direction of new OL coach Searels, they allowed only 15 sacks and paved the way for a thousand-yard rushing from true freshman Knowshon Moreno. when this year’s line had to replace two starters, including 2nd-team All-SEC center Velasco, I was like, Pffft, whatever, we’re gonna be fine. But then left tackle Trinton Sturdivant tore every ligament his knee fall practice, including several that were previously unknown to medical science, and I officially started to worry. Knowshon’s still going to get his yards – as fellow tailback, most likely – but without Sturdivant to protect Matt Stafford’s blind side, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to keep Staff’s jersey as clean as it was last year.

Stafford is actually a better scrambler Jordan Staal Jersey than he’s ever gotten credit for, but the pundits seem to have pegged 2008 as the he breaks out as a passer and starts adding zeroes onto the end of the NFL paycheck he’ll start receiving sometime the next few years, and it’s going to be hard for him to meet those expectations if he’s busy being chased all over the southeastern United States by the Kirston Pittmans and Norwoods of the world. DISEMBOWELING My immediate instinct – as is that of most fans at this point, I’m sure – is to lay into Urban Meyer, he of the third-person references and the ongoing pouting over ‘s end-zone celebration Jacksonville last year. But I’ve probably done that to death, howsabout I piss Spurrier’s for a little while.

After years of being the Great Satan to Bulldog fans everywhere, the Ol’ Ballcoach fell off our hate-dar a little bit by moving to Columbia, South, after the end of the 2004, but whatever humility he gained through a self-imposed exile to college-football Siberia was gone by Week Two of last. After beating Athens – his first such victory three tries at South, and the Gamecocks’ first win over the Dawgs since 2001 – Spurrier decided the time was right to pop off about how overrated was, given that the Dawgs had at that point lost five straight SEC East games. What, his hubris, evidently forgot was that South ‘s talent level leaves him considerably more vulnerable to karmic bitch-slaps than he ever was at, and not only did his own then-sixth-ranked Gamecocks proceed to lose to Vanderbilt at home, that loss kicked off a five-game -ending face plant that left the ‘Cocks 6 and dateless for bowl. Those Homecoming losses to Vandy sure are a bitch, ain’t they, ? Toward the end of that spirit-crushing streak you could start to Spurrier’s face that little twinge of regret over paths not taken, wondering if he might have been better off spurning the Gamecocks entirely four years ago and simply taking up golf full-time; few things would please me more than for a relentless ass-whupping this year to be the loss that sends him over the edge. The thing is, South could actually be pretty good this year, assuming that any of their QBs manage to excavate their heads from their respective rectums, but if there’s any justice that won’t happen until long after the Dawgs meet the ‘Cocks Columbia on 13. When I was working at The Red & Black during and senior years at UGA, we’d have unofficial contest the newsroom after each year’s -South game to who could come up with the most offensive headline for the game recap – trust me, Dawgs Spank Cocks was nowhere near the worst of what we came up with – and for the sake of the fresh-faced, idealistic young reporters now following our footsteps at the R&B and carrying on our proud tradition of giving ‘s journalism school a bad name, I want the Dawgs to pound the ‘Cocks unmercifully this year.

the shelters are needed and provide welcome relief for passengers


The accessible shelters were requested by our passengers and MATS responded to these requests, said County Commissioner Rillastine Wilkins. During our long Michigan winters, the shelters are needed and provide welcome relief for passengers. Some of the new accommodations, which were installed by Thanksgiving Day, have arrived on or near the campuses of Baker College and Muskegon Community College, along with the Tanglewood Park Complex and the Folkert Community Hub.

Wilkins, who is also the Russell Okung Jersey chair of the County Transportation Committee, said officials purchased the shelters using funds provided by the Federal Transportation Administration and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Each shelter and bench combination, which range from 9 to 14 feet width, cost the agency about $6, officials said. Muskegon Area Transit System manager James Koens said the new shelters join already existing shelters the region, including a Muskegon Heights City Hall site and senior-friendly housing locations such as Towers and Place.

The addition of these 10 shelters more than doubles what we’ve had before, Koens said of the new additions. People who are using the service are always appreciative. This is a big improvement for them for where they can wait. Koens said the county purchased the supplies for 40 shelters this and plans to install the 30 remaining shelters by 2015. Koens said MATS examine a number of factors to determine where the shelters be located, including the popularity of the bus stop and route and the amount of physical space available.

In addition to keeping Russell Wilson Jersey passengers dry from precipitation, Wilkins said commuters can also expect the agency to resume its increased winter snow removal efforts. Wilkins said MATS and county officials received positive feedback about their snow removal efforts from passengers last year and that it would continue the foreseeable future. She also urged motorists to drive with caution while passing the county buses this winter and asked residents to help remove snow for the benefit of pedestrians, especially those who rely on area public transportation services.

The bus shelter additions are among many improvements the agency has planned the near future. During its Nov. 26 full board meeting, county commissioners approved architecture and construction services for the remodeling and expansion of the long-awaited downtown transit center located at 1st Street and Morris Avenue. MATS and county officials also plan to offer rural service for passengers traveling to and from the eastern and northern neighborhoods of Muskegon County.

What we learned: Terry Francona decides to use his best relievers


And we’re off! Playoff baseball the way it’s meant to be played: Win a series, not one game. The Blue Jays roughed up the Rangers 10-1, while the Indians beat the Red Sox 5-4 in a tense thriller which featured some bullpen strategy us nerds loved.

1. Terry Francona manages Gaylord Perry Jersey a playoff game like it’s a playoff game. Back in the day, men were men and relief pitchers weren’t called “closers” — they were called “firemen” — and their managers sometimes used the best ones before the ninth inning. Rollie Fingers, for example, appeared in 16 of the 19 World Series games the A’s played from 1972 to 1974, and he pitched 33 1/3 innings. Fingers actually led the Oakland staff with 13 2/3 innings in 1973.

Home-field advantage isn’t always regarded as a huge deal in baseball, and it can quickly shift depending on the quality of the Hunter Pence Jersey pitching. Consider the Rangers, who posted an AL best 95-67 record during the regular season and got flogged 10-1 thanks to a forgettable outing by starter Cole Hamels against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

When the inning ended, Toronto led by five runs, on its way to a 10-1 win.

“When you have a lot of energy and adrenaline it can be something that causes a burden,” Hamels said. “You have to take a step back and calm yourself down.”

He never did.

The Rangers have to hope Darvish paid close attention to Hamels’ performance, so he can avoid the same issues.

Understand, the Rangers signed Darvish to pitch in these types of games. They paid a $51.7 million posting fee in January 2012 for the right to negotiate a six-year, $60 million deal with Darvish.

The 30-year-old will be a free agent at the end of next season, and he probably is going to want a contract that pays him between $25 million and $30 million a season, which is what baseball’s best starting pitchers command.

If Darvish dominates during the postseason, he’s likely to get it.

The Rangers, who finished the season with the American League’s best record, need Darvish to pitch well Friday. Going down 2-0 in this series would be a significant blow to the psyche of a club that entered the postseason believing Hamels and Darvish could lead them to a championship.