We got goosebumps watching the new Stanley Cup commercials

There are few things in life as moving as Liev Schreiber narrating moving pictures of hockey players. We know this.

And yet, every year we’re unprepared for the tears and goosebumps when the NHL unveils its new Stanley Cup Playoffs commercials. The league dropped two new ones on Friday morning, but they’re not exactly playoff spots. Instead, they commemorate the 125th anniversary of the trophy itself.

And we … uh, we need a minute. Watch them while we grab some tissues.

The first one is called “Imperfectly Perfect” and highlights the loving wear and tear inflicted on the Stanley Cup over the years.

So the team announced that it was going to crack down on season ticket holders planning to sell their tickets on the secondary market. Like, say — selling your tickets on StubHub.

The Washington Post checked StubHub’s listings and found no Chargers games anywhere on the site at all. The team’s home games were also absent from several other secondary ticket sale sites.

It’s a curious problem that almost never occurs with NFL teams. If every team in the league tried to ban fans from using the business that sponsored the stadium:

Andrew Bogut (Cavaliers): It was reported that the other Mavericks castoff — technically dealt to Philadelphia in the Nerlens Noel trade and then bought out — will be headed to Cleveland as well. If we get our third straight Cavaliers vs. Warriors Finals, then Bogut switching sides is an interesting wrinkle.

Briante Weber (Hornets): To make room for Barnes, the Warriors waived the promising Weber. He quickly caught on with Charlotte on a 10-day contract.

Furthermore, the newest Ohio State verbal is ranked as the third best player at his position and the second best player in the state of Ohio just behind ’18 OT Jackson Carman — another major target for the Buckeyes. In what may come as a surprise to many, Gill is actually the first in-state player in the class to commit to Ohio State.5

Trent Williams knee injury: Washington tackle exits game vs. Giants

Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams sustained a right knee injury during the team’s Thursday Night Football game against the New York Giants and is questionable to return.

There’s not much we know about what exactly happened, but there’s this from ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C.: A tape of him dragging his unconscious partner surfaced online, and the NFL suspended him for two games. Fast forward to September, and leaked footage taken from inside the elevator showed the graphic details of Rice’s assault on Palmer, which led to the running back’s release from the Ravens and an indefinite suspension from the league.

Of all the things that a fan could do with her spare time, why devote yourself to this? This seems like the sort of thing everyone could agree on, in some ways — most people don’t like the idea of businesses ducking out on their civic obligations — but the NFL is a pretty conservative sport with a pretty conservative discourse, and that tends to have a strange effect on people where that’s concerned. How would you characterize the response you’ve gotten?

I love football. Look, my petition wasn’t created in an attempt to bring down the NFL. Almost every football fan I know wants to see the league changed for the better specifically because they love football. We want to cheer for our teams with enthusiasm, not with caveats or heavy hearts. The support from the fans has been overwhelming.

The issues that have been coming to a head with the league lately are not new to the sport or the personnel. But to be honest, they have been ignored for too long due to the sheer arrogance of the league office. They thought they were untouchable. Nobody is untouchable. And I think that’s part of what people want to see.

We want the NFL to be a team player, to have good character, to be the star we enjoy watching every week. More than anything, we want them to remember that without the fans, there is no league. Our voices should be heard and considered.5

Garoppolo doesn’t have elite arm strength, but that is often overrated at the position.

Garoppolo starts with the front-side read in his drop. That will keep the Dolphins free safety (orange circle) to the hash mark while Bennett (yellow circle) stems up the field on the seam route. By the time Garoppolo flips his hips, moves his eyes to the back side and sets his platform to throw, the safety is stuck on the wrong side of the field. Great footwork, eyes and mechanics from Garoppolo to deliver a good ball to Bennett for the score.

Garoppolo doesn’t have elite arm strength, but that is often overrated at the position. Instead, we have to focus on the production and ability to create windows on throws down the field to the inside seam or the deep out cuts. In Weeks 1 and 2, Garoppolo was 4-of-7 for 113 yards and two touchdowns on throws that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. And if you study those plays, it starts with his vision.

The veteran linebacker would cost the team $4.2 million in dead cap money, but produce a net savings of more than $5 million should the Texans move on from a longtime face of the franchise. Cushing made only 65 tackles last year and endured his first season as a pro without forcing a turnover. Though he’s only 30, his best years may be behind him — which makes him a candidate to be cut, albeit a relatively unlikely one.

The Colts don’t have a ton of expendable, high-cost players. Andrew Luck, Anthony Castonzo, Vontae Davis, and T.Y. Hilton are all important parts of the roster, and every one but Davis carries considerable dead cap money on his contract. That leaves Jones, whose release would clear up more than $5.1 million this spring.

Jones will be 31 next season and has yet to live up to the standard he set in Baltimore before signing with Indianapolis. The Colts could keep him around, but if the team needs a little breathing room in free agency, the third-most famous Jones brother could be given his walking papers.

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Richard Sherman was a two-year starter at the cornerback position after spending the two years before that as a receiver

At the 2011 NFL Combine, a cornerback from Stanford checked in at 6’3, 195 pounds. Richard Sherman was a two-year starter at the cornerback position after spending the two years before that as a receiver. He was somewhat raw, relatively new to cornerback, ran a little slow, and because of all this, fell into the fifth round before a team decided to take a chance on him. Fast forward four years, and Sherman is a three-time first-team All-Pro for the Seahawks, and earning every cent of a four-year, $57.4 million contract extension.

Rovell states the promotion was cancelled because it conflicts with the NFL’s standing sponsorship with General Motors.

If the Titans moved to LA theyd end up waiting tables for 16 years before giving up the dream and moving back home and all there high school friends wouldnt of even noticed that they moved away. This is a franchise that is still dealing with the ghost of Vince Young and CJ2YPC: When those two left town all of the sudden the liquor store and Window tenting busness bubbles collapsed Titans Club Suite season ticket purchases plummeted.

The Titans are in need of a savior, but unfortunatly they wont find one at QB this week. Just look at their options:

Instead of a new Porsche, the three fastest players will receive $100,000, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN. That’s enough to buy a Porsche on their own. Or get something else. You know, without a giant cheetah on it. Each of the three cars for this year’s promotion were worth approximately $83,000. The proposed cheetah print represents Adidas’ new Uncaged adizero 5-star cleat, which also has a cheetah on them.

Blair Walsh will have to perform well to get paid by Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks signed kicker Blair Walsh to a one-year deal last week, and the details of his contract make it clear that Walsh will have to perform well to earn his spot on the 53-man roster.

The deal can net Walsh up to $1.1 million, but it contains no guaranteed money. Walsh is set to receive $800,000 in base salary in 2017 and can earn an additional $300,000 in bonuses.

The first bonus is for $150,000 and kicks in if Walsh is on the 53-man roster for the first game of the season.

Additionally, Walsh can earn $9,375 for each game he is on the 53-man roster.

This is a low-risk deal for the Seahawks. Steven Hauschka is scheduled to be a free agent, and the Walsh signing suggests that Seattle is preparing for Hauschka to sign elsewhere. But it does not mean that the Seahawks are sold on Walsh being their kicker in 2017.

They will almost certainly bring in a rookie kicker to compete with him in the spring. And if a rookie performs well, he will be a less expensive option than Walsh.

The Seahawks don’t want to go into next season with a question mark at kicker, but Hauschka will likely want to be paid like a top-10 player at his position, and that could mean a salary of at least $3 million per year. They’ll save money and cap space by going with Walsh or a rookie instead.

Walsh made the Pro Bowl in 2012 but struggled when the Minnesota Vikings played outdoors. In the wild-card round of the 2015 playoffs, he missed a potential game-winning field goal from 27 yards out against the Seahawks and was never able to bounce back last season. The Vikings released Walsh after he struggled through nine games.

The Seahawks will see if Walsh can find his footing this spring and summer. If he does, Walsh will be well-positioned to earn his money in 2017.

The trick for Jones is doing what’s right for Romo and the franchise.

Although a beautiful 38-yard catch by Giants receiver Mario Manningham is etched in our memories, the Patriots were still in decent shape at that point. They held a 17-15 lead with 3:46 remaining. The ball was at midfield and their win probability remained 53.3 percent. The real killer was QB Eli Manning’s 14-yard pass to receiver Hakeem Nicks, about a minute-and-a-half later, on second down. That play put the Giants inside the Patriots’ 20-yard line (at the 18), well in range of a field goal.

A field goal in that situation wouldn’t have been a crusher. The Patriots would have gotten the ball back needing just a field goal of their own to win. (Stephen Gostkowski had converted all five postseason attempts and had missed only twice since Halloween.)

A decision looms on Tyrod Taylor, who won’t be back on that contract and might not be back at all if the Bills can’t work anything out. If Taylor stays, the Bills’ job is to surround him with talent. If he goes, they’re in the same unfortunate bucket as these next four teams.

The trick for Jones is doing what’s right for Romo and the franchise.

“We’ve got a lot to do. We’ll get it sorted out. That’s what it’s all about,” Jones said. “Relationships come into play here.

“When you’ve got the kind of relationship I’ve got with him, and the type of person that Tony Romo is, we’ll get this worked out.”

Jones knows the odds are against it, but he still hopes he can persuade Romo to back up Prescott.

So what’s the sales pitch?

“It has to do with what his options are,” Jones said. “If he went to another team, it has to do with what his ability is to compete here.

I’d expect the Jets to look hard at cornerbacks in both free agency and the draft

That said, they may look to add some talent in the linebacker corps, another strong area for the Cardinals (not this year so much, but the inside linebackers — Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington — made up the identity of that defense in 2013). Having a solid middle of the field there is huge for Bowles, so that could end up being priority number one.

Additionally, as with any team, they’ll look to add some pass rushing help on the outside. This could start a run on outside linebackers — Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, Bud Dupree, among others — and have effects on the later part of the round.

I’d expect the Jets to look hard at cornerbacks in both free agency and the draft.

One exciting thing for the Jets going into this year is their talent on the defensive line, and Bowles will have some fun working with Muhammed Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and a few others in implementing his scheme, but I wouldn’t rule out another investment at defensive end. Strength on strength on strength.

As for the offense, scheme and philosophical changes under new coordinator Chan Gailey could have huge reverberations on the rest of the draft because New York may feel they need to select a quarterback early in the draft. Regime changes haven’t always been easy on young quarterbacks that were selected by the previous group. This would obviously be an interesting bombshell.

At the core of Arizona’s elite defense last year was an excellent front that featured Calais Campbell, but their secondary consisted of a deep stable of playmakers. With Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Tyrann Mathieu, Deone Buchannon, Justin Bethel, and more ranging about, Bowles was able to effectively institute what he wanted. Execution is big, after all.

Randall Cunningham Jersey Ranked PA’s Top Mitchell & Ness Seller

Using 2014 sales data, Mitchell & Ness ranked the best selling jerseys by state and Cunningham’s 1992 uni was their top selling jersey in Pennsylvania.

During the 1992, Randall Cunningham was named Comeback Player of the Year after returning from a season ending injury. Before the 1992 season, the Eagles tragically lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jerome Brown in a car accident. The Eagles adopted the slogan, “Bring it home for Jerome” wearing commemorative patch on their uniforms.

Furthermore, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg’s 1984 Chicago Cubs jersey was Alabama’s top seller. Sandberg led the Cubs to the National League’s Eastern Division title in 1984, winning the NL Gold Glove Award and NL Most Valuable Player Award.

Back in November, Bears fans became so upset with the way that Jay Cutler was playing that some of those fans decided to burn their Cutler jerseys.

Not every Cutler jersey was set on fire though and some of the ones that weren’t will be serving a new purpose on Sunday now that Cutler’s on the bench.

For instance, if you have some masking tape and a red marker, you can do what the guy below did and turn your Cutler jersey into a Jimmy Clausen jersey.

As for the leak itself, if it is real, it looks like it’s one of the $100-$125 jerseys that the NFL sells. If the jersey is real, the stitched, authentic jersey will look more vibrant than the one below.

Making the playoffs and losing early for five-straight years sounds terrible until you haven’t actually made the playoffs.

Credit Mike Brown for not acting rashly in this situation and continuing to let Lewis and his staff develop quality players and coaches and continue to take the Bengals in a consistent, positive direction.

Bears Stun Chiefs, Win 18-17 Thriller in Kansas City

Jay Cutler came up huge for the Chicago Bears Sunday, tossing a touchdown pass to Matt Forte with just 18 seconds remaining to give his team an 18-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Early in the second quarter, the Chiefs had their first long possession of the game, and it ultimately resulted in a touchdown. Smith made a huge play near midfield as he rushed for a first down, and later in the drive he found De’Anthony Thomas on a short completion. Thomas found the outside edge, rounded it, and ran the ball into the end zone to make it a 14-3 game.

The Bears picked up a couple of first downs on their opening possession thanks to some good footwork and throws from Jay Cutler, but they were forced to punt the ball away near midfield. The team’s defense came up big on the Chiefs’ first drive however, forcing a three and out as Shea McClellin broke up a pass to Jamaal Charles on a third and short play.

Unfortunately for the Bears, two costly penalties ended up resulting in a Chiefs touchdown. After a penalty on the punt return and a false start penalty, Cutler was sacked in the end zone by Jaye Howard, and after he fumbled the ball away, Ramik Wilson fell on it to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead just six minutes into the game.

After the Bears got the ball back, they slowly churned their way down the field. Cutler picked up a first down on a beautiful rollout pass, and then Matt Forte did some excellent work as he caught a pass and weaved his way through traffic and across the first down line. The Bears drive ultimately did stall out deep in Chiefs territory, but Robbie Gould blasted through a field goal to make it a 7-3 game late in the first quarter.

On the field, the Bears did manage to tack on another three points, as Gould set a new team record for career points with a field goal to make it a 17-6 game.

In the fourth quarter, the Bears’ defense made a couple of key stops, and their offense eventually came through in a big way. Cutler found Cameron Meredith and Martellus Bennett for key first down conversions, and then he lofted a high pass over Marquess Wilson’s shoulder that the receiver was able to corral for a touchdown to make it 17-12 late in the game.

After the Bears forced a three and out, Cutler made a couple of incredible throws downfield for first downs, and with 18 seconds remaining, he made the play of the game. After he bobbled the snap from Hroniss Grasu, Cutler picked the ball up, found Forte in the end zone, and lofted a pass up that his running back came down with to give the Bears an 18-17 lead.

The Chiefs did get an opportunity for a field goal attempt thanks to a facemasking penalty from Reynolds, but it wasn’t enough as Santos’ 66-yard field goal attempt fell short, giving the Bears a 2-3 record on the season.

After Cutler and the Bears went three-and-out for the third consecutive time late in the half, the Chiefs notched three more points before the half. The Bears were able to keep Kansas City out of the end zone, but Cairo Santos notched a field goal to make it a 17-3 contest at halftime.

The early minutes of the third quarter didn’t see any points scored, but there were two significant injuries that occurred. First the Bears found themselves without McClellin after the linebacker was hit in the left leg by Jarvis Jenkins. He was quickly ruled out of the game for the Bears, and LaRoy Reynolds came in to replace him.

The Chiefs’ injury news was even worse however, as Charles left the game with a right knee injury. The team immediately ruled him out for the remainder of the contest, and according to reports he is being evaluated for a possible ACL injury.

UConn Beats Syracuse 82-51 for 4th Straight National Title

Breanna Stewart and UConn stand alone. Geno Auriemma, too, after another flawless season by the dominating Huskies.

Stewart said when she came to campus four years ago that she wanted to win four titles. She delivered on that promise by scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in her final college game.

“It’s unbelievable,” Stewart said. “That was our goal coming in here once we were freshman and to carry it out and win like this as seniors is unbelievable.”

The Huskies (38-0) have been nearly unbeatable since Stewart arrived. They lost four games her freshman year and only one since. The win over Syracuse was the 75th straight for UConn — all by double figures. Stewart and her fellow seniors went 24-0 in NCAA tourney games, too.

Stewart earned the most outstanding player of the Final Four all four years of her career. No other women’s player has won it more than twice and only Lew Alcindor did it three times on the men’s side.

“Not shocked by how good they are, not shocked by the things they did in the game. We were definitely prepared for it,” Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. “One of the things I told our kids is you have no reason to be scared when you’re prepared and we competed. We didn’t play scared.”

Stewart, Tuck and Jefferson left the game for good with 1:46 left. They shared an embrace together before hugging Auriemma. The trio then went down the bench hugging every member of the team.

“There’s three key ingredients that go into this kind of success, ‘One, two, three,'” Auriemma said afterward, pointing to his three seniors.

They also handled the Orange’s press with precision passing that led to easy layups. The Huskies were up 50-23 at the half and extended the lead to 33 early in third quarter before Syracuse scored 16 straight points to get within 60-43 with 2:02 left in the period that brought the Orange fans to their feet. Consecutive layups by Napheesa Collier restored the 20-plus point lead and UConn cruised from there.

“We’re going out with a bang, we’re going out with a bang, that’s it, no more. We knew what we’re supposed to do,” Stewart said.
To win her fourth championship, Stewart had to beat her hometown team. Fourth-seeded Syracuse (30-8) had the best season in school history, advancing to its first NCAA championship game. They hadn’t made it out of the first weekend of the tournament until this year.

“I’m really happy for Breanna Stewart, who came to one of my camps. She’s a great player,” Hillsman said. “When you have a player that great coming from Syracuse, that doesn’t happen that often.”

These two teams hadn’t played since the Orange left the Big East for the ACC after the 2013 season. Syracuse has now lost 24 straight against UConn, a skid that dates to 1996.

UConn won an unprecedented fourth straight national championship Tuesday night, capping another perfect season by routing Syracuse 82-51. Until now, only the UCLA men’s team had won four in a row in Division I, rolling to seven consecutive championships under John Wooden from 1967-73. With Tuesday’s victory, Auriemma passed the Wizard of Westwood with his 11th national title.

Auriemma has never lost in 11 title appearances. While the names may change, the results are always the same: UConn is still there holding that trophy in the end. This one gave the Hall of Fame coach a sixth undefeated season.

Cornelia Fondren scored 16 points to lead Syracuse.


UPDATEDSyria Frees American After 4 Yrs: State Dept.

With Lubbock Christian and Thomas More finishing off their undefeated seasons Monday night in the Division II and III title games, this marks the third year that all three champions didn’t have a loss. It also happened in 1995 and 2014 — and UConn won the D-I titles those years, too. Lubbock Christian and Thomas More players held the flag during the national anthem before the game.


Arrests Provide New Links Between Paris, Brussels Attacks

Syracuse: The Orange had been stellar in the tournament from behind the 3-point line. They came into the game after making 48 3-pointers, averaging nearly 10 a game, and were shooting 33.6 percent from behind the arc. In the title game, they were just 2 for 19.

UConn: The Huskies were also undefeated in 1995, 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2014. … Auriemma has 109 NCAA Tournament victories, only trailing Pat Summitt (112) for most in the history of the sport. … The Huskies won three straight titles from 2002-04. … Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson had a boot on her left foot after breaking the third metatarsal in the national semifinals. Gabby Williams started in her place.

What those 11 championships mean to me is how many great players I’ve had the opportunity to coach,” Auriemma said. “How many great people have come through the program. It doesn’t matter whose name is above, or whose name I’m under. As long as I have those players in my memory, I’m good.”

The three-time AP Player of the Year has said it is up to others to decide her place in women’s college basketball lore. There is no denying she is the most accomplished player ever, winning more titles than fellow UConn greats Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, who watched from the stands at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Like the other great UConn teams, this version had a killer instinct. The Huskies scored the first nine points of the game. Stewart had 10 points in the first 6 minutes as UConn built a 23-6 lead. When the Orange made a little run to cut its deficit to 25-13, Moriah Jefferson hit a 3-pointer off a nifty play just before the first-quarter buzzer. UConn’s big three of Stewart, Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, who have helped the Huskies to an NCAA record 151 wins over their four years, combined for 26 of the 28 points in the period.