Fan Catches Possum on a Power Trip at the Big Football Game and It Was Clearly a Good Luck Charm

As the Cleveland Browns stormed to their first win since 2016, one fan’s act of courage seemed to usher in a new era for the city’s long-suffering football team.

In the midst of the Browns’ 21–17 victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night, a possum was spotted wandering the stands at FirstEnergy Stadium. Security was quickly alerted to the situation and attempted to coral the wild marsupial. But it wasn’t until one daring Cleveland fan grabbed the animal by its tail and gently placed it in a box that the incident was resolved.

The Browns went on to snap their 635-day losing streak just a few hours later, a turn of events that instantly elevated the possum to good luck charm status. By Friday morning, the newly-nicknamed “Rally Possum” already had its own t-shirt.

And of course, Twitter was rife with on-point possum jokes, including some from an account posing as the possum itself.

Sports – TIME

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‘Monday Night Football’: How to Watch the Seahawks vs. Bears Game Online for Free Tonight

Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season features the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football.”

Like all “Monday Night Football” matchups, the Seahawks-Bears game is being broadcast on TV by ESPN. But it is possible to watch tonight even if you don’t have cable TV. The 2018 season brought with it new options for live streaming NFL games for free on smartphones. Streaming TV services such as Hulu Live and Sling TV have packages that include ESPN as well.

Here are all the game details and all the options to watch “Monday Night Football” for free.

What Time Does “Monday Night Football” Start?

Kickoff for the “Monday Night Football” Seahawks-Bears game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET, on ESPN. The Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks both lost their first games of the season, and both will be looking to snag their first victories of 2018.

The game is being played at Soldier Field in Chicago, and the Bears are 3.5-point favorites to win. Among the other Seahawks-Bears betting odds, the over-under is set at about 43 points by most sports books.

How to Live Stream the Seahawks-Bears Game for Free

The 2018 season marks the first time that football fans can live stream NFL games for free on their phones, without any special subscription package, via the Yahoo Sports app or the NFL App

You can’t live stream every NFL game, however. Once you have the newest version of one of the apps downloaded, you can watch NFL games aired by on your local broadcast networks, as well as nationally broadcast games, including NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” and Fox and the NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football.” These app live streams are available to watch on smartphones, and cannot be viewed on TV.

As we’ve reported before, some fans have complained that the new apps’ live streaming capabilities have been glitchy thus far in the season. Also, because you’re generally restricted to watching on a tiny smartphone screen, watching the game online via the Yahoo Sports or NFL App is hardly the optimal viewing experience.

If you don’t have cable and find it too frustrated to stream “Monday Night Football” on a phone, consider subscribing to a streaming TV service (explained below).

How to Watch “Monday Night Football” Online on TV — for Free

The streaming TV services Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all have packages that include ESPN. They also all offer free trial periods of five to seven days for new subscribers. So it’s possible to use them to watch “Monday Night Football” tonight for free on any device of your choosing — including a connected TV.

Just be sure to cancel the service before the free trial period expires, assuming you do not want to become a paid subscriber. If you don’t cancel in time, you’ll be charged the full monthly rate — which starts at around $ 25 to $ 45 depending on the provider and package you choose.

Note that not all streaming TV services come with ESPN. For example, the sports-focused streaming service Fubo TV comes with access to many NFL broadcasts including local Sunday games on Fox and CBS, as well as “Sunday Night Football” and “Thursday Night Football,” but its packages do not come with ESPN. In other words, you can’t use Fubo TV to watch “Monday Night Football.”

We’ve included affiliate links into this article. Click here to learn what those are.

Sports – TIME

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This Football Player Retired at Halftime Because He Felt He ‘Shouldn’t Be Out There Anymore.’ People Are in Disbelief

Sunday’s biggest shock in sports came when Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis retired abruptly at halftime.

It wasn’t how the 10-year NFL veteran imagined his departure, but in a post-game statement, he said the physical toll was what dawned on the field.

“I shouldn’t be out there anymore,” the 30-year-old Davis said, noting the toll the game had taken on his body. “The season is long, and it’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late … This was an overwhelming decision, but I’m at peace with myself and my family.”

Davis did not cite a specific injury, but research has suggested a link between playing football and traumatic brain injuries.

Davis signed onto the struggling Bills team earlier in the year, and his mid-game departure took his coach and teammates by shock.

“[Davis] pulled himself out of the game,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “He communicated to us that he was done.”

“Never have seen it ever,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Pop Warner, high school, college, pros. Never heard of it. Never seen it. And it’s just completely disrespectful to his teammates.”

Fans watching online were as stunned by Davis’ timing as ever, and could not resist the joke opportunities.

The Los Angeles Chargers ultimately beat the Buffalo Bills 31-20, laying out a challenging road ahead for the team.

Sports – TIME

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‘Football vision’ as important as ball skills, experts reveal

Learning to read the game is as important to young footballers as kicking a ball. A new study, which highlighted Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard as stars who incorporated the technique into their gameplay, calls on coaches to spend more time training young players to scan the field and less on ball skills.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Homecoming queen makes game-winning kick during football game

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How to Live Stream ‘Monday Night Football’ Games for Free Throughout the 2018 NFL Season

“Monday Night Football” games are broadcast on ESPN. That’s a pay TV channel, of course. But it’s still possible for nearly all fans to watch “Monday Night Football” for free tonight and every Monday during the 2018 NFL season, even they don’t have cable or another TV or live streaming service that includes ESPN.

As we reported in a previous story covering how to live stream NFL games free, the 2018 season marks the first time that fans can stream their locally broadcast games, as well as nationally televised matchups — including “Sunday Night Football” on NBC and “Monday Night Football” on ESPN — by using the NFL App:

Fans can watch NFL games online for free via the NFL App. After you’ve downloaded the app to a mobile device or connected TV, you’ll be able to live stream many NFL games — specifically, your local team’s games, as well as nationally broadcast prime time games like NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” — throughout the entire season. Downloading the NFL App is free, and there is no charge for using it to stream games. You can even use it for free live streaming of the 2018 season’s “Monday Night Football” games, which are broadcast by the pay TV channel ESPN.

This season, you can also live stream the same selection of NFL games on mobile devices with the Yahoo Sports app.

So all you have to do to live stream “Monday Night Football” for free is download either the NFL App or the Yahoo Sports app and tune in from your preferred device.

Tonight, during the 2018 season’s first “Monday Night Football” broadcast, there are two games: The New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions, followed by Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders.

What Time Does “Monday Night Football” Start?

For the 2018 NFL season’s first “Monday Night Football” game — Jets vs. Lions — kickoff time is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Ford Field in Detroit.

Tonight’s “Monday Night Football” features a rare double header. For the second game — Rams vs. Raiders — kickoff is scheduled for 10:20 p.m. ET at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.

Again, to watch “Monday Night Football” online for free, you can use either the NFL App or Yahoo sports app as explained above.

How to Live Stream ESPN for Free

If you’d like to watch ESPN online for free in general for a few days, many live streaming TV services include the sports-focus pay channel in their packages. They all have free trial periods of about a week available to new subscribers.

You can watch “Monday Night Football” online for free — and all ESPN content, for that matter — with streaming TV services such Fubo TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

The monthly rate for a basic package that includes ESPN with these services ranges from roughly $ 25 to $ 40. You’ll be charged if you don’t cancel the service by the time the free trial period ends. So remember to cancel if you don’t want to become a paying subscriber.

Sports – TIME

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Chip & Joanna Gaines Introduced Their Youngest Son to Football

Crew Gaines is already a fan of football, well, sort of. On Sept. 1, Joanna and Chip Gaines shared Instagram photos with their youngest child attending his first football game at Baylor University.

Based on the pictures the happy parents shared, Crew didn’t seem to watch too much of the actual game, because he was busy sleeping. Well, he is only three months old, so what else do you expect?

“First game day for baby Crew,” Joanna captioned her image. As for Chip, he simply wrote, “#gameday.”

Even though Crew seemed to sleep through most of the action, thank goodness there are photos of him at the game. The pictures are adorable and Chip and Joanna look beyond thrilled to have brought their baby boy along with them. 

More: Joanna Gaines Gives First Peek Into Baby Crew’s Nursery, & It’s So Her

Just look at this photo:

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There is nothing so sweet like a sleeping baby. 

More: You’ll Want Everything From Joanna Gaines’ Limited-Edition Baby Collection

On June 23, Chip announced the birth of his fifth child on Twitter. The HGTV star tweeted, “And then there were 5. The Gaines crew is now 1 stronger! 10 beautiful toes and 10 beautiful fingers all accounted for, and big momma is doing great! #blessedBeyondBelief.”

The former Fixer Upper hosts are also proud parents of Drake, 13, Duke, 10, Ella, 11, and Emmie Kay, 8. The Gaines children seem to adore their baby brother just like their parents, as proven in many photos shared by Joanna and Chip.

On Jan. 3, the couple announced they were expecting another child. In an Instagram of Chip donning a fake baby bump (would fans expect anything less?) next to Joanna with her actual baby bump, he wrote, “Gaines party of 7.. (If you’re still confused.. WE ARE PREGNANT).”

More: Joanna Gaines Celebrates Her 40th Birthday With a Little Sweetness

On June 28, People reported Joanna opened up about becoming a mom again to KMOV St. Louis before giving birth to Crew. She said, “When this baby comes, there is going to be quite the gap. I feel like those years when the kids were all young, it was so foggy … at one point I had four kids [age] 4 and under, and I just remember it was like tag-team wrestling. Chip and I were trying to figure out how to do this with four kids so young.”

She continued, “But now I look at this as another opportunity to really embrace this moment with a newborn. My kids are so excited about it … but [I want] to slow it down a bit.”

It sure sounds like Chip and Joanna are embracing every moment with Crew by ensuring he already experiences new things, like football.

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Matt Canada has been everywhere in college football, but Maryland is uncharted territory

A peripatetic career led him to Maryland as offensive coordinator. He’ll open the season as interim head coach in the midst of tragedy and controversy. But former colleagues say his adaptability is his strength.
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ESPN Says It Won’t Air National Anthem Before Monday Night Football Games

Avoiding potential controversy over showing players kneeling in protest of racial inequality, ESPN won’t broadcast the national anthem before any Monday Night Football games this year.

“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think that will change this year,” ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said Friday, according to news site Axios. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem.”

The national anthem had long been a staple of sports games until two years ago, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump capitalized on the ensuing firestorm and has railed against the protests ever since.

The furor has put broadcasters a difficult spot. If they broadcast protests during the anthem, they risk adding to the controversy. If they don’t show the anthem, they face criticism from people who support the kneeling players.

In October, Fox Sports said it would no longer air coverage of the national anthem before NFL games after members of the New Orleans Saints team kneeled before the music began. In January, NBC decided to air the anthem and any protests that accompanied it, although no players kneeled when the anthem was played.

ESPN broadcast the anthem during certain games last year, when it was played alongside events the network deemed newsworthy, such as moments of silence to honor tragedies. Pitaro said that ESPN does not see itself as a political organization.

“It’s not our job to cover politics, purely, but we’ll cover the intersection of sports and politics,” Pitaro said. “When something happens, when the Eagles are disinvited from White House, or when someone takes a knee, if we think newsworthy we’re going to cover it.”

Fortune

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A football player died, and all of the University of Maryland is diminished

The school’s handling of the tragedy, from the time 19-year-old Jordan McNair suffered heatstroke at a practice in May to Tuesday’s news conference by university leaders to apologize for his death, has diminished the entire institution in College Park.
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Derrius Guice the Latest Victim of the Preseason (Read: Meaningless) Football Injury

Derrius Guice, a projected started for Washington and one of the league’s brightest young talents, is forced to put everything on hold for a year after suffering a torn ACL in Washington’s first preseason game. Is it time to rethink the preseason buildup process?

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Did Urban Meyer Know? Ohio State Football Coach on Leave Pending Investigation

Urban Meyer’s job appears to be in jeopardy.

Ohio State placed Meyer, one of the most successful coaches in college football history, on paid administrative leave Wednesday while it investigates claims that his wife knew about allegations of domestic violence against an assistant coach years before the staff member was fired last week.

Courtney Smith gave an interview to Stadium and provided text messages to former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy between her and Shelley Meyer in 2015 and with the wives of other Buckeyes coaches. Courtney Smith also provided threatening texts she said came from her ex-husband, former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith.

“Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban,” Courtney Smith told Stadium. “I said: ‘That’s fine, you should tell Urban.’”

Zach Smith was fired last week after an Ohio court granted a domestic violence protective order to Courtney Smith.

Meyer is heading into his seventh season at Ohio State, where he is 73-8 with a national title in 2014 and two Big Ten Conference championships. Shelley Meyer is a registered nurse and is employed as an instructor at Ohio State. Both Meyer and his wife could be in violation of Ohio State’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy on reporting allegations of domestic violence against university employees.

Violation of university’s policy could result in Meyer being fired with cause by the university, according to provisions placed in his contract when it was extended by two years in April. The new deal runs through 2022 and increases Meyer’s salary to $ 7.6 million in 2018, with annual six percent raises for the bulk of his compensation.

Hours after Courtney Smith’s interview was posted online Wednesday, Ohio State announced in a short news release it was conducting an investigation into the allegations and Meyer was being placed on leave.

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day will serve as acting head coach for the Buckeyes, expected to be one of the top teams in the nation again this season. Ohio State’s first preseason practice is scheduled for Friday. The season starts Sept. 1 with a game against Oregon State in Columbus, Ohio.

Meyer said in a statement he and athletic director Gene Smith agreed that his being on leave was best for the investigation.

“This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter.” Meyer said.

Zach Smith was charged in May with misdemeanor criminal trespass. At the time of the charge, Zach Smith’s attorney said Courtney Smith had accused him of driving to her apartment after she told him they would meet elsewhere so he could drop off their son. Zach Smith pleaded not guilty last month. A hearing has been scheduled for Friday.

Zach Smith was also accused of aggravated battery on his then-pregnant wife in 2009 while he was a graduate assistant on Meyer’s staff at Florida. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence. Urban Meyer brought Smith, the grandson of late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, to Ohio State in 2012. Meyer worked for Bruce and considers him a mentor.

Two police reports filed in 2015 in Ohio’s Powell County, after the Smiths separated in June of that year, accused Zach Smith of abuse. Charges were never filed.

At Big Ten media days, Meyer said he knew of the incident in 2009 and that he and Shelley Meyer addressed it with the Smiths. He was also asked about the 2015 incident alleged by Courtney Smith.

“I can’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there,” he replied. “I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I’ve never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night. No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it.”

The Smiths divorced in 2016.

Meyer is on the short list of most accomplished coaches in college football history, with three national championships and an .851 winning percentage in 16 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and now Ohio State, the team he grew up rooting for in Northeast Ohio.

Meyer won national championships with Florida in 2006 and ’08, but his teams also had more than two dozen players get into trouble with the law. He resigned twice at Florida, citing health reasons. First in 2009 season after the Gators lost the Southeastern Conference championship game while trying to repeat as national champs. He changed his mind soon after and coached another season. The Gators went 8-5 and this time he stepped down for good.

Meyer was out of coaching for a season, but was hired by Ohio State in November 2011 to replace Jim Tressel, who was fired before that season for lying to the NCAA and university of about rules violation committed by some of his players.

Since returning to coaching, Meyer’s program has been one of the most dominant in college football and his players and coaches have mostly stayed out of major trouble.

Meyer did face some criticism in 2013 for allowing running back Carlos Hyde to return to the team after he was charged with striking a woman in a bar. The case was dropped by police when the woman chose not to pursue charges, but Hyde was suspended three games by Ohio State.

Sports – TIME

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‘Fifty Years to Life’: Jerry Glanville Just Can’t Quit Football

The legendary Man in Black has coached at stops ranging from the NFL’s Oilers and Falcons to the University of the Incarnate Word. The mastermind of the stingiest defense in NFL history, and one of the game’s most colorful and iconoclastic coaches, is still at it at age 76, obsessing over schemes and formations with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. ‘My goal,’ he says, ‘would be to drop dead on a practice field, running a blitz’

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Why Do Americans Call It Soccer Instead of Football? Blame England

In the World Cup, the U.S. and England aren’t traditionally rivals. But, off the field, a different type of rivalry has reigned for more than a century: what to call the world’s most popular sport.

To Americans, it’s soccer. To most of the rest of the world, (including England, the birthplace of the modern sport,) it’s football. But what most people don’t know is that the word “soccer” is not in fact an American invention. On the contrary, it was an import from England, and one that was commonly used there until relatively recently.

At least, that’s the argument made by Stefan Szymanski, a professor of sports economics at the University of Michigan. In a paper from 2014, Szymanski writes that “soccer” originated in late 19th century England, as a way of differentiating between variants of the game which at that time did not have a commonly agreed-upon set of rules.

In the early 1800s in England, football and rugby existed as different variations of the same game. But in 1863, the Football Association was formed to codify the rules of football so that aristocratic boys from different schools could play against one another. In 1871, the Rugby Football Union followed suit. The two sports officially became known as Rugby Football and Association Football. (Those new rules were slow to spread to America, where another version of the game was evolving — one that the rest of the world now knows as “American football,” and is played in the NFL.)

In England, Szymanski writes, aristocratic boys came up with the shortened terms “rugger” and “soccer” to differentiate between Rugby Football and Association Football. To support this argument, he cites a letter to The New York Times, published in 1905: “It was a fad at Oxford and Cambridge to use “er” at the end of many words, such as foot-er, sport-er, and as Association did not take an “er” easily, it was, and is, sometimes spoken of as Soccer.”

And the term, Szymanski says, was widely recognized in England through the first half of the twentieth century, according to data he crunched from books and newspapers. It became even more prevalent after the World War II — driven, he suggests, by the number of American soldiers in the country and the infatuation with American culture that came after the war.

But by the 1980s, Brits started to turn against the word. “The penetration of the game into American culture,” Szymanski writes, “has led to backlash against the use of the word in Britain, where it was once considered an innocuous alternative to the word ‘football.’”

With England now into the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990, fans are celebrating their nation’s success in the sport born in their country but long mastered by foreigners. On Twitter, that pride is manifesting itself, partially, in the age-old (since the 1980s at least) tradition of bashing the word soccer.

“It’s football not soccer,” one person tweeted, on the night of England’s successful victory over Sweden which propelled the team to the semi-finals. “The English created the game = football.”

The World Cup draws to a close this weekend, but the argument over the name of the sport it celebrates certainly won’t.

Sports – TIME

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Tom Brady on How Football Can Be a Spiritual Experience | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Tom Brady on Life After Football: “I Think About It More Now” | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Playing Youth Tackle Football Is Linked to Earlier Symptoms of Brain Disease

Playing football professionally has been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. But what happens to children who start the sport early, before they even turn 12?

That’s the question neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, whose groundbreaking work on CTE has uncovered the neurological risks of playing football, set out to answer in a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. In her team’s analysis of the brains of 211 deceased football players who had been diagnosed with CTE, along with detailed behavioral questionnaires filled out by their relatives and interviews with family members, McKee expected to find more severe signs of the condition in people who started the game young. These would be visible in more pronounced deposits of tau protein, which kills brain cells, in the brains of men who sustained hundreds — if not thousands — of extra head impacts as children.

To McKee’s great surprise, however, early exposure to tackle football was not associated with more severe signs of CTE, or other brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Instead, she found something perhaps even more disturbing. Football players who played tackle football as children suffered the devastating symptoms of brain disease, like cognitive impairment and mood swings, earlier in their lives.

By analyzing the 211 brains, McKee and her team found that those who played tackle football before age 12 — 84 players in total — had an earlier onset of cognitive, behavior and mood symptoms by an average of 13 years, compared to those who started after age 12. Every one year younger the participants began playing tackle football predicted earlier onset of cognitive, behavioral and mood problems by about 2.5 years. Of these 211 men with CTE, 76 were amateur players, and 135 played at the professional level.

“It’s as though the brain of these people who started playing early football was less resilient to pathology,” says McKee, chief of neuropathology at Boston VA Healthcare System, and director of Boston University’s CTE Center. “It’s sort of like they have a weakened nervous system, and set you up for earlier onset of any of these disorders. That was a surprising finding.”

Evidence suggests that even if you don’t end with up CTE — a disease closely linked to football that can only be diagnosed after a brain autopsy — strapping on a helmet as a kid can be risky. Among the 35 players without CTE in the study, those who played football before age 12 had an earlier onset of cognitive symptoms by an average of 20 years, and behavior and mood symptoms by 22 years. (Because of this small sample size of players without CTE, however, this finding is not statistically significant). Of those 35 players, 26 had other neuropathological diagnoses such as Alzheimers, Lewy body pathology, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and axonal injury.

This study has limitations. The brains used in this study may not represent those of the broader tackle football population, because most ex-football players, and their families, chose to donate their brains to shed light on their cognitive and behavioral struggles. Still, the results are alarming. “The data supports that you should not play tackle football until you’re more physically mature,” says McKee, whose future work will attempt to define a sort of tipping point for tackle football: how long can kids play before the risks rise exponentially?

Last week, California lawmakers dropped legislation banning tackle football for children under 12, and a similar measure has stalled in Illinois. But the momentum for limiting hits is expected to keep growing. “The cost-benefit of playing eight years before high school is so far on the side of being foolish, it’s inevitable that this change takes place,” says former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who retired in 2015 at age 24 because he was concerned about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. Borland started playing football in the ninth grade. “The research is going to continue to come out. It gets harder to justify young kids playing.”

Football can still thrive if the youngest kids stopped playing tackle. Tom Brady, for example, did not play Pop Warner, the largest youth football program in the U.S. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh — who loves football more than anyone — has said that kids should play soccer until eighth grade, to learn footwork and agility, before strapping on shoulder pads in high school.

The stakes in this debate are high. “We all want our kids to grow up to be the most productive, most successful of society they can possibly be,” says McKee. “And this is something that may limit their ultimate potential to be highly successful and highly productive in later life.”

Sports – TIME

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Jon Gruden? Now Here’s a Guy Who’s Ready To Get Back on a Football Field

The revived Raiders coach exudes exuberance as his team’s first practices near. Here are five things Gruden shared in a wide-ranging conversation. Other sections include: draft buzz galore, like why Saquon Barkley might slip; the drama surrounding Tom Brady; why Case Keenum’s at ease in Denver; and more

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The First Lady and the Football Star: JJ Watt Pays Tribute to His Unlikely Friendship With Barbara Bush

The unlikely friendship between the white-haired former First Lady and the hulking football star began four years ago, when Barbara Bush and J.J. Watt got together in Houston to film a spot promoting literacy.

Bush wore shoulder pads and eye black. “If we’re going to tackle illiteracy here in Houston, JJ,” Bush said in the video, “we’ve got to get our game faces on.” Watt, the 6-foot-5 Houston Texans defensive end, was smitten.

“I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world that the former First Lady, Mrs. Barbara Bush, was over here with shoulder pads and eye black on,” Watt tells TIME. “She was all in.”

After hearing that Bush had died on Tuesday at age 92, Watt tweeted several photos of his favorite moments with her – including a shot of her with the shoulder pads and eye black.

“You were a beautiful light in this world, and I am forever thankful for your friendship,” Watt wrote.

Bush has thrown out the first pitch at Watt’s charity softball game; Watt has been over to the Bush house for cookies.

A local news site dubbed the pair “Houston’s favorite comedy duo” for their frequent hammy appearances together. At one event, Watt mock-confronted Bush about betraying him when she filmed another literacy spot with former Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

“She just had this energy about her,” says Watt. “I was in a room with her, her husband, and her son. Two former presidents and Mrs. Bush. She’s the one that had the crowd around her, and had everyone waiting for what she was going to say next.”

Both Watt and Bush share a passion for philanthropy. Though the NFL star missed most of the 2017 season with a broken leg, Sports Illustrated named him a Sportsman of the Year, after he helped raise more than $ 37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief. (He set an initial goal of $ 200,000).

Watt says Bush helped inspire his efforts. “She set a great example for myself and so many others,” he says. “Absolutely I wanted to try to not only make her proud, but make so many other people proud, and try to help out as many people as I can.”

The news of Bush’s passing left Watt saddened. “We lost an incredible human being,” he says. “The second thing that comes to my mind is I was happy that she was surrounded by her family and friends, and she can spent her last hours in the way that she chose to.”

What’s the First Lady’s legacy? “She provided an excellent example of what it meant to live a life in service to others,” Watt says. “With her literacy campaign, all way up to the very end, she wanted to do things to help other people. The greatest lesson I learned from Barbara Bush was if we all do a little bit to help our fellow human each day, we’re going to leave the world in a better place than we found it.”

Sports – TIME

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Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video]

After leaving his mark in the world of hip-hop and fashion, rapper Jim Jones has ventured into sports business, announcing that he is a part owner of an American Arena League (AAL) football team.

In a statement, Jones, who has always had a passion for sports, said he is “grateful” for the opportunity to become the part of Richmond Roughriders and is “looking forward to taking the Roughriders to the top. Hopefully, this will inspire the youth to pursue positive activities, especially through sports.”

Gregg Fornario, the general manager and fellow co-owner of Richmond Roughriders, said the Harlem rapper will help the team expand its brand. “The Richmond Roughriders partnership with Jim Jones enables us to bring so much more to the table in regards to introducing the high impact sport of Indoor football to the hip-hop culture, allowing us to build the Richmond Roughriders brand not just in our community but nationwide.”

During an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise, Jones opened up about his plans for the AAL team and his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s #TakeAKnee protest. The Roc Nation recording artist also talked about his investment in the cannabis industry and other business ventures throughout his career:

 

 

 

The post Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Slain football coach ran ‘toward danger’ to save students in shooting: Sheriff

Victim Aaron Feis “was one of the greatest people I knew,” the sheriff said.
ABC News: Top Stories

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This Could Be The Last College Football Championship Game With Unpaid Players

Millions of people will tune into the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, Jan. 8, hoping for a doozy. Even President Donald Trump is expected to be among the frenzied crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta when the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Georgia Bulldogs (and Kendrick Lamar performs the halftime show). Expectations are high for good reason: Alabama is shooting for a fifth national championship in Nick Saban’s 11 years as head coach, while SEC rival Georgia—coached by former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart—squeaked by Oklahoma, 54-48, in a double-overtime shootout in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Day.

The title game may well be another classic. But don’t let that obscure a much deeper problem behind all the pomp and hype. The College Football National Championship will do more than decide which university has the best team, it will generate millions of dollars for the universities, coaches, broadcasters, and sponsors. Other ancillary actors—Atlanta hotel operators, local restaurants — will rake in their own tasty haul.

The amateur players on the field, however, won’t share in that bounty, beyond a few thousands dollars on top of an athletic scholarship to cover the full cost of attending school. The NCAA, the organization governing big-time college athletics, prevents schools from paying their players, even as they make millions for their coaches and schools. Saban and Smart made almost $ 15 million combined this year.

“All today’s players can hope for,” says Jeffrey Kessler, a sports labor attorney who is leading a case against the NCAA, “is a better deal for the players that come after them.”

The case that could change college football

That may finally change. On Jan. 16, in a federal district courtroom in Oakland, Calif., judge Claudia Wilken will hold a hearing on motions for summary judgment in the case of Jenkins v NCAA, a class action suit that challenges the NCAA’s compensation limits on athletes. Wilken ruled on a similar case, the landmark O’Bannon v NCAA litigation, more than three years ago. While Wilken found in that case that the NCAA rules unreasonably restrained trade in violation of anti-trust laws, she did not lift the restraints entirely. Schools could still limit their compensation for athletes to the cost-of-attendance stipend, meaning the players would not be paid according to their market value.

Read More: The Case for Paying College Athletes

The Jenkins case, however, makes a broader claim than O’Bannon. Whereas O’Bannon concerned a college athlete’s ability to profit from the use of his or her likeness, Jenkins focuses on the market for signing college athletes to schools. It seeks to ends the NCAA’s blanket wage restrictions, and allow individual athletic conferences to determine the levels at which players should be paid. Kessler, who has represented the players’ unions of all four major U.S. professional sports leagues and helped NFL players win the right to become free agents in the early 1990s, is representing the Jenkins plaintiffs.

One expert likens the two cases to the work of an offensive lineman clearing the way for a running back: O’Bannon did the legal blocking, says Marc Edelman, a professor of law at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, that could allow Jenkins to finally score big for college athletes. “The point of Jenkins is to create a universe in which the NCAA can no longer ubiquitously prevent college athletes from being paid,” says Edelman.

With more money sloshing around college sports every year, the case against paying players becomes increasingly difficult to justify. Saban made more than $ 11 million this season; Georgia paid Smart $ 3.75 million. Alabama pays two of its assistants — defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, the incoming head coach at Tennessee, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — north of $ 1 million. Texas A&M just signed former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to a 10-year, $ 75 million deal; Fisher in turn just poached Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko with reported three-year contract at an average of $ 1.8 million a year.

How much money should college athletes be paid?

Why shouldn’t this bounty trickle down to the players who generate it? Antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a staunch advocate for reallocating more flush college sports revenues to athletes, envisions a scenario where schools reallocate 30% of incremental athletic department revenue growth to a fund that compensates athletes: 15% for male athletes, and 15% for female athletes. Schools can keep 70% of the new revenues, plus all old revenues. If Alabama, for example, had followed such a model over the past four years, the school would have set aside, on average, $ 2.9 million annually to pay athletes. Alabama would have kept an average of $ 149.5 million per year, or 98% of all revenues.

“If schools ever want to get past their ‘can’t-don’t’ rhetoric and go for can-do solutions, all they need to do is just start fixing things,” says Schwarz. “Divert new money and in a few years the budgets will have adjusted just fine.”

The Jenkins case will likely hinge on whether the plaintiffs can convince the court that the paying players won’t adversely effect the college sports business. Anti-trust laws permit trade restraints — like a cap on compensation — if such restraints benefit consumers. In the O’Bannon case, the NCAA’s lawyers argued that college football and basketball is popular because players don’t get paid. Fans are attracted to the amateur ideal. In Jenkins, the NCAA will insist that the court has already established that paying players would hurt the college sports business, since in O’Bannon both Wilken and an appellate court gave weight to a survey from an NCAA research expert showing that 69% of respondents expressed opposition to paying college athletes.

Still, it’s hard to imagine rabid college sports fans leaving stadiums and TV sets in droves just because students at their favorite schools receive payment for playing football or basketball—which is why they’re at the school in the first place. In so many pockets of America, college football’s ingrained in the cultural DNA. Why would the tailgate lose its appeal when the star quarterback has an endorsement deal?

Further, as part of the Jenkins case, attorneys for the plaintiffs have filed their own consumer demand study with the court. Their survey expert concluded, “to a high degree of scientific certainty,” that additional compensation for college athletes would result in “no negative impact on consumer demand as exhibited through viewership /attendance of college football and basketball … If anything, permitting these additional forms of compensation/benefits could have a positive impact on such consumer demand.” Decades of American behavioral economics bear this finding out. As player salaries have risen exponentially with the advent of free agency and technological innovations that distribute the games to broader audiences, sports have become even more popular. The business has only grown.

Americans, it turns out, value fairness. “This case could make a great difference in the lives of those college players that will not make it to the pros,” says Kessler.

If it lives up to expectations, the Alabama-Georgia title game may be remembered for a long time. But the year’s most lasting college sports moment could unfurl in a courtroom.


Sports – TIME

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How to Watch the College Football Playoff Games on New Year’s Day for Free

New Year’s Day 2018 is a big day for college football fans. Two college football playoff games are scheduled for January 1, and the winners of each game will meet up in a national championship game on Monday, January 8.

Here’s how to watch the college football playoff games for the 2017-2018 season.

College Football Playoff #1: 5 P.M. ET January 1 on ESPN
#3 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma, at the Rose Bowl

Both college football playoff games, as well as the national championship game, are being broadcast on ESPN. The first game, in which the Georgia Bulldogs face the Oklahoma Sooners, starts at 5 p.m. ET on January 1, 2018.

If you have a cable or satellite TV package with the usual lineup of channels, simply tune in to ESPN to watch the college football playoffs. You may also be able to stream ESPN live by logging in with a valid pay TV account number and password.

If you don’t have cable or another pay TV subscription, it’s still possible to watch by streaming the college football playoffs with a service such as DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, Playstation Vue, Sling TV, or YouTube TV. All of the services above allow you to live-stream pay TV channels such as ESPN on a variety of devices, and all come with free trial periods for new signups.

So if you just want to watch the college football games on ESPN on New Year’s Day for free, register with one of streaming services above. Remember, however, that you must cancel before the trial period ends if you don’t want to be charged. The normal fees for these streaming TV services start at $ 20 and up per month, and Sling TV is the cheapest (though most limited) of the bunch.

College Football Playoff #2: 8:45 P.M. ET January 1 on ESPN
#4 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson, at the Allstate Sugar Bowl

The second game of the college football playoffs, in which the Alabama Crimson Tide square off against the Clemson Tigers, starts at 8:45 ET on January 1, 2018.

Like Georgia-Oklahoma, the Alabama-Clemson game is being broadcast on ESPN. Follow the same directions for how to watch on TV or stream both college football playoff games.

For that matter, the guidelines above will also work for tuning in to the national championship game. The broadcast for that game, featuring the winner of Georgia-Oklahoma versus the winner of Alabama-Clemson, will start at 8 p.m. ET on January 8, 2018, also on ESPN.


Sports – TIME

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This Is What Fashion Girls Wear to a Football Game

Cheer on in style.

Football season is here. For the next several weeks we’ll be cheering our favorite teams on to victory. For fashion girls cheering from the stands, what to wear to a football game becomes a question. You want something that shows off your spirit, keeps you warm from kick-off to the final touchdown, and doesn’t compromise your style. With just a handful of key items that channel both collegiate sensibilities and serve your cold-weather needs, you can create a variety of outfits that look great in the stadium stands. Here are five suggestions to start with: Ready to suit up in your game day gear? Head below to shop our favorite pieces to mix and match for a football game.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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Pro football is just a bit quirkier in Canada

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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Football Game After Players Kneel During National Anthem

Vice President Mike Pence left a football game in Indiana Sunday after players from the San Francisco 49ers reportedly knelt during the national anthem.

“President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a series of tweets. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think its too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem.”

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was attending a game of the Indianapolis Colts, who were playing a home game against the San Francisco 49ers — Colin Kaepernick’s former team. It appeared only members of the 49ers knelt during the anthem, not the Colts, according to the Indianapolis Star. Pence pointed this discrepancy out in a tweet, posting a picture of himself and his wife Karen standing during the anthem, and writing, “We were proud to stand – with all our colts- for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

Last year, Kaepernick, who was playing as a quarterback for the 49ers at the time, routinely knelt during the National Anthem as a silent protest against racial injustice in America.

Kaepernick’s protest morphed into a kneeling movement last month after President Donald Trump sparked controversy when he referred to NFL players who took a knee during the anthem as “sons of bi—es” during a campaign rally in Alabama. More than 100 NFL players and owners linked arms and knelt before and during the anthem following Trump’s attack.

Trump said in a tweet that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled during the national anthem, claiming such actions were disrespectful.


Sports – TIME

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How Football Helped Jermaine Bond With His Son | Released | Oprah Winfrey Network

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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