March 21, 2014 |
THE NFL HAS spent the last several years trying to make its game safer. For its next trick, it will attempt to make it more civil. "We have an element of respect that we have to bring back to the game," Rams coach Jeff Fisher, a longtime member of the league's competition committee, said last month at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. "It starts in the locker room and continues over onto the practice field and carries over onto the field on Sundays. "We have to take a hard look at taunting.
March 21, 2014 |
NINE-YEAR-OLD Tommy "TJ" Ramos doesn't have a broken heart, his ticker just marches to its own beat - like Dallas Stars hockey player Rich Peverley's heart. Luckily, both guys - who have the same genetic heart condition called CPVT - were surrounded by their teammates and quick-thinking men with CPR skills when their irregular heartbeats led to sudden cardiac arrests during sporting events. TJ, a Philly kid who plays baseball and hockey, got a chance to meet Peverley's teammates yesterday morning before their game against the Flyers.
March 15, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - So Ryne Sandberg, in his first spring training as the Phillies' manager, has homed in on Jimmy Rollins as his first target to send a message. Sandberg held Rollins out of the starting lineup Thursday for the Phillies' 6-2 victory over the Yankees, the third consecutive game he had the shortstop watching from the dugout. The manager spent 10 minutes after the game denying that there was anything punitive about his benching Rollins, that he wanted to give a player with just 15 at-bats this spring "a break," but it sure was hard to interpret it as anything else.
March 7, 2014 |
ON THE SURFACE, it seems like a marriage made in free-agency heaven. The Eagles, as you may have heard, need a ball-hawking cover safety. And as luck would have it, Jairus Byrd, one of the league's very best ball-hawking cover safeties, is expected to be available on Tuesday when the 2014 free-agent signing period commences. Byrd, 27, wants ridiculous money. He's reportedly looking for a deal that will pay him in excess of $9 million a year. But the Eagles have more than enough salary-cap room - $24.1 million - to accommodate him. Chip Kelly also knows the guy pretty well.
March 6, 2014 |
ASKED YESTERDAY whether he had anything he wanted to say to Eagles fans at the end of his 8-year tenure as the team's working-class hero, Jason Avant emailed this reply: "I just want them to know that I played the game with them on my mind. Also that I will miss them and the city. I will always be a Philadelphia guy. I wish them the best. Hopefully, I showed them that being a good person supersedes being a good athlete. " Avant might have showed them a little bit more than that along the way, making the most amazing one-handed sideline catch many of us have ever seen in 2012 at Tampa, or concussing himself while throwing the block that sprang DeSean Jackson for the "walkoff" punt-return touchdown at the Giants in 2010.
February 24, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Michael Sam introduced himself, even though an introduction was not required. He stared straight into a wall of cameras and wore a rainbow pin that read: "Stand with Sam. " "My name is Michael Sam. I play football for the University of Missouri," Sam said on Saturday. "As you may know, Missouri is the Show Me State, and you'd think I'd have shown you guys enough these last couple of weeks. " Sam announced two weeks ago he was gay. He is set to become the first openly gay, active NFL player.
February 20, 2014 |
THE TALK of tomorrow's trade deadline will dominate anything surrounding the 76ers for the next couple of days, and that's understandable, since the team is actively seeking to make a move or moves, with players Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner the centerpieces. But for a time last night, trades, stats, wins and losses took a backseat to Kevin Grow. The Bensalem senior, who has Down syndrome, has become somewhat of a national star. The manager for his high school varsity for four seasons, Grow played in two games recently, including a 14-point effort in which he drained four three-pointers.
February 12, 2014
FOR ANY NFL team thinking about drafting Michael Sam, the Missouri pass rusher who now has come out as gay, three questions will be considered. There should be only one question, the first one, but this is just a recognition of the reality in 2014. So: 1) Can he play? 2) Will the media distraction be overwhelming? 3) Will his teammates accept him? None of us can answer the first one. Sam is an undersized defensive end who probably cannot play that position in the NFL. How he would translate as an outside linebacker is a projection that only professional talent evaluators can make - and even they will disagree, in all likelihood.
January 31, 2014 |
NEW YORK - It will never be like it was for John Elway. If the Broncos manage to beat the Seahawks Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVIII, Elway, who, as executive vice president of football operations put this team together, will be jubilant. But he knows it won't feel the same way it did as a player in the late '90s when he was down there on the field with the ball in his hands and his teammates counting on him, when he led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. "It's very different [as a front-office executive]
January 28, 2014 |
JON MICHAEL O'CONNOR is Father Judge all the way down to his tube socks. After the Crusaders sacked Archbishop Ryan, 56-45, yesterday, the 6-1 senior guard stood shoeless in the locker room clad in Columbia Blue from head to toe. Hell, it's even in his genes. Interestingly, however, he came very close to wearing Raider red. "I was actually going to come here," O'Connor said inside the visitors' locker room at Ryan. "I had all my paperwork ready, but at the last second my family and I decided to come to Judge.