The Texans are really bad at trying to be the Patriots

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The Nick Caserio tampering saga is the latest hiccup in the Texans’ quest to completely copy the Patriots.

Everyone knows that the New England Patriots have been the epitome of greatness in the NFL over the past 20 years. Nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl wins, 16 division titles — every team would love to be able to replicate New England’s success.

There might not be a team trying to do that more than the Houston Texans.

The Patriots’ influence is heavily felt throughout the Texans’ organization. Their head coach and offensive playcaller Bill O’Brien used to be New England’s offensive coordinator. Romeo Crennel, their defensive coordinator, held the same title with the Patriots. Even their special teams coach Brad Seely had the same job in New England.

Houston tried to complete its barbershop quarter of former Patriots staffers by making Nick Caserio, New England’s director of player personnel, its new general manager. However, the Patriots filed tampering charges against them in the process.

Like every other team that’s tried to copy the Patriots’ method, the Texans keep falling short.

Houston hasn’t had any success against New England since 2014

The Texans haven’t been incompetent since hiring O’Brien as their head coach in 2014. They have a 42-38 record, a playoff win (albeit against Connor Cook), and only one losing season.

But Houston hasn’t been able to do anything against the team it’s been trying to mimic.

Including the playoffs, O’Brien’s Texans are 0-5 against the Patriots. The average score of those games has been 30.2 to 15 in favor of New England. In its first three games against the Patriots, Houston only managed to score one touchdown — losing those games by an average score of 29.3 to 7.3.

The Texans have had more success scoring since Deshaun Watson was drafted in 2017, but they’re still 0-2 against the Patriots with him at quarterback. The closest they got to winning was a 36-33 loss during Watson’s rookie year. Houston had the lead late, but O’Brien got too scared to go for it on a fourth-and-1, giving Tom Brady all the time he needed to throw a game-winning touchdown.

While that 0-5 mark against New England is spectacularly bad, the Texans’ most embarrassing defeat to the Patriots came off the field.

Houston, you have a general manager problem

Former Texans general manager Brian Gaine was recently fired after holding his position for roughly a year and a half. Gaine didn’t have much of a chance to make his imprint on the organization, but no one really protested his firing. Even though everyone and their mama knew that the Texans’ offensive line was an issue for two offseasons in a row — they gave up 62 sacks in 2018 — Gaine didn’t do much of anything to fix it.

What makes the Gaine firing interesting is the timing of it. Gaine was let go one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl 53 ring ceremony, which was attended by the Texans’ new executive vice president, Jack Easterby — another former member of the Patriots front office.

Easterby was at the ring ceremony with Caserio on June 6 and, amazingly, Gaine was fired on June 7. Houston officially asked to interview Caserio on June 11.

Isn’t that all just an incredible coincidence?

New England didn’t see it that way and quickly filed tampering charges against the Texans. Considering their own history with tampering, the Patriots seemed to have a pretty clear idea of what it looks like. But even Houston’s cheating can’t compare to the Patriots’ — at least New England got accused of tampering for Darrelle Revis!

What’s the next step for the Texans?

Houston decided to withdraw their request to interview Caserio and the Patriots dropped their tampering charges. “Tampering” in this instance was trying to get Caserio to join the Texans at the risk of disrupting his employment with the Patriots. The Texans won’t be able to hire Caserio to fully rebrand themselves as the Houston Patriots.

Right now, the closest they can get is O’Brien answering questions with non-answers like Bill Belichick.

The Texans will have yet another chance to grab their first win against New England in the Bill O’Brien era in Week 13 this year, but it still doesn’t feel like they’re ready to take down the Patriots. They still have gigantic holes on offensive line and rebuilt their entire secondary in one offseason. Houston isn’t even a sure bet to repeat as the top dog in the AFC South this year.

Sometimes, the apple does fall far from the tree.


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5:04 PM 6/14/2019 | US, Israeli, Russian security chiefs to meet in Jerusalem What tripartite Jerusalem security summit may or may not achieve – Middle East Jerusalem meeting of security chiefs – Google Search

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US, Israeli, Russian security chiefs to meet in Jerusalem

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East.

Barring last-minute changes, senior Israeli and American officials will meet in the United States next week to prepare for a trilateral summit of the heads of the US, Russian and Israeli national securitycouncils. National security advisers John Bolton, Nikolay Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat will convene June 24 in the Israeli capital to discuss the post-war order in Syria.
“This is a crazy event. I don’t have sufficient superlatives to describe it,” an Israeli defense source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It’s true that at this stage, the importance of the event is in the very decision to hold it, but think about it: Fifty-two years after Jerusalem’s liberation, we are bringing together there the heads of the American and Russian security councils to discuss arrangements for Syria after the war, with us as part of the process.” The official got somewhat carried away talking about a “new Sykes-Picot” — referring to the 1916 agreement dividing the region between the British and French colonial powers. Still, there is rare consensus in Israel about the summit being a tremendous achievement for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a strategic Israeli message to Iran and the rest of the Middle East that Israel is part of the axis of powers working together to instill a new order in the Middle East.
The upcoming summit is likely to star in Netanyahu’s reelection campaign throughout the summer months ahead of the Sept. 17 vote. For once, he appears to have come by this achievement deservedly. The summit was decided on before Netanyahu knew he would be unable to form a government and would be dragged into new elections, leaving him with an alibi. It was not a pre-election stunt, but Netanyahu will undoubtedly use it to leverage his electoral prospects, as he always does.

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mikenov on Twitter: The #TrumpInvestigations #Blog by #MichaelNovakhov – Review Of #News And Opinions: 5:04 PM 6/14/2019 | US, Israeli, Russian security … trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/504-pm…

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The #TrumpInvestigations #Blog by #MichaelNovakhov – Review Of #News And Opinions: 5:04 PM 6/14/2019 | US, Israeli, Russian security … trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/504-pm…


Posted by

mikenov
on Friday, June 14th, 2019 9:10pm

mikenov on Twitter


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The Twins’ MLB-leading offense is powered by 4 key offseason acquisitions

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Minnesota leads baseball in runs, home runs, and winning percentage.

The Minnesota Twins have the best record in baseball and own the largest divisional lead in the sport, thanks largely in part to an offense that leads the world in runs scored and home runs, along with several other categories.

The core of the burgeoning offense is young. Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano are all 25 or 26 years old, and have combined for 64 doubles and 41 home runs this season, all well above average offensively.

But the young Twins, who shocked baseball in 2017 with a Wild Card berth immediately following a 103-loss season, regressed in 2018, finishing under .500. The roller coaster in Minneapolis is back on the upswing in 2019, with that young offensive core supported by four very affordable upgrades made over the winter.

C.J. Cron has been one of many Twins providing the power this season, hitting .275/.337/.541 with 15 home runs at first base. Cron had a breakout season with Tampa Bay in 2018, with his 30 home runs nearly double his previous career best. Set for his second go-around in salary arbitration, Cron was about to make some real money, which to the Rays is like turning 30 years old in Logan’s Run.

Cron isn’t quite 30 yet, but at 29 he was placed on waivers by Tampa Bay, with the Twins happy to scoop up the freely available talent. Minnesota is getting production at first base at the reasonable cost of $4.8 million, while the Rays get lesser but still capable numbers at first base from Ji-Man Choi, whose $850,000 salary allows Tampa Bay to pat themselves on the back for possibly another dollars-per-WAR championship, and maybe even more — the Rays, who won 90 games in 2018 but was watching the playoffs from home, is on pace for 98 wins this year and begins the weekend just a half-game out of the division lead and comfortably in first Wild Card position.

But the Twins are in a much more secure position, leading the American League Central by a stunning 11 games over the Cleveland Indians, the division champ for three years running and the prohibitive preseason favorite. Minnesota opens the weekend with a 95.2% chance to win the division and 98.2% chance to make the playoffs per FanGraphs, and a similarly rosy outlook — 95.6% for the division, 98.2% for the playoffs — from Baseball Prospectus.

The aggressive offseason paid off for the Twins, setting them apart in an industry that has seen two consecutive dry winters for non-superstar free agents. This past season was especially tough for many, with several accomplished players — Adam Jones, Gio Gonzalez to name a few — settling for minor league deals, and two of the best free agents — Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel — waiting until June to sign because of teams’ unwillingness to forfeit a draft pick to improve their team.

We saw a similar mid-market shrewdness lead to an NLCS trip last year for the Milwaukee Brewers, after trading for the eventual NL MVP Christian Yelich and signing Lorenzo Cain, two anchors of another division-leading team in Milwaukee again in 2019.

In addition to signing Cron, the Twins this offseason fortified their lineup with not one, not two, but three free agent signings:

  • Nelson Cruz for $14.3 million. He’s hitting .285/.370/.570 with 12 home runs
  • Marwin Gonzalez for $21 million over two years. He’s hitting .259/.328/.421 with eight homers while starting games at five different defensive positions.
  • Jonathan Schoop for $7.5 million. Schoop is hitting .251/.306/.488 with 12 home runs, one of seven players with double-digit home runs for Minnesota. They have two others with nine and Gonzalez with eight.

It should be noted that the Twins found the money for these additions after the salaries of the retiring Joe Mauer ($23 million) and free agent Ervin Santana ($13.5 million) came off their books. The Twins’ opening day payroll of $119.7 million is actually lower than their $128.7 million mark in 2018, per Cot’s Contracts.

Minnesota leads the majors with 132 home runs, and are likely to pass their full-season 2018 total (166) by this year’s All-Star break. They are hitting .275/.341/.517 as a team, leading the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

Of their 13 players with the most plate appearances on the 2019 Twins, 12 are at least league average offensively by both OPS+ and wRC+. They are a lineup with no real weak spots, and enough depth to get by. Adjusted for league and park, the Twins as a team lead baseball in both OPS+ (126) and wRC+ (124). Nolan Arenado, the Rockies’ perennial MVP candidate, has a career OPS+ of 122, as a comparison.

That has the Twins scoring six runs a game, fueling their fantastic start. All with a lineup nearly half-filled with newcomers added in a single offseason to team actually trying to improve.

Imagine that.


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Billy Porter, Sufjan Stevens, Internal Trump Polls, 5B, Melania T, Teachrock, Wilson Cruz, Tan France: HOT LINKS

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DOUBLE DIGIT LOSSES. Internal Trump polls leak, show Trump losing to Biden by double digits in battleground states.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ. I’d support Biden over Trump in 2020: “If Bernie Sanders is nominated, that would present a real dilemma for me. I don’t think under any circumstances I could vote for a man who went to England and campaigned for a bigot and anti-Semite like Jeremy Corbin. I don’t think I could do it, I couldn’t pull that lever.”

THE NEW JACKIE O. Melania T?

TEACHROCK. Teachrock, the standards-aligned, arts integration curriculum that uses the history of popular music and culture to help teachers engage students, has released a collection of lessons that complement the CNN Soundtracks “Out Loud and Proud” episode.

JIFGA VS JONAH. Jewish anti-gay group forbidden from operating under different name: “What they do hurts people, so we are extremely pleased at this court’s ruling and hope that it will finally put a stop to the fraud that they have perpetrated for more than a decade.”

NICHOLAS SPARKS. Emails show author objecting to pro-gay “agenda”. ‘The emails, published Thursday by the Daily Beast and filed as exhibits in federal lawsuit in North Carolina, show Sparks complaining in 2013 about “an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted.” The emails are part a case between Sparks and former headmaster Saul Hillel Benjamin, who alleges that Sparks defamed him. Benjamin headed the college-prep K-12 school for a few months before being forced out.’

ALABAMA. Florence fire department quickly removes rainbow crosswalk painted on street by local residents: “If it was this group or any other group taking action to paint our streets without permission, we are just not going to do it,” said Mayor Steve Holt. “I’m happy to talk to them about any perception of miscommunication on their part. We didn’t have any perception on our part that it was miscommunication the permit was denied.”

TEASER OF THE DAY. 5B, a documentary opening this weekend about the first AIDS ward in the nation, at San Francisco General Hospital.  

FAKE VIRAL THEME PARK RIDE OF THE DAY. This is not a real ride.

PHOTOS. Jussie Smollett driving to pick up brothers for “run-through” of staged attack.

ON THE RAG. This week on the gay magazines.

THE FRENCH TUCK. Tan France explains the key to wearing a T-shirt.

WHAT WOULD IT BE? Adam Lambert asked about the possibility of Bohemian Rhapsody sequel.

LOVE YOURSELF. Sufjan Stevens quotes RuPaul and scripture in new essay: “And so this is our duty at every moment. To love without compromise and without equivocation. To give it our all, to the end, until we have nothing left to give. The message here isn’t very deep. So why does it feel so impossible? We are called to do one simple thing called love. We need to try harder. Do the work. My song is love. My prayer is peace. My head is full of questions but my heart is full of love!”

PRIDE SINGLE OF THE DAY. “Love Yourself” by Billy Porter.

NEW TUNE OF THE DAY. Kaskade and Meghan Trainor “With You”.

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE DAY. Elton John and Taron Egerton “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”.

FRIDAY PRIDE. Wilson Cruz.

The post Billy Porter, Sufjan Stevens, Internal Trump Polls, 5B, Melania T, Teachrock, Wilson Cruz, Tan France: HOT LINKS appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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FIGHT THE #MOB!!!

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Michael_Novakhov
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from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.






» mikenov on Twitter: C’mon, #Booby (#Little #Ugly #Fatso #Nazi #Maggot!), you are trying to #harass #everything that moves, & their #dogs and #cats too. Turn down your own #harassment volume and get your own goals and priorities right: FIGHT THE #MOB
14/06/19 05:27 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
C’mon, #Booby (#Little #Ugly #Fatso #Nazi #Maggot!), you are trying to #harass #everything that moves, & their #dogs and #cats too. Turn down your own #harassment volume and get your own goals and priorities right: FIGHT THE #MOB!!! …

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PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: Scotty McCreery on why he pays homage to country music legends on Grand Ole Opry stage

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» Trump Investigations, Middle East, and Israel from Michael_Novakhov (7 sites): “israel and germany” – Google News: Deaths for the week of June 14, 2019 – The Jewish News of Northern California
14/06/19 13:37 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
Deaths for the week of June 14, 2019    The Jewish News of Northern California Stephen Corbin Becker died unexpectedly on May 29, 2019. Preceded in death by parents Arthur S. Becker and Virgina Becker. Survived by beloved wife …
» “Manafort” – Google News: ICE Quarantines 5,200 Immigrants Due to Mumps, Chickenpox Exposure – The Daily Beast
14/06/19 13:36 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
ICE Quarantines 5,200 Immigrants Due to Mumps, Chickenpox Exposure    The Daily Beast ICE has recorded 297 cases of the mumps in its facilities since the disease first appeared in September. “Manafort” – Google News
» “Jared Kushner” – Google News: Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump Made At Least $28 Million Last Year – Forbes
14/06/19 13:34 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump Made At Least $28 Million Last Year    Forbes Ivanka’s income-producing assets seem to have waned last year, but Jared Kushner’s family real estate empire continued to throw off big cash. “Jared K…
» Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov (12 sites): ABC News’s YouTube Videos: Trump says ‘I never suggested firing Mueller,’ despite former WH counsel testimony | ABC News
14/06/19 13:31 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
From: ABC News Duration: 01:52 In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, Trump said what Don McGahn told Mueller “doesn’t matter.” #Trump #MuellerReport #Interview #Stephanopoulos #ABCNews SUBSCRIBE to …
» Google Alert – mueller: Trump Suggests McGahn Lied Under Oath to ‘Make Himself Look Like a Good Lawyer’
14/06/19 13:26 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
McGahn contributed to the Mueller investigation with nearly 30 hours of voluntary interviews. In the report, McGahn mentions multiple occasions where … Google Alert – mueller
» Google Alert – Jared Kushner: Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump Made At Least $28 Million Last Year
14/06/19 13:26 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner took in at least $28 million in outside income while serving in the Trump administration last year, … Google Alert – Jared Kushner
» Google Alert – Benjamin Netanyahu: Jerusalem municipality removed Dome of Rock from backdrop to Netanyahu speech
14/06/19 13:26 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
… from the Dome of the Rock in a painting used as backdrop to a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , the Haaretz daily reported Friday. Google Alert – Benjamin Netanyahu
» Trump Investigations, Middle East, and Israel from Michael_Novakhov (7 sites): “israel and germany” – Google News: Director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum quits following criticism – Washington Post
14/06/19 13:25 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
Director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum quits following criticism    Washington Post The director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum is stepping down following strong criticism of the museum’s leadership by Germany’s Jewish community. “israe…

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: FIGHT THE #MOB!!! trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/fight-…

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The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: FIGHT THE #MOB!!! trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/fight-…


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2:47 PM 6/14/2019 Trump Investigations News In Brief

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Michael_Novakhov
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from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

2:47 PM 6/14/2019
Trump Investigations News In Brief


Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov 
Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov (12 sites) 
CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: DNC unveils matchup of candidates for first primary debate

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 01:34

The 20 Democratic candidates who qualified for the first primary debates were divided into two groups of ten. The debates will be held June 26 and 27. CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang and Niall Stanage, White House columnist for The Hill, join CBSN with more.

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos


Trump – YouTube Playlist | Trump News TV | 


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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: 2:47 PM 6/14/2019 Trump Investigations News In Bri… trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/247-pm…

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The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: 2:47 PM 6/14/2019 Trump Investigations News In Bri… trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/247-pm…


Posted by

mikenov
on Friday, June 14th, 2019 6:49pm

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I’ve come to praise Kyle Lowry, not to slander him

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Kyle Lowry is now vindicated.

[Editor’s note: No, don’t pay attention to the meter, nerds.]

Friends, NBA fans, and those from The Six. I’ve come to praise Kyle Lowry, not to slander him. A title is seen to validate a player; Their careers are often trashed without one. So, let it be with Lowry.

My own brother told you that Lowry was trash: If Lowry was, it wasn’t without evidence, and he has been the butt of jokes because of it. Here, with my brother and the world as witnesses — because my brother is an honest man, like any other fan — I’m here to speak after the Raptors’ title victory.

Lowry was just a player to me, good but flawed. But my brother said that he was trash, and my brother is an honest man. He scored 26 points and had 10 assists in game six, and helped the Raptors to their first ring. Was this the game of a trash player? The Raptors won because he was great, that doesn’t equate with being trash. Yet my brother said that he was trash; And my brother is an honest man. But you all saw in the Finals, Lowry could have collapsed after the first two games, yet he played well in the last four. Is that trash?

Yet my brother said Lowry was trash; And sure, my brother is an honest man. I’m not here to say that my brother is wrong, just to talk about what I saw in the Finals. Many of us have slandered Lowry before, not without reason: what has changed then, that he’s no longer a joke? Could it be that the idea of players often overrides their reality? And our arguments are often too reductive? Or that players are not condemned in static narratives. I think there’s much to think about.

Just a few weeks ago, Lowry’s failures were the embodiment of the old Raptors; Now he’s an NBA champion. And everyone is praising him. If I was to say that this change of attitude is dishonest and fickle, I would do my brother and NBA fans, who are all honest people, wrong. I will not do them wrong; I would rather be unfair to myself, to every other writer and the world, before I do wrong to such honest people.

But I want to praise Lowry for what he did in these Finals, especially Game 6. When the Raptors needed him, he came through. In his first ever NBA Finals, in an elimination game, he scored the first 11 points for his team.

First, he dribbled past Kevon Looney for a layup. Then he shot a three on the same defender. Draymond was switched on him next, and he hit another three. Against Stephen Curry, he drove, before pulling the ball back, yet Curry kept going backwards. As if to show the different directions public opinion on them was heading. Since Curry is beloved beforehand, and Lowry had been a villain.

That three against Curry was the most brutal of Lowry’s points. When he pulled the ball back and shot, he elevated himself to the status of hero, while condemning Curry to be the failure. Lowry continued in the same fashion all game, until a Curry shot bounced off the rim with six seconds left. Under the rim, next to the bigger Demarcus Cousins, Lowry jumped and challenged him, forcing the big man to lose the rebound. The Warriors recovered, but called a phantom timeout, and the Raptors went on to win.

In the last ever game at Oracle Arena, with millions of people watching, the Warriors lost. And what a loss it was, my friends! Then I, and you, and all of us, cheered, while the Toronto Raptors celebrated in the stadium. Now in the aftermath, I think we all feel compassion. When we look at Lowry holding the trophy, what else can we feel? Here is he, a champion, finally vindicated.


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Were the Eagles right to let Nick Foles leave?

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This week, retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz weighs in on the risk of locking down Carson Wentz, as well as the Trent Williams situation in Washington.

It’s our weekly NFL mailbag time! Now that the NBA season is over, the countdown to football is real. Before we know it, training camps will open up, the Hall of Fame Game will be played, and we are off and running!

As always, if you have a question for next time, you can hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.

What dirt does Carson Wentz have on the Eagles organization to have Nick Foles offloaded and get a monster contract (for a QB that isn’t often healthy come January)? — @PabloBison

I know there’s some sarcasm here, but I totally understand the question. Let’s start with the first part. The Eagles made the right decision in letting Nick Foles leave in free agency.

The two-game stretch to end the Eagles’ Super Bowl run by Foles will never be truly appreciated. Not only did a backup QB win a Super Bowl, but he dominated in his role. He was elite. He was the Super Bowl MVP. The Eagles did a marvelous job of creating a game plan that suits what Foles does best, and he executed it. All the credit to Foles for that.

However, in the end, Foles has played mostly like a backup QB outside of those two games and one 400-yard game last season. Take out those three games (NFC Championship, Super Bowl, and against the Texans) and Foles has thrown for more than 270 yards once in the past two seasons. His yards per attempt number is below 7 in most of those games as well. He’s been a good backup and nothing more. The Eagles kept and extended the younger and extremely more talented Carson Wentz.

Is there risk in signing Wentz to a long-term deal with his injury history? Heck yes. But when he’s been healthy, he’s been outstanding. He was going to win the 2017 MVP before getting injured. His numbers last season put him in the elite category. Does he need to be better within the flow of the offense? Yes. There’s much room for growth, and the Eagles believe they can get that out of him.

Signing Wentz to a contract now will save the Eagles money on the back end. If Wentz can stay healthy and keep improving, this contract will be a steal in the years to come.

Lastly, since we are here, I have my doubts that Foles will be able to duplicate his Eagles success in Jacksonville for some of the reasons I stated above. Doug Pederson and staff designed a game plan, with plenty of RPO use, that fit Foles perfectly: quick passes, play action, and not a bunch of processing the entire field. He was also helped out by a strong run game and offensive line.

The Jaguars have the potential to be great along the offensive line (if healthy) and running the football. What Foles has going for him is he won’t be Blake Bortles. He won’t lose you a game and you trust him to make plays in big situations because he’s shown that can be done. That should make the Jaguars’ offense more confident in late-game situations, at least.

What do you make of the Trent Williams situation?@mmford10

Trent Williams, Washington’s longtime franchise left tackle, didn’t report to the offseason program and minicamp due to a reported dispute over medical care with the team doctors.

According to coach Jay Gruden, Williams is upset over the handling of a benign tumor on his head. Williams recently posted a photo on Instagram that appeared to show him in the process of getting ready for surgery and it’s been reported this was a quick cosmetic procedure for that tumor.

I’m never going to question how a player feels about his medical care within the facility. I know I’ve had my fair share of issues with doctors and trainers, so I understand how Williams could be upset. However, I think he’s using this opportunity to push for a new deal. This doesn’t mean he’s making up his disappointment in the medical staff. But since he’s got the attention of the franchise, he could use his leverage as a seven-time Pro Bowler to get paid.

Williams knows the options in the building at left tackle are brutal and Washington just drafted a future franchise quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. On the other hand, he’s missed at least two games each season since 2015 and has a bum knee. He’s still elite and his play is deserving of a new deal, but that injury history could be the holdup for him getting one.


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The USWNT just beat my team 13-0, what do I do now?

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In this week’s advice column: How to recover from public humiliation, even when it’s REALLY bad.

Welcome to Couldn’t Be Me, a weekly advice column where I solicit your personal dilemmas and help out as best as I can. Have something I can help you with? Find me @_Zeets.

This week we talk about humiliating losses. We’ve all gone through them, instances when you lose so badly at something that it makes you question your self-worth and whether you deserved to be competing on the same field in the first place. It can be a loss as visible as a historic defeat in an international tournament, or more innocuous like a college track meet where you just happened to be pitted against a future Olympic champion. Those losses can be tough to recover from, but taking losses is also inherent to being alive. And they never have to be fatal.


Nuengrutai:

I’m the coach of an international team that just competed in the biggest competition in the world. The fact that we made the tournament was a big success for us, but we really wanted to leave a good impression. The last time we were in the tournament, we lost by a historic number of goals. I don’t even want to mention how many. It was obscene. Unfortunately, not only did we not make the best impression again, but we lost by an even bigger margin this time. So much that there were arguments about whether our opponents should have been celebrating so much as they ran the score up.

I don’t have too much time for whether what they did was right, but it is heartbreaking for me and for the players that this is how our adventure this summer has started. Our team isn’t the best, and a lot of that comes from institutional failures, so this may just be a case of growing pains, but that understanding doesn’t help with how bad it feels to be at the receiving end of such a decimation. We have at least two more games, but I’m not sure how to get the players up for them after such a disaster.

CBM:

International tournaments are so peculiar in that not only are results determined by talent and coaching, but gaps in funding and resources, as well. No matter the sport. Often when you see a team losing by a large margin, what you’re seeing is the on-field outcome of a lot of failures off-the-field. These failures occur for a combination of reasons that can include things like disinterest, lack of money, corruption, sexism, and a lack of leadership.

The difficulty is that, even with all of this knowledge, players still want to win. And losing so badly will naturally dent one’s confidence. No matter how much players talk about moving on to the next match, no one forgets games like that. I still remember games from childhood tournaments that still hurt. I can’t imagine the pain that comes from experiencing that level of loss on the international stage.

And then there’s also the pain of knowing that you’re part of the team that has to suffer in order for future generations to prosper. It’s your visible pain and historic defeats that will serve as motivation for the institutions around the team to take an interest in improvement. Your generation is the sacrificial lamb.

What your team is doing, even in losing, will be an important step towards a brighter future. And hopefully one day you can look back at the loss and feel detached, and almost not recognize the experience, because things will be so much better.

I think it’s important to remind the players that they deserve their place on the international stage. That the loss doesn’t diminish them nor their accomplishments thus far. They should know that even if feel like the butt of a bad joke, that for many of their own fans, and especially for children who have never seen themselves reflected on such a big stage, they are inspiring and beloved.


Blade:

I did decathlon and heptathlon in college. Because it’s a lot on your body, you can only do a couple a season, and for the most part, you just do individual events at meets to try and prepare for the full thing without the damage to your body that seven or ten events can do.

So because of that, even if you’re a little banged up, coaches tend to make you do a full hept or dec if you can make it onto the track, because you only have a few chances.

Senior year, I tweaked my hamstring and we thought I tore it, but it turned out to just be a strain. Since it wasn’t too bad, my coach still wanted me to do the full hept at the upcoming meet because it was the last one before conference, and it had a lot of elite competition which is good for scoring high.

I proceed to have the shittiest meet of the year. Season lows in five out of seven events. Literally limping down the runway for the long jump and high jump. One of the other guys in the hept kept offering help, kept cheering me on, kept telling me that I can make it through, and that he knew I was hurting but he was proud of how hard I was competing.

That guy? Ashton Eaton. Who, in the same event, as I had the worst meet of the year, broke the collegiate record all while being the nicest guy I’ve ever met. I didn’t know that made it worse. But it definitely does. You know what’s worse than getting washed in one event? Getting washed in six in a row, wearing a skin tight fucking unitard.

CBM:

I had to look up Ashton Eaton because of this question, and now I’m not sure if it’s heartwarming that such an incredible athlete took time to look after you, or if it only looks nice from a distance but felt condescending in the moment. I know when you’re in a competition, you don’t want people treating you as a charity case, even when you’re obviously struggling. Sometimes you’d rather push through it and suffer on your own, rather than have someone bring attention to your failings. That feeling is part of the warrior mentality that goes with being an athlete.

I’m guessing that same mentality pushed you to compete even when you were obviously hurt. For some reason, the reality of being hurt always seems to lose to the idea that we can push through pain and still be great. The injury becomes part of the conflict of your eventual victory. It’s a challenge to be beaten.

That is, until you get out there, and it’s much too late to bail on the competition, and you have to deal with the embarrassment of public failure. And some better, more healthy guy, saying that he is proud of you for trying.

If nothing more, I think these cases are an argument for trainers and doctors who aren’t beholden to teams and schools. Athletes often have to be saved from themselves and their coaches. Your will is to compete, and the coach is often looking to do what’s best for his or her team, even if that means trotting you out there with a limp. A medical professional who could override the coach and yourself could have saved you from being washed in six events.

And in stead, you could have used that time to laugh at other people in unitards being washed by a future Olympic gold medalist instead.


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First Democratic 2020 Primary Debate Schedules Released: See Which Candidates Will Face Each Other

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The Democratic National Committee has released the schedule for the first primary debates, to take place on two consecutive nights, June 26-27. The debates will be broadcast on NBC News.

NIGHT ONE: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

NIGHT TWO: California Sen. Kamala Harris; Former Vice President Joe Biden; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; Author and speaker Marianne Williamson; California Rep. Eric Swalwell; Entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The post First Democratic 2020 Primary Debate Schedules Released: See Which Candidates Will Face Each Other appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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GLAAD Sees Surge in Donations Thanks to New Taylor Swift Song

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GLAAD told TMZ it has seen a surge in donations following the release of Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down,” which makes mention of the LGBTQ rights organization in a homophonous lyric.

Swift sings “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?” on the track, which calls out anti-LGBTQ haters.

TMZ reports: ‘GLAAD recently started a fundraiser to support its LGBTQ advocacy work during Pride Month, setting a $1,300 goal as an homage to Taylor’s favorite number 13 … and we’re told many of the donations flowing in are for $13. GLAAD executive Anthony Ramos is glad to have Taylor on their side … he says, “The fact she continues to use her platform and music to support the LGBTQ community and the Equality Act is a true sign of being an ally.”‘

The post GLAAD Sees Surge in Donations Thanks to New Taylor Swift Song appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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» “Mueller Report” – Google News: You Can Now Listen to the Mueller Report as a Podcast – Fortune 14/06/19 06:38 from Trump Investigations

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from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

» “Mueller Report” – Google News: You Can Now Listen to the Mueller Report as a Podcast – Fortune
14/06/19 06:38 from Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (32 sites)
You Can Now Listen to the Mueller Report as a Podcast    Fortune The full Mueller report into 2016 Russian interference and obstruction by President Trump is a PDF, audiobook, and now a free podcast. “Mueller Report” – Google News

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: » “Mueller Report” – Google News: You Can Now List… trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/muelle…

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The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: » “Mueller Report” – Google News: You Can Now List… trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/muelle…


Posted by

mikenov
on Friday, June 14th, 2019 4:22pm

mikenov on Twitter


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The 7 best moments from ‘Hard Knocks’ we hope the Raiders can live up to

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The Raiders were a perfect choice for “Hard Knocks” and give us the best chance at another signature moment in the show.

The Oakland/soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders were announced as the subjects of HBO’s Hard Knocks, much to the delight of NFL fans everywhere. The Raiders have always been one of the more newsworthy organizations in NFL history, whether it be for good or bad reasons.

Prior to their headline-grabbing moves this offseason, it seemed like the Raiders would have been the right choice for next year’s show, when their move to Las Vegas is set to begin. And yet, this couldn’t come at a better time for them. With characters like Jon Gruden, Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict, and Richie Incognito, the Raiders were a slam dunk choice.

The show has always been a good bridge leading up to the season as something we can look forward to every week. It’s also produced some great moments — moments that we expect the Raiders to add to in their handful of weeks on the show.

Let’s relive some of the most fun moments from the previous 12 seasons of Hard Knocks.

7. William Hayes’ belief in mermaids, and non-belief in dinosaurs

When the Jeff Fisher-led Rams were on Hard Knocks in 2016 (I know, seems forever ago now), Hayes’ belief in mermaids was revealed to the masses.

“I remember him getting real excited about the potential for moving out here because he knew he would be closer to mermaids here on the West Coast,” Jeff Fisher said on the show.

One even came to visit him at practice:

And he gave her a hug. Validation, I guess!:

The moment became funnier when Hayes added that he felt dinosaurs never existed. And honestly, it was the most interesting part of that Hard Knocks season, which was otherwise a big snoozer.

Here’s what his one-time teammate Chris Long had to say about it to ESPN:

“He thinks archaeologists place bones underground like a parent would place Easter eggs. They just planted them. It’s some large conspiracy. He does not believe that dinosaurs ever existed and he thinks that mermaids are real. I love dinosaurs, so we have a big point of contention.”

The NFL are internet fun blockers, so you’ll have to view the entire clip here.

Also, Hayes’ list of things he does and does not believe in goes beyond dinosaurs and mermaids. He doesn’t think man ever walked on the moon, and that there are aliens and other life forms in the universe.

Pssst, he’s a free agent, Raiders. Sign him.

6. Antonio Cromartie naming all of his children, which there are a lot of

Back in 2010, Cromartie was tasked with naming all nine of his kids at the time. It wasn’t exactly a quick process:

As of the writing of this post, Cromartie has 14 kids, making Philip Rivers look rather chill. Cromartie had a vasectomy after having 10 kids, and yet here we are, four kids later.

That’s a lot of kids.

5. Rex Ryan’s post-practice speech, with a surprise ending

In 2010, then-Jets head coach Rex Ryan delivered the ending to a speech that we didn’t know we needed:

Ryan told his players, “Let’s make sure we play like the fucking New York Jets and not some fucking slap dick team. That’s what I want to see tomorrow. Do we understand what the fuck I want to see tomorrow?”

He concluded, “Now let’s go eat a goddamn snack.” If that ain’t a mood, I don’t know what is.

4. Bob Wylie’s bouncin’ tummy

SET HUT!

I mean, come on. That’s just wonderful. The Browns offensive line coach easily became the MVP of their Hard Knocks season, and it wasn’t just because of his bouncing stomach.

3. Bob Wylie’s stretching rant

I would like to preface this video by acknowledging that what Wylie is saying here is ridiculous. That’s also why it’s hilarious:

“Did you know, World War I and World War II, all those guys that fought in that war … they did pushups, jumping jacks, situps, climb the rope and ran,” he says. “None of this fancy shit. And they won two World Wars. Two World Wars by doing jumping jacks, push ups, and situps! Do you think they were worried when they were running across Normandy about fuckin’ stretching?”

For the record: no, I don’t think they were worried about stretching when they were running across Normandy.

2. Bernard Pollard werkin’ it in the locker room

Versatility is important for NFL defensive backs, and Pollard displayed his in 2007 for his teammates in the locker room:

The Chiefs went 4-12 that season, but at least they were entertaining leading up to that dud of a year, I suppose?

1. Vince Wilfork’s overalls

For anybody who thought that Wilfork was gonna lose his spark after the Patriots declined his option in 2015 and he signed with the Texans, they were gravely mistaken.

Wilfork showed up to Texans practice later that year in overalls, and it was the greatest moment that Hard Knocks had ever produced:

It gave us this image, of an annoyed Bill O’Brien, shadowed by the beefy Wilfork in overalls (and NOTHING, but overalls):


That’s a whole lotta man.

There are endless possibilities of moments that the Raiders could give us in 2019. We can’t be sure how they’re going to look on the field during the season, but we know they’re going to perform well on Hard Knocks, and that’s enough for us.


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After Ejecting Gay Couple for Kissing, Owner of L.A.’s Langer’s Deli Says He Would Eject Any Couple for Kissing

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“Where Pastrami Goes When It Dies” by fordsbasement is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

The owner of Langer’s Deli, an L.A. institution, is under fire after he asked a gay couple to leave the restaurant for kissing.

A woman on Twitter, later identified as Rachel Curry, accused the deli’s owner, Norm Langer, of creating an “unsafe space” for LGBTQ people and said the incident, in which he stood over her table with a walkie-talkie and humiliated her felt “violent and wrong.”

Langer responded with his own statement on Twitter and spoke with the L.A. Times.

In the statement, Langer said that “Langer’s Deli is open and inclusive to all people,” adding “We have a long-standing policy against anyone from ‘making out’ whether straight or same-sex couples, it does not matter. I have stopped heterosexual couples from making out, and I would do the same if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were making out. We are a family restaurant and I apologize if some people do not like our policy.”

Curry responded in kind, calling the incident, “blatant discrimination against queer people. He said ‘I can’t have this behavior in my restaurant. Coded language to tell us that our queer behavior would not be tolerated in his establishment.”

Said Langer to the L.A. Times: “The whole thing is absurd. The two ladies came in around 11:30, they were sitting next to each other and throughout the meal they started snuggling and making out. I walked over to the table and said, ‘Hi, I’m Norm Langer. I’m glad you’re here, but it’s not really a place to make out. They said are you against the LGBTQ community, and I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ 

“Where Pastrami Goes When It Dies”by fordsbasement is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The post After Ejecting Gay Couple for Kissing, Owner of L.A.’s Langer’s Deli Says He Would Eject Any Couple for Kissing appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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