Was this the best effort Berdych has seen from Federer in their 23 matches?

A native of India in his 30s, he posts on YouTube under the name HonorTheCall, but he was inconsequential compared with Cassell or Martin. He had barely 1,500 followers. But he’d been tracking a rash of recent reports — including a widely read one on Bloomberg.com — that detailed the growth of skins gambling as well as scandals involving celebrity gamers who’d promoted sites without acknowledging secret payments.

A regular visitor to Martin’s YouTube channel, HonorTheCall noticed that Martin had been spending a lot of time hawking CSGO Lotto. In light of the news reports he had just read, he decided to look more closely into the new site on the scene. After a few keystrokes, he stumbled onto his own jackpot: Incorporation records online showed that Martin and Cassell were the owners of the Orlando-based site. “I just sat there, staring at the screen,” he says.

That night he made a video laying out his findings. He accused the high-profile YouTubers of peddling gambling to children and ended with an impassioned plea: “These kids, man, they look up to you. They think if their idols can make $13,000 in five minutes, they can too. But we all know that’s not true. … Let these kids go to school, man.”

Friday night at Rod Laver Arena provided the first batch of meaningful evidence, and it sure looked definitive. Federer thoroughly ruined No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

“Bordering on vintage Federer,” said John McEnroe, an analyst on the ESPN broadcast. “He’s making Berdych look small. Could he rise to the occasion, we were asking? So far, so good.”

And considering how early Federer finds himself in his comeback curve, that is a fair assessment. We will leave the hysteria and the hyperbole, for the time being anyway, to others.

Was this the best effort Berdych has seen from Federer in their 23 matches?

Ken Stabler passes away at 69

Alabama football and Oakland Raiders great Ken Stabler died at 69 years old on Wednesday. Stabler’s family confirmed the news Thursday evening. Stabler died of colon cancer.

A statement from the family described Stabler as “a kind, generous and unselfish man, never turning down an autograph request or an opportunity to help someone in need. A great quarterback, he was an even greater father to his three girls and grandfather to his two ‘grand snakes.'”

Raiders owner Mark Davis released a statement on behalf of Oakland.
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“The Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of the great Ken Stabler,” Davis said. “He was a cherished member of the Raider family and personified what it means to be a Raider. He wore the Silver and Black with Pride and Poise and will continue to live in the hearts of Raider fans everywhere. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny’s family.”

“He set coaching back 50 years,” Casper was quoted as saying by Paul Zimmerman in “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football” (1984).

“He knows everything there is to know on a football field, but when they give him his game plan on Wednesday he probably takes it and throws it in the wastebasket. No one ever suspected how little he knew about the game plan on a particular week.
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“I don’t think he ever cared about losing. Winning is fine. Losing? So what? He’d rather win the gamble and force a pass in there. He’d rather do it the hard way.”
Stabler was involved in some of the biggest plays in football history.

Though initially on the practice squad, he was signed to active roster in January 2010 and would soon become the Steelers go-to goal-line back. During the 2010 season, he played a pivotal role in the Steelers 13-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Predicting the biggest offseason change for all 32 teams

Tony Romo, the franchise’s leader in touchdown passes and passing yards, will be released. While there will be talk of a trade, there will be too many hoops to jump through to get a deal done. From the Cowboys’ perspective, designating Romo as a post-June 1 cut will open up more cap space, even if they have to take a cap hit over the next two seasons. It will be a goodbye as difficult as Jerry Jones has had to say to any player in his tenure as owner and general manager.

Jonathan Cooper Mens Jersey This is the issue Bulls executives Gar Forman and John Paxson must tackle in the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline at the end of next month. Wade is correct in noting that the Bulls are better served to have younger players experience growing pains now as they prepare for the future. But that’s why the Bulls’ current plan of adding Wade and Rajon Rondo to a young group of underachievers and unknowns surrounding Butler was always doomed for mediocrity.

Over the years, Chinese leagues — including the top-tier Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and other second-tier divisions — have developed a voracious appetite for foreign players, especially Americans, hoping that they can bring excitement to the game and boost ticket sales. Today, thanks to the teams’ deeper pockets and an increased willingness to spend, China has become a hotbed for former NBA players hoping to make some quick money before jumping to more competitive leagues.

“For foreign players to succeed in China, being competent is the first thing,” said Will Shao, a Chinese basketball insider and former reporter who closely followed Marbury in Beijing.
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And for most Chinese teams, competency means getting buckets.

Every summer, Chinese team officials travel to the United States and Europe on aggressive scouting trips. But with the exploding salary cap in the NBA, many Chinese teams say it is becoming more difficult to find quality players at a price they can afford.

Du Feng, head coach of the CBA’s Guangdong Southern Tigers, has noticed a drop in overall quality.

“Many players who have proven themselves probably didn’t show up [in the CBA],” he said. “Maybe it’s related to the high salary in the NBA.”

“You are given a different role,” Beyer said. “[In China], guys are encouraged to score and to lead.”

Janis absolutely roasted Logan Ryan in the Packers first preseason game

It’s evident on film that Hill was getting better week after week. It was hard not to notice. Even though he generally rushed between the center and one of the guards, which is the shittiest position to pass rush from, Hill was able to consistently push the pocket back into an opposing quarterback’s lap, whether he was double-teamed or not. When teams tried to just let a center or guard try to block Hill one-on-one, they ended up paying for it.

Hill is a big dude — 6’1 and just over 300 pounds — but he has a lot of wiggle to him and that put a lot of pressure on interior linemen who had to be wary of getting run over and getting run around.

Everything was looking up for Hill as the season came to a close and the playoffs beckoned. Then he got hurt in the last game of the regular season. That injury landed Hill on the IR and out of the playoffs. He had to watch from the sideline as his team went all the way down to the wire in the Super Bowl only to lose on that fateful interception at the goal line by not running the damn ball.

Janis absolutely roasted Logan Ryan in the Packers first preseason game, scoring a 26-yard touchdown and setting Twitter ablaze. That’s what we’ve been hoping to see from the former Saginaw Valley standout.

While reports say he’s still a raw project, he’s had a year to work on his game at the NFL level, and he plays in arguably the best offense in the league. Some of the Packers writers seemed disappointed with Janis’ early training camp play, but that highlight for the first preseason game is just a taste of what he’s capable of.

Janis has to battle Ty Montgomery for the No. 4 spot on the depth chart, but he has the tools to do it. Again, when we’re looking at potential opportunities, if Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or Davante Adams ever went down with an injury, Janis would be in position to make a significant impact with Aaron Rodgers.

NFL tells DeAngelo Williams he can’t wear pink all season to honor his mother

DeAngelo Williams dyed his hair pink last season to honor his mother, Sandra, who passed away from breast cancer in 2010. Williams wrote about why the color pink was important to him in a story for MMQB, and even inspired Madden NFL 16 to include his pink-tinged dreads in the latest version of the game.

There may be no sane person in the world who wouldn’t be touched by Williams’ gesture. And yet, when he asked the NFL if he could wear pink throughout the 2015 season, he wasn’t “able to do that,” according to Lisa Salters on ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast.
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Currently, every team in the NFL is being made to wear something pink throughout the month October, which is breast cancer awareness month. The NFL apparently doesn’t think that breast cancer deserves awareness in other months, or perhaps it simply knows October is the best time to hock pink memorabilia.

There should be no doubts as to whom the starter is now.

You should absolutely question what’s going on with Manning, and the offense will need to improve if the Broncos are to be the elite team they’ve been in recent seasons, but for now the defense is carrying them as far as they need to go.

Limited Youth Aaron Lynch Jersey Manning then hit Donnell in the back of the end zone for the winning score.

After a 3-3 first quarter, the Giants put together a pair of nice drives in the second quarter. The first one resulted in Eli Manning’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Vereen, but the second one stalled before Josh Brown made it 13-3 with a field goal.

The Bears and Steelers leaned heavily on these backfield threats in the passing game

The Bears and Steelers leaned heavily on these backfield threats in the passing game. With Bell gone in Weeks 1 and 2, you could see the need for significant game plan tweaks.
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Limited Colt McCoy Jersey Putting rushing and receiving together, let’s take a quick look at which running backs comprised the biggest piece of their teams’ total offensive pie:

Bell finished just behind Murray in total scrimmage yards with 2,215, and just behind Murray and Forte for percentage of their teams’ total scrimmage yards. With Bell missing the Steelers’ first two games, they’ll have to figure out how to replace about one third of their total offensive output from last season. That’s not going to be an easy proposition.

Will DeAngelo Williams be the beneficiary? Can Antonio Brown shoulder another one-third of the high-octane offense? Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wondered this himself recently.

Similar to gaining a few pounds here and there and all of a sudden realizing you’re overweight, Bortles’ mechanics slowly slipped throughout the offseason. When he got to training camp, things were a mess. There was no time to fix it at that point, and he struggled as a result.

Bortles is planning on leaving for California in mid-January and returning to Jacksonville at the end of March. That gives him approximately 10 weeks of work on his mechanics.

He’ll have to learn Hackett’s offense, but that process should be streamlined a bit because Hackett already knows what Bortles likes and is good at, so he can eliminate some plays and calls immediately.

The Jaguars are giving Bortles the advantage of continuity with a coordinator he feels comfortable with and likes. Now he just has to prove it was a disappointing 2016 — and not his impressive 2015 season — that was a fluke.

For most of his life, George Fant wanted nothing to do with football

He grew up shuttling between his mother’s home in Cincinnati and his father’s 200-acre farm on the outskirts of Smiths Grove, Kentucky, where he planted tobacco and rose before dawn to feed the hogs and cows. He was one of the biggest kids around, so he was expected to strap on a helmet and play the game. But when junior high was over, he’d had enough.

At Western Kentucky, George Fant starred at power forward, winning the Most Outstanding Player award in the Sun Belt Conference tournament and leading his team to the NCAA tournament.

He didn’t follow football, college or pro. Football seemed more dangerous than it was worth.

None of this should surprise you. It’s Seattle, where Carroll and his fellow coaches do things differently. It’s in vogue for NFL teams these days to spend big on marquee, All-Pro offensive linemen — think Cowboys or Raiders. But the Seahawks have just posted another 10-win season with the league’s lowest-paid offensive line, a unit held together with chicken wire and hope.

Limited Youth Alonzo Gee Jersey If a football team is only as good as its weakest component, this does not augur well for the playoffs. All season, the offensive line has struggled to protect Wilson. He has been pressured on 37 percent of his dropbacks, worst in the league. He has been sacked on 6.6 percent of them, the fourth worst. The toll is clear. Since hurting his knee in Week 3, Wilson has lost some of the speed and poise that have made him elite.
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For the Seahawks, who play host to Detroit in a wild-card game Saturday night, to have a deep run in the playoffs, the offensive line must improve. A lot will depend on Fant, who will be trying to guard Wilson’s blind side.

The Cardinals should bet big on Carlos Martinez

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The Cardinals are a solid all-around team. So much so, that a common complaint is that the roster is hard to upgrade. In the 2013-2014 off-season, signing Jhonny Peralta was a huge upgrade over the nightmare that was Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso sharing starting duties. The trade for Jason Heyward was a huge upgrade at the time over a younger Randal Grichuk. This year, the signing of Dexter Fowler filled the only real hole in the lineup.

Game Youth Thomas Morstead Jersey Then the lockout happened, and the league felt the need to ¡°apologize¡± to the fans through throwing outdoor games at them. In just the 2013-2014 season, we saw the Maple Leafs play the Red Wings in front of over 105,000 people in Ann Arbor followed by the Ducks against the Kings at Dodger Stadium less than a month later. Then the Rangers hosted two outdoor games three days apart, one against the Flyers and one against their cross-town rivals, the New York Islanders. The Blackhawks hosted the Penguins at Soldier Field to conclude the Stadium Series, and the Canucks hosted the Senators at the Heritage Classic.

Despite the novelty of seeing two California teams play on shockingly good ice, the Stadium Series and complete slate of outdoor games weren¡¯t as successful outside of the local markets as the league would hope. The attendance at the games was outstanding, of course, and the league turned a profit, but people started grumbling. Why were the Blackhawks and Flyers and Rangers featured again? Did anyone really care about tuning in to the Stadium Series games? What impact would the inflated slate of games have on the league¡¯s marquee event?

The Indianapolis Colts could have grabbed the lead by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars

A key game in the AFC South also happened in the early slate of games. The Indianapolis Colts could have grabbed the lead by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Jags crushed the Colts, snapping their 16-game divisional winning streak. With a tough game tonight for the Houston Texans against the New England Patriots, the win gives the Jaguars a chance to climb back into the race and make it a three-way run for the divisional crown.

Rounding out the notable things to watch in the early slate was the Cincinnati Bengals against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Ben Roethlisberger back in action, the Steelers have one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses, but so do the Bengals — with a healthy Andy Dalton. But Dalton was injured in the first quarter of the game, and the Steelers were in control from there on out, keeping Cincinnati from clinching the AFC North title. Pittsburgh needed the win to stay ahead in the AFC Wild Card race.

After the early group of 11 games kicking off at 1 p.m., there were just two more games before Sunday Night Football. In the first, the Denver Broncos tried to keep a stranglehold on the AFC West. But they fell to the Oakland Raiders and failed to clinch a spot in the postseason. The Raiders gave their wild card hopes a boost with their win.

No other team that hasn’t clinched a postseason spot can earn a spot in Week 14, although the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals had some rooting interest after locking down spots already. A win for the Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons secured a first-round bye for Carolina, while a loss for the Seattle Seahawks against the Baltimore Ravens would have guaranteed the Cardinals the NFC West crown.

In the AFC there’s little room for error in the wild card race, although unlike the NFC, there are three teams tied for two spots. The Steelers are currently the team on the outside looking in, even after an upset win over the Bengals.

Both the Texans and Buffalo Bills are ready to jump into the race if any team leaves the door ajar for them to do so, but with so many teams in contention, teams like the Raiders and Miami Dolphins would need some help to get back in the thick of the race.