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The NFL mourns the loss of another star– “For years at a time, Seau was the only thing about the Chargers worth looking at. He was there in ’90 and ’91, when the Chargers were trying to overcome Billy Joe Tolliver and John Friesz. He was, of course, there in ’94 when Bobby Ross had helped right the ship and the Chargers became AFC Champions. He was there through Kevin Gilbride and June Jones. He was there when the Chargers pinned their hopes to Ryan Leaf. He was there for 1-15.
Through all of this, Seau’s energy level never changed. He didn’t play any harder on January 29, 1995, when 83.4 million people were watching him in Super Bowl XXIX, than he did on December 24th in 2000, when the 1-14 Chargers had to play out the string against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seau’s trademark energy and electricity were there on every play, in every game, whether a world championship was on the line, or one of Craig Whelihan’s two career victories. It never felt like Seau played for anything he might’ve gained from an outstanding effort — it looked like he played simply because there was football to be played, and if you get to play football on a given day, why not pour your entire being into it?
That’s what Seau was to the Chargers organization — the one thing they knew they could be proud of, no matter what else was happening under the lightning bolt banner. Seau was the light — often, the only light — in the organization. From 1990 to 2002, it never flickered.” [MJD/Shutdown Corner]
“Nearly a year ago, OSU’s fan-base was reeling from losing long-time lover Jim Tressel and was looking to fill the void. Hurting and on the rebound, OSU quickly started dating Luke Fickell, a young ex-footballer who you could bring home to mom. It seemed perfect at first, but as time went on it was clear he was just an interim anesthesia for the horrific pain felt in the Heart of It All. OSU started hitting the bars, flirting with anything it could get its hands on. From Gruden to Pelini and from Dantonio back to late night meet-ups with Fickell, Buckeye Nation was a mess. Just when the good people of Ohio thought all was lost and were about to turn to Friday nights of Häagen Dazs and OK Cupid… In walked Urban.” [Beck/Eleven Warriors]
“The Cleveland Cavaliers are easily the team with the best chance to jump from lottery dweller to championship contender if their pick in the NBA Draft this summer ends up being top 3. Most Draft Experts rate Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the player who have the best chances of being key contributors to turning a franchise around.
The Cavaliers have a 42.6% chance of landing a top 3 pick, while a 23.8% chance of picking fourth and (this gets scary) a 29.0% chance of having the fifth pick. While those picks would allow the Cavaliers to select a nice player, it wouldn’t quite be someone who could make that huge difference that is needed to really win, not just be 8 seed in the East next year.” [Fear the Sword]
And this could take a while– “After seeing the NFL’s decision letters, the NFLPA has still not received any detailed or specific evidence from the league of these specific players’ involvement in an alleged pay-to-injure program. We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf.” [NFLPA]
Finally, from Carlton Mitchell’s Lockerz account, the Browns helping out at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. [Lockerz]