NFL will have 58 prospects participating remotely in draft

first_imgNFL will have 58 prospects participating remotely in draft Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNEW YORK (AP) — Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young are among 58 prospects who will participate remotely in the NFL draft next week that will double as a telethon to raise money to fight the coronavirus crisis.Burrow is one of eight LSU players who will take part in the April 23-25 draft, one more than Alabama.Normally, top prospects would be invited to the draft itself, but this year’s festivities in Las Vegas were scuttled by the coronavirus outbreak and the draft will instead be conducted in a studio with the league’s 32 teams participating remotely from their hometowns. April 9, 2020center_img The NFL also said that throughout the three-day draft it will host a “Draft-A-Thon” to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and pay tribute to healthcare workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.The virus has killed more than 12,000 people in the U.S. and fundamentally transformed American life while plunging the global economy into what is expected to be a major recession. More than one in 10 U.S. workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the pandemic. Worldwide, more than 1.5 million people have been confirmed infected and about 90,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The SEC leads all conferences with 24 prospects confirmed to participate in the event, which will serve as a three-day fundraiser benefiting six charities that are battling the virus and delivering relief to millions in need.Those charities are: the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross; CDC Foundation’s All of Us; and the COVID-19 response funds of Feeding America, Meals on Wheels America and United Way. Despite the logistical challenges of operating a 255-pick draft remotely, teams will still have just 10 minutes between picks in the first round, seven for rounds 2 and 3 and five for rounds 4-7.The Cincinnati Bengals own the first overall pick.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

MLB’s silver screen teams

first_imgThe first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs was something of a letdown. Face it, there is more suspense and drama in the typical game of beer baseball than there was in the Divisional playoffs: three clean sweeps and a 3-1 series in which the biggest storyline had to do with whether or not the Yankees and their blowhard owner will make the monumental mistake of firing a man who has taken the team to 12 straight playoff appearances. (Sure, it would be nice for George Steinbrenner to get some hardware for the $200 million he spends every season, but in the last six years, the MLB playoffs have turned into a giant crapshoot. It’s hard to fault Joe Torre too much.)Except for the first of the month, when the Rockies-Padres epic went 13 innings, October has hardly had the riveting, edge-of-your seat action Dane Cook promised in all those commercials. To the unaffiliated fan, “Actober” has been kind of lame, which is ironically fitting for anyone unfortunate enough to have seen any of Cook’s classic performances.In the spirit of “Actober,” let’s spice the playoff picture up a little bit by taking a look at the four League Championship teams and their corollaries from the sports silver screen.Colorado Rockies as the California Angels (“Angels in the Outfield”)No one expected the deadbeat Angels to make a glorious second-half of the season comeback. Wallowing near the bottom of the division, it took a miracle (several, actually) for the Halos to win the American League West. The Rockies took a similar path. While there were, to the best of my knowledge, no crazed Rockies fans giving Clint Hurdle the George Knox treatment and screaming for him to “Go back to Cincinnati,” the Rockies were in fourth place in the National League West for much of the season before a miraculous late-season 13-1 run vaulted them into a playoff for the Wild Card. As anyone who saw that crazy game could see, the Rockies needed some divine intervention to win. What other explanation could there be for a three-run comeback against the all-time saves leader and Matt Holliday being ruled safe at home when Padres’ catcher Michael Barrett clearly had the plate blocked. My guess would be that that game’s home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, was not ruling Holliday safe as much as he was extending his arms out in order to flap them like J.P. and Roger did whenever they saw an angel. Or not.Arizona Diamondbacks as the Hickory Huskers (“Hoosiers”)Somehow, someway, the Diamondbacks managed to win more games than any other team in the National League. If you look at the statistics alone, it would be hard to imagine Arizona being a team that would win 90 games and sweep the first round of the playoffs. The Diamondbacks roster is not laden with huge superstar talents or big egos. Instead, Arizona plays with an all-for-one mentality. As for offense, the D-Backs are about as close to a “five pass before a shot” attack there is in baseball. Arizona had the second-worst team batting average in baseball and scored 20 fewer runs than it allowed during the regular season.But what carried both the Diamondbacks and the Huskers to big victories was a gritty, hard-nosed style of play. If D-Backs outfielder and hustler-extraordinaire Eric Byrnes had lived in rural Indiana during the mid-1950s, you can bet he would have bought into Norman Dale’s tough style of play. He probably would have even given the Huskers a second go-to option behind Jimmy Chitwood.The Cleveland Indians as the Cleveland Indians (Major League)Eric Wedge’s Indians squad may not be quite the same ragtag group that Lou Brown managed, but they do have the same opportunity: bring the championship-starved city of Cleveland its first World Series title since 1948.Both squads have/had a hard-throwing young gun on the pitching staff — for the film incarnation of the Tribe, it was Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn; for the 2007 version, it’s Fausto Carmona. Carmona struggled in the closer role for the Indians last season; Vaughn struggled at times as well. All that’s different between the two Indians is a lack of Bob Uecker’s play-by-play and a manager intent on making the team as bad as possible. That, and the fact the real Indians actually play in Cleveland, as opposed to movie Indians, which played in pseudo-home parks in Milwaukee and Baltimore. Still, you can see Travis Hafner and Pedro Cerrano trading home runs blow-for-blow.Boston Red Sox as Team USA (D2)Sure, the whole Red Sox craze has gone on a little (lot) too long. I can’t count on all my digits how many people, Red Sox “fans,” have come out of the woodwork after the team’s improbable comeback during the 2004 playoffs. So comparing them to team USA is not to claim they are America’s Team. Instead, the similarities between the two teams are so striking that they are hard to ignore. Both teams overcame troubled pasts (Team USA while the Ducks and, before that, District 5; the Red Sox with that whole curse thing) to rise to national prominence. To win the Minnesota State Pee-Wee Championship, the Ducks had to go through their arch-nemesis: Jack Reilly and the hated Hawks. The Red Sox had to overcome Steinbrenner and the Yankees. Uncanny.On the field, the Red Sox rely on its own pair of Bash Brothers: Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. While the jury is still out on whether they would be able to hang with Dean Portman and Fulton Reed in a brawl, what is known is Papi and Manny can hit a ball as hard as a Reed slapshot. The knucklepuck/ball is also a vital part of both teams’ games. Tim Wakefield’s dancing ball leaves hitters looking foolish in the same way Russ Tyler’s knucklepuck leaves goaltenders swatting at air. (Now if only Wakefield would secretly head out to centerfield and throw out a runner at home while Wedge stands on the top dugout step yelling in a thick Midwestern accent, “The centerfielder!!!”)There you have it. While it is tough to pick against any of the teams remaining in the playoffs, I’m going with the Ducks, I mean, Red Sox to win the World Series. Even without Julie “The Cat” Gaffney.Ben is a junior majoring in journalism and political science. Is D2 the best movie ever made? Quite possibly. Share your thoughts on the MLB playoffs or great teams from sports movies at [email protected]last_img read more

Are Clippers’ exhibition statistics a red flag or ‘fool’s gold?’

first_imgPLAYA VISTA >> Don’t be surprised if the Clippers take the court with a mop and bucket instead of a basketball sometime in the next week.“We just want to clean everything up,” Clippers guard Chris Paul said.Everything, in this sense, doesn’t mean the floor and the windows. It means offense. It means defense. It means shooting. It means passing.It means everything. The Clippers are fifth in defensive rebounding percentage, a considerable area of emphasis in the preseason.But as Rivers would likely point out, those numbers don’t mean much either. The Clippers were among the best defensive rebounding teams last year in the exhibition season before it became a problem that plagued them for the rest of the season.“(We have to) constantly get better. We still have to execute a lot more stuff,” Clippers forward Wesley Johnson said. “We still need to start earlier. The second unit needs to start earlier running the offense, making sure everybody knows their spots in the rotation, where they need to be. But for the most part I think we got out of it where we need to grow as a team as far as rebounding on the defensive end, That’s the main focus.”The Clippers did enough to prove that they’re capable of doing the right things once the season starts Thursday. They just need to learn how to almost always show they’re capable.“Just like any professional team or any team in general, it’s about consistency,” Paul said. “That’s the thing I’m sure coach is going to harp on. We show, in spurts, that we can do it, but it’s about who does it the longest, the right way.”AlsoPaul Pierce sprained his ankle when he stepped on the foot of an ESPN sideline reporter before the game in Sacramento on Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s a bad one, but I don’t actually know,” Rivers said. “Ankles are ankles. Some heal in a day or two and some take two weeks.” … Luc Mbah a Moute missed Thursday’s practice with a right knee contusion. He’s expected to return before the season opener. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img While the Clippers split their six-game exhibition schedule, the numbers aren’t as forgiving. Their net rating, a statistic that measures the difference between points scored and points given up per 100 possessions is better than only Orlando and Philadelphia.Their shooting numbers were in the bottom half of the league, their turnovers were up and their overall defensive numbers weren’t especially encouraging.But Clippers coach Doc Rivers has thoughts about those 288 minutes of data: Doesn’t matter.“I think that’s fool’s gold,” Rivers said. “I’ll let everyone else do that stuff. No, I don’t (look at that stuff). I’ve never done that.”For those who are a believer in exhibition statistics and results (reminder: Cleveland went 1-6 in last year), one number implies the Clippers did clean up one particularly messy area.last_img read more