Deion Sanders’ Pro Football Hall of Fame snobbery does not justify so much snubbery

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first_imgThis was a terribly arrogant statement, so of course it wasn’t much of a stretch for Deion Sanders. This has been his way for as long as we’ve known him. And mostly, it has been an endearing quality.He is a big enough deal that it has been decades since anyone really needed to employ his last name. This is how extraordinary he was at what he did. He was among the most magnificent athletes any of us will ever see. So perhaps there should be a museum to honor just him. Despite the Hall voters’ apparent indifference to the encompassing greatness of former Steelers wideout Hines Ward, they have done a proficient job honoring the best players in the game’s history. Those who know the game are rarely going to look through a class and wonder how a particular player got in; the arguments generally are more about who is missing.We are still waiting for Ken Anderson, Jim Marshall and Pat Swilling.Perhaps if their names were Tom Anderson, Dick Marshall and Harry Swilling, they’d be in. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, however, exists as a tribute to those who engage in the ultimate team game. Many who have been enshrined there never came close to scoring a touchdown or recording any statistics that offer evidence of their greatness. They put their bodies on the line to assure others could do these things, to advance the attempts of their teams to win.MORE: Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?So imagine how some of them must have felt when they learned that Deion had gone on the radio, on a program as widely distributed as “The Dan Patrick Show,” and declared the Pro Football Hall of Fame had opened its doors to too many players who did not meet his own personal standard of excellence.How many of them wondered if they were among those players whom Sanders did not view as fit for tribute? Lawrence Taylor surely did not. Or Ronnie Lott. Or Randy Moss. Goodness knows where the line is drawn, though.”What is a Hall of Famer now? Is it a guy who played a long time?” Sanders said to Patrick and his audience. “It’s so skewed now. Once upon a time, a Hall of Famer was a player who changed the darn game, who made you want to reach in your pocket and pay your admission to see that guy play. That’s not a Hall of Famer anymore.”Every Tom, Dick and Harry, you’re a Hall of Famer, you’re a Hall of Famer, you’re a Hall of Famer. They let everybody in this thing. It’s not exclusive anymore. And I don’t like it.”Which of the recent Hall honorees are we to consider a Tom, Dick or Harry? Is he speaking of the late Tommy Nobis, the terrorizing Falcons linebacker who made the Pro Bowl five times and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1960s? Does he mean Dick LeBeau, who still ranks 10th in career interceptions despite playing in the 1960s, when teams passed the ball about half as often? Or perhaps Harry Carson, who won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 1988 and was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times?Sanders is not the first to make a charge such as this in debating Hall of Fame worthiness. It is common among sportswriters, sports talk hosts or fans. It is one thing to hear such conversation from those never tested in this particular crucible. It is another to encounter it from someone who has reached the destination to which many rightfully and reasonably aspire.The Pro Football Hall of Fame began inducting the game’s legends in 1963. Through 56 classes, it has honored 326 men from among the thousands who were engaged in NFL competition across its century of existence.That does not really seem like a lot. If you do the math on this, football’s collection of enshrined greats is not out of proportion, not in the least.MORE: Bill Cowher learns on live TV he’s going to Hall of FameBaseball began inducting Hall of Famers in 1936 and has honored 257 players. Since the first class to enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, there have been 142 former NBA and ABA players selected.OK, football has more in its hall. Consider, though, that a football team comprises 22 full-time contestants to function properly at the highest level. The sport has been played in this manner, with offensive and defensive specialists, for more than half of the league’s history. That’s more than twice as many athletes as are necessary for a baseball team to do business, and more than four times as many as take the court for a basketball team.As well, there are more defined and specific duties required in football. The importance of a right fielder or left fielder is judged primarily in the same manner: how many hits the player accumulated, how many of those provided power, how efficient the player was, and lately, what his WAR number might be.Comparing a right guard to a strong safety is a far greater challenge, and yet each is indispensable to the team’s success.last_img read more

Joe Burrow is already telling the Bengals what he wants, starting with A.J. Green

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first_imgThe Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, six years before Burrow was born, and they’re 0-2 in their pair of Super Bowl appearances.So if having Green on the roster softens whatever blow Burrow might think he’ll experience with whatever he thinks the Bengals are, then so be it. The young QB’s desire to play with the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver is natural, and chances are Burrow will get his wish, at least for the short term. ESPN reported Sunday the Bengals “currently plan to franchise tag” Green, which would keep him in Cincinnati for at least one more season.The question in terms of Burrow’s potential satisfaction with the Bengals, though, is rooted deeper than his having a 6-4 veteran receiver at his disposal.MORE NFL DRAFT:Could another team trade for No. 1 pick (and Burrow)?Yes, Burrow said publicly at the Combine he would “show up” if drafted by Cincinnati, but he has done nothing definitive to deflate rumors of his hoping to play elsewhere — chatter he created himself when he claimed he held leverage as the draft approaches.During a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, NFL Media’s Rich Eisen perfectly presented the situation the Bengals face with Burrow.”The ‘leverage’ part of it,” Eisen began. “You’re slotted. You know how much money you’re going to make. You know how long the contract’s going to be. The only word leverage comes into play is if you exact it to try and not go there. So if you drop ‘leverage,’ we all get it. We all understand what you’re saying.”Eisen then delivered a perfect analogy: “When asked about it, he goes, ‘If they take me, they take me.’ Now Pat, you just got engaged. …”The reason why I bring all this up, and everybody out there in the Pat McAfee Show listening and viewing audience, you all are getting engaged. What if you heard, second-hand, through a friend of your fiance, that when it was apparent you were about to engage to be married to this woman, her response to her friend was, ‘If he proposes, he proposes.'”A beautiful analogy from @RichEisen on Joe Burrow’s comments about the #Bengals and the 1st overall pick #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/p1fYuUWJ5V— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 28, 2020BENDER: Attacking false narratives around BurrowKing expressed similar pessimism in his report: “Though (Burrow) said he would play for the team that drafts him, I still get the feeling he wants to see more devotion to winning than the Bengals have shown.”Burrow, of course, said on The Dan Patrick Show in January, “You want to go No. 1, but you also want to go to a great organization that’s committed to winning, committed to winning Super Bowls.” We still don’t know whether Joe Burrow wants to play for the Bengals in the NFL, but we know he wants to play with A.J. Green in the NFL. (Of course he does.)According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the LSU quarterback most assume will be Cincinnati’s pick with the first overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft “made it clear (at the Combine) he wants the team to sign” Green, the 31-year-old wide receiver who is scheduled to become a free agent this month. King did not specify exactly how Burrow delivered this message, but the Monday report noted the 23-year-old passer met with the Bengals in Indianapolis on Wednesday.last_img read more

Anthony Joshua joins Black Lives Matter protest: Racism ‘pandemic’ is ‘out of control’

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first_imgView this post on Instagram MORE: MMA fighter Devin Clark takes a knee before bout at UFC 250Protests have swept the United States and beyond in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. The protest Joshua attended on Saturday was among several held in the United Kingdom.Floyd died in police custody on May 25 after former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.”The virus has been declared a pandemic,” Joshua said. “This is out of control. And I’m not talking about COVID-19. The virus I’m talking about is called racism. We stand united against a virus which has been instrumental in taking lives, taking lives of the young, old, rich, poor; a virus which is unapologetic and spreads across all sectors.”Joshua added: “We can no longer sit back and remain silent on these senseless, unlawful killings and sly racism on another human being – based on what? Only their skin color.”We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations — just like today, so, well done, Watford.”We must not use a demonstration for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting.” In a widely reported statement, the Briton’s camp insisted the brace was “a precautionary measure” that was not of significant concern after he had felt a “twinge” in training.Joshua has accepted he will only fight once in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the boxing calendar. His next opponent is set to be Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev.Joshua and Pulev were due to fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this month, but the contest was postponed, with a new date and venue still to be determined. Welcome to Watford! We are uniting our community, sparking discussions about economic change and education! Supported by the local council and police, but inspired by the black lives matter movementA post shared by Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) on Jun 6, 2020 at 12:07pm PDTJoshua was seen wearing a knee brace and walking with crutches as well as using a scooter during part of the protest march. World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua appeared at a Black Lives Matter protest in England, declaring the “virus” of racism is “out of control.”Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, addressed a crowd of hundreds in his hometown of Watford with an impassioned speech. He also read a poem.last_img read more

Rudy Gobert, NBA’s coronavirus Patient Zero, records first points of restart: ‘Life works in mysterious ways’

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first_imgMitchell added: “That also kind of stops y’all from talking about it, to be honest with you.”At the end, we’re basketball players. We go out there and make the right play. He did a hell of a job. I try to find my way and find guys who get open. For me, at the end of the game, it’s about making the right read. I’ve told y’all a thousand times I’m trying to be a better passer, better playmaker as a whole. To be able to do that in that situations just shows the steps I’ve made.”It’s just me trusting him and him trusting me. That’s really what it is… He had the first two points, and for that [play] to end it, it should kind of seal everything as far as talking about all that extra stuff.” The NBA season was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic after Gobert had become the league’s first player to return a confirmed positive test.”I’m just grateful,” Gobert, who sunk the first and last points of the match, told ESPN. “Just grateful to be able to do what I love to do. After everything that I’ve personally and everything the world is going through right now, to be able to keep inspiring millions of kids around the world and keep spreading positivity is just a blessing.”And it’s great to start with a win, of course.”MORE: A timeline of the Rudy Gobert-Donovan Mitchell relationshipSealed the win #PerformanceLeader | @Lexus pic.twitter.com/Rn7LUYbTFN— utahjazz (@utahjazz) July 31, 2020Gobert had caused consternation by mocking the league’s distancing protocols at media events by breathing on and touching podium microphones days before his positive test.Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive, did not speak with Gobert for a month after the shutdown, as he was angry with his team-mate’s perceived carelessness around the locker room.Perhaps fittingly, it was a Mitchell dribble that allowed Gobert to sink the decisive free throws with 6.9 seconds left.”A lot of people probably won’t be able to probably say the things they want to say to try to break our team apart,” said Gobert. “Like I said, life works in mysterious ways.” Rudy Gobert described it as “just a blessing” to have turned in a decisive display as the Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA’s Thursday restart.The Jazz won 106-104 at Walt Disney World Resort thanks largely to Gobert’s 14 points and 12 rebounds against a Pelicans side for whom Zion Williamson could only manage 15 minutes.last_img read more

Negotiations continue on bringing hotel-conference center development to Clear Lake

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first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The city of Clear Lake is still working with developers on the possibility of bringing a $12 million hotel and conference center to the community.City Administrator Scott Flory says the city has been working with the unnamed developer since October on this project. “We commissioned a feasibility report, and since that time, we’ve had a developer show interest in Clear Lake, looking at a number of locations around the community for a possible development project that would include somewhere around 70-to-80-plus units in a hotel. It would also include a conference center that could accommodate up to 500 persons, and additionally a restaurant that could seat up to 200 people.”Flory says this type of a project has been on the city’s radar screen for a couple of years.  “We’ve always believed that a facility like this would enable Clear Lake to be more desirable as a retreat destination type community for professional conferences and things of that sort. We’re excited to continue to be working forward with a developer on opportunities that could bring something like that to our community.”Flory says talks are continuing with the developer on a preliminary development agreement that can be presented to the city council in the near future.  “I’m in negotiations with the developer, there’s other negotiations ongoing with the developer and land owners regarding potential sites for the project. I’m not at liberty to disclose any of those. The city is discussing potential development agreement incentives to help bring the project to Clear Lake.”Flory says it’s been over two decades since a major hotel project has been constructed in Clear Lake.last_img read more

By wide margin, Iowa Senate votes to legalize sports betting

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first_imgDES MOINES — With little fanfare — and after more than a decade of missed attempts — the Iowa Senate has voted to legalize sports betting in Iowa. Nineteen Republicans and a dozen Democrats teamed up to vote “yes” on the bill, while 18 senators opposed it.“Sports wagering will no longer be acceptable in the dark. The sun is shining and Iowans will be able to participate legally,” said Republican Senator Roby Smith of Bettendorf.Smith was the only senator to speak during this evening’s 13-minute debate on the bill.“This place,” said Smith, who had guided the bill through six public hearings and two senate committees this year. “…It always surprises me.”Under the plan, wagering on professional and college sports is to be managed by the 19 state-licensed casinos in Iowa. Gamblers in Iowa will be able to use a smart phone app to place their bets.“I believe what we’re doing in this bill is the right thing to do. Sports wagering is not something I’m not fully eager to participate in myself,” Smith said, “but that does not mean we cannot ensure that Iowans have the best experience for those who choose to participate.”The bill also legalizes “fantasy” sports prizes connected to the performance of professional athletes. It’s currently illegal for an Iowan to claim winnings from FanDuel, Draft Kings or other online “fantasy” sports games.The sports wagering issue now moves to the House, where legislation similar to what passed the senate is eligible for debate.Last year, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened the door for states to join Nevada in the sports book business. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Iowa is among 28 states that have moved to consider legalized sports betting this year. Six other states already took action to make the activity legal.last_img read more

Iowa governor says she took chest pain seriously due to family ‘heart issues’

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first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds today said she took a recent bout of chest pain seriously because of her family’s health history.“My family has a lot of heart issues and I don’t. I’ve been healthy, but I don’t mess around with it,” Reynolds told reporters this morning, “and so everything checked out.”Reynolds went to a Des Moines hospital’s ER 11 days ago after experiencing chest discomfort. She underwent a battery of tests, all of which were normal and Reynolds was released to go back to work at the capitol that day.“You know, I started exercising and maybe my body reacted to that. Who knows,” Reynolds said.Reynolds today held her first media availability since her trip to the hospital. Reynolds, who is 59 years old, told reporters she’s “just fine.” A day after taking all those tests she spoke at a national convention in Des Moines, swore in two new members of the Iowa Court of Appeals, and ended the day watching her grandchildren play baseball.According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death among women is a heart attack.last_img read more

Suspended sentence, probation for Mason City woman who let infant roll of bed while she was drunk

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first_imgMASON CITY — It’s a suspended prison sentence and probation for a Mason City woman who pleaded guilty to child endangerment after allowing an infant to roll off a bed while she was intoxicated. Mason City police and paramedics at about 4 o’clock on the morning of January 5th responded to a medical call at a residence in the 1700 block of South Delaware involving a two-month-old. Police said 36-year-old Lakesa Mitchell became intoxicated to the point where she wasn’t able to safely care for the child. They say the child rolled off the bed, onto the floor and was later found on the floor by the child’s mother. The child was transported to the hospital by ambulance for evaluation. Police say a preliminary breath test showed Mitchell had a blood alcohol content of .214, over two-and-a-half times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated. Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charge back in May and was sentenced on Tuesday by Judge Karen Salic to a two-year prison sentence, which was suspended, and was placed on two years probation. Mitchell must also complete all recommended substance abuse and mental health treatment as part of the sentence.last_img read more

Reynolds mulls options in court fight over ‘ag gag’ law

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first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s disappointed a federal judge has temporarily blocked a new Iowa law that significantly boosted the penalty for trespassing on a farm.“We’re going to continue to work with the Iowa attorney general to look at what our next steps may look like,” Reynolds says. “We’re working with them right now.”Supporters say the law’s needed to penalize untrained people  who trespass on farm property and harm livestock or crops. Critics say the new law was designed to prevent undercover investigators from exposing animal abuse or questionable farming practices.The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says it’s a victory for free speech to have the law temporarily blocked while appeals run their course.last_img

MercyOne says off-site COVID-19 testing clinic will start soon

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first_imgMASON CITY A MercyOne North Iowa official says testing will start soon at a mobile clinic located at the North Iowa Events Center for those who think they may have the symptoms of COVID-19.Senior Vice President Theresa Mock says they hope to have that open by this afternoon, but people must call in to be screened to see if testing for COVID-19 is necessary.  “The idea behind this is if you do have screening that indicates that you are to be tested for COVID-19, you would be able to come there and stay away from the doctor’s office or the emergency room, and keeping you away from other sick people. There is however a limited number of tests, and so because of that, we are only testing people who meet specific criteria from the Iowa Department of Public Health.”If you feel that you have the symptoms for COVID-19, you can call the CG Public Health hotline at 494-3546 or 494-3547 where you will be screened to see if you need to be tested.  “If they feel that you are eligible to have testing done, we will want you to call Mercy Family Health Line where they will register you and give you the instructions where to go for the mobile testing site and next steps at that time. If you are emergently ill of course we want you to call us and go to the emergency room, but if it’s not an emergency, please stay at home and call CG health or Mercy Family Health Line to evaluate what your needs are.”Mock recommends that if you are sick, self-isolation is the best thing to do.   “If you’re having mild symptoms, 80% of people that do end up with COVID-19 will have the mild symptoms, they don’t require to be hospitalized, and they don’t require any treatment other than routine home care. If you’re having mild symptoms, we ask that you self isolate at home, regardless if you think it’s a cold, flu,  or the COVID-19.”Mock says those coming to the hospital with mild symptoms or less of sickness are putting a huge strain on their resources and capabilities.  “Coming into the emergency room in that case will strain the healthcare resources that we need to treat the other 20% that are more vulnerable and are impacted by COVID-19. it also puts you at greater risk to both spread the disease or to contract it if you don’t have it. Please stay home when you don’t feel well. This is very key to flattening the curve and preventing that spike of infections.”For more information, you can call the CG Public Health hotline at 494-3546 or 494-3547, and the phone number for the Mercy Family Health hotline is 428-7777,last_img read more