When you visit these communities, does it remind you of how you started playing the sport?

SBN: Looking through some of the submissions on the website, there were a lot of variations. Some of them were from community leaders and some of them were from kids.
Authentic Youth Kenneth Acker Jersey So which is better to hear from? I imagine both are inspiring in their own way.

Roenick: Well, it can come from either. The first two winners came from parents or grandparents of youth players that made submissions to explain why this is so important to their family and their kids. I would have to think it¡¯s really inspirational to get a letter from a kid, from a child who¡¯s involved in youth hockey programs, who skate in their local arena. That could go a long way.
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But it also helps to push your community to get involved. It¡¯s not just about one person, or one story. We want to show the passion that the people and communities have around hockey and around these youth programs. It¡¯s all about everybody pitching in. It¡¯s a really cool aspect of the competition that brings people together.

SBN: When you visit these communities, does it remind you of how you started playing the sport?
Roenick: Oh, absolutely. We went to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the first year. Johnstown is a small, industrial town. Obviously, [there are] a lot of blue-collar workers that work from paycheck to paycheck.

And to watch the transformation of their local arena, with all the money that was put in, the pride that they have and to see the kids¡¯ faces when the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning came running through their town … signing autographs and playing in the arena that they skate at.

Chiefs wide receiver Frankie Hammond, who is technically in his first season even though he spent time on their practice squad last year, is listed as having caught the ball on the 0-yard line. Yes, folks, he caught a punt while standing on the damn goal line. He wasn’t just standing there the whole time, but at some point when you are drifting back you have to take an account of where you are on the football field.

Aaron Rodgers sets passing record in 100th-career start

Aaron Rodgers made his 100th career start against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, and he managed to make some history when he did so. The prolific Green Bay Packers quarterback eclipsed 293 yards passing in the game against Atlanta, which means he has more passing yards than any player in NFL history over his first 100 starts.

The pass that put him over the mark was a 60-yard bomb to Jordy Nelson that went for a touchdown:

The Packers also started the year slowly, though their 1-2 start was nothing to freak out about. They’ve since won eight of their past nine, including four straight heading into this matchup. Aaron Rodgers has the offense operating as good as any in the NFL, and the Packers are averaging 39.5 points per contest during their four-game winning streak. They’re coming off a 26-21 victory over the New England Patriots and lead the NFC North with a 9-3 mark.

Game Mens Warren Moon Jersey The Falcons are also relying on their high-flying offense, led by Matt Ryan and the sixth-ranked passing offense. He’s thrown for an average of 300 yards per game over Atlanta’s last three games to go with five touchdowns against two interceptions. Last week, Ryan threw for 361 yards in a 29-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Despite struggling earlier in the season, both teams are getting much better production from their defenses as of late. In their last four games, the Falcons are allowing an average of just 19.5 points per game while the Packers are allowing just 19 points per contest.

Youth Vernon Butler Jersey The New England Patriots are in a similar position to the Broncos. They’ve been getting some surprising pushback from the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, but they have a firm grip on the division lead. Both Miami and Buffalo sit at 7-6, while the Patriots moved to double digit wins with their aforementioned win over the Chargers Sunday.

Alterraun Verner released by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Bucs are cutting corner Alterraun Verner on Thursday. The team later confirmed the move.

The 28-year-old cornerback signed a four-year $25.5 million contract in 2014. With no guaranteed money left on the deal, the Bucs will save the entire $6.5 million salary-cap hit in 2017. Verner was scheduled to count as the fifth-highest hit to the Bucs’ cap.

The release makes fiscal and football sense after Verner lost out on a starting spot in the 2016 lineup to rising first-round rookie Vernon Hargreaves. After a dreadful 2015 campaign in which he was benched, Verner started three games last season and saw fewer than 25 snaps in 10 contests. He started just nine games the past two seasons.

The Bucs will move forward with stud corner Brent Grimes and Hargreaves as their primary corners.

Verner will get a jump on free agency and should find teams interested in a veteran with starting experience — this time at a much lower price.

This makes sense, especially if the Bills don’t believe they have a shot at Romo. The obstacles amount to general manager Doug Whaley’s bizarre fascination with backup EJ Manuel and the money-saving alternative of choosing someone like Clemson’s Deshaun Watson with the No. 10 pick in the draft. If Whaley ultimately balks at Taylor’s $27 million price tag, you can clip out this entry, set it on fire and toss it into the godless sea.

The successfully recovery means Tannehill will participate in the team’s April conditioning program and organized team activities in May. The quarterback is expected to sport a knee brace throughout the 2017 season, though, and coach Adam Gase might opt to scale back his reps in offseason practices.

The Nationals are replacing Danny Espinosa and Ben Revere with a full season of Trea Turner and Adam Eaton

The Nationals are imperfect, of course, just like most teams. Their bullpen, which has helped with their demise in previous postseasons, is weaker. Werth and Zimmerman are in the lineup to start the year, and it¡¯s not like Derek Norris or Wieters are coming off excellent offensive seasons. There could be a soft spot at the bottom of the order.

The Nationals are replacing Danny Espinosa and Ben Revere with a full season of Trea Turner and Adam Eaton. They¡¯re replacing 2016 Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg with the upgraded 2017 versions. They¡¯ll have the flexibility to make tough decisions that flummoxed them last year. And, sure, they¡¯ll have depth behind the plate, which is the almost-exciting news that got me thinking about their roster in the first place.

George Johnson Game Jersey Expectations were high for the Nationals before the 2015 season, and everything fell apart. Expectations are modest this year, perhaps as modest as I¡¯ve ever seen for a team coming off 95 wins, but they shouldn¡¯t be. It¡¯s not the Cubs alone on an island.

And then, poof. App State was App State again.

Glenn Gronkowski Game Jersey The Mountaineers have won 27 of 32. They’ve done it by being themselves, and looking at what they return this fall ¡ª quarterback Taylor Lamb, running back Jalin Moore, leading receiver Shaedon Meadors, two all-conference offensive linemen, six defensive starers (including their TFLs leader and best ball defenders) ¡ª there’s no reason to think much will change.

App State has questionable depth in certain areas (offensive line, nose tackle, linebacker), which means a targeted run of injuries could be costly. But barring an extended appearance by the injury bug, this should again be at least a top-70 team. And we¡¯ve already gotten to the point where ¡°top 70¡± feels underwhelming.

Power conference 5-seeds should be happy there isn’t a 68-team college football tournament. The Mountaineers would take them down.

NFL Combine 2016: Quarterback drills

While no actual football is played at Lucas Oil Stadium during the NFL Scouting Combine, players will be asked to perform drills specific to their respective positions. In the case of quarterbacks, that means throwing routes to unfamiliar receivers in front of a cavalcade of team scouts.

The significance of the combine position drills has taken a hit in recent years as an increasing number of top players have elected not to participate. Instead, many choose to run those drills at their pro days, school-run mini-combines that allow the player additional control over the proceedings. This is especially prevalent among elite-level quarterback prospects who prefer to throw passes to receivers they’re familiar with.

Devin McCourty Game Jersey The drills themselves are fairly straightforward. Players are asked to showcase their three-, five- and seven-step drop backs and make throws. Their pass catchers are designated to run either a slant, out, in, corner or go route before the snap. Scouts look to see how well the quarterbacks time their passes relative to their footwork and the receivers’ movements. They also monitor how a particular prospect’s throwing mechanics change based on the drop back and what route they’re throwing to.

When Quinn was in Seattle, he was the benefactor of having defensive lineman Michael Bennett on the roster. Bennett was capable of moving around, rushing from the inside, outside and even standing up as a linebacker. Quinn could see his own version of Bennett in Fowler.

At the start of his Florida career Fowler played in a 3–4 and was used as an end. By his junior season, Fowler was in Florida’s hybrid buck position shifting between playing linebacker and on the line. Fowler said that versatility is helpful.

Joe Namath Game Jersey “I can play anywhere from linebacker to being a D-end to going in the trenches and playing the three technique,” Fowler said. “I can do a lot for a team and I caused a lot of fits for the offense.”

Mozeliak remembers the strange feeling of mourning Taveras amid the hope that typically blooms around teams this time of year.

“Every decision you make has consequences. When you talk to your kids, you talk to your wife, you talk to your players, you talk to your husband, you just have to talk about consequences,” Marlins president David Samson said. “Sometimes, you don’t get a second chance. That’s the saddest part of this, is there’s no second chance. The permanence of that is what rings in my ear every day.”

Matt Duchene Game Jersey Mozeliak remembers discussing drunk driving with his club shortly after Taveras’ death. Even that wasn’t the first time the Cardinals had had to do so, even in the previous 10 years. Pitcher Josh Hancock was drunk when he died in a car crash in St. Louis in 2007.

Mozeliak remembers the strange feeling of mourning Taveras amid the hope that typically blooms around teams this time of year.

De’Vondre Campbell Authentic Jersey “The players are vibrant, there’s life everywhere you look, especially in the spring,” Mozeliak said. “The grass is green, the leaves are on the trees. Then you’re trying to understand and really square up what death means. It’s not easy.”

Corey Seager is young and strong and awesome and might go from third in the MVP voting as a rookie to first as a sophomore. This young kid Julio Urias already pitches with the poise and confidence of a veteran All-Star, and he is ready for his own breakout campaign. They have an elite closer in Kenley Jansen, the deepest roster in the majors, a good manager in Dave Roberts and a front office and ownership ready to acquire that final piece at the trade deadline.

Those stats obviously are impressive, and it’s exciting to contemplate what he will do next on an individual level. We know what’s missing from his résumé, and while everyone is discounting the Angels, don’t discount them so quickly with the best player in the game. They’ve gone all-in on defense, and if the rotation can stay healthy, the Angels are going to surprise. Then maybe Trout will have his moment in the World Series, when his back is turned away from home plate, running full speed into an endless field of green to make a catch that lives on forever in YouTube lore.

New coach Tim Jankovich was always pegged as Brown’s successor

You could make the accusation that I’m inclined to love this picture because it’s of me. But trust me, this drawing is bigger than me — it’s bigger than all of us. Especially when you consider that Rubenstein’s day job is to make videos for this very website. He’s been able to become the greatest living artist in the entire world in his spare time.

I was on a train from New York City to Washington, D.C., on Valentine’s Day when this image came through in the form of a Slack message from Ryan Nanni, another one of my colleagues here at SB Nation. I’d seen a few of Rubenstein’s drawings before and admired his work (though I didn’t yet realize the extent of his brilliance). Earlier in the day I’d told Nanni that if he could get Rubenstein to draw a picture of me — so that I could hang on by my desk in place of a name plate — I’d never ask him for anything else as long as I lived.

New coach Tim Jankovich was always pegged as Brown’s successor. He gave up a head coaching job at Illinois State in 2012 to serve as Brown’s lead assistant, and showed his chops by going 7-0 during Brown’s suspension last year. This team is the realization of a shared vision with Brown, a roster full of versatile players who play a brand of position-less basketball on offense without sacrificing anything at the other end.

Every starter for SMU stands between 6’6 and 6’8. Four starters shoot at least 42 percent from three-point range. It’s an elite rebounding team on both ends, currently placing at No. 4 in offensive rebound rate and No. 18 in defense rebound rate. While the Mustangs are No. 19 in the AP Poll this week, the computers like them even more, with KenPom’s rankings putting them at No. 12.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

Drafting the next starter is possible, but it’s a crapshoot that’s hard to trust and the Texans don’t have the best picks to work with.

Adding talent through the draft isn’t a bad idea, but relying on a rookie to be a significant upgrade from Osweiler is a difficult ask. The best and most realistic option to hope for immediately better quarterback play is to add a veteran passer in the offseason.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

No matter what Houston decides to do in the offseason, Osweiler will count at least $19 million against the team’s salary cap in 2017. It could be $25 million if Osweiler isn’t on the team and that means sinking any more money into the position will be tough.

While the New York Giants led all teams in salary cap dedicated to the quarterback position in 2016 with $25,588,400, the Texans are primed to soar well over that mark if a veteran is added.

He just couldn’t get anything going and Barcelona couldn’t either. His era is unfortunately coming to a close, as they all do, and it seems fitting that this Barcelona cycle is ending with him as well. They will regroup and rebuild for a new round of dominance, and they will do so without Iniesta. They will have to find someone else to run the show. But the truth is that only Iniesta can do what Iniesta does. Barcelona will have to build a different identity after him.

Bennett didn’t win pretty with the Cougars, and he hasn’t with Virginia, either. But he has won — quite a bit, actually. He’s 252-111 in just his 11th year as a head coach. Since the start of 2013-14, he’s 107-25.http://www.officialbravesshop.com/images//mlb_jerseys_new/atlanta_braves/braves_190.jpg

The Cowboys have run into that exact problem with Romo

Dallas is about $10.5 million over the 2017 salary cap before signing any of its unrestricted free agents, but the Cowboys will create cap space by making a few expected restructurings. By cutting the base salaries of Crawford, Frederick and Smith to $1 million and converting the rest into signing bonuses, the Cowboys can free up $23.3 million in 2017 cap space. Restructuring deals like this can come back to bite a team if the players lose their effectiveness or if the team suddenly wants to get rid of a player for off-field or injury concerns, but that’s a risk Dallas is clearly comfortable running.

Make a decision on Tony Romo. The Cowboys have run into that exact problem with Romo. Let’s be clear about what their options are here. They’re not going to carry Romo on their roster with a $24.7 million cap hit for 2017 under the possibility that Dak Prescott might get injured. That’s not an insurance policy; it’s buying a Porsche and keeping it in the garage in case you crash your Camry.

(No shade toward Prescott or Camry owners.) It’s not economically feasible, given the Cowboys’ cap situation, and it would just push the eventual cap hit of moving on from Romo into the future. It’s also a false construct to suggest the Cowboys will be bare behind Prescott if Romo leaves; Dallas can sign a credible backup in free agency.

In 2015, Kendricks inked a four-year, $29 million contract extension with the Eagles. However, the 26-year-old did not live up to expectations in 2015 or 2016. He racked up 82 tackles in 2015 and only 28 in 2016. He only rushed the passer nine times in 2016.

Elite Mens San Diego Padres Jersey In December, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Kendricks does “rush well” when asked why the 26-year-old doesn’t receive many opportunities to blitz.

Elite Mens Pekka Rinne Jersey “He is a good blitzer. A lot of it has to do with times he’s in there. When he was in there when they were in their two tight end packages, a lot of that is max protection. Blitz another guy in max protection, you’re going to isolate your corners a little bit more.”

Capitals invite UAE women’s hockey player to practice with them

A few months ago, Washington Capitals legend Peter Bondra made a trip to the United Arab Emirates for a short stint as a coach for the Pavlikovsky Hockey School in Abu Dhabi.

That¡¯s when he met UAE women¡¯s national hockey team member Fatima Al Ali, who made him reconsider his own hockey skills.

The NHL invited Al Ali to Washington, D.C., this week as part of their ongoing ¡°Hockey is for Everyone¡± month. On Tuesday, Al Ali got to meet Alex Ovechkin for the first time and had the same reaction you or I would have.

So this was Fatima Al Ali¡¯s week: traveled halfway around the world, impressed Alex Ovechkin and the best team in the NHL with her hockey skills, and got a signed hockey stick from Ovi himself.

Upon graduation from high school in 1947, the Detroit Tigers offered him a minor league contract, but he decided instead to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Ilitch served from 1948-1952 at Parris Island, Quantico and Pearl Harbor. Ilitch took great pride in serving his country and credits the values and discipline he learned while serving keys to his success as a businessman and entrepreneur.
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Dwight Lowery Game Jersey After discharge from the Marines, the Tigers again offered Ilitch a minor league contract; he played shortstop in the minor league system for four seasons (1952-1955) making it to AAA and hitting over .300, until a knee injury ended his baseball career. He later worked as a door-to-door salesman until he and his wife Marian saved enough money to open the first Little Caesars in Garden City, Michigan on May 8, 1959.