LaDainian Tomlinson Jersey

“There was a certain level of expectations, but there were a lot of question marks quite frankly too entering the NFL. ‘Oh he played at TCU — not the best competition. Can he really play at the next level?’ and all these things.”

But through all the mental games and more, one thing remained constant for Tomlinson.

He knew where home was.

“Every step of the way, I knew who I represented,” Tomlinson said. “[TCU] is home.”

Fast-forward 18 years down the road from draft day in 2001, and Tomlinson’s biggest hope is that the next generation of TCU student-athletes share that approach with him — all the while being equipped for the next steps in ways like never before.

“Whether you’re playing professional football or you’re a lawyer or doctor, you have to have certain qualities to attack the work-force [after college],” Tomlinson said. “That’s one of the things I think about if I had — and I felt pretty mature when I went to the Chargers my first year — but there are certain things I just didn’t know.”  

Economic and financial development were just two areas of knowledge Tomlinson cited. Granted, TCU has already made strides when it comes to student-athlete development prior to Monday. Among existing events is a student-athlete networking night with local businesses and TCU donors — an event which was attended by 250 student-athletes this school year, per athletic director Jeremiah Donati.

Alas, it didn’t take long for Donati to realize after being introduced as athletic director in December 2017 that there was a prime opportunity to team up with Tomlinson for something even greater.

“When I became the athletic director, we got together and very quickly it became clear that we had a parallel vision for student-athlete development,” Donati said. “We spent a lot of time coaching our kids and preparing them for graduation, but the question we had was ‘what are we doing for our kids after graduation?’”

So, what is the mood, now that tangible steps are being taken? For Donati and all of TCU athletics, there is a sense of gratitude that a school legend and hall of fame NFL running back is willing to make the initiative so personal.

“It would have been easy for LT to write a check and say ‘best of luck to you,’” Donati said. “The fact he’s here and spending time with student-athletes and rolling up his sleeves to help us with the program … it’s pretty much of unheard of.”

As for Tomlinson? There’s a sense of satisfaction and hope, without a doubt.

“I think this will really change the face of the student-athlete here at TCU,” Tomlinson said. “This is really not about what they do here, but what they do when they leave here and represent Texas Christian University.”

Keyshawn Johnson Jersey

Just days ago, Madden Ultimate Team provided us with a brand new event called Path to the Draft. With that new promotion comes new player cards. The theme this time involves stars of the NFL Draft which brings cards for 1st Round Heroes and select Masters cards. As of Sunday, we have even more of those player cards available for Madden 19 Path to the Draft.Madden Ultimate Team tweeted out the latest Draft Picks and 1st Round Heroes as a preview for Sunday.

Amongst the Draft Picks we’ve got a 94-rated Sammy Watkins for the Kansas City Chiefs. Talk about a dangerous receiving weapon to add to that Ultimate Team! In addition, there’s a 92-rated Marcell Dareus for the Jaguars and a 90-rated Cordarelle Patterson for the Bears. Patterson is pictured with the Patriots jersey on his card but was a draft day trade to the Minnesota Vikings.In addition to those eight new draft picks, we’ve got three new Path to the Draft Heroes cards. They are Joey Bosa (Chargers), Jimmy Smith (Ravens), and Quenton Nelson (Colts).

Each of them carries a 98 OVR on their cards. They join previous Path to the Draft Heroes including DeAndre Hopkins and Roquan Smith.Bruce Smith was the first Masters player we received for the promotion. Now joining the mix is former New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Keyshawn Johnson. He’s got the 99 OVR just like Smith, but with different attributes based on his offensive skills.The 6-foot-4 receiver has 98s for Catching, Catch in Traffic, and Medium Route Run. He also boasts 97s for his Short Route Run and Spectacular Run, along with that 94 speed.To earn a Keyshawn Johnson Masters will require a bit of work. Gamers need to achieve all three of the 1st Round Heroes: Bosa, Nelson, and Smith.

Once that set is achieved, gamers should get the Keyshawn along with the three 1st Round Heroes back as NATs.
In addition to all of that, Madden dropped three new Ultimate Team Legends a day ago including a LTD, so look into those for your roster.

Which NFL Draft picks or Masters have you achieved so far in the new Madden 19 promotion? Let us know!

Joe Namath Jersey

In 1969, a few days before his team took the field as huge underdogs in the Super Bowl, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath — known then and forever as Broadway Joe — arrived at a Miami hotel in a turquoise Cadillac.

Namath, known for sometimes showing up at games still drunk from the previous evening’s activities, was there to accept an award. The quarterback “sat on the dais next to his companion for the evening, Mr. Johnnie Walker,” wrote Mark Kriegel, in his 2005 biography.

When it was his turn to speak, Namath said, “I’d like to personally thank all the single girls in New York for their contribution.”

This was pure Broadway Joe: tipsy, freewheeling, amorous. And so was the cockiness that emerged from his whiskey-soft lips a few sentences later.

“The Jets will win Sunday,” he said. “I guarantee it.”To many sportswriters, football fans, and even some of the scantily dressed woman who tripped over each other trying to catch the attention of his pretty, light green eyes, Namath’s prediction wasn’t just cocky — it was insane.His opponent, the Baltimore Colts, were 18-point favorites. Namath’s knees were beat up. The Colts had the second most potent offense in football, and the best defense.

Some were predicting a blowout.

The Jets won, 16-7.

Though Namath was named most valuable player, his performance wasn’t a totally dominating one. He didn’t even throw a touchdown pass. But the moment itself, wrote Kriegel, took Namath’s fame — and pro football’s popularity — to a different planet.

“In fame’s pecking order, Namath suddenly outranked Sinatra,” Kriegel wrote. “Actually, at that moment, he outranked just about everybody who wasn’t a Beatle.”Attendance around the NFL soared. So did TV viewership, particularly with the launch of “Monday Night Football” two years later. The league made sure that Namath and the Jets played in the inaugural game.Namath became so famous that he earned what is believed to be the only honor ever bestowed upon an athlete: a spot on Richard Nixon’s enemies list. As with many of Nixon’s actions, nobody is sure exactly why this happened.

Kriegel writes that John Dean, Nixon’s former White House counsel, suspects an overzealous staffer probably heard Nixon, a die-hard Redskins fan known to offer offensive play suggestions, make nasty comments about Namath. Other athletes were jealous.Everyone wanted a piece of Namath, especially reporters. Profiles of Namath were the 1970s equivalent of clickbait. Legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin wrote a famous story about Namath for New York Magazine titled “Namath All Night Long.” In it, he compared Namath hanging out at a bar to Babe Ruth hanging out at a bar.

“I saw Ruth once when he came off the golf course and walked into the bar at the old Bayside course in Queens,” Breslin wrote. “In one shot, he swallowed the mixing glass, ice chunks and everything else. He slapped the mixing glass down and said, give me another one of these f’n things, kid.”

The place went nuts.

“It is the same thing,” Breslin wrote, “when you stand at the bar with Joe Namath.”Life went on like this for a while. Not surprisingly, Namath endured his fair share of busted relationships, drunken driving charges, bad business deals, fading playing ability and then, of course, fading fame. The alcohol was the biggest problem. Namath was an alcoholic.

The retired quarterback settled down in 1984, marrying Deborah Mays, a woman he met at a voice class. With her insistence and help, Namath quit drinking a few years later. But after they divorced in 2000, Namath began drinking heavily again, leading to one of the ugliest and most embarrassing moments of his life.During a Jets game in 2003, Namath — wearing his old number and obviously heavily intoxicated — was interviewed on the sideline by ESPN reporter Suzy Kolber. He answered one of her questions by saying, “I want to kiss you.”

Namath apologized and entered rehab.

At age 75, it’s easier for Namath to look back on that improbable win and understand just how much it changed his life and sports forever.

“I think about it now,’’ he recently told the New York Daily News. “But at the time, I didn’t understand what was taking place. That was beyond what I was thinking about. All I was thinking about was playing in the biggest game of our lives.’’

Read more Retropolis:

O.J.’s last defender — F. Lee Bailey — is broke, disbarred and working above a hair salon

Before Venus and Serena, another tennis diva ruled Wimbledon — in red lipstick, sipping cognac between sets

She was attacked 50 years ago for being a woman in the Boston Marathon. This year she ran it again at 70.

The Phelps vs. shark charade was another bizarre episode of humans racing animals

Le’Veon Bell Jersey

By doing exactly what everyone expected, Le’Veon Bell is boring everyone. At midnight he dropped an album on Spotify, it contained no clues (and it wasn’t very good) and then he signed with the Jets, per CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora.

Bell has since confirmed the deal as well.The news was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who also reported the details of the contract: four years, $52.5 million with $35 million guaranteed and the possibility to go up as high as $61 million with incentives.

It’s hard not to see this deal and immediately think that Bell made a mistake by not signing one of several deals the Steelers put in front of him back before he was ever thinking about skipping an entire season. Bell sat out all of 2018 after the Steelers franchise tagged him for a second time, thinking he would hit free agency and make a pile of money, including making up for the $14 million he lost out on by not playing on the tag last year. Instead, as La Canfora noted, his market was soft as all get out.

Ultimately it was one team — the Jets — with the Ravens and Raiders never really materializing as actual suitors. He will now make less per year ($13.125 million) than he was slated to make under the franchise tag last year and he is well below the offers that the Steelers put in front of him previously.

Back in September, La Canfora reported that Bell walked away from $48 million in the first three years of an offer from the Steelers. He isn’t getting that from the Jets — just look at the guaranteed number involved here.

From a pure football perspective, it’s a nice fit, although it remains to be seen how Bell looks outside the safety bubble of the Steelers that featured Ben Roethlisberger, a fantastic offensive line and multiple other skill position guys (Antonio Brown, etc) for defenses to key in on.

For the Jets, this is a pretty major win. They added a bona fide offensive playmaker to pair with their young star quarterback Sam Darnold, and Bell’s ability to be a short-yardage passing weapon shouldn’t be underrated when it comes to how he’ll fit in Adam Gase’s offense. Pair him with Jamison Crowder and the Jets had a nice, albeit expensive, turn in free agency when it comes to offensive acquisitions.

One thing that’s worth noting here with Bell: he never negotiated a contract with the Steelers and walked away from it or refused to play. He was forced to play one year under the franchise tag because of a collective bargaining agreement deal and then the Steelers tried to force him to play another year under the tag. Their offer may have contained a way for them to get out from under the deal more easily than the Jets can. We could see Bell ball out for two years in New York and demand a newer contract. We could also see Bell have two good years and end up being cut as a reminder that paying guys in free agency doesn’t always work out.

But the Jets, like the Browns before them, are going for gusto. They should be applauded for playing chicken with Bell and his agent, getting a good price on a really talented player and ultimately putting their team in position to succeed in Sam Darnold’s second year.

Grabbing Bell gives the Jets an opportunity to focus in on the draft now (we think they’re done with free agency, at least in terms of big signings?) where they can use their high pick to acquire a stud on defense to pair with the linebackers and secondary guys they’ve brought in. Theoretically they have added enough skill position talent to work in Gase’s system, but the offensive line is still a bit of a concern, and they better be ready to try and upgrade some various positions if they want to protect Darnold and block for Bell.

Edge presence should be something they consider too, with Anthony Barr backing out of his deal (Barr hasn’t been playing as an edge rusher with the Vikings but was going to be one with the Jets). Nick Bosa and Josh Allen are both in play for New York in the draft.

As far as free agency goes, expect Tevin Coleman to be the next guy at the running back position to end up signing. He and Bell share an agent, so he’s seen what the market is going to bear and now he can go out and try to land a deal. Mark Ingram and the Ravens are also a pairing to watch, with the former Saints back reportedly engaging in talks with Baltimore — given that the Ravens were theoretically one of the suitors for Bell, it makes sense they might end up landing Ingram as a (much) cheaper backup option.

C.J. Mosley Jersey

Le’Veon Bell wasn’t the only highly productive AFC North standout signed by the Jets in the first days of this unrestricted free agency signing period. The Green & White also snared former five-year Baltimore Ravens monster ILB C.J. Mosley as a new piece to their defensive puzzle. Here are eight facts you may not know about Mosley:

Takeaway Talents
One reason HC Adam Gase loves adding Mosley to his defense is because of C.J.’s turnover dimension — from 2014-18, he had nine interceptions and six fumble recoveries, with the 15 individual takeaways tied for second-most by a LB in the NFL in that span. As Gase said about his 2018 Dolphins, whose 28 takeaways tied for fifth in the league: “We focused on making sure we had great ball security and that we were getting turnovers on the other end. We were able to do that, stay in games and then make plays at the end of the game that put us in position.”

More Big Plays
Another measure of Mosley’s impact: Since 2000, only three NFL defensive players, regardless of position, have totaled 5+ sacks, 30+ QB hits, 5+ interceptions, 30+ pass defenses, 5+ forced fumbles and 5+ opponent fumble recoveries in any five-year span. Tampa Bay LB Lavonte David did it twice, in 2012-16 and 2013-17. Ravens LB Ray Lewis did it twice (2005-09 and 2006-10). And Mosley did it twice, in 2013-17 and 2014 through last season. That’s it. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lewis was one of C.J.’s favorite NFL players growing up.

Tackling Machine
Then there is the mundane football skill that Mosley has perfected to a T. He has 597 career tackles with Baltimore, which includes four 100-tackle seasons, on top of 317 tackles in four years at Alabama plus a school-record 500-plus at Theodore (AL) High School.

Madbacker Double Team
Among Mosley’s many community endeavors as a Raven, he served 500 hot meals to homeless Baltimore men at former Ravens and ex-Jets LB Bart Scott’s annual Helping Up Mission Thanksgiving dinner in 2017.

True to His School I
Mosley also returned to his alma mater, Theodore High, for his annual free football camp in the summer of 2018. Well, free except for Mosley, who donated $10,000 to the school and organized the two-day camp. “There’s a lot of negativity in this world,” he said. “To be one of the positive role models and to come back and still have that same support, I can come back here with open arms, so that’s a great feeling.”
True to His School II
Another part of Mosley’s heart remains with the University of Alabama. At the end of his final home game for the Tide in 2013, he wanted to get in for just one more play. Coach Nick Saban said no — perfectly understandable since Alabama was leading Tennessee–Chattanooga, 49-0. And “TreyDeuce32RTR” (his current Twitter handle, reflecting his uniform number 32 at ‘Bama) made a cameo appearance in a #FightSongRefresh before the Tide’s December Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma.

‘The Mosley Brothers’
Clint “C.J.” Mosley Jr., the new Jets LB, is not related to Calvin Michael “C.J.” Mosley Jr., the old Jets defensive tackle who was not quite as productive as the new C.J. but nevertheless had his moments when he played for the Green & White from 2006-08. He had three starts in those three seasons, notched five sacks and forced fumbles in back-to-back games in ’07, at Dallas on Thanksgiving and at Miami. A dozen years later, the C.J. baton has been passed.

A Sense of Timing
What kind of a player are the Jets in getting in Mosley? Former Ravens teammate Matthew Judon summed that up after Mosley’s fourth-down interception (of Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield) with 1:02 left clinched the Ravens’ 26-24 win and playoff berth last year. “C.J., man, you can’t say enough about that guy,” Judon said. “He’s out there and he goes to work, week to week. He doesn’t really say a lot — he doesn’t say much at all — but when we need a play, we turn to him, and he came up with it.”