Ravens rookie Mark Andrews refuses to be defined by diabetes


The story that gets told again and again about Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is his near-death experience three years ago.

As a freshman at Oklahoma, Andrews he was unresponsive due to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by very low blood sugar. His roommate had to shove fruit snacks in his mouth, and paramedics rushed to the scene where he finally regained consciousness.

Andrews, a Type 1 diabetic since childhood, knows more than anyone how it’s a minute-by-minute battle with this disease. He understands how every bite of food he takes affects his body. He realizes the precautions he must take before any form of exercise.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

But Andrews has never been hospitalized for diabetes. He never has had to miss a game or practice because of low blood sugar.

Diabetes has changed Andrews’ life forever. It just hasn’t stopped him from pursuing any of his goals.20

Instead of focusing on a scary incident in his college dorm room, Andrews wants to talk about how he continually sidestepped defenders in the open field and raced to the end zone, becoming the nation’s top tight end in college last season and a third-round pick in this year’s draft by his commitment to control diabetes.

“My thing is living your best dream and don’t let this disease define you,” Andrews said. “It’s definitely a part of who you are, but it shouldn’t be 100 percent who you are. That’s something I live by and I think strongly of.”

Andrews’ aspirations are to become the most complete tight end in the NFL and a role model for fellow diabetics. He’s just beginning his journey in the league, but he already has made great strides in helping children cope with this disease.

Andrews has mentored countless boys and girls on eating right and staying active. Parents contact him through direct messages or track him down on the Internet after reading an article on him (there are 516,000 results when you Google tight end Mark Andrews and diabetes).cheap nfl nike jerseys china

A few years ago, a mother contacted Andrews about her son, who had become depressed after being diagnosed with diabetes. After a talk at the high school with Andrews, the boy got in the car and told his mother “he just changed my life.”

Danielle Hunter agrees to contract extension with Vikings


The Vikings’ ownership and front office zeroed in on the franchise’s long-term future again this offseason by securing another foundational piece of the league’s top-ranked defense.

Minnesota awarded a contract extension to third-year defensive end Danielle Hunter on Wednesday. It’s a five-year deal with a $14.4 million average salary, $40 million in guarantees and a $15 million signing bonus, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Hunter, 23, was entering the final year of his contract with a base salary of $1.9 million. His new contract will run through the 2023 season. In three years with the Vikings after being selected in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft, Hunter has 25.5 sacks, including a career-best 12.5 two seasons ago.

“He’s come in and performed extremely well,” general manager Rick Spielman said. “I think he was 20 years old when we drafted him. If he stays healthy and continues to develop and grow as a football player, I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity to get another significant contract.”

The Vikings now have 10 players under contract through at least 2020. Hunter joins a list of players with multiyear deals that includes Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Riley Reiff, Pat Elflein, Eric Kendricks, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The Vikings followed a model with Hunter that they’ve used previously on players with contracts coming due. Last offseason, Minnesota agreed to contract extensions with Griffen and Linval Joseph two years ahead of when their deals would expire and a year before Rhodes was done.
“The good thing about it is, it’s really [vice president of football operations] Rob [Brzezinski] and Rick’s [Spielman] philosophy and George Paton about extending the guys that we have here and the guys that we feel are great foundations for our organization and continue to get them here and continue to build upon them,” Mike Zimmer said. “Even if we have to extend them a little bit early, that’s what we try to do.”

Hunter, who is spending his offseason training in Houston and flew up to the Twin Cities to finalize his contact, said the reward of job security and a lucrative deal serves as motivation to reach the next level of his career.

“It’s all about just continuing to improve my game,” Hunter said. “I’ve got to go out there and just do what the coaches tell me to do. Now that I have this, I can’t relax. Just got to keep pounding and grinding.”

Had the Vikings not extended Hunter now, the defensive end would have become a free agent after this season. Hunter’s estimated value could have been upwards of $18 million if the Vikings were to have used the franchise tag on him in 2019, allowing him to hit the open market after that and earn a potentially bigger payday. The former LSU product, however, wanted to sign his next contract much sooner.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“I had to get this out the way,” Hunter said. “I didn’t want to be bothered by anything. During OTAs there was a few questions about it but I wasn’t really focused on it then. Now that I have some time to talk to my agent about stuff, we got it out the way before the season started.”

Philippe Senderos, Houston Dynamo salvages late draw with LAFC


Philippe Senderos scored the tying goal almost six minutes into second-half injury time to lift the Houston Dynamo to a 2-2 draw with the LAFC on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston in the first-ever MLS meeting between the two sides.

Senderos, who had been beaten 12 minutes earlier for LAFC’s second goal, waited at the back post for a cross off a corner kick in the match’s closing seconds, blasting a shot off Los Angeles’ Mark-Anthony Kaye and past goalkeeper Tyler Miller into the net.nfl jerseys for cheap authentic

Houston saved its best work for the final three minutes, scoring twice in stoppage time after looking dead in the water for more than 90 minutes.

Mauro Manotas scored four minutes into stoppage time to give the Dynamo life and set the table for Senderos.8

The match was delayed 98 minutes because of rain and lightning in the area. When the game began it was the LAFC, and Latif Blessing, that struck like a bolt in the fifth minute.

Lee Nguyen dribbled through the Houston defense just outside the box before turning to his right and finding Adama Diomande, who wheeled and threaded a pass just out of the reach of Dynamo center-back Adam Lundkvist to Blessing.

Blessing, the Ghana national, had just to corral the pass and flip it over Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis and into the net to give Los Angeles the lead.

Manotas had a great chance to tie the match in the 49th minute when he passed the ball to himself through the legs of LAFC defender Laurent Ciman before unleashing a point-blank shot that Miller knocked aside.wholesale authentic nfl jerseys

Los Angeles added to its lead in the 72nd minute as Kaye worked a give-and-go with Diomande in the midfield and outraced Senderos into the box before pushing a shot to Willis’ right and into the net.

Los Angeles returns home to host Orlando City on Saturday while Houston remains at home to square off against Minnesota United.

Brighton give Sundowns Percy Tau ultimatum


Mamelodi Sundowns have been handed a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ final offer for playmaker Percy Tau from English Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion, KweséESPN has learnt.

The South Coast side have been in hot pursuit of the South African international for months, but have been frustrated in their efforts to land the 24-year-old as Sundowns hold out for their best price.authentic nfl jerseys for cheap

Brighton have been steadily raising their offers, of which there have now been four on the table, but say they will move on to other targets if Sundowns don’t accept the latest one presented over the weekend.7

Sources tell KweséESPN that the latest offer is worth in the region of R50-million, short of the R70-million that Sundowns had been initially asking for.

It would still make Tau comfortably the most expensive export from South Africa’s Premier Soccer League, trumping Thulani Serero’s move to Ajax Amsterdam in 2011 that at the time was worth €2.5-million, at the exchange rate of the day equating to R24.5-million.

It would also go some way to reimbursing club owner Patrice Motsepe, who has spent an estimated R200-million on building the team over the last decade. Sundowns have been saying for months that they are resigned to losing their star man and that they would not stand in the players’ way, but need to properly compensated for the forward.

They have in effect already signed his replacement in Venezuelan forward Jose Ali Meza, who cost them a reported R13-million from Bolivian club Oriente Petrolero, which if confirmed would be the most a South African club has ever paid for a player.

Coach Pitso Mosimane said that negotiations with Brighton are on-going, but that he fully expects Tau to depart and that the club are very willing sellers.

“Sundowns wants Percy to leave, I think you know everything. Negotiations are ongoing – even today, and myself and management have all agreed that Percy must go,” Mosimane is quoted by Kick Off.nfl jerseys for cheap authentic

“Percy knows that we have agreed that he should go, because we’d love to see our player in the Premier League. I don’t think anyone who is sober in their mind would think Sundowns doesn’t want Percy to go.

Second half shaping up as wild ride to baseball’s postseason


It’s July 3, and some of the season’s major storylines — as seems to be required protocol for baseball on an annual basis — focus on what I would term negative news:

? Year-over-year attendance is down more than 2 million, with only nine teams showing per-game increases.

? The Orioles and Royals are historically awful, on pace for fewer than 50 wins. In the divisional era (since 1969), only the 2003 Tigers have done that. The White Sox haven’t been much better.

? As strikeouts continue to soar, we’ve seen more strikeouts than hits. The overall MLB batting average of .246 is nine points lower than it was in 2017 and would be the lowest average since the .244 mark in 1972.

? As averages sink, debates about changing the rules regarding infield shifts have grown more intense.

? The Mets.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

These are important issues and in some sense are all interrelated. Less action on the field plus tanking teams equals a decline in attendance (yes, bad weather early in the season plus Netflix and big-screen TVs have contributed to the attendance issues, as well).23

Anyway, I’m here with some good news: The pennant races look to be much more exciting than in 2017. Last season, if you recall, only the American League East race ended up closer than six games, as the Red Sox edged the Yankees by two wins. But even that one lacked the nervous energy of a great race, as the Red Sox led every day from Aug. 1 and the Yankees got to only two games back on the final weekend of the season.

This season, however, gives us the potential of five great division races, including an epic AL East battle in which both the Red Sox and Yankees could win 105 games. For all the negative publicity, there are still 18 teams with legitimate playoff hopes if you stretch hope down to the Rockies (six games back in the National League West) and the wild-card race in which the A’s, Angels and Rays aren’t dead should the Mariners fall back to the pack (certainly a possibility given Seattle’s house-of-cards style of one-run wins).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The close races should make for a fascinating second half. Teams won’t be able to coast into the playoffs. Last year, the Cubs used a six-man rotation down the stretch to rest their starters. The Dodgers incredibly lost 16 of 17 games in late August and September and still won their division by 11 games. The Nationals were able to start Max Scherzer on five days of rest throughout September.

Hot-hitting Tim Tebow named an Eastern League All-Star


Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was named to the Eastern League All-Star roster Friday.

Tebow is an outfielder for the New York Mets’ Double-A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“He’s made some big strides, and once again, you have to heap praise on his work ethic,” Binghamton manager Luis Rojas told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. “He’s put some work in to get [to] the point where he is.”

In 67 games, the 30-year-old former Florida and NFL quarterback is batting .261 with 12 doubles, 5 home runs and 30 RBIs. His .733 OPS is 35th-best in the Eastern League, and he is hitting .318 in June.21

So how do his marks stack up against the rest of the Eastern League All-Stars? On average, they’re hitting .288 with nine home runs, according to ESPN Stats & Information.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Tebow, who works for ESPN’s SEC Network, was an all-state baseball player at Nease High School in Florida.

In 2016, he decided he would pursue a career in professional baseball four years after he last played in the NFL.

The Eastern League All-Star game is July 11 in Trenton, New Jersey.

Suspension adds uncertainty to Jameis Winston’s future with Bucs


It’s official. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will serve a three-game suspension to start the 2018 season, the result of an NFL investigation into his alleged groping of a female Uber driver in 2016.

As part of their contingency plan, the Bucs re-signed backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal in the offseason. Beyond that, there are major question marks surrounding Winston, who was drafted first overall in 2015, despite unwavering support from the organization.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“All members of our organization are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Personal Conduct Policy of the NFL,” the Bucs said in a statement released Thursday. “We are disappointed that Jameis put himself in a position that has been found to violate the policy and accept today’s decision by the Commissioner.”10

In his first three seasons, Winston has started 45 games with an 18-27 record, and the Bucs have yet to make the playoffs. If Winston can control his turnovers (44 interceptions and 15 fumbles lost in three seasons) and become more consistent as a pocket passer, there is every possibility he could become a top-10 quarterback.

And finding a franchise quarterback in this league is not easy. The Bucs, who started 10 different quarterbacks in the decade leading up to drafting Winston, are well aware.

Despite his shortcomings, Winston likely will remain a member of the Buccaneers through at least the end of the 2018 season. The team already owes him $3.89 million. The only way that might change is if they found a willing trade partner between now and the fifth day of training camp.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

That’s not to say general manager Jason Licht wouldn’t cut a player owed money. The Bucs ate $7 million in dead money to cut underperforming Michael Johnson after one year in 2015. They also paid Dashon Goldson $4 million and Anthony Collins $3 million to go away.

Saquon Barkley on spending habits: ‘Follow the Marshawn Lynch method’


That is where some of that fresh endorsement money from Nike, Pepsi and Panini America is headed. Barkley doesn’t plan to use his football earnings on any lavish purchases, such as the home he recently bought for his family in Whitehall, Pennsylvania.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Barkley hasn’t even signed his rookie contract with the Giants, who made him the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft.

“Once I realized when I declared for the NFL draft and kind of realized where I was going to be drafted, that was something I was like, ‘You know what? Kind of want to follow the Marshawn Lynch method. I don’t want to touch that,” Barkley said on the red carpet for the CC Sabathia Celebrity Softball Game on Thursday night. “I want to invest it, put it in the right people’s hands and learn as I continue to make investments. And just live off the endorsement deals.'”9

He plans to follow in the financial footsteps of players such as Lynch and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. They have both made an effort not to spend their NFL paychecks and instead capitalize on their marketability.

Barkley’s first major purchase with the money he already has made, thanks to the help of his Roc Nation team landing several major endorsement deals, was a house for his family. It’s a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,400-square-foot home not far from where he spent most of his childhood.

Purchasing the home for his family was the fulfillment of a promise he made long ago.

“I’ve been promising my mom, I think since I could talk, honestly 2 or 3 years old — I know it sounds crazy, but I swear I’m not lying to you guys — that I’m going to buy [my mom] a house one day,” Barkley said. “My family has been through so much and made so many sacrifices for my brothers and sisters.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“And that’s not it. That’s not the last thing I’m going to be able to do for my family. That’s a great thing.”

The Bronx-born Barkley moved to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, where his grandparents lived, when he was 5 years old. His family eventually settled in Coplay, where he became a football star at Whitehall High School.

Scouting 2018 NHL draft prospect Brady Tkachuk


Boston University product Brady Tkachuk — one of the best-known prospects heading into the 2018 NHL entry draft — is cut from the same cloth as his dad, Keith Tkachuk, who scored 538 goals over an 18-year NHL career, and his brother, Matthew Tkachuk, who was the sixth overall pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft and has already become one of the league’s top agitators. nike nfl jerseys cheap china Opinions vary on Brady’s overall pro potential, but there’s no doubt that the 18-year-old is a favorite among scouts for his competitiveness, physical strength and solid all-around game. The winger is in the mix to be among the top five players — and first American — selected once the draft opens in Dallas on Friday.102

He’s ultra-competitive. He’s going to run through the wall for you. He’s going to want that puck and to win those battles. His competitive urge is stronger than everybody else’s on the ice. That’s the biggest strength he has.1 Once he gets comfortable and he knows he’s stronger than you, you’re done. He has that mentality. The Tkachuks are all like that.2 Matthew is ultra-competitive, too, but Brady has that little-brother syndrome. He’s tougher, he’s quieter and he’s sneakier. He knows how to get into those spots and disrupt people but also how to maintain his cool.3 The [Tkachuk brothers] have been taught how to play the game. To go where the goals are scored. If they’re not contributing on the score sheet, they know how to contribute with their physical game.4 Brady has the skill on top of it to be dangerous around the net. He has soft hands and can make plays and score goals. That’s a rare combination (competitiveness, physicality and skill) in a player in this day and age, when the emphasis is on skating and speed. 5 china nike nfl jerseys cheap

As for his weaknesses … even though he’s a big kid, he’s still a kid. He hasn’t developed his core, that three-period body [that allows him] to control the game, go for long periods of time and not disappear. His body hasn’t caught up to where his mind is yet. 6 The knock right now is his game speed — and his ability to turn and get back down the ice. I think it’s just a lack of strength, and not a skating issue. 7 I don’t think he’s ready for the NHL yet. He still needs one more year somewhere, whether it’s back at BU or in the AHL or the OHL. He needs that time to develop — not only his skill set, but his strength set. It all depends on who drafts him, though. I don’t think he’s too far away. I think he’s a year away. 8 Long term, I see him as a top-line guy for sure. And he’ll be put in situations where he’s very dangerous 5-on-5, very dangerous when the game’s on the line. 9

Tragedies loom large at 2018 NHL Awards show


Roberto Luongo walked around the table, shaking hands with each player wearing a vibrant yellow hockey sweater. Their honor in meeting an NHL star was reciprocated by the Florida Panthers goalie in meeting nine of the 13 surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team whose bus was hit by a semitruck on April 6, killing 16 people.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

These players were young, and they were survivors. Luongo couldn’t help but think about others who fit the description.

“It brought me back to what happened back home,” Luongo said Tuesday in Las Vegas, site of Wednesday’s NHL Awards, where the Broncos players have reunited for the first time since the crash. “It’s obviously not the same kind of tragedy. But you see it in their faces. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen a lot. You just try to make them at ease as much as you can. It’s not easy to do. But if even for a few moments you can, then you try. It’s the least you can do. You try to put yourselves in their shoes. But it’s impossible to do that.”101

Luongo has tried. On Feb. 22, eight days after 17 people were killed in a shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Luongo took the ice before the Panthers’ game against the Washington Capitals to talk about a tragedy that literally hit home for the Parkland resident.

“To the families of the victims, our hearts are broken for you guys. There’s not much to say. It’s heartbreaking,” he said mournfully. “You guys are in our thoughts. We’ve been thinking about you every day constantly for the last week. Just know that we’re there for you if you guys need anything. You’ll be in our prayers.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

It was the second time in the NHL regular season that an active player grabbed a microphone and offered solemn words in support of a devastated community. Before the Golden Knights’ first regular-season home game in franchise history, longtime Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland reassured the fans that they were “Vegas Strong” days after a gunman left 58 people dead and 851 injured.