Ray Jr. on Sports

 

  1. The Steelers and NFL release their 2017 schedule-It still gets me that there’s so much hype behind this, but if there’s any sport that can make headlines out of anything, it’s the National Football League. And that goes along with the Free Agency period and of course the Draft. But to be honest, you know you were paying attention too.
  2. Steelers 2017 schedule-When you finish one game away from the Super Bowl, you know the schedule’s gonna be a bit tougher. Such is the case with the Steelers: In addition to their AFC North Divisional foes(Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore), they will face the Super Bowl Champ New England (Dec 17th), The entire NFC North (Green Bay-Nov 26th, Chicago-Sep 24th, Detroit-Oct 29th, Minnesota-Sep 17th), KC Chiefs (Oct 15th), Houston (Dec 25th), Indianapolis (Nov 12th), Jacksonville (Oct 8th) and Tennessee (Nov 16th)
  3. Steelers National TV Games-Of course the NFL loves to put the Steelers on National TV and this upcoming season they will be on there 5 times: (Detroit, Green Bay and Baltimore Sunday Night), Tennessee (Thursday night), and Houston (Christmas Day)
  4. Speaking of that Christmas Day Game-It still, surprises me that the NFL has ‘went there’ and honed in on the NBA’s holiday. I know they can justify the fact that they usually have a Monday Night game, but sometimes the NFL thinks they’re bigger than life, and this is a good example. My wife won’t be happy about it like she wasn’t when the Steelers played last Christmas, but we’ll make it work.
  5. Other significant NFL Games-The NFL kicks off their season Sept 7th when the Champion Patriots will host KC. The Los Angeles Chargers will start their season at Denver on Monday Night, and the first game of that Doubleheader will be the Vikings vs. New Orleans.
  6. NFL in London-If you’re tired of the NFL playing games in London (not sure why it would actually bother you) well, you need to get over it because this year, they will play 4 games in London: Baltimore vs. Jacksonville (9/24), Miami vs. New Orleans (9/30), LA Rams vs. Arizona in Week 7 and Minnesota vs. Cleveland in Week 8) Maybe the Browns will play better in another country.
  7. Thanksgiving Games-And of course, you can’t have your Thanksgiving Turkey without the games. And as always, the Dallas Cowboys (vs. Chargers) and Lions (vs. the Vikings)will host the first 2 games, but the 3rd game will have the Washington playing the NY Giants.
  8. My thoughts on the Steelers schedule-Not much thought at all, because it’s still 6 months before they start playing that schedule. The team isn’t complete because the NFL Draft is next week. But I think they can beat just about every NFL team on their schedule…maybe except the Patriots, but I do believe they will win the AFC North again.
  9. Aaron Hernandez-I was stunned to hear about the passing of former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez who was on trial for manslaughter. It’s always unfortunate when anyone takes their own life, especially at 27 years old. Prayers and condolences for his family.
  10. NFL Draft-Speaking of next month’s festivities, apparently former NFL Coach and QB Guru Jon Gruden is gushing over former Pitt Panthers QB Nate Peterman saying that out of all the college QB’s who will do well in the NFL, that Peterman will be the main one. That’s quite a compliment. I think Peterman will do well too.
  11. Pitt football Gets $2 million commitment-It’s always nice when alumni give back to their school, but when you give $2 million, now that’s saying something. Pitt Alums Steve (’68) and his wife Kathy gave the amount to the Pitt Football Champions Fund. Now that’s giving the football team a vote of confidence.
  12. The NBA Playoffs-There were several NBA Playoff games Thursday night: LeBron James has a Triple-Double as defending champ Cleveland beat Indiana 119-114. The Cavs came back from trailing the Pacers by 25, very impressive win. The Cavs lead their series 3-0. Other scores: Milwaukee beat Toronto 104-77 and lead their series 2-1.
  13. NBA MVP Prediction-Still no changes here. I still say OKC’s Michael Westbrook who is now the all-time Triple-Double leader. And don’t give me that drama about the fact that they’re losing to Houston, and that other MVP Candidate in James Harden. The MVP is based on the regular season, which is where Westbrook did his damage.
  14. The Bulls is up 2-0 over the Celtics?? And if you’re surprised, so is Bulls G Dwyane Wade. He said it himself after Chicago won both of their games, in Boston of all places. The Celtics took the #1 seed away from the Cavs, but that’s another example that the regular season means nothing in the playoffs.
  15. Starling Marte suspended 80 games-This my friends, is a disgrace. As if the Pirates needs this. As if Marte needs this because the Pirates need No other Pirate has ever been suspended this many games., especially for a banned substance. His absence puts veteran Pirates Andrew McCutchen back in CF.
  16. On Marte saying he didn’t know what he was taking-Whatever man, I don’t believe it. I get tired of athletes who get caught for taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) and their response was “I unknowingly took that substance” Give me a break. You made the mistake, now be truthful and admit it. I’m sure those 80 games will give him a long time to think about it.
  17. The Pirates-As a result, they were already struggling, now they’re really struggling with Marte not there and their three 2-1 losses to St. Louis proves that they are affected by it. They look lost and out of sync and as of right now, they’re in 6th place in the NL Central Division. Not sure how this team beat up on the Champion Chicago Cubs.
  18. Penguins eliminate Blue Jackets with 5-2 win-There was no way Columbus was going to beat the defending Stanley Cup Champions, especially after they led 3-1. The Penguins showed that there’s no place like home and the fact that they were ready to close this series out. F Bryan Rust had 2 goals, C Sidney Crosby and F Phil Kessell had 1 and G Marc-Andre Fluery has 49 saves. I am impressed.
  19. Up next for the Penguins? Well, they have to wait for the winner of the Washington-Toronto series & that series is tied at 2. So the Pens need to be patient and not get rusty or complacent. In other news, I can’t believe the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks got swept by the Nashville Predators after they fell 4-1 to the Predators Thursday. Once again, the Regular Season means nothing in the postseason.
  20. Congrats to Serena Williams-The Tennis star and recent Australian Open Champion announced that she is 20 weeks pregnant. She will miss the remainder of the 2017 season and resume in 2018.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Steps to take for a healthy heart

 

Think cardio when you think about cardiovascular health. It’s much more than getting on a treadmill or stationary bike. Our hearts beat over 100,000 times per day. If this were to cease, our lives would be over. But none of us really pay attention until our doctors mention high blood pressure or mention we’re at a higher risk for a heart attack. Why is that? If you want to better your heart health, try the steps below. They’re going to be a fantastic first step.

 

First and foremost, stop eating anything loaded in sugar, salt or fat. These foods work against your heart, making it work much harder to pump blood to your body. They store as fat within the body if you do not burn it off right away. This fat builds up in the arteries and around the heart, putting stress on the organ that doesn’t have to be there. Rather, eat a high protein diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Most of these foods are low in fat and low in sodium. On the contrary, they’re what’s called superfoods. So if you eat salmon, for instance, you’re getting healthy omega-3 fat that assists in lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of a heart attack.

 

Exercise is also important. If you have a gym membership, you have the opportunity to mix up your exercise routine. For instance, you may walk the treadmill and then do weights next time. If your gym has a track or pool, these are other great exercise options. Doing laps in the pool works every muscle in your body. It’s the equivalent of doing the rowing machine in the gym. But don’t keep up with the Joneses with your exercise. Just because your neighbor goes to the gym doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Maybe an exercise class is more your fit, where you work out with a group of people. Walking or running outdoors may also be your style. Or, home exercise (if you are self-motivated) may also be an option. It doesn’t matter how you put the shoe on, just do it.

 

Likewise, if you lead a stressful life, you must leave it behind. Stress is a leading factor in heart attack and strokes. And it’s easy to see why this is. When we yell and scream, our blood pressure rises. We feel our chest get tight and our heart beats fast; maybe it feels like it’s beating out of our chest. You are more at risk for heart disease or a heart attack in this moment then all the other times you stay calm. It’s vital that you find ways to keep stress under control. Maybe scream into a pillow or go outside for a walk. Get away from everyone and everything to think things over.

 

You should also stop focusing on the past. All of us have ghosts in our past. We think back to certain times, running scenarios of how we would have acted differently. But, unfortunately, time travel has not been invented yet. We cannot go back and change anything. So why put stress on your heart with excessive worrying? The past is gone; you can’t control or change it. So why are you anchoring yourself in it? Instead, move forward. Focus on the positive. Realize that you are in control of your future choices. Hold your head high and have confidence. Learn to laugh—every day. This is going to reduce your stress. And, maybe take life on a lighter note.

 

Finally, kick those bad habits to the curb. What destructive habits are putting you at risk for heart disease? Smoking is the leading cause of heart-related deaths, causing 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year. It not only attacks the heart but every organ within your body. Smoking too much will cause a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is where plaque builds up in the heart’s arteries. This not only puts you at risk for a heart attack but at a risk for coronary heart disease. Learn to take care of your heart and this vital organ is going to return the favor. After all, it controls when your flame burns out of the world.editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Penguins fail to clinch series, Pirates fall a 2nd Time to the Cards

                            National Hockey League

Markus Nutivaara,Williams Karlsson and Boone Jenner each had a goal and an assist, and the Blue Jackets held on to beat the Penguins and avoid a sweep in the best-of-seven playoff series. Nutivaara, a rookie, was making his playoff debut.

Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson also scored for the Blue Jackets, who were able to outlast the Penguins when they pushed back hard in the second and third periods and then got a short-handed goal from Jake Guenztel with 27 seconds left in the game.

”That’s a good team – they can sense the blood in the water,” Tortorella said. ”But we got through it.”

Sergi Berbrosky had 27 saves to help the Blue Jackets get their first playoff win in three years and their first-ever in regulation.

The Penguins now lead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, which returns to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Ron Hainsey and  Tom Kuhnhackl also scored for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury– pressed into service because of an injury to Matt Murray at the start of the series – had 29 saves.

Columbus got offense from its lower lines, building leads of 3-1, 4-2 and 4-3 before Jenner poked in a goal amid heavy traffic 5:37 into the third period for a 5-3 lead. Pittsburgh got the late goal but ran out of time.

”You earn your bounces, and they were better” Penguins star forward Sidney Crosby said. ”They earned the win, and we didn’t have the desperation that we needed to win the game.”

Johnson scored first for the Blue Jackets at 11:46 of the opening period when he launched a wrister from the right point into traffic that bounced off Crosby’s skate and into the net.

There was less luck involved when Anderson made it 2-0 with a little over minute left in the period. He grabbed a chip pass from Karlsson, circled in from the right and beat Fleury between the pads.

Columbus went up 3-0 at 4:49 of the second when Nutivaara scored off a rebound.

Just like in Game 3 when they rallied from a 3-1 deficit, the Penguins began roaring back.

Hornqvist struck for Pittsburgh during a power play 6:43 in the second. His rebound shot from the doorstep rolled up the pad of Bobrovsky with the goalie dropped in front of the net. Ten minutes later, Phil Kessell passed the puck out to Hainsey to the far right and he beat a shielded Bobrovsky from a severe angle. The Blue Jackets were lucky to get out of the last few minutes of the period without another score from the swarming Penguins.

The Blue Jackets got a goal from Karlsson 27 seconds into the third that seemed to pump them up again. But Kuhnhackl found the back of the net on a rebound less than two minutes later to make it 4-3 before Jenner put Columbus back up by two.

 

Other NHL Scores: NY Rangers beat Montreal 1-0, and Defending Western Conference Champ San Jose Shellacked Edmonton 7-0.

 

                           Major League Baseball

Mike Leake doesn’t have too many secrets on the mound. For the Cardinals right-hander, location is everything.

Leake owned the strike zone while pitching into the seventh inning, Dexter Fowler tripled and scored, and St. Louis beat Pittsburgh 2-1 on Tuesday night after Pirates OF Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for a banned substance earlier in the day.

”It’s just where he’s putting every pitch, and he’s able to throw every pitch on both sides of the plate and I’d say that sinker and cutter are closer to the same velocity, but you’re kind of working off the middle and running it to both sides,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Leake. ”That’s a tough at-bat if you’re putting it on the corner.”

Seung Hwan Oh allowed three hits in the ninth but escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam for his second save.

Leake (2-1) allowed seven hits and only struck out one, but he held the Pirates to a run over 6 1/3 innings. He has won nine of his last 11 decisions against the Pirates dating to Sept. 11, 2012.

”He throws strikes,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”… He makes pitches, he’s very effective, he competes very well on the mound. He’s a guy that we’ve been challenged by.”

Leake has continued a strong spring through his first three starts of the season. He leads the rotation in wins, ERA (0.84) and innings pitched (21 1/3).

”I think this spring was a big spring for me and just kind of letting it translate into the season is as big,” Leake said.

The Cardinals have won back-to-back games for the first time this season to improve to 5-9.

”We get some positive ju-ju going our way and we’re eliminating our mistakes and that’s how we’re winning games,” Fowler said.

Chad Kuhl (1-1) gave up two runs over six innings. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

Fowler led off the first with a triple to right and scored on Stephen Piscotty‘s ground out.

Greg Garcia‘s double in the fifth scored Jose Martinez to make it 2-0 Cardinals. Garcia was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

Brett Cecil, Matt Bowman and Oh pitched scoreless relief for St. Louis. Bowman extended his scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings dating to last season.

Adam Frazier ed the Pirates’ run on a groundout by Gregory Polanco in the sixth.

OUTFIELD SHIFT

Marte was suspended by Major League Baseball after testing positive for Nandrolone. He’s eligible to return in mid-July but won’t be allowed to play in the postseason if Pittsburgh advances.

Andrew McCutchen played center field for the first time this season in Marte’s absence and extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. McCutchen was 2 for 4 and is hitting .333 (12 for 36) during his run.

McCutchen was moved from center to right this spring so the Pirates could shift Marte from left to center.

”Center field is where I need to play, it’s where I need to be,” McCutchen said. ”If I’ve got to show a couple of people that I can do it then that’s what I’m going to do.”

 

Other MLB Scores: Arizona beat San Diego 11-2, Colorado beat the LA Dodgers 4-3, Oakland beat Texas 4-2, Cleveland beat Minnesota 11-4, Giants beat KC 2-1, LA Angels beat Houston 5-2, Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee 9-7, Washington beat Atlanta 2-1, Cincinnati beat Baltimore 9-3, Tampa Bay beat Detroit 2-1 Chicago White Sox beat the NY Yankees 4-1, Boston beat Toronto 8-7, Philadelphia beat the NY Mets 6-2 and Miami shut out Seattle 5-0.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

www.cbssports.com

NBA Playoffs: Cleveland and San Antonio Pick Up Wins

The Defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are now up two games to none over the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. This past weekend the Cavaliers outlasted the Pacers to pick up their first win of the series and Monday night the big three  Lebron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving all got loose to lead the Cavs to their second win 117-111.

 

Kyrie Irving led the Cleveland attack with 37 points while K-Love contributed 27  with King James providing 25. Love and James also pulled down at least 10 rebounds a piece to complete their double-double performances.

 

The win gives the defending champions a two game to none lead and based on the way Indiana has made runs at the end of each of their two losses in Cleveland I would not say the Cavs have a commanding lead. The next two games will be in Indianapolis, home of the Pacers and if  Paul George and his teammates can find their rhythm in the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse they could give Cleveland a run for their money in this series.Keep in mind if the Cavaliers win one of the next two games away from home, I think the series is over for Indiana.

 

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs also have a two game lead in their first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. I think this is a commanding lead for the Spurs simply based on the margin of victory in each game.  In game one the Spurs beat the Grizzlies by 29 points and Monday night by 14 points. The difference in the margin of victory combined with the performance of San Antonios’ Kawhi Leonard  ( 32 points in game one and 37 points in game two ). Leads me to believe that despite the next two games being played in Memphis, the Grizzlies have no chance unless they can stop Kawhi.

 

Tonight in game two of the matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics the interesting story is going to be how Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics rebound from their emotional loss on Sunday. Thomas who is mourning the loss of his younger sister put up 33 points in the loss and it was apparent that he was spent emotionally. He is the spark plug of the Boston offense and if he can maintain his focus and get his teammates to step up the number one seed in the East will have a chance to even this series.

 

Also in action tonight Toronto will look to rebound from their game one loss to Milwaukee and The Los Angeles Clippers will look to do the same against the Utah Jazz. As of right now the Raptors and Clippers have lost home court advantage suffering home losses in game one.

 

Follow Me on Twitter: @UMTSportsreport

Trevin A Jones

Fitness Advice That You Will Really Use

Sooner or later, people start realizing that a sedentary lifestyle is not for them. They then search for a fitness program, but there are so many choices that it can be overwhelming to choose one particular regimen. Luckily, there are some fitness tips in this article for you to follow while you’re searching for that perfect fitness program.

In order to get the most out of a fitness routine, be sure to work on your core. This is your abdominal region, and pretty much everything except for your limbs. It is important, because this region is used to stabilize the rest of your body, and it also is imperative to maintaining a healthy back. Be sure to check with a doctor to find out which core exercises suit you the best.

If you’re working on your overall fitness with running and are looking to increase your stamina, pick up the speed. If you avoid lengthening your stride and rely instead on taking quicker short steps, your body will acclimate to harder training quicker. You’ll be prepared for your next marathon in no time!

Walking is a great exercise. Walking is easy to do almost anywhere and most anyone can do it. Walking will help raise your metabolism. It also helps to lower blood pressure and pulse rate. Walking is also great to strengthen your muscles and help you to lose excess body fat.

There are alternative methods to being physically fit beside the standard of weight lifting and cardiovascular work. Sports such as swimming and basketball can give your body a good workout by exercising all of your body parts, and you can have fun while doing it.

Even the most seasoned runner encounters muscle soreness in their calves upon waking in the morning. Try this: sleep on your stomach and allow your feet to hang over the side of your bed. Overnight, the effects of gravity will lightly stretch your muscles, making them noticeably less sore when you wake up the next morning.

Your body is not the only thing that should be trained during your workouts, you need to train your brain as well. After all, it is in charge of your central nervous system which is in charge of telling muscles when to contract. To do this, try standing on one leg, squatting down and touching the floor with your other hand. Do about 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each leg.

You should take a walk every single night, and try to have a portable music player available so you can listen to music while you walk. Make sure that the music is fast because most people tend to walk to the beat of the music that they are listening to.

When playing baseball and trying to hit a home run, hit the ball with a slight angle and an uppercut towards the center. This will make the ball have more hang time in the air, and the more probable chance of you scoring a home run than a line drive.

When playing baseball or softball, you can hit more home runs by swinging at high pitches with a small uppercut. When swinging high in this manner, you are using your hip and midsection muscles to assist in the power of your swing instead of simply using your hands and arms to power the ball.

Walk your favorite shopping location. When the weather outside turns cold and rainy, it can be hard to keep up with your walking or running routine. Head out to the mall or another indoor shopping facility. You can still get your exercise in while getting a little window shopping done as well.

A great way to keep your kids active is to take them on hikes. Find a state park near you and take them on a hike through the woods. You can make a miniature adventure out of it and have fun along the way. Your kids probably won’t even realize they’re exercising!

To better your hand-eye coordination in baseball, use your glove to shield your eyes and not your bare hand. This not only gives better coverage but also increases the chances that you will actually catch the ball. Practice doing this until it becomes natural, so you remember to protect your eyes.

If you alter the way you normally hold the weight bar while bench pressing, lower the amount you are pressing by ten percent. Just a simple grip change means you will be stressing different muscles and joints then you are typically used to, which could lead to injuries. The weight decrease will help prevent these injuries from occurring.

If you need to save some time while working out, then try using the same weight through the whole workout. You should pick this weight based on your weakest exercise. You should pick a weight you can only lift for a maximum of eight times. Perform your workout in a circuit.

While working out, you are bound to have some sort of injury. All injuries while working out can be very serious. Many people will ignore it. First off, you should stop working out that affected area. Then you should get it checked out by a doctor or professional.

A fun and effective way to help you get fit is to purchase a soccer ball to kick around. Playing soccer is one of the best sports for shaping up because there is so much running involved. You can just play with your friends if you don’t want to play competitively.

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the fitness level that you desire. During the course of the day, make sure that you eat a lot of proteins and reduce your overall fat intake. This will allow you to maintain energy when you workout and convert fat to muscle in an efficient manner.

Use these tips as a way to get started on your fitness goals, even if you haven’t decided which fitness program to ultimately go with. Getting fit is a worthwhile goal, and the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see the results you want to see. Get started today and the rest will be easy.

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Gold Outlasts Blue in Pitt Spring Game

 

To be honest, these college football scrimmage games intrigue me. In a sport in which there aren’t any pre-season or exhibition games, I guess this is the closest thing to it. After all, there surely won’t be any scrimmages during their Summer training camp.

 

Anyhoo, this is a day in which most schools have their annual scrimmage which closes out their mini-camps. They may not mean much from the official standpoint, but you can guarantee that it means a lot to the kids who are getting ready for the upcoming 2017 season, especially those who’re graduate transfers. (Incoming Freshmen are still in High School)

 

Such is the case of the University of Pittsburgh football team who had their annual Blue-Gold Spring Game at Heinz Field Saturday Afternoon. What I appreciate about this game is the fact that the weather wasn’t frightful (Sunny and 82 degrees) compared to when I was at these games in 2012(very rainy) and 2013 (cloudy and cold) and I’m sure that the families of the players also appreciated the weather as well.

 

I mentioned how this game benefited the graduate transfers, and a good example of one is QB Max Browne who came to Pitt from USC. The fact that he spent a couple of years with the Trojans puts him in the running for the starting QB spot, which was vacated by the graduation of Nate Peterman. Browne’s competition for that spot are redshirt SO Ben DiNucci(#3), FR Kenny Pickett(#8), and FR Thomas MacVittie (#7) so you would think that Brown should win the job over those others, right?

 

Not exactly. Those other 3 kids know HC Pat Narduzzi’s offensive scheme, Browne is still learning it. But after watching the Gold beat the Blue 23-14, I would say that Browne made an impression after he completed 13 for 28 passes for a team-leading 144 yards and a TD, which was to WR Tre Tipton to give the Blue their final points of the game.

 

In contrast, MacVittle went 1-1 for 4 yards, but he had a 12-yard TD run for the Blue, Pickett passed for 36 yards (6-13) and DiNucci was a perfect 5-5 for 60 yards. But none of them passed for scores like Browne and that will get lots of attention. I think Browne will have the starting QB job, or at least have the first shot at it.

 

“It was good to have all 4 QB’s get snaps.” HC Pad Narduzzi said.

 

The other standout in this game is one who you would know, and that’s All-Purpose Man Quadree Henderson, who is basically making his case as the superstar of the team. Henderson ran through Pitt like he did most of the ACC last season as he totaled 133 all-purpose yards (84 rushing, 53 passing) and his 54-yard TD run was the first points of the game. His 27-yard catch was pretty impressive too. It makes me wonder how he will be used since former offensive coordinator Matt Canada is no longer with the team. If they’re smart, they need to keep those jet-screens and using him just like they did last seasons…If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

 

Of course, the main concern for Pitt last season was their defense, which truly had their struggles, especially in the secondary. They will have returning SR Avonte Maddox, but to be honest, that’s not much of a ringing endorsement, but they will also have sophomore Dane Jackson and a slew of freshmen hoping to make their mark. That unit will also see the return of S Jordan Whitehead and LB Elijah Ziese who missed the majority of last season with injuries. Neither had significant impacts in this game, but their presence on the field is pretty huge.

 

One defensive player that really stood out for me was SR DL Rori Blair who had 2 sacks and 4 tackles. It’s not a mystery that Pitt is looking for another pass-rushing specialist after the graduation of DE Ejuan Price, and Blair looked like he’s thrown his name in the hat for that job. Fellow SR DL Allen Edwards had Pitt’s other sack.

 

The running game? Not so impressive (I know it’s just the Spring Game, don’t remind me) The best running back not named Quadree Henderson was SO Chawntez Moss who finished with 59 yards on 8 carries. It bugs me that JR Quardee Ollison didn’t look too impressive. I think he should be taking that starting job by the horns. After all, he filled in for James Conner in 2015 had had a 1,000-yard season and won ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. But he finished with 37 yards on 18 carries in this game. FR Shawn Wood finished with 23 yards on 6 carries.

 

As for the receivers..other than Henderson, of course, it was Tipton who had 51 yards, but freshman Ruben Flowers III looked pretty impressive with 4 catches for 47 yards. I’m expecting SO Aaron Matthews to step it up this season as the team will try to take advantage of his 6-4 frame. He finished with 1 catch for 11 yards. Last year’s leading WR was Jester Weah and he caught 1 pass for 9 yards in this game. But he will be fine.

 

“After 15 practices, you feel good where we are, right now we have a lot of work to do, but you wish that you had them all together against an opponent.”-said Narduzzi.

 

All in all, it was to be expected in this kind of game, some good, and some opportunities to improve. They will move onto the summer camp in a few months and that’s when we will see who has earned specific starting jobs, and we will also see the additions of the incoming freshmen as well.

 

Notes: The Panthers honored Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney by adding the Steelers logo to one side of their helmet. Rooney passed away Thursday at age 84. Ziese and OL Jaryd Jones-Smith were winners of the 2017 Ed Conway Award as most improved players of Pitt’s Spring Drills.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

NBA Playoffs: The Defending Champs are Ready

Are you ready for some basketball? It’s about to get real in the NBA and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers may appear not to be ready, but don’t you believe it. The Cavaliers are not the top team in the Eastern conference heading into the postseason, but that may have been a smart move.  Cleveland is entering the playoffs on a four-game losing streak and in the last game of the regular season, Tyronn Lue sat his stars.

So, how is this a smart move entering the playoffs as the second seed as opposed to pushing to be the top seed? Well, in my opinion, Lue got his bench active and involved just before entering the most important part of the season. Wednesday in the finale big man Edy Tavares pulled down 10 boards, Derrick  Williams scored 10 points and James Jones dropped in 9 points and pulled down 6 boards. Not impressive numbers, but numbers just the same. If by chance Lebron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving can not go at least the reserves will have some type of court time and will not have a problem giving the big three support.
By the way, did I mention that sharpshooters Kyle Korver and JR Smith will be ready to roll and Cleveland also has Iman Schumpert and Tristan Thompson ready to roll. So I think that the Cavs could have cared less about the outcome of the final four games of the regular season. The obvious focus was getting healthy for the postseason.
Speaking of the postseason  Cleveland will tip off all the action Saturday against the seventh seed in the East, the Indiana Pacers in the Quickens Loans Arena. That game will be followed by the Milwaukee Bucks battling the third-seeded Toronto Raptors.
Saturday night the Western conference action gets underway as the San Antonio Spurs host the Memphis Grizzlies followed by the L.A. Clippers hosting the Utah Jazz.
Sunday the Eastern conference action continues as the Atlanta Hawks pay a visit to the Nations Capital to play the Washington Wizards, followed by the top seed in the East the Boston Celtics hosting the Chicago Bulls. The Western conference action continues with the Golden State Warriors host the Portland Trail Blazers followed by a battle between two triple-double machines as the Houston Rockets host the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record of the most Triple Doubles in a season with 42 and he faces off against his former teammate James Harden of the Rockets who had over 20 triple doubles himself this season.
So buckle up your seat belts today because the NBA playoff ride starts Saturday and if you liked the “March Madness” of the college basketball tournament, your gonna love the steady rain of excitement coming your way in the NBA playoffs.
Trevin A Jones

Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney Passes Away At 84

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL and sporting world was stunned to hear the news that longtime owner and chairman Dan Rooney has passed away at age 84. Rooney had been the Chairman and controlling of the team after the passing of his father, founder Art Rooney, Sr. Rooney also served as the United States Ambassador to Ireland from 2009-2012. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

 

“Few men have contributed as much to the National Football League as Dan Rooney,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was one of the finest men in the history of our game and it was a privilege to work alongside him for so many years. Dan’s dedication to the game, to the players and coaches, to his beloved Pittsburgh, and to Steelers fans everywhere was unparalleled. He was a role model and trusted colleague to commissioners since Bert Bell, countless NFL owners, and so many others in and out of the NFL…He was a voice of reason on a wide range of topics, including diversity and labor relations, Dan always had the league’s best interests at heart. For my part, Dan’s friendship and counsel were both inspiring and irreplaceable.  .”

 

Although his father was the Chairman, Rooney truly followed in his dad’s footsteps and learned everything about the family business as early as 1960  when he was named the director of personnel. He then began managing the day-to-day operations of the team and personally selected the coaching hire of Chuck Noll. He was appointed team president in 1975 and was officially given full operational control of the franchise by his father who remained Chairman and President Emeritus, as well as the public face of the franchise until his death in 1988. During his tenure, he has implemented a philosophy and management style that emphasizes open, practical and efficient management. The results have been obvious: since 1972, the Steelers have won 15 division championships, 8 AFC Championships, and an NFL record 6 Super Bowl Championships.

 

Like his father, Rooney wasn’t just an NFL owner just taking up space in a boardroom, but he was truly an influence to his organization as well as the league as he played a role in many prominent and critical decisions that have molded and shaped the NFL today. Born in Pittsburgh January 20, 1932, Rooney was a graduate of Duquesne University, majoring in accounting. Although his presence loomed large amongst NFL owners. He helped lead the negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement of 1982 and is largely credited both by owners and players of having ended a strike that lasted half of the season. He is also one of the main architects of the salary cap, which was implemented in 1993.

 

Rooney was also very instrumental in the creation of “The Rooney Rule”, which is an NFL policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates. t was established in 2003, and variations of the rule are now in place in other industries. The rule was named after Rooney, who also followed the example of the rule when he hired current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

 

As the United States Ambassador to Ireland (appointed by then President Barak Obama and installed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), Rooney was the benefactor of the Rooney Prize of Irish Literature and Vice-Chairman of The American Ireland Fund.

 

On July 7, 2008, Dan and his son, team president Art Rooney II, announced that they were seeking to buy out Dan Rooney’s brothers’ shares in the team. Currently, Dan and Art Rooney II, reportedly control 16% of the Steelers’ shares but conduct most of the team’s operations. Together, the Rooneys hold 80% of the company. The other 20% is owned by the McGinley Family, who are first cousins of the Rooneys.

 

Like his father before him, Rooney has turned day-to-day operations of the franchise to the next generation of the family. Although he was still chairman and to many fans the public face of the team, his son Art Rooney II has now assumed full operational control of the Steelers.

 

Upon hearing news of Rooney’s passing, thousands of tributes began to flood websites and social media honoring the legendary Steelers owner:

 

“RIP Dan. My Mentor & friend. Thank you for your Guidance & Wisdom. I came as Young Coach & left a Better Man. Your spirit will live forever.”-Former Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher

 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Steelers and Steelers Nation on the passing of a true Pittsburgh icon, Dan Rooney.”-The Pittsburgh Penguins

 

“This is a sad day for anyone who has had an association with the NFL,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a news release. “Whether it be fans, players, coaches, broadcast personnel, media, team owners or club employees, Dan Rooney’s influence touched us all — and made all of our lives better.”

 

“We’ve lost the heart & soul of Steeler Nation. Incredible person humanitarian & true patriot. May his memory be eternal. Love U PapaRooney”-Former Steeler S Troy Polamalu

 

“Dear Mr. Rooney, When we first met in 2010 you embraced me with open arms. You made me feel welcome. You looked at me as more than just another jersey number. One of the most genuine, and humble human beings I’ve had the pleasure of knowing…”-WR Antonio Brown

 

The University of Pittsburgh Athletics also gave statements on the news of Rooney’s passing:

 

Statement from University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher:
“Dan Rooney was an innovative leader who forever shaped the sport of football and the city of Pittsburgh. His knack for resolving conflict, championing diversity and pursuing excellence with integrity earned him not only Super Bowl rings, but our collective admiration and affection. On behalf of the University of Pittsburgh, I extend my deepest sympathies to the entire Rooney family and the Steelers franchise.”

 

Statement from University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Pat Narduzzi:

“A truly unforgettable and special moment for me was getting a personal visit from Dan Rooney after I had just accepted the head coaching job at Pitt. This is a man who built one of the most successful and famous sports organizations in the world, yet he was always so humble and accessible to everyone. Mr. Rooney represents the very best of the game of football and the very best of Pittsburgh. I don’t believe this unique collaboration between an NFL team and college program could exist anywhere else. The credit for that goes to Mr. Rooney and his passionate commitment to Pitt and Pittsburgh. Our hearts and prayers are with the Rooney family and Steelers organization.”

 

Statement from University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke:

“Growing up in Canton in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I became educated very early on about ‘The Steeler Way’ and the incredible family tradition of this iconic NFL franchise. Since arriving in Pittsburgh last month, I have been able to experience firsthand the tremendous class and warmth of the Rooney family. Dan Rooney has an incredible legacy that goes well beyond the football field and we will all continue to be inspired by his example and memory. Our prayers and sympathies are with the Rooney family and all of Steelers Nation.”

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

 

 

Sources: www.cbssports.com, twitter, www.PittsburghPanthers.com

 

What to do When Kids Go off Their Meds: Brain-based Learning Strategies for ADD/ADHD

by: MaryJo Wagner

Steven Nissen, a prominent Cleveland Ohio Cardiologist prodded the FDA’s Advisory committee to put a black box warning on Ritalin, warning of potential heart danger. Why? From 1999 to 2003, 81 deaths and 54 nonfatal cardiovascular events such as heart attacks have possible links to Ritalin and similar drugs.

During the same period, 78 million prescriptions were written for children up to the age of 18. Today two million kids a month take these drugs.

These are startling statistics, to put it mildly! Assuming Nissen is correct, Ritalin is a pretty dangerous method of improving brain-based learning.

Now before I go any further with this story, please do not take a child off their ADD medication or suggest to a parent that such should be done. I am not a medical doctor. I do not prescribe. If you want to look into lowering a dosage or stopping a child’s medications, you must talk to a doctor.

What does this story mean in terms of ADD behavior at home and in the classroom? How does it affect brain-based learning? I predict that anxious parents and doctors are going to take kids off their meds. Now, what are we going do with 2 million hyperactive kids!

For years, we haven’t had to take responsibility for helping these kids or keeping ourselves from going crazy trying to keep some kind of order in the classroom and at home. The drugs did it for us. Now we may be on our own.

Here are ten brain-based learning strategies to help you and your kid’s cope:

1. Decrease sugar including drinking fruit juice. Cut down on bread and pasta, esp. that made with white, processed flour.

2. Limit TV and video games, especially TV and games that have lots of flashing lights.

3. Help them get organized. Keep a schedule and be consistent.

4. To help with reading focus, let kids read aloud and record their voice. You could read something yourself or purchase a “book on tape.” Now they can read along while listening. If they can’t sit still for the whole tape, let them listen while moving around. Listening skills are a necessary ingredient for good reading.

5. Practice deep breathing. Kids can even be taught a simple form of meditation which is nothing more than watching one’s breath.Even getting more oxygen to the brain is a brain-based learning technique.

6. Cross right ankle over left and then give yourself a hug by crossing arms across the body, left over right. Reduces the stress in the central nervous system. Try it yourself.

7. Decrease visual distractions in children’s rooms and at school. Fewer pictures, mobiles, toys. Less stuff.

8. Exercise: play, run, skip, insist on recess at school.

9. Do Brain Gym®. See www.braingymclasses.com. Some kids have gone off their meds or at least had doses reduced by doing Brain Gym. Another very effective brain-based learning strategy.

10. Eat more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon, sardines, tuna, flaxseed, flaxseed oil. Take fish-oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the production of neurotransmitter chemicals just as Ritalin does.

Brain-based learning strategies include attention to what we feed our brains and how that food affects the brain’s neurotransmitters.

Using these teacher resources and parenting tips will help you help children get control over ADD/ADHD, settle down, and learn more easily.

About The Author

MaryJo Wagner, Ph.D.The Learning Doctor “Helping You Help Yor Kids Learn”

LeBron James to open public school for at-risk kids

LeBron James is setting up a new school for at-risk kids, called the “I Promise School.”

James will be setting up the school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and it will open in fall of 2018 for third and fourth graders. By 2022, the school is expected to have the first through eighth grades.

“This school is so important to me because our vision is to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most — those that could fall through the cracks if we don’t do something,” said James.

The school will be funded by James’ family foundation.MORE