It began with a tweet. In the early morning hours of January 19, as much of America slept after the New England Patriots’ 45–7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game, Indianapolis sportswriter Bob Kravitz broke the news that the NFL was investigating the possibility that New England had intentionally deflated footballs, in violation of league rules.
So commenced a months-long circus that involved Patriots quarterback Tom Brady seeming to pretend that he didn’t know what a football was and coach Bill Belichick attempting to act like he had a PhD in air-pressure sciences.
The drama finally came to an end Monday when the NFL severely punished Brady and the Pats’ organization on the heels of the release of a much-anticipated league-commissioned report into the matter.
More than three months ago, quarterback Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to its fourth Super Bowl victory. But the celebration came to an abrupt end.
Yesterday, the NFL suspended Brady for four games for his role in a scheme to illegally deflate footballs. The Patriots were fined $1 million and lost a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round selection in 2017 because of the "Deflate" gate scandal.
The punishment was handed down after the NFL released the findings of an investigation into Deflategate led by Ted Wells.
Our moms do a lot for us, and we should celebrate them everyday. But that’s especially true on Sunday, which is Mother’s Day. To mark the occasion, we asked four star athletes to share the wise words from mom that helped prepare them for success.
Work Now, Play Later
Advice from Danielle Payton, mother of Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton
"Growing up, my mom always advised me that it was important to take care of my work before I played," says Elfrid. "I wasn't allowed to play basketball or hang out with my friends until all my homework was done. My mom always wanted us to prioritize work before play because she wanted to make sure we knew where to focus our efforts throughout our lives. To this day, I make sure that I take care of any work obligations first because my mom's voice in my head is saying, 'Keep working, keep working, and the fun stuff will be that much more rewarding.' Whether it's getting reps in the gym, eating healthy, or watching film — all of that needs to be done first. That work ethic has been ingrained in me since day one thanks to my mom. I give credit to my mom for fostering a drive for success in me because, as an athlete, you have to make sure that you focus on what you need to get done first and foremost. I also plan on finishing my education degree in a few years because I know how important it is, thanks to my mom. She works hard at her job helping people with disabilities find and maintain employment, and I look up to her for that. She always made sure we had what we needed. For that I am grateful."
On Friday afternoon, a few hours before the start of the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theater here in Chicago, I joined the hordes headed to the outdoor fan festival, Draft Town. The energy was apparent in the throngs that walked into Grant Park representing nearly every one of the 32 teams. It was like a migration to football land.
And the whole setup was a football lover’s dream. The NFL’s sponsors had built tents showcasing their products, and just inside the entrance, there were stations where kids could play Madden 15.
Mannequins dressed in the jerseys of every NFL team lined the paths, with holes where the heads would have been so fans could stand behind them and have their photos taken. Draftees and famous players signed autographs, and tents showcasing memorabilia from every team lined the walk.
CHICAGO — With a lei draped around his neck and a smile on his face, Marcus Mariota sat in his chair, gathering his thoughts as the celebration unfolded around him.
The Titans had selected Mariota, the former Oregon quarterback, with the second pick in the first round of the NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theater here Thursday night.
Mariota, though, was thousands of miles away at his own watch party, in Honolulu.
Moments earlier, as expected, the Buccaneers had selected former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first pick. He wasn’t in Chicago, either.
The NFL Draft kicks off Friday, and fans, analysts, and GMs alike are filling out mock draft boards and spreadsheets. But the real draft is so unpredictable that the chances of predicting correctly are extremely slim. But that won’t stop me from making picks!
Here is my outline of how I think 2015 NFL draft will play out:
When your team name is a color, it’s hard to get too creative with what players wear on the field. Which is why the Cleveland Browns have had, basically, the same jersey for decades: Orange helmet, brown home uniforms, white pants. But going into 2015, the Browns have tried to mix things up.
Yesterday, Cleveland unveiled a new set of jerseys — home, away, and a third — that the team will wear this season. The unis are an updated version of the NFL Nike Elite 51 that “respects the past and embraces the future by paying tribute to the city and the fans,” according to Nike. “The uniform incorporates a modern, 21st century Cleveland-centric design inspired by the Dawg Pound, a group that consists of some of the team’s most enthusiastic fans, and influenced by the evolution of the city itself.”