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Posted at 09:27 PM ET, 09/18/2014

The Falcons nearly blinded Matt Ryan


Thanks to some eye drops, Matt Ryan was able to complete lots of passes for the Falcons. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Falcons, like most big-time sports operations, like have their players enter the field before games in a dramatic manner. However, while giving their fans a feast for the eyes, the team nearly blinded its star quarterback.

Ouch! Nothing like taking some fireworks to the cornea before squaring off against an NFL defense. Fortunately, it wasn’t a problem that some eye drops couldn’t solve.

As it turned out, those drops were the only ones Ryan experienced in the early going. The quarterback went 11 for 12 on first-quarter passes, for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Guess that painful pre-game moment was just the spark Ryan needed.

By Des Bieler  |  09:27 PM ET, 09/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan

Posted at 08:13 PM ET, 09/18/2014

Michael Vick says Roger Goodell is ‘doing a great job’


“You’re not going get it right all the time the first time,” said Jets quarterback Michael Vick of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (Chris Szagola/Associated Press)

Michael Vick knows a thing or two about running afoul of the law, and getting punished by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. So what does the Jets quarterback think of the fact that Goodell is getting widely criticized for his recent handling of some high-profile incidents of player misconduct?

“I think he’s doing a great job,” Vick told reporters Thursday.

Interesting, coming from a man who was suspended indefinitely by Goodel, after Vick was found guilty of participating in a dog-fighting operation. It is probably worth remembering, though, that after Vick missed two full seasons while serving a jail sentence, Goodell lifted the suspension in 2009, allowing the quarterback to resume his career.

Now the commissioner is getting hammered for presiding over a league in which incidents of domestic violence were taken far too lightly, according to Goodell’s critics.

In a report by the Associated Press, Vick made these comments:

“I think some situations are more complicated than others. You’re not going to get it right all the time on the first time. These situations that are arising are situations that we have never dealt with before in the NFL from a PR standpoint, just from a situational standpoint.

Sounds like Vick has picked up on the NFL’s hot new talking point, “Get it right.”

It also sounds like Vick is grateful for the second chance he got at an NFL career, and recognizes Goodell’s role in allowing that to happen. Here is what the commissioner had to say about Vick, at the time of his reinstatement:

“What Michael did was cruel and horrific. We recognize that, and I think Michael recognizes that. . . . I took this process very seriously, and it was extremely thorough. I had to do what I thought was proper and fair. . . . I’m trying to give Michael an opportunity to prove to me and others that he deserves to play in the NFL again. It’s in his hands now.”

By Des Bieler  |  08:13 PM ET, 09/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Michael Vick, Roger Goodell

Posted at 05:52 PM ET, 09/18/2014

43-year-old Jens Voigt breaks cycling’s ‘hour record’


German cyclist Jens Voigt attempts to break cycling’s hour record at the velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland on Thursday. (Peter Klaunzer/AP/Keystone)

How far do you think you could ride a bike in an hour? Twelve miles? Maybe 20 at a brisk pace? That’s nothing for Jens Voigt. The German cyclist who rides with Trek Factory Racing broke the “Hour Record” Thursday afternoon by riding 51.11 kilometers, or roughly 32 miles, in 60 minutes at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland. The previous record was 49.7 kilometers, or roughly 31 miles, set in 2005 by Ondrej Sosenka of the Czech Republic.

That difference in distance may not seem like a lot, but in a sport where literally almost anything can make a difference — from ambient air pressure in the atmosphere to a layer of dust on the track — beating the record by a mile is, well, a milestone. Perhaps most important in the hour record, which is not a race against others, but simply one cyclist on a track against the clock, is pacing. If you don’t know when to push and when to coast, breaking the record gets a lot harder. Voigt knows this.

“I started as usual too fast, but that is just me, I can’t control myself, and I realized that I was a second faster on the first lap than on the timetable so I tried to pace myself a little. But I was in good shape, just right,” Voigt said after his victory in a press statement. “I am perfectly fit for this moment, I am in very good shape, and after 20 minutes I had gained one lap but I was still feeling in control. Then from 20 to 40 minutes I had a comfortable lead and I paced myself and was still gaining a little time. Then in the last 20, I sped up a little and gained another lap. The last 10 minutes were flat out, all-in.”

This solo venture will likely be the last hurrah in the 43-year-old’s illustrious cycling career. Voigt has raced and earned stage wins in several of cycling’s top road races, including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, but he has become best known for his quick attacks and unstoppable spirit. That never-quit mentality became most evident in 2010, when Voigt crashed out during the Tour de France and totaled his bike. Instead of waiting around or abandoning, however, Voigt did what only Voigt would do — he borrowed a junior-sized bike from a kid and rode for 15 kilometers until he was able to switch back out to his full-sized bike.

“[The kid's bike] was way too small for me, it didn’t fit with my pedal system and it didn’t really work the way I wanted it to work,” Voigt told VeloNation.com. “But it was something to move and I took the chance.”

By Marissa Payne  |  05:52 PM ET, 09/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 09/18/2014

Watch WWE superstar Chris Jericho crash a weather report on live TV


Chris Jericho cuts a WWE promo with Shaquille O’Neal in 2009. (Kevin Hennessy/The Washington Post)

Pro wrestler Chris Jericho is arguably one of the more charismatic superstars on WWE’s roster. Unfortunately, that charisma did not carry over when Y2J attempted to fill in for a Phoenix, Ariz., weather reporter on Wednesday morning. It was chaos.

Of course, the rest of the anchors at Fox 10 did not help ease the awkwardness. Just as Jericho, who is about to wrap up his current run with the WWE, was looking like he understood his left from this right, weatherman Cory McCloskey messed everything up (or made it better?) by pulling out his best Beavis impression and headbanging a Fozzy song. Jericho, who fronts Fozzy was in town to promote an upcoming concert in Tempe, Ariz.

In the meantime, the good people of the greater Phoenix area are still waiting for their weather forecast…

By Marissa Payne  |  05:05 PM ET, 09/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:43 PM ET, 09/18/2014

NFL announcers keep calling league-sponsored Microsoft ‘Surface’ tablets ‘iPads’


A Philadelphia Eagles coach is not using an iPad. (It’s a Microsoft Surface.) (Michael Conroy/AP)

Considering the much-talked-about “climate” surrounding the NFL right now, this might be a blessing in disguise for Microsoft: NFL announcers have continually referred to the “Surface” tablets donated by Microsoft that ever coach has on the sideline this season as “iPads.” Per the Los Angeles Times:

The confusion over the Surface tablets began during Week One of the season, when Fox commentator John Lynch told viewers that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was “not watching movies on his iPad” during a game. Lynch made things more awkward when he then said players had “iPad-like tools.”

So much for the $400 million dollars, according to Business Insider, that Microsoft paid to have its tablets in the hands of every prominent NFL coach and player this season.

Microsoft has got a plan, though.

“Despite the majority of our friends in the booth correctly identifying the Surface on NFL sidelines, we’re working with the league to coach up a select few,” a Microsoft spokesman told the L.A. Times.

By Marissa Payne  |  04:43 PM ET, 09/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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