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Posted at 06:22 PM ET, 08/21/2014

Green Bay Packers fans are the ‘best fans,’ poll finds

(Eric Risberg/AP)

It’s official(ish): Green Bay Packers fans are the best, according to the market research firm Nielsen Scarborough. The poll determined 84 percent of adults in Green Bay are Packers fans; that is, they watched, attended and/or listened to the games last year, Forbes reports. The poll also measured four other criteria, including TV ratings, stadium attendance based on capacity, merchandise sales on and social media reach.

It probably doesn’t hurt that Packers fans are so intense about their team that they created a way to structure their love life around the games. They created “Packers Backers,” a dating site exclusive for Green Bay fans to meet other Green Bay fans.

OK, sure, but have any Green Bay fans ever tattooed the team’s logo on their foreheads? No? So these other teams, which didn’t rank quite as high as far as fan greatness is concerned, have a possible in.

Here are the rest of the teams with the best fans, according to the poll (via Forbes):

2. Denver Broncos 3. New Orleans Saints 4. New England Patriots 5. Baltimore Ravens 6. Indianapolis Colts 7. Dallas Cowboys (tie) 7. Pittsburgh Steelers (tie) 9. Seattle Seahawks 10. Chicago Bears

By Marissa Payne  |  06:22 PM ET, 08/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:07 PM ET, 08/21/2014

Little League World Series security is ready for bigger crowds ahead of tonight’s Pennsylvania vs. Illinois game

The Great Lakes region will face the Mid-Atlantic tonight in front of thousands. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Mo’ne Davis is the talk of the baseball diamond this week as she and her team, Pennsylvania’s Taney Dragons, compete for a spot in the Little League World Series Championship on Sunday.

But tonight, the team will go up against another tough opponent, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West squad, which has a great story of its own. The all-African American team hails from Chicago’s south side and is proving inner city baseball programs can flourish just as well as those in more affluent neighborhoods.

Because both teams have garnered their fair share of media attention, crowds are expected to meet if not exceed Wednesday night’s attendance at the Pennsylvania-Nevada game, which topped 34,000. “That’s 6,000 more than last year,” Little League World Series security director Jim Ferguson says.

The 72-acre Little League facility in Williamsport, Pa., is equipped to handle that, Ferguson says. Not only has Little League enlisted a boatload of HD Axis Communications surveillance cameras  to monitor the facility, but Ferguson said plenty of law enforcement officers are on the ground, as well.

While security professionals are there to monitor the crowd, which Ferguson, who’s monitored Little League games for 24 years now, reports are generally respectful, they’re also there to protect the kids who are playing. Sports Illustrated cover star Davis has been the standout centerpiece of this year’s tournament, but Ferguson says Little League security is more than equipped to handle the extra attention.

“Certainly, she draws a crowd,” he says, adding, “There’s always somebody in the location.” Teams that don’t get as much attention are covered too, Ferguson emphasizes. “We do take precautions for all the teams. … I’m concerned about one person or I’m concerned about 1,000.”

“Obviously with a local team in the tournament [Williamsport is about a three-hour drive from Philadelphia], we tend to get larger crowds,” Ferguson says, referring to the Taney Dragons. “So far we’ve been over last year’s attendance almost every night.” More than 350,000 people attended the Little League World Series in 2013. “We’re going to easily break that number,” Ferguson announces.

As the tournament continues, Little League officials expect the crowds to increase, especially if the Taney Dragons move on to face the Las Vegas Mountain Ridge squad again on Saturday in the U.S. Final. Ferguson said he’s expecting for 45,000 to 60,000 people to attend if Davis hits the pitcher’s mound again, but he is hoping for 100,000. (He was only half kidding.)

To keep it a locally focused event, however, the Taney Dragons are going to have to bring their A-game even without Davis on the pitcher’s mound to tonight’s meet-up with Jackie Robinson West even without the 70 mile-per-hour fastball from Davis. The 13-year-old honor student is ineligible to pitch until Saturday due to Little League pitching rules that limit the strain allowed on a player’s arm.

The Taney Tigers will also have to beat a fearsome Chicago squad, lead by power slugger Pierce Jones, who’s already racked up four home runs. Other Chicago stars to look out for are Joshua Houston, Marquis Jackson and Darion Radcliff, who, much like Davis, lack little in the confidence department. In other words, tonight should be a fantastic match-up.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will be aired on ESPN.

By Marissa Payne  |  06:07 PM ET, 08/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:53 PM ET, 08/21/2014

Watch Olympic gold-medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken stand up and walk for the first time since her accident

(Brennan Linsley/AP)

We hope this is a sign that amazing medical news in contagious. Just a day after Jim Kelly’s doctors announced they found “no evidence” of cancer in the ex-NFL quarterback’s system, Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen got some good news of her own — she stood up for the first time since an ATV accident earlier this summer severed her spine and walked. She posted video of the herself getting up on Instagram.

Her caption: “Standing up for the first time on my own in 2 1/2 months.”

And here she is walking with the aid of a walker and specialized leg and back braces (an Indego exoskelton, TMZ Sports reports, and Van Dyken-Rouen confirms).

Her caption: “Here it is…I’m WALKING!!! #onestepatatime #itcouldhappen”

That’s more the one step! And it did happen! This is exciting news for the swimmer, who was discharged from the hospital just last week. She’s currently getting out-patient therapy in Colorado.

So, when will she swim again? The 41-year-old athlete said she has not set a timeline for herself at a press conference last week, but noted she’s determined to get back in the pool at some point.

Van Dyken-Rouen won four gold medals swimming at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and came back in 2000 to win two more in Sydney.

By Marissa Payne  |  05:53 PM ET, 08/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:21 PM ET, 08/21/2014

Tiger Woods tells Rory McIlroy: ‘I’m not going to let you win a green jacket next year’

(Theo Wargo / NBC / Getty Images for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”)

Tiger Woods has always had a playful relationship with Rory McIlroy, treating him like an amusing scamp of a younger brother.

As McIlroy has risen to the top of the golf world and Woods has slid from the No. 1 perch, that has continued, most recently when they did the “Ice Bucket Challenge” together and joked and goofed around with Jimmy Fallon on the “Tonight Show” as they promoted the company they endorse, Nike. But it’s good to know that the  ultra-competitiveness hasn’t disappeared, thanks to an anecdote about the 2015 Masters that McIlroy told.

“I’m not going to let you win a green jacket next year,” McIlroy said (via

Right now, given the dismal year Woods had, that seems improbable, but McIlroy, who won two majors this year, is taking no chances as he pursues a career Grand Slam at Augusta National.

“I’m not comfortable because I know [Tiger] is working his butt off to get back here,” he said, “and get back where he wants to be.”

By  |  03:21 PM ET, 08/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:44 PM ET, 08/21/2014

Toronto Blue Jays get into legal battle with Creighton Bluejays over school’s new logo

Dioner Navarro seen here in the Toronto Blue Jays dugout. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays may not mind a little competition on the baseball diamond, but when it comes to their blue jay mascot, the team wants to stand alone. This month, the team legally challenged Creighton University’s redesign of its own Bluejays logo by filing an opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, reported Wednesday.

The opposition filing reads:

[Creighton's proposed logo] is comprised of a blue jay bird head design in profile with its crest raised in a manner similar to certain [Toronto logos]. The design is formed by thick, clean lines and outlines with no gradient or shading, resulting in a bold, two-dimensional mark that is highly similar to the designs contained in certain [Toronto logos].

It’s unlikely Toronto is concerned about financial implications of Creighton’s logo, which debuted last year, as those who support the Toronto Blue Jays would almost certainly not forgo purchasing official team merchandise to instead buy Creighton Bluejays items. Instead, the team said in the opposition filing that it’s worried about dilution of their brand; that is if a very similar logo emerges not only might it confuse people, but it could affect associations to Toronto that go along with it, reports.

Creighton officials are aware of the controversy and the opposition notice, and are currently in discussions with Toronto, according to Creighton general counsel Jim Jansen, the Associated Press reports.

By Marissa Payne  |  02:44 PM ET, 08/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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