featured image by Jamie Esquire

 

 

Congratulations to The New England Patriots on their stunning FIFTH Super Bowl win over The Atlanta Falcons!

 

Via New York Times:

When James White sneaked into the end zone from 2 yards away, completing a 34-28 victory (IN OVERTIME) that defied the bounds of credulity and secured the Patriots’ fifth title, his teammates stormed onto the field, flung their helmets and hugged anyone who moved.

Across the field, the Falcons watched from their sideline as if fossilized in amber, too exhausted and dumbstruck to move.

The Patriots trailed by 25 points with 2 minutes 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter — and by 19 with 9:48 left in regulation — and they won.

They won because of Dont’a Hightower’s critical strip-sack and Julian Edelman’s Velcro hands and the clock management and coaching of a maestro, Bill Belichick, but mostly because of a truism that has beleaguered the league’s other 31 teams for 16 years running: the Patriots have Brady, and no one else does, not even the Falcons, who boasted the N.F.L.’s most valuable player in Matt Ryan.

Not including their 3-second possession at the end of regulation, the Patriots, after mustering only a field goal on their first seven drives, scored on their final five possessions.

“At halftime, I would say we weren’t down at all,” Brady said. “We were disappointed in the way we played, and we knew that we could go out and do a lot better in the second half.”  read more here

 

 

As a Ravens fan, I’m deeply saddened to see Steve Smith Sr. go.

He’s shocked Ravens fans with his recent announcement to retire, making the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals the last game of his career.

Via Sports Illustrated:

Smith, 37, has played 16 seasons and sits in seventh place on the NFL’s all-time career receiving yards list with 14,697 yards. He has 67 receptions for 765 yards and five touchdowns in 2016.

“I’m about 89 percent sure,” Smith said.

Smith finishes his career having played in five Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls. In 2005, he led the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns and remains the lone wide receiver since 1992 to accomplish the triple crown. Smith is also one of just 14 receivers with more than 1,000 career receptions.

Click here for Smith’s press conference

 

 

 

Former NFL player, Keion Carpenter died Thursday morning in a Florida hospital. The former Buffalo Bills/Atlanta Falcons player was only 39-years-old.

According to Yahoo Sports, Carpenter was vacationing in Florida with family when he took a freak fall while playing with his son.

Via Yahoo Sports:

Carpenter was on vacation with his family in south Florida when he fell while playing with his son. A cousin, Jamila Smith, told the Baltimore Sun, “They were running to the car when (Carpenter) slipped, fell, hit his head and slipped into a coma. It was just a freak accident. He was always healthy; he went to the doctor, ate well and worked out.”

Listed at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, Carpenter entered the league in 1999 with the Bills as an undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech. He played three seasons with Buffalo, playing in 37 games, and starting 22 in his second and third seasons with the team. Buffalo traded Carpenter to Atlanta in 2002.

He spent four years with the Falcons, starting 39 of 46 games. Carpenter missed the entire 2004 season due to a torn ACL, but returned the next year to start 15 games. It would be his final NFL season.

In all, Carpenter played 83 games (61 starts), with 14 interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown, and 198 total tackles.

A Baltimore native, Carpenter was both the quarterback and star safety at Woodlawn High, known for his 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, and was also a standout basketball player.

At Virginia Tech, Carpenter was a special-teams phenom, blocking a school-record six punts, his final one coming in his last game with the team, the 1998 Music City Bowl.

In a statement, former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said of Carpenter, “Cheryl and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Keion Carpenter. Keion was the one of the rocks around which we built our program at Virginia Tech in the 1990s. He was a tenacious punt blocker and a relentless player on defense. More importantly, he had a heart of gold. His work with The Carpenter House and other charitable organizations to help those in need truly embodied the Virginia Tech spirit. Our condolences to Keion’s family on the loss of a great Hokie.”

After retiring from the NFL, Carpenter founded The Carpenter House in Baltimore; according to the foundation’s website, among its goals were “to support the development of healthy homes and environments for low income children to thrive and reach their highest potential for academic success…Our goal is to invest in, build and inspire communities of change.”

One of the programs at The Carpenter House is Shutdown Academy, which combined classroom instruction with football and cheerleading instruction. Carpenter founded Shutdown Academy with Aaron Maybin and Bryant Johnson, two other Baltimore natives who went on to the NFL.

 

Sending prayers to the entire Carpenter family, Keion will be sorely missed.

I was hoping the Baltimore Ravens Cornerback would pull through…

It was recently reported that Tray Walker of the Baltimore Ravens was critically injured after crashing his motorcycle into an SUV Thursday night in Liberty City, Florida. The 23-year-old player died from his injuries Friday, according to his agent Ron Butler.

Via ESPN:

Walker was heading westbound on Northwest 75th Street on a Honda dirt bike when he collided with a Ford Escape heading southbound on Northwest 21st Avenue, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department. The accident occurred at approximately 7:50 p.m. and police said Walker’s bike did not have lights and that he was wearing dark clothing.

Police said the driver of the Ford Escape stayed on the scene and was cooperating with detectives. Walker was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial in critical condition, according to police.

Walker was a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2015. He played only eight snaps on defense as a rookie, making one tackle.

 

Rest in Peace, Tray.

Baltimore Ravens Cornerback, Tray Walker (No. 25) was critically injured after crashing his motorcycle into an SUV. The accident happened Thursday night in Liberty City, Florida. The 23-year-old is currently in critical condition at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, a team spokesman said.

Via ESPN:

Walker was heading westbound on Northwest 75th Street on a Honda dirt bike when he collided with a Ford Escape heading southbound on Northwest 21st Avenue, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department. The accident occurred at approximately 7:50 p.m., and police said Walker’s bike did not have lights and that he was wearing dark clothing.

Police said the driver of the Ford Escape stayed on the scene and was cooperating with detectives. Walker was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial in critical condition, according to police.

Walker was a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2015. He played only eight snaps on defense as a rookie, making one tackle.

John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens organization released a statement.

“Oh, my God, this is devastating news,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Our prayers and hopes are with Tray and his family tonight.”