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NFL 2017 First Round Draft Picks
1. Cleveland Browns
Garrett, Myles
DE 6'4" 272 Texas A&M
2. Chicago Bears (From 49ers)
Trubisky, Mitchell
QB 6'2" 222 North Carolina
3. San Francisco 49ers (From Bears)
Thomas, Solomon
DE 6'3" 273 Stanford
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fournette, Leonard
RB 6'0" 240 LSU
5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams)
Davis, Corey
WR 6'3" 209 Western Michigan
6. New York Jets
Adams, Jamal
S 6'0" 214 LSU
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Williams, Mike
WR 6'4" 218 Clemson
8. Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey, Christian
RB 5'11" 202 Stanford
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Ross, John
WR 5'11" 188 Washington
10. Kansas City Chiefs (From Bills)
Mahomes, Patrick
QB 6'2" 225 Texas Tech
11. New Orleans Saints
Lattimore, Marshon
CB 6'0" 193 Ohio St.
12. Houston Texans (From Browns through Eagles)
Watson, Deshaun
QB 6'2" 221 Clemson
13. Arizona Cardinals
Reddick, Haason
LB 6'1" 237 Temple
14. Philadelphia Eagles (From Vikings)
Barnett, Derek
DE 6'3" 259 Tennessee
15. Indianapolis Colts
Hooker, Malik
S 6'1" 206 Ohio St.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Humphrey, Marlon
CB 6'0" 197 Alabama
17. Washington Redskins
Allen, Jonathan
DE 6'3" 286 Alabama
18. Tennessee Titans
Jackson, Adoree'
CB 5'10" 186 USC
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard, O.J.
TE 6'6" 251 Alabama
20. Denver Broncos
Bolles, Garett
OT 6'5" 297 Utah
21. Detroit Lions
Davis, Jarrad
LB 6'1" 238 Florida
22. Miami Dolphins
Harris, Charles
OLB 6'3" n253 Missouri
23. New York Giants
Engram, Evan
TE 6'3" 234 Mississippi
24. Oakland Raiders
Conley, Gareon
CB 6’0” 195 Ohio St
25. Cleveland Browns (From Texans)
Peppers, Jabrill
S 5'11" 213 Michigan
26. Atlanta Falcons (From Seahawks)
McKinley, Takkarist
DE 6'2" 250 UCLA
27. Buffalo Bills (From Chiefs)
White, Tre'Davious
CB 5'11" 192 LSU
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charlton, Taco
DE 6'6" 277 Michigan
29 .Cleveland Browns (From Packers)
Njoku, David
TE 6'4" 246 Miami
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Watt, T.J.
OLB 6'4" 252 Wisconsin
31. San Francisco 49ers (From Seahawks through Falcons)
Foster, Reuben
LB 6'0" 229 Alabama
32. New Orleans Saints (From Patriots)
Ramczyk, Ryan
OT 6'6" 310 Wisconsin

WHAT YOU SAY!?

ESPN’s 2017 Monday Night Football Schedule
Preseason
Thurs, Aug. 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8 PM ET
Mon, Aug. 21
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8 PM ET

Regular Season (8 PM ET unless indicated)
Sept. 11
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings 7 PM ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos 10:15 PM ET
Sept. 18
Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Sept. 25
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Oct. 2
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 9
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct. 16
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Oct. 23
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Oct. 30
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Nov. 6
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Nov. 13
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
Nov. 20
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks 
Nov. 27
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens 
Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Dec. 11
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Dec. 18
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dec. 25
Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Thursday
Nov102016

NASL, Battered But Not Beaten, Prepares For Cosmos-Indy Championship Game

By Barry Janoff

November 10, 2016: The North American Soccer League is fast-approaching the end of its 2016 season,, with the championship game between the Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos scheduled for Nov. 13 in New York.

For some, the event represents the reward to a rigourous, but successful, campaign.

For others, the game represents the conclusion of a season in which the league faced financial and logistical problems so severe that the future of the NASL was put in doubt.

"It’s an honor to be part of a league that once again presents incredible competition for our fans," NASL commissioner Bill Peterson said during a media conference call held as a prelude to the title match. "It’s been a busy year for us. First and foremost, it’s always about the competition. And this is a very competitive league.

"We’ve had a good year in some areas off the field. We are particularly proud of the partners we brought on. Having CBS Sports Network broadcast games, beIN broadcast games, One World Sport improved their coverage and did a great job covering our games. And the partnership with ESPN3 and all the local broadcasters really gave us a lot of exposure and a lot of opportunity to promote our players, our teams, our competition. They made a big difference in who we are today versus who we’ve been in the past," said Peterson.

The commissioner also stressed the impact of league and team marketing partners, led by Under Armour, which came in this year as the official ball and the Cosmos kit provider Peterson implied that the Baltimore-based sports apparel, footwear and equipment company went beyond that, perhaps including financial support.

"They are really good partners of this league," said Peterson. "They were able to get things done for us on a couple of occasions where we were in a bind. And we have had some great conversations with them about what the future looks like not only for our league but their company and the sport in general."

Some NASL clubs had financial problems this past season, including the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, which, according to ESPN and other media outlets, were "in serious financial jeopardy" and Rayo OKC, which "faces similar financial trouble."

This also was the farewell season for the Minnesota United, which is moving from the NASL to Major League Soccer in 2017. In October, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury said they would move their franchises to from the NASL, a Div. II circuit, to the United Soccer League, a Div. III operation as determined by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the sport’s overseeing body in this country.

"What I say today and what our owners say today is that we get up every morning and try to figure out how to build a strong league and build it so that it is stronger today than it was yesterday," said Peterson. "And continue to deliver great competition for our fans and everything else that is involved with professional sports, be it stadiums or marketing or television.

"This may be a golf analogy, but we play our ball and focus on what we are doing more so than what others are doing. And if we continue to do that and work hard, we will be successful," said Peterson. "How successful is impossible to predict. We have a very dedicated group of owners who want to continue to build a strong and stronger league, and that’s our focus right now."

The NASL also faced challenges when it came to finding a venue for its championship game. The No. 1 seeded Cosmos had home-field advantage, but were not able to host the game in 11,000-seat Shuart Stadium, on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island, due to a contractual dispute.

The move, said to be permanent, from what had been the Cosmos home stadium for the past few seasons reportedly dates back to an altercation between some of the team’s fans and fans of MLS’s New York City FC during an interleague friendly game in Shuart Stadium in 2015. Complaints of the altercations led Hofstra school executives to indicate to Cosmos executives that their lease at the Stadium would not be renewed following the 2016 season.

"We have a very dedicated group of owners who want to continue to build a strong and stronger league, and that’s our focus right now."

That, compounded by other factors — including Shuart Stadium not being a soccer-specific venue— was a catalyst in driving the league and team to look for other locations. They included MCU Park in Brooklyn, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Minor League Baseball Class A affiliate of MLB’s New York Mets. The Cosmos played their post-season semi-final game there on Nov. 7.

Eventually, the league and Cosmos struck a deal with St. John’s University in Queens to have the title game played in the on-campus 2,500-seat Belson Stadium. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network (7 PM ET), available in 60 million homes across North America.

"We are thankful to St. John’s for stepping up and hosting us," said Peterson. "(The Cosmos) have been trying to resolve a scheduling issue, which we at the league office have been aware of for weeks. We tried to work with them to contemplate a lot of different outcomes. The No. 1 issue for us was allowing the Cosmos’ fans to have the game on home territory.

"We contemplated moving the game (out of New York), but the damage it would do to the fan base and the trust that fan base has in the club ultimately was the reason to keep the championship game in New York. We are going to fill the place up; it will be an incredible game," said Peterson.

Looking at 2017, the San Francisco Deltas FC are joining as an expansion club, but replacements for the three departing clubs may not come until years down the road.

"The movement of clubs — fortunately or unfortunately, depending on where you sit in the discussion — is part of the game today in the United States," said Peterson. "It’s a product of how we are structured. Any club owner can make a choice of what league he would like to play in and file for admission in that league. That becomes a personal decision. It’s not just us. We have seen it in all the (soccer) leagues.

"There is nothing in the law that prohibits that. It is a lot of movement in one year with teams coming on, teams going out. Is it something we like? No. We don’t like to see teams leaving to go other leagues. But at the same time we understand the reason for it. We wish them well."

According to Peterson, "At the end of the day, it’s going to take three strong leagues here (MLS, NASL and USL, which has applied to the USSF for Div. II status) to really grow the game and be part of the community, be part of the fabric, in this country. I don’t think you’ve seen the end of it from any of the leagues.

"We certainly will look for ways that it doesn’t occur (in the NASL) and try to prevent a situation where an owner would want to move his team," said Peterson.

Regarding expansion, the commissioner said that the NASL, which traces its roots back to the original NASL in the 1960s but was relaunched as a new NASL in 2009, is working with a half-dozen "very serious ownership groups" looking to join the league.

"We are confident that we will get a number of those groups onboard," he said. "What’s the timetable? I don’t know, But a few of them, if not all of them, could be playing in 2018, But we still have work to do. We have a very robust evaluation process that we go through.

"This league has grown, is stronger on the field and bigger off the field than it was when I came onboard four years ago. And it’s going to continue to grown. Our priority is to protect the game and grow the game. Adding teams, but in a smart manner with very strong ownership groups in cities that will be here for years to come," said Peterson.

NASL Eyes Future Despite Growing Challenges

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