Peyton Manning retires amid lawsuits

03 FEB 2016:Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) holds his hands up and makes a statement that SEC quarterbacks are the best prepared for the NFL during the Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos press conference held at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara California. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

03 FEB 2016:Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) holds his hands up and makes a statement that SEC quarterbacks are the best prepared for the NFL during the Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos press conference held at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara California. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

By Charles Glover, Jr.

After 18 seasons Peyton Manning announced his retirement today from the National Football League (NFL) with a lot of fanfare. Manning has been one of the top NFL ambassadors, as a member of the Indianapolis Colts for his first 14 years and the Denver Broncos the last 4 seasons. Manning was gracious during his retirement press conference thanking many, including his last team stating, “Grateful is the word that comes to my mind when thinking of the Denver Broncos.”

Manning announced his retirement in a press conference Monday and expressed appreciation and respect for numerous players, coaches, executives, and media members.

Manning announced his retirement in a press conference Monday and expressed appreciation and respect for numerous players, coaches, executives, and media members.

Retiring after helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 only enhances his legacy. Manning retires having won 5 regular season NFL MVP awards, 200 career wins, and a long list of passing records. Manning has also been as one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports for more than a decade, transitioning his success on the field to endorsements and public appearances. Nationwide and Papa John’s are the most frequent commercials Manning is featured in. Manning has also hosted Saturday Night Live on multiple occasions.

Manning’s retirement comes on the heels of a Super Bowl victory and a pair of pending lawsuits that should not be forgotten. His settlements in 1996 and 2003 with Dr. Jamie Naughright from an incident that occurred while Manning was attending the University of Tennessee recently resurfaced. In the court documents, Dr. Naughright accused Manning of sexually inappropriate conduct, further exacerbated by a book which he later co-wrote with his father, Archie. According to the court transcript, Manning was less than truthful in his recounting of his actions yet the university backed him up and hung Naughright out to dry.

Dr. Naughright reinstated the lawsuit after Manning’s book was released and her career suffered due to the entire series of events. and a class action lawsuit has been filed against him and the university by females who said they were harmed. Additionally, the NFL is still investigating claims from an Al-Jareeza report that linked him and his wife to the performance enhancing drug HGH.

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2010, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after teammate Joseph Addai scored a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game against the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press on Sunday, March 6, 2016, that Manning has informed the Denver Broncos he's going to retire. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2010, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after teammate Joseph Addai scored a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game against the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press on Sunday, March 6, 2016, that Manning has informed the Denver Broncos he’s going to retire. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Regardless of the findings of the NFL investigation, or any further developments in the current Tennessee lawsuit, Manning will be a first ballot NFL Hall of Fame selection. As Manning faces retirement he shared, “when someone thoroughly exhausts an experience they can’t help but miss it.”

Manning will always be linked and compared to Tom Brady and held in high esteem by those who appreciated his dedication to the game of football. Manning has his flaws as we all do but has earned the respect of many of the most respected in sports. As Manning said, “There’s something about the number 18. 18 is a good number.”–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns.

Will Cam Newton’s appeal extend beyond Super Bowl 50?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been front and center in the media coverage leading up to Super Bowl 50.

Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton has been front and center in the media coverage leading up to Super Bowl 50.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Super Bowl 50 is days away and as the Carolina Panthers prepare to face the Denver Broncos, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been the centerpiece of media sessions. Newton has had to answer copious questions about being an African-American quarterback, his on-field celebrations and his personality, among other things. Newton’s responses are now being commonly accepted and it seems he is as well, a huge change from how he was covered earlier in his career.

Newton with one of his signature celebrations after scoring a touchdown

Newton with one of his signature celebrations after scoring a touchdown

In the first two seasons of Newton’s career with the Panthers, there was a lot of losing and blame to go around for those losses. The former Number one overall draft pick and Heisman Trophy  winner found out the hard way that every aspect of his game would be scrutinized as the team struggled. Newton was even called by former teammate Steve Smith, Sr. and current head coach Ron Rivera, “Mr. Mopeyhead” for the way he apparently sulked when the team struggled. Reflecting on that difficult period, leading into his third season, Newton said:

“It was very disgusting. That’s as blunt as I can be. I could say other words as well. We went back on YouTube and looked at Cam Newton’s post game interviews. I was like “oh my God,” I see what people see. I see how people are viewing me. When they see this selfish player, or see this childish temper tantrum that I was throwing, I’m like “that’s why people look at me like that”

Newton (l) and Rivera (r) have grown together to help lead this team to the franchise's second super bowl appearance.

Newton (l) and Rivera (r) have grown together to help lead this team to the franchise’s second super bowl appearance.

Newton’s third season was in 2013, a year in which the Panthers won their division with a 12-4 record and earned a first round bye. Though they lost in the second round of the playoffs to the San Francisco 49ers, the team has grown together and has not missed the playoffs since that season.

While Newton has been clear in recognizing the need to mature on and off the field, it is clear that he has the support of his team and in particular his head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera has been the Newton’s head coach since he entered the NFL. Rivera’s past experience as a player for the Super Bowl winning ’85 Chicago Bears has helped shape his view of how to govern his team. Rivera has admitted that he embraces players individuality as long as they work together as a team on the field.

Newton (l) and Manning (r) are the first pair of former #1 overall selections at quarterback to face each other in the super bowl.

Newton (l) and Manning (r) are the first pair of former #1 overall selections at quarterback to face each other in the super bowl.

The Broncos and their top rated defense hope their quarterback Peyton Manning has one more vintage performance left in him to help pull off the upset over Newton and the Panthers. Manning, for his part acknowledged how much he has had to change this season stating, “I haven’t been stubborn. I have been flexible.”

Newton has been given the opportunity to have his personality and style of play embraced by his organization over the last few seasons and the results have been resounding. The Panthers enter Super Bowl 50 with a 17-1 record and the overwhelming favorites to win it all. With this being the fourth straight Super Bowl with an African-American starting quarterback, maybe there is growing acceptance for different ways to win at the quarterback position.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns.

Flip Saunders, Timberwolves’ coach/president of basketball operations, has died

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By Charles Glover Jr.

Phil ‘Flip’ Saunders, the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has died from cancer at age 60. His death has prompted an outpouring of grief across the NBA, with his two main teams, the Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver releasing statements, which appear below:

“It is with tremendous difficulty and deep sadness that the Timberwolves acknowledge the passing of our President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, Flip Saunders. Flip was a symbol of strength, compassion, and dignity for our organization. He was a shining example of what a true leader should be, defined by his integrity and kindness to all he encountered. Today is not a day to reflect on Flip’s accomplishments in basketball or what he brought to us as an organization on the court, but rather to indicate what he meant to us as a co-worker, friend, member of the community and the basketball world at large. We as an organization are devastated by his passing, and our hearts and prayers go out to Debbie and the entire Saunders family as they endure this extraordinary loss,” the Timberwolves’ statement read.

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“It is with tremendous sorrow that the Detroit Pistons organization acknowledges the passing of Flip Saunders. He will be remembered by Pistons fans as one of the franchise’s most successful head coaches – leading the club to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a franchise-record 64 wins in 2005-06. Flip was a great ambassador for the Metro Detroit community and had a positive influence on those who had the opportunity to spend time with him. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Debbie, his children Ryan, Mindy, Rachel, Kimberly and all his friends throughout the extended Detroit Pistons and NBA family,” the Pistons’ statement read.

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“The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders. With more than 40 years around the game, 20 of them in the NBA, Flip’s untimely passing has left a gaping hole in the fabric of our league. Flip was a beloved figure around the NBA, nowhere more so than in Minnesota, demonstrating a genuine and consistent passion for his players, his team and the game. On behalf of the NBA, we offer our most sincere condolences to Flip’s wife, Debbie, their four children and the entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization,” NBA Commissioner Adam Sliver’s statement read.

The entire NBA family and fans mourn the loss of Saunders’ talent and legacy—-OnPointPress.net.—

Death of high school footballer re-ignites safety concerns

16 year-old Tyrell Cameron lost his life on the football field last week in a high school game while covering a punt in the 4th quarter.

16 year-old Tyrell Cameron lost his life on the football field last week in a high school game while covering a punt in the 4th quarter.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

An unfortunate injury caused during a high school football game resulted in the death of 16 year-old player Tyrell Cameron on Friday September 4, 2015. Cameron died later that night after breaking his neck during a routine punt coverage in the fourth quarter of a Louisiana high school football game.

Johnny Ogden, an investigator with the parish coroner’s office told USA Today Sports that “Life-saving measures were performed and CPR was performed, but he was pronounced dead (at the hospital).”

De'Antre Turman, 16, also lost his life on the high school football field in 2013.

De’Antre Turman, 16, also lost his life on the high school football field in 2013.

As Cameron’s family, coaches and teammates mourn the loss of a young life, Coach Barry Sebren expressed his team’s grief, saying: “It was a routine play. It was such a tragedy, so unfortunate. We’re gonna miss him. He’s a great player and even better person. That’s what we’re going to miss most about Tyrell.”

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The tragic accident mirrors an eerily similar incident in 2013 where De’Antre Turman of Creekside High School in Union City, Georgia, died while playing in a scrimmage game after he tackled another player. Dr. Daniel Sciubba, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, called Turman’s death, “a very freak accident.” Sciubba added, “It’s just the fact that people are hitting each other as hard as they can and [the neck] area is not immobilized.”

Concussion. a Sony Pictures film starring Will Smith, will be a story about a doctor who uncovers the potential harm from concussions and the difficulty the doctor had in sharing his findings.

Concussion. a Sony Pictures film starring Will Smith, will be a story about a doctor who uncovers the potential harm from concussions and the difficulty the doctor had in sharing his findings.

These incidents are extreme examples of the inherent danger of playing such a violent sport, but the larger question is how are players being protected? Youth football is one of the most popular activities provided to youngsters but questions persist about player safety. Sport neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi commented recently on the subject stating, “We know that the brain is not fully developed at the youth level. The most successful players in the NFL did not play youth football.”

While officials at all levels of football have been asked to address concerns from fans and participants, expectations increase that the NFL take the lead on player safety. As the NFL continues to deal with lawsuits from former players who maintain that the NFL did not do enough to protect them during their careers, the league has issued the following statement recently:

“We are encouraged by the ongoing focus on the critical issue of player health and safety. We have no higher priority. We all know more about this issue then we did 10 or 20 years ago. As we continue to learn more, we apply those learnings to make our game and players safer.”

Adrian Coxson announced his retirement after suffering the affects of a concussion this NFL off-season.

Adrian Coxson announced his retirement after suffering the effects of a concussion this NFL off-season.

The regular season has begun for high school and colleges across the country and the NFL regular season will begin this Thursday. While there is plenty of excitement for the game, there are some who are having a difficult time balancing their desire for entertainment from this collision sport as more information surfaces about the potential for serious injury for those gifted players. Sony Pictures’ upcoming film, Concussion, featuring Will Smith, will depict the hazards of concussions uncovered by a doctor with access to NFL players and the uphill battle he faced in getting the issue addressed.

Hopefully these tragic stories of aspiring NFL players and other young football players like Tyrell Cameron can inspire changes towards a safer but equally entertaining game.

It is unclear if  tragic stories of aspiring NFL players and other young football players like Tyrell Cameron can inspire changes towards a safer but equally entertaining game.

Meanwhile, this past Labor Day, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Adrian Coxson, announced his retirement from football. Coxson expressed grave concerns for his health from a concussion he sustained in practice three weeks earlier. Coxson made this statement to the National Football Post:

“I’m retiring because I’m still having symptoms, and my health is more important to me than the game of football,” Coxson told . “It’s been recommended to me by two neurologists and two doctors to retire from football. This last [hit to my head] could be life-damaging. It has taken a great toll on me. This concussion was a bad one. A Grade 3 concussion is real serious.”

The fans of football and family members of players like Cameron, Turman, and Coxson will continue to support a sport they clearly enjoy. As millions more continue to enjoy football going forward, it is likely that greater safety measures will be implemented to allow  players to avoid  more tragic outcomes.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance professional partnered with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your free health insurance and life insurance quotes.

Serena Williams on a quest for calendar Grand Slam at U.S. Open

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Russia's Vera Zvonareva in their women's singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in their women’s singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRITAIN – Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

By Carmen Glover

The U.S. Open got underway today at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York amid an excited, palpable buzz of anticipation as the most dominant woman in sports, tennis superstar Serena Williams, pursues her first calendar Grand Slam.

While there has been a concerted effort to body shame Williams for her enviable, toned, alluring figure, Williams has been demure, celebrating her recent victories while pointedly ignoring detractors.

Serena Williams said she was having fun in her quest for the calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts this morning.

Serena Williams said she was having fun in her quest for the calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts this morning.

“I’m having a good time,” Williams said this morning as she spoke to Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, while explaining that she is not subjecting herself to any pressure.

Williams’ valiant effort kicks off tonight as she plays her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko. Maria Sharapova, who was not expected to offer much of a challenge to Williams, pulled out of the tournament on Sunday, August 30, claiming an injury. For Williams’ legion of fans, there’s only one thing to say: Go Serena!!–OnPointPress.net

 

States invest in lavish sports arenas but cut education budget

The owners of the Cleveland sports teams, (l - r) Indians owner Paul Dolan, Browns owner Jimmy Haslem, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, were successful in securing state taxpayer funds to bolster profits.

The owners of the Cleveland sports teams, (l – r) Indians owner Paul Dolan, Browns owner Jimmy Haslem, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, were successful in securing state taxpayer funds to bolster profits.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

According to a longstanding trend, sports ranks higher on states’ priority list than education in many places throughout this country, with Georgia, Ohio and Minnesota becoming the latest additions. While owners of sports teams are making record profits, citizens continue to complain about the inferior quality and rising costs associated with education. But, oddly, the issue has not been given much attention as politicians take their dog and pony show around the country, currying favor for more donations in their  presidential bids.

The cycle of low-income students and inferior education on students' future earning potential.

The cycle of low-income students and inferior education on students’ future earning potential.

Cleveland, for instance, in deciding to fund a new stadium at huge costs to the residents, is a microcosm of the juxtaposition of the values between the highest and lowest class citizens of a city. With unemployment and wages as the backdrop this July, Cleveland officials  decided taxpayers should absorb the cost of building the new, extravagant stadium. City officials argued that the construction project would help generate more jobs.

New York Times writer Michael Powell explained the situation pointing out, “[Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan] Gilbert and his fellow sports billionaires — Larry Dolan, who owns the Indians, and Jimmy Haslam, who owns the Browns — worked together to push through a referendum that extended a countywide “sin tax” on cigarettes, beer and liquor.” The outcome of this decision means that for the next 20 years, taxpayers in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County will contribute roughly $260 million into improvements for the city’s sports arenas and stadiums.

(l-r) Dolan, Haslem, and Gilbert find nothing wrong with asking taxpayers to help them make more money.

(l-r) Dolan, Haslem, and Gilbert find nothing wrong with asking taxpayers to help them make more money.

Meanwhile, this past March, the Cleveland school district proposed a budget that would cut costs by $3.4 million, much to the dismay of the Cleveland Teachers Union and parents in the city. Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke asked some searing questions in his consternation over the budget including, “Why are all of these struggling students being denied the resources and teachers they need to become successful? and, How are their academic needs being met?”

The answers to those questions remain unclear, but Cleveland Plain Dealer’s reporter Patrick O’Donnell discerns, “District officials said the cuts are just a prudent way to manage the district’s budget while they keep losing students. Though enrollment declines are still far less than in previous years, the district predicts it will lose 375 students for next school year.”

Cleveland Teachers Union members protest budget cuts for schools with red signs at the school board meeting while staff from the district's central office counter with their own green ones. (Photo courtesy of Patrick O'Donnell/The Plain Dealer)

Cleveland Teachers Union members protest budget cuts for schools with red signs at the school board meeting while staff from the district’s central office counter with their own green ones. (Photo courtesy of Patrick O’Donnell/The Plain Dealer)

The issue of state funds being misappropriated to benefit billionaires at the expense of poor, largely minority, inner-city children has raised alarm in some quarters but so far has not become the major issue that it should in the presidential campaign.

Numerous cities are facing a similar dynamic— inadequate funding for education and other public services but obscene amounts allocated to invest in lavish arenas and stadiums. As Deadspin’s Kevin Draper reports this July, “The Wisconsin Senate voted 21-10 to approve $250 million in public financing for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.” While just a few days earlier in July, “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a state budget that includes cuts of $250 million to the University of Wisconsin system, among other cuts to public education funding.”

Other reports have stated that one of the owners of the Bucks has bought up property near to the projected site of the new stadium in anticipation of making a windfall on that prime real estate once the stadium is built. Meanwhile, classrooms are over-crowded and children in Wisconsin lack the educational investment that they need to succeed.

Madison District Public Schools will be among those affected by Gov. Walker's budget proposal of $250 million in cuts.

Madison District Public Schools will be among those affected by Gov. Walker’s budget proposal of $250 million in cuts.

These recent examples are following a pattern seen in other cities like Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and countless other towns which have professional teams that see the owners receive money that would be better served supporting the local citizens. The theory behind the support for these arenas and stadiums is they will help grow the economy by providing jobs and tourist attractions.

However, economist George Zeller cites studies that show that “The theory that all of these sports teams are producing a gigantic boom is completely false.” The school year has already started in some parts of this country and will resume shortly in other areas. The NFL regular season will also start in a few weeks. Which is a priority for you?.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance professional partnered with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your free health insurance and life insurance quotes.

Roger Goodell upholds Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension, reduces Le’Veon Bell’s

It will probably be a long time before we see Tom Brady (l) and Roger Goodell (r) smiling with each other again. Goodell upheld Brady's 4 game suspension today.

It will probably be a long time before we see Tom Brady (l) and Roger Goodell (r) smiling with each other again. Goodell upheld Brady’s 4 game suspension today.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

NFL news spread quickly today that Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell had his 3 game suspension for his August 2014 arrest for DUI and marijuana possession reduced to 2 games as part of a settlement between the NFL and NFLPA. Bell accepted responsibility for his mistake and understood the impact it would have on him, as well as his team. Bell said on the first day of Steelers training camp, “Whatever the consequence is, I’ll take it. … You have to take the good with the bad.”

Unlike Brady, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell accepted his punishment and cooperated with the NFL and had his suspension for DUI and marijuana possession reduced.

Unlike Brady, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell accepted his punishment and cooperated with the NFL and had his suspension for DUI and marijuana possession reduced.

On the other hand, Tom Brady’s appeal was denied and his four-game suspension was upheld for his involvement in the “Deflategate” scandal. Part of the reason Brady’s appeal was denied, according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, is Brady’s conduct.

Goodell said that Brady “went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the scheme.”

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, new evidence surfaced today that revealed “Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone he had been using since early November 2014, a period that included the AFC title game and the initial weeks of the subsequent investigation.”

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks at a news conference about the NFL investigation into deflated footballs, in Foxborough, Mass. An NFL investigation has found that New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs and that quarterback Tom Brady was "at least generally aware" of the rules violations. The 243-page report released Wednesday, May 6, 2015, said league investigators found no evidence that coach Bill Belichick and team management knew of the practice. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks at a news conference about the NFL investigation into deflated footballs, in Foxborough, Mass. An NFL investigation has found that New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs and that quarterback Tom Brady was “at least generally aware” of the rules violations. The 243-page report released Wednesday, May 6, 2015, said league investigators found no evidence that coach Bill Belichick and team management knew of the practice. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The NFL also went to New York Federal Court and filed a suit to have their decision affirmed by the court in a move to circumvent the possible appeal to federal court by Brady and his legal team.

Meanwhile pundits insist that “Deflategate” in no way tarnishes Brady’s legacy. However, pundits might feel differently if Brady played another sport, like baseball, for instance.

Brady and the Patriots have been penalized more for cheating than any other team since 2000, while also winning more Super Bowls than any other team during the same span. Coincidence? You be the judge.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance professional partnered with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your free health insurance and life insurance quotes.