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Nike Texans #99 J.J. Watt Red Alternate Men’s Stitched NFL Elite Jersey

Nike Texans #99 J.J. Watt Red Alternate Men’s Stitched NFL Elite Jersey

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Whether Twitter (and social media in general) makes athletes more popular or less popular is certainly up for debate — it’s probably both, depending on what exactly they use it for — but it is undeniable that without social media, the struggle for stories about these players during “down times” on the sports calendar would be very, very real.

Personally, I like Twitter the most when it is honest and a real reflection of who the athlete is. That would explain why the topic of Arian Foster contending that he could take down a wolf with his bare hands overtook my national radio show on Sunday night cheap soccer jerseys wholesale:

For the record, I had multiple calls from Alaskans to my show saying that Foster is absolutely nuts (duh!), one of them even citing the pounds per square inch that a wolf deploys when shredding an object with its fangs (wolf analytics!). It was a fun topic to spend kicking around, as it took us to a place where eventually callers were trying to figure out which deadly animal they would stand the best chance of beating with their bare hands. (Most prominent answer — NONE.)

Arian Foster may no longer be a Texan, but as long as he’s on Twitter, he lives on in our minds, hearts, souls and laptops.

Fast-forward to Monday night, and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Peruse Watt’s Twitter timeline, and over the past several weeks it’s largely retweets from fans who bought tickets to his charity softball game (May 13, Minute Maid Park, tickets available at jjwfoundation.org) and retweets of combine/draft accolades for his younger brother, T.J. Watt, who is thought to be a second-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

There are no bold proclamations of how he could destroy a wolf with his bare hands (Fact: If any athlete could, it’s a healthy J.J. Watt), and there are absolutely zero political statements (Why do you think J.J. Watt is so damn popular?). Hell, it took Watt’s girlfriend, Houston Dash star Kealia Ohai, to change HER Facebook status and profile picture for the world to learn they were officially a couple!

But every now and again, J.J. Watt has a solid take on something sports-related. On Monday night, he tweeted this…

We know that youth sports and after-school activities are a passion for J.J. Watt, as his foundation benefits numerous school systems to help them provide equipment and resources to conduct sports and activities. We also know that Watt grew up playing every sport under the sun. The freaking guy is good at hockey, for God’s sake!

As a parent of three sports-playing kids myself and a daughter who runs track and cross country at the collegiate level, I couldn’t agree with Watt’s take more. The trend that’s taken kids who love and have the athletic wherewithal to play multiple sports over different seasons down to specializing in one sport year-round is unfortunate and, oftentimes, unseemly.

For one, these are different lessons to be gleaned from playing different sports — universal lessons in teamwork and sacrifice, but also specialized lessons in strategy and use of different muscle groups. I’m a firm believer that being able to have substantial experiences in many things is better than inundation in one thing. (The Bill O’Brien Versatility Theory in play!) Second, playing different sports often avails kids to sport jerseys wholesale different groups of people and friends. There is nothing bad about that.

But more to the point that I think Watt was driving at, in the unsavory specialization realm, kids and parents begin to brush up against the lunatic fringe of parents and coaches (and even the slimeball outer fringe when you begin to get into handlers in high school). A lot of specialization is a money grab by “private coaches” planting dreams of stardom down the road in the heads of kids and parents, a vast majority of whom end up on the scrap heap (simple math — only so many people get to the levels that these coaches brag about on their clientele page).

It’s why I don’t watch the Little League World Series on TV, quite honestly. There’s just something a little weird about watching a bunch of sixth graders from around the world getting the Major League treatment on ESPN, knowing full well that, in 2017, a lot of these kids are probably being asked to play baseball and ONLY baseball by delusional parents. Hey, maybe my abstaining from watching it makes me the lunatic. Whatever.

But back to the original point…yes, J.J. Watt! Totally agree! Play lots of sports, kids. Dream big. Work hard. Hunt greatness. And for the love of God, do NOT flip any 1,000-pound usa wholesale jerseys tires.

Who are the top five players in the world right now wholesale jerseys?

Who are the top five players in the world right now wholesale jerseys?

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1. Putting a cap on a West Coast swing that produced one marquee winner wholesale jerseys after another, Dustin Johnson lapped the field at the Genesis Open at Riviera and vaulted to No. 1 in the World Ranking. We all know that the ranking, with its two-year rolling points system, has its flaws. What does your top five look like?

Shane Bacon, golf analyst, Fox Sports (@shanebacon): I’m going to go my top-five in the world currently, with Rory simply landing on the list because, when healthy, he’s a top-two player and, when on the couch, he still doesn’t drop out of the Top 5. 1. Dustin Johnson 2. Hideki Matsuyama 3. Jordan Spieth 
4. Justin Thomas
 5. Rory McIlroy

Jeff Ritter, Digital Development Editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Good list, Shane. The only major move I’d make is to swap out Rory, at least until he returns healthy, for Stenson. Henrik hasn’t won since Troon, but it feels like it’s been a year since he missed a top 10.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): 1. Dustin Johnson 2. Henrik Stenson 3. Rory McIlroy 4. Jordan Spieth 5. Hideki Matsuyama

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: 1. Dustin Johnson 2. Justin Thomas 3. Hideki Matsuyama 4. Jordan Spieth 5. Fred Couples

Shipnuck: Fred! I love that. Bamberger is always looking out for a golden oldie.

Joe Passov, senior editor, GOLF (@joepassov): 1. Dustin Johnson
2. Jordan Spieth
 3. Hideki Matsuyama
 4. Justin Thomas
 5. Justin Rose

I just feel like we needed more Justins in this list. No, he’s been a Top 5, Top 10 machine recently, and he always seems to be the guy that when I leave him off my majors pool, he contends.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, GOLF: Hansel, he’s so HOT right now. But since this isn’t a Zoolander fashion show, I’m giving less weight to who’s been scorching in the early goings this season, and more toward the five who are simply the best. 1. Dustin Johnson 
2. Jason Day
 3. Rory McIlroy 
4. Jordan Spieth
 5. Hideki Matsuyama

2. Brett Rumford won the World Super 6 in Perth on the European tour. The event featured 54 holes of stroke play, but the champion was crowned only after four rounds of six-hole match-play shootouts. Meanwhile, Euro tour CEO Keith Pelley offered plenty of other intriguing ideas during a lively Q&A with Alan Shipnuck for The Knockdown. Among them: Driving up interest in the first and second round with a payday for the lowest scores. Should the PGA Tour be taking note?

Bacon: I just had a lengthy convo for my podcast with Mr. Pelley (out Monday!) and my takeaway from it is this: the European Tour is not afraid of anything at all, especially making golf tournaments look different than what we’re used to seeing. I can’t imagine a single person looking at the format changes of the World Super 6 and seeing it as a negative to the game, so for me, it was a win, as is the GolfSixes and some of the other ideas that Pelley wants to roll out in ‘17 and ‘18. Change, adapt, intrigue; golf needs it, and the European Tour is doing that, but don’t look past what will happen at the Zurich in a few months. That’s a big step for the PGA Tour, so in a way, both tours are doing different things to break up the monthly grind of another 72-hole stroke play event.

Ritter: In addition to the change at Zurich, the Tour is also eyeing an overhaul to its schedule. Add in the USGA’s upcoming changes to the rule book, and it’s safe to say U.S. golf isn’t standing still. But I love that the European tour is really going for it, and the PGA Tour is no doubt watching. My biggest takeaway is that competition between the tours is a good thing sport jerseys wholesale.

Shipnuck: Clearly the Tour needs to be open to new ideas. Zurich is a good start, the much-rumored mixed team event with LPGA players would be a homerun, but we need another 3-4 tourneys that stray from the boring format of 72 holes of stroke play. It’s great the Euro tour is offering new templates.

Bamberger: Yes, there’s more to the world than 72-hole stroke-play competitions over four days. Medal play leading to match play is cool and match play leading to medal might be even better. In match play events, how about the opportunity for players to put up their own money?

Passov: Sure, the PGA Tour should be taking note of the potential fun and variety the European Tour is injecting into its schedule. Still, taking note and writing into law are two different things. Are things really that tired and monotonous that viewer ennui has settled in? Have any other major sports resorted to this? Not to my knowledge. And some of us remember why the PGA Championship and PGA Tour (mostly) abandoned match play and other different formats–because they couldn’t guarantee the stars would be around at the end–and matches often ended way too early. I’m open to some change, just not optimistic anything will stick.

3. The USGA and the R&A released the results of a distance study over the past 14 years and found only negligible gains on five of the seven major professional tours they crunched the numbers on. Average driving distance decreased on the other two tours. What do you make of this?

Ritter: Glad the poo-bahs are examining this topic, but the study raises questions: why did they choose a 14-year time frame? And did they measure “tee shots” or “distance with a driver?” (I’m guessing the former). This is a big issue for golf, and for the future of many great courses. The result of this study just doesn’t jive with what I’ve seen with my own eyes. I hope they continue to explore the topic.

Shipnuck: Exactly, Ritter. Guys are so long now that they can use driver less often. Nothing about this study rings true.

Bamberger: And it’s what happens in atypical conditions: dry conditions, downwind drives that go 400 yards demeaning the par-5, the par-4 and scoring records. The hot ball in hot conditions goes crazy-long. Of course, old Top Flites did, too, but the Tour players didn’t like them for chipping, putting and pitching.

Passov: I’m not buying into their conclusions. All you have to do is ask the architects where they’re designing their turning points on doglegs these days and where they’re positioning their fairway bunkers to function both as strategic and as penal hazards. The difference between today and 15 years ago is huge.

4. Speaking of technology, during a conversation with SI senior writer Michael Bamberger, Colin Montgomerie said advancements in equipment diminished Tiger Woods’s advantage over his competitors. Monty being Monty, he also said he wouldn’t trade careers with Tiger. Are you buying that?

Bacon: Absolutely; I’m sure as one gets older they reflect on their careers and with Montgomerie, not winning a major has to be the one glaring hole (As he mentioned in that interview). But Monty is healthy, has taken to broadcasting and is damn good at it, and seems to be completely contempt with that locker of his in the World Golf Hall of Fame and the career that he had authentic jerseys wholesale.

Ritter: Oh, I buy it. Rory McIlroy also recently said something similar about how Tiger simply can’t go out and have a casual dinner. Woods sacrificed a lot for those 14 majors. Monty is wealthy, healthy and in the Hall of Fame. Life could be worse.

Shipnuck: Ehhhhh, I’m not sure I’m buying what Monty is selling. He’s looking at it through the lens of the Tiger’s post-scandal life. But *career* is a different issue. Of course he’d want to be the most dominant golfer of all-time. Now, could Monty (or anyone) else take those wins and then transition gracefully into a beloved elder statesman who moves easily through the world? I think so. Look at Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Arnold Freaking Palmer…plenty of all-time greats are comfortable in public and can, in fact, eat dinner in a restaurant. Tiger’s siege mentality and introversion and then the scandal of his own making is what made his life feel so claustrophobic, not the victories.

Bamberger: I think what Monty is saying is that he’s happy with who he is and with his life. There’s a lot to be said for longevity.

Sens: Right, Michael. Important, too, to distinguish between one’s life and one’s career. Hard to believe that Monty wouldn’t take Tiger’s 14 majors in an eye-blink. As for all the other baggage that appears to come with being Tiger, I dunno…who in their right mind would want that?

Passov: I guess I’m not buying this, either. Sure, any athlete who’s accomplished significant things and made tons of money can rationalize and say they’re satisfied with what they’ve accomplished. But are you telling me that Monty admitted that at any point in his journey? Wouldn’t someone that talented have to have the self-belief that he could win multiple majors and be No. 1? If not, then it might explain why he never got there. Credit Monty, as usual, for at least saying something, but anyone who reaches a Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods level is in a different league and will be remembered far differently than a Colin Montgomerie.

5. The PGA Tour moves to Florida and the Honda Classic. With the Masters less than 50 days away, what storyline are you most excited about?

Bacon: I can’t wait to see what Spieth does at Augusta. That’s really it. I’m excited for Matsuyama and Thomas to possibly snag a first major and continue their unbelievable years, and I’m ready for Rory to return healthy, but I cannot wait to see what Jordan does when it’s time to peg it on Thursday at the Masters.

Ritter: To me, the Florida Swing signals the true road to Augusta. Shane mentions several fun possibilities, but there are many more. Can Phil break his winless drought and establish himself as a threat for another green jacket? Will Stenson or Adam Scott win again in Florida and put themselves on the Augusta short list? Will Rory return healthy? Will Tiger shift to vertical or remain horizontal? It’s gonna be a fun ride.

Shipnuck: All of the above are solid choices. I, too, am fascinated by what Spieth will do at the tourney that now defines him. But what about Dustin? He once made three eagles in one round at the Masters. Guy just destroyed Riviera and he is now lumbering toward Augusta National like King Kong closing in on Gotham. I can’t wait to see him attack that course.

Bamberger: Will Rory complete the career grand slam? Will Tiger play? Will Rex Tillison still be working the driving range with his green coat on? Will Arnold appear, through some Billy Payne magic, on the first tee Thursday morning with Gary and Big Jack wholesale cheap jerseys?

Passov: I don’t think Johnson or Spieth need any Florida success to show that they’re pre-Masters favorites. One name that has been conspicuously absent from all of our chatter is Jason Day, the man DJ replaced at No. 1. His results have been okay–barely–if very inconsistent in 2017. Yes, I’m looking forward to having Rory back in action, but I’m intensely curious about whether Day can return to form in time for the Masters.

Sens: I’m excited to see whether we in the media can finally let go of Tiger-speculation as the lead story. I agree with Shane. Spieth, the coulda-woulda-shoulda two-time defending champion is the most compelling narrative coming in, especially given what he has shown early in the season.

Just one step more will help LeBron wipe away pain

Just one step more will help LeBron wipe away pain

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Well, on the eve of Game 7, let’s just say LeBron James was so at ease, he could go hours without deodorant and not stink wholesale jerseys.

“I’m going to give everything I’ve got to my teammates and my coaching staff, as I’ve always done,” he explained. “And I live with the results. One thing I can’t live with is if I don’t go out and be true to the game; that would stop me from sleeping. So I’m ready to go.”

This should come as scary news to the Warriors, and the most refreshing news for Cleveland since 1964, the last time the city celebrated a professional sports title of any kind. LeBron is chilly like Harrison Barnes’ shooting percentage because inside, his confidence is burning. The jump shot is falling, the path to the rim seems six lanes wide and suddenly he’s doing whatever he damn well pleases in this series. He knows that he’s on, perhaps, the finest stretch of his career, all things considered. Yes, he did have that gargantuan series against the Pistons in 2007 (48 points, nine rebounds, seven assists in Game 5). Yes, sport jerseys wholesale he did chop down the Celtics in 2012. But neither was the NBA Finals.

Nor did they put the Cavs on the doorstep of history.

The agent for a Cavs’ player who shall not be named made a point of grinning and insisting the Warriors are feeling the entire burden, and that’s not entirely true. The Warriors do need to justify their 73 wins this season, and true, they coughed up a 3-1 series lead. But they have a ring. Worst case scenario, they lose Sunday (8 PM EST, ABC) and bleed a little, then start next season with a strong and relatively young core good enough to reach the Finals again and be the favorites.

LeBron returned to Cleveland two summers ago to create a new image for a sobbing city with a sports inferiority complex, and that can only be secured with a championship. That’s heavy. That’s a burden. How many more times will he get this close game jerseys wholesale?

And he’s one win away.

“I don’t think people imagined it this way, the route we’ve taken,” he said.

He was the teenaged basketball messiah from Akron drafted No. 1 by the sad-sack Cavs and therefore planted a seed of hope. That initial tour of duty in Cleveland resulted in one championship appearance, where the Cavs were rudely swept by the Spurs, to be followed shortly afterward by a nasty defection to Miami. After living out his mid-life crisis with the Heat, winning two rings, LeBron returned two summers ago to a hero’s welcome only because Cleveland was just as miserable as when he left, maybe more wholesale basketball jerseys.

The Cavs last season were simply unlucky, harpooned by injuries and therefore ran out of gas last summer against the Warriors. LeBron was the most important player on the floor, then and now, especially the last two games, both 41-point masterpieces, forcing a winner-take-all Game 7.

His averages in this series: 30.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 2.7 steals, 2.5 blocks in 41.2 minutes of heavy labor. He’s away from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, his All-Star teammates in Miami who relieved him of all the leadership responsibilities and pressure, and blessed only with Kyrie Irving, which magnifies what he has already accomplished. Win or lose in Game 7, LeBron should be a strong favorite if not a lock for MVP — Jerry West is the only MVP winner on a losing Finals team — and jerseys wholesale usa he managed a wisecrack about that.

“The last time I answered a question about MVP, it didn’t go so well for me,” he said, “so I’m not going to do it.”

Why should he? His play speaks loudly and boastfully. If you combine this series with last summer’s, nobody has more points, rebounds, assists or blocks than LeBron. He shot only 40 percent last summer, mostly because he wore down from the load without Irving and Kevin Love, but is far more efficient now. Besides, his defense and especially shot-blocking has been brilliant if barely noticed from the outside; when the subject came up Sunday, he took the opportunity to mention his pet peeve: “I’ve been highly upset that I haven’t won Defensive Player of the Year.”

So yes, he cares about individual honors, another reason why he’s taking delight in outplaying Steph Curry, the only player to win MVP other than Kevin Durant and LeBron in the last six years.

LeBron is gunning for three trophies, then: Finals MVP, championship hardware, and a statue that will surely be built in Cleveland should he do the unimaginable. And yet, regarding that last piece of metal, he’s being cool about it, because he doesn’t want his teammates to deal with that gorilla. Deep down, maybe he doesn’t want the Win For Cleveland campaign to consume or suffocate him, either.

But it’s impossible to ignore what’s at stake.

“I came back for a reason, and that’s to bring a championship to the city of Cleveland,” he said. “That’s been one of my goals. But I don’t add too much pressure on it. You go out there and see what happens. I mean, if we win and we take care of business, that’s something that our city hasn’t had in a very long time.

“The word everyone likes to use in sports is ‘pressure.’ I don’t get involved with it. But I guess in layman’s terms, ‘pressure’ is an opportunity to do something special, and I’m fortunate that I can be in position where I can do something special.”

If you ask him, he’ll spend the hours leading up to tipoff in his very own chill chamber, barely noticing the fuss around him, unable to see Cleveland mobilizing itself 2,000 miles away, just in case. LeBron mentioned that he’s been inspired by watching “The Godfather” almost non-stop, and judging by the level of his performances of late, it wasn’t “Godfather III.”

One championship in Cleveland is worth, what: Five in Miami? A place on the basketball Mount Rushmore? Dinner for life in any Ohio restaurant? At the very least, every man and woman in Cleveland will suddenly develop amnesia regarding The Decision, if they haven’t already.

A group of fans burned his Cavs jersey when he announced he was headed to Miami, and the emotion that LeBron will generate, should he win Sunday, would be the complete opposite.

Lake Erie, the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, and LeBron. Those would be the everlasting Cleveland landmarks, and not necessary in that order.


Jake Arrieta lost Sunday, but his streak was really impressive

Jake Arrieta lost Sunday, but his streak was really impressive

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In the days between Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s past two regular-season losses, 481 pitchers lost a regular-season game wholesale jerseys.

Arrieta’s win streak ended at 20 straight decisions. Elias Sports Bureau research shows that only two pitchers have had longer win streaks: New York Giants Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell (24 from 1936 to 1937) and Pirates reliever Roy Face (22 from 1958 to 1959).

Arrieta’s 9-0 start to the season is an undefeated mark topped only once in Cubs history, by Jim McCormick in 1886.

Since July 26, Arrieta is 20-1 with a 1.14 ERA. He has allowed 97 hits in 174 1/3 innings. His .160 opponents’ batting average and .431 opponents’ OPS are both the lowest in baseball in that span authentic jerseys wholesale.

Arrieta’s 1.14 ERA is the best in the majors in that time. Clayton Kershaw ranks second (1.51). But it’s worth pointing out how much better Arrieta’s mark is than those of some pitchers who rank among the best in baseball. His ERA is more than a run better than Madison Bumgarner’s (2.26) and Stephen Strasburg’s (2.42), two runs better than Zack Greinke’s (3.14) and more than two runs better than Chris Sale’s (3.41).

How he didn’t win chinese wholesale jerseys

You might have read in John Jackson’s game story that Arrieta allowed nine hits on the 10 balls put in play against him. That was pretty unlikely.

Entering the day, the Cubs’ defense had converted 77 percent of the balls put in play against Arrieta into outs, a rate that ranked second-best among pitchers, behind Marco Estrada’s. Estrada carried a no-hit bid through seven innings against the Red Sox, and his team’s season rate now stands at 79.4. The Cubs’ out rate for Arrieta (73.6 percent) now ranks 17th.

One thing to keep an eye on sport jerseys wholesale

Recently, Arrieta’s slider has not been the super-invincible pitch it usually is, even though he has thrown it harder. He got two strikeouts with it Sunday but also allowed two hits.

Arrieta gave up one hit and got 35 outs on the 144 sliders (average speed: 88.6 mph) he threw in his first six starts of the season. Since then, he has allowed 12 hits and gotten 19 outs on the 111 he has thrown in his past six starts (average speed: 89.7 mph).