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by Peter King, MMQB.com 8/25/14
Despite Seattle being just as strong as it was in 2013—if not outright better—there’s one convincing reason it won’t lift the Lombardi again. Plus, the Rams’ sad turn, Arizona uncovers a gem and 20 thoughts after the NFL’s dress rehearsal.

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from SI.com 8/22/14
When Ryan Tannehill wasn't getting buried by the lack of protection from his own line last season, the young quarterback definitely took several steps forward in 2013. Tannehill's numbers improved across the board, and he began to show increased effectiveness driving the ball downfield and to the sideline.

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Home Grown
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by Jerry Sullivan, Buffalo News 8/25/14
This is a reason for both hope and regret for Buffalo fans. While it’s encouraging to see that half the playoff field turns over on an annual basis, it’s maddening to know the Bills have missed 14 years in a row.

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by Sal Maiorana, Democrat and Chronicle 8/22/14
It's too early to know how this season is going to play out, but this Buffalo team has more depth than it has had in recent years, and if quarterback EJ Manuel proves he truly is a first-round talent, and the team doesn't suffer too many injuries, the playoffs may be in reach.

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Happy Birthday Cal

by Bill Pucko, BylineSports.com 8/25/14

Cal Ripken turned 54 on Sunday.  Ripken was on the very first Rochester Red Wings team I covered.  He was 21 years old with a full head of hair.  It was 1981.  Even back then we were following prospects so we knew that Cal was something special. 
 
He was chosen by Baltimore in the second round of the 1978 baseball draft.  Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves was the first pick that year.  Ripken was one of two Hall of Famers selected.  Ryne Sandberg was the other.
 
The season before Ripken's arrival in Rochester he put himself on the map by hitting 25 home runs in a full season with the Double-A Charlotte Orioles.  With the Red Wings he did even better.  He batted .288 with 23 home runs in just 114 games.  On Saturday August 8th Ripken got promoted to Baltimore.  He debuted on August 10.  Despite batting just .128 with the Orioles the rest of that year, he wasn't coming back.
 
There was a baseball card show at Silver Stadium the day Cal got called up.  I remember he and relief pitcher Jeff Schneider, who was likewise being promoted for the first time with Cal, leaving the stadium.  It was Schneider's only promotion.  He pitched in 11 games for the Orioles.  Two years later his career ended with the Syracuse Chiefs.
 
Same promotion.  Same dreams.  Same day.  Vastly different outcomes.
 
Ripken of course went on to greatness.  1981 was the first of 21 big league seasons for Cal, all with the Orioles.  He was American League Rookie of the Year, the A.L. MVP twice, played in 19 All Star games, won a couple of gold gloves at shortstop (even though he played his entire season in Rochester as a 3rd baseman), and in 2007 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
 
The crowning achievement was Ripken's consecutive game streak.  Lou Gehrig had played 2,130 straight from 1925 through 1939 establishing a mark thought to be unreachable.  Ripken surpassed the mark on September 6, 1995, and extended it by another 502 games before voluntarily ending the streak late in the in 1998 season on national television.  He celebrated by taking a memorable lap around interior of the ball park high-fiving the fans along the way.  It was quite a ride.
 
Cal Ripken turned 54 on Sunday.  33 years after he played here.  Happy birthday Cal.

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from HoopsHype.com 5/21/14

Tyler Ennis' game likely would have benefited from another season or two in college, but as a possible lottery pick, he probably made the right decision from a financial standpoint.


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from SI.com 5/20/14
Both Toronto and Minnesota jumped five places this week, with the Blue Jays continuing an impressive rise up the rankings. Toronto is the only team in the AL East with a positive run differential, thanks in large part to the division's best offense -- the Blue Jays have scored the third-most runs in the AL and lead the league in home runs.

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Fantasy
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by Nathan Grimm, RotoWorld.com 8/25/14
What Rusney Castillo brings is up for debate. Aside from the obvious difference between Cuba's Serie Nacional and MLB, Castillo hasn't played professional baseball in a year and a half after being caught trying to defect from his home country. All that adds up to a major question about just what type of player the Red Sox paid for.


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by Brandon Funston, Roto Arcade 8/22/14
For the 11th time, the Yahoo fantasy football experts, along with some of our closest friends in the industry, came together for a draft, which took place Aug. 19. This year, the league consisted of 14 members, drafting in the traditional snake-style fashion for a modified PPR league (.75 points per reception).
 

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