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Thursday, September 4, 2014

THE NFL SEASON STARTS TONIGHT!

For those who think pro football is a Sunday thing, nope, the National Football League kicks off tonight at 8:30 PM (EDT/2:30 PM Hawaii time), with the Green Bay Packers visiting the Seattle Seahawks.  If you're in Seattle, apparently tickets are available for $157.  That's the most expensive over the weekend, with a price of $6 at the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona game against San Diego.  Here are all the betting lines, with, on average, Seattle favored by 6 points, and the under/over number around 46 points.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, and want to learn, click on PRIMER.

I've upgraded my act this year with ten fantasy football teams.  However, these cost me less than $100, so my potential investment of time is the concern.  And there are five days of football each week.  No kidding, for these games begin on Thursday, and run through Monday, counting NCAA college football.  You ask, "how do I play fantasy football?"  Here is an ESPN explanation.
I just received the ESPN NFL 2014 edition in the mail.  I'll close this posting with a bullet show on how a star player and his new coach found mutual respect. (You can read the whole article yourself by clicking on that, but there is a warning of strong language.)  Philadelphia hired Chip Kelly of the University of Oregon to run the Eagles last year.  The team's prime star is LeShean McCoy (I have him on one of my teams).  Kelly:
  • had plans to change the nature of pro football and play a hurry-up offense as he did at Oregon.
  • runs a speedy practice
  • is big on nutrition and sleep
  • has a dress code that required white socks
  • is called a mad scientist
  • for the games, all players had to ride together on a bus wearing jumpsuits
McCoy:
  • is moody.
  • is called Shady
  • wears black socks
  • is chauffeured in a Rolls Royce wearing "tailored threads and a rock for each ear" to each game
To quote:

Nobody has ever run a team quite the way Chip Kelly runs one. And McCoy is about to learn what it means to live and work in Kelly's new system. During practice, players wear mandated heart monitors and GPS devices. Trainers carry water bottles labeled with each player's name and after practice ask the players to pee into a cup, part of Kelly's plan to track hydration. A monitor on a wall in the facility ranks the most hydrated players. Drinking water is now a drinking game.

Kelly also wants the players to wear special bracelets that monitor sleep. He tells them that elite athletes need between 10 and 12 hours a night -- almost twice McCoy's usual doze. The bracelet is hooked up to an adapter that lies near McCoy's bed, beeping and whirring all night, disrupting what it's supposed to record.

The season began, and Kelly's gimmicks mostly worked.  McCoy became an even bigger star, leading the league in running and the Eagles won their division:

It all clicks. McCoy becomes "crazy about sleeping." He notices how much quicker he feels at 208 pounds than he did at the 218 he was in 2012, thanks to Kelly's nutrition program of personalized protein shakes. He feels fresher when hydrated. He even likes getting to know guys on the rides to the stadium. "When he tells me to do something, I just do it," McCoy says now.

The University of Oregon (right, where the leading Heisman Trophy candidate is Marcus Mariota of Hawaii) and the Philadelphia Eagles could well represent the future of football.

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Hurricane Norbert, now at 85 MPH, will skirt Baja, but should not make landfall:


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