Category Archives: Cheap NFL Jerseys

Harlan Miller Jersey Sale

The Redskins made an acquisition today, to account for the injuries piling in the defensive backfield.
Not long after reactivating Joshua Holsey from the PUP list to add to the depth in the secondary, the Washington Redskins found themselves scanning the free agent pool again. Holsey was recently placed on injured reserve with a partially torn ACL, decreasing the number of fully healthy cornerbacks on the Redskins’ roster to only three.

Washington worked out a number of defensive backs in light of the development, including former Eagles depth player Dexter McDougle. After considering multiple options, the Redskins settled on Harlan Miller as the latest addition to the active roster. They also filled open spots on the practice squad, signing defensive back Alex Carter, receiver Montay Crockett, and running back Russell Hansbrough, who took the spot which was originally intended to house Kapri Bibbs, before the Packers claimed him.

Washington Redskins

#Redskins sign DB Harlan Miller to the active roster, place CB Josh Holsey on IR.

DB Alex Carter, RB Russell Hansbrough and WR Montay Crockett have been added to the practice squad:

Redskins Sign Harlan Miller, Place Joshua Holsey On Injured Reserve
The Washington Redskins on Tuesday made multiple roster moves, including signing defensive back Harlan Miller and placing Joshua Holsey onto the Reserve/Injured list. The team also signed three…
6:18 AM – Dec 19, 2018
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Miller, 24, is a sensible signing for the Redskins, as he’s young, has decent physical traits, and pre-existing experience in the NFL. Miller was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Miller took snaps at both cornerback and free safety, logging one interception and one pass deflection in two years with the team.

Per Lance Zierlein of, Miller ran a 4.57 at his pro day for Southeastern Louisiana, and he had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl back in 2016. He’s not very fast or athletic for a defensive back, but he’s competitive, tenacious, and has experience that will prove valuable in a relatively young, untested cornerback group. Miller’s moderate degree of versatility could also prove valuable, as safety Montae Nicholson’s status is up in the air following his recent arrest.

NEXT: How the Redskins can reach the playoffs in 2018
As the Redskins gear up for a possible playoff push, they may make more moves down the line. To stay up to date with all the latest roster transactions, be sure to stick with us here at Riggo’s Rag!

Kendell Watkins Jersey Sale

The Dallas Cowboys have limited assets in this year’s draft thanks to last season’s Amari Cooper trade with the Oakland Raiders.
The Dallas Cowboys are ready to compete once again after enjoying a mid-season surge with trading for Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders.

That’s also the very reason Jerry Jones’ team lacks a first-round pick heading into this year’s NFL Draft. With limited resources, this Cowboys team will hope to add a couple playmakers on the front and back ends of the defense.

State Of The Team
Contending. The Dallas Cowboys resurrected themselves from a 3-5 start to end the season as the NFC East champions with a 10-6 record and a playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. For many, the turnaround started with the midseason trade for Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper.

The Cowboys’ offseason focus will be retaining their own superstars with several asking for new contracts or extensions. The biggest challenge in Dallas will be keeping this group together and happy. If the front office is able to do so, the Cowboys appear set to make another run at the postseason.

Total Draft Picks
The Cowboys have six picks heading into the draft.

Round 2 – No. 58 overall
Round 3 – No. 90 overall
Round 4 – No. 128 overall
Round 4 – No. 136 overall
Round 5 – No. 165 overall
Round 7 – No. 241 overall
Top 3 Draft Needs
Defensive Tackle: The Cowboys continue to refuse to invest highly along the interior of their defense, but the loss of talented defensive tackle David Irving this offseason could finally change their minds. During the playoffs, the Dallas defense was run over by the Los Angeles Rams to the tune of 273 rushing yards and three touchdowns. That should finally force the Cowboys to address their need at defensive tackle.

Safety: The position continues to be an issue in the secondary as the team lacks a true playmaker. Although former sixth-round selection Xavier Woods is seen as an up-and-coming player on the Cowboys’ secondary, Dallas could really use an upgrade to replace the other starting safety, Jeff Heath. The Cowboys’ defense recorded only nine interceptions in 2018, which was tied for 26th in the NFL.

Tight End: Last season, tight end was handled by committee. A combination of Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers all tried to replace the production of one man— Jason Witten. Despite the fact the future Hall of Famer has now unretired to rejoin the team in 2019, Dallas still must find his eventual replacement. Although Jarwin has been tapped as that potential player, the Cowboys could opt to look early in the draft in order to hedge their bets.

Top 3 Draft Targets
WR, South Carolina
South Carolina
The Cowboys lost slot receiver Cole Beasley to free agency this offseason. Samuel could fill that role while also giving Dallas a versatile wideout who can play outside and on special teams as well. Although the Cowboys would likely be better off addressing their defensive needs early, a playmaker like Samuel could be too good to pass up in the second round.
Safety, Mississippi State
Mississippi State
Safety is an area of need in Dallas, so a prospect like Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram could be an early target. The Cowboys desperately need a difference maker at the safety position. As Abram projects as a better strong safety, his reliable presence on defense could allow third-year free safety Xavier Woods to play more of a center fielder role in the secondary as the Cowboys have had a severe lack of interceptions in recent seasons.
DL, Boston College
Boston College
Along the defensive line, Boston College defensive end Zach Allen could both fill an important need in Dallas. The Cowboys recently lost starting defensive end Randy Gregory to yet another drug-related suspension, and defensive tackle David Irving is also no longer on the roster after another tumultuous season last year. These are two major voids along the Cowboys’ defensive line the team will need to fill either via free agency or through the draft.
Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)
Stephen Jones. Ever since persuading his father, Dallas Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones, to choose Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin over Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft, executive vice president Stephen Jones has been seen by many as the real decision maker in Big D. Although his father still owns the title and the final say, Stephen Jones is credited with making many of the team’s toughest decisions in recent years.

Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot
Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking.

Best Pick: Mark Stepnoski, center, No. 58 overall in 1989 NFL Draft

The Cowboys have never selected a draft pick 58th overall in their franchise history. But the best player taken near that selection is center Mark Stepnoski. Drafted 57th overall in the third round of the 1989 NFL Draft, Stepnoski came to America’s Team at the same time as Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. The two combined to help the Cowboys win two back-to-back Super Bowls. Stepnoski ended up leaving Dallas to join the Houston Oilers in 1995, spending four seasons in H-Town before returning to the Cowboys to end his career. Stepnoski was a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.

Worst Pick: Kendell Watkins, tight end, No. 58 overall in 1995 NFL Draft

The worst player selected near 58th overall is arguably tight end Kendell Watkins. The Cowboys selected the 6-foot-1, 305-pound blocking tight end out of Mississippi State in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft with the 59th overall pick. Watkins helped Dallas win a Super Bowl his rookie year but suffered a season-ending knee the following year. He would play just four seasons in the NFL and record a single reception for eight yards.

Tim Baylor Jersey Sale

When Tim Baylor stares across the street from the McDonald’s he owns in north Minneapolis, he says he sees a row of potential.

Across the busy stretch of W. Broadway sits an empty lot and small, brownstone retail buildings he wants to replace with more than 200 apartments, the majority of them market-rate. It’s a revamped project that Baylor has pushed for the last five years but hasn’t gotten off the ground.

There has been little market-rate apartment development in north Minneapolis while there has been a surge in rental construction elsewhere in the city.

“I looked at this and I wondered why not?” Baylor said. “Why aren’t things happening here that are happening in other parts of the city?”

Baylor and his wife, Doris, who own several restaurants and have development experience in the Twin Cities, are advocating for the project “to bring higher-quality housing stock to an area where it is needed,” they said.

“I think it’s a beautiful neighborhood,” said Doris Baylor. “I think it can be so much more.”

The first phase of the “Satori” project, as it has been called, would encompass the 800 block of W. Broadway between Cub Foods and Bryant Avenue. With the retail buildings and some residential property behind them razed, a new six-story building would be constructed.

The building would have 112 apartments, 20% of the units dubbed affordable for renters who make 50% of the area median income. Rental rates for an apartment with an alcove for a bedroom would range from $850 to $1,000.

There would be about 13,300 square feet of retail space on the first floor and about 40 surface parking spaces, in addition to 45 parking spaces available in a level of underground parking.

Future phases of the development would be built in the 900 block of W. Broadway.

Baylor wants to build a 36-unit, affordable complex with “micro apartments” in an empty lot between businesses — the block had been damaged by an April 2015 fire. Another building is proposed to be constructed behind the micro apartments that would have 60 senior apartments with 20% being affordable.

About two-thirds of the units in the three-building development would be market rate. Baylor said he felt confident about getting higher rents for the majority of the units because of the project’s proximity to downtown, the nearby Cub grocery store and the neighborhood diversity.

In order for the project to move forward, the city would have to rezone the property along Bryant Avenue from residential to commercial as well as allow for increased building heights and other variances.

The city also owns two vacant lots along Bryant Avenue that would need to be used. Baylor said he has exclusive development rights for the city-owned lots.

According to Hennepin County property records, Baylor’s Pinnacle Management LLC is listed as the owner of the existing retail properties needed for the development.

The project was discussed at the Planning Commission’s committee of the whole earlier this month.

Baylor has plans to meet with the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

Cedric Oglesby Jersey Sale

It’s been fun. We have finally come to the last day of our jersey countdown. The Arizona Cardinals made their way into the news with something non Kyler Murray related.
However, it still wasn’t good as rumors flew around about Patrick Peterson’s unhappiness with the franchise. Time will tell how much that means right now, but as of the writing of this article, Kliff Kingsbury believes Peterson is here to stay.

Last jersey number was the mildly successful No. 2. It’s been worn by numerous kickers and punters but has yet to find much success with the Cardinals franchise. Our next jersey breakdown comes with, you guessed it, one day until the 2019 NFL Draft!

What does that mean?

It means we look at the only two players to ever wear the No. 1 jersey. And our countdown usually examines the full history of the franchise. But today features two guys who have worn it during the teams Arizona Cardinals days.

Cedric Oglesby is the very first player to dawn the jersey. Oglesby played for three teams in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers, and the Arizona Cardinals. Oglesby’s only statistics in the NFL came with the Cardinals in 2001. Oglesby appeared in three games and converted 5/6 of his field goal attempts with his longest being 41 yards out. He went 7/7 on extra point attempts.

Oglesby did see time as a coach, coaching as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship Program. He spent the 2009 preseason with the Washington Redskins, and the 2010 preseason with the Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints.

The more well known of the two players was kicker Neil Rackers. Rackers joined the team in 2003 and served as the team’s kicker until his departure after the 2009 season. Rackers finished his tenure with the Arizona Cardinals with a conversion rate of 82.6% on his field goal attempts. He made 99.1% of his extra point kicks.

Rackers only converted more than 80% of his field goal attempts in three of his seven seasons, with rates of 75%, 75.9%, 75.7%, and 70% the other four. He did make it to one Pro Bowl and one All-American team during his 2005 season. But who doesn’t remember this preseason onside recovery?

Perhaps the Cardinals newest addition on Thursday will wear a certain No. 1 Jersey? Who knows.

NEXT: 50 simulated 7-round mock drafts tells who the Arizona Cardinals will pick
That wraps it up. In a matter of hours, the Arizona Cardinals will be announcing their top draft selection, and we can finally put behind us all the rumors and nonsense that we have dealt with the last several months. Tomorrow I will have my first and ONLY mock draft of the 2019 offseason, so stick with Raising Zona for all your draft coverage.

Marvin Harvey Jersey Sale

Marvin Odum, the former Shell Oil president Mayor Sylvester Turner tapped as Marvin Harvey Houston’s volunteer recovery czar shortly after Hurricane Harvey, announced his departure from that role Wednesday to broad praise for his efforts to tweak bureaucracies from City Hall to Washington for the benefit of Houstonians.

Odum had committed to coordinate Houston’s storm recovery until the arrival of the first significant chunk of federal aid, and Houston is now expected to receive $1.17 billion in housing assistance within a month.

Departing with him as of Friday — following another trip to D.C. to advocate for funding and project proposals — will be Niel Golightly, a Shell vice president who has been on loan to the city as Odum’s chief of staff.

Steve Costello, a drainage engineer and former councilman who has served as the city’s flood czar since 2016, will replace Odum. Houston plans to hire a new chief resilience officer (Costello’s formal title) to replace him.

Error 0:
“This is by no means the end of the recovery,” Turner said. “They’ve taken us through Phase One and we begin now to launch Phase Two, but we’ve just been very fortunate to have the benefit of their expertise, their intellect over the last 15 months. The city could not have asked for a better team to assist us.”

Odum and Golightly worked with only one to two staff devoted to the recovery, but they convened weekly meetings of city department heads, some of whose employees spent some work time on recovery tasks; Odum was quick to credit this broader team.

Among the group’s accomplishments was securing local control over the housing aid the city and Harris County will receive, rather than having that money routed through the state General Land Office, as state and federal officials originally intended.

Bob Harvey, president of the Greater Houston Partnership, participated in meetings with Odum and state and federal officials on the issue and said Odum’s presence was key.

“It certainly was important in Washington and in Austin that the former president of Shell Oil had taken on this role and had immersed himself in it to the degree that Marvin did,” Harvey said. “He had a very good high-level view of the problem, but he could go as deep as was needed in the moment. No matter who he was dealing with, he had a command of the facts.”

Odum also successfully pushed FEMA to adopt a new nationwide policy that lets local governments count volunteer work hours and donated materials toward the local match required for grants to repair damaged facilities. In Houston’s case after Harvey, that local match could top $250 million.

Odum said he was proud his team had tried to think outside the typical disaster recovery process, pointing to the new FEMA policy and to the city’s move to hire data scientists to produce a flood inundation model showing that the $1 billion in housing aid Houston is about to receive — an allocation based on readily available but incomplete damage data —falls $2 billion short of the city’s actual needs.

“‘That’s just the way it’s done.’ Well, actually there’s something better than that,” Odum said. “We just kept saying, ‘Why can’t it be this way?’”

Odum highlighted the 14 recovery centers the city, county and nonprofits staffed in affected neighborhoods, linking more than 16,000 residents to services, and pointed to the council’s vote to set stricter development rules in floodplains. Referencing his experience as an industry leader in a heavily regulated field, Odum waded into the intensely lobbied fight, pushing council members to embrace the proposal and helping secure its narrow 9-7 passage.

Moving forward, Odum said, Houston must continue collaborating with county, nonprofit and business groups; push FEMA to fund repairs sufficient to harden city facilities against future floods, not simply fix them; advocate for more funding; and keep seeking the $30 billion, three-decade flood mitigation blueprint he believes the region needs.

Costello, who has led recovery efforts related to infrastructure projects, said he is getting up to speed on housing issues, including a Wednesday night meeting with city housing director Tom McCasland.

“Most of the leadership in these organizations, whether state or federal, knew that Marvin was going to be sort of a short-timer, so the transition is going to be relatively smooth simply because we’ve been part of the recovery team from Day One,” Costello said. “I know most people that we’re dealing with. It just made sense.”

A Houston Chronicle investigation last year found that the engineering firm Costello left in January 2015 helped develop neighborhoods in the Barker Reservoir flood pool and produced a study showing thousands of properties were at risk of flooding there. Costello has said he personally did no work related to the neighborhood in question, called Grand Lakes, and didn’t recall the study. He said Wednesday he does not believe the issue will affect the public’s confidence in his work.

“I’ve been the flood czar for two and a half years and that hasn’t really come up,” he said. “I’m focusing on providing protection to our neighborhoods, our city and our citizens.”

Some local governments respond to disasters by staffing entire agencies to run their recoveries, but Houston has basically no money budgeted for its recovery team, and Turner said Costello is simply taking Odum’s seat.

Coming federal aid would let the city add staff, but that’s not necessarily the right choice, said Andy Kopplin, who was the founding director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which led rebuilding after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The structure of the recovery team is less important than its leadership, he said. Whether it is the mayor, the recovery czar, or someone else, Kopplin said, there must be a voice emphasizing the need to select impactful projects, even if they are costlier or politically more difficult.

“You’ve got to have somebody who can execute and build the team to get the money out the door,” Kopplin said, “but you also have to have folks who hold true to the vision for building a more resilient city.”

Paul Lynch Jersey Sale

Chargify’s story began in 2009, when it was created as the billing engine for telecoms business Grasshopper. After an investment from American businessman and investor Mark Cuban in 2011, Chargify was spun out from Grasshopper.

In 2016, the growing business was acquired by Scaleworks, and Lynch came on board as chief executive earlier this year.

He described the company as having “a remote team and a strong business culture”. While these may sound like positive aspects, it was these two factors that were holding Chargify back.

“Not to oversimplify it, but I want the sales guys shouting at the marketing guys when the leads are bad and I want the marketing guys shouting at the sales guys when they can’t close,” Lynch said.

“You can’t get that in a remote culture. You want those guys together to create a healthy level of competition and cooperation to get to the end goal.”

What is Chargify?
Providing an overview of what Chargify does, Lynch said: “We’re a billing and revenue management company. What does that mean? On the billing side, typically the cycle of business around SaaS companies is the founder sets up the business, gets a couple of customers, and at that point he needs to start generating revenue.

“Invoices need to be raised, cash needs chasing and everything else. Often, people will get someone like their brother-in-law who’s an accountant to do this kind of work. For the first year, this guy’s doing the books. Suddenly he has 100 customers.”

At this point, however, the friend or relative who has been helping a start-up may begin to get fed up. “What happens is that founder has to pay the brother-in-law or set up a script to automate the process,” Lynch said.

“Automation happens. Recurring revenue happens. Invoices start getting sent. That works for a couple hundred customers, maximum.

“At this point, things start getting complicated, the founder notices missing revenue, invoices aren’t going out the way they should be and the founder doesn’t even know what their top-line revenue is.”

‘Saas is a great equaliser’
Lynch noted that SaaS is still a growing market and, according to Forrester, revenue from public cloud infrastructure, platforms and applications will reach $411bn by 2022. “It’s an era of SaaS garage start-ups,” he said.

“SaaS is a great equaliser for start-ups, because it’s so easy to get into sales cycles. Business cycles are really increasing in terms of speed and barriers to entry are so low.”

‘Nobody likes fintech tools. No one ever enthusiastically says, “Let’s get a billing solution!”’

In a massive market such as SaaS, there are many leads for a company like Chargify. Lynch is aware of this and has to be selective of the businesses he targets.

He joked: “If you’re selling mangoes online, don’t talk to us. You’re not going to have a good experience with Chargify. If you’re selling a subscription based around marketing tools or DevOps tools, we’re the guys for you.

“We have a lot of large companies, too. People enter our sales cycle when they find it difficult themselves to invoice. There’s lots of larger businesses out there that have invested in their own systems which aren’t working now.”

‘We’re in an exploding global economy’
When asked if Chargify has any plans to seek further investment in the future, Lynch replied: “Oh, God no!”

“We’ll never raise again, we don’t need to. The path we’re on is a good one. I’ve been doing this a long time, running and founding businesses and start-ups, and the biggest problem you have is if you’re operating in a declining economy.

“Then, you’ve basically got a headwind against you every time you go to the office. We’re not in a declining economy. We’re in an exploding global economy. Chargify, at the base level, is a fintech tool. People will always need fintech tools.”

Adding to this, he admitted: “Nobody likes fintech tools. No one ever enthusiastically says, ‘Let’s get a billing solution!’ They go, ‘Jesus, we’re losing revenue, our invoicing is a disaster – what do we do?’ And on the revenue management side, you’d be amazed at the number of companies I speak to that don’t know their own revenue.”

Lynch said that, in his experience of acquiring businesses and going through due diligence, he has found that often the figures given to him by a business have been incorrect.

“Revenue management tools can take that enormous headache away,” he concluded.

Stu Wilson Jersey Sale

A farewell to Fitzgerald in St. Paul at the University Club today will celebrate the 7-year-old organization’s achievements. But no sad songs for FSP, dedicated to honoring the life and work of St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald, because stewardship is being turned over to Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

“This just makes sense,” said Stu Wilson, FSP president and one of the founders.

“It’s a struggle these days to run a nonprofit, volunteer organization,” Wilson says. “We had 11 active folks, financial support from 400 to 500 people and a mailing list of 1,200. But it does tire you out after awhile when people have real jobs outside the organization. Especially with the big Fitzgerald centennial coming up, it was beginning to become apparent that we were not going to get to the next level.” (He’s referring to the 100th anniversary in 2020 of publication of Fitzgerald’s first novel, “This Side of Paradise,” written at his parents’ home at 599 Summit Ave.)

The Friends are equally enthusiastic about welcoming FSP to their family of programs.

St. Paul native and American treasure, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, shown in a 1920s-era portrait. (Associated Press)
“It’s an honor to be entrusted with Fitzgerald’s legacy, and comes at the perfect time in history here at the Friends,” said Friends president Beth Burns in a prepared statement. “As we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2020, we feel a tremendous amount of excitement as well as a responsibility to honor our state’s incredible literary legacy while we also champion today’s writers.”

Wilson says this was the right time for FSP to transition to the Friends because that organization’s strategic planning calls for more concentration on readers, writers and the literary world, moving away from film and performance.

The Friends also announced today the good news that Twin Cities-based Baird financial service will provide major grant support for continued Fitzgerald work.

Fitzgerald in St. Paul was born in 2012, thanks to a $250,000 bequest from the estate of Dick McDermott, who taught in the University of Minnesota’s department of speech-language-hearing sciences and was Stu Wilson’s friend.

McDermott helped restore the buildings that included 481 Laurel Ave., where Fitzgerald was born in 1896. During the 35 years McDermott lived there, he became a passionate promoter of Fitzgerald and his work. Before he died, McDermott set up a fund with instructions, as Wilson recalls, “to go forth and do more to promote Fitzgerald but also to do more for Fitzgerald in St. Paul.”

That’s what Fitzgerald in St. Paul did, and Wilson is proud of what the organization accomplished in raising the profile of St. Paul’s native son, who never returned to the city of his birth after 1922, although he kept in touch with boyhood friends.

FSP ran Fitzgerald programs for the St. Paul Public Library, co-hosted with Common Good Books (now Next Chapter Booksellers) the [email protected] monthly reading series, and presented the annual McDermott Lecture by prominent scholars and authors.

The organization’s biggest success was hosting the 14th International Fitzgerald Society conference in 2017, which drew some 400 attendees to St. Paul. It was the first time this prestigious conference had met twice in the same city. One highlight of the four-day event was release of the coffee table book “F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer & His Friends,” by Fitzgerald scholar Dave Page with photos by Jeff Krueger, published by Fitzgerald in St. Paul.

“I feel really good that Dick’s legacy will continue with the Friends,” Wilson said. “We proved there is interest in, and a fan base for, Scott Fitzgerald in the Twin Cities. What’s exciting for me is that four members of our organization presented (papers) at the Fitzgerald Society conference this summer in Toulouse, France. That kind of St. Paul connection with the world didn’t exist before. Twenty years ago, it was just Dave Page. St. Paul deserves to be the premiere place for Fitzgerald and now lots of people are doing research.”

Wilson is “looking to a great future for Fitzgerald fans, scholarship, and celebrations in St. Paul. The Friends can manage that.”

Tuff Harris Jersey Sale

MISSOULA — Tuff Harris was one of 14 members inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Harris earned all-state accolades in football and track and field at Colstrip High School before embarking on a stellar football career at the University of Montana. He appears in the Montana Grizzlies’ football record book eight times, including his 96-yard punt return for a touchdown against Eastern Washington in 2006, which is tied with Marc Mariani for the longest in program history. His 667 punt return yards that season became a Montana Grizzly and Big Sky Conference single-season record.

Harris sat down with MTN Sports to discuss his Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame induction as well as his football career, which included four seasons in the NFL.

MTN Sports: To start, can you talk about being inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and how you’ve felt since then?

Tuff Harris: “I was actually on the Crow Indian Reservation, I was doing some work out there and I got a call from Donnie (Wetzel) Jr. and he kind of let me know I got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kind of an overwhelming feeling for me, because that for me is kind of where it started, in Lodge Grass on the Crow Reservation, just surreal to be standing in the place. Most of my childhood and my upbringing and a lot of things that helped me get into the Hall of Fame and the things that I’ve been able to accomplish all started in the town of Lodge Grass, and to be doing work and get that call in that moment was pretty special, but, yeah, absolutely honored to be a part of this class. And it’s an all-star class. I mean, it’s amazing the caliber of people, the caliber of athletes that are being inducted, some of the other ones also like the M.O.A. official. It’s just amazing to grow up hearing these names a lot and to be able to watch these players play sports. It’s just absolutely amazing to be a part of this class. It’s kind of surreal.”

MTN Sports: Can you touch on this class of inductees?

Harris: “This class, along with former classes, I grew up watching any sort of videos and stuff, highlights and hearing their names. It’s just amazing to see how far they’ve gone and what they been able to accomplish, and a lot of them in the face of adversity. So to be able to see this class and these people and be a part of the class is something really special to be a part of.”

MTN Sports: Being back at the University of Montana, how have you felt?

Harris: “Yeah, being back is amazing. Memories kept flooding into my mind of things that I did, all my classes that I had taken, people that I met. It was life for me for five years here. And so for me to be back, we look forward for every excuse to come back and watch a game or be part of something like this. Those type of feelings, they just the flood back, just by the smell, the feel of the crisp air in the fall, in the winter, and being in the ballroom like this and being a part of an event like this that brings me back is special to me and my family. I met my wife here at the University of Montana and just such great memories.”

MTN Sports: How did your training and success in track and field translate onto the football field?

Harris: “Yeah, my parents started training us when we were young. Little Hershey track meets around the state, as well as sometimes out of the state, and my parents did a great job raising all the kids as athletes, training us. Their coaching education started with horses — they train horses, they ran the horses and they kind of did the same thing with us. They took us to the hills, kind of like they would take horses to the hills, you know, put them on a diet, all of those kinds of things. And so if you don’t mind the oats and hay at the end of the day, it was some good training. All jokes aside, I mean, it’s absolutely awesome. My foundation came from my parents, came from my family. It’s always been a family deal for us with sports and education and our upbringing, and just trying to do the best we can, and so, yeah, it started when we were young children, and it was always stressed that academics and athletics are very important and you can go very far in them. And I thank my parents a lot, because they told me education can take you even further than your sports can take you. And so I’m glad they did that. Sometimes families will fall short and tell their kids about academics when their athletics are doing so well. And so we got a good healthy balance of both. And that’s really where it started for me as a young child knowing that this is a family thing and having that support of a family is what really helped me go through some of the hardest times. When I was by myself, my parents and uncles, people rallied around me when it got hard, I would hear those voices and push through the hard times and so that was a lot of my experience and upbringing.”

MTN Sports: What are some of your best NFL memories?

Harris: “The NFL was amazing. I enjoyed every part of it: the hard work, the dedication, the intensity, the highest level of competition there was and I enjoyed it, I enjoyed a lot of it. The parts I didn’t enjoy was being injured sometimes and sometimes you’re competing against your friends. You know, you make good friends and then all of a sudden there’s one spot for three guys, and it’s your friends. That’s a difficult thing to do, but we trusted each other, we pushed each other, let the best man win and sometimes you either made it or you didn’t, and those are difficult times to go through that. But I take all those lessons, everything I’ve learned from the NFL and I use them today. Everything I’ve been able to do, a lot of it is from sports. And it’s lessons that I learned from the NFL, and so I there’s specifically some stories that I carry with me in my back pocket sometimes to inspire kids and help kids.

“There’s one story, in particular, not so much a football story as a sports hero story when I was playing for the Miami Dolphins in 2007. It was just a normal day in the meeting room, we were preparing for a team and someone comes in and says, ‘Hey, Michael Jordan is here in the next room.’ And they are saying stuff like this all the time, because they’re playing jokes because were rookies. So we’re thinking, ‘What? Are they going to throw us in the cold tub or tape us up, put whipped cream on us? What are they going to do?’ And sometimes they’ll joke with us and say, ‘Hey, come over here and do some crazy stuff,’ all the fun hazing and stuff. But sure enough, we went into the auditorium. They announced to the whole team, and we went in there and sure enough, right in the front, there was Michael Jordan. And for me, my childhood growing up seeing Michael Jordan or even being in proximity in the same room as him, addressing the team and talking to us specifically. … We weren’t having the greatest year, I think we were 0-8 at that point when he talked to us in the facility. He had some great, encouraging words and some of the things he said, they were just powerful. He was at the highest level and was able to achieve the things that he did, you hang on to every word that he said. You took it as things that you could use, but one thing that I remember thinking was at the end of his conversation with us he opened it up for questions and said, ‘Does anyone have any questions?’ Nobody raised their hand, there wasn’t a single question, you know? What he did was, he had such star power he turned a whole room of professional athletes into children again. That’s just the kind of star power that Michael Jordan had. We didn’t have any question for him, but the moment he left the facility everyone had a question: ‘I should’ve asked this, I should’ve asked that.’ I had 10 questions lined up after that. So it’s a story about preparation, it’s a story about saying, ‘Hey, when your opportunity comes, you got to be ready.’ That opportunity came and went, but thankfully I had another opportunity down the road to golf with Michael Jordan and be in the same tournament, competing against each other. It was awesome, but, yeah, that opportunity, you got to be ready for it. So I tell kids, you can’t just let things happen. You got to know that things are coming down the pipeline. You have to be ready for a great opportunity like that. And I took that lesson and say you never know who you are going to meet or how things are going to shake out. So you have to be prepared. And that’s something I learned. If I wasn’t in the NFL or on that team that was 0-8 at that time, I don’t know if I ever would have had the opportunity to meet one of my childhood heroes, who is Michael Jordan.”

MTN Sports: What does it mean to you to officially be in the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame?

Harris: “I grew up and I was a little bit shy and I didn’t really play sports for the crowds, I never played sports for what it gave: You know, the fame and those sorts of things. I always wanted to be quiet, the silent teammate. I always wanted to do the best, but I didn’t want that loud role where everyone is following you kind of thing. Because of that, I didn’t speak up very often and so events like this where you are being honored, it’s a little difficult for me just because I would rather just received the plaque in the mail. It’s just harder for me to do that, but I realize these moments aren’t for me, they are for other people. It’s a chance to be able to honor those who have helped you, to be able to thank your parents, to thank your grandparents, to thank the coaches, everybody who’s ever put a bit of something into you that has helped you, even in the hard times, and so I realized these moments aren’t for me. So just as hard as it was to run hills and a train and stress your body the benefit was always worth it, to come to this and receive this honor and to be able to give respect where it’s due, it’s hard for me, but it’s such an honor and it does pay off. It’s things that we can take, the stories we can take, it’s a lifetime of an accumulation of someone’s life, but many people in that life, so it’s a great opportunity to say thank you to those who deserve it.”

Jim Wolf Jersey Sale

The owner of a Gratiot County pontoon building company has been honored by the Michigan Manufacturer’s Association.

Jim Wolf, president of Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing Inc. of Alma, is the recipient of the organization’s John G. Thodis Large Tier Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award.

He received the honor during the MMA’s annual award’s banquet in East Lansing earlier this month.

pontoon builder
Jim Wolf, president and owner of Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing Inc. in Alma, was presented the John G. Thodis Large Tier Michigan Manufacturing of the Year Award by the Michigan Manufacturers Association earlier this month in East Lansing. (Courtesy photo)

According to the MMA, recipients of the award make “important, positive and tangible contributions to their employees, customers and communities.”

Avalon & Tahoe has undertaken a number of expansions since 2010, which in turn has allowed the company to increase its workforce from about 120 employees to 390 during that time.

It’s currently in the midst of adding another 23,000 square feet of space at its Michigan Avenue plant at a cost of $1.44 million, which will create 35 more jobs.

“Manufacturing has been my passion for a long time, and when you are at a place like this, where the people are right and the product is right, you can move mountains,” Wolf said in a press release.

Recipients of the award also must have a positive impact on their communities.

Wolf is involved in the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Works, Great Lakes Bay Region and the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association.

“Jim is a passionate advocate of manufacturing whose influence extends far beyond the walls of his company,” said Bill Henderson, owner of Aircraft Precision Products in Ithaca and president of the CMMA. “He is an inspiration to manufacturing leaders locally and statewide and is a particularly deserving recipient of the Manufacturer of the Year Award.”

Wolf and Avalon employees are also supporters of the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Volunteer of America Adopt a Family, Special Olympics Michigan, Gratiot County Child Advocacy, Alma Highland Festival and the Come Home to Alma for the Holidays annual Christmas celebration.

“Jim recognizes the importance of investing in the local area in order to ensure a superior quality of life for Avalon’s employees and the citizens of Gratiot County,” Greater Gratiot Development Inc. President Jim Wheeler said.

Avalon & Tahoe is a “vertically integrated builder,” which means it manufacturers every part of the pontoon, including furniture, at its Alma plant.

It has won the National Marine Manufacturers Association customer service award for 10 straight years, and all of its pontoons are certified by the NMMA ensuring each craft meets or exceeds industry standards.

“Avalon & Tahoe is meant to be about more than just a boat,” Wolf said. “It’s a great brand and it’s a lifestyle.

“I was given a great opportunity to take a company that had a lot of promise and potential, make some tweaks, surround myself with an amazing management team and now we’re seeing the rewards I always knew we could see.”

Wolf’s company was also a top 10 finalist for the MMA’s “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan Award” for its Excalibur pontoon with twin engines.

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Dana Brinson Jersey Sale

Mike Brown is on my short list of favorite Huskers somewhere next to Barron Miles, Dana Brinson, Ken Clark and anyone named Makovicka. For whatever reason, I still remember him answering questions in the postgame room after some fall Saturdays with his school backpack on as though he had to get to a weekend night class.

Or, in my then teenage mind, I assumed there were textbooks in there on proper tackling form and how you destroy the will of some receiver who dares to stand in your way of representing badassery.

So when the former Husker safety great tweets a message out to to the Husker defense, as he did this week, I recommend they put it in their fuel tank that should already be nearly topped off after the embarrassment in Minnesota.


It deserved some all caps treatment, because there should be some dang urgency in Husker camp after a 4-3 start which would be more palatable if the brand of football being played looked crisp and on the verge of producing a late-season run. It hasn’t looked like that … yet. The beauty of sports is there’s always a chance for a makeover.

But for good reason, there is some building concern within the Husker fan base. Not lose-your-wits kids of stuff. There’s some toe-tapping going on though. The offense is banged up and clapping off beat like some NU fans during the Tunnel Walk (sorry, it’s true). No one is quite sure who’s playing quarterback, or if Wan’Dale Robinson will be out there, or if the offensive line can move people or avoid a false start at the absolute worst time.

And the defense is coming off a performance against Minnesota that was bad enough to have had Husker fans discouraged enough during the bye to wonder aloud if it was now possible Nebraska could be in danger of missing bowl eligibility for a third straight year – which would be an absolute killer. Yes, that’s jumping to the most pessimistic place with some winnable games still on the slate including this Saturday contest against Indiana, but I understand the sentiment. Play like they did at Minnesota and they’re not going to beat anybody the rest of the way.

So that brings us to this fascinating Saturday in which the Huskers are going to wear their black alternative jerseys because, as Scott Frost put it, “We’re running out of home games” to wear the things – which are in a way paying tribute to those like Mike Brown who came before.

Husker defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, who has embraced the Blackshirts tradition to its fullest, acknowledged this week his team probably hasn’t earned wearing that color in a game. But they’re going to put them on, and as Chinander said, “It better mean a lot this week and you better represent it when you put it on.”

Most alarming has been the downfall of the rushing defense, which was giving up just 2.18 yards per rush after non-conference play. I know, I know. The competition wasn’t great. You knew that number would get beefed up. But I thought it might be better than the 4.30 yards per rush it stands four games later, which ranks 73rd.

Minnesota ran for 322, Ohio State ran for 368 and Illinois ran for 221. If Indiana, with its big bulldozer back Stevie Scott gets in that territory Illinois did, I don’t love Nebraska’s chances.

What the Huskers have going for themselves, though, is they’ve had an extra week to get back into the first chapters of the book. What killed them against Minnesota wasn’t complicated. Understandably, that is a scary thing to Nebraska fans. On the other hand, for the glass-half-full crowd, there should be some reachable solutions against it for Chinander’s crew.

No doubt Indiana coaches will test Nebraska on the same basics. If the Huskers got right on them, the Blackshirts have it in them to carry a day like this. But they need more than just heart and cliches. They need their eyes to get it right.

“Eyes have been really bad in the last few weeks,” Chinander explained. “Guys not just getting lined up fast enough and not getting their eyes where they need to be. Seeing some ghosts. Seeing what you’re not supposed to see. If you can correct their eyes, which we’ve done a lot in the last few weeks. It wasn’t putting in a whole bunch of new stuff. It was going back to basics and, ‘Here’s where your eyes need to be.’ You can’t be an eye violator out there and play good football. I don’t care if you’re at the high school level, or college level, or the NFL level, you have to have your eyes where you’re supposed to be.”

With lack of eye discipline, and bad run fits, they’ve been losing on early downs, and “haven’t earned the right” to go get after the QB in third-and-longs. Sure, it’d be nice to have Deontai Williams, and Cam Taylor-Britt has been banged up, but the Huskers aren’t any worse for wear with injuries on that side of the ball than most.

“I’d like to say that’s huge, but that’s football,” Chinander said to a question about that. “We’re banged up, but so is everybody else. … At the end of the day, you have to be able to play when you’re hurt a little bit – especially in the Big Ten.”

You also need to make your own luck. The takeaways? They’ve gone away. Nebraska has 11 on the season, but only two in four Big Ten games. Five of the 11 takeaways came in Week 1 against South Alabama and nine came during the non-conference season.

The good news: This Saturday can be won. So can next Saturday. It’s entirely within reason for Nebraska to be a 6-3 football team at the next bye with that bowl eligibility box checked by the next bye. That would change the tone around here in a big way.

But on this day in which Nebraska’s QB situation could still be precarious, the Blackshirts need to play like like they deserve those jerseys. They need to get those eyes right and be that kind of defense we saw basically own most of three quarters against Colorado – stopping the run, getting after the QB, making their own breaks, confident and running downhill.

Mike Brown had it right this week, as he almost always did as a Husker player: You better go ALL CAPS out there.