Category Archives: NFL Jerseys From China

Pete Athas Jersey Sale

There’s nothing uncommon about an NFL player with Dade County roots. What’s uncommon about Edison High graduate Pete Athas, a Miami resident who died June 28 at 67 from lymphoma, is he played three times as many NFL seasons as he did college games.

Athas walked on at Tennessee in 1966, played two games for the freshman team (freshmen weren’t eligible until 1972), then quit the team in disinterest. He married Becky Henry in 1967 and, needing a job, began playing in the Continental Football League for the Orlando Panthers. Athas racked up 19 interceptions in two Continental League seasons.

The Panthers coach, Jimmy Garrett, later became a Dallas scout and the New York Giants defensive coordinator. That led to Dallas making Athas a 10th round draft pick in 1970 and the Giants signing the Hackensack, NJ native as a free agent in 1971.

Athas would make 13 interceptions in four seasons with the Giants, returning one for a touchdown. He played for Minnesota and Cleveland in 1975 and closed his career with New Orleans in 1976.

He’s survived by his wife and a son, Pete Athas, Jr.

Pete Athas, who had a brief tenure at Tennessee on the 1966 freshman team and later played six seasons in the National Football League, died June 28 in Miami from lymphoma. He was 67.

A native of Hackensack, N.J., and a graduate of Edison High School in Miami, Mr. Athas walked on at Tennessee, but left the squad in the fall of his freshman season.

Xavier Cooper Jersey Sale

The Hancock College men’s basketball team has scored points at a spectacular clip this young season.

It did not take the Bulldogs long Friday night to show why.

Nailing shots from all over Victor Valley back court, the Bulldogs had 15 points in the first five minutes. The Bulldogs eventually beat the over-matched Rams 100-70 in the 5th annual Home Motors Tournament that the Bulldogs are hosting this weekend at Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.

Hancock is 4-1. Victor Valley is 0-3.

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Hancock College’s Bryce Craver gets airborne as he goes in for the layup during Friday night’s 5th Annual Home Motors Tournament. The tourney continues through Sunday at Allan Hancock College.

David DuBransky, Contributor
The Bulldogs, Hancock sophomore center Mayowa Akinsanya said, work fast but they are also willing to make the extra pass.

“That’s what makes our offense so special,” he said.

“When you make the extra pass, good shots can turn into great shots. We have guards who can make the outside shot, and we have consistent bigs.”

All 12 Bulldogs who played Friday night scored, and four were in double figures.

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Hancock College’s DJ Searcy takes a tumble over Victor Valley’s Keionte Reese during Friday night’s 5th Annual Home Motors Tournament.

David DuBransky, Contributor
Freshman Pioneer Valley graduate Nick Chapman, a reserve guard, scored a game high 17 points for Hancock. Chapman was 6-for-11 from the field and he made half of his 10 3-point tries.

Mike Mensah, another Hancock reserve, finished with 15 points. Starters Grant Johnson and Xavier Cooper had 13 and 11 points respectively.

Jacob Hatch had 16 points for the Rams, who actually scored at a decent rate after not getting a basket until the 12:36 mark of the first half.

Tryvon Rome had 12 points for the Rams. Eric Figueroa and Keionte Reese finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Hancock margin reached 40 points, 90-50, at one point in the second half.

Kyle Harding, a 6 foot 2 freshman who graduated from Our Savior Lutheran in Long Island, New York, is Hancock’s starting point guard. He said directing Hancock’s swift offense doesn’t faze him.

“I’m used to playing for teams that play fast,” said Harding. “All the teams I played for growing up in New York played fast.

“We have a lot of versatility on offense. All our guards can dunk.”

Tyson Aye is in his sixth year as Hancock’s coach. His teams typically play fast. But not THIS fast.

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Hancock College’s Mike Mensah goes in for the dunk during Friday night’s 5th Annual Home Motors Tournament.

David DuBransky, Contributor
“We have a very talented group of players who can score from a lot of places on the floor,” he said.

“It’s fun to coach. It’s exciting to watch.”

Hancock will play Yuba at 5 p.m. Saturday in another tournament game. In early games Friday, Yuba beat Las Positas 94-86 and Cypress edged Santa Barbara 59-57.

Girls Basketball
Nipomo 50, Santa Maria 33
Makennah Simonson led three Nipomo players in double figures, and the Titans ran their record to 4-0 with a 60-33 win over former Ocean League rival Santa Maria at Nipomo Friday night.

Simonson scored 14 points for the Titans. Kat Anderson had 13 and Leah Miller added 11.

Nipomo shared the Ocean League girls basketball title with Pioneer Valley last year. Both have since been moved up to the Mountain League.

Grace Gutierrez scored nine points for Nipomo Friday night. Honnalee Kennedy put in eight. Alyson Cramer had three points, and Shantille Simonson scored two.

Jerone Davison Jersey Sale

PHOENIX — A group of students is suing the Maricopa County Community College District after it eliminated the football program from its schools.

The lawsuit alleges that canceling the football program amounts to racial discrimination because the majority those affected are minority students.

“Growing up, I didn’t have much, but I had football. That’s kind of the only thing that helped me stay in school, and want to do good in school,” Jerone Davison, a player for Mesa Community College.

Community college was a step to something bigger—Division I football, maybe the NFL.

“So taking this away from me—it’s going to be hard because I don’t know what I’m going to do after this year. I haven’t talked to any schools, no schools have talked to me,” said Darius Glover, who also played for MCC.

But to some players, it’s way more than money.

“My dad’s in jail. I don’t want to go to jail and…it keeps me in school and keeps my head in a good place and keeps me in the right mindset,” said MCC player Stevie Maddox.

“My brother’s in prison and I don’t want to go that route,” said Andre Adams.

Adams played one year at Phoenix College and planned to go to Howard in two years.

Then, last year, the Maricopa County Community College District decided to cut all junior college football programs, saying they couldn’t afford them.

“We were just in the room, we had a team meeting and they just told us they’re cutting the program,” Adams said.

Now, Adams says he’s worried he’ll follow his brother to prison.

“He played football too. He was a good athlete too, but, you know, he kept getting in trouble and—like he’s my older brother—usually his life Jerone Davison planned out how mine was going,” Adams said.

Attorney Phil Austin said there is a disproportionate impact on African-American students.

“African-American students are 10 times more likely to be negatively affected than non-African-American students. This kind of disparity cannot stand and is illegal,” Austin said.

Maricopa Community Colleges issued a statement saying in part:

“We understand the disappointment of these young men with our decision to eliminate our football programs. We have great respect for the nearly 350 student athletes impacted by this decision, including these eleven. We believe our decision in this matter was necessary and in the best interest of our students and system.”

Marc Brown Jersey Sale

When Arthur creator Marc Brown returned home after dinner out with his wife Monday night in New York, he arrived to a flood of emails alerting him he was “blowing up” social media.

“I wondered what was happening. I started to get emails from family and friends about ‘You’re blowing up Twitter!'” Brown told CBC News on Tuesday afternoon.

Brown’s long-running PBS kids’ show — centred on the anthropomorphic aardvark of the title — had kicked off its 22nd season on Monday. The season premiere episode revolves around the wedding of Mr. Ratburn, whose impending nuptials Arthur and his friends attempt to derail in a case of mistaken identity.

The episode ends with a revelation: that their grade-school teacher is gay.

Both the inclusion of an LGBT character as well as the kids’ “no big deal” reaction within the episode, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” drew praise from many on social media.

“I started to read some of the comments from people and it just made me feel great,” Brown said.

GLAAD

@glaad
Congratulations Mr. Ratburn! https://www.out.com/television/2019/5/13/arthurs-mr-ratburn-gay-and-he-just-got-married …

’Arthur’s Mr. Ratburn Is Gay and He Just Got Married
And some of us can’t get a text back.

out.com
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9:55 AM – May 14, 2019
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Q. Allan Brocka

@allanbrocka
Welcome out and congratulations Mr. Ratburn! ️‍
❤️#Arthur #LoveIsLove

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of the other reindeer
@salmattos
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Mr. Ratburn being gay is *my* Game of Thrones finale

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Whether it’s dealing with asthma, being in a single-parent family, welcoming an adopted sibling or figuring how to react when a grown-up is diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s, the show’s goal has always been to reflect the reality of what kids are facing, said Brown, who also wrote and illustrated the Arthur books the animated series is based on.

“With Arthur, we have an opportunity to deal with all kinds of characters. We go into their lives and we want to see how they’re connected with their families,” Brown said, adding that Arthur characters are inspired by people he knew growing up (including a real-life schoolteacher who inspired Mr. Ratburn).

“Art reflects life. Life reflects art. And I think that kids need to see what’s happening in the world.”

Marc Brown says the characters seen in Arthur are based on real people from his childhood in Erie, Penn., including a grade-school teacher who inspired Mr. Ratburn. (CBC)
It’s not the first time the Arthur universe has incorporated LGBT relationships. In a 2005 episode of the spinoff series Postcards from Buster, which mixed animation with live-action footage, Arthur’s bunny best friend visits family-run farms in Vermont. The parents of the kids featured are shown to be two lesbian couples.

At the time, the episode sparked major controversy, with public broadcaster PBS announcing it would not distribute the instalment to its stations and then-secretary of education Margaret Spellings complaining about public money being used to promote alternative lifestyles. Dozens of PBS affiliates elected to air the episode anyway.

Watch
Why Arthur’s creator wanted a gay wedding on the show
7 months ago 2:33
Arthur creator Marc Brown said he wanted to tell “an honest story for children and families.” 2:33
On Tuesday, PBS released a statement addressing the social media reaction to “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone.”

“PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day,” the public broadcaster said in the statement.

Kids’ TV lacks gender balance and diversity, new study suggests
One of the great things about television is how it can offer parents the opportunity to explore different kinds of stories with their children and then expand upon and discuss what they’ve seen, Brown said.

“I had a wonderful friend in Fred Rogers [of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood] …. What he taught me was how to use television to be helpful to kids and families. That’s kind of where I come from and that’s what we try to do with the show.”

Stephen Gostkowski Jersey Sale

FOXBORO, Mass. — Stephen Gostkowski hasn’t appeared in a game for the New England Patriots since late September, but he’s still found ways to help the team. The veteran kicker has remained involved with Patriots as he recovers from season-ending hip surgery, assisting however he can as New England continues to search for a reliable replacement. This guidance has been especially beneficial for rookie punter/holder Jake Bailey, who, along with long snapper Joe Cardona, has worked with three different kickers this season. That number will reach four Sunday night when newcomer Kai Forbath makes his Patriots debut against the Houston Texans. “I can’t say enough good things about Joe,” Bailey said after Friday’s practice. “And Steve’s been around, too, to help me out with all that stuff. I’ve got a lot of good specialist leaders in this room — along with Matt Slater and a bunch of the other guys — and they’re just helping me stay comfortable and stay calm. If anything, they’re just helping me out in practice. That’s where we get all of our mental and physical reps for the week, and that’s where we build confidence.” Gostkowski, who hosted the 22-year-old Bailey for Thanksgiving at his Wrentham, Mass., home, appeared in the New England’s first four games this season before landing on injured reserve. Mike Nugent initially replaced him but was cut a month later after missing three field goals and an extra point in his four appearances. Nick Folk — like Nugent, a well-traveled journeyman — was kicker No. 3. He performed relatively well in his first three games as a Patriot (7-for-9 on field goals, with his two misses coming in a driving rainstorm) but underwent an emergency appendectomy Thursday morning, rendering him unavailable for Sunday’s game. Folk reportedly is expected to make a quick recovery and could be back with the team as soon as next week, but he was released Friday to make room for Forbath, who kicked in just three games last season and hadn’t been on an NFL roster since February. This is unfamiliar territory for the Patriots, who utilized just three kickers (Adam Vinatieri, Gostkowski and injury fill-in Shayne Graham) over the previous 23 seasons. “We’ve been fortunate,” Patriots coach Belichick said. “We’ve had a lot of continuity through the years where we’ve been able to keep a snapper, holder and kicker together for multiple years at a time rather than switching them out every year, back and forth. Now, we’ve had some transition, I’m not saying that, but we’ve had sustained periods of four or five years where there hasn’t been a lot of change. “Unfortunately, there has been this year, but I think those guys (Bailey and Cardona) are doing a great job in minimizing the amount of movement and change. Certainly, having those two guys being consistent makes it a lot easier for the kicker to come and execute.” Belichick had especially high praise for Bailey, who’s already earned two AFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards and has handled kickoff duties since Gostkowski went down. “They’ve been great,” the coach said. “Joe’s got a lot of leadership, obviously, and more experience, but Jake’s mature beyond his years. He’s handled everything as well or better than I could imagine anybody at his age and his experience level handling it, from the punts to the field goals to the holding to the kickoffs. He’s done a great job for us. They’ve both played great.”

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2019/11/how-stephen-gostkowski-has-helped-patriots-amid-kicker-turmoil/

Verdi Boyer Jersey Sale

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Continuing to augment its storied creative reputation, the New York-based advertising agency DeVito/Verdi announced today that it has hired Preeya Vyas as its chief strategy Verdi Boyer and innovation officer, where she will be instrumental in building integrated experiences for brands that drive business outcomes and growth.

Vyas joins the agency from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where she most recently served as chief experience officer. At Saatchi, she handled such clients as Walmart, P&G (multiple brands), American Student Assistance and others. Other past clients of note include United Airlines, GSK, Mondelez, JP Morgan Chase, Levi Strauss, and IBM. She also developed an adtech product in the contextual search space that launched in 2001.

Named one of Adweek’s “Top 50 Indispensable Players in Media, Marketing & Tech” (2018), and Campaign US’s “Digital 40 over 40” (2019), Vyas will look to continue creating business-building, fully-integrated work, while providing strategic expertise, leading the agency to create impactful experiences based in modern approaches to media and data. In addition, she will drive opportunities for product and platform development.

“There were a few important elements I was searching for in my next move: the first was a strong creative DNA; the second was an agency that is unencumbered to create broadly with bold ideas across media, data and tech; and thirdly, the opportunity to assemble the best talent and solutions to bring those ideas to life,” said Vyas.

Voted a record six times as “Agency of the Year” by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, DeVito/Verdi has made several recent moves to expand its strategic solutions and creative output, and broaden its talent base.

This marks the second major hire in recent weeks. Last month it announced the hiring of Erin Boyer as chief marketing officer. In his new role, Boyer is melding the agency’s operations to support the broader goals of existing and prospective client partners.

“We’re continuing to find solutions for expanding our creative offerings to be perpetually in tune in an ever-changing world,” said Ellis Verdi, president of DeVito/Verdi. “Preeya will certainly accelerate our ability to bring the best solutions to solve client and category challenges.”

About DeVito/Verdi

DeVito/Verdi, a privately held company, has been recognized as one of the most exceptional creative agencies in the industry. It has been voted “Best Agency” six times by the advertising industry group, the AAAA, and has created some of the most memorable ad campaigns of the past 25 years. Its lengthy list of industry awards includes the top prizes at the Clios, Radio Mercury, Cannes, Andy, Addy and One Show award ceremonies. The agency has had a rich history of success with radio advertising, including its campaign for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which was recently inducted into the Clio Hall of Fame.

DeVito/Verdi strives for excellence and maintains a unique level of prestige within the advertising industry, as evidenced by its work for such clients as Kohl’s, The National Association of Broadcasters, BayCare Health System, Five Below, BevMo!, 7-Eleven, New York Institute of Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Sony, Canon, Duane Reade Drug Stores, BMW, 84 Lumber, Esquire Magazine, Men’s Wearhouse, TimeOut Magazine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Scripps Health, Grey Goose Vodka, UChicago Medicine, eCampus, Reebok, Legal Sea Foods, Office Depot, Appleton Rums, Pepsi/SOBE, Fallon Community Health Plan, Tribe Mediterranean Foods, Empire Kosher Chicken, Acura, CarMax, Sports Authority, Campaign for Freedom Post 9/11, Pro-Choice Education Project, Hillary Clinton for Senate, and others.

I.M. Hipp Jersey Sale

LINCOLN — I.M. Hipp was no different from any other 18-year-old out on his own for the first time, realizing that Lincoln was a long way from all that he knew back in Chapin, South Carolina.

And after Hipp finished his freshman football season at Nebraska, the brunt of his first Midwest winter chilled him to the bone.

“I came with a pair of jeans and some flannel shirts,” Hipp said, “and the first winter it was, like, 65 degrees below wind-chill.”

The I-back went to coach Tom Osborne and said he didn’t think he could take it. He was going back to South Carolina.

“He told me, ‘Think about it, Isaiah, because we love you, and I think you’re a great player,’” Hipp said. “I said, ‘Coach, I just don’t know.’ But I spoke to my great-grandmother, and she said, ‘God has put your feet on the path, and I don’t think you should change your mind. It would not work out to your benefit.’ And I stayed.”

Hipp remembers finding an appropriate coat at a department store on O Street. He let the rest take care of itself.

After redshirting in 1976, he became one of the most famous walk-ons in program history and the first Husker to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Even with turf toe limiting him as a senior in 1979, he would leave NU with a school-record 2,814 rushing yards — still good for No. 10 on the all-time list.

Hipp has lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the last 17 years working in property management, maintaining apartment complexes for a real estate company. He took up golf about 10 years ago and is currently a 2 handicap, once firing a 68 at his home course (Heron Ridge Golf Club).

It has been a while since Isaiah Moses Walter Hipp has been back to Lincoln, but he still follows Husker football, and his oldest daughter, Jandra, is married to former NU and Green Bay Packers cornerback Erwin Swiney.

More on football, golf and the name that is hard to forget:

Q: What finally got you on the golf course when you were almost 50?

A: A contractor was on site doing some patio doors and windows and invited me out. My response was, “You lost your mind?” I was out there in my jeans and boots. Played 18. But just like everything else I’ve done, I put my mind to it and my body and my soul, and it came to fruition.

Q: Were you ever known as I.M. Hipp before coming to Nebraska?

A: It was always Isaiah. It was not until (former NU sports information director) Don Bryant came up with it.

Q: What do people call you now?

A: I.M. or Isaiah. Or Pops.

Q: How was a kid from a small town in South Carolina so interested in Husker football?

A: There was a rivalry within the neighborhood. Oklahoma was always No. 1 back then, and if not them it was Nebraska. And if not us, Michigan or Ohio State. It was on Thanksgiving Day (the 1971 NU-OU game), and everybody in the community was going, “Oklahoma, Oklahoma.” I said, “OK, I’ll go Nebraska then.” And we won, and from then that’s when I wanted to go there.

Q: You not only didn’t have a scholarship but hardly had the money to get here. How again did you make it?

A: There was a high school sweetheart, and I worked in a Manpower program at the time, and we came up with the money. A plane ticket at that time was $97. My great-granny gave all she could. We paid for the ticket, and I got on the plane, and it was only a one-way ticket. There was no option for me not to make it.

Q: What was the reception like when you showed up as mostly an unknown?

A: The letter came to me in Chapin and said meet in the auditorium on the second floor on the south side of the stadium, so just like everybody else that’s what I did. After everybody left, I was still there. Coach (Mike) Corgan happened to come back in and said, “How can I help you?” I said, “I’m here to play football.” He went out and came back in with Tom, and they said, “Sorry, we don’t have your name on the roster. What is your name?” When they asked me what position I was here to play and I said running back, they said they were going to try me at wingback. I said, “That’s not going to work.”

Q: You hung 254 yards on Lee Corso in your first career start (vs. Indiana in 1977). You think he still remembers that?

A: Ah, I’m sure he does. I went back to get inducted into my high school hall of fame, and there was a player named Jerry Bowers who played with me in high school (and at Indiana), and he remembered that. That was a segment of his speech, that he remembered the 254, but he made sure to point out that I had no touchdowns.

Q: How did it go splitting the workload with Rick Berns in 1977 and ’78?

A: It was great. At one time, we played or tinkered with the wishbone and, believe it or not, tinkered with the veer, too. We would practice with the wishbone but only did it in one series in the spring game in ’78.

Q: Would it have worked?

A: It would have worked perfectly. Tom Sorley and Jeff Quinn would have ran it perfectly. Tom had run the veer in high school, and Jeff ran the wishbone. Then Andra Franklin at fullback. He ran something like a 4.5 40. And with Rick and I … oh, Lordy.”

Q: Did you have any idea what turf toe was before 1979?

A: It was very confusing to me. In the Iowa game, I thought I stubbed my toe against somebody. Then, when I got back, the doc said it was a bruised sesamoid. The ligament under the big toe was inflamed. After that game, that Saturday night, my foot swelled up like a balloon. They tried to work with that special cap for my toe for me to push off, but the pain was excruciating, and I couldn’t. Then it developed into gout because of calcium buildup around the joint.

Q: What do you remember about visiting with Bear Bryant after the Nebraska-Alabama game in 1977?

A: I remember walking across the field, and I remember a fan of ours came out of the stands and took his hat. He said, in that deep Southern voice, “I.M., don’t worry about it. I got many of those. They come a dime a dozen.” Actually, he wanted to know how did I get past them and all the way to Nebraska. He said, “Did you ever think about coming to Alabama?” I said, “You all wrote me a letter wanting me to visit, but my heart was with Nebraska.”

Q: Were you interested in lifting before you got to Lincoln or did that all start with Boyd Epley?

A: I lifted in high school. I bought some free weights, the plastic ones with the cement in them, and built my own squat stand, built some other racks. Everything was homemade. In order to be the person I wanted to be physically, it was something that I always had to do.

Q: What was behind wanting to lift on game days?

A: I would work my legs. I felt that it would help to strengthen my knees and give me more endurance. I felt energetic. It’s almost like some people believe in getting an hour of rest before a game. Me, I believed in working out. As soon as we’d get to the stadium, I’d put my pants on, come in and have George (Sullivan) tape me, then I’m in the weight room.

Q: How did that go over?

A: They put a big sign up, a poster up, that said: “I.M., Stay Out of the Weightroom.” But I would still go, and George or Snitzy (Paul Schneider), one of the trainers, would find me and kick me out. Or Osborne would come in and catch me.

Q: Do your three daughters care about all these old stories and all of Dad’s accomplishments?

A: They do, but not so much, and I try not to lavish so much in it. But when we go out in public and somebody finds out who I am, and they want to start talking about it, then they hear it.

Q: Are you glad the Husker walk-on program is still alive and well?

A: I’m glad it’s back to where it should be because I understand that, I think it was Coach (Bill) Callahan, he wanted to do away with some of it. Without that tradition, a lot of players would have not had that opportunity. A lot of great players would not get that opportunity.

Kenneth Durden Jersey Sale

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans have placed five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Cameron Wake on injured reserve after the 37-year-old veteran was hurt late in their win over the Jaguars.

The Titans announced a handful of moves Tuesday.

Wake signed a three-year contract in March. He had 2 1/2 sacks in the opening win over Cleveland, giving him 100 1/2 for his career. Wake played in nine games this season.

The Titans also placed defensive back Chris Milton on injured reserve. They filled the spots by promoting a pair of undrafted rookies in outside linebacker Derick Roberson and cornerback Kareem Orr from the practice squad. They also added defensive lineman Joey Ivie and defensive back Kenneth Durden to the practice squad.

Roberson had 23 sacks in 32 games at Sam Houston State, and Orr had five interceptions in 20 games played at Chattanooga.

Jimmy Smith Jersey Sale

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith has worked his way back from so many injuries that he’s become the resident expert on the subject in the Baltimore locker room.

It’s a title Smith could do without.

Only twice in his nine-year NFL career has Smith played all 16 games. He’s had to rebound from a torn Achilles tendon, a sports hernia, at least three concussions and a strained lower back.

“Those injuries, they weigh on you a little bit,” Smith said Wednesday. “But you just keep fighting.”

The Lisfranc foot surgery that Smith endured in November 2014 enabled him to provide insight and advice to rookie receiver Marquise Brown, who arrived in Baltimore while recovering from the same operation.

“Jimmy went through what I had so he was always encouraging me and telling me that it was going to get better,” Brown recalled. “He let me know what I was going to feel next.”

Smith sugarcoated it. In truth, it’s an injury that keeps on hurting long after the recovery process has been completed.

“I know what he’s going through as far as every time he wakes up and it’s cold outside that thing hurts,” Smith said. “I’ve been in his ear, letting him know he’ll get over it eventually.”

Brown played in the opener against Miami, a game in which Smith sprained his right knee. As Smith was nearing his return, Brown sustained a high ankle sprain — an injury Smith endured in 2011 and 2016.

Again, Smith was in position to share his knowledge on the subject.

“Just having someone like that you can talk to is very helpful,” Brown said.

The 31-year-old Smith entered this season hopeful to put his injury-riddled past behind him, but his optimism was buried in the first half of the first game. While he had every right to groan ‘here we go again,’ Smith ended up thankful that he would be back in 2019.

“I was kind of nervous it was an ACL or something really serious,” he recalled. “I knew how much it would impact my career, just being an older guy and all that and my history. But finding out it was a strain and I could come back, it definitely boosted my spirits.”

Smith missed six games before coming back last week to help the Ravens beat the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. He chipped in with three tackles and knocked away a pass.

“It felt great for a number of reasons,” Smith said. “I hate being in the training room, obviously. But it just felt good to go out there and play and help win a game against a good team.”

Just another rehab with a happy ending. Seems like Smith has been doing it forever.

“Jimmy has done a great job of fighting through those things,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s had some misfortune with some of that stuff and he’s always done nothing but battle back. It’s commendable.”

Smith’s most notable return came in 2012, after he interrupted his season to have sports hernia surgery.

“I tore one side and just kept playing through it, but when the other side went it was a little too painful to twist and run and all that,” Smith said. “We had a real shot at going to the Super Bowl that year. I really didn’t want to get that surgery but I needed it to perform well.”

He returned in mid-December after missing five weeks. Not long after that, Smith had a tackle and knocked away two passes to help the Ravens beat the 49ers for the championship.

“Thank God we ended up going to the playoffs and making it that far because I think the really only game I impacted when I got back from that was the Super Bowl,” he said.

The Ravens might have a shot at winning it all this season, and Smith is in position to play a role.

At least for now.

Notes: The Ravens signed receiver and kicker returner De’Anthony Thomas to the 53-man roster. Thomas returned 13 punts and seven kickoffs for the Kansas City Chiefs this season. “We anticipate him having a lot of possibilities for roles,” Harbaugh said. Cornerback Maurice Canady was released.

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Riley Walton Jersey Sale

The Florida teachers’ union has endorsed state Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, for re-election to his Pinellas-Hillsborough seat.

The Florida Education Association Riley Walton endorsement could be a setback for former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who is considering challenging Rouson in a Democratic primary, and to Tampa Democrats who would like a senator from their side of the bay. In the minority-heavy district, the Democratic primary should decide the race.

In a news release, FEA President Fedrick Ingram called Rouson “a warrior on our behalf,” citing his opposition to a proposed pro-charter school constitutional amendment.

Joyner also opposed that amendment, however, and has a career-long pro-public education record, while Rouson has often voted for voucher and charter programs opposed by the union, citing their benefits for low-income families.

Former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner is considering challenging state Sen. Darryl Rouson in a Democratic primary.
“I know we’ve had a somewhat complicated relationship with him,” said FEA spokeswoman Sharon Nesvig. But in the most recent legislative session, “His voting record was 100 percent on our issues,” including opposing a major voucher expansion Rouson considered unconstitutional.

Nesvig said the group wanted an early endorsement and acted “based on who’s running now” — but could reconsider, possibly issuing a joint endorsement, if Joyner runs.

FEA endorsement committee member Eric Riley said a dual endorsement would have to be at the instigation of the district’s county FEA branches.

Rouson, citing his parents’ involvement in public education, said, “I have lived public education and know it is the silver bullet for our state and community.”

But Joyner responded, “One good session (by Rouson) does not equate to a lifetime commitment that I have to public education,” and criticized campaign financial support for Rouson from charter and voucher interests.

GOP dinner focuses on Gaetz

The struggling Hillsborough County Republican Party drew a crowd of around 300 to hear firebrand Trump defender Rep. Matt Gaetz at its main annual fundraising event, the Lincoln Day Dinner, Saturday.

The crowd was energized and excited, though smaller than such events in the heyday of the local GOP a few years ago.

Gaetz, of Fort Walton Beach, was scheduled as warmup speaker for Kayleigh McEnany, a South Tampa native and Trump 2020 campaign press secretary. He became the keynote speaker after she went into labor the night before the event, giving birth to a baby girl.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., leaves Longworth House Office Building,in Washington. Gaetz spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner for the Hillsborough Republican party on Saturday. [JULIO CORTEZ | AP]
One speaker after another called Democrats socialists and denounced what Gaetz called “this phony impeachment.”

Gaetz hurled insults and taunts at 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, predicting Elizabeth Warren will be the nominee and that Democrats plan “a Bernie Sanders drum circle or a rain dance with Pocahontas,” a reference to Warren’s claim of partial native American ancestry.

Gaetz repeated the dubious Republican claim that Democrats “would give free health care to illegal aliens while rendering illegal employer-based health care that covers half the country.” He said Democrats want to invite in illegal immigrants including criminals and drug gangs and “send you the bill for their health care, child care, transportation and cell phones” and “tuition wasted at some liberal university where every illegal alien can get a degree in America-sucks.”

Rep. Gus Bilirakis told the crowd Gaetz may be “the most powerful man in the state” because of his friendships with Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis. State GOP Chairman Joe Gruters speculated that Gaetz could be the state’s next senator if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quits to run for the Senate from Kansas and Sen. Marco Rubio is chosen to replace Pompeo.

The crowd cheered, but Gaetz coyly responded, “I will proudly be a candidate — to coach the (Florida State) Seminoles.”

The GOP’s antipathy to “fake news” as one speaker after another called it, was obvious.

Reporters had to sign an agreement under which they were banned from the VIP reception, prohibited from speaking to attendees during the banquet and required to remain in a press area — three chairs against a back wall — on pain of being ejected.

Good gets Emily’s help, faces tough fight

Emily’s List, the national fundraising organization for pro-choice Democratic women, has endorsed state Rep. Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, in her challenge to Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.

Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good of Sarasota believes she can unseat six-term GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan in 2020. [Photo courtesy of Margaret Good]
That will help Good’s fundraising, but political analysts still rate the Sarasota-Manatee-Hillsborough district Republican-leaning. Politico calls it “likely Republican,” citing Donald Trump’s 11-point win there and Buchanan’s 9-point 2018 win.

Emily’s List solicits contributions to endorsees from a nationwide list of sympathetic donors. It backed Good when she won the seat in 2018.