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David Price probably did hear racist taunts at Fenway Park

01.16.17 at 2:37 pm ET
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David Price told The Boston Globe he heard racist comments at Fenway Park. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

David Price told The Boston Globe he heard racist comments at Fenway Park. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

David Price probably did hear racist taunts at Fenway Park last season. But that doesn’t mean Red Sox fans are bigoted. All it proves is that jerks reside everywhere, including Boston.

In a recent interview with The Boston Globe, Price said some fans sitting in the bleachers would jeer at him while he was warming up in the bullpen before games. Once in a while, he said the barbs would also become racial.

“I got it all,” Price said. “It’s all right. I don’t care about that. My mom is white and my dad is black. I’ve heard that since I’ve been in school. There’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I’m trying to do. But I feel sad it’s still out there.”

Despite those comments, it doesn’t seem as if Price is making an overarching statement about race relations in Boston. Later in the piece, he says he loves the city and can’t wait for his first son to be born here. If Price thought Boston were racist, or was constantly bombarded with bigoted insults, it’s unlikely he would be appear so enthusiastic about living in the area.

In ballparks across the country, black players say they’ve heard racial slurs. In October, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said fans in Toronto hurled racial epithets at him and Hyon Soo Kim during the ALCS. A few months earlier, Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward acknowledged he’s been taunted with bigoted comments during his career as well.

Conversations about Boston’s ugly history with race have been reignited in recent weeks after Celtics fans cheered Jazz forward Gordon Hayward during pre-game introductions earlier this month. Jae Crowder expressed frustration about that, which prompted some talking heads at ESPN to insinuate Celtics fans like Hayward because he’s white. Keep in mind, Crowder never mentioned race during his postgame rant. The talking point was fabricated.

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, David Price,

Kirk Minihane: Steelers will beat Patriots in AFC championship

01.16.17 at 12:21 pm ET
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Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will meet the Patriots in Sunday's AFC title game. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will meet the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC title game. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

The Steelers didn’t score a touchdown in their victory over against the Chiefs Sunday, but Kirk Minihane predicts they’ll have a big day against an untested Patriots defense in the AFC championship next Sunday.

In the first hour of Kirk & Callahan Monday, Minihane said he thinks the Steelers will ride their offensive firepower to an upset win at Gillette Stadium.

“New England has played one quarterback this year who’s good. They lost to him. The defense is good; I’ll grant you the defense is good. [But] who have they played since then?,” he asked.

Minihane is right: though the Patriots finished No. 1 in points allowed, they spent most of the season playing against the dregs of the NFL. They faced off against seven of the 10 worst offenses in the league, including the worst four –– the Texans, Browns, 49ers and Rams.

“We have to give this defense credit, I get that,” Minihane said. “But when I look at Roethlisberger and the weapons they have offensively, the way they’re playing right now, I feel like against this offense they’re going to go in the high 20’s, low 30’s. So will the Patriots, probably –– I don’t doubt that. But the Patriots do seem, offensively, a little banged up now –– wouldn’t you say? No Gronkowski, clearly Bennett is banged up.”

Roethlisberger has played well against the Patriots in his career. In eight games, he’s thrown for 17 touchdowns and six interceptions while posting a 95.4 quarterback rating. Despite those impressive numbers, he’s only won three of his eight meetings with New England. That’s probably because of the damage Tom Brady has inflicted on the Steelers during his illustrious career. His passer-rating against them is a whopping 114.2. (Brady is 7-2 when matched up against the Steelers and has never lost to them at Gillette Stadium.)

Brady’s history against the Steelers is one of the reasons why Minihane says he’s experiencing some pause about his pick. And if the Patriots do win, Minihane says he’s prepared to call them one of the best teams of the Bill Belichick era –– assuming they take care of business in the Super Bowl.

“If the Patriots beat the Steelers and then go on to beat either [Matt] Ryan or [Aaron] Rodgers and win the Super Bowl, finish the year ––what, 17-2 –– and beat Aaron Rodgers in a Super Bowl and Roethlisberger in a championship game, then this is a great team,” he said. “There’s no argument: this is one of the great Patriots teams of all-time.”

Is Kirk right, or is Kirk wrong?

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CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SEGMENT WHERE MINIHANE SAYS THE STEELERS WILL WIN

Read More: Kirk Minihane, Pittsburgh Steelers,

DirecTV spokesman Rob Lowe blasts company after Seahawks-Falcons game gets blacked out

01.16.17 at 12:01 pm ET
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Awful AnnouncingRob Lowe has been a prominent DirecTV spokesman, but he’s also a big football fan, and the latter role appears to be taking precedence for him at the moment. Lowe absolutely unleashed on DirecTV in a tweet barrage Saturday.

What’s at issue here? It looks like it’s a carriage dispute between DirecTV and multiple Palm Springs, CA-area local television stations. From The Desert Sun: DirecTV has pulled the plug on at least eight local television stations in the Coachella Valley, after the provider and those stations failed to renegotiate carrier agreements.

The stations were initially scheduled to go off the air on Tuesday, but the parties agreed to two 24-hour extensions before “reaching an impasse” on Thursday, said Mike Stutz, general manager at KESQ, one of the affected stations.

According to KESQ and its parent company, The News-Press and Gazette Company, DirecTV customers were scheduled to lose KESQ (ABC), KDFX (FOX), KUNA (Telemundo), CBS Local 2, KCWQ (CW), Desert News Now, KUNA-FM and KESQ-AM when their existing contract expired on Tuesday. After two extensions, the stations went off the air at 3 p.m. Thursday. Those stations carry local news and weather programming, local and national sports — including National Football League playoffs — and network television shows.

Lowe even retweeted a response suggesting people switch to Xfinity:  


This is a bold and hilarious move by Lowe– that “Screwed Over Rob Lowe” line wasn’t bad. But calling the company you work for greedy and promoting the switch to another cable provider is an almost guaranteed way to get fired.

So he tweeted this:

I was really hoping Lowe would pull a Paul from Verizon (now Sprint) and switch sides but it seems he is weak and backed down. He even deleted those two follow-up tweets, which were gold. But he does commercials for DirecTV and still has to pay for it? And Alison Ridley’s dad works for Xfinity and doesn’t have to pay for it? And Alison Ridley’s dad doesn’t even do commercials?

Not only might Lowe now need a new job, but he also needs a new agent.

SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder goes unchallenged in ESPN Radio interview

01.16.17 at 10:31 am ET
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SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder turned down an interview with Kirk & Callahan last week, but she did pay a visit to the cozy confines of ESPN Radio following her controversial article about Patriots fans having a problem with the team’s affiliation with President-Elect Donald Trump.

In an appearance Sunday on The Morning RoastWilder reiterated her claim that the team is experiencing a significant amount of Trump-related backlash. “I heard from people who were like, ‘Man, I can’t believe they like this guy –– they like Trump. I hate Trump.’ And sort of up in arms,” she said. “But the majority of people I talked to or that I saw leave comments on Brady’s Facebook page –– there were thousands, hundreds –– the people that struck me the most, somebody put it really eloquently and I quote him in my story, he was like, ‘Look, I don’t care what they do off the field. I don’t care who they vote for.’ … But there’s this deep hypocrisy to some fans who think, ‘Here’s Belichick, who’s famously gruff with the media, who says, ‘We’re onto Cincinnati. We’re onto Cincinnati. We’re onto Cincinnati.’” And then, they felt that when it was beneficial for him, or when he felt like he didn’t have to follow his own rules, where the rules have been the media policy and the no distractions and the ‘do your job’ has been something that fans have really bought into. They feel sort of betrayed. It’s like, ‘Wait, you’re not following the one thing that we thought we all agreed on was our thing.’”

Hosts Domonique Foxworth, Clinton Yates and Mina Kimes didn’t challenge Wilder’s conclusion, despite the fact she only quotes one fan, Susan Pease of Lincolin, who says Tom Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s friendships with Trump propelled her to stop watching. Wilder declined my request to be interviewed for this piece.

Later in the conversation, Wilder says many Patriots fans are experiencing an existential crisis in the wake of Trump’s victory. “Some people have stopped watching. As I said in the piece, the majority of people aren’t going to stop watching or stops supporting. But what I was focusing on are the people who are having issues with this, not the people who aren’t,” she said. “If you don’t care about this, great. I’m glad there’s a way some people are able to compartmentalize. But I think when you have an identity –– being a fan is so much about identity –– and your identity is tied into that of your team. And then when you team gets tied up into an identity that fundamentally breaks from yours, then it’s this real kind of moment of crises where you’re like, “Wait, where are the venn diagrams here? Where can I separate myself, how can I compartmentalize this?” And it might seem silly, because it’s sports, but it’s not silly, because sports are kind of everything.”

It seems as if most Patriots fans were able to put their supposed mental distress aside and watch Saturday’s game against the Houston Texans. The contest drew a monstrous 42.2 rating in Boston.

Read More: Donald Trump, ESPN, New England Patriots,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Death of Jimmy Snuka gets range of reaction on Twitter; Chiefs’ Travis Kelce rips referee for holding call

01.16.17 at 9:05 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: NY Islanders at Boston, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Washington at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Charlotte at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Atlanta at New York, 1 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: New Orleans at Indiana, 4 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Cleveland at Golden State, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Oklahoma City at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Marquette at Butler, 12 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Creighton at Xavier, 2 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: UT Arlington at South Alabama, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: DePaul at St. John’s, 4:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Boston University at Loyola Maryland, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: N.C. Central at Hampton, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Jackson State at Texas Southern, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Women’s college basketball: Notre Dame at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Women’s college basketball: Wisconsin at Penn State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka has died at the age of 73 his daughter, Tamina, announced on Sunday on her Twitter account. It was reported in December Snuka was in hospice with six months to live.

Snuka was the legendary WWE character “Superfly” but was charged in 2015 with the 1983 murder of his then-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. The charges were dropped earlier this month when he was found incompetent to stand trial.

Because of this, reaction to his death was both positive and negative in social media.

      Jimmy Snuka is a murderer. His place in wrestling history is cemented but no one’s legacy in a business outweighs murder. Come on, simple. — TOMÁS RÍOS (@TheTomasRios) January 15, 2017


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Read More: Jimmy Snuka, Travis Kelce,

Thinking Out Loud: Tough week for Providence basketball

01.13.17 at 11:49 am ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud…while wondering where M.L. Carr is waving his towels these days.

— Having a hard time coming up with a more devastating defeat than the one the Friars suffered this week on the road at DePaul, losing 64-63 after a last-second miss from Kyron Cartwright. At least, not in recent memory. You’ve heard the twisted cliché “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?”

— That’s exactly what happened in PC’s final appearance at the All State Arena in Rosemont, Illinois this week. Providence’s defense gave up 20 points in four minutes, after giving up 44 points in the previous 36 minutes. That it happened against DePaul, rather than against Villanova or Xavier, is telling.

— Ironically, the old Rosemont Horizon has actually been kind to Providence through the years, with a 10-7 record in the Windy City. DePaul will move into their brand new Wintrust Arena for next season. It might be the big boost a once-proud program really needs to become relevant again.

— DePaul’s All State Arena reminds me of what the Dunkin Donuts Center was like before the renovations in the mid-2000’s. A definite dark, dank 1970’s feel to it. Which was about the last time the Blue Demons were really any good, with a guy named Mark Aguirre playing for them.

— Personally, I haven’t been as deflated from a game like the DePaul game this week since PC lost to a nationally-6th ranked Pittsburgh team by 27 points in 2004, when the Friars were ranked 12th themselves. This time though, it’s different. Both of these teams are struggling. And the Friars struggled more than the Blue Demons.

— Part of the struggles come from injuries, as both Cartwright and Jalen Lindsey are less than 100 percent. Cartwright has knee tendonitis that has become very painful at times, and he’ll need to come to the conclusion very soon that it’s simply something he’ll have to play through.

— Lindsey sprained the thumb on his non-shooting hand in a late fall against Creighton. Why that kept him out of the entire game in Chicago, against a beatable team, I don’t know. But I do know this, it shouldn’t be a surprise PC lost at DePaul without both of those players, really.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Chargers face funny backlash on Twitter after releasing new Los Angeles logo, reportedly plan to hire Anthony Lynn as new coach

01.13.17 at 8:08 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Boston at Atlanta, 8 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Detroit at Utah, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: Detroit at Oakland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Toledo at Central Michigan, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rider at Manhattan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Women’s college basketball: St. John’s at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Chargers are officially moving from San Diego to Los Angeles and unveiled a new team logo Thursday in their rebranding of the franchise. The reaction on Twitter to the design was swift and unforgiving.  

Other sports teams even got in on the jokes:  

Then the Chargers clarified this new logo will not be on uniforms.

 

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Read More: San Diego Chargers,

SB Nation writer claims Patriots have a ‘Trump problem’

01.13.17 at 12:09 am ET
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SB Nation— The Clinton-Kaine signs were still up on the afternoon of December 24, sagging in the snow like tombstones of hope. They flashed by the windows as I drove through my hometown of Lincoln, Massachusetts, where 77.7 percent of residents voted for Hillary Clinton. Hanging off porches behind some of the Clinton signs were New England Patriots flags.

For over a decade now, people outside of New England have reviled the Patriots for turning winning into a science and, many believe, cheating to do so. Pats fans doubled-down in response, and a fierce loyalty took root in Massachusetts that, through the sagas of Spygate and Deflategate, seemed unshakeable.

But recently, that blind faith has faced its greatest test in the form of the team’s connection to Republican president-elect Donald Trump.

The trouble began when Patriots reporters spotted Brady with a Make America Great Again hat in his locker in Foxboro in the fall of 2015 (feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?), soon after Trump announced his candidacy and called Mexicans rapists in the same speech. Over the past year and a half, the team’s ties to Trump have only grown stronger.

I was at a neighborhood holiday party in Lincoln a few days before Christmas, talking to the parents of several friends I grew up with. They asked about my job, so the conversation turned to sports. And then, naturally, to the Patriots. And then, naturally, to Trump.

“Oh, Susan Pease won’t even watch anymore,” one of my friend’s moms said. “She used to watch every Sunday with her family, and now she just can’t do it.”

I called Pease a few days later to ask her if this was true.

“Yeah, I just will not watch,” she said. “I really enjoy watching the game with my family. I like what it means for my family to sit down and talk and laugh and watch and snack and now … I just, it’s just ruined for me. It’s not the worst thing about this, of course — this whole thing stems from my tremendous disappointment over this election and country. But it will forever color my opinion of the team. I will not watch, I will not buy any more jerseys. I’m done.”

Over the course of reporting this story, I’ve received countless emails and Facebook messages from people in Massachusetts telling me how disappointed they are in their team. Writing those letters almost seemed like catharsis for many: Several ended with sentiments along the lines of “it feels so good to get this off my chest,” and “I’ve been thinking about this so much.”

Some of these notes I got were filled with anger. People wrote things like “fuck Brady,” and “I used to think Belichick was a genius and now I hate him,” and “I actually take delight when they lose.” Pease isn’t alone — at least six other people told me they can’t bear to watch Pats games anymore, either. A few told me that they were looking for a reason to give football up already because they find the NFL immoral and what it does to men’s bodies indefensible. Trump was the final straw that eliminated any feelings of loyalty.

Is Wilder trying to argue Patriots fans have stopped watching games or denounced the team because it has a connection to Trump? If so, she uses this to make her case: at least SIX people said they stopped watching games, PLUS Susan Pease, so that’s at least seven. 

Also, she doesn’t mention any of the names of these six people who contacted her about not watching the games. So her sources are unconvincing.   

If you’ve talked to so many people, why not include that in the story and maybe name some of them?
Her argument is weak also because, as Kirk Minihane mentioned, she has no substantial proof to back up her claims the Patriots have a Trump problem.

Wilder says the problem is here: It’s hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump anymore. The connection reverberates far beyond the place I grew up.

OK, so what are some of those conversations that reverberate far beyond Massachusetts?

Because from what I’ve seen it is not hard to have a conversation about the Patriots without talking about Trump. It’s actually pretty easy. I have heard and been a part of many, many, many conversations about the Patriots that have nothing to do with Trump. I hadn’t heard any conversations about the Patriots and Trump for a while until this thing was published.

No matter how anyone feels about the team or the president-elect, the two have become as woven into each other’s histories as Trump’s hair is to his head. The difference is that while the rest of the country doesn’t really have a stake in this connection, Patriots fans in liberal Massachusetts who find Trump abhorrent have to grapple with the emotional implications.

This is how Wilder concludes her piece. Are Patriots fans grappling with emotions because some people involved with their favorite football team support Trump? Not at all from what I have seen. And when I think of the history of the Patriots, one of the last things I think of is Donald Trump. And the history of Donald Trump is going to be full of a lot more important things than his connection to the Patriots. This is a little dramatic.

What are we supposed to take away from this? I honestly have no idea. If she had named a few sources or cited some data showing this is a real problem and people have stopped watching games or supporting the team, then she might have a story here. But this is pretty weak.

Petition to ban Joe Buck, Troy Aikman from calling Packers games has almost 24,000 signatures

01.12.17 at 2:25 pm ET
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Change.org–Get Troy Aikman and Joe Buck banned from announcing Green Bay Packer’s games

Andrew Dorff, Brookfield, WI

This is a petition to get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman banned from announcing/commentating on the Green Bay Packers. 

On behalf of the Green Bay Packers fans across the world, we would like action taken to prohibit them from giving their constant negative input about our team. We are sick of the biased announcing always coming from them.

Letter to

NFL
Roger Goodell
FOX News
FOX Broadcasting Company

Yeah, this will definitely work. Petitions like this always do.

And Roger Goodell definitely cares. I’m not sure this is even his jurisdiction.

But I like this guy’s succinct explanation for this matter of great importance to his life.

My favorite part of petitions like this is the “Reasons for signing” section. The option to give your reason was made for petitions like this.

Here are some of them:

“They’re biased and annoying to hear. Joe buck needs a new face. Troy needs to keep it to 2 beers before games.”

“I hate Bucket”

“Troy is a biased punk and Joe is annoying”

“Cause I don’t need Boy Aiken and Blow Shmuck drooling over the Cowgirls for 4 hours….Geeeezzzz”

“They are bias and borring to listen”

“You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. Joe and Troy try to say all the right things but their anti-Packer feelings still bleed through. Sometimes it’s not what they say it’s what they don’t say.”

“I woudl liek ot see Joe Buchk and Aikman not only banned from this game – but banned from announcing all games, in any sport, forever and ever. Amen”

And on and on and on it goes.

Good luck to Andrew Dorff. If enough people agree with him, absolutely nothing will happen.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Chargers players react to plan to move team to Los Angeles; Tim Tebow not invited to Mets major league camp

01.12.17 at 8:28 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Boston at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Montreal at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Indiana at Denver, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA: Chicago at New York, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Detroit at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Belmont at Morehead State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at URI, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona State at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Austin Peay at SIUE, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Rutgers, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: SMU at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Washington at California, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Portland, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UCLA at Colorado, 11 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Chargers organization is expected to announce as early as Thursday the team will move from San Diego to Los Angeles.

The Chargers notified NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league owners of their plans to move the team for the 2017 season but nothing is set in stone. The team’s chairman has not yet sent a formal relocation letter to the NFL nor notified members of the Chargers organization or public officials in San Diego or Los Angeles.

“At first, I hoped it was fake news,” said former Charger Dan Fouts. “It’s something that is unfathomable, but it is reality.”

The organization has reportedly scheduled a staff meeting for 11 a.m. on Thursday but the topic of the meeting is unknown.

Chargers players reacted on Twitter with a lot of emojis:

 

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Read More: San Diego Chargers, Tim Tebow,