Peyton Manning among sports icons to pay respects to President George H.W. Bush

Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning was among several notable figures to pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush during his memorial services this week. 

Manning was joined by golfer Phil Mickelson, Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and retired golfer Hale Irwin at Bush’s casket as it laid in state inside the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday. Also in attendance were golf legend Jack Nicklaus and sportscaster Jim Nantz. 

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Tom Brady jokes about retirement after rushing milestone: ‘Time to ride off into the sunset’

During Sunday’s 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reached a milestone he’s been working towards for nearly two decades — 1,000 total rushing yards. 

As is tradition with Brady, he took to Instagram after the victory to celebrate. 

“The only reason I’ve been playing 19 years is to get to that 1,000 yards,” he said in a clip posted to his account Monday afternoon. 

And then, as he climbed into his car, Brady uttered the words that will send chills down the spines of Patriots fans everywhere: “That’s it. I’m out. Time to ride off into the sunset.”

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Parkland shooting prompted NBA star Kevin Love to open up about mental health

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love has been an NBA All-Star five times, but his most recent selection to the coveted roster came during what he calls the worst year of his life. 

This past winter, Love was struggling. A fractured hand kept him off the court for several weeks as questions abounded regarding his trustworthiness as a teammate and ability to play in the league. He shut out the media and shared very little about himself outside the game of basketball. He hated going out in public. 

Despite his injury preventing him from playing, Love still made the trek to Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend festivities in mid-February — and that’s when he heard the news of the deadliest high school shooting in United States history.

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, then 19, opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 students and staff members. Two days later, All-Star Weekend began. 

“I’m getting put into my clothes for the event that day and Parkland, Florida, was on the TV,” he told AOL.com. “I’m like, ‘Wow, what is that kid going through?'”

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Kevin Love opens up about the days following his 2017 panic attack

It was apparent from the beginning that Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love was something special on the court — but now, his work off the court is garnering just as much attention.

The former UCLA Bruin has racked up numerous accolades over a decade in the NBA, including five All-Star selections and a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. Still only 30 years old, Love has accomplished feats most people can only dream about.

Many NBA players relish the fame that accompanies such a decorated career in professional sports — but Kevin Love wasn’t always comfortable in the spotlight.

“People look at you like you’re a star or a celebrity or larger than life, but I always just wanted to be a guy,” he told AOL.com. “I didn’t like to go out in public because in some way, I felt like I was under a microscope or doing something wrong.”

That social anxiety turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg. On November 5, 2017, Love was thrust into the national spotlight after abruptly leaving a game against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter. Initial reports began to circulate about the “unspecified illness” that briefly landed him in a Cleveland hospital. It wasn’t until four months later that Love revealed the true reason behind his mysterious exit — a panic attack.

“It was like my body was trying to say to me, ‘You’re about to die,'” he explained in an essay for The Players’ Tribune in March. “I ended up on the floor in the training room, lying on my back, trying to get enough air to breathe.”

Unfortunately, that initial diagnosis may have created more questions than it did answers.

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Red Sox pitcher confirms White House visit: ‘Hell yeah, I f*** with Trump’

It appears that at least one Boston Red Sox player has committed to visiting the White House after the team’s World Series championship.

Relief pitcher Heath Hembree, who posted a 0.00 ERA in 4 postseason appearances for Boston this year, emphatically confirmed that he wants to attend the traditional ceremony at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Hembree was approached by TMZ Sports while exiting a nightclub in Los Angeles after the Red Sox won the decisive Game 5 on Sunday night. When asked if he would attend a potential trip to the White House, the pitcher said, “Hell yeah, I f*** with Trump.”

When asked what he liked about President Trump, Hembree simply replied, “Everything.”

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‘Religious’ Buffalo Bills fan trolls team, requests players as pall bearers in obituary

Lee C. Merkel, of Raleigh, North Carolina, devoted his life to the Buffalo Bills — and couldn’t resist taking one last swipe at them, even in death.

Merkel, who passed away on Oct. 7 at the age of 83, requested six Bills players attend his funeral to serve as pall bearers “so they can let him down one last time.”

According to Merkel’s son, Mark, his father was inspired by a Cleveland Browns fan who once added a similar line to his own obituary.

Merkel, who was born in upstate New York, was described as having a “religious-like devotion” to the Bills as well as the Syracuse Orange. His obituary calls him an “avid fisherman” and “sports enthusiast.”

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Veteran and former NFL player Nate Boyer says media, fans are missing the point of player protests

In August of 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a stand by taking a seat.

Kaepernick chose to remain seated on the bench during the playing of the national anthem prior to his team’s final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. He later explained that his actions were done in protest of police brutality and social injustices people of color face in the United States. It wasn’t the first time Kaepernick had made the move, but this time, people noticed.

Nate Boyer, a U.S. Army veteran and former NFL long snapper, was one of those people.

Boyer, a Green Beret, was moved to write an open letter to Kaepernick about his feelings on the protest. The letter made its way to the quarterback, who then reached out to Boyer to talk. The ensuing discussion between the two prompted Kaepernick to kneel, rather than sit, the next time he protested — and the next time, and the next time.

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NFL’s first male cheerleaders to make debut during preseason games

Three historic rookies will step out onto the field during NFL preseason action this Thursday, but they won’t be donning helmets or pads.

For the first time in league history, two teams — the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams — will feature male cheerleaders on the sidelines during games.

While several other NFL teams employ male stuntmen, the men on the Rams and Saints’ squads will perform the same dance moves as their female counterparts.

“Still can’t [believe] I’m one of the first males in history to be a pro NFL cheerleader!” Napoleon Jinnies tweeted after he made the Rams squad.

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Poll: Red Sox ace Chris Sale is front-runner to win the American League Cy Young Award

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has never won the Cy Young Award, but midseason polling shows that 2018 may finally be his year.

In a poll of MLB.com’s Baseball Writers’ Association of America members, who ultimately vote on the coveted award at the end of the season, Sale is far and away the favorite to win the American League Cy Young. He finished in second place last year behind Corey Kluber and has been in the top six vote-getters in each of the past six seasons.

Sale, who started Tuesday’s All-Star Game for the American League, currently leads the AL in earned run average and leads all of MLB in strikeouts.

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Martellus Bennett facing backlash after playing with Patriots days after being cut by Packers

New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was the subject of severe backlash this weekend as questions continue to swirl around his reported shoulder injury.

Bennett, who played with the Patriots last season and was a part of their historic Super Bowl LI win, signed with the Green Bay Packers over the offseason. He started in seven games through the first nine weeks for Green Bay, but the team ultimately cut him on November 8, citing a failure to disclose a medical condition.

The tight end had previously revealed that he was considering retirement and surgery on his injured shoulder. However, those options seemed to be swept off the table when Bill Belichick and the Patriots came calling late last week.

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