By Tom E. Curran
It's been a bleak offseason for the Miami Dolphins. Spurned and lampooned, the once-proud franchise is fighting for a toehold on the sheer face of Relevancy Mountain.
(What the hell does that mean?)
And what better way to create buzz than reality TV? The Dolphins will take the plunge.
This marks the first time that the series has featured a first-year head coach (Joe Philbin) and we are extremely grateful to both Coach Philbin and the entire organization for agreeing to participate. As always, there will be plenty on the line for veterans, free agents and rookies," HBO president Ken Hershman said in a statement. Said NFL Films president Steve Sabol, On the 40th anniversary of the greatest season in NFL history--Don Shulas perfect 72 Dolphins-- it is perfectly fitting that Hard Knocks is heading to Miami to capture the start of a new era for one of the leagues proudest teams, says NFL Films president Steve Sabol. After Hard Knocks hiatus last summer, I know our team at NFL Films cant wait to get back on the field.Featuring the Dolphins and - more specifically - Philbin (a Springfield native who went to Worcester Academy) means a delicate storyline will be in play. Philbin's son Michael died last January will Philbin was the Packers' offensive coordinator. Philbin has five other children and the family's move from Green Bay to Miami in the wake of such an incredible tragedy is something I've wondered about.
Knowing Sabol and the excellence of the Hard Knocks series, there's little doubt it will be well-presented with insight and respect.
0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.
6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.
10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.
15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be.
PHILADELPHIA - Chris Long is donating the rest of his year's salary to increase educational equality.
The Philadelphia Eagles' defensive end already gave up his first six game checks to provide two scholarships for students in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now, he's using the next 10 to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.
"My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality," Long told The Associated Press. "I think we can all agree that equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country."
Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million guaranteed. His base salary in 2017 is $1 million.
The charitable initiative encourages people to make donations to improve equal education opportunities. Long began his career in St. Louis in 2008 and played for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last season. Long's foundation has selected four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character.
The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.
"There's a lot of opportunities to help out and they're wonderful organizations," Long said. "We have such a great platform as football players and hopefully fans get behind it."
Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in high school at St. Anne's-Belfield before going to the University of Virginia. He was moved to start the scholarship program following the violent protests in Charlottesville in August.
"Our hometown is a wonderful place and I feel like people got the wrong idea about what the residents of Charlottesville are all about," he said.