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ESPN's Paolantonio: Refs have lost control

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ESPN's Paolantonio: Refs have lost control

There's anage-old adage, taught from the time kids first begin lacing up cleats, that youdon't blame refs for a loss. There are always plays that could have been made,should have been made, weren't made, that dictate the outcome of a game as muchas any official does. Ravens coach JohnHarbaugh as well as Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco didn't go so far as to blame theofficials for the loss, but they were vocal in their displeasure of the crewthat officiated the Ravens' 24-23 loss in Philadelphia. Coming after aone-point loss, much of that is being viewed as sour grapes.The BaltimoreSun's Mike Preston writes, "Here is some advice for the Ravens:Instead of pointing fingers at the officials, point some at yourselves. TheRavens need to make more plays and fewer comments. In other words, pipedown." ESPN's SalPaolantonio, though, has a different take. "I've hearda lot of criticism of John Harbaugh and Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco for chirpingabout the refs after the game, but I would beg to differ," he said in aninterview with WNST. "I think they were well within their rights to goeven further."To Paolantonio,the issue isn't so much whether the replacement officials blew a call here orthere -- and he says the offensive pass interference call on an apparenttouchdown pass to Jacoby Jones was "egregiously bad" -- but that theyare losing control of the game.Paolantonio saidHarbaugh was exactly right when he described the game as "chaotic." "This is theNational Football League. You don't want chaos," Paolantonio said."You want the game under control."Paolantoniolikened the replacement referees to substitute teachers; students are morelikely to push the envelope with a sub than they are with a regular teacher. "You sit inthe back of the room, you talk, you horse around, you might get away withsomething," Paolantonio said. "That's exactly what's going on.""When DeSeanJackson swung at Cary Williams," he added, "I thought for sure the referee, (Robert)Frazier, was going to throw DeSean Jackson out of the game. He should havethrown DeSean Jackson out of the game."Paolantonio saidthe chippy play, which occurred at games around the league, is likely toescalate if the officials don't put a stop to it. "They shouldstart throwing guys out," he said, "to get a hold of the situation.They got to start making examples of players.""It got outof hand (Sunday). A perfectly good football game. A very competitive game wasmarred by some bad officiating."

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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