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John Urschel remains math's No. 1 fan


John Urschel remains math's No. 1 fan

John Urschel continues to be math's most vocal cheerleader.

The Ravens offensive lineman -- who became the team's starting center this week -- just gave bulletin board material to every math department at every school in the country.

Urschel is considered the smartest man in the NFL and with good reason: He graduated from Penn State with a 4.0 grade-point average in mathematics, already has an advanced degree and has been published in academic journals. He tutors children in math, he tweets about his love of math, he writes for The Players Tribune as its "advanced stats columnist." He has given a talk about math at the National Security Agency.

And math's No. 1 fan is at it again, writing a compelling opinion article for Time this week titled: "Mathematicians are Just as Cool as Football Players."

Urschel contends that while sports coaches drive and push their students to be the best, for some reason math teachers don't always do that.

Urschel said he recognized even in high school that he had some athletic potential, but "it paled in comparison to my academic potential.

"And yet, while my football coaches told me I could be an offensive lineman in the Big Ten and that I could play professional football someday, not one of my math teachers told me I could major in math. No one told me I could become a professional mathematician. No one told me I could be John Von Neumann."

"I wish more teachers had the same fire and the same passion about their subjects as coaches do about sports, and the same desire to recognize and develop potential," he writes.

Urschel is the first to admit that, "Math is not for everyone. It takes a lot of talent and a lot more desire. In that way, it’s no different than football or any elite profession."

"Granted, football coaches have at least half their work done for them. Football is cool. It’s what children see when they turn on the television. It’s what they hear their fathers talk about," Urschel writes. "What they don’t realize is that math is cool, too. You would be shocked to know how many of my teammates over the years want to talk about mathematics with me.

"Being a mathematician—doing research on the orbits of planets and artificial intelligence, coming up with original solutions to unsolved problems, presenting a paper to the National Security Agency—is cool."

The whole column is worth a read.

It's yet another reason that Web site Deadspin once wrote in a headline: "John Urschel Loves Math More Than You Love Anything."

[RELATED: Urschel looking forward to first career start]


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

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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.


“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

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.