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O.J. Brigance to pay tribute to Lou Gehrig's farewell speech

O.J. Brigance to pay tribute to Lou Gehrig's farewell speech

Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance will take part in the first-pitch ceremony for the Class A Aberdeen IronBirds on Monday in a tribute to Lou Gehrig on the anniversary of his famous farewell speech.

Brigance suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive neurological disease that affects nerve cells. Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease in June of 1939 and retired soon after, proclaiming himself "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth" on July 4, 1939.

Brigance played football in both the CFL and NFL and is the only player to win a championship in both leagues for the same city (Baltimore Stallions in 1995 and the Baltimore Ravens in 2001). He now works in the Ravens' front office.

After getting diagnosed with ALS in 2007, Brigance and his wife, Chanda, founded the Brigance Brigade Foundation to support people living with ALS.

"Lou Gehrig's words still echo loudly the courage, humility and tenacity that he displayed on the baseball field, as well as in his fight against ALS," Brigance said, via the AP. "His ability to stand unflappable in the face of his toughest opponent ever serves as an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many others in the ALS community. I, too, am one of the most blessed men on the earth."

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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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