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Fourth of July special to Brigance in ALS battle

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Fourth of July special to Brigance in ALS battle

Fourth of July weekend has special significance to O. J. Brigance, the Ravens senior advisor to player development.

Brigance has courageously battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, since being diagnosed in 2007. Exactly 76 years ago, on July 4, 1939, Gehrig made his famous speech at Yankee Stadium, calling himself, “the luckiest man on the face of the earth”, despite suffering from the disease that would bear his name, end his career, and take his life.

Brigance has inspired countless people, just like Gehrig. No longer able to walk or speak, Brigance remains a daily presence at Ravens’ headquarters, determined to work, to help, to live.

He and his wife Chanda have become pillars in the Baltimore community, raising money and awareness for ALS treatement and research. Visit Brigance’s website http://www.brigancebrigade.org/ to help Brigance in his fight.

Brigance communicates with a DynaVox computer, which has eye-recognition software that chooses a letter when he blinks at it. I emailed Brigance a few questions for the Fourth of July. His answers, via email, are below.

Q: You are an inspiration to many people. How much does that inspire you in your battle with ALS?

A: Knowing that people are encouraged by my battle against ALS serves as a reminder to me that good can come from a bad situation. Would I have chosen to have ALS? Of course not! But it has allowed me to use my platform to bring encouragement to some and a different perspective about dealing with adversity. I am thankful to be able to impact lives for the better. That is something I am extremely proud of.

Q: How much do you think ALS research and awareness has increased since you were diagnosed?

A: I believe awareness about ALS has increased exponentially thanks to phenomenon like the Ice Bucket Challenge and shows like Empire and movies like The Theory of Everything. On the research front, it seems as though there are many ground-breaking studies, but no concrete science to expedite the finding of a cure. My hope is that a breakthrough will be found very soon!

Q: It's impressive to see you at the Ravens' facility on a daily basis. Is there ever a day when you don't feel like going to work, and if so, how do you overcome that?

A: There isn’t a single day that I am not excited to go to the facility. The Ravens have graciously allowed me to have a role in the organization and I am thankful for the opportunity. When you get to do what you are passionate about, there is no burden. Being around my Ravens family is better than any medicine a doctor could subscribe.

Q: Lou Gehrig called himself "lucky". In what ways do you consider yourself "lucky"?

A: I wouldn’t consider myself “lucky”,  but very blessed. I have had the opportunity to achieve every goal I have dreamed of up to this point. God still allows me to open my eyes each morning to continue to pursue my purpose in helping others. He has granted me the divine perspective to see what gifts He has given me instead of what has been taken away. This is the greatest season of my life in regards to impacting the world for the better! I would like to experience one more goal though, to walk and talk again. And I will!

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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