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John Urschel remains math's No. 1 fan

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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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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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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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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