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World's most grueling bicycle race no match for visually impaired Redskins fan

World's most grueling bicycle race no match for visually impaired Redskins fan

Completing a cross-country road trip often rests atop — or near the top — of any adventurer's bucket list.

Completing a cross-country road trip on a tandem bicycle, however, is something only a select few set out to accomplish.

Meet Tina Ament, an Assistant U.S. Attorney and avid Redskins fan from Alexandria, Va. who is attempting to accomplish such feat.

Ament is also blind.

The visually impaired triathlete, who became a Redskins fan at a young age when her military family relocated to Northern Virginia during the Sonny Jurgensen era, has dealt with the adversity since birth, using cycling as a way to reach new heights and spread awareness.

The Alexandria resident is one of four representing Team Sea to See, which is chasing down history as the first blind-stoker team to ever compete in Race Across America's 37-year history.

For those unfamiliar with the race, it is arguably the most grueling cycle race on the planet.

A race that begins in Oceanside, Calif. and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Md. spans over 3,000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet and crosses through 12 states. The total distance is 30 percent longer than that of the Tour de France.

The Sea to See team for Race Across America is made up of four, tandem, blind-stoker cycling duos. Pilots guide these two-seaters (pictured below) from the front while blind stokers do the heavy lifting and pedaling from behind. Ament's guide is 38-year-old civil attorney Pamela Ferguson.

The two have been competing together since 2015. 

You may be wondering what Ament's motive is. 

Last month during a podcast recording for NBC Sports Washington, Ament was quick to explain that more than 70 percent of blind Americans are unemployed. 

"All it really takes is for employers, or for anybody out here, to not look at us and see a blind person. But look at us and see a lawyer. Look at us and see a Redskins fan. Look at us and see a capable person who is capable of doing amazing things and all we really need is a shot," she went on to say. 

As the team makes its way through Kansas, weather conditions are as difficult as ever.

Early Wednesday morning, a chunk of hail broke one of the team's RV windows. 

The 29 teams competing have nine days to complete the journey. 

Per Team Sea to Sea's Facebook page, the group has reached the halfway point, as of Wednesday, June 20.

Use Race Across America's Live Tracker to follow along over the course of the next week.  

Photos courtesy of: Tina Ament, Team Sea to See

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Robert Griffin III and Redskins' Nick Sundberg debate opposing sides of proposed CBA

Robert Griffin III and Redskins' Nick Sundberg debate opposing sides of proposed CBA

Before we get into the lengthy debate between Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III and Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg regarding the newly proposed NFL CBA, let's get all the facts straight. 

First the what. The new CBA, expected to begin in 2021, calls for a 17-game regular season, a higher percentage of the league's revenue going to the players, a shortened preseason, upgraded pensions for retired players and more roster spots, among other amendments. 

The players' share of the revenue would increase to 48% and could grow to 48.5%, resulting in approximately $5 billion more money per year going to the players instead of the owners.

Some players want more, some aren't interested in continuing negotiations and risking a lockout. When the NFLPA voted to send the proposed CBA to the full player membership, it sparked plenty of debate online between players. Especially between two former teammates in Griffin and Sundberg. 

Griffin was on the side of holding out for more money coming to the players. That the players and owners split the revenue down the middle.

Sundberg, on the other hand, would rather get a small victory now than risk a catastrophic situation for the players. 

Griffin then went on to argue how players shouldn't negotiate with a mindset of fearing the worst. 

"You can’t negotiate a CBA from a position of fear," Griffin wrote. "That’s our union's job to ensure that we are properly [equipped] to endure a work stoppage. Your position is, 'Well it’s the best offer we got so we should accept it.' This is a time to flip the script and get more of what we work for."

"That’s a super easy thing to say. 'Just get more.' But at what cost?" Sundberg replied. "Two years of a strike? We’d lose over 13 billion in player money in that time. Say we get to 50/50 after that. It’ll take 20+ years to recoup those lost funds. And guys careers will end because of that action."

The new CBA is a complicated issue in the league. Players believe they deserve more money, but owners have a lot of power in negotiations. Sundberg and Griffin both have valid points, and they discussed the issue in far more tweets than what's shown here. 

Players will have to consider both sides and all the consequences that could come with holding out for what they deserve. There isn't a set date for the player membership vote, though the NFLPA passing the deal is a decent barometer for what conclusion the players will come to. 

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Ron Rivera identifies two lesser-known names that'll make a big difference for the Redskins

Ron Rivera identifies two lesser-known names that'll make a big difference for the Redskins

Are you a Redskins fan who's feeling totally refreshed now that the franchise is heading in a new direction?

If so, then you're absolutely aware of the names Ron Rivera, Kyle Smith, Jack Del Rio and Scott Turner. They are, respectively, Washington's new head coach, new leader of the front office, new defensive coordinator and new offensive coordinator.

There are others worth knowing, though, like Ryan Vermillion and Rob Rogers.

Those names may sound familiar — they're the team's new Head Athletic Trainer and Senior VP of Football Administration — or they may not. Regardless of whether you knew them already, you must know that Ron Rivera believes the two ex-Panthers employees will really contribute with the Redskins.

"You want to put people around you that are familiar with what you want and how you want it done, and these are guys that were with me from the beginning," Rivera told reporters at the Combine on Wednesday. "So they have an understanding of what we want. So we're going to go out and try and implement that."

Both Vermillion and Rogers were in Carolina for the entirety of Rivera's time there, and now, they'll start fresh with him as he tries to reorient the Burgundy and Gold. Some have been skeptical of Rivera bringing so many former members of the Panthers with him to his new job, but he's obviously viewing that as a pro, not a con.

"One of the things that I talked about was trying to develop a sustainable winning culture," Rivera said of his comments after taking over the Redskins. "We had a little bit of that going for a while in Carolina. We had a good five-year stretch. Unfortunately, through attrition, we weren't able to continue that. But that's the starting point."

For most NFL organizations, the changing of trainers would merely mean a new placard next to a door at the facility and not much else to those outside of the team. In Washington, however, it's crucial news.

Redskins supporters are basically scarred from the last few seasons of constant injury problems, and last season, they saw Trent Williams hold out largely because he didn't want to deal with those who botched a cancer diagnosis that put his life in jeopardy. Hopefully, those days are done.

"One of the things that we had to do, that we wanted to do, was redevelop the trust in the training room," Rivera said. "I couldn't think of a better person than Ryan Vermillion. I really, truly couldn't. I'm going into my 34th year in the league and I've been around a lot of good trainers. He really makes me believe that he is one of the best ones because of the way he works."

Redskins supporters were also very fond of Eric Schaffer, a longtime employee of Dan Snyder who was renowned for his contract negotiations and salary cap management. Therefore, when news broke that Schaffer wouldn't be a part of Rivera's plan going forward, there was angst.

Yet according to Rivera, there's nothing to stress about when it comes to those dealings.

"Rob Rogers is a guy that, after having hired him, it's been real interesting to hear some of the agents and some of the league personnel tell me, 'Boy, you've got a really good guy in Rob,'" he said. "He's a guy that I know of and know who he is, so I'm excited about having him as part of it as well."

Starting Week 1 of 2020, it'll be Redskins players who'll obviously be most responsible for whether this new era goes successfully or not.

That said, people like Vermillion and Rogers will matter leading up to and past that point, too. Their new ideas and voices won't show up in highlights on Sundays, but they'll absolutely make a difference in their own right.

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