DO NOT STRIKE, DRIVERS TOLD: Iloilo city, prov’l governments to offer free rides

first_imgEighteen city government vehicleswould be mobilized. PSTMO chief Jeck Conlu said these would be stationed inpublic plazas for the easy access of commuters beginning at 6 a.m. The PSTMO would also be seeking thehelp of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, PhilippineArmy, and Philippine Coast Guard which all have transportation assets. “Dakuna ang gasto sang coop. Indi namon pag i-sakripisyo,” saidRaymundo Parcon, chairman of WVTC. “So nag-decisionkami indi na lang mag upod sa untatbyahe.” “Sa umpisa medyo bug-at,” said Alido. But he expressed confidence that OTC would help theircooperative. “Seguroindi man kita pagpabay-an kon nagakalugi kita.” ILOILO City – The Western VisayasTransport Cooperative (WVTC) is not joining Monday’s nationwide transportstrike against the phase out of old jeepneys. It has received a warning fromthe Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) that its registration could berevoked. FREERIDES The EmergencyResponders of Iloilo (EROI) will also be on standby to man the terminals. The government’s move to modernizePhilippine public transport aims to minimize air pollution and improve publictransport safety. Instead of staying off the streets,said Parcon, WVTC would just send a petition letter to the Office of thePresident, Congress, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board(LTFTB), and DOTr expressing opposition to the outright phase out of oldjeepneys by July 2020. But it will bebusiness as usual at the provincial capitol.  There will be a regular flagceremony on Monday. One of the bigger groupsunder ICAODC is the CityLoop Integrated Alliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association(CLIAJODA). Its president Rizalito Alido said they are supportive of thegovernment’s transport modernization program. Modern jeepneys are required to have,among others, Euro 4 engines that meet the European Union emission standards onharmful chemicals (such as toxic sulfur, benzene and carbon dioxide, etc.),Global Positioning System, automatic fare collection system, dashboard camera,speed limiter, and closed-circuit television camera. So as not to inconvenience strandedcommuters on Monday, Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry Treñas ordered the Public Safetyand Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) to help transport people. The Iloiloprovincial government will offer free rides, too. Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. saidthe free transport service will not only be limited to provincial capitolemployees. Personnel ofthe Provincial Health Office and the 13 province-run hospitals will also be onstandby./PNcenter_img According to Conlu, his office wouldalso be asking the LTFRB to allow buses to enter the city. WVTC was formed two years ago so thatmembers could comply with the transport modernization program of thegovernment. It is registered with the OTC, the government agency mandated topromulgate and implement rules and regulations that govern the promotion,organization, regulation, supervision, registration through accreditation and developmentof transportation cooperatives subject to the approval of the Department ofTransportation (DOTr). “We will alsocater to regular passengers,” he said during the coordination meeting withconcerned department heads and national government agencies yesterday. Meanwhile, theAssociation of Taxi Operators in Panay (ATOP) clarified members will not stopoperating on Monday. The Iloilo CityAssociation of Operators and Drivers Cooperative (ICAODC), too, is not joining Monday’s transport holiday, itannounced yesterday. Among others, Parcon said, they wouldask that instead of requiring operators to purchase modern jeepneys, just allowthe rehabilitation of old units (buy new engine if the body is stillserviceable), and extend the transition period by three more years. Under WVTC are some 2,000 jeepneyunits affiliated with the Iloilo City Loop Alliance of Jeepney Operators andDrivers Association (ICLAJODA) and transport groups from the municipalities ofDumangas and Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo province, and from the provinces ofAntique and Guimaras. The governorreviewed their contingency measures and checked on how they can assist theprovince in minimizing the effect of the strike. Parcon admitted that WVTC was part ofseveral local transport groups that agreed to join the nationwide transportstrike on Sept. 30. They support thetransport strike but will only be staging a caravan from the Mohon Terminal inMandurriao district towards LTFRB Region 6 office in Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jarodistrict in the morning of Sept. 30, stressed ATOP president Perfecto Yap. Alido is also the secretary general of ICAODC. In a previous interview, he said, “Waay namanta mahimo. We have to modernize kay ang tanan naga-modernize na gid manto serve the commuting public.” Employees whowill report late may not use the bundy clock to log in. Others who will beabsent can maximize their leave credits. For theprovincial government, 24 light vehicles and 7 trucks will be stationed in citytransport terminals (barangays Ungka and Tagbak in Jaro, and Barangay Mohon inMandurriao) in the morning to pick up provincial passengers. last_img read more

Japan trade minister resigns amid scandal

first_imgPrime MinisterShinzo Abe said he had accepted Sugawara’s resignation on Friday. Abe and SouthKorean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon met on Thursday and agreed on the importanceof cooperating on North Korea and other issues, seeking to rebuild relationsamid the feud over history and trade.(Reuters) Economy, Trade and Industry minister Isshu Sugawara attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan on Sept. 11. REUTERS/ISSEI KATO Sugawara hadbeen under pressure after media said he had given gifts to voters in his Tokyoconstituency, such as expensive melons and crabs, in possible violations of thecampaign law. TOKYO –Japanese Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara resigned, following accusations ofelection law violations just a month after taking up the key post charged withhandling a trade dispute with neighboring South Korea.last_img read more

12-year-old charged with DWI after drunken joy-ride leads to police chase

first_imgA 12-year-old New Mexico girl was arrested on DWI charges after she took three of her siblings on a drunken joy ride, according to police.Police say the pre-teen fled when they tried to pull her over last week and that the pursuit ended when she lost control of the vehicle and hit a sign.Authorities say all four of the children appeared to be intoxicated.No injuries were reported.According to reports, the young driver has been referred to juvenile services on charges of reckless driving and DWI.No other information is available.last_img read more

COMMENTARY: Class B wrestling championships an event to behold

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at Every two weeks, Mike Mandell gives his thoughts on the sports scene in Ellsworth, Hancock County and beyond.Some events are worthy of stories. Others can be explained better through columns. The Class B wrestling championships in Bucksport deserve both.Most wrestling events are long, and it’s rare to have one shorter than six hours. Even if you’re not a wrestler, you’re probably going to be tired at the end of the day. When a school is in charge of bringing together teams from nearly 30 cities and towns from all over the state, coordinating with businesses to feed and house 112 wrestlers and their families and making sure the gym is in order, dozens of people have to put in exhausting work for hours on end. A lot can go wrong.In Bucksport, nothing seemed to. In every way, the Golden Bucks were terrific hosts to wrestlers, coaches, fans, referees, media members and everyone else who packed Ralph Jewett Gymnasium. From the moment the teams got off their respective buses until the award ceremony at the end, the event went off without a hitch. Bucksport head coach Dan Ormsby said the high school and the town wanted to prove they could host a big-time tournament, and they succeeded.Also on display Saturday was remarkable sportsmanship from everyone involved. Questionable refereeing decisions happen all the time in sports, and this time was no different. On a day when referees officiated more than 150 matches, there were going to be some bad calls along the way. With so much at stake, athletes and coaches can get emotional over those decisions from time to time. After all, we’re all human.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThink about how hard refereeing is. Thousands of people are watching your decisions, and they always seem to point out the one instance in which you make a mistake instead of the hundreds of times you don’t. Sure, there were a few shouts of “Come on!” and “Bad call!” at times, but that was about it. Even when the outcome wasn’t as hoped, athletes, coaches and fans showed utmost class and respect.The sport of wrestling is one that doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. In its purest form, the sport draws you as close to the action as you can get. Shouts from the coaches and fans draw you to that action in ways you can’t truly understand unless you’re in attendance, and that was particularly true with championships on the line in Bucksport.A wrestling match isn’t over until it’s really over. That’s an overused cliché in every sport, but it couldn’t be truer than it is in this one. Even if a wrestler leads 10-0 in the final period, one momentary lapse can lead to him or her being pinned. With seasons in the balance Saturday, that happened multiple times.It’s somewhat rare for a tournament to proceed with the efficiency it did at Bucksport High School. It’s even rarer to have the quality of competition and the sporting environment be as awe-inspiring as it was in that gymnasium. The 2016-17 high school wrestling season hasn’t concluded yet — there’s still the All-State championships and New England regional championships to be held in the coming weeks — but when it does, the countdown until next season won’t start soon enough. Latest Posts Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUNDATED (AP) — NASCAR is back, but without fans, flyovers or other frills. Darlington Raceway has opened its 70-year-old gates to let engines roar again and revenue start to flow again.NASCAR’s return began Sunday morning as teams filed into the South Carolina track at designated arrival times. A checkpoint at the gate allowed pre-approved personnel into the infield after a health screening. There is no exiting once inside NASCAR’s designated footprint, all part of a meticulously planned health protocol.NASCAR chose Darlington, the oldest speedway on the Cup circuit, as the safest place to restart the season after eight events were postponed and the series sat idle for 10 weeks. Facing a financial collapse if live races didn’t get going on national television, NASCAR had its health plan approved in South Carolina and North Carolina and released an aggressive revised schedule.Sunday marks the first of 20 races across seven Southern states between now and June 21. All eyes will be on NASCAR and its protocols — representatives from IndyCar and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, among others — were expected to observe the screening process Sunday.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic: — Live golf returns to television Sunday with a four-man charity Skins game at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, to benefit coronavirus relief. There won’t be any caddies, so Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff will be carrying their own bags. The only rake will be carried by a rules official. Another rules official will be the only person to handle the flagstick, if necessary. It will be the first live action on TV since the opening round of The Players Championship on March 12.— In a return to official live tournament golf after the coronavirus pandemic, Park Hyun-kung shot a final-round 67 Sunday to win the Korean Ladies Professional Golf tournament by one stroke. Park had a four-round total of 17-under 271 on the Lakewood Country Club course. Bae Seon-woo and Lim Hee-jeong, who led by three strokes after the third round, were tied for second. The tournament was played without fans and with players using hand sanitizers and following social-distancing rules. Caddies wore masks but players were allowed to play without them.— German soccer champion Bayern Munich beat Union Berlin 2-0 in its first game in more than two months as the German soccer league’s restart continues. Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty and Benjamin Pavard with a header as Bayern remained unbeaten in 2020. Bayern restored a four-point lead over second-place Borussia Dortmund, which beat Schalke 4-0 on Saturday. All games are being played without fans.— All Spanish league clubs can begin group training sessions this week despite stricter lockdown restrictions remaining in place in parts of Spain because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona have not been allowed to loosen confinement measures like most of the country, but teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have been given the go-ahead to move into the second phase of training. The league has told clubs that on Monday all players can start small group sessions regardless of the lockdown phase in their regions. Players had only been allowed to train individually across Spain until now.— Russia has relaxed border restrictions for athletes and coaches in a move that will help soccer to restart in the country next month. Since March, Russia has barred most foreign arrivals in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Now the government says athletes and coaches will be allowed in if they have a contract with a Russian sports team or organization. They will have to spend 14 days in isolation on arrival and will be observed by doctors. — Former Washington Redskins star Dexter Manley is hospitalized and receiving oxygen to treat breathing issues related to the coronavirus. Two of his children told The Washington Post the 61-year-old Manley was hospitalized Friday in the Washington area. Daughter Dalis Manley said the former defensive end tested positive for the coronavirus May 2 and has steadily run a temperature between 101 and 104 degrees. Manley helped Washington win two Super Bowl titles in nine seasons with the team.— The 145th Preakness Stakes has been rescheduled for Oct. 3. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan disclosed the new date for the Preakness on NBC, which also had a hand in the decision because it televises the race. Saturday’s announcement was delivered less than hour before the original post time for the Triple Crown race.VIRUS OUTBREAK-MLBNew MLB rules: shower at home, don’t spitUNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball has created a 67-page draft of its proposed 2020 Operations Manual, which has been obtained by The Associated Press. It was first reported by The Athletic. HOUSTON (AP) — Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver has been arrested in the Houston area and charged with driving drunk and illegally carrying a gun.Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies pulled Oliver over Saturday night after receiving reports of someone driving recklessly in a construction area north of the city, local media outlets reported, citing jail and police records and statements from sheriff’s officials. The deputies found an open beer and a pistol in Oliver’s truck, according to sheriff’s officials.Oliver is from Houston, where he also played his college career. He was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2019 draft. Montgomery County records did not list Oliver as being in the jail Sunday morning.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 May 17, 2020 Among the routine changes include players possibly arriving in uniform and being discouraged to take showers at ballparks. Team personnel will be banned from eating at restaurants on road trips, and mascots like the Phillie Phanatic and Mr. Met would be prohibited from the ballparks. The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps, bat boys and bat girls.Spitting is prohibited along with water jugs and the use of saunas, steam rooms, pools and cryotherapy chambers. Hitting in indoor cages is discouraged, batting gloves encouraged.Batting practice pitchers are to wear masks, dugout telephones disinfected after each use. Players may not touch their face to give signs, and they’re not allowed to lick their fingers. Teams are encouraged to hold meetings outdoors, players spread apart.Teams will be allowed to have 50 players each under the plan, with the number active for each game still be negotiated.Meanwhile, Major League owners have made their pitch as they try to persuade players to accept less pay due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB has told players their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season in empty ballparks. That’s according to a presentation from the commissioner’s office to the union that was obtained by The Associated Press.center_img Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNASCAR roaring back during pandemicEds: Race begins at 3 p.m. EDT The 12-page document was dated May 12 and paints a grim picture of a $10 billion industry shuttered by the pandemic. It was an initial step in negotiations aimed at starting the delayed season around the Fourth of July.Teams say the proposed method of salvaging a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic would still cause a $4 billion loss and would give major league players 89% of revenue. Teams contend they lose more money with each additional game played, while the players’ union believes clubs would lose less money with more games.Owners voted Monday to propose salaries be based on a 50-50 split of revenue, a framework players say is tantamount to the kind of salary cap they’ll never accept. Teams gave the players’ association their virus-testing plan Friday and have waited to make their economic proposal.NFL-BILLS PLAYER ARRESTEDBuffalo Bills player charged with drunken driving in Texas Update on the latest sportslast_img read more

Wisconsin’s fall from No. 1 sparks concern

first_imgAfter a few marquee wins over opponents like Pittsburgh and Marquette, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s chance at a Final Four run — maybe even a successful one — looked about as good as Iverson and ‘Melo on the same team sounded. However, after Sunday’s game against Ohio State and a recent and revealing Big Ten away schedule, the Badgers’ chances at a successful Final Four run look about as good as Scottie Pippen’s chances of making a successful comeback.Like the ‘Melo and Iverson tandem, the season has turned sour of late. With three losses in the past month, UW has learned it has some rather pressing issues to address.I’m not referring to the issue of Marcus Landry’s inelegant goggles; I’m referring to the Badgers’ lack of legitimate, consistent scoring threats outside of Alando Tucker. I’m referring to the team’s inability to perform with the largest target you can have on your back in college basketball: a No. 1 ranking. And I’m referring to Brian Butch. May God bless and heal him quickly. In time for the Big Ten tournament, please.The Badgers have increasingly looked to their bench as the scoring of Tucker’s usual supporting cast of Taylor (boy, have I got some things to say about him) and Butch has waned over the season. With impressive performances from my boy Landry, who dunked on me once, Greg Stiemsma and freshman sensation Jason Bohannon, UW’s bench has been outplaying and outscoring its opponents’ benches, and on occasion, the Wisconsin starters. Unfortunately, the blessing that is the Badger bench is mitigated by the fact that, on any given night, it’s difficult to know if any bench player will be stepping up.Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that Landry can take opponents completely by surprise and drop 18 in one game, or that J-Bo can surprise opponents with prolific shooting. However, the Badgers would benefit from a steady hand that consistently provides them with a second scoring threat. No one — Bohannon, Stiemsma or Landry — has been able to be that guy on a game-to-game basis.Moments of genius from Wisconsin’s top backups have kept the Badgers plenty excited, but teams like Indiana and Michigan State have exploited the lack of consistent scoring from players like Taylor, and our dependence upon Tucker. Double teams and triple teams are now about as familiar to Tucker as the particulars of Anna Nicole Smith’s death, burial, or lack thereof, and love life are to those of us who mistakenly made our homepage in the hope of being informed about pertinent news.Michigan State and Indiana wisely absorbed the blows from our bench and shut down the biggest threat in Tucker using double and triple teams. The Spartans and Hoosiers were aware they had little to fear from the streaky Taylor or the inconsistent play of Butch and bench.What’s that you say, dear reader? Kammron Taylor is UW’s consistent second option? Do not speak to me of Kammron Taylor! I was his biggest fan once, partly because he was in a class of mine, and partly because I was impressed with his driving and shooting abilities. But Taylor’s shot has been inconsistent of late, and he spends entire stretches of games being a non-factor.Taylor’s penchant for not fouling opponents is impressive, but he needs to make his presence felt not by the absence of fouls, but by dropping a few more treys, or keeping defenders busy with his speed and penetration skills. Or hitting last second free throws and/or shots in big (read, Sunday’s) games. Wisconsin needs him to step up.And I need him to do well so I can win a longstanding bet with a friend.Even with the three losses in the last few weeks, the Badgers’ success this season, coupled with a number of recent lackluster performances by Florida, will earn them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While the No. 1 seed is much deserved, the Badgers now find themselves in a position that is a very different from the one when Taylor, Butch and Tucker combined for 73 points against a talented Pittsburgh squad. Struggling for consistent second options, fighting to provide opportunities for the talented Tucker, and bereft of the Polar Bear (sure, we cried for Landry to replace him, but you can’t deny that he’s a legitimate scoring threat and an impact player). Of the No. 1 seeds that will be playing in March, Wisconsin may now be the least prepared.If the Badgers don’t find a way to free up Tucker or score enough without him and replace Butch’s impact, the Badgers tournament experience, No. 1 seed or not, may end up like a Pacman Jones strip club visit. Disastrous.Gerald is a junior majoring in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies. If you’d like to talk about his disappointment with Taylor, or what it’s like being posterized by Landry, e-mail him at read more

Murphy’s pinch-hit HR lifts Rockies over Giants 6-4

first_img FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News Written By Daniel Murphy hit a two-run, pinch-homer during a five-run seventh inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Thursday.Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon also homered for the Rockies to spoil Tyler Anderson’s return to Coors Field.Anderson was Colorado’s opening day starter in 2019, but knee surgery in June ended his season after going 0-3 with an 11.76 ERA. The Giants picked him up off waivers in October, and Thursday was his second start in four games for them.In a battle with Rockies starter and fellow lefty Kyle Freeland, he threw five shutout innings, struck out three and gave up two hits, both singles.Story’s one-out home run off Wandy Peralta in the sixth gave Colorado a 1-0 lead, beginning a surge of runs. Mauricio Dubon hit a three-run homer off Freeland with two outs in the seventh to put the Giants ahead, but reliever Rico Garcia (0-1) couldn’t hold it.Two doubles and Murphy’s home run — his second — leading off the bottom half on the seventh put the Rockies back in front.David Dahl singled and Blackmon hit his second homer of the season into the second deck in right off of Caleb Baragar to give Colorado a three-run lead.Jairo Diaz got the last four outs for his third save in three chances, and Yency Almonte (1-0) allowed a run in an inning of relief.TRAINER’S ROOMGiants: Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Trevor Cahill (right index finger) will throw three innings in Sacramento on Friday. Cahill has not pitched for San Francisco this year.ROSTER MOVESTeams were required to trim their rosters from 30 to 28 on Thursday, and the Giants placed lefty Andrew Suarez and outfielder Steven Duggar on their taxi squads. Colorado optioned infielder Josh Fuentes and right-hander Ashton Goudeau to its alternative training site at Metro State University in Denver.UP NEXTGiants: Start a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Kapler has not announced a starter for the first game.Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-0, 2.45) will face LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 4.66) when Colorado opens a three-game series at the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.Image credits: AP Last Updated: 7th August, 2020 06:53 IST Murphy’s Pinch-hit HR Lifts Rockies Over Giants 6-4 Daniel Murphy hit a two-run, pinch-homer during a five-run seventh inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Thursdaycenter_img First Published: 7th August, 2020 06:53 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV COMMENTlast_img read more

Source: Dodgers returning Julio Urias to Triple-A

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error NEW YORK >> Julio Urias‘ first major league call-up was a brief one.The Dodgers will send the 19-year-old phenom back to Triple-A as early as Saturday, a source confirmed. The news was originally reported by Fanatics Network on Twitter.Urias lasted only 2 ⅔ innings against the New York Mets in a spot start Friday. He was spared the loss when the Dodgers staged a four-run rally to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning, only to lose on Curtis Granderson‘s solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Urias called it the best day of his life; you can relive it all here.No word yet on who the Dodgers recall to take Urias’ spot on the 25-man roster. They need relief pitchers badly after using five of their seven last night. Workhorse Clayton Kershaw is only scheduled to start once on their 7-game road trip, so the need figures to persist beyond today.last_img read more

Many questions still need to be answered as Steelers face the Ravens, Sept. 30 (Mike Pelaia’s Preview)

first_imgAs the Steelers boarded their flight from Tampa back to Pittsburgh on Monday night, Sept. 24, they were happy. Happy they sat at 1-1-1, with their first victory of the 2018 campaign. Happy their offense was able to come through at the end of a game that looked like it may slip away. And happy they didn’t have to go through another week of questions stating, “What’s wrong with the Steelers?”Yet as they left Tampa and began to prepare for the rival Baltimore Ravens in their upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup, Sept. 30, many questions do still loom.First, to me, is this defense any good at all? Sure, they made some plays, specifically in the first half of the Bucs game as they created four turnovers and kept Ryan Fitzpatrick in check. Yet, that same defense nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half as Fitzpatrick led a spirited comeback. The secondary, specifically Artie Burns and Coty Sensabaugh, looked confused and lack talent. I believe Joe Haden is still a solid corner but if he can’t get help on the other side, what good does it do?When this team plays the Ravens on Sunday, they won’t be allowed to get behind early, as they did in Tampa, or blow leads late, as they also did against the Bucs. The Ravens are good enough to make them pay. Joe Flacco has had success against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, and he will make the comeback Fitzpatrick couldn’t complete if this defense plays the way they have been.It’s not just the secondary; the linebackers aren’t getting the pass rush required to help the secondary out. TJ Watt hasn’t done much since week one, Bud Dupree is a guy who has talent but is unreliable at times and with all apologies to Vince Williams and Jon Bostic, there is no big-time playmaker on the inside.One way or the other, come Sunday night, these four, and their backups are going to have to get to Flacco. If he’s allowed time, Flacco will burn you. He’s got a big arm and as we now know three weeks in, the Steelers are susceptible to the big plays.Yet, it’s not always the defense that allows big plays through the air or on the ground. We’ve consistently seen penalties racked up in droves, with the team averaging over 12 per game.The second area of concern is discipline. Can this team stay disciplined for a game?The Black and Gold have 37 penalties through three games, nine more than any other team in the NFL. Undisciplined football is losing football.Those types of mistakes may not have cost them the game in Tampa, fortunately, but you better bet dollars to doughnuts it will against the Ravens. The Ravens aren’t exactly buttoned up themselves but they do average five less penalties per game, and in a game that often comes down to the last drive and is typically a three-point affair, providing free yards cannot happen.I expect that to be a challenge this week, one the team will overcome. There will be a lot of trash talk, a very physical environment and players will be put in a position to lose their cool. Mike Tomlin will need to preach all the way up until kickoff, the value of keeping cool and allowing the other team to mess up.Yet, if this game does come down to the final drive and a field goal is needed to win it, do we trust the special teams to get it done?  In other words, do we trust Chris Boswell?  My short answer is yes, but my long answer is not a whole lot right now. Boswell has been flat out terrible, let’s be honest. If that game in Tampa came down to him making a game-winner outside of 40 yards, were you comfortable?  If you said yes, you’re a liar!  He can’t even make his extra points consistently right now. That needs to and will change this week, if not then the Steelers are done. Special teams will ultimately determine the outcome of the Ravens game, they almost always do. If Boswell misses any kicks, it will spell doom for Pittsburgh.Lastly, how far can Big Ben carry this team? It’s more evident this year than possibly ever before, this team relies on Ben Roethlisberger. He is still a top-five quarterback in this league and he will need to make the plays against Baltimore to lead this team to victory.  It’s obvious, Ben can still extend plays, he can still shake off defenders and he can still defy  the odds by throwing across his body to make something out of nothing. That type of skill set is unmatched and one that will be needed against Baltimore this week.Roethlisberger will lead this team to victory on Sunday night, Sept. 30. It’s in his DNA to play well on the big stage with this team still needing a victory to keep their season moving forward. I don’t expect it to be easy. It may even be downright ugly. Don’t expect 300 yards for Big Ben, or even 100 yards from James Conner. Look for a more regimented, slow pace offense, ball control style, dump offs and short runs that allow the team to grind the clock and win late.The Steelers will win the game on the final drive, in a lower scoring affair (for them anyway), 24-23.MIKE PELAIACOURIER STEELERS CENTRALlast_img read more

Pre-’93 NFL pension benefits group receives $100K donation

first_imgIn this Sept. 27, 2014, file photo, Hall of Fame football player Jim Brown meets with other participants of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — Two leading advocates for retired NFL players have teamed up in pushing for increased pension benefits for pre-1993 retirees.The Pro Football Retired Players Association, a nonprofit chaired by Hall of Famer Jim Brown, donated $100,000 to Fairness for Athletes in Retirement, a nonprofit advocating for pension parity in the upcoming negotiations over the league’s next collective bargaining agreement.The donation follows a pledge of NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to prioritize retiree benefits in the next labor accord in 2021.Brown called pension disparity “the most pressing issue facing retirees,” and FAIR said it will use the money to continue raising awareness about the plight of some 4,000 pre-1993 retirees.“Despite paving the way for the NFL to become what it is today, players of Jim Brown’s era have been left behind with the lowest pension package among all other major U.S. sports leagues,” FAIR president Lisa Marie Riggins said. “These players have never had league health insurance and retirement income is often consumed by medical expenses. With everything they have contributed to the league and the game, they deserve the security of a pension they can survive on.”Addressing the disparity “would be a paradigm shift of historic proportions for a generation of beloved players,” Riggins said.The league and its union instituted “legacy benefits” in its last accord in 2011 that supplemented pre-93 retirees’ pensions by between $108 and $124 monthly per credited season.Their pensions continue to lag behind those of other sports, however. A 10-year NFL veteran who retired before 1993 receives between $24,000 and $43,560 a year before tax at age 55, according to FAIR.In contrast, FAIR said a Major League Baseball player who retired after 1980 following a 10-year career receives about $200,000 yearly at age 62 and a 10-year NBA veteran who retired after 1965 receives about $215,000 a year at age 62.___For more information: and www.pfrpa.com___More AP NFL: and read more