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NFL 2017 First Round Draft Picks
1. Cleveland Browns
Garrett, Myles
DE 6'4" 272 Texas A&M
2. Chicago Bears (From 49ers)
Trubisky, Mitchell
QB 6'2" 222 North Carolina
3. San Francisco 49ers (From Bears)
Thomas, Solomon
DE 6'3" 273 Stanford
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fournette, Leonard
RB 6'0" 240 LSU
5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams)
Davis, Corey
WR 6'3" 209 Western Michigan
6. New York Jets
Adams, Jamal
S 6'0" 214 LSU
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Williams, Mike
WR 6'4" 218 Clemson
8. Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey, Christian
RB 5'11" 202 Stanford
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Ross, John
WR 5'11" 188 Washington
10. Kansas City Chiefs (From Bills)
Mahomes, Patrick
QB 6'2" 225 Texas Tech
11. New Orleans Saints
Lattimore, Marshon
CB 6'0" 193 Ohio St.
12. Houston Texans (From Browns through Eagles)
Watson, Deshaun
QB 6'2" 221 Clemson
13. Arizona Cardinals
Reddick, Haason
LB 6'1" 237 Temple
14. Philadelphia Eagles (From Vikings)
Barnett, Derek
DE 6'3" 259 Tennessee
15. Indianapolis Colts
Hooker, Malik
S 6'1" 206 Ohio St.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Humphrey, Marlon
CB 6'0" 197 Alabama
17. Washington Redskins
Allen, Jonathan
DE 6'3" 286 Alabama
18. Tennessee Titans
Jackson, Adoree'
CB 5'10" 186 USC
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard, O.J.
TE 6'6" 251 Alabama
20. Denver Broncos
Bolles, Garett
OT 6'5" 297 Utah
21. Detroit Lions
Davis, Jarrad
LB 6'1" 238 Florida
22. Miami Dolphins
Harris, Charles
OLB 6'3" n253 Missouri
23. New York Giants
Engram, Evan
TE 6'3" 234 Mississippi
24. Oakland Raiders
Conley, Gareon
CB 6’0” 195 Ohio St
25. Cleveland Browns (From Texans)
Peppers, Jabrill
S 5'11" 213 Michigan
26. Atlanta Falcons (From Seahawks)
McKinley, Takkarist
DE 6'2" 250 UCLA
27. Buffalo Bills (From Chiefs)
White, Tre'Davious
CB 5'11" 192 LSU
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charlton, Taco
DE 6'6" 277 Michigan
29 .Cleveland Browns (From Packers)
Njoku, David
TE 6'4" 246 Miami
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Watt, T.J.
OLB 6'4" 252 Wisconsin
31. San Francisco 49ers (From Seahawks through Falcons)
Foster, Reuben
LB 6'0" 229 Alabama
32. New Orleans Saints (From Patriots)
Ramczyk, Ryan
OT 6'6" 310 Wisconsin

WHAT YOU SAY!?

ESPN’s 2017 Monday Night Football Schedule
Preseason
Thurs, Aug. 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8 PM ET
Mon, Aug. 21
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8 PM ET

Regular Season (8 PM ET unless indicated)
Sept. 11
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings 7 PM ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos 10:15 PM ET
Sept. 18
Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Sept. 25
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Oct. 2
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 9
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct. 16
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Oct. 23
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Oct. 30
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Nov. 6
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Nov. 13
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
Nov. 20
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks 
Nov. 27
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens 
Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Dec. 11
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Dec. 18
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dec. 25
Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Sunday
Dec252016

EA Sports, Recouping Rob Gronkowski Laugh In The Face Of The 'Madden Curse'

By Barry Janoff

December 24, 2016: Since 1988, the year EA Sports released the first version of Madden NFL (then known as John Madden Football), nearly 20 of the NFL athletes who have appeared on the annual game box cover have been associated, either physically or statistically, with the Madden Curse.

Now, Rob Gronkowski is finding out first-hand whether the Madden Curse — which directly ties a player being on the Madden NFl box cover with a season- or career-ending event — is a myth, a joke or a painful reality.

In a humorous new spot, "Rob Gronkowski Gets His Winning Season," EA Sports pokes fun at the Madden Curse by linking Gronkowski’s season-ending back surgery on Dec. 2 with the fact that he is on the current edition of the video game, Madden NFL 17.

To which the All-Pro tight end for the New England Patriots says, with a smile on his face, "Expletive deleted you!"

The ad is part of an on-going multi-level effort to keep Madden NFL 17 top-of-mind since its release this past August, including print, Internet, digital and social media and player activation.

In addition, the company has ramped up its eSports efforts for Madden NFL. The EA Major Series has four Madden NFL 17 eSports competitions, with the finals for the first held this month, and the next three competitions scheduled for February, April and May.

Madden NFL 17 has been one of the most popular and best-selling games of the year, among the Top Ten overall in the U.S. Since the release of the first edition in 1988, the franchise has topped $4 billion in sales, according to industry analysts.

The self-deprecating spot with Gronkowski may actually have been sparked by Peter Moore, EA’s chief competition officer. On Dec. 1, after New England said that their tight end would undergo back surgery, Moore wrote on his Twitter page, "Well that's the last time we put a @Patriots player on the cover of @EAMaddenNFL #maddencurse."

The new spot finds Gronkowski at home, gingerly moving about as he recovers from the operation.

There is a lot of product placement throughout, which adds to the joke: Red and blue Patriots slippers; a plaque that reads, "Rob Gronkowski: New England Patriots"; a rubber ducky with the word Patriots on the side; a poster of Gronkowski with head-banger hair from the previous Madden NFL 17 commercial ("Catching’ With Flair," starring Gronk as a faux Bon Jovi rock star).

"Ducky, these are some tough times, but we’ll get through," he says to his toy. "Thanks for always being my friend and always being there for me. I love you."

Now in his kitchen, he eats Gronk Flakes cereal (a real item) right out of the box while holding a Patriots’ milk-filled mug that reads, "Do Your Job." He doesn’t drink the milk, but instead uses it to rinse his mouth after brushing his teeth.

Moving to his living room, he carefully sits on the couch (draped with a Patriots blanket) next to a huge jar of cheese puffs and turns on the TV.

"Rob Gronkowski out for the remainder of the season!” bellows a sports announcer. "It looks like the Madden Curse all over again."

As Gronkowski groans, we hear his cell phone buzz. He finds it under a pillow next to a copy of Madden NFL 17, which he tosses to the floor.

We then hear creepy music from an over-the-top scary B-movie and an ominous voice, which seems to be coming through Gronk’s entertainment sound system.

"You think I did this to you, Robert? You think this is my fault, don’t you? Over here," which prompts Gronkowski to look toward his kitchen. We see the Madden NFL 17 box he had thrown to the floor now perched on a counter.

"Yes, it is I, Robert," the voice continues. "Now we can win together . . .  forever."

Gronkowski then puts on one of his Super Bowl championship rings and turns on Madden NFL 17, where, playing as himself, he scores a game-winning touchdown.

"Let’s take our team to the Super Bowl," the voice says. And a smiling Gronk agrees. (See the full spot here.)

Among the Madden NFL cover athletes who, per the legend, have been directly impacted by the Madden Curse are Garrison Hearst (Madden NFL 99, broken ankle), Donovan McNabb (Madden NFL 06, groin injury), Shaun Alexander (Madden NFL 07, broken foot) and Troy Polamalu (Madden NFL 10, torn ligaments).

Others have seen their stats dramatically fall off the season or two after appearing on the cover.

But as the spot with Gronkowski offers, "Get the season you always wanted. Don’t let I.R. (injured reserve) stop you from getting the season you want."

Beginning in January, select NFL teams will hold their own Madden NFL 17 competitions to crown the best Madden 17 player among their fans.

"Get the season you always wanted. Don’t let I.R. (injured reserve) stop you from getting the season you want."

According to EA Sports, people from across the country can register beginning for online qualification (details here), with an online ladder tournament starting Jan. 9. Then through early February, people across each of the eight NFL clubs will compete head-to-head to determine the top eight players representing each team.

Following the online qualifying contests, eight finalists will take part in live competitions in each NFL market. The contests, played in front of live audiences, will be streamed on NFL team Web sites and apps, and on the Madden NFL Twitch channel.

Initial tournament dates, participating teams and venues are:

Feb. 18: Minnesota Vikings – To Be Announced
Feb. 25: New England Patriots – Gillette Stadium
Feb. 26: Buffalo Bills – (716) Food and Sport
March 2: Seattle Seahawks – Museum of Pop Culture
March 4: Jacksonville Jaguars – EverBank Field
March 11: Pittsburgh Steelers – Heinz Field
March 19: San Francisco 49ers – Levi's Stadium
March 22: Kansas City Chiefs – Arrowhead Stadium

Prizes totaling $10,000 at each venue including cash, player-autographed memorabilia, and team merchandise will be awarded to fans who qualify for the live competitions.

Following the eight club tournaments, the winners from each of the local markets will compete at the Madden 17 Club Series Championship in early April. Players at this level will be eligible for an additional prize pool of $50,000, as well as the potential to qualify for the 2017 EA Sports Madden Championship in May.

Registration information can be found here.

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