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“That debris on the shores of Bratenahl in Cleveland isn’t any normal debris. Those bricks are remnants from old Municipal Stadium, parts of which were used to build three reefs in Lake Erie after its demolition.” [Grzegorek/Scene Magazine]
Good piece on Merton Hanks, former 49er now in charge of determining fines for illegal hits- “Except that Hanks doesn’t see the world so simply. A former Super Bowl-winning safety for the 49ers, beloved by fans for his celebratory “chicken dance,” he makes sure to go to a game each Sunday. The 44-year-old stands on the sideline to feel that familiar meanness rise in his chest. “You don’t want a saint in this job,” he says. “You want a reformed sinner.” He knows how it felt to get that telltale FedEx envelope in his locker.
While Hanks spends his Sundays breathing in football, dozens of men sit in a bunkerlike room down the hall from his office. On banks of monitors, the NFL’s officiating department watches every minute of every game, making a list of plays for Hanks to review. Here’s their clinical description of the Clark hit: PIT 25 (Ryan Clark) delivers helmet-to-helmet hit on PHI 87 whose FP is obviously stopped. Fines for most fouls are set, but Hanks has the discretion to raise or lower the amount depending on the player and the circumstances. The base fine for Clark’s kind of hit is $21,000, at least twice that for a second offense. I’m guessing he’s out $50,000.” [Jones/ESPN.com]
Yahoo video feature on Josh Cribbs, and his clothes. [Outside the Game/Yahoo]
“If Haden had played in that game, it could have gone much differently. “I think that when I’m out there, I make a difference,” Haden told the News Herald Wednesday. Boldin spent much of that game matched up against cornerback Dimitri Patterson, but that will likely change on Sunday with Haden back in the lineup. The Browns mix up their coverage in the secondary, but if a receiver like Boldin gets hot, Shurmur said the Browns could decide to just match Haden up against him one-on-one.” [Downing/Ravens.com]
“Instead, Walton appeared to be a guy on the edge of pro basketball, an aging veteran clinging to a contract that expires at season’s end. The fact he suffered from lingering back pain didn’t help. Walton even admitted he thought, “If my back continues this season to feel like it has the past three or four years, this would be it for me.” But the back is better (Walton credits a dedicated offseason exercise routine that he still performs), and he feels as if still has something to offer.” [Amico/FSO]