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Leonard Pope Saves Six-Year-Old from Drowning in Swimming Pool

While most stories we’ve covered regarding the NFL lockout had to do with Chad Ochocinco’s off-field publicity stunts, it’s nice to mix in a genuinely good deed. This one is about Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope who saved a child’s life by diving into a swimming pool to rescue him. Here are the details from The Americus Times-Recorder via Pro Football Talk, as described by the child’s mother:

“We were attending a pool party, and [my son] Bryson was in the water with the other kids. All of a sudden, I saw Bryson going down in the water and I started screaming. Leonard was inside, and he came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in his pocket and all. He saved my son’s life, and I am so thankful that he was there for me and my child.”

“My prayers were answered by God when Leonard jumped in and saved my son,” said Moore. “The fact that he is normally at camp and could have been in Kansas City just proved to me that he was placed here to save my son from drowning, and I thank God that he was here. He truly lived up to his nickname “Champ” because he was truly a champion for me and my son this past weekend.”

We’ve heard stories of athletes saving people who were drowning — Nomar Garciaparra comes to mind — and it can never get old. That’s one of those split-second reactions where you don’t think but just act. And just like the mother said, the best part is this was a benefit of having him around instead of at camp with his team. This isn’t the first time we’ve written about an athlete helping out a citizen in an ordinary situation and hopefully it won’t be the last.

Tedy Bruschi Gives the Patriots’ Four Rules for Speaking to the Media

The Patriots are notoriously aloof with the media. You don’t find them sparking controversies during the season through a war of words, and there are reasons why: they’re taught how to address the media. Sure there are slip-ups here and there, but for the most part, the Patriots are like schooled soldiers when it comes to media dealings. Former Patriot Tedy Bruschi explained on NFL Live the four most important points Bill Belichick emphasized for how his players should deal with the media. Mike Reiss transcribed them, and we got them from Pro Football Talk. Here’s the list:

1. Speak for yourself. “That’s something Coach Belichick always said — ‘Don’t worry about anyone else’s situation, on another team or your team, always think about your job, doing your job, and commenting on that.”

2. Never talk about injuries. “Never let them know if you’re hurt or not hurt.”

3. Pour on the perfume. “This is compliments. You want to spray that perfume on your opponent on Wednesday all the way through Saturday, and then get the job done on Sunday.”

4. Fall back on cliches. “When in doubt, use the old safe cliche. You love those — ’100 percent’, ‘one day at a time.’”

I think we all could have guessed points 2-4 would be on the list, but I didn’t expect number one to be up there. I guess it’s easy to avoid problems if people are only speaking for themselves. One issue is that it’s easy to preach those points but much more difficult to follow them. Maybe Belichick is able to send his messages through punishments. Or maybe when people arrive to play for New England they learn to fall in line with the Patriot way. Or maybe the Pats do a lot of research on a player’s character before having him join the organization as a free agent or through a trade. I bet it’s a combination of all three factors at work, and it’s part of what makes the Pats such a consistently successful organization.

Thanks to Mike Reiss for the transcription.

Matt Ware on Defensive Rules and Fines: Offense Sells Tickets

LBS spoke with Arizona Cardinals DB and former UCLA safety Matt Ware at a recent screening of The Wooden Effect. We talked about how Matt’s been spending his time during the lockout, how his offseason workouts have been going, and we asked for his thoughts on the Kerry Rhodes-Rex Ryan mini-feud. We also got to find out from Matt if Adrian Wilson is as much of a beast in the gym as this video suggests.

In the second half of the interview, we talked about some of the rule changes in the NFL (fining teams for illegal hits) that had the Steelers saying the NFL is going soft. While the changes are nice, Matt says the problem is things happen on the field so quickly it’s hard to avoid certain hits. He also said he understands why the league is protecting its offensive stars. Here’s our interview:

Talking about the defensive changes, Ware said “I like the improvements, but at the same time some of the stuff happens so fast you can’t think about it — you just react. If you’re sitting there lining someone up from 20 yards [away] then that’s one thing, but if it’s a bang-bang play, that’s going to continue to happen because guys are moving so fast.”

We agree, and we’ve said just as much, and that’s part of what makes the rules unfair. These are split-second decisions that defensive players can’t think about, otherwise they won’t be doing their jobs well.

On the rules skewing towards high-octane offenses, Ware said “Offense sells tickets. People don’t want to come watch games that are going to be 3-0.”

Again, he’s right on with that point. But it’s not just the tickets, it’s the overall business of the NFL that demands offense. You don’t get millions of people playing fantasy football and billions of dollars in TV deals with 3-0 games, as he pointed out. That’s just another obstacle defensive players are facing, and it’s really hard when you get flagged for touching quarterbacks like Tom Brady.

Kenny Britt Charged with Resisting Arrest Day After Careless Driving Plea

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt was sacked by the LBS Nut Bag in April for his police chase in New Jersey. It was the sort of tale that would make Mr. Toad jealous as it featured equal parts of high speeds, drug use, and typical denial. On Tuesday, Britt pleaded guilty to careless driving (that’s one heck of a euphemism for leading cops on a chase … but I digress). Now here’s the best part: a day after his guilty plea, the dude got into some more trouble.

According to The Jersey Journal, Britt was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing a government function and resisting arrest. He allegedly crushed a cigar containing marijuana in order to hide it from police before he was collared. Here are the specific details from the event:

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Kim Kardashian-Bret Lockett Cheating Story Just Buzz for New Season of Show

One of the hottest stories Wednesday was the report from In Touch Weekly that Kim Kardashian was caught cheating on fiance Kris Humphries. This is the exact sort of “bombshell” intended to make teenyboppers and housemoms gasp incredulously while running to the supermarket to pick up their copy of the fake news. In reality, the extent of Kim’s sins depends on your definition of cheating, because the report says she had phone sex and flirted with New England Patriots safety Bret Lockett over text message. Not only is it not the sort of cheating they would like you to believe, it also seems to be all-too-perfectly timed.

The newest season of Keeping up with the Kardashians premieres on Sunday. The engagement to Kris Humphries is a nice new story line for the show, but is it juicy? It’s a change, but I’m not so sure it’s titillating. Not only that, it’s also two weeks old, which might as well be 10 years ago in our ever-changing digital age. The Kardashians needed something big — something huge — an “oh my god” controversy to make everyone tune in Sunday to see what’s going on with the family. They needed just the type of story In Touch published.

When you think about it, is texting someone else that bad? I would consider it wrong, but if it’s old news, it probably already was addressed by the couple. Do you really think Wednesday was the first time Humphries heard about Bret Lockett? Of course not — we’re not that stupid.

The magazines and the entertainers work hand-in-hand; they need each other in order to survive. The celebrities crave the attention and relevance that comes with being on the cover of a magazine. The magazines and websites are dying for exclusive stories that will generate traffic and sales. As long as they get an inside scoop (like Kimmie cheating), what do they care if they’re being used to generate buzz for the show?

You really think they weren’t in on this story together?

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Mark Brunell Bankrupt After Whataburger Investment, Hopes Lockout Ends

Like most other NFL players and coaches whose careers hinge on an agreement being reached between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, Mark Brunell is hoping there is football in the fall.  However, unlike guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the issue with Brunell is money.  Don’t worry, Brunell didn’t go out and buy unnecessary things like Siberian tigers or eight Lamborghinis.  The man made a simple investment, it just happened to be in a restaurant chain called Whataburger.

If Tim Lincecum or Bruce Carter were fans of Whataburger, business would probably be booming for Brunell.  It’s not.  According to The Florida Times-Union via The Big Lead, Brunell filed for Chapter-11 bankruptcy a year ago because of “two failed business partnerships,” one of which was an investment in a real estate development company and another in 12 Whataburger restaurants.

That means Brunell has to have approval from a judge to reorganize his debts, and when we say he is crossing his fingers there is an NFL season we aren’t kidding.  The judge’s final ruling in Brunell’s bankruptcy claim is contingent upon whether or not he signs another contract with the Jets.  That means Brunell is not only hoping for a speedy resolution with the labor dispute, but also that the Jets can use his veteran presence on the sidelines this upcoming season.  Best of luck, Marky Mark.

Steve Smith Distances Himself from Carolina Panthers in Interview

Steve Smith has another two years and $14.75 million left on his contract with the Carolina Panthers, but it’s clear he would like to play for another team. His desire is fair; he is one of the top receivers in the NFL when healthy, and at 32 years old he probably wants to play for a Super Bowl-caliber team rather than a franchise in rebuilding mode. There has been speculation that he’ll be traded when the lockout ends and that the Chargers are a possible destination. While we don’t know what will happen, what we do know is that Smith is distancing himself from his former team.

First off, Smith has not been in attendance for the team’s recent workouts, citing personal issues. Since we don’t know what’s going on with him personally, it’s not entirely fair to hold his absence against him. However, Joe Person noted in an article on Smith that the receiver referred to Carolina as “they” not “we.”

“I think the fundamental things the Carolina Panthers are doing right now are huge. I think anybody to say they’re not making any moves would be unfair and biased. They’re making great changes.”

Distancing himself from the team by saying “they” indicates Smith’s current mentality, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t play with the Panthers if there is a season. It just means he doesn’t feel like he’s a part of the team, and that he likely wants out. We’ve heard the Chargers are interested in him, and if they’re able to land him in a trade, it will make an already explosive offense even more effective. I’m hoping for Smith’s sake that he’s able to get out of Carolina and onto a more competitive team.

Helmet knock to Evan Silva for the tip