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Keeping things Chill in Green Bay

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Cassie Anderson gets ready for the next Green Bay Chill game

 

 

It can be a long season in the LFL. With ample time between games to get players in shape, develop chemistry and install new plays and gadgets, it also allows players such as the Green Bay Chill’s Cassie Anderson and Rykki Casey time to continue to develop their game and their impact on the expansion Green Bay Chill

 

My goal for the LFL is to just continue being an important asset to the team. I am excited to continue learning more about the game and improving every year” Cassie Anderson says. “I think my work ethic makes me unique. I want to be the best player possible so being a consistent and aggressive player is what I try to bring to the team.”

 

Her teammate, Rykki Casey echos that very sentiment;

 

My goal for this year was to help make this team a success both on and off the field. I was with Chicago for a while last year so I knew the hard work that went into the LFL. Just being there for the girls when they had questions or questioned what went on behind the scenes is what I wanted to add to the team.

 

 

In every sport that I have played growing up I was best at the defensive side of the game. What better sport to play than football where you can just play defense. If someone gets hurt you play both sides of the ball in this league.

 

 

Both ladies bring balance and stability to the expansion Green Bay Chill, adding a presence on both sides of the ball. Anderson is a running back and linebacker and has already registered 8.5 tackles in the 2011 season. Casey is also contributing on the defensive side of the ball with 6 tackles so far this year, 4 of which are solo tackles.

 

While they can be found roaming the defensive side of the ball together, you may also find Anderson and Casey collectively contributing on offense. While Anderson is a running back in the Chill’s offense she relies on players like Casey to provide blocking. Casey is a key offensive lineman for the Chill’s offensive attack and responsible for not only providing protection for the quarterback, but also creating holes and running lanes for backs like Anderson.

 

It’s that cohesiveness that the Chill look to display on the field on game day. Players like Anderson and Casey each know hey are important to the makeup of the team and understand their individual and collective contributions are keys to building success one game at a time.

 

Something Cassie Anderson takes a lot of pride in.

 

“My goal for the LFL is to just continue being an important asset to the team. I am excited to continue learning more about the game and
improving every year. I think my proudest accomplishment thus far is having the most tackles on the team. Defense is such a huge key to winning and I love being an aggressive player.

 

Rykki Casey (10) lines up on the defensive side of the ball for the Green Bay Chill

I think I make an impact on the team by being a leader and helping other players as much as possible. I want everyone on the team to do well so our team can perform the best, so I enjoy helping out.”

 

Rykki Casey isn’t much different when it comes to providing a value to the team.

 

“My goal was to be able to play one season, at least and be able to watch this sport’s fan base grow. My proudest accomplishments thus far is being a defensive starter at linebacker.”

 

 

Both Anderson and Casey have embraced the opportunity to play for Head Coach and former Green Bay Packer standout Gilbert Brown. Taking his NFL experience and teaching have been a huge benefit for all the players on the Chill. Anderson and Casey have relished playing in Brown’s system and value the lessons they are learning as the season progresses.

 

“It is truly an honor to play for a Green Bay great” Casey said. “He wants us to play with respect for the game that he loves. So when we are on the field we give everything we’ve got not to let him down.”

 

Anderson would agree: “Gilbert doesn’t mess around. He can be hard on us but does still show that he cares about everyone as a person.”

 

The hard work and improvement that Coach Brown demands of his players is translating to the field. Green Bay has made an impact in their first season in the LFL. Being an expansion team can be a challenging road for any sports franchise. Despite posting a 1-2 record, the Chill have been putting teams on notice in the LFL. Aside from their 42-8 loss at the hands of the Seattle Mist, Green Bay could easily be 2-1, their first loss of the season was Opening Night against the Minnesota Valkyrie. A game that saw the Chill  narrowly lose by 3 points.

 

It’s games like those that drive players like Anderson and Casey to constantly improve. Through hard work and development they know they can find ways to win those tight games and turn those L’s into W’s.

 

Hard work and dedication is nothing new to the female athletes in the LFL. In fact, most people may have the wrong idea about the LFL and women’s football. That’s something both Cassie Anderson and Rykki Casey hope they can change peoples minds about. Both want people to see the LFL for what it really is.

 

“The biggest misconception is that we don’t play hard. Unless people see a game, their first thought is that we just run around pretending
like we know what we’re doing. Which is obviously so far from the truth, LFL players are tough athletes” Anderson said.

“Seeing the LFL on TV is what got me excited about playing football. I never grew up having the opportunity to play tackle football so I was
pumped to start playing. I saw my first LFL game on TV. The girls were hitting hard and I saw some awesome athletes. I have always been an aggressive athlete, I played soccer. and thought it would be a great sport for me. I also ran track and was captain of my team my senior year.”

 

Cassie Anderson working hard in practice on her running game

Casey was a bit more blunt with her thoughts:

 

“Some people think that we are sluts and just want to look good for tv. Sorry had to be blunt on that one. We are first and foremost athletic women that take care of ourselves and others around us. Pretty much everyone of us has a story that the fans don’t know about. Some of us are wives, mothers, college students, have battled cancer, lost parents, have family with illness. We are real people!  It’s real hard hitting football! Ignore the outfits and watch the game for 1 minute and you will see that this stuff is for real!”

 

I got into it on a whim. I looked it up on the internet last year and thought I would just tryout to say that I got to sweat with the girls. Then they called me back and I made the Bliss team. I tore my ACL and wanted to come back for 1 season. So I am now with the Chill.”

 

Whether it’s on the field or in the locker room both Cassie Anderson and Rykki Casey bring all they have to the Green Bay Chill. So far, it’s paid dividends and has helped the Chill piece together a respectable first season in the LFL

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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