Leading off today with the story of a young man named Jacquez Welch.

You may or may not have heard the name but Jacquez was a high school football player for Northeast High in St. Petersburg, Fla. The young man collapsed during a game two weeks ago and his family had to make the heart-wrenching decision to take him off of life support.    Speaking at a church service last Sunday, Jacquez’s mother, Marcia Nelson, told the congregation that several years ago, Jacquez told her that if anything ever happened to him he wanted to be an organ donor. She noted that because of that request, at least seven lives would be saved and the quality of life of maybe a dozen others would improve dramatically because of Jacquez’s unselfish act.  We use the word hero too loosely in sports. But I will use it here.  Jacquez Welch is a hero...

If you read the Sports Illustrated story on Antonio Brown in last week’s issue, you would understand clearly that the Patriots had no choice than to release the beleaguered wide receiver. Brown is without question a once-in-a-generation talent, but that talent came with a bunch of baggage that the Patriots ultimately decided not to deal with. In making the announcement, the Patriots said that Brown would get none of the $9 million guaranteed in his contract, citing a clause that required Brown to disclose any and all known factors that would have prevented him from making himself available to the Patriots during the 2019 season. Instead, he received two game checks. It remains to be seen if he will get any or all of the $9 million on appeal.  But given the now ongoing NFL investigation, don’t look for any team to sign Brown anytime soon…

A church in Ohio had its air conditioning unit stolen last weekend. The response that Akron Alliance Fellowship Church posted on its exterior bulletin board was epic.  That response?  “Whoever stole our AC unit – Keep It.  It’s hot where you are going”…

A couple of takeaways from Bucs blowing big halftime lead against the Giants last Sunday. First, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said they took a delay of game penalty on purpose because they believed kicker Matt Gay “was better from longer distances than up close.”  How’d that work for you coach? Secondly, not so sure we are not seeing a star being born in Daniel Jones. Guy looked more than a little poised for a rookie making his first NFL start. Fun stat from that game:  When trailing by 10 or more points at halftime, Eli Manning was 0 and 44.  Daniel Jones is 1-0…

Random stupid thought.   A sign that read, “Danger, Do Not Touch,” would probably be unsettling to read in braille.

The mantra from small market baseball teams like Pittsburgh about how it’s impossible to be competitive against the big boys because of money inequities probably has some merit. But I also think that disparity is not always a money issue and is also caused by bad management and the inability to build a decent farm system. If I told you New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were the only teams to win 90 games in seven of the last 12 seasons, it would certainly support “big payroll” argument. But there is also a fourth team that has won 90 games in seven of the last 12 seasons. That team is the Tampa Bay Rays, the poster child for small market, low revenue, low payroll teams.  The Rays and teams like Oakland have shown that you can put a consistent winner on the field and stick to a budget…

Call them the Cardiac Kids.  Ji-Man Choi’s dramatic home run this past Tuesday in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 2-1 win over the Yankees, marked the eighth time in their last 23 home games that the team won in walk-off fashion…

This week is the one-year anniversary of the Kelly Bryant benching at – and then eventual bolting of  Clemson and the emergence of Trevor Lawrence as the man at quarterback. Despite the social media firestorm that labeled Bryant a “quitter” the actual story and the true feelings about Bryant by his teammates and coaches and quite fascinating and that eight-day ordeal is a good read this week on espn.com.

Y’all have a great week.