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Coach’s wife leaves lasting legacy

February 27, 2015 - New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams during the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Miami Heat at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA. (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Stephen Lew)Earlier this week, the NBA was rocked by the news that Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams' wife Ingrid had been tragically killed in a car accident. Coach Williams has been a fixture in the NBA since he was a player for 9 years with the Knicks, Spurs, Nuggets, Magic, and 76ers. In 2004, he joined the NBA coaching ranks as an intern for the Spurs, and has since spent time with Portland, New Orleans, and most recently Oklahoma City.

Williams was never a dominant player, but was always seen as a leader on the teams he played for. Doc Rivers, one of his NBA coaches, described him this way: "The biggest thing for me was that he has this ability for people to follow him…On our team, Monty was the sixth or seventh best player, yet everybody followed him and that is a trait you either have or you don't. Monty has it."

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New NFL rules target domestic violence

Woman with bruises (Credit: bertys30 via Fotolia)With the Super Bowl finished, the Broncos and Panthers join the rest of the NFL's teams in beginning to prepare for next season. A key part of that preparation is the NFL combine where the vast majority of college players with the potential to make it as pros will spend a week in Indianapolis trying to prove their worth. Every year certain players drastically improve their draft stock, and make themselves millions of dollars, because of their performance at the combine. Last year, Frank Clark, now a Seattle Seahawks linebacker, was one such player— his test scores and, more importantly, his interviews helped him rise from a late round prospect that many teams considered undraftable to a second rounder.

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College football's next wave of would-be stars

Mitch Hyatt #75 of Clemson during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, January 11, 2016 (Credit: Cal Sport Media via AP Images/John Green)Wednesday will mark the first day that college football's next wave of would-be stars can sign their letters of intent and commit to playing at one of the hundreds of programs around the nation. It's a big day for many high school seniors and one they have been working towards for the last several years. College programs have begun recruiting kids earlier and earlier, with many of the best getting offers from schools when they are still high school sophomores.

And while I'm sure all of us would have been prepared for that level of national attention as fifteen-year-olds, many of these students aren't. The pressure to commit from coaches, fans, friends, and even family can be overwhelming at times, and it doesn't stop until they put their names on the financial aid agreements of their future universities. As a result, a kid is not technically committed to a school until National Signing Day arrives. So while they may have given a verbal agreement to attend a particular university, other coaches will often continue pressuring and pursuing them.

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Advice from John Madden

Former Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame coach John Madden honors recently deceased quarterback Ken Stabler during halftime ceremonies at an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Coliseum in Oakland, CA, September 13 2015 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Daniel Gluskoter)In the buildup leading to Super Bowl 50, Troy Aikman told a fascinating story about Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Speaking in a radio interview, Aikman told a story illustrating the close relationship between Rivera and the legendary coach and broadcaster John Madden.

Aikman, who serves as an analyst for Fox, was covering a Panthers game late in the season. As part of the preparation for the game, the national TV broadcasters always meet with the head coach and key players during the week, and this week was no different. However, after the normal allotted time, Aikman explained that Rivera asked him to come aside for a moment so he could show him something.

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Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) before the NFL regular season game, Denver, Colorado, November 29, 2015 (Credit: AP/Ric Tapia)Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are matched up against one another again on Sunday in what is being referred to as Brady-Manning 17. Brady is leading the series 11-5, but more recently the matchup has been more balanced, with the last 10 matchups yielding a 5-5 record. Brady, of course, is perhaps the most decorated quarterback in the history of the NFL, amassing 6 Super Bowl appearances, winning 4. Manning, while only having won one Super Bowl, is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. The two titans of the quarterback position meet in this year's AFC Championship game for what many anticipate as the final showdown.

While the matchup has been marketed for the perceived contrasts between the two players, they share more similarities than differences. For starters, they share an uncanny competitive drive. Brady is the more outward in his displays of emotion, but Manning has the eyes of someone not to be crossed, and makes up for his lack of outward displays with the hours he spends studying and preparing for each game.

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