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Going Scouting: Marshall Thundering Herd

Get ready to tune in for Pitt’s next opponent, because Marshall isn’t someone we’ve seen a lot of lately.

For the second time in three weeks, Pitt will play an opponent for the first time in school history. Oklahoma State had not met the Panthers on the gridiron previously and now it’s Marshall’s turn. Despite being only a few hours down the road, Pitt and Marshall have never met in football. That will change one week from tonight, but before that happens, how can you get a look at the Thundering Herd?

Well, it just so happens, that if you get the CBS Sports Network (not CBS, but the CBS Sports Network), you can flip right to their game tonight, after Pitt is done tangling with North Carolina. Not only will you get a look, but it is an intriguing game, as well. Marshall will be at home, with an 8:00 p.m. kickoff, against the newest college football darling....Louisville!

Yup, you read that right: Louisville is traveling to Marshall. The Thundering Herd have a great history, but they did give up a lot of points in their lone loss to Akron, so Louisville could have some fun. At the same time, Louisville has Clemson one week from today and this is a big home game for Marshall, so could they catch the Cardinals in a trap game? Head coach Doc Holliday certainly hopes so and so does the home crowd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Marshall has the ability to strike fear against power 5 teams and Pitt doesn’t want to get caught looking ahead next week. They will hope to learn from the Louisville game just what they will be in store for when the Herd comes to Heinz Field. You can find out early. Just tune in.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

Pitt vs. North Carolina: How to Watch, Schedule, Game Information

Here’s the key information for today’s contest

Pitt opens ACC play today against North Carolina as they’ll travel on the road for an afternoon kickoff. The Panthers are hoping to rebound after last week’s loss against Oklahoma State and you can bet that both teams will be fighting hard to start conference play with a 1-0 record.

The Panthers’ defense will need to step up and put last week behind them. Unfortunately, the Tar Heels sport a pretty good offense and are multifaceted with strong passing and running games. In other words, slowing them down will be no easy task and Pitt will need to make sure their offense doesn’t stall out, either. This could be another one of those shootout games that Pitt has found itself in for the past two weeks, so hopefully they’ll be able to keep up again.

Here are the game details for today's contest against the Tar Heels:

Date: September 24, 2016

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Chapel Hill, NC (Kenan Stadium)

TV: ESPNU (national telecast)

Radio: 93.7 FM The Fan

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Dodgers pay tribute to longtime broadcaster Vin Scully

The Dodgers paid tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday, and a crowd of 52,320 roared its approval during an hourlong ceremony on his appreciation night before Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory against Colorado.

Scully, holding hands with his wife, Sandi, walked from the dugout to home plate for a ceremony honoring his 67 years in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring next weekend after Los Angeles concludes its regular season in San Francisco.

>> Read more trending stories  

"Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you," Scully said in his signature greeting. "I thought I'd get that out of the way right away."

Scully thanked Dodger fans for making him feel like a child again.

"When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief moment I'm 8 years old again," he said. "You have allowed me to be young at heart. I owe you everything."

The first 50,000 fans in attendance received a typed letter signed by Scully containing recollections from his career, which began in Brooklyn with the Dodgers and continued when the team moved west to California for the 1958 season.

"You were simply always there for me," Scully wrote. "I have always felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been privileged to share in your passion and love for this great game."

Actor Kevin Costner, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw were among the speakers paying tribute to Scully.

Scully joked that he is often asked about his future. He turns 89 in November.

"I'm going to try to live," he said. "I'm looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet."

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter, former owner Peter O'Malley and former managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, were among those on hand. O'Malley's father, Walter, first owned the team and was instrumental in bringing the Bronx-born Scully west when the Dodgers relocated to the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Walter said the team would add Scully’s name to the stadium “ring of honor,” next to the retired numbers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave Scully a key to the city. Manfred said the league would donate $50,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in honor of Scully.

Costner starred in the 1999 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," in which Scully narrated the play-by-play of his character's perfect game.

"We're all taking deep breaths, Vin," Costner said. "We're all struggling with our own emotions as we admit we're down to our last three outs with you. You're our George Bailey and it has been a wonderful life. You can't blame us for trying to hold on to you for as long as we can. And shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public."

At the end of the tributes, Scully returned to the microphone.

"It's time for Dodger baseball," he said.

Against the Odds: Pitt solid underdog to North Carolina

The Panthers head into another road matchup where they won’t be favored

For the second straight week, Pitt heads into a game where they won’t be favored.

The Panthers travel to North Carolina this weekend for their first ACC game and it’s expected to be a difficult one. Oddsmakers have Pitt as the clear underdog here so if they’re to win, it will look like an upset.

The line started out with the Panthers as seven-point underdogs and things haven’t budged, really. A couple of places have them at +6.5 but many still consider them +7.0.

I don’t think winning would be a colossal upset and I expect they’ll come to play. They have plenty of motivation after a disappointing ending to the Oklahoma State game and also since it’s a matchup between two teams that seemingly could win the Division. But on the road, Pitt clearly has their work cut out for them.

What do you think about the line? Too high/low or just right?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Kaepernick 'most disliked player' in NFL, but makes Time cover

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest has polarized the nation, drawing vocal supporters and critics.

In a poll taken last week by E-Poll Marketing Research, the 49ers’ backup quarterback was “disliked a lot” by 29 percent of those polled, beating out over 350 players named in the survey. Among NFL fans, the dislike was stronger, with 36 percent saying that they disliked him a lot.

>> Read more trending stories

But while Kaepernick has taken his share of criticism for kneeling during the national anthem at games in protest of police brutality of African-Americans, he has also gained a good deal of support. The poll showed that 42 percent of African-Americans like Kaepernick “a lot.”

Kaepernick’s jersey became a best-seller after the backup quarterback began his public protest.

Kaepernick has received another honor: He is featured on the latest cover of Time magazine, which hit newsstands Friday.

Seahawks’ Baldwin calls for change after shootings

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is calling for a review of training policies for law enforcement across the country, saying the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem now needs some follow-through.

>> Read more trending stories  

Baldwin gave a prepared statement on Thursday, similar to what teammate Richard Sherman did Wednesday. Baldwin said the situation has reached a point where action is needed. Baldwin said he has consulted with his father, a police officer, to gather information. "The situation that's upon us right now, what's going on in our country, it's devastating. ... We cannot tolerate this," Baldwin said.

Doug Baldwin begins his news conference reading from the US Constitution & calls for accountability. — Cale Ramaker (@CaleKIRO7) September 22, 2016 Doug Baldwin: demanding all 50 state Attorneys General review police training & emphasize deescalation over order. — Cale Ramaker (@CaleKIRO7) September 22, 2016

>> Related: Richard Sherman says anthem protests message getting lost

#Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin opened his availability today with a statement similar to teammate Richard Sherman pic.twitter.com/pcz1UUBYMT — Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) September 22, 2016

Washington’s attorney general reached out to Baldwin on Twitter after the news conference.

.@DougBaldwinJr Watched your press conference today with interest. I’ll be reaching out soon to see if you'd like to sit down and chat. -BF — WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) September 22, 2016

Baldwin and Sherman's statements came in the wake of a pair of police shootings this week, one in Charlotte, North Carolina; and another in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tyler Boyd making early impact with Bengals

We all know about Pitt’s big name guys in the NFL - Lesean McCoy, Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Donald, and Darrelle Revis, to name a few. It might not be too much longer before we can add another legitimate star.

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

To be fair, Boyd isn’t a star yet. But only two games into his rookie season, he is already making an impact with his new team, the Cincinnati Bengals. Boyd was limited in his debut, but still caught two passes for 24 yards. He stepped things up against the Steelers last week, grabbing six catches for 78 yards. On the season, he ranks fifth among rookies in receptions and sixth in yardage.

Against Pittsburgh, he actually had the most catches and yards of any wide receiver on the team - even easily outperforming A.J. Green, who was limited to only two catches for 38 yards. He did have a fumble in the game, but even that looked pretty questionable.

What’s great to see is that Boyd is being targeted quite a bit, including eight times last week. He still has a ways to go, obviously, but at only two games into his career, he’s already off to a solid start to the season and is contributing early.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Yankees fans orchestrating 'Moon Big Papi Night' for Ortiz’s New York finale

David Ortiz is down to the final weeks of his major-league career and a group of New York Yankees fans are planning a less-than-cordial sendoff.

>> Read more trending stories 

A group has founded a website called Moon Big Papi and they want fans to moon the Boston Red Sox star when he plays his final game at Yankee Stadium next week. Ortiz owns a career .315 average against the Yankees, with six homers and 13 RBI.

>>RELATED: Company honors Ortiz's career walk-off with special edition shoes

The site says “if 10 people moon Big Papi, they'll be arrested, but if 10,000 do it it will be a story for the grandkids.”

Panthers’ Olsen: Sunday’s game must go on

More than 70,000 fans are expected in Charlotte this weekend to watch the Carolina Panthers vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

For now, the game will go on as scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

>> Read more trending stories  

The Panthers have tried to keep it business as usual on the field despite the chaos that’s unfolded the past two nights, but safety is never far from their minds.

Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen said his family normally tailgates on game days, but this week they will likely head right to the stadium, not because he fears for their safety, but just in case.

Olsen said the game must go on. He said sport can heal at a time like this and as silly as it sounds, this game matters.

“Is the game itself as important as the issues at hand? No. But is the game itself a big piece of healing and bringing people together and letting people put their differences aside and just start that process of inclusion and being less divisive? I do,” Olsen said.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he was a coach with the San Diego Chargers when San Diego was struck by wildfires.

“While the circumstances now are obviously different, playing again was an important step in that community's healing process,” Rivera said. 

Cop saves suicidal man by talking football, hatred of Cowboys

Nothing brings together people like football.

When a police officer responded to a call of a suicidal man and found him sitting on the guardrail of a bridge early Saturday morning, he struck up a conversation with the man. The man was crying and told the Columbia Police Department Master Patrol Officer Michael Blackmore he was tired of living, according to The State.

Then the subject matter turned to sports.

>> Read more trending stories 

Blackmore asked the man what his favorite NFL team was, and the man said the Washington Redskins. Blackmore told the man he'd definitely pull for the Redskins when they play Dallas, because he hates Dallas. (The Redskins play the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day.)

The officer told the man that he should stick around so he can watch the upcoming games.

While he’s talking, Blackmore was able to take hold of the man’s arm, and with the help of two responding officers, they removed the man from the guardrail and placed him in an ambulance.

According to The State, this isn’t the first time Blackmore has used his love of sports to talk someone out of suicide. Just last month, he talked a man out of jumping from a parking garage by talking about college football and the man’s favorite team, Notre Dame.

 

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