New NFLA CEO and former NFL player Beasley Reece discusses what the NFLA does, the Super Bowl of Golf, and more on Fox 5 NY’s Sports Xtra with Tina Cervasio.
Former NFL Player to Lead the Organization
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., Dec. 7, 2018 – NFL Alumni (NFLA) has named Beasley Reece Chief Executive Officer, the organization announced today.
Reece, the popular former NFL player, network broadcaster and member of the NFL Alumni Executive Board of Directors, succeeds Elvis Gooden who had been with the organization since 2013 as Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Executive Officer.
Three-time Super Bowl Champion Bart Oates (Giants, 49ers; 1985-95) will continue as NFLA President.
Reece, the former defensive back, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1976 and later played for the New York Giants (1977-83) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1983-84). After his playing career, Reece was a network analyst on NFL games for both NBC and CBS. He also worked as sports anchor for local stations in Hartford and Tampa before he became Sports Director at KYW-TV in Philadelphia in 1998. He was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 2012 and left the Philadelphia station in 2015.
Reece has been an active member of NFL Alumni serving as President of the local Philadelphia Chapter before joining the NFLA Executive Board.
“We thank Elvis for his dedicated years of service to our retired players and appreciate his contributions to our national office,” the NFLA Board of Directors said. “We look forward to continued success under Beasley Reece who is very familiar with our NFLA on both a local and national level.”
About NFL Alumni
NFL Alumni is comprised of former NFL players, coaches, staffers, cheerleaders, spouses, and associate members whose mission is to serve, assist and inform former players and their families. The Alumni offers a variety of medical, financial, and social programs to help members lead healthy, productive and connected lives, as well as community initiatives under its “Caring for Kids” programs. Pro Football Legends is the commercial marketing arm of the NFL Alumni. For more information, please visit www.nflalumni.org.
Time will tell.
OK – you’ve heard that one before.
But it’s especially fitting when taking a look at Brodie Van Wagenen being named the New York Mets’ new General Manager.
So we decided to talk with our baseball guy, Dave Pepe, about his thoughts.
Dave is no slouch to baseball. His dad was the lead baseball writer for the Daily News. Dave grew up in ballparks.
His partner is Billy Martin…JR. Yes, son of the former Yankee…and Yankee manager.
Van Wagenen made his name in baseball as an MLB agent and, prior to accepting the role as GM with the Mets, was a co-head of Creative Artist Agency’s Baseball Division. The 44-year old built his career on relationships.
While the MLB has a significant population of young GMs that are analytics driven, the Mets decided to hire someone who the organization has established a strong relationship with over the years: Van Wagenen. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back??
There’s no question that Van Wagenen formed a robust rapport with the Mets, as six of the players on the team’s 2018 25-man roster were represented by him.
Two of the six are 2014 NL Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star pitcher Jacob DeGrom and 2016 All-Star pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Much of the controversy surrounding Van Wagenen being named GM has to do with these two guys.
As DeGrom enters his third year of arbitration and Syndergaard goes into his second, Van Wagenen and the Mets will be scrutinized about the appearance of impropriety.
They’ll have to build a “Chinese Wall” around Brodie, just as banks and law firms have done for years to guard against conflicts.
This will undoubtedly be tricky territory for all parties involved, as the role of GM encompasses overseeing these hearings. But we’re told the organization is steadfast that it will work.
Whether or not Van Wagenen stays away from the cases dealing with two of the Mets’ best players and his former clients is going to be something to keep an eye on.
Another element to keep in mind is that Van Wagenen has always been known as an agent that gets really good deals for his clients and less-so for the clubs. It will be interesting to see how – forgive us for another cliché, but – the tables will turn.
Kudos to the Mets for going outside of the box. And per Dave Pepe, Brodie’s experience in building relationships will be paramount to his success.
And oh yes…we and Dave have some players we think you might be interested in.
What athletes eat: WNBA player Lexie Brown’s baked ziti family recipe
By Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Lexie Brown helped to lead the University of Maryland to two Final Four berths before transferring to Duke, where she finished out her college career. This year, Brown was drafted by the Connecticut Sun — and after recently finishing up her rookie season, she’s ready for some time off, and a little more time to splurge with meals, too.
Brown shared an old family recipe she made on a recent trip to catch up with some former teammates. But she’s clear that she’s far from a pro in the kitchen. “If anyone knows me they know that cooking isn’t my strong suit. When I master something, it’s kind of a big deal,” she says. “Baked ziti is definitely a dish I have mastered, so I was excited to make it for them. The recipe is super easy and doesn’t take much time at all.”
Day and time: Dinner on a visit to see some old teammates at Duke
Place: Durham, North Carolina
What I’m eating: Baked ziti
Why I’m eating it: Baked ziti is one of my absolute favorite meals ever. Any time my mom asked me what I wanted for dinner I always asked for it. No matter what. I wouldn’t recommend a plate of baked ziti before a big game or tough workout, but it’s great for right after! I made this on a visit to some old teammates. They had definitely had a long, hard week of workouts so I wanted to treat them!
Whose recipe: My mom’s (and my grandma’s before that)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 14.5-ounce cans of tomato or marinara sauce
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, grated
1 pound ziti
One 15-ounce tub of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
Drain off almost all of the fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove 3 to 4 cups of the cooked sauce to a bowl to cool down.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the ziti until not quite al dente.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, eggs and some salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps). Add the cooled reserved meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta and the remaining sauce and mozzarella.
Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before sprinkling with chopped parsley to serve.
Alexey Oleynik Taps Mark Hunt in First Round at UFC Fight Night 136
By Mike Sloan
Oleynik absorbed several nasty leg kicks from former K-1 Grand Prix world champion Mark Hunt (13-13-1) and was badly wobbled by a laser-like right hand to the head. But “The Boa Constrictor” hung tough and lived up to his nickname by choking out Hunt a few minutes later.
Oleynik (57-11-1) eventually took “The Super Samoan” down, seized his back and locked in the rear-naked choke, forcing Hunt to tap out. The New Zealand native bowed out 4:26 of the first, capping off the card Saturday inside Olimpiysky Arena.
Read the story on Sherdog.
Confidence-Boosting Tips Every Woman Should Know
Three inspiring female athletes on what helps them lean into self-love, and why confidence is the ultimate style essential.
By Rachel Aschenbrand
You’ve heard it all before: If you’re confident and you “own it,” you’ll always look great. It’s a philosophy that’s easy to get on board with, but one that isn’t always the easiest to live by. Everyday stressors can trigger an onslaught of insecurities, and scrolling through filtered Instagram images 24/7 can leave you feeling downright inadequate.
But the truth is that confidence is a muscle; the more you practice and work it, the stronger it becomes. Unfortunately, unlike building a stronger booty or core, there isn’t a gym class that can help you get there. But there are a variety of ways to feel more comfortable in your skin.
Together with Macy’s The Edit and the Macy’s Fashion Office (two amazing places to get clued into all the latest Fall trends), we’ve turned to three multifaceted, accomplished, fitness-obsessed chicks—a WNBA athlete, a USA National Team gymnast, and one of our very own editors—for a confidence refresher course. While each has unique tactics, they all utilize fashion to psych themselves up so they can kill it in the gym and beyond. Read on for tips and tricks.
As a professional WNBA player for the Connecticut Sun, Lexie Brown lives what she describes as her “dream life”—except it wasn’t always so dreamy. “My biggest hurdle was rediscovering myself and my purpose when basketball wasn’t making me as happy as it did when I was younger,” she says. “I realized that it was the environment that was throwing me off, and not the game. I was forced to dig deep and find out who Lexie truly was, without defining myself solely as a basketball player. That’s when I discovered my confidence for the first time. I was 19.”
That confidence now filters into every aspect of Brown’s life on and off the court, including her style. “I’ve built up quite the workout wardrobe. When I feel that I look good, then 99.9% of the time I kill that workout.”
When she’s not breaking a sweat, she still makes dressing for confidence and function a priority. “The way I dress says that I love my body,” she says. “My style sets me apart because it’s so versatile. I can honestly make any type of clothing fit for any occasion. But my favorite part about my style is how comfortable I always am. The outfit from the Macy’s shoot was so comfy and flattering—right up my alley. I felt amazing. It was the most beautiful I’ve felt in a long time.”
Another key to Brown’s confidence? Gratitude. “When you’re feeling down, list five things that you’re grateful for,” she advises. “I think we get so wrapped up in what we don’t have or we haven’t achieved that we forget about the amazing things in front of us. Also, stop comparing your journey—whatever it is—to other people’s. Everyone has a purpose! Focusing on someone else’s is only blocking you from discovering yours.”
What athletes eat: Soccer star Meggie Dougherty Howard’s grilled balsamic chicken and veggie kabobs
By Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard is in just her second year of professional play, representing the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. But the University of Florida All-American is no stranger to high-level soccer. Dougherty Howard has represented the U.S. in national competition on both Under-15 and Under-23 teams.
Chicken and veggies are Dougherty Howard’s go-to pregame meal, so she shared with espnW one of her recent favorite Pinterest finds — perfect to send off summer and embrace the remaining weeks of grilling weather.
Day and time: Saturday night in the summer
Place: Avalon, on the Jersey Shore
What I’m eating: Grilled balsamic chicken and veggie kabobs
Why I’m eating it: I love to grill, especially in the summer when the weather is nice outside, because it’s a great way to make a quick meal that’s full of flavor. I try to incorporate a lot of colors in my cooking, so I love that this recipe uses a variety of vegetables and is packed with nutrients. On lighter training day, I’ll pair the kabobs with a side salad. When I’ve had a heavier day and my body needs more calories, I’ll serve the chicken and veggies over brown rice.
Whose recipe: I do a lot of browsing on Pinterest for new food to cook, and that’s where I found this recipe.
2 chicken breast, cubed
2 peppers, cubed (I used red and orange)
1 onion, cubed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
Combine the ingredients for the balsamic glaze and add half of the glaze to the cubed chicken in a bowl. Let it marinate while chopping the vegetables.
Chop the veggies, then assemble the kabobs, alternating between veggies and chicken.
Grill the kabobs on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes each side. Brush on the remaining balsamic glaze for the last 2 minutes of grilling. Serve with cooked rice or salad.
View the story on espnW.
Roughly a month remains before the Ultimate Fighting Championship touches down in Russia for UFC Fight Night 136. A heavyweight battle between 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt and 41-year-old submission savant Alexey Oleynik will headline the historic event in Moscow.
Oleynik has rattled off 14 wins across his past 16 appearances. He last fought at UFC 224 in May, when he submitted Junior Albini with his patented Ezekiel choke in Rio de Janeiro and improved his record inside the Octagon to 5-2.
In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Oleynik shares his emotions ahead of his next assignment, his thoughts on Hunt and his opinion on hyping fights.
Sherdog: What has the process been like leading up to this event?
Oleynik: I didn’t wait long for an answer about my fight and opponent. After my victory in Brazil, I was asked who I wanted to fight. I said I wanted to fight Fabricio Werdum. He’s the most famous grappler in the world and one of the best. It would have been a tough fight, and I think many fans were looking forward to it. We signed to fight Werdum in Moscow, but the bout was canceled because of his anti-doping violation. Hunt was the only other option with a legendary name, and I agreed to the fight immediately.
Sherdog: What does it mean to you to headline this historic show?
Oleynik: I’m very excited to be in the main event. This is MMA history — it’s the first UFC event in Russia — and I’ll do my best to win. Of course, it means a lot to me but my focus is on the fight so I can perform as well as possible. My wings are no longer growing as strong in my 40s, and this fight is not the first, fifth or 40th of my career (laughs). I’m quite experienced, and I know what to do. You just don’t push past your limits.
Sherdog: Do you think they can fill the card with big names?
Oleynik: I believe Andrei Arlovski is a pretty big name as a three-time UFC champion; he’s on the card. There’s also [Adam] Yandiev. He may not be widely known abroad, but in the (Commonwealth of Independent States), he’s a very popular guy.
Sherdog: Do you think the UFC’s presence will eclipse Russian promotions or increase attention in their favor?
Oleynik: I don’t think the UFC will overshadow all the Russian promotions. You never know how an event will go or how the fighters will perform. Sometimes average promotions may have entertaining fights; they can use those fights for highlights and broadcast them on the Internet and TV. Plus, there are dozens of different organizations, really competitive MMA companies with high-level fighters and fights that serve as steppingstones for younger fighters.
Oleynik: Hype is the correct word, but on the other hand, it’s part of martial arts and any other sport for that matter. You need those types of things to evaluate public interest in a particular event. They try to figure out whether or not they need to give it a go. They make fame and fortune out of it. For example, Conor and [Floyd] Mayweather made a lot of money, so other fighters want to get as close as they can to Conor in order to make a lot of money. [Nate] Diaz fought dozens of times in the UFC, and his purses never exceeded $40,000 to $50,000. After two fights with Conor, he asked for six figures. You can have 20 fights in the UFC and earn $500,000 or you can get a million for just one fight. Of course, that’s what everyone wants, so they try to make money with hype and trash talk. You can name people who are successful at that and those who aren’t successful at it. Let’s see what happens next.
Read story on Sherdog.com.
WNBA First Round Draft Pick Signs with IPZ
WARREN, NJ, July 25, 2018 – Lexie Brown, 2018 WNBA First Round Draft pick, has signed with IPZ, the company announced today.
Brown is a 5-foot-9 point guard who was a McDonald’s and WBCA All-American coming out of high school. She began her collegiate career at the University of Maryland and led the Terrapins to the NCAA Final Four as a freshman in the 2013-14 season and again as a sophomore the following season. In the 2014-15 season, Brown was named to the Associated Press (AP) All-America Third Team.
The point guard decided to transfer to Duke, competed as a Blue Devil in the 2016-17 season, and was named a co-captain. Her 18.3 points per game is the highest for a first-year player in the school’s history. Brown ranked third in the nation in free throw shooting, converting 92.8% of her attempts, and went on a streak of hitting 56 consecutive free throws (most in Duke and ACC history). In addition to being named to the AP All-America Third Team for the second time in her college career (the only player in NCAA history to accomplish this at two different schools), she was also a CoSIDA All-American and the winner of the Kay Yow Award as the ACC women’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year.
As a senior, Brown remained a co-captain and captured additional accolades: AP and espnW All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, All-ACC First Team, Senior CLASS Award finalist, Kay Yow Award winner, preseason ACC Player of the Year, and numerous more. Brown averaged 19.4 ppg and 3.7 spg (led ACC). She was also the only active NCAA player to notch 2,000 points, 500 assists, 250 three-pointers, and 300 steals.
Following her storied college career, Brown participated in the 2018 State Farm College 3-Point Competition. A few weeks later, on April 12, the three-time All-American was selected with the ninth overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun.
Brown has appeared in 16 games for the Sun so far this season and will be playing overseas for CMB Cargo Gyor, a Hungarian EuroCup team, shortly after the conclusion of the WNBA season.
“I’m very excited to work with IPZ,” said Brown. “They are everything and more that I wanted in representation. They appreciate what I bring to the table on and off the court and understand the bigger picture. I am looking forward to bringing all my ideas and endeavors to life.”
“Lexie is truly one of a kind,” said IPZ’s WNBA Agent Kyrsten Van Natta. “Not only is she an outstanding basketball player, but she excels in many areas off the court as well. She earned her MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke – one of the best business schools in the country – and was a standout on the court for the Blue Devils simultaneously. There’s no question in my mind that Lexie will have an amazing career in and after basketball. We, at IPZ, are thrilled to be with her on her journey.”
What athletes eat: Team USA volleyball player Kelsey Robinson’s full-power breakfast bowl
By Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson is used to living out of a suitcase. This spring the 2014 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist was in five countries in five weeks competing with the women’s national team in the Nations League.
But continent hopping and jet lag don’t slow down the self-declared foodie and travel addict, who keeps a food and travel blog, called Nom & Play.
Robinson shared her go-to power breakfast, which she adapts to suit her current locale. “When I’m in California I use fresh avocado or maybe some leftover salsa from tacos we’ve had the previous night,” she says. “If I’m living and playing in Istanbul, I’ll use tomatoes, cucumbers and a lot of herbs. It’s fun to keep this recipe dependent on the local ingredients you have.”
Day and time: This is my go-to breakfast when I have any morning free from training.
Place: Toyota, Japan, for the FIVB Volleyball Nations League
What I’m eating: Egg breakfast bowl
Why I’m eating it: What I love most is that this provides me with sustainable energy throughout the day. It has the big four that I try to incorporate into every meal: protein, fat, fiber and greens!
While I typically like to make a big portion for mornings off, you can totally make it before a morning practice or weights session and it’ll power you through.
Whose recipe: This was the first dish my fiancé ever cooked for me, and needless to say I fell in love with him right then and there. Obviously I had to steal the recipe and tweak it to make it my own (and a little better).
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 to 3 eggs
3 to 4 slices bacon
Your choice of greens (or leftover salad)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Sweet potatoes (diced or shredded and cooked, or leftover)
Boil quinoa to cook (I usually do this the night before and store it in the fridge, but you can also do it in the morning). Chop or grate and cook sweet potatoes if using.
Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until crispy. Remove from pan and cook onions in leftover bacon fat. Add greens to saute briefly, then crack eggs into pan and cook. Season with salt and pepper.
When eggs are almost cooked, add the quinoa so it can heat up if you made it the night before.
Combine quinoa and eggs in a bowl, topping with bacon, turmeric, tapatio, avocado and your choice of other ingredients. I like to add sweet potato hash browns, beets or even leftover salad.
Read the story on espnW.