Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a statue in the "Cradle of Coaches" display at his alma mater, Miami University, in Ohio. Now Miami season-ticket holders can have a pint-size Harbaugh in their house.

The RedHawks are offering a miniature replica of the John Harbaugh statue in an effort to boost season-ticket sales for the upcoming football season. Harbaugh had a full-size statue erected for him in April, placing him alongside legends like Bo Schembechler and Paul Brown. Miami created a video to advertise the statue, receiving help from Harbaugh himself.

John Harbaugh was the voice of his "Mini-Me" in the commercial, which opens with shots of the actual statues with birds chirping in the background. Then "Lil' John's" voice is heard off screen, trying to grab the attention of the camera.

"Psssst. Over here. No, down here,” Lil' John says. “Have you bought your Miami football season tickets yet? If not, you're missing out on an opportunity to bring me, Lil’ John Harbaugh, into your home."

The RedHawks official Twitter page promoted the video with this tweet.

If Baltimore fans want a statue, they will be disappointed to learn that the statue is only available with the purchase of a season-ticket package, which costs $95.

It has been a busy off-season for Harbaugh, who helped a newly engaged couple celebrate outside the Ravens' team facility in June.

Full Story >>

Kain Colter is a college graduate. At this stage of the college football unionization fight, the inaugural spokesman of the College Athletes Players Association is not an NCAA athlete. The former Northwestern quarterback signed as a receiver with the Vikings after going undrafted.

But Colter's role in CAPA's unionization fight is perhaps far from over. He appeared on The Daily Show one month ago, and he continues to tweet his views on college players' rights.

Late Monday night, Colter went visual with his debate. He posted an Instagram of himself posing in a picture reading, "Has anyone seen my likeness?"

The photo is a reference to a key point of the college players' rights campaign. Even before the topic of unionization was brought up, there were lawsuits, notably the Ed O'Bannon case, involving revenue from college athletes' likenesses from video game portrayals, jerseys, shirts and other merchandise.

It is important to remember Colter's problem with likenesses could first be seen in July 2012. When NCAA Football 13 unleashed its rosters, Northwestern "QB #2" was made with a lighter skin tone and lighter hair than Colter.

In his senior year, in NCAA Football 14, Colter's skin tone was darker than his natural skin tone. Before unionization was even a thing, Colter had issues with likenesses.

Colter tagged @theAlibiXstory in the Instagram and subsequent tweet to the photo. "Alibi X is a brand that hopes to bring attention to the social injustices in todays society," according to the company's Twitter page.

In March, the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled, after a battle led by Colter and CAPA, Northwestern football players are employees who are permitted to unionize. In April, Northwestern scholarship players voted in Evanston, Ill. The results of the poll are yet to be reported, but journalists close to the team believe the union will not receive the necessary majority. Northwestern University has appealed the initial NLRB decision.

Northwestern opens the season on August 30 at home versus California. Meanwhile, the Vikings open training camp Thursday.

Full Story >>

The Germans had a nearly flawless World Cup, not losing a single match while dominating some of the most impressive sides in Brazil en route to the country's fourth championship.

So the squad can be forgiven if the celebration didn't go as well as the actual tournament.

According to the German newspaper Die Welt, a piece of the trophy took a hit during the champions' celebrations in Berlin.

"At one point, a small piece of our World Cup trophy was chipped off," DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach told Die Welt. "But do not worry! We have specialists on the case who can fix it. We have investigated persistently who it was that damaged the trophy, but the investigation was concluded without a result."

So the trophy made it through this well-choreographed celebration, but couldn't hold up later on:

Thankfully, the trophy awarded to Germany is only a replica of the real one. That one, which is made of 18-carat gold and valued at around $10 million, is locked in a vault after the final game.

Germany also won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Full Story >>

Kobe Bryant continues to grind. The 16-time All-Star is 35 and has 18 seasons of baggage on him. Injuries to his Achilles and knee injury have limited him to six games since April 12, 2013.

Yet, Bryant signed a two-year $48.5 million contract extension in November that keeps him in Los Angeles through the 2015-16 season. Bryant and the Lakers have faith he can still be an alpha dog. That is important when you only have six players under contract on July 21. (Six!)

Bryant gave the Lakers reason to believe in his health Sunday. Playing in Richard Sherman's charity softball game, Bryant smashed a home run in his first at-bat at Safeco Field.

And from another angle:

The game featured a shorter, temporary fence, but Bryant's power is nothing to scoff at. He said he had not swung a bat in 20 years, but knocked the ball out with ease in his first at-bat. He attributed his sweet stroke from the left side to his coach, four-time Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy.

Apparently, Bryant was in a Home Run Derby before the actual game started, and he performed below expectations. Maybe the practice cuts were what Bryant needed before the swings actually counted.

In a game featuring Sherman, Macklemore, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford, among others, of course Bryant still managed to be the center of attention. A noted soccer player, Bryant proved his versatility gives him skill in another sport.

Somewhere, Carmelo Anthony is second-guessing himself. The Mamba is still an athlete. Maybe the Lakers are a healthier team than advertised this summer.

Full Story >>

A.J. Hawk had his first tackling drill of the season, but it wasn’t at Packers training camp -- it was on the golf course.

A fan crossed the rope at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Tahoe and asked the Pro Bowl linebacker to tackle him.

Hawk summoned his inner Happy Gilmore to grant the fan’s request as he laid him out across the tee box. NBC Golf posted a video that caught all the action:

Believe it or not, this is the second time Hawk has tackled someone on the golf course. In 2012 the linebacker shoved a man into a pond during a touch football game at the Inspiring Minds Celebrity Golf Outing.

Hawk told the tackle was part of the charity event’s silent auction. He only regrets not wrapping up for a full tackle into the pond:

“It was a charity golf event up in Youngstown and at the end, they have a dinner and auction and stuff. The guy that was running the auction, I knew him, and he wanted to raise some more money. So that was his auction item [the touch football game]. He paid good money to have [it]. ... Troy Smith threw the ball to him. Then I tackled him into the water. The dude paid — the guy's name is Bill — he paid good money to have that happen. ... The only thing I regret is...I wish I would've wrapped him up and tackled him into the water. That would've been awesome.”

Hawk made up for the missed wrap-up in 2012 by pummeling his most recent volunteer tackling dummy to the ground.

Despite whatever bruises he might have absorbed, this fan now has a golf story that's hard to beat.

Full Story >>

The minor league Charleston RiverDogs game is going to end with a bang Saturday. The Yankees' single-A team is blowing up Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus music and paraphernalia to honor the 35th anniversary of baseball’s infamous Disco Demolition Night.

The Chicago White Sox created the original Disco Demolition Night to fill seats during their tanking 1979 season. Disco records were blown up in Comiskey Park between games of a scheduled twi-night doubleheader. But the damage to the field forced Chicago to forfeit the second game.

Check out the promo the RiverDogs' game Saturday in South Carolina against the Augusta Green Jackets (Giants):

Beyond the explosives, the RiverDogs also plan to ban all Bieber and Cyrus music from being played in their stadium. The cause for the event is explained in the press release:

"Like so many, we have taken special exception to Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus's music along with his numerous run-ins with the law and her controversial performances," RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echol said. "'Disco Demolition 2' is dedicated to the eradication of their dread musical disease, like the original Disco Demolition attempted to do. We are going to take Bieber and Cyrus's merchandise and memorabilia, put it in a giant box, and blow it to smithereens. It is all in good fun, and we guarantee there won't be a forfeit of a game."

That's because the team learned from history and has planned for the destruction to take place after the game.

Fans that bring Bieber or Cyrus paraphernalia to contribute to the demolition can buy tickets for $1.

In case you're not familiar with the original Disco Demolition Night from July 12, 1979, check out some of the carnage below:

Full Story >>

Dom Dwyer is MLS's second-leading scorer. Through 19 games, Dwyer has netted 14 goals, including four game-winners. His 68 shots are the most in the league. The 23-year-old Sporting Kansas City forward is a budding star at the United States' top level.

He is also not American. Dwyer is a rare young European playing in MLS. In fact, he is English.

But he may not be for long -- kind of.

Dwyer was born in Cuckfield, England, and spent his youth career with English clubs Norwich City and King's Lynn. He also attended the College of West Anglia from 2006-2008. In 2009, Dwyer left for the U.S., where he won two national championships at Tyler Junior College. In his sophomore season, Dwyer was named national junior college player of the year. He played one season at Division I South Florida before being selected 16th overall by Sporting KC in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. In 2013, on loan at then USL Pro club Orlando City S.C., Dwyer set the league's single-season goal scoring record with 15 goals in 13 matches.

Back at Sporting KC, Dwyer is going after MLS records (Kansas City's single-season goals record is 18) ... and possibly a spot on the United States Men's National Team.

Dwyer established residence in the U.S. in 2009 and received a green card upon his signing with Sporting KC in 2012. If Dwyer continues on this patriotic pace, he can apply for U.S. citizenship in 2017 -- a year before the next World Cup.

Sporting KC is coming off a 2013 MLS Cup championship. Team President Robb Heineman is already campaigning for his young firecracker to play at the national level:

“Every player wants to play on the international stage,” Dwyer told Tuesday. “I think if I were to get called in the future and have an opportunity, I think that's something every player would love to do and dream of.”

Not to dwell any more on the USMNT's Round of 16 loss, but the Yanks could have used a scoring presence like Dwyer up front after Jozy Altidore went down with a hamstring injury. Dwyer plays with USMNT World Cup stalwarts Matt Besler and Graham Zusi at Sporting KC.

Dwyer is not without English pride. The native Englishman still has a dream to play for The Three Lions. Although, after moving to MLS at such a young age, he recognizes that dream may be farfetched:

"If the offer ever came to me, I think it would be a difficult one to say no to," he says. "I'm from England, born and raised there, but I've been in the US for quite a few years and have a lot of love for this country and enjoy being here.

"But I don't know where I'll be in 2017. You don't know where you'll be tomorrow. So you have to just kind of take it as it comes, and if the opportunity comes -- I'm not sure if [England manager] Roy Hodgson's going to be calling me any time soon, so we'll just have to wait and see."

Dwyer is clearly having fun in the U.S. Dwyer felt comfortable enough in America to take a selfie after scoring a goal.

Dwyer would be far from the first player to switch international allegiances to play for the USMNT in a World Cup. On Jurgen Klinsmann's 2014 squad, German-Americans Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Julian Green, John Brooks and Timothy Chandler, Norwegian-American Mikkel Diskerud and Icelandic-American Aron Johannsson, all recorded youth caps with other national programs (Jones even had three senior caps with the Germany Senior Team).

Dwyer, however, never played at the national level for powerhouse England. He would follow a similar path to Stuart Holden, who was born in Scotland, but moved to Sugar Land, Texas at age 10. Holden played college soccer at Clemson and joined the USMNT in time for the 2010 World Cup, where he played against England. Injuries derailed Holden, who plays for English club Bolton Wanderers, a chance to play in the 2014 World Cup.

In the past few weeks, Dwyer has Instagrammed this (with the caption: 5 years ago today me and my Fwends landed in America on a football scholarship! #NotABadDecision @kylenicholls10 @joesetchell):

And retweet this from MLS:

In other words, in the 21st century, there is a chance an Englishman may transition national allegiances to play soccer for the United States. By constitutional law, Dwyer can be an American citizen -- as American as any other voter -- by 2017. If all goes as planned, at age 27, he could be wearing red, white and blue.

The road to Russia has begun.

Full Story >>

For Mark Calcavecchia, the British Open provides an annual opportunity to compete against the world's top players.

The 54-year-old former PGA tour member now competes primarily on the over-50 Champions Tour, but because he won the British Open in 1989, he qualifies for an automatic spot in the tournament each year until he turns 60.

But this year Calcavecchia won't be making an appearance at Royal Liverpool, and for that he's blaming American Airlines.

Calcavecchia didn't make the cut last year, but he finished tied for ninth in 2012.

Taking Calcavecchia's spot will be Canadian David Hearn, who will play the first two rounds with former Open champions Nick Faldo and Todd Hamilton. Calcavecchia graciously congratulated Hearn on his opportunity, which will be Hearn's first British Open appearance:

Full Story >>

The backstory behind Johnny Manziel's first commercial is as interesting, if not more so, than the spot itself.

The ad, for a Cleveland-area Nissan dealer, isn't bad as local car dealership spots come (although the bar is pretty low).

Manziel delivers some lines and then appears to drop back and throw a football through the window of a Nissan Altima. Here's the spot:

At first, the stunt may appear fake. But it turns out that Manziel actually did throw the football through the car's window. According to reports, it was a 40-yard throw into a car that was going 25 mph.

And Manziel's strike was so accurate that it hit the stunt driver in the face:

"Manziel made a perfect throw into the car," Bernie Moreno, president of the Collection Auto Group, told TMZ. "Everybody celebrated except the driver who got out the car with a huge welt on his face."

Manziel, of course, does have some notable trick shot experience.

As it turns out, the commercial was arranged for Manziel by his marketing firm, LRMR. That company's biggest client is another soon-to-be Cleveland sports star, LeBron James. The firm was founded by James' childhood friend, Maverick Carter.

"The connection actually started with Lebron and Maverick Carter," Moreno told "They've been phenomenal clients of ours for the last nine years, even after he moved to Miami -- not only LeBron but his friends and associates. He's been a super-loyal client and it was a natural for when they got Johnny to really present it to us and give us that opportunity."

After the shoot Moreno had only positive things to say about the Browns rookie quarterback, who has been questioned for his off-the-field decision making.

"He has a lot of charisma," Moreno said. "He's a naturally nice guy. He cares deeply. Despite some of the fringy things you see out there, I think in his heart he's a really good person, the kind of person that just wants to win and bring a championship to Cleveland, there's no question in my mind about that."

Full Story >>

John Singleton will be living every weekend golfer's dream this week when he walks the greens at Royal Liverpool.

Singleton, 30, works in a factory as a production operator for a varnish-and-resin company several miles away from the course. He once had a promising golf career -- starring at Division-II Rend Lake College in Illinois -- but it was derailed by serious injuries to both knees. After a total of six knee operations Singleton assumed his competitive golf career was over.

But he figured this year, with the British Open taking place several miles away from his home, it was worth the roughly $240 for the qualifying tournaments. With his dad caddying for him at the regional qualifying tournament, Singleton lost in the playoff and was ready to accept disappointment. But he was called up to the final 36-hole qualifier as a reserve, and a course-record second round had him on his way to the final spot in the British Open.

He's been dubbed the 'Walter Mitty' of golf, "a mild-mannered man with a blue-collar job whose fantasy of competing against the best players in the world will become a reality this week."

The last time the Open was held in Liverpool, Singleton forgot to enter qualifying and he was forced to watch as a spectator. He told the New York Times he spent much of the tournament drinking in the beer garden.

As evidenced by these Twitter posts, Singleton has had quite the memorable experience leading up to this year's tournament:

Singleton's co-workers will get Thursday off so they can watch him compete. Singleton himself has had two weeks off, with pay, so he could prepare for the tournament. That's a decision his employer may come to regret.

"I want to get a sponsor so I can continue to play golf," Singleton said. "I have to work full time. I want to play full time."

Full Story >>

Syndicate content