The NFL is known for being a copycat league, but we're not so sure other owners will be following the lead of Indianapolis boss Jim Irsay.

As he promised on Twitter, Irsay attended the team's training-camp practice Saturday afternoon in Anderson, Indiana. He then proceeded to hand out $100 bills to some of the fans.




(Translation: Jim Irsay is trying to give competition to Jerry Jones.)

Perhaps Irsay is just warming up because he might receive some sort of fine (and suspension) from the NFL. Irsay is facing two misdemeanor charges stemming from his arrest in March for suspicion of driving under the influence. At the time of his arrest, Irsay had $29,000 cash with him, according to the police report, as well as prescription bottles and pills.

Or he is trying to show how it isn't all that unusual for him to be carrying that much cash on him. Consider what Irsay told Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz last month. From Kravitz's column:

Not afraid of making the point, he showed me a briefcase on his desk. When he opened it, I saw stacks and stacks of $100 bills.

"I don't know why that was leaked to the press or what it had to do with anything," he said. "You're talking about someone who is extremely generous, and I say that humbly. That's the way I try to live my life and it has nothing to do with the law. What's been reported out there, there's been a sensationalizing about things that have nothing to do with the law. It shouldn't be an issue."

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During her skating career that included five world championships and two Olympic medals, Michelle Kwan starred in commercials to pitch sponsors such as Chevrolet and Campbell's Soup. Now Kwan is back on TV, but this time she is touting a candidate rather than a company.

Her husband, Clay Pell, is running in Rhode Island's Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Kwan is, among other issues, trying to boost his standing with women voters.

"One of the reasons I'm so excited about my husband Clay Pell's candidacy is because Clay is committed to a women's-equality agenda that strengthens protection for women in areas like pay equity, sexual harassment and domestic violence," Kwan says at the beginning of the spot.

Here is the full cut:

The primary election is Sept. 9. Pell, 32, was considered a long shot because he is a newcomer, and a WPRI poll in May had him running a distant third to Providence mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

But WPRI reported this week that Pell's campaign is getting traction as he "continues to benefit from voters' affection toward his late grandfather, U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, and his famous wife, Michelle Kwan."

Claiborne Pell is perhaps best known for the Pell Grant, a significant source of financial aid to college students. Here are Clay and Michelle, with Claiborne's widow, Nuala Pell:

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Comedian Frank Caliendo is known for his impressions for such celebrities as George W. Bush, Sean Connery and John Madden. With a special interest in sports, Caliendo has been featured in programming for ESPN and Fox Sports over the past decade.

In his latest act, Caliendo appeared on Mike & Mike Thursday. He read the entire LeBron James Sports Illustrated letter in Morgan Freeman's voice.

Later in the day, Freeman was a guest on The Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon displayed part of the video for the Oscar-winning actor:

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As we mentioned last year when the name of the National Spelling Bee champion was misspelled in a news headline, we'd rather sympathize than snicker in these situations.

But then we're not an Oklahoma Sooners fan who noticed a rather egregious spelling mistake on every page of the Texas Longhorns football media guide. The goof is that the media guide promotes the website TexsaSports.com rather than TexasSports.com.

LostLettermen reported that an Oklahoma fan then went ahead and registered the TexsaSports.com domain name.

Here's what you'll find you if you click on it:

According to TexasSports.com, the Longhorns and Sooners will meet Oct. 11 in Arlington.

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It's becoming more and more common for NFL players to make flashy entrances as they arrive at training camp (see Wayne, Reggie).

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, on the other hand, avoided flashy at all costs with his training camp ride. Cutler, 31, showed up to Bears camp in Bourbonnais, Ill., in a plain white conversion van:



This is quite a turnaround for Cutler, who arrived at camp in an Escalade last year.

Perhaps the conversion van is reflective of a new approach for Cutler, who signed a seven-year contract extension in January worth as much as $126.7 million. Cutler also became a dad for the second time after his wife, former reality show star Kristin Cavallari, gave birth to the couple's second son in May.

While Cutler has performed better than any Bears quarterback in recent memory, he's still been hit with lots of criticism regarding his attitude. Specifically, Cutler has alienated some teammates with his grouchy sideline demeanor.

One of the beauties of the conversion van is that it is multi-purpose, so perhaps Cutler can show his lighter side to his teammates with fun activities in the back of his ride:


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Minnesota Vikings fans have reason to be excited for their team's new stadium, a $975 million publicly financed project with enormous glass panels that offer a beautiful panorama of Minneapolis.

The stadium, expected to be finished in 2016, has already been tabbed to host the 2018 Super Bowl.


But these very panels that may become the hallmark of the new stadium are also causing significant distress for the Audubon Society, the world's largest bird-focused conservation group. The group is worried that birds won't be able to distinguish between the glass and open air:


In a press release, Audubon Minnesota Executive Director Matthew Anderson pleaded with the franchise to consider using safer glass:

"We're talking about a billion dollar stadium here, and the cost to save perhaps thousands of migratory birds -- and make the Vikings a global leader in green stadium design -- is about one-tenth of one percent of that," Anderson said. "Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money is going to build this stadium, and we know the people of Minnesota do not want their money killing birds. The Vikings recently approved spending millions and millions of additional dollars to make sure the stadium is 'iconic' – surely they also want to make sure it's not a death trap. We're asking them to change their minds and do the right thing."

The Audubon Society maintains that the new glass would be relatively cheap:


According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, last year the Vikings promised the Audubon Society they would turn off the lights at the new stadium at night to help birds avoid confusion. But the Audubon Society says that neither the Vikings nor the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has responded to their recent request for new glass.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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The jokes practically writes themselves. The San Diego Chargers, constant AFC bridesmaids despite some deeply talented teams the past 10 years, even come in second in their offseason beer league for softball.

Stu Woo of the Wall Street Journal profiled the Chargers' beer league team, which despite being easily the most athletic assemblage of players in its Wednesday night league, could not take home the title.

"Fielding was the problem," Philip Rivers, the team's shortstop and captain, told Woo.

Many of the Chargers hadn't played baseball or softball since high school, and while they still had the advantage over most teams, they could not defeat Randy Jones Invitational, the top squad in the league. Named for a local golf tournament that sponsored their jerseys, Randy Jones Invitational beat the Chargers twice in the regular season and earned the top spot in the league standings.

"The Chargers are by far the most athletic guys on the field on Wednesday nights," Henry Schweichler, catcher for Randy Jones Invitational, told Woo, "but we are the more skillful team."

Rivers organized his team as an offseason bonding activity, and the Chargers certainly had fun on the diamond. According to Woo they had "country names" like "Jim-Bob" and "Cletis" on the backs of their jerseys, and some of the players donned disguises during the games.

Rivers, who went by "Ricky," wore a hat that was accompanied by a mullet wig.


With many of their regulars on vacation before training camp starts, the Chargers were upset in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite a solid AFC West that includes defending conference champion Denver, Chargers fans can only hope their football team advances farther in the playoffs than their softball team did this year.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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