Mike Rice recently went to great lengths to raise money for cancer research. Literally.

On Friday the Rutgers men's basketball coach rappelled down the 470-foot Harborside Financial Center Building No. 5 in Jersey City as part of the American Cancer Society’s “Over the Edge” fundraising effort.

After a rain delay pushed back his start time, the 43-year-old Rice rappelled the 50-story building in nine minutes. And it only took him that long because he made frequent stops on his way down, acknowledging and waving to employees through the building's windows.

"Halfway down, then you start to enjoy it," Rice told NJ.com. "There was big boardroom with a lot of block R’s, so they started taking pictures, and I was waving. So that was fun. Just the over the edge part was the difficult part for me. But again, it’s for a great cause in the American Cancer Society. My part was just rappelling down a perfectly normal, safe skyscraper."

The "Over the Edge" fundraiser has raised more than $200,000 for the American Cancer Society.

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Deion Sanders may be past his prime, but when he showed up to Camden Yards on Wednesday, it was Prime Time all over again.

Sanders, the former baseball and football star, is in Baltimore with the NFL Network for Thursday's Ravens-Browns game. The lightning-quick cornerback and outfielder has several ties to the Ravens and Orioles: He spent two years on the Ravens at the tail end of his career, and he played for Orioles manager Buck Showalter in the New York Yankees organization before reaching the big leagues in 1989.

Sanders swung by the Orioles' batting practice on Wednesday to spend time with Showalter and to take some practice cuts. According to all reports out of Baltimore, the 45-year-old still has a sweet stroke.

Despite not having swung a bat in years, Sanders smacked three home runs.

"You guys thought it was just [batting practice]," Sanders joked. "But it was an audition, really."

It has been more than two decades since Showalter managed Sanders on the Albany-Colonie Yankees, but Showalter will never forget his first impressions of the speedy Sanders.

"We grade guys that can run; he was a different level," Showalter said. "The first time I saw him take off at first and steal second, it was a different grade there that we didn't have on our scale. Him running out a triple is still one of the prettiest things I ever watched."

There must have been something in the air at Camden Yards. A few hours after Sanders went yard, the Orioles tied a team record with seven home runs in a 12-2 win over the Blue Jays.

(H/T to Alicia Zubikowski)

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It's been a while since we heard from Jason "J-Mac" McElwain.

McElwain, who is autistic, gained national notoriety after coming off the bench during a 2006 high school basketball game and scoring 20 points in four minutes. His story captivated the country -- he met President George W. Bush, he won an ESPY and he even sold the move rights to his story.

So what is McElwain up to now? He's working as a baker at a supermarket, volunteering as an assistant coach at his former high school, and oh yeah, running marathons.

On Sunday, McElwain finished the MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon in 3 hours, 1 minute and 41 seconds. Not only was that time good enough for 15th place, it also qualifies McElwain for a spot in the Boston Marathon.

While the field for the 2013 Boston Marathon is already closed, McElwain says he is looking to run the race in 2014.

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We already knew that Larry Fitzgerald is a Renaissance Man. The guy plays big and dreams bigger.

And on Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals' star receiver added another accomplishment to his already impressive resume: conductor. Fitzgerald led the Phoenix Symphony in a rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner during Thursday night's season-opening concert.

And so the question was inevitable: Which is harder, Larry, playing football or conducting an orchestra?

"I think a well-conducted orchestra is probably a lot tougher than playing football," Fitzgerald told azcentral.com. "To play at such a high level, consistently, together for so long, I think that's truly a talent."

As far as we can tell, Fitzgerald was not wearing his UGG boots while conducting.

(H/T to USA Today)

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Ed Whitlock is to senior distance running what Usain Bolt is to sprinting.

The man is a machine.

Whitlock, 81, raced across the finish line at the inaugural Milton Half-Marathon in Milton, Ontario with a time of 1:38.59. Not only did that time make Whitlock a world-record holder for the 80-84 age group, the Milton native also accomplished the feat in his hometown.

Afterwards, Whitlock was mobbed with well-wishers and requests for photos.

"I’ve gotten use to it, I guess," Whitlock told InsideHamilton.com. "I’ve broken a lot of cameras over the years. Good thing film is a lot cheaper nowadays."

Whitlock's mark breaks the previous record in the 80+ age group by 29 seconds, and it is his 11th world record time. The record is made all the more impressive by the fact that Whitlock broke one of his ribs less than one year ago and did not resume training until mid-summer.

To give you a sense of how Whitlock looks in action, here's a clip from one of his race's in 2011:

Whitlock suffered from knee arthritis in 2008, and he was told he would never run again. Luckily, he didn't take the doctor's advice. Instead, he took some time off and returned to running.

In addition to setting the world record in his age group, Milton finished 41st overall out of more than 300 participants.

(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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If this whole quarterbacking thing doesn't work out for Tim Tebow, and there's at least some chance that it won't, the New York Jets backup says he might look to take his talents to a bigger stage.

In an interview with ESPN New York, Tebow said he hasn't discarded the idea of entering politics.

"Whatever avenue I feel like I can make a difference in, I’d love to do," Tebow said. "I haven't ruled out anything like that. It won't be anytime soon in my future, but it'll be something I'll at least look at and consider one day."

This isn't the first time Tebow has been linked with public service. In fact, it's not the second or the third time either.

In February, Tebow told David Feherty that politics could be "something in my future." In April, Tebow drew 15,000 people to an Easter service in Texas in which he espoused opinions usually reserved for politicians. Last month, Tebow was rumored to be the guest speaker at the Republican National Convention. Alas, the GOP chose Clint Eastwood.

Tebow remains enormously popular in his home state of Florida, , and he wouldn't even be the first football player-turned-politician in the Sunshine State.

The idea of Senator Tebow may seem like a long shot now, but we've learned that when it comes to Tim Tebow, anything is possible.

(H/T to Off The Bench)

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A few football players were playing with heavy hearts last weekend following the deaths of their grandmothers. But amazingly, they each had huge performances that helped their teams win crucial games.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o suffered an unthinkable stretch last week: His grandmother died on Tuesday and his girlfriend passed away one day later. Yet he found it within himself to suit up for Notre Dame in its contest at Michigan State on Saturday night. And Te'o had an incredible game, totalling 12 tackles and leading the Fighting Irish to a stunning 20-3 upset of the Spartans.

"It was hard,'' Te'o said. "I lost two women that I truly loved. But I had my family around me, I had my football family around me, I had my girlfriend's family around me. At the end of the day, families are forever."

The next day, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz also put on his pads under similar circumstances. Cruz's grandmother had died Monday, and like Te'o, he decided to play. Cruz proved crucial in the Giants' come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The third-year wide-receiver recorded an 80-yard-touchdown reception in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 11 catches for 179 yards.

After his touchdown reception, Cruz did his signature salsa dance. But this time it was different.

"Once I got to the 3 [yard line], I knew it was time to honor her and I knew she was with me," Cruz said. "And it was almost like the place kind of went silent and I was just there dancing with her. It was a good moment."

Cruz wasn't the only New York wide receiver playing with his grandmother on his mind. Hakeem Nicks' grandmother was in the stands at MetLife Stadium to watch Nicks play for the first time as a professional. Like Cruz, Nicks had an enormous game. He caught 10 balls for 199 yards and a touchdown. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time in NFL history that two receivers on the same team caught at least 10 passes for 175 yards in the same game.

Chris Johnson also played through pain Sunday, as his great-grandmother died just hours before he and the Tennessee Titans took the field in San Diego. The Titans lost, and Johnson totalled 17 yards on eight carries.

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In the 1980s, Ray Mancini was a national hero; the real-life Rocky who rose from the gritty streets of Youngstown, Ohio, to become boxing's All-American Boy. Growing up in the shadow of his father -- whose own boxing career was tragically cut short by injuries sustained in WWII -- Ray vowed to win the world championship title and national glory that Lenny, the original Boom Boom, had missed out on. But another tragedy awaited the younger Mancini -- this time in the ring itself. A story of loss and redemption and the bonds between fathers and sons, The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini by Mark Kriegel takes readers from the sweaty fight gyms of 1940s Brooklyn to the glamorous, if corrupt, televised fights of the 1980s, tracing the arcs of the very different careers of the Mancini men while depicting their personal relationships with the ring. Here is an excerpt. (Warning: This post contains adult language.)

The longer it went, this stubborn accrual of brutalities, the more it thrilled -- not just the millions watching at home -- but his fellow celebrities at ringside. One could see Sinatra transfixed, his admiration palpable. Bill Cosby left his seat to volunteer advice in the champion's corner.

This was America's champion: symbolically potent, demographically perfect. And during this brief moment in American life the public observed little distinction between flesh and fable, between Boom Boom Mancini and Rocky Balboa.

Hey, people would ask, when you gonna kick that Mr. T's ass?

But against almost every expectation, this fight was even better than a movie. Each passing round became an homage to the champion's father, who had been a fighter himself. I never took a step back, he told his son.

The challenger, for his part, had no father to speak of, a source of great embarrassment back in his native Korea. But his manner of combat, the eagerness with which he endured abuse, seemed to gentle the condition of his birth, as if he'd descended from the Hwarang knights who famously admonished against retreat.

He was enchanted, said an old friend.

By now, both fighters were purplish and quilted with bruises.

And as the champion went wearily to his corner, he wondered what the fuck Bill Cosby was doing there and why he was speaking in that Fat Albert voice. Was this a dream?

What's he got to do? wondered the champion's corner man. Kill this kid?

One of the television announcers had seen it before. And between rounds, he issued a muttering prophesy: Something bad's going to happen ...

***

Almost three decades later, Ray Mancini mumbles a prayer as a waiter sets the plate before him. Red sauce, pink sauce, white sauce, or grilled. It matters not. Mancini's devotional rituals do not change.

The regulars at table twenty-four enjoy the whole bit, from mannerism to mantra, the way it ends with Ray pressing fingers to his lips. But, more than that, they envy his capacity to believe.

Fucking Ray'll believe anything, they say.

Present, as usual, are the hard-wired playwright, the muchloved television star, and the producer who made it big with cop shows. Il Forno Trattoria -- "the joint," as they call it -- is tucked into a strip mall on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica. "We all grew up in neighborhoods where a great premium was placed on being able to sit around and talk shit," explains the playwright.

"So, instead of this Hollywood nonsense, guys talking about their diets, we remember."

Remember the fight? Remember the night?

And that fat detective from Brooklyn, remember him?

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In a sport that some say has lost its way, optimists will point to Mike Lee as evidence that boxing is moving in the right direction.

For those who don't follow the sport, the 25-year-old Lee is an undefeated light heavyweight fighting on the undercard of Saturday's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez duel. Lee is the best boxer you've heard of but might not have seen fight. He is easily recognizable, having starred in a series of nation-wide Subway commercials alongside the likes of Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and Olympian Michael Phelps.

And while this will be just his eleventh fight as a pro, Lee's professional career appears to be catching up to his commercial celebrity. He is working with the trainer Ronnie Shields, whose clientele list includes Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Lee has also signed with legendary promoter Bob Arum's Top Rank promotion company, and one of his first bouts as a professional was on the undercard of another Arum fighter, Pacquiao.

It is unfair to put the burden of an entire sport on one man. Lee has willingly walked into many fights, but not this one. He is an incredibly disciplined, intelligent and savvy fighter. He is full of potential, and due to all the pressure he has faced and challenges he has overcome, he may be more prepared for stardom -- mentally and physically -- than virtually any other boxer with his level of experience. But Lee will be the first to admit that he is not the sport’s savior.

Not yet, anyway.

"I think in terms of maturity, I've grown faster than 99 percent of the other fighters in their first two years because I have been thrown into all these huge fights and these big pressure situations," Lee says. "In that respect I’m happy. But I know that there's a long way to go too."

Fighting Irish

Lee is so well adjusted at such a young age because he’s been preparing for this for his entire life.

Mike's dad, John, grew up on the streets of Chicago without a father and never graduated from high school. But John went on to serve in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and carved out a successful career as an entrepreneur. John worked with Mike from a young age, throwing around the football or playing catch at their home in Wheaton, Ill., until it was dark, day after day. Gradually, John instilled a certain toughness in his son.

"At 6 years old, he was like a man," John says of Mike. "All the other kids in sports were daydreaming, and he was intensely focused, like an 18-year-old kid trying out for a Division I team."

Hard work is all Lee has ever known. He took on an extremely heavy workload as a freshman at University of Missouri so that he could eventually transfer to Notre Dame. Lee enrolled in Notre Dame as a sophomore, where he graduated from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance and a 3.8 GPA.

Notre Dame has a strong boxing tradition dating back to the 1920s, when football coach Knute Rockne first organized bouts to keep his players in shape during the offseason. Each year, the Notre Dame men's boxing club puts on the Bengal Bouts, a school-wide tournament staged on the basketball court at the Joyce Center with thousands of people in the stands.

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You may remember K'NEX, the construction set with endless possibilites.

Well, wait until you see what one man did with some creativity, a lot of time and about 40,000 K'NEX pieces.

Austin Granger, who has become somewhat of an Internet celebrity for his amazing K'NEX creations, posted a video of what he calls his "most complex structure to date." And that's saying something.

The St. Paul, Minn., native spent eight months building the ball machine, which has 450 feet of track, 21 different paths, eight motors, five lifts, and "a one-of-a-kind computer-controlled crane, as well as two computer-controlled illuminated K'nex balls."

And Granger wasn't exactly working with a ton of space -- he created the entire structure in his bedroom.

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