Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is a civic icon in Baltimore, and perhaps his fiery voice is the one that help restore order. The city erupted with riots Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who suffered a spinal injury while in police custody and later died.

Lewis went on social media Tuesday to plea and demand for the violence to end while also acknowledging that there is a deeper issue at hand.

"Kids, go home," Lewis says in an emotional Facebook video. "Stay home. You don't have no right to do what you're doing to this city. Too many hard-working people built this city. We put this city together. We put this city on our back. We're with you. We know what's going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. ... But rioting in the streets is wrong. It's dead wrong."

I've got a message for the rioters in Baltimore. #BaltimoreRiots

Posted by Ray Lewis on Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Now that Kris Bryant has been recalled to the majors, his friends at Red Bull decided to put his time on the farm in Iowa in perspective as well as asking some established Chicago voices for their opinions on the Cubs phenom. Bulls center Joakim Noah might have supplied the best line: "I don’t care that Kris is Chicago’s new favorite guy. He's only 6-foot-5. He’s still a miniature person." Welcome to the big time, Kris.

Here's more from Noah, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Ron Cey and Mike Ditka on Bryant, who tore it up in Spring Training and only opened the season in the minors to allow the team to defer his free agency for another year:

For more insight and additional photos of Bryant, click here.

During a visit to Manny Pacquaio's gym in Los Angeles, UFC announcer Bruce Buffer says that Floyd Mayweather needs to give more respect to MMA competitors. Buffer also says that there is room for fans to appreciate boxing and MMA without having to go negative on the other sport.

Veteran commentator Jason Whitlock says he is expecting a dud when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio finally fight on May 2. Although it will be a massive money maker and gigantic media event, Whitlock says the ages and styles of the fighters will contribute to a dull bout.

Whitlock, whose ESPN site The Undefeated launches this summer, participated on a media panel Thursday at the IMG World Congress of Sports presented by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily in Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards, he shared thoughts on the fight, the NBA MVP race, plans for his site and what else he watches on TV besides reruns of The Wire:

"We want to be ahead of the conversation and more focused on what's the truth, what's provable, rather than just writing what's popular at the moment that will get you a lot of retweets on Twitter," Whitlock said of The Undefeated during the discussion that featured former ESPN executive editor John Walsh, Fox reporter Pam Oliver and TheMMQB.com's Peter King.

Clark Kellogg is covering the Final Four as an analyst for CBS Sports. Kellogg is a former Ohio State, who played from 1979-1982, making the Sweet 16 in 1980. He was drafted in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in 1982 and played five season in the NBA. Kellogg's son, Nick, played basketball for Ohio University. His other son, Alex, also played volleyball at the Division I level. Here is ThePostGame's exclusive interview with the Kellogg.

***

ThePostGame: Tell me a little bit about what you're doing with the Capital One Cup.
CLARK KELLOGG: I'm serving as an advisory board member and I have been for the five years since the Cup's inception. It’s a wonderful way to join Capital One in support of on field and educational pursuits of student-athletes. The way the Captial One Cup works is men’s and women’s Division I programs compete for points all season long through fall and winter sports seasons. They accumulate points based on top-end finishes and also national championship. The men's and women’s programs at the Division I level with the points receives a Capital One Cup trophy and a combine $400,000 in student scholarships for athletes. It's a great way for Capital One to highlight championship level performances on the field, on the court, but also in terms of educational pursuits. We know that most athletes that play college sports will not play professional sports, therefore the educational component of what they do is really the guarantee to give them the foundation to moving forward successfully when their college days are over.

TPG: At the end of this season, Capital One will have awarded $2 million to student-athletes. You raised two children who went on to play college sports at a Division I level. What kind of advice would you give student-athletes currently in the spotlight to prepare for their career twilight?
KELLOGG: It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities and experiences you gain as a Division I student-athlete. It's not just the experience you gain from being part of your team, it’s the educational component and life the experiences that you gain. So many of those skills -- initiative, time management, teamwork, handling adversity, adapting ⎯ those are transferrable to the work force and to the success of your life. I always encourage our kids to embrace it and to relish it, but also to be intentional about getting the most out of it. That's what I would tell all student-athletes. These things that you’re learning and gaining are beneficial for you going forward.

TPG: I heard your Ohio State Buckeyes were ranked No .1.
KELLOGG: I love it. I love seeing the Ohio State Buckeyes leading the race for the Capital One Cup as we speak and hopefully the points accumulated over the rest of the spring sports season will us right there where we are, No. 1.

TPG: Do you have any rivalries going with your co-workers from other schools?
KELLOGG: We haven’t yet. I kind of kept things on the down-low when the Buckeyes took down the Crimson Tide on their way to the first College Football Playoff Championship a couple months ago. But as we move toward the finish line and the Buckeyes continue to maintain that No. 1 spot, I think I might reach out to some of my fellow colleagues and chirp a little bit.

TPG: Leading up to the Final Four, how exciting has this tournament been for you compared to other tournaments?
KELLOGG: It started with the first Thursday of the tournament, setting a record for the number of one-point decisions. Then things quieted down a bit on Day 2 on Friday and then the weekend games were good and then the regional finals were fantastic. When you highlighted the start and then you look at the back-end prior to getting here, I think you’ve got really one of the outstanding tournaments we've had in a while. But it always gives you what you expected or even a little more. I've always said it’s the gift that keeps on giving because of the various storylines that become part of it. The Ron Hunter and R.J. Hunter Georgia State run was captivating. You think about Peter Hooley at Albany and having lost his mom and hitting the game-winner to get them to the tournament. There’s so much to it besides the game, which are good in it of themselves, but the stories behind the guys playing and coaching the game is what captivates folks.

TPG: What are your expectations from the Final Four teams?
KELLOGG: I’ve said for the last two-and-a-half months or so that I thought Kentucky was ready to make history. They’ve already made history at 38-0. They have the chance to become one of the few undefeated national champions. I think that will be the case. They just win in so many different ways, with offense, defense, free-throw shooting, timely three-point shooting, size and depth. They just have more margin for error than any other team. Wisconsin is offensively gifted. They are the best offensive team left in the field statistically. They have been one of the top offensive teams in the country all year and they'll need that plus better defense to get a chance to beat Kentucky. The other teams, Michigan State and Duke, and you mentioned how outstanding these programs and coaches and teams are and we’ve got the best of the best in terms of long-term sustained success. I like Michigan State to have a chance to pull the upset because they’ve got some size up front that could perhaps make it difficult for [Jahlil Okafor]. They play better defensively on the perimeter than they did in the first meeting against Duke. Yet, Duke has gotten better since that meeting in November. The freshmen have grown up and been tremendously impactful. In addition to Okafor, you’ve got Matt and Tyus Jones. Justice Winslow has been one of the dominant players in the tournament for me. I think Michigan State will be able to stay close and perhaps it’ll come down to individual performances and I think I would tip my hat toward Trice and Valentine and Dawson over that group of freshmen for Duke.

TPG: Who is your key player in Kentucky vs. Wisconsin?
KELLOGG: Well, you start with Frank Kaminsky on the Wisconsin side because he such a matchup problem, although Kentucky defended him really well last year in the semifinals. They have multiple big bodies that are active and physical and agile. Sam Dekker is a really key guy for Wisconsin. He’s been off the charts the last two games. Those two guys are prominent, primary players, but Nigel Hayes is extremely important on the front line. I think in the back court, Traevon Jackson. He’s only played 16 minutes in two tournament games, but I think his steady hand and his presence is going to be a factor and something Wisconsin is going to need to move on.

TPG: For Michigan State-Duke, who do you think is a key player?
KELLOGG: I think it’s going to be Quinn Cook. He’s had a fantastic senior year. He's led this relatively young group remarkably well. I think he’s going to have rise to the challenge of playing at a level close to whatever Travis Trice plays at. It may not be necessarily a mano-a-mano matchup, but it’s one that bears watching. For Michigan State, I want to say the key guys would be the front line guys, Costello and Schilling and maybe Marvin Clark Jr., as they try to defend and rebound against Okafor and Winslow.

TPG: For Michigan State, they are coming in as a No. 7 seed. Tom Izzo has said many times that this may not be his most talented team, but he’s getting the most of out his players. What does this say about Izzo and his ability to get the best out of his guys?
KELLOGG: It says a lot about him, but you look at all of these coaches and they tend to maximize whatever they have available to them in terms of talent and skill. I don’t think that’s unique. But certainly I think Tom is one of the best in the business and has earned the kind of respect that he generates. I think it’s a credit to the kids, too. Even though they weren’t at their best early in the season, they found what works for them and they’re playing with really great confidence. I think the fact that they’re the surprising team here played out well for them. They surprise folks and they’re enjoying the journey and I think that makes them more dangerous because they are somewhat of a party crasher and I think that breeds a level of freedom and confidence that may not be quite as culpable as it would be with the other teams that were pretty much expected to be here. Certainly with Wisconsin and Kentucky and Duke felt like they had the chance if those freshmen developed and that certainly was the case.

TPG: What are your favorite Final Four memories?
KELLOGG: There’s so many of them. I think about Mateen Cleaves and that Michigan State team that won the National Championship on his uninhibited exuberance and joy that had a one shining moment. The shocking surprise of N.C. State beating that terrific Houston team was another moment that sits well with me. I think about the North Carolina team of 2009. In the day and age where you didn’t have a ton of upperclassmen stay on teams because of the early exits. That team was expected to win it and kind of rolled through the tournament that year. And finally probably the 2006-2007 Florida teams. Confident teams. Those guys chose to come back after winning in 2006. All of the pressure and expectations surrounding them repeating and they not only set out, but they got it done.

An intriguing aspect of the upcoming super-bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has been the point of emphasis in their respective training camps. It's smart to play to your strengths, but against such a top-notch opponent, shoring up weaknesses is also crucial, and that is one storyline that has emerged. To elaborate on this, reporter Elie Seckbach, a close follower of the fight game, joins the discussion on "The Rundown," a collaboration between TYT Sports and ThePostGame:

With WrestleMania 31 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara just days away, we decided to talk with the man who literally wrote the book on this event. Brian Shields, author of 30 Years Of WrestleMania, joined "The Rundown," a collaboration between TYT Sports and ThePostGame to offer his insights, expertise and memories about the WWE's biggest annual production:

One of the most famous people born in the Philippines is Tim Tebow. His parents were missionaries there in 1987 when he was born, and Tebow has returned to Philippines many times to do missionary work of his own. So it's no surprise that Tebow is supporting one of the most popular people in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, in his upcoming bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Tebow visited Pacquiao's training camp in Los Angeles over the weekend, and both posted pictures on their Instagram accounts.


Awesome being with my Filipino and Christian brother @emmanuelpacquiao #inspiration

A photo posted by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on


Good to be with my brother in Christ @TimTebow

A photo posted by Manny Pacquiao (@emmanuelpacquiao) on

Pacquiao grew up Catholic but converted to become a Born Again Christian a few years ago.

It's 5:45 in the morning at Belle Isle in Richmond, Virginia.

"Hooyah!" John McGuire yells.

"Hooyah!" yells back a gathering of people shrouded in the pre-dawn fog, eager and ready to go.

After a quick warm-up, teams form and scatter to their boats in the James River. For the next hour McGuire and his team of instructors lead activities and exercises designed to make getting and staying in shape fun.

"The more you keep fitness fun, the more likely you are to stick with it," says McGuire, who spent 10 years working as a Navy SEAL. "Have you ever heard of people doing push-ups on a kayak in the middle of a river early in the morning?"

On many mornings, those having this kind of fun with McGuire are doctors, lawyers, teachers and community leaders. They clean off their unrecognizably muddy faces, wring out their wet, stained clothes, get in their cars and drive away so tired they can barely sit upright -- then do it again the next day.

But during some parts of the year, this is the type of training that has helped the Virginia Commonwealth basketball team earn five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in 2011.

"Instructor McGuire has the unbelievable feel for what it takes to put a team together," VCU coach Shaka Smart says. "I thought it was great fun for our team. A lot of stuff that is directly related to basketball."

Before each of the past four years, McGuire spends a week with the Rams, and then makes follow-up visits during the season. His intense team-building exercises are designed to help them think and react like a team, rather than a group of individuals. Whether it's rowing boats across the James River, doing push-ups on the sandy shore or completing point-to-point missions, the goal is the same: It's to push everyone to maximize physical and mental abilities under pressure and exhaustion.

McGuire's success with teams such as VCU and Illinois has helped boost his national profile. His business, SEAL Team Physical Training, Inc., is thriving, and he has made guest appearances on CNN for his expertise on being a Navy SEAL.

His story is all the more remarkable, considering how unlikely it was that he became a SEAL in the first place.

***

When John McGuire was 5, his mother put him in the family car, drove him into downtown Richmond and left him on a street corner with nothing. In and out of foster care, McGuire attended nine different elementary schools. In the seventh grade, McGuire wanted to be a fighter pilot. In high school, he wanted to become Top Gun.

"It was right when the movie came out," McGuire says. "Those guys were the best, and I wanted to be the best. I wanted to be cool."

McGuire was studying martial arts at the time, and he still remembers the advice he heard from his sensei: "If you become a pilot and they take your plane away, you're no good. But if you become a Green Beret, you are a weapon."

But McGuire still wanted to fly. When a friend gave him a copy of the Navy SEAL issue of Gung Ho magazine, McGuire took it to his sensei, and asked him what do you think about Navy SEALS? "I'll never forget his response," he says. "He told me that they were a bunch crazy m------, and that there was no way I could make it. I decided right then, that's what I wanted to be."

After high school graduation (which only happened, McGuire says, because schools were tired of dealing with him), he told a Navy recruiter that he wanted to be a SEAL. The recruiter said he was too small to qualify. McGuire would not take no for an answer. The recruiter ultimately caved, and off McGuire went to Florida for Navy Boot Camp and volunteered for Navy SEAL training.

The first day they were told to swim 500 yards and they had to use either breast stroke or side stroke. While waiting in the water before the start, McGuire turned to the guy beside him and said, "Hey, buddy, what's a breast stroke?" As it turns out, McGuire, who was about to embark on one of the most intense -- water centric -- training programs in the world, didn't know how to breast stroke or side stroke.

"All I could ever do is walk down the diving board on my hands, flip into the water and make it over to the side of the pool," he says. "We were kids. We liked to show off."

McGuire spent countless hours in the pool to become one of the strongest and fastest swimmers in his class. The survivor who'd been essentially figuring things out on his own since he was 5 not only learned how to swim, but he ultimately became a member of one of the most elite military programs in the world, the Navy SEALs.

***

In 1998, after ten years of serving his country all over the world, and cataloguing experiences too clandestine to discuss, McGuire needed to focus on his family life. "I'd be gone up to 11 months at a time," he says. "I remember coming home one day after being gone and my 5-year-old daughter ran away from me and hid, because she was scared of this stranger in her house."

To devote the time and attention to his family that he wanted and needed, McGuire left the military. Needing work to support his family, McGuire got a job at a temp agency, and also did odd jobs such as shoveling snow, mowing lawns and raking leaves. "I go from counter drug missions in South America, to temping behind a desk," he says. "it was a real culture shock."

While at the temp agency, McGuire was left with mostly empty time on his hands. But born of this boredom came a concept that has changed the lives of countless people and boosted athletic programs all over the country: His SEAL Team Physical Training business. It has expanded beyond Richmond to Charlottesville, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Miami is next. The founding principle was simple.

"It takes Everyone to win, One person to mess it up, and if someone is confused, Help them out, E1H," McGuire says. "There really is nothing like teamwork to bring out the best in people."

Developing the business however, was anything but simple. "I thought I was going to get 750 members in the first three months, but it took me almost 15 years to reach that many members," he says.

Although McGuire has successfully prepared young men and women for careers in special ops, he is always quick to say that he is not training people to become Navy SEALS. "You have to join the U.S. Navy for that," he says.

He is teaching people to believe in themselves, and know that "we can do more than we think." The principles of teamwork, leadership, communication and confidence apply to being a Navy SEAL, running a fitness company, team building and motivational speaking. McGuire and his team of expert instructors apply their teachings in all of these settings.

***

By October 2006, the business had grown from less than 15 members to nearly a thousand, and he was a mainstay in his five children's lives. Life for McGuire was perfect.

Then while doing back flips on the family trampoline, he landed awkwardly and broke the C-4 vertebrae in his neck. He was paralyzed instantly.

"It seemed like forever that I was lying there, and I couldn't move," he says.

McGuire was swiftly taken to MCV hospital in Richmond, where he was told he was not likely to make it through the night and that if he did, he would never use his arms and legs again.

That night, as he lay in bed, McGuire reflected back on his SEAL training, and decided then and there that he would not only survive the night, but that he'd be doing more pushups than anyone within two weeks. The next day he had surgery to fuse his neck, and a few short weeks later he felt movement in his fingers.

As McGuire began the long road toward recovery, the doctors were amazed by his progress. Each day he would endure formal physical therapy, but there was so much more. Rather than following doctor's orders to rest afterwards, he stayed awake all night trying to move his toes, or his fingers, or whatever else the doctors thought he would never be able to do. A month and a half after breaking his neck, McGuire was released from the hospital.

"They gave me this fancy, expensive wheelchair to take home," he says. "I told them to donate it to charity," he said. "I just couldn't see myself in a wheelchair, and I wasn't going to use it."

For the next three months, McGuire crawled around his home on his belly, until he was finally strong enough to crawl on his hands and knees. A few months later, he began walking on his own. All told, it took McGuire about 12 months to walk somewhat normally.

Since breaking his neck, McGuire can no longer do the 20 one finger pull-ups he once did daily. He can no longer swim more than ten miles in open water like he once could, and he can no longer do flips off the diving board to impress his friends. But none of that matters more than what he can do: Inspire and lead others.

When McGuire is asked to talk about his positive impact on those who experience his teaching, he is quick to deflect to those who he works and trains with.

"It's not about me, it's about them," he says. "Once when a woman told me how positive of an influence I had been on her children, I looked at her with a smile and said, 'I just do push-ups, ma'am.'"

***

As a result of his successful role with VCU's basketball team, McGuire and his team now train several of the school's varsity teams, among 10 other colleges. Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, had its best record in baseball in more than 25 years after its coach, Curtis Pride, asked McGuire for help.

"John's training taught me a lot and I learned more about each player and how they respond to different degrees of challenges," Pride says.

But McGuire's most fulfilling projects might be the ones who face the longest road. Chris Crawley was one of those people who signed up to train at 5:45 in the morning along the river. In December 2012, he was 27, and he weighed 350 pounds. He wasn't sure if he'd make it to 30. He couldn't run 20 feet without losing his breath, and he couldn't do a single sit-up. Chris heard about SEAL Team PT through friends and decided to give it a try.

Two years later, Crawley has lost more than 80 pounds, has run his first 10k and completed a half-marathon. One of McGuire's many sayings is "If you'll cheat yourself, who won't you cheat?" That has particular meaning for Crawley.

"I personally lack the self-motivation when left to my own devices," he says. With SEAL Team PT, "if you miss more than a day or two, suddenly people start to check in. We hold each other accountable."

"If I waited until I was in better shape to join SEAL Team PT, I'd have died before ever getting the chance."

Director Billy Corben had nine cameras set up for the big fight between Alfonso "Chocolate" Frierson and Mike Trujillo. It was the crew's first fight, and Corben was in control of a camera in the corner of the ring.

It was in that corner that Trujillo’s body landed after "Chocolate" gave him a sweeping right hook just a few seconds into the fight.

"I just instinctually moved in on him with the camera, to get the shot," Corben says. "He had gone timber. He went straight back on his heels and just fell backwards. His head hit the grass and dirt landing outside the ropes of the ring."

Trujillo lay motionless on the dirt, and there were no doctors present to help him. Corben had to continue filming as Trujillo struggled to regain consciousness.

"We were making this movie, but of course it wasn't a movie, it was a documentary," Corben said. "We were capturing these moments as they were occurring in real time. When you're watching a movie, it already happened. We were there and we were living it, and it dawned on me that this guy might never get up again. … I saw everybody's lives flash before me.'

That was the reality for Corben and the fighters in West Perrine, Florida, a poverty-stricken surburb of Miami. Perrine was the site of Corben’s newest documentary, Dawg Fight, which is being released Friday.

Dawg Fight dove into the violent world of backyard fighting made famous by Mixed Martial Arts fighting star Kimbo Slice. Slice's YouTube videos went viral in the early 2000s and gave rise to the fighting scene in Perrine.

It soon became an outlet for hope in the less than two square-mile neighborhood where unemployment is high and crimes occur every day. This belief made Corben even more interested to film the documentary in Perrine.

"The [documentaries] that we've always done are kind of a twisted take on the American dream," he says. "These guys think that this is their best opportunity. These are underserved communities where unemployment in off the charts, they are ravaged by crime … These guys see this as their best hope, which in a way is kind of an American Dream."

Corben, a Miami native and director of films like The U and Cocaine Cowboys, began filming Dawg Fight in early 2009. Then, he met the crux of his story, Dhafir "Dada 5000" Harris.

Dada 5000 grew up fighting with Slice and eventually traveled around the world as his bodyguard. However, he returned to Perrine to become the head of the illegal backyard fighting scene.

"He and his brother dug four holes and buried these posts in the ground and built a 12X12 ring," Corben says. "His mom has a chain-linked fence around her property and so as soon as they would put the blue tarp up; the neighborhood knew it was going down."

Dada 5000 was an integral part of the growth of backyard fighting, yet he made no profit from it. He still dreamed of being discovered by scouts, much like the fighters he worked with in Perrine.

"I have a lot of respect for him and relate to him a great deal," Corben says of Dada 5000. "As a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, as an independent film maker, I have nothing but respect for his hustle. He's a father, he’s a son, he’s a brother, he’s a carnival barker, he’s a promoter, he’s a fighter."

Here is a trailer for Dawg Fight, which is available for $5 on its website and scheduled to hit Netflix in May:

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