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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:59 am 
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis gave Jeff Saturday a chance to fulfil his NFL dream. Nike Free Run+ 2 Laufschuhe Dunkel Grau Lila Weiß . On Thursday, he came back to thank the town and the team that embraced his improbable journey from undrafted free agent to NFL star. Moments after signing his final contract with the Colts, Indys longtime centre and a key figure in forging a settlement to the 2011 NFL lockout officially retired with the team that brought him into the league 14 years ago. "This does not happen for many players, especially many offensive linemen," Saturday said. "Im excited to retire as a Colt. I mean, this is my home. This is what weve supported for so many years. I was known, no matter what team I was playing for, as a Colt. So its good to put that horseshoe on and go out that way." Colts fans will always remember Saturday for his gritty play and down-to-earth attitude. Nationally, he will forever be known as the voice of reason during the contentious lockout negotiations. Saturday lobbied on behalf of the players he represented and constantly urged both sides to remember that they would be best served by reaching a settlement rather than losing the "golden goose." After the two sides agreed to a 10-year collective bargaining agreement, Saturdays embrace of Patriots owner Robert Kraft became an memorable image of labour peace. Kraft had just finished speaking about his wife, Myra, who died during the negotiations, when Saturday put aside Indys bitter rivalry with New England, hugged Kraft and then credited him for "saving football." "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeff Saturday. For more than a decade, I considered Jeff a fiercely competitive rival. After working with him in 2011 during the NFL labour negotiations, I now consider Jeff a friend," Kraft said. "I admire him for the leadership and professionalism he showed throughout the negotiations and I thank him for the compassion he extended to me during a difficult time. I know that Jeff was a great leader on the field, but I witnessed the leadership he possesses in the board room, and I believe that will serve his next employer very well as he transitions to his next career. I wish him all the best." Saturday also acknowledged that his appreciation for Colts football played a big role in reaching a compromise. "This organization is what I hope all the NFL teams strive to be. In every negotiation I was involved with the PA (players association) and the NFL, I used us (the Colts) as an example of what you should strive to and I make no bones about it," he said. "This organization is the best in the business and it will continue." Before playing in his sixth and final Pro Bowl last month, Saturday had already said he was retiring. He even made a cameo appearance with the AFC so he could snap the ball one more time to his close friend, former Colt and current Bronco Peyton Manning. Green Bay cut Saturday last month, a procedural move that made Thursdays festivities possible. Ironically, though, the move came exactly one year to the day after team owner Jim Irsay and Manning, the four-time MVP, appeared in the same room to announce Mannings release. Both men spoke then in halting tones as they fought back tears. This time, it was more celebratory. Saturday and Irsay smiled and even joked about the formality of the one-day deal. "Im going to sign this contract and let Jeff come up and sign his portion so we can make it official that Jeff is a Colt today, and this is not costing me anything," Irsay said, drawing laughter. "And thats rare, but Jeff did ask for a new pickup truck so I told him I would consider that. " When Saturday stepped to the podium, he responded in kind. "Like he said, it cost him a lot more the last time than it did this time," Saturday said. The only time Saturday choked up was when he thanked his wife, Karen, for allowing him to pursue a football career. He then turned toward reporters and explained he couldnt look at his wife because he would "lose it." She wiped her eyes, too. Saturday also thanked his three children, seated behind him in blue No. 63 jerseys, Irsay, his head coaches and position coaches, ex-teammates and even the equipment managers and trainers, some of whom watched from the back of the room. His improbable journey actually started in Baltimore in 1998. The Ravens signed him as an undrafted rookie but cut him before training camp opened. One year later, the Colts took a low-risk gamble on someone who had spent the previous year selling electrical supplies in North Carolina and he wound up making the roster. By 2000, he had won the starting centres job, which he kept until leaving for Green Bay as a free agent last year. With Indy, Saturday won two AFC titles, one Super Bowl ring, became a pillar in the community and made 170 starts with Manning behind him, an NFL record for a quarterback-centre tandem. "The relationship between a centre and a quarterback is special. We loved each other but we could fight each other as well. We could bump heads and there was always a mutual respect," Saturday said. "It never got any further than that. It was always on the field. Off the field, we were friends. Hes taken me to places and given me gifts and allowed me to do things that I would never have the opportunity to do." Asked for his favourite football moment, Saturday didnt offer up the Super Bowl win. "The AFC Championship game trumps them all for me," he said, referring to the Colts second-half comeback against the Patriots in the 2006 playoffs. "Getting to recover a fumble for a touchdown, getting to slay the Patriots, all those things. Thats the one for me, even above the Super Bowl." Saturday said he will continue to make Indy his home and Irsay said Saturday will be inducted into the teams Ring of Honor. Irsay also has hired Saturday to work in the Colts community relations and marketing department and said there could be a future for Saturday on the coaching staff or in the front office. "Heres a man who came into the league, no one thought he was going to do much," Irsay said. "He wasnt a first-round draft pick and is an individual who literally took this town and this state over with his integrity, with his love for the community, with this performance on the field, just an absolutely incredible individual. Going through the lockout, how he played a huge role in getting that settled. It was just absolutely incredible how Jeff has made his mark in this league and for this franchise." Nike Free Schweiz . -- The San Jose Sharks are bringing back forward James Sheppard and defenceman Nick Petrecki on one-year contracts. Nike Free 3.0 V3 Laufschuhe Blau Dunkel Blau Weiß . The end of this mess of a season for the Minnesota Twins still mattered to the veteran right-hander, who wanted no part of 100 losses. http://www.nikefreeschweiz.ch/nike-free-3-0-v2-nc-21/ . Catch the action live on TSN, beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. Despite winning four of their last five games, the Maple Leafs are fighting to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Nike Free Schuhe .Y. -- Amare Stoudemire will go into next season with $45 million left on his contract and no guarantee of a starting job. Nike Free 3.0 V4 Laufschuhe Lila Grau . The Binghamton head coach wasnt thrilled with the Senators performance in Game 2, but he was happy with the result. Jim OBrien scored 7:54 into overtime Saturday as Binghamton beat the Houston Aeros 2-1 to even the Calder Cup at a game apiece.University graduate Jan Bakelants pulled away close to the finish line to win Sundays second stage of the Tour de France and take the race leaders yellow jersey for the first time in his injury-plagued career. The 27-year-old Belgian made his move with a few hundred meters remaining and the RadioShack rider did enough to withstand a late charge from Slovak sprinter Peter Sagan for the biggest achievement of a frustrating career that only saw him turn professional at the age of 23. "Its difficult to believe what happened today, its fantastic," said Bakelants, who had a knee operation earlier this year. "Today it may be the first and last time I ever wear the yellow jersey." He won in three hours 43 minutes 11 seconds, with Sagan and third-place finisher Michal Kwiatkowski one second behind him. In the overall standings, Bakelants is one second ahead of veteran British rider David Millar. Victorias Ryder Hesjedal finished in 40th a day after crashing in the opening stage. The 156-kilometre trek started from Bastia and, after four moderate climbs, finished in Ajaccio where French emperor and military mastermind Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769. With the finish in sight, Bakelants found himself with five other riders and instinct told him that he may never get a better chance to make a name for himself. "I felt the others werent going at 100 per cent so I stayed back, but then I saw the peloton were closing in on me," he said. "With 500 metres to go I had a look and I saw that I was still 100 metres clear of the peloton. I gave everything I had and I made it by one second. But that doesnt matter, I have the yellow jersey." It has been a difficult career for Bakelants so far. "I had a lot of bad luck. Ive had two operations. I fell at the Tour of Lombardy in 2010, I fractured my right knee and left elbow. You know, things like that take time to heal," he said. "This year I had bad luck as well, an operation on my right leg. I worked very hard to come back." Prior to Sunday, his proudest achievement was off the bike -- namely a bachelors degree in bioscience engineering from the university of Leuven in Belgium. "I think theres more in life than just cycling," he said. "But at the moment cyclings in first place." German sprinter Marcel Kittel started the day in the lead after winning Saturdays crash-marred first stage, but the rolling hills took their toll and he finished nearly 18 minutes behind in 169th spot. "Itss a difficult stage and Im a sprinter, thats why I suffer," said Kettel, who retained the sprinters green jersey. Nike Free run 3.0 Herren. "I had goose bumps when I went up the hill. So many people were screaming my name. But we were expecting to lose it (the yellow jersey)." The days last climb up Cote du Salario was much shorter than the other ones but far steeper. By the time the pack reached the foot of it, Kittel and British sprinter Cavendish were among a small band of strugglers drifting further and further away. Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha and Cyrille Gautier attacked up the final ascent, and Tour favourite Chris Froome then launched a surprise attack to go after Gautier when the Frenchman pulled away. But Froomes attack fizzled out and the main pack swallowed him up. "I thought it might be a good time, just to push on a little bit," Froome said. "Its always good to keep people on their toes." Although he did not lose any time to his rivals, two-time former champion Alberto Contador felt the after-effects of his crash on Saturday, when his left shoulder was grazed. "There is pain in your whole body," the Spaniard said. "Im hoping to be better tomorrow." The day after more than a dozen riders crashed, a small white dog ran out into the road some 4 kilometres and a potentially dangerous situation was narrowly avoided by a matter of seconds. A bystander started to run after the dog and then changed his mind, and the dog just managed to reach the other side of the road before the marauding pack passed through. Cavendish was in trouble all day, struggling to keep up as his teammates tried to drag him up the second climb up Col de la Serra. However, French veteran Thomas Voeckler had a lot in reserve and chased the four early frontrunners. Lars Boom and Ruben Perez Moreno were soon caught up, leaving just Canadian David Veilleux and Blel Kadri at the front. Voecklers attack reeled in Veilleux, who hails from Cap-Rouge, Que., but then fizzled out quickly, leaving Kadri alone in the lead. Veilleux finished in 116th. Chasing his third career Tour stage win, French rider Pierre Rolland attacked on the third climb -- the days most difficult, a sinewy category 2 ascent up the Col de Vizzavona. But the pack accelerated and chased him down. Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., is in 182nd. Mondays third stage is the last of the Corsican trio and is again hilly, with four moderate climbs dotted along the 145.5-kilometre route from Ajaccio to Calvi. ' ' '


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:11 pm 
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