“I just got in there and just got dirty, just kept my feet moving and was able to get to the goal line and score a touchdown,” Williams said.
Big play dooms Vols
BYU mustered only one play that went for at least 20 yards until its final possession. The Cougars faced a third-and-6 from their own 20-yard line with 17 seconds remaining when Simon slipped behind cornerback Alontae Taylor.
Taylor caught up with Simon to prevent him from scoring a game-winning touchdown, but not before he’d positioned Jacob Oldroyd for a 33-yard field goal to force overtime.
Tennessee just had to hold on for 15 more seconds…. but they give up the long pass and now we’re headed to OT! pic.twitter.com/LAcQ5cEezI
“I was on the same side as (Matt) Bushman, who is a really great tight end, so a lot of eyes and a lot of guys were looking at him,” Simon said. “I think they just kind of had a mis-lapse in coverage and I got behind the guys and Zach made a great pass.”
Tennessee defense steady – until the end
Curiously, BYU didn’t commit to establishing the run until the second half, even though Georgia State upset Tennessee thanks in large part to its ability to move the ball on the ground.
BYU finished with 107 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Tennessee’s defense mostly cleaned up the missed assignments and mental errors that hampered it against Georgia State. The Vols also did a better job pressuring the quarterback, sacking Wilson four times.
Tennessee had a 418-339 advantage in total offense.
Curious decision on key play
Tennessee’s offensive line and running backs were imposing their will on BYU during a fourth quarter drive when Tennessee faced a fourth-and-1 at the BYU 30-yard line while leading 16-13.
Rather than hand the ball off to a running back, the Vols called for an end-around run to wide receiver Josh Palmer. He was stopped for no gain, ending a drive that could have allowed the Vols to cement the victory.
President Donald Trump had planned to meet secretly with the Taliban Sunday at Camp David on a bad date three days before the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. But he decided against it after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Thursday that killed 12 people — including a U.S. soldier.
Many Americans were stunned.
The U.S. and Taliban had reached some kind of deal “on principle” so American forces could get out of Afghanistan. But it was an agreement that Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, considered inadequate, Bloomberg reported. So Trump aimed to fix things himself.
Critics on Twitter lashed the meeting planned to take place just days before the 9/11 anniversary with militants American soldiers have been fighting for years. In a July video, the Taliban had justified the 9/11 attacks as payback for America’s “interventionist policies.”
Others pointed out Trump’s hypocrisy concerning Barack Obama, whom he blasted years ago for planning to negotiate with America’s “sworn enemy” — the Taliban.
Trump canceled a meeting with Denmark because he was upset at how they rebuffed his idea to sell Greenland to the USA, but actually invited the leaders of the Taliban to meet with him at Camp David just days before 9/11?
What’s more disgusting than the President of the United States almost playing golf with the Taliban on the anniversary of 9/11 after GOP lawmakers delayed payments to 9/11 first responders for so long that some died of cancer before getting the help they needed? GOP hates the US.
Mattis says he’ll “break his silence in the case of a truly monumental Trump outrage, an eventuality that he has likened to pornography, in that, he told Amanpour, ‘I’ll know it when I see it.'” Does seeing Trump invite the Taliban to Camp David qualify?https://t.co/3BwUovy8lP
Lots to tout. North Korea is building new nukes. Iran restarted its nuclear program. Maduro still in power. China trade war dragging down economy. India power play in Kashmir. Jared’s assistant doing ME peace. Respect for US at historic lows. The Taliban coming to Camp David (?!) https://t.co/Nq0waa1rpc
This is your regular reminder when Donald Trump is artofthedealmaking: He is an abysmal dealmaker and that has been true since at least the late 1980s. It’s just happening on a bigger and more consequential stage now. https://t.co/5OCtIBGKlz
How do I know #MAGA is a cult? Because they’re already praising Trump for “cancelling his meeting with the Taliban” (that’ll show the Taliban!) rather than being mortified that there ever was a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David 4 days before 9/11.
The Taliban called me, begging for a meeting. Big, tough Taliban guy. And he’s crying. Tears running down his eyes. And he says to me, “Sir, thank you for working to end the war.” But I had to say no. 🙄https://t.co/MZybcET868
Brad Parscale, manager of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. (Fox News)
“You’re the California GOP,” he said, according to Politico. “There’s no trick I can do on my laptop that you can’t do yourselves. It takes hard work, and talking to your neighbors. And with a strong leader with President Trump at the helm, the sky’s the limit.”
“It takes hard work, and talking to your neighbors. And with a strong leader with President Trump at the helm, the sky’s the limit.”
— Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager
Democrats hammered California’s GOP at the polls last year, leaving Republicans with only seven of the state’s 53 seats in the U.S. House. Both California seats in the Senate also belong to Democrats.
The state’s Republicans were dealt another harsh blow just last month when the registrar of voters in Orange County – long a GOP stronghold in Southern California – reported that registered Democrats there now outnumbered registered Republicans for the first time since the Watergate era.
Nevertheless, Parscale told conventioneers Saturday that the Trump reelection campaign was planning a big effort in California, with as many as 50 paid staffers, making it one of “the largest Election Day operations” in state history, Politico reported.
In addition, the campaign plans to leverage artificial intelligence and other high-tech tools, in a bid to learn “who the voters are, where they live, how they consume information – and how to contact them,” he said.
“Many of you are worried that we have written you guys off – that California doesn’t matter,” Parscale said. To the contrary, he said, the Trump campaign views the nation’s most populous state as a key battleground in “the fight for the future of this country.”
WOLFSBURG, Germany — A crane recently lifted away the enormous VW logo that sat like a giant hood ornament atop Volkswagen’s 14-story headquarters in Wolfsburg. Sometime after dark on Monday, a crane will lower an updated one into place.
The corporate face-lift, on one of the world’s most recognizable trademarks, is part of a push by Volkswagen toward a new era of emission-free vehicles. With a new, cleaner logo, the company is eager to turn the page on a diesel emissions scandal that has cost it billions of dollars, damaged its reputation and sent executives to prison. The scandal, in fact, hastened the company’s electric ambitions.
At the Frankfurt International Motor Show on Tuesday, VW will unveil its all-electric ID.3, the first of a planned lineup of affordable, mass-produced electric vehicles. Volkswagen hopes to sell one million a year by 2025. The company’s Porsche unit will also debut its first all-electric vehicle at the show, the Taycan sedan.
“It is hard to overstate how important both these cars are for their respective manufacturers,” Tim Urquhart, an auto industry analyst at IHS Markit, said in a report ahead of the Frankfurt show. “VW needs the ID.3 to present a compelling choice for buyers that would never before have even considered buying an E.V., a true electric people’s car.”
To date, Volkswagen has lagged competitors like Renault, Nissan and General Motors in electric vehicles. But Volkswagen executives argue that the company is now going all in on electric and doing something none of its rivals have been able to achieve: sell a full-featured battery-powered car at a price that can compete with cars that run on fossil fuels.
Instead of a niche product that appeals mostly to wealthy, environmentally conscious buyers, Volkswagen executives said, the ID.3 is meant to be to electric cars what the Beetle was in its postwar heyday, the entree to a previously unattainable form of mobility.
Volkswagen designed the ID.3 with the goal of rivaling the mass appeal of its Beetle, shown here in 1968.CreditAssociated Press
The stakes are high as Volkswagen remains under scrutiny four years after the emissions scandal came to light. Last week, a court-appointed monitor issued an interim report that found no breaches of Volkswagen’s agreements with American officials. But the monitor, Larry Thompson, a former deputy United States attorney general, recommended that the company continue to refine a program that allows employees to report ethical or legal problems without fear of reprisal.
The ID.3, the first Volkswagen-brand car designed from the ground up to run solely on batteries, is an implicit challenge to Tesla and other companies, like Rivian or Dyson, whose backers hope to dislodge the traditional carmakers. Volkswagen is aiming to demonstrate that the future ultimately belongs to companies that know how to profitably produce cars by the millions.
Executives at Volkswagen, which last year edged out Toyota as the world’s largest carmaker, have hinted that economies of scale have allowed them to push the cost of batteries in the ID.3 below $100 per kilowatt hour. That price is considered the point at which electric cars become more affordable than internal combustion models. Analysts had not expected costs to fall that far for several more years.
Ralf Brandstätter, chief operating officer for the division that makes Volkswagen-brand cars, simply grinned when asked about rumors that the company had achieved that magic number.
“We are the company that will provide electromobility for all,” Mr. Brandstätter said last month on the sidelines of an event in Wolfsburg where the company gave reporters an advance look at the ID.3.
Another executive, who declined to be identified because the company had not officially disclosed a figure, confirmed that Volkswagen was paying less than $100 per kilowatt hour for batteries.
The car, a four-door hatchback, will go on sale this year in Europe, starting under 30,000 euros, or $33,000, in the same range as a well-equipped Volkswagen Golf. That is about €20,000 less than a Tesla Model 3 in Europe, but still about €8,000 more than the starting price for a Renault Zoe, an electric subcompact.
Volkswagen logos since 1937. An update will be introduced this week.CreditVolkswagen
The ID.3 makes a flashier impression than the Zoe and has features like a navigation system that displays information on the windshield, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.
Still, Volkswagen’s electric push is a huge gamble. Sales of battery-powered cars in Europe rose 84 percent in the first half of the year, to 173,000, according to JATO Dynamics but they account for less than 2 percent of the total market, and charging infrastructure remains spotty.
Volkswagen plans to begin selling an electric car in the United States at the end of next year, but has not provided details about price. Mr. Brandstätter indicated that the model would probably be a sport utility vehicle. Initially, Volkswagen will import the cars, but plans to begin producing them at its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2022.
As Mr. Brandstätter tells it, the ID.3 traces its origins to a crisis meeting of top VW executives in October 2015.
Only a few weeks earlier, the company had confessed to rigging diesel cars to conceal illegally high emissions from regulators. Martin Winterkorn, the chief executive, had resigned. It was already clear that the scandal would lead to huge fines and devastate Volkswagen’s image.
The executives resolved to develop what they call a Modular Electrification Toolkit, a collection of components that would serve as the basis for a range of electric models with zero tailpipe emissions.
For Volkswagen, the toolkit was a major commitment to electric vehicles. The company’s strategy has long been to share as many parts as possible among its car brands, which include Skoda, SEAT, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
The electric Taycan, from Volkswagen’s Porsche unit, will also be unveiled in Frankfurt.CreditJoerg Eberl/Porsche A.G., via Associated Press
Designers and engineers for the Volkswagen divisions draw on these toolkits, also known as platforms, while cultivating separate brand identities. The strategy helps hold down costs and exploits Volkswagen’s worldwide empire of factories capable of churning out more than 10 million cars a year.
The scandal was a catalyst. It takes at least three years to develop a new modular toolkit. If the scandal hadn’t prodded Volkswagen to start at the end of 2015, the company might not be in a position to mass-produce electric cars today.
The decision to redesign the logo was, from Volkswagen’s point of view, almost as significant. Among other things, Volkswagen will need to replace signs at about 70,000 dealers worldwide.
The simple logo of a V hanging above a W inside a circle is the latest iteration of a basic idea that goes back to the 1930s. Volkswagen was then a Nazi propaganda exercise, a “people’s car” that would make automobiles affordable for everyone.
The initial 1930s trademark was surrounded by what looks like a whirling swastika. The new trademark looks very similar to one used in the mid-1960s, when the Beetle was the best-selling import in America.
The logo is two-dimensional, in contrast to the three-dimensional, metallic look of the logo that, with some tweaks, has been used since 1999. That logo did not reproduce well online, where Volkswagen now does most of its marketing.
Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s chief designer, who designed the previous logo, said it was out of date.
“When we came up with the new car,” Mr. Bischoff said during an impromptu interview in Wolfsburg last month, “we said: ‘This doesn’t fit anymore. We need something new.’”
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — The 2019 women’s champion of the US Open didn’t know quite what to do, and who could blame her?
She had never been in a major final before. She had never even been in the main draw of the Open before. So a few moments after the final points of her epic 6-3, 7-5 victory Saturday over Serena Williams, only the greatest player in history, 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu, the first Canadian of any gender to capture a Grand Slam title, sprawled flat on her back in the deuce-court service box, legs played out, a tennis ball nearby, just in case she wanted to pound one more fearless forehand at the reeling icon across the net.
Bianca Andreescu is one of the best stories of this or any year. She couldn’t get through qualification here last year and finished 2018 ranked No. 178. She missed months this year with a troublesome shoulder injury. Still, she held on to her belief, and kept up with the visualization techniques she’s been using since she won the Orange Bowl 18s, a major junior tournament, a few years ago.
She would imagine herself playing Serena Williams in a final, and beating her.
She visualized it every day.
“It’s so crazy, man,” Andreescu said, tearing up. “For it to become a reality is just so crazy. I guess these visualizations really, really work.”
Andreescu began this remarkable ascent at the first WTA tournament of the year, in Auckland, New Zealand, where she beat Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams and made it to the finals. Then she won in Indian Wells, taking down Angelique Kerber in the final, and people started to notice. But her shoulder forced her to retire in Miami and from the second round of the French, and she was out most of the summer, and the grass and hardcourt seasons.
“To be honest, I never thought of this,” her father, Nicu Andreescu, told USA TODAY Sports. “We didn’t think this could be happening (so soon) with all the injuries.”
His daughter finally got healthy in time for their hometown tournament, in Toronto, early last month. The unseeded Andreescu beat No. 5 Kiki Bertens and No 3 Karolina Pliskova and made it to the finals, against Williams. It didn’t last long – Williams retired with back spasms after losing three of the first four games – but the small sample size did nothing but bolster Andreescu’s belief that she could battle Williams, and win.
Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, took note.
“I think she’s going to be No. 1 soon, because she has everything that’s needed,” he said a day before the final.
So many of Williams’ opponents get so cowed by her legend and her aura that they are effectively beaten before they get on the court. It didn’t even occur to Andreescu to be awed. Her father said fear has never been the slightest bit of her makeup.
“When she was little, we had to have her wear a helmet in the house, because she was always so active, banging her head against everything,” he said.
Andreescu’s unrelenting fighting spirit worked on the 37-year-old Williams, the oldest finalist in the Open era. Williams’ serve is the most dangerous weapon in the sport. She’d lost three service games the whole tournament – winning 51 of 54 – before Andreescu broke her six times in the final. Williams’ serve was way off form – she had eight double faults and double faulted on break point three times – but the pressure Andreescu put on her by coming at her from the outset undoubtedly had a lot to do with that. Williams counts on a lot of free points. Against Andreescu, she got none.
The game plan was to make Williams run, extend points, make her work for every ball. Andreescu executed it brilliantly. After Williams finally settled in and fought back from a 1-5 deficit in the second, fighting off a championship point, suddenly the set was squared at 5, and the crowd was going berserk. Andreescu put her fingers in her ears at one point.
“It was really, really loud. I could barely hear myself think,” she said.
It looked as if it was all unraveling, but then she had a strong hold for 6-5, smacking an ace along the way, and broke Williams one last time to end it, smoking a forehand winner down the line on match point.
“It was amazing at 5-all that she was able to reset,” her coach, Sylvain Bruneau, told USA TODAY Sports. “Serena is finding her range. The crowd is getting into it. It’s becoming anybody’s match – and she’s playing against Serena, the greatest player of all time.”
And Andreescu, the youngest Open champion since Maria Sharapova in 2006, powered through.
“She does what she does best, and that’s move up to the ball, that’s hit winners, that’s play with a ton of intensity,” Williams said. “She definitely deserves this championship.”
A year ago, when Williams was falling to Naomi Osaka in the final, Andreescu was home, injured, “sitting on my butt.” Now she is the US Open champion, a Canadian hero, the owner of the best record of any player in Open history. She has played seven matches, and won them all.
That is tough to top. The whole day was tough to top for the fastest rising star in her sport.
“I have the biggest smile on my face,” Andreescu said.
President Trump was right to halt peace negotiations with the Taliban after the terrorist murderers claimed credit for a bombing Thursday in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a U.S. soldier. But I was stunned to learn that until the president’s announcement on Twitter Saturday night, he had planned a secret meeting with Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David on Sunday.
The secret meeting was part of an effort to reach a peace agreement to end our 18-year-old war in Afghanistan – the longest conflict in American history. Yet I find it amazing that such a meeting was even contemplated with the president of the United States, let alone planned and near execution until the night before it was scheduled.
President Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday night: “Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday, They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled [sic] the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”
We need to face facts. The Taliban are treacherous and barbaric terrorists. They should see no bit of U.S. property other than perhaps cells at our prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
We need to treat the Taliban as our enemy, not a negotiating partner. This doesn’t mean an endless war with thousands of U.S. troops facing combat in Afghanistan. It means we must maintain the capability to attack the Taliban from the air with missiles and bombers and to launch targeted raids like the one that thankfully killed Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden.
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Let’s be honest. Afghanistan is ungovernable. Our efforts to create a stable democratic government that will work closely with the U.S. as our ally are hopeless. But we can set a more modest goal – prevent the Taliban from once against turning Afghanistan into a terrorist haven.
I have written here that I support largely ending our role in the long Afghanistan war. But I never believed we should treat the Taliban terrorists as legitimate partners for peace, and certainly would never support giving them the tremendous prestige that a visit to Camp David to meet our president would impart.
Our mission in Afghanistan has been stuck on repeat for almost the entire time we’ve been there. And recall why we sent troops to the nation. It was because the Taliban gave sanctuary to bin Laden and the other Al Qaeda terrorists who launched the horrific terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. We sadly mark the 18th anniversary of that terrible day Wednesday.
We have tried to enable the Afghan government to govern. We have tried to help the Afghan military fight. And we have tried to keep the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist murderers at bay.
We do this each year through the fighting season. Then the snows come and we prep for the next round. Guess what? It’s not working and it will not work.
The calls for us to remain in Afghanistan because if we leave things could can get worse are valid and well-intentioned. But simply staying and bleeding and dying because we don’t like the prospects if we leave with no legitimate path forward is unacceptable. It is time to write our efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan. At this point, I’m not even sure it qualifies as a tie.
We made a good-faith effort to make a deal with some bad-faith actors in the Taliban. That wasn’t necessarily wrong. It was worth a try even knowing that eventually they would have reneged and stabbed us in the back, because that is what they do.
After the Sept. 11 attacks we toppled the government of the Taliban that hosted Al Qaeda in less than a month. We need to leave in place a capability to gather or buy intelligence and targeting information. Every time the Taliban steps out of line, our missiles and bombs should rain down on them.
This is not a simple thing. We need to get back to a Department of Dirty Tricks capability like we had long ago, before we got squeamish about human intelligence and dealing with bad people in order to take out worse ones.
Spies, turncoats, informants, leased allegiances from tribal leaders and plenty of precision munitions all can combine to make life miserable for the Taliban and anyone who helps them.
This is a perfect mission for our operators on the dark side. And a reason to rebuild a robust human intelligence capability on the intelligence side.
We and our Afghan allies have grown far too dependent on electronic intercepts. We need to be running agents and paying bribes and recognizing that none of our good intentions to build a decent and stable Afghanistan even came close to working.
While total victory is beyond our grasp in Afghanistan, we have it in our power to prevent the Taliban from ever turning that nation into a terrorist base to attack us, as happened on Sept. 11, 2001. This can and must be the more realistic goal we pursue.
Now comes word that Leonard’s older sister, Kimesha Monae Williams, 35, is being held without bail after being arrested in connection with a casino robbery last month that left an 84-year-old woman dead.
Leonard, 28, has not been accused of any crime, a report said.
Authorities say Williams and another woman, identified as Candace Tai Townsel, 39, followed the elderly victim into a restroom at Pechanga Resort Casino near Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 31.
The suspects allegedly cracked the woman’s skull as they stole her purse, which contained $800 to $1,200, the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., reported. The victim, identified as Afaf Anis Assad, died four days later, the report said.
“Williams has a violent history and targeted a feeble elderly female and robbed her,” an investigator wrote in a report, according to the newspaper.
“Williams has a violent history and targeted a feeble elderly female and robbed her.”
— Investigator’s report
The newspaper said it received confirmation from the family Saturday that Williams is the sister of Leonard, the former San Diego State star who joined the Clippers this summer after leading the Toronto Raptors to last season’s NBA championship.
It appeared that investigators knew about the family connection when they requested no bail for Williams in connection with her arrest.
“Williams has family that are well off and could post her bail of $1,000,000,” an investigator wrote, according to the newspaper. “I am requesting NO BAIL to assure Williams’ appearance in court and to keep innocent victims safe.”
Contacted at her home in Moreno Valley on Saturday, Williams’ aunt, Denise Woodard, said she didn’t know if Leonard had reached out to his sister or other family members after the arrest.
However, most on Sandy Point know they were spared Dorian’s wrath. People about 50 miles to the north in Marsh Harbor weren’t so lucky.
“The affected areas look like a nuclear bomb was dropped on the place,” said Sandy Point resident Vaughn Rolle, whose house was only slightly damaged. “We drove up (to Marsh Harbor) day before yesterday, 10 minutes in I had to get away. I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s unbelievable. I never imagined a hurricane can do that type of damage.”
The island of Great Abaco has no power and a fuel shortage has slowed relief and recovery efforts.
However, aid continues to pour in Saturday and the attitude of residents continues to be positive.
“Everybody is trying to help everyone else,” said Sandy Point resident Gerard Lightbourn. “That’s all we can do. To see people reaching out touches your heart. We appreciate it.”
A small paved runway near Sandy Point is the busiest place on the island. Private jets continually fly in, drop off aid and fly out.
One such group came Saturday from Florida, delivering more than 5,000 pounds of supplies collected from residents eager to help. Roughly 75 volunteers converged on Orlando Melbourne International Airport prior to the flights to sort the supplies that were loaded onto five planes.
“One of our troop mothers made a direct call to the prime minister’s office to get an idea of what they need,” said Bart LaGrone of Scout Troop 323. “We sorted all the items so the most critical things get to the island first. That’s mostly medical supplies, water and food.”
State Rep Randy Fine was on one of two planes from Melbourne that flew into Sandy Point.
“The response has been nothing short of remarkable,” Fine said. “We have collected over 100,000 pounds of supplies. It’s amazing and it says a lot about our community.”
Florida Tech provided a Piper Navajo and pilots that carried Fine and two members of the media to the Bahamas. The other plane that went to Sandy Point was the Tico Belle, a World War II Douglas C-47 Skytrain that dropped Allied paratroopers over France on D-Day.
The vintage plane, supplied by the Valiant Air Command in Titusville, carried 3,500 pounds of aid.
The airstrip on Grand Abaco has a small clearing where supplies are offloaded. Roughly 40 cars line a parking area nearby. Locals say the cars are abandoned. People drive to the air strip, board a plane to depart and leave their cars. Remaining fuel has been siphoned from those vehicles.
Those who are lucky enough get out while others wait.
Shivalo Roberts, who moved to West Palm Beach about 18 months ago, is a Grand Abaco native whose shipping business in Marsh Harbor, R.S.P. Services, was destroyed.
“I have no more business here,” he said. “I arrived Thursday and we’re waiting to get out. The business is totaled.”
While access to the island was limited, nature’s force could be seen in one beachside house in Sandy Point where rooms were exposed to the ocean. The roof was gone and everything inside ruined. Its residents were still in the house, grateful to be alive.
Outside the house a boat was flipped on top of a car. Other boats were smashed into the shore. Large palm trees had been uprooted and dumped on their side.
And this was the part of the island that didn’t get hit as bad.
Once the TiCo Belle and the Navajo were offloaded, the group headed back to Florida to reload to take back more supplies.
SportsPulse: Despite all the drama the past month, days, and hours, Antonio Brown wins big and is likely closer to a championship than he’s ever been before says USA TODAY’s Mike Jones. USA TODAY
In today’s episode of The Adventures of Antonio Brown, our protagonist has a change of heart less than 24 hours after issuing a tearful apology to the members of his football family for the embarrassment he caused them.
Suddenly, he finds his situation undesirable, and his bosses disloyal. Angered by the punishments they dole out for his antics (acts of injustice in our friend’s mind), Brown plots an escape.
Taking to social media yet again, Brown triumphantly shares a picture of himself in that New England Patriots white, blue and red, grinning ear to ear. His hashtag, #GodsPlan.
Now THAT, boys and girls, is how you do it.
We don’t know how things will play out for Brown and the New England Patriots.
But we do know that financially, he’s quite all right having signed a one-year deal worth $15 million, including a $9 million signing bonus to cap off a wild Saturday.
And having now joined the defending Super Bowl champions, who are coached by one of the greatest coaches of all time, and quarterbacked by one of the best to ever do it, Brown couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.
This of course is both a marvel and not surprising at all. Well before the Raiders announced on Friday that they would let AB slide and that they planned to let him play on Monday, NFL fans had already come up with hilarious memes of Bill Belichick gearing up for an acquisition of Brown.
None of us could blow off assignments from our supervisor, cuss another boss out and then tell them we’re not coming to work again and instantly upgrade our employment situation.
But that’s because we’re not Antonio Brown. We don’t live in even the same galaxy.
And we don’t have world-class talent that makes it easy for people to excuse our behavior that some deem transgressions. The majority of Brown’s NFL peers don’t even possess this second- and third-chance-earning kind of clout. Just ask Colin Kaepernick.
But, if there were any franchise that would take a chance on such a volatile player, it’s the Patriots. That’s what they do.
Belichick embraces the cast-offs. He capitalizes on their hurts and feelings of rejection. He helps them turn those pains into chips on their shoulders and gets them to conform to his standards. He promises redemption and revenge in the form of a very real shot at a Lombardi Trophy, or two, or six.
Embracing the Patriots Way, those second-chance players often do succeed in rewriting their narratives, and they shine on the new stage New England provides.
It’ll be interesting to see the language in Brown’s new contract, but he likely understands that this opportunity does come with a short leash.
He’ll likely fly straight because of the chance to face his former team, the Steelers, who traditionally frequently face the Patriots in the postseason with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. (Coincidentally, the Patriots open against the Steelers on Sunday night, but because he just joined the team Saturday, he is not eligible to play.) Meanwhile, he’ll relish this new setting because he’ll no longer have to deal with the headaches of rebuilding as he would have in Oakland.
The Patriots pride themselves on accountability and strong locker room leaders.
Interestingly enough though, accountability isn’t exactly something Brown seems to understand.
People looked the other way or swept his transgressions under the rug for a decade in Pittsburgh. And the Raiders were prepared to make exceptions for him as well, to a certain extent.
He’ll have to learn quickly, however. Because there will be no enabling in New England. If Brown does anything to embarrass this franchise, Belichick will bring swift punishment, and likely end the experiment.
If he’s smart, Brown keeps all of this in mind and once again commits to carrying himself like one of the best wide receivers in the game. And if he does, he’ll wind up with the last laugh, despite having ruined many relationships with people who cared about him and having soiled his reputation in the eyes of many NFL players, coaches and fans.
But that’s OK, in Brown’s book. His happiness and fulfillment are top priority. If he comes out on top, how he gets there doesn’t matter as much.
He’ll draw criticism for that. And many NFL fans will gnash their teeth, jealous that the rules they must adhere to daily don’t apply to Brown.
But that doesn’t bother Brown.
This is just how it is. As he said in Friday night’s YouTube video, this is his life.
This is his world.
The Patriots are the latest characters introduced in this chapter of the saga.
The rest of us? We’re just members of the AB show’s live audience.
One Twitter user said “I’m gonna lose my god damn mind. Please tell me you have someone working on this?!?! @WhiteClaw“
White Claw’s official account tried to be reassuring, responding: “We have the best team in the business working on this.”
Sanjiv Gajiwala, the senior vice president of marketing at White Claw, told Business Insider in a statement: “We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand.
“In the meantime, we have been allocating product to our distributor partners to keep all markets in stock the best we can and will continue to do so until we get back to our normal safety stock position.”
Another Twitter user joked that “If you’re having a Popeyes chicken sandwich with a White Claw this weekend, you have won the lottery.”
Popeyes also faced a similar plight as White Claw last week when it ran out of its newly released chicken sandwich, which was meant to compete with Chick-fil-A.
Nielsen data shows that White Claw, sold as a chicer and relatively healthier alternative to beer or hard cider, accounted for nearly 55 percent of all hard seltzer sales for the week of July 4, a 200 percent increase over its Fourth of July sales in 2018, Fox 13 reported.
Drink sales leaped 283 percent to $327.7 million in July of this year compared to the same period in 2018.