Tag Archives: team
Now that the Florida Legislature has let a vote lapse that might have passed a hotel tax facilitating up to $ 380 million in subsidies for Sun Life Stadium, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has gone on the attack. Ross, who has owned the team since 2009, blasted Speaker of the House Will Weatherford. Ross claimed that Weatherford backed out of a promise to let the stadium improvements go to a vote.
Last week, the Dolphins held a job fair at the stadium, while knowing that the project may not go forward.
“Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy,” Ross said Friday in an official team-released statement. The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker’s decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.”
The decision to refuse a vote seems to have had immediate, and possibly far-reaching, effects on the team. Not only will Sun Life and the Dolphins be on the outside looking in for any future Super Bowl bids without improvements, but team CEO Mike Dee has intimated that the Dolphins aren’t a lead-pipe lock to stay in Miami on a no-matter-what basis. While Dee stopped short of saying that Ross might move the team, he told WFOR-TV that another owner might down the road.
“I don’t think it’s an option for Steve Ross, but for a subsequent owner? The Dolphins are one of the only franchises in the National Football League that do not have a long-term lease with their community.”
Dee said that the team wanted $ 3 million per year for the next 30 years from the state, to which Ross would pledge a 70 percent payment for all the stadium improvements. But the team wants to make it very clear — without a private-public partnership,” as Dee put it, Ross has no intention of putting up his own capital.
The team had already agreed to pay for a May 14 referendum on the vote, and absentee balloting had already begun. The Senate had already approved the tax use, so no matter what you think of public funding for professional sports teams, it would appear that Weatherford went a bit rogue in allowing the vote to drop.
“I think part of the complication was the fact that it wasn’t just the Dolphins,” Weatherford said last week. “You had five or six different franchises that were looking for a tax rebate, and that’s serious public policy. You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, and I think the House just never got comfortable there when the session ended.”
“We suspect that it’s a pure political decision, that [Weatherford is] choosing politics over the right for the voters of Miami-Dade County to decide this issue, and that’s a shame.”
The Dolphins were going to bid for Super Bowl L in 2016 and Super Bowl LI in 2017 at the upcoming owners meetings, but without any projected outcome for stadium improvements, they might as well not bother. The San Francisco 49ers, who will have a new stadium in Santa Clara, and the Houston Texans, are expected to take the lead in the process.
Still, Ross hasn’t given up.
“In the weeks ahead, I will do all I can to convince my fellow owners to bring the Super Bowl back to Miami Dade,” Ross said at the end of his statement. “The Bid Committee has done a tremendous job to give us a great shot, and my only hope is that it is enough to overcome the terrible message Speaker Weatherford has sent to the NFL … In addition, I will continue to do all I can to build a winning team for the people of Miami Dade … I will look to play an important role in fixing the dysfunction in Tallahassee and will continue to work to create good jobs in Miami Dade and throughout South Florida.”
This month the folks at Mercedes AMG Petronas will confirm their new team-up with Tata Communications for trackside connectivity enhancement for Formula One racing in the near future. With technology from Tata Communications, Mercedes AMD Petronas Fomula One Silver Arrow cars will be able to transfer real-time data from any Grand Prix environment to their headquarters in the UK. This bit of communication will be taking place three times faster than they’re able at the moment.
This system has Ross Brawn, Team Principal at Mercedes AMG Petronas commenting on how good it will be for them to have data transferred from the racetrack back to their factories in Brackley and Brixworth with the technology Tata Communications offers up. This solution is said by Tata Communications to be both swift and secure, both of these elements being rather vital to the operation of a Formula One race team in this day and age.
Tata Communications Managing Director of F1 Business Mehul Kapadia made it clear that because the modifications and improvements made to every car in this race during the year is essentially constant, real-time communication between the cars straight from the track back to headquarters for Mercedes AMD Petronas will prove to be valuable.
Tata Communications works with what is the world’s first wholly-owned subsea fibre ring to have circled the globe – and it still circles the globe, of course, working with the company’s network as part of 500,000 km of subsea cable and over 200,000 km of terrestrial network fibre. Having struck a deal last year with Formula One Management, Tata Communications shook hands on a multi-year technology service and marketing agreement. This deal will bring connectivity to all Formula One race locations through the future with its wholly-owned subsea fibre ring.
Have a peek in SlashGear’s own Car hub for more information on the state of the automotive industry and hit up our Mercedes tag portal for more on the larger world of that particular vehicle brand. Great technologies are afoot!
Mercedes AMD Petronas and Tata Communications team in Formula One data speed bid is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
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Unity Technologies, the company behind the widely used Unity 3D game engine, has ditched Flash, arguing that it is unconvinced that Adobe’s technology has any future in gaming. The company will stop selling Flash deployment licenses to developers immediately, though those who have already bought one will get support through the 4.x lifecycle of the add-on. Instead, Unity is working on a new web-publishing system, though the company isn’t saying exactly what it is yet.
According to David Helgason, Unity’s CEO and founder, the decision to abandon Flash is for several reasons, not least because the company doesn’t believe Adobe’s own heart is in it. Multiple members of the Flash team have been moved to other projects, Helgason points out, leaving recent releases unstable.
More importantly, perhaps, has been Adobe’s decision to launch a revenue sharing model but then pull the plug on it, a move which “eroded developers’ (and our) trust in Flash” the CEO says. The Unity Web Player has grown in “unprecedented” numbers, Helgason points out, while Flash publishing stagnates.
“We know that some of you have, like us, invested heavily in targeting Flash. We will do all we can to support you. We will keep the current Flash deployment feature set functioning throughout the Unity 4.x cycle, and will include bug fixes made in upcoming Unity 4.x iterations. We do not plan, however, to make further significant investments in deployment to the platform” David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies
One of the advantages of the Unity Web Player is its smooth integration with Facebook, Helgason says, in addition to teasing the company’s new system. It’s unclear at this stage whether it will use HTML5 and WebGL, current darlings of the web programming scene, though given their growing popularity it looks more than likely.
Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert was given the franchise tag this season and reportedly is on the trade block.
He said he wants clarity in his situation before he returns to the team. NFL Network’s Steve Wyche asked Albert on “NFL AM” on Tuesday what he wanted to know before jumping on board with coach Andy Reid’s new regime, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports.
“If I’m going to be traded,” Albert said, “(I want to know) if I’m going to be there long-term. Right now, everything is uncertain.”
Albert says he hasn’t “even thought about” whether he will show up for mandatory activities. He was asked whether he would be willing to play under the terms of his franchise tag despite not signing a long-term contract.
“If it’s something I have to do, I’ll have to do it. But I’d rather not,” Albert said. “I want that long-term commitment. But as you know in football, you don’t have too much control of the situation. I want to play for the Chiefs, but I want that commitment long-term.”
Albert said he does not want to move to right tackle, which is something to keep in mind with a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft at left tackle coming aboard (offensive linemen Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are pegged to be selected early in the first round, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock).
“I want to know the answer,” Albert said. “I don’t want to be in limbo. Ever since the end of the season, I’ve been in limbo. I want a definitive answer of what’s going to happen with me.”
Carolina Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross has restructured his contract, freeing up nearly $ 7 million in cap space while also providing himself with a path to free agency in 2014, Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports (via the Charlotte Observer).
Gross was originally scheduled to earn $ 8.7 million in base salary and had an $ 11.7 million cap number for the 2013 season. According to a source with knowledge of the new contract’s details, Gross lowered his base salary to $ 1 million, which is fully guaranteed, and a $ 4.5 million signing bonus, of which $ 3 million will be paid immediately with the remaining $ 1.5 million deferred until next April.
Gross had been signed through the 2014 season and his $ 6.7 million salary was lowered to $ 1 million. To maximize the proration on Gross’ signing bonus, three additional seasons were tacked onto the deal. However, if Gross is on the roster five days after Super Bowl XLVIII, his contract will automatically void, making him an unrestricted free agent once the 2014 league year begins.
The new deal lowers Gross’ cap number this season to $ 4.9 million, a cap savings of $ 6.8 million. On the flipside, because Gross’ contract will void, he will count $ 5.6 million against the Panthers’ 2014 salary cap.
Gross, who turns 33 in July, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has started 151 regular season games for the Panthers, who selected the former Utah standout with the eighth overall pick of the 2003 NFL draft.
Have the winter blues got you down? Are you feeling lonely, cold and isolated?
If your answer to those questions is ‘yes’, then the Dallas Cowboys and Living Social have a deal for you. For the not-so-low price of $ 6,999, you and a friend can jet off to Riviera Maya, Mexico with the famous Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team as they shoot their annual calendar in early April. The website claims the trip carries a retail tag of $ 16,000, so you’re saving about 56 percent — not to mention avoiding the social stigma that usually comes with leering at beautiful women — to hang out with the team.
The total price includes two round-trip flights, an all-inclusive three-night stay at a five-star hotel, a meet-and-greet with the cheerleaders, a chance to watch a swimsuit fashion show and a group dinner with staff and guests.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, one trip package had been purchased on the site. The only requirements are that you and your guest are 21-or-older and the trip must be finalized by March 1.
No word on who pays for the suntan oil or background checks, but how can you pass an opportunity like this up?
We’ll, uh, see you down in Mexico.
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INDIANAPOLIS — It would be a tough act for anyone to follow. When you’re in the wake of a quarterback class that featured three instant superstars in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson, as well as many more possible long-term starters, it’s an outlier group that defies a sequel. For Geno Smith and Matt Barkley, the top two quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class, the hope is that they can avoid it looking like the move from “Caddyshack” to “Caddyshack II,” and shake the perception that this class is a sequel that isn’t worth watching. They had their chances to answer those questions in Friday’s scouting combine media session, and some were more confident than others.
West Virginia’s Smith, the consensus number-one prospect in this class, talked about just how high the bar has been set.
“Those guys changed expectations for many quarterbacks, let alone rookies. Those guys stepped right in, including Russell, and were leaders most of all from day one. And that’s the one thing I took from it. No matter what age difference, where you come from, or what pick you are — when you’re taken for that role as a quarterback in the NFL, you have to lead by example. That’s the thing all those guys did.
“They set the bar very high. I want to be one of those guys that step in and do the same thing.”
Some would say that he’s ready to do so. Others would look at a second-half swing the wrong way in the 2012 season and wonder if Smith is ready for prime time. The Mountaineers lost six of their last eight games after starting off 5-0, and while Smith’s slump wasn’t as bad as some assume, he’s still going to be hammered about it.
“We came into a new league. We came out real hot, we were fired up and ready to really prove ourselves. Inconsistency set in. I’m not going to say that anyone wasn’t working hard. When we went through that tough stretch, I was the first one to stand up in front of the team and let them know — we’re going to work even harder and we’re not going to put our heads down. The one thing I take from that experience is that being a leader, you’re not going to deal with fair situations at all times.
“The main thing I learned was that to stop whatever goes on, in my position as the leader of the team, I’ve got to set the bar and lead by example. That’s what I did for my team.”
Nobody questions Matt Barkley’s leadership, but the USC quarterback who threw 75 touchdowns and just 22 interceptions total in his last two seasons with the Trojans will have other inquiries to deal with. A shoulder injury will keep Barkley from throwing at the scouting combine, though he said on Friday that he’s “100 percent” on schedule to do everything at USC’s Pro Day on March 27. For now, eschewing all of the drills in Indianapolis means that Barkley can only impress teams in interviews with his overall game knowledge and character.
I’ve had a great time in the informal meetings so far,” Barkley said on Friday. “Once those formal interviews kick off, I definitely believe that’s a strength of mine in terms of being on the board and watching film. I’m a master of my offense. I think I can portray that to them. If they can put a face to my name, once they meet me, I feel like they’ll have a good impression.”
Barkley may bea “master of his offense,” but some wonder if he has the kind of arm that can make deep throws in tight windows with the kind of velocity the NFL will require. If he bristles at that question with NFL teams as he did when he was asked about it during his media session, those NFL teams will at least know that Barkley has a competitive streak.
I would disagree,” Barkley said. “Look at the tape. Watch the tape. I’m not going to go through certain throws, but you can watch the tape where I’ve made throws in tight windows. I can make every NFL throw that you need. So I would disagree.”
Some scouts and general managers might disagree with Barkley’s perception of his arm (as would I), but good for him for keeping his dander up. In the end, the challenge for Smith and Barkley — and every other quarterback in this class — will be to follow an impossible group into the NFL and prove their worth. As Barkley said, that’s all this class can do — comparisons or not.
“There’s been a lot of comparisons recently to last year’s rookie class, and well-deserved,” he said. “Those guys came right away and played and made their mark; won playoff games. There’s always going to be that comparison, whether it’s just or unjust. I don’t feel like there’s any pressure on my part to live up to them. I know every situation’s different. Whatever a player’s going into is going to be different than what they went into last year. I don’t feel there’s any need to live up to what they lived up to.
“I have my standards, and hopefully those are high enough.”
Standards are high. Whether the actual talent is enough to make that kind of mark is something we won’t know for a while.
Any New York Jets fan who imagined that life with their favorite team would be less complicated in the absence of recently fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum had only until new GM John Idzik’s first press conference to realize that … well, the Jets are the Jets. Idzik created quite the little mess when he appeared to be non-committal about the future of cornerback Darrelle Revis, and the franchise had to do some back-pedaling on that one. While team owner Woody Johnson is reported to be very interested in trading Revis before his current contract runs out at the end of the 2013 season, Idzik called Revis in late January — very soon after he replaced Tannenbaum — to try and set things as right as he could.
Revis, who is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last September, recently spoke with Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network about his feelings towards an organization that selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft, has endured two of his holdouts, and may be feeling the need to cut bait.
“I was speechless; I was speechless because I didn’t get a phone call,” Revis said of the rampant trade rumors that coincided with Idzik’s hire. “I know it’s a business – just call me; don’t have it lingering out there. I need answers and I’m not getting [any]. Just the fact that that was put out there instead of contacting your best player on the team. If that’s how you want to do business, then that’s fine….As soon as the season is over, you try to make changes as management. You try to do what you can to build your team and restructure your team. It was kind of, to me, rude because it was John Idzik’s first day on the job [that the reports came out].”
Revis held out after he was drafted, and held out again before the Jets gave him a lucrative contract extension in 2010. He’s due $ 3 million in base salary for the 2012 season, plus workout bonuses, roster bonuses, and reporting bonuses that each total $ 1 million. In his next contract, Revis is said to be asking for an entirely new level of compensation — as much as $ 60 million guaranteed. That’s heavy scratch for a team way over the salary cap, and tied as they are to several of Tannenbaum’s odoriferous contracts.
“He was a straightforward guy,” Revis said of his first conversation with Idzik. “He didn’t cut any corners. He just said he doesn’t know; he doesn’t know what’s going on, that [wasn't] coming from him. Just from talking to him that one conversation, no, I respect him.”
The idea that Idzik didn’t know what was going on adds credence to the notion that it was Johnson behind the rumors, and that Johnson intends to take a more hands-on role in football operations. When Revis spoke with Rex Ryan about the matter, he told Kremer, things were more casual.
“Me and Rex, we have a cool relationship so it wasn’t really more so all about being traded and things like that – it was other things; how’s the family, how are you doing? I know Rex, he wants me to be here, but I think me and him both know it’s a business.”
Revis was very forthright when asked if the decision to keep him would be Ryan’s call.
“No, I wouldn’t think. I’m sure he’ll have a say-so but overall, no. It starts from the top, it starts with Woody Johnson.”
And does Revis believe that Johnson would like to trade him?
“That might be a situation,” he said. “That might be something. That might be an option. If I do get traded, I’m not going to sit here and pout and cry, but I told them numerous times that I want to be there so it’s up to them and management of what they want to do.”
Revis said that he’s not aware whether the trade rumors have anything to do with his injury. Right now, all reports indicate that he’ll be back to running in April, and ready for Day 1 of the 2013 season — wherever he is at that point in time.
“I don’t know if they’re doing that because they think I’m not going to get back to 100 percent. I’m a Jet until they tell me I’m not a Jet … It’s not really affecting me in that way because I know how good I am as a player; I know my worth, I know that I’ll be back. That’s just all on me being competitive.”
Where Revis will be competitive in the future is still very much up in the air. Whether it’s via the trade route, or in free agency after his contract voids following this upcoming season, his odds of doing so at a Jet seem minimal at best.
Alex Smith didn’t get off to a good start. But when Jim Harbaugh came to San Fran, Smith became one of the NFL’s most efficient QBs. After being replaced by Colin Kaepernick, will he be traded?
Trying to draw emotion to get his team pumped up for the Super Bowl, 49′ers coach Jim Harbaugh had a special surprise for his team during their final team meeting on Saturday night.
Harbaugh introduced the 49ers to Colonel Jim Minnick, a friend he’s had since the eighth grade.
Minnick encouraged the players to leave it all on the field for their teammates, play together and be prepared to overcome adversity because nothing ever goes as planned, offering examples from his military career.
The player who spoke was veteran WR Randy Moss, who talked about being part of the 18-0 Pats team that lost to the Giants in the 2007 season.