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As of late, football has been at the top of "the stack", but today, The Stack has a bigger story to lead off with.  Time to find out what it is and what else is in "the stack" for today, Friday, August 24:

Lance Armstrong banned from cycling for life

Lance Armstrong made an announcement and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency came down swiftly.  After Armstrong said he would no longer fight against the claims that he never used steroids, the USADA announced its punishment: stripping Armstrong of his seven Tour de' France titles and banning him from the sport for life.  For life!!  He can never do anything with the sport, can't be an owner, trainer, nothing.  This ridiculous witch hunt for lack of a better term finally led Armstrong to just throw in the towel rather than continue to fight.  He still proclaimed his innocense, pointing to the fact that he has taken hundreds of drug tests and passed every one of them during his dominance on the tour from 1999-2005.  Armstrong said "he toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today -- finished with this nonsense."  So he is still saying he is innocent, he just doesn't want to fight the charges anymore. 

Only Armstrong knows if he is truly innocent.  If he knows he cheated, he'd have to live with that the rest of his life and it would eat at him.  Call me a sucker, but I belive Armstrong and have believed him ever since this attack on him began.  Ever since people started questioning him, Armstrong has defended himself and said look at the evidence.  There was nothing that showed that he had taken steroids.  He was just a physical specimen who trained like no one else.  Perhaps I just want to believe in an athlete who could overcome so much like Armstrong had with his cancer bout.  A lot of people did.  The USADA just wanted a face to put on their wall after failing to get others like Roger Clemens.  France has been after Armstrong for years.  Who knows why.  But I can tell you one thing, I believe Armstrong and I am disgusted and appalled by the USADA and their consistent attack and persistence in trying to proclaim this man's guilt.  Anyone else feel that way?

 

Rodgers runs for two scores, Locker looks good, Ravens thump Jaguars

Three Thursday games started off week three of the preseason.  This is the game where the starters play the most and fans can get the best sense of what the season is going to be like for their favorite team.  Well, in Cincinnati, Aaron Rodgers ran for two scores as the Green Bay Packers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-13.  In case you didn't know, Rodgers is the Packers quarterback.  But he wasn't the only player running the ball well for the Packers.  Cedric Benson also had a good game.  Six carries, 38 yards.  Ran hard.  Was tough to bring down. He'll bring ballance to the Packers offense, making them even more dangerous.

In Tennessee, Jake Locker proved his coaches right, throwing for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Tennessee Titans' 32-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals.  Locker had command of the offense and made throws and decision that he wouldn't have made last year and didn't make in college.  Very impressive performance.  Bad news for the Titans though is that return man and wide receiver Marc Mariani suffered a gruesome knee injury and is out for the year.  For the Cardinals, neither quarterback John Skelton or Kevin Kolb looked all that impressive.  Their performances probably did not please the Cardinals coaches who were looking for one of the two to assert themselves as the starting quarterback.  Could be a long year for the Cardinals.

And in Baltimore, the Baltimore Ravens put a whooping on the Jacksonville Jaguars 48-17.  Joe Flacco was most impressive throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns for the Ravens.  If he can play like that during the regular season, the Ravens will have no trouble winning the AFC North and maybe making it to the Super Bowl.

Friday's NFL preseason action is as follows:

Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns 7:30 PM ET    

Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins 7:30 PM ET    

New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM ET

San Diego Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings 8:00 PM ET

Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM ET

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants 8:00 PM ET

 

Plenty of intriguing storylines and some good games with plenty of action and battles in store for Friday and the weekend.

 

In other NFL news, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he believes in the replacement refs.  Apart from him, some in the NFL office and owners Jerry Jones and Bob McNair, no one else thinks that.  Get a new deal done with the officials and get them back on the field.  Ed Hochuli and Mike Carey must get back on the field.

Vikings fans will get to see running back Adrian Peterson on the field tomorrow...but only for warmups.  He'll test it out and see how he feels.  Peterson and the Vikings are still aiminig for a return date of September 9th in the Vikings regular season opener against Jacksonville.

And the always-interesting-tweeting Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is tweeting once again that "trade winds blowing" most likely meaning the Colts are trying to get a big name such as Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace or Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.  Maybe someone else?  Who could it be?  Maybe Irsay is just pulling our legs.  Wouldn't be the first time.

 

Before we go, the NHL met with the NHLPA Thursday, but little progress was made.  A large amount of work needs to be completed before the end of the current CBA September 15th.  At this point, it doesn't look very good.  Get a deal done!!

And next week, The Stack's college football preview and NFL preview will be posted.  Make sure you check back for those.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.  See you Monday.  

Coming up Monday: Top NFL preseason headlines from the weekend plus other top sports stories.

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