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It's the first day of August and the last day of July was not short of news, especially in the NFL. The Stack is here with all of the big stories from yesterday so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, August 1:

Pro Bowl changing format

The Pro Bowl for years has been a glorified, uncompetitive game filled with the NFL's best players who don't give a damn about the game.  They're just there for the free vacation and do not want to get hurt.  The NFL the past few years has threatened to get rid of the game.  Even though the regular season is still over a month away, this season's Pro Bowl promises to be the most interesting in a really long time given the new format the NFL has agreed to with the NFLPA.  For starters, there will be no kickoffs.  The NFL hopes by implementing a two minute warning in the first and third quarters that there will be more two minute drills, something that they say NFL fans really get excited about.  No more AFC versus NFC.  Instead, the top 86 players will be divided into two teams, with two fans who did the best in nfl.com's fantasy football allowed to pick the teams.  That's a pretty cool wrinkle the NFL put in and really makes fantasy football all that much better and more important this year.  Other changes include:

 

??? Defenses will be allowed to play Cover 2 and press coverage. In the past, only man coverage had been allowed, except for goal-line situations.

??? Changes will be made to the game clock during the two-minute warning, with the clock stopping if the offense doesn't gain at least 1 yard, in order to encourage offenses to try to gain yardage at the end of each quarter.

??? The clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the game referee except during the two-minute warnings and the final five minutes of the game.

??? The game will use a 35-second/25-second play clock instead of the traditional 40-second/25-second clock.

??? Also, the game clock will not stop on sacks of the quarterback, outside of the game's final two minutes.

 

We'll have to see just how much better the game is as a result of these changes.  It certainly will be different that's for sure.  This may be a last ditch effort to save the pro bowl.  Have to see how most of the players react to this.  NFLPA President Dominique Foxworth proposed the changes to the NFL and the NFL liked it.  Hope the game is more competitive.

 

Eagles WR Riley Cooper apologizes for gay slur

It caught like wildfire in the afternoon and soon after, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper apologized for his use of a gay slur that was caught on tape when Riley attended a Kenny Chesney concert earlier in June.  The video surfaced yesterday.  Cooper said that he would "fight every (n word)".  Cooper has been fined by the team and owner Jeffrey Lurie issued a statement "This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society..." The NFL also issued a statement regarding the matter saying, "This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society."  Both parties are absolutely right, but the fact of the matter is is that Cooper, though it's probably not who he is as a person, should be fired.  If the Eagles hadn't recently lost Jeremy Maclin for the year to a torn ACL, there would be a greater chance of the Eagles releasing Cooper, but they need him.  If this was some guy fighting tooth and nail to make the 90 man roster, he'd be gone.  Cooper apologized to his teammates last night, but you have to think that at least a few of them won't take Cooper's apology to heart.  Be kind of tough to accept it.  Quarterback Michael Vick has.  Not trying to sway topics, but Vick lost his job and everything for killing dogs.  Yes Cooper's actions don't warrant anything to the extreme that Vick did, but is using an offensive term like that not deserve a little more than a silly fine and a slap on the wrist?  Maybe I'm way off base.  You tell me.

 

Alex Rodriguez negotiating with baseball

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is finally caving in.  Perhaps realizing just now that baseball has a lot of evidence against him in the Biogenesis case, A-Rod and his reps are now negotiating his punishment and an announcement is finally coming any day now.  This likely means that baseball was going to come at A-Rod with a lifetime ban and he knew that at this time, the best thing to do was try to come to some sort of agreement in order to avoid the lifetime ban.  Baseball is serious about this.  They have a lot against A-Rod.  Tony Bosch provided them with a lot of information and evidence regarding A-Rod and they would suspend him not just for taking PEDs and steroids, but for obstruction of justice.  A-Rod has looked bad from the start in the Biogenesis case and continues to make bad decision after bad decision and keeps putting his foot in his mouth.  He perhaps is now finally realizing that if he ever wants to play baseball again, he needs to negotiate his fate with baseball.  Now if only the Yankees or another team wanted him.  He plays in a simulated game in the next few days.  He won't join the team before his suspension is announced.  Finally this case and cloud that has been dominating the headlines in baseball can go away...hopefully.

 

Coming up Friday: Reaction to top sports stories and headlines from Thursday

 

 

 

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