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BOOM! Eli Manning offers Eagles a blueprint to win the Super Bowl

Reuters

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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning knows a thing or two about beating the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl and thinks the Philadelphia Eagles can do the same in the NFL’s championship game on Sunday.

Manning is the only quarterback to beat a Tom Brady-led New England team in the Super Bowl, having done it in 2008 and 2012, and offered the Eagles a blueprint for success.

“In both Super Bowls our defense played outstanding,” Manning told Reuters on Friday. “We got a great pass rush on Tom and we were able to disrupt him a little bit and then when it came to the fourth quarter we played our best football.”

The Patriots are 4-1/2-point favorites heading into Sunday but Manning feels the underdog Eagles have all the pieces necessary to pull out a victory in Minneapolis.

“They have a great defensive front and they can get pressure on the quarterback,” said Manning, who is in Minneapolis to promote the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover Contest.

“They run the ball well, their quarterback is playing at a high level in Nick (Foles) so they have the ingredients. Now can they put it all together on gameday?”

At 40, Brady is well past the age when quarterbacks tend to be much less efficient but he is playing as well as ever and often saves his best for the NFL’s biggest game.

Last year, with the Patriots trailing 28-3 in the second half, Brady led his team to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Manning said for the Eagles to prevail over the defending champions, they must emulate his Giants teams and nullify the five-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback’s timing.

“Obviously Tom’s playing at a high level. But the best way to slow down any quarterback is get pressure on him and make him throw the ball earlier than he wants to,” said Manning.

UNDERDOGS

The Eagles are the NFC’s top seed but they have been home underdogs in both their playoff games, a label the players have embraced with many wearing dog masks after games and even during the buildup to the Super Bowl.

But Manning said that while the Eagles appear to be having fun with their underdog status, they are likely also using it as motivation going into the biggest game of the year.

“They’ve kind of used that approach all through the playoffs as motivation that they’ve been the underdog and they’ve embraced that role,” said Manning.

“That’s definitely been kind of something that has been a little chip on the shoulder and helped them get through it. On paper they are the underdog again so I know they are talking about that.”

Manning did not reveal his prediction for the outcome of Sunday’s championship, saying only that the game will likely be a close encounter.

“I don’t have a favorite of who’s going to win. It’s tough to say that the Patriots aren’t going to win. They seem to get to this game a lot and find ways to win it,” he said.

“But I think it will be a tight game and come down to whoever has the ball last with little time left.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Pop Culture

Fans of Mac Miller Held Emotional Vigil at Park He Named His First Album After

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Mac Miller passed away on Sept. 7 of a reported overdose and was pronounced dead at his Studio City, California home. He was 26 years old. But his hometown of Pittsburgh honored the late rapper with a touching public vigil Tuesday. Thousands showed up to Frick Blue Slide Park, which inspired the title of Miller’s 2011 debut album, Blue Slide Park.

“It was an emotional night,” said Jamie Byron after attending the vigil. Fans decorated the park with art, flowers and candles.

Byron, who at 25 is just one year younger than Miller, told Better than the Weekend he started listening to the late rapper as a freshman in college. Miller’s first album became the soundtrack to his first year of college.

“My roommate and I would listen to Blue Slide Park every day freshman year. It was in the background when we’d do homework, just chill, or get ready to go out,” said Byron. “Going through college is a weird time, and Mac’s music made sense to us because he was our age and from our city, so it felt good to hear.

Fans sang along to Miller’s music for hours. Chants of “412” which is the area code of Pittsburgh and “Thank you, Mac” circulated throughout the night, said Byron.

Byron said he had chills when the DJ stopped for the night and the crowd just broke into “Frick Park Market” for one last moment of honor.

RIP, Mac.

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This NBA Star Is Going to Harvard

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Oh, back to school. Back to school — to prove to dad he’s not a fool. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is going back to school — and he’s going to Harvard.

Irving is headlining the newest group of athletes to enroll in a Harvard Business School course called “Crossover Into Business,” aimed at helping sports stars maximize their earning potential during and after their playing careers. The baller is joined in the class by Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap and former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett, among others. Longtime NBA forwards Chris Boshand Caron Butler previously completed the program, per Boston.com.

In June, Boston.com asked Irving about his interests away from the basketball court.

“I feel like if I had the same amount of time that I was afforded [for basketball] to learn about business and investments, I think I’d probably be in a pretty different place,” he said. “You just gotta learn as best you can on your own time.”

Taking a course at Harvard is a solid step in that process.

At the same time, Irving is working back from knee surgery that forced him to miss the latter stages of the 2017-18 season, including the playoffs.

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Paul McCartney Says He Masturbated with John Lennon (No, Really)

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I’ll never be able to listen to the line: “I get my with a little help from my friends” the same way again.

Paul McCartney regaled writer Chris Heath in GQ with a story about how he, John Lennon and some of their friends masturbated together before the pair became world-famous members of the Beatles.

McCartney told GQ: “What it was was over at John’s house, and it was just a group of us. And instead of just getting roaring drunk and partying—I don’t even know if we were staying over or anything—we were all just in these chairs, and the lights were out, and somebody started masturbating, so we all did.”

When asked if the “ritual” took place more than once, McCartney said: “I think it was a one-off. Or maybe it was like a two-off. It wasn’t a big thing. But, you know, it was just the kind of thing you didn’t think much of. It was just a group.”

“Yeah, it’s quite raunchy when you think about it,” he acknowledged. “There’s so many things like that from when you’re a kid that you look back on and you’re, ‘Did we do that?’ But it was good harmless fun. It didn’t hurt anyone. Not even Brigitte Bardot.”

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