Public Service Announcement: You Are Not a Professional Baseball Player

Public Service Announcement: You Are Not a Professional Baseball Player

To every person who ever argued reaching into the field of play for a live ball is understandable because it's instinct or reaction:

Quit being a willfully ignorant fan, and keep your hands where they belong.

You are not a Major League Baseball player. You don't belong on the field, your hands don't belong anywhere near a live ball, and if you can't understand these basic principles, you don't even belong at the game as a spectator.

Earlier this year, many baseball fans came to the defense of the kid who interfered with a ball in play at Citizens Bank Park. Their points ranged from it's natural to reach for the ball, to the misguided idea that the play in question actually assisted the Phillies.

To the latter, let me make this simple for you. When you enter the field of play, the results are unpredictable. Maybe you cause a triple to become a double for the opposing team. Who knows, maybe you get tazed!

Then again, maybe you are responsible for taking an extra base hit away from your own team and cost them an out--you know, essentially blowing the game when those runs don't eventually come across.

(Before anybody chimes in and says the Phillies have nobody to blame but themselves for the loss, I don't entirely disagree, but let's not pretend the impact of this particular play was minor.)

And if you are one of those people who react to an airborne baseball the way a cat does when a shoelace is waved in front of its face, it's time you take some responsibility for your actions. This is elementary school stuff.

Chances are if you are sitting in the front row, this isn't your first rodeo. You know the rules of the sport, and are aware of several highly publicized incidents of fan obstruction from the last decade or two. In short, you don't touch a ball when it is in play.

Is it instinct to reach for something flying toward you? To some extent, sure. However, I've seen numerous instances of people CONTROLLING THEMSELVES and not blatantly breaking the rules, so I KNOW FOR A FACT this can be done.

You don't see people sitting courtside at Sixers games colliding with Andre Iguodala when a loose ball is heading out of bounds, do you?

Just save it, people. If you can't sit in the front row and behave yourself, leave those tickets for the real fans who can appreciate that they are not supposed to project themselves into the action.

You are not a professional athlete. You are not funny. You are not cool. You are not needed at all. The end.

Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

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Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State’s offense rewrote the Big Ten Championship’s offensive record book Saturday night but its 38-31 victory over Wisconsin wasn’t secure until the final minute.

And Linebacker U. got the game-saving play from the secondary.

Wisconsin, armed with a pair of timeouts and lining up for a fourth-and-1 play from the Nittany Lions’ 24, called on Corey Clement. Clement, who’d already racked up 166 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, got the ball but never got close to the marker.

Grant Haley made sure of it.

The junior cornerback wrapped up Clement’s legs and safety Marcus Allen kept Clement from leaning forward and the game was over. Penn State (11-2) has the 2016 Big Ten title and, at worst, will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009.

“They ran [a counter] early in the game and split it for a touchdown,” Haley said of the final play. “I saw them set the edge, so I got triggered really well and Marcus finished off the play.”

Haley and company watched the Badgers run wild in the first half; 164 yards and three touchdowns, including Clement’s 67-yard scamper. Wisconsin, one of the conference’s best rushing teams this season, managed less than half that total (77) in the second half.

“They really weren’t running that many plays,” Haley added. “We just came out in the second half and had a jolt. 

“We just had the energy going into the second half.”

Wisconsin got the ball twice in the fourth quarter but managed only 65 yards - 51 of which came on its final drive.

“Give credit to Penn State for coming out in the second half and making those adjustments and allowing those big plays to happen,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. 

Give plenty of credit, too, to the Nittany Lions’ offense. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley was named the game’s most valuable player after completing 17 of his 25 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns - both championship game records. He helped Penn State complete the biggest comeback in the game’s six year history after his team fell behind 28-7 in the first half and also finished the regular season with 3,360 yards and 25 touchdown passes, both school records.

Saeed Blacknall had six catches for a Big Ten Championship-record 155 yards and two touchdowns and DaeShean Hamilton finished with 118 yards on eight grabs.

Tailback Saquon Barkley, injured in last weekend’s victory over Michigan State, returned with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught an 18-yard scoring pass from McSorley early in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.

Penn State, in its first-ever trip to this game, is coming home from it with just its second outright Big Ten title. It’s on a nine-game winning streak that has seen it average 40 points per contest.

It also could present the College Football Playoff selection committee with a bit of quandary. The Nittany Lions, who were ranked seventh by the committee last week, topped the No. 6 Badgers and claimed a conference championship, something likely playoff teams Alabama, Clemson and Washington all boast.

On the flip side, Penn State’s last defeat was a lopsided 49-10 loss at Michigan, which sits at No. 5 in the rankings and likely won’t move into the top four after losing last week to No. 2 Ohio State.

Penn State coach James Franklin stated his team’s case after Saturday night’s win, but also made it clear he and his team won’t be moping their way to Pasadena, Calif., where the conference champion is slotted if it is not chosen for the playoff.

“We’ve got great options in front of us,” he said. “I hear people on TV talking about they feel like maybe the playoff has taken away from the bowls. 

“Are you kidding me? The Rose Bowl? It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Jordan Matthews will not play Sunday against the Bengals after missing practice all week with an ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Matthews is the Eagles' leading receiver with 57 catches for 686 yards and three touchdowns. The team has called him a game-time decision.

Second-year receiver Nelson Agholor will reportedly be inserted back into the lineup. If Matthews doesn't play the Eagles will have only four healthy receivers active on Sunday: Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and undrafted rookies Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner.