Archive for July 2017

Texas Ex-Aaron Williams: ‘It’s about to go down this year’

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Biggest take away from Tom Herman addressing media

Biggest take away from Tom Herman addressing media

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Biggest take away from Tom Herman addressing media 1:26

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What’s next for the Longhorns? Make sure you’re in the loop by signing up for our FREE Texas newsletter!

Excited for Texas football to return? A few former Longhorns are as well.

Former Texas star Aaron Williams took to Twitter on Sunday to showcase just how fired up he is for the return of college football and the return of Texas to the national spotlight.

"It’s about to go down this year," he said along with a "In Herman we trust" hashtag.

it’s about to go down this year! #InHermanWeTrust \m/ 🐂 https://t.co/t9VrRxQe1n

— Aaron Williams (@ajwilliams23) July 30, 2017

Williams spent three seasons at Texas, appearing in 37 games with 23 starts. As a second-team All-Big 12 defensive back, he recorded four interceptions, 12 tackles for loss and 24 pass breakups before declaring for the NFL Draft.

Williams was also part of Texas’ national championship appearance in 2009, so he knows what success in Austin looks like.

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Eight Found Dead in Texas Truck in Suspected Human Trafficking

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – Eight people believed to be illegal immigrants being smuggled into the United States were found dead inside a sweltering 18-wheeler trailer parked behind a Walmart store in San Antonio, Texas, early on Sunday, authorities said.

Another 30 people, many suffering from heat stoke and exhaustion, were with the bodies in the trailer, which lacked air conditioning or a water supply, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

The truck’s driver was arrested and will be charged, said Richard Durbin, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, and prosecutors will work to identify others responsible.

“These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters,” Durbin said in a statement, adding the heat in southern Texas is “punishing” at this time of year.

“Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus degree heat,” he said. They were victims of “ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” he added.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus described it as a “horrible tragedy,” and said other suspects had fled the scene as police officers arrived.

“Checking the video, there were a number of vehicles that came and picked up other people who were in that trailer,” McManus said.

Twenty people were airlifted to seven hospitals and their conditions were “critical to very critical,” fire chief Hood said. Eight others are hospitalized in less serious condition, he said.

The people range from school-age juveniles to adults in their twenties and thirties, he said.

McManus said officials were led to the scene by a man who approached a store employee asking for water.

McManus said the Department of Homeland Security had joined the investigation. The origin of the truck is unclear, he added.

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Texas Lawmakers Clash over Contentious Transgender Bathroom Bill

Less than two months after failing to pass a “bathroom bill” restricting access for transgender people, Texas lawmakers are trying again amid fierce opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and leading businesses.

A special legislative session will start on Tuesday in Austin. Among the main items on the agenda is a measure to limit transgender access to restrooms and changing facilities. The issue is the latest battleground in the conflict in Texas between moderate, pragmatic Republicans and far-right, ideologically driven conservatives emboldened by the rise of Donald Trump.

That clash is embodied by antipathy between two of the state’s most important politicians: Joe Straus, speaker of the House and a relative moderate, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Christian conservative who was the state chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Passing a bathroom bill is a top priority for Patrick. In a sign of the pressure being placed on moderates as Texas politics lurches even farther rightwards, the GOP in Straus’s home county last week passed a resolution calling for him to be replaced as speaker, in protest at his lack of enthusiasm for a bathroom bill.

A reported conversation between Straus and a state senator friendly to Patrick was recounted in the New Yorker, which quoted Straus as saying he was “disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”

Critics contend that a bathroom bill will stigmatize an already vulnerable part of the population and fear that children will seek to avoid using school toilets by skipping meals and drinks.

Supporters argue, without evidence, that a bathroom bill is necessary to safeguard privacy and will improve public safety by offering protection against sexual predators.

In March, the Texas senate passed a bill obliging people in public buildings such as schools and universities to use restrooms and changing facilities that comport with their “biological sex” as written on birth certificates. The House approved a modified version applying only to public schools. But Patrick and the Senate rejected that measure as insufficient.

After the 140-day regular legislative session, Republican governor Greg Abbott called a special session to address unfinished business. There are 20 items, including the bathroom bill and anti-abortion measures.

Among the options lawmakers will consider is a statewide move to supersede existing local non-discrimination ordinances in cities such as Austin and Dallas. This would stop entities such as school districts from following or creating policies that accommodate transgender people.

Abbott has argued for uniform rules across the state. Critics charge that Republicans are seeking to impose unwanted policies on Democratic-leaning big cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

“These anti-LGBTQ bills are part of a larger, overarching strategy to roll back the rights of LGBTQ Texans,” JoDee Winterhof, senior vice-president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said on a conference call with reporters.

“Ever since marriage equality became the law of the land after the [US supreme court’s 2015] decision in the Obergefell case, legislatures around the country have been introducing blatantly discriminatory bills at state level in order to curtail or roll back the rights of our community. These bills come in many forms but the latest form they have taken is discrimination against transgender people.”

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said on the call that proponents of bathroom bills were “trying to score political points with lies and scare tactics”.

In Texas, such a bill would be popular with the core constituency of many of the politicians who back it: staunch suburban and rural conservatives who turn out in large numbers for Republican primary elections.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released last month found that 44% of all respondents consider a bathroom bill to be “important” and 47% “not important”. But among those who identify as Tea Party supporters, 70% said it is important, a figure that grew as the issue was discussed extensively this year.

Texas led a legal challenge to federal guidelines introduced by the Obama administration last year that told schools to provide facilities for transgender students that align with their gender identity. The Trump administration rescinded the guidance in February, boosting bathroom bill advocates.

However, moderates such as Straus fear economic boycotts of the kind that rippled through North Carolina when it introduced a bathroom bill in 2016.

IBM has taken out full-page advertisements opposing the bill in Texas newspapers and plans to send senior employees to Austin to lobby against it, the Dallas Morning News reported. Other technology companies with a significant presence in Texas, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple, have also criticized the plan.

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Rangers Cap First Half of Season with Shutout Loss to Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — J.C. Ramirez provided a much-needed boost in the Texas heat on Sunday afternoon to the Los Angeles Angels’ beleaguered starting rotation and struggling offensive attack.

Ramirez outpitched All-Star Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols hit his 604th career home run as Ramirez and three relievers held the Rangers to two hits in a 3-0 win.

Ramirez (8-7) allowed both hits in his six innings. Bud Norris earned his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning in only the second shutout of Texas this season, the first since mid-April. The Angels went into the game last in the American League in total bases.

Ramirez made his 16th straight start since mid-April after his previous 108 career appearances in the major leagues were in relief. The 28-year-old was moved into the starting rotation after Los Angeles lost multiple starters to injury.

“We’re not going to reach our goal unless these guys go out and give us an opportunity to win like J.C. did this afternoon,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ramirez credited a switch to a four-seam fastball from a two-seamer following a recent talk with pitching coach Charles Nagy for his Sunday success.

Ramirez’s plan for the All-Star break? “I’m going to Vegas for a couple of days,” he said. “I need my mind to get away from baseball.”

Darvish (6-8) gave up two runs while pitching 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, fanning six and walking four in a start that cost him a potential appearance in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. Darvish last week complied with a club request not to pitch in Miami two days after starting.

“We ran into a guy today who was on top of his game,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “Darvish threw the ball extremely well. He made two mistakes.”

Pujols hit a two-out home run on a curveball into the Angels’ bullpen in left-center in the first inning. He took a .206 career batting average vs. Darvish in 34 at-bats into the game. Three of his eight career hits off the four-time All-Star have been homers.

The Angels added a run in the fifth inning after Ben Revere stole third base following Darvish’s throw behind him to second base. Juan Graterol followed with a sacrifice fly.

Ramirez ends the season’s first half with a major league career-high 103 innings. His previous high as a reliever was 78 2/3 innings last season, which was divided between the Angels and Cincinnati.

The Rangers are 1-8 in Darvish’s last nine starts. Texas has scored 15 runs in his eight losses this season.

“It’s part of baseball,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “I don’t really think about it.”

READY, BREAK

The Rangers end the first half 43-45, 16 games out of first place in the AL West. They were 42-46 two years ago at the break but only three games out. They grabbed the division lead on Sept. 15 and won by two games.

The Angels are 45-47, 19-20 without reigning league MVP Mike Trout in the lineup. They’ve been within three games of .500 since April 23, when they were 8-12.

ANGELS’ RISP DROUGHT ENDS

Andrelton Simmons’ ninth-inning double that scored pinch-runner Eric Young from second base ended Los Angeles’ 0-for-10 streak with runners in scoring position during the series. In Friday night’s 10-0 Angels loss, they failed to get a runner beyond first base.

SHORT HOPS

Rougned Odor went 0-for-4, ending a career-long 10-game hitting streak. . The Angels will have six off days during the first 35 days of the season’s second half after having only six to date in 98 days.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: Trout is scheduled to make rehab starts on Sunday and Monday with high-A Inland Empire with the Angels hoping to return him to their active roster on Friday.

Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder soreness) can come off the disabled list on Monday and is expected to rejoin the club on Friday.

UP NEXT

Angels: No starter has been announced for Friday’s home game vs. Tampa Bay.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (4-6) will open the three-game series at Kansas City on Friday.

Jeff Banister on pitching in shutout loss against Angels

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Weird but True Cowboys Stories: a Big Romo Fan Could Get Death Penalty and More

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) catches an exercise ball during drills before the Blue-White Scrimmage at training camp in Oxnard, California, Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys are always in the news.

When you’re always in the news, there’s going to be a wide range of stories. Some will be uplifting, some troubling, some light-hearted and some, well, they’re just weird.

Here’s a sampling of some of the stranger stories involving the Cowboys in the past few months.

homas Randolph, wearing a Tony Romo jersey, leaves the courtroom after appearing in his death penalty phase trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, June 30, 2017. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/@bizutesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo always had his supporters, even in the midst of Dak-mania in 2016.

As Exhibit A, we offer Thomas Randolph, a 62-year-old from Las Vegas who has been convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his sixth wife and then killing the hitman.

Randolph wore an XXXL Tony Romo jersey to court for his sentencing hearing, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Randolph faces punishment ranging from 20 years in prison to the death penalty.

And this wasn’t Randolph’s first time on trial in the death of one of his wives. According to the Review-Journal, he was acquitted in a 1986 murder case but pleaded to tampering with a witness for conspiring with a cellmate to kill the prosecution’s star witness.

1986, hmmm. Three quarterbacks started games for the Cowboys that season: Steve Pelluer started nine, Danny White started six and Reggie Collier started one. No information is available as to whether Randolph wore Pelluer’s No. 16, White’s No. 11 or Collier’s No. 10 for his trial appearances in ’86.

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Overall, everything went smoothly for the Cowboys on the first night of the 2017 NFL draft. Dallas sat back with the 28th overall pick and selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton when he fell to them.

Before making the selection, however, the Cowboys had to change the number of their war room phone line after it was compromised.

“Somebody got their hands on [it],” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “They got it off social media.”

The fix was simple. The Cowboys pulled the old number and switched the phone line to another number so they were back up and running quickly without any interference.

There’s nothing unusual about Stephen A. Smith’s bashing of the Cowboys or their fans on ESPN’s First Take. He’s been doing it for years. It’s just his annoying schtick. Take it as you should take Stephen A., with a more than a few grains of salt and a pain reliever.

But Smith — even though he was joking — took his anti-Cowboys message to a new level on this episode, which aired the morning before Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Smith asked a police officer to join him on camera, then pointed to two Cowboys fans sitting in the front row of the audience, one sporting a Dak Prescott throwback jersey.

“If they are disrespectful in any way, I want them removed,” Smith said. “They’re [Cowboys fans] are like cockroaches A nuclear bomb could drop and some how, some way, they’d find a way to contaminate the proceedings.”

Whatever, dude!

On a scale of 1 to @88DrewPearson how fired up are you for football to be back in 132 days? #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/ZAnC7yNQ77

— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 1, 2017

This one came totally out of the blue on the second night of the NFL draft … or should we say totally out of the silver and blue.

Former Cowboys All-Pro wide receiver Drew Pearson stood at the podium to announce the Cowboys’ second-round draft pick and essentially spiked a football in the face of the city of Philadelphia, which hosted the 2017 draft.

Pearson: “How ’bout them Cowboys?”

The crowd: “Booooooo!

Pearson: “Thank you Eagle fans for allowing me to have a career in the NFL. Thank you.”

Pearson: “I am honored as an undrafted free agent to be selected to make the Cowboys’ second-round draft pick and on behalf of the five-time World Champion Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame owner Jerry Jones, Gene Jones and the Jones family, Jason Garrett, all the Cowboys players that played before me and played with me and played after me. With the 60th pick in the second round, the Dallas Cowboys select defensive back from Colorado Chidobe Awuzie.”

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen: “That is an all-time great pick announcement. I am standing and applauding. Drew Pearson soaking in the hate and spitting it back.”

As you probably know, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met with Pope Francis recently on a visit to Vatican City. There’s no truth to the rumor (which we’re starting) that Jerry was trying to sell the Pope on the idea of an NFL team in the Vatican City.

The folks at WBAP-AM 820 took note of Jerry’s visit, even writing a song (sung to the tune of Dionne Warwick’s I Say A Little Prayer).

Here’s some of the lyrics from WBAP’s parody, which was posted on the station’s Facebook page.

Every morning when he wakes up,

He checks his collar for makeup,

And says a little prayer for Dez.

Sipping some Jack now,

Or watching his Razorbacks play now,

He says a little prayer for Dez.

He met with the pope, yeah.

They’re full of pizza and hope, yeah.

They say a little prayer for Lee.

Friday Music: Jerry Says a Little PrayerWBAPShareFriday Music: Jerry Says a Little PrayerWBAPapp-facebookLearn More

Oh, those NFC East rivalries.

Take the case of 32-year-old Brittan Holland, a Cowboys fan who was arrested and charged following a bar fight with a Philadelphia Eagles fan in New Jersey.

In a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Holland claims that the state’s current bail reform laws are illegal. Following his arrest, Holland was ordered to be released on the condition that he wear an ankle monitor. The suit claims that Holland was denied the option of bail, to which he should have been legally entitled.

A preliminary injunction motion has been filed, with the court being asked to hear the matter by July 17.

In an interview with Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio on SiriusXM, Jerry Jones talked about the time the Cowboys bus took on the ESPN bus in a race.

“We were in San Antonio and we had a drag-strip race,” Jones said. “I’ve forgotten who finished first — we’ll call it a tie. But I thought about how that transmission joint was going to look like laying out there on that parking lot.”

Must not have been any wagers on that race or Jerry would certainly remember who won.

Cowboys rookie receiver Ryan Switzer has a tattoo of the word “Believe”. What’s weird about that, you ask? It’s tattooed across the inside of his lower lip.

Switzer quickly tired of talking about his ink when he met with reporters for the first time after being drafted in the fourth round out of North Carolina.

“I’ve got a tattoo on my lip. There are worse things in the world, trust me,” Switzer said. “There are guys who have tattoos on their face and their neck. I think that’s a little bit more fearless than lip.”

“We’re really talking about my tattoo right now,” he said with a smile before responding about the pain level. “I don’t know. It doesn’t compare to getting hit across the middle, I’ll tell you that.”

Switzer originally got the lip tattoo while in high school so his mom wouldn’t see. He said she’s still not a huge fan, but “she has kind of grown into it.”

Cowboys sixth-round pick Marquez White can relate.

“That’s kind of how this Nike sign ended up on the back of my [left] leg,” he said Saturday. “I was trying to hide it from my mom, too. I was like 13 or 14.”

So, the question for Switzer and White is … if you have to hide the tattoo, why get the tattoo?

That’s weird.

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