First Call: A tremendous Sidney Crosby story; NFL teams play on 80-yard field | TribLIVE.com
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First Call: A tremendous Sidney Crosby story; NFL teams play on 80-yard field

Tim Benz
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AP
In this June 12, 2016, file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby raises the Stanley Cup after the Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in Game 6.

Friday’s “First Call” features a “Sid-sational” story about the Penguins captain. “Hard Knocks” will have a field day with that Canadian preseason game field fiasco. And Gritty the mascot has become weaponized.


Just who he is

Here is a clip about Sidney Crosby that has been making the rounds on social media. TSN play-by-play man Gord Miller was on TSN Radio’s “OverDrive 1050” Wednesday.

And he told this tale about how Sidney Crosby toured the Stanley Cup around Cole Harbour in 2016.

Wait, so it’s possible to just accomplish a spontaneous act of kindness out of the goodness of your heart without a camera crew and press release?

Who knew?


This makes me nervous

Flyers mascot Gritty was a danger to society since Day 1.

Now it’s gotten worse. No Flyer — mascot or otherwise — should be given weapons like this.

Plus, we’ve all seen how irresponsible Gritty has been in the past when it comes to firearms.

The ax-throwing seems like a big risk to me.


What’s up in Winnipeg?

This will go over big on “Hard Knocks.”

Thursday’s Raiders game against the Packers in Winnipeg had to be played on an 80-yard field because Green Bay didn’t like the turf in the end zone.

In part, the Packers had concerns over the holes where the goal posts normally sit on the CFL field.

So the teams played on an 80-yard field.

Did anyone complain about their helmet, too?

Jon Gruden wasn’t wild about the decision to shorten the playing surface.

“The field, I don’t know what that was all about,” Gruden said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We thought the field was perfectly fine.”

A lot of the starters — including Antonio Brown — didn’t play. The Raiders won 22-21.


Fantasy frenzy

Fantasy football owners are awash with angst over what to do about drafting Ezekiel Elliott.

Is he going to hold out from the Dallas Cowboys?

Hmm. I bet the real Cowboys are kind of nervous, too, huh?

Now word comes from ESPN’s Ed Werder in Dallas that the organization is ready to make Elliott the second-highest paid running back in football.

So it appears Le’Veon Bell reset the market for running backs after all.

He brought it down.

If this report from Werder is right, now other teams aren’t allowing themselves to overpay at the level that the Los Angeles Rams did for Todd Gurley. But they are willing to allow themselves to overpay at the level that the New York Jets did for Bell.

I bet Melvin Gordon falls into that range with the Los Angeles Chargers, too.

Irony can be a beautiful thing, can’t it?


Take that, Baker!

Clearly inspired by the vicious hate spewed by Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in “GQ,” Giants quarterback Daniel Jones played well in a preseason game.

Again.

The rookie quarterback went 9 of 11 for 141 yards in a 25-23 win over the Bengals. That’s on the heels of a 11-of-14 performance for 161 yards and a touchdown against Chicago and a 5-of-5 outing with a score against the Jets in the preseason opener.

Despite his strong start, it appears the Giants are moving forward with a plan to have Eli Manning remain the starter.

New York wraps up the preseason against the Patriots next Thursday.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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