Wednesday, December 07, 2022

August 1, 2021   John Lynch’s football career seemed to be nearing its conclusion in 1992 when he spent the summer as a successful starting pitcher in Class A ball for the expansion of Florida Marlins.

Lynch had come to Stanford as a quarterback and was converted to a part-time safety role under coach Dennis Green when he got a phone call that summer from the assistant for new Cardinal coach Bill Walsh, who had returned to Palo Alto after leading the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl titles.

“I got on the phone with a coach and he asked me when I got back to the Bay Area if I could come back and meet with him,” Lynch said. “I’ll never forget as long as I live, he said, ‘I understand the great opportunity you have in baseball, but I believe that you can be an All-Pro safety in the NFL.’ It took all my courage to say, ‘With all due respect coach Walsh, I played one year at safety and played half the snaps if that. What leads you to believe?’”

Walsh’s belief turned into reality as Lynch stuck with football, became a two-time All-Pro for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year after making the final 15 seven times but never getting the honor.

The journey from a part-time football player and baseball prospect to Lynch’s induction into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 8 began in earnest during that conversation nearly three decades ago when Walsh showed Lynch making plays similar to Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.

“The detail that coach Walsh went through, he had made a tape and it was a play I made my junior year, then a play that Ronnie Lott had made the previous year. Then a play I made blitzing the quarterback and a play Ronnie Lott had made. I think of all the people who kind of spoke this into existence, and coach Walsh was so instrumental because I would have just gone off and played baseball,” Lynch said. “I signed with the Marlins, my heart was with football, but I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a future in baseball.’ Until coach Walsh told me otherwise, that’s where I was going. So I certainly would not be here without Bill Walsh.”

Lynch did plenty on his own since making the decision to stick with football. He intercepted four passes his final season at Stanford and showed enough to become a third-round pick by Tampa Bay. After three seasons as a part-time player, Lynch earned a full-time role in coach Tony Dungy’s first season in 1996. He became a key part of one of the league’s top defenses with his fearsome hitting and smart play in the Bucs secondary.

Lynch earned his first of nine Pro Bowl selections in his second season as a full-time starter in 1997, was an All-Pro in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000, then played a big part in Tampa’s first Super Bowl title in the 2002 season.

 “It didn’t take off for me right away,” Lynch said. “I started as a special teams player my first couple of years. Thank God for people like Tony Dungy and Herm Edwards and Monte Kiffin, who saw and believed in me more than I believed in myself.”

Lynch’s success has carried him beyond the football field. He went from his career as a player into the broadcast booth, where he became one of the top analysts at Fox. Then with an itch for the competition of being part of a team, Lynch was hired along with coach Kyle Shanahan to rebuild the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

Lynch was voted executive of the year by the Pro Football Writers of America in his third season when he helped the Niners reach the Super Bowl, and has the franchise in position to contend again this season. His ability to thrive in everything he does led Shanahan to nickname him “Captain America.”

“Usually people like that just on average, usually, I think, I’m like, all right, the person’s got to be somewhat phony,” Shanahan said before the Super Bowl in 2020. “What’s he really like? No one is really Captain America. So, you’re waiting to see how they are really. That’s probably the opposite of how I am. But, then you get with John day in and day out, and that’s genuinely who he is. ... To have that type of personality that’s just exactly who he is and on top of that to be one of the most violent, physical players I’ve ever seen, I think it’s as cool of a combination as there is.”

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September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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