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  • March 29, 2019
    When the Cubs picked up Aroldis Chapman just before the MLB trade deadline in late July, Caitlin Swieca was conflicted.Chapman, who was accused of a domestic violence?incident?and served a 30-game suspension from MLB for the offense, was a blemish on an otherwise happy-go-lucky and lovable Cubs squad. His 100-plus mph fastball was overshadowed by the details of the assault of his 22-year-old girlfriend, though police ultimately decided not to press charges.So a day after Chapmans signing, Swieca took a stand on Twitter. She announced she would donate $10 to the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in Chicago for every save Chapman earned for the Cubs.Fast-forward four months. The Cubs are World Series champions. More than 430 others have donated to her campaign with DVLC. And Chapman, serendipitously enough, blew a save in Game 7 and wasnt on the mound when Chicago broke the curse.Swieca cried tears of joy. But after Chapman gave up a game-tying two-run home run to Cleveland center fielder Rajai Davis in the eighth inning, she had something much different on her mind.I went from thinking We all compromised what we believed in to root for this guy, and hes gonna blow it, to celebrating a World Series title with someone else on the mound, Swieca said Thursday. Couldnt have scripted it better.The DVLC fundraising started with a goal of $11,000, which is a thousandth of Chapmans $11 million dollar salary. The group hit that goal during the regular season, but during the postseason, Twitter sharing of the campaigns page rose dramatically, Swieca said. The goal got pushed up again, and then again.By Wednesday night, more than $27,000 had been raised. Thursday morning, #Pitchin4DV, as its called, had passed $31,000. One man, Dave Ahlman, put up $253, a combination of how many games Chapman played, how many innings he pitched, his strikeouts, his wins and his saves. He doubled his donations for the NLDS and NLCS games, and the World Series was worth three times as much.In exchange for renting Aroldis Chapman for a year, he posted on Twitter. Happy to help.As for the result? It couldnt have been sweeter -- for the Cubs faithful, DVLC and, of course, Swieca. The fundraising initiative has been therapeutic for her and others, and its made coming to terms with Chicagos deal for the closer a little easier. A World Series win helps, too.It feels just as good as I imagined [it] my whole life, Swieca said.Sean Morrison is a digital media associate for ESPN. Follow him on Twitter?@sean_morrison Discount Air Max Australia Online .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Clearance Air Max Australia Store . -- Jimmy Walkers first PGA Tour trophy came with a special gift tucked inside. . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Air Max From China .2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for the leagues broadcast and multimedia rights. Nike Air Max Australia Outlet . Deulofeu injured a muscle in his right leg in Evertons 4-1 win over Fulham in the English Premier League on Saturday. Barcelona says that its team doctors will "co-ordinate" with Evertons medical staff as Deulofeu recovers. Perhaps no coach understands the difficulty of impressing the College Football Playoff committee as well as Florida States Jimbo Fisher. Not once did his undefeated 2014 Seminoles ever reach the top spot in the committees ranking.Instead, Florida State sank to No. 4 in Week 15. The defending national champs were 12-0, had just beaten rival Florida 24-19 in the regular-season finale and were headed to the ACC championship game.Didnt matter. It wasnt always pretty.I dont think that should matter, I really dont, Fisher said Wednesday. I think thats people who have never coached, never understood whats on the sideline.Many coaches bristle at the phrase style points, but this week, there are ample opportunities for top-25 teams to leave no doubt theyre the better team, especially for programs like LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, which are trying to rebound from opening-week losses.The question is, do they have to win convincingly? Or is a win a win in the eye of the committee?Style points is not terminology used by the committee, said Texas Tech athletic director and committee chair Kirby Hocutt, without referencing specific teams. We talk an awful lot about ranking and evaluating football teams being an art and not a science, and weve got 12 committee members who look at that art a little different. I think thats why the selection committee has worked -- because of the human element -- but at the same time, were just one week into the greatest regular season in all of sports.For all of the flavor of Kickoff Week, though, Week 2 is like licking an envelope.Not one Associated Press Top 25 team is playing a ranked opponent. Only five ranked teams are playing opponents from another Power 5 conference. And ESPNs Football Power Index projects that every single ranked team playing this week will win, and 19 of the 23 ranked teams playing have a 90 percent chance or better of winning. (Stanford and Michigan State are off.)The selection committees first ranking doesnt come out until Nov. 1, but style points apparently matter to the Associated Press poll voters. Florida dropped out of the top 25 this week, Tennessee sank eight spots and TCU fell two places, despite of them all winning.Im obviously not a pretty guy anyway, so I never win pretty, Gators coach Jim McElwain said, but at the end of the day its about figuring out how to win a ball game and the schedule you play. All you can do is control your own team. I know a lot of people probably think theyve got to run points up and all of that kind of stuff, but its just not a way we were made.Hes not the only one.Dont expect LSU coach Les Miles to run up the score against Jacksonville State just to make a statement to the committee. To him, style points would have to be seen with a game in question.That didnt happen against Wisconsin.After losing to the Badgers, the Tigers chances of winning the SEC dropped from a league-best 31 percent to 18 percent, according to FPI. Miles said their only priority this week is rebounding with a win.Well have an opportunity to impress the committee later, he said. What we need to do is just execute the play thats called and do so in a manner that were used to and well like the score. I dont know that theres any pressure on us to win by any number.Hocutt said the committee doesnt talk specifically about margin of victory. Thats good news for Clemson fans, whose team got a scare Saturday from Auburn before winning 19-13. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said anyone who refers to style points doesnt have a real understanding of how hard it is to win.I dont know about other people, but I think that with our schedule, if we win every game by one point and were 13-0 I think well be just fine, he said. Thats whhat its all about.ddddddddddddFlorida State was just fine in 2014. The Noles were never in serious jeopardy of falling out of the top four; they just werent perceived by some committee members as winning convincingly enough to be deserving of No. 1.While margin of victory might not be mentioned in the room, it could still be a factor for some of the committee members:Ive voiced before, there are some that really believe Florida States ability to overcome the deficits and rally and win and keep winning is a strong statement, and theres others that looked at the way those games have progressed, the fact that theyve at times struggled against three unranked opponents the last three weeks, former committee chair Jeff Long said on Dec. 2, 2014, when the Noles were ranked No. 4. That debate goes on in the room.Its something Fisher continues to believe should not be up for debate.If people on the committee think like that, then I dont think they need to be on the committee, he said. I think thats a very bad way to look at the thing and people dont understand football.With college kids, there are going to be ups and downs, he said. Theyre 18-22 years old and thats part of it. ... We want to dominate, heck I want to dominate from the first play to the last -- theres no doubt about that, but I think its people who really dont understand if thats their criteria theyre going by.Week 2 superlativesRoad trip bucket list: Bristol Motor Speedway, where NASCAR and college football collide. The Battle at Bristol is expecting more than 150,000 fans to watch Virginia Tech-Tennessee, and ESPN College GameDay will be on hand starting at 9 a.m. ET.Most intriguing mascot battle:?Miamis Sebastian the Ibis vs. Florida Atlantics Owlsley the Owl. Cant you see the feathers flying already?Can-miss game: No. 9 Georgia vs. Nicholls. ESPNs FPI gives the Bulldogs a 99.9 percent chance of winning Kirby Smarts home opener, and Nicholls hasnt defeated an FBS team since 2013 against Western Michigan.Upset watch: Arkansas at No. 15 TCU. TCU gave up 41 points in Saturdays win against South Dakota State, more than it had given up in its previous four meetings against FCS teams combined.Player in the spotlight: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. He entered the Heisman conversation after scoring a school-record eight touchdowns -- all in the first half -- in a 70-14 win over Charlotte. He tied a school record with six touchdown passes, and is now looking for an Atlantic Division win against Syracuse.Dont forget about: Texas QB Shane Buechele. If he starts Saturday against UTEP, Buechele would become the first true freshman quarterback to start the first two games of a season in school history.Matchup to watch: Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford vs. Tennessee DBs. Ford has recorded a school-record four straight 100-yard receiving games dating to last season, the longest active streak in the FBS.Forgotten storyline: The Penn State-Pitt rivalry. Its not the same as it used to be -- and probably never will be again -- but its a renewed meeting between two programs that were among the greatest rivals in the sport. It remains the most-played rivalry in Penn State history, and the second-most for Pitt, behind WVU.Dubious distinction: Kentucky is 1-21 in road games since 2011, and heads to Florida this week in a series that has seen the Gators win 29 straight.Under-the-radar game: Washington State at Boise State. The Broncos have won 14 straight home openers, with their last loss coming in 2001 to Washington State. Washington State is eager to move past last weeks home loss to FCS Eastern Washington. ' ' '