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  • 02 Aug
    TAMPA, Fla. -- The new-look Baltimore Ravens were tough, physical and opportunistic, all good signs for a team seeking another run to the Super Bowl. "Were a very different team than we were, so we were really anxious to get on the field and just see who we are, because we really dont know in a lot of ways," coach John Harbaugh said after Thursday nights 44-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "We suspect we have a chance to be a good team, but weve got a long way to go as far as being on the same page in a lot of ways, so its a good thing weve got preseason, obviously." Joe Flacco was sharp in his preseason debut, second-year pro Bernard Pierce scored on a 20-yard run, and a revamped defence forced four turnovers before an announced crowd of 47,599 at Raymond James Stadium. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw a pair of TD passes, including a 21-yarder to third-stringer LaQuan Williams, who also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. "Its good to see him step up and make plays," Harbaugh said of Williams. "Heres a guy that just brings his lunch pail every single week, puts on his blue collar work shirt and goes to work. To see him make those plays, hes got tremendous talent." Josh Freeman and the rest of Tampa Bays starters played sparingly, so most of Baltimores scoring came against backups and newcomers to a defence that ranked last in the NFL against the pass last season. Flacco signed a $120.1 million contract after leading the Ravens to their second Super Bowl title. He worked two series, completing seven of nine passes for 57 yards and one interception. Second-year Bucs coach Greg Schiano liked what he saw from his overhauled secondary early in the game. "I thought we played competitively on defence ... ones against ones," Schiano said. Lavonte David sacked Flacco for a 10-yard loss and Danny Gorrer picked off a sideline throw intended for Jacoby Jones two plays later to stop Baltimores first possession. "It felt pretty good, and not just in terms of finally being back out here," Flacco said. "I felt like we operated OK for being this early and that the offensive line played pretty well. There are a couple of things we need to clean up -- like on the interception -- because those are little things that we need to ... get better at, so we can stay on the field and score points." Freemans first series ended with the fifth-year pro, whos entering the final year of his contract as the third quarterback drafted in 2009, being sacked by Chris Canty. He left the game on a better note, directing an 11-play, 56-yard drive that produced Derek Dimkes 29-yard field goal. "It felt good to get back out there. Playing a team like the Ravens, theyre going to blitz, theyre going to play man, theyre going to mix it up," Freeman said. "We saw quite a bit during the short time (Baltimores starters) were in." Freeman completed four of seven passes for 34 yards in just under a quarter. Rookie Mike Glennon took over on Tampa Bays third possession, teamed with tight end Tom Crabtree on a 61-yard catch-and-run on his first play, and led two first-half scoring drives. The third-round draft pick threw a third-quarter interception, but his mistake was hardly the only costly blunder for the Bucs. Chris Oswusu muffed a punt return to set up Pierces touchdown, and Baltimore added a TD just before the half when Brynden Trawick blocked Chas Henrys punt in the end zone and Williams recovered. Despite only playing 13 snaps, Freeman felt he accomplished what he set out to in a preseason opener -- mainly working off the rust of a long off-season. "The reason for the preseason is tuning up," the Tampa Bay quarterback said. "We talked about coming out and playing physical and not turning the ball over as an offence. ... I thought it was an effective day to get out and play against somebody, since the last 2 1-2 weeks weve been playing against each other." The Bucs played without cornerback Darrelle Revis, the biggest of several key off-season acquisitions since going 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season. The three-time All-Pro is recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him most of last season with the New York Jets; theres a chance he may not play in the preseason. NOTES: Six other projected starters also did not play for Tampa Bay: guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph; defensive end Adrian Clayborn; fullback Erik Lorig; tight end Luke Stocker; and kicker Lawrence Tynes, whos been slowed in camp by a toe injury. ... The Ravens played without linebacker Jameel McClain, one of several possibilities to replace Ray Lewis in the middle of a defence that lost Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams and Bernard Pollard to free agency. Balenciaga Sneakers Buy Uk . Its sharpness matched my mind. This was no night to go to sleep. Balenciaga Sneakers Discount . Neymar curled home a free kick from just outside the area to put the 2014 World Cup host ahead in the 44th minute. Three minutes after the break, a simple through pass from Paulinho freed Oscar and the Chelsea star rounded goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong to extend Brazils lead. http://www.balenciagaoutletuk.com/ . The 19-year-old Olsen played 34 games with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL this season. In that time, hes recorded 17 goals and 17 assists with 36 penalty minutes. Balenciaga Uk Website . -- Anaheim Ducks captain and leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has been scratched from Sunday nights game against the Vancouver Canucks because of an upper-body injury. Balenciaga Outlet Online Uk . Nathan MacKinnon, Jamie McGinn and Jan Hejda also scored for the Avalanche, who won despite being outshot 38-23. MacKinnons goal, also on the power play, came with just over a minute remaining.FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. -- It started almost two decades ago with a $20 hockey stick once wielded by a forgotten player for a string of mediocre teams. It ends at the auction block this week when millions of dollars are likely to change hands. This may be the worlds largest game-worn collection of memorabilia from the worlds best player from the sports last dynasty. Shawn Chaulk owns a hoard of everything Wayne Gretzky. He says its all for a singular cause that only a full-blooded hockey lover can savour. "When youre a fan, fans are usually at a distance," he recently told The Canadian Press in the basement office of his home in Fort McMurray. The space is a forest of game-used Gretzky hockey sticks, a dressing room of game-worn Gretzky jerseys and a trainers bag full of assorted pucks, gloves, helmets and skates -- all touched, used and sweated in by the Great One himself. "You love the game. You love the athletes, at a distance. At best, you get to attend an event and see them in person. Again, from a distance. And thats as close as we get. This was all to help me get closer to the game." The online auction begins Friday through Montreals Classic Auctions. Among the of hundreds of items on sale are: --the puck Gretzky shot to score his 500th goal, as well as the jersey and skates he was wearing at the time. --gloves and helmets worn during Stanley Cup victories and regular-season games. --skates replete with scuffs and repairs. --Gretzkys early-1980s Oilers Nike track suit. --No. 99 practice jersey. --Gretzky-used equipment bag. Chaulk, however, will not be entirely stripped of his Gretzky trove after the auction. Heres what hes not selling: --a stick from Gretzkys first pro team, the World Hockey Associations Indianapolis Pacers, on which the equipment manager stamped the name "Gretsky." --the jersey Gretzky wore during the entire 1981-82 season in which, as an Edmonton Oiler, he compiled more than 200 points and broke Phil Espositos scoring record of 77 goals in one season. --replica Stanley Cups once owned by former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington, who is reviled for trading Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. --the jersey Gretzky wore the infamous night in 1986, when, in a division final against Calgary, Steve Smith scored in his own net to eliminate the Oilers from the playoffs. Chaulk is 45 years old and didnt start collecting anything until he was in his 20s -- and that involved golf. He had read an article about Arnold Palmer, which included a chat with the golf greats secretary. "She talked about how once a week she opens all his mail from fans, lays out all his autograph requests and he signs them and she sends them off," Chaulk recalled. "I thought, Wow." He wrote to the magazine. which forwarded the letter to Palmer. In due course, he returned a signed autograph. Chaulk thought that was terrific. "Id go to the post office and drop 300 letters in the mail," he said. "Some days Id get up to 50 cards back in the mail." He ended up with 50,000 signed hockey cards in his collection, many accompanied by letters. Chaulks correspondents included Montreal Canadiens legends Maurice and Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau. But the cards, now sold or donated, were just a gateway. Before long, and as his contracting business prospered, Chaulk was dabbling in signed photographs, prints, jerseys. Then one afternoon he was in an Edmonton pawn shop, looking over cards. He spotted an old hocckey stick hanging on the wall.dddddddddddd. The man behind the counter told him it had been used by Wayne Presley, a journeyman who played for five NHL teams between 1984 and 1997. "I didnt realize you could put your hands on that type of thing," said Chaulk, awe still in his voice more than a decade later. "I didnt know it was available to the fan. And there I am in a pawn shop and theres a game-used stick there. I asked to see it and held it and went Wow! Will I ever get closer to the game? I spent my $20. That was my first piece of the game." But not his last. Chaulk moved on from Presley and decided to focus on Gretzky. If game-used sticks were available, he wanted them from the Great One. Chaulk now has more than 100 sticks that once hit the ice in Gretzkys hands: Titans, Eastons, wood and aluminum. They cover his entire career -- from the 1977 world juniors to his last NHL game on April 18, 1999, with the New York Rangers. The final step in Chaulks full-blown collectors bug came in 2005, when a major Gretzky collection hit the block. "I saw, in one single auction, the amount of stuff that can surface from a single player. That was the turning point for me. I knew I wanted to collect game-worn equipment and that would be my focus." Chaulk bought a jersey at that sale and hasnt slowed down since. He began buying at other auctions and networked himself into a community of like-minded souls who would get in touch if they ran across something they thought might interest him. Persistence helped. "Once I get something in my mind, theres no stopping me," Chaulk said, laughing. "Ask anybody that Ive acquired something from who didnt truly want to give it up. I am a hound." A note of reverence creeps into Chaulks voice when he talks about the day his collection was visited by the man who created it. Gretzky was appearing at a function in 2011 where Chaulks collection was on display. The two took time to walk through it. "Id tell him where the sticks came from and hed smile and react accordingly. And then, as we moved through the collection, he realized the magnitude of what Id put together and it was just absolutely surreal to walk the collection from end to end and discuss the pieces with him," he said. " In terms of collecting, it dont get any better. Thats beyond my wildest dreams as a collector." Why sell, then? Insurance is a big reason. Its hard to buy coverage for such collections, and the thought of a fire makes him blanch. Also, hes already got most of the main Gretzky items likely to come on the market, so some of the thrill is gone. "Theres not a lot of chase left," he said. "Its like Ive gotten to the top of the mountain. I have the memories. Its maybe time to spread it out a little bit." Hes casual about what he thinks the sale might bring and claims not to have a figure in mind. Still, consider just the sticks. The cheapest one is worth about $2,500 and the most expensive about $20,000. There are plenty leaning against his wall that sell for about $9,000. Chaulk has more than 100 sticks. He knows his trove wont stay together. Itll get parceled out to collectors around the continent and, probably, the world. He just hopes that whoever buys the items lets people see them. He shudders at the thought of someone cutting up the jerseys and selling them piece by piece, which happens. "Thats sick," he said. "We just cringe at that." ' ' '