cam-newton-volleyball

Photo: Susi K.

Monday night in Baltimore, players of a co-ed beach volleyball league got the surprise of their lifetimes when reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton showed up and asked if he could play.

Newton, who is in the area this week doing workouts for Under Armour, was joined at the Baltimore Beach courts by many of his Panthers teammates including fellow quarterback Joe Webb; wide receivers Damiere Byrd, Avius Capers, Tedd Ginn Jr., Stephen Hill, Tobais Palmer, and Miles Shuler; and tight ends Braxton Deaver, Scott Simonson, and Beau Sandland.

According to Kevin Lynch of southbmore.com, Newton and his teammates participated in a couple games of four-on-four with players from Baltimore Beach’s Men’s 2A League for about an hour.

My friend Susi K., who I graduated with at UMBC, had a chance to play with Cam last night. She was kind enough to share her experience below.

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bob-mcdonald-caps

Before most Caps home games, fans at Verizon Center are treated to a stirring, up-tempo rendition of the national anthem by Sergeant Major Bob McDonald. McDonald’s bass-baritone is popular; he has performed at the Super Bowl, the Winter Classic, Major League Baseball games, and, of course, RMNB Party 7: PARTYZORD. As an active-duty member of the Army, McDonald has entertained presidents, visiting heads of state, and supreme court justices.

This week, McDonald will perform twice at Arlington’s Signature Theatre, sharing highlights from his illustrious career and singing Broadway tunes and songs he’s sung for US presidents. Wednesday night’s performance is sold out, but Friday’s show still has tickets remaining. You can purchase tickets here.

On Sunday night, while I grilled a pizza and Bob grilled a steak, we discussed his upcoming concerts and what it’s like to perform at some of the biggest sports events in the world.

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jay-beagle-diving-save

In early July, NHL Network’s Top Shelf dedicated an entire show counting down the oddest plays of the 2015-16 season. Basically, it turned out to be a season review of the Washington Capitals.

Jay Beagle’s miracle diving stick save was named the oddest play of the year.

Let’s review the Caps plays that made the cut.

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nate-schmidt-gettin-jiggy-wit-it

On Friday, Washington Capitals defenseman and Minnesota millennial Nate Schmidt served up a random observation about music on Twitter.

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nate-schmidt-summer-league

Across the continent, there are several organized summer leagues that NHL players participate in, including Eastside Elite Hockey which is run in Michigan by former Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy. There’s also a popular organization in Minnesota that recently formed called Da Beauty League. Founded in 2015, the league boasts six teams sporting many NHL players and prospects including Dustin Byfuglien, David Backes, and Ryan McDonagh. See the full rosters here.

The Capitals also have several meat and potato players participating including Taylor Chorney, Aaron Ness, Travis Boyd, and Shane Gersich. And oh yeah, standout defenseman and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, Nate Schmidt!

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old-fat-bald-guys-hockey-tourney

I was born, raised, and currently reside in Frederick, Maryland. I have so much pride in this city and here’s the epitome of why. At 7pm, when I was driving home from work, I was flipping through my radio station presets and landed on WFRE, Frederick’s country station. This commercial came on.

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McPhee (9 of 14)

Photo: Chris Gordon

ESPN’s Scott Burnside has learned that former Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee will be announced as the first GM of the NHL’s new Las Vegas franchise on Wednesday. McPhee, who has been working as a special assistant to New York Islanders’ GM Garth Snow for the last 10 months, spent 17 years in Washington. In 1998, McPhee took the Caps franchise to its first and only Stanley Cup Final appearance.

According to Burnside, McPhee’s experience put him over the top. Las Vegas owner Bill Foley, along with adviser/former NHL player Murray Craven, interviewed as many as seven candidates.

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michael-latta-la-kings

Photoshop by ME

Ten days ago, Michael Latta officially left the Washington Capitals, signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Not only is Latta getting a full-time roster spot, he’s also getting a brand new number and it’s one that his long-time fans will be familiar with.

Latta will wear number 17 next season – the same number he wore in junior hockey with the Guelph Storm. It’s also the same number Milan Lucic wore for the Kings last season.

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zach-sanford1

Photo: Amanda Bowen

Yesterday, news broke via Twitter that Capitals’ 2013 second-round pick Zach Sanford had decided to forego his junior and senior years at Boston College and turn pro.

Today, the Capitals made the signing official.

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andre-burakovsky-interview

Photo: Maddie Meyer

Second-line winger Andre Burakovsky has shown flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons in the NHL. Now heading into the last season of his three-year, $2.775 million entry-level deal, Burakovsky hopes to take the next step in his development. Swedish-language outlet hockeysverige describes a Burakovsy who aspires to sign a long-term deal with the Capitals — a big one, similar to what his friend Filip Forsberg did this summer in Nashville.

Forsberg has scored a combined 59 goals over the last two seasons (26 goals in 2014-15 and 33 in 2015-16). The former WJC MVP has led the Predators in points over the last two seasons (63 points in 2014-15 and 64 in 2015-16, twice the production of Burakovsky). On June 27, Forsberg signed a six-year, $36-million contract that will keep him in Nashville until he’s 27-years-old and eat up one of his UFA years.

On July 1, Forsberg could have been a restricted free agent and been offered a massive offer sheet by another team, a sticky situation which Washington must game-plan for next year with both Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

There’s a big gap between Burakovsky’s and Forsberg’s performance right now, and Andre knows it. “To get a big contract you have to score 50 points and deliver,” Burakovsky said last week in an interview with hockeysverige.se, as translated by Magnus Cadelin.

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