And now he’s a Pro Bowler.
And now James Conner is a Pro Bowler
2015 was the most trying year of James Conner’s life. First, he tore his MCL in his first game of the season. Months later, he was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Every bit of encouragement was important for keeping Conner’s spirits high, but perhaps none more impactful than this text he got from college teammate Aaron Donald.
Though they only overlapped for one year at Pitt, Donald clearly knew that Conner was a special talent and that they would eventually share the field at the Pro Bowl. Sure enough, Conner was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, three years and two weeks after his cancer diagnosis.
Conner has been a revelation for the Steelers this year, rushing for 909 yards on 201 carries and keeping the offense humming in the absence of Le’Veon Bell. Donald will have his hands full trying to tackle him in Orlando.
LeBron is getting the soccer star treatment now
Usually you only see fans sneaking past security to snap selfies on the playing surface with the stars of the game. It’s happened to Lionel Messi. It happens all the time to Cristiano Ronaldo, most recently in October. And now it’s happened to LeBron. Just don’t try this yourself.
Good luck making sense of this word salad
Kyrie on Curry’s moon comment: “Steph Curry says he doesn’t believe in the moon, it’s on CNN and they say we’re just jocks, we’re just athletes but it’s on Your channel. We’re (thinkers) but you don’t want us to be that, so whomever You is, I don’t know what that mold is.”— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) December 18, 2018
The issue isn’t that athletes are speaking their minds and being criticized for saying what they believe. It’s that they can say stupid things and influence impressionable kids.
The best of SI
Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Tennessee coach Rick Barnes have some delicious beef. ... Our year-end worsts series continues with the 10 worst officiating decisions. ... Former five-star QB recruit Justin Fields is leaving Georgia. Where will he go next? ... Surprise, surprise. MLB teams’ concerns about the luxury tax are way overblown.
Around the sports world
The former president of the Marlins taunted hecklers at Dan Le Batard’s birthday party with a joke about getting taxpayers to pay $1.2 billion for a stadium no one goes to. ...President Trump’s charity has been forced to dissolve for being a scam and so must sell its remaining assets, including an autographed Tim Tebow helmet. ... A reunion of the two least successful people in the NFL this season could be in the works. ... ESPN host Tony Reali shared a truly harrowing story about how he proposed to his wife.
LeBron is human
Grammy winner Cynthia Erivo blanks on the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner”
She’s from England, to be fair.
Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay did something that’s never been done before
When your team beats your teacher’s team on a buzzer-beater
But not as cool as this buzzer-beater
The Royals are assembling a track team
They already signed speedster Billy Hamilton, and now they signed a guy who basically only runs.
A federal judge has ruled that New York’s ban on nunchucks is unconstitutional. ... The latest horrifying Facebook revelation is that it let Netflix and Spotify read users’ private messages. ... One of the cops featured in Making a Murderer is suing Netflix and the filmmakers. ... Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly sent his beard trimmings to rapper Azealia Banks so she could make an amulet to protect him from ISIS.
Action Bronson, live from an English old folks home
The Eric Andre Show is something else
What it’s like when your band suddenly becomes a viral sensation
A good song
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