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NFL pass rusher has unusual hobby: Competing in dog shows (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
This offseason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end George Johnson has been engrossed in film study. It isn't film from last season, when he had six sacks with the Detroit Lions, or even clips from other defensive ends around the NFL. Johnson has his DVR set for something entirely different than football. He watches dog shows. It may be the most unusual off-the-field interest for any player currently in the NFL. Johnson, who is entering his sixth NFL season and first with Tampa Bay, loves competing on the dog show circuit. He is involved in a local kennel club near his home in Florida and he spends time in the offseason watching dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club and other videos online to pick up some tips. Johnson has two American bullies — like a pit bull, he says, but with more density. His girl, Pepper, has competed in and won several shows and his voice speeds up when talking about her accomplishments. Mambo is a boy and will start competing this summer. Johnson has high hopes for Mambo, and people at the kennel club have begun asking when Mambo will compete. The dogs are judged on how they walk and present themselves and hold their posture during the line-up. Training is involved and Johnson spends 15, perhaps 20 minutes a day on routines and other training with Pepper and Mambo. “ It's basically a beauty pageant, they look to see how graceful the dog is,” Johnson told Yahoo Sports. “ It's walking the dog around but the walking around is not as simple as people think. You have to walk around in a certain way, stay in a certain position. When they stack-up, they have to look a certain way like they are at attention. You have to train him from a pup.” In honor of #NationalPuppyDay here is my 2 furry friends pic.twitter.com/ha59X0a8an — George Johnson (@GeoJohns92) March 24, 2015 He loves it and says it is tremendous stress relief during the NFL season. He has always had a love for dogs and his growth into this sport followed a natural path from pet owner to professional showman. As a junior in college at Rutgers, Johnson began the process of getting to know the ins and outs of competing with a dog. He got involved in local groups and a kennel club, practicing certain aspects to ready a dog for a show. In college he couldn't afford the upkeep and resources to compete, a commitment he couldn't make until he made the NFL. But even in college he would attend meetings and practice so that someday he could compete. Back then he worked with his dog, an American pit bull named Lupe, on weight-pulling. That's when a harness is attached to the dog. Lupe would pull weight “like the Iditarod," Johnson said. At the kennel club Johnson stood out a bit  — “seemed like everyone there was petite” — but he was determined to fit in. And he consistently attended classes at the club and took advantage of any opportunity to work with Lupe. He took the time to listen and learn from others who had been in the field for decades. Here he was, an All-Big East selection and an upperclassmen in college, trying to blend into this genteel and slightly snooty sport. “ I was big and tall, sometimes my dog was out of control and theirs were very well handled. I did it for fun and for my dog, it was something for him to do,” Johnson said. “ Some people, when they get into it, it is about their name and stuff like that. But for me and my dog, it was fun. I just wanted to learn. “ I went to my first show with Lupe and he was completely over-matched. I thought to myself 'This might not be the best fit for us.' I was in college, didn't have the resources to keep up with it.” Lupe may not have been cut out for shows but now he lives with a trainer in Florida, where he is used for demonstrations when visitors come to a kennel club near Johnson's hometown. Johnson is back at it with with Pepper and Mambo, and he sees them both growing and developing. Yahoo! Wed, May 27
 
Pom-pom pay: California bill gives cheerleaders minimum wage (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
They boost their teams from the sidelines and promote them by appearing in calendars and at fan events, but some sports cheerleaders say they are still not considered team employees and are paid what amounts to less than minimum wage. California legislation believed to be the first of its kind in the nation is set to change that. The bill sent to the governor this week would require cheerleaders to be paid at least minimum wage and overtime and sick leave if they work for professional sports teams based in California. Yahoo! Wed, Jul 01
 
California legislation responds to cheerleader lawsuits (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
They boost their teams from the sidelines and promote them by appearing in calendars and at fan events, but some sports cheerleaders say they are still not considered team employees and are paid what amounts to less than minimum wage. California legislation believed to be the first of its kind in the nation is set to change that. The bill approved by the state Senate on Monday and sent to the governor for his signature would require that cheerleaders be paid at least minimum wage and overtime and sick leave if they work for professional sports teams based in California. Yahoo! Wed, Jul 01
 
Bills GM tells AP he's had initial talks to re-sign Dareus (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
Bills general manager Doug Whaley says re-signing Marcell Dareus is his team's top priority, and he's already had preliminary contract talks in a bid to lock up the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle before the start of training camp next month. Who knows,'' Whaley told The Associated Press following the team's voluntary minicamp practice Wednesday. ''We'd like to get it out of the way so everybody can go into the season just concentrating on the season,'' said Whaley, who said Dareus has the potential to be one of the best at his position. Yahoo! Wed, May 27
 
NFL Transactions Tracker (Rotoworld) Courtesy of
Nick Mensio keeps track of every offseason transaction for all 32 teams. Yahoo! Fri, Jun 12
 
Current Roster
Quarterback College External Player News Links
Mike Glennon North Carolina State
 
 
 
 
 
Seth Lobato Northern Colorado
 
 
 
 
 
Jameis Winston
 
 
 
 
 
Runningback College External Player News Links
Dominique Brown
 
 
 
 
 
Joey Iosefa
 
 
 
 
 
Mike James Miami (Fla.)
 
 
 
 
 
Jorvorskie Lane Texas A&M
 
 
 
 
 
Doug Martin Boise State
 
 
 
 
 
Bobby Rainey Western Kentucky
 
 
 
 
 
Evan Rodriguez Temple
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Sims West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Wide Receiver College External Player News Links
Kenny Bell
 
 
 
 
 
Kaelin Clay
 
 
 
 
 
Donteea Dye
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Evans Texas A&M
 
 
 
 
 
Rannell Hall
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Herron Wyoming
 
 
 
 
 
Adam Humphries
 
 
 
 
 
Vincent Jackson Northern Colorado
 
 
 
 
 
Tavarres King Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
Louis Murphy Jr. Florida
 
 
 
 
 
Russell Shepard LSU
 
 
 
 
 
Tight End College External Player News Links
Cameron Brate
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon Myers Iowa
 
 
 
 
 
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Washington
 
 
 
 
 
Luke Stocker Tennessee
 
 
 
 
 
Tim Wright Rutgers
 
 
 
 
 
Kicker College External Player News Links
Brandon Bogotay Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
Patrick Murray Fordham
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Lineman College External Player News Links
Quayshawne Buckley
 
 
 
 
 
Ryan Delaire
 
 
 
 
 
Larry English Northern Illinois
 
 
 
 
 
T.J. Fatinikun
 
 
 
 
 
William Gholston Michigan State
 
 
 
 
 
George Johnson Rutgers
 
 
 
 
 
Caushaud Lyons
 
 
 
 
 
Gerald McCoy Oklahoma
 
 
 
 
 
Clinton McDonald Memphis
 
 
 
 
 
Henry Melton Texas
 
 
 
 
 
Lawrence Sidbury Richmond
 
 
 
 
 
Jacquies Smith Missouri
 
 
 
 
 
Akeem Spence Illinois
 
 
 
 
 
George Uko USC
 
 
 
 
 
Jamal Young
 
 
 
 
 
Linebackers College External Player News Links
Kwon Alexander
 
 
 
 
 
Quinton Alston
 
 
 
 
 
Bruce Carter North Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Courtland Clavette
 
 
 
 
 
Lavonte David Nebraska
 
 
 
 
 
Larry Dean Valdosta State
 
 
 
 
 
Khaseem Greene Rutgers
 
 
 
 
 
Josh Keyes
 
 
 
 
 
Jared Koster
 
 
 
 
 
Danny Lansanah Connecticut
 
 
 
 
 
Orie Lemon Oklahoma State
 
 
 
 
 
Damaso Munoz Rutgers
 
 
 
 
 
Jason Williams Western Illinois
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Back College External Player News Links
Johnthan Banks Mississippi State
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Conte California
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon Dixon Northwest Missouri State
 
 
 
 
 
Deshazor Everett
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah Frey Nevada-Reno
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Hackett
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Jenkins South Florida
 
 
 
 
 
Leonard Johnson Iowa State
 
 
 
 
 
Bradley McDougald Kansas
 
 
 
 
 
Sterling Moore Southern Methodist
 
 
 
 
 
D.J. Swearinger South Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Keith Tandy West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Alterraun Verner UCLA
 
 
 
 
 
Derrick Wells
 
 
 
 
 
C.J. Wilson
 
 
 
 
 
Major Wright Florida