NFL Notes: Lions’ Tate helps woman, girl after car accident
Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate was driving to work Tuesday when he was behind a two-car accident on a freeway. He ended up spending about 45 minutes to help a woman and her young daughter.
“No one was stopping or getting out to see what was going on,” Tate recalled. “I just put it in park, put my flashers on and made sure everything was OK. I made sure the car was off because it was smoking. I made sure the driver was OK, which she was. Then, I went straight to the little girl.”
Tate said a 3-year-old girl appeared to be safe, but shaken, sitting in the back seat of the car while her mother was making phone calls to get help. Tate and his wife, Elise, had their first child, a girl named Londyn, earlier this year, and his paternal instincts kicked in at the scene of the accident.
“I didn’t even ask. I just picked her up,” Tate recalled. “I probably should’ve asked, but I did what I would’ve done if Londyn was in that situation.”
Tate said he didn’t exchange information with the woman in the accident and no one recognized him other than a police officer, who pounded fists with him before he resumed his commute to the team’s training facility.
“Hey, good game last week. I didn’t want to say anything in front of them,” Tate recalled the police officer saying.
Sam Darnold has a diverse playbook when it comes to his music playlist.
The New York Jets rookie quarterback will listen to just about anything and everything before a game, while working out or during the few moments these days when he can just lounge around.
“It kind of depends on what mood I’m in,” Darnold said. “But if I’m just relaxing, probably country. That EDM (electronic dance music) stuff, I kind of got into in college. I’ve always been into rap and hip-hop and all that.”
After the Jets’ 21-17 loss at Cleveland two weeks ago, Darnold took a few hours that weekend to clear his head by going to an Ed Sheeran concert at MetLife Stadium. The British singer is a one-man band with his microphone, guitar and foot loop pedal system.
“Super,” Darnold said. “I would go again. He’s one of those dudes who’s amazing in concert, just what he’s able to do with everything.”
So, if he had to pick three other concerts right now to see, what would they be?
“I would probably have to say Jack Johnson,” Darnold said of the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Hawaii. “He would have to be one of them.”
After thinking for a couple of seconds, Darnold switched things up and chose two of his favorite hip-hop artists.
“I want to see J. Cole live,” he said. “That would be cool. And, probably Kendrick Lamar. I want to see him, as well.”
Any rock bands?
“Rock? Yeah, definitely,” he said. “Foo Fighters, Pixies — they’re not really around anymore, but my dad’s a big fan — Nirvana.”
How about Metallica, whose “Enter Sandman” was Darnold’s walk-up song when he was selected No. 3 overall at the NFL draft site in Arlington, Texas?
“A little bit,” Darnold said with a big smile. “That’s a little harder, a little metal-ish. But I like it all.”
Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and the Super Bowl host committee in Atlanta celebrated “Crucial Catch Month” with the American Cancer Society this week, honoring cancer survivors and community members currently receiving services from the Southside Medical Center and Oakhurst Medical Center, both of which are funded in part by the NFL and the ACS.
Campbell is an ACS ambassador.
In July, the society and the NFL awarded $3.2 million in grant funding to 32 health systems across the country, including $100,000 to Southside Medical Center, to address disparities in breast cancer mortality that exist among women of color. Additional funding through another group, the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE), is being directed to Oakhurst Medical Center to focus on breast cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening.
This month, each NFL team is hosting a Crucial Catch game at its home stadium.
“As the only organization attacking cancer from every angle, we are so pleased to continue our life-saving work with the NFL and our Crucial Catch partnership, and to partner with the Super Bowl Host Committee as we work together to fight cancer, especially as we join forces in Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 in 2019,” said Sharon Byers, the chief marketing and development officer for the American Cancer Society.
During Super Bowl week, the American Cancer Society and NFL will host an event to celebrate 10 years of partnership and raise awareness about the Crucial Catch initiative, which began in 2009 and has raised more than $18 million for the ACS.
GIANTS GETTLEMAN GOING
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is traveling with the team for this weekend’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina, against the Carolina Panthers.
It’s the first time the 67-year-old Gettleman is accompanying the team since it was announced in early June he was undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Gettleman has finished his treatments.
It’s appropriate he is making this trip. Before being named the Giants’ general manager in late December, he was the Panthers general manager from January 2013 to July 2017. Carolina made the playoffs in his first three seasons, playing in the Super Bowl in February 2015.
He drafted defensive lineman Kawann Short, guard Trai Turner and halfback Christian McCaffrey, while signing quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly to long-term contracts.
Takk McKinley’s first name is pronounced “tack,” and Takk likes to talk.
McKinley, a second-year defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, told reporters this week he regards Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, as a legendary quarterback. But that doesn’t mean McKinley is all that impressed.
“Big Ben, you know, he’s one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he hasn’t seen Takk McKinley, and that’s just me being honest,” McKinley said. “So, great quarterback and respect him, but he hasn’t seen me.”
McKinley played behind Adrian Clayborn as a rookie last year, finishing with six sacks in 16 games after Atlanta drafted him late in the first round out of UCLA. Despite missing a game this season with a groin injury, McKinley is tied for second in the NFL with five sacks. He had three last week against Cincinnati, but took little satisfaction in his performance.
“We lost,” he said. “You flush it down the toilet. We watched film on it ... we’re not focused on that game no more. We’re focused on Pittsburgh.”
McKinley took a deadpan approach in speaking twice with the media this week. He’s anything but monotone on the field, grinding across the offensive line to disrupt the backfield and using a shimmy shake to celebrate big plays.
“Just me being me, out there bringing my energy,” he said. “I’m just out there competing, having fun. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. Go out there and enjoy it.”
Asked if there were any sack specialists he has admired over several seasons, McKinley didn’t hesitate.
“I used to like Aldon Smith a lot. Troublemaker,” he said. “Greg Hardy, also a troublemaker. Those are my favorite players.”
Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel likes what he sees from McKinley.
“It’s great to see a man who wants to put on his helmet and go get the quarterback, and when I say that, it’s his passion,” Manuel said. “It might not look pretty every single time, but it’s everything he has, every single play. It’s electrifying for the entire defense.”
AP Pro Football Writers Dennis Waszak Jr. and Barry Wilner, and AP Sports Writers Tom Canavan, Larry Lage and George Henry contributed.