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Sports Illustrated’s Jonathan Jones wrote an intersting piece this morning. He wrote a letter to Philip Rivers asking him to please consider waiving his no-trade clause and move on from the Chargers.

On one hand you admire the former Wolfpack legend’s loyalty to the Chargers, but that doesn’t mean Sports Illustrated doesn’t have a point. Rivers is an elite quarterback stuck on a team that simply can’t do much right lately.

Is playing for the Chargers hurting his stock? Is it hurting his standing as a potential hall of fame quarterback? These are a few questions that maybe we should start thinking about as State fans. Rivers has the potential to be NC State’s first NFL hall of famer, but losing season after losing season isn’t going to help that cause. So obviously we should be wanting him to leave San Diego, right? …Well, not so fast.

When Rivers decided to come to NC State over several other top tier schools, we applauded his confidence and drive to take an underdog and make them a contender. Now, however, are we asking him to do something different in San Diego because it benefits us (so we can brag that we have a QB in the NFL Hall of Fame)? As State fans, do we only root for the underdog and for loyalty when it’s self-serving, or are those qualities that we truly have regardless.

Just a few things to ponder as you read what SI had to say.

Here are some highlights of that letter:

“You may not know it because you love San Diego so much. You may not understand it because of your deep loyalty to the Chargers and their fans. But it’s time, Philip. It’s time for you to leave.You’re not getting any younger and your team isn’t getting any better. As bad as last season’s 4–12 record was, 2016 may be even worse.”

“You’ve given so much to this franchise, including your ACL in the 2007 AFC Championship Game. The 42,557 passing yards are the fifth-most among active quarterbacks, and the four in front of you are guaranteed to go into the Hall of Fame. And of the 13 players in front of you on the all-time list, 11 are either in the Hall or will eventually find their way there. But my concern here is for you. I’m not convinced you’re going to make it to Canton if you don’t get out of your current situation. The statistics are there, but your final years where you can really state your case are washing away into the Pacific.”

“Your loyalty to this franchise is unquestioned. You signed a four-year extension last year with the specter of a team moving to Los Angeles staring the Chargers in the face. You believed in the team and stuck around, and you’re being repaid with heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss.“You try to laugh to keep from crying,” you said after your team fumbled away another fourth-quarter lead. You deserve better, Philip.”

What do you think? Should Rivers stay loyal to the Chargers, or should he look for a better opportunity to play out his final years in the NFL?

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Pack in the Pros

Should Former NC State All-American Catcher Patrick Bailey be an NL All-Star?

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Former NC State All-American Catcher Patrick Bailey is having a great 2nd season in the Majors.

Bailey is batting .286 this season, which is a vast improvement to his .233 average as a Rookie last year. He already has 5 Home Runs in roughly half the at-bats as last season, when he hit 7. His plate discipline has improved, striking out less and walking more. Bailey is on pace to strike out around 30 times less than last year, and is 1 Walk away from tying his total from last year.

Despite not having flashy offensive numbers in 2023, Bailey made a name for himself behind the plate. He currently ranks 1st in the National League in Framing, 2nd in Putouts and 2nd in Pop Time.

Overall, he has the 3rd highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of any Catcher in the National League.

As things currently stand, Bailey doesn’t rank in the Top-5 in All-Star voting, but it’s criminal that Sean Murphy (Braves) and J.T. Realmuto (Phillies) have so many more votes.

Last year, 3 catchers made the All-Star team, so Go Vote for Bailey!

 

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Running Back Ricky Person Signs with the Seattle Seahawks

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After leading the UFL in Rushing Touchdowns this past season, former NC State Running Back Ricky Person has signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

Person joins former High School (Heritage High School) and College (NC State) teammate Drake Thomas (LB) in Seattle.

After rushing for 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns at NC State, Person went undrafted, but signed as an Undrafted Free Agent with the Baltimore Ravens, but was eventually waived due to an undisclosed injury.

For the past two seasons, Person has played for the Birmingham Stallions, which was in the USFL in 2023, and the UFL this past season. In 2023, he only rushed the ball 14 times, but this past season, he rushed for 297 yards and 6 touchdowns, and also had 150 receiving yards. This year, Person was elemental in helping lead the Stallions to the USFL 2024 Championship.

 

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State All-American SS Trea Turner Picks Up 2 Hits in Return from IL

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner returned from the Injured List last night, going 2 for 5 from the plate with 1 Run.

Turner has been out since early May with a hamstring strain (missing 38 games), but prior to injury, he was playing about as good as anyone in the league. He is batting .345.

As of yesterday, Turner is 2nd in the National League in All-Star voting for Shortstops, trailing only Mookie Betts, who is running away with 1st place. He has made the All-Star team twice before (2021, 2022)

Turner was a 2-time All-American at NC State. In 2012, Turner was named 3rd Team All-American by NCBWA, and in 2013 he was named 2nd Team by Collegiate Baseball, and 3rd Team by NCBWA and Baseball America.

His 113 career stolen bases at NC State are the most in school history. Turner was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1st Round with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Trea is easily the best Major League batter to ever come out of NC State. Out of all the Wolfpack players to make it to the MLB, he ranks 1st in Hits (1,252), Runs (716), Doubles (236), Home Runs (152), RBI’s (519), Stolen Bases (270) and Walks (322).

 

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NC State Basketball

DJ Burns talks keys to recent weight loss during Pre-Draft Workout with Pacers

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Pack fans have been wondering how after 2 years in Raleigh, DJ Burns finally figured out how to drop weight, and keep it off. He spoke to reporters during his pre-draft workout with the Pacers.

“Playing at the pace we played today. Doing the work we did today. I probably would have left out with a full body cramp a couple months ago.”

“Keep on improving my pace. Adjusting to the level and speed I’m going to have to play at, at all times.”

“Lots of running. Lots of figuring out which foods I can no longer have, which were almost all of them that I liked. So, just finding new ones that I do like that go along with the plan.”

“This is the third (workout), and I actually travel to Milwaukee tomorrow to workout with the Bucks. And then some more stuff being confirmed that I won’t speak on just yet.”

Burns has worked out for the Lakers, Pacers and Hornets up to this point.

Plus more…

Listen to the full interview above.

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