Before Returning To Lockout Mode, Every NFL Franchise Decided Against Drafting A Bone-Cancer Survivor

Your morning roundup for May 1, the day after Seth Meyers said Weekend Update stuff to people's faces.

• Thirty-two NFL franchises passed on multiple opportunities to draft Boston College's Mark Herzlich, a linebacker who was projected as a first-round pick before he had to take a season off to battle Ewing's sarcoma.

"I guess people are saying I can't play football anymore,'' said Herzlich, already preparing himself for his next battle. "Well I have heard that before and look what happened.'" [Boston Globe] (Photo H/T Scott Lewis Photography)

• Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo gave up his first goal of the Nashville Predators series with 1:07 left in the third. Game went to overtime. Then, double overtime. But not triple overtime, because Matt Halischuk of the Predators scored 14:51 into the second extra frame primarily because Nashville goalkeeper Pekka Rinne played the role of every ice-skate-wearing superhero in history. [Tennessean]

• The Philadelphia Flyers got the piss kicked out of them by a team with a track record of ceding three-game series leads. [Boston Bruins]

• On the flip side, the first 18 pitches that Roy Halladay threw against the Mets yesterday were strikes. The 2-1 win made it the first April in which the Phillies won 18 games. [NorthJersey.com]

• They say some, if not many, of the 20,245 who attended yesterday's Rays/Angels game in Tampa Bay were there just to see REO Speedwagon. Well, the opening act was a 10th inning win on a Fernando Rodney bounced-sinker wild pitch, the first such victory in franchise history [Tampa Tribune].

• Emilio "Millito" Navarro, the 105-year-old who was believed to be the oldest living professional baseball player, died Saturday in Puerto Rico. The first Puerto Rican to play in the Negro Leagues, he was the leadoff-hitting shortstop for the New York-based Cuban Stars of the Eastern Colored League in 1928. Navarro said he made $25 a week and enjoyed dancing and the occasional glass of whiskey. With Navarro's passing, Jamie Moyer assumes the oldest living professional baseball player mantle. [AP]

• Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz barely missed being within 26 strokes of the cut at his debut Nationwide Tour event. He was 27-over at the South Georgia Classic. [New York Times]

• That Auburn University is helping the University of Alabama grapple with a tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa shouldn't be news, as sporting rivalries should in no way dictate someone's common decency when someone else is in pain. In an unrelated story, the fact that Auburn University is helping the University of Alabama grapple with a tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa is news. [Huntsville Times] [Orlando Sentinel] [AP] [Etc.]

• Brian Dawkins, a 37-year-old safety for the Denver Broncos, thinks drafting quality safeties makes the Broncos stronger on defense and special teams [Denver Post]. Hearing that Hall-of-Fame Broncos QB/Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway say that he's his "biggest fan" made current Broncos QB Tim Tebow feel all warm inside [ESPN].

With the 34th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Aaron Williams, cornerback from the University of Texas, guy who posted a picture of himself holding a dead rabbit online. [BuzzFeed]

• Kurt Warner on the Patriots drafting QB Ryan Mallett: "I did text Tom Brady after this pick and he wanted me to know for sure that he was planning on playing 10 more years." [NFL]

• Oh, the lockout's back on so everybody from Cam Newton to Cheta Ozougwu can all just go ahead and workout on their own. [USA Today]

• In football-actually-being-played news, the owner of the Orlando Predators ponied up for a billboard in advance with their Saturday night showdown with the Jacksonville Sharks. He apparently has some sort of beef with the opposing team's hometown so he went with the understated, "Jacksonville Sucks. See you rednecks April 30." Final April 30th score: Rednecks 76, Comic Sans Lite 55. [Orlando Sentinel]

• Kyle Busch won last night's Crown Royal 400 in Richmond, Va. He apparently does this often. [NASCAR]

• After getting some lucky breaks/calls, Chelsea pulled to within three points of EPL leaders Manchester United with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday. Next weekend, the Blues visit Shrek et al. [BBC Sport]

On the couple-of-days eve of El Clasico V, both Barcelona and Real Madrid lost on the same weekend for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Nothing gold shall stay. [Goal]

• Today's soccer-viewing recommendations: Since Liverpool/Newcastle United is already over, you might want to check out the second half of Arsenal vs. Manchester United, like, now. Other options: Almeria vs. Sevilla at 10:55 a.m., Manchester City vs. West Ham at 11 a.m., Bari vs. Roma at 2:30 p.m. or Palmeiras vs. Corinthians at 2:55 p.m.

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