Play It Forward: Sept. 1-7 on your sports calendar — the NFL starts with Seattle fans getting misty again, thanks to the real-deal Sherman

MaddenNFL15_WhatsNew_OpenFieldTackling2THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

nfl-season-2013NFL WEEK 1:
Details/TV: Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 4

Details/TV: Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 2

Details/TV: Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 11

Details/TV: Sunday at 1:25 p.m., Channel 11

Details/TV: Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 4:

20140704212441!Madden_15_Cover_Featuring_Richard_ShermanNow who’s talking about Richard Sherman? For starters, anyone who’s seen him as the Seattle Seahawks’ 26-year star cover back ad the cover boy for the new Madden NFL 15 video game. The Compton Dominguez High alum wasn’t all that happy three years ago to find out he’d received an overall rating of 52 in the Madden NFL 12 game. But when the latest updated version came out last week, Sherman had been bumped up to a 99 — making him the best at his position in the league. “He’s (also) ranked 91 in speed, so he’ll be able to run with just about any receiver in the game downfield,” Steve Gibbons, a veteran Madden gamer and EA Sports consultant told the Seattle Times’ “Take 2” blog. For that matter, Gibbons concluded that the Seahawks “are the No. 1 team to use in the game … they’re pretty much the perfect team and they make playing Madden a lot of fun this year.” Apparently, the defending Super Bowl champions are poised to win forever in Madden and real life as long as Pete Carroll stays in charge. With Sherman, Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin … so what if the last two Super Bowl champs failed to make the playoffs the following season? And so what if there’s the belief that the dreaded “Madden Curse” will eventually strike down upon Sherman’s dreadlocks?
Watch all of Seattle get misty as the Seahawks take on the Packers in the now-traditional Thursday night opener, likely to remind many of the last time they met in 2012 that ended with the “Failed Mary” replacement refs controversy.  The Seahawks go in as the 6-to-1 co-favorite according to Vegas Insider to win Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. The other co-favorite is the Denver Broncos, who lost the title game last year to the Seahawks and spotlight the second part of NBC’s weekend bonanza package against Indianapolis, who others are picking as the AFC representative in the next Super Bowl based on the fact it has the easiest regular-season schedule based on opponents winning percentage from a year ago.

Also this week:
w300-7aefe1e8ddf8b8ad336780796ef6664fWeek 2 of college football has USC traveling to Stanford (Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 7) while UCLA has its home opener against Memphis (Rose Bowl, Saturday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network), with the game of national importance pitting Michigan State at Oregon (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Channel 11). The Dodgers start a three-game series against the National League’s hottest team, Washington, on Labor Day at Dodger Stadium, the Angels are on the road to start a 10-day, four-city trip, and the women’s champion will be figured out at the U.S. Open (Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Channel 2). More details at this link.


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