Meet Dermot Mulroney, “Bryan Bowen”

Dermot Mulroney was most recently seen in David Fincher’s “Zodiac” and Garry Marshall’s “Georgia Rule.” “Zodiac,” based on Robert Graysmith’s novel about the lives and careers of the detectives and news journalists as they search for the notorious 1970s San Francisco serial killer, also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo. In “Georgia Rule,” Mulroney stars opposite Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsey Lohan. He also recently wrapped production on “Jolene,” directed by Dan Ireland, in which he stars opposite Chazz Palminteri.
Mulroney’s recent credits include “The Family Stone,” a romantic comedy for Fox in which he starred opposite Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson and Rachel McAdams; the Warner Bros. romantic comedy “Must Love Dogs,” with Diane Lane and John Cusack; the Universal romantic comedy “The Wedding Date,” with Debra Messing; and David Gordon Green’s “Undertow,” with Jamie Bell and Josh Lucas.
He also appeared in Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt,” co-starring Jack Nicholson and Hope Davis; and in “The Safety of Objects,” an ensemble film adapted from the A.M. Homes novel of the same name, in which he starred with Glenn Close, Patricia Clarkson, Joshua Jackson and Timothy Olyphant.
Additional credits include:
Mulroney’s earlier work includes critically acclaimed performances in “Longtime Companion” and “Where the Day Takes You”; “Samantha” with Martha Plimpton; “Staying Together” with Stockard Channing; Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Thing Called Love” with River Phoenix and Sandra Bullock; “Young Guns” with Kiefer Sutherland; “Point of No Return” with Bridget Fonda; “Bad Girls” opposite Andie MacDowell, Madeline Stowe, and Drew Barrymore; the Blake Edwards comedy “Sunset”; and “Career Opportunities,” opposite Jennifer Connelly.
His television work includes a multi-episode guest-starring role on the hit NBC comedy “Friends”; the HBO film “Long Gone”; ABC’s four-hour drama “Family Pictures,” with Anjelica Huston; the TNT feature “The Heart of Justice”; the ABC movie of the week “Daddy”; CBS’s “Unconquered,” in which he starred as football and track star Richard Flowers; the CBS movie of the week “Sin of Innocence”; and the ABC Afterschool Special, “The Drug Knot.”
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Types of Football Face Masks

Football is a tough game that can’t be 100 percent safe. But players enjoy much better protection these days, thanks to a wide array of available face masks. Each mask is designed to protect various parts of the face while providing players the visibility they need to play the game. Typically made of carbon steel with a protective coating, face masks are generally not interchangeable, so certain face masks are only offered by certain helmet manufacturers.
Open-cage face masks have no vertical bar above the nose to obstruct your vision, so they’re the preferred face masks of most players at ballhandling positions, such as quarterback, receiver and running back. The masks usually contain two or three horizontal bars and a few vertical bars, but none of the vertical bars go above the nose inside your normal range of vision. Manufacturers typically use acronyms to describe the areas the face mask best protects. Open-cage face masks are usually labeled as ROPO, or reinforced oral protection only; EGOP, or eyeglass and oral protection; OPO, or oral protection only; EGJOP, or eyeglass, jaw and oral protection; JOP, or jaw and oral protection; and RJOP, or reinforced jaw and oral protection.
If you’re a lineman, a closed-cage face mask will typically be your choice because the mask offers a long vertical bar that runs straight up the middle in front of your face, above the nose, to the top of the mask. They typically have two to four horizontal bars to keep other players’ fingers out of your face and eyes. Closed-cage face masks are usually classified as NOPO, or nose and oral protection only, and NJOP, or nose, jaw and oral protection.
Most face masks are reinforced. This refers to the extra horizontal bar at the top of the mask that adds strength and allows for better spreading of energy throughout the mask.
Some helmets include extra horizontal bars in front of your face. The additional bars add stability and strength and decrease the size of the face mask’s opening to prevent hands, fingers and feet from hitting your face.
You’ll likely encounter single-bar masks in museums or old photos only. Helmets with just a single horizontal bar protecting the face were once common among ballhandling players who depended on better visibility. Single-wire face masks are not used much anymore because they offer you little protection.
Sometimes called a bull ring, the U-bar attaches to the upper part of the face mask. It’s normally used on open-cage masks and is designed to prevent other players from getting their fingers inside your face mask around your eyes and nose.
Facemasks with two small vertical bars on each side — usually in the area of your peripheral vision — help protect your eyes without obscuring your vision the way a closed cage facemask does.

Can You Try Out for College Sports Teams?

Trying out for a sports team can be a positive experience that can enrich a student’s college experience. In most cases, it is best to make inquiries with the athletic department about trying out for a particular team when you have not been recruited to play. You might be given an opportunity to make the team in one sport but not another.
It can be very difficult to get a fair opportunity to show your skills for a major college. If you have not been recruited and are not a scholarship player but you want to walk on in a major team sport like football, basketball or baseball, you need to speak with the coach before you show up. For example, if you played high school football and have a dream of playing college football for a school that might be eligible to play for the national championship, you will have to convince the coaches that you are worthy of even showing up for practice. Arrange a meeting and come equipped with a videotape of your high school play and a letter of recommendation from a previous coach. This might get you consideration, but it will be up to the coach to say whether you should show up. Even if you have played before, you might have a chance only to make the team’s practice squad and have very little chance to play in games.
Football, basketball and baseball are considered revenue-producing sports. Other sports like golf, tennis, soccer and volleyball offer scholarships but also might offer other athletes a legitimate chance to make the team in a tryout situation. For example, if you are a golfer and have ability, you can make a team with a strong showing in tryouts and then earn a scholarship or partial scholarship, according to College Scholarships.org.
If you are going to a non-division 1 school, you will have a chance to try out and might be able to earn a partial scholarship or grant. According to College Athletic Scholarships.net, Division III and NAIA colleges have scholarship money available. The number of Division III athletes nearly doubled between 1982 and 1987. Small college teams have more players on their rosters than major college teams. Lindsey Wilson, an NAIA program in Kentucky, had 33 players on its men¡¯s basketball roster in 2011. That’s more than twice as many as most Division 1 programs.
Once in a while, a player can go from from being a walk-on who succeeds in a tryout to one of the top players in the game. This was the case for Clay Matthews, who walked on at USC, earned a spot on the team and ultimately was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, where he became one of the most productive players on the Packers’ defensive team. Safety Jim Leonhard was a walk-on at Wisconsin, excelled in the secondary and made the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. He became a starter for the Jets.

High School Football Kickoff Rules

The kickoff in football is one of the most exciting plays in a game because it marks the start of the game or transfer of possession after a score. Several basic rules are dedicated to organizing and regulating kickoffs, but every level and organization might have a variation in the rules. For example, high school football enforces kickoff rules based on the field layout and ability level of the players.
Along with the general outline and markings on the field, an X is painted on the middle of each 40-yard line to indicate the location of the tee position for the kicking team. However, the kicker can move the tee to another location on the same line if he chooses. The kickoff marks the beginning of each half of the game along with the transfer of possession after a touchdown or field goal. Each team has to have 11 players on the playing field during the kickoff.
The kicking team is allowed to line up on its own end of the field behind the 40-yard line. The layout and positioning of the players can change as long as every player is behind the 40-yard line. As the kicker approaches the ball, he must kick the ball before any of the other players cross the 40-yard line. Once the ball is in the air, the kicking team players can use their hands to ward off any opponents from the receiving team who are attempting blocks.
The receiving team can line up in any pattern with the closest players to the kicking team limited to the 50-yard line. During the kick, the receiving team can set up blockers who can use unlocked hands and arms to block the kicking team. Any member of the receiving team can receive the kick and try to advance the ball. The receiving player, however, can use a fair-catch signal by waving his arm over his head before catching and securing the ball. A fair-catch marks the player down at the location of the catch.
The game clock starts when the ball has been touched or caught by the receiving team. However, the clock doesn¡¯t start if the ball goes out of bounds or is fair-caught by the receiving team. If the ball goes out of bounds before being touched by the receiving team, it is considered an illegal kick and the receiving team assumes possession at the location where it went out of bounds or 25 yards from the point of the kick, whichever is most advantageous to the receiving team.

How to Play the Center Forward Position in Soccer

The center forward in soccer needs to focus on one thing only: creating goals. If you are asked to play center forward, you¡¯ll be playing close to the opponent¡¯s goal throughout much of the game, looking for chances to score, like famed New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry, formerly of London club Arsenal. Specifics of your role may vary slightly depending on your team¡¯s formation.
Position yourself near the midfield line of the soccer field when your team is on defense in its own half. Stay focused on the action and be prepared to make a run to goal if your teammates create a turnover. Avoid the temptation to take a major role in marking players as this leaves a gap in the offense at your position. Do apply mild pressure to the fullbacks and keeper if the ball comes near your zone.
Time your runs carefully to avoid being called offside as your team moves the ball up-field. Watch your teammates in the midfield as you stand in position so that the last line of defenders is between you and the goal. Begin sprinting toward goal a fraction of a second after your teammate passes the ball to the space past the defensive line.
Work with your fellow forward if there are two of you playing the center forward position, as happens in the typical 4-2-2 formation of recreational soccer. If your partner drifts to one side of the field as you near the goal, move close enough to the center of the field to be able to receive or send a pass to him in one-two combinations. Envision yourself invisibly tethered to the other forward to keep yourselves in close proximity. If one of you is better at dribbling the ball at your feet even when double-teamed without being stripped and the other better at finishing, have the first player provide assists to the second.
Shake your defender as you get closer to the goal by using your quickness and deception. Finish — which mean score in soccer — by beating the keeper in a 1-on-1; poking in a loose ball; leaping as high as you can to head in a corner or free kick; volleying a rebound after it bounces off the keeper¡¯s hands, the crossbar or goalpost; or evading your defender and placing in a careful shot.

Rules of Flag Football for Kids

Flag football can be a safe alternative to tackle football for kids since it’s not about knocking heads. The players wear flags on their hips, and play stops when a defender yanks a flag off of a ball carrier. However, there¡¯s a lot more to the sport than running up and down the field pulling flags. It does have some rules, which may vary by league.
A typical youth flag football game consists of five to 10 players. The only equipment necessary is a football and Velcro flag belts, but some leagues also require a mouth guard. Standard games last 40 minutes. Tied games go into overtime, and the first team to score wins.
Blocking rules may vary between leagues, but what counts as a legal stop is universal. The defender has to pull the flag off the ball carrier’s belt, which is no easy trick since that player is on the move. Holding the runner up in any way to make a grab easier isn’t legal. Players also can’t leave their feet to snatch a flag. The play ends when the flag hits the ground, or the defender holds up the captured flag to a referee. Some leagues permit a pass rush as long as the players start 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Once a ball gets snapped, it’s live until it goes out of bounds, points are scored, or the ball carrier¡¯s flag is pulled. Play is also whistled dead if the carrier¡¯s arm or knee touches the ground, or someone with just one flag catches a ball.
The number of downs may vary, but most leagues will have four like regular football. The first possession starts at the 5-yard line, and that team gets that set number of downs to cross midfield. If they do, they get another set of downs to score. If they fail, the other team gets the ball at its own 5. Some advanced leagues may drop that last rule and use punters instead.
Flag football at any level follows the same rules of tackle football when it comes to offense. A quarterback takes a snap, can pass or hand off, and no forward passes are allowed beyond the line of scrimmage. Touchdowns are worth six points, but the big scoring difference is in extra points. A team can try a run from the 5 for one point, or from the 12 for two. Some leagues will put up two points for a successful extra point pass.

Meet Andrew Shue, “Coach” and Producer

Andrew Shue has been fortunate to play out his life on many different fields. He has found success in such diverse roles as school teacher, professional athlete, actor, producer, community activist and business entrepreneur.
Shue has had many life-changing experiences that have shaped him in different ways. In high school his father inspired him to become school president and start a student group to serve the elderly in his town called Students Serving Seniors. The group still exists today and received a “Service” award from President Reagan in 1987. At Dartmouth College, as he was in high school, Shue was a Regional All-American soccer player and spent a winter studying and playing soccer in Glasgow, Scotland for Queens Park FC.
After graduating from Dartmouth with a degree in History, Shue traveled to Africa with his childhood friend Michael Sanchez and spent a year living in Zimbabwe, where he taught math to 200 African high school students and played soccer as the only white player in the African First Division for the Bulawayo Highlanders.
When he returned to America in 1991, Andrew set his sights on following his sister Elisabeth’s path when he ventured into acting. By the middle of 1992, he had landed a coveted role on the then new hit Fox TV show “Melrose Place,” where he played the likable Billy Campbell for six years. Along the way he had his greatest acting experience playing a pivotal role opposite Matt Damon and Claire Danes in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Rainmaker.”
While living in Los Angeles, Andrew never let go of his love for soccer. He fulfilled a dream when he interviewed Pel¨¦ for “Good Morning America” while serving as the National Spokesman for the 1994 World Cup. Then in 1996, he earned a spot on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the debut season of Major League Soccer, becoming the first pro athlete to play and act on a TV show at the same time. His most memorable moment came back in New Jersey when he helped set up two goals in a 4-0 win over the MetroStars in front of 50,000 fans at Giants Stadium. He retired after two seasons in 1997.
Shue’s social interests came full circle in 1993. Shue called upon his experiences in high school and Africa and teamed up with Sanchez to create a national non-profit organization called Do Something. Started with the belief that young people must be the drivers of social change, Do Something has reached millions of kids in all 50 states through school and web-based programs that teach young people to take the lead and to learn life’s most important values by doing.
In 1999 Shue and his family moved back to the east coast and created a more consistent family life by finding success in business. As an entrepreneurs, he and Sanchez have led several successful start-up ventures, including the ’94 Cup Daily and Clubmom and Cafemom, the nation’s leading information and community Web sites for moms.
Shue most recently joined forces with his brother John, sister Elisabeth, and her husband, director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) to create the production company Ursa Major Films. Their first project and Shue’s debut venture as a producer is “Gracie.” Inspired by their true family story, “Gracie” was independently financed and controlled creatively by the Shues. Guggenheim directed the picture, while Elisabeth and Andrew have acting roles as well. “Gracie” is the story of a 16-year-old girl who honors her brother’s memory when she attempts to play on the boys’ high school soccer team and in the process brings together her broken family. Shue’s experience in fundraising and the formation of strategic marketing partnerships allowed the team to create a groundbreaking business model for the film.
Andrew lives in New Jersey with Jennifer, his wife of eleven years, and their three sons. Since moving back to his home state from Hollywood, he has enjoyed the consistency of family life in suburbia — coaching his kids’ soccer teams and focusing on the little things that make life rich.
For lots more information about “Gracie,” and to watch more exclusive HowStuffWorks videos, check out these links:
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How Graceland Works

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Good Vibrations: Getting Buff without Weights

July 20, 2006 | Post Archive
Technology is the answer to all of our problems, right? It’s supposed to take the work out of work. Soon we’ll all be leading the life of George Jetson, pushing a single button all day long. Now technology has once again taken the work out of exercise. I give you the Power Plate. Madonna uses it, Donatella Versace and Claudia Schiffer use it, and so should you. Thanks to the Power Plate, staying fit and healthy doesn’t require any hard work or discipline. The Power Plate’s revolutionary technology overthrows conventional wisdom regarding the human body in a coup d’etat of sweat, gym clothes and good vibrations. Why lift weights or jog when you can vibrate that flab and cellulite into oblivion in just a few minutes a day? And please take note: this is not the vibrating belt of yesteryear. We’ve come along way since the 1960s.
According to its makers, the Power Plate relies on “Advanced Vibration Technology.” Here’s their explanation of how it works:
According to the Daily Mail, the German football team used the Power Plate to train for the World Cup and so does Manchester United. An astute friend pointed out one potential flaw in these statements: exercise equipment manufacturers often send their latest products to athletic organizations. Whether or not the organizations actually continue to use them doesn’t matter. While that information is completely anecdotal at this point, I don’t find it very hard to believe. Just look at the plethora of ineffective fitness devices on the market today and those of the past (or in storage rooms, thrift stores and classifieds, for that matter). Forgive me for being cynical, but experience suggests that very few things in life don’t require hard work.