Why Reverse Mortgages Keep Moving Forward

first_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post March 18, 2019 3,933 Views For many older homeowners, reverse mortgages are an easy way to tap into their home’s equity. Despite many misconceptions about reverse mortgages, they may not even be as risky as many believe, according to experts, as more and more homeowners take advantage of the product.An article from Bloomberg explores the recent movement to reverse mortgages. Despite the risk, such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities as well as a risk of foreclosure, reverse mortgages are still a viable equity alternative to selling and moving. Tightening rules after 2008, including requiring homeowners to show they can afford tax and insurance payments, has reduced the risks involved with reverse mortgages since then. However, some still note the risks involved“The profits are significant, the oversight is minimal, and greed could work to the disadvantage of seniors who should be protected by government programs and not targeted as prey,” said Dave Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association on Bloomberg.DS News reported earlier that, according to LendingTree and data from the Federal Housing Authority’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, HECMs originated in the 100 studied cities at an average rate of 7.1 loans per 1,000 homeowners over the age of 60 between 2012 and 2017. The top city, Virginia Beach, boasted a rate of 13.8 loans per 1,000 homeowners over the age of 60.Government-back loans as a whole have seen a resurgence. Kroll Bond Ratings Agency reported 63 percent increase in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) issued in 2018 over 2017. The report indicated that if the U.S. GDP was to grow at the steady pace it has this year, until July 2019, the year could see “another robust issuance year in 2019.” However, factors such as higher interest rates, home price moderation, and widening spreads that have been experienced by the market in the last few weeks are likely headwinds that might pull down the performance of RMBS next year, the report revealed.”Given the potential downside risks, we aren’t forecasting issuance growth in 2019, but believe issuance will be comparable to 2018 levels,” KBRA stated in the outlook. Bloomberg HECM Kroll Bond Rating LendingTree Reverse Mortgages RMBS 2019-03-18 Seth Welborn Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Bloomberg HECM Kroll Bond Rating LendingTree Reverse Mortgages RMBS About Author: Seth Welborn The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Why Reverse Mortgages Keep Moving Forwardcenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, Market Studies, News Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save Home / Daily Dose / Why Reverse Mortgages Keep Moving Forward Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: Court Approves $13.8M Wells Fargo Settlement Next: Fair Warning: State Supreme Court Rules on Foreclosure Notices Subscribelast_img read more

Broadway.com Ranks the Tony Categories For Best Play, Revival & More!

first_imgIt’s our favorite time of the year: Tony time! We’ve spent the last few weeks making detailed spreadsheets, graphs and extremely complicated ven diagrams (remember those?) about all of our favorite plays of the year. After hours of deliberation, we’re finally ready to reveal our Tony forecast, including frontrunners, hopefuls and a Broadway.com Shout Out to one show we hope the Tony nominators will remember. Check out our Tony cheat sheet for the top play categories! Left to Right: The Glass Menagerie — This haunting new take on the Tennessee Williams classic was both a critical darling and a crowd favorite. Twelfth Night — Audiences and reviewers alike went gaga over this all-male production of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. It’s a total lock. Waiting For Godot — Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen made this acclaimed revival one of the season’s highlights. BROADWAY.COM SHOUTOUT IN THE MIX IN THE MIX BROADWAY.COM SHOUTOUT Left to Right: Sam Gold, The Realistic Joneses — The young but prolific director has yet to score a Tony nod, and this might just be his year. James Lapine, Act One — The multitalented writer/director has a chance of nabbing Best Play and Best Director nominations this season. Joe Mantello, Casa Valentina — Will the two-time Tony-winning director’s take on cross-dressing culture be a hit this year? It could happen, but it’s not a lock. Sean Mathias, Waiting For Godot — A nod for Godot will be the first Tony nomination in 19 years for this British director. Mike Nichols, Betrayal — This EGOT-winning director is an awards magnet. He’s likely to be recognized again, but it’s not a guarantee. Stay tuned for more Tony cheat sheets! ALSO POSSIBLE A Time to Kill, Bronx Bombers, The Snow Geese, The Velocity of Autumn FRONTRUNNERS BEST PLAY IN THE MIX View Comments Left to Right: A Raisin in the Sun — Kenny Leon directed Raisin 10 years ago and got a nomination, but a nod for the new production isn’t guaranteed. Machinal — An inventive new staging of Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 drama has a decent shot of snagging a nom. Richard III — It’s more of a downer than its repertory partner Twelfth Night, but the stellar Shakespeare production still has a shot at some Tony love. The Cripple of Inishmaan — Martin McDonagh’s tale of an outcast who makes it big in Hollywood (or does he?) has a chance to win big on nomination day.center_img BROADWAY.COM SHOUTOUT Of Mice and Men — In this extremely crowded race, we’ve got our fingers crossed that the starry mounting of John Steinbeck’s tender tragedy won’t be overlooked. Outside Mullingar — John Patrick Shanley’s delightful Irish love story about two middle-aged farmers won our hearts, and we’re hoping it will win the hearts of the Tony committee, too! BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY FRONTRUNNERS ALSO POSSIBLE Betrayal, Macbeth, No Man’s Land, Romeo and Juliet, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, The Winslow Boy ALSO POSSIBLE Anna D. Shapiro, Of Mice and Men; Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Ethan McSweeny, A Time to Kill; Sheryl Kaller, Mothers and Sons; Doug Hughes, Outside Mullingar; Daniel Sullivan, The Snow Geese; Molly Smith, The Velocity of Autumn; Sean Mathias, No Man’s Land; Tim Carroll, Richard III; Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun FRONTRUNNERS Left to Right: All the Way — The star-studded political drama by Robert Schenkkan is a definite contender, but not a guaranteed nomination. Casa Valentina — Harvey Fierstein’s cross-dressing ensemble drama has heart, but can it bring home the gold? The Realistic Joneses — This polarizing black comedy by Will Eno is the wildcard: It’s not your typical Broadway fare, but it sure stands out from the crowd. Left: Act One — The beloved autobiography of theater legend Moss Hart springs to life in James Lapine’s heartfelt and funny new stage adaptation. A nod is very likely. Right: Mothers and Sons — Four-time Tony winner Terrence McNally’s new drama about a mother coming to terms with her son’s death will be tough to beat. Left: Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night — This unforgettable mounting is the British director’s Broadway debut (along with Richard III in rep), and it’s sure to get some Tony love. Right: John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie — A dark and dreamy take on Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece is likely to score the Tony-winning Once director another nod. Lyndsey Turner, Machinal — Featuring an inventive rotating set that upped the ante of the intense drama, Turner’s Broadway directing debut not only deserves a mention, it deserves a nomination. BEST PLAY REVIVALlast_img read more

Long Island Muslim PAC Seeks to Support Friendly Candidates

first_imgMuslim PAC USA has been in existence for about a month. It’s goal, according to the PAC’s president Aamir Sultan, is two-pronged. Like any political action committee, the group will donate to campaigns of politicians dedicated to its cause. In this case, those include candidates who are willing to publicly support Muslim Americans and promote tolerance.Its long-term goals are more ambitious. The PAC hopes to see more Muslim Americans run for office, so the voice of a much-maligned minority community can be heard.The PAC will ask those seeking elected office “how they support the Muslim community and what have they done in the past and…are they willing to come out in public and talk about Islamophobia and anti-Islam sentiment,” Sultan told the Press.Sultan, who has his own IT firm and is on Suffolk County’s Asian American Advisory Board, said it’s important elected officials confront Islamophobia.“Just like any other minority, all of them have gone through this rhetoric and the phobias and bigotry and all that—now it’s our turn as Muslims,” he said. “So we just have to get proactive.”“It’s just now the numbers are increasing and we are becoming more visible in society,” he added. “We just have to follow suit what previous minorities did—the Jews, the Irish, the Italians, they all faced these things.”Sultan, who lives in Dix Hills, got to know Ramos after he started doing multicultural work with the assemblyman, he said.“Then this whole Trump thing started,” he added, referring to GOP hopeful Donald Trump, who has called for a ban on all Muslims from entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”Trump’s remarks came after 14 people were killed and nearly two-dozen were injured in the San Bernardino shooting in early December, and a month after shootings and explosions left 130 dead in Paris.Muslim Americans around the world have condemned those and other atrocities, saying such bloodshed is anathema to their religion. But their denunciations, they say, often receive little media attention.During his first visit to a US mosque since entering the White House, President Obama on Wednesday noted that most Americans’ view of Muslims is shaped by media—in news and entertainment, lamenting how most Muslims in TV or film are more likely than not to be depicted through the lens of national security.The uptick in anti-Islamic rhetoric has also come with an increase of attacks on Muslim communities. Men and women have been threatened or attacked in recent months, mosques have been vandalized, and Korans have been defiled and their pages riddled with bullets. Muslim Americans have told the Press that Islamophobia is worse now than it was directly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Their anecdotes appear to be supported by statistics. In 2014, hate crimes fell in every category, except those against Muslims—which spiked nearly 14 percent.“Given the barbaric Islamic State attacks in Paris last week and elsewhere recently, that latter trend seems destined to accelerate,” the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote last November.Although most anti-Muslim remarks have come from Republicans, Sultan said Muslim PAC USA would donate to any candidate who supports its cause.Still, he admitted, Democrats, not Republicans, have been the most outspoken defenders of the community in recent months.Sultan, who came to Long Island in 1990, thinks Muslims should seize the opportunity and become more engaged in their communities and in politics.“It’s become real vital,” he said. “Now we have to be in active mode as opposed to passive mode.”For now, the group will focus on local elections, whether its local town councils, Nassau and Suffolk legislatures or state offices.PACs can only donate up to $5,000 to a candidate’s election committee, unlike post-Citizens United Super PACs which can spend unlimited sums of money on behalf of a candidate but are prohibited from working directly with their campaign.In the coming weeks Muslim PAC USA will vet potential candidates and see where they stand on the issues. Sultan is hopeful.“I think that mold has been broken, of politicians not being able to speak up for Muslims,” he said. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For years, Muslim Americans have spoken in hopeful terms about stepping out of the shadows, interacting more with neighbors, extending a helping hand and, perhaps more daunting, getting involved in the political process. While the wheels of progress have laboriously been churning, it seems anti-Islam rhetoric has accelerated their pursuit of inclusivity.On Saturday, several elected officials will join members of the Muslim American community for Long Island-based Muslim Political Action Committee USA’s inaugural fundraiser. The honoree that evening will be New York State Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood), who has recently spoken up emphatically about protecting the rights of Muslim Americans in the face of attacks—from pundits and politicians, and from those have shouted bigoted remarks or vandalized mosques.last_img read more

Kozak strike enough for Villa

first_imgAston Villa survived conceding an early penalty and a first-half injury to Christian Benteke to give Paul Lambert a 1-0 win at Carrow Road. The home side remained on top as Snodgrass and Redmond enjoyed relative success down either flank, although Villa showed when they countered that they held their own attacking threat. Christian Beneteke’s goalbound effort was deflected behind by Michael Turner before captain Ron Vlaar’s acrobatic effort from a corner flew wide. The Belgium forward then required treatment after an awkward landing and, despite coming back on, he was again struggling. Whilst Benteke was grounded Norwich came close to opening the scoring as Van Wolfswinkel rifled a shot just inches wide of Guzan’s post. Kozak then replaced Benteke and needed just two minutes to put the visitors ahead. The summer signing from Lazio saw a close-range shot saved by Ruddy but was on hand to force home Gabriel Abgonlahor’s resulting cross. The England goalkeeper then had to punch away a ball across his goal by the lively Agbonlahor as the Norwich fans began to vent their frustrations at their side’s inability to hold on to possession. The Canaries’ problems worsened as captain Sebastien Bassong was forced off with what appeared to be a leg injury, with Ryan Bennett replacing him at centre-back. The second half did not start with the same vigour as the first and there was not really a note of chance until Weimann bent an effort wide of the post with 52 minutes on the clock. Gary Hooper was introduced for his Norwich debut, with the summer signing receiving a rousing reaction from the home crowd, who then turned on Hughton when Redmond was hauled off for Anthony Pilkington. Leroy Fer flashed a cross low in to the Villa box that just eluded the on-rushing van Wolfswinkel as Norwich still struggled to test Guzan and his defence on a regular basis. Neither side could get a stranglehold on possession and it was Villa who created the next chance as Clark headed Leandro Bacuna’s corner just wide of Ruddy’s post. Kozak came close to a second goal as Villa caught their hosts on the counter attack but his 77th minute strike was deflected behind by Turner. The home side continued to commit more and more players forward and it was Van Wolfswinkel who was next to see a goalbound effort turned behind for a corner. Guzan was again the hero for Villa as he acrobatically tipped over a Hooper shot in the closing stages after the former Celtic striker had failed to truly connect with Javier Garrido’s cross. Lambert’s side then saw it the five minutes of added time without much incident to secure their first points since their opening day win at Arsenal. Lambert has now won on all three of his returns to Norfolk and the Scot also saw his side keep their first clean sheet in the league since December 8. His replacement at Norwich was Chris Hughton, who had said before the game that he was looking for a reaction from his players following defeat at Tottenham last weekend but, other than a dominant spell in the first half, they did not put in the sort of performance that warranted three points. It was a very open first 15 minutes, starting when Andreas Weimann wriggled his way through inside the first 60 seconds but stabbed an effort straight at John Ruddy. The Austria international again found himself in plenty of space two minutes later, this time his curling effort beat Ruddy but came back off the post, with Benteke flagged offside as he looked to tuck away the rebound. But it was the home side who spurned the best opportunity of the frenetic opening stages when Snodgrass passed up the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot. Nathan Redmond’s deep cross was headed back across goal in towards Ricky van Wolfswinkel and struck the arm of the recalled Ciaran Clark with referee Chris Foy immediately pointing to the spot. Snodgrass struck a hard penalty but Brad Guzan flew to his left to push the ball away and keep the game scoreless. Norwich again missed a fantastic chance on 12 minutes as Redmond pulled Snodgrass’ cross back in to the danger area but Van Wolfswinkel could only throw his chest out towards the ball and direct it behind for a goal-kick. Norwich winger Robert Snodgrass saw his sixth-minute spot-kick saved before the visitors lost Benteke to injury, with his replacement Libor Kosak scoring the only goal. It was a first Villa goal for towering Czech Republic forward Kosak and it gave Lambert another victory at the home of his former employers with whom he spilt so acrimoniously after guiding them to the Barclays Premier League from League One in two years. Press Associationlast_img read more

Lennart Gillberg – Spiffx – My ICE 2017

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Spiffbet strengthens Spanish presence with Jokerbet launch December 14, 2018 Spiffbet launches Take5Live in Spain with Betsson October 31, 2018 Related Articles Submit DATA.BET to make esports data debut in $250,000 ICE tournament January 15, 2020 Share Lennart Gillberg is the founder of Spiffx, the betting exchange which is using ICE 2017 to promote the launch of its B2B white label product, Take5Live.Lennart Gillberg, SpiffxWe caught up with him to find out more about his preparation for 7-9 February, where to find him, and why his company puts so much emphasis on the event.How I prepare for ICELG: I ensure that I have set up meetings with contacts I am doing business with, conducted new business and researched who will be present to ensure a structured approach to the right contacts and making the most out of the networking events.What I am doing at ICELG: ICE is the largest and most important global conference of the year. Everyone in the industry attends from every continent, therefore it’s a great way to meet contacts in person.What I’m looking forward to at ICE 2017LG: Using ICE as a launch pad for the Take5Live app. We are now integrating it for various operators and ICE is a chance for us to get traction quickly. For example, we recently fulfilled market demand by taking the product into Kenya with Cheza Gaming.This is likely to be precede Take5Live launches in some of the other African countries for which Cheza Gaming holds a gaming license, such as in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Uganda.Where you will usually find me at ICELG: The Microgaming bar is always a good place to meet and network.Favorite ICE memory LG: The legendary Fire & ICE parties of course!!!Typical post-ICE activity LG: Following up on all the leads and meetings.last_img read more

Diver Seriously Injured in Possible Shark Attack Near Key Biscayne

first_imgBenitez says, “Always swim in a group. Sharks most often attack lone individuals. Try not to swim far from shore. Doing so will make it very difficult to get assistance in case of an emergency.”In addition, she suggests that people avoid swimming at night, when sharks are typically most active, and to avoid entering the water if bleeding. According to Benitez, “Sharks can quickly trace it back to its source.” An unidentified Florida diver was seriously injured on Saturday morning, when a shark bit him near Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Spokeswoman Erika Benitez says the injured diver was brought back to shore by good samaritans. He was then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.last_img

Justin.TV’s Sub-Sites Are a Surefire Profit Generator

first_imgdana oshiro Tags:#start#startups A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… With almost half a million broadcasters, popular lifecasting service Justin.TV could probably create a section for clown fightclubs and still have thousands of video voyeurs clamoring to entertain us. The company just launched its first in what is likely to be a long list of sub-sites. Gaming.justin.tv is a sub-site that offers viewers info, events and videos specific to the gaming community. The company is already working on followup sites with music and social channel queued up for the future. It’s hard to believe that a young man and his hat camera could build an empire like Justin.TV. In just three years the company has gone from a four-person gritty apartment startup, to a service with more than 21 million unique monthly visitors. The site currently serves the equivalent of 16,946 standard DVDs per hour in video content and ReadWriteWeb featured it as one of the top 5 video sites in the world. With the new channel sub-sites, this empire is about to expand even further. In a blog post the company writes, “Justin.tv sub-sites will have their own promoted content and could include custom features as well…Now that there’s a dedicated gaming area, we’re free to build new features just for gamers that may not have been possible before.”Last month ReadWriteWeb covered Wikia’s profit announcement. Wikia acknowledged that corporate sponsorships on sites like the World of Warcraft and Halo communities were particularly lucrative. Justin.TV is likely to see even more advertiser interest. Video production often requires much more time than the average wiki contribution, and viral video makers are perhaps some of the most sought after customers due to their far-reaching networks. If corporations can get to a sub-site’s influencers and gain favorable reviews, then the outreach could generate huge sales growth. Furthermore, given the fact that the Justin.TV’s traffic more than doubles Wikia’s, it will be hard for advertisers to resist the lure of these fan communities. To check out the first sub-site, visit gaming.justin.tv. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

The AFC South May Get Good Again — But Not This Year

1996-97.2442011.125 8Rodney Peete1989DET7.58 Tennessee TitansThe Tennessee Titans had a big offseason, bolstering their offensive line by drafting tackle Jack Conklin (No. 8 overall) and signing center Ben Jones. They also added weapons in running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Rishard Matthews. They appear to be sort of going for it.All these moves hinge on Marcus Mariota. The rookie QB had one hell of a first game in 2015 and a solid season overall. His 7.6 yards per attempt is the seventh-best mark for a rookie QB since 1970. It wasn’t always so dire. Back in the late 2000s, Peyton Manning was still a Colt, the Tennessee Titans had a 13-win season, and even the Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty good. The AFC South was one of the best divisions in the NFL: 3Matt Ryan2008ATL7.93 How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » 9Jameis Winston2015TB7.56 SEASONSWIN %SEASONSWIN % At least those strength of schedule ranks look good — these bad teams get to play each other twice. RANKPLAYERSEASONTEAMYARDS PER ATTEMPT Best rookie QB seasons by yards per attempt, 1970-2015 1989-96 (D. Robinson era).6671998-2010 (P. Manning era).678 To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division.The AFC South has been the punching bag of our NFL preseason previews. In 2015, we called it “perhaps the most imbalanced division in football,” and in 2014, we wrote that the division “can’t be any worse than it was last year.” (We were correct: The division won 25 games total, up from 24 the year before.)Going into 2016, the AFC South is still awful — awful enough that our Elo-based projections put the division’s best team — the Houston Texans — at just 8.3 wins for the season.1If you haven’t encountered them on our site before, Elo ratings are a measure of overall team strength that update after each game. 7Marcus Mariota2015TEN7.62 Source: Pro-football-reference.com, Basketball-reference.com 1Ben Roethlisberger2004PIT8.88 Since 2010, Manning’s final season playing for Indianapolis, the division has taken a nosedive. But the AFC South can still be saved. The NFC West was the worst division in football for five straight seasons, from 2006 through 2010, but in 2013, it was on top and one of the best of all time. Can the AFC South manage the same kind of revival?Houston TexansHouston’s defense — led by the extremely talented and extremely corny J.J. Watt — allowed just 19.6 points per game last season, tied for 7th in the NFL (and just a hair behind the Carolina Panthers at 19.3). Unfortunately, four quarterbacks made starts for Houston’s offense. That’s never a good sign, but it’s especially bad when those four quarterbacks are as dispensable as these guys:Brian Hoyer: Has played for New England, Arizona, Cleveland and Houston.Ryan Mallett: New England, Houston, Baltimore.T.J. Yates: Houston, Atlanta, Houston again.Brandon Weeden: Cleveland, Dallas, Houston.As a unit, these mediocre journeymen averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt, good for 29th in the NFL,2They did throw 28 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Good work! while somehow still feeding DeAndre Hopkins enough (192 targets!) to have him finish third in NFL receiving yards. They were good enough for Houston to make the playoffs at 9-7, before being humiliated by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans will now put their offense in the hands of Brock Osweiler, a very tall man with seven career starts. He can’t be expected to dominate out of the gate, but some consistency would be nice. If he starts at least 13 games, he’ll be the first Houston QB to do so since 2012.Indianapolis ColtsThe mid-1990s San Antonio Spurs were masters of timing. After a solid stretch under David Robinson, San Antonio had a single terrible season at the perfect moment, capturing the consensus No. 1 draft pick. The Spurs then rode that pick — Tim Duncan — to a new era of even greater success.Through 2014, the Colts looked (to the untrained eye) like they’d pulled off the same trick. Peyton Manning’s absence in 2011 meant the Colts were terrible enough to draft his replacement, Andrew Luck: 10Jim Kelly1986BUF7.49 4Russell Wilson2012SEA7.93 2Robert Griffin2012WAS8.14 Minimum eight startsSource: pro-football-reference.com 1997-2016 (T. Duncan era).7102012-14 (A. Luck era).688 SPURSCOLTS 5Cam Newton2011CAR7.84 And then they hit a wall in 2015. The Colts went 8-8, but were lucky to have done so well. Over the course of the season, their -75 point differential was worse than that of the Baltimore Ravens and Jaguars, who both went 5-11. The Colts have been propped up by their division, going 20-4 against the AFC South over the last four seasons and 21-19 against everyone else. The Colts’ roster is weak once you look past the QB, and it’s suddenly not so clear that Luck is the next big thing.This offseason, the Colts added very little. It could still be enough to win the AFC South — we give them a 36 percent chance of doing that — but don’t expect much past that.Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jaguars have not had a lot of success recently. The last time they finished above .500 was in 2007, and the 2013 squad had a real shot at being the worst team in NFL history. At the Jaguars’ low point that season, Vegas set them as 28-point underdogs against the Denver Broncos.But in the past couple of years, the Jaguars, while still definitely bad, have become kind of exciting. In 2013, they listed draftee Denard Robinson’s position as “offensive weapon,” which was stupid, but in a fun way! In 2014, they had their biggest comeback ever, and in 2015, two Jaguars reached 1,000 yards receiving (after none did in the previous nine seasons). Jacksonville’s defense is still a disaster (31st in points allowed in 2015), but this has become a non-depressing team that lost close, watchable games.Add to all that one of the best draft classes in both 2015 and 2016, and the confidence of Jaguars fans may soon be rewarded: It once looked like the Colts were pulling a Spurs 6Dennis Shaw1970BUF7.81 There are a lot of great quarterbacks on that list, but a few flameouts as well. RGIII and Dennis Shaw never matched their rookie seasons, and Rodney Peete became a successful but unexceptional journeyman. The Titans are making a big bet that Mariota is the real deal. If he is, Tennessee could start contending sooner rather than later.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team read more

Ohio State hockeys Cara Zubko focused on making a difference locally and

OSU senior defenseman Cara Zubko (2) during a game against Minnesota State on Oct. 24 2015 at Schottenstein Center. Credit: Muyao Shen | Asst. Photo EditorWhile most student-athletes are balancing getting to practice and completing class assignments on time, Cara Zubko, a senior defenseman for Ohio State’s women’s ice hockey team, has used her platform to improve communities both in Columbus and halfway around the world in Vietnam.Zubko was nominated for the 2016 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award, which goes to college hockey’s “finest citizen,” according to the award’s website. Zubko was one of the first 18 nominees across men’s and women’s college hockey, though she did not make the final five released last Thursday. The Preeceville, Saskatchewan, native traveled to Vietnam in the summer of 2013 with a program called Coach for College. Through the program, student-athletes from universities across the United States join forces with students from Vietnamese universities to teach impoverished kids throughout the country life lessons through academics and athletics. Having the opportunity to show the kids a “better view of life” and give them special experiences was the bedrock for Zubko’s future work, she said. “That was really life changing for me,” she said.This is the second year in a row that a Buckeye was nominated for one of college hockey’s highest honors off the ice. Kayla Sullivan was nominated last year as a senior, and she recommended Zubko to take over as the leader for the program’s work with Team IMPACT this year.Team IMPACT is an organization that partners collegiate sports teams with children with chronic diseases. The athletes join friends and family of the child’s support team, and the child is able to become an official team member. Erin Selfe, a middle schooler in Columbus area, is partnered up with the women’s hockey team through the organization. She is an active part of the team, going to every one of its home games, Zubko said. Last season, the Buckeyes held a birthday party for Erin at her house. “We have a great relationship with (Erin),” Zubko said. “We have just become really good friends with her, and that’s been a really great positive impact on us and on her as she is struggling with a rare disease.”Zubko and the team also participate in 2nd & Seven, an organization which has the team read to local second-grade students, and she spends time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.Assistant coach Carson Duggan praised Zubko’s willingness to always make time for community service.“Every single time that I send out volunteer opportunities or any type of project like that where student-athletes are needed, 99 percent of the time the first person I hear back from within not even an hour is Zubko,” Duggan said.The senior has been one of the stars on the ice for the Buckeyes this season, as well, as she ranks fourth on the team with 17 points, including four goals. It has been a true breakout season in her final year wearing scarlet and gray, as she came into the season with just 16 points combined in her first three seasons.Regardless of what she has been able to accomplish when she laces up her skates, Zubko said she believes it is her duty as a student-athlete to try to make a positive impact on the community around her.“I think with the experiences (we get as student-athletes), it’s the least we can do to give back,” Zubko said.Duggan said she credits Zubko’s upbringing as helping to shape her into the well-rounded leader she is today. “She’s extremely hard working … She grew up on a farm, so you know she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty and work,” Duggan said.Zubko’s grasp of her ability to be a role model has empowered her to lead her team in work throughout Columbus.“Her willingness to help and understanding that (when) we are part of Ohio State athletics, you’re a part of something bigger,” Duggan said. “You have a little bit of a platform, and she really uses that to her advantage and never shies away and understands that part of the duty of student-athletes is to give back, so she is always willing to do that.” read more

No place like home Ohio State volleyball continuing to spike visiting competition

The mantra of “Home Sweet Home” has been the theme for several Ohio State athletic teams that have enjoyed the most success playing on university grounds.The Ohio State men’s volleyball team has been no different. It has made its home at St. John Arena a nightmare for opposing teams.Coach Pete Hanson said that the comfort level at home has really helped elevate his team’s play.“I think some teams have a harder time adjusting to the bigger arena and that helps our guys a lot,” Hanson said.The Buckeyes have been the definition of “perfect” at home, not only winning all five matches this season, but also sweeping all three sets in each of those respective matches. They have won each home set by an average margin of seven points.Hanson said that playing in St. John Arena every day for practice has been important for the players.“It is a great facility that, when set up for volleyball, has a very good feel to it for our guys. Being able to practice every day there makes a huge difference also,” Hanson said. “The great lighting and very good visual surroundings are what help to make St. John a great place to play.”Hanson said that while he is pleased with his team’s home success, he knows that tougher tasks still lie ahead.“We have some very good teams still scheduled to come to St. John Arena and I think our early schedule at home has been a bit easier than what we will finish with,” Hanson said.After facing Carthage this Friday, the Buckeyes don’t return home until early March when they face No. 7 Penn State in a rematch from an early-season meeting. They then go on the road again for a couple of weeks before finishing the regular season with three consecutive matches at home against Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference opponents.Being able to replicate their early home domination during that final, three-match stretch will be essential for the Buckeyes to win the MIVA conference.“Home-court advantage for the MIVA playoffs is huge,” Hanson said. “We always want to win the conference and be the home team for all the rounds of the tournament.”Earning home court advantage in the playoffs would be instrumental for the Buckeyes considering how they have played at home already this season. The winner of the MIVA playoffs gains berth into the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Final Four.Hanson did not understate what that meant to his team. “That is truly one of our top priorities each and every year,” Hanson said. read more