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The Grand National: The Race That Stops A Nation

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Bangor on Dee horse racing” by Paul (CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are many big horse racing meetings and races in the UK, but one race stands above all the others as the race where everyone places a bet, and everyone stops to watch it. That race is the Grand National, an event that takes place in April (the 2018 edition of this fantastic contest will take place on April 14th) so mark that day in your calendar as one to remember.

The build up to this unique test for horses is huge, and there are many trial races where horses will battle it out against each other to prove they are worthy of taking their place in the 40 strong field that will head to post on the day of the race. What makes the Grand National unique is the challenge of both the distance and the fences that require jumping.

The fences that the horses jump are extremely unique, and they require a special horse to just get around the course safely, let alone win the race. Then, there is the test of the distance, which is four miles, two and a half furlongs, a huge test of stamina and one that certainly favors the bravest horses and jockeys out there.


2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Betting on the Grand National is huge, and many people will place their bets either on the day of the race or well in advance. People who only bet once a year will turn out in force to head to their local bookmaker and place their bets, before sitting together as a family to watch the fantastic spectacle live on TV. Oddschecker has many free bet offers for the Grand National available already and many people will have already placed their bets on the race, such is the importance of the event.

The favorite for the race right now is Blaklion, a horse who finished 4th in last season’s race. That experience will have done him well, and he has proven that he has the ability and heart to jump around these fences not only once, but twice before. That puts him in pole position and he looks to have a great chance of running well in the race.

Last year’s winner, One For Arthur, will unfortunately not try to repeat his heroics of last season as he has been ruled out of the race due to injury, leaving the door open for a new champion.

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Michelob ULTRA Created The Ultimate Golf Bag.. Complete With A Keg Inside!

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Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Yes, you read that right. Michelob ULTRA has unveiled quite possibly the coolest golf bag on the planet, one that every golfer and Caddyshack fan could only ever have imagined in their wildest dreams. And best of all, they’re giving away this bad boy to lucky beer lover, so you’ll definitely want to enter for your chance to win.

The Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag is a one-of-a-kind prototype bag that includes everything you could ever need for the optimal 19th hole experience:

  • 128 oz. refillable beer keg with a custom Michelob ULTRA tap handle
  • Rechargeable BOSE Bluetooth speaker
  • Built-in tablet for streaming all your favorite media
  • Storage for pint glasses
  • LED lighting

Want to be the envy of your golfing buddies with your own ULTRA Caddie? Enter for a chance to win it by sharing how you live ULTRA with @MichelobULTRA using #ULTRACaddieContest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The contest runs through August 12th, at which point a winner will be chosen at random.

“We are always looking for new ways to innovate and help our consumers live fit and fun, and the ULTRA Caddie delivers both,” said Azania Andrews, vice president, Michelob ULTRA. “Michelob ULTRA has been the official beer of golf for more than a decade, and we’re excited to unveil the ULTRA Caddie at the PGA Championship in St. Louis.”

As the official beer sponsor of the PGA Championship, Michelob ULTRA will debut the ULTRA Caddie at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis this weekend.

You can see more photos of the Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag below.

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag

What do you think of the Michelob ULTRA Caddie Bag?

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NFL Preseason Preview: The Best Teams From Each Division

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The NFL preseason is finally here, with the regular season just around the corner. Although positional battles will persist through the preseason and some minor pieces may be added, most NFL rosters are set. Finally, we are at close enough proximity to the season to start evaluating the best teams from each division.

AFC East: New England Patriots

As has been the case for over a decade, the New England Patriots are favorites to win the AFC East. Quarterback Tom Brady is entering his age-41 campaign, though he is showing no signs of slowing down. Brady has thrown for multiple touchdowns and/or over 300 yards in 30 of his past 36 games.

The best tight end in football, Rob Gronkowski, plans to be healthy. Julian Edelman will rejoin the team after serving a four-game suspension. Meanwhile, Chris Hogan will serve as Brady’s go-to wide receiver, following the trade of Brandin Cooks.

First-round selection Sony Michel will play a role in the running game, alongside veteran Rux Burkhead and James White. The Patriots defense will continue to have legendary coach Bill Belichick at the helm, in addition to the return of linebacker Dont’a Hightower. In all, the upcoming season is one where Patriots fans can feel confident, again.

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers

If Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are all healthy, which they presently are, it’s very difficult to beat the Steelers. When those three players were active the past five seasons, the Steelers have a 39-17 record. In addition to these offensive weapons, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely to continue his ascent. Tight end Vance McDonald remains a steady pass-catching option.

Although there are concerns regarding the Steelers’ defense, as there was last year when the team allowed 28 points per game after Week 13, the offense should make up for it in a fairly weak division.

AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Houston Texans will certainly pose a threat in the AFC South, with the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson, though it’s likely that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ferocious defense will capture the division. The Jaguars will have one of the season’s easiest schedules and a returning cast of defensive weapons. Leonard Fournette is at risk of recurring ankle issues, though he is an undeniable talent when healthy. Although the team loses wide receiver Allen Robinson, the additions of Donte Moncrief and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins should help bolster the receiving cast, alongside Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee.

AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers tend to underachieve, failing to achieve double-digit wins the past nine years. Still, the veteran presence of quarterback Philip Rivers should combine with a solid defense and offense to propel the team into becoming division winners. Last year’s team was unfortunate to go 3-5 in one-score games, meaning there should be a positive regression in store for a roster that’s even more experienced and talented. As long as Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon remain healthy alongside Rivers, the Chargers should have their best season in a decade.

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles

As the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins continue to find their footing, the Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl win. They are the clear favorites to win the NFC East. Quarterback Carson Wentz may have lingering health issues, though the Eagles proved last year they could get it done with backup quarterback Nick Foles as well. Still, Wentz expects to be ready for week one, putting the Eagles and their impressive defensive and offensive strengths in a great position to again compete for the Super Bowl.

There’s no doubt that Wentz and other players with potential injury concerns are intent on effective offseason workouts. Professional athletes eat lots of protein and tend to work out in short sessions. Workout sessions do not exceed 60 minutes typically, since hormones that help build muscles tend to dwindle after one hour. Athletes also do not weight train more than two days in a row, though they are constantly trying to top their last workout with gains. Excellent form, exercise variance and conservative treatment of injury are prudent strategies for athletes.

NFC North: Green Bay Packers

The Packers and Vikings rivalry will continue to persist, especially as both these teams appear very evenly matched. The Packers have the quarterback edge with Aaron Rodgers, though the Vikings certainly are no slouch at the position after signing Kirk Cousins. The return of Dalvin Cook will also bolster the Vikings, though there’s no player in the NFL with more of a dramatic effect on a team than Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers have a suspect pass rush and questions on the offensive line, though the return of Rodgers may be enough to secure the Packers their division. The Vikings could very well end up with the division instead, though if Rodgers is healthy throughout the season, then the Packers seem like favorites.

NFC South: New Orleans Saints

The battle between the Saints and Atlanta Falcons is close, especially now that Julio Jones is at camp for the Falcons. Regardless, an improved Saints defense and the continuing emergence of Alvin Kamara is reason to believe the Saints are in great position. Drew Brees remains a very accurate quarterback, ranking second of 34 qualifiers in PFF’s Accuracy Rating on 20-plus-yard passes. He should connect with Michael Thomas, Kamara and Ted Ginn all season.

NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are likely to win the NFC West on the continuing improvement of quarterback Jared Goff and tier-one running back Todd Gurley, who proved last year that he was among the NFL’s finest at the position. A potent-but-young 49ers team, an aging Seahawks team and in-development Cardinals squad do not have the comprehensive pieces of the Rams, whose addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks gives further big-play potential. The team has a difficult schedule, though talented coach Sean McVay and his Rams remain the favorites in the NFC West.

The upcoming NFL season looks to be another great one, full of exciting teams and divisional battles that will satisfy any football fan.

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Travis Pastrana Makes History By Landing Three Of Evel Knievel’s Most Iconic Jumps

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Travis Pastrana - Evel Live

Last night, professional motorsports icon and Nitro Circus ring leader Travis Pastrana honored legendary daredevil Evel Knievel by attempting three of his most dangerous feats in Las Vegas, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch it play out LIVE on HISTORY’s Evel Live.

Now if you are a Nitro Circus fan, you know that Pastrana is no stranger to danger, pulling off some pretty incredible stunts (like jumping out of a plane without a parachute), but he’s also had some pretty gnarly mishaps along the way.

So how did he fare last night? Keep reading to find out.

In the first stunt of the night, Travis set out to break Evel’s record by jumping over 52 crushed cars (Knievel only jumped over 50 cars when he did the stunt at the L.A. Coliseum in 1973). Of the three jumps, this was the shortest, and he cleared the cars with ease. Still, had the weather played a part (it was 111° F outside), or if if the Indian Scout FTR750 V-twin motorcycle wasn’t up to the task, it could have been ugly, as the last thing you want to land on is a crushed car.

You can watch the jump here:

After that, Travis set out to break Evel’s record by jumping over 16 Greyhound buses (Knievel only jumped over 14 buses when he pulled off this iconic stunt at King’s Island in Ohio back in 1975). Mind you, he’s still amped up from that first jump, and he’s been roasting in that crazy leather get-up of his for nearly 2 hours now. Would this play a part in the stunt?

Nope! Once again, Travis soared over those buses like it was nothing, and looking at the video below, you can see that he had plenty of room to spare. Pretty incredible stuff.

The final stunt of the night had Pastrana attempting to complete the famous Caesars Palace fountain jump that 50 years ago left Knievel grasping for his life (where he suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles, and a concussion that kept him in the hospital), on a v-twin motorcycle similar to what Evel used.

This one was quite the nail biter, with a super short approach ramp and no room for error. And once again, Travis made it look easy, flying over the fountains with ease and landing safely on the other side. I’m pretty sure I held my breath the entire time!

Kudos to Travis Pastrana for pulling off all three of these insane jumps, and further cementing himself as an action sports legend. I like to think that Evel was watching from above, and giving Travis a big thumbs-up for doing him proud!

Photo Credit: Chris Tedesco/A+E Networks

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