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HOOVER, Ala. Jan Vertonghen Belgium Jersey . -- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn wants to get back to what he does best, focusing on Xs and Os and trying to rev up his normally fast-paced offense again.He figured change was necessary after the Tigers lost 11 games in two seasons since playing for a national championship. They entered Southeastern Conference media days Monday getting scant mention as contenders a year after being a trendy pick both in the league and nationally.They wound up 7-6 thanks largely to poor quarterback play.Malzahn is still seeking a starting quarterback but he has called an audible on his own approach.After you get down with the season and youre not as successful as youd like, you evaluate things, said Malzahn, who built his reputation on prolific up-tempo offenses. One thing that really hit me pretty hard is that Ive got to be more active with the daily Xs and Os and coaching that goes with that.And thats what I look at as my strength. Im looking forward to getting back in the middle of things and enjoying the actual coaching on the field.The Tigers offense fizzled last season, when quarterback Jeremy Johnson quickly lost his starting job after coming in being widely mentioned as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. The result was two league wins and five SEC games in which Auburn failed to top 21 points.It wasnt nearly good enough to remain competitive in the loaded Western Division.Johnson and Sean White both had iffy performances as starters last season. Junior college transfer John Franklin III brings more of the athleticism that helped Nick Marshall lead the Tigers to the 2013 SEC title in his debut. It appears to be a dead heat.Ive got a very open mind about that, Malzahn said. I dont have a whole lot of preconceived ideas as far as who is going to be our starter. Were going to open it up like we did in 2013.He did settle one question in saying Monday that four players arrested in May on misdemeanor drug charges -- starting cornerback Carlton Davis, defensive end Byron Cowart, wide receiver Ryan Davis and cornerback Jeremiah Dinson -- have all served their punishment. He said they wont miss any playing time.Those four young men made a mistake, we punished them and they wont miss any time, Malzahn said. Thats behind us. Theyre four fine young men, they made a mistake and Im confident that they wont make any more.He said playing against defending ACC champion Clemson in the opener had zero impact on that decision.For receiver Marcus Davis, Auburns primary goal is avoiding a repeat of last season.No one wants to go 7-6 again, Davis said, and thats the biggest thing coming into this year. Eden Hazard Jersey .com) - Christian Ponder will get another chance to prove himself for the Minnesota Vikings, with head coach Leslie Frazier announcing Wednesday that the struggling quarterback will start this weekends game against the Green Bay Packers. Thomas Meunier Belgium Jersey . -- Catcher Brett Hayes has agreed to a $630,000, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, avoiding salary arbitration. . Cote was eligible to become a free agent Feb. 15. Cote helped running back Jon Cornish run for a league-high 1,813 rushing yards en route to being named the leagues most outstanding player. CHICAGO -- Suppose the ivy could talk. Think about it.What would you ask it? What would it say?On a magical Friday night on the north side of Chicago, the World Series will arrive at Wrigley Field for the first time in the lifetime of everyone from Kyle Schwarber to David Ross, from?Albert Almora?to Joe Maddon, from Eddie Vedder to Bill Murray.The last time, before this night, was Oct. 10, 1945. That was 25,950 days ago. That was 622,800 hours ago. That was a dozen presidents ago.But only one ivy crop ago.The ivy withers every winter and regenerates every spring. The leaves fall off, but the vines remain. It has been that way since the ivy was first planted in 1937. So not only does that ivy cover the outfield wall and make Wrigley famous. That ivy has seen it all.It was there when Cubs starter Hank Borowy was knocked out in the first inning in Game 7 of that 1945 World Series. It was there when Mark Prior and Kerry Wood couldnt finish the deal in Games 6 and 7 of the 2003 National League Championship Series. It was there, basically, for everything.So what would that ivy say if we could just ask it about this year? About these Cubs. And about Friday night at the corner of Clark and Addison, Cubs versus Indians, Game 3 of the 2016 World Series. A night of history. A night of celebration. A night to appreciate all the Fridays in all the Octobers where all a World Series meant was happening somewhere else.What would the ivy say? I dont believe it, former Cubs reliever Dan Plesac?said.What would the ivy say? Uncharted territory, said grounds-crew member Dan Kiermaier (who is, yes, the brother of Kevin, the Rays own human highlight reel in center field).What would the ivy say? I ... must ... hang ... on ... to ... this ... vine ... to ... see ... us ... win ... it. ... all, quipped ESPNs Doug Glanville, a one-time No. 1 draft pick of the Cubs.Now the Cubs cant win it all Friday evening, obviously. This World Series is tied at one win apiece. So nobody can win anything before at least Sunday. And lets not ever forget that the Indians arent exactly the Washington Generals, so they have no interest in letting the Cubs win, period.But that doesnt make this night any less memorable. Not when it has been 71 years since the last game of this magnitude at Wrigley. Not when there were no fewer than 16 (yes, 16) different places you could find the words WORLD SERIES plastered or painted or electrified all over Wrigley on Thursday -- on the dugout roof, on the dugout railing, sprayed onto the infield grass or shining brightly from every video board and message board in the joint.And not when the ivy has begun to turn red.If your team is still standing and youre actually playing baseball at Wrigley Field and the ivy is turning red, Glanville said Thursday, that means youve done something great [because] you have to play pretty late in the season to see red ivy. ... That only happens one time of the year. The problem for the Cubs is that its been like Halleys Comet. When it only comes around like every 75 years, thats not good. But if you can make it an annual event, now youve got a dynasty.When these Cubs arrived back at Wrigley the other night, several hours (and one airplane ride) after their Game 2 win in Cleveland, they got an instant reminder of what had happened in this ballpark the last time they played a home game, a mere four days earlier.The locker room was a mess, catcher David Ross reported, with a laugh. We walked in last night at about 2:30 [a.m.], and they still had the fans going on the carpet if that tells you anything. It was a wreck in here.It was the last vestige of the cleanup following a raucous celebration Saturday night, the night the Cubs eliminated the Dodgers in the NLCS and earned the right to bring the World Series back to Wrigley. But it wasnt only the baseball team that celebrated that night.There were 42,386 people inside Wrigley Field -- and who knows how many thousands outside the gates. And their own celebration was just as loud, just as long and just as emotional. It was a not-so-sneak preview of the sort of electricity you can expect to see at Wrigley again on Friday. Mousa Dembele Jersey. Better power up the spare generators.I have never been to a sporting event in my life like Saturday night, said Plesac, who actually grew up hating the Cubs as a White Sox fan in Indiana -- until he pitched for the Cubs in 1993 and 94, and began to understand what makes the franchise so unique. I mean, I walked around this ballpark -- and goose bumps.He watched 42,000 Cubs fans hug and bond and sing Go Cubs Go with tears streaming down their faces. And the only word he could think of to describe them was euphoric -- because theyd waited a lifetime for this night. So they wouldnt let it go, couldnt let it go.Thousands remained inside the gates of Wrigley for nearly two hours after the game, trying to hang on to the moment. The streets of Wrigleyville were so jammed well after 2 a.m., it looked like rush hour in a lot of towns.People were not ready to go home, said Leah Spagnoli, the general manager of Yak-Zies, a famed Clark Street hangout for the past 27 baseball seasons. The energy that night was unlike anything Ive ever seen. It was dreamlike.When players finally left the park well after midnight, they were blown away by what they saw -- the sight of decades of bottled-up emotions spilling into a party that looked as if it might never end.Just getting out of here was kind of crazy, Ross said. The parking lot over there where our families are was just wall-to-wall with people and family, and everybody hugging and congratulating them. ... I dont think we got out of here until 1, maybe 2 oclock in the morning. So it was crazy. I heard even the Dodgers bus couldnt leave right away.And the bash was still going the next day, too. Utility man Chris Coghlan told a tale of venturing out of the house to go to Whole Foods the day after the game and running across a different buzz all around town, complete with dogs trotting around wearing Cubs jerseys.But it feels as if that buzz began six months ago and has barely let up since. You will feel it right through your TV screen Friday night, because this World Series is the culmination of a special journey, not just of a baseball team but of a fan base.This has been unlike anything Ive ever experienced before, said Spagnoli, who has worked at Yak-Zies for eight years. The energy is different. The people are different. The crowds are different.Her grandfather, Kenny Miller, founded the original Yak-Zies at a different North Side address in 1966. Her father, Joe, then ran this location for more than two decades after it opened in 1990. So theyve been dealing with Cubs fans for half a century. But never, ever have they had a year like this year, as people gravitated toward a special team and a special ballpark.Were third generation, Leah Spagnoli said. And this is what weve been waiting for.But of course, this is what all the generations of Cubs fans have been waiting for -- that season that didnt break their hearts. That season when the ballpark was the big stage for the baseball team, not the other way around.So on this night, as the World Series heads back to Wrigley Field, youll be able to feel the presence of Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, of Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson, of Fergie Jenkins and Rick Reuschel, of all the stars who never had a moment like this one. But for Wrigley and the Cubs of 2016, nostalgia is finally just the background noise in a much bigger saga.We are very much aware of everything thats gone on in the past, Maddon said Thursday. But we have to live in the present. Otherwise, youll never be able to get to this juncture in the season.Well, theyve clearly pulled off that juggling act because here they are. Its Game 3 of the World Series, in the shadow of the reddening ivy. So if last weekends euphoria was any sort of preview of what is to come Friday night, you know what that means.Yeah, Spagnoli said. Order a lot more beer. ' ' ' 
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