Luke Kuechly talks Old Spice, arm wrestling Brian Urlacher and tackling Marshawn Lynch

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Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is the kind of impact player that NFL teams envision when they select a player in the top ten of the NFL Draft. Selected ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

What can he do for an encore in year three? Kuechly’s eyes are set on the Super Bowl. Kuechly’s old-school physical style and “Smelf-confidence” lends itself perfectly to a partnership with old-school icon Old Spice.

Talk about the partnership with Old Spice.

“I partnered up with them to talk about the hair product that came out earlier this year. There’s shampoos, conditioners, different gels. The biggest thing behind them is the simplicity to use the product. You can use it real quick and don’t have to take a whole lot of time. We use it quite a bit in the locker room. I passed it out to some of the linebackers and everybody is loving it right now.”

At every level you’ve played, you’ve been a tackling machine. How do you account for this? What do you do differently?

“I’ve always had a great group of guys around me. At Boston College, Bill McGovern (former DC) did a great job and he is the reason why I developed in college. And when I got to Carolina, I had some older guys around like Jon Beason [and] Thomas Davis that taught me a lot, and I learned what it takes to be successful. So I owe a lot to those guys for the success I’m having today.”

What makes the Panthers defense so physical? Every defense in the league tries to be what you guys are. What’s the secret?

“I think it’s a mindest. To play physical and establish the line of scrimmage and make physical tackles and force turnovers. We’ve had a couple meetings in OTA’s this year and that has been the message; to be a physical team, to push guys back and make plays… Our coaches preach being one of 11 for the defense. Do your job, take care of your responsibility on each play and try not to do too much. If each guy does his job and does it correctly, that’s 11 guys doing the same thing and that puts you in a position to win games.”

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Adidas unveils 2014 World Cup Battle Pack collection

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup is less than a month away, and adidas has debuted a new collection of Battle Pack cleats just in time for the tournament. Featuring a cleat from the brand’s five silos — including Lionel Messi’s signature adizero F50, as well as the latest Predator, Nitrocharge, 11Pro and adizero F50 — each model comes in its own disruptive black and white pattern.

Every adidas player will wear the Battle Pack cleats during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including Messi (Argentina), Mesut Özil (Germany), Dani Alves (Brazil), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Karim Benzema (France), Frank Lampard (England), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Fernando Torres (Spain) and Jozy Altidore (USA).

“The black and white design is unlike anything I’ve seen on the field,” said US forward Altidore. “Wearing the same collection as every other adidas athlete at the World Cup makes me part of something bigger.”

The unique black and white design of the Battle Pack collection is inspired by the war paint of native warriors and features gold stripes representing the FIFA World Cup trophy. Alternatively, the Battle Pack version of Messi’s signature adizero F50 includes a blue and white pattern to celebrate the Argentina federation.

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The adidas Battle Pack collection debuts on the field for the first time during the UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon on May 24. All five models are now available for pre-order exclusively at adidas.com and will hit stores beginning May 26.

For more information, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #WorldCup.

  

Lexus wants to know your favorite U.S. Open golf moment

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Golf is about always pursuing perfection, and Lexus and the United States Golf Association (USGA) share that goal. For the past seven years, Lexus has been the official vehicle of the U.S. Open Championship, and throughout this year’s tournament, the premium car maker will provide over 400 courtesy vehicles to players, USGA professionals and associates.

In anticipation of the 2014 Championship, Lexus is asking golf fans to vote on their favorite moment in U.S. Open history. They’ve pre-selected eight highlights to choose from (including Tiger Woods’ 2008 win at Torrey Pines despite a broken leg), so be sure to check out the survey before June 6th and make your voice count.

  

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice working to end “overspraying epidemic”

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There’s a war going on that you may not even know about. We hear a lot about world events like missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Syria and the Middle East. But one thing we don’t hear about is the overspraying epidemic that has afflicted over 75% of guys.

Patriots All-Pro linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice have teamed up to teach men how to scent responsibly and stop this epidemic the way Mayo stopped Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta in the 2013 AFC Championship.

“I’m actually on my way now to educate young guys at Boston University to teach them how to scent responsibly,” said Mayo, concern evident in his voice.

“They know how to drive responsibly, and do other things responsibly. It’s all about scenting responsibly in 2014. I’m very excited to help end the overspraying epidemic that’s happening now.”

One reason the problem has reached epidemic levels is ignorance; 68% of guys admit that no one had ever showed them how to apply body spray properly.

The first step is acceptance — realizing that you have an overspraying problem and then taking the necessary steps to move forward.

Mayo, Captain of the Patriots defense, is here to call out your defensive spray audible.

“There’s some rules you have to abide by. First off, it starts with a shower. You have to take a shower with your Old Spice gel. That helps gets the pores open so you can put on the Old Spice Refresh Body Spray. But the thing about Refresh is that you don’t need too much of it.”

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NBA Playoffs have been wild even without Donald Sterling fiasco

The Donald Sterling fiasco has been pathetic on so many levels, but unfortunately it has overshadowed some pretty amazing basketball stories so far in the NBA playoffs. We have Oklahoma City and Memphis playing four overtime games in a row! That’s right. Four in a row.

Meanwhile, parity seems to have suddenly appeared in the NBA, as suddenly the Indiana Pacers have forgotten how to play basketball. Roy Hibbert in particular has been a complete mess, but the entire team has looked lost since they traded Danny Granger and decided to take on ultimate head case Andrew Bynum. The Atlanta Hawks have taken advantage of the situation and are on the verge of a stunning upset.

Staying the the East, Tom Thibodeau’s “genius” credentials are less impressive when playoff time comes around and everybody plays hard. Joakim Noah won the defensive player of the year award and then got humiliated in round one of the playoffs as Nene consistently abused him and treated him like a WNBA player. Suddenly we have the Washington Wizards moving on to round two. Either we’re seeing these young teams turn the corner or Miami will have a cake-walk to the Finals.

In the West we’ve seen tough battles in every series, with the Clippers trying to battle through the Sterling distraction and the Spurs trying not to blow big leads against the Mavs. But there has been a serious disappointment out West, and we’re not talking about the Thunder. The Houston Rockets are in a must-win game tonight down 3-1 against a tough Portland team. But James Harden hasn’t been living up to the hype, except for achieving his epic ineptitude on defense. Dwight Howard has looked pretty good, but Harden has to play better in the playoffs for Houston to have a chance. Oh, and there’s the “coaching” of Kevin McHale. The man is an all-time great, but it seems that all the experts are killing him this week.

So all of this craziness is either making you crazy or getting you excited for the opportunities if you’re into betting the games or series. You can check the lines at the Bovada sportsbook and then see if you can figure out what happens next. Miami fans have to be thrilled at this point, while many of the other favorites are sweating bullets. Oh, and if you’re a Chicago fan and you’re stunned by the early exit, stick to picking hockey games.

  

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