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Zach Ertz went out wide in the formation in yet another play-calling twist by Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/ed-dickson-jersey]Authentic Ed Dickson Jersey[/url] , facing one-on-one coverage from New England safety Devin McCourty with the Patriots leading the Eagles by one point late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

Ertz cut inside on a slant pattern, causing McCourty to stumble and trail the route, and moved into perfect position to catch the pass from Nick Foles and launch his body across the goal line with 2:21 left .

The NFL’s frequently contested and often confusing process-of-the-catch rule left some doubt for the Eagles, with a nerve-wracking wait for the replay review to confirm the touchdown before the Eagles were officially in the lead.

There’s no mystery about this, though: Ertz has turned himself into one of the league’s elite tight ends.

”He just really had a solid year, all the way around,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. ”He really improved on his blocking this offseason, took a lot of things to heart. Just became a better football player, man, and caught that touchdown there at the end. I just couldn’t be happier for him. He works his tail off.”

Ertz had seven catches for 67 yards to help Foles and the Eagles outlast the Patriots 41-33 in a Super Bowl that featured the most combined yardage gained in the history of the NFL in the modern era.

The most important of the nine times Foles threw his way was that play that culminated with the ball popping up in the air after Ertz landed on the green Eagles paint in the end zone.

Ertz caught it on the ricochet, but the key for the legality of the play was going to be whether he turned himself into a runner before crossing the plane or if he was still in the process of making the catch. The former was the ruling.

”That seemed like an eternity over there. I mean, if they overturn that, I don’t even know what’s a catch anymore,” Ertz said.

”I had three steps in the ground. I extended for it. My back leg dragged on the ground. The city of Philly would’ve been hot if they’d have overturned that. Luckily for our city they did not.”

With a career-high eight touchdown catches with 824 receiving yards in 14 games during the regular season, Ertz came through with the kind of performance that he needed after a trying year for both him and the team in 2016.

During a December defeat that season in Cincinnati, Pederson said afterward that not all of his players gave maximum effort. Ertz was caught on camera sliding through a pair of Bengals defenders , including hard-hitting linebacker Vontaze Burfict, during one play while quarterback Carson Wentz scrambled out of bounds.

”I never really shied away from that situation I had to endure. There were some people that would say it was definitely just. It was tough. I love that the fans never gave up on me,” Ertz said. ”I told them at the time that they would never question my effort again [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/barkevious-mingo-jersey]Authentic Barkevious Mingo Jersey[/url] , and I’m lucky to be in this situation playing for this city, and I never take it for granted.”

With Rob Gronkowski on the other side, Ertz was automatically going to be the bridesmaid tight end in this game , despite his emergence as one of the NFL’s best.

Now Ertz will not only have the Super Bowl ring that Gronkowski already possessed in double, but he’ll be able to catch up in the trophy case at home. His wife, Julie Ertz, has a World Cup championship from 2015 for the U.S. national soccer team . They were married last March.

”She’s just so happy for me,” Ertz said, adding: ”Our marriage is extremely strong even though we’re pulled in 1,000 different directions.”



Arthur Rosen puzzled over the photocopied sheet of paper listing all sorts of exotic bets on baseball games, including one in which the number of runs scored and hits made in Tuesday night’s New York Yankees-Seattle Mariners game had to exceed 29.

”I lived in Vegas 20 years and I never heard of a bet like that,” the 83-year-old retired truck driver said.

Rosen was one of more than 100 people at a New Jersey racetrack at 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, ready to plunk down money on professional sports in the first week it has been legal here. Although revenue figures won’t be released for a few weeks yet, Monmouth Park racetrack and Atlantic City’s Borgata casino say they’re delighted with the extra business sports betting has generated in its first few days.

”We’re really pleased with the early results, especially considering it’s a slow time on the sports betting calendar,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, which runs the sports book at Monmouth Park.

Likewise, the Borgata is seeing an uptick in business at its race book [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/d.j.-fluker-jersey]Authentic D.J. Fluker Jersey[/url] , which has been expanded to cover sports bets.

”The revenue was definitely beyond what it would have been,” said spokeswoman Liza Costandino.

Sports betting is bringing new demographics into what was traditionally an older, male clientele at the Borgata’s horse racing betting operation. Younger customers are stopping in to bet on sports, including more women.

”A full bachelorette party came in and they all made sports bets,” Costandino said.

The casinos and tracks report their sports betting revenue to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which will publicly release monthly totals along with traditional casino revenue. The next such report is due for release July 12, and neither the Borgata nor Monmouth would reveal their totals before then.

Last month, New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting, including wagers on individual games, should they desire. Delaware was the first state to begin doing so after the court decision; New Jersey was the second.

So far in New Jersey, just the Borgata and Monmouth Park are offering sports betting. The soon-to-open Ocean Resort Casino, formerly known as Revel, is due to open June 28 and plans to offer sports betting on its first day of operation, owner Bruce Deifik said.

The property will go before state gambling regulators on Wednesday to seek a casino license. William Hill will run the sports betting operation for Ocean Resort as well as Monmouth Park. Eventually, most of Atlantic City’s casinos (there will be nine by the end of next week) and its three racetracks plan to offer sports betting.

Both facilities said the early action has been mostly on individual baseball games and World Cup soccer matches. Customers also are making long-term bets on who will win the World Series or Super Bowl, a market segment expected to increase as the baseball playoffs and the start of the NFL season draw closer in the fall.

Michael Black, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, was at Monmouth Park to wager on Tuesday’s Cubs-Dodgers baseball game [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/dontae-johnson-jersey]Authentic Dontae Johnson Jersey[/url] , betting that the two teams combined would score 9 or more runs. A boiler installer, Black tends to be busier in the fall, and has been able to visit Monmouth Park several times since sports betting began last Thursday. He’s up $175 so far, he said.

”As soon as football opens, this place is going to be packed,” he said. ”This has been a long time coming.”

Fred Reyes, of Jersey City, had been to the track four times since last Thursday, and had yet to lose a sports bet.

”So far I’m up close to $1,000,” he said, betting on the Cubs to win Tuesday.

Rosen was enjoying the many novel ways he could risk money on sporting events, particularly on a bet combining runs and hits in a baseball game.

”The Mets and Colorado is 32,” he said. ”That’s a whole lot. You think the Yankees will score in the first inning? It’s tough, huh?”



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