Where in the world is Shady McCoy?
Catch him while you can, folks.
The 2018 offseason is in full swing and Bills running back LeSean McCoy has been fully maximizing his downtime. For anyone following along with Shady on social media, it seems like the NFL vet has been everywhere. From spending time in the Big Apple, to jetting off to Los Angeles for a guest appearance on the NFL Network's "NFL GameDay," McCoy is making moves - all the while managing to stay on top of his workouts and spending quality time with his son.
The adventure continued for McCoy on Wednesday, Jan. 24, as he touched down in Orlando, Florida, for the 2018 Pro Bowl. Held at Camping World Stadium and the ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Pro Bowl is now a weeklong celebration, giving fans and players an opportunity to take part in a variety of activities. Although it's his sixth Pro Bowl nod, McCoy is thrilled to share the experience with his mini-me this time around. The family-friendly event has given the McCoy duo plenty to do while visiting the Sunshine State.
For little Shady, getting to hang out with his dad at Disney World and meet some of the NFL's rising stars must be cool. The trip just got started and the youngster already posed for a photo with NFL icon LaDainian Tomlinson, who was selected as one of this year's Legends Captains for the game. For LeSean, this Pro Bowl is off to a great start.
"This one is special," explained McCoy. "Especially because my son is five-years-old now and can experience everything here. The atmosphere and environment here is amazing."
With a few days to go before McCoy takes the field for the game, it will be fun to see what else the super dad has up his sleeve.
As for his plans after the Pro Bowl? Stayed tuned.
Aaron Maybin: From football player to voice for the voiceless
Aaron Maybin, Baltimore native and Bills 2009 first-round draft pick, has recently stepped back into the national spotlight. Although Maybin's stint in the NFL was short lived, his passion for the arts and helping others has led him on a new journey – one that is just getting started. A teacher in one of Baltimore's City Public Schools system, Maybin, who attended Baltimore public schools growing up, took to social media to inform others of what was happening in his classroom.
Inexcusable conditions have left children with no lights and no heat. No heat in the dead of winter. Maybin even shared a gut-wrenching video on Twitter of children in his classroom expressing how cold they were – one child even used the word "frostbite" to describe how cold it was. It's unacceptable, as Maybin wrote on his post.
The eye-opening video went viral and has since helped Maybin raise awareness and generate funds to supply children with winter coats and the classrooms with space heaters. With help from others who have taken up the cause, thousands of dollars have been donated. One GoFundMe page, started by Samierra Jones a graduate of the Baltimore City Public School system, has raised over $83,000. As reported in an article by Tyler Tynes of SB Nation, Jones has since joined forces with Maybin.
Combining efforts with the likes of Valerie Arum, the stepdaughter of a Baltimore school teacher and organizer behind prior successful movements, Maybin and Jones hope to create lasting change.
While there's a lot of work to be done, Maybin is determined to fight the good fight.
"What should I do? Would you rather me teach these kids, look them in the eye, and let them shiver?" he says. "No. My students will never be cold again," said Maybin in his interview with Tynes.
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Bills fan gets set for trip of a lifetime
For longtime Bills Season Ticket Member and diehard fan Rick Langdon, the 2017 season was filled with unforgettable moments. Langdon, who has had season tickets since 1982, was recognized as the Bills Season Ticket Member of the Game during Buffalo's Week 15 matchup against Miami. Already overjoyed by the special honor, he would never have imagined that the Bills had another surprise in store. Celebrated on-field during the game's first quarter break, Langdon was ecstatic to find out he'd won a trip to the 2018 Pro Bowl as part of the Bills annual Fan Appreciation Day.
"I was very surprised and blown away," said Langdon when reminiscing on the game.
Langdon, who will be flying to Orlando on Friday, Jan. 26, will join Season Ticket Members from around the NFL for the 2018 Pro Bowl Season Ticket Member Experience. The exclusive program will allow Langdon and the entire group to enjoy all the Pro Bowl has to offer, while gaining behind-the-scenes access to events such as a Q&A session with Al Riveron, the NFL's SVP of Officiating, a "Chalk Talk" with NFL Legends and pregame on-field access.
Since relocating to Orlando, the Pro Bowl festivities have expanded to include a week's worth of fun fit for everyone to enjoy. Eager for the getaway, Langdon explained that despite his many memories as a Bills fan, the Pro Bowl is something new and he's looking forward to it.
"It will be a different experience," said Langdon. "I attended the first Bills Super Bowl, so I got to experience that and I've never been around a Pro Bowl where so many players from every team are going to be there."
WNY football coach takes the national stage
As always, the Western New York representation will be strong this weekend in Orlando. Not only will the Buffalo faithful flock to Camping World Stadium to cheer on Pro Bowlers LeSean McCoy and Richie Incognito in the all-star game, one of the region's very own great high school football coaches will be honored for his standout season. Mike Vastola, head coach of West Seneca West, who guided his team to a 2017 NYS Championship title, has received several awards for his leadership both on and off the field. Most recently, Vastola was named the Buffalo Bills 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominee.
The prestigious award, named after Miami Dolphins legendary head coach Don Shula, highlights high school football coaches who exemplify excellent character, integrity, commitment to the community and dedication to player health and safety. Each year, the NFL's 32 teams select a nominee. From there, two finalists receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school's football program. Finally, one winner is chosen by a panel of distinguished individuals.
Vastola, who was also selected as this year's Bills & ADPRO Sports High School Coach of the Year from the Buffalo region, was shocked to find out that he'd been nominated.
"It's actually very humbling," stated Vastola. "I told the committee I never thought my name would be mentioned in the same sentence as Don Shula, ever. You hope you have a positive impact on the kids that you are around for so long. You hope that one day they understand what you are trying to get them to learn about being part of a team and working together with others… Playing for something more than yourself."
Vastola and nominees from around the league will travel to the Pro Bowl where they will have the opportunity to attend a coaches' clinic, gain VIP access to Pro Bowl practices and attend the USA Football National Conference. Announced during the game, which will air on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. ET, the winner will be recognized at NFL Honors and get the chance to walk the red carpet.