Sam Darnold was only 2 years old when his grandfather passed away Authentic Mike Hughes Jersey
, so he never got to know the Marlboro Man.Dick Hammer left behind a legacy of larger-than-life tales, though, and the New York Jets' newest quarterback has heard them all. Family gatherings have
been filled with the stories of Hammer's athletic accomplishments as a college
basketball player and a U.S Olympian in volleyball, his bravery as a firefighter
and his creative side as an actor.
"My mom always tells me how much I remind her of him," Darnold said Friday during his introductory news conference as the No. 3 overall pick of the NFL
draft at the Jets' training facility.
Darnold's mother Chris, sitting in the front row with her husband Mike and daughter Franki, wiped tears from her eyes as Sam mentioned his late
"When Sam was really little, we used to tease him because we would say he got all the DNA because he could do anything," said Chris Darnold, wearing a Jets
cap. "He was big like his dad, got his dad's girth. He got my dad's agility and
athletic ability. My dad was the type of person that could pick up a game by
just watching someone play.
"Sam's a lot like that."
#Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold reminds his mother of his late grandfather Dick Hammer, a former U.S. Olympic volleyball
player who was also the Marlboro Man. More from @DWAZ73: s://t.co/iBfJp4B4v8
??AP NFL (@AP_NFL) April 27, 2018
Hammer was 69 when he died in October 1999, just four months after Sam's second birthday. He played basketball at USC and helped lead the Trojans to the
1954 Final Four. Hammer picked up volleyball after his hoops days were over and
ended up making the United States' 1964 Olympic volleyball team that competed in
He was a captain in the L.A. County Fire Department and played Captain Dick Hammer ??yep, named after himself ??in the first season of the 1970's television
drama "Emergency!" Hammer also landed a gig as the cowboy hat-wearing Marlboro
Man in the cigarette company's advertising campaigns Cheap DJ Moore Jersey
, despite not being a regular smoker.
It is that innate ability to pick up anything and excel at it that Darnold's mom has always seen in her son, who was also a terrific basketball player in
"An example was when (Sam) played in a volleyball tournament with my daughter, who was playing in college (at Rhode Island) at the time and she was
missing out on a partner for co-ed doubles," Chris said. "He was all like, 'Uh,
sure, OK, I'll go play some volleyball.' We're watching them play and they got
to the playoffs and he's doing all these dinking serves and playing like he's
been playing his whole life. That is a lot of what my Dad was like."
Dick Hammer would certainly think his grandson is a chip off the old block. And, Darnold now has a chance to create his own legacy.
The former USC star quarterback from Capistrano Beach, California, played just two seasons for the Trojans, but showed enough eye-popping ability as a
playmaking passer to be rated by many as the No. 1 player at his position
heading into the draft.
Darnold is now tasked with helping lift a franchise that has been seeking a savior since the glory days of Joe Namath nearly 50 years ago. The Jets have
been to just one Super Bowl ??you know, the one Broadway Joe delivered after his
guarantee in 1969. That's a lot of pressure for a kid who won't even turn 21
until June, but Darnold is becoming fully aware of what he's getting into.
"Winning a Super Bowl is everyone's goal entering a season, whether I'm a backup or whether I'm starting quarterback Tarik Cohen Jersey
," he said. "Everyone on the team wants to win a Super Bowl. That's the goal for everyone. Anything short of that is a failure, and we're
aware of that. Everyone's aware of that. And whatever my role is, I'm going to
star in that role to work us toward that Super Bowl."
Darnold already has a prominent place in Jets history, being the highest-drafted quarterback by the team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
"Getting that phone call, it changed my life," Darnold said. "I know it's going to change my life, and I'm very confident here that we're going to win
some games, and I think I'm going to be here for a long time."
Coach Todd Bowles said Thursday night after New York drafted Darnold that the team won't necessarily throw him into the fire, but also won't hold him back.
That means the rookie could have a chance at starting if he can beat out
veterans Josh McCown, the starter last year, and Teddy Bridgewater, who's still
recovering from a knee injury that threatened his career nearly two years
"There's a ton of room for growth, and that's the thing I'm really excited about," Darnold said. "Just being 20 years old, I know that there's a lot of
room for growth Mike Hughes Jersey Elite
, but I'm also very confident in my ability to go out there and play. But that being said, I'm going to do what the coaches ask
me to do, and I'm going to come in here and learn right away and just go about
it that way."
NOTES: The Jets announced they released wide receiver-kick returner JoJo Natson, wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow, offensive tackle Korren Kirven and
punter Ben Turk.
A West Virginia resort owned by Gov. Jim Justice has chosen FanDuel to handle sports betting by its customers in the fantasy sports
company's first such wagering arrangement.
The Greenbrier announced Tuesday that New York-based FanDuel will provide retail, online and mobile sports wagering services for the resort in White
West Virginia lawmakers this year approved sports betting at the state's five casinos and on approved mobile apps, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court
overturned a federal law that had banned most sports betting.
The NFL, NBA and others want Congress to set uniform, nationwide rules on sports gambling for all states, saying the integrity of athletics is at
The West Virginia Lottery Commission approved rules governing sports betting last week. The rules spell out what information casinos have to supply to the
Lottery and what they need to do to stay within compliance. The goal is to let
the betting begin by the start of football season in September.
Conservative estimates are that the law would generate state revenue of about $5 million in its first year.
Justice allowed the sports betting bill to become state law without his signature. Before he became governor, Justice named his daughter, Jill Justice,
as president of the resort, which her father bought out of bankruptcy in 2009.
His son, Jay Justice Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko Jersey
, now handles his coal and agriculture operations.
Jill Justice said in a statement the Greenbrier is "excited to be able to offer this service to those guests who are interested."
FanDuel spokeswoman Emily Bass said in an email it's the company's the first sports betting arrangement with a U.S. resort. FanFuel merged this year with
European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair, which has similar deals with Meadowlands
Racetrack in New Jersey and Tioga Downs in New York.
Earlier this month FanDuel rival DraftKings signed a deal with an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino to offer sports betting in New Jersey.
"We are equipped to take on the opportunity to get a sports betting license in every market and are taking the appropriate steps to do so," Bass said.
The NFL's Houston Texans are holding their training camp at The Greenbrier starting in late July. Next week the resort will host the PGA Tour's A Military
Tribute at The Greenbrier, formerly known as The Greenbrier Classic.
The Greenbrier's onsite betting will take place at an underground casino open only to resort guests and event participants, golf and tennis members and
Greenbrier Sporting Club members.
"As we work towards building out a top sports betting product for the upcoming NFL season, we look forward to bringing West Virginia residents, sports
fans, and visitors to The Greenbrier the best interactive sports experience on
the market," FanDuel CEO Matt King said in a statement.