Former NFL player Aaron Maybin is a Baltimore teacher fighting to heat classrooms

Former NFL linebacker Aaron Maybin is now a teacher at Matthew A. Henson Elementary, one of several schools in Baltimore which have kept their doors open for business despite losing the ability to heat their buildings amid steadily declining temperatures. It’s 25 degrees there today, but wind chill makes it feel like single-digit weather.

Maybin has attacked the Baltimore winter head-on. He’s raised over $15,000 of his $20,000 goal to fund space heaters for schools and winter coats for kids. He also has been outspoken on the conditions the city expects its students to learn in:

LeBron James finally had enough of the divisive rhetoric. “U bum,” James tweeted, referencing the president. “Stephen Curry already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” That two-word heckle—“U bum”—appeared as a New York Times headline, and the tweet drew 659,000 retweets and 1.5 million likes, making it the most retweeted post by an athlete in 2017.

The tweet was only the first course. At Cavaliers Media Day later that week, James addressed the president at length, expressing “solidarity” with NFL players and pointing to sports’ ability to bring people together. “I’m not going to let … one individual, no matter the power, no matter the impact that he should have or she should have, ever use sport as a platform to divide us,” James said. “We know this is the greatest country in the world. It’s the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else and when we have those problems, we have to figure out a way how we come together and be as great as we can be as a people. Because the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”

That’s a convenient transformation for this edition of the NFC playoffs. Last year, sharing a postseason field with the Cowboys, Seahawks and Packers, the Falcons needed to light the scoreboard up, which they did to the tune of 33 points per game. This year, with less established powers such as the Eagles, Vikings and Rams all carrying some QB questions the key was being able to grind out some slugfests.

In that sense, the Falcons couldn’t have asked for a better performance against the Rams. Ryan was resilient and found his groove in the second half. The running game squeezed out enough yards in stretches to successfully control the ball. The big, reliable leg of Matt Bryant was a key factor on the scoreboard. Turns out, the offense being complementary to the defense not vice versa can yield better results, though not as sexy.

Tyrod Taylor suffered a scary head injury at the end of the Bills’ wild-card game against the Jaguars.patriots_002_f174cdaf1d0e1cef-180x180

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