The Dallas Cowboys have gone 8-8 each of the past three seasons, and the Tony Romo-led team hasn't reached the NFL playoffs in four years. So season ticket holders will probably be a bit surprised when they open their envelopes this week and find not just the usual preseason and regular-season slips, but also a sheet of playoff tickets — along with a ticket to the NFC Championship game, which hasn't featured the Cowboys since 1995.
ESPN Dallas notes that the seemingly cocky move may actually just be smart business; NFL teams struggled to sell out playoff games last season, because season-ticket holders were understandably wary of paying for a slate of additional tickets up front. The league changed its policy following that debacle, so now season-ticket holders can buy playoff tickets after a team clinches a certain game. On the Dallas tickets, fans merely have to pay for the additional tickets if the team reaches the playoffs, at which point the barcodes on the extras will activate. And, the team is betting that since seat holders already have the physical ticket, they're more likely to pay for it in the event of a playoff game, leaving fewer open tickets for the team to move.
Logical, this plan is. But sports fans are not logical, and sending out playoff tickets before a single preseason game — let alone a regular season one — has been played may prove to rub Cowboys fans the wrong way. You don't talk about the no-hitter in progress, and you don't touch the Stanley Cup until you've earned it. The Cowboys may have just jinxed themselves into a fourth 8-8 season. Sarah Eberspacher
On Sunday morning, Donald Trump, or whoever was running his Twitter feed, went on a rampage against Hillary Clinton's decision to pick Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her vice presidential nominee. Embedded amongst a flurry of exclamation points and all-caps accusations of "BAD JUDGMENT" was an error that's sure to needle grammar snobs: Where Trump should have used "their," he used "there" instead. And in the same breath — er, keystroke — instead of "waste," he used "waist."
Then again, what more do we expect from a presidential candidate who researchers say has the grammatical sophistication of an 11-year-old?
I know, I know. You miss Game of Thrones. And the recent news that season seven won't air until summer 2017 is probably only adding to your despair. But if you need a quick fix, this is it: HBO released a blooper reel from season six, and it is delightful. Let it be known: Dothraki is hard, but the word 'benevolent' is even harder. Watch below. Jessica Hullinger
Mary Commanday, the mother of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, has asked that the Donald Trump presidential campaign stop referencing her son in attacks on Hillary Clinton. In a letter to The New York Times, Commanday wrote, "I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign." Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the attacks, which featured prominently at the Republican National Convention last week in speeches criticizing Clinton's leadership skills. Jessica Hullinger
The chief financial officer of the Democratic National Committee, Brad Marshall, apologized on Saturday after emails leaked by WikiLeaks showed the DNC had planned to attack Bernie Sanders on his religion. The emails did not mention Sanders, who is Jewish, by name, but said, "Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."
In a Facebook post, Marshall said, "I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process. The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended." Jessica Hullinger
In an article published Saturday, The New York Times reports that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton picked Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate to attract more white men to her campaign:
Ultimately, Mrs. Clinton, who told PBS that she was "afflicted with the responsibility gene," avoided taking a chance with a less experienced vice-presidential candidate and declined to push the historic nature of her candidacy by adding another woman or a minority to the ticket.
Instead, the campaign, which had become concerned about its deficit with white men, focused on Mr. Kaine and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and looked more closely at Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. [The New York Times]
Among white men, Republican Donald Trump leads Clinton 56 to 25 percent, according to a national Quinnipiac survey from the end of June.
Kaine has been described as "boring" following his addition to the ticket, a trope those close to the candidate say is unfair. "I just hate it," Beau Cribbs, Kaine’s former body man, told BuzzFeed News. "I think boring is a code for white and male, frankly." Bonnie Kristian
The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday voted 4-1 to strike down a 2010 state law requiring doctors to notify the parents of girls under the age of 18 if their daughters seek an abortion.
The ruling is a win for Planned Parenthood and Alaskan abortion rights advocates, who made the case that the mandate was a violation of teens' privacy and a danger to girls living in abusive situations. In the majority opinion, Justice Daniel Winfree agreed, writing that the law posed a "discriminatory barrier to those minors seeking to exercise their fundamental privacy right to terminate a pregnancy."
Justice Craig Stowers, the sole dissenter, argued that where a minor is concerned, the state and her parents retain a "legitimate interest" in the situation and, in the parents' case, should be afforded the opportunity to discuss with their child the ramifications of the decision to abort. Parents are required to be notified and give consent where most other significant medical procedures are concerned. Bonnie Kristian
The Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS) is sharing images of Syrian kids surrounded by chaos and violence — plus Pokémon. The images allude to the fact that you have to physically go to a new location to capture each monster, urging viewers to likewise come help.
— إعلام قوى الثورة (@RFS_mediaoffice) July 20, 2016
"People on social media talk about Pokémon all the time, so I created these images to draw attention to suffering during the war and what Syrians are really searching for," said Saif Aldeen Tahhan, a graphic designer who has shared mockups of Syria Go, in which users would search for basic necessities like food and shelter instead of fantastic creatures. "I can tell you, the Syrian people are not looking for Pokémon." Bonnie Kristian