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Ron Rivera: The Puerto Rican-Mexican NFL Coach Leading His Team to Historic Highs

Meet Ron Rivera, the head coach of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

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Born to a Puerto Rican father and Mexican-American mother, he’s currently the ONLY Latino head coach in the NFL.

Rivera has guided the Carolina Panthers to an impressive 12-0 record this season.

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They’ve already clinched a playoff berth. If the Panthers win one more game, they’re guaranteed to lock down the best record in team history.

Players respect Rivera because he’s one of them: Rivera spent eight years playing linebacker for the Chicago Bears.

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Rivera also won a Super Bowl with the Bears in 1985.

READ: NFL Players are Now Practicing One of Soccer’s Oldest Rituals

Panthers players also credit Rivera’s calm and cool disposition for helping them get through the sharp ups and downs of an NFL season.

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Tight end Greg Olsen says Rivera knows how to strike a great balance in the locker room. He told the Charlotte Observer: “I think a lot of coaches are scared to do that so you always see their guard up, trying to prove that they’re in charge. Everyone knows he’s in charge. I think that’s his greatest strength. It’s obvious who the leader is, but he’s also an approachable, everyday, normal guy. And I think guys respond to that.”

Rivera says he learned it from his father, Eugenio, a 32-year veteran of the Armed Forces.

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“One thing my dad’s always told me about leadership is when all hell’s breaking loose, everyone’s looking at you to see how you’re handling it. If you’re frantic and out of control, they’re going to be frantic and out of control. If you’re calm, cool and collected and doing the right things, they’ll follow you,” said Rivera to the Charlotte Observer.

Rivera says he also draws inspiration from his older brother Mickey, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

Rivera also says he’s proud to represent Latinos in the NFL.

Credit: Streeter Lecka / Getty

“I feel very fortunate that so many [Latinos] have embraced us, and have embraced me, for that matter. To be representative of my heritage, I’m thrilled about that,” said Rivera to Fox News Latino.

Rivera has already made history as the first Latino coach to win the AP NFL Coach of the Year Award.

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Rivera won the award in 2013, after guiding the Carolina Panthers to a 12-4 record. Just three years earlier – the season before Rivera was hired – the Panthers posted a dismal 2-14 record.

Now, he’s on a mission to write some more history – but not a perfect 16-0 season. He wants a Super Bowl victory.

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When asked if he’s hoping to finish with a 16-0 record, Rivera had a clear response: “If you’re talking about 16-0 seasons, you’re not focusing on the details you need to pay attention to.”

UPDATE: Rivera Takes the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

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After 14 straight victories, the Carolina Panthers had their unbeaten streak broken by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 of the NFL. Rivera’s squad recovered the following week and went on to win their final game, finishing the regular season with a 15-1 record. In the playoffs, the Panthers dispatched the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, setting up a showdown with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

“Riverboat Ron” told ESPN there’s still plenty of work to do: “It’s not about getting there. It’s not about being a part of it. It’s about winning it. And that will be our main focus.”

READ: The Son of Mexican Field Workers, Tom Flores Became the First Latino Coach to Win a Super Bowl

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All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Entertainment

All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Netflix continues to churn out powerful films in countries around the world and their latest venture, a look into the life of Brazilian footballer Pelé is another hit. Sure, Pelé may be considered the world’s best soccer player ever but his place in Brazilian history is less clear – at least according to the new doc.

Filmmakers David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas spent hours in Pelé’s company interviewing him on everything from a childhood spent in poverty to his numerous affairs and his controversial relationship with the authoritarian regime that ruled Brazil during his playing career. Here are some of the key takeaways from this must watch documentary.

Pelé was criticized for not taking a political stance during Brazil’s authoritarian regime.

In 1964, the Brazilian military staged a coup, which led to a dictatorship being established in the country that lasted until 1985. The military government relied on torture and repression to maintain power.

In the film, Pelé is asked whether he knew about these practices at the time.

“If I were to say now that I had never been aware of it, that would be a lie,” he says. “There was a lot we never got to find out, but there were many stories too.”

However, the film paints him as taking a neutral stance throughout, never criticising the regime. Former team-mate Paulo Cezar Lima – aka Caju – doesn’t forgive him.

“I love Pele but that won’t stop me criticizing him. I thought his behavior was that of a black man who says ‘yes sir’,” said Caju. “A submissive black man. It’s a criticism I hold against him until this day, because just one statement from Pelé would have gone a long way.”

The government may have interfered with the Brazilian team.

A dejected Pele leaves the field at Goodison Park after being beaten 3-1 by Portugal, 1966.

The film paints a picture of how national team’s exploits were used to launder the reputation of the military regime during the 1960s. Before the 1970 World Cup, a journalist and friend of Pelé’s describes how it became very important for the regime’s international image that Brazil win the World Cup again. And that meant Pele had to play.

“Winning the World Cup became a governmental matter,” Kfouri says. “The team staff were almost entirely made up of military personnel.”

Manager Joao Saldanha appears to have been fired in the lead-up to the 1970 World Cup for criticizing the Brazilian president, telling a reporter: “I don’t pick his ministers and he doesn’t pick my team. That way we understand each other well.”

Pelé wanted to quit after the 1966 World Cup.

Credit: Pelé / Netflix

In the 1966 World Cup, Brazil was considered a favorite to win, having won the competition four years earlier in Chile. However, there was a massive shock when they were knocked out in the group stages.

“Getting knocked out of the World Cup in England was the saddest moment of my life,” Pelé says. In the film, he tells a reporter: “I don’t intend to play in any more World Cups, because I’m not lucky in them. This is the second World Cup where I have been injured after only two games.”

He played one more World Cup – the 1970 tournament in Mexico, which Brazil won. He’s still the only player to have won three World Cup trophies.

And he admits it was hard for him to stay faithful.

Stores of Pelé’s alleged infidelities and wild romances were common in the tabloids. By 1958, he was a global icon and football’s first millionaire while still only a teenager. And his fans followed him everywhere so it’s hardly a secret that Pelé did not show the same faithfulness to everyone in his life as he did to his club Santos.

At one point in the film, a journalist asks Pelé whether he found it difficult to remain faithful with the amount of women flirting with him.

“In all honesty, it was,” he says, “I’ve had a few affairs, some of which resulted in children, but I only learned about them later. My first wife knew all about it, I never lied to anyone.”

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Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Entertainment

Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Parents always find new ways to be proud of their children and how to tell the world how proud they are. This includes Julio Urías’ father who recently unveiled his newest tattoo in honor of his World Series-winning son.

Julio Urías’ dad is showing off just how proud he is of his son.

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Tattoo artist Andres Ortega Rojas posted photos on Instagram showing off the tattoo. Carlos Urías forever enshrined his sons victorious lunge after Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays while a tattoo on his left arm.

Rojas told TMZ that the tattoo took nine hours to complete and that is was Carlos’ first tattoo. The moment captured on Carlos’ arm is one that is etched into the brains of Dodgers fans. It was the first time the Dodger has won the World Series since 1988 ending a decades-long dry spell.

The tattoo is catching everyone’s attention.

People are loving the tribute made to his son with a tattoo. It being his first tattoo is even sweeter. We all know how much our parents are anti-tattoos so seeing this happen is extra touching. Julio is framed by the flags of the Commissioner’s Trophy in the tattoo marking what is clearly Carlos’ most proud moment.

The moment marks a culmination of a long journey to athletic stardom.

Julio first pitched for the Dodgers in 2015. The Mexican baseball player was called up to join the famed baseball team. Carlos and the family made a 13-hour road trip from the Mexican state of Sinaloa to Maryvale Park in Phoenix, Ariz. It was after that long trip that Carlos got to see Julio on the field pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It just goes to show you that anything is possible and that, if you work towards your goals, they can come true.

READ: Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

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