Chuck Culpepper

Destroying Every Stereotype

For homosexual African-American athletes, coming out carried with it not only the worry of judgement by the sporting world, but also their peers. As Jason Collins, Michael Sam and others have shown, the stereotype that black America won't accept gay people is simply not true. More»
Will Leitch

Chicago By The Numbers

Chicago has icons, legendary parks, devoted fans and even a recent run of championships -- no thanks, as usual, to the Cubs. Is that enough to put it above San Francisco and Cleveland on our running list of best sports cities? Will Leitch spent a week finding out. More»
Tomas Rios

Baseball From A Different Era

Over a span of decades, baseball moved away from its "small ball" roots and into a game powered by big arms and bigger homers. But a subset of players is reminding us what the game looked like years ago, basing their careers on their elite ability to run the bases and field the ball. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Fast Starts

It may be early in the season, but a handful of rookies are already standing out from the rest of freshman crowd as contenders for Rookie of the Year. Here are five who have caught our attention -- and what they need to do to clinch the award. More»
Chris Cwik

The Rise of the Sinker

The sinker is on the rise. Use of the pitch, also called a two-seam fastball, has taken a step forward in recent seasons, both as a key component of organizational pitching philosophies, and as the preferred weapon behind some recent career revivals. More»
Leigh Montville

Stories of Strength

As 36,000 people take the starting line for this year's Boston Marathon, a million more will line the streets to cheer them on. And both the competitors and the spectators will carry a year's worth of stories of loss, triumph, and strength with them. More»
Dan Pompei

The Second Act of Elway

Few star players make the jump to successful top-level executives in the NFL, but John Elway is breaking the mold. By committing himself to all aspects of the job, Elway is helping to take the Broncos back to the heights he achieved as a player. More»
Russ Lande

Prospect Profile: Taylor Lewan

Taylor Lewan's return for his senior season didn't go exactly as planned, and he's unlikely to be a top-10 pick in next month's draft. But even though he'll be the third offensive tackle off the board, he has the talent to be a longtime starter in the NFL. More»
Michael J. Mooney

Raising The Bar

The biggest fear of a Texas football fan isn't a devastating loss. It's becoming irrelevant. But with the no-nonsense approach of Charlie Strong in place, for now, at least, there's a renewed sense of optimism among a fan base with high expectations. More»
Colin McGowan

A Labor of Love

Manager Pep Guardiola could lead Bayern Munich to Bundesliga and Champions League titles in his first year with the club, but he could still leave after just one season. He needs to enjoy a job to do it, and he won't put up with discord. More»
Neil deMause

Passing the Bucks

The recent sale of the Milwaukee Bucks is likely to be the first step in a ramping-up of the team's demands for public funds to replace the 26-year-old Bradley Center. If those aren't forthcoming, there may be renewed threats to take the team out of town. More»
Howard Megdal

Taking Nothing For Granted

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is one of the core members of what the Cubs hope is their next great team. But unlike many other baseball players, he's well aware of what he has, thanks to a cancer scare as a teenager. Rizzo isn't one to let moments go by lightly. More»
Shaun Powell

Western Conference Playoff Preview

The NBA's Western Conference playoffs are the Wild West. There's no clear favorite, and no one would be shocked if the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers or Rockets are standing when the West is finally won. Here are our predictions. More»
Michael Weinreb

Hitting the ground sprinting

When David Shaw took over Jim Harbaugh's coaching position at Stanford, many thought Shaw would need would need at least a couple of years to adjust, especially after Andrew Luck's departure. Instead, the Cardinal has gotten consistently better. More»
Will Leitch

Chicago's overlooked team

Under any other circumstances, the White Sox would be considered one of baseball's most historic franchises. But they aren't, because of their neighbors on the North Side. White Sox fans don't have an inferiority complex with the Cubs; they have a, why don't you notice we exist? complex. More»
Marc Normandin

Low Voltage

There's plenty of ways to score runs that don't involve homers, but it's extremely difficult to score enough to win without any homers at all. The Royals are putting that to the test so far this year, risking what may be their last year of James Shields on a punchless offense. More»
Colin McGowan

Holding On

News like this is always straightforwardly happy. There's a lot of work the Bucks' new owners will need to put in to construct a team worth rooting for, but they have the time and resources to do it. Finally, there's some stability in Milwaukee. That's better than nothing. More»
Shaun Powell

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview

Though many would prefer to skip past the first few rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs and just get straight to a Heat / Pacers rematch, there's some interesting matchups here. Can the Nets topple the Raptors? What will the Bulls do to stop John Wall and the Wizards? More»
Matt Brown

Perfect Fit

Seeing Lane Kiffin, of all people, joining Nick Saban's Alabama staff is a little jarring, but it makes plenty of sense. Kiffin's weaknesses have always been more off the field than on, so in a spot where he can focus on getting offensive production out of talented players, he could thrive. More»
Russ Lande

Five Intriguing Day 3 Pass Rushers

Finding star players -- especially pass rushers -- late in the draft is what separates the most successful teams. With that in mind, here are five potential Day 3 pass rushers who have the tools to develop into quality starters. More»
Mike Tanier

The Sad State of Running Backs

Running backs are traditionally football's second-biggest stars, but the position is rapidly becoming the worst job in professional sports. Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew at least got the opportunity to cash in with their previous contracts. The current generation won't be so lucky. More»
Steve Kim

Fighting The Inevitable

If it seems like Bernard Hopkins has been around forever, that's because he basically has been. Months away from 50, Hopkins is preparing to fight Beibut Shumenov, but while his longevity and dedication must be respected, many think it's time for him to finally step aside. More»
Mike Tanier

Field Guide to Youth League Parents

The advent of spring also brings the start of the little league season and that means a variety of toxic personalities are roaming the ball fields of your local town. Before you encounter one, read our field guide to youth league parents. More»
Matthew Kory

Baseball's Best Practical Jokes

Pranks are a time-honored tradition in professional baseball, whether it's a shaving cream pie in the face after a walk-off home run or a glove that smells of, well, you know. But the best jokes ever pulled are ones that uses more inventive avenues of expression. More»
Matthew Kory

Bad And Getting Worse

Pitching is an incredibly specialized skill, so think about just how much work, talent and luck it takes to get to the majors as a pitcher. Now think about having to bat in the big leagues, having neglected it for years. Pitchers are getting worse at it. More»
Will Leitch

Da Bears Still Rule

The Cubs have the national romantic storyline, the Bulls have the Jordan years, the Blackhawks have those two shiny new Stanley Cup titles, the White Sox even have the White House. But in Chicago itself, the Bears are the way the citizens see themselves. More»
Russ Lande

A Fourth to Be Reckoned With

Jimmy Garoppolo may not be the first quarterback chosen in the draft, but he'll be up there -- possibly even in the first round -- thanks to his strong arm, accuracy and agility. Here's a breakdown of the crucial skills that will make Garoppolo a quality starting passer. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

A Matter of Time

So far this season, replay reviews have helped to overturn 28 bad calls -- yet some still say instant replay causes unnecessary delays. But in a sport that embraces double headers and extra innings, can't we afford a few extra minutes to make sure the right team wins? More»
Matt Brown

Controlled Chaos

All of a sudden, Auburn is reinventing itself as the premier innovator in modern college football, leading to debates about the way the game should be played. The Iron Bowl, already so incredibly passionate, has added another layer of intrigue. More»
Mike Tanier

The Mettenberger Solution

The Bengals must draft Zach Mettenberger. The LSU quarterback is the solution to their Andy Dalton dilemma, and it's easy to see why once you examine all the scenarios -- if Dalton's play improves, deteriorates, or remains at its current plain yogurt state. More»
Colin McGowan

The Numbers Game

A recent report pegs the value of an average college football player from 2011 through 2015 at $178,000 per year. Implementing payment for college athletes will be a complicated process, but at least now we have a place to start the conversation. More»
Holly MacKenzie

Toronto's adopted son

To encounter the Raptors' Amir Johnson is to embrace him. Besides helping his team reach the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, Johnson's adventurous spirit and man-of-the-people attitude has made him Toronto's adopted son. More»
Aaron Gordon

The Doc Is In

The trick for any commentator is to capture a game's spirit and on this front Mike "Doc" Emrick -- NBC's lead play-by-play announcer for the NHL -- cannot be matched. Emrick's called thousands of hockey games and has a lovable list of synonyms for pass. More»
Chuck Culpepper

The End Is Not Near

The round-the-clock coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial isn't surprising -- the public's interest has long since swamped our misgivings. But the breathlessness is especially glaring on a day when the dramatic testimony ended early. More»
Will Leitch

Happy to be Here

Despite injuries and low-win seasons, Bulls fans still keep piling into the United Center in droves. The stadium has been in the top three in attendance consistently for the past decade. So here's our question: How much of this, still, is attributable to Michael Jordan? More»

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