Will Leitch

2014's Most Tortured NBA Fans

Which NBA fan base can say it has suffered the most? If you've won a title in the last 20 years, you don't have much to complain about. To make it to the top of this list, you not only have to support a team that's been lousy on the court, but embarrassing off of it. More»
Pat Jordan

An Idiot In Exile

More than two years since he last played in the big leagues, Johnny Damon still wants to get back in. The money helps, of course, but it's really about the fun, the parties and the teammates. At his core, Damon is just a big kid, which is both the best and worst thing about him. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

What I Learned from Greg Maddux

Over the course of 23 seasons, Greg Maddux was undoubtedly a role model for an uncountable number of young pitchers, including some who actually made it to the big leagues. To come up short when compared to Maddux is far from a failure, of course; he's one of the best there ever was. More»
Matthew Kory

Trade Deadline Secrets Revealed

With the trade deadline just days away, rumors and speculation are beginning to fly. Will the Rays trade David Price? How about the Red Sox and Jon Lester? What about Cliff Lee? There's no way to know the answers to these questions... unless you have a Magic 8 Ball. More»
Matthew Kory

The Most Exciting Divisions

With the trade deadline almost upon us, the thrill of baseball's pennant races is growing. How much excitement are we talking about here? We tried to quantify it. More»
Mike Tanier

The NFL's Obscure Stat Leaders

Most fans can tell you who led the NFL in passing, rushing or sacks last year. But there are dozens of important statistics that are so hard to find that even NFL experts are unaware of them. Here are the NFL's leaders in the obscure but meaningful. More»
Colin McGowan

Outlaw The Shift?

Baseball is in the midst of a pitching and defense-dominated era. Scoring is down and strikeouts are up. But while some may ponder rule changes -- like penalizing teams that use drastic defensive shifts -- usually the sport corrects itself. More»
John Rosengren

A Game of Their Own

They play the national pastime a little differently in Lake Tomahawk, Wisc. -- on snowshoes. The sport began in a more traditional fashion half a century ago, in the wintertime with the ball painted red. But now "Lake Tom" residents play it in the heat of summer and attract large crowds. More»
Michael Weinreb

More Than Money

The University of Oregon football team has a copious amount of money to pour into their program, but the Ducks still lack what every team covets -- a national championship. This brings up an important question: what does all that funding buy exactly? More»
Matt Crossman

Brickyard Milestones

A Jeff Gordon win at the Brickyard 400 this weekend would be an even bigger deal than usual. Gordon currently has four wins at Indy and another would break his tie with Jimmie Johnson, making him the winningest NASCAR driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More»
Howard Megdal

You Had to Be There

What happens when you drop Mario Balotelli and AC Milan in the middle of Long Island on a Wednesday afternoon, to play with the New York Cosmos? Not much, apparently. Milan ultimately decided not to scrimmage with the Cosmos and Balotelli made only a brief appearance to public. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Philly Fire Sale

Old, expensive and in last place, the Phillies simply have to accept that it's time to trade off some assets. But with Ryan Howard immovable and Chase Utley preferring to stay put, they're somewhat limited in what they can do. A good place to start would be with these three players. More»
Will Leitch

High Price to Pay

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has done an excellent job, but he's faced with a decision in the next eight days that could make or break his reputation: whether to trade the highly regarded young outfielder Oscar Taveras for David Price. More»
Dan Pompei

Confidence Game

After a nightmare 2013 with the Texans, Matt Schaub has found a new home in Oakland, encouraging Schaub to take control. The way he's been embraced by his new coaches and teammates is certainly therapeutic -- but his leash could also be short. More»
Colin McGowan

The Cost of Greatness

After Atlético Madrid won La Liga, Real Madrid and Barcelona have bought themselves some terrific players this offseason, like the biggest, richest clubs are expected to do. Now, both teams need to prove they can put all that talent to good use More»
Matt Brown

The Top 100 College Players

In just five short weeks, the long wait for college football finally ends, meaning now is a good time to break down all the top players to get familiar with and keep an eye on this fall. These are the 100 best college players entering the 2014 season. More»
Patrick Hruby

Under Further Review

Seven retired NFL players asked the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision to grant preliminary approval to the proposed NFL concussion lawsuit settlement. Why is this happening, and what does this mean? More»
Steve Kim

Glove Story

This much is clear: Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana will fight again on Sept. 13. What is not quite clear is which gloves Maidana will be wearing. Before their bout in May, Mayweather objected to the Argentine's Everlast MXs and will most likely complain again if he doesn't get his way. More»
Jack Etkin

Everything Must Go?

Even though the Padres have shipped off their two most valuable trade assets in Huston Street and Chase Headley, they could still be active before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. See who may be next on the block. More»
Michael Pina

Pleasant Surprise

No team -- save the Cleveland Cavaliers, for obvious reasons -- has had a more pleasantly surprising offseason than the Dallas Mavericks. They filled a glaring hole, added a rising-star in Chandler Parsons and filled the margins with cheap, veteran production. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Selling Low

Did the Padres wait too long to trade Chase Headley? It sure looks that way, as they got little in return by dealing him to the Yankees, who look to shore up an aging and injury-riddled roster. Here's a look at each side of what could be a lopsided deal. More»
Selena Roberts

Enforcement Is Broken

You'd think every official in the NCAA system would be happy with its lax style of self-governance. No one ever loses a job, and the CEO coaches only get richer. But Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby is begging for police backup, saying, "Enforcement is broken." More»
Will Leitch

Something Like Sports

Many of you probably have no idea what Dota 2 is, how it works, how it could possibly be worth it to give $5 million to its champion. But if the best in the world is getting $5 million to do it, then somebody must care. What's wrong with putting it on a sports TV network? More»
Tomas Rios

The Respectable Bigot

Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam demonstrate what happens when you put faith in a bigot's capacity for self-directed progress. He believes that a gay man can be denied a job based on his sexuality, and there ain't a damn thing wrong with that. More»
Sports on Earth Films

A New Day

In a single blast, Alex Leonard's life changed forever. The army serviceman lost both of his legs when his convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. After returning home, he hit rock bottom, but then training through CrossFit gave him strength -- and hope. More»
Seerat Sohi

Holding On To Hope

An undrafted guard, Kiwi Gardner is the guy who elicits a "that was nasty" anytime he has the basketball. He's also the twelfth man on Golden State's Summer League squad, listed at 5-foot-7 in basketball shoes, and hopes his tenacity can propel him into the NBA. More»
Colin McGowan

Detroit's Urban Renewal

Detroit is paying for 58 percent of the Red Wings' $450 million arena, which is set to open in 2017, along with kicking in extra funds for a new entertainment arena. We've seen this sort of thing before -- and it always seems like a lopsided, raw deal. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Trade Winds

With a little over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball there have been some marquee names mentioned in possible deals. But will they actually get moved? We looked at three of the biggest possibilities. More»
Dan Pompei

Those Were the Days

The concept of NFL training camp has changed so much. It used to be a means for players to get in shape, to get accustomed to hitting and to learn about one another. Now it's more about memorization for the mind and the muscles. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Not So Easy Ryder

It didn't take long for talk of the Ryder Cup to bleed into the British Open, especially since Tiger Woods' relatively poor showing put his status for the September event. But do we really need such idle chatter about "captain's picks?" It's already getting old. More»
John Perrotto

Hometown Success Story

Dellin Betances never dreamed that he would someday be a Yankee while growing up in New York City. Now, after stalling out in the minors as a starting pitcher, he's one of the most dominant relievers in baseball, and he's doing it all while wearing the same pinstripes he cheered for. More»
Matthew Kory

Point of No Return

This past March, Baseball Prospectus predicted that the Texas Rangers would capture the AL West and no writers picked them to finish in last place. And yet, coming of off the All-Star break, the Rangers have the worst record in MLB. How did they fall so far? More»
Matt Crossman

God and Football

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney refuted allegations on Monday that he forced religion on his players. But whether or not Swinney compelled his team to practice his faith, one thing is for certain: God and football have been intertwined for years. More»
Mike Tanier

The Ghosts of PFW Past, Present and ... Future?

After decades as a must-have for football die-hards, Pro Football Weekly quietly faded away in 2013, left behind by the instant demands of the internet. Now, the same team has come out with Pro Football Now, hoping to rekindle the magic that PFW once had. More»
Will Leitch

Dangerous Immaturity

When a prominent batter gets hit by a pitch, even when it's abundantly clear that it wasn't intentional, the calls for "retribution" or "revenge" start coming. All too often, it devolves into a war of teams throwing at each other, which is both dangerous and immature. More»

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