Dan Pompei

Party Down

The way Johnny Manziel parties will prevent him from doing his job as well as he must, because it's difficult to achieve consistency with bloodshot eyes. Joe Namath did it, the argument goes, but there is no modern-day Namath. The league has changed too much. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Catch of the Day

No one at the beginning of the season expected Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki to be the hottest commodity at his position by the non-waiver trade deadline. But the All-Star is having a career year -- and Minnesota should take advantage. More»
Jessica Luther

A Small Step

Longhorns coach Charlie Strong's statement about the sexual assault allegations levied against two UT players is a bold one, specifically because he took a hard line on where he stands on violence against women. This is not what usually happens.http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/28716700-452/when-academic-committees-play-police.html#.U9FCWoBdWPo More»
Tomas Rios

A Larger Problem

The shockingly light suspension of a mere two games handed down to Ray Rice was disappointing, and for good reason, especially since seemingly lighter crimes have been more heavily punished. Then again, it's something of a microcosm of society's viewpoint. More»
Michael Pina

Uncertain Future

Rajon Rondo is a bit of a polarizing figure, in that he's been a very good player for one of the league's marquee franchises, yet he's also got some glaring weaknesses in his game. As he nears the end of his contract, the Celtics will have a big decision to make. More»
Pat Borzi

Silence is Golden

Frank Thomas was one of the first players to speak out against steroid use, and one of the few players to come out of the hearings with his dignity intact. Now he's being inducted into the Hall of Fame -- but instead of using his platform to preach, he should just be gracious. More»
Marc Normandin

Three's Company

This weekend, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It makes sense for them to get into Cooperstown at the same time, since it's impossible to pick the best of the three -- each of them made their mark in baseball history. More»
Michael Weinreb

Under Control

While every football coach is a control freak, Jim Mora has always seemed especially attuned to maintaining the strict boundaries around his teams. With UCLA's highest preseason expectations in years, he's trying his hardest to prevent distractions. More»
Aaron Gordon

The Distraction Debate

When Tony Dungy remarked that he wouldn't have recruited Michael Sam, he ignited a timeworn debate about the effect that "distractions" can have on a team's performance. We look back at some big headlines to see whether that theory holds any weight. More»
Wendy Thurm

The Other Guys

The Oakland A's keep rolling in the West with a roster of some players who could barely even crack a major league roster just a few years ago. How did they build such a juggernaut? And how much credit should go to manager Bob Melvin? More»
Colin McGowan

Some Guys Have All The Luck

How did the Cardinals end up in a competitive balance draft lottery, anyway? There's a boring procedural answer to that question -- St. Louis is a relatively small media market -- but regardless, the Cards don't require any additional draft picks. More»
Mike Tanier

Early Bird Tribulations

July is often a calamitous month for the Giants, so starting a week early just gave the team a jump on misfortune, like veteran guard Chris Snee's retirement and Jon Beason starting camp on the PUP list. The other early birds, the Bills, are also dealing with some serious issues. More»
Tim Casey

Playing a New Game

For several months after retiring from tennis following the 2012 U.S. Open, Andy Roddick took advantage of his freedom. He had no obligations for the first time in his life. But now, the 31-year-old has embraced is budding media career and isn't looking back. More»
Geoffrey Gray

Too Good For His Own Good

Gennady Golovkin is such a hard hitter that he suffers from the unique problem of being so good that other boxers are wary of fighting him. Historically, it's a dangerous position for a bruiser to be in, because Golovkin runs the risk of never growing into the fighter he could be. More»
Aaron Gordon

No Discipline?

On Wednesday morning, the NFL suspended Ray Rice two games for knocking his then-fiance unconscious. A closer look at recent NFL suspensions demonstrates the NFL's wild inconsistency in upholding their nebulous Personal Conduct Policy. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Finding Relief

With Huston Street going to the Angels and Joakim Soria to the Tigers, the trade market for relief pitching is officially open and doing business. Here are three of the best arms remaining on the trade block now that the Angels and Tigers have made their plays. More»
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»
Colin McGowan

The Travails of Billy Cub

Teams and leagues go overboard with litigiousness. There are, however, few instances in which you must sigh and admit you agree with the rich folks. The case of Billy Cub, the unofficial ambassador of the Cubs, is such an instance. More»
Jack Moore

Admiring From Afar

Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, two of baseball's all-time greats, admired throughout America in large towns and small for their outstanding play in the 1990s, will be inducted to the Hall of Fame this week. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Cool-Kid Stats

With just days until actual hitting and holding out starts, the time for tap-dancing and offseason rankings is nearly over. Get primed for camp with a rundown of 10 statistics and trends you absolutely have to know to be one of the cool kids this NFL season. More»
Peter Richmond

Tidal Change

It was Rory McIlroy's reaction to one of his worst shots in four days at the British Open that hinted at the triumph to come. The 25-year-old sealed the deal hitting into and out of a deep bunker on the final hole, then smiled and modestly pumped his fist. More»
Lars Anderson

Nick Saban And The Process

The Process. It's Saban's pet phrase, the distillation of his core coaching principle. But what does it mean, and where did it come from? The evolution of the Process tells us as much about Alabama's coach as it does about the Tide's winning ways. More»
Jack Etkin

Rocky Return

Before 2012, Colorado Rockies reliever Nick Masset was was a right-handed workhorse in the Cincinnati bullpen, with a combined 3.15 ERA in 2009-2011. But in spring training two years ago his injury woes began and was eventually diagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome. More»
Matt Crossman

The Famous Jameis Show

On ACC media day Jameis Winston was emphatic that he's learned from his past mistakes, and said he wants to avoid further chaos for himself, his teammates and his family. But there was also evidence that he's still not taking the allegations against him seriously. More»
Michael Pina

The Path Of Least Resistance

Andrew Wiggins vs. Kevin Love is one of the most polarizing conversations in the NBA in quite some time. But with Wiggins' incredible potential and affordable contract, the 19-year-old might be a better bet for Cleveland than the All-Star power forward. More»
Wendy Thurm

Safe Distance

Colorado Rockies owner Dick Montfort has had a tough few weeks, thanks mostly to his own comments in emails and interviews, and it doesn't help that his last-place team has more losses than anyone in the National League. It may be time for him to take a step back. More»
John Perrotto

A Family Affair

Mariners' third baseman Kyle Seager, selected to the All-Star Game after a first half in which he hit over .300 with 15 homers, was joined in Minneapolis by his younger brother Corey, playing in the Futures Game -- a mini reunion for the talented family. More»
Sean Highkin

Confidence Renewal

Otto Porter is showing a burst of confidence, making shots and grabbing rebounds in Summer League play after the Wizards' offseason moves, the impact of which looks to be increased minutes for the second-year small forward. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Uggla Ending

The Braves released Dan Uggla on Friday, in a move that costs them money but mostly serves as a sobering reminder that even a front office routinely praised around the league for its savvy can misstep in expensive ways. More»
Michael Pina

Missed Opportunity

While Carmelo Anthony looks good for taking less money than the Knicks offered, he still has a ton of money sitting in front him. But financially speaking, this contract wasn't Anthony's smartest option, and it's not the first time this has happened in his career. More»
Matthew Kory

Lose-Lose Situation

The Astros were hoping for a happy future when they drafted high school pitcher Brady Aiken with the No. 1 overall pick. But after the Astros lowered their offer and Aiken didn't sign before Friday's deadline, everyone involved has lost. More»
Peter Richmond

The Joy Of Restraint

On the face of it, ESPN's blare and golf's gentility seem nothing less than a match made in hell. Instead, from out on the pastoral peninsula shouldering the nearby Irish Sea, the network's muted approach is making this Open feel like a long, seaside walk unspoiled. More»
Howard Megdal

Kind of a Big Deal

Cincinnati Reds reliever Jumbo Diaz has been getting minor leaguers out with filthy stuff since 2002. So why hasn't he had a real major league opportunity until now? The likely culprit is body perception, more than anything else. More»
Mike Tanier

Tale Of The Tape: NFL Draft Venues

The NFL announced this week that the 2015 draft would likely be in Chicago or Los Angeles, rather than its traditional home of New York City. Which of the three really is the best? We give each of them a solid comparison in our latest tale of the tape. More»
Michael Weinreb

Hold The Fireworks

While the debate over fireworks at Michigan football games seems ridiculous, it made sense to vote the proposal down. College football should have a stripped-down vibe, because, in the best stadiums, everything you need is already there. More»
Shaun Powell

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Finals may have been a bit predictable, but the offseason has made up for it, delivering plenty of drama with surprise signings, big gambles and power plays. We ranked the best and worst moves of the offseason -- and don't worry, only one is about LeBron. More»
Matt Brown

Credit Check

There's been a unique dynamic at work at Oklahoma State during its rise to prominence: Mike Gundy's coaching gets overshadowed by the influence of mega-booster T. Boone Pickens. Subverting expectations in 2014 could help shift perception. More»
Tim Casey

She's Got It

At 34 years old, with seven Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic gold medals to her name, Venus Williams is a matriarch in the tennis world. And while she's found success off the court with her own clothing line and interior design firm, she has no plans of quitting the sport anytime soon. More»
Pete Croatto

The Best Old Soul

Twenty-five years ago Saturday, United Airlines Flight 232 crashed, taking the life of Jay Ramsdell at the age of 25. Family and friends remember the positive impact made by the man who had become commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association at 24. More»
Peter Richmond

Off to a Good Start

The British Open leaderboard is a mix of newbies and household names after an exciting first day in which Tiger Woods rallied from a slow start, Rory McIlroy dominated, and a few contenders melted down. The next three days should be exciting, which is good news for fans and ratings. More»
Sean Highkin

Believe In Magic

A new nickname has emerged during Summer League for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks forward who has been better known since his debut as the "Greek Freak" unveiled a new style and earned a new moniker to go with his length and playmaking: "Magic Giannison." More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Put Me In, Coach

Matt Kemp wants the Dodgers to play him every day or he'd like to be traded. But finding a team to take on a contract with almost $110 million remaining on it over the next five years for a declining centerfielder who can't stay healthy is asking a lot. More»
Colin McGowan

A Step In the Right Direction

The NCAA's student assistance fund represents a possibly fair way of doing things within a system that's fundamentally flawed. It helped Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi get insurance in exchange for staying for his senior year. More»
John Perrotto

He's Got the Power

Giancarlo Stanton leads the NL in home runs, but because the Marlins don't get much national airtime, he's still an unfamiliar face to many baseball fans. But with trade rumors swirling -- and Stanton doing little to dispel them -- he may not be in South Florida for long. More»
Patrick Hruby

Cutting Them Short

A judge granted preliminary approval to the NFL's concussion settlement earlier this month. But the agreement makes CTE coverage -- the crippling disease that triggered the lawsuit in the first place -- virtually non-existent, which could have disastrous effects for current and former players. More»
Colin McGowan

Buzzing in Charlotte

The Charlotte Hornets may not be contenders, but that doesn't mean they're not worth watching. Already a fairly entertaining team, the Hornets added Lance Stephenson to give them an even more intriguing blend of talent. More»
Shaun Powell

Any Other Bright Ideas?

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is intrigued by the concept of holding a midseason tournament. While this might make the game more attractive for TV (and by extension, generate more dough), the downsides would likely hurt the game. More»
Jeb Lund

Not Going Away

Pete Rose, though banned for life for gambling on baseball, has been cleared for limited participation in the festivities at the All-Star Game in 2015, which has already caused some consternation. But this columnist says if the Reds want him there, he should attend. More»
Will Leitch

Wishful Thinking

Seventeen teams in baseball have at least a semi-realistic chance of making the playoffs. Here's a ranking, from least compelling to most compelling, of just how much each one winning a championship would capture the collective imagination. More»
Pat Borzi

Jeter Gifts Ranked (So Far)

As Derek Jeter continues his farewell tour, we ranked the gifts he's received so far based on creativity, city identity and personal significance to The Captain. It gives the clubs who have yet to pick out a present something to aim for. More»
Lars Anderson

Johnny Who?

Entering his third year in College Station, there's a lot to like about the state of Kevin Sumlin's Texas A&M program. But the Aggies still need to build, brick by brick. And, of course, there's the question on everyone's mind: Who's going to play quarterback? More»
Michael Pina

Out of His Control

Just how much can we blame the Rockets' offseason struggles on general manager Daryl Morey? The short answer: Almost none of it. Morey put himself in a position to succeed this summer, and his reputation should not hinge on the personal decisions made by superstars. More»
Michael Clair

History In The Making

Everybody knows how many games in a row Joe DiMaggio hit in, or who the last player to top .400 was. But do you know the record for most position players to pitch in a season, or what team scored the fewest runs per game? Those records and others like them are set to fall. More»
Marc Normandin

Man Down

The one inevitable truth that every baseball team has to deal with is that someone important will get injured. All they can do is hope that it's not for a long period of time, or that they have enough depth to cover for them. As these five teams are learning, it's not always so easy. More»
Leigh Montville

Beyond Belief

Forbes released its annual list of the world's 50 most valuable sports teams, once again emphasizing the absurd rise in value of franchises over the last several years. So what would professional sports' early owners think now? More»
Aaron Gordon

The Plight of the Sideline Reporter

Sideline reporters are often derided as useless parts of sports broadcasts, a generalization that ignores the restrictions placed on them. The biases against women in particular have led observers to confuse those limitations with a lack of reporting talent. More»
Michael Weinreb

Defying Logic

For the past 15 years, few college football coaches have had as much success as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops. But a run of major bowl losses gave him a reputation as an underachiever, and 2014 now presents another opportunity to undo the illogical. More»
Shaun Powell

Love Can Wait

An Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love trade is one of those deals where the Cavs couldn't go wrong either way, but which way is right? The Cavs would be wise to let the season play out because they might get what they want, anyway: a championship and a shot at Love. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

All Due Re2pect

When a guy like Derek Jeter walks up to home plate in a game that exists to honor greatness, you're damn right he's going to get a couple of center-cut fastballs. That, ladies and gentleman, is how this business respects its own. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Changing His Tune

Tiger Woods has tried choruses of self-reassurance for years. But, 73 months after Torrey Pines, the tune is so worn-out that even "Blurred Lines" sounds fresher. So maybe it's time to change it. Maybe it's time for some counter-intuition. More»
Lars Anderson

Make or Break Year

Perhaps more than any other player in the nation, the performance of Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel may determine the fate of his head coach. The 2013 season was a disaster for Will Muschamp, who looks to a revamped offense for a spark. More»
Peter Richmond

The Great Wide Open

The heart of golf lies across the pond at the British Open, and with a field of interesting characters -- and so many favorites that it would be nearly impossible to predict the winner -- this year's tournament should be particularly intriguing. More»
Jack Gallagher

Major Letdown

When Masahiro Tanaka's spectacular season was interrupted due to an elbow injury, Japanese fans were crushed. Speculation in his home country has not been in short supply as to why the ace is facing his current predicament. More»
Mike Tanier

What the Jimmy Graham Contract Means

The job description of a tight end has changed drastically, so it was little surprise when Jimmy Graham argued that he lines up as a receiver often enough to get paid like one. He's worked out a contract, but the question remains: Are franchise tags outdated? More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Second-Half Predictions

With the first half of the MLB season behind us, we look back at the biggest surprises (that's you, Brewers!) and most impressive performances -- and look ahead to the rest of the season, including trade rumors and postseason predictions. More»
Will Leitch

It's Never Enough

We are nearing the end of Derek Jeter's career, and we still can't let him be anything but perfect. We can't let him just be a great player. He has to be a god. This all came into focus during the All-Star Game when Adam Wainwright grooved Jeter a pitch. More»
Howard Megdal

The Future of Basketball's Future

For years, basketball players with professional dreams who weren't ready to make the leap right out of high school have gone to college, largely due to a lack of other options. As the NCAA makes itself less appealing, the NBA D-League is stepping up as an alternative. More»
Evan Hall

A Sound Decision

Once slated to play for Larry Brown at SMU, top basketball prospect Emmanuel Mudiay has instead decided to turn pro overseas before he's eligible for the NBA. It's hard to fault him for a sound decision to go around the NCAA's amateurism sham. More»
Andrew Garda

Unclear Future

Washington had some significant problems last season but has a lot of talent at its foundation. Still, plenty of questions swirl around the Redskins: Will the offense buy into what new coach Jay Gruden sells? And, most importantly, will Robert Griffin III change his style of play? More»
Shaun Powell

Houston's Offseason Stumble

Even after Houston's early postseason exit, things looked up for the Rockets. They had space, they had a winning team and they had Daryl Morey. Really, what could go wrong? Well, the worst case scenario happened: The Rockets lost Chandler Parsons and did not land another star. More»
Colin McGowan

Full Disclosure

The fact that the Minnesota Vikings aren't even giving their findings of an internal investigation of homophobia in their coaching staff to the public or Chris Kluwe (who brought up the allegations in Deadspin) suggests there's something damning in those documents. More»
Tomas Rios

Owning The News

Last week, The New York Times tagged Sports Illustrated as a public relations ally of LeBron James for publishing his decision in his own words. Though the two-time champion's move was a huge story, the media cannot claim ownership of sports news. More»
Michael Pina

Toronto's Enigma

In many ways, Toronto Raptors rookie Bruno Caboclo is the last of a dying breed. We live in an era of information addiction, never-ending, 24/7/365 scouting reports where people criticize newborn babies for misdiagnosing pick-and-roll coverage, but the 18-year-old Brazilian eluded them all. More»
Mike Tanier

Harpoon Knows Boston

On his special beer quest across the country, Mike Tanier hung out with Harpoon co-founder and CEO Rich Doyle. They discussed what beers go with which sports occasions and the fan bases that often descend on the brewery. More»
Eno Sarris

A Break from Routine

It's not surprising that there are a lot of bright-eyed baseball players in Minneapolis for the All-Star Game. It's not only the accolade itself -- All-Star week is nothing like routine. And the result is actually as refreshing as it sounds trite. This game is not like a regular game. It's beautiful. More»
Russ Lande

More Questions than Answers

The Titans have undergone big changes and need a lot to click early if they are going to find success. They face questions up and down their roster, from who will step up at running back to who will ultimately win the quarterback job. More»
Steve Marsh

Two Sides to the Story

Most days, there is plenty of space at Minnesota's little ballpark. Target Field opened in 2010, and it still has that new-park smell, but the Twins have been so terrible the last three seasons, coming perilously close to 100 losses each year, that they hardly need enough room for anybody. More»
John Perrotto

An Unlikely All-Star

Josh Harrison is the most unlikely of the 68 players who will suit up for tonight's All-Star Game. He will be part of the NL squad despite starting the season as the 25th man on the Pirates' roster, a utility player who had shuttled back and forth to Triple A the past three seasons. More»
Kevin Fixler

A Lax Legacy

Zach Miller is one of the best players in college lacrosse, but it's not simply the love of the game that drives him. As a Native American, the roots of lacrosse run back through generations of his people, and he's hoping to use it to help forge a brighter future. More»
Will Leitch

Letting It Fly

The Home Run Derby isn't for the die-hard baseball fans. It's for the casual observers. That's fine, because when you think about the event, it really is about distilling everything complicated about the game down to pure fun. More»
Matt Brown

The All-Watchability Team

In honor of all the award watch lists being announced, Sports on Earth has put together its own watch list: an All-Watchability Team. These are the college players at each position who are the most entertaining and capable of making highlight-reel plays. More»
Aaron Gordon

Going, Going, Gone

MLB has fiddled with the Home Run Derby's format for almost as long as it's existed. But the event won't be worth watching until we can make the event about the simplest of pleasures: seeing a ball fly through the air for a really long time and land really far away. More»
Sean Highkin

The First Noel

Monday's Summer League unveiling of Nerlens Noel was the beginning of Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie's gospel of the future coming true. Noel is still raw, but the defensive impact he displayed against Cleveland bodes well for his career as an elite NBA big man. More»
Geoffrey Gray

The Great Chinese Hope

Any reasonable boxing promoter would think twice before signing up a fighter like China's Zou Shiming. But given the sport's dwindling popularity in the U.S. over the past few decades, Shiming offers a promoter something no other fighter can: a way into the lucrative Far East market. More»
Matthew Kory

Savor the Moment

The American League might be stronger with Alexei Ramirez at short and Mike Trout leading off on Tuesday, but this is Derek Jeter's year and the fact that this All-Star Game determines home field advantage in the World Series can take a back seat as we all celebrate Jeter's contributions. More»
Colin McGowan

Plan B For the Bulls

The Bulls have looked one great player away from championship contention. But while they may have already missed out on some of the bigger names during this free agency period, general manager Gar Forman may have found another way to build a strong roster. More»
Lars Anderson

Can Gus Malzahn Deliver an Encore?

Twenty-two autumns ago, Gus Malzahn and his wife lived in a trailer in Arkansas where he made $24,000 as the head coach at Hughes High. As years passed, he moved to different schools around the state until something profound happened on the field -- no one could stop Malzahn's offense. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Making a Splash

Australian Olympic champion Ian Thorpe recently confirmed that he is gay, becoming perhaps the biggest athlete in the world to do so. He's also a testament to the tortured path the mind takes to come to terms with something natural but unusual. More»
Will Leitch

The Only All-Star Game That Matters

One of the best things about baseball's All-Star Game is that it isn't restricted to a few "jewel" cities like Las Vegas or Miami. Instead, it travels to nearly every park in the game, reminding everyone just how great a place like Minnesota can be in the summer. More»
Shaun Powell

Paying the Price

Usually, a 23-year-old free agent with game-changing skills would be a hugely sought-after player. But for Lance Stephenson, his antics have cooled interest in him, to the point that a return to the Pacers may be the only option he has left. It's a situation that will cost him millions. More»
Colin McGowan

Sometimes The Universe Smiles

Golfers blame the universe's fundamental unfairness when they err, tending (as do most of us) to remember the bad over the good. But sometimes, just sometimes, a shot drops, as it did for Mo Martin at the LPGA's British Open. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Germany's Cool Factor

Germany is a vibrant, smart, pretty, cosmopolitan land, and the stylish, multi-ethnic soccer Germany plays might be its paramount testimony. It's time to say what nobody said even 24 years ago, what some people would consider gauche even today: Germany is cool. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Top Quarterbacks

Ranking quarterbacks always sparks arguments. Who do you want? A living legend? A next big thing? My underrated players may be your overrated ones, but I want the best of both worlds: the skills of a young QB, combined with the bonafides of an older one. More»
Sean Highkin

Big Daddy's Set For a Breakout

Anthony Bennett's rookie year was a nightmare on every level. But the Bennett that has showed up for Summer League couldn't be more different from the overweight, miserable, checked-out player that became the butt of all manner of jokes last season. More»
Howard Megdal

From Bad To Worse

The narrative of Jeremy Lin is pervasive, consistent and wrong. The idea is that Lin's 35 games with the Knicks were some kind of fluke. But other than those games, Lin has never been in full control of an offense -- and that won't happen in L.A., either. More»
Mike Tanier

A Moving Target

The Bucs made sweeping changes with the arrival of new head coach Lovie Smith. There are new faces on just about every unit. Analyzing the Bucs is like trying to hit a moving target from a moving target on an obstacle course in a summer squall. More»
Jack Moore

Primed and Ready

Although play has varied in quality over the last six years, the NL Central just keeps bringing the drama. The Brewers have owned the lead all season, but recent struggles could force moves at the trade deadline. More»
Matthew Kory

The New Last-Place Red Sox

It's been a bumpy ride in Boston. After rising from last place in 2012 to World Series champs in 2013, the Red Sox have slid back to the bottom of the AL East again. But this year's rookies may be kicking off a long-term turn-around. More»
Neil deMause

Sticking to the Rules

Tommy Milone was one of the Oakland's hottest young starters before the A's traded for 40 percent of the Cubs' starting rotation. Now, Milone finds himself in Triple-A in part due to one of Major League Baseball's basic byzantine rules: options. More»
Seerat Sohi

The Long Game

LeBron James has always been one to play the long game. And that's what Cleveland is: Home -- a place that has needed him since he left, a place for LeBron to be great on his own terms, even if it is going to be harder this time. More»
Patrick Hruby and Michael Pina

Capital Gains?

Over the weekend, future NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce became a Washington Wizard. Read that again. To better understand what this means, we asked a long-suffering Wizards fan and Washington, D.C. resident (our own Patrick Hruby) and NBA contributor Michael Pina to discuss Pierce's move. More»
Sean Highkin

Swept up in the Hype

The Dante Exum canon now includes one full Summer League game. For all we know, his next game could be terrible and the hype could evaporate. But it's more fun to pretend that's impossible. It's players like Exum who define the magic of Summer League. More»
Pat Borzi

A Family Of Stars

Paul Neshek will be on the field, at work with the Twins' grounds crew, on Tuesday night, silently rooting for his brother Pat to pitch for the National League in the All-Star Game. Given Pat's long journey to this point, it's an emotional homecoming for the whole family. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Camp Argentina

In central Rio, there's a makeshift campground full of Argentine fans who just want to be near the Argentina team that will play Germany in the colossal World Cup final on Sunday. Just being there is good enough. More»
Shaun Powell

Melo Gets His Money

Carmelo Anthony went for the money, which makes him greedy, right? Actually, it makes him smart -- he gets the chance to show that the Knicks, with new coach Derek Fisher and president Phil Jackson, can win in the next five years. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Rockies shouldn't trade Troy Tulowitzki, but he might want out. They languish in a three-way race to avoid finishing at the bottom of their division and the entire NL. It wouldn't be surprising if he pressured Colorado to make substantial changes to their roster or get rid of him. More»
Sean Highkin

Team Players

Until the Cavaliers win their first NBA championship, Friday will serve as the franchise's high-water mark. They got back the greatest player of his generation and caught their first glimpse of Andrew Wiggins who may one day succeed him. It was tough for anyone to contain their giddiness. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

Dinosaur Logic

All together now, dinosaurs of decades past: "Today's pitchers are weak! Today's pitches are babies! Today's pitchers don't have that fire in their belly to go out there and push through a little thing like arm pain!" Oh, if only a meteor would send them all into extinction. More»
Howard Megdal

My Kid's First Game At Fenway

On our first trip to Fenway Park, I wanted to give my four-year-old a sense of both the passion of Red Sox fans and the incredible history of the place. Still, I wasn't willing to let my desire to make Fenway a teachable moment overwhelm her ability to have fun. More»
Michael Pina

Life After LeBron

As Cleveland fans do cartwheels over the return of LeBron James, don't forget what's going to become of the Heat without him. Between Chris Bosh's new max contract hogging cap space and Dwyane Wade's ongoing decline, Miami fans are in for tough times. More»
Shaun Powell

Hot In Cleveland

In the blink of an eye, Cleveland has gone from an NBA wasteland to an enticing place to be, entirely because of LeBron James. With a single move, James has turned himself from a villain into a savior, and transformed the perception of an entire city. More»
Will Leitch

Home Sweet Home

LeBron James has agreed to return to the Cavaliers, but more importantly, he's decided to go home. Whether or not you believe him that Northeast Ohio is the best place to raise a family, it's his choice, and one that Cleveland fans -- and the NBA -- will never forget. More»
Robert Weintraub

Kings Of The Cup

Either Germany or Argentina is going to walk away from the 2014 World Cup as champions on Sunday, but will that make them the best football nation of the 21st century? We put each country to the test using a points system to find the best World Cup nation on Earth. More»
Jeb Lund

Positive Evolution

After flopping at World Cup coverage in 2006, ESPN improved in 2010 and -- after a slow start -- did even better in 2014. It's almost enough to say that we'll actually miss them when Fox Sports takes over Cup coverage in 2018. Who would have ever thought? More»
John Perrotto

Trying to Catch On

Brian McCann hasn't quite lived up to his expectations as a hitter since signing a five-year contract with the Yankees. While some have hinted that he's having trouble adjusting to the pressures of playing in New York, McCann says it's just a lull and nothing more. More»
Eric Longenhagen

Back To The Future

You may not know the names Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, Joey Gallo and Francisco Lindor just yet, but don't worry: You will. They're all part of the Futures Game, which showcases the best talent the minors has to offer, and they're going to be playing for your favorite team very soon. More»
Russ Lande

Feeling the Rush

The Rams have plenty of talent and potential this year, including an elite defense that could potentially get them to the playoffs. But they're putting a lot of faith in a few standout players, and only time will tell whether that gamble pays off. More»
Michael Clair

A Weekend to Remember

The All-Star Game is a chance for fans to watch the best of the best go head-to-head. But with so many other options for entertainment out there, here are a few suggestions for special events that could keep viewers glued to their televisions all weekend. More»
Chuck Culpepper

On Hallowed Ground

Argentina and Germany have a longstanding World Cup rivalry, which will make for an exciting final. But the even bigger story is that Sunday's final will be played in Rio's "cathedral of football," while Brazilians can only root against Argentina -- and look to the future. More»
Marc Normandin

Proactive Approach

The Seattle Mariners should be proactive this trade deadline, and add to a team that's less flawed than their competition. Anything can happen once they get to October, but they need to get there first, which won't happen without a new bat or arm in the lineup. More»
Tim Casey

Tales of a Failed Big Three

10 years before the Heat signed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Magic nearly assembled a "Big Three" of its own. During the summer of 2000, Orlando's pursuit of Tim Duncan, Grant Hill and McGrady dominated the league's summer news. But then it all fell apart. More»
Leigh Montville

The Bull Rages On

Virtually every boxer Jake LaMotta fought no longer exists. Sugar Ray. Fitzie Zivic. Norman Hayes. Tiberio Mitri. Marcel Cerdan. The places where he fought also no longer exist. Forbes Field. Olympia Stadium. St. Nicholas Arena. But the 93-year-old Raging Bull is still punching. More»
Wendy Thurm

The End of An Era

Candlestick Park will be torn apart this fall but the games played on the field will echo through the Bay Area for a long time to come. But as one sports era ends and a new one begins, the Oakland A's may very well find themselves on top of the heap again. More»
Michael Weinreb

Rating Each College Football Week

Since the dawn of human civilization, people have chosen to get married on fall Saturdays. This, of course, is a terrible thing if you're a rabid college football fan. So, we created a rated each week of the 2014 season, this way you can concoct your wedding escape plans in advance. More»
Colin McGowan

A Race Against Time

The Rockets have a lot of balls in the air as far as trying to import Chris Bosh and retain Chandler Parsons, but they're a bit stuck until they can trade Omer Asik and/or Jeremy Lin. Plus, the LeBron decision hangs over everything. Time is running out for this to work in their favor. More»
Selena Roberts

Not Doing Himself Any Favors

As if Tiger Woods didn't have enough controversy to deal with, now he's agreed to become a spokesperson for supplement company MusclePharm. It's an outfit that has come under more than a little scrutiny in, and it's hard to understand why Woods is taking the risk. More»
Will Leitch

Why The Third-Place Game Matters

The Netherlands may not want to bother with a game to decide third place, but there's plenty of benefits for the match to exist. A soccer game is better than not having a soccer game, the play itself is usually more exciting, and it gives Brazil an opportunity to go out on a high note. More»
Michael Weinreb

Nine Holes with the Head Ball Coach

One of these years, Steve Spurrier will up and retire on us. This season, his 10th at South Carolina, will also be his 30th as a Head Ball Coach. The beauty of Steve Spurrier is he's never made it seem like he was working very hard, even when he was. More»
Tomas Rios

Coming Back for More

Thirty-two of the world's best national soccer teams gather every four years to play in an impossible tournament that guarantees nothing but emotional trauma of every scale for 31 of them. Despite the imminent pain, fans always come back for more. More»
Evan Hall

The Rise of the Front-Office Star

In the modern NBA, star general managers have gained prestige as leading players in the game around the game. They are in charge of building teams to contend for championships but also are celebrities in their own right, albeit with smaller fan bases than the players they sign. More»
Colin McGowan

FIFA Springs Into Action

FIFA has suspended the Nigerian Football Federation from international play due to allegations of corruption, and in theory that should be a good thing. But as usual, FIFA is merely looking out for itself, not acting because of the alleged crime, but because of the precedent it would set. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Worst-Case Scenario

The Yankees were barely keeping themselves afloat in the AL playoff race as it is, so the news that Masahiro Tanaka's elbow is sore is an absolute nightmare. As they wait to hear about the severity of his injury, the stark truth is that they were in trouble no matter what. More»
Matthew Kory

The Baseball Wonders Of The World

In San Diego, the Padres have an actual building integrated into the ballpark, and it's become Petco's best-known feature. Since that was so successful, why stop there? Why couldn't the White House, or the Great Wall of China, or even Niagara Falls work as baseball fields? More»
Chuck Culpepper

No Place Like Home

If LeBron James does return to Cleveland, he'd hardly be the first star athlete to return to the city that made him famous... or in some cases, to do so multiple times. In our latest countdown, we rank the top players to find their way back to their professional birthplaces. More»
Aaron Gordon

Waiting for American Soccer

There will be no moment to which we can pinpoint American soccer's origination. Soccer doesn't get off a plane at JFK and get its passport stamped. If it does happen, it won't be through large-scale marketing or international friendlies, but by a gradual diasporic process. More»
Andrew Garda

Confident, But Not Comfortable

The Seattle Seahawks appear to have very little to do to get ready for the 2014 NFL season. Dominating defense? Check. Returning Pro Bowl wide receiver? Check. Beast running back healthy? Checkity check. Yet, the reigning champs can't afford to rest on their laurels. More»
Brian Tuohy

Rain on the World Cup Parade

Imagine being told that at least three NFL teams were so corrupt that they may have thrown more than one game during the season. Would you feel that the Super Bowl champion was a true victor? Unfortunately for soccer fans, this is the reality of the current World Cup. More»
Shaun Powell

His Own Path

As LeBron James is busy flexing his considerable muscle while remaining silent on his free agency plans at least for another day, we do know this much about the current King: He doesn't want to Be Like Kobe when the next contract he signs comes to an end. More»
Chuck Culpepper

After the Ambush

With Neymar and Thiago Silva out, Brazil fans might have braced for a loss to Germany -- but nothing prepared them for the 7-1 routing that happened on Tuesday. Seven years of build-up came to a crushing end, and Brazilian fans were left stunned. More»
Matt Brown

The Kings of College Football

Even as college football has become a more national game entering the playoff era, regional attitudes have become only stronger. While everyone likes to accuse the SEC of impropriety, it still reigns supreme after after its championship streak ended. More»
Michael Pina

Filling a Role

Signing someone like Paul Pierce shouldn't be seen as a squandered opportunity. He isn't Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, but he understands his role and fits perfectly with a few teams looking to soar higher next season. More»
Brian Tuohy

The Game That Ruth Built

One hundred years after he first made his debut as a 19-year-old Red Sox pitcher, Babe Ruth is remembered as not only a Yankee slugger, but still the best hitter of all time. Ruth changed the game like no one before or since. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

A Final Shot

The All-Star rosters have been announced and the game is days away. Now it's time for the madness of the Final Vote, where the last spot on each league's roster is put up for grabs in a free-for-all campaign of rabid fanbase madness. More»
Sean Highkin

The Third Wheel

The first domino to fall is going to be LeBron James, as it always would be. But unless he makes up his mind soon, Chris Bosh might have to make it for him. If Bosh leaves, it would be hard for James to justify staying in Miami without an additional top-tier star. More»
Mike Tanier

The Little Team That Could

The eerie silence surrounding the Chargers is a somewhat-justifiable lack of buzz -- they're a small market team in a sandy corner of the NFL map. Then again, it seems like no one is ever looking, which puts San Diego in position to become 2014's unsurprising surprise team. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

Hey Now, You're An All-Star

The idea that baseball players should bow down and start Twitter campaigns for you to vote them into the All-Star game, that isn't baseball. It's just marketing. A game that is decided by fan vote, popularity and veteran honoraria is not real baseball. It's just another grand ceremony. More»
Chuck Culpepper

A Painful Possibility

As if losing 7-1 to Germany didn't sting enough, the Brazilians face two scenarios that could make things even worse. They could watch Argentina walk away with the World Cup, or they could end up facing off against Argentina for third. Neither is a particularly welcome prospect. More»
Mike Tanier

Debauchery-Free Destinations

Johnny Manziel deserves his downtime, but he might do well to avoid temptation in party towns like Vegas and Austin. We've compiled a list of good, clean getaways where he'll have a hard time getting into any trouble. More»
Colin McGowan

Reasonable Doubt

While we're usually quick to overlook criminal records and personal transgressions, steroid use remains an unforgivable sin among sports fans -- which is why David Ortiz's inclusion on a list of PED users back in 2003 continues to haunt him, despite a lack of information. More»
Will Leitch

End of an Era

For the first time in more than 20 years, there is no college football video game being released this season. This is the week the game always shipped … but not this year, and no longer. The reasons for this are wholly justified. Still: I miss it. More»
Colin McGowan

Inside Basketball

Whichever team LeBron signs with is going to win a lot of games. This is the primary reason why it matters where he's headed and why the coverage of it exhaustive without being remotely essential. The only truly useful report will be the one that confirms his destination. More»
Patrick Hruby

The Devil Is In the Details

Federal judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to the revised, "uncapped" brain damage lawsuit settlement between the National Football League and more than 4,500 retired players on Monday. We broke down the key details of Brody's ruling. More»
Matt Crossman

The Man To Sort Out NASCAR

NASCAR's new Race Team Alliance has been a long time coming, and Rob Kauffman is the ideal man to lead it. He is not a "sky is falling" doomsayer, nor has he chugged the NASCAR Kool-Aid. He knows how to fix up an engine that doesn't run like it used to. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Long-anticipated and Unexpected

It's Brazil-Germany, the World Cup semifinal everybody and his futbol-expert sister could have forecast seven months ago, when the draw emerged and the agony began. And it's Brazil-Germany, barely recognizable from the vision of that Brazil-Germany. More»
Dan Pompei

Living on the Edge

The 49ers can destroy a lot of teams this fall, assuming they don't destroy themselves first. They are well-coached and well-stocked. But in some ways they have been a team on the edge, with rumors of infighting, contract standoffs and players running afoul of the law. More»
Jorge Arangure Jr.

Focused On The Task At Hand

It seems possible -- maybe even likely -- that David Price is in his final few weeks as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, though the team's recent hot streak may change that. Either way, Price doesn't want to talk about his future, preferring to focus on his dominating pitching. More»
Sean Highkin

The Virtue of The Decision

Think about the first week of the most bizarre free agency period in recent NBA history and how long its dragged out. Wouldn't you love it if you knew when LeBron James was going to announce his plans? If you answered yes, wouldn't The Decision: Part II be a welcome respite? More»
Neil deMause

Savvy Threats

After a week of bitter wrangling, A's owner Lew Wolff and Oakland city officials finally agreed on a new lease last week, after Wolff threatened to move the team if he didn't get one. But the A's aren't obligated to stay in Oakland after 2017, and could potentially end up in one of these cities. More»
John Perrotto

A Father's Legacy

Tony Gwynn Jr.'s heart remains heavy. While the rest of the world lost a great baseball player when the elder Gwynn died June 16 of mouth cancer, Gwynn Jr. lost his father and that hurt doesn't fade away quickly. But the Phillies outfielder is slowly moving forward after Gwynn Sr.'s death. More»
Shaun Powell

Can You Go Home Again?

As LeBron James' free agency continues to evolve, the most exciting thought is that of him returning to Cleveland, the city where he started his NBA career. But with the way Ohio treated him on the way out the door, could he possibly go back there even if he wanted to? More»
Will Leitch

Nothing But Hot Air

Want to claim you had the inside scoop on LeBron James' free agency decision? Just claim you have a gut feeling about it now. If you're wrong, no one will remember. If you're right, you can point to how connected you are. It's a can't-lose situation, unless you're a fan buying into it all. More»
Colin McGowan

Klinsmann The Visionary

It can seem at times like Jurgen Klinsmann criticizes soccer in the U.S. just for the sake of it, but he always has the big picture in mind. He would prefer our best 13-year-olds not have to go abroad to get the training they require in order to make the U.S. team competitive. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Top Rushers

There are ways to determine just where an offensive line's talents end and the running back's skills begin. Using broken tackles, breakaway runs and more, I analyzed each team's running game. The Seahawks are the top, of course, and then things get interesting. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

Salvation Sleeve?

The Motus Pitcher Sleeve measures data concerning stress on the elbow during the pitching process. It's been heralded as the Holy Grail, the thing that will save baseball. But there are already better tools available. So why is this the one that will work? More»
Aaron Gordon

Soccer Sociology

Traveling the world to watch World Cup matches with each country reveals some generalities, such as that South Americans care more about the Cup than other locales, while Africans invest more in it... and that soccer diplomacy stays on the field. More»
Robert Weintraub

Stuck In Neutral

After consecutive 8-8 seasons, the Steelers are anxious to return to the playoffs. But have they done enough? Ryan Shazier is fast yet may have been a reach with the 15th pick, and much of Ben Roethlisberger's success depends on an injury-prone offensive line staying healthy. More»
Shaun Powell

Tapped Out

It's not hard to imagine LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade wearing the same uniform this fall. It's just hard to visualize the help. What is hard to imagine, however, is another trio like the Miami Heat's Big Three emerging in the near future. More»
Jack Moore

Passed Over

When producing MLB's All-Star roster, some deserving candidate is inevitably left out. But this trio of players -- including Kyle Seager, Chris Sale and Buster Posey -- can take solace in the fact that they're not the first to be unjustly snubbed. More»
Mike Tanier

Sun King's Indy Influence

On his special beer quest across the country, Mike Tanier hung out with Sun King Brewery's Steve Koers to discuss how Sun King Brewery is such a big part of the Indianapolis sports scene, and how cans are a perfect container for their ales. More»
Mike Tanier

Brooklyn's Beer Resurgence

Recently, Mike Tanier met with Brooklyn Brewery president and founder Steve Hindy to discuss their summer ales, beer's relationship to New York sports and his family's connection to Babe Ruth. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Erasing All Doubt

If six Grand Slams with two outside Australia don't describe Novak Djokovic well enough, seven with two Wimbledon titles explains him better. It seems more right. Any player who can shoo aside a fourth-set nightmare against Roger Federer to prevail has a rarefied caliber. More»
Tomas Rios

Questionable Greatness

Time and the UFC exist in the same universe, but have the same relationship with one another as a supernova and a dung beetle -- neither is terribly aware of the other. This is one of the better ways to approach a UFC event. More»
Chuck Culpepper

What Will The Semis Bring?

Four teams have outlasted controversy, dives and penalty kicks to arrive at the World Cup semis. All needed extra time at some point. Some stars have been injured, while others are deemed "underwhelming" or the "worst side ever." What's left for the semis? More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Go Big Or Go Home

The Oakland A's shocked the baseball word by acquiring both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but it cost them one of baseball's best prospects in Addison Russell to do so. For a team looking to win the World Series right now, it just might be worth the risk. More»
Aaron Gordon

Playing Tug Of War

History has pulled the Alsace region back and forth between France and Germany, creating complex loyalties along the border there. Watching Friday's World Cup quarterfinal on both sides of the Rhine illustrates the unique push and pull. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Grinding Their Way

While Brazil has made it through to the World Cup semifinals, it's not playing in its usually dazzling way. Friday's win over Colombia was the latest example of the stress partially caused by the pressure of playing as the tournament's host. More»
Lindsay Gibbs

The Anatomy of a Breakthrough

With elite tennis players skewing older, there's been concern about the future. That problem can be put aside on Saturday, though, as Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Kvitova play the first Grand Slam final matching players born in the 1990s. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

If The All-Star Game Really Mattered

Major League Baseball likes to say that the All-Star Game counts now, but the rosters aren't selected with the idea of putting a winning team together in mind. What if they were? Well, that roster might include Dee Gordon instead of Derek Jeter, and it might be a better team. More»
Patrick Hruby

Freedom For All

The NCAA actually said that amateurism is "uniquely American," which is laughable to the point that it's nearly offensive. On this Independence Day, remember the origins of amateurism, who it really benefits and why our nation's ideals demand we fight against it. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Collision Course

Two South American teams -- both at the top of their game -- going head-to-head on their home continent would make for a ridiculously exciting final. Instead, Brazil and Colombia will meet up in the quarterfinals -- which means one of the best teams will be heading home too soon. More»
Shaun Powell

The Clock Is Ticking

More and more, it appears Pat Riley is in trouble. The Heat's options for new talent to support LeBron James are dwindling. Riley must get moving on finding help before LeBron gets moving on holding interviews. More»
Colin McGowan

NBA Free Agency Roundup

We're at a midpoint of the important part of NBA free agency, where many players have verbally agreed to contracts, but the deals aren't official yet. These unofficial signings can give us crucial clues on what's going to happen in the rest of the offseason. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

A Harsh Reminder

Every fan clamoring for their team to sign a young pitcher having a breakout year to a long-term deal should be reminded of Jair Jurrjens. In 2009, the idea Jurrjens not being a mainstay in the Braves' lineup seemed ludicrous ... then his career went off the rails. More»
Mike Tanier

What's On Tonight

Early summer isn't the most exciting time for televised sports, especially if you're not following baseball or the World Cup. Here are a few better-than-nothing ideas for keeping sports fans infotained until football season returns. More»
Ravi Ubha

Losing His Edge

Away from tennis, everything seems to be going well for Novak Djokovic. He's getting married soon after Wimbledon and is expecting his first child. But on the court, the intensity and killer instinct he had when he won three Grand Slams in 2011 is gone. More»
Joe DeLessio

A Colorful History

If a color scheme could define a decade, then the '90s were the era of teal and purple. Now, decades after Alexander Julian submitted his original Charlotte Hornets design, the team name and colors are making a comeback. More»
Will Leitch

Only The Beginning

A lot of people watched the U.S.-Belgium match and they're going to need something to watch for the next four years. U.S. Soccer doesn't just pop up every four years. It's a year-round pursuit that, now that you're hooked, can become a regular part of your life. You should make it one. More»
Marc Normandin

The Best Is Yet To Come

Though the All-Star break isn't actually here yet, we have reached the midway point of the 2014 baseball season. If we've learned anything from years past, it's that there's always a team or two who will surprise in the second half. Who will it be this year? These five teams have cases. More»
Matt Brown

The Best College Position Groups

Given the yearly turnover in college football, it's hard to maintain cohesive star-studded position units for multiple years, but a few always rise to the top as centerpieces for top teams. We identify the best units by team and by conference. More»
Howard Megdal

In Defense of the Hot Dog

I love a hot dog. So does my wife. So does America. Ideally, the appropriate condiment -- mustard, not ketchup, you communist -- is nearby. The best hot dogs, though, don't even need it. Nowadays, though, the hot dog is under attack by alternative ballpark foods. More»
Colin McGowan

Melodrama Springs Eternal

Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin aren't likely to share space on the Rockets' roster, but it's not because of any spat over uniform number or lingering resentment over their time together in New York. It is, very simply, a cap problem: Houston can't afford to have both. More»
Dirk Hayhurst

Smoke Screen

Think professional baseball players don't indulge in marijuana? Think again, to an extent far more than the public knows. Thanks to a loophole in the rules, it's easier to do in the majors than the minors, but that doesn't mean that organizational players aren't doing it too. More»
Shaun Powell

Not Worth The Trouble

After one of the strangest few days in recent NBA history, the Bucks finally introduced Jason Kidd as their new head coach on Wednesday. So what did they gain? A terrible hit to their reputation, a GM who just lost his authority and a coach who may not even be that great. More»
Andrew Garda

Eagles Flying High

Malcom Jenkins isn't the only new player joining the Eagles secondary, but he's certainly the most well-known, which is good news for a unit that could use all the help it can get. Of course, none of it might matter if Nick Foles can't duplicate his surprising 2013 breakout season. More»
Shaun Powell

Fallback Plan

The Houston Rockets gave Carmelo Anthony the obligatory free agency tour this week, perhaps angering Jeremy Lin in the process. But while the idea of Anthony joining Dwight Howard and James Harden is fun, it's still unlikely, and that's okay: The Rockets are still in great shape. More»
Tim Casey

Itching to Return

CC Sabathia, whose been on the disabled list since May 11 with an inflammation of his right knee, struggled at times in his second rehabilitation start in the minors. But it didn't worry Sabathia, who is eager to return to the Bronx and help the Yankees snap their current slump. More»
Lars Anderson

The Man to Beat

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has notched an impressive nine top five finishes and two wins in 2014 thus far. But from the summer of 2008 to the end of 2013, he only reached Victory Lane once. What triggered Earnhardt's transformation? Her name is Amy Reimann. More»
Ravi Ubha

Dashed Hopes

While Andy Murray ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon last year, it's now 78 years since a British man successfully defended the title. The young Grigor Dimitrov sensed Murray's vulnerabilities early on Wednesday and exploited them. More»
Mike Tanier

A Beer Grows In Brooklyn

When you think about Brooklyn what comes to mind immediately: a bridge, Jay-Z, Jason Kidd packing his bags? One thing that should be associated with the borough: good beer. Our own Mike Tanier made the trip out to Brookyn Brewery to talk sports and deliciously hoppy beverages. More»
Aaron Gordon

So Close, Yet...

Soccer entertains far more debates about who "was the better side" than any other sport simply because it is so often a separate question from who won the game. U.S.-Belgium was almost one of those matches. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Airing His Grievances

When Bryce Harper said his piece concerning the recent lineup changes made by manager Matt Williams, he made several valid points. But regardless of whether his opinions have merit, here's why he should have kept mum around the media. More»
Matt Brown

Lovable Underdogs

Last year, Duke seemingly came from nowhere to win 10 games and advance to the ACC title game. While history would say that success will be hard to repeat, David Cutcliffe has the Blue Devils in position to play football Cinderella again. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Joining in the Fun

U.S. fans generally don't like losing, which may be why we mostly ignored the world's sport for so long. But at this year's World Cup, a strange thing has happened: Americans are excited about a sport we're not so great at. Now that we've caught the bug, what will become of the U.S. program over the next four years? More»
Ravi Ubha

Heroes Take a Fall

Nick Kyrgios has a history of performing on big stages, but no one expected him to beat Rafael Nadal. And Maria Sharapova has fallen short in her past eight trips to Wimbledon, but her loss to Angelique Kerber was still a shock. With these two out, who has the best chance to taking the title? More»
Shaun Powell

Uncertain Times

Not too long ago, the Lakers were a dominant force. Now, desperate to reawaken the franchise, they're going after A-list free agents. But do they really have any hope of nabbing LeBron or Melo -- or, for that matter, another championship -- this season? More»
Colin McGowan

Intolerable Differences

The World Cup is a fun tournament, but one of its less attractive features is how it lays bare casual xenophobia. Too often, when a team has a beef with a referee's call, his nationality is foregrounded, as if their inherent Dutch-ness or Colombian-ness explains a specific decision. More»
Michael Pina

Limited Vision

The New Orleans Pelicans have Anthony Davis, which means they're in a vastly advantageous position of constructing their team around a 21-year-old whose potential has no ceiling. But limiting their future with shortsighted trades isn't going to help them in the long run. More»
Mike Tanier

The Expendables

The Raiders entered free agency with millions of dollars of cap space to burn. And burn it they did, on a free agent haul that sounds like a Pro Bowl roster from about four years ago. The good news is that they still have $10 million in cap space leftover. More»
Will Leitch

We're Just Getting Started

America's 2014 World Cup is over, but you can be sure of this: The U.S. won't be the underdogs in 2018 like they were this time. Tim Howard and Jurgen Klinsmann allowed us one last glimpse of the thrill, but we're all just getting warmed up. This ride is just beginning. More»
Will Leitch

An Enduring Legacy

If the U.S. loses, it's not the end of soccer in this country. Far, far from it. It does mean the end of something. This summer has been a revelation for soccer in the United States. Even if the game is going to be fine either way, I, for one, am still not quite ready for this celebration to end. More»
Brian Blickenstaff

Penalty Kicks Explained

We're now into the knockout rounds of the World Cup, and with the knockout rounds come game-deciding penalty shootouts. There are many fans out there who hate shootouts, but I want you to fall in love with this phase of the beautiful game. I've come to teach you how. More»