Articles By Athlon Sports

All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Kicker Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Mason Crosby GB vs. MIN
2 John Kasay NO at ATL
3 Dan Bailey DAL vs. BUF
4 David Akers SF vs. NYG
5 Billy Cundiff BAL at SEA
6 Jason Hanson DET at CHI
7 Sebastian Janikowski OAK at SD (Thursday)
8 Nick Novak SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
9 Neil Rackers HOU at TB
10 Robbie Gould CHI vs. DET
11 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. NYG
12 Matt Bryant ATL vs. NO
13 Alex Henery PHI vs. ARI
14 Nick Folk NYJ vs. NE
15 Josh Scobee JAC at IND
16 Mike Nugent CIN vs. PIT

Teaser:
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Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:51
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Wide Receiver Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Calvin Johnson DET at CHI
2 Greg Jennings GB vs. MIN
3 Mike Wallace PIT at CIN
4 Vincent Jackson SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
5 Steve Smith CAR vs. TEN
6 Wes Welker NE at NYJ
7 Dez Bryant DAL vs. BUF
8 Roddy White ATL vs. NO
9 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at PHI
10 Hakeem Nicks NYG at SF
11 Dwayne Bowe KC vs. DEN
12 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. ARI
13 Anquan Boldin BAL at SEA
14 Marques Colston NO at ATL
15 Brandon Marshall MIA vs. WAS
16 A.J. Green CIN vs. PIT
17 Julio Jones ATL vs. NO
18 Brandon Lloyd STL at CLE
19 Steve Johnson BUF at DAL
20 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. ARI
21 Santonio Holmes NYJ vs. NE
22 Jordy Nelson GB vs. MIN
23 Mario Manningham NYG at SF
24 Antonio Brown PIT at CIN
25 Percy Harvin MIN at GB
26 Michael Crabtree SF vs. NYG
27 Mike Williams TB vs. HOU
28 Sidney Rice SEA vs. BAL
29 Plaxico Burress NYJ vs. NE
30 Eric Decker DEN at KC
31 Victor Cruz NYG at SF
32 Pierre Garcon IND vs. JAC
33 Steve Breaston KC vs. DEN
34 Jacoby Ford OAK at SD (Thursday)
35 Greg Little CLE vs. STL
36 Laurent Robinson DAL vs. BUF
37 Torrey Smith BAL at SEA
38 Jabar Gaffney WAS at MIA
39 Lance Moore NO at ATL
40 Reggie Wayne IND vs. JAC
41 Nate Washington TEN at CAR
42 Deion Branch NE at NYJ
43 Earl Bennett CHI vs. DET
44 James Hill JAC at IND
45 Michael Jenkins MIN at GB
46 James Jones GB vs. MIN
47 Kevin Walter HOU at TB
48 Jerome Simpson CIN vs. PIT
49 David Nelson BUF at DAL
50 Denarius Moore OAK at SD (Thursday)
51 Davone Bess MIA vs. WAS
52 Jonathan Baldwin KC vs. DEN
53 Damian Williams TEN at CAR
54 Doug Baldwin SEA vs. BAL
55 Early Doucet ARI at PHI
56 Braylon Edwards SF vs. NYG
57 Mike Thomas JAC at IND
58 Titus Young DET at CHI
59 Nate Burleson DET at CHI
60 Johnny Knox CHI vs. DET
61 Jacoby Jones HOU at TB
62 Arrelious Benn TB vs. HOU
63 Patrick Crayton SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
64 Jason Avant PHI vs. ARI
Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:48
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Running Back Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Arian Foster HOU at TB
2 Adrian Peterson MIN at GB
3 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. ARI
4 Matt Forte CHI vs. DET
5 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at IND
6 Ray Rice BAL at SEA
7 Fred Jackson BUF at DAL
8 Frank Gore SF vs. NYG
9 Michael Turner ATL vs. NO
10 Steven Jackson STL at CLE
11 DeMarco Murray DAL vs. BUF
12 Willis McGahee DEN at KC
13 Chris Johnson TEN at CAR
14 Michael Bush OAK at SD (Thursday)
15 Ryan Mathews SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
16 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. NE
17 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at CIN
18 Darren Sproles NO at ATL
19 LeGarrette Blount TB vs. HOU
20 Cedric Benson CIN vs. PIT
21 Beanie Wells ARI at PHI
22 BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE at NYJ
23 Mike Tolbert SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
24 Roy Helu WAS at MIA
25 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. TEN
26 Jackie Battle KC vs. DEN
27 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. BAL
28 James Starks GB vs. MIN
29 Reggie Bush MIA vs. WAS
30 Brandon Jacobs NYG at SF
31 Ben Tate HOU at TB
32 Pierre Thomas NO at ATL
33 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. TEN
34 Maurice Morris DET at CHI
35 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE vs. STL
36 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. WAS
37 Delone Carter IND vs. JAC
38 Chris Ivory NO at ATL
39 Donald Brown IND vs. JAC
40 LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ vs. NE
41 Joseph Addai IND vs. JAC
42 Marion Barber CHI vs. DET
43 Ryan Grant GB vs. MIN
44 Kendall Hunter SF vs. NYG
45 Javon Ringer TEN at CAR
46 Keiland Williams DET at CHI
47 Thomas Jones KC vs. DEN
48 Knowshon Moreno DEN at KC
Teaser:
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Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Quarterback Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Aaron Rodgers GB vs. MIN
2 Cam Newton CAR vs. TEN
3 Michael Vick PHI vs. ARI
4 Drew Brees NO at ATL
5 Philip Rivers SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
6 Tom Brady NE at NYJ
7 Tony Romo DAL vs. BUF
8 Matthew Stafford DET at CHI
9 Eli Manning NYG at SF
10 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at CIN
11 Tim Tebow DEN at KC
12 Matt Schaub HOU at TB
13 Matt Ryan ATL vs. NO
14 Jay Cutler CHI vs. DET
15 Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. NE
16 Matt Cassel KC vs. DEN
17 Joe Flacco BAL at SEA
18 Carson Palmer OAK at SD (Thursday)
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at DAL
20 Josh Freeman TB vs. HOU
21 Sam Bradford STL at CLE
22 Matt Hasselbeck TEN at CAR
23 Andy Dalton CIN vs. PIT
24 Christian Ponder MIN at GB
25 Alex Smith SF vs. NYG
26 Colt McCoy CLE vs. STL
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:41
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Tight End Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Jason Witten DAL vs. BUF
2 Jimmy Graham NO at ATL
3 Antonio Gates SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
4 Jermichael Finley GB vs. MIN
5 Aaron Hernandez NE at NYJ
6 Rob Gronkowski NE at NYJ
7 Owen Daniels HOU at TB
8 Greg Olsen CAR vs. TEN
9 Fred Davis WAS at MIA
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET at CHI
11 Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. NO
12 Dustin Keller NYJ vs. NE
13 Kellen Winslow TB vs. HOU
14 Jake Ballard NYG at SF
15 Vernon Davis SF vs. NYG
16 Brent Celek PHI vs. ARI
17 Heath Miller PIT at CIN
18 Scott Chandler BUF at DAL
19 Jared Cook TEN at CAR
20 Visanthe Shiancoe MIN at GB
21 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. PIT
22 Jeremy Shockey CAR vs. TEN
23 Daniel Fells DEN at KC
24 Benjamin Watson CLE vs. STL
25 Marcedes Lewis JAC at IND
26 Ed Dickson BAL at SEA

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:31
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Rk Player OPPONENT
1 Baltimore Ravens at SEA
2 Philadelphia Eagles vs. ARI
3 Houston Texans at TB
4 San Francisco 49ers vs. NYG
5 Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN
6 Green Bay Packers vs. MIN
7 Dallas Cowboys vs. BUF
8 New York Jets vs. NE
9 Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT
10 Jacksonville Jaguars at IND
11 Chicago Bears vs. DET
12 Detroit Lions at CHI
13 New York Giants at SF
14 San Diego Chargers vs. OAK (Thursday)
15 Washington Redskins at MIA
16 New Orleans Saints at ATL
Teaser:
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Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:04
Path: /news/joe-paterno-has-been-fired-penn-state
Body:

Joe Paterno has been fired from Penn State University. In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the longest tenured coach in college football's career is now over.

The Penn State board of trustees voted unanimously to remove Paterno as well as PSU president Graham Spanier, from their jobs "effective immediately." Tom Bradley has taken over as interim head coach.

Two weeks ago, this would have been a stunning end to the lion of college football.

But today, it's not surprising.

As the unthinkable details of this scandal emerged over the last week, it became clear that this tragedy was bigger than football. Paterno's dealings with the media this week have verged on callousness. When speaking to students gathered outside his home, he referred to Jerry Sandusky's abused children as "victims or whatever they want to say" in a veiled attempt to call into question their victimhood.

Then, in a statement released on Wednesday, Joe Pa felt the need to spend one paragraph of a five paragraph statement telling the board of trustees that they should not be investigating him, instead of treating this delicate situation with humility and honesty.

And once again, to make matters even worse, Penn State students acted like, for lack of a better word, idiots, by protesting the decision to fire Paterno. There was a total lack of leadership as a legal and moral tragedy took place on Penn State's campus. And the lack of action and negligence is inexcusable. Defending this man and protesting this decision puts a further black mark on this already unprecedented scandal.

The legal ramifications of this story are far from over. There will be lawsuits, there will be more arrests, and there will be more horrible details that emerge. 

Paterno, who is the winningest coach in college football history, said he would retire at the end of the season in an effort to ease some of the pressure being put on him. But clearly, his lack of leadership and inability to act on this horrific tragedy, it was clear he wasn't calling the shots anymore. And the Penn State Board of Trustees should be applauded for making the difficult decision they made today.

Teaser:
<p> The legendary coach has been fired for the scandal surrounding the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse allegations</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 20:03
Path: /news/joe-paterno-addresses-penn-state-students-makes-bad-situation-worse-video
Body:

Somehow the Penn State story just got even worse. After a weeping Joe Paterno reportedly spoke to Penn State students outside his living room window about the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse allegations, he came out, seemingly all smiles and addressed a student body that had formed on his lawn. While the students were chanting and holding up signs showing support for the only college football coach they've known for 46 years, Joe Pa quieted them down and said the following:

"It's hard for me to tell you how much this means to me. I've lived for this place, and I've lived for people like you guys and girls, and I'm just so happy to see that you could feel so strongly about us and about your school. The kids that were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them. Tough life, when people do certain things to you. Anyway, you've been great. Everything's great, all right."

Now I think we know why Tuesday's press conference was cancelled. By saying things like "the kids that were victims or whatever they want to say" is not a great way to frame the children who were sexually abused. And the scary thing is, discrediting or attacking the victims is PR 101 in political scandals. But this is not a political scandal. This is bigger than Penn State, it's bigger than Joe Paterno and it's bigger than college football. These are unspeakable accusations and to call into question the victims, and to subtly point the finger is unforgivable. 

To not speak with the utmost delicacy here is to only come across as defensive at best and heartless at worst. Maybe this is all a big set up for the senility defense. Either way, Joe Pa made an already horrific situation worse by what he did last night.

Whether he likes or knows it, Joe Paterno will no longer be the head coach at Penn State within two weeks (if not much sooner). But his words on Tuesday night paint the picture of a man who isn't ready to have the biggest thing he loves taken away from him. And when people feel like they are painted in a corner they don't want to be in, they start taking swipes at what they think is responsible for painting them in that corner.

But this is not the time to create an adversarial position with the victims. If Joe truly understands what happened, he would not refer to those children as "victims or whatever." He would express regret. He would show himself to be human. Instead, he called into question the people who were wronged the most, which is a subtle defense not only of himself, but of Jerry Sandusky as well. And there is no more indefensible person in America right now.

Joe Paterno, who once stood for class in a league known more for cheating and lying, is tarnishing his legacy, one word at a time.

And on another note, I'm not sure why the kids were chanting his support. This isn't a Jim Tressel situation. This isn't about tattoos. This isn't even about cheating. This is the most heinous act imagineable. And anyone who holds up a sign showing support for Paterno, given the facts that we currently know about his lack of action is foolish. Yes, I understand we don't have all the facts in the story, but given the gruesome details we do know, even the most ardent supporters of Joe Paterno and Happy Valley should wait until we know more before making a "I HEART Joe Pa" sign and marching on campus. 

If 1% of the details we've heard are confirmed true, you will look even stupider than you do right now.

Teaser:
<p> The Penn State coach somehow made things worse after talking to students on his lawn</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 01:42
Path: /college-football/joe-paternos-1992-letter-college-presidents-full-hypocrisy
Body:

In light of the recent, disgusting events that have come out regarding Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual child abuse while working as an assistant under Joe Paterno's at Penn State, we feel that some of our archival content regarding Joe Paterno is worth revisiting now.

This is an open letter he wrote to the college presidents commission in 1992 regarding the importance of integrity and and the role that coaches play in helping provide for the welfare of young people.

An Open Letter To College Presidents - 1992

By Joe Paterno, Head Coach, Penn State University

Today more than ever, college presidents are taking responsibility for the preservation of intercollegiate athletics, ensuring the integrity of their programs, at the same time, maintaining the vitality of all sports.

I don't think any committed coach can take issue with the involvement of the presidents in the administration of intercollegiate athletics. At Penn State, we have had such institutional control, and the participation of the presidents on the national level is indeed welcome.

Having said that, I don't nexessarily subscribe to all the changes the President's Commission has instituted through the NCAA.

Many recollect that our coaches and other athletic staff have not done a good job informing our presidents on what constitutes constructive changes. As a result, I am afraid we have created new rules and restrictions which might diminish the coaches' ability to run athletic programs that are a source of personal growth and provide meaningful competition for our student-athletics. What we must work to establish are activities which add zest to a quality education and enrich life in the exciting mainstream of a vibrant college experience.

Eliminating an assistant coach and replacing graduate assistants with reduced-earning personnel as a cost-cutting measure would have made it more difficult for our coaching staffs to successfully assume the increasing responsibility for the welfare of our people, from guiding their lifestyles to being accountable for their graduation.

The release of institutional graduation rates increases the already significant pressure on football coaches who are held accountable for the academic proficiency of their players, a responsbility no othe runiversity administator or faculty member, with the exception of the president, shoulders in such a public manner. The elimination of graduate assistants would have scrapped the only intern program available to young people who desire to further their education and prepare themselves to be effective coaches.

As an aside, I hope that in the drive to improve graduation rates we will not overlook the necessity of providing a meaningful education or assume that the student does not have the prime responsibility to graduate.

We must continue to challenge our athletes in the classroom, not design or condone programs that will push them through the university for the purpose of improving the published rates.

In seeking to get more institutional control of the expenses and excesses of recruiting, we must be careful not to institute rules so restrictive, so complex and so cumbersome that we end up creating added costs and spending excessive time seeking interpreations. The best-intentioned coaching staff has trouble toeing the NCAA line when it has to deal with the abrupt changes of recruiting legislation.

For the past several years our rules have been effective and, contrary to the public perception, most of our people do not deliberately break them (even though we sometimes have to adhere to some which are neither fair nor practical).

The vast majority of football coaches want to do an honest job recruiting. Of course, as in all human endeavors, there are exceptions, bu, by and large, the climate is competitive rather than confrontational.

But before we change regulations, we need the input of coaches who have to deal with the rules on a daily basis. Our coaches, as would be the case with any faculty member, need to feel that they are contributing to the dialogue which leads to simple, enforceable rules.

Such participation adds to their responsibility to ensure that they and their colleagues abide by the rule changes.

I am encouraged that at the most recent NCAA Convention (January 1992) we were able to restore the assistant coaching position, the graduate assistants and pass some other refinement legislation. This, I think, was an indication of an improving climate of communication between presidents, athletic directors and coaches. I think presidential involvement is essential and will be a positive influence. 

The necessity exists, however, for continuing informed input from coaches. This does not in any way imply that we should expect to have it only our way. Once we receive a fair hearing, we should support efforts to refine the reforms the Presidents Commission has originated and, as the Commission moves ahead, to discuss and supports additional improvements.

College football is a wonderful game, but I believe we have to be careful not to make changes without thoroughly evalutating their impact from every angle, including their effect on our other intercollegiate sports, both men's and women's.

If we can create this atmosphere of collegiality, we can use all of our resources to make college football and intercollegiate athletics what they shuld be: a meaningful educational experience for our maturing young people, a source of pride for our universities and enjoyment for the millions of people who love college sports.

 

Teaser:
<p> The Penn State coach's legacy will never be the same</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 14:12
Path: /overtime/100-twitter-accounts-every-sports-fan-should-follow
Body:

Twitter can range between being awesome and being the most annoying thing in on the Internet. To help sports fans figure out which Twitter accounts they should follow, we put together the list of the best 100.

This list contains everything from journalists to athletes to comedians. To make sure there's a broad enough apeal, we tried to keep it national (sorry, the guy who tweets about your high school football team didn't make the list). Feel free to let us know who we missed in the comments.

100. Athlon Sports, @athlonsports
Category: All Sports, College Football
Our Athlon Sports Monthly is the largest sport publication in America and our college football annuals have, at times, been referred to as “Bibles” by people who enjoy college football. And, hey, we made this list, so we should at least be on it somewhere.


 

99. Stephania Bell, @Stephania_ESPN
Category: Sports, Injuries, Fantasy
Her breakdown of player injuries goes beyond “probable” and “doubtful” to give you the expert’s take on what a torn Achilles means in layman’s terms.


 

98. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, @SI_Swimsuit
Category: Girls
Sports Illustrated showed their social media genius by creating an account devoted entirely to their swimsuit issue.


 

97. Jim Irsay, @jimirsay
Category: NFL
The Indianapolis Colts' owner says a lot of awesome stuff on Twitter you don’t expect an owner of a professional football team to say. He also gives away free tickets to games, so there’s that.


 

96. Andrew Brandt, @adbrandt
Category: Sports Business
ESPN's NFL business analyst used to work in the Packers' front office. If you’re interested in the business side of sports, he’s someone you need to follow.


 

95. Adrian Wojnarowski, @WojYahooNBA
Category: NBA
Yahoo’s NBA guy provides a nice mix of news, links and anything else NBA-related.


 

94. Joe Sports Fan, @JoeSportsFan
Category: Humor, All Sports
If you like to laugh, follow this feed. If you don’t like to laugh, do nine shots of tequila, then follow this feed (after you puke).


 

93. Ken Rosenthal, @Ken_Rosenthal
Category: MLB
Fox’s MLB reporter breaks news and gives an insider’s take on the big stories in baseball.


 

92. Coaches By The Numbers, @CoachesBTN
Category: College Football
Coaches By the Numbers dives into college football coaching stats to figure out if your favorite coach is actually good at coaching. No other site delves in and analyzes the statistics of college football coaches like Coaches By The Numbers.


 

91. Fake Kyle Orton, @KingNeckbeard
Category: Humor
Fake Kyle Orton has a lot of awesome (NFSW) things to say. Can someone start a petition that makes him the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos?


 

90. Sports By Brooks, @SportsByBrooks
Category:
All Sports
Sports By Brooks' Twitter account is a mix of funny and juicy bits of news from the sports world.


 

89. Kyle Petty, @kylepetty
Category: NASCAR
NASCAR needs more twittering and less fighting (or more twittering and more fighting). Either way, Kyle Petty is the man for the twittering part of the job. On a side note, he seems to answer every tweet, so we suggestion hitting him up with ANY question you have (like the one below).


 

88. Mike Tyson, @MikeTyson
Category: Celebrity, Athlete
If you’re like me, you could listen to Mike Tyson philosophize all day. Reading his tweets is a close second.


 

87. Jay Bilas, @JayBilas
Category: College Basketball
If there's anyone on this planet who knows more about college basketball, I probably don’t want to meet them.


 

86. Rory McIlroy, @mcilroyrory
Category: Golf
Rory has sweet hair and a good attitude, and if you want to follow the biggest rising star in golf, you should probably follow Rory.


 

85. The League, @theleaguefx
Category: Humor
This is more a promotion of the show than the show’s Twitter page. If you haven’t seen the show, you’re wasting your TV.


 

84. Dave Telep, @davetelep
Category: College Basketball
Hardcore college hoops recruiting info.


 

83. Joe Lunardi, @ESPNLunardi
Category: College Basketball
I’m not sure if he coined the term Bracketology, but you should at least follow Joe in March so you’ll know which No. 14 seed will make it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.


 

82. Paul Finebaum, @finebaum
Category: College Football
He’s sort of the Rush Limbaugh of Southern sports. (How’s that for a ringing endorsement?) But to put his reach and authority in the world of Southern sports in perspective, when the guy who poisoned the trees at Auburn wanted to let everyone know what he’d done, he called Paul Finebaum’s radio show.


 

81. The Sklar Brothers, @SklarBrothers
Category: Humor
The Sklar Brothers have a geniusly titled podcast called “Sklarbro Country.” They also tweet funny stuff about sports.


 

Continue Reading: 100-81     80-61     60-41     40-21     20-1

Teaser:
<p> Here are the 100 Twitter feeds you should follow if you consider yourself a sports fan</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 10:23
Path: /college-football/robert-griffin-iii-and-baylor-can-score-will-year
Body:

By Rick Rogers

WACO, Texas — Surrounded by a cluster of children dressed in Baylor Bear green and gold and with flashes popping nearly every second from the photographers following his every move, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III couldn’t keep the big grin off his face.

Life is good when you are a quarterback that leads an offense in putting up crazy video-game-like numbers — and your team wins.

Griffin dazzled as a dual-threat quarterback by passing for 406 yards and three scores and running for another 64 yards and one TD to lead a Baylor offensive attack to a 42-39 win over Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 5. Griffin’s efforts helped Baylor finish the game with a school-record 697 yards total offense.

Life is good for a quarterback that hit the 400-yard passing mark for the third straight game, and who now has his Bears (5-3, 3-2 in the Big 12) one win away from being bowl eligible for the second-straight season.

Life is also good when you snap a two-game road losing streak and do so by beating a Missouri team that went into College Station the week before and upset a nationally-ranked Texas A&M team.

“It feels good to come back home and right the ship,” Griffin said of getting the win over Missouri after back-to-back road losses at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. “It is about scoring touchdowns, and we did that tonight. (The win) lets our fans know that when we play at home, we are going to have a great showing. Not that we won’t win on the road, but you know how fans can get sometimes — they might lose faith. This was a big win against Missouri, and this will let the fans know that they need to keep purchasing tickets.”

Griffin seems comfortable in the spotlight. He cracks jokes during his post-game press conference. He interacts with the pint-sized Baylor fans who surround him on the field at the end of the game, asking for autographs, wristbands and for him to stop on his way to the locker room for pictures.

The Bears are Griffin’s team.

Baylor is Griffin’s university.

Waco is Griffin’s town.

Ask anyone who follows Baylor football, and for that matter those who don’t, what “RG3” stands for, and they will be quick with an answer, Robert Griffin III.

While Griffin’s first two 400-plus yard passing games didn’t go unnoticed, they were a little hard to swallow for the quarterback and the Bears because they came in a pair of lopsided losses to the Aggies and Cowboys.

Griffin’s third 400-yard passing game — he came into the game as the nation’s second-most accurate passer in college football — was something to savor.

Griffin passed for two touchdowns in the second half, including a 68-yard score to receiver Tevin Reese, who bobbled the ball en route to the end zone. Those touchdown strikes proved critical as the Bears and Missouri combined to score 39 points in a fourth quarter that turned into a track meet.

The Bears are one win away from being bowl eligible, but Griffin understands that one victory will not be easy. The Bears will have to travel to play the struggling Kansas Jayhawks Saturday in Lawrence, followed by three home games to end the season against Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1), Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4) (at Cowboys Stadium) and Texas (6-2, 3-2).

“Every game in the Big 12 is going to be a tough game,” Griffin said. “We have to protect our house. Kansas is not going to be a walk. Everybody we play is going to be a tough game. For us to get this win helps us, because we can go on the road next week and get a win and get bowl eligible, which is one of our goals.”

Rick Rogers is a freelance sports reporter for Athlon Sports. Channel and article photos by Rick Rogers

Teaser:
<p> The Bears' offense is one of the most explosive in the nation</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 05:25
Path: /overtime/100-twitter-accounts-every-sports-fan-should-follow-20-1
Body:

Twitter can range between being awesome and being the most annoying thing in on the Internet. So to help sports fans figure out which Twitter accounts they should follow, we put together the list of the best 100.

This list contains everything from journalists to athletes to comedians. To make sure there's a broad enough apeal, we tried to keep it national (sorry, the guy who tweets about your high school football team didn't make the list). Feel free to let us know who we missed in the comments. Here's 20-1.

20. Dan Patrick Show, @dpshow
Category: All Sports, Humor, Commentary
Dan and the Danettes put on one of the better sports radio shows on the airwaves. Their Twitter feed overrunneths our passion bucket.


 

19. Fan Graphs, @fangraphs
Category: Fantasy
The most in-depth fantasy baseball statistics site’s Twitter feed is like the "Moneyball" movie with more FIP and less Brad Pitt.


 

18. Chris Broussard, @Chris_Broussard
Category: NBA, News, Commentary
I’m pretty sure all the NBA news you’ve ever heard has originated from Chris Broussard.


 

17. Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN
Category: MLB, News, Commentary
Buster Olney is a fount of baseball information. He probably also knows what a “fount” is. (Or is it font?)


 

16. Adam Schefter, @adamschefter
Category: NFL, News
It’s hard to pick a side between Mort and Schefty. We’ll put Schefty higher because he has more followers.


 

15. Trey Wingo, @wingoz
Category: NFL, News, Commentary
Trey Wingo doesn't get enough credit for being the smartest and funniest anchor on ESPN. This is my feeble attempt to give him said credit.

 

14. Paul Bissonnette, @BizNasty2point0
Category: Hockey, Humor
Paul Bissonnette plays for the Phoenix Coyotes and doesn’t take himself seriously. His twitter feed makes me want to go drinking with him (that’s the best endorsement I can give.) (Extra Parens: Paul, if you're ever in Nashville and want to go drinking, hit me up at @corygavinjones )


 

13. John Clayton, @ClaytonESPN
Category: NFL, News
The “Professor” knows more about football than you know about yourself. (By the way, the Professor says you’re “probable” for needing to drop 20 pounds.)


 

12. Ozzie Guillen, @OzzieGuillen
Category: Baseball, Humor
Back in the day, when he was using Twitter to unleash his special brand of Spanglish a lot more, Ozzie would have been #1 on this list. Now, he’s #12 on this list.

11. Kenny Powers, @KF---INGP
Category: Humor
Kenny Powers' Twitter is in. And you’re f---ing out. If you don’t know who Kenny Powers is, you need to immediately go out and purchase the first season of "EastBound and Down". (Not that you need to be told, but the language in this feed is slightly NSFW.)


 

10. Jimmy Traina, @JimmyTraina
Category: Humor, All Sports
Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard editor is a daily must read for sports fans or who like hot girls, funny videos, lists and weird sports news.


 

9. Jim Rome, @jimrome
Category: All Sports, Commentary
Read his Tweets with the classic Jim Rome delivery and they’re almost as entertaining as his radio show.


 

8. Rotoworld’s Football Feed, @Rotoworld_FB
Category: Fantasy Football, News
This is everything you need to know about fantasy football from breaking news to injuries to who you should pick up now that your first round pick is in a wheelchair. They have feeds for other sports, too, but since it’s football season, this is one's on the list.


 

7. Deadspin, @Deadspin
Category: All Sports, Commentary
It’s not just photos of Brett Favre’s penis. It’s photos of Michael Vick's penis, too.


 

6. Logan Morrison, @LoMoMarlins
Category: Humor, Athlete
The Marlins OF has consistently the best Twitter feed of any athlete in the whole Twitterverse. Our only concern is if he gets traded, it may have to change to @LoMoExpos.


 

5. Eric Stangel, @ericstangel
Category: Humor
The head writer for David Letterman tweets about sports (as well as dead squirrels on cars) and is a lot funnier than you (unless you're Eric Stangel).


 

4. Bill Simmons, @sportsguy33
Category: All Sports
The best part of Simmons’ twitter feed is that sometimes he’ll be overcome with rage and fire off a six-tweet series breaking down why both sides of the NBA lockout are complete idiots.


 

3. Onion Sports, @OnionSports
Category: Humor
The Onion is always amazing. This is their sports feed. That’s all.


 

2. Peter King, @SI_PeterKing
Category: NFL, News, Commentary
The ultimate NFL insider. I’m pretty sure the breaking news on Peyton Manning’s career, neck and hairline will originate through this twitter feed.


 

1. Darren Rovell, @DarrenRovell
Category: All Sports
CNBC and Versus sports business analyst consistently has the most interesting factoids and links around the sports world every day. More than just sports business info, his informative tweets give a context to stories that few other journalists give. 


 

Continue Reading: 100-81     80-61     60-41     40-21     20-1

Teaser:
<p> Here are the 100 Twitter feeds you should follow if you consider yourself a sports fan</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 01:58
Path: /overtime/100-twitter-accounts-every-sports-fan-should-follow-60-41
Body:

Twitter can range between being awesome and being the most annoying thing in on the Internet. So to help sports fans figure out which Twitter accounts they should follow, we put together the list of the best 100.

This list contains everything from journalists to athletes to comedians. To make sure there's a broad enough apeal, we tried to keep it national (sorry, the guy who tweets about your high school football team didn't make the list). Feel free to let us know who we missed in the comments. Here's 60-41.

60. John Daly, @PGA_JohnDaly
Category: Golf, Fat
If you didn’t know who John Daly was, this probably wouldn’t make the list. But knowing he’s sending these tweets with a Bud Light in one hand, a fifth of Jack in the other while one cigarette (or possibly two) dangles from his mouth paints a very special visual for each tweet.


 

59. Kissing Suzy Kolber, @KissMeSuzy
One of the funniest sports blogs in the blogosphere, is also worth following in the Twittersphere (Or is it Twitterverse?)


 

58. MLB Trade Rumors, @MLBtraderumors
Category: MLB
Whenever you wonder “Hey, will my team sign Albert Pujols?” @MLBTradeRumors will make sure you’re aware that your team has no chance at signing Albert Pujols.

57. Tom Deinhart, @BTNTomDienhart
Category: College Football
Everything you wanted to know about Big Ten football. Nothing you wanted to know about PAC-12 football.


 

56. Mike Wilbon, @RealMikeWilbon
Category: NBA, All Sports
The balder half of the PTI team likes it mix it up on Twitter and gets into it with his followers even more than he does with Tony Kornheiser.


 

55. Scott Van Pelt, @notthefakeSVP
Category: All Sports
You know Scott Van Pelt from the Scott Van Pelt radio show and a multiude of ESPN televised programs. You also know he delivers smart sports knowledge mixed with humor. So there’s no point in me explaining his Twitter feed anymore.


 

54. Michael Lombardi, @michaelombardi
Category: NFL
NFL Network reporter’s twitter feed is a mix of football news and articles of interest from around the web.


 

53. Andy Roddick, @andyroddick
Category: Tennis, Athlete
Andy Roddick is married to Brooklyn Decker. Any other questions?


 

52. Jon Heyman, @SI_JonHeyman
Category: MLB
Sports Illustrated writer gives breaking news and insight around the MLB.


 

51. Andy Katz, @ESPNAndyKatz
Everything you wanted to know about college basketball, plus other stuff you may have wanted to know about Andy Katz.


 

50. Jason McIntyre, @TheBigLead
Category: All Sports
The Big Lead is a solid collection of sports smatterings from around the Interwebs (my grandfather did not understand that previous sentence.)


 

49. Mike Pereira, @MikePereira
Category: NFL
The former VP of officiating for the league is now the rules analyst at Fox weighs in on plays and reviews during games. He also responds to questions, so you’ll at least get an answer as to why your team’s linebacker was just fined $100,000 for tackling another player.


 

48. Bleacher Report, @bleacherreport
Category: All Sports
The fan’s take on everything sports gives you some of the best lists and sports-related girl galleries on the web.


 

47. Mel Kiper Jr, @MelKiperESPN
Category: College Football, NFL Draft
The man with the hair is all business when it comes to the NFL draft. If you want to know how high an 18-year old can jump, he’s the man to follow.


46. David Feherty, @Fehertwit
Category: Golf, Humor
The Golf analyst can break down a dogleg on the final Sunday of a major, while also providing a collage of weird insights over Twitter every other day of the week.


 

45. Grey Albright, @Razzball
Category: Fantasy
Easily the most entertaining fantasy site, Grey Albright and the Razzball crew are the only fantasy writers who have made me actually LOL (that’s an Internet term) while reading a sentence about Yovanni Gallardo. (They’d be higher on this list if their feed consisted of more of their trademark dry wit, and fewer link dumps.)



 

44. Colin Cowherd, @ESPN_Colin
Category: All Sports
Colin will say something you hate one minute, and then something you like the next. Plus, he retweets stuff like this.


 

43. Tony Reali, @AroundTheHorn
Category: All Sports
Tony Reali has the best job in the world: He gets to yell at sports writers for a half an hour, and then tell other sports writers why they’re wrong.


 

42. Alyssa Milano, @alyssa_milano
Category: Celebrity
Alyssa tweets a lot (I’m not kidding) and most of it is about her new baby, but you can forgive her because she’s Alyssa Milano and she really likes baseball.


 

41. Grant Wahl, @grantwahl
Category: MLS, All Sports
The senior writer at SI has an interesting take on all spectrums of sport. Plus, he’s an MLS guy and this list was woefully short of MLS guys.


 

Continue Reading: 100-81     80-61     60-41     40-21     20-1

Teaser:
<p> Here are the 100 Twitter feeds you should follow if you consider yourself a sports fan</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 00:46
Path: /overtime/100-twitter-accounts-every-sports-fan-should-follow-40-21
Body:

Twitter can range between being awesome and being the most annoying thing in on the Internet. So to help sports fans figure out which Twitter accounts they should follow, we put together the list of the best 100.

This list contains everything from journalists to athletes to comedians. To make sure there's a broad enough apeal, we tried to keep it national (sorry, the guy who tweets about your high school football team didn't make the list). Feel free to let us know who we missed in the comments. Here's 40-21.

40. Every Day Should Be Saturday, @edsbs
Category: College Football
Every Day Should Be Saturday is worth following even if it’s Tuesday.


 

39. Fake Dan Beebe, @DanBeebe
Category: Humor, College Football
The account for the fake head of the Big 12 knows more about where conference realignment will take us than the real Dan Beebe.


 

38. Mike and Mike in the Morning, @MikeAndMike
Category: All Sports
I’m pretty sure Greenberg likes it when you send him tweets about how much the Jets suck.


 

37. Juan Pablo Montoya: @jpmontoya
Category: Racing
According to his twitter page, he spends more time in planes than he does in cars. Maybe he should start racing jets? He also has over 700,000 followers, so he must be doing something right.


 

36. Matthew Berry, @MatthewBerryTMR
Category: Fantasy
Up-to-the-minute fantasy advice, stats and rankings. If you have a fantasy team of any kind (except jai-alai), you need to follow this feed.


 

35. Fake Walt Frazier, @NotWaltFrazier
Category: Humor
The fake account for Walt Frazier will have you mouse clickin’ and finger lickin’!


   

34. Chip Brown, @ChipBrownOB
Category: College Football
Chip has the inside track on anything Big 12 or Texas Longhorns-related. If anyone knows how what number will come after “Big” in 2012 and beyond, it’s Chip.


 

33. Dan Wetzel, @danwetzel
Category: College Football, All Sports
Dan uses Twitter the way it should be used. Instead of filling up his page with tweets like “@Gatorzfan99 thanks” and “@thebigbubba why?”, he just sends out interesting links and takes on all things sports.


 

32. EJ Hradek, @EJHradek_NHL
Category: NHL
NHL news that you want to read (if you want to read about the NHL.)


 

31. Ashton Kutcher, @aplusk
Category: Celebrity
Yes, he’s a celebrity, but he’s also a huge sports fan. Plus, anyone who was on the “Walter Payton: A Football Life” show deserves to be on this list (I would’ve put Matt Suhey’s Twitter on here, but his twitter page kind of sucks.)


 

30. Chad Ochocinco, @ochocinco
Category: NFL, Athlete
The Twitterverse is much more awesome with Ochocinco in it.


 

29. MLB Stats, @STATS_MLB
Category: MLB
This is a combination of hardcore trivia and stats about baseball. But you may have gathered that from its name.


 

28. Bruce Feldman, @BFeldmanCBS
Category: All Sports
Bruce Feldman’s combination of in-depth news links and interesting fact makes you realize how good Twitter can be.


 

27. ESPN College Football Conference accounts, @ESPN_SEC, @ESPN_BigTen, @ESPN_ACC, @ESPN_BigEast, @ESPN_Pac12blog, @ESPN_Big12
Category: College Football
Instead of picking one, a real college football fan would follow all of these conference feeds.


 

26. The Iron Sheik, @the_ironsheik
Category: Humor
The Iron Sheik’s twitter page could also be number one since it’s one of the funniest pages on the Internet, let alone Twitter. But wrestling rides a fine line of “sports” so he gets bumped down a bit. It’s also about as NSFW as you get (it took me 25 minutes to find a sample tweet that didn’t use the “f” word or the phrase “raisin balls.”)


 

25. Erin Andrews, @erinandrews
Category: College Football
She’s Erin Andrews, that’s why you should follow her.


 

24. Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow
Category: All Sports, College Basketball
To quote Fast Times at Ridgemont High: “Whenever people say, ‘That Gottlieb, he’s a loudmouth.’ And they say that a lot, I always say, ‘You just don’t know Gottlieb.’”


 

23. Fake Bill Walton, @TheBillWalton
Category: Humor
I know this says it’s fake, but I like this feed even more when I tell myself it’s real.


 

22. Rich Eisen, @richeisen
Category: NFL
The NFL network host has a solid podcast. And his twitter feed is the best place to keep up with said podcast.


 

21. Chris Mortenson, @mortreport
Category: NFL
Before there was Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson, there was just Chris Mortenson giving the up-to-the-second breaking NFL news. Respect.


 

Continue Reading: 100-81     80-61     60-41     40-21     20-1

Teaser:
<p> Here are the 100 Twitter feeds you should follow if you consider yourself a sports fan</p>
Post date: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 18:12
Path: /overtime/100-twitter-accounts-every-sports-fan-should-follow-80-61
Body:

Twitter can range between being awesome and being the most annoying thing in on the Internet. So to help sports fans figure out which Twitter accounts they should follow, we put together the list of the best 100.

This list contains everything from journalists to athletes to comedians. To make sure there's a broad enough apeal, we tried to keep it national (sorry, the guy who tweets about your high school football team didn't make the list). Feel free to let us know who we missed in the comments.

80. Jason LaCanfora, @JasonLaCanfora
Category: NFL
NFL insider who tweets the things you hear about in the NFL before you hear about them.


 

79. Daniel Negreanu, @RealKidPoker
Dan’s kind of a big deal in the poker world. If you want an insider’s take on the professional Poker Tour, follow his feed.


 

78. Ryen Russilo, @ryenarussillo
Category: All Sports
Ryen Russillo co-hosts the Scott Van Pelt show and combines humor and insight. Which is nice, because Twitter is mostly full of idiots.


 

77. Ralph Vacchiano, @TheBlueScreen
Category: NFL
The NY Daily News writer covers the NFC East and in particular the G-Men. I’m pretty sure his Twitter feed is called “The Blue Screen” because no one knows how to spell his last name.


 

76. Clay Travis, @ClayTravisBGID
Category: College Sports
Nashville-based radio host and EIC of OutkicktheCoverage,com likes to get people riled up with his take on college athletics. He’s pretty good at it, too.


 

75. Dwight Howard, @DwightHoward
Category: NBA, Athlete
If Twitter had a team, I would want Dwight Howard to be my starting center.


 

74. Kristi Dosh, @SportsBizMiss
Category: Sports Business, College Sports
The ESPN and Forbes Sports Business writer tweets about money, the law and sports (and sometimes all three).


 

73. Danica Patrick, @Danicapatrick
Category: Racing, Celebrity
This Twitter feed is all Danica Patrick, all the time. And there's also links to her GoDaddy.com commercials.


 

72. Chris Cooley, @thecooleyzone
Category: NFL, Athlete
There’s two things you need to know about the Redskins tight end’s Twitter feed. 1) It’s called The Cooley Zone. And 2) There’s a picture of Chris making a piece of pottery a la Ghost as the wallpaper.


 

71. The UFC, @ufc
Category: MMA
So much UFC news, giveaways and RT’s you might just tap out of Twitter.


 

70. SB Nation, @sbnation
Category: All Sports
The collection of blogs is sort of like the Megatron of sports info (not the Lions receiver, the real one Megatron that get his ass kicked by Optimus Prime.)


 

69. Sports Illustrated Photo Vault, @si_vault
Category: Photos, History
Sports illustrated has an amazing collection of photos throughout sports history. And this Twitter feed picks and chooses the most interesting ones and pulls them out of the archive. I don't know why more magazines don't do this.


 

68. Numbers Never Lie, @ESPN_Numbers
Category: Sports Trivia
If the Elias Sports Bureau had a twitter feed (and they really need one), this would be it.


 

67. Mardy Fish, @MardyFish
Category: Tennis, Athlete
Tennis player Mardy Fish is kind of awesome. So is his Twitter.


 

66. Sports Pickle, @sportspickle
It’s sort of like the Onion. So it has that going for it.


 

65. Maurice Jones-Drew, @Jones_Drew32
If a professional athlete like MJD can get excited about fantasy sports, then fantasy sports isn’t just for nerds, right? Right?


 

64. Brett McMurphy, @McMurphyCBS
Category: College Football
CBS’ college football writer actively tweets the top stories with his very informed take mixed in with his dry humor.


 

63. Michelle Beadle, @ESPN_Michelle
She’s cranky about a lot of stuff. And usually it's sports stuff.


62. Dan Wolken, @DanWolken
Category: All Sports
The highly opinionated Daily.com writer is not afraid to tweet said opinions for your enjoyment.


 

61. Pete Thamel, @PeteThamelNYT
Pete writes for the New York Times, so there’s more journalism here than links to funny photos of Li’l Ron Washington.


 

Continue Reading: 100-81     80-61     60-41     40-21     20-1

Teaser:
<p> Here are the 100 Twitter feeds you should follow if you consider yourself a sports fan</p>
Post date: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 16:40
Path: /nfl/nfl-predictions-ravens-steelers-jets-bills-and-three-other-playoff-implicating-games
Body:

Every team in the NFL will have reached their halfway point of the season by the time this weekend’s games are finished, which means we are about to be officially in the stretch run. And the timing couldn’t be better. There are several games this weekend that could set the tone for the entire second half.

There are some huge division battles, key tests for top teams, and a few last chances for teams hoping to remain the playoff race. Nothing will be settled this weekend of course, but a whole lot of things will become much clearer.

You’ll learn a lot, in fact, from the outcomes of these five huge games:

NEW YORK JETS (4-3) at BUFFALO BILLS (5-2)
Do you believe in the Buffalo Bills? Their huge win over the Patriots earlier in the season should’ve convinced everyone. They even proved they can stomp on a bad team with their shutout win over Washington last Sunday. But this is a different challenge. The Jets were one of the AFC favorites, left for dead, and now clawing back to reclaim their season. If they knock off the Bills in Buffalo, a lot of the momentum in the AFC East could end up swinging their way.

Also, regardless of how the Jets have struggled, this Rex Ryan defense figures to be the toughest test so far for Ryan Fitzpatrick and his efficient and sometimes powerful offense. He’ll see blitzes he hasn’t seen before and he’ll likely lose his top receiver (Steve Johnson) to the coverage of Darrelle Revis. How will the Bills adjust? That won’t just tell the story of this game, it might tell the story of whether they’re truly contenders in this dangerous division or not.

Prediction: Jets 23, Bills 20 … The Bills won’t be finished after this, but letting the Jets back into the race will likely haunt them down the stretch.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-3) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-3)
You think you’ve got the NFL all figured out, and then the winless St. Louis Rams – behind quarterback A.J. Feeley – take a 24-0 lead on the Saints and beat them 31-21. And now the Saints have lost two of three, including a 26-20 loss at Tampa two weeks ago. Now, that might make you think the Bucs have the momentum, but that Saints game was their only win in the last three games. It was sandwiched around a 24-18 loss in London to the Chicago Bears two weeks ago, and a 48-3 beating they took in San Francisco four weeks ago.

The Saints won 11 games last year, the Bucs won 10, and they finished second and third in the rough NFC South behind the 12-win Atlanta Falcons. So which of them can make a run this year? Or are they both just killing time until the Falcons straighten themselves out? Someone’s going to have to take control of this division in the second half. One of them could start right now.

Prediction: Saints 33, Bucs 20. … The Saints have more talent than any team in the division, despite their maddening inconsistency. They can be unstoppable on offense at times, especially at home.

NEW YORK GIANTS (5-2) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-2)
The NFL doesn’t seem too sure what to make of either of these teams. The Patriots are their usual selves on offense and everyone knew they’d be a contender. But their NFL-worst defense and passing defense is more than alarming and has a lot of people wondering if they can win the tough games when they count. The Giants, meanwhile, are 5-2 thanks to a soft schedule and are about to take an enormous step up in class with a dangerous run of potent opponents. It doesn’t help that their two biggest issues – besides injuries – are that they can’t run the ball or stop the run.

If the Patriots win this, the NFL will yawn, accept their greatness and move on to other concerns. The Giants, though, will look like just another pretender about to get slapped down by superior opponents. A Giants win, though, and they’ll suddenly look like the NFC East favorites, while the Patriots could be in for a big race over in the AFC.

Prediction: Patriots 37, Giants 27. … Too many injuries for the Giants and too many problems on defense to hang with a true Super Bowl contender.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-2)
What has happened to the Patriots? Their once-powerful running game seems like a distant memory. The last two weeks they barely scored in a loss to Jacksonville in front of a national TV audience, then they struggled to beat the pathetic Arizona Cardinals. They’re another team that looked like true contenders only to fall in a bad rut. Here’s the thing, though: They’re still 5-2 and just a half game behind the Steelers, who looked like they could beat anybody last week when they laid out the blueprint on how to beat the Pats.

This is the perfect chance for the Steelers to get on a roll and get some separation in their division, especially with the upstart Bengals and, to a lesser extent, Browns ready to take a tumble with an increase in difficulty of schedule. The Ravens, though, need to right their ship quickly, rediscover Ray Rice and their running game and straighten Joe Flacco out otherwise they’ll be chasing the wild card and could have a very difficult postseason road.

Prediction: Ravens 27, Steelers 24. … The Ravens are so much better than they look, and nothing brings out their best more than a matchup with their bitter rivals.

CHICAGO BEARS (4-3) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-4)
Have we all had a good laugh at the expense of the self-proclaimed “Dream Team”? Good, because guess what? They aren’t dead. In fact, their 34-7 hammering of the Dallas Cowboys last weekend sent shivers down the rest of the NFC East. All of a sudden they’re two games back of the Giants, who are hitting the tough spot of their schedule, and with the Eagles home to the Bears and Cardinals in the next two weeks they could be battling for the lead in the division when they face the Giants in three weeks. A win here and they could find themselves on a roll.

This game is just as important to the Bears, though, who need a win to keep pace with the Detroit Lions in what appears to be a race for second place in the NFC North. Given some of the powerful teams in the NFC South, the Bears might need to leapfrog the Lions if they want a wild-card berth. That will get a lot tougher if they’re sitting at .500 halfway through the year.

Prediction: Eagles 31, Bears 20. … The Eagles may not be a Dream Team, but they have so much talent they remain a nightmare for opponents when they’re playing well. And they’re playing very, very well.

By RALPH VACCHIANO
 

Teaser:
<p> There are five huge games this Sunday. Who will come out on top?</p>
Post date: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 08:50
Path: /fantasy/santonio-holmes-years-biggest-wide-receiver-bust
Body:

There are busts all over the fantasy landscape this season.

Count New York Jets No. 1 Santonio Holmes as one of the top busts at the receiver position. Through seven games, he has 22 catches for 311 yards and three scores. Holmes is the 52nd-ranked receiver in points per game. And only his three touchdowns are even keeping him ranked that high.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer continues to say Holmes is the team’s No. 1 target in the Jets’ offense. Yet, his 40 targets this season have him ranked not only 49th among receivers but third on his own team (TE Dustin Keller 46 and WR Plaxico Burress 45). He was targeted a season-low three times in the Week 7 game against San Diego, and his 13 targets over the last three games are one less that rookie No. 3 receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Holmes has only had two double-digit target games, and they produced very little He was targeted 10 times for six catches and 70 yards in the opener and targeted a season-high 12 times but caught just three balls for 33 yards in Week 4. Burress has not been targeted over nine times this season.

It’s not an indictment on Holmes. It’s an indictment on quarterback Mark Sanchez not getting the ball to the team’s supposed top target. Sanchez is a top-12 fantasy QB at the midway point of the season, but he still completes just 56.1 percent of his passes. Accuracy is a problem that has plagued him his entire career, and it’s bringing down what should be a legitimate threat at the receiver position in the process.

Whatever has happened to the QB-WR connection that a year ago produced 95 targets for 52 catches, 746 yards and six scores in just 12 games is gone between Sanchez and Holmes this year.

Thanks to Sanchez, Holmes was never a high-end WR1 type of play, but he can’t even be considered a low-end WR2 play at this point.

Don’t expect Buffalo to be the get-well game for Holmes. The Bills have not allowed a receiver to score a TD since Week 5, and have not allowed over 11.6 points to a fantasy receiver in a half-PPR format since Week 5. Holmes was held to one catch for 17 yards and a score in his only meeting with the Bills in Week 17 of last season.

All we can do is hope that there is some glimmer from Holmes this week against a Buffalo team the Jets face again in Week 12 and that he can carry it into some receiver friendly matchups in between the two meetings (New England and Denver). 

By Corby Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
<p> The New York Jets wide receiver has been rough on owners in 2011</p>
Post date: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 15:15
Path: /fantasy/new-york-giants-receivers-start-%E2%80%99em-if-you-got-%E2%80%99em
Body:

Hakeem Nicks is battling a hamstring injury that might keep him out of the New York Giants Sunday tilt at New England.

Even if Nicks was/is in the lineup, this is a start ’em if you’ve got ’em game at the receiver position for the Giants. That means if you were debating between Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, both of them need to be in your starting lineup this week when Big Blue takes on the worst (or best) defense a fantasy receiver and quarterback can face through eight weeks this season.

The Giants’ receiving corps is the fourth best in fantasy points per game. Nicks received 10 targets for six catches and 67 yards last week against Miami, but his two counterparts were right behind him. Cruz had nine targets for seven catches, 99 yards and a score; Manningham also had nine targets for six catches 63 yards and a score. Cruz has caught 28 of his 42 targets this season for 497 yards and four scores. Manningham has caught 24 of his 45 targets for 290 yards and Sunday’s TD was his firs of the season.

Giants QB Eli Manning certainly trusts all three, and you should too against this New England pass defense.

The Patriots are last in the NFL in pass defense (323.1 YPG, which is 34.2 yards more than the next team), are giving up the most points per game to fantasy quarterbacks and receivers. New England also surrenders the third most passing attempts per game (40.7)

Manning has scored 18-plus fantasy points in four of the last five games and 21.6-plus in three of the last five outings. Plus, the Giants will likely be without RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and you never know what Brandon Jacobs you are going to get. Behind Jacobs are veteran D.J. Ware and rookie Da’Rel Scott.

The Pats have been relatively decent against fantasy running backs. They go into this week’s game as the 12th best team against the position in fantasy. No back has rushed for more than 83 yards this season against New England and only four rushing touchdowns have been surrendered.

So it goes back to riding Manning’s hot hand. He has attempted 30-plus passes in all but one game, thrown for 220-plus yards in every game and thrown for at least two scores in all but two games (no TD passes in Week 1 or Week 6). New England has allowed two touchdown passes in five of seven games.

The Patriots might stink against fantasy quarterbacks and receivers, but the offense is still high powered. They are the No. 2 passing team at 324.7 yards per game and No. 4 with 18 touchdowns. That should make this a high-scoring game, one in which Manningham and Cruz will have plenty of opportunities to shine.

By Corby Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 09:31
Path: /fantasy/carson-palmer-top-12-fantasy-quarterback-against-denver-broncos
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There’s nowhere to go but up for Carson Palmer after his -1.36-point debut to fantasy owners in 2011.

The new Oakland Raiders quarterback should have no problem raising that point total quite a bit against a Denver Broncos team that apparently decided to revert back to familiar ways last week.

The Broncos, with Champ Bailey (hamstring) in the lineup had been pretty stingy to quarterbacks. Jason Campbell threw for 105 yards and a score in Week 1, Philip Rivers threw for 250 yards and a score in Week 5 and Matt Moore threw for 197 yards and a score in Week 7.

Then there was Matthew Stafford.

After having scored 23-plus fantasy points in the first three weeks, Stafford began a run of three out of four games at 16.5 points or less, including an 11.32-point effort at home against Atlanta.

Enter Denver.

The Lions’ quarterback threw for 367 yards on 21-of-30 passing, three scores and no picks.

This will be the second meeting between Denver and Oakland this season. Two different teams face off this week, however from the ones we saw in Week 1.

Oakland obviously has a new quarterback and will be without RB Darren McFadden (foot sprain), who gashed the Broncos for 150 yards on 22 carries in the first meeting. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who booted a 63-yard field goal to give the Raiders the win over the Broncos in Week 1, one of his three field goals that game, may be gimpy in returning from an injured hamstring.

McFadden and Janikowski are two key components to putting points on the board for Oakland. With no Run DMC and an iffy Janikowski, it will fall on Palmer to generate the points. He has plenty of speed receivers at his disposal and should have plenty of time to look for them. The Raiders protect their quarterbacks better than any other team in the league, having given up a league-low eight sacks.

Denver is 31st in the league against fantasy quarterbacks and receivers. The Broncos have allowed a passing touchdown in all but two games this season (Week 1 vs. Oakland and Week 7 vs. Miami). The Broncos are tied for 31st with just three interceptions. They are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.1 percent of their passes (ranking them 31st in the league), throw for 249.7 yards per game (19th) and are tied for 31st in the league with 14 touchdown passes allowed.

It will be just his second game in a Raider uniform, but with the combination of Denver being terrible against the pass, the Raiders perhaps without two of their top point producers and Palmer having had the bye to get more familiar with a Hue Jackson offense he already knew, the quarterback is a top-12 start for me this week. I would start him over Mark Sanchez, Andy Dalton, Tim Tebow, Josh Freeman and Jay Cutler.

It’s basically a toss up between Palmer and Joe Flacco as to who’s 13th. I’d rather take my chances with Palmer vs. the Broncos in Oakland than a very inconsistent Flacco in Pittsburgh.

By Corby Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 09:02
All taxonomy terms: Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, NBA
Path: /nba/mark-cuban-talks-family-and-championship-mum-buying-dodgers
Body:

This article originally appeared in Athlon Sports Monthly, available in newspapers around the country.

So does Mark Cuban still sleep with the NBA championship trophy? We figured there was only one way to find out. So we asked him. Along with a lot of other questions — some probing, some whimsical.

When it comes to pro sports franchise owners, there are those who are conservative, some who are outspoken and one who has shown he can detonate some atomic reactions with his opinions.

Cuban has owned the Dallas Mavericks since 2000, and his team won the first NBA championship in franchise history in June. Like everybody else, they are waiting for the labor situation to allow the 2011-12 season to begin. It’s the lockout that has helped Cuban keep a relatively low profile since the parade and post-championship glow subsided and the work stoppage began July 1.

In the meantime, Cuban has had to spend a summer without hanging around any of his players, many of whom he counts as good friends.

We caught up with the 53-year-old billionaire for a quick Q&A about what has been going on with him and how life has changed since winning the title.

How different has this summer as a champion been compared to all those summers spent tied for last, as you like to say?
I get to enjoy ending the season on a win. It’s been unbelievable. It feels great.

Anybody treat you any differently, like maybe getting free stuff at the store or different kinds of questions from folks?
I’ve walked into places around the country and people have stood up and clapped. It’s kind of bizarre, but it gets the emotions stirring in me every time. No free stuff, though. The other cool thing is that people don’t congratulate me, they thank me. That has never happened before.

How about your outlook on life? Does a championship soften the edge a little?
Not really. I love to compete.

Are your daughters now starting to understand what daddy does and grasping what a championship means?
Not fully, but they like all the Mavs outfits their mom makes for them!

Has being an NBA champion made any difference at all in your more important job, which is being a dad?
No. Basketball is a small part of my life compared to my kids.

What’s the average day like with you and the kids (even though there’s no such thing as an average day with kids)?
Get up for school, listen to them complain about something. Force them to eat. Get them to school. After school they have so many activities, I don’t see them until dinner. Fortunately this summer we took a few weeks off and went on a family trip, which was great.

Regarding Texas fans, does it humble you a little knowing that what your team does can have an impact on so many lives, and do you look at Dallas and North Texas as a really good sports area?
Yes and yes. I learned early on that I don’t really own the team; all of North Texas does. It really is a great feeling to know how much the Mavs can positively impact kids and families. North Texas is a great sports region. We love our teams. And while we make a lot of noise when we don’t win, we always end up being there to support them, win or lose.

What about your television exploits? We know about the “Dancing With the Stars” experience, but what about “Shark Tank,” where you have a recurring role fielding business proposals from aspiring entrepreneurs?
I’m a huge fan (of “Shark Tank”). I love what they do and I thought it would be a good idea to go on. I get pitched business proposals every day. I solicit ideas on my blog. That’s just part of my life. If I see a way somebody can have a successful business and create new jobs, I’ll invest.

What was more gratifying, an NBA title or selling Broadcast.com for a bajillion dollars, and why?
Broadcast.com. No question. That changed my life and the lives of future generations. With a championship, the trophy is only yours for one year and you have to do it again. That said, it was an amazing feeling that I wish would never end.

You’ve toyed with the idea of owning another sports franchise like the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs. Do you foresee that in your future?
Don’t know about that.

What’s the hardest part about owning a sports franchise?
Recognizing that the mood of North Texas goes up and down with the Mavs every fall.

Who do you consider your best friends among other NBA owners? Or are they all just competitors?
I get along with most of the guys. Most of the time.

What’s your favorite sport to watch, outside of the NBA?
Rugby. I played a lot in college. It’s a blast.

What do you do with the trophy? Do you keep it with you when you are driving around? Please tell me you aren’t still sleeping with it.
No. When it’s not visiting Mavs fans or customers, it’s in my office or kitchen so I can see it every day.

Now that you have a championship, are you less or more likely to be open to selling the Mavericks?
No change.
 

Teaser:
<p> The Dallas Mavericks owner talks about his family, a championship and Texas sports</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 13:10
All taxonomy terms: nascar archive, Tony Stewart, NASCAR
Path: /nascar/tony-stewart-history-repeats-itself
Body:

Athlon Sports’ upcoming 2012 Racing annual will mark its 10th anniversary covering the sport of NASCAR. In honor of the milestone, Athlon will take the next four months to look back at memorable interviews, feature articles and driver profiles that have appeared in its Racing magazines over the years.

Up first is an exclusive Q&A with Tony Stewart done prior to the 2005 season. Stewart was coming off a sub-par campaign at Joe Gibbs Racing, but would go on to win his second Cup title later in the year.
 

Tony Stewart, the 2002 Cup champion, finished sixth in the 2004 standings after winning races at Chicagoland Speedway and Watkins Glen, bringing his career total to 19 victories in stock car racing’s top series.

Stewart was not happy with his season, however. The Chase for the Nextel Cup format, with a champion determined by the season’s final 10 races, seemed made to order for Stewart, who had a history of closing fast in his Cup career. But Stewart was never really a factor in the Chase.

Stewart returns to the No. 20 Chevrolet owned by Joe Gibbs, with Greg Zipadelli as his crew chief, for his seventh season of Cup competition in 2005. Stewart sat down with Athlon Sports to talk about where he’s been and where he hopes to go in the sport.

Athlon Sports: Look back at the 2004 season for a minute. You won two races and made the Chase for the Nextel Cup. But you got wrecked in the first Chase race at New Hampshire and then never really got untracked after that.
Tony Stewart: I don’t think there were very many highlights for us, to be honest. I think we had a very terrible season. It wasn’t our worst finish in the point standings, but we just really never had that pizzazz we’ve had in the past in the second half of the season. We didn’t have it in the first half, either. I really felt like our whole Joe Gibbs Racing organization struggled and we’ve got a lot of improving to do for 2005.

AS: What went wrong?
Stewart: Well, if we knew the reason we would have fixed it by now. I can promise you that one reason wasn’t due to a lack of determination and effort on our team’s part. Everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing has dug their heels in, but we just couldn’t find that missing piece to the equation. I can promise you that when we do, we will be back on form again, and after having a year like we had in 2004, if we can get it back on track in 2005, we’ll be tough to beat.

AS: Have you made any major changes in the team for 2005?
Stewart: Personnel-wise, we’ll be the same. That’s something I am really proud of. Our team has stayed intact through the whole time I’ve been there. We’ve only had a couple of changes. All we’ve done is add people. Everybody will have to make changes for 2005 because of the different rules package, but you just have to go out and do the work and see what you can do.

AS: What would you do to change the way the Nextel Cup champion is now determined?
Stewart: It’s not my job to do that. I’m a race car driver. It’s hard enough just trying to concentrate on doing my job each week, let alone trying to do NASCAR’s job for them. I think they do a pretty good job on their own. We don’t need to be promoters, we don’t need to be NASCAR. That’s why they pay guys like Mike Helton the big money they pay him — to worry about those problems.

AS: You won a championship under the former system and Kurt Busch won his under the Chase system. How much respect do you have for what he accomplished in 2004?
Stewart: If you look at some of the problems he had in the last 10 races, there were three or four times where he had to bounce back and overcome problems. That’s what you have to do to win any championship. He performed well when he didn’t have problems, and in the races where he did, he rebounded and performed well in some of those. You have to give him a lot of respect.

AS: Which was harder to win, the championship under the system in which you won it or under the system in 2004?
Stewart: I don’t know. Every year is so different. It’s really hard to say. If you could put back-to-back two identical years it would be easier to compare. I think the whole moral to the story is that we all know what the system is going into the season. It is what it is and we aren’t going to change it. We couldn’t if we wanted to. It’s fair for everybody. There’s nothing that’s unfair about the system. We know what it is and it’s our job to go out and do the best we can with it.

AS: You’ve had your share of disagreements with NASCAR, with fellow competitors and with members of the media over your years in the sport, and sometimes you’ve gotten in hot water over some of those. Last year, though, you had a chance to be sort of a bystander and see the controversy that followed a 25-point penalty against Dale Earnhardt Jr. for using a four-letter word in Victory Lane. What was your view of that situation? Did you have empathy for Dale Jr.?
Stewart: I think that was highly blown way out of proportion. I think we’re starting to nit-pick and scrutinize way too much in this series. Since when does something that somebody says have an effect on winning the championship? And when should it have that effect? From the time that car goes through tech, to the time that checkered flag drops — any time in that period where anything that happens can affect how the race was run — that’s when points should be taken away, not something that happens before that period and not anything that happens after that period.

The last time I checked, we had freedom of speech, correct? Since when has that changed now? I didn’t know the Constitution changed. What Dale Jr. said didn’t cheat anybody on the race track. It didn’t have any effect on how the race was run.

Where is the process going to stop? What’s going to be the next thing now? If we don’t show up to the car for practice on time are we going to lose 25 points for that next? Where is it realistically going to end?

AS: Let’s talk about some of the things you’ve faced in NASCAR. Do you feel like people already have their minds made up about you in a way that makes any incident that happens anywhere around you automatically your fault?
Stewart: I don’t think it’s me on the track that has given me two strikes (against me), I think it’s the way I’ve handled things off the track that has given me those strikes. Just like the deal at Chicago (where Kasey Kahne wrecked after contact from Stewart on a restart). If NASCAR thought I did something wrong, they would have done something obviously. I talked to NASCAR, Kasey talked to NASCAR, (and) their explanation of what happened in what they showed me backed up exactly what I said happened. I stuck to my guns saying I didn’t do anything wrong. The reason I did that was because I didn’t do anything wrong.

At the same time, if I do something off the track, I know I’ve got those two strikes on me already. This is not the deal to go through as a driver. It’s not just about driving race cars any more — that’s the way up to this point it’s always been. Now, we’re representing multi-billion dollar companies and we have a TV package. NASCAR is very image-conscious now, which they haven’t always been.

Driving the race car, which is what I got hired to do in the first place, and what I have been doing the past 25 years of my life, is only a fractional part of my overall job as a Nextel Cup driver. There’s a lot more changes that go on in your life than the media could understand in one conversation. It’s something you really have to be behind the scenes. You need to live it and breathe for more than a day or two or a week to fully understand what all is involved in it.

AS: To a degree, is it OK with you if you get a “bad boy” label hung on you?
Stewart: Look at wrestling. If you had all the popular guys, the “good” guys in the sport, and you had them wrestling each other each week, I’m not sure it would be as appealing to the fans as if you got somebody that people like and somebody that they dislike. So I think that adds flavor to the sport. I don’t really take it personal. I don’t think it’s a personal deal; it’s just a title that’s given to many of us. I guess I lead the pack of the bad boy group. I think there are fans out there that are looking for that guy. Dale Earnhardt didn’t get his reputation or popularity by being a good guy. He got it by being aggressive, and he was probably the bad boy in his era. So I don’t think it’s such a bad thing after all.

AS: At times you’ve hinted that the frustrations of dealing with the rigors of being a Cup driver might just lead you to get out of NASCAR and just go race sprint cars somewhere. Is that really something you think about doing?
Stewart: No, not necessarily. I think there are days that I’m frustrated and I feel that way, but I think there are more days that I wake up and it just doesn’t bother me anymore. We’ve been through so much controversy in my whole career in the Cup series, I’m just kind of numb to it all I guess, so to speak.
It’s not a distraction to me; it’s not an aggravation to me. I’ve found a way to simplify everything and not worry about it. Controversy is controversy; it’s just something for people to read in the paper and something for them to talk about. When I’m in the race car, I mean, my job is to go out and win the race and that’s what my passion and desire is whether it’s in a midget or in a sprint car or in the Nextel Cup car. At the end of the day I still get a paycheck and still have a job that I thoroughly enjoy.

I guess I’ve come to the realization that I’ve learned what my role is here. Every other series that I was a part of, the drivers had a lot of input and the officials really worked with them. At this level, it’s done in a totally different situation. You realize it doesn’t matter what your opinion is. They don’t care about your opinion. I think that’s why this series has been as successful as it is too, because they’ve stuck to their core organizing skills. This formula they’ve had for over 50-plus years has been pretty successful. So I guess I’m not as frustrated as I used to be because I’ve realized that’s partly why it’s gotten where it has is because they’ve done it their way and not listened to everybody else who has come and gone throughout the series.

AS: Your love for sprint-car racing is well known. You own U.S. Auto Club and World of Outlaws series sprint car teams and work on - and drive - those cars whenever you can squeeze it into your schedule that’s choked with Nextel Cup commitments. And now, you’ve purchased one of the most revered dirt tracks in the United States, historic Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, from the legendary Earl Baltes, who retired. Did you do that because you want to protect the legacy of a place that is so much a part of the history in a part of racing that’s so dear to your heart?
Stewart: I think that’s why Earl and Bernice had the confidence and why Earl came to me and said he’d really like me to have that place. I think Earl knows I respect the history of the sport and the history of his speedway. I will do everything I can to take what Earl has built and not change it a lot. I don’t want to take things away to put something else in place, I just want to take what’s there and add to it. I think there’s a great foundation there, and with my popularity in NASCAR I think we can take some of that and help attract sponsors to the speedway and attract a new breed of race fans who’ve never heard or Eldora or gone to a race there. Hopefully we can take the success there and build on it.

AS: There are hundreds of race tracks around the country, many of which you’ve raced on. What makes Eldora so special?
Stewart: I have never been to a race at Eldora where people didn’t have a good time. Even if the track isn’t prepared the best as it has been or they had bad weather, everybody always found a way to have a good time. Eldora kind of allows you to let your hair down. It’s not so sponsor-driven to where you’re being force-fed from that standpoint. It’s sort of like going to the Kentucky Derby, sometimes people couldn’t tell you who won the Derby, but they can tell you how much fun they had. Eldora is like a happening. They can tell you who won the race, I can promise you that, but it’s just the atmosphere around it, an aura you don’t find at a lot of tracks across the country. It’s just a special place.
 

Teaser:
<p> Our 2005 Q&amp;A with Tony Stewart feels a little like deja vu</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 10:37
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-rankings-week-9
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

Teams on bye this week: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota

2011 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 9 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports has all the position rankings you need to help set your Week 9 fantasy line up.</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 07:21
Path: /fantasy/ahmad-bradshaw-has-broken-foot-possibly-out-year
Body:

Update: When first reported, it looked like Bradshaw could be out for a significant stretch. Now reports are surfacing that his foot injury is not that serious and that he may actually play this Sunday. Stay tuned.

Ahmad Bradshaw was having a pretty good fantasy season so far. While his week-to-week numbers haven't been that stellar, he has managed to find the end zone 6 times and has offset a lack of yardage with a few catches each week, making him an RB1 in PPR leagues.

And now he may be out for the rest of the season with a broken foot, suffered in last week's come from behind win against the Dolphins.

The Giants haven't officially announced his injury, but multiple Giants beat writers and ESPN insider Adam Schefter have reported that Bradshaw is at best out "indefinitely". 

He may or may not need surgery to repair his foot which is currently swollen and sore.

So all those good little fantasy owners who drafted Ahmad Bradshaw and made sure they handcuffed him with Brandon Jacobs should be very happy as Jacobs takes the majority of carries with D.J. Ware serving as his back up.

Now is Jacob's chance to put his money where his mouth is. Earlier this year he told Men's Fitness that he didn't expect to be with the Giants next year, and complaiend that he had been underutilized as he's taken a back seat to Bradshaw this season in terms of workload.  Also in the interview, he made it clear that he was looking to get a starting job somewhere in the league next year.

OK, Brandon, here's your chance. There's no better way to show every team in the league (including the one you currently play for) that you are still worthy of being a #1 back.

And there's no better game to prove yourself than against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick's Patriots (who the Giants play this Sunday.) One thing that may be going for him, is that Belichick usually takes away what a team does best, and I'm guessing Bill doesn't think Brandon Jacobs will be a strength on the Giants offense. 

If you have the space, go ahead and pick up D.J. Ware, as you don't know how Jacobs will respond to this, and if Jacobs goes down, then Ware could be the feature back for the Giants for the remainder of the year.

Teaser:
<p> Very bad news for the New York football Giants' running game and fantasy owners</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 06:17
All taxonomy terms: NBA lockout, NBA
Path: /nba/nba-where-nothing-ever-happens
Body:

The NBA Lockout in a nutshell: my television is currently playing Major League Soccer.

This is what my life has become. A week ago, I was watching the Cards top the Rangers in The Greatest/Worst/Best/Sloppiest Baseball Game Ever. Tonight, the Seattle XBOX’s are going up against the Dudes in Red Shirts.

I’m a diehard baseball, football and basketball fan. That’s it, and in that precise order. Baseball and football are 1A and 1AA, respectively. Basketball is a distant but still beloved third. I don’t like hockey and I sure as shit don’t like soccer. I’m a marginal college football fan at best. By any measure, I currently reside on the sports fan equivalent of a desert island.

Some people have surmised that the NBA owners are stupid to risk losing the momentum of the league’s best season in over a decade. They argue the NBA doesn’t have the same luxury that the NFL did: people won’t miss it all that much. And for a while, I agreed.

The NBA season starts in a week? Who cares: I have baseball to watch. Besides, the NBA has always been the third wheel on a bicycle built for two.

Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the NBA’s return. Who gives a flying f*ck about BRI, the mid-level exception or Stern’s last stand? Five nights out of the week (usually six given MNF’s heinous 2011 schedule), there are no sports on TV. That makes for one hell of a WTF.

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, quotes are paraphrases of idiocy.

“Chris Johnson.”

Okay, so that isn’t even a quote. But that’s the point. I recently asked a Titans fan friend what he thinks the issue with the halfback-formerly-known-as-CJ2K is.

In response, he muttered something about defenses ‘figuring him out’ and changed the subject.

No one knows what to think of this guy. Not even that many people want to talk about him. He’s hesitant. He’s slower. He’s being weighed-down by his grillz.

No one seems to know anything, except that none of it makes any fucking sense.

This isn’t a case of a holdout languishing over a lack of preseason reps. It’s not even a case of normal running back decline; Johnson is barely 26—young even by NFL standards—and a year removed from being the league’s most electrifying player.

With one touchdown, a 2.8 YPC average and just one 60-yard game (he picked up 101 yards on 23 carries in a week 4 matchup against the Browns) Johnson’s decline hasn’t just been precipitous—it’s been WTF-worthy. Sure, Tennessee’s offensive line isn’t great, but fantasy handcuff Javon Ringer has still been able to find success at times. As opposed to years past, the Titans actually have a viable passing attack. If anything, putting eight men in the box against CJ should be riskier than ever.

The worst part? Tennessee just paid the man, so they have no choice but to stick by their $30 million dollar headache. Johnson is in the first year of a four year deal. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and the Titans have to believe that the superduperstar that torched NFL defenses for three seasons will resurface at some point.

“FRANK MCCOURT IS GONE! CELEBRATE! THE DODGERS ARE BACK!”

Not an incorrect sentiment, but certainly a premature one. The much-maligned LA owner may have finally given in and put his team up for auction, but Dodger fans aren’t out of the Redwood forest just yet.

First, there’s the obvious bidding process, which could end up lasting throughout the 2012 season. When that wraps up, MLB will need to approve the new ownership (in the unlikely scenario that ownership is led by Mark Cuban, that might take awhile). Then, it will probably take some time to put the right people in place to make people forget about the old guy.
In other words, it’s going to be a while.

“Albert Pujols won’t be back in St. Louis next year.”

A week after losing their hall-of-fame manager three days after winning the World Series, one of baseball’s most storied franchises is going to let the GOAT walk over a few million dollars? Riiiiiight.
“Are you kidding me? Theo’s not going to give the managerial job to Ryne Sandberg?”

No, I’m not, and he’s not.

Yes, Ryne is a Windy City legend who is just as marginalized in Wrigleyville as he is in Cooperstown. But he also has zero major league coaching experience, something that might come in handy when trying to turn around a franchise that hasn’t won anything in, ya know, awhile.

“The Bulls are the consensus favorites for the 2011-2012 NBA Championship…if it happens.”

If it happens, the Bulls should be considered among the favorites for this year’s O’Brien Trophy.

Chicago has one of the league’s three best players, the league’s best defense and one of the league’s best coaches. They have a well-rounded bench that is as formidable on the boards as it on the perimeter. Outside of Carlos Boozer, there’s only one reason not to be jumping on the Bulls bandwagon:
Actually, not just one reason. Not even two. Not three, not four, not five…

Miami’s Game Six Finals loss was taken as a validation of all their perceived faults. And why wouldn’t it be? Everyone had been looking for a reason why the Heat would fall flat from the moment “South Beach” escaped LeBron’s lips. The critics had been vindicated.

The thing is, the critics weren’t wrong. The Heat had a terrible bench and no viable center or point guard. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh was doing his best to turn the Big Three into the Big Two-Point-Five.

Yet, despite all of their faults—real, perceived, or somewhere in between—two men came within two games of taking home an NBA title and silencing the doubters. Without any significant assistance, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade almost did what everyone expected (but certainly didn’t want) them to do in the first place.

They’ll do it eventually. They might not win seven titles, but Miami still has a bright future. LeBron is still just 26; Wade is just 29. Reinforcements will come at some point, whether through the draft, free agency or trade. Soon enough, the Big Two will have a better-than-terrible supporting cast. And the rest of the league will cower in the corner.

For the time being, this is still the same team. But that’s the same team that almost already did it.

So why can’t they do it this year? Because the NBA is where nothing happens. And that’s not just a problem for the Heat—it’s a problem for every non-hockey loving sports fan out there.

Jesse Golomb is the creator and lead writer of TheFanManifesto. Follow him on twitter at @TheFanManifesto or drop him a line at JesseGolomb@TheFanManifesto.com 

Teaser:
<p> The NBA Lockout in a nutshell: my television is currently playing Major League Soccer.</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 03:55
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-9
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 9 — Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 9 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Teams on bye this week: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota

Rk Player OPPONENT
1 San Francisco 49ers at WAS
2 Houston Texans vs. CLE
3 Cincinnati Bengals at TEN
4 Baltimore Ravens at PIT
5 Dallas Cowboys vs. SEA
6 Green Bay Packers at SD
7 New York Jets at BUF
8 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL
9 New Orleans Saints vs. TB
10 Kansas City Chiefs vs. MIA
11 Oakland Raiders vs. DEN
12 Philadelphia Eagles vs. CHI
13 Atlanta Falcons at IND
14 Buffalo Bills vs. NYJ
15 Chicago Bears at PHI
16 New York Giants at NE

Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 16:21

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