Articles By Nathan Rush

All taxonomy terms: NFL, NBA, MLB, Overtime
Path: /5-biggest-conspiracy-theories-sports-history-2016
Body:

On the heels of by an unknown person, conspiracy theories are running wild. Of course, everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, especially in sports. When Michael Jordan unexpectedly retires? Conspiracy. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins a race after his daddy died? Conspiracy. Anytime Duke gets a seemingly easy NCAA Tournament draw? Double-dog conspiracy. But none of those tongue-in-cheek cheats made this list. These are the top five conspiracy theories in sports history:

 

1. 1919 World Series — Chicago Black Sox Scandal

“Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

Eight members of the Chicago White Sox — “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Claude “Lefty” Williams, Buck Weaver, Arnold “Chick” Gandil, Fred McMullin, Charles “Swede” Risberg and Oscar “Happy” Felsch — were banned from baseball for conspiring with gamblers and gangsters (notably New York’s Arnold Rothstein) to throw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The plan worked, as the heavily favored White Sox — one of the era’s highest profile teams and arguably one of the most talented squads of all time — fell to the Reds, 5-to-3, in the best-of-nine series.

Strangely, “Shoeless Joe” hit the 1919 World Series’ only home run and led all batters with a .375 average (12-for-32), six RBIs and five runs scores. But Jackson’s implication in the scandal ended his career at only 32 years old, with a .356 career average and three top-5 finishes in AL MVP voting.

As a result of what would become known as the “Black Sox Scandal,” Kenesaw Mountain Landis was named the first “Commissioner of Baseball” in 1920.

 

2. Super Bowl III — New York Jets upset Baltimore Colts

“We’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee it.”

Joe Namath backed up his famous guarantee with the New York Jets upsetting the Baltimore Colts, 16–7, in Super Bowl III. But since “Broadway Joe” trotted off the field pointing No. 1 to the sky, there have been more than a few rumblings that the Colts took a dive against the Jets.

The legitimacy of the NFL-AFL merger of 1970 was greatly aided by the AFL’s win in Super Bowl III on Jan. 12, 1969. The fact that the game was won by New York — a massive media market with a coverboy quarterback — was icing on the cake. In hindsight, it could be argued that the Jets’ win over the Colts was a triumph worth not just millions but billions of dollars for the league.

“That Super Bowl game, which we lost by nine points, was the critical year (for the AFL),” Colts defensive end Bubba Smith famously told Playboy. “The game just seemed odd to me. Everything was out of place. I tried to rationalize that our coach, Don Shula, got out-coached, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if any of my teammates were in on the fix.”

Baltimore had a 13–1 record in 1968 and dominated the Cleveland Browns, 34–0, in the NFL title game. Meanwhile, New York went 11–3 and barely escaped with a 27–23 win over the Oakland Raiders in the AFL title game — thanks in large part to a fluke play late in the fourth quarter, when the Jets recovered a lateral fumble that the Raiders thought was an incomplete pass.

The Colts committed five costly turnovers, including three interceptions by quarterback Earl Morrall. One interception was particularly suspicious. With Colts receiver Jimmy Orr wide open near the end zone, Morrall checked down to running back Jerry Hill only to throw an errant pass intercepted by Jets safety Jim Hudson.

“I’m just a linesman but I looked up and saw Jimmy (Orr) wide open,” said Colts center Bill Curry, currently the head coach at Georgia State.

Baltimore coach Don Sula — who would later coach Morrall with the Miami Dolphins — may have the most damning non-quote of all. Smith wrote in his autobiography, “Kill, Bubba, Kill,” that he believed the fix was in at Super Bowl III. Shula’s response was the classic husband-caught-cheating reply.

“I think it’s too ridiculous for me to comment on,” said Shula.

 

3. Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston — “Phantom Punch”

 

“Get up and fight, sucker!”

Muhammad Ali stood over Sonny Liston shouting at him to get up, while ringside photographer Neil Leifer captured the iconic moment in what many have called the greatest sports photograph in history.

Ali-Liston II was originally scheduled for Nov. 16, 1964 at the Boston Garden. But the fight was postponed after a pre-fight injury suffered by Ali. Rumors of organized crime connections to the fight promotion caused the city of Boston to reject the fight. Then, amid continued fixed fight talk, the city of Cleveland followed suit and also denied the fight.

Finally, on May 25, 1965, the heavyweight championship bout took place at St. Dominic’s Hall in Lewiston, Maine, and was refereed by former heavyweight champ Jersey Joe Walcott. The fight did not last long, however. Liston went down in the first round — as rumors swirled that Liston owed money to the mafia and/or had been threatened by the Nation of Islam.

Worst of all, Ali was reportedly overheard asking his corner crew a crucial question about the so-called “phantom punch.”

“Did I hit him?”

 

4. 1985 NBA Draft Lottery — Patrick Ewing to the New York Knicks

In 1985, Georgetown center Patrick Ewing was a “can’t miss” NBA prospect. Ewing lived up to his advanced billing, as an 11-time NBA All-Star and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He never won an NBA championship, primarily due to the greatness of Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. But Ewing was the centerpiece of 13 playoff teams for the New York Knicks — a team that acquired the 7-footer via the first-ever NBA Draft Lottery.



After watching the footage, several oddities stand out. When putting the seven envelopes into the drum, the fourth envelope is noticeably thrown against the side of the clear sphere — bending one corner of the envelope — while the other six are simply dropped into the bottom of the drum. Then, Commissioner David Stern lets out a stressful deep breath before diving his hand into the drum, passing over several envelopes and drawing what turned out to be the New York Knicks — Stern’s self-proclaimed favorite team. Along with the bent-corner theory, many have speculated that the Knicks’ envelope had been frozen prior to the drawing.

Since the Ewing scandal, the NBA Draft Lottery has cleaned up its act. The ping-pong ball lottery takes place in a room with no cameras, then the “results” are announced by opening the envelopes on television. Stern is nowhere near the event. Who has been involved? The trustworthy employees of Ernst & Young, whose honest oversight experience also includes the fraudulent accounting practices of Lehman Brothers.

It’s all on the up and up. The Bulls received the right to draft Chicago native Derrick Rose, despite only a 1.7 percent chance of “winning” the Lottery. The Orlando Magic won back-to-back No. 1 picks, including Shaquille O’Neal. The New Jersey Nets won the No. 1 pick in Rod Thorn’s first draft running the Nets, after 15 years of Thorn being Stern’s right-hand man in the league office. The Cleveland Cavaliers got the top pick the year the best player in state history (LeBron James) was available and the year after King James left town. The most recent Lottery was won by the New Orleans Hornets — a team owned by the NBA during the 2011-12 season, before being sold to Tom Benson.

If the real lottery were run the way Stern runs the NBA Draft Lottery, no one would buy a ticket. And the right to draft Ewing, Shaq, LeBron, etc., is worth more than the PowerBall.
 

5. 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals, Game 6 — Sacramento Kings at L.A. Lakers

Tim Donaghy was an NBA referee from 1994 to 2007, officiating in 772 regular season games and 20 playoff contests. But rumors of fixing games caused Donaghy to resign in July 2007. Concrete evidence presented by the FBI resulted in Donaghy pleading guilty to federal charges and being sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

After being released, Donaghy began telling tales of NBA officiating, gambling and controlling the outcome of games. His legal team even filed loosely veiled allegations against the NBA in U.S. District Court.

Although he does not name team or referee names, it is clear that Donaghy’s attorney is referring to Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers.

“Referees A, F and G were officiating a playoff series between Teams 5 and 6 in May of 2002. It was the sixth game of a seven-game series, and a Team 5 victory that night would have ended the series.

“However, Tim learned from Referee A that Referees A and F wanted to extend the series to seven games. Tim knew Referees A and F to be ‘company men,’ always acting in the interest of the NBA, and that night, it was in the NBA’s interest to add another game to the series. Referees A and F heavily favored Team 6.

“Personal fouls (resulting in obviously injured players) were ignored even when they occurred in full view of the Referees. Conversely, the Referees called made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free throw opportunities for Team 6. Their foul-calling also led to the ejection of two Team 5 players.

“The referees’ favoring of Team 6 led to that team’s victory that night, and Team 6 came back from behind to win that series.”



To translate:

The referees that May 31, 2002 night were Dick Bavetta, Bob Delaney and Steve Javie. The Kings led the Lakers, 3–2, in the best-of-seven series. A Kings win would send Sacramento to the NBA Finals, where it would face the New Jersey Nets. A Lakers win would force a Game 7 and keep alive the dynasty dreams of the two-time defending champions.

Kings centers Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard both fouled out of the game. Pollard picked up two fouls in 14 seconds, fouling out with 11:34 remaining in the fourth quarter; Divac fouled out with 2:56 remaining. Kings forward Chris Webber picked up three fouls in the fourth quarter, his fifth foul coming with 3:07 to play.

The Lakers led the Kings in free throw attempts, 40-to-25. In the fourth quarter, L.A. went 21-of-27 from the free throw line, while Sacramento was 7-of-9 in the final period. And in a symbolic display of unfairness, Kings guard Mike Bibby was called for a foul after being elbowed in the nose by Kobe Bryant.

After the game, Ralph Nader called for investigation. But Lakers fans smiled all the way to a 106–102 Game 6 win, a 112–106 Game 7 victory and a four-game sweep of the overmatched Nets in the NBA Finals, en route to a star-studded three-peat led by Shaq, Kobe and Phil Jackson.

“I’m not going to say there was a conspiracy,” said Pollard. “I just think something wasn’t right. It was unfair. We didn’t have a chance to win that game.”
 

Teaser:
Conspiracy theories from the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA playoffs and more.
Post date: Friday, April 29, 2016 - 10:13
All taxonomy terms: MLB, NFL, NFL, MLB
Path: /30-greatest-two-sport-athletes-all-time-2016
Body:

Some of the world's greatest athletes weren't just one-sport players; instead, they excelled in two (and sometimes in several). Of course, some athletes probably should have stuck with their main sport. Here's a look at the top 30 two-sport athletes of all time, ranked in order of their second best sport.


1. Jim Thorpe, track (Best sport: football)

One the all-time great athletes, Thorpe is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and has been immortalized via the Jim Thorpe Award — given annually to the top defensive back in college football. But Thorpe was also a gold medalist in both the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.


2. Jim Brown, lacrosse (Best sport: football)

Arguably the greatest running back in history, Brown is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. The 6’2”, 230-pounder is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and is considered by many to be the best athlete to ever play the sport.


3. Bob Hayes, football (Best sport: track)

“Bullet Bob” Hayes won the fastest man in the world, winning gold medals in the 100 meters and 4x100 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Hayes then strapped on a helmet for the Dallas Cowboys, winning Super Bowl VI and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

4. Bo Jackson, baseball (Best sport: football)

Only Bo knows what might have been. The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner was a Pro Bowl running back for the L.A. Raiders and an All-Star outfielder for the Kansas City Royals — hitting 32 HRs and 105 RBIs in just 135 games in 1989 — before a hip injury derailed the out-of-this-world athlete.

 


5. Charlie Ward, football (Best sport: basketball)

Sure, Ward played 11 seasons in the NBA — starting at point guard for the New York Knicks’ Eastern Conference champs in 1999. But most know him as a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion quarterback at Florida State in 1993.


6. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, track (Best sport: golf)

A 10-time LPGA major champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Mildred Ella — better known as “Babe” — won gold medals in the 80-meter hurdles and javelin throw as well as a silver medal in the high jump at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.


7. Duke Kahanamoku, surfing (Best sport: swimming)

The Big Kahuna won three Olympic medals in the 100-meter freestyle — taking gold at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and 1920 Antwerp Olympics, and silver at the 1924 Paris Olympics — as well as a gold (1920) and silver (1912) in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. But Mr. Hawaii was also the “Father of Surfing,” popularizing the longboard en route to becoming a member of the Surfing, Swimming and U.S. Olympic Halls of Fame.


8. Deion Sanders, baseball (Best sport: football)

A member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, Prime Time is considered the greatest cornerback in NFL history. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Sanders also played with the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 World Series and played parts of nine lightning-fast seasons in MLB.


9. Gene Conley, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A four-time MLB All-Star and 1957 World Series champion with the Milwaukee Braves, the 6’8”, 225-pound Conley also won three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics — becoming the only athlete in history to win world titles in two of the big four pro leagues.


10. Danny Ainge, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

The Wooden Award winner at BYU, Ainge won two NBA championships with the Celtics and was an All-Star in 1988. He also had a cup of coffee with the Toronto Blue Jays, playing three seasons from 1979-81.


11. Brian Jordan, football (Best sport: baseball)

A one-time MLB All-Star who played in the bigs for 15 years, Jordan played three seasons (1989-91) as a safety in the NFL before making his debut in The Show in 1992.


12. Jackie Robinson, track (Best sport: baseball)

The 1949 NL MVP and 1955 World Series champ is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a civil rights pioneer. But he was also the 1940 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Long Jump champion at UCLA.


13. Jonathan Ogden, shot put (Best sport: football)

The 6’9”, 345-pound Ogden was the 1996 NCAA Men’s Indoor Shot Put champion at UCLA, before becoming an 11-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XXXV champion left tackle with the Baltimore Ravens.


14. Jeff Samardzija, football (Best sport: baseball)

The Shark was an All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist, finishing his Notre Dame football career as the Irish’s all-time leading receiver prior to becoming a right-handed pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.


15. Darin Erstad, football (Best sport: baseball)

The 1995 Golden Spikes Award winner was also the starting punter on Nebraska’s 1994 national championship football team before going on to play 14 seasons in MLB.


16. Joe Mauer, football (Best sport: baseball)

Before Mauer was the 2009 AL MVP and three-time batting champion for the Minnesota Twins, the 6’5” athlete with a cannon for a right arm was USA Today’s High School Player of the Year as a quarterback.


17. Dave Winfield, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A 22-year MLB veteran and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Winfield played college basketball at the University of Minnesota — where he helped lead the Golden Gophers to the 1972 Big Ten title.


18. Kenny Lofton, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A six-time All-Star, five-time stolen base champ and four-time Gold Glove center fielder, Lofton’s first love was basketball. He played point guard for the University of Arizona, making the Final Four in 1988.


19. Tony Gwynn, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A first-ballot member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Gwynn was a 15-time All-Star and eight-time batting champ with a career .338 batting average and 3,141 hits. But Gwynn was also a solid point guard, setting San Diego State records for assists in a season and career.


20. Marion Jones, basketball (Best sport: track)

Once a golden girl, Jones’ reputation has since been tarnished by PED use and jail time. Before the fall, Jones won three gold and two bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after a standout hoops career at the University of North Carolina — where she was a member of the 1994 NCAA champion Tar Heels.


21. Antonio Gates, basketball (Best sport: football)

Led Kent State to its first MAC championship and a trip to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament before becoming an eight-time Pro Bowl tight end for the San Diego Chargers.


22. Jimmy Graham, basketball (Best sport: football)

Played four years of basketball at the University of Miami but just one season of football at The U. No big deal, the 6’6”, 260-pound power forward evolved into one of the NFL’s best tight ends.


23. Tony Gonzalez, basketball (Best sport: football)

Gonzalez round-balled at Cal-Berkeley before becoming a 14-time Pro Bowl tight end with 1,325 catches, 15,127 yards and 111 TDs for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.


24. Julius Peppers, basketball (Best sport: football)

The pass-rusher was a glass-crasher at University of North Carolina, where he came off the bench for the Tar Heels’ 2000 Final Four squad.


25. Walter Ray Williams Jr., horseshoes (Best sport: bowling)

The seven-time PBA Player of the Year also owns six Men’s World Horseshoe Pitching titles.


26. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, football (Best sport: wrestling)

The WWE wrestler was a member of the University of Miami’s 1991 national championship team, where he played with future NFL stars like Warren Sapp.


27. Ed “Too Tall” Jones, boxing (Best sport: football)

A three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman and Super Bowl XII champion, the 6’9” Jones had a scary 88-inch reach as a boxer — going 6–0 with five KOs in 1979.


28. Herschel Walker, mixed martial arts / bobsled (Best sport: football)

Known for always being in peak condition, Walker started his MMA career as a 48-year-old. The fifth-degree Taekwondo black belt is 2–0 with two TKOs on punches. Years before that he participated in the two-man bobsled competition at the 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh. Oh yeah, Walker, who played several years in the NFL, also won the 1982 Heisman Trophy at Georgia and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.


29. Scott Burrell, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

The only athlete selected in the first round of two of the big four sports’ drafts — Burrell went No. 20 overall to the Charlotte Hornets in the 1993 NBA Draft and No. 26 overall to the Seattle Mariners in the 1989 MLB Draft.


30. Michael Jordan, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

His Airness is undeniably the greatest basketball player of all-time and arguably the greatest athlete ever. However, in 127 games playing for the Chicago White Sox’s Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons, Air Jordan hit just .202 with three HRs, 51 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.

Teaser:
<p> The top 30 two-sport athletes in history — including Jim Thorpe, Jim Brown, Bob Hayes, Bo Jackson, Charlie Ward, Deion Sanders and Michael Jordan — ranked in order of their second-best sport.</p>
Post date: Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 15:56
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, Life
Path: /life/robert-nkemdiche-most-interesting-man-nfl-draft
Body:

“The best is yet to come,” Robert Nkemdiche says, sitting in the balcony of Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre. The 6’4”, 300-pound Nkemdiche (pronounced kim-DEECH-ee) engulfs his aisle seat, but seems at home in a venue that has hosted the Rolling Stones and Prince.

 

Although only 21, Nkemdiche has been well known in football scouting circles for the better part of a decade. He became a local semi-celebrity as a 6’2”, 220-pound man-child in junior high and grew into a man among boys as the undisputed No. 1-rated player in the country in 2013, coming out of Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., just east of Atlanta.

 

Nkemdiche headlined an Ole Miss recruiting class that also included the country’s consensus top offensive lineman (Laremy Tunsil) and wide receiver (Laquon Treadwell), two names expected to be called early in the first round of the NFL Draft in Chicago on April 28.

The spotlight is nothing new to Nkemdiche. He has an innate star quality. He’s quick to flash his megawatt smile and is clearly a self-aware, conscientious individual accustomed to attention in mass quantities. It’s all he’s ever known, really.

 

Yet for a giant whose persona looms large no matter where he’s standing, looks can be deceiving. And the reputation that precedes Nkemdiche isn’t necessarily accurate.

 

“The reality of it is that I’m one of the most positive, charismatic, energetic, understanding people that you will ever meet,” he says. “Aside from football. Aside from anything. Just as a people person; I’m a very spiritual, selfless, egoless person. I love everybody, I don’t like negative people, I don’t like negative vibes. And I love to play football.”

 

He is one step away from being a professionally violent millionaire, engaging hand-to-hand with some of the biggest and strongest mean men in the Western Hemisphere. Yet he also plays tenor saxophone and bass guitar, listens to Pink Floyd and Kenny G, and is as quick to reference Zen and positive energy as any follower of Eastern philosophy.

In a sport that too often falls into the rut of lockstep uniformity, Nkemdiche marches to the beat of his own drum.

 

“Being peaceful and Zen and understanding yourself helps with football,” he says. “D-line is probably the most violent position on the field. Every snap you’re busting your head, clashing with people. You’re fighting. It’s chaotic, every six seconds.

 

“When I’m away from that I just really want to get away from that. I want to set my soul back at ease. If you let that carry over then bad things can happen. You’re always tensed up and don’t really get to enjoy life.”

 

The NFL is plagued with domestic assault and anger issues, so it should be refreshing to hear Nkemdiche’s perspective. Leave work at work. Save hitting for the football field. But NFL also stands for “No Fun League.” Cam Newton shouldn’t dance after a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski shouldn’t party after a loss. And Robert Nkemdiche shouldn’t play saxophone or hang out with Morgan Freeman in his spare time.

That’s right, Nkemdiche and Freeman, 78, are friends. They met through a professor at Ole Miss.

 

“He’s a voice of reason, a very wise and intelligent guy,” Nkemdiche says. “He actually helped set up the gig I played at Ground Zero Blues Club, that’s Morgan Freeman’s place. It was fun. It was amazing. He was there. He was cool. The older he gets, the better his voice sounds.”

 

To some, those stories are “distractions” in a league where that is the only dirty word. Football is serious business. But Nkemdiche understands that.

 

“Whatever team eventually gets me, I’m going to play so hard for that team for the fact that they believed in me and trusted me. I’m going to play like a maniac,” he says. “They’re going to love me. When I meet the people that have doubts, it’s going to be a happy moment when they say, ‘Why did we doubt you?’”

 

Turns out, Nkemdiche is a fan of John Coltrane’s sax and John Randle’s sacks, both artists from eras that predate a young man with an ear and eye for timeless talent.

 

(Quick history lesson: Coltrane might be the greatest saxophonist ever, solo as well as accompanying the likes of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk; Randle is a Hall of Fame pass-rushing 3-technique defensive tackle who might be the biggest overachiever in NFL history, after being undrafted out of Texas A&M-Kingsville.)

“John Randle, he’s my favorite D-lineman of all time. His motor, man. With the war paint, he was so nasty,” Nkemdiche says, sitting up at attention while he discusses one of the masters of the craft.

 

“He was tenacious. He was in the moment of football when he was playing. He was rowdy and intense. He didn’t care about anything else. He was spastic, that’s how I like to play my game. I don’t care about anything else, I’m a spaz and I’m just trying to be in the backfield. He was reckless. He was in the backfield ruining plays. He was chaotic; that’s how I want to be.”

 

The energy Nkemdiche shows while talking about Randle makes it hard to believe that words like “motor” and “effort” are red flags waving around a pedigreed athlete who was a two-time second-team All-American (as a junior and sophomore), after being a Freshman All-American, following an All-Everything prep career. That trajectory is often followed by All-Rookie and All-Pro honors at the next level. But the next step is by far the biggest.

 

“It’s the best of the best, and every game is ‘Alabama.’ I just know me as a person and how hungry I am to be great and how hungry I am to be the best,” he says. “I know what I can do and I’m going to fulfill that. It’s really just staying focused and being disciplined. I’m a very disciplined person. I’m a very reserved person, very positive person at all times. I’m a very pure person.”

 

Photography by Matt Hernandez // All photos taken at Fox Theatre in Atlanta

Teaser:
Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche is a fascinating prospect
Post date: Monday, April 18, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /overtime/25-biggest-bullies-sports-history-2016
Body:

“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, / He writes — not that you won or lost — but how you played the Game,” Grantland Rice famously wrote in his 1908 poem, “Alumnus Football.”

Not everyone in sports has lived by those words, obviously. With that mind, we look back at the 25 biggest bullies in sports history:


25. Richie Incognito

A threatening, profanity-laced, half-N-bomb, yo-mamma voicemail left for his former Miami Dolphins O-linemate Jonathan Martin moved Incognito from “NFL’s Dirtiest Player” to “Notorious B.U.L.L.Y.”


24. Dale Earnhardt Sr.

The “Intimidator” was quick to remind his competition to “put a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants won’t climb up there and eat that candy ass.” Dale Sr. had no problem putting other cars into the wall with his No. 3 Monte Carlo.


23. Michael Jordan

Isiah Thomas was bullied off the Dream Team; Steve Kerr was punched in the face; Jerry Krause’s Croatian sensation Toni Kukoc was harassed; and a by “His Airness.” Plus, MJ absolutely abused everyone in the NBA during his reign.

 

22. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

 once declared the now retired Mayweather “a bully, one neatly wrapped in a cut 5-foot-8, 147-pound package. Like most bullies, Mayweather is intimidating. He sends promoters, managers and networks cowering in the corner with the mere threat of withholding his services. He holds the boxing world hostage by saying he will take his gloves and go home unless the fight isn’t when he wants, where he wants and at what weight he wants. He perpetuates a lie … because he is confident in the fact that no one in the industry will stand up to him.”


21. Randy Savage

“Oooooh, yeah!” The “Macho Man” broke into the WWF as a heel who bullied the “First Lady of Wrestling,” Miss Elizabeth, and was quick to “snap into” anyone who dared look at his manager.


20. Kermit Washington

but also inspired the John Feinstein book, The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever.


19. Ron Artest

The Artest currently known as “Metta World Peace” was not always the lovable, flagrant-fouling, elbow-throwing, physical defender we know today. He was once the instigator of the infamous That poor fat fan in the stands didn’t stand a chance.

 

18. Quinton Jackson

“Rampage” is a terror in and outside the ring. Making countless MMA fighters tap out, and driving on the sidewalk during an extended police chase.

 

17. Todd Bertuzzi

The consummate goon and longtime NHL enforcer, .

 

16. Jack Tatum

with a vicious hit over the middle in 1978. Tatum was the leader of a gang of bullies in the Oakland Raiders' secondary who were known for headhunting.

 

15. Vince McMahon

The Chairman and CEO of the WWE is a marketing genius, but he has no problem taking a metaphorical folding chair (or a real folding chair) to the back of anyone standing in his way. McMahon has bullied and bulldozed his way to the top of the ropes. Look out below.

 

14. Ndamukong Suh

The 2.0 of dirty defensive tackles, Suh saves his worst for Thanksgiving dinner, and . He's also bullied and off the field, making Suh arguably the young bully with the most upside.

 

13. Bill Romanowski

Romo was psycho — spitting on opponents, beating up teammates and causing widespread chaos everywhere he roamed. Romanowski's rage was often steroid-fueled, as the linebacker told "60 Minutes" he received the juice from none other than Victor Conte himself.

 

12. John Kreese

Cobra Kai's screw-loose leader had a simple instruction: "Sweep the leg."

 

11. Daniel Snyder

The , reminding us why the Redskins' owner is everyone's least favorite NFL power player.

 

10. Bob Gibson

Don't crowd the plate or drive reckless when Gibson is in fastball range. The two-time Cy Young winner and 1968 NL MVP has no patience. After years of plunking batters to establish his dominance on the mound, Gibson was cited for assault in a road rage case in 2002 after establishing he was king of the road.

 

9. Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer was the dirtiest of the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys," a group that also included noted bullies like Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn. Motown's modus operandi in the late 1980s and early '90s was to punish anyone who dared take the ball to the rim — looking at you, Michael. There were even used to intimidate the Pistons' fiercest rival from Chicago.

 

8. Mike Tyson

"Iron Mike" was the youngest heavyweight champion (20 years, 4 months) in history and one of the most feared fighters of all time. With , Tyson was a bully among bullies. The tortured champ was also convicted of rape in 1991 and served three years in the penitentiary. And one more thing… Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in Las Vegas back in 1997.

 

7. Broad Street Bullies

Philadelphia Bulletin scribes Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone coined the "Broad Street Bullies" nickname for the Philadelphia Flyers crew back in 1973. about the team that included Hart Trophy winner Bobby Clake.

 

6. Ty Cobb

Always angry? Check. Documented racist? Check. Slides into bases with his spikes up? Oh yeah. "I was the most hated man in baseball," Cobb famously told biographer Al Stump. Cobb was proud of his bullying.

 

5. Tonya Harding

The surreal in 1994 made Harding and her goon ex-husband Jeff Gillooly a national scandal. After finishing eighth (to Kerrigan's silver medal) at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, Harding has gone on to a hodgepodge of pro wrestling and .


4. Lance Armstrong

to beat testicular cancer. Blood dope to win seven Tours de France. Sue anyone who dares speak the truth about said blood doping. Most important, never apologize for anything — . Because of Lance, millions of American sports fans will never again watch the Tour de France.

 

3. Bobby Knight

With his , Robert Montgomery Knight evolved into the stereotypical coach who takes himself too seriously and uses his position of power to bully those cowering beneath.

 

2. Roger Goodell

The "Ginger Hammer" will not rest until the NFL has become a flag football league with an 18-game schedule and a team in London.

 

1. NCAA

The NCAA rakes in nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. Roughly 80 percent of that comes from television deals, with college football and men's basketball being the primary cash cows. How much do "student-athletes" profit from the NCAA's non-profit monopoly? Oh, that's right. The NCAA is as big and corrupt as any bully in sports history. HBO's John Oliver explained it about as well as anyone:

 

Teaser:
Richie Incognito is just the latest in a long line of bullies in sports.
Post date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 10:26
All taxonomy terms: Life
Path: /life/country-music-star-sam-hunt-played-college-quarterback
Body:

Sam Hunt, 31, was a pretty good quarterback. The Cedartown (Ga.) High School star was named first-team All-State Class AAA by the Georgia Sportswriters Association as a senior. He then spent two years as a backup at Middle Tennessee before transferring to UAB, where he passed for 2,560 yards, 12 TDs and 19 INTs, and rushed for 446 yards and three TDs in 19 career games for the Blazers. The 6’3”, 215-pound country crooner signed with MCA Nashville in 2014 and has since had three platinum singles — “Leave the Night On,” “Take Your Time” and “House Party” — while also writing songs for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Reba McEntire.

Teaser:
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sam Hunt played football at UAB and MTSU.
Post date: Friday, March 25, 2016 - 12:21
All taxonomy terms: Life
Path: /life/life-lessons-gary-player
Body:

“I’m 80, but really I beat most of the guys at 40 in the gym,” jokes Gary Player. Except, that’s not a joke. The World Golf Hall of Famer is still practicing what he preaches about the benefits of diet and exercise. With National Nutrition Month and Diabetes Alert Day (March 22) upon us, we caught up with the South African fitness icon to glean a few words of wisdom.

 

Daily exercise routine…

“I still do 1,300 crunches and sit-ups. I still push 300 pounds with my legs and I run on the treadmill.”

 

Best fitness investment…

“All a person’s got to do is invest in buying a treadmill, and putting a treadmill in their bathroom. And every morning before they have their shower just get on that treadmill for a lousy 10 minutes.”

 

Diet advice…

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. You don’t put gas in your car when you park it in the garage at night.”

 

Foods to avoid…

“I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t eat bacon, at all. I don’t drink milk. I would never eat a hot dog or cold meats or bologna and that kind of stuff. I would never eat a donut. I would never eat all of this crap! You look at the way people eat — honestly they eat like it’s the Last Supper.”

 

Foods to enjoy…

“I love all kinds of fruit. Vegetables, love vegetables. Right in front of me now I have a glass of green juice, which is spinach, broccoli, kale, all the vegetables.”

 

On learning from Nelson Mandela…

(Prior to Mandela becoming South Africa’s first President, after spending 27 years in prison.) “He said, ‘I have no hatred. If I have revenge and hatred then we will never bring people together.’ And every time I was around him, I could not stop crying. I could not, because I realized how a man could have so much love.”

 

On giving golf tips to Elvis Presley…

“I said, ‘You’ve got to learn to use the hips, to wind up and unwind.’ He says, ‘The hips?’ And I say, ‘Yes.’ And he says, ‘Watch this, baby!’ And he gave me that Elvis hip movement.”

 

On the growing diabetes epidemic…

“If you look at the number of diabetics, there’s going to be 100 million diabetics in America in 40 years time. Eventually the government will run out of money if people keep getting sick like this.”

 

Final thoughts…

“Look after yourself, man. Your body is a holy temple. The greatest gift you can have is your health.”

 

 

American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

Join us as we give America a wake-up call to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test (www.diabetes.org)

 

Teaser:
At 80 years old, golf legend Gary Player remains a fitness icon
Post date: Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 14:44
All taxonomy terms: Life
Path: /life/billie-jean-king-talks-heart-health-and-tennis
Body:

Billie Jean King, 72, has never backed down, whether she was beating Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” or winning Grand Slam tournaments — of which she took 39 titles (12 singles, 16 women’s doubles, 11 mixed doubles). These days, the International Tennis Hall of Famer has teamed with Janssen Pharmaceuticals (myafibrisk.com) to champion awareness for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat battled by King and 33.5 million people worldwide. We caught up with the former World No. 1 to talk stroke prevention and, of course, tennis.

 

How did you discover your AFib?

It happened after I played tennis one day. I was in New York and I got out of the taxi and I got really, really dizzy, like I was going to faint. I almost blacked out and I caught myself by putting my hand on a car. Then, all of a sudden, I was okay. But my heart was pounding and it felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. I went upstairs and started looking for a cardiologist, and lied down because I was scared.

 

I went to a doctor and he had me hold my breath when they did the EKG and my heart started to go into AFib again, which is an irregular heartbeat. So I had to start worrying about it. I’ve had an ablation (procedure to keep heartbeat in a normal rhythm) since, but I still take my blood thinner once a day and I feel great.

 

What are some steps people can take to minimize risk?

Go to and it has eight questions. It’s bing, boom, bam, fast — very easy peasy. And it will help you calculate your stroke risk and that’s what we want because we don’t want somebody that has AFib having a stroke. It’s very important that we get the word out.

 

You were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, what does that mean to you?

It means a lot to be recognized. It’s good news, bad news. Social justice. (President Barack Obama) mentioned the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, which was nice because no president’s ever mentioned the word “gay” in their life, and he was the first. That meant a lot to me.

 

Also I was the first woman athlete, which is good news, bad news because I was thinking there were so many great women before me that should have gotten it, like Althea Gibson. She was the first person of color to win a major, she’s like our Jackie Robinson. No one has appreciated her enough.

 

I was very touched and very blessed, and my mom was still alive so she got to see it so that was fantastic. She was so happy to meet the President and Michelle (Obama). They’re so kind and warm and they always hug everybody, and they look you in the eye and they actually are very present. So that was nice and my mom enjoyed it. So that was great. It was a very touching moment.

 

Looking back, what were some unique opportunities tennis provided you?

Being able to travel globally as a tennis player, I realized what an advantage I had over other athletes who only stayed in the United States most of their lives. I met the Queen of England, I’ve talked to the best people in the world in everything, whether it’s music, art, other sports. I saw Richard Gere the other day. Elton John, he wrote a song for me called Philadelphia Freedom.

 

What are some of the innovations World Team Tennis, the league you co-founded, has introduced to the sport?

We’re the innovators, the think tank for the sport. We’re the ones that push the sport. If you hear music, we started music. If you see branded courts, we started branded courts. We’re the first ones. We’ve also put the names on the back of the shirts, which they still don’t do in tournament tennis so I hope they will.

 

We’re the first ones to let people keep the ball like a foul ball in baseball. We’re the first ones to hit balls into the stands during matches and after the matches. We’ve been doing it since 1975! We’re the ones that just keep pushing and pushing to be more. We have a shot clock, we’re at 25 seconds on the court. They haven’t done that in tournament tennis I guarantee you they’re going to start doing that.

 

We also were the first ones to use that challenge, we’re the first ones competitively to do that. Well we do that one year, they do it the next year. We just keep pushing and pushing and pushing for the sport.

 

Do you think Serena could win a modern “Battle of the Sexes” like you did against Bobby Riggs in 1973?

They can play but it won’t have the same cachet because it will be the third one. I played Bobby and when I played Bobby the time in history was very different. It was much more significant. And Martina played Jimmy Connors.

 

Is there a reason American men’s tennis has taken a step back or do you think it’s just cyclical?

Yeah. I think we need a critical mass of kids playing and we don’t have it. And we need to get the best athletes. We need to get the really great male athletes, like Pete Sampras. There’s a guy who could play any sport and would’ve been great.

 

Are there any young women’s players that you have your eye on who might be ready to break out?

I’m gonna have to go with Madison Keys right now. I don’t know, you have to give them time because you don’t know if they really want it, if they’re gonna stay injury free. You know it’s something to say at 18 but boy winning gets tough when you’ve got that daily grind of getting up in the morning no matter how you feel.

 

You gotta eat right, you gotta do all the right things, you gotta be motivated and you’ve gotta be willing to change technique if you need to. You’ve gotta be willing to do so many things to be the best. And it’s a commitment every single moment of every single day, there’s not a lot of gray area. And some kids can sustain that, and some kids can’t.

 

The kids that are talented physically are the ones that everybody gets excited about, but you have to look for the kids who are talented physically but they have that inner hunger and fire in their bellies to want to make a difference in their careers. I mean really be the best they can be.

 

What makes greatness is when you have your head, heart and gut in unison and integrated, totally integrated. Head, heart, and gut. When one of those is missing or two of those is missing, it’s not happening. You gotta have all three areas, physically, mentally, emotionally. That’s what makes a great jock, a great athlete. They’re rare.

 

Teaser:
Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King discusses her amazing life
Post date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 16:06
Path: /college-football/who-invented-forward-pass-football
Body:

Who invented the forward pass in football?

 

 

This year marks the 110th anniversary of a 1906 rule change that made the forward pass a legal play (albeit an unpopular play in its infancy). Following 18 football-related fatalities nationwide in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt demanded rules reform to make the game safer. The first forward pass completion was from St. Louis University’s Bradbury Robinson to Jack Schneider on Sept. 5, 1906.

 

Popular folklore has credited Knute Rockne with the innovation, in large part due to the 1940 movie “Knute Rockne: All American” — which famously starred Ronald Reagan as George “The Gipper” Gipp. While Rockne may not have been the originator of the pass, he certainly was instrumental in its success, catching one of three TDs thrown by Gus Dorais during a 35–13 Notre Dame win at Army on Nov. 1, 1913, in a game that is acknowledged as the seminal moment in the popularization of the forward pass in football.

Teaser:
President Theodore Roosevelt helped make football a safer sport
Post date: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 16:23
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/guy-fieri-hosting-%24700-person-tailgate-super-bowl-50
Body:

Shut the front door. A $700 tailgate? That’s out of bounds. The rock star chef of Food Network fame is indeed bringing Flavortown to the Bay Area. down the street from Levi’s Stadium will include a “Super Steak Sandwich Station” (served on garlic butter toasted sourdough torpedo rolls), “Whole Hog Throwdown” (served on Hawaiian rolls with crumbed chicharrones), “Low Country Jambalaya,” “Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese Bar,” “Live Nacho Bar,” “Beau Mac’s Killer Raw Bar” (crab, lobster, shrimp, chowder and more!), “Super Bowl 50 Meatball Madness” (Mexican, Old-School Italian, American Slider, Falafel) as well as charcuterie, salads and desserts (highlighted by “Doughnut Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Bacon Bourbon Glaze”). The tailgate will also have Erin Andrews as emcee and “over 25 active NFL players” ready to pregame before the Big Game.

Teaser:
Guy Fieri is bringing Flavortown to the Bay Area
Post date: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 16:02
Path: /mlb/should-ken-griffey-jr-have-received-100-percent-hall-fame-vote
Body:

Ken Griffey Jr. Should Ken Griffey Jr. have received 100 percent of the Hall of Fame vote?

 

 

In his first year of eligibility, Ken Griffey Jr. received a record 99.3 percent of the Hall of Fame vote, appearing on 437 of 440 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. But, for whatever reason, three voters prevented “The Kid” from being the first unanimous selection in Hall of Fame history. Aside from a stellar career that included the 1997 AL MVP, 10 straight Gold Gloves in centerfield and 630 home runs, Griffey Jr. represented all that was fun about baseball.

 

Always smiling with his cap turned backwards, “Junior” was the No. 1 overall pick in 1987 and broke into the big leagues at 19, playing on the same Mariners team as his dad, Ken Griffey Sr. “The Natural” then took over the game with his oft-imitated lefty swing and highlight-reel diving catches. Don’t forget his video game and Nike endorsements, iconic Upper Deck rookie card and absence of steroid speculation. Ken Griffey Jr. absolutely deserved 100 percent of the Hall of Fame vote.

Teaser:
Ken Griffey Jr. received 437 of 440 possible Hall of Fame votes
Post date: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 15:51
Path: /life/stephen-curry-and-basketballs-first-family
Body:

When 3-year-old Riley Curry brought her effervescent energy and undeniable cutesy charisma to several NBA Finals postgame press conferences, she represented the third generation of the Curry family to become a star. Riley’s father is reigning MVP and Golden State Warriors world champion Stephen Curry, 27.

 

You know Steph, right? He’s the exceedingly skilled guy who two-time MVP Steve Nash called “the greatest” shooter there’s ever been, the charming guy who Late Show host Stephen Colbert has a beef with for being the “No. 1 Stephen” on Google search, the really good looking guy who is part of Under Armour’s team of championship spokesmen that includes Tom Brady and Jordan Spieth… Ring a bell?

 

Steph’s the son and namesake of Dell Curry, 51. (Fast fact: Their real names are Wardell Stephen Curry — I and II, respectively.) Dell is the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time leading scorer and current color commentator, as well as the patriarch of the most fun family in sports.

 

The Currys seemingly stepped off the silver screen. Dell met his lovely wife Sonya, 49, while the two were student-athletes (she played volleyball) at Virginia Tech. Sonya became a celeb-fan during the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when Steph led underdog Davidson (Enrollment: 1,700) to the Elite Eight. Since 1995, she has been the owner and co-founder (with Dell) of the Christian Montessori School in Lake Norman, N.C., where all three of her children attended.

 

Steph is the big brother and big name, but little bro Seth, 25, played ball at Duke and signed with the Sacramento Kings this summer. Little sis Sydel, 20, plays volleyball at Elon University. Steph’s wife Ayesha, 26, has a faith, fitness and family blog (littlelightsofmine.com). The couple also has two daughters of their own. Of course, there’s media darling Riley. But there’s also baby girl Ryan Carson, whose July birth inspired Steph to post an Instagram photo with the caption, “I feel blessed!”

 

The Curry family seems too good to be true. But they are also too consistently genuine — on TV, on social media, you name it — to be anything other than real.

 

Teaser:
Steph Curry is an MVP, world champ and All-Star family man
Post date: Friday, October 16, 2015 - 16:00
All taxonomy terms: New York Giants, Victor Cruz, Life
Path: /life/fall-style-guide-victor-cruz
Body:

Whether he’s salsa dancing in the end zone or dressed to the nines out on the town, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is one of New York’s most stylish men. Here are a few of his fashion tips.

 

Trending…

I was in Paris for fashion week and there’s this pink trend that’s coming for men. Not a bright pink, but kind of subdued pink. I think that’s going to be next for either fall or spring.

 

Fitting in…

I think the biggest thing is understanding your fit. Understanding how you want your clothes to fit. Don’t be too oversized and don’t be too small. That’s the biggest thing.

 

Fashion icon…

I get it from my dad. He was a guy that was always dressed to impress, always well put together, understood his fit. So I grew up watching that.

 

Personal style…

My style is sort of casual chic. I might be wearing a varsity jacket, jeans and sneakers. But the jacket will have some color pop to it or the sneakers might match the jacket or the sneakers might be the focal point. I try to wear little pieces here and there that stand out.

Teaser:
Talking style with New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz
Post date: Friday, October 16, 2015 - 15:33
All taxonomy terms: Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, NFL, Life
Path: /life/fall-style-guide-julian-edelman
Body:

Game day fashion doesn’t have to be sweatshirts, jerseys and jeans. New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman — with the help of Cielo Brands stylists Arturo Castaneda and Stephanie Higgs — sports a “high low” or “athleisure” look that fits any setting, thanks to the NFL’s new line of lifestyle apparel (). “The high would be the suit and the low would be the t-shirt,” says Castaneda. “What’s trending now is an athleisure look which is combining actual sport apparel and sneakers with a suit or with a blazer and such.”

 

Suit  “We tried to go for that monochromatic look,” says Higgs. “We wanted it to match.”

 

Pocket Square  “The fold that he has is a presidential fold so it’s super clean and simple,” says Castaneda. “It’s a white linen pocket square.”

 

Sunglasses  “Those are Ray Bans,” says Castaneda. “It’s a minimal look to balance it all out.”

 

Sneakers  “It’s a Common Projects. They use Italian leather for the sneaker,” says Castaneda. “It’s fully lined in leather inside and out and even the insole.”

 

Haircut  “It’s not something new, it’s actually a throwback if you look at it,” says Castaneda. “It’s almost a crew cut but not. It’s trendy now.”

 

T-shirt  “The t-shirt is a fitted t-shirt for him,” says Castaneda. “It’s a large. But if there was a bigger man who wanted that look, just scale up a size and it still fits like his does.”

Teaser:
New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman talks style
Post date: Friday, October 16, 2015 - 15:00
Path: /99-funny-fantasy-basketball-team-names
Body:

The NBA season tips off Oct. 27, which means it’s time for fantasy basketball. Only one team will win your league, but everyone can be a winner with a good, clever and, most of all, funny fantasy basketball team name. Pop culture references? Of course. Dirty jokes? Even better. Hard core trolling? That’s the name of the name game. Here’s our list of suggestions for the 2015-16 NBA season:

Steve Ballmer Dance Party

 

Who Told You Put the Ballm On?

 

Steve Ballmer’s iPhone7

 

Headbands Make Her Dance

 

Ninjas in Paris

 

808s and Fastbreaks

 

Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Team

 

Jesus Shuttlesworth

 

Popovich In-Game Interviews

 

Emoji Warriors

 

Space Jam 2

 

Brooklyn Nyets

 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

 

I Get Buckets

 

This Means Emoji War

 

I Declare Emoji War

 

Lob City

 

Serge I-block-ya

 

Ibaka Flocka Flame

 

Pippen Ain’t Easy

 

WTF is Mike Wearing?

 

Skyhookers

 

Not a Big Gay Guy

 

Let’s Get Tropical

 

Joakim Noah’s Arc

 

James of Thrones

 

Brokeback Mavericks

 

Sprichst Du Dirk?

 

Dirk Digglers

 

The Germanator

 

RE24ECT

 

Grabbing Assets

 

Brittney Griner Tight

 

Lions, Tigers and Goberts

 

Deng Girl!

 

Stevie Wonder’s Courtside Seats

 

Real Recognize Beal

 

Dolla Dolla Beal

Kobe Wan Kenobi

 

Shawn Kemp’s Kids

 

Pass the Rock to Lamar

 

Kardashian Double-Team

 

O.J.’s Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Beard

 

James Gives Me a Harden

 

ZZ Harden

 

Go Harden the Paint

 

Lala’s Honey Nut Cheerios

 

Prokhorov Playboys

 

Double Dragic

 

Mother of Dragics

 

Granny Shots

Posterized

 

Better Call Gasol

 

GrindFather

 

Z-Bo Knows

 

Zen & Zing

 

Knockin’ Knickerbockers

 

White Men Can Jump

 

401KG

 

Game, Blouses

 

8 Points, 9 Seconds

 

Malice at the Palace

 

Temporary Linsanity

 

Adam Silver’s My Homeboy

 

Comic Sans Cavaliers

 

0-and-76ers

 

Trust the Process

 

Hinkie Promise

 

Cowbell Fever

 

7-10 Splitter

 

Bosh.0

 

Bosh Spice

 

Uncle Drew’s Team

 

Optimus Dime

 

Slim Reaper

 

Chicks Dig Air Balls

 

Very Rich Paul

 

LeBrontourage

 

Banana-rama

 

I'm On A Banana Boat

 

Mayor of Chicago

 

D-Rose Train Conductor

 

Boogie Men

 

Boogie Nights

 

Shake and Blake

 

CP3PO

 

Serenity Now, Linsanity Later

 

Linsane in the Membrane

 

Kawhi Claws

 

Duncan Donuts

 

Tony Parker’s Ex

 

Pope Franchise

 

People’s Pope-ovich

 

Passing is for Pu**ies

 

Manu a Manu

 

Fear the Deer

 

Get Ur Greek Freak On

 

Greek Freak Nasty

 

Scoring Like Wilt

 

Practice?!

 

Teaser:
These funny fantasy basketball team names will make your league laugh.
Post date: Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 16:30
Path: /sugarray
Body:

At 59 years old, Sugar Ray Leonard stays busy in Los Angeles with his wife, four children, three dogs, charity work, broadcasting and, of course, golf. We caught up with the man whose ambitions — “I tried to be like (Muhammad) Ali. I tried to be like Bruce Lee. I tried to be like Elvis Presley. I tried to be like Sugar Ray Robinson. I wanted to be more than just a boxer but an entertainer and a star,” Leonard says — led to an illustrious boxing career that includes winning an Olympic gold medal and becoming the first boxer to win world titles in five different weight classes.

 

Tell me a little bit about the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation?

Well, it’s been what? Six years now. It’s a foundation I started with my wife, Bernadette, some time ago. And the reason being is because, first off my father’s diabetic and I’ve come to see that my friends kids are diabetic. And it seems to be more prevalent among African-Americans, Hispanics and also a result of obesity and what have you. So it was one of those things that really hit home and became personal and we started the foundation with the hopes of raising awareness and raising funds that we could give to certain programs.

 

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, providing funds that go towards outreach programs so that those kids in inner cities can learn how to eat better. Again, it’s tough, because they have what they have but when it’s family-oriented it has a better impact because they help each other. Show them how to exercise and things that are so simple yet so important in everyday lives. It’s very dear to me.

 

You’re a motivational speaker as well, explain your “POWER” message.

Well, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, maybe even longer. And my philosophy is POWER — “prepare, overcome, win every round.” Because I’ve always felt that people are fighters outside the ring and the same principles that I have applied to become a champion and a winner are applicable in everyday life. You get knocked down, you need a great corner, all those things that I needed, I needed everywhere, on every platform. It’s been a wonderful journey, if you will, of doing that.

 

Speaking of winning every round, you beat Floyd Mayweather Sr. Do you think in your prime you could’ve beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

You know it’s so funny you mention that. What’s so funny about it, there’s really not a day goes by that I’m not asked about Mayweather and I did beat his father back in 1978. And I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and I was walking to my car and I was walking in the hallway and all the sudden I saw like 20 people walking towards me. I’m like, “What the hell is this?” And all of the sudden, who comes out from the middle? It’s Floyd. And he walks up to me and we stand almost like nose-to-nose.

 

Like at a weigh-in?

Right. Yeah, exactly. He said, “Ray, in my era, I could beat you.” And I said, “You know what man? In my era, I could beat you.” He said, “I could take you down.” I said, “I could take you down.” He looked at me and said, “You know what? I know you beat my father but this is me.” I said, “Check this out. Like father like son.”

 

I read that you’re the godfather of Khloe Kardashian. What’s it like being around that kind of nonstop media attention?

You know, when I see Khloe it’s not like that because either we’re at the house or somewhere private. I’m never in the public like that. I’ve known that family since those girls, or those women were girls, were little girls. It’s amazing how they’ve grown. But when I’m around them, it’s always the privacy of our own surroundings.

 

You’ve been in the spotlight some yourself since your fighting days. You competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” How was that?

You know what man? I would have preferred to fight (“Marvelous” Marvin) Hagler and (Thomas “The Hitman”) Hearns the same night. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I never worked so hard in my life. You know I lost like 15 pounds doing that thing. They say there’s a correlation between boxing and ballroom dancing. No. No, it’s not. They keep their chin up and my chin should not be up. And my shoulders are more rounded and their shoulders are exposed. But it was the best experience. I really had fun.

 

What was the transition like from fighter to ex-fighter?

That is one of the most difficult things for any fighter. The transition. And it took me maybe, I don’t know, 10 years before I really finally got it out of my system. Because you never say, “I’m too old.” And you always say, “Well, I haven’t had a fight in five years.” I mean, that’s a factor. But fighters, we fight. And unless we have something that’s going to substitute or even take the attention away from what we’ve done, it’s going to be hard. You have to prepare yourself. But preparation is not that easy because there’s nothing greater than raising your hands and being the best in the world.

 

It’s so seductive. The fame and the fortune — especially if you’re of that marquee level. The fame and fortune is so seductive that you don’t want to let it go. You always believe you have one more fight left in you. And that’s the fault of most fighters, myself included. We think we have one more. And the fact that we train, we train hard. Training is one thing, that’s the easy part. Getting mentally prepared is another. Because we live the life of the caviar, private planes, suites in hotels and then we try to be that hungry fighter, that gladiator, that warrior who has to dig deep and show intestinal fortitude. But you don’t have it like that anymore. You just don’t have it that way. It’s a natural thing that we all lose at some point. We’re competitive but we’re not that competitive.

 

Has broadcasting and being around the sport of boxing helped fill the void? Where does broadcasting fit into all of this?

For me, where I am today? Fortunately I’m 59 and my birthday comes around every week it seems like. But broadcasting with PBC on NBC, it’s my life. I love the sport. I know the sport more than most. I’ve lived this thing, I’ve sweat this thing, I’ve bled this thing. And to see up-and-coming stars and these young boxers trying to duplicate or emulate or trying to be like you. It’s humbling. It’s very humbling.

 

What do you do to stay in shape these days?

I still work out. I play tennis. I run. I’m actually sitting in my gym right now. You know what? I love feeling good. I work out. What do they call it? The endorphins? It’s such a feeling of accomplishment. It’s like a cup of coffee in the morning when I work out. You cannot not work out. You have to work out. For us, we train our hearts out for years and then we just try to do nothing one day. And our body is like a machine, like a classic car. You train hard and you can’t just quit. You can’t just not do anything. You put on the weight. There’s a lot of fighters who just do nothing. But you have to work out. I love it. I truly love working out.

 

Any fitness tips for the average Joe who may not be a former champion?

First of all, it depends on where you are as far as fitness is concerned. I truly believe it’s just about listening to your body, especially if you’re older. But as a youngster, I think you should just do what you enjoy doing. Whatever you do, whatever makes you break a sweat. I think everyone should break a sweat, minimum of five days a week — whether it’s 20 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour. But do something that you enjoy doing, you know what I mean? I love it. It keeps me going. It wakes me up in the morning.

 

That’s great advice. I’ve seen you on Sketchers ads. Is there a particular type of shoe you wear while working out?

Memory foam. I love that shoe in particular. I’m a Sketchers man. I love what they produce. Class. Everything is class.

 

Do you have any hobbies outside of working out?

My golf. That is my hobby. That is my therapy. And tennis. It’s my therapy, it’s my hobby, it’s my sport. I love that. I’m a simple man by nature, so it doesn’t take much to make me happy. As long as I’m productive. As long as I’m talking about something that’s important to me, like my foundation. As long as I am promoting and being a part of something, like Sketchers. All the things that I do, I do them with my heart. My foundation is from the heart. Endorsing Sketchers is from the heart. When I speak, I speak from the heart. And when I was fighting, I fought from the heart. Everything I do is from the heart.

 

Do you have any pets?

I’ve got a pit bull, a miniature schnauzer and a little Pekingese. I love my dogs. I love my dogs big time.

 

Looking back, what’s your favorite memory in the ring?

Oh my God. I’ve been blessed with so many. The (Roberto) Duran fight. Unfortunately I lost but came back. 1980. The “No Mas” fight. And then there’s Tommy Hearns. We’re friends now. We call each other and try to brainstorm on what kind of projects we want to do together. Hagler. I bump into Hagler every now and then at some sort of Hall of Fame function. He doesn’t really get out as much or he’s not as much in the country. But c’mon, I had nothing short of an illustrious boxing career.

Certainly.

Without question. Those were the days, man. It’s so funny, I look back now and say, “Man!” And I remember everything vividly. I vividly remember moments, even smells, whether it’s the sweat or looking at my opponent in his eyes and he has a look like he’s trying to kill me or trying to knock me out. And I remember those moments, I remember those times, those defining moments and that will be a part of my legacy.

 

What role does your family play in your life these days?

I’m one of the lucky ones, my parents are still living. My dad is like 93. My mom’s a feisty 86. They live now in Columbia, South Carolina. I just stopped my father from driving last year. It was so hard. Your parents still living?

 

Yes. Thankfully.

Okay. Well, I said, “Hey Pops, you can’t drive anymore.” He looked at me with those eyes and said, “Forever?” I said, “Forever. Pops, you can’t drive forever.” Cause it’s independence, it’s his independence. But I’ve been blessed that my parents are still around for so long. You know?

 

It’s a blessing.

Back in the day, back in 1976 I nearly lost my father. My father had spinal meningitis and tuberculosis. He went into a coma. And that was the only reason I turned professional, was to make fast money. Because I was going to the University of Maryland. But you know, things happen. Things are pre-destined. Things happen for a reason.

 

I wasn’t just a fighter, you know. I tried to be like Ali. I tried to be like Bruce Lee. I tried to be like Elvis Presley. I tried to be like Sugar Ray Robinson. I wanted to be more than just a boxer but an entertainer and a star. Special. And I worked so hard, every single day. I mean, we’re talking about when I was 14, 15, 16, 17. I had that vision of becoming something. Didn’t really know what it was but I knew it was worth the sacrifice. And it all came to fruition.

 

That’s amazing. Speaking of being more than a fighter, did you catch any of the Ronda Rousey fight?

Oh my God. Yeah. In fact, I made sure I taped it. She is a beast. She is special. She is different. She’s a machine. She’s such a tactician. She’s so tactical. She’s so strong and she’s so determined. And I love her. I love her. I watched every bit of, what, 35 seconds? Maybe that was too long. Maybe 34 seconds.

 

It was unreal. How has MMA impacted boxing?

You know they keep saying that. They keep saying that it’s because of MMA or UFC that they’re the ones responsible for taking boxing away from us, or the fans. That’s not true. They both can coexist. They both are kind of totally different sports. It’s very primal and so real and gladiators. It’s heart, guts and intestinal fortitude. And just everything, man. Everything. It’s all those things wrapped into one. And I look at Ronda Rousey and she’s that. You look at her. She’s pretty but she’s dangerous.

 

That’s for sure. Concussions have become an issue in all sports, not just boxing. What are your thoughts on long-term concussion issues with boxing, in particular?

I think because of the nature of the sport — you are pounding, you’re hitting, you’re traumatizing. When you become a boxer, you don’t think about that. And now it’s prevalent among football players and any physical contact sport, trauma. But I’m sure that at some point they — “they” meaning scientists or whatever — will find a way to minimize or stop any severe or fatal damage that is done. But you know boxing is a poor man’s sport. I couldn’t afford to play tennis or golf or whatever. They were not in my neighborhood. Those things were not available in my neighborhood. Boxing is a sport that I was able to enjoy and take advantage of and become dominant.

 

I read that you were named after your mother’s favorite musician, Ray Charles. Is that true?

That’s so true, man.

 

Do you have a favorite Ray Charles song?

He sang “America the Beautiful.” He sang at my “No Mas” fight against Duran. I mean, of all the places for me to meet my namesake. A place where I needed him, needed that additional boost was at the “No Mas” fight. And he sang. I felt confident from the very beginning of the fight. But with him singing, I said, “There’s just no way, no way Duran can beat me tonight. Nobody can beat me tonight.” He sang and he walks over to me and gave me a big kiss and says, “Kick his ass.”

 

You mentioned golfing. Have you played with any celebrities?

Oh my God, yeah. I played with President Clinton.

 

Nice. How was he?

We had the best time. Check this out. I’ll quickly tell you a story. I was driving home with my wife and my cell phone rings. Pick it up and my boy says, “Hey Ray, you want to play golf with President Clinton?” I said, “No. I’m busy.” And I hung up. My wife says, “Are you crazy?” I said, “He’s just bullshitting me.” She says, “Call him back.” I said, “Hey, just have them call me at the house.” So I get home and the phone rings and this guy says, “Hello, Mr. Leonard. This is Sergeant Tom Johnson, the President will see you at Riviera at about 3 o’clock.” I live across the street from Riviera, so I had to go.

 

I went over there, messing around, was hitting some balls, chipping. All the sudden I say, “Goddammit, he got me.” So I’m walking back towards my car and all of the sudden President Clinton comes around and says, “Hey Ray, how you doing?” He said, “You tee off first.” I’m like, “Wha-wha-wha-what?” And I held my club so tight and I said, “God, I don’t call you that often but please don’t let me miss the ball.” I swung and I hit the ball like 250 yards down the middle and I was like, “Holy cow.” I shot my best round. I think I shot 41 on the front (nine). We played like 10 or 12 holes. And he signed my card.

 

How did President Clinton play?

Uh… Well, he kept taking mulligans.

 

Any other brushes with greatness?

I’ve had some incredible moments. I was in South Africa, giving a speech and Nelson Mandela was there. And they call my office and ask if I’ll have dinner with him that night. I couldn’t believe it, man. I went to his house and he opened the door and he gave me a big hug and said, “My champion, I love you. But one thing I don’t tolerate is people being late.” I just started sweating, right? I started sweating and then he said, “My photographer should have been here a long time ago.” I thought he was talking about me.

 

Those are the kind of moments and times that I’ve had because of the success I’ve had in boxing. I mean, how do you get better than Nelson Mandela or playing golf with President Clinton.

 

What did you and Nelson Mandela talk about?

He said, “You really inspire me, son.” I said, “Sir, to the contrary, you inspire me.” He was a boxer. You know he was a boxer, right? He was an amateur boxer. And I actually gave him my championship belt. I mean, being that man and what he’s dealt with, 99 percent of us couldn’t deal with that.

 

Incredible.

Incredible. I gave him my belt and I said, “Sir, you are the real champion.” And he put it in his house.

Teaser:
Sugar Ray Leonard is a boxer, an entertainer and a star.
Post date: Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 01:01
All taxonomy terms: College Football, World Cup
Path: /2015-womens-world-cup-uswnt-preview
Body:

The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) will make its seventh World Cup appearance at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be played in six Canadian cities (Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton) from June 6 until July 5. These are the red, white and blue names to know:

 

Miss America: Alex Morgan

Four years ago, Alex Morgan was the youngest member of a USWNT that lost to Japan in the FIFA World Cup Final in Germany. Then then-22-year-old scored the first goal of the final match — one of her two goals in the tournament, both of which came in the Knockout Stage. But she was not called upon to shoot penalties, as the USA lost the shootout to Japan, 3–1, following a 2–2 draw in regulation and extra time.

 

Since then, her life has done a bicycle kick. She has gone from phenom forward to established star striker, as arguably the face of U.S. Soccer. She has been named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, been a finalist for FIFA World Player of the Year, posed in body paint for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, married fellow Californian soccer star Servando Carrasco and appeared on FOX’s American Idol — where she and Abby Wambach gave host Ryan Seacrest a USWNT jersey, as the “official waterboy.”

 

Comfortable in her skin and firmly in her prime, Morgan is poised to take over the world — or at least the World Cup. If Team USA hopes to bring the golden World Cup trophy south of the border back from Canada, the USWNT will rely heavily on Morgan’s fleet feet to make it happen.

 

Boss: Jill Ellis

The 48-year-old is making her World Cup debut as coach of the USWNT after serving as an assistant on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning national teams.

 

Solo Artist: Hope Solo

The USWNT netminder broke Brianna Scurry’s U.S. record for shutouts. Solo aims to add to that mark while making her third World Cup appearance as the go-to goalie.

 

Captain: Christine Rampone

The only remaining member of the 1999 World Cup champions, the veteran leader of the USWNT — and mother of two — will turn 40 years old during this year’s World Cup.

 

Icon: Abby Wambach

One of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Wambach has scored more international goals — 178 in 239 matches — than anyone (man or woman) in soccer history.

 

Import: Sydney Leroux

Born in Surrey, British Columbia, to a Canadian mother and American father, Leroux chose to play for the USA but will make her Canadian homecoming this summer.

 

Group of Death: Part II

Last summer, the U.S. Men’s National Team survived the infamous “Group of Death.” This summer, the USWNT has drawn the group with the highest total of combined FIFA points. But unlike their male counterparts, the American women are favored entering the tournament and have a history of World Cup success.

 

Team USA won the inaugural 1991 World Cup in China and was triumphant again as the host nation at the 1999 World Cup, which was capped by a thrilling shootout victory and shirtless celebration by Brandi Chastain. In order to challenge for a third World Cup crown, the USWNT will first have to go toe-to-toe with these three teams.

 

Australia

(June 8, 7:30 ET, Winnipeg)

The Matildas are ranked No. 10 in the world and boast an explosive offense powered by seasoned forwards Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill, along with rising stars like 20-year-old Caitlin Foord, who is making her second World Cup appearance after making her debut at 16.

 

Sweden

(June 12, 8:00 ET, Winnipeg)

The fifth-ranked Blue-Yellow are led by former Team USA coach Pia Sundhage, the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year who guided the USWNT to a runner-up finish at the 2011 World Cup — a tournament in which the Swedes defeated the Yanks, 2–1, in group play.

 

Nigeria

(June 16, 8:00 ET, Vancouver)

Although the Super Falcons are easily the fourth-best team in Group D, they should not be overlooked. The 2014 African champs have one of the world’s top young talents in Asisat Oshoala, the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Ball winner and African Women’s Footballer of the Year.

 

PREDICTIONS

Semifinals: USA over France; Japan over England

Final: USA over Japan

Teaser:
The U.S. Women's National Team is poised for World Cup glory.
Post date: Saturday, June 6, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: MLB, NFL, NFL, MLB
Path: /30-greatest-two-sport-athletes-all-time-2015
Body:

Some of the world's greatest athletes weren't just one-sport players; instead, they excelled in two (and sometimes in several). Of course, some athletes probably should have stuck with their main sport. Here's a look at the top 30 two-sport athletes of all time, ranked in order of their second best sport.


1. Jim Thorpe, track (Best sport: football)

One the all-time great athletes, Thorpe is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and has been immortalized via the Jim Thorpe Award — given annually to the top defensive back in college football. But Thorpe was also a gold medalist in both the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.


2. Jim Brown, lacrosse (Best sport: football)

Arguably the greatest running back in history, Brown is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. The 6’2”, 230-pounder is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and is considered by many to be the best athlete to ever play the sport.


3. Bob Hayes, football (Best sport: track)

“Bullet Bob” Hayes won the fastest man in the world, winning gold medals in the 100 meters and 4x100 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Hayes then strapped on a helmet for the Dallas Cowboys, winning Super Bowl VI and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


4. Bo Jackson, baseball (Best sport: football)

Only Bo knows what might have been. The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner was a Pro Bowl running back for the L.A. Raiders and an All-Star outfielder for the Kansas City Royals — hitting 32 HRs and 105 RBIs in just 135 games in 1989 — before a hip injury derailed the out-of-this-world athlete.


5. Charlie Ward, football (Best sport: basketball)

Sure, Ward played 11 seasons in the NBA — starting at point guard for the New York Knicks’ Eastern Conference champs in 1999. But most know him as a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion quarterback at Florida State in 1993.


6. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, track (Best sport: golf)

A 10-time LPGA major champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Mildred Ella — better known as “Babe” — won gold medals in the 80-meter hurdles and javelin throw as well as a silver medal in the high jump at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.


7. Duke Kahanamoku, surfing (Best sport: swimming)

The Big Kahuna won three Olympic medals in the 100-meter freestyle — taking gold at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and 1920 Antwerp Olympics, and silver at the 1924 Paris Olympics — as well as a gold (1920) and silver (1912) in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. But Mr. Hawaii was also the “Father of Surfing,” popularizing the longboard en route to becoming a member of the Surfing, Swimming and U.S. Olympic Halls of Fame.


8. Deion Sanders, baseball (Best sport: football)

A member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, Prime Time is considered the greatest cornerback in NFL history. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Sanders also played with the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 World Series and played parts of nine lightning-fast seasons in MLB.


9. Gene Conley, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A four-time MLB All-Star and 1957 World Series champion with the Milwaukee Braves, the 6’8”, 225-pound Conley also won three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics — becoming the only athlete in history to win world titles in two of the big four pro leagues.


10. Danny Ainge, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

The Wooden Award winner at BYU, Ainge won two NBA championships with the Celtics and was an All-Star in 1988. He also had a cup of coffee with the Toronto Blue Jays, playing three seasons from 1979-81.


11. Brian Jordan, football (Best sport: baseball)

A one-time MLB All-Star who played in the bigs for 15 years, Jordan played three seasons (1989-91) as a safety in the NFL before making his debut in The Show in 1992.


12. Jackie Robinson, track (Best sport: baseball)

The 1949 NL MVP and 1955 World Series champ is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a civil rights pioneer. But he was also the 1940 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Long Jump champion at UCLA.


13. Jonathan Ogden, shot put (Best sport: football)

The 6’9”, 345-pound Ogden was the 1996 NCAA Men’s Indoor Shot Put champion at UCLA, before becoming an 11-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XXXV champion left tackle with the Baltimore Ravens.


14. Jeff Samardzija, football (Best sport: baseball)

The Shark was an All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist, finishing his Notre Dame football career as the Irish’s all-time leading receiver prior to becoming a right-handed pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.


15. Darin Erstad, football (Best sport: baseball)

The 1995 Golden Spikes Award winner was also the starting punter on Nebraska’s 1994 national championship football team before going on to play 14 seasons in MLB.


16. Joe Mauer, football (Best sport: baseball)

Before Mauer was the 2009 AL MVP and three-time batting champion for the Minnesota Twins, the 6’5” athlete with a cannon for a right arm was USA Today’s High School Player of the Year as a quarterback.


17. Dave Winfield, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A 22-year MLB veteran and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Winfield played college basketball at the University of Minnesota — where he helped lead the Golden Gophers to the 1972 Big Ten title.


18. Kenny Lofton, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A six-time All-Star, five-time stolen base champ and four-time Gold Glove center fielder, Lofton’s first love was basketball. He played point guard for the University of Arizona, making the Final Four in 1988.


19. Tony Gwynn, basketball (Best sport: baseball)

A first-ballot member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Gwynn was a 15-time All-Star and eight-time batting champ with a career .338 batting average and 3,141 hits. But Gwynn was also a solid point guard, setting San Diego State records for assists in a season and career.


20. Marion Jones, basketball (Best sport: track)

Once a golden girl, Jones’ reputation has since been tarnished by PED use and jail time. Before the fall, Jones won three gold and two bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after a standout hoops career at the University of North Carolina — where she was a member of the 1994 NCAA champion Tar Heels.


21. Antonio Gates, basketball (Best sport: football)

Led Kent State to its first MAC championship and a trip to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament before becoming an eight-time Pro Bowl tight end for the San Diego Chargers.


22. Jimmy Graham, basketball (Best sport: football)

Played four years of basketball at the University of Miami but just one season of football at The U. No big deal, the 6’6”, 260-pound power forward has evolved into one of the NFL’s best tight ends.


23. Tony Gonzalez, basketball (Best sport: football)

Gonzalez round-balled at Cal-Berkeley before becoming a 14-time Pro Bowl tight end with 1,325 catches, 15,127 yards and 111 TDs for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.


24. Julius Peppers, basketball (Best sport: football)

The pass-rusher was a glass-crasher at University of North Carolina, where he came off the bench for the Tar Heels’ 2000 Final Four squad.


25. Walter Ray Williams Jr., horseshoes (Best sport: bowling)

The seven-time PBA Player of the Year also owns six Men’s World Horseshoe Pitching titles.


26. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, football (Best sport: wrestling)

The WWF wrestler was a member of the University of Miami’s 1991 national championship team, where he played with future NFL stars like Warren Sapp.


27. Ed “Too Tall” Jones, boxing (Best sport: football)

A three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman and Super Bowl XII champion, the 6’9” Jones had a scary 88-inch reach as a boxer — going 6–0 with five KOs in 1979.


28. Herschel Walker, mixed martial arts / bobsled (Best sport: football)

Known for always being in peak condition, Walker started his MMA career as a 48-year-old. The fifth-degree Taekwondo black belt is 2–0 with two TKOs on punches. Years before that he participated in the two-man bobsled competition at the 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh. Oh yeah, Walker, who played several years in the NFL, also won the 1982 Heisman Trophy at Georgia and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.


29. Scott Burrell, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

The only athlete selected in the first round of two of the big four sports’ drafts — Burrell went No. 20 overall to the Charlotte Hornets in the 1993 NBA Draft and No. 26 overall to the Seattle Mariners in the 1989 MLB Draft.


30. Michael Jordan, baseball (Best sport: basketball)

His Airness is undeniably the greatest basketball player of all-time and arguably the greatest athlete ever. However, in 127 games playing for the Chicago White Sox’s Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons, Air Jordan hit just .202 with three HRs, 51 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.

Teaser:
<p> The top 30 two-sport athletes in history — including Jim Thorpe, Jim Brown, Bob Hayes, Bo Jackson, Charlie Ward, Deion Sanders and Michael Jordan — ranked in order of their second-best sport.</p>
Post date: Monday, May 25, 2015 - 12:05
All taxonomy terms: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL
Path: /jameis-winston-talks-nfl-draft-and-tampa-bay-buccaneers
Body:

Who should go No. 1 overall in this year’s NFL Draft?

 

“Me,” says Jameis Winston. “Enough said.”

 

That type of confidence from the 21-year-old Florida State quarterback should come as no surprise to anyone who has even casually followed Winston’s controversial career. For his fans, that swagger is a prerequisite for any potential “franchise” player to reach the pinnacle of the profession. For Winston haters, that perceived cocky attitude makes the 6'4", 231-pound passer the embodiment of what’s wrong with today’s “entitled” athletes.

 

Being the No. 1 pick is only the first step of Winston’s long-term plan. The Heisman Trophy and national title winner wants to do it all at the next level. And he wants to enjoy the ride along the way. 

 

“That’s always been a dream of mine, to win some Super Bowls and be in the Hall of Fame,” says Winston. “I enjoy the spotlight. I love it. Any chance that I get to show my smile off or just be around and have fun with other people, it’s awesome.”

 

To paraphrase a sports cliché: “It’s not the X’s and the O’s. It’s the Jameises and the Joes.” Winston can play. His achievements precede him. So does his reputation, which has been shaped in the media to the point where he became a caricature of himself before his 21st birthday. Now he has to convince future employers that he can be the on-field CEO and off-field face of an NFL franchise.

 

“I just want their trust,” Winston says. “I believe I am the best player in this draft. I believe that I could be playing in the NFL for a pretty long time. And I just want their trust.”

 

A laundry list of off-the-field indiscretions includes a Title IX rape investigation (that resulted in no charges being filed) as well as more juvenile run-ins — like shoplifting $32.72 worth of crab legs from a local Publix and standing on a table to yell a tasteless yet popular Internet meme. Comedian Kevin Hart visited Tallahassee and publicly told Winston to, “Stop doing dumb (stuff).” The high-profile ups and downs have certainly made an impact on Winston. 

 

“I just learned that I had to grow up. Everything that happened at Florida State, I feel it made me a better person and a better young man,” says Winston. “My family raised me right and my football family, they know who I am. And they stood beside me. First of all, they knew the truth. And they also knew what type of person I was.”

 

In the months leading up to the draft, Winston has done everything in his power to repair his image and prepare himself for the NFL. He flew to New York to clear the air with Commissioner Roger Goodell, who Winston says is “a very fun guy to be around.” He trained in San Diego with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., who also worked with former No. 1 picks Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. Winston shined on the field and was charming in interviews at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day.

 

At Florida State, Winston was able to compartmentalize his stresses and continue a remarkable track record of on-field success — as a star quarterback in the fall and two-way baseball player in the spring. Philosophies learned on the diamond have been a major part of Winston’s formula for success on the gridiron, especially when the stakes are high.

 

“Baseball is a game of failure. You gotta have a strong mind in that sport. And playing quarterback, we’re the most scrutinized and most praised position in all of sports. So you gotta have a strong mind,” says Winston, who was drafted by the Texas Rangers and finished his career at FSU with a 1.94 ERA, nine saves and 52 strikeouts over 60.1 innings.

 

“One thing that helped me out was being a pitcher, how relentless I am just trying to take over a game. As a quarterback, sometimes I just try to take over a game. Two-minute drills. Third downs. Situational football is something I take pride in.”

 

This is the first spring of Winston’s career that the Bessemer, Ala., native has not played baseball. And, in scouting terms, even though his “floor” is higher than his competition due to the pro-style offense he ran under coach Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, Winston’s “ceiling” is even higher considering he’s never been a full-time QB.

 

“I love being a quarterback year-round. It’s amazing,” says Winston. “It’s made a huge difference, especially with my mechanics for football. I never had a chance to just work on the football side of my game. I always watched film. But I never had to work on just my release and my drop and just fine-tuning everything. …

 

“I don’t even know how good I can be at quarterback because I never worked this much at it.”

 

Winston is the frontrunner to go No. 1 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team whose fanbase includes a significant percentage of FSU fans and plenty of Seminole alumni — including Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn and Brad Johnson, to name a few. It seems too good to be true. But Winston could go from the Noles to the Bucs.

 

“If that’s possible, I would love that opportunity. I just would love the privilege of playing in the NFL,” says Winston. “If it happens to be in Tampa, that would be obviously a blessing.”

 

As for those who doubt his ability to transition from college to the pros? Well, after everything Winston has gone through, he’s not too worried.

 

“I don’t got many concerns,” says Winston. “I’m just looking forward to playing football. That’s one thing I love to do, is play football. Whatever may come my way, I’m ready for it.”

Teaser:
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the No. 1 prospect in the NFL Draft
Post date: Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 12:26
All taxonomy terms: NASCAR
Path: /nascar/dale-earnhardt-jr-bristol-motor-speedway-dewshine-and-old-crow-medicine-show
Body:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been named the Sprint Cup Series Most Popular Driver for 12 straight years (2003-14). The 40-year-old son of racing royalty and member of the Hendrick Motorsports juggernaut is a fan favorite, for obvious reasons. But what does Dale Jr. like? Start with Bristol Motor Speedway, where he will race Sunday.

 

Athlon Sports caught up with Dale Jr. to talk about the iconic track, childhood memories at the bullring, the new paint scheme on his No. 88 Chevrolet and one of Dale Jr.’s favorite bands — Old Crow Medicine Show, who will play the Bristol prerace concert this weekend.

 

Where does Bristol rank among tracks on the Cup schedule?

Bristol fights for that top spot. I always loved going there as a kid. It’s one of the more exciting racetracks to be at as a fan. When I used to go watch my father race, being able to run around the pits and garage area all weekend long, when they were preparing to race and then sit down and watch the race, there’s not a bad seat in the house at Bristol. And it’s as much fun to race there as it was to see. It’s very special to me and my heart. It’s a tough race to win, but it’s a great feeling when you do.

 

What is your favorite Bristol memory?

When we swept in ’04. That was a great, great weekend. To be able to win the Nationwide race and the Cup race. We lapped all the way up to sixth place in the Cup race. We had this long, uncharacteristic green-flag run where we had to pit under green. We ended up lapping a lot of cars. Our car was just the class of the field that night.

 

Does a win mean more at a historic track like Bristol?

Yeah, it does. I like the history of the sport. I grew up in a house full of trophies, right? With my dad winning all the races he won, there was trophies on every shelf. Some of those trophies are different, more unique than others. The trophy for Bristol is a very, very tall trophy. I remember one of the races he won at Bristol, I got a picture of me standing next to the trophy and I’m shorter than the trophy.

 

When you’re a kid and you see something that big that you can win at that event, No. 1 you hoped it would never change, so when you got your opportunity to race there you could win the same trophy. And you hoped you’d have that opportunity, No. 2. And we were able to do that.

 

 

You don’t seem to drive quite as aggressive as your father, “The Intimidator” Dale Earnhardt. Why is that?

Well, it’s easy to be aggressive when your cars are good. I’ve been aggressive when the time comes — when it seems to be necessary and when the car can do it. You can’t go running with guys when you’re not handling well or the car doesn’t have a lot of speed because they’ll get you back pretty easy.

 

Who’s most likely to cause a problem at Bristol?

Anybody, really. Anybody. Whoever’s up there. … Anyone in that position is gonna do whatever it takes to win. Because Bristol’s a track where guys want that trophy on their mantle.

 

Any pranks planned for teammate Jeff Gordon’s last season?

I’m sure Jimmie (Johnson) has some ideas on some things he’s got brewing. I don’t know if he’ll clue in me and Kasey (Kahne).

 

Old Crow Medicine Show is playing the prerace show at Bristol. You’re a big fan of those guys aren’t you?

Yeah I been listening to them guys. I actually come across them about four or five years ago and love a lot of their songs. They kind of turned me on to a new genre of music that I’d really not heard before. And being a fan I was really excited when I heard they were gonna come play at the pre-race, so all the other drivers and mechanics and guys can actually get a chance to see them and hear them. So it’ll be great.

 

What do you think about the new Mountain Dew DEWshine paint scheme on the No. 88 car, which will debut at Bristol?

I guess what matters is what everybody else thinks. I’m just anxious to see what the fans think. I had a little involvement myself. I think it turned out great. The gold numbers are back for Bristol. We’re gonna put some tire marks on that thing and hopefully put it in Victory Lane on top of that building over there at Turn 3.

 

 

Ketch Secor, lead singer of Old Crow Medicine Show, on Bristol:

That’s where motor racing really calls home — the place where Tennessee and North Carolina and Virginia and Kentucky all come together. That’s sort of the epicenter, in my mind, of racing. Racing fans, they really come from that part of the country.

 

Anyhow, we’ve always loved playing music in Bristol, Tennessee. It’s the birthplace of country music. It’s a place where the Bristol Sessions found the discovery of some of the seminal figures in early country music history. So, we’ll be really proud to be part of the show this April 19.

Teaser:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about everything going on at the Bristol bullring this weekend.
Post date: Friday, April 17, 2015 - 11:46
Path: /overtime/25-nastiest-bullies-sports-history
Body:

“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, / He writes — not that you won or lost — but how you played the Game,” Grantland Rice famously wrote in his 1908 poem, “Alumnus Football.”

Not everyone in sports has lived by those words, obviously. With that mind, we look back at the 25 biggest bullies in sports history:


25. Richie Incognito

A threatening, profanity-laced, half-N-bomb, yo-mamma voicemail left for his Miami Dolphins O-linemate Jonathan Martin moved Incognito from “NFL’s Dirtiest Player” to “Notorious B.U.L.L.Y.”


24. Dale Earnhardt Sr.

The “Intimidator” was quick to remind his competition to “put a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants won’t climb up there and eat that candy ass.” Dale Sr. had no problem putting other cars into the wall with his No. 3 Monte Carlo.


23. Michael Jordan

Isiah Thomas was bullied off the Dream Team; Steve Kerr was punched in the face; Jerry Krause’s Croatian sensation Toni Kukoc was harassed; and a by “His Airness.” Plus, MJ absolutely abused everyone in the NBA during his reign.

 

22. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

declared Mayweather “a bully, one neatly wrapped in a cut 5-foot-8, 147-pound package. Like most bullies, Mayweather is intimidating. He sends promoters, managers and networks cowering in the corner with the mere threat of withholding his services. He holds the boxing world hostage by saying he will take his gloves and go home unless the fight isn’t when he wants, where he wants and at what weight he wants. He perpetuates a lie … because he is confident in the fact that no one in the industry will stand up to him.”


21. Randy Savage

“Oooooh, yeah!” The “Macho Man” broke into the WWF as a heel who bullied the “First Lady of Wrestling,” Miss Elizabeth, and was quick to “snap into” anyone who dared look at his manager.


20. Kermit Washington

but also inspired the John Feinstein book, The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever.


19. Ron Artest

The Artest currently known as “Metta World Peace” was not always the lovable, flagrant-fouling, elbow-throwing, physical defender we know today. He was once the instigator of the infamous That poor fat fan in the stands didn’t stand a chance.

 

18. Quinton Jackson

“Rampage” is a terror in and outside the ring. Making countless MMA fighters tap out, and driving on the sidewalk during an extended police chase.

 

17. Todd Bertuzzi

The consummate goon and longtime NHL enforcer, .

 

16. Jack Tatum

with a vicious hit over the middle in 1978. Tatum was the leader of a gang of bullies in the Oakland Raiders' secondary who were known for headhunting.

 

15. Vince McMahon

The Chairman and CEO of the WWE is a marketing genius, but he has no problem taking a metaphorical folding chair (or a real folding chair) to the back of anyone standing in his way. McMahon has bullied and bulldozed his way to the top of the ropes. Look out below.

 

14. Ndamukong Suh

The 2.0 of dirty defensive tackles, Suh saves his worst for Thanksgiving dinner, and . He's also bullied and off the field, making Suh arguably the young bully with the most upside.

 

13. Bill Romanowski

Romo was psycho — spitting on opponents, beating up teammates and causing widespread chaos everywhere he roamed. Romanowski's rage was often steroid-fueled, as the linebacker told "60 Minutes" he received the juice from none other than Victor Conte himself.

 

12. John Kreese

Cobra Kai's screw-loose leader had a simple instruction: "Sweep the leg."

 

11. Daniel Snyder

The , reminding us why the Redskins' owner is everyone's least favorite NFL power player.

 

10. Bob Gibson

Don't crowd the plate or drive reckless when Gibson is in fastball range. The two-time Cy Young winner and 1968 NL MVP has no patience. After years of plunking batters to establish his dominance on the mound, Gibson was cited for assault in a road rage case in 2002 after establishing he was king of the road.

 

9. Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer was the dirtiest of the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys," a group that also included noted bullies like Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn. Motown's modus operandi in the late 1980s and early '90s was to punish anyone who dared take the ball to the rim — looking at you, Michael. There were even used to intimidate the Pistons' fiercest rival from Chicago.

 

8. Mike Tyson

"Iron Mike" was the youngest heavyweight champion (20 years, 4 months) in history and one of the most feared fighters of all time. With , Tyson was a bully among bullies. The tortured champ was also convicted of rape in 1991 and served three years in the penitentiary. And one more thing… Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in Las Vegas back in 1997.

 

7. Broad Street Bullies

Philadelphia Bulletin scribes Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone coined the "Broad Street Bullies" nickname for the Philadelphia Flyers crew back in 1973. about the team that included Hart Trophy winner Bobby Clake.

 

6. Ty Cobb

Always angry? Check. Documented racist? Check. Slides into bases with his spikes up? Oh yeah. "I was the most hated man in baseball," Cobb famously told biographer Al Stump. Cobb was proud of his bullying.

 

5. Tonya Harding

The surreal in 1994 made Harding and her goon ex-husband Jeff Gillooly a national scandal. After finishing eighth (to Kerrigan's silver medal) at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, Harding has gone on to a hodgepodge of pro wrestling and .


4. Lance Armstrong

to beat testicular cancer. Blood dope to win seven Tours de France. Sue anyone who dares speak the truth about said blood doping. Most important, never apologize for anything — . Because of Lance, millions of American sports fans will never again watch the Tour de France.

 

3. Bobby Knight

With his , Robert Montgomery Knight evolved into the stereotypical coach who takes himself too seriously and uses his position of power to bully those cowering beneath.

 

2. Roger Goodell

The "Ginger Hammer" will not rest until the NFL has become a flag football league with an 18-game schedule and a team in London.

 

1. NCAA

The NCAA rakes in nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. Roughly 80 percent of that comes from television deals, with college football and men's basketball being the primary cash cows. How much do "student-athletes" profit from the NCAA's non-profit monopoly? Oh, that's right. The NCAA is as big and corrupt as any bully in sports history. HBO's John Oliver explained it about as well as anyone:

 

Teaser:
Richie Incognito is just the latest in a long line of bullies in sports.
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 12:00
Path: /college-basketball/15-best-teams-did-not-win-ncaa-tournament-2015
Body:

The best team doesn’t always win the NCAA Tournament. Many of greatest rosters ever assembled failed to cut down the nets in the one-and-done, single-elimination Madness of March. These are the 15 best teams that never won the NCAA Tournament.

 

RELATED:


1. 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

(34–1, 18–0 Big West)
Coach Jerry Tarkanian
Lost to Duke, 79–77, in Final Four

Vegas was the undisputed, undefeated heavyweight champion of the world in college basketball before falling to Duke in a rematch of the 1990 title game, in which the Runnin’ Rebels humiliated the Blue Devils, 103–73. With three 1991 NBA Lottery picks — national player of the year forward Larry Johnson (No. 1 overall), wingman Stacey Augmon (No. 9) and point guard Greg Anthony (No. 12) — and the reigning Final Four MOP in Anderson Hunt, UNLV was as intimidating as it was dominant.


2. 1975 Indiana Hoosiers

(31–1, 18–0 Big Ten)
Coach Bob Knight
Lost to Kentucky, 92–90, in Elite Eight

Bob Knight and Joe B. Hall nearly went to blows during a 98–74 IU win over UK in December 1974. The Hoosiers were riding a 34-game winning streak heading into their rematch with the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament. But without a full strength Scott May — who scored two points due to a broken arm, after scoring 25 in the first meeting — undefeated Indiana fell to Kentucky, a team that went on to lose the national title to UCLA in John Wooden’s final game.


3. 1983 Houston Cougars

(31–3, 16–0 Southwest)
Coach Guy Lewis
Lost to NC State, 54–52, in NCAA title game

Texas’ tallest fraternity, “Phi Slama Jama” was led by a pair of future Hall of Famers in shot-swatting big man Akeem Olajuwon and high-flying Clyde “the Glide” Drexler. The middle of three straight Final Four appearances and first of two national title game runner-up finishes was the most painful, as NC State pulled off one of the .


4. 1985 Georgetown Hoyas

(35–3, 14–2 Big East)
Coach John Thompson
Lost to Villanova, 66–64, in NCAA title game

The Patrick Ewing-led Hoyas were runner-up to North Carolina in 1982, national champs in 1984 and heavily favored to repeat as champs in 1985. But the overwhelming edge in talent for Ewing, Reggie Williams, David Wingate and Co. was no match for the magical shooting night of Rollie Massimino’s Wildcats, who shot 22-of-28 from the field to beat “Hoya Paranoia” on April Fools’ Day.


5. 1984 North Carolina Tar Heels

(28–3, 14–0 ACC)
Coach Dean Smith
Lost to Indiana, 72–68, in Sweet 16

On paper, this was Dean Smith’s most talented team, on the court and on the bench. National player of the year Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty and freshman Kenny Smith headlined a loaded roster, while Roy Williams, Bill Guthridge and Eddie Fogler served as assistant coaches for a group of Tar Heels that couldn’t even make it to the Final Four.

 

6. 2015 Kentucky Wildcats

(38-1, 18-0 SEC)

Coach John Calipari

Lost to Wisconsin, 71-64, in Final Four

 

Kentucky was the first team in history to go 38-0 as it reached the Final Four on a mission to become the first team to hit that magical 40-0 number. The Wildcats’ stifling defense and imposing big men met their match against the historically efficient Wisconsin offense. This UK team didn’t have the star power of perhaps other teams on this list, but it was among the deepest teams of the modern era.


7. 1993 Michigan Wolverines

(31–5, 15–3 Big Ten)
Coach Steve Fisher
Lost to North Carolina, 77–71, in NCAA title game

The sophomore season of the Fab Five — Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — produced the same (since vacated) results as their freshman campaign. Michigan marched all the way to the national title game with their signature baggy shorts, black socks and swagger, only to lose to ACC power UNC, after losing to Duke in the championship game the season before.


8. 1997 Kansas Jayhawks

(34–2, 15–1 Big 12)
Coach Roy Williams
Lost to Arizona, 85–82, in Sweet 16

KU had it all, with NBA size down low in Raef LaFrentz and Scot Pollard, clutch shooters in Paul Pierce, Jerod Haase and Billy Thomas, and steady point guard play from Jacque Vaughn and Ryan Robertson. But Roy Williams’ Jayhawks could not close the deal against Miles Simon, Mike Bibby and eventual champion Arizona.


9. 1973 NC State Wolfpack

(27–0, 12–0 ACC)
Coach Norm Sloan
Banned from postseason play

David Thompson and Tommy Burleson led NC State to an undefeated regular season but were unable to go dancing after being banned from postseason play due to NCAA sanctions. When the ban was lifted, the 1973-74 Wolfpack went 30–1 cut down the nets following a national championship.


10. 1974 UCLA Bruins

(26–4, 12–2 Pac-8)
Coach John Wooden
Lost to NC State, 80–77 in 2OT, in Final Four

The next-to-last team coach by the Wizard of Westwood ended UCLA’s streak of seven consecutive NCAA titles. Despite being led by Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes, the Bruins were unable to outlast NC State in double-overtime in the Final Four.


11. 1954 Kentucky Wildcats

(25–0, 14–0 SEC)
Coach Adolph Rupp
Elected not to participate

Coach Adolph Rupp chose to take a stand against the NCAA by keeping the unbeaten Wildcats out of the Tournament after Frank Ramsey, Cliff Hagan and Lou Tsioropoulos were ruled ineligible due to a graduation rule that is no longer in place.


12. 1999 Duke Blue Devils

(37–2, 16–0 ACC)
Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Lost to Connecticut, 77–74, in NCAA title game

One of Coach K’s most talented teams was anchored by No. 1 overall pick Elton Brand, sharpshooting senior Trajan Langdon, point guard William Avery and athletic freak frosh Corey Maggette — all of whom went in the top 14 of the 1999 NBA Draft.


13. 1962 Ohio State Buckeyes

(26–2, 13–1 Big Ten)
Coach Fred Taylor
Lost to Cincinnati, 71–59, in NCAA title game

Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek are two of the greatest players in Ohio State history, playing in three consecutive NCAA title games — losing the last two trips as a heavy favorite against in-state rival Cincinnati.


14. 1957 Kansas Jayhawks

(24–3, 11–1 Big Seven)
Coach Dick Harp
Lost to North Carolina, 54–53 in 3OT, in NCAA title game

Kansas’ Wilt Chamberlain was unable to follow in the championship footsteps of San Francisco’s Bill Russell — who led the Dons to titles in 1955 and '56. The Stilt lost in triple-overtime in what old timers have called the greatest game ever played.


15. 1963 Cincinnati Bearcats

(26–2, 11–1 Missouri Valley)
Coach Ed Jucker
Lost to Loyola-Chicago, 60–58, in NCAA title game

In their fifth straight Final Four appearance, the Bearcats were aiming for a three-peat before the term existed. But back-to-back champion Cincinnati was shocked by underdog Loyola-Chicago in the final.

Teaser:
These teams were dominant, but none were able to win it all in the NCAA Tournament.
Post date: Saturday, April 4, 2015 - 23:49
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball
Path: /68-funny-ncaa-tournament-march-madness-bracket-team-names-2015
Body:

The NCAA Tournament is almost here. Selection Sunday is around the corner. Only one person will win your office bracket pick ‘em pool. But everyone can have a funny March Madness bracket team name. Here are 68 names that should get a laugh, from the First Four to the Final Four.

 

 

Final Fourgasm

 

Cinderella Story

 

Boom Shaka Shaka

 

When I Think About You I Touch Bill Self

 

Not In Kansas Anymore

 

Shock It To Me

 

Shock and Awe

 

Stallings Will F’n Kill You

 

Court Stormers

 

 

 

Bill Walton Smells Colors

 

7-10 Splits

 

Bubblicious

 

Full Metal Bracket

 

 

 

Prince Jersey Chaser

 

March Mad Men

 

Fast Breaking Bad

 

Ball So Hard University

 

 

Sparty Party

 

Horace Grant’s Nephew

 

Bruce Pearl’s BBQ

 

 

 

 

Bo Knows

 

Bo’s Badgers

 

F--- ‘Em Bucky

 

 

Mudiay’s Semester Abroad

 

 

Headbands Make Her Dance

 

Anthony Benedetto’s Wahoos

 

 

Big Dancin’ For Money

 

One Shining Moment

 

And1 Shining Moment

 

Nebrasketballers

 

Church of Bracketology

 

Amoeba Defense

 

Stretch Final Fours

 

 

Air Ballers

 

 

 

One Man Wolf Pack

 

POTUS > Clark Kellogg

 

Pitino’s 15-Second Drill

 

Italian Sausage Stuffed Snapper

 

 

Ospreys Cray

 

One Time at Band Camp

 

Band-Aides

 

 

Coach 1K

 

 

Cameron Crazies

 

 

Duke’s No-Look Policy

 

SuperNova

 

Carmelo Anthony Davis

 

 

Calipari’s Recruiting Budget

 

Ashley’s Judds

 

Big Bluegrass Nation

 

One and Won

 

Undefeated

 

40–0

 

Teaser:
These funny March Madness bracket names will make your office pool laugh
Post date: Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 15:44
All taxonomy terms: Funny, MLB
Path: /175-funny-fantasy-baseball-team-names-2015
Body:

Only one team will win your fantasy baseball league, but everyone can have a . These are 175 suggestions for the baseball nerds, Internet bird dogs, Sabermetric mathematician-magicians, jersey chasers and MLB Extra Innings subscribers who comprise fantasy baseball leagues around the world.

 

Technology and Stuff

50 Shade of Sonny Gray

50 Cents of First Pitches

Hakuna Moncada

Soler Flares

Yeah Jeets

Jeter Del Boca Vista

Jeter’s Gift Baskets

McCann Man Code

CC’s MPH Diet

Void A-Roid

A-Rod Centaur

Short Porch Party

Benedict Ellsbury

A-Rod Handwriting Experts

 

 

Biracial Angels

Ranger Danger

Jackie Robinson West

Volkswagen

Prince Bigger in Texas

Dead Ted’s Head

Tampa Bay Carly Raes

Cano Mode

Barehand-relton Simmons

Wild Thing

Willie Mays Hays

JUST a Bit Outside

Crash Davis

Nuke LaLoosh

 

 

Maybe This Year

108 Stitches

Snitches Get 108 Stitches

Man With 4 Balls Can’t Walk

99 Problems, Pitch Ain’t One

$325-Million Marlin

Sandlot Beasts

Kansas City Lordes

Blurred Foul Lines

Blurred Outfield Lines

Wrecking Ball Four

Bronx Zoo

Hackensack Bulls

 

 

Dano Grande

Light-Tower Power

Joey Bats

San Diego Rotisserie Chickens

Grand Theft Votto

Cubs Mascot Dong

I Piss Excellence

I’m CEO, You Shut Up

Kenny Powers Posse

Balco Black Sox

Moneyballers

Slump Busters

Joe Buck Yourself

Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Déjà vu All Over Again

 

 

Springfield Isotopes

Griffey Jr.’s Tonic

Mattingly’s Sideburns

Talkin’ Baseball

New York Knights

Rockford Peaches

No Crying in Baseball

All the Way Mae

Tanaka-Knock Joke

Must Be the Mo’ne

Mo’ne-ball

Paleo Sandoval

Paleo Panda

Madison Budweiser

 

 

Miggy Azalea

Troutstanding

Arms of an Angel

WAR-time Consigliere

Bob LOB Law

Crack That WHIP

VORP Speed

Mr. Kate Upton

Yoenis Envy

Yu Da Man

Dick Pole’s Staff

Chief Noc-A Homa

Dread Pirates

Outfield Fly Rule

Rusty Trumbo

Smoak a Swisher

The Bourn Supremacy

The Price is Wrong

 

 

Heady Play by Beltre

Thome Don’t Play That

Murderer’s Row

Lovable Losers

Houston Lastros

Houston Colt .45s

Hot Pocket Corner

Joe Buck Nasty

Raking It In

Bay of Puigs

Flipping the Bat

Better Call Paul (Goldschmidt)

Kung Fu Pandas

Say It Aint’s Sosa

 

 

Seventh-Inning Yoga

Cleveland Steamers

Dollar Dogs

Thirsty Thursdays

Kangaroo Court

Designated Shitter

El Paso Chihuahuas

Atlanta Black Crackers

Akron RubberDucks

Bleacher Creatures

Phillie Phanatics

Rally Monkeys

Southside Southpaws

Dr. Strangeglove

Lamb Gyroballs

 

 

Prince Fielder Body Issues

Millville Meteors

Love It When They Call Me Big Papi

Notorious P.A.P.I.

Carlos Santana’s Greatest Hits

Say Hey, J-Hey

Ferguson IS the Cardinal Way

Wong Gone

Long Wong Silver

Evil Empire

Cuban Missiles

Cole Trains

Sack Up

Men of Steal

My Big Unit

 

 

Schwing! Batter Batter

Who’s Your Daddy?

Crafty Lefties

The The Angels Angels

California Penal League

Looking Illegal

1864 Rules

Three-Finger Mordecai

Old Hoss Radbourn

Cobb Co. Braves

Hall of Shamers

Hannibal Lester

Golden Sombreros

Big League Choo

 

 

ManBearPuig

Bryce Hyper

Citizen Cain

Butt Slide

PED-co Park

Come Sale Away

Green Monsters

Ballpark Franks

Grand Salami

Pete Rose’s Hall

Selig’s Pick

Bud Selig 401K

Clown Question Bros

Small Ballers

 

 

Stolen Hunter Pence Signs

Back Back Back

Chris Berman Sucks

Fire Joe Morgan

Spitball LOOGYs

Ken Burns Baseball

Hebrew Hammers

Wrigley Blue Ivy

Jay Bruce Jenner

Mookie Loves Pearl Jam

No Mas Tomas

Can the Grandy Man?

Hamilton High Dive

Fire Breathing Lamborghinis

Vin Scully’s Homeboys

 

Teaser:
These funny fantasy baseball team names will make your league laugh
Post date: Friday, February 20, 2015 - 17:45
Path: /8-classic-thanksgiving-moments-dallas-cowboys-and-detroit-lions
Body:

Just like the crazy uncle with the nonstop inappropriate jokes or the aunt with the barely edible green bean casserole, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys are welcome additions to the holiday family gathering even though they will probably provide an awkward moment or two.

Here are a few of the noteworthy Thanksgiving Day memories from the Lions, whose first Turkey Day game was in 1934, and Cowboys, who first sat at the table in 1966.



1. Lett It Snow
On a snow-covered field at old Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in 1993, the Cowboys blocked a potential game-winning field goal by the Dolphins with 15 seconds to play. The Boys surrounded the dead ball in celebration before Leon Lett came sliding in through the snow, tipping the ball and allowing the Fins to recover the muff at the one-yard-line — and beat Dallas, 16–14, on a game-winning field goal as time expired.


2. Heads or Tails?
Prior to the coin toss at the start of overtime in Detroit in 1998, Pittsburgh’s “Bus” Jerome Bettis clearly called “tails.” But referee Phil Luckett awarded the ball to the Lions, who kicked a game-winning field goal on their first drive to beat the stunned Steelers, 19–16.


3. O-fer
En route to becoming the only 0–16 team in history, the Lions allowed a Thanksgiving Day team-worst 47 points to the Titans, who posted an NFL-best 13–3 record in 2008.


4. Fried Turkey
Vikings rookie Randy Moss burned the Cowboys — who infamously passed on the wideout in the 1998 draft — to the tune of three catches for 163 yards (54.3 ypc) and three touchdowns, as Minnesota ran by Dallas, 46–36.



5. Unruly Kids
Detroit 24-year-old Ndamukong Suh threw a temper tantrum on the field and was ejected from the game for stomping on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith during a 27–15 loss in 2011.


6. Delicious Leftovers
Cowboys third-stringer Jason Garrett starts in place of an injured Troy Aikman and outpitches the Packers’ Brett Favre in a 42–31 Dallas win in 1994. The game reminds many of the time Cowboys backup Clint Longley replaced an injured Roger Staubach to lead thrilling come-from-behind 24–23 win over the rival Redskins in 1974.


7. Juice Spoiled
O.J. Simpson broke the NFL’s single-game rushing record with 273 yards at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. But due to inept quarterback play from Gary Marangi, who went 4-for-21 for 29 yards, the Bills lost to the Lions, 27–14.


8. Unfitting Finale
Mr. Thanksgiving himself, Lions legend Barry Sanders, had just 33 yards on 20 carries against the Steelers in 1998 — the worst showing No. 20 ever had on a fourth Thursday in November. Although the effort pushed Sanders over the 15,000-yard mark for his career, it was (shockingly) the last Thanksgiving Day he graced the nation with his brilliance.
 

Teaser:
<p> Best and Worst Thanksgiving Day Moments: Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, including Leon Lett's mistake in the snow in 1993, Jerome Bettis and Phil Luckett's coin toss confusion in 1998, Randy Moss' three-touchdown game in 1998, Jason Garrett's duel against Brett Favre in 1994, O.J. Simpson's record-breaking effort in 1976 and Ndamukong Suh's stomp heard round the world in 2011.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 10:24
Path: /4-reasons-why-lsu-will-beat-alabama
Body:

Death Valley will be rocking when the No. 16 LSU Tigers take on the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide in prime time on CBS (8 p.m. ET) Saturday night. National title-winning coaches Les Miles and Nick Saban go toe-to-toe with five-star-stuffed, NFL-talent-laden rosters. Although Alabama (-6.5) is favored, LSU is capable of pulling off the upset and shaking up the SEC West standings and College Football Playoff picture. Here are four reasons the Bayou Bengals will beat Bama:

 

1. Death Valley

Tiger Stadium is “Where opponents dreams come to die,” according to Coach Miles, who has a 45–4 record in Saturday night home games at Death Valley since taking over the top spot in Baton Rouge back in 2005. There is an indescribable force surrounding the 102,321 purple-and-gold rowdy crowd that comprises arguably .


2. Les Miles

The Mad Hatter has been known to eat grass, let ’er rip in interviews and just say F it — meaning Fake punts and Fourth-down conversions — in big games. In the season-opener against Wisconsin, special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto dialed up a successful third-quarter fake punt that shifted momentum and started a run of 21 unanswered points in a 28–24 win at AT&T Stadium. Miles has a 5–4 record vs. Alabama in regular season games. And he will pull out all the stops to take down the Tide this time around.

 

3. Alabama Injuries

At this point in the season, every team is banged up. But Alabama is in particularly bad shape this weekend. Left tackle Cameron Robinson — a Louisiana native who spurned the Tigers in favor of the Tide — has a gimpy ankle that will make him a game-time decision. Even if Robinson does play, LSU’s D-line could take advantage of the true freshman playing with a bum wheel. Stud tailback T.J. Yeldon is also struggling with a foot issue; this on the heels of a season-ending gruesome leg injury suffered by big back Kenyan Drake earlier this year.


4. Leonard Fournette

The 6’1”, 230-pound 19-year-old from New Orleans is arguably the best freshman running back since Adrian Peterson. Fournette has 131 carries for 657 yards (5.0 ypc) and seven TDs, along with seven catches for 127 yards (18.1 ypc). LSU is 5–0 when Fournette has topped 11 carries. LSU is No. 7 nationally is rushing attempts and No. 1 in the SEC (439) — with 50 more attempts than No. 2 Arkansas (389). In a 10–7 win over Ole Miss earlier this year, LSU had 55 rushes for 264 yards compared to 16 pass attempts for 142 yards. Expect a similar gameplan featuring Fournette, whose only official visits were to LSU and Alabama.

Teaser:
Les Miles and the Tigers will upset Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide
Post date: Friday, November 7, 2014 - 12:53

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