Articles By Patrick Snow

All taxonomy terms: College Football, Links, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-13
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for August 24.

• Last night in a win over the Red Sox, Angels phenom Mike Trout became the youngest player in MLB history to record a 20-homer, 40-steal season.

• Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News calls out the lying career of Lance Armstrong, who will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.

• Watching the Little League World Series this week, we wondered what had happened to the cast of The Sandlot. Here’s the answer. "You're killing me, Smalls!"

• ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben writes that Texas coach Mack Brown believes his team could have a top five finish this season.

• Titans coaches are not very happy with the NFL’s replacement referees after last night’s game against the Cardinals.

• Dave Miller of the National Football Post looks at USC’s one potential flaw for winning the BCS.

• Have the Sacramento Kings been exploring a move to Virginia?

• CBS’ Scott Miller examines the MVP chances for Pirates star Andrew McCutchen.

Really SportsCenter?

• Check out this list of how each school in the Top 25 got its nickname.

• It’s always impressive to see an athlete turn a flip, but a 235-pound running back in pads right after scoring a touchdown? Here’s Jamie Harper of the Tennessee Titans after reaching the end zone in last night’s win against the Arizona Cardinals.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 23

• Nationals manager Davey Johnson finally talks about the club’s plan to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg in mid-September.

• Bleacher Report’s Michael Felder looks at Notre Dame’s decision to name Everett Golson as the starting quarterback.

• Yankees manager Joe Girardi does not like getting heckled after being swept by the White Sox.

• Watch out for this motorist.

• Pete Thamel has the latest on the NCAA’s continuing investigation into controversial Kentucky recruit Nerlins Noel.

• South Florida will not have the services of Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch this season, as his waiver for immediate eligibility was denied.

• Apparently this Georgia high school coach went “Brett Favre” with texts to a player’s mom. She got him back.

• It looks like Tennessee will dismiss top receiver Da’Rick Rogers.

• Could Derek Jeter’s quality season be explained by PEDs? One ESPN personality believes so.

• Former Bears defensive lineman Chris Zorich will have to pay back almost $350,000 that cannot be accounted for in the financial records of his charitable organization.

• EA Sports lets us know the genesis of the Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd’s Madden rivalry. Who knew they grew up together?

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 22

• Roger Clemens is playing independent baseball at age 50. As Ken Rosenthal points out, a Rocket comeback to the majors would restart his Hall of Fame clock — something that would separate Clemens from being on the same ballot as another suspected cheater, Barry Bonds.

• The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced that they will play a home game in London’s Wembley Stadium for four consecutive seasons starting in 2013. No word if they are changing names to the Shag-uars.

• Mandatory.com presents the Pete Carroll “Web of Corruption.”

• ESPN Stanford blogger Kevin Gemmell looks at David Shaw’s decision to go with Josh Nunes as the Cardinal starting quarterback.

• Xavier has dismissed its top returning scorer, Dezmine Wells.

• Heralded Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton broke the minor league single-season record for stolen bases last night with his 147th steal.

• Texas A&M is letting the Lone Star State know that it is “SEC Country.”

• Kermit as the Most Interesting Man in the World?

• The Clippers do not seem concerned with All-Star point guard Chris Paul’s thumb surgery.

• Did Browns coach Pat Shurmur really remove Joe Haden from practice for being too rough?

• We don’t know how many games the Minnesota Golden Gophers will win this season, but at least their football meeting room looks cool. Nice work Goldy.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 21

• Will Eagles quarterback Michael Vick be able to stay healthy this season?

• Five schools — Florida, Michigan Arkansas, North Carolina and Georgia — have cut a deal with Kellogg’s to brand their own Pop-Tarts for a limited time. Why have actual bacon when you could some “Razorback Red?”

• If you ever have car issues in the Palm Beach area, call this business with the epic name.

• CBS’ Danny Knobler has a fun look the Washington Nationals, who currently have MLB’s best record.

• To no one’s surprise, Ryan Tannehill was named the Dolphins starter at quarterback. Hopefully this leads to more Lauren on HBO's Hard Knocks tonight.

• Former North Carolina Tar Heel Julius Peppers has donated $250,000 to a scholarship fund that supports African-American students at the school. His action comes a week after Peppers’ transcript from UNC was released on the internet and raised questions of possible academic fraud.

• It looks like the Texas quarterback battle will continue into the season, as the Longhorns plan to play both Davis Ash and Case McCoy in the opener.

• Is there a future for WAC football? Commissioner Jeff Hurd does not think so.

• The Red Sox’ struggles continue, and yesterday the club fired pitching coach Bob McClure.

• NC State basketball fans are still waiting for McDonald's All-American guard Rodney Purvis to be fully cleared by the NCAA.

• Rangers pitchers Derek Holland and Ryan Dempster give us some MLB highlights as Cubs legendary broadcaster Harry Caray. Well done guys.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 20

• The Titans have selected youth over experience at quarterback, choosing Jake Locker as the starter over veteran Matt Hasselbeck.

• Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of two new female members at Augusta National Golf Club.

• This guy has quite the resume.

• With Gary Nova being named the starting signal caller at Rutgers, Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias writes that this is the first time in recent memory with each team in the league entering a season set at quarterback.

• Will San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera get more than a 50-game suspension for trying to dupe Major League Baseball?

• Sergio Garcia recorded his first PGA Tour win since 2008 in the Wyndham Championship.

• Notre Dame will enter another season unranked in the AP Preseason Top 25.

• Mandatory.com has some scary before and after photos of aging rocker stars.

• Former All-Pro pass rusher Shawne Merriman could not make it work in Buffalo.

• CBS’ college basketball writers examine whether or not players should be paid (above the table).

• Sorry for the non-HD video, but here’s a portion of Kobe Bryant dropping 68 points in 15 minutes in a Chinese charity game over the weekend. Love this PA announcer.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 11:44
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/ask-athlon-cleveland-browns
Body:

Q: I have a Cleveland Browns cap. The front of the hat says Browns and has a picture of a little man. Sort of looks like a leprechaun. What is the significance of the little man? Was that once their logo? I’ve never seen a little man on any of their team helmets/hats going back to 1957.

— Thomas Pichl, Matawan, N.J.

A: That little elfin creature is a brownie, a legendary creature from British folklore, and yes, he’s part of Browns folklore as well. Fans who referred to their team as the Brownies led the club to adopt the little fella as an emblem dating back to the dawn of Paul Brown’s franchise in 1946. Former owner Art Modell phased out the brownie emblem during the mid-1960s, but he’s made a bit of a comeback of late, appearing on some of the team’s sideline accessories.

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

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Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 16:59
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/ask-athlon-baseball-hall-fame
Body:

Q: Has William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy (1862-1961), the great deaf Major League baseball player, ever been nominated for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

— Sandra Hoy, New Berlin, Pa.

A: Sandra, I sense from your name that there’s a family connection between you and the 19th-century speedster. Hoy was a productive pre-1900 player for seven different teams over a 14-year career, amassing 2,048 hits, 1,424 runs and 596 stolen bases, a number that still ranks 18th all time, one spot ahead of Maury Wills. A skilled defender, Hoy retired among baseball’s leaders in putouts and double plays. His Hall of Fame candidacy has gained some momentum in recent years, and there’s always the chance that the Veterans Committee could enshrine him some day.

As his nickname clearly indicates, Hoy played in an era that was far less concerned with sensitivity and political correctness, although his moniker referred to his deafness rather than his lack of intelligence. In fact, Hoy is credited as being one of the more intelligent players of his day. Some even credit Hoy for the adoption of hand signals by umpires to denote safe and out calls, although this is far from certain.

Charlie Miller, Editorial Director

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
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Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 16:57
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/ask-athlon-nfl
Body:

Q: What’s the farthest an NFL quarterback has ever thrown a football in practice?

— Al Gabel, Rockford, Ill.

A: Al, it’s tough to provide a definitive answer to your question. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that strong-armed gunners like Steve Bartkowski, Randall Cunningham and JaMarcus Russell could heave it close to 100 yards in the air, but no video evidence exists that we’ve been able to uncover. (Russell was touted for being able to throw it 75 yards from his knees, as though that were a useful skill.)

As for a game? We can at least cite a contender for longest pass. In 1966, Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith (left) and receiver Bob Hayes hooked up on a 95-yard touchdown, and reports have Dandy Don launching the ball 83 yards in the air, before Bullet Bob took it the rest of the way for the score. We’ll give the nod to Dandy Don, unless readers can provide definitive evidence to the contrary.

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.
 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 16:55
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Links, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-12
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for August 17.

• Former Major League pitcher Tommy John disagrees with the plan to shut down Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg in September.

The Onion has a funny look at Tim Tebow’s “favorite target” at Jets camp.

• NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah previews this weekend’s NFL preseason action.

• Mandatory.com lists some entertaining movies for those of you missing the Olympics.

• Inside the ACC looks at the effects of the North Carolina academic scandal.

• Notre Dame is breaking out a pretty unusual helmet for the Miami game at Soldier Field this season.

• The American League MVP and Cy Young votes will be highly debated.

• Nike is planning a 16-team college basketball tournament in 2017 to celebrate founder Phil Knight’s birthday.

• Check out Chiefs fan Steve Graham, who has the Kansas City logo on his glass eye.

• Ryan Tannehill will start for the Dolphins tonight against the Panthers.

• We are SO ready for college football to begin. Check out these top highlights from last season.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 16

• Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against the Rays, and that established an MLB first with three “perfectos” in one season.

• Bleacher Report’s Ian Casselberry analyzes the the very costly 50-game suspension of the Giants’ Melky Cabrera.

• Redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel has won the starting quarterback gig at Texas A&M.

• Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley is footing the athletic bill for many kids in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, where the school district was going to charge athletes to participate.

• Always nice to enjoy your morning cereal….from the Stanley Cup.

• It was just a “friendly”, but the USA soccer team racked up an historic win in Mexico.

• The NFL Referee's Association is still bickering with the league, who seems content to start the season with replacement refs.

• It looks like Maryland will go with a true freshman at quarterback after C.J. Brown’s season-ending injury.

• FOX Sports releases its preseason Heisman watch.

• Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan has been charged with helping to orchestrate an $80 million Ponzi scheme.

• Russell Westbrook messes with Team USA and Oklahoma City teammate James Harden’s epic beard in this new ad.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 15

• Because of a nationwide helium shortage, the long-time Nebraska tradition of releasing balloons after the first touchdown has been put on hold.

• Speaking of touchdown routines, Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey has found an interesting way to encourage his team not to celebrate.

• For fans of The Big Lebowski, this moment had to be epic. The Dude abides.

• Chadd Scott of ChuckOliver.net looks at the future of the ACC.

• How serious is the spleen injury to Cowboys tight end Jason Witten?

• It looks like the new Champions Bowl will either be played in New Orleans or in Arlington, Texas.

• The new NBA2K13 game will feature the 1992 “Dream Team.”

• The Red Sox clubhouse is a mess…again.

• If you’re a Vikings defender at training camp, do not touch 28.

• The North Carolina academic scandal continues to raise more questions.

• Check out who’s taking batting practice in Toronto: Charlie Sheen. He doesn’t have much of a swing, but at least Rick Vaughn has finally learned that we wear caps and sleeves in the league.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 14

• Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher had arthroscopic knee surgery this morning but still expects to be ready for the season opener against Indianapolis.

• The Red Sox nation is mourning the passing of Boston legend Johnny Pesky, who was a player, manager and broadcaster for the club during a career that lasted more than 60 years.

• Mark Blaudschun has the scoop on new Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco.

• I was told to check out this amazing photo with water and a hair flip. It definitely is…quite the picture.

• San Diego State head coach Rocky Long may not have his team punt this season. Awesome.

• There seems to be some secrecy in Gainesville regarding a shoulder injury to quarterback Jeff Driskel.

• Former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe may have looked a little strange in a Yankees uniform, but the veteran pitcher notched his first save since 2001 in his New York debut.

• Mandatory.com looks at some strange fast food items from around the globe.

• FOX’s Ken Rosenthal details the promotion of heralded Orioles prospect Manny Machado to the majors at age 20.

• John Carvalho calls out the AJC’s reporting on an investigation regarding Auburn commit Reuben Foster.

Former Bears and 49ers defensive tackle Anthony Adams is now an NFL free agent, and he’s thinking about pursuing his first love — the NBA. Check out his hilarious hoops video.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 13

• FOX Sports’ Greg Couch looks at some of the biggest winners from the London Olympics, including the fans.

• After Rory McIlroy’s dominant PGA win, the Tiger Woods comparisons are bound to begin.

• Many people are inspired by the Olympics and want to be more athletic. This diver is going to need a little more training.

• USC’s Lane Kiffin is giving up his vote in the Coaches’ poll after lying to the media about selecting his Trojans No. 1.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee examines the Auburn quarterback battle.

• First it was Chris Johnson of the Titans. Now Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson thinks he could beat Olympic Champion Usain Bolt in the 40-yard dash.

• Here are some amazing photos from the end of the Olympic Games in London.

• Andrew Luck had quite the debut with the Colts.

• FOX MLB insider John Paul Morosi says goodbye Olympics, hello MLB. He’s bullish on the Rays and thinks the Red Sox “are toast.”

• Should Doug Collins be the next Team USA basketball coach?

• Either James Bond or Marty McFly was navigating through McCovey Cove outside at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, August 17, 2012 - 11:42
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-ten-non-conference-games-september
Body:

The much-anticipated college football season is almost here, and we cannot wait for toe to meet leather on the gridiron. From Cowboys Stadium to the Rose Bowl to the Georgia Dome, here are the top intersectional games to put on your calendar for August and September.

1. Alabama vs. Michigan (Sept. 1 at Arlington, Texas)
This gridiron battle has it all: two tradition-laden programs, the SEC versus the Big Ten, a defense-dominated defending national champion trying to stop college football’s most electric QB weapon and the hype that goes with Saturday night at Jerry’s World on college football’s opening weekend. Could a Wolverines win be the Big Ten’s most satisfying victory in a decade? B1G fans live to see their teams beat SEC squads, who have won six consecutive national titles. Alabama holds the current championship belt but lost four key defenders — Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw — in the first 35 picks of the NFL Draft. The revamped Tide defense has plenty of talent, but stopping Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson will provide quite the challenge. The speedy senior signal caller has accounted for 68 touchdowns over the last two seasons and can be a matchup nightmare. Michigan could be without star running back Fitzgerald Toussaint after some off-the-field trouble this summer. College football fans will be fired up for the Wolverines and the Crimson Tide: this is must-see TV.

2. Boise State at Michigan State (Aug. 31)
The Broncos have been the BCS killer in season-openers, beating Georgia, Virginia Tech and Oregon over the last three years. While Chris Petersen has an amazing record of 73-6 as a head coach, Boise State suffered major personnel attrition this offseason. The Broncos lost NFL first-round selections Shea McClellin and Doug Martin, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history (Kellen Moore), All-America offensive lineman Nate Potter, as well as key defenders in George Iloka, Billy Winn and Tyrone Crawford. The offense has potential with proven players like running back D.J. Harper, receivers Matt Miller and Mitch Burroughs and three starters back on the line. Joe Southwick takes over at quarterback, and he will be challenged big time in the opener. MSU has eight starters back from the Big Ten’s top defense of 2011, and the Spartans could be even better this year. Powerful back Le’Veon Bell and four offensive line starters return on the MSU attack, so the focus for Mark Dantonio and staff will be the development of new quarterback Andrew Maxwell and an inexperienced receivers group. This game would be a huge W for either program.

3. Washington at LSU (Sept. 8)
The Tigers were the most dominant team in the country last season from September to December, producing big-time wins over Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia. Then there was the dud in the BCS Championship Game. LSU will be right back in the national mix this year with its usual physical run game and top-level defense. The big question early for the Tigers will be how much new quarterback Zach Mettenberger can improve the passing game. Les Miles’ bunch should be able to score points on a Washington defense that struggled mightily a year ago, but the Huskies can light up scoreboards as well with Keith Price at quarterback. He led the UW offense to over 33 points per game last season, and top pass-catchers Austin Seferian-Jenkins at tight end and Kasen Williams at receiver could become stars in 2012. They will need to play well versus LSU, as running the ball on the Tigers defense can be very difficult. Steve Sarkisian’s crew will face a wild atmosphere with a night game in Baton Rouge, but this game will give his squad a good litmus test before Pac-12 play.

4. Michigan at Notre Dame (Sept. 22)
The 2011 version of this rivalry was a tale of two games. The Irish led 24-7 after three quarters in Ann Arbor, but then the ND defense fell apart as the Wolverines scored 28 fourth-quarter points to win, 35-31, in dramatic fashion. Brian Kelly’s club had a solid campaign overall last year but did suffer from way too many turnovers and some defensive lapses. The big question for the Irish offense will be at quarterback, as Everett Golson, incumbent Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix compete for the starting gig. Whoever wins the job will face a Michigan defense that improved greatly under coordinator Greg Mattison last year. The Wolverines front seven has some question marks, but the secondary should be a solid group. The UM offense will look for Denard Robinson’s playmaking ability to take over once again, although All-America Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o will lead a quality defense with a tough front seven. It is unusual to see this game as each team’s fourth contest of the season, but expect another classic like we have witnessed over the last three years.

5. Auburn vs. Clemson (Sept. 1 at Atlanta, Ga.)
Dabo Swinney’s bunch beat a very inexperienced Auburn team, 38-24, in Death Valley last September. Star freshman receiver Sammy Watkins led the victorious Tigers that day with 10 catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. However the sophomore All-America candidate will be suspended (offseason arrest) for Clemson’s first two games of 2012, which is huge news for an Auburn club looking for revenge in the Georgia Dome. Quarterback Tajh Boyd, receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back Andre Ellington will still give Clemson a formidable attack, but there is no doubt Watkins will be sorely missed in this contest. That group will face a tougher AU defense coordinated by Brian VanGorder in 2012, with all four line starters (including All-America candidate Corey Lemonier) and a quality secondary back. Scot Loeffler takes over an Auburn offense looking for a consistent signal caller (Kiehl Frazier or Clint Moseley), but he does have solid senior skill players in running back Onterio McCalebb, receiver Emory Blake and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen. Clemson also has a new defensive boss in Brent Venables, who will look for major improvement on a unit that gave up over 29 points per game last season.

6. Notre Dame at Michigan State (Sept. 15)
This September rivalry provided an unusual game in South Bend last season. The Spartans had more yards, first downs and won the turnover battle, but the Irish dominated the scoreboard for a 31-13 victory. MSU could not run the ball (23 carries for 29 yards) in last year’s loss, and that will need to change this season with junior Andrew Maxwell replacing Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Notre Dame could have a new QB starter as well, with Tommy Rees suspended for the first game in Ireland against Navy. His absence will allow Everett Golson or Andrew Hendrix a chance to take over at signal caller, and whoever has the job in this game will face a challenge versus the Big Ten’s best defense.

7. Tennessee vs. NC State (Aug. 31 at Atlanta, Ga.)
This Friday night opener is absolutely huge game for both programs. Tennessee’s Derek Dooley has gone 11-14 in two seasons at the helm in Knoxville, and the Vols need to give their coach and the fan base a signature victory. The UT defense will have to adjust to new coordinator Sal Sunseri, but the offense could be electric with quarterback Tyler Bray and big-time receivers Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter leading the way. For the Wolfpack, the 2012 season brings high expectations because of seven starters returning on both sides of the ball and a senior signal caller in Mike Glennon (over 3,000 yards passing and 31 touchdowns in 2011). The NC State defense finished eighth nationally in sacks a year ago and led the country in interceptions with 27. The Wolfpack secondary versus the Vols receivers will be a great positional matchup.

8. Washington State at BYU (Sept. 1)
The college football world is eagerly awaiting the return of Mike Leach to the sidelines. The former Texas Tech coach will now lead WSU after compiling an 84-43 record and 10 consecutive bowl appearances during his decade in Lubbock. The swashbuckling bench boss will inherit a senior quarterback in Jeff Tuel and an All-America candidate at receiver in Marquess Wilson. The WSU offense should continue to be productive under Leach, but the defense must improve for new coordinator Mike Breske. BYU should have a quality passing game as well, with senior signal caller Riley Nelson throwing to solid receivers in Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo. Bronco Mendenhall will have another top defense led by a veteran linebackers unit, but Washington State’s passing attack can provide tough matchups. Leach’s return and a fun atmosphere makes this battle of Cougars a must watch.

9. Nebraska at UCLA (Sept. 8)
This Big Ten-Pac 12 battle has some compelling storylines. The Cornhuskers have had some interesting trips to the West Coast over the years, and current NU stars Taylor Martinez and Daimion Stafford hail from the southern California. The Bruins open at Rice, but hosting the Huskers will be the Rose Bowl debut for new head coach Jim Mora. The former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks boss will try to turn around a program that is solid with talent and tradition, but has struggled to score points in recent seasons. The UCLA defense returns eight starters, and they will be challenged heavily by Nebraska’s vaunted running attack. Stud runner Rex Burkhead and Martinez at quarterback will look to exploit a Bruins run defense that finished 96th nationally last season, although UCLA should be much better up front this year. The NU defense is also looking for improvement after a subpar 2011, so wild things could happen in this storied venue.

10. Florida State at South Florida (Sept. 29)
These Sunshine State schools have only met once on the gridiron, with the Bulls upsetting the Seminoles in Tallahassee, 17-7, in 2009. This one will be in Tampa, and USF definitely has FSU’s attention after non-conference wins over Notre Dame, Miami and Clemson over the last two seasons. The Bulls return a veteran defense that finished 15th nationally against the run a year ago but failed to finish games strongly in Big East play. A solid linebacking crew led by DeDe Lattimore should be able to stifle the FSU run game, so the Noles may have to rely on the passing of senior quarterback EJ Manuel. Conversely, the Florida State defense is among the best in the country and will make life for USF quarterback B.J. Daniels very difficult. Expect a hard-hitting, low-scoring affair when these two talented rosters go at it.

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

 

Related College Football Content

Ranking the SEC's Must-See Games for 2012
Ranking the Big 12's Must-See Games for 2012

Ranking the SEC's Top 75 Players for 2012

Ranking the Pac-12's Top 50 Players for 2012

Ranking the Big 12's Top 50 Players for 2012

Ranking the Big Ten's Top 50 Players for 2012

College Football's Top 10 Players Returning From Injury

Projecting College Football's Win Totals for 2012

Athlon's 2012 Bowl Projections

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top Ten Non-Conference Games of September</p>
Post date: Friday, August 17, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/former-nfl-lineman-makes-hysterical-hoops-video
Body:

Former Bears and 49ers defensive tackle Anthony Adams is now an NFL free agent, and he’s thinking about pursuing his first love — the NBA. Check out his hilarious hoops video. Those Bulls shorts are pretty damn tight. Ya feel me?

Teaser:
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Post date: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 14:49
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /news/spectacular-crash-pikes-peak
Body:

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is inherently dangerous; major elevation, high-speed cars and no fencing. Check out this amazing crash from Sunday by Jeremy Foley and co-driver Yuri Kouznetsov in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. Thankfully, the drivers reportedly had only minor injuries. But maybe there’s a reason it’s called “Devil's Playground.”

{H/T @Justin_Hyde}
 

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 17:04
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/awesome-delorean-boat-san-francisco-giants-game
Body:

Either James Bond or Marty McFly was navigating through McCovey Cove outside at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Friday.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 15:14
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-11
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for August 10.

• The Lakers acquisition of big man Dwight Howard has some people thinking that Los Angeles is now the NBA’s team to beat.

• There was huge news in the SEC and college football earlier today with the announcement that LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman finalist last season, has been dismissed from the team for violating school and team rules.

• To the surprise of no one, Kentucky’s John Calipari topped CBSSports.com's college basketball coaches’ survey as the sport’s biggest cheater. CBS also got some feedback on Cal’s influential “friend”, World Wide Wes.

• Mike Klis of the Denver Post looks at Peyton Manning’s return to the field in his Broncos debut.

• Today is a tough day for Orlando Magic fans, with another All-Star big man leaving them for Los Angeles.

• Tigers manager Jim Leyland believes that his top slugger, Miguel Cabrera, deserves the American League MVP over rookie Mike Trout of the Angels.

• New UCLA coach Jim Mora unfortunately pulled a “Lane Kiffin” with some recent comments, and then he tried to back off.

• Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has no respect for Carl Lewis.

• The Chargers realized every team’s preseason fear last night, losing starting running back Ryan Mathews for four to six weeks to a broken clavicle.

• It looks like the Seattle Seahawks violated NFL rules by practicing Terrell Owens on the first day.

• Check out Amare Stoudemire training in Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon. Amare breaks out the old school short-shorts and even gets in a dig at Jeremy Lin at the end.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 9

• Titans running back Chris Johnson believes he could beat Usain Bolt in the 40-yard dash, and maybe even in the 100 meters if he trained for it. Tennessee fans just hope Johnson can get back to totaling 100 meters in football games.

• ESPN’s Joe Schad sits down with a remorseful Bobby Petrino.

• If you’re going to accidentally dial 911, it probably should not be during a drug deal like this Scranton man. Ryan?

• Can Tiger Woods still reach 19 majors?

• Controversial Titans receiver Kenny Britt seems intent on reviving the old Chappelle Show skit, “When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong.”

• The NBA and other factions have expressed a desire for an age limit with Olympic basketball, but SI.com’s Ian Thomsen says that will not happen by 2016.

• They did it. For the third straight Olympics, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won the gold medal in beach volleyball.

• Some ex-Penn State players are not enamored with the decision to add names to the backs of the Nittany Lions uniforms.

• Oregon coaches say there is no urgency to name a starting quarterback.

• New Giants infielder Marco Scutaro had an amazing night in a historic rout of the Cardinals.

• There has been no official word on Grenade Fishing becoming an Olympic sport in 2016. We can only hope.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 8

• NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Cam Newton says he’d like to have a girlfriend, but not one who is just after fame and money. 99 problems...

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett writes that Illinois will play the Washington Huskies at Soldier Field in 2013, and that the Illini and Northwestern are competing heavily for supremacy in Chicago.

• Ah yes, older parents and technology.

• Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal calls out the critics of Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones.

• CBS’ Bruce Feldman ranks college football’s ten most valuable non-quarterbacks.

• Check out some wonderful photos from the Olympics.

• SI.com’s Chris Mannix examines the state of USA amateur boxing, after the American team failed to win a medal in the Olympics for the first time ever.

• Mandatory.com looks at some of the wildest stunts ever performed.

• Browns’ top pick Trent Richardson has a sore knee and may not play against the Lions in the preseason opener.

• West Virginia has signed head coach Dana Holgorsen to a contract extension through 2017.

• The New York Yankees are 3-7 on their last 10 games. And if things weren’t tough enough, look what happened last night to relief pitcher Cody Eppley via third baseman Eric Chavez.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 7

• Ex-Jets quarterback and current broadcaster Boomer Esiason believes that New York should cut Tim Tebow because his presence is not benefiting the team.

• SI.com’s Andy Staples chronicles how television has changed college football.

• Check out Ricky Gervais jumping in the car with Jerry Seinfeld on their way to grab coffee, and the two comedians commenting on various aspects of life.

• Joe Posnanski looks at the mystery that is Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt.

• He’s back. Controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens has signed with the Seattle Seahawks after not playing in the NFL last season. Is there anything left in the tank at age 38?

• The Wisconsin Badgers will wear an alternate uniform for the Nebraska game, as will the Cornhuskers. Both schools have adidas-designed uniforms, and this game will feature the block “W” versus the block “N.”

• USA basketball easily took care of Argentina, 126-97, but Carmelo Anthony was not celebrating after receiving a cheap shot.

• It appears that Dodge will pull out of NASCAR after the 2012 season.

• Angels ace Jered Weaver is an amazing 15-1 after only 20 starts.

• So how did you stack up in the Google Olympics today?

Dodgers legendary broadcaster Vin Scully is hysterical as he does play-by-play of Rockies manager Jim Tracy getting kicked out of the game. The fun starts a little over a minute into the video; that is “blinkin’ fertilizer.”

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 6

• A huge story is brewing in the NFL, with ESPN reporting that the league has offered to lessen the suspension of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma if he drops a civil lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL denies the report, but this controversy is going to get very interesting.

• Check out this great interactive presentation by the New York Times on Usain Bolt’s speed versus other sprinters throughout Olympic history.

• If you missed it last Friday night in London, the combination of the Olympic rings and the moon made for a wonderful visual.

• Dave Miller of the National Football Post looks at some of college football’s best coordinators.

• How cool is it that the Upton brothers — B.J. of the Rays and Justin of the Diamondbacks — both hit career home run No. 100 on the same night?

• ESPN/ABC has released its lineup of college football announcing crews for the upcoming season.

• He may not medal in the 400-meter run, but double leg amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa has inspired everyone at the Olympics.

• The Cincinnati Reds have the best record in baseball and a 4.5-game lead in the NL Central, and their next 18 games are against opponents who currently have a losing record.

• Want a Patriots Super Bowl ring? Here you go.

• The extra wild card spot for the MLB postseason will add some suspense to September.

• Obviously bored in the fourth quarter of last night's Hall of Fame game, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock decides to sing Play that Funky Music for America. His “performance” starts about 30 seconds in to our Video of the Day.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 12:29
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, NBA, MLB, Olympics
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-10
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for August 3.

• Several MLB Facebook accounts were hacked yesterday, and Yankees fans received a strange message regarding Derek Jeter.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee and Michael Felder debate which powerhouse is the top dog in the SEC: Alabama or LSU?

• This Australian paper has a very interesting way of distinguishing between North and South Korea’s Olympic medal standing.

• Florida Gators recruiting coordinator and wide receiver coach Aubrey Hill has resigned. His name has been linked to the recruiting scandal at Miami that is currently being investigated.

• Here is another member of the Olympic all-name team.

• After trouncing Nigeria 156-73, USA Basketball had to play its first defense of the day — angrily denying questions on running up the score against the much-weaker opponent.

• CBS’ Danny Knobler previews this weekend’s most important MLB series.

• Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars is the only 2012 selection who has yet to sign with his new club.

• Check out this Illinois fan getting a rather interesting autograph from offensive lineman Graham Pocic.

• SB Nation has a fun look at the Olympic trampoline competition.

Will Ferrell gets extremely emotional on Conan over the breakup of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Damn Trampires.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 2

• Check out the inspiring story of Daniel Rodriguez, who won a Purple Heart while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and will now walk on at Clemson this fall.

• Will Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow be the ultimate touchdown vulture this season?

• Mandatory.com looks at some of the dumbest bets ever made.

• Three Oklahoma Sooners were reinstated by Bob Stoops, while promising OU center Ben Habern is ending his football career due to neck and back concerns.

• Are the Yankees still the favorite in the American League?

• ESPN Notre Dame blogger Matt Fortuna analyzes what the suspensions to quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese will mean for the Irish.

• Where did you have Dennis Rodman in the “person least likely to write a children’s book” pool?

• Kayla Harrison won the first-ever gold medal in judo for the United States.

• The Cleveland Browns have been sold for over $1 billion. Yes, those Browns.

• North Carolina might wear white helmets in a game this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is a living legend. He has been in the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1982, and the 84-year-old is still going strong today. Hearing Scully describe Twitter on a recent broadcast was golden.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


August 1

• Swimmer Michael Phelps broke the all-time Olympics record by winning his 19th career medal. An amazing 15 of those medals have been gold.

• ESPN’s Jayson Stark hands out “medals” for baseball’s winners and losers at the trade deadline.

• Check out this Olympic volleyball player’s interesting name.

• ESPN ACC blogger Heather Dinich has the latest on the dismissal of senior cornerback/punt returner Greg Reid at Florida State.

• The Pac-12 has been the beneficiary of Penn State’s top two transfers.

• If you’re looking for a new sport to follow during the Olympics, we suggest becoming a fan of the Australian synchronized swimming team.

• All-America running back Montee Ball is fine, but he experienced a scary moment on the Wisconsin campus.

• Has the Olympic ideal really come down to tanking badminton matches?

• With the announcement that Eastbound and Down is coming back to HBO, Kenny Powers’ fan are stocking up on Myrtle Beach Mermen gear.

• UCF will not be seeing the postseason for a while after being sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations.

Missouri offensive lineman Elvis Fisher has some interesting and funny demands before he returns to the field. The SEC has a new sarcasm star.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 31

• The MLB trade deadline commences at 4pm EST today, and MLBTraderumors.com will have the latest on all the deals. Many believe that Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster will end up with the Dodgers, who have already acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Phillies.

• NBC had a major gaffe last night, promoting the gold medal of swimmer Missy Franklin before the network showed her race.

AJC columnist Mark Bradley examines the Braves acquisition of red hot pitcher Paul Maholm and scrappy outfielder Reed Johnson from the Cubs.

• Here’s an interesting political candidate in Guam.

• The Yankees received good news on Mark Teixeira’s injured wrist, which has no structural damage. That fact may alleviate the need for New York to make a deal for a backup first baseman.

• This could be decision day for Penn State leading rusher Silas Redd, who is expected to transfer to USC.

• James Bond is back. Check out the trailer for Skyfall, which opens in November.

• Is Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale angry with management regarding the team’s offseason moves?

• A top running back decommits from Oklahoma because he wants to play in the SEC.

• The trade of offensive tackle Jeff Otah, the 19th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, from the Panthers to the Jets has been voided.

• We go back to Wrigley Field for a second straight day, where this Cubs fan has a slight tactical error with his marriage proposal. But unlike the “Loveable Losers” on the field, everything worked out fine in the end.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 30

• NBC’s tape-delayed coverage of the Olympics over the weekend is drawing heavy criticism around America.

• ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben had an interesting first-team All-Big 12 vote, selecting Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein at running back.

• Did Packers tight end D.J. Williams really use cow-wrestling as an offseason training program?

• France upset the United States in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, with Ryan Lochte being passed on the last leg of the race.

• FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi thinks the Phillies and Red Sox, usually contenders who are acquiring players at the trade deadline, should sell this season.

American Pie star Jason Biggs was attacked by a monkey in Gibraltar and had to return to the United States. No word yet if the monkey was influenced by bath salts.

• Andre Johnson has already suffered a slight groin injury in camp, which has the Texans — and fantasy owners — worried.

• Mike Dyer was a star in the BCS Championship Game less than two years ago, but now he’s a runner without a team after being dismissed from another school.

• SMU players fall victim to a different type of “pay for play” scheme.

• How will Jacque Vaughn’s hiring affect the Dwight Howard saga in Orlando?

• New Illinois football coach Tim Beckman gives us a unique version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley Field.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, August 3, 2012 - 11:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-9
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 27.

• Former NFL player and current agent Ralph Cindrich appeared on a Pittsburgh radio show and essentially accused Alabama coach Nick Saban of cheating.

• Not only were the United States’ Olympic uniforms made in China, but you can’t find anyone that actually likes the way they look. No word yet if the athletes will have their names on the berets like Rusty from European Vacation.

• Staying with unusual looks, check out Nebraska’s alternate uniform for the Wisconsin game this season.

• Joe Lucia looks at ten top targets who could be moved soon with MLB’s trade deadline approaching rapidly.

• A 48-year man in Oklahoma City repeatedly told police that he was Justin Bieber while being arrested.

• All eyes were on new Denver quarterback Peyton Manning on the first day of Broncos training camp.

• Next season’s NBA schedule was released. The opening-night tripleheader will be headlined by the Celtics meeting the Heat and Steve Nash debuting in Los Angeles.

• Slate.com has a great interactive piece on how Olympians compare over time.

• Apparently Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer likes to rap. Good thing he has a ton of pitching potential.

• Bears defensive back D.J. Moore decided to reach out to his fans to borrow a television for training camp.

• The fun/nightmare has already started at Jets training camp, as the New York media wades through the Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow quarterback competition. Check out what one reporter says to Sanchez…

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 26

• Jaguars management has stated that Maurice Jones-Drew will not get a new contract with two years left on his current deal, so the Pro Bowl running back will not report to training camp.

• Who would not want a ‘Zim Bear’ from the Tampa Bay Rays?

• Wow, a Gary and Ace sighting.

Northwestern’s new uniforms are a little different.

• Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias has an interesting piece on Charlie Strong and Louisville using preseason predictions as motivation.

• Bleacher Report’s Michael Felder looks at an excellent recruiting start for Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who is trying to majorly upgrade his talent level on defense.

• So apparently Audrina Patridge’s bikini is “causing a commotion” on Twitter. After extensive research, we see no reason for controversy.

• Will USC coach Lane Kiffin pilfer leading rusher Silas Redd off of the Penn State roster?

• Gawker breaks down entertainment’s craziest family, the Jacksons.

• It looks like NFL management may be giving up on expanding to an 18-game schedule.

Eccentric San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is out for the season due to injury, so he has plenty of time on his hands. And Sasqutach from the Jack Links ads is tired of getting punked out in the woods. So naturally, they decided to have a talk show together.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 25

• Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was hit in the hand by a pitch last night in Seattle. The fracture will likely cost the three-time MVP at least six weeks on the disabled list.

• The Dodgers new ownership promised big things when took over earlier this season, and that started last night with their acquisition of three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez.

• Oh, the irony.

• Panthers center Ryan Kalil lets us know that Carolina will win this year’s Super Bowl.

• CBS’ Jon Heyman has all the details on Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels signing a contract extension to stay in Philadelphia.

The Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale visits with victims of the Aurora tragedy.

• ESPN blogger David Ubben has the latest and greatest from Big 12 Media Days.

RIP George Jefferson.

• The U.S. Olympic basketball easily handled Spain last night in what could be the gold-medal game in London.

• U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo’s autobiography comes out in August. The Olympian details a rough childhood and says that she was conceived during a conjugal visit.

• A group of Penn State football players decided to make a statement on their commitment to the program after the massive NCAA sanctions that were handed down earlier this week.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 24

• The decision for some top Penn State players of whether or not to transfer could have a big impact on the 2012 college football season.

• Ichiro Suzuki may have faded from his former All-Star level with the Mariners over the last couple of seasons, but he could be a valuable asset to the Yankees.

• Check out the unique and inspiring story of former Iowa State marathoner Guor Marial, a Sudanese refugee who will compete in the 2012 Olympics in London as an independent athlete.

• Michigan has unveiled a special uniform for the huge season-opener in Dallas versus defending national champion Alabama.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee ranks the SEC’s head coaches.

• Leave it to Jack Daniel’s to write the nicest cease-and-desist letter ever.

• Jim Young shares some entertaining stories from ACC Media Days.

• The Marlins dealt veterans Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers yesterday. Could shortstop Hanley Ramirez be leaving Miami next?

• As expected, USC and Oregon were picked overwhelmingly by the Pac-12 media to win their respective divisions.

• After all of the craziness involving Dwight Howard this offseason, the Magic may not move him.

• When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes of the CFL get together, the excitement level is going to be high. We all know that. But former New Mexico State and current Ti-Cat receiver Chris Williams loses his cool and celebrates a little early on this return.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 23

• The NCAA delivered its sweeping sanctions on the Penn State football program today.

• The NCAA is often criticized, but many around the country believe the controversial organization got it right when it comes to Penn State’s punishment.

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg looks at the damaging effect of Penn State’s scholarship reductions.

• The Chicago Cubs dressed as “Superheroes” in St. Louis on Sunday. They may have looked super but played more like Nick Fury, getting outscored 23-1 in a weekend of getting swept by the Cardinals.

• Peyton Manning and the Broncos have reached out to the victims of the Aurora tragedy.

• Mandatory.com looks at some unusual past Olympic events. Solo synchronized swimming?

• The SI Golf Group breaks down the dramatic British Open finish, from Adam Scott’s collapse to the win for Ernie Els to what it means moving forward.

• The Oakland A’s swept the Yankees over the weekend and have gone 14-2 in the month of June.

• So Chad Johnson Ochocinco is now back to, well, Chad Johnson.

• The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona (now Roberto Hernandez) must serve a suspension for using a false identity. His Indians teammates welcomed Hernandez back with three birthday cakes.

• Boxer Adrien Broner looked like he was going for a marriage proposal after his recent fight, but this happened instead.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 11:58
All taxonomy terms: Olympic Gold Medals, Olympics
Path: /olympics/what-country-has-most-gold-medals-over-last-five-olympics
Body:

As we head into the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we take a moment to look back at the gold medal-winning dominance of the United States over the past five games. Here's a look at how the U.S., China, Russia and other countries stack up in the medal count. 

Teaser:
<p> Most Gold Medals Over the Last Five Olympics</p>
Post date: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 07:16
All taxonomy terms: USA Basketball, NBA, Olympics
Path: /nba/usa-basketball-not-guaranteed-gold
Body:

The majority of the 2008 Beijing Olympics “Redeem Team” — the gold medal squad led by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul — returns to defend its global roundball crown. This time, the team will also include Kevin Durant, the NBA scoring champion, Finals runner-up and MVP of the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey (leading a roster with no ’08 Olympians).

At first glance, Team USA appears poised to claim its 14th Olympic gold medal in men’s basketball. That, however, is not necessarily a given. There are several potential problems that could derail the overwhelming favorites.

INJURIES

Dwyane Wade (knee), Dwight Howard (back) and Derrick Rose (knee) will be sitting out with injuries. Wade was the leading scorer on the “Redeem Team,” Howard was the national team’s starting center and Rose was the NBA’s MVP in 2010-11. This leaves Team USA without three of the top 10 players in the world.

M.I.A.

Andrew Bynum and Rajon Rondo would be potential replacements for Howard and Rose, at center and point guard, respectively. But both have made it clear that they do not want to play basketball during the NBA offseason. “I love my summers. I’ll leave it at that,” said Rondo, the NBA’s assists leader last season.

FINALS HANGOVER

LeBron just won his first NBA title. Both Durant and Russell Westbrook are fresh off a disappointing defeat. Who knows where the focus of that talented (yet emotional) trio will be in the weeks leading up to London?

SIZE

Without the imposing 6'11", 265-pound Howard patrolling the paint, Team USA will be forced to lean on reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler for heavy minutes or go small, with LeBron playing more like Karl Malone than Magic Johnson. A quicker lineup lacking size down low may run into a problem against Spain’s wall of 7-footers.

SHOOTING

LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo and Durant are all scorers, but Team USA lacks the pure outside shooters that are emphasized under FIBA rules — which include a shorter 3-point line (22'1" compared to NBA’s 23'9" distance), wider lane and no basket interference (unlike NBA). The team’s top playmaker, Paul, may also be its best jump shooter.

MOTIVATION

In 1992, the “Dream Team” avenged the humiliating 1988 bronze-medal showing. In 2008, the “Redeem Team” got payback for the shocking bronze-medal finish of 2004, while also securing hardware for first-time gold medalists like Kobe and LeBron. Heading into London, the only motivation appears to be national and personal pride. Hopefully that will be enough.
 

Teaser:
<p> USA Basketball Is Not Guaranteed Gold in London</p>
Post date: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 06:39
All taxonomy terms: dream team, Olympics, NBA, Olympics
Path: /nba/dream-team-still-defines-olympic-greatness
Body:

Eleven future Hall of Famers — Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Chris Mullin and Clyde Drexler — and one college kid, Duke’s Christian Laettner, changed the game of basketball forever with a once-in-a-lifetime, whirlwind tour during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. “It was like Elvis and the Beatles put together,” said Dream Team head coach Chuck Daly. “Traveling with the Dream Team was like traveling with 12 rock stars. That’s all I can compare it to.”

Arguably the greatest group ever assembled in the history of team sports, the Dream Team posted a perfect 8–0 record, winning by an average margin of 43.8 points en route to recapturing the gold medal — which Team USA was unable to win in 1988 — with a 117–85 victory over Croatia.

But the Dream Team did much more than just run full-court layup lines on offense, suffocate comically overmatched opponents on defense (.365 field goal percentage) and sign autographs for anyone with a pen. Jordan’s breakaway dunks, Magic’s passes and Bird’s 3-point marksmanship inspired a new generation, forever changing who and where basketball was to be played.

On the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Olympics, it is safe to say that the Dream Team made basketball a truly global game.
 

Teaser:
<p> USA basketball Dream Team Still Defines Olympic Greatness</p>
Post date: Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 05:58
All taxonomy terms: Olympics
Path: /olympics/1972-usa-basketball-team-should-have-won-gold
Body:

Before the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Doug Collins was invited to speak to the U.S. men’s basketball team at a Las Vegas training camp. Collins talked about his experience at the 1972 Games in Munich.

A tape was shown to the eventual 2008 gold medalists of the last part of the 1972 gold-medal game between the U.S. and Soviet Union. With three seconds left and his team down, 49-48, Collins was knocked hard to the floor on a drive.

Collins had hit his head on a basket support and was slow getting up. Finally, while still woozy, he drilled two free throws for a 50-49 lead.

“They didn’t show the rest of the finish," Collins said. “They wanted to end it on my two free throws to make it look like we’d won."

That’s the way the 12 players from that 1972 team believe it should have finished. Of course, it didn’t.

In perhaps the most controversial sports ending in history, the Soviets got three more attempts to score. After two questionable clock re-settings, a length-of the floor pass found its way to Alexander Belov, who made a layup at the buzzer for what remains in the record books a 51-50 Soviet win.

To this day, the American players don’t acknowledge the loss. They have refused to accept their silver medals, which sit in an International Olympic Committee vault in Switzerland. Team captain Kenny Davis has put in his will that no one in his family ever can accept his.

“If anybody looks at that game rationally, they believe we should have won," Davis said.

Davis has scheduled a team reunion for late August in his native Kentucky. It’s likely the first time all those Olympians have gotten together since 1972.

“It’s going to be a celebration of what a bunch of young guys went through as teammates in 1972, and how it forged our lives," said Collins, who will be an NBC basketball analyst this summer in London for a fourth straight Olympics and says “emotions still become a little raw’’ during medal ceremonies.

Collins, now the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, went on to become a notable NBA player, coach and broadcaster. Tom Henderson (1978 Washington) and Bobby Jones (1983 76ers) won NBA title rings. Tom McMillen went on to serve three terms in Congress.

“Really, it was a basketball highjacking," McMillen says now. “It’s one of those things that’s like groundhog day. It pops its head up generally on anniversaries."

McMillen said the Americans were “political pawns" during the Cold War. Entering the 1972 Olympics, Team USA had won seven straight Olympic basketball gold medals, and the Soviets badly wanted to end that streak.

The Munich Games are most notable for being interrupted by Palestinian terrorists, who captured and eventually killed 11 Israeli coaches and athletes. That does put matters in perspective for the basketball players.

“They came out of there in caskets and we were able to come back home and live full lives," Davis said.

The Games were stopped for 24 hours after the Sept. 5 tragedy. On Sept. 9, the gold-medal game was played.

The Americans fought back from a 10-point second-half deficit to take the lead on Collins' free throws, which McMillen calls “the two gustiest free throws in the history of basketball." The Soviets inbounded, but play was stopped with one second left when a Soviet coach ran out to protest that his team had called a timeout. Great Britain’s William Jones, the international basketball head who had no Olympics jurisdiction and had said before that America’s domination of the sport wasn’t good, then came out of the stands to rule the clock be reset to three seconds.

A long Soviet pass went awry. The Americans ran onto the court to celebrate wildly.

“I feel to this day that we actually won the gold medal twice," Bobby Jones said.

But the Soviets got a third try when it was ruled the clock had been reset improperly. Again given three seconds, the Soviets finally took advantage, as a long inbound pass went to Belov, who scored in between Jim Forbes and Kevin Joyce, who both went sprawling.

“Now, I just leave the room," Forbes said of the replays. “You get tired of seeing yourself look up and watching the guy score the winning basket."

Forbes, who said Belov bumped him, was very angry after it happened but said he’s “not bitter" anymore. Still, Forbes, a longtime high school basketball coach in El Paso, Texas, avoids talking to his players about the game.

“If I complain, I don’t want my players to think that they can have an excuse if we lose," Forbes said.

The Americans still don’t believe they lost, even though a protest was denied by a 3-2 vote, with the votes against them all from Communist bloc nations. McMillen 10 years ago unsuccessfully petitioned the IOC to award duplicate gold medals.

“It was a really good team," Collins said. “But we are bonded together through pain, through the feeling that the game was sort of taken away from us."

Years later, at least there is the option of turning off the game with three seconds left.

--- By Chris Tomasson
 

Teaser:
<p> 1972 USA Basketball Team was robbed in the gold medal game versus the Soviet Union.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 05:55
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/ask-athlon-sports-baseball-statistics
Body:

Q: What the heck does OPS stand for, and how is it computed?

— Bob Perron, Jacksonville, Fla.

A: Bob, it’s not nearly as mysterious as it sounds. OPS simply stands for on-base percentage plus slugging percentage. Combining those two key offensive stats provides a convenient method for judging a player’s offensive value. It’s not the be-all and end-all — no single stat is — but it’s a valuable way to measure production.

Charlie Miller, Editorial Director

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.
 

Teaser:
<p> Explaining baseball's OPS</p>
Post date: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 15:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/ask-athlon-sports-jim-brown
Body:

Q: Do you agree that Jim Brown is the greatest running back in history?

— Al Gabel, Rockford, Ill.

A: Al, I have to agree with you. Brown redefined greatness at his position with numbers that dwarfed any before him. When Brown arrived on the scene as the Browns’ first pick in 1957, there had been eight 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history, and no one player had produced more than two such seasons. Brown had seven 1,000-yard seasons in his nine years. His career average of 104.3 rushing yards per game is still an NFL standard, and he amassed 126 touchdowns rushing and receiving in 118 career games. But numbers on a page don’t do justice to Brown’s unique greatness. He possessed a combination of power, speed and durability that still serves as a benchmark for running backs. Despite taking a constant pounding, he never missed a game in his NFL career. The fact that he retired at the peak of his powers only adds to his mystique. They were doubtless thinking of Jim Brown when they coined the cliché: “They know what’s coming, but they just can’t stop it.”

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.
 

Teaser:
<p> Is Jim Brown the NFL's best all-time running back?</p>
Post date: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 15:36
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/ask-athlon-sports-will-clark
Body:

Q: I loved to watch Will “The Thrill” Clark play baseball, from his first at-bat in the majors, a home run to straightaway center field in Houston against another great, Nolan Ryan. Do you think Clark will ever get into the Hall of Fame?

— Steven Lunn, Santa Maria, Calif.

A: Early in his career, Clark looked like the reincarnation of Ted Williams, making six All-Star teams in his first nine years in the league. Clark was a sweet-swinging prodigy who earned the nickname “The Natural” in addition to the catchier “Will The Thrill.” Injuries, though, derailed Clark’s bullet train to Cooperstown. After his fifth season in the league, he never reached 150 games played in a season, so his career numbers just aren’t Hall-worthy. He had plenty of great moments, though — none greater than the 1989 National League Championship Series, when he batted .650 and pounded 13 hits in five games.

Charlie Miller, Editorial Director

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.
 

Teaser:
<p> Should Will Clark be in the Baseball Hall of Fame?</p>
Post date: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 15:33
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-8
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 20.

• NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah looks at the Ravens and their likelihood of getting a Joe Flacco deal done before camp.

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg reports that the league is not considering a plan to give the conference commissioner emergency powers to fire coaches or other athletic department officials.

• American Brandt Snedeker shot a 6-under 64 in the second round of the British Open. He now stands at 10-under, tying the record for the lowest 36-hole score in Open history.

• Stephen Colbert opines on Def Leppard covering Def Leppard tunes.

• Here’s a review of the preseason all-conference team from SEC Media Days, although I’m still not sure how you play three centers on the second-team offense.

• The Pac-12’s best position battle may be at Oregon, where quarterbacks Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota will compete to lead the Ducks potent offense.

• Team USA basketball easily cruised by Great Britain in an exhibition game in Manchester.

• The Wolfpacker’s Ryan Tice has the video of NC State coach Tom O’Brien going Bryce Harper with the ACC media.

• Check out this guy; he must be exhausted.

• The Royals and Rockies have swapped disappointing starting pitchers. Lefty Jonathan Sanchez heads back to the NL West while Jeremy Guthrie goes to Kansas City.

Steve Nash is now with the Lakers, and he is already feeling the whole Hollywood thing. Check out his impersonation of Vito Corleone from The Godfather.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 19

• Alabama’s Nick Saban thinks the SEC should increase the conference schedule to nine games.

• CBS’ Danny Knobler writes that the Texas Rangers have their sights on trading for Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels, but that a reunion with Cliff Lee could also be interesting.

• With “The Dark Knight Rises” debuting, Mandatory.com has put together some epic Batman Fails.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee has Arkansas coach John L. Smith’s explanation of his motivational phrase, “Get your piss hot.”

• Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com says Dwight Howard would sign long-term with the Lakers if a three-team trade can be executed between Los Angeles, Orlando and Cleveland.

• Michael Vick believes the Eagles can develop a dynasty.

• FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi looks the AL Central’s need for starting pitching with the trade deadline approaching.

• “Mad Men” and “American Horror Story” had the most Emmy nominations with 17 each.

• In the Penn State aftermath, the Big Ten may look at a plan where the league commissioner could fire coaches.

• It looks like Under Armour is getting into the “Dark Knight” craze.

• After enjoying a pizza on the mound while throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis introduce the Cubs lineup in their own unique way. Who knew Chicago’s second baseman walks on the beach naked?

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 18

• Steelers safety Troy Polamalu tells The Dan Patrick Show that he’s had eight or nine “recorded concussions” and that he’s definitely lied to doctors to get back on the field.

• Missouri wideout T.J. Moe was an entertaining quote machine at the SEC Media Days. However, Bleacher Report’s Michael Felder believes Moe was only half correct on his Big 12-SEC assessment.

• Most of us would be thrilled to just make it to a 90th birthday. One Maine man decided it was a good time to try skydiving.

• Were the Knicks wrong to let Jeremy Lin go?

• Russ Mitchell questions whether Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long “had to” or “chose to” fire Bobby Petrino.

• A reality show on TLC following around 71-year-old baseball legend Pete Rose and his much younger fiancée model Kiana Kim? This does not sound like Hall of Fame material.

• Tiger Woods is in a good position to win a fourth British Open championship this weekend at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

• University of Miami safety Ray-Ray Armstrong has been dismissed from the team.

• You probably heard that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch got a DUI over the weekend. For a guy who signed a four-year, $31 million deal earlier this year, it was interesting to learn that he drives an Econoline van.

• CBS’ Jon Heyman sees Cubs starter Ryan Dempster (33 consecutive scoreless innings and five straight wins) as the first big-time player to go in this month’s trade market.

• Now that Jeremy Lin has officially signed with the Rockets, Knicks fans may be singing this Gotye tune.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 17

Ray Rice of the Ravens and Matt Forte of the Bears got paid yesterday, but others like Wes Welker, Cliff Avril and Dwayne Bowe did not receive new deals.

• The polarizing Bill Walton will return to ESPN/ABC as a Pac-12 analyst. We hope this does not affect the tweeting of @NotBillWalton.

• SB Nation’s Jon Bois and Spencer Hall compose the worst possible Super Bowl halftime shows.

• Team USA basketball struggled a little in its second exhibition game, only defeating Brazil 80-69.

• Matt Hayes warns Texas A&M and Missouri to not get too used to so much SEC love.

• So apparently Glenn Quagmire is hanging out in a Georgia Walmart. Giggity.

• Shaq Thompson may be the best freshman football player in America this fall when he hits the field as a Washington Husky, but his baseball summer has been brutal.

• How will Knicks fans react if Jeremy Lin goes to Houston?

• Brandel Chamblee compares the best links players in U.S. history, from Tom Watson to Jack Nicklaus to Tigers Woods.

• Former North Carolina and Miami coach Butch Davis says he wants to coach again.

• With the British Open approaching, the group Improv Everywhere did a wonderful faux production of the tournament on a mini-golf course. These little kids get the complete television experience with commentators, full graphics, audience, etc. Enjoy.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 16

• Yes, that was famous Knicks fan Spike Lee catching Mark Teixeira’s bat in the Yankee Stadium stands over the weekend.

• Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer knows that Las Vegas sports books would never be used to decide the participants in a college football playoff, but they might be the most qualified.

• Approximately 30 riders in the Tour de France’s 14th stage suffered flat tires because of tacks on the course. Wile E. Coyote on the Champs-Élysées?

• ESPN blogger Edward Aschoff previews the always-entertaining and heavily-attended SEC Media Days.

• Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has already verbally torched ESPN’s Skip Bayless this offseason, and now he is in a Twitter slap-fight with ESPN’s Bill Simmons.

• “Breaking Bad” is back. Magnets!

• Bears quarterback Jay Cutler gives us a painful rendition of “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” at a Cubs game this weekend

• The Bobby Valentine-Kevin Youkilis war of words has heated up again with Youk’s return to Boston tonight.

• The SEC has released its television schedule for the first three weeks of the college football season.

• New Knicks point guard Jason Kidd is off to a great start in New York.

The play of the weekend had to be San Diego’s Everth Cabrera stealing home against the Dodgers. The Padres were losing 6-5 in the ninth inning and down to their last strike when Cabrera caught Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen off guard. He steals home, forces a bad throw by Jansen and Will Venable scores as well to give the Padres a surprising lead.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 11:39
Path: /olympics/how-fast-usain-bolt
Body:

Usain Bolt is chasing “living legend” status, as the Jamaican sprinter arrives in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics as the undisputed fastest man alive. But how does he measure up against history’s best ever? Or maybe this year’s fastest thoroughbred sprinter? Or a street-legal sports car going from parked to peak speed? Here’s the fictional tale of the tape over 100 meters.

Teaser:
<p> Usain Bolt looks to dominate the Olympics in London.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 06:52
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Links, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-7
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 13.

• The Phillies are upping their offer to star pitcher Cole Hamels before he becomes a free agent after the season.

• USA Basketball's Olympics team cruised to a win over the Dominican Republic, but Blake Griffin will miss the London Games.

• ESPN blogger Ted Miller has the latest on the cancellation of the planned Big Ten-Pac-12 scheduling alliance.

• Mandatory.com has some interesting facts about the cult classic, “Friday the 13th.”

• Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times believes that Penn State should suspend football for two years.

• It may not the Whizzinator, but already-suspended Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams had the ole “non-human urine” during a previous drug test.

• Check out Texas A&M’s new uniforms as the Aggies prepare to play in the SEC.

• The Washington Nationals have quite the dilemma as they plan on shutting down ace Stephen Strasburg in the middle of a pennant race.

• You have to like a company paying its employees big money to go on vacation, as long as they make sure to truly get away and agree not use Twitter, Facebook or email.

• The ACC will feature some top defensive backs this season.

The “Call Me Maybe” fad is getting a little ridiculous, but mascots tend to be funny. It looks like the Big Ten was a little slow to this video craze, but we’ll give them a break simply because of the Nebraska cheerleaders. Enjoy.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 12

• The Freeh Report is out, and it is as damning as the Penn State community feared. It points to a sickening cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes by Joe Paterno and other top PSU leaders.

• FOX’s Jen Floyd Engel believes Penn State football deserves the death penalty.

• Bleacher Report’s Timothy Rapp looks at how much blame Joe Paterno deserves in the Sandusky-Penn State scandal.

Kobe Bryant stirred up Michael Jordan by saying that the current USA Olympic basketball team could beat the 1992 Dream Team.

• SI.com’s Tom Verducci looks at all 30 MLB teams as they head into the second half of the season.

• A Texas woman owes $179,596.43 in unpaid tolls. Wow.

• College basketball will tip off in a big way with the Duke-Kentucky and Kansas-Michigan State matchups.

• The Saints and Drew Brees seem like they are not even close on a new contract for the star quarterback.

• Today is the 50th anniversary of Mick Jagger joining the Rolling Stones.

• The Cleveland Browns selected former Baylor wideout Josh Gordon in the second round of the NFL’s Supplemental Draft.

• There was a very inspiring and emotional Pat Summitt tribute last night, as the former Tennessee women's basketball coach won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. She represents everything that is good about collegiate sports.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 11

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale has some interesting perspective from Chipper Jones and Tony La Russa in their finals All-Star games.

• So how does Melky Cabrera repay the Royals for trading him? He wins the All-Star Game MVP — in Kansas City.

• Bleacher Report tweeted out a picture of the University of Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) football field yesterday, and we were not sure if it was a joke. It was not. The NAIA school probably has the ugliest field in America.

• Dave Miller of the National Football Post looks at non-AQ teams who could make some serious noise during this college football season.

• The Lakers have already acquired Steve Nash this offseason, and now they have their sights set on big man Dwight Howard.

• The Penn State community is bracing for the release of the Freeh Report.

• This Rockies fan has seen enough bad baseball.

• Unfortunately, Utah and BYU football will not play in 2014 or 2015.

• Nebraska defender Eric Martin goes on an epic Twitter rant. Apparently, he wants….CHECKS!

• Will Jose Canseco ever just go away?

• The day after the All-Star Game tends to be the most barren day in sports during the year, so we went off the beaten path for the Video of the Day. Nowhere in the history of the world has there ever been a man happier about feeding a baby rhino. This guy truly achieves personal nirvana.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 10

• Will the Brooklyn Nets be able to engineer a deal for star center Dwight Howard, now that other teams are back in the bidding?

• Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby, but the hot topic today is Kansas City fans and their non-stop booing of Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee sees an opportunity for the SEC to feature its rivalries on Thanksgiving night.

• ESPN’s Matt Fortuna looks at the compatibility of Notre Dame and the Big Ten.

• How about Kansas coach Bill Self hitting a home run in the Celebrity Softball Game in conjunction with MLB’s All-Star Game?

• The Yankees are telling Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson to stay away from the team after his recent controversial comments.

• Want to play a bad joke on a friend? Send them this minute-long video of Chris Berman calls from last night’s Home Run Derby.

• ESPN’s Marc Stein has all of the details on how the Steve Nash-Lakers deal came together.

• Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley believes the Bulldogs are better off without “bad apple” Isaiah Crowell.

Stanford athletics suffered a terrible loss over the weekend when Peter Sauer, a co-captain on the 1998 Final Four team, died from a head injury suffered during a pickup basketball game.

• Since Royals fans were angry without a local player in the Home Run Derby, we’ll throw them a bone with Bo Jackson’s mammoth home run to lead off the bottom of the first in the 1989 All-Star Game.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 9

• FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi has a great column on young MLB stars like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper playing a more exciting brand of baseball than the Steroid Era.

• So in 2003, a gambler bet that Roger Federer would win seven Wimbledons before 2019. Upon his death, the man left the betting slip — which just paid off – to his favorite charity Oxfam.

• ACCSports.com looks at the Robert Nkemdiche saga regarding his power play for other recruits in a “package deal” to Clemson.

• Mandatory.com has an excellent slideshow of “only in America” foods. Check out this awesomeness of bacon, sausage, bacon, corndog pizza, bacon, etc.

• There is plenty of debate regarding the choice San Francisco’s Matt Cain over New York’s R.A. Dickey as the National League’s starter in the All-Star Game.

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg has an interesting look at the league’s programs and how they are defined by past coaches.

• Actor Jon Hamm — Don Draper on the wildly-popular Mad Men and a St. Louis Cardinals fan — talks about watching David Freese’s home run in Game 6 of the World Series on the set of his show.

• CBS’ Bruce Feldman looks at the Penn State scandal and whether or not the NCAA will get involved.

• So apparently the intoxicated drummer for Ted Nugent’s band jumped into a golf cart after a recent show and got a little crazy. Still looks happy in the mug shot.

• Sadly, the inventor of the game “Electric Football” has passed away.

Phillies slugger Hunter Pence took a circuitous route to home plate over the weekend, including bowling over third-base coach Juan Samuel. The former MLB star looks none too pleased about Pence running through him.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, July 13, 2012 - 11:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy, Fantasy Football, NFL, NFL, Fantasy, Overtime
Path: /nfl/50-funny-fantasy-football-team-names
Body:

NFL action is getting closer by the day, which means it’s time to plan your fall road trips and to name your 2012 fantasy football team. It’s tough to win your league every season, but you can have the best team name each year. Here’s our list for 2012, in no particular order of awesomeness.

Vick in a Box

Henne Given Sunday

Cassel Greyskull

Joe Buck Yourself

I'm thinking RBs

Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe

Suh Girls, One Cup

Drinkin’ Fortes

Forgetting Brandon Marshall

James Starks of Winterfell (Does the Packers running back watch Game of Thrones?)

Show Me Your TDs

Breaking Bademosi (The Browns cornerback has to be a fan of Walter White.)

The Gould Standard

I Pitta the Fool

Just a Big Roos

Breastonlargement

Tonsil Shockey

Makin’ It Wayne

Stephen Cooper Advertising (The Chargers pass rusher has to like Mad Men.)

Jersey Leshoure

Jake’s Hurt Locker

The Road Wilfork

The Big Legursky (The Steelers right guard plays by the rules.)

Cruz Control

Revis and Butthead

Red Hot Julius Peppers

My Mornhinweg Jacket

The Celek Few

Succop to the Boss (I’m sure the Chiefs teammates get along well with Romeo Crennel.)

Snyder’s Cash for Clunkers

Golden Tate Bridge

A Boy Named Suh

In the Garden of Weeden

Vinatieri Strokes (The legendary kicker has to watch The League.)

Coples Therapy

The Blair White Project

Joe Adams Family

Ginn and Juice

Planet Alterraun (The Titans defensive back has to love Star Wars.)

Flacco Seagulls

Get a Kluwe

All Torian Vehicle

Madu Men

Skeltons in the Closet

Drayton Florence and the Machine

Ming the Mercilus (Is the Texans rookie a fan of Flash Gordon?)

Never Forsett

DeMarco Polo

Jacquizz Show

Taken to the Woodhead

A few extras...

The Red Barron (Bama fans can substitute crimson.)
Belichick Yo Self
Sergio Kindle Fire
Corn on the Kolb
Fitzgerald and the Tantrums
Insane Clowney Posse
Dontay Moch Draft
Nate Potter and the Nocturnals
Press Your Luck
Scobee Snacks

And some former favorites...

Ron Mexico’s Perro
Favre Dollar FootLong
Burressted Development
Straight Cash Homey
Where Tai Streets Has No Game



2012 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings:

Athlon Sports 2012 NFL Fantasy Big Board

2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft I
2012 Bye Week Cheat Sheet
Athlon Sports Fantasy Positional Rankings: QBs
Athlon Sports Fantasy Positional Rankings: RBs
Athlon Sports Fantasy Positional Rankings: WRs
Athlon Sports Fantasy Positional Rankings: TEs

Related: Order your Athlon Sports 2012 NFL Preview Magazine Here

Teaser:
<p> Fantasy Football Team Names</p>
Post date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 06:07
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-6
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 6.

• The New York Daily News previews this weekend’s Yankees-Red Sox matchup.

• ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben looks at Oklahoma’s chances of winning the league.

100 great rock riffs in 12 minutes? This guy is awesome.

• So the Knicks have an agreement with Jason Kidd, but will they match the Rockets offer sheet to Jeremy Lin?

Mets fans are literally tripping over themselves with the team’s good play this season.

• CBS’ Gary Parrish believes that Indiana’s Cody Zeller made the right decision in forgoing the NBA and returning to school.

• Sports Illustrated’s Phil Taylor catches up with the always-candid Reggie Jackson.

• We all like a quality aged whiskey, but this Missouri man takes it to a new level.

• We usually hear about All-Star Game snubs, but here is an Anti-All-Star team for the first half of the MLB season.

• Many fans and media were critical of the NFL Network’s Top 100 list.

• Check out this minor league baseball footage from the Joliet (Ill.) Slammers last week. The video will be calm for about 45 seconds, and then the weather gets serious as the tarp blows everywhere. Then, the Slammers announcer tries to give a serious account of the happenings while “It’s Raining Men” is blaring on the PA system.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 5

• How will the Steve Nash deal impact the Lakers and the Western Conference?

• Bleacher Report’s Michael Felder looks at the flaws of the media monitoring a college football playoff selection committee.

• Adidas will be providing Andy Murray with some new shorts at Wimbledon, which led to this unfortunate headline.

• Richard Justice looks at Carlos Lee’s time in Houston after the slugger was dealt to the Marlins yesterday.

• Many fans have been disappointed with The Amazing Spider-Man, while others think it is excellent.

• ESPN SEC blogger Chris Low presents an all-league team from the BCS era.

• Check out this young Tigers’ fan catching an Austin Jackson home run.

• Boston’s David Ortiz hit career home run No. 400 yesterday, but the Red Sox were swept in Oakland.

• The NFL Player’s Association has sued the league on behalf of Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita regarding the Saints’ bounty scandal.

• New Arkansas coach John L. Smith is reportedly declaring bankruptcy.

San Diego was supposed to have the usual, big-city fireworks display on July 4th. These shows usually last 15-20 minutes, unless you have technical issues and set off all of the fireworks at once. Premature pyrotechnics — it could happen to any city. Here’s the 30-second display:

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 4               

We hope that everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July. Our Video of the Day shows the famous play by former MLB outfielder Rick Monday, who saved an American flag from being burned in 1976 at Dodger Stadium.


July 3

• Saints quarterback Drew Brees won his grievance regarding the team’s use of the franchise tag.

• Acting legend Andy Griffith passed away today at the age of 86. His incredible television and cinematic career is well documented, but some of his early comedy work like “What it was was football” is priceless.

• When will Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp return to the lineup?

• Check out this brilliant Haiku from a fourth grader.

• ESPN ACC blogger Heather Dinich has the latest on the league’s new agreement with the Orange Bowl.

• Joe Fortenbaugh examines other purchases that Pacman Jones could have made instead of blowing a million dollars in a weekend.

• Anyone in Michigan getting married soon? You can have a bigger wedding venue than any of your friends.

• CBS’ Matt Norlander looks at the role of seniors in college basketball.

• I know it’s a popular leisure game, but is anyone else a little hesitant on the “Alabama Cornhole Cup?”

• What is the Atlanta Hawks plan with shedding so much salary?

NFL Rookie of the Year Cam Newton recently hosted a prep skills challenge at the IMG Academies in Florida. The Panthers superstar fires up the high school prospects when he loses a bet.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


July 2

• MLB insider Ken Rosenthal looks at this year’s All-Star Game snubs.

• College football fans or just men in general, Erin Andrews is leaving ESPN for FOX.

• From his Twitter account, it looks like Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was Joe Dirt in grade school.

• Tiger Woods won his own tournament, the AT&T National, at Congressional. Is he the British Open favorite?

• Ever caught a 70-pound catfish, with your hands?

• Check out the Urkel-like mug shot of Marcus Jordan, son of you know who. Wonder when the nerdy glasses trend will end?

• The Dwight Howard saga continues in Orlando.

• NBA No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis has already suffered a sprained ankle.

• Former Mississippi State hoopster Rodney Hood is transferring to Duke.

• Missouri and Texas A&M are now officially members of the SEC. How will they compete in 2012?

• Anything with LSU coach Les Miles is pretty damn entertaining. And his new EA Sports NCAA Football 2013 commercial with Mike the Tiger is awesome.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, July 6, 2012 - 12:25
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlon%E2%80%99s-essential-eleven-links-day-5
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for June 29:

• Probably the best story of draft day. Hard not to root for this guy.

• So, David Stern. Job's not so easy without Michael Jordan, is it?

• All lovers of college football — in other words, everyone reading this — should add this link to their bookmarks.

• Not sure what a pimp cup is. Guess we'll have to ask Fred Davis.

• Turning internet memes into charity — nice work, bro.

• Reliving bite night

• Speaking of Iron Mike, this might be the greatest tweet in history.

• This clip has a little bit of everything you love about the NBA Draft — Adam Silver, Knicks fans going nuts after a pick and a chubby kid doing the Mutombo. 

• Hey, Elton Brand — stick to your day job.

• Mike Holmgren dodged the truth for as long as he could.

• Apparently, Danny Sheridan gambled and lost that he could buy Twitter followers without detection. 


June 28

 The NBA Draft, Nintendo version. This one really got us when Stephen A. Smith showed up. Even better than the real thing.

• You think we've got lingering racial issues in the U.S.? This cartoon actually ran in an Italian newspaper. 

• Ever wonder what Anthony Davis would look like with other people's eyebrows? You're in luck.

• Bob, we love ya, but...no. Just no.

• You may be tired of cautionary tales in sports, but here's another one, and it's pretty sad. 

• This is just what you want to read about your franchise on draft day. 

• Potato, po-tah-to

• Can't wait for the new Spider-Man movie? These guys are here for you. 

• Is Drew Brees considering a career change?

• Fat guys launching home runs is what softball is all about — up to a point.

• Aaron Rodgers' peers voted him the best player for 2012. This was his reaction. 


June 22

• Joe Posnanski looks at LeBron James’ journey to a title with the Miami Heat.

• Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman does not believe a playoff is best for college football.

• SmartCar USA has a funny Twitter response to a critic.

• Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias looks at the implications for the conference with college football’s new postseason format.

• Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is tired of hearing about a team in turmoil.

• How big of an impact will rookie runner David Wilson make with the New York Giants?

• Would Maryland really play on gray turf?

• SportsGrid gives us some funny video of drunken Irish soccer fans just trying to find the Porta-Potty at the Euro2012.

• It sounds like Mets closer Frank Francisco is not a Yankees fans.

• A recent Mississippi State football billboard violated an NCAA rule.

• You knew LeBron James winning a title would not play well in Cleveland. Local
weatherman Mark Johnson cannot get through the forecast without showing his frustration with the Heat beating the Thunder.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


June 21

• The BCS commissioners have decided to recommend a seeded, four-team playoff to college football’s Presidential Oversight Committee. A playoff should be in place for the 2014 season, although there are many details still to be decided.

• CBS’ Tony Barnhart looks at the details of a college football playoff that still need to be worked out, including a selection committee for determining the four top teams.

• Rob Zombie’s next project will be writing, directing and producing a film about the mid-70s Philadelphia Flyers, known as the Broad Street Bullies. The idea has been described as “Rocky meets Boogie Nights on ice.”

• Just one win away from a title, LeBron James and the Heat are taking nothing for granted.

• Will Ohio State play its 2013 spring game in Cincinnati? ESPN Big East blogger Andrea Adelson looks at the Buckeyes “encroaching right into the heart of Bearcats territory.”

• Make sure to check if your “LinkedIn” password has been breached.

• Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch reflects on former Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, who passed away 10 years ago. His death still affects many in the baseball world and in St. Louis.

• It sounds like free agent receiver Plaxico Burress is not a fan of either Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow of the Jets.

• FanSided.com tells Yankees fans not to sweat Phil Hughes’ clunker against the Braves.

• The next time you’re doing handstands, be careful out there.

• Many of you are not LeBron James fans, but the Heat superstar is on the verge of finally winning a ring. For those who do not like this fact, we recommend that you remember him as Alexander — the Solid Gold dancer.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


June 20

• Get ready America; the polarizing LeBron James is one win away from a championship ring.

• Lisa Horne looks at 11 college football teams that are difficult to figure out, including Texas, Florida, Notre Dame and Georgia.

• With Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter debuting this week, Mandatory.com takes a funny look at what some other Presidential movies would look like.

• Is Brett Favre (you know, that former Vikings QB) the best Packer of all-time?

• Speaking of Minnesota, receiver Percy Harvin sounds less than enthused about the team.

• Would NBA teams spread bad health information on Jared Sullinger as a pre-draft smokescreen?

• Ryan Leaf admits being “lazy and dishonest and selfish” in court.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee believes that LSU’s Les Milles needs to forget Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel, a former Tigers verbal commitment.

• Check out the new Nokia HD trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.

• Will the Padres move in the fences at Petco Park like the Mets did this season?

Bryce Harper, the 19-year-old phenom of the Washington Nationals, has been very likeable for baseball fans this season. But then last night, he changed his walk-up song to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.” Ouch. Hopefully, it was just a rookie prank or a lost bet.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


June 19

R.A. Dickey of the Mets continued his stellar season last night with a second-straight 1-hitter. He’s probably the best story in baseball right now and should be the NL starter in the All-Star Game.

• ESPN SEC blogger Edward Aschoff is not sure that the powerful league will get its preferred selection criteria for a college football playoff.

• We had to get a couple of sports links in before this one. There is a distinct possibility that Kate Upton’s new Fourth of July photo shoot with GQ could crush the internet for a while.

• I’ll admit that our profession is guilty of some overkill when it comes to the polarizing Tim Tebow. But a story that includes a 28-year-old New Jersey man, a pillow fort in his Mom’s closet, 911 calls where he wanted to speak to the new Jets backup QB, and throwing a summons complaint on the ground at police in front of Dunkin Donuts? Now you’ve got us.

• Chadd Scott of ChuckOliver.net questions the NCAA’s stance on supplements and protein.

• The former Blockbuster, Carquest, MicronPC, Tangerine and Champs Sports Bowl is now the Russell Athletic Bowl.

• Mike Tyson…. On Broadway?

• NHL legend Wayne Gretzky won four Stanley Cups as a player, and it looks like his daughter is a fan of the famed trophy as well.

• Be careful Massachusetts residents. There’s nothing quite like an early bike ride where a stranger pelts you with sausage. Seriously.

• The Lakers were taken out by the Thunder in the NBA playoffs, but the scary Metta World Peace still has it out for James Harden.

• I’m still not exactly sure why parents film their children watching games instead of enjoying the experience with them, but it does make for some entertaining video. This little man, a big Oklahoma City fan, just loses it about a minute in and states “I hate Miami!!”

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 


June 18

• The great LaDainian Tomlinson, after 11 NFL seasons and 145 rushing touchdowns, will retire as a San Diego Charger today.

• The wait is over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his fans, as the popular driver broke a 143-race winless streak at Michigan.

• Webb Simpson became the third straight American to win a major with his victory in the U.S. Open.

• So apparently actress/model Jenny McCarthy, girlfriend of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, likes to send nude pics. Accidently, her son’s dentist ended up with an exciting text.

• How sick are the Thunder after letting Game 3 against the Heat slip away?

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg breaks down Urban Meyer’s first big disciplinary action at Ohio State.

• Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at the similar stories of Texans Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong.

• Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News details what it will take for the Missouri and Texas A&M programs to compete in the SEC.

• The Nationals have released reliever Brad Lidge.

• Gizmodo has some images of the new iPhone 2012.

• The bonehead of the weekend has to go to tennis player David Nalbandian, who inexplicably did this while leading at the Queen's Club final in London.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
 

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, June 29, 2012 - 12:30

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