Articles By Rich Mcvey

Path: /fantasy/pierre-garcon-or-vincent-jackson-whos-better-week-1
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Pierre GarconWhich big free-agent receiver signing will you go with in Week 1? 

Will it be Washington Redskins top receiver, Pierre Garcon? Or will you go with the receiver that had success on the West coast and hopes to keep it going in the Gulf coast in Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson?

For matchup and necessity purposes, roll with Garcon in Week 1.

It is expected that Washington will be in a shootout with host New Orleans today, and Garcon is slated to be rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s top target and deep threat. Garcon goes against a 30th-ranked pass defense from a year ago that allowed 24 TDs through the air.

The same can be said for Jackson in Tampa Bay. He is expected to be the top target and the deep target and go against a bad pass defense.

Carolina’s was 24th in passing yards allowed per game (246.8) and 25th in TDs allowed (28). In half-point PPR scoring, the Panthers allowed 11 receivers to have double-digit days. However, Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans receivers, all top eight passing offenses a year ago, accounted for seven of the 11 double-digit outputs.

It is expected that Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble will cover Jackson. Gamble allowed 27 catches and two scores on the 60 times he was thrown at, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF ranked him as the 17th-best cornerback last season. Not too shabby for a player in a division with the Falcons and Saints.

Now the Panthers face a Tampa Bay offense that many assume will be run, run, run and more run from new coach Greg Schiano. The Buccaneers were 16th in passing yards per game last season (228.1) and 26th in TD passes (17). Meanwhile, Carolina was 24th against the run in the NFL last season (246.8 yards per game).

Jackson was the big free-agent signing for Tampa Bay in the offseason, but on a team that is run first and will take its shots when it can, I’d rather roll with the team that is likely to be in a higher-scoring affair and must throw to keep pace.

Even if the Buccaneers get gashed on the ground and have to go to the air to keep up, I’d rather not gamble on the guy facing Gamble to get me the trash points late.

Give me Garcon for Week 1 and monitor Jackson’s progress in the opener. If he has success against Gamble or is targeted frequently, it will be a sign that perhaps it is not all ground and pound in Tampa.

—Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 07:30
Path: /mlb/2012-major-league-baseball-power-rankings-sept-3
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Each week during the season Athlon Sports looks at the best and worst baseball teams and players in the league. Here's our MLB Power Rankings and Players of the Week for Sept. 3, 2012.

 

  1. Reds — Cruising to NL Central title.

 2. Nationals — Can Nats hold on without Strasburg?

 3. Rangers — Jurickson Profar certainly looks like the real deal.

 4. Yankees — Huge week coming up at Tampa and Baltimore.

 5. Giants — Went 5-1 on back-to-back road trips.

 6. Braves — Bravos feel like they can run down the Nats.

 7. A’s —Where did all this winning come from?

 8. Rays — Next 12 games against contenders.

 9. Orioles — Within one good weekend of catching the Yanks.

10. Tigers — Maybe this time they really do have control of the division.

11. White Sox — Tigers’ ace Verlander beat Sox ace Sale on Sunday.

12. Dodgers — Must gain ground against the Giants this weekend.

13. Cardinals — Offense took about a week off.

14. Pirates — Back-to-back shutouts over St. Louis looked good at the time.

15. Angels —Won 9 of 12 to climb back in race; 7 of next 10 games vs. A’s.

16. Diamondbacks — Still nine games left with San Francisco.

17. Mariners — Continue to bank on starting pitching.

18. Phillies — Committed to being a spoiler down the stretch.

19. Brewers — One of the teams that contenders don’t want to play right now.

20. Mets — Can affect wild card race vs. Cards, Braves and Nats.

21. Padres — Last seven saves by four different pitchers.

22. Royals — Finishing with a flurry could yield 76 wins, most since 2003.

23. Red Sox — Can Bobby V and Dustin Pedroia coexist?

24. Blue Jays — Last two series Jays won were against Yankees and Tigers.

25. Marlins — Ozzie Guillen will likely get a mulligan on this season.

26. Twins — Need just eight wins to avoid 100 losses.

27. Rockies — Can the Rockies get one pitcher to 10 wins?

28. Indians — Need to learn from this season and move on.

29. Cubs — Optimistic about young players, but lots of holes to fill.

30. Astros — Total house cleaning on the field and in the front office.

 

AL Player of the Week

Adrian Beltre, Texas—Beltre is honored here for the second week in a row as he continues to creep into the MVP discussion. The Texas third baseman had three three-hit games last week and batted .478 with a 1.563 OPS. Among his seven extra-base hits were three home runs, and he drove in seven runs. Beltre closed the week with an 8-for-14 series against Cleveland, all the while playing excellent defense at the hot corner.

 

AL Pitcher of the Week

Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle—You may not be familiar with Iwakuma, but he is quickly becoming one of Seattle’s top starters. Last week he was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. After a win at Minnesota, the slender righthander tossed 7.1 shutout innings against the Angels, giving up just five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts in the 2-1 win. The Mariners have won his last five starts.

 

NL Player of the Week

Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh—The Pirates’ third baseman is beginning to unlock the potential that made him the second overall pick in 2008. He began last week with 10 hits in four games, including 11 total bases in a win over St. Louis on Tuesday. He batted .458 with a 1.542 OPS and led the NL with four home runs. During the week, he either scored or drove home more than a third of the Pirates’ runs.

 

NL Pitcher of the Week

Bud Norris, Houston—It isn’t easy getting wins these days in Houston, but that doesn’t prevent Norris from pitching well enough to earn victories. In 12.2 innings over two starts, Norris had a 0.95 ERA and 0.71 WHIP pitching against San Francisco and Cincinnati. He left the Giants game after 6.2 innings with the score tied 1-1, then tossed six shutout innings over the Reds and left with a 1-0 lead. The Astros’ bullpen lost both games.

Teaser:
<p> A look at the best and worst baseball teams in the league.</p>
Post date: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 14:07
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /college-football/4-replacement-usc-billboards-ucla-fans-might-be-ok
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Poor USC. Their billboard, featuring QB Matt Barkley and the phrase "We Play To Finish," was mysteriously covered over on Tuesday near the UCLA campus. To bring peace to both sides, we put together some replacement USC billboards that the UCLA fans might approve of. 

Teaser:
<p> We think these would do just fine</p>
Post date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 16:23
Path: /nfl/5-biggest-busts-nfl-training-camp
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When the doors opened to training camp in late July, everyone was filled with such promise. There was hope renewed. There were storylines in unexpected places. Everyone had their eyes set on a big season. Everyone had the Super Bowl in their sights.

But now that the final days of summer are mercifully ticking away and the countdown to the Sept. 5 opener is on, doesn’t it seem like everything has changed? Some hope is already gone. Some promise has been replaced by aggravation. Some stories have more than played themselves out.
 
The hope that remains can wait until another day. First, it’s time to survey the summer landscape for the biggest disappointments of the summer. Here are the players, issues and storylines that fizzled the most in the past few weeks – the five biggest busts of training camp, 2012:
 
TebowMania
It was the biggest story of summer, whether you liked it or not. ESPN camped a crew in Cortland, N.Y., to chronicle him and the New York newspapers assigned people just to cover one man – never mind that Tim Tebow was just a backup quarterback/gimmick. And it took maybe 24 hours for the tone around the coverage to turn angry. Right about the time Tebow’s shirtless run through the rain made back page news, fans began complaining that enough Tebow was more than enough.
 
Yet the coverage continued, and for what? The Jets didn’t unveil their “Tebow-cat” offense at all during the summer, making everyone wonder if it has any chance of working at all. Meanwhile, running the regular offense – he is, after all, the backup quarterback – Tebow was a miserable 9 for 22 for 96 yards in the first two preseason games. That’s a completion percentage of 40.9 percent. He also ran six times for 39 yards. Not bad, but hardly as dymanic as, say, Michael Vick.
 
TebowMania? There’s a cure for that. Watching him and reading about him every day is the best antidote there is.
 
Chad Ochocinco/Johnson/whatever 
The signing of one of the NFL’s greatest personalities was trumpeted in headlines and on HBO’s "Hard Knocks," where the one-man marketing machine and this NFL reality TV show seemed like a match made in heaven. It probably didn’t hurt ratings either when Johnson ended up getting cut from the Dolphins after allegedly assaulting his wife.
 
Put that heinous act aside, though, for a second. What exactly were we all thinking caring about this? Anyone who saw OchoJohnson with the Patriots last season knows he’s done. In 15 games he had 15 catches, and some scouts marveled that he even had that much. This preseason he added nothing to his total, and it’s highly unlikely any other teams will pick him up.
 
Don’t get me wrong. JohnCinco had an impressive and interesting 10-year career in Cincinnati and I have no problem with all the silly fun things he did in that time. But he’s 34 years old and it’s over. And we probably should have known.
 
Replacement refs 
The NFL keeps trying to put a positive spin on this mess, though clearly they aren’t watching the games when they do it. The amount of blown calls is being vastly underplayed because these are preseason games and nobody cares about the results.
 
But what happens in the regular season when, like they did in the Giants-Jaguars game, the refs give the team trailing one extra play? What about all those muggings/pass interference penalties they’re missing? What about the times they march off 15 yards on a penalty instead of half the distance to the goal?
 
Those are the types of minor things the replacement refs have missed this summer and according to players, coaches and scouts it’s happened in every game. It’s only going to get worse when it happens in a game that counts and it costs a team a game in the standings, costs gamblers a ton of money, and costs the paying fans a chance to see a game that is on the level and fair.
 
Matt Flynn 
The biggest question of the offseason was “Where will Peyton Manning play?” but there was always a subtext to his decision. Anyone who missed out on Manning would undoubtedly take a stab at Flynn, the former backup to Aaron Rodgers who was the most interesting free agent quarterback on the market.
 
He ended up spurning the Miami Dolphins to sign a three-year, $26 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. And now it looks like he’ll be cashing those checks on the bench.
 
After going a mediocre 17 of 26 for 102 yards and an interception in two preseason games, Flynn is on the verge of losing the starting job to impressive rookie Russell Wilson. The 5-10 rookie got the start in the third preseason game and played into the third quarter, dazzling everyone by completing 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
 
The Seahawks were leading 44-7 when he left the game, enroute to a 44-14 win. Flynn is now nursing an elbow injury, and he probably can take his time coming back.
 
The Kick-a@# Cowboys 
Jerry Jones kicked off training camp by vowing to a group of fans in Oxnard, Calif., that “Y'all should come to Cowboys Stadium and watch us beat the Giants' asses.” Since then, here’s what’s happened to “America’s Team” – injuries and controversies.
 
Aside from Jones’ rant, which did nothing but anger the defending Super Bowl champions, he’s also had to deal with the fall out from petulant receiver Dez Bryant’s alleged assault of his own mother. That led to the creation of the “Dez rules” which he apparently agreed to, including no alcohol, no strip clubs and a midnight curfew. Presumably if he breaks any of those he’ll be put in time out.
 
Meanwhile, the ‘Boys budding dynasty is crumbling before Jones’ eyes. Tight end Jason Witten may miss the opener with a lacerated spleen. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff could miss it too with a badly sprained ankle. And injuries have made the opening night status of Bryant (knee), receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and center Phil Costa (back) unknown, too.
 
That’s not exactly the way any team wants to kick off what it seems convinced will be a championship run.
 
By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> Players, issues and storylines that fizzled the most in the past few weeks</p>
Post date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 05:41
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/top-10-nfl-players-age-35-and-over
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Typically as NFL players age, their skills diminish and their battered bodies fail, leading many to retire or find another line of work before they hit 30. But a few are able to stand the test of time and excel in a league full of 20-somethings. Here are the 10 best old-timers in the NFL.

 
1. Tom Brady, New England, QB (Age: 35)
Brady likely had a Hall of Fame career before the last two seasons, but has now taken his game to perhaps a higher level, averaging nine yards per attempt the last two years and completing over 65 percent of his passes in both. Last year, the numbers were insane: 5,235 yards, 39 touchdowns, 12 interceptions. Brady may not just be the best player over 35, he may be the best player, period.
 
2. Peyton Manning, Denver, QB (Age: 36)
So we don’t know what kind of player Manning will be after a neck injury cost him the 2011 season, but the Broncos were willing to pay $18 million (and jettison Tim Tebow) to find out. Suffice to say they’re counting on something like the numbers he posted in 2010, when he threw for 4,700 yards, 33 scores, and 17 picks. Until we know he can’t produce like he used to, it’s hard to justify ranking anyone other than Brady ahead of him.
 
3. London Fletcher, Washington, LB (Age: 37)
Fletcher is like a bottle of fine wine – the older he gets, the better he is. Last season may have been his best yet: he led the league with 166 total tackles, had a pair of interceptions, and forced two fumbles.
 
4. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta, TE (Age: 36)
The 12-time Pro Bowler made another last year with 80 catches, 875 yards and seven scores.
 
5. Ray Lewis, Baltimore, LB (Age: 37)
Some say Lewis has lost a step, but he keeps getting voted to Pro Bowls anyway: last year was his sixth straight. He led the stout Ravens defense with 107 total tackles last year, forced a pair of fumbles, and also had an interception.
 
6. Brian Waters, New England, G (Age: 35)
It’s hard to assign value to offensive linemen, but Pro-FootballReference.com gives it a shot with a number it calls “approximate value.” Waters’ number was 11 last season. By comparison, Fletcher had a 12, Gonzalez, an 11, and Lewis, a 9. His comrades also recognized his value by selecting him to the Pro Bowl, his second-straight and sixth overall for the Patriots’ guard.
 
7. Charles Woodson, Green Bay, CB (Age: 35)
Woodson was a first team All-Pro selection after leading the NFL with seven interceptions last season, just two years removed from doing the same thing in 2009. They're already preparing a plaque for Woodson at the Hall of Fame; every passing season just adds another line of text.
 
8. Ronde Barber, Tampa, CB (Age: 37)
Barber’s definitely on the downside of his career, but it might be a Hall of Fame career, and last year, Barber did something that not many NFL corners do: start 16 games at age 37. He finished with three interceptions and 78 tackles, 66 of them solo.
 
9. Antoine Winfield, Minnesota, CB (Age: 35)
Like Fletcher, he’s gotten better as he’s gotten older until he missed 11 games with a broken collarbone last year. The Vikings’ corner had always been great against the run, but had also developed into a guy you didn’t want to throw against. Last year’s injury won’t sideline him this time around, and he’d made three-straight Pro Bowls coming into last season.
 
10. Jeff Saturday, Green Bay, C (Age: 37) 
Almost as strange as seeing Manning in a Broncos’ uniform will be someone other than Saturday snapping him the ball. Saturday signed a 2-year deal with the Packers, and is just one year removed from a Pro Bowl appearance.
 
 
by Chris Lee (@chrislee70), publisher of VandySports.com
Teaser:
<p> Sometimes in football, older is better</p>
Post date: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 06:11
Path: /mlb/2012-major-league-baseball-power-rankings-august-13
Body:

Each week during the season Athlon Sports looks at the best and worst baseball teams and players in the league. Here's our MLB Power Rankings and Players of the Week for August 13, 2012.

1. Nationals — Will they or won’t they shut down Stephen Strasburg?

2. Reds — Continuing to cruise without Joey Votto.

3. Yankees — Rangers and Red Sox visit the Bronx this week.

4. Rangers — Josh Hamilton heating up again with 12 RBIs in last nine games.

5. Braves — Lost just one series since the break.

6. Pirates — Easiest team to run on.

7. Dodgers — Fewest home runs in the majors, four less than the Giants.

8. Giants — Tim Lincecum-Stephen Strasburg matchup on Wednesday.

9. Rays — Majors’ best save percentage.

10. White Sox — Chris Sale in Cy Young discussion.

11. A’s — Pinch-hitters batting .300, AL average is .209.

12. Cardinals — Bullpen not getting any better.

13. Orioles — Used 10 starting pitchers this season.

14. Angels — Quickly losing ground in wild card race.

15. Tigers — Lost four of seven vs. Yankees and Rangers; Twins, O’s on deck.

16. Diamondbacks — Crept back into the race, but can’t get over the hump.

17. Red Sox — Rocking offense, woeful pitching.

18. Mariners — Starting pitching has been terrific, but still worst OBP in majors.

19. Blue Jays — Lost 11 of 14 with tough stretch ahead.

20. Mets — Visit two first-place teams (Cin. and Wash.) this week.

21. Marlins — Most stolen bases in majors.

22. Phillies — Trying to hold it together while playing out the string.

23. Twins — Swept by Rays, but just 3.5 games back of Cleveland.

24. Indians — Nine-game West Coast trip could be trouble.

25. Brewers — Bullpen saddled with 28 losses.

26. Padres — Tossed three shutouts in last six games.

27. Royals — Three regulars batting .294 or better.

28. Rockies — Carlos Gonzalez on pace for another 100 runs and RBIs.

29. Cubs — Won just one of 12, but Houston comes to town now.

30. Astros — No team strikes out more often than the Astros.

            

AL Player of the Week

Josh Hamilton, Texas—With Hamilton back on track, the Rangers are winning at a better clip than they were over the previous six weeks. After suffering through a terrible slump in July, Hamilton is now working on a 10-game hitting streak. Last week, he batted .455 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He scored seven runs and showed much more patience at the plate, which produced a .538 OBP.  With his bat warming up, Texas won four of six and now owns the best record in the American League.

 

AL Pitcher of the Week

Chris Sale, Chicago—The White Sox continue to defy the odds and maintain a slim lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. Sale tossed eight strong innings vs. Kansas City on nine days rest. The White Sox have been giving the young lefthander some extra rest when possible. For the week, he totaled 14.2 innings and did not walk a batter while striking out 18. He won both starts, defeating the Royals and A’s.

 

NL Player of the Week

Buster Posey, San Francisco—For the second week in a row, Posey had a tremendous stretch for the improving Giants. The All-Star backstop followed up on his previous Player of the Week honor with a .421 batting average and .571 OBP. Posey slammed three homers and knocked in seven runs.

 

NL Pitcher of the Week

Jake Westbrook, St. Louis—With just a little more than a month until his 35th birthday, Westbrook is quietly having the best year of his career — certainly his best since his All-Star season in 2004. The righthander has won his last five starts, and last week defeated the Giants and Phillies. In 13.2 innings, he allowed 11 hits and two walks. He struck out just seven, but recorded 18 groundball outs in the win over Philadelphia.

Teaser:
<p> A look at the best and worst baseball teams in the league.</p>
Post date: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 16:19
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/lsu-dismisses-heisman-finalist-tyrann-mathieu
Body:

LSU dismissed Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu on Friday for a violation of team policy. 

Mathieu was the highest-profile playmaker for the SEC champions and preseason No. 2 team. During LSU’s run to the national championship game, the sophomore Mathieu forced six fumbles, returned two for touchdowns, intercepted two passes and returned two punts for touchdowns.
 
Although Mathieu became the face of LSU’s 13-1 team last season, he was not without his troubles. Mathieu was suspended for a violation of team rules, reportedly for a failed drug test, for the Oct. 22 win over Auburn.
 
Mathieu, whose rise from an unheralded recruit to the player nicknamed the “Honey Badger” was one of the signature stories for the 2011 season, has two years of eligibility remaining.
 
Without Mathieu, LSU will have to recover in both the secondary and special teams. The LSU defense already lost its top cover corner, Maurice Claiborne, to the first round of the NFL draft.
 
Safety Eric Reid is now the only returning starter in the secondary, but the Tigers are not hurting for talent in the defensive backfield. Tharold Simon was considered LSU’s top lockdown corner even with Mathieu on the roster. Replacing Mathieu on defense could be Jalen Collins, a 6-1, 184-pound redshirt freshman from Olive Branch Mississippi.
 
Odell Beckham Jr., forecast to be LSU’s top receiver, steps into Mathieu’s role in the return game.
 
Mathieu's dismissal could impact the national championship and SEC title race, but maybe not for the reasons you'd think.
 
Reasons LSU should panic.
Mathieu was LSU’s best defensive playmaker.

Starting with the 2010 bowl win over Texas A&M, Mathieu went on a remarkable seven-game stretch into 2011 in which he forced six fumbles, recovered four fumbles (returning two for touchdowns) and intercepted two passes. This was against teams like Oregon, West Virginia, Florida and Mississippi State. On a team with offensive deficiencies, his ball hawking and game-changing ability was invaluable.

Mathieu was a special teams demon.
His 62-yard punt return for a touchdown with 5:48 left in the first half against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game put LSU on the scoreboard and overshadowed a first half of inept offense. His 92-yard highlight reel touchdown against Arkansas a week earlier also made up for a slow start for the LSU offense, tying the game at 14 late in the first half and opening the floodgates to a 41-17 win. His 15.6 yards per punt return ranked fourth nationally.

LSU has two games to prep its pass defense.
The Tigers won’t face Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson until the last week of the regular season and won’t see Georgia’s Aaron Murray unless it's a rematch in Atlanta. That said, LSU will see an elite quarterback in the second week of the season. Washington’s Keith Price passed for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns last season and was second only to Andrew Luck in the Pac-12 last season in pass efficiency.

Reasons LSU shouldn’t panic.
Mathieu wasn’t the most indispensable player on the defense.

According to Athlon’s own estimations, Mathieu was the 19th-ranked player in the SEC, the seventh-ranked player for LSU and the fifth-ranked player on the LSU defense. Mathiue’s playmaking aside, safety Eric Reid and corner Tharold Simon could make cases to be more sound defensive backs. Mathieu was a Heisman finalist largely on his performance in LSU’s biggest games. In a five-game stretch from Oct. 15-Nov. 19, Mathieu was more or less a non-factor. He contributed no turnovers during that span, which included his suspension against Auburn.

Teams gambled with Mathieu ... and won.
Alabama’s A.J. McCarron challenged Mathieu’s side of the field in the BCS championship game with great success. McCarron passed for 234 yards against the Tigers to lead Alabama to a national title in the rematch. If there was a blueprint to beat the LSU defense, McCarron and Alabama may have exposed it.

With Zach Mettenberger, the margin for error might be smaller.
The spotlight was on Mathieu’s game-changing ability last season because LSU needed it so desperately with Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee at quarterback. Zach Mettenberger could stabilize the LSU offense, which already has a standout offensive line and and impressive group of running backs. In short, LSU may not have many games like it did against Georgia, in which Mathieu’s punt return for a touchdown bailed out a first-down free first half.
 
-David Fox 

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> <span>LSU dismissed Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu on Friday for a violation of team policy.&nbsp;</span></p>
Post date: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 14:00
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News, Olympics
Path: /overtime/20-awesome-samuel-l-jackson-tweets-about-olympics
Body:

Recently we put together a post on the 25 Twitter Accounts Every Summer Olympics Fan Should Follow. Unfortunately, we missed perhaps the greatest Olympic tweeter yet—Samuel L. Jackson. The actor goes full-on in his curse-filled reaction to the US winning gold, shady judges, and "drunk girl dismounts" in the gymnastics competition. Here are our 20 favorite tweets from our favorite foul-mouthed, Olympics-loving actor. 

1. 

 

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Teaser:
<p> You'll never see the games the same way again</p>
Post date: Monday, August 6, 2012 - 10:58
All taxonomy terms: MLB, Overtime
Path: /mlb/joe-mauer-fan-shaves-name-number-back-hair
Body:

 

A Twins fan in Kansas City proudly displays his back hair, which is shaved with Joe Mauer's name and number. Awesome? Stupid? Awesomely stupid? We'll let you decide.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, July 23, 2012 - 08:57
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Path: /college-football/husker-greats-foundation-helps-former-players-need
Body:

Former Nebraska quarterback David Humm may be a footnote to most college football fans, but to Big Red Nation, Humm takes his place alongside Mike Rozier, Tommie Frazier and the other latter-day legends of Cornhusker football. A three-year starter from 1972-74, Humm bridged the eras of Nebraska's two greatest coaches, quarterbacking Bob Devaney's last Husker team and Tom Osborne's first. For Humm's three seasons under center, the Huskers went 27–7–2, including three bowl wins.

Following a 10-year NFL career, Humm's life took a difficult turn with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, eventually costing the mobile Husker great the use of his legs. But his Husker family hadn't forgotten him, and his story prompted the creation of one of college sports' unique outreach programs, one that proves that Nebraska's college athletes have earned a permanent place in the hearts of Cornhusker State residents.

David Max, the founder of the popular HuskerMax Nebraska fansite, learned of Humm's predicament and felt called to do something about it. The result: the Husker Greats Foundation, created by Max and former Husker linebacker and prominent booster Jerry Murtaugh. Modeled after Mike Ditka's Gridiron Greats, which seeks to care for former NFL players in financial need due to circumstances beyond their control, the Husker Greats Foundation recognizes that an athlete's connection to the state doesn't end after three or four years on the playing field or the court, particularly when that athlete needs help.

The expressed mission of the Husker Greats Foundation is to provide medical and emergency assistance to former athletes who lettered in sports while attending a university or college in the state of Nebraska. Humm was among the first recipients of the Foundation's support in the form of assistance in covering his home-care costs.

Despite its close ties to the University of Nebraska, including its name, Husker Greats does not limit its support to UN-Lincoln alumni. Rather, it is available to any letter-winner from any university or college in the state.

The Foundation, which has the full support of Osborne and the University, is structured so that payments will be made directly to medical professionals providing services to qualifying recipients. Supporters' tax-deductible donations will relieve the financial burden on the former student-athletes, allowing them to focus on their recovery.

A great Husker memory-maker, Trev Alberts captures what it means to be a Cornhusker for life in his foreword to Athlon's book, "Game Day Nebraska Football": “The first time I learned what it meant to be a Husker was running into Memorial Stadium as a redshirt freshman. It was daunting as 80,000 dressed in red stood in an almost reverential way and saluted their Huskers. I couldn’t feel the turf. My knees were weak. I understood this wasn’t our team. This wasn’t even Coach Osborne’s team. This was Nebraska’s team!”

And Nebraska takes care of its own — even long after the cheers have died down.

Visit the organization's website — Huskergreatsfoundation.org — for more information or to make a donation to this worthy cause.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 04:16
Path: /mlb/baseballs-players-week-youkilis-weaver-mccutchen-mcdonald
Body:

Each week Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players in the American and National Leagues and recaps the most outstanding pitching performances. Here are last week's —July 1-July 8 — standouts.

NL Player of the Week

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

Having played in relative anonymity over the past few years in Pittsburgh, fans all over are becoming familiar with the distinctive dreadlocks of the best Pirate. Last week, McCutchen batted .517 with a 1.479 OPS. He led the majors with 11 runs and hit three homers with nine RBIs. The centerfielder’s work for the week included three three-hit games and one four-hit game, raising his season average from .346 to a league-best .362.

 

NL Pitcher of the Week

James McDonald, Pittsburgh

The Pirates are surging in the National League, taking over the lead in the Central division, and McDonald is a big reason for the Bucs’ recent hot streak. He tossed 14 innings last week in wins over Houston and San Francisco, giving up just eight hits and five walks. The Pirates have won eight of his last 10 starts, and the righthander gave up just one run in each of the two losses.

 

AL Player of the Week

Kevin Youkilis, Chicago

The former fan favorite in Boston has been a catalyst for the White Sox offense over the past two weeks. Last week, Youk batted .478 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. He hit safely and drove in runs in each of his six games last week, with both streaks currently at seven games.

 

AL Pitcher of the Week

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles

Weaver is the hottest pitcher in the American League right now and makes a case to be the All-Star Game starter. He won both his starts last week and didn’t allow a run over 15 innings in wins over Cleveland and Baltimore. Since his return June 20 from a muscle strain, he has won all four starts and given up just one run over 27.2 innings. He is 10-1 with a 1.96 ERA for the season.

Teaser:
<p>  </p> <div id="cke_pastebin"> Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players.</div>
Post date: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 13:34
All taxonomy terms: MLB, News
Path: /mlb/manager-actually-gets-ump-overturn-call
Body:

Well, here's something you almost never see. It happened during Saturday night's game between Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Indians manager Manny Acta came out of the dugout to complain to the first-base ump after he called Jose Lopez out, despite the first baseman bobbling the ball. Instead of being tossed out of the game, the ump consulted the other umps and reversed the call. Yes, our minds our officially blown. See for yourself.

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Post date: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 17:24
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/strangest-non-game-related-sports-injuries
Body:

This week several media sources reported that former South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia injured himself while giving a peace sign. Turns out, it was just a joke, and Garcia's career as a fourth-string CFL quarterback is still on track. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that players don’t hurt themselves doing random, seemingly mundane things. Here’s a list of our favorite ways players have been injured. Most are true, but a few seem a bit suspect. We’ll let you decide. 

 

Wild animal attacks. While Nolan Ryan was playing for the Astros in 1985, a coyote bit him on the hand and forced him to miss a start; no word on whether any Acme products were involved. Former Norwegian soccer star Svein Grondalen was absent from an international match in the late-1970s because an angry moose ran into him while he was jogging. We suspect the moose was a fan of Brazil and vuvuzelas.

 

Eating. The Homer Simpson Award for injuries sustained while eating donuts goes to former National League MVP Kevin Mitchell, who chipped a tooth on a frozen donut in 1990 (dude, that's what microwaves are for). He had to have a root canal and ended up on the DL. Montreal Expo infielder Bret Barberie got chili pepper juice in his eye and missed a game. Hockey player Dustin Penner of the Los Angeles Kings takes the (pan)cake, though, wrenching his back earlier this year while leaning over to eat a stack of flapjacks. His back spasm caused him to miss one game. 

 

Sneezing. Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa got back spasms from sneezing in 2004 and was never the same player again (he even turned white after he retired). Pitcher Mat Latos tried to learn from Sosa's example on the dangers of the sneeze, attempting to suppress the one he felt coming in July 2010. Latos strained muscles in his left side and wound up on the DL anyway.

 

Vomiting. Most of us feel better after we throw up, but not baseball’s Kevin Mitchell (yes, the same Mitchell from the earlier item) and Josh Outman. Both strained rib muscles while puking and had to be placed on the DL. Mitchell’s injury occurred in 1992, while Outman’s happened in April.  

 

Playing video games. NBA star Lionel Simmons missed several games of the 1991 season from tendonitis suffered while playing his Nintendo GameBoy. Detroit pitcher Joel Zumaya may have been a Guitar Hero, which cost him a chance to be a baseball hero in the 2006 ALCS. He missed three games due to injuries to his elbow and forearm due to aggressive strumming on his PlayStation 2. Apparently he was attempting to play Buckethead on advanced. 

 

Chopping wood – in the locker room. When the Jacksonville Jaguars started 0-3 in 2003, coach Jack Del Rio put an axe and a stump of wood in the locker room and implored his team to “keep chopping wood.” It turns out that his players were still better at football than lumberjacking. Punter Chris Hanson took aim at the stump, but whacked his non-kicking foot instead and missed the rest of the season. Del Rio finally got the axe himself, a few years too late for Hanson. 

 

Participating in the coin toss. Call this one the Anton Chigurh Award for career-ending coin toss. Offensive tackle Turk Edwards’ career was good enough to make the Hall of Fame, but it might have been better if he hadn’t been the Washington Redskins’ captain in 1940. Edwards called the coin toss and shook hands with Giants’ captain Mel Hein, but when he turned toward the sideline, his cleat caught in the turf and his knee buckled. He never played again. 

 

Yelling at teammates. Words hurt, especially when you scream them with such force that you dislocate your jaw, as Manchester United goalie Alex Stepney did in 1975. If you're a python swallowing a deer, a dislocated jaw is an advantage. Otherwise, not so much.

 

Sleeping. All sorts of potential dangers await the slumbering athlete. Former baseball player Glenallen Hill, an arachnophobe, had a nightmare in 1990 involving spiders and consequently tumbled down the stars and slammed into a glass table. He sustained multiple cuts and required a stay on the disabled list. Thank God he steered clear of the bed pillows, or it might have been worse: former MLB pitcher Terry Mulholland scratched his eye on a loose feather in 2005, and Detroit catcher Brandon Inge went on the DL a few years later (2008) when he pulled an oblique while adjusting a pillow. Former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain once awoke from his slumber with two dislocated toes in 1967. Then, there’s "sleeping." Milan AC midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng earlier this year had a muscular lesion on his left thigh. His model girlfriend attributed it to “too much sex.” 

 

Ironing shirts.  This possible injury is shrouded in mystery. As legend has it, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz burned himself back in 1990 while ironing his shirt. But that’s not the weird part. The story goes that Smoltz was wearing the shirt when he decided to iron it and not surprisingly burnt himself. Smoltz, of course, denies that it ever happened. And he’s probably telling the truth. Probably. 

 

 

 

 

by Chris Lee (@chrislee70), publisher of VandySports.com

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Post date: Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 13:52
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, Overtime, News
Path: /college-basketball/purdue-basketball-players-awesome-trick-shot-video
Body:

Purdue basketball players have put out a new video showing that they're keeping their skills sharp during the off season. Players Dru Anthrop and D.J. Byrd are joined by former player and now student assistant coach Ryne Smith at Mackey Arena, where they're showing off their best trick shots. The shots range from far-off bombs behind the basket to one hoppers from the stands.

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Post date: Monday, July 2, 2012 - 23:30
Path: /mlb/baseballs-players-week-cabrera-hughes-zimmerman-latos
Body:

Each week Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players in the American and National Leagues and recaps the most outstanding pitching performances. Here are last week's — June 25-July 1 — standouts.

AL Player of the Week

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit

The first baseman-turned-third baseman did his best work in bunches last week. He had three games with three or more hits, including 3-for-4, 4-for-5 and 3-for-3 games. He batted .462 and tied for the AL lead with six RBIs. Cabrera scored five times.

 

AL Pitcher of the Week

Phil Hughes, New York

With both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte injured, the Yankees were desperate for quality starting pitching. Hughes responded in a big way, tossing eight shutout innings against the Indians, and followed that with eight strong innings vs. the White Sox, allowing just a couple of runs. He totaled 12 strikeouts in his 16 innings of work for the week.

 

NL Player of the Week

Ryan Zimmerman, Washington

Mired in a season-long funk, Zimmerman emerged with the best week in the National League. He hit .364 with a 1.158 OPS. He enjoyed four multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games. Zimmerman, who plays exceptional defense, had seven extra-base hits and reached base in every game via a hit or walk.

 

NL Pitcher of the Week

Mat Latos, Cincinnati

Latos entered the week with a 5.20 ERA, tossed a pair of complete games last week, allowing just one run in each contest. He set down the Brewers on four hits, including a solo homer, then won at San Francisco, 2-1, by giving up just two hits. His weekly ledger reads: 2-0, 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 18 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks and 20 Ks.

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players</p>
Post date: Monday, July 2, 2012 - 17:36
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/kid-makes-awesome-foul-ball-catch-popcorn-bucket
Body:

Who needs a glove? During last night's game between San Diego and Houston, a young fan made an awesome foul ball grab using his tub of popcorn. It was a sweet catch. Check out his excitement in the video below.
 

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Post date: Friday, June 29, 2012 - 09:17
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/carmelo-anthony-scares-wax-museum-visitors
Body:

The New York Nicks' Carmelo Anthony celebrated the unveiling of his wax statue at Madame Tussaud's in New York by having some fun with visitors. Carmelo pretended to be his wax figure, scaring visitors who stopped by to look. Result? Awesomeness.

 

If you'll recall Troy Polamalu played an identical prank last year.

Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Dewayne Wise, MLB, News
Path: /mlb/dewayne-wises-amazing-catch-he-didnt-really-make
Body:

In what seemed to be an amazing grab by Yankee outfielder Dewayne Wise last night as he lept into the left-field stands to snag a foul ball, turned out to be nothing more than a great acting job… or gross incompetence by the umpire. The ump, who called it an out, never asks to see the ball, not to mention there's a fan five feet away jumping up and down holding up the ball.

Later, the Indians Jack Hannahan, who hit the foul ball, points out to the ump that Wise didn't have the ball in his glove and the ump tosses him from the game. Hilarious. It'll likely be one of the greatest blown calls of all time. See for yourself.

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Post date: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 08:55
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /news/titans-kamerion-wimbley-tries-american-ninja-warrior
Body:

Tennessee Titan defensive end Kamerion Wimbley brought some serious game to the American Ninja Warrior 2012 Southeast Regional Semi-Finals in Miami recently. Watch as the 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound Wimbley makes the crazy obstacle course look like a Sunday stroll through the park. The reality TV show airs Sunday nights on the G4 Network and Mondays on NBC.

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Post date: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 08:41
All taxonomy terms: crossword, Monthly
Path: /monthly/june-2012-crossword-solution
Body:

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Post date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 16:57
All taxonomy terms: Bill Murray, MLB, Overtime
Path: /mlb/bill-murray-entertains-fans-during-minor-league-rain-delay-video
Body:

Comedian Bill Murray was spotted at a minor league game in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday. During a long rain delay Murray took to the field of the Charleston RiverDogs (he's part-owner of the team) and had some fun entertaining the crowd. Fans of the RiverDogs, a Class-A affiliate of the Yankees, seem to approve.

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Post date: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:06
All taxonomy terms: Chad Ochocinco, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/chad-ochocinco-updates-twitter-bio-after-patriots-release
Body:

Chad Ochocinco was released by the New England Patriots yesterday, but it seems he has a pretty good sense of humor about the whole experience. On his Twitter bio Ochocinco, who has nearly 3.5 million followers, says he's now an "Unemployed Black Guy…." In addition to the new bio, he also posted a new photo of himself sitting on a suitcase with his thumb out looking for a ride.

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Post date: Friday, June 8, 2012 - 08:58
All taxonomy terms: Harrison Barnes, Overtime
Path: /overtime/harrison-barnes-google-headshot-bio-awesome
Body:

If you haven't noticed it yet, Google has a new feature for celebs and athletes. When you type in a name, Google will pull in a short bio and photo on the right-hand side for you. Of course, it doesn't always work so well. 

Case in point is Harrison Barnes, the University of North Carolina standout who entered the NBA Draft this year. Check out Barnes' results below or try it yourself in Google.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 10:15
All taxonomy terms: kate upton, Overtime
Path: /overtime/kate-uptons-new-bikini-clad-beach-bunny-photoshoot-video
Body:

Kate Upton has a new behind-the-scenes bikini video for her latest photoshoot for Beach Bunny swimwear. And yes, it is spectacular. Check out the video below and enjoy some shots of Upton on the beach. 

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Post date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 16:24
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/justin-lawrences-crazy-ko-kick-john-cofers-head
Body:

The UFC show "The Ultimate Fighter" had its live finale in Las Vegas last Friday and didn't disappoint in the lightweight contest. During the third and final round, Justin Lawrence landed a crazy kick to the head of John Cofer, knocking him out in spectacular fashion.

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Post date: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 08:52

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