Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-7-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Nov. 7.


• I didn't watch the CMA Awards, but Carrie Underwood's legs make me sorta wish I had.


• The Martin-Incognito story is in the process of flipping toward Incognito, partly because of this essay. My hot sports take: There's blame on all sides. Including the Dolphins, given Jeff Ireland's suggested solution.


According to this slideshow, there are 21 flavors of athlete Instagram pictures.


• Speaking of Instagram, photo-posting star Paulina Gretzky apparently caught on fire last night. Keep an eye on your fiancee, Dustin.


There's video proof that Seneca Wallace throws like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.


The NBA bureaucrats require forms for everything, like the birth of Z-Bo's child.


A Blackhawks fan grabbed a unique souvenir. Lesson: Always be alert when a player's head busts through the glass.


Blockbuster is shutting the rest of its stores. The big news here is that Blockbuster still had stores open.


• I usually don't get political here at Essential 11, but this is funny: Old 1990s websites that work better than the Obamacare website. My favorite on the list: the Heaven's Gate cult site, apparently still live and working better than the ACA site.


Three entire classic movies — The Shining, Top Gun and Aliens — in seizure-inducing GIF form.


• Today's video is pretty touching: Aaron Rodgers delights then duets with a girl with spina bifida.




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Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 10:53
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-6-2013

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


Today is Rebecca Romijn's 41st birthday. Join us in celebrating this all-time great.


We have a winner for Worst Call of the Year. Nominations are closed. No more submissions.


An exuberant female fan tore Ryan Lochte's MCL. Jeah.


Toronto's circus clown of a mayor wore a 1995 NFL tie to the press conference where he admitted smoking crack in a drunken stupor. That might be the most bizarre sentence I've ever written.


Coach Philbin, did you order the Code Red? "You're G-d- right I did!"


ESPN's ride-along with Les Miles was pretty much what you'd hope it would be.


This news item doesn't bode well for Mack Brown's future at Texas.


Speaking of the Longhorns, Nick Saban's agent isn't exactly diffusing those Saban-to-Texas rumors.


An East Coast Hockey League team is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in style. I'd have gone with stovepipe hats.


• Here's a depressing way to spend a Wednesday: Scan these sports facts that will make you feel incredibly old. Here's a sample: The NHL glowing puck experiment was 15 years ago.


A Hump Day preview of the SEC game of the week: Bama-LSU.


• Tiger Woods hit a drive that spanned two continents.




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Post date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 10:59
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-5-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Nov. 5.


Kate Upton went to Melbourne for a horse racing event and looked like this. Y'all let me know if you get tired of Kate Upton. Otherwise, I'll keep the Kate links coming.


Enjoy this "Sorry Your Team Lost" Week 9 NFL roundup. Unless your team lost. Then we're sorry.


If looks could kill, Chris Paul would be pushing up daisies courtesy of Francisco Garcia.


Terrell Davis rode in a fighter jet and passed out, much to the amusement of John Elway. Note to Elway: TD got you your two rings. Cut the guy a break, why don't you.


• Just when the Red Sox couldn't get any more annoying, they do this.


• Does it seem to you that kickers are getting insanely good? You're not wrong.


Kentucky's James Young scored an amazing own goal in the Cats' exhibition win over Montevallo. No look. Behind the back. Two points. For Montevallo.


• So, in the wake of this Richie Incognito mess, is it time for the NFL to join the U.S. military in implementing an anti-hazing policy? Some think so. Especially when it gets into outright theft.


• This is kind of brilliant. Enjoy this video of 2010 Stanford-Oregon highlights with Alex Trebek clips providing the narration.


So what were the weekend takeaways from the action in the SEC? One takeaway: Georgia needs Todd Gurley.


World Series highlights using toys (OYOs, not Legos, if you're wondering).


• Enjoy this epic hockey coach meltdown. Spoiler alert: He rips sticks out of his players' hands and hurls them onto the ice.




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Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 10:37
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/5-amazing-stats-wgc-hsbc-champions

Dustin JohnsonHalfway around the world, while you were enjoying your extra hour of sleep on Saturday night, Dustin Johnson was busy earning what he called "the biggest win I've had in my career so far" — a three-shot triumph at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Against golf's most elite field (minus an absent Tiger Woods), Johnson withstood a final-round challenge from a couple of Ryder Cup stalwarts to post the eighth and most prestigious victory of what has been a stellar six-plus years on Tour.

Early in the final round, any Americans who happened to be watching had to be suffering some alarming Ryder Cup flashbacks. Paired with European Cup stalwarts Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, Johnson squandered his 54-hole three-shot lead, going 1-over for the first seven holes while Poulter and McDowell — and Sergio Garcia a few holes ahead — were firing howitzers, and it seemed as if Johnson would reprise his major heartbreak of years past. He stayed patient, though, and starting at No. 8 went on a tournament-clinching tear that was highlighted by an eagle chip-in at the short par-4 16th that effectively ended the tournament, much to the frustration of defending champion Poulter. "A little disappointed not to put my hands back on the trophy," said Poulter. "But 15 birdies and an eagle at the weekend is some pretty good golf. Dustin finished the job. It was good golf and it was good fun to play in that group."

And especially fun for Americans looking ahead to the 2014 Ryder Cup and seeing Johnson more than hold his own.

Here are the numbers from Johnson's weekend sojourn to China.

-24 Johnson's 24-under par 264 set the HSBC Tournament record.

2 For the second time in this calendar year, Johnson won his first tournament of the season. That's right — thanks to the PGA Tour's new wraparound schedule, the HSBC is part of the new 2013-14 season. Johnson added the HSBC to his season-opening Mercedes win back in January. In other words, Johnson just set a record that will never be broken.

3 With his eighth career win, Johnson is one of only three players under the age of 30 with four or more PGA Tour wins. Rory McIlroy (6) and Webb Simpson (4) are the others.

7 Johnson now has at least one PGA Tour victory in seven consecutive seasons (2008-current). Only Phil Mickelson (10 consecutive years) has a longer active streak. Tiger Woods had a 14-year winning streak from 1996-2009.

1 Johnson is the first player since Tiger Woods (1996-2001) to win in his first seven consecutive seasons straight out of college (2008-current). Woods would stretch that streak to 14 years.

Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 11:32
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-4-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Nov. 4.


Enjoy this countdown of the 101 Most Beautiful People in Sports, including Octagon girl Brittney Palmer (pictured).


Adrian Peterson did his best Earl Campbell impression on an insane touchdown run yesterday.


• Unintentional danglies on the TV screen are never not funny. These are courtesy of analyst Dan Fouts.


• The last month's most dominant team? Yep, the Carolina Panthers.


The WSJ takes some air out of the Chiefs' balloon by pointing out that they've been feasting on backup quarterbacks. Hey, a win's a win, I say.


The Richie Incognito bullying saga has taken a new twist. Apparently the psycho apple didn't fall far from the tree.


• So just how did Twitter take over the world? Here are the 140 moments that made Twitter matter.


• Today in sad Philly has-beens: Dutch Daulton had to break up Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams and Lenny Dykstra at an autograph signing.


Bob Ryan ranks the 25 greatest Red Sox players of all time. Papi's No. 4. That seems awfully high. But Ryan's pretty much seen 'em all.


Here's a list of badass vegans, including Iron Mike Tyson, whose chomp on Evander Holyfield's ear was a rare moment of carniverous weakness.


So Usain Bolt ate 1,000 Chicken McNuggets in Beijing. I sense a sponsorship opportunity.


• Kansas coach Bill Self broke out the Ron Burgundy impression. Not bad.




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Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 10:58
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-1-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Nov. 1.


• Jenny McCarthy is 41 today. To celebrate, here's a slideshow of Melissa McCarthy's lovely cousin.


• A little history last night: The third game-ending overtime safety in NFL annals. A walk-off safety. Choke on that, baseball.


• Also last night, Giovani Bernard had what might be the run of the year in the NFL so far.


So is Big Papi a Hall of Famer? And another question: Why hasn't the PED taint stuck to Ortiz like it has to A-Rod?


• We think we're tough on our coaches in the U.S. The Edmonton Oilers coach got heckled with "you suck" by elementary school students.


What if baseball season were only 16 games long? I love little thought experiments like this.


• In case you're wondering why offenses are so unstoppable, here's your reason: This year's crop of college quarterbacks might just be the best ever.


A teacher who showed up at school on heroin could muster only a two-word comment: "Roll Tide."


We no longer need to wonder what Heidi Klum will look like at 90. Not that we were.


Predictions for Week 10 in the SEC.


• Another season, another endless Blake Griffin highlight reel. Here he is converting three alley-oop dunks in 37 seconds.




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Post date: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 10:58
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-31-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 31.


• Happy Halloween, everybody. Who better to help us celebrate than the lovely cheerleaders of the NFL?


• Congrats to the world champion Red Sox. Enjoy this gallery of images from their third — third! — championship since 2004.


So are the Red Sox the team of the 21st Century so far? Not so fast.


Tim McCarver's last word on a national broadcast: "Ditto." That's somehow appropriate.


Johnny Gomes had some pointed comments for you sabermetricians out there. No, they didn't include "your mom's basement."


• Last night's postgame was full of Erin Andrews awkwardness, but Koji Uehara's son saved the moment.


• Looking for last-minute costume ideas? Here's a quick rundown of sports-related costumes.


• Michael Carter-Williams made a memorable debut for the 76ers. Here it is, in its entirety.


• Man of the people: Metta World Peace took the F Train to MSG for his first Knicks game.


• This is very meta, and very funny: PFT Commenter from Kissing Suzy Kolber interviews PFT founder Mike Florio. When trolls collide.


• Note to all you kids out there: Braces can lead to unwanted pregnancy.


• Here's the reaction from within Fenway Park to the final out of the 2013 World Series.




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Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 10:50
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-30-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 30.


Today is gymnast Nastia Liukin's 24th birthday. She's aging quite nicely, don't you think?


• The WSJ reminds us that the Red Sox are still in a drought that dates to 1918. That's the last time they clinched a title at Fenway.


• Soccer BFFs Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux are still on a quest to take over the Internet, a project we wholeheartedly endorse. This week, they did the Miley VMA thing.


• Mascots are often annoying, but they can be funny, especially when they screw up or get knocked down.


Chris Webber poked fun at colleague Kenny Smith's jogging gait on Inside the NBA. Pretty funny. Let's hope the Kenny Jog becomes a thing.


• So a company is issuing an IPO for shares of Arian Foster. What does that mean, exactly? And what about that hammy? If you're like me, you've got money you're looking to waste on a ridiculous investment.


Professional pot-stirrer Clay Travis has dubbed Tide Nation the country's dumbest fan base. I'm sure it is eliciting reasoned, thoughtful reactions.


• The Onion. Funny. Click here.


A preview of the MASH unit that is this year's Georgia-Florida game.


• A former Oregon Duck went to a game at Autzen and was appalled at the home fans, prompting him to write a letter in which he tells them to go eff themselves.


Those Browns are running a tight ship, aren't they?


• Watch a surfer catch a rather tasty 100-foot wave.




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Post date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 10:33
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-29-2013

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


• October's almost over, so here's a nice rundown of the lovely ladies of sport for the month, including Katherine Webb (pictured).


Golden Tate almost salvaged an unwatchable Monday Night game with the most epic taunt we've seen in a while, one that almost turned an uncontested touchdown into a contested one. Of course, the pearl-clutchers took to Twitter to scold him for it.


Then there was Jon Gruden, who was at his Jon Gruden-iest last night.


Big Papi is carrying the Red Sox. They haven't trailed since his dugout pep talk. Oh, and he's 11-for-15 in the Series.


• Greg Schiano has a brilliant plan to salvage the Bucs' season: He's going to use Darrelle Revis, the game's best cover corner, in man coverage. Suck on that, haters. 


• Yesterday, we brought you Baby Andy Reid and Kid Kliff Kingsbury. Here's a whole gallery of kids dressed as coaches. Love the Dana Holgorsen.


The New York Rangers' Twitter feed had an unfortunate misspelling last night. Comes with a language warning, so you know it's bad.


• Rob Gronkowski's life is a bit of a cartoon already, so no surprise that he and his bros are pitching an animated show about their family.


We're only 100 days out from the Sochi Olympics, and the U.S. team is wracked by injuries. The good news is, Lindsey Vonn's on a media blitz to talk about her Olympic hopes. Last night, she was on Letterman, where she revealed that Tiger sucks at skiing, and she made a hole-in-one in her first round of 18 holes.


• A Halloween week treat: Ranking The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" episodes.


• It's good to be the King: Go behind the scenes of Golf Digest's cover shoot with Arnold Palmer and Kate Upton.


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Post date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 10:47
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-28-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 28.


• It's Halloween week, and the cheerleaders of the NFL are ready.


For the first time, a World Series game ended on a pickoff, as pinch-runner Kolten Wong failed to get back to first, leaving Carlos Beltran with the bat in his hands. That's just Wong, amirite?


• Of course, that was only the second bizarre ending of this series. Joe Pos compares the two for overall weirdness.


Dez Bryant spent yesterday catching touchdowns and flipping out on the sidelines. He called his sideline behavior "passion." I call it "childish" and "distracting." Guy can play, though.


• The source of much of Bryant's frustration yesterday was Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who even faked himself out on the winning touchdown.


• The NBA is about to elbow its way into the spotlight like it's Metta World Peace. Here are some storylines to brush up on to get NBA-ready.


• Speaking of the NBA, Serge Ibaka dressed up like Prince Akeem from "Coming to America." Nice attention to detail.


• While we're on the subject of Halloween costumes, this kid scored big-time with his Kliff Kingsbury.


• Then there's this: Move over, Baby Mark Mangino. Say hello to Baby Andy Reid.


• Since it's Halloween week, here are some funny GIFs of people getting the poop scared out of them.


• Connor Shaw won the weekend in college football. Here's what you might have missed in the SEC.


• Terrelle Pryor erased Bo Jackson from the Raiders record books and set a QB record with a 93-yard scamper against the Steelers. Kid's got wheels. Enjoy.




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Post date: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:03
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-25-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 25.


This is exercise-related, so I'm counting it as sports: 25 sexy yoga poses. Depending on where you're employed, they might not all be entirely SFW.


• So there's another World Series with the Red Sox involved. What's a Yankees fan to do?


• I've seen fire, and I've seen rain, but I've never seen a dude launch into America, The Beautiful at national anthem time.


• Brett Favre expounds on why he won't come back: He's protecting what's left of his brain. Oh, and by the way — the Rams were just joking anyway.


• Anatomy of a de-cleating: Pat McAfee takes us through his destruction of Trindon Holliday.


Greg Doyel calls out Rodney Harrison for calling out Josh Freeman.


• Humiliating own-goals never fail to be funny. The Lightning had a good one last night.


The best sports pranks caught on video. I like the one where Billy Donovan drops a replica national championship crystal.


Turns out Vodka Samm's a person, not a punchline. Oh, well, we'll always have .341.


A Vikings fan who vowed in 1975 not to shave his beard until his team won the Super Bowl has died. Beard very much intact.


• Watch Cam Newton and Steve Mariucci get the bejeezus scared out of them by a cannon at Raymond James Stadium.




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Post date: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 10:49
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-24-2013

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


• NFL action cranks back up tonight. Here's a power ranking of NFL cheeleaders according to their social media usage.


• This could spice up the World Series: A Cardinals minor leaguer took to Twitter to accuse Jon Lester of using Vaseline during last night's gem. And not without cause.


• Carlos Beltran waited 16 years to make a World Series appearance. That appearance lasted two innings.


• An umpire blew a call last night. Instant replay overturned it and got it right fairly quickly. Take that, purists.


Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel proved to be ready for his close-up, giving the Notre Dame-USC game a GQ moment.


The Rams called Brett Favre. Brett Favre said no. I guess when his agent floated that Favre was in the best shape of his life, it just meant that Brett wanted an ego-stroking call from a team. Mission accomplished. Of course, the whole episode simply points to the utter lack of decent quarterbacks on this little planet of ours.


• We don't link to much soccer, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic ripped a laser past the goalkeeper that is worth a click.


• Today's dose of Schiano-freude: Greg Schiano is 1-11 in his last 12 games, and not surprisingly, his autocratic style is wearing thin on his players.


Watch tiny fish eat the skin off the feet of Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and some of their friends. You read that right.


The SEC is asking the NCAA to review the targeting rule that is ruining games. Let's hope the NCAA listens.


• A great moment last night: Greg Oden returned to the court and dunked on his first touch. We're rooting for you, big fella.




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Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 10:43
All taxonomy terms: Chicago Bears, NFL
Path: /nfl/should-bears-re-sign-jay-cutler

Jay Cutler's contract is up at the end of the year, leaving the Chicago Bears with a decision that will impact the franchise for a long time. Do they place their trust in Cutler, or do they move on? Athlon editors Nathan Rush and Rob Doster take up the question.

It’s like asking if Mike Ditka would win a fight with a hurricane. There’s only one right answer. Yes. It doesn’t take Bill Swerski or any of his Superfan buddies to know the Chicago Bears — Da Bears! —should re-sign quarterback Jay Cutler.

How soon we forget. Remember who started under center for the Bears before Cutler arrived from the Denver Broncos, a team that replaced “Smokin’ Jay” with Heisman Trophy-winning, BCS national title-winning, first-round draft pick Tim Tebow? The Windy City aerial attack was led by Super Bowl runner-up Rex Grossman (a.k.a. “Turnover-saurus Rex”), Kyle Orton (a.k.a. “King Neck Beard”), son-of-a Super Bowl winner Brian Griese, Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchinson, Jonathan Quinn, Kordell Stewart, Chris Chandler, Jim Miller, Shane Matthews and Cade McNown — and that’s just the 2000s-era starting QBs in Chicago.

If the Bears don’t re-sign Cutler, they are choosing a total rebuilding job over building around a proven Pro Bowl passer with 100 starts, 148 TD passes and 22,997 yards under his belt. And that would be risky business, especially considering Chicago’s recent track record of drafting quarterbacks — a list that includes four first-rounders since the NFL-AFL merger in Grossman (No. 22 overall in 2003), McNown (No. 12 in 1999), Jim Harbaugh (No. 26 in ’87) and Jim McMahon (No. 5 in ’82). And the Bears are just mediocre enough this year that there is no way to compete with the miserable Jaguars and Buccaneers for the top signal-caller available in 2014. Good luck finding a quarterback better than Cutler, who went No. 11 overall in 2006.

Chicago needs to focus on the once-feared Monsters of the Midway defense. Stopping Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is the answer to winning the NFC North — not replacing Cutler, a legitimate franchise quarterback.
– Nathan Rush

Tony Dungy was recently asked whether he thought Jay Cutler was a franchise quarterback. Dungy’s response: “He could be, but not from what I’ve seen so far.”

And that’s precisely the problem with Cutler. Even now, in the eighth season of his career, he remains more promise than production. Chicago has nothing to gain by breaking the bank to keep a quarterback who has yet to reach his potential and has made precisely one playoff appearance in his career.

Cutler may be the last man standing from the 2006 first-round quarterback class, but he has risen no higher than the middle of the pack among his peers. He’s 16th among active players in passer rating, and his interception percentage of 3.4 ranks 28th and underscores his alarming and ongoing propensity for the ill-timed turnover.

Then there’s his health. Once a paragon of durability, Cutler has seen an increasing susceptibility to injury that is rapidly diminishing his long-term value. This season marks the second time in three years he will have missed multiple games.

It would be one thing if the Bears had no other options, but the opposite is true. Next spring’s NFL Draft will see one of the great quarterback classes of recent memory. Names like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Marcus Mariota, Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray will be clustered atop draft boards in war rooms across the league. A Bears team that will likely be drafting in the middle of the pack will still have several tantalizing first-round options.

The Cutler experiment in Chicago has been a qualified success at best, and after only one playoff victory — against a 7–9 Seahawks team that was the worst playoff team of the modern era — it’s time for the Bears to move on. Better options await. 
– Rob Doster

Should the Bears Re-Sign Jay Cutler?
Post date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 13:00
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-23-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 23.


• The World Series starts tonight, and we know who Kayla will be rooting for. Enjoy this slideshow of the Red Sox' hottest fan. It's almost enough to make you want to root for the Sox. Almost.


• Tim McCarver has a lot of haters out there. If you're not among them, enjoy this three-minute tribute to his World Series broadcasting career.


An oral history of the 1989 Earthquake Series. Dennis Eckersley: "I was in the bathroom. I was combing my hair, man. I was standing next to Dave Parker."


Oregon football practice has a suspicious feathered observer. Probably one of Nick Saban's minions.


Despite being a shell of his former self, Tim Lincecum is somehow cashing in. His agent deserves a raise.


• Headline of the day: "Man Drops 14 Pounds By Only Drinking Beer and Eating Sausages." This man is my new hero.


Mike Tyson in his own words. The article's even better if you read it in a Mike Tyson voice.


Someone on the Interwebs is contending that Tajh Boyd owes a huge gambling debt. I call that kicking a man when he's down.


Trevor Plouffe went hiking with his wife and posted a photo with a classic caption.


• The spoils of victory: Tulane coach Curtis Johnson says his players now have more girlfriends than ever.


Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visits the Great American Beer Festival, and the results are exactly what you would hope.


• These things are always heartwarming: A Northwestern walk-on gets a scholarship in front of the team. The best part is when he calls his mom and sister with the news.




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Post date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-22-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 22.


• It's no-football Tuesday, so here's a cheerleader roundup from this past weekend to tide you over.


• The day of reckoning arrived for Miami — and it ain't that bad. Happiest man on the planet this morning: Al Golden, rewarded for his loyalty to a program operating under a dark cloud. If you're bored and looking for something to read, here's a rundown of the NCAA report.


• So the morning's big losers aren't the Canes. How about the Vikings? Last night's abomination saw more Josh Freeman overthrows (16) than Adrian Peterson carries (13). Nice game plan, fellas.


• Speaking of the Vikings, here's this week's edition of Sorry Your Team Lost.


College football's five worst fan bases. Don't get mad at me; I'm just the messenger.


• Ballpark jumbotron proposals are lame. Especially when you're Kanye West and you rent out the whole ballpark to do it


• Interesting number-crunching: College football teams that outscore their basketball colleagues. Not surprisingly, the Ducks lead the way.


• I know baseball's popularity has waned a bit, but six bucks for a World Series ticket?


The shooting guard with one arm has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Florida. I have a new favorite college player.


• Just when you think it's safe to hate Duke basketball, they go and do something heartwarming. Enjoy.




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Post date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: Tennessee Titans, NFL
Path: /nfl/tennessee-titans-owner-bud-adams-dies-90
Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams Jr., the man who brought pro football to Houston in 1960 and to Nashville in 1998 (after a stopover in Memphis in 1997), has died at age 90. The colorful Adams had owned the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise from its creation in 1960, turning a $50,000 investment into a billion-dollar operation. 
Adams, a founding father of the American Football League, located a franchise for the fledgling AFL in Houston at the urging of fellow league founder Lamar Hunt; the two men announced the formation of the league in a press conference in Adams' boardroom in 1960. Adams struck an early blow for the new league by winning a battle with the NFL for the services of LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, and his team won AFL championships in 1960 and 1961, the first two seasons of the league's existence. 
After a successful run with coach Bum Phillips and Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell in the 1970s and 1980s, and a later flurry of success with a Warren Mood-led offensive attack, Adams' relationship with the city of Houston deteriorated over the lack of a new stadium to replace the antiquated Astrodome, prompting Adams to move his franchise to Nashville. After a rocky start, the newly christened Tennessee Titans made a Super Bowl run in their first season in their new stadium across the Cumberland River from downtown Nashville. Adams had remained involved in the team’s operations from his base in Houston, famously urging the drafting of Texas legend Vince Young in 2006 and hiring Hall of Famer Mike Munchak to replace Jeff Fisher as head coach in 2011. 
Adams and his wife Nancy were married for 62 years before her passing in February of 2009. They raised two daughters, Susie Smith and Amy Strunk, and a son, Kenneth S. Adams III, who is deceased. Adams had seven grandchildren, including Titans executive Kenneth Adams IV.
Adams' death comes only three days after the passing of Phillips, the popular coach whom Adams fired following the 1980 season. 
​Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams Jr., the man who brought pro football to Houston in 1960 and to Nashville in 1998 (after a stopover in Memphis in 1997), has died at age 90. The colorful Adams had owned the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise from its creation in 1960, turning a $50,000 investment into a billion-dollar operation.
Post date: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 13:43
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-21-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 21.


• It might be getting cold outside, but summer's coming in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, the South African swimsuit issue hits this week, featuring cover girl Genevieve Morton (pictured).


• The refs played a big role in two of yesterday's most compelling NFL games. The Jets beat the Pats on the strength of an unsportsmanlike penalty. And Andrew Luck drew a critical flag with a soccer-worthy flop.


• Vontae Davis and the Colts defense managed to slow down Peyton Manning, even though Davis spent the week preparing for Tom Brady.


The Ohio State band did a pretty amazing tribute to Michael Jackson, moonwalk included. Too bad it's not 1988.


• Kickers are people, too: Colts kicker Pat McAfee destroyed Broncos kick returner Trindon Holliday. In Holliday's defense, McAfee's a lot bigger, and it sure looked like helmet-to-helmet.


• Jim Leyland is retiring. Let's hope he's celebrating in this manner.


• This guy screams chick magnet: Jorts, boots and two obnoxious calf tattoos, one of them dedicated to the Pittsburgh Steelers.


• A little gross, a little sad, but still funny: The Falcons brought in the hazmat team to scrub the locker room after the Bucs took their MRSA and went home.


• Week 8 in the SEC was bananas. Here's what happened.


• The slow wheels of justice: Sean Taylor died almost six years ago. The trial of one of his alleged killers starts today.


• In honor of Jim Leyland's retirement, here he is cussing out a young Barry Bonds in his Pirate days. (Obvious language warning.)




-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

Post date: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 10:41
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-18-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 18.


• Halloween's still almost two weeks away, but NFL cheerleaders are already in the spirit of the season.


Mike Napoli, Russell Wilson, Nolan Ryan and more from last night.


• Leave it to the good people of NASCAR: a milkshake made from beer and bacon courtesy of the Texas Motor Speedway. Combining the best stuff on earth.


• Steve Spurrier is a master troller of his rivals, but he saves some of his best work for Tennessee.


Cool story about a high school soccer player who lost an arm as a child in war-torn Sierra Leone.


Ten people who have been banned from Saturday Night Live for life. You wouldn't like Lorne Michaels when he's angry.


• Fire up the Mack truck: Gaping plot holes in sports movies. I'd forgotten about the palm trees in "Teen Wolf", which is set in Nebraska. Takes you right out of an otherwise realistic story.


• When most NFL offensive linemen retire, they rapidly exceed 400 pounds and become fused to the couch. Matt Birk is a different story.


• Late to this, but Ole Miss coed Shelby Herring was the week's Internet breakout star.


• By the numbers: The SEC's best skill players by position at the season's halfway point.


• Robert Griffin III thinks he could play Olympic-level ping-pong.  Some youth ping-pong players want RG3 to put his money where his mouth is.


• Watch Jason Kidd get his jersey retired by the Nets. Well deserved.




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Post date: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 10:59
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/should-colts-have-kept-peyton-manning

Colts owner Jim Irsay started a mini-firestorm this week on the eve of Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis, taking a couple of not-so-veiled shots at Manning's lack of postseason success in Indy. "We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay said of his single Super Bowl ring. With the debate currently raging, we posed the question to a couple of our editors: Should the Colts have kept Peyton?


YesShould the Colts Have Kept Peyton Manning?
Of course the Indianapolis Colts should have kept Peyton Manning. Owner Jim Irsay — who inherited the franchise from his father, Robert — must regret the decision to cut Manning on a daily basis. It was a tough call. But the wrong decision was made. And that has been painfully obvious this season, which is Manning’s finest to date.

“I can tell you it wasn’t a no-brainer,” former Colts coach Tony Dungy recently told the Denver Post. “Jim (Irsay) was a young boy when his dad traded Johnny Unitas. So he knew the ramifications of this type of decision. And he also knew how much Peyton had done for the city of Indianapolis and for that franchise. …

“I can almost guarantee you that if (Irsay) knew (Manning) was going to be healthy like this and playing this kind of football, in hindsight I don’t think he would have done it.”

No team in its right mind would trade the best quarterback in football — which Manning clearly is this season — even if its braintrust was replacing him with the “next” best quarterback in football — which Andrew Luck appears to be.

What if Indianapolis had kept Manning and traded away the No. 1 overall pick? These hypothetical situations are usually based in fiction. But the 2012 NFL Draft witnessed a blockbuster trade involving the No. 2 overall pick linked to Robert Griffin III. The Redskins traded the Nos. 6 and 39 overall picks in 2012 and first-rounders in both 2013 (No. 22 overall) and 2014 to trade up to take RG3. And Luck was worth more.

Had the Colts kept the best quarterback on the planet — a man whose trophy case includes four league MVPs and a Super Bowl XLI MVP — and surrounded him with a surplus of first-round picks, then Indy would be the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVIII. By letting Manning leave, Irsay ensured he’ll only have “one” Super Bowl win for at least another year. And he might have to watch Manning raise another Lombardi Trophy.
– Nathan Rush

It’s easy for the Monday morning quarterbacks to look at Peyton Manning’s staggering numbers in Denver and say that the Colts made a mistake in cutting him loose. But it’s important to remember: The Manning we’re seeing today is a far cry from the Manning who left Indy after the 2011 season. Yes, the change of scenery from the dingy interior of a dome to a breathtaking mountain vista has utterly revitalized Manning, but I would contend that the move has been of considerable benefit for both parties. And at the time, it was the sensible move for the Colts franchise.

As you remember, Manning missed the entire 2011 season, a 2–14 disaster, with a career-endangering neck condition that had required multiple surgeries. The prior season, in retrospect his final campaign in Colts blue, was a 10–6 disappointment with a one-game playoff flameout. Manning’s 2010 passer rating of 91.9 was his lowest in almost a decade; his interception total of 17 was his highest since 2002. The Manning era in Indy had clearly reached a point of diminishing returns. In reality, his last stand as Colts QB had come the previous season, when he led Indy on one last Super Bowl run that ended with a pick-six and a two-touchdown loss to New Orleans — a sadly fitting denouement for a quarterback with a postseason record of 9–11.

So the Colts were entirely justified in closing the door on the Manning era and bidding farewell to their aging legend. But the fact that a clear successor was available made the decision a no-brainer. Andrew Luck is Manning 2.0 — a young, healthy version of the talented and cerebral quarterback who directed the Colts offense for 13 mostly glorious seasons. Luck’s tenure thus far — an 11–5 season in 2012 and a solid 4-2 start to the 2013 campaign — proves that Indy has nothing to apologize for.
– Rob Doster

Should the Colts Have Kept Peyton Manning?
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 12:45
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-17-2013

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


• The NFL's thinking pink this month, right down to the cheerleaders. Enjoy this Breast Cancer Awareness Month-themed gallery.


Joe Buck and Tim McCarver engaged in an awkward high-five last night. Do I detect a subtle eye-roll from Buck?


Whoa, the Daily News went for the jugular in the Redskins debate.


• Also from the Daily News: a wrap-up of the latest A-Rod tell-all. Apparently he was making hookers two at a time, Fredo-style.


• You just thought Peyton Manning was meticulous and obsessive. You don't know the half of it.


• Some computer whiz went in and fattened up every NFL logo. The results are highly amusing. The Patriots guy has really been hitting the chowdah.


• South Park has always walked a production tightrope. This week, they finally fell off.


Second-half predictions for the SEC.


Mike Riley's using Twitter to recruit in a pretty clever way.


• Halloween's coming, and if you're looking for last-minute costume ideas for your kids, avoid these at all costs. Although, do you really need to be told not to dress your kid up as Hitler?


• Royce White's crippling fear of flying almost ended his NBA career, but he's making progress. He tweeted a photo from an airplane window.


• Syracuse center Baye Moussa Keita does a pretty passable impression of coach Jim Boeheim. See what you think.



-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 10:41
Path: /college-football/2013-sec-week-8-preview-and-predictions

Week 8 in the SEC features two matchups with ranked teams, including the suddenly important Florida-Missouri showdown in the East Division. The Tigers defeated Georgia last week, but the victory came at a price. Quarterback James Franklin is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, leaving inexperienced backup Maty Mauk as the No. 1 option.

Auburn is clearly improved in coach Gus Malzahn’s first season. But do the Tigers have the firepower to keep up with Texas A&M? The Aggies continue to struggle on defense, but the offense is one of the best in the nation.

Elsewhere this Saturday in the SEC, ranked teams in Georgia, South Carolina and LSU are all on the road against conference foes. Alabama hosts Arkansas in what is one of the biggest mismatches of Week 8.

Week 8 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten Pac-12 

SEC Week 8 Game Power Rankings

1. Auburn (+14) at Texas A&M (3:30 ET, CBS)
Gus Malzahn’s Tigers are one of the most improved teams in college football this season and could build some momentum as they approach a tough season-ending two-fer with rivals Georgia and Alabama. Quarterback Nick Marshall will have to make plays with both his arm and his legs if the Tigers are to keep pace with Johnny Manziel and company at Kyle Field. Marshall missed last week’s game against Western Carolina due to injury, but the junior is expected to start on Saturday. Manziel is stating a credible case for back-to-back Heismans, and he's coming off one of the most dynamic performances of his career, overcoming a couple of costly turnovers to throw for 346 yards and rush for 124 and two touchdowns in a 41–38 win at Ole Miss, marking his fourth career 300 pass/100 rush game. The Aggies are riding Manziel's arm and legs to 47.8 points per game, a number that ranks fourth in the nation, and 586.5 yards per contest (third). Both numbers lead the SEC. Auburn's defense is improved, but the Tigers will rely on their offense, which is averaging 474.2 yards per game, to keep them in this one. Texas A&M is vulnerable on defense, surrendering 32 points and 474 yards per game. Expect a shootout, much like the Aggies' visit to Oxford last week.

2. Florida (-3) at Missouri (12:21 ET, ESPN 3)
Just when Missouri appears to have turned a significant corner with a 41–26 upset of Georgia in Athens — possibly the biggest win of the Gary Pinkel era — the hard-luck Tigers must welcome their SEC East rivals without their key playmaker and leader, quarterback James Franklin, who injured his shoulder against the Bulldogs. After dire early reports that had Franklin missing the remainder the season, Pinkel asserted that he could return for the season-ending games with Ole Miss and Texas A&M. But that doesn't help this week, when the Tigers face the SEC's leading defense. Pressure falls to redshirt freshman Maty Mauk to step into the breach, and it will be a trial by fire against the Gators as Mizzou looks to maintain its grip on the SEC East lead. Mauk lacks Franklin's size and physical skills and will be asked to manage the offense, limit turnovers and let the Tigers' three-headed running attack — Russell Hansbrough, Henry Josey and Marcus Murphy — handle the load. Even with Franklin's injury, this is a team with national aspirations. "There is no question that one of the goals for this team is to get back to Missouri’s winning ways," Pinkel said. "It is a big deal to them. ... They want to get back to competing for championships."

3. LSU (-9.5) at Ole Miss (7:00 ET, ESPN 2)
The renewal of this storied rivalry always harkens back to the most famous encounter between the two teams — the 1959 Halloween classic won by the Tigers 7–3 on Billy Cannon's punt return. This one lacks that level of national significance, but it's a critical game for both teams, and LSU still holds championship aspirations. The two teams are trending in opposite directions; LSU surges into Oxford fresh off a 17–6 win over Florida, while Ole Miss' 3–0 start has disintegrated into an 0–3 stretch that culminated with a heartbreaking 41–38 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday night. Even with a mediocre statistical outing against the Gators, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger leads the SEC in passing efficiency and has tossed only two interceptions on the season (compared to 15 touchdowns). The Rebels will need to force the Tigers into some mistakes while protecting the football themselves to have a shot at the upset. It would also help if Hugh Freeze's offense could muster some production on the ground and generate some long drives.

4. South Carolina (-7) at Tennessee (12:00 ET, ESPN)
The Vols are a popular upset pick in some quarters based on their strong showing against Georgia, but let's not get crazy. South Carolina is coming off its most complete performance of the season, a dominating 52–7 win at Arkansas. Still, this is a Gamecocks team that struggled to beat Kentucky and UCF and almost squandered a big lead against Vanderbilt. In other words, if the Vols can hang around into the fourth quarter, they are capable of pulling the upset. Butch Jones' offense will have to maintain the balance they showed against Georgia. Rajion Neal gashed the Dawgs for 148 yards, and Justin Worley threw for 215 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Worley will have to display a similar level of ball security against a defense that forced three turnovers against Arkansas. The biggest task facing the Vols defense will be stopping Mike Davis, who has emerged as arguably the best back in the SEC and is averaging 123.7 yards per game.

5. Georgia (-9.5) at Vanderbilt (12:00 ET, CBS)
Georgia arrives in Nashville decimated by injuries and discouraged by a home loss to Missouri that would seem to eliminate the Dawgs from SEC East title contention. With the Dawgs' backs against the wall, look for elite running back Todd Gurley to make his return from a sprained ankle. A productive running game would open things up downfield for Aaron Murray and the passing game, although Murray's wealth of targets has diminished considerably due to injury. The Commodores have struggled at times to establish the run, and it will be up to running back Jerron Seymour and an experienced offensive line to chew up some clock and move the chains. It will also be incumbent upon receiver Jordan Matthews to make plays in the passing game, but Matthews has been the most reliably consistent player in the SEC this season.

6. Arkansas (+28) at Alabama (7:00 ET, ESPN)
Given Arkansas' utter failure to show up for its own homecoming game against South Carolina, and Bama's utter dominance this season of any team that lacks Johnny Manziel at quarterback, this one appears to be a colossal mismatch — and appearances in this case are not deceiving. The Hogs have lost four straight, the last two by a combined score of 82–17, as a once-promising offense has sputtered to a halt. That's not an encouraging thought when you're heading to Tuscaloosa to face a Tide defense that has allowed 26 points total in the five games in which it wasn't facing Johnny Football. Expect the Tide to grind out another workmanlike double-digit win, much like the 48–7 win over Kentucky last week that included a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers but revealed superior manpower at every position.

SEC Week 8 Pivotal Players

Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn
Marshall injured his knee against Ole Miss but appears to be back at full strength for the Tigers' trip to Kyle Field. Gus Malzahn needs his junior signal-caller to be at his absolute best on Saturday against a weak A&M defense if, as anticipated, a track meet breaks out. Marshall made plays with his legs against the Rebels, rushing for 140 yards, and Malzahn will likely be looking for more of the same in an attempt to keep the ball away from Johnny Manziel for as long as possible.

Missouri's offensive line
This group has paved the way for a balanced and productive offensive attack — 239.3 yards per game rushing, 276.3 passing — but without dynamic quarterback James Franklin and a likely reluctance to put the game in the hands of a redshirt freshman quarterback (Maty Mauk), the onus will be on the line to open holes for the running game against a stout Florida front. The Gators are allowing only 83.3 rushing yards per game, so the Tigers' big uglies have their work cut out.

Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt
Hal, thought to have all-star potential at cornerback, has yet to intercept a pass this season for a Commodore defense that has been disappointing. Georgia limps into this matchup hobbled on offense, but you can bet that quarterback Aaron Murray will look to make plays down the field against the Commodore secondary in an effort to end this one early. If Hal is up to the challenge, he could find the ball in his hands at some point.

Justin Worley, QB, Tennessee
Worley seemed to take a major step against Georgia, leading the Vols to a near-upset with solid, mistake-free play down the stretch. But the South Carolina defense presents a significantly tougher challenge. The Gamecocks are coming off a frighteningly thorough domination of Arkansas in which the Hogs could muster only 30 yards passing. Worley will have to have some success in the passing game if the Vols are to pull the upset — and his receivers will have to help him out by making plays when they're available.

I'Tavius Mathers, RB, Ole Miss
After a blazing start to the season — 302 yards rushing combined against Vanderbilt and Texas — Rebel runner Jeff Scott saw his touches and his production diminish, and an injury against Texas A&M could rule him out against LSU. Hugh Freeze needs a running dimension against an athletic LSU defense, and the pressure could fall on Mathers to help provide it and take some of the burden off quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti. The sophomore is averaging 6.2 yards per carry on limited opportunities. Those opportunities could increase this week.

SEC Week 8 Predictions

GameDavid FoxBraden GallSteven LassanMitch Light
UGA (+7.5) at VandyGeorgia 28-21Georgia 34-31Georgia 34-27Georgia 34-21
S. Carolina (-7.5) at TennesseeS. Carolina 35-13S. Carolina 38-17SC 34-20S. Carolina 31-17
Florida (-3) at MissouriFlorida 17-10Florida 24-17Florida 27-20Florida 20-14
Auburn (+13.5) at Texas A&MTAMU 42-31TAMU 45-34TAMU 45-30TAMU 41-20
Arkansas (+28) at AlabamaAlabama 42-10Alabama 49-10Alabama 45-10Alabama 38-10
LSU (-8) at Ole MissLSU 38-17LSU 42-31LSU 34-30LSU 37-28
Final Record57-755-956-854-10


2013 SEC Week 8 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-16-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 16.


• I can't believe I missed Canadian Thanksgiving Day (Oct. 14). To make amends, here's a gallery of Canadian beauties that we're all thankful for, including actress Malin Ackerman (pictured).


• How's this for a collaboration: Michael Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Jack Nicklaus are working together on a new golf course in the Bronx.


• Bad night for Justin Verlander. He pitched his butt off, lost 1-0, and then Erin Andrews briefly confused him with Justin Bieber.


Red Sox starter John Lackey had an honest reaction to getting pulled from the game last night.


• Remind me never to hang out with Cal Ripken's mom. She's been held up at gunpoint for the second time.


• Here's a fun game: Guess the athlete tattoo.


An OU receiver is on indefinite leave after two incidents of public masturbation. His position coach actually said this: "He's trying to get his hands around it."


• I'm a sucker for gratutious displays of sheer athleticism, so this is my kind of list: the top 20 dunkers in college basketball.


• In other college hoops news, here's the time that Marshall Henderson, the Johnny Manziel of hoops, met with the Texas A&M president.


• Yikes. Monsters still lurk in the ocean depths.


• The SEC is suddenly a quarterback's conference. Here are the league's top 10 signal-callers.


• Enjoy this surreal video of Raiders superfan Dr. Death giving an impassioned speech before the Oakland City Council. This is local government in action.



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Post date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 10:50
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-15-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 15.


• It's Tuesday, the start of that dreadful two-day no-man's land with no football. Here's a cheerleader gallery from college football's Week 7 to make the wait a little more bearable.


• The highlights of last night's baseball game: a Yasiel Puig triple that started with a home run pose; and a fan dressed as a bear dancing on the visiting dugout. For their part, the Cardinals were not amused by Puig's antics, nor those of his teammates.


• From Yasiel and the Dancing Bear to Torii and the Cop: Here's the inside story of the sports photo of the year.


The Tigers could win the World Series while playing terrible defense. I've always contended that defense in baseball is overrated, so I guess I'm rooting for the Tigers to prove me right.


• Yesterday was big for bear news. You probably saw the video of the bear playing tetherball. It gets even better when you learn the bear's backstory.


The Week 6 edition of Sorry Your Team Lost. I like this line: "The Titans are like that stupid Imagine Dragons song. No one I know actually likes them and neither of them are entertaining, but for some reason you can't get away from them or stop hearing about them."


A bird attack temporarily derailed the signing of Manu Ginobili's new contract. Bird must've been a Hawks fan, amirite?


• I'm glad somebody noticed this: Young Rob Ryan was a dead ringer for Kenny Powers.


It's a history-making week in the SEC.


• Another day, another Les Miles video. In this one, our hero wishes us a Happy Columbus Day, as only Les Miles can.




-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

Post date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:33
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /overtime/weirdest-superstitions-sports

Whether we admit it or not, most of us have little superstitions, whether it be knocking on wood or saying, "God bless" when someone sneezes. But some athletes have taken it just a little farther than that. We thought that it was appropriate to find the 13 most superstitious people in sports, with their seriously strange quirks, habits and talismans, and present them here.
Turk WendellMen's Fitness magazine once named pitcher Turk Wendell, whose 11-year major league career (1993-2004) included stops with the Cubs, Mets, Phillies and Rockies, the most superstitious athlete of all time. Wendell wore a necklace made from teeth and bones of animals he had hunted. He would leap over the chalk lines and draw crosses in the dirt on the pitcher's mound. He insisted that his contract figures end with his jersey number of 99. Wendell would eat four pieces of licorice during games he pitched, but don't worry about his dental health — he would also brush his teeth in the dugout between innings.
Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs didn't compile a .328 career batting average and accumulate 3,010 hits by accident. The superstitious athlete ate chicken every day before a game; took batting practice at 5:17; ran sprints at 7:17; and wrote the word "Chai" (Hebrew for "life") in the dirt before his plate appearances. Speaking of his love of chicken, Boggs' Twitter account is @ChickenMan3010.
They take their curses seriously in the U.K. The Birmingham City football club labored under a gypsy curse that came about due to the stadium's location atop the site of a Romany cemetery. Football club manager Barry Fry, who led the Birmingham City team from 1993 to 1996, took the advice of a clairvoyant to break the curse: He peed in all four corners of the St. Andrew's pitch. So did it work? "Well, we started to win and I thought it had," Fry said in an interview. "Then they sacked me, so probably not."
Slugger Jason Giambi (A's, Yankees, Rockies, Indians) addressed a hitting slump with his choice of undergarments. His personal slump-buster was a fancy piece of butt floss — a gold thong. If that’s not disturbing enough, try this: Teammates would ask to borrow it when they encountered slumps of their own.
How obsessed was power-hitting outfielder Larry Walker (Expos, Rockies, Cardinals) with the number 3? He set his alarm clock for 33 minutes past the hour, took batting practice in groups of three swings and was married on November 3 at 3:33 P.M. He bought 33 tickets in section 333 of Olympic Stadium to give to under-privileged kids during his time in Montreal. On one of his contracts, he asked for $3,333,333.33. Appropriately enough, Walker's career stats include plenty of threes: His career batting average was .313, and he hit 383 career homers.

Michael Jordan's superstition inspired an NBA fashion trend. Jordan insisted on wearing his North Carolina Tar Heels shorts under his Bulls uniform, and to cover up his old college basketball trunks, he started wearing longer shorts. Naturally, the rest of the NBA followed suit.

Mercurial NBA guard Jason Terry (Hawks, Mavs, Celtics, Nets) has the habit of sleeping in the shorts of the team he is playing the next day.
Beloved Phillies legend and Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who played in Philadelphia from 1948 to 1959 before ending his career with the Mets, slept with a lot of old bats in his day. Literally. In order to keep track of a bat that was treating him particularly well, Ashburn would take the bat to bed with him. 
Chicago Black Hawks legend Stan Mikita, who led the NHL in scoring four times during a remarkable career that spanned four different decades (1958-80), also led the league in Most Unusual Superstition: Mikita would flick a lit cigarette over his left shoulder before taking the ice for a game.

Goalie Pelle Lindbergh, who played for the Philadelphia Flyers from 1981 to 1986, would drink a Swedish beer called Pripps during each intermission, with two ice cubes — no more, no fewer.
There must be something about goalies. Patrick Roy, whose career included stints with Montreal (1984-95) and Colorado (1996-2003), is considered by many the greatest goaltender in NHL history. He might also be the strangest, since he befriended the posts. That's right — Roy would touch and talk to the net posts, thanking them if a shot went awry or clanged off of one of them. Roy would also step over the red and blue lines on the ice, and he would avoid reporters on game day.
For the Celtics of the 1960s, Bill Russell's puke became a good-luck totem. According to Sports Illustrated: "If he threw up before a big game, the Celtics were sure everything would be all right. If he didn't, then Boston's coach, Red Auerbach, would tell Russell to go back to the toilet and order him to throw up." Russ must've done an awful lot of puking, considering that he led the Celtics to 11 championships in his 13-year career.
Rafael Nadal, who has won 13 Grand Slam singles titles, is a candidate for Greatest Tennis Player of All Time. He's also the GOAT when it comes to superstitious eccentricities, which he refers to as his "routines." His assortment of quirks is a category unto itself.

• Nadal has rituals involving his water bottles. He brings two bottles to each match, with one slightly warmer than the other, and sips from both during the match. The label of both has to be facing the court.

• During his recent run to the U.S. Open crown, Nadal ate the same meal at the same restaurant every night. The New York Post reported that Nadal consumed Chilean sea bass, fried rice and noodles at a Manhattan Chinese restaurant every evening when he wasn't playing a night match.

• Before every point, Nadal makes sure that his socks are pulled up at the same height. Prior to a match, he'll spend 30 seconds or more pulling his socks up and down.

• Nadal never steps on the lines before or after any point. He also crosses the lines right foot first.

Whether we admit it or not, most of us have little superstitions, whether it be knocking on wood or saying, "God bless" when someone sneezes. But some athletes have taken it just a little farther than that. We thought that it was appropriate to find the 13 most superstitious people in sports, with their seriously strange quirks, habits and talismans, and present them here.
Post date: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 16:00
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-october-14-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Oct. 14.


• The best part of hockey (in my opinion): the ice girls. They're flirty and functional. Enjoy this NHL Ice Girls Social Media Power Ranking.


What a weekend of sports, especially if you're from Massachusetts or St. Louis. To make yesterday's "Brady, Aim, Fire" moment even more stirring, here it is in Tecmo Bowl form, call included. If you want to see Brady taken down a notch, enjoy watching Julian Edelman ignore Tom Terrific's attempt at a high-five.


• Of course, the best part of Brady's late touchdown was the reaction from Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ladies and gentlemen, your GIF of the Week.


Erin Andrews got a Gatorade dousing at the Red Sox game resulting in soaked hair extensions. She described it via Twitter as "sticky."


• Some Texans fans cheered Matt Schaub's injury. Some Texans didn't like that. At all.


• Bob Costas called the "Redskins" nickname a slur. Twitter reacted, as it always does.


Columnist Phil Mushnick took to the pages of the New York Post to rip Adrian Peterson in the immediate aftermath of his son's death. Yep, you read that right.


It's been 10 years since Bartman became a thing, and we still don't know much about him.


• Tide's rolling, Georgia's gutted and Johnny Football still rules: Your SEC weekend roundup.


• Les Miles is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Enjoy his ruminations on the hammer and the nail.




-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

Post date: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 10:46