Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NBA
Path: /college-basketball/athlons-essential-11-links-day-0

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Feb. 8.

• We all tend to dismiss the National Enquirer as a slanderous gossip rag, but they've been right plenty of times, as in the case of Tiger and Elin. Here's a rundown of that and other notable investigative home runs from the Enquirer.

• An overlooked story from Signing Day: A 25-year-old ex-Marine will be playing football at Youngstown State.

The No. 1 college basketball team in the land suffered a shocking defensive breakdown in the final seconds, and lost. In a nutshell, the Illini caught the Hoosiers watchin' the paint dry.

There's a Twitter debate raging over just what the Cameron Crazies were chanting last night. Depending on your feelings about Duke, you'll probably hear what you want to hear.

• On the positive side of the Dookies' ledger, here's a classy letter from 1980 that Coach K wrote to Michael Jordan after MJ decided to look elsewhere.

• While you were watching Indiana lose, Nate Wolters was getting off for 53 points last night, a season high in college basketball.

• On a night of fantastic finishes, the best may have come in the MAAC.

• I probably don't have to tell him this, but Chris Rix may want to avoid former Florida State teammate Darnell Dockett from here on.

• Here's a rundown of NBA greats who lack rings and are running out of time to get them.

• Now that the dust has settled, just how did things shake out in SEC recruiting? Here's a hint: Pretty well. All 14 SEC teams are in the top 39 classes in the nation.

• Dustin Johnson was proud of his facial hair until he ran into Bill Murray at Pebble Beach.

• Profiles in courage: A sideline hockey reporter took a puck to the face and kept reporting with blood gushing from the wound.


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

Feb. 7

• It's almost SI Swimsuit time. In anticipation, Coed runs down the 15 sexiest SI Swimsuit rookies of the last 15 years. Not surprisingly, Brooklyn Decker (right) made the list.

• Best story of Signing Day: Top recruit Alex Collins wanted to commit to Arkansas, but his mom absconded with his papers. As someone pointed out on Twitter, if the guy couldn't catch his mom, he doesn't have SEC speed anyway.

Bama recruit Reuben Foster dressed up like Nick Saban to sign his letter of intent. I hope he knows what he's doing; apparently, nobody told him that St. Nick has no detectable sense of humor.

• Tennessee Sports Radio came up with a fool-proof way to draw people to their Signing Day event: They hired a lingerie model to be their Fax Cam Girl.

• Before you get all hyped up on your team's 5-star prospects, remember that recruiting is an inexact science. ESPN chronicles SEC booms and busts from four short years ago. Darren Rovell reminds us also that on NSD 2008, Andrew Luck was rated the 68th-best player in the country. Hey, at least he cracked the top 100.

• Last Signing Day link: Athlon's Braden Gall runs down the day's winners and losers.

Deadspin ranked all 47 Super Bowls according to watchability. Extra points given for close games, upsets, shootouts and games that went to the last play. Nice list, although I still contend that XIV (Steelers 31, Rams 19) is an underrated gem.

• Proposing by text, mailing the engagement ring: Jay Cutler is truly the last of the romantics.

• Ray Rice couldn't hang on to the ball in the Super Bowl, and he couldn't hang on to the float in the celebration parade, either.

• Longtime Rockies slugger Todd Helton got popped for DUI, and his mugshot immediately joined the Gallery of the Greats.

• College basketball's taking a lot of heat this year for the poor quality of play, but hoops doesn't get much better than the ending of last night's Baylor-Oklahoma State game.

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

Feb. 6

ESPN The Magazine persuaded soccer star Alex Morgan to dress up as Katy Perry for a photo shoot. Alex doesn't share all of Katy's most obvious assets, but it's a pretty good approximation nonetheless.

• It's the fax machine's last day in the sun — National Signing Day, an unofficial holiday in SEC country (people may be at work, but no one's getting any work done). The nation's No. 1 prospect has signed with Ole Miss, part of a stunning haul for the Rebels. You can follow the big announcements here. The guys at Saturday Down South offer a tasty assortment of Signing Day links as well. Finally, here's a slideshow of top quarterbacks and their destinations.

Click here for a scathing look at the Miami-NCAA mess.

This kid's going places. He just needs a growth spurt.

Lance Armstrong: the Nixon White House of sports. Obstruction of justice? Check. Intimidation? Check. Witness tampering? Check.

The 100 Greatest Wrestlers of the 1990s. Those were the days — the economy was booming, it was peacetime, The Rock was just The Rock and Ric Flair's "Wooos" weren't embarrassing yet.

• Last night in answered prayers: Danilo Gallinari's circus shot somehow goes down.

• Appropriately enough, a one-handed safety made a one-handed interception at the International Bowl prep all-star game.

• In today's featured video, Kobe gives us two posterizations for the price of one.

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

Feb. 5

Laura McKeeman, the reigning Miss Florida, is dating Colorado Rockie Josh Rutledge, and she's also a sideline reporter for the Pac-12 Network/Fox Sports. Seems like a good excuse to run her photo.

• In case you just can't let go of football, here are 10 moments from Super Bowl weekend worth reliving.

• In this age of viral videos, one way to keep score of popularity is the amount of sharing over social media. Here's a rundown of the six most shared Super Bowl ads.

A Pixar animator spent the season making matchup-based sketches. Some of them are pretty awesome.

• Tomorrow is National Kids and Hats Day. Here's a handy schedule of Signing Day announcements. And here's a rundown of everything you need to know to get ready to have your heart broken by a bunch of 17-year-olds.

• What? Soccer is dirty? Color me shocked.

• On a serious note, skier Lindsey Vonn was injured during a crash and airlifted to a hospital. Video footage here. No word yet on her condition.

Krispy Kreme is unveiling an Oreo-filled donut. I can feel my arteries harden in anticipation.

Last night in JR Smith: He airballed a free throw, then joined a kids' game at halftime.

• Happy 79th birthday to the great Hank Aaron. 755 homers, all of them legit. Here's one guy's argument that he's now our Greatest Living Hitter. I'm convinced.

• Today's video: A key moment in Super Bowl 47 — Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones — re-created in Lego. Enjoy.

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

Feb. 4

• In case you were at the fridge, Beyonce rocked the halftime stage. The guys at Bleacher compiled the reactions from the Twitterverse. Les Miles called the performance "very athletic."

• The interwebs were made for mornings like this. Here are the funniest Super Bowl GIFs, pics and tweets, from our friends at Mandatory.

• Deadspin compiled the best, eeriest images from the night the lights went out in New Orleans.

Sportswriter Robert Klemko went partying with Joe Flacco after the game. Flacco's living the life: He's the Super Bowl MVP, and he announced last night that his wife is pregnant. And he capped off the CBS broadcast with a clear, well-placed F-bomb.

Eight amazing stats from last night. Here's a sample: San Fran outscored Baltimore 25-6 following the power outage.

John Harbaugh's devastated for little bro Jim. Something tells me he'll get over it.

• There were some decent commercials last night. I liked the Montana Miracle Stain and Leon Sandcastle. But people seem to be talking the most about the Paul Harvey farmer shout-out from Ram this morning.

• We don't often link to GIFs of missed dunks, but in Victor Oladipo's case, we'll make an exception. If it had gone down, it might have brought Assembly Hall down with it.

• What happens when you edit together the drama of the movie "Apollo 13" with Alabama's national championship game? One awesome video. Well, unless your a Notre Dame fan.

• There were many compelling moments from last night's game, but for our video of the day, we gotta go with Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return. Turns out, the Ravens needed those points when it was over.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, February 8, 2013 - 09:26
Path: /golf/mickelson-goes-wire-wire-phoenix

This weekend was vintage Phil Mickelson. In winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale,he played as well as he could possibly play, and yet he left us wanting more.
On Thursday, he saw a putt for a 59 cruelly horseshoe out of the cup even as he was walking it in, putter raised, leaving him a tap-in for a 60.
On Friday, he was cruising toward the PGA Tour's 36-hole scoring record until a double-bogey at 18 left him a shot shy.
On Saturday, he came up just short of the Tour's 54-hole scoring record.
On Sunday, he turned back a Brandt Snedeker charge with one of the greatest putts of his career, a 54-footer through the fringe at No. 7 that was barreling along until the cup got in the way. Three back-nine birdies later, he had a four-shot win over Snedeker and a staggering 28-under finish — and yet, the absence of his career nemesis placed an undeserved asterisk next to his 41st career PGA Tour win.
Yes, as Johnny Miller pointed out during Sunday's broadcast, had Phil not had the misfortune of playing in the Tiger Woods era, he would be the undisputed king of golf. As it is, Mickelson has fashioned a career that would be the envy of all but a handful of players in the game's history. In particular, Lefty has towered over the desert Southwest like a smiling Sphinx, winning six times in the state where he played his collegiate golf. Playing for an adoring crowd, the largest of the PGA Tour season, Mickelson tied the tournament scoring record of 256, 28-under par. Only twice in 72 holes did he post an over-par score on a hole.
Mostly, though, he regained a feel for what it's like to win a golf tournament, which could portend a massive year.
"It's an important one for me, because it's been a while since I won, been a while since I've been in contention," Mickelson said. "I was certainly nervous heading into today's final round.
"I think the thing I'm most excited about was the way I was able to regain control of my thoughts after a few shots early on that I didn't care for and come back and hit a number of good shots on the back nine to do what I needed to do to win."
Next up: it's back to Pebble Beach, where Mickelson is the defending champion and has won four times. Snedeker will be there too, hopeful that Lefty left his best scores in Scottsdale.

• Phil offered a tip of the hat to two key contributors — Butch Harmon, who conducted an emergency session with Lefty prior to the tournament to correct what Mickelson called a "small thing on the takeaway," and his new driver, a Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme that helped him post 29 birdies and an eagle and lead the field in greens in regulation.
• This marked the ninth different time that Tiger Woods and Mickelson have won in back-to-back weeks.
• Of Mickelson's 41 career wins, 19 have come on the Tour's West Coast Swing.
• Snedeker vaulted to the top of the FedExCup standings with his third top-3 finish of the young season. He also moves to a career-high 6th in the World Golf Rankings. A week after finishing second to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines, he ran into the Mickelson buzzsaw at TPC Scottsdale, although he made Phil work for his win with a final-round 65. "I'm running into Hall of Famers every week," Snedeker said.
• Snedeker's 260 total would have been good enough to win the previous 11 Waste Management Phoenix Opens and has been bested only three times in the tournament's history.

RELATED: 10 Greatest Shots of Phil Mickelson's Career

<p> Mickelson Goes Wire to Wire in Phoenix</p>
Post date: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 12:51
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, Golf
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-5

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

• It's finally Super Bowl weekend. Here's everything that you, the fan, needs to know about the Big Game.

• If you just can't wait until Sunday, here's a sneak peek at supermodel Bar Refaeli's GoDaddy commercial. The screen grab alone is priceless.

Ravens cheerleader claims she was fired for gaining a pound and a half. Who knew that cheerleaders had weigh-ins like they were Vegas showgirls?

• Some tasty Super Bowl morsels from our friends at Mandatory: Infamous Super Bowl moments, and even cooler, the biggest plays in Super Bowl history at all 100 yard-lines.

• Randy Moss is an all-time great receiver. He's not an all-time great judge of personnel. Moss ruled himself out of any future GM jobs yesterday by including Terrell Owens (and himself) on his list of the five greatest players of all time.

JJ Watt "proposes" to an adorable six-year-old fan. Supremely cute, or strangely creepy? You be the judge.

• As recruiting season reaches a crescendo, here are the top 10 SEC recruiting classes of the last 10 years. Those classes have gone on to win quite a few national titles.

Phil Mickelson came agonizingly close to a 59 yesterday.

The New York Post has a hold of this Dan Marino story like a dog with a chew toy. Not good for Dan.

• Now that "30 Rock" is in the dustbin of television history, here's a rundown of great sports moments on the dearly departed sitcom.

• In today's video, a D-II player throws down a between-the-legs slam. As a reminder that this is D-II, the dude at the beginning totally clanks it off the bottom of the backboard, WNBA-style.

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

January 31

• It's almost time for the Super Bowl, which brings together the two best teams in the NFL…along with their cheerleaders. In case you haven't seen it yet, we have a gallery of the fabulous Gold Rush cheerleaders.
• Ever wonder just how much your favorite NFL team spends for its talent? Here's an interactive graphic that shows NFL salaries by team and position. Sorry Raiders fans, this will really depress you. 
• Green Bay Packers great Donald Driver is hanging up his cleats for good. We'll miss you.
• The Texans J.J. Watt is getting married to a 6-year-old…sort of. We wish the happy couple nothing but the best.
• Note to self: Stop asking Michael Oher about "The Blind Side."
• Want to be the know-it-all at this year's Super Bowl party? Sure you do. Here is everything you need to know about the Super Bowl. And a lot of stuff you don't. 
• One of our favorite sites on the Interweb has gotten a makeover. Check out the new and improved awesomeness of Extra Mustard. Trust us, you won't regret it.
• How many five-star college football QBs panned out in the last 10 years? Find out. 
• Have you ever wanted to see the most important play to happen on every yard in the history of the Super Bowl? Yeah neither did we, but it is pretty cool. 
• Google is honoring Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson, who was born 94 years ago today. Happy Birthday to one of the greats. 
• Sometimes being a great team in the NFL isn't enough to make it Super Sunday. 
Joe Rogan REALLY enjoys a good UFC stare down. And we enjoy the Benny Hill music. So it's a win-win.

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

Look who was reporting from Super Bowl Media Day. Yep, the object of Brent Musberger's affection.

• $114 million is a lot to pay a disgraced steroid user, even for the Yankees, who are exploring their options to void A-Fraud's remaining contract.

Hines Ward has really let himself go since his retirement.

• From Mars and Michael to Li'l Penny to Grandmama, the guys at Mandatory present the best athlete ad campaigns of all time.

• Apparently, the deer spray craze has poked its antlers into the college game. Three Alabama players reportedly met with the guys at SWATS prior to the BCS title game with LSU.

Jeff Saturday wants a one-day contract to retire as a Colt. Let's hope that day is a Saturday.

• College hoops' newest villain, Ole Miss gunner Marshall Henderson, struggled last night in a loss to Kentucky. This GIF offers a delicious morsel of said struggles.

Bama's facilities (and players) looked a little different in 1965. Thank God Nick Saban doesn't have to recruit under these conditions.

• Apparently, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to Dr. Phil that he fell in love with Manti Te'o, later copping to being "confused." Join the club, Ronaiah.

• Lest we forget, there's an NBA season going on, and the Blazers and Mavericks put on a show last night.

• Talk about under the radar: Ohio Bobcats guard D.J. Cooper is on pace to become the only player in the history of Division I college basketball to have 2,000 points, 900 assists, 500 rebounds and 300 steals. Let's make this kid famous before it's too late.

• Now this is good parenting at work. A 2-year-old unveils a masterful array of WWE impersonations.

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

January 29

• Competing for eyeballs this Sunday in the Mercedes Benz Superdome: the lovely Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders. I think they'll hold their own.

• In anticipation of today's Super Bowl Media Day circus, here's an amusing roundup of Jim Harbaugh press conference non-answers. My favorite: "I know what you just asked, but I was so mesmerized and dazzled by your voice right there. You have got a great voice. I lost my train of thought."

Ray Lewis has forgiven Wes Welker's wife for disparaging him on Facebook. Our long national nightmare is over.

JaMarcus to the Jets? What could possibly go wrong?

A clinic in Miami was apparently providing PEDs to athletes. Maybe you'll recognize some of the names in their little black book: A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, people like that.

Tiger Woods played this weekend exactly how the game of golf needs him to play: He was both dominant and vulnerable.

• This was as inevitable as Taiwanese animation: Somebody auto-tuned the Katie Couric-Manti Te'o interview. Speaking of Te'o, the folks at PETA found an animal-rights angle to exploit.

• This should be a conversation-starter: Columnist says that college basketball stinks now.

Terrifying photo of the day: Some lunatic surfed a 100-foot wave.

Ray Lewis enjoyed the way that SNL spoofed him. He enjoyed it so much that he laughed until he cried. Why does everything always end with Ray Lewis crying?

• Former Yankee great Bernie Williams is known for his guitar chops, and he got to bust them out with Paul Simon for charity.

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

January 28

Jennifer Lawrence had a wardrobe malfunction at the SAG Awards last night. Now that I have your attention, here's the sports news:

The prop bet: Adding a whole new layer of Super Bowl enjoyment for the degenerate gambler in your life.

• If you're going to New Orleans for the big game, here's a guide to the new and improved New Orleans. They've come a long way.

• Yesterday's Pro Bowl score was 62-35, but the best highlight came from a kicker. That says it all about this annual affront to the game of football.

• Aussie Open, Rondo, Real Madrid, POTUS and more: A handy weekend wrapup from Grantland.

• The little snarky sports website that could: An oral history of Deadspin. When you break some big news amid all the pee-pee jokes, people start paying attention.

• Attention, recruiting coordinators: What you do today could impact the Super Bowl 10 years from now. Patrick Willis is still pissed that he got snubbed by his home-state Tennessee Vols.

Charles Barkley delivers weather news about as well as he swings a golf club. Hint: His golf swing is an abomination.

If you attend the Winter X Games as a fan, make sure your insurance is in order.

• Evidence that there are way too many "celebrity" reality shows: Ndamukong Suh had to save obese comedian Louis Anderson from potentially drowning on some stupid diving show.

• A CM Punk fan watched The Rock take away his guy's belt last night. He did not take it well. Strong language warning.

• Ray Lewis was the subject of some gentle ribbing from SNL over the weekend. Well played, Kenan.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, Golf
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-4

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

• The NFL's Final Four are set to do battle on Conference Championship Sunday. These elite teams also have elite cheerleading squads. Here's the photographic evidence.

ESPN offers a nice deconstruction of Lance Armstrong's mea culpa with Oprah. Bottom line: Lance is still trying to control the narrative. Here's a reaction from the cycling world.

• One of the people Armstrong admitted to steamrolling is not going to go quietly. She speaks her mind to Sports Illustrated.

• The Te'o plot thickens. Seems as if the supposed mastermind of the hoax has been chasing fame for a while now. He even auditioned for The Voice. It's also pretty clear that even if he was the victim of a hoax, Te'o continued to talk about his dead girlfriend after he knew she didn't exist. Finally, to prove that the Internet was invented for stories like this, here's a compilation of the funniest Te'o photos, GIFs and Tweets.

• With athletes in confessional mode, here's a list of the most shocking mea culpas in sports history. And here's a rundown of notable sports hoaxes.

• The Nike-Rory McIlroy marriage is off to a flying start. Rory missed the cut in Abu Dhabi in his first tournament with the new gear and the new multimillion-dollar contract. His Nike cohort Tiger Woods missed the cut too after a penalty for an illegal drop.

• In case you missed it, Colts Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne appeared on this week's episode of Parks and Rec. Not bad, although they should stick to their day jobs.


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

January 17

• In keeping with today's theme of fictional women, here's a countdown of the hottest Bond girls, including Teri Hatcher. They may be fictional, but the actresses are real and spectacular.

• This could be an all-Manti Te'o edition of Eleven Links, but I'll try to limit it to a few key ones. Leave it to Clay Travis to really dig his teeth into the Te'o kerfuffle. Travis gives a good rundown of what we know and throws in some blindly irresponsible speculation for good measure.

• Meanwhile, Pro Football Talk delves into what's really important about the Te'o story.

• You've heard of Tebowing, and Kaepernicking, and planking. Those are so last week, or last year. Now, there's Te'oing. Anyone can do it.

• One by-product of this bizarre episode: Deadspin is now the most trusted name in sports journalism. Tim Burke, one of the blockbuster story's authors, shares the basic investigative journalism that went into the piece — too basic, apparently, for mainstream journalists.

Here's a Notre Dame student's take on Te'o. Worth a read.

• In reading the Te'o story, I couldn't help but be reminded of the kid who faked his own recruitment.

• While you were obsessing over Te'o, the games went on as usual. There was even a buzzer-beater.

• Continuing the theme of disgraced athletes, Tiger Woods apparently wants Elin back. Can you blame him? A guy can only eat at Perkins so many times.

• Remember boxer Kevin McBride? No? Us either. The guys at Mandatory bring us up to speed on the guy who beat Mike Tyson, then dropped out of sight.

• The other sports liar of the moment, Lance Armstrong, once filmed an anti-doping ad for Nike.

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

January 16

• SEC basketball is lagging behind the rest of the nation this season, but the cheerleaders still lead the pack. Here's a gallery of the SEC's finest.

The Bears finally have a coach. Marc Trestman is either a home run, or a swing and a miss. Just like every other coaching hire, in other words. For what it's worth, Brandon Marshall approves.

New York Post readers picked the all-time worst lying liars. There are three sports figures in the top 10.

• Last night in buzzer-beaters: Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson, a guy fans are learning to hate, broke Commodore hearts with a regulation prayer that forced overtime.

• Don't fret, Vandy fans — football season will be here before you know it. James Franklin is recruiting at an unprecedented level, thanks in part to business cards that look like they're made of metal.

• Uh-oh — Johnny Football and his WAG were sitting courtside at an NBA game. How can an amateur athlete afford courtside seats? Alert the council of elders at the NCAA.

• My last Brent Musberger post of the week: Brent gives ESPN a big FU via TMZ. Got it?

• I don't read German. Is this story implying that Tiger Woods and skier Lindsey Vonn are an item? English-speaking minds want to know.

• Shocking news — Missy Franklin is dominating her high school opponents.

• This is cool — Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 allows you to play Augusta National as it was in 1934.

• Who doesn't love those bad lip-reading videos? Finally, the NFL has joined the fun.

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

January 15

• There's a major tennis tournament going on. We won't bore you with the results; instead, we'll link to a slideshow of Victoria Azarenka and the other lovely ladies of the Australian Open.

This story of Jason Taylor's private pain is a sobering reminder of the way our gladiators suffer for our entertainment.

ESPN claims that Brent Musberger said the word "it," and that he didn't make a sexist remark about Holly Rowe. I'm having a Clinton-era flashback.

• In linking to these photos of Mike Trout reeling in a humongous grouper, I'll avoid the obvious fish puns and just wonder if there's anything the kid can't do.

• Along those same lines (no pun intended), here's an entire slideshow devoted to athletes fishing.

Nyjer Morgan either confessed to the world via Twitter that he cheated on his girlfriend, or he was the victim of an elaborate prank.

Today's headline of the day. Were those heads in a duffel bag?

• This may be a brazen attempt at boosting ratings for the broadcast of her interview, but Oprah says that Lance Armstrong "didn't come clean in the manner I expected."

• Pro wrestling may be fake, but suffering and death are real. Mandatory presents 10 shocking pro wrestler deaths.

ESPN personality Stuart Scott is battling cancer again. The guy's a frequent punching bag, but we wish him well in his struggle.

• Speaking of ESPN, Athlon has ranked the top SportsCenter anchors of all time.

• Today's video: an instant classic courtesy of the underrated comedy stylings of Key & Peele.

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

January 14

• The Packers' season is over, thanks to the 49ers. To console Green Bay fans, we present one last look at Laura, the hottest Packers fan on the planet.

• College football may be over, but the sports world marches on unchecked. A weekend round-up from our friends at Grantland.

The NFL weekend in GIF form. Prepare for plenty of Manningface.

Brendon Ayanbadejo has singlehandedly dialed up the intensity for this weekend's Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship game, 140 characters at a time.

• We knew this was coming, but it's still a pretty big deal: Nike's got Rory McIlroy. Kind of explains the Tiger-Rory bromance that blossomed last year, doesn't it?

• The two greatest quarterbacks of our era remain separated by their relative postseason success. Eleven years after Tom Brady benefited from the Tuck Rule, Peyton Manning didn't.

Is today the day Lance Armstrong comes clean? Can genuflecting before her Oprah-ness salvage his reputation?

Colin Kaepernick has brought the read option to the NFL. Money quote: "Kaepernick is everything Vince Young was supposed to be."

• Speaking of Kaepernick: Move over, Tebowing — make room for Kaepernicking.

The catch of the day comes from the mysterious world of cricket. Rule one: Protect the concessions.

An interesting post-mortem on Tim Tebow's career (if it is in fact over). Tebow has met the enemy, and it is us.

• In today's video, Tiger and Rory go mano-a-mano for Nike, Bird-Jordan style.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: Golf, Fantasy
Path: /golf/2013-fantasy-golf-guide

You can enjoy the thrill of competing for major championships or the FedExCup without suffering the embarrassment of topping your opening drive or missing a two-foot putt. It's Fantasy Golf 2013, a great way to follow your favorite players and piggyback off their success.

Here's a quick guide to the players you need to watch, and draft. Take this list to your draft table, then sit back and ride your players' coattails — or, more accurately, their stylish slacks and white belt — to Fantasy Golf glory.

League rules may vary, but just like in the actual game of golf, our listing gives extra weight to the major championships, so depending on your league, draft accordingly, and watch those field announcements for the lesser tournaments. Nothing worse than counting on Tiger and then realizing too late that he's bailed on the John Deere for the 18th year in a row.

Rory McIlroy Flight A
Rory McIlroy
World Ranking: 1
2012 Earnings (Rank): $8,047,952 (1st)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 6

He's established himself as the best golfer on the planet, and now that he has a multimillion-dollar Nike deal in his pocket, he's one of the richest athletes in history. The only question: How hungry is he? We think he's still pretty famished, especially from a major championship perspective; with two career majors, he has plenty of work to do to catch the reigning king.

Tiger Woods
World Ranking: 2
2012 Earnings (Rank): $6,133,158 (2nd)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 74

Hunger is not a question mark for Tiger. For the first time in the Woods era, there's a clear No. 1, and it's not him. Plus, there's that nagging major drought that is approaching five full years. Now that Tiger's the hunter, look for him to dig deep and try to knock Rory from the perch that he believes to be his birthright.

Luke Donald
World Ranking: 3
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,512,024 (14th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 5

Donald's not a guy you bank on with a major on the line, but he's a fantasy stud, good for a win or two and plenty of money. Shy away from him at the bomber's layouts; his lack of power and his inconsistent tee-to-green game are detriments on long, tight courses.

Phil Mickelson
World Ranking: 19
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,203,821 (8th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 40

The clock is ticking for Lefty, who at 42 doesn't have much time left to add significantly to his Hall of Fame resume. But you can take a win or two to the bank; since 1993, Mickelson has won at least once every year but two, and his last winless campaign came in 2003. He's also finished in the top 8 in earnings in 13 of the last 17 years. For a guy who's inconsistent from hole to hole, that's some remarkable consistency.

Justin Rose
World Ranking: 5
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,290,930 (7th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 4

For stretches of 2012, Rose was the best golfer on the planet. He led the PGA and European Tours in greens in regulation, won a WGC event (the Cadillac), was a Ryder Cup stud and beat Tiger and Lee Westwood in Turkey at the end of the year. He has a run at No. 1 well within his grasp.

Flight B
Dustin Johnson
World Ranking: 13
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,393,820 (19th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 7

With a superstar WAG in tow (Wayne Gretzky's daughter Paulina), Johnson has capitalized on his limitless potential and attained superstardom. With his win at the season-opening Mercedes, Johnson has an active six-year streak of at least one win. Next step: a major championship. He's come close; watch him at the PGA, where breakthroughs often happen.

Keegan Bradley
World Ranking: 12
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,910,658 (10th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 3

His on-course quirks — his cockeyed putt-reading, his slow play, his spitting (since curtailed) — haven't endeared him to his fellow competitors, but the guy can play. He led the Tour's All Around category in 2012, indicating a complete game that can win anywhere. He has a PGA and a WGC win on his career ledger; he'll add to that burgeoning resume in 2013.

Webb Simpson
World Ranking: 15
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,436,758 (17th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 3

It's easy to forget that the low-key, unflappable Simpson is the reigning U.S. Open champion, but he's on the cusp of elite status, and his iron play will put him in contention multiple times in 2013. He might even mount a successful Open title defense at Merion, whose tight fairways reward accuracy.

Brandt Snedeker
World Ranking: 8
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,989,739 (3rd)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 4

Sneds is the world's best putter, and that skill is fantasy gold. The reigning FedExCup champ erases countless mistakes with his flatstick and his magical short game. And how's this for a career trajectory: Snedeker has improved his spot on the money list every year since 2008, with a high of third in 2012. It's tough to get much higher — but still possible.

Louis Oosthuizen
World Ranking: 4
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,460,995 (15th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 1

Oostie has the skills to be a multiple major winner this year. He has the best swing in golf, with effortless power and the ability to dominate an elite field.

Flight C
Lee Westwood
World Ranking: 7
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,016,569 (24th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 2

Poor Westwood. The guy is a Colin Montgomerie for a new generation, contending at major after major only to fall short, kissing Ryder Cups while other players hoist the important individual trophies. He turns 40 this year, and he's moved to the States to make one final push to get over the hump. His suspect short game has been his Achilles heel and bumps him down a fantasy flight.

Adam Scott
World Ranking: 6
2012 Earnings (Rank): $2,899,557 (25th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 8

Scott was primed to shed the major monkey until his late meltdown at the 2012 British Open. His transition from inept to acceptable on the greens has keyed his recent resurgence, but one has to wonder how the anchored putter's fall from grace will impact Scott's season. His ballstriking is as good as anyone's, so expect him to amass plenty of money.

Jason Dufner
World Ranking: 11
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,869,304 (4th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 2

Try these statistical nuggets on for size: Dufner made the fewest bogeys per round on Tour in 2012, and he finished the season riding an active streak of 21 cuts made. That, my friends, is the recipe for fantasy superstardom. His game has no apparent weaknesses; if he gets hot, he could vault up a flight or two.

Matt Kuchar
World Ranking: 22
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,903,065 (11th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 4

Kooch does everything but win — he has only four career wins to show for a career that is seemingly decades old. But in fantasy, slow and steady can be good enough, and Kuchar's 29 top 10s in the last three years are impossible to ignore. A key win or two could open the floodgates.

Bubba Watson
World Ranking: 9
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,644,997 (5th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 4

Watson won The Masters and then promptly disappeared from view, making one wonder if that signature win was the start of something or merely a one-shot. His length and shotmaking skills are sufficient to put him in contention in any given week; the key to his fantasy longevity lies between his ears.

Flight D
Ian Poulter
World Ranking: 14
2012 Earnings (Rank): $1,715,271 (45th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 2

The flamboyant, uber-confident Poulter was the star of the Ryder Cup, but we're not ready to anoint him a week-to-week threat just yet. His newfound consistency is impressive — he didn't miss a cut on either Tour, and he finished in the top 10 in three of the four majors — but he's still in the show-me stage, especially at majors.

Zach Johnson
World Ranking: 25
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,504,244 (6th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 9

Johnson had the third multiple-win season of his career in 2012, and you can expect more of the same in 2013. Like Snedeker, he makes his money on the greens, which means he can contend just about anywhere — even on the bomber's tracks.

Steve Stricker
World Ranking: 10
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,420,021 (18th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 12

Stricker has announced his intentions to fade into retirement, so monitor his schedule before slotting him into your fantasy lineup. But when he plays, he's a threat, thanks largely to his unmatched wedge game and streaky-hot putter. He's made the cut in his last 12 major appearances. His horrendous Ryder Cup does give us pause and knocks him down a flight.

Ernie Els
World Ranking: 24
2012 Earnings (Rank): $3,453,118 (16th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 19

Els made the Hall of Fame last year, and he won a fourth major, so you have to wonder what's left. Still, don't underestimate the Big Easy's desire for that fifth major, which would be the second-most majors of the Tiger Woods era. His putter betrays him far too often, but he still has the tee-to-green game to contend.

Hunter Mahan
World Ranking: 26
2012 Earnings (Rank): $4,019,193 (9th)
Career PGA Tour Wins: 5

Mahan grabbed his fourth and fifth career wins in 2012, and when he gets on a roll, he can be scary-good. But he disappears for long stretches as well. Try to catch the Mahan wave at the right time and ride it for as far as it goes.

Charl Schwartzel

Branden Grace

Sergio Garcia

Jim Furyk

Bo Van Pelt

Nick Watney

Graeme McDowell

Rickie Fowler

Padraig Harrington

<p> Fantasy Golf Studs and Sleepers for the 2013 PGA Tour Season</p>
Post date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, MLB
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-3

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for January 11.

• The national obsession with AJ McCarron's girlfriend continues. Looks like Katherine Webb will be appearing in the upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Judging from the photo, she'll fit right in.

• Last night was not a good night for the refs at the Kentucky-Vanderbilt game, nor was it a good night for Bobby Knight.

Athlon ranks and grades all 28 of college football's 2012 coaching hires. Urban Meyer gets an A. Ellis Johnson, not so much.

• Short people got no reason to play quarterback. Unless they're Russell Wilson, or Doug Flutie.

They've announced the finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2013 induction class. Some no-brainers in there, like Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden, but some tougher calls, like Jerome Bettis and Warren Sapp.

An amusing round-up from the day that was in sports, including new Jags GM David Caldwell's puzzling announcement that there's no place for Tim Tebow in Jacksonville.

• I'm not a soccer fan, but even I know that this is impressive. Too bad there were only about 42 people there to see it.

• We interrupt the ongoing Ray Lewis love-fest to bring you a chat with some folks who don't find him so charming and lovable.

The Wall Street Journal poses an interesting question: What if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was like the Baseball Hall of Fame and excluded known drug users?

10 things to expect from an abbreviated hockey season.

Sports Illustrated ran a story on the problem of PEDs in sports — back in 1969.

• In today's video, the chubbiest kid on the court has an athletic highlight most of us can only dream of.


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

January 10

• Can Johnny Football do it again? Athlon counts down the 2013 Heisman contenders. Of course, this item is really just an excuse to run a photo of Manziel's model girlfriend, Sarah Savage.

• San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin went all Harlem Globetrotters against Fresno State. The result was college basketball's Dunk of the Year.

The world's best recruiting mixtape comes courtesy of a little-used special teamer. This kid may be a scrub, but he's the kind of guy I want on my team.

The New York Times published a blank front page to protest the Hall of Fame shutout this year. Not sure how to feel about this. Seems like a waste of space. Of course, some would argue that the Hall is becoming a waste of space when it excludes the home run leader, hits leader and seven-time Cy Young winner.

• Speaking of said seven-time Cy Young winner, Roger Clemens tweeted his reaction to his Hall snub. It's all good, until his sign-off. "Muchie peachie"?

• One last Hall of Fame item: Whoever voted for Aaron Sele needs to be outed and publicly shamed.

• I don't think Tim Tebow is a liar, but I simply don't believe this headline.

• According to TMZ, AJ McCarron isn't happy about his girlfriend's sudden fame.

Will it be two losses in one week for the suddenly luckless Fighting Irish?

• In honor of today's Academy Awards nominations, Sports Illustrated has assembled a gallery of sports movies at the Oscars.

• Don't try this at home, kids. counts down the 10 fads that proved fatal in some cases.

• Turns out that the Seahawks' Richard Sherman was mic'd up after Seattle's wild card win over Washington, so we get to hear what it was that led Trent Williams to punch him in the face.  

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

January 9

• You probably didn't notice, but Dustin Johnson won a golf tournament yesterday in Hawaii. Could portend a big year for the big hitter. Of course, we present this item merely as an excuse to run a photo of DJ's reported girlfriend, Paulina Gretzky, seen here following her beau amid the winds of Hawaii. 

The Musburger fallout continues. Looks like Brent's comments will be remembered far longer than the game itself. Meanwhile, Katherine Webb herself says to give the old guy a break, while the New York Post weighs in in its own inimitable way.

• Yes, it's early, but it's never too early. Athlon's first top 25 for 2013.

• Thanks to the NFL vacancies, the coaching carousel is still spinning. Could be many more dominoes to fall.

Tom Verducci says sorry Barry, Roger, Mark and the other juicers. No Hall for you.

• This may be a little inside-baseball for us media types, but with Turner's acquisition of Bleacher Report, CNN's sports content will now be provided by Bleacher instead of Sports Illustrated.

• Now that conference play has begun, here's a handy guide to college basketball realignment. And here's a look at the changes for this season and upcoming seasons in chart form.

The headline of this story says it all.

The Razzie nominations are in, and unsurprisingly, Adam Sandler and Nic Cage made the cut. They'll say it's an honor just to be nominated, but you know they want to win.

• Drive-thru window plus invisible driver equals comedy gold.

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

January 8

•A star was born last night, and it wasn't Eddie Lacy. AJ McCarron's girlfriend Katherine Webb threatened to melt Twitter, after Brent Musberger creeped out the nation last night by drooling all over his mic after he spotted the former Miss Teen Alabama. In Musberger's defense, she is very attractive, as you can see in the photo at right.

• Musberger wasn't the only one taken with McCarron's lady. Cards defensive end Darnell Dockett tweeted her his phone number.

• On the field, the most exciting moment of the night came when McCarron showed up center Barrett Jones, and Jones responded with a shove. The guys are roommates and buddies, so it's all good. 

A roundup of humorous tweets from last night.

• No truth to the rumor that Notre Dame is replacing the sign in their tunnel.

• Well played, Tuscaloosa News.

• Hate to pile on, but this is pretty good. Maybe next time, Rudy.

• 2013 will bring us an early candidate for Game of the Century: Sept. 14, Kyle Field, College Station, Texas. ESPN GameDay will no doubt be there.

• In other news, Dr. James Andrews bailed out Mike Shanahan a little bit in the RG3 affair.

• For all those who made fitness-related New Year's resolutions: the 10 weirdest workout gadgets.

• Kate Upton is more than just a pretty face. She's also a clever Tweeter. She managed to nail Notre Dame and the Jets in fewer than 140 characters.

• Today's video promoting Shane Battier's charity karaoke event is dedicated to those Boomers who remember the Love Boat.

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

January 7

• In honor of Notre Dame's appearance in tonight's national title game, here's a slideshow of fetching Irish fan Leslie. If you believe many of the pundits, Notre Dame's highlights will begin and end here.

• In the interest of equal time, we present Bama fan Angela. Judging from the respective hotties, the game's a toss-up.

So what does Athlon say? Of their eight participating pundits, six pick Alabama. Sounds about right.

• To the chagrin of some and the delight of others, Brent Musberger, 73 years young, will be on the mic tonight. Here's a Q&A with the broadcasting legend.

This Tide tribute tattoo has to be seen to be believed.

Ray Lewis returned to treat Ravens fans to his Last Dance. Of course, his routine killed. (See what I did there?)

Yesterday was not a good day for Robert Griffin III or Mike Shanahan. The day's winners: the Seattle Seahawks and Dr. James Andrews.

• The Seahawks' Richard Sherman is seemingly happy to play the villain role for these playoffs. The Redskins' Trent Williams wasn't so happy with Sherman's post-game antics.

Chip Kelly's annual flirtation with the NFL ended with Kelly back at Oregon, and the Browns back to the drawing board.

Some creative USC fan used a public safety notice to make his feelings known about Lane Kiffin. Well played.

• One last college football palate cleanser in GIF form: a ref goes tumbling at the Cotton Bowl.

• Today's video is a look back at an all-time college football classic: Alabama-Notre Dame, the Sugar Bowl, Dec. 31, 1973.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 09:34
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-2

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for December 26.

• Soccer star Alex Morgan went to Hawaii for the holidays and donned a bikini. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, photgraphers were there to record the occasion.

• I know many of you aren't all that anxious to celebrate another title game appearance with entitled Bama fans, but this is pretty cool.

• ICYMI, Ed Reed and Bryant McKinnie ushered in the holidays with a memorable rendition of Silent Night.

Deadspin counts down the 25 best/weirdest athlete TV cameos of 2012.

Merrill Hoge hates Tim Tebow. I think we knew this, but I'm not sure we knew the true level of disdain.

Danilo Gallinari was serving knuckle sandwiches for Christmas dinner yesterday.

• While you were sleeping off your Christmas calories, Arizona's Nick Johnson had this sick game-saving block against San Diego State.

Scottie Pippen portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge on stage to make a little girl's wish come true. Apparently, this is typecasting; waiters have been known to call him "No tippin' Pippen."

• Bowl season's already brought us a few clunkers, but nothing quite like this: The biggest blowouts in sports history.

• Gotta love R.A. Dickey letting his nerd flag fly. He tweeted out a picture of himself in a Star Wars onesie.

Hulk Hogan is opening a restaurant that he describes as "Hooters times 10." Can't wait.

• In today's video, Santa shows his mad ups.  

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 11:10
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, NBA, MLB, Golf
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-1

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

• If you're reading this, the world didn't end. To celebrate, here's a gift from Athlon Sports to you, our readers: NFL cheerleaders in Christmas costumes. Merry Christmas.

• More pictures: The 100 Most Powerful Sports Photos of 2012.

• Bizarre sports story of the day: Olympic athlete-turned-high-priced Vegas escort.

• Much like Arnold Palmer, John Daly has his own drink now, except, shockingly, it replaces iced tea with booze.

Today in Being Johnny Football: Steve Kerr spotted Manziel courtside at a Mavs game and unleased the social media world on the unsuspecting Heisman winner.

• Picking things that are underrated or overrated is a nationwide sports obsession. Our friends at Grantland have chosen some superlatives in both categories.

• Apparently, cheerleading is a gateway drug to general celebrity-hood. Here's a gallery of famous people who were once cheerleaders.

• One Baseball Hall of Fame voter included Bonds, Clemens and Piazza on his ballot. He explains himself here.

• It's early, but we have a candidate for MVP of bowl season.

• I know you're getting tired of me picking on the Jets, but I can't help myself. Here's the Jets season set to Yakety Sax (the Benny Hill theme song).

• Tis the season for Bad Santas: 10 Crimes Committed by Santa Claus.

• Blake Griffin has a new Kia ad out. It's pretty funny.


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

December 20

Tim Tebow's back on the market. And more importantly for some, so is his ex, actress Camilla Belle. Pictured at right, the couple in happier times.

The most valuable team in college football doesn't reside in the SEC. It does have its own network, though.

• You might want to lock your doors and plug your chimney — Santa Dirk is coming to town.

• Your year-end countdown of the day: the most influential athletes on the Internet in 2012.

• Also influential on the Internet, but occasionally incoherent: baseball scribe and aging hippie Peter Gammons. Here are his best tweets of 2012.

Mark Sanchez's no good, very bad year, presented in GIF form. The buttfumble's still the best, but there are plenty of gems here.

Sanchez wasn't the only guy who embarrassed himself this season. Here are 5 humiliating moments (yes, the buttfumble did make this countdown).

• Some unfortunate bowl winners will have to drag some ugly swag back to their trophy cases.

The front page of today's New York Post, presented without comment. Okay, one comment: Beware of photoshop, guys.

The most surprising photos of 2012.

• This one isn't sports-related, but for a grammar and punctuation nerd like me, these are gold.

• Today's video: an early candidate for Assist of the Year.

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

December 19

• Whoa, that didn't take long. Sorry fellas — Christian Ponder has officially taken Samantha Steele off the market.

• Aaron Rodgers sees a kindred spirit in Alex Smith and wants him to go where he's appreciated. Expect Colin Kaepernick to bookmark this article should the Niners meet the Packers in the playoffs.

• Forty years ago this Sunday, the Immaculate Reception happened. A Steelers fan still has the ball. He held on to it, even though he was broke at the time. Now that's a fan.

Joe Namath weighs in on the Mark Sanchez situation. Money quote: "I think he's going to be around for a long time. I hope for his sake it's not with the Jets."

• Johnny Football is great and all, but he's not the greatest freshman in college football history according to my colleagues at Athlon Sports.

• This is sad (or hilarious, depending on your perspective). The guys at Mandatory bring us a slideshow of athletes who have let themselves go.

• Joe Posnanski makes the case against Jack Morris' Hall of Fame candidacy, while conceding that he'll probably get in this time.

Merry Christmas from the Concordia College hoopsters, who have made an impressive trick shot video for your holiday enjoyment.

• Not to be outdone, the MMA folks have their own Christmas video. Click only if you like girls in red bikinis.

2012 in pictures. If the end of the world is nigh, this was quite a year to go out on, as these pictures prove.

The POTUS is the POY, according to Time Magazine. The social media world is weighing in.

• Today's video: Your moment of anti-Dwight Howard schadenfreude. Gerald Henderson throws down a monster slam on the embattled Laker.

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

December 18

• One of the many perks of being Johnny Football: You hang out with Megan Fox at The Tonight Show.

It was not a good night for Mark Sanchez. Not even Jon Gruden could find anything nice to say. "This guy Mark Sanchez... ah, screw it." It was left to Mike Tirico to put the finishing touches on last night's abomination, and on the Jets' season.

• There was one highlight worth celebrating last night: Chris Johnson's 94-yard run, the longest in Titans/Oilers franchise history and the second-longest in Monday Night Football history.

This poor schlub on the Jets' sideline provides a tidy summary of the evening's ineptitude.

Watching this pigeon elude capture at the Raiders-Chiefs game was somehow more entertaining than the game itself.

• Jim Boeheim is synonymous with Syracuse basketball. Last night, he earned his 900th win, all of them for the Orange.

• From the archives: Here's some vintage game show footage features a rematch of the 1980 World Series between the Phillies and Royals — this time, playing Family Feud. One nugget: Mike Schmidt pronounces "wash" as "warsh." He also fails to get a single right answer.

• You didn't ask for it, but here it is anyway: Up close and personal with the Jungle Bird guy from the U.S. Open trophy ceremony.

• The Jungle Bird guy provided only one of many odd moments in golf this year. Here are 10 of them.

• Today in historic badassery: During World War II, the late Sen. Daniel Inouye pried a grenade from his own partially detached hand and threw it at the Germans. RIP, Senator.

• In honor of Chris Johnson's 94-yard run on MNF, we bring you the longest run in Monday Night Football and NFL history: Tony Dorsett's 99-yarder.

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

December 17

• Hoops cheerleaders are no less fetching than their gridiron counterparts. We have compiled photographic evidence from the SEC.

• If we're lucky, last night's game between the 49ers and Patriots was a Super Bowl preview. In case you went to bed, Tom Brady erased a 31-3 deficit before the Niners tacked on 10 to win 41-34. So does that make the Niners the best team in football? Grantland says yes.

• NFL players are gonna spike the ball when they score. If they gotta take out an eye, those are the breaks.

• Today's NFL GIF is an instant classic: Knowshon Moreno hurdling Ed Reed. Reed later blamed the stomach flu. I blame the fact that, sadly, the future Hall of Famer is getting old.

• Apparently, Adrian Peterson was serious about challenging Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record. He broke off an epic 82-yard TD run yesterday, and fortunately, Gus Johnson was on the mic.

• There were countless simple, elegant tributes to the Newtown victims over the weekend. Here's one, from Victor Cruz.

Colin Kaepernick wrote himself a letter in the fourth grade that said he wanted to grow up to play for the 49ers. I wonder if he ever weighed in about the Mayan calendar. 

• There was a full moon visible at Cowboys Stadium yesterday. It belonged to DeMarco Murray.

• Today's best headline can be found at this link. Trust me.

• Cy-onara: The Mets trade Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays. A quick round-up of reactions here.

Ten things you didn't know about classic Christmas songs, like the fact that "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." was written during a summer heat wave, and "Jingle Bells" was originally a Thanksgiving song.

• Bowl season is off to a rousing start. Arizona scored two TDs in the final minute to stun Nevada.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 08:42
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/top-5-performances-golf-2012

2012 In Review: Top Five Performances in Golf

1. Bubba's Pine Straw Miracle
Bubba Watson trumped Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle with a miracle shot of his own, curving a wedge approach out of the trees and onto the green at No. 10 to set up a clinching two-putt par in his playoff with Oosthuizen, earning Bubba an emotional Masters win. Watson was spectacular down the stretch of his final-round 68, draining four birdies in a row from 13-16. His short birdie putt on the par-3 16th drew him even with Oosthuizen, who was unable to match Bubba's par on the second playoff hole. Fittingly for Watson and his famously home-made game, it was his heroic, creative recovery from the pine straw that they'll be talking about at the 2050 Champions Dinner. "I was there earlier today in regulation,” Watson said afterwards. “I hooked it 40 yards. I’m pretty good at hooking it."

2. Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship
Call it the Snore by the Shore. Twenty-one years after the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island brought the world's greatest players to their knees at the 1991 Ryder Cup in the famed "War by the Shore," Rory McIlroy turned the tables on Pete Dye's seaside creation at the PGA Championship, subduing the Ocean Course and an elite field in winning his second major championship in two years. In posting 13-under and winning by eight strokes, McIlroy reprised his eight-shot win at the 2011 U.S. Open, becoming the first player in golf history to earn his first two major wins in such dominant fashion. Glory's Last Shot was Rory's personal showcase, as he destroyed the recent trend of late collapses with a textbook display of major championship golf — fairways, greens and made putts, with a few successful scrambles thrown in.

3. Ernie Els Shocks Adam Scott at Royal Lytham
The agony and the ecstasy of golf were on full display at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and when it was over, Ernie Els had his second Claret Jug and fourth major, and Adam Scott had first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to be Greg Norman. Or Jason Dufner. Els didn't back into it, though, posting a back-9 4-under 32 in the stiffening breezes of Royal Lytham and rolling in a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole before grabbing a sandwich and watching Scott implode with bogeys on the final four holes. It was an utterly shocking turn of events on a day that seemed like a Scott coronation until the heartbreaking conclusion. Els now has major championships in three different decades and four majors for his career, tying Phil Mickelson for second-most of the Woods era.

4. The European Ryder Cup Team Makes History
Miracle at Medinah? Or Medinah Meltdown? Whatever you call it, this 2012 Ryder Cup is going to sting the U.S. for awhile. When Martin Kaymer's 6-foot par putt found the bottom of the cup at 18 for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker in the weekend's penultimate match, Europe had erased a 10-6 deficit and clinched a 14-14 tie and retention of the Cup, no matter the outcome of the Tiger Woods-Francesco Molinari match still on the course. To rub salt into the wound, Woods conceded a putt 18 to fall into a halve with Molinari, giving the Euros a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 win. And what had once looked like a likely U.S. rout had morphed into a shocking European triumph on American soil. If you're looking for heroes, there were plenty on the Euro side. Any unofficial MVP award would go to Ian Poulter, who arrived at Medinah on a mission and then went 4-0. His birdie binge in Saturday's final fourball match gave Europe a critical point and a glimmer of hope heading into Sunday, and his 2-up singles win over Webb Simpson was a key catalyst in Europe's early singles charge.

5. Brandt Snedeker Pockets $11.44 Million at East Lake
No one else in golf can claim a payday of $11.44 million. That's what Sneds pocketed on a spectacular September Sunday at East Lake. Snedeker simultaneously earned the two biggest trophies of his career, taking the Tour Championship and $1.44 million and clinching the FedExCup with its accompanying $10 million payout. Snedeker continued his playoff putting clinic, missing exactly zero putts from inside eight feet during his 68-70-64-68 four-day performance at East Lake.

More Year in Review for 2012:
College Football

College Basketball

<p> Top 5 Performances in Golf in 2012</p>
Post date: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 05:47
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-0

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

An ex-Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader named Rachel Wray is giving MMA a try. We endorse the effort. At least, we endorse the photo at right.

• Today in year-end countdowns: The folks at Awful Announcing have culled through the worst of the worst to come up with their Bottom 10 announcer moments of 2012.

• It's been a pretty spectacular year in college football. My friends at Athlon have compiled the video evidence.

• Ah, fans. God love 'em. One Indiana fan spent $10,000 and enriched his local power company by crafting this elaborate tribute in Christmas lights to Christian Watford's 2011 buzzer-beater against top-ranked Kentucky.

• What a shocker — Johnny Football's dating a model.

• No surprise here, either: The eternally optimistic Tim Tebow is less upset about his lack of playing time than his fans are.

• Last night's atrocity of a football game featured one gem: Philly's Marvin McNutt blocked his own punter's punt, and then roughed him for good measure. The GIF is mesmerizing, as all good GIFs are.

• The vultures are picking over the carcass of the once-mighty Big East.

• They might as well go ahead and shut down boxing for good. Larry Merchant's retiring.

• I'm reluctant to wade into the Robert Griffin III-Rob Parker racial controversy, so I'll let RG3's dad speak for me. Here's what Parker had to say in the aftermath of his comments, before assuming radio silence.

• I'm late to this Hanukkah party, but in today's video, members of the Houston Rockets attempted to sing the dreidel song, with hilarious results.


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

December 13

• Today in year-end countdowns: Ask Men's Top 99 of 2013 included an impressive array of athletes and WAGs, including comely tennis player Ana Ivanovic.

• Your 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain: Tom Watson. As Jack Nicklaus said, if they want somebody who knows how to win in Scotland, they've got their man. Watson was also the last winning U.S. Ryder Cup captain on foreign soil. In 1993.

• Kevin Youkilis is a Yankee, to the chagrin of the fans in Bah-ston. But Youk's not the first to rub salt in Red Sox Nation's wounds by joining the Evil Empire. The top 10 Yankees-turned-Red Sox.

There's a one-armed Division I basketball prospect. I'm not worthy to breathe the same air as this kid.

• From a national title to pills, paranoia and prison: The cautionary tale of Maurice Clarett.

• Mississippi State and Loyola are meeting up this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game that changed college basketball for the better.

• Rajon Rondo would like to have this game-winning shot attempt back. Needed a little more air under it.

• Like any good leader, Vince McMahon has evolved and grown into his job.

• I told you recently that Kim Jong Un was leading the Time Magazine readers poll for person of the year. Dude closed it out like Mariano Rivera. The people have spoken.

The 10 greatest basketball-themed ad campaigns.

• There are some great Christmas movies. And then there are these movies.

• Today's video: Even at 50, Michael Jordan is still a better player than he is an executive.

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

December 12

• Our tribute to the best team in football right now: a slideshow of lovely Patriots cheerleaders.

• In honor of today's date (12/12/12): the best athletes to wear No. 12.

• Watch out, Eric Dickerson. Adrian Peterson's coming for you and your 1984-era jheri curls.

• In other NFL news, Paul Tagliabue emerged from retirement to issue a public smackdown to Roger Goodell.

Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer? My take: His regular season stats fall a little short, but one more Super Bowl seals the deal.

• A realization has hit the mainstream sports media: Tim Tebow is the backup quarterback on a bad football team. Nothing more.

• Today in hilariously ungraceful exits: Tommy Tuberville got up from a dinner with recruits to go to the can and never came back. The next day, he was head coach at Cincinnati.

• That didn't take long. Tennessee's Butch Jones is now the fourth-most followed college football coach on Twitter. Who's No. 1, you ask? Here's a hint: "When you're challenged, and if you enjoy challenge, well, you enjoy it."

• The football program's in decline, but the revenues aren't: Texas tops the money earners among BCS schools.

This is depressing and terrifying: A first-person account from a repeated concussion sufferer.

• This isn't sports-related, but it's personal to me. Rush is finally in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. About bleepin' time.

• Today's video: A 5-11 NAIA guard throws down a monster slam. Gotta love the reaction of the tubby assistant coach.

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

December 11

• College football's regular season is over, so it's time to turn pro. The best in NFL cheerleaders so far this season.

• Body's not even cold on the 2012 college football season, and my colleagues here at Athlon are already projecting a top 25 for 2013. They just can't help themselves.

• Speaking of top 25s, here's the current top 25, rearranged by academic performance. Nice job, Florida State.

• College football attendance dipped in 2012. This article includes attendance figures for every FBS program. Boy, those fans in San Jose are hard to please; they won 10 games, and their attendance dipped 41 percent. No wonder Mike MacIntyre got out of there.

• Attendance at Sunday's Bengals-Cowboys game at Paul Brown Stadium was 63,590, plus one sly, hungry rodent.

• "They look cute. They look like a high school swim team." Ouch. The Patriots sure enjoyed last night's statement tail-whipping.

This valet has seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" one too many times.

• Sports Business Journal is rolling out its 50 most influential people in sports business. Here's 11-20. My name hasn't appeared yet, so I must be in the top 10. Nice.

• Selena Robert analyzes the decline of Tiger Woods, with help from Athlon contributor Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel. Looks like Tiger's glory days are behind him; he might have to settle for just being insanely wealthy.

• Rob Neyer thinks the Baseball Hall of Fame could learn a thing or two from the Country Music Hall of Fame. Here in Nashville, we endorse this line of thinking.

• It's never too early to start thinking about spring. The NCAA has named its 35 greatest March Madness Moments.

• Today's video features Johnny Football doing the Letterman Top 10 list. Don't go Hollywood on us, kid.

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

December 10

• Tis the season for year-end countdowns. The folks at Mandatory bring you the year in great photos, including this one of Angelina Jolie on the red carpet at the Oscars.

• In that same vein, here's the Year in Kate Upton. 2012 will be hard for her to top.

• Hate to pile on this kid, but I have no choice. I present: The single worst free throw attempt in the history of terrible free throw attempts.

• Deadspin's weekend roundup includes a chilling GIF of Manny Pacquiao getting absolutely destroyed by a single punch.

• Sure, it's got problems, but it's still America's game, and it can still bring us enjoyment. 14 smile-inducing moments from Week 14 in the NFL.

• Social media's made for job networking. Today's Exhibit A: Vince Young took to Twitter yesterday to lobby for the Cardinals QB job. Hey, the Cards could do worse. Obviously.

• Speaking of social media, it's also useful for making idle threats that make you look thuggy and get you into trouble. Just ask Stephen Jackson.

• Last week, Roger Goodell floated the idea of eliminating kickoffs. Mike Pereira does not approve.

• The NFL may or may not have a drinking problem, but it's got a drinking and driving problem.

• I'll freely admit that I've never heard of Lions receiver Kris Durham. But his second reception of the season was one of the best catches of the year.

• Heisman voters probably got it right in giving the stiff-arm trophy to Johnny Manziel. But they haven't always gotten it right.

• In today's video, Buffalo's Lee Smith shows us that the Lambeau Leap is a maneuver that's best left to the professionals.

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/great-moments-army-navy-history

The Army-Navy matchup is truly America's Game. It now has the second Saturday in December all to itself and features the best and brightest young men our country produces in a contest showcasing football in its purest form. By the time the Army-Navy game rolls around, no championships (aside from the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy) are at stake, no big-money bowl games are on the line, no pro scouts are crowded into the press box to assess future NFL stars. Instead, young men who will soon place their lives on the line for their country compete for the love of the game in front of an appreciative national audience. It's one of the greatest spectacles in sports, and there's nothing more at stake than pride in a job well done, its competitors a band of brothers who save their hatred for their rivals for the brief moments between the whistles.

To celebrate this weekend's renewal of college football's purest rivalry, here are the greatest moments in Army-Navy history.

Navy 6, Army 4

According to football lore, the 1893 Army-Navy game marked the first use of a football helmet. Future Navy Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves was warned by his doctor prior to the game that another blow to the head could cause "instant insanity" (how's that for a medical prognosis) or even death. An Annapolis shoemaker came to the rescue, fashioning a leather helmet to protect Reeves' noggin. Navy won that year's renewal, the fourth matchup in series history, 6–4.

Army 21, Navy 21

Appropriately enough, Army and Navy used their 1926 matchup to christen Chicago's Soldier Field, a monument to America's World War I servicemen. Both teams were unbeaten — the only blemish on either ledger was Army's tie with Notre Dame — so the winner would be crowned mythical national champion. But there was no winner; the game ended in a 21–21 tie, and Navy was awarded the national title.

Army 23, Navy 7
Army 32, Navy 13

As their comrades were serving overseas, the Cadets and Midshipmen engaged in a two-year struggle for national supremacy. Both seasons, the two teams entered the game ranked No. 1 (Army) and No. 2 (Navy). Army won the 1944 matchup in Baltimore 23–7 and reprised the feat the next year, winning the so-called Game of the Century 32–13.

Army 22, Navy 6

This game featured a matchup of two Heisman Trophy winners — Army's Pete Dawkins, the 1958 winner, and Navy's Joe Bellino, the 1960 winner. These two exceptional players were also exceptional men; Dawkins was ultimately a Rhodes Scholar, Brigadier General and candidate for Senate, while Bellino played for the AFL's Boston Patriots and served in the Navy and Naval Reserve for 28 years. Dawkins' Cadets finished the 1958 season unbeaten with a 22–6 win over the Midshipmen. It would be Army's last unbeaten season and legendary coach Red Blaik's last at the helm.

Navy 34, Army 14

Roger Staubach would win the Heisman Trophy in 1963, but he emerged onto the national stage in the 1962 Army-Navy game. President John F. Kennedy, only days removed from the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, was on hand for the ceremonial coin toss, and then he cleared the stage for Staubach, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in Navy's 34–14 upset of Army.

Navy 3, Army 3

After years of futility, George Welsh returned Navy football to respectability in the late 1970s, earning winning records in his last four seasons in Annapolis and leading Navy to three bowls. But in Welsh's last Army-Navy game before departing to Virginia as the winningest coach in Navy history, he suffered a bitter tie against the Black Knights of the Hudson. Navy entered the game 7–3, while Army was 3–7, but as they say, in a rivalry game, you throw out the records.

Army 22, Navy 20

For the third straight year, the Army-Navy classic came down to a kick. In 1992, Army had won on a 49-yarder with 12 seconds left. In 1993, Navy missed a game-winning 18-yarder with six seconds left. In 1994, the kick didn't come in the final seconds, but it was no less dramatic. Army's Kurt Heiss drilled a 52-yarder, a record for the Army-Navy rivalry, with 6:19 left to give the Cadets a 22–20 win.

Army 34, Navy 30

Army won a classic see-saw battle 34–30 when senior fullback Ty Amey outraced the Navy secondary 70 yards for the winning touchdown. The game was marred by a bizarre incident in which nine spectators, including four Cadets, tumbled onto the field when a railing gave way as they were mugging for television cameras. One Cadet suffered a broken neck.

Army 30, Navy 28

Two lackluster teams produced one of the greatest games in the rivalry's history, as 0–10 Army beat 1–9 Navy 30–28, marking the last time that the team with the lesser record won the matchup. Befitting a matchup between teams that had combined for a 1-19 record, the game featured seven turnovers and two blocked kicks

<p> America's Game Has Produced Some Classic Encounters</p>
Post date: Friday, December 7, 2012 - 06:05
All taxonomy terms: College Football, College Basketball, NFL, NBA, Golf
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-eleven-links-day-6

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

• Yesterday, we featured a slideshow of Bama cheerleaders. Awaiting the Tide should they win tomorrow: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In the interests of equal time, here's a look at the Irish cheerleaders.

• One of the Powerball winners apparently picked his numbers based on jersey numbers of his favorite Royals. This is the first time since 1985 that being a Royals fan has actually paid off.

• One of those former Royals was Bo Jackson. It's his 50th birthday, which officially makes both him and me old. To celebrate, here's a gallery of 50 vintage Bo photos.

• Time Magazine is soliciting votes for its Person of the Year. Candidates include sports figures Gabrielle Douglas, Michael Phelps and Roger Goodell. Wait, what? Roger Goodell? Might as well vote for Kim Jong Un, who, hilariously, is currently leading the voting. I guess they do have Internet in North Korea.

• Speaking of power-mad commissioners, David Stern plans to punish the star-sitting Spurs after their loss to the Heat last night.

• My favorite headline of the day sits atop this Deadspin story.

The most painful loss in the painful history of Rutgers football happened last night.

• We have a Big Blue crisis on our hands: Last night the Wildcats were held to the lowest point total of the Calipari era, but even more shocking, a senior led Kentucky in scoring. That is not John Calipari basketball, folks.

Rory McIlroy supports the anchored putter ban, based on his admittedly limited experience with the club.

• God bless the Internet: A column on Colin Kaepernick's tattoos unleashed apparently baseless charges of racism over the interwebs.

• Looks like Jon Gruden has turned down Tennessee. Again. Will the Vols finally drop their embarrassing pursuit of Gruden and accept that they're in the Friend Zone? They're starting to look like Duckie from "Pretty in Pink."

• Forty-one years ago today, "Brian's Song" aired for the first time, and grown men wept openly. Here's Billy Dee Williams delivering Gale Sayers' moving soliloquy from that classic film.

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

November 29

• As Alabama makes final preparations for its SEC title game showdown with Georgia, enjoy this gallery of Bama cheerleaders through the years.

• Speaking of the SEC, Georgia has a shot at totally remaking its image this Saturday. No pressure or anything.

• Last night in Boston: just your Garden-variety melee. Judging from Kris Humphries' scratches, Rajon Rondo fights like an eight-year-old girl.

Brandon Marshall says that some players use Viagra to get that extra edge. Comes in handy on fourth-and-inches (h/t Conan O'Brien).

• Michael Jordan was recently banned from a swanky country club for wearing cargo shorts. That brings to mind this amusing Tumblr.

Missy the Missile will soon be humiliating her fellow high school swimmers. I'm expecting Secretariat-at-the-Belmont type results.

• Shortly after making an honest woman out of soccer star Hope Solo, Jerramy Stevens went and got himself busted for possible parole violation. Early indications are that Hope will be flying solo for much of her married life.

• It's early, but so far, Duke has been college basketball's best team, and Mason Plumlee its best player.

Check out this bodybuilder's insane biceps. Somebody's bringing howitzers to this year's gun show.

• I somehow missed this story of the drunk-driving Teletubby yesterday. Boy, is hockey desperate to stay in the headlines.

• Fresh off her triumph in "Liz and Dick," Lindsay Lohan celebrated by punching a woman in the meatpacking district. Yes, I know that's a poorly constructed sentence, but it reads funnier, doesn't it?

• Today's video features a disturbing yet strangely hypnotic musical tribute to the Heisman front-runner. As the top commenter says, it's like watching an episode of "Twin Peaks."


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

November 28

• College football is winding down, meaning that there are some long, cold, lonely months ahead. Enjoy some of our favorite college cheerleader photos to soften the blow.

• It's anchors away in the golf world as of 2016. Golf's ruling bodies are outlawing anchored putting strokes, although players have some time to adjust, which is a good thing, considering that three of the last four major champions use the long stick. Steve Eubanks offers up a dissenting view on the ruling.

• Athlon's Braden Gall goes deep in comparing the Heisman candidacies of Johnny Manziel and Collin Klein.

• The intrigue mounts in the Jon Gruden-to-Tennessee chatter.

• If you hate it when officials think they're part of the show, then you have to hate the NBA's Joey Crawford. It's the law. Check out his audition for Dancing With the Stars.

• This isn't sports, but it caught our attention. Angus T. Jones, the half-man of TV's "Two and a Half Men," ripped his show for being "filth." He might be right, but that's called biting the hand that feeds you. Naturally, he's started backtracking.

• They've made a 30 for 30 short film on the Arnold Palmer — the drink, not the man. It actually looks pretty good. This link explains, and also features one of my favorite "This Is SportsCenter" spots.

• Ever wonder why athletic departments are so concerned with money? Just ask Maryland.

• When you air 514 episodes, it's tough to remember what you did say, 320 episodes ago. Continuity errors in the Simpsons.

• If, for some reason, you need an excuse not to run, here you go. Good enough for me.

• It hasn't been a very good year for Danica Patrick, whose losses included every race as well as her marriage, but that doesn't mean we don't still care. In today's video, Danica discusses her divorce and other matters.

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

November 27

• Athlon recently conducted an anonymous survey with college basketball players at top programs. Among the nuggets we uncovered: Players like 'em some Kim Kardashian. Shocking, I know.

• Few people can be said to have transformed sport as we know it. Marvin Miller, who died today at 95, was one of those people. RIP.

• Three years ago today, Tiger Woods hit a tree with his car, and life was never the same. He surely doesn't want to relive that night, but you might. Here's what Deadspin was saying at the time.

• It's the fifth anniversary of another shocking event, this one far more tragic — the death of Sean Taylor. Some thoughts here from a writer who knew him.

• In case you missed it, Colorado football coach Jon Embree was fired yesterday. He didn't take it well. Fans of awkward press conferences should click here.

• No fan base expresses its anger quite as entertainingly as the folks in Philly. Here's a gallery of some ticked-off Philly fanatics.

There's compelling evidence that Texas coach Mack Brown can identify talent; he just doesn't know what to do with it.

• Jets fans won't have Fireman Ed to heckle any more. He's hanging up the funny hat and Sanchez jersey and slinking off into the sunset.

• I think this is a fair question. Maybe it's time to drop the charade of the student-athlete.

• I know, Twitter is where news is broken these days. But it's also where you go to get gems like these.

• Even with shaved heads, these Colts cheerleaders are strangely hot. And it's for a good cause. Everyone wins.

• Today's video is a couple months old, but it's new to me, so here it is: A Lingerie Football League player goes all Earl Campbell on a hapless defender. I'll leave jokes about her team's name to others.

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

November 26

• I know it's old, in Internet terms. I know you've probably seen it by now. But I just can't get enough of this GIF of Mark Sanchez's forced fumble at the hands, or rather, the cheeks, of his teammate. It's the Jets' 2012 season, captured in one two-second sequence.

• Today's Girl Gallery of the Day features the ever-fabulous 49ers cheerleaders.

This FSU fan needs a quick tutorial on how mirrors function. I think the puzzled lady to her left can help. 

This day in unfortunate headline placements. Today's victim, the South Carolina Gamecocks.

• A Thanksgiving leftover: Ndamukong Suh kicking Matt Schaub right in the giblets.

• Speaking of NFL players behaving badly, Brodrick Bunkley delivered a foot to the head of Alex Boone. Matt Schaub called to say Boone got off easy.

• The most aggressive play all season by a Tennessee defender came courtesy of Smokey the mascot.

Our nominee for the catch of the year in college football, and nominations are closed.

• Okay, fine: One more nomination for catch of the year.

• College football's pecking order in one sentence: Tickets for the SEC Championship game start around $400, while tickets for the ACC Championship game start around $4.00.

• Did Bill O'Brien say what I think he said? You be the judge.

• In today's featured video, superstar ref Ed Hochuli unleashes a debate: Is buttocks a singular or plural word?

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

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Friday, November 30, 2012 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/nfls-10-greatest-rivalries

Bitter rivalries are typically associated with the college game. But if you've ever sat in a pro stadium and wondered where all those Terrible Towels came from, then you realize that NFL rivalries and allegiances can run just as deep. Here are the 10 bitterest and best.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - Baltimore Ravens
Physical, intense and filled with old-fashioned hatred, this rivalry stands at the apex of NFL grudge matches. It's not for the faint-of-heart, nor is it for alligator-armed receivers afraid to go over the middle.

The rivalry, which began in 1997, had a slightly unfair advantage from the start, in that it was a natural successor to the longstanding Steelers-Browns blood feud. Plus, when the Colts moved to Indianapolis, many fans in Baltimore turned their affections to the Steelers, adding local flavor when pro football returned to Maryland.

Whatever the source, the mutual disregard gives this game between bitter AFC North rivals extra spice, as if it needed any.

"The coaches hate each other, the players hate each other," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2006. "There's no calling each other after the game and inviting each other out to dinner. But the feeling's mutual: They don't like us, and we don't like them. There's no need to hide it, they know it, and we know it. It's going to be one of those black and blue games."

Greatest Moment
AFC Championship Game
Jan. 18, 2009
Steelers 23, Ravens 14

In their third meeting of the season, the two teams continued their regular-season tradition of trading haymakers until one team was left standing. In this one, the Steelers held the Ravens to 184 total yards and forced five turnovers, the most important a Troy Polamalu pick-six that gave the Steelers their final 9-point margin. Two more forced turnovers followed, clinching the Steelers' spot in Super Bowl XLIII.

Rivalry at a Glance
Pittsburgh leads all-time series 21-14 (8-8 in Baltimore, 13-6 in Pittsburgh, 3-0 in the postseason)
Current streak: Baltimore, 2
Longest Baltimore win streak: 3 (2005-06)
Longest Pittsburgh win streak: 5 (1997-99; 2001-03
Most lopsided game: Pittsburgh 37, Baltimore 0, 1997
Postseason results:
2002 - Pittsburgh 27, Baltimore 10
2009 - Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 14
2011 - Pittsburgh 31, Baltimore 24

2. New England Patriots - Indianapolis Colts
The media has personalized this rivalry over the years, focusing a laser-like spotlight on the respective quarterbacks. That's only natural, given that they're possibly the two greatest ever to play the position. But the continuation of the rivalry in the post-Peyton Manning era in Indy indicates that there's always been more to it than Manning vs. Tom Brady.

To be fair, the rivalry's ascension did coincide with the emergence of Brady and Manning as elite NFL face-of-the-franchise types. Brady and Manning have combined for six MVP awards and four Super Bowl crowns, putting their respective teams on their shoulders for a combined record of 271-105, 25-11 in the postseason.

Brady leads Manning 3-1 in Super Bowl wins, and that edge is reflected in their head-to-head results — during the Brady era, New England holds a 9-5 edge over Indy head-to-head. The Patriots have won three of the last four, but the arrival of Andrew Luck in Indy portends continuing relevance for this rivalry.

Greatest Moment
AFC Championship Game
Jan. 21, 2007
Indianapolis 38, New England 34

This one was an all-time classic, as the Colts overcame a 21-3 deficit and a run of futility against Brady and the Patriots by scoring 32 second-half points and taking their final lead on a Joseph Addai touchdown with only a minute remaining. Still, the Colts needed an interception with 17 seconds left to thwart the Patriots' final last-ditch drive, which reached the Indy 45-yard line.

Manning stood tall in orchestrating the biggest comeback in NFL championship game history, leading the Colts to 455 total yards and earning some personal vindication after the Patriots had ended two Indy playoff runs in the previous three seasons. In fact, the game earned the nickname "Peyton's Revenge."

Rivalry at a Glance
New England leads all-time series 46-29 (2-1 in the postseason)
Current streak: New England, 2
Most lopsided game: New England 42, Colts 3, 1974
Postseason results:
2004 - New England 24, Indianapolis 14
2005 - New England 20, Indianapolis 3
2007 - Indianapolis 38, New England 34


3. Chicago Bears - Green Bay Packers
The oldest, most tradition-laden rivalry in the NFL is entering a golden phase when both teams are competitive and attempting to win the NFC North at the other's expense. The rivalry began in 1921, and its history features Mt. Rushmore names like Lambeau, Halas, Lombardi and Lovie. Okay, some are better than others, although Lovie Smith has his Bears at a competitive peak this season. The teams have met 185 times, with Chicago holding a 92-87-6 lead.

Dampening the tradition only slightly is the fact that these two teams have made the postseason in the same year only four times, meeting in the playoffs twice in nearly a century of competition.

In a series of ebbs and flows, the Packers have won seven of the last eight between the two teams. The Bears dominated the 1940s and '50s (40-9-2) while not surprisingly, the Pack dominated the Lombardi years, going 15-5 in the 1960s.

Greatest Moment
NFC Championship Game
Jan. 23, 2011
Green Bay 21, Chicago 14

The Pack stung the Bears early, jumping out to a 14-0 lead at Soldier Field and holding on for the win and a spot in Super Bowl XLV. The game is largely remembered for the controversial exit of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who left with a sprained knee and watched as Caleb Hanie attempted to lead a rally. B.J. Raji returned a Hanie interception for the clinching touchdown.

Rivalry at a Glance
Chicago leads all-time series 92-87-6 (1-1 in the postseason)
Current streak: Green Bay, 5
Most lopsided game: Chicago 61, Green Bay 7, 1980
Postseason results:
1941 - Chicago 33, Green Bay 14
2011 - Green Bay 21, Chicago 14

4. Dallas Cowboys - Washington Redskins
Ask average fans on the street to name an NFL rivalry, and this is the one they'll likely come up with. And it goes beyond the natural rivalry contained in the teams' respective nicknames. The two franchises have shared a division since 1961 and have often contested with each other for division supremacy. They've combined for a staggering 31 division titles, eight Super Bowl wins and 14 Super Bowl appearances, in the process boasting some of the greatest players (Staubach, Riggins, et al), coaches (Tom Landry, George Allen, Joe Gibbs, Jimmy Johnson) and teams in NFL history. Even when one of the teams is terrible, the matchups have significance; in Dallas' 1-15 season in 1989, the lone win came against the Redskins and cost Washington a playoff spot.

Sadly, the rivalry has taken a dip of late, coinciding with the Dan Snyder regime in D.C., but the tradition can withstand occasional lapses in quality. If both teams find themselves contending simultaneously, the bitterness will come out of hibernation.

Greatest Moment
Thanksgiving Day 1974
Dallas 24, Washington 23

The Cowboys were facing elimination from the playoffs as Thanksgiving Day dawned, and things weren't looking good when the Cowboys fell behind 16-3 with quarterback Roger Staubach sidelined by injury. Their hopes fading, the Cowboys turned to unheralded rookie Clint Longley, who led an unlikely comeback with two touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Drew Pearson with 50 seconds left. Longley ended up getting traded after sucker-punching Staubach in the locker room during the 1976 preseason, and he was out of football soon thereafter. But his legacy as a one-hit (okay, maybe two-hit if you count the punch) wonder is secure.

Rivalry at a Glance
Dallas leads all-time series 62-40-2 (Redskins lead 2-0 in the postseason)
Current streak: Dallas, 3
Most lopsided game: Dallas 38, Washington 3, 1993
Postseason results:
1972 - Washington 26, Dallas 3
1983 - Washington 31, Dallas 17

5. Dallas Cowboys -New York Giants
These two storied franchises are linked by one legendary figure: Tom Landry, who coached Dallas from the franchise's inception in 1960 until 1988 after having been a Pro Bowl player and assistant coach for the Giants. The teams tied 31-31 in Yankee Stadium in their first meeting, and the rivalry was off to the races. Landry dominated the G-men during his tenure in Big D, but the arrival of a brash young coach named Bill Parcells in New York evened things out. Since Parcell's first Super Bowl season in 1986, the franchises have combined for seven Lombardi Trophies.

The bitterness of this NFC East blood feud was on full display during a 1994 Monday Night game, when Cowboys receiver Alvin Harper was on the receiving end of a jackhammer hit from Tito Wooten, unleashing a full-scale brawl that involved players and coaches and included Cowboy James Washington wielding a camera stand like a sword.

Greatest Moment
Regular-season finale, Jan. 2, 1994
Dallas 16, New York 13 (ot)

The Cowboys and Giants entered the final game of the regular season tied at 11-4 with a playoff bye at stake. In one of the most courageous performances in NFL history, Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith shook off a separated right shoulder in the first half to rush for 168 yards, including 41 on the winning drive in overtime, as the Cowboys beat the Giants 16-13. Broadcaster John Madden was so moved by Smith's show of guts that he paid a visit to the winning locker room after the game to offer Smith his congratulations, the only time he ever did so as a broadcaster. The ensuing bye gave the Cowboys and Smith time to nurse their wounds, and they ultimately won Super Bowl XXVIII over the Bills 30-13.

Rivalry at a Glance
Dallas leads all-time series 57-43-2 (Giants lead 1-0 in the postseason)
Current streak: Giants, 1
Most lopsided game: Dallas 52, New York 7, 1966
Postseason results:
2008 - New York 21, Dallas 17

6. Dallas Cowboys - Philadelphia Eagles
Cowboys lead 57-46
This rivalry reached a zenith (or a new low, if you prefer) with Bounty Bowls I and II, when Jimmy Johnson accused the Eagles of placing bounties on Cowboy players, specifically Troy Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas. Years later, when Michael Irvin suffered a career-ending spinal injury, Eagles partisans in Veterans Stadium cheered.

7. New York Giants - New England Patriots
Giants lead 6-5
These teams are not in the same conference and play somewhat infrequent regular-season games. This "rivalry" makes the list for one simple reason: The two franchises have played in two classic Super Bowls, both of them won by the Giants on historic drives featuring improbable catches. Tom Coughlin is riding a personal three-game winning streak over Bill Belichick, with two of those coming on the game's biggest stage.

8. Oakland Raiders - Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs lead 56-49-2
Familiarity has bred contempt in this rivalry. The two have shared a division since the AFL's inception in 1960 (when the Chiefs were the Dallas Texans), and KC is one of two teams with a winning record against the Raiders (minimum of 10 matchups). A shocking stat in this feud: The Chiefs dominated the series during the 1990s, winning 18 of 21.

9. Tennessee Titans - Houston Texans
Titans lead 14-7
This rivalry had its inception when Bud Adams packed up Houston's beloved Oilers and moved them to Tennessee, giving Houstonians a special level of bile directed at their former spiritual brethren in the Volunteer State. One memorable moment came courtesy of Houston native Vince Young during his 2006 rookie season, when he broke off a 39-yard touchdown run in overtime in Reliant Stadium to give the Titans a 26-20 win. The teams have split every season series since 2009.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers - Cleveland Browns
Steelers lead 64-56
The ineptitude of the new-era Browns almost knocked this one off the list, but history and heatedness keep it in the top 10. The teams have combined for 10 NFL championships; of course, the Browns' last title came in 1964. If Cleveland ever climbs back to respectability, look for this rivalry to climb back to its accustomed spot near the top.

<p> The League's Best Grudge Matches and Blood Feuds</p>
Post date: Friday, November 16, 2012 - 10:15
Path: /golf/pga-tour-2012-end-year-awards

With this week's Children's Miracle Network Classic, another PGA Tour season draws to a close, meaning that it's time to hand out some hardware.

Player of the Year — Rory McIlroy
Rory doesn't need any accolades from us for vindication; if you believe the unconfirmed reports, he's already cashed in on his remarkable season with a $250 million deal from Nike. Judging from his 2012 season, it'll be money well spent for the Swoosh. The world's No. 1 player enjoyed stunning success on both sides of the pond, leading both the PGA and European Tours in earnings (provided he has a solid finish in this weekend's Singapore Open). His four wins were the most in a single season by any player not named Tiger Woods since 2005. He won the PGA Championship by eight strokes, then won two FedExCup playoff events (the Deutsche Bank and BMW). Throw in girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, and the guy's pretty much got it all right now.
Runner-up: Brandt Snedeker
Snedeker won the FedExCup on the strength of one of the greatest displays of putting that the game has seen. On one day in September, Sneds won the Cup and the $10 million payout along with the Tour Championship and its $1.4 million winner's check. Not a bad day's work.

Round of the Year and Worst Collapse
These two unfolded concurrently, so we present them as one category. The agony and the ecstasy of golf were on full display in the final round of the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and when it was over, Ernie Els had his second Claret Jug and fourth major, and Adam Scott had first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to be Greg Norman. Or Jason Dufner. On a day when the field was retreating like Napoleon from Russia, Els posted a back-9 4-under 32 for a final-round 68 in the stiffening breezes of Royal Lytham, rolling in a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole before grabbing a sandwich and watching Scott implode with bogeys on the final four holes. It was an utterly shocking turn of events on a day that seemed like a Scott coronation until the heartbreaking conclusion.
Runner-up: The U.S. and European Teams on Ryder Cup Sunday
In Ryder Cup singles play, the U.S. team gagged away a 10-6 lead, losing the Cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 to an inspired European team that made every clutch putt down the stretch.

Shot of the Year — Bubba Watson, The Masters
After a day that included a double eagle and two holes in one, Bubba's shot in the playoff at 10 — where he curved a hook off the pine straw to within 15 feet — will be the one they'll still be talking about at the 2050 Champions Dinner.
Runner-up: Louis Oosthuizen
Before Masters Sunday 2012, there had been 19,809 rounds at The Masters, but this was a first: a double eagle at No. 2. Had Oostie gone on to win, his shot would rank No. 1; as it is, he'll have to settle for second in The Masters and second on our list.

Best Performance — Rory McIlroy, PGA Championship
Twenty-one years after the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island brought the world's greatest players to their knees at the 1991 Ryder Cup in the famed "War by the Shore," Rory McIlroy turned the tables on Pete Dye's seaside creation, subduing the Ocean Course and an elite field in winning his second major championship in two years. In posting 13-under and winning by eight strokes, McIlroy reprised his eight-shot win at the 2011 U.S. Open, becoming the first player in golf history to earn his first two major wins in such dominant fashion.

Round of the Year (Non-Major Edition) — Tommy Gainey, McGladrey Classic
You might not have noticed, but Two Gloves won his first Tour event by sprinting to the finish line with a final-round 60 at Sea Island. Seven shots behind when the day began, the former insulation specialist flirted with a 59, needing only 24 putts and had seven straight 3's on his card on the back nine.

Biggest Disappointment — Tiger Woods
It's tough to call a three-win season a disappointment, but such is life for Tiger Woods, who failed to contend in a major (unless you count the British Open, where he finished T3 but was a non-factor on the final day) and seems stuck on 14 in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' career record. On the upside, he did pass Jack in the all-time wins column and now stands at 74, to Jack's 73. More alarming for Tiger is his lack of final-round mojo; his final round average at the four majors in 2012 was 73.

Young, Annoying Overachiever of the Year — Tianlang Guan
The 14-year-old from China won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to earn an invitation to the 2013 Masters. The kid's probably shorter than Adam Scott's belly putter, but he'll be at Augusta in April with Rory, Tiger, Phil and the rest.

Controversy of the Year — The Belly Putter
Speaking of belly putters, it's a debate that seems destined to reach a head soon, especially since two of this year's majors were won by players using long putters — Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (British Open). Tiger Woods has finally weighed in, telling the R&A that the putter should be equal or shorter than the shortest club in the bag. But if they were such an advantage, wouldn't everybody be using them? Whatever the case, we need a definitive word from golf's governing bodies, which we'll probably get in 2013.

- by Rob Doster
Follow me on Twitter @AthlonDoster

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Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 12:45
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/20-twitter-accounts-every-big-ten-fan-should-follow

Fret not, Big Ten fans. The product on the field may be suffering this year in comparison to the other power conferences, but the coverage of the league in the Twitterverse is thriving. Sure, some of that coverage is snarky, but that's what you get when your top-ranked team not on probation is No. 22 Michigan. Here are the top 20 Twitter accounts for the B1G. Unlike some of the teams they cover, they're all leaders and legends.

Since 2008, Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett have been regaling Big Ten fans with news, notes and links for the mothership.


Football, food and female hotness. What more is there to the Internet? Elika Sadeghi covers all three on her Twitter feed, with a Big Ten emphasis. To follow her is to love her.


Jim's the publisher of SPARTAN Magazine and is a one-stop shop for all things Gang Green-related. Especially good for in-game tweets that give you a feel for the action.


Teddy has one of the best self-descriptions on Twitter: "lover, fighter, Chicago Trib sportswriter." Kind of says it all, although he focuses on the sports part on his Twitter feed, in bareknuckles fashion.


A sportswriter for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Marc Morehouse covers Iowa sports with a stated goal to entertain and inform. Mission accomplished on both counts, although Kirk Ferentz might not be all that entertained by what he reads.


Jeff Potrykus is a sportswriter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel specializing in Badger sports. Jeff's also apparently a big fan of tacos. Oh, the things you learn on Twitter.


Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for, but he doesn't limit his tweets to the team from the Big House, weighing in with opinions and observations on all sports with a Wolverine State bent.


Joe Rexrode covers Sparty for the Detroit Free Press, and he's not just a mouthpiece for Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo. Joe delivers unvarnished opinions about the goings-on in East Lansing.


Pioneer Press reporter Marcus R. Fuller is your man on the inside of Gopher sports. After three straight losses, he has to be wondering if there's a bowl trip in his future. Plus, he's gearing up for another season with Tubby's Team Turmoil.


The publisher of, Sean (Don't Call Me Bill) Callahan has seen the Nebraska program suffer through some uncharacteristic struggles the last several years. But unlike the team, Sean's coverage is consistently solid.


Like the rest of Hoosier Nation, Dopirak's thinking hoops right about now. In fact, if you are a Twitter follower of Dustin's, it's like you were there for Big Ten Basketball media day. But if you're an IU football diehard, Dustin's your guy, too.



Doug Lesmerises provides what he calls "news, analysis and inane banter" from his perch as Buckeyes beat guy for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The banter may be inane, but the info's not.


Mike Carmin covers Purdue football and women's hoops for the Lafayette Journal and Courier. Can make for an odd mix of tweets, but if you're a Boilers fan, you won't mind.


Tom's been on the Badger beat for the Wisconsin State Journal for more than a decade, meaning he's seen more highs than lows — although he's not afraid to point out the lows.


Kevin McGuire provides a fount of Penn State and Big Ten information in bite-sized form. Lots of links, stats and tidbits for the Big Ten fan on the go.


Tom Dienhart is the senior writer for, the website for the Big Ten Network. Not surprisingly, he's turned some of his attention to basketball, but as long as there's football to be played, he's got it covered.


Eleven Warriors is your source for all things Scarlet and Grey. It's the largest free Ohio State sports source on the internet, and they've extended their footprint to Twitter in a big way.


It's more of a general college site, but I couldn't let this Twitter rundown lapse without mentioning the guys over at Every Day Should Be Saturday, who freely share a love of college football with a slightly skewed, always amusing perspective.


Jeff Rapp is an Ohio State grad who turned his avocation (Buckeye sports) into his vocation. On his site,, and his Twitter feed, he covers OSU and the Big Ten with a nice eye for detail. 


Jon Miller is publisher of, billed as an independent source for Hawkeye news. That independence comes in handy when your team lays a colossal egg against Penn State.

<p> These tweeting 20 will keep you entertained and educated about Big Ten football</p>
Post date: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 06:34
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/20-twitter-accounts-every-pac-12-football-fan-should-follow

It's time for everyone to shed their east-coast bias once and for all and admit that they play good football out on the left coast (even if some of the games don't even start until after your bedtime). With its emphasis on offense, the Pac-12 might even be the most action-packed league in the land. Heck, Oregon might just be the most influential team in college football over the last five years — from their fast-break offense to their godawful uniform choices.

Anyone who wants a front-row seat for the happenings out west needs to follow these 20 Pac-12 insiders.


A blogger for the Mercury News, Jon Wilner covers the Pac-12 with a special emphasis on the Bay Area teams, which means that his Super Bowl is this week.



Lya's on the Ute beat for the Salt Lake Tribune. Her bio says she also covers gymnastics and is a health and fitness writer and trainer and avid mountain biker. In other words, she could probably kick your ass, so if you criticize her coverage, do it anonymously.



Chris Foster is the LA Times' UCLA beat writer and dispenses nuggets from Bruin-land. As you would expect from a school with 11 national titles, he leans basketball in his tweet count.



Kyle has the sad task of covering the dying days of the Jon Embree regime at Colorado, but at least he's doing it in the beautiful environs of Boulder. It'll be getting cold soon, though.



Doug covers Arizona State for azcentral sports. Things are looking up in the Valley of the Sun, and Doug's on the front lines.



Ryan says he covers Arizona football "sideline to sideline and goal-line to goal-line." That's pretty comprehensive coverage. He backs it up with links, retweets and observations from RichRod Central.



Paul Buker bills himself as a 35-year veteran at The Oregonian, meaning that he's lived through the lowest of lows and appreciates the highs in the Pacific Northwest. Funny guy, too.



Christian covers the Washington State Cougars for the Spokesman-Review, meaning that he's got one of the best jobs in college sports: chronicling the eccentricities and outbursts of Coogs coach Mike Leach.



Kyle is a 49ers beat writer for but also covers Stanford for He handles both chores on one feed, with plenty of general sports chat and current events thrown in.



Lindsay Schnell covers Oregon State, and while she's a hoops gal at heart, she's still a key source for happenings in Beaver Nation.



Rob Moseley covers Oregon football for the Eugene Register-Guard, and he tweets pithy observations from the front lines of Chip Kelly's offensive juggernaut. Also not afraid of lively interactions with fellow tweeters.



Dan's the publisher of, meaning that he's uniquely qualified to offer unvarnished insights on Bears football. Especially interesting this year, as Jeff Tedford coaches for his professional life.



All the news straight from Traveler's mouth. The Trojans may not win a national title this year, but they're always relevant and always interesting.



Jim Mora has wasted no time jockeying for attention in ADHD-afflicted Southern California. He hasn't really extended his pot-stirring to Twitter yet, but there's always hope.



It's the official Twitter account for Bruins football, so take it with a grain of true blue and gold salt — it's doubtful that anything not Jim Mora-approved is getting through. Still worth a follow for fans of a program on an upward trajectory.



The mother ship for all things Pac-12. Not exactly a no-spin zone, but plenty of useful information and links provided. It's far from football-only, though; prepare for plenty of soccer and women's volleyball.



The Oregonian and keep their Twitter feed quacking with all things Ducks. Fans of offense and hideous color schemes welcome.



Scott Wolf is a staff writer for the LA Daily News, meaning he has a front-row seat for the ongoing circus that is the Lane Kiffin era in LA.



The worldwide leader has its finger on the pulse of the Pac-12 thanks to Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell. Their feed is mostly links and retweets, but it's all good stuff, and you get occasional gems like this one:



Bob Condotta covers the Washington Huskies for the Seattle Times in an informative, no-nonsense way. Condotta's gotta be as hungry as any Husky fan for the U-Dub to rejoin the elite; he was there for the dark days of 0-12.

<p> These tweeting 20 will you keep you entertained and educated about Pac-12 football</p>
Post date: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 06:20
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/20-twitter-accounts-every-sec-football-fan-should-follow

As you would expect from the nation's pre-eminent football conference, the SEC is well-represented in the Twitterverse by people who know the league intimately and aren't afraid to tell you about it. We took a look at the lengthy list of SEC-oriented Twitter accounts and whittled them down to 25 that are definitely worth a follow.


Love him or hate him, you can't deny that Travis entertains and inflames with his SEC-centric observations. Prepare to get angry, although Travis' affection for those he lampoons takes some of the edge off. Just beware of his new obsession with butt-chugging.


Alabama's versatile o-lineman is that rare college athlete who's worth following. No nonsense, no inside jokes, just a smart kid who doesn't take himself too seriously. He's funny, too.


Herb Hand, Vandy's exceptional (and exceptionally nice) o-line coach, beats the drum on Twitter for Vandy, Nashville and the SEC while offering words of wisdom for everyday living. Not your usual coach-speak.


With a name like that, you better deliver the goods. And he does, covering the league's 14 teams from every angle — coaching, recruiting and on-the-field performance. Lots of useful links, too.


The worldwide leader doesn't disappoint with its SEC coverage thanks to lead bloggers Chris Low and Edward Aschoff, who scour the corners of the interwebs for nuggets of SEC wisdom and share them with hungry SEC fans everywhere. In addition to @ESPN_SEC, which is links central for fans of the nation's best conference, Aschoff maintains his own Twitter account with tidbits like this.


The Florida Gators beat writer for the Palm Beach Post, Jason Lieser is a one-stop shop for all things Swamp-related, but he doesn't limit his tweets to the Gators, offering sharp observations on what's happening in all 12 SEC shops.


Seth's hunkered down in Athens ready to bring you any relevant Dawg news he uncovers. Mark Richt may have lost control, but Seth hasn't.


Covering Kentucky football is a thankless task, but Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal handles the chore admirably, giving you everything you need to know as the UK coaches rearrange their deck chairs while the ship goes down.


Mizzou's new to the SEC this season, but Matter's a seasoned veteran at providing news you can use out of the other Columbia. As the author of The Mizzou Fan's Survival Guide to the SEC, he knows what his team has gotten itself into.


Slater's on the beat with the ol' ball coach, covering the Gamecocks for the hometown paper and sharing insights via Twitter. He has a little fun with it in the process.


Lockridge is the Vandy man for The Tennessean. If James Franklin says something controversial, Lockridge will let you know.


Cecil's been covering Bama since the Bear's last season. I'd say that makes him a suitable go-to guy for all things Tide-related.


Tom's had his hands full this season covering the dumpster fire that is Arkansas football in the post-Petrino era so far, but he's handling the transitional season far better than John L. Smith is.


@JayGTate bills itself as your No. 1 source for Auburn athletics and recruiting news. Jay's one of the reasons why. The Auburn program's suddenly in tatters, but the coverage is still solid.


Randy should be the envy of the SEC. He gets to cover Les Miles on a daily basis, giving him first-hand access to some of the best material in the Twitterverse.


Hugh Kellenberger covers Ole Miss for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. A couple things become obvious when you visit his page: He loves college football, and he loves Mumford & Sons. Only one of those things is relevant to this discussion.


Brad Locke covers Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs. Now that things are rocking over in Scott Field, that's become a pretty plum gig, and Brad handles it well.


Brent brings you all the news from Aggie-land. He's on the front lines of A&M coach Kevin Sumlin's love-hate relationship with the media.


All of us here at Athlon Sports — @AthlonMitch, @BradenGall, @DavidFox615, @AthlonDoster — are worth following, but Steven Lassan's our resident college football prodigy. Ask him anything — the backup quarterback situation at UL Lafayette, for example — and he can tell you everything you need to know.


The mere mention of his name provokes outrage in some quarters. Paul Finebaum has been stirring the pot in the Yellowhammer State for three decades now and has taken his talents to Twitter, although he spends a lot of Tweets quoting what others have to say. For the Finebaum haters, that's just as well.


World-wide Wes' specialty is Tennessee Vols football at, but he has plenty to say about everything that's remotely relevant in SEC football on his Twitter feed. Also, he uses his avatar to keep us apprised of his beard status (currently negative).


Jon Solomon writes about SEC football for the Birmingham News. As you'd expect, he has plenty to say about Bama and Auburn, but he has a special focus on the media biz that separates him from the pack.


Referring to yourself as Mr. College Football may seem a little self-aggrandizing, but after years in the SEC trenches, Tony Barnhart's earned the right to pat himself on the back.


Part columnist, part professional internet troll, Orlando's Mike Bianchi is an equal opportunity offender where Florida and Florida State are concerned. That makes him worth following, although he does spend a lot of time plugging his radio gig.


Bleacher Report's lead SEC college football writer is a fountain of information on his home site and a premium pot-stirrer on Twitter, weighing in with uncensored opinions on all things SEC. Plenty of useful links, too.

<p> These tweeting 25 will you keep you entertained and educated</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/rory-and-tiger-tale-tape

On Thursday, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be staging a head-to-head duel at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final with a spot in the final four of this unique medal match play eight-man bracket on the line. Let's hope it's one of many as this budding bromance blossoms into a full-fledged rivalry.

Never mind the fact that Charl Schwartzel beat Woods and McIlroy, the top two players in the world golf ranking, back to back in this Turkish money grab. No, for the good of the game, we need to root for a Tiger-Rory rivalry to take root and take the game to unprecedented heights.

For more than a decade, golf fans were secure in the knowledge that Woods ruled their sport. Sure, Phil Mickelson was a useful foil for Tiger, and every now and then a Vijay Singh or Padraig Harrington would assert himself before slinking back into the woodwork. But Woods was the Man. Even after the Thanksgiving thunderbolt that derailed the Woods train, we all expected Tiger to resume his rule at any time.

But now that we've reached four years and counting with Tiger stuck on 14 majors, I think we're free to reassess. Now that the Woods era seems to be truly on the wane, it's time to anoint a new king. Science tells us that nature hates a vacuum, and after two eight-shot wins in majors in the last 14 months,  McIlroy looks ready to fill the void at the top of golf. And more than that, Rory looks likes he could be the kind of historic force in the game that Woods was. The proof comes when you compare the two at similar points in their careers.

Let's look at the Tiger vs. Rory tale of the tape through their age-23 seasons — Woods through 1999, Rory through the 2012 Ryder Cup. Rory's record is impressive, but Woods was already dominating the PGA Tour at a similar stage, and he reached his apex the following season, giving 2013 extra meaning for Rory in his effort to match Woods' career trajectory.
Edge to Tiger — for now.


                                                      TIGER (age 23)    RORY
Major championships won               2                           2
Combined margin of victory           13                         16
Major top 5s                                     4                           5
Major top 10s                                   7                           6
PGA Tour wins                               11                          4
Worldwide wins                              13                          6
Scoring avg. (PGA Tour)            69.10 (1997)        70.35 (2010)
                                                     69.21 (1998)        69.48 (2011)
                                                     68.43 (1999)        68.73 (2012)
Ryder Cup record                          3-6-1                   4-3-2


Post date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:00
Path: /golf/us-wins-ryder-cup

Miracle at Medinah? Or Medinah Meltdown? Whatever you call it, this 2012 Ryder Cup is going to sting the U.S. for awhile.

When Martin Kaymer's 6-foot par putt found the bottom of the cup at 18 for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker in the weekend's penultimate match, Europe had clinched a 14-14 tie and retention of the Cup, no matter the outcome of the Tiger Woods-Francesco Molinari match still on the course. To rub salt into the wound, Woods conceded a putt 18 to fall into a halve with Molinari, giving the Euros a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 win. And what had once looked like a likely U.S. rout had morphed into a shocking European triumph on American soil before a highly charged, partisan crowd that left more deflated than a post-Thanksgiving Snoopy balloon.

Captains Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal had saved their losers for last; the final four players on the course entered the day a combined 0-9 in their 2012 matches. Shockingly, the Cup was eventually in the hands of those very players. Martin Kaymer, whose game had been in disarray coming into these matches, was up to the task, while Stricker capped a crushingly bad weekend with another late meltdown. And the Cup belongs to Europe for another two years.

"It’s been a tough week," said an emotional Olazabal, who inspired his team with constant reminders of Ryder Cup legend Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011. "The first two days nothing went our way. We struggled on the greens, and this morning I felt a little change in that regard, and we started to make a few putts. The Americans just started to miss them. And winning those (first) few matches, that was key.

"This means a lot. This is for the whole of Europe."

If you're looking for heroes, there were plenty on the Euro side. Any unofficial MVP award would go to Ian Poulter, who arrived at Medinah on a mission and then went 4-0. His birdie binge in Saturday's final fourball match gave Europe a critical point and a glimmer of hope heading into Sunday, and his 2-up singles win over Webb Simpson was a key catalyst in Europe's early singles charge.

Looking for goats? There were enough on the American team to populate a small farm on a Sunday that saw Europe win 8.5 of a possible 12 points.

Before Europe clinched, there was plenty of clenching on the U.S. side. Both Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk stood on the 17th tee 1-up in their matches, but neither earned so much as a half-point, losing their matches to Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, respectively. Furyk, one of Love's captain's picks, missed a testy par putt on 18 that would have salvaged a critical half-point against  Garcia; instead, he became the third American to lose both 17 and 18 to cost his team points. Mickelson fell victim to a little Euro magic, as Rose drained an improbable bomb at 17 and then birdied 18 to snatch a full point away from Lefty, who had been so solid all weekend and entered singles with a 3-0 match record.

In a role reversal from the 1999 Miracle at Brookline, the U.S. team entered singles play with a seemingly insurmountable 10-6 lead, then watched a flurry of early match wins from the Europeans, who took the day's first five matches.

Phil Mickelson, whose Ryder Cup travails had represented a black mark on his career resume, and Keegan Bradley had helped stake the Americans to that lead with three emotion-charged points in foursomes and fourballs, but their deflating losses in singles opened the door for the Euros. Mickelson's loss to Justin Rose was a particularly stunning turn, as Rose's birdie-birdie finish, spurred by that monster putt at 17 that echoed Justin Leonard's bomb at Brookline in 1999, erased what seemed a sure U.S. point. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy took down the feisty Bradley, who provided many electric moments over the three days while proving an undeniable irritant to the Euros with his eccentric mannerisms and effusive celebrations.

But on this shocking, deflating day, the biggest celebrations belonged to the Europeans.

Biggest surprises

• Jason Dufner may be carrying some extra flab, but the guy was a rock for the U.S. at Medinah. Duf and Zach Johnson earned two critical points as an untouchable foursomes partnership, and Dufner was the best U.S. performer in singles play, beating Peter Hanson on the strength of two front-9 eagles. Johnson was another bulldog for the American side, beating Graeme McDowell in singles and posting a 3-1 record.

• Dustin Johnson performed the best of Love's captain's picks, going 3-0 and earning a singles win over Friday star Nicolas Colsaerts. He was the only American not to taste defeat for the weekend. The fact that he appeared only three times will subject Love to some second-guessing.

Biggest disappointments

• Woods entered his singles match against Francesco Molinari with an 0-3 record in the 2012 Cup and left 0-3-1, but that number is a little deceiving. In his foursomes and fourball matches, Woods had a dead elephant named Steve Stricker on his back. Stricker was picked for his putter, but that short-stick magic was lacking at Medinah.

• Brandt Snedeker obviously had a FedExCup hangover; the newly minted Cup champion was surprisingly ineffective at Medinah. Partner Jim Furyk bailed him out in their foursomes match win over Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell on Saturday morning, but Sneds' wild tee shot cost them at least a halve in their Friday foursomes match, and he was never in his singles match with Paul Lawrie despite being a heavy favorite over one of Europe's lesser lights. Snedeker had played 10 out 11 weeks in his pursuit of the FedExCup, and fatigue caught up with him this week.

• The captain gets too much credit and too much blame in these matches, but Love's captain's picks combined to go 5-8-0, and he seemed powerless to stop the bleeding on Sunday.

• 2010 Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell never got the hang of the speed of the Medinah greens in going 1-3 for the weekend.

• Much like the play on the course, NBC's coverage was hit-and-miss. There were an unforgivable number of technical glitches, especially on Saturday, and an irritating number of commercials and other interruptions in the action on the course. Much of the commentary was spot-on, although Johnny Miller's sniping shtick from the comfort of the booth is starting to wear thin. Colin Montgomerie provided some honest Euro perspective; a little homerism is fine, and he's earned the right to indulge in it with his spectacular Ryder Cup record. His squeaky, high-pitched voice doesn't exactly defuse his "Mrs. Doubtfire" nickname, though.

Singles Results
Luke Donald def. Bubba Watson 2&1
Ian Poulter def. Webb Simpson 2-up
Rory McIlroy def. Keegan Bradley 2&1
Justin Rose def. Phil Mickelson 1-up
Paul Lawrie def. Brandt Snedeker 5&3
Dustin Johnson def. Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2
Zach Johnson def. Graeme McDowell 2&1
Sergio Garcia def. Jim Furyk 1-up
Jason Dufner def. Peter Hason 2&1
Lee Westwood def. Matt Kuchar 3&2
Martin Kayer def. Steve Stricker 1-up
Tiger Woods halved Francesco Molinari

Individual Records

Ian Poulter 4-0-0
Rory McIlroy 3-2-0
Justin Rose 3-2-0
Luke Donald 2-2-0
Sergio Garcia 2-2-0
Lee Westwood 2-2-0
Martin Kaymer 1-1-0
Paul Lawrie 1-2-0
Nicolas Colsaerts 1-3-0
Graeme McDowell 1-3-0
Francesco Molinari 0-2-1
Peter Hanson 0-2-0

Dustin Johnson 3-0-0
Keegan Bradley 3-1-0
Jason Dufner 3-1-0
Zach Johnson 3-1-0
Phil Mickelson 3-1-0
Matt Kuchar 2-1-0
Webb Simpson 2-2-0
Bubba Watson 2-2-0
Jim Furyk 1-2-0
Brandt Snedeker 1-2-0
Tiger Woods 0-3-1
Steve Stricker 0-4-0

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Post date: Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 17:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/10-twitter-accounts-every-golf-fan-should-follow

Twitter is a powerful medium in today's sports landscape, and golf is no exception. Golfers, and the journalists who cover them, have taken to Twitter to freely share their wit, their insights, their gripes, their expectations and their dinner plans and workout regimens.

As the Ryder Cup kicks off Sept. 28, be sure to add these timelines to your follow list. You'll notice that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are missing; Tiger's tweets are kinda bland, and Lefty's not on Twitter. They both would be well served to emulate these 10 master Tweeters.

@Luke Donald
The former World No. 1 recently learned that social media has a dark side when he took to Twitter to rip the TPC Boston redesign during the Deutsche Bank Championship. He followed that rant with another tweet calling designer Gil Hanse a word that, in polite company, is reserved for a rooster. Apparently, he had intended the tweets to be private messages. The first offending tweet is displayed here; the second isn't fit for our family website. Luke backpedaled and apologized; don't hold his mistake against him. He's worth a follow.


Paula Creamer's just so dang adorable. Her current avatar features her snuggling with her impossibly cute puppy; just having that pop up on your feed brightens your day and makes her worth a follow. Paula freely shares her on-course struggles and successes. We're hoping for more of the latter.


Sobel recently took his talents from ESPN to Golf Channel. He's a master tweeter who drops one witty bon mot after another, many of them straight from the course.


Cink's game has suffered lately, but his Tweeting hasn't. This summer, he offered this gem: "Our cat has chlamydia. There goes the reputation." Here's another:


Dustin Johnson's a big fan of the exclamation point. I'm a big fan of Dustin Johnson, so I can forgive his overuse of punctuation. His enthusiasm is infectious.


The name says it all. David Feherty doesn't take himself seriously, and that lack of seriousness makes him perfect for Twitter. Golf's clown prince describes his Golf Channel show as "interesting, yet oddly moronic." Kinda captures the man himself, and his Twitter timeline.


They don't come much more confident than Poulter. In fact, if you're an American looking for a villain to root against in the Ryder Cup, he's your guy. He's heading to Medinah to chew bubble gum and kick butt, and he's all out of bubble gum.


What you see with Bubba is what you get. The guy wears his heart on his sleeve, whether he's on the Letterman Show, at The Masters or on Twitter. He's apt to share Biblical passages that mark milestones in his spiritual journey, so if you're not into that, he might not be for you. Otherwise, dive in. Almost 700,000 other people have.


The kid's getting the hang of this media thing. This week, he killed it on Jimmy Fallon, proving that he's getting more and more comfortable as the face of golf. Some of his 1.3 million Twitter followers may be looking for Caroline Wozniacki updates and photos — she's one of golf's better WAGs — but they get a lot more than that.


Golf's rotund everyman in the insanely loud and hideous slacks has mounted a serious comeback from drunkeness and general disgrace, and he's chronicling his journey back to respectability on Twitter. We're rooting for ya, John.


I don't always tweet about golf, but if you'd like to add me, I'm @AthlonDoster.

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Post date: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 13:31
All taxonomy terms: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big Ten, News
Path: /college-football/tom-osbourne-his-5-greatest-moments-nebraska

When he succeeded Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne didn’t imagine he would spend 25 years as Nebraska’s head coach. He figured the best-case scenario was maybe five years.

“Bob always had a built-in grace factor because he turned the program around,” Osborne has said. “I wasn’t going to have that opportunity because I was more of a caretaker.” 

Osborne was a native son, a Nebraskan who had been a multi-sport athlete at both Hastings (Neb.) High and Hastings College. He hadn’t planned to pursue coaching. Rather, it was going to be a means to an end. After a brief professional football career, he sought a job on Devaney’s first staff at Nebraska while working on a post-graduate degree. Devaney offered room and board, and he accepted.

After earning a doctorate in educational psychology, however, Osborne chose coaching over the classroom, a choice that produced remarkable results. Every one of his teams won at least nine games and played in bowl games. The 25 consecutive bowl trips made by his teams are an NCAA record for a coach; Bear Bryant is second with 24. And Osborne coached the Cornhuskers to three national championships in his final four seasons, compiling a record of 60–3 in his final five seasons, all with 11 or more victories.

His teams won or shared 13 conference titles, and his winning percentage of .836 (255–49–3) was the nation’s best among active coaches before he retired. His percentage ranked fifth all-time in Division I.

Osborne emphasized the journey rather than the destination, and his philosophy was expressed in the title of an autobiographical book he wrote, More Than Winning. He stepped aside after the third national championship — becoming the first coach ever to retire after winning a national title — for health and personal reasons. The field at Memorial Stadium is named in his honor. And he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998, after the Hall’s three-year waiting period was waived.

Five years ago he was named the school's athletic director, and yesterday the 75-year-old Osborne announced he would be retiring on Jan. 1, 2013. 

In recognition of his career at Nebraska, we look back at five great moments that helped define Osborne's legacy.

Osborne Finally Beats OU
Nebraska 17, Oklahoma 14
Nov. 11, 1978

Senior monster back Jim Pillen recovered a Billy Sims fumble at the Nebraska 3-yard line with 3:27 remaining to preserve Osborne’s first victory against Oklahoma. The Sooners, undefeated, untied and ranked No. 1, fumbled nine times, losing six. Sims, the Heisman Trophy winner that season, lost two of the fumbles in the fourth quarter, as top-ranked Oklahoma tried in vain to overcome a 24-yard Billy Todd field goal with 11:51 remaining. Sims, who had rushed for 200 or more yards in three consecutive games, scored both of the Sooner touchdowns, on runs of 44 and 30 yards. Nebraska countered with touchdown runs by Rick Berns and I.M. Hipp, in the second and third quarters. The victory put the Cornhuskers in position to play Penn State in the Orange Bowl for the national championship. But a week later, Missouri upset Nebraska, also in Lincoln, leading to an Orange Bowl rematch with Oklahoma.

No Guts, No Glory
Miami 31, Nebraska 30
Jan. 2, 1984

Osborne almost certainly could have had his first national championship had he been willing to settle for a tie. That was the consensus, anyway. The Cornhuskers, ranked No. 1 throughout the season, would have remained undefeated with a Scott Livingston extra-point kick. But Osborne opted for a 2-point conversion attempt that would have meant victory. Miami’s Ken Calhoun deflected Turner Gill’s pass enough that it glanced off I-back Jeff Smith incomplete. Nebraska rallied from a 31–17 fourth-quarter deficit, with Smith, who was playing for an injured Mike Rozier, scoring two touchdowns in the final 6:55, the second with 48 seconds remaining. Miami had built a 17–0 first-quarter lead, but the Cornhuskers battled back to tie less than two minutes into the second half. Their first touchdown came when guard Dean Steinkuhler picked up an intentional fumble and ran 19 yards. Nebraska didn’t leave the Orange Bowl with a national title, but Osborne and his team left with national respect for playing to win. Said Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger: “This was a championship game, and (Osborne) went after it like a champion.”

Osborne Gets His National Title
Nebraska 24, Miami 17
Jan. 1, 1995

At halftime of the Orange Bowl game, Osborne reminded the Cornhuskers that if they kept “hammering” away, Miami’s defense would wear down. And so it did, though there were some anxious moments among Nebraska fans when the Hurricanes increased their lead to 17–7 less than two minutes into the second half. They wouldn’t score again, however. The Cornhuskers got two of the points back quickly, when rush end Dwayne Harris tackled Miami quarterback Frank Costa for a safety. But the offensive persistence didn’t begin to pay off until midway through the fourth quarter, when fullback Cory Schlesinger scored two touchdowns in a span of 4 minutes and 52 seconds to give Osborne his first national championship. Tommie Frazier, who had been sidelined by blood clots throughout Big Eight play, returned to start at quarterback. But Brook Berringer got Nebraska on the scoreboard with 19-yard pass to tight end Mark Gilman in the second quarter, after Miami had jumped out to a 10–0 lead on their home field.

Frazier Frustrates Florida
Nebraska 62, Florida 24
Jan. 2, 1996

The play didn’t appear all that special at first. On second-and-5 from his own 25-yard line late in the third quarter of the Fiesta Bowl game against No. 2-ranked Florida, quarterback Tommie Frazier faked a handoff to fullback Brian Schuster and for a split-second appeared to consider a pitch to I-back Clinton Childs. He kept the ball, however, and ran 75 yards for the touchdown that defined his Cornhusker career. He broke seven or eight tackles during the first 20 yards, after which he was untouched by a Gator defender. “They kept contacting me, but I kept my legs going,” Frazier explained following the 62–24 victory that gave Nebraska a second consecutive national championship and established the 1995 Huskers as perhaps the greatest team in college football history.

Missouri Miracle
Nebraska 45, Missouri 38 (OT)
Nov. 8, 1997

Everyone remembers the final play in regulation, Matt Davison’s touchdown catch of a ball thrown by Scott Frost that deflected off the foot of Shevin Wiggins. But what preceded the catch at Missouri’s Faurot Field was dramatic as well. With 1:02 remaining, Nebraska took over at its own 33-yard line. Nine plays later, without benefit of timeouts, Frost had directed the Cornhuskers to the Missouri 12-yard line. Only seven seconds remained. The tying touchdown came on third down.
Nebraska lost the coin toss and had the ball first in overtime, scoring in three plays, the third a 12-yard run by Frost for his fourth touchdown. He finished with a career-high 141 rushing yards, and I-back Ahman Green rushed for 189 as the Cornhuskers rolled up 528 total yards. Missouri gained 386 yards, with quarterback Corby Jones accounting for 293 passing and rushing. The Tigers went ahead 38–31 with 4:39 remaining.
Spurred by the Missouri Miracle, the Huskers sent Osborne out with a share of a third national title, completing an unbeaten season with a 42-17 Orange Bowl win over Tennessee.

<p> Tom Osborne: His 5 Greatest Moments at Nebraska</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 18:02
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/2012-ryder-cup-medinah-hole-hole

Medinah Country Club is no stranger to big-time golf. It hosted the PGA Championship won by Tiger Woods in 1999 in a final-round duel with Sergio Garcia, and it was the site for U.S. Opens in 1949 (won by Cary Middlecoff), 1975 (Lou Graham) and 1990 (Hale Irwin).

Michael J. Scully, PGA Director of Golf, takes us on a hole by hole tour of Medinah, site of the 2012 Ryder Cup matches. For more on the Cup, visit

No. 1
433 yards, Par 4

In 2012, the first change the players of the 39th Ryder Cup Matches will notice on Course No. 3 at Medinah Country Club will be on the first tee. The addition of a new back tee has lengthened the hole, and hitting a hybrid or 3-wood off the tee will mean a flatter lie in the landing area. The attempt to hit a driver may result in a hanging lie in the fairway. It might be wiser the leave the "big dog" in the bag. The green has a slight pitch, from back-to-front, with a Rees Jones collection area, back-left that needs to be avoided. The toughest hole placement is back-right, with only 18 feet of green behind the front-right bunker. It's an easy opening hole, compared to the rest of the course, and can give a player a false sense of security.

No. 2
192 yards, Par 3

Many players say that the difficulty of Course No. 3 begins on the second tee box. This very challenging par-3 has a forced carry, with no bailout on the left side. A missed shot left leads to a walk of shame to the drop area. The traditional winds from the southwest will blow in and across the face of the players and makes this hole a difficult par-3.

No. 3
412 yards, Par 4

From the tee, the players will see the Rees Jones bunkers down the right side that should be the target to work the ball right-to-left. They will have to try to stay to the right side to avoid the overhanging Medinah trees. Leveling of the fairway took away what used to be a blind second shot, and made this a viable birdie hole. The green slopes from back-to-front and is guarded by bunkers on both sides.

No. 4
463 yards, Par 4

Favor the right side of this pitched fairway, as any balls hit down the left side will likely find the rough. Approach shots to the green always play a club longer because of the severe elevation change from fairway-to-green. The green is slightly sloped from back-to-front, but has a way of disguising one of the fastest putts at Medinah. The key here is to keep the ball below the hole.

No. 5
536 yards, Par 5

The shortest par-5 on the course makes this is the perfect risk/reward par-5. The premium location with a driver is right-center, leaving most players with a 3- or 4-iron to an elevated green. The green isn't easy to hit in two, because it is elevated. However, the hole makes most players want to gamble. We may see a hybrid/hybrid club combination as the two-shot plan, with a putt at eagle that could swing a match!

No. 6
509 yards, Par 4

One of Medinah's truly great par-4's! With the addition of a new back tee, the length requires a driver shaping from left-to-right off the three fairway bunkers. Do not make the mistake of missing the fairway to the right, or you are staring bogey right in the face. Left side of the fairway will still leave most a mid- to long-iron into a sloped and well-bunkered green. This is a hole where the tee shot will definitely dictate the score.

No. 7
617 yards, Par 5

Another Medinah Classic, the seventh is the longest par-5 on the course, as well as the member's No. 1 handicap hole. Rees Jones added another tee box that calls for the ideal tee shot down the left side, which will set up a lay-up shot focused on being 120 yards out. Anything closer brings a left side fairway bunker into play. Do not miss the green or fall into the steep greenside bunkers. The green is elevated and has a several subtle breaks that make it difficult to read and putt.

No. 8
201 yards, Par 3

A couple of major championships ago, this was a blind tee shot. However, the leveling of the fairway has given the players a great view of a heavily guarded green that breaks hard from left to right. The key here is to locate the halfway house, as most putts will break to the building.

No. 9
432 yards, Par 4

A great dogleg left that presents somewhat of a blind shot off the tee, and in today's game will require a 3-wood, or hybrid. Hugging the right side here will leave you an uphill look at a well-bunkered green that breaks fast from right-to-left. Take your par here, and run to the 10th tee.

No. 10
578 yards, Par 5

A thinking man's par-5 that can be reached in two, but demands that both be great shots! The drive should be played toward the right bunkers, shaping from right-to-left. Club choice might include 3-wood to take the bunkers out of play, and then hitting a hybrid or long iron to a conservative lay-up will make the third shot a little easier. The tenth green has the greatest slope from back-to-front as any on the golf course. The dilemma here is whether to be aggressive or conservative.

No. 11
440 yards, Par 4

The eleventh hole has the smallest green on the golf course, and the addition of the Rees Jones fairway bunker has put a premium on driving accuracy and club choice. The play is 3-wood or hybrid that will leave the player with short iron into a small, newly undulated green. The hole looks easy, but it could swing the momentum in a match!

No. 12
476 yards, Par 4

This gem just may be the best par-4 on the property. A generous driving area benefits the player staying to the right side for a better angle to approach the green. A big oak guards the green on the left side that the membership has hit 95,345 times over the years. The second shot should be mid-iron into a green that slopes hard from left-to-right, but doesn't look as severe because of the sharp drop-off on the right side of the green to the pond. Four will go a long way here in any match!

No. 13
245 yards, Par 3

Known over the years as Medinah's signature hole, the green on thirteen is now guarded by three bunkers, and slopes from right-to-left. The club choice will be the challenge as players contend with the winds off Lake Kadijah. Being the longest par-3 on the course, and with the challenge of the wind, this may be where the matches turn on Sunday.

No. 14
609 yards, Par 5

The longer players have the advantage here if they can get the ball to the top of the hill. From there they will have a long iron or fairway metal into a green that is well guarded by bunkers and slopes significantly from back-to-front. It is hard to get the ball close on the third shot because of the slope in the green. The challenge here will be to contend with the overhanging Medinah trees.

No. 15
391 yards, Par 4

This was the most significant change that Rees Jones made during his last update to Course #3. What was the easiest par-4 on the course has been turned into a short and potentially exciting par-4 with water adjoining the landing area and green. This hole could lead to more fireworks during the 39th Ryder Cup. If the tees are moved forward, then for many players, it will be it will be driver, 3-wood or hybrid for the long hitters! The green complex is where the challenge will begin as it is well bunkered in the front and has the Rees Jones collection area back-right. This small shallow green should produce a lot of memorable shots in Ryder Cup history!

No. 16
482 yards, Par 4

The sixteenth hole is where all the fireworks began in '99, with Sergio Garcia's miraculous shot from behind an oak tree on the right side of the fairway. The new Rees Jones tee box has brought driver back in to the hands of many players to leave approximately 200 yards into an elevated green that may require an extra club. Once greenside, there is no bargain dealing with a sloped green from right-to-left that is heavily guarded with bunkers. Par may be the premium here during the matches.

No. 17
193 yards, Par 3

The key here will be the wind off Lake Kadijah, and the nerves of trying to win a match to win the 39th Ryder Cup. Hitting this relatively flat green will be the key with being long or left, making up and down quite difficult.

No. 18
449 yards, Par 4

This finishing hole was no easy bargain during the 2006 PGA Championship. Off the tee, Rees Jones added a group of bunkers to work the ball from right-to-left. On the approach, the green has been raised in the air almost one story high, and is flanked by some steep bunkers. The green, itself, is pitched from back-to-front, with a collection area in the back-right, with up and down to a back-right hole location almost impossible. The 18th could produce a dramatic finish to another storied event at Medinah.

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Post date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 10:00
Path: /golf/ryder-cup-teams

Davis Love III had to have a feeling of sweet vindication watching one of his captain's picks, Brandt Snedeker, walk off with the FedExCup after winning the Tour Championship. But a more important Cup is up for grabs this week, and Snedeker could provide the difference between a U.S. win and another year of heartbreak at the hands of a driven European squad.

This much is certain: A dazzling array of talent will be on display at Medinah Sept. 28-30.

Undoubtedly, Europe considers itself the favorite, but remember this: The U.S. team can claim 23 major championships among its team members (granted, 14 of them are from one man), while Europe claims only five. But as the Euros have made clear over the last three decades, this is their true major.

Plus, the Euro side holds the edge in experience — they're bringing only one Ryder Cup rookie with them (Nicolas Colsaerts), while the U.S. side will have four Ryder Cuppers making their maiden voyages in the most tense and rancorous environment in golf.

Here, then, then are the two teams, with previous Ryder Cup appearances and all-time Cup records:


European Ryder Cup Team
Average World Ranking: 18.9
Total Majors Won: 5

Luke Donald ('04, '06, '10) 8-2-1
World Ranking: 3
The former World No. 1 has the Ryder Cup record to back up his lofty ranking. This is his major; he'll be ready to play.

Sergio Garcia ('99, '02, '04, '06, '08) 14-6-4
World Ranking: 19
Sergio's Ryder Cup record is above reproach. Will the golf gods smile on him this week?

Peter Hanson ('10) 1-2
World Ranking: 25
Hanson doesn't offer much in terms of Ryder Cup experience or reputation, but his game speaks for itself.

Martin Kaymer ('10) 2-1-1
World Ranking: 32
He hasn’t had a top-10 since April and is considered the “weak link’’ on this team. How will he be used and will he be effective?

Paul Lawrie ('99) 3-1-1
World Ranking: 28
The 1999 British Open champ has seen a career resurgence of late. He could be a surprising catalyst for the Euros.

Graeme McDowell ('08, '10) 4-2-2
World Ranking: 18
McDowell clinched the Cup for the Euros last time out with his singles win over Hunter Mahan. He'll be an anchor again.

Rory McIlroy ('10) 1-1-2
World Ranking: 1
He’s won two majors since his only Ryder Cup appearance, and now is expected to be a force on the European team.

Francesco Molinari ('10) 0-2-1
World Ranking: 31
Molinari won't have his brother as a partner this time around, but his streaky game could prove valuable in bursts this weekend.

Justin Rose ('08) 3-1
World Ranking: 5
Rose is playing well, finishing second at the Tour Championship. Surprisingly, this is only his second Ryder Cup experience.

Lee Westwood ('97, '99, '02, '04, '06, '08, '10) 16-11-6
World Ranking: 4
Westwood limps into Medinah after a somewhat disappointing season. But this is his stage. Expect solid play from the European stalwart.

Captain Picks
Nicolas Colsaerts (Ryder Cup Rookie)
World Ranking: 35
The only rookie on the European team, Colsaerts is an amazingly long hitter who can also putt. He won the Volvo Match Play and the only question about him is how he handles his first Ryder Cup.

Ian Poulter ('04, '08, '10) 9-2
World Ranking: 26
Poulter provides the cocky edge for the European side. He'll be the guy the American crowd will love to hate.


U.S. Ryder Cup Team
Average World Ranking: 12.2
Total Majors Won: 23

Keegan Bradley (Ryder Cup Rookie)
World Ranking: 14
Bradley's personal quirks and slow play could get in the heads of his opponents. That's a good thing.

Jason Dufner (Ryder Cup Rookie)
World Ranking: 9
Many people probably aren't expecting much out of Dufner in his Ryder Cup debut. I'm not one of those people. The guy can roll with the punches.

Zach Johnson ('06, '10) 3-3-1
World Ranking: 17
His ability to roll the rock is key, as putting has typically been a sore spot on the U.S. side.

Matt Kuchar ('10) 1-1-2
World Ranking: 15
Kuchar has lurked under the radar at times, but he could prove to be a stalwart for Team Love.

Phil Mickelson ('95, '97, '99, '02, '04 '06, '08, '10) 11-17-6
World Ranking: 16
Like Woods, Mickelson is important because of his long history of playing on U.S. teams and will be looked on to serve as a mentor to young players such as Bradley and Simpson.

Webb Simpson (Ryder Cup Rookie)
World Ranking: 8
How will Simpson hold up in the pressure cooker of the Ryder Cup? If his U.S. Open performance is any indication, he'll do just fine.

Bubba Watson ('10) 1-3
World Ranking: 7
Bubba will provide the emotion that the U.S. team has sometimes lacked.

Tiger Woods ('97, '99, '02, '04, '06, '10) 13-14-2
World Ranking: 2
More than ever, Woods needs to be a force on a U.S. team that is lacking experience.

Captain's Picks
Dustin Johnson ('10) 1-3
World Ranking: 13
DJ's a bit of a wild card. He's probably the most talented guy on either team, capable of stunning brilliance but also subject to the occasional loose swing.

Jim Furyk ('97, '99, '02, '04, '06, '08, '10) 8-15-4
World Ranking: 23
Furyk has struggled at times this season — losing a lead at the U.S. Open in surprising fashion — and will feel pressure to justify DL3's faith in him.

Steve Stricker ('08, '10) 3-3-1
World Ranking: 12
Stricker provides a steady hand, a mature presence and a capable flatstick for the U.S. side.

Brandt Snedeker (Ryder Cup Rookie)
World Ranking: 10
The newly minted FedExCup champion is the world's best putter at the moment, a skill that always comes in handy in the heated match play environment of the Ryder Cup.

— by Rob Doster
Follow on Twitter @AthlonDoster

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Post date: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: Davis Love III, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/ryder-cup-2012-5-questions-davis-love-iii

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love has the unenviable task of trying to reverse two decades of European Ryder Cup dominance, a run that has been interrupted only a couple of times since Europe won the 1995 Cup at Oak Hill. One aspect of Love's mandate for his team as it arrives at Medinah Country Club in suburban Chicago: Have fun. The U.S. seems to play better when it's looser, as was the case when an underdog group won the Cup in 2008. Here, Love talks about his formidable challenge, his strategy for his team and more.

Q. What do you make of the depth of European golf compared to American golf?

DLIII: Well, it's the depth of international golf. There's so many good players … That's why it's so hard on tour to win these days. That's why Tiger's (Woods) dominance over the last six or eight years is so incredible, because the field is so deep that it's tough to win these days; and when you see Rory (McIlroy) run away with a tournament … it's hard to win. There's so many guys trying to beat him. So it shows the strength of international golf right now.

Both teams are deep. There's no getting around that. You pick a squad from either tour, top 10, top 20, top 30 are going to be very, very similar.

Q. Can you talk about the message you have shared with your team?

DLIII: In 1986 I sat down with (sports psychologist) Bob Rotella and Tom Kite for my first real session of my career, and the speech has been the same since 1986: "One shot at a time, get into the process, not the result."

It sounds easy, but it's hard to do. Each shot is the same level of importance. Well, we are going to preach that at The Ryder Cup, but how are we actually going to do it, that's the trick. When you walk out on the first tee and there's 30,000, 40,000 people and they are chanting, all the Bob Rotella stuff goes out the window really quick when you get really nervous, and you start thinking about winning or losing.

The secret is going to be: How do you turn that off. We watched a lot at the Olympics of athletes somehow channeling that and into their personal best time or their world record time, or 15-year-olds and 17-year-olds handling that incredible pressure and winning Gold medals. How do we translate that excitement and energy and nervousness of three days of golf into incredible feats?

And we want to get them fired up and we don't want them to be nervous. We want to get them thinking about winning, but we don't want them thinking about results on the first tee Friday morning.


Q: How much involvement have you had in the setup of Medinah?

DLIII: Kerry (Haigh, PGA of America official) has done a great job of PGA Championships and Ryder Cups over the years, so we are going to lean on letting him help us with that. But I don't know that we figured out a way to make it suit 12 different guys. Medinah is going to be long and tough, and if the weather is bad, you know, it could be really long and tough.

So I don't know what our ultimate strategy is. Although I'm not a fan of deep rough. So we won't have really, really deep rough. I think Paul's (Azinger) setup at Valhalla (at the 2008 Ryder Cup) was fun for the fans, and probably leaned towards making it fan/TV friendly, some risk and reward, rather than U.S. Open style of just hit it in the rough and chip it out. I don't think that would be fun.

I think what's very important is having a variety of holes, a variety of scores, and you don't want it to be birdie every hole; although for our side that would be nice. You want some variety and some risk and some reward, and we certainly have got the opportunity with par 3s over water and par 5s; there's a lot of tee boxes at Medinah, and now with No. 15, I've played that hole a lot over the last two years, and there's a lot of variety there.


Q: If we get lucky in the singles draw on Sunday and we get Tiger and Rory, how do you see that match going?

DLIII: I'd want to go watch that one. It would be nice to be able to rig them, rig a couple like that for Tiger and Rory … he (Tiger) would probably like that. No, it would be a great match. I'm sure they both would relish that. We have got some guys on our team that I'm sure would love to take him on, because you want to play the best. You want to play a guy that's hot, and I know Tiger or Phil (Mickelson) or any of those guys would love to try it.
We don't see it as Rory versus Tiger. It's U.S. versus Europe, and we are all going to be friends before and we are all going to be friends after, just maybe not quite as close for those three days.


Q: Do you feel any extra pressure as captain?

DLIII: There's a lot of reasons to feel a lot of pressure as a captain. It’s a lot of fun. I think (European captain) José Maria Olazabal will tell you the same thing. It's a lot of fun, it's a lot of responsibility, and it's a humbling experience.

This tournament has gotten so big, so important, so internationally well-known that it's a lot of pressure. I heard Dave Stockton speak at the (PGA) Past Champions Dinner, and he said the best thing about being the captain in '91 was he got to watch everybody tee off and he didn't have to play.

That was a pretty good line. I don't have to hit any shots. I can just go out and watch. It is a lot of pressure. Just getting everything ready and being prepared and doing your best for these 12 players and making it a special week for them is probably the biggest challenge, the most pressure

<p> DL3 Plans to Win Back the Cup at Medinah</p>
Post date: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 08:00
Path: /golf/brandt-snedeker-wins-tour-championship-fedexcup

While you were watching football and checking your fantasy scores (and your bets), Brandt Snedeker was winning $11.44 million. So how did you do today?

Snedeker simultaneously earned the two biggest trophies of his career, taking the Tour Championship and $1.44 million and clinching the FedExCup with its accompanying $10 million payout. Snedeker continued his playoff putting clinic, missing exactly zero putts from inside eight feet during his 68-70-64-68 four-day performance at East Lake and heading to Medinah ready to anchor the U.S. team with his putter, the hottest flatstick in the game today.

On a day when many of the leaders were retreating like Lee from Gettysburg, Snedeker stood strong, firing a final-round 2-under 68, beating Justin Rose by three shots and placing his name in consideration for the title of Best Player Never to Win a Major. Sneds slayed several demons on a nearly flawless Sunday, winning for the first time when holding a 54-hole lead and overcoming a history of late meltdowns at majors. Most tellingly, he overcame an early double bogey at No. 6 that threatened to undo his round, hitting a clutch par putt at 7 and a brilliant birdie at 8.

Golf's best bromance, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, combined to shoot 6-over after entering the weekend among the five players who could clinch the Cup with a win. Late charges from Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Luke Donald were too little, too late on a day that belonged to Brandt.

Final FedExCup Standings
1. Brandt Snedeker

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Tiger Woods

4. Nick Watney

5. Phil Mickelson

6. Justin Rose

7. Louis Oosthuizen

8. Dustin Johnson

9. Luke Donald

10. Lee Westwood

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Post date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 17:52