Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-10-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 10:

 

The Texans cheerleaders lead the league in fun.

 

It was Bark at the Park Night at U.S. Cellular.

 

A day in the life of Josh Gordon, car salesman.

 

• It seems pretty clear that the NFL did see the Ray Rice video it says it didn't see. Here, LBS assesses the instances where the Commish bumped into the truth during his CBS interview.

 

Get to know the new owner of the Buffalo Bills.

 

Handicapping the real races in MLB: the mascot races.

 

Jeremy Lin pretended to be a wax figure and scared the crap out of people.

 

Noted woman-beater thinks the NFL was too hard on Ray Rice.

 

FiveThirtyEight set out to find America's best burrito.

 

U.S. Open tennis champ Marin Cilic read Letterman's Top 10 List last night.

 

• Watch Miggy-to-Megatron at Comerica Park.

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 10:46
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-9-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 9:

 

Summer's not over until the girls of Instagram say it's over.

 

Maryland's unis will feature the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner to honor the 200th anniversary of its writing. Both stylish and educational, although the star on the helmet looks like a ninja star.

 

Manningface was in midseason form last night.

 

A day with the Oregon Duck, the current king of college mascots.

 

• As Clayton Kershaw continues to out-Koufax Sandy Koufax, it might be time for pitcher MVPs in both leagues.

 

• So apparently Roger Goodell was the See No Evil monkey with his hands over his eyes in the Ray Rice situation.

 

Sadly, Janay Rice is mad at everyone but her husband.

 

Interesting analysis of MLB replay overturns.

 

LeSean McCoy blames his 20-cent tip on bad service. Today's reminder that the way we pay waiters is stupid.

 

The Cowboys' inept start has already produced some amusing memes.

 

Thousands of Penn State students celebrated the lifting of the Lions' postseason ban by chanting for the return of Joe Pa's statue.

 

• Watch the Dodgers support Clayton Kershaw's efforts with three throwing errors.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 10:44
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-8-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 8:

 

• The NFL's cheerleaders are already in midseason form, as this gallery reveals.

 

Nothing like a kick to a punter's face to signal the return of America's Game. Good to have you back, football. Here are the best Vines and GIFs from a tasty weekend on the gridiron.

 

• Roger Goodell's having a no good, very bad Monday thanks to the ongoing stench of the Ray Rice situation. If you feel like you need to see the newly available video of the knockout punch, which according to Peter King was in Goodell's possession when he "disciplined" Rice, then click here. It's beyond sickening.

 

• This is interesting: Kareem defends Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson over his supposedly racist email.

 

Here's an interview with ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen on the occasion of the Worldwide Leader's 35th birthday.

 

• I can endorse this chick-mance (or whatever the chick version of a bromance is called): Serena and Woz partied after their U.S. Open final.

 

So the Big Ten might as well be the AAC after their Lost Weekend.

 

Chris Pratt isn't great at everything as it turns out.

 

• Dumbass alert: A fan climbed to the top of the catchfence at Richmond. During the race. This won't help class up the image of the typical NASCAR fan.

 

• Derek Jeter answered a reporter's phone during a presser, like the boss he is.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, September 8, 2014 - 11:38
Path: /nfl/cincinnati-bengals-vs-baltimore-ravens-game-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Two teams with postseason aspirations collide in an AFC North tilt that already carries serious implications for both. The Bengals are in the midst of their best run in franchise history but have no postseason wins to show for it. A division title and home playoff game are the expectation for an increasingly restless fan base, and the march to those spoils starts in M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Ravens are looking for a bounce-back season following an injury-marred 8–8 disappointment and are glad to get back to football after an offseason that was dominated by the Ray Rice saga.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

 

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Baltimore -1.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Home Sweet Home

Even amid the disappointment of an underachieving 8–8 season, the Ravens were a tough out at home in 2013, going 6–2 at M&T Bank Stadium — including a 20–17 overtime win over the Bengals, who haven't won in Baltimore since 2009. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens have posted a 39–9 mark at home, the NFL’s second-best home record during that span (2008-13). The Bengals were 3–5 on the road last season, and they must figure out a way to win more tough road tests to take the next step as a franchise. This game certainly qualifies.

 

2. Cincy's $115 million Man

When news broke of Andy Dalton's six-year, $115 million deal, the Internet exploded in righteous indignation over paying such a huge sum to a guy without a playoff win. Closer scrutiny reveals a deal that includes plenty of protection for the Bengals — only $17 million is guaranteed — and pays Dalton like the solid second-tier quarterback he is. That won't stop Bengals fans from demanding more from the copper-topped gunslinger than last season's 20-interception regular season and first-round playoff flameout. Dalton will be under pressure to lead his team to postseason success, and that starts with winning the division, making this season-opening AFC North showdown especially significant. "The way the schedule is, they start us off right off the bat with a division opponent," Dalton said. "So it does set the tone. It really shows the expectations of what we have here."

 

3. Ravens on the Run

When you have a game manager like Joe Flacco running the show, you need a ground-and-pound element to your offensive attack, something the Ravens were woefully lacking in 2013. Baltimore averaged only 83 yards rushing per game last season on an NFL-worst 3.1 yards per carry, and leading rusher Ray Rice (only 660 yards in 2013) will be missing in action while he serves his suspension for domestic abuse. The spotlight will be on fill-in lead back Bernard Pierce and an offensive line that will be seeking redemption in 2014, as they try to relieve some of the pressure from Flacco's shoulders. Forced to the air in 2013, Flacco tossed a career-worst 22 interceptions. The Ravens must be more balanced this season. 

 

Final Analysis

 

For Cincinnati to have the kind of season its players expect and its fans demand, a good start is important. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is only 4–7 in season openers in his career, including 3–5 on the road, but Cincy did play spoiler for the Ravens last season, dominating John Harbaugh's club 34–17 in the season finale and knocking Baltimore out of playoff contention. Joe Flacco should be operating behind a healthier, stouter offensive line, and he's added a weapon in wideout Steve Smith. His counterpart, Andy Dalton, has struggled against the Ravens, going 2–4 in his six starts and tossing 11 interceptions to only six touchdowns for a passer rating of 62.4. Even without Ray Rice to run the football, this one feels like a Ravens win and an important step in a season of redemption. 

 

Prediction: Baltimore 21, Cincinnati 17
Teaser:
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:00
Path: /nfl/new-orleans-saints-vs-atlanta-falcons-game-preview-and-prediction-2014
Body:

Fresh off an appearance on HBO's “Hard Knocks,“ the Atlanta Falcons hope to deal an early blow to what many expect to be a Saints juggernaut in the NFC South. New Orleans is a near-unanimous choice to win the division, but an upset in the opener could signal a wide-open race. This traditional rivalry has yielded some classic moments, with Atlanta holding a 47–43 lead in the all-time series. In last year's opener, the Saints held off a Falcons team with Super Bowl aspirations, beating them 23–17 and sending them on an injury-filled downward spiral. 

 

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

 

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: New Orleans -3

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Big Expectations in the Big Easy

Judging from the preseason prognostications, the Saints are a lock for the playoffs and a decent bet to make a Super Bowl run. How will Sean Payton's team handle being the hunted in an improved NFC South? Last season, the Falcons entered the season with similar expectations and flamed out with a four-win disaster, although injuries were the primary culprit. These Saints look better prepared to deal with the hype than those Falcons did. Payton and quarterback Drew Brees have already combined to win a Super Bowl together, and they know what's required for a deep postseason run. The Saints have won 11 or more games in each of the last four seasons, and it will be a shock if New Orleans doesn't extend that streak to five.

 

2. The Falcons' Hard-Nosed Attitude

The Falcons' stint on “Hard Knocks” revealed a team with a mean streak. Tempers boiled over frequently while the cameras rolled, and efforts to establish a physical identity resulted in training camp fights and preseason game ejections. Atlanta will need to carry that attitude into the regular season while the respective lines, which were subpar last season, find their footing. The Falcons were last in the NFL in rushing in 2013, and they'll have to establish themselves up front to avoid falling into a shootout with the weapon-heavy Saints. Look for Atlanta to try to set a physical tone early in this one to take some of the pressure off of quarterback Matt Ryan.

 

3. Reversing the Road Woes

New Orleans was 3–5 away from the friendly confines of the Superdome in 2013, losing their last three regular-season road games to cost themselves playoff position. If the Saints have any hope of making a Super Bowl run, they'll need to secure home-field advantage — and to do so, they'll need to steal a few wins on the road. This is one of those opportunities. It's far too early to call this a must win for New Orleans, but the Saints need to excel in the winnable road games this season to earn what could be a decisive home playoff advantage.

 

Final Analysis

 

Drew Brees owns half of the 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history, and armed with a formidable array of weapons, he's a strong candidate to post more outrageous numbers and earn MVP honors this season. To help him in his quest, he has buzzed-about rookie receiver Brandin Cooks joining his arsenal. As if the Saints offense wasn't powerful enough, Cooks might be the most explosive offensive rookie of the 2014 season. The Falcons may have had an offseason attitude adjustment, but it will take more than attitude to slow the Saints. Neither team got much done on the ground last season, but a high-flying, back-and-forth aerial show certainly favors the visitors. Give the Saints the nod on defense, too; Rob Ryan's crew fashioned an impressive turnaround last year, finishing third in the NFC in total defense and first against the pass. Finally, there's a coaching advantage as well. Under Payton, the Saints have won 11 out of the last 14 games in the series, a run that was preceded by a 16–6 Falcons run. Look for the Saints' recent dominance in the series to continue, even on the road, as Brees & Co. lay the groundwork for a special season.

 

Prediction: New Orleans 27, Atlanta 17
Teaser:
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-5-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 5:

 

• Celebrate Seattle's reign with 19-year-old Seahawks cheerleader Christian, who's back for her second year with the squad.

 

Eddie Lacy of the Packers wore a sweet Hulk t-shirt last night. Didn't prevent a concussion, though.

 

• Aaron Rodgers avoided Richard Sherman during last night's Seahawks beatdown, but he couldn't avoid him after the game.

 

The real stars last night were Beast Mode and Percy.

 

Celebrities took to Twitter to pay tribute to Joan Rivers when news broke of her death. Even Barry Bonds devoted one of his first-ever tweets to the subject.

 

Early-season intersectional showdowns like Michigan State-Oregon are even more important in the playoff era, says Stewart Mandel.

 

There's an epic high school football showdown tonight in South Florida. I'll meet you there.

 

• Last night, a college football team racked up negative-100 yards in total offense.

 

• Cincinnati chili has its detractors. It also has this unbelievably hideous t-shirt.

 

• After killing with LeBron's letter, Frank Caliendo does Allen Iverson's "practice" rant with the voice of Morgan Freeman.

 

• Celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves is Kimmel's greatest contribution to western culture. Here's the NFL edition.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 11:03
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-4-2014
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This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 4:

 

• Beyonce turns 33 today. Celebrate with 33 photos of Queen Bey in action.

 

Yao Ming has turned his attention to saving African elephants and rhinos. In other news, Yao Ming is still freakishly huge.

 

Here are five ridiculous NFL predictions as the season gets underway.

 

Melky Cabrera is scared of thunder. Wonder if he still climbs in bed with his parents.

 

Next, Charlie Strong is going to suspend Bevo and Zombie Darrell Royal.

 

Geno Auriemma got busted for calling Mo'Ne Davis.

 

A reasoned assessment of Jeter in twilight.

 

Arkansas-Little Rock's AD had to resign after getting caught on a hot mic talking about a soccer player's mom in a creepy, pervy way.

 

Watch Rory McIlroy scare the crap out of his sleeping caddie. He's made his caddie a rich man, so he can do whatever he wants.

 

Caleb Joseph of the Orioles pursued a foul ball into the camera pit.

 

Lolo Jones is going on Dancing with the Stars. Please let her win something.

 

• Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke did her legendary dance before racing a car.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 11:06
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-3-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 3:

 

• You're running out of time to choose a clever Fantasy Football team name. Let Athlon help.

 

• Ever wonder what today's quarterbacks would look like bald? Wonder no more.

 

Wes Welker is playing the "someone put something in my drink" card.

 

Bruce Feldman digs for the real Kliff Kingsbury.

 

Athlon's Braden Gall and David Fox tell us what we should and shouldn't overreact to after Week 1. They should just acknowledge that it's impossible not to overreact.

 

Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles to Twitter: I'm not Les Miles.

 

Longform read on the reinvention of RG3. Let's hope he's salvagable at this point.

 

The top 25 screencaps of college football's Week 1.

 

The folks at SBNation bring you another fun edition of Breaking Madden.

 

SportsCenter took time to explain what Kenny Hill's nickname — "Trill" — means.

 

Mo'ne Davis threw a perfect two-seam first pitch at Dodger Stadium, and gave Yasiel Puig her autograph, as she continues to excel at life.

 

• Watch a fleet-footed, plus-sized ball girl snag a plastic bag out of midair at the U.S. Open.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-september-2-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for September 2:

 

Coed shows us that August was another good month in sports ladies.

 

Madden 15 includes a hilarious glitch: a teeny, tiny Titan.

 

The latest "This is SportsCenter" is another gem.

 

• Even after a relentless media campaign, 71 percent of Americans think the Redskins should stay the Redskins.

 

Did ESPN's shower report have a hand in Michael Sam's release?

 

• All us hackers can take a little sadistic pleasure in Billy Horschel's ill-timed chunk at the Deutsche Bank.

 

Grantland dissects the tabloid story of the weekend (no, not the celebrity nude photo hack).

 

Was David Price using a little artificial assistance yesterday?

 

• "Singer" Iggy Azalea, girlfriend to Laker Nick "Swaggy P" Young, shows that she's got a little game.

 

Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo is putting on a show at the FIBA World Cup.

 

The Phillies tossed a combined no-hitter yesterday and gave the game ball to the team president, who's battling cancer.

 

• Louisville's Corvin Lamb put an exclamation point on Week 1 in college football with an electrifying kickoff return against Miami.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 11:11
Path: /golf/ryder-cup-2014-teams-are-set
Body:

With today's announcement of the captains' picks, the teams are finalized, and the buildup to golf's most pressure-packed event can begin in earnest. After a miracle comeback at the Ryder Cup Matches at Medinah in 2012, Europe is the prohibitive favorite to retain the Cup on home turf, as Tom Watson takes a shorthanded American team to Scotland for the most pressure-packed event in golf. Can a U.S. team led by crafty veteran Phil Mickelson and young gun Rickie Fowler upset a European powerhouse led by four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup maestro Sergio Garcia?

 

Today, European captain Paul McGinley put the finishing touches on his team with the selection of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Scot Stephen Gallacher, a Ryder Cup rookie who will delight the partisans at Gleneagles. Tom Watson countered with Keegan Bradley, who had a successful pairing with Phil Mickelson in 2012 at Medinah, along with Barclays winner Hunter Mahan and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson. So, at last, here are the respective 12-man teams making the trip to Scotland:

 

Team USA

Tom Watson, Captain

Raymond Floyd and Andy North, Vice Captains

 

Keegan Bradley*

Ryder Cup Record: 3-1-0

 

Rickie Fowler

Ryder Cup Record: 0-1-2

 

Jim Furyk

Ryder Cup Record: 9-17-4

 

Zach Johnson

Ryder Cup Record: 6-4-1

 

Matt Kuchar

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-2

 

Hunter Mahan*

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-3

 

Phil Mickelson

Ryder Cup Record: 14-18-6

 

Patrick Reed

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Webb Simpson

Ryder Cup Record: 2-2

 

Jordan Spieth

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Jimmy Walker

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Bubba Watson

Ryder Cup Record: 3-5

 

 

Team Europe

Paul McGinley, Captain

Des Smyth and Sam Torrance, Vice Captains

 

Thomas Bjorn

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-1

 

Jamie Donaldson

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Victor Dubuisson

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Stephen Gallacher*

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

 

Sergio Garcia

Ryder Cup Record: 16-8-4

 

Martin Kaymer

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2

 

Graeme McDowell

Ryder Cup Record: 5-5-2

 

Rory McIlroy

Ryder Cup Record: 4-3-2

 

Ian Poulter*

Ryder Cup Record: 12-3

 

Justin Rose

Ryder Cup Record: 6-3

 

Henrik Stenson

Ryder Cup Record: 2-3-2

 

Lee Westwood*

Ryder Cup Record: 18-13-6

 

*Captain's Pick

 

 

Missing in Action

The U.S. team, already an underdog, faces even longer odds with the absence of some key players:

• Tiger Woods

Ryder Cup Record: 13-17-3

Tiger's balky back is his latest physical impediment and caused him to shut it down for the year following a missed cut at the PGA Championship. Despite his lackluster Ryder Cup record, his experience and aura will be missed. Said one PGA Tour pro: "You can’t tell me at least half the European side would not be a little afraid if it came down to a singles match against Tiger on Sunday."

 

• Dustin Johnson

Ryder Cup Record: 3-3

Johnson is in golf exile, either self-imposed or Tour-imposed, while he deals with "personal challenges." The eight-time winner on Tour was a bright spot for a disappointing U.S. team in 2012, winning his singles match and posting a match record of 3-0. "As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team," said U.S. captain Tom Watson.

 

• Jason Dufner

Ryder Cup Record: 3-1

Like Johnson, Dufner was a stalwart for the 2012 U.S. team, posting a 3-1 record and winning his singles match against Peter Hanson amid a U.S. collapse. Dufner couldn't defend his 2013 PGA Championship title due to an arthritic condition in his neck.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 10:24
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-29-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 29:

 

• I must admit to being unfamiliar with Charlotte McKinney. Consider that oversight remedied.

 

Bill Murray took up tickets at the St. Paul Saints game last night, because Bill Murray is awesome.

 

• Johnny who? Last night belonged to Kenny Hill and the Texas A&M Aggies.

 

• Les Miles is a teacher above all else. His monologues are now being used in the classroom.

 

• Vanderbilt got destroyed by Temple, but on the upside, the Dores won the first email challenge in college football history.

 

• Tim Tebow might have a future in this broadcasting thing. If nothing else, he does a nice Spurrier impression.

 

The Jags' Ryan Davis took time for a post-sack selfie.

 

Anthony Brown quit the team and called USC coach Steve Sarkisian a racist on Instagram. Welcome to LA, Sark.

 

Jesus Montero threw an ice cream sandwich at a scout. That's just wasteful.

 

Watch Nick Saban get absolutely lit up as a young special-teamer.

 

The last superfight might happen in 2015. Mayweather-Pacquiao.

 

• Watch Nick Foles go undercover as a waiter to surprise fantasy football drafters.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 29, 2014 - 10:55
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-28-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 28:

 

Swimsuit model Genevieve Morton and her friends danced around to "Happy." This does, in fact, make us happy.

 

• I don't know about you, but Navy's new helmets make me want to suit up and run through a brick wall.

 

Georgia State kicked off college football last night by earning its first FBS win.  I believe that moves them ahead of Florida State in the computers.

 

• Why we love college football, part 1,563: South Carolina and Texas A&M fans gathered outside the South Carolina state capitol just to yell at each other.

 

Playing the blame game in the Josh Shaw debacle. Plenty to go around.

 

Did you have any idea Monica Seles was writing young adult romance novels? Me neither.

 

Watch the son of a Nebraska assistant coach who's battling cancer get the news that he's going home. Goosebumps.

 

Andrelton Simmons made another insane play. Oh, and it was a game-saver.

 

• John Daly's country song "Hit It Hard" is getting airplay on Sirius. If you're morbidly curious, click here. It's actually not that bad.

 

Francisco Cervelli took a foul ball to the giblets. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to play catcher.

 

Twitter and Instagram temporarily blew up with NBA-themed cartoons. Some are clever, some are weird and creepy.

 

• Johnny Football is an aerobics instructor in a new Snickers spot.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 10:46
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-27-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 27:

 

Get to know this year's crop of NFL WAGs, including Essential 11 favorite Lindsey Duke, better half to Blake Bortles.

 

Pablo Sandoval took a quality selfie with a fan's camera during a rain delay.

 

Bruce Feldman picks LSU freshman Leonard Fournette to win the Heisman among nine other preposterous prognostications.

 

A Richard Sherman minicamp fight led to six-figure fines for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.

 

Ned Yost went all James Franklin and complained about Royals attendance last night.

 

• Drunk History is a genius show on Comedy Central that is both hilarious and educational. Enjoy the clip on golfer Babe Didrikson featuring Emily Deschanel. And start DVR'ing the show.

 

What's with the college football media's obsession with food? This story confirms my suspicion that media types are in the business just to abuse their expense accounts.

 

David Chase answers the question: Did Tony Soprano die?

 

A cute Astros fan added to this year's blooper reel of horrendous first pitches. This one might actually be the worst.

 

ESPN realized it had engaged in some creative shark-jumping by reporting on Michael Sam's showering habits.

 

Ranking the best moments of the college football offseason, now that it's mercifully over.

 

• Watch a Korean ballplayer launch a baseball over the massive center field scoreboard.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 10:36
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/pga-tour-players-talk-anonymously-about-tiger-woods
Body:

Tiger Woods is the one golfer who can make news without picking up a club, earning headlines recently when he had parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley. And Tiger's knack for eliciting strong opinions is not limited to fans and media. Over the weekend at the Barclays, we persuaded many of his peers on the PGA Tour to share their anonymous opinions of Tiger, who may be currently out of sight but is never out of mind.

 

Will Tiger ever get back to where he was?

"There is no chance Tiger gets back to being at his absolute dominant best from 2000 and times like that. He was as close to unbeatable as you can get in golf back in some of those stretches. But he can certainly get back to a point where he wins more than once in a season."

 

"I always say, never write off a champion, and Tiger Woods is a champion."

 

"It depends on the definition. Tiger early 2000 is probably unattainable ever again for anyone. But Tiger 2013 with five wins … I could see that potentially happening once more if he can truly get his body right."

 

"Tiger Woods will never be as dominant as he was. He will never strike fear into people the way he once did. He used to beat players with his B and even C game because he had them between the ears, but not anymore."

"Back to his best? No. Back to being number one in the game? He could easily do that if healthy."

 

"I am not prepared to say no. I am probably leaning towards no, but he’s the type that proves people wrong. It is easier for the rest of us if he isn’t at his dominant best!"

 

"I think age catches up with all of us. And while Tiger can be successful again, I don’t think he can ever be as good as he was at his absolute best. That doesn’t mean he can’t be awesome, just not as good as he was."

 

Will Tiger challenge Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors?

"I don’t think so. If he can win one next season, he has a small chance, but if he doesn’t then I think it will be a bridge too far."

 

"Yes. He will win a major or two in 2015, if he really truly can get fit again and then it will be on. You can see the determination in his eyes at majors. All he needs is to be fit and get a little bit of luck and once he gets number 15, over that hump, I think old Tiger will be back."

"I would love to see him get to 18 near the end of his career and then be a great side story at some majors while he’s heading towards retirement. It would be great if he had a Tom Watson Open Championship moment at the Masters."

 

"Probably not. I think golf fans and even some players would like to see it. There was a time you thought he could get 25 but now it seems the number 15 is a hurdle he can’t get over."

 

"Won’t even sniff it. There is just too much talent out here now and his body is not up to the challenge."

 

"Can’t really see it happening any more. But he’s closer than any of the rest of us, and if he did it would be very impressive."

 

"Sadly, I think his chance at that might have gone."

 

Should Tiger change teachers (maybe go back to Butch Harmon)?

Note: We posed this question before the news broke that Woods had parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley.

 

"A coach is a personal choice and you do what feels right for you so for me to suggest who he should go to would be kind of pointless."

 

"I can’t see Tiger going back to someone he has had before. Maybe he might make another change at some point but he won plenty of times since taking on Sean (Foley)."

 

"Yes, he should go back to his 2000 swing with Butch. But he won’t."

 

"Butch is probably one of the game’s best coaches but I’m not sure Tiger is the type to go back. The only person who probably knows what fit is best is Tiger himself."

 

"At this point I don’t think it would matter who Tiger had coaching him. Probably someone with experience in minimizing strain on the back."

 

"I would not be surprised if he changes again very soon. But he won’t got to Butch."

 

Are Tiger’s problems purely physical?

"Not purely but it is a big part. Back surgery, or any surgery in golf is hard to overcome. It is one thing to be healthy again but the difference out here is so close between players anything slightly off can be magnified."

 

"Almost. He still seems very determined to win."

 

"I haven’t seen his doctor's notes, nor am I a doctor, so I cannot judge how much of it is physical and what isn’t. I am sure there are some mental scars, because when you have injuries it is very hard not to be thinking about them."

 

"When you have physical problems it is almost always followed by mental issues as you worry about the injuries and other things instead of just playing golf."

 

Even in light of his serious health concerns, many of Tiger's contemporaries are reluctant to write off the 14-time major champion.

 

Will Tiger be missed on the Ryder Cup team?

"No doubt. Of course his presence will be missed. You can’t tell me at least half the European side would not be a little afraid if it came down to a singles match against Tiger on Sunday."

 

"Is that a trick question? The guy is a 14-time major winner with tons of team play experience. Even half fit he would be missed."

 

"Of course. It is impossible to replace his experience and determination and will to win."

 

"A little bit, yeah, but the team will be better off not having to try to carry an unfit Tiger. He probably wouldn’t have wanted to sit out at all so it could have been a difficult situation for Tom Watson."

 

"A fit Tiger would have been a big weapon for the U.S. team, but unfit, he may have just been a passenger and could have actually provided the Europeans with more confidence."

 

"Yes. You can’t buy experience like his."

 

"Not in the shape he was in. The European team will be full of stars, and any unfit golfer would have trouble earning points against them."

 

Can golf thrive without Tiger at the top?

"Yes. Maybe not at the same level, at least for a while, but there is always new talent coming. Rory (McIlroy) and Rickie (Fowler) and guys like this can carry the torch of new viewers."

 

"Not like it did when he was at his best. But with some careful planning and the right moves the transition, whenever it comes, could be smoother."

 

"It survived and thrived in times before Tiger and it will do the same again."

 

"I think so. It is up to all of us to provide quality golf, quality contests and relate to the fans as best we can."

"It will take golf a long time to get back to the massive popularity it had when he was dominant. Plus things like cost to play, time to play and other issues need to be sorted to help the sport grow."

 

"Yes, but it needs young guys to keep playing well. People like dominance in sports. Guys like Rory, Rickie, Jason Day and the like need to take the torch."

 

"The game was around well before Tiger and will be around 300 years after him. All sports have their ups and downs."

 

Can Rory McIlroy fill the post-Tiger void?

"If he gets on and stays on these dominant runs he can. But doing that will be one almighty task. It might fall on Rory and a few other guys with him."

 

"It doesn’t need to just be Rory. But maybe a few guys in a so-called rivalry with him. If a handful of guys like Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama or even guys a little older like Adam Scott and Bubba Watson could consistently go toe to toe with him it could get really exciting."

 

"The fans certainly seem to have warmed to him and he’s playing great, so why not?"

 

"Yes he can. But so can at least 10 other guys should they get on similar runs."

"Golf could really move into an era now where a handful of guys are in the mix in the big events creating great Sunday finishes over and over again." 

 

"Sure. He showed at the British Open he can play the dominant golfer and then at the PGA Championship the way he made the turn when it looked he was being beaten and stepped it up to win shows he is more than the real deal."

 

Compiled by Ben Everill

Follow him on Twitter @beneverill

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 12:45
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-26-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 26:

 

• We may not care about tennis, but I think we can all agree that it boasts some of sports' loveliest ladies, like Maria Sharapova.

 

The Yankees haven't lost since Shawn Kelley bought a rubber horse head. If they lose, that head will wind up in someone's bed.

 

The Ginger Hammer unleashes its wrath against poolside beer drinking.

 

Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus may be baseball's best comedy team.

 

• According to Mike Schmidt, Bud Selig had a plan in place to reinstate Pete Rose before Charlie Hustle screwed it up.

 

I think we can all agree that Bucknell football takes the best headshots.

 

Alec Baldwin wore a suit to the U.S. Open and nonchalantly caught an errant ball.

 

Tennessee is getting pretty creative with its recruiting, although I bet this kid's never read Rolling Stone, since he's under 50. 

 

Seahawks fans are still having fun at Michael Crabtree's expense.

 

Master photobomber Chris Bosh struck last night at the Emmys. His victim: Matthew McConaughey.

 

• This is alarming: Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen had his truck torched. Imagine what will happen when the season goes south.

 

• Watch a solitary bee disrupt the proceedings at the U.S. Open.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-25-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 25:

 

• It's college football week. Here are the sexiest fan bases in the world's greatest sport.

 

• A guy promised on Twitter to buy the world drinks if Michael Sam sacked Johnny Manziel and gave the money sign. Sam delivered, and the guy did, too, sort of.

 

A vanquished Chicago Little Leaguer taught the world about sportsmanship.

 

• In case anyone cares, Brittney Griner dunked in the WNBA playoffs.

 

Yasiel Puig turned a double play into a triple play through wanton stupidity.

 

Haloti Ngata kind of kicked a Redskins player.

 

• So apparently Queen Bey brought the house down at the VMAs. Her daughter Blue Ivy agreed. So did Eric LeGrand, who shocked the Twitterverse with a little jab at his own paralysis.

 

Longform piece on wideform quarterback Jared Lorenzen.

 

• Cops spotted Alan Branch vomiting out of his car. The Bills then vomited him off their roster.

 

• Troy Aikman and Joe Buck made a bizarre Mexican soap opera parody.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, August 25, 2014 - 10:23
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-22-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 22:

 

• Apple doesn't fall far from the tree: Jean-Claude Van Damme's rather attractive daughter did the splits for her ice bucket challenge.

 

• Speaking of solid ice bucket challenge performances, Win McMurry of the Golf Channel gets a gold star.

 

• The SI cover jinx strikes a 13-year-old: Mo'ne Davis' LLWS is over.

 

• After last night's Keystone Showdown debacle, Snoop Dogg made his feelings about Steelers OC Todd Haley known via Instagram. Strong language warning, naturally.

 

Things are getting testy at Bills camp. They're all realizing they live in Buffalo.

 

"John from Kentucky" called Mike Francesa to defend John Calipari's coaching.

 

So now V. Stiviano is claiming that Donald Sterling's gay and she was his beard.

 

There's a Premier League text message scandal erupting involving racism, homophobia, all the biggies.

 

Grantland is doing a bracket of best SNL cast members. I think I'd have to go with Phil Hartman.

 

• Don't know about you, but I'm not man enough to play rugby.

 

More compelling evidence that Jim Harbaugh is just an overgrown kid.

 

• Indiana coach Kevin Wilson had a nice post-practice run on a slip 'n' slide.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:18
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-21-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 21:

 

• There's a new "Sin City" movie opening. For your clicking convenience, here's a compilation of the ladies of the Sin City movies, including the latest star, Eva Green.

 

More fodder for the Manziel haters, courtesy of the elder Manziel.

 

Mo'ne ran out of magic last night. And here's a helpful reminder that Miss Davis is just a kid, not a commodity.

 

• This one's for the Notre Dame haters: Deadspin's Drew Magary relentlessly trolls the Domers.

 

Great news in Jim Kelly's battle with cancer.

 

Interesting longform read about a powerful AAU leader-slash-drug kingpin.

 

The Cubs can't win even when they try to win.

 

• Undercover boss: Vernon Davis visits his own Jamba Juice store to check up on things.

 

Watch two crazy bros kayak down a storm drainage ditch.

 

Here's a compilation of hot female celebrities doing the ice bucket challenge. You're welcome.

 

• A fan lost his beer to a foul ball, so the Brewers broadcasting crew bought him another one.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:38
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-20-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 20:

 

• Forget Manziel: Blake Bortles is the rookie star of the preseason, mainly because of GF Lindsey Duke.

 

• I'm linking to this story mainly because I like the headline: Johnny Football Becomes Johnny Bench. Then there's this: Manziel reportedly lost the job based on his frat-boy behavior.

 

• DISH continues to use college superstars-turned-pro flameouts like Jamarcus Russell and Matt Leinart to great effect in its advertising.

 

• My favorite GIF in a long time: Chip Kelly belly-flopping into a plastic pool in lieu of the ice bucket challenge.

 

• My second-favorite GIF today: Yasiel Puig pulls off a nifty move with his batting helmet.

 

• Speaking of those ubiquitous ice buckets, one bucket was not enough for the Hulkster. And then there's Alabama Boss, whose ice bucket challenge included beer, a lawn chair and a shotgun.

 

Fantasy football has gone too mainstream for comfort.

 

Bo Pelini delivers a touching message to young cancer patient Jack Hoffman.

 

Former NFL ref Mike Carey avoided doing Redskins games because of the name.

 

• Bobby Bowden did a Reddit Ask Me Anything and gave a memorable answer.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 12:18
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-19-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 19:

 

Enjoy the cheerleaders of the AP Top 25, starting with the top-ranked Noles.

 

Leave it to Johnny Football to enliven an otherwise dreadful Browns-Skins preseason snoozer. He'll see your casually racist nickname and raise you a middle finger. To his credit, Manziel was visibly embarrassed when he was informed that the brass was aware of what he'd done. Brian Orakpo, who had Manziel running for his life, was amused by the gesture.

 

Tiger and Rory went on Fallon to awkwardly shill for Nike.

 

Jay Feely defends the lowly extra point.

 

• Colin Cowherd blamed racer Kevin Ward Jr.'s death on "Southern culture." Mike Huckabee (about whom I have mixed feelings) told Cowherd to shut his pie hole (which I endorse).

 

Kate Upton took the ice bucket challenge. Trust me before you click — it's far better in your mind than it actually was. Here's a funny compilation of ice bucket fails (language alert at the link).

 

Steve Ballmer introduced himself to Clippers fans in a very Steve Ballmer-y way.

 

David Letterman paid tribute to Robin Williams, his friend for almost four decades.

 

• The Rhode Island Little League coach gave a great post-game speech after his team's loss.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:37
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-18-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 18:

 

Jessica Alba threw out the first pitch for the Dodgers and didn't shame her family. That's all we ask out of our ceremonial first pitchers.

 

This guy's punishment for coming in last in his fantasy baseball league — an embarrassingly revealing calendar that includes Body Issue and Constanza spoofs — is no doubt giving sadistic commissioners across the land evil ideas.

 

The Rams have invited several Ferguson-area high school football players to their preseason game this Sunday as a respite from the chaos. Haven't those kids suffered enough?

 

The Falcons back who got jacked up by Jadeveon Clowney sees nothing special about Jadeveon Clowney.

 

An ice-bucket challenge I can get on board with: the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

 

The manager of the Class A Myrtle Beach Pelicans released a little pent-up frustration.

 

Jose Reyes' hair makes him look like a sponge is growing out of his head.

 

No Nadal at the U.S. Open. My interest in that event is waning fast.

 

Read this bizarre story of a married Kliff Kingsbury fan "breaking up" with him.

 

A fan in New Jersey created a corn maze tribute to the Captain.

 

• Worried that Peyton Manning has been underexposed, Gatorade is releasing a slew of new Manning commercials.

 

• Asdrubal Cabrera made a nifty behind-the-back flip to start a double play.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 11:01
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-15-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 15:

 

• In honor of Shark Week, enjoy this slideshow of hot girls with sharks.

 

A Frenchman surrendered his 3000m steeplechase win for excessive premature celebration.

 

• The opening day of the SEC Network gave rise to this mesmerizing GIF of a Mississippi State cowbell shaker.

 

Arian Foster continues to frustrate the media in Houston with his useless answers to their useless questions. Speaking of Foster, remember never to share a hot tub with the guy. Click here to find out why.

 

Watch Lil Wayne freestyle over the SportsCenter theme.

 

• The star of college football's offseason has been Bo Pelini. Relive his greatest hits.

 

The most cringeworthy moments in sports history, from Eminem to the Buttfumble.

 

Dog the Bounty Hunter is coming for War Machine.

 

A tiny Indiana town saved itself through sports.

 

Everything you need to know about MLB's new Commissioner.

 

• I'm as sick of the Ice Bucket Challenge as anyone, but what Paul Bissonnette did with it is impressive.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 15, 2014 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-14-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 14:

 

Some WAGs really have a hang of this Instagram thing, like Matt Harvey's GF Ashley Haas.

 

Today is the birthday of Tim Tebow and the SEC Network. Someday soon, this will be a holiday in the states of the old Confederacy.

 

Brian Hoyer has at least one supporter in Cleveland.

 

Joe Nathan showed his displeasure with the home fans.

 

Tiger's withdrawal from consideration for the U.S. Ryder Cup team was a rare show of PR savvy from Team Tiger.

 

Little League sensation Mo'Ne Davis challenged Clayton Kershaw to a pitch-off, and Kershaw's up for it.

 

• Apparently, telling a woman you're a New York Jet doesn't work too well at the clubs, cause Jets players are taking to Tinder to find love.

 

• I'm immature enough to find this funny: 25 ball-to-the-face GIFs.

 

• Weird celebrity dating news: Floyd Mayweather's new girlfriend is the ex of dead Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

 

Watch as pigeons interrupt Miguel Cabrera's at-bat.

 

• Or, watch tiny South Korean schoolchildren try sour Warhead candy without prior warning.

 

• There was a scary collision last night involving top Twins prospect Byron Buxton.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 10:49
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-13-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 13:

 

• It stays hot in South Beach: The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders recently held a fashion show and calendar unveiling.

 

25 awesome athlete toys. It's good to be rich and famous.

 

Michigan Men need only one sucker punch to lay a dude out.

 

Cowboys, Raiders and fans brawled yesterday.

 

• Mike Gundy is a man, he's 47, and he's a terrible white-guy dancer.

 

Yasiel Puig's routine fly ball ended with a bat flip that endangered the life of Matt Kemp.

 

As the headline at the link says, Kansas' crimson chrome uniforms scream desperation.

 

Olympic athletes are learning to hold their breath for five minutes.

 

An ugly glimpse at how the news sausage is made.

 

Falcons coach Mike Smith: "We want to be the biggest pr--ks." It's good to have goals.

 

• Ever wonder how a dog would react to a levitating weiner? Wonder no more.

 

• Watch a sportscaster name-check each Robin Williams movie in his segment.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 10:46
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-12-2014
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for August 12:

 

Hot celebrity alumni of the Pac-12, including yummy Oregon Duck Kaitlin Olson.

 

Jimmy Fallon awarded amusing superlatives to PGA Tour golfers.

 

This Robin Williams riff on golf has been making the rounds since yesterday's gut punch. (Language warning) And here's an interview Williams did in 2013 with Dan Patrick. One more — a guide to binge-watching Robin Williams movies.

 

• I lied — here's one more: Conan, Andy Richter and Will Arnett learned of Williams' death while taping Conan's show. They proceeded to pay a heartfelt tribute.

 

Watch a Pennsylvania sports anchor punch a guy in a Batman shirt who interrupts a live interview.

 

Five Cal Poly football players broke into a frat house apparently looking for Xanax.

 

• You've probably heard of "Garfield Without Garfield." Now, enjoy "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" without the Kardashians.

 

"Field of Dreams" immortalized in a butter sculpture.

 

• Note to self: Never wink at Diego Maradona's lady.

 

• A 65-year-old former bowler made a nice catch at Wrigley yesterday.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 10:28

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