Athlon's Essential 11 Links of the Day

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<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>

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 links@athlonsports.com


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 links@athlonsports.com


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 links@athlonsports.com


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 links@athlonsports.com


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 links@athlonsports.com

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