FanDuel - WFBC

January 28

Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo joins crowded field looking to unseat Sepp Blatter as President of FIFA.: The 78-year-old Blatter is seeking his fifth consecutive term as FIFA President in an election to be held May 29th. Figo joins Frenchman Jérôme Champagne, Jordanian Prince Ali (who has won the backing of England's FA), Dutch FA President Michael van Pragg, and a bookmaker-backed publicity candidate. ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti offers a brief primer (autoplay audio/video warning).

posted by Ufez Jones to soccer at 11:02 AM - 0 comments

January 27

Martin Brodeur to Announce Retirement.: One of the all-time greats, Brodeur finishes his 22-year NHL career with a 691-397-176 record, a 2.24 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 1,266 appearances, all but seven coming with the New Jersey Devils. He holds regular-season NHL goaltending records for wins (621), shutouts (125), games played and minutes played (74,438), and in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs he ranks first in starts (204) and shutouts (24) and second in wins (113).

posted by tahoemoj to hockey at 05:37 PM - 9 comments

New MLB Commissioner: We May Ban Defensive Shifts: In an interview with ESPN's Karl Ravetch, new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he's open to the idea of eliminating the crazy defensive shifts that have been cutting into offensive production and making me cry when Prince Fielder comes up to bat. Asked by Ravetch what form a rule might take to accomplish that, Manfred said, "You divide the number of players who have to be each side of second base." (Transcript on ESPN Insider.)

posted by rcade to baseball at 01:24 PM - 10 comments

January 26

January 25

Josh Gordon Fails Substance Test, Out for Another Year: The fantastically talented Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has failed a substance test -- this time for alcohol -- and faces a one-year suspension. Gordon failed a marijuana test in college at Baylor, began his NFL career with a two-game substance abuse suspension and was suspended again after driving while impaired during the off season. He led the NFL in receiving yards his rookie season with 1,646, but this new incident puts his entire pro career in jeopardy. Another talented wideout with substance abuse problems, Justin Blackmon, has missed the last 24 games in Jacksonville due to suspension.

posted by rcade to football at 05:09 PM - 5 comments

January 24

Stats Guru: Patriots Hold Onto Ball Far Better Than Any Other Team: Sports quantitative analyst Warren Sharp has found an interesting statistical anomaly involving the New England Patriots: The team has fumbled dramatically fewer times than any other NFL team the past five years, measured in term of fumbles lost per offensive play run: "There is no other team even close to being near to their rate of 187 offensive plays (passes+rushes+sacks) per fumble. The league average is 105 plays/fumble. Most teams are within 21 plays of that number." The Patriots five-year run of non-fumbling is the best five-year run of any NFL team in the last 25 years, raising the question of how the team is able to hold on to the ball so much better than anybody else.

posted by rcade to football at 06:51 PM - 23 comments

Ernie Banks, legendary 'Mr. Cub,' dead at 83: Banks was an 11-time all-star and back-to-back NL MVP. With career totals of 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He is the only National League shortstop to hit 40+ home runs in a season, a feat he accomplished five times.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 11:01 AM - 5 comments

January 23

Don't hit me in the mouth, I gotta play tonight: Miles Davis and boxing. "The legendary jazz trumpeter and composer isn’t the only person to ever make the comparison—George Foreman famously stated that “Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.”—but few are as uniquely qualified to ponder the relationship between music and pugilism as Davis was. Over the course of his life and career, the man’s connection to the sweet science was almost as complex and fascinating as his music was. It was a source of childhood inspiration, a muse, and even a lifesaver."

posted by Ufez Jones to boxing at 11:06 AM - 4 comments

January 22

January 21

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports: The NFL inspected the balls used by the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship Game and found that 11 out of 12 were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below NFL rules, NFL sources told ESPN. The balls had been inspected under three hours prior to game time by the referees and were properly inflated, the sources said. No word yet on any potential punishment. One source described the league as "disappointed ... angry ... distraught." Jackie McMullen of ESPN writes that if Belichick was involved, he should be suspended for the Super Bowl.

posted by rcade to football at 04:14 PM - 134 comments

January 20

Playing with the Big Boys (and Girls): How Koko, Beans and Flash, some color-coordinated socks and coaching are changing the face of grade-school basketball in Springfield, Illinois.

posted by yerfatma to basketball at 10:58 AM - 1 comment

January 19

January 18

Patriots crush Colts in the rain: Foul weather didn't slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots as they beat Andrew Luck and the Colts 45-7 (the second worst drubbing in AFC Championship history). This will be the Pats' 8th Super Bowl trip, tying them for the record with the Steelers and the Cowboys; and Brady's and Bill Belichick's 6th, tying them with Mike Lodish (player) and Don Shula (coach).

posted by Etrigan to football at 10:36 PM - 14 comments

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback: Down 16-0 at the half and 19-7 with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 on the first overtime possession with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse. Wilson was terrible until he wasn't, throwing four interceptions before leading one of the greatest comebacks in an NFL playoff game. The Seahawks become the first Super Bowl champ to reach the game the next season since New England in 2005.

posted by rcade to football at 06:50 PM - 43 comments

High school coach suspended after basketball team wins by 159 points.:
"The game just got away from me," Anderson told the San Bernardino Sun on Friday. "I didn't play any starters in the second half. I didn't expect them to be that bad. I'm not trying to embarrass anybody."

posted by grum@work to basketball at 12:20 AM - 10 comments

January 17

January 16

Mets charging their own minor leaguers to attend : "It's not uncommon at all for teams to open up spring training early, and say you can work out here," said attorney and former minor leaguer Garrett Broshuis. "It's also not uncommon to make players pay for accommodations. I know a lot of guys who sleep on someone's couch." But what about charging players $1000 for the privilege? "This seems a lot more uncommon," Broshuis replied, saying he'd never heard of something like this. "'Deplorable' is the word I'd use."

posted by Mookieproof to baseball at 04:15 PM - 1 comment

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Conference Championship Round: Pick the winners and the spread of the NFC Championship and AFC Championship Sunday, along with the top passer, rusher and receiver. The first game is Green Bay at Seattle at 3:05 p.m. Eastern Sunday, followed by Indianapolis at New England at 6:40 p.m.

posted by rcade to football at 01:34 PM - 18 comments

The Gaming Obsession of the Green Bay Packers:
Which game do the Green Bay Packers obsess over during their down time? Madden 15? Poker? Dominoes? Something a little more...nerdy.

posted by grum@work to football at 09:18 AM - 10 comments

January 15

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan: In a sporting achievement for the ages, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson finished their 19-day free climb of El Capitan's Dawn Wall yesterday. John Branch explains in the New York Times why this is a big honking deal: "They are the first to free climb every inch of the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall in a single expedition, long considered impossible, using only their hands and feet to pull themselves up. Ropes were merely safety devices to break the occasional fall. By virtue of its scale and difficulty, the climb was considered by some to be the most difficult ever accomplished."

posted by rcade to extreme at 11:26 AM - 9 comments

January 14

Boy Asks All 32 NFL Teams: Why Should I Be Your Fan?: A 12-year-old boy in Yukon, Oklahoma, wrote to every NFL team in December, asking them a simple question: Why should I be a fan of your team? Cade Pope got one letter back, hand-written by Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, along with a replica helmet signed by the team's All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechley. "We would be honored if our Carolina Panthers became your team," Richardson replied. "We would make you proud by the classy way we would represent you."

posted by rcade to football at 12:13 PM - 12 comments

January 13

Moving Toward a Unified Theory of the A’s Offseason: FanGraphs thinks Billy Beane is trying to assemble a larger pool of lesser talents; Grantland mostly agrees and suggests it's an impressive piece of resetting forced by Oakland's salary constraints.

posted by yerfatma to baseball at 01:19 PM - 2 comments

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff: The Ohio State Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship, defeating Oregon 42-20 at AT&T Field in Arlington, Texas, Monday night.The Buckeyes overcame four turnovers thanks to Ezekiel Elliott (36 carries, 246 yards, four touchdowns), Cardale Jones (16-of-23 passing for 242 yards, a passing TD and a rushing TD) and a defense that swallowed the vaunted Ducks attack, forcing six punts.

posted by rcade to football at 08:24 AM - 26 comments

January 12

Colts Silence Broncos Offense, Make Peyton Manning Look Old: Peyton Manning has his ninth one-and-done in his playoff career after Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a 24-13 road victory over the Denver Broncos, putting Indy in its first AFC Championship Game since 2009. Manning went 21-for-40 with only 152 yards, leading to headlines talking about retirement.

posted by rcade to football at 08:21 AM - 23 comments

January 11

Packers Rally Past Cowboys, Who No Longer Love the Refs: The zebras giveth, the zebras taketh away. Trailing 26-21 late in the fourth against the Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys thought they had a first-and-goal from the one yard line after Dez Bryant acrobatically caught a fourth-down pass from Tony Romo. But replay officials reversed the call because the ball touched the ground and Bryant briefly lost control of it afterwards. Green Bay didn't give the ball back and advanced to the NFC Championship Game despite quarterback Aaron Rodgers being limited to the pocket due to a calf injury. His bullet to tight end Richard Rodgers completed the team's comeback in the final quarter.

posted by rcade to football at 08:35 PM - 18 comments

Seahawks Bottle Up Panthers, Look Like Favorites to 'Re-Pete': The Seattle Seahawks turned a 14-10 nailbiter at the half into a 31-17 no doubter, defeating the Carolina Panthers and advancing to the NFC Championship Game. Kam Chancellor sealed the win with a 90-yard pick-six touchdown that followed two incredible non-blocks of a field goal as the first half ended. After leaping the line once to disrupt a kick, Chancellor did it again, foiled only by a penalty for running into the kicker. Under coach Pete Carroll, Seattle is the first defending Super Bowl champion in a decade to win a playoff game the next season.

posted by rcade to football at 10:50 AM - 4 comments