NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x32 Edition: For the Super Bowl, pick the game's winner a tiebreaker and 10 bonus categories. Make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock. Goyoucolts has a nine-point lead. Six players are within 20.
BMX Biker, X-Games Star Dave Mirra Dies: Dave Mirra, BMX biker and 24-time X-Games medalist, was found this afternoon dead in his truck of an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound" in Greenville, North Carolina. He was 41 years old and is survived by his wife and two children. Mirra's fame in his sport was demonstrated by the Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX videogame series. His 24 X-Games medals set a record, since broken by skateboarder Bob Burnquist. An hour before the shooting, Mirra posted a photo on Instagram of himself and his wife captioned "My rock! Thank god."
U.S. Soccer Lawsuit Reveals Home Addresses of USWNT Players: When U.S. Soccer filed suit Wednesday against the player's union representing the U.S. women's national team, the court filing included the home addresses and personal email addresses of many of those players. "It’s very unsettling," said Megan Rapinoe. "To know that someone could show up at your door? That’s extremely unsettling, and it’s something that you can’t get back."
Roger Goodell's unstoppable football machine: or, "Why haven't concussions hurt the NFL?" Like anyone who has spent time around the league, Nate Jackson, the former Bronco, has heard a great deal about the Shield. ‘‘The thing is, isn’t a shield supposed to protect you?’’ Jackson asked me. ‘‘They want players to put their bodies in front of the shield, to sacrifice for this shield.’’
Toronto Maple Leafs Adopt New Logo: For the first time in 28 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made changes to their logo. The leafier leaf's a throwback to one last used in 1967, the year they won the last of their 13 Stanley Cup championships. I'm guessing that's no coincidence. "They can wear pink if they're going to start winning," Dillon Bouma told CBC.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em: Week 14: A packed NBA schedule on the tube this week, with eight games in five days stretching from Wednesday to Sunday. The first game tips off at 8 p.m. tonight on ESPN as the Golden State Warriors visit the Washington Wizards.
With NFL Rams gone, St. Louis still stuck with stadium debt: In St. Louis, the $280 million agreement to build the Edward Jones Dome for the Rams raised eyebrows since its opening in 1995. Unlike other stadium deals, the St. Louis contract included a clause requiring the 67,000-seat dome be maintained to a first-tier standard, meaning the facility must be considered among the top quarter of all NFL football facilities. ... "This was a contract designed to be broken" by the team, said Matheson, who studies stadium finances. "They had a terrible, terrible contract with the Rams."
Mike Martz on Terrell Owens as Hall of Fame Finalist: 'Ridiculous': Former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz called it "ridiculous" that Terrell Owens is an NFL Hall of Fame finalist when Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt aren't getting similar consideration. Martz told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, "You can't print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That's just plain out-and-out ridiculous." Post Dispatch sportswriter Jim Thomas notes: Holt had more yards in his first 11 seasons (11,864) than anyone in NFL history. Bruce retired second in all-time receiving yards (15,208) and fifth in receptions (1,024). Both caught touchdown passes in the Rams' victory in Super Bowl 0x22. Owens compares well on all three counts: He had 15,934 receiving yards, 1,078 receptions and 11,715 yards his first 11 seasons.
Here's to You, Mister Curtain of Distraction Guy: Arizona State fans used the "curtain of distraction" Thursday night to good effect, unveiling Michael Phelps wearing gold medals and a speedo in the basketball game against Oregon State.
"A Guy Like Me": John Scott on his All Star Experience. He definitely has my vote after reading this piece.
"Because, while I may not deserve to be an NHL All-Star, I know I deserve to be the judge of what my kids will — and won’t — be proud of me for."
Ranking the Super Bowl MVPs: Kind of a strange list to me as it favors players who won in blowouts.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, Week 13: Six national NBA games this week, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern with Houston at San Antonio on ESPN. ABC has two games -- San Antonio at Cleveland Saturday night and Chicago at L.A. Clippers Sunday afternoon.
Carolina Demolishes Arizona to Roll Into Super Bowl 50: The Carolina Panthers got 7 turnovers off the Arizona Cardinals, including four interceptions and two fumbles by quarterback Carson Palmer, in a 49-14 romp to win the NFC Conference Championship and reach Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton threw for 235 yards and one touchdown and ran for two more.
Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50: The Denver Broncos defense bottled up quarterback Tom Brady for three quarters, then had a crucial two-point conversion stop with 12 seconds left to win the AFC Championship Game 20-18 over the New England Patriots. Brady threw for 310 yards but had three interceptions, including one on the conversion attempt with 12 seconds left. Peyton Manning, a backup a month ago, will play in his fourth Super Bowl.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round: The NFL conference championship games pit Arizona against Carolina and New England against Denver. Tommytrump holds the lead in our contest by six points, but there are more bonus-point opportunities this time around. Pick the winners, choose bonus players and teams and make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock.
Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 23: The Premiership kicks off with an early Saturday match taking Norwich to Liverpool. Hillbilly F.C. wins the week to retake the lead from Liquid Football in SportsFilter's contest by a razor-thin margin of six points. Top pickups: Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (7.0), Man City forward Sergio Aguero (13.3) and defender Bacary Sagna (5.7).
Lleyton Hewitt Ends Singles Career at Australian Open: Twenty years after his first appearance at the Australian Open, local hero Lleyton Hewitt has ended his singles career there following a second-round loss. Hewitt, 34, became the youngest male ever ranked No. 1 at age 20. He won the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon singles titles and another 28 tournaments. In a nicely written remembrance, Russell Jackson of The Guardian notes that Hewitt finished at Rod Laver Arena and declares, "They’ll never need to scatter his ashes here -- he's spilled so much sweat on center court that his DNA will surely linger for eternity."
James Fallows Learns Something about British Soccer and Sarcasm: James Fallows, a writer for The Atlantic, didn't get the message that British soccer matches are broadcast on NBC sometimes on Saturday mornings. When he encountered one on his tele-visual apparatus, his shock led him to post this sarcastic joke on Twitter: "We are having English pro soccer on a mainstream US TV network on Sat afternoon? Maybe Cruz/Trump are right. Give us back 'our' America." Guess how it went over.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, Week 12: Seven national NBA games this week, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern with Golden State at Chicago on ESPN. ABC joins the mix Saturday with Chicago visiting Cleveland. In our contest, Tron7 wins the week and Howard_T keeps first place.
Super Bowl hero wishes he never played pro football.:
Randle El, who retired in 2010 and is now 36 years old, has trouble walking down stairs and experiences memory lapses, the Post-Gazette reported.