Kobe Bryant announces retirement: Kobe Bryant -- 5-time NBA champion, 17-time All-Star, 3rd on the list of all-time scorers in the regular season and postseason, unconvicted but all-but-admitted rapist -- has announced his retirement via a poem on the Players' Tribune.
Episodes in the Life of Bounce: "All ball sports are aleatoric structures organized, to greater or lesser degrees, around bounce. Aleatoric structures—structures of planned chance—produce a reliable kind of uncertainty. We don’t know who will win and who will lose, but we know that at the end of the day, there will be a winner and a loser. A ball introduces a second, more uncertain, kind of uncertainty into the fray. Its bounce dances along the edge of our predictive capacity, always almost but never fully under control. At least in the Anglophone world, this second kind of chance—the chance of the ball—seems to be especially important to our contemporary understanding of play. While other kinds of contests are raced, run, rowed, and swum; wrestled, fenced, fought, and boxed; timed, weighed, measured, and judged; ball games are played. And only an athlete who contends with balls (or pucks, or shuttlecocks, or other third objects) earns the title “player.” We become players in and through bounce."
Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 14: The Premier League weekend kicks off with five games today at 10 a.m. Eastern. In our contest, Hillbilly F.C. holds a nine-point lead over Liquid Football. Last week's best score was Merseyside Ziggurat's 80, which featured a captain-doubled 38 from Everton midfielder Ross Barkley (£7.0m) and 13 from Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho (£8.4m). The week's biggest acquisition target is Everton forward Romelu Lukaku (£8.9m), who has scored 34 points in the past three weeks.
CFL Playoffs Pick 'Em, Grey Cup Edition: Home field advantage wins again! Edmonton and Ottawa throw their way into the Grey Cup, and are rewarded with a trip to that place where no one has the advantage, ever: Winnipeg in late November. But the forecast is clear and only footballs should rain from the skies. Grab your souvenir umbrella, put on your coveralls, put down your umbrella because it's hard to put on coveralls one-handed, and make your picks inside.
Big league baseball beneath Big Ben?:
MLB is investigating the idea of playing regular season games in London, England.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 12: Inadvertent Whistle Edition: The NFL week begins on Thanksgiving with three games in one day -- something our forefathers only could dream about. Philadelphia visits Detroit, Carolina visits Dallas and Chicago visits Green Bay. In our competition, Tommytrump continues to lead the rest of us turkeys. Make your picks, lock your lock and don't bogart the gravy bowl.
College Football Belt Backlog: The definitive (I believe) trail from Rutgers-Princeton 1869 to Nebraska-Alabama 1972, this proves that the College Football Belt site starts with the right team. This is how bored I was at work today. Starting at the first recognized college football game (Rutgers vs. Princeton, November 6th, 1869) and using the nearly complete records on SportsReference.com, I traced the lineal College Football Belt through the 1972 Orange Bowl, after which point the good people at College Football Belt start up.
Tiger Woods to be a Ryder Cup vice captain in 2016: Ian Poulter thinks it's a good idea. Rory McIlroy is "visibly surprised". Two questions arise: what can we infer from his acceptance of the role about the extent of his back injury, and why would Davis Love III want someone in the team room who hasn't played on a winning US team since 1999?
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em Contest: Week 5: Week 5 begins (and ends) Tuesday with Hawks/Celtics and Lakers/Warriors, the only nationally televised games of the holiday week. First prize in SportsFilter's NBA Pick 'Em contest is an official ABA game ball.
Meet Leroy Stolzfus, the Amish Marathoner: Leroy Stolzfus finished the Harrisburg Marathon in 3 hours, 5 minutes and 45 seconds, less than a minute away from the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. What makes the 22-year-old's run unusual is that he's Amish and did it in slacks, a long-sleeve button down shirt and suspenders. "I'll get there," he said of Boston. "I just got to train a little harder, learn how to not go out too quickly and negative split more."
Baylor Takes College Football Belt from Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State didn't hold on long to the College Football Belt, the sport's always-on-the-field championship game. In their second defense, the Cowboys lost 45-35 to the Baylor Bears, who hadn't won in Stillwater since 1939. Third-string quarterback Chris Johnson came off the bench and contributed two long TD passes and a TD run with under 3 minutes left. This is the fifth time the Bears have hoisted the Belt. They play at TCU and home against Texas to finish the regular season.
Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 13: The Premier League weekend begins early Saturday when Watford visit those lovable upstarts Manchester United. Hillbilly F.C. keeps first place, leading Liquid Football by 11. But that story's importance is second to the news that my F.C. Conestoga had a week-best 67 points. I did not curse Jamie Vardy by adding him, as I feared would happen. The Leicester unstoppable goal machine's captain-doubled 18 and Man U midfielder Juan Mata's 9 led the squad. For this week, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is most-added and West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet most-dropped. Good luck to all, but primarily me.
Jacksonville: The Happiest 4-6 Fans in the NFL: The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans 19-13 Thursday night, the third win in four games for the woebegone franchise. Blake Bortles and the offense went nowhere until 4:13 remained in the fourth, when fresh-off-the-IR rookie Rashad Greene ran a punt 63 yards to the 5 and set up the first Jaguars touchdown. A sack of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota as time expired secured the win.
Bill Belichick Refuses to Be NFL's Fashion Model: NFL coaches in recent weeks have been wearing military-drab versions of team gear, complete with camouflage and muted logos that are for sale in the NFL Shop in a Salute to Service (But Mostly Commerce!). One NFL coach isn't playing along. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hasn't even worn a military version of his Hoodie.
CFL Playoffs Pick 'Em, Division Finals Edition: Home field advantage works out in the semis, although the Argos could've made things more interesting by asking their secondary to fall down less. Not that I am bitter. But here we are in Ottawa and Edmonton, two places you should never go in November, unless there's a Grey Cup berth at stake. Untangle your earmuffs and make your picks inside.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 11: Nobody Knows Anything Edition: The NFL week begins Thursday night as the Tennessee Titans visit the Jacksonville Jaguars for another Nike Color Rush uni-palooza. Tommytrump continues to lead our contest after a week in which three of us scored 0 points! Make your picks, lock your lock and do the opposite of what you did last week.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em Contest: Week 4: Week 4 begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern in SportsFilter's NBA Pick 'Em contest, a game to pick the winners of nationally televised games on TNT, ESPN and ABC. New players welcome. First prize is an official ABA game ball.
Holly Holm Knocks Out Ronda Rousey in Huge UFC Upset: Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey to take the UFC women's bantamweight championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday night. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports called it "arguably the biggest upset in UFC history" and said Rousey "was never in the fight." Vegas took a big hit on the fight after giving Holm bettors 6-to-1 odds.
CFL Playoffs Pick 'Em, Semi-Finals Edition: Leaves are on the ground, snow is in the air, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are cleaning out their lockers. Yes sir, it's time for the CFL playoffs! It's a fresh start: whether you competed every week in the regular season or watched jealously from the sidelines, all are welcome to join in this three-week sprint to the Grey Cup. Grab your union suit and make your picks inside.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 10: David Tyree Edition: This week's NFL games kick off Thursday with Buffalo visiting the New York Football Jets. On Sunday, undefeated New England plays the team that kills its dreams, the New York Football Giants. Tommytrump leads the SportsFilter league by 10. Make your picks, lock your lock and don't knock out your brother at a Cowboys game.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em Contest: Week 3: There's a light four-game schedule this week beginning tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. DeAndre Jordan visits Dallas and LaMarcus Aldridge visits Portland to bring out a great susurration of boo birds. We pick winners and the spread every week in national TV games and new players are welcome. First prize is the greatest basketball in known history.