Bill Belichick Offseason Simulator: Jon Bois' latest work of gaming genius.
Tiger Woods Falls Out of Top 100 in Golf: Tiger Woods, who spent 683 weeks (over 13 years) atop the rankings of world golfers, has fallen out of the top 100. He's currently at 104 and sidelined with injury. In February the 39-year-old took an indefinite break from golf and called his play "not acceptable for tournament golf," but he's hoping to be back to play the Masters in April. He has won 14 Majors, the last in 2008 at the U.S. Open.
Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183: Loving the 93,000-strong support the Aussies made short work of their neighbors to win the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time yesterday. The Kiwis had a difficult start, losing three wickets early but then had a run to 150 when disaster hit and they lost three more for almost no runs. The home side had a terrific innings from captain Michael Clarke and (his replacement as captain?) Steve Smith, needing only five batsmen to run down the win. There were, of course, a few afters ;)
"Relievers behind Wright have surrendered an insane two home runs in 107 2/3 innings. That's one-fifth what we'd expect based on their typical performance. If Wright were to make 30 starts in a season, that would translate to roughly an extra win for his team. Starters were about a half-run better in ERA and a run better in FIP when the other team had been thrown off by Wright's knuckleball. Add it up, and Wright could be worth in the range of two wins simply by taking the ball, let alone what he could provide by pitching well."
Cyclones and Grass Roots Football: The Nerimbera Magpies. The soul of a town.
NFL Drops Blackout Rule for 2015 Season: The National Football League is dropping its blackout rule for the 2015 season. The rule prevents games from being broadcast in a team's home market if the tickets aren't sold out. It's been around since the 1950s, when NFL games were first televised. Roughly one game out of ten was blacked out under the rule as recently as 2004, and in 1996 it was one out of three games. But there were no games blacked out last season.
The gym on the Titanic, and other early 19th century ocean liners.: "I was up early before breakfast and met the professional racquet player in a half hour's warming up for a swim in the six foot deep tank of saltwater heated to a refreshing temperature." -- Colonel Archibald Gracie, Titanic Survivor.
Can popularity ruin a sport?: Rafa Honigstein on how success has changed the Budesliga.
"That rise to all-conquering prominence has attracted the country’s brightest minds and developed into a highly professional, productive industry. But football’s heightened social relevance is also reflected in the sort of insufferably grim, po-faced seriousness that used to be confined to political struggles or actual tribal conflicts.
Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums: Some interesting news from USA Today: "An obscure item in the president's new budget would put an end to the long-standing practice of states and cities using tax-exempt bonds to finance professional sports arenas, a practice that costs the U.S. Treasury $146 million, according to a 2012 Bloomberg analysis."
The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage: The quarterfinals start tomorrow afternoon (11:30 EDT tonight for those of us not in that part of the world) with a showdown between Sri Lanka and South Africa. We gotta romanticize something, so it may as well be Sri Lankan bowler extraordinaire, Lasith Malinga. Also, Updated Fixtures, Odds and Predictions.
Tim Tebow Working Year-Round on Throwing Mechanics: Former Major League pitcher Tom House runs a performance center for pitchers and quarterbacks whose past clients include Tom Brady and Drew Brees. This interview with House describes in detail how much Tim Tebow has been doing to develop his quarterback skills in the hopes of returning to the NFL at age 27. "We've been seeing him about three days every week, year-round," House said. "Now, he works besides his time with us, but the time he spends working with us on skills, routes and all of those things works out to about two or two-and-a-half hours per day."
John Oliver tackles the NCAA and student athletes: In an extended segment on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight", John Oliver delved into the issue of unpaid "student-athletes" and the onerous and exploitative NCAA money machine.
SF 49er rookie Chris Borland retires at age 24 due to worries about his future health from concussions.:
"I feel largely the same, as sharp as I've ever been, for me it's wanting to be proactive," said Borland. "I'm concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it's too late. ... There are a lot of unknowns. I can't claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don't want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise."
Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool:
I didn't see one created for SpoFi, so I threw one together.
Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.: And here's the printable version (PDF). I got NC State whoopin up on Carolina in the Final. You?
Lewis Hamilton wins with ease in Australia as only 11 cars finish: "Mercedes were in a race of their own at the front" as Hamilton and Rosborg finished more than 30 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettle, who finished third in a Ferrari. This is after the Mercedes cars' won 16 from 19 and took 18 of 19 poles last season. Many of the 11 non-finishers either didn't start or went out in the first few laps; guess some teams need a longer off-season.
SpoFi's 2015 Fantasy Baseball League is Active: I will be taking over as commish for ursus_comiter. Invitations have been sent out to everybody who was in the league last year. We have plenty of room for new players as well.
Formula E Racing Comes to U.S.: The first all-electric open wheel racing series, Formula E, made its United States debut Saturday in Miami. It's the fifth race of the series' inaugural season. The cars are completely battery powered -- there are no combustion engines -- and they emit a high-pitched whir instead of the roar typically heard in auto racing. There are also no pit stops during the race. Instead of running out of gas, the Formula E cars run out of battery about halfway through the 39-lap event. Before that happens the drivers must make it to the pit area where, instead of swapping batteries, they hop into an entirely different car.
"Why not go for 70?": An Oral History of Larry Bird's 60-Point Game.
Mark Teixeira: Sharing Yankee Stadium with NYCFC Will Suck: New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixiera, asked about sharing the team's stadium with the new MLS team New York City FC: "It's going to suck, but you have to deal with it. It's going to tear up the infield, but there's nothing we can do about it, so we'll deal with it." NYC FC plays its home opener Sunday. Outfielder Brett Gardiner fears that when new grass has to be put down, it will give way and cause ankle and knee injuries.