Baggy, The Rock, and Pudge make the cut.:
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
SI: ESPN Talkers Mike & Mike Are Breaking Up: The 19-year partnership of sports talk hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will be ending this year as Greenberg gets his own morning show on ESPN, sources told Sports Illustrated. The Mike & Mike show began in 1998 and has become the cornerstone of ESPN Radio at stations across the country. The leading candidate to either join Golic or succeed them with his own show is ESPN NFL anchor Trey Wingo. Greenberg has become one of ESPN's highest-paid personalities at $6.5 million a year.
The Worst Time to Lose a Scholarship Offer: High school linebacker prospect Ryan Dickens committed to UConn in June 2016 after receiving a scholarship offer from coach Bob Diaco. After Diaco was fired, his successor Randy Edsall called Dickens on New Year's Day to affirm the offer. Sixteen days later, Edsall called Dickens to tell him the scholarship is being offered to someone else. NJ.Com reports, "Seemingly every winter players such as Dickens are on the wrong end of a college's decision, left empty-handed and uncertain in the eleventh hour as National Signing Day bears down." With just two weeks to that day and most scholarships gone, Dickens and his parents have been scrambling. The best offer so far is from FCS school Rhode Island.
NBA Pick 'Em Week 13: No Rivals Edition: There are eight national NBA games this week, beginning Wednesday night with the Bucks visiting the Rockets. The Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em has a new leader, as a 21-point week for NoMich lets Goyoucolts climb into first and everybody else gain ground. Howard_T and I score 62 points to share the high score of the week. Make your picks.
Steelers Kick 6 Field Goals, Advance to AFC Championship: The Pittsburgh Steelers kicked six field goals and withstood a late rally, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 to reach the AFC Championship game. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell ran for 170 yards, keeping the Chiefs offense on the sideline for long stretches of the game. The Steelers will face the New England Patriots.
Packers Hold Off Cowboys in Thriller, Advance to NFC Championship: After taking a 21-3 lead in the first half, the Green Bay Packers held off a Dallas Cowboys comeback and won 34-31 on a 51-yard Mason Crosby field goal as time expired in a divisional round playoff game. Green Bay advances to the NFC Championship game where they will play the Atlanta Falcons on the road. Dallas nearly forced overtime after a 52-yard Dan Bailey kick, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed a 36-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook on third and 20.
Patriots Set Record with 6th Straight AFC Championship Trip: The New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans 34-16 to advance to the AFC Championship for six consecutive years, breaking an NFL record held by John Madden's Oakland Raiders teams of the 1970s. The Texans exploited some turnovers to make the score 17-13 at the half, but Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler threw three interceptions and New England running back Dion Lewis scored touchdowns on a run, a catch and a 98-yard kickoff return. New England will play the winner of Sunday's divisional round playoff game between Kansas City and Pittsburgh.
Falcons Advance to NFC Championship: The Atlanta Falcons offense was too much for the Seattle Seahawks in a 36-20 victory that sends Atlanta to the NFC championship game. In what could be the final game at the Georgia Dome, a crowd of 71,155 saw Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan complete 26 of 37 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Atlanta will play the winner of Sunday's NFC divisional round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition: The NFL playoffs continue with Seahawks/Falcons and Texans/Patriots on Saturday and Steelers/Chiefs and Cowboys/Packers on Sunday. For our pick 'em contest, pick the weekend's playoff winners, the spread and some bonus categories.
Surprising almost no one, the Chargers decide to move to LA.: There's yet to be a final announcement, but the Chargers are pretty much set to return to Los Angeles (they played their first season there before moving to San Diego) for the 2017 season, where they will join the Rams in their new stadium as lease-paying tenants in Inglewood, expected to be completed for the 2019 season. In the meantime, the Chargers are expected to play at either the Coliseum or a 27,000 seat facility in Carson, somewhat limiting their immediate ability to cash in.
NBA Pick 'Em Week 12: Unexcused Absence Edition: Nine national NBA games are on the tube this week, beginning with tonight's doubleheader on ESPN. The battle for first in the Pace Mannion is tightening up, with NoMich now leading by just nine points over Goyoucolts. Any excuse for not making your picks must be signed by a parent.
It's the end of the World Cup as we know it: The FIFA Council made it official, unanimously approving an expansion of the menís World Cup field. Starting in 2026, the field will increase from 32 to 48 teams. There will be 16 groups of 3 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to a 32-team knockout stage.
NFL Pick 'Em Champion Crowned: The SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em champion for the 2016 season is Ufez Jones with 1,189 points. Tron7 finished second with 1,148 and MeatSaber was third with 1,113. Rumple deserves a mention for winning the week with 146 points after locking every game.
Jaguars Promote Doug Marrone, Make Tom Coughlin a VP: The Jacksonville Jaguars promoted interim coach Doug Marrone to the job, hired former coach Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations and extended general manager Dave Caldwell's contract by two more years. Here's a confidence builder from the local Florida Times-Union: "Who has control over the 90- and 53-man rosters is unclear."
Packers, Steelers, Seahawks, Texans Advance: In an NFL wild card weekend with nothing resembling a close game, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks advanced in the NFC and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, including a first-half Hail Mary, to lead the Packers over the New York Giants. Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown combined for four touchdowns for the Steelers against the Miami Dolphins. Next week Seattle visits the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay visits the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC, while Pittsburgh visits the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston visits the New England Patriots.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition: SportsFilter is holding a prediction contest for the NFL postseason. Pick each week's playoff winners, the spread and some bonus categories.
The Cleveland Cavaliers trade for sharpshooter Kyle Korver: In exchange for Korver, the Atlanta Hawks, who are officially entering rebuilding mode, receive Mike Dunleavy Jr. (who is likely headed to a third team) and a 2019 first round draft pick. Bonus links: Kevin O' Conner on why this puts the Cavs closer to a back-to-back title. What does this mean for Paul Millsap? (Toronto and Sacramento are both currently expressing interest).
Haslams apologize for 'disappointing year': Cleveland Browns' owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam apologized in a letter sent to season ticket holders after the club's 1-15 season. The letter also was posted on the team's website.
NBA Pick 'Em Week 11: Nick Young Dance Party Edition: There are six games to pick this week, beginning with two on Thursday night. In the Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, NoMich keeps first but Goyoucolts gets five points closer in second. Tron7 stays in third. Ufez Jones and HowardT win the week with 18. Make your selections.
San Francisco 49ers Fire Chip Kelly After 1 Season: Following a loss to the Seattle Seahawks that ended their season at 2-14, the San Francisco 49ers have fired Chip Kelly one year after he got the job. GM Trent Baalke has also been fired. Kelly, once the hottest coaching prospect in the NFL because of his collegiate offensive wizardry at Oregon, has now been fired twice in 370 days -- two NFL teams are still paying off his contracts. This is only the second time since 1970 an NFL team has fired two coaches in a row after only one season. The first was San Francisco in 1976 (Monte Clark) and 1977 (Ken Meyer).
Gary Kubiak Stepping Down as Broncos Coach: Gary Kubiak is stepping down as head coach of the Denver Broncos after two seasons, he informed players after Sunday's 24-6 season-ending victory over Oakland. An ESPN report said the decision is health-related, but another source said it's a desire to be done with the grind of coaching. Kubiak, 55, was hospitalized this season after suffering a complex migraine. Three years earlier as Houston Texans coach, he collapsed at halftime of a game from a transient ischemic attack.