No criminal charges for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged after an investigation into an alleged sexual battery, State Attorney William Meggs said today.
Meet the New York Times 4th Down Bot: The New York Times has launched a Twitterbot that will analyze every fourth down play in an NFL game, determining whether the coach made the right call or not. The analysis uses a statistical model created by Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats. "In general, it finds N.F.L. coaches far too conservative," the paper observes.
USC Hires Steve Sarkisian: The USC Trojans have hired head coach Steve Sarkisian away from Washington, according to reports Monday. Since taking over in 2009, Sarkisian led the Huskies to a 34-29 record. Prior to that he was a USC assistant for seven seasons and was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll. Ed Orgeron, the interim coach who led the team to a 6-2 record, is being pursued to stay on in another job.
Did Mike Tomlin Do That on Purpose?: Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin interfered with a Jacoby Jones kick return during Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens, possibly denying Jones a touchdown. Tomlin, facing away from the play in the direction of a video board, was standing on the field, jumping out of the way at the last second. Several Ravens accused him of doing it intentionally. The Ravens won 22-20.
Saskatchewan Roughriders complete dream season: It was a celebration unlike any other at Mosaic Stadium. The sold-out, predominantly green and white crowd remained at the facility long after the Saskatchewan Roughriders had beaten the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 to win the 101st Grey Cup.
FCS School Passes for 0 Yards, Beats Florida: The box score for Georgia Southern's 26-20 upset of Florida is insane. The FCS school, which will be joining the Sun Belt Conference, had 0 yards passing. Run-option quarterback Kevin Ellison made three passing attempts, none completed. But his team amassed 429 yards rushing on 54 attempts, with nine players toting the rock. The 28-point underdog Eagles were paid $550,000 by the Gators to come to Gainesville and beat them. Florida falls to 4-7 and will miss a bowl for the first time since 1990 and has lost to an FCS school for the first time in ever. "Nobody needs to point a finger right now," said Florida coach Will Muschamp, who got a "1000 percent" vote of confidence to return next season from athletic director Jeremy Foley.
New England Overcomes 24-Point Deficit to Beat Denver: After staking the Denver Broncos to a 24-point halftime lead, the New England Patriots scored 31 points to take the lead, gave it up in the waning minutes of the game and then won late in overtime 34-31 on a cold, windy Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. The game-winning field goal came after New England kicked a punt that touched a Broncos defender because he wasn't warned to get away from the ball soon enough by former Patriots wideout Wes Welker, who was on punt return duty. Knowshon Moreno ran for 224 yards in a losing effort.
Former OL Shawn Andrews says Donovan McNabb made Eagles locker room a 'living hell': Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shawn Andrews says that his former Philadelphia Eagles teammates—led by Donovan McNabb—spread malicious rumors and verbally abused him so badly that he contemplated suicide and eventually underwent psychiatric treatment. Many of the rumors were about his sexual orientation, he said, and they eventually spread to other NFL locker rooms.
Panthers Edge Patriots, Win Sixth in a Row: The Carolina Panthers beat the New England Patriots 24-20 on Monday night in a game that ended on a controversial non-call. The zebras threw a flag on Carolina for pass interference against Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, but Tom Brady's pass to Gronk was intercepted and they said this made it uncatchable. Cam Newton kept several drives alive with long third down scrambles, threw three touchdowns and was the game's leading rusher.
ROB GRONKOWSKI Mocks Asian Fan WHERE'S THE FRIED RICE? : Maybe New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn't heard what's going on with Richie Incognito -- because he openly mocked an Asian fan over the weekend, calling the guy "Leslie Chow"... and joking about fried rice. Today, Gronkowski apologizes.
Together We Fear Football: Pop Warner Down 9.5%: Pop Warner football, the largest youth football program in the U.S., saw the number of players drop 9.5 percent from 2010 to 2012, a sign that the rise in severely debilitating brain injuries among former pro football players is scaring parents away from the sport. The organization's chief medical officer, Julian Bailes, called concerns about head injuries the "No. 1 cause" for the drop and said, "Unless we deal with these truths, we're not going to get past the dropping popularity of the sport and people dropping out of the sport."
Raider, 'Renaissance Man' Todd Christensen dead at 57: Christensen, 57, a five-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Oakland/Los Angeles/during his NFL career (1978-1988), died Wednesday at a hospital near his home in Alpine, Utah, from complications during liver transplant surgery.
Breaking Real Bad: Inside the Sam Hurd Drug Case: On Wednesday, former Cowboys and Bears receiver Sam Hurd will likely be sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking. Is he the cocaine kingpin the government has made him out to be, or the victim of an overzealous prosecution and excessively harsh narcotics laws? An exclusive 22-month investigation reveals how it all went wrong for one of the NFL’s most promising and well-liked young talents—and why there’s more to Hurd’s downfall than we’ve been led to believe.
Saying 'I'm not happy at all,' Broncos' John Moffitt quits NFL: John Moffitt wasn't unhappy with a lack of playing time in Denver. He quit the NFL because he'd lost his love for the game and was tired of risking his health.
Fresno State's Mascot Also Used by Gang: A California street gang that began in prison calls itself the Bulldogs and has caused problems for Fresno State University, which is popular in the state's agricultural interior and has a Bulldogs mascot. Sales of the school's athletic gear have increased tenfold, often for the wrong reasons. In 2011, Stephen Maciel, a father of four, was shot and killed by a Bulldogs gang rival in a liquor store parking lot wearing a red Fresno State shirt. He had no gang affiliations. "If you love sports, you want to be all geared up in the team's colors. But I don't wear it any more, and I don't let my kids wear it. It's too dangerous," said Maciel's widow, Marisol Aguirre.
Ace Parker, Who Played in NFL in a Leather Helmet, Dies: Ace Parker, who at 101 was the oldest living member of the NFL Hall of Fame, died Wednesday in Portsmouth, Va. Parker played for the Philadelphia Athletics in baseball and the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees and a merged Brooklyn Tigers/Boston Yanks team in football. He was the NFL MVP in 1940. The NFL was a more ragtag operation back then. He was expected to supply his own equipment and one of the Dodgers' owners, John "Shipwreck" Kelly, also played on the team. Elected to the hall in 1972 at age 60, Parker said in his acceptance speech, "I'm sure glad it happened when I'm still around."
Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story: Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha pulls back the curtain on what he saw and what he’s heard of the relationship between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, from the locker room dynamic to that now-famous O-line trip to Vegas
Wisconsin Columnist: What If Rodgers Got Hurt Monday?: Two days before Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a collarbone break, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote a column stating the team could win if he was lost to injury. "Fools will cry that I'm jinxing Rodgers and the Packers by writing about this," McGinn wrote. "Injury is the grimmest fact of life in the NFL. The Packers have been immune at quarterback for 21 years, but it doesn't represent the unthinkable for them. ... [T]he guess here is that even if the Packers were to lose Rodgers early Monday night against the Chicago Bears they'd find ways to finish 11-5."
Gary Kubiak Collapses on Texas Sideline: Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at the start of halftime during the Sunday night game against the Indianapolis Colts. Kubiak, 52, was walking off the field when he became stricken, and he was taken off on a stretcher to an ambulance. "He had an episode; he was light-headed and dizzy," Houston general manager Rick Smith said. Earlier this weekend, Denver Broncos coach John Fox felt light-headed at a golf course in Charlotte, and he will be having surgery for an aortic heart valve replacement.
Dolphins Suspend Incognito For Bullying, Intimidation Towards Miller: Bullying rears its ugly head in the troubling allegations towards Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito against fellow lineman/teammate Jonathon Miller. Miller left the team last week, apparently due in large part to the treatment he says has been aimed towards him.
Jaguars' Justin Blackmon Suspended for Drugs: Justin Blackmon, the second-year wide receiver who was the fifth pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 draft, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL Friday and is going into drug rehab. Blackmon missed the first four games of the season on a previous drug suspension and has been in the league substance-abuse program since a month after the draft, when he was pulled over for driving drunk at three times the legal limit. Blackmon put up good numbers in the four games he played -- 29 catches, 415 yards, one touchdown -- but Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette believes the team should cut ties. Jacksonville has been here before with wideouts Jimmy Smith and R. Jay Soward, both who fought substance abuse woes while on the team.
Tom Landry Died a New York Giants Fan: Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry was a New York Giants fan when he died, his widow Alicia Landry is quoted as saying in a new book. Landry was disgusted with how he and his family were treated by Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner who fired him. Alicia Landry said after Jones bought the team and fired Landry, he took away the Landry family's suite at Texas Stadium and barred Tom Landry Jr. from continuing to buy season tickets. "It’s not the same Dallas Cowboys," said Alicia, who has not been to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to see the statue of her husband, who died in 2000.
Brandon Meriweather Calls Out Brandon Marshall's Domestic Abuse: Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall said that Washington safety Brandon Meriweather "needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely" for hits to the head and neck of defenseless receivers. Meriweather responded, "He feel like I need to be kicked out of the league? I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out, too. You tell me who you'd rather have: Somebody who play aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?" The Marshall had four alleged domestic violence incidents in 2007, though no charges were filed.
NFL's Non-Profit Status Questioned: At NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan, the daily business is funded by all 32 pro teams which collectively pay more than $250 million in annual "membership dues." All of that revenue received by the league office, more than a half billion dollars since 2010, is not taxed because the league has been a non-profit trade association since the 1940s. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) filed a bill in September to revoke the tax exemption, asserting that working folks are subsidizing a special break for a sports league. More than 280,000 have signed a Change.ore petition asking Congress to remove the NFL's non-profit status. "This doesn't pass the basic fairness test," said the petition's author, Lynda Woolard, a fan of the New Orleans Saints.
Jets Told Refs to Look for Patriots' Push: Before the "push" penalty was called in overtime Sunday to give the New York Jets 15 yards and a second chance to kick a game-winning field goal over the New England Patriots, people on the Jets' sideline told the referees to look out for the Patriots using the illegal technique. This was the first time the new penalty has been called: "Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation."
Florida State Crushes Clemson, 51-14: In what was billed as the biggest game in Atlantic Coast Conference history, fifth-ranked Florida State rolled over third-ranked Clemson 51-14, disappointing a packed house of 83,428 at Death Valley. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston threw for a career-high 444 yards and accounted for four touchdowns and FSU's defense completely stymied the Tigers, who last suffered a 40-point plus defeat in 1976.
Washington Fan: I Won't Use That Slur Any More: "I am a third-generation fan of the professional football team in Washington. When my family sat down for pancakes last weekend, with a big game against Washington's archrival, Dallas, looming on the eve of Columbus Day, I had to tell my children why we were not going to use the team's nickname anymore. It wasn't an easy decision, though perhaps it should have been." -- Michael Brick
RG3 Tries to Draw Flags on Runs to Sideline: Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III drew two penalties in Sunday's game against Dallas when he was hit as he went out of bounds. "Guys don't want to pull up," said Griffin, who slowed up exiting the field of play and twice got flags against safety Barry Church. Griffin said the stratagem failed against Detroit defensive back Rashean Mathis. "I kind of stopped well inside in bounds to try to get him to hit me and he didn't. He said, 'I'm not taking that penalty, Griff.'"
Northwestern Football Game Sacks Peanuts: When the Northwestern Wildcats face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ryan Field in Evanston on Saturday, something will be missing: peanuts. Northwestern University is hosting its first peanut-free football game to give fans with allergies a chance to focus on the game instead of worrying about negative reactions to the popular stadium snack, which can range from mild irritation to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. "When the whole game is peanut-free, you can relax and enjoy the game like everybody else," said Julie Campbell, president of the not-for-profit Illinois Food Allergy Education Association.
Adrian Peterson's Young Son Dies After Beating: The two-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been hospitalized in critical condition and a man dating his mother has been arrested on charges of aggravated assault and battery of an infant. Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was alone with the child at a Sioux Falls, S.D., apartment when he called 911 to report a choking. Police said injuries were consistent with abuse. Update: The boy died Friday.
Broncos Mock Jaguars on Twitter: The Denver Broncos official Twitter feed mocked the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday with this message: "The #Broncos' 51 points in yesterday's win are as many points as the Jaguars have scored all season." The Jaguars responded, "Stay classy, Denver." The 28-point spread for the 0-5 Jaguars visit to the 5-0 Broncos Sunday equals the largest in NFL history, according to the Gold Sheet sports-betting publication. On Nov. 13, 1966, the Baltimore Colts were 28-point favorites over the expansion Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons led 7-6 at halftime and covered in a 19-7 defeat.
Lions Center Dominic Raiola Harasses College Band: Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola reportedly yelled slurs and other abuse at members of the Wisconsin university band before Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers. One member who heard the abuse wrote on Facebook that Raiola was "literally the worst person I have ever had the fortune to encounter." Tom Melton writes on his NFL blog that Lions safety Louis Delmas apologized to members of the band for Raiola's actions, which are being investigated by the team. Raiola attended Nebraska, a Big 10 conference foe of Wisconsin.
Romo Throws for 506 Yards in 51-48 Loss to Denver: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns, but it wasn't enough in a 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos at home Sunday. Peyton Manning threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another in the most unexpected bootleg in NFL history. The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense.
Jaguars Trade Eugene Monroe to Ravens: The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded starting left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens for draft picks. Monroe, 26, was the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft. He is a free agent after this season. The trade moves rookie Luke Joeckel, the second overall pick this year, back to his college position. Reports indicate that either two or three picks from rounds 4 through 7 in 2014 are being sent to Jacksonville.
USC Fires Lane Kiffin: University of Southern California coach Lane Kiffin has been fired after the Trojans lost to Arizona State, 62-41, dropping to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Pac 10. Kiffin was 28-15, finishing 7-6 last season after being ranked No. 1. Months after his hire in 2010, USC was hit with a two-year bowl ban and lost 30 scholarships over lavish gifts received by Reggie Bush during the head coaching tenure of Pete Carroll.
Archie Manning faces family history: Archie Manning doesn't cotton to the notion that he and his wife Olivia are the heads of the First Family of the Southeastern Conference. For one thing, it's a presumption of self-importance, and Archie wasn't raised to be anything but humble.
Rashad Johnson Gives NFL the Finger: Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson took off his left glove during Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints -- and the tip of his middle finger remained behind. He's undergone surgery to prevent infection but the tip can't be reattached. "He is unsure how it happened and will watch game film Monday to try to get a better idea," ESPN reports.
Browns Trade Trent Richardson to Colts: The Cleveland Browns have traded second-year running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Indianapolis Colts for its first-round pick in the 2014 draft. The Browns, who are stockpiling picks towards getting a franchise quarterback, are bringing in veteran running back Willis McGahee for a physical in pursuit of signing him.
Seahawks Dress Cops Like 49er Fans: Unruly Seattle Seahawks may want to think twice before picking on somebody wearing San Francisco 49ers gear during Sunday's game at CenturyLink Field. Some undercover law enforcement officers will be dressed in the opposing team's apparel as they patrol the stadium for "fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior," the Seahawks announced Wednesday.
Columnist: 'Miserable Jaguars Must Sign Tim Tebow Immediately': The Jacksonville Jaguars lost 28-2 to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. The offense led by quarterback Blaine Gabbert was so bad Jacksonville didn't advance beyond its own 36-yard line until four minutes into the fourth quarter. Since the Chiefs were the NFL's worst team last year by record, it suggests a miserable year ahead for the nattily behatted Two-Tones. Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, a former sportswriter in Jacksonville, gazes in despair and asks, "What's the worst that could happen if they signed Tebow? ... The Jaguars are already miserable. So what if they continue their misery under Tebow?"