Dallas Cowboys to Sign Michael Sam After Physical: Michael Sam, the first openly gay athlete to be drafted in the NFL, is flying to Dallas Tuesday night to take a physical for the Dallas Cowboys. If he passes, the team plans to sign him to its practice squad, ESPN reports. ESPN football writer Kevin Seifert wasn't surprised Sam didn't make an NFL roster but was surprised he didn't isn't already on a practice team. "He'll now get a second chance to impress another organization, albeit after a longer-than-usual wait and with a franchise whose owner craves attention like no other," Seifert writes.
Phillies Toss Combined No-Hitter vs. Braves: Four pitchers for the Philadelphia Phillies combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves on Labor Day. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels threw six innings and was relieved for one inning apiece by Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon. The Phillies won 7-0. Hamels had thrown 108 pitches and walked 5 when he was sent to the showers.
University of Minnesota Not Thrilled to Host Slurskins: When Washington comes to play Minnesota at the University of Minnesota for an NFL game Nov. 2, the university has asked Washington to use throwback jerseys without the team name or logo, not have any team apparel or paraphernalia sold on the premises and for the team's name not to be used by the PA announcer or on the scoreboards. "The Vikings have a great working relationship with the tribal nations of Minnesota, and they're very understanding of how this team name and logo impacts our community," said Katrice Albert, the college's vice president in the office of equity and diversity.
St. Louis Rams Release Michael Sam: The St. Louis Rams have released defensive end rookie Michael Sam, the seventh-round draft pick making a bid to become the first openly gay player on an NFL team. Sam, a seventh round draft pick, had a strong preseason with 11 tackles and three sacks. A team source told ESPN that if Sam clears waivers the team is hoping to sign him to the 10-man practice squad.
New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball: "If Mike Trout walked into your neighborhood bar, would you recognize him?" Ben McGrath asks in The New Yorker. "When was the last time baseball's reigning king was a cultural nonentity, someone you canít even name-drop without a non-fan giving you a patronizing smile?"
Weird Penalty Called on Vanderbilt Jersey: During last night's Vanderbilt-Temple game, a ref announced Vanderbilt was being penalized one timeout a quarter "because of ill-stated statements on the jersey." The team had put the words "Anchor Down" on the back, an apparent breach of NCAA rules. But in what has to be a first, Vanderbilt coaches produced an email printout during the game and the penalty was reversed.
Roger Goodell Figures Out Domestic Violence is Bad: Under a new policy, NFL players face a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment for a second. The league was widely criticized for assessing only a two-week suspension to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after he struck his now-wife and dragged her unconscious out of an Atlantic City hotel elevator. "I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better," Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo outlining the new policy.
Soccer Player Killed by Thrown Object from Stands: Albert Ebosse, a 24-year-old striker from Cameroon playing in the top-flight Algerian league for JS Kabylie, died after he was hit in the head by a thrown object from the stands at the end of a game Saturday. Ebosse scored the team's only goal in a 2-1 home loss to USM Alger.
Men in Blazers Move to NBC Sports: Sunday's Premiership opener between Manchester City and Newcastle was followed on NBC Sports by the Men in Blazers, television producer Michael Davies and writer Roger Bennett, broadcasting from their new Panic Room. "Not since Lewis and Clark have two men been so excited to be here," Bennett told the Wall Street Journal. "We're incredibly surprised that they wanted us," Davies said.
Tony Stewart Kills Driver in Dirt-Track Race: Nascar driver Tony Stewart struck and killed another racer who had exited his vehicle after a crash Saturday night during a dirt-track race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Central Square, New York. Kevin Ward Jr. had gotten out of his car following a crash with Stewart and appeared to be yelling and pointing. A car swerved to miss him and Stewart's right rear tire struck Ward, who died en route to a hospital.
Giants' David Wilson Retires Over Neck Injury: The promising career of New York Giants running back David Wilson appears to be over before his third NFL season. The Giants announced Monday that two doctors have advised Wilson, 23, to stop playing football due to the condition of his neck and spine. "I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me or pity me," Wilson said via a team press release. "I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too." Wilson played 21 games for the Giants after being drafted in the first round, 32nd overall, in the 2012 NFL Draft. He had 504 yards rushing, 1,755 yards returning kicks and scored seven touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving and one returning a kick).
NFL Players Will Have Tracking Chips in Shoulder Pads: NFL players this regular season will have RFID chips in their shoulder pads that enable their movements to be tracked in real time. Signal receivers at 17 NFL stadiums will collect and report the data in real time so it can be presented to broadcasters and fans. The 17 stadiums include all 15 that will host Thursday Night Football games. A not-yet-attained goal of the chips is to put them in footballs for first down and touchdown measurement.
Holy Sidd Finch! Minnesota Twins Sign Unknown with 100-Mph Fastball: The Minnesota Twins have signed a 24-year-old who throws a 100-mph fastball but has never been drafted. Brandon Poulson of the Healdsburg Prune Packers, a collegiate summer league team, got a $250,000 deal. He's a 6-foot-6 right-hander and fitness freak who was timed at a 6.6-second 60-yard dash in his socks and has a 40-inch vertical leap. "He's a physical specimen. He's got the best pure arm strength I've ever seen," said Twins scout Elliott Strankman.
Drogba!: "He is coming with the mentality to make more history."
California Limits Full-Contact School Football Practices: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced Monday that he has signed a bill limiting full-contact football practices at middle and high schools in response to concerns about concussions. Under the legislation taking effect in 2015, drills involving game-speed tackling are prohibited in the off-seasonandare limited to 90-minute sessions twice a week the rest of the year. The rules apply to public, private and charter schools. Texas has even stricter rules by allowing only one 90-minute full-contact session a week.
Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings: New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon has a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners through six innings Wednesday afternoon. Colon has thrown four strikeouts with 50 strikes on 73 total pitches. The 41-year-old threw a one-hitter in 2000 for the Cleveland Indians against the New York Yankees. The Mets lead 2-0.
Padres' Odrisamer Despaigne Throwing No-Hitter Through 7: In just his fifth Major League start, San Diego Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne is throwing a no-hitter against the New York Mets through seven innings.
Pitcher Freaks Out Because of Bunt in 2-Run Game: Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis has added a new entry to baseball's unwritten rulebook: Don't bunt to reach base with two outs and nobody on when your team is leading by two runs in the fifth inning. Colby Rasmus did that in a 4-1 Toronto Blue Jays victory Saturday. "I don't think that's the way the game should be played," said Lewis, who yelled at Rasmus after the play. "I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average."
SportsFilter's World Cup Confidence Pool Winner: The World Cup Confidence Pool has been won by Tron7 by 24 points over Goddam and 36 over Rcade (sigh). Two factors in the win were putting Spain out of the top 5 and Netherlands at 5, higher than anyone else in the top 10. My son Ecade takes home the coveted Costanza by being best at scoring the fewest points (you have to be encouraging as a parent). Tron7 wins an Adidas Brazuca Glider Soccer Ball.
Germany Wins World Cup: Germany won its fourth World Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday. Mario Gotze's strike, seven minutes from the end of extra time, ensured Germany ended its 24-year wait for glory at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium. Deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, it was left to substitute Gotze to provide the game's defining moment with a touch of magic. The Bayern Munich star took Andre Schurrle's pass on his chest before displaying exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.
LeBron James Returning to Cleveland: LeBron James stunned the NBA on Friday when he announced he's returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers and leaving the Miami Heat. James made the announcement on Sports Illustrated's website in a letter. He wrote: "Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. ... In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I'm ready to accept the challenge. I'm coming home. ... My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now."
Liverpool Sells Luiz Suarez to Barcelona: Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is being transferred from Liverpool to Barcelona for a reported transfer fee around 80 million Euros. The 27-year-old serial biter is serving a four-month suspension from soccer as punishment for chomping Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup. Barring his appeal, Suarez will miss 18 games for Barcelona, including three in the Champions League, one for Copa del Rey and nine in La Liga.
Blackhawks Sign Toews, Kane Through 2023: The Chicago Blackhawks signed Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions Wednesday. Their yearly salary cap hits of $10.5 million apiece are the highest in NHL history.
Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final: Argentina plays its first World Cup semifinal since 1990, facing today a Netherlands team looking to reach its second consecutive final. The countries have met four times in the tournament and four other times. Argentina won only one of the matches, but it was the 1978 World Cup final.
How (Not) to Survive the Running of the Bulls: A coauthor of the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Running of the Bulls was badly gored on Wednesday in the morning bull run at Pamplona's San Fermin festival. Bill Hillmann, 32, tripped and fell when a bull gored him in his right thigh, according to festival website SanFermin.Com, which has photos of the incident. There have been 14 fatalities over the past century at the fiesta, which dates to the 13th century.