Federal Judge Tosses Brady's 4-Game NFL Suspension: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won a court victory over the NFL as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman nullified the league's four-game suspension Thursday morning. Berman said in the decision that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exceeded his authority in the punishment. Brady will be eligible to play next week, though the NFL may appeal.
If You See Bart Starr at Brett Favre's Number Retirement Ceremony ...: ... it will be a special moment over a year in the making. The 81-year-old Starr suffered two strokes and a heart attack last year and often suffers from confusion, but his family says it has been a priority for him to be there on Thanksgiving night to stand alongside Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Favre delayed it a year to make Starr's attendance possible. "Now, we can't sit back and say, 'Dad, we're going to try to get you there,'" his son Bart Jr. said. "Every comment from us has to be along the lines of, 'Dad, we know you will make it there on Thanksgiving. We are certain of it.'"
Only 1 Game Apart, But Brady/NFL Negotiations Fail: Tom Brady was willing to serve a one-game suspension and the NFL was willing to accept two, Ian Rapoport of NFL.Com reports citing unnamed sources. But negotiations have failed, federal Judge Richard M. Berman announced, so he'll rule this week.
Fan Dies After Fall from Upper Deck at Braves Game: A fan in his 60s died after falling over 50 feet from the upper deck at Turner Field Saturday night during a game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. A fan in Section 401 told NJ Advance Media that the fanflew over her from a row behind her when A-Rod came up to bat, almost as if he jumped. He briefly held a wire connected to the home plate net but lost his grip and landed on concrete next to the section where players' families sit.
UNT Has Put 32 Football Walk-Ons On Scholarship in 4 Seasons: Since Dan McCarney became the head coach of the North Texas Mean Green in 2011, my alma mater has done one thing more often than any other in the FBS: Give scholarships to walk-ons. USA Today reports, "Along a wall inside the football program's offices is a display of 32 faces and names, all former or current North Texas players of varying success, from backup defensive backs through starting offensive linemen, each with a shared starting point: As a former walk-on who 'through effort and dedication,' the display reads, was awarded a scholarship." Those players have contributed 146 starts, nearly 400 tackles, 4,500 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns.
Fantasy Premier League, Week Four: Hillbilly F.C. jumps into first place with 155 points, leading PoloXI at 153 and FC Gallifrey at 150. Week 3's dream team was led by Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson, who scored a hat trick and had a 17-point week (owned by 2% a week ago and 13% now). The most popular acquisition is Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez, who already has 35 points (£6.0m cost). Roster moves must be in by 6:45 a.m. Saturday, an hour before Newcastle/Arsenal kicks off the early game.
IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Debris Hit to Helmet: The English IndyCar racer Justin Wilson died Monday after a crash a day earlier in which car debris from another racer's crash struck him on the helmet. He was 37. Video from Pocono Raceway shows the nose cone of Sage Karam's car bouncing on the track after a one-car crash and striking Wilson's helmet, bouncing as high as 100 yards in the air afterwards. Jalopnik has video of the crash and more details. Wilson won seven races in a 12-year open track career. He's survived by a wife and two daughters. He's an organ donor, according to his brother, fellow IndyCar driver Stefan Wilson.
Peyton Manning Has No Feeling In His Fingertips: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that he's had no feeling in the fingertips of his right hand for years. "I've talked to a doctor recently who said, 'Don't count on the feeling coming back.' It was hard for me for about two years, because one doctor told me I could wake up any morning and it might come back," Manning said. "So you wake up every day thinking, Today's the day! Then it's not."
ESPN Accidentally Fires Adam Schefter: ESPN shut off the phones and laptop of NFL reporter Adam Schefter this week because he'd mistakenly been put on a list of employees fired by the company. "Been through this before," he tweeted. "Not any easier to take second time around."
Fantasy Premier League, Week Three: The Translucent holds on to first place in the SportsFilter Fantasy Premier League, scoring 54 in week 2 for a total of 103. Hillbilly F.C. is close behind at 99. It was a good week to have Everton players, with Romelu Lukaku scoring 13 and both Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman 11. Player selections and transfers are due Saturday morning before Manchester United plays Newcastle at 7:45 a.m. to open the weekend's games.
Welcome to Manchester United, Memphis Just Memphis: The 21-year-old footballer formerly known as Memphis Depay scored his first two goals for Manchester United, turning a 1-0 early deficit to Club Brugge in a Champions League playoff Tuesday into a crucial lead for the home side. Man U won 3-1 and will be sitting pretty in Bruges next week. Memphis could've had a third after being set up at point blank range by a sublime back-heel from Wayne Rooney, but he sent the shot skyward.
Little League Team Throws Game at World Series: Little League International officials had to intervene after allegations arose that a team threw one of its games at the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon, on Monday. A Snohomish, Washington, team -- hoping to knock out an Iowa team from the next round it had struggled to defeat -- sat its best players, played all its reserves and told all players to bunt in an 8-0 loss to a team from Salisbury, N.C. "It was very evident right away what was going on. They weren't striving to win," said Central Iowa Little League coach Charlie Husak. Little League International officials responded by making Snohomish play Iowa to advance. Snohomish lost.
Brewers Minor Leaguer Comes Out Publicly as Gay: David Denson, a first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers' rookie league affiliate in Helena, Montana, has become the first active player on an MLB-affiliated baseball team to reveal that he's gay. Denson, 20, started telling some teammates and it expanded to where he was addressing most of the team. "They gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them," he said. "They said, 'You're still our teammate. You're still our brother. ... It started to affect my game because I was so caught up in trying to hide it." A pitcher for an independent minor league team, Sean Conroy, in June became the first active player in pro baseball to go public about being gay.
NFL Player Sends Back Young Sons' Participation Trophies: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison posted a photo on Facebook of trophies won by his sons and said he's sending them back. His explanation: "I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them 'til the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they earn a real trophy. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise to boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best ... cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better ... not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut you up and keep you happy."
Michael Sam Stepping Away from Football: One week after making his debut for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, Michael Sam announced that he's leaving the team. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, writes on Twitter, "The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health. Because of this I am going to step away from the game at this time."
Fantasy Premier League, Week Two: The Translucent sit atop SportsFilter's Fantasy Premier League after week 1 with a 57-point performance led by Vincent Kompany (14), Philippe Coutinho (10) and captain Wayne Rooney (10). The deadline for picking your roster this week is Friday at 1:45 Eastern because Manchester United is playing Aston Villa on Friday night, a scheduling move that's a sign of things to come in the Premier League. Starting next season, 10 games a season will play on Fridays.
All 15 MLB Home Teams Won Last Night -- Setting a Record: All 15 home teams won yesterday in Major League Baseball, the first time that's ever happened. If every game was a 50/50 proposition, the odds of this would be 1 in 32,768. The previous record for home victoriousness was when all 12 teams won on May 23, 1914. In other statistical milestone news, Alex Rodriguez is the last active Major Leaguer to make his debut before the 1994 strike.
Teammate Sucker Punches Geno Smith, Breaks His Jaw: New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith will miss 6-10 weeks after his jaw was broken this morning by a punch from reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali. Enemkpali, a sixth-round pick in 2014, was immediately released by the team. Coach Todd Bowles said the locker room altercation was "childish" and not football related. "You donít walk up to another man and punch him in the face," he said.
NBC Lands Premier League for Another 6 Years: NBC and England's Premier League have agreed to a six-year deal that will keep the league on the network's channels through the 2021-22 season. Terms of the deal haven't been announced, but one analyst predicted it would double the $250 million, three-year amount NBC paid to begin broadcasting the Premiership two years ago. NBC and NBCSN averaged 479,000 viewers on league matches last season, which is close to the 491,000 average viewership it pulls for NHL games. That league's TV deal is $2 billion for 10 years.
3 Days to Start of Premier League Season: SportsFilter's Fantasy Premier League has 14 owners. Use the link to join the competition. Last season, 3.5 million people competed in this fantasy game and Simon March beat them all. In an article for BBC Sport, March offers 10 tips for winning the game. Some of his advice: "Cheap defenders who play in teams that prioritize defense will often score more points than costlier alternatives who play in more attack-minded teams. Equally, a good striker in a team which generates a lot of chances may score more goals than a star striker in a more defense-minded team. ... Players who take set-pieces, especially penalties, are particularly valuable and it's worth trying to identify who these are before you make your selection."
5 Days to Start of Premier League Season: SportsFilter's Fantasy Premier League has nine teams so far and we're still digging through the archives looking for old owners to return. New ones also are needed. A new piece on ESPN Insider predicts these 10 breakout players this season: Forwards James Wilson (Man U) and Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palace); midfielders Jordan Ibe (Liverpool), Gerard Deulofeu (Everton), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Diego Poyet (West Ham), Rolando Aarons (Newcastle), Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), and defender Joe Gomez (Liverpool). Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also an early favorite for the top 10 names.
No Voter Approval Needed to Spend Public Money on New Rams Stadium: The St. Louis Rams can build a new football stadium with hundreds of millions in public funds without getting voter approval, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley ruled. A 2002 city ordinance requires a public vote before the city spends tax money on a new stadium. A task force led by Gov. Jay Nixon wants to spend $998 million on new digs, including $201 million from state and city bonds. Frawley somehow concluded the 2002 law doesn't require a vote.
9-Year-Old Bat Boy Dies After Being Struck by Bat: A 9-year-old bat boy died Sunday in the hospital after getting hit in the head with a bat by a baseball player taking practice swings in Kansas a day earlier. Kaiser Carlile was wearing a helmet when he was struck during a Liberal Bee Jays game against the San Diego Waves in Wichita Saturday afternoon. A witness said the boy was running to bring back a bat after an out when he was hit by a batter taking a practice swing. "Kaiser, you were a little brother I never had," player Kadon Simmons said. "You took the field with us every game this summer. You were, and always will be a Bee Jay. No person or team could ask for a better bat boy."
7 Days to Start of Premier League Season: The Premier League kicks off one week from today with six matches, including Chelsea beginning its championship defense against Swansea and Manchester United versus Tottenham. Join SportsFilter's long-running Fantasy Premier League game and allocate £100 million towards a starting lineup you can change each week with transfers. London24 offers tips on players to avoid, including Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao (£7.5m), Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne (£5.5m) and Southampton defender Steven Caulker (£5.5m). Man U keeper David de Gea's (£5.5m) not the best pickup either, since Louis Van Gaal just agreed Saturday to sell him to Real Madrid.
Russell Wilson Finally Cashes In with Seahawks: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the team have agreed to a four-year, $87.6-million contract extension with $60 million guaranteed and a $31 million signing bonus. The $21.9 million average salary makes Wilson the second highest paid player in the NFL behind Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who makes $22 million. Before the deal, Wilson took Seattle to two Super Bowls, winning one, while on a rookie deal that was among the best bargains in the league at just $681,085 a year.