Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em: Week 15: There are eight NBA games airing nationally this week and two All-Star games pitting the U.S. vs. the World and West vs. East. All 10 are in the our NBA Pick 'Em contest, which is led by the merciless prognostication juggernaut Howard_T. Games start tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN when the Lakers lose to the Cavaliers.
Texans Owner Robert McNair: Cherokees Can't Hold Their Whiskey: An NFL owner who defended Washington's use of the offensive mascot "Redskins" then told an interviewer that he grew up among Cherokee Indians and they had drinking problems. "Everybody respected their courage," said Houston Texans owner Robert McNair. "They might not have respected the way they held their whiskey, but ..." McNair laughed and added, "We respected their courage. Theyíre very brave people."
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest Winner: Tron7: The four-week contest to pick NFL playoff games on SportsFilter has been won by Tron7, vaulting from sixth place to first by predicting Denver by 10 and hitting six out of 10 bonus-point opportunities. Tron7 wins a copy of Gregg Easterbrook's new book The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football. Congratulations!
Peyton Manning Turns Super Bowl Moment into Beer Promotion: As Super Bowl 50 ended and Peyton Manning had his storybook ending to the season (and perhaps career), he sounded oddly robotic in his on-field interviews, touting Budweiser beer with all the spontaneity of a Nascar driver. "I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy," he first told the on-field reporter, then told Jim Nantz on the trophy podium, "I'm going to drink a lot of beer tonight, Jim, Budweiser. Von Miller's buying. Manning's first celebratory kiss after the game was with Papa John founder John Schnatter.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x32 Edition: For the Super Bowl, pick the game's winner a tiebreaker and 10 bonus categories. Make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock. Goyoucolts has a nine-point lead. Six players are within 20.
BMX Biker, X-Games Star Dave Mirra Dies: Dave Mirra, BMX biker and 24-time X-Games medalist, was found this afternoon dead in his truck of an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound" in Greenville, North Carolina. He was 41 years old and is survived by his wife and two children. Mirra's fame in his sport was demonstrated by the Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX videogame series. His 24 X-Games medals set a record, since broken by skateboarder Bob Burnquist. An hour before the shooting, Mirra posted a photo on Instagram of himself and his wife captioned "My rock! Thank god."
U.S. Soccer Lawsuit Reveals Home Addresses of USWNT Players: When U.S. Soccer filed suit Wednesday against the player's union representing the U.S. women's national team, the court filing included the home addresses and personal email addresses of many of those players. "Itís very unsettling," said Megan Rapinoe. "To know that someone could show up at your door? Thatís extremely unsettling, and itís something that you canít get back."
Toronto Maple Leafs Adopt New Logo: For the first time in 28 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made changes to their logo. The leafier leaf's a throwback to one last used in 1967, the year they won the last of their 13 Stanley Cup championships. I'm guessing that's no coincidence. "They can wear pink if they're going to start winning," Dillon Bouma told CBC.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em: Week 14: A packed NBA schedule on the tube this week, with eight games in five days stretching from Wednesday to Sunday. The first game tips off at 8 p.m. tonight on ESPN as the Golden State Warriors visit the Washington Wizards.
Mike Martz on Terrell Owens as Hall of Fame Finalist: 'Ridiculous': Former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz called it "ridiculous" that Terrell Owens is an NFL Hall of Fame finalist when Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt aren't getting similar consideration. Martz told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, "You can't print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That's just plain out-and-out ridiculous." Post Dispatch sportswriter Jim Thomas notes: Holt had more yards in his first 11 seasons (11,864) than anyone in NFL history. Bruce retired second in all-time receiving yards (15,208) and fifth in receptions (1,024). Both caught touchdown passes in the Rams' victory in Super Bowl 0x22. Owens compares well on all three counts: He had 15,934 receiving yards, 1,078 receptions and 11,715 yards his first 11 seasons.
Here's to You, Mister Curtain of Distraction Guy: Arizona State fans used the "curtain of distraction" Thursday night to good effect, unveiling Michael Phelps wearing gold medals and a speedo in the basketball game against Oregon State.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, Week 13: Six national NBA games this week, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern with Houston at San Antonio on ESPN. ABC has two games -- San Antonio at Cleveland Saturday night and Chicago at L.A. Clippers Sunday afternoon.
Carolina Demolishes Arizona to Roll Into Super Bowl 50: The Carolina Panthers got 7 turnovers off the Arizona Cardinals, including four interceptions and two fumbles by quarterback Carson Palmer, in a 49-14 romp to win the NFC Conference Championship and reach Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton threw for 235 yards and one touchdown and ran for two more.
Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50: The Denver Broncos defense bottled up quarterback Tom Brady for three quarters, then had a crucial two-point conversion stop with 12 seconds left to win the AFC Championship Game 20-18 over the New England Patriots. Brady threw for 310 yards but had three interceptions, including one on the conversion attempt with 12 seconds left. Peyton Manning, a backup a month ago, will play in his fourth Super Bowl.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round: The NFL conference championship games pit Arizona against Carolina and New England against Denver. Tommytrump holds the lead in our contest by six points, but there are more bonus-point opportunities this time around. Pick the winners, choose bonus players and teams and make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock.
Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 23: The Premiership kicks off with an early Saturday match taking Norwich to Liverpool. Hillbilly F.C. wins the week to retake the lead from Liquid Football in SportsFilter's contest by a razor-thin margin of six points. Top pickups: Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (7.0), Man City forward Sergio Aguero (13.3) and defender Bacary Sagna (5.7).
Lleyton Hewitt Ends Singles Career at Australian Open: Twenty years after his first appearance at the Australian Open, local hero Lleyton Hewitt has ended his singles career there following a second-round loss. Hewitt, 34, became the youngest male ever ranked No. 1 at age 20. He won the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon singles titles and another 28 tournaments. In a nicely written remembrance, Russell Jackson of The Guardian notes that Hewitt finished at Rod Laver Arena and declares, "Theyíll never need to scatter his ashes here -- he's spilled so much sweat on center court that his DNA will surely linger for eternity."
James Fallows Learns Something about British Soccer and Sarcasm: James Fallows, a writer for The Atlantic, didn't get the message that British soccer matches are broadcast on NBC sometimes on Saturday mornings. When he encountered one on his tele-visual apparatus, his shock led him to post this sarcastic joke on Twitter: "We are having English pro soccer on a mainstream US TV network on Sat afternoon? Maybe Cruz/Trump are right. Give us back 'our' America." Guess how it went over.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, Week 12: Seven national NBA games this week, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern with Golden State at Chicago on ESPN. ABC joins the mix Saturday with Chicago visiting Cleveland. In our contest, Tron7 wins the week and Howard_T keeps first place.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Week 2: Divisional Round: After a crazy weekend in which Seattle and Pittsburgh saved their seasons with dramatic last-minute wins, Tommytrump leads the contest on SportsFilter to win a copy of Gregg Easterbrook's The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football. Pick the winners and spreads of the divisional round playoff games and four bonus categories. Make any game a stone cold lead pipe lock to double your points.
NFL Network Airs 'Lost' Super Bowl on Friday: On Friday night at 8 p.m. Eastern, NFL Network will air the first ever rebroadcast of Super Bowl I between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The game is pieced together from multiple sources and includes all 145 plays. Play-by-play comes from a radio broadcast by George Ratterman and Jim Simpson (who died Wednesday)."Given that no full version of the game exists anywhere and that it is the first Super Bowl ever played, I think it's great that we finally have a full record of the game, even though it wasn't competitive by the end of the third quarter," said NFL Films senior producer David Plaut. (How 'bout a spoiler warning, dude?)
49ers Hire Chip Kelly as Head Coach: Sixteen days after he was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly has been hired to coach the San Francisco 49ers. Kelly had a 26-21 overall record and a playoff appearance in his three seasons with the Eagles. I also hear he did some coaching in college.
NFL Approves Rams Move to Los Angeles, Chargers Invited to Join: In a deal brokered by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, NFL owners voted 30-2 to approve the move of the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles, where they will play in the $2 billion Inglewood stadium planned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The San Diego Chargers have a year to work out a deal with Kroenke to join him in L.A., after which the Oakland Raiders get a shot. The St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes several owners after the vote, including a giddy Jones, who is a business partner of Kroenke in non-NFL ventures.
Pace Mannion NBA Pick 'Em, Week 11: There are nine nationally televised NBA games this week, including an MLK Day tripleheader. Howard_T expands his lead in our contest. Indiana and Boston start things off on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 21: The Premier League returns Tuesday with three games, followed by seven more a day later. Liquid Football holds on to first place by 10 points over Maplewood Town. Players get two free transfers this week. The most popular adds are midfielders Willian of Chelsea, Bamidele Alli of Tottenham and Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City.