Miami Dolphins Fire Coach Joe Philbin: A 1-3 start was enough for the Miami Dolphins to decide they've had enough of head coach Joe Philbin. He was fired Monday after going 24-28 since taking over the team in 2012. The team ranks last in the NFL in rushing defense despite signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for six years and $114 million in free agency.
Washington Nationals Fire Matt Williams: A year after being named National League Manager of the Year, Matt Williams has been fired as skipper of the Washington Nationals. The team finished 83-79 and did not make the playoffs. A week ago closer Jonathan Papelbon choked star outfielder Bryce Harper in the dugout during a game and Williams didn't notice. He sent Papelbon back out to pitch the ninth. Altered to the altercation by reporters later, Williams watched video and told them, "I'm livid about it."
Coke, Bud, McDonald's and Visa Demand Sepp Blatter Quit Immediately: Four of international soccer's major sponsors -- Coca Cola, Budweiser, McDonald's and Visa -- have demanded that FIFA President Sepp Blatter step down immediately, following the news he's under investigation for corruption in Switzerland. "Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish," Coca-Cola said in a statement. "FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach." Blatter has announced his plan to leave when a successor is named in February and his lawyer says he won't resign.
Fantasy Premier League, Week Seven: The Premier League begins early Saturday with seventh-place Crystal Palace visiting West Brom. FC Gallifrey's back atop the Spofiship with a 75-point week, topped only by an 87-point explosion by new second place team EAV FC that should be remembered in song. This feat was accomplished by having Alexis Sanchez (11.1m) as captain on a week he scored 20 points (3 goals, 90 minutes, 3 bonus) and a front line of Olivier Giroud (8.8m), Graziano Pelle (8.0m) and Jamie Vardy (6.6m) who put up 25. There's a lot of carnage on the injury front, with Vincent Kompany (6.3m), Yaya Toure (8.9m) and Callum Wilson (5.8m) all out and Christian Benteke (8.3m) doubtful -- and that's just my team. Sigh.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 4: First-Place Jacksonville Edition: Week IV of the NFL season begins Thursday night with Baltimore looking for its first win at Pittsburgh against backup QB Michael Vick. Sunday games begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern as the New York Jets play Miami in London. Make your picks and select one stone cold lead pipe lock to win (or not).
Toronto Blue Jays Clinch Playoff Spot, But Nobody Notices: The Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first playoff spot in 22 years last night -- ending the longest drought in North American pro sports -- but this went without notice or celebration. The common perception was that they still had a magic number of 1, but it is impossible for the three other teams in contention (Texas, Houston and Los Angeles) to all tie Toronto in wins because they play each other. See the comments for the math that the media overlooked.
Fantasy Premier League, Week Six: Spurs visits Man City early Saturday to open the Premier League weekend. Hillbilly F.C. takes first place back from FC Gallifrey. Maplewood Town rockets into third with a 72-point total that's the best in the league for a third straight week (damn!). Man United forward Anthony Martial (£8.3m) has scored 18 points in his first two weeks, inspiring 660,000 owners to pick him up this week. Diego Costa's (£11.0m) three-game ban for persistent douchery put him off 144,000 rosters. The FPL Scout likes Man U midfielder Juan Mata (£8.7m) as a pickup this week. He faces lowly Sunderland at home and has a goal or assist in four of six matches.
NFL Source: 'No Doubt' Brady Will Sit 4 Games This Season: An NFL source told WFAN radio host Craig Carton "thereís no doubt in his mind" that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will serve a four-game suspension this season over DeflateGate after the league's court appeal is heard. The source was not named, but it rhymes with Codger Whosmell.
Ole Miss Fan's Jaw Broken After Win at Alabama: A 22-year-old Ole Miss fan leaving the team's 43-37 victory over Alabama was walking in downtown Tuscaloosa when he was punched by a Bama fan who broke his jaw in two places. A commenter claiming to have witnessed the incident said the fan, Ryan Moore, was drunk and saying taunting remarks until a man "turned around and walked back and stood right in front of Ryan and said something like ... you need to shut your mouth and hit him. It made a horrible breaking noise." Police are looking for the assailant, a man in his 30s who was walking with a woman and two children.
Join Koharski's Donuts, SportsFilter's Fantasy Hockey League: With the NHL's season opener less than two weeks away, SportsFilter's Fantasy Hockey league is back for a third season and needs three more owners. The league has head-to-head weekly match-ups and a live snake draft Sunday Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. Eastern. We give cash prizes to the top four teams. Use this link and the password "sprinkles" to join.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 3: Indy's Bad Luck Edition: Week three of the NFL season begins Thursday night with Washington at New York Football Giants. Make your picks and select one stone cold lead pipe lock to win, if you dare. Results are being tabulated now.
In Hockey Gaming, It Will Always Be 1994: "It's the No. 1 comment that is made to me over the course of every day, whether it's over Twitter or meeting on the street," Jeremy Roenick says. "Whatever the case may be, I would say one out of three people I meet mention í94 Sega. They say one of three things: One, 'You couldn't beat the Chicago Blackhawks because of Jeremy Roenick.' No. 2, 'I got through college playing Jeremy Roenick in '94 Sega.' The third is it was a rule that you couldn't be the Chicago Blackhawks in the game, because they were that unstoppable. That still happens almost daily."
Fantasy Premier League, Week Six: Premier League play begins early Saturday with Chelsea vs. Arsenal. FC Gallifrey holds on to the lead for a second week, seven points ahead of Hillbilly F.C. Maplewood Town and Liquid Football tie for the week's best score at 56 points, led by Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez's 11 points -- 22 for Liquid Football in a well-chosen captain double. Mahrez ranks in the top 3 pickups this week alongside Man City defender Aleksandar Kolarov and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. Top drop: Man U defender Luke Shaw after his broken leg.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 2: Teddy Bridgewater Fail Mary Edition: This week's games begin Thursday night with Denver at Kansas City, so it's time to make your picks for a chance to win an official NFL game football signed by Roger Goodell or his successor (fingers crossed). NoMich is in first with 22 points, scoring 6 on a stone cold lead pipe lock of Carolina over Jacksonville by 10 (1 off the actual margin). Holden had the game of the week by picking Miami over Washington by 7 as a stone cold lead pipe lock (worth 9 points!). New players are welcome to join.
Luke Shaw of Man U Suffers Broken Leg in Champions League Match: Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw suffered a don't click this broken leg from a tackle during a Champions League match today against PSV Eindhoven. Hector Moreno caught the leg of the 20-year-old while making what The Telegraph called a "full-blooded tackle."
Eli Manning Told Running Back Not to Score: When the New York Giants had a first-and-4 with under two minutes remaining and a three-point lead over Dallas, Eli Manning told running back Rashad Jennings on consecutive plays not to score. "I thought that they may let us score to get the ball back, so thatís why I informed Rashad if they let you score, just go down at the 1-inch line. Donít score," Manning said. "I was wrong on that." New York kicked a field goal but lost 27-26 on a Dallas touchdown in the final seconds.
Fantasy Premier League, Week Five: The international break is over. The Premiership kicks off at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Saturday and roster moves are due an hour earlier. FC Gallifrey takes over first place with a second-best 57-point week led by Man City defender Bacary Sagna (12 points) and Everton keeper Tim Howard (11). Mid-table Maplewood Town had the best week with 59 because of Sagna, Southampton forward Graziano Pelle (9) and Leicester forward Jamie Vardy (8). Not-so-fun fact: My strikers Christian Benteke of Liverpool and Harry Kane of Tottenham are two of the five most dropped players for the gameweek.
Super Bowl Ditches Roman Numerals: Suspending an XLV-year tradition that I've been mocking for years by numbering the game in hexadecimal, the NFL has dropped the use of Roman numerals on this season's Super Bowl. There will be no Super Bowl L. Instead, Super Bowl 50 will be held on Feb. 7, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. But next year will be Super Bowl LI, the league says. Reaching 50 also is being marked by the new gold 50-yard line numbers.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 1: Win One for the Duke: The NFL season starts Thursday, so it's time to channel your inner Norman Chad and make picks each week. Choose the winners of each game, the margin of victory and up to one stone cold lead pipe lock. The winner will receive a prize (details inside).
Who Has College Football's Biggest Home-Field Advantage?: From the Wall Street Journal: "The best college football programs typically have the most intimidating home environments. Few teams enjoy the experience of visiting venues such as Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium or Oregon's Autzen Stadium. But, according to one study, the biggest home-field advantage in college football belongs to a much less-heralded program: North Texas."
2 High School Players Intentionally Hit Referee: Two high school players in San Antonio, Texas, intentionally slammed into a referee during a play as the clock was running down Friday night. After a controversial call that enabled Marble Falls to run out the clock on a 15-9 victory, two Jay defensive backs struck the official -- one from behind and the other while he was down on the ground. Both players were ejected.
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.