How the Chicago Bears became NFL's most untroubled losers: This season will be the ninth of the last 10 in which the Bears have missed the playoffs. And yet there seems little urgency to correct matters.
Sam Allardyce: Ex-England boss says entrapment has won: Big Sam heads overseas after being filmed telling a couple of "Far East businessmen" how to get around third party ownership rules. Plus making fun of Roy Hodgson's speech impediment and Roy's assistant Gary Neville. Not sure which but one of those things got him fired after 67 days in charge? Sam says he was foolish but entrapped. Was this really a firing offense?
Baylor fires Art Briles over criminal coverups: Details are still a bit thin but apparently Coach Briles protected multiple players on his Baylor football team from sexual assault cases. Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr is now just Chancellor, athletic director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation but Briles' assistant coaches all remain in place, at least for now, including Kendall Briles. The details are nauseating so I'll leave them out of the post.
Premier League Fantasy 2015-16 final results: Congratulations to Red Loop, who easily outpaced Holden for this year's title. Sadly, it's another Europa League finish for myself while third and fourth went to the colorfully-named Tuscaloosa Dumplings and Lovren's Clown Shoes.
Turning Prodigious into Pros: The Oak Hill Story
LA Rams Trade to Acquire 1st Pick in NFL Draft: The Los Angeles Rams have received the first overall pick in this year's NFL Draft in a trade with the Tennessee Titans, giving up a first round pick this year at No. 15; two second-round picks and a third round pick this year; and a first- and third-round pick in 2017. The Rams get the first pick and a fourth- and sixth-round pick this year. The move makes it appear likely the Rams will begin their return to Southern California with either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff as their quarterback. The trade could have been made out of concern the Cleveland Browns would take the Rams' preferred choice of quarterback at No. 2.
Bayer Leverkusen's game descended into chaos after coach Roger Schmidt refused to be sent to the stands: And sure enough, Schmidt is under investigation, as is his boss Rudy Voller. I was actually watching this and, thanks to Fox Deportes not having English SAP, had no idea what was happening until after the game; a very surreal experience.
The Wow Factor: Few could have guessed that the league's return would become so bloody, bitter and, most of all, emblematic of how power in the NFL truly works. From Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. at ESPN.
Rafael Benítez sacked by Real Madrid with Zinedine Zidane taking over: Florentino Perez, soccer clown extraordinaire, knifed Benitez in the back after just seven months (Okay, Rafa Benítez was not the solution for Real Madrid – he never had been, but still!). Can Zidane manage the superstar egos? Gab Marcotti and Graham Hunter have doubts.
Athletics doping: Wada commission wants Russia ban: The report says London 2012 was "sabotaged" by "widespread inaction" against athletes with suspicious doping profiles. Russia was also accused of running a "state-supported" doping program.
Sepp Blatter: Russia 2018 World Cup 'agreed before vote': The suspended FIFA chief continues to crash and burn on his way out, to the extent that I wonder if he will force the destruction/replacement of FIFA by the Feb. 26 vote for his replacement; Marina Hyde calls for exactly that today. Meanwhile, here are your seven
muppets candidates to replace Blatter.
Matthew Stafford: the $53m mistake costing the Detroit Lions dearly: The former No1 overall pick has been in decline for years, and has wasted his access to a strong defense and one of the game’s great receivers. Stafford is destined to replace Scott Mitchell in the hearts of Lions fans everywhere, if he hasn't already.
Liverpool part ways with Brendan Rogers: In a move that was either four months too late or six months early, another lackluster 1-1 result was the end of a 3+ season tenure for Rogers. Jurgen Klopp, rested after a four month break, is rumored to be first choice to take over after receiving a positive report on LFC from the team's German former midfielder Didi Hamann.
Blatter faces criminal investigation: Totally unexpected, eh? Amusingly, one of the indicated counts involves a $2M "disloyal payment" to Michel Platini; Platini said the money was legit and "relates to work which I carried out under a contract with Fifa" and he had clarified matters with the authorities. Of course.
NFL limits Junior Seau's daughter to video voiceover at HoF induction: Wow. Because why would the league want to give a voice to the child of one of it's greatest players?
Messi goal puts Barcelona past the post: Winning 1-0 over Atletico Madrid, last season's champions, at the Vincente Calderon, clinches the season title despite Real Madrid's 4-1 win today. This is their seventh title in ten years, with the Copa Del Rey and Champions League finals still to play.
Aaron Hernandez convicted of 1st-degree murder: Unsurprising but still a tragic disappointment. Maybe they can room Hernandez and Phillips together...
Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183: Loving the 93,000-strong support the Aussies made short work of their neighbors to win the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time yesterday. The Kiwis had a difficult start, losing three wickets early but then had a run to 150 when disaster hit and they lost three more for almost no runs. The home side had a terrific innings from captain Michael Clarke and (his replacement as captain?) Steve Smith, needing only five batsmen to run down the win. There were, of course, a few afters ;)
Lewis Hamilton wins with ease in Australia as only 11 cars finish: "Mercedes were in a race of their own at the front" as Hamilton and Rosborg finished more than 30 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettle, who finished third in a Ferrari. This is after the Mercedes cars' won 16 from 19 and took 18 of 19 poles last season. Many of the 11 non-finishers either didn't start or went out in the first few laps; guess some teams need a longer off-season.
Wigan owner makes controversial comment about Jews: Will the English get their own Donald Sterling moment? Kick It Out think so, and Wigan's shirt sponsor has already cancelled their deal over Mackay's hiring.
World Cup inquiry clears Qatar but criticises English FA: Or does it? Fifa report 'erroneous', says lawyer who investigated corruption claims and Fifa World Cup report pointless and a joke - FA boss Greg Dyke. So, Fifa corruption report: Who is to blame and what happens now?
Diego Simeone gets eight match ban: Although Athletico Madrid started off the season with a trophy, winning the Spanish Super Cup will cost their manager a spell off the sidelines as he behaved very poorly when the assistant ref was slow in allowing his fullback back on the pitch after treatment for a bloody nose. Simeone was suspended for four games for tapping the back of the assistant referee's head, two games for protesting, one game for applauding his sending off, and one game for remaining in the stands instead of going to the changing room after his expulsion. Atletico assistant coach German Burgos will take charge in his absence.