Archives for December 2014

December 31, 2014

December 30, 2014

December 29, 2014

New York Jets Fire Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik: The New York Jets have fired coach Rex Ryan after six seasons and GM John Idzik after two. The New York Times calls owner Woody Johnson's move "a tacit admission of a mistake Johnson made by insisting during the interview process 23 months ago that the new general manager retain Ryan as coach. Such a demand winnowed the pool of candidates, costing the Jets a chance to hire executives with stronger resumes." Dave Caldwell began his GM tenure in Jacksonville by firing one-year coach Mike Mularkey, so he could pick a new coach (Gus Bradley) and begin the rebuilding together. Is it ever a good idea to pair an existing coach who needs to win now with a new GM?

posted by rcade to football at 01:55 PM - 12 comments

December 28, 2014

New Jersey Devils Will Have 3 Coaches: After firing coach Peter DeBoer, the New Jersey Devils have replaced him with co-coaches Adam Oates and Scott Stevens. General manager Lou Lamoriello also will do some coaching, at least for a while. Oates will be in charge of forwards and Stevens will handle the defense. It's a unique way of approaching things," Lamoriello said. The problems in New Jersey aren't with coaching but with talent, writes Adam Gretz of CBS Sports: "At one time a team known for its excellent drafting and player development system, the Devils have drafted just seven forwards since 1999 that have scored more than 10 goals for the team at the NHL level."

posted by rcade to hockey at 11:28 AM - 3 comments

NFL Pick 'Em, Final Week: Final week of the contest, which some of us (not naming names) gave up in despair. Wmwtm leads with 2,170 points and four players are within 60 of the lead.

posted by rcade to football at 10:24 AM - 2 comments

December 27, 2014

Sources: Jim Harbaugh Expected to Take Michigan Job: Two members of the San Francisco 49ers staff and a third NFL source said Saturday they expect 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to accept a six-year, $48 million contract to become the head coach of the University of Michigan.

posted by NoMich to football at 11:35 PM - 11 comments

Concussions Send West Virginia Quarterback Out of Football: After suffering five concussions in the past 14 months, West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett is retiring from football. The senior had hoped to play in the Liberty Bowl as his final game on Monday, but he can't get medically cleared following the concussion he suffered five weeks ago. Trickett admitted not telling the team's medical staff about some of the concussions. "In fairness to our training staff, they didn't know. I didn't tell them, so that was on me," he said.

posted by rcade to football at 02:02 PM - 0 comments

December 26, 2014

Rogue Cheerleaders Hope to Win Over New York Giants: If you see cheerleaders as you head into a New York Giants game, they're not official. A former Washington cheerleader operates the Gotham City Cheerleaders, a group that performs outside the games and at other events in the hopes the Giants will eventually let them in. The Giants are one of six NFL teams with no cheerleaders and co-owner John Mara has said, "It's just not part of our philosophy."

posted by rcade to football at 03:00 PM - 2 comments

December 25, 2014

How Boxing Day Became a Highlight of the Sports Year: Tomorrow is Boxing Day in England, a secular holiday for giving gifts to tradespeople and servants -- people who had to work on Christmas -- that has become one of the biggest sports days of the year. "The curious origins of Boxing Day sport date back to 1860, when two of the world's oldest football clubs met in Sandygate Road in Sheffield," writes one explainer. "One hundred and twenty-six years later, while the sport itself has gone through several transformations -- technical and commercial -- the traditional Boxing Day fixture continues to be the most anticipated of the annual football calendar."

posted by rcade to general at 03:53 PM - 3 comments

December 24, 2014

Hall of Fame voting raises more questions than answers: The fact of the matter is, Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame both recognize Barry Bonds as the all-time home run leader, and now they're trying to pass the buck on the BBWAA to shell out some justice. That's not a game I'm comfortable playing. C. Trent Rosencrans fills out his first HOF ballot.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 11:58 AM - 1 comment

Kobe Bryant's Below-Average Midrange Jumper: ESPN NBA analyst Tom Haberstroh produces a Big Number series of short videos that call attention to interesting stats in the game. His latest focuses on the huge number of contested midrange jumpers Kobe Bryant is taking -- and mostly missing.

posted by rcade to basketball at 10:46 AM - 1 comment

December 23, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Snookball?: If you built a $7,000 pool table big enough to walk around on and replaced the balls with soccer balls, you'd be playing Snookball. The sport was invented by two French entrepreneurs and there are 10 tables in that country so far. "We know this game will be popular when beer is involved," one told Sport Bible.

posted by rcade to other at 09:49 AM - 3 comments

December 22, 2014

The Miracle of Sociedad Deportiva Eibar: The town of Eibar, Spain, population 27,000, has a club playing in La Liga's top division for the first time in its history. Sociedad Deportiva Eibar has a $22 million budget compared to $934 million at Real Madrid, but after 16 games it has five wins and five draws and is in ninth place, seven points above the relegation zone. The club, the smallest ever in Primera Division, is debt-free and self-sustaining. "We could be a little bit uncomfortable for a lot of clubs, because they have done things in the opposite way," said club president Alex Arranzabal.

posted by rcade to soccer at 01:35 PM - 2 comments

December 21, 2014

What Jeffrey Gamblero Knew About the Nets: Bryan Joiner remembers Brooklyn Nets fan Jeffrey Gamblero: "For those two years, our seats were in the upper level, but it was impossible to miss him. He was always on the Jumbotron and fluttering in the aisles, constant movement and energy and action. ... In this sea of blandness, Gamblero stood out. He seemed to care, even if wasn't clear quite why or how. It's clearer now."

posted by rcade to basketball at 02:14 PM - 1 comment

December 20, 2014

ESPN Keeps Expanding Bowl Season With Its Own Games: There are 39 bowl games this year in college football. ESPN owns 11 of them. One of this year's network-created newbies is the Camellia Bowl, played in Montgomery, Alabama, at the 92-year-old Cramton Bowl, the longtime home of the BlueGray Football Classic and host to 20 Alabama games through the 1950s. The bowl was created to match up Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference teams and the inaugural opponents are Bowling Green (7-6) and South Alabama (6-6). The guaranteed payout for each team is only $100,000. "We realize this isn't Ohio State-Alabama in New Orleans," said Pete Derzis of ESPN Events.

posted by rcade to football at 09:20 AM - 3 comments

December 19, 2014

Chris Wondolowski Relives That Shot: "Wondolowski went back to the locker room and showered and dressed. Moments later, he did something that no athlete in the aftermath of failure should ever, under any circumstances, do: He checked Twitter." Jordan Ritter Conn of Grantland catches up with Chris Wondolowski, six months after the World Cup round of 16 game-winning goal that wasn't.

posted by rcade to soccer at 12:44 PM - 5 comments

December 18, 2014

The Boston Celtics have traded Rajon Rondo to Dallas: Rondo and forward Dwight Powell have been swapped for Center Brandan Wright, Forward Jae Crowder and whatever is left of PG Jameer Nelson.

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 09:19 PM - 9 comments

Panthers Win in NHL Record 20-Round Shootout: The Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitols in an epic, record-setting shootout that went 20 rounds Tuesday night. Five times the Panthers needed a goal to extend the shootout and got it. The last was by Dylan Olsen, a rookie defenseman who said "I really only have one or two moves." In round 20, after Alex Ovechkin missed, Nick Bjugstad scored the winner.

posted by rcade to hockey at 09:39 AM - 2 comments

December 17, 2014

Served up on a platter for SportsFilter: the question of which is the superior sport, cricket or baseball?

posted by yerfatma to culture at 10:37 AM - 9 comments

Can True Sports Fans Switch to a New Favorite Team?: Ben Adler says no: "When I lived in Washington, D.C., I had a friend who is also from New York but had switched his allegiance to D.C. teams on the grounds that he planned on living there the rest of his life, so it would be more convenient. I couldn't even fathom doing the same. If you can make rational decisions about who you root for, are you even a real fan at all?" An NFL Shop commercial says yes with its "Vikings-Eagles-Bengals-Cowboys-Steelers family," but the ad gets hammered on social media every Sunday. Don Delco blogs, "We can all agree this family sucks. How can everyone who moved away become such bandwagon fans?"

posted by rcade to general at 09:47 AM - 28 comments

December 16, 2014

Welcome to Middle Infielder Island: If you want your son or daughter to be a great middle infielder, move to Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela. From a population of only 150,000 have emerged some of Major League Baseball's current and future shortstops and second baseman: Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Schoop, Didi Gregorius and Jurickson Profar. The secret is in the soil, which is hard and pebble-strewn even on the baseball fields: "[T]hose little rocks have helped produce some of the most talented middle infielders in baseball, softening their hands and honing their reflexes to react to the most unexpected of bounces," writes David Waldstein.

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:30 AM - 2 comments

The FSU Problem: 'The Florida State football program has become the Florida Man of college sports. Any story that begins "A Florida State player … " is liable to end almost anywhere except, remarkably, in jail.'

posted by yerfatma to football at 08:54 AM - 9 comments

December 15, 2014

Zemgus Girgensons Leads NHL All-Star Voting: The top vote getter on the leaderboard for NHL all-star balloting is Zemgus Girgensons. The 20-year-old Buffalo Sabres center does not rank in the top 100 scorers -- 9 goals, 8 assists, 5 +/- -- but he has over double the votes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. Girgensons, the only Latvian in the NHL, is getting enormous support from his country. From the NYT: "In the most recent week in which votes were measured, Girgensons added 400,000, 82 percent of them coming from Latvia."

posted by rcade to hockey at 11:37 AM - 2 comments

December 14, 2014

Plans for 39th Premier League Game Abroad Fizzle: Six years after Premier League chief Richard Scudamore floated the idea of playing a 39th game in other countries, he is conceding defeat. "The idea of an extra game is gone," he said. "I bear the scars from thinking it’s a good idea." Another proposal has been more successful: The next broadcast deal will feature Friday evening games beginning in 2016.

posted by rcade to soccer at 01:47 PM - 0 comments

December 13, 2014

New Tennis League Called 'Minor Miracle' by Wall Street Journal: A new league founded by former doubles champ Mahesh Bhupathi, International Premier Tennis League, began last month with events in the Philippines, Singapore and India. The final event of the first season finishes today in Dubai. Four teams featuring some of the sport's best-known men and women -- including past greats -- compete in a series of singles and doubles events as the Micromax Indian Aces, UAE Royals, Manila Mavericks and DBS Singapore Slammers. Some rules speed up the sport, including a serve clock, next-point-wins provision after deuce and a worth-double "power point" a team can attempt once per set. There also are player substitutions mid-match. Wall Street Journal sportswriter Tom Perrotta said the league "should be considered a minor miracle -- and an important part of the sport’s future. ... As of July, there were still rumors that the league would fail before it started. Instead, it has received a lot more attention and praise than anyone thought it would."

posted by rcade to tennis at 02:06 PM - 2 comments

December 12, 2014

Bitcoin Bowl Brings Virtual Currency to St. Pete: The first Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be played on December 26 at Tropicana Field between N.C. State and UCF. The bitcoin processor BitPay bought the naming rights, paying for the deal in the virtual currency, and the event has grown beyond the game. A nearby town in a "Bitcoin Beach" initiative convinced 65 percent of its businesses to accept the currency, touting no transacation fees or chargebacks as incentive. Five bitcoin ATMs will be installed at the game and concessions will take it as payment. A sign that this isn't all bitvana, from the Tampa Tribune: "A downside to the coin is that its value fluctuates. But BitPay has offered area merchants the opportunity to accept it from customers and then receive the exact dollar amount of the transaction back into their bank accounts."

posted by rcade to football at 09:59 AM - 6 comments

December 11, 2014

Wage Lawsuit by Bills Cheerleaders Details Appalling Treatment: The Buffalo Bills make over $200 million in revenue a year but not a penny of that goes to the team's cheerleaders. A minimum wage-violation lawsuit filed by five of the Buffalo Jills details how they had to pay $650 for their own uniforms, got no wages, had their Facebook accounts monitored, were told how to handle their menstrual cycle and were required to visit a plastic surgeon who pitched them on breast augmentation. And then there's this: "The Jills were required to attend a golf tournament for sponsors. The high rollers paid cash -- 'Flips for Tips' -- to watch bikini-clad cheerleaders do back flips. Afterward, the men placed bids on which women would ride around in their golf carts. A not-incidental detail: The carts had no extra seats. Women clung to the back or, much more to the point, were invited to sit in the men’s laps."

posted by rcade to football at 08:35 AM - 8 comments

December 10, 2014

Jon Lester Signs 6-Year, $155 Million Deal with Chicago Cubs: Free agent pitcher Jon Lester has reportedly agreed to the richest contract in Chicago Cubs history -- a six-year, $155 million deal. Other teams vying for his services were the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. In terms of annual value, Lester becomes baseball's second-highest paid hurler behind Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. How are they taking this news in Boston, Eric Wilbur? "Red Sox proved incompetent in losing Jon Lester."

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:04 AM - 10 comments

December 09, 2014

Oklahoma Judge Asked to Overturn High School Playoff Game: On Wednesday, a district judge in Oklahoma will rule on whether to invalidate a high school football playoff game because of an officiating mistake. Locust Grove defeated Frederick A. Douglass 20-19 after a 58-yard Douglass touchdown pass was reversed with 64 seconds left. A coach had accidentally bumped a referee during the play, and the referees wrongly threw out the score instead of assessing a five-yard penalty on the extra point or kickoff as the rules dictate. To those who scoff at the idea the mistake should result in a partial or full-game do-over, Oklahoma City public schools general counsel Brandon Carey said, "Just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean it’s not the right thing to do."

posted by rcade to football at 09:26 AM - 2 comments

December 08, 2014

Helmetless Football?: "the latest innovation—practicing without helmets—is meant to ingrain safer tackling techniques into a new generation of players"

posted by yerfatma to fantasy at 02:46 PM - 5 comments

Alia Atkinson Becomes First Black Female Swimming Champion: The Jamaican Alia Atkinson became the first black woman to win a world swimming title, taking the 100-meter breaststroke at the world short-course championships Saturday. The 25-year-old also tied the world record of 1 minutes, 2.36 seconds set by Ruta Meilutyte. Check out the link for a photo of her epic reaction upon learning what she did.

posted by rcade to olympics at 01:29 PM - 1 comment

December 07, 2014

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles: It's official -- the participants in the College Football Playoff will be the four power-conference champions that played a conference championship game. #2 Oregon takes on undefeated defending national champions #3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl, while Nick Saban's #1 Alabama faces Urban Meyer's #4 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. #5 Baylor and #6 TCU are left out, handicapped by being in the 10-team Big 12.

posted by Etrigan to football at 12:53 PM - 30 comments

538: 7 Other Schools That May Follow UAB Out of Football: The number crunchers at 538 look at the financial situation that led University of Alabama at Birmingham president Ray Watts to announce the shutdown of the school's college football program this week. Eight other schools have added football programs since UAB in 1996, and seven of them have similarly difficult funding situations: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, South Alabama, UT-San Antonio, Georgia State, Old Dominion and UNC-Charlotte. "All of them are based in the South, and all of them felt they had a chance to succeed because of the prestige of the game and the fertile recruiting grounds in the region. But they've found it incredibly expensive to field a competitive FBS program," writes David Goldenberg. "And as the Big 5 power conferences start to crank up the financial pressure -- both with lavish spending on facilities and upcoming allowances for players -- it's possible that some of these programs could join UAB on the sidelines."

posted by rcade to football at 11:53 AM - 3 comments

December 06, 2014

Streamers Return to The Palestra: An old Philadelphia college basketball tradition returned today at The Palestra at the start of the Temple-LaSalle game. Fans threw streamers onto the court after each team's first basket. This was a tradition from 1955 to 1985 during games at the arena between the city's Big 5 -- Penn, La Salle, Temple, St. Joseph's and Villanova -- but it ended when the NCAA banned the practice and said it would result in technical fouls. Fouls were assessed Saturday, but both coaches had their shooter intentionally step on the free throw line to invalidate the shots.

posted by rcade to basketball at 07:08 PM - 0 comments

December 05, 2014

Winter is Coming: Grantland offers a preview of Major League Baseball's winter meetings, which begin Monday in San Diego. The overabundance of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders suggests one or two could be dealt such as Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, opines Ben Lindbergh: "The outfield was crowded last winter, but now it looks like the line outside Foot Locker on LeBrons release day." The weirdest thing in the piece: His assertion that the Chicago Cubs, a suitor for pitcher Jon Lester, "can offer a chance to contend."

posted by rcade to baseball at 12:38 PM - 2 comments

December 04, 2014

College Football Fan Map: The New York Times has given college football the fan map treatment, creating an interactive map of fan allegiances based on Facebook likes. "All told, 84 programs can reasonably claim to be the most popular college football team somewhere in the United States," the paper reports. You can zoom in on the interactive map to see zip-code specific findings. One discovery: "The most consistently loyal fans in America live in Wisconsin. More than 87 percent of fans in some Wisconsin ZIP codes support the Badgers, a level that isn't reached anywhere else, our estimates show."

posted by rcade to football at 08:43 AM - 6 comments

Requiem for Phillip Hughes: "So rest in peace my little brother. I'll see you out in the middle."

posted by owlhouse to culture at 04:07 AM - 1 comment

December 03, 2014

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Final Standings: Hamilton finds a way to make it interesting, but an illegal block on a last-minute punt return means that Calgary hangs on for the big win. No such drama in our little pick 'em, though, as slow and steady always seems to come out on top. Final standings are inside.

posted by DrJohnEvans to fantasy at 09:27 PM - 4 comments

Texans' Andre Johnson Takes At-Risk Kids on Toys 'R Us Shopping Spree: A group of 8-16 year old kids from family protective services in the Houston area were taken to a local Toys 'R Us by Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and given 80 seconds to fill an empty shopping cart with any toy they wanted, bought by him as Christmas presents. They also got a videogame system and some games on top of that. The bill was $16,266.26. Johnson has done this for eight straight years. The 80-second-spree idea was his uncle's. His reaction after the first year: "Wow, I didn't think they could grab that much stuff in that amount of time."

posted by rcade to football at 02:09 PM - 5 comments

Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau dead at 83: Montreal Canadiens have reported that Hockey Hall-of-Fame member and Montreal legend Jean Beliveau has passed away at age 83. Beliveau played 20 seasons for Canadiens, winning 10 Stanley Cup Championships, 5 of them coming when Beliveau wore the captain's C. He also served as a member of the team's management, earning 7 more cups along the way.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 12:26 AM - 2 comments

December 02, 2014

Bye-bye Blazers:: The University of Alabama at Birmingham has shut down its football program, becoming the first Football Bowl Subdivision level team to do so since 1995.

posted by Bonkers to football at 06:27 PM - 4 comments

MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible.: (Scott) has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is gay and married to his partner of 28 years. That last fact is just part of who Dale Scott is and has had no impact on his abilities as an umpire for the past 29 seasons. Yet it is understandably the one that most people will notice, because Scott is the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB).

posted by Ufez Jones to culture at 03:46 PM - 5 comments

Searching for Balance: The NBA’s Lopsided Conference Problem: Grantland's Zach Lowe breaks down the pros and cons of various ideas for restructuring the NBA's schedule and playoff system in order to find some parity between the East and West.

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 10:54 AM - 2 comments

Lure Banned from Competitive Fishing for Being 'Too Effective': The Alabama Rig has become the first artificial lure ever banned from fishing competitions. It's too good at catching bass, walleye and northern pike. The top U.S. bass-fishing competitions, BASS and F.L.W. Outdoors, have banned its use along with similar lures, and BASS extended the ban to all levels. "The anglers feel that sometimes it can be too effective and it takes away some of the skill in what is a traditional tournament," said David Precht of BASS. Alabama Rig inventor Andy Poss is bummed. "I really looked up to those guys," he said. "But then you get in the business side of fishing; it was a really big letdown."

posted by rcade to other at 10:32 AM - 2 comments

December 01, 2014

0-16 Philadelphia 76ers Two Games from Worst Start in NBA History: The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Dallas Mavericks Saturday, falling to 0-16 and setting a record for the worst start in the 68-year history of the franchise. A Philly.Com poll asks whether the team will break its own NBA record of 73 losses in a season. So far, 85% say yes. The worst start in NBA history is 0-18 by the New Jersey Nets in 2009. The 76ers' next three opponents are San Antonio (12-4), Minnesota (4-11) and Oklahoma City (5-12).

posted by rcade to basketball at 11:24 AM - 6 comments

Ticats lose Grey Cup 20-16 to Stampeders : It was the illegal block that broke hearts. A penalty call on Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Taylor Reed negated what would have been a 90-yard, go-ahead punt return by Brandon Banks with under a minute to play as the Ticats lost the Grey Cup 20-16 to the Calgary Stampeders. Meanwhile, McMaster loses the Vanier Cup to University of Montreal in a heartbreaker

posted by tommytrump to football at 10:31 AM - 1 comment