The Great NFL Passing Boom Is Over. Hope You Enjoyed It!


In 2011, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints spearheaded an aerial assault on the NFL’s record books. Brees not only broke Dan Marino’s single-season passing record by 392 yards, he also led a small army of quarterbacks who either approached (Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning) or also surpassed (Tom Brady) the 27-year-old mark. But that […]





Tactical Guide to Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos


No matter what happens, there will be violence.





Russell Wilson Is Mr. Fourth Quarter


Russell Wilson has carried the Seattle Seahawks this year, and his play in the fourth quarter has been particularly brilliant. Watch the video above to find out just how good he’s been — and how crucial the Seahawks’ matchup against the Los Angeles Rams is on Sunday.





Father Finds Joey Votto Home Run Ball for Son's Memorial Wall


A stranger reached out to give the family the solo home run ball that Votto hit, which had a lot of sentimental value for their child.





The Tax Bill Will Probably Pass Despite Republican Senators’ Rumblings


Congressional Republicans are likely to push through their tax policy legislation next week — but they should be getting a little nervous. Here’s the most likely scenario for the next few days, one that should comfort Republicans and President Trump. House and Senate Republicans already have the outlines of a compromise bill that would reconcile […]





Jets WR Blames Ghosts for PED Suspension


The NFL suspended Jeremy Kerley four games for a PED violation. He denies knowingly using a banned substance and thinks maybe ghosts did it.





Macaulay Culkin Uses 'Home Alone' Tactics in Wrestling Match Cameo


Culkin dumped a bucket of balls, and then swung that bucket into someone's head before finishing it off with a Santa-assisted frog splash.





A Q&A With Mike Perry, MMA Fighter and Animal Impersonator


On Saturday, the surreal Perry takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio on UFC on FOX.





DGB Grab Bag: A Wedgie for Wedgewood, Inflamed Calgary Fans, & Espo's Night


Plus we remember the only guy to play in the NHL and win four Stanley Cups for four different teams.





Significant Digits For Friday, Dec. 15, 2017


You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. 3 to 2 vote In a 3 to 2 vote, the conservative faction of the Federal Communications Commission voted to remove consumer protections that forbid internet providers from limiting or prioritizing traffic to different websites and made it harder to put […]





Please Help Me — I Have A Number Problem


Welcome to The Riddler. Every week, I offer up problems related to the things we hold dear around here: math, logic and probability. There are two types: Riddler Express for those of you who want something bite-size and Riddler Classic for those of you in the slow-puzzle movement. Submit a correct answer for either, and […]





The GOP’s Corporate Tax Cut May Not Be As Big As It Looks


That was embarrassing. Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and one of the “Big Six” Republicans behind President Trump’s tax rewrite, was on stage at The Wall Street Journal’s annual gathering of business executives in Washington last month defending the plan. He looked happy to be there. Both the House and the Senate […]





Grading The 2017 ACC Season


The ACC had a wide range of results in 2017, as Florida State proved to be the most disappointing team in the country, helping to open the door for Clemson to pursue its second straight national championship after winning a third straight league title.





Beside The Points For Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017


Things That Caught My Eye We figure out the Super Bowl favorite Sunday New England plays Pittsburgh this Sunday. They’re the two top seeds in the AFC, and the game will set the pair up for the postseason. A win for Pittsburgh locks their first round bye and, per the FiveThirtyEight Elo predictions, increases their […]





Sick Kid's Christmas Wish to LeBron: Dunk on Lonzo for Me


This kid really deserves it all.





Oh Nothing, Just Steve Kerr Doing an Interview While Taking a Bath


The Golden State Warriors head coach is living his best life.





The Raptors Changed Their Whole Offense. Is It Good Enough To Beat LeBron?


After the Toronto Raptors were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals, Toronto team president Masai Ujiri was visibly frustrated at the end-of-year press conference. The 4-0 drubbing marked the second straight year that the Cavaliers ended the Raptors’ season — they lost to the Cavs in the 2016 Eastern Conference […]





Is Gerrymandering The Best Way To Make Sure Black Voters Are Represented?


At first glance, few things scream “gerrymander” like splitting the country’s largest historically black university in two. That’s what happened at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in 2016; a school that was once in the state’s 12th Congressional District is now in the 6th and 13th. The school is in Greensboro, where 40 percent […]





The Outlet Pass: Charlotte's Tailspin, Cavs Trade Targets, and NBA What-Ifs


A weekly roundup of observations, questions, and predictions from Michael Pina's NBA notebook.





Two-Year-Old Brother Intervenes in Big Sister's Wrestling Match


He thought she was getting beaten up, so he rushed the "ring" to try to help her out.





Doug Jones’s Win Gives The Senate’s Moderate Republicans Even More Power


Alabama may have just elected its first Democratic senator in 25 years, but the legislators in the chamber who feel most emboldened may sit on the Republican side of the aisle. By narrowing the Republican majority, Doug Jones’s arrival further empowers Republicans who are willing to break with the party to kill or force changes […]





Can The GOP Stop Running Toxic Candidates?


Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited. micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): For your consideration today: Can Republicans find a way to stop nominating toxic (perhaps fatally flawed) candidates? The immediate spark for this question is, of course, the GOP managing to lose a Senate seat in Alabama, one […]





Cardinals' Plans Coming To Fruition


The Cardinals are acquiring Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins, and that's not going to be the end of their moves. With a deep farm system, St. Louis is leaping into action right now with a plan that has been building for years.





Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017


You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. 1.5 percent The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to 1.5 percent, the third rate hike this year. This will have a downstream effect, raising rates on credit cards, mortgages and other loans. But it’s a sign the Fed is confident in […]





Biggest Winter Meetings Questions


Baseball's Winter Meetings started slow and finished with a steady stream of done deals, but ultimately, these Meetings created more questions than they answered. So let's run through five prominent ones as they come to an end.





Will Women In Low-Wage Jobs Get Their #MeToo Moment?


There was physical evidence that something had happened. The medical examination on May 14, 2011, found redness around Nafissatou Diallo’s vaginal area. Her pantyhose were torn. There was semen on her housekeeper’s uniform as well as on the walls and carpet of Room 2806 in the midtown Manhattan Sofitel hotel. She told police that the […]





Building The Browns Starts at QB


The Browns are flirting with a winless season, and more changes could be on the horizon after John Dorsey was brought in as the new general manager. No matter how many changes are made, nothing matters more than finding a franchise quarterback.





NFL Confidence Pool: Week 15


This season, rather than doing pure NFL picks against the spread, I've decided to do weekly confidence pool rankings and pit myself against both Vegas and analytics. I'm currently sixth out of 123 competitors through three weeks. Can you beat me?





The Steelers Have The Best Running Back-Receiver Duo. Ever.


Bill Belichick is famous for meticulously studying his opponent’s offensive strengths so that he can neutralize them with his defense. But as he prepares for his epic AFC showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, he could probably skip some of the film study — Pittsburgh’s likely attack plan is so obvious that a first-grader […]





Special Elections So Far Point To A Democratic Wave In 2018


Democrat Doug Jones’s stunning victory in Alabama on Tuesday should send a shiver down the spine of GOP elected officials everywhere. Yes, Jones likely would have lost the special election for a U.S. Senate seat had his Republican opponent, Roy Moore, not been an extremely flawed candidate. But Moore’s defeat is part of a larger […]





Democrats Appear To Have Lost The DACA Fight For Now


The Democrats thought that December was the month they could use the threat of a government shutdown to force congressional Republicans to pass a law that offers protections from deportation and other benefits for some young undocumented immigrants. But the passage this month of such a law, along the lines of the Obama administration’s Deferred […]





College Bowl Game Confidence Picks


College football bowl season begins on Saturday, with five games kicking off the 39-game slate that stretches out over more than two weeks during the holiday season. We predict all of the games here, ranking them from most to least confident.





The Warriors Are Blocking Shots At A Staggering Rate


In case you needed one more indication that this isn’t your grandfather’s NBA, consider this: Going into Tuesday night, the man leading the NBA in blocked shots was a small forward. Granted that small forward — Kevin Durant — is basically 7 feet tall with Go Go Gadget arms the length of a school bus. […]





The Paul George And Carmelo Anthony Trades Are Looking Less One-Sided


Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Dec. 13, 2017), FiveThirtyEight sports editor Geoff Foster joins Chris and Kyle to break down the latest NBA news. The Golden State Warriors won six straight road games and then continued their streak with a win at home against the Portland Trail Blazers on […]





Can Teamwork Solve One Of Psychology’s Biggest Problems?


Psychologist Christopher Chartier admits to a case of “physics envy.” That field boasts numerous projects on which international research teams come together to tackle big questions. Just think of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or LIGO, which recently detected gravitational waves for the first time. Both are huge collaborations that study problems too big for one […]





The Orioles Should Keep Machado


The Hot Stove has heated up in Baltimore, with rumors swirling that superstar Manny Machado is on the trade block. The Orioles may be looking to start a rebuilding process, but, instead, they should keep their star and go for it one more time.





Belichick is the Best in NFL History


You can say this about Bill Belichick, or you can say that, but you have to say the leader of the New England Patriots with the mumbled responses during interviews is the greatest NFL coach ever. He's on the verge of potentially adding to that claim.





Significant Digits For Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017


You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. 49.9 percent-48.4 percent Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore with 49.9 percent of the vote to Moore’s 48.4 percent in the Alabama special U.S. Senate election for the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. [FiveThirtyEight] 18 jets Canada […]





Late QB Injuries Tough To Overcome


The Eagles were dealt a crushing blow when star QB Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL vs. the Rams on Sunday. Nick Foles entered the game and led the team to a key win, but will he be able to buck historic trends and lead them to a title?





Rodgers Set To Return Vs. Panthers


Aaron Rodgers has been "medically cleared to return" after missing seven games with a broken right collarbone, the Green Bay Packers quarterback announced on Instagram on Tuesday night. The two-time MVP could suit up for Green Bay's game at Carolina on Sunday.





Top 14 Photos Of The Week


As part of an ongoing series, Sports on Earth is partnering with Getty Images to bring you the best snapshots from around the sports world each week. Here we count down the best 14 photos from Dec. 5-11.





Suns Need To Build Around Booker


Devin Booker looks like the player who can bring the Phoenix Suns back from the depths of the Western Conference. But the 21-year-old scoring phenom needs to improve his defense and the franchise needs to add pieces around him for sustained success.





Dolphins Halt Patriots' Winning Streak


Tom Brady was intercepted twice by Xavien Howard and held without a third-down conversion Monday night, and the Miami Dolphins snapped the New England Patriots' eight-game winning streak with a surprising 27-20 victory.





Yankees Can Make Home Run History


Giancarlo Stanton hit nearly 60 home runs with the Marlins and is now primed to join Aaron Judge, who hit over 50 homers himself in the Bronx. The duo could be historic at the plate, and the Yankees might have one of the most powerful lineups of all time.





Brown Is In a League of his Own


As this past Sunday night showed, Antonio Brown is unlike any other wide receiver in the NFL. The Steelers' explosive star has not only been one of the most productive at his position in recent history, he's also been one of the most consistent.





Michigan Making Bold QB Addition


Faced with pressure to return to the top of the Big Ten, Michigan is bringing in reinforcements. Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson announced on Monday that he intends to transfer to Ann Arbor, where he'll provide a spark, if ruled eligible for 2018.





The Yankees We Know Are Back


Even non-Yankees fans could find the Yankees likable last season when they made a run to the ALCS. However, after they acquired Giancarlo Stanton to pair with Aaron Judge, the rest of baseball is back to chasing New York.





Ranking UCL Round of 16 Matchups


In the wake of one of the least eventful UEFA Champions League group stages in recent years, the soccer gods have seen fit to bless us with a fantastic slate of knockout round matches. Let's rank all eight pairings.





AFR: Jaguars Add Intrigue To AFC


The AFC is presumed to be a two-team race between the Patriots and Steelers, but with an impressive win over Seattle in Week 14, it's hard to deny the Jaguars are ready to be real factors in the 2017 playoffs. So how far can Jacksonville go?





Steelers Lock Up Division With Late Field Goal


Chris Boswell made a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left and Pittsburgh's defense overcame a sloppy night to stop one Baltimore's last-gasp drive in the Steelers' 39-38 victory Sunday night.





Wentz Injury Changes Playoff Race


The Eagles beat the Rams to clinch the NFC East, but the win came at a steep price: Star quarterback Carson Wentz left the game with a torn ACL that will end his season. With the MVP candidate sidelined, the NFC becomes wide-open.





Wentz Injured as Eagles Clinch NFC East


Wentz Injured as Eagles Clinch NFC East





Jaguars Beat Seattle, Take AFC South Lead


Jaguars Beat Seattle, Take AFC South Lead





Cardinals Pull Off Ugly Win over Titans


Cardinals Pull Off Ugly Win over Titans





Bolts Flatten Redskins, Continue to Roll


Bolts Flatten Redskins, Continue to Roll





McCown Injured As Broncos Shut Out Jets


McCown Injured As Broncos Shut Out Jets





Stewart Leads Panthers To Key NFC Win


Stewart Leads Panthers To Key NFC Win





Browns Blow Late Lead To Remain Winless


Browns Blow Late Lead To Remain Winless





Garoppolo Shines As Niners Top Texans


Garoppolo Shines As Niners Top Texans





Stafford engineers game-winning drive vs. Bucs


Stafford engineers game-winning drive vs. Bucs





Chiefs get statement victory at home over Raiders


Chiefs get statement victory at home over Raiders





Bills Brave The Snow To Pick Up Win in OT


Bills Brave The Snow To Pick Up Win in OT





Trubisky, Howard impress as Bears Maul Bengals


Trubisky, Howard impress as Bears Maul Bengals





Big Plays Give Cowboys Victory Over New York


Big Plays Give Cowboys Victory Over New York





Man City Tops United, Makes History


Manchester City defeated Manchester United 2-1 on Sunday at Old Trafford to set the English Premier League record for consecutive wins in a season (14). With one hand on the Premier League title already, what else can City achieve?





Tracking the CFB Coaching Carousel


The coaching carousel is always a hectic time on the college football calendar, and it's even more chaotic than usual in 2017. It can be a lot to keep up with, so we'll update this coaching carousel tracker as vacancies are officially created and filled.





Mayfield Becomes An All-Time Great


After two top-four finishes, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in a landslide over finalists Bryce Love and Lamar Jackson. It's a deserved win that further cements Mayfield's status among college football greats.





Army Tops Navy In Snowy Classic


There could be no better or more picturesque way to end college football's regular season than the scene in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, as Army beat Navy for the second year in a row, 14-13, after a late touchdown and missed Navy field goal in the snow.





Toronto FC Wins Its First MLS Cup


Toronto FC finished off the best season in MLS history by winning the 2017 MLS Cup. The Reds defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-0 on Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 final, behind goals from Jozy Altidore and Victor Vazquez





Fantasy Football Week 14: Start/Sit


Week 14 in the NFL is upon us, which means the fantasy playoffs in your league either begin this week or next week. This means that a win is likely more important than ever. Let us help with some key players to consider starting or sitting.





Boston College Stuns Top-Ranked Duke


Ky Bowman scored 30 points, adding 10 rebounds and nine assists to help Boston College upset No. 1 Duke 89-84 on Saturday. Jordan Chatman scored 22, hitting four straight free throws in the final 16 seconds to ice it.





Stanton to Yankees Has Familiar Feel


Giancarlo Stanton is on the verge of heading from the Marlins to the Yankees. It's a big move for the Yankees to acquire the 28-year-old slugger coming off a season with 59 home runs. It also can't help but feel like history repeating itself in New York.





Dive Into Five: The Weekend Watch List


There are so many sports events every weekend that it can be nearly impossible to keep track of them all. This week, Army and Navy will square off in their annual rivalry, the Eagles meet the Rams in an NFC showdown and the MLS will decide its champion.





Ohtani Provides Big Spark To Angels


One of the most surprising facts in baseball is that Mike Trout, the best player in MLB, has never won a playoff game. His chances are about to get a lot better, as the Angels won the Hot Stove sweepstakes to land Shohei Ohtani.





Video: Most Intriguing Bowl Matchups






Video: Mayfield Deserves The Heisman






Video: Can Tiger Win Another Major?






Key MLB Hot Stove Moves To Know


Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani continue to dominate the conversation around the Hot Stove, but those two aren't the only game in town. After the Marlins traded Dee Gordon to Seattle, here's a quick rundown of the biggest Hot Stove moves made so far.





Atlanta Defense Rises To the Occasion


With 1:25 left and the Saints driving for the win, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones instead stepped up and intercepted Drew Brees in the end zone. The pick gave Atlanta a crucial 20-17 rivalry win to keep the Falcons in the NFC South race.





Breaking Down The Heisman Race


Stanford's Bryce Love, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Louisville's Lamar Jackson have been selected as the 2017 Heisman Trophy finalists. How did the three get here and who will win the prestigious award on Saturday night in New York?





Okafor To Brooklyn: 3 Takeaways


On Thursday, the 76ers finally parted ways with Jahlil Okafor, sending the third overall pick in the 2015 draft -- along with Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second-round pick -- to the Nets in exchange for Trevor Booker.





Hot Stove Brings New Level of Drama


After the October we all just watched, we get this kind of MLB Christmas season. It is mostly because of two gifted young players whose availability makes this as intriguing a moment as we've ever had in a baseball offseason: Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani.





Pressure On Chiefs To Stop Skid


A team that looked like an unstoppable force to start the season has slowed to a halt, with Alex Smith regressing, Kareem Hunt slowing down and the defense struggling. The Chiefs need to turn their season around before it's too late.





Cards Have Options Beyond Stanton


As time passes, it's looking more and more like the Cardinals are losing ground in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes. Never fear, though: There are plenty of other solid options out there for St. Louis via trade or free agency.





NFL Confidence Pool: Week 14


This season, rather than doing pure NFL picks against the spread, I've decided to do weekly confidence pool rankings and pit myself against both Vegas and analytics. I'm currently fourth out of 123 competitors through three weeks. Can you beat me?





Tiger's Impact Still Larger Than Life


Tiger Woods is still peerless. Yeah, there were those wondrous things he did in his prime with a golf club, but I'm talking about his driving, chipping and putting toward the unprecedented: His unparalleled impact on the sport he plays.





College Football All-America Teams


Earlier this week, Sports on Earth handed out its 2017 college football individual awards. It's time to go deeper and pick All-America teams. We've selected three teams honoring 75 talented players at every position who have had the best year.





Fan Front Office Approval At New High


With more creativity and an increased embracing of analytics, baseball teams' front offices are smarter than ever, and fans have taken notice. In many cases, gone are the days where fans think they could make better moves.





The Best of College Football 2017


The college football regular season is finished and the bowl matchups are set, which means it's time to start handing out 2017 awards. These are our picks for the best individual players and coaches in a variety of categories.





Curry Out At Least Two Weeks With Ankle Injury


Stephen Curry will miss a minimum of two weeks after an MRI exam on his injured right ankle revealed a sprain. Curry stepped on E'Twaun Moore's foot and landed awkwardly on the ankle while going for a late steal in a Warriors comeback win Monday at New Orleans





Picking The NFL's Best Division Races


The Patriots, Eagles, Vikings and Steelers have their divisions all but locked up, but four other NFL division races are still up in the air. Will the Rams topple the Seahawks in the NFC West? Can the Saints hold on to the NFC South? We make our picks.





Russia banned from 2018 Olympics


The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday afternoon that Russia would be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, because of "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of anti-doping measures.





Top 14 Photos Of The Week


n ongoing series, Sports on Earth is partnering with Getty Images to bring you the best snapshots from around the sports world each week. Here we count down the best 14 photos from November 28- December 4.





Oladipo Propels New-look Pacers


At the time, many thought that the Pacers' return of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for Paul George was not enough. The results, however, show otherwise. Oladipo is likely an All-Star this year thanks to his two-way play, and Sabonis is rounding into form.





How Ohtani Fits With His Finalists


Two-way Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani narrowed his list of Major League suitors to just seven this weekend. Which of these teams -- the Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Angels, Mariners and Rangers -- has the best chance to land him?





Steelers Rally For Comeback Victory


Chris Boswell kicked a field goal on the final play shortly after Antonio Brown caught a six-yard touchdown pass, and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off another improbable comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals, rallying for a 23-20 victory Monday night.





Heisman Finalists: Mayfield, Jackson, Love


Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Stanford RB Bryce Love were chosen as finalists for the Heisman Trophy. The award for most outstanding college football player will be given out Saturday night in New York.





Ranking All 39 College Bowl Games


With the holiday season approaching, it's time for an annual tradition: Ranking all 39 college football bowl matchups, from the Cure Bowl to the Rose Bowl, based on a subjective combination of watchability, storylines, intrigue, matchups and more.





Gronkowski Suspended One Game For Late Hit


The NFL suspended New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski one game for a late, gratuitous hit to the head of Buffalo defensive back Tre'Davious White.





Giants Fire McAdoo, Reese After 10th Loss


The New York Giants made a rare in-season house cleaning, firing coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday, less than a year after the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2011.





Cousins Deserves More Appreciation


A recent report indicated that the Redskins believe Kirk Cousins' play down the stretch this season may decide his future with the team. This thinking doesn't make sense: Cousins has already done more than enough to earn a long-term deal.





AFR: NFL Bubble Teams To Watch


The favorites at the top of the AFC and NFC are well established by Week 13. But which teams could sneak into the playoffs and make a lot of noise? The Seahawks, Ravens and Chargers are all looking like possible players in the playoff race.





5 Best MLB Non-Tender Targets


As is the case every year, the non-tender deadline that passed on Friday night prompted teams to punt on some arbitration-eligible players who didn't fit into their finances. About 20 guys were added to the MLB free-agent pool. Here are five worth a second look.





Wilson, Seahawks End Eagles' Winning Streak


Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, the last a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic with 7:29 left, and the Seattle Seahawks stayed in the NFC playoff hunt with a 24-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.





Saints Take Down Panthers In Key Division Battle


Rookie sensation Alvin Kamara scored two tackle-shedding touchdowns, New Orleans took advantage of a pair of Carolina special teams gaffes and the Saints reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a 31-21 victory over the Panthers.





Surging Chargers Keep Browns Winless


Philip Rivers passed for 344 yards and hit Keenan Allen for a touchdown, and the Los Angeles Chargers moved into a tie for first place in the AFC West with a 19-10 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday.





Rams Tighten Grip On First In NFC West


Jared Goff passed for two touchdowns, Los Angeles took advantage of two early interceptions thrown by Blaine Gabbert and the Rams solidified their grip on first place in the NFC West with a 32-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.





Lynch Powers Raiders Past Giants


Marshawn Lynch had a 51-yard touchdown run and recorded his first 100-yard rushing game since coming out of retirement to lead the Oakland Raiders to a 24-17 victory over the Giants on Sunday in New York's first game without Eli Manning starting in 13 years.





Vikings' Win A Blast From The Past


Sunday felt like the old days for the Minnesota Vikings, who went to Atlanta and won their eighth straight game, 14-9, over the Falcons. The Vikings got a stellar performance from QB Case Keenum, but the defense carried them to victory.





Titans Stop Houston, Stay Atop AFC South


LeShaun Sims intercepted a pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone with 1:02 left, and the Tennessee Titans beat the Houston Texans 24-13 on Sunday to stay atop the AFC South.





Jets Rally To Beat Fading Chiefs


Josh McCown scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak with 2:15 left, and the New York Jets bounced back from a brutal start to hold on for a wild and wacky 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.





Dolphins End Skid, Blow Out Broncos


The Dolphins took an early lead for a change, and it grew from there. Xavien Howard returned an interception for the Dolphins' second TD in a seven-second span during the first half, and they went on to snap a five-game losing streak by beating the reeling Broncos, 35-9.





Jaguars Roll To Season Sweep Of Colts


Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette scored for the first time in six weeks and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts 30-10 Sunday, sweeping the series for the second time since they joined the AFC South in 2002.





Jones' TD Propels Packers In Overtime


Aaron Jones' 20-yard touchdown run on his only carry, with 5:59 left in overtime, gave the Green Bay Packers a 26-20 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the passing game struggling, Green Bay wore down the Buccaneers on the ground.





Gould's Kicking Lifts Niners Over Bears


Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the closing seconds, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his first San Francisco start, and the 49ers beat the Chicago Bears 15-14 on Sunday. Gould made five field goals in his first appearance at Soldier Field since Chicago cut him prior to the 2016 opener.





Patriots Beat Buffalo For Eighth Straight Win


Rex Burkhead scored twice and the New England Patriots won their eighth straight in a 23-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in an AFC East showdown overshadowed by injuries and cheap shots.





Ravens' Offense Springs To Life


Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens forced three pivotal turnovers Sunday in a 44-20 win over the Detroit Lions. Flacco helped Baltimore take a 20-0 halftime lead and directed three scoring drives in the fourth quarter to keep the Ravens in front.





Breaking Down The CFB Playoff


The debate may last for years, but the argument that matters is finished: The College Football Playoff selection committee announced its choices on Sunday. With Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia in, let's examine the field.





Playoff Right To Roll With The Tide


The College Football Playoff committee got it right. Alabama ought to be in the playoff. Ohio State should not be. The Crimson Tide landed the No. 4 spot over the Buckeyes, joining Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia in this year's four-team field.





Championship Week: Five Takeaways


Nine conference title games are in the books, and resumes have been completed. All that's left is for the selection committee to announce the four playoff teams. Three are obvious, but Ohio State's win over Wisconsin complicated matters.





Buckeyes Hold Off Badgers For Big Ten Title


J.T. Barrett threw two touchdown passes and ran for another to help give No. 8 Ohio State a 27-21 victory over previously unbeaten No. 3 Wisconsin in Saturday's Big Ten championship game.





Bryant, Clemson Roll Past Miami


No. 1 Clemson emphatically claimed its spot in the College Football Playoff with a 38-3 victory over No. 7 Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night. Kelly Bryant completed his first 15 passes and finished with 252 yards passing





Georgia Avenges Loss, Wins SEC


Three weeks after losing at Auburn, Georgia turned the tables on the Tigers. The No. 6 Bulldogs ran away from the No. 2 Tigers, 28-7, on Saturday to win their first SEC championship since 2005 and likely lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff.





Sooners Rout TCU For Another Title


Save for a brief few moments in the second quarter, Oklahoma had no time for drama in the Big 12 championship game's return to existence. Led by Heisman frontrunner Baker Mayfield, the Sooners beat TCU 41-17, taking aim at a playoff bid.





UCF Outlasts Memphis For AAC Crown


If any game this season could be deemed more entertaining than last week's UCF win over USF, it might be Saturday's UCF win over Memphis. Before coach Scott Frost heads to Nebraska, UCF moved to 12-0, earning the AAC title and a major bowl bid.





Fantasy Football Week 13: Start/Sit


Week 13 in football is upon us, which means the fantasy playoffs are quickly approaching. This might be a win-or-go-home matchup for your team, and we want to help you figure out who to bench and who to play. Here is some advice to help you out.





Dive Into Five: The Weekend Watch List


College football is front and center on Saturday, specifically the SEC title game between Georgia and Auburn. In the NFL, there are key matchups across the NFC, including a test for the Eagles. Here's our weekly guide to all the biggest events this weekend.





USC Hangs On For First Pac-12 Title Since '08


Sam Darnold threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns and engineered a back-breaking 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter to lead No. 10 Southern California to a 31-28 victory over No. 12 Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday night.





Tennessee Names Fulmer AD; Currie On Leave


Tennessee has named Phillip Fulmer athletic director and placed former AD John Currie on paid leave amid what has been a tumultuous and still ongoing football coaching search.





Ole Miss Gets Bowl Ban, Other NCAA Penalties


Mississippi's football program has been handed a two-year postseason ban and other penalties by the NCAA. The complicated case consisted of 21 alleged violations, including 15 that were Level I, which the NCAA considers the most serious.





Taking a break: Sherman Report on hiatus


Just wanted to let everyone know that Sherman Report is on hiatus.

My plate suddenly got very full. My duties include teaching at the content lab at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism during the winter quarter. I am very excited about that opportunity.

As a result, I don’t have the time required to maintain the site. I am not shutting down Sherman Report. Just taking a break.

I will continue to do tweets on sports media issues via my Twitter feed: @Sherman_Report.

Also, please look for my columns on sports media for the Chicago Tribune and Poynter.

Many thanks for your support through the years.

Ed… Continue Reading

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New Year’s inspiration: Kenneth Jennings pushes on 27 years after devastating football injury


Kenneth JenningsIn 1989, I did a three-part series on Kenneth Jennings, chronicling his new life after suffering a devastating football injury during a high school game. It truly was one of the highlights of my career. I never saw him down or complain about his situation.

Twenty-seven years later, he has the same approach to life. Here’s a link to my story in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Take a few moments to read the story and please share with others. There is plenty we all can learn from Mr. Jennings.

An excerpt:

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Kenneth Jennings doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t celebrate the day he took his final steps and moved his arms for the last time. He even has a term for it.

“I just celebrated my 27th re-birthday,” Jennings said.

On Oct. 8, 1988, Jennings, then a junior … Continue Reading

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Happy Holidays from Sherman Report: See you in 2016


Santa and golfSherman Report is taking a break for the holidays. Check back here on Monday, Jan. 4, when we’ll kick off coverage of sports media in 2016.

Sincere wishes for a terrific holiday season. And many thanks for your support of Sherman Report.… Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: One journalist’s journey from ESPN to shining shoes


Jeff BradleyAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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For the bulk of his professional life, Jeff Bradley has spent his summers at a Major League ballpark. He had high-profile beats covering baseball for ESPN The Magazine and the Newark Star-Ledger.

But last summer was different. Struggling to make ends meet ever since being let go by the Star-Ledger in January of 2013, Bradley worked as a clubhouse attendant at a country club near his home in New Jersey. He shined shoes, vacuumed the carpet and kept the bathrooms clean.

Bradley likely is the only clubhouse attendant who also has written about Derek Jeter for national publications. A few times, Bradley was mistaken for being a member. On other occasions, he ran into people who knew him … Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: What NHL announcer Mike Emrick can teach you about language and journalism


mike-emrick-h1000-headshot_standardAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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I approached Mike Emrick with a request prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center in Chicago Monday.

I told him that I thought aspiring journalists and broadcasters–and established ones for that matter–can learn quite a bit if they pay close attention to his calls of hockey games for NBC and NBCSN. I asked him to share some of his lessons and insights about the art of mastering the English language.

“Well, I’d certainly like to try,” said Emrick, who is his working his 14th Stanley Cup Final with the Chicago-Tampa Bay series.

Emrick has more than a passing interest in teaching.  He got his nickname, “Doc,” for receiving his Ph.D in communications … Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: Outside the Lines celebrates 25 years of hard-hitting journalism


Bob Ley and OTLAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Bob Ley boils down the essence of “Outside The Lines.”

“Let’s go commit some journalism,” Ley said.

There isn’t another show on sports television — and few others in television, period — that can match ESPN’s crown jewel when it comes to committing quality journalism on a regular basis. “Outside the Lines,” also known as OTL, will celebrate its 25th anniversary Tuesday with a one-hour special on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Ley, who was the anchor for the first OTL on May 7, 1990, admits the landmark anniversary caught him by surprise.

“A bunch of us were sitting around and we went, ‘Holy crap, we’ve been doing this for 25 years,’” Ley said. “They cleared out an … Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: Former White House communications director on similarities, differences of covering sports and politics


P092206ED-1215.jpgAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Kevin Sullivan’s vast career in public relations has taken him from the NBA to NBC to the White House. Sports always have been a focal point, even for the most important job interview of his life.

In 2006, Sullivan was recommended to serve as the communications director for George Bush. However, he still had to pass the test in meeting the president.

Sullivan knew Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, was a big sports fan. So he was ready when the president asked, “Where are you from?”

“Chicago, sir. White Sox, not Cubs,” said Sullivan, a native of Chicago’s South Side.

Sullivan obviously had the credentials, but the sports connection helped seal the deal. He then … Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: The slow death of boxscores in newspapers


Baseball box scoreAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Forget “Dick and Jane.” I learned to read by studying the baseball box scores in the newspaper. Many of you probably did the same if sports dominated your early years.

Once you deciphered the code, the box score provided almost everything you needed to know about a game. It told you that Mickey Mantle went 1 for 3 with a run scored as the result of his 36th homer of the season. Or that Sandy Koufax recorded 13 strikeouts in shutting out the Giants.

The box score has been a staple of newspapers since the 1800s. Yet like everything else in the ever changing world of media, its future is precarious in print editions, as sports editors wrestle … Continue Reading

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Favorite posts from 2015: The lost art of using the phone


phoneAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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At the dawn of 2015, I made a New Year’s resolution. I vowed to try to rely less on email and actually use the good old-fashioned phone to reach out to public relations people on my various beats. Even if I didn’t have anything on the agenda, I planned to dial someone’s number just to see what was going on.

You know, how’s the family? What’s the latest at your place?

Of course, New Year’s resolutions never stick. So along with my vow to read more and eat less, I haven’t come close to calling PR folks as much as I had hoped.

I make that admission to show that I am just as guilty as anyone in … Continue Reading

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Sports Media Friday: Is ESPN winning or losing? PR post cites ratings wins in primetime; Bloomberg story paints different picture


Koufax SISpanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media:

There have many stories of late about ESPN losing subscribers. So the PR machine tried to reverse the spin and tell the other side of the story. It did a post on its Front Row blog noting sports’ dominance in ratings during prime time.

ESPN’s Dave Nagle writes:

ESPN’s marquee programming – including the NFL, highlighted by cable’s first playoff game; college football, including last January’s debut of the College Football playoff; the NBA, notably the NBA Finals on ABC which has won the night among all viewers 48 consecutive games; Major League Baseball; college basketball; and the ESPYS – drove viewership to new heights in the 52 weeks ending Monday, Dec. 14.

Demonstrating the “DVR-proof” nature of major live events – as well as the enduring appeal

Continue Reading

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Year-in-review requires perspective listening to 2013 Simmons podcast with Whitlock


Jason Whitlockbill-simmonsAn excerpt from my latest column for Poynter:

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To gain perspective on the two biggest stories in sports journalism in 2015, you need to dial up a podcast from two years ago.

On Aug. 15, 2013, Jason Whitlock was Bill Simmons’ guest on his “BS Report” podcast for Grantland. Yes, it can be found, and in light of what happened this year, the interview sounds laughable and more than a touch ironic.

Back then, Whitlock was beaming in rejoining ESPN after leaving in 2006. “This is one of the greatest days of my life,” he said.

Whitlock discussed how he “fell in love” with ESPN president John Skipper. Skipper wanted Whitlock to oversee a new ESPN aimed at African-Americans. Whitlock called it “the black Grantland.”

“Skipper carved out a vision for me,” Whitlock said. “It was like he talked … Continue Reading

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Talking a lot, saying little: ASAP Sports has transcribed 1,364 interviews with Tiger Woods


Mercer Baggs of GolfChannel.com has a good piece on Tiger Woods turning 40 on Dec. 30. He notes that after all these years, we still don’t really know who Woods is.

However, it isn’t as if Woods hasn’t talked. From the column:

Tiger’s talked a lot over the last two decades. Did you know he has 1,364 transcripts on asapsports.com since 1996? That’s about 72 transcribed interviews a year during that span. Well more – over 200 more – than Phil Mickelson has given in a greater time frame. And that only counts when a stenographer was around.

Also, I had forgotten about this:

Back in the day, the early professional days, Tiger regularly came into Golf Channel studios. He did interviews. He even viewed tape. We could peek into the window of the library screening room and watch him

Continue Reading

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‘The Vertical’: Adrian Wojnarowski set to launch NBA site on Yahoo


AdrianFollowing the lead of Peter King with MMQB, NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski will get similar treatment with his new deal from Yahoo! Sports.

Here’s the official announcement from Yahoo:

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Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the most dominant force in NBA reporting, is debuting his new weekly podcast called “The Vertical Podcast with Woj.” The audio series, launching today, will begin with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as the first guest, and will publish new episodes each Wednesday, along with regular breaking news reports throughout the year.

And this is just the beginning as Woj is launching a new basketball site, “The Vertical,” as a part of Yahoo Sports in early 2016, bringing together an elite group of NBA journalists, insiders and experts to create the internet’s hub of basketball information and storytelling.

The site will feature Michael Lee, one of the … Continue Reading

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Terrific news: Mark Rolfing feeling ‘great’ after cancer treatments; set to work Kapalua tournament


Everyone who knowsMark_Rolfing_Bio_Photo Mark Rolfing will be thrilled to hear this news. He is returning to his duties as a golf analyst.

Rolfing missed the last part of the season while undergoing treatment for cancer. However, he said in a text to me last week that he is feeling “great” and looking forward to getting back to reporting on golf.

Here is the official release from the Golf Channel:

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Longtime Golf Channel / NBC Sports golf analyst Mark Rolfing is set to return to the broadcast team at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 7-10. In August, Rolfing was diagnosed with a rare form of salivary gland cancer and took a leave of absence following the PGA Championship for surgery and treatment.

Rolfing, who lives in Maui, will serve as a tower analyst for … Continue Reading

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Former LA Times sports editor Bill Dwyre reflects on past, future of business


DwyreExcerpts from my latest column for Poynter.

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You will be hard pressed to find anyone with a more unique perspective on the epic shifts in sports journalism than Bill Dwyre.

After 25 years as sports editor of the Los Angeles Times, Dwyre sought a change in 2006. He wanted to spend the final years of his career writing as a columnist.

In hindsight, Dwyre says it was the right decision. The view he got during the last 9 ½ years was much different than if he stayed in “my glass office.”

“I’m happy that I did get both looks [as an editor and writer],” Dwyre said.

Even though he says he isn’t retiring from writing, Dwyre recently bid farewell to the Los Angeles Times. He didn’t necessarily want to leave, but he says if somebody “offers you a buyout … Continue Reading

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A pro’s pro: ESPN’s Chris LaPlaca inducted into PR Hall of Fame


Congratulations to Chris LaPlaca, one of ESPN’s originals from the launch in 1979.

Katina Arnold writes in ESPN Front Row:

WASHINGTON — ESPN Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications,Chris LaPlaca was inducted into the “PR People Hall of Fame” at the PR News PR People Awards Luncheon. Hosted at the National Press Club, this event celebrates individuals who set benchmarks of excellence in public relations. Along with LaPlaca, Karen van Bergen (Porter Novelli), Margery Kraus (APCO Worldwide) and Bob Pearson (W20 Group) were also inducted.

In his acceptance speech, LaPlaca emphasized the need for “professional curiosity,” a message he conveys to people he mentors as well as colleagues in the media industry.

“Chris is the consummate communications professional, always on the cutting edge of communications strategies during his remarkable 35-plus-year career,” said ESPN Executive Vice President, Administration, Ed

Continue Reading

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Sportsperson of the Year: Serena opts for provocative pose for Sports Illustrated cover


Serena

As always, there will be plenty of debate for Sports Illustrated’s choice of Sportsperson of the Year. I think I would have gone with Steph Curry, considering how he is tearing apart the NBA.

However, it is hard to argue with Serena Williams. She had a truly dominant year.

However, this isn’t the conventional cover for the winners of this award. Why the provocative pose?

It was her idea according to SI’s Christian Stone:

She was a difference-maker in other areas, speaking out against bodyshamers in both words and actions, posing for the Annie Leibovitz–shot Pirelli calendar in only a bikini bottom. The cover shot of this issue? Her idea, intended, like the Pirelli shots, to express her own ideal of femininity, strength, power.

Surely, there will be critics who contend there are other ways to express femininity, strength … Continue Reading

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RIP Phil Pepe: Long-time baseball writer for New York Daily News


Phil Pepe had quite a career. From the New York Daily News obit:

Pepe covered the Yankees for The News from 1968-1981 and wrote the lead game story for every World Series from 1969-81. In 1982, he succeeded Dick Young as The News’ sports columnist.

He left the paper in 1989 for WCBS radio, where he did morning sports — including his signature “Pep Talk” — for more than 15 years. He was also the director of broadcasting/radio analyst for the Class-A New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League for 12 seasons from 1994-2005.

He was the executive director of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America for the past 21 years, having also served as the chapter’s chairman in 1975 and 1976. He attended every BBWAA awards dinner since 1962 and ran the event

Continue Reading

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Players are real losers with dwindling media access in college football


IvanExcerpts from my latest column for Poynter:

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Access, or a lack thereof, continues to be a major problem for college football reporters. And that goes for the reporters from the biggest outlets in the business.

“What I got [in terms of access] as a national guy 25 years ago for the Dallas Morning News was much better than I get now writing for the biggest website in the country,” said Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com. “I bet the guys at Sports Illustrated say the same thing.”

Billy Watkins of the Clarion-Ledger vented about his frustrations in a column about covering college football in Mississippi. In an email to me, Watkins wrote:

“I’m doing a big profile of a player at Navy. He is a senior from Mississippi. They have bent over backward getting me anything and everything I need for … Continue Reading

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Sports Illustrated’s greatest Super Bowl story that never appeared in the magazine


All I can really say is read this story by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard. I don’t even know where to begin in terms of describing what it is about.

Just set aside a few minutes to read this wild and highly entertaining tale. You will be glad you did.

An excerpt:

When you begin working at a new job you’re bound to hear certain tales, perhaps apocryphal, perhaps embellished. For those of us who arrived at SI around the turn of the millennium, such was the story of Rick Telander and the Super Bowl hobo. The tale usually came out over beers at some dive bar, late on a hazy New York City night when the magazine had been put to bed but we were still wired. Inevitably, someone would bring up the story about the time that Telander, the

Continue Reading

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Blades of Glory


Rolling logs, swinging axes, saws aplenty, and even an appearance by the Musky Queen: welcome to the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin.





Russell, the Creator


The numbers show that Russell Westbrook became one of the NBA's most efficient assist men last season. Now that Kevin Durant is back healthy, the Thunder could be better than ever.





30 for 30 Shorts: Every Day


Our latest film, directed by Gabe Spitzer, tells the story of how the journey to a million steps starts with taking one at a time.





The 15 Biggest Plays in Baseball History


Which plays caused the widest swings in a team’s numerical chances at winning the World Series?





The Laughs, Pathos, and Overwhelming Talent of Jan Hooks


An intimate portrait of the former ‘Saturday Night Live’ star’s career and life, one year after she was laid to rest.





Ball in the Family


How Austin Rivers, coached by his father on the Los Angeles Clippers, turned around his NBA career.





After the Rupture


The Dallas Mavericks opened the vault for Wesley Matthews in free agency, but before the shooting guard can prove his worth, he must battle back from a torn Achilles.





30 for 30 Shorts: #BringBackSungWoo


Our latest film, directed by Josh Swade and Josh Shelov, tells the story of the Kansas City Royals’ frenzied fan base and, more importantly, its biggest fan of all.





Schoolboy


Why rising USMNT striker Jordan Morris chose college soccer over the pros.





The Most Important Hip-Hop Song of 2004


In an exclusive excerpt from ‘The Rap Year Book,’ Grantland’s Shea Serrano breaks down ‘Still Tippin’’ by Mike Jones.