Daniel Bryan is Back. Now What?

Yes, Bryan is back, but why did WWE all of a sudden medically clear him now, and what are they planning for him?

Why Can’t The Rockets Be The Warriors?

We’ve seen all this before. And it was not so long ago. On Tuesday night, with his Houston Rockets up 2 against the streaking Portland Trail Blazers, a little more than three minutes on the clock, James Harden made a three. A few possessions later, he made another. The Rockets won 115-111 to go to […]

A Requiem for the Sports Poster

Basketball players still get posterized, but they're no longer getting put on iconic posters.

Kangaroo Drunkenly Spars with Golf Flag

Watch as this magical creature dances with the flag on a golf course in Queensland, Australia.

Anyone Can Now Take This Breast Cancer Gene Test, But It Probably Won’t Tell You Much

Breast and ovarian cancers are scary, anxiety-provoking diseases, and with good reason. Although breast cancer isn’t the cancer that kills the most women (lung cancer holds that distinction), it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. And ovarian cancer is difficult to find in its early stages. But anyone willing to spit in a […]

NBA Dunk of the Week: 'Fly Like an Eagle' Is the Quintessential Dunk Song

Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr.'s smooth and soulful dunk against the Knicks on Friday night struck a chord.

Bills WR Zay Jones Arrested After Bloody and Nude Rampage in Los Angeles

The Buffalo Bills wide receiver was in a scrap with his brother Cayleb Jones of the Minnesota Vikings.

James Harden Is Still Drawing 3-Point Fouls Better Than Entire NBA Teams

James Harden’s one weird trick: drawing contact on 3-point shots. In the video above, see just how much better Harden is than his competition at attracting whistles from beyond the arc.

Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. 8 percent That’s the 1-year revenue growth among retailers categorized as premiere, according to a Deloitte study. Retailers they categorized as price-based saw revenue growth up 7 percent. So where’s that retail apocalypse? There’s no middle class anymore in retail, with […]

Everyone’s Talking About Tiger, But Phil Mickelson Is Playing The Best Golf Of His Career

The entirety of the golf-watching internet has spent a couple of recent Sundays engrossed in a 40-something golfer whose career peaked a decade ago. But while Tiger Woods has consumed all of the oxygen in the room, the game’s other 40-something blast from the past, Phil Mickelson, is quietly playing some of the best golf […]

Biscuits 53: Let's Save the NHL by Making Some Rule Changes

Lozo and Down Goes Brown discuss how to fix the league, goalie interference, the Hart Trophy race and the definition of the award.

The Outlet Pass: Jayson Tatum Wears a Cape in the Clutch

Also: Bradley Beal's durability, San Antonio's teaching moments, Taurean Prince is Godzilla, Denver's relapse, T.J. McConnell vs. Fred VanVleet, and more.

CM Punk, Please Come Back to Wrestling

It doesn't have to be with WWE, and probably shouldn't, but Punk needs to come back for himself, and everyone else.

Are We Seeing The Start Of A Liberal Tea Party?

It’s hard not to compare the 2018 midterms to the 2010 midterms. A controversial president sits in the Oval Office. Resistance to his major policies spurs protests and grassroots activism. Special-election results portend a massive electoral wave that threatens to kneecap his ability to govern. So with the first primaries of 2018 taking place this […]

5 Horrible Ways the Sweet 16 Will Disappoint Us

The opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament was perfect, so now we are destined for misery.

In Loss to UConn, Quinnipiac Shows Depth of Women's Game

Women’s basketball is reaching a point where merely citing Connecticut’s excellence as Bad For The Game is telling more on yourself than anything else.

Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 20, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. No. 1 on Amazon As of Monday morning, a picture book written by Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter — a story of the family’s pet rabbit that teaches children about the office of the vice president — is ranked No. 15 […]

Chief Justice Roberts Is Reshaping The First Amendment

It’s been a big year for free speech at the Supreme Court. Two of the most high-profile cases argued before the court so far have revolved around free speech rights, four other cases on the docket this term involve free speech questions, and yet another case where the issue is paramount greets the court on […]

Politics Podcast: What If Trump Fires Mueller?

Over the weekend, President Trump tore into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. So the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew games out what would happen if Trump actually moved to fired Mueller. The team discusses possible congressional responses, public opinion and the effect on the midterms. According to Nate Silver, […]

A Million Children Didn’t Show Up In The 2010 Census. How Many Will Be Missing In 2020?

In today’s Washington, even the Census Bureau is a source of drama. The department has no director. Due to funding constraints, it has abandoned pre-census research in West Virginia and Washington state that was meant to check the integrity of parts of its survey process. It is weighing whether to add a question about citizenship […]

It’s Never Too Early For Gregg Popovich To Call A Timeout

SAN ANTONIO — The game against the Cleveland Cavaliers had tipped off only 10 seconds earlier, but as soon as Jae Crowder’s 3-pointer fell through the basket, San Antonio guard Danny Green knew what was coming. The Spurs hadn’t even run an offensive play yet, but as soon as he crossed half-court, Green began walking […]

Beside The Points For Monday, March 19, 2018

Things That Caught My Eye Unlikely but inevitable happened! The University of Maryland-Baltimore County accomplished what college basketball fans have long considered inevitable if strikingly unlikely, becoming the first-ever No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the University of Virginia. This year looked rather good for a 16-over-1 upset, but analysts were […]

This Year’s Sweet 16 Is Downright Odd

With two rounds of the NCAA men’s tournament in the books, it’s clear that there’s no overwhelming favorite to win the national title. No. 1 overall seed Virginia was gone less than 36 hours into the tourney, and defending champ North Carolina didn’t last a whole lot longer. Although most of the Cinderellas have cleared […]

Significant Digits For Monday, March 19, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. 1 in 5 women That’s nearly the share of Japanese women in prisons who are seniors. Japan’s population is the oldest in the world, and many seniors — searching for “community and stability” — are committing minor crimes to get locked […]

Everyone Tries To Dodge The Tax Man, And It Keeps Getting Easier

Al Capone was busted for tax evasion. Leona Helmsley was, too. But gangsters and entitled millionaires aren’t the only ones who hold something back from the tax man. Each year, Americans of all stripes underpay the IRS by hundreds of billions, aided by the fact that the agency lacks the resources to catch all the […]

How UMBC Did The Unthinkable — And The Inevitable

After a relatively sedate start to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the most shocking result in tourney history was saved for one of the last games in the round of 64. Late Friday, Maryland-Baltimore County did the unthinkable, pulling off the victory that college fans have been waiting decades to see: The Retrievers became the […]

What It’s Like To Watch #MeToo When It Is You, Too

On average, more than 300,000 Americans experience rape or sexual assault each year. When the #MeToo movement makes headlines, those survivors are reading. How is that affecting people who have experienced sexual violence, to see stories similar to their own blasted across media outlets every day? Experts aren’t sure, but they’re confident that it’s having […]

Can Anyone Knock UConn Out This Year?

The NCAA women’s tournament starts on Friday, and the UConn Huskies are the favorites once again. Watch the video above to see just how good a chance they have of winning it all, and to find out who has the best shot at stopping them.

Significant Digits For Friday, March 16, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. $12.5 billion The U.S. trade surplus with Canada in 2016 — as in, we export $320.1 billion worth of goods and services up north and they send $307.6 billion worth of goods and services down south, according to the Office of […]

Can You Do Math With Shapes?

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 […]

Sports on Earth: A Closing Tribute

After over 2,000 days and 14,000 stories, Sports on Earth is ceasing publishing. It has been an honor and a delight to have the opportunity to write about sports every day for you for the past five-and-a-half years. Now, we reflect on the history of the site.

History of Backup Super Bowl QBs

Nick Foles will become the rare backup quarterback to start in a Super Bowl for the Eagles against the Patriots. They're led by Tom Brady, who did the same thing 16 years ago. Let's look back at how rare it is for replacement QBs to start in the Super Bowl.

Hall of Fame Vote: Key Takeaways

The results of the 2018 Hall of Fame vote were revealed on Wednesday, with four players making it in: Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman. However, those four names weren't the only things we learned from the announcement.

Biggest NFL Midseason Additions

The Eagles have evolved over the course of the season by necessity because of injuries, but they also got a big boost by trading for running back Jay Ajayi. It's the latest in a line of midseason additions that have helped teams make Super Bowl runs.

NBA Trade Deadline: Buyers & Sellers

With two weeks until the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 8, plenty of teams appear ready to make a move at the deadline to bolster their roster. So let's look at who we expect to be buyers and sellers, and which teams appear to be standing pat.

Early 2018 CFB Rankings: 130 to 1

There is no offseason in college football. As soon as the 2017 season ended with Alabama's walk-off win for the national title against Georgia, the 2018 preseason began. That's right: It's time to start ranking teams already. All 130 of them.

Rangers Face Deadline Decisions

The Rangers will finally retire Jean Ratelle's No. 19 on Feb. 25 at Madison Square Garden. It only took 43 years. The National Hockey League trade deadline is the next day, and the window is closing quickly on this edition of the Broadway Blue Shirts.

LeBron James Joins 30,000-Point Club

LeBron James became the youngest player ever with 30,000 career points, scoring 28 points to become the seventh member of the club. However, James couldn't keep the Cavaliers from dropping their 10th in 13 games in a 114-102 loss at San Antonio.

Altuve's Impact Is Crystal Clear

There was a picture this week of another gift coming the way of Jose Altuve, a colorful crystal bat from Swarovski to go with the World Series trophy and the AL MVP Award. Altuve has come a long way for this moment, and he's only just getting started.

Philly-Boston World Series History

The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will face off in Super Bowl LII, a rematch of the Super Bowl from 13 years ago. It has me digging even further back to the only two Philadelphia-Boston matchups in World Series history in 1914 and '15.

Brewers Aim To Break Into Playoffs

The Milwaukee Brewers came close to a playoff bid last year, but they're flying under the radar entering the 2018 season. Are they due for regression or are they poised to make a leap into the postseason? Let's look at the arguments for both.

Eagles, Pats Fight Through Adversity

Often it is the teams and players that handle adversity the best that end up having the most success. Nowhere is that more evident than when you look at the two participants in the Super Bowl, the Eagles and Patriots, albeit in different ways.

Kings Turn Their Focus Forward

Their six-game losing streak by the boards, the Los Angeles Kings are hoping that the good feelings generated by Sunday night's 4-2 victory over the Rangers at Staples Center carry over to the road games they play this week and beyond.

Kidd Out After Bucks' Recent Slide

The Milwaukee Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd on Monday amid a midseason slide that has left the playoff hopeful in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. It was a surprising end to Kidd's three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee, when the Bucks made the playoffs twice

Who's the G.O.A.T.: Brady or Jordan?

The debate about the greatest of all time in sports is complicated with many possible answers, but as the run-up to another Super Bowl is just beginning, here's a good question to ask: If it's just Tom Brady and Michael Jordan, who's your pick?

AFR: What Will It Take To Oust Pats?

The Patriots make erasing big postseason deficits look easy, and they did so again on Sunday to beat the Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC championship game. What will it take to take them down on the sport's biggest stage in the Super Bowl?

Eagles Soar Past Vikings For NFC Title

Led by QB Nick Foles, the Philadelphia Eagles made big play after big play on both sides of the ball in a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC championship. Next up after their most-lopsided playoff victory: the Eagles' first Super Bowl trip since 2005

Patriots Rally Past Jags To Another Super Bowl

Tom Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining, rallying the New England Patriots back to the Super Bowl with a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Dive Into Five: The Weekend Watch List

There are so many sports every weekend that it can be nearly impossible to keep track of them all. Here is a weekly guide to the five games/events/experiences that you will be in danger of missing if you make the mistake of going outside.

Conference Title Confidence Picks

The number of games to predict has gone down but the stakes have gone up. All season, I've done weekly confidence pool rankings, pitting myself against Vegas, analytics ... and you. Now, it's time for the NFL's conference championship games.

Best Franchise Player Second Acts

Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen are joining the Giants after long runs as the faces of the franchise in Tampa and Pittsburgh, respectively. Now, they'll hope to join the list of best second acts of franchise players in MLB history.

Super Bowl Case For Each Contender

The Patriots have a huge advantage heading into the conference championship games thanks to Tom Brady, but the other three defenses are far better than New England's. Who will win the Super Bowl? Each team has a case for and against it.

Bortles Gets Chance to Earn Respect

The past four seasons have made Blake Bortles into a running joke, a commentary on the state of quarterback play in the NFL. But he has the chance to get the last laugh if he can lead the Jaguars past the Patriots and into the Super Bowl.

The All-Would Be Free Agents Team

We're seeing an abnormally slow Hot Stove market in Major League Baseball this offseason, partly because you could build a squad of star players who would have been free agents this winter, had they not inked extensions earlier.

Spring Training Beginning To Stir

There was snow on this day from the Florida Panhandle all the way to Maine, just not here, where the ballpark got a day closer to baseball. This was The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which the Astros and Nationals now call their Florida home.

Liverpool Is Back And Here To Stay

With a 4-3 victory over previously unbeaten Manchester City over the weekend, Liverpool reestablished itself as a force to be reckoned with in the English Premier League. The talented core assembled by Jurgen Klopp could make the Reds formidable for years to come.

The Best NBA All-Star Game Picks

On Thursday, the NBA will announce its 2018 All-Star game starters. Here are our choices for the East and West All-Star starters and reserves, where we're ignoring popularity and positions and simply looking at who is most deserving of being there and why.

Where Pujols' Legacy Stands Now

Albert Pujols turned 38 on Tuesday, and he enters 2018 with the Angels coming off the first season in his career in which he was a below-average hitter. Pujols is already an obvious Hall of Famer, but what will the last years of his career look like?

Spurs Lurking As Top Contenders

More than a few folks are ignoring the San Antonio Spurs when projecting ahead to the NBA Finals, and people are doing so because of all of those flashier teams in the spotlight. But, as always, the Spurs are lying in wait, ready to make a run.

Draft Deadline: 10 College Takeaways

The deadline for underclassmen to leave college early for the 2018 NFL Draft passed on Monday. As always, it's a key date for shaping the draft class, but it's also important for preseason college football analysis. Here are 10 takeaways to know.

Marcus Williams Is Not Alone

My heart still hurts for Marcus Williams, the Saints' safety who ducked and whiffed on Stefon Diggs' winning touchdown catch last Sunday. I've been thinking about Williams since then, because I had my own "Marcus Williams moment," albeit on a much smaller scale.

Best Starting Rotations of the 2000s

The Astros' rotation projects to be the best in baseball in 2018. How those starters will stack up against the best rotations of this century remains to be seen, but one question we can answer now is which rotations set the standard.

McCutchen Trade Tough But Necessary

It always hurts to lose a franchise icon, and Pittsburgh Pirates fans may be understandably sad after the franchise traded Andrew McCutchen to the Giants on Monday. But these trades sometimes work out better than you might think.

What's Next For Alabama, Georgia

After Alabama's dramatic victory over Georgia for the 2017 national championship, both teams will enter 2018 with high hopes, again. With underclassmen making their NFL decisions, let's take an early look at what to expect from the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs.

Mularkey Out in Tennessee Despite Playoff Win

The Titans and Mike Mularkey couldn't agree on how to build off the team's first playoff berth since 2008. That job will now fall to a new coach. The Titans split with Mularkey on Monday after he led them to their first playoff victory in 14 years.

A Baseball Friendship To Celebrate

There have been a lot of great baseball friendships to know, none more so than Tim McCarver, the white Catholic catcher from the south, and Bob Gibson, the great African-American pitcher out of Omaha, a bond that has proudly stood the test of time.

Pirates Move Forward Into New Era

The Pirates traded pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Astros over the weekend, a move that seems to signal a changing of the guard in Pittsburgh after the team experienced a long-awaited breakthrough into the postseason in 2013.

AFR: Who Will Challenge Brady?

To hear casual NFL fans describe it, the Super Bowl has already been decided now that the four remaining starting quarterbacks are Tom Brady, Nick Foles, Case Keenum and Blake Bortles after a riveting round of divisional playoff games.

Vikings Get Their Own Playoff Miracle

Playoff heartbreak has long defined the Minnesota Vikings, but that wasn't the case on Sunday. After blowing a 17-point lead to the Saints, the Vikings bounced back to win thanks to an improbable 61-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown on the final play.

Top 5 Starting Rotations For 2018

Gerrit Cole joined the Astros over the weekend, and it prompted the better part of the baseball world to say that Houston is now in possession of the best rotation in baseball. Is it true? Let's dive into the numbers to identify the top five.

Vikings' Miracle TD Takes Down Saints

Case Keenum completed a last-ditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game's final play, as Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game at Philadelphia.

Watch: Keenum To Diggs For Walk-Off Winner

What a throw! What a catch! What a score! What a game!

The Vikings are headed to the NFC Championship! LOUD NOISES #NOvsMIN pic.twitter.com/pGiljDGFMk

— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) January 15, 2018

Jaguars Stun Steelers, Earn AFC Championship Trip

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns, Blake Bortles added 214 yards passing and a vital fourth-quarter score and the relentless Jaguars stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 on Sunday.

Patriots Roll Past Titans To Another Title Game

Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards, and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh consecutive conference title game.

Eagles Beat Falcons After Goal-Line Stand

Eagles Beat Falcons After Goal-Line Stand

Heat Building Toward Playoff Run

Without a path to finding even one superstar to build around, the Miami Heat entered last season with question marks up and down their roster. But they turned a rough start into a phenomenal finish, and now they've become a player in the East this season.

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 weekend, the NFL takes center stage with the divisional round, including two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday.

Best Possible Super Bowl Matchups

Now that the wild card round is out of the way, the chase for the Super Bowl is down to eight teams, with 16 possible Super Bowl matchups. So let's evaluate every potential championship matchup and rank them based on watchability.

The Chase For Yu Darvish

The pursuit of coveted free-agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish has been narrowed to a handful of teams. Here's what can be expected from Darvish in 2018 and how he might fit with each of his six reported possible landing spots.

Confidence Picks: Divisional Round

The number of games to predict has gone down but the stakes have gone up. All season, I've done weekly confidence pool rankings, pitting myself against Vegas, analytics ... and you. Now, it's time for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Video: Rookie Manager Most Likely To Win

Video: Alabama Among All-Time Greats

Heat Wave: Spoelstra Sparks Miami

Sometimes great stories in sports are right in front of us, hiding in plain sight. It is that way right now with the Miami Heat, a really great story in the NBA, and Erik Spoelstra, who is a great coach, leading his team to 54 wins in their past 82 games.

A Bigger Hall of Fame Is Better

The debate over just how exclusive the National Baseball Hall of Fame should be is as old as the institution itself. Given current trends, the percentage of those enshrined could increase with players like Mike Mussina. That's a good thing.

CFB Tortured Fan Base Rankings 2018

There is no more torturous way to lose a football game, particularly in your dream season, than what Georgia just did on Monday night in the national title game against Alabama. That brings us to the third-annual top 25 Tortured College Football Fan Base Rankings.

Internal Improvements For MLB Teams

Teams don't need to solely rely on the Hot Stove in the offseason because top prospects and rebounding players can foster improvement, too. Here are five examples of teams that might see significant improvement in certain areas.

Steelers Aiming For Redemption

The Steelers lost only three regular-season games this year, but arguably their worst was a 30-9 beatdown at home in Week 5 against the Jaguars. Can they make up for the loss and take down Jacksonville in the playoffs on Sunday?

Greatest College Football Dynasties

The Alabama dynasty will not end. On Monday, the Crimson Tide overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Georgia for their fifth national title in the past nine seasons under Nick Saban. It's the best run of success in college football history.

The Best of the NBA's First Half

We're about halfway through the regular season schedule for the 2017-18 NBA season, which means now is a perfect time to look at the contenders for individual awards and hand out our midseason selections, from MVP to Coach of the Year.

Home Runs for Hire on Hot Stove

Three of the top 10 home run hitters from last season are still available, but this isn't as rare in baseball as you might think. And if recent history has taught us anything, it's that hitting a lot of homers doesn't necessarily guarantee a huge contract.

Gruden A Bold Investment For Raiders

The Raiders reportedly gave an unprecedented 10-year, $100 million contract to Jon Gurden, convincing him to return to coaching after nearly a decade away in the broadcast booth. As the Raiders prepare to move to Las Vegas, will the move pay off?

Falcons Are Surviving And Advancing

The Falcons slid into the postseason with the flimsiest of 10-6 records, but they're surviving and advancing. Although they haven't been nearly as impressive as last season, a surprising path exists for them to return to the Super Bowl.

Tua-scaloosa! St. Nick's fresh title

One year after losing an all-time great national title game, Alabama gave us a game in Atlanta that felt like one of those college football movies out of the past. Only the movie moment for Tua Tagovailoa and Nick Saban was better than anybody could have dreamed.

Breaking Down the Outfield Market

Trades have dominated the market for outfielders thus far this offseason, but in terms of the rumor mill, the market is starting to heat up. Here's the latest on the top six free-agent outfielders and two more compelling trade targets.

The Play That Won The Championship

One play after making a freshman mistake by taking a sack, Tua Tagovailoa made a Hall of Fame play to win the national championship. The Alabama backup QB found DeVonta Smith on a 41-yard strike to topple Georgia in overtime.

Georgia Adds To Sports Heartbreak

Atlanta is known for sports heartbreak, and you can add "20-7" to the list after Georgia saw its blowout in the making during the third quarter Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium evolve into a 26-23 loss to Alabama for the national championship.

Nightmare Doesn't End Georgia Dreams

There are so many Georgia fans with their hearts broken right now, and it's OK. It really is. That gnawing, gaping pit in your stomach, after Monday's devastating national championship loss to Alabama, that's the thing that's going to keep you going.

'Bama rallies Tua thrilling OT title!

Nick Saban made the boldest call of his career, and it won him a sixth national title. Freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa entered Monday's game with Georgia in the second half and led a stunning Alabama comeback, capped by a walk-off TD in overtime.

Watch: Bama Wins Title On Walk-Off TD


Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith ... BALLGAME!!!@AlabamaFTBL WINS THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! pic.twitter.com/WxmHdRazCQ

— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 9, 2018

Video: Previewing Alabama-Georgia

Vegas: an NHL expansion blueprint

The National Hockey League now has the template for all future expansion franchises, and it's called the Vegas Golden Knights. In their first season, the Knights have the best record in the Western Conference and are playing in front of enthusiastic crowds.

Chiefs Face Big Offseason After Loss

The Chiefs were at one point considered the best team in the league early this season, but that all fell apart. They made the playoffs anyway, only for the season to end with a home collapse against the Titans on Saturday. So what's next?

Top Remaining Needs For MLB Teams

With the first Spring Training report dates less than six weeks away, we feel reasonably confident asserting that this relative Hot Stove suspension won't last a great deal longer. So here's a refresher on the biggest needs yet to be satisfied going into 2018.

AFR: Saints Provide Jolt To Playoffs

Wild card weekend featured four games that were competitive throughout and yet somehow all had problems. In terms of game quality, Panthers-Saints was the best of the bunch, to set up a mostly compelling divisional round.

National Championship Game Pick 'Em

The 2017 college football season is down to one game in Atlanta on Monday, an all-SEC national championship showdown between Alabama, led by Nick Saban, and Georgia, led by former Saban assistant Kirby Smart. Here's what to watch.

Brees, Saints Beat Panthers in Nail-Biter

Brees, Saints Beat Panthers in Nail-Biter

Jags break Bills' Hearts in Defensive Battle

Jags break Bills' Hearts in Defensive Battle

Lundqvist Still Reigns Supreme

If there's any doubt Henrik Lundqvist is still on his game, the Rangers goalie was particularly impressive on Saturday night. At 35, he's having an MVP season and is taking the Rangers along with him. He's still "The King." The Hart Trophy would definitely be a nice fit.

Ryan Leads Falcons Past Upstart Rams

Matt Ryan passed for 218 yards and hit Julio Jones for an eight-yard touchdown with 5:48 to play, and the defending NFC champion Falcons advanced from the Wild Card round with a methodical 26-13 victory over the Rams on Saturday night.

Titans Rally For Comeback Win At KC

Marcus Mariota did everything he could to help the Titans advance in the playoffs, throwing a crazy touchdown pass to himself, running for crucial first downs and providing the kind of spark that Tennessee needed to rally to a 22-21 win over the Chiefs.

Georgia Has Title Game's Best Player

Nobody recruits better players on a more consistent basis than Alabama, but in Monday's national championship game, the best player on the field will be wearing a Georgia uniform thanks to star Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith.

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. The first weekend of January features the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the NFL's Wild Card weekend, plus the new-look Cavaliers.

Transfer Window Players To Watch

Soccer's January transfer window is open, which means rumors are flying about which players will be headed for greener pastures over the next month. There are always surprises, but we do have a good idea of which players might be on the verge of a transfer.

Video: Gruden-Raiders Reunion Reaction

Video: Super Bowl LII Predictions

What If Richt Was Still At Georgia?

The state of Georgia is filled with sports "what-ifs," and the latest is timely entering Monday's national title game: What if Georgia didn't fire Mark Richt after the 2015 season to hire former Bulldogs player Kirby Smart as head coach?

10 Rising MLB Names to Know in 2018

The promise of the New Year is right there in the word "new," and one of the delights of each new baseball season is the arrival of new players to watch and discuss. With that in mind, here are 10 names that will become familiar by season's end.

Historical Guide To Georgia-Bama

There are ample historical angles to any college football national championship game, but this year's clash between Alabama and Georgia on Monday in Atlanta seems to feature more than most. Let's look back at the history to know.

Confidence Picks: Wild Card Weekend

The number of games to predict has gone down but the stakes have gone up. All season, I've done weekly confidence pool rankings, pitting myself against Vegas, analytics ... and you. Now, it's time for NFL playoff predictions.

Brees Is Ready For Another Ring

With the help of a strong supporting cast around him and an impressive defense, Drew Brees has been able to dial it back and not be forced to carry the Saints by himself. The result could be Brees leading New Orleans to a second Super Bowl.

Premier League Midseason Awards

We're just a bit over halfway through the 2017-18 English Premier League season with 22 of 38 matchdays now in the books. But that doesn't mean it's too late to take stock of where things stand in the league and dole out a few midseason awards.

Dream Georgia Season On The Line

It is difficult to come up with a more perfect season than what the Georgia Bulldogs have given their fans this year. On Monday in Atlanta against Alabama, Georgia now has the chance to make its long-awaited dreams come true.

Saban Is College Football's Greatest

On Monday in Atlanta, Nick Saban will try to win his sixth national championship, and fifth at Alabama. If he does, it will only solidify that there has never been a better coach in college football than he is, as far back as you want to go.

Bucks Learning How To Be Contenders

Expectations have been ramped up for a young Bucks team with playoff hopes. With Giannis Antetokounmpo taking another step forward and Eric Bledsoe bringing new speed and scoring ability to the team, Milwaukee looks ready for the challenge.

Top QBs Rosen, Darnold Both Enter Draft

Within 30 minutes of one another, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen and Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold announced they will enter the NFL Draft. The Los Angeles rivals have a chance to be the first two quarterbacks taken.

The Best of CFB's Bowl Season

The national championship is still to be decided, but 39 bowl games are in the books. Although the bowl season started off slowly, it picked up steam and ended up featuring several thrillers. Let's look back at the best games and performances.

Five MLB Teams To Watch in January

You might have noticed that baseball's Hot Stove season is far from finished, so here are five teams whose winter work appears especially incomplete, and some thoughts on next moves they may consider in the very near future.

Arizona Fires Rodriguez Amid Allegations

Arizona has fired football coach Rich Rodriguez after a notice of claim was filed with the state attorney general's office alleging he ran a hostile workplace. Rodriguez went 43-39 in six seasons coaching the Wildcats.

CFP Doesn't Need More Than Four

Alabama and Georgia won College Football Playoff semifinals on Monday, and they'll meet next Monday for the national title. That's it for college football's national championship race, and despite pleas to expand the playoff, that's all the sport needs.

MLB Teams Chasing Return To Playoffs

This weekend, the Buffalo Bills showed all sports fans the joy that comes with breaking a postseason drought. In baseball, there are six teams that haven't made it to the playoffs in at least six years. Who is most likely to turn their fortunes around in 2018?

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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:


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:


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.


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


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:


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.


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.