- Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Ray Rice. TMZ. Roger Goodell. New Jersey authorities. Media. Media. Media.
Heads are spinning after five days of allegations and rebuttals over the Ray Rice domestic violence saga. While initially the video of Rice striking his wife seemed enough to define the story, it has now spun into one of the most debated and reported stories in NFL history. Each day brings a new claim, deepening a furor that has demoted the start of the 2014 season to a distant sideshow.
Almost undoubtedly, the past five days have charred the NFL brand. How much so remains to be seen. The damage won't be known until some key issues are resolved surrounding Rice, commissioner Roger Goodell and how the NFL generally goes about its investigative business.
The most pressing?
1. WHO SAW THE SECOND ELEVATOR VIDEO?
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have denied seeing the second video from the Ray Rice elevator incident multiple times. The tape, in which Rice is seen knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer, has become the lightning rod in this case. When the video surfaced, it prompted the NFL to indefinitely suspend Rice and caused the Baltimore Ravens to release him outright.
- Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
HOUSTON – Late in the fourth quarter, after Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watched a pass carom off the outstretched arms of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, the defensive end trotted away, wagging a cautionary index finger.
"No, no, no," Watt mouthed, as if Griffin should have known better.
At that stage of Sunday's 17-6 Texans win, the die had been cast – Griffin and Washington's offense had been solved, Watt and Houston's defense had not. It was an appropriate snapshot of two players whose season opener proved that sometimes what you see early in an NFL season could be a fair depiction of what you're going to get. Watt is everything – every single pound and $100 million penny – that the Texans know he can be. And Griffin? He was his dinking, dunking, pea-shooting, no-running best – which the Redskins have to hope he won't be.
One star is casting a tremendous shadow. The other star is turning into one.Sun, Sep 2110:00 AM PDTHouston at NY GiantsPreview Game
- Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
HOUSTON – The money always matters. It's the most clear-cut and tangible sign of NFL respect. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt knows it. He'll even say it, albeit far more gingerly than anything else he does in football.
Over the past month, Watt watched silently as a select few members of his disgustingly loaded 2011 NFL draft class have bathed in lucrative contract extensions. Two pulled it off despite two years remaining on their rookie deals: Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (five years, $70 million) and Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (eight years, $98 million). Two quarterbacks with a single year left on their deals (San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton) each reeled in six-year deals worth $126 and $115 million, respectively.
- Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports4 mths ago
NEW YORK – It's rare a team completely skips your pro day, passes over you twice in the first eight picks of the NFL draft, and then swoops in to save you from a free fall. But Johnny Manziel likely won't hold any grudges against the Cleveland Browns.
The team that had one of the most erratic pursuits of Manziel will now count on him breathing new life into the franchise. How crazy was the journey to this draft pick? Consider back in January, word began to circulate that then-Browns general manager Mike Lombardi liked Manziel so much, he'd consider trading up to No. 1 just to get the Texas A&M star. One month later, Lombardi was fired and everything seemingly went out the window.
- Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports5 mths ago
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Uncut hip-hop tracks cascaded onto the field, well within earshot of a former U.S. president and first lady. Cameras whirred in a packed end zone. A standing room only audience crowded the boundaries for 100 yards on each side of the field. By the time a train whistle blared late into Johnny Manziel's pro day on Thursday, it was feasible that a Coors Lite commercial was about to smash through a practice field wall.
This is the theme park of Johnny Football. You won't leave without being thoroughly entertained.
"Johnny does things a little differently," Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said with a smile. "… They do things a little differently in Texas."
- Yahoo Sports6 mths ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Before pushing off for the final race of the Olympics, in the final U.S. event of these Sochi Games, Chris Fogt's bobsled teammates banded together. If they medaled in this race, it was going to be for Fogt – the Army captain with the pregnant wife at home, the Army captain who will report back to active duty in a little more than two months.
"Today," teammate Steven Langton said, "was more for Chris than anybody else."
When it was over, the four men came together and cradled their bronze medals, and Fogt promised he'd never take his off. No matter where he ended up in a few months – at a stateside base or abroad, in Afghanistan or Iraq or Germany, he just couldn't imagine removing it.
"Knowing what they've done and who else is out there, I've won this for them," Fogt said, cupping his palm around his bronze. "…I've gotten so many emails from Afghanistan, Korea, Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, all over the place. I have a brother now who is a second lieutenant at Fort Hood. His whole unit was cheering for me."
- Yahoo Sports6 mths ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The United States picked up its final medal in the Sochi Games with a bronze in the four-man bobsled, but it wasn't enough to keep host nation Russia from overwhelmingly winning the overall medal table at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The USA-1 sled, piloted by Steven Holcomb, the defending gold medalist in the 2010 Vancouver Games, began Sunday in fourth place before moving past Germany in the third run. They did just enough to maintain the position in the fourth and final run, finishing with a combined time of 3:40.99, three-hundredths of a second ahead of Russia's second sled. Russia continued its furious medal run in the Games' final days with its top sled winning gold in 3:40.60. Latvia took the silver in 3:40.69.
- Yahoo Sports6 mths ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – After watching the course set by Croatian coach Ante Kostelic crush five of the top eight skiers in the final run of the Olympic slalom Saturday night, American Ted Ligety called Kostelic's creation "borderline unsportsmanlike."
A frustrated Ligety had an opportunity to reach for a medal after the first run, but was cut down by Kostelic's course – a fate shared by 13 of the top 30 skiers who made it through to the second run of the night. In all, an astonishing 34 of 77 skiers either failed to finish the course or were disqualified in the second run, creating a muddled final event in Sochi's Alpine disciplines.
"Ante set a really typical Ante course set, which is borderline unsportsmanlike to set those kinds of courses on these kinds of hills," Ligety said. "That's how it goes. Everybody had to ski it. Not all the best guys had a chance to make it down, unfortunately. …Not really the most ideal venue for having a course that wasn't the most fair thing in the world."
[Video: Ted Ligety on Bode Miller's legacy]
- Yahoo Sports6 mths ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — As Mikaela Shiffrin reached the bottom of Friday night's slalom in Sochi, she couldn't look at the clock. The 18-year-old U.S. skiing phenom had visualized her ideal Olympic moment so many times, and reality suddenly felt nothing like it. She never saw the flub that could take it away, cruel momentum pulling her backward onto one ski. She never imagined her mother and coach gasping in unison, or saw the hundreds of people who all had one momentary, unified thought.
It was over.
This is what the bottom felt like. Shiffrin thought she had given away her ideal moment. But this is also one of the fortunate things about ski racing and the Olympics. You almost never live out your best moments in the way you imagine. Sometimes the ideal is found inside imperfection. Sometimes you go up on one ski, nearly crash and win anyway. And that's what happened: Shiffrin made a sizable mistake halfway through her run, fought back and became the youngest slalom gold medalist in the history of the Winter Games.
- Yahoo Sports7 mths ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Showcasing a brilliance rarely seen at such an age, 18-year-old U.S. skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the slalom Friday night, becoming the youngest skier – woman or man – to win the event in the history of the Winter Games.
Shiffrin came dangerously close to spinning off one gate in her second run, but regained control to beat Austria's Marlies Schild for the gold. Shiffrin finished with a two-run combined time of 1:44.54, .53 seconds faster than Schild, who, at age 32, became the oldest woman to medal in slalom. Austria's Kathrin Zettel won the bronze.
"It was a crazy moment," Shiffrin said of her near-crash. "I was going very fast and I thought I was not going to make it. It scared me."