- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Twenty years ago this week, Peyton Manning’s Tennessee Volunteers took on rival Florida and wound up on the wrong side of a 31-0 beatdown. Manning was just a highly touted freshman back in 1994 and just one of three UT QBs who could do nothing that day.
It was the first frustrating, lopsided defeat of Manning’s career on the national stage, something that tends to happen when you’ve been playing in big, attention-grabbing games for going on two decades.
It was also the first time Manning was challenged with the riddle of coming back the following season and beating a rival that had his number, a circumstance that continues this week in a rare Super Bowl rematch with Manning trying to reverse what the Seattle Seahawks did to him in February.
Manning never did solve Steve Spurrier’s Gators, going 0-4 – although UF’s ability to score an average of 40.3 points in those games was a major reason.
Later, as a professional, Manning bounced back from all sorts of humbling defeats, most notably an early string to Bill Belichick’s Patriots. It’s evened out of late, including Manning and the Broncos decisively defeating New England in last season’s AFC title game.Sun, Sep 21Denver20 - 26SeattleGame Recap
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
The Minnesota Vikings deactivated Adrian Peterson again … or is it re-deactivate … or de-reactivate … or …
Officially Peterson is on something called the “Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list," which, according to a team press release, the Vikings didn’t seem to know was even an option (or existed, if it even did) until they called the NFL offices again about “revisiting” the Peterson decision.
“The League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved,” Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in the statement. “After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.”
This all was announced about 2 a.m. ET Wednesday, a middle-of-the-night posting on the team’s website that spoke to the franchise’s embarrassment for the flip-flop.Sun, Sep 21Minnesota9 - 20New OrleansGame Recap
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Placing a case in front of a grand jury has been criticized as a completely one-sided and self-fulfilling process.
So much so that Solomon Wachtler, a former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, once claimed that should a district attorney so choose, he could get a grand jury "to indict a ham sandwich."
This is how the potential legal case of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart got both unpredictable and very real Tuesday.
Stewart, 43, fatally struck and killed another driver, Kevin Ward Jr., at a minor league dirt track in Ontario County, N.Y., in early August. Since then a quiet, and presumably exhaustive, Sherriff's Department investigation into the incident yielded little news as Stewart eventually returned to racing on the major Sprint Cup circuit.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Chris Vernon of ESPN Radio Memphis joins the College Football Podcast this week, ostensibly to discuss how outrageously good the SEC West is – 19-1 overall, five teams in the AP top 10, all seven teams receiving votes.
The discussion, however, runs off the rails almost immediately.
• After attending a Michigan game as a fan, and hearing everyone else grumble about the state of the Wolverine program, Dan wonders if Saturday’s game against Utah isn’t an unexpected make-or-break contest for Brady Hoke.
• The guys try to figure out how exactly Hoke commands a $4.1 million salary, including a $500,000 retention bonus when no one would hire him away?
• Could Bret Beileima’s new team, Arkansas, win his old league, the Big Ten, despite being the likely seventh-best team in the SEC West?
• Kansas State fits all sorts of gambling trends this week: weeknight home dog (plus-9) and Bill Snyder coached. So why is Vernon so convinced Auburn will roll the Wildcats?
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS – Darren Sproles was at his home in California last April when the news broke he'd been traded from New Orleans, where his career had flourished across three seasons. Out of nowhere, he was headed to Philadelphia.
"The stuff [you] find out on Twitter," he tweeted that day, although not that he was overly emotional.
The Saints needed to find cap space and Sproles was expendable, but that's how his career in the NFL always seemed to be. He was too short, too small, too whatever to be considered a featured back. He was a fun toy for an offense, but he always had a deferential role. He was always a support player, never a star.
Of course, he'd find out his fate on Twitter. He was cool with it.
"That's just part of the business," Sproles said. "You don't take nothing personal. It is what it is."
Besides, no matter Sproles' fondness for the Saints, his first thought wasn't of what he was leaving. It was what – and whom – he was coming to: Chip Kelly's Eagles.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Via text messages, interviews with police and a public statement, Adrian Peterson has been both clear and cavalier in acknowledging hitting one of his 4-year-old sons with a switch.
This, he conveyed, is the way he chooses to discipline his young children, either unaware or unconcerned that behavior he calls "whoopings" so alarmed authorities they indicted him for it.
As such, it would be terribly naïve and shortsighted to assume this was an isolated incident. Peterson has a reported six young children – one passed away last year at the hands of an abusive boyfriend of the mother.
So why would he have only employed his system of discipline, the kind that got him charged last week with "reckless or negligent injury to a child" in Montgomery (Texas) County, on that one boy, that one time? Not to mention, experts will tell you, the level of injury his one son sustained does not suggest this was the first time he laid hands – or stick – on the kid.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
EL PASO, Texas – To say Lubbock is in the middle of nowhere sounds derisive. It shouldn't though.
There is something to be said for the middle of nowhere, or at least the middle of West Texas, what with the oil derricks and cattle farms and rugged landscapes and vast open land and big-time sunsets and "the people," Kliff Kingsbury said. "The people are so friendly, I got that the first time I visited. It's why I went here."
It's a pretty nice place to live if you're not concerned about how quickly you can drive to some big city.
At the center of it all is Texas Tech in general and Texas Tech athletics in particular and Texas Tech football most specifically.
And in the center of that is Kingsbury, who has loved Lubbock and Tech since he first laid eyes on it coming out of New Braunfels, a small – especially when he was growing up – town outside of San Antonio. He played quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1998-2002.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
On Wednesday, the NFL hired former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to look into the league's investigation of Ray Rice.
It may be the first smart decision the NFL has made since the Rice scandal became a Roger Goodell scandal.
What the NFL needs most is for the wildness and unpredictability of this incident to slow down. Goodell, no matter how much he did or didn't botch the Rice case, never saw this coming, never believed it would be a threat to his empire or job security. The clumsy way the usually professional league office has reacted is proof of that.
Modern society loves demanding the instantaneous firing of anyone and everyone. It wants its pound of flesh – now. It is a trend whipped up by social media, especially the nuance-void, echo chamber of Twitter. That enflames the mainstream media even more, and thus everything circles on into a vortex of outrage.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
Roger Goodell's competence is shot. His credibility isn't too far behind.
Whether his employment as NFL commissioner follows likely hinges on if the Ray Rice scandal continues to flare up and damages the league in a tangible, long-term way (i.e. revenue).
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that law enforcement had, indeed, sent the NFL surveillance video of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his then girlfriend in a casino elevator. The wire service reported hearing a voicemail from an NFL employee confirming the receipt and apparent viewing of the video.
"You're right," a female from the NFL said on an April 9 voicemail. "It's terrible."
The report counters Goodell's repeated claims that the NFL was stonewalled by law enforcement when it sought the tape. Thus, he claimed, neither he nor anyone at the league offices saw the depraved footage when Goodell handed down a meager and much criticized two-game suspension early this summer.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
Roger Goodell always looked the part: tall and handsome, with the perfect blond locks and the expensive tailored suits. This guy, no doubt, casts a presence. He was trained for power, the son of a U.S. senator, raised in Westchester County affluence, joining the NFL offices right out of college with upward mobility as the end game.
He rose through the ranks, assuming the commissioner's job in September 2006 at just 47 years old, and with the title came everything: money, influence, fame, private jets, luxury boxes, an Augusta National membership, open doors everywhere he went.
This was the dream job for Goodell and he was the dream candidate for the NFL, a guy who looked so likeable on television yet would win brass knuckle, long-term labor battles and weekly discipline disputes with the players, all without getting a hair out of place.
Only now it's all come undone; now it's all falling apart for Roger Goodell.
Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back, beat his then-fiancée last offseason in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino, and Goodell's vaunted security team and his own much-hyped hammer of discipline did little to nothing about it.