Dan Wetzel

  • Johnny Manziel's latest and most disturbing incident may leave NFL teams asking, 'Why bother?'

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    The allegations were ugly and troubling. The decision by law enforcement in Texas not to pursue the case was firm yet confusing.

    Did Johnny Manziel repeatedly hit his girlfriend last Friday night, drag her by the hair and hauntingly order her to "shut up or I'll kill us both"? In terms of the legal process we'll never know since Dallas police closed the case detailed in a report viewed by WFAA-TV.

    Whatever remains of Manziel's football future probably hangs in the balance of what private investigators, including the NFL itself, can glean from potential evidence and witnesses that come from the police report  filed by Manziel's ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. The Cleveland Browns are expected to formally cut Manziel in March at the start of the league's business year, freeing him to sign anywhere that will take him.

    Who is telling the truth?

     

     

     

  • Panthers have 'Super Bowl Shuffle' swagger, but not enough to flaunt in this era

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

     SAN JOSE, Calif. – Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera played for the 1985 Chicago Bears, a team so dominant that during the season they boldly recorded a rap song, "The Super Bowl Shuffle."

    It essentially predicted a championship.

    Rivera didn't appear in the video because it was filmed early on the morning the team returned from a game at Miami, which proved to be the only loss of the season. The linebacker skipped it and slept in. Walter Payton, Richard Dent, Williams "Refrigerator" Perry and others made it though.

    The entire concept is almost unfathomable these days, an era where sports is so uptight and repressed that the Panthers' dancing after touchdowns was/is a major storyline headed into their Super Bowl 50 matchup with the Denver Broncos.

    Even Rivera shakes his head at the concept. He runs an operation that encourages individuals to celebrate their personality, but what would he feel if they did that?

    "Dread," Rivera said.

    [Score great deals for Super Bowl 50 tickets at SeatGeek]

  • Texas takes big step back toward relevance with signing day blitz

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    It’s been six seasons and 35 losses for the Texas Longhorns. There’s been the rise of TCU and Baylor, one-time bottom feeders the Longhorns used to whip so often it wasn’t even that much fun.

    Texas A&M got into the SEC and rode Johnny Manziel to the claim, at least recruiting-wise, that they run the state. Meanwhile Alabama, LSU and others started using that increased SEC footprint to raid the place.

    Infighting, firings, uneasy transitions, an inability to land even local kids … it’s been a stretch of everything UT thought it was above, but wasn’t.

    So forgive the Longhorns for crowing a little bit more than should be allowed on National Signing Day. Charlie Strong, thanks to a late recruiting push Wednesday, landed a very promising group of recruits, ranked 13th nationally per Rivals.com, the kind that UT used to annually draw in.

    A bit of normalcy never felt so good in Austin.

    "It was a great day today and a great finish,” Strong said.

    For now, that is enough.

    How big of a push was this? Rivals.com ranked the Texas class fifth in the state on Monday; by Wednesday it was  No. 1.

  • Broncos' Wade Phillips has hotline to Drake and dialing up rugged defense

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    Malik Jackson was in the Denver Broncos' locker room recently, discussing the rapper/entertainer Drake with his defensive coordinator.

    This was somewhat unexpected since his defensive coordinator is Wade Philips, 68 years old and a veteran of the NFL since 1976, not counting all the years at the knee of his father, Oail Andrew "Bum" Phillips. Drake may not be some underground artist, but still, this is also a guy who recently tweeted out a picture of a Gatlin Brothers Band album.

    "He said, 'I started from the bottom like he did,'" Jackson said, Phillips giving a nod to one of Drake's hits. "For him to say something like that, for him to know what's going on, for him to know a Drake song like that, that's pretty funny."  

    No one may be having more fun here at Super Bowl 50 than Phillips, at least when he isn't trying to figure out how to stop Carolina's Cam Newton, which doesn't seem like a particularly enjoyable task. Everything else is a combination of a late-career soaking-it-all-in and how-do-you-like-me victory dance.

    He grew restless and bored. Retirement wasn't taking.

    So how do you stop him?

     

  • NFL's missing data on air pressure is another black eye in deflate-gate saga

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Roger Goodell sure did get upset when Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone last year during the deflate-gate saga, an implication the quarterback was hiding something.

    The NFL commissioner returned the favor on Tuesday when he announced the league did not keep any of the data on air pressure of footballs that officials were required to log and submit to the league office during the 2015 season.

    Evidence? What evidence?

    [Score great deals for Super Bowl 50 tickets at SeatGeek]

    Now the New England Patriots are no longer able to point to specific, NFL-generated data that proves Ideal Gas Law, not human tampering, caused its footballs to lose air pressure in the 2014 AFC championship game.

    That study was supposed to be the franchise's best chance to introduce new information that might allow the return of the 2016 first- and fourth-round draft picks, plus $1 million, the league docked it for deflate-gate.

    Spot checks?

    That's quite a lot of procedure for a simple "spot check."

    More NFL coverage:

     

  • Peyton Manning soaking up improbable run to Super Bowl as retirement speculation continues

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – There is mounting evidence that Peyton Manning will retire following Super Bowl 50 Sunday between his Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. There is no evidence that he won't.

    "Maybe I hit the fountain of youth in the next month and I play another 10 years," Manning offered here Monday.

    Well, other than that there is no evidence.

    Teammates say he hasn't revealed anything. His parents grew emotional before the last game believing that would be the end of his 17-season career, although they say Peyton hasn't told them anything. His older brother Cooper says he doesn't know anything for certain either, but he has his suspicions. The NFL Network reported he told some friends this was it, but there are no details.

    So, is he retiring?

    "I'll deal with all that after the season," Manning said.

  • Here's how Downtown Julie Brown changed the Super Bowl

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Twenty-five years ago a job offer came in for Downtown Julie Brown, the British-born actress and model who had become famous in America for sporting small skirts and big personality each afternoon on the dance show "Club MTV."

    The syndicated television program "Inside Edition" wanted her to cover the Super Bowl between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants. Only the show didn't want her to report on it like the sports pages at the time, but to essentially do the opposite. The focus would be fun and flirtatious, centering on parties and personalities, basically everything going on in Tampa that week except football.

    Today, as the game has exploded into a week of pop culture with a football game in the middle, such coverage is commonplace. In 1991, it was unheard of – the Super Bowl, especially the media coverage of it, was the domain of crusty sportswriters and blazer-clad sports broadcasters.

    "At the time nobody was doing the good-time pieces," Brown told Yahoo Sports this past week. "It was all stats. I was like, 'We know all that. We know they are really good.'

    Then suddenly it wasn't.

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  • 'How am I going to get out of here?' Cam Newton's detour into Texas

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    Cecil Newton, his son Cam riding shotgun, had driven deep into the Texas countryside, through the farms and fields, searching for the future.

    This was January of 2009 and a long, long way from the family home back in Atlanta, let alone the University of Florida where Cam had planned to become a star. The NFL, where on Feb. 7 Cam will lead the Carolina Panthers into Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos, was a distant concept.

    This was Blinn College, this was little Brenham, this was a blip in his son's success story, or at least that's what the father hoped. Those five stars Rivals.com bestowed on Cam didn't mean anything now. Just a month prior, suspicion of academic fraud and an arrest for possession of a stolen laptop ended his time with the national champion Gators.

    The easy way was gone, done in by immaturity and stupidity. The only way now was for Cam Newton to grow up and get it together, here in football's badlands, home to desolation and desperation.

    Cam freely admits he arrived at Blinn depressed at the prospect.

    "That struck a fire under me," Cam Newton said. "That was my drive."

    This, he determined, would be his rock bottom.

     

     

  • Les Miles' latest trick: Crushing recruiting despite efforts to fire him

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    A little more than two months ago LSU's Les Miles was, in coaching terms, a dead man walking. He took the field at Tiger Stadium for the regular season finale against Texas A&M with some boosters and administrators set to buy out his contract.

    Only they didn't, or couldn't, fire him. Their plan was outflanked by politics and popularity. After that night's victory, Miles' players carried him off the field, as fans cheered and chanted his name. He was then officially given a reprieve – a 12th season (at least) in Baton Rouge.

    As satisfying as it all was, it was also bizarre and stressful and a sign of anything but a solid future. Historically, that kind of drama and speculation swirling around a coach and a program tends to scare off recruits. A public move on a headman usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Except, this is Les Miles. And this is LSU. So nothing is normal.

    Even in the middle of a maelstrom, LSU and Les find a way to win.

    That's what may make the LSU-Les combo recession proof.

    Moreover, LSU actually sits closer to virtually all of Southern Mississippi and even parts of East Texas than any major program in those states.

  • Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    DENVER – Stan Kroenke owns three major professional sports franchises in the Denver area: the NBA Nuggets, the NHL Avalanche and the MLS Rapids, plus the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

    When he is here to tend to their business, which is often, he lives in a spacious penthouse jutting out of one side and on top of the Pepsi Center, the 18,000-seat downtown arena he also owns.

    It's an incredible home, spacious and brilliantly decorated, with multiple outdoor spaces and views of both downtown and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Once inside, it feels like a standalone home off in some gated community in the suburbs, not something that is an elevator ride from a raucous arena.

    "Convenient commute," Kroenke said with a laugh to Yahoo Sports on Saturday night while watching his Nuggets defeat the Detroit Pistons.

    It's every young sports fans' dream – can't we just live in the arena?

    "Sports and real estate development is a large part of what we do," said Kroenke, who Forbes estimates is worth $7.7 billion.

    Sports and real estate. Real estate and sports.

    Hard, but, it turns out, not impossible.

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