Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
CHICAGO — They stood a few feet from each other, on the eve of the NFL draft, surrounded by reporters, and tried to claim that, sure, this was a reasonable conclusion to the process. The two of them, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, going 1-2 overall … nope, there's nothing surprising about it at all.
As recently as December you had to be a pretty serious college football fan to know even one of them, let alone both, so don't feel too bad if you tune in Thursday night and ask, who the heck are these guys?
Goff was a three-year starter at Cal, but not until going 8-5 last fall was he on a winning team. Wentz was on a winner in college, but it was at North Dakota State in FCS ball.
Neither played in a game that drew any kind of significant national TV rating. Goff was in the Pac-12 but in his entire career never defeated Stanford, Oregon, UCLA or USC. Wentz, meanwhile, missed eight games because of injury just last year.
When Goff declared for the NFL draft, the league's adviser committee rated him as a late first- or early second-round pick. Not to be outdone, as of December, most mock drafts had Wentz going in Round 2, if that.
Just how everyone expected it, right?
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago
On Monday the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit didn't just reinstate a four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, it reasserted, or even increased, the astonishing disciplinary powers of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell – powers the players' union naively handed him, of course.
Deflate-gate has been debated and written about ad nauseam, including (or even especially) here. About the only undeniable fact from the case is that the footballs in that AFC championship a couple seasons ago weren't unnaturally deflated. Science proves that. Unfortunately, science isn't a big thing in the NFL.
Or in a case of every non-NFL paid scientist (and even, for the most part the NFL-paid ones too) v. Roger Goodell, you choose to believe Roger Goodell. If so, well, good luck with that.
Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, writing the dissenting opinion in favor of Brady, agreed, citing the official "League Policy For Players." He notes:
Getting caught a second time? It jumps to $16,537.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago
He explained why he refused to fly to Las Vegas and do promotional work for July's historic UFC 200, an act of insubordination that caused the UFC to pull him from the headlining rematch with Nate Diaz, who defeated him in March.
"I am just trying to do my job and fight here," McGregor wrote on Facebook. "I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote. I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting. There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop."
There may not be a better promoter than McGregor in sports today and in many ways this might be his finest bit of PR to date. Not paid to promote? Oh, McGregor knows better that. He's made his millions in part because he promotes.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago
In 2011, the University of Michigan athletic department employed 253 people, according to state records. Four years later, in 2015, it was 334, up 32 percent.
During that period, the average salary grew 22.4 percent, to $89,851. Over a seven-year span, the number of athletic department employees making six figures went from 30 to 81.
Michigan is hardly unique. It's on par with its peers. Critics point to the salaries of big-name coaches, but it's everything that is growing in college sports.
It's the National Collegiate Industrial Complex.
Soaring media rights and vast new revenue streams continue to flood department coffers. Like any good non-profit bureaucracy, they have deftly figured out how to spend … mostly on themselves.
Michigan didn't add 32 percent more sports in those four years, or 32 percent more scholarship athletes, requiring 32 percent more staffing.
It just made about $30 million more dollars per year, from $122.7 million in 2011 to $152.5 million in 2015. Most of the increase came courtesy of the Big Ten Network.
That's new money. That's found money. That's money that has yet to be used or allocated.
Did any even ask?
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago
As the story goes, two years ago, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslem stepped out of a restaurant and ran into a homeless guy who, with the NFL draft approaching and the franchise in its forever need of a quarterback, conveyed a simple message.
"Draft Manziel." Simple message.
On draft night, with the Browns sitting at No. 26 in the first round, with Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater (who a six-figure, team-issued analytical study determined was the best QB in that draft) still on the board, Cleveland traded a third-round pick to Philadelphia to move up to 22nd and do just as that dude on the street instructed.
That Johnny Manziel has partied himself out of the league, as many teams feared he could, while Bridgewater and Carr have developed into good and potentially great players was almost predictable.
Of course the Browns listen to the homeless. Of course.
So here came Wednesday when Cleveland pulled off a highly intelligent, almost unfathomably sound (considering the source) trade.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago
Let's make the obvious presumption that the Los Angeles Rams didn't send six draft picks to the Tennessee Titans to move up to the No. 1 overall spot in this month's NFL Draft so they could pick offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss.
Tunsil is a heck of a talent but this is a power move. This is a quarterback move.
This is a move for either Carson Wentz of North Dakota State or Jared Goff of Cal. There are conflicting reports on whom the Rams might take.
In broad strokes, scouts tend to claim Wentz has greater long-term potential but Goff isn't far behind and is more pro-ready.
For Wentz, whatever concerns existed about level of competition have mostly evaporated via scouting combine, pro day and game film performances. Goff, meanwhile, is the darling of many analytic-based models.
Let's get the Tennessee evaluation out of the way. This was a no-brainer, an absolute haul for the Titans and a full maximization of the No. 1 spot in a quarterback-desperate league.
Forget that now.
More on NFL draft:
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A little more than two hours after bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey, a little more than two hours after he turned this place into an azalea-lined house of horrors, a little more than two hours after 7-under went to 1 and what was seemingly won went to done, Jordan Spieth emerged from the Augusta National clubhouse.
Sunset was coming fast as he headed to a Mercedes SUV, his courtesy car. He wore a blue Under Armour golf shirt, not a green jacket like last year, like, a little more than two hours earlier, he expected to again.
In the parking lot he ran into Nick Faldo, who exactly two decades ago played the Danny Willett role to Spieth's Greg Norman in all-time Masters meltdowns.
The two exchanged a few words and a hug. Then a couple guys in green jackets, representing the rich and connected members of this club, did the same. It was like a procession line at a wake. Everyone wanted to cheer up Jordan Spieth. No one knew quite what to say.
The 22-year-old just wanted to get away from this nightmare and get on with the mourning process.
"This one," Spieth said, "will hurt."
This was realization, resignation, frustration.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
AUGUSTA, Ga. — As Jordan Spieth stepped through the long Saturday afternoon shadows and onto the 17th tee here at Augusta National, the Masters was all but over, certainly as over as it can be with 20 holes remaining.
Spieth was up four strokes and was about to close his seventh consecutive round leading this tournament. He'd never shown a propensity to gag away leads or back up into fields. The nearest challengers were Smylie Kaufman, he of one career victory, and Bernhard Langer, who's 58 years old.
This was over. Done. Fit the green jacket, same as last year. Jordan Spieth isn't blowing a four-stroke lead to those guys.
Then Spieth made the kind of mental mistake he doesn't make: he pulled out a driver. A year ago, in cruising along with a big lead on Saturday afternoon he set up in the same 17th tee box, grabbed his driver and smacked his ball into the woods. He wound up with an unforced double bogey that he'd survive, but it should have served as a lesson learned.
[Related: The guy with the best job at the Masters]
He's the leader, mind you.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago
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AUGUSTA, Ga. — As he marched up the big hill and toward the 18th green here at Augusta National, here at his 43rd and final Masters, 66-year-old Tom Watson took off his cap and waved it in acknowledgement of the cheers and adoration and thanks coming at him in waves. He was side by side with his caddie, Neil Oxman, tearing up at all the walks they've made together.
Oh man did the gallery here love this. Golf lives for tradition and timeless sentimentality and an old champ, an old great taking a final goodbye walk tends to stir up the soul. Watson was at 8-over, sure to miss the cut, but after saying he wouldn't competitively play here again, it didn't matter.
A hero's farewell he would get.
"It was special," Watson said.
Eventually Watson would get to the green and start clapping back to the fans. Once it got quiet he damn near drained a looping 66-footer for birdie and the place lost it again.
No sport treats its old guys better than golf, not just the sport or the fans, but the game itself.
"Thank you, Tom," Watson said. "I heard it a lot today."
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago
AUGUSTA, Ga. — As part of their longstanding effort to grow the game of golf, Augusta National invites a small number of amateurs to compete each year in the Masters.
Often they are young, future stars. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson all came here as heralded teenage amateurs. Current U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau will turn pro soon.
Then there is Sammy Schmitz, who finished up Friday afternoon at 12-over par, a mile from the cutline, yet to cheers of a huge throng of family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and probably even a few strangers who still couldn't believe he, or they, were even here to begin with.
Schmitz is 35 years old, a husband and father of two young girls who hails from Minnesota, lives in Wisconsin and has a real job as a regional director for Healthcare Services Group.
Even then, there is only so far your game can go when real life impacts practice time, especially in an area of the country with maybe a seven-month golf season.
The guy that runs the course soon came by the house and said they needed all their range balls back. Impressed with the effort, though, he offered Sammy a job washing golf carts.
Oh, that old excuse.