- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports8 hrs ago
The surest sign that the bid process for hosting the Olympics is broken is actually not the trail of bribe money or crony-rich government contracts at the feet of International Olympic Committee members.
Sure, bribery might – might, maybe, allegedly, perhaps – be how a now abandoned Olympic Village got built in some muddy, bulldozed acreage south of Sochi, Russia, rather than in Salzburg, Austria, home to Mozart, the Sound of Music and postcard pictures.
That's the cause, though, not the effect.
The effect is the bidding for the 2022 Winter Games, which is now down to just two cities. The final vote comes next summer.
There's Beijing, China, which doesn't actually sit within 120 miles of a usable ski mountain, and there's Almaty, Kazakhstan, which in its bid touted itself as "the world's largest landlocked nation."
It's down to these two cities not because the IOC narrowed the field, but because every other city in the entire world said no.
Seriously, every other city said no.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports9 hrs ago
Steven Godfrey is a senior writer at SBNation. He is not just one of the best long-form writers covering college football but one of its smartest thinkers. He dives deep on subjects and analyzes a bit of everything. His perspective is always spot on.
So it’s a good thing we got a new microphone to replace the broken one and got this week’s podcast taped (at last). This here is a good conversation.
• The firing, and big payout, of Charlie Weis and how different coaching personalities can be sold to ADs, but perhaps not work when it comes to coaching players. This includes his tenures at Notre Dame, as an assistant at Florida and in New England – it was far more Charlie Weis talk then we expected, but it turned out pretty well.
• Michigan and whether Brady Hoke should be replaced for not getting Shane Morris out of the game or just because the team stinks.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
The NFL blackout rule is largely symbolic these days – just two games were kept off local airwaves due to the lack of a sellout during the 2013 season.
It’s a controversial measure, however, because taxpayers regularly dole out hundreds of millions in direct and indirect support to construct NFL stadiums that are owned and operated by the teams. You could argue, and the lobbying group Sports Fan Coalition did, that even the guy in his living room is a paying customer these days.
It apparently worked. On Tuesday, the FCC, at last, eliminated the old blackout rule.
While the FCC declared it a “victory for sports fans,” don’t celebrate too much. The league can still negotiate a private deal with its broadcast partners to keep non-sellouts off the air and the government probably wouldn’t interfere with that (although it could).
Still, this remains a historic moment if only because the government protection of blackouts has been under attack for more than six decades.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Brady Hoke is paid over $4 million annually to run the University of Michigan football program, and as these modern, high-paid coaches are quick to note, it's always a "program," not just a team.
The program brings in about $85 million to $90 million in revenue, a number that grows every year thanks to expanding television fees from its conference-owned cable network. It employs dozens of people and trains scores of players.
It's a big operation. Real big.
Hoke, 55, has coached college football since 1981, including head stints at Ball State and San Diego State before coming to Michigan in 2011. He has proven to be overmatched in Ann Arbor when it comes to winning games, but there is no indication he doesn't care about his players' well being, specifically their long-term physical health.
His players, current and former, swear by him – "Coach Hoke is a great guy … we're all behind him," said defensive end Frank Clark.
His coworkers, assistants and bosses through the years praise him – "anyone who attacks his character doesn't know what they're talking about," assistant Greg Mattison said.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
In May 2011, just four months after Brady Hoke was named Michigan’s head coach, he secured a verbal commitment from a high school sophomore named Shane Morris, a five-star quarterback recruit from the blue-collar suburbs of Detroit.
This was to be the perfect old-school Wolverine marriage, a coach who understood the culture – “It’s Michigan for God’s sake” – and the return of the great pro-style passer that drove the program for decades. The spread was going to be dead.
By the time Morris was a senior at Warren De La Salle, things began to fade. He missed much of the season with mononucleosis and the bloom began to fade with scouts. By signing day, Rivals.com had downgraded him from five stars to four.
Then Morris reported for duty and within days, sources say, the Michigan staff was concerned. This wasn’t a five-star, sure-bet NFLer, the next in the line of Jim Harbaugh, Chad Henne, Elvis Grbac or Tom Brady.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
The head coach of the Hogs in Arkansas grew up on a hog farm in Illinois, which is an oft-repeated note about Bret Bielema.
Truth is, the hog farm was about as fun as it sounds. Chores began before dawn and continued until it was time to leave for school, which was taken oh-so seriously. There was more work when he returned home: farming, building, feeding, cleaning, whatever. It was never-ending with 2,500 animals around. That was the hard stuff. What Bret Bielema actually dreaded the most was physically easy.
"Mowing," he said Wednesday, noting they didn't have iPods or cell phones or anything else to distract from the monotony. "To sit on a tractor three, four hours a day was not a lot of fun for me, just doing loops around the yard."
Through it all Bielema, now 44, learned a simple lesson: There's a way to do things on a farm (or anywhere), and if you take care of the process, the results will come. It sounds simple. It isn't often carried out.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
In case you didn't think Jameis Winston (or his advisers) could self-inflict any more damage while creating unnecessary negative headlines for the player or Florida State, here's Wednesday's latest:
Either an attorney of the woman who accused him of rape in 2013 – the incident that didn't result in charges possibly because the Tallahassee police investigation was so pathetic even the local prosecutor called it "a cluster" – tried to demand $7 million from Winston in exchange for the victim/accuser's silence…
Or an attorney advising Winston actually started the process by flying down to Tampa and offering that sum, or some sum, to the victim/accuser as a way to buy her off…
Dan Wetzel's College Football Podcast: Dissecting the sport's biggest villain and worst fan base (so far)Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
It’s the time of the college football calendar when in certain places, the excitement and promise of the start of the season has worn off. Some teams just look bad. Some coaches are going to get fired. Some conferences are going to get bashed. Some teams are going to boot away victory the same way they always did.
And Jameis Winston is going to be Jameis Winston.
So who better to welcome to the Podcast than Dan Wolken of USA Today, author of the Misery Index, which ranks the ten most miserable fan bases in America each week. Not the worst teams, just the ones whose fans are most miserable at what just happened and/or what appears inevitable.
The Index is just four weeks into the season and already the University of Michigan tops it for the second time. That’s how miserable things are in Ann Arbor. This time they earned it for a bottoming-out loss to Utah in a rainstorm, and then things got worse when it came out that Coca-Cola was essentially giving away free tickets to this Saturday’s game.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports12 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.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports14 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.Thu, Oct 25:25 PM PDTMinnesota at Green BayPreview Game