- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
LANDOVER, Md. – Jogging away from the Washington sideline after a third-quarter incomplete pass, Johnny Manziel said he heard a barrage of trash talk behind him.
So without ever turning around, he threw his right hand in the air and gave his hecklers an over-the-shoulder, middle finger. He looked unfazed by the encounter, neither better nor worse afterwards.
Not that it went over well in the culture of the National Football League, thus becoming the point of discussion after Washington's 24-23 preseason victory here Monday.
"It does not sit well," Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said. "It's disappointing because what we talk about is being poised and being focused."
"You just got to know the cameras are always on," fellow Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer said.
"Well, I wouldn't have [done] it," Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden said before laughing.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
LANDOVER, Md. – Johnny Manziel didn’t have much of a preseason game for the Cleveland Browns on Monday, but he did exhibit his trademark bravado when he held up his middle finger at the Washington Redskins' bench after a third quarter incompletion.
It came just moments after Manziel eluded a pass rush by scrambling toward Washington's sideline and fired an incompletion. Perhaps hearing heckling from the sideline, he responded by holding his middle finger aloft over his shoulder as he ran quietly back to the huddle.
The sign was seen clearly on ESPN’s broadcast of the game.
Manziel finished just 7-of-16 for 65 yards passing in a game that hardly established him as the breakout starter for the Browns. He managed an early fourth-quarter touchdown, an 8-yard pass to Dion Lewis, but was sacked three times and had a number of poorly thrown balls.
Manziel was on the receiving end of some antics too. Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo heckled him after Manziel got sacked in the first quarter, doing Manziel’s signature "money" sign.Mon, Aug 18Cleveland23 - 24WashingtonGame Recap
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
At the start, this had been about finding someone to stand up and say the excuses were nonsense, the rhetoric was empty, to say the NCAA was just making it up as it went along.
It was about Ed O'Bannon wondering how the NCAA could partner in the release of a basketball video game featuring classic college basketball teams, including his 1995 UCLA squad, featuring a player that clearly was him – "my number, left-handed, looked like me," O'Bannon said – only to claim it wasn't him.
It was about Harry Flournoy, a starter on the historic 1966 Texas Western basketball team, seeing the NCAA, decades later, cash in on the story of the first all-black starting five to win a national title against establishment backlash (including, the players believed, the NCAA itself). They did it by suggesting that somehow Flournoy had relinquished his rights by signing some paper in El Paso way back when.
"Really?" Flournoy said. "Go find it, what paper? I never signed anything like that." Even if he didn't, the NCAA said, they had the power to assume the right to his likeness in perpetuity.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
In the final seasons the sideshow overwhelmed the actual show, the circus of the end, return, end, return, end of Brett Favre’s career making people forget how great he once was.
Maybe that’s what can change as Favre enters the curtain call era of his life, starting with his induction into the Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame in 2015 and the retirement of his iconic green and gold No. 4. It will continue, almost assuredly, with a first-ballot entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
It’s time. More than time, actually, for a guy who helped define the league for nearly two decades to be remembered more for that and less for the soap opera that engulfed him.
"Wow, I'm speechless," Favre said Monday in a media teleconference. "I can't thank you enough. I'm honored. I mean that from the bottom of my heart."
In a sport defined by toughness, Favre may have been the toughest of them all, starting every game at quarterback for over 18 seasons, an NFL ironman record 297 regular-season games (321 if you count the playoffs, and why they don’t is anyone’s guess).
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports19 days ago
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – So here are some of the options when Matthew Stafford, who's merely thrown for 90 touchdowns and nearly 15,000 yards over the last three seasons, takes a snap here at Detroit Lions training camp.
He can look to his best guy, or anyone's best guy, in Calvin Johnson, a 6-foot-5 target that caught 12 TDs in just 14 games last year, which was great, unless you compare to the 16 he hauled in 2011.
He can skip that and go to his newest guy, a true No. 2 receiver in the freakishly strong Golden Tate, who snagged 64 passes for Seattle last year. "He catches everything," Stafford marveled later. Every pass that way, draws attention away from Megatron.
"When Golden starts doing what he does," Johnson told reporters earlier this week, "they can't double both of us."
They also can't cover everyone underneath, which is why Stafford can always target one of his oversized tight ends, 6-5 Brandon Pettigrew, who caught 83 passes a couple years back, or 6-4 Eric Ebron, a gifted athlete and first-round draft pick out of North Carolina.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports24 days ago
BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns fan Matt LaVelle showed up at the first day of training camp wearing a jersey with "Johnny DawgPound" taped across the back. It was a bit of refashioning he did prior to May's NFL draft in the hope that Johnny Manziel would be Cleveland's pick.
Manziel was on the field here Saturday, creating the expected frenzy, or "buzz," in the parlance of Johnny Football. Yet the more LaVelle and his friend watched the side-by-side drills featuring not just Johnny, but of the zipping, accurate throws of the actual No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, Brian Hoyer, something kept sinking in.
Yes, he's a Manziel fan …
"… but I like what I'm seeing out of Hoyer," LaVelle said of the low-key, local veteran (Cleveland St. Ignatius High School). Hoyer is a Michigan State product that spent three years backing up Tom Brady in New England. When he finally got a chance to start last year for the Browns, he looked good in three games before injuring his knee.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports27 days ago
DETROIT – Chuck Martin knew how many people thought he was crazy because they kept telling him to his face. This included his closest friends.
He was one of college football's hottest coaching prospects last December when he decided to leave the prestige and security of being offensive coordinator at Notre Dame to take over the worst team in the sport. And for the effort, he'd enjoy a $200,000 pay cut.
Yet exactly what awaited him at Miami of Ohio didn't fully hit until he pored over the details of a team on a lengthy bowl drought and a 16-game losing streak, including, naturally, a fruitless 0-12 campaign in 2013.
"The one stat that really got me was when I asked, 'Well, who led us in touchdowns last season?'" Martin recalled Wednesday at Mid-American Conference media day.
"'And they said, 'Dawan Scott.'
"And I said, 'Well, how many did he have?'
"And they said, 'two.'
"I said, 'No, no, no, who led our team in touchdowns?" Martin said as broke into a laugh.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports29 days ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
The good news for Tony Dungy is that once upon a time enough people in power, be it in football … education … government … wherever, decided that they should empower African-Americans with the opportunities they deserved. They did this no matter whether things would go "totally smooth" or cause "things to happen" with the bigots who wanted to cling to the old days.
At some point they said someone such as Dungy deserved to go to school with white people, play football with white people, even coach football like white people once exclusively did, even at the highest levels of the NFL. They rejected the ancient concept that blacks either weren't deserving/capable of such opportunities. Even more important, they ignored the idiotic idea that until every last racist was completely and wholly comfortable with a black man playing, learning or working alongside them (let alone be the boss) then such opportunity should continue to be withheld.
The smartest people pushed the dumbest aside and decided to just let the best person win.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
Of all the sad and disturbing parts of Oprah Winfrey's interview Thursday with Jerry Sandusky's son Matt– and there were plenty – perhaps the worst was when he was trying to explain why he was telling the truth about being molested by his one-time foster and eventual adoptive father.
"Knowing that I'm going to be attacked, knowing that my wife and my children will have to pay for that, there is no reason for me to lie," Matt Sandusky said in the interview that aired on OWN. "I'm here to help."
It was a compelling defense, but that's isn't the issue. It's this: Why does Matt Sandusky need a defense at all?
Across an hour of programming Matt Sandusky laid his guts out in a deeply personal way with what, at times, appeared to be embarrassing admissions of what it's like to be sexually abused. That included the shame and confusion he felt at age 12 and 13 when he experienced unwanted physical enjoyment as Jerry performed sexual acts on him.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
They burned his jersey. They put his face on urinal mats. They cursed him and cursed him and cursed him, only when they weren't tearing down his billboards. The team owner ripped him to shreds in a bizarre Comic Sans font email. They cheered that.
A year after the departure, when LeBron James lost in his first NBA Finals with the Miami Heat – and Cleveland rejoiced – he responded with his own arrogance and anger.
"All the people that [were] rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," LeBron said back in 2011.
That was then. This is the Return of the Prodigal Son.
“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” James told Sports Illustrated, which broke the news of his decision. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”