Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago
ORLANDO, Fla. – By mid-afternoon, a light rain began to fall, and the blood center parking lot was so crowded that it was hard to tell who was taking supplies and who was giving them. Former Magic player Bo Outlaw was there, coated in a third-quarter sweat, unloading water bottles from cars like everyone else. One woman in a T-shirt from a nearby community outreach center was asked how long she had been working there.
"Today," she said. "I just started. They just gave me the shirt, and I put it on."
A minivan pulled up. The driver jumped out and opened the tailgate. Water bottles tumbled onto the pavement. Someone yelled that it was time to load up trucks to give the water to other blood centers in Central Florida because there was simply too much at this one.
At a nearby sub shop, a police officer who had been working since 5:30 a.m. wandered in at lunchtime to get some food for his boss. Other customers lined up to pay for him, and the cashier stuffed coupons into his hand to give to his colleagues.
His eyes were bloodshot. He said there were so many casualties that every person in the town will be somehow connected to someone lost.
Orlando City. Orlando Pride.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago
Both were arguably the best in their sport's history. They had nicknames that suggested arrogance – "Mr. Hockey" and "The Greatest" – and yet, when affixed to them, drew only respect and approval. They each wore these identities with honor, and lifted their sports by doing so.
Ali also understood his responsibility to his sport and all sports. He too posed for photos and put up his dukes even when his mind and body continued to fail him in old age. There are many people in America and elsewhere who have a photo with Ali or Howe, still uplifted by a brief encounter. Both boxing and hockey have faced various existential challenges since they retired, but Howe and Ali made the glory days feel as permanent as their championships.
They were winners and fighters, icons and heroes. Ultimately, though, they were more than that. They were gentlemen.
Eric Adelson at FC Yahoo 17 days ago
ORLANDO, Fla. – It was just one goal.
The match was already out of reach. Philippe Courtinho was on his way to a hat trick, Brazil was on its way to a Copa America Centenario win and television viewers' attention was on its way to the NBA Finals.
Then came the goal, just one goal.
In the 70th minute, Haiti midfielder James Marcelin snuck in on the weak side of the Brazil net, found a rebound at his feet and booted it home to cut the lead to 5-1.
"Will this be printed?"
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago
RIO DE JANEIRO — On a recent morning on the shore of Guanabara Bay, 37-year-old Jose Carlos Daniel stood with his fishing pole and discussed his night job as a doorman.
"I'm concerned about violence," he said through a translator. "I've seen robberies, fights. I'm not very optimistic about security during the [Olympic] Games."
In the run-up to the Summer Olympic Games, which officially begin Aug. 5, much international attention has been paid to the Zika virus' presence in Brazil, the political unrest in the wake of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and the omnipresent fear of terrorism.
But the growing concern, security experts told Yahoo Sports, is local crime.
Every year, an estimated 40,000 Brazilians die from gun-related incidents. The number of murders in Rio is up 15.4 percent from last year, according to one recent study, and street robberies have risen by nearly 25 percent.
Fears of terrorism in Brazil, however, are more muted.
That's somewhat reassuring, and it comes from months of planning.
Eric Adelson at FC Yahoo 22 days ago
ORLANDO, Fla. – The United States men's national team got its first positive result in the Copa America Centenario on Saturday: a scoreless draw between two upcoming Group A opponents.
Costa Rica and Paraguay played to a listless tie under the searing sun here at the Citrus Bowl in a game that featured far more diving than run-of-play creativity. Fans of the American side who were troubled by Colombia's 2-0 dismantling of Jurgen Klinsmann's men on Friday might sleep a bit easier knowing the next U.S. match is Tuesday in Chicago against a Ticos team that showed relatively nothing in its opener.
Saturday's match should have gone far better for both teams, but it couldn't have gone better for the U.S.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 22 days ago
The most iconic image of the late Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, is likely that of him standing triumphantly over the fallen Sonny Liston in 1965.
The most important image might be something else entirely.
It was taken on this day – June 4 – in 1967, at a news conference in Cleveland. Ali is speaking into a microphone. On his right, listening intently, sits Bill Russell. On his left sits Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Assembled there, in one photo, are four of the greatest athletes in history. They are flanked by other athletes, including future NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis, and community leaders such as Carl Stokes, who would become the first black mayor of a major U.S. city. They are not at the news conference to speak about sports.
On his Facebook page Saturday morning, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about Ali's power:
Sometimes it was crass or callous, but that's part of the genius of it: Words were never near as ugly as the truth Ali illuminated.
That was the truest image of a champion.
Eric Adelson at FC Yahoo 27 days ago
SANFORD, Fla. – Kaka glides through difficult topics as easily as he glides past defenders.
When asked earlier this month at the Orlando City SC training complex about his country's impeachment process, he called the situation "very important for us," saying "we need to change the corruption." But he stopped short of taking a firm stance on the push to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.
When asked what he'd change about Major League Soccer, he said, "a lot of things need to change" but quickly provided context: "I don't have enough information. How you trade players, the salary cap, it's something that needs to be better. Today, it's working good, but in the future it needs to be better. The last CBA was good, but could be better. Probably the next CBA will be better and better until it's something really good for everybody."
On one difficult subject, though, there was no nuance: Brazil's soccer reputation.
"We deserved to lose," he added.
So Brazil, a record five-time World Cup champion, hasn't even been the best team on its own continent for quite some time.
TAMPA – Roberto Aguayo says he has never been nervous before a kick.
"No, that's what practice is for," he offers plainly in a hallway outside his new locker room.
He was, though, a little freaked out by cell phone service.
Aguayo watched last month's NFL draft on Ana Maria Island, located on the south side of Tampa Bay, with his family and his girlfriend. He didn't realize until he got to the beach house that cell phone coverage was lacking. So he left his phone out on the balcony, hoping to get an extra bar or two in case the call came earlier than he expected.
"I would re-call it every 10 minutes," he says.
On the second night, he heard a ring and looked around: was that anyone else's phone?
Nope. It was his phone. The Bucs were calling.
The debate hasn't affected Aguayo. In fact, it seems nothing affects him. He said he was happy when the NFL made PATs longer, and he'd welcome the change if the league narrowed the goal posts. "As long as it's a level playing field," he shrugs.
What they can't control is whether some other team used a later pick on the next Russell Wilson.
RIO DE JANEIRO — The police showed up at 6:30 a.m. on March 8, and by lunchtime her house had been demolished.
Maria da Penha Macena had no choice: she got a notice from the city that her home was in the way of a planned access road for the Olympics. She could only grab her belongings, move them to a church, and make sure to turn away when her home was razed.
"The police arrived and put it down," she says through a translator. "In one day."
It was the same day she was set to receive an award from the state legislature for the way she defended her right to keep her home.
Penha Macena lives in the Vila Autodromo, an impoverished community (or favela ) where some 600 families called home. It's only a short walk from where many of the Summer Olympic venues are being constructed in Barra. In order to make way for the arrival of the Games, homes were targeted for demolition and families were offered money to leave.
Some did not leave.
"That will be embarrassing for the mayor," she says.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Some tourists gathered along a winding path here on a Thursday in early May, watching the waves from the Atlantic, hoping for a big one. The surf was so high that red flags were planted on the beach below, so even the cariocas – the locals – stayed on the sand. It was only a couple of weeks ago that one of the waves leapt up to a newly built portion of this path, and crumpled it like a wet cracker. At least two people died; their bodies were fished out of the surf by helicopters and laid onto the beach below.
The tourists hung out near a food cart with a bright umbrella, and the owner stepped outside and got a visitor's attention. He gestured with his hand in an up-and-over motion. It was clear what he meant: every now and then a wave crashed over the ledge, and where the tourists were standing wasn't quite safe. He returned to work; the tourists stayed where they were. The waves kept coming, higher and higher.
Brazil is a precarious place these days.
It feels like it will only get worse.
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