Eric Adelson

  • WNBA, USA Basketball's silence on Brittney Griner risks double standard

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 hrs ago

    Last December, several major professional sports leagues were called to Congress to testify on their efforts to combat domestic violence. The proceedings grew heated, with NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent becoming emotional over his own experiences as a child, and more than one accusatory exchange between public officials and representatives of the sport.

    One league that was not brought before Congress: the WNBA.

    Four months later, on April 22, one of the nation's most celebrated women's basketball players, Brittney Griner, was arrested after an altercation with her fiancée, Glory Johnson, who also plays in the WNBA. Both suffered minor injuries, including bite marks and a bloodied lip, according to the police report, which classified it as a domestic violence offense. Griner acknowledged the seriousness of the situation, vowing, "it will not happen again." She pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and began 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling.

    So it's hard to see how an investigation is moving forward.

     

  • Titans need Green-Beckham to end his slide and help lift Mariota

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    CHICAGO – Dorial Green-Beckham knows. He's aware. He should have been picked a lot higher in the NFL draft, and a lot richer.

    "I let my state down," he said Wednesday. "I apologize for that."

    Green-Beckham now gets a shot in a new state, Tennessee, after the Titans took him with their second-round pick here Friday night. He fell so far that the team could afford to trade its No. 33 overall choice away to the New York Giants and still get him several picks later.

    Green-Beckham's numbers say superstar: 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, 4.49 speed. His NFL.com overview, however, is full of red flags: "was dismissed from Missouri program after being subject of burglary and assault investigation by police … allegedly pushed a female down some stairs during the incident … arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents … arrested along with two other men after police found a pound of marijuana in their car … arrested along with two teammates after they were allegedly caught smoking marijuana in a campus parking lot …" 

    "I accept that."

    "I need to put myself in better situations," Green-Beckham said on Wednesday.

  • Seafood for thought: Jameis Winston enters NFL world where jokes aren't tolerated much from rookies

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    We knew the first night of the NFL draft wouldn't be complete without some stir involving Jameis Winston. The newly minted Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback posed with some crab legs after getting selected first overall Thursday night and that immediately blotted out the social media sun and began a "news" cycle.

    There are two takeaways: one, this is minor; two, there's an underlying issue here that is not minor.

    Odds are this was Winston saying he gets the joke rather than him saying the joke's on us.

    Fisher is hard-edged, but he defended Winston repeatedly. He seemed to treat his quarterback more like a wayward son than a misbehaving employee. It was the higher-ups at Florida State who disciplined Winston most, sitting him for the entirety of a key conference game against Clemson last year. And when Winston ran out on the field for warm-ups before that game in full pads, Fisher's reaction was closer to exasperation than anger.

    That won't likely be the case in Tampa.

  • Safety Landon Collins near NFL dream – but his mom maintains he should've gone to LSU instead of Alabama

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    CHICAGO – Much has changed for her son in three years.

    But Landon Collins' mom has certainly not changed her mind.

    April Justin launched herself into football fame in 2012 when she sat next to her son on national television and showed disapproval of her son's choice of college. While Landon announced "Roll Tide" with a grin, Justin shook her head slightly and then declared LSU was the best school for her son. Then she raised her index finger in a No. 1 gesture for the Tigers.

    Fast-forward three years and April and her son were in the Palmer House here on Thursday, the first day of the NFL draft. Surely mom would have rescinded her opinion by now, with Landon on the doorstep of his dream?

    Nope.

    "I definitely wish he went to LSU," Justin said while getting a manicure in the Pantene Salon in the hours leading up to the draft. "He would have still achieved his goals."

    Justin said she went most of the last three years without wearing Alabama colors, and only recently started speaking to head coach Nick Saban. Only now are things "cordial" between them.

    And as for the national title her son won?

  • Rams' pick of RB Todd Gurley is biggest risk/reward of draft

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    CHICAGO – Todd Gurley's mouth curled into a sly smile when he was asked Thursday afternoon at the Palmer House here about breaking the running back jinx.

    "It would mean a lot," he said. "Just to running backs period."

    A few hours later, he changed from a sweatshirt and jeans into a suit, and changed from a draft hopeful to the biggest risk/reward pick of the year. Gurley became the first first-round running back selected since 2012, and he became a litmus test for the whole position.

    Skeptics can say Gurley's injured knee makes him damaged goods, but no one can argue how good the goods are. His college stats line up favorably with Adrian Peterson's, his blend of power running and pass-catching lines up favorably with Marshawn Lynch's, and his track-and-field-to-Athens background lines up favorably with the great Herschel Walker. Put him on the turf, in St. Louis' domed stadium, and there is potential for Gurley to be the best player chosen in any round this year.

    The takeaway is this: running backs still matter. It's just harder to find the right one than it used to be.

  • Emerging UCF football factory's latest gem: Speedy WR Breshad Perriman

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    ORLANDO, Fla. – People here at UCF chuckle when asked about the Breshad Perriman 40-yard dash time. They don't laugh at the time itself; they laugh at the reaction.

    Why was the nation surprised?

    "There was this drill we'd do, where all of us would have to chase the ball," says tight end Justin Tukes, who is hoping to be in the same draft class as Perriman. "Anytime Breshad got the ball, there was no need to chase the ball. He had already left us."

    "People just don't see UCF as a huge school," shrugs wide receiver Jordan Akins.

    Case in point: Perriman made one of the best catches of the 2014 season last December in a last-second touchdown to beat East Carolina. It was about as under-the-radar as a televised Hail Mary catch can be.

    "We practice that every Thursday," says wide receivers coach Sean Beckton. "It never works."

    "We're not playing as much against the top competition as we want," Tukes says. "It's teams that aren't as strong as the Georgias the Miamis and the Alabamas."

    Beckton actually thinks that held Perriman's speed down a little during the season.

  • NFL's due diligence on Greg Hardy shows what the Cowboys lacked

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    Jason Garrett said the Dallas Cowboys did their due diligence on Greg Hardy.

    Lisa Friel's due diligence was far better.

    The NFL made a necessary statement on Wednesday, suspending Hardy for 10 games in the wake of a domestic violence incident involving the Dallas defensive lineman. It was Friel, the former Manhattan prosecutor, who led the league's investigation. She is clearly unafraid of aggressive fact-finding in her new role. She's also unafraid of waiting on a conviction to act.

    "The NFL's investigation concluded that Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Nicole Holder in at least four instances," the league's release states.

    Four separate instances.

    Often, an assault victim is too afraid to come forward and testify against her assailant. That victim understandably fears retribution for snitching, and puts her (or him) in an unfair situation.

     

  • Draft hopeful CB Bernard Blake shoulders big load as mentor for youths

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    At Werner Elementary School in Ft. Collins, Colo., Jennifer Johnston often encourages her fifth-grade class to email a celebrity they admire. It's part of her push to get kids to dream big and learn about the humongous world outside the school.

    "No one really ever returns an email," Johnston says. "But Bernard did."

    Bernard is Bernard Blake, a defensive back for Colorado State and NFL draft hopeful. A boy named Tate Johnson emailed Blake and then, a few days later, Tate came up to his teacher and asked if Bernard Blake could visit the school.

    "Uhhhh," Johnston said. "Sure!"

    Blake came to the school and met the kids. Then he came back again. Then he kept returning, sometimes with a writing project, sometimes with a math project. Then he came to have lunch with the kids. Then he was outside at recess with them. It got to the point that when Blake didn't come in for a couple of weeks, Johnston worried the lesson plan would suffer.

    "He would come in and the kids would light up," Johnston says. "He would motivate kids to do great work. He was a hoot."

    Johnston even asked Tate w hy he did all this.

  • Goodbye for now: Why the Islanders could return to Nassau Coliseum

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Megan Hallquest started working at Nassau Coliseum when she was 16 years old. She sold Carvel ice cream.

    “First job ever,” she said proudly. “Greatest first job ever.”

    She’s 23 now, and she’s moved on to pretzels, then Chinese food, and now adult beverages. “Finally,” she says with a smile, “I get beer.”

    Megan’s sister worked here, too. So did her brother. She was “devastated” when she learned the Islanders were moving to Brooklyn, and she figures she’ll be crying on the night they finally depart.

    She also figures they will be back.

    “Brooklyn is not for them,” she said. “They will learn the hard way.”

    She’s not the only one who thinks this. In a canvassing of several workers in and around Nassau Coliseum, there was a clear undercurrent of thought that their cherished team will someday return to Long Island.

    “This is home for the Islanders,” said 74-year-old Mike Nastri, a ticket-taker and usher since 1973. “Barclays Center is not.”

    “All parties are all in for this experiment,” says deMause. “The big question is whether people will put up with watching hockey in a basketball arena.”

    Hallquest is one of those people.

    “I say three years.”

  • Her man: Henrik Zetterberg’s special bond with young Red Wings fan

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    Before every home game, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg looks up during the warm-up skate to where she would sometimes sit. There isn’t much time to think about anything other than hockey in those moments leading up to the opening faceoff, but he makes sure he takes a moment. And somewhere in that moment within a moment, he thinks of her.

    “It’s so hard to say how and why we connected,” Zetterberg said. “That’s how life is; you connect better with some people.”

    From the very beginning, he connected with Mollie.

    There really wasn’t any story behind that name. It just seemed to fit her. Mollie was a sunny name for a bright girl. She seemed to be smiling right out of the womb.

    “I wanted a name that made her different,” said her mom, Colleen Moquin, “and she was different.”

    Mollie played all kinds of sports growing up in Flushing, Mich., from swimming to basketball, volleyball to soccer. She never played hockey, but it became a favorite when she began watching it on TV. Soon her whole family was watching it with her. She had that kind of charisma; people just followed along.

    “Always happy,” Colleen said. “Very, very happy.”

    Mollie had stage 4 bone cancer.

    Mollie turned bright red.