Eric Adelson

  • Roger Goodell strong on deflate-gate, weak on issues that matter most in protecting NFL integrity

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 21 hrs ago

    PHOENIX – Roger Goodell was in over his head when it came to an issue that gravely impacted real people. But something innocuous like deflate-gate? That's right in the commissioner's wheelhouse.

    The backbone Goodell lacked in dealing with domestic violence and concussions showed up instantly when he was asked in his annual state of the league news conference about the relatively trivial topic of football air pressure.

    "This is my job," he announced on Friday. "My responsibility is to protect the game."

    It was an appropriate retort to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's assertion that the league apologize if no chicanery is found in the NFL's investigation of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game. Goodell is right: he has nothing to apologize for. The rules are the rules, and even if no advantage was gleaned, illegal is illegal and should be punished. Even if the deflation wasn't intentional, this is worth investigating.

    "I have to pursue that aggressively," Goodell said.

    [Watch Super Bowl XLIX live here and on NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET]

  • Even surprise HGH test can be viewed as disrespectful to Earl Thomas, Seahawks

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – It wasn't so much a badge of honor as a bandage of dishonor.

    Seattle safety Earl Thomas showed up at the Seahawks' media availability on Thursday with gauze wrapped around his right arm from a league blood test he got earlier in the morning. He was happy to show off the bandage; he was not happy about why it was there.

    He tweeted:

    Yesterday I said my shoulder was a 10 ... Wake up the next morning and I have a blood test for HGH .. League office distraction

    The suggestion is that the league purposefully tested Thomas because of what he said about his shoulder on Wednesday. It's a serious charge, especially if no one else on either team was tested Thursday morning.

    Thomas sat for the better part of an hour and took several questions about the tweet, and kept referring back to it. He neither elaborated nor backed down. "What you read is what it is," he said. Asked if he felt there shouldn't be testing during Super Bowl week, he said, "I don't want to get into that." 

    [Watch the Super Bowl live on Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET]

  • Deflate-gate triggers stat spat as analysts attempt to solve why Patriots don't fumble

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    PHOENIX – Maybe the smoking gun isn’t in a bathroom at Gillette Stadium. Maybe it’s in the laptop of a civil engineer in Washington, D.C.

    One of the strangest twists in the already strange saga of deflate-gate is the sudden star turn of a man who runs a gambling website when he’s not doing his day job. Warren Sharp is a 36-year-old dad who loves numbers and algorithms, and decided to apply some statistics to the Patriots when he heard about the football deflation investigation. What he found sent ripples through the sports world and got a few other statisticians pretty upset.

    It also may have implications beyond Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

    Sharp’s idea was to look at fumbles. That led him to a more refined topic: how well the Patriots held onto the ball both before and after the 2006 season, which happened to be the year Brady and Peyton Manning pushed for a rule change which allowed each team to provide their own footballs for games.

    “Something significant changed from 2006 to 2007 that allowed them to retain the football,” Sharp said by phone Tuesday, “and that continues today.”

    That’s hard to explain away.

  • Inspiration for Seahawks logo visits Seattle with assist from Patriots fan

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    For years, the mask that inspired Seattle's beloved NFL team logo sat thousands of miles away. At one point during renovation, it was even placed in storage.

    Gretchen Faulkner, director of the University of Maine's Hudson Museum, liked to show it off, leading guests away from the main halls and pointing it out. She called it "the Seahawks mask."

    But people didn't really care.

    "I wouldn't get much response," Faulkner says. "People were Patriot fans, so they were like, 'Yeah, sure.' "

    She couldn't blame them; she was a Pats fan too.

    It's possible that if not for this Pats fan and her staff, the gorgeous work of art that launched the Seahawks logo many years ago might still be in Maine, unbeknownst to the football fans who now come to see it. Instead, two curators from rival regions worked together to complete a mask's journey home from, of all places, Arizona – where the Seattle Seahawks will meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale on Feb. 1.

    "There are certain teams in the league that can use better relations with Native people," Everson says. "I won't mention names."

  • Robert Allenby wants you to believe his kidnapping story even though he doesn't remember it himself

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Robert Allenby wants you to believe what happened to him on Jan. 16 even though he doesn't remember exactly what happened to him on Jan. 16.

    So began another bizarre chapter in L'Affair Allenby.

    "The No. 1 thing that you should all remember is that my story stays exactly the same as the way I told it," he insisted Tuesday at a press conference prior to this weekend's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Allenby stridently defended himself and took the media to task for doubting his story, which goes as follows:

    After missing the cut at a tournament in Honolulu last month, Allenby said he went to a bar, had a few drinks, left the bar only to be knocked unconscious. He claimed he woke up in a park six miles away to two men kicking him. There, a homeless woman, along with a retired miltary man, chased away the assailants, told him he'd been dumped there from the trunk of a car, and helped Allenby get a cab back to his hotel.

    At some point Allenby took a selfie of his injuries, which was broadcast on the Golf Channel, and the world honed in on his story.

     

  • Tiger's tooth is back, and so is his sense of humor

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

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    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tiger Woods' lost dominance may never return. His vanished tooth, though, is back. And so is his sense of humor.

    Woods finished his nine-hole practice round at the TPC course here early Tuesday morning and met the media with a weapon as rare as his recent tournament appearances: zingers.

    Tiger explained that he was at girlfriend Lindsey Vonn's recent ski race wearing a skeleton mask "so no one knew who I was, trying to blend in, because there's not a lot of brown dudes at ski races."

    As for the missing tooth, which would probably be the most overcooked media story this week if not for deflate-gate, Woods insisted a cameraman did indeed hit him after the race and knocked it loose.

    Woods kept the light vibe during a follow-up.

    Asked why he thought people aren't buying the story, Woods simply said, "It is just what it is."

    Tiger's ability on Tuesday to avoid being ruthless about being toothless is a much better look.

  • Exonerated of rape, Brian Banks now realizing NFL dream – in different capacity

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    It's been nearly half a lifetime since Pete Carroll walked up to Brian Banks at Long Beach Poly High and said, "Hey, you can do something. You can be something."

    Banks was 15 years old at the time, and to him, that message seemed clear: he had a future playing football.

    But two years later, Banks became ensnared in an ordeal of injustice, anger and heartbreak that lasted a decade. On his way to possibly playing for Carroll at USC, Banks was wrongly accused of raping a girl at his high school. Rather than facing 41 years to life in prison if he fought the charges and lost, he pleaded guilty and was sent to prison for five years.

    "I screamed and yelled and begged for people to help," Banks said Sunday by phone. "And even then no one listened."

    Banks, now 29, was cleared and freed in May 2012 after serving five years of probation (in addition to the five years in prison) when his accuser recanted her story. He got a tryout from Carroll and the Seahawks, and then another from the Falcons. But it was too late for his original dream to come true.

    So the challenge became about separating himself from his plight, and finding power over it.

  • Disgraceful NFL exit? Hardly for Super Bowl-bound LeGarrette Blount

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  – He was arrested. He was cut. Then he went to the Super Bowl.

    "This is my first time winning anything," LeGarrette Blount said Sunday night, his eyes glimmering after a 30-carry, 148-yard, three-touchdown game against the Indianapolis Colts here. "We never won [high school] states. We never won the national championship at Oregon."

    Now his new team, and his old team, had won an AFC championship trophy. Blount picked a couple of strips of confetti out of the base of the silverware, then held it in his hand as he stood in front of his locker. He had been grinning for a good 45 minutes, smiling wider when asked about going from the outs with the Pittsburgh Steelers to the star of the show in a championship game.

    "It's a blessing that I ended up here," he said.

    LeGarrette Blount with the Lamar Hunt trophy. pic.twitter.com/CyKNUcJyFX

    "If you don't want to be here, don't be here," Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey told reporters at the time. "He had a decision to make as a man, and he made it. You know the consequences."

    "Can't beat that."

     

  • Why Cardale Jones' decision to return to Ohio State may be the right move

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    Instead of cashing in, Cardale Jones went all in.

    The 22-year-old overnight pro prospect called a press conference Thursday to announce what he described on Twitter as a "life-changing decision." Most everyone figured the Buckeyes quarterback would bolt for the pros after the best three-game NFL audition in college football history. But just when cynicism seems to dominate the sports landscape, a glimpse of idealism shows up. Jones said he wasn't ready to leave, and he wanted to get his degree. He made a major bet on himself.

    "It's everybody's dream when they play a collegiate sport to make it to the next level," Jones said in a very short press event. "At my point in my career, I feel like it's best for me to go back to school and one of the most important things for me is to graduate."

    Sure, there's reason to think this was as calculated as cold hard cash: Jones thinks he can stay at Ohio State for a year and then get selected at the very top of the draft instead of in the second or third round. But consider the risks, and the self-belief Jones needed to stay in Columbus.

  • It's Boom (Herron) or bust for Colts against favored Patriots

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    Beating Peyton Manning in Denver was a supreme feat for Andrew Luck, so it's hard for a lot of people to imagine following that up with a victory against Tom Brady in New England.

    The rapidly ascending Colts quarterback might have a fairly simple way to do it, though.

    Hand off to Daniel "Boom" Herron eight times.

    Indianapolis is 8-0 this season, including two playoff victories, when Herron has eight rushing attempts or more. In all five of the Colts' losses, Herron had seven attempts or fewer. That includes New England's 42-20 maiming of the Colts on Nov. 16, in which Herron had no carries at all.

    Too simplistic? Maybe, but each team's ground game has changed since the Patriots' win in Indianapolis. Jonas Gray, who trampled a sieve-like Colts' defense for 201 yards and four touchdowns, wasn't even active against the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday. The Patriots had 14 rushing yards against Baltimore, with Tom Brady taking the lion's share of rushing attempts with six.

    Boom.