- Jay Busbee at The Dagger5 hrs ago
The SEC has stomped over pretty much every team and conference in the country over the last few years ... in football, at least. In basketball? Not quite as much. Even though the SEC boasts this year's top overall seed in Florida, there are apparently more than a few affiliated with the conference who consider basketball to be merely a way to kill a few hours before spring football. Case in point, this sign spotted at the SEC tourney at the Georgia Dome this past weekend:
Yes, that's a sign advertising "kickoff" of the basketball tournament. Wishful thinking, perhaps. Though, considering how well most of the SEC teams fared this year, perhaps they were in fact thinking that this was just football without pads.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay faces a preliminary misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance after being arrested Sunday night.
According to Hamilton County (Ind.) police, Irsay was arrested in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel at about 3 a.m. ET. Irsay was observed stopping in the middle of the road and failed to signal when pulling over.
"During the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests," police said in a statement.
Several Schedule IV bottles of prescription medication were found in Irsay's car. "Multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles," police said. "These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle." Irsay was detained, with bail set at $22,500.
- Shutdown Corner3 days ago
Take a breath, everybody. We made it through the first wave of free agency. Think about how much better your team is now than it was a week ago. (Unless your team is the Oakland Raiders, in which case: drink.) We discuss the players who have shifted teams, including DeMarcus Ware, Darren Sproles, and Darrelle Revis. We discuss the teams who have taken steps forward, and those who have taken steps back. And we discuss John Elway, who may be brilliant, insane, or both.
And because this is the offseason, we bookend this with talk of pie and disgusting sandwiches on the front end, and Vegas betting on the back end.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 days ago
If you, an NFL fan, think the offseason is long, imagine how hard it is for players. They're amped up for five months and idle for seven (ten if you're with Cleveland). And when your entire persona revolves around a need for attention, well, you've gotta get eyeballs however you can.
Witness: Richard Sherman and DeAngelo Hall, a couple cornerbacks who are absolutely convinced that they are the best player on the field at any given moment. In the offseason, that "field" extends to Twitter, and both of them spent much of Thursday night looking to shut down the other.
Sherman got into a little snipefest with former Patriot LeGarrette Blount over whether Sherman or new Patriot Darrelle Revis was a better cornerback. That, friends, was merely the appetizer to this brawl. It seemed to begin innocently enough, with Hall taking the wise-elder route:
@RSherman_25 I know you can't wait for your turn young fella. Stay patience and keep working.
Hall tried to go the Jedi-wisdom route, all the while subtly reminding Sherman to know his role:
- Shutdown Corner4 days ago
Everybody loves big-number free-agent contracts with multiple years and multiple zeroes — players can put a price on their worth, agents can demonstrate their own value, teams can show how much they're willing to shell out to field a winner.
Of course, the truth is that in the NFL, few of those monster contracts ever pay out completely. Most players get cut long before they cash every allotted paycheck. The actual number, though, is pretty surprising.
The Big Lead has crunched the numbers, and found that over a period from 2005 to 2010, only eight percent of the top 50 free agents across that time who signed deals of five-plus years ended up playing out their contract. Those players: Drew Brees, Reggie Hayward, Derrick Mason, Charles Woodson, and Adam Vinatieri, with Justin Smith, presumably on San Francisco's roster at the start of next season, rounding out the list.
- Shutdown Corner4 days ago
The NFL's a business. Sentimentality is nice, but sentimentality doesn't put points on the board. So when a beloved player gets the boot, there are understandable hurt feelings. On Tuesday, former Saints RB Darren Sproles found out he was going to be traded rather than released on Twitter, of all places, and his wife Michel was, to put it politely, not amused.
You can understand her frustration on both an emotional and financial level. Finding out you're going to be traded and not cut via Twitter is a pretty cold way for the Saints to do business. Plus, cutting Sproles would allow him to negotiate a presumably more lucrative deal, whereas he's still under his old contract via a trade.
- Shutdown Corner5 days ago
EA Sports prides itself on faithfully recreating the National Football League in its Madden series. (If we've heard the phrase "If it's in the game, it's in the game" once, we've heard it ten thousand times.) Still, there are certain elements, both fanciful and realistic, which the NFL requested/demanded that EA remove. Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard gave us a complete rundown, starting with that infamous ambulance:
If that twangy proto-"Seinfeld" music doesn't spark your nostalgia, the gameplay certainly will. Now, you'll note that in this particular iteration of the game, the ambulance drove straight onto the field, mowing over several players in the process. That seems a short-sighted method of primary care. And the wanton crushing of players off-camera, accompanied by gruesome slopping sounds? Well, that's just plain unnecessary.
- From The Marbles5 days ago
NASCAR's new "knockout" qualifying format has been a success so far, drawing praise from both fans and drivers early in the season. But the one glaring flaw has been the fact that hot cars don't cool down fast enough between runs. This has forced drivers to take extra laps at school-zone speeds while other drivers are hammer-down full speed. Anyone who's come upon a driver doing 40 on the highway can see the potential safety issue here.
So NASCAR hasmoved to address that concernby allowing crews to hook up cooling units to the cars on pit road. NASCAR officials had resisted the idea in the past, saying that allowing teams to open the hood would make it too difficult to police teams. So this new change will allow cooling units to access the car through hood flaps, not by opening the hood itself.
It will be a welcome change for drivers, who were aware of the potential dangers. Brian Vickers called the combination qualifying/cooldown lap routine "the most dangerous thing I've ever done in a race car."
- Shutdown Corner5 days ago
Well, this was a little awkward. Even though former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has gone through retirement ceremonies (twice) and accepted a job as a commentator on CBS Sports this fall, he apparently hadn't officially filed his retirement paperwork. As a result, Atlantahad to release him, and now has no claim on him should he decide to un-retire.
This seems like a formality, but there's more to it than that. Had the Falcons carried a not-officially-retired Gonzalez into the 2014 league year, he would have counted $8.75 million against the Falcons' cap, which is an awful lot to pay for a guy wearing a tie in a different city. Not only that, he was due a $3 million bonus this month had he remained on the roster.