Jay Busbee

  • Alabama outlasts Auburn in strange, kick-heavy Iron Bowl

    Jay Busbee at Dr. Saturday 18 hrs ago

    AUBURN, Ala.—The famed Toomer’s Corners oaks have been gone for more than two years now. The Auburn icons, poisoned by a way-too-enthusiastic Alabama fan in 2011, are now souvenir shards; in their place stand newer, tinier oaks protected by fences. “This is tradition,” reads a small sign on the fence. “This is worth the wait. This is Auburn.”

    It’s a fine sentiment, patience, one that has little place in college football. And yet that’s exactly what Auburn fans will need: patience, and truckloads of it. Auburn lost Saturday’s Iron Bowl 29-13 to relentless rival Alabama thanks to Derrick Henry's 271 yards on 46 carries, but not before a healthy serving of the strangeness that always characterizes this rivalry.


    This is how we got there. Start with a perfect college football day, 73 degrees and sunny, a light breeze keeping everyone in perfect comfort – it’s the kind of day that makes alumni wish they were still undergrads, and makes undergrads believe they’ll live forever.

    Still, this is a blood rivalry. Strange things happen when Auburn and Alabama meet. No one knows that better, or with more acute pain, than Saban himself.







    Such things happen here.

  • Packers fall to Bears as Green Bay honors Brett Favre

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago


    On this most holiest of football nights, the gods of football looked down upon Lambeau Field and decreed, LET THERE BE MUD.

    The Green Bay Packers welcomed in the Chicago Bears for the latest in their long-running rivalry, but the game, which the Bears won 17-13, was of secondary importance on this Thanksgiving night. The evening was built around the halftime ceremony honoring Packers legend Brett Favre, and the heavens provided the appropriate backdrop for the occasion: torrents of just-above-freezing rain.

    The Packers honored prodigal son Favre by retiring his number, and in a too-brief halftime ceremony, Favre greeted his teammates and thanked his family, team, and fans for their support through the years. In one of the more touching moments in recent NFL history, Favre embraced fellow Packer legend Bart Starr, the former quarterback now battling a range of health and mental ailments. Favre and Starr had tears in their eyes as they hugged. A few moments later, Favre found his rival and replacement, Aaron Rodgers, on the Green Bay sideline and had an embrace ready for him as well.

    PODCAST: Are officials biased against the Redskins because of the team's name?

  • Report: Tony Romo out for the rest of the season

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago


    Whatever faint hopes the Dallas Cowboys might have had for a playoff run vanished in a teal fog on Thanksgiving afternoon, as the Carolina Panthers manhandled the Cowboys 33-14. Ladling insult atop injury like gravy atop stuffing, the Cowboys lost Tony Romo on a sack that re-injured the same left clavicle that kept Romo out of seven consecutive games.

    The Cowboys took Romo for an immediate X-ray, and soon afterward, ESPN's Ed Werder reported the grim news:

    While X-rays on Tony Romo collarbone inconclusive and more tests scheduled tomorrow, a source told me the QB is "done for the season."

    This is awful for anyone who has tickets to a Cowboys home game or has a Cowboys receiver on their fantasy roster for the remainder of the year, but the truth is, this team was already toast. A pristine Romo couldn't lead this team back to the playoffs this season. Between this and the Eagles' implosion, the way is clear for an unlikely playoff run from either the New York Giants or Washington Redskins.

  • Kyle Busch's victory unites families, caps a year of pain and triumph

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 6 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla. — As Kyle Busch ran the most important laps of his life, wheeling his No. 18 through turn after turn after turn, the most important people in his life gathered in his pit box, watching and waiting and praying.

    Gaye Busch, Kyle’s mother, stood alone underneath the box’s awning, earphones in her ears, listening in on Kyle’s radio channel. Joe Gibbs, Kyle’s team owner, paced a tight line next to the pit box, checking stats taped to the wall, checking the track, over and over again. Samantha Busch, Kyle’s wife, dressed more for an evening on South Beach than a night at the races, watched the laps wind down with tears in her eyes.

    Twenty laps remaining until NASCAR crowned its new champion. Kyle had opened up a several-second lead on the three other challengers for the championship. All around the pit box, cameras and onlookers had gathered. A few feet away, the throngs that had jammed the retiring Jeff Gordon’s pit stall all weekend had dissipated. Gordon’s story, as good as it was, was the past; Busch was the present and, perhaps, the future.

  • Martin Truex Jr.'s car catches fire in pit lane, he drives off in a hurry

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 6 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—There's a reason they tell you not to smoke anywhere near pit road at a NASCAR race.

    Martin Truex Jr., one of the four drivers in the hunt for a championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, had a heart-stopping moment roughly halfway through the race. While Truex was in for a routine pit stop, a random spark ignited the race fuel being pumped into his car. Both the car and the gas can nozzle burned, and Truex drove off in a hurry. His gas can holder tilted the can upward to keep more fuel from burning, and within moments the flame was a memory.

    Once again: NASCAR drivers, and their crews, are just a bit insane.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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  • Born of tragedy, Homestead Speedway has helped a city return

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 6 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—America’s highway system, for all practical purposes, ends about a mile from Homestead-Miami Speedway. The tunnel leading into the track bears the designation of “Southernmost Tunnel in the United States, 180 miles from Cuba.” The track sits in the middle of swampland, the runoff of the Everglades.

    The roads around the track, such as they are, stretch on perfect compass lines, meeting at right angles. Some are sun-bleached pavement, others are twin tire ruts plunging into the underbrush. Palm tree farms dot the territory around the Air Base and the track, advertising BLOW-OUT SALE in eight-foot-tall weatherbeaten letters.

    There is no earthy reason for a track to be here. And yet here it is, now 20 years on, the host of NASCAR’s championship hunt and an arena with one of the more fascinating backstories in American sports.

    In mid-August of 1992, a small storm system formed in the Atlantic. Meteorologists didn’t even bother naming it until August 22, and even then, Hurricane Andrew seemed to be one of the dozens of storms that sputter out in a spray of rain.

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  • Watch a guy set a world record, devouring 71 ribs in five minutes

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 7 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Matt Stonie devoured 71 ribs in five minutes on Sunday, which is impressive in part because Stonie doesn't look much bigger than a pork rib himself.  Here, watch:

    Watch Matt Stonie devour a ton of ribs, and keep your fingers away from his mouth. pic.twitter.com/FuF5jnppai

    As part of a Smithfield "Whole Hog Challenge" promotion, Stonie powered through nearly six dozen ribs with the determined bearing of an MMA fighter, twisting the meat off the bone, devouring it in four bites per rib, following every few ribs with a gulp of water, and stopping every dozen or so to jump up and down and settle the meat in his stomach. Richard Petty, the winningest driver in NASCAR history, looked on, an unreadable grin on his face.

    Stonie, nicknamed "Megatoad," powered through the ribs as Sam Barclay, the carnival barker-esque emcee of Major League Eating, rallied the crowd. Aric Almirola, who now drives the Smithfield 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports, smiled and shook his head in disbelief.

    PODCAST: Jeff Gordon ends his career; NASCAR championship preview:

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  • Denny Hamlin wins the final pole of the season at Homestead

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 8 days ago

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    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—The final qualifying round of the 2015 season, and of Jeff Gordon's career, ended with a mild surprise: Gordon qualifying second among the four drivers hunting for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship.

    Denny Hamlin—"Mr. Irrelevant," as he dubbed himself—won the pole. Gordon, after struggling early in the first round, managed to fight his way up to fifth. Kyle Busch will start third, Martin Truex Jr. will start 11th, and Kevin Harvick will start 13th.

    "Sitting back here and watching Jeff talk and everything, it's like, man, you know, I thought about it before, but I didn't think about like how awesome it would be [for Hamlin] to win his final race," Hamlin said. "No disrespect to him, but man, that would be awesome to win his final race. I hope he finishes third behind Kyle."

    PODCAST: Previewing Jeff Gordon's final race and the NASCAR finale:

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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  • Kenseth, Logano finally meet to clear air at Homestead

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 8 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—The last time Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano were in close proximity, Logano was riding Kenseth's bumper right into the Turn 1 wall at Martinsville. Logano still had championship hopes, and Kenseth was racing in his 571st consecutive race dating back to early 2000.

    Three weeks later, Logano is out of the championship hunt. Kenseth's consecutive-starts streak is now at zero. Their feud, which divided NASCAR fans, drivers, and officials, has faded into the background of a championship chase and a retirement celebration. But is their fight truly over?

    Perhaps. "I think everything will be fine there," Kenseth said in a story first reported by the AP. "I mean, I wish none of it had happened, obviously. There's probably certain things we'll never agree on, but I think long-term it will be fine and we'll work it out."

    PODCAST: Jeff Gordon retirement celebration, Homestead preview:

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  • NFL sees record number of long pass TDs: good offense or terrible defense?

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 12 days ago

    You probably already know this if you've checked your fantasy scores, but the NFL recorded a record number of 75-plus-yard passing touchdowns on Sunday—six, to be exact. (Hopefully some were for your team and none for your opponent's.) Big plays are dramatic, big plays ignite or deflate the crowd, big plays get the highlight commentators whooping ... but why did we see so many all at once?

    The New York Timesran down the list of big passing plays, a list which doesn't even include Adrian Peterson's 80-yard run:

    • An 85-yarder by Chicago's Zach Miller against St. Louis;

    • An 88-yarder by fellow Bear Jeremy Langford;

    • A 78-yarder by Washington's Matt Jones;

    • An 80-yarder by Kansas City's Charcandrick West against Denver;

    • An 87-yarder by New York's Odell Beckham Jr. against New England; and

    • A 76-yarder by the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski against the Giants.

    Listen to Yahoo Sports' Grandstanding podcast for more NFL coverage:

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