Jay Busbee

  • 'The Walking Dead' takes a bat to the ratings of the NFL

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 3 hrs ago

    How about that? Turns out someone wielding a baseball bat can beat the NFL after all.

    AMC’s “The Walking Dead” kicked off its seventh season by resolving a six-month-old cliffhanger—which of the show’s main characters would the sociopathic madman Negan kill with his wire-wrapped bat?—and in the process delivered eye-popping ratings. The show ended with an 8.4 rating among viewers 18-49 and 17 million viewers overall, demolishing the NFL’s 5.3 rating for the same demographic.

    That’s not great news for the NFL, especially considering that Sunday night’s ratings were actually an increase of 18 percent over the dismal returns of last week’s Indianapolis-Houston game.

    But if there’s home amidst the blood and gore for the NFL, it’s this: the game remained a strong draw despite being one of the worst games ever played in the history of mankind:

  • DeMarcus Ware's Super Bowl ring stolen in home burglary

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 3 hrs ago

    NFL players present complicated targets for theft. On one hand, you can know exactly when they’re going to be out of the house. On the other, you’re robbing one of the more notable public figures in the community, and one who makes a living by hurting people besides.

    Some enterprising Denver-area thieves decided the risk was worth the potential reward, and decided to rob Denver Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware of some possessions on Monday night, even as Ware’s teammates were robbing the Houston Texans of their dignity.

    Among the items lifted from Ware’s house: his Super Bowl ring, won this past February. The rings aren’t especially hard to replace, and a unique treasure like this would be almost impossible to sell, but still: it’s the principle of the thing, you know?

    “After a great win, came home to find my house was robbed,” Ware, who’s currently sidelined with a fractured elbow, wrote on Twitter. “Never about the material things for me but my safety. Thank God for hidden cameras.”

    The burglars had better hope the police find them before Von Miller does.

  • World Series preview: Cubs or Indians, who ya got? (Podcast)

    Jay Busbee at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The World Series has arrived, and as you may have heard, it features a couple of historically inept teams that have morphed into world-beaters. Today, we bring you a preview of sorts, a breakdown not only of these two teams but these two towns. Big League Stew’s Mike Osegueda joins the regular Grandstanding crew to break down the Fall Classic, and topics include:

    • How the players will deal with pressure of playing for tradition-laden cities • Which players will make a difference early and late in the Series • Who ought to throw out the first pitch in Chicago • How Fox Sports did the impossible in rehabbing Alex Rodriguez’s image

    …and so much more. Click below to listen, and enjoy the Series!

    About the Grandstanding podcast: Hosted by Yahoo Sports writers Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk, the Grandstanding podcast is posted three times per week and features talk about the NFL, NBA, MLB and more. To receive Grandstanding on your smartphone, subscribe via your favorite podcast provider.

  • Eli Manning denies using 'Trump' as audible, but Brady does

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, Eli Manning barked out an audible that sounded a whole lot like “Trump! Trump!” Unremarkable, really; quarterbacks holler all kinds of words pre-snap to realign the offense. Heck, some fella used to holler “Omaha!” all the time.

    But for whatever reason, Eli ran hard away from the suggestion that he had name-checked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “No. No Trump call. No Trump call,” Manning said after the game. “We had something very similar, but no. No. It was not a Trump. So no, no audible this week.” In other words: as with everything involving this election, who you gonna believe, me or your lying ears?

  • Harvick has words, jab for Kurt Busch after Talladega

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 2 days ago

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    TALLADEGA, Ala.—Teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch are moving on together to the next round of the Chase. But all is not harmonious in the Stewart-Haas camp.

    Shortly after the end of the race, Busch hit Harvick in the side during the cooldown lap; it appeared to be a continuation of the paint-trading that happened in the final laps of the race. Harvick was angry enough that he stormed over to Busch’s car on pit road and punched at something—helmet, post, whatever—hard enough to rock the entire car on its chassis.

    “He cleaned the side of our car out after the checkered flag,” Harvick said. “I don’t really understand that.” Asked if Busch had offered up any kind of explanation, Harvick replied, “Not really.”

    Busch struck a tone that was a touch more inclusive, but no less pointed. “He has a misunderstanding of the call of the end of the race,” Busch said. “We’re great teammates. We’re doing good together. We have to work to beat these teams together, and he knows that.”

  • Joey Logano wins Talladega; Truex, Keselowski, Elliott, Dillon eliminated

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    TALLADEGA, Ala.—There are three ways to race at Talladega:

    -Run in the front. -Run in the pack. -Run far behind the pack.

    No matter which option you pick, one of the other two was probably a better choice.

    Joey Logano won the Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega, punching a guaranteed ticket through to the next round of the Chase. Drivers whose Chase hopes ended on Sunday included Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Austin Dillon.

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    Sunday’s race demonstrated just how tricky restrictor-plate racing can be, particularly when such a valuable prize as advancement is at stake. Keselowski and Truex lost out on their bids to advance when their engines failed them. Elliott wasn’t able to work his way through the pack, and Dillon lost out on a tiebreaker with Hamlin.

    The tiebreaker goes to the driver with the best finish in a round. Hamlin finished third Sunday, higher than any finish Dillon had in the second round.

    [Podcast: Why Talladega is an American sports legend]

  • Engine woes doom Brad Keselowski's 2016 championship hopes

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 2 days ago

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    TALLADEGA, Ala.—After a day in which he’d thoroughly dominated both the field and the track, a day that ended with a championship-killing engine failure, Brad Keselowski spoke for exactly 49 seconds. That was probably 48 seconds more than he needed; you could sum up Keselowski’s frustration with one single FCC-forbidden curse.

    Keselowski didn’t need a win to advance to the next round of the Chase, but he needed an exceptionally strong afternoon. And that’s exactly what he put together, using both strategy and physics to lead a race-high 90 laps. But on lap 144, Keselowski’s engine suddenly gave out, and he lurched from second place down to the apron before heading straight to the garage. The failure means Keselowski will not have enough points to advance to the next round of the Chase.

    “Just wasn’t meant to be,” Keselowski said moments after climbing from the smoking car. “That’s the way it goes.” After a few minutes, he appeared on NBC, holding his daughter and allowing that “We got our whining out of the way … we’re going to go and try to win the next four races.”

  • Martin Truex Jr.'s championship season evaporates with engine trouble

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles 2 days ago

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    TALLADEGA, Ala.—Martin Truex Jr. began his year with a bitter loss in the Daytona 500, coming up just six inches short of a trip to victory lane. He’ll end this year with an even more painful thud, a championship-caliber season falling victim to a blown engine at Talladega.

    This was supposed to be Truex’s year, a season in which everything came together for the Jersey driver and Denver race team. Truex won four races, including the Coca-Cola 600, the Southern 500, and two of the first three races in the first round of the Chase. But in the Chase, you’re only as good as the current three-race segment, and Truex’s earlier victories meant nothing in the round of 12. Truex entered the race 13 points ahead of the cutoff line, not nearly enough to feel comfortable.

    Early on in the race, Truex, the pole winner, challenged Brad Keselowski for the race lead, even notching a couple laps led. But by lap 41, Truex’s engine let go, and he had no choice but to take his car straight to the garage.

    “I originally thought it was maybe a tire issue, but when I slowed down and came to pit road, I knew it was an engine issue,” he said. “I knew we’d need a miracle.”

  • Texans claw out 26-23 overtime win over slightly more inept Colts

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 9 days ago

    You know the old philosophical question about whether an irresistible force could overwhelm an immovable object. Sunday night’s NFL game offered up the opposite extreme: a highly resistible force, the Texans offense, squaring off against an easily movable object in the form of the Colts defense.

    The result, which of course had to be determined in overtime: a 26-23 Houston victory that should bring Texans fans only slight comfort, and which should absolutely devastate anyone who pins their hopes on the Colts.

    Indianapolis controlled the game for 53 minutes, but the Colts’ overworked defense eventually stepped on itself and allowed Houston to score twice in the span of six minutes. Only an earlier missed Texans extra point allowed Indianapolis to even elude the regulation-time loss. The Colts’ battered offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback Andrew Luck for the full game, and the result was a team that collapsed literally, figuratively, metaphorically and spiritually.

  • Oakland's coliseum is leaking under heavy rains

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 9 days ago

    There are several NFL organizations that could be accused of putting a crappy product on the field. But there’s only one that could be accused of allowing a crappy product into its hallways.

    Rain drenched Sunday’s Raiders-Chiefs game at Oakland Coliseum, and that rain flowed from the heavens to the field to, well … the bowels of the stadium:

    Look at this mess in the bowels of the Coliseum. Players have to walk through this to go to and from the field. Smh. pic.twitter.com/z87Q1ObsLp

    — Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) October 16, 2016

    There’s concern that the waters might not just be rainwater. Such concerns are not without precedent;as recently as this past May, sewage systems at the stadium backed up, and the result was every bit as nasty as you’d expect.

    Back to the current day. The rain soaked all the way through the stadium: