LAS VEGAS (AP) — The NFL draft served up some special Sauce to go along with Roger Goodell’s usual array of hugs.
On the first day of the draft, Las Vegas stepped up to provide the sizzle.
In a scene that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, the city delivered just when needed most.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The NFL brings the traveling circus that is its draft to a city where nothing — including 300-pound football players posing with showgirls and circus clowns above the Bellagio hotel fountains — is too outlandish.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — For the briefest of moments, there was the smallest bit of hope. A day that began with little to shoot for other than a top 10 suddenly threatened to turn magical for Rory McIlroy as he made his way around Augusta National, triumphantly holing his final shot from the sand for a birdie on 18, in a final round that might have won him the Masters any other time.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods still held out a faint ray of hope as he peered into the future after his second round and reminded everyone that the old adage is true — the Masters really doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The masses spread out across Augusta National believed, roaring gleefully from the time Tiger Woods stepped on the first tee until he trudged up the 18th hole, using his wedge to help brace his steps along the way.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The buzz built quickly as Tiger Woods finished chipping a bag of balls, gave Bubba Watson a fist bump, and headed to the practice tee to hit a handful of easy drives. A few minutes later he emerged from the clubhouse lawn to rapturous applause as thousands of fans crowded around with phones held high trying desperately to get a glimpse of golf history unfolding in front of them.
Once again, hope springs eternal, at least on the ballfields in Arizona and Florida. Soon, there will be spring training games and then a season that even the collective greed of Major League Baseball owners and players couldn’t derail.
Calvin Ridley had no inside information and, apparently, no idea how to bet. In other words, he was just like millions of other neophyte bettors lured in by promises of riches from sports betting operators and the leagues they cohabitate with.
The talks are over, at least for now. Opening day is gone, too, and now we’re forced to wait to see if we get any baseball at all.
If there was any good news coming out of baseball’s labor talks in Florida it was this: At least now we know who to blame.
The two big men standing shoulder to shoulder in The Associated Press photo taken Sunday in the mayor’s office in beleaguered Kyiv, Ukraine, were instantly recognizable to most boxing fans. Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, the sons of a Soviet major general, are both former heavyweight champions and whenever one was in the ring, the other was always helping from the corner.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Donald was in the Cincinnati backfield one last time, his arms closing in around Joe Burrow with everything on the line. On a Rams team loaded with stars, this was his moment in his town and Donald wasn’t about to let go.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s been nearly three decades since the city where the Super Bowl began last hosted the big game. The year was 1993 and, if you’re looking for an indication how much times have changed, O.J.
Give Roger Goodell his due. He could have gone to the beach on a beautiful Southern California day rather than sit in the midday sun Wednesday and parry questions he knew were coming from reporters who knew what the answers would be.
It’s not that difficult to figure out how the Los Angeles Rams made it to the Super Bowl. They were built much like the glorious edifice that is their new home, with the checkbook always open whenever a new shiny bauble attracted their attention.
The fact there is inherent racism in the NFL — at least at the top level — has never been much of a secret. A cursory glance at coaching and front office hires over the years is enough to conclude there's a reason the league has failed miserably in putting Blacks in charge of teams — and keeping them there.
Money Mac was going to deliver, just as Joe Burrow did a few moments earlier and the Bengals' defense did for the entire second half and more. They had come too far down this improbable road not to finish things off, even if history and the wrong end of a coin flip threatened to derail their best laid plans.
Aaron Rodgers seemed tired and uninterested, almost as if working overtime to spread fake science and conspiracy theories was more important to him than getting the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl.
And then there was one.
David Culley didn’t even last a calendar year with the Houston Texans, as dysfunctional an NFL team as there is. Culley spent 43 years as an assistant in college and pros, but his tenure as a head coach ended after just 17 games.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The firing in Miami was a head scratcher, considering Brian Flores won eight of his last nine games and seemed to have the Dolphins moving firmly in the right direction. Not so much in Minnesota and Chicago, where both the coaches and general managers had long since worn out their welcome.
It sure seemed like a goodbye as Ben Roethlisberger took a victory lap around Heinz Field, much to the delight of the fans who have cheered his remarkable career.
It seemed like the end of the regular season, too, but that’s another story.
The Las Vegas Raiders were feeling pretty good about themselves after beating Denver on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes intact. In a city built on losers they were suddenly looking a lot like winners, thanks to a defense that allowed only 27 points in its last two games.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Their $100 million coach is gone, his career destroyed by emails as vile as they were disturbing. The team president who spearheaded the Raiders' move to Las Vegas is looking for a new job, too, after reportedly botching some tax payments.
By now we’ve gotten used to the idea that athletes may not be as accountable off the field as they are forced to be on it.
The latest case in point would be in Mississippi, where favorite son Brett Favre engaged in a Twitter feud with the state auditor over more than $1 million paid out to the former quarterback that should have gone to the poor and hungry in the state.
Stop if this sounds familiar. The World Series is here, and so, unfortunately, are the Houston Astros.
For the third time in just five years, if you’re keeping score at home. And, yes, they’ve brought their baggage along.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — No one needed official evidence but it came anyway from the state of New Jersey, where people apparently really like to bet on sports. They put more than $1 billion on their favorites in September, the first time that has happened since the state legalized sports betting a little more than three years ago.
Jon Gruden might still be coaching had he merely been exposed as a remorseful racist.
His email about union chief DeMaurice Smith's lips was both disturbing and despicable, but it was from a decade ago when Gruden was not coaching in the NFL.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Davis Love III was in contention, as if anyone cared. He played before a handful of mostly silent fans who couldn’t help but notice the ruckus unfolding a few holes ahead as Tiger Woods made his way through the back nine on what would become an historic Sunday in sports.
Tom Brady’s return to New England will surely be a massive lovefest, at least up until the moment he lines up under center Sunday night for Tampa Bay. With good reason, because there’s a lot to celebrate for the greatest quarterback of his time and the legacy he somehow keeps writing at the age of 44.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Of course he cried. The odds of Steve Stricker not having tears running down his face after leading the U.S. to a dominating Ryder Cup win were about as long as the chances of Europe roaring back on Sunday to beat the Americans.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Their day was done and, as the afternoon matches teed off, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger were playing to the crowd. They tossed a few beers to the thousands packed into the stands around the first tee at Whistling Straits, then drew cheers from everyone in red, white and blue by chugging a couple themselves.
SHEYBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Ever since the Europeans started winning Ryder Cups in bunches, various brain trusts from the American side have tried to figure out ways to turn the tables.
They’ve made pods, studied pairings like they were complicated algorithms, and added so many assistant captains that you half expected Phil Mickelson to walk out and play a few shots as he followed Bryson DeChambeau around at Whistling Straits.
SHEYBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The video put out by the U.S. Ryder Cup media staff tried to say one thing. The body language from Brooks Koepka told a different story.
Yes, he’s teammates for the week with Bryson DeChambeau and 10 other guys, charged with regaining the Ryder Cup on home soil.
Tiger Woods won’t be at Whistling Straits this week, for obvious reasons. Phil Mickelson will, but for the first time since 1995, he won’t hit a shot in the Ryder Cup.
The storyline in the Ryder Cup hasn’t changed, but the marquee players have — at least when it comes to the beleaguered U.S.
Making money in boxing means never having to say you’re sorry.
Not for allowing Evander Holyfield to risk his life at the age of 58 just to make a few bucks. Certainly not for stealing money from gullible fans for a farce of a pay per view show that would have done terrible damage to the sport if only the sport wasn’t so badly damaged already.
Tom Brady didn’t need to throw another pass to be considered the greatest ever, even as he took the field at the age of 44 Thursday night to win on yet another last-second drive in the opener for the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The first week of college football is in the books and, surprisingly enough, no players were injured while lining their pockets with endorsement money.
The end of college football as we know it didn’t come either, confounding the ominous warnings repeated so often for so long by so many in positions of power in the sport.
At the BMW Championship, the well lubricated shouted “Patty Ice” as Patrick Cantlay rolled in putt after putt to take down Bryson DeChambeau in a playoff about as compelling as golf can offer.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao’s story is so remarkable that anyone familiar with it can’t help but root that it doesn’t come with a bad ending.
Fighting his way out of abject poverty in the Philippines was an accomplishment all by itself.
No one disputes that boxing is hard, really hard. For Nico Ali Walsh, living up his grandfather’s name might be even harder.
He was, after all, The Greatest.
“He’s just my grandfather and it’s as simple as that,” Ali Walsh said.
This isn’t a betting column, though there does appear to be an opportunity to make a few bucks in the NFL market. That would be in Minnesota, where quarterback Kirk Cousins seems intent on sabotaging any chance the Vikings can match the win total of nine games set by oddsmakers going into the season.
One thing seems clear by glancing at social media surrounding San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane. He has some issues, and his wife says betting on his own team is one of them.
Anna Kane said some other things, too, in an Instagram post over the weekend that also accused the hockey player of partying in Europe while the bank was going after their house and she was struggling to buy formula for their baby.
Finally, it all became too much. Simone Biles felt it hours before she took the floor in Tokyo, a nervousness she couldn’t explain as she waited to deliver what everyone except her was sure would be a gold medal for the U.S.
Two things are increasingly evident as NFL training camps open for a season that league officials are determined to play — and finish — on time.
The first is that COVID-19 vaccines, while highly effective, are not foolproof.
For a long time, the hardest thing about being a Louis Oosthuizen fan was figuring out how to pronounce his last name.
Now it’s figuring out what’s going on inside his mind.
Two major championships seemingly his for the asking in the space of a month.
It’s taken way too long but, finally, Mark Emmert is speaking the truth. He’s seen the future, and it doesn’t include him or his colleagues at the NCAA.
She could have — make that should have — been a breakout star in an Olympics desperate for any kind of positive jolt. Sha'Carri Richardson has the look and she has the goods, and it wasn’t out of the question to picture her walking around Tokyo with a pair of gold medals draped around her neck.
The numbers are in, and the WNBA has something to brag about. The league declared Monday that 99% of its players have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and all 12 teams are considered fully vaccinated.
The four Cubs pitchers were checked one by one as they left the mound Thursday night, and all passed inspection. Getting a grip on the baseball didn’t seem to be an issue at Dodger Stadium, where the visiting hurlers combined to throw the seventh no-hitter of the season in the major leagues.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm had safely deposited his infant son back in his wife’s arms by the time a seemingly unflappable Louis Oosthuizen finally coughed it up on the 17th hole at Torrey Pines. He stood, hands on hips, watching on TV as Oosthuizen’s par putt slid past the hole and it became increasingly clear he would become a U.S.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — His biggest fans peered down from above as Rory McIlroy’s long eagle putt from the back of the 18th green stopped within tap-in range for a closing birdie. Erica Stoll clapped as best she could for her husband while holding their young daughter on the hotel balcony and then went inside, her golf watching over for the day.