September 19, 2014

Jalen and Jacoby Pop the Trunk: Roger Goodell, Atlanta Hawks, and LeBron James

Jalen and Jacoby tackle serious sports issues: Roger Goodell’s future as a commissioner, the controversy around the Atlanta Hawks, and LeBron James cheating at fantasy football. Listen to the podcast here. Subscribe to the Grantland Sports podcast network on iTunes here and the Grantland NFL Podcast here.

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NFL Week 3: Peterson, Picks, and the All-Outrage Mailbag

The Sports Guy lets his readers sound off on the NFL before making his Week 3 picks.

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Cheap Heat Podcast: ‘Night of Champions,’ John Cena’s Potential Heel Turn, and the Montreal Screwjob

Rosenberg and Shoemaker talk ‘Night of Champions,’ Cena turning heel, and the Montreal Screwjob.

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Best/Worst: A Quick Break From Everything That’s Horrible

The news box on any major sports site features at least four stories that make sports seem like some futuristic hellscape, and all of this overshadows the actual games; it’s so ugly that talking about games is impossible. We’re living the opening montage of BASEketball. So with that in mind, let’s skip the “worst” side of things today. You can find that everywhere else. Let’s just go with a handful of humans and stories that didn’t suck this week.

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The Grantland NFL Podcast: Analyzing Buccaneers-Falcons and Previewing the Rest of Week 3

Mays eulogizes his Buccaneers prediction as the Grantland NFL crew detail Atlanta’s blowout victory before previewing Week 3.

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The Perilous Journey Into the NBA’s Bargain Bin

We see Danny Green raining fire and Patrick Beverley strip-searching ball handlers, and we forget all the washed-out draft picks and minimum-salaried free agents who couldn’t maintain a spot in any NBA rotation. This is an NBA version of survivorship bias, the mental glitch where we assume active successes are the norm because they are in front of our faces while the more typical outcomes are in street clothes or the Chinese league.

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Boomers? Oklahoma’s 3-4 Defense Faces a Measuring-Stick Moment

Two years ago, Oklahoma’s 4-3 defense was embarrassed against West Virginia’s potent attack. Now, a year-plus into a new 3-4 scheme, the Sooners look ready to dominate again. What’s changed? Why? And what does it mean for the rematch?

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This Is Katie F-​-​-ing Ledecky: A Thesis About Kicking Ass

Katie Ledecky is one of the best athletes in the history of the world. This is why that matters.

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The Relief Ace: Where Dellin Betances’s Season Ranks Historically, and What It Teaches Us About Bullpen Strategy

Speaking softly and carrying a big breaking ball, New York’s Dellin Betances is having one of the best campaigns by a reliever in recent years. In the process, he’s become a microcosm of the sport’s ever-evolving attitudes about bullpen usage, supplying two contradictory answers to a question that has divided fans, field staffs, and front offices for decades: What’s the best way to deploy one of baseball’s biggest bullpen weapons?

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You Shall Not … Run? The Brick-Wall Rush Defenses of the Jets, Lions, and Cardinals

For most teams, run defense is the most volatile element of the game. And that’s part of what has made the Jets, Lions, and Cardinals so impressive over the first two weeks. The cool thing with these three defenses is that they each stop the run in different ways.

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Who’s That Guy? Florida State’s Temporary Starting Quarterback Sean Maguire!

Say what you will about Jameis Winston, but you can’t question his commitment to getting suspended for the most ridiculous reasons.

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The Bucs Stopped Here: Just How Bad Has Tampa Bay Been?

Yes, Tampa Bay got worked over by Atlanta, but just how bad was it?

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September 18, 2014

And Now We Praise Not Particularly Famous Punt Blockers

While the NFL’s major on-field talking points have been Robert Griffin’s ugly injury, the resurgent Buffalo Bills, and the installation of Darren Sproles 3.0, it’s also worth paying attention to one frivolous quirk that has AND THE PUNT IS BLOCKED!! It’s not unreasonable for announcers using the brief time while the punter awaits a snap […]

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There’s a Monster at the End of This Column

WWE’s ‘Night of Champions’ and John Cena’s always looming heel turn.

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The Lowe Post Podcast: Zach Lowe and Joe Mande

Stand-up comedian and ‘Parks and Recreation’ writer Joe Mande chats with Zach Lowe about bad NBA team names, Roy Hibbert, and comedy.

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Johnny-Come-Lately’s Guide to the MLB Stretch Run

Baseball isn’t like the NBA, where you don’t really need to pay attention until the second round of the playoffs. So if you’ve been on a spiritual quest to Cambodia or playing ninepins with the ghosts of Henry Hudson and his men in Upstate New York, you’re being dropped like an armful of groceries into the final push of the MLB pennant race, and you probably need some help. Here’s what you need to know to follow along during the home stretch and prep for the postseason.

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The Biggest Surprises From the First Champions League Group-Stage Matches

The first matchday of the Champions League is in the books, and, pleasantly, there were some surprises. Let’s have a look at the biggest.

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The Sound and the Fury: Are Florida and Will Muschamp Shouting Into the Void?

Will Muschamp was the hottest coordinator in the country when he left Texas to become Florida’s headman. Three-plus years later, he might be a dead coach walking. His future depends on his offense finding life — but no. 3 Alabama awaits.

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Cousin Sal’s Week 3 Prop Bets!

I’m going to pretend people are still reading this weekly devastation. So far I’m down 27,500 jermajesties overall betting on this most peculiar of NFL seasons. That is not good. I’ve done some research and found that some people don’t even make 27,500 jermajesties in a week. Last Thursday was a rough one. I could […]

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Week 4 College Football Viewing Guide: Children Will Listen

Jameis Winston’s first-half suspension makes it harder to enjoy Saturday’s Clemson–Florida State tilt, but Bill “Dumbledore” Snyder is here to save us on Thursday night. Welcome to Week 4.

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Imagining Football in a Non-NFL World

What would football look like if the NFL went away and a whole new league took its place?

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National Pastime: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite

Five years ago, the Washington Nationals were the joke of baseball. Now, they’re the best team in the National League, and World Series favorites. Here’s how the best 25-man roster of 2014 was built.

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Derek Jeter’s Diary: Clear Eyes, Cold Hearts, Must Win

The baseball season is a long and lonely road. To preserve his sanity, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter keeps a diary. These are excerpts from The Captain’s private journal. Thursday, September 11: vs. Tampa Bay We’re being no-hit into the eighth inning by a guy named Alex Cobb when I say something to the team. It’s […]

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New Season’s Resolutions for the NHL

Hockey is back. Hockey is great. Hockey can be better. Here are a few ideas for our friends in the league office.

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