January 30, 2015

Welcome to the Super Bag

It’s time to sort through the inbox, play the role of the wrestling heel and then make a pick on the Super Bowl.

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‘The Grantland NFL Podcast’: Super Bowl Matchups, Story Lines, and Predictions

It’s upon us! ‘The Grantland NFL Podcast’ previews the matchups and story lines of Super Bowl XLIX before finding a consensus prediction.

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Is Financial Fair Play Killing Soccer’s January Transfer Window?

If anything, FFP is protecting clubs like Manchester United and other European super clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid while punishing clubs that aspire to upset the established order.

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Bundesliga Back: What About the Other Two Best Teams in Germany?

Although we often talk of the Bundesliga in terms of Bayern, Borussia, and everybody else, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are two rising powers, looking well on their way to tearing up Germany’s two-team hegemony.

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J.R. in Cleveland: An Ohio Nightlife Guide for the Famous NYC Party Animal

Put down the Xbox controller, J.R. Smith. We’ve found some things for you to do in Cleveland.

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Unheralded Rivalry Report: Indiana vs. Purdue

The history of the sport in Indiana gets romanticized so much that basketball has become more than just a game — it’s part of the culture.

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How to Make It As a Mid-Major: Wichita State and Northern Iowa’s Game of the Weekend

It’s in the land of Kurt Warner and President-approved public WiFi that two Missouri Valley Conference heavyweights — 12th-ranked Wichita State and 18th-ranked Northern Iowa — will square off for the first of what promise to be two epic conference showdowns.

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‘The Grantland NFL Podcast’: Talking Seahawks and Answering Mailbag Questions

Mays and Barnwell take mailbag questions and talk to Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN in Seattle about how the Seahawks are preparing to defend their crown.

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NHL Grab Bag: Closing the Book on Marty

Welcome to a weekly grab bag of thoughts and observations from the past few days and/or decades of NHL hockey.

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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGIE

This is worth 100 All-Star spots.

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‘Jalen and Jacoby’: Kyrie Irving, Super Bowl XLIX, and More

Jalen and Jacoby discuss Kyrie’s big game, get excited for the Super Bowl, and answer fans’ Twitter questions.

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Sideline Hero Q&A: Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck

Sideline Heroes is a Q&A series featuring some of the most colorful figures in the college football landscape. Today’s special guest: dancin’ Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck.

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The Third Man: It’s Time to Give Vince Wilfork the Same Credit We Give Belichick and Brady

New England’s long-term success is mostly attributed to two men. But when we look back on this era of unrivaled prosperity, Vince Wilfork should be mentioned right along with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

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The 22 Most Important Players in the Super Bowl

While who wins Super Bowl XLIX should come down to what offensive, defensive, and special teams units play the best, a number of guys — both because of the matchups and because of, well, who they are — will play an outsize role in deciding whether the Seahawks get their second Lombardi in a row or Brady and Belichick get to raise the trophy for a fourth time.

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January 29, 2015

‘NBA After Dark’ Podcast: Thunder, Bulls, Pelicans Ownership, and More

Juliet Litman, Chris Ryan, and Andrew Sharp talk about the rumors around the Thunder and Bulls, the Pelicans ownership drama, and more.

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‘The Lowe Post’ Podcast: Jeff Van Gundy on All-Star Picks, the Mavericks, Thunder, and More

Zach talks to Jeff Van Gundy about All-Star picks, the scuffling Mavs and Thunder, and lots of other NBA things.

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Lone Star State of Things: Charlie Strong, Kyler Murray, and Texas’s Quest for Recruiting Dominance

Texas’s return to elite status could begin next week, on national signing day. But for that to happen, the Longhorns need to flip dual-threat wunderkind Kyler Murray from archrival Texas A&M.

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Cousin Sal’s Super Bowl Prop Bets!

Are you as excited about this weekend as Cousin Sal? Not a chance in hell.

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‘You Know Why I’m Here’: What’s Really Going on Between Marshawn Lynch and the Media

In exchange for us pumping up the games, the NFL agrees to produce the players and conscripts them to talk to us. What offends us is that Lynch has backed out on the deal. He has turned us into PR agents waving blank press releases.

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Say Hello to the Jay Z Rule: The New NBA Cap Is on Ownership

At its last major meeting, the NBA’s Board of Governors quietly passed a rule mandating that teams have 25 or fewer individual owners — and that every such owner must own at least 1 percent of the team, per a half-dozen league sources.

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The Minute After Midnight: The Big Four Era in Men’s Tennis Is Over. What Comes Next?

Federer, Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic have dominated tennis for years. What does it look like when empires fall?

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In Praise of the Elusive Goalie Controversy

There are two or more goalies on a team, and one job. Let’s look at 10 teams and who’s most likely to get the starting spot.

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Finally, a Definitive Super Bowl Breakdown

After 16 regular-season games and two weeks of playoff contests, let’s see if we know enough to answer the question: Who will win on Sunday?

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The Strike Zone Time Travel Test: How Much of Baseball’s Anemic Offense Really Stems From the Swollen Zone?

Baseball’s strike zone is growing. The sport’s offense is declining. There’s definitely a link, but how influential is it, and what can it teach us about improving the game?

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NBA Shootaround: Prince of the City

Kyrie Irving plays hero ball, Knicks fans have something to be excited about, Steph Curry levels up, and more Shootaround goodness.

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‘The Grantland NFL Podcast’: Super Bowl Prop Bets and the Media Day Experience

Robert Mays and Bill Barnwell pick their Super Bowl props before talking with Grantland’s Bryan Curtis about the media day experience and his beloved Cowboys.

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