September 30, 2014

The 2014 NBA Media Day Power Rankings

Traditions are sacred in sports. They’re how we mark the passage of time. Spring doesn’t start until baseball comes back; fall’s not real until football returns; Thanksgiving doesn’t feel right until you’re passed out on the couch during the second football game. By that same token, it doesn’t feel like basketball season until we’re sifting through hundreds […]

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QB Curve: Connor Cook, Michigan State’s Model of Consistency

Quarterbacks: There are a lot of them! Each week, QB Curve will keep you up to speed on the game’s most important position by putting a different college signal-caller in the spotlight and putting the rest of the field in perspective. This week: Michigan State’s by-the-book star, Connor Cook.

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The Dallas Cowboys Tree of Competence

Somewhere between being a decade-long travesty and last Sunday’s victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Dallas Cowboys became a competent football team. Not a Super Bowl team, and maybe not even a playoff team, but a cohesive group of athletes paid to play football for a living. This is huge. How did this happen? The […]

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The Forever War: A History and Future Timeline of the Daryl Morey–Mark Cuban Feud

It’s an old-fashioned border war, the kind you just don’t see in the NBA anymore. It is a delight. Basketball fans everywhere should say a silent prayer every night for the rhetorical antagonism to boil over onto the hardwood.

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2014-15 NHL Preview: The Middle of the Pack

Yesterday, we kicked off NHL season preview week with a look at the bottom-feeder division — the league’s truly hopeless teams. Today we’re moving up the standings, with what we’re calling the Stuck-in-the-Middle Division. These are the teams that are good, but not great — they’re not quite Stanley Cup contenders, but each should be right in the […]

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Jonah Keri Podcast: MLB Playoff Preview Special

Jonah Keri talks to Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren, Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore, Tigers beat writer Chris Iott, Cardinals beat writer Jenifer Langosch, Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming, Pirates radio host David Todd, Grantland writer/Royals die-hard Rany Jazayerli, A’s beat writer Jane Lee, Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko, and Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez about the MLB playoffs.

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MLB Awards: The 2014 AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year Picks

The 2014 regular season is in the books, and the playoffs start tonight. Before we start the postseason dancing, however, there’s one final piece of pre-October business to handle: picking the 2014 MLB awards winners! Here are our votes for the American League and National League MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year honors.

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Is This (Finally) the End of the Patriots?

What is wrong with the Patriots? Well, if you’re looking at the offense, it’s almost everything.

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Quiet Steps: A New-Look Barcelona and Messi Embrace the Old Ways

New manager Luis Enrique has guided his team to the top of La Liga’s table, with 16 points from their first six games. Barcelona have yet to concede a goal, and, scarily, they are nowhere near their peak form. Luis Suárez has yet to play a minute for his new squad, and Neymar is only now rounding into shape after his World Cup injury. Barcelona’s decline, to the extent that there ever was one, appears to have been arrested. And it’s all thanks to evolution.

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AL Wild-Card Preview: A’s vs. Royals

The MLB playoff craziness kicks off tonight with the AL wild-card game between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A’s. It’s a matchup between two teams that play very different brands of baseball. So in a win-or-go-home contest, which side holds the edge?

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NBA Windows: The Rockets’ Missing Third Superstar and the NBA’s Continuity Problem

The NBA’s ever-changing financial landscape has teams like the Rockets struggling to round out their Big Three and maintain continuity. And it won’t get any easier in the future.

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September 29, 2014

The Grantland NFL Podcast: Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, DeMarco Murray, and the Stars of Week 4

Respect is paid to Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, DeMarco Murray, and the other stars of Week 4 on today’s podcast.

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Charlie Weis, College Football’s Most Successful Failure

Say what you will about Charlie Weis: Throughout his career, he’s been regarded as an arrogant, condescending underachiever with a tendency toward bitterness. At Kansas, he was a fount of negativity about his own team; by the end he could barely stay awake in his own meetings. But whatever else he is, he’s walking proof that when you get paid in America, you stay paid.

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2014-15 NHL Preview: The Bottom Feeders

Welcome to Grantland’s annual NHL preview, in which we run through all four divisions in an attempt to figure out what to expect from the league’s 30 teams. By “all four divisions,” of course, we don’t mean the league’s actual four divisions — the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Pacific, and Central. That would be boring. Instead, we’re dividing […]

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The 30 Finale: Highlights, Lowlights, and 2015 Forecasts

Before we turn our attention to poking and prodding the playoff field, let’s take one last, long look back at the highlights and lowlights for each squad in 2014 — and at what might await in 2015. It’s the season finale of The 30!

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MLB’s Most Exciting Regular-Season Teams of 2014

If uncertainty makes a single day more exciting, then theoretically it should do the same for the string of single days that composes a season. By quantifying each team’s accumulated uncertainty over the past six months, we can crown one club’s season as the most exciting of 2014. The envelope, please …

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The 2014 Pigskin Pantheon: Week 5 College Football Awards

College football serves and is served by many gods, old and new. Here, week after week, we’ll build a temple to them, installing saints and erecting graven idols as we go. The temple is made of words and pictures from the Internet. Just go with it. Today: The Week 5 awards!

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The ‘Heart of a Champion’ Question Finally Hits Florida State: Your Weekly College Football Wrap

Is Florida State proving its resiliency with hard-fought wins, or showing that it’s simply not as good as it was last year? Can Brady Hoke and Michigan really defend what they did to Shane Morris on Saturday? Do we need to close the book on Boise State’s era of dominance? All that and more in your Week 5 college football wrap.

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The End of a Brilliant Summer: Rory at the Ryder Cup

As iconic moments go, a few stood out in Europe’s emphatic, 16.5-11.5 Ryder Cup victory in Gleneagles. There was, of course, the clincher — Jamie Donaldson’s wedge on 15 that stopped two feet from the pin, setting off a champagne party on the green. There was Patrick Reed’s lip-out from two feet that allowed the European pair of Martin Kaymer […]

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Blood and Guts and Another Steve Smith Masterpiece

What do you do when you get burned by your team after more than a decade? YOU BURN THAT TEAM TO THE GROUND.

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NFL Week 4 Winners and Losers: Put Your Goggles On for Teddy, Luck, and THE BUCS

Bridgewater was fun, and Steve Smith was as fascinating as promised. But Chicago’s defense, Philly’s offense, and Dennis Allen are in trouble.

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Week 4 Wrap-up: Building the Über-Team

What do you do when there is no clear-cut front-runner in the NFL? You build one with the best units in the league.

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Premier League Derby Weekend Deals Up Disappointment for (Almost) All

Saturday was derby day in the Premier League. Cross-park rivals Liverpool and Everton faced off at Anfield, and Tottenham Hotspur traveled to Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. Derbies are weird. Sure, they’re just another game, and overemphasizing them probably isn’t good for a team’s … oh, who gives a crap about that sober-headedness? It’s […]

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