A California rock climber has become the first person to conquer Yosemite's El Capitan without using ropes, USA Today reports. Alex Honnold, 31, scaled the nearly 3,000-foot peak on Saturday going free solo, meaning he didn't use ropes, harness, or other safety equipment. "This is the ‘moon landing’ of free-soloing," fellow climber Tommy Caldwell tells National Geographic. It's a particularly daunting prospect since the Guardian notes the granite peak is ranked as among the most difficult, with some hand-holds the width of raisins. After stunning the climbing world with other rope-free feats, Honnold had quietly trained for his latest exploit for more than a year. After spending the night in his van, Honnold pulled on a red T-shirt, nylon pants, and sticky-soled climbing shoes.

Honnold had ditched an earlier bid to climb El Capitan in November, saying it didn't feel right. This time around, Honnold confesses he was "slightly nervous" at the bottom. "I mean it’s a freaking big wall above you." But as he began his ascent, he adds, "the climbing just felt amazing."

An updated study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association on football players and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy reveals a striking result among NFL players. The study examined the brains of deceased former football players (CTE can only be diagnosed after death) and found that 110 out of 111 brains of those who played in the NFL had CTE.

The study released Tuesday is the continuation of a study that began eight years ago. In 2015, McKee and fellow researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University published study results revealing 87 of 91 former NFL players had CTE.

“I remember growing up just being home, playing the video games and stuff with my Pops, and my mom sitting there and my brother and just talking about maybe one day I could be the MVP,” said Russell Westbrook, who this season was the first player to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62. “Obviously I was joking at the time. But now to be standing here with this trophy next to me is a true blessing, man, and it's an unbelievable feeling, something that I can never imagine. So I'm just very, very thankful.”

When asked how he could possibly top this season, Westbrook said he had no idea. “I don't know. I don't know. I get asked that question every year and I never know the answer. I just go out and play to the best of my ability, and then whatever comes from it, that's what it is.”

After pointing to each member of the group, the smiling 11-time champ Bill Russell raised a conspiratorial hand alongside his mouth and announced, “I would kick your ass.”

Despite multiple reports this morning stating this has been confirmed, the Warriors are remaining noncommittal, telling ESPN that they “will make those decisions when and if necessary.” Small Forward and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala said “Hell nah,” in response to whether he would attend.

We have already seen players like Devin McCourty and LeGarrette Blount from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots skip the presidential visit—with both saying they did not feel welcome in Trump’s White House—but the vast majority of the team still took the trip to Washington D.C. The NBA is very different from the NFL and MLB, as it is our most openly progressive sports league, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has not held back in his criticism of our commander-in-cheeto. So given the very public sentiments of their head coach, it makes sense that the entire Golden State Warriors basketball team may decline the standard White House visit, even if it does buck a historical trend (but hey, that’s what the Warriors do). This would be the first team in any sport to eschew this near-century long tradition, and it’s reasonable to think that future NBA champions will follow the Warriors and Melania Trump’s lead to never visit Donald Trump in the White House.


The first-ever Super Bowl game to go to overtime began with the Patriots winning the coin toss. Brady marched his team down the field, getting the ball at the two-yard line after a pass interference call. Two plays later, on a two-yard touchdown run by James White, the Patriots were Super Bowl champions. The Patriots ended the game by scoring the final 31 points of the game, including 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Tom Brady becomes the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls, and the Patriots become only the fourth franchise to win five Super Bowls.

Bettors wagered a record $138.5 million on Super Bowl LI at Nevada sportsbooks, with the house coming out ahead for the 25th time in the last 27 years. The handle for Patriots-Falcons shattered by $6 million the record set just last year, when Broncos-Panthers drew $132.5 million in action. Collectively, books made $10.9 million off New England's thrilling 34-28 overtime win. That's the third-highest take in the past 10 years, according to Nevada Gaming Control. The Giants' 17-14 upset of the Patriots in 2008, and the 49ers' 49-26 thrashing of the Chargers in 1995, remain the only Super Bowls books have lost on since Nevada Gaming Control began keeping track.

Von Miller sent a bottle of wine and a thank you note to every player in the AFC West, including practice-squaders and those on injured reserve. That’s nearly 300 bottles of wine. Included with each bottle was a note which read:
It is an honor and a privilege to take the field and compete with you twice a year. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to fulfill our childhood dreams of playing in the NFL. The blood, sweat, aches and pains, and endless hours spent watching film are a testament to the love and dedication we have for this game. So take a moment, reflect on all your successes, and enjoy your accomplishment. Appreciate those who have helped you get this far, and start working towards your next childhood dream.

Thank you for helping to make our game great!
-Von Miller

Colorado captured the South title after finishing the regular season with a 8-1 Pac-12 record, 10-2 overall. The Buffaloes posted their first 10-win season since 2001.

"Tom Brady will still be able to work out and play catch with people who are not employed by the Patriots. And Guregian did speculate that Brady could simply buy the All-22 game film that the NFL makes available to fans. But that is not going to be the same as his usual routine.

In fact, it sounds like the only communication Brady can have with anybody involved with the Patriots will be for his personal trainer to check in with the team's training staff to discuss any rehab progress being made from minor injuries."

"Sports, like so many human activities, balance our competing impulses to adapt to and control our environment. We celebrate the endurance required to compete on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, while underground electric wiring prevents Lambeau’s turf from actually becoming frozen. Golf began as a conversation with the landscape of Scotland; now it is played on designed-from-scratch courses in Arizona that consume more than 80 million gallons of water daily. In a way, these feats of engineering are impressive—just like the Hoover Dam or the Panama Canal. But now we are increasingly forced to adapt to the consequences of our own past attempts to control our environment."

"The Washington Redskins will always appreciate Zema Williams' unique passion and dedication to our football team and his fellow Washington Redskins fans," the team said in a statement.

Starting with a Monday Night Football matchup with the rival Dallas Cowboys in 1978, Williams began attending Redskins games dressed in a Native American costume with burgundy and gold headdress and waving a toy tomahawk. He rarely missed a game. In April, when Williams was in danger of being evicted, supporters raised money to pay his rent for two months.

"The London 2012 Olympic Games were supposed to be the cleanest in history, but in the past six weeks recent retesting of urine samples from those Games has led to the banning of 23 athletes, with the prospect of more to follow. The Russian track and field team has been banned from the Rio Olympics this summer because of compelling evidence of systemic, possibly state-sponsored, doping. And there has been a steady stream of scandals involving doping across many sports, from Lance Armstrong in cycling to, recently, tennis star Maria Sharapova."

When someone asked him to name his toughest foe, Ali said: “U.S. military. Next toughest fight was my first wife.”

"For the first time in his career, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the French Open mid-tournament, citing a left wrist injury he had developed coming into the event. His third-round opponent, Marcel Granollers, moves on via a walkover... Last week, 2009 champion Roger Federer pulled out of the event citing a back injury, making it the first Grand Slam tournament he had missed since the 1999 U.S. Open, breaking a record streak of 65 majors. Nadal, having made his debut here in 2005, was playing in his 12th consecutive Roland Garros, champion in 2005-08 and again from 2010 to 2014."

"According to a new poll by The Washington Post, nine out of ten Native Americans questioned said they have no problem with the mascot. About 500 people were surveyed in the poll, conducted over a five-month period, and most said they don't find the name offensive. Those answers were largely consistent among the indigenous members regardless of age, income, education, political party or proximity to reservations, the Post said. Seven in 10 responded that they believe the term "Redskin" is not disrespectful. Additionally, 80 percent said they wouldn't take offense if they were called that term by a non-native. The Native American demographic most upset by the term (19 percent) identified themselves as liberal, according to the survey.

In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) essentially mandated all universities under its leadership with Native American-themed mascots to change them. A few, however, including Florida State University (Seminoles) and the University of Utah (Utes), received an exemption after furnishing documented proof that their respective tribes supported use of the names."

"In a game that was supposed to work as something of a warm-up for an injured star hoping for the best, Stephen Curry took advantage of the Trail Blazers’ defense when it faltered and overcame it when it did everything right. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Curry had scored 17 points in a single overtime — the most by any player in NBA history, playoffs or regular season — and 40 for the game, the most by a bench player in the history of the NBA playoffs to boot. Head coach Steve Kerr could only bring himself to say, 'That was crazy.'"

"Now, the Duane Brown saga has taken another strange turn, with the NFL warning its players to minimize their intake of meats from Mexico and China, both of which have been known to use clenbuterol in their livestock. But this isn’t the first time that the performance-enhancing drug has been linked to Mexican meat. In 2011, five players on Mexico’s national soccer team tested positive for clenbuterol. The same year, the majority of soccer players who were participating at the U-17 World Cup in Mexico were found to have trace amounts of clenbuterol in their system."

"After sputtering in Denver, Vernon Davis returned home to Washington D.C., signing a one-year deal with the team... So, the nice aspect for Davis is that he won't be expected to produce like a No. 1 tight end. That role is already reserved for Jordan Reed, who racked up 87 receptions, 952 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season. The only issue is that Davis hasn't put up a productive stat line since 2013, when 13 of his 52 receptions went for touchdowns. While Davis' quick decline can at least be partially attributed to the demise of the 49ers' offense, his few months in Denver are still troubling. As John Elway hinted at after the Super Bowl, it sounds like Davis had issues picking up the Broncos' offense."

For all of Wall’s statistical brilliance, this all comes back to the numbers Washington most heavily depends upon: 20 and 10. For starters, reports that John Wall is on pace to join Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams as the only players to average at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists since Tim Hardaway in 1992-93."

"Several teams were having financial difficulties at the time, and the league lacked the fall TV contracts that supported the NFL. The USFL instead tried to take on the NFL in the courts by filing an antitrust lawsuit. The hope was that the USFL would either merge with the established league or win a sizable settlement. The merger never happened, and despite winning the lawsuit, the USFL was ultimately awarded only $3 for its troubles. The league soon folded, and Donald Trump's push for the fall schedule and a lawsuit against the NFL is generally cited as the main reason."

"Tampa will be Adu’s 13th professional club in his career and, again, he’s only 26. As a teenager he was hailed as The Next Big Thing for American soccer, with the potential to be the country’s first legitimate world-class player. With so much promise riding on him, Freddy Adu signed a deal with Nike at 13, became the youngest MLS player to step foot on the pitch at age 14, and then the youngest player to represent the USMNT at 16. After spending three and a half seasons in MLS, Adu signed a deal with Portuguese side Benfica; it’s there that his career began its long, strange journey, with loans out to several small European clubs before finally leaving in 2011. From there, he enjoyed a brief return to MLS before drifting to Brazil, Serbia, and, most recently, Finland’s fourth division. There were reportedly concerns at KuPS about Adu’s fitness, so both the player and head coach Thomas Rongen have some work to do if the “the next Pele” is going to be able to deliver in NASL."

ESPN's Best Nicknames in Hockey History:
1. The Chicoutimi Cucumber (Georges Vezina)
2. Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion
3. "The Golden Jet" (Bobby Hull)
4. Lorne "Gump" Worsley
5. "The Great One" (Wayne Gretzky)
6. "Mr. Hockey" (Gordie Howe)
7. "The Pocket Rocket" (Henri Richard)
8. "Terrible" Ted Lindsay
9. Dave "Tiger" Williams
10. "Grapes" (Don Cherry)

“Part of me has always felt like I was the underdog, regardless of circumstances,” Buzz Williams said Friday morning before the Hokies left to play at Duke on Saturday, an 82-58 blowout win by the No. 14 Blue Devils that underlined his latest project is still in the rebuilding phase. “I haven’t forgotten that I came from a town [in Texas] with a population of 1,000 people, paid my way to go to junior college [Navarro] and was the basketball manager there.

“Five years from now maybe people will be saying, ‘I told you so. He never should have left Marquette,’ ” he said. “But I like people thinking that. I like the ACC being as tough as it is. I’m not telling the guys we recruit we absolutely can do it. I’m telling them I believe I know what has to be done to do it. The more people doubt you, the more it gives you an edge. I’ve always liked having that sort of edge for myself and for my teams.”

"“Every person that I’ve had this conversation with I say, ‘I didn’t want him to have the pressure of being the Junior,’’’ Cam Newton said on Friday. “Then they replied with, ‘What the hell do you think Chosen is going to bring?’ It’s something that I think he grows up and appreciates rather than . . . have a couple of names in his class of the same name as him when they’re doing morning roll call and they say his name.’’

"Of course, just because it’s worked for Tom Brady—one of the world’s most remarkable athletes—doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone else. And because of Guerrero’s past and the lifetime consent decree still in place against him, he’ll continue to be under the eye of the FTC’s enforcement division as he blossoms into the NFL’s sage of wellness. It’s strange enough that a player with Brady’s obsessively manicured image is so closely associated with someone who once hawked bogus cancer cures and anti-concussion elixirs. And it’s hard not to wonder, given Guerrero’s track record, whether Brady’s business partnership could expose him to similar questions and investigations."

"According to the filing, Clinton Portis lists $13.29 million in assets, but $10 million of that should have an asterisk. He lists claims against Pro Sports Financial ($8 million) — an outfit he sued in federal court over a failed casino venture – and a $2 million claim against Jade Private Wealth Management.

Jade Private Wealth Management, the now-defunct Virginia-based firm, was led by Jinesh "Hodge" Brahmbhatt. Brahmbhatt was banned by the NFLPA from serving as an approved financial advisor to players after Portis and pro athletes lost millions in what the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) called a "Ponzi Scheme."

"Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award as the nation's top player, plus the Doak Walker Award as it's top running back. The Crimson Tide junior, who has yet to announce whether he will apply for early eligibility in the 2016 NFL Draft, has rushed for 1,986 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead Alabama to its second consecutive College Football Playoff berth. Three NFL personnel executives recently told NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah that Henry (6-3, 245 pounds) reminds them of former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.

Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded Saturday night. The last player to sweep Henry's three awards from Thursday plus the Heisman was Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, whose powerful, Henry-like style helped him churn out 2,034 yards and 20 touchdowns in 1999.

Henry broke Herschel Walker's SEC single-season rushing record Saturday in a 29-15 win over Florida in the SEC title game."

"For 35 seasons, the Washington Wizards, and the Bullets before them, could not win 46 of 82 regular season games. After compiling 54 victories during the 1978-79 campaign, they reached just 44 twice and 45 once since that season, which concluded with the last of their NBA Finals appearances."

"On Saturday, Trent Williams became the highest paid tackle in NFL history Saturday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per Williams' agent. The 27-year-old agreed to a five-year, $66 million extension, which puts him at an average of 13.2 million per year. He gets $43.25 million in guarantees. Pro Football Focus notes that Williams has surrendered just 12 sacks over the past two seasons, and in 2013 rated him the best offensive tackle in football. Williams' deal will certainly have a trickle-down effect across the league with stars like Russell Okung hitting free agency soon."

“Deflategate and Spygate have not scored the Patriots any brownie points, either,” Burke writes. “The organization doesn’t really seem to care, which might further add fuel to the fire outside Foxborough. Bill Belichick is still the same as always, casting an almost smug figure. Owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady have remained defiant and unapologetic.”

"Underwhelming? In 2012, his only healthy season—at age 19, in what for most people would have been freshman year of college—Bryce Harper set major league records for a teenager in total bases (254), extra-base hits (57) and WAR (5.1). And even with the two injury-shortened seasons that followed, Harper is only the sixth player in history with 50 homers and 30 steals through his age-21 season, joining Orlando Cepeda, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Mike Trout."

"The U.S. lost on home soil to a Caribbean team for the first time since a 1–0 loss to Haiti in 1969. Jamaica is the 76th-ranked team in the world. The U.S., ranked 34th, had never been eliminated in the Gold Cup before by a CONCACAF team other than Mexico. The Confederations Cup playoff isn’t the only big event in October for U.S. men’s soccer. The qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympics will also take place, and the U.S. is hoping to find success after the failure of missing out on London 2012. Klinsmann’s top lieutenant, Andi Herzog, his senior team assistant coach, will have even more pressure on him now to get the U.S. to Brazil."

"With Mike Green leaving Washington for a three-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, the Young Guns Era now belongs to the newspaper (and blog) archives. The “Game Over Green” business, his penchant for game-winning goals (20 in his career) and walk-off strikes, including one in overtime of the 2013 playoffs. He’ll leave tied for third in career regular-season goals among Caps defensemen. His 31-goal campaign in 2008-09 was second-best for a Caps blueliner (behind Kevin Hatcher’s 34, in a different era and with 15 more games). He had two of the three highest points-per-game seasons for a Caps defenseman. He became the first NHL defenseman to score in eight straight games, and the first to top 30 goals in 16 years."

"FIFA has also long faced charges of sexism. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation in the wake of those criminal charges, suggested that women should wear sexier uniforms to boost ratings, saying "They could, for example, have tighter shorts." The women in this year's tournament had to play all the matches on artificial turf, which is much tougher on the players. Men get to play all their matches on natural grass."

7/26/15 Report: Cavaliers trade Mike Miller, Brendan Haywood to Blazers
"The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. For their trouble, the Blazers will receive the most favorable of Cleveland's two second-round picks in 2019 and its second-round pick in 2020, per the Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd.

Haywood has a non-guaranteed contract for next season worth $10.5 million. The Cavs were always going to trade him either for assets or a massive trade exception. They will get a trade exception, and another one for Miller's $2.9 million. This will theoretically allow them to acquire additional assets for nothing in the next year.

Portland is expected to waive Miller, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. And to answer the question you're definitely asking, LeBron James is A-OK with trading Miller this time, as Miller wanted to go somewhere he could play, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The Blazers are also expected to waive Haywood."

"The NFL made official today that Redskins running back Alfred Morris has been selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl in place of Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. Morris becomes the first Redskins running back selected to consecutive Pro Bowls since Stephen Davis (1999-00). In 2014, Morris rushed for 1,074 rushing yards on 265 carries, becoming the first player in team history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons."

"Military Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati. This isn’t a matchup with much cache, but it’s a chance to see one of the best young QBs in the country in Gunner Kiel go against one of the best defenses in the country, including Hokies’ superb sophomore corner Kendall Fuller. Add in a couple accomplished coaches in Frank Beamer and Tommy Tuberville and there’s plenty to like about this game."

"Robert Griffin’s 2012 season was a masterpiece. He led the NFL in yards per attempt, and tied Tom Brady for the league’s lowest interception rate. He also led all quarterbacks in rushing yards and yards per carry [...] According to Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value (AV), only 35 quarterback seasons since 1950 were better than Griffin’s 2012 campaign. It was a once-in-a-career type of performance, perhaps literally."

"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration on Wednesday. The 99-page decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said the team’s name and logo are disparaging. It dilutes the Redskins’ legal protection against infringement and hinders the team’s ability to block counterfeit merchandise from entering the country."

"The Washington Capitals have acquired forward Chris Brown, defenseman Rostislav Klesla and a fourth-round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forwards Martin Erat and John Mitchell, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. The Caps acquired forward Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Anaheim’s fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft."

"The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin $100,000 for interfering with a kickoff return in a game against the Baltimore Ravens. In addition, the league said it will consider a forfeiture of draft choices for the Steelers because Tomlin's conduct affected a play on the field. The $100,000 fine is tied for the second-largest reported fine ever given to an NFL coach (2007 Bill Belichick -- $500,000)."

"Early reports from yesterday's competition have Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle's wave as high as 100 feet. Wave heights tend to be exaggerated, but even if you knock off a few feet, that would still shatter the current mark of 78 feet, caught by Garrett McNamara off the same Nazaré beach in 2011."

"In a 2002 academic paper, 28 NFL physicians reported administering Toradol every game day, injecting up to 35 players per club. Though NFL doctors say use has declined in recent years, several current and recently retired players said the drug continues to be administered freely — and the NFL Physicians Society felt compelled to issue guidelines on its usage last season."

"Much of what SI uncovered falls outside the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations. But an examination of Oklahoma State offers insight into how a football program in the 21st century, hell-bent on success, can achieve it."

"Everyone wants the Floyd Mayweather payday; they want the same things Floyd Mayweather got," he says. "But Floyd Mayweather, he earned it the hard way."

» Hokies Storylines Entering the 2013 Season

» John Wall is Worth His Five Year, $80 Million Contract

"Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis hit his 37th home run of the season on Sunday, tying Reggie Jackson's 1969 American League record for the most homers before the All-Star break. The Major League Baseball record — 39 — was set by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants in 2001. The only other player to hit 37 before the All-Star break was Mark McGwire, who did it in 1998."

"Belize Men's National Team Players Were Asked to Fix Match vs. United States"

"The Wizards gave Gilbert Arenas a $111 million extension despite his immaturity and history of knee injuries. They rewarded Andray Blatche with $28 million despite the big empty space between his ears. Depending on the size of the salary cap, John Wall could receive a contract for as much as $79 million or $81 million."

» 2013: Nadal Upset in First Round of Wimbledon, Federer and Murray Advance

» Washington Examiner: D.C. Sports Playoffs

"RGIII not only ended the year with the best selling jersey in the league, more of his No. 10 jerseys were sold on this fiscal year than any jersey in league history."

"Adam Scott knocked in a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win that green jacket, personal redemption for his own failure last summer in the Open Championship and an end to more than a half-century of Australian misery at the Masters."

"The switch will reunite the George Mason Patriots with longtime nemesis Virginia Commonwealth, which jumped to the Atlantic 10 this season, and forge a local rivalry with George Washington, an Atlantic 10 member since 1976."

» Washington Post: DeAngelo Hall Memories

» Hokie Alumni in NFL Free Agency

"This is Peyton Manning's 12th Pro Bowl selection, the most all time by a quarterback. Tight end Tony Gonzalez was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl this season, which is five more than any other tight end in Pro Bowl history. Cornerback Champ Bailey was selected to his 12th Pro Bowl this season, the most all time for a cornerback."

"The wrongful death lawsuit says Junior Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from those hits, and accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries. An AP review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years."

"Adam LaRoche played a major role in paving the Nationals' path to the National League East title in 2012. He had 33 home runs and won the Gold Glove at first base last season. The free agent has resigned with the team for a two-year deal worth $24 million guaranteed, the team confirms."

"After more than 16 consecutive hours of bargaining on the 113th day of the lockout, the NHL and NHLPA reached a tentative agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement. The league is expected to play a 50- or 48-game season that starts no later than Jan. 19."

"Linebacker Bruce Taylor, wide receivers Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller, and tackles Vinston Painter and Nick Becton have all accepted early invitations to be a part of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis."

Jan 1-7: College Bowl Schedule
Dec 31: NYE in DC
Dec 30: Watch Skins Game

"Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. He has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and run for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores to become the first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season."

"The Wizards knocked off the Heat by keeping their composure in the crucial moments and recording a stunning 105-101 victory. The Wizards (2-13) never trailed after the first quarter and set season-highs in assists (31), field goal percentage (48.1), points in regulation."

"Alfred Morris, the sixth-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic is tied for third in the NFL with 1,106 yards rushing. Now he has five 100-yard rushing games, including a season-best 124 in Monday night's 17-16 win over the Giants that raised Washington's record to 6-6 ahead of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens."

"College football's new playoff system in 2014 will feature only six marquee bowl games, but will guarantee access to a team from the five non-power conferences."

“If the fight doesn't happen, it's not my fault. I'm not going to accuse him of being greedy or judge him. It's hard to judge. It's his title, it's his life, [but] I believe he is avoiding me," said Pacquiao, 33, who offered to accept 45% of the pay-per-view revenue no matter the victor to finally cement a welterweight bout with Mayweather.

"The Baltimore Orioles’ Buck Showalter and the Washington Nationals’ Davey Johnson are Sporting News’ 2012 AL and NL Managers of the Year, respectively, as selected by a panel of 17 major league managers."

"By his own admission, [Javale McGee] clams up in games. 'When there's 15,000 people out there, you start thinking too much.' It doesn't help that he suffers from asthma. Or that he has mitts the size of MacBooks, such that it's hard for his left hand not to interfere with the flight of the ball from his right hand."

"A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league canceled 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched, which amounts to 11 percent of the season."

Nats in NLDS:
Game 1: W 3-2
Game 2: L 4-12

Game 3: L 0-8
Game 4: W 2-1
Game 5: L 7-9

"The Washington Nationals have defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1, giving the Nats the best record in the big leagues at 98-64. The team is the NL's top seed heading into the playoffs and has home-field advantage throughout the postseason."

In the Nationals’ 10-4 demolition of the Milwaukee Brewers, Gio Gonzalez reached a new peak in his landmark first season in Washington. He became the first major leaguer to reach 20 wins, bolstering his Cy Young case with seven three-hit innings in which he did not allow an earned run. His season strikeout total hit 202, making him the first Washington hurler to surpass 200 since Walter Johnson 96 years ago."

"With their 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night — a crisp fall evening in Washington — a D.C. baseball team sealed its first postseason berth since 1933."

"Only one rookie quarterback in history (Fran Tarkenton in 1961) has had a better passing rating. RG3 completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, and the team’s 40 points are the most scored by the Redskins since Mike Shanahan became coach."

2012: "It is the first Grand Slam semifinal line-up featuring neither Roger Federer nor the injured Rafael Nadal since the 2004 French Open."

"With quarterback Logan Thomas and a defense that should be one of the best in the country, it would be a shock if Virginia Tech didn’t earn its 20th straight appearance in a bowl game. In fact, if the Hokies don’t add to their national-best eight-year streak of winning 10 or more games, it would be viewed as a disappointment."

"Other notable cuts included running back Tim Hightower of Washington. The Redskins also let go safety Tanard Jackson, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy."

"The Redskins have been accumulating film of a young Steve McNair with the Titans, sources said, and that is likely the template for Griffin, with spread formations, some empty backfields and quick zone reads, capitalizing on Griffin's athleticism. They could incorporate elements of the Pistol as well."

"Two days after their 7-6 preseason-opening victory over Buffalo, the Redskins returned to the practice field, but did so without starting left tackle Trent Williams, or Maurice Hurt, who has stepped in at left guard with starter Kory Lichtensteiger recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. And last week, right guard Chris Chester sprained his left ankle and missed Thursday’s game. "

» LSU edges Alabama, USC for No. 1 in Coaches' Poll

"The Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday signed free-agent left wing Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. Semin has scored at least 25 goals in six of the past seven seasons for the Washington Capitals, including a career-best 40 in 2009-10. Last season, though, he had a career-low 21 goals, and has totaled 54 points each of the past two seasons, down from the 84 he had in 2009-10."

"The Wizards waived the 25-year-old Andray Blatche on Tuesday, exercising the NBA’s amnesty provision to end a seven-year relationship that begin when they drafted him in the second round in 2005. Under the rules of the latest collective bargaining agreement, Blatche will receive the remaining $23 million that he is owed through 2014-15 and the Wizards will remove his salary from their payroll."

The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that it had agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract with Drew Brees, with $60 million guaranteed. Brees skipped the Saints' offseason practices while holding out for his new long-term contract, which now gives him the highest average annual pay ($20 million) in NFL history. Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams also has a $100 million contract, but for six years.

Thanks to the Bobcats standing pat, the Wizards get the player they’ve long been targeting. Bradley Beal is the prototypical SG prospect, possessing the size at 6'4", athleticism and shooting stroke that teams crave at that position. The one red flag with Beal is that he simply wasn’t great in his one year at Florida."

» ESPN: Hokies Schedule Analysis

"Tuesday in Washington D.C., BCS officials approved a 12-year contract presented by conference commissioners for a four-team playoff, beginning in 2014. It calls for a selection committee to choose the top four teams. Cities will bid to host the championship game."

2012 NBA Finals:
Game 1
Game 2
Game 3
Game 4
Game 5

"Roger Clemens was acquitted Monday on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his long career as one of the greatest and most-decorated pitchers in baseball history."

"Union Rags wins Belmont Stakes. Union Rags used a late charge on the inside to beat Paynter to the finish line in the mile and a-half race. Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another was scratched Friday and then retired after developing a slight case of tendinitis in his front left leg."

"Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday the Commonwealth will give the Redskins $6 million in incentives to switch their summer camp to a still-to-be chosen site in Richmond in 2013."

"After winning by a neck, I'll Have Another is one win away from immortality. If he can beat the field at the Belmont Stakes (Saturday, June 9) he will become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978."

David Wilson, RB, Drafted by N.Y. Giants, No. 32 Overall. Jayron Hosley, CB, Drafted by N.Y. Giants, No. 94 Overall. Danny Coale, WR, Drafted by Dallas Cowboys, No. 152 Overall.

Washington has reached the postseason in five consecutive seasons, the longest streak in franchise history since the Capitals made 14-straight appearances from 1982-1996. The Capitals five-straight postseason berths is tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the NHL. Verizon Center has been sold out for 149 consecutive Capitals games (including playoffs) and, for the second straight season, the Capitals sold out every home game this season.

"The U-23 Men’s National Team will miss out on the 2012 London Olympics after being eliminated from CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in heartbreaking fashion following a 3-3 tie with El Salvador on Monday night at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn."

"Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his long-time hometown of Orlando, Florida by five strokes. It's the golfer's first PGA Tour win since September 2009."

"Mason senior forward Ryan Pearson was recognized on March 1 with the CAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Earlier this season, Pearson became just the fourth player in program history and the only active CAA player to amass more than 1,500 points, 750 rebounds, 100 assists and 100 steals in his four-year career."

"Calvin Johnson has signed an eight-year deal worth up to $132 million, the largest contract in NFL history. His deal tops one given to receiver Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona last year - an eight-year deal that could pay him as much as $120 million. Johnson is coming off a spectacular season in which he caught 96 passes for a league-best 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. He became the third player in NFL history with at least 95 receptions, 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns in a season, joining Jerry Rice and Randy Moss."

"The Skins will be penalized and lose $36 million of salary cap space, and will have limited funds to go after free agents. It all stems from the "front loading" of contracts during the uncapped 2010 season when the team paid exorbitant bonuses to Albert Haynesworth ($21 million) and DeAngelo Hall ($15 million) at the same time."

"There will be plenty of suitors lining up for Peyton Manning. Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel has already said he's interested. At the recent NFL scouting combine in Indy, Miami coach Joe Philbin didn't provide a name but certainly described a player matching Manning's profile when asked what he was looking for in a quarterback. Jets coach Rex Ryan has said his team had already looked at 10 free-agent quarterbacks, and you can bet he'll take a peek at No. 11, too. Other rumored destinations include Arizona, Seattle and Washington."

Former Hokies at Combine: RB David Wilson: 4.49-second 40-yard dash (T-7th amongst RBs); 41-inch vertical jump (1st among RBs, T-2nd overall at the Combine); 11 feet in broad jump (1st among RBs, 2nd overall at the Combine). WR Danny Coale – 4.5-second 40-yard dash (T-15th among WRs). CB Jayron Hosley – 4.47-second 40-yard dash (7th). WR Jarrett Boykin – 4.75-second 40-yard dash.

"Sherrod Wright swished a 25-foot forever moment at the buzzer to hand the Patriots a 62-61 victory over VCU. The teams will meet again in the regular season finale Feb. 25 at Siegel Center, then head into the CAA tournament a week later in Richmond."

"Freshman Austin Rivers finished with 29 points, including the game-winning three-pointer, as Duke ended North Carolina's 31-game home winning streak."

"Kris Joseph scored a career-high 29 points, including the decisive 3-pointer in overtime, and Syracuse beat No. 12 Georgetown 64-61 on Wednesday night to give coach Jim Boeheim his 880th career win."

"Seth Greenberg on Miami center Reggie Johnson: 'Well, he’s a mountain masquerading as a man. He’s a massive mass of humanity. A lot of times there is a direct correlation between the size of someone’s rear end and their ability to score. But he’s like SpongeBob SquarePants. The guy is square. It is impossible to get around the guy.'"

"Alex Ovechkin has been suspended three games for his hit on Penguins defensemen Zbynek Michalek. He [...] won’t be back in action until the February 4th game against the Canadiens. He will forfeit $154,677.75 in salary for the three games."

"Inside linebacker London Fletcher leads the NFL in tackles, and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo ranked among the top five in fan votes at his position. But neither made the [NFC Pro Bowl roster]. Fan votes counted for one third of the vote, as did the players’ votes and the coaches’ votes."

"On Tuesday night against the Predators in Washington, 39-year-old Caps left wing Mike Knuble is slated to become the 267th player in league history to play in 1,000 games."

"In his four-plus seasons behind the Capitals’ bench, Bruce Boudreau posted a regular season record of 201-88-40 in 329 regular season games, recently becoming the fastest coach to record 200 regular season victories."

Virginia Tech remained at No. 5 despite Arkansas’s loss to LSU on Friday as Stanford jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 in this week’s rankings. The Hokies were No. 3 in this week’s coaches’ poll — one spot ahead of the Cardinal — and No. 4 in the Harris poll, which make up two-thirds of the BCS formula."

» October 26, 2011: President Obama calls for an end to NBA lockout.

"The NFL is the only one of the major U.S. sports to give prospects an intelligence test."

"A California man arrested for throwing a hot dog at Tiger Woods during a tournament said he wanted to do something "courageous and epic."

"The NCAA calculates an Academic Progress Rate that measures retention and graduation rates for every Division I team, reflecting the previous four academic years. An APR of 930 comes out to a 50% graduation rate, according to the news release."

"At 22, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the youngest Most Valuable Player award-winner in the history of the NBA. He's the seventh player in league history to average at least 25 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds, along with Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James."

A 20-ft high backside air, to double cork stalefish 1080, to cab double cork 1080, to front stalefish 5, to double McTwist 1260, to backside alley oop rodeo. And Shaun White four-peats.

The Haynesworth Headache: "The two-time All-Pro skipped offseason workouts, boycotted a mandatory minicamp, needed 10 days to pass a conditioning test at training camp, did all he could to resist a change in the defensive scheme and is now a part-time player with a $100 million contract because, by his own admission, he's not good enough to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense."

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