Posts by Eric Adelson

  • Deflate-gate triggers stat spat as analysts attempt to solve why Patriots don't fumble

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 9 hrs ago

    One of the strangest twists in the already strange saga of deflate-gate is the sudden star turn of a man who runs a gambling website when he’s not doing his day job. Warren Sharp is a 36-year-old dad who loves numbers and algorithms, and decided to apply some statistics to the Patriots when he heard about the football deflation investigation. What he found sent ripples through the sports world and got a few other statisticians pretty upset.

    It also may have implications beyond Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

    Sharp’s idea was to look at fumbles. That led him to a more refined topic: how well the Patriots held onto the ball both before and after the 2006 season, which happened to be the year Brady and Peyton Manning pushed for a rule change which allowed each team to provide their own footballs for games.

    “Something significant changed from 2006 to 2007 that allowed them to retain the football,” Sharp said by phone Tuesday, “and that continues today.”

    As for Brady himself, he had 59 fumbles in his first six seasons, and only 37 in his most recent seven seasons.

    “This is definitely not random fluctuation,” he said.

     

  • Inspiration for Seahawks logo visits Seattle with assist from Patriots fan

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    For years, the mask that inspired Seattle's beloved NFL team logo sat thousands of miles away. At one point during renovation, it was even placed in storage.

    Gretchen Faulkner, director of the University of Maine's Hudson Museum, liked to show it off, leading guests away from the main halls and pointing it out. She called it "the Seahawks mask."

    But people didn't really care.

    "I wouldn't get much response," Faulkner says. "People were Patriot fans, so they were like, 'Yeah, sure.' "

    She couldn't blame them; she was a Pats fan too.

    It's possible that if not for this Pats fan and her staff, the gorgeous work of art that launched the Seahawks logo many years ago might still be in Maine, unbeknownst to the football fans who now come to see it. Instead, two curators from rival regions worked together to complete a mask's journey home from, of all places, Arizona – where the Seattle Seahawks will meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale on Feb. 1.

    "There are certain teams in the league that can use better relations with Native people," Everson says. "I won't mention names."

  • Robert Allenby wants you to believe his kidnapping story even though he doesn't remember it himself

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Robert Allenby wants you to believe what happened to him on Jan. 16 even though he doesn't remember exactly what happened to him on Jan. 16.

    So began another bizarre chapter in L'Affair Allenby.

    "The No. 1 thing that you should all remember is that my story stays exactly the same as the way I told it," he insisted Tuesday at a press conference prior to this weekend's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Allenby stridently defended himself and took the media to task for doubting his story, which goes as follows:

    After missing the cut at a tournament in Honolulu last month, Allenby said he went to a bar, had a few drinks, left the bar only to be knocked unconscious. He claimed he woke up in a park six miles away to two men kicking him. There, a homeless woman, along with a retired miltary man, chased away the assailants, told him he'd been dumped there from the trunk of a car, and helped Allenby get a cab back to his hotel.

    At some point Allenby took a selfie of his injuries, which was broadcast on the Golf Channel, and the world honed in on his story.

     

  • Tiger's tooth is back, and so is his sense of humor

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

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    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tiger Woods' lost dominance may never return. His vanished tooth, though, is back. And so is his sense of humor.

    Woods finished his nine-hole practice round at the TPC course here early Tuesday morning and met the media with a weapon as rare as his recent tournament appearances: zingers.

    Tiger explained that he was at girlfriend Lindsey Vonn's recent ski race wearing a skeleton mask "so no one knew who I was, trying to blend in, because there's not a lot of brown dudes at ski races."

    As for the missing tooth, which would probably be the most overcooked media story this week if not for deflate-gate, Woods insisted a cameraman did indeed hit him after the race and knocked it loose.

    Woods kept the light vibe during a follow-up.

    Asked why he thought people aren't buying the story, Woods simply said, "It is just what it is."

    Tiger's ability on Tuesday to avoid being ruthless about being toothless is a much better look.

  • Exonerated of rape, Brian Banks now realizing NFL dream – in different capacity

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    It's been nearly half a lifetime since Pete Carroll walked up to Brian Banks at Long Beach Poly High and said, "Hey, you can do something. You can be something."

    Banks was 15 years old at the time, and to him, that message seemed clear: he had a future playing football.

    But two years later, Banks became ensnared in an ordeal of injustice, anger and heartbreak that lasted a decade. On his way to possibly playing for Carroll at USC, Banks was wrongly accused of raping a girl at his high school. Rather than facing 41 years to life in prison if he fought the charges and lost, he pleaded guilty and was sent to prison for five years.

    "I screamed and yelled and begged for people to help," Banks said Sunday by phone. "And even then no one listened."

    Banks, now 29, was cleared and freed in May 2012 after serving five years of probation (in addition to the five years in prison) when his accuser recanted her story. He got a tryout from Carroll and the Seahawks, and then another from the Falcons. But it was too late for his original dream to come true.

    So the challenge became about separating himself from his plight, and finding power over it.

  • Disgraceful NFL exit? Hardly for Super Bowl-bound LeGarrette Blount

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  – He was arrested. He was cut. Then he went to the Super Bowl.

    "This is my first time winning anything," LeGarrette Blount said Sunday night, his eyes glimmering after a 30-carry, 148-yard, three-touchdown game against the Indianapolis Colts here. "We never won [high school] states. We never won the national championship at Oregon."

    Now his new team, and his old team, had won an AFC championship trophy. Blount picked a couple of strips of confetti out of the base of the silverware, then held it in his hand as he stood in front of his locker. He had been grinning for a good 45 minutes, smiling wider when asked about going from the outs with the Pittsburgh Steelers to the star of the show in a championship game.

    "It's a blessing that I ended up here," he said.

    LeGarrette Blount with the Lamar Hunt trophy. pic.twitter.com/CyKNUcJyFX

    "If you don't want to be here, don't be here," Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey told reporters at the time. "He had a decision to make as a man, and he made it. You know the consequences."

    "Can't beat that."

     

  • Why Cardale Jones' decision to return to Ohio State may be the right move

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    Instead of cashing in, Cardale Jones went all in.

    The 22-year-old overnight pro prospect called a press conference Thursday to announce what he described on Twitter as a "life-changing decision." Most everyone figured the Buckeyes quarterback would bolt for the pros after the best three-game NFL audition in college football history. But just when cynicism seems to dominate the sports landscape, a glimpse of idealism shows up. Jones said he wasn't ready to leave, and he wanted to get his degree. He made a major bet on himself.

    "It's everybody's dream when they play a collegiate sport to make it to the next level," Jones said in a very short press event. "At my point in my career, I feel like it's best for me to go back to school and one of the most important things for me is to graduate."

    Sure, there's reason to think this was as calculated as cold hard cash: Jones thinks he can stay at Ohio State for a year and then get selected at the very top of the draft instead of in the second or third round. But consider the risks, and the self-belief Jones needed to stay in Columbus.

  • It's Boom (Herron) or bust for Colts against favored Patriots

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    Beating Peyton Manning in Denver was a supreme feat for Andrew Luck, so it's hard for a lot of people to imagine following that up with a victory against Tom Brady in New England.

    The rapidly ascending Colts quarterback might have a fairly simple way to do it, though.

    Hand off to Daniel "Boom" Herron eight times.

    Indianapolis is 8-0 this season, including two playoff victories, when Herron has eight rushing attempts or more. In all five of the Colts' losses, Herron had seven attempts or fewer. That includes New England's 42-20 maiming of the Colts on Nov. 16, in which Herron had no carries at all.

    Too simplistic? Maybe, but each team's ground game has changed since the Patriots' win in Indianapolis. Jonas Gray, who trampled a sieve-like Colts' defense for 201 yards and four touchdowns, wasn't even active against the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday. The Patriots had 14 rushing yards against Baltimore, with Tom Brady taking the lion's share of rushing attempts with six.

    Boom.

  • Tom Brady's heroic night includes Patriots' trickery in win over Ravens

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The little boy ran over to his dad, greeted with a kiss and a crushing hug, grinning and squirming as he was wrapped up.

    Tom Brady grinned too, grabbing a New England Patriots ski hat by his locker and fitting it around his 4-year-old son's head. The boy tried to wriggle free, and Brady just wouldn't let go.

    Ben Brady might be too young to remember what his dad did here on Saturday, too young to comprehend what makes his father a football legend and why. But Brady will always remember how dearly he had to hold on to the moment he lost and then suddenly found again.

    Bill Belichick had to concoct some special gridiron alchemy too, with four offensive linemen playing on certain downs and a running back serving as an ineligible fifth. The Patriots, a team that used to roar through the postseason as a budding dynasty, required every possible advantage they could grab simply to stay in a game in which they fell behind by 14 points, not once but twice.

  • Winter of Gronk might be too much for Ravens to handle

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    "History doesn't repeat," Mark Twain supposedly said, "but it often rhymes." So it's somewhat appropriate that Boston won the United States' 2024 Olympics bid a few days before the New England Patriots begin their quest for a fourth Super Bowl title. Because 2024 will mark 100 years since an American cyclist represented the U.S in the Paris Games. His name was Ignatius Gronkowski. He's Rob's great-grandfather.

    What does this have to do with Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens? More than you think. Because Ignatius' sport of choice actually says a lot about the on-field brilliance of the man they call Gronk.

    Cycling, of course, requires balance as much as brute strength, and that's been a hallmark of all the Gronkowskis. Rob's dad, Gordy, blocked for Joe Morris at Syracuse, and he put his boys on skates from the time they were 5 years old. Rob was taught steadiness and poise, and watching him run his routes is a lot like watching a hockey player crash the net.