Thursday, February 22

Sports

Does the PGA Tour have a juice problem, and will Sunday solve it?
Sports

Does the PGA Tour have a juice problem, and will Sunday solve it?

LOS ANGELES — It was all going to be so perfect. It had stars. It had records. It had one of the most beautiful stages in all of sports in prime time. It was supposed to be the PGA Tour’s big day.Two weeks ago up in Pebble Beach, Wyndham Clark shot a third-round 60 to break the historic course’s record and take the lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The tour couldn’t have drawn up a better Sunday — in theory. It was the off week before the Super Bowl, meaning it practically had the sports calendar to itself. It made the tournament a signature event, meaning one of golf’s most iconic venues had all the best players on tour competing. And suddenly it had the reigning U.S. Open champ — the star of the new season of golf’s Netflix show, “Full Swing” — Clark going into a Sunday duel with...
Intensity, alter egos and ‘Benjamin Button’: Dan Hurley’s quest to become king of two in a row at UConn
Sports

Intensity, alter egos and ‘Benjamin Button’: Dan Hurley’s quest to become king of two in a row at UConn

STORRS, Conn. — It is 1 p.m. on a dismal January afternoon and, aside from a few managers, Gampel Pavilion is empty. The Connecticut players have finished reviewing film but have yet to shuffle in from the practice facility across the street. Dan Hurley stands a few steps behind halfcourt. He’s wearing gray sweats, a hoodie, a UConn beanie and a pair of reflector sunglasses. He would like it noted that he wore the sunglasses “way before Coach Prime.’’Hurley starts launching halfcourt shots, cursing under his breath when the first few attempts clank off the backboard or, worse, airball short of the basket entirely. The Huskies stream in, clomping down the stairs to the court, and Hurley, still in his getup, keeps shooting.Finally, the ball swishes through the net and Hurley shouts, to no on...
Kylian Mbappe is leaving PSG: Thank god that’s finally over
Sports

Kylian Mbappe is leaving PSG: Thank god that’s finally over

Ice ages haven’t lasted as long as this.Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid… it has been a thing for about a decade at least.The Athletic was not even in existence when the pair began courting each other. Twitter was still fun (and called Twitter), Taylor Swift hadn’t heard of American football and the closest thing we got to a global pandemic was from watching Contagion.It has been an inexorably long saga, the very worst kind of transfer saga in fact, with endless posturing, incessant lies and spin and thousands upon thousands of stories claiming that it is finally happening.Well now, once and for all, it surely is. Mbappe will leave PSG and you’d have to assume that next season, he will play in the Bernabeu (assuming another club doesn’t have the opportunity to pip them and he ends up at, say, ...
How Maple Leafs staff helped save a rec-leaguer from a skate cut to the throat: ‘I thought I was going to die’
Sports

How Maple Leafs staff helped save a rec-leaguer from a skate cut to the throat: ‘I thought I was going to die’

It was inside the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room that Ike Werner first allowed himself to believe he was going to survive.After having his throat cut accidentally by a skate blade during a Sunday afternoon rec league game at the NHL team’s practice facility earlier this month, a terrifying experience turned surreal when the 37-year-old looked over and saw Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson receiving treatment in an adjacent room.“That was my visual,” Werner told The Athletic. “Him being worked on.”Werner had taken note of the luxury cars behind the gated section of the parking lot when he pulled into Ford Performance Centre that afternoon. The Zamboni was resurfacing the ice earlier than usual, too, so he figured the Leafs had skated on Rink 2 before his “Prestige Worldwide” team faced ...
Super Bowl 2025 odds: 49ers are early favorites; Chiefs, Ravens and Bills among top teams
Sports

Super Bowl 2025 odds: 49ers are early favorites; Chiefs, Ravens and Bills among top teams

The Chiefs beat the 49ers in overtime to win Super Bowl LVIII. Is it too early to start looking ahead to Super Bowl LVIX held in New Orleans? Never. The San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl favorites at +500 on BetMGM, despite losing to the Kansas City Chiefs (+700 to repeat) in Super Bowl 58. The Baltimore Ravens (+850), Buffalo Bills (+1200) and Detroit Lions (+1200) have the next-best odds.Of course, the Chiefs are still one of the favorites to win the AFC. It’s assumed that general manager Brett Veach will do everything in his power to find help for Patrick Mahomes after the offense’s struggles for most of the regular season.Along with the Chiefs, the Ravens, Bills and Bengals are the favorites from the AFC. The Jets have worse odds now (+3000) than they did at this time last season (+25...
Caitlin Clark’s green-light range made her the gold standard in women’s college basketball
Sports

Caitlin Clark’s green-light range made her the gold standard in women’s college basketball

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when it was determined in Iowa that any shot that left Caitlin Clark’s hands was not just a reasonable shot, but also a good shot. Because there are green lights, and then there are green lights. And Clark has matter-of-factly operated in the latter for much of her career.But there’s a solid argument to be made that it was Feb. 6, 2022.It was Clark’s sophomore season, and while she had been putting up big numbers, she wasn’t yet considered the one-woman wrecking crew that she has now become. To get to that level of lore, a player needs to not just throw the rocks but slay Goliath. And at that point, though she was a massive scorer, she was on a team that hadn’t yet taken down the best opponents. The Hawkeyes were 1-9 against to...
A Taylor Swift love story: How pop icon is bringing a new, young audience to the NFL
Sports

A Taylor Swift love story: How pop icon is bringing a new, young audience to the NFL

Arrie Flathouse took her first steps to Taylor Swift’s hit song “Tim McGraw.”The pop icon was a constant part of the now 16-year-old Arrie’s childhood as she grew up in the Houston area with two older sisters who adored Swift. Arrie came to love Swift, too, dressing up as her for Halloween and listening to her albums.GO DEEPERWhat Taylor Swift songs capture the 2023 NFL season: Dear John, Karma, Anti-HeroArrie never got much into football, though, despite having a mom, Kara, who spent her weekends tuned into college and NFL games. That included games played by the Chiefs since Kara, like Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is a Texas Tech alum. Despite Kara’s attempts to get her daughters interested, football never clicked with Arrie, so Kara usually spent those weekend afternoons wat...
What are the NFL’s gambling rules for the Super Bowl in Las Vegas?
Sports

What are the NFL’s gambling rules for the Super Bowl in Las Vegas?

The NFL’s rules on gambling have generated widespread criticism and questions leading up to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, as the league aims to balance its sportsbook partnerships and policies preventing players from betting on games.Gambling was a major topic of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual Super Bowl news conference Monday, when he said the “integrity of the league” was the top priority.“We want to make sure that when people are watching NFL games, they know the action on the field is genuine and without any outside influence, ” Goodell said.With the marquee sports event days away in the U.S. betting hub, it’s worth revisiting the NFL’s policies for its players and how the league’s stance has changed over time.NFL rules on sports bettingThe league has long maintained that playe...
World Cup 2026: The biggest tournament yet and a New York final
Sports

World Cup 2026: The biggest tournament yet and a New York final

The United States, Canada and Mexico will host the first 48-team edition of the FIFA World Cup in 2026 — and now we know where all 104 matches in the biggest knockout tournament in soccer history will be taking place.New York/New Jersey will stage the final on July 19, 2026, beating out early favorites Los Angeles and Dallas to land the showpiece event in men’s global soccer.The 16 host cities across three countries did not know which matches they would be allocated until Gianni Infantino, president of world governing body FIFA, made the announcements in a live televised show on Sunday, saying the 2026 tournament would be “the biggest spectacle the world has ever seen”.Where will the three host nations play their group matches?The U.S. men’s national team, Mexico and Canada have all been g...
LIV Golf had a big opportunity Sunday. Did it take advantage?
Sports

LIV Golf had a big opportunity Sunday. Did it take advantage?

LIV Golf was given an opportunity on Sunday.The PGA Tour’s final round was pushed off due to some truly gnarly weather conditions at Pebble Beach, giving LIV’s first event of the 2024 season the full stage. And it was Jon Rahm’s first event as a LIV golfer, with Rahm in contention for the win at Mayakoba, Mexico. As much money as LIV has spent to get off the ground and fill its 54-man roster, sometimes luck still brings the greatest chances you’ll get.So how did the 3-year-old product do? I had some thoughts.Legion before meRahm did not win Sunday — he finished bogey-bogey, dropping off the shared lead and ceding the stage to Joaquin Niemann and Sergio Garcia for a four-hole playoff, dramatically won by Niemann with the only light on the course coming from the leaderboard overlooking the 1...