Blog Profile / The Early Lead

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Archived Since:April 20, 2011

Blog Post Archive

What would NBC’s Olympic coverage be without Brazilian models? You’ll never know.

The Rio Olympics next month have been notable so far for their alarming headlines about the Zika virus, security concerns, water that has been contaminated with human waste and bacteria, the discovery of dismembered bodies and updates on which famous athletes won’t be participating in the Games. So, naturally, NBC, which pays handsomely for the […]

After setback, Clayton Kershaw might be on the disabled list for a while longer

The Los Angeles Dodgers hoped things would go so well for injured ace Clayton Kershaw during a simulated game on Saturday that he’d be back to pitch either Thursday in Washington or Friday in St. Louis. Things didn’t go so well. Kershaw’s balky lower back was still acting up after the four-inning simulation, this despite […]

Pro extreme skier dies in Chilean avalanche while filming video game promos

Matilda Rapaport, a Swedish extreme free skier, has died after she was caught in an avalanche while filming promotional material for an upcoming video game last week in Chile. She was 30. Rapaport was engulfed by the avalanche Thursday after a winter storm in the resort village of Farrellones, about 45 miles northeast of Santiago […]

‘I’m lucky': Albert Pujols stays in game after taking a fastball to the head

When he wasn’t hitting home runs Tuesday night, Albert Pujols was reminding everyone just how tough a ballplayer he is. The Los Angeles Angels’ designated hitter slugged two homers, a feat that was overshadowed by what happened in the seventh inning. He took a 92-mph fastball to the helmet from Texas Rangers pitcher Tony Barnette — always a scary […]

Cam Newton thinks the NFL’s best player isn’t Cam Newton

Here’s how you know the NFL season cannot possibly get here soon enough: The NFL Network has released its annual list of the top 100 players. Generally, this elicits some grousing from the men who play professional fubball for a living and this year is no exception — except there’s a wrinkle. One player thinks […]

Big 12 reverses course on expansion, because it had to

Earlier this month, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione told Dennis Dodd of that the conference’s expansion plans were dead “for the time being.” The NCAA was allowing the 10-team Big 12 to stage a money-printing football championship game and the available candidates weren’t all that alluring to begin with. Why bother? “There aren’t any […]

Kobe Bryant was given another shot to be on Team USA. He chose to stay retired.

The men’s basketball team that will represent the U.S. at next month’s Olympics could have been stronger, but it’s still a formidable group that will be heavily favored to win gold. It’s apparently also a group that could possibly have included Kobe Bryant, but the former Lakers great chose to stay retired. On Tuesday, ESPN’s […]

What if the Thunder extend Russell Westbrook, then pair him with Blake Griffin?

The Oklahoma City Thunder just lost Kevin Durant in free agency while getting nothing in return, and it stands to reason that the team would rather not have the same thing happen with Russell Westbrook, who is going into the final year of his contract. The NBA’s rumor mill has recently had Oklahoma City trading the all-star point […]

Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott has the top-selling jersey in the NFL

Ezekiel Elliott has the top-selling jersey in the NFL. Just imagine how many he’ll move once the Cowboys rookie actually plays in the NFL. That information arrived Tuesday in a tweet from Randall Liu, the league’s communications director for NFC football. It was based on jersey sales at, the league’s official online retailer, since April, […]

Amir Khan says he’d fight Conor McGregor — under MMA rules

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have talked plenty about possibly fighting each other, but nothing has come of it, which is no surprise. Leaving aside the fact that Mayweather would have to come out of retirement (which probably would be no problem if enough money was on the table), he would likely want to face McGregor […]

Brock Lesnar failed a second drug test, this one on the day of UFC 200

When news first broke that Brock Lesnar had failed a drug test before UFC 200, the hulking fighter said, “We will get to the bottom of this.” As it turns out, his situation had yet to bottom out, because Tuesday brought word that Lesnar had failed another test, this one administered right around the July 9 […]

Rio Olympics providing a record number of condoms to athletes

There are a few things athletes want to take home from the Olympics: medals, good memories, new friends. But there are a couple of things Olympic organizers hope athletes won’t take with them: venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies. That’s why officials are providing 450,000 condoms to the athletes this year. “This is considered sufficient to encourage […]

Lou Holtz on immigrant ‘invasion': ‘I don’t want to become you’

  Legendary college football coach Lou Holtz may be down with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, but it appears he’s not cool with some other immigrants in America. The 79-year-old former coach shared his views on what he called the immigrant “invasion” of the United States while speaking at a luncheon hosted by the […]

Larry Bird is all business: Informed Pacers starter he’d been traded via voicemail

At least he didn’t do it via text message. That’s about the only kind thing you can say about the method Indiana Pacers boss Larry Bird used to inform point guard George Hill he was traded to the Utah Jazz. “We had to trade you to Utah,” Bird said in a voicemail (a voicemail!), according […]

Tiger Woods to skip PGA Championship, his last chance to play in a 2016 major

Tiger Woods will go all of 2016 without competing in a major championship after Tuesday’s announcement that he’s skipping next week’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey. Woods has spent all of this year recovering from multiple back surgeries in September. He hasn’t played in any tournament since the Wyndham Championship last August. Woods, […]

The possible ties between the Russian doping mess and FIFA

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko was implicated in the World Anti-Doping Agency report on the country’s alleged state-run doping scheme involving hundreds of Olympic athletes. According to WADA, Mutko had direct knowledge of the scheme, a charge he has denied. But bore down into the specifics of the report and one can see how it […]

Want to meet Lionel Messi? All you need to do is swim to his yacht.

Lionel Messi made a fan for life this week when he let a 24-year-old man climb aboard his private yacht off the shores of the Spanish island of Ibiza. 20 minutos con Messi — Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) July 19, 2016 The fan, identified as Suli by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, swam over half […]

Draymond Green wants to focus on Olympics, not his legal issues

Despite his pending misdemeanor assault charge, Draymond Green has one thing on his mind right now — winning a gold medal with Team USA at the upcoming Rio Olympics. “You don’t let any type of distraction get in the way of that,” the Golden State Warriors star said Monday (via ESPN) while practicing with Team […]

Lou Holtz brings a Crown Royal bag to the Republican convention

Lou Holtz, the former college football coach and ESPN commentator, made the scene at the Republican National Convention in style. He arrived with purple velvet bag in which the nectar of the gods, Crown Royal Canadian whiskey, is sold. Now, we don’t know if Holtz’s purple bag contained hootch or not, but, hey, it is […]

Melania Trump’s speech, as imagined through famous sports quotes

If there were such a thing as a make-up call in politics, Melania Trump might wish for one after it was determined that parts of the speech she delivered at the Republican National Convention mirrored uncomfortably closely a speech that was delivered by Michelle Obama in 2008. Melania Trump doesn’t seem to be much of […]

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