Blog Profile / The Early Lead

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After French Open snub, Maria Sharapova says she won’t ask for Wimbledon wild card

Maria Sharapova announced Friday that she would not request one of the eight wild-card invitations to Wimbledon and instead will attempt to qualify her way into the Grand Slam event. She has, however, received an invitation to the traditional Wimbledon warmup tournament in Birmingham, England. “A few months ago, I received a wild-card offer from […]

ESPN’s Holly Rowe isn’t backing down after cancer returns

Veteran ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe told the Associated Press on Thursday that the melanoma doctors first discovered two years ago has returned and spread. Still, she’ll remain in front of the camera and recently signed a contract extension to remain with the network. “I don’t think about having cancer when I’m out here,” Rowe […]

Are we running out of high school referees?

Officiating a high school sporting event can be a thankless task, what with parents and coaches screaming for your head while you do a job that isn’t exactly going to make anyone rich. And now it appears that fewer people are choosing to go that route. According to the National Federation of State High School […]

Hawks reportedly offered Pacers four first-round picks for Paul George at trade deadline

The big NBA news that emerged Thursday could mean that, by next summer, Pacers star Paul George will be a member of the Lakers. The day brought another intriguing tidbit regarding the 27-year-old swingman: the Hawks badly wanted to bring him to Atlanta in midseason. How badly? According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, as February’s trade […]

Mariners honor Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell with moment of silence before game

Music fans across the country mourned the loss Thursday of Chris Cornell, but his death was felt particularly acutely in Seattle, where he grew up and formed Soundgarden in the 1980s. Before a home game that evening against the White Sox, the Mariners honored the memory of the grunge-era icon with a pregame tribute and […]

Conor McGregor seeks Nevada boxing license while Floyd Mayweather shoots down fight questions

Conor McGregor took another big step toward making his megafight with Floyd Mayweather a reality Thursday by applying for a Nevada boxing license. Mayweather, meanwhile, didn’t want to talk about it, shooting down questions about the much-hyped matchup at a promotional event for another fight. McGregor’s camp had tried before to get the license, a near-necessity given […]

Watch Lexi Thompson sky-dive to first tee at LPGA event

Those in attendance Wednesday at the Kingsmill Championship Pro-Am watched Lexi Thompson hit the fairway on the first hole. That is to say, they didn’t see Thompson’s ball hit the fairway, but the LPGA star herself — when she stuck the landing after sky diving out of an airplane. Show More Summary

Stephen A. Smith debated Trump’s tweets with Ted Nugent on Fox News

We’re used to seeing Stephen A. Smith getting into heated conversations on TV, it’s just that, usually, those debates are about sports and take place on ESPN. Thursday, however, brought a change of pace and place: Fox News viewers found Smith debating political issues — with, among others, Ted Nugent. Our #FoxNewsSpecialists are here! @stephenasmith and […]

Don’t drink the water: CDC says diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in U.S. pools

If you’re planning to take a dip in a pool this summer, make sure to plug your nose and close your mouth. Any inadvertent ingestion of even chlorinated pool water could wind up giving you cryptosporidium. More simply known as “crypto,” the microscopic parasite can make otherwise healthy adults and children feel incredibly sick with stomach cramps, nausea […]

Spurs fan files lawsuit against Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia for injuring Kawhi Leonard

A San Antonio Spurs fan and a local business came up with a unique way to hold Golden State Warriors star Zaza Pachulia accountable for his role in injuring Spurs star Kawhi Leonard — they’re suing him. Juan Vasquez and What’s on Second, Inc., a sports memorabilia shop, filed the suit against Pachulia and the […]

American motorcycling champion suffers severe brain damage after car hit him while cycling

American motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden remained in the intensive care unit of an Italian hospital on Thursday, a day after he was hit by a car while bicycling in the country. “Nicky Hayden’s clinical condition remains extremely critical,” the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy, said in a statement. The statement indicated Hayden, 35, suffered severe brain […]

English soccer approves new rule to retroactively punish players for diving

It turned the game around for Chelsea when it happened on Nov. 9, 2013. Down 2-1 against underdog West Bromwich Albion with just a minute to go in stoppage time, Chelsea midfielder Ramires dramatically fell to the ground after West Brom defender Steven Reid barely brushed him. The result led to a yellow card for […]

Cubs fan dies after falling over a railing at Wrigley Field

A Chicago Cubs fan has died from the injuries he suffered when he fell over a Wrigley Field railing and hit his head following a game on Tuesday night. The 42-year-old man, Richard A. Garrity of Wheaton, Ill., was leaving the ballpark about 40 minutes after Tuesday night’s Cubs-Reds game had ended when he fell […]

A rain delay in football? It’s happening to the new Rams/Chargers stadium.

It’s rained a whole lot in Southern California of late, which is mostly good news for a state that had experienced a calamitous drought for around six years. I say “mostly” because all that rain is no good if you’re digging a big hole in which to build a new football stadium. Sam Farmer and […]

MLB investigating Kevin Pillar’s outburst during eventful Blue Jays-Braves game

What didn’t happen during the Braves’ 8-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night? To start, Braves first baseman and National League home run leader Freddie Freeman left the game in the fifth inning after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup. Freddie Freeman leaves […]

Golf’s silly rules forced an NCAA golfer to go diving for his ball in a pond

Jacksonville University golfer David Wicks had a choice to make on Wednesday at an NCAA regional in Baton Rouge. Either he could strip down to his underwear and jump into a pond to find his ball, or he could take a two-stroke penalty. An NCAA championship berth was on the line, so you can guess […]

Conor McGregor says he’s signed ‘record breaking deal’ to fight Floyd Mayweather

In announcing that he was coming out of retirement in March, Floyd Mayweather said that all UFC champion Conor McGregor had to do was “sign the paperwork” for their boxing match to become reality. Conor McGregor has signed the paperwork. “It is an honour to sign this record breaking deal alongside my partners Zuffa LLC, […]

She’ll pitch to the big boys: Knuckleballer first woman in collegiate West Coast League

A female knuckleballer will be joining the ranks of college baseball players hoping to make an impact this summer in the West Coast League. Claire Eccles, a 19-year-old who plays softball for the University of British Columbia, will play for the Victoria HarbourCats in the 11-team league that attracts some of the best collegiate players in North […]

Tom Brady had concussion, Gisele Bündchen says, though it was never on Patriots injury report

Over the years, Tom Brady has consistently dodged the question of how many concussions — if any — he has had while playing football. His wife, though, is another matter. Gisele Bündchen told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday that Brady “has concussions pretty much” and added that he had one last season, although he was never […]

Meet ‘Alternative Fats,’ a Minnesota baseball team’s new pig mascot

Saints Ponder Getting Rid of Swine, Instead Unveil "Alternative Fats" As New Ball Pig For 2017 — St. Paul Saints (@StPaulSaints) May 17, 2017 An independent professional baseball team in Minnesota revealed the name of its newest mascot Wednesday, but the Trump Administration might not like it. Show More Summary

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