Wales & N Ireland jump in rankings - Wales rise 12 places and are joint 29th with Scotland, while Northern Ireland jump to 71st and England are up two to 18th. Is sport sexist? Fighting 'inertia' - As the Royal & Ancient Golf Club votes whether to admit women members, where do distinctions between the sexes remain? Angels beat Mariners 5-0, win AL West title (Yahoo Sports) - ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels clinched the AL West title Wednesday night, getting seven dominant innings of one-hit ball from C.J. Wilson in a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. R&A to reveal women members vote - Angels top M's 5-0, reach brink of AL West title (Yahoo Sports) - C.J. Wilson pitched seven dominant innings of one-hit ball, C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer and the Los Angeles Angels moved to the brink of the AL West title with a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. The major league-leading Angels (95-57) reduced their magic number to one in their division race with the Oakland Athletics. Los Angeles will clinch its first AL West title since 2009 with one more victory or one loss by the A's. Howie Kendrick sparked the Angels' five-run rally in the seventh by scoring from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error. Wainwright shutout, 19th win as Cards beat Brewers (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Wainwright posted his 19th win, pitching a shutout Wednesday night as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 to hold their 2 1/2-game edge in the NL Central. Wainwright (19-9) worked around seven hits and tied for the major league lead in wins and shutouts. St. Louis has won four of five and kept its advantage over second-place Pittsburgh. Milwaukee dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Pirates for the second NL wild-card spot. Cain, Aoki power Royals to 6-2 win over White Sox (Yahoo Sports) - Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer, Nori Aoki kept up his tear at the plate and the Kansas City Royals roughed up Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale in a 6-2 victory Wednesday night that kept the pressure on Detroit in the AL Central. The first-place Tigers led the Royals by 1 1/2 games at the start of the night. Alcides Escobar also homered for a Royals offense that had been scuffling for weeks, and Aoki went 3 for 4 to finish with 11 hits in the series. Cardinals' Dwyer arrested on assault charges (Yahoo Sports) - Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and their 18-month-old child, the latest in a string of such cases involving NFL players. The Cardinals said they became aware of the situation Wednesday and are cooperating with the investigation. The NFL said the case will be reviewed under the league's personal-conduct policy. Authorities depicted a stormy relationship between Dwyer and the woman that escalated into violence on July 21, four days before the Cardinals reported to training camp. NFL rocked by new violence arrest - Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, police say, the latest such incident to rock the NFL. Cardinals RB Dwyer arrested on assault charges (Yahoo Sports) - Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and an 18-month-old child, the latest in a string of such cases involving NFL players. The Cardinals said they became aware of the situation on Wednesday and are cooperating with the investigation. The NFL said the case will be reviewed under the league's personal-conduct policy. Police Sgt. Trent Crump said Dwyer hid in the bathroom until police left.

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Adrian Peterson's mother defends his parenting, speaks of his upbringing [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 11:28 pm]
For some, the Adrian Peterson controversy comes down to personal feelings about what is acceptable when disciplining your child. Peterson, the Vikings star running back who was indicted for causing injuries to his 4-year-old son, faced physical punishment when he was growing up, and his mother didn't hide that fact. Peterson's mother Bonita Jackson, speaking to the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday, said her son so "trying hard to be a good parent" and stuck up for Peterson. The Chronicle story said Jackson said she "used her hand, switches and belts to occasionally spank all of her six children in order to correct their behavior." "I don't care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes," Jackson, who lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, told the Chronicle. "But we were only trying to prepare hem for the real world. "When you whip those you love, it's not about abuse, but love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong." According to the police report, which was obtained by Sports Radio 610 in Houston last week when Peterson was indicted, Peterson said in text messages and police interviews that although he felt bad for his son's injuries, he uses "whoopings" or "spankings" to discipline his children. He spoke of that in a matter-of-fact tone, the police report said. Peterson is accused of disciplining his son with a switch. Jackson told the Chronicle that her son is getting help to learn other disclipline methods, like having the child stand in the corner for five minutes. She told the Chronicle that Peterson was trying to disclipline his son the same way he was when he was growing up. "My son is not a perfect man by no means, but in the end I'm proud to be his mom," Jackson told the Chronicle. "For the most part he is trying hard to be a good parent, he's working at it. People are judging him, but they don't know his heart. This was never his intent." - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutd

Minister and Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams tries to help Ferguson heal [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 10:25 pm]
A few days after Michael Brown was shot by a member of the Ferguson (Mo.) Police Department, a minister strolled up to a group of young men standing on the street curb amid the protests and riots. Moments before, a police car drove by the group of men, and several made a lewd gesture and cursed at the officers. The pastor didn’t want to reprimand, but simply listen. They felt powerless and he heard it in their voices. He spoke with them, offered to pray with them and let them know they could always reach out to him. His church was located in Ferguson, just minutes away from where they stood. They smiled and he walked away. If the young men knew they were just talking to a Pro Football Hall of Famer, they never let on. Aeneas Williams feels like his post-NFL path led him to helping in Ferguson when it was needed most. Ordained by his church early in his NFL career while he played for the Arizona Cardinals, Williams is founder and pastor of The Spirit Church which meets at McCluer South-Berkeley High School in Ferguson. He teams with his wife Tracy in a ministry that reaches into the inner-city of Ferguson, which is about 10 miles from where the former NFL cornerback lives. Williams said it wasn’t a coincidence he ended up being a part of the Ferguson community. He said it was just “being where God leads me.” “I never ask 'Why?' when God leads me,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “I just obey.” On Aug. 9, the day Brown was shot, Williams and his family were on their way back home from a visit to New Orleans. He received a call on his cell phone from Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, asking for his help. The mayor relayed the situation to Williams – how Brown had been shot by the police, his body had laid on the street for four hours and how he feared the community would fracture – and Knowles asked for Williams to help. Could he reach out to a community that felt betrayed and torn apart? Could he do anything to help keep the peace? Williams assessed th

Reggie Bush backs Adrian Peterson, suggests he'll 'whoop' his own daughter [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 10:16 pm]
Because Ray Rice punched his wife unconcious in an elevator and Adrian Peterson admittedly "whooped" his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, NFL personnel now face questions from the media in an effort to advance the story, as if players are leading experts on these matters. Given this scenario, some players are bound to say something stupid — frankly, it's surprising it doesn't happen more often — and Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush fell into that trap Tuesday. In an interview on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show, Bush backed Peterson, believing the Minnesota Vikings star should remain active for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints and seemingly suggesting he would discipline his own 1-year-old daughter in a similar manner. “I definitely will try to — will obviously not leave bruises or anything like that on her. But I definitely will discipline her harshly depending on what the situation is. ... "I would possibly consider (using a switch), depending on what she did." In the same interview, Bush admitted he and "a lot of the guys I played with" received "whoopings" similar to the one Peterson allegedly administered to his child. Later with "Boomer and Carton," Bush bactracked a bit, clarifying, "I said spanking. Spanking is different than a branch or a stick." Then, he took to Twitter to clarify his clarification, as is the custom these days. Let's get one thing straight people, I believe in disciplining a child period! I believe in spanking a child (IF NEEDED) NOT beating them!— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 16, 2014 So for those of you who took my words and tried to twist them up there's your clarification! 😊— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 16, 2014 My parents didn't call it Spankings though they called it Whoopins!— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 16, 2014 Pressed again on the subject at Wednesday's practice, Bush told reporters, "I think the way I discipline my children, my daughter, is private, and I should hav

Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer arrested for allegations of assault, deactivated [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 9:49 pm]
After ten days in which the NFL has been forced to come to terms with the specter of domestic violence among many of its best-known players, Arizona running back Jonathan Dwyer has been arrested on allegations of two incidents of aggravated assault that occurred over the summer. The Cardinals have deactivated Dwyer from all team activities. Tyler Baldwin of Arizona's 3TV first offered this news: According to source: Cards RB Johnathan Dwyer was just arrested for domestic violence @azfamily @AZCardinals pic.twitter.com/S9Kh0pgkfT— TylerBaldwin (@tylerbaldwin) September 17, 2014 The Phoenix Police Department indicated that the incidents involving Dwyer's wife and 18-month-old child took place over the summer on July 21 and 22. Dwyer's wife left the state of Arizona shortly afterward. According to Phoenix police, Dwyer admitted to the incidents but denied any assault took place. The Cardinals released the following statement after deactivating Dwyer: "We became aware of these allegations this afternoon when notified by Phoenix police and are cooperating fully. Given the serious nature of the allegations we have taken the immediate step to deactivate Jonathan from all team activities. We will continue to closely monitor this as it develops and evaluate additional information as it becomes available." NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the NFL will be "judged on its actions going forward" in regard to domestic violence. New rules put in place last week mandated a six-game suspension for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second. However, even those punishments may not be severe enough to withstand public scrutiny after the recent decisions by the Panthers and Vikings to deactive Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, respectively. Dwyer has rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries this season. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer questioned in domestic violence case: report [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 9:49 pm]
After ten days in which the NFL has been forced to come to terms with the specter of domestic violence among many of its best-known players, Arizona running back Jonathan Dwyer has been questioned in connection with a domestic violence incident. Tyler Baldwin of Arizona's 3TV first offered this news: According to source: Cards RB Johnathan Dwyer was just arrested for domestic violence @azfamily @AZCardinals pic.twitter.com/S9Kh0pgkfT— TylerBaldwin (@tylerbaldwin) September 17, 2014 However, KTAR reports that Dwyer was questioned, not arrested, in connection with a domestic violence incident. Dwyer was reportedly present for media locker room availability this afternoon, but was pulled away from the session by police. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the NFL will be "judged on its actions going forward" in regard to domestic violence. New rules put in place last week mandated a six-game suspension for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second. However, even those punishments may not be severe enough to withstand public scrutiny after the recent decisions by the Panthers and Vikings to deactive Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, respectively. Dwyer has rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries this season. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict suffers second concussion in as many weeks [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 9:25 pm]
Lost in the dark clouds of Ray Rice's videotaped domestic violence and Adrian Peterson's alleged child abuse hanging over the NFL for the first two weeks of the season is the damage players are inflicting on each other every Sunday, and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the latest victim — again. Burfict suffered his second concussion in as many weeks, acording to the Bengals' official website. The 2013 Pro Bowl selection left Sunday's 24-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons when a teammate's knee collided with his helmet. The injury was originally described as "a stinger," but concussion symptoms led to a second such diagnosis, preventing Burfict from practicing on Wednesday. The undrafted third-year outside linebacker also suffered a concussion during a collision with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in Cincinnati's Week 1 victory. Doctors cleared him to play five days later. According to brainfacts.org, "Studies show repeat concussions lead to severe long-term symptoms and longer recovery times," and, "experiencing multiple concussions before the brain has had time to fully heal can lead to more significant and potentially long-term changes in the brain." Even if he clears the NFL's concussion protocol for a second straight week, the question going forward probably shouldn't be about whether Burfict should play Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans, but rather about the dangers of potentially suffering three or more concussions throughout an entire season. While the concussion epidemic has taken a backseat to Rice and Peterson in recent weeks — and rightfully so, since there's a difference between defenseless victims and willing participants in a violent game — the league's weekly head-on collisions still lurk as a serious issue for all players going down that NFL road. (h/t ProFootballTalk)

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy also goes on exempt list [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 9:10 pm]
Before Wednesday, it would have been hard to find many people who knew the NFL's exempt/commissioner's permission list existed. Now, two of the league's best players are on it. The Vikings used the little-known list to deactivate running back Adrian Peterson while his legal case is resolved, and on Wednesday afternoon the Panthers did the same with Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy. He was placed on the exempt list and like Peterson, will receive his full salary. The Panthers played Hardy, who was found guilty by a judge in a domestic violence case in July and has appealed, in Week 1. The franchise has had a complete change of heart since then. They deactivated him just before Sunday's Week 2 game against Detroit, and now have told him the won't be playing until his legal situation is settled. The jury trial is set for Nov. 17. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he expects Hardy to return in November. The Vikings' press conference about Peterson and the press conference from general manager Dave Gettleman and Rivera on Hardy sounded very similar. The Vikings regretted how they handled the Peterson situation on Monday, saying he would play after being deactivated one game, and wanted to "get it right." The Vikings said Peterson didn't want to be a distraction to the football team, which is why the exempt list was beneficial to everyone involved. The Panthers had many of the same sentiments. #Panthers GM Dave Gettleman: "There is no rule book for this. Our overriding goal has always been to do the right thing."— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 17, 2014 Rivera: "Greg is hurt. It is a tough situation. He knows he put himself in it." Rivera expects Hardy to be back in November.— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 17, 2014 Rivera: "We're worried about the wrong things...trying to find out who to blame. I hope people understand we're trying to get this right."— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 17, 2014 For now two NFL teams have found away to take a

Shutdown Corner's Playoff Projection: Panthers come out of nowhere [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 7:50 pm]
Did a second week of NFL football help clear anything up? Almost everything we came out of Week thinking — other than, "Whoa, the Buffalo Bills are unbeaten ..." — has been undone. [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] That leads us to believe that one of the two weeks (and, heck, maybe both) were out of whack. With that in mind, we kinda sorta reverted back to a solid mix of our preseason biases colored by what we have seen so far. The Super Bowl champs are 1-1, and runners-up are 2-0, but perhaps not an overly impressive 2-0. Oh, and they play each other this week. The other two teams in the conference championship games — the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers — also are a Jekyll-and-Hyde 1-1 apiece. Two teams in the NFC North will be 1-2 after this week, but that's a division without much clarity. And is anyone really that enamored with its sister division, the AFC North? There's a lot to sort out between now and January, but this is how we see things lining up as things stand now. Now, onto your (likely) questions: So clearly you hate the 2-0 Bills. Explain yourself! Aren't we a little programmed to being disappointed by this team by now? Consider: • In 2008, they started 4-0 and 5-1 and still were alive at 6-5 but died a slow death at 7-9. • In 2011, they started 3-0. They ended the season 6-10. • In 2012, they won two of their first three and again finished 6-10. • In 2013, they were 2-2 with close losses to the Patriots and New York Jets and — yeah, you guessed it — finished 6-10. The Bills certainly look good, especially defensively. But they've been a fool's-gold team early only to rust out later. We're not on board for the long haul just yet. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: It's still not too late to join a league today! ] Lions in, Packers out? You blithering idiot. Thanks, and keep reading. Look — this one is either going to make me look very smart or very dumb aft

Colts' MNF meltdown costs bettor a $100,000 payday on a $5 bet [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 7:32 pm]
A bettor in the Delaware Sports Lottery was less than one half of football away from winning $100,000 on a $5 bet, but the Indianapolis Colts couldn't hold up their end of the deal. The Colts, as you may recall, had a two-touchdown second-half lead on the Philadelphia Eagles but couldn't hold on, eventually losing 30-27. Tough news for their fans, even tougher news for the unnamed bettor. See, he'd participated in Delaware's 15-team parlay, in which he bet on 15 different teams against the spread. And he'd won the previous 14, meaning all he needed to do was have Indianapolis win by a field goal or more. Alas. "Honestly, we were rooting for the guy, starting with Sunday night's game," Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk told ESPN. "It was agonizing to watch when you knew one player was so close to such a big payout." Delaware's Sports Lottery is the largest legal sports betting operation in the United States outside of Las Vegas, and only takes bets on the NFL. No one has hit on the $5, 15-team parlay since 2011; the lottery notes that the odds against doing so are about 32,000 to 1. Worst part? Being from Delaware, there's a decent chance the bettor was an Eagles fan. That's got to burn. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

What's next for Adrian Peterson and his Minnesota Vikings future? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 6:57 pm]
To be fair, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman can't know exactly what Adrian Peterson's long-term future with the team is, because the team is waiting for his legal case to be resolved. He doesn't know what that resolution will be, and one would assume the result could affect the team's next action. But the way Spielman did answer the question of whether Peterson will play with the Vikings again is worth noting. "Our focus right now, today, is to get this right, OK?" Spielman said. "We admitted making a mistake and we want to get this right."  There was no unwavering commitment to bring Peterson back once his case for injuring his 4-year-old son is resolved. Spielman told ESPN last weekend, after Peterson was deactivated for a Week 2 game, that "all options are on the table" for what would happen next. It appears that might be the case again, at least for after this season.  Peterson won't play this season, unless something changes. His trial is likely to happen in 2015. Spielman made it clear the team plans to keep Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list until his legal issues are resolved. So it would appear something would have to change, either in the team's plan or an earlier trial date or the status of Peterson's case, for him to suit up in 2014.  That's the easy part. What about 2015 and beyond?  Here's the explanation of what changed the Vikings' mind, and a look at his future: Peterson turns 30 next March 21, which is an advanced age for most running backs, although the former NFL MVP is far from a normal running back. Peterson has a $12.75 million base salary in 2015 and the cap hit to cut him would be just $2.4 million, according to Spotrac. If the Vikings do want to cut Peterson before next season, it would be a financial benefit to the team, not a financial hindrance. Spielman avoided a question about whether the team would have thought about cutting Peterson if it couldn't have placed him on the exempt list (Peterson still will

Vikings brass hopes it is 'getting it right' by deactivating Adrian Peterson [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 4:57 pm]
The most interesting moment of the Minnesota Vikings' news conference on Wednesday, when the team's brass repeated the message about "getting it right" in having Adrian Peterson stay away from the team while his child injury case is resolved, came when Kevin Warren, the team's executive vice president of legal affairs, wanted to answer a question that almost slipped by without an answer. Who made the decision that Peterson wouldn't play for the Vikings until his case is resolved, the player or the team? The NFLPA said Peterson being put on the exempt/commissioner's permissions list was a "voluntary leave." Vikings general manager Rick Spielman gave a non-answer about it being a collaborative effort to come up with the best solution to the issue. No, Warren said. "It’s very important, the question was asked about who started this, it’s very clear that the Minnesota Vikings initiated this process with the National Football League in regards to this current situation," Warren said. "It was the Vikings. "It’s very important, this was a decision made by the Vikings, by our ownership, and we went to the league to say ‘This is what we want to do.’ And then we came up with the best mechanism to accomplish that." This news conference, for the Vikings, was about owning up to all of their decisions and hoping that was enough to turn public opinion back in their favor. Owner Zygi Wilf, who made a statement but didn't take any questions, said the team blew the decision to reinstate Peterson on Monday, after he was deactivated for last Sunday's game. "We made a mistake," Wilf said. "And we needed to get this right." Spielman and Mark Wilf, Zygi's brother and a fellow Vikings owner, repeated that the team made a mistake. Even though the owners mentioned the sponsors a few times, as they either suspended support or expressed dissatisfaction with the team's handling of the case, Mark Wilf emphatically said the team did not change its mind because of financial reasons. "A

Vikings brass hopes it is "getting it right" by deactivating Adrian Peterson [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 4:57 pm]
The most interesting moment of the Minnesota Vikings' press conference on Wednesday, when the team's brass repeated the message about "getting it right" in having Adrian Peterson stay away from the team while his child injury case is resolved, came when executive vice president of legal affairs Kevin Warren wanted to answer a question that almost slipped by without an answer. The question was simple: Who made the decision that Peterson wouldn't play for the Vikings until his case is resolved, the player or the team? The NFLPA said Peterson being put on the exempt/commissioner's permissions list was a "voluntary leave." Vikings general manager Rick Spielman gave a non-answer about it being a collaborative effort to come up with the best solution to he issue. No, Warren said. He cleared up any questions about that matter. "It’s very important, the question was asked about who started this, it’s very clear that the Minnesota Vikings initiated this process with the National Football League in regards to this current situation," Warren said. "It was the Vikings. "It’s very important, this was a decision made by the Vikings, by our ownership, and we went to the league to say ‘This is what we want to do.’ And then we came up with the best mechanism to accomplish that." This press conference, for the Vikings, was about owning up to all of their decisions and hoping that was enough to turn public opinion back in their favor. Owner Zygi Wilf, who made a statement but didn't take any questions, said the team blew the decision to reinstate Peterson on Monday, after he was deactivated for last Sunday's game. "We made a mistake," Wilf said. "And we needed to get this right." Spielman and Mark Wilf, Zygi's brother and a fellow Vikings owner, repeated that the team made a mistake. Even though the owners mentioned the sponsors a few times, as they either suspended support or expressed dissatisfaction with the team's handling of the case, Mark Wilf emphatically said the te

Wes Welker and others return to work as new drug policy finally done [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 3:02 pm]
For most fans, the biggest takeaway from Wednesday's announcement that the NFL and NFL Players Association finally agreed upon at least parts of a new drug policy is this: Denver receiver Wes Welker will return this week, right in time for the Broncos' showdown with the Seahawks. Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick and Rams receiver Stedman Bailey also return to work immediately, the NFL and NFLPA announced. Their punishments were adjusted to reflect the new policy. Browns receiver Josh Gordon reportedly will return after 10 games, although the NFL has only reinstated those three players for now. The revamped drug policy also includes testing for human growth hormone, which will be fully implemented this season. The other headline is that third-party arbitrators jointly selected and retained by the NFL and NFLPA will hear appeals. Welker and the others had to wait an extra week after the policy couldn't be worked out in time for Week 2 games. The league and union announced only changes to the policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The joint statement said the two sides are "nearing an agreement" to changes in the substance-abuse policy, which will likely include changes to the league's rules on marijuana use. [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] Among the changes to the PED policy is that players won't be suspended for testing positive for stimulants in the offseason. Players will be suspended four games if they test positive for stimulants during the season. The release also said a first-time violators of the PED policy can be suspended up to six games depending on the nature of the violation. A second violation will result in a 10-game suspension and a third violation will be a minimum two-year ban. Also, use of a diuretic or masking agent will result in a two-game suspension, and evidence of an attempt to manipulate a test will result in a six-game suspension.   - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the edit

Corporate dollars could have influence over fate of Redskins name [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 1:19 pm]
I’ll be completely honest: I’m a bit ambivalent on the whole Washington Redskins nickname thing. I can see both sides of it. Although I can’t say I’m immersed in Native American culture, it’s not as if I hear people slinging around the word “redskin” as a weapon, and yet whom am I to judge what certain people deem to be offensive? Needless to say, it’s a fairly complex semantic and sentimental issue; it’s easier to say just change the name but harder to actually enact it. But it occurred to me late Tuesday night, once prominent NFL sponsors pulled out or threatened to pull out of their support for the league and its teams amid the boiling-over domestic abuse crisis that is cloaking the league. We know how things work in this world. Once dollars grow wings, the entire flight plan changes. If Redskins supporters — and we mean sponsors, specifically, the companies who pay the bills — start bailing, that’s when it will get Daniel Snyder’s attention. Not before. As much as we believe that fans and their support are the ultimate bus drivers of whether a team has the support it needs to thrive, they’re more the passengers in the big picture. Media pressure only goes so far, too. Corporate dollars really are the ones with their feet on the gas. I had thought the only way Snyder would back down from his entrenched stance on keeping the name would be if the league intervened and somehow promised him assistance for a new stadium, and perhaps promising him a future Super Bowl. That hasn’t happened yet because there has been no need for the NFL to step in yet. My mind was in the right place, and perhaps that scenario still could be the endgame. But the outcry has yet to hit anyone’s wallet, and you can’t tell me that the Redskins’ waning merchandise sales — the profits of which are split amongst all the teams — are enough of a protest to indicate that change is anywhere close to happening. The league’s connection between new stadiums

Snyder only will respond to Redskins nickname controversy when corporate dollars go [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 1:19 pm]
I’ll be completely honest: I’m a bit ambivalent on the whole Washington Redskins nickname thing. I can see both sides of it. Although I can’t say I’m immersed in Native American culture, it’s not as if I hear people slinging around the word “redskin” as a weapon, and yet whom am I to judge what certain people deem to be offensive? Needless to say, it’s a fairly complex semantic and sentimental issue; it’s easier to say just change the name but harder to actually enact it. But it occurred to me late Tuesday night, once prominent NFL sponsors pulled out or threatened to pull out of their support for the league and its teams amid the boiling-over domestic abuse crisis that is cloaking the league … We know how things work in this world. Once dollars grow wings, the entire flight plan changes. If Redskins supporters — and we mean sponsors, specifically — start bailing, that’s when it will get Daniel Snyder’s attention. Not before. As much as we believe that fans and their support are the ultimate bus drivers of whether a team has the support it needs to thrive, they’re more the passengers in the big picture. Corporate dollars really are the ones with their feet on the gas. I had thought that the only way Snyder would back down from his entrenched stance on keeping the name would be if the league intervened and somehow promised him assistance for a new stadium, and perhaps promising him a future Super Bowl. That hasn’t happened yet because there has been no need for the NFL to step in yet. My mind was in the right place, and perhaps that scenario still could be the endgame. But the outcry has yet to hit anyone’s wallet, and you can’t tell me that the Redskins’ waning merchandise sales — the profits of which are split amongst all the teams — are enough of a protest to indicate that change is anywhere close to happening. The league’s connection between new stadiums, Super Bowls and personal favors runs deep. Heck, Jacksonville

Minnesota Vikings reverse field, opt to sit Adrian Peterson during legal process [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 10:29 am]
The Minnesota Vikings have responded to public and potential financial pressure on Adrian Peterson, amid charges of child abuse, and they are opting to sit him down again. The team released a statement early Wednesday morning saying they have changed their stance again on playing Peterson after saying Monday that he would be active this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. Now, they once more will sit him after deactivating Peterson last week against the New England Patriots. The Vikings, namely owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, said that their decision on Monday to allow Peterson to play was theirs and theirs alone. But now it appears the NFL intervened in the process. You wonder whether it will do the same with the Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy and the San Francisco 49ers' Ray McDonald, although the difference in the cases is that Hardy already has been convicted; McDonald is still awaiting charges, which have yet to be filed. Peterson has been cooperating with police and since has posted bond after charges were filed and a warrant was issued for him. Procedurally, the Vikings have placed him on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list, meaning Peterson must stay away from all team-related activities until his legal process plays out completely. Here's the Vikings statement: "This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson. In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian. "We are always focused on trying

NFLPA formally files appeal of Ray Rice's indefinite suspension [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 1:43 am]
The NFL Players Association was put in a tough spot with former Ravens running back Ray Rice's indefinite suspension. It's safe to assume it didn't want to appear to be condoning domestic violence. But there's also good reason to believe that Rice's rights as a union member were violated by commissioner Roger Goodell as he tried to make up for his own mistakes. The NFLPA officially filed an appeal on behalf of Rice on Tuesday, with a carefully worded statement that made it clear it was protecting the rights of "all NFL players," not necessarily siding with Rice and his actions: "Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players. "The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators." One of the additional points made in the statement is that "an employee cannot be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment." That's a point Goodell should have to answer to. He told USA Today that Rice's account of what happened differed from what the full video showed. ESPN reported last week that Rice told Goodell what happened during the incident in the elevator. The latter would be consistent with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome's quote that Rice told them what happened and that after seeing the video he didn't feel Rice lied about it. Goodell should have to answer to what he knew, but the same commissioner who makes players speak to the media after games and during the week has been hiding from the media for most of the last nine d

Adrian Peterson, Week 2 review, and more in the latest Shutdown Corner Podcast [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 12:19 am]
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's piping-hot episode, we have: • A breakdown of the latest Adrian Peterson news • Some actual football discussion about Week 2's significant games • Lightning round with Frank Schwab, hitting him with Qs about Eli, RG3, and more. All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen below, and while you're listening ... Subscribe via iTunes right here. Non-iTunes subscription link here. Leave us a nice review here. The Shutdown Corner podcast is the product of Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk), Frank Schwab (@YahooSchwab) and Jay Busbee (@JayBusbee). New episodes every Tuesday and Friday, with bonus episodes when you least expect it. Enjoy!

Nike stops selling Peterson jerseys; Budweiser sends strong message to NFL [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 7:49 pm]
The Minnesota Vikings might be fine with Adrian Peterson playing football, but not everyone is fine with the Minnesota Vikings — or the NFL — right now. A day after Radisson hotels decided to suspend its limited sponsorship with the team following the decision to reactivate Peterson on Monday, an even bigger hammer blow came down from an industry giant also refusing to play ball, per the Associated Press. An eye-opening development: Nike stores in Twin Cities have pulled all Adrian Peterson merch from shelves. Nike.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) September 16, 2014 Peterson's NFL gear is still available through the nike.com website, but the fact that you can't go into one of the apparel giant's stores and get the jersey of the franchise's most popular (certainly before child abuse charges were brought against Peterson, and maybe even after) and recognized athlete is rather stunning. We've said all along through the NFL's darkest week — plus a few days now — that the league will really start to realize there's a problem when the dollars grow wings. We're not there yet with all the major sponsors, but when the beer folks start issuing stern statements, such as Budweiser (via CNBC), it's a shot across the league's bow. BREAKING: Anheuser-Busch InBev releases statement on the NFL's recent handling of off-the-field issues. pic.twitter.com/63B6me7gNV— Sports Biz (@CNBCSportsBiz) September 16, 2014 It's clear now how far-reaching the NFL's mishandling of its domestic-abuse issue is. When sponsors start walking, or even hedging, it's never a good thing. The Vikings — who just so happen to be opening a sparkling, new, publicly funded stadium in two years — stood up Monday and spoke of how, through their extensive fact-gathering, they feel comfortable letting Peterson play. But a day later, companies whose dollars the Vikings and the NFL rely on are not quite as comfortable with the team's reasoning for doing so. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Sh

Greg Cosell's Week 2 analysis: The good and bad of Colin Kaepernick [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 7:05 pm]
The San Francisco 49ers have built their offense around the movement skills of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In one-back, two-back and even heavy sets with three players in the backfield with Kaepernick, the main focus is putting pressure on a defense that has to account for Kaepernick's running ability at all times. You’ll hear people say “What a spectacular play!” after a long run. And Kaepernick can make spectacular plays. But what people don’t see, if you don't have the benefit of seeing the coaching tape, are the routine pass plays that he doesn't make from the pocket. We saw both sides of Kaepernick on Sunday night in the loss to Chicago. On the final drive alone we saw his great ability, and also that he still hasn’t fully grasped the nuances of the quarterback position. At the start of that final drive, Kaepernick took a sack by Willie Young. Just watching at home, you’d probably think nobody was open and that’s why he had to take the sack. That’s not the case. The dig route to Michael Crabtree was there, if Kaepernick used some anticipation. If he threw it with some timing, Crabtree would have been open for it. But he didn’t turn it loose and took the sack. Even in his third season as the 49ers starter, he’s still not an anticipation thrower. When you watch the highest level quarerbacks – and we all know who they are – you never say, “why didn’t they make that throw?” because they didn’t pull the trigger. But you see that with Kaepernick a lot. [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] Two plays after the sack, Kaepernick showed why the 49ers encourage him to move so often. In a double “A” gap alignment from the Bears, the slot corner had a free shot at Kaepernick off the edge. But Kaepernick escaped the first rusher, got away from another defender and got to the outside to run for 15 yards and a first down.   There’s no way Tom Brady ever makes that play. But,





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