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Began In '96

The Associated Press, April 6:

"Texas is the largest athletic department, earning more than $165 million last year in revenue — with $109 million coming from football, according to Education Department data. The university netted $27 million after expenses."

The full out-of-state cost for a year at UT-Austin — which includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, estimated personal expenses and transportation expenses — is projected at $49,842.

Multiplied by the total allowable number of football scholarships (85), that’s about $4.2 million a year. Or, 15.7% of the athletic department’s profits and just 3.9% of total football revenues.

And that’s in the absolute most expensive case, given that players aren’t allowed to except anything of monetary value beyond their scholarships, not even pasta.

Tell us again how universities are nonprofits giving their star (student) athletes equal educational value for the millions he brings in. Tell us again how (student) athletes aren’t employees

We’ll wait.

WAR explains the 2014 MLB season, in three charts

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By Adam Cancryn

A primer on who’s a contender in 2014, and who isn’t, using Fangraphs WAR.

Through six innings on a sunny Opening Day in New York, the Mets kept it together. 

They entered the seventh frame up 4-2 on the Washington Nationals, thanks in large part to a three-run homer from left fielder Andrew Brown. Starter Dillon Gee struck out the first batter, allowed a single, but got the second out on a fielder’s choice.

And then, disaster.

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Giving Qatar the World Cup was a terrible idea

Worker Fatalities: Mega Sporting Events

By Adam Cancryn

At least 1,200 workers have died and thousands more subjected to appalling labor conditions in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"Qatar is a country without a conscience."

That’s what the International Trade Union Confederation concluded after investigating the nation’s preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and judging by its resulting report, that’s no exaggeration. Slave labor, child abuse, nonexistent medical care and widespread corruption are just a few of the legal and human rights violations that the ITUC found, in what is already a state-sponsored humanitarian crisis. 

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Franchise failure

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By Jason Bacaj

The institutional failures of the Washington Redskins.

Imagine you’re Andy Dufresne.

You’re chipping away for years at the rock wall of your prison. Then you’re methodically smashing that sewage pipe, busting your way toward freedom as thunder crashes and the storm outside rages on. You crawl 500 hundred yards through all sorts of muck and grime, emerging finally to soak, with open arms, in the cleansing rains of liberty.

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Drawing Level: The Lilywhite Walker

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By Joe Schackman

If you live in the United States and have played, watched or even just mentioned soccer, you’ve heard the lament that soccer is boring.

It’s not true, of course, but it’s understandable when the alternative is the made-for-TV National Football League. Unlike football, there’s a significant gap between understanding soccer and truly appreciating it. Goals are infrequent, scoring chances are squandered more often than not, and a well-executed counter-attack isn’t exactly stimulating to the uninitiated viewer.

But every once in a while, something comes along that upends that whole thought process. Right now, that something is Tottenham defender Kyle Walker.

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Barry Sanders and the legacy of grace and power he left behind deserve many words from us, and perhaps someday we’ll summon the courage to deliver on that.

But on this Thanksgiving, the holiday forever synonymous with Barry Sanders, we’re just going to leave this right here. Enjoy nine minutes of the best ever to do it.

Messi’s better: A response

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By Matt Anderson

On behalf of all Lionel Messi fans, a response to the prior article.

In response to Mr. Ricchiuiti’s preference for Cristiano Ronaldo (Ronaldo is actually the fat Brazilian who holds the record for goals scored in World Cup competition), I’d like to outline what in fact makes Messi the better player.

It’s a simple argument: Who would be your first pick if you were starting a team?

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Defending Ronaldo

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By Zach Ricchiuti

Ronaldo is flashy and brash, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

[UPDATE: A Messi fan responds.]

Whenever I tell people that I prefer Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi, I find myself on the receiving end of a few derisive comments about hairstyles, diving and poor attitudes. Messi is the kind of guy who brings flowers when he picks your daughter up. Ronaldo, with his fast cars and jewelry, would drop her off the next morning, disheveled and holding last night’s heels. Even FIFA President Sepp Blatter has taken a public stand against the Real Madrid striker, criticizing him for spending too much time on his hair.

But I’m not particularly turned off by Ronaldo’s public image. He’s a successful, wealthy and talented athlete, and has every right to be confident in his own abilities. He also cares deeply about winning, and that shows through during matches, including, at times, when disputed calls bring him close to tears. What you see is what you get with Ronaldo.

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The Hangover: Week 11

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By Joe Schackman

It has been a long time since we did one of these. Lets knock that rust off and get into it. 

  • Geno Smith is a terrifying quarterback. He is like Tono Romo but without the talent. Basically he just turns it over.

  • Eagles haven’t won at home in over a calendar year. That is amazing and pathetic at the same time. Redskins couldn’t be coming at a better time

  • The Ed Reed addition for the Jets got a lot of attention this week. Its a good savvy move by the Jets but its one of those mid-season moves that makes headlines but probably makes little impact on the field.

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"Aren’t you an actor?" he said and then, boom, he hit him.

"Gimme that fucking beer," he said and grabbed Alfonso’s beer.

"Rick, this is a kid, you can’t hit this guy like that," I protested.

He just took that bottle and swigged from it.

In which Rick James hit Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and stole his beer in front of Mike Tyson