• When it was announced that as of the 2016 edition, the European Championship – or the Euro, in the common vernacular – would be expanded from 16 teams to 24, it was assumed that no major country would ever miss out on qualifying for the thing anymore. With the top two teams in each of the nine groups qualifying automatically and joined by the best third-placed country and the winners of eight playoff entrants, the margin of error seemed to have gotten so big that there was just no way to fail anymore.

    The Netherlands, however, is working hard at making that assumption look silly. The Oranje, which placed third at last summer's World Cup by sometimes playing dazzling soccer, teeters on the brink of elimination before the big tournament has even begun.

    New manager Danny Blind, whose appointment as Guus Hiddink's successor was accelerated by a year after the old master manager stumbled to a 3-2-1 record in qualifying, faced a must-win game of sorts against Iceland on Thursday. That is, if

    Read More »from Euro 2016 qualifying: Dutch disappoint, Bale stars for Wales, Italy back on top
  • Not even Rory McIlroy can stop that Omega watch ad from blaring The Script's "Hall of Fame" during seemingly every commercial break during golf. 

    So he does the next best thing.

    "(I) turn it off. I've seen it too many times," McIlroy said of the spot starring him on Thursday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

    The ad in question features McIlroy hitting a golf ball and flexing his golf muscle in Dubai. While McIlroy is doing this, the refrain of The Script's "Hall of Fame" plays. It's been on all the time for the last two years. In fact, Omega, which sponsors the PGA of America, loved the ad so much that they decided not to shoot a new 2015 ad. 

    McIlroy believes a new ad is coming someday, but that this one could be salvaged.

    "I'm sure I will (shoot a new ad)," McIlroy said. "I'm not sure when. But I think that one went quite well for them, that's why we didn't have to shoot another one this year. If they could just change the music that would help."

    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy on his annoying Omega watch ad: I 'turn it off'
  • Tiger Woods texts with Jason Day pretty often, and the messages usually divulge some golf wisdom that only a guy who has won 79 times on the PGA Tour can offer. 

    Day appreciates the gesture and the mentoring, but he said Thursday that he doesn't always pick up what Woods is putting down.

    “His text messages, I have to digest them a little bit more, because he is very smart,” said Day. “He has to kind of dumb it down to my level, man. [He’s] saying these words, I've got to try to think them through."

    These aren't "If a tree falls in the woods ..." kind of messages, but Woods, who thinks about the game perhaps more than any of its greatest champions, has a lot to offer on the psychology of winning. Day, who won The Barclays by six last week for his third PGA Tour win in four starts, is soaking it up as best he can.

    "It’s been really cool," said Day, who has played a number of practice rounds with Woods this year. "Who wouldn’t want that mentorship from a player like that, especially on

    Read More »from Jason Day: Tiger's texts are complicated but helping me play better
  • The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it's time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2015-16.

    Most seasons, we assume the Kings won’t make it to November before counting their Ping Pong balls, so wondering if they’ll last until January means progress. Last year, they nearly made it to December before DeMarcus Cousins contracted viral meningitis, Mike Malone was fired and they began their annual tailspin.

    But they’re still the Kings, right?

    Coach du Jour George Karl reportedly pushed for the team to trade Cousins, arguably the league’s most talented center and a Second Team All-NBA selection this past season. New GM Vlade Divac traded

    Read More »from BDL 25: Will DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings make it to January?
  • Golf is said to have a way of revealing character. If that's the case, then what does golf reveal about Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump?

    According to a Washington Post article, it's that he's a pleasant, fun guy who just happens to cheat at golf.

    The piece examines the stories of several of Trump's playing partners, including two fellow media members, suggesting Trump cheats at golf, having cronies drop golf balls closer to the hole or onto greens so he can have better chances to score.

    “Ahh, the guys I play with cheat all the time,” former Sports Illustrated managing editor Mark Mulvoy recalls Trump replying. “I have to cheat just to keep up with them.”

    Former Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly, who has also caddied for Trump for a book, said The Donald repeatedly hit two balls off the tee, sometimes taking the score of the second, better ball compared to the first. 

    “When it comes to cheating, he’s an 11 on a scale of one to 10,” Reilly said.

    Reilly said Trump

    Read More »from Does Donald Trump cheat at golf? It seems like he does
  • NEW YORK – It's incredibly hot in New York, 93-degrees Fahrenheit with 38 percent humidity. With little shade guarding the courts, it feels more like 100 degrees. Players have been cramping all week, but Jack Sock became the worst victim on Thursday. 

    The 28th seed had to be carried off the court after retiring midway through the fourth set.

    Sock, 22, won the first two sets, 6-4, 6-4. By the third set he started to cramp, allowing Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans to take one back. He received medical treatment between sets. Then, trailing 1-2 in the fourth, Sock had to call it quits. He froze after a serve, his leg completely locked up. 

    Sock sat down with the help of a trainer. He barely lifted his arm to shake Bemelman's hand when the Belgian walked over to Sock's end of the court. 

    No. 16 Sara Errani nearly became the day's first victim of the heat. Earlier Thursday, she battled dizziness and needed

    Read More »from American Jack Sock has to be carried off court
  • The PGA of America has canceled this year's Grand Slam of Golf, its annual exhibition featuring the year's major champions.

    The event was initially scheduled to be played at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, part of the organization's multi-year, multi-facility deal with Trump. However, in the wake of insensitive remarks Trump made about Mexican immigrants in announcing in his presidential bid, the PGA of America backed out of holding the event at the venue in 2015. Apparently unable to find a new place to hold the tournament in time, the event was scrapped for this year.

    Had the event been played, Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson and Jason Day would have been invited to play, as well a fourth player for the 36-hole event that would have been based on a standardized points list.

    The 36-hole exhibition is set to be played again in 2016.

    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from PGA of America cancels Grand Slam of Golf
  • The kids are the tastemakers. They move forward the definition of what's cool. And at least one kid told her dad that Tiger Woods isn't all that cool anymore.

    A golfer's daughter got a text from her dad that he had played golf with Tiger Woods and Notah Begay III on Monday's NB3 Foundation Challenge at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York. The text included a picture of the man with Woods and Begay, who puts on the annual event to raise money for his foundation which helps Native American youth find development and career opportunities. 

    The daughter was not impressed, tweeting, "Bye dad, text me when it's Jordan Spieth."

    Daughter unimpressed dad played with Tiger WoodsDaughter unimpressed dad played with Tiger Woods

    The tweet has since been deleted, but the kids have moved on to Spieth and away from the 39-year-old Woods. 

    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from Golfer's daughter unimpressed he played with Tiger Woods
  • Los Angeles Clippers new owner Steve Ballmer applauds after his team defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-90 during an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Clippers new owner Steve Ballmer applauds after his team defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-90 during an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has made no secret of his plans to change the identity of the most consistently shameful and mismanaged organization in NBA history. Not engaging in overt racism means that he has already been an improvement over Donald Sterling, although early returns on the franchise's new uniforms and logos have not been positive. Despite that early mix of positives and negatives, Ballmer's ability to overhaul the Clippers' image must be obsessed at least a bit into the future, when we can take a broader view of his tenure and his vision for the city's second-most popular professional basketball team.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Ballmer's next step will bring him a new friend to aid in winning over the masses. According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers are currently discussing concepts and options for their first-ever mascot:

    In their continuing quest to rebrand their team, the Clippers
    Read More »from The Clippers are planning to add a mascot, so here are some suggestions
  • Damon Jones instantly regretted this decision. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBA/Getty Images)Damon Jones instantly regretted this decision. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBA/Getty Images)As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History.

    Today, Paul Palladino revisits a young LeBron James' monstrous posterization of the Miami Heat's Damon Jones during the 2004-05 season.

    LeBron James’ career has been carefully planned since before he was doing between-the-legs dunks at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron. His on- and off-court presentation is calculated, from how he answers questions at press conferences to how he centers the NBA logo on his forehead when he wears a headband. Comparisons between him and Michael Jordan don't always fit, but in terms of staying “on brand,” they certainly rank among the most successful athletes.

    Like any human, James has made a few missteps

    Read More »from Dunk History: LeBron James rises up and Damon Jones gets ‘banged on’


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