• Critics lambasted Real Madrid for being too defensive-minded in its La Liga opener.

    It would appear James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale heard them.

    Rodriguez scored a pair of showstopping strikes and Bale also bagged a brace as Real Madrid belted Real Betis 5-0 on Saturday at the Bernabeu.

    Facing a second newly promoted side in as many weeks, Real Madrid needed a convincing victory to avoid more unwanted attention. The team that looked so oddly conservative last week at Sporting Gijon was nowhere to be found against Real Betis.

    Bale and Rodriguez wasted little time in helping get Real Madrid on the board. Inside of two minutes, Rodriguez dropped a perfectly placed left-footed cross into the box, where the Welshman’s header put Real Madrid ahead.

    In the 39th minute, Rodriguez got on the score sheet himself with this laser free kick from the right side:

    Read More »from Rodriguez wonder strikes, Bale brace help Real Madrid ransack Real Betis
  • For all its wizardry, all its firepower, Barcelona’s attackers couldn’t quite break down Malaga’s stifling resistance.

    Until a defender did it for them.

    Thomas Vermaelen’s 73rd-minute goal, his first in a Barcelona shirt, sealed a 1-0 win over Malaga on Saturday at the Nou Camp.

    Lionel Messi came close to scoring on a number of occasions, firing shots from all angles that all met the same fate: Malaga goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. The Cameroonian international made 12 saves and stood strong for most of the evening, although he never really had to be spectacular.

    Finally, Luis Suarez took possession on the left wing and sent a cross into the box. Kameni deflected it forward, but right to a waiting Vermaelen, who gave Barcelona the lead with a nice side-footed finish:

    Vermaelen continued to fill in for the suspended Gerard Pique, who won’t

    Read More »from Vermaelen's rocket finish helps Barcelona break down stubborn Malaga
  • I've got good news and bad news, nostalgia-drenched, Internet-consuming fans of basketball and pop culture. The good news: I found the perfect Halloween costume for you. The bad news: It's going to cost you at least $10,000.

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

    That's right: the actual "Tune Squad" uniform that Michael Jordan wore during the filming of the 1996 hit film "Space Jam" — the hybrid live-action/animation basketball comedy co-starring the Looney Tunes that, for various reasons, remains an item of reverence for many nearly two decades after its release, that still stands as the highest-grossing basketball movie ever, and that has long been the subject of sequel speculation — is going on the auction block, and you can make a bid for it. Provided, of course, you're bringing at least 10 stacks to the table.

    From the online auction site Invaluable.com:

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Evidently, the uniform does not come with a head or hands. (Images via Invaluable)Evidently, the uniform does not come with a head or hands. (Images via Invaluable)
    Description:
    1715.
    Read More »from Michael Jordan's 'Tune Squad' uniform from 'Space Jam' is going up for auction
  • That was fast.

    Jordan Spieth's first reign as No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking will end on Sunday night after the two-time 2015 major winner missed the cut at The Barclays in New Jersey.

    From the outset, Spieth said the Donald Ross-designed Plainfield Country Club didn't fit his eye, not appreciative of green complexes that require wedge shots to be thrown past the hole with the hope of spinning back toward the pin. After getting out to a good start on Thursday with an opening birdie on the 10th hole, Spieth's second nine in Round 1 turned into a disastrous 5-over 40. 

    Spieth got out to a similar good start on Friday, needing a round of 68 or better to make the cut. He birdied the first, but then, after two pars, got on the bogey train, making four bogeys around a birdie in a five-hole stretch.

    Things got worse on the par-5 12th when Spieth's second shot landed short of the green in a hazard. While searching for his ball, Spieth accidentally stepped on it in the weeds. He took

    Read More »from Spieth's missed cut at The Barclays costs him world No. 1
  • For Usain Bolt, it was another 4x100 relay victory over the United States and another gold medal at the world championships in Beijing.

    For the Americans, it was a missed opportunity that ended up being a complete and total disaster.

    Bolt claimed his third gold at the worlds on Saturday, running his customary anchor leg to lead Jamaica to a winning time of 37.36 seconds. The 100- and 200-meter champion was headed for a surprising silver medal as the U.S. appeared to have built up enough of a lead going into the fourth and final leg, but a botched handoff of the baton between Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers cost the Americans dearly as Bolt gained ground and cruised to victory.

    It got worse for the U.S. While Trayvon Bromell, Justin Gatlin, Gay and Rodgers were jogging around the Bird's Nest track to celebrate their silver medal, they were informed that Rodgers was ruled to have stepped out of his lane. The infraction disqualified the Americans, moving China up to second and Canada to

    Read More »from Botched U.S. handoff allows Bolt, Jamaica to win gold in 4x100 relay
  • An injury to welterweight champion Robbie Lawler forced a postponement of his Nov. 15 title defense against Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. 

    As he often does, UFC president Dana White turned to women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to fill the void. White said Friday on "SportsCenter" that Rousey's title defense against Holly Holm, which was previously announced as the headliner for UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, will now headline UFC 193 in the 90,000-seat Etihad Stadium.

    White told Yahoo Sports on Friday he is not certain when Lawler will fight again, but said it is not a serious injury.

    UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has an injured thumb and is out of UFC 193. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has an injured thumb and is out of UFC 193. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)He said when he heard that Lawler needed time to recover, he had no problem granting it. But he needed Rousey to bail him out given the importance the company is placing on UFC 193.

    "I swear on my life, I called her today when I thought something might happen and I said to her, 'Hypothetically speaking, ... '" White said. "She interrupts me and said, 'I'll do

    Read More »from Injury to Robbie Lawler sends Ronda Rousey to Australia to headline UFC 193
  • The UFC reinstated heavyweight Travis Browne on Friday following a seven-week suspension after the results of an investigation into allegations of domestic violence were inconclusive.

    Browne was suspended July 9 after his wife, Jenna Renee Webb, posted pictures to her Instragram account showing marks and bruises on her arms, neck and face that she said were the result of a beating from her 6-foot-7 husband. The UFC immediately suspended Browne and barred him from all International Fight Week activities he was scheduled for at the time the incident became public.

    The UFC hired the highly regarded Las Vegas law firm of Campbell & Williams to investigate. Donald Campbell, the firm's partner, hired an FBI agent with more than 25 years of experience to head the investigation. On Friday, the UFC reinstated Browne after the results were deemed inconclusive:

    From the UFC's statement announcing Browne's suspension had ended:

    UFC announced today that an investigation into allegations of

    Read More »from UFC reinstates Travis Browne after investigation is inconclusive
  • Major Overall finds ways to give back

    ONE Championship featherweight contender Major Overall is as unique an individual as his name would lead you to believe.

    Overall, who will be returning to the cage soon against Kotetsu Boku, has picked up three straight wins - including two since signing with ONE last year.

    It was one to remember for “Majee,” as he scored a knockout of Bruno Pucci in May last year and added a submission win over Cary Bullos in November. However, it was what he did after his first ever fight for ONE that sparked a viral sensation to form around the Juggernaut Fight Club member.

    He may have lost to Quek Kim Hock after taking up a fight on short notice, but Overall decided to get out and experience the world. He loaded up a backpack with a few belongings and departed for Cambodia.

    “The trip was initially just a post-fight impromptu get away,” Overall recalled. “I had no plans to do anything in particular; I was just going to travel wherever the wind blew so to speak.

    "I started off just backpacking

    Read More »from Major Overall finds ways to give back
  • Croatian scorer Mario Hezonja stood out among this June's crop of top draft prospects for his extreme cockiness. The 20-year-old, who most recently suited up for Barcelona in Spain's ACB League, plays with determined flair of any number of promising young wings, but his approach to the sport involves such daring acts as calling himself as watchable than Leo Messi and generally not shying away from being brash. The Orlando Magic thought highly enough of his skills to select him with the fifth pick in the draft, and watching Hezonja develop (and try to stay confident in the face of expected growing pains) figures to be one of the more interesting parts of the team's season.

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

    For now, though, Hezonja is focused on leading Croatia during EuroBasket 2015, set to start in four cities around the continent on September 5. He and his teammates took on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, and Hezonja did not disappoint. Take

    Read More »from Mario Hezonja lights up EuroBasket tune-up, daps opposing coach
  • All of a sudden, there were Zlatan Ibrahimovic jerseys everywhere.

    In several French beach towns, at the height of the holiday season there last week, you couldn't turn in any direction on the boardwalks without seeing one. Other Paris Saint-Germain merchandise, too. In France, PSG has become a thing.

    And that's new.

    Growing up in Belgium, I spent a large part of my summers in France. And it used to be that you wouldn't see PSG gear outside of Paris. Even in the capital, there wasn't a whole lot of it.

    It's easy to forget now that PSG was only founded in 1970 and that until 2012, it had won the French league just twice and boasted no significant European success other than the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup. And it took the club a long time to gain traction in a world capital for so many things – fashion, food, tourism, culture – that didn't seem to have all that much interest in soccer.

    The curious thing is that for a league widely considered to be the best in the world behind the Big Four of

    Read More »from PSG also winning France's popularity contest

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