• While the real World Cup trophy continues its global tour before meeting its new owner in Brazil, Chinese authorities have confiscated thousands of fakes intended to be sold in different corners of the planet. The latest haul discovered by Chinese customs officers in Yiwu consisted of 1,020 golden counterfeit trophies that were on their way to be sold in Libya. Before that, 1,008 fake trophies were found about 490 miles of Yiwu in Xiamen.

    The real World Cup trophy is made of 18 carat gold with two layers of green malachite in the base. A gold-plated replica is given to the winning nation to keep, since FIFA learned their lesson after the tournament's original prize — the Jules Rimet trophy — was stolen twice: once while on display in England in 1966 and then again in Brazil, who were allowed to keep it forever after winning it a third time, in 1983. It has never been recovered.

    The busts in China are part of a larger crackdown on items infringing on football related copyrights ahead of

    Read More »from Thousands of fake World Cup trophies confiscated in China
  • Last summer at a media luncheon, a reporter sarcastically asked UFC president Dana White how it could be true that fight sports like boxing and MMA helped individuals make better lives for themselves. White, no bleeding heart, was trying to make a point about how many people had used the discipline of training and professional opportunities of competing in fight sports to turn their lives around.

    "You can't tell me punching saves lives!" the reporter was quoted as saying, incredulously.

    The crass writer could not have seen through his own snark to realize how ignorant his comments made him look. The point doesn't need much arguing but, suffice to say, that, with the abundance of studies showing the positive psychological, physical and social effects of competitive sports as well as seemingly endless anecdotal tales of fighter after fighter pulling themselves and their families out of real violence and poverty, to say nothing of a common sense understanding that any type of disciplined

    Read More »from UFC newcomer Alex White's miraculous life
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    One year ago, the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks met in a first-round series that was ridiculed for its boring play, Indiana’s inability to close out what felt like a lesser Hawks squad, and its relegation to the NBA TV end of things rather than a more nationally sponsored showcase.

    This … this doesn’t figure to change in 2014.

    Indiana, at its best, is a fearsome outfit. The group admirably paid tribute to its own fans and own potential while coming out of the gates swinging last autumn, restating a point with both words and play the team treated home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference bracket as a priority, an understandable goal considering the outfit’s

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) for the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    So we’re doing this again, eh?

    Oklahoma City and Memphis don’t have nearly the same enmity or respect or mixture of the two that the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have, or the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat boast. There’s not a level of disgust there that will carry over into fisticuffs or even furrowed brows. These teams are meeting for the third postseason in four years, though, and we’d call this turn the rubber match if we didn’t think both outfits had a strong chance to hook up in 2015 or '16 as well.

    The Thunder has been hot from the outset, even if the team hasn’t truly turned into a fully realized version of itself until the dawn of spring. Guard

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • In golf, unlike any sport out there, fans long to watch their veterans. Sure, baseball and football and basketball and hockey retire numbers and jerseys, but there isn't a yearning to actually see the old guys play against the young guys. At least not like there is in the game of golf.

    We love the idea of a 50-year-old winning the Masters, or a veteran coming in and making a cut on his last leg, forgetting about all the young players out there simply just asking for that one chance to prove their worth.

    This issue came up at this week's PGA Tour stop, the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head. Nick Faldo was extended an invite because he's a past winner, taking this title as his first ever win on the PGA Tour back in 1984. Faldo, fresh off his broadcasting duties at the Masters, accepted the invite and opened with a 6-over 77, currently tied for last place at the event.

    This didn't go over well with one Web.com Tour player, Josh Broadaway, who took to Twitter to show his disgust for a

    Read More »from Web.com Tour player rips into Nick Faldo for taking a spot at the RBC Heritage
  • A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

    C: HoopsAnalyst. Are the 2013-14 Atlanta Hawks the worst eighth playoff seed of the modern era? Somehow, strangely, no.
    PF: The Detroit News. In contrasting a previous television report, Vincent Goodwill is telling his readers that Grant Hill has no interest taking on a gig as Detroit Pistons general manager. Whatever his interest, anything would be better than Grant Hill slumming on ‘Inside Stuff.’
    SF: SB Nation. Holy lord I don’t know where to start just watch this brilliant thing Jon Bois did with Kobe Bryant meeting up with a version of himself from 16 years ago via a video game please watch this.
    SG: Sports Illustrated. This is Lee Jenkins writing about Joakim Noah, with both of them in their primes. Assuming Lee Jenkins will ever move out of his writing prime. You should

    Read More »from The 10-man rotation, starring the 38-win Atlanta Hawks
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) for the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    It’s sad and more than a little enervating the Golden State Warriors’ chances at a championship are exactly where we pegged them a year ago. They’re the same as when we left them following their second-round loss to San Antonio, and last autumn when 2013-14 sparked up. The team is only going as far as the relative health of Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut will allow, and no amount of bench woes, coaching intrigue and dodgy shooting can drag the narrative and scouting report from where it belongs. It needs Curry to dominate offensively, and Bogut to do the same on the other end, and while this may come off as too simple, one would have a hard time arguing otherwise.

    This is

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
  • Even as an outsider, even if you’ve just looked on from afar as an unholy confluence of unknowing sportswriter disses, unfortunate injury timing, and downright terrible executive work from a series of general managers takes the Toronto Raptors and their followers down a peg, you kind of know what it’s like to live life as a Raptor fan. It started with an embarrassing logo in 1995, the first realization that Isiah Thomas might not be cut out for such things, sportswriters just assuming that Vince Carter would not want anything to do with the fantastic city as a would-be free agent, Rafael Araujo, the post-Chris Bosh decline, on and on …

    You feel for them, which is why you feel great when the team makes it back to the playoffs, when it wins its division in spite of a year that was supposed to drive team deep into the NBA lottery, and when you warm to the fact that this young and learning Raptors team could down a batch of NBA luminaries over the next few weeks, it could move on to

    Read More »from The Toronto Raptors release a striking new 'We the North' clip in anticipation of a playoff run (Video)
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    If you’re just checking in now, you’d be forgiven for wondering just how the Brooklyn Nets made it to the 2014 NBA playoffs. Actually, if you’re just checking in now, you likely missed the early season swoon these Nets cobbled together while you were paying attention to various brands of football. A team featuring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams would seem to be a postseason lock, as the springtime championship attempt commences.

    The Nets had to work through an extremely challenging set of conditions before righting the ship, though. Lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank was booted from rookie head coach Jason Kidd’s staff in the first month for allegedly

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • Legendary former heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira suffered yet another traumatic loss April 11 when he was knocked out in the first round by Roy Nelson. After nearly fifteen years, forty three professional fights and numerous ring wars, UFC president Dana White believes that it is time for Nogueira to retire.

    “As soon as he got knocked out I was getting blown up by media guys saying, ‘What do you want to do? So, out of respect for Nogueira I didn’t want to say anything until he said something publicly. Then he came out and said he wants to fight Frank Mir. I don't want to see Nogueira fight ever again. He should retire," White said in a media scrum last night after the TUF: Nations Finale card.

    "He is a war horse. That guy has been in - just the battles in PRIDE he's been in - let alone the fights that he's fought in the UFC. He's one of the most respected fighters in the world by other fighters, let alone by fans. And I like him very much, too, so I wanted to

    Read More »from Dana White calls for 'Minotauro' Nogueira to retire

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