Charles Robinson

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Charles Robinson is an award-winning writer who has covered the NFL for newspapers in Michigan and Florida. He also has extensive experience reporting on college football. He graduated from Michigan State with a degree in journalism.

  • How Johnny Manziel's 'flair' changed pro day for future NFL quarterbacks

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Uncut hip-hop tracks cascaded onto the field, well within earshot of a former U.S. president and first lady. Cameras whirred in a packed end zone. A standing room only audience crowded the boundaries for 100 yards on each side of the field. By the time a train whistle blared late into Johnny Manziel's pro day on Thursday, it was feasible that a Coors Lite commercial was about to smash through a practice field wall.

    This is the theme park of Johnny Football. You won't leave without being thoroughly entertained.

    "Johnny does things a little differently," Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said with a smile. "… They do things a little differently in Texas." QB Johnny Manziel (2) and WR Mike Evans looked pleased with Thursday's pro day. (AP)

    Smith meant that in the best possible sense. He enjoyed the spectacle of it, which wasn't so much grandiose as stylistic, with the flavor that Manziel brings everywhere he goes. As much as NFL coaches and personnel men were pleased with Manziel's football display, they spent almost as much time talking

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  • Soldier helps U.S. win final Sochi Games medal, returning to active duty

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Before pushing off for the final race of the Olympics, in the final U.S. event of these Sochi Games, Chris Fogt's bobsled teammates banded together. If they medaled in this race, it was going to be for Fogt – the Army captain with the pregnant wife at home, the Army captain who will report back to active duty in a little more than two months.

    "Today," teammate Steven Langton said, "was more for Chris than anybody else."

    When it was over, the four men came together and cradled their bronze medals, and Fogt promised he'd never take his off. No matter where he ended up in a few months – at a stateside base or abroad, in Afghanistan or Iraq or Germany, he just couldn't imagine removing it.

    "Knowing what they've done and who else is out there, I've won this for them," Fogt said, cupping his palm around his bronze. "…I've gotten so many emails from Afghanistan, Korea, Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, all over the place. I have a brother now who is a second lieutenant at

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  • U.S. takes bronze in four-man bobsled as Russia wins medal race at Sochi Games

    Click the image to see more of Steven Holcomb and USA-1 win bronze in four-man bobsled. (USA TODAY Sports)

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The United States picked up its final medal in the Sochi Games with a bronze in the four-man bobsled, but it wasn't enough to keep host nation Russia from overwhelmingly winning the overall medal table at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    The USA-1 sled, piloted by Steven Holcomb, the defending gold medalist in the 2010 Vancouver Games, began Sunday in fourth place before moving past Germany in the third run. They did just enough to maintain the position in the fourth and final run, finishing with a combined time of 3:40.99, three-hundredths of a second ahead of Russia's second sled. Russia continued its furious medal run in the Games' final days with its top sled winning gold in 3:40.60. Latvia took the silver in 3:40.69.

    [Video: U.S. woman bobsledder's rare pair of Olympic medals]

    The medal was Russia's 33rd overall and 13th gold of the Sochi Games, both highs among the competing nations. With only the men's gold-medal hockey game to be decided between Canada and

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  • Ted Ligety calls Olympic slalom course setup 'borderline unsportsmanlike'

    Ted Ligety of the U.S. slides into the finish area after competing in the men's alpine skiing slalom.

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – After watching the course set by Croatian coach Ante Kostelic crush five of the top eight skiers in the final run of the Olympic slalom Saturday night, American Ted Ligety called Kostelic's creation "borderline unsportsmanlike."

    A frustrated Ligety had an opportunity to reach for a medal after the first run, but was cut down by Kostelic's course – a fate shared by 13 of the top 30 skiers who made it through to the second run of the night. In all, an astonishing 34 of 77 skiers either failed to finish the course or were disqualified in the second run, creating a muddled final event in Sochi's Alpine disciplines.

    "Ante set a really typical Ante course set, which is borderline unsportsmanlike to set those kinds of courses on these kinds of hills," Ligety said. "That's how it goes. Everybody had to ski it. Not all the best guys had a chance to make it down, unfortunately. …Not really the most ideal venue for having a course that wasn't the most fair thing in the

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  • How Mikaela Shiffrin made Olympic history with a gold-saving move on one ski

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — As Mikaela Shiffrin reached the bottom of Friday night's slalom in Sochi, she couldn't look at the clock. The 18-year-old U.S. skiing phenom had visualized her ideal Olympic moment so many times, and reality suddenly felt nothing like it. She never saw the flub that could take it away, cruel momentum pulling her backward onto one ski. She never imagined her mother and coach gasping in unison, or saw the hundreds of people who all had one momentary, unified thought.

    It was over.

    This is what the bottom felt like. Shiffrin thought she had given away her ideal moment. But this is also one of the fortunate things about ski racing and the Olympics. You almost never live out your best moments in the way you imagine. Sometimes the ideal is found inside imperfection. Sometimes you go up on one ski, nearly crash and win anyway. And that's what happened: Shiffrin made a sizable mistake halfway through her run, fought back and became the youngest slalom gold medalist

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  • Mikaela Shiffrin makes history by winning slalom gold at Sochi Games

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Showcasing a brilliance rarely seen at such an age, 18-year-old U.S. skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the slalom Friday night, becoming the youngest skier – woman or man – to win the event in the history of the Winter Games.

    Shiffrin came dangerously close to spinning off one gate in her second run, but regained control to beat Austria's Marlies Schild for the gold. Shiffrin finished with a two-run combined time of 1:44.54, .53 seconds faster than Schild, who, at age 32, became the oldest woman to medal in slalom. Austria's Kathrin Zettel won the bronze.

    "It was a crazy moment," Shiffrin said of her near-crash. "I was going very fast and I thought I was not going to make it. It scared me."

    [Related: Ted Ligety's company website goes down after he wins gold]

    In her first run, Shiffrin appeared to be steady and almost mistake-free pushing off from the sixth position, steadily picking up time at every split and knocking German star Maria Hoefl-Riesch

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  • Ted Ligety buries past Olympic disappointment to make history with gold in giant slalom

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Sometimes an athlete is so good at his or her chosen discipline that the best way to sum up that athlete's dominance is a reference to other greatness.

    Michael Jordan on a basketball court. Gordie Howe on a rink. Muhammad Ali in the ring. And in the giant slalom … Ted Ligety.

    "It reminds me of when [Roger] Federer was so dominant there for about four years, and everybody was like 'What do you do? How do you beat him?' " said Tim Jitloff, Ligety's U.S. Alpine teammate. "I don't know."

    On Wednesday, the rest of the world couldn't figure it out, either. Ligety won the second Olympic gold medal of his career, dominating the giant slalom and becoming the first U.S. skier to win the discipline in a Winter Games. He's also the first men's U.S. skier with two Alpine golds, and he gave the United States its first Alpine gold medal – men's or women's – of the Sochi Games.

    [Photos: Ted Ligety wins giant slalom gold for U.S.]

    With the giant slalom considered by some to

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  • Bode Miller's Olympic career possibly over after he withdraws from slalom

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Bode Miller, the most accomplished men's Alpine skier in U.S. history, will not compete in the slalom race at the Sochi Games because of lingering knee issues, possibly ending his Olympic career.

    Miller, 36, became the oldest Alpine skier to medal when he shared the bronze in the super-G. He finished 20th in Wednesday's giant slalom, and said he tweaked his surgically repaired left knee during the first run.

    After completing his second run of the giant slalom, Miller initially said he planned to have his knee drained before deciding whether to compete in Saturday's slalom, the final Alpine event of the Sochi Games. Not long after, he officially announced his withdrawal.

    [Related: American Ted Ligety wins gold medal in giant slalom at Sochi Games]

    "It's tough to have my last race look like this, but I feel really good about where I'm at," said Miller, who plans to finish the World Cup season. "You know, I came back strong. I really did a lot of work and I put

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  • American Ted Ligety wins gold medal in giant slalom at Sochi Games

    Click the image for more photos of Ted Ligety winning gold in giant slalom. (AP Photo)

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The United States' Alpine team has its first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics thanks to Ted Ligety.

    Long recognized as one of the top skiers on the World Cup circuit, Ligety seized his second Olympic gold medal on Wednesday, dominating the giant slalom at the Sochi Games. Considered the world’s best in the event, Ligety wasted little time backing up that reputation, taking advantage of good course conditions. Weaving a noticeably tight line, he dropped the hammer in a nearly flawless first run with a time of 1:21.08. That gave him a strong .93 lead over the field heading into his second run, and he held on for the victory. France's Steve Missillier and Alexis Pinturalut won silver and bronze.

    Ligety came to a sliding stop after crossing the finish line and raised his arms in celebration.

    "I did what I needed to do to make it," said Ligety, who also won gold in the super combined at the 2006 Games in Turin. "I'm super happy with the outcome."

    [Related:

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  • Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympic debut shows best is yet to come for teen skier

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – This shouldn't have been an easily solvable hill for an 18-year-old. It should've been cold fusion. Rainy, crunchy, freezing-cold fusion.

    But as anyone who didn't already know discovered on Tuesday, Mikaela Shiffrin isn't the usual 18-year-old.

    In a race that defied anything typical about Alpine skiing, Shiffrin showcased in her Olympic debut why so many have come to believe in her so much. Competing in a giant slalom discipline that she is just now understanding, Shiffrin finished an impressive fifth, just missing the medal podium by .23 seconds. She did it by carving up a mountain that was a triple-layer cake of garbage – fat snowy fog on top, sheets of ice pebbles in the middle and a torrential downpour at the bottom.

    For the veteran field, it was an extreme environment. For an 18-year old in her first race, it should have been sheer terror. But Shiffrin shrugged it off as her first learning lesson on the big stage – something that will put her where she

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