Eric Adelson

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Award-winning writer Eric Adelson is a feature writer for Yahoo! Sports. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University's School of Journalism, Eric previously wrote for ESPN the Magazine and is the author of the book "The Sure Thing: The Making and Unmaking of Golf Phenom Michelle Wie."

  • TAMPA BAY – He laughed at the question.

    “How many times have I been cut?” asked Dale Weise, Montreal’s rugged winger, in the dressing room after his overtime winner in Game 1 on Wednesday.

    “Junior or pro?”

    How about both?

    “Total?” Weise said, “Two in junior, three in pro …

    “Four in pro.”

    You know it’s playoff hockey when a guy deemed unworthy of having a jersey by four organizations owns a moment in the spotlight. And there's no bigger moment than playoff overtime, and no better time for your first playoff goal. Weise, 25, was drafted 111th overall by the Rangers in 2008, and that was his third year eligible. On Wednesday he slammed a shot past Lightning goalie Anders Lindback late in the first overtime period and turned a sloppy Montreal performance into a 5-4 postseason masterpiece.

    [Related: Daniel Briere shows off playoff savvy on OT winner]

    Weise stood in his white socks at his stall after the game, sweat dappled on his brow and cameras gathered around him. One reporter outside the

    Read More »from Wily vet, unlikely hero lead Canadiens past Lightning in wild overtime opening to 2014 NHL playoffs
  • Ndamukong Suh already testing leadership of Lions' new coach with no-show at voluntary workouts

    Ndamukong Suh is entering the final year of his deal with the Lions. (USA TODAY Sports)

    The new Detroit Lions head coach is supposed to be far different from the old Lions head coach.

    Time to see if that happens.

    Jim Caldwell, on the first day he met with his players, found one superstar absent: Ndamukong Suh.

    The defensive tackle's decision not to show up for this week's voluntary workouts isn't a red flag on its own. Voluntary workouts are just that, and it's not like Suh is ever out of shape. Suh is working on a new contract and he's not the first standout to sit out while business is done.

    "From what I know it's a contract thing so that's the business side of stuff and we all go through it so everybody understands," running back Reggie Bush told reporters on Thursday. "Nobody's looking down on him. I'm sure as soon as he can be here he'll be here." Jim Caldwell (USA TODAY Sports)

    That defense, though commendable, is weakened by the fact that Suh usually doesn't show up to voluntary workouts – contract limbo or no contract limbo. And that leads to a bigger issue.

    The Lions' nagging reputation of

    Read More »from Ndamukong Suh already testing leadership of Lions' new coach with no-show at voluntary workouts
  • NFLPA's slow-footed probe of Josh Freeman case doesn't bode well for DeSean Jackson investigation

    The union representing NFL players displayed a show of force over the weekend by launching an investigation into the Philadelphia Eagles' controversial release of DeSean Jackson.

    The investigation echoes the show of force made by the NFLPA after then-Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had his medical information leaked to the media last season.

    That investigation, however, has so far turned out to be no show of force at all. Josh Freeman is a free agent. (USA TODAY Sports)

    The alleged leak of Freeman's records to ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen happened in September 2013. Yahoo Sports reached out to the NFLPA for results of the investigation three times during the season and again in a media conference hosted by NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith during Super Bowl week. Smith said in February the investigation was "close" to being complete.

    It's now April, and there's still no end to the investigation.

    "[The] investigation is still not complete," NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said via email on Monday. "A couple of interviews have been

    Read More »from NFLPA's slow-footed probe of Josh Freeman case doesn't bode well for DeSean Jackson investigation
  • Why innuendo of DeSean Jackson's 'gang ties' may be bad news for other players

    The question on the minds of many NFL fans over the past week is: Does Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson have gang ties?

    The better question might be: What does "gang ties" mean, anyway? And even more, does this loose characterization threaten the contract status and livelihood of other players around the league?

    DeSean Jackson will square off against the Eagles twice a season. (AP)One longtime sports agent, reached by Yahoo Sports Tuesday night, worried about a "DeSean Effect" where teams will cut ties with players rather than pay them or re-up them because of assumed gang ties. The Philadelphia Eagles, who have yet to publicly address their reasoning, released Jackson last Friday, hours after a report by NJ.com that the team was concerned with the receiver's gang connections. Jackson has since signed a three-year deal with the rival Washington Redskins.

    "Teams will use this," predicted the agent, who asked not to be named for this story. "If you consider players from the inner city, 95 percent of them can be said to have gang ties."

    [Related: Is

    Read More »from Why innuendo of DeSean Jackson's 'gang ties' may be bad news for other players
  • Redskins' Jay Gruden wants RG3 as comfortable as possible, even if that includes scrambling

    ORLANDO, Fla. – A little bit of Gruden might do Robert Griffin III a lot of good.

    New Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is likeable like his older brother, Jon. He's upbeat like the famous "Monday Night Football" commentator. But there's little of the fire and bluster, little of the tense edge that gave Jon Gruden his "Chucky" reputation.

    That could be perfect for Washington's franchise quarterback.

    "When the rush comes," the new coach said here Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings, "I would never, ever stop him from running." Robert Griffin III has started 28 regular-season games for the Redskins. (USA TODAY Sports)

    Gruden has spoken about trust in his public comments about Griffin so far, and it's clear trust was lacking between the quarterback and former coach Mike Shanahan. Both Griffin and Shanahan acted like they knew better – and were bent on proving it. Gruden, a former quarterback, may very well know better than RG3. He certainly doesn't come off that way. He wants Griffin to "relax and play."

    "It's just his third year in the league," Gruden said. "He's not

    Read More »from Redskins' Jay Gruden wants RG3 as comfortable as possible, even if that includes scrambling
  • Not happy about players' right to unionize? Don't blame the players ...

    Those who are bothered by Wednesday's momentous ruling in favor of Northwestern football players' right to unionize have a place to direct their frustration.

    The presidents of the universities.

    It is the presidents of the universities who allowed coaches to become dictators and players to become employees rather than student-athletes.

    It is the presidents who failed for years to do anything but empower coaches through salaries, palatial facilities, and general kowtowing.

    It is the presidents who gave control of scholarships to the coaches, rather than keeping the power for themselves and the actual teachers.

    The key passage of Wednesday's ruling of the National Labor Relations Board is a reflection of how much reign coaches have, and how far removed college sports are from the educational infrastructure:

    "… it cannot be said the Employer's scholarship players are 'primarily students.' The players spend 50 to 60 hours per week on their football duties during a one-month training camp

    Read More »from Not happy about players' right to unionize? Don't blame the players ...
  • Roger Goodell leaves door open for NFL playoff expansion this coming season

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Seven-and-nine might soon be fine.

    Normally cautious NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't rule out adding extra playoff games as soon as this upcoming season when asked about the issue at the owners meetings here. That could help vault the occasional sub-.500 team into postseason contention.

    Goodell said the move is "not out of the question" for 2014. He added the caveat that making the decision this offseason is not a sure bet or even likely – "I wouldn't say that's the direction we're heading right now," he said – but his refusal to stamp out speculation shows the building momentum for the idea, at least among coaches and owners.

    The league could add two playoff teams, one in each conference, to make a total of 14 (out of 32 total teams). More playoff games would theoretically make division races even more watchable, and of course it would make television contracts more bankable. The risks include a dilution of the regular-season product – paging Mark Cuban – and,

    Read More »from Roger Goodell leaves door open for NFL playoff expansion this coming season
  • Eagles coach Chip Kelly playing it cool regarding DeSean Jackson situation

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Chip Kelly has his own Silver Linings Playbook, and it does not depend on DeSean Jackson.

    The Eagles coach was mobbed here Wednesday, drawing the largest media crowd of the two-day, breakfast-with-coaches event, and there was one topic everyone wanted him to address: the future of the favorite receiver of Robert De Niro's character in the 2012 film about a crazed Eagles fan and his blossoming relationship with another troubled soul.

    Jackson didn't appear in the movie, and he didn't appear at the Ritz Carlton either. From what Kelly said, he's not terrified that Jackson won't appear in an Eagles uniform later this year. There have been trade rumors involving the speedy receiver, who asked for a new deal after the Eagles' playoff loss to New Orleans, and Kelly didn't go too far to dispel the drama. When asked Wednesday if he wanted Jackson on the team, Kelly said: "I like DeSean. DeSean did a really nice job for us, but we are always going to do what's best for the

    Read More »from Eagles coach Chip Kelly playing it cool regarding DeSean Jackson situation
  • Death of Ralph Wilson, defender of NFL's little guys, is profound loss for Buffalo and league

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon emerged from a conference room here Tuesday and fought back tears as he announced to reporters that team founder and owner Ralph Wilson had died.

    It's never completely unexpected when a 95-year-old man passes away, but this news deeply rattled a proud franchise and its city. It's not enough to say Wilson was intrinsic to the Bills, as he founded the Bills. It's more appropriate to say he was intrinsic to the entire region.

    "I speak for everyone within the Bills organization when I say that we are all suffering a deep and profound sadness with the passing of our Hall of Fame owner Mr. Wilson," Brandon said in a statement. "We have lost our founder, our mentor, our friend, and this is a very difficult time for us all." Ralph Wilson (Getty Images)

    Every NFL team likes to consider itself a family, but Wilson's Bills embodied that. He bought the team for $25,000 in 1959 and nurtured it into an $870 million international brand. He did so without flash, pomposity or

    Read More »from Death of Ralph Wilson, defender of NFL's little guys, is profound loss for Buffalo and league
  • Wells Report on Dolphins' Incognito-Martin fiasco ignored by several AFC coaches

    ORLANDO, Fla. – If the NFL is drastically changing after the Miami Dolphins' locker room scandal and the ensuing Ted Wells Report, it was hard to tell from what many of the AFC head coaches said at a press availability Tuesday morning.

    A canvassing of several coaches assembled at the Ritz Carlton for league meetings revealed few have read the report, which detailed a systemic breakdown of locker room culture in Miami.

    "I didn't," Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

    "I did not," New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

    "No," said Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone.

    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin talks with reporters at the NFL football annual meeting. (AP)"I'd be fibbing if I said I read the whole thing," Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

    "No," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen.

    "There are other things higher on my priority list," new Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said.

    "No," said San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy.

    Of the eight coaches asked, only one said he read it: Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

    "I was appalled," he said. "It was embarrassing."

    On

    Read More »from Wells Report on Dolphins' Incognito-Martin fiasco ignored by several AFC coaches

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