TIME Sports

Tour de France Prize Money Way Up

Tour de France 1934
Frenchman Rene Vietto tries to break away from Spanish rider Vicente Trueba as they climb the mountain pass of the Tourmalet (Col du Tourmalet) on July 23, 1934 during the 18th stage of the 28th Tour de France AFP / Getty Images

With Wednesday’s official announcement of the route for the 2015 Tour de France, the best cyclists in the world know exactly where they’ll be next July. They also know what they stand to win: there are about 2 million euros (about $2.6 million) at stake, with a €450,000 prize for the final winner and €22,500 for the winner of each stage (that’s about $576,000 and $28,800, respectively).

That’s considerably less than the prize pool available for the famously lucrative International Dota 2 video game championships, but it’s plenty to get excited about — especially compared to the money that used to be available for Tour de France winners.

When TIME first covered the world’s most famous cycling event, in 1934, only 60 competitors were entered (versus 198 today) and the stakes were much lower:

L’Auto, Paris sportpaper, founded the race in 1903 as a circuit of the Auvergne highlands, enlarged it by stages to its present scale. L’Auto foots the bills for meals & lodging, furnishes to each contestant his bicycle, as many tires as he can wear out, $2.64 per day for pin-money. This year publicity-seeking merchants have scraped up 800,000 francs ($52,800) for prizes. The winner of each of the 23 daily laps gets 1,.000 francs ($660).

Even accounting for inflation, that’s not much compared to today’s prizes: $52,800 in 1934 dollars is $937,207.88 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, and $660 is $11,715.10. That means the winner of each stage stands to make twice as much as he did 80 years ago, and the overall prize pot is nearly three times as big. And the prizes haven’t exactly climbed steadily: in 1954, TIME reported that the winner of each stage would take home a mere $570 (about $5,000 today).

At least 1934’s racers could afford a train ticket, if not necessarily first class. And, as TIME wrote in its coverage of the race, that was important: “One race was so swift and grim,” reported the magazine, “that after the finish a rider was reported to have bought a train ticket over the route so that he could inspect the scenery.”

Read more: A Brief History of the Tour de France

TIME MLB

San Francisco Giants Beat Kansas City Royals in World Series Opener

World Series Giants Royals Baseball
San Francisco Giants pitcher Javier Lopez throws during the ninth inning of Game 1 of baseball's World Series against the Kansas City Royals onOct. 21, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. Matt Slocum—AP

The Giants' win knocks the Royals off course to best the Yankees' all-time winning streak

The San Francisco Giants thrashed the Kansas City Royals in the opener to the 2014 World Series, stealing a 7-1 win and disappointing Royals fans who have waited 29 years to see their team in the championship.

The much anticipated Game 1, played at Kansas’ Kauffman Stadium, boasted an intriguing mix of odds for the two wild-card teams: the Royals were the slight favorite to take the World Series title in the seven-game series, but the Giants were the favorite in Game 1, despite the Royals’ home-field advantage, USA Today reports.

Snatching an early lead, the Giants scored twice in the top of the first inning — a predictable start, since the team has taken the first point in seven straight World Series games. San Francisco then sailed through the rest of the game, albeit for a brief Royals rebuttal in the top of the 6th, with Salvador Perez home-running to the team’s first and last point. SB Nation reported that two Royals fans fell asleep in their up-to-$1,000 seats during the home team’s somnolent game.

The winner of Game 1 bats good odds at the World Series title: Game 1 winners have nabbed 69 of the 109 World Series titles, plus have won 15 of the last 17 series.

Still, the odds bode less well for San Francisco when broken down by road vs. home teams: the Giants are the 46th road team to win World Series Game 1, and just a third of the previous 45 winning road teams went on to win Game 2.

The loss put a stop to the Royals postseason winning streak at 11 wins, falling short one win of the all-time record held by the Yankees.

The teams will face each other again on Wednesday night in Game 2.

TIME Baseball

Your Guide to the Kansas City Royals

It's their first World Series in almost 30 seasons

After an MLB record 29 seasons without reaching the playoffs, the Kansas City Royals have made it to the World Series.

A relative surprise package, the Royals are one of the smaller teams in the league in terms of their financial value and number of Hall of Fame inductees.

Here is your guide to the underdogs in this year’s World Series.

TIME NFL

Cowboys Waive Defensive End Michael Sam From Practice Squad

Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas. Fort Worth Star-Telegram—MCT via Getty Images

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam "had a long way to go" as a player

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.

Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, was signed to the team’s practice squad Sept. 3. He never made it to the Cowboys’ active roster.

According to the team’s official website, Sam will be replaced on the practice squad with linebacker Troy Davis, who worked out for Dallas on Monday.

Sam said the following on Twitter after his release was made public:

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.

MORE: BURKE: Cowboys’ Big 3 among big winners of Week 7

Sam made history and received national attention in the spring when he announced he was gay several weeks before the NFL combine. As the reigning SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri, Sam became the highest-profile active gay football player and sought to become the first gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft.

The St. Louis Rams picked Sam in the seventh round of this year’s draft and kept him on their roster until the last round of cuts at the end of training camp. He was picked up by the Cowboys several days later.

At the time of Sam’s signing, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam “had a long way to go” as a player while dismissing concerns that the rookie could be a potential distraction in the locker room due to his sexuality, echoing the sentiments of Rams coach Jeff Fisher from when Sam was with St. Louis.

Jones said Sunday that Sam’s sexual orientation was “a dead issue.”

Sam is now free to sign with any other team or join any other team’s practice squad. The CFL could also be an option, as Sam reportedly received interest from the Montreal Alouettes before he joined the Cowboys’ practice squad.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NBA

Donald Sterling Withdraws Lawsuit Against the NBA

The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for "deeply offensive and harmful" racist comments that sparked a national firestorm. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined him a maximum $2.5 million dollars and called on other owners to force him to sell his team
The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for "deeply offensive and harmful" racist comments that sparked a national firestorm. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined him a maximum $2.5 million dollars and called on other owners to force him to sell his team ROBYN BECK—AFP/Getty Images

Sterling will no longer pursue his case against NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Sterling's wife Shelly, which accused both parties of fraud and of inflicting "severe emotional damage"

Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has dropped one of his two lawsuits against the NBA, according to the Los Angeles Times‘ Nathan Fenno.

Sterling will no longer pursue his case against NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Sterling’s wife Shelly, which accused both parties of fraud and of inflicting “severe emotional damage” during his forced sale of the team earlier this year. The move frees up Sterling to pursue his other suit against the NBA, an antitrust suit that seeks more than $1 billion in damages.

MORE: NBA Atlantic Division Preview: Can the Raptors repeat as division champs?

“We believe that we can more efficiently address all the issues in our pending federal action,” Sterling’s attorney Bobby Samini told the Times Monday.

The news comes on the same day that a judge threw out the defamation lawsuit of Sterling’s mistress V. Stiviano against Shelly Sterling. Judge Richard Fruin said Stiviano could produce no evidence Shelly Sterling defamed her. Shelly Sterling called Los Angeles Police to Donald’s home earlier this month, indicating there had been a break-in at the home. Responding officers found no evidence of a break-in, however, and instead found Donald Sterling entertaining Stiviano.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME health

Why So Many Women Are Crying at the Gym

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Yoga mudra Stefano Oppo—Getty Images

For a generation of stressed-out working women, exercise is as much about emotional release as it is physical training.

“Let it out! Let out the sludge!”

It’s 7am on a Tuesday, at a small dance studio in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, and Taryn Toomey is stomping her feet into the floor like thunder. “Get rid of the bullsh*t!” she shouts. “Get rid of the drama!”

Two dozen women in yoga pants and sports bras sprint in place behind her, eyes closed, arms flailing. Sweat is flying. The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” is blaring in the background. There are grunts and screams. “Hell yes!” a woman bellows.

When the song ends, Toomey directs the group into child’s pose, torso folded over the knees, forehead on the floor, arms spread forward. Coldplay comes on, and there is a moment of rest. “Inhale. Exhale. Feel your center,” Toomey says. Heads slowly come up, and suddenly, tears are streaming down the faces of half the room. A woman in front of me is physically trembling. “I just let it all out,” a middle-aged woman in leggings and a tank top whispers.

This is “The Class”—one part yoga, two parts bootcamp, three parts emotional release, packaged into an almost spiritual… no, tribal… 75 minutes. It is the creation of fashion exec turned yoga instructor Toomey, and it is where New York’s high-flying women go for emotional release (if, that is, they can get a spot).

“During my first class I didn’t just cry, I sobbed,” says McKenzie Hayes, a 22-year-old New Yorker who has become a regular in the class. “Whether it’s your job or your relationships, I literally picture my emotional problems being slowly unstuck from my body and moved out.”

Toomey calls that “sludge”: it’s the emotional baggage we carry in our muscles that has nowhere else to go. She’s not a doctor. But week after week, she encourages participants to sweat, scream and cry out those emotions, in the company of a group of mostly women who are doing the same. “I’ve had classes where people are literally on all fours sobbing,” Toomey says. “But it’s not just my class, it’s happening everywhere. Emotional release in public can feel very uncomfortable. But I think there’s a growing movement of people who want to find a space for it.”

Indeed, the message to women has long been to hide your tears lest you look weak. (Among the tactics: jutting out your jaw. Breathing exercises. Chewing gum. Drinking water.) Yet while crying in the office may remain a feminine faux pas, tears at the gym seem to have lost their stigma — to the extent that there are a bevy of fitness courses that even encourage it.

For Asie Mohtarez, a Brooklyn makeup artist, it began in hot yoga. The music was on, the floor was warm, the instructor was standing over her encouraging her to let go. “I was in child’s pose and I just lost it,” she says. Then, two weeks later, it happened again – this time at Physique 57. The Dirty Dancing soundtrack came on and it was waterworks again. “There’s something about these classes that feel safe,” says the 33-year-old. “I can’t cry at work. I’m not emotionally distraught enough to cry in the shower. I can’t just burst into tears in front of my husband. So, what does that leave you with?”

You could go to therapy – or you could hit the gym. Women are getting teary in SoulCycle, and misty-eyed at Pure Barre. They are letting out wails in yoga and rubbing the shoulder of the weepy woman next to them at CrossFit. “I think people have started to notice that their clients are just showing up to class and just unloading, and so they’re tailoring their classes to create space for this,” says Hayes, who is a pilates instructor by day. “When I take private clients I end up feeling like a therapist for them.”

These fitness instructors aren’t trained in that, of course. But they’ve probably been there.

“I usually just go over to the student after class and quietly ask how they’re feeling,” says Kristin Esposito, a yoga instructor in Los Angeles who sees criers often. “My classes are focused on release so it feels pretty natural.”

Physiologically, it is: Exercise releases endorphins, which interact with serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals that impact mood. In yoga, deep hip openers – like the “pigeon pose” – are meant to stir emotions (yogis believe our emotional baggage lives in our hips).

But many of the newer courses are specifically choreographed to release emotion, too – making it all that much more intense. The lights are dim, candles flicker in the background. It’s not an accident that just as you’re starting to relax, coming down from the adrenaline, you’re blasted with a throaty ballad. Those playlists are meticulously constructed. “I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years, so I’ve basically seen it all: crying, laughing, throwing up, overheating,” says Stacey Griffith, a Soul Cycle instructor. “There are moments in the class that are directly programmed for that reason – but it’s not like we’re trying to get people to cry. We’re giving them the space to step outside of themselves.”

And indeed, that may be necessary. We’re busier, more stressed and more connected than we’ve ever been. Simply finding the time to have that “space” can be near impossible, making the release that these courses offer – packaged neatly into an hour – a kind of fix. “The night before, I can’t wait,” says Hayes of Toomey’s class. “I already know what will be the flood that I’m working through. And sometimes conversations with friends just don’t cut it.”

Getting those emotions out is a good thing – at least in moderation. Emotional tears contain manganese, potassium, and a hormone called prolactin, which help lower cholesterol, control high blood and boost the immune system. Crying reduces stress, and, according to one study, from the University of Minnesota, actually improves the mood of nearly 90 percent of people who do it. “You really do feel lighter after,” says Hayes.

“To me, it’s a sign of being present, it’s a sign of feeling your feelings, of being in the moment,” says Toomey, just after “the class” has ended. Plus, shoulder to shoulder in a hot room, there is almost a sense of communal release. Of high-charged emotional camaraderie. “I so needed this,” a woman tells her on the way out, with a hug. And, of course, with that much sweat, the tears are almost hidden anyway.

Read next: I Taught Fitness and Failed a Fat Test

TIME hockey

NHL Suspends Kings’ Slava Voynov After Domestic Violence Arrest

Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles. Bruce Bennett—Getty Images

The NHL has suspended defenseman Slava Voynov indefinitely after he was arrested on domestic violence charges Monday morning, the league announced Monday.

There are currently no details on the exact nature of Voynov’s arrest other than that he violated California Penal Code section 273.5, Domestic Violence. He will continue to be paid while suspended.

From the NHL’s release:

The suspension was imposed under Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides that, during the pendency of a criminal investigation, “The League may suspend the Player pending the League’s formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League.”

Voynov, 24, has been with the Kings since 2011-12 and played in all 82 games for the team last season while helping it win the Stanley Cup. He’s played in all of the Kings’ six games this season, recording two assists and averaging 23:11 of ice time per game.

Voynov signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension with Los Angeles before last season.

The NHL dealt with a similar incident last year when Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on domestic violence charges in an incident involving his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped.

The news of Voynov’s arrest comes amidst significant controversy around the issue of domestic violence in the NFL stemming from the arrest of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The release of video showing Rice striking his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator led to Rice’s release from Ravens and an indefinite suspension from the NFL, with criticism levied at the latter for initially suspending Rice for just two games.

The NFL has said it is working on developing a new domestic violence policy and the handling of the Rice case by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the subject of an investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller III.

The issue of domestic violence has emerged in other sports as well, including the arrests of U.S. national team goalie Hope Solo and Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME viral

San Francisco Radio Station Bans Lorde’s ‘Royals’ for World Series

Lorde
Lorde performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2014 in Indio, Calif. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

'No offense, Lorde," tweeted KFOG Radio

A San Francisco radio station has vowed not to air Lorde’s breakout single “Royals” until the end of the 2014 World Series matchup between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.

KFOG Radio tweeted out its ban on Friday after listeners objected to the station playing a song that could be interpreted as an endorsement for the rival team.

The connection between the song and the team is, in fact, not so far off base. Lorde has said in a previous interview that the lyrics for ‘Royals’ came to her in a moment of inspiration after she was struck by an image of a baseball player wearing the Royals jersey in National Geographic, Yahoo News reports.

TIME Football

Football Players Recall Abusive Hazing at New Jersey High School

Football Team Investigation
Residents of Sayreville gather for an anti-bullying rally Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. Mel Evans—AP

One said the backlash from reporting the incident “made me want to shoot myself”

Older players on a New Jersey high school football team that has drawn national headlines for a hazing scandal allegedly pinned younger players to the floor and punched, kicked and sexually groped their bodies, according to a new report.

The New York Times, citing interviews with victims and multiple witnesses, provides new detail to the scandal that has cost Sayreville War Memorial High School its football season and has led seven varsity football players to be arrested. One victim said he was penetrated from behind by a finger. But there are conflicting accounts and some said they didn’t consider the hazing abusive.

The victims told the Times that they continued to suffer from abuse and taunts on social media for reporting the attacks, and one said the backlash “made me want to shoot myself.”

The team’s season was cancelled this month.

Read more at the Times

 

TIME Football

Peyton Manning Throws Touchdown Pass 509 to Set New NFL Record

He beat Brett Favre's record with No. 509

Many quarterbacks have come before. Few, if any, have been better.

Peyton Manning added another record to his collection Sunday night, tossing his 509th career touchdown pass to break Brett Favre’s all-time mark. The historic pass, his third TD of the night, landed in the arms of Demaryius Thomas, who managed to drag his feet near the sideline. Tight end Julius Thomas had a shot to help Manning cement the record two plays earlier, but he was unable to corral Manning’s pass.

A smiling Manning celebrated his latest accomplishment for but a brief moment, hugging head coach John Fox and several teammates as the crowd at Mile High Stadium saluted him with a standing ovation.

Earlier in the game against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning found Emmanuel Sanders for touchdown No. 507. He then tied Favre’s record with a 39-yard scoring pass to Wes Welker. A little of the drama was sapped from the Manning-to-Welker connection because the official nearest the play ruled that Welker had stepped out prior to getting the ball to the pylon. That call was overruled by a second official and stood after a review.

The record-holder before Favre came along was Dan Marino, who finished his career with 420 passing touchdowns. Manning leapfrogged that mark back in 2012, during his first season with the Broncos, leaving only Favre ahead of him.

Touchdowns Nos. 507 and 508 for Manning came 5,887 days after his first career NFL TD pass, a six-yard strike to Marvin Harrison way back in Manning’s NFL debut on Sept. 6, 1998.

He has broken record upon record since then (with a Super Bowl victory to boot), so many in fact that Manning and his teammates swore they had tuned out the noise coinciding with this latest chase.

“What I’ve concentrated on is trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Manning said earlier in the week. “I don’t feel like it’s been a distraction because we’ve handled it and focused on what’s important.”

Among the most prestigious records still in sight for Manning: Favre’s career passing yardage mark of 71,838. Manning entered Sunday’s game 5,344 yards back of that total. Should he finish out this season with good health and return for the 2015 campaign, it’s a virtual certainty that Manning catches Favre there, too.

Favre claimed on NFL GameDay Morning Sunday that he was not paying much attention to Manning’s touchdown total.

“I don’t really care to be honest with you and I mean that with no disrespect,” said Favre, in an interview with the NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci. “I think the world of Peyton. I’m not surprised that he’s going to break it.

As for the NFL’s recent tilt toward offensive prowess, Favre said, “Well, it is a little more prolific today, but I don’t want to take anything away from what he’s done. Drew [Brees], I think, if he continues to play, we know he’ll be prolific. He could put up astronomical numbers as well. But it’s becoming a different era.”

The careers of Favre and Manning overlapped for many seasons — Favre played from 1991-2010; Manning was the No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft.

Three years ago, it appeared that Manning’s days of rewriting the record books might be over. He, of course, missed all of the 2011 season with a neck injury. Indianapolis then cut the future Hall of Famer after that season and replaced him with 2012 No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

Manning signed with Denver and proceeded to put up 37 touchdown passes in 2012 and an NFL record 55 last season.

All told, Manning holds upward of 40 individual NFL passing records. He added another to his collection Sunday night.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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