TIME NFL

Tom Brady Breaks NFL Postseason Yardage, Touchdown Records

Divisional Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Jim Rogash—Getty Images Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots passes in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Mass.

The Patriots QB eclipsed San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana's TD record

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set the NFL records for career postseason passing yards and touchdowns during Saturday’s AFC Divisional playoff game vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

Brady threw for more than 200 yards in the first half to pass Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for the yardage record, though Manning will be in action on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Manning entered the weekend with 6,589 passing yards, while Brady had 6,424 before Saturday’s game.

Brady has played in 27 playoff games, winning 18 entering Saturday. Manning has played in 23, winning 11.

Brady also eclipsed San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana for the most postseason passing touchdowns with 46 when he connected with Brandon LaFell on a 23-yard score with 5:13 remaining in the game. The touchdown put the Patriots ahead 35-31.

Brady grew up a fan of the 49ers, for whom Montana played 13 seasons for from 1979-92. Montana played the final two seasons of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He appeared in 23 postseason games, 19 with the 49ers.

Brady also threw touchdowns in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass to Danny Amendola and in the third quarter on a 5-yard toss to Rob Gronkowski.

This article originally appeared at SI.com

TIME Sports

New York Knicks Haven’t Learned That Money Can’t Buy Them Wins

at Madison Square Garden on January 8, 2015 in New York City.The Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 120-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa—2015 Getty Images The Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 120-96 at Madison Square Garden on January 8, 2015 in New York City.

David Berri is a professor of economics at Southern Utah University.

Quit trying to buy a championship

The New York Knicks are awful. The team has won only five games the entire season, and since November 16, the team has won only once.

After such a dreadful start, the Knicks on Monday apparently surrendered. Gone in trade are Iman Shumpert (the team’s starting shooting guard) and J.R. Smith (a key reserve). In addition, Samuel Dalembert – a player who started 21 times at center — has been waived. In return, the Knicks have acquired three players on non-guaranteed contracts. Perhaps more importantly, the team has acquired even more salary cap space. Such space will be used next summer in yet another rebuilding effort.

For Knicks fans, the rebuilding scenario isn’t new. Since 1973 — the last time the Knicks won an NBA title — this team has been trying to build another champion. And all these efforts remind us of this standard history lesson: Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

What can’t the franchise seem to learn from its own history? When the Knicks spend large sums of money on players, they tend to lose.

Prior to the aforementioned trade, the Knicks ranked third in the NBA in payroll. Since 1987-88 (we have payroll data for every season from 1987-88 to 2013-14) the Knicks have ranked in the top three in spending 17 times. What did all that spending achieve? Mostly losing. In 12 of these 17 years, the Knicks won fewer than half their games. And only once during those 17 years did this team win more than 60% of their contests. On average — across these 17 seasons of spending — the Knicks had a winning percentage of only 0.449.

What about the nine seasons where the Knicks did not rank in the top three in team payroll? In these seasons, the Knicks finished with a winning record every single time. And seven of those times, the Knicks won more than 60% of their games.

So the lesson from history is simple: quit trying to buy a championship.

Of course, one has to ask: Why doesn’t spending more money lead to more wins for the Knicks? If we look at the entire NBA, we actually see a weak positive correlation between spending and wins. Specifically, about 11% of the variation in winning percentage is explained by team spending. Or, to put it another way, about 89% of the variation in winning percentage in the NBA is NOT explained by team spending. So contrary to what we see with the Knicks, more spending doesn’t necessarily hurt. But it also doesn’t help much.

To understand why more money doesn’t lead to many more wins, we need to understand how players are evaluated in the NBA. As I noted last October, published studies have shown that scoring totals are the primary performance statistic determining free agent salaries, post-season awards, and the allocation of minutes. Scoring totals, though, can be manipulated. The more a player shoots, the more a player will score. And that is true, even if the player is not truly amazing with respect to shooting efficiency.

Hence the problem. Shooting efficiency — along with factors like rebounds and turnovers — are the primary determinants of wins in the NBA. So if a team hires a collection of scorers who do not shoot efficiently — and can’t do much else to help the team win — then that team will not win very often.

Two teams in New York history highlight the role scorers — and the lack of scorers — play in the fortunes of a team. The 1992-93 edition was the last team to win 60 games in New York. This team did employ Patrick Ewing, an All-Star who could score. But it was led in the production of wins by Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason. And the team also received substantial contributions from Doc Rivers and Greg Anthony. Although these four players produced wins, they didn’t score much. And this team led by non-scorers ranked 22nd in league payroll.

The 1992-93 team is essentially the opposite of the 2005-06 edition. This team ranked first in payroll. In fact, the Knicks spent more than $125 million on players that season. This remains the most any team has ever spent directly on player salaries (this does not count luxury tax payments). But all that spending led to only 23 wins.

The 2005-06 Knicks had a host of players who were above average scorers. The list included Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry, Channing Frye, Jalen Rose, and Nate Robinson (among others). But all these scorers didn’t produce many wins.

The architect of the 2005-06 fiasco was Isiah Thomas. After the 2008 season, Thomas departed the Knicks and once again the team was rebuilt. By 2012-13, the Knicks appeared to be competitive. That season, the Knicks won 54 games. And just as we saw 20 years earlier, the 2012-13 Knicks were led in the production of wins by two non-scorers. Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler — two players not known for scoring many points — combined to produce nearly 24 wins with this team.

But after the 2012-13 season, Kidd retired. And Chandler missed 27 games the next season, before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2014. For the Knicks to keep winning, the production of Kidd and Chandler had to be replaced. But the moves the Knicks made were not consistent with that objective.

The primary player the Knicks added after the 2012-13 season was Andrea Bargnani. In 2006, Bargnani was the number one pick in the NBA draft. In 2010-11, Bargnani avaraged 21.4 points per game. And for his career he has average 15.0 points per contest.

All this scoring has resulted in career earnings that will exceed $70 million after this season. But because Bargnani can’t shoot efficiently or rebound, he can’t produce wins. For his career, his production of wins have always been in the negative range. In other words, the team is generally better off if he doesn’t play.

Despite this production, Bargnani ranks among the top three in salary on the current Knicks. The other two members of this trio are Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Both Stoudemire and Anthony have been elite scoreres in the NBA. But neither player has produced many wins for the Knicks.

If we look at Stoudemire’s career numbers, we see a player in the past who was an above average scorer and above average on the boards. Consequently, his production of wins was well above average before he came to New York. But with the Knicks, Stoudemire’s rebounding has declined. Plus he has often been hurt. Consquently, despite his paycheck, he has produced less than 12 wins in his entire career with the Knicks.

Unlike Stoudemire, Anthony has generally been healthy. But as I detailed last May, Anthony is very much overrated. Yes, he scores many points. This, though, is because he takes many shots. His career shooting efficiency isn’t much different from average. And since he doesn’t do much else to help a team, Anthony’s production of wins in his career tends to also be close to average.

Again, the Knicks needed to replace the production of two non-scorers from the 2012-13 season. But just as they have done in the past, they chose to return to the top ranks in NBA payroll by investing in scorers. And just as we have seen in the past, this strategy did not pay off.

But after this season, the team can once again rebuild. The team has cap space in abundance, so a new collection of players will be brought to New York. If this cap space is devoted to a new set of scorers, we probably can expect history to repeat for the Knicks. But perhaps the Knicks will spend just a bit less and be focused a bit more on players who produce wins. If that happens, maybe competitive basketball can again return to New York.

David Berri is a professor of economics at Southern Utah University. He is the lead author of The Wages of Wins and Stumbling on Wins and continues to serve on the editorial board of bothJournal of Sports Economics and theInternational Journal of Sport Finance.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Football

An NFL Player Is Going to a High School Prom

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. on Oct. 26, 2014.
Christian Petersen—Getty Images Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. on Oct. 26, 2014.

After he challenged a fan to get 10,000 retweets

The Eagles’ Emmanuel Acho made an interesting decision on Thursday. Approached with a direct message on Instagram, a fan asked Acho if he would take her to prom if she got 2,000 retweets on Twitter.

Acho thought about it and offered a steeper challenge: 10,000 retweets, and he would do it.

The linebacker apparently thought this feat would be a lot more difficult than it turned out to be. He told the fan that he was going to Hong Kong for a week, and that she had a whole week to get the retweets.

Just a few hours later, the challenge had been met, leaving Acho, a man of his word, to tweet the following:

The fan has since protected her Twitter account, but you can see a screenshot of her original tweet here.

A lesson for all: Don’t open Instagram direct messages, or you’ll end up going to high school proms.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME olympics

Boston May Be the Next Olympic Sucker

Boston Is Fifth Ranked U.S. City In Value Of Commercial Real Estate Transactions
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Buildings stand in the city skyline in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014.

Boston will bid for the 2024 Olympics. According to many economists, Beantown will regret it if it wins

Boston wins! Boston wins!

But Boston may lose, big time.

On Thursday the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as America’s bidding city for the 2024 Olympics. Beantown beat out San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles in the Olympic sweepstakes. The latter’s loss is a mild surprise, considering LA’s Olympic experience: the city has hosted the Games twice, and has plenty of venues already built. Not that Boston has no Olympic attractions. Beach volleyball in Boston Common and field hockey at Harvard Stadium sound cool. The city is pretty compact. Hopefully they’ll find some use for Fenway Park. (Equestrian events? Yankees fans might appreciate horses crapping all over the outfield).

The host city won’t be named until 2017, and Boston’s rival bidders potentially include Rome, Casablanca, Paris, Nairobi, Doha and Berlin. While many Bostonians are excited about the the prestige and emotional lift that an Olympic win would provide, critics — like members of the No Boston Olympics opposition group — worry about the price tag. For good reason: academic research has consistently shown that for the host city, the Olympics aren’t the economic boon they’re cracked up to be. In fact, they do long-term harm.

Cities consistently spend more than the original budget projections: before the London Olympics, Will Jennings, a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Southampton, found that the average cost overrun for staging the Olympics was 200% since 1976. Boston has estimated that its bid would cost some $4.5 billion in private funding plus an additional $5 billion in regional infrastructure improvements. “That’s farcical,” says Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College, which is located some 80 miles west of Boston, and the author of the new book Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup. Organizers in London, for example, initially said the Games would cost $4 billion. The final bill came out to to $15 to $20 billion.

Zimbalist was surprised that Boston got the right to bid. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just passed reforms seeking to control the spiraling costs of hosting the Games: he’s convinced that Los Angeles, with its existing Olympic infrastructure, made the most economic sense. Boston’s biggest challenge will be building an Olympic stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field. Zimbalist is also skeptical of Boston’s plan to utilize its many universities to host events and athletes in an Olympics village. It’s one thing for MIT to have fields for archery, and for other universities to have pools. It’s another to convert these places into full-fledged Olympic venues, with seating and infrastructure to support a flood of spectators.

In his book, Zimbalist cites stacks of research showing that the Games aren’t worth it. The Olympics, cities are often told, will boost tourism. One econometric study, however, showed that when other factors were controlled for, Atlanta saw no statistically significant change in retail sales, hotel occupancy, or airport traffic during the 1996 Olympics. During the Beijing Olympics in August of 2008, hotel bed nights dropped 39% compared to the prior year. For the 2000 Sydney Olympics, two researchers concluded that “in terms of purely measurable economic variables the [Games] had a negative effect on New South Wales and Australia as a whole.”

During the Olympics, athletes, officials, media and fans often replace traditional tourists who are more likely to explore the city and spread the word about its virtues. Olympic tourists may brag about their swimming tickets in Boston. But jealous friends can’t then replicate that experience, cause the Olympics are over. So why go to Boston? The idea that the Olympics puts a city on a “world stage,” which will subsequently attract new investment and tourist dollars, in largely bunk.

“More often that not, Olympics wind up as a public burden,” says Zimbalist. “I have no reason to believe that Boston will be an exception rather than the rule.”

TIME Football

Bears Hire Saints Director of Player Personnel Ryan Pace as New GM

The Chicago Bears have hired New Orleans Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace as their new general manager, the team announced Thursday.

Pace had been in New Orleans for the past 14 years and was director of player personnel for the last two seasons.

In recent years, Pace has been targeted by several teams as a potential GM candidate. The New York Jets recently requested to interview Pace, but he declined their offer. Last year, the Miami Dolphins sought to interview Pace during their GM search but the Saints refused to give him permission. Because Pace was in the final year of his contract, the Saints could not prevent him from interviewing with other teams this year.

Since Pace joined the franchise in 2001, the Saints have made five playoff appearances and won one Super Bowl.

Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired along with head coach Marc Trestman on Dec. 29.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME olympics

Boston Selected as U.S. Bid for 2024 Summer Olympics

Boston Harbor at Sunrise
Shobeir Ansari—Getty Images

Beantown beat out San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The United States Olympic Committee announced Thursday that Boston will represent the country’s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Beantown beat out San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. for the spot. Assuming the International Olympic Committee approves the New England hub as an applicant, Boston and the other international candidates will then prepare a plan for hosting the events that includes logistics like venues, transportation and security.

Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh tweeted his delight Thursday and called the pick an “exceptional honor for Boston.”

“It is an exceptional honor for Boston to be chosen as the U.S.representative in the running for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he said in a statement. “This selection is in recognition of our city’s talent, diversity and global leadership. Our goal is to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all. Boston hopes to welcome the world’s greatest athletes to one of the world’s great cities.”

Atlanta was the last American city to host the Summer Olympics, in 1996, but Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

TIME NFL

NFL Did Not Receive Ray Rice Tape Prior to Release, Report Finds

Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL on Nov. 5, 2014, in New York.
Jason DeCrow—AP Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL on Nov. 5, 2014 in New York.

But the Mueller Report also called the NFL's investigation of the assault "limited."

An investigation led by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III found no evidence that the NFL received video of Ray Rice striking his then-fiancée in a casino elevator before it was released by the site TMZ in September.

The Associated Press reported that month that a law enforcement official said he sent a copy of the video to an NFL executive in April.

The Mueller Report, released on Thursday, found no evidence that the video had been stored on league computers, that anyone from the league acknowledged receiving the video in a call or that a package containing the video was sent to the league.

The report also assessed the NFL’s investigation of the February incident, in which Rice hit his then-fiancée and now-wife Janay.

Calling the investigation “limited,” the report identified “a number of investigative steps that the League did not take to acquire additional information about what occurred inside the elevator,” including contacting police officers investigating the incident.

The report also said that if the league had conducted a “more substantial” investigation, it might have been able to obtain the video before it was released to the public.

The report said that the NFL has a longstanding practice of deferring to law enforcement, which “can foster an environment in which it is less important to understand precisely what a player did than to understand how and when the criminal justice system addresses the event.”

That deference, the report said, led to deficiencies in how the league handled information during the investigation.

Rice was charged with assault after an incident at an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15, 2014. On Feb. 19, TMZ released a video of Rice dragging his seemingly unconscious then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator.

Rice pleaded not guilty in May and entered a pretrial intervention program. If he adheres to the terms of the program, the charges will be dropped after one year.

In July, the NFL suspended Rice for the first two games of the season. On Sept. 8, less than a week before Rice’s suspension was set to expire, TMZ released a second video that showed Rice striking Palmer inside the elevator.

After the release of the second video, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely. Rice challenged the suspension on the grounds that the commissioner handed down further punishment without additional evidence. Rice won his appeal and was reinstated.

After Goodell’s handling of the Rice incident was widely criticized, he ordered Mueller to lead an independent investigation into the Rice case and how the NFL handled it.

Goodell has said that the first time he saw the in-elevator video was when it was published by TMZ on Sept. 8. He also said the NFL was “never granted the opportunity” to see it prior to that. The Associated Press later reported that a law enforcement official said he sent a copy of the video to an NFL executive in April. The AP said it listened to a voicemail from an NFL employee confirming the office received it.

In December, an ESPN report claimed an NFL security official admitted he did not ask the casino or Atlantic City Police Department for the in-elevator tape. ESPN obtained the entire 631-page transcript of Rice’s two-day appeal hearing and published excerpts from the document.

ESPN’s report quotes a portion of Roger Goodell’s testimony during which, in ESPN’s interpretation, the union lawyer questioning Goodell quotes an email from NFL investigator Jim Buckley saying Buckley told league security chief Jeffrey B. Miller, “I never spoke to anyone from the casino or police department” about a tape from inside the elevator.

The NFL refuted ESPN’s claims about the transcript.

“That is a quote not from an email, but from an argument by Rice’s own attorney mischaracterizing the evidence,” the NFL said in its statement. “The email in fact explains that, despite his multiple efforts to do so, the investigator was unable to speak with anyone from law enforcement about the tape.”

Rice testified during the hearing that he would have allowed his lawyer to give a copy of the video to NFL officials.

The NFL’s statement did not address any other portion of the ESPN report, including Rice’s testimony that he told Goodell during their June meeting that he hit Janay. Goodell had said publicly that Rice’s account of the incident was ambiguous.

In her decision reinstating Rice, the arbitrator, former federal judge Barbara S. Jones, wrote that she believed he did not lie to the NFL during the meeting with Goodell, making his indefinite suspension “arbitrary.”

Goodell has come under intense scrutiny for his handling of the Rice case. Multiple reports have questioned his transparency throughout the process. NFL Players Association president Eric Winston said in November that he thinks Goodell’s credibility is “definitely lacking” among current players.

The Ravens terminated Rice’s contract the day of the video’s release — a move over which he filed a grievance. A hearing for Rice’s grievance against the Ravens is set for Jan. 15.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME NBA

Here’s Why Michael Jordan Is No Longer Friends with Charles Barkley

Michael Jordan;Charles Barkley
Sylvain Gaboury—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images (L-R) Basketball players Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley at Great Sports Legend Dinner on 26 Sept., 2000.

It has to do with their respective post-retirement careers

They were competitors, teammates, friends, and even Space Jam co-stars in the 1990s, but former NBA superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley no longer see eye-to-eye. And Barkley revealed the reasons behind their fallout in a TV interview on Wednesday, USA Today reported.

“I think [Jordan] was offended by some things I said about him on television,” said Barkley, who is now an NBA analyst for TNT while Jordan is owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.

“I said Michael wasn’t doing a good job — he’s doing a great job now, [the Hornets have] gotten better…but they weren’t doing good.”

Barkley went on to explain that Jordan didn’t understand that it isn’t possible to have double standards in the media for people you like or dislike. “Your job is to be an analyst. It’s not to protect your friends…no, he’s not feeling that,” he said.

[USA Today]

TIME Football

Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston to Enter NFL Draft

Quarterback Jameis Winston passes against Oregon during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal, in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2015.
Mark J. Terrill—AP Quarterback Jameis Winston passes against Oregon during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal, in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2015.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has decided to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL draft.

The Legacy Agency, which will represent Winston, released a statement Wednesday on Winston’s behalf regarding his decision to turn pro. Here is part of the statement:

“After weighing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL draft and forgo my remaining eligibility at Florida State,” the statement reads. “I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the garnet and gold and have greatly enjoyed my time as a Seminole, both as an athlete and a student in the classroom.”

Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, is expected to be one of the top picks in the draft, which will be held April 30 to May 2 in Chicago. Winston lost only one game as a starting quarterback, a 59-20 defeat to Oregon in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 1.

Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams entering NFL draft

On Wednesday, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher released a statement on Winston’s decision.

“I would like to wish Jameis nothing but success at the next level as I think he’ll be extremely successful,” the statement reads. “It was a blessing to be able to coach him. He’s one of the unique players that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. He embodies what you as a coach want as a person, a student and a player. He’s a genuine and honest guy. He’s one of the greatest players in Florida State history. I want to thank him for the way he represented himself and the organization in so many tough situations and the professionalism in which he handled the ability to be such a great teammate to his teammates and always put them and the program above himself. That’s a very unique ability to be able to do especially at his age. I’d like to thank his family. They’re great people and it was a blessing that they came into our lives. I have nothing but respect for everything Jameis stands for, what he is and what he will do in the future. He’s truly one of the most special guys that I’ve had the privilege to be able to coach and I can’t thank him enough for the contributions to our family at Florida State.”

In his latest mock draft, SI.com’s Chris Burke projected Winston would be selected with the No. 10 pick in the first round.

Though he excelled on the field, Winston’s time at Florida State was plagued by off-the-field controversy.

Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student in December 2012. Investigators looked into the case nearly a year later and decided not to charge Winston due to lack of evidence. He was then investigated for violating four sections of the school’s code of conduct and could have been expelled if he was found guilty. He was cleared in all cases.

Ducks’ Marshall gets Sports Illustrated cover before title game

Winston was suspended for one game this season for using vulgar language in the student union and was cited for shoplifting $32.72 worth of crab legs and crawfish from a Publix in Tallahassee in February.

In Winston’s two seasons with Florida State, he threw for 7,964 yards with 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

This article originally appeared on SportsIllustrated.com

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