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Today's Best

by Peter King, 4/24/14
At NFL headquarters, four men and 40 computers work for 70 days, sifting through a half-million possibilities. The MMQB pulls back the curtain on the process, the roadblocks they had to navigate and why Seattle dodged a road swing from hell.

by Bob Nightengale, USA Today 4/24/14
It's like a small-time crook robbing the neighborhood convenience store one day, getting away with it, and returning the next week to rob the same joint again.


Home Grown

by Sal Maiorana, Democrat and Chronicle 4/24/14

Until they prove they truly are improved and capable of contending for a playoff berth, the NFL isn't willing to take a chance on them in the key television slots on Sunday night and Monday night. The Bills' last Sunday night game was in 2007 and their last Monday night game was in 2009.

by Stephen T. Watson, BUffalo News 4/22/14
Jerry Wojcik, a Bills fan and area native now living in Florida, contended in his October 2012 suit that the team violated the terms of its text service by sending him 13 messages over two weeks when it promised to send no more than five per week.


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Our Contribution

Justice Neither Blind nor Deaf

by Bill Pucko, 4/21/14

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was once a middleweight boxing championship contender.  He may have been a murderer.  He may not have been.  He was indisputably a cultural icon.  Rubin "Hurricane" Carter died peacefully Sunday in Toronto. He was 76.
Carter's legacy is anything but peaceful.  As an up and coming middleweight in the racially charged sixties, Carter was in trouble with the law as early as age 12.  He spent four years in prisons for various crimes.  That served as the backdrop for the events of June 16, 1966.
On that night, three white people were killed by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Patterson, N.J.  Carter and another man, John Artis, were arrested shortly after the killings.  The two men were convicted of the crimes in 1967 largely on circumstantial evidence supplied by white witnesses with sketchy backgrounds.
While in prison in 1974, Carter wrote "The Sixteenth Round."  The autobiography caught the attention of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan who wrote the high powered "Hurricane."  That kind of public advocacy helped lead to a successful appeal for a new trial.  But Carter was convicted for a second time in 1976. 
The process finally played out in 1985 when after spending 19 years in prison, Carter's conviction was set aside due to prosecutorial misconduct.  Hurricane owed his freedom in no small measure to the involvement of celebrity activism by the likes of Dylan, Muhammad Ali and others.
There were no other convictions for the murders.  No one else was ever charged.  There was no justice for the families of the three victims.
This isn't really an isolated case.  High powered attorneys got Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson acquitted in a famous double murder trial in 1995.  And most recently, Tallahassee police failed to come up with enough evidence to even charge Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State with a sexual assault.
These cases were all influenced in varying degrees by public pressure and the power of celebrity.  Race dominated the Simpson case.  The influence of a major college football program supported, some would say shielded Winston.
Sports, celebrity and the law.  Carter, Simpson and Winston.   Players in an American judicial system that is neither blind nor deaf.



from 4/2/14
Five experts weight in with their first round picks.

by Scott Gleeson, USA Today 3/25/14
Which teams win on the weekend to reach the Final Four? We'll take it a step further. Which team wins it all? Here's a breakdown of our 16 teams most likely to have that One Shining Moment.



by Scott Pianowski, Roto Arcade 4/24/14
Jose Quintana is searching for work in 60 percent of the Y, a little surprising to me. He's coming off a handy season (3.51/1.22, 164 strikeouts) and he's been sharp in three of his four turns this season. The Rangers got him for nine hits and five runs last week, but Arlington does that to a lot of pitchers. I'm not holding it against The Q.

by Michael Salfino, 4/22/14
Let’s focus on the pitchers who have ERAs that are not supported by their strikeout and walk performance, meaning they are unfairly high or low.