West Is Best
No conference ever had four teams inside the AP's top five before this week. Not only did the SEC change that, all four teams come from the SEC West. Where would you place these programs? Rank 'Em »AP Photo, Getty Images
Quarterbacks tend to be taller than other players; it's not easy to find your receivers if you can't see them over the likes of, say, 6-foot-5 J.J. Watt.
Logan Routt, a Cameron, West Virginia, high school senior, takes that trend to its logical extreme. At 6-11, he towers over Watt by half a foot and is three inches taller than Dan McGwire, the tallest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. Routt also plays basketball (of course) and is a pitcher and a first baseman in baseball, and if this video from MaxPreps.com is any indication, he has a lot more going for him on the football field than just his height:
Routt just might be the first triple-threat quarterback. He can run, pass and, if he's willing to take a penalty, deliver the most thunderous dunk any goalpost has ever seen. Make sure to check out MaxPreps.com for more photos of Routt being very tall.
Breaking news: Yao Ming is tall. Like really, really tall. And when he takes pictures with other famous athletes, he makes them look not so tall, and it's quite funny.
Here he is with Roger Federer, who, if you believe his listed height on the ATP's official-looking website, is 6-foot-1. Fed looks like an adoring character from "Honey I Shrunk The Kids."
Hard not to look up to the great @YaoMing. Amazing athlete and national hero— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) October 8, 2014
Here he is with the 6-foot-5, 289-pound J.J. Watt, who looks like he should still be starting for the JV squad next to Yao.
Great lunch with @YaoMing today. Have a feeling he could knock down a pass or two...— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2013
Here he is with Muggsy Bogues. Now, Muggsy -- all 5-foot-3 of him -- has never been one to stand out in a crowd, but he looks like he could fit in Yao's pocket.
And here he is with Shaq. Congrats, Yao: you managed to make one of the largest human beings on the planet look like, well, not one of the largest human beings on the planet.
Brett Favre turns 45 on Friday. To celebrate, he's giving us all a very special gift: He's coming out of retirement!
In truth, we're commemorating Favre's special day not with that incredibly dated joke, but with a look back at 12 iconic images and moments from his career:
Before many outside Mississippi knew his name, Favre, his family and his amazing jorts were waiting to hear the Southern Miss quarterback snagged by an NFL team. It happened in the second round, with the 33rd overall pick, and Favre became:
Favre didn't dazzle as a rookie (0-for-4, two interceptions in two games) and didn't last long with his original team. Luckily, no one has ever mentioned until now that Atlanta might have given up too early on him.
After being traded to cooler climes (for a first-rounder, to be fair), Favre watched the Packers start 0-2, led Green Bay to a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in relief, then made his first start in yellow and green against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Green Bay won 17-3, which was the beginning of a repeating theme (Packers winning, Favre starting).
After four winning seasons without much else to show, the Packers hoisted the Super Bowl trophy for the first time in 29 years, beating the New England Patriots 35-21. Desmond Howard won MVP, but Favre didn't do too badly himself (14-of-27, 246 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown). And wouldn't you know it: The game took place in the nearest NFL stadium to his hometown, New Orleans' Superdome.
A day after the unexpected death of his father, Irvin, at just 58, Favre played one of the best games of his career, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns in the first half of a 41-7 win over the host Oakland Raiders. "I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play," Favre said. "I love him so much, and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight."
For a kid from Mississippi, Favre sure did well in the unforgiving freezing of Lambeau Field. Although his record tailed off in later seasons, Favre started his career an impressive 39-6 in starts when the game-time temperature was below 40 degrees (between 1992 and 2004).
When you mix durability and success, you often get records. This came true for Favre in 2007, when he knocked some all-timers off their spots atop numerous NFL passing charts. On Sept. 16 against the Giants, Favre snagged the quarterback wins record (this one from John Elway, not Dan Marino). Two weeks later at Minnesota, Favre passed Marino for the all-time lead in passing touchdowns. In December at the Rams came the yards record, also one that belonged to Marino. Favre still owns these and many more records although Peyton Manning is bearing down on many of them.
Favre's 2007 did not end happily, with a famously frigid NFC Championship Game going the way of the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime at Lambeau Field. Favre's final pass of the game -- his lone pass in overtime -- was intercepted, helping set up the winning field goal.
He had flirted with retirement before, but this was the first time Favre said he wasn't coming back. "I know I can still play, but it's like I told my wife, I'm just tired mentally," Favre told ESPN's Chris Mortensen in a voicemail. Shortly thereafter, Favre was brought to tears during an emotional retirement speech. It seemed he really was going, but
Whispers of a Favre return began circulating within weeks, and in August it became official: Favre would be leaving the Packers but playing again -- this time in a New York Jets uniform. After 16 years in green and yellow, green and white looked weird on Favre. (The season also had an awkward quality to it, as an 8-3 start gave way to a 1-4 finish and no playoff trip for New York.)
After retiring again, unretiring again, then joining the Minnesota Vikings, Favre set the record for most consecutive appearances -- quarterback or otherwise -- in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Favre's 2009 season in purple went mostly well (12-4 and a trip to the NFC Championship Game), but he again was intercepted late in a big game, allowing the New Orleans Saints to win in overtime and head to the Super Bowl. It would be the last playoff pass Favre ever would throw
or will it be? Yeah, probably. Hard to see a 45-year-old occasional assistant high school coach (pictured above in Lauderdale County, Mississippi) taking another NFL snap.
Still, we do hear the Jets might be looking for a QB again
Paul Williams used to be one of the most feared boxers on the planet: 6-foot-1 with the wingspan of heavyweight behemoth Vitali Klitschko -- all somehow squeezed under 147 pounds.
Two weeks after signing on for the fight of a lifetime -- and the biggest payday of his career -- against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the former welterweight champion flew off his motorcycle on the way to his brother's wedding. That was in May 2012, and Williams has been paralyzed from the waist down ever since. But that hasn't stopped him from getting back in the ring, punching the heavy bag for the first time in a long while in this video posted on October 5:
Williams looks like he still packs that famous punch. And the huge smile on his face puts one on ours.
Billy Butler has five stolen bases in his career, which must have made his steal in Game 3 of the Angels-Royals ALDS seem like divine intervention. Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, decided that Butler could be forgiven for this particular act of larceny:
The church is no stranger to giving the Royals a little metaphysical assistance. In June, when Kansas City was really starting to look like a potential World Series threat, the church posted this sign: