For an 11-year-old Eric Decker, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings were the gold standard. "But this group the Broncos have now has the chance to be the best," [former Broncos safety John Lynch] said, "when you consider the versatility they bring. And it's three different types of receivers." It also helps that the Broncos' pass-catching trio of Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Decker doesn't have [Randall Cunningham] throwing the ball. The Broncos have Peyton Manning. ... On paper, the addition of Welker gives the Broncos an opportunity to leap beyond the 1987-89 Washington Redskins, the 1995 Lions, the 1998 Vikings, the 1980 San Diego Chargers (if you want to count tight ends as a third receiver) and the 2004 Colts as the NFL's all-time best receiving trio. (The Denver Post) Comment
What a difference a year makes in Boston, where a late-season collapse has been replaced by consistent wins. The team has a different look. The clubhouse has a different feel. And as the Red Sox begin an 11-day stretch against the wild-card contending Yankees and Rays, the big question isn't whether the Sox will be in the playoffs, but rather who they'll bring with them. ... Like, perhaps, Terry Francona's Indians. Would there be any better way of pushing September 2011 into the past than by the Red Sox pushing through to win the American League East, and in the process helping carry their former manager to the postseason with them? It could happen. Francona's Indians won again Wednesday night, too, remaining only one game behind the Yankees. (CBS Sports) Comment
Keeping up with the Joneses in college football is expensive business, and the University of Michigan just gained more than a down payment. From the moment the Michigan athletic department created its master plan two years ago to remake South Campus, athletic director Dave Brandon consulted with the university's biggest donor. That relationship paid off today, when Stephen Ross' $200-million gift to the university included $100 million for athletics, including naming the athletic campus after Ross. "I spent a lot of time working with him, working through our vision for what the campus could look like, walking him through the 16 projects and getting his input and involvement," Brandon said after the announcement of what he termed "a transformational gift." (Detroit Free Press) Comment
David Ortiz tips his hat to the crowd after hitting his 2,000th career hit, an RBI double against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. (Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal took on Tommy Robredo, the man who beat Roger Federer, in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. But unlike Federer, Nadal had no problems defeating the fellow Spaniard. Nadal will face Richard Gasquet in the semifinals.