Icon Sportswire, NHLI via Getty Images, AP Photo
2hScott Burnside

Burnside: This is a season for the ages

This game-changing season gets off to a roaring start Wednesday night, with two big-name rookies joining a league readying for expansion, eyeing the World Cup and debuting exciting rule changes.

ESPN Illustration
2hJim Caple

Back, back, back to the future

Thanks to ''Back To The Future, Part II,'' we know the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and baseball in general? We traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fantasy Rankings: Gurley on the rise

An eye-opening performance against the Cardinals' defense in Week 4 has Rams rookie Todd Gurley moving up our RB rankings in Week 5.

Reports: FIFA ethics recommends Blatter suspension (2:27)
6mPA Sport

Reports: Blatter suspension recommended

FIFA's ethics committee has recommended that Sepp Blatter be suspended during his ongoing criminal investigation, according to multiple reports.

Rousey: 'I am motivated like I am blonde' (1:28)
Trevor Booker punches Roy Hibbert (0:21)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

#NBArank: Kobe checks in at No. 93

Coming off another season-ending injury, Kobe Bryant falls to No. 93 in our countdown of the NBA's best players. Follow along as #NBArank dives into the league's top 100.

Hardy must temper expectation in Cowboys' debut (1:10)
Matt Bowen and Louis Riddick

Bowen & Riddick: 10 toughest players to cover

Which NFL receivers would you least want to cover one-on-one? ESPN Insiders -- and former NFL safeties -- Matt Bowen and Louis Riddick rank the league's 10 biggest matchup nightmares.

Getty Images, AP Photo

Kurkjian: Five NL wild-card questions

The NL wild-card game features an intriguing matchup: leading Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta vs. the forgotten man, Gerrit Cole.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
3hNick Wagoner

Rams WR says NFL fined him for post-TD 'nap'

Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey apparently took a costly nap after a third-quarter touchdown against Arizona last week as he says he was fined for the celebration.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
5hElizabeth Merrill

How do you miss someone you never knew?

Chargers RB Rodney Culver died in a plane crash before his two daughters were old enough to know him. Nineteen years later, they're discovering who he was from the teammates he left behind.

Kirk Herbstreit's Gameplan Breakdown (3:05)
Blackhawks affected by Kane investigation? (0:49)
How long will Ronda Rousey's next fight last? (1:02)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Edes: Astros silence Yanks in AL wild-card game

Six shutout innings by Dallas Keuchel and home runs by Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez set the tone Tuesday night as Houston ended the Yankees' season by winning the AL wild-card game.

Father time catching up with Vince Carter (0:20)
Sage Kotsenburg's "The Other Side": Episode 1 (3:26)
ESPN Illustration

Stark: My World Series prediction

Our guy, Jayson Stark, doesn't have the best track record when it comes to predicting who will win the World Series. But this year is different. We promise!


Rodgers enjoying interception free streak

But that doesn't mean he thinks he can keep the streak going all season, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. Aaron Rodgers hasn't thrown an INT at home in almost 3 years.


Chase Herbstreit's upset pick of the week
College Football 

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit may have to ask his son for picks advice on Saturdays from now on if he keeps getting them right.

College Football 

Eric D. Williams ESPN Staff Writer 

Chargers TE Antonio Gates said teammates welcomed him back with open arms. Gates said he slipped on some routes, but was focused on practicing at full speed: "It's a fresh start for me. I have to reestablish myself as a player."

Barry Melrose ready for the NHL season

The newest SportsCenter commercial gets us in the mood for some hockey -- Canadian style.


Kaepernick: Not playing for job security

Said 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick today: "I don't play for job security. Whether football is here or not, I will be fine. I go out, I play to win. I'm not worried about job security when I step in this building." The QB has completed just 22 of 44 passes the past two games while getting picked off five times -- including a pair of pick-sixes -- and no touchdowns.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Royals manager Ned Yost, on handling the expectations that come with being the AL's top regular-season team: "Pressure is what you make of it. Pressure is kind of like your little imaginary friend you had when you were 4-years old. If you think it's there, it's there. If you don't, you don't."

Is Roddy White being selfish?

His & Hers hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill differ on whether the Falcons WR should be criticized for saying he wants the ball more.


Melrose makes his Stanley Cup pick

Los Angeles didn't even make the playoffs last year -- but that's not stopping ESPN's Barry Melrose from predicting big things from the Kings this season.


Bills implement new penalty punishment

"If a guy gets a penalty during the practices, then we're gonna make sure that all of us are gonna do 10 pushups or whatever," Buffalo coach Rex Ryan said. "The rest of the team will [do pushups] and that person [being penalized] will stand up, just to see how many people he is affecting." The Bills are on pace to set the NFL record for accepted penalties in a season.

Chris Mack, Wedding Crasher
Men's College Basketball 

The Xavier basketball coach and his family surprised a superfan on his wedding day by attending the reception. Bride was 'psyched'

Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports
Men's College Basketball 

Sheil Kapadia ESPN Writer 

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) is making progress, but they won't know his status until the end of the week. Sounds like it could be a game-time decision against the Bengals on Sunday.

TrueHoop TV: Kobe the 93rd best player?

If a player's most important ability is availability, Baxter Holmes says no one can reasonably rank Kobe Bryant too highly after three consecutive season-ending injuries.


Coley Harvey ESPN Staff Writer 

Russell Wilson, on conference call with Bengals media, says he's looking forward to coming to Cincinnati. He was born at Christ Hospital here although he moved away at a young age. "Looking forward to having some White Castle and Skyline Chili."

Johnson: Eagles O-line is 'sinking the ship'

OL Lane Johnson identified his own unit as one of the reasons the Eagles are 1-3. WR Jordan Matthews also said: "Every game’s like a playoff game."


'What were you, on SnapFace there?'

Bill Belichick will notice if a reporter is paying a little too much attention to his or her phone. And he did so today using one of his favorite jokes.


Week 5 fantasy football RB ranks

Devonta Freeman is a near-universal pick as a top-5 RB to start this week. RB ranks

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Kobe comes in at No. 93 in NBA Rank

The project asks, "Which player will be better in 2015-16?" from both a quality and quantity standpoint. Kobe ranked 260th in Wins Above Replacement last season. Players ranked 91-100


David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

Tonight's lineups are certainly, umm, interesting. The Cubs are playing Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber in the outfield ... in order to get Tommy La Stella's bat at 3B. But La Stella has played just 81 innings at third in his pro career, Bryant has started just 10 games in the outfield and Schwarber has played just 14 innings in RF. The Pirates have benched Pedro Alvarez to get the better glove in Sean Rodriguez at 1B.

These teams have their priorities in order

Some players on these "Mighty Mites" teams stopped what they were doing to dance when "Watch Me Whip" came on -- while the rest of their teammates continued to play. Watch them 'Whip'

Laure Farrell

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs choosing offense over defense with Tommy La Stella at 3rd and Kris Bryant in LF. Very few starts for either at those positions. La Stella batting 5th. They believe he'll make good contact against Gerrit Cole.

Olney: Cubs, Pirates are best two teams

Buster Olney on the NL wild-card game: "It’s going to be a shame that one of these two team’s season is going to end tonight, but it adds to the drama of this game."


Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers when asked if he could go all year without an interception: "It's Week 5. That's a tough one to answer. I don't know if it's possible. I don't think it is, but I enjoy the streak."