This guide will show you the best sources for news, analysis, blogs, fantasy games, tickets, equipment and playing tips. For more in-depth sports coverage, see one of our sport-specific guides in the right hand menu.
The Web makes it easy to stay on top of the sports world’s most significant games, players and storylines. The top sports sites provide news, scores, stats and standings, plus analysis and commentary to provide perspective. There are also multimedia features like photos, audio, video and live game-trackers.
- For a local spin on the world of sports, newspapers still can’t be beat. Newspaper writers focus their attention on only a few teams and have a familiarity with them that national writers can’t match. Find newspapers using the Newspapers24.com directory, or check out the Pro Sports Daily, Sports Spyder and The Daily Fix below, which cull their favorite newspaper articles from across the country.
For large sports outlets …
offers the most user-friendly resource of news, scores, stats and multimedia. It also includes analysis and commentary from its online writers, ESPN: The Magazine
columnists and television analysts, though quite a bit of this content requires an ESPN Insider subscription
($39.95 a year). There is a good deal of video accompanying its stories, as well as a large number of podcasts
featuring expert analysis. Live sporting events are broadcast on ESPN360
, which is available only on select ISPs.
is the online home of Sports Illustrated magazine, which has been providing insightful sports commentary for over 50 years. The site features online-only analysis and commentary from a large collection of experts. The Truths & Rumors
section links to the day’s breaking news stories from newspapers and rival Web sites, and can be customized to show reports by team or player. Articles from the current's weeks magazine
are also available online and an archive of magazine’s articles since its 1954 debut is available at the SI Vault
is the online home of Sporting News magazine
, founded in 1886 and once known as the "Bible of Baseball. It made-over its magazine and Web site in 2006, rebuilding the site by attracting many big-name columnists and creating The Sporting Blog
, a collection of popular sports bloggers. It also encourages its readers to register
and write their own blogs. Sports News Radio
broadcasts 24 hours a day; online users can listen live or download podcasts from earlier shows.
offers news and commentary from its own writers, as well as many newspaper writers. The Rumors
section collects rumors from papers across the country. It also has a very good Video section
, which allows visitors to watch streaming video from FOXSports news and other FSN shows.
is, along with ESPN, the most visited sports site on the Web. It news and commentary is adequate, but it is the stats and fantasy sections were Yahoo stands out. Its Rumors section
does a good job gathering news stories, though many of them aren’t rumors. Its Video section
is strong and it also features live video and radio
coverage of college games.
covers the American sports scenes, with particularly good coverage of sports broadcast on the CBS network. This includes NFL and SEC football, college basketball, and golf, especially the Masters Tournament.
For college sports ...
covers college sports, specifically football and basketball recruiting. It is most-known for its star ranking of recruits, and, although the art of ranking high school players has proven to be unreliable, it hasn’t stopped fans on Rivals’ network of message boards
from getting excited over the 5-star quarterback coming to their campus. Users can browse player profiles, which include biographical information, forty time, GPA, and a list of colleges he’s considering. Rivals subscribers have access to articles and video.
is similar to Rivals, but it also includes professional teams. College recruiting and professional drafts are covered in-depth and each team or school has its own page with news and commentary. There are also high school pages, divided by state, which discuss local players and where they are going to college. A Scout subscription is required to access all the recruiting information, but there is more free content on Scout than on Rivals.
For news aggregators ...
Pro Sports Daily
is a centralized source for sports stories from media outlets around the country. Articles are selected to reflect local perspectives, so you won’t have to settle for generic Associated Press stories.
works similarly to Pro Sports Daily, but it also allows you to register and customize the news stories you receive based on team, news source, and players.
The Daily Fix
is a blog from the Wall Street Journal that links to articles covering some of the most significant sports stories of the day.
Sports blogs offer you a unique, unabridged perspective on players, teams and games. Well-written sports blogs not only offer quality analysis, but often provide humorous commentary on the often absurd world of professional sports.
- Use blogrolls, a list of links to recommended blogs usually located in a side menu, to find other blogs covering similar topics.
- Many mainstream writers have their own blog, which are usually just snippets of their usual writing that were too short to form a whole article. These can be found on the same site as their usual articles. There are other mainstream writers who have blogs that are seperate from the usual work, the best of which are listed below.
For blog networks ...
AOL Sports’ FanHouse
brings together blog writers from across the country to write about their favorite sports and teams. It can be navigated by going to the league-specific FanHouse on the left-hand menu; there you can read the latest blog posts about the league or use the left-hand menu to go to a team-specific FanHouse.
Sports Blog Nation
is a network of team blogs from MLB, NBA, NFL, colleges and assorted blogs in sports like hockey, soccer, fighting and cycling.
The Most Valuable Network
is the oldest network of sports blogs, featuring team blogs from MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and other sports. Most blogs feature a collection of writers, whose profiles are listed on the right-hand side of the page. You can also find links to their favorite blogs by clicking “Friends.” There is also a weekly podcast, the MVN Outsider
, which brings together bloggers from different teams and sports.
For independent blogs ...
is a snarky, widely-read sports blog that is considered the standard by which other humor sports blogs are measured. Creator Will Leitch is widely regarded as the most influential
sports writer outside of the mainstream media, though he chose to leave Deadspin
in June 2008.
The Big Lead
blends game analysis with humor about off-field shenanigans. It is very critical of ESPN, which may have been the reason for ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd to famously order his listeners to “blow it up
.” It also features interviews with mainstream media writers, which is rare for most blogs. The most notable interview was of Kansas City Star and FOX Sports writer Jason Whitlock
The Starting Five
was started by two former Black Sports Network
writers who “intend to cause a ruckus in the most honorable way.” It primarily covers basketball, but the blog is best known for its honest and often-controversial discussions of Black athletes and society. It features an impressive archive of interviews
of athletes, coaches, writers and others that include Chris Paul, John Chaney, Scoop Jackson, Jason Whitlock and Chuck D.
covers the coverage of sports, analyzing the work of announcers, radio hosts, and mainstream media writers. Recurring segments include live-blogs of Monday Night Football and other big games, and the Pam Ward Chronicles, honoring the most bizarre quotes from announcers.
is a popular blog written by Kissing Suzy Kolber
writer and Deadspin contributor Matt Ufford, that mocks the world of sports with a biting cynicism and low-brow humor. Be aware that much of the content, especially the pictures and ads, are not appropriate for work.
For mainstream media blogs ...
is a columnist for the Kansas City Star
who has twice been named America’s best columnist by the AP. His blog allows him the space to express his thoughts on a wide range of subjects and his posts often include long tangents that would never be seen in a newspaper.
is a former ESPN writer, where he wrote The Daily Quickie
. His blog is similar to The Quickie, a daily primer on the world of sports, giving all the day’s most important games, players, teams, and topics. The blog format allows him to expand his thoughts more than he could at ESPN. His archive is organized by date, and there are links to his columns on Deadspin, New York Times Sports Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.
complements Paul Lukas’ UniWatch column on ESPN. In it, Lukas examines sports uniforms in minute detail, picking out subtle changes, mistakes by equipment managers and ways the players are wearing their socks. He also has news on when new jerseys are coming out and includes pictures as soon as they are available. Much of the content in the blog, including the contributions of eagle-eyed users, is later used in his ESPN article.
Sports Biz with Darren Rovell
looks at the business side of sports, including player contracts, off-field endorsements, team finances, television deals, and more. There is a new entry or two every weekday, and there are links to video Rovell’s appearances on CNBC.
If you catch yourself muttering, "Man, they should have traded that bum ages ago!" all too frequently, you may be well suited for the world of fantasy sports. In a fantasy game, you, the manager, draft, trade, and sign players for your team and compete with other teams based on your players' real-world statistics.
- When signing up for fantasy sports you have a number of options. You can choose to create leagues from scratch and limit entry to friends of your choice, join pay leagues for advanced features and functionality, join public leagues, join pay leagues and compete for cash prizes, and more.
- Sports simulation games work differently from a typical fantasy game in that they depend entirely on how a player has performed and not how his is going to perform.
- The official Web sites of professional leagues often offer fantasy games, though they usually lack the depth and sophistication of fantasy-specific sites.
For general fantasy pages …
Yahoo has one of the oldest free fantasy sports services around. The site offers games for professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, and NASCAR. Yahoo! continues to be a fantasy leader because its service is easy to use, and gives players freedom to really customize the structure of their league, so that season after season the games will seem fresh and interesting.
offers a slightly larger variety of fantasy games than Yahoo!, which is where its service excels. In addition to offering fantasy games for baseball, basketball, football, and hockey fans, soccer fans have the option of joining or creating fantasy leagues based on the British Premiership, La Liga, or Mexican Soccer. Other games include arena football, poker, fishing, and stock car racing.
has both free and fee fantasy games for the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and golf. There are also links with fantasy-relevant news for each league.
offers fantasy games for baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf, car racing, and Major League Soccer. For most sports this site gives players the opportunity to join free leagues with the chance of winning cash prizes.
For fantasy sports research, analysis, and advice …
is a massive fantasy sports site that provides valuable player news for the MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, college football, and college basketball. News is arranged according to what's fantasy-relevant for each sport: for baseball, you can browse player news, read league headlines, check injury updates, monitor transactions, and review contracts and depth charts.
For simulation games ...
What if Sports
lets you create a team of all-time players and complete a simulated season against teams created by other users for $9.95. It is available for MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and college basketball and football. You can also choose to simulate a game between two teams from any era and see the box score and play-by-play.
Buying tickets to sporting events online is quick, convenient, and safe. This means no more lines at the box office or drawn-out calls to ticketing agencies. This section contains links to the most trustworthy online ticket brokers.
- Ticketmaster is the official ticket provider for the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL. If you wish to buy directly from a team or league site, you'll end up paying exorbitant Ticketmaster fees.
- The ticket prices for individual events can vary greatly from site to site, so shop around before making any buys.
- Because most tickets are nonrefundable, there's a vibrant market for ticket resale. Many teams have begun operating their own resale marketplaces. Check their individual Web sites for official team ticketing resources.
- If you absolutely must have tickets to a sold-out event, online ticket brokers can be a useful, if expensive, option. However, it's important to be aware that not all ticket brokers are operating legally; we've included some of the most trustworthy in our picks below.
auctions are a great way to buy tickets. For any given team or event, you can usually find a bunch of sellers willing to cut great deals to prospective buyers. Although you're buying from unknown sources, eBay has great buyer protection. Always gauge the seller's credibility by checking their reputation score.
lets visitors buy or sell tickets for all mainstream professional sporting events, as well as tickets to bodybuilding and equestrian events, fights, horse races, lacrosse games, motorsports and rodeo events, and wrestling matches.
is a nicely designed and user-friendly site. The graphic links to different sports are a nice touch. Ticketbox USA sells tickets for a smaller variety of events than Stubhub, but offers consistently competitive prices.
allows you to find tickets by browsing through different sporting and hot events categories, and by searching for tickets by event name or location. Tickets are available for a large range of amateur and professional sporting events. BuySellTix also makes it easy to post tickets you wish to sell in the general pool.
offers tickets to most major sporting events. Large detailed seating charts accompany ticket listings so you know exactly what you're paying for. Quick-reference tabs above the seating chart make it easy to check the local weather, find restaurants, and get directions to the specific venue.
offers tickets to a host of events, all with a 100 percent Buyer Guarantee, which can give the reluctant Internet ticket-buyer peace of mind in this scam-heavy market. The "Quick Browse" bar lets you search for tickets by date and location. RazorGator also has a "Fan2Fan" section where you can put your tickets up for sale.
If you mistakenly thought that The Bad News Bears was a documentary about your team, you
could probably benefit from what the Web has to offer. These sites provide playing advice, drills, strategy and other tips for improving as a coach or player.
- Most sites use some combination of text-based tutorials, diagrams, animations, and videos to outline plays, formations, and drills for various sports.
For coaches ...
My Coach Online
makes a wealth of coaching information for a broad range of sports available free of charge. What's great about MCO is that the tutorials are primarily video-based, so you can easily acquire a solid understanding of the points each coach is trying to communicate. There are varying degrees of membership and free video trials though complete access to all videos requires a paid membership.
has tips, drill and play descriptions, and other introductory coaching advice for baseball, basketball, tennis, football, golf and soccer.
For players ...
features a selection of instructional videos from site-approved experts. The videos aren’t well-organized, so the best way to find the sport that you’re looking for is to use the search box in the upper right-hand corner.
features a collection of tips for a good number of sports, with more sports to be added soon. The tips cover practicing, playing in games, choosing equipment and other important issues.
If you're not sponsored or haven't signed that prestigious endorsement deal yet, you'll need to buy your own equipment. So whether you want to train like a pro, look like a pro or (less likely) play like a pro, you can use the following sites to get geared up.
- The online versions of your favorite stores often stock a significantly larger variety of goods than their physical counterparts. Since many offer options for free shipping, shopping for sports equipment on the Web can be both time- and cost-efficient.
- To buy official team apparel, consider checking out the "shop" areas on the appropriate team or league Web sites.
Dick's Sporting Goods
sells a wide range of equipment and apparel for sports and outdoor activities. Gear is categorized by activity type (exercise, team sports, action sports, winter sports, etc.) and ordered in a series of topics and subtopics. If you're having trouble locating something, try searching for it using the search bar at the top of the page.
carries sports footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories for a variety of high school sports. The "Outlet" area has consistently great deals on marked-down footwear and gear; be sure to give it a look.
has a great selection. Not only do they sell gear for a long list of sports and activities, the range of products per sport is pretty extensive. Whether you're looking to outfit a team, league, or playing field with essential equipment or are just buying an individual item for yourself, you can probably find what you need here.
is a sports warehouse that's geared more toward outfitting teams and programs than individuals. For instance, a newly founded track team could buy hurdles, starting blocks, pole vaults, jump equipment, and uniforms. But don't expect to find a pair of running shoes. They have equipment departments for baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling.
CBS Sports Store
stocks official NBA, MLB, NFL, and NCAA apparel, in addition to sports apparel and equipment for a long list of other sports and activities. The range of products supplied varies greatly by sport. For instance, someone looking for tennis gear will find a variety of items, including rackets, training videos, string machines, and bags. However, a look in the "Climbing" section reveals only DVDs and electronic gadgets.
Modell's Sporting Goods
claims to be the oldest family-owned sports store in the United States. On their site you'll find a wealth of sports gear and equipment. Modell's also carries a large selection of home fitness equipment and accessories such as home gym machines, videos, weights and yoga accessories.
As the focal point of a game room, a historical artifact, a piece of art, or a souvenir to mark a memorable season or moment, sports memorabilia can have great significance to its buyers. This section links to the most trustworthy memorabilia sites, so you can be sure that you're buying an authentic item.
- There has been a lot of concern in recent years about rampant fraud in the online sports memorabilia business. Auction sites like eBay have made it increasingly easy for people to pass off fake items as the real thing. A 2006 story by Armen Keteyian for Hall of Fame Magazine details the problem.
- Take great care when buying memorabilia online to verify the credibility of your sources. Always evaluate their authenticity policies, and if there's ever a question, attempt to learn more by researching the company or distributor.
- Official league and team Web sites have shops (and, in many cases, auctions) where you can find authentic memorabilia. Links to such pages can be found in the navigation bars on the respective league's homepage. For more information on league sites, check the "Finding Player, Team and League Information" section in this guide.
- The major online price guides have features that, for a fee, allow you to catalog your collection online and update its value automatically.
For memorabilia …
has memorabilia for a wide range of popular sports including baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, NCAA, NASCAR, boxing, golf, soccer, tennis, and wrestling. To ensure the authenticity of their merchandise they've partnered with a number of the country's most respected memorabilia companies, and employ a four-step authentication process (witness, affidavit, hologram, certificate).
is a leading producer of authentic, autographed sports memorabilia. They have collectibles spanning all the major sports, and offer unfailing guarantees on quality and authenticity, with a strict verification policy. In addition to providing historical merchandise, they have exclusive autograph deals with some of the top professional athletes around.
The Upper Deck Store
has trading cards and memorabilia for baseball, basketball, football, golf, and hockey. Firefox users should beware that you may have trouble connecting securely.
is one of the nation's largest business-to-business suppliers of retail sports memorabilia.
For price guides …
contains message boards, a memorabilia marketplace and a trading card grading service. But Beckett’s bread and butter is their price guides. For $4.99 a month per sport, users can subscribe to Beckett's online service and get total access to Beckett's valuable pricing information. Individual guides can also be purchased in print.
magazine is an all-sport price guide containing columns and feature stories in addition to pricing information for baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf, and auto racing cards.
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