3 Stories: NFL Combine Ban, Welcoming Atlanta United, Shorts On The Links

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Joe Mixon will not participate in this year's NFL combine due to a new rule. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Joe Mixon will not participate in this year's NFL combine. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The NFL Scouting Combine is underway. This year, some players were not allowed to participate because of an NFL rule established last year. That story and more on this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know."

Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal and Will Leitch of Sports on Earth joined Bill Littlefield.

1. No Mixon At Combine

The 2017 NFL combine is underway, but Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly will not be participating. That's because of an NFL rule established in 2016 that bars players who have committed certain crimes. Is the NFL starting to take domestic violence more seriously? Or is this a PR move? Bill Littlefield thinks the latter.

On the surface, it sounds as if the NFL is coming down hard on those aspiring pros. But a lot of players get drafted and play in the NFL without ever having attended the combine. Joe Mixon is likely to fall into that category this time around. He's a guy who was videotaped punching a woman so hard that he broke several bones in her face, so he wasn't invited to the combine.

2. Atlanta United Debut

Atlanta United makes its MLS debut on Sunday when it hosts the New York Red Bulls at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. Although the team has yet to play a match, Atlanta United has already sold 30,000 season tickets, a new MLS record for an expansion team. Will Leitch wonders how long it will last.

Now they have to play actual games. Right now, it feels like a movement, you're excited. But the problem with sports teams is they usually make you unhappy more than they make you happy. Eventually they get to start annoying us like every other team does. "Why does he keep starting that guy? How did they lose that game? Why was he making that move?" — all the things that we complain about sports teams all the time.

3. PGA Practice Shorts

Professional golfers can now let their legs breathe because the PGA announced this week that players will be allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds at the PGA Championship. (Golfers will still have to wear pants during the rounds that count.) Jason Gay calls it a seismic moment.

This is a sport full of fuddy duds. I love golf. It makes me as crazy as anybody else, but, listen, this is a pro sport that is incredibly conservative. And I think they are just terrified at the idea of looking out there one day and seeing Phil Mickelson's bare calves in the middle of a fairway.

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This segment aired on March 4, 2017.


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