Fans look to sports expecting to see justice served. The best team wins, heroes claim their trophies. But those dreams often fall short of reality, where balls are deflated, fouls are faked, and performance-enhancing drugs aid the long ball. Every sport has its own problems with cheating, but which one has it worst? The Blade barbershop weighs in.

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NFL training camps will begin opening next week, and there still is no decision from the league on the appeal of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension.

The NFL dominates American culture, and there is rapt anticipation of the return of the 2015 season. This should be a news cycle filled with predictions of how teams will fare this season.

Instead, there is daily discussion and coverage of the Brady decision. Timing is everything, and the NFL appears to be on the verge of undercutting the excitement regarding training camps.

Everything about the Brady case is a negative for the NFL. Tom Brady has been a symbol of excellence, with nothing besmirching his popularity.

He led his team to a Super Bowl victory in February. The timing of the "Deflategate" announcements has been clumsy from its inception. The NFL released its big announcement concerning the case the Friday before Super Bowl week.

The big topic as teams arrived earlier this year in Phoenix was not the championship game itself, but "Deflategate."

There was a visceral public anger over the thought that NFL games might not be played on an even playing field. The only thing that can undo the popularity of professional sports is a lack of public trust -- a collective understanding that the games are not rigged like professional wrestling, but are played with identical equipment and rules applied to each team.

It is coaching and player effort that determines each outcome, not unequal treatment or equipment.

Now the NFL and its commissioner are faced with a no-win outcome. They are locked in a fight with arguably the league's most popular player. Brady wants complete vindication. He has threatened to sue the league if that is not the outcome. He also has the support of Patriots owner Bob Kraft -- one of the league's most powerful of owners, widely respected and close to Roger Goodell.

On the other hand, there are reportedly owners pressuring Goodell to uphold the four-game suspension. Part of the public and the fan base want the suspension upheld, to see justice served.

Last season, the NFL had the specter of the Ray Rice situation dominating news at the beginning of the season. The public was outraged.

But they seemed to bifurcate and compartmentalize their reaction. Fans went to NFL games and watched television broadcasts in record numbers despite their stated disappointment and anger.

It is likely that fan and public reaction will be similar this time. The NFL popularity seems bullet-proof, but there must be a better way to manage crisis.

Veteran NFL defensive back Bernard Pollard invented and patented an organizing tray to prevent clutter in the bathroom. But not all athletes have such success when it comes to devising their own products. On this edition of The Rundown, we consider some of the more futile but memorable attempts.

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Ronda Rousey and Snoop Dogg have been two of the more recent participants, but the WWE, going back to when it was the WWF, has an extensive history of notable guest stars. The original WrestleMania in 1985 included Mr. T, Muhammad Ali and Liberace, and throughout the years, Pete Rose, Mike Tyson, Pamela Anderson and Lawrence Taylor are among those who have gotten involved at some level. On this edition of The Rundown, WWE executive (and occasional performer) Stephanie McMahon gives her picks for most memorable celebrity cameo.

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We asked ESPN analyst Jay Bilas which NBA rookies would have the biggest impact in the upcoming season, and what a stunner, the first guy he mentioned happens to be a Dukie:

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The backlash against giving kids sports trophies simply for showing up has been growing in recent years. But now it's more than just the grumbling of older generations who have a tough time embracing the all-about-self-esteem approach that much of youth sports takes these days. As the latest edition of HBO's Real Sports reports, research shows the mass awarding of trophies may actually be setting these kids up for failure.

Along with reporting this dynamic, Real Sports also revealed an intriguing economic angle within the growth of the trophy culture. With all these trophies to hand out, somebody can get rich just building and selling them. Scott Sletten, president of JDS Industries, told reporter Bernard Goldberg that when his parents founded the South Dakota company, sales ranged between $20,000 and $40,000 a year. Now JDS has annual sales in the $50 million range.

Here's a clip from the story that premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT:

Never accuse Charles Barkley of lacking in opinions.

During an appearance at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament, the NBA star-turned TNT broadcaster was quick to take a jab at LeBron -- not only over his appearance in a summer blockbuster, but also his disappointing finish in this year's NBA Finals.

James' Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors this summer after injuries devastated the team's roster, forcing James to work with a lineup mostly of role players.

Despite his own strong performance, he wasn't able to carry that depleted roster, falling to the Warriors in six games.

"LeBron should call (the movie "Trainwreck," featuring James as a prominent cast member) Trainwreck 2, because the Finals was Trainwreck 1," Barkley told Jim Kozimor on SportsTalk Live.

"Trainwreck," a movie produced by Judd Apatow and championed by writer-director Amy Schumer, features James playing a fictionalized version of himself -- and, as many critics have noted, he does a commendable job on the silver screen.

But the movie's favorable reception is only a consolation prize to the Cavaliers star, who admitted that even weeks after losing the NBA Finals, he continues to have trouble sleeping at night.

Barkley seems to think James is right to wonder what might have been.

"I still think if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had’ve been healthy, they would have won that series," Barkley said. "LeBron flat out ran out of gas."

"But you put two more All-Stars on that team, the Warriors still might have won but I would have picked the Cavs if everyone was healthy."

Barkley also responded to criticisms that he hates the Golden State Warriors. It's not the team or the players, he insists -- it's the way they play. And that style, he argues, it the reason he would pick a healthy Cavs team over the champion Warriors.

"I've been on television for 16 years, and I've said the exact same thing for 16 years: I'm not big on jump shooting teams," Barkley told Kozimir. "And the one year you guys have a terrific season, y'all took it personally."

The guys at the Blade Barbershop aren't big baseball fans. If you need more elaboration on that, just check out this clip. There are no Olympics this summer and the Women's World Cup is done. So what can non-baseball enthusiasts do to scratch their sports itch?

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Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. women's soccer team, is working with the Capital One Cup, a competition that honors the top Division I athletic programs each year. Foudy, a four-time All-American at Stanford, helped the U.S. win the 1999 World Cup plus two golds and a silver in the Olympics. She has been a commentator at ESPN since 2005.


ThePostGame: How's retirement been treating you?
JULIE FOUDY: It's been great. I've been retired for a while now so I'm getting pretty good at it.

TPG: What is your role right now with Capital One?
FOUDY: I am presenting the Capital One Cup to my alma mater, Stanford, for women's sports and to Virginia for men's. It's a great honor. It's my first time so I'm glad to be out here and presenting this award for Capital One. Stanford has been great this year whether that be for water polo, rowing, swimming, volleyball, etc. The same goes for Virginia.

TPG: Do you return to Palo Alto often?
FOUDY: Yes, I run a leadership camp there, so I'm up there quite a bit. It's great to walk around there and just think, "Oh, this is home." I love being up there.

TPG: Oregon has become an increasingly big rival to Stanford these days, who was the big rival when you were up there?
FOUDY: Definitely Cal. They were our biggest rivals when I was at Stanford. Santa Clara was the big rival for soccer, though.

TPG: How has being a parent changed the way you look at sports?
FOUDY: Well, I am hands-off now. With my kids and sports, I always think of my parents and how they helped me. I let them play for the love of the game and don't have to get too involved so it's great. My 6- and 8-year-old kids are already interested in all kinds of sports from soccer to lacrosse.

TPG: Recently a New York Times article came under fire for its comments on Serena Williams and body image. What are your thoughts on how the media handle body image in women's sports?
FOUDY: Yeah, it's interesting. I actually read the article and it was interesting to get different takes from all the different players. Serena's quotes were great. She kept saying, "I am powerful. I am strong. That's part of my game," because that's how her style of play is with the body she has. To be the best in the world you have to know what your body wants you to be.

TPG: With FIFA embroiled in scandal and the US winning the Women's World Cup, what do you think needs to happen for women's soccer to keep their momentum going forward? How do you see the landscape shaking out in the next few years?
FOUDY: I think the biggest challenge today is the women's pro league. Obviously women's soccer has gotten a ton of attention recently. But will that translate into ticket sales? For years people could only name a few women's team players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo. But now you have a ton in there like Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alyssa Naeher, Sydney Leroux. The list goes on.

TPG: Have you seen, in recent years, an overall rise in popularity for soccer from both genders in the United States?
FOUDY: Absolutely. I think one of the biggest parts about that is that it's not a question of gender in soccer in the U.S. We don't have the kinds of cultural restrictions that some other countries may have. So it's easy for soccer to become more popular.

TPG: You have a ton of experience in the media. Have you noticed a change in the way you are asked to cover women's sports over the years? Has there been a concerted effort for fair and balanced coverage?
FOUDY: Definitely. Especially with the World Cup. Before, they asked me to keep it more general: "The audience doesn't understand" kind of thing. But now you can take a much deeper dive. I can compare a 4-3-3 formation and a 3-4-3 formation and be fine. People understand the game, so there's no need to talk down to them.

TPG: Recently, you took home a golden blazer, how was that experience?
FOUDY: Dream come true. It was surreal. It was just a great experience. Two of my favorite people there, Roger Bennett and Michael Davos. Being honored, it was great. I love my blazer. I wear it to the grocery store, when I work out.

TPG: A while ago some friction occurred on Twitter between you and Hope Solo. Can you comment on Twitter and the open forum it has become today?
FOUDY: Well all I can say is never tweet without thinking and don't tweet while drinking. No…I think twitter is very important these days. It's a very powerful platform. For me, it's the first area I go to for news. So for media it's incredibly helpful.

TPG: Favorite sports movie of all time?
FOUDY: That's a good question. Does Tommy Boy count as a sports movie? No, I think my favorite one is the story about Immaculata. The Mighty Macs. I really liked that one.

While attending the inaugural Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards event Tuesday night in Los Angeles, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll offered an upbeat assessment of how contract talks are progressing between the team and quarterback Russell Wilson. Here's what Carroll had to say:

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San Diego Chargers fans still remember the greatness on display every time LaDainian Tomlinson touched the ball. LT's value has been even more apparent in the days since he left the franchise -- attempted heirs to his role as an offensive juggernaut have failed to fill his large shoes.

But without putting too much pressure on the unproven rookie-to-be, Tomlinson is optimistic that Melvin Gordon may be the backfield answer the Chargers have been looking for.

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