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Former NFL Players Sue League for Pushing Drugs

Eight former National Football League players have filed a class-action suit against the NFL for illegally pumping them full of painkillers and other drugs to keep them playing. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on May 20, 2014 - 52 comments

"Count me in with Buffalo"

Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills since 1959, has passed away at the age of 95. Wilson was the last of the eight AFL team owners known as the "Foolish Club," and is notable for his continued support of other small market teams, including voting against moving the Cleveland Browns in 1995 (one of only two to do so), and subsequently hosting a Browns Day in Buffalo. He saved the Oakland Raiders from bankruptcy, and insisted that the AFL postpone their games the day after JFK's assassination. As positive memories were shared on twitter from around the league, Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, has left a light on in his honor.
posted by troika on Mar 25, 2014 - 29 comments

There were difficulties.

"This project started with my dad on Thanksgiving. He was reminiscing about Doug Williams, who in 1988 became the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. All these years later, he was still proud of Williams, whose name to some may be that of a half-remembered player from the past but to millions of others remains a powerful symbol of progress. It stayed with me, and it seemed that it was worth telling the story not just of Williams, but of everyone—of all those generations of players who struggled so that Russell Wilson could be, simply, a good young quarterback." Deadspin's The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks.
posted by davidjmcgee on Feb 6, 2014 - 16 comments

Not only does Lorenzen play, he DOMINATES

Jared Lorenzen briefly played backup quarterback in the NFL and became famous for his unusual size (for a quarterback). When videos of him dominating minor league arena football recently appeared online, SBNation tracked his entire fascinating post-NFL history in Jared Lorenzen: 300+ pound QB, American folk hero.
posted by mathowie on Feb 4, 2014 - 52 comments

NYC events this weekend inc.: Lunar New Year, concerts, football game.

NFL holds Super Bowl in NYC; NYC unimpressed. While the stadium is technically in New Jersey, it is considered equally if not primarily a New York stadium, and the NFL turned Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GMC. Visitors can kick a football, watch television, ride a toboggan, shop, enjoy a free slice of Papa John's pizza, play XBox, take a photo with the oversized Roman numerals 'XLVIII', use relevant Twitter hashtags, and more. It is not decadent and depraved, though Vice and Gothamist would tend to disagree. The Times discusses less vehement disapproval and disappointment, while Business Insider wishes ill upon the city. Ticket sales are faltering relative to recent years, with the new mayor among those skipping out.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jan 31, 2014 - 104 comments

Breaking Madden

This NFL season, Jon Bois has been on a weekly mission to turn Madden 25 from a reasonably accurate video game simulation of football into strange and wonderful things using only the character editor and rules options already present in the game. He's created BEEFTANK, an unstoppable 400 pound quarterback/bowling ball. He turned off the offsides rule in a quest for 60 fumbles. He demonstrated to us all that Pat McAfee is the Destroyer of Worlds. He's proven that you can NEVER count out Touchdown Tom. Today, he ended the season with a Super Bowl for the ages. In short, he has Broken Madden. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Copronymus on Jan 30, 2014 - 86 comments

THE GHOST IS NEAR

With another week to go before the Superbowl, tide yourself over with a brand-spankin'-new NFL Bad Lip Reading Video! (Previously, previously.)
posted by Navelgazer on Jan 25, 2014 - 16 comments

A tale of taking other people's land by force

A Guide To American Football. [2:48 Video] Superbowl Sunday is fast approaching. If you do not know the rules of American Football, here is a chance to learn.
posted by cashman on Jan 22, 2014 - 161 comments

The Book of Tebow

Just as anything you said about Tebow was right, anything you said was wrong. And probably offensive to someone. To many Christians he was a hero, a paragon of virtue in an age of great sin, and this feeling complicated any rational measurement of his quarterbacking talent. Tebow has accepted a role as an NCAA football analyst and shown promise. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 11, 2014 - 104 comments

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot

"Hello. My name is Chris Kluwe, and for eight years I was the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. In May 2013, the Vikings released me from the team. At the time, quite a few people asked me if I thought it was because of my recent activism for same-sex marriage rights, and I was very careful in how I answered the question." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 2, 2014 - 247 comments

Monday Morning Robocoach

Watching one of the exciting snow-bound football games yesterday, the thought may have occurred to you: If I was a coach, would I go for it on this 4th down? This bot from the New York Times will tell you, and maybe even add a little attitude to the answer, which is usually much more aggressive than NFL coaches.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 9, 2013 - 74 comments

NFL on Fox's Sunday Symphony

SBNation, YouTube's independent sports network, presents "Sunday Symphony: How the NFL's most advanced game broadcast is made." "An exclusive, all access look at the people, technology, and highly organized chaos that results in the NFL's most advanced game broadcast."
posted by ob1quixote on Nov 28, 2013 - 16 comments

Look at that guy with the typewriter on the Eagles' bench!

The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 20, 2013 - 52 comments

When Logos Go Wrong

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth discusses poorly designed sports team logos throughout history.
posted by reenum on Nov 6, 2013 - 55 comments

Frontline's "League of Denial:The NFL'S Concussion Crisis" Airs

The much-anticipated Frontline documentary "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" premiered on PBS last week. In August, ESPN pulled out of the project, reportedly due to pressure from the NFL (as previously discussed on MetaFilter here), while the NFL itself only days later announced a $765m settlement with over 4500 former players for claims of concussion-related disability. Reaction to the Frontline program was unsurprisingly mixed from factions involved with the issue, but generally well-received by journalists and TV critics. [more inside]
posted by briank on Oct 14, 2013 - 128 comments

Native peoples have fought these mascots since 1963

There has long been protest about the name of Washington's NFL team - the "Redskins". In September, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell changed his stance from supporting the name, to saying "if one person is offended, we have to listen." Then last week the President of the United States sided with changing the team's name. Shortly afterward, the NFL agreed to have representatives meet with the Oneida Nation about the name in the next month. Then yesterday Washington team owner Dan Snyder wrote a letter to fans and season ticket holders in an attempt to defend the name "Redskins". But one writer tells what Snyder essentially said with his letter. Amid an official campaign and groundswell of support for changing the name, Ray Harbritter of the Oneida Nation professed "This is not going to away this time" [more inside]
posted by cashman on Oct 10, 2013 - 209 comments

The sad story of Ricky Bell.

We all just scratched our heads and wondered, ‘Where's the Ricky Bell we all know?'" Ricky Bell, former USC Trojan and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was the number one pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1977 NFL draft, ahead of Tony Dorsett. But his injury-plagued career resulted in only one brilliant season , until he was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1982. Less than three years later, he was dead.
posted by MoonOrb on Sep 15, 2013 - 7 comments

Your Annual Fantasy Football Post

Fantasy football is back, and this year brings with it the rise of Fantasy Football Insurance. Marketplace explains. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 5, 2013 - 25 comments

The Gangster In The Huddle

Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone investigates the life of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and the path he took from NFL player to murder suspect.
posted by reenum on Aug 28, 2013 - 32 comments

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

The New York Times is reporting that pressure from the NFL led ESPN to pull out of an investigative project with FRONTLINE regarding head injuries in American Football. The two-part investigative report and book will reveal how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. ESPN has a $15.2 Billion deal with the NFL. (Football concussions previously: 1, 2, and 3)
posted by Public Policy on Aug 23, 2013 - 84 comments

Stop playing around with serious stuff like this

Since the Riley Cooper story broke last week, writer Khalid Salaam has "had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other" about how to react. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 5, 2013 - 267 comments

Reading This Is Optional

Offenses attack; defenses react. This is a truism, but it's a truism on which almost all sports strategy is built. In the NFL today, no tactic more pressingly requires a swift, strong reaction than the so-called "read-option." Defending the Read-Option sends coaches back to college. If the read-option is dead, the next great offensive strategy may also be one of the oldest, it was good enough to beat Sean Payton and a bevy of NFL coaches.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 27, 2013 - 57 comments

"Can you have it ready for this NFL season?"

The secret history of football's TV first down line.
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 19, 2013 - 28 comments

Enough

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Owner of the Washington Professional Football Team). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Jun 13, 2013 - 126 comments

The Orginal Dual Threat QB

Among the many quarterbacks taken in the fabled 1983 NFL draft was the first Division I-A quarterback to rush for more than 1,000 yards and pass for more than 1,000 yards in a single season. He was Reggie Collier, the player who could have--should have--revolutionized the NFL three decades ago. But he wasn't one of the six QBs drafted in the first round. He wasn't white, either. His name wasn't called until pick 162, when the Dallas Cowboys took a flyer on him as a wide receiver. See, this was 1983, and the NFL wasn't going to change right away for Reggie Collier. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on May 25, 2013 - 14 comments

Sportsfilter!

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft was held yesterday, leaving two of the most-talked-about players undrafted: QB Geno Smith and Linebacker Manti Te'o. [more inside]
posted by troika on Apr 26, 2013 - 56 comments

"(5) Pure evil from the 8th dimension (Man U)."

A NFL fan discovers the joys of proper football and explains why the English Premier League is so much more exciting.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 4, 2013 - 72 comments

"But they would ask you with a straight face."

It's the NFL Combine! Where NFL teams size up the year's top prospects; where sportscaster Rich Eisen runs the 40; and where at least one team wants to know, "Do you like girls?" [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Feb 27, 2013 - 38 comments

Who is Really America's Favorite Football Team?

Deadspin scrutinizes the Dallas Cowboys' claim of being "America's Team"
posted by Renoroc on Feb 1, 2013 - 49 comments

The Book of Coach

"For those who coached under Walsh, Finding the Winning Edge was a study of the genius beyond his playbook. For those who coached against him, it was a window into the mind of their nemesis." -- The Coaching Philosophy of Bill Walsh. The book is now out of print and even a used copy will cost you $1,249.99 on Amazon.
posted by MattMangels on Jan 29, 2013 - 10 comments

I want it NOW! I want cake NOWWWWW!

A Bad Lip Reading of the NFL (SLYT) Football knowledge not required.
posted by capnsue on Jan 18, 2013 - 30 comments

Fumbled Broadcasting

Which TV markets are condemned to watch the worst American football teams play? SLDeadspin
posted by Renoroc on Jan 9, 2013 - 35 comments

The sound you hear may be the world's smallest violin

"Las Vegas bookmakers make their money by balancing their risk, but sometimes they simply come out on the wrong side of too many bets." With the regular 2012 NFL season now over and the playoffs about to begin, please take a moment and shed a tear -- or more likely, raise your beer -- as you consider the terrible beating Las Vegas sports books absorbed in 2012. (LAT link, so potentially behind a paywall depending on your number of previous visits in last 30 days.) [more inside]
posted by mosk on Jan 2, 2013 - 30 comments

Let's Eliminate Sports Welfare

Let's Eliminate Sports Welfare
posted by no regrets, coyote on Dec 12, 2012 - 85 comments

NFL Thinking of Getting Rid of Kick Offs

The NFL is again thinking of getting rid of kick offs. Recently kickoffs were moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line in an effort to create more touch backs (and thus fewer returns of kicks) and reduce injuries. Now they're considering getting rid of kick offs altogether. [more inside]
posted by theichibun on Dec 6, 2012 - 84 comments

.

Alex Karras, N.F.L. Lineman and Actor, Dies at 77 [NYTimes] "Alex Karras was one of the National Football League‘s most feared defensive tackles throughout the 1960s, a player who hounded quarterbacks and bulled past opposing linemen. And yet, to many people he will always be known as an actor — the lovable father from the 1980s sitcom “Webster” or the big cowboy named Mongo who famously punched out a horse in “Blazing Saddles.”
posted by Fizz on Oct 10, 2012 - 59 comments

""It was sad to see the fans cheer for somebody getting hurt"

NFL Chiefs player Eric Winston rants (audio) against stadium fans who cheered when Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell was knocked out during game play. "We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum. This is a game."
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Oct 8, 2012 - 57 comments

Are they ready for some football?

The NFL has reached an agreement with the Referee Union (NFLRA), guaranteeing regular refs will be calling games starting tonight. League commissioner Roger Goodell has formally apologized. The agreement comes on the heels of a blown call this past Monday. How do we know the returning refs won't be rusty? Ed Hochuli, arguably the most famous ref, has been holding weekly conference calls. [more inside]
posted by troika on Sep 27, 2012 - 62 comments

Are you ready for some football? 'Cause the refs aren't.

Since June, the NFL has locked out its referees as their union and league management have failed to come to an agreement over a range of issues, most notably the future of the referees' pensions. In their absence, the league has resorted to using replacement refs to officiate games. The results have not been pretty. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Sep 20, 2012 - 196 comments

Always A Fire: A Short Documentary Film On Former New York Giant Chad Jones

The short documentary Always A Fire (vimeo) "details Chad's incredible rehabilitation and recovery from the horrific accident that nearly cost him his life. Comprised of intimate interviews with Chad and his trainers, as well as never-before-seen footage of his long road to recovery, the film provides an unflinching view of an elite athlete facing unimaginable tragedy and refusing to submit." [via mefi projects]
posted by the young rope-rider on Sep 8, 2012 - 11 comments

"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."

"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart." [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 7, 2012 - 17 comments

The man in your picture is almost unrecognizable

Former all pro NFL running back, 38 year old Priest Holmes feels that all NFL players suffer from the violence of the game, but believes running backs are at an increased risk if they average dozens of carries a game for years at a time. Holmes recalled how hits changed the color of the sky. Another former NFL running back, 32 year old Jamal Lewis talked about his memory losses and head trauma. Both men could encounter the cognitive decline lesser known former Chargers running back 45 year old Steve Hendrickson has experienced. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 8, 2012 - 68 comments

Future Football Stars: The NFL Is About To Destroy Your Life

The game that you fell in love with as a child will seem lost; a thump on the floorboard of your new Mercedes, swerved at high speeds to avoid a shadow in the night. The sights and sounds and smells of football, sensual memories that stir the passions in the soul, will be reconceived and recategorized, buried behind newer, odorless versions.

Former Bronco Nate Jackson offers wisdom on the trappings of stardom to two young draftees.
posted by swift on May 1, 2012 - 18 comments

NFL Bounties

Joe Posnanski asks why football fans aren't fazed by the news that the New Orleans Saints had a bounty pool to reward players who knocked opponents out of their games.
If pitchers were offered bounties to throw at Albert Pujols' head and knock him out for a series, that would be a scandal beyond anything in memory. If we found out that Dwyane Wade was actually offered extra money to hurt Kobe Bryant in the NBA All-Star Game, he and the people offering the bounty might be suspended for life. Hockey is a violent sport, but if a team of players and coached really had pooled together money to pay anyone who could get Sidney Crosby taken off on a stretcher, wouldn't that be one of the great disgraces in the sport's history? So what does it say about the NFL -- and what does it say about us as football fans -- that this would happen in pro football and there would be a vague, "Eh, everybody does it, everybody's trying to hurt everybody in football anyway" reaction from so many?
posted by benbenson on Mar 5, 2012 - 146 comments

Does Football have a future? Or, perhaps, should Football have a future?

Does Football have a Future?: Football players are anywhere from five to nineteen times more likely than a member of the general population to suffer from a dementia-like illness. This is likely a result of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (picture), neurodegeneration caused by receiving multiple concussions or even subconcussions that are not detectable around time of impact. CTE has been linked to other mood and behavior changes, including suicidal depression (a great review of the medical literature generally), and has been found in football players as young as 21. And, of course, there is the sometimes debilitating physical disability (either acutely or later in life) from playing a hard-contact sport. The NFL has a long history of adjusting safety standards in bits and pieces (e.g., legalization of the forward pass) to meet public concern over potential injury and disability from playing the sport, though still to some degree publicly denies a connection between football and brain damage. New Yorker writer Ben McGrath talks to football players (past and present), their families (often left behind by untimely death or dementia-twilight), franchise heads, and doctors to explore this history, the crushing legacy of sports injuries, and the question of whether it is possible to reform the rules to minimize the risk of concussion and thus the risk of CTE (if any such risk is acceptable). Would it still be football if such changes were to tone down the violence? (Yes, No [from iconoclast Buzz Bissinger]) And, uncomfortably: is the sport of football unethical for its players, even if entered into on their own volition? (previously in the New Yorker; previously on MetaFilter 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Keter on Feb 13, 2012 - 117 comments

Manningface

Peyton Manning is known as one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. He holds many NFL all time records and led his team to victory in Super Bowl XLI. Manning has lost significant playing time due to a serious neck injury and it is not clear if he will return to the Colts next season, or to football at all. If he does decide to return to the gridiron to try and win another championship (to catch up with his little brother on that score) there is no clear consensus on what team he could possibly end up joining. With that speculation in the mind of every NFL fan this offseason, artist David Rappoccio has begun to visualize what it might look like if Peyton joined your local team.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Feb 9, 2012 - 128 comments

The Secret Life of Sam Hurd

It just hasn't been a good month for the Chicago Bears. First they lost Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to injuries, and yesterday wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested in an undercover drug sting, after an investigation that began in July 2011.
posted by SisterHavana on Dec 16, 2011 - 60 comments

Are The Packers made of common stock?

The Green Bay Packers are not unique solely for being undefeated this season. The Financial Times' blog reports on the only publicly owned and essentially non-profit NFL team, the shares of which cannot appreciate, do not pay dividends or capital gains, are non-transferable, and cannot be concentrated in the hands of any single owner. Beginning today, the defending world champs opened their fifth common stock offering, with shares priced at $250.
posted by airing nerdy laundry on Dec 6, 2011 - 114 comments

Violence and Madness

"During my career, I kept my mouth shut. This now, speaking out, it’s about telling you my life. There’s no agenda, no vendetta. This is what football is really like." Kris Jenkins’s View of Life in the N.F.L. Trenches.
posted by cashman on Nov 22, 2011 - 82 comments

Just Win, Baby.

Al Davis, 1929 - 2011. The owner of the Oakland (Los Angeles, then Oakland again) Raiders was one of the most important figures in U.S. sports history, known as much for his cantankerous relationship with fellow owners and city leaders as his team's success on the field. Davis also hired the first black head coach of the modern era, the first Latino coach and the NFL's first female CEO. Moreover, the Raiders morphed into a worldwide brand as the team’s colors, swagger and anti-establishment ethos became linked with the hip-hop scene that was permeating South Central Los Angeles.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Oct 8, 2011 - 41 comments

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