Last night on Monday Night Football, the Baltimore Ravens and The Cleveland Browns (both with terrible records and disappointing seasons) battled it out to stay out of the bottom of the AFC North rankings. The Browns seemed to have the game in the bag, as a series of Baltimore mistakes placed them within field goal range and a victory. However, the kick was blocked (a rarity in the NFL) and then returned for a touchdown (even rarer) for a 0 second win by The Ravens. Browns fans were upset (NWS: cursing). The media exposure of this unlikely series of events has caused renewed interest in a list that a fan compiled in October of this year: Every Browns Loss Since 1999, Ranked.
The arrogance of Roger Goodell — Dan Wetzel on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's humiliating legal defeat resulting from the Deflategate scandal. [more inside]
On Tuesday, it emerged that New York Jets' starting quarterback Geno Smith would be out for 6-10 weeks after having his jaw broken by a locker room punch from now-former teammate IK Enemkpali over a $600 airline ticket, leading to possible assault charges. With Smith out, the Jets will start backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. In what some are calling a curse, this is the sixth team for which Fizpatrick will be subbing in for an injured starter. Meanwhile, Enemkpali has been picked up by the division rival Buffalo Bills. And since we're talking AFC East, here's a fantastic courtroom sketch of Tom Brady.
From That Guy On Your Fantasy Football Team, With Love — Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas writes for The Players' Tribune about the pros and cons of being a prominent fantasy football asset
How much is a brain worth to the NFL? FRONTLINE reporter Jason Breslow hosts a three minute video on the latest development between the NFL and former players. What's the monetary value of a human brain in this context? [more inside]
Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.
[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
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]
"NFL teams stepped easily into the creepy patriarch role. Today, they enforce expectations for the way their cheerleaders look (according to the suit, the Jills’ guidebook mandates everything from the cheerleaders’ nail polish color to how they clean their vaginas) while rewarding them, not with money, but with the supposed prestige of appearing as one of their city’s most desirable women."Amanda Hess for Slate writes about the cheerleader revolt against low pay and humiliating working conditions. (previously) [more inside]
"The old stereotype of cheerleaders as bimbos has also worked in the NFL’s favor. NFL cheerleading is such an obviously raw deal, some might assume that women must be stupid to agree to it. (Tell that to Dr. Monica Williams, who cheered for the Tennessee Titans while fulfilling a research fellowship at Vanderbilt.) That’s not a stigma that, say, coal miners fighting against unfair working conditions have to overcome to get what they’re owed."
American Football, the quintessential emo/math-rock band of the 90's, has announced their first two shows in 15 years. [more inside]
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.
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.
UK comedian Anthony Richardson proudly presents British running commentary of American sports. First, the one referred to as American "football" but more accurately described here as "robot rugby league". For further amusement, there's "base-ball", which is a bit like cricket except with a glove that makes everything easier. (via kottke.org)
The new College Football Playoff's selection committee has been officially unveiled, and it includes revered coaches, revered players (and fathers of revered players), a three-star general and even a college professor you may have heard of. [more inside]
A NFL fan discovers the joys of proper football and explains why the English Premier League is so much more exciting.
Tim Rogers reviews American Football for Kotaku.
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]
What it's like trying to crack into the National Football League.
Terrell Owens's Darkest Days:
'Since signing with the Allen Wranglers, Terrell Owens hasn't exactly been excited to talk to reporters. Back in his Philadelphia days, in the prime of his career, he used to hold press conferences all the time, sometimes in his own driveway. He couldn't wait to be on camera. He would tell reporters what questions to ask. He never shied away from a microphone: not in a locker room, not in a studio, and certainly not on his own reality show. But now that he's been relegated to the lowest rung of professional football, with no team in the NFL even interested in watching him work out, Owens hasn't been so loquacious.[more inside]
We Simulated The NFL White Vs. Black Race Bowl On Madden So You Don’t Have To "Earlier this week, reader Dustin asked who would win between an all-white NFL All-Pro team and an all-black NFL All-Pro team. Mind you, this question was asked without ANY ROOTING INTEREST, and without any hint of RAYCESSNESS. Are we clear on that? Good. BECAUSE WE TOTALLY SIMULATED THAT RACE WAR ON MADDEN TO SEE WHO WOULD WIN." [more inside]
American football player John Mackey has died at 69. Mackey, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for the Baltimore Colts in their victory in 1971's Super Bowl V, suffered from dementia. His wife Sylvia petitioned the NFL to create the 88 Plan, a program that pays for health care for NFL veterans with dementia. By 2007, Mackey, then 65, could not recognize former teammate Ralph Wenzel or distinguish coffee from soup. When the 88 Plan (so-named after Mackey's jersey number) was implemented in 2006, the NFL maintained that the plan, and the 97 players who then qualified for its assistance, "doesn't imply any link between football and brain damage". [more inside]
With the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl Shuffle rapidly approaching, perhaps the time has come to take a look at its inimitable legacy - one of state-of-the-art video editing, fluid rhymes, stunning choreography and brain-breaking pastels. Will either sports or music ever reach these dizzying heights again? Hopefully not. [MLYT]
"One might be tempted to say that the LFL is a startling critique of the homoerotic undertones that are rife within men’s American Football. Indeed American Football’s hyper-masculine qualities, its predilection for tight trousers, bottom patting and suggestive positional names (‘tight end’) have long made it an easy target for artists, theorists, critics, or anyone who is not American. Yet while to claim such satirical depths for the LFL would be disingenuous, what the LFL does achieve is equally subversive." Highbrow British art magazine Frieze discovers the Lingerie Football League. Warning: pictures on both links are NSFW.
(American) Football trick play video roundup: the Statue of Liberty, Fumblerooski (2), the Puntarooski, the Hook and Lateral (2), the Flea Flicker (2), the End Around (2), the Double Pass, the Fake Punt (2) (3), the Fake Field Goal (2) (3), Fake Field Goal/Fake Punt, the Swinging Gate, and the Bouquet Toss. [more inside]
The Ripples From Little Lake Nellie — "Four months after Cleveland Indian pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin died in a boating accident, their families and friends are coming to grips with the grief that still washes over them" [more inside]
Through alcohol and vicodin addicition, trauma, grief, and loss, Brett Favre has thrown the ball for the largest muncipally-owned professional sports team in the United States. After reinventing himself several times over, and leading his team to an improbable string of wins and accomplishments a year after almost retiring, he is Sport's Illustrated's sportsman of the year.
American Football. A montage of rousing moments of football action, a heartfelt soundtrack, and gratuitous special effects combine to produce a surrealistic portrayal of America's greatest sport. Discovery sequence: Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold, Best soccer goals FIFA, Ronaldinho vs Zidane, hockey.
'The Helmet Project web site is an attempt by its creator, a completely amateur graphic artist and a long-time fan of football at all levels, to create and maintain an on-line "catalog" or "atlas" of uniform-sized, accurate, and up-to-date images representing the football helmets worn by college football teams and teams from a few professional leagues in the United States and Canada.'
There's lots of controversy about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. [more inside]
Vikings' Stringer dead after being stricken with heat stroke. For much of Monday and Tuesday just about every Twin Cities media outlet was warning people to stay inside and take it easy. The Vikings decided to go ahead with their summer training anyway.
The players tried to take the field, but the marching band refused to yield. Sounds kinda like the plot of "Revenge of the Nerds", with the jocks led by Ogre and Ted McGinley's character taking on Booger, Poindexter and the rest of the Tri-Lambs. Can't the band and the jocks just get along?