"Demaryius Thomas has just sent his mother a picture of the most unlikely Super Bowl ticket of all, the one intended for her, and now Katina Smith has a few days to decide whether she's prepared to take it."
"The hurricane lives in a complicated place. Everyone's experience is both communal and personal, obvious and hidden. The memory of the death is everywhere, buried in shallow and temporary graves." (SL Longform ESPN)
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]
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)
"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.
Nico Calabria plays soccer and wrestles for Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts. He summitted Mount Kilimanjaro at 13 [Vimeo] as a fundraiser to provide wheelchairs to people in Tanzania, he does some parkour, and this week he's in a race to have the "Best of the Best" video on ESPN's SportsCenter for a goal he scored in a recent game. Calabria was born with one leg and uses carbon fiber crutches when he plays; he's a starting forward on the US Amputee National Team.
"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
The 49ers are back, but who's paying attention? Sitting on top of a weak NFC West, is the Niner's impressive rise going overlooked? [more inside]
Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities.
What if Michael Vick were white? The cover of the September issue of ESPN The Magazine features an image of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but another picture might end up getting more attention. [more inside]
ESPN commisions 32 posters for each of the participants in the upcoming tournement. In addition to the cool art, here's an interactive calender to help you plan your viewing courtesy of Spanish website Marca.com.
I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final. A series of short films produced by ESPN about players ranging from Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 to Italy's Marco Materazzi in 2006. [more inside]
A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story, and the story of the upset victory, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
At the insistence of Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, the FAA is apparently targeting a pilot who was hired this month by disgruntled fans to fly messages like "Hire a GM!" over the team's training camp. A "Mike Brown Step Down" banner was flown over games last season. Brown's futility (1 winning season in 18 years) in Cincinnati has spurred fans to pay thousands for billboards and distribute urinal cakes, while HBO's Hard Knocks series has recently shown insight into his cluelessness. [more inside]
On sunday, Rush Limbaugh commented that Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was overrated and was only seen favourably by the media because they want to see a black quarterback do well. McNabb responded, and earlier tonight Limbaugh resigned from his post on ESPN's pre-game show. N.D. Kalu, one of the Eagle's defensive ends, offered this choice quote: "He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
I like football as much as the next guy, but this has to be the lamest attempt at "sports humor" I've seen in a while.
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]