Zac Easter knew what was happening to him. He knew why. And he knew that it was only going to get worse. So he decided to write it all down—to let the world know what football had done to him, what he'd done to his body and his brain for the game he loved. And then he shot himself.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd and Claudio Ranieri, Silvia Neid were The Best in 2016, according to FIFA. [more inside]
From the outside, the NFL looks like one of the jewels of American capitalism. It remains the most profitable sports enterprise in the world, with $12 billion in revenue in 2015. But a closer look at the trend lines reveals that the NFL’s financial and cultural dominance may be at risk. In response, the NFL has initiated a campaign to secure the next generation of fans that is unprecedented in the history of professional athletics. [more inside]
On November 28, Chapecoense, a small club from Santa Catarina in Brazil was boarding a flight headed to Medellín, where they would face Atlético Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana (the CONMEBOL second-tier club trophy). A few hours later, the day ended in tragedy as the plane crashed on the mountains outside the host city, killing 76 of the 81 on board. The flight included the squad and staff, but also 21 journalists covering the big game, and early reports claim it ran out of fuel on the approach and was facing electrical problems. [more inside]
Last year, Dennis Crowley (co-founder of mobile social networks Dodgeball and Foursquare) decided to invest in a sports team. But instead of going the NBA route of Mark Cuban or Steve Ballmer, Crowley started Kingston Stockade Football Club, a 4th-tier soccer team in upstate New York. Crowley wrote about the establishment of the semi-pro club just before the season started in May, and recapped the season and how his assumptions fared against reality last month.
The Football Association and the Scottish Football Association are defy a ruling by FIFA banning players from Britain wearing commemorative poppies during the England v. Scotland match on 11th November. The British Prime Minister has called Fifa's decision 'utterly outrageous' while cartoonist David Squires provided a slightly different take on the way football commemorates the dead. Elsewhere, West Brom and former Wigan Athletic player James McClean has explained in the past why he has refused to wear one.
(NYT)When the University of Houston’s football players arrive for a game, they know what to expect as a prelude to the coming hours of brutality as they file into the stadium: a kiss on the cheek from their head coach, Tom Herman.[more inside]
Looking for a new sport? Why not have a nice game of Three-Sided Football? Three teams, a hexagonal field, and the team that concedes the fewest goals is the winner! You might especially enjoy it if you're an anarchist Marxist with an interest in psychogeography and surrealism. [more inside]
You've probably heard of the most lopsided game in the history of football. 100 years later Jon Bois has arrived to explain how the score is just the beginning of the story.
For many people, 2016 has been a rough year (probably an understatement.) However, for two football teams in rival codes, 2016 has turned into a very good year indeed. [more inside]
On Monday Night Football's late game between the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams, a teenager ran onto the field. Although television cameras were quickly turned away from his antics, Westwood Radio announcer Kevin Harlan provided a colorful play-by-play call until the runner was tackled by security at the 40-yard line. The 16-year-old boy who ran on-field wrote his phone number on his chest, so Deadspin called him for an interview.
Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles is the title of an NBER research paper recently published, which showed that unexpected losses by the LSU football team resulted in harsher penalties for juvenile defendants. Reported in the Atlantic, and a .pdf of the draft paper.
Next year, the Australian Football League will debut its first women's league, with eight clubs fielding teams over eight weeks of televised competition in February and March. On Saturday night, an all-star women's exhibition game was shown live in prime time, drawing more than a million viewers at its peak (yes that's a lot in Australia). In footy-mad Melbourne, it had more viewers than any men’s AFL game in that slot so far this year. And yet the league wants to pay many of the female players just $5,000 for the inaugural season. [more inside]
Spencer Hall's Annual Mulling on College Football On the eve of the true first Saturday of NCAA football, Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday publishes a slightly deeper essay than the rest of the season's football japery. This year touches on Americanism, violence, race, and bison. Yeah, bison.
After conspicuously not standing up during the National Anthem played at a preseaon NFL game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick explained that his actions were a tribute to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Moreover, he went on, the song itself has a racist history. If you unfamiliar, here is Jason Johnson of the Root to explain: Lt. Francis Scott Key and the history of the US National Anthem's racist 3rd Verse.
"It is said that every new nation or groups making claims to nationhood needs to have a national football team, otherwise you may as well not exist in the first place. The late historian Eric Hobsbawm once declared: “The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people. The individual, even the one who only cheers, becomes a symbol of his nation himself.” So, in the absence of recognition by formal political bodies, recognition by the Fédération Internationale de Football Associated (FIFA)—which is larger than the United Nations—can be a boon in struggles for political self-determination." Now Western Sahara is trying some football diplomacy of their own.
So why is it we still call him an idiot? Why is it when a semi-professional footballer is done for drug dealing, Sterling’s face is used to sell the story on social media?Carl Anka: We need to talk about Raheem Sterling.
Iceland is in the European Cup football tournament for the first time. In their last game, they were tied 1-1 until the last minute when an Icelandic attacker made a move and scored. This means Iceland will move on to the next round. Listen to the Icelandic announcer absolutely lose his mind for joy.
Hand-drawn maps of Negro League teams, defunct NFL teams, the first NHL league, Ukrainian FCs. More maps, hand-drawn and not.
Why ‘Transcending Race’ Is a Lie [The New York Times] Few American athletes have been as widely beloved as Simpson was. Even today, his popularity seems inconceivable. “O. J.: Made in America,” the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary [ESPN] directed by Ezra Edelman that is airing this week, busies itself with the making of the man at the myth’s center and with the country that helped him become a monster. It’s the best thing ESPN has ever produced. And it answers my question: Simpson’s story is that of a black man who came of age during the civil rights era and spent his entire adult life trying to “transcend race” — to claim that strange accolade bestowed on blacks spanning from Pelé to Prince to Nelson Mandela to Muhammad Ali. Which is to say, it’s the story of a halfback trying, and failing, to outrun his own blackness. [more inside]
After a grueling club season without major surprises or heartbreak, the best (well, close to half) national teams in Europe meet in France to know who will follow Spain in lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy in Paris in July 10. This Friday, the Euro 2016 begins. [more inside]
There are a ton of football (soccer, for the US hooligans) songs and chants (Wiki category), enough to warrant a 4 CD compilation of "hit anthems" back in 2010, with such notables as Come On England and Goldenballs, which got both 4-4-2 and Bell and Spurling on Top of the Pops for their respective songs. But what about those lads who petitioned (but failed) to have FIFA get the Italian pornstar-turned-MP Ilona ‘Cicciolina’ Staller to present the 1990 World Cup trophy, Pop Will Eat Itself? They had their turn on TOTP with their unofficial World Cup anthem, Touched By The Hand Of Cicciolina (SFW music video).
Baylor University has fired football coach Art Briles and demoted university president Kenneth Starr upon receipt of an independent report detailing how the football program concealed rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence accusations against Baylor football players. The announcement has come as a shock, as it had seemed that Starr would be the scapegoat for the scandal, with his demotion used to protect Briles, the most successful coach in the school's history. However, increased media scrutiny due to the 2016 campaign season bringing up Starr's role in the Whitewater investigation, drawing greater attention to what happened at Baylor.
This Premier League season has been insane. What the stories of other over-performing smaller clubs and failing giants telling us about English football now. [more inside]
Leicester City Football Club has won the UK's Premier League title, an event which bookies were giving 5,000 to 1 odds against at the beginning of the season. As a result, bookmakers will be paying out £25 million, the biggest loss in British history on a single sporting market, with some people winning £10,000 on £2 bets. Striker Jamie Vardy broke a league record for goals scored in consecutive games. The team's new manager, Claudio Ranieri, was initially viewed as an uninspired choice; in another betting market statistic, he was initially considered the most likely manager to be the first to lose his job this season. Ironically, the game that sealed Leicester City's victory was a drawn match between Tottenham City and Chelsea, a team that fired Ranieri in 2004.
The Seattle Seahawks picked up Arkansas running back Alex Collins in this year's draft - "the epitome of consistency, rushing for over 1,000 yards and at least 5.4 yards per carry in each of his three seasons. Vision and footwork are the catalysts for his elusiveness and he has flashed long speed." But where does he get his fancy footwork? Irish dance.
With three matches to go, Leicester stands seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. If I had bet on Leicester, I would need to keep the ticket in a bank vault: it will be worth 100,000 pounds if the team wins just one of its remaining three games (and Leicester may not even need to do that if the second-placed team, Tottenham Hotspur, slips up). Earlier this month, fearful bookmakers started offering Leicester fans the chance to cash in their betting slips early for around 75 percent of their potential value. [more inside]
In 1989, ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a result of the crush in the Hillsborough Disaster at the 1989 FA Cup Semi-final (previously). Today, after 27 years of campaigns calling for justice, an inquest has finally ruled that their deaths were unlawful. The result of deadly, and tragically avoidable, mistakes and failures by the Police and Ambulance services. [more inside]
Tom Brady’s Deflategate Suspension Reinstated [The New York Times] Roger Goodell, the most powerful man in football, appears to have prevailed in a 15-month battle with Tom Brady, one of the game’s most celebrated quarterbacks. In the end, their feud — known as Deflategate, and a subject of intense derision for the league — will likely end with Brady’s serving a four-game suspension. A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday overturned a lower-court ruling, deciding that N.F.L. Commissioner Goodell had broad discretion to suspend players according to the collective-bargaining agreement with the players’ union. The panel’s decision can be appealed to the full Second Circuit, or even the Supreme Court, but a victory for Brady at this point is a long shot, legal experts said.
Dan Marshall (@danthat) knows nothing about football. Is that going to stop him from making a football game? It is not! [more inside]
The fall: how diving became football’s worst crime
On the racial injustice of big-time college sports: "Amateurism rules restrain campus athletes—and only campus athletes, not campus musicians or campus writers—from earning a free-market income, accepting whatever money, goods, or services someone else wants to give them. And guess what? In the revenue sports of Division I football and men's basketball, where most of the fan interest and television dollars are, the athletes are disproportionately black."
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Solo said. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships and the USMNT get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.” Five members of the World Cup-winning USWNT have filed a wage discrimination complaint against US Soccer for being paid less than then men's team "despite the women’s team being more successful and, at the moment, more profitable."
One of the only football (soccer) players to have invented a move that is known by his name: The stunning Cruyff Turn. "The move became instantly world famous, seared indelibly on the brain, stored forever and available for replay on your mind’s eye-player." In slow motion.
ESPN estimates nearly a third of young Americans play soccer, so why can’t a sports powerhouse of 320m people produce a Messi – or even a João Moutinho?
As the US searched for a new league after the 1994 World Cup, a rival to MLS emerged – complete with four goalmouths and striped pitches. [slGuardian]
ESPN's oral history of Marshawn Lynch's post-game celebratory trip in the injury cart after his Cal Bears knocked off the University of Washington Huskies in overtime. [more inside]
Premier League leader Leicester City entered the season as a 5,000-1 underdog -- the same chance as a bet on Elvis being alive -- which is why the English soccer team could become the undisputed champion of beating the odds. [more inside]
Hingle McCringleberry and Kimble Mathias of the Portland Tigers are known for their unique endzone dances, often taking them too far.
The Story Behind New Kids on the Block’s Insane (and Preempted) 1991 Halftime Show (SL Playboy) NSFW
This is where Cam Newton comes from: an institution where being African-American and excellent, African-American and respected, African-American and optimistic are normal conditions. A visit to the church Cam grew up in.
"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."
It began as a strange post on the Redskins's subreddit outlining the secret to quarterback Kirk Cousins's talent: faithfulness to his wife, Julie. This has spun off into an entire community celebrating the couple, which is currently excited about a touching moment from Kirk's AMA today. [more inside]
“the eleven most boring conversations i can’t stop overhearing” (in which a liberal white male american san francisco bay area resident possessive of the auditory acuity of a baby chihuahua learns to scream).
The (completely fake) 1941 football season of the (completely fake) Plainfield Teachers College.
Former football star Lawrence Phillips has been found dead in his jail cell. Phillips was a star running back at the University of Nebraska, where he won back-to-back national championships in 1994 and 1995. The latter is often considered the best college football team ever assembled. Phillips was as well-known for his off-the-field problems, one of several troubled star players that legendary NU coach (and now ex-Congressman) Tom Osborne was accused of coddling. [more inside]