Luzira was once the most notorious prison in Uganda. Now it’s home to what is surely the world’s most elaborate prison football league. "Upper Prison has kept itself busy with extraordinary ingenuity. The prisoners have created their own drama, they dance, and they play music on homemade instruments. There is prayer and counselling in the church and mosque. But more popular than anything else is football. Within the prison there are 10 football clubs, some of them almost two decades old, each with their own players, boards and constitutions. Alongside Moses’s old team Aston Villa, there is Liverpool and Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle United."
FIFA officials, in Zurich for their annual meeting, were arrested this morning by Swiss authorities. They will be extradited to the United States to face charges of wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
Steven Gerrard played his last game in the English Premier League and in a Liverpool shirt today. Things went...badly. But this farewall tour hasn't been all he'd hoped for in any fashion. (Last link has a lot of profanity.)
Sometimes, I worry about the effect that Football Manager has had on my life. I’ve had girlfriends I haven’t loved as much as my Uefa Cup-winning Southend United side (CM97-98) and friends that I haven’t seen as much as I saw my Nottingham Forest reserves (CM01-02). Why is it that I’ve never stayed up until 3am to write a book, but I did it on numerous occasions to guide Welling out of the Conference South (FM07)?Iain Macintosh wonders whether being addicted to Football Manager a proper medical condition or just a slightly deranged hobby? (SLGrauniad, originally from The Blizzard.) [more inside]
The NFL has suspended Tom Brady for four games and fined the Patriots $1million for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.
Frank Olivo, the Santa Claus who was pelted with snowballs at the Philadelphia Eagles game in 1968, has passed away. The Philly native was 19 years old when the Eagles pulled him out of the stands and asked him to fill in for the regular Santa who was snowbound in New Jersey.
"But, Coach—we play football!" Inside Amy Schumer does a parody of Friday Night Lights and certain aspects of football culture.
Corley Miller of Eight by Eight magazine writes a wonderful piece about Arsene Wenger.
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
What happens when an English reporter live blogs from a German press conference. The Telegraph newspaper sends reporter Ben Bloom to Germany to live blog the resignation of Jurgen Klopp as the manager of Borussia Dortmund football club. Reading from the bottom of the page upwards, at 12:37 it dawns on Bloom that the press conference is in German, which he doesn't understand. Panic and embarrassment levels rise rapidly. Luckily, he becomes an internet phenomenon.
The unveiling of a new sporting venue is, in and of itself, not terribly out of the ordinary. In fact, there have been numerous new stadium projects proposed for Rome over the years, though none have made it past the mock-up stage. There is a sense on this day, however, that something is different. It is because of the two suited figures sitting at the center of the room, businessmen known throughout Rome simply as gli Americani — the Americans.
"If his name was John Brown, he would have been in jail," one criminal justice official with knowledge of the case said. "If a woman says, 'He's the guy that raped me,' and you have corroborating evidence to show they were together and she went to the hospital and she can identify him, that guy goes to jail."Last week, ProPublica and the New Orleans Advocate published the results of their months-long joint investigation outlining how law enforcement officers in five states repeatedly (and sometimes deliberately) failed to apprehend former NFL star Darren Sharper as he traveled cross-country drugging and raping women: Upon Further Review.
[cw: rape, sexual assault, violent misogyny, law enforcement collusion to cover up same] [more inside]
Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan chronicler of Latin American history, politics, and football, has died at the age of 74 today in his hometown, Montevideo. [more inside]
After years of fighting over keeping the records sealed, the NCAA has finally released to the public their internal documents on the Reggie Bush investigation, as part of the defamation lawsuit filed against the NCAA by former USC RB coach Todd McNair. The NCAA had argued that allowing the records to be unsealed would hinder future investigations, but such arguments were dismissed by the California courts, leading to the release. [more inside]
Last fall, the FCC voted unanimously to eliminate its own sports blackout rule. At this week's NFL annual meeting, the league approved a suspension of the rule. The blackout rule, which came into effect if a game was not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, was enacted in the '70s in order to prevent cable companies from airing events broadcast on local stations. [more inside]
Mathematican John Urschel has coauthored (along with colleagues at Penn State and Tufts) a paper on computing the Fiedler vector of graph Laplacians that has recently been accepted by the Journal of Computational Mathematics. He will also be playing on the Baltimore Ravens offensive line next September. [more inside]
ESPN's Outside the Lines has reported that promising 24-year-old football player Chris Borland, who was drafted last year by the San Francisco 49ers as a linebacker, will retire as a "proactive" move to avoid the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. [more inside]
Football fans – and here I naturally include myself – act as if they are mentally ill. This is an article that is nominally about football, but is just as much about the pressures of modern life and the plight of men (in particular, but not exclusively). This is both a very personal account and an observation of how others behave. It is about being a football fan, but also the impact of social media on our appreciation of life (and sport), and how constantly striving for more can lead to increased unhappiness – even if you attain it.
Essentially two-hand-touch taken to bloodsport level, with two 25-minute halves, a mostly running clock, and referees to nominally control the mayhem, it's the closest these weekend warriors will come to professional sport, though many are high-caliber athletes.
How Madden Ratings Are Made (SL538)
Another way of looking at this is that all Premier League clubs already receive more money from their domestic league TV deal than all but 5 other European Clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter and Milan. When the new Premier League deals starts in 2016/17, this list will reduce to just Real Madrid and Barcelona – and even that is in doubt following La Liga’s decision to move to collective bargaining, where the top club will only be allowed to receive 4 times more than the lowest club.The Swiss Ramble analyses the Premier League's new domestic television rights deal.
The Last Man game is an annual competition to be the last person in the United States to know who won the Super Bowl.
Most of the runners [...] found themselves waking up each day in a cold sweat. “I feel like I’m being sequestered for the stupidest jury trial in modern history,” one competitor said. “It’s gotten to the point where three things may end me: recklessness, homesickness, or sheer boredom.” Several players eventually said that they couldn’t take it anymore and quit. “I’ve spent way more time avoiding the Knowledge than I’ve ever spent thinking on it in the past,” one said, committing seppuku with Twitter as his sword.
One year later, has Michael Sam been frozen out of the NFL?
When I was a kid, I always outsmarted myself in multiple-choice tests. I'd always get it wrong because I over-thought the question every time. In my adult life I've learned that the most obvious answer is generally the right one. The answer to the question I've posed to so many - Why is Michael Sam not with an NFL team? - is also likely the most obvious one: because he's openly gay. Defensive ends with the same size and the same speed - yet with less production in college and the NFL preseason - are in the NFL and Sam is not because he's gay and he just won't stop being gay.
Omg you guys, are you ready for "the big game"? Well, you'll never be as ready as Mort (yt:25mins, about as long as halftime), playing for the trophy at the annual Tecmo Super Bowl championship, held annually in Madison, WI. Not only is Tecmo Super Bowl alive and well, and being played competitively in its original form (complete with a missing Randall Cunningham), but it also continues to grow and evolve with modern teams and rosters. [more inside]
Here's a horrifying game you can play during this Sunday's Super Bowl and the nearly 12 hours of pre- and postgame content: count the number of times you hear some variation of "deflated balls" and compare that to the number of times during Super Bowls XLV or XLVII you heard the phrases "two-time accused rapist" or "accused co-conspirator in a double murder." Or just compare "deflated balls" to "brain damage." Then see if the first number dwarfs a combination of the last three by an order of magnitude. It will.
Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key star in a series of East/West Football videos wherein they play a number of increasingly uniquely named characters playing in a fictional football game. East/West Bowl 1, East/West Bowl 2, East/West Bowl Rap, Hingle McCringleberry's Excessive Celebration and East/West Bowl 3 (Pro Edition). [more inside]
"Does football offend you to your very core? If there was any town in this country that was poised to agree, it’s Seattle. But then the Seahawks got good. Like the best. So what’s a town full of anti-establishment nerds to do? Scurry to find a justification for loving them of course!" Nerd City Jocks, a cartoon by Sarah Stuteville and Eroyn Franklin at The Nib.
Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, the New York Times Magazine's Mark Leibovich dives deep into Tom Brady, one of the "most famous [people] in the world nobody knows," and finds a man "bent on nothing less than subverting the standard expectations of how long a superstar quarterback can play like one." Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl about whether the Patriots deflated balls in their playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts -- and if so, how and why, with Coach Bill Belichick appearing to point the finger at Brady, the superstar quarterback himself. Others question the Deflategate/Ballghazi hype. [more inside]
Russia and Qatar World Cups are 'insane' due to homophobia, says Robbie Rogers. Soccer/Football's first openly gay player, RR has things on his mind. Will Klinsmann come around? On Mefi Previously.
“At first we’re like, ‘What the hell is this? Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?’” said starting center Corey Linsley. But that quickly faded. “We are completely addicted to it, we play it whenever we can,” said tight end Justin Perillo.
Recently released into the public domain - the oldest known football footage in existence. The 45 second film is of a First Division match between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park, which took place on the 24th September 1898. [more inside]
How nice it would have been if the whole sorry saga of Ched Evans had been left in 2014. Unfortunately, Oldham Athletic are the latest team to suggest that they are considering signing the convicted rapist to play for their side, here on the other side of December 31st. If you - like me – think this is a truly terrible, awful decision, then you will be used to hearing the same arguments put forward in his defence, so here is a handy rebuttal guide.Lucy Hunter Johnson on why convicted rapist Ched Evans shouldn't play football. [more inside]
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
If you built a $7,000 pool table big enough to walk around on and replaced the balls with soccer balls, you'd be playing Snookball. The sport was invented by two French entrepreneurs and there are 10 tables in that country so far. "We know this game will be popular when beer is involved," one told Sport Bible.
The FBI announced today that they will open an investigation into the death of 17 year old Lennon Lacy. [more inside]
"It is an unbelievable goal. Both feet, over her shoulder. It is totally instinctive. The technique and contact required to volley a ball that is coming over your head is amazing. If Wayne Rooney or Ronaldo had done something like that you would be talking about it for years. It is the best of the three."And the nominees for the FIFA goal of the year are James Rodriguez, Robin van Persie and Stephanie Roche, the first woman football player to ever have been a finalist for the Puskas Award, beating out people like Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
"With Christmas not far away, you may start seeing ads for video games that try to marry the VCR with traditional board games. Unhappily, that marriage more often resembles the bickering Lockhorns than the mild-mannered Nelsons. Here's a look at three of the games now
out in 1986." But that's only a snapshot of the dynamic world of VCR board games, which peaked in the early 1990s with the Atmosfear series, known as Nightmare in Australia, where the game series was a huge cross-media empire, bigger than "Crocodile" Dundee. Another significant game was Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, if for no other reason that it is canon and expands the story of the second Death Star. There are less than 100 VCR board games, and the videos for many of them are currently online, with more game documents and details on Board Game Geeks. By the end of the 1990s, the VCR was on the way out, replaced by DVD board games. Let's browse the isles of toy stores past, thanks to the crowd-sourced nostalgia that is the internet. [more inside]
I’ve been watching Odell Beckham practice similar one-handed catches for the past several weeks. He caught half a dozen in practice before Sunday’s game, and had an amazing one-handed fingertip catch in practice several weeks ago. So he was definitely on my radar screen. Today I was making a point of keeping track of where Beckham lined up, so I would be ready. -- The New York Times interviews photographers about how they themselves caught this incredible catch in the Giants game last night.
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]
Goalkeeper Saves Five Penalties - With His Face (SLYT) A soccer match between the Yale Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels comes down to the most epic penalty kick shootout you'll ever see. A sketch from Studio C.
"MIT’s students, faculty, and alumni won 80 Nobel Prizes between 1944 and 2013. In that time, MIT football won a total of 80 games." Until this year. This season's MIT football team is undefeated, 8-0.
At the beginning of the 2014 North American Soccer League season, the San Antonio Scorpions unveiled a subversive mascot who—at the very core of his being—presents a critique of capitalism and the military industrial complex. Stinger the Scorpion forces the contemporary spectator to recognize the existential angst at the center of contemporary soccer.
Hatin' Ass Spurrier has nothing to do with Steve Spurrier, the always colorful Head Ball Coach at the University of South Carolina. Hatin' Ass Spurrier does, however, channel the same spirit that Spurrier has brought to college football ever since he first put on a Gators jersey in 1963. Hatin' Ass Spurrier reviews the Saturday action once per week during football season, thanks to the surprisingly literate blog Every Day Should Be Saturday. [more inside]
Among a rising chorus of folks speaking out about problems caused by America's obsession with football at every level, author (and fan) Steve Almond's voice stands out the loudest. His new book Against Football argues that "our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia." In a nutshell "Fans should stop watching." Needless to say the book has provoked a strong reaction in fans (and defensive sportswriters), most notably in New York Mag, with Jonathan Chait's personal story of how football made him a better person: "In Defense of Male Aggression: What Liberals Get Wrong About Football". [more inside]
Apparently (or maybe allegedly) there was a lot more going on between Charlie Brown and Lucy when it came to kicking footballs.