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NFL Pregame Show Laughing

The absurd amount of over-laughing that occurs during NFL Pregame Shows has long been a cliche. The Wall Street Journal recently calculated that one show spent 2 minutes and 22 seconds, or 11.6% of its length, laughing. But this recent video may be the defining moment of the trend, raising over-laughing to an art form.
posted by JoeGoblin on Jan 14, 2011 - 68 comments

Why Football Fathers Aren't Superior

"As a baby, Todd was fed only fresh vegetables, fruits, and raw milk; when he was teething, he was given frozen kidneys to gnaw. As a child, he was allowed no junk food; Trudi sent Todd off to birthday parties with carrot sticks and carob muffins. By age three, Marv had the boy throwing with both hands, kicking with both feet, doing sit-ups and pull-ups, and lifting light hand weights." The Man Who Never Was is a 2009 Esquire profile of Todd Marinovich, whose father programmed him from birth to be a great NFL quarterback. He almost succeeded.
posted by escabeche on Jan 11, 2011 - 67 comments

No more jumpers for goalposts

But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 19, 2010 - 24 comments

A Leisurely Stroll To The End Zone

The Driscoll Middle School team was down 6-0 near the end of the third quarter of a championship game when the quarterback pretended that the officials mis-marked the ball that it needed to go five yards further down field. So he picked up the ball and calmly walked through the defense. Then he ran 67 yards for the touchdown. [more inside]
posted by analogue on Nov 9, 2010 - 176 comments

Mama, Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Play Football

With all the recent attention in the NFL to dirty tackling, head shots, and concussions, some ground breaking research from Purdue University suggests that the routine hits to the head that happen 100s of times in every football game may be just as damaging as repeated concussions. The research was conducted on high school football players. The research uncovered marked reductions on visual memory tests in the kids who had not suffered a concussion and otherwise showed no symptoms of a head injury. These kids were, for all practical purposes, walking around with brain injuries during the season. The good news is that they all were back to normal by the next fall, suggesting that their young brains can heal themselves. (We are talking about the American brand of football here, but it doesn't seem like a real stretch that too many headers in the football played with a round ball might also be a problem.)
posted by COD on Oct 27, 2010 - 68 comments

Didn't predict that...

Paul the Psychic Octopus is dead. The English-born octopus shot to fame this summer by successfully predicting the results of World Cup matches.

Tributes are flooding in.
posted by i_cola on Oct 26, 2010 - 82 comments

Great Sports Calls, chosen by Posnanski

Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 15, 2010 - 47 comments

Parachuting Into Michigan Stadium with the 101st Airborne Division

Sgt. Adam Sniffen from the 101st Airborne Division delivers the game ball via parachute before the Michigan vs. MSU game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 9, 2010.
posted by dead cousin ted on Oct 14, 2010 - 68 comments

"You'll Never Walk Alone, Sweet Caroline"

It has been a dramatic start of the season for Liverpool Football Club both on and off the pitch. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Oct 13, 2010 - 91 comments

"Do you hear that, Marcus? Do you hear it?" I yell. "You know what that is? That's Hollywood, baby. Hollywood's calling. You gonna answer the call?"

"I will never forget the first time I paid a player." Former sports agent Josh Luchs confesses to paying 30 college football players early in his career.
posted by availablelight on Oct 12, 2010 - 51 comments

The bizarre, sad tale of Togo's fake national team

Since the attack on the Togolese national team in Angola (previously), soccer in Togo has descended into a freefall. In a strange turn of events, a fake national team recently represented the country in a tournament in Bahrain. The soccer loving people of Togo were outraged when the truth about the situation came out.
posted by reenum on Oct 8, 2010 - 4 comments

Morales hard fouls his rival in the nads

A knee to the groin may be more Vinnie Jones than Machiavelli, but it was no less effective for Evo Morales in asserting his presidential authority.
posted by Burhanistan on Oct 5, 2010 - 57 comments

Is it ok to root for Michael Vick?

The moral ambiguity of redemption:Is the resurgence of Michael Vick the feel good story of the young 2010 NFL season? Or is that just crazy talk?
posted by The Gooch on Oct 1, 2010 - 135 comments

FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER. FOOTBALL SEASON HAS BEGUN.

"In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me an eternal September. This definite, very real September I'm writing in, however, is the only place and time I want or need. Football season is over; football season has begun. The rest is life, and it can and will wait until February, the question that always answers itself by becoming March, and then April, and then back to September again, where we do not root for Tennessee, because that is simply not done here."
posted by ivey on Sep 3, 2010 - 10 comments

Football or neutron bomb?

São Paulo, Brazil. With a population upwards of 11 million people and a population density of more than 7,000 people per square kilometre, it is a pretty crowded place. But on July 2, 2010 during the second half of the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal, the streets were completely deserted.
posted by salishsea on Aug 31, 2010 - 34 comments

Unforgiven

Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
posted by reenum on Aug 27, 2010 - 122 comments

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away.

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 22, 2010 - 36 comments

Celebrating the Over-celebrated

It's Pelé Week on The Run of Play. Following some public spats between Maradona and Pelé (previously) at the recently concluded World Cup, Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously featured) observed that "it's bizarrely hard to care about [Pelé]", despite his unquestioned legendariness and unimpeachable skill with a football. But why? He and other writers attempt to address that question. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 20, 2010 - 9 comments

What a save!

When greedy sports team ban press photographers, cartoonist saves the day. Southampton Football Club decided to ban press photographers from their home matches, and sell their own photos to the press. Plymouth Herald hires a cartoonist instead. [more inside]
posted by iviken on Aug 13, 2010 - 31 comments

"You play football with your heart not your feet"

Pelé and Maradona: the glorious, ludicrous feud between soccer's two biggest stars. In the summer of 2000, FIFA, which does not understand computers, decided to celebrate the arrival of the millennium by hosting an online poll. Its object: to determine the best soccer player of the past 100 years, with the victor to be fêted at a gaudy banquet in Rome. The organizers of the vote assumed it would be won by Pelé, soccer's silky ambassador, who'd been cheerfully ensconced in his Greatest of All Time sinecure for 40 years.
posted by Fizz on Aug 10, 2010 - 31 comments

The Franchise

ESPN takes a look at how Madden NFL became a franchise video game.
posted by reenum on Aug 5, 2010 - 48 comments

So you just won the World Cup...

Thierry Henry is one of the biggest stars in Association Football. With AS Monaco, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and the French national squad, he's won about every trophy that there's to win: 1996-97 French Ligue 1, 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000, 2003-2004 English Premier League, and the unprecedented 2008-2009 "perfect season" for Barcelona: Spanish Copa del Rey, Liga, and Supercopa, European Champions' League, European Supercup, and Club World Cup. He's also won a large number of French, English and worldwide "Player of the Year" accolades. However... [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 24, 2010 - 54 comments

A literary roundup of football/soccer keepers.

Saint Taffarel who is in goal
Like a guardian angel
Sweet like honey
Defending our goal, our hope, our happiness.
- Carlos Drummond
A literary roundup of the mysterious keeper, from Nabokov to Camus to Dante. A little more football for those of us getting the twitches.
posted by Hiker on Jul 14, 2010 - 6 comments

Football in Africa

Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

Finally

The World Cup Final is almost here, only 24 hours and 30 minutes away: Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 10, 2010 - 206 comments

We are amused

Yesterday, the Spanish national football squad won its first World Cup semifinal. A distinguished supporter insisted on personally congratulating them in the locker room. (SLYT, but priceless. Watch in particular the hero of the match enter the frame around 1:16).
posted by Skeptic on Jul 8, 2010 - 83 comments

Physics of Phootball

Free during the World Cup the IOP (Institute of Physics) has a collection of papers all about football (soccer). Also related is NASA's recent findings regarding the randomness of the new Adidas ball.
posted by ozomatli on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 comments

Pele should go back to the museum

Argentina has been eliminated from The World Cup, but that doesn't mean we aren't free to enjoy some quotes from the always quotable Diego Maradona. For example, after Argentina qualified for the finals in South Africa, after looking like they would not make it, he said "To those who did not believe: now suck my d**k - I'm sorry ladies for my words - and keep on sucking it. I am either white or black. I will never be grey in my life. You treated me as you did. Now keep on sucking d**ks. I am grateful to my players and to the Argentinian people. I thank no one but them. The rest, keep on sucking d**ks."
posted by Keith Talent on Jul 5, 2010 - 85 comments

Football Manager

They were one of history’s greatest teams. But by the late 2000s, Pro Vercelli were entrenched in the lower leagues, their glorious past forgotten. Until one day, a man bought a video game. Read the uplifting saga of a small-town Italian club, an unknown American manager, triumph, betrayal, passion, and several extremely good recipes, from start to finish [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 3, 2010 - 26 comments

Nearly there....

There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2010 - 349 comments

Goal line technology for some, tiny vuvuzelas for others

Following the goal that wasn't a goal in the England vs Germany match and the illegal offsides goal in the Argentina vs Mexico match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to the eliminated teams and said that goal line detection technology will be considered for future matches. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 30, 2010 - 177 comments

'Cause It's Known to Give a Brother Brain Damage

Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals player who died last December, was found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), almost certainly as a result of his football career. Many other deceased NFL players are known to have suffered from CTE, but Henry was the youngest diagnosed thus far. Henry was infamous while alive for his repeated legal troubles and erratic behavior, and other notable NFL concussion victims, such as Ben Roethlisberger, may also be exhibiting symptoms of CTE. This news will only increase scrutiny of the NFL's much-criticized concussion policy, although the problem is not limited to football players. (Previously)
posted by Copronymus on Jun 28, 2010 - 35 comments

Start, Approach, Take Off, Flight, Roll, Penalty

One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jun 25, 2010 - 92 comments

"All the great contests at some point become head games."

The whistle has blown in Port Elizabeth. Stoppage time in Pretoria, and three men run into the box. Altidore flicks the ball across, but Dempsey walks it straight into the goalkeeper. On the rebound, Donovan puts it in the net. The world reacts. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 24, 2010 - 194 comments

"Hand of God", indeed.

All’s Fair in Love and Soccer Cheating and working the refs are part of what make the beautiful game fun to watch.
posted by horsemuth on Jun 21, 2010 - 376 comments

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 19, 2010 - 27 comments

Vuvuzela Time!

Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
posted by GuyZero on Jun 17, 2010 - 112 comments

The Game of Their Lives - Part 둘

North Korea played in the World Cup in 1966 [BBC Documentary on YouTube]. The 1966 World Cup was the subject of bitter disagreement before a ball was ever kicked. Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the champion team from the African zone to enter a playoff round against the winners of either the Asian or the Oceania zone in order to win a place in the Cup. [more inside]
posted by vectr on Jun 16, 2010 - 22 comments

Lego Fussball

Some people really do have too much time on their hands: Lego Football [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on Jun 14, 2010 - 30 comments

The Game of Their Lives

Sometimes called the "Miracle on Grass", the USA's 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup is arguably the biggest upset in the history of the cup; when a team of school teachers, dishwashers, and postmen beat the "Kings of Football". It was the Game of Their Lives. Today, they had the chance to do it again.
posted by daniel striped tiger on Jun 12, 2010 - 241 comments

USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA !
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 12, 2010 - 210 comments

32 Posters for the participants of the World Cup

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.
posted by Keith Talent on Jun 8, 2010 - 77 comments

College Football Selling Out, In Real Time

"It's a storm only a game theorist could love..." In the next few weeks, the NCAA College Football landscape may change completely. Or not. Either way there's a massive power struggle unfolding among college football conferences for big TV money, and an increasing gulf between the haves and have nots. [more inside]
posted by bbuda on Jun 6, 2010 - 101 comments

Must Read Soccer and other soccer blogs

Must Read Soccer has one aim: To bring you the best writing in English on football, wherever we find it, fresh almost daily, and without favor. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 6, 2010 - 16 comments

"I left my stamp."

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]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 31, 2010 - 25 comments

Joe Gaetjens scored a goal in the World Cup, died as a political prisoner of Papa Doc Chevalier

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.
posted by Kattullus on May 31, 2010 - 12 comments

Gooaaaal

SLYT: Write The Future - A three minute long Nike World Cup ad
posted by AceRock on May 21, 2010 - 39 comments

Back to the Future

On September 24 1983, a brilliant young Argentinian footballer playing for FC Barcelona was brutally fouled in a Spanish league game against Athletic Bilbao. The resulting injury incapacitated Diego Armando Maradona for four months and ultimately resulted in him leaving Barcelona for Naples and a serious cocaine addiction. More than the fouling player (who already had the nickname "Butcher of Bilbao"), many blamed Bilbao's coach and his somewhat lacking concept of "fair play". [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 16, 2010 - 46 comments

Ballad of a South African Football Fan

16 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa and one month before the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa begins, Raymond Whitaker writes about his memories of football (not rugby) in South Africa in the 60s and 70s. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on May 10, 2010 - 3 comments

Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaa....

Last Wednesday, Hibernian and Motherwell played their penultimate game in the Scottish Premier League. It ended in a 6-6 draw, equalling the record for the highest score draw in the history of professional football. (YT highlights for those who can't get iPlayer.) [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns on May 10, 2010 - 27 comments

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