Fun While It Lasted is a blog that details the histories of long-dead sports franchises, including the Hawaii Leis/Sea-Port Cascades/Seattle Cascades, the Portland Lumberjax, the Columbus Minks, the Denver Comets, and the Phoenix Fire -- a professional soccer team that never actually played a game. [more inside]
Summer's here and the time is right...for American high school football players to drop dead. [more inside]
Before the former American football player Dave Duerson killed himself, he asked that his brain be left to researchers studying head injuries among athletes.
Even if you calculate that on average away teams only ever had a 10 per cent chance of beating one of Mourinho’s sides (for some, like Gijón, it might be a lot less, but for others, like Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan, Manchester United or Barcelona, it would be a lot more), the odds against going unbeaten for 150 matches are more than seven million to one. The London Review Of Books on the home advantage in sports.
Copa América is streamed live on YouTube. Copa América is the oldest international football competition, having been held first in 1916. This is a contest between the 10 South American nations and two invitational teams, this time Costa Rica and Mexico, who both sent young squads (Japan was slated to take part but withdrew due to the earthquake). The tournament started yesterday with Bolivia unexpectedly managing to hold Argentina to a draw. Colombia are currently beating a 10-man Costa Rica 1-0. Brazil start their campaign tomorrow, against Venezuela. One of the world's premier football writers, Jonathan Wilson, wrote previews of the three groups, A, B and C. The Independent has more light-hearted team previews.
Here Come The Lads - "The Irish soccer team will soon arrive for the World Cup with thousands of peaceful fans who love a glass and a singsong." Written before the arrival of Irish soccer fans to the US for the 1994 world cup, with anecdotes from the 1990 World Cup, when the Republic of Ireland qualified for the first time.
The Football Pantheon is a new website by football journalist Miguel Delaney. The aim of the website is to "present objective lists of the greatest clubs, players, countries, managers and so much more." The first entry is a very impressive list of The 50 Greatest European Club Sides, which breaks down the various legendary teams, from the late 19th Century until today, and ranks them according to their achievements.
Jim Tressel, one of the most successful college football coaches in history, has resigned as coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. After several players were discovered to have traded Ohio State football memorabilia for tattoos (actions which represent NCAA violations), it was revealed that Tressel knew of the player's actions and attempted to conceal the information from investigators. Though Tressel often projected a squeaky clean, conservative image, detractors have often accused him of hypocrisy.
The 2010-11 Champions League Finals. In two and a half hours, the biggest game in club football will commence (bbc text stream). The Champions League final is likely to be watched by 300 million viewers and features Manchester United (England's best team this year) against FC Barcelona, now sometimes claimed to be the best team of all time (although the Barca coach plays that down). Lineker thinks that Barca just have to 'turn up to win'. [more inside]
The most powerful presidential position in the world is having its election soon, and the incumbent has just been brought up before an ethics committee for investigation. The USA's best attempt at a candidate was shut out and couldn't even be nominated. The person who is supposed to be representing the US region has been found guilty of corruption several times. Could this result in a historic revote for the 2022 World Cup location? [more inside]
Last night, my brother, the real football fan, regailed me with stories of a bizarre double life that an English player seemed to be leading. Looks like someone beat me to collecting them all.
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
The Carolina Panthers have drafted Cam Newton with the top pick in tonight's NFL Draft (watch the 1st round live here). The draft is taking place against the uncertainty of an intense battle between the owners and players (previously on mefi). On Monday, District Judge Susan Nelson issued her opinion ending the lockout of the players, who will be reporting back to work by next week, although at least one team was not allowed to enter facilities today. Although the league asked for a stay of the ruling, Judge Nelson denied the request yesterday, lifting fans' hopes that the 2011 season will be played.
A long investigation into the Fiesta Bowl has produced a long and damning report (link goes to long PDF) detailing a culture of corruption under CEO John Junker. The report details gifts given to lawmakers, college administrators and others to help boost the bowl's stature in college football. [more inside]
"It is completely strange, isn't it? It's all fucked up. Where the hell are all the others? No one is coming out." The Guardian interviews Anton Hysén, the world's only openly gay male professional footballer.
Just before intermission, Cowie took the stage and began juggling a ball with her feet until suddenly she popped it in the air, swished her right foot around the ball twice, kicked it up again, then rotated her left foot around once without letting the ball touch the floor. She bent her right foot back behind her body and caught the ball on the sole of her shoe. “I could feel the excitement building in the auditorium,” she recalled. “I could hear the oohs and the aahs. I could sense the shock.” ¶ For her finale, Cowie lay on her back and juggled the ball over her head with her feet. As they applauded, Green Hope students turned to their friends with the same question: Who is she?The New York Times Magazine profiles soccer freestyling star Indi Cowie. Photos of a few tricks. Video includes demonstrations.
"On our island we loved to watch football. But no one had actually ever played it." The story of a football team on the floating village of Ko Panyi. [more inside]
Why do we enjoy prodigies? Barney Ronay asks in reference to the latest footballing wünderkid, Raheem Sterling while Gary Kasporov reflects back on the life of perhaps chess' most interesting one, Bobby Fischer.
You have to wonder why a red-blooded American male in his prime would walk away from fame and fortune as an NFL quarterback to play handball and hang with his family and his dogs. Don't you? A profile of Jake "The Snake" Plummer.
Johnny Mac - Trick Shot Quarterback — University of Connecticut quarterback Johnny McEntee and his "trick shot" passing abilities. [4:50 SLYT] [more inside]
How 'The Fridge' lost his way. A profile of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry.
That sure was a pretty OK game last night! When will the next NFL games be? Let's talk about the impending NFL lockout. The CBA expires in 2013 but the owners have exercised their right to opt out of the agreement two years early. The National Football League Players Association and the owners haven't agreed to a new one, and neither side is very optimistic about the chances for a deal to be reached before March 2011. Among many other terms, the two sides cannot agree on the number of games in a season to be played or the amount of revenue to be shared. Players have been mentioning the impending lockout during interviews. What's at stake? The NFL is very big business.
Flight to Dallas? $400. Hotel Room? $179 a night. No seat for you at the Super Bowl, even with a ticket? Pricel... 3 times face value of ticket
Apparently the NFL was looking for a record crowd at Cowboys Stadium, and tried to add temporary seating. 2 hours before kickoff, workers were still installing that seating. That status later changed to 400 fans being denied entry and instead being offered 3 times the face value of their tickets. Fans are not happy, and the screw-up is news, both locally, and in Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
E is for "Ewwwww!": How Barbara Hyde, spokeswoman for the American Society for Microbiology, reacted to last year’s news that Snyder’s vendors were selling beer in the bathrooms.
The Washington Redskins, with a 6-10 record this season, may not be anywhere near the Super Bowl, but they're still getting media attention this week thanks to unpopular owner Dan Snyder. In November, the Washington City Paper published an A-to-Z guide of Snyder's perceived sins, including bankrupting little old ladies, running scammy fan events, cashing in on 9/11, and selling expired peanuts. The piece was accompanied by a photo of Snyder with scribbled-on devil horns and goatee -- a depiction Snyder decried as anti-Semitic. Snyder also denies several of the claims made in the A-to-Z piece and threatens legal action in letters to Washington City Paper (republished here, along with WCP's shrugging response). Above the Law expresses doubts about Snyder's claims and notes that it's the first time the owner of the unfortunately-named Redksins has ever seemed to care about ethnic slurs. Meanwhile on Twitter, #snyderlibel commences some serious Snyder-mocking.
In 1995, the European Court of Justice famously intervened in the world of sports when it ruled on the Bosman Case, rendering transfer fees for out-of-contract football players illegal, changing the economics of the sport completely. 2011 will see the ECJ make a landmark decision on the future of sports broadcasting that "could ruin the economic model that has made Premier League clubs among the richest in world football." [more inside]
What if filmmakers directed the Super Bowl? As the big game approaches, Slate V imagines what it might look like if Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard and Werner Herzog were allowed to direct the telecast.
Today is National Signing Day, the first day a high school senior can sign a letter of intent and commit to a collegiate football program. Sports Illustrated is liveblogging announcements throughout the day. Get some background with a list of Players to Watch, or just enjoy the adorable friend accompanying Isaiah Crowell. But some say it has become too much of a circus to be good for the young players. And others want to recognize the real unsung heroes of the day.
Green Bay Packers Yearbooks from the (Vince) Lombardi Era (1960-1967). The yearbooks here are from the team's return to glory under Lombardi. Arriving in 1959, Lombardi led the Packers to their first winning season in eleven years in his first year as coach. From that auspicious start, Lombardi's Packers had nine winning seasons and claimed five NFL championships in the 1960s. Each yearbook contains roughly 80 pages of text and photos.
After he and his co-commentator Richard Keys were stood down Monday for off-air, on-mic pre-match comments about a female assistant referee and the inability of women to understand the laws of football, Andy Gray was sacked by Sky Sports when further evidence of sexism and sexual harassment surfaced. A third Sky employee has also been suspended for complicity in the original complaint. Many are drawing parallels to Ron Atkinson's resignation in 2004 for racist comments about Marcel Desailly. [more inside]
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.
"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.
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.
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]
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.)
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.
Tributes are flooding in.
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]
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.
It has been a dramatic start of the season for Liverpool Football Club both on and off the pitch. [more inside]
"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.
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.
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.
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?
"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."
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.
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.