Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.
[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
Eight former National Football League players have filed a class-action suit against the NFL for illegally pumping them full of painkillers and other drugs to keep them playing. [more inside]
NFL holds Super Bowl in NYC; NYC unimpressed. While the stadium is technically in New Jersey, it is considered equally if not primarily a New York stadium, and the NFL turned Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GMC. Visitors can kick a football, watch television, ride a toboggan, shop, enjoy a free slice of Papa John's pizza, play XBox, take a photo with the oversized Roman numerals 'XLVIII', use relevant Twitter hashtags, and more. It is not decadent and depraved, though Vice and Gothamist would tend to disagree. The Times discusses less vehement disapproval and disappointment, while Business Insider wishes ill upon the city. Ticket sales are faltering relative to recent years, with the new mayor among those skipping out.
A Guide To American Football. [2:48 Video] Superbowl Sunday is fast approaching. If you do not know the rules of American Football, here is a chance to learn.
A NFL fan discovers the joys of proper football and explains why the English Premier League is so much more exciting.
The NFL is again thinking of getting rid of kick offs. Recently kickoffs were moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line in an effort to create more touch backs (and thus fewer returns of kicks) and reduce injuries. Now they're considering getting rid of kick offs altogether. [more inside]
What it's like trying to crack into the National Football League.
Terrell Owens's Darkest Days:
'Since signing with the Allen Wranglers, Terrell Owens hasn't exactly been excited to talk to reporters. Back in his Philadelphia days, in the prime of his career, he used to hold press conferences all the time, sometimes in his own driveway. He couldn't wait to be on camera. He would tell reporters what questions to ask. He never shied away from a microphone: not in a locker room, not in a studio, and certainly not on his own reality show. But now that he's been relegated to the lowest rung of professional football, with no team in the NFL even interested in watching him work out, Owens hasn't been so loquacious.[more inside]
We Simulated The NFL White Vs. Black Race Bowl On Madden So You Don’t Have To "Earlier this week, reader Dustin asked who would win between an all-white NFL All-Pro team and an all-black NFL All-Pro team. Mind you, this question was asked without ANY ROOTING INTEREST, and without any hint of RAYCESSNESS. Are we clear on that? Good. BECAUSE WE TOTALLY SIMULATED THAT RACE WAR ON MADDEN TO SEE WHO WOULD WIN." [more inside]
(American) Football trick play video roundup: the Statue of Liberty, Fumblerooski (2), the Puntarooski, the Hook and Lateral (2), the Flea Flicker (2), the End Around (2), the Double Pass, the Fake Punt (2) (3), the Fake Field Goal (2) (3), Fake Field Goal/Fake Punt, the Swinging Gate, and the Bouquet Toss. [more inside]
The Ripples From Little Lake Nellie — "Four months after Cleveland Indian pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin died in a boating accident, their families and friends are coming to grips with the grief that still washes over them" [more inside]
Through alcohol and vicodin addicition, trauma, grief, and loss, Brett Favre has thrown the ball for the largest muncipally-owned professional sports team in the United States. After reinventing himself several times over, and leading his team to an improbable string of wins and accomplishments a year after almost retiring, he is Sport's Illustrated's sportsman of the year.