Football

Nick Saban calls on Manchin to support voting bill

Featured image Alabama’s great football coach Nick Saban, a native of West Virginia, has signed a public letter urging Joe Manchin to support the Senate bill that would force the views of liberal Democrats regarding voting on the states. Saban and Manchin are said to be friends. The letter was also signed by West Virginia-connected sports figures Jerry West, Paul Tagliabue, Oliver Luck, and Darryl Talley. Saban added an important footnote to »

Does the NFL discriminate against Blacks at the head coach level?

Featured image Brian Flores was the coach of the Miami Dolphins until Miami fired him at the end of the NFL’s regular season. Flores is black. His firing came as a surprise. Flores’ record with the Dolphins was 24-25, but that’s misleading. Miami went 5-11 in Flores’ first season and 19-14 in his next two. The Dolphins have had only three winning seasons since 2008. Two of them were under Flores. The »

Gronkowski Gets a Little Help From His Friend

Featured image Tom Brady has taken his team to the Super Bowl an astonishing ten times, one of the most remarkable records in sports. Sure, he has been an excellent passer for a long time, but a lot of quarterbacks can throw a football. It seems to me that his record must have to do with leadership as much as with athletic talent. Someday it would be interesting to get insight into »

What a great college football program looks like

Featured image The college football season will draw to a close next Monday with the national championship game between SEC powerhouses Georgia and Alabama. That game will have been preceded by more than three dozen bowl games, the last of which is tonight, plus the two national semifinal games. One reason to watch bowl games used to be to watch outstanding players who would be drafted by the NFL in the Spring. »

NFL scales back covid testing. Wisely.

Featured image It’s been clear for a while that, with the emergence of the omicron variant, pro sports in the U.S. would experience disruption. Last week, it became clear that, under existing protocols, the seasons of sports played in the winter were in serious jeopardy due to the virus. And yesterday, the National Hockey League put its season on hold. I didn’t expect the covid protocols to change, at least not right »

The Jimmy Kimmel Bowl

Featured image College bowl games used to take their name mostly from commodities — sugar, cotton, oranges, peaches, etc. Later the names of corporate sponsors came into play — like Meineke Car Care, Little Caesars Pizza, Chik-fil-A, Reese’s, and Cheez It. In addition, bowls are sometimes named after cities, organizations (the Armed Forces Bowl), and concepts (the Liberty Bowl and the Independence Bowl). However, I had never heard of a bowl game »

Congress probes alleged sex harassment at football team. Why?

Featured image Daniel Snyder owns the Washington Football Team. In response to allegations that he and others at the team indulged in sexual harassment of female employees, the NFL hired a prominent lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, to investigate. Based on the results of the investigation, the NFL fined the team $10 million and announced that Snyder’s wife, not Snyder, will run the day-to-day affairs of the team for an unspecified period of time. »

Remembering Sam Huff

Featured image Sam Huff, the great middle linebacker, died last week. He was 87. Huff was born at a mining camp in West Virginia. He had a standout college career at the University of West Virginia. He was both an All-American lineman and an academic All-American. The New York Giants drafted Huff in the third round of the 1956 draft (30th pick overall). Of those taken in the first round that year, »

Jon Gruden sues the NFL and Roger Goodell

Featured image Jon Gruden has filed a lawsuit (the Complaint is here) in Nevada accusing the NFL and its commissioner of leaking emails to “publicly sabotage” his career and pressure him to resign from his job as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Gruden was fired from that position due to the leaked emails. Gruden alleges that “through a malicious and orchestrated campaign, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell sought to »

Regarding Jon Gruden

Featured image Jon Gruden is out as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders because of what he wrote in private emails. The emails are described by the media as “racist,” “homophobic,” and “misogynist.” From what I can tell, the racism consists of making fun of the lip size of the head of the players’ union who is Black. The homophobia consists of calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell the other “f” word and »

The NFL doubles down on woke, BLM style

Featured image The National Football League kicks off its season tonight. For a great many Americans, today must feel like Christmas. I’m not among that group. However, I do look forward to the start of the NFL season, at least in years like this one when the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins doesn’t appear to be awful. But there’s a fly in the ointment. The NFL has decided to preach »

Is America doomed? Part One

Featured image Maybe not. Peter King reports that 10.5 percent of all NFL regular-season games last season enjoyed a bigger television audience than Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Mike Florio adds that “most if not all of the 13 January postseason games generated dramatically larger numbers” than that interview. But maybe so. David Goldman foresees China vastly outstripping America because it is a merciless meritocracy whereas America increasingly »

Diversity through make-work?

Featured image Last month, the Washington Football Team (formerly known as the Redskins) proudly announced that Jennifer King would be an assistant coach. She is now the team’s assistant running backs coach and the first full-time Black female coach in NFL history. If King is a competent coach, and I have no reason to doubt that she is, then I’m happy for her. But look again at her title — assistant running »

Lefty National Youth Poet Laureate to recite at Super Bowl

Featured image Amanda Gorman is our National Youth Poet Laureate. Lucky us. The title isn’t an oxymoron — it’s not impossible for a young person to be a great poet — but the appellation doesn’t sit well on Gorman. “Laureate” means a person who is honored with an award for outstanding creative or intellectual achievement. Gorman has achieved little as a poet, other than being named youth poet laureate. If Gorman has »

Evidence That the World Is Not All Bad

Featured image I haven’t followed sports much since everything shut down, but last weekend, not being busy, I checked in on all four NFL games. Apart from the 60 Minutes commercials, it was a fun experience–excellent games and not much politics. I have been a Tom Brady fan since 2006 (I think), when I was participating in an event at the Kennedy School and staying at the Charles Hotel, and we got »

A silly quarterback controversy

Featured image Since the days of Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer, the Washington Redskins (as they were then known) have had plenty of quarterback controversies. Doug Williams or Jay Schroeder; Jeff George or Tony Banks; Donovan McNabb or Rex Grossman; Robert Griffin or Kirk Cousins, etc. Now, the team has a new quarterback controversy: Dwayne Haskins or random replacement player. Here’s the story: The Redskins (as they were then known) drafted Haskins »

Pittsburgh Steelers center honors fallen police officer

Featured image Last week, I discussed how the Pittsburgh Steelers were planning to honor Antwon Rose, a drive-by shooter, by wearing his name on their helmets. Initially, only Afghan war vet Alejandro Villanueva declined to go along with this plan. He announced that he would wear the name of Alwyn Cashe, an African-American who was killed in Iraq. But then, Maurkice Pouncey, the team’s star center, also balked. He admitted he should »