Tag: NFL

Another Useful Perspective For The Controversy Surrounding Taking a Knee At US Sporting Events

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Often we can find value in the wisdom of other cultures, especially when we have arrived at an impasse where opposing groups cannot find common ground and the same arguments tend to dominate the discussion. Often this results from the refusal or inability to find outside evidence or analysis.

I believe eventually such an impasse over the NFL kneeling controversy will become moot as the interest in such displays will eventually go away, like many other movements. People eventually move on to other controversies. Yet for those who desire to continue to debate the matter, a family member of mine suggested watching the following video produced in India that structurally presents the same type of controversy–of whether or not to stand during their national anthem at sporting events.

What I found fascinating was seeing the expression of the two sides’ positions through the lens of one of the cultures in India, and especially the contrast between an element representing the traditional thinking versus a younger generation having a different definition of fairness and inclusiveness.

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NFL Logo No Longer Shown On NFL Sponsor Papa John’s Website

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

After the recent controversy involving NFL players kneeling before the National Anthem at the beginning football games, long time NFL sponsor Papa John’s Pizza no longer displays the NFL Logo or indications of sponsorship on its official website.

While no reference as to the reasons given has been made readily publicly available, there exists the possibility the company might be having at least reservations with presently displaying a logo engendering increasing disfavor with large segments of its customer base.

Papa John’s once branded itself as the Official Pizza of the NFL.

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End Zone Infraction: Another Seahawk Faces Possible Fine For Crude Superbowl Display

Doug_Baldwin_vs_Rams_2013I have long been a critic of “excessive celebration” violations in the NFL and the growing crude and thuggish conduct of players. While some may view me a bit prudish, I find it incredibly offensive to see NFL players (or entertainers at games) swearing and making offensive gestures as millions of people, including children, are watching. The latest such transgression was committed by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin who decided to pretend that he was defecating on a ball in Super Bowl XLIX last Sunday. While the network quickly cut away, my family (including my kids) immediately saw and understood what Baldwin was doing. Even my nine-year-old thought it was “disgusting.” The Seahawks seem determined that they will, to use their motto, “leave no doubt” that they will not comply with minimal standards of conduct in the NFL.

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Seahawks Running Back Facing New Threat Of Fines After Taciturn Press Conference

Marshawn_Lynch_Pro_Bowl_2013220px-SennMicrophoneThis week has continued the on-going conflict between the the National Football League (NFL) and Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch. This is not about what Lynch has said but what he refuses to say.
Lynch was recently fined for a crotch grab on national television. However, he is more reticent off the field where he avoids media. The NFL has fined him to force him to speak with media — a rule that in my view is moronic and counterproductive. Rather than just encouraging players to speak with media (some cannot be kept away from the cameras and social media like Lynch’s teammate Richard Sherman), the NFL actually fines players who simply have nothing to say. Now Lynch is being criticized for going to the compelled press conference and just repeating the same line over and over: “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”

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The Immaculate Deflation: Belichick and Brady Know Nothing About How 11 Out Of 12 Balls Were Deflated

John_Banner_as_Schultz228px-New_England_Patriots_logo_old.svgIt was like watching Master Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz suddenly appear in back-to-back performances in the New England Patriots headquarters. Coach Bill Belichick insisted that he not only had no idea how the balls in the game with the Colts were deflated, he claimed utter ignorance about virtually anything to do with the subject of air pressure and footballs. He was followed by quarterback Tom Brady who, despite previously saying that he preferred underinflated balls, said that he could not tell that the balls were deflated (even when a Colts employee could immediately feel the difference and report it). It is the immaculate deflation. It just happened by some cosmic coincidence over(1) and over(2) and over(3) and over(4) and over(5) and over(6) and over(7) and over(8) and over(9) and over(10) and over(11) again.

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Deflategate: NFL Reportedly Finds 11 Out Of 12 Patriots Balls To Be Underinflated [Updated]

200px-NFLgameball511px-Tom_Brady_2011For many NFL fans, the Patriots are like the “Cobra Kai” team from Karate Kid and coach Bill Belichick could well be sensei, John Kreese, screaming “sweep the leg” at NFL games to Tom Brady. That image was reaffirmed this week with the reported finding that the Patriots, again, cheated in the game against the Indianapolis Colts to secure a position in the Superbowl. The NFL has reportedly claimed that the Patriots under inflated 11 out of 12 balls in clear violation of NFL rules to give Brady and his receivers an edge. If there was intentional deflation, it warrants punishment since the team is responsible under the rules. However, there is an even more serious question of intentional deception, particularly after the deflation was noticed in the course of the game. The question is whether Belichick and Brady were aware of the violations, particularly after Brady called the accusations “ridiculous.” If the Colts and the refs immediately could tell the difference, it is hard to believe that Brady could not. After all, it was Brady who once said that he preferred under-inflated balls.

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The Season of Our Discontent II: “Football Strong(Men)” Vs. Women

King Football: The Season Of Our Discontent

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

Good afternoon folks, and welcome to the sports holy day known as NFL Sunday. We mostly all love it. The collisions, the sparkling cheerleaders, the feats of athleticism that would have made an ancient Greek Olympian proud. It’s all there – drama, excitement, pageantry, bright colors and morality. Yep there’s bad boys (think Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens) and good guys (anybody named Manning or Russell Wilson) and there’s music – marching bands, pep bands, loud speakers blaring just about any rap, punk, pop, or country song you like depending on locale. Football is king! Long Live The King!

But the king has had better seasons.

From the professional gladiators to the high school gladiators-in-training, football’s morality play has come off the skids. The carefully cultivated image of athlete as hero that echoes through the centuries from the plains at Marathon to an Olympic stadium in 1936 Berlin overseen by a bad man with a bad mustache, yes, and all the way to modern day techno-proficient, thunder booming, firework blasting sports theatres, Football America is suffering.

Maybe it was avarice or a sense of invulnerability or most likely hubris. All of football was riding high early this year. The NFL was enjoying record profits even having the audacity to ask its halftime acts to pay it for the privilege of sweating it out before millions of Americans at home and in person.  It was pushing the Old Man of US sports, Major League Baseball, from the headlines by moving its pre-season draft of players to prime time in … gasp … May, smack in the middle of  baseball season. The colleges had just finished a game of musical chairs and chicken all at the same time and got the venerable, doting NCAA to approve a bowl championship, an acknowledgment of the 5 Big Boy Conferences, and the shunning of anything approaching governing the Big 5.

Yes football was riding high — but there were signs of looming disasters to come.

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