Author Topic: Football  (Read 22160 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Football
« on: September 15, 2009, 08:46:11 AM »
DBMA has as its mission statement "Walk as a Warrior for all your days" and in this regard, football is something we look to to inform our sense of multiple players operating in 360 contexts, our sense of contact, footwork, and more.  My thanks to Chris Gizzi for opening my eyes in this.

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By CHARLES SIEBERT
Football, for allof its brute force and ferocity, is a game of guile and gamesmanship. This is especially true today, when the space in which the sport is played has been foreshortened by the size and speed of the athletes playing it, and outcomes are increasingly decided as much by the quality of a team's game plan as they are by the level of play. Football has essentially become hour-long sessions of high-speed, crash-helmet chess, and more fun to watch because of it. Even the biggest and most heavily favored juggernauts can on any given day be suddenly undone by a group of scrappy upstarts with a wealth of passion and a well-wrought stratagem: some riotous, rhythm-ruining array of timely defensive blitzing packages, or a stunningly inventive attack formation such as the new "Wildcat" offense.

The NFL, with its dizzying speeds and hard hitting—to say nothing of its preponderance of high-salaried stars—has long had a way of tempering the more fanciful, free-wheeling schemes of high school and college ball. And yet all that seemed to change last year, when the then-struggling Miami Dolphins overwhelmed the mighty New England Patriots in game three of the season with a sudden, whirlwind display of Wildcat wizardry. Six times in the course of that game, the Patriots' defenders suddenly found themselves standing opposite an odd-looking offensive alignment. Rather than the traditional front line of a guard, a tackle, and a tight end on either side of the center, the Dolphins now had a guard, two tackles and a tight end all stacked on one side. More disturbing still, standing a few yards behind the center, awaiting the snap in the quarterback's traditional "shotgun" position, were two running backs, the dual run-and-pass threat of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. As for the Dolphins' quarterback, Chad Pennington, he was positioned up on the overstacked side of the line, just outside the tight end, now an entirely misplaced and therefore unknown proposition.

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Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
 
The Miami Dolphins used the overstacked ‘Wildcat’ formation against the New England Patriots, Nov. 23, 2008.
.This is the most subversive, the nearly mutinous aspect of the Wildcat, and the very essence of its explosive potential: the way in which it wholly bypasses the quarterback, the traditional pillar and field general of the offense. Among the things that a defense likes to see when an offense lines up opposite them before the start of play is the quarterback at his traditional post, either directly under center or a few yards behind center in the "shotgun." This gives the defense an edge, some would say an 11-on-10 advantage. Because, unless the quarterback is that exceptional dual run-or-pass threat in the mold of Vince Young or Michael Vick, or the 2008 champion University of Florida's Tim Tebow, then a defense can focus less on him and more on the action that he, through either a hand-off or a pass, is about to set in motion.

The most fixed figure in an offense, the middleman, the interlocutor of each play, the quarterback is the guy through whom a defense—via the lean of his body or the direction of his gaze—often gets the best fix on where a play is going. By removing the quarterback from his predictable hand-off, passing-machine role and enfolding him into the larger offensive mix, the Wildcat makes him one more variable for the defense to consider, and thus neutralizes their tacit one-man edge. The Wildcat is, in effect, a classic instance of eliminating the middleman and cutting, or snapping, directly to the chase. That could be a straight run behind a phalanx of blockers, or a hand-off to another back or roving flanker or "wingback," who was set in motion behind the line before the snap. Or it could be just pulling up and passing the ball down field to an open receiver, possibly even to the quarterback—a dizzying array of options that tends to slow a defense down, give them pause.

 
Collegiate Images/Getty Images
 
George Gipp of Notre Dame, shown here in 1920, was one of the multipurpose ‘wingbacks’ who gave the early ‘Single-wing’ formation its name.
.In chess, even in speed chess, one has time to ponder a response to a new formation. In football, even the slightest hesitation equals loss. In fact, before the Patriots' vaunted defense was able to get a read on what was going on around them that day, the Dolphins would score four touchdowns with the Wildcat (three rushing and one on a pass from Brown), abruptly ending the Patriots' 21-game regular-season winning streak with a 38-13 drubbing. Over the next 11 games, the Dolphins went on to average seven yards per play from the "Wildcat" and qualified for the playoffs. They have since acquired West Virginia's multitasking quarterback, Pat White, in the draft, a potentially lethal move that has teams around the league including the Eagles (with the newly acquired Michael Vick), the Baltimore Ravens, the Atlanta Falcons, the New York Jets and even the New England Patriots dreaming up Wildcat packages of their own.

There's something at once sleekly high-tech and decidedly throwback, nearly sandlot, about the Wildcat: an elaborate and well-honed version of that basic backyard-pick-up-game ethos of "let's just get as many of the best players on the field as we can and then wing it." Winging it is, after all, increasingly difficult to do within any organized field of endeavor. But this is especially so within the parameters of a football field. While nuns may not fret their convent's narrow room, as Wordsworth wrote in his famous sonnet about the paradoxically liberating powers of the sonnet form's strictures on the imagination, offensive coordinators are forever scratching about for ways to pry open and fly the confines of a 100-yard gridiron.

In this regard, the Wildcat is an inspired bit of football poetry, affirming as it does that there are still an infinite number of new ways to re-imagine inherently finite spaces. And when one considers the growing number of big, fast, multidimensional, run-and-throw style quarterbacks that high schools and colleges are now churning out—to the extent that some pro scouts are lamenting the imminent extinction of the classic drop-back, field-general style—then the Wildcat formation begins to look less like a passing fancy and more like something permanent.

Still, for all the talk of the Wildcat representing football's future, it is, in fact, a direct derivative (some would say a near carbon copy) of an early offense formation known as the "Single-wing," which might well have faded into extinction if not for a few high school coaches who kept it percolating in their playbooks. One of the game's very first attempts to fly its own inherent confines, the "Single-wing" was the brainchild of the University of Pittsburgh's Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner, the father of modern football, and it was advanced by football inventors like Notre Dame's Knute Rockne, and Warner's protégé at Pitt, Jock Sutherland.

After the ploddingly crushing rugby-like scrums and somewhat oxymoronically named "Flying Wedges" of yore were outlawed, in the interest of safety, back in 1905, Warner took advantage of new rules allowing, among other things, the forward pass and arrived at a scheme that should by now sound familiar: an unbalanced offensive line with a quarterback positioned just behind one of the strong-side tackles, a pair of running backs waiting in the quarterback's shotgun position to take the snap from center, and off beyond the strong-side end, the roving, multipurpose "wingback," who gave the Single-wing its name. The best athletes of their day, wingbacks are now the stuff of football legend: George Gipp of Notre Dame, Michigan's Tom Harmon, Nile Kinnick of Iowa and Western Reserve's Steve Belichick, father of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

The Single-wing would dominate college football right up through the 1940s and then gradually yield to newer formations. As the forward pass and freer substitution rules became ever more prominent in pro offenses of the 1950s and '60s, formations began to accommodate and codify the quarterback's emergent field-general stature, placing him directly under center and the running backs behind him in a "T" or "I" formation. The "T" and the "I" soon morphed into the "Wishbone" and from there into more widely dispersed formations, designed to make use of every inch and angle of football's blank page—offenses that, in name alone, "Flexbone," "Triple Option," "Veer," and "Spread," suggest the evolution of some huge, flightless bird struggling to free itself from the confines of its own proscribed shell.

College and high school have long been the Petri dishes of football innovation, and it is there that the Wildcat's recent emergence can be traced. In a 1998 article for Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director magazine, a high-school football coach and Yale graduate named Hugh Wyatt wrote of a direct-snap, single-wing style formation that he named the "Wildcat," after the mascot of the school where he coached at the time. Seven years later, Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator for the Arkansas Razorbacks, implemented a single-wing style package that he'd used successfully coaching high school ball. Conspiring with Razorback running back coach Danny Nutt to get their best players on the field at the same time, he put the multidimensional running back Darren McFadden, now of the Oakland Raiders, in the quarterback position and fellow running back Felix Jones at wingback. The Wildcat was soon spreading like wildfire.

An estimated 80% of high school and college teams are expected to be featuring the formation this season, including, of course, Arkansas, Tulsa (where Gus Malzahn now coaches) and Ole Miss (coached by Danny Nutt's brother Houston), as well as Alabama, Michigan State and Minnesota. And when Gus Malzahn's replacement at Arkansas, David Lee, moved on to become the quarterback coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2008, the Wildcat was soon baring its claws in the pros—appearing as a bizarre and uncontainable creature to a stunned New England Patriot defense but wholly recognizable to an astute football historian like Bill Belichick.

"Call it what you want," the Patriots' coach would tell Sports Illustrated after the Patriots-Dolphins game. "But that's single-wing style football."

Corrections & Amplifications: Football star Steve Belichick attended Western Reserve University, a forerunner of today's Case Western Reserve University. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said he played for Case Western Reserve.



Crafty_Dog

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C-Mighty Dog

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Re: Football
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 04:42:50 PM »
oh yeah! :-o, been a fan since 2009...The Temptations are playing in Ontario on the 15th!
C-Mighty Dog      small dog...Big Balls

Crafty_Dog

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Englishman chooses football over soccer ;-)
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 06:24:01 PM »
By GERARD BAKER
I'm a traitor. I may as well come straight out and admit it. I've betrayed my family, my friends, and my country. If Dante were around to update his roll-call of infamy, I'd be right down there in the ninth circle, feeling the heat with Brutus, Cassius and Judas.

The occasion of my sin isn't political or religious. It's much more grievous. I've betrayed my cultural heritage, cut the most binding filial ties, abandoned my national loyalties.

The shameful truth is this. I like football better than soccer.

I realized only recently the depth of my treachery when I found myself actually referring to football—the game played over here by the big men in spandex with the little oval ball—as "football." This alone would be considered a kind of verbal treason to my countrymen.

 
Associated Press
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow carries a British flag onto the field before an Oct. 23 game at London's Wembley Stadium.
.Growing up in England, I played football. I went to football games—with other football fans dressed in football attire at crumbling, violence-infested football stadiums that hosted teams with names like Charlton Athletic Football Club. (There was, confusingly, rugby football too, commonly called rugby, but I always hated that.)

"American football" (the term was usually enunciated in a sneering tone that dripped with derision, the way you might say "the Italian military") was something very silly, a far-off pastime of which we knew little and cared less, played by softies who apparently needed helmets and padding to protect their delicate frames.

If we ever thought about "American football" at all, we thought about all that protective gear and considered it a source of some pride that the average English football fan was in more physical danger on his way to the toilets (we called them that) at halftime than a roly-poly lineman in a scrimmage.

But I discovered football when I first came to New York in the late 1980s and my prejudices melted away. It was the era of New York Giants greatness and I was hooked instantly: Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Mark Bavaro, Jeff Hostetler. Yes, I did just say Jeff Hostetler. That should tell you how hooked I was.

I didn't immediately abandon what I slowly came to call soccer. I'd keep in touch with the fortunes of my team, Coventry City (don't ask), every Saturday. But steadily, I lost interest. I'd find myself forgetting some weekends to check out the score on a Saturday in my sweat of anticipation for Sunday. I was drifting apart from family and friends.

There is no more powerful alienation than that of the displaced from his erstwhile peers. Every weekend I call my father back in London. At 91, he's as engaged as ever in events—sporting and otherwise. He wants to know what I think about Liverpool's latest signing. All I want to talk about is the 72-yard touchdown pass Victor Cruz caught from Eli Manning. He thinks Victor Cruz was a 1950s band leader (OK. I thought Victor Cruz was a 1950s band leader till the start of this season).

I'm desperate to find someone among my family or friends to compare notes on the remarkable success of the Houston Texans' third-string quarterback. My uncomprehending friends just shake their heads.

"Why?" they ask. How could you do this to us after all we did for you?

Some might say it's simply, predictably, a man's reaction to his habitat. If you're a sports nut and you move, you'll probably take up whatever's on offer in your new milieu. But that won't do as an explanation.

On that theory, if I moved to Canada I'd like hockey and I can assure you, that's not happening.

It's none of the usual explanations: lots of scoring being better than endless nil-nil draws—I've been to cricket matches in which 1,000 runs were scored and you could hardly call them riveting. It's not the hoopla or the sport-as-family-entertainment thing either which soccer fans accustomed to English hooliganism are supposed to appreciate. (Have you ever been to an Eagles game?)

Baseball fans will have to forgive me here, but the answer, I think, is that football is the quintessential American sport. It's no accident it hasn't really caught on elsewhere (the annual NFL game in London notwithstanding) whereas baseball and basketball have at least a claim to a global following and participation.

In its energy and complexity, football captures the spirit of America better than any other cultural creation on this continent, and I don't mean because it features long breaks in which advertisers get to sell beer and treatments for erectile dysfunction. It sits at the intersection of pioneering aggression and impossibly complex strategic planning. It is a collision of Hobbes and Locke; violent, primal force tempered by the most complex set of rules, regulations, procedures and systems ever conceived in an athletic framework.

Soccer is called the beautiful game. But football is chess, played with real pieces that try to knock each other's brains out. It doesn't get any more beautiful than that

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Fran Tarkenton on the Bounty Scandal
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 08:52:21 AM »


By FRAN TARKENTON
Football is a tough, physical game. It is violent. But there is a line between being violent and being vicious. Former New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams crossed that line when he established a bounty system that rewarded players—not for tough, clean football plays but for injuring other players.

While coaching the New Orleans defense the last three seasons, Mr. Williams paid bonuses to players for knocking opponents out of the game. The rewards were $1,500 for a knockout, and $1,000 if the player had to be carted off the field. In the playoffs, rewards doubled and tripled.

Following his coach's lead, linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered a $10,000 bounty to any Saints player who could knock Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game during the Saints Super Bowl run in the 2009 season.

Former players from Mr. Williams's previous career stops in Washington and Buffalo have come forward to describe similar schemes he ran for those teams, as well.

These bounty systems are despicable.

I played football professionally for 18 years. I played against some of the toughest men imaginable. Mean Joe Greene. Deacon Jones. Bob Lilly. Ray Nitschke. Dick Butkus. Jack Youngblood. And I risked getting hit more than any other quarterback of my day. No one ran more than I did—forwards, backwards, and side-to-side.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
 
Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
.But in those 18 years, I only missed five games due to injury. My opponents wanted to beat me, and they certainly wanted to hit me to achieve that goal—but no one wanted to hurt another player deliberately. For all our competitive fire, and despite that strong desire to destroy our opposition, as professional NFL players we were part of a brotherhood. There was no joy in seeing someone injured on the field of play, even if it gave our team a better chance to win. After all, we wanted to prove that we were the best; and to be the best, you have to beat the best—not beat the JV.

But with the bounty system run by Mr. Williams, football as a fierce but honorable competition is dropped on its head.

Over the past few days, there have been many current players and NFL analysts saying that this story is no big deal. Every team does this, they say.

That is ridiculous. Bounties are not part of the game in any way.

Since news of this story broke last week, I have talked to dozens of former teammates and opponents. On my Sirius XM radio show Monday night, I talked to the toughest of them all, Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik—who played every snap on both sides of the ball for the Philadelphia Eagles. The response was unanimous. They did not put bounties on other players, and those who do so are not tough—they are cowards.

Peyton Manning's neck injuries, which kept him out all of last season, may have something to do with a vicious hit during a game against the Washington Redskins when Mr. Williams was coaching there. It was one of the worst hits I have ever seen, as one player tackles him low from the side, before another hits him high head-on, bending him backwards and ripping his helmet off in the process.

During the Saints' Super Bowl run, opposing quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre were hit repeatedly. Mr. Warner went flying through the air and was briefly knocked out of the game after one particularly vicious hit. Mr. Favre was hit on almost every play, including many inexcusable late hits coming well after throwing the ball or even handing it off to a running back. That was the last game Mr. Warner ever played.

This is a particularly nightmarish scenario for the NFL in light of the league's concussion problem. For years, the league denied that football hits and concussions had a connection to health problems in former players, but now studies have shown that there are devastating long-term consequences from head trauma.

Football is a violent, dangerous game that leads to terrible injuries even when the players are not deliberately trying to knock one another out of the game. Players, like all people, respond to incentives. When you incentivize them to get opponents carried off the field on a stretcher, they are going to attempt to cause serious injuries.

This opens the NFL up to serious legal consequences and risks a fan backlash. Audiences love hard competition. They do not want to see gang warfare on a football field.

The NFL has to come down hard on this scandal because every team, coach and player needs to get the message that this is not ok. Gregg Williams should never be seen in the NFL again. Others in the Saints organization who knew about the bounties and did not stop them, including General Manager Mickey Loomis and Head Coach Sean Payton, both of whom I like and respect, must also be severely punished. Players who participated should face consequences, and the Saints 2009 Super Bowl championship will be forever tarnished.

These are harsh punishments, but the game of football must purge itself of this heinous blight.

Mr. Tarkenton, an NFL quarterback from 1961-1978, is the chairman and founder of OneMoreCustomer.com.


bigdog

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Jason Taylor’s pain
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 11:58:44 AM »
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/13/v-fullstory/3179926/dan-le-batard-jason-taylors-pain.html

But he wanted to play. He always wanted to play. So he went to a private room inside the football stadium.

“Like a dungeon,” he says now. “One light bulb swaying back and forth. There was a damp, musty smell. It was like the basement in Pulp Fiction.”

The doctors handed him a towel. For his mouth. To keep him from biting his tongue. And to muffle his screaming.

 “It is the worst ever,” he says. “By far. All the nerve endings in your feet.”

 That wasn’t the ailment. No, that was the cure. A needle has to go in that foot, and there aren’t a lot of soft, friendly places for a big needle in a foot. That foot pain is there for a reason, of course. It is your body screaming to your brain for help. A warning. The needle mutes the screaming and the warning.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/13/v-fullstory/3179926/dan-le-batard-jason-taylors-pain.html#storylink=cpy

Crafty_Dog

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Rugby
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 01:48:56 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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bigdog

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Football player worthy of headlines
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 06:49:18 AM »
A smart, smart man:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2SQlt8n8I8[/youtube]

 8-) 8-)

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Football
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 03:33:58 PM »
Nice find BD, I liked that.

bigdog

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Re: Football
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 05:45:56 PM »
Nice find BD, I liked that.


4.0 GPA and majors in math. Not your "typical" lineman!


Crafty_Dog

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Ad for Superbowl banned
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2014, 11:28:37 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Women's football
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2015, 10:09:10 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Boycotts pending
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2016, 01:40:50 PM »
http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/more-nfl-protests-coming-this-time-on-monday-night-football

I am done with the NFL.

I haven't spent a dime on them in six years. The last thing I'll do is give them my money when they're against everything I stand for. Not a chance in hell.

ccp

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G M

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DougMacG

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Re: President Trump vs. kneeling players and NFL
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2017, 11:07:07 AM »
"Trump is 100% right here."

He is allowing his most vocal opponents to define him as pro-American.  Not a bad situation for him.

There isn't much left to get excited about in football.  Public subsidy helps these people to make 2-32 million per year and they benefit from it by having their brains and knees beaten up.  Father of the year Adrian Peterson called it, 'like modern-day slavery'.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adrian-peterson-nfl-like-modern-day-slavery/
Maybe "They are Going to Put Y'all Back in Chains".  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/vp-biden-says-republicans-are-going-to-put-yall-back-in-chains/


G M

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Hard Data, Hollow Protests
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2017, 07:04:14 AM »
https://www.city-journal.org/html/hard-data-hollow-protests-15458.html
Hard Data, Hollow Protests
FBI crime figures paint a very different picture of crime and policing than this weekend’s demonstrations suggest.
Heather Mac Donald
September 25, 2017 Public safety

The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.  Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide-victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The increase in black homicide deaths last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks. In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The Post categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest. Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers—committed vastly and disproportionately by black males. Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243.

Violent crime has now risen by a significant amount for two consecutive years. The total number of violent crimes rose 4.1 percent in 2016, and estimated homicides rose 8.6 percent. In 2015, violent crime rose by nearly 4 percent and estimated homicides by nearly 11 percent. The last time violence rose two years in a row was 2005–06.  The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened. Having been told incessantly by politicians, the media, and Black Lives Matter activists that they are bigoted for getting out of their cars and questioning someone loitering on a known drug corner at 2 AM, many officers are instead just driving by. Such stops are discretionary; cops don’t have to make them. And when political elites demonize the police for just such proactive policing, we shouldn’t be surprised when cops get the message and do less of it. Seventy-two percent of the nation’s officers say that they and their colleagues are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons, according to a Pew Research poll released in January 2016. The reason is the persistent anti-cop climate.

Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.


G M

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Re: The Invisible Hand of the Market bitch slaps the NFL
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2017, 04:14:42 PM »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nfl-ratings-dip-forces-tv-networks-to-repay-advertisers-205733576.html

My hope is that the NFL goes back to the old days, where it was a seasonal job. The Players had to have real jobs when the season was over.

DougMacG

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Re: Football
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2017, 06:18:38 AM »
A small drop in NFL viewership translates into roughly easily into a $2 billion reduction in player salaries.  I wonder how the players who are not social justice warriors feel about that.

There is something wrong with your sport when hockey players and fans have more class than you:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHSaHRd4Q48
The sound system failed in Toronto (Canada) during the (US) national anthem - and the crowd sang the rest of the song.  The players (from all over the world) are all standing.

"My hope is that the NFL goes back to the old days, where it was a seasonal job. The Players had to have real jobs when the season was over."

I used to play tennis with a major league baseball manager who sold appliances for Sears in the off-season. 

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Football
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2017, 05:43:34 AM »
WSJ
By
Matthew Futterman
Oct. 2, 2017 4:03 p.m. ET


The National Football League’s more muted approach in recent days to responding to attacks from President Donald Trump followed a tense meeting last week in which several owners argued the league’s combative stance was unproductive, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

Those owners argued that taking on a sitting president over whether players should be required to stand for the national anthem was bad for business, while others thought the league should continue to stand up to the criticism, these people said.

The disagreement is a contrast to the message of unity that NFL owners and players have tried to project over the previous eight days, as Trump took on the league over the protests and repeatedly disparaged the state of the game.






There were various demonstrations among players and teams on Sunday but they were fewer in number and generally more subdued than they had been the previous week. League officials also dialed down their criticism of the president in the days leading up to the weekend’s games, even as Trump continued tweeting about the issue.

 






Anthem Protests Continue Across the NFL

A number of players and teams protested in some fashion before games on Sunday, though the demonstrations were fewer and more muted than last weekend.


Some Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the national anthem before a game against the Atlanta Falcons.John Bazemore/Associated Press

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“We made our point,” said league spokesman Joe Lockhart. “There was no point in responding to every tweet or every statement.”

The debate among owners came at a previously scheduled committee meeting in New York. It wasn’t clear how many owners argued the league should be less assertive, or which ones.

After Trump reignited the debate over the protests, at a Sept. 22 speech in Alabama in which the president called an NFL player a “son of a bitch” and ripped into owners for not punishing those who demonstrated, the league responded quickly. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the next day issued a statement supporting the players and Lockhart on Sept. 25 said the league “fundamentally could not disagree more” with Trump. He said the resounding response from players, owners and coaches, many of whom linked arms with kneeling players on the first game day after Trump’s remarks, represented the result of thoughtful discussion and “real locker-room talk.”

Regarding Trump’s comments that safety rules had softened the game, Lockhart said last Monday, “These remarks represent someone who is out of touch.”

However, multiple owners at the meeting said they needed to avoid the likely repercussions of a lingering feud with the president over an issue that resonated with many fans. While the league didn’t issue a directive and there were no reports of owners forbidding players from protesting, several clubs took steps to reduce tensions in the days that followed the meeting. Detroit Lions players said team owner Martha Ford asked them not to kneel for the anthem, saying she would support causes related to racial injustice in return.

Trump has received significant support from NFL owners in the past.

Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins, Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, Woody Johnson of the New York Jets and Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams each donated $1 million to his inaugural committee, as did a company Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones controls. Ed Glazer, chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, gave $250,000.

Ahead of Sunday’s games, Lockhart said the league had made its point that it was unified against the attacks on its personnel. He said no one can question its viability, as well as its value to the country and in local communities.

With strong feelings on both sides about how best to deal with Trump, the league decided players could be far more effective in carrying the message forward than he could be.

“On Saturday, Sunday and Monday we made clear what our position was,” Lockhart said. “I don’t see some need to validate it Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.”


DougMacG

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G M

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Re: VP Pence walks out on kneelers, Kneelers call it a "PR stunt"
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2017, 08:29:35 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: Football
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2018, 07:51:27 AM »
Ratings are still down. I was going to point out that the Vikings stand for the national anthem but it looks like all the remaining teams do. The kneelers have divided their teams and been eliminated from the playoffs.
https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/15/nfls-kneeling-protesters-miss-playoffs/



Crafty_Dog

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NFL seeks to escape national anthem
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2018, 06:00:59 AM »
Highlights

    The rise of international games in Mexico and the United Kingdom raises the question whether the NFL will try to expand to other locations or establish franchises abroad.
    London, Toronto and Mexico City are the three most immediate contenders for a new NFL franchise.
    Geopolitical and logistical factors could make the Mexican capital the strongest candidate for expansion.

March and April are always two of my favorite months on the sports calendar. You've got spring training and the MLB season starting up; college basketball entering the March Madness conference and the NCAA tournament period; the NBA and the NHL ramping up to the start of their respective playoffs; and, of course, "a tradition unlike any other," the Masters golf tournament. With such a bevy of fascinating topics to discuss, is there anything more American than to ignore all those other sports and to focus instead on the NFL? Heck, we're smack-dab at the start of the most fun time in the NFL offseason, with free agency kicking off and the draft right around the corner.

If that isn't enough to whet your appetite for some good ol' pigskin talk, how about the fact that the league is in the midst of a fascinating period of uncertainty after years of seemingly unabated success? Despite the fact that the NFL surpassed $14 billion in revenue during the 2017 season (up roughly $900 million from 2016) and that it inked a new $3 billion deal with Fox to broadcast Thursday Night Football for the next five seasons, one could argue that the league's future is as tenuous as it has been in decades. The NFL grappled last season with escalating public concerns over the safety of the game and the impact of head injuries on players' well-being; a feud between Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones; and, most prominently, the tumult surrounding the high-profile national anthem protests by many players over the treatment of African-Americans in the United States.

While the NBA and MLB have emerged from their own periods of stagnation to experience a recent uptick in viewership and social media engagement, the NFL has been mired in a downward trend. Average viewership per game dropped by roughly 17 percent over the past two seasons. Countless articles have espoused various explanations for the NFL's struggles — Derek Thompson wrote a decent one last month in The Atlantic. The theories range from blaming the 2016 presidential election, the 2017 anthem protests and the backlash over the sport's violence to pointing the finger at broader trends in consumer behavior.

Whatever the reason behind them, the trends are troubling for the NFL commissioner, especially when combined with falling participation rates in youth tackle football. As interest in watching and playing football stagnates, the long-term sustainability of the NFL in its current form becomes more uncertain. And if the NFL's traditional model for drawing fans and future players to the sport is buckling under a constellation of factors shaped by evolving consumer behavior, the next question that arises is where future fans will come from. A study recently reported that American men between the ages of 18 and 25 indicate a preference for watching esports over traditional sports. Women, meanwhile, already make up around 45 percent of the NFL's viewership, and the league's recent efforts at direct outreach to women are overdue to say the least. To survive in the long run, the NFL will necessarily rely on courting younger, more diverse domestic audiences. But it is also pursuing a more global audience than ever before.

An International NFL Franchise?

For decades, the NFL has worked to promote both its brand and the sport of football abroad. Its efforts produced mixed results, including the NFL Europe League, which existed in various iterations from 1991 to 2007, when it gave way to a game-hosting model called the NFL International Series. Even so, the NFL has quietly sown the seeds for international growth and is coming off the most ambitious two years of International Series games in its history. The NFL hosted a record number of international games last season — four in London and one in Mexico City — and earlier this year, it announced that the 2018 schedule would contain another four international series games in the same cities. The league's return to London and Mexico City raises the question of whether it may launch a larger effort to establish teams in the cities or to expand its international games to other locations, such as Canada, Brazil or Germany.

This is a question I've been fielding for the past few years in interviews for articles on the topic, and it's a fun one to ponder. In fact, in a sport management class I taught at The University of Texas (before Geopolitics of Sports regular Tolga Ozyurtcu took it over), I had my students break into bid committees each semester to pitch new NFL franchises to a mock panel for their final project. Beyond the classroom, assessing the viability of expanding the league to international markets has consistently captured the attention of fans and journalists alike. The subject has inspired no shortage of armchair analysis to evaluate suitable cities, based on criteria such as their population size and the scale of their media markets.

Picking a Winner

What's missing from the discussion, however, is a side-by-side comparison of the geopolitical considerations of the NFL's most likely international markets. As Stratfor readers well know, the hospitable or hostile conditions that a location's geopolitics shape can play a major role in determining the success of any international venture. With that in mind, let's take a brief look at the three most immediate options for the NFL's international expansion and how the geopolitical climate may affect each one.

London

London is the clear front-runner for the league's first international expansion team. The NFL, historically cagey about revealing its plans, lately has touted the city as a viable market in terms of demand as well as logistics. Speaking with Sports Illustrated last fall, the league's executive vice president of international, Mark Waller, said of a possible London expansion team, "We'll get a lot of support if and when we need it." So far, he seems to be right: The NFL's recent efforts in London have consistently met with sellout crowds and high levels of fan engagement.

One issue the league hasn't talked quite as much about, though, is how the current anti-globalist movement could influence expansion proceedings. Some argue that the Brexit would be a boon for the endeavor, freeing the United Kingdom from EU labor regulations that would be a headache for the NFL to navigate. But concerns linger about the chilly reception games in London have gotten among American fans, many of whom have already had their political feathers ruffled by the national anthem protests. Nevertheless, all signs point to London as the first site for expansion, when and if the NFL decides to go through with it.

Toronto

Long a bridesmaid in discussions about international expansion, Toronto seems to make sense for several reasons — chief among them its historically neighborly relationship with the United States, its affinity for (Canadian) football and its geographic proximity to existing franchises, namely the Buffalo Bills. The Bills, in fact, hosted a "home" game in Toronto each season from 2008 to 2013, until low attendance and a couple of fumbles on the franchise and the NFL's part stopped the initiative.

If the tepid fan response wasn't enough to signal the temporary failure of a prospective bid to relocate or expand to Toronto, there are also the rumors that President Donald Trump led a campaign — before the one that took him to the White House — to prevent Jon Bon Jovi from buying the Bills and moving them to Toronto in 2014. (Yes, you read that sentence correctly.) And then there's Canada's own storied football league. Before the Bills played their first game in Toronto in 2008, a Canadian senator introduced a bill to outlaw the NFL from playing games in his country in an attempt to protect the Canadian Football League and its legacy. The push to bring the NFL to Toronto may have been doomed from the start.

Though the other kind of football (or futbol) continues to enjoy pride of place in Mexico's sports culture, the average U.S. citizen may be surprised to learn of the country's long-standing connection to American football.

Mexico City

Perhaps the most fascinating market for a new NFL franchise is the Mexican capital. Aside from the incendiary political debates over immigration from and trade with the United States' southern neighbor, Mexico City may well make an attractive market for the NFL to enter. For one thing, the logistics of such a move would be far simpler than those of starting an international franchise elsewhere. Mexico City, after all, shares a time zone with several NFL cities, including Houston and Chicago. For another, the city's massive population far outstrips the potential fan bases of any other likely contender.

And though the other kind of football (or futbol) continues to enjoy pride of place in Mexico's sports culture, the average U.S. citizen may be surprised to learn of the country's long-standing connection to American football. Former Yale tackle and boxer John Kilcullen Jr. remarked to The New York Times in 1934, after finishing his first season as the University of Mexico's head football coach, that football would "be the national sport" within three seasons. Since then, decades of weekly televised broadcasts have deepened Mexican viewers' connection to American teams like the Cowboys and the Raiders. Football has gained prominence in high schools and universities across Mexico, too: The country is currently home to 19 sanctioned college football teams.

When asked what effect the U.S. president's policies would have on the NFL's pursuit of Mexico City as a new market, Waller, the league's executive vice president for international, told Sporting News that politics would factor in to the endeavor. But I contend that market forces may outweigh geopolitical forces in this situation. Furthermore, given Trump's history with the NFL (long before criticizing the league on Twitter for its handling of the national anthem protests, he sued it in the 1980s to try to force a merger with the upstart United States Football League, in which he owned a team) the organization may find itself on the president's growing list of political enemies alongside Mexico City. Their shared fate could prove to be fertile common ground for a successful, if unlikely, partnership.

Our curiosities about the site of the NFL's first international expansion franchise are unlikely to be satisfied anytime soon; Waller has hinted that the league could have up to two international franchises in place by 2026. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on London and Mexico City as the homes of those new teams. Either way, the rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape and the delicate, complex process of packaging and selling an American sport institution abroad should make for some must-see entertainment.

ccp

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Re: Football oldest film 1903
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »

bigdog

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Re: Football
« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2018, 05:46:00 PM »