National Football League

Eisen The Prize
March 03, 2010

ESPN's Rich Eisen, covering the NFL combine, runs the 40 yard dash. It's by far the most entertaining footrace I've ever seen: 

Cheesehead
February 17, 2010

The New Orleans Saints’ strategy in last month’s NFC championship game was primitive and perfectly suited: Take advantage of quarterback Brett Favre’s 40-year-old body by inflicting a caveman’s clubbing. Hundreds of pounds of muscle and anger and adrenaline hit him at high speed a total of 17 times, and Favre, perhaps playing the last game of his career, managed to withstand the punishment until the third quarter, when he severely hurt his ankle. He limped on the sidelines and was basically immobile and should have taken himself out of the game then, regardless of the stakes.

Tim Tebow’s Only Super Bowl Appearance?
January 19, 2010

We are witnessing a major escalation of right-to-life opinion-mongering--and backlash against it--in the sporting world, thanks to an ad starring football idol Tim Tebow for James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. It will air during the Super Bowl. According to an AP sports article: The former Florida quarterback and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month.

"A Capacity Crowd" of 1,500 Turns Out for Obama and Poor Martha Coakley
January 18, 2010

Actually, the crowd was a bit larger because the overflow was in a room across the street from the Northeastern University gymnasium. Two of my friends, foreigners who can't vote, said that right next to them was an anti-abortion hysteric--"Abortion! Abortion! Innocent Blood!"--noticed by the cops and taken out by them only after a noisy hassle. In fact, there were three of these hysterics. All this comes from a story, "Pulling out all the stops," in this morning's Boston Globe. I have no idea who will win tomorrow's contest.

How Politics Is, And Is Not, Like Football
January 12, 2010

Everybody's making football analogies these days. Ezra Klein argues that political reporters should follow the example of football, and have political specialists and policy specialists, rather than try to make their reporters do both: Sadly, the political media isn't as well organized as your average football team. There are two big things that go on in this town: Politics and policy. It would make a lot of sense to have people who focus mainly on one or the other, and news outlets do.

Mike and the Mad Dog
January 08, 2010

Steven Fatsis: Can Mike Shanahan save the Redskins?

Football, Instant Replay, and Arbitrariness
December 08, 2009

(Note: if you're not either a football fan or a legal aficionado, you probably want to skip over this post.) Ashby Jones from the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog flags an interesting discussion in the legal blogosphere from last week: why are instant replays in the NFL and college football subjected to a heightened standard of review?  As football fans know, a call on the field is supposed to be overturned after instant replay only if there is "conclusive" or "indisputable" video evidence that the call was wrong.  If the video leaves room for debate, the call on the field stands. Law professor

The Final Demise Of Charlie Weis
December 01, 2009

The coaching rein of Charlie Weis, with its endless gifts to satirists and Notre Dame-haters, has sadly come to its inevitable conclusion as he was relieved of his coaching duties yesterday. Weis began his career riding an epic wave of hype, exceeding even that of his predecessor, Tyrone Willingham. When I wrote an article for Slate two years ago puncturing that hype, I was somewhat out on a counterintuitive limb. Today, almost nobody defends Weis, and most recognize that his early success was a mirage. But not everybody!

God Squad Tries, Fails to Get Arrested at Holder's Front Door
November 17, 2009

On an Indian summer afternoon in front of the Justice Department yesterday, a group of dark-suited ministers gathered to protest recently-passed hate crimes legislation, saying it had had a “chilling effect” on religious freedom.  “We will not be bullied!” cried Reverend Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, to a rank of cameras. “We will not be pressured!

Scripture Picture
October 19, 2009

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (W.W. Norton, 224 pp., $24.95)  A certain amount of sensationalistic misinformation was circulated in the press last spring, here and in England, when word got out that R. Crumb had done an illustrated version of Genesis. Crumb was the leading innovative figure of the underground comics movement of the late 1960s and has enjoyed a devoted following ever since. His graphic work, always memorable, is often physically aggressive, raunchy, and sexually explicit.

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