Against Nfl Triumphalism
December 15, 2008

In the middle of a really interesting article that's mostly about education, Malcom Gladwell offers this aside: N.F.L. teams don’t run the spread. They can’t. The defenders in the pros are so much faster than their college counterparts that they would shoot through those big gaps in the offensive line and flatten the quarterback. Some version of this explanation has actually been floating around for as long as I've been a football fan.Anything that happens in the college game but not the pro game is because the NFL is too fast.

Misguided Angeleno Nfl Hatred
January 21, 2008

As a native of the city that boasts Southern California's only NFL franchise, I'm a bit puzzled by Kevin Drum's antipathy towards the league: [L]ike any sensible resident of the Los Angeles area in the post-Rams era, I hate the NFL with a burning passion. Local LA politics might not give us much to be proud of, but it does give us at least one reason to hold our heads high: our steadfast refusal to give an inch to the smarmy blackmailers of the NFL who, to a man, are convinced that every city in the country should shower them with riches for the privilege of hosting one of their teams.

Senate Judiciary Committee 1, Nfl 0
December 26, 2007

Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter have succeeded in their battle to get the NFL to show Saturday night's potentially historic (ugh, let's hope not) matchup between the Giants and the 15-0 Patriots on regular broadcast channels. The game was originally scheduled to be shown only on the much-derided NFL Network, which isn't included in most standard cable packages, but will now air on NBC and CBS. How did Congress manage this, while all the nation's big bad cable companies have huffed and puffed for two years and still haven't blown the NFL's house down?

The Survival Of The Fattest
March 19, 2007

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think By Brian Wansink (Bantam, 276 pp., $25) The idea of "the survival of the fittest" is one of the most powerful organizing principles in all of science. That simple idea, stated by Herbert Spencer on the basis of Charles Darwin's work and later endorsed by Darwin himself, captures the theory of evolution, the process of natural selection, and a host of associated notions. And yet the phrase can produce confusion.

The Moral Equivalent to Football
July 23, 1977

Wilcomb E. Washburn: Why football reflects the true nature of the American character.