It’s October, which means we’re in the midst of the annual pink-a-palooza celebration in the NFL to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the over-the-top PR campaign put on by the league to go along with it. Players sporting neon pink gloves, cleats, socks, towels and more have become a familiar sight in recent years, all in the good name of supporting the NFL’s A Crucial Catch program.
Well today, in response to an outcry of general dissatisfaction from both fans and teams, the NFL confirmed that the league will stop using pink penalty flags after week 5.
While breast cancer awareness is certainly a fantastic cause, and the league’s campaign to call attention to it a seemingly a great idea, some have questioned how much of the proceeds from the Crucial Catch program actually go to support cancer charities, and whether this isn’t some grand effort to divert attention from the league’s numerous other PR issues – namely the controversy surrounding the violence of the sport and resulting brain injuries suffered by its players.
But regardless of your feelings on those matters, with the inclusion of pink first down markers, pink wristbands, pink mouthguards, pink captains patches, pink chinstraps and the like, there’s a chance that you’ve been feeling like the game has been overtaken by the color, to the point of distraction. And when it comes to pink penalty flags, it seems that everyone – including the NFL brain trust – agrees that the league has finally gone too far.
The use of the pink penalty flags originated from an 11-year-old fan who wrote a letter to Roger Goodell suggesting the idea — and Goodell jumped on the multi-pronged PR move like a cheetah, implementing it for just one game last season. But this weekend saw neon fuchsia laundry all over the field, with refs in each game using the hot pink flags to mark a penalty, leading to confusion for fans, players and announcers alike. So rather than continue the practice throughout October, the league decided to pull the plug after one week.
Fear not fans of all things pink, we’ll still get to see pink shoelaces and skull caps for the rest of the month (yeesh) … but the pink flags will be gone after tonight. Thank goodness.
We’re checking in with our old pal Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force for the first time this season, and things aren’t looking so great for the Zubaz-wearing prognosticator and his New York Football Giants, who have stumbled out of the gate with an ugly 0-4 start.
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that Carl finds himself under court-mandated psychological watch, and ingesting a steady diet of colorful pills … which seem to have softened his edge just a bit as he looks ahead to Sunday’s Giants-Eagles clash:
Once again, if Carl picks you (drug-addled or not), it’s pretty much the kiss of death … so it looks like the G-Men are going to fall to 0-5 this weekend.
Our long Tampa Bay-area nightmare has finally come to its inevitable close, as the Buccaneers released Josh Freeman today, after failed attempts at trading the embattled QB.
It’s been an ugly season so far for Freeman, who has had an openly contentious relationship with head coach Greg Schiano. Freeman reportedly missed the team photo earlier this year, and his teammates didn’t select him as a team captain for the first time since his rookie campaign — a vote that some thought may have been orchestrated by Schiano. Last weekend, Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, signaling the end of the Freeman era in Tampa. And then earlier this week, Freeman accused the organization of leaking confidential information about his involvement in the NFL’s drug program.
After attempts to trade Freeman over the past week were unsuccessful, the Buccaneers finally put an end to the drama by granting his release.
The atmosphere created by Schiano in Tampa Bay is clearly dysfunctional, and not just as it relates to Freeman. In an article on MMBQ.com published yesterday, Andrew Brant reveals that the entire Bucs locker room is feeling the effects of Schiano’s coaching style:
In speaking with agents of several Bucs players recently, I have sensed a common theme: There is an atmosphere of fear and distrust under the current regime in Tampa. Players have told their agents about coaches roaming through the locker room (typically the players’ sanctuary away from coaches) and staff videotaping players on the sidelines during losses to single out players laughing or horsing around. The players also speak to the influx of multiple Rutgers players from Schiano’s past and the use of the phrase “Schiano Men,” a term that clearly does not apply to Freeman.
So while Freeman is not without blame in this situation, his issues were exacerbated – and purposely brought into the public eye – by Schiano. And his heavy-handed style will likely lead to the release of other players who aren’t considered “Schiano Men” … which in any other setting, probably isn’t such a bad thing.
One of the more interesting stories in the NFL last week was that undercover Seattle cops were planning on dressing in visitors’ team gear at Sundays’ Seahawks-49ers game, in an attempt to identify and remove unruly fans.
Well, one Seahawks fan saw right through their attempt at entrapment, and called out the most obvious narc in the building:
Back to the drawing board, SPD.
Yep, it’s true. The man with the most recognizable hair in professional sports is finally going to cut his long-flowing, Samson-esque mane. Polamalu, who hasn’t trimmed his hair in 10 years, announced it himself on his Facebook page:
We talk about supporting veterans often, but now its time for us all to DO something. I’m getting a ceremonial haircut this Veterans Day for the #VFWManeEvent with Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW I DARE you to join me.
Troy even posted a video promoting the fundraising event (see below), but something about the word “ceremonial” in his announcement makes us wonder whether or not Polamalu is really going to say goodbye to his trademark look. I mean, he’s made a second career out of hawking dandruff shampoo based entirely on his thick, bordering-on-ridiculous locks. But we also assume he wouldn’t flake out on the VFW, or trick people into donating money if he wasn’t really going to go through with it.
At least it’s for a good cause.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Ever since they selected Tim Couch with the #1 overall pick in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had a long and pathetic revolving door of quarterbacks. In the last 14 seasons the Browns have had 18 different signal-callers under center, none of whom have made much of an impact, or even been able to stick around very long to try. That’s right — EIGHTEEN.
With today’s news that Brian Hoyer will get the start on Sunday in place of injured Brandon Weeden, you can now add number 19 to that list … which is exactly what one Browns fan has continued to do to their increasingly-depressing #2 Couch jersey. This picture really says all you need to know:
It’s official. Seahawks fans are loud. And now they have the Guinness World Record to prove it.
During last night’s Seahawks-49ers game, Seattle fans attempted to set the world record for the loudest stadium crowd ever, with officials from Guinness on hand at CenturyLink field to record the feat. And during the 2nd quarter, when Michael Bennett sacked Colin Kaepernick, the stadium reached an ear-splittingly loud decibel level of 131.9, beating the old record of 131.76 for a soccer match in Istanbul.
But they weren’t done there. Later, during the third quarter, the “12th Man” shattered their own record with a deafening 136.6 decibels during a Seahawks defensive series, giving them full claim to the title of loudest fans in the business. Granted, there might be some validity to the notion that the acoustics at CenturyLink were designed to amplify crowd noise, and that the Seahawks may have been guilty of piping in artificial crowd noise in the past … but that shouldn’t diminish just how loud it really does get it that stadium. Heck, they even created a seismic event a few years back, remember?
As a point of reference, the pain threshold for a human being is at 130 decibels … so 136 decibels is pretty off the charts, and enough to make ear plugs required accessories for anyone venturing into the Hawks Nest. More context via Mashable.com:
A public-health project called “Dangerous Decibels” reports that the sound a jet plane makes from 100 feet away clocks in at 135 decibels. The site also says the “maximum permissible exposure time” to a sound of 115 decibels without sustaining hearing damage is about 30 seconds. It doesn’t list maximum exposure times for anything louder.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
This is probably entirely fake, but props to the folks at Madden 25 and EA Sports for following up on last week’s viral video of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson betting an eyebrow on last night’s 49ers-Seahawks game.
Here’s video of Kaepernick going through with his punishment, and shaving off his left eyebrow:
Again, this is most likely fake (and looks to have been shot at the same time as the commercial … notice that Colin doesn’t have his newly-grown beard either), but either way, we like the follow-through. We’ll just have to check out this week’s press conferences to see if Kaepernick is still sporting both eyebrows.
They sure do start ‘em young in New York … especially if you’re a bitter Jets fan.
This video comes to us from Sunday’s Jets-Buccaneers tilt at MetLife Stadium, and shows an obnoxious 7-year-old Jets fan taking out his years of pent up frustration on a visiting fan.
Worst. Parenting. Ever.
As if we needed any more reason to tune in for this weekend’s 49ers-Seahawks game, the two young gun QBs taking the stage have upped the stakes even further: Seattle’s Russell Wilson and SF’s Colin Kaepernick have made a wager that whoever loses on Sunday has to shave off one of his eyebrows.
The bet took place during a commercial for Madden 25, and it’s all on video, with both quarterbacks shaking on it … which I’m pretty sure means it can be upheld in a court of law.
Kaepernick: “Big game on Sunday.”
Wilson: “Yup. You know what we should do? Whoever loses has to shave an eyebrow.”
Kaepernick: “Alright. Hope you don’t like your eyebrow.”
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP