Archive for the ‘NFL News’ Category
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You are currently browsing the archives for the NFL News category.
In the wake of the ongoing Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga in Miami, players from around the NFL have voiced their opinions on bullying/hazing in the locker room, and how this situation could have been handled better.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, Martin left the Dolphins last week after saying he had been frequently harassed by teammates, and particularly Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Martin briefly checked himself into a south Florida hospital for emotional distress, and both the Dolphins and the league are investigating evidence in the form of voicemails and text messages that Martin received, which clearly cross the line of good-natured hazing into flat-out bullying.
Many athletes have suggested that Martin needed to “man up” and put an end to the bullying himself, while others have shown support for Martin, and disdain for Incognito’s actions. It all has placed the culture surrounding the NFL under a microscope, and forced everyone to take a long hard look at the type of mentality we’re fostering among athletes throughout the sport.
Grantland has a particularly interesting take on the situation, which is definitely worth a read. And MMBQ published a fascinating piece by former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha, which gives an insider’s perspective on just what exactly went down in Miami. In it, Murtha points out that Dolphins players were instructed by coaches to bring Martin out of his shell and toughen him up … essentially, the NFL’s version of ordering a Code Red from A Few Good Men.
Bears WR Brandon Marshall is a particularly thoughtful NFL player, who has been remarkably candid about his own struggles with mental illness, and has actively tried to draw attention to the importance of mental health in our society, and in the sport of football. Marshall also spent a two years with the Dolphins and Incognito (from 2010-2011), so it should come as no surprise that he provided some of the more insightful commentary on the Martin/Incognito situation earlier this week.
MORE, INCLUDING VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In case you missed it last night, Bengals rookie sensation Giovani Bernard scored the most impressive TD run of the year, with his remarkable Barry Sanders-esque 35-yard scamper.
On the play, Bernard took the pitch from Andy Dalton, then reversed field after being seemingly trapped by two defenders in the backfield, and somehow evaded everyone in a Dolphins uniform on his way to the endzone.
It was pretty incredible, and is worth watching over and over, in glorious GIF format:
Here’s the video of the play, and below is another GIF, from a different angle:
Perhaps the most important piece of investigative journalism about the NFL in recent history – Frontline’s 2-hour documentary, “League of Denial” - will premiere tonight on your local PBS station.
Based on the book of the same name by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the piece takes an in-depth look at the impact of head trauma on the NFL and it’s players. Along the way, it shows how the league – in an effort to protect its multi-billion dollar business - has publicly pretended to care about the link between football and subsequent cumulative brain injury, but in reality has tried to play down the issue, and even gone so far as to cover it up.
The documentary has already proved controversial enough that ESPN removed their own credit from the documentary, most likely in fear of retribution from the league. It’s definitely must-DVR material, and worth watching, especially if you have (or plan to have) kids who may play football some day.
Ultimately, this program – and the revelations made within – could change the very foundation of our nation’s favorite sport, and how it’s played.
MORE VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
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.
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
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