Archive | Sports

Farewell to Les Miles. No one wanted it to come to this.


I am a fan of Les Miles. I admire Les Miles. I think Baton Rouge and LSU owe so much to Les Miles. He’s the winningest coach in the school’s storied history. He gave us some great teams and, no question, some great players. He was the Mad Hatter with more tricks than you could shake a stick at (one of my favorite bits of mad-hattery above and another below). He brought the school two SEC championships (2007 and 2011), two national championship appearances (2007 and 2011), and one national championship win (2007).

In addition to that, he has meant so much to the community in Baton Rouge. He showed leadership and rallied the community during Katrina, during the racial unrest over the summer, and during the aftermath of recent devastating floods. In spite of the downturn in Tiger football of late, people in Louisiana genuinely love and admire Les Miles. That is why he got one more shot to coach the Tigers after a disappointing 2015 season. That is why after the victory over A&M last year, his players carried him off the field. They love him, and so do so many others in my home state.

So what happened that led to his abrupt firing earlier today? If you think it was due solely to the heartbreaking loss to Auburn yesterday, you only know part of the story. The real story is that LSU football has been in decline since 2012. In fact, we can put our finger on the exact moment that the decline began. It was January 9, 2012. Continue Reading →

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My favorite 2016 Olympic Moment

Look at what Second Lieutenant Sam Kendricks does in the middle of his Olympic pole vault run when he hears the national anthem. I think this may be my new favorite moment of the 2016 Olympics.

Kendricks went on to win the Bronze medal in the event.

After football, now what? … Pain

The title of the post is a bit of a head-fake. What you are about to read is not about what all us fans will do now that football has wrapped-up until next Fall. No. “After football, now what?” is about the question that every pro-player has to face after retiring from the game. Yes, there is a big payday for many star players—one that leaves them financially set for life. But there can also be a tremendous physical cost.

USA Today published two stories talking about what life is like after football for some of the greats. All of them seem to have life-altering physical problems caused by years on the grid-iron. Here’s what the paper reports about the lives of football stars who are now well into their retirement, and the scene they describe is not pretty: Continue Reading →

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Another NFL great (and Bama star) diagnosed with C.T.E.

Here is an excerpt from the sad report in The New York Times:

The day after Stabler died on July 8, a victim of colon cancer at age 69, his brain was removed during an autopsy and ferried to scientists in Massachusetts. It weighed 1,318 grams, or just under three pounds. Over several months, it was dissected for clues, as Stabler had wished, to help those left behind understand why his mind seemed to slip so precipitously in his final years.

On a scale of 1 to 4, Stabler had high Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to researchers at Boston University. The relationship between concussions and brain degeneration is still poorly understood, and some experts caution that other factors, like unrelated mood problems or dementia, might contribute to symptoms experienced by those later found to have had C.T.E.

Readers of this blog know that I love football. But these stories are getting more and more common, and they are heart-breaking. I know the NFL is making changes to the game, but I think there will have to be more. I would support any reforms to make the game safer for players.

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Martavis Bryant’s impossible catch with a flip

In the Steelers’s win over the Bengals last night, Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant made one of the most athletic plays I’ve ever witnessed (watch above or below). In the endzone, Bryant goes up for the ball and brings it in around his legs, does a front flip, and keeps control the whole time for a touchdown. Last night I tweeted that I think this catch may be the best I’ve ever seen. I have never seen anything like it. It definitely eclipses Odell Beckham Jr.’s famous one-handed catch. Unbelievable. Continue Reading →

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Miami beats Duke on an impossible final play

If you missed the ending of the Miami vs. Duke game, you need to see this. With only six seconds left in the game and with only a three point lead, Duke kicks off to Miami. Miami does about eight Rugby laterals before running the ball in for a touchdown after time had expired. There are a lot of folks saying that the officials blew it on this play. They may be right. Still, this is one for the ages.

The unlikely play is above. Miami’s interim head coach’s shocked response is below. The player who made the touchdown–Corn Elder–comments below that. Wow. Continue Reading →

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