Commentators (and even some of us uncommon ‘taters) have been anticipating the first week of college football to be the biggest and bestest ever. Whether it lived up to expectations remains to be seen. In any case, here are my random fan reflections on the whole shebang. Continue Reading →
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 21, 2016
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.
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
After beating Florida earlier tonight, LSU is the only unbeaten team in the SEC. How did they do it? By the Mad Hatter being the Mad Hatter and calling a fake field goal. Believe it or not, LSU’s kicker Trent Domingue scored the winning touchdown. It was beautiful (see above). Mark Ennis said it well: Continue Reading →
I typically save the college football blogging for the weekends, but what a day today has been. In a single day, three major transitions happened—the kind that usually occur in the off-season, not mid-season! Has there ever been a more consequential Monday for college football? Continue Reading →
Ivan Maisel has a great article at ESPN.com titled “Leonard Fournette: The best kind of different.” I think Maisel is on to something here about the pheome known as Leonard Fournette.
Forgive me for writing a story that reads like ESPN.com just got T-boned by Buzzfeed. Forgive me for preaching gospel sourced in feel and potential and wonder and three football games. In each of them, Fournette has rushed for more than 200 yards. No one in the history of the Southeastern Conference — neither Herschel nor Bo nor running backs with last names — had ever done that.
Continue Reading →
My commentary on week three:
1. Leonard Fournette is a beast–a Heisman beast (see 1st video below).
2. Ole Miss had the wackiest play of the day (see 2nd video below).
3. Louisiana Tech is better than their record shows and should have won that heartbreaker today (see 3rd video below). Continue Reading →