Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension Reinstated for DeflateGate: A federal appeals court has ruled that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady must serve a four-game DeflateGate suspension imposed by the NFL, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union. "We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness," the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in New York.
Giants' John Mara: NFL May Dump Kickoffs: "We're not at the point where we want to take the kickoff out of the game completely, although we may be moving in that direction. ... It still does remain an exciting play, but it's also a dangerous play. Obviously concussions are on the top of our list in terms of our concerns for the game going forward." -- New York Giants co-owner John Mara, a member of the NFL Competition Committee
LA Rams Trade to Acquire 1st Pick in NFL Draft: The Los Angeles Rams have received the first overall pick in this year's NFL Draft in a trade with the Tennessee Titans, giving up a first round pick this year at No. 15; two second-round picks and a third round pick this year; and a first- and third-round pick in 2017. The Rams get the first pick and a fourth- and sixth-round pick this year. The move makes it appear likely the Rams will begin their return to Southern California with either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff as their quarterback. The trade could have been made out of concern the Cleveland Browns would take the Rams' preferred choice of quarterback at No. 2.
NFL knowingly distorted their own concussion research: "These discoveries [from decoding the league's own database] raise new questions about the validity of the committeeâ€™s findings, published in 13 peer-reviewed articles and held up by the league as scientific evidence that brain injuries did not cause long-term harm to its players. It is also unclear why the omissions went unchallenged by league officials, by the epidemiologist whose job it was to ensure accurate data collection and by the editor of the medical journal that published the studies."
NFL Adds Rule for Automatic Ejections After 2 Personal Fouls: The NFL has passed a rule that ejects a player automatically for two personal foul penalties. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the recommendation, which will define some personal fouls as infractions that are eject-worthy. The league also moved touchbacks to the 25-yard line and abolished chop blocks.
Peyton Manning is Retiring from the NFL: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will announce his retirement from the NFL at a news conference in Denver on Monday, bringing an end to a Hall of Fame career. In his 18-year career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, Manning won two Super Bowl titles, five most valuable player awards and the records for career yards and passing touchdowns. He plans to spend more time with his brands: Nationwide, Papa John's, Gatorade, Nike, DirecTV and Budweiser.
Bart Starr's Back Injury Was From Brutal Hazing at Alabama: "For more than 60 years, Bart Starr and his wife, Cherry, have kept a dark secret hidden away from the narrative of the Hall of Fame quarterback's career. No more. One of the most respected football players in the history of the game, and arguably one of the toughest, was hazed so badly while at the University of Alabama that it derailed his college career, disqualified him from military service and affected him throughout his 16 years with the Green Bay Packers."
Donald Trump's less than artful failure as a Pro Football Owner: "The [N.J.] Generals gave Trump something else: newspaper headlines. He was not yet a household name, though he was clearly on his way. Owning the Generals turbocharged his rise to fame. His views, his deals, his postgame comments — they dominated the news media’s coverage of the U.S.F.L. At first many of the owners were glad to have him play this role because it put a spotlight on the new league. But many U.S.F.L. observers soon came to believe that he did not necessarily have the best interests of the league at heart. “He was a dynamic figure, but he was dynamic on behalf of the Donald Trump interests, not the whole league,” said Keith Jackson, who broadcast U.S.F.L. games for ABC."
Peyton Manning’s squeaky-clean image was built on lies: as detailed in explosive court documents showing ugly smear campaign against his alleged sex assault victim. "As a general rule, it's not just gross to smash your testicles on a woman's face, it's a crime." Direct link to the court documents.
Wenger's Arsenal : Jonathan Wilson goes totally postmodern, referencing Said, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Monet, Liszt, Rembrandt, Bach, Matisse, Foster Wallace, Becker and Freud. Actually, that wouldn't be a bad starting XI.
The Wow Factor: Few could have guessed that the league's return would become so bloody, bitter and, most of all, emblematic of how power in the NFL truly works. From Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. at ESPN.
Texans Owner Robert McNair: Cherokees Can't Hold Their Whiskey: An NFL owner who defended Washington's use of the offensive mascot "Redskins" then told an interviewer that he grew up among Cherokee Indians and they had drinking problems. "Everybody respected their courage," said Houston Texans owner Robert McNair. "They might not have respected the way they held their whiskey, but ..." McNair laughed and added, "We respected their courage. They’re very brave people."
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest Winner: Tron7: The four-week contest to pick NFL playoff games on SportsFilter has been won by Tron7, vaulting from sixth place to first by predicting Denver by 10 and hitting six out of 10 bonus-point opportunities. Tron7 wins a copy of Gregg Easterbrook's new book The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football. Congratulations!
Peyton Manning Turns Super Bowl Moment into Beer Promotion: As Super Bowl 50 ended and Peyton Manning had his storybook ending to the season (and perhaps career), he sounded oddly robotic in his on-field interviews, touting Budweiser beer with all the spontaneity of a Nascar driver. "I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy," he first told the on-field reporter, then told Jim Nantz on the trophy podium, "I'm going to drink a lot of beer tonight, Jim, Budweiser. Von Miller's buying. Manning's first celebratory kiss after the game was with Papa John founder John Schnatter.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x32 Edition: For the Super Bowl, pick the game's winner a tiebreaker and 10 bonus categories. Make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock. Goyoucolts has a nine-point lead. Six players are within 20.
Roger Goodell's unstoppable football machine: or, "Why haven't concussions hurt the NFL?" Like anyone who has spent time around the league, Nate Jackson, the former Bronco, has heard a great deal about the Shield. ‘‘The thing is, isn’t a shield supposed to protect you?’’ Jackson asked me. ‘‘They want players to put their bodies in front of the shield, to sacrifice for this shield.’’
With NFL Rams gone, St. Louis still stuck with stadium debt: In St. Louis, the $280 million agreement to build the Edward Jones Dome for the Rams raised eyebrows since its opening in 1995. Unlike other stadium deals, the St. Louis contract included a clause requiring the 67,000-seat dome be maintained to a first-tier standard, meaning the facility must be considered among the top quarter of all NFL football facilities. ... "This was a contract designed to be broken" by the team, said Matheson, who studies stadium finances. "They had a terrible, terrible contract with the Rams."
Mike Martz on Terrell Owens as Hall of Fame Finalist: 'Ridiculous': Former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz called it "ridiculous" that Terrell Owens is an NFL Hall of Fame finalist when Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt aren't getting similar consideration. Martz told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, "You can't print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That's just plain out-and-out ridiculous." Post Dispatch sportswriter Jim Thomas notes: Holt had more yards in his first 11 seasons (11,864) than anyone in NFL history. Bruce retired second in all-time receiving yards (15,208) and fifth in receptions (1,024). Both caught touchdown passes in the Rams' victory in Super Bowl 0x22. Owens compares well on all three counts: He had 15,934 receiving yards, 1,078 receptions and 11,715 yards his first 11 seasons.
Ranking the Super Bowl MVPs: Kind of a strange list to me as it favors players who won in blowouts.
Carolina Demolishes Arizona to Roll Into Super Bowl 50: The Carolina Panthers got 7 turnovers off the Arizona Cardinals, including four interceptions and two fumbles by quarterback Carson Palmer, in a 49-14 romp to win the NFC Conference Championship and reach Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton threw for 235 yards and one touchdown and ran for two more.
Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50: The Denver Broncos defense bottled up quarterback Tom Brady for three quarters, then had a crucial two-point conversion stop with 12 seconds left to win the AFC Championship Game 20-18 over the New England Patriots. Brady threw for 310 yards but had three interceptions, including one on the conversion attempt with 12 seconds left. Peyton Manning, a backup a month ago, will play in his fourth Super Bowl.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round: The NFL conference championship games pit Arizona against Carolina and New England against Denver. Tommytrump holds the lead in our contest by six points, but there are more bonus-point opportunities this time around. Pick the winners, choose bonus players and teams and make any game a stone-cold lead-pipe lock.
Super Bowl hero wishes he never played pro football.:
Randle El, who retired in 2010 and is now 36 years old, has trouble walking down stairs and experiences memory lapses, the Post-Gazette reported.
NFL Divisional Round Produces Predictable Results: The #1 and #2 seeds in both the NFC and AFC have advanced to the conference championships for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The NFC title game pits the Arizona Cardinals (the oldest team in the NFL) against the Carolina Panthers (the most recent expansion team that wasn't a replacement franchise) in each team's quest for its first Super Bowl victory after being in one apiece. On the AFC side, the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will meet to see which first-ballot-HOF quarterback will go to Santa Clara.
NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Week 2: Divisional Round: After a crazy weekend in which Seattle and Pittsburgh saved their seasons with dramatic last-minute wins, Tommytrump leads the contest on SportsFilter to win a copy of Gregg Easterbrook's The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football. Pick the winners and spreads of the divisional round playoff games and four bonus categories. Make any game a stone cold lead pipe lock to double your points.
NFL Network Airs 'Lost' Super Bowl on Friday: On Friday night at 8 p.m. Eastern, NFL Network will air the first ever rebroadcast of Super Bowl I between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The game is pieced together from multiple sources and includes all 145 plays. Play-by-play comes from a radio broadcast by George Ratterman and Jim Simpson (who died Wednesday)."Given that no full version of the game exists anywhere and that it is the first Super Bowl ever played, I think it's great that we finally have a full record of the game, even though it wasn't competitive by the end of the third quarter," said NFL Films senior producer David Plaut. (How 'bout a spoiler warning, dude?)
49ers Hire Chip Kelly as Head Coach: Sixteen days after he was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly has been hired to coach the San Francisco 49ers. Kelly had a 26-21 overall record and a playoff appearance in his three seasons with the Eagles. I also hear he did some coaching in college.
NFL Approves Rams Move to Los Angeles, Chargers Invited to Join: In a deal brokered by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, NFL owners voted 30-2 to approve the move of the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles, where they will play in the $2 billion Inglewood stadium planned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The San Diego Chargers have a year to work out a deal with Kroenke to join him in L.A., after which the Oakland Raiders get a shot. The St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes several owners after the vote, including a giddy Jones, who is a business partner of Kroenke in non-NFL ventures.
Alabama Wins College Football Championship: The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Clemson Tigers 45-40 in the College Football Playoff National Championship, giving head coach Nick Saban his fourth title in only seven years. A 95-yard kickoff return by Kenyan Drake in the fourth quarter broke the game open for the Crimson Tide, giving them an 11-point lead with just 7:47 to go. Earlier in the quarter Alabama tied the game at 24, recovered a masterfully executed onside kick and got a 51-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jake Coker to receiver O.J. Howard. The Tigers rallied late with a touchdown but the onside kick attempt failed.
Steelers Coach Should've Been Flagged for Being on Field: The officials should have thrown a 15-yard penalty on Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter for being on the field at the end of last night's wild card game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Only trainers are allowed on the field to treat an injury. Coaches have to seek permission. Porter verbally engaged Bengals players and Adam Jones was flagged for confronting him, setting up a 35-yard field goal by the Steelers with 18 seconds left.
Play SportsFilter's NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest: SportsFilter's NFL Playoff Pick 'Em has returned and is awarding a prize this year -- a copy of Gregg Easterbrook's new book The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football. To play, predict the winner and spread of each playoff game. Make any game a stone cold lead pipe lock to increase your score at risk of dropping points.
NFL Pick 'Em Contest Winner: Grum@work: After 17 weeks, SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em contest has been won by a margin of just one point. Grum@work is victorious over Ic23b in second place and 22 other players. Grum wins The Duke, an official NFL game ball. Congratulations! A playoff pick 'em will begin later this week.
TCU Keeps College Football Belt with 31-Point Comeback : Down 31-0 at halftime to the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl, the TCU Horned Frogs tied the game 31-31 late in regulation and won 47-41 in the third overtime to keep the College Football Belt. The sport's only championship that has always been settled on the field, the Belt now has been in the Big 12 for four straight years. The next challenge will be against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Sept. 3, 2016.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 17: Last Chance Saloon Edition: The final week of the NFL season will crown a winner in SportsFilter's season-long Pick 'Em Contest. Grum@work leads by 2 points in the race to win The Duke, an official NFL football. The games all will be played Sunday. Make your picks, lock your locks and (with one exception) experience the agony of defeat.
TCU's Trevone Boykin Accused of Hitting Cop During Bar Fight: TCU quarterback Trevon Boykin, a top-10 Heisman candidate this year, was arrested early Thursday after a bar fight in San Antonio in which he's accused of indiscriminately swinging his fists and hitting a bar employee and then a cop. In town to play the Alamo Bowl on Saturday, Boykin was at the sports bar Pat O’Brien’s near the team's hotel when recognized by patrons, and somebody started somethin. Boykin was charged with assault of a public official, resisting arrest and public intoxication.
Eagles fire Chip Kelly: Three days after the Philadelphia Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention, owner Jeffrey Lurie fired third-year head coach Chip Kelly.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 16: Airing of Grievances Edition: With only two weeks left in SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em contest, we have a new leader: Grum@work has passed Tommytrump and Goyoucolts to lead by 3 with two weeks to play. NFL games begin Thursday night with San Diego at Oakland. Make your picks, lock your lock and don't forget to demonstrate feats of strength.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 15: I Miss the Big Sombrero Edition: Thursday night takes Tampa Bay to St. Louis in a rematch of the 1979 NFC Championship Game, which the Rams won 9-0 on the road in the Big Sombrero. On Saturday night, the N.Y. Jets visit Dallas. The Duke almost in his grasp, Tommytrump leads our contest by two points with just three weeks to go. Make your picks, lock your lock and remember the great John McKay.