NFL Pick 'Em Week 8: Farewell Arian Edition: The NFL returns Thursday night with the race to glory that is the AFC South. Robby Blake Bortles (QBR 50.2) and the 2-4 Jacksonville Jaguars face Marcus Ardel Taulauniu Mariota (QBR 55.0) and the 3-4 Tennessee Titans. Our NFL Pick 'Em contest is led by tron7 with 410 points, followed by Ufez Jones at 404 and rumple at 389. Make your picks.
Arian Foster retires: "There comes a time in every athlete's career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page." With a tweet on #UNINTERRUPTED, Arian Foster has retired from football, effective immediately. Ian Rapoport reports that "it's because his heart couldn't take another rehab, even for a minor injury."
Saint Will and the Man Who Shot Him: This spring, a former Saint and Super Bowl champion, Will Smith, was shot and killed by another player, named Cardell Hayes. Their fatal collision highlights the fine line between triumph and tragedy in football and life in the Crescent City.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 7: Hoodie 1, Surface 0 Edition: Week 7 begins this evening as the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers. Make your picks and don't lend your tablet to Bill Belichick.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 6: Stand Up for Colin Kaepernick Edition: The NFL week begins tonight as Denver visits San Diego. After five weeks, grum@work is in first at 299, followed by Ufez Jones at 297 and tron7 at 296. Make your picks.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 5: Touchdown John Kuhn Edition: Make your picks for this weekend's games. Results to come.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 4: Throw the Ball Jameis Edition: After three weeks in SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em, tron7 leads with 211 points, followed by jagsnumberone with 187 points and MeatSaber at 185.
Packers Returner Ingeniously Exploits Out-of-Bounds Rule: In Sunday's game, Green Bay Packers kick returner Ty Montgomery made a sneaky use of an out-of-bounds rule, as former NFL director of officiating Mike Pereira explains. I don't think I've seen this done intentionally before.
CFL player Mylan Hicks (age 23) killed in night club shooting.:
It was a game worth celebrating for the Calgary Stampeders. Not only had they beaten the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers on a late and dramatic field goal, the victory had assured the Stampeders a berth in November’s Grey Cup run. So several Calgary players, including practice roster defensive back Mylan Hicks, met at the Marquee Beer Market. Hours later, police would find Mr. Hicks sprawled outside the nightclub, a gunshot victim who was rushed to Foothills hospital, where he died. He was 23.
Texas A&M takes College Football Belt: The true championship of college football is back in Texas after the Aggies of Texas A&M walloped the Razorbacks of Arkansas 45-24. The belt has now been resident in the Lone Star State for 101 of the last 103 weeks. This is A&M's second title reign after holding it for seven weeks in 1998, and its first reign as a member of the SEC. A&M's first defense will be next weekend in Columbia against permanent cross-division rival South Carolina.
Les Miles out at LSU: Louisiana State University has fired football head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after a loss to divisional rival Auburn dropped the Tigers to 2-2. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron (former Ole Miss coach and former interim USC coach) will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 3: Bud Grant on the Gjallarhorn Edition: After two weeks in SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em, tron7 leads with 150 points followed by jagsnumberone at 144 and tahoemoj at 138. The winner will receive an official NFL game ball.
Lady Gaga Will Perform Super Bowl Halftime Show: Lady Gaga is set to headline the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show, Us Weekly reports. Finally the NFL gets me.
NFL Pick 'Em Week 2: Jeff Fisher Update Your Resume Edition: Choose the winners of each game, the margin of victory and any game as a stone cold lead pipe lock to double your points in victory (for the glorious) or lose points in defeat (for the vainglorious). The winner will receive an official NFL game ball.
Kevin Harlan's Epic Radio Call of Monday Night Football Interloper: Last night, Kevin Harlan of Westwood One had more fun on the radio call of an idiot who ran onto the field during play of Niners/Rams than he did the rest of the game.
MACtion 'beats' Oklahoma State, but not with casualties: The Central Michigan Chippewas outscored the Oklahoma State Cowboys 30-27 on one of those great Hail Mary-lateral combos, but only because the officiating crew mistakenly gave them an untimed down after OSU QB Mason Rudolph committed an intentional grounding penalty on 4th down with no time left on the clock. The entire on-field crew (provided by the Chips' Mid-American Conference) has been suspended for two weeks, and the replay crew (provided by the Cowboys' Big 12 Conference) has been suspended for two weeks and will not be allowed to officiate a bowl game this season.
Enter SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em Contest: The NFL season starts Thursday, which means the return of the SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em. There are some changes this year. Choose the winners of each game, the margin of victory and any game as a stone cold lead pipe lock to double your points in victory (for the glorious) or lose points in defeat (for the vainglorious). The winner will receive an official NFL game ball (details inside).
Troy Aikman Blasts Fox Hiring Skip Bayless: "To say I'm disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement. Clearly, [Fox Sports exec] Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organization. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless." -- Fox lead NFL analyst Troy Aikman
TCU Begins Defense of College Football Belt Against South Dakota State: The TCU Horned Frogs host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits tonight in their second defense of the College Football Belt, the sport's only championship decided entirely on the field. Fans of the Belt have been looking for a team to end the four-year run of the Big 12 holding it, but this one's a big ask. TCU's ranked 13th and FCS team South Dakota State is a 34.5-point underdog.
Sam Bradford to Vikings, Mark Sanchez to Cowboys: Two teams just got last-minute quarterback help. The Philadelphia Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2017 first round and 2018 fourth round pick. The Denver Broncos released Mark Sanchez, who will be signed by the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater to a season-ending knee injury. The Cowboys lost Tony Romo for a long stretch of the season to another back injury. Rookie Dak Prescott is the starter.
Teddy Bridgewater Tears ACL, Will Miss Season: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn ACL when he went down during a non-contact drill at practice Tuesday, ending his 2016 season. Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a drill, planted his foot and immediately went down. The 23-year-old quarterback led the Vikings to a division championship last season. His backup is Shaun Hill, 36. Before this injury the Vikings were a popular choice of gamblers to win the Super Bowl, with odds trailing only the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.
Raiders Stadium Backers To Las Vegas: Give Us $750 Million, Or Else: ... Rich old baby Mark Davis, truly evil plutocrat Sheldon Adelson, and Las Vegas’s scummy sheen have all combined to create one of the most abhorrent cast of characters we’ve ever seen attached to a stadium financing project. If anyone can finally convince American sports fans and politicians that publicly funded stadiums are a massive scam, it’s these goons.
The Bennett Brothers vs. Everyone: MICHAEL AND MARTELLUS Bennett tend to perplex people. This becomes clear when we stop for lunch at a West Hollywood café, the kind of crunchy, actressy place that serves food on wooden boards. The brothers split up as soon as they walk in. Michael circles a display of expensive sweets ("I don't eat American chocolate," he sniffs), and Martellus hovers near the entrance, offering health and safety advice to customers as they leave the restaurant. "Wrap it up," he counsels a man walking out the door. The guy stares at him, trying to deduce why a stranger is telling him to wear a condom.
NFL Coach Buddy Ryan Dies: Buddy Ryan, the former NFL coach and coordinator who was as famous for being cantankerous as for building defenses, has died. He was 82. Ryan got his first coaching job with the New York Jets in 1968. As defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears he created the 46 Defense that was key in the team's 1985 Super Bowl-winning season. He went on to coach the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. "People ask all the time, 'Why didn't you guys win another Super Bowl?'" Bears player Steve McMichael said. "Well, Buddy Ryan went to Philadelphia. Period." Ryan also fathered two NFL coaches, Rex and Rob.
Johnny Manziel's Life Continues to Spiral: "He's a druggie. It's not a secret that he's a druggie. I don't know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn't [sought] it yet. Hopefully he doesn't die before he comes to his senses. That's about all you can say. I don't know what else to say." -- Johnny Manziel's father Paul in a phone interview Friday with ESPN
Texas City Will Build $62.8 Million High School Football Stadium: Voters in a school district in McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas have approved $62.8 million to build a new high school football stadium. The 12,000-seat facility will be the most expensive high school stadium in the country, according to Sports Illustrated.
Joe Paterno (and Penn State) may have known about the sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky as far back as 1976.:
The line in question states that one of Penn State's insurers has claimed "in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU's Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky."
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."