Lights On: The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it repealed its sports blackout rule for the National Football League, eliminating a decades-old ban on airing local games that were not sold out.
Tackled Ohio State Student Was Wearing Secret Booze Panties: Ohio State strength and conditioning coach Anthony Schlegel executed a ferocious open-field tackle on a student who ran onto the field Saturday in the game against Cincinnati, to the roaring approval of the home crowd. The student is a senior in mechanical engineering on a full housing and tuition scholarship. Why would he risk that? The answer is in his pants.
Brady Hoke's Dangerous Incompetence So Bad ESPN Announcers Denounce It: Michigan quarterback Shane Morris took a nasty, and illegal, hit to the skull in the fourth quarter of last night's loss to Minnesota. Not only was Morris immediately re-inserted into the game, but Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke claimed " I didn't know if [Morris] had a concussion or not." Over-the-top deadspin headline aside, there is a growing demand to relieve Coach Hoke of his duties in Ann Arbor that isn't even based on the team's 2-3 start to the season. The university released a statement last night defending the team's handling of the situation, though not referencing the suspected head injury.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 4: The NFL resumes tonight with the New York Giants going to Washington. Mattwalshvideo continues to lead our Pick 'Em Contest by 50 points, with Jagsnumberone, Crisisstills and Howardt98 tied for second. Jagsnumberone had the best week, going 14-2 with only Arizona's upset of San Francisco and the Colts defeat of the Jaguars as misses.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 3: Make your picks for this week's games, which start tonight with Tampa Bay at Atlanta. Mattwalshvideo leads with 300 points after going 10-6 in week 2, putting him 50 points over the 1wurster in second. Here's how scoring works in the contest: 10 points for every winner you pick, plus a bonus of 10 if you get five right, 30 if you get 10 right and 50 if you get all 16 that week.
Vikings' Adrian Peterson Indicted for Child Injury: Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted on charges of child injury in Texas for "reckless or negligent injury to a child." The team is keeping him out of Sunday's game. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that Peterson has been cooperating with investigators. The charges involve Peterson using a switch to whip his four-year-old child as punishment and leaving lacerations and bruises on his thighs, lower back and buttocks. The sports blog Deadspin gathers press reports with more details, including a text message reportedly from Peterson to the child's mother in which he wrote, "Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right."
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 2: Make your picks for this week's NFL games, beginning with tonight's matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Five players are tied for first after week 1 with 12-4 records: 1wurster, aeonmcallister, cixelsyd, mattwalshvideo and me. No one on NFL.Com went 16-0, but five players went 15-1. Four of them missed Buffalo over Chicago and one missed Miami over New England.
FCC chairman: Sack the NFL's blackout rule: "With the first weekend of professional football in the books, two things should be abundantly clear: The NFL is king; and the Federal Communications Commission's sports blackout rules are obsolete and have to go. ... The bottom line is the NFL no longer needs the government's help to remain viable. And we at the FCC shouldn't be complicit in preventing sports fans from watching their favorite teams on TV. It's time to sack the sports blackout rules for good." -- Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Area Man Buys Bills for $1B: The trust that inherited the Buffalo Bills from Ralph Wilson has apparently agreed to sell the team to Terry Pegula, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres. The amount is being reported as slightly above $1 billion, which would be a record for a team that does not own its own stadium. Pegula had become a favorite due to his large wallet and his roots in Western New York. The other team owners still need to agree to the sale at their next meeting in October.
Sea of 49ers Red at Cowboys Stadium: I listened to the Dallas/San Francisco game on the radio broadcast, and when Tony Romo threw one interception near the end zone the roar of the crowd made me check whether the game was really in Dallas. Photos show a massive sea of fans for the visiting 49ers, which local reporters estimated to be 40 to 50 percent of the entire crowd.
Robert Mathis Tears Achilles in Workout, Out for Season: Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis, serving a four-game suspension for a PED violation, tore his Achilles tendon during a workout last week and will miss the entire season. Mathis was suspended for Clomid, a fertility drug that also can be used to mask PEDs. He had 19.5 sacks last season for the Colts, a franchise record. Mathis and his wife had twins in 2012 and are expecting another child this year.
Video of Ray Rice Elevator Punch on Partner Released: Remember the theory that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's soft punishment of Ray Rice was justified by something he saw on the in-elevator video? Not so much. Video obtained by TMZ shows Rice hits Janay Palmer, she hits back, then he hits her again and knocks her out.
Colts Owner Irsay Suspended 6 Games for DUI: The NFL has suspended billionaire Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000 following his guilty plea in an Indiana court to operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. Irsay admitted to having hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprazolam (Xanax) in his system March 16 when arrested in Carmel. He was originally facing four counts of felony possession of a controlled substance. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement that said owners, coaches and team executives "must be held to a higher standard than players."
SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em, 2014 Edition: I've set up an NFL Weekly Pick 'Em group for SportsFilter on NFL.Com for the season, which begins Thursday night with Green Bay at Seattle. It's a straight-up league with no point spreads. The password to join is kickoff. This will be the first contest in the SportsFilter Cup, a year-long competition to find the best fantasy sports player in this site.
Dallas Cowboys to Sign Michael Sam After Physical: Michael Sam, the first openly gay athlete to be drafted in the NFL, is flying to Dallas Tuesday night to take a physical for the Dallas Cowboys. If he passes, the team plans to sign him to its practice squad, ESPN reports. ESPN football writer Kevin Seifert wasn't surprised Sam didn't make an NFL roster but was surprised he didn't isn't already on a practice team. "He'll now get a second chance to impress another organization, albeit after a longer-than-usual wait and with a franchise whose owner craves attention like no other," Seifert writes.
University of Minnesota Not Thrilled to Host Slurskins: When Washington comes to play Minnesota at the University of Minnesota for an NFL game Nov. 2, the university has asked Washington to use throwback jerseys without the team name or logo, not have any team apparel or paraphernalia sold on the premises and for the team's name not to be used by the PA announcer or on the scoreboards. "The Vikings have a great working relationship with the tribal nations of Minnesota, and they're very understanding of how this team name and logo impacts our community," said Katrice Albert, the college's vice president in the office of equity and diversity.
St. Louis Rams Release Michael Sam: The St. Louis Rams have released defensive end rookie Michael Sam, the seventh-round draft pick making a bid to become the first openly gay player on an NFL team. Sam, a seventh round draft pick, had a strong preseason with 11 tackles and three sacks. A team source told ESPN that if Sam clears waivers the team is hoping to sign him to the 10-man practice squad.
Weird Penalty Called on Vanderbilt Jersey: During last night's Vanderbilt-Temple game, a ref announced Vanderbilt was being penalized one timeout a quarter "because of ill-stated statements on the jersey." The team had put the words "Anchor Down" on the back, an apparent breach of NCAA rules. But in what has to be a first, Vanderbilt coaches produced an email printout during the game and the penalty was reversed.
Roger Goodell Figures Out Domestic Violence is Bad: Under a new policy, NFL players face a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment for a second. The league was widely criticized for assessing only a two-week suspension to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after he struck his now-wife and dragged her unconscious out of an Atlantic City hotel elevator. "I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better," Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo outlining the new policy.
Annual Patriots trade key piece right before season move: Logan Mankins has been traded to the Bucs for Move TE Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick.
Mike Carey, longtime NFL referee, avoided Washington’s games because of the name: “I’ve called them Washington all my life,” he said, when finally asked. “And I will continue to call them Washington.”
Yours Truly, Dr. Z.:
NFL Films Presents gives the legendary Paul Zimmerman (who has been around pro football for over 50 years) a voice about why no one has heard from him since 2008.
Giants' David Wilson Retires Over Neck Injury: The promising career of New York Giants running back David Wilson appears to be over before his third NFL season. The Giants announced Monday that two doctors have advised Wilson, 23, to stop playing football due to the condition of his neck and spine. "I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me or pity me," Wilson said via a team press release. "I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too." Wilson played 21 games for the Giants after being drafted in the first round, 32nd overall, in the 2012 NFL Draft. He had 504 yards rushing, 1,755 yards returning kicks and scored seven touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving and one returning a kick).
NFL Players Will Have Tracking Chips in Shoulder Pads: NFL players this regular season will have RFID chips in their shoulder pads that enable their movements to be tracked in real time. Signal receivers at 17 NFL stadiums will collect and report the data in real time so it can be presented to broadcasters and fans. The 17 stadiums include all 15 that will host Thursday Night Football games. A not-yet-attained goal of the chips is to put them in footballs for first down and touchdown measurement.
Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games: the Baltimore Ravens running back will be suspended for the first two games of the regular season under the NFL's personal conduct policy and fined a third game check. The ban comes in response to Rice allegedly striking his then-fiancée and now wife, Janay, unconscious in February in Atlantic City. Rice was able to avoid prosecution after being accepted into a pre-trial intervention program.
California Limits Full-Contact School Football Practices: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced Monday that he has signed a bill limiting full-contact football practices at middle and high schools in response to concerns about concussions. Under the legislation taking effect in 2015, drills involving game-speed tackling are prohibited in the off-seasonandare limited to 90-minute sessions twice a week the rest of the year. The rules apply to public, private and charter schools. Texas has even stricter rules by allowing only one 90-minute full-contact session a week.
Oakland Raiders: Not the Worst Team in the NFL in 2013, Won’t Be in 2014 Either: It seems Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk doesn’t think too highly of the Oakland Raiders‘ efforts as he slotted them in the 32nd position
A search for the original New England Patriots' fan: has a strange and surprising twist to it. The calls are coming from inside the house!
USPTO Cancels Redskins Trademarks: The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team's name "disparaging to Native Americans." Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that "may disparage" individuals or groups or "bring them into contempt or disrepute." The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans.
Dan Marino joins concussion lawsuit against the NFL: Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino is among the latest group of NFL players to file a concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL.
Eight NFL Stars Sue for Getting Doped Up: Eight former NFL players (including HOFer Richard Dent) have sued the league for four decades of being drugged off their asses by team trainers and doctors, leading to long-term medical issues and drug addiction. The suit seeks to establish a class action that would cover every player who was treated without being fully advised of what was being done to him, which is to say pretty much every player in NFL history.
Gay Athlete Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis: Michael Sam has become the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. The Missouri defensive end, honored as the SEC defensive player of the year last season, was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. "We were very fortunate to have the supplemental choices," Fisher said on NFL Network. "You use those for players you want to give an opportunity to, that you think that you want to draft. I haven't said a whole lot to anybody over the last week or so but after doing the studies, good football player."
Josh Gordon Failed Drug Test, Faces Year-Long Suspension: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon faces a potential year-long suspension after a positive drug test, sources told NFL.Com. Gordon, who had a breakout year in 2013 with nine touchdowns and a league-leading 1,646 receiving yards, was suspended for the first two games that season for a substance abuse policy violation.
Live: 2014 NFL Draft: The Houston Texans are on the clock.
Football Scouting Reports on Superheroes.: How NFL Scouts might view Superman, Spiderman, The Hulk, The Flash, Wolverine and The Toad.
Bills Pro Bowler Arrested on Felony Drug Charges: Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was arrested on felony drug possession charges in Cleburne County, Alabama, Monday night after being stopped for speeding on Interstate 20. Dareus allegedly had synthetic marijuana (spice) in his vehicle. The third overall pick in the 2011 draft, Dareus had his best season in 2013 with 71 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Northwestern Football Players Cast Union Vote: Seventy-six football players at Northwestern University cast secret ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes -- a direct threat to the pretense that the huge money-making enterprise of college sport is an amateur activity. Required by law to let the vote proceed, Northwestern school officials couldn't tell the athletes to vote "no" but did send a 21-page document outlining problems with forming a union. "They are trying to rattle players," said Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, which would represent the players if unionization succeeds.
Jaguars Linebacker Suffered Stroke During Game: Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen suffered a stroke during a game against the Buffalo Bills in December that is ending his NFL career at age 27. Allen suffered double vision after a collision with Bills center Eric Wood but went back in and finished the game. Two days later after an MRI, a Jaguars doctor told Allen he needed to go to the emergency room. he told MMQB. "I felt something flash -- like they say when you get your bell rung. I didn't lose consciousness. I walked back to the huddle and finished the drive."
Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns: Football players at Minnesota State Mankato refused to practice for their former head coach Wednesday, greeting his reinstatement by an arbitrator by demanding that the interim coach keep the top job.
Maurice Jones-Drew Inks 3-Year Deal with Raiders: After eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Maurice Jones-Drew has signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. Jones-Drew is a three-time Pro Bowler who won the 2011 rushing title with 1,606 yards. He's 12 months shy of 30 and was given the ball 1,808 times by the Jags, raising the question of how much he has left in the tank. "I feel like I have a ton left in the tank," he said.