NFL National Anthem Protests Sink TV Ratings To Five-Year Low

The league is in denial about a significant reason for the decline in its TV ratings.


Gee……you don’t say!


The NFL’s TV ratings plunge has been consistent throughout the 2016 season. Even though a Rassmusen survey revealed that 32% of respondents were less likely to watch the NFL due to the players protesting the national anthem, the NFL brass is in denial.


Everyone who studies statistics and digital analytics knows the NFL ratings are down because of the protest from players. The NFL better get a grip on this now.  People want to watch the game and not political messages or protests.

Roger Goodell tried stopping NFL players from making ‘Ballers’ cameos

In an interview with ESPN’s show Mike & Mike, Mark Wahlberg revealed that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to stop players from appearing on the HBO show Ballers, of which Wahlberg is an executive producer. Ballers follows a retired former football star played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and has featured many current NFL stars, such as DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, and Steven Jackson, among others.

when does hbo ballers start

While lots of players have been interested in appearing on the show in its second season (which debuts this coming Sunday), Wahlberg said that at first it was difficult to get them involved. He said the only people calling were “guys like Roger Goodell, saying, ‘you can’t do this,’ and various owners in the league.”
ballers trees

Wahlberg insisted it would be good for the league, and now, it appears as though the naysayers have changed their tunes.

the rock hbo show ballers, ballers season 2

The players should be able to go on the show if they choose.  Roger Goodell has been a stain on the NFL since he was appointed Commissioner so he needs to let this go and enjoy his Tom Brady suspension.  Hell, maybe Wahlberg should ask Tom Brady to make a cameo just to piss Goodell off.  Don’t forget, “Ballers” Season 2 starts tomorrow!

People Try To Catch Passes From An NFL Quarterback

This is classic.  Watch these turds try to catch a pass from Warren Moon, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback.  If they can’t catch it from him, imagine them trying to catch something from Cam Newton.

And yes, I get that they are not the most impressive athletes to roam the field with an NFL quarterback, but Warren Moon is retired and still tosses a mean ball. Anyway, watch the video for your viewing pleasure.

Warren Moon
People Try To Catch Passes From An NFL Quarterback

Jarryd Hayne’s NFL debut

World reacts to Jarryd Hayne’s NFL debut

IT’S been less than a year since Jarryd Hayne announced he was leaving Australia to pursue his NFL dream — but today that dream became a reality.

These days he’s catching a pigskin instead of a Steeden in a game that values forward passes instead of penalising them, but the man from Minto in Sydney’s western suburbs showed he would never forget where he came from.

After his San Francisco 49ers beat the Minnesota Vikings, Hayne posed for a photo with fans holding an Australian flag. And it sure meant a lot to him.

“That was good (posing with the flag). It was a bit emotional seeing that flag and that brought back memories, realising how far I’ve come and I guess everyone supporting me,” said Hayne.

“Even coming to the game listening to a couple of church songs, that emotion getting stirred up, realising how far I’ve come and how far my faith’s led me. It’s been a great journey, everyone back home has been incredible.”

In an emotional Instagram post, Hayne thanked all his supporters and said he was “proud to represent the flag”.

jarryd hayne 49ers, jarryd hayne fumble, jarryd hayne fiji, jarryd hayne nfl, Rugby League International Federation's International Player of the Year

It was not the start Hayne and his massive Australian following had been hoping for in his NFL debut though.

When he was thrown into the game late in the first quarter for his first taste of NFL football, he fumbled a punt, losing the ball and it was recovered by the Vikings.

Hayne was seen cursing as he made his way from the field for the San Francisco 49ers.

Speaking to Australian radio duo Hamish & Andy on 2DayFM 104.1 after the game, Hayne said he couldn’t have imagined a worse start to his NFL career.

“You’re just like, ‘S***. What worse could have happened?’ It was just one of those things, you just worry abut the next play and that’s it,” said Hayne.

He was adamant the mistake had nothing to do with nerves, and was pleased he managed to move on and get a first-start win.

“I was good, I felt good and I just got mixed up with the read when the ball was in the air.

“It was great, obviously I started awful but it was great to bounce back and get a couple of carries and watch the boys do their thing.”


Commentators and social media also had their say on Hayne’s horror start.

“This is a crazy game … that ball ate him up,” commentator Trent Dilfer said. “There’s a bit of wind in the stadium tonight but that is an inexcusable mistake for Jarryd Hayne.”

ESPN writer Paul Gutierrez said Hayne’s debut “was an inauspicious one, to say the least” after claiming he was a “somewhat surprising inclusion” in the active roster to begin with.

jarryd hayne 49ers, jarryd hayne fumble, jarryd hayne fiji, jarryd hayne nfl, Rugby League International Federation's International Player of the Year



Hayne likened his first-quarter blunder to his Origin debut back in 2007 when a pass in his own in-goal led to a Queensland try.

“I did a similar thing in Origin in my debut game,” Hayne said. “I gave away a try. I threw the ball when I shouldn’t have. It was kind of similar. Like, s***, I didn’t want that to happen,” said Hayne.

“I just had to move forward.” “I obviously was disappointed, for it to be on “Monday Night Football” in front of that many eyes.”

Hayne said it was tough to reflect on his journey because he knows he’s still got so much more to learn.

“I guess it’s tough to look back and look how far I’ve come because everything happens so fast over here,” said Hayne. “I don’t go into meetings thinking that 12 months ago I was in Australia playing another league. I’m just in there and learning and doing my best.”

While all his supporters were cheering when they found out he’d made the 49ers’ active list, Hayne revealed there was no special moment where he was told he’d be playing.

“I didn’t really find out … I got a couple of reps about two days ago and that’s when it started ticking over that I might get the call up,” said Hayne.

“It wasn’t really clear. It was just one of those things you rolled into and I was like, ‘Alright my jersey’s there, I’m playing.’”


Jim Tomsula has been reluctant to contribute to the hype about the Hayne Plane during the pre-season, but he offered support to the 27-year-old when asked about his performance.

“Sometimes things happen,” Tomsula said. “Jarryd has a mindset, in my mind, that he’ll overcome (it) … I’m very happy with Jarryd.”

Without referencing Hayne’s blunder directly, Tomsula praised the 49ers’ special teams outfit for overcoming adversity in a post-game locker room address.

“You young guys, you rookies, we’ve been talking about you for a little while now … special teams, a couple of things happened there, but you overcame it. You understand that? You overcame it, we’re fine,” said Tomsula.

“We own it, we fix it, we move on.”

49ers beat reporter Cam Inman reported that Hayne also received encouragement from special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, who advised him to forget about his dropped catch and worry about the next play.


The Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows summarised it best when it was confirmed Hayne was set to suit up for the 49ers.

“You can exhale, Australia,” Barrows wrote.

“Jarryd Hayne, that continent’s favourite son, is in uniform for tonight’s game against the Vikings and presumably will return punts.

“Hayne was excellent at that during the preseason, returning nine punts with an 18.1-yard average and showing an aggressive instinct common to all the best return men.

“The upcoming game, however, might be a bit more challenging.”

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, for some unknown reason, limited the celebrations to Sydney and the Australian capital.

As the 49ers announced its seven inactive players for the match at Levi’s Stadium — of which Hayne was clearly not one — the team’s website accompanied the statement with the line: “The Hayne Plane is all set for takeoff.”


2015 NFL season opener: New England Patriots host Pittsburgh Steelers

Tom Brady, deflategate, new england patriots, pittsburgh steelers, nfl, nfl thursday night football
2015 NFL season opener: New England Patriots host Pittsburgh Steelers

The League Season 7 Review: A Bigger Cast Leads To Better Results

The League Season 7 Review: A Bigger Cast Leads To Better Results image
Coming into its final season, FXX’s The League needed to give its fans one last reason to stay tuned, and boy did it succeed. Creators Jeff and Jackie Schaffer filled the first episodes to the brim with the classic dirty humor, Andre (Paul Scheer) jokes all around, a problematic draft day, Taco (Jon Lajoie) in his Mr. McGibblets suit and of course a few guest appearances from the NFL’s most talked about players. Season 7 of The League certainly started out with the momentum it may have lacked in the previous few opening numbers. With Season 6 ending in Andre’s favor,The League’s final run had every opportunity to present a riot of disappointment and hilarity, and if the previous season finale wasn’t enough, then the premiere is bound to tickle your fancy.

The first episode starts off with a bang. With a quick look at the final days on the beach, the crew moves forward into a different type of fantasy league setting. One that Andre, still fitted in his absurd apparel choices, can totally get behind– fantasy soccer. Not one character is thrilled at this attempt to avoid the discomfort that is football off-season, but in no time we’re back to the ragtag group of frenemies getting back together in excitement for the days leading up to the draft.

No event in each individual character’s life is dismissed. Ranging from Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) and Jenny (Katie Aselton)’s difficulty in potty training their kid, all the way to Andre receiving his brand new trophy (since the last Shiva was ultimately destroyed), the first episode of the season makes sure to give each character their due time in the limelight. Of course there is no lack of The Leagueclassy one-liners, with even a comparison of DeflateGate to Andre’s balls thrown in there, but for the majority of the opening episodes, everything runs incredibly smoothly, until Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) gets involved.

Rafi ruins things. We know this. And as fans of The League we get why his type of humor sometimes fits nicely into the fold of the show. But the only aspect of these first two episodes that felt anywhere out of place was Rafi’s over-involvement. The first episode featured him nicely, in his classic, popping up completely out of nowhere for some quick and uncomfortable dirty input. But in the second episode, when Rafi joins in on the drafting fun, we do get a little too much Rafi time.

The League Season 7 is off to a strong, if not the strongest start we’ve seen in a while. Finally inserting more women into the storyline by bringing back Pete (Mark Duplass)’s infamous ex-wife Meegan (Leslie Bibb) we can see that the series is going to start taking big, bold turns into even more chaos than what the group often creates internally. The first couple of episodes featured a number of throwbacks, and there’s a feeling afoot that the final chapter of The League is going to continue with that theme, bringing about all the best nostalgia for its fans. But it is doing so creatively by still inserting new arcs.

Best (or worst) of all, we are getting to know a different side of Andre. As the butt of every joke, and taking the role unknowingly, we’ve started to feel a bit bad for Andre. He’s ridiculous. This is fact. But still the guy, even after winning the Shiva can’t catch a break. Andre may finally getting the respect he (sometimes) deserves. After a badass fight scene that shows off quite the impressive side of the fedora-favoring man, the group’s mouths have dropped. Is this going to be the season where Andre rules them all? With a perfectly matched woman by his side, who also seems to have her football facts down pact, Andre may be the biggest force to be reckoned with as Season 7 progresses. It’s an unlikely man at the top, but it may just be the perfect formula for The League to leave the show on its highest note yet.


The League will kick off its final run when Episode 1 premieres on FXX on September 9th at 10 p.m. ET.

Photos Courtesy of FXX.

From Cinema Blend

Did Tim Tebow make the team?

Tim Tebow might just have locked up spot on Eagles’ 53-man roster

Playing too little or too much in the fourth preseason game can be a bad sign for a player trying to make an NFL roster. But in the case of Tim Tebow, a strong effort Thursday night against theNew York Jets might mean that Tebow could make the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Week 1 roster.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow (11) looks to pass during warmups before their pre-season game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 3, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. (Rich Schultz, Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow (11) looks to pass during warmups before their pre-season game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 3, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. (Rich Schultz, Getty Images)

All signs and reports had pointed toward Chip Kelly keeping Tebow, but nothing is ever clear with Kelly, who said this would be a “big week” for Tebow. If that’s the case, he made the most of it, completing 11-of-17 passes — including some nice touch throws — for 189 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.

Tebow, in a battle with Matt Barkley for the Eagles’ third QB spot (if they keep three) behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez, watched Barkley start the game but struggle. His second pass of the game was picked off, and though Barkley led a field-goal drive on his next chance, he finished an unimpressive 4-of-9 passing for 45 yards with that one INT.

On the third and fourth series, Tebow moved the ball a little but ended both drives with punts. But he got the Eagles moving right before the half — against Jets second- and third-stringers, yes — and strung together big plays, taking over on his own 15-yard line with 1:49 remaining. Shaking loose from a sack to run for 17 yards. Passes for 28 and 23 yards. And after taking a sack, Tebow hit Rasheed Bailey for his first TD pass of the preseason.

Taking over again in the fourth quarter, Tebow had a rough series after completing a pretty 45-yard touch pass, incurring a false start, getting called for intentional grounding and getting picked inside the Jets’ red zone.

But he atoned on his final possession, leading a nine-play, 45-yard TD drive capped by a 9-yard pass to Freddie Martino.

Tebow was 2-of-2 passing and had two rushes for 14 yards on the drive.

Overall, he has looked decent this preseason. Throw in some decent training-camp performances, which earned some praise from Kelly, and Tebow looks like he has a good chance to make the team and perhaps even carve out a role as a specialist. Bradford is the starter and Sanchez is the backup. Is Tebow the third? We shall see. But Thursday helped his solid cause.

– – – – – – –

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

From Yahoo Sports

NFL in Damage-Control Mode Over Head-Trauma Movie ‘CONCUSSION’

Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’ Drama: NFL Plots Embrace-the-Debate Strategy

Concussion Trailer Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Sony Pictures
Sony’s ‘Concussion’

The league says it would even entertain the prospect of working with Sony on raising awareness about football safety.

Facing an onslaught of potentially damaging PR, the National Football League has drafted its own game plan for dealing with the upcoming Sony film Concussion.

The league will host a series of discussions, conferences and scientific strategy meetings about player safety over the coming months in the run-up to Concussion’s release Christmas Day. In fact, the NFL says it welcomes the Will Smith-led film’s ability to spark dialogue on the subject, despite being portrayed as an organization that tried to conceal findings about the long-term effects of football-related head trauma.

“When something like this movie comes up and people want to talk about concussions or football or the future of the sport, that’s an opportunity for us to engage,” Jeff Miller, NFL senior vp health and safety policy, toldThe Hollywood Reporter. “We intend to do just that over the course of the movie and long after that.”

Among the events planned are a convening of concussion experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that is being funded by a grant from the NFL Foundation (beginning Oct. 15) and the International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank in London (Oct. 23-25).

The NFL isn’t shirking from the media glare in the wake of Monday’s Concussion trailer debut, which prompted major news coverage from networks and national outlets. Miller says the NFL will speak to any press outlet that wants to know about the health and safety questions in football and what the league is doing to reduce concussions. Perhaps more intriguing, the NFL would even entertain the prospect of working with Sony on raising awareness.


“The studio hasn’t asked,” Miller added. “And if they were to and it gives us the opportunity to talk about the health and safety of our sport, we would do that. But there hasn’t been any communication to this point.”

Sony declined comment.

To date, no one from the NFL has been invited to see the film, which has been screened mostly for sports journalists, including writers and editors at Sports Illustrated, which made the film its cover story this week.

Meanwhile Sony is scrambling in the aftermath of a New York Times article — citing a series of hacked emails — that claims the studio softened the film’s take on the NFL. In response, the studio has put the film’s directorPeter Landesman on the record for a number of news outlets including THR[2] in an effort to reverse the perception that it caved to pressure. The NFL, too, is bristling at the suggestion that it applied any pressure to alter the film. THR could find no evidence in the trove of leaked emails from last year that the studio and the NFL had any contact regarding Concussion beyond a brief email exchange between Landesman and NFL communications chief Paul Hicks in which the director requested a meeting that never materialized (Hicks asked for and was denied a copy of the script).

“It’s probably something that we, the league, need to do a better job of in terms of talking about the things we do [to educate] as well as continuing to do the things we do to improve the [safety of the] game,” Miller added. “If this [movie] presents an opportunity to engage in that conversation, then that’s terrific for us.”

And while Sony and the NFL are waging their own PR campaigns over the film’s treatment of the league, Dr. Christopher Giza, director of UCLA’s Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, offered up an outside perspective on the Concussion debate.

“One concern I have is that the film might paint too dire a picture of a post-concussion prognosis,” Dr. Giza said. “People who have suffered concussions need — and should have — hope because there’s a lot that can be done, and we are learning more every day.”

From the Hollywood Reporter

Jay Gruden: Stop Calling Me Fat

Washington is such a hilarious disaster, man. We’re not even done with the preseason, but the starting quarterback is shell-shocked and fed up, and the head coach is talking like a man who’s already in the middle of a 3-13 campaign. Here’s what Jay Gruden had to say to the press yesterday (via the Washington Post):

Coach Jay Gruden, left, observes quarterback Robert Griffin III during warm ups in Cleveland Aug. 13. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

That’s all we’re trying to preach as coaches, man. Block out the negativity surrounding this franchise, and it’s our job as a football staff and football team to go out and change the perception of this franchise. That’s what we’re trying to do. But we have to go out there and prove it and do it to get the negativity out of here.

This team is 0-0! This is a time when coaches and players and fans are supposed to be feeling optimistic, not openly talking about the organization’s poisoned by negativity. Gruden went on to say he was taking all of the criticism that’s been lobbed at him in stride, but he’s not cool with people calling him fat:

“I really dislike the guy that called me a fat ass,” Gruden said with a laugh, referring to CBS Sports radio host Scott Ferrall. “That really ticked me off. I don’t mind you critiquing my coaching style, but to make fun of my weight, that’s unfair. I’m only 225 [pounds]. But other than that, man, it’s football.

The quarterback hates his life, everyone hates the team, and the head coach is publicly responding to fat jokes made at his expense. What a franchise.


Do the Washington Redskins need to change their name?

Redskins planning stadium, won’t change nickname for move back to D.C.

Redskins president dismisses name change for new stadium
FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2014 file photo, Washington Redskins President and General Manager Bruce Allen speaks to reporters during an NFL football news conference at the Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. Allen says the Washington Redskins will not reconsider whether to change the team’s nickname if it becomes a political barrier to building a new stadium. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The Washington Redskins almost instantly didn’t like their stadium in Landover, Md., which must really stink for the taxpayers who paid $70.5 million for “land, sewer lines, highway interchanges and other infrastructure” for FedEx Field, opened in 1997.

The $180 million stadium itself was privately financed, but isn’t as nice as many of the NFL stadiums that have been built since. So the Redskins want a new stadium and are working on it now, even though their FedEx Field lease runs through 2026. It’s probably smart to get a jump on it now because it seems like there will be many layers of political battles along the way.

Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. are possible locations for the stadium, but those who enjoy nostalgia and accuracy and want the Washington Redskins back in Washington might not get their wish. Team president Bruce Allen reiterated that the team will not change its controversial nickname if that’s a stipulation for them to move back to D.C.

He was asked if the team would consider changing its name to facilitate the move.

“No,” Allen said, according to CSN Washington.

So that’s that.

If the Redskins moved back to Washington D.C. it would almost certainly have to be on the site of old RFK Stadium. That land is owned by the National Park Service, which leased it to the city for the next 22 years, according to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is against the team’s nickname. So without a team name change, a move to D.C. might not be possible, because that department would need to approve the move. The nickname doesn’t seem to be such a big deal in neighboring states; ESPN points out that governors in Virginia and Maryland say they won’t pressure the team to change its name to move there. CSN Washington did say that some officials in Maryland have issues with the name, and the political climate in Virginia could change by the time serious stadium negotiations take place.

None of this is going to happen immediately, so the poor Redskins will have to grind it out for some more years in their 18-year-old stadium. The team is just starting talks with various government leaders, but wants to get the process going now because sometimes squeezing taxpayers of money to help out a billion-dollar team the process can take a while.

“Building a stadium is different than building a house,” Allen said, according to the Washington Times. “We wanted to get ahead of it and start doing the preliminary work. It’s not going to be a new stadium in the next 48 months, so we don’t have to worry about that.”

So, are the Washington Redskins racist or a sporting exception?

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!


Does Geno Smith get a free pass because of his broken jaw?

Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali Broke the 1st Rule of NFL Fight Club

Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali Broke the 1st Rule of NFL Fight Club

 The story goes like this: One practice, Bill Parcells, while coaching the Giants, got into an argument with the best linebacker of all time, Lawrence Taylor. It was heated. Then more heated. Then, it got physical.

Eventually, and incredibly, the two men ended up on the ground, scuffling and wrestling, until the fight was broken up. This happened in front of the entire team. Players watched incredulously. Taylor was 6’3″ and 240 pounds of steel. Parcells, well, wasn’t. Imagine seeing that. Imagine if that happened now, in the Twitter world.

Both Parcells and Taylor are in the Hall of Fame, and years later, Parcells can chuckle about the fight. What was most important about it was the two men followed the cardinal rule of football fights: Put them behind you, don’t let them fester, don’t let them destroy the relationship. They would repair the damage, even have more fights, but the fights never drained their closeness and desire to be unified.

“I loved him like a son—and still do,” Parcells said in an email to me, confirming the incident. “But we had a couple of scuffles. But no matter how bad it was between us, he always stood next to me on Sunday for the national anthem. That was his way of telling me he was with me. We were still pals.”

Ray Stubbeline/Associated Press

In the NFL, the greats—like Parcells and Taylor—when they fight, they let it go. The smart players, the smart coaches, they let it go.

Fights during NFL games and practices have been around for decades, maybe since football’s beginnings. Some of the stories are as entertaining as the games. There’s been player vs. player. Coach vs. coach. Player vs. coach.

Recently, there was this fight. And this fight. And fights on top of fights on top of fights. There was once even a fight on an airplane.

Some fights are even orchestrated. Before Parcells’ Giants played Buffalo in the Super Bowl, the Giants coach was concerned about a lethargic practice the team was having. So Parcells had an idea. As the Star-Ledger‘s Jerry Izenberg relayed, Parcells called Taylor to the sideline and asked Taylor to start a fight. Taylor punched 300-pound Jumbo Elliott, and Parcells got his fight—and a better practice from that point on.

The difference between those fights and what happened this week with the New York Jets is that most fights happen on the practice field or inside a stadium during a game (fight on the aircraft aside). That’s why what happened between Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali, where Smith had his jaw broken during a locker room clash, is so unusual.

One seven-year veteran told Bleacher Report he’s never seen a locker room fight—or even witnessed teammates upset enough to get into one. Fights on the field? Yes. Locker room fights? Almost never.

That cannot be emphasized enough. Locker room fights are rare. Injuries from locker room fights are rarer. Injuries from locker room fights are equivalent to a Bigfoot sighting. A severe injury, like a broken jaw, from a locker room fight is like seeing Bigfoot on the hood of a UFO. A star, the quarterback, missing a month or more because of a locker room fight is like seeing Bigfoot land a UFO on Atlantis.

Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn told San Jose Mercury Newscolumnist Tim Kawakami that what happened to Smith wouldn’t happen to his quarterback, Derek Carr. “That would never happen here,” Penn said. He also noted, “If someone did that to Carr, they’d have to see me next. And then probably the rest of the O-line. That would never happen here.”

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was asked about the Jets incident, and his answer echoed those of other players and coaches interviewed for this story.

“I hope we don’t have anything like that going,” Del Rio said Wednesday. “We are human beings. Human beings sometimes make mistakes but we certainly don’t want to see that.”

Del Rio, who was a player in college and the NFL and is on his second head coaching stint, was asked if he’s ever seen anything like that. Here’s what he said:

Not quite with the quarterback. I mean, I’ve seen guys get in fights before. Things happen. People have disagreements, sometimes they’re not able to settle them peacefully, and aggressive men—sometimes it can go the wrong way.

But our guys have been great. We’re learning how to practice against each other. I think they’re being very competitive, but we’re taking care of each other. We want to challenge each other and compete in everything we do. We want to be respectful of what we’re all really here for, what this is all about. … I just can’t imagine anybody feeling that way toward Derek, so it’s just a shocking thing to see from afar.

What we’ve learned in the several days since the fight is that the Jets violated the cardinal rule of football disagreements: Patch things up, or they will get worse.

That is, in some ways, a life rule. But it is extremely important in a violent team sport like football, where testosterone levels and egos are stratospheric, and where cooperation and closeness are key.

“Fights on the field happen,” veteran Jay Feely told me. “That’s where they need to stay, or they fester.”

Two different Jets team officials confirmed what former player Ryan Clark, who knows Enemkpali, said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike this week: Smith was supposed to attend a camp for Enemkpali, and Enemkpali paid approximately $600 for a plane ticket. Then someone close to Smith died, and Smith couldn’t attend the event.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

About $3 million of Smith’s rookie deal is guaranteed. He could afford to pay back a $600 ticket. But, those sources explained, he refused to and then, several months ago, basically told Enemkpali he’d, as one source said, “pay him when he paid him.”

And there’s the festering part. The two didn’t squash the beef, and it lingered. That led to the violent confrontation and Enemkpali’s ouster from the team. They broke the first and only rule of NFL fights. They let the disagreement linger.

I’m told by several different team and league sources that head coaches across the sport are using the Jets as a teachable moment. (Though the Jets teaching anyone anything other than how to provide comic relief is frightening.)

The coaches will likely be sending similar messages: When it comes to arguments and differences and fights, put it all behind you.

If that doesn’t happen, then the punches might keep flying.


Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.

LeSean McCoy explains why he called off invitation-only party


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LeSean McCoy caught some heat last week when he advertised an invite only, female only party without giving any details about it. Guests were going to have to sign a confidentiality agreement and have to come alone AND wear whatever was given to them when they arrived. Sounded pretty creepy and news traveled fast as the Bills told him to get rid of the flyer immediately. According to McCoy however, everything was taken out of context and he wound up cancelling it.

The Buffalo Bills running back expanded on the most legendary party there never was today … telling reporters, “I cancelled it. It got too wild.”

He added, “I should have never posted it and I take blame for it. But for the record, it was no weird orgy thing going on.”

Rex Ryan was asked about it and all he said was he was upset he didn’t get invited.


James Harrison vs Adam Schefter over Jason Pierre-Paul Injury

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Below is Schefter’s original tweet.

Bar Owners Not Happy With NFL Sunday Ticket

nfl ,nfl sunday ticket, directv, nfl directv, fantasy football

DirecTV’s exclusive right to broadcast certain NFL games is an illegal monopoly that raises costs for bars and restaurants, a San Francisco bar says in a lawsuit against the league and the satellite TV provider.

The lawsuit filed this week in federal court in California challenges DirecTV’s deal with the league for “NFL Sunday Ticket,” which gives subscribers nationwide live broadcasts of many Sunday games played in other cities. Those games are available to the subscribers only through DirecTV.

The lawsuit by the bar Ninth Inning Inc. says the deal stifles competition by preventing other TV providers, such as Dish Network, from airing the games. It also means individual teams don’t have to compete to get their games broadcast in markets outside their home cities.

“DirecTV’s arrangement with the NFL allows the defendants to restrict the output of, and raise the prices for, the live broadcast of NFL Sunday afternoon out of market games,” the lawsuit says.

The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of other bars and restaurants that subscribe to Sunday Ticket, monetary damages and a court order forbidding the exclusive deal.

Calls to the NFL and DirecTV weren’t immediately returned.

Bars and restaurants must show these games to effectively run their businesses, the lawsuit contends. A bar or restaurant with a fire code occupancy between 51 and 100 people will pay a little more than $2,300 for Sunday Ticket in 2015, according to the suit.

Last month, football fans filed their own antitrust lawsuit in federal court in California seeking to end DirecTV’s requirement that customers buy all games if they want to see their favorite teams.

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Mark Brunell doesn’t think RGIII can succeed in the NFL

Former Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell has defended Robert Griffin III against his critics before. As someone who transitioned from being a running quarterback to a more traditional pocket-passer after suffering a knee injury before his third season in Jacksonville, Brunell, now an ESPN analyst, expressed optimism that Griffin would be able to make similar changes to his game.

“He can get there,” Brunell told ESPN’s John Keim last May. “He’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and he got there because he’s a great athlete and he’ll be coached well. He’ll be fine. Other young quarterbacks couldn’t get to that point. He won’t be one of those guys. He’s smart.”

Even after Griffin struggled through the 2014 season, Brunell expressed hope that, with hard work, Griffin’s pocket instincts would improve.

“You can develop those [instincts],” he told Keim in January. “But to develop those instincts you have to stay in the pocket. You’ve got to be in there and it’s not easy because a lot of quarterbacks’ heads tell them to stay in there but the feet tell them we’ve got to go. It’s tough.”

On Monday, Brunell was part of a discussion of what went wrong for Griffin in 2014 on ESPN’s “NFL Live,” and his outlook for the Redskins QB sounded considerably less rosy.

“There were a series of things that were wrong with RGIII, and it really starts with his fundamentals,” Brunell said. “Unfortunately for the young quarterback, he has gone backwards.”

With video supporting each point, Brunell rattled off a few of Griffin’s biggest issues: poor footwork, including not stepping into his throws and transitioning his weight correctly, an inability to find open receivers and holding onto the ball for too long.

[Matt Cavanaugh provides consistent coaching to Redskins’ quarterbacks]

“Mark, the bottom line is this,” host Stephen A. Smith said. “Do you think RGIII is good enough to succeed in the NFL?

“I do not,” Brunell said. “From what I’ve seen the last couple of years — listen, he burst onto the scene and that was impressive — but like I said, he has gone backwards. It’s not just his decision-making, it’s his fundamentals. He’s taking too many hits, he’s quick to get out of the pocket. Last year was difficult to watch. Does he have the skill set? Yes, but we haven’t seen it in some time.”


Fellow analyst Damien Woody disagreed.

“Here’s the thing with RGIII,” Woody said. “Yes, you can look at a lot of deficiencies in his game. I’m going to choose to look at certain things that’s around him. Number one, the offensive line. ‘Suspect’ is putting it lightly. They were terrible. They were turrrible last year. What did they do? They brought in, in my opinion, the best offensive line coach, Bill Callahan. They drafted Brandon Scherff. What the Washington Redskins are doing right now, they’re focusing all of their energy on, outside of quarterback, probably the most important part of the team. That’s the trenches. They drafted heavily on the offensive line and defensive line. They’re going to get back to just smashing people in the mouth.”

Woody and Brunell both suggested that Griffin’s development depends on Redskins Coach Jay Gruden’s ability to maximize his talent.

“This is a make or break season for RGIII, without a doubt,” Brunell said. “If he doesn’t fix those inconsistencies, this could be it for him [in Washington]. It really could. … He hasn’t had a great supporting cast. Jay Gruden has to find out what he does well and focus on that. Find out what RGIII’s good at and let’s call those plays, let’s get him into a rhythm, get him some completions, take a little pressure off of him and let that running game get going.”

Smith asked if we know that Gruden is capable of that.

“I don’t believe we do,” Brunell said.


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Tony Romo Calls The NFL Greedy

Tony Romo Calls The NFL Greedy For Shutting Down His Fantasy Convention

A Tony Romo-organized fantasy football convention scheduled for next month in Las Vegas was canceled after the NFL warned participating players that they’d be in violation of league rules. It sounded like a weak explanation at the time, and now Romo says the NFL was just mad it didn’t stand to make any money.

The convention was set to be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, and the NFL claimed in a letter to the NFLPA that Sands’ casino holdings made that akin to supporting gambling.

“Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances at or in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos,” an NFL spokesman said in an email statement to FOX Sports.

Silly, right? Especially given that the Lions and MGM Grand announced a partnership just two weeks ago, and the Saints will once again hold their training camp at a casino resort.

But in those instances, NFL teams are getting paid. The fantasy football convention would only have financially benefited the more than 100 players who were scheduled to appear. Romo says that’s the only difference.

“They talk about how no players or NFL personnel are to be associated [with casinos], well, I’m like, that doesn’t really make sense,” Romo said on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd. “There’s just far too many cases and it does make it sound sometimes that it’s an issue about money, which is disappointing because we were just trying to get the fans to hang out with players.”

Romo is mad the NFL waited this long to put its foot down, since it’s now too late to book a change of venue. He also wishes the league had contacted him or the convention directly, rather than go through the NFLPA—or to the players’ parents—and says it reeks of bitterness.

“It’s like when you’re in high school and you don’t get invited to the party, it makes you feel bad,” Romo said. “If they really wanted to just be a part of it, all they had to do was call and ask. It would have been a lot easier than going about the process the way they did.”

Source here

One fascinating fact about each of the top 32 NFL draft prospects

For The Win

Because the first round of the NFL draft usually consists of a handful of guys you’ve heard of and way, way more that you haven’t, FTW made a list of 32 of the top prospects for this year’s annual NFL selection show and came up with one fascinating fact about each that you can use to wow your friends at your draft party or local watering hole.

If you’re an NFL fan who dabbles in college football, chances are you’ve heard of exactly four players prior to all the draft coverage (Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley), so consider this an introduction to the other 28. Oh, and since we don’t pretend to have a clue about what the draft order is going to be — with the exception of Winston at No. 1 — the following list is arranged completely at random.

1. Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

(AP) (AP)

Fowler was set…

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Colin Kaepernick – role model

Colin Kaepernick is a role model?

colin kaepernick, national anthem, kaepernick national anthem

I can feel the quantum waves from the collective eye roll rippling through the dark matter of the universe.

Relax, I’m not going to try and convince you of this.  Nope.  As Anthony Kiedis so brilliantly put it in the  film Point Break:

“That would be a waste of time…”

Instead I’m going to introduce you to who Colin Kaepernick is as a man. At least as much as I could glean in 10 minutes reading his Wikipedia.

Now before I dive in, allow me to say this, I do not know Colin Kaepernick and I am not a 49’ers fan, although I do recognize the greatness of the Montana-Clark-Rice era.

That being said… I have zero stakes in the game. I actually didn’t pay any attention to this story when or since it broke. I didn’t even want to write this article, but a friend wanted my perspective, so I figured, you know, why the fuck not? I can be objective, especially since deep down, I could give a shit, let alone whose kneeling or standing and when.

colin kaepernick, colin kaepernick family

Let’s first look at what’s given about his childhood… according to Wikipedia, (take it with a grain of “fuck you.”)
Colin was born to Heidi (Zabranksy) Russo, a 19 year-old white girl who was single and destitute at the time, his birth father was an African American man who left the family before he was born.

Let that sink in for moment.

Shortly after Colin’s birth his mother puts him up for adoption. He’s adopted by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, a white couple who already had two children of their own—son Kyle and daughter Devon—and were looking for a boy after having lost two other sons to heart defects. Colin became the youngest of their three children. He began playing football at 8 years old as a defensive end and punter. He became quarterback at age nine, and he completed his first competitive pass for a long touchdown. In school Colin thrived as well, a perfect 4.0 student that was nominated all state in baseball, basketball and football. Yes, he not only played all three sports but excelled in them. By his senior year he was throwing a 92 mph fastball and was being courted with scholarships from several big schools across the nation. However, Colin loved to play football, and although no scholarships were being offered, he was determined to follow his passion.

Another point you should let sink in.

colin kaepernick nevada football

After his brother put together a highlight reel of his high school performances, Colin was given a scholarship to Nevada State where he would go on to be the first player in NCAA history to have over 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for three consecutive seasons. In, total he passed for over 10,000 yards and rushed for over 4,000 yards in a collegiate career.

On April 29, 2011,the San Francisco 49ers traded up with the Denver from the thirteenth pick in the second round (#45 overall) to select Kaepernick as the fourth pick in the second round (#36 overall).

After a lackluster season, most of it spent as a back up to Alex Smith, Kaepernick came back in 2012 and took the starting job in week 10 after Smith suffered a concussion. Kaepernick took the 49ers to the playoffs and logged his first post season win 45–31 against Green Bay and set an NFL single-game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181, breaking Michael Vick’s record of 173 in a 2002 regular season game.

colin kaepernick super bowl xlvii

In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers defeated the Atlanta 28–24 with Kaepernick completing 16 out of 21 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown. The team advanced to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but the 49ers fell behind early and could not come back, losing 31–34.

By pointing out his upbringing and accomplishments, I’m not asking you to forgive his transgression of kneeling during the national anthem, but instead drawing your attention to what’s important: Colin Kaepernick’s character as a man.

Colin Kaepernick is a hard worker, highly intelligent and self-motivated, even when things are not in his favor. Kaepernick could have easily turned to a life of crime, and who would have blamed him after his biological parents turned their backs on him.

Colin Kaepernick is a hard worker

He could have taken the easy route and relied on his arm in baseball, which offered scholarships at top schools that would have surely led to a multi-million dollar deal after a good season or two in college.

Instead, he chose his passion.

His first season and a half with the 49ers he did what was asked of him, often times coming in as a wildcat option. He was for all intents and purposes a team player.

When his moment came to step into the spotlight, he shined, and took advantage of the opportunity.

Once he rose to the top, and gained notoriety and a voice people would listen to… he turned his focus to social issue that directly effects him: the unfair treatment of blacks by law enforcement in America. Mind you, he had every reason to not do this, after his father, an African American man, walked out on him before he was even born. But Colin turned the other cheek and made his stand.


Again I’m not arguing whether what he did was right, or wrong, I don’t give a shit. Even the greatest of men, occasional take the wrong stand.

What I am pointing out is that Colin Kaepernick embodies many of the qualities we ourselves instill in our own children: to work hard and never quit. To make the most of an opportunity when given it, to follow your passion, and to stand up for the oppressed and less fortunate, AND most importantly to do it non-violently. I cannot count how many times I see the talking heads chastising protestors for looting or becoming violent. And yet the amount of hate and vitriol aimed at Kaepernick for the simple act of refusing to stand for a song that represents a country run by a bunch of money grubbing criminals is astounding to me. He NEVER said shit about the troops.

The national anthem symbolizes this country, a country with a dark and checkered past when it comes to treatment of minorities.

I’m not asking you to agree with what Colin Kaepernick believes or what he did. What I am doing is asking you to do is to look at the man’s character, character that is exemplary of a role model.


Again, you don’t have to like him, but just maybe if you can appreciate someone with good character standing up for something he feels passionate about, maybe you’ll be able to let go of the hate and criticism for a man that’s more than likely worked harder and overcome more than you ever will in your lifetime.

One final note, the very nature of protest more times than not is when an individual or group of individuals stand up to the status quo.

-The Notorious LL

alone-kaepernick, kaepernick role model

This is a guest post from The Notorious LL

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the position of “”. )

UPDATE:  Colin Kaepernick did not vote in the recent election.  Does this matter to you?

Bill Belichick Is Sick Of Those Stupid Microsoft Tablets

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who has never been one to embrace technology, has had it with Microsoft Surface tablets on NFL sidelines. He went on a surprisingly long-winded rant about the devices in today’s presser, where he essentially said that the tablets suck ass and he’s not using them anymore.


Oh I can’t agree with Belichick more!  Being a fan of Apple products, I am glad to see someone fight back against Microsoft!  I am not saying the league will switch to OS but I do know they are more dependable.  A Surface Table is still a PC!

Dennis Byrd, RIP


Sad news about  former New York Jet Dennis Byrd.   He was involved in a head on crash and has passed away.  You may remember Byrd is the defensive end who suffered a fractured vertebrae in 1992 against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Doctors at the time said he may not walk again  but he proved them wrong.   Dennis Byrd was 50 years old.  RIP

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