Posts tagged "NFL"
Of ACLs, Tommy Johns, and “One Fine Day”

Of ACLs, Tommy Johns, and “One Fine Day”

In 2012, University of South Carolina running back Marcus Latimore was on pace to become the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, before being derailed by an (anterior cruciate ligament) “ACL” tear in his knee. In 2013, University of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was on the same path as Latimore, before also going down with an ACL. Both players were potential first round, ten million dollar NFL draft picks. Both were picked in the 5th round – Latimore by the 49ers, Murray by the Chiefs. The prognosis going forward is not quite as good for Latimore (he has torn his…

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Imagination, Anticipation, and our National Pastime(s)

Imagination, Anticipation, and our National Pastime(s)

My mother burst through my bedroom door after she heard a loud BANG! and the splintering of wood. “What did you do?!?” She always assumed it was me (with good reason). It was 1972. I was standing in the middle of my bedroom with my “Bobby Bonds” autographed wooden bat in hand – assuming Willie McCovey’s (semi-patented) two handed windmill stance. It was the bottom of the 9th, one on, two out, (future Hall-of-Famer) McCovey in the left-handed batter’s box, Giants down 3-2 to the much-hated Dodgers. That was McCovey’s wheelhouse, he ALWAYS came through in that moment. Sure enough,…

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Which Do You Want? Legion of Boom or Sportsmanlike Conduct?

Which Do You Want? Legion of Boom or Sportsmanlike Conduct?

There is a lot of noise in football, and most of the noise says nothing. It is electric guitars in the television lead-in, jet plane roars, industrial sounds meant to signify manly manhoodness. It is loud suits, shouts of “Omaha!,” the groan and crunch of large men crashing into each other. It is Jim Harbaugh throwing temper tantrums and screaming and acting like a parody of a 3-year-old, for which he is considered to have a lot of passion for the game, because “passion” is apparently another word for noise. –Louisa Thomas, “Loud Noises”

Make it your ambition to lead a…

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Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Racism; blame; weakness; bullying and hazing–terms with which you are familiar if you know anything about the recent story concerning Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. For the past couple of weeks, this story has absolutely dominated sports news networks, reporting recent developments and consequent commentary. First the focus was strictly on the vulgar text messages sent by Incognito to Martin, which lead to the discussion concerning “locker room culture” in the NFL as well as on the college and high school athletic levels. Various Dolphins players have answered questions about Incognito and Martin, and both Dolphins…

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The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

Football fans love quarterbacks. Basketball fans love point guards. In this week at Mbird sports, we’ll examine some key elements that make up the two positions, and try to make some distinctions as to why they are so beloved, while noting how they may be even more attractive today than ever.

Joe Namath. Peyton Manning. John Elway. Joe Montana–what’s the appeal? Is it the all-american poster boy persona? The rocket arm? Maybe it’s how they dissect defenses/secondaries with ease, and place the ball exactly where they want. Is it leading offenses downfield and calling audibles amongst screaming fans, keeping everyone calm…

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Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Perhaps you know the story: Adrian Peterson, who suffered from an injury that was to alter his career (tearing his ACL), returned the next year and had such a good season that he was named the NFL’s most valuable player. Players who tear their ACL usually don’t bounce back very well or very quickly, let alone win MVP awards. But Peterson is now on track to break Emmit Smith’s all-time rushing record. This is remarkable, and Peterson’s recognition is extremely well-deserved.

Anytime a star athlete overcomes adversity and succeeds, the sports world basks in the celebratory glory along with the triumphant…

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Everything Is Going to Be Okay: Austen Lane Opens Up About Failure

Everything Is Going to Be Okay: Austen Lane Opens Up About Failure

It’s always nice to come across articles that are honest about professional athletes’ lives, particularly the arena of failure. I do not mean that it’s enjoyable to hear about the failure for its own sake (in the schadenfreude sense), just that it brings them down to Earth and can serve as point of connection and sympathy. Such is the case for Austen Lane. In si.com’s recent piece, Lane revisits the day in which he was cut from the Jacksonville Jaguars. With honesty and vulnerability, Lane gives us a closer look into, well, simply not being enough, ht TB:

Why would they cut me? I’ve…

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Real Christians Don’t Sin: The Least True Thing Said During the Super Bowl

Real Christians Don’t Sin: The Least True Thing Said During the Super Bowl

During his pre-Super Bowl interview with Shannon Sharpe, in which Sharpe raised the question of Ray Lewis’ alleged involvement in a 2000 double murder, Lewis made the following, completely untrue, totally unbiblical statement:

“If (the family of the victims) knew, if they really knew, the way God works, He doesn’t use people who commit anything like that, for His glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.”

I’m sorry Ray, but Moses begs to differ. As does David, and Paul. All murderers. Praise God that this isn’t true; that God does, in fact, use sinners for His glory and His purposes. He has…

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The Mockingbird Super Bowl Preview: A Ray Lewis Redemption

The Mockingbird Super Bowl Preview: A Ray Lewis Redemption

I find Ray Lewis’ persona, both on and off the field, to be oppressively distasteful. He seems boastful, showy, and hugely self-absorbed. Exhibit A is his presence on the field for the final snap of the Ravens victory against the Broncos (his final home game) to facilitate his signature “look at me” dance. The final snap was a Ravens offensive kneel-down; Lewis is a defensive player. Despite all of this, I’m almost disappointed that he’s retiring after this season, because the consensus is that he’ll be a “great” television announcer, which means I’ll just be subjected to more of him…

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Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ:

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians…

The core evangelical belief is that love and forgiveness are freely available to all who trust in Jesus Christ. This is the “good news” from which the…

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Bob Costas and “Perspective”

Bob Costas and “Perspective”

Early on Saturday morning, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then drove to the Chiefs facility, thanked his coach, Romeo Crennel, and general manager, Scott Pioli, before shooting himself. Belcher and Perkins leave behind an infant girl.

As many have said more eloquently than I ever could, this is an unspeakable tragedy. Belcher’s teammates have spent the weekend with microphones in their faces, trying to come up with something to say about a teammate that they, all of a sudden, fear they never knew.

There is no easy transition from the facts of the story to a…

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I Would Never Do That: Denial and Cheering a Downed Quarterback

I Would Never Do That: Denial and Cheering a Downed Quarterback

On Sunday, the crowd at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium was getting tired of quarterback Matt Cassel’s poor play, so they began to chant backup quarterback Brady Quinn’s name. As the saying goes, the most popular player on the team is the backup quarterback. For this to be true of a player like Brady Quinn can only stand either as a testament to the putridity of Cassel’s performance or a case of collective amnesia afflicting the stadium. Chanting the name of the backup quarterback isn’t rare (see: Tebow, Tim), but what is rare is what happened next.

In the fourth quarter, Cassel…

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The Law and Death of Replacement Referees

The Law and Death of Replacement Referees

The internet exploded yesterday. At least, the sports corner of it did. For those not in the know, the NFL has been operating this season with replacement referees, having locked out the unionized regular refs in a contract dispute. The replacements have performed, depending on whom you ask, anywhere from “predictably shaky” to “seismically catastrophic.”  Monday Night’s performance, though, was one for the ages.  Calls were missed or made incorrectly all game long, but the coup de grace was a time-expired Hail Mary pass that seemed, in replay, to be awarded to the wrong team, completely altering the outcome of…

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From Derision to Compassion: The Death of Junior Seau

From Derision to Compassion: The Death of Junior Seau

It was like a switch was thrown. I was at an open gym, shooting baskets with a bunch of guys, talking about the news of the day: the apparent suicide of former NFL great and presumptive Hall of Famer Junior Seau. Many of the guys couldn’t believe that a man who was so famous, so rich, who had so much, could be depressed. What could possibly be so bad about his life that it wasn’t worth living? The tone of the conversation quickly became derisive. Seau must have been weak. Fragile. Pathetic. Then someone suggested that his brain may have…

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Hit ‘Em For Money, Hurt ‘Em For a Little More

Hit ‘Em For Money, Hurt ‘Em For a Little More

The recent revelations about the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” program have rocked the talking-head world at ESPN. The Saints, apparently,  had a program, administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who ran similar programs at previous teams), wherein players received cash bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players. For instance, knocking a quarterback out of the game might get you $10,000, and getting him carted off on a stretcher might earn you $20,000. No one seems to be particularly surprised that this kind of thing was going on; many have suggested that this occurs on every team, and that the Saints…

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