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Archive For The “NFL” Category

Trump’s Disinvitation of the Eagles Commits the Cardinal Sin against Philadelphia – Slighting Them

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Trump’s Disinvitation of the Eagles Commits the Cardinal Sin against Philadelphia – Slighting Them

Monday evening, less than 24 hours before they were scheduled to visit the White House, Trump “disinvited” the Super Bowl Champion Eagles from coming.

The “reasoning” for disinviting the Eagles – if you can call it that – was included in a statement released by the White House.

“They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly (sic) stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart (sic), in honor of the great men and women of out military and the people of our country,” it reads, conveniently ignoring the fact that no Philadelphia Eagles kneeled during the National Anthem during the course of the entire season.

I don’t think Trump fully comprehends what he has done.

Certainly Trump probably thinks he is speaking to his “base” – the people Trump thinks voted for him in 2016, and people who think will continue to vote for him and his preferred candidates in the future.

But Trump’s bottomless bad faith in “disinviting” the Eagles wasn’t just a propaganda coup for every Philadelphia-area Democrat running for office.  It was an act of bad faith that was colossally stupid for a completely different reason – its unnecessary alienation of a huge number of Pennsylvania voters that might, under different circumstances, approve of what he’s doing.

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

All WR Troy Pelleiter and OL Zach Duffy ever wanted was a shot at the NFL.After the NFL Draft concluded this past Saturday, they learned that they both would be getting a chance.Troy, whose name is plastered all over the Lehigh record books, was invite…

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

All WR Troy Pelleiter and OL Zach Duffy ever wanted was a shot at the NFL.After the NFL Draft concluded this past Saturday, they learned that they both would be getting a chance.Troy, whose name is plastered all over the Lehigh record books, was invite…

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

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Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

All WR Troy Pelleiter and OL Zach Duffy ever wanted was a shot at the NFL.After the NFL Draft concluded this past Saturday, they learned that they both would be getting a chance.Troy, whose name is plastered all over the Lehigh record books, was invite…

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Agony and One Regret After Watching My Team Lose a Huge Game

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Agony and One Regret After Watching My Team Lose a Huge Game

I grew up in a family where the men didn’t easily show their emotions, a character trait that extended itself to sports.

It certainly didn’t help that one grandfather, a proud military man that stormed the beach in Normandy, had seen and experienced things that were a whole lot bigger than sports, though he enjoyed watching Major League Baseball’s “Game of the Week” as well as college football.  It also didn’t help that another grandfather, though a loyal corporate employee and Boston Red Sox fan, lived through a period of such baseball and pro football angst that there was little to truly celebrate except the Sox’s latest collapse or broken dreams.  (And the Pats were the definition of mediocre.)
My father, too, has always been a sports fan but also didn’t do things like swear under his breath at the TV, stand up watching the game because “sitting down ruins the luck”, or speak in tongues because his favorite team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  
As I watched New Orleans lose tonight on an utterly devastating play – whether it was THE most devastating play in NFL postseason history will have to be debated by historians – I sat down in my chair for the first time in over an hour.  My son, not always one to watch football games but was caught up in this one, was next to me, and I gave my son a warning.
“Never root for a team,” I told him, almost immediately regretting in afterwards.

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Agony and One Regret After Watching My Team Lose a Huge Game

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Agony and One Regret After Watching My Team Lose a Huge Game

I grew up in a family where the men didn’t easily show their emotions, a character trait that extended itself to sports.

It certainly didn’t help that one grandfather, a proud military man that stormed the beach in Normandy, had seen and experienced things that were a whole lot bigger than sports, though he enjoyed watching Major League Baseball’s “Game of the Week” as well as college football.  It also didn’t help that another grandfather, though a loyal corporate employee and Boston Red Sox fan, lived through a period of such baseball and pro football angst that there was little to truly celebrate except the Sox’s latest collapse or broken dreams.  (And the Pats were the definition of mediocre.)
My father, too, has always been a sports fan but also didn’t do things like swear under his breath at the TV, stand up watching the game because “sitting down ruins the luck”, or speak in tongues because his favorite team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  
As I watched New Orleans lose tonight on an utterly devastating play – whether it was THE most devastating play in NFL postseason history will have to be debated by historians – I sat down in my chair for the first time in over an hour.  My son, not always one to watch football games but was caught up in this one, was next to me, and I gave my son a warning.
“Never root for a team,” I told him, almost immediately regretting in afterwards.

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The Opportunity To Heal Without Permanent Scars

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The Opportunity To Heal Without Permanent Scars

A lot of football teams in the middle of a football season have what is called a 24 hour rule in regards to the outcome of their games.  The rule is the win, or loss is to be celebrated/agonized over for 24 hours, and then it’s back to work.

Like the No Cheering in the Press Box rule in the past, I violated that one this weekend.

After the Penn loss, I was mad in a way I hadn’t been mad before.  Irrationally mad.  Talking back at the dog mad.  Losses affect me, some more than others.  And this one, for some reason, really hit me hard.

It was 5:00 PM on Sunday, the Eagles had just won on a 61 yard miracle field goal, and the Saints had just humiliated the Panthers on the road for their first victory of the season.  A Saints victory on the road, against a conference rival, something that, as a Saints fan, happens at about the same frequency as Super Bowl visits – and I was still mad about the game yesterday.

That was the point when I realized something was wrong.

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Why Just Sticking To Sports Will Never Work

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Why Just Sticking To Sports Will Never Work

One of the hottest topics in the sportswriting niche of the world has been the following online debate, kicked off by Bryan Curtis over at The Ringer.  The name of his piece was “The End of ‘Stick to Sports'”, and it was a thinkpiece that truly got writing minds thinking.  “Sportswriters have been awakened by Donald Trump’s presidency,” the byline read.  “Is that what their readers want?”

It’s had an interesting effect on the entire sportswriting community – a response veering from general agreement, to “we never really did stick to sports anyway” and “I will always stick to sports and let others talk about politics.”

What it isn’t is cut and dry.  I think the problem with this so-called “debate” is that it attempts to make sportswriting into a binary choice – either you stick to sports or you have your sports explore other topics.

Art is not a series of binary choices, and if you agree sportswriting is a form of art, then “sticking to sports” will never work.  It’s like saying to Lady Gaga “stick to singing show tunes”.  It doesn’t work that way.
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Story Of Philadephia Eagles’ 1968 Mud Bowl Parallels 2016 Election

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Story Of Philadephia Eagles’ 1968 Mud Bowl Parallels 2016 Election
How do you write about sports when it doesn’t feel like a game anymore?

This is the crux of the question I’ve been struggling with over the last few weeks.

Like many of you, I was shocked at the election of Donald Trump to become our next President.  Also like many of you, I paid as he did things differently when it came to talking about the political foes he defeated, how he went about assembling a cabinet, and how he engaged the press.

Everything about this point in time in history feels historic.  No set of Americans have ever elected someone like Donald Trump as President.  Nobody, not Trump of the mobs of Twitter people that seem to follow him, have used Twitter to attack people so directly almost like a weapon, especially focused at journalists that are trying to get at the truth.

Frankly, nobody knows what’s coming next.

So how do you write about sports at a time like this?  How do you compartmentalize what you’re feeling about the election, and crack open the vault which waxes philosophic about Lehigh’s latest and greatest postseason award for football, or latest achievement in basketball or wrestling?

The answer appears to be to look to history – and to look to sports – to find narratives.  And I found one.

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Goodbye St. Louis Rams, Hello St. Louis Billikens?

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Goodbye St. Louis Rams, Hello St. Louis Billikens?

Cruel doesn’t begin to describe what Stan Kroenke has done to fans of the St. Louis Rams.

He didn’t only move the Rams back to LA this week.  “On his way out he decided he had to torch the city, saying ‘Any NFL club who signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin,'” a not-so-cheery recap from the fans recapped on MMQB.  “This from a guy who proudly claims he was named after two amazing St. Louis baseball players. It was a completely classless act of revenge from a little man who profited greatly by being in St. Louis. He not only made himself look pitiful, he also made the NFL look like a heartless organization that only cares about money.”

St. Louis is now left with a stadium that isn’t yet paid off, the Edward Jones Dome, and no football team to play games there.

Nobody asked me, but to me, this presents the opportunity of a lifetime for the private, Jesuit Division I school in St. Louis.
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