Why Do Americans Call It Soccer Instead of Football? Blame England

In the World Cup, the U.S. and England aren’t traditionally rivals. But, off the field, a different type of rivalry has reigned for more than a century: what to call the world’s most popular sport.

To Americans, it’s soccer. To most of the rest of the world, (including England, the birthplace of the modern sport,) it’s football. But what most people don’t know is that the word “soccer” is not in fact an American invention. On the contrary, it was an import from England, and one that was commonly used there until relatively recently.

At least, that’s the argument made by Stefan Szymanski, a professor of sports economics at the University of Michigan. In a paper from 2014, Szymanski writes that “soccer” originated in late 19th century England, as a way of differentiating between variants of the game which at that time did not have a commonly agreed-upon set of rules.

In the early 1800s in England, football and rugby existed as different variations of the same game. But in 1863, the Football Association was formed to codify the rules of football so that aristocratic boys from different schools could play against one another. In 1871, the Rugby Football Union followed suit. The two sports officially became known as Rugby Football and Association Football. (Those new rules were slow to spread to America, where another version of the game was evolving — one that the rest of the world now knows as “American football,” and is played in the NFL.)

In England, Szymanski writes, aristocratic boys came up with the shortened terms “rugger” and “soccer” to differentiate between Rugby Football and Association Football. To support this argument, he cites a letter to The New York Times, published in 1905: “It was a fad at Oxford and Cambridge to use “er” at the end of many words, such as foot-er, sport-er, and as Association did not take an “er” easily, it was, and is, sometimes spoken of as Soccer.”

And the term, Szymanski says, was widely recognized in England through the first half of the twentieth century, according to data he crunched from books and newspapers. It became even more prevalent after the World War II — driven, he suggests, by the number of American soldiers in the country and the infatuation with American culture that came after the war.

But by the 1980s, Brits started to turn against the word. “The penetration of the game into American culture,” Szymanski writes, “has led to backlash against the use of the word in Britain, where it was once considered an innocuous alternative to the word ‘football.’”

With England now into the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990, fans are celebrating their nation’s success in the sport born in their country but long mastered by foreigners. On Twitter, that pride is manifesting itself, partially, in the age-old (since the 1980s at least) tradition of bashing the word soccer.

“It’s football not soccer,” one person tweeted, on the night of England’s successful victory over Sweden which propelled the team to the semi-finals. “The English created the game = football.”

The World Cup draws to a close this weekend, but the argument over the name of the sport it celebrates certainly won’t.

Sports – TIME

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Tom Brady on How Football Can Be a Spiritual Experience | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Tom Brady on Life After Football: “I Think About It More Now” | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Playing Youth Tackle Football Is Linked to Earlier Symptoms of Brain Disease

Playing football professionally has been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. But what happens to children who start the sport early, before they even turn 12?

That’s the question neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, whose groundbreaking work on CTE has uncovered the neurological risks of playing football, set out to answer in a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. In her team’s analysis of the brains of 211 deceased football players who had been diagnosed with CTE, along with detailed behavioral questionnaires filled out by their relatives and interviews with family members, McKee expected to find more severe signs of the condition in people who started the game young. These would be visible in more pronounced deposits of tau protein, which kills brain cells, in the brains of men who sustained hundreds — if not thousands — of extra head impacts as children.

To McKee’s great surprise, however, early exposure to tackle football was not associated with more severe signs of CTE, or other brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Instead, she found something perhaps even more disturbing. Football players who played tackle football as children suffered the devastating symptoms of brain disease, like cognitive impairment and mood swings, earlier in their lives.

By analyzing the 211 brains, McKee and her team found that those who played tackle football before age 12 — 84 players in total — had an earlier onset of cognitive, behavior and mood symptoms by an average of 13 years, compared to those who started after age 12. Every one year younger the participants began playing tackle football predicted earlier onset of cognitive, behavioral and mood problems by about 2.5 years. Of these 211 men with CTE, 76 were amateur players, and 135 played at the professional level.

“It’s as though the brain of these people who started playing early football was less resilient to pathology,” says McKee, chief of neuropathology at Boston VA Healthcare System, and director of Boston University’s CTE Center. “It’s sort of like they have a weakened nervous system, and set you up for earlier onset of any of these disorders. That was a surprising finding.”

Evidence suggests that even if you don’t end with up CTE — a disease closely linked to football that can only be diagnosed after a brain autopsy — strapping on a helmet as a kid can be risky. Among the 35 players without CTE in the study, those who played football before age 12 had an earlier onset of cognitive symptoms by an average of 20 years, and behavior and mood symptoms by 22 years. (Because of this small sample size of players without CTE, however, this finding is not statistically significant). Of those 35 players, 26 had other neuropathological diagnoses such as Alzheimers, Lewy body pathology, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and axonal injury.

This study has limitations. The brains used in this study may not represent those of the broader tackle football population, because most ex-football players, and their families, chose to donate their brains to shed light on their cognitive and behavioral struggles. Still, the results are alarming. “The data supports that you should not play tackle football until you’re more physically mature,” says McKee, whose future work will attempt to define a sort of tipping point for tackle football: how long can kids play before the risks rise exponentially?

Last week, California lawmakers dropped legislation banning tackle football for children under 12, and a similar measure has stalled in Illinois. But the momentum for limiting hits is expected to keep growing. “The cost-benefit of playing eight years before high school is so far on the side of being foolish, it’s inevitable that this change takes place,” says former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who retired in 2015 at age 24 because he was concerned about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. Borland started playing football in the ninth grade. “The research is going to continue to come out. It gets harder to justify young kids playing.”

Football can still thrive if the youngest kids stopped playing tackle. Tom Brady, for example, did not play Pop Warner, the largest youth football program in the U.S. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh — who loves football more than anyone — has said that kids should play soccer until eighth grade, to learn footwork and agility, before strapping on shoulder pads in high school.

The stakes in this debate are high. “We all want our kids to grow up to be the most productive, most successful of society they can possibly be,” says McKee. “And this is something that may limit their ultimate potential to be highly successful and highly productive in later life.”

Sports – TIME

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Jon Gruden? Now Here’s a Guy Who’s Ready To Get Back on a Football Field

The revived Raiders coach exudes exuberance as his team’s first practices near. Here are five things Gruden shared in a wide-ranging conversation. Other sections include: draft buzz galore, like why Saquon Barkley might slip; the drama surrounding Tom Brady; why Case Keenum’s at ease in Denver; and more

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The First Lady and the Football Star: JJ Watt Pays Tribute to His Unlikely Friendship With Barbara Bush

The unlikely friendship between the white-haired former First Lady and the hulking football star began four years ago, when Barbara Bush and J.J. Watt got together in Houston to film a spot promoting literacy.

Bush wore shoulder pads and eye black. “If we’re going to tackle illiteracy here in Houston, JJ,” Bush said in the video, “we’ve got to get our game faces on.” Watt, the 6-foot-5 Houston Texans defensive end, was smitten.

“I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world that the former First Lady, Mrs. Barbara Bush, was over here with shoulder pads and eye black on,” Watt tells TIME. “She was all in.”

After hearing that Bush had died on Tuesday at age 92, Watt tweeted several photos of his favorite moments with her – including a shot of her with the shoulder pads and eye black.

“You were a beautiful light in this world, and I am forever thankful for your friendship,” Watt wrote.

Bush has thrown out the first pitch at Watt’s charity softball game; Watt has been over to the Bush house for cookies.

A local news site dubbed the pair “Houston’s favorite comedy duo” for their frequent hammy appearances together. At one event, Watt mock-confronted Bush about betraying him when she filmed another literacy spot with former Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

“She just had this energy about her,” says Watt. “I was in a room with her, her husband, and her son. Two former presidents and Mrs. Bush. She’s the one that had the crowd around her, and had everyone waiting for what she was going to say next.”

Both Watt and Bush share a passion for philanthropy. Though the NFL star missed most of the 2017 season with a broken leg, Sports Illustrated named him a Sportsman of the Year, after he helped raise more than $ 37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief. (He set an initial goal of $ 200,000).

Watt says Bush helped inspire his efforts. “She set a great example for myself and so many others,” he says. “Absolutely I wanted to try to not only make her proud, but make so many other people proud, and try to help out as many people as I can.”

The news of Bush’s passing left Watt saddened. “We lost an incredible human being,” he says. “The second thing that comes to my mind is I was happy that she was surrounded by her family and friends, and she can spent her last hours in the way that she chose to.”

What’s the First Lady’s legacy? “She provided an excellent example of what it meant to live a life in service to others,” Watt says. “With her literacy campaign, all way up to the very end, she wanted to do things to help other people. The greatest lesson I learned from Barbara Bush was if we all do a little bit to help our fellow human each day, we’re going to leave the world in a better place than we found it.”

Sports – TIME

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Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video]

After leaving his mark in the world of hip-hop and fashion, rapper Jim Jones has ventured into sports business, announcing that he is a part owner of an American Arena League (AAL) football team.

In a statement, Jones, who has always had a passion for sports, said he is “grateful” for the opportunity to become the part of Richmond Roughriders and is “looking forward to taking the Roughriders to the top. Hopefully, this will inspire the youth to pursue positive activities, especially through sports.”

Gregg Fornario, the general manager and fellow co-owner of Richmond Roughriders, said the Harlem rapper will help the team expand its brand. “The Richmond Roughriders partnership with Jim Jones enables us to bring so much more to the table in regards to introducing the high impact sport of Indoor football to the hip-hop culture, allowing us to build the Richmond Roughriders brand not just in our community but nationwide.”

During an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise, Jones opened up about his plans for the AAL team and his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s #TakeAKnee protest. The Roc Nation recording artist also talked about his investment in the cannabis industry and other business ventures throughout his career:

 

 

 

The post Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Slain football coach ran ‘toward danger’ to save students in shooting: Sheriff

Victim Aaron Feis “was one of the greatest people I knew,” the sheriff said.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How to Watch the Alabama vs. Georgia College Football Championship Game Tonight for Free

On Monday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs square off in the 2018 College Football National Championship game, and interest is extraordinarily high. Not only is it the season’s biggest college football matchup featuring two celebrated SEC rivals, but the game is also being played in Atlanta, which has been called “college football’s capital.”

Oh, and President Donald J. Trump is going to be in attendance to watch Alabama vs. Georgia live. His presence has in turn inspired the NAACP and other groups to stage anti-Trump protests in Atlanta on Monday. Rapper Kendrick Lamar will also perform at the first-ever National Championship halftime show.

Watching or live-streaming Alabama vs. Georgia from the comfort of your home is easy enough. Like the playoff games on New Year’s Day, tonight’s championship game is being broadcast exclusive by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and if you have cable or another standard pay TV package, all you have to do to watch is find any of the ESPN channels airing the game. You can also stream the college football national championship game for free by logging in to the ESPN app with the number and password of your pay TV provider account.

If you don’t have cable or another pay TV service, it is still possible to watch the national championship game for free tonight. You could of course head to a nearby bar or restaurant to watch—but then you’d probably run up quite a bar tab, so it wouldn’t nearly be free. Or you could take advantage of one of the many streaming TV services now on the market, nearly all of which have ESPN, and all of which have free trial periods.

These streaming services include options such as DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, Playstation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. All of the services above allow you to live-stream ESPN and dozens of other pay TV channels on a variety of devices. New subscribers can watch for free during trial periods, which last a week or more depending on the service.

Just remember, though, that you will be charged the regular monthly rate if you don’t cancel the service before the trial period ends. The normal monthly rates for these streaming TV services start at $ 20 and up per month, and Sling TV is the cheapest (though most limited) of the bunch.

Sports – TIME

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This Could Be The Last College Football Championship Game With Unpaid Players

Millions of people will tune into the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, Jan. 8, hoping for a doozy. Even President Donald Trump is expected to be among the frenzied crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta when the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Georgia Bulldogs (and Kendrick Lamar performs the halftime show). Expectations are high for good reason: Alabama is shooting for a fifth national championship in Nick Saban’s 11 years as head coach, while SEC rival Georgia—coached by former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart—squeaked by Oklahoma, 54-48, in a double-overtime shootout in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Day.

The title game may well be another classic. But don’t let that obscure a much deeper problem behind all the pomp and hype. The College Football National Championship will do more than decide which university has the best team, it will generate millions of dollars for the universities, coaches, broadcasters, and sponsors. Other ancillary actors—Atlanta hotel operators, local restaurants — will rake in their own tasty haul.

The amateur players on the field, however, won’t share in that bounty, beyond a few thousands dollars on top of an athletic scholarship to cover the full cost of attending school. The NCAA, the organization governing big-time college athletics, prevents schools from paying their players, even as they make millions for their coaches and schools. Saban and Smart made almost $ 15 million combined this year.

“All today’s players can hope for,” says Jeffrey Kessler, a sports labor attorney who is leading a case against the NCAA, “is a better deal for the players that come after them.”

The case that could change college football

That may finally change. On Jan. 16, in a federal district courtroom in Oakland, Calif., judge Claudia Wilken will hold a hearing on motions for summary judgment in the case of Jenkins v NCAA, a class action suit that challenges the NCAA’s compensation limits on athletes. Wilken ruled on a similar case, the landmark O’Bannon v NCAA litigation, more than three years ago. While Wilken found in that case that the NCAA rules unreasonably restrained trade in violation of anti-trust laws, she did not lift the restraints entirely. Schools could still limit their compensation for athletes to the cost-of-attendance stipend, meaning the players would not be paid according to their market value.

Read More: The Case for Paying College Athletes

The Jenkins case, however, makes a broader claim than O’Bannon. Whereas O’Bannon concerned a college athlete’s ability to profit from the use of his or her likeness, Jenkins focuses on the market for signing college athletes to schools. It seeks to ends the NCAA’s blanket wage restrictions, and allow individual athletic conferences to determine the levels at which players should be paid. Kessler, who has represented the players’ unions of all four major U.S. professional sports leagues and helped NFL players win the right to become free agents in the early 1990s, is representing the Jenkins plaintiffs.

One expert likens the two cases to the work of an offensive lineman clearing the way for a running back: O’Bannon did the legal blocking, says Marc Edelman, a professor of law at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, that could allow Jenkins to finally score big for college athletes. “The point of Jenkins is to create a universe in which the NCAA can no longer ubiquitously prevent college athletes from being paid,” says Edelman.

With more money sloshing around college sports every year, the case against paying players becomes increasingly difficult to justify. Saban made more than $ 11 million this season; Georgia paid Smart $ 3.75 million. Alabama pays two of its assistants — defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, the incoming head coach at Tennessee, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — north of $ 1 million. Texas A&M just signed former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to a 10-year, $ 75 million deal; Fisher in turn just poached Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko with reported three-year contract at an average of $ 1.8 million a year.

How much money should college athletes be paid?

Why shouldn’t this bounty trickle down to the players who generate it? Antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a staunch advocate for reallocating more flush college sports revenues to athletes, envisions a scenario where schools reallocate 30% of incremental athletic department revenue growth to a fund that compensates athletes: 15% for male athletes, and 15% for female athletes. Schools can keep 70% of the new revenues, plus all old revenues. If Alabama, for example, had followed such a model over the past four years, the school would have set aside, on average, $ 2.9 million annually to pay athletes. Alabama would have kept an average of $ 149.5 million per year, or 98% of all revenues.

“If schools ever want to get past their ‘can’t-don’t’ rhetoric and go for can-do solutions, all they need to do is just start fixing things,” says Schwarz. “Divert new money and in a few years the budgets will have adjusted just fine.”

The Jenkins case will likely hinge on whether the plaintiffs can convince the court that the paying players won’t adversely effect the college sports business. Anti-trust laws permit trade restraints — like a cap on compensation — if such restraints benefit consumers. In the O’Bannon case, the NCAA’s lawyers argued that college football and basketball is popular because players don’t get paid. Fans are attracted to the amateur ideal. In Jenkins, the NCAA will insist that the court has already established that paying players would hurt the college sports business, since in O’Bannon both Wilken and an appellate court gave weight to a survey from an NCAA research expert showing that 69% of respondents expressed opposition to paying college athletes.

Still, it’s hard to imagine rabid college sports fans leaving stadiums and TV sets in droves just because students at their favorite schools receive payment for playing football or basketball—which is why they’re at the school in the first place. In so many pockets of America, college football’s ingrained in the cultural DNA. Why would the tailgate lose its appeal when the star quarterback has an endorsement deal?

Further, as part of the Jenkins case, attorneys for the plaintiffs have filed their own consumer demand study with the court. Their survey expert concluded, “to a high degree of scientific certainty,” that additional compensation for college athletes would result in “no negative impact on consumer demand as exhibited through viewership /attendance of college football and basketball … If anything, permitting these additional forms of compensation/benefits could have a positive impact on such consumer demand.” Decades of American behavioral economics bear this finding out. As player salaries have risen exponentially with the advent of free agency and technological innovations that distribute the games to broader audiences, sports have become even more popular. The business has only grown.

Americans, it turns out, value fairness. “This case could make a great difference in the lives of those college players that will not make it to the pros,” says Kessler.

If it lives up to expectations, the Alabama-Georgia title game may be remembered for a long time. But the year’s most lasting college sports moment could unfurl in a courtroom.


Sports – TIME

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University of Arizona Football Coach Fired Days After Sexual Harassment Investigation

Arizona has fired football coach Rich Rodriguez after a notice of claim was filed with the state attorney general’s office alleging he ran a hostile workplace.

The Arizona Daily Star revealed the notice of claim on Tuesday after making a public-records request. The paper said the claim was filed last Thursday by a former employee. A notice of claim is a legal document that signals a lawsuit will be filed.

The Daily Star reported that the notice was filed after the University’s Office of Institutional Equity retained outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual harassment from a former employee. The investigation, which concluded last week, did not find enough to fire Rodriguez, but the university became concerned with the “climate and direction” of the program.

Rodriguez issued a statement after he was fired, saying the investigation concerned a former administrative assistant who threated a $ 7.5 million lawsuit alleging harassment. Rodriguez said he cooperated with the investigation and passed a voluntary polygraph test, noting the complainant did not cooperate with the investigation.

Rodriguez also acknowledged an extramarital affair with a woman not affiliated with the university, saying he apologized to his wife and family and is working to regain their trust.

“I am not a perfect man, but the claims by my former assistant are simply not true and her demands for a financial settlement are outrageous,” Rodriguez said. “I am saddened that these accusations and investigation have caused my family additional stress.”

Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke announced Rodriguez’s firing in a statement issued by the school and said the separation terms of his contract will be honored.

“After conducting a thorough evaluation of our football program and its leadership, both on and off the field, President Robbins and I feel it is in the best interest of the University of Arizona and our athletics department to go in a new direction,” Heeke said. “We’ll move through the coaching search in an effort to identify a head coach that will build a solid foundation for our program and create an identity of Arizona football that the university, Tucson and southern Arizona communities can be proud of. We’re excited about the future of our football program and we look forward to introducing our new head coach at the completion of the search process.”

Rodriguez arrived in Tucson after an ugly split with Michigan, where he coached for three seasons. He had an immediate impact on the Wildcats, leading them to four straight bowl games.

Arizona took a step back last season, losing eight straight games while finishing 3-9. The Wildcats were one of college football’s more surprising teams this season after opening 6-2. They fell flat after that, losing four of their final five, including a 38-35 setback against Purdue in the Holiday Bowl.

Rodriguez was 43-39 in six seasons at Arizona.

In August, Creative Artists Agency, which represented him until 2015, sued Rodriguez on claims he owed it more than $ 230,000 in past-due fees.


Sports – TIME

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How to Watch the College Football Playoff Games on New Year’s Day for Free

New Year’s Day 2018 is a big day for college football fans. Two college football playoff games are scheduled for January 1, and the winners of each game will meet up in a national championship game on Monday, January 8.

Here’s how to watch the college football playoff games for the 2017-2018 season.

College Football Playoff #1: 5 P.M. ET January 1 on ESPN
#3 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma, at the Rose Bowl

Both college football playoff games, as well as the national championship game, are being broadcast on ESPN. The first game, in which the Georgia Bulldogs face the Oklahoma Sooners, starts at 5 p.m. ET on January 1, 2018.

If you have a cable or satellite TV package with the usual lineup of channels, simply tune in to ESPN to watch the college football playoffs. You may also be able to stream ESPN live by logging in with a valid pay TV account number and password.

If you don’t have cable or another pay TV subscription, it’s still possible to watch by streaming the college football playoffs with a service such as DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, Playstation Vue, Sling TV, or YouTube TV. All of the services above allow you to live-stream pay TV channels such as ESPN on a variety of devices, and all come with free trial periods for new signups.

So if you just want to watch the college football games on ESPN on New Year’s Day for free, register with one of streaming services above. Remember, however, that you must cancel before the trial period ends if you don’t want to be charged. The normal fees for these streaming TV services start at $ 20 and up per month, and Sling TV is the cheapest (though most limited) of the bunch.

College Football Playoff #2: 8:45 P.M. ET January 1 on ESPN
#4 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson, at the Allstate Sugar Bowl

The second game of the college football playoffs, in which the Alabama Crimson Tide square off against the Clemson Tigers, starts at 8:45 ET on January 1, 2018.

Like Georgia-Oklahoma, the Alabama-Clemson game is being broadcast on ESPN. Follow the same directions for how to watch on TV or stream both college football playoff games.

For that matter, the guidelines above will also work for tuning in to the national championship game. The broadcast for that game, featuring the winner of Georgia-Oklahoma versus the winner of Alabama-Clemson, will start at 8 p.m. ET on January 8, 2018, also on ESPN.


Sports – TIME

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In One of America’s Most Dangerous Cities, Football Is a Reprieve for the East St. Louis Flyers

The story of East St. Louis (Ill.) High’s football team might feel familiar: An athletic program thrives in an afflicted community, providing its players with a foundation of strength and a path toward a better life. In 89 Blocks—the Fox Sports Films documentary executive produced by Sports Illustrated with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Uninterrupted chronicling the Flyers’ 2016 season that will air on Fox on Nov. 26—coach Darren Sunkett sums up the reality his players face. “We live this struggle every damn day,” he says, “but when we come out here, we forget about it all.”

The film’s impact derives in part from the magnitude of that struggle: East St. Louis has the nation’s highest per capita murder rate, and 43.5% of its 26,922 residents live below the poverty line. But the doc also delivers emotional force by focusing on individuals: the enigmatic star receiver who, coaches admit, is a mystery even to them; the cornerback who is devastated by the sudden death of a 17-year-old cousin; the coach who, through his work, compensates for missed time with his own eldest son. What might seem all too familiar becomes deeply human.

Sunkett knows well football’s power to elevate. Playing at Camden (N.J.) High in the early 1980s helped lift him out of the troubled city to Cheyney (Pa.) University, a historically black school where he lined up at defensive back. “That was pretty much my ticket to success,” he says. By the early ’90s he had married his wife, Lisa, an East St. Louis native, and they relocated to the area. In 2000, after coaching eight seasons at two other area schools, Sunkett took over the Flyers, who had claimed six state titles and produced NFL All-Pros such as linebacker Bryan Cox and tight end Kellen Winslow Sr. before sliding into mediocrity in the years following the 1995 retirement of legendary coach Bob Shannon.

It was a trajectory not unlike that of East St. Louis itself. Once a thriving middle-class manufacturing and shipping hub—the National Civic League designated it an All-American City in 1959, the same decade its population peaked at more than 80,000—it was hit by forces of urban destabilization, both common and unique: deindustrialization, white flight, the construction of an interstate that fractured neighborhoods.

When the crack epidemic struck the U.S. in the 1980s, the drug “came in and tore through the city like a forest fire in a high wind,” says Daily Beast editor-at-large Goldie Taylor, an East St. Louis native. Wildly disparate federal sentencing laws (one gram of crack was treated the same as 100 grams of powder cocaine) hastened the devastation by tearing up implicated families and keeping them apart. The city’s population continued to wane. Schools shuttered or merged. Neglected buildings fell into disrepair, their surrounding lots overgrown. “The city was never the same,” Taylor says.

Against this backdrop Sunkett rebuilt the football program into a powerhouse that serves as one of the city’s points of pride and its players’ brightest source of hope. In 89 Blocks—a reference to the city’s footprint and a nickname used by East St. Louisans—Sunkett and his staff impress on their team that football can open doors to higher education. (The school’s 2015 season had been cut short by a midseason teachers’ strike, wiping out the best chance to impress recruiters for that year’s seniors.)

No Flyer from the class of ’17 is more coveted than wideout Jeff Thomas, an eventual All-America and top 10 recruit at his position. But no Flyer is as frustrating, either. Absent from a string of practices, Thomas is held out of a game and must eventually win over his teammates, who voted on whether he should keep his roster spot. His coaches confide that their star is hard to reach, often hidden behind walls he’s built to protect himself from a harsh environment.

Miami football fans can provide an update on Thomas’s saga. After committing to the Hurricanes last February, the 5’10”, 175-pound Thomas has forced his way onto the field as an explosive, if slight, slot receiver, catching 13 passes for 273 yards, including 48- and 78-yard scores in consecutive games last month. “I’m not surprised,” Sunkett says. “Jeff’s been doing what he’s doing now since he was in sixth grade.”
This article was first published on SI.com.


Sports – TIME

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This Is What Fashion Girls Wear to a Football Game

Cheer on in style.

Football season is here. For the next several weeks we’ll be cheering our favorite teams on to victory. For fashion girls cheering from the stands, what to wear to a football game becomes a question. You want something that shows off your spirit, keeps you warm from kick-off to the final touchdown, and doesn’t compromise your style. With just a handful of key items that channel both collegiate sensibilities and serve your cold-weather needs, you can create a variety of outfits that look great in the stadium stands. Here are five suggestions to start with: Ready to suit up in your game day gear? Head below to shop our favorite pieces to mix and match for a football game.

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Pro football is just a bit quirkier in Canada

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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Football Game After Players Kneel During National Anthem

Vice President Mike Pence left a football game in Indiana Sunday after players from the San Francisco 49ers reportedly knelt during the national anthem.

“President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a series of tweets. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think its too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem.”

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was attending a game of the Indianapolis Colts, who were playing a home game against the San Francisco 49ers — Colin Kaepernick’s former team. It appeared only members of the 49ers knelt during the anthem, not the Colts, according to the Indianapolis Star. Pence pointed this discrepancy out in a tweet, posting a picture of himself and his wife Karen standing during the anthem, and writing, “We were proud to stand – with all our colts- for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

Last year, Kaepernick, who was playing as a quarterback for the 49ers at the time, routinely knelt during the National Anthem as a silent protest against racial injustice in America.

Kaepernick’s protest morphed into a kneeling movement last month after President Donald Trump sparked controversy when he referred to NFL players who took a knee during the anthem as “sons of bi—es” during a campaign rally in Alabama. More than 100 NFL players and owners linked arms and knelt before and during the anthem following Trump’s attack.

Trump said in a tweet that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled during the national anthem, claiming such actions were disrespectful.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Jerry Cantrell on Alice in Chains Fantasy Football League and Auction

AliceIn Chains founder Jerry Cantrell is known among hard rock fans as one of thebest songwriters of his generation, as well as an innovative guitar god. But some may not be aware of his enthusiasm for pro football.

"Football to me was just always part of neighborhood life. My friends and I

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Jerry Cantrell on Alice in Chains Fantasy Football League and Auction

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Nearly 2 million people streamed Thursday Night Football on Amazon

Nearly 2 million people logged onto Amazon.com for the online retailer’s first livestream of Thursday Night Football, the U.S. National Football League said on Friday. Some 1.9 million people tuned in to Amazon’s kickoff show and game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, according to the NFL. That compares to 2.3 million for…
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Rookie Football Player Deshaun Watson Gives His First Paycheck to Hurricane Harvey Victims

Deshaun Watson

The 2017 football season marked Houston Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson’s first time playing professional football. So what did he do with that first check? Watson, who is 22 years old, donated his big league bucks to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Watson donated a total of $ 27,353 to three cafeteria workers at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The rookie came into the cafeteria where the women worked to personally deliver the envelopes sealed with red ribbon. The ladies lost their cars and homes as a result of Harvey.

“For what you all do for us every day and never complain, I really appreciate you all, so I wanted to give my first game check to y’all to help y’all out in some type of way,” Watson told the workers who serve meals to the team prior to game time.

“Hopefully that gets you guys back on your feet and anything you all need, I’m always here to help,” he continued.

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Amazon’s British NFL commentary charms American football fans

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Amazon is giving football fans across the pond a more relatable way to watch America’s favorite sport.

The internet giant’s inaugural Thursday Night Football broadcast not only included Spanish- and Portuguese-language options, but also a U.K. English feed, presumably for Brits struggling with the American accents of the CBS color commentary.

Helmed by soccer commentators Tommy Smyth and Ross Dwyer, the feed also charmed Americans who rarely get to hear a U.K. perspective on the sport.

Think I’m gonna listen to the British Amazon stream all night pic.twitter.com/0CMINInJcj

— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) September 29, 2017 Read more…

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Week 4 Fantasy Football Injury Report

It was another unfortunately busy week of injuries in the NFL, with Kelvin Benjamin of the Carolina Panthers, Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons, Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks and Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers all leaving their respective games with various maladies. SI.com takes a look at their prognoses for Week 4 and beyond.

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Administrators Who Oversaw High School Football Hazing Case Get New Jobs

Police have recommended charges against three Arizona high school administrators after the men were implicated in a brutal sexual assault and hazing case. All three men will continue working for the school district this year.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Business Owner Forced To Forfeit Football Tickets After Posting Racial Slur During Game

David Doptis

Detroit Lions fan David Doptis was forced to hand in his season tickets after posting a racist picture to social media of a Black man and woman sitting down during the pre-game national anthem.

Doptis, who owns restaurant supply company Restaurant Liquidations and Auctions in Pontiac, Michigan posted the photo of the two fans at Sunday’s game against Arizona with the caption “Ignorant N**ggers” to Snapchat. The picture, which was followed by a racist tirade, made its rounds on social media and found its way to news outlets.

The woman featured in the picture began making calls to the football team after her seeing her face associated with Doptis’ derogatory words. On Thursday, the Lions announced Doptis would be prohibited from attending their home games.

“Providing our fans with a safe and enjoyable experience at all Ford Field events is of the utmost importance and an absolute priority for our organization,” the Lions statement read. “A core component of our guest conduct policy is the expectation that all fans are respectful and considerate to each other regardless of their personal beliefs or differences. With respect to the issue in question, the Detroit Lions and Ford Field do not comment on specifics related to any alleged guest incident(s) or altercations at games or other stadium events.

Posts affiliating Doptis’ racist post with his business began circulating on social media to in a successful attempt to put the bigot on blast. WXYZ-TV Detroit took a visit to the company on Wednesday during its regular business hours but the place appeared to be closed.

Looks like racism can cost you.

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Acehnese schoolchildren clad in masks play football in their…

Acehnese schoolchildren clad in masks play football in their school compound while shrouded in thick smoke due to peat forest fires in Meulaboh, Aceh province on July 26, 2017. Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) has warned of an escalating threat of forest fires with the dry season expected to peak in coming months, while hot spots detected in the province of Aceh have already been causing choking smoke.
CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP

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‘Sunday Night Football’ did see a ratings jump after all

The NFL’s kickoff “Sunday Night Football” game on NBC drew 5 percent more viewers than the first SNF game did last year, updated Nielsen statistics on Wednesday revealed. The 24.5 million who tuned into the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants topped the 23.3 million who watched last year’s SNF opener….
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Tom Brady: A Timeline of the Football Superstar After His Super Bowl Triumph

Ever since Tom Brady and his Patriots won a come-from-behind Super Bowl in February, the NFL superstar has been living his best life leading up to the 2017 season. From goofing off with Gronk to ditching Trump and even sumo wrestling in Japan (yes, really), here's everything Tommy boy has been up to since.

February 12th
Brady Cabin, Big Sky, Montana
Tom Brady, you

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Tom Brady: A Timeline of the Football Superstar After His Super Bowl Triumph

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This Football Player Fought for Civil Rights in the ’60s. Here’s What He Thinks About National Anthem Protests

On Thursday night, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters became the latest NFL player to choose not to stand for the national anthem. Peters’ decision was part of a growing movement, largely inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s decision a year ago to sit and kneel during the song, to make a statement about what they see as a nation not living up to its ideals, particularly for African-Americans.

With football season’s week one beginning in earnest on Sunday, broadcast networks are preparing for the chance that other players might do the same over the weekend — while the fact that Kaepernick has gone so long without being signed has inspired some fans to protest too.

This is not the first time professional football players have gotten together to make a bold statement about racial inequality. One prominent example took place in 1965, when 21 African-American players refused to play in the American Football League’s all-star game if it was held in New Orleans — a city then angling for its own football franchise — because of the discrimination they faced there in the week leading up to the big game. The protest, which white players supported, forced officials to move the game to Houston.

More than 50 years later, Clem Daniels, former Oakland Raiders running back and one of the leaders of the boycott, spoke to TIME about the lessons he learned from that decision, and what current NFL players could learn from it.

TIME: How were you were treated in New Orleans when you got there?

DANIELS: First, when we got to New Orleans a week before the all-star game, I was with my teammate Art Powell and Earl Faison [of the San Diego Chargers]; there were about 15 cabs right in front of the airport, and when we whistled and beckoned them to come down, they just sat there until Earl Faison walked up to one and said we had to get a cab to the Roosevelt Hotel. The driver told us, “You’ll have to catch a colored cab in the back.”

At the hotel, the elevator operator said, “You’ll be the first black people to stay in this hotel.” We went downstairs to the café to get something to eat. We were seated two seats down from a white lady, and when Ernie Warlick [of the Buffalo Bills] hung his raincoat next to hers, she went up and grabbed her raincoat because she didn’t want her raincoat hanging next to his raincoat.

We decided we’d go to Bourbon Street. When we got there, [the doorman at the bar] opened up the peep hole and said you guys can’t come in here. Ernie Ladd said, “You open this door in the next 15 seconds or I will put it in your lap.” Someone behind the door told the doorman to let us in. There must have been about 200 people in the place, two large bands, and everybody stopped talking, the band stopped playing. There were no black patrons. We walked up to the bar, and I asked for five shots of tequila. We drank our shots, and we walked out.

When we got back to the hotel, other players had arrived, and everyone had a similar story to tell. So I said, “Let’s go up to the hospitality suite and talk about this.” About 15 or 20 minutes later, the doorbell on the suite rang and in walked the city attorney and the guy who was the local head of the NAACP, who later became the first black mayor of New Orleans. They were trying to get us to stay.

Why did you decide to leave?

The city attorney said we would gain more by playing than we would if we left, and that just did not make a whole lot of sense to me. We were there to entertain the general public. We weren’t there to take the abuse.

Everyone was sitting around looking at each other saying what are we going to do, and I said don’t know what you guys are going to do, but I’m going to get my bag and go home. My roommate Art Powell said, “I’m going with you.” I got back to San Francisco the next morning at about 7 o’clock, and got a call that the game had been moved from New Orleans, and I had a flight out to Houston.

You must have confronted segregation before New Orleans, though. How was this particular situation different?

Segregation varied from state to state. There were things that we were confronted with in New Orleans I had never been confronted with before, like having to take a black cab versus a white cab. The main reason I agreed to leave New Orleans that night is there are certain standards you must adhere prior to getting a franchise. One of the things you must adhere to [is that] when a team comes in to play, they should be allowed to go where they want to go, eat at restaurants they want to eat at. There should some progress that [the city is] making. That kind of degradation is too embarrassing.

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Having participated in that boycott, what do you think of NFL players’ refusal to stand for the national anthem?

I would have told Colin Kaepernick a long time ago that his approach right now may not be the most sensible approach to the problem that we have. My take on that is, you get with your leaders within your community, the black community, and discuss the most apt way to approach the protest and do it from a collective standpoint. And right now, the best thing you can do is play football, earn the money, save the money and put yourself in a position so you can help the cause on a long-term basis.

I remember lying in bed watching the Selma march on TV and getting up and calling Al Davis [the Oakland Raiders coach]. I said, “I gotta go, I need to be there with my people on the front lines.” Al said, “During the off-season you can do that, but let’s send them some money now. Who do you know who’s involved with this thing?” I knew someone who directed me to Martin Luther King’s West Coast physician, and we wrote a check to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Why was it better to go that route?

Professional football wasn’t as big. Even though I was the top running back in the AFL at the time, I would have been just another speck the crowd if I had gone down there. What Al Davis was saying at that time is, this is not going to go away. We’re going to be going through this fight for many years to come, so begin to position yourself now, so that over the long term, you can be a major part — an even more integral part — of the effort. And he was right, and I’m glad I’m listened to him.

What do you see as the differences between now and then? Is it harder to take a public political stance on the field as a professional football player today than it was when you were playing?

King, Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Hooks, John H. Johnson — these were the people I looked to for the best position to take, the most knowledgeable information. And you could call them when you had a problem. We were surrounded by those people. The black community was more accessible to all of us because we were all fighting for the same cause. Those kinds of leaders are not as prominent today, so Kaepernick is somewhat limited in terms of who he can consult with before making his decisions. Every NFL team should have someone on their staff who is closely linked to that black community. We had that kind of person for the Raiders when I was in the Raiders.

And what Charlottesville showed is that lot of things we thought had past, the evilness is as prevalent today as it was 50 years ago. I can’t remember a time in my life when we weren’t confronted with these kinds of issues.


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Boycotts and Brain Damage Cast a Dark Shadow Over Football Season

Mindy Reed has been in love with the NFL for more than 50 years. As a kid in Connecticut, she wore a Bart Starr jersey and bonded over the game with her dad. Fandom helped Reed break into the old-boys’ club as she climbed the corporate ladder at Dell and connect with football-mad Texans when she switched careers and became a librarian in Austin. Now she’s giving it all up.

Reed, 61, has decided to boycott the NFL because no team has offered a job to Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback whose protest of police brutality during the national anthem last season ignited a cultural firestorm. Reed, who is white, says police have pulled over her husband for “driving while black,” and tuning out the NFL is a way to show solidarity. She has plenty of company. Kaepernick’s supporters range from the active players who have continued his protest and celebrities like Spike Lee to the 175,000-plus signatories of a petition on Change.org called #NoKaepernickNoNFL.

Critics too are emboldened. After several Cleveland Browns players knelt during the anthem before an August preseason game, the police and paramedic unions planned to withdraw from a pregame flag ceremony.

For the NFL, the simmering conflict is one of many dark clouds looming over the start of the season. September has long been when America’s real national pastime reasserts its grasp. Yet rather than fighting over fantasy teams or marveling at Tom Brady’s longevity, fans in the run-up to this season have been consumed by soberer topics. Be it the Kaepernick debate, violence against women or the nature of the game itself, a growing number of Americans are becoming fed up with football.

The most important NFL news this summer was not a big free-agent signing but a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July. Researchers examined the brains of 111 deceased NFL players and diagnosed 110 of them, or 99%, with the degenerative brain disease CTE. The study, said author Dr. Jesse Mez, “suggests, with a lot of caveats, that this is probably not a rare disease–at least among those who are exposed to a lot of football.”

Two days after the findings were released, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, who’s studying for a Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT, abruptly announced his retirement. His decision was reportedly linked to the study. Urschel is one of several NFL players who have retired in their prime rather than increase their chances of developing serious brain injuries. These concerns are trickling down to the youth level: some 23,000 fewer students played high school football last season than in 2015, and schools and peewee programs are dropping their teams for lack of interest.

Alleged violence of a different sort defined another off-season story. On Sept. 5 an arbitrator upheld the NFL’s six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott, the young Dallas Cowboys star who led the NFL in rushing last season, for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy after an ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Officials in Columbus, Ohio, declined to pursue charges, and Elliott has denied the allegations.

Then there is the matter of Kaepernick, whose absence from the game may well be more significant than his presence. He is no longer the player he was in 2013, when he led San Francisco to a Super Bowl berth, but he did throw 16 touchdowns last season against just four interceptions. Yet since March, NFL teams have signed 20 new free-agent quarterbacks who have never completed a pass in the regular season. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti admitted it was about more than talent when the team considered signing Kaepernick, and he asked fans to weigh in. Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis–who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a double-murder case but didn’t lose his NFL livelihood–said Baltimore passed on Kaepernick because his girlfriend posted a racially charged tweet. This, when NFL teams have signed players who have been convicted of domestic violence, illegal gun possession and DUI manslaughter.

Last year the NFL’s once reliable regular-season TV ratings dipped by 9%. They could fall again if more people like Reed turn away. “Who knows what I might discover out there,” Reed says of life without the NFL. “I certainly know how to read a book.”


This appears in the September 18, 2017 issue of TIME.
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You have to see 70,000 football fans waving to a children’s hospital

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Maggie Downs

posted in Life

I’m not a sports person. I don’t have a favorite team or follow any players. I don’t even really know what games are played during which season.

But what I love are sports stories — the athlete who defies the odds, the heart-pounding intensity of an uncertain match, and, of course, the big hearts of sports fans.

That last thing is what I’m writing about today. Because something amazing happened this past weekend — something that will warm your whole heart — and it’s worth sharing.

A tradition was born at Iowa football games at Kinnick Stadium.

The new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which opened earlier this year, overlooks the stadium where the Hawkeyes play. Someone on social media suggested that fans should turn around and wave to patients at the end of the first quarter.

The suggestion went viral, and the team adopted the idea.

Following the first quarter of Iowa’s win over Wyoming on Saturday, 70,000 fans obliged. They turned around and waved to the kids and families watching from the top floors of the hospital.

See for yourself.

And to see how the view looked from inside the hospital, check out this ESPN clip.

The team and their fans already have a long history with the children’s medical facility. The Hawkeyes often welcome a “kid captain” from the hospital to join the team on the sidelines, and they have raised money for the hospital through a “Touchdowns for Kids” program, which encourages fans to pledge money for every touchdown scored during a season.

So bringing warmth and support to sick children is already an established tradition. On Saturday, they just took it one step farther.

Thanks, Hawkeyes. Count me in as a new fan.

I’m not the only one crying here, am I?

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Depression and Professional Football: How Should Players Be Protected?

If there was something wrong with your body, you wouldn't play football in order to fix it. The cure for a broken leg isn't a touchdown. The fix for a torn ACL isn't a 1,000-yard season. The one thing you wouldn't do is play football until you were well again. But what if there was something wrong with your brain? What if there was something wrong with your self-perception? Are these players

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Famous football stadiums that you should visit

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There’s nothing we love more than a good ol’ game of American football. We love playing it, we love watching it, and we love supporting it (and getting a little too obsessed with it). However, as a true superfan, it’s hard to just watch a game on the television, as you miss the atmosphere, you miss the size of the stadium, and you miss all the action. This is why we love to go and visit some of the best football stadiums in America on game days, but also when they’re not on – so we can truly appreciate them.

Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisconsin

Okay, we’ll give you three guesses who plays here? Of course, it’s the Green Bay Packers! This incredible football stadium was built in 1957 and is the oldest stadium in the NFL. Lambeau Field is so much more than a stadium though, and on game day the whole place transforms. For Packers fans, game day is a day out, and they’ll set up shop before the match in the parking lot to make food, dish out some bbq to friends and enemies (i.e., the other team) and make a day of it. Packers fans make the Green Bay Packers, and they feel like they are a part of the stadium. It’s amazing to watch.

U.S Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Have you ever wanted to see where the Minnesota Vikings? Well, while you’re at it you’ll also get to check out the biggest pivoting glass doors in the whole world! The U.S Bank Stadium was only opened in 2016, but it’s already nabbed itself the 2018 Super Bowl championship – and that’s kind of a big deal. The impressive structure features a prism roof, and jet black walls which make it unlike any other stadium in the states. Make sure you check out this stadium on game day, as you can try their remarkable selection of craft beers (14 of them, in fact!)

AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas

I mean, why would you NOT want to see the home of the Dallas Cowboys? If you’ve always wanted to visit Texas, you just have to visit Arlington and check out the AT&T Stadium, because pictures and camera crews just do not do it justice. This stadium is fairly new and was only opened in 2009 – and costa whopping $ 1.15 billion to build! The Dallas Cowboys have a few of their own traditions, and these were honored when this stadium was built, which is why the stadium still has a hole in its roof. Without the hole, God would not be able to watch the Cowboys during their Sunday games. The stadium itself is pretty classy, with an art gallery and modern art installations adorning the halls and corridors. Fancy!

CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Washington

The CityLink Field is home to the Seattle Seahawks, and their stadium is something that really needs to be seen to be believed! The stadium was built in a shell-like structure, which not only keeps the football fans dry, but it also keeps most of the sound inside of the stadium – meaning it gets pretty darn loud. In fact, during a 2011 playoff in this stadium, fans created enough noise to match the power of an earthquake at 1.0 on the Richter scale. Wowza.

Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We love it when a football field really represents its football team – and the construction of the Heinz Field Stadium does just that. The impressive structure is made out of pure Pittsburgh steel to honor the Pittsburgh Steelers and weighs a ridiculous 12,000 tons! Although the stadium can only hold 68,400 people (pretty dismal in NFL standards), the fans absolutely love the aesthetic and the feel of the place during game day.

Do you love football? Why not check out some of these famous football stadiums?

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‘For Me, It’s Personal.’ NFL Fans Boycott Football As Colin Kaepernick Goes Unemployed

For half a century, Mindy Reed has enjoyed a love affair with the NFL. As one of three daughters, she bonded with her father, a machinist living in Connecticut, over football. She wore a Bart Starr jersey as a kid, and recalls seeing Joe Namath play at the Yale Bowl in a 1969 exhibition game. As Reed climbed the corporate ladder at Dell in the 1980s and 90s, her football knowledge served as entrée into the old boys’ club. After switching careers — Reed, 61, is now a librarian in Austin — she continued to consume football. Reed rooted for the Seattle Seahawks, because wide receiver Tyler Lockett attended her alma mater, Kansas State.

But, Reed swears, now she’s done.

Reed plans on boycotting the NFL this season because no team has offered a job to ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose peaceful protest of police brutality during the National Anthem last season sparked a firestorm. It’s not just that teams haven’t extended an offer to Kaepernick, once one of the most promising signal callers in the league, who led the Niners to a Super Bowl in 2013, and threw an admirable 16 touchdown passes, against just four interceptions, for an undermanned San Francisco team a year ago. No team even invited him to training camp for a tryout.

So when an NFL commercial comes on TV, Reed immediately flips the channel. “I don’t take this lightly,” she says about her boycott, citing the important role football has played in her life. “But a line has been crossed, as far as I’m concerned.” Reed, who is white, believes Kaepernick’s protest against the killing of unarmed black people is completely justified. She says police regularly pull over her husband, who is African-American, for “driving while black.”

“For me, it’s personal,” says Reed. “We need to support people who remind us we don’t live in a post-racial society.”

Reed joins a growing number of Americans who say they will swear off NFL football until a team signs Kaepernick. A #NoKaepernickNoNFL petition on Change.org has received over 175,000 signatures. Hundreds of Kaepernick supporters rallied outside of NFL headquarters in New York City in August. If the boycotters follow through on their promises to stop watching games and buying merchandise, NFL owners may see a dent in their bottom lines. They feared fans would walk out on them if they signed the controversial QB. But by steering clear of Kaepernick, they’ll likely get boycotted anyway.

“There are probably more people out there who are against Colin Kaepernick protesting than there are people who support him,” says Vic Oyedeji, an African-American NFL fan who started the Change.org petition. “But at the end of the day, the people supporting Colin will have enough of a voice to make a change.”

NFL teams have signed more than 30 quarterbacks not named Colin Kaepernick to contracts since Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers deal in March. (If Kaepernick had not opted out, the 49ers were planning on cutting him; new coach Kyle Shanahan prefers traditional pocket passers for his system). That figure does not include 2017 draft picks, or QBs who re-signed with their squads. But it otherwise includes 19 players who have never completed a pass in an NFL regular season game. Kaepernick’s completed 1,011.

How did this happen? While Kaepernick is almost certainly a less effective player than he was during his Super Bowl run, many fans are convinced that NFL teams have blacklisted him because of his anthem protest. In July, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Buscotti acknowledged that signing Kaepernick could offend his customers; he requested that Ravens fans “pray for us” as the team contemplated offering Kaepernick a contract. NFL players who have been convicted of drunk driving, obstruction of justice, theft, gun possession, domestic violence, assault, vehicular manslaughter, and other crimes have returned to the field. Baltimore passed on Kaepernick.

Watching a team like the Miami Dolphins pull Jay Cutler, a white quarterback with inferior statistics during his injury-ridden 2016 campaign, out of retirement rather than give Kaepernick a shot strikes a raw nerve for many fans. “What we’re actually seeing in real time is the more qualified black guy being passed over for a less qualified white guy, for non-football reasons,” says J. Wyndal Gordon, a Baltimore attorney — and fan of the Ravens and Washington Redskins — who plans to skip the NFL this year. Boycotters fear Kaepernick’s situation sets a dangerous precedent. “If footballs players can’t express themselves in a peaceful way, it’s almost like saying they can’t be free in a free country,” says Derek Harris, a high school assistant principal in New York City. “The NFL has a right not to choose Kaepernick. We have a right to not support the sport.”

Some Kaepernick supporters, however, consider an NFL boycott misguided. “Take the picket signs and go protest a police commissioner, a mayor, a city council,” says Shelby Jones, a tennis pro in Washington, D.C. who is African-American. “Protest the people in civic duty who brought about the Colin Kaepernick protest. There is a fight going on. And we’re fighting the wrong person.”

Regardless, the boycotters are sticking to their plan. For hardcore NFL fans, tuning out football won’t be easy. “But I’ll get used to it,” says Oyedeji. “We are all creatures of habit. I’m doing my duty as a person of color.” Reed, the Austin librarian and half-century supporter of the NFL, has come to terms with her withdrawal. If Kaepernick signs, she’ll be back. In the meantime, she’ll be doing other things this fall.

“Who knows what I might discover out there,” says Reed. “I certainly know how to read a book.”


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