Football Is (Economic) Salvation: A Fairy Tale by Colin Cowherd, As Told to His Audience

Categories: Football

Uncle Colin talking at us as only he can.
Last month, I wrote a story for the Voice about the many ways in which sports pundits serve as shills for the Football-Industrial Complex. The story began with a rant by ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd against America's cult of violence, which, curiously, did not include football, our most popular and profitable sport.

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'I Want People to Be in a State of Moral Struggle': Q&A With Against Football Author

Categories: Football

"The point of this book isn't to shit on your happiness," author Steve Almond insists in Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto. Football, after all, has given America much happiness, and Almond spends 170-plus pages detailing all that is wrong with the sport. But it is not a blind critique. Almond is a football fan himself, emotionally invested in the Oakland Raiders since childhood. And in his book, which hit shelves last week, he explores the moral quandary that football fans face as research continues to reveal the sport's damaging long-terms effects on the brains of its players.

Almond, who will speak at the Strand on Monday, recently discussed with the Voice his thoughts on America's relationship with football and what he hopes readers take from the book.

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Pop Warner Youth Football League Fights Brain Science with Brain Science

Categories: Football, Sports

Christopher Farber
Pop Warner, America's largest youth football organization, faces a crisis. The increasing awareness of the damage football can do to the brain has convinced more and more parents to keep their children away from the sport. Politicians from California to New York have proposed banning tackle football before high school.

This has presented Pop Warner officials with a complicated and difficult dilemma. They cannot deny the emerging science on brain trauma--there is too much established research by this point. Yet they must somehow keep parents and kids from fleeing youth football.

All this hovered in the background as Pop Warner's executive director Jon Butler stood before an audience in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, attempting to defend his organization's existence.

Bicycling, skateboarding, roller blading, and other childhood activities can also be dangerous, he said. "Kids get concussions in a whole lot of ways."

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Councilman Steve Levin Proposes Bill Requiring Doctors at Youth Football Games

Categories: Football, Politics

Christopher Farber
At a Pop Warner football game in Brooklyn a few months ago, a nine-year-old shuffled toward the sideline, wincing but not crying, cradling his left arm. It took maybe half a minute before any of his team's three coaches noticed, as they directed players into position on the field. The coach met the player at the sideline and escorted him to a bench a few yard back. He talked to the boy for a few seconds, then turned around and strolled several steps onto the field.

He shouted at his counterpart, the coach of the home team, on the opposite sideline.

"Yo! Hey! You got a medic?" He didn't sound particularly frantic or flustered, just serious.

"What's wrong?" the home team's coach yelled back.

"I don't know. He's holding his elbow."

As at many youth football games around the city and country, there was no medic present here. A bill proposed by Brooklyn councilman Steve Levin seeks too change that.

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NFL's Concussion Settlement May Not Cover Enough Retired Players, Judge Says

Categories: Courts, Football

Christopher Farber
The hits get bigger as the players do.
There was always a chance the NFL would have to pay retired players more than the $765 million in the concussion settlement filed in August. A "legal Hail Mary," we called the scenario: if enough additional players sued the the NFL for deceiving them about the game's true risk, a judge would have no choice but to deem the settlement insufficient. While a wave of more lawsuits might be unlikely, it is certainly plausible given that once the deal is finalized, NFL players will no longer be able to sue the league for hiding the dangers of concussions.

A federal judge, however, foresaw the potential problems with the rigidity and finality of the settlement. On Tuesday U.S. District Judge Anita Brody rejected the settlement, voicing skepticism that $765 million might not be enough to cover the 20,000 retired players eligible for payouts. Even if lawyers on both sides claim otherwise.

"Despite the potential benefits of class actions, their binding effect on absentee parties remains a significant concern, Brody wrote in an opinion issued in federal court in Pennsylvania."I am primarily concerned that not all Retired NFL Football Players who ultimately receive a Qualifying Diagnosis or their related claimants will be paid.The Settlement fixes the size of the Monetary Award Fund."

The NFL may have to bump up its offer even before the Hail Mary lands.

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Two Men Were Hurt At the New York Jets - Buffalo Bills Game When One Fell From the Nosebleed Section [VIDEO]

Categories: Football

Screencap via YouTube
So you're at a Bills-Jets game and your stuck in the nosebleeds. Shucks, wouldn't it be nice if you were closer to the action? Binoculars might help. Or sidling up to the 50-yard line and standing there till someone notices. If you're desperate, maybe shell out the cash for an upgrade!

Not in this list, you'll notice, is sliding down the railing of the third deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo like it's the staircase of a high school in the '90s. Two men were injured at the Bills-Jets game this weekend, when one of them, presumably high on the collective effervescence of a major sporting event, slid down the side of the third deck, lost control, and landed on a bystander below.

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Tim Tebow In New York: Sees Broadway Musical, Gets Carnegie Deli Sandwich Named After Him

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New York, get ready, Tebow's in town and you're going to hear about every move he makes. First up: Tebow sees a show! Though we're not sure if he needs any lessons on how to be popular, Tim Tebow went to see the Broadway musical Wicked in New York last night, according to the New York Daily News. Donna Vivino, an actress in the production, notified her public via Twitter of the new Jet's presence at the show.

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Playing Dirty: Was the Saints' Bounty Scheme Just Football as Usual?

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For sheer elegance, you can't beat the Irish when it comes to writing about American sports. Here's Cormac Eklof of on the NFL's bounty scandal:
"Goodness me, the New Orleans Saints have landed themselves in quite the juicy pickle.
The NFL is basically, at this moment, winding up Popeye-style to deliver a debilitating haymaker right in the Saints' kisser."

He goes on, saying: "Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, is this week meeting with his minions to decide the punishment for the Saints' 'bounty scheme' where they paid out extra dollars to player who injured and/or sidelined opposition players."

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A Backwards Look at the Giants' Super Bowl Finish

A piece by Jim Trotter in this week's Super Bowl issue of Sports Illustrated puts the Ahmad Bradshaw ass-first game-winning touchdown run in new perspective. With the Patriots leading 17-15 and a little more than a minute to play, the Giants had the ball on 2nd-and-6 at New England's six-yard line. Bradshaw, you'll recall, was free and clear on a run into the end zone when he stopped and spun around at the two-yard line; he got his touchdown only when gravity took its course. (And forgive me for pointing this out, but in Bradshaw's case gravity had a great deal to work with.) Bradshaw tried to keep from scoring but, literally, fell into the end zone to score the first ass-backwards TD in Super Bowl history.

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Don't Care About Football? Care About New York.

This blogger doesn't like football. If she's going to watch a sport it's going to be baseball and she's going to root for the Yankees. Therefore, this Super Bowl Sunday, this blogger is not going to tell you which players to watch. In fact, the only ones she really feels qualified to even mention are Eli Manning and Gisele Bündchen's husband. (Just kidding, she totally knows that his name is Tom Brady.) That said, she is going to care about the Super Bowl outcome, and New Yorkers, you should too.

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