Last year was a lean one for the Mo Better Jaguars Pop Warner program of Brownsville, Brooklyn. As we chronicled in a November feature story, the 2013 season was the first time none of the program's teams made the playoffs. But while it was a down year, it did not lack flashes of hope.
Albert Samaha After weeks of tackling drills and wind sprints, the season has finally begun.
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."More »
At the beginning of the month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a friendly wager: If the L.A. Kings lost the Stanley Cup to the New York Rangers, Garcetti would go on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and perform "New York, New York." If the Kings won, de Blasio would have to sing an ode to the city of traffic jams and immobile, botulism-rich foreheads.
Screenshot via Hulu. Mayor de Blasio brings shame upon our city, these children, and music itself.
"Start spreading the news," de Blasio said at the time, according to the L.A. Times. "It's been over 20 years since the Stanley Cup has found its home in New York City, and we look forward to it making it's way here."
But that enormous silver spittoon was not to be ours: to no one's surprise, the Rangers lost 3-2 to the Kings on Friday, June 13. Last night, our mayor appeared via satellite on Kimmel's show to make good on the bet. It was uncomfortable.More »
In the unlikely event that you tried to visit New York State Board of Elections
Screenshot via. The New York State Board of Elections' new look
official website today, you probably noticed that it didn't work. And if you were up early enough, you would have seen that the site briefly got a bit of a makeover, courtesy of our hacktivist friends at Anonymous, who are protesting the reported human rights abuses taking place in Brazil in advance of the FIFA World Cup, set to begin Thursday.
Hackers News Bulletin reports that Anonymous members from both Brazil and abroad are planning to hack a number of websites to protest the World Cup. Many Brazilians are furious about the $11 billion pricetag associated with hosting the game, and angry too that many of the nation's poorest citizens have been rousted from their homes in an apparent attempt to "clean up" the country's most populous cities before they get an influx of visitors. Amnesty International has expressed concern that the Brazilian government, which last year detained and injured hundreds of protesters during demonstrations over transit hikes, will use the Cup as an excuse to crack down further on their citizenry. Sao Paulo's transit workers are currently in the fifth day of a general strike, and the Guardian reports that the police have already used teargas to subdue protesters.
It's unclear what the New York State Board of Elections has to do with any of that. But early this morning, an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter handle, Autonomous Operations, tweeted this:More »
After the fight, after Miguel Cotto dominated Sergio Martinez for nine rounds at Madison Square Garden, a man in a suit stood behind a podium to tell the gathered media that Martinez would not be attending the press conference because he had to go to the hospital for a precautionary check-up. Martinez, the man added, did want to pass along a message, though.
Albert Samaha Miguel Cotto entered the ring without music or lights.
"The one thing he wanted me to tell you was there is no excuse," the man said. "There was no problem with his knee. There was no problem with his hand. He got caught with a great punch in the first round and he never recovered. He wanted everybody to know this was Miguel Cotto's night, this was Miguel Cotto's victory. Miguel Cotto is a great champion."More »
Many of the basketball fans who grew up in Brooklyn cast their allegiance with the Knicks long ago. So the Nets had a smaller pool of potential supporters to begin with when the franchise moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012.
New York Times
Earlier this week, the New York Times created a map showing the most popular NBA team in each zip code in America. It used Facebook likes as the metric for popularity.
Not surprisingly, the map showed that the Knicks remain the team of choice for all five boroughs (plus Long Island, Westchester County, and much of New Jersey). The Nets were the favored team in just eight of Brooklyn's 46 zip codes. A look at those zip codes, however, reveals that the Nets are indeed developing a core fan base.More »
Over the next 11 years Ratner sold all but 20 percent of his stake to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets moved into the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the NBA's popularity grew exponentially.
Now Ratner, who owns the development firm Forest City Enterprises, is looking to sell the rest of his stake in the team, and his company has set the Nets' value at $1 billion, the Sports Business Journal reported.More »