Pro Football Hall Of Fame Calls Up Sapp, Parcells, Ogden, Allen and Carter

The NFL's next Hall of Fame class, just announced, has a few dudes the TV made famous. There's Bill Parcells, who made a coaching career of winning two Super Bowls with the Giants and then convincing other teams believe he might ever do it again; Cris* Carter, who just proved that even Jerry Rice Lite was Hall of Fame… »2/02/13 7:24pm2/02/13 7:24pm

The Bengals Really Could Break Their 8,400-Day Playoff Winless Streak Today

For a summer in college I interned for the sports department of the Columbus Dispatch, which sent me for a few days to cover Cincinnati Bengals training camp. The 1990s had just come to a close—a dismal era even by the Bengals' standards—and the beat writers killed time during practice by stumping one another with… »1/05/13 2:40pm1/05/13 2:40pm

What The Astrodome Looks Like After Sitting Untouched And Rotting For A Decade

The Eighth Wonder of the World hasn't been used since the rodeo moved next door to Reliant Stadium in 2003. There are fanciful plans for the Astrodome, still preserved in time and set up for a football game of a team that doesn't exist—luxury hotel, movie studio, etc. But for now it's still just a storage shed and a… »4/04/12 10:30am4/04/12 10:30am

Is This Guy The Most Hated Coach In Pro Football History?

Remember the 1961 Houston Oilers? No? Well, as Mike Pesca explains in our weekly excerpt from Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast, they had the fifth-highest point differential of any team in pro football history. They won the AFL that year. 34-year-old George Blanda threw 36 touchdowns and Heisman winner Billy Cannon… »1/05/12 1:30pm1/05/12 1:30pm

Buddy Ryan's "Polish Goal Line" Defense Was Against The Rules, And That Was The Point

This diagram is supposed to be from the Houston Oilers' playbook in 1993, the one season Buddy Ryan spent as the team's defensive coordinator. It depicts a special goal-line formation Ryan designed for the end of the half or the end of the game—situations in which there were "less than 15 seconds," in Ryan's words,… »10/19/11 4:55pm10/19/11 4:55pm