Last Night Was Probably The Closest We'll Ever Get To A Super Bowl…

When the Ravens intentionally took a safety, to give themselves better field position and run a few seconds off the clock, it brought the 49ers to within three points. It was the smart call, but it also raised the possibility of the rarest of all football plays—the fair-catch kick. It's only been attempted a handful of … » 2/04/13 3:20pm 2/04/13 3:20pm

Joe Flacco, The Big-Armed Oaf Who Saved Baltimore

Joe Flacco has played five full seasons in the NFL, and in each one, he has thrown for less than 4,000 yards and completed less than 64 percent of his throws. He has never been sacked fewer than 30 times, and he has never thrown more than 25 touchdowns. Flacco turns 28 tomorrow. He'll be a free agent once the season… » 1/15/13 3:15pm 1/15/13 3:15pm

Fox Gets Conservative: Did The Denver Coach's Risk-Averse Strategy Cost …

NFL coaches will often refer to "playing the percentages." But if there's one thing I've learned by studying strategic decisions, it's that coaches don't have a firm grasp of those percentages. And when anyone is uncertain of the odds, he'll fall back on the sure thing. That was the case with Broncos coach John Fox, who… » 1/13/13 11:27pm 1/13/13 11:27pm

Robert Griffin III Twisted His Knee On A Dead Patch Of Sports Language

LANDOVER, Md.—After the Redskins' 24-14 playoff loss to the Seahawks, Washington's players and head coach talked about the "difference between being injured and being hurt," the importance of being there for your teammates, and how, in the words of Robert Griffin III, "you have to step up and be a man sometimes." This is… » 1/06/13 11:15pm 1/06/13 11:15pm

Ray Lewis Is A Complicated Problem Who Played Football With Simple…

It's easy enough to be cynical about Ray Lewis, after the 17-year veteran linebacker announced his impending retirement yesterday. In the foreground, there's the recent image of Lewis, now that the years have reduced his ability to contribute on-field: the ridiculous, spasmodic dancing; the incessant sideline woofing; … » 1/03/13 3:00pm 1/03/13 3:00pm

On Further Review, Roger Goodell Fucked Up This NFL Season From End To …

Cowboys-Redskins was the biggest matchup of the year, a win-or-go-home game for two division rivals. It turned out to be the most-watched regular-season sporting event in 15 years. But one familiar face was missing from the FedEx Field suites: commissioner Roger Goodell, who found something else to do Sunday night.… » 1/02/13 4:30pm 1/02/13 4:30pm

Andy Reid: Good Enough To Make You Hate Him For How Bad He Was

So of course when the clock at last ran out on Andy Reid in Philadelphia, nobody knew what the heck was going on. He was fired before the final game Sunday and coached anyway. No, he wasn't fired till after the game Sunday. No, not that either; he wasn't fired till Monday morning. One last utter clusterfuck of an… » 1/01/13 10:00am 1/01/13 10:00am

The Black Monday Firing That Doesn't Make Any Sense: Lovie Smith

Romeo Crennel, Chan Gailey, Andy Reid, Pat Shurmur, and Norv Turner were fired on Monday for the usual reasons that coaches get fired. All of these guys either led franchises to horrible records (Crennel), disappointed their pitchfork-waving fan bases one too many times (Turner), led their franchises to horrible… » 12/31/12 2:10pm 12/31/12 2:10pm

Russell Wilson Is The Quarterback Darrell Bevell Always Wanted

Nineteen years ago, Darrell Bevell, a redshirt freshman transfer fresh off his Mormon mission, led Wisconsin to its first Rose Bowl win—an ugly 21-16 victory over UCLA that featured seven fumbles. Bevell's clinching touchdown came on a particularly un-balletic play. The video isn't online, but here's how Jon Roe… » 12/26/12 10:00am 12/26/12 10:00am

Paul Tagliabue Ruling: The NFL Doesn't Have A Bounty Problem; It Has A…

When Roger Goodell appointed Paul Tagliabue to hear the Saints' bounty appeal, the players fought to get the ex-NFL commissioner to recuse himself. There was no way, they thought, that Tagliabue would kneecap his successor, invalidating the suspensions that Goodell had pronounced from his unassailable lair atop… » 12/11/12 7:19pm 12/11/12 7:19pm

Roger Goodell Is Thinking About Eliminating Kickoffs. How Would It…

Before we start laughing at Roger Goodell's idea—by way of Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano—of eliminating kickoffs and replacing them with punts, let's first analyze what this would mean for the game. The suggestion would work like this: Instead of kicking off after a score or to start a half of play, teams would be… » 12/07/12 4:00pm 12/07/12 4:00pm

Why The NCAA Doesn't Care About Concussions

In the third quarter of a 34-17 loss to Cincinnati this past Saturday, UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer took what he would later describe as a "bullet to the head." Chandler had suffered a head injury the previous week against Louisville. "We're just trying to be as careful as we can," Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni had… » 12/07/12 3:00pm 12/07/12 3:00pm

Bob Costas: The Shill Becomes A Journalist [UPDATE]

Taking potshots at Bonnie Bob Costas, America's premier sports broadcaster, is a national pastime almost as popular as the spectacles he fronts. And why not? In these cheesy and uncertain times, he seems too comfortable, too confident and, at 60, too cute. He does his job better than you will ever do yours, dude. If… » 12/05/12 10:15am 12/05/12 10:15am