A Special Sunday Syllabus: Today's Guide to Ignoring the NFL

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Below you'll find some great and required NFL reading from around the interwebs, for all the time you will spend not watching football today. Dig in!


Here's Patrick Hruby at Sports on Earth, on witnessing the sorry aftermath of the NFL's brutality up close and reaching his personal breaking point.

Along similar lines, here's The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates on growing away from the NFL in the wake of his decision to quit watching after Junior Seau's suicide.

Jeb Lund hasn't made any break from the NFL (yet), but here, writing for The Guardian, he digs into the nature of his changing relationship with the league and the sport.

Here's Deadspin's own Drew Magary, going in on NFL commissioner and legendary dipshit clown Roger Goodell for being a lying sack of crap.

Bryan Joiner, writing for The Classical, is in a similar boat as Jeb Lund: growing more and more conflicted about both the NFL and its stranglehold on our attention.

In this excerpt from his book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, Steve Almond goes as far as saying NFL fandom is downright indefensible!


This blog post, from hemlockandashes (deep down an internet rabbit hole) wrestles with the NFL's frightening and corrosive stature in American culture.

Here, Grantland's Louisa Thomas looks long and hard at that same dynamic and delivers a thoughtful examination of a violent culture and its favored spectacle of violence.


This is Jezebel's Erin Gloria Ryan boldly calling out NFL fans who expect to retain their self-bestowed credentials as lovers and respecters and defenders and allies of women.

Here's Deadspin's Greg Howard looking at the evidence and wondering if the NFL believes a woman can deserve what happened to Janay Rice.


ESPN's Outside the Lines dug in and unearthed the whole sordid tale of the NFL's ridiculous investigation of Ray Rice's domestic abuse.

Stepping back from the specifics of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins examines the NFL's bogus personal conduct policy.


Here's Deadspin's Dave McKenna, investigating whether the NFL's media stooges are so entangled that they'll keep lugging the NFL's water even after being publicly humiliated.

Moving along from the Ray Rice scandal, here's Deadspin's Barry Petchesky outlining the singular cynicism of the NFL's response to the subsequent Adrian Peterson scandal.


In discussing a more recent and minor scandal, David Roth, writing for Deadspin, explores what it is, exactly, that the NFL is peddling, and to whom.

And finally, here's Washington Post veteran Leonard Shapiro, looking back on a career spent witnessing the brutality of the NFL and missing opportunities to expose it.


Enjoy! Or, you know, watch TV instead. Whatever.

Other Sports

12:55 p.m. — beIN Sports Español — La Liga Soccer: Villareal vs. Real Sociedad

Just another solid, unspectacular mid-table La Liga fixture. Check it out.

1 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Wizards @ Celtics

Or! The Wizards are one of the East's hottest teams, and the Celtics are hella fun, despite their general lack of big-time talent and resulting poor record. This should be a fun one.


1:30 p.m. — NBC — PGA Tour Golf: Hero World Challenge from Windermere, Florida

If nothing else, you will be able to watch people walk around in shirtsleeves where the sun is shining. This will remind you that, yes, winter does eventually end.


2 p.m. — ESPN3 — NCAA Women's Basketball: Kentucky (13) vs. Louisville (7)

The only college basketball game today featuring two ranked teams.

2:40 p.m. — beIN Sports — Serie A Soccer: Inter Milan vs. Udinese

Udinese are atop Inter on the Serie A table despite being the side, of the two of them, with a negative goal differential. Not much is at stake, here, but there'll be plenty of theatrical flopping and flailing.


2:55 p.m. — beIN Sports Español — La Liga Soccer: Granada vs. Valencia

Granada are the lowest-scoring side in all of La Liga, and Valencia are a fluid and fun team capable of pouring it on. Could be an aesthetically pleasing wipeout.


3 p.m. — ESPN — MLS Soccer: MLS Cup Final — LA Galaxy vs. New England

LA lost the second leg of the Western Conference Championship against Seattle, and tied in the aggregate, but managed to advance by virtue of scoring the one single away goal of the series. And now they're hosting the Finals. Bullcrap!


3:30 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Nuggets @ Hawks

The Nuggets seemed to be surging before their horrific blowout nightmare of a loss in Washington Friday night. Still, they play fast and score a bunch, which means a date with the actually-incredibly-fun-to-watch Atlanta Hawks should be a barnburner.


6 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Heat @ Grizzlies

The Heat appear to be in deep shit, having lost three in a row by a total of 55 points. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have lost two straight for the first time this season. Neither team is desperate, but both teams urgently need to get back in the win column.


7:30 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Bucks @ Mavericks

Guys, the Bucks are great to watch. They've got multiple players capable of individual brilliance on both ends. And the Mavs, well, the Mavs are great to watch, and Monta "Have It All" Ellis is as hot right now as any player in the NBA.


9:30 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Pelicans @ Lakers

The Pelicans' second straight game at Staples Center. After struggling last night against the blazing-hot Clippers, New Orleans should be primed to release several weeks' worth of frustration on the adorably hapless Lakers.


TV Reruns

1 p.m. — USA — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

All motherfucking day.

1:12 p.m. — TV Land — Roseanne

Binge-watch all the way into the late afternoon games.

4 p.m. — FXX — The Simpsons

Literally not one single good episode in this four-hour afternoon mini-marathon.


5 p.m. — TV Land — The Golden Girls

This mini-marathon will cover you into the primetime national broadcast game.


11:30 p.m. — AMC — Footloose (1984)

Nerdy-ass Kevin Bacon has all the moves.

1 p.m. — E! — Bridesmaids

Much of this movie is just unmistakably stupid. But! It has its moments.

1:30 p.m. — SyFy — Shutter Island

The warden character in Shutter Island is scary as shit, especially after you've seen the movie once all the way through. What a cold, creepy psycho that guy is.


2:30 p.m. — IFC — Gone Baby Gone

This movie generally will not blow your hair back, but it's solid from start to finish, with one legitimately terrifying sequence near its climax.


3:30 p.m. — FX — Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's makeup can be a little distracting early on, but that's a relatively tiny complaint about a movie that manages to pull off such an ambitious story.


3:40 p.m. — MTV — Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Geoffrey Rush is a blast as Captain Barbosa. I have to admit, this movie is pretty great.


4:30 p.m. — SyFy — The Cabin in the Woods

If you're going to have a problem with this flick, it will be that it's just outrageously violent. It's not pitched at the sadistic level of gorno, but is nonetheless fairly troubling. Otherwise, The Cabin in the Woods is very worth your attention.


5 p.m. — CMT — The Truman Show

Yes, The Truman Show is heavy-handed, occasionally to the point of being kinda embarrassing, but it's still pretty damn good to watch.


5 p.m. — VH-1 Classic — Batman (1989)

Unbelievably, Michael Keaton made a pretty great Bruce Wayne.

5 p.m. — IFC — The Matrix

The only movie in the trilogy with even a little bit of humor and personality.

5:23 p.m. — Comedy Central — Superbad


5:30 p.m. — BBC America — The Silence of the Lambs

It seems, in retrospect, like a stroke of genuine brilliance that Jonathan Demme was lured back to studio filmmaking for this project. I really feel like The Silence of the Lambs is very close to perfect.


5:30 p.m. — abc Family — Toy Story 3

How the hell is this a kids' movie? Seriously. It's cruel, harrowing, ugly, unbelievably dark, and just devastatingly sad. There's a point beyond which Disney Pixar's adorable-characters-confronted-by-increasingly-dreadful-circumstances routine becomes grueling and gratuitous, and this movie spends roughly 93% of its run time well beyond that point.


5:30 p.m. — Centric — Malcolm X

Denzel Washington's performance is a genuine stunner. He lost the Best Actor Oscar that year to Al Pacino for his performance in Scent of a Woman. Pacino was great, but that still strikes me as bogus, to this day.


6:30 p.m. — SyFy — Insidious

Absolutely pants-shittingly terrifying, plus well-crafted, well-acted, and daring as hell. Check it out.


6:30 p.m. — TVGN — Good Will Hunting

There comes a moment when Skylar expressed bewilderment at Will's might math brain, and Will explains that someone like Beethoven could look at a piano and see music, that Beethoven's brain was just tuned that way, whereas his brain is just tuned to math. Which is horseshit, because Will is obviously a savant at math, yes, but also apparently American history and science and both civil and criminal law! What kind of shit is that? It's not like my man had to get a job doing code work — something he clearly isn't interested in, like, at all — when he could just as easily be a biologist or lawyer or any other goddamn thing.


Screw that Will Hunting. What a prick.

7:45 p.m. — Sundance — Uncle Buck

Simply one of the all-time great comedies.

8 p.m. — REELZ — High Plains Drifter

Clint Eastwood's first great western, and one of surprisingly few especially-good movies he's made in his long-ass directing career.


8 p.m. — Comedy Central — Pineapple Express

This is one funny-ass movie.

8 p.m. — Ovation — The Usual Suspects

When I first saw this movie I so badly wanted to find out Keyser Soze was based upon a real legendary crime boss. Alas.


8 p.m. — VH-1 Classic — Almost Famous

Just a ridiculously entertaining movie, from start to finish.

Go buy a Christmas tree or something. Go somewhere where they've got hot cider and Christmas tunes playing, buy a nice shapely tree, bring it home, and decorate it. It's the perfect day for it.