Super Bowl L (or is it 50?)

The Super Bowl has always been the showcase for Roman numerals.  But this year the NFL, apparently not wanting the connotations of “L” for “loser,” is labeling this half-century contest with the Arabic numerals “50.”

The students at Master’s Academy Classical Club, from a classical Christian school in Matthews, NC, took umbrage at this and launched a campaign to the get the NFL to return to Latin numbering.  They actually won an audience with an NFL official who assured them that next year would feature Super Bowl LI.   (The Wall Street Journal ran a charming article on this:   How the Super Bowl ost a etter – WSJ [subscription required].)

Speaking of the Super Bowl. . . [Read more…]

St. Louis Rams are moving to L.A.

The St. Louis Rams are moving to Los Angeles. The Oakland Raiders might also move to Los Angeles.  And if they don’t, the San Diego Chargers will.  L.A.’s two teams might even play in the same stadium!

L.A. lost two teams in the 1990s–ironically, the Rams and the Raiders–but now will have two at the same time.  The NFL owners approved the move from St. Louis, despite the city’s proposal to build a new stadium. Yes, L.A. is the nation’s second biggest media market, but small market cities like Green Bay and in basketball Oklahoma City can still have successful and profitable professional teams.

Losing an NFL franchise is traumatic for any city, but it should hit St. Louis especially hard, with its reputation of being such a great sports city.  What’s happening, all you Lutherans from St. Louis? [Read more…]

How Clemson’s coach defied the anti-religion forces

What a game, the national college football championship!  In an exciting back-and-forth game, Alabama beat Clemson to take the national title.  I was rooting for Clemson, even though–or perhaps because–they beat my alma mater, Oklahoma, in the playoffs.

In honor of the game, I would like to post an account by David French of how Dabo Swinney, the Clemson coach, stood up to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, when that group threatened legal action to stop the team’s custom of providing rides to church services if players wanted one.  And, unlike the usual practice in higher education, Clemson University supported him!

[Read more…]

Reinventing New Year’s Eve with college football playoffs

I’ve got to say, I’m excited that the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma, one of my alma maters, is in the college football playoffs tonight.  I had given up on them after they lost to Texas, but here they are, playing the undefeated Clemson for a shot at the national championship.  For everything you want to know about the playoffs and much more than you  want to know, go here.  (Give your picks in the comments.)

The bigger story, though, is ESPN’s attempt to take over the way Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Instead of going to parties, staying up until midnight, and watching the ball drop at Times Square, watch college football! [Read more…]

Not just a Hail Mary pass

Football has been good to me lately, with the Sooners making the playoffs, slated to play #1 Clemson in the Orange Bowl.  But, as a Packers fan, I still feel exhilarated by the way Green Bay beat Detroit.  Down 20 to nothing, they scratched their way back at the very end to within striking distance, but then kept getting thwarted.  I gave up numerous times during that game.  Time ran out.   But, wait, Detroit drew a (questionable) facemask penalty.  The Packers were given one more play.  Back on their own 39-yardline, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a ball 61 yards with about that same height.  (Some are saying it was 71 yards high!)  And in the melee of both teams crowded in the endzone, receiver Richard Rodgers somehow caught it!  Packers win!

This would seem to be a classic “Hail Mary” pass.  The name comes, I believe, from Notre Dame football.  The last play of the game, just throw the ball as far as you can and say a “Hail Mary,” praying in the Catholic way that the Mother of our Lord (football fan that she is) would cause someone to catch it.  But, it turns out, this was an actual play that the Packers regularly practice and that was executed to perfection.  After the jump, see a video of the pass and read the analysis. [Read more…]

Why football?

A reporter transplanted from Chicago to work on the Daily Oklahoman who cares nothing for football was given the assignment to find out why Oklahomans care so much about the sport.

This turned into an interesting article, which I excerpt and link to after the jump, whereupon I then raise questions for my fellow football fans. [Read more…]


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