College Football Playoff controversy

This year we will have a college football championship playoff, eliminating all of that controversy over end-of-the-season ratings.  So we thought.  But there is still controversy about which four teams were selected to play.  Earlier last week, Texas Christian University was ranked #3, going on to defeat Iowa State by 52 points.  But when the final four was announced, Ohio State made the cut, leap-frogging both TCU and Baylor! [Read more...]

Unions for college football players

The National Labor Relations Board, acting on a case brought by Northwestern University athletes, has ruled that college football players qualify as employees and so have the right to unionize. [Read more...]

Changing West Point in the name of football

West Point has very high standards.  It’s hard to get into.  Cadets have to be outstanding not just in academics but in leadership and other personal qualities.  This is because West Point is not just a good college.  It’s where our elite army officers are formed.

But it doesn’t have a good football team!  And it’s lost to Navy for the past 12 years!  How can that be?  Something must be done!

So some school officials, alumni, and army brass are proposing that West Point change its admissions standards so that the athletic program can recruit really good football players. [Read more...]

The coach who never punts

A high school coach in Arkansas has developed a new football strategy:  His team never punts.  And he always employs the on-side kick.  Coach Kevin Kelley developed these tactics from a study of football statistics; though the team often gives up the ball on downs, the increased number of possessions pays off in the long run.  (Go here for the math.)  The coach has an .833 record since adopting this strategy, and his team has won the state championship three times.  This season the team is 10-0.  Details and a video of how and why this works after the jump. [Read more...]

The NFL’s corruption

Brutal bullying.  Murder charges.  Rape.  Suicides.  Scrambled brains.  Just another week in the NFL.  Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Thomas Boswell loves professional football, but he is dismayed at what the NFL has seemingly become.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.  Of course the game creates a market for “mean jocks” and criminal-types.  The notion of the athlete as a role model may be outmoded in today’s sports culture.  Can or should anything be done about all of this?  Consider Mr. Boswell’s catalog of corruption after the jump. [Read more...]

What to call Washington’s football team?

I usually cast a jaundiced eye at efforts to change the name of sports teams that refer to Native Americans.  After all, I reason, fans love their teams, so there can hardly be anything demeaning in what they call them.  I do understand tribal sensitivities in regard to mascots–misusing tribal symbols such as eagle feathers and perpetuating stereotypes–but I salute the Seminole Nation,for example, in affirming the dignified reference to their tribe by Florida State.

But Washington “Redskins”?  Yeah, that’s pretty racial and hard to justify.  Change is going to come eventually.  So, if the name of the football team that represents our nation’s capital is going to change, what should it be?  I am looking for suggestions both serious and humorous. [Read more...]


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