Posts Tagged ‘football’

The Loneliest Job in Soccer

October 16, 2020

Legendary Arsenal FC goalkeeper Bob Wilson explains why goalies have the loneliest job in soccer. Video by Andre Andreev for The New York Times

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The NFL in DC: ‘Washington Football Team’

July 24, 2020

The NFL in DC: 'Washington Football Team'

The DC NFL team has replaced its racist name with a generic one: “Washington Football Team.” If only they could replace Dan Snyder with a generic “Washington Football Team Owner.”


“Washington NFL team to temporarily rebrand as ‘Washington Football Team.'” Orion Rummler, Axios

“NFL franchise to go by ‘Washington Football Team’ this season, delaying permanent name change,” Les Carpenter and Mark Maske, Washington Post

“Washington NFL team to use ‘Washington Football Team’ for 2020 season,” Adam Schefter, ESPN

“D.C. NFL Team To Call Itself ‘Washington Football Team’ In 2020 Until New Name Is Decided,” Jordan Pascale, DCist

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Image (“New DC NFL Uniform”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Renaming the DC NFL Team

July 8, 2020

Renaming the DC NFL Team

Last week, DC’s professional foorball team announced that its name, an historic racial slur, was “under review,” evoking the image of a booth full of league replay officials staring at a slo-mo recording of the letters r-e-d-s-k-i-n-s. Owner Dan Snyder once said he would “NEVER change the name of the team,” but that play is clearly out-of-bounds in today’s climate of heightened racial awareness.

It wasn’t the death of George Floyd or kneeling team players that changed Snyder’s narrow mind, but his own bottom linesponsors, investors, and business partners are applying pressure. Nike, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have removed DC team-branded merchandise from their websites and stores. How’s this for irony: FedEx, which owns naming rights for the DC squad’s stadium, now wants the team to change its own name.

Although nobody has suggested renaming the squad “Washington Rappas” in honor of the region’s Rappahannock people, there is no shortage of suggested team names and logos. The current fan favorite is “Washington Redtails,” after WWII’s African American 332nd Fighter Group (maybe you saw the movie). In an only-in-Washington move, two local lawyers have already submitted a trademark application for “Washington Redtails.” Hey, how about calling the team “The Litigators”?

A name change is expected by September.


“D.C. NFL Team Considering Name Change After Public And Corporate Outcry,” Eliza Berkon, WAMU

“An NFL Name Change That Has Been a Long Time Coming,” Leonard Shapiro, Washington City Paper

“FedEx asks ‘the team in Washington’ to dump racist nickname as Nike pulls gear,” The Guardian

“Daniel Snyder no longer has a choice, and he knows it. Battle over name has reached its endgame.” Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“Lawmakers And FedEx Urge D.C.’s NFL Team To Change Its Name Amid Bid For RFK Stadium,” Kavitha Cardoza, DCist

“Trump Supports Washington Team Name. Retailers Pull Merchandise.” Ken Belsen, New York Times


“FedEx Made a Demand Dan Snyder Couldn’t Afford to Dismiss,” Ken Belson and Kevin Draper, New York Times



The Shame of the DC NFL Team Name

June 22, 2020

The Shame of DC NFL Team's Name

“If the NFL season opens as planned with training camps this summer, Washington’s team should do so under another name. Under its new name. Whatever that might be.” —
Barry Svrluga, Washington Post


“Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now.” Washington Post editorial

“The Washington football team can’t duck and run on its name ever again,” Mike Wise, Washington Post

“Daniel Snyder has a chance to change the legacy of the team he loves. He should.” John Feinstein, Washington Post


“Does Congress have the leverage to force a name change for Washington’s football team?” Clyde McGrady, Roll Call

“Native American Leader Challenges Players on Washington’s NFL Team to Sit,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian


Labor Day Weekend: REAL Men Grill Meat

August 31, 2018

Labor Day Weekend: REAL Men Grill Meat

This is Labor Day Weekend, ceremonial End of Summer in the USA. During this three-day holiday adult American men are obliged to offer up sacrifices to their gods, incinerating animal flesh outdoors behind their homes. Families and  neighbors consume the charred remains, washing them down with copious libations of fermented grain or carbonated sugar-water.

This custom is said to bridge cultural differences and promote family and community cohesion, but the ceremony has a grave, unstated purpose. If American men do not burn meat for them on Labor Day, the angry gods will not end summer, preventing the start of the new pro football season.


“Football: America’s national religion,” Chad Gibbs, Washington Post  blog.

“The Foodspin Cookout Reader,” Albert Burneko, Foodspin

“NFL Labor Day Cookout: Which Food Is Your Favorite Player Bringing?” Bailey Brautigan, Bleacher Report.


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Note: Canadian men sacrifice meat on “Labour Day,” which has something to do with their Ice Hockey cult. Or with “Curling,” maybe. Whatever that is.

Image (“BBQ Grill for Real Men”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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The Big Game

February 4, 2018

The Big Game

Sunday, February 4, 2018: Time for the Big Game. That’s right, Puppy Bowl XIV is on Animal Planet starting at 3 PM Eastern Time. Many of the cute canine competitors are hurricane rescues from Puerto Rico, there’s a kitty halftime show, duckling, piglet and baby bunny cheerleaders, a sloth referee, and a new Dog Bowl for full-grown adoptable canines. Yes, you can adopt a “wide-retriever” of your own.


The Big Game

February 7, 2016

The Big Game

Sunday, February 7, 2016: Time for the Big Game. That’s right, Puppy Bowl XII is on Animal Planet starting at 3PM Eastern Time. The cute canine competitors are recruited from shelters, there’s a kitty halftime show, silkie chicken and hedgehog cheerleaders, and a new assistant referee, Stanley the Skunk. Before game time you can play the furry fantasy game, try the Virtual Reality feature, or adopt a “wide-retriever” puppy of your own.


Animal Sacrifice at the Super Bowl

February 6, 2016

Animal Sacrifce at the Superbowl

The Super Bowl murders 22 cows, figures Meghan Walsh:

“Every cowhide makes about 10 balls, according to Kevin Murphy, the general manager of Wilson Football, official NFL ball-maker since 1941. Wilson wouldn’t say exactly how many balls it produces in a season, but the Chicago company did share that the Super Bowl alone requires 216 footballs — each team gets 54 for practice and 54 for game day (the Pats and Hawks had theirs within 24 hours of winning the AFC and NFC championships last year). Wilson, true to its roots, favors cattle from the Midwest — Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska — but all the leather eventually makes its way to a factory in Ada, Ohio.”

–“How Many Cows Does It Take to Make a Football?” Meghan Walsh, OZY

And then there are the 650 million chickens who died so the game’s TV viewers can eat their wings ….


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Paris: Football and Heartache

November 17, 2015

Paris: Football and Heartache

Last Friday evening in Paris, 80,000 people watched France play Germany in a friendly soccer match at the Stade de France. Spectators included French President François Hollande and his guests, relatives of people who died in a German plane crash in the French Alps in March. 15 minutes into the game, President Hollande left to take a phone call and learned that a loud noise outside the stadium was caused when a man, stopped as he tried to enter the packed Stade de France, exploded his suicide vest. M. Hollande consulted the Interior Minister and a sports official and decided to keep the news from other spectators, avoiding panic and mass injuries. Elsewhere in Paris, as the game continued, over a hundred people were shot to death as they sat in cafes and restaurants and at a concert.

While French midfielder Lassana Diarra ran up and down the pitch his cousin Asta Diakite was killed in one of the fusillades. “She was like a big sister to me,” he later tweeted. His teammate on Les Bleus, striker Antoine Griezmann, later learned that his sister was one of the hostages who escaped from the Bataclan theater, where 89 people died. Neither man learned about their family members until hours later, early Saturday morning.

By the second half most spectators had learned about the terror attacks through social media, and players on both teams were informed at end of the match and asked to remain in the heavily guarded stadium instead of venturing onto the streets. Mattresses were found, and players and coaches slept at the Stade de France until a team bus arrived for Germany’s Die Mannschaft at about 2 AM.

Oh, France beat Germany 2 to 0.


Football Team Sends University of Missouri President to the Showers

November 10, 2015

Football Team Sends University of Missouri President to the Showers

In 1839, 176 years ago, the slave state of Missouri founded a university at Columbia, the first public institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi. In 1950, 65 years ago, the University of Missouri at Columbia admitted its first black student. Columbia is about 100 miles from Ferguson, so it is unsurprising that recent racial incidents on campus were of concern to many students and faculty members, especial if they are African American. What was surprising: Inaction on the part of University President Tim Wolfe.

Campus protests, begun in September, were met with administration lip-service. Last week a UM grad student went on a hunger strike. Nothing. On Saturday the University’s football team announced it wouldn’t practice or play for the rest of the season unless University President Wolfe resigned. On Monday morning he did.

The Mizzou Tigers play the BYU Cougars on Saturday, November 14th , 6:30 PM CST at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The University of Missouri motto: Salus populi suprema lex esto, “Let the Welfare of the People be the Supreme Law.” Seems like it takes a concerned Southeastern Conference team of enforcers, though.