September 13, 2015 |
BOSTON - The daily fantasy sports industry is eyeing a breakout season as NFL games begin. And its two dominant companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, are touting lucrative opening-week prizes to try to draw more customers as more competitors pop up. Major tech and media companies, including Yahoo and CBS, are entering the fray, signaling a potential sea change in the still-evolving market. The games involve picking teams of real-life athletes who score fantasy points based on what they accomplish on the field.
September 11, 2015 |
A new season of the most watched reality TV show in the country resumes Thursday night when Brady's bunch - the lying, cheating and perpetually winning New England Patriots - begins defense of its fourth Super Bowl title of the 21st century against the Pittsburgh Steelers. You want dysfunction? You'll find it here within the NFL family. For most of the summer, Tom Brady was scheduled to serve a four-game suspension thrust upon him by commissioner Roger Goodell. It was the superstar quarterback's punishment for his alleged role in the deflated balls controversy that erupted after New England's AFC championship rout of the Indianapolis Colts last season.
September 11, 2015 |
HOW MANY other NFL coaches or general managers would have been willing to do what Chip Kelly did in March? How many other coaches or general managers would've had the cojones to trade a 26-year-old, Pro Bowl quarterback only two seasons removed from a 27-touchdown, two-interception season for a guy who was coming off back-to-back ACL tears in his left knee? Zero, that's how many. But Kelly wasn't interested in what other NFL people would or wouldn't do. After missing the playoffs despite a second straight 10-win season, he thought he needed a franchise quarterback to help the Eagles go to the next level.
September 2, 2015 |
WE'RE CALLING BS on the NFL. Yesterday, in response to the release of a trailer for the film "Concussion" starring Will Smith, the league issued the following statement: "We are encouraged by the ongoing focus on the critical issue of player health and safety. We have no higher priority. We all know more about this issue than we did 10 or 20 years ago. As we continue to learn more, we apply those learnings to make our game and players safer. " What a crock. The film stars Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, while doing an autopsy on the brain of Steelers center Mike Webster in 2002.
August 27, 2015
THE MOST horrifying piece of film many Philadelphians have ever seen involves Tampa Bay's Joe Jurevicius, running with the ball during an NFL playoff game. Not an Eagle defender in sight. For what seemed like hours. On the sidelines watching was Jurevicius' teammate, Tampa Bay defensive lineman Simeon Rice, enjoying what would be the key play in a devastating Eagles loss. Now, a decade later, he'd like to do Eagles fans a favor. Provide them with a film experience so terrifying, it will erase the memory of that other bloodcurdling horror show.
August 26, 2015 |
NEVER MIND the confusion over whether the Eagles were or were not running a read-option play when the Ravens' Terrell Suggs went for Sam Bradford's twice-repaired left knee Saturday night. Chip Kelly said they weren't, some of his players said they were, but NFL officiating director Dean Blandino eventually clarified yesterday that from the league's perspective, it doesn't matter; a quarterback doesn't get protection on a handoff until he clearly no longer has the ball or has reestablished himself as a passer, whether it's an option play or not. Yes, it would have been hard for any sane person to be confused over whether Bradford had handed off the ball on the play in question, before Suggs launched himself at the QB's knees, but even that is not really the pressing issue going forward.
August 26, 2015 |
IF YOU'RE not exhausted by the continuing non-dramatics surrounding Deflategate, you're either a Patriots fan, a Patriots hater or an idiot. Insert punch line. The insulting irrelevance of the offense - because that's what it was - is exceeded only by the astounding arrogance of Tom Brady in his pursuit of a degree of exoneration. That's what this really is. Tom Brady believes he is bigger than the system; better than the system. Granted, the system is flawed . . . but no more flawed for Brady than for anyone else.
August 8, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - When Christian Hackenberg received the OK from Penn State coach James Franklin to read a short statement before the start of his media day news conference, one got the feeling that he wasn't going to be talking about his NFL draft chances. The Nittany Lions' junior quarterback, who will be eligible to declare for the NFL draft at the end of the 2015 season, has bristled at questions about his future before he has even taken a snap in competition this season, and made it clear Thursday he'd rather not be asked.
August 7, 2015 |
CHIP KELLY has a so-called "educational philosophy" for how he evaluates his players. "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand," Kelly recited at his news conference before practice yesterday. "You can talk about it and show it to them on tape; that's all good and right, but they got to do it. "Our decisions in terms of our evaluations of them as players has to be based on demonstrated evidence. " Another trademark of Kelly's coaching style is the exceptionally fast pace of his practices, which he says has benefited the second-, third- and fourth-string players by getting them more reps and more opportunities to be evaluated.
August 3, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Christian Hackenberg knew the inevitable question was coming. He's had to answer it dozens of times since his sophomore year ended with his redemptive performance in Penn State's dramatic overtime victory in the Pinstripe Bowl. But his dread for it hadn't waned. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt from the Manning Passing Academy, where he worked as a counselor this summer, Hackenberg reluctantly honored a request to again give his thoughts on whether he will consider entering the NFL draft following the conclusion of the 2015 season, when he becomes eligible.