Football

47 articles
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Tensions rise when a high school teacher fails a star student-athlete.

"Word spread: Jimmy Carter, the prize of the Permian Basin, the boy who could flat-out fly, the jovial kid who never turned in work but still somehow always got Cs, was in danger of getting yanked off the team, all because some Yankee teacher had to show his moral fiber. How convenient that his son just happened to be the backup."

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The story of a rookie clinging to his dream, as told by his uncle.

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The night his Alabama Crimson Tide beat the LSU Tigers for the national championship, Brian Downing put his balls on the face of a passed out LSU fan named Garrison Stamp. The act was caught on video, the video went viral, and their lives were never the same.

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The relationship between Buffalo and its team.

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When the best three months of your life are “called three of the uglier months in the recent history of the National Football League.”

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Thirteen years ago, NFL wide receiver Rae Carruth conspired to kill the woman carrying his child. The woman, Cherica Adams, died. The child, Chancellor Lee Adams, did not.

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A profile of the oft-shirtless tight end Rob Gronkowski.

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A profile of Mo Isom, a former goalie on the LSU women’s soccer team now trying to kick for the football team.

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A new chapter for Ohio State’s football coach.

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Just days after suffering a concussion, a 17-year-old fullback hangs himself. Inside his family’s journey to learn if a brain injury is to blame.

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The Penn State sex abuse scandal as told through a father, a son and “Victim 1.”

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On conspiracy theories in sports, from the ‘85 NBA draft lottery to Michael Phelps’ gold medal performance in the 100-meter butterfly.

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“Robert Victor Sullivan, whom you’ve surely never heard of, was the toughest coach of them all. He was so tough he had to have two tough nicknames, Bull and Cyclone, and his name was usually recorded this way: coach Bob “Bull” “Cyclone” Sullivan or coach Bob (Bull) (Cyclone) Sullivan. Also, at times he was known as Big Bob or Shotgun. He was the most unique of men, and yet he remains utterly representative of a time that has vanished, from the gridiron and from these United States.”

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The political fight over a new football stadium in Minnesota.

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The story of former Vikings linebacker Fred McNeill and the lasting impact of his concussions.

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The alchemy of predicting professional success, from quarterbacks to teachers.

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In 1999, “original superagent” Leigh Steinberg represented 86 NFL athletes. His life today:

At age 63, Steinberg -- for years hailed as the real-life Maguire -- now finds himself a bankrupt, recovering alcoholic, plotting a comeback from the bottom. And before 10 p.m. tonight, as mandated by the California Bar Association, he must show that his urine is clean.

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The inside story of Pennsylvania’s governor and the fall of Joe Paterno.

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A former first-string tackle considers the green zone as a war zone:

Just as football has evolved in accordance with the evolving business ethic of American society, so has it evolved in accordance with the changing strategic assumptions about war. The development (or rebirth) of the T-formation in football coincided almost exactly with the development of a new era of mobility and speed in warfare best exemplified in the Blitzkrieg tactics of the German armies in Europe in 1939-40. The T-formation soon overwhelmed the “Maginot Line” mentality of traditional football, based as it was on rigid lines and massive concentrations of defensive and offensive power.

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Terrell ‘T.O’ Owens is 38, currently unemployed, nearly bankrupt after losing his shirt in a electronic-bingo entertainment complex development plan gone bust, father of four children (one of which he has never met), and bowls frequently.

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An attempt to recruit black students at Virginia’s most famous “segregation academy.”

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A profile of Joe Paterno.

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The Green Bay Packers are a historical, cultural, and geographical anomaly, a publicly traded corporation in a league that doesn’t allow them, an immensely profitable company whose shareholders are forbidden by the corporate bylaws to receive a penny of that profit, a franchise that has flourished despite being in the smallest market in the NFL—with a population of 102,000, it would be small for a Triple A baseball franchise.
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A profile of Bob Fishman, the impresario of CBS’s NFL production crew.

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On the start of the high school football season in Odessa, Texas. An adaptation published alongside the release of Bissinger’s 1990 book of the same name, which lead to the movie and the show.

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An attempt to sort out whether Vick is truly a changed man or simply a very gifted football player who was bound to be forgiven.

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An 11-month investigation ends with a booster, now in prison for a Ponzi scheme, going public with details of how he spent millions on college athletes from 2002 to 2010.

[Shapiro] said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play including bounties for injuring opposing players, travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.

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A profile of the Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleaders.

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A profile of Jake Plummer, the NFL quarterback who turned down a $5M offer and left the game while still in his prime.

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The story of a small town just outside Pittsburgh that has suffered through a half-century of economic decline, racial tension, and endless crime. Despite that trajectory, or perhaps because of it, Aliquippa has also produced an astounding number of NFL players.

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A detailed account of the writer’s very brief stint as quarterback of the Detroit Lions. A participatory journalism classic.

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How the racism of white players and coaches ruined the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals in 1968.

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A 15-year-old dies shortly after collapsing from heatstroke during a high school football practice. Was it has coach’s fault? The state thought so, and put him on trial.

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An encyclopedic evisceration of the NFL owner and former Six Flags chairman.

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A profile of Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, junior college transfer and Heisman Trophy frontrunner.

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A profile of Ernie Adams, Bill Belichick’s mysterious right hand man.

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Ten years ago, a pair of legendary TV executives decided it was time to change the formula for football broadcasting. One bet on Dennis Miller. The other bankrolled Vince McMahon and the XFL.

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How Madden NFL went from a programmer’s childhood dream to a $3 billion business.

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Kevin Hart wanted a scholarship to play Division I college football. It didn’t come. So he made one up–and called a press conference.

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The precarious existence of NFL placekickers.

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Over a scotch a few months after his underdog Jets won Super Bowl III, a 26-year-old Joe Namath told Jimmy Breslin what he’d done the night before the game: “I went out and got a bottle and grabbed this girl.”

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How Todd Marinovich, engineered from birth to be the greatest quarterback of all time, ended up a heroin junkie while still playing pro football. A 2010 National Magazine Award winner.

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On October 17, 1973, John McClamrock was paralyzed playing high school football. Doctors doubted he would make it through the night. But he and his mother refused to give up—for more than three decades.

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In the wake of a brazen but mysterious Philadelphia gunfight, Marvin Harrison, the man who holds the NFL record for receptions in a season, may find himself with a permanent record of a different sort.