Football

44 articles
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Friday Night Lights

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 led to the movie and the show.

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Male of the Species

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 Hard Life of an NFL Long Shot

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

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The Last Time They Met

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 Glorious Plight of the Buffalo Bills

The relationship between Buffalo and its team.

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Life As A Replacement Ref

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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The Boy They Couldn't Kill

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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The Last Happy Man

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

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Let It Fly

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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Urban Meyer will be home for dinner

A new chapter for Ohio State’s football coach.

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Did Football Kill Austin Trenum?

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 Ruins of Joe Pa's Kingdom

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

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The Truth Is Out There

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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The Toughest Coach There Ever Was

“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 House that Christian Ponder Built

The political fight over a new football stadium in Minnesota.

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The People V. Football

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

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Most Likely to Succeed

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

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"Jerry Maguire Aspires to Be You"

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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Fight on State

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

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The Moral Equivalent to Football

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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Love Me, Hate Me, Just Don't Ignore Me

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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Fuqua School looks to African American football star to shatter racist legacy

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

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Icon

A profile of Joe Paterno.

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The Green Bay Packers Have the Best Owners in Football

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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The Hardest Job in Football

A profile of Bob Fishman, the impresario of CBS’s NFL production crew.

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The Impossible, Inevitable Redemption of Michael Vick

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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Renegade Miami Football Booster Spells Out Illicit Benefits to Players

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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G-L-O-R-Y!

Behind-the-scenes the Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleaders.

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The Heart Of Football Beats In Aliquippa

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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The Boy Who Died of Football

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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The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder

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

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Catch Cam If You Can (You Can't)

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

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Who Is This Guy?

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

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Monday Night Football’s Hail Mary

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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The Franchise

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

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The Boy Who Cried Cal

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 Kick Is Up and It’s…a Career Killer

The precarious existence of NFL placekickers.

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Namath All Night Long

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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The Man Who Never Was

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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Still Life

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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The Dirtiest Player

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.