Jan 24, 2015
With “Deflategate” in the news, the irrelevant and insufferable NFL Pro Bowl this weekend, and the Super Bowl a week away, we all need a laugh.
“…and then you invented dirt lumps.” More of what COULD have been said in the NFL.
Who comes up with these things?
Jun 19, 2014
The US Patent Office has invalidated the trademark for the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.” (See the opinion here.)
The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.
“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney
Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”
The ruling does not mean that the Redskins have to change the name of the team. It does affect whether the team and the NFL can make money from merchandising because it limits the team’s legal options when others use the logos and the name on T shirts, sweatshirts, beer glasses and license plate holders.
The name of the Redskins is controversial and we can understand why. Many people including native American groups, writers, elected officials and even the “common man on the street” have called for the name to be changed. In the face of the face of the pressure, the Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder and the NFL have said they will keep the name.
Frankly, we are troubled by the government saying one thing is “disparaging” and another thing is not. This is certainly a case where the market should decide. If you don’t like the name “Redskins” for the Washington football team, don’t support them.
Don’t go to their games.
Don’t buy their merchandise.
It’s that easy.
Of course, there has been a lot been a lot of suggested names for the team if they decide to change away from “Redskins.”
May 13, 2014
With his boyfriend at his side, Michael Sam received a phone call from the Rams telling him he would be selected with the 249th overall pick. (caption and image courtesy of ESPN.com)
The NFL held its yearly draft starting last Thursday and extending into the weekend.
There were four stories that were breathlessly and relentlessly reported on by the media.
The first story was that of the number one pick, Jadeveon Clowney going to the Houston Texans. The number one pick is always a big deal. The number two story was probably the fall of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel falling from what many thought was a fight to be picked in the top spot to being drafted 22nd.
Locally, the drafting of Blake Bortles from the University of Central Florida by the Jacksonville Jaguars caught a lot of buzz. The third pick in the draft, Bortles was the first quarterback taken in the 2014 draft. His ties UCF as well as playing his high school ball at Oveido High School in Oveido, Florida should help sell tickets to Jags games. Bortles’ largest adjustment may being having to learn to play in front of crowds smaller than he has seen since playing Pop Warner football.
But the biggest story of them all may have been the drafting of Michael Sam, a 6’2″ defensive lineman and co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC last year from the University of Missouri. Sam’s being drafted in the 7th round by the St. Louis rams with the 249th pick would normally not be a big deal except for the fact that in January, Sam announced he is gay which means he will be the first openly gay person in the NFL. (To put that pick in perspective, the 249th pick is a mere seven picks from the end of the draft.)
Thousands upon thousands of words have been written on what St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher called “historic.” Miami Dolphins’ general manager Dennis Hickey said:
“It’s a celebration. … I think it’s a great thing for the league.”
Even President Obama took the time to send out a message:
Jan 26, 2014
In case you missed it, next Sunday is Super Bowl XLVIII. For the first time, the Super Bowl is being held in an outdoor, “cold weather” stadium. Already the pundits who previously that a cold weather Super Bowl was a good idea are now saying the NFL should not host the game in cold weather stadiums.
If you aren’t sure of how we got to this point in the NFL season, Trey Wingo of ESPN recaps everything for you in 160 seconds.
Watch it and you’ll be in the know!
Dec 4, 2012
This past Saturday, a 25 year old NFL linebacker from the Kansas City Chiefs Jovan Belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra M. Perkins in front of his mother and the couple’s three month old baby daughter. Belcher then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he was seen by his general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel standing in front of the practice facility door pointing a gun to his head.
Crennel and Pioli tried to talk to Belcher but to no avail. When the police arrived on the scene, Belcher pulled the trigger, ending his life.
Following this tragedy, columnist Jason Whitlock proceeded to write a column on how the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers should not have been played.
Whitlock then took on the issue of gun control saying:
I would argue that your rationalizations [on whether to play the game or not] speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.
How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?
Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.
Whitlock blames the wrong thing here, in our opinion. It is not the weapon that matters, but the fact that too many people feel privileged to items and feel they can rob others to get them. We don’t teach how to resolve differences anymore and too many couples think that marriage is a 24/7 date. (It isn’t – it is a 30 hour a day commitment over 400 days of the year.) Whitlock, who supported OJ Simpson who used a knife to kill two people, would rather blame a gun than the person holding it.
On Sunday. the Chiefs played the Panthers and defeated them 27 – 21. Before the game the Chiefs held a moment of silence not for Belcher, but for all victims of domestic violence.
During the half time of the Sunday night game on NBC, Bob Costas took to the air to denounce gun ownership as well.
Sep 28, 2012
According to some, it has been the closest thing to the Apocalypse since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The “regular” NFL referees were not on the field for the first three weeks of the season.
Call out the National Guard. This madness has to stop!
Luckily, (we guess) the NFL and the referees reached an agreement to span 8 years and the “real” referees were back on the field for Thursday’s Cleveland Browns at the Baltimore Ravens game.
There were a couple of problems with the replacement referees that were used for the first few weeks. First, they were not “crews.” Oh, they were a bunch of guys with the same funny looking striped shirts on, but a good “crew” is a team. Teams take some time to know the way each other thinks, reacts, etc. There are standards for where an official is supposed to be and what area they are supposed to watch, but as the game is so fluid, there are a lot of dual coverage areas. Knowing where your crew mates are looking, and where they are going to be is a trust issue and that takes time to develop.
The referees that were on the field never had the chance to develop that team work. How that translated on the field was the long conferences between the officials. Pundits, coaches, players and fans eviscerated the referees for conferencing forgetting they were conferencing to get the call right.
For all the people who always claim they want officials to “get the call right,” they only want the call “right” if it takes an amount of time they feel is appropriate.
Second problem was the speed of the game. The referees that were used were not from the FBS (formally Division I) ranks. These guys were from lower college divisions. There are a couple of reasons for this. When the strike became eminent. game assignors in the major college conferences sent out emails and letters informing conference referees they had a choice to either work the college conference or the NFL. They could not do both. These decrees were made for the purpose of supporting the NFL Referee union. Secondly if a FBS official wanted to work the NFL games, he would forever be branded as a “scab” by the referee’s union. He would literally have no future in the NFL at all.
Mar 24, 2012
It is a joyful day here at Raised On Hoecakes as Congress, having solved all problems facing the country (including the problem of Congress itself) has found itself so bored and without anything to do it needs to look at the NFL “Bounty Scandal.”
In case you aren’t familiar with the scandal, the NFL’s New Orleans Saints had a program of giving extra money to defensive players for certain types of plays, the most troubling of which were plays where a player ended up being hurt. The program was run by players, but coaches and members of the organization knew of the program and knew it was against the rules of the league.
The program runs in violation of league rules, and the investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit, with payouts doubling or tripling during the team’s three playoff appearances.
A memo sent to clubs throughout the league included a statement on how Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma put up $10,000 cash as a bounty before a playoff game, a source familiar with the memo told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
The memo also said Mike Ornstein, a noted marketing agent who has close ties to Saints coach Sean Payton and has worked with him on projects in the past, put up money as a bounty at least twice.
The program also entailed payments for interceptions and fumble recoveries, which also violates league rules against non-contract bonuses. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the appropriate discipline based on the investigation, the [NFL] said in a statement.
After an extensive investigation where several members of the Saints’ organization lied to league investigators, the NFL handed down penalties to the organization with player specific penalties to follow. Those penalties include:
Aug 19, 2011
People that follow the National Football League and the fans of the University of Florida are going to have to accept the facts: the Heisman Trophy quarterback who led the Gators to a National Championship is not going to make it as a quarterback in the NFL. We can confidently predict that he will never again start a game in the NFL. All the negatives said about him – the throwing motion, can’t read defenses, not accurate enough, not enough arm strength, etc, will forever keep this guy from starting. He won’t play for Denver, New Orleans, Washington or anyone else in the NFL.
We 100% guarantee it.
Because Danny Wuerffel has moved on.
After five NFL seasons that can only be described as lackluster, Wuerffel was released from the Washington Redskins following the 2002 season and in a blink of an eye, his days as a quarterback on a football field were over.
Wuerffel now runs a Christian ministry named “Desire Street Ministries” in the (in)famous Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Far from the one hundred thousand fans that often greeted him on Saturdays while a Gator, Wuerffel deals with the physical, emotional and spiritual poverty of the people in New Orleans. We are sure that when he left the NFL, Wuerffel could have looked back and been bitter. Instead, he relied on his Christian faith and looked forward.
This past June, Wuerffel was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The body literally attacks itself. According to the National Institute of Health,
The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases, the disorder is life-threatening and is considered a medical emergency. The patient is often put on a ventilator to assist with breathing.
Due to an early diagnosis, Wuerffel is expected to fully recover, but the road back is going to be a long one, possibly taking years.
How does all this relate to Tim Tebow?