A Great Footballer…A Better Man

A great column by Chuck Culpepper at Sports on Earth, “The Gay Super Bowl” (h/t Joe Sonka)

Eight days before the gayest Super Bowl week on record, I walked toward the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room in New England consumed entirely with thoughts of football, pure football, undiluted football.

I am that exotic creature, a gay male sportswriter, but on this frigid walk I was thinking only of Baltimore’s rout of the Patriots and how it had sustained my sense of the Ravens’ uncommon camaraderie. Hoping to learn more about a cohesion I had admired for five years, I joined the reporter scrum at linebacker Terrell Suggs’ locker, known to be a harbor of humor and insight.

Oh.

Oh . . .

There stood Brendon Ayanbadejo, age 36, born in Chicago to an American mother and Nigerian father, educated at UCLA, three Pro Bowls as a noble special-teams sort, a man whom I had never met but for whom I held a vast gratitude. In a giddy locker room in which the great Ed Reed waltzed around singing Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets To Paradise,” I momentarily had misplaced Ayanbadejo’s face. In fact, in the urgency of the game, I had not thought of him all weekend. Yet here was a man I had never expected to exist in all my life, a heterosexual football powerhouse who had spoken up voluntarily and beautifully and repeatedly for g-g-g-gay people.

Now a storm coursed through my head. Should I make this personal? Should I thank Mr. Ayanbadejo right then and there, just after Suggs had finished teasing a famous NFL reporter for an inaccurate game prediction? Or should I stick with my customary etiquette and proceed with the football questions?

In my offbeat life, I have clomped my klutzy size-13 shoes in two worlds you might call disparately disparate. On six continents I have hung around excellent gay people who find sports an unappealing mystery and look flabbergasted at my interest. I have hung around excellent sportswriters who would never stray near a gay bar unless they wandered too far down Bourbon Street at a Final Four. The gay people seldom ask about the sports people, and the sports people seldom ask about the gay people.

I am believed to be the only gay male extant who can recite the final scores of all 47 Super Bowls, and if we’re together and you’re unlucky, I might start it up.

So I have endured all the stages of my plight: the long dislike-myself stage, the longer please-tolerate-me stage, the still-longer I-might-be-OK stage and even the world-is-absurd stage, which arrived one day in a tiny flat in London when I read on Andrew Sullivan’s blog that a museum in Oslo would be exhibiting the 1,500 species in which homosexuality had been observed or studied.

Fifteen hundred! You mean I’m part of some natural continuum, and I’ve spent chunks of my life fretting myself silly over this?

Read the rest of…
A Great Footballer…A Better Man

John Y. Brown, III: Super Bowl Wrap Up

JYB3_homeFrom wardrobe malfunctions to Beyonce’s half-time show with more highlights than the first or second half, some are claiming the NFL is starting to use too much sex to sell football.

Starting?

Hmmm. I am old enough to recall this little Super Bowl commercial from the early 1970s.

It didn’t warp me or cause me to buy Noxema. Or to become a bigger Joe Namath fan.
It did to me becoming a Charlie’s Angels fan a few years later at age 13.

===

I have a confession to make.

You know how some people say that for many women going to the Kentucky Derby is all about the hats?

Well….I have a similar dirty little secret.

I watch the Super Bowl mostly for the commercials.

Then the football.

And then the hats.

===

My personal Super Bowl story.

It wasn’t way back when. Actually, it was year ago last January. The NFL had helped successfully pass anti-concussion legislation in over 30 states (mostly states with NFL teams) and now was going to the remaining states hoping to make a clean sweep on this important health issue for our student-athletes. Kentucky was selected because the timing seemed ripe.

Read the rest of…
John Y. Brown, III: Super Bowl Wrap Up

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

The Super Bowl is now set. It will be the Baltimore Ravens vs. the San Francisco 49ers on February 3rd.

Once again here are the front pages of the AFC and NFC Championship teams, in victory and defeat. [album]

Jim Harbaugh is an animal! [.gif]

The crowd in Baltimore celebrating the Ravens’ win on Sunday. [picture]

On Sunday Joe Flacco became the all-time leader in road playoff wins for a QB. [Twitter]

Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez will “probably” retire after this season. [ESPN]

Shannon Sharpe had strong words for Bill Belichick following the Patriots loss on Sunday. [PFT]

Here’s a neat fact: both Ray Lewis and Jim Harbaugh played on the 1998 Baltimore Ravens. [Wikipedia]

Finally here is an early preview for the game itself. [Yahoo!]

 

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

Here are the newspaper frontpages of the Divisional playoff round teams. [album]

Brendon Ayanbadejo was not very happy with the way the Patriots run their offense and let all of his Twitter followers know how he felt. He has since issued an apology. [ESPN]

Congrats to Tom Brady on breaking Joe Montana’s record for playoff wins with 17, coming after his Patriot’s beat the Texans. [Boston Globe]

The Atlanta-Seattle game was easily one of the best games all year. If you missed it you have to check out the highlights. [Yahoo Sports]

It’s rough to bring this back up in the midst of a very fun playoffs, but the autopsy on Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher stemming from the murder-suicide showed that he was drunk at the time of the shooting – more than twice the legal limit. [Yahoo Sports]

Rob Gronkowski re-fractured his forearm during Sunday’s game and is done for the rest of the playoffs. [NFL.com]

“How Peyton’s and Matty Ice’s legacies were in other people’s hands, and the rest of the notable news from divisional weekend” [Grantland]

Ray Lewis Making Me Cry

Have to admit, I don’t usually cry at football games.

But watching Ray Lewis dance as time expired in his final home game of an extraordinary Hall of Fame career made my eyes water more than just a bit.

Enjoy:

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

Check out this week’s divisional matchups to the left. If you’ll notice each team’s logo in the respective matchups has something in common with its opponent. Just a neat observation .

Here is an album of all the newspaper frontpages of the cities that participated in Wild Card weekend. [photo album]

Trent Williams of the Redskins and the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman converged on the field after the the Seahawks’ victory and it appears that Williams wasn’t in a very good mood. [DC Sports]

This is fun: All 256 regular season NFL games ranked by watchability. Check it out. [Deadspin]

Do you agree with the way the Redskins’ staff handled RGIII’s injury? [PFT]

Here are some storylines to watch going into the Divisional round this weekend. [ESPN AFC] [ESPN NFC]

Lest we not forget the BCS National Championship game is tonight pitting the juggernaut from yesteryear versus the perennial powerhouse – Notre Dame vs. Alabama. Who you got? [ESPN]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

Today is what is traditionally known as Black Monday in the NFL – the day that is most popular with owners for firing staff in order to go in a  different direction with their respective clubs. Here is a list of the firings up to this point – EAGLES – Andy Reid, BEARS – Lovie Smith, BILLS – Chan Gailey, BROWNS – Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert, CHIEFS – Romeo Crennel, JETS – GM Mike Tannenbaum, JAGUARS – GM Gene Smith. Follow the link to follow all the Black Friday news. [ESPN]

The Vikings pulled out a great win on a last second field goal Sunday night to beat the Packers and secure a playoff berth. The feeling was probably soured just a tiny bit for Adrian Peterson as he came up 9 yards short for the all-time single season rushing record with 2097. [LA Times]

The Broncos managed to snag the #1 seed with their win on Sunday. It’s hard to believe this team was once 2-3. I guess taking a chance on that Peyton Manning guy worked out. [Yahoo!]

Here is a preview of Wild Card weekend for you. [CBS]

It was an interesting sight on Sunday when the Redskins only had 7 players out on the receiving team for a punt. [picture]

Nice, random gesture by Jimmy Graham. [picture]

 

 

 

 

Here are the official 2012 playoff seeds.

AFC

  1.  Denver Broncos 13-3
  2.  New England Patriots 12-4
  3.  Houston Texans 12-4
  4.  Baltimore Ravens 10-6
  5.  Indianapolis Colts 11-5
  6.  Cincinnati Bengals 10-6

Wild Card games:

Cincinnati Bengals at  Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts at  Baltimore Ravens

NFC

  1.  Atlanta Falcons 13-3
  2.  San Francisco 49ers 11-4-1
  3.  Green Bay Packers 11-5
  4.  Washington Redskins 10-6
  5.  Seattle Seahawks 11-5
  6.  Minnesota Vikings 10-6

Wild Card games:

Minnesota Vikings at  Green Bay Packers

Seattle Seahawks at  Washington Redskins

 

The Recovering Politician Bowl

A big, Christmas, congratulations to Rod Jetton and Show-Me-Mules for winning the inaugural Recovering Politician Bowl Championship! He just edged out the RP and the RP Tittles in the Championship game that came down to the Sunday Night Football game.

The GOP swept the championships as Michael Steele and the Augies won the consolation championship and 7th place. The league’s powerhouse Targaryen 2012 wound up in 3rd place winning its matchup with the #1 seed Team Unibrow.

Thanks to everyone who played and made it a fantastic season that was very fun throughout. Here’s looking forward to next year!

 

    • 1st PlaceShow-Me-Mules
    • 2nd PlaceRP Tittles
    • 3rd PlaceTargaryen 2012

 

Week 14
(Dec 4 – Dec 10)
Week 15
(Dec 11 – Dec 17)
Week 16
(Dec 18 – Dec 24)
Quarterfinal

(1) Team Unibrow

Bye

Quarterfinal

(4) The Dirty Diapers79.60

(5) Show-Me-Mules88.32

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(3) The RP Tittles99.32

(6) The Bungals70.14

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(2) Targaryen 2012

Bye

Semifinal

(1) Team Unibrow105.54

(5) Show-Me-Mules126.98

View Matchup

Semifinal

(3) The RP Tittles86.96

(2) Targaryen 201270.94

View Matchup

Final

(5) Show-Me-Mules96.34

(3) The RP Tittles91.14

View Matchup

3rd Place Game

(1) Team Unibrow82.70

(2) Targaryen 201294.18

View Matchup

5th Place Game

(4) The Dirty Diapers72.06

(6) The Bungals94.44

View Matchup

The Recovering Politician Bowl

It’s finals week in the Recovering Politician Bowl! The matchups for the Championship, 3rd Place game, and Losers’ Championship are in place and the RP himself has proven why he is our fearless leader – this week his RP Tittles defeated Targaryen 2012, a force to be reckoned with in the regular season, and enters the final week as the heavy favorite to win it all.

His challenger is the underdog Show-Me-Mules, the team that got hot at the absolute right time of the season. Rod Jetton’s team was able to knock off the regular season champ and daughter of the RP – Team Unibrow. This sets up the partisan matchup we were all secretly hoping for as Democrat goes head-to-head versus Republican.

The top two seeds: Team Unibrow and Targaryen 2012 will face off in the 3rd place game this week and Targaryen 2012 will be favored by a bit.

In the Consolation Bracket, Bandits was the strongest team of the week by a wide, wide margin. Bandits will play Augies this week.

Who ya got?

Week 14
(Dec 4 – Dec 10)
Week 15
(Dec 11 – Dec 17)
Week 16
(Dec 18 – Dec 24)
Quarterfinal

(1) Team Unibrow

Bye

Quarterfinal

(4) The Dirty Diapers79.60

(5) Show-Me-Mules88.32

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(3) The RP Tittles99.32

(6) The Bungals70.14

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(2) Targaryen 2012

Bye

Semifinal

(1) Team Unibrow105.54

(5) Show-Me-Mules126.98

View Matchup

Semifinal

(3) The RP Tittles86.96

(2) Targaryen 201270.94

View Matchup

Final

(5) Show-Me-Mules0.00

(3) The RP Tittles0.00

View Matchup

3rd Place Game

(1) Team Unibrow0.00

(2) Targaryen 20120.00

View Matchup

5th Place Game

(4) The Dirty Diapers72.06

(6) The Bungals94.44

View Matchup

Week 14
(Dec 4 – Dec 10)
Week 15
(Dec 11 – Dec 17)
Week 16
(Dec 18 – Dec 24)
Quarterfinal

(7) Powerful Lobbyists

Bye

Quarterfinal

(10) Quaker Country91.68

(11) Augies91.96

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(9) WOMBATS59.00

(12) Bandits122.28

View Matchup

Quarterfinal

(8) Fighting Mongooses

Bye

Semifinal

(7) Powerful Lobbyists92.40

(11) Augies97.94

View Matchup

Semifinal

(12) Bandits143.76

(8) Fighting Mongooses86.72

View Matchup

7th Place Game

(11) Augies0.00

(12) Bandits0.00

View Matchup

9th Place Game

(7) Powerful Lobbyists0.00

(8) Fighting Mongooses0.00

View Matchup

11th Place Game

(10) Quaker Country79.40

(9) WOMBATS101.24

View Matchup

 

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

The 49ers managed to win away in New England last night in a really entertaining game with playoff implications. [ESPN]

Adrian Peterson got even closer to Eric Dickerson’s season rushing record after a great performance on Sunday. It’s really hard not to root for him. [NFL.com]

The Packers ran a weird trick play on Sunday and the rest of the week’s winners and losers. [Yahoo!]

The Seattle Seahawks are the first team since 1950 to score 50 points or more in two consecutive games. [Pro Football Reference]

Here is a really nice breakdown of how Julio Jones got past the NY Giants’ defense to catch a 40-yard TD pass. Really interesting stuff. [National Football Post]

“C.J. Spiller now at 1,000 rush yds on season on just 154 carries, 2nd fewest to get to 1,000 in NFL history (Beattie Feathers, 1934)” [Twitter]

Here is your preview for what appears to be a bad job of scheduling for MNF: Jets v. Titans. [ESPN]

 

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