Category Archives: Football

Defending Manti Te’o… Sort Of

We’ve all had our fun with the Manti Te’o story. If you’re new to this, Te’o is a star linebacker for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, finished second in the Heisman Trophy race, and is a projected first round pick in the next NFL Draft. This season, as Notre Dame was making a run towards being the #1 ranked college football team in the country, stories began to run about the team in major publications, including one about Te’o fighting through tragedy after learning about the death of his grandmother and his girlfriend within the span of six hours, only to have a great game against then tenth-ranked Michigan State, on the road, giving the Fighting Irish their best start in ten years.

Except that his girlfriend didn’t exist. (His grandmother did, though, and she did die – that’s not crap.) Deadspin.com broke the story yesterday, sending millions scrambling to think of some clever reference to girlfriends in Canada, George Glass, or something else I don’t feel like finding a link to. Notre Dame says that Te’o been duped by someone on the Internet, while Deadspin implies Te’o may have been part of the ruse, noting a connection between Te’o and the person believed to be behind Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend’s Twitter account.

What we’re left with now is trying to sort everything out. If Te’o was in fact duped, how does that happen in 2012? Supposedly in a relationship for three years, how does Te’o not ever see his girlfriend in person? Notre Dame plays Stanford every season, and played there twice – 2009 and 2011 – and the ’09 game was when they supposedly met. No Skype? No webcam? No meeting in 2011? She couldn’t have come to the USC game in 2010? Is Te’o that naive? Was he being used for money?

Or, if Te’o was part of it, why would he do it? Was it an attempt for more media attention in his senior season to improve draft position? Was it something cooked up by Notre Dame PR to give their highest profile player some more exposure and a Heisman run in a weak field?

All of these seem a bit dubious. A college athlete isn’t exactly the best target for money, boosters be damned. A pro athlete you could see, but college? Not so much. And as for PR, it would have been just as easy to just push the “dead grandmother” story (which was legit) as it would have been to push the dual deaths. Tragic is tragic, and adding an additional death to one that actually happened seems like (pardon the wording) overkill.

So I’ve been going over “what if” scenarios in my head, and one keeps sticking over and over, and would make all the jokes all the more empty and kind of turn the accusing finger on society a bit.

What if Manti Te’o is gay? Continue reading Defending Manti Te’o… Sort Of

Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Fourth Quarter)

This is it – the final stretch. Thirteen more ads shown during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. In the 80s and early 90s, no one wanted these spots due to the large leads teams would have by this time, leaving only people following betting pools still watching. But more recently, close contests have made these commercials some of the most watched – at least by those that weren’t rushing to the bathroom during a whistle or too drunk to remember.

Let’s wrap this up, shall we?  Continue reading Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Fourth Quarter)

Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Third Quarter)

We’re back for the second half of the ads from Super Bowl 46. I wouldn’t let you down (also, the second half, just by its nature of having some repeated ads from the first half, has fewer new ads, making this a little less daunting.)

For those just stumbling upon this for the first time, we did the first quarter and second quarter yesterday, with the fourth quarter still to come later today.

Anyway, on to the ads! Continue reading Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Third Quarter)

Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Second Quarter)

OK, we did the first quarter, and the second quarter is a major one, because that’s when the people who show up late come in and everyone is all settled in and paying (at least a little) attention. 24 of these bad boys to get through, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t pick apart every single one.

So let’s get on with it, shall we? Continue reading Super Bowl 46: The Ads (Second Quarter)

Super Bowl 46: The Ads (First Quarter)

So, I watched (most of) Super Bowl 46, and since I kind of hate both teams that were playing in it, I think the only thing I really want to talk about is what everyone else always talks about – the ads. Here’s my quick recap to the Super Bowl ads. The first quarter, in order (at least Yahoo’s order): Continue reading Super Bowl 46: The Ads (First Quarter)

The Sports Butterfly Effect

Today, Kyle Williams is learning the hard way that the Internet is an ugly, ugly place. Williams is getting death threats on Twitter due to his fumble during overtime in last night’s NFC Championship Game between his San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. The Giants recovered the fumble, putting them in ideal field goal range, and three plays later, the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game and send them to Super Bowl XXXXIIIIII 46.

I say “ideal field goal range” because those aren’t always guaranteed shots. Billy Cundiff and Baltimore Ravens fans know this first-hand, as Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal – one yard longer than Tynes’ kick – that would have tied their game with the New England Patriots and almost certainly put the AFC Championship game into overtime. Cundiff doesn’t use Twitter (to our knowledge) so he at least doesn’t get to see the threats from people who talk without fear of repercussion, hiding behind an alias behind a computer keyboard or smartphone.

Or worse, maybe they’re not showing false bravado. Maybe they would physically attack Williams or Cundiff because of those plays. “Fan” is short for “fanatic” for a reason. Continue reading The Sports Butterfly Effect

Dolphins “flexed” out of prime time

The NFL has announced that the Dolphins-Jets game that was originally scheduled to take place at 1:00PM that had been moved to 8:15PM was once again being moved, this time to 4:15PM. It was moved to the prime time slot (where the country would be able to see it as the sole game available) because it looked to be a battle of traditional rivals fighting for one playoff berth and the division title. After the outcome of yesterday’s games, it was bumped to 4:15PM, where it is still technically in a “better” time spot (competing with only one other game instead of five), but doesn’t have the wide audience that the prime time game would have had. Continue reading Dolphins “flexed” out of prime time

Dolphins 13, Chiefs 10

Eh, I just feel the need to speak about my beloved Dolphins this week. Got to catch maybe half of the game off and on through the day (mostly first half, then portions of the 4th quarter) thanks to Cole being “needy” (ie. insisting that I watch him play with toys – not necessarily needing someone to play with). Since he was content without a television on but requested some of his programming once I did try to put it on, I was sans TV when we were up in his room or in the spare room playing trains. Attempting to put the TV loud in our bedroom and listening to the game echo through the hall was thwarted by Cole enjoying playing cars on his car bed – and Hot Wheels on hollow plastic just doesn’t allow for overhearing of televisions down the hall. Continue reading Dolphins 13, Chiefs 10