- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
The deflate-gate fight is barely about the facts of the actual case anymore. The never-ending appeals seem to be all about Roger Goodell's power and the NFLPA fighting back against it.
But there is a never-ending argument about the facts of the case among fans and observers, about what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might have known or not known. Since Ted Wells' report uncovered no facts that give us any idea what Brady did in the ordeal, we're left to guess.
But there is a group of more than 20 engineering and physics professors who think that the controversy can be explained entirely by the science of natural deflation in cold weather, and said so in an amicus brief filed by Washington, D.C. attorney Eric Delinsky this week, according to the Boston Herald. The professors come from a number of universities including MIT and Stanford, the Herald reported.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Several musical acts have refused to perform in North Carolina in recent weeks due to its much-debated bathroom bill, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said the league will not hold the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte if the discriminitory bill is not repealed.
And this week, the San Francisco 49ers and CEO Jed York expressed support for the state's LGBTQ community while in Charlotte for the NFL spring owners meetings.
Passed on March 23, North Carolina House Bill 2 (or HB2) reversed a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgendered individuals to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with; HB2 mandates that transgendered individuals must use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate and also prevents cities and towns in the state from passing laws that say otherswise.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
This offseason, Greg Cosell and Frank Schwab will explore key questions for each of the 32 NFL teams in "The Shutdown" podcast, going team-by-team for each division over eight episodes. Links to previous division preview podcasts are at the end of this post.
Last season there was an unexpected champion in the NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings' win at Lambeau Field in Week 17 over the Green Bay Packers secured the division crown.
The conversation for most of the second half of last season was about the struggles of the Packers offense, and the play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There are plenty of layers to those issues, as well as the Vikings' ability to repeat as division champs, and we dealt with many of them along with other questions on NFC North teams in this podcast:
- How much will the additions at linebacker help the defense?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
Tuesday wasn't a good day for the Buffalo Bills on a few fronts.
First, the team issued a draconian and fairly ridiculous policy on what the media can report at its open practices, which was roundly panned as spin control from a paranoid organization. Then general manager Doug Whaley made some eye-opening comments on WGR 550 Radio on his views of the dangers of football.
Asked about whether Bills wideout Sammy Watkins is injury-prone, Whaley dismissed that notion for the most part but launched into a bigger discussion about the nature of the game as a whole.
"This is the game of football," Whaley said, via the Buffalo News. "Injuries are part of it. It's a violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play."
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Despite Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft publicly supporting the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, there will be obstacles. The main one has nothing to do with gambling.
There will be the gambling issue of course because the NFL's history against Las Vegas and gambling is very consistent. And there is the stadium issue. Just because Raiders owner Mark Davis pledged $500 million, that doesn't mean it'll get built. It wouldn't be something new in Las Vegas for a big project to be hyped, only to see it never get off the ground. There's also the issue of whether the NFL is using Las Vegas as its new Los Angeles, and scaring existing cities with the threat of moving to Vegas, like it did with L.A. for 21 years.
But there's a real concern, and it's simply whether Las Vegas can sustain an NFL team.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
The NFL owners' meetings in Charlotte on Tuesday were brief, and the biggest news to come out of the event was the deciding of the host citiesfor Super Bowls LIII, LIV and LV plus some minor changes to instant replay.
And there were of course some smaller things as well. To wit: NFL Network's Judy Battista caught up with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for a brief interview; Battista asked Kraft about the prospect of the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, which Kraft expressed support for, and also about Tom Brady, who filed another appealin his federal case against the NFL in the deflate-gate case on Monday.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
The NFL has just completed its latest rounds as Super Bowl Santa, dispensing game dates to Atlanta, South Florida and Los Angeles while leaving NFL-branded coal in the stockings of Tampa and New Orleans. It's surely just a coincidence that Atlanta, Los Angeles, and 2018 host Minnesota will have brand-spankin'-new stadiums and South Florida is spending hundreds of millions on renovations. Just a coincidence. Anyway, all this talk about Super Bowls surely has you thinking, "hey, great for them, but what about ME? When do we get a Super Bowl in our fair city, huh?"
Glad you asked. Let's take a look at every NFL city and see when you can expect the NFLstravaganza to show up near you.
Arizona (Last hosted in 2015): Warm weather, a modern stadium, all appropriate amenities nearby, and pesky politics settled make Phoenix a safe and sanitized choice, the comfort food of Super Bowl sites. Should get one by 2026.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
As the NFL deals with yet another concussion controversy, another former great was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to head trauma playing football.
Bubba Smith, the great Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers defensive end who reached a whole new audience as a star in the "Police Academy" movies and other acting roles, had CTE, The New York Times reported. Smith played nine NFL seasons, and before that he was a college star at Michigan State. Smith died in 2011.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
This offseason, Shutdown Corner will travel down memory lane with a series of stories presenting some interesting and sometimes forgotten stories from the NFL's past. Join us as we relive some of the greatest and craziest moments in the sport's history.
In January 2009, the New York Jets hired Rex Ryan to become the 18th head coach in the franchise's history, and Ryan arrived with a roar. A proclamation that the team would be winning the Super Bowl and visiting the President as well as announcing that his squad would be "the most physical" team in the NFL were part of his introductory press conference.
And he didn't stop there.
Ryan didn't wait long to take aim at Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, the kings of the AFC East, Ryan's new division after several years with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The Super Bowl will return to the Los Angeles area for the first time in almost 30 years.
The NFL announced the sites of three future Super Bowls on Tuesday, awarding Super Bowl LV to the Los Angeles Rams' new stadium project in Inglewood. The game will be played in February 2021.
It was also announced that the new Atlanta stadium will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and South Florida will get Super Bowl LIV in 2020.
But the crown jewel of these games awarded was L.A. and its return to the league this offseason.
"On the heels of the National Football League's historic return to Los Angeles, the Rams are proud to be part of such a significant regional effort of teamwork, leadership and vision to bring the Super Bowl back to Southern California," Rams COO Kevin Demoff said in a statement. "We would like to thank the NFL owners for giving us this opportunity to host the nation's biggest event in sports and entertainment at our world-class stadium, to showcase the great cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood and to deliver an incredible experience for fans from across the globe."