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kottke.org posts about NFL

Chicago Bears vs. Prince rematch at Super Bowl XLI

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 26, 2007

When the Chicago Bears take the field against the Indianapolis Colts in early February for Super Bowl XLI, a former foe of the Bears will be close at hand. A kottke.org reader writes:

The “Super Bowl Shuffle” earned The Chicago Bears a [1987] Grammy nomination for best Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Duo or Group. They lost to Prince and the Revolution’s “Kiss”.

Prince is headlining the halftime show at the Super Bowl this year. Will there be a battle of the bands at halftime between Prince and the ‘86 Bears? Come on, The Fridge needs the work! In the meantime, here’s the Super Bowl Shuffle music video:

Oh, the humanity. Kiss has held up much better. (thx, m)

A pair of fine sports-related headlines from

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 25, 2007

A pair of fine sports-related headlines from The Onion: Confused Bill Simmons Picks The Departed To Win Super Bowl and Bears Lead Rex Grossman To Super Bowl. “All season long, the Bears have shown that they can win, even in the presence of Rex Grossman.”

I’ve been asked to eat crow in

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2007

I’ve been asked to eat crow in public on this one: “Rex Grossman, 6/19, 34 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs; or why the Chicago Bears, despite their current 10-2 record and weak NFC, aren’t getting anywhere near the Super Bowl this year.” Mmmm, that’s good crow. Still, the Bears are the worst team ever picked to go 16-0.

Kids who grew up playing Madden NFL

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 05, 2006

Kids who grew up playing Madden NFL know the intricacies of the game better than many fans (and coaches) of the game “because of attention to arcane details that has demystified the complexities of football to a population that never before understood them”. (via tmn)

Rex Grossman, 6/19, 34 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs; or

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 04, 2006

Rex Grossman, 6/19, 34 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs; or why the Chicago Bears, despite their current 10-2 record and weak NFC, aren’t getting anywhere near the Super Bowl this year.

NFL TV distribution maps: where in the

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 15, 2006

NFL TV distribution maps: where in the US certain football games are broadcast…a visual representation of why you’ll almost never see a Vikings game in Maine. (via fakeisthenewreal)

The Blind Side

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 10, 2006

In addition to the race and class aspect that interests me about the book, The Blind Side is, oh, by the way, also about the sport of football, specifically the left tackle position. In the 1980s, the quarterback became increasingly important in the offensive scheme and rushing linebackers, specifically Lawrence Taylor, became a bigger part of the defensive scheme. This created a problem for the offensive line: protect the valuable & fragile quarterback from the huge, fast likes of Lawrence Taylor, whose Joe Theismann-leg-snapping exploits you’ve seen replayed on a thousand SportsCenters. The solution to this problem was to hire giant-handed men the size of houses who move like ballerinas to protect the blind side of the quarterback. Thus has the left tackle position become the second-highest paid position in the league behind the quarterbacks themselves.

When I read Lewis’ profile of Michael Oher in the New York Times, I had a crazy thought: why not cut to the chase and make the men fit to play the left tackle position into quarterbacks instead? Lewis covers this briefly near the end of the book in relating the story of Jonathan Ogden, left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens:

Now the highest paid player on the field, Ogden was doing his job so well and so effortlessly that he had time to wonder how hard it would be for him to do some of the other less highly paid jobs. At the end of that 2000 season, en route to their Super Bowl victory, the Ravens played in the AFC Championship game. Ogden watched the Ravens’ tight end, Shannon Sharpe, catch a pass and run 96 yards for a touchdown. Ravens center Jeff Mitchell told The Sporting News that as Sharpe raced into the end zone, Ogden had turned to him and said, “I could have made that play. If they had thrown that ball to me, I would have done the same thing.”

Having sized up the star receivers, Ogden looked around and noticed that the quarterbacks he was protecting were…rather ordinary. Here he was, leaving them all the time in the world to throw the ball, and they still weren’t doing it very well. They kept getting fired! Even after they’d won the Super Bowl, the Ravens got rid of their quarterback, Trent Dilfer, and gone looking for a better one. What was wrong with these people? Ogden didn’t go so far as to suggest that he should play quarterback, but he came as close as any lineman ever had to the heretical thought.

Many of the left tackles that Lewis talks about in the book can run faster than most quarterbacks, they can throw the ball just as far or farther (as a high school sophomore, Michael Oher could stand at the fifty-yard line and toss footballs through the goalposts), possess great athletic touch and finesse, have the intellect to run an offense, move better than most QBs, know the offense and defense as well as the QB, are taller than the average QB (and therefore has better field vision over the line), and presumably, at 320-360 pounds, are harder to tackle and intimidate than a normal QB. Sounds like a good idea to me.

The Ballad of Big Mike, the most

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2006

The Ballad of Big Mike, the most intriguing story of a future NFL left tackle you’re likely to read. The piece is adapted from Michael Lewis’ upcoming book on football, The Blind Side. Lewis previously wrote Moneyball.

Update: Gladwell has read The Blind Side and loved it. “The Blind Side is as insightful and moving a meditation on class inequality in America as I have ever read.”

Nice little history of Warren Moon, the

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 03, 2006

Nice little history of Warren Moon, the NFL’s first prominent black quarterback, on the occasion of his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. (via a.whole)

An update on how many players from

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 09, 2006

An update on how many players from Tecmo Bowl, Tecmo Super Bowl, and RBI Baseball are still active. The Mets Julio Franco is still playing at 47 years old.

I can’t believe that paying the NFL $330

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2006

I can’t believe that paying the NFL $330 million for being able to use trademarked terms like “Super Bowl” and “Pittsburgh Steelers” in advertising is worth it, particularly when you can use euphemisms like “The Big Game” for absolutely free.

In an era when players are so

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 03, 2006

In an era when players are so much bigger, stronger, faster, and richer than the rest of us, it’s getting harder for fans to really connect with pro sports teams.

A business book on teamwork called The

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 01, 2005

A business book on teamwork called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (excerpt) has gained a following among pro football coaches and players.