Category Archives: pro football

Some immaculate, spooky conspiracy-weaving

TweetI watched the “The Immaculate Reception: A Football Life” doc on the NFL Network last night, and it revealed some interesting nuggets to me that I hadn’t known before.
Such as how the now-famous moniker, coined by a Steelers fan standing on a table in a bar after the game, took a couple years to truly [...]

Sports history files: The first AFC championship game

TweetGiven the paucity of old NFL Films availability on television — this helps to explain why — I consider it a feat when I come across an episode I didn’t know existed.
It’s been nearly 42 years since the NFL split off into the NFC and AFC, with the winners meeting in the Super Bowl. For [...]

Midweek books: An early history of the NFL

TweetThe University of Nebraska Press is a treasure trove of terrific books about sports and sports history, and a new issue about the early days of pro football by Washington Times sports columnist Dan Daly looks to be a real treat.
In the “National Forgotten League: Entertaining Stories and Observations from Pro Football’s First Fifty Years,” [...]

The Sunday Sports Book Review: New in pro football

TweetThe National Football League we know today took dramatic steps in its current direction in the 1970s, when lucrative television contracts finally elbowed aside the dominance of Major League Baseball and as American corporate life moved into an age of high finance, filling its ranks with a Baby Boom generation of mobile and ambitious strivers.
But [...]

Alex Karras, RIP: The passing of a true gladiator

TweetThe death of Alex Karras on Wednesday, just weeks after that of NFL Films impresario Steve Sabol, has those nostalgiac for the days of pro football’s past reflecting even more deeply on the state of the game as it is now.’s Jeff MacGregor continues his exploration of the nature of football while remembering the legacy [...]

Of sportsmen, Cowboys and Texas football feuds

TweetIf you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, the team’s glorious past, rather than the grim reality of the now it displayed last night, might be a lot more interesting.
At The Dallas Morning News, sports journalist Allen Barra reviews three recently published books about the Cowboys that illustrate how professional football was able to cut through the [...]

As the existential probing of the NFL continues

TweetDespite its continued ratings dominance and the public’s obsession over nearly every facet of its operations — refereeing crisis, finally ended! — the National Football League continues to get some serious questioning about the very core of its being.
As the furor over Golden Tate’s ill-gotten touchdown ramped up, I came across several magazine pieces that [...]

RIP Steve Sabol, the football poet

TweetThe tributes to Steve Sabol poured in Tuesday afternoon, flush with the rhetorical and creative flourishes that he would have loved, and that epitomized his long career at NFL Films.
Sabol, who died of inoperable brain cancer earlier Tuesday at 69, was the son of Ed Sabol, who 50 years ago founded what became that beloved [...]

The haunting legacy of Art Modell

TweetArt Modell wasn’t the first owner to relocate a storied professional sports team, and he won’t be the last.
When he packed up the Cleveland Browns for Baltimore in 1995, he was moving them to a city that had had its Colts dispatched to Indianapolis in the middle of the night 11 years before.
But many in [...]

Food, football, feminism and a Super Bowl unseen

TweetDuring the height of my most ardent feminist days, I gave up watching the Super Bowl. Voluntarily.
This was Super Bowl XIX in 1985, the 49ers vs. the Dolphins. Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino. Hyped as a classic showdown between the two brightest young quarterbacks in the NFL.
And I was going to miss it. All of [...]