Response to the Oneida Nation

I used a racial epithet in my last column. I didn’t mean to use one. It didn’t even occur to me that I had at the time. While sitting in my family’s home and digesting a holiday meal, I was thinking about which teams would come out on top in the upcoming football games. I wasn’t thinking about how my use of the name of the Washington, D.C. football team, the R-word, would denigrate an entire race of people. But none of that changes the fact that it did.

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NFL Previews, Week 11

It’s week 11 and the postseason picture is beginning to come into focus. This week’s matchups offer a glimpse of the playoff match ups to come. Here are some of the key games this weekend.

Rams at Vikings, Sunday, November 19th at 1:00 PM on FOX.

What a difference a year makes. The Rams are sitting at 7-2 thanks to Jared Goff and the league’s #1 scoring offense (32.9 pts/gm). They’ll be looking for a signature win this week against the Vikings and one of the league’s youngest and most talented defenses. Look for Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes to match up against the potent Rams passing attack while Case Keenum leans on the potent duo of Adam Thielen and Steffon Diggs to move the chains. These are two young and talented teams looking to make a deep playoff run for the first time in several seasons. This should be a spirited competition. Continue reading “NFL Previews, Week 11”

NFL Previews, Week 5

October’s rolled around, and across the league, contenders are separating themselves from the pack. There’s an exciting slate of games to watch over the holiday weekend:

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh: Sunday, October 8th 1:00 PM on CBS

Leonard Fournette and a revamped Jacksonsville defense have the Jaguars looking competitive in the AFC South. This week will give them an opportunity to win a statement game against the Superbowl favorite Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jacksonville secondary versus Pittsburgh’s strong passing attack should be a fun matchup.

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Reflection on the National Anthem Protests

As someone who loves the game of football, I’ve spent the last few days thinking about the events of this past weekend – the national anthem protests which spread across the league. I’ve struggled to decide what, if anything, to say about the controversy that’s erupted.

In truth, I was tempted to say nothing. After all, I’m a middle class white male. And, frankly, I believe that there have been more than enough middle class white males offering their thoughts on the ongoing demonstrations. But, I also realize that to confront these events with silence – to present the next week’s slate of games with no reflection – would be a statement in itself. It would suggest that X’s and O’s are more important than the issues weighing on our country’s conscience.

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NFL Previews: Week 2

Week 1 is in the history books, but not before offering surprise upsets (pour one out, Patriots nation) and highlight-reel plays.

Here are some exciting matchups for next week.

  1. Minnesota at Pittsburgh: Sunday, September 17th at 1:00 PM on FOX

This early matchup will pit the up-and-coming Vikings in the NFC North against the perennial contenders AFC North Steelers. The Minnesota defence, led by cornerback Xavier Rhodes, will look to make a statement against the vaunted Pittsburgh offense which features Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Pittsburgh will look to bounce back from last week’s surprisingly narrow 21-18 victory over the Cleveland Browns. One or both of these teams is likely to make the playoffs this year, and this game could be a preview of things to come.

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NFL Regular Season Week 1: Games to Watch For

The wait is over. After months of trade rumors, mock drafts and off-the-field theatrics, the 2017 NFL season kicks off this Thursday.

Here are the games I’ll be watching this week:

  1. Chiefs at Patriots, Thursday, September 7th at 8:30 PM on NBC

The Kickoff Game of the 2017 season promises to be a good one. These two teams are in the playoff hunt again, and yet, both have serious questions to answer on Thursday. For the Patriots, who will replace Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount? For the Chiefs, how will rookie Kareem Hunt hold up in his first start at running back? The outcome of this game will depend on how each team rises to face their challenges. As an added bonus, on Thursday, the NFL is hosting a special noontime concert (with rumored guest Bon Jovi) at Christopher Columbus Park in Boston to celebrate the start of the 2017 season.

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