Category: NFL


Fallen sporting heroes #2: O.J. Simpson

The second instalment of The Armchair Pundits’ “fallen sporting heroes” series looks at O.J. Simpson and his spectacular fall from grace from a long career in football.

There are few names as famous as his in modern sporting history, and here Josh Mott gives the low-down on the notorious former sportsman.

Trouble | 95 million Americans tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson flee chasing police cars on Interstate 405. (Image | Biker Gallery)

When Orenthal James Simpson and his friend Al Cowling drove down Interstate 405 in a white Ford Bronco truck, 95 million Americans tuned into cable news channels to watch the chase from the police helicopter.

As one of the most charismatic sportsmen of the time, Simpson was heading not just towards the most famous murder trial in American history, but also a life that would be punctuated by peculiarity right up to the present day.

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The black and white of the NFL’s refereeing fiasco

The catch that never was | Monday’s incident has brought the referee issue firmly to the fore. (Image | Associated Press)

It is official, the National Football League (NFL) labour hold out with its game day referees has reached breaking point.

Monday Night Football‘s match-up featuring the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was the last straw in a weekend plagued with disastrous and arguably game-changing decisions made by the NFL’s replacement referees.

After a Hail Mary pass in the dying seconds of the game by Seahawks rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, two replacement officials looked at each other in overwhelming bewilderment.

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NFL preview: part two

Can San Francisco retain their crown as NFC champions? There is plenty of opposition on their heels (Image | Getty)

If you’ve had a check of TAP since yesterday evening you’ll have seen the first part of Josh Mott’s team-by-team breakdown of the 2012-13 NFL season. Josh returns today, completing his travails with a thorough breakdown of the NFL’s NFC (National Football Conference) competitors and outlining just why he believes this will be one of the closest NFL seasons in memory.

Tonight: previewing the NFC

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NFL preview: part one

Expect the New England Patriots and Houston Texans to be two of the leading teams in the 2012 AFC season (Image | Getty)

It is often referred to as America’s game and the parallels between the nation and its most popular sport are too many to list, but one thing is for sure the NFL is all about ‘big’. It is the most profitable sports league in the world with television deals worth $27 billion, and franchises worth an average of $1.2 billion. Each NFL season is worth about $9 billion dollars to the US economy, this compared to $7.5 billion for the NBA or $3 billion for the NHL. Pro football is big business and this season is promising not to disappoint.

The 2012 schedule kicked off on Wednesday with a 24-17 triumph for the Dallas Cowboys over the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. This season looks to be closer than any in recent memory with almost all of the thirty-two teams significantly bolstering their rosters in the off season. So here is The Armchair Pundits’ preview to the 2012 NFL season; we will take a look division by division and pick the playoff picks from each and then at the end a Super Bowl prediction, that’s right we are picking the overall winner before it has even began.

Tonight: previewing the AFC

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Fantasy sports originated in the USA around baseball and American football, which are extremely stat-heavy sports and so lend themselves ideally to the fantasy concept (Image | ESPN.com)

In the age of the internet and the 24-hour sports news cycle, when one can turn on the television at any hour of the day and watch live sports taking place anywhere in the world, it is no wonder that we as a culture have become more fanatical about sports. From anywhere we are just a few clicks away from an innumerable and incomprehensible volume of websites debating and analyzing every aspect of a sport; a particular team, player, or play to such a meticulous and fanatical level that it is hardly surprising that fantasy sports have become such big business.

Fantasy sports is arguably one of the geekiest ways of experiencing any one sport, in the sense that in order to be a successful fantasy sports player, one has to possess an extremely developed understanding of any one sport. A great fantasy sports player must also be able to remember huge amounts of data about a great number of individuals (the athletes in their chosen sport). Fantasy sports fundamentally boil down to one thing; statistics.

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Super Bowl-ed over by Giants’ resurgence

New York's quarterback Eli Manning was named MVP after his stunning performance saw the Giants home.

As a Super Bowl virgin, I had little idea of what to expect from Sunday night’s clash between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots in Indianapolis. With friends in close proximity rooting for the Patriots, and not really knowing what was happening, I sat down in front of the giant screen with a (mercifully non-American) lager in my hand with an open mind. And what a fantastic spectacle I was treated to. American sport is an orgy of excess, advertising and theatre. The Super Bowl itself is indicative of the showy, ostentatious nature of the society of the United States. And what a society it is.

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