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Posts tagged: NFL

The Saints went marching out

SEATTLE – Rain fell. Wind blew.

And the Saints came marching in, hoping for a little revenge and a spot in the NFC championship game.

When it finally ended, though, it was the Seahawks who were marching on to within a game of the Super Bowl, thanks to a 23-15 victory in front of a CenturyLink Field-record crowd of 68,388 on Saturday. Full Story.

And a good time was had by all— except the Saints and their fans. Any favorite game moments?


Boys will be boys?

Aaron Hernandez, who was cut by the Patriots after being charged with murder, is one of 37 NFL players to be arrested this year.

It was a startling two days for the image-conscious NFL.

On Wednesday last week, in Massachusetts, tight end Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. A day earlier, in New Jersey, rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott of the Cleveland Browns was charged with attempted murder.

Both players were immediately released by their teams, but under the national media spotlight, the NFL was painted as a lawless organization.

There have been 38 arrests of NFL players this year, ranging from disorderly conduct and DUI to domestic violence and assault, according to a database kept by the San Diego Union-Tribune. But having two players arrested on murder charges in two days raised the issue of violent behavior in the NFL to a new level.Full story.

“Generally, the egregious behavior of pro athletes is not much different than men across the landscape,” said Dan Lebowitz, executive director of Northeastern University’s Sport in Society program. “We’re sort of talking about an American culture that’s rife with men behaving badly.This is a social construct problem.”

Agree or disagree? Update: Cops find evidence in Hernadez secret apartment.

Butt slap sends NFL player to jail

Chad Johnson will serve a 30-day jail sentence after his probation hearing went awry Monday. The former NFL star reportedly annoyed the presiding judge by slapping his lawyer's rear end while a plea deal was being negotiated.

According to TMZ, Johnson, who violated probation earlier this year in a domestic violence case involving then-wife Evelyn Lozada, was booted out of a Broward County, Fla., courtroom Monday morning after he “playfully slapped” his male lawyer's buttocks in front of Judge Kathleen McHugh. More here.

Did the judge over react?

Ex-NFL Star Walker Signs Autographs

Former NFL player Herschel Walker signs Paul Kelly's shirt Saturday before the start of the 19th Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America starting at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. The 2100 mile ride to Tempe, Arizona will benefit Victory Junction, a North Carolina camp for children with chronic medical illnesses. Some 175 took to the road at 8:15 a.m. and headed to Lewiston. Scott Maben SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Do you ride motorcycles?

Ex-Vandal Iupati Wows NFL Pros

On a 10-yard, fourth-quarter run by Kendall Hunter in last week’s win over Seattle, Mike Iupati pulled from his left-guard position, sprinted right into the second level and ran over Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner to pave the path for Hunter. On the NFL Network telecast, analyst Mike Mayock raved about Iupati, saying the 6-foot-5, 331-pounder was “a left guard that I think has a chance to become the best guard in football. He’s so big and strong. He’s gifted athletically.” Mayock’s opinion is shared by others/Eric Branch, San Francisco 49ers. More here.

Question: Isn't it nice that someone associated with Idaho Vandals football is successful?

NFL Reaches Settlement With Refs

The NFL’s regular officiating crews are back. Their return couldn’t have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans. After two days of marathon negotiations — and mounting frustration across the league and among its fans — the NFL and the officials’ union announced at midnight Thursday that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June. The deal follows Seattle’s chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night in which the replacement officials struggled. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was at the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, said the regular officials would work the Browns-Ravens game at Baltimore on Thursday night. The seven-man crew working the game is led by referee Gene Steratore, a 10-year NFL veteran/Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo of replacement refs botching last-second call in Seattle-Green Bay game Monday)

Question: Can you think of anything — anything! — more important than the NFL reaching a settlement with its regular officiating crews?

Idaho Joins Kramer HOF Effort

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio are among the most elite, recognizable and honored athletes of their time. They have been rewarded for their skill and dedication to the game, but the roster of Hall of Fame legends remains incomplete — one great player from the glory days of the Green Bay Packers is missing. That oversight has football fans and an entire state rallying around the cause of Packer legend and Sandpoint and University of Idaho alumnus, number 64, Jerry Kramer. Kramer is the only member of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team not in the Hall of Fame, but even more impressively those who played with and against him agree that Kramer belongs in Canton. The University of Idaho in conjunction with Gallatin Public Affairs, is asking all football fans to put the old rivalries aside and join together in support of Kramer’s nomination to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame/Associated Press. More here. (Charlie Litchfield Idaho Press Tribune photo)

Question: Do you think this crusade will succeed in getting former Sandpoint/UI Vandal star Jerry Kramer into the NFL Hall of Fame?

Bounty Scandal Leads To Suspensions

The NFL imposed some of the most severe penalties in pro football history Wednesday when Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended three New Orleans Saints coaches and the team’s general manager for operating and tolerating a bounty system that paid players for hits that injured opponents. But the Washington Redskins escaped punishment, at least for now, when the league also announced that it had found no evidence to corroborate allegations that a similar bounty program existed between 2004 and 2007, when Gregg Williams, the man at the center of the Saints’ bounty program, coached for Joe Gibbs. A person familiar with the case said the NFL’s active investigation of the Redskins was closed, but left open the possibility of reopening the probe should new information surface/Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo of head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for a year by the NFL)

Question: What do you make of the bounty system used by the New Orleans Saints to injure opposing players?

Farris Is Rawest Of Raw Candidates

Democrats are putting their faith in a 33-year-old candidate for 1st District Congress who has cast just one ballot in his lifetime — for Barack Obama. “Oh, that’ll help him inIdaho,” snickered Jim Weatherby, the emeritus professor at Boise State who graduated from Lewiston High in 1961, 35 years before Farris. Farris had a storied against-the-odds football career. But he couldn’t be more raw as candidate, admitting he didn’t vote until 2008, the year he started paying attention to politics. “I’ve always been just so unsettled that I never had an opportunity” to vote, Farris said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “There was a point early on when I was in college and shortly thereafter where I just didn’t think it mattered”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does Farris's background in the NFL make him a more attractive candidate for the Dems than he otherwise might have been?

Tofflemire Paid Price To Play In NFL

In his Sunday column, John Blanchette/SR discussed the ultimate price that former, indestructible Post Falls Trojan star Joe Tofflemire paid to play in the NFL. Tofflemire died last week at his home at age 46. His brother, Paul, and the extended family weren't surprised as a result of the toll that the violent world of pro football took on his brother's body. Blachette reports: “A study in the 1990s by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health noted that NFL linemen had a 52 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than the general population. In 2006, the St. Petersburg Times reported while average life expectancy in the United States was nearly 78 years, the average for NFL players was 55 – 52 for linemen.” Then, Blanchette quotes Paul Tofflemire as saying: “The NFL stands for ‘Not For Long. It’s a violent game with a cost.” (SR file photo: former Seattle Seahawks center Joe Tofflemire reacts as a trainer checks his shoulder in training camp in July 1995.)

Question: Can you enjoy NFL football as much, knowing that the players are risking shorter lives for their moments of glory?

Leaf Handles Addiction, Recovery

Ryan Leaf has set a lot of records for Washington State University. Even though the Cougars barely lost at the '97 Rose Bowl, Leaf's success as quarterback prompted him to leave WSU and become a first-round draft pick in the NFL. He bombed, was booed and benched. “For that reason, I stayed away from WSU and Cougar nation for a long time — for all the wrong reasons,” he said. “What I should have done was run back to the family that always supported me. And I pushed them away, because I was embarrassed.” Leaf will be the first to tell you he did not know how to focus his intensity or handle his failure to win. “But for sure, it was an embarrassing moment in my life at 21 years old,” he said. “But I think a lot of people do embarrassing things when they're 21 years old. And if that's my truly embarrassing moment at 21, I'll take that one over some of the other stories I've heard/Kathy Goertzen, KATU. More here.

Question: Did you do something incredibly stupid at age 21 that you would be willing to mention?

NFL Teams Unanimously OK Deal

The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps have voted unanimously to approve the terms of a deal to the end the 4-1/2-month lockout. Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be reviewed to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again. The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up the details Monday morning on a final pact that is for 10 years, without an opt-out clause, a person familiar with the deal told the AP on condition of anonymity/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell)

Question: Do you have a favorite NFL team? Which one? How did you become a fan of that team?

Favre fined $50K

NEW YORK – Brett Favre has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for a “failure to cooperate” with the investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to former New York Jets game-day hostess Jenn Sterger.

The league said Commissioner Roger Goodell “could not conclude” that Favre violated the league's personal conduct policy based on the evidence currently available to him. Full story.

Did he or didn't he? And if he did, WHY?

High Noon:The video that made the NFL’s James Brown cry

Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry had apparently turned his life around when tragedy struck.

A berry picker sent me a link to this video that aired on Thanksgiving. A moving tribute to the choice Chris Henry’s mother made that forever changed the lives of many people. It’s worth watching. And yes, I cried, too:

Would you make the same choice Chris Henry’s mother made?

Favre: This is what I came back for

Minnesota’s Benny Sapp tackles Dallas’ Marion Barber during the first half. Barber ran eight times for 14 yards.

MINNEAPOLIS – “This is what I came back for.”

For the adrenaline rush. For the in-your-face touchdown. For another shot at the Super Bowl.

Brett Favre wanted all of it, and now he’s got it.

Four – count ’em, four – touchdown passes from Minnesota’s 40-year-old quarterback sent the Vikings to the NFC championship game with a determined 34-3 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“Probably the most fatigued I got today was celebrating,” Favre said, smiling. More here.

NFL Scoreboard:

Vikings 34 Cowboys 3

Jets 17 Chargers 14

Bears Beat Vikings

Associated Press Bears WR Devin Aromashodu is mobbed after his game-winning TD.

Most have been a sad day in the KageMann household as the Bears rallied for a TD in overtime play.

CHICAGO – Brett Favre cranked up and made one more impossible throw, zinging a touchdown pass in the fading seconds. Too bad for the Minnesota Vikings, that merely put them into overtime.

The Vikings lost again Monday night, beaten by the Chicago Bears 36-30 when Jay Cutler tossed a 39-yard strike to Devin Aromashodu. Minnesota fell for the third time in four games, and the defeat gave the New Orleans Saints homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

What two teams do you envision in the Super Bowl this year?

Idaho Will Be Represented In Super Bowl

Item: NFL remains strong with Idaho ties/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Former Boise State standout Quintin Mikell will be in the Eagles’ starting lineup. Mikell, a safety, had a breakout season with Philadelphia. He had 93 tackles, two sacks and two fumbles in the regular season, after which he was voted an Associated Press second-team All-Pro. He had his first career playoff interception in the Eagles’ 23-11 win over the Giants on Sunday.  Former Idaho State linebacker Pago Togafau will be representing the state of Idaho if the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl.Togafau is a special teams dynamo who had 12 tackles in six games with the Cardinals.

Question: Which of the remaining 4 teams do you want to win the Super Bowl?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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