Michael Sam on Coming Out Before the NFL Draft: “If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did.”

A preview of the GQ cover featuring Michael Sam.

A preview of the GQ cover featuring Michael Sam.

Out athlete Michael Sam graces the cover of the GQ “Men of the Year” issue, out on newsstands nationwide November 25, where he gives a candid interview about his childhood, his coming out, and all of that horrible locker room reporting. We have a preview of some of the more poignant moments of Sam’s interview with GQ writer Andrew Corsello. Read more »

Ed Rendell Is OK with NFL Game Being Moved This Time

I tweeted the above joke yesterday. In 2010, a Vikings-Eagles game in Philadelphia was moved to Tuesday night because of snow. Rendell fumed over it, and the incident somehow led to a book by Rendell, A Nation of Wusses.

They’ve gotten quite a bit of snow this week in upstate New York, and Jets-Bills — originally scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo — has been moved to Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field. The NFL made the decision yesterday.

And, thanks to NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino, my tweet is no longer just a joke: We now know Ed Rendell’s feelings on the move. He’s okay with it this time!

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It’s Hard to Trust Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, during happier times.

I once met and interviewed Adrian Peterson.

He greeted me, as he does everyone, with a vice-grip handshake that stuns you to your core, a handshake that I found extremely peculiar. A firm handshake is what most men do. But this was ridiculous. It was as if Peterson was out to exert and display his power for no particular reason at all other than to exert and display that he was stronger than you. And it was like he didn’t want you to forget it.

With that story, I make a rather lengthy, but pertinent leap to his case of child abuse. Adrian Peterson whupped up on his 4-year-old boy, perhaps as a form of backwater punishment, but certainly as an exertion of power.  After reading about this case and seeing the photos of a bruised 4-year-old, I come to the conclusion that Peterson is a loathsome and contemptible man.

But this is not just a story about a bad human being. It’s a story of how the National Football League has turned into a joke when it comes to governing their employees. Their punishment of Adrian Peterson for the rest of the NFL’s regular season may pass a moral test, but it’s another ass-backward attempt to gain public trust by manipulating rules and regulations solely upon the whims of an empty suit named Roger Goodell.

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Would You Let Your Son Play Football?

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So: Are you going to let your son play football?

I’m not. And if you’re like growing numbers of parents, you won’t either: Pop Warner participation rates dropped almost 10 percent between 2010 and 2012. Why? Because we love our sons, and we are worried that the rough, tumble, and hard knocks of a football game might turn their brains into soup.

There’s a name for the soup: CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It’s a brain-wasting disease notable for producing depression, sharp personality changes, and erratic, even violent behavior among those who suffer from it — and those who suffer from it seem to be disproportionately people who hit and get hit for a living: Football players. I’ve written about it before, noting that it seemed connected to the suicides of Penn lineman Owen Thomas and former Eagles standout Andre Waters, and asking whether it might’ve had anything to do with the murder charges against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

It’s worth revisiting now because of three reports that emerged in recent weeks: Read more »

Can’t a Guy Get a Beer in This Town Without Freaking Football Blaring in the Background?

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During football season, Eagles talk — and also Eagles shouting, Eagles yelling and Eagles screaming — hangs in the air with a ubiquity rivaled only by oxygen. It dominates your television, your radio, your phones both smart and dumb, your already-fucked-up Facebook feed. It soaks into workplace asides, sidewalk encounters, waiting-room chats, barroom blather. It is everywhere. And for a large percentage of Philadelphians, this is an invigorating and compelling reality. We’ve waited all year, and it’s finally here! E-A-G…

For a much smaller portion of the population, however, the return of the National Football League spells hell. Living in Philly and rooting for a team other than the Eagles is an interesting existence, as we’ve recently discussed. But what about those who detest not only the Eagles, but the entire NFL and the controversial culture it’s spawned?

Joey Sweeney, founder and editor of the long-running city blog Philebrity, wants you.

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Is This the NFL’s Next Commissioner?

Should Condi Rice be the next NFL commissioner?

Should Condi Rice be the next NFL commissioner?

It seems clear that Roger Goodell is finished as commissioner of the NFL.

His silence on the arrests of NFL players Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer has been deafening. The man Time once dubbed “The Enforcer” is persona non grata since his fumbling of the Ray Rice case.

The public relations impotency of the once-heralded Goodell has forced owners to do something they hate to do – talk to the fans about team problems. That’s what the commissioner is supposed to be for. He is a useful mouthpiece when things are bad.

The NFL investigation of the Ray Rice debacle is a formality. Roger Goodell will be fired or he will resign, not because he didn’t take domestic abuse seriously, but because he hurt the NFL brand and almost cost the league billions in endorsements.

So who is in line to replace Goodell when he is kicked to the curb?

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Rihanna Was Right to Tell Off CBS Over Thursday Night Football Decision

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There is nothing that is — or perhaps can be — written about Rihanna without talking about the events that transpired on Grammy night in 2009. Similarly, there is rarely mention of Tina Turner without an acknowledgment of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband Ike. Domestic violence leaves a mark long after the bruises fade — and usually on the reputation of the abused.

The NFL’s reputation is taking its own beating, first with the release of the video capturing Ray Rice’s violent physical assault against his then-fiancée, next the child abuse allegations against Adrian Peterson. In efforts to demonstrate some long-absent self-awareness, CBS opted out of the network’s planned opening sequence, which included a song by Rihanna. It can be argued that the network opted to refit the opener with a more appropriately somber tone, though CBS executive Sean McManus did point to the singer’s previous bouts as a domestic violence victim as part of the deciding factor to pull the song last week.

True to form, Rihanna took to Twitter to express her displeasure:

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What Would It Take for You to Ditch Your Favorite NFL Player’s Jersey?

Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. on May 23rd, 2014.

Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. on May 23rd, 2014.

In the never-ending struggle between athlete worship and self-dignity, take a wild stab at which won out last week in Baltimore amidst the lingering fog of the Ray Rice scandal.

Yep, Ravens fans displayed their Rice jerseys proudly, a middle finger to the world as a show of support for their deposed halfback, who only days before had been suspended by the NFL for the season. After all, Rice had been one of the heroes who brought the town a Super Bowl. And how could anybody be heathen enough to forget that, even when you measure it up against the menacing left hook that knocked his girlfriend out cold.

A woman — yes, a woman — was interviewed by the network televising the game and she said that Rice’s girlfriend hit him too and that if you hit a guy then you better be prepared to get it back, or something as obtuse as that. My Twitter started humming the day after when, on my radio show, I railed into the Baltimore fans for being so spineless.

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Eagles Fan Posts ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ Tweet on Giants Punter’s Twitter Account

Steve Weatherford is the punter for the New York Giants. He’s not the beloved punter who kicked it to DeSean Jackson in the Eagles’ 2011 comeback, so you probably don’t have much of an opinion of him. Sure, he plays for a rival of the Eagles, but he’s the punter.

Well, apparently his Twitter password was easy to guess. Because, for a brief moment on Tuesday, his Twitter account said this:

The Giants are stink and I’m no good! Fly eagles fly!

Weatherford’s tweet was correct. The Giants are stink. But, apparently, that wasn’t Weatherford’s true opinion.

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