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Q&A With (Anonymous) Gay Division I College Football Player

Wasn't sure what photo to use for this post so I just kept it safe.

In my travels cross the mighty internet, I ran across this Q&A on Reddit with an anonymous “closeted” (kinda hate that term) gay college football player. The player opened the threat himself under the name “youdneverknow” and took questions from anyone who posted. You can read the entire thread here, but I picked out my favorite ones. The reason that these are my favorites are because they’re the type of “concerns” people express most often when they are against gay dudes participating in sports.

Whoever this guys is, assuming he’s really who he says he is, did a really good job answering the questions. Everything made sense to me. And a lot of it made me feel kinda sad. What a lonely feeling to hide who you are every day? From the thread, it looks as though he hasn’t slept with a man yet.

Q. What position do you play? Do any of your team mates, coaches, family members know at all? How do you deal with going to parties after big games?

A. I’m an offensive lineman.

The only people that know I’m gay are my best friend (non-teammate) and my therapist

I go to all the parties and mostly have a great time. The only time I have to “deal” with the parties is when I feel pressured by my teammates to pursue certain girls. I can only use the same excuses so much as to why I don’t want to hook up with so-and-so. In order to stay in the closet, I sometimes have casual hookups with girls just to enforce the “fact” that I’m straight. That’s when parties suck.

I’ve heard of this happening!

Q. I’m really sorry. That would really suck, I can’t imagine having to do that. Do you ever get a chance to be with guys?

A. I don’t ever get the chance to be with guys. This year I think I’m going to try and change that though - I’m not sure. I’m not even sure what to do/where to meet people.

:( :( :(

Q. As an offensive lineman in Australia. I’ve always wondered, do the OL in college get much action?

A.Actually more than you’d think. It’s not like we’re getting as much as the WRs or QBs but there are plenty of girls (and guys I think…) that like bigger, stronger men. They like to feel safe and secure.

**Raises hand** o/ I know I do!

Q. As a gay guy, I know how difficult this sort of thing can be and I think its great that you’ve started coming to terms with it for yourself. I will say, though, that the only way ignorant people are going to realize that gay folks are normal, everyday people like them is if more people like you are willing to take a risk and come out. Right now they see pride marches on TV and sitcom portrayals and gays are this anonymous “other,” but if they could see that their friendly neighbor, or the guy at the grocery store, or, better yet, their favorite football player is both masculine and gay it could start to have a real impact on public acceptance and the disintegration of the gay = feminine stereotype. I remember when the TV show Ellen had a parental advisory in front of it after she came out. Now gay people are all over TV, but they still aren’t real. Someone like you is real.

I hope you don’t take offense to my post; I know its a complicated, intensely personal situation and I would never be arrogant enough to suggest that I know what path you should follow. I guess I just wonder if you agree that having someone in your position come out would be a positive step for homosexual rights and if you have any opinion on that subject?

A. This is a great comment! I think about this a lot actually. One part of me feels like I should take advantage of the opportunity I have and come out publicly. The other part of me feels like an ass because I don’t want to just yet.

If I were to come out publicly, there would be so much good that can come out of it. I think one of the biggest things that it can do (which is the reason I feel like a dick for not coming out publicly) is help others out that are in a similar situation. I could use the platform of college football to make the voice of the LGBT community heard as well as help take down gay stereotypes.

But then again, I do not feel mentally ready for all this. I’ve just learned in the past few months how to accept and love myself. Which is why I feel like a dick. If I heard a story about a gay college football player coming out to his team and community, etc. It would make my struggles so much easier seeing that there is someone I can identify with.

I figured someone would ask this question. It probably would be helpful to someone for this guy to be openly gay, but I couldn’t see myself risking it if I were him. I don’t wanna be the guinea pig!

Q. Why are you closeted/What keeps you from coming out?

A. When I was younger I noticed how kids in school would treat others that were gay, perceived gay, or just different. I didn’t want to be treated like that. As I grew up, I denied the fact that I was gay. I never felt comfortable bringing up the subject with friends or family due to the fear that I wouldn’t be loved/accepted.

Right now, I’m finally starting to accept that I am gay and it’s part of who I am. I’m not exactly sure what would happen if I were to come out in the environment I’m currently in (college athletics), so I plan on coming out to my friends/family after this stage of my life is over and I’m in a “safer” environment. I’m scared of losing all my “friends” and my social life.

Also, I probably should have said this in my original post, but I am out to my best friend. He’s the only person that knows (besides by therapist).

He’s in therapy? Well he’s already head of the game then.

Q. If someone asks if you are gay, that you answer yes?

A. I actually wish this would happen with a few of my friends. I want to come out to some of them so badly because I think they would be truly accepting. The only problem is if I can trust them with that big of a secret. I’m sure I could trust my closest team mates - but at this point it’s just too big of a risk for me.

Q. Serious question (sorry in advance). How do you contain yourself from popping a stiffy in the locker room?

As a straight male, if I was in a locker room with a bunch of naked women, I would certainly have a boner. Do you hide it or ignore the issue?

A. I knew someone would ask this haha! It’s funny because before I got to college I always wondered the same thing and thought it would be a really big deal. I have yet to pop a boner in the locker room because I think I’m just able to ignore the issue. Also, it’s kind of different than your example because the naked women wouldn’t be surprised/disgusted. In a shower with 90 straight dudes - people would have questions as to why I’m hard lol.

Qs and As


Big CFB fan here, hope your season is going well.


Do you fantasize about certain teammates?

Yes, and I’m kind of embarrassed to say so haha.

What type of offense do you guys run?


Does your team have “groupies”?

Yes, there are actually quite a few jersey chasers, jock sniffers, etc.

How much do you bench/squat?

Bench ~ 450, Squat ~ 580

How hard is it to hear adjustments at the line during an away game?

Extremely hard! Each week we have to be prepared to go on silent. It also depends on how the stadium is built and where the student section is. You have to know what you’re listening for in order to “zone out” all the crowd noise. That’s why adjustments are tougher to hear than the cadence and the QB frantically runs in between the tackles to make sure we all get the audibles.

As you can see, once the straight men got comfortable posting the conversation went every wicha way.

Final comment from “youdneverknow” that made me sad:

Thanks for your words of advice! I decided to do the AMA because I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. A lot = like every minute of the day. At times it stresses me out and at other times I laugh at my situation. But lately, I’ve been feeling kind of lonely. Not physically - just emotionally (if that makes any sense). I didn’t come here looking for a pity party, just looking to see what others have to say in this sort of situation.

Well whoever this guy is, I am totally in love. If I ever find out who he is and can meet him I have hugs and kisses with his name on it. I mean…regardless of his orientation, he IS 6’4. LOL




The Classical: Support What Could Become The Best Sports Site Ever (Besides this one)

The Classical logo*Steps on Soapbox*

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that sports sites are completely dumbing down content leaving many sports enthusiasts feeling short changed. I would tend to agree. And it’s part of the reason I started PlayerPerspective almost a year ago. I thought that amongst the gazillion sites in the universe there was still a need for more sports blogs and sites that don’t treat sports like an afterthought.

I believe that need still exists.

That’s why I’m excited to see a really talented group of writers start their own sports site that, as they say, will allow them to write “about sports the way that smart people talk about sports.” It’s music to my ears. But smart doesn’t mean boring, and I’m confident this site is going to pop with good topics and better conversation.

The cast of characters behind the site ranges from Free Darko founder Bethlehem Shoals (a friend of mine since I was in college) to Tom Briehan who used to write the Village Voice’s “Status Ain’t Hood” blog. All the writers working to get this project off the ground are supremely talented and respected at what they do.

To get this project off the ground, they need 50 thousand dollars by September 29. As I hit send on this post, there are 13 days left to donate and they are just under 9 thousand dollars short of their goal. Here’s the opportunity to be a part of raising the level of sports discourse and maybe even contributing to something significant in sports history. The potential is really limitless here. And you can donate any amount to the project.

For a complete list of the talent behind The Classical, and to take advantage of your opportunity to donate, head over to Kickstarter.

I’m really enthusiastic about this site coming to fruition. And hey, who knows, you may see some of my work pop over there. Hint Hint.

Oh and you could see your work too. Check out the complete description.






NBA Lockout: Compliment Costs Michael Jordan $100K

Former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan in his younger days

A young Michael Jordan, long before he started wearing wide leg jeans with dress shoes

The differences between the NFL and NBA lockouts are just astounding. I think I already mentioned in an earlier post how the NBA cannot profit off of players during the lockout, so they had to do things like take all player video and images off their web site. During the NFL lockout, you couldn’t even tell it was a lockout. NFL network, and pretty much everything related to the NFL went on as usual except contact between team staff and players and organized team activities.

Now, thanks to Michael Jordan’s decision to give an innocent compliment to Andrew Bogut in an interview with Bogut’s hometown paper…IN AUSTRALIA, we find out that owners can’t discuss players in any capacity.

A snippet of Jordan’s comments:

“I can’t say so much … but I know the owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can co-exist as partners. We need a lot of financial support throughout the league as well as revenue sharing to keep this business afloat.

“We have stars like Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team.”

Jordan said small-market teams would benefit greatly from a “hard” salary cap, and it would allow clubs such as Milwaukee to plan a future on key players including the Australian centre.

“Bogut is a good piece to build around for Milwaukee,” Jordan said.

Then BAM! $100K fine! Jordan’s comments violated both the league’s rules on discussing individual players as well as the general collective bargaining process.

If you ask me-and no one has-this is how a lockout should be done. Everyone should suffer. Not that $100K is taking anything out of Jordan’s golfing budget or anything. But it made me think of how whenever the government shuts down, only employees are hurt (for the most part). The public and those in power keep going along just fine. Not enough of the government is ever shut down to make people realize that there’s actually a problem. Therefore, no one takes it seriously. Yeah I know the government is a lot less important than the NBA *snickers* but you get my point.

If you’re gonna shut it down, shut it alllll the way down. Every time someone violates a lockout rule we are reminded that shit in the NBA is pretty real right now. Pretty real = pretty messed up.  The guys across the blogosphere think the NBA is going too far in enforcing the rules. Funny to me, because I don’t see them saying the rules aren’t good, just that the NBA is taking them too seriously. Odd position to take in my opinion.

For some reason though, this fine reminds me of a school yard fight between two girls over their cheating boyfriend. The owners and Billy Hunter are arguing with Hunter telling the owners to KEEP MY MAN’S NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH OR ELSE.

Or something like that. Can you tell I have some hood in me? Mind your business!





Financially Troubled Terrell Owens Wants Desean Jackson to Get Cut From the Eagles Like He Was

Terrell Owens Ever Tearful Now Gives Advice to Eagles' Desean Jackson

Terrell Owens Doing What He does

Former NFL Wide Receiver Terrell Owens made it his  business this week to inject himself into the contract situation the Philadelphia Eagles are having with Desean Jackson. As you all know, Jackson wants and deserves more money. And the Eagles, on a player shopping spree, have been mum on how much Jackson will get when his contract is restructured and whether it will be this season.

But right now, all signs point to Jackson getting a new contract. Vick reworked his contract, cuts were made, and salary cap space is there. That doesn’t mean the Eagles have to do it this season, in fact it might work to Jackson’s advantage if they wait (assuming he has a good season this year).

Owens was quoted as saying that Jackson shouldn’t show up for week 1 to play unless his contract is restructured. This is sage advice coming from a man who, on the last episode of his VH1 reality show, hit viewers with the Ralph Tresvantesque single-eye tear over the fact that he has ZERO income coming in and a friend has stolen a significant amount of money from him. The same Owens who allowed vh1 to write into the script a scene where he takes advice from some non-psychologist non-financial adviser named CUZZIN JEFF.

I guess if your life can’t get any worse, might as well help someone get down to your level.

As an Eagles fan I lived through the suspension and contract drama they dealt with after signing Owens. And I was so happy when the Eagles did what they do and cut his ass from the team. We don’t do a lot of drama and the like and such in Philadelphia. Wrong team. Wrong city.

I was surprised to see the guys over at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner Blog agree with Owens:

I know this won’t be something Eagles fans like to hear, but it’s not like there’s no logic to what Owens is saying. At $600,000, Jackson’s earning way less than market value for a player of his ability. Careers are short. Injuries happen. Market value is fair, and most of the time, holding out is the only leverage a player has.

Okay, here’s the thing. WR careers are NOT short when compared to other players. Yes Jackson is small, yes he could get hurt. And actually, if he did, that would be proof of why the Eagles are hesitant to make a commitment. The worry is that he will be perennially concussed (he’s already suffered some memory loss)or jammed at the line of scrimmage.  Jackson has very little leverage here, and holding out would help give the Eagles a pass from fans if he got cut. No one wants to see that, but there’s nothing Philadelphia fans appreciate more than patience and signs that you WANT to stay despite our fuckery.

Let’s look at the other side of this. Owens advice is not only bad from a team-player stand point (not surprising since Owens has always been more of a team cancer than a team player), but it’s dumb from a depth standpoint. What Jackson needs to be doing is proving his worth, not sitting out to give EXTREMELY CAPABLE wide receivers Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and newly signed former Giant Steve Smith an opportunity to eat up all the shine the Eagles will get on a the national stage. Since I’ve been watching football, no one has ever wanted to see the Eagles the play more than they do right now.

And Jackson should sit out, and miss the glory? If he stays healthy and performs well and the Eagles don’t pay him, someone else will. Ask Sidney Rice who waited his turn on the Vikings and got a big pay day with Seattle this year. For the record, I still think that the Eagles made salary cap moves in order to pay Jackson. I don’t think he should act hastily right now. If he has thoughts of doing so, he should watch Owens’ reality show. I’d hate to see Jackson on TV shedding sad man tears.



Mark Sanchez Covers GQ And Looks Damn Good -Plus What He Thinks the Jets MUST DO This Season

Mark Sanchez Covers GQ magazine

Mark Sanchez aka HUBBA HUBBA

As long as QB Mark Sanchez plays for the Jets, I hope every football he touches ends up in the hands of an opposing player. But I must admit, Sanchez is one handsome man. And he also seems pretty smart and likable. He covers the September issue of GQ and his photos definitely got a HUBBA HUBBA out of me.

When blogs reported the GQ story last month, most focused on the fact that Sanchez said he wanted to “fight” Rex Ryan after he was threatened with a benching. My response: yeah yeah yeah, the Jets are passionate Rex Ryan is a master motivator. woopity woop. Media talking points. We get it.

What I found more interesting was this part:

He’s the kind of guy, one friend says, who gets invited to a White House state dinner and thinks it’s a steak dinner. Then, when the big day rolls around, whereas another guy might bring a starlet as his date, Sanchez brings 310-pound teammate D’Brickashaw Ferguson, because he knows Ferguson likes politics.

He’s the kind of guy who agonizes about what to buy his linemen for Christmas and reaches out to older quarterbacks for advice. (One veteran told him what not to do: Don’t buy Rolexes for the white guys and Louis Vuitton for the black guys. Wow, the veteran said, it really pisses them off.)

As today’s informal practice winds down, Sanchez makes plans to see his teammates later at a racetrack in Jersey City. They’re going to eat chicken wings and pizza and then race 45-mph go-karts in a circle. Sanchez says he’ll be there, though he doesn’t look all that keen on the idea. If it were up to him, they might go into the city. Take in a show. Say, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

What a gem of a man. I love it. And he likes show tunes!! Call me Mark! My number is *censored cause I’m not really serious*

Earlier this summer, Sanchez said the Jets biggest goal this season is to make sure they play complete games. Last year, the Jets were very often a first half team. The defense kept them competitive. Never was the strength of Ryan’s defensive schemes more evident than in the playoffs. During the playoffs, the swift changes in defense that Rex Ryan made were impressive and very effective.

From what I saw, almost every team in playoffs blitzed less (except for the Falcons and we all know what happened to them), but the Jets made the starkest change to me. They went from a high blitz percentage to almost zero blitzing and an emphasis on maximum coverage. Ryan was activating 11 defensive backs a game, and they got a lot further than I thought they would. This year, the offense has to be better. And all eyes will be on Sanchez-for football reasons and HUBBA HUBBA reasons.



Eagles, Broncos and Redskins Pretend They Don’t Know Who Their #2 Quarterback Is

The Denver Broncos Continue to Treat Tim Tebow Like a Red-headed Step Child

It’s the last week of the pre-season and three teams are keeping up a ridiculous quarterback sham. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins are still telling everyone who will listen that they don’t know who the #2 quarterback is on their team. I have to be honest, I’m not here for that. I prefer when teams keep it real.


The Philadephia Eagles have former Tennessee Titans STARTING Quarterback Vince Young as well as never-taken-a-snap-in-a-game-that-matters-but-definitely-seems-like-he-could-possibly-one-day 2010 4th round Eagles draft pick Mike Kafka. Young has a similar playing style to their starting QB Mike Vick and performed well enough to attend two pro bowls in the past. And before he was dramatically benched last year, he was having a pretty respectable season.

But the Eagles don’t know who their number 2 QB is? Oh okay, well let me tell you. IT’S VINCE YOUNG.

The ShanaSCAMS

The Redskins are just as pitiful with their situation. After benching a superior QB in Donovan McNabb for a spotty middling one-Rex Grossman-it seemed like the Shanahans were prepared to make a commitment to the QB (that most football watchers thought was exiled forever after leaving Chicago) until they could get a better veteran. But then the Shanahans (Head coach Mike and deeply offensive coordinator Kyle, his son) spent the entire lockout and first week of the pre-season raving about former Bringham Young QB John Beck. Beck, a man who 99.999999999% of football fans had never heard of. After no one took them seriously, the Redskins belatedly created some sort of “friendly quarterback competition” that is for all intents and purposes a complete sham.

Why? Because John Beck actually has a chance to be the Redskins QB for years to come. Grossman doesn’t. Everyone knows what Grossman can do. I can’t name a team in the league that would want to sign Grossman to a long term contract as a starter even given the dearth of talent that exists right now. You can’t rely on him to be a starter based on history and you can’t use him to train a new QB. Barring injury, the Redskins should be giving Beck the start, giving him intensive EXCLUSIVE tutelage, and figuring out what the hell he can do. Not having him split snaps and engage in some dumb ass competition with somebody who likely will spend the rest of their career as a backup.

The league is full of rookie quarterbacks and guys who have never been a starter before. They all will be learning the hard way this season. Perfect time to test out a newbie. You know what you (don’t) have in Grossman, might as well see what the deal is with Beck and stop confusing the hapless Washington media.

Ladies and Gents, Your Denver BRONCnos

Finally, the Broncos have made a mess of this entire quarterback situation. To be clear, Tim Tebow probably never should have been drafted as a quarterback in the first place. When I watch Tebow play, I feel like I’m watching a guy in a vicious battle with genetics. He knows what he needs to do but his body just won’t let him. He not only struggles with his throwing motion, simply dropping back with any sort of speed and fluidity is a test for him. The Broncos gave him the ultimate insult when they leaked to the press that Tebow just has “no football sense.” HOW LOW CAN YOU GO.

Just a few weeks ago, fans in Denver were SO TEBOW-CRAZY, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said that the Broncos would probably HAVE to start Tebow just to keep the peace. Now here we are a short time later and Kyle Orton is the clear starter. And the Broncos are telling us that they just haven’t decided who would replace Orton if he goes down (which, he will-I’ve already put him on “ankle watch 2011″).

Brady Quinn is their number 2 and Tebow won’t be with the Broncos next season. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still in the league. Quinn was highly touted and then fell completely off the radar. From all accounts, Quinn has regained some confidence and looked more promising than Tebow in the professional system. This is not to say that Quinn is the Broncos QB of the future-or anyone’s QB of the future. But Quinn isn’t fighting with his DNA just to get the ball of out his hands. And if the Broncos want Tebow to be number two breaking him down publicly like this is not the way to ensure his best performance. And Quinn can definitely tell Tebow a little bit about fan hype and disappointment.

Long story short, all these teams know who their number 2 is and I’m not in the mood to play dress up with them. Have at it.


Dear ESPN and Toure: What’s So Black About Michael Vick’s Playing Style?

According to an article in ESPN Magazine Michael Vick Plays Quarterback Like Some Black Guy

It’s one thing to have folks disagree with a piece and it’s another write something that makes no sense at all. Somehow, in his piece that he says he didn’t name “What if Michael Vick Were White” the writer Toure managed to do both. Kudos. It’s quite a feat.

For those who aren’t familiar with Toure he often writes about black people and black culture. But at every turn, it’s clear that he’s a man who has a dysfunctional relationship with race. And it bothers me that mainstream publications have called upon this individual to be a sort of “negro whisperer.” According to Toure, he was asked by ESPN to produce a piece on Vick.

—feel free to skip down to “My Issue With The Part I Understood” if you don’t like messy details—

Messy Details

On twitter, Toure has revealed time and time again his fascination with blacks. He has even posed questions about caring for his (partly black) children’s hair—what comb to use, what shampoo et cetera. It appears that Toure, himself a black male, is lost as to what to do with the black hair of his black son and has no black family members to help him deal with this black dilemma in a black manner. Perhaps this confusion is why he reportedly told everyone he was French while he was in college.

But what took the cake for me was the time that he tweeted about black female slaves SEDUCING their white masters. And when an uproar ensued, he insisted that he’d gone to yoga class and his COUSIN took his phone and tweeted those terrible things. He later admitted that he’d tweeted the ideas himself.

But even without these messy background details that I couldn’t resist sharing, it’s painfully clear that Toure is full of shit.

In his ESPN piece, Toure continues to work out his issues with being black in front of a public audience. Only this time, he projects his conflicted fuckery onto Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick.

My goodness, doesn’t Vick have enough problems?

My Issue With The Part I Understood

The article in totality sounded like an ethnic comedian talking. You know those “black people do this (insert negative thing), but white people do that (insert positive thing)” jokes. In one fell swoop Toure assigned dog fighting to inner city minority communities (dog fighting was traditionally a poor rural white activity), attributed fatherlessness to all black boys born to unwed mothers (a child born to an unwed mother is not necessarily fatherless), accused most local sports coaches of being “unsavory” bad influences on the young athletes they mold (umm what? Is he trying to say a coach may have intro’d Vick to dog fighting??), and implied that getting caught with marijuana is an urban youth kinda thing (I’ve seen COPs, I know that ain’t true!).

And moreover, the article made it seem like black athletes are a particularly troubled group in general and that did NOT sit right with me.

But this is a football blog so let me make this post somehow relevant rather than a random rant on a man who has disgusted me with his commentary time and time again. And who, by the way, should neva eva eva eva eva in life be allowed to write about America’s greatest sport.

The analogy he uses:

WHEN MICHAEL VICK PLAYS, I see streetball. I don’t just mean that sort of football where you have to count to four-Mississippi before you can rush the quarterback, nearly everything breaks down and it’s all great fun. I also mean street basketball. Vick’s style reminds me of Allen Iverson — the speed, the court sense, the sharp cuts, the dekes, the swag. In those breathtaking moments when the Eagles QB abandons the pocket and takes off, it feels as if he’s thumbing his nose at the whole regimented, militaristic ethos of the game.

All of that is why, to me, Vick seems to have a deeply African-American approach to the game. I’m not saying that a black QB who stands in the pocket ain’t playing black. I’m saying Vick’s style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless — so representative of black athletic style — that if there were a stat for swagger points, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far.

On Michael Vick playing street ball… I’d probably have less issues with Toure’s description if he didn’t 1. Make Vick sound like a running back and 2. Allude to Vick’s “raw” talent after he’s clearly gone through great pains to polish it. 3. Make it so obvious that anything “black” equals “street” to him (street meaning amateurish and preferring style over substance).

Without knowing this is an article about Vick, if someone said “XX QB’s style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless” my immediate thought would have been Drew Brees or in the past, Steve Young, not Michael Vick. Without “flamboyant,” those words absolutely apply to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And without the word “fluid” you could easily be talking about Ben Roethlisberger.

I would venture to say Toure has never watched a complete football game even once in his vaguely black life.

Toure capitalized on two lazy narratives for his piece: 1. That black people are just soooo much cooler than white folks that we must write about how FUCKING COOL they are and romanticize it all 2. That black QBs play the game entirely different and must be praised and criticized accordingly.

So what exactly is soooooo black about Michael Vick’s play in particular? Toure says he’s not talking about leaving the pocket (the normal black QB meme), so then what pray tell is it? And do these differences in style apply to other positions and races? Does Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis play like a white man or a black man? Does New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez quarterback like a Mexican? I need answers!

If there IS something “**deeply African American” (VOMIT!!!) about the way Vick plays, the adjectives to describe what in the entire hell that means do not appear anywhere in Toure’s piece. And the idea that Vick’s game is ‘street’ seriously downplays the work this man has put into his game. It also underestimates what it takes to make it in the NFL. Raw talent cuts it in high school, but this is the pros. We off that!

Scrambling is not just a black thing. Extending a play isn’t just a black thing. EXCITEMENT is not just a black thing. All of Vick’s highlight-reel quality plays involve techniques he’s worked to perfect. Toure seems to think Vick’s abilities arrived in the mail with a bottle of melanin addressed to “da homie Mike Vick.”

** From unreliable sources I’ve heard that Michael Vick also has a deeply African American approach to eating fried chicken, breakdancing, and sitting around the house doing nothing.





Incarcerated Booster Snitches on Former Miami Players-Says Bounties Paid For Injuries

Poor David Akers...3.7 million gone in a ponzi scheme? WHYYYYYY

Life lesson #3459920: Boosters don’t like it when players turn their backs on them when they’re in need. How do I know?? Cause that’s when they gets to snitchin’!

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson just busted the door open on an 11 month investigation into a booster named Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims he provided everything from jewelry and bounties for injuring opposing players to prostitutes and, in one case, an abortion for 72 former University of Miami players and some coaches and staffers. University of Miami is one of the top collegiate producers of NFL athletes. So the names listed in the report are pretty recognizable.

To name a few: Patriots Vince Wilfork, San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore, Denver Broncos’ Willis McGahee and the late Washington Redskins Sean Taylor who was gunned down far too soon about 4 years ago.

Robinson writes:

Also among the revelations were damning details of Shapiro’s co-ownership of a sports agency – Axcess Sports & Entertainment – for nearly his entire tenure as a Hurricanes booster. The same agency that signed two first-round picks from Miami, Vince Wilfork andJon Beason, and recruited dozens of others while Shapiro was allegedly providing cash and benefits to players. In interviews with federal prosecutors, Shapiro said many of those same players were also being funneled cash and benefits by his partner at Axcess, then-NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Shapiro said he also made payments on behalf of Axcess, including a $50,000 lump sum to Wilfork, as a recruiting tool for the agency.

In an effort to substantiate the booster’s claims, Yahoo! Sports audited approximately 20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos. Nearly 100 interviews were also conducted with individuals living in six different states. In the process, documents, photos and 21 human sources – including nine former Miami players or recruits, and one former coach – corroborated multiple parts of Shapiro’s rule-breaking.

Shapiro’s said that when times got tough none of the players would help him. He couldn’t even get bail money from them.

I can’t really say I understand boosters completely. I kept reading the article trying to figure out what guys like Shapiro get in return for playing sugar daddy to college athletes. ESPN posted an interesting article on boosters back in 2006, and most seem to want influence over the University programs-in particular athletics.  I suppose giving players perks keep them happy and helps the school recruit top players.

But in Shapiro’s case, beyond having some sort of student lounge named after him, he didn’t seem to have a hand in the direction of the school, the bulk of his money came from ponzi schemes. Am I missing something? Let me know.

Also, speaking of Ponzi schemes, my beloved former Eagles Kicker Dave Ackers says he lost 3.7 million dollars in a ponzi scheme.

I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” Akers said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “This is my family’s future. I said that to Kurt a lot of times. I said, ‘Man, I’m trusting in you.’”

According to the American-Statesman, prosecutors contend Barton hired former NFL quarterbacks Koy Detmer and Chris Weinke to pitch real estate and business deals. Detmer has said he lost $2 million in investments with Triton.

Included among the failed investments Akers made with Triton was an insurance company and land for an athletic center, neither of which were purchased.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell clocked Akers lifetime earnings at 5.1 million after taxes. HOW CAN THAT BE! Sometimes I wish athletes would hoard their money and be happy just building interest until they’re old enough and educated enough to manage investments properly. Everyone always wants to pressure people into growing their wealth (usually quickly), in particular via real estate investments. Too many athletes go broke trying to invest their money wisely. Such bitter pill to swallow.

Last note on Robinson’s report: I love a good ol’ fashioned sports investigation. And for your reading pleasure, Yahoo has created separate player pages with detailed information on what Shapiro claims they received.



Should The NFL Shun Guys Like Terrell Pryor Who Leave the NCAA Due to Violations?

Terrell Pryor is anxiously awaiting word on whether he will be eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft

As Terrell Pryor continues to try to make his case for being eligible for Wednesday’s “Supplemental Draft,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter speculates about why the NFL might be putting Pryor through the paces:

But other sources around the league believe that, after all the controversy regarding players who violated the NCAA regulations last year and the pressure Nick Saban and others put on the NFL, the league now is trying to close the door for players who come into the NFL because they violated NCAA regulations. If true, then Pryor would suffer for some of the prior actions of others.

But some believe it is difficult for the NFL to assess the nature of NCAA violations and if it wants to do that, it needs to announce a new policy and apply it prospectively. But then again, it would give NFL commissioner Roger Goodell the type of power he has with the conduct policy, with the final call on his desk, applying his standard of right and wrong.

So the question bears asking…should players who leave NCAA football due to penalties be allowed to enter the NFL?

I say “yes” for a few reasons.

The main reason I say these players should be allowed in is because there’s no way the NFL would apply standards fairly when it comes to NCAA rulings. For example,  players who are penalized by the  NCAA AFTER entering the NFL do not face punishment by the NFL. Unfortunately, the NFL is considering changing that fact. But until they do, punishing only the players who received more “timely” punishment by the NCAA is unfair.

Secondly, the  NCAA isn’t consistent with its own investigations and punishments. By all accounts, NCAA violations, including the ones Pryor was suspended for, are not uncommon. They are, however, spottily investigated. Basing NFL policy on the decisions of an unreliable governing body is heading down the wrong path. It’s not to say that the NCAA should be expected to find every violator, but the instances in which they “discover” violations their record of penalties is inconsistent.

Even more, the  NFL isn’t prone to preventing athletes who have prior arrests-even for violent acts-out of the draft. If the goal is to promote character, this brings us to a debate about who’s character is better? Someone who beat his girlfriend in college or the guy who sold his own jerseys? The NFL shouldn’t head down that road.

Beyond that, there are many cases in which a player would have entered the draft even if not suspended. Not sure if the NFL is more worried about leaving DUE to a suspension or the fact that the player was ever suspended. I can’t imagine the NFL would ever shun a talent like Dez Bryant from entering the draft just because his college career was cut short by suspension regardless of the circumstances.

If Pryor’s eligibility rests upon his NCAA violations, the NFL should not issue a rejection before a policy making all suspended players ineligible is in place. I’ll be interested in the final ruling. The clock is ticking.


NFL’s Carl Johnson Says He Thinks Female Referees Will be Well-Received

I still remember when the NBA hired Violet Palmer. It was a huge deal to me.

The NFL’s VP of officiating was interviewed for an ESPNW article on officiating:

Carl Johnson, the NFL’s head of officials, isn’t interested in publicly evaluating potential referees, but he did say that there are women who are currently under consideration, and that he expects he will be hiring one to officiate in the NFL.

In December, the NFL hosted an officiating clinic for about 40 players from the Pittsburgh Passion women’s football team. And two women were included in a recent officiating clinic in New York City. The point isn’t just to get women, but to get people with a deep knowledge of the game. Drawing from both genders increases the talent pool.

“Our goal is to get the best people working this game,” Johnson said.

Compared with other sports, football doesn’t include a lot of debate between players and officials during a game. The NFL expects officials to be less about personality than about the game, and Johnson doesn’t foresee a problem if a woman were to wear the stripes.

“I think it’s going to be well-received, because we have a huge following among females,” Johnson said. “All the players want is someone who is going to call the game properly.”

That’s definitely the kind of attitude the NFL should have. I’m tired of the argument that women aren’t has heavily involved with football because it’s a sport they don’t play. Lots of NFL officials have ZERO football experience been watching and officiating. And now that we have the Lingerie Football League, which looks like fluff but is actually pretty hardcore, the women-don’t-play argument flies in the face of reality.

Of course, as a woman I dream of an NFL that incorporates more women across the board. From coaching staffs (YEAH I SAID IT) to color analysts. I hate that women are typically relegated to roles in football that don’t require or call for analysis. During broadcasts women are relegated to sideline reporting, and I’ve even heard men complain about that (when they’re not assessing whether or not they’d have sex with her).

And certainly, many of those women are happy to have their jobs cause reporting is their thing, and they’re just pleased to be a part of a big broadcast. But when will women be called on more often to analyze the sport the way the men do? Will a woman ever stand between Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico in the booth on Monday Night Football? I mean Tony Kornheiser admitted he didn’t know football and he still got a crack at it!

Having women officiate is a step toward a more inclusive game. I still remember when Violet Palmer was hired to officiate NBA games. I was so happy for her. And granted there hasn’t been the influx of female NBA officials I’d hoped there’d be (those positions are few and far between regardless of gender) it still remains an important step and one worthy of celebrating.

I agree with Johnson when he says that a woman referee will go over okay in the NFL-but that’s only because most NFL fans don’t understand the game well enough to know who’s a bad official and who isn’t. That’s why not much about officiating is ever discussed in the NFL beyond botched reviews. Hundreds of games later, message boards are still tough on Palmer, but NBA refs are far more visible than NFL refs. I’m sure that the home of sexism (sports message boards) will find plenty wrong with a female referee. I’m already seeing people talking about how the first time a female referee gets hit, she’ll cry (vomit) but from a broader perspective, there shouldn’t be too much whining.

The rest of the ESPNW article is also worth checking out.





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