The NFL Returning To Los Angeles Now Imminent

 

by Vincent Frank

Many football fans east of the Mississippi woke up to some rather big news around the National Football League on Wednesday morning. In a midnight vote, the city council in the Southern California city of Inglewood unanimously approved the construction of a new 80,000-seat NFL stadium.

Construction on the stadium is now slated to start later this year.

There are so many different layers to this story. The stadium proposal that Inglewood approved early Wednesday morning is backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the huge real estate investment management firm Stockbridge Capital Group. Both are major players in this story. Stockbridge owns the 238-acre lot of land at Hollywood Park in Inglewood. Meanwhile, Kroenke, who had previously met with Inglewood Mayor James Butts multiple times, owns his own 60-acre lot of land at Hollywood Park.

Mayor Butts, who has been out in the forefront regarding this stadium plan for a while now, oversaw the city council meeting that ultimately led to the city approving construction of the 80,000 seat venue. Interestingly enough, the vote also enables Inglewood to bypass a city-wide ballot initiative and start construction on the new venue. And while it also eliminates some environmental hurdles, Stockbridge had already done its due diligence on that front.

Now that we have a bit of the back story covered, let’s check in on what this means.

No NFL Team In Los Angeles In 2015

This is important to note. The NFL scrapped any plans of relocating a team to Los Angeles in time for next season. In fact, that’s when the three teams—St Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders— potentially looking to relocate to the nation’s second-largest media market started making strong pushes for 2016.

Even if a team were to move to Los Angeles in 2016, it would have to play at a temporary location for at least one year. Construction on the Hollywood Park location in Inglewood isn’t slated to start until December. That’s where the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium come into play as temporary digs. Though, there is no support from any of those venues or the National Football League for a team to play at those locations for 2015 and 2016. Simply put, it’s not happening.

Raiders Rams Football

Let’s start with the Rams. This is a team that’s most likely to end up in Southern California in time for the 2016 season. The organization is currently on a year-by-year lease with the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis and has indicated multiple times that it would not commit to the city long term without changes on the stadium front.

The issue with St. Louis actually building a new stadium is that it would need public financing to get off the ground. A recent poll conducted by the Missouri Alliance for Freedom suggests that 70 percent of St. Louis’ citizens oppose a public bailout of the stadium issue. Other recent polls also suggest a trend away from public support of a new stadium.

As we mentioned before, Rams owner Stan Kroenke has led the push for a new stadium in Inglewood. In partnership with the aforementioned Stockbridge Capital Group, there doesn’t seem to be a lot standing in the way of a move. This is only magnified by the fact that reports indicate the Rams owner is willing to pay a relocation fee in order to avoid receiving the necessary votes from other league owners to relocate to Southern California. This bit of information would have set into motion a protracted legal battle between the league and the Rams, but it appears that the Inglewood plan may throw that out the window.

Looking to build a new stadium in Oakland for the better part of the past two decades, the Raiders are at their wit’s end. The San Francisco Chronicle reported recently that talks between the two sides will break down within the next month should they fail to make significant progress on a new stadium. The tension between Oakland and the Raiders also took on a new life when the organization announced a joint plan with the San Diego Chargers to build a stadium in Carson, California. Adding even more fuel to the fire, the Raiders are also on a year-to-year lease with Oakland Coliseum—the only two-sport football and baseball stadium remaining in the United States.

Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask sent out an ominous message to Raiders fans in Northern California in a recent appearance on a local radio station by indicating that there was a significant possibility the team would relocate.

All this is with the backdrop of Raiders owner Mark Davis meeting with officials in both Los Angeles and San Antonio regarding relocation over the past several months. It also comes at a time when the San Francisco 49ers, who have cornered the Northern California market, became the first team to build a new stadium in the state since 1967. There is something to be said about reading between the lines here. However, I am not sure that’s even necessary at this point. Barring a dramatic change in the political landscape in Northern California, the Raiders will not be playing in Oakland come 2016.

 

Then you have the San Diego Chargers, who might very well be out of luck as it relates to a potential move north. Much like Mark Davis in Oakland, Chargers owner Dean Spanos has been fighting the good fight with the city of San Diego.

After a week’s worth of public sparring regarding the stadium issue, Spanos and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer took part in a one-on-one meeting this past weekend. The end result was a ratcheting down of the public spin game.

Though, it’s important to note the city won’t use taxpayer money to build a stadium without the initiative going to a public vote some time in 2016. In addition to this, the Chargers don’t have the corporate bankroll to line their pockets in the southernmost California city. Moving into a larger market like L.A. would afford the Chargers the potential of creating the necessary back end cash flow to build a new stadium. Doing so in partnership with the Raiders would create even more support.

As of right now, the situation doesn’t seem to be sustainable in San Diego. A poll released by U-T San Diego shortly after the Chargers announced their joint venture with Oakland suggested that only 39 percent of the local citizenry believes the government should use taxpayer money to build a new stadium. That same poll indicated that public support for the Chargers is eroding in the city. So even if the two sides were to come to an agreement on a new stadium, there’s no public support for it to pass a ballot initiative.

You see it clearly now. The red tape and local politics that come with attempting to build a new stadium in California is one of the reasons why there haven’t been many built over the past half century or so. The good news for those hoping the NFL returns to L.A. in the not-so-distant future is that Inglewood bypassed all this red tape with its vote Wednesday morning.

What This Means For The Carson Location

The plans in Carson and Inglewood are vastly different. One is in the most infant of stages, while the other one is months away from breaking ground on a new stadium. While there is a lot of electricity over the Raiders and Chargers stadium plan in Carson, there’s even more red tape. Both teams have indicated that that they are going to work with their local markets before moving forward on the plan. It’s also a plan that has not been voted on by the city of Carson and hasn’t even reached the point of groundwork being laid out at the potential location.

 

As it relates to Inglewood, everything we have mentioned above indicates that the stadium plan will move forward without a hiccup. It doesn’t need approval from league owners to start construction, the situation has been taken out of the voter’s hands and there’s a whole boat load of cash behind the plan. This doesn’t even take into account the fact the Rams are hellbent on returning to Southern California and have the backing of both the local government and those who own the land the stadium will be built on.

This doesn’t mean that the Carson location is completely off the table. Rather, it’s an indication that the infancy of the project leaves us guessing about the reality of it ever coming to fruition.

And while the city of Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest media market, there’s no real chance that three teams will relocate. More than anything, that puts the city of Oakland in a precarious position and the Raiders in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiations. With two potential Southern California venues and the public backing of a bitter division rival, the Raiders’ threats of leaving Oakland are no longer idle. It also puts the Raiders in a difficult situation. They need to play their cards close to the vest in the coming weeks. Both Carson and Inglewood could be viable locations for the team. It’s important that they don’t show their hand.

What To Expect

The Rams will be playing football somewhere near the L.A. city limits in 2016. We can almost etch this into stone right now. There are too many factors leading to that result for anyone to realistically argue otherwise.

This potentially pits the Raiders and Chargers against one another. Does one scrap the Carson plan and attempt to work with the Rams on a two-team stadium in Inglewood? Does one of them do that without being given some type of ownership over the venue? If that’s not a viable conclusion for either Oakland or San Diego, do the two teams decide to test the limits of the Southern California market and the cash of those involved in the Inglewood plan and continue on their path to Carson?

You see. There’s a lot more questions than answers right now. If the Raiders or Chargers come to some sort of an agreement in their local market, a lot of this changes. Though, it must be noted that Mark Davis and the city of Oakland are likely not at the point where significant progress will be made in the coming weeks. That leaves Dean Spanos to work with an equally untrustworthy local government in San Diego. Should one of the two remain home, the plan becomes rather simple. The other joins forces with the Rams in Inglewood, and the Carson plan is scrapped.

Outside of the Rams moving to Inglewood, a lot of this is going to be conjecture. However, the most common sense end result has to be the Raiders and Rams playing somewhere in Los Angeles during the 2016 season before moving to Inglewood together the following year.

 

 

Kansas City-Shawangunks -New York

Photograph by Henry C. Barber, Mountain Ventures Photo

First free ascent: John Bragg, 1973, rated 5.12b. In New York’s scenic Shawangunk Mountains, an early epicenter of climbing in the United States, the hard free-climbing charge in the 1970s was led by a quintet of climbing supermen known as the “Front Four”: “Hot” Henry Barber, John Bragg, John Stannard, and Steve Wunsch. Among “Gunks” climbers, the rating 5.12 was so difficult, it existed only in their imaginations until Bragg freed the massive, powerful roof of a climb called Kansas City. Bragg was one of the first Americans to climb both rock and ice near the highest levels of the scale, applying his skills on alpine climbs like the first ascent of Torre Egger in Patagonia.

Here Stannard is seen on Kansas City soon after Bragg’s landmark first free ascent in 1973.

Super Bowl 2014: What the Heck Just Happened?

 

 
Seahawks Rout Broncos
By Tim McDonald
NFL Expert

Quarterback Peyton Manning - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII.  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

 

The 2014 Super Bowl was billed, with good reason, as the highest-octane offense in the history of the NFL against one of the best defenses to ever play a Super Bowl.

Everybody expected a close, gripping game. What we got was a stunning blowout. The Seattle Seahawks whipped the Denver Broncos by a humiliating 43-8 and they did it by thoroughly outplaying them in every facet of the game.

They smothered Peyton Manning and his all-world receiving corps. Their offense mauled the Denver defense. Their special teams sped past Denver’s special teams like the Broncos were standing still.

 

Seattle scored pretty much every way you can score on an American football field: On the ground, through the air, safeties, field goals, interception returns, kickoff returns … Am I missing anything? Didn’t one of the Seahawks hit a three-pointer?
Men Against Boys

The Seahawks looked for all the world like men playing a man’s game while the Broncos looked like a high school team overwhelmed in the state playoffs.

The biggest stunner was stopping Denver’s offense, though in retrospect it should not be. Seattle played its normal, high-intensity defense. They pressured and rocked Manning and took him out of his precision passing scheme. They rocked the Broncos’ receivers every time the ball was in the vicinity.

Big offenses get all the glory, but I have to say it is a joy to watch this Seattle defense. These guys just do not miss tackles. They are quick, strong and smart and they hit like howitzers.
Stats, Not Points

They were the team, so young and inexperienced, that was supposed to be starry-eyed over all the Super Bowl craziness. Not the wily, veteran Broncos.

But, it was Denver that seemed to be rattled, right from the start with that crazy snap over Manning’s head that resulted in first blood, the Seattle safety that gave them the unlikely 2-0 lead.

Manning set a Super Bowl record for completing 34 of 49 passes for 280 yards, but unfortunately for Manning and the Broncos, those are just stats, not points.

And once the Broncos fell behind, the game was never truly in doubt. For all his astounding numbers, Manning has never been a quarterback who leads his team back from the brink of disaster. He doesn’t do comebacks.
Wilson’s Night

The truly effective quarterback on this night was Seattle’s Russell Wilson. Wilson had shrunk from the legendary shadow Manning cast in the two weeks leading up to the game. This was supposed to be Manning’s coronation, and Wilson was just an afterthought.

Wilson, at 5-11, was supposed to be too short for a pro quarterback, and he looked like a kid next to the tall, angular Manning.

But, the second-year man – only the sixth quarterback taken in the 2012 draft – was 18 of 25 including 11 completions in a row and two touchdowns for the Seahawks.

He was cool, calm and collected, as he has been through the whole season and playoffs. He directed the Seahawk offense like a maestro. He hit his receivers in stride, scrambled when he had to and spread the wealth amongst his own group of anonymous receivers.
Overlooked But Not Outplayed

Speaking of receivers, ever heard of a couple fellas named Jermaine Kearse or Doug Baldwin? In the hoopla leading up to the game, they were completely overshadowed by Denver receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas. But, it was Kearse and Baldwin who were hauling in the big passes, breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns Sunday.

That was the story overall. The overlooked team from up there in the cold, drizzly Pacific Northwest against the big, shiny stars from Mile-High Denver.

Little did most people know, all week the Seahawks absorbed all this talk about greatness and legacies and Hall of Fame stuff – all aimed at the Broncos. The Seahawks never complained and they always paid Denver due respect. But, they dropped hints. Yes, the Broncos are a great team, but just wait for Sunday. And when Sunday came, they were ready.

Said Denver Coach John Fox: “We ran into a buzz saw.”

Winners and Losers from Week 16

This is indeed a great time for winners and losers in the NFL. Talent is spread fairly evenly around the league, with the exception of most of Florida.

This is the time it takes a little more than talent, when the postseason pot is about to boil over because of the intense pressure.

It’s a dogfight now, and whoever performs best under pressure wins. He who doesn’t loses.

Sometimes this is such a simple game.

Here are my winners and losers from NFL Week 16.

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Tony Romo and Cowboys clinch division. Getty Images

Winners

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is the newest, hottest glamour boy at the NFL glamour spot. At various times this year, it’s been Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, among others.

Romo, whose critics say he never delivers in the clutch, is delivering in the clutch.

He threw four touchdown passes in Dallas’ 42-7 romp over Indianapolis and the Cowboys clinched the NFC West.

Love them or hate them, you have to admit the Cowboys are definitely for real this year. The Colts are one of the better teams in the league.

Detroit Lions: How come nobody’s talking up the Lions? They’ve got the same 11-4 record as Aaron Rodgers and the almighty Packers. Is it because the Lions have been losers for so long?

They beat the Bears 20-14 Sunday and now face those high and mighty Packers Sunday for the NFC North title.

– The Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFL right now, as we speak. They hammered the drooping Cardinals, 35-6, and racked up an impressive 596 yards of offense doing it. This came against a defense that is supposed to be one of the best in the league.

Pittsburgh Steelers clinch. The Steelers clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Chiefs. It’s always good to have the Steelers in the playoffs, where they belong. They’ve missed the party the last three years.

– The Houston Texans lost three quarterbacks and had to chase down Case Keenum out of the woods where he was hunting with a bow and arrows. Somehow, they still managed to beat Baltimore 25-13.

The Texans were 2-14 last year. They can make it into the playoffs with some help this weekend. That is one heck of a turnaround.

I guess they were smart in getting rid of head coach Gary Kubiak. Bill O’Brien for coach of the year?

– Ryan Tannehill completed 35 of 47 passes for almost 400 yards – 396 to be exact – and four touchdown passes in Miami’s win over Minnesota.

Still, the Dolphins will miss the playoffs for the sixth straight year. Despite that, Miami owner Stephen Ross says Joe Philbin will be back as head coach.

That shows how complacent the Dolphins have become about accepting mediocrity. Philbin is a bum and should be fired. Miami needs fresh blood.

– The Atlanta Falcons knocked the New Orleans Saints out of contention by beating them at home 30-14 after Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis said the Saints would send them to their funeral.

I’m going to pause while you Falcons fans revel. Go ahead, it’s good to revel. There’s so much trash-talking these days, it’s always healthy to bask in the glow of someone eating his words.

– The San Diego Chargers’ rousing, 38-35 rally over the 49ers keeps them in playoff contention. Philip Rivers, while we’re on this funeral kick, came back from the dead in the second half to throw three touchdown passes.

riley-cooper.jpg - Getty Images

Riley Cooper’s TD catch one of few bright spots in Eagles’ loss. Getty Images

Losers

– The Buffalo Bills beat Green Bay last week. This week they lost to the Raiders.

How is that even possible?

– A month ago, people were talking about the Philadelphia Eagles and the Super Bowl in the same breath.

Then they lost four straight, the last one at the hands of sinking Washington, who had lost six straight.

This is a collapse of black hole dimensions. Eagles fans are alternately outrageously angry and ridiculously grief-stricken.

– Mark Sanchez, Eagles quarterback. Poor guy, he sets an Eagles record with 37 completions in 50 attempts for 374 yards and two touchdowns, and all anyone cares to talk about is the one interception he throws.

Of course, that interception toward the end of the game led to the winning field goal by the Redskins.

The Eagles lead the league in turnovers with 37. They used to get away with that kind of sloppiness. Not any more.

“We were on borrowed time playing that kind of football,” safety Malcolm Jenkins told the media after the loss.

– Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher. He was burned again, this time by former teammate DeSean Jackson.

Jackson, gracious in victory, flopped his arms after the game, mocking his old teammates. He also called their defensive scheme “naïve,” which is true.

– The Kansas City Chiefs lost for the fourth time in the last five games and they can still make the playoffs.

– Peyton Manning threw four interceptions Monday night, allowing the Bengals to secure a playoff spot. Manning is heading south at a very bad time for Denver.

NFL List of Must Watch Games Dec 2014

Here is my list of the must-watch games this weekend as we hit the nerve-bending, tumultuous stretch run of the 2014 season. Good thing the Redskins are out of it.

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Ben Roethlisberger hottest quarterback in NFL. Getty Images

Chiefs (8-6) at Steelers (9-5) Sunday 1 p.m.

The Steelers can clinch a playoff spot if they win.

On the other hand, the Chiefs have to win both their remaining games to assure themselves of a playoff spot.

The Chiefs still don’t have a touchdown pass to a receiver this year. They haven’t had a quarterback pass for 300 yards in two years.

On the other hand, the Chiefs defense has not allowed a 300-yard passer this season.

On the other hand, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 300 yards in six of his last seven games.

Prediction: Steelers by five.

Cowboys-and-dez.jpg - Getty Images

Dez Bryant scores for Cowboys. Getty Images

Colts (10-4) at Cowboys (10-4) Sunday 4:25 p.m.

The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss or tie.

The Colts have already clinched their division, the AFC South, and there’s really no chance for a first-round bye.

The Colts are saying all the right things – you know, about not quitting – but it’s human nature not to have the same motivation as Dallas.

On the other hand, will they be looser than Dallas without the added pressure of scrambling for a playoff spot?

In any case, this should be a very entertaining game with two of the league’s top passing offenses.

Prediction: Cowboys by three.

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Saints beat Bears Monday night. Getty Images

Falcons (5-9) at Saints (6-8) Sunday 1 p.m.

Why watch these losers from the dreadful NFC South?

Hey, at least they don’t give up.

This game also has two pass-happy quarterbacks, too, in Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.

Prediction: Saints by 10.

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Seahawks contain 49ers. Getty Images

Seahawks (10-4) at Cardinals (11-3) Sunday 8:30 p.m.

What we have here sports fans is the two best teams in the NFC fighting man-to-man for the title of the best conference in the NFL, the NFC West.

Seattle has the obvious advantage because the Cardinals are down to the very end of the bench in quarterbacks.

They’re starting Ryan Lindley Sunday. Imagine this: A practice team guy against the dreaded Legion of Boom.

The Seahawks have won four in a row and show no signs of slowing down.

Prediction: Seahawks by 10.

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Broncos headed to another Super Bowl?. Getty Images

Broncos (11-3) at Bengals (9-4) Monday 8:30 p.m.

The Broncos are playing for the Super Bowl. They can clinch a first-round bye with a win, which is vital if they expect to get there,

The Bengals would be happy to go fairly deep in the playoffs. They can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Denver.

Denver has a more balanced offense and a better defense than last year when it ran all the way to the Super Bowl.

Like Denver, the Bengals have been putting more emphasis on the ground game. That’s because they have Andy Dalton at quarterback instead of Peyton Manning.

Prediction: Bengals by one.

NFL Stretch Run Playoff Melodrama

NFL 2014 is entering the stretch run here in Week 14 and most of the games are fraught with intrigue, high tension and melodramatic playoff implications.

Only the real losers are playing for nothing now.

There are a lot of important games this weekend, and I am here to point you to those that promise to be the best, the most relevant and the most entertaining.

Here they are, along with my no-nonsense analysis and provocative predictions.

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Johnny Manziel scores against Buffalo. Getty Images

• 1 . Colts (8-4) at Browns (7-5) Sunday 1 p.m.

The big story here is whether first-round draft pick and would-be franchise savior Johnny Manziel will start for Cleveland. There are strong indications he will, after Brian Hoyer strung together three putrid performances.

You have to admit, Manziel’s got charisma. The guy completes a couple of passes, Cleveland declares a new era. Then again, we’re talking Cleveland in December. Any distraction helps.

The Colts are fresh off a 49-27 thumping of the Redskins. Indianapolis is going to the playoffs, the questions is just how deep can they go?

Prediction: Colts by six.

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Cardinals were manhandled by the Falcons. Getty Images

• 0 . Chiefs (7-5) at Cardinals (9-3) Sunday 4:05 p.m.

The big story here is whether or not the Cardinals can stop the bleeding.

After dominating the league in the first half of the season and putting together a league-best 9-1 record, Arizona has dropped two straight, after losing quarterback Carson Palmer. His replacement, Drew Stanton, has not filled in admirably.

If the Cardinals’ offense can be stymied by Atlanta, what hope do they have against Kansas City?

Then again, Kansas City has also lost two in a row, one of them to the inexcusably bad Raiders.

Prediction: Cardinals by three.

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Can Riley Cooper and the Eagles offense score big against Seattle?. Getty Images

• -1 . Seahawks (8-4) at Eagles (9-3) Sunday 4:35 p.m.

Two of the best teams in the league right now, at this moment, will go at it in a very interesting matchup.

You’ve got the high-falutin,’ vastly entertaining Eagles offense against Seattle’s Legion of Boom, the most famous secondary in the league.

I’m not sure Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez has the cojones to stand up against that Seattle defense.

Prediction: Seahawks by three.

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Bengals barely beat Jaguars Sunday. Getty Images

• -2 . Steelers (7-5) at Bengals (8-3) Sunday 1 p.m

The AFC North is the reverse image of the NFC South, a division of losers.

Every team in the NFC North has a winning record. In fact, everybody seems to be 7-5 except for Cincinnati.

The Steelers are an enigma. At one time, Ben Roethlisberger was very close to being the best quarterback in the league.

But, the Steelers are just so inconsistent. Sometimes it seems they just don’t care. Pittsburgh got beat by New Orleans Sunday; losing to the NFC South team in an unpardonable sin.

The Bengals have won three in a row and have an open road to home field advantage in the playoffs.

Prediction: Bengals by seven.

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Patriots couldn’t handle Packers. Getty Images

• -3 . Patriots (9-3) at Chargers (8-4) Sunday 8:30 p.m.

The Patriots lost to the Packers in Green Bay Sunday, which is no big sin. The Chargers won a squeaker over the Ravens.

San Diego is a team with a tough, talented and seasoned quarterback in Philip Rivers who knows how to win in the clutch. The Patriots have Tom Brady, of whom the same can be said, with cherries on top.

The Patriots are taking this game so seriously that they’re practicing the whole week in San Diego. Nobody’s complaining too much.

Prediction: Patriots by seven.

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Falcons steamrolled the Cardinals. Getty Images

• -4 . Falcons (5-7) at Packers (9-3) Monday 8:30 p.m.

What?! How can you include a 5-7 team in a must-watch list?

For starters, the Falcons lead the NFC South, which isn’t much of an argument, I agree.

But, they beat the league-leading Cardinals this past week and besides, you will get a chance to see Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the hottest quarterback in the league, go up against a pretty lame Atlanta secondary.

It could get ugly if you’re a Falcon fan, beautiful if you’re a Packer lover.

Prediction: Packers by 11.

Who invented football?

by History.com

football

The sport we in the United States know as football is more properly called gridiron football, for the vertical yard lines that mark the field. Closely related to two English sports—rugby and soccer (or association football)—gridiron football originated at universities in North America, primarily the United States, in the late 19th century. On November 6, 1869, players from Princeton and Rutgers held the first intercollegiate football contest in New Brunswick, New Jersey, playing a soccer-style game with rules adapted from the London Football Association. While a number of other elite Northeastern colleges took up the sport in the 1870s, Harvard University maintained its distance by sticking to a rugby-soccer hybrid called the “Boston Game.” In May 1874, after a match against McGill University of Montreal, the Harvard players decided they preferred McGill’s rugby-style rules to their own. In 1875, Harvard and Yale played their first intercollegiate match, and Yale players and spectators (including Princeton students) embraced the rugby style as well.

The man most responsible for the transition from this rugby-like game to the sport of football we know today was Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football.” As a Yale undergraduate and medical student from 1876 to 1881, he played halfback and served as team captain, equivalent to head coach at the time. Even more importantly, he was the guiding force on the rules board of the newly formed Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA). Thanks to Camp, the IFA made two key innovations to the fledgling game: It did away with the opening “scrummage” or “scrum” and introduced the requirement that a team give up the ball after failing to move down the field a specified yardage in a certain number of “downs.” Among the other innovations Camp introduced were the 11-man team, the quarterback position, the line of scrimmage, offensive signal-calling and the scoring scale used in football today. In addition to his work with the rules board, Camp coached the Yale team to a 67-2 record from 1888 to 1892—all while working as an executive at a watch-manufacturing firm.