February 3, 2001
Let me get this straight: Art Modell's loudmouth, taunting, undisciplined, loutish Ravens win the Super Bowl, with Ray Lewis voted MVP. And the NFL is worried that the XFL will be an embarrassment? Give me a break! D.S. ADAM Newhall What has happened to professional sports, and the NFL in particular? I switched the Super Bowl off after the national anthem and before kickoff. I refuse to watch a bunch of ill-mannered, foul-mouthed, overpaid brats slapping each other around and swearing, quite offensively, on national television.
December 21, 2000 |
What: "Football in America: Game of the Century" Author: Bob Oates; Publisher: Quality Sports Publication Price: $19.95 The title might imply this 348-page book is about the 1971 Oklahoma-Nebraska game, or some other matchup that was given the tag of "Game of the Century." But this captivating book is about a lot more than one game. It covers the entire scope of football, the No. 1 sport of the century, from its roots to the present.
December 20, 1999 |
Most end-of-the millennium voters have been making what I think of as a couple of wrong calls. Contemplating the most recent 100 years: Babe Ruth was the athlete of the century, I'd say, not Muhammad Ali. O.J. Simpson was the football player of the century, I'm quite sure, not Jim Brown. The negative--if that's the right word--on front-runners Ali and Brown is that, like Michael Jordan, they were specialists. Great athletes are by definition not specialists.
December 6, 1999 |
To win two of the biggest games of 1999, the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams both played similarly aggressive first-half football Sunday, repeatedly interspersing first-down passes with passing-down runs. Proving that offense-minded teams can win that way that early--in an NFL game's first 30 minutes--Indianapolis got ahead of Miami by 14 points in the second quarter, when St. Louis opened a 21-point lead on Carolina. The Rams needed a big fourth-quarter defensive play--an interception-touchdown--to hang on, 34-21, and win the NFC West title.
November 22, 1999 |
The thing that makes 1999 different in pro football is that it's the year of the young quarterback. And for the NFL's numerous new young leaders, the learning curve has been a league-wide happening. In one conspicuous case Sunday, the new Miami quarterback, Damon Huard, grew up on national television. In the first half against New England, he couldn't make a first down in the first quarter but caught the hang of it in the second quarter and drove the Dolphins into a 10-10 halftime tie. Learning some more in the third quarter, Huard drove the Dolphins in front with two touchdowns that made it 24-10, a lead that stood up through the rest of the NFL's game of the week, though Huard left with a broken nose.
November 1, 1999 |
Occasionally in an NFL game, the team that plays the better football loses. In a strange 24-21 game Sunday, for example, the winners were the 6-1 Tennessee Titans, who led in the first quarter, 21-0, but scored only three additional points. I'd say the losers, the 6-1 St. Louis Rams, were the better team. In the end, after three touchdown passes by quarterback Kurt Warner, the Rams got to within a missed 38-yard field goal of overtime. For Warner, it was all a learning experience.