Sports Arena

Sports Arena

David vs. Goliath at the Super Bowl

By 1.31.14

Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has exceptional arm strength and passing accuracy, is one of the league’s most dynamic running quarterbacks and has the leadership skills and football IQ of a ten-year NFL veteran.

But the second-year starter, who will lead the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s Super Bowl, has been down-graded his entire quarterbacking life because of a single physical characteristic: his height.

Generously listed at 5'11", Wilson is the shortest starting quarterback in the National Football League. Wilson’s height was the primary reason he dropped to the third round before being selected with the 75th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. But it also may be part of the reason he is flourishing now.

Wilson put together an impressive college career. He starred at both North Carolina State and the University of Wisconsin, where, as a senior, he led the Badgers to the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl just six months after arriving on campus.

Sports Arena

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

By 1.23.14

The news from Sunday’s NFC title game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francesco 49ers was not so much about the action on the field, but what transpired in a post-game interview between Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman, who saved the game by deflecting a pass meant for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree into the hands of a Seahawk teammate, felt compelled to give his opinion on the relative talents of himself and his opponent; essentially launching into a wild-eyed rant that caught both Andrews and most of the country by surprise.

Sports Arena

Build, Renovate, Destroy

By 12.6.13

There have long been two absolutes about sports stadiums, at least when built in America’s big cities. The first is the willingness of public officials to subsidize them, using hundreds of millions in taxpayer money to build monoliths that will supposedly spur jobs and redevelopment. The other is the substantial economic literature claiming that such benefits never materialize enough to justify the handout. In the last dozen years these notions have collided, as cities like Cincinnati, Detroit, and Miami have continued with the status quo, and funded new stadiums, while others, rather than bowing to billionaire owners, have watched their sports teams flee. The way Atlanta addressed its own stadium issues this year strengthened the dichotomy.

Sports Arena

Canadian Football is Better

By 11.26.13

Like most residents of New England, I spent Sunday night watching football. However, unlike most residents of New England, most of my attention was not focused on the Patriots and the Broncos. Given how badly the Pats played in the first half, it was probably just as well that I missed that portion of the proceedings, as they were losing 24-0 at the half. (I did finally tune in early in the fourth quarter right before the Pats took the lead before winning 34-31 in OT on a field goal by Steve Gostkowski.)