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via Slate.com

Just before last year’s Super Bowl, Bill Maher devoted one of his “New Rules” to the NFL. Labeling the bit “Irritable Bowl Syndrome,” he began by saying that “Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism.” He is referring, of course, to the league’s rigorous revenue sharing, which he contrasts with the less fair system employed by Major League Baseball. The NFL, he says, “literally shares the wealth. TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways.”

The NFL is thus, Maher argues, more like the Democratic Party, and MLB more in line with the GOP. A writer over at the Atlantic website contrasts this argument with one from Allen Barra, who says that the MLB is actually the more fair of the two. It reminded me of George Carlin’s classic baseball vs. football riff, which I point to nearly every time I’m explaining to someone why I prefer the former to the latter.

The Atlantic writer also shares a terrific animation of the Maher segment by London-based artist Fraser Davidson. Davidson, working indepedently, used the audio version of Maher’s book The New Rules for his soundtrack. His art makes Maher’s argument much more dazzling, and almost prompts me to reconsider. Almost, but not quite. Still, it’s wonderfully done. Enjoy.

via Good.is

Nigerian NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo is currently a star linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. He’s also rabidly dedicated to equality for all. As Maryland legislators prepare to debate the adoption of same-sex marriage in their state, Ayanbadejo has partnered with Equality Maryland to release a statement in support of gay marriage rights.

“[A]n important issue in our state is whether or not to allow gay and lesbian couples who love each other to marry,” Ayanbadejo says in the video below. “Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as we all do: love and commitment. It’s time to allow them the opportunity to build a family through marriage. It’s a matter of fairness.”

Ayanbadejo’s willingness to stand up for what he believes in is commendable any way you look at it. But it’s especially remarkable considering how homophobic the NFL can be.

According to Mike Freeman, a sports columnist for CBS, one gay NFL athlete with whom he spoke for a book he was writing told Freeman he was “dead” if his teammates found out he was a homosexual. The player, who went by the pseudonym Steven Thompson, told Freeman that “gay men were routinely viewed as animals and people to be feared, if not outright eliminated.”

In other words, good for Ayanbadejo, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

Al Davis must love amusement parks because he is taking “Raider Nation” for a ride on the “Coaching Carousel” once again.

After finishing the the season with an 8-8 record, the team’s best since 2002, Al Davis notified Tom Cable, he would not be returning next season as the coach of the Oakland Raiders.  Not only did Cable turn things around from a very dramatic offseason, which involved abuse allegations and the whole JaMarcus Russel episode, but he managed to post a 6-0 record within his own division.  Many Raider players publicly voiced their opposition to this decision, which proves Cable had the player support to make even larger strides next season.

This is clearly going to be a hindering decision if the organization does not hire from within the current coaching staff, more specifically Offensive Coodinator, Hue Jackson.  Jackson has been credited for this years offensive explosion and seems to be an up and coming head coaching candidate throughout the league.  The San Francisco 49′ers have tabbed Jackson as a possible head coaching candidate if Jim Harbaugh decides to stay in college football as the coach of the Stanford football team.  If that scenario occurs, and Jackson is named the new Niners head coach, the Raiders will be in a very bad situation.

But then again, since when did Al Davis actually care about the Raiders.

 

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