August 11 to August 11…


I haven’t had a great amount of time to sit down and think over everything other than some stray thoughts in passing this past week.

August 11 in 2014: the day I was put in the hospital, learning that night I was suffering from heart failure

August 11 in 2015: moving day to a new apartment

I have spent the last few days having to remind myself that, yes, while I’m getting winded carrying a box or two up stairs, it’s nothing like August 10th of 2014. Then it would take me five minutes just to recover from carrying something upstairs, spooking both of us.

In other words, the alternative is worse.

It’s amazing what this year has brought, even though I’m not all the way back yet. The fact that I’m close is a tribute to great doctors, tremendous support and a spectacular wife and family.


With Sunday’s CSU Game in mind…


From the D1 Ticker email this morning, this offers a great perspective on scheduling to get a bigger name into your building, even if it means a two-for-one or three-for-one:

Indiana MBB will host IPFW tonight in Bloomington, but next year the Hoosiers will play a road game in Fort Wayne at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum & Mastadons AD Hartley Hutton says the question of how to get tix to the latter match-up is a question she hears on repeat, “Opportunities like this don’t grow on trees.” Part of an overall four-game deal & she expects to see a lot of red in the stands, IU scheduled similarly back in 2011 at Evansville & Purple Aces AD Spencer notes how single game ticket sales for the one tip can match those for the rest of the season – link

And never shall the twain meet…


Watching “CBS Sunday Morning” as they roll through the latest reaction piece on guns, and a thought that has become more and more solid in my mind is again at the forefront.

There are two things where the arguments are based completely on interpretations of the constitution and I don’t believe we’ll ever be able to discuss them rationally ever again. The rhetoric on these two issues is so corrosive that it’s a daily cesspool that nothing resembling debate comes from.

Guns and abortion.

The moment someone recommends limits on either, poisonous invective immediately greets the recommendation. And, yet, in both cases, the rights that defenders believe have been given are based on “spin” and how the specific person wants to see the interpretation.

Immediately, I know those who want there to be no limits on gun ownership agree going to take issue with my comments that their rights are based on “spin”. I’m not saying they may not be accurate. I’m saying that we can’t be sure, because of how it was worded by people who didn’t clarify further.

However, it’s interesting to note that one organization for years read those rights as being much more limited than suggested today.

The NRA.

As for abortion, while the most supportive organization for it has been a staunch fighter for that longer than the NRA has fought for no gun limits, that topic will continue to divide the same way the gun argument does.

Leaving us worse for the fights.

I’m sitting here watching “news porn”


The ongoing operations related to the shootings in San Bernardino, CA, are continuing and I’m sucked in.

It’s one of the things about my personality I’ve known for years, dating back to hearing news reports about the assassination attempt on Reagan & Belushi’s overdose.

I could watch/listen to coverage for hours.

What I could do without is the blame. The speculation. The comparisons. Each are irresponsible in their own right. I just watched a national talking head try to connect every incident since June to today’s, overlooking that each of the others involved individuals, not multiple shooters (which occurred today).

Hearing the name of one reportedly involved just adds to the speculation…and the likely further ramp up of “phobia” against a certain segment of the population.

Hearing the gun models used means we’re again facing additional arguments over gun control. The president couldn’t even wait to understand what was developing before making comments in that vein.

I know I’m rambling, but these are the things going through my mind as I watch the ongoing coverage tonight.

That and prayers.

Tuesday Links


Some of the items that have gotten my attention today:

Monday Links


ESPN’s highest web traffic comes almost exclusively from fantasy football


ESPN September visits

We knew fantasy football was big, but we didn’t know that it could dominate a website’s pageviews. ESPN put out its monthly press release on the unique visitors to, a record 94.4 million for September beating the previous record set in January. While the press release is nothing to write home about, one piece […]

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NFL Europe is perhaps easily forgotten now, but it had an impact


NFL Europe is one of those “Oh, right!” things in sports history. Without prompting, you probably wouldn’t easily remember it existed.

The league lasted a surprisingly long time for something that never really caught on outside of a relatively small pocket of fans. It went from 1991-2007, with no football played two of those years. Did you remember it lasted that long? There is no real reason to remember it, outside of “Kurt Warner played for the Amsterdam Admirals!” mentions or if you owned some of those snazzy Pro Set cards from the early 1990s.

Maybe you remember the league better from its first name, the World League of American Football (and the unfortunate WLAF acronym). Then it became the World League, which later became NFL Europe, which then became NFL Europa.

The league was successful in some ways, and not so much in others.

NFL Europe reportedly lost about $30 million a season, according to the New York Times. With the insatiable appetite for the NFL, it seems odd there has never been a successful spring league or a viable minor league (major college football of course is the real minor league, which the NFL make sure stays strong through the unfair rule that a player needs to be three years removed from high school to get drafted). The USFL failed. The XFL didn’t work. When the World League started it included American teams, but after a couple seasons of that, it was clear that the WLAF wasn’t catching on in the United States. After a two-year hiatus, the league re-emerged in 1995 with only European teams.

Scottish Claymores' Kerry Hicks attempts to tackle Amsterdam Admirals quarterback Kurt Warner during a NFL Europe football game in Amsterdam. (AP)And the league did help develop some players who went on to have fine NFL careers. Warner is probably the best example, though Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri also established himself in Europe. Jake Delhomme, Jon Kitna, Brad Johnson, James Harrison, La’Roi Glover and Brian Waters are a few of the other players who graduated from NFL Europe and had nice NFL careers. Imagine NFL history without some of those guys.

Maybe the most important legacy of NFL Europe is as a stepping stone to the NFL International Series. Some NFL Europe teams did fairly well in attendance, showing that American football could work there. When the NFL announced it was shuttering the league, the main reason given was that the NFL wanted to shift the focus to its own regular-season games being held overseas. The NFL has held at least one regular-season game at London’s Wembley Stadium in each season since 2007. The Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Sunday will be the 13th game as part of the NFL International Series. The NFL announced earlier this year that it has extended the ability to play regular-season games outside the United States through 2025, and some of those games could go to countries other than England. The Jaguars agreed on Thursday to play at least one game at London’s Wembley Stadium through at least 2020. The 15 seasons of NFL Europe certainly played some role in how the International Series has grown. The NFL saw that there were fans in Europe who enjoyed its league, and the fans there got a taste for the sport.

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While NFL Europe never blew up, it had its moments for those who participated or watched. The Frankfurt Galaxy became the most successful franchise, winning four World Bowls and appearing in four others before the league was ended. The Berlin Thunder won three titles, and the Rhein Fire won a couple. Stan Gelbaugh was the league’s all-time leading passer, Siran Stacy was the all-time leading rusher and Mario Bailey was the all-time leader in receiving yards (h/t to Total Football Stats). Hamburg Sea Devils quarterback Casey Bramlet was the final World Bowl MVP.

NFL Europe/WLAF/World League/NFL Europa hung around the fringes of the American sporting world, never getting much attention here. But it definitely has a legacy. Who knows, without it, there might not be a game in London on Sunday.

More on the Bills-Jaguars game in London this Sunday:

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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Ray Lewis’ new book addresses 2000 Atlanta stabbings


NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 24:  ESPN analyst Ray Lewis appears on set prior to a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 24, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

ESPN’s Ray Lewis remains controversial 15 years after the deaths of two men outside an Atlanta nightclub. He was convicted of obstruction of justice in regards to the stabbing of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker in 2000 and to this day, their murders are unsolved. In his new book, “I Feel Like Going On: Life, […]

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