Fan Fighting League! Raiders vs 49ers, Super Bowl of Thuggery

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This week's dust-up between jersey-clad troglodytes
I've been to a San Francisco 49ers home game. I've also been to an Oakland Raiders home game. In fact, I am the rare individual who has been to see both in the same night.

Last season, the Texans played the 49ers in San Francisco in a Sunday night game that was best known for being the final leg of the Matt Schaub Pick Six World Tour, a 34-3 drubbing of the Texans. That same night, three hours later, the Raiders were playing San Diego in Oakland.

My girlfriend, Amy, and I left the Texans-49ers game in the third quarter (the score was 27-3 at the time), took the BART train over to Oakland and managed to buy tickets outside the stadium just as the game was starting.

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J.J. Watt To Appear On South Park (w/ VIDEO Trailer)

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In our age of trending topics, social media, Klout scores, and Twitter followers, relevance has never been more quantifiable. Or better put, relevance has never had so many methods of quantification.

And while it's not a numeric score or a quantity of followers, appearance in animated form on the show South Park is absolutely some measure of significance. Said significance can either be positive or decidedly negative, kind of like Time magazine's Person of the Year award.

Just ask Daniel Snyder...

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Five Things We Learned From the First College Football Playoff Selections

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In the season long beauty contest that is College Football 2014, the first season being played to impress an audience of what amounts to twelve judges, Saturday night was the finale. It was the swimsuit competition, if you will.

And make no mistake, the six teams vying for the four spots in the inaugural College Football Playoff didn't just bring out the sultry swimsuits. They brought out the string thong bikinis.

According to R.J. Bell of pregame.com, the top six college football teams were projected to win by a net 70 points this past weekend week (based on Vegas spreads). They won by 191 points.

In college football, they call that style points. To translate that into beauty contest parlance, this was no swimsuit competition. Saturday was a striptease.

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Texans 27, Jaguars 13: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

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Two weeks ago, the Bengals game was the latest "Texans must win this game or the season is over and the world ends" game, and we all know what happened. The Texans lost, the season (felt like it) was over and the world (temporarily) ended.

Of course, the NFL season is long and while it isn't all-forgiving, it does allow for second chances. The fact was if the Texans went out and took care of business in the next two games (to this point, the two most lopsided games on paper -- Tennessee at home, Jacksonville on the road), they'd be right back in the mix at 7-6, in need of help but alive.

So the Texans completed the double dip this weekend. After waxing the Titans last week by 24, they finished off a spunky Jacksonville squad by outscoring them 17-0 in the second half on Sunday, cruising to a formulaic 27-13 win in which the Texans kept alive their trend of thumping teams with poor or young (or in the case of Buffalo, both) quarterbacks.

As always, there were winners and losers. Let's take a look...

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College and Pro Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

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Joe Kramer via Flickr

Before we get to the Best Bets, a couple of quick comments on the college football coaching carousel...

Florida found their guy in Colorado State's Jim McElwain, and by doing so kept alive the streak of 1,143 straight schools who have fired their head coach and then gone and found a new head coach with the complete opposite profile of the ousted coach. Fired Will Muschamp, a former defensive coordinator with no experience? Well, let's get McElwain, a former offensive coordinator with head coaching experience!

The amazing bit of fallout from these firings (and really just a general trend) is the big money being offered to coordinators. Will Muschamp is fired and immediately (reportedly) offered seven figures to coordinate defenses for Texas A&M and Auburn. A steady gig, big salary and a small fraction of the pressure as a head coach? Yeah, coordinator is where it's at.

Also...Nebraska...what the hell was that? Mike Riley? Really?

Okay, onto the bets....


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Jadeveon Clowney Done for the Year, Texans Fans Deserve Answers

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Photo by Groovehouse
"We met as an organization this morning with all of our medical personnel, doctors, trainers. We came to the decision that in the best interest of JD is that we will place him on injured reserve and he will have surgery on his right knee. I will not get into the details of what type of surgery it is or when it is. I just respectfully ask you not to ask those questions." -- Bill O'Brien, Thursday afternoon

Ok, Bill. But honestly, there really aren't any other questions whose answers matter at this point.

The jagged rookie season of Jadeveon Clowney ended with a thud on Thursday afternoon, as the first overall pick's trip to Pensacola to see Dr. James Andrews led to the collective decision from Texans brass and the player himself to go back under the knife, "clean up" his right knee (O'Brien's words), and begin rehabbing for 2015.

Control, alt, delete. And hope for the best.

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Fan Fighting League! Bengals Fans Gang Up on Bucs Fan

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Generally speaking, I have very few complaints about this football season.

The NFL season has been highly compelling, with a record 16 teams (half the league!) at seven wins or more through 12 weeks, and seemingly different team being touted as the "odds-on favorite" every couple of weeks. (Right now, it's Green Bay's turn.)

The college season has been quite noteworthy, considering this is the first season of the new four-team playoff and the committee selecting the four teams is about five days away from requiring a restraining order on the entire city of Waco. That's pretty cool.

The one area this season has been really lacking in so far is fan fights. For some reason, people seem to be getting along much better, or (more likely) they're fighting just as much, but there just aren't any cameras rolling.

Thankfully, the Bengals fans and the Bucs fans ended the drought this weekend. Or more accurately, multiple Bengals fans (on the road, no less!) rained fists and feet down upon one poor Buccaneers soul, a metaphor for the past ten years of Tampa Bay football.

Let's go to the footage:

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College Football Playoff Rankings v 6.0: Baylor's Day of Reckoning Is Nigh

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Well, it was bound to happen at some point. The new College Football Playoff committee was bound to make themselves the topic as opposed to the teams they're picking.

Tuesday night, in the sixth unveiling of the College Football Playoff rankings, the final edition before the rankings are used to select a four-team playoff and slot a handful of teams into New Year's bowls, we got our first big curveball from the committee, and that sound you heard was thousands of voices in Waco crying out in terror as their playoff dreams were put on life support.

With a lot of jostling going on in the back end of the top ten but very little near the top, the only high-end brewing controversy that the committee has been dealing with is the TCU-Baylor issue, in which the committee sees TCU's resume as better than Baylor's despite identical records and a Baylor win over the Horned Frogs.

Heading into this week, the Bears were ranked 7th and the Frogs 5th. So after wins by both this past weekend -- TCU impressively over Texas, Baylor not so much over Texas Tech -- the committee did what any good WWE promoter would do -- they threw more gas onto a budding feud.

Let's examine the landscape, but first let's look at the latest rankings. Here they are:

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Baylor Hires Public Relations Firm To Lobby For CFB Playoff Spot

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Tonight, the latest rankings from the College Football Playoff committee will be released. With this being the first season under this format, we are still learning what's important and what's not important to the committee when it comes to evaluating the potential participants.

Even with just a week left in the regular season (which, for CFP purposes, includes conference title games), there are still a ton of moving parts. How will the committee evaluate strength of schedule? How important will conference titles be? Are head to head results going to matter at some point?

These are all legitimate questions, and none of us knows the answer yet. Hell, the committee themselves may not know the answer yet! However, when it comes to making sure the committee properly evaluates their resume, there is one school that is taking no chances.

Baylor, we salute your moxie!

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When it Comes to Punishment, the NFL and Roger Goodell are Making it Up as They Go

Categories: Game Time

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AP Photo/ The Courier, Michael Minasi
Rusty Hardin says the NFL's handling of Adrian Peterson shows, when it comes to discipline, the NFL is making it up as it goes.
The surveillance video is chilling. It's late February, and we see then-Ravens running back Ray Rice drag the limp carcass of his then--fiancée (now wife), Janay Palmer, from an Atlantic City casino elevator and plop her down on the floor like luggage. She's unconscious, and her feet are actually blocking the elevator door from closing. Rice holds her purse in his hand and appears to casually explain some version of the situation to a hotel security guard.

In the film, we are seeing the aftermath of assault. Rice's eventual arrest shortly after that fateful February evening essentially confirmed that. Our mind's eye fills in the rest of the blanks.

Acting under the autonomous control granted him via the NFL's player conduct policy, commissioner Roger Goodell eventually handed Rice a suspension of two games for assaulting Palmer, a paltry slap on the wrist considering that the league routinely suspends first-time weed smokers for four games. Sadly, two-game suspensions were at that time the norm for first-time domestic assault offenders like Rice.

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