Eric Adelson

  • How replay is hurting the NFL

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Yet every season brings more controversy and confusion. This year has featured a bevy of botched calls, both reviewable and non-reviewable. Then there is the debate about "what is a catch?" that grows by the week.

    In some cases, like on scoring plays and out-of-bounds decisions, replay has made football better. But perhaps in other instances, replay is making things worse. Jim Daopoulos, who was an NFL official from 1989-2000 and then a supervisor of officials until 2011, says, "I think we're trying to use replay too much."

    [Related: Top 5 worst calls by NFL officials this season]

    Daopoulos likes instant replay overall, but he sees issues, especially on questions of possession. Replay has turned the fluid motion of catching or fumbling, or even throwing a football, into a slice-and-dice freeze-frame-fest.

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  • Burden of proof: Missouri protests drives wedge between activists and skeptics

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    COLUMBIA, Missouri — Allison Hughes is an 18-year-old freshman here at the University of Missouri. She is from St. Louis and she is of mixed race. Like almost every other student, she is getting questions from home about what's been going on here, in the wake of days of protests that ultimately led to the ousting of the school's president and its chancellor.

    "Even my mom has been asking, 'What do you think of this?' " Hughes said. "I don't feel affected … but maybe I should."

    Hughes' dad, who is black, always told his daughter she would face racism. She says she hasn't endured much of it, except for maybe the occasional joke: "You like watermelon because you're black." She shrugged it off, thinking nothing hateful was meant.

    Now, though, she's beginning to wonder about her own reaction. You can sense her mind changing even as she speaks of the jokes.

    "They've never bothered me," she said. "I can see how they would bother other people. It does get annoying. I think those little things need to stop. The little jabs are hurting me."

    Heard, but also doubted.

  • Missouri's Gary Pinkel: Players' coach or simply pragmatic?

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    COLUMBIA, Missouri – Michael Sam saw his old coach on Tuesday and couldn't help but give him a hug.

    "Coach," Sam told Gary Pinkel, "you are an amazing person."

    The head football coach at the University of Missouri made a historic decision over the weekend when he supported his players in their protest of racial inequality at their school. The team vowed not to practice or play until graduate student Jonathan Butler ended his hunger strike, and Pinkel chose to back them. In that instant, the student movement went from curious to serious in the national zeitgeist.

    And Pinkel's reputation among players and onlookers rose to unprecedented levels.

    All that notwithstanding, Pinkel's most impressive (and useful) trait over the last several days has been in the way he says a lot without saying much.

    "He had my back since Day 1," Sam said. "He made me feel so comfortable."

    During a week of fear and distrust, Pinkel has provided what his players wanted most: reassurance and belief.


  • Missouri campus police investigating threat calling for black students to 'stop protesting and start killing'

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    COLUMBIA, Missouri — University of Missouri campus police are investigating a tweet encouraging violence, Yahoo Sports has learned.

    "#Mizzou black students need to stop protesting and start killing," the tweet reads. "The white supremacy made it clear they aint hearing it."

    Yahoo Sports received a screenshot of the tweet, which is from a protected account, meaning only confirmed followers can access the person's complete profile. The person joined Twitter in 2009, indicating that it is not a new account.

    That was one in a series of tweets from Charlea F.:

    A police officer on campus confirmed that the tweet will be reviewed, and another officer said the department is "looking into most of those." She did not say how many incendiary communications the police have seen.

    A 19-year-old from Rolla, Mo., was arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of terrorism in connection with social media threats made Tuesday against black students on the University of Missouri campus.


  • Climate of fear permeates Missouri campus

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    COLUMBIA, Missouri – As S. David Mitchell got ready to come to campus at the University of Missouri to teach on Wednesday morning, his wife pleaded with him to cancel his class.

    “I said, ‘I can’t do that,’ ” the associate professor of law told her. “I can’t be bullied. I can’t be cowed.”

    Mitchell, an African-American, is one of thousands of teachers and students who had to decide whether to come to campus after social media threats shook the university Tuesday night in the continued aftermath of protests of racial inequality.

    “I’m going to stand my ground tomorrow,” one social media post read, “and shoot every black person I see.” A 19-year-old named Hunter Park, located roughly 100 miles from campus, was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of making a terrorist threat.

    “Not very much,” she said.

    As the morning wore on, the campus became a bit more crowded but still felt eerily vacant. Some classes were canceled. Mitchell said he gave his students the option to skip without penalty.

    There were reports that minority students left campus altogether out of fear.


  • Missouri protest leader calls for more college teams to 'step up' for justice

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago

    COLUMBIA, Missouri — Maxwell Little stood in the bright sunshine, with a crowd of fellow graduate students cheering around him. He was introduced to this gathering Tuesday as one of the early members of Concerned Student 1950, the campus group that ignited the fight against alleged racial injustice here at the University of Missouri which climaxed in the resignation of the president and the chancellor on Monday. People here hung on Little's every word, and after the rally dispersed, he had some words of thanks for the football team.

    "To get things done, we had to have some leverage," Little said, "and that leverage was the strength of the football team."

    He went on, though, and called for more.

    "I'm just waiting on the entire country as far as collegiate athletics to step up," he continued. "Football has taken the lead. I'm looking for basketball, I'm looking for volleyball, I'm looking for lacrosse – the wealthy, the elite, to step up and say we have to join in the fight for justice."

    Asked if he felt that should happen, he said:

    "I think it should have happened yesterday."


  • Ronda Rousey admitted to beating up her ex, so should we be outraged?

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago

    It's a troubling scene: an intimate partner is slapped across the face, punched twice, kneed in the head, and thrown onto the floor. This is the kind of behavior we are all looking to amend, in a new era of domestic violence awareness.

    And yet rather few people reacted to this particular situation, even though it was described in the autobiography of one of the biggest stars in sports.

    Ronda Rousey wrote in "My Fight, Your Fight" that she slapped her boyfriend across the face "so hard my hand hurt," "punched him in the face with a straight right, then a left hook," and then "grabbed him by the neck of his hoodie, kneed him in the face" and threw him onto the kitchen floor.

    Is this a case of domestic violence? That's hard to say without context. The Justice Department's definition of domestic violence is "a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner."

    Have we been too tough on Rice? Too easy on Rousey?

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  • Dan Campbell brings edge to Dolphins, but are they tough enough for Patriots?

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    The headbangers' ball rolls on for Dantallica.

    Dan Campbell, with his hard-rock mentality and his hard-charging manner, is now the darling of media and Miami alike, turning a somnambulant bunch of Miami Dolphins into an amped brigade that hits as hard as the opening riff of "Enter Sandman." He is the anti-Joe Philbin, dressing his team in black practice jerseys, running Oklahoma drills and telling his guys "they felt you, their quarterback felt you, front four" after running the Houston Texans into hiding last Sunday.

    All the stories of his Texas toughness, like him rupturing an appendix on a flight and not complaining, fit right into the image of a bull rider in a headset.

    What's more important than the style, though, is the scheme.

    After a 1-3 start led to Philbin's firing, Campbell and his staff have made two key fixes to the Dolphins: they've corrected a lopsided run/pass balance, empowering running back Lamar Miller; and they've lined up Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on the same side of the pass rush. Both moves have made Miami far more overwhelming at the point of impact. It's made the Dolphins powerful.

  • Jags QB Blake Bortles in rare position with shot to become NFL global star

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    LONDON – It's not Beatlemania, but there's huge potential for Bortlesmania.

    Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was the last man on the bus after practice at Allianz Park on Friday, surrounded by an array of fans who wanted his autograph. One was a 7-year-old named Ben McNeal, who had a freshly bought No. 5 jersey. McNeal had spent the entire practice tossing the football around, mimicking the quarterback.

    London has hosted the NFL for the better part of a decade now, yet there is no superstar to call its own. The league has sent many teams, and the only continual visitors have been the Jaguars. They've had no transcendental stars over the past three years. The most popular Jaguar ever is likely Mark Brunell, Maurice Jones-Drew or Fred Taylor, each of whom is retired.

    Bortles has a chance to be the first London star.

    No, it's not a mob scene now – Bortles was still a new starter when the team visited last year – but the recognition is growing.

    "I think it's awesome," Bortles told Yahoo Sports on Friday. "It's kind of cool, it's like having two home crowds in two home cities."

  • Jags owner Khan on deflate-gate: 'Nobody's been happy with it'

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    LONDON – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan spoke for a lot of people when he was asked Thursday about deflate-gate.

    "Nobody's been happy with it, I think, how it's turned out," he told Yahoo Sports. "It's quite a learning moment."

    Not many owners outside New England have said a lot about the investigation into the Patriots' alleged mistreatment of game balls in the AFC championship game in January, and Khan himself resisted making comments because "that thing is still going on; I don't believe it's been resolved."

    Yet the "learning moment" he mentioned is significant, because it applies both to the deflate-gate controversy and the much more serious domestic violence issue that confronted the NFL in 2014. The NFL isn't just a business, able to solve its problems without an avalanche of outside scrutiny. Everything matters greatly.

    "Really more than anything it speaks to the power of football," Khan said. "That people care so much about it, which obviously tells you these are things that have to be handled thoughtfully and carefully."

    He also defended his fellow owners.