football

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Can you believe the 2015 football season is drawing to a close? Indeed, Super Bowl 50 is this Sunday, Feb. 7: Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos vs. Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers.
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The NFL kicks off on Sept. 10, bringing to an end weeks of preseason training for the teams. But the players weren’t the only people learning a new game book. Teams from San Francisco to New York have brought in consultants to teach boomer coaches how to better interact with millennial players.
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There was a time when sports fans watching a live game on TV had no choice but to play close attention throughout. If they missed a spectacular play while reaching for the bowl of chips, they didn’t get a second chance to see it.
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If you’re lucky enough to attend Sunday’s NFL playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, bring your noise-canceling headphones. It might also be a good idea to tie down your valuables before you leave home. Seismographers from the University of Washington have found that the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field is so loud that it generates earthquakes. Minor ones, so far, but this is a big game.
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In Norman Rockwell’s familiar Thanksgiving fantasy, Grandma presents a glistening turkey to a happy, multigenerational family.
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Ah — autumn! The crisp cool weather, the colorful leaves ... and the smell of football is in the air. This time of year I’m reminded of the days of my youth when I spent countless hours watching my pop and brother practicing football in the backyard, watching high school games my brother starred in, and watching our beloved Buffalo Bills on TV.
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Fun facts from our shared experience:
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Maybe this is what President Obama needs to get his way with Congress - scads of football legends lined up behind him. These players were a bit past their peak bench-pressing days - and more than 4o years past their first of back-to-back Super Bowl wins - but still in possession of the record for an undefeated season and postseason. (They remain the only undefeated team in NFL history.)
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When defensive end David "Deacon" Jones, who died on June 3 at age 74 in Southern California, joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 as an obscure 14th-round pick out of Mississippi Valley State, it was the derring-do of quarterbacks, running backs and receivers that put fans in the seats and kept them glued to the TV set. Jones helped to change that by making defense just as exciting.
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" YOLO," mom said to me last week after announcing that she and my father were going to the Superbowl in New Orleans. I held the phone in my hand in silence. "Are you serious?" I asked her. She laughed, "Yes."
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