Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Is NFL treating Rush Limbaugh’s bid with fairness?

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rushDuring his brief stint as a commentator on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pre-game show back in 2003, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was forced to resign after making this controversial comment about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team,” Limbaugh said at the time.

In his resignation letter Limbaugh said “my comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret.”

In a league where almost three quarters of its players are African-Americans, including the head of the players’ union, Limbaugh’s attempt to become co-owner of the beleaguered St. Louis Rams, in his home state, has been met with swift opposition.

Brett Favre: career renaissance at 40?

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In one of the most anticipated games of the season, in two rabidly partisan Midwestern states, Brett Favre has gone from beloved icon of the Green Bay Packers to leader of the hated Minnesota Vikings. The dislike reached Hatfield-McCoy proportions Monday night when Favre triumphed 30-23 over the team he proudly represented for sixteen years.

According to the New York Times, the showdown attracted an average of 21.8 million viewers, the biggest audience in the history of cable television, exceeding the 18.6 million who watched the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game in September 2008 on ESPN.

The Lineman picks a Bengals blitz

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That’s better, 5-1 and Pick of the Week as well; the Lineman is on a roll. But Week Four looks scarier than Ray Lewis coming at you on a blitz.

Record: 12-6. Last week: 5-1. Pick of the Week: 2-1

PICK OF THE WEEK

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)  (Line Browns plus-5 1/2)

Now that the Detroit Lions finally have a win, the Browns have taken the crown as the NFL’s worst team. Winless Rams and Chiefs are contenders but the Browns are making a strong bid for the number one pick in next year’s draft. Bengals meanwhile are one fluky tipped pass away from starting the season a perfect 3-0.

The Lineman says avoid the trap, take the Bears

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NFL/Ouch, the Lineman took a couple of hard hits last week but is still narrowly about 50-50 so still standing. A win by the Colts over the Phish on Monday saved the day but better to come this week – gulp.

Record: 7-5; Last week 3-3; Pick of the Week: 1-1

PICK OF THE WEEK: Chicago Bears (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1) (Line Bears minus-2) Fragile Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is out with a broken rib and Chicago QB Jay Cutler started to look comfortable leading da Bears to nice win over the Steelers last week. Bears are learning to live without linebacker and defensive leader Brian Urlacher while the Seahawks are are already looking beat up.

The Lineman is on a roll, Texans at Titans awaits

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Not a bad Week 1, the Lineman will certainly take 4-2 but looks ahead to a tougher Week 2.

Each week this NFL season the Lineman will offer up his Pick-of-the-Week plus his top five other games. Have a go yourself in the comments below.

The Lineman basks in glory, fears the worst

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sepulvedaWell, the Lineman got the season off to a perfect start (click the link). Steelers get the win, Titans cover, score one for the Lineman.

We will bask in the glory while it lasts because the Lineman understands this is just the first play in a long season. Let’s hope we are still on the right side of the scoreboard come Tuesday.

Go one-on-one with The Lineman this NFL season

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steelersAnother NFL season is upon us and the Lineman knows there is no chance of it being a perfect one. But hey, it’s not whether you win or lose; it’s if you covered the spread.

Each week this NFL season the Lineman will offer up his Pick-of-the-Week plus his top five other games. So have some fun, go one-on-one with the Lineman and see you at the Super Bowl.

Winnipeg sends former NFL star Pacman Jones packing

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Ricky Williams, Doug Flutie and Warren Moon are among former NFL players who’ve deftly used Canada as a springboard to resurrect their careers south of the border, and Adam “Pacman” Jones seemed on the verge of following in their footsteps, albeit under very different circumstances.

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After a week of intense speculation, it’s game over for Pacman, at least in Winnipeg. The Blue Bombers have announced that they’ve decided to abandon their attempt to bring the former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and kickoff return specialist to the Canadian Football League.

Favre soap opera is getting a little tired

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The Brett Favre saga continued this week when the future Hall of Fame quarterback un-retired yet again to join the Minnesota Vikings.

No one should be able to tell Favre when he should stop playing, but the 39-year-old 10-times Pro Bowler has fumbled his retirement so badly he’s become a national punch line.

Technology and the modern sports fan

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NBA/“What are you doing?” This simple question is the basic premise of Twitter, the growing social media website that has transformed how many fans get their daily dose of sports news.

In addition to the newsfeeds provided by established brands (@ReutersSport is a good one!) there are feeds directly from the major sports offices (@MLB,@NFL, @NBA). Then there are the athletes themselves, providing everything from perspective on current events to personalized fan interaction.

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