To begin, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, the NFL is a breeding ground for scandals, but this one might be different. This year, we’ve seen an avalanche of scandals that could potentially knock the NFL off its perch as sports’ most popular and profitable sport. Sure, most fans might not have given a second thought to Minnesota Vikings running back and cancer survivor Adrian Peterson’s legal troubles (he was charged with child abuse and neglect), but what about all the other scandals?
Tom Brady’s Deflategate
Let’s begin with the New England Patriots’ quarterback and reigning NFL MVP. As previously stated, the NFL is a breeding ground for scandals. However, this one might be different, considering the magnitude of the alleged scheme. This past January, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell declared Brady and the Pats’ equipment staff guilty of “deliberate attempts to circumvent the rules,” and he fined them four total draft picks. (Goodell also slapped the team with four additional months of league monitoring.) In August, the NFL opened up a new investigation into Deflategate. (Brady and the Pats continue to deny all allegations of wrongdoing.)
Clubs That Permanently Removed From Preseason Ailments
The list of NFL teams that went on strike with zero injuries is getting pretty long. It includes the New England Patriots (who were de facto ‘on strike’ for the entirety of last season), the Arizona Cardinals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tennessee Titans, and the Buffalo Bills. What is most impressive is that all of these teams made it to the playoffs last season. Not only that, but the Patriots and Vikings went on to win their respective divisions!
Well, maybe the Patriots and Vikings are just that good. Or, maybe some teams are just better at avoiding injuries than others. Regardless, these are some pretty impressive stats. Especially since these teams were plagued with injuries last season.
Leagues And Teams That Should Be Avoided By All NBA And NCAA Fans
The NBA is arguably the most popular and profitable sport in the world, and in 2019 it delivered a 28% increase in revenues over the previous year. (According to Forbes, NBA players now earn an average of $23.9 million a year, which is a 12% increase from the previous year. Wow!) That’s great news for the owners and CEOs of the 30 NBA teams. But if you’re a league fan or an individual sports fan and you want to keep your team’s financial information private, then perhaps it’s time to avoid the NBA. (The same goes for the NCAA, of course.)
The Palace Of Sports In Las Vegas Is For Sale
The NFL doesn’t have the monopoly on scandals. After all, the National Hockey League has had its fair share of controversies as well. (And, let’s not forget about boxing. Always a source of drama and controversy.) For example, the ice palace in Vegas, which was initially built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, is for sale. The current seller is Palace Sports and Entertainment, the company that operates the GoldenPalace.com. (The palace, which was initially built for $30 million, is now listed for $25 million.)
The purchase of this historic property is certainly within the realm of possibility for any sports team or organization that wants to establish a legacy in sports. You know, for future generations of athletes to discover.
The Biggest Story In College Sports Is (Probably) North Carolina Tar Heels Football
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the most prestigious universities in the country, if not the world. It recently won the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Collegiate Championship, making it the 2019 NCAA champion. What is most interesting is that UNC is not your typical football powerhouse. To put it mildly, the team was in a state of flux—both on and off the field—last year. (The team went 8–5 in 2018.)
The quarterback heading into this season is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior by the name of Chase Brice. Many people are curious to see how he handles leading the Tar Heels this season. (He’ll have the keys to the kingdom.)
On the field, Brice is the first true freshman quarterback to start at UNC in more than 30 years. He was not initially named the starter for the Tar Heels, as senior Hunter Johnson won the job. But after struggling mightily in his first few games, Brice took over as the starter and never looked back. (He went on to lead the Tar Heels to an 8–5 record and a No. 12 ranking in the final College Football Performance Rankings.)
The Final Word
Last but not least, let’s discuss some of the top betting scandals that rocked the NFL in 2019. By far, the most prominent and potentially the most damaging scandal belongs to New England Patriots quarterback and reigning MVP Steve Stevens. (It wouldn’t be surprising if the Patriots are named in the Mitchell Report, which documents rampant steroid use in the NFL. But at this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.)
The Patriots suspended Stevens for the first four games of the 2019 season after he was arrested on domestic violence charges. (The league subsequently placed Stevens on the exempt list. He is still eligible to play but cannot collect any earnings.) The team is currently investigating whether or not to terminate his contract. (He has a total of $26 million in guaranteed money left on it.)
Along with Brady, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick, the three pillars of the team’s success might be hit hardest by this steroid scandal. If the team were to lose all of its stars, it wouldn’t be difficult to envision a bleak future for the organization.
One of the less prominent scandals that shook the league involved the Houston Texans. (It received very little coverage in mainstream media.) The Texans beat the defending champion Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs, and just like that, their dynasty was over. After winning the Super Bowl in 2017, the Texans entered the 2019 season as one of the league’s favorites. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as Houston lost their first four games of the season. (The team went on to win three of their last five contests, including a playoff win over the Los Angeles Chargers.)
The Tennessee Titans are also looking to move past their scandalous 2019 season. The team began the year by acquiring 2020 first round pick Mecole Hardman in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. The young defensive back had been accused of aggravated assault, but the team believes he’ll be a solid addition to their secondary. (Unfortunately, Hardman faces a felony charge and could therefore be banned from playing in the NFL.)
2020 NFL Draft Rankings: Overall, Who Is The Best Player Available In Each Round?
This year’s NFL draft class has plenty of talent, but perhaps none more so than last year’s. With all the talk of the impending disaster that was the 2021 NFL draft, it’s only natural that we’d want to see how things turned out. (And, for the record, things didn’t turn out nearly as badly as we thought they might.) So let’s take a look at how the NFL draft shook out and how it ranked in terms of overall talent, from best to worst.
1. New York Jets
The New York Jets entered the offseason after a disappointing 11–17 season, and general manager Mike Maccagnan did not have high hopes for the upcoming draft. However, he was pleasantly surprised by how the draft played out.
The Jets picked up right where they left off the previous season and started the year 7–0. Since then, the team has lost three of their last four games, but they’ve won four in a row, including a playoff victory. (They went on to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.) What is most impressive about this draft is that it has produced some solid players, including rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. (He’s thrown for more than 300 yards in three of the last four games.)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers got off to a slow start this season but have turned it around, going 4–3 since. A lot of that has to do with the outstanding play of rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. (He’s thrown for more than 300 yards in three of his last four games and added three more touchdowns during that span.)