Category Archives: National Football League

Social Media and the NFL Draft

By Christopher Kyler

April 2, 2019

Christopher Kyler is a first-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. He plans to major in Sport Management with a minor in Marketing. Christopher is from Parma Heights, Ohio and is a diehard Cleveland sports fan. He is interested in many sports, but mainly football at the professional level.

Draft

Less than a month away from the NFL Draft and Twitter is buzzing with all the rumors, pro day performances, and opinions from fans, reporters, and even players. The rise of social media has drastically changed how fans, teams, and prospects consume the annual NFL Draft process. Media at local and national levels are both very involved in the analysis of prospects down to every microscopic detail they can find.

Last Thursday the University of Houston had their Pro day, where top prospect Ed Oliver had a stellar performance. At 6’2” 287 he ran a 4.73 40-yard dash (Maya, 2019); within hours, news of his impressive performance spread like wildfire all over Twitter. The rise of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit has spurred many avid fans to pursue the small name prospects their team just has to have.

EdOliver.jpg

Ed Oliver, the former Houston Cougar, stuffed the run, and padded his resume in his three seasons with the team. He tallied 192 tackles, 53 for loss, 13.5 sacks, 11 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles while mainly playing from the nose tackle spot (“Ed Oliver,” 2019). His name has been in headlines since he committed to Houston as the #4 prospect on the ESPN 300. This is one example of a top prospect going to a smaller name school, without having to drop a lot of exposure he received. Social media also helps smaller school prospects with easily being able to share their highlights, which helps get their name out there.

The NFL Draft isn’t new to small school talents going in the first round, and this year won’t be any different. But social media has made it possible for many prospects to have the possibility for it to happen to them. Access to more prospects than ever before has given NFL fans a greater awareness of prospects in every corner of college football.

References:

Ed Oliver College Stats. (n.d). College Football @ Sports-reference.com. Retrieved from  https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ed-oliver-2.html

Maya, A. (2019, March 28th). Houston Cougars’ Ed Oliver turns in prolific pro day. NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001024644/article/houston-cougars-ed-oliver-turns-in-prolific-pro-day

ESPN Football Recruitment – Player Rankings. 2016 ESPN 300. (n.d). ESPN. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/playerrankings/_/view/rn300/sort/rank/class/2016

Understanding the business of the NFL Offseason and Antonio Brown’s “Fake News”

By Jordan Moening

Jordan Moening is a first-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. He is a Sport Management Major with a Minor in Journalism. He is also a native of Wapakoneta, Ohio and is a huge lover of sports, mainly football, basketball, and soccer.

March 15, 2019

On March 10, 2019, Antonio Brown announced his intention of signing with the Oakland Raiders. Two days before his announcement, the Buffalo Bills were planning on signing him to their team. Antonio Brown quickly responded on the NFL’s Instagram by posting a comment saying, “Fake News.” This begs the question of how the business of the NFL operates during the offseason.

To start, the new league year for signing free agents technically started on March 13th. Since then, players have been getting their official new contracts. Free agency and the NFL draft are the two most important components of the off-season. Depending on the team, either one could be more important (If the team is rebuilding with younger talent, then it would be the Draft; if they are looking for an “all-in” year, they are looking to the Super Bowl). The real intrigue of free agency happened only a couple of days before the new league year opened. Teams need to make cap space for rookies and new players that they want to acquire. The best way to do that is to release a player and remove that player from the team’s payroll. Some teams sign players off of waivers after they have been released, and there are some trades between teams. The main trades that occur are between players and draft picks.

Some players have to make hard decisions about where they want to play. The decision is usually not as hard for very good football players like Antonio Brown. He can play for just about any team that he wants and get a big contract. Most teams hoping to acquire players need to look at their salary cap. Players that cut into the salary cap for a large amount of time cost a lot of money, and few players in the league are worth huge contracts that fill a lot of cap space, but Antonio Brown is worth it. According to NFL.com statistics, in 9 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he has recorded 837 receptions, 11,207 yards receiving on 13.4 yards per catch, and 74 touchdowns (“Antonio Brown,” 2019). Those stats obviously make him one of if not the best receiver in football.

“Fake News.” The sports media tweeted, made an Instagram post, and put word out about the trade of Antonio Brown. In an interview with ESPN, NFL.com writer Grant Gordon posted quotes of Antonio Brown in an interview, “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game, I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone, If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play. Another quote stated, “Obviously, I want the game, but I don’t need the game, it’s a difference” (Gordon, 2019, para 4). I personally feel that Brown is trying to make the game about money, instead of loyalty to try to stay with the Steelers and see if they can win championships together in Pittsburgh. Another example of a player leaving Pittsburgh was former teammate Le’Veon Bell who signed with the New York Jets and left Pittsburgh.

In the long run, the NFL is a business and players are going to choose where they want to play. They will ask for however much money they want, and if the player is very good and fits that team’s salary cap, then that team will make it happen. In Antonio Brown’s case, it’s not “Fake News” that the NFL Offseason is still very fun to follow.

References

Antonio Brown. (2019). NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/player/antoniobrown/2508061/careerstats

Gordon, G. (2019, March 3). Antonio Brown: ‘I don’t even have to play football.’ NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001020572/article/antonio-brown-i-dont-even-have-to-play-football

The Robert Kraft Scandal

By Jessica Rollins

Jessica is a third-year sport management student who minors in marketing and is from Laguna Beach, CA. After college, Jessica aspires to work for a professional sport team in community relations or marketing. Jessica is a fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams.

March 14, 2019

On February 22, 2019, the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, was charged with “two counts of soliciting someone to commit prostitution” (Hanna & Maxouris, 2019, para. 17). Prior to these charges, Kraft was known as a well-rounded business and franchise owner. The community had much trust in Kraft.

Among two-hundred individuals, the 77-year-old billionaire has been linked to a Jupiter, Florida day spa and massage parlor. At the day spa, the Jupiter police claim that Kraft was one of many individuals that were caught under surveillance accepting the “paid acts” (Hanna & Maxouris, 2019). Although Kraft was caught under surveillance twice, the owner could face “up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service” (Seifert, 2019, para. 5). Surprisingly, one of the “paid acts” was filmed on the “night before and the morning of [the] AFC championship game” (“Robert Kraft visited,” 2019, para. 1).

Although scandals are standard involving the high-profile team, this story caught many by surprise. When the news broke, social media went into a frenzy. Fans explained how Kraft and the Patriots cannot be trusted. As the scandal develops, many are questioning their loyalty to the New England Patriots. One fan stated, “everybody in their life has done one thing, two things, that they really really would like to get a pass for, me, you, Robert Kraft, doesn’t matter how much money you have, human is human” (Burcham, 2019, para. 7). Another fan wrote, “I would never expect something like that from him…I mean, he has such a high reputation” (Burcham, 2019, para. 5).

Along with the charges, Kraft could face additional punishments from the National Football League. Since NFL owners are subject to the personal conduct policy, the NFL has an important decision to make. The NFL released a statement later that day which stated: “the NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments” (Hanna & Maxouris, 2019, para. 24). According to ESPN, “the policy covers ‘conduct by anyone in the league that is illegal, violent, dangerous, or irresponsible, puts innocent victims at risk, damages the reputation of others in the game, and undercuts public respect and support for the NFL’” (Seifert, 2019, para. 7).

Under the personal conduct policy, NFL owners should be held to a higher standard. Kraft is the face of the franchise. Owners should be “subject[ed] to more significant discipline when violations … occur” (Seifert, 2019, para. 7). Along with the controversy, many fans wonder if NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell, will punish one of the “NFL’s most powerful owners” (Seifert, 2019, para. 12). As the story unfolds, the media will cover if the NFL sweeps this scandal under the rug or punishes Kraft for his unlawful actions.

References

Burcham, K. (2019, February 23). ‘Human is human:’ Pats fans react to charges against Robert Kraft. Boston25news. Retrieved from https://www.boston25news.com/news/-human-is-human-pats-fans-react-to-charges-against-robert-kraft/924216340

Hanna, J., & Maxouris, C. (2019, February 23). New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft accused of soliciting sex, police say. CNN.com. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/22/us/robert-kraft-solicitation/index.html

Robert Kraft visited parlor for sex on day of AFC championship game, authorities say. (2019, February 25). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-robert-kraft-prostitution-charge-20190225-story.html

Seifert, K. (2019, February 25). What charges could mean for Patriots owner Robert Kraft. ESPN.com. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26056293/what-solicitation-charges-mean-new-england-patriots-owner-robert-kraft

 

Has the NFL Media Shortened the Shelf Life of Coaching Careers?

By Christopher Kyler

March 14, 2019

Christopher Kyler is a first-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. He plans to major in Sport Management with a minor in Marketing. Christopher is from Parma Heights, Ohio and is a diehard Cleveland sports fan. He is interested in many sports, but mainly football at the professional level.

Mike

Around and around the NFL Coaching Carousel goes, these days it seems there is always a story about rumors that an NFL coach or coordinator is on the hot seat. It seems the days of a 20+ year coaching tenure is all but gone in the NFL, but what is driving the carousel? The media, at both the national and local levels. This is both a blessing and a curse for coaches in the NFL.

The turnover in coaching reflects a general trend in the media of being less scared of backlash from coaches, and becoming more critical of the topics they cover. For sports this comes at a cost for players and coaches whose livelihood is on the line. That’s how you get national media figures like Cris Carter and Nick Wright saying on First Things First that the Texans’ season would be over if they fell to 0-3. The Texans since then earned 9 straight wins, but had the situation worsened, a good coach like Bill O’Brien would be on the hot seat by now. Already this year the Buccaneers, and Bengals have fired their Defensive Coordinator, the Browns, Cardinals, and Jaguars fired their Offensive Coordinators; lastly the Browns and Packers have fired their Head Coaches. The last firing was most surprising given that he had won a Super Bowl, although he had been struggling to use his players to their full potential.

Tom Landry during his 29-year tenure with the Cowboys won 5 NFC Championships and 2 Super Bowls. His first winning season didn’t come until his 6th season at the helm. After 15 years with the Dolphins, Don Shula, who has the most wins in NFL history, had 4 straight years where he did not have a winning season or make the playoffs. The media has helped to create an impatience in the NFL with a mindset of ‘win now’ which is draining teams, players, and coaches, instead of letting teams gel together and create a chemistry over time. One could point to Bill Belichick as being responsible for this change, since he went from 5-11 to 11-5 and Super Bowl Champs in his second season with the Patriots who have remained the most consistent team in the NFL since then.

The media has every right to criticize coaches, but there comes a point where they overstep their boundaries. They have spoken up and affected how an organization looks at their own employees who come into work every day. But somehow the people from the outside looking in have more of a say on someone’s job security than their employer.

References

Ketaineck, M. (Producer). (2018, September 20) First Things First. [Television broadcast]. New York, NY: Fox Sports 1

Coaches, Records, and Coaching Totals. (n.d). Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved from  https://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/

BGSU Sport Management Students Experience Super Bowl LIII First-hand

By Dr. Nancy Spencer, Professor in Sport Management, BGSU

February 3, 2019

Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, people standing

About ten days before Super Bowl 2006 was played in Detroit, BGSU Distinguished Alum Dick Maxwell (recently inducted into BGSU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni)  organized a Super Bowl panel of experts who spoke to BGSU’s Sport Management students and faculty. Through his position in the NFL Commissioner’s Office as Senior Director of NFL Broadcasting for 36 years, one of Maxwell’s responsibilities was to coordinate the annual Super Bowl broadcasts. Among those who appeared on the 2006 panel were NFL representatives in public relations/communications, broadcasting, international media, game security, and the Vice President in charge of the Super Bowl. Before the panel began, ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman introduced then Sport Management Association (SMA) President Stephanie Serda via a taped message.

In addition to hearing from the distinguished panel of experts, Maxwell explained that the company that the NFL hired to put on the NFL Experience and the NFL Tailgate Party interviewed BGSU Sport Management students who volunteered to work at the 2006 Super Bowl. Dr. Jacquelyn Cuneen, Professor Emeritus in the Sport Management Program, said that, “We sent 20 kids to Detroit for the week to help with the festivities and 20 more on game day.” As a result of their work at Super Bowl XL, SMA students from BGSU volunteered the following year in Tampa Bay. Thanks to rave reviews about the performances of those first SMA student volunteers, BGSU students have been able to volunteer for subsequent Super Bowls.

Fast forward to 2019 and Super Bowl LIII is being held in Atlanta, GA. This year, 24 SMA students from BGSU are volunteering in preparation for game day (see photo above). The students left for Atlanta this past Tuesday and have been working “at the Super Bowl Experience at Georgia World Congress Center” (Piotrowicz, 2019, para. 10). Among the activities of student volunteers was to “guide visitors through exhibits and help them get photographs with the Lombardi Trophy that the winning team will hoist after Sunday’s game” (Dupont, 2019, para. 8). On game day, the “BGSU students will assist the 1,700 fans who bought $20,000 Super Bowl packages” by helping them “find their way around Mercedes-Benz Stadium” (Dupont, 2019, para. 11).

SMA Adviser, Dr. Amanda Paule-Koba explained that by “going to the Super Bowl they can see what they learned about in the classroom enacted in the real world” (Dupont, 2019, para. 13). Several students who volunteered at last year’s Super Bowl echoed the value of their NFL experience. As current SMA President Kyle Edmond said, “being part of the experience shows how much planning goes into the Super Bowl, a worthwhile trip for a group of students who are interested in working in the sports industry after college” (Piotrowicz, 2019, para. 14). Cory Radebaugh, another student who volunteered last year, said that unlike previous years when students were able to see the game, “no volunteers will be allowed on the concourse after kick-off” in this year’s game (Dupont, 2019, para. 26).

Regardless of which team wins Super Bowl LIII, the 24 SMA students who volunteered in Atlanta will bring back the memories of a lifetime. I look forward to some of them sharing about their experiences on the Maxwell Media Watch. BGSU faculty members and students are grateful to Mr. Maxwell for affording our students this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

References

Dupont, D. (2019, January 31). BGSU sports management team headed to Super Bowl. BG Independent Media. Retrieved from http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-sports-management-team-headed-to-super-bowl/

Piotrowicz, N. (2019, January 28). BGSU students fundraise way to Super Bowl LIII. Toledo Blade. Retrieved from https://www.toledoblade.com/sports/bgsu/2019/01/28/bowling-green-bgsu-students-fundraise-super-bowl-LIII/stories/20190128136

National Media Plays Dangerous Game with Motivated Mayfield

By David Dietrich

November 29, 2018

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns won a road game for the first time since 2015. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was spectacular, finishing with 258 passing yards on 19 completions, four of which led to touchdowns. While the 35-20 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals and former coach Hue Jackson was noteworthy, Mayfield is receiving backlash from the national media for his postgame actions and comments directed towards former Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

After the Browns’ convincing win over Cincinnati, Hue Jackson sought out his former quarterback for a hug. Mayfield gave Jackson a straight-faced handshake, denying a hug and walking away. When reporters asked Mayfield what happened during the exchange, he mentioned that he “didn’t feel like talking” to him (Cabot, 2018, para. 3). Mayfield defended this by telling reporters that “somebody that was in our locker room asking for us to play for him, goes to a different team we play twice a year” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). The young quarterback felt betrayed by his former head coach, and perhaps rightfully so.

Since then, national media members, some with NFL experience, have been ripping into the Browns rookie, calling him ‘immature’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 9) and ‘classless’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 18).  One former NFL player who chided Mayfield was ESPN First Take guest Damien Woody. Woody called Mayfield “hypocritical” (Curtis, 2018, para. 2) and told him to “grow up” (Curtis, 2018, para. 1), prompting this response from Mayfield (“Baker rips Hue,” 2018, para. 2):

Mayfield comment

The now-deleted Instagram comment sparked an even bigger response from the national media. The Undefeated’s William Rhoden (2018) wrote that Mayfield “hopefully will wise up or, at the very least, learn some respect” (para. 28). David Hookstead (2018) of The Daily Caller advises Mayfield to “chill out, stop behaving like a petty teenage girl and focus on playing football” (para. 6).  Former NFL safety Ryan Clark appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and told Mayfield “Stop being petty, stop being soft” (Pastrick, 2018, para. 15).

While the Instagram comment may have been unnecessary, it was not completely surprising. Mayfield has been very active on social media in the past, often responding to posts that criticize his actions. He even keeps a list of media members that have “crossed the line,” and uses those names as motivation. His postgame comment about Hue Jackson was his personal take, as he told reporters “Everyone can have their spin on it, but that’s how I feel” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). With these words, Mayfield acknowledged that different people would have different opinions, but he felt comfortable with his. The NFL is a business, but it is also a highly competitive league. Baker Mayfield is a passionate player, and his competitive comments should not be held against him.

Baker Mayfield

Unlike most NFL quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield is outspoken, fiery, and unabashed. These rare qualities can often be valuable. Whether he is on or off the field, Mayfield does not hold back. His intensity, accuracy, passion, and ability to create have helped him win the Heisman, and Browns general manager John Dorsey believed those qualities could translate to the NFL. In just 8 starts, Mayfield has helped the Browns join the playoff conversation. More importantly, he has restored hope in Cleveland, a city desperate for a winning football team. Baker Mayfield has always been motivated by criticism, and the backlash from the media will only fuel his fire. This week’s media backlash will inevitably lead to more names being added to Baker Mayfield’s personal list. With a motivated Mayfield under center, Browns fans have a list of reasons to believe in their beloved team.

 

References

Baker rips Hue Jackson (again). (2018, November 25). Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/post/nfl/72e09cd2-6c95-4dac-95d6-8123b382f9bc

Cabot, M. (2018, November 26). Baker Mayfield ‘didn’t feel like talking’ to Hue Jackson postgame after he defected to the Bengals. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2018/11/baker-mayfield-didnt-feel-like-talking-to-hue-jackson-post-game-after-he-defected-to-the-bengals.html

Curtis, C. (2018, November 27). ESPN’s Damien Woody’s beef with Baker Mayfield and his ‘fanboys’ intensifies. USAToday.com. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/11/cleveland-browns-baker-mayfield-damien-woody-beef-twitter-video

Gamble, J. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s classless shots At Hue Jackson. TheShadowLeague.com. Retrieved from https://theshadowleague.com/baker-mayfields-classless-shots-at-hue-jackson/

Hookstead, D. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s actions are getting out of control. His latest stunt is downright embarrassing. TheDailyCaller.com. Retrieved from https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/27/baker-mayfield-hue-jackson-first-take-comment-instagram/

Pastrick, C. (2018, November 27). Ex-Steeler Ryan Clark goes off on Browns QB Baker Mayfield for ‘being soft.’ TribLive.com. Retrieved from https://triblive.com/sports/nfl/14342239-74/ex-steeler-ryan-clark-goes-off-on-baker-mayfield-for-being-soft

Rhoden, W. (2018, November 27). Who does Baker Mayfield think he is? TheUndefeated.com. Retrieved from https://theundefeated.com/features/who-does-baker-mayfield-think-he-is/

National Media has Spelled the End of the Jameis Winston Era in Tampa Bay

November 13, 2018

Christopher Kyler is a first-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. He is planning to major in Sports Management with a minor in Marketing. Christopher is from Parma Heights, Ohio and a diehard Cleveland sports fan. He is interested in many sports, but mainly  football at the professional level.

After a horrific loss to the Redskins, Jameis Winston will once again start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a lot of talk about whether or not Jameis Winston is a franchise quarterback in this league or even worthy of being on a roster. After coming out of Florida State with high expectations right away, and the expectation to grow, Winston has not lived up to the hype. His first pass in the NFL was a pick-6 which properly represents his time in Tampa so far as a starting QB. Although he did well in his first two years, even making the Pro Bowl his rookie season, Winston recorded 16 fumbles and 33 interceptions in that same time frame. Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless both expressed doubts about his future with the team on their show Undisputed. The national media, for the most part, has written the end of Winston’s tenure with the Buccaneers organization.

While the media has been tough on Winston’s off-field actions, which he deserved, media outlets have been increasingly tough on their opinions of his on-field play. Many have put the nail in the coffin for his days for Tampa, which would continue their trend of never resigning a quarterback they drafted to a second contract (Florio, 2018). This scary statistic can also highlight that there is hope yet for Winston’s time as a signal caller, since three of those quarterbacks went on to win Superbowls with another team – Doug Williams, Steve Young, and Trent Dilfer. We will see if the Glazer family decides to give Winston another contract or to go their separate ways.

Going back to Winston’s expectations coming into the league, one of his supporters was Cris Carter, on First Things First, thought the former Heisman Trophy winner would progress his game with experience. Carter believes Winston is not the player he thought he could be, and that he continues to make the same mistakes. Jameis Winston, the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, won three games last year as a starter, while the last QB taken, Trevor Siemian, won five. I like to say it’s never a mistake until you make it twice, but after 63 times you would think Winston would learn to keep the ball away from the other team.

With his future in question, it will be interesting to see what Jameis Winston does with his back against the wall and all 32 teams examining him. We may have seen his peak, or the best may be yet to come. Winston has continually made costly mistakes, while also showing signs of greatness; we could see either side stand out. Either way, it is sure to be amusing to see if Winston can prove his caliber in Tampa Bay, or reach his peak with another organization.

 

References

Florio, M. (2018, October 31). Buccaneers curious quarterback trend may continue. Pro Football Talk. Retrieved from https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/10/31/buccaneers-curious-quarterback-trend-may-continue/

Goldsmith, T. (Producer). (2018, October 29). Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. [Television broadcast]. Los Angeles, CA: Fox Sports 1.

Ketaineck, M. (Producer). (2018, October 30) First Things First. [Television broadcast]. New York, NY: Fox Sports 1.