Which NFL Team Sells the Most Jerseys in Your State?

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This is, according to the folks at Dick’s Sporting Goods, the official ranking of the best-selling players jerseys nationwide at this point in the current NFL season.

Apparently, Alaskans really like the St. Louis Rams and Hawaiians are big on the Carolina Panthers.

My home state of Nevada would be bullish (“coltish?”) on the Indianapolis Colts, but truth be told I’ve never heard anyone here say “Go Colts.”

(Although I do think the Colts’ current quarterback Andrew Luck is pretty talented).

(via CBS Sports)

Jon Stewart: Remember when the NFL though a GAY player would be a distraction?

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show reminds us of those golden days when the NFL’s most worrisome headache was the claim that out NFL-er Michael Sam gave franchise owner heartburn because they worried about his homosexuality “becoming a distraction.”

Well, can’t you imagine what the NFL would give for the hunky Mr. Sam to do something – ANYTHING – to cause a distraction from the current scandals rocking the football world?

Between the Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice getting national attention for punching out his then-fiance back in February, and now the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson whipping his four year old child until his son bled, a gay football player looks pretty tame now, doesn’t it?

Stewart puts it all into perspective, as only he can, below:

Rihanna will NOT perform on tonight’s Thursday Night Football pre-game show

Recording star Rihanna was supposed to perform at tonight’s Thursday Night Football broadcast, but the network thought twice about that one and changed course.

Apparently, CBS Sports started to reshape the pre-game show after video of former NFL-er Ray Rice punching out his (then) fiancé in an elevator came to light.

From The Celebrity Cafe:

The network had planned to open the broadcast with a comedy sketch and Rihanna’s performance of “Run This Town,” along with a Don Cheadle narration.

Now, though, that has all been scrapped. Instead, a new report from CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell will air. O’Donnell got the scoop on Tuesday as the first reporter to speak with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the tape’s release.

“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”

Coincidentally, the first TNF game will feature Rice’s former team, the Baltimore Ravens, who will play division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Earlier Thursday, Goodell announced that he has picked former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to lead an independent investigation into the league’s handling of the Rice case. However, the investigation will still be overseen by two NFL owners.

Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence herself, famously abused by Chris Brown in 2009. Brown is still on probation.

Bryan Fischer: NFL discriminated against every straight player by signing Michael Sam

Anti-gay hate group leader Bryan Fischer took to the air to lie about Michael Sam and the Dallas Cowboys:

Everyone is saying, look, he’s just not good enough to play in the NFL.

[snip]

What the NFL has done here is they have discriminated against every heterosexual football player that also got cut. They didn’t go to bat for those guys, they discriminated against everybody but Michael Sam.

The fact of the matter is almost across the board, respected sports writers said Sam IS good enough to play in the NFL when he was cut by the St. Louis Rams. With 3 sacks and 11 tackles with the Rams, he had an excellent preseason.

He was the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year last year.

Sam was cut from the Rams because the team was already rich in veteran players for the defensive line.

He was picked up by the Cowboys because – as yesterdays 28-17 loss against the San Francisco 49ers proved – they have a desperate need to address their defense.

Bryan Fischer becomes more and more irrelevant when he makes outright lies to his followers.

And by the way, isn’t lying a sin?

Ruh-roh.

Extreme right-wing Christian group to protest Dallas Cowboys over signing Michael Sam

Anti-gay conservative activist Jack Burkman

Well, sadly, we all knew this was coming.

GOP lobbyist and conservative activist Jack Burkman says his extreme right-wing Christian group American Decency will protest this Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys game over the signing of out NFL-er Michael Sam:

Jack Burkman heads the group which claims to have 3.62 million members in 41 states. Burkman says, “We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled. We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country.”

[snip]

Some callers to 105.3 The Fan made verbal tackles against Sam. One caller said, “I don’t want my kids looking up to me and say Daddy, what does that mean that he’s gay?” But other fans say with the Cowboy‎’s weak defense, they may need Michael Sam’s strengths. “If he can use the speed to get around the corner and get to the quarterback, hey, that’s all we need.”

You’ll recall that back in May, Burkman announced he would boycott any NFL team that signed Sam.

In February, he proposed a federal law banning gay athletes from the NFL.

Michael Sam tweets on joining the Dallas Cowboys organization

Out NFL-er Michael Sam

On the day that Michael Sam began practice squad duties with the Dallas Cowboys, he broke his silence on Twitter to express his gratitude for the opportunity:

Sam is a class act guy, and as a native Texan I can’t wait to cheer for the Cowboys this fall.

First Look: Michael Sam on the Dallas Cowboys training field

Note: When (and I do mean “when”) Sam is put on active status, he will not be wearing #46 as NFL rules restrict defensive linemen to numbers between 60 and 79 and 90 and 99.

However, it should be noted that #46 is a symbolic choice for Sam: 1946 was the year the Rams drafted the first African American players, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode.  Sam clearly represents yet another barrier brought down.

Watch part of Coach Jason Garrett discuss the dynamics of adding Sam to the mix in Dallas:

Michael Sam officially signs with the Dallas Cowboys

Out NFL-er Michael Sam joins the Dallas Cowboys

It’s official! Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL,  has passed his physical (technicality) and signed with the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.

Sam speaking to the Dallas Morning News: “I’m excited to be to be joining Dallas. I just want to play football, it’s great to be heading back to my home state. … It’s been a roller coaster this past week but I’m happy where I’m at now. … I’m just looking forward to being a Cowboy, my focus is on making the team.”

Head coach Jason Garrett said, “This is about football. We evaluated him as a football player. Our attention is on football.”

During his time on the practice squad (limited to 10 members), Sam will practice with the Cowboys but not take the field during games. However, that can change at any time per the needs of the team. Sam can be activated at brought on to the 53 man roster depending on what management thinks is best for the team AND what is going on regarding injuries, etc.

Recently, the Cowboys’ defensive end George Selvie suffered a shoulder injury; plus, Tyrone Crawford is coming off injured reserve after missing the entire 2013 season. Last year, the Cowboys had the worst defense in the NFL allowing the third-most yards in NFL history.

Reports say Sam will start immediately training with the Cowboys taking the field today.

Go Michael Sam!

(source)

Michael Sam set to join Dallas Cowboys practice squad

OutSports is reporting that Michael Sam is bring brought to Dallas for a physical with the intention of signing Sam to their practice squad!

Last year the Cowboys had the third-worst pass defense and the worst overall defense in the NFL, allowing over 415 yards per game. They recorded only 34 sacks on the season, and quarterbacks racked up a 96.0 average passer rating against them.

These are not good numbers. Sam can have an immediate impact on the team in the coming weeks.

The Cowboys were always a potential great fit for Sam on the field. They currently have five defensive ends on the active roster, the fifth of which is Lavar Edwards whom they acquired in a trade from Tennessee this weekend. They also have DE Kenneth Boatright on the practice squad. Edwards graded out at -1.7 by Pro Football Focus in the preseason; Sam graded at +0.6.

According to several reports, management spent time calling their veteran players to gauge reaction to making Sam a Cowboy.