First Female Coach in NFL!

Pretty exciting news today that the NFL hired its first full-time female coach.   The Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as Special Teams Quality Control, an assistant coach position on Rex Ryan’s staff.  Click here to read the story.  In July 2015, the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as a pre-season intern, coaching linebackers.  Ms. Smith, however, will be the NFL’s first full-time regular season female coach.  As the father of two daughters, I think this is great as — while my girls will probably not want to coach football — any new ground for women is welcomed news!

“I consulted with (Cardinals coach) Bruce Arians on this since he was really the first NFL head coach to make this kind of move when he hired a female linebackers coach through the summer,” Ryan continued. “You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady (Becky Hammon) that is an assistant to Coach (Greg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization.”

Hats off to the Bills and to the Cardinals!  And best wishes to Ms. Smith where every steps she takes up the ladder will be breaking new ground.

That’s it for now football fans.


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Woodpeckers May Lead the Way to Prevent Football Concussions

A new device may soon be available to help eliminate concussions in football (and other sports, e.g., ice hockey, NASCAR, etc.).  The technology is based on woodpeckers and the fact that they can bang their head against a tree repeatedly and not suffer any ill-effects. It’s not a new helmet however:

“Helmets are good at preventing skull fractures, but they can’t prevent concussions. That’s because the brain floats in fluid inside the skull, like an egg yolk inside a shell. No matter how well the outside is padded, the brain is still damaged when it sloshes against the sides of the skull during a collision. Bailes’s innovation is a collar that lightly constricts the jugular vein, which has the effect of reducing the jiggle room inside the cranium.”

Rather, the technology is based on the physiology of woodpeckers:

“He began studying woodpeckers. One of their most unusual features is a long tongue, which in some species is supported by bones that wrap all the way around the head. Smith theorizes these compress the woodpecker’s neck veins as it thrusts its head forward, increasing the volume of blood between its brain and its skull. Smith says this extra fluid “works like Bubble Wrap” to help keep the brain from knocking against the skull. He was convinced that the same effect could be reproduced in humans, perhaps with some kind of collar.”

Click here to read the full story.

This could be a real game changer (no pun intended) if it really works (and a lot of “ifs” here).  Eliminating or significantly reducing head injuries in football would be a godsend to the players (at all levels), the NFL owners, and the fans – who are often conflicted between the love of big hits and concern about the well-being of their favorite players.

Fingers crossed on this one.

That’s it for now football fans,


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Rams Moving Back to L.A. – a History of a Storied Franchise and their Uniforms

The big news is that the Rams are moving back to Los Angeles.  While I think it sucks that the great city of St. Louis (where I lived for 8 years) loses another NFL franchise, it is just par for the course in these days where money is king.  I also think it is awful that the Rams owner felt the need to trash the city as part of his escape plan.  I’d like to think that the saying “he’ll get his in the end” would apply, I also know that Santa and the Easter Bunny are not real, so let’s face it, the only thing that is going to happen to Stan is he’s going to get richer with this move.  Oh yea, he’ll also die but that’s in everyone’s future so no special karma there.

Long wind up to a great article showing the history of the Rams unique uniforms.  As you know from my book, they were the first team to use helmet logos, when a Ram player painted “horns” on the sides of their blue helmets back in 1948 (see picture below).  To read more about this and to see how the Rams’ uniforms changed (along with their home cities – they were originally from Cleveland), click here.

That’s it for now football fans.