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Sarah A. McGraw, Christopher R. Deubert, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Alixandra Nozzolillo, Lauren Taylor, and I. Glenn Cohen

going to take your job. So that definitely plays into the mental aspect of it (26). An NFL career can bring players great financial and social rewards, but there are downsides. First, players collectively suffer a mean of 1,511 injuries each regular season, 160 of which are concussions Deubert, Cohen

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Jennifer A. Scarduzio, Christina S. Walker, Nicky Lewis, and Anthony M. Limperos

public opinion might be in general. In particular, the National Football League (NFL) has received the bulk of media coverage surrounding IPV. For instance, in 2014, a widely publicized domestic violence or IPV incident involving NFL player Ray Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer created a “domestic

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Kenneth Sean Chaplin and Jeffrey Montez de Oca

Over the past two seasons, African-American NFL players have protested against state violence in communities of color. Race-based protest movements in US sport are not new. They have taken many forms and functions, and have encompassed a broad range of actors/actresses who share similar visions and

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Andrew C. Billings, Melvin Lewis, Kenon A. Brown, and Qingru Xu

For nearly half the calendar year, Sundays in the United States are shrouded with two unique institutions: half the populace are regular church attendees ( Pew Research Center, 2016 ), and just as many then consume the most popular sport in America— football in the National Football League (NFL

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Kerry R. McGannon and Ted M. Butryn

League (NFL) teams used Facebook throughout the course of a season, and how fan interaction related to the strategies and content the teams used. Although the authors stated that “Sport brands, over time and through proper management, will prosper despite the challenges associated with the growth and

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Josh Compton and Jordan Compton

Open letters offer a unique focus for rhetorical analysis in sport communication, forming a message that is both interpersonal (the attempt to reflect dialogue through a letter writer and its recipients) and public (the “open” part of the open letter). The National Football League (NFL) attempted image repair when it used open letters to respond to accusations that it was not doing enough to protect athletes against devastating effects of concussions. Through the use of Benoit’s theory of image repair, the authors found that Commissioner Goodell’s open letters relied on 2 main image-repair strategies: reducing offensiveness and corrective action. They consider the implications of these rhetorical choices for the complicated merging areas of sport, communication, and health in the NFL’s open letters.

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Nicole Reams, Rodney A. Hayward, Jeffrey S. Kutcher, and James F. Burke


Lingering neurologic injury after concussion may expose athletes to increased risk if return to play is premature. The authors explored whether on-field performance after concussion is a marker of lingering neurologic injury.


Retrospective cohort study on 1882 skill-position players who played in the National Football League (NFL) during 2007–2010.


Players with concussion based on the weekly injury report were compared with players with other head and neck injuries (controls) on measures of on-field performance using Football Outsiders’ calculation of defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR), a measure of a player’s contribution controlling for game context. Changes in performance, relative to a player’s baseline level of performance, were estimated before and after injury using fixed-effects models.


The study included 140 concussed players and 57 controls. Players with concussion performed no better or worse than their baseline on return to play. However, a decline in DYAR relative to their prior performance was noted 2 wk and 1 wk before appearing on the injury report. Concussed players performed slightly better than controls in situations where they returned to play the same week as appearing on the injury report.


On return, concussed NFL players performed at their baseline level of performance, suggesting that players have recovered from concussion. Decline in performance noted 2 wk and 1 wk before appearing on the injury report may suggest that concussion diagnosis was delayed or that concussion can be a multihit phenomenon. Athletic performance may be a novel tool for assessing concussion injury and recovery.

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Thomas Patrick Oates

This essay identifies an emerging form of pleasure offered to fans of elite football. I name this mode of engagement “vicarious management” and focus on its emergence in National Football League (NFL) related products of fantasy football, media coverage of the NFL draft, and the video game Madden NFL. Through an analysis of sports marketing literature and promotional materials provided for consumers by ESPN and EA Sports, the article posits that the emergence of vicarious management is overdetermined by emerging financial opportunities in media culture and ideological instabilities within race and masculinity. I identify how vicarious management offers new opportunities for integrating and expanding corporate reach while constructing masculine athletic subjectivity in ways that addresses deeply felt anxieties in White masculinity.

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Travis Vogan

Edited by Jesse Berrett. Published in 2018 by University of Illinois Press (304 pp., $24.95 USD, paperback) NFL football did not always possess its politically potent and lucrative status as “America’s Game.” Somewhere along the line, its contests became occasions meriting military jet flyovers

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Trent Seltzer and Stephen W. Dittmore

This study used second-level agenda-setting and agenda-building theory as a framework for investigating media coverage of the NFL Network carriage dispute and how NFL and cable operators attempted to frame this issue via their respective public relations efforts. National, regional, and trade media stories over a 2-year period were content analyzed along with corporate press releases. Results indicated that the NFL and cable operators in particular were framed negatively in media coverage. However, the percentage of positive media stories was much higher for the NFL than for the cable operators. The findings suggest that initially the NFL was more effective in having its messages resonate with the media than were the cable operators. As the issue evolved over time and fans were faced with the prospect of missing key games, the media framing of the debate shifted the blame from the cable companies to both cable operators and the NFL.