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The Best Hockey Moments In Movies And TV

Check out some of our favorite hockey moments from film and television, and don’t miss Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in a win-or-go-home, Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals Game 7 showdown against the New York Rangers tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. Click here for channel listings in your area. And did you know the Cup has its own Facebook page?

1. Puddy Supports His Devils On “Seinfeld”

Jerry and Kramer knew Puddy supported the New Jersey Devils by going to games with his face painted. But when they went with him to see the Devils take on the Rangers, they forgot to consider how the rivalry between the teams would make the fanatic fan in Puddy even more apparent.

2. The Ducks Make It To The Championships In “The Mighty Ducks”

In the middle of the championships, Coach Bombay gave a great pep talk to the Ducks. He told them to play fair and have fun, and to get the Hawks “where it hurts the most…” which, when you’re in the pee-wee league, is just on the scoreboard.

3. Robin Unleashes Her Canadian Accent On “How I Met Your Mother”

Robin Scherbatsky from “How I Met Your Mother” loves hockey so much she would die for it. And when she’s been drinking, everyone knows it’s time to insist she do some target practice.

4. Coach Brooks Addresses Team USA In “Miracle”

One of the most powerful scenes in “Miracle” was when Coach Brooks convinced his players it was their time to win. They listened to him intently, and then when they beat Russia, even our goosebumps got goosebumps.

5. Tommy Gavin’s Excellent Prayer Before The NYPD/FDNY Game On “Rescue Me”

As the captain of the FDNY hockey team, it was Tommy Gavin’s job to give a compelling pep talk before the game against the NYPD. But as we can see, he picked the wrong day to accidentally take some pills that were prescribed for his wife.

6. Youngblood Scores A Late Penalty In “Youngblood”

Youngblood knew scoring that penalty shot would be tough when the goalie started doing the splits. But he persevered, and even felt comfortable enough to show the goalie how fancy footwork always trumps flexibility.

7. Tina Fey Loves Making Hockey Jokes On “30 Rock”

In its six seasons on the air, “30 Rock” has referred to hockey a ton of times. New York Magazine compiled most of the jokes and made a great video that shows how hockey is a sore spot for most New Yorkers.

8. Coach Bombay’s Pep Talk In “D2: The Mighty Ducks”

In the beginning of the game against Iceland, players on Team U.S.A. were repeatedly penalized for fighting. They told Coach Bombay they were trying to maintain their pride in a game they knew they were going to lose, but he said the best way to beat Iceland was to remember they weren’t from Iceland.

9. South Park Plays Adams County In “South Park”

In the “Stanley’s Cup” episode of “South Park,” Stan was the coach to the Park County Pee-Wee hockey team. Despite their poor skills, Stan let his players take on the Adams County team. Luckily, they never pulled off anything more complicated than furrowing their brows.

10. The Hanson Brothers In “Slap Shot”

We first met the Hanson brothers when they were beating up a soda machine after it ate their money. Their new coach, Reggie Dunlop, was quick to criticize their lack of intelligence, but eventually he remembered he wasn’t tasked with assembling a math team.

11. Lisa Is A Great Goalie In “The Simpsons”

In “Lisa On Ice,” Lisa and Bart’s relationship was tested when they played on different hockey teams. The faceoff ultimately helped them appreciate each other more, but obviously Homer wasn’t able to walk away from the rink with the same kind of personal growth.

12. Denny Crane Tries To Engrave His Name On The Cup In “Boston Legal”

On “Boston Legal,” Denny Crane (William Shatner) shocked Alan Shore (James Spader) when he tried to engrave his name on the Stanley Cup. Denny claimed he “contributed” to the Boston Bruins 1970 Stanley Cup championship, even though loaning someone a jock strap for the day isn’t normally considered meritorious.

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ESPN Who? iPhone and Facebook Nab NFL Star’s First Interview


For fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, star wide receiver Mike Wallace’s extended holdout over a contract dispute has been one of the most important stories of the NFL preseason. The young playmaker finally rejoined the team on Tuesday after missing a few preseason games and dozens of practices and off-season workouts.

But Wallace’s first interview of the 2012 season didn’t go to ESPN or the hometown Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper. It didn’t air on the news or land on any of a number of high-profile Steelers or NFL blogs. No, Wallace’s first interview after rejoining the squad was an iPhone video Q-and-A (embedded above) with teammate James Harrison, which Harrison posted to his Facebook Timeline on Tuesday morning.

Harrison and Wallace cover an impressive amount of ground in the 46-second clip: How it feels to be back, goals for the season and Wallace’s familiarity with the offense after his time away from the team. Then Harrison ends the brief interview with a pretty epic sign-off that would put most other sportscasters — aspiring or otherwise — to shame:

“That’s live, right here in the Steelers locker room with James Harrison. Mike Wallace, the kid! First interview! Cut!” Harrison intones from behind the camera.

Harrison later followed up his Wallace interview with a second Q-and-A asking receiver Antonio Brown how it feels to have his running mate back.

Entertaining sign-offs aside, Wallace’s interview with Harrison does reflect some of the big picture changes social and mobile technology have brought to sports media. Instead of having to face potentially hostile — or simply responsible, depending on your point of view — questions from mainstream sports media, Wallace was able to control the conversation and put his face back in front of fans on his own terms via mobile video. And Facebook provided a more than sufficient platform for publishing; Harrison has nearly 375,000 subscribers and the video post received some 2,800 Likes and 900 shares after it went up.

If Wallace struggles to return to form, he’ll no doubt have little choice but to answers reporters’ tough questions about possible holdout rust. But social media and PR consultants always tell athletes these days to “be their own media outlet” whenever possible. On Tuesday morning, Wallace played that piece of advice like the All-Pro he is.

BONUS GALLERY: The Secrets to NFL Stars’ Facebook Success

Here’s Why Ray Rice Will More Than Likely Play In The NFL Again

Believe it or not, Ray Rice will play in the NFL again.

Maybe not this season — on second thought, definitely not this season — but, it’s going to happen.

Rice will speak before Judge Barbara S. Jones in New York today, and appeal his indefinite suspension from the league.

His argument is simple: He told the truth to Roger Goodell, along with several other NFL officials, back in August before a second suspension was instated.

Of course, the disgusting tape wasn’t leaked until months later, and Goodell decided to up Rice’s suspension to an indefinite leave. Goodell would later say Rice’s admission was “ambiguous.”

The only problem is that the NFL had the elevator footage from the very beginning of the trial, and everything Ray Rice admitted to was on the film. With no new evidence, it’s simply unlawful to be punished twice for the same crime.

Ray Rice will, almost in all certainty, be reinstated into the NFL.

Bill Simmons made an interesting point about Ray Rice, and it’s one many people might not agree with: Could Rice really be the victim in all of this?

Simmons said,

Somehow he’s turned into a victim in this whole thing, even though he punched his wife in an elevator and knocked her unconscious. He’s not going to play this year.

No team is going to sign him, it would be a public relations disaster, but you can’t re-suspend somebody with no new evidence. This is one of the worst things Goodell has done and he’s done a lot of bad things.

The only real victim in all of this is Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer Rice. What she’s gone through over the course of the past year has not been easy, yet she still stands by Ray Rice and will most likely be there when he takes the field again.

That is, if any team decides to take him.

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One Picture That Shows How Much Sports Has Changed For Gay Men

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As Blake Skjellerup wrote: “I feel short, and humble! Amazing to meet the first out MLB player Billy Bean. The first out NBA player, the ever so slightly tall Jason Collins. And Kirk Walker, the proudly out UCLA Softball coach and NCAA Champion.”

Skjellerup, a short track speed skater who competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, is aiming to represent New Zealand at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

BuzzFeed asked Skjellerup about the photo, which came together at an OutSports event in Los Angeles:

Instagram: @blakeskjellerup

For now, though, Skjellerup is working to get back to the Olympics, where he would be the first out gay athlete at the Winter Games. Here’s his Indiegogo page, where he’s raising money for the trip to Sochi.

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The Perfect Game The World Forgot

The first time I played Fight of the Sumo Hoppers, I didn’t stop until my hands gave out; either the webbing between my fingers started burning or my forearms got sore from splaying my hands so wide for so long. I can’t remember, exactly. It was mid 2000 at the latest.

It was clear to me then that this dead-simple DOS title was a great game. Today, more than 10 years later, I think it might be perfect.

Sumo Hoppers has no plot and offers virtually nothing in the way of player progression; there’s hardly even a sense of a persistent “player” at all. Its graphics are purely functional: lines just thick enough to see, players distinguished by primary colors. The physics engine, as far as I can tell, is incredibly simple. Characters have mass, their feet have both zero width and infinite traction, and gravity is about a third as strong as it is on Earth. Two players are locked together with an inflexible bond; only their legs can move. First one to hit the mat — or a wall — headfirst loses. That’s it.

The game was released in 1997 and updates appear to have stopped in 1999. It was an indie game before indie gaming had a name; it was released as the internet was maturing and DOS games were dying — in other words, into a perfect storm of obscurity. Its lone creator, Tuomas Korppi, hasn’t made a game since.

But Sumo Hoppers can count among its fans some of the most interesting and influential minds in the gaming industry. Bennett Foddy, Oxford professor and creator of ultra-simple, ultra-addictive games such as QWOP and GIRP, has even created a web-based tribute called Get on Top. “It was actually Lee Perry, the designer behind Gears of War, who put us on to it,” says Foddy. “I had played a bunch of DOS freeware physics games back in the day,” he says, “which had a big influence over me making my physics games.”

“Doug Wilson (of JS Joust fame) was talking to Lee at GDC last year, and he mentioned that Sumo Hoppers was one of his all-time favorites,” Foddy explains. “We were really excited when we saw it. It’s exactly in the spirit of the games we’re trying to make: hardcore, ridiculous hot-seat sports games for two people on the one computer.”

Korppi, the Finnish mastermind behind the game, considers it a high watermark of a past life. “When I was younger, I wrote quite a lot of simple computer games,” he says, “but Sumo Hoppers was by far the best of them. So maybe it is better that I do not mention the other ones.”

He seems almost bewildered by his game’s underground success. “I knew Sumo Hoppers is a good game, but it was a bit strange, so I was not sure if it would be appreciated by others,” he says. “Fortunately, it turned out that also others appreciated it.”

Korppi doesn’t design video games anymore. In fact, he doesn’t even play them. In the time since releasing Sumo Hoppers, he’s turned his attentions elsewhere: He ran for Helsinki city council under the banner of the Pirate Party — “in our system, it is advantageous for a party to have as many candidates as possible,” he says of the ultimately unsuccessful campaign — but spent most of his time focused on academia. “I have … done some mathematics, obtained a Ph.D., and even managed to publish two papers on the interplay of nonstandard analysis and algebraic topology,” he says.

Sumo Hoppers was born out of a physics experiment, more or less. “I was experimenting with spring systems,” says Korppi. “I had an idea for a karate game where the karatekas would consist of springs, and the player would control the karateka by controlling individual springs.”

“When you develop physics-based games, you do not program the gameplay directly,” he says. “You program the physics simulation and hope that it will provide a good game.”

Early versions were too complicated. “The game was too difficult,” he says. “Trying not to fall was enough challenge.”

Foddy has dealt with similar issues in his games. “One of the nice things about using physics simulations in games is that you get good ‘game feel’ (something that designers really strive hard for) for free,” he explains. “In my view, the downside to physics games can be that they get too chaotic and out of control,” he says. “It can be hard to understand why you won or lost in a game like Crush the Castle or QWOP. It’s too hard to control the outcomes, so it can wind up feeling a lot like trial and error, unless you practice a lot.”

Korppi’s approach was to tie the game down a bit — or more accurately, tie it together. “I once watched sumo on TV and happened to think of the bodies of the two wrestlers as one system,” he explains.

“The genius of Sumo Hoppers is in tying the two players together with their arms, which is an elegant way of radically simplifying the game,” says Foddy. “It’s still deep, chaotic fun, but you have just enough control to be able to develop a sense of mastery.”

The result is, indeed, chaotic, and the learning curve is steep. But it’s short: After a few dozen games, your fingers get used to the controls — five keys for leg placement, three for extension — and the game pulls you in. The only real flaw is outside the game: In multiplayer mode, two players share 16 keys across one keyboard.

“My major surprise was how good a game Sumo Hoppers turned out to be,” says Korppi. “When I got a prototype working, I remember that I thought that I can never make another game that is as good.”

Sumo Hoppers is still free to download here, and runs in DOS or any DOS emulator (Mac users should try Boxer). Foddy’s Get on Top is a simply designed homage; it’s browser-based and playable here. “I let the players flex their shoulder muscles,” says Foddy, “and I think that turns it into a pretty fundamentally different game than Sumo Hoppers, in terms of how you play it.”

Otto-Ville Ojala’s Wrestle Jump is a more faithful remake, also playable online. Korppi, who wasn’t aware of either of the tributes until our interview (“quite nice,” he said), tells me he won’t be making another Sumo Hoppers game: “The major improvement I’d like to see on Sumo Hoppers is the play on the net, since that would solve the problems with two people on the same keyboard. But I do not think I will ever do that. If you will see other games from me, they will probably be board/card games.”

I Iike to think Sumo Hoppers’ legacy, or perhaps its lesson, runs deeper than a few tributes. The year Sumo Hoppers came out was, coincidentally, a big year for physics in video games: Jurassic Park: Trespasser, a disastrously bad game that happened to be the first open-world first-person shooter with a realistic physics engine, shipped. It took quite a few years for the first good physics-centric shooter to come out — that would be Half-Life 2, the sequel to the best game of Trespasser’s era — and since then there have been plenty more. Yet the trend more recently has been to limit physics, not unlike Korppi did in Sumo Hoppers. “Most AAA games have physics these days, but the physics is confined within ‘hard’ gameplay rules in order to avoid glitches and exploits,” says Foddy. “For example, in FIFA Soccer, the physics is subordinate to the motion-captured player animations, and you’ll very rarely see a player land on his head. Or in Dark Souls, your enemies collapse into dynamic corpse ragdolls, but they’re not allowed to exert any force on the player’s character.” Or take, for example, the Crysis series, which started with an open-world, physics-rich, gameplay-deficient title and appears to be culminating with a locked-down linear shooter that, while flawed, is better.

The difference, of course, is that Korppi simplified his (admittedly far simpler) game without compromising the purity of his physics simulation — nothing is scripted, just selectively fixed in place.

That, for a game based on dynamic rules about how the world moves, is the holy grail. And Sumo Hoppers is one of the few games to ever find it.

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8 Reasons Why Life Is A Little Worse When You’re A Lefty

Dear PaoDear Pao

Dear Pao

Lefties always tend to stick out in a crowd.

Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey are all left-handed. Everyone’s favorite little general, Napoleon, was also a lefty. If you’re into philosophy, you might be pleased to know that Aristotle was left-handed.

Likewise, some of the greatest athletes in history were lefties.

Babe Ruth, “The Bambino,” perhaps the most legendary baseball player ever, was a lefty. Diego Maradona, who is arguably the best soccer player in the history of the game, was also a lefty.

Today, lefties continue to be a hot commodity in both baseball and soccer, among other sports.

Only around 12 percent of humans are left-handed. Lefties are unique, and often provide an advantage in sports.

There is also evidence that lefties are more creative than righties. Correspondingly, Jimi Hendrix, who many consider the most talented man ever to pick up a guitar, was a lefty.

At the same time, life is pretty tough for lefties. Almost everything is made for righties. Even handshakes are awkward when you’re a lefty.

It ain’t easy being different.

Here are eight reasons why your life sucks if you’re a lefty:

1. You’re always in the minority.

Researchers at the University of Kansas found that the vast majority of ancient humans were right-handed. Thus, historically, lefties have perpetually been a minority group.

This means that lefties often get left out in a number of respects.

Unfortunately, this even happens in scientific research. Consequently, scientists claim we are missing out on vital information on everything from genetic disorders to neuroscience when it comes to left-handers.

If you’re a lefty, you’re just not getting the proper attention.

With that said, the notion that left-handed people are more likely to die younger than right-handed people is a complete and utter myth.

Although, there is evidence that lefties are more prone to minor accidents than righties. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that power tools and other dangerous items are designed for righties.

2. People don’t trust you.

People fear what they don’t understand. Given that most people are right-handed, it’s not surprising then that lefties have always been viewed with suspicion and contempt.

As a recent study from the Journal of Economic Perspectives notes:

During the Middle Ages, left-handed writers were thought to be possessed by the Devil, generating the modern sense of the word sinister from sinistra, the Latin word for left.

The English word left itself comes from the Old English lyft, meaning idle, weak, or useless.

Lefties have been discriminated against for centuries. This is why so many lefties have been forced to use their right hands in school.

3. You earn less money.

new study from Joshua Goodman of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has revealed that lefties earn 10 percent less than righties.

Evidently, this is linked to the fact that left-handed people display lower cognitive abilities than their right-handed counterparts. For example, as Danielle Kurtzleben of Vox highlights:

Lefties in the UK and US are 3 to 4 percentage points more likely than righties to be in the bottom decile of scores on math and reading tests.

In some of the surveys, they are also shown to have a greater likelihood of speech problems and learning disabilities.

There is still debate over what all of this means; one study doesn’t speak for an entire group of people.

Moreover, this is not to say that lefties are less intelligent than righties. There is no substantial difference between right-handed and left-handed people in terms of IQ.

Yet, it’s clear that lefties struggle more in school, and this certainly impacts their ability to make money in the long run.

4. You’re more likely to be easily frightened.

According to research presented to the British Psychology Society, left-handed people are more susceptible to fear than righties.

As head researcher Carolyn Choudhary, PhD, puts it:

It seems that after experiencing a fearful event, even on film, people who are left-handed had subtle behaviors that were like people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

This all has to do with the brain, and the different ways in which right-handed and left-handed people process things. So if you’re left-handed and you hate scary movies, blame your noggin.

5. You’re more likely to have mental health problems.

Around 20 percent of people with schizophrenia are lefties.

Likewise, scientists have found an increased risk for ADHD, dyslexia and mood disorders among left-handed people.

It’s not entirely apparent why this is, but scientists suspect it has to do with the way that left-handed people’s brains are wired.

6. You have a bad temper.

Left-handed and angry about it?

According to a study in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, lefties are more likely to experience negative emotions. They also have a difficult time letting things go.

In other words, if you’re left-handed and you have a short-fuse, it might not be a coincidence.

7. You’re easily embarrassed.

According to scientists from Abertay University in Scotland, lefties are far more bashful than righties.

The scientists conducted a study in which lefties and righties were measured for levels of impulsivity and likelihood to exhibit restraint. They found that lefties were far more likely to identify with statements such as, “I worry about making mistakes” and “Criticism or scolding hurts me quite a bit.”

Perhaps this is linked to the fact that lefties have always been put in the spotlight for being different.

8. You’re more likely to booze.

Obviously, being left-handed puts you at a severe disadvantage in many walks of life. Perhaps this is why lefties are more likely to drink heavily and be alcoholics.

When the whole world’s against you, no one can blame you for wanting a nice stiff drink.

There is no genetic link between left-handedness and alcoholism, but studies have shown that left-handed people are more likely to consume larger quantities of alcohol on average.

At least beer bottles accommodate both hands. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

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ModCloth Employees Modeled Its Swimwear Collection To Promote Body Diversity

“We want women to see these photos and feel good.”

1. To promote its new line of swimwear, online shopping brand ModCloth had its employees try out the suits.

Courtesy Modcloth

2. The aim? Show that feeling confident in your swimsuit is for every body.

Courtesy Modcloth

3. Everyone got in on the posing, including Susan Koger, the CCO and founder of ModCloth.

Courtesy Modcloth

That’s her in the middle!

4. Koger said they did the shoot in part as a reaction to Sports Illustrated‘s unrealistic body ideals.

Courtesy Modcloth

5. “We’re providing a counterpoint. We want women to see these photos and feel good. See them and think, I can totally rock that swimsuit!” she told BuzzFeed Life.

Courtesy Modcloth

That’s Anthonia Persad, one of Modcloth’s customer advocates, BTW.

6. Here are Christen DiClaudio, merchandise copy editor, and Leigh Ferraro-Cetra, visual merchandise stylist, rocking out in polka dots.

Courtesy Modcloth

7. “Self-acceptance is this finicky idea that’s easy to talk about, yet seemingly such a feat to conquer,” DiClaudio told BuzzFeed Life.

Courtesy Modcloth

“It took a few minutes in front of the camera to realize that by participating in this campaign, I was actually agreeing to recognize and acknowledge my own beauty,” she continued. “It was a powerful moment that completely changed me for the better.”

8. This is Leigh Ferraro-Cetra, ModCloth’s visual merchandise stylist, modeling.

Courtesy Modcloth

9. And this is Samantha Walnoha, one of the company’s customer advocates.

Courtesy Modcloth

10. The response from ModCloth’s customers has been overwhelming.

Courtesy Modcloth

“Social media blew up with accounts of customers who identified with one of us,” said customer advocate Ingrid Taller, posing on the far right. “‘I’m like the blonde!’ or ‘I’m the redhead!’ showed up on Facebook and Twitter threads.

11. “We saw the need for our representation,” Taller continued, “and I think it’s safe to say we were right.”

Courtesy Modcloth

12. “When is the last time a woman looked at a swimsuit campaign and it made her smile? Like, a real, genuine, feel-good smile?” said Koger. “That’s what we wanted to do.”

Courtesy Modcloth

Courtesy Modcloth

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Is Peewee Football Turning Our Little Ones Into Weapons Of Retrograde Masculinity?

Mike Blake / Reuters

“Well hey there, little girl! Where’s your dress?” My nephew and I were making our way to the field for his little league football game. The question was addressed to my 8-year-old nephew’s teammate: a little boy in an oversized jersey. “Aww,” the coach continued, pinching the boy’s cheeks. “Look at that face. She’s so cute!”

I couldn’t help but wonder what the not-wearing-a-dress kid learned about the world when his coach joked with him that way. He might have learned that grown-up men sometimes make unprovoked jokes about gender. He might have learned that football coaches insult their players, and the players simply need to toughen up and deal with it because that kind of bullying and hazing are just part of the game. If the kid doesn’t like it, he’s free to follow the example of NFL player Jonathan Martin and give up football altogether.

After a “threatening and abusive” exchange between Martin and teammate Richie Incognito was made public, Martin decided to leave the Miami Dolphins. The voicemails and texts, according to ABC, contained such “expletive-laced rants” that Incognito was placed on suspension. But even after feeling bullied enough to leave the team, Martin told Incognito in a text message that he doesn’t harbor any hard feelings against him. “I don’t blame you guys at all,” Martin wrote. “It’s just the culture around football.”

There’s been a lot of debate over the past few months about the physical dangers of football, and virtually every conclusion is that — surprise — it’s dangerous. And the danger isn’t restricted to professionals. According to Allen Barra at The Atlantic, some of the most dangerous football is happening in the peewee leagues. In fact, said Barra, children’s football injuries may be worse than those sustained by older NFL players “because a young athlete’s brain is still developing.” Barra’s concerns are warranted, but they stop short.

There’s an old phrase, commonly (though incorrectly) attributed to the Duke of Wellington, that might offer some perspective: “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” This phrase refers to Wellington’s belief that his troops were successful in battle because of their sport education. He saw his soldiers’ military prowess to be a direct result of the training they received from playing cricket on the fields of Eton College.

Translation: Teaching a boy to win cricket has something to do with teaching him how to win war. What happens on the playing field is preparation for what happens off it.

In his book Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities, Eric Anderson examines how contemporary notions about masculinity came to be enmeshed with youth sports. In the wake of the second Industrial Revolution (roughly 1870–1914), fathers moved outside of the home for work, leaving their sons to be raised and educated by their mothers. As a result of the structural and emotional distance that widened between boys and their fathers, the stage was set for the 20th century’s infamous crisis of masculinity. Within this “gender-panicked culture,” Anderson argues, “sport was thrust upon boys” as part of a “political project to reverse the feminizing trends” gaining ground since the father’s abrupt departure from his home. Anderson’s interpretation might be overstated, but, even still, it’s hard to ignore the connection between gender coding and sports education.

My nephew’s coach understands this code intuitively. Boys don’t wear dresses like girls. Boys aren’t cute like girls. Regardless of his intention, his dress joke reinforced the heteronormativity of the football field by jokingly reminding his players that certain gender boundaries have been articulated and must be obeyed. Football, like most sports, is coded by identifying the out-groups and defining itself in opposition to those.

American football came of age during an era that witnessed the decreasing distinctiveness of roles traditionally associated with masculinity. As 20th-century wars waged, the boundaries of traditional manhood began to blur, and as a result, the functions that once belonged exclusively to masculinity began to be taken over by historically marginalized — and feminized — groups. Fearing their masculinity was being appropriated by out-groups, men latched onto aggressive sport as a way of reminding their sexually progressive culture that strength and domination still belonged to men.

It’s understandable that sports culture is often characterized by heightened displays of hypermasculine power given its inextricable connection to martial culture. According to journalist JR Moerhinger, the contemporary game of football came into its own during the Cold War. “Football as we know it,” he wrote in an article for ESPN, “grew out of that unique moment when violence on an apocalyptic scale was imminent.” Lee Lowenfish, lecturer of sports history at Columbia University, doesn’t go as far as Moehringer, but still notes the connection. “Football,” said Lowenfish, “is a super-macho activity where players become warriors.” But rather than fight for democracy, football players fight for their own identities as men.

Mike Blake / Reuters

If it’s true that manhood must be won, rather than thinking of masculinity as being in crisis, we should begin to think of masculinity as crisis: that at the core of masculinity is the need to set itself up in opposition to weakness, a trait traditionally found in women and gay men.

The “masculinity as not X” formula is an integral aspect of peewee football, said Wade Davis, former NFL player and executive director of the You Can Play Youth Sports Initiative. “I was never told gay men can’t play ball,” he recalled of his experiences with youth sport. “I was just told gay men do X, Y, and Z, and I knew that football players didn’t do those things.” While his coach never spelled it out for him, Wade learned intuitively that gay men were soft like women, and that if his masculinity was to be achieved, he would have to find a way to set himself apart from that weakness. Wade calls this “passive homophobia and sexism,” and sees it as one of the negative side effects of the gendered values young athletes are learning to prize.

The “no pain, no gain” value system that is perpetuated throughout youth sport is negatively affecting impressionable young men, said Caroline Fusco, associate professor in the kinesiology and physical education department at the University of Toronto. The “heteronormative spaces” of peewee ball, she argues, are places where boys are taught to “police their emotions to project the dominant masculine ideal.”

The trouble with football is that it locates masculinity within the same space as violence, war, and exclusion, and in turn, suggests to young boys that their bodies are weapons — that their manhood itself is a weapon. The coach may or may not reinforce these ideas, but the crisis is already there on the playing fields of Eton, in the very stuff that makes the game what it is.

So where does that leave us? Do we pull our kids out of their peewee leagues because of the critical masculinities confronting them in those spaces, or do we simply dismiss the suggestion that the entire American Sports Complex is fraught with problematic notions of manhood?

At this point, it’s not likely that we can majorly revise or erase the physical violence that is integral to the game of football. We can, however, try our best to combat the ideological violence that continues to be perpetuated in youth spaces. And since, as Fusco noted, whatever happens at professional levels filters down and gets perpetuated by young athletes, we need to make certain to address any ideological violence that might be occurring in the NFL. Which means, for starters, taking a serious look at not only the Incognito/Martin scuffle, but the greater context of the locker room.

If we start to unpack what it is about “the culture around football” that makes it acceptable for players to threaten to rape a rookie or physically assault his real mother, then we should begin to realize that the ethos framing that Great Ol’ American Game demands reconsideration and, if and where possible, reform.

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10 Best Father’s Day Gifts For The Hoosier Dad

Need something real quick? Everything you need is right here.

1. MudLOVE Mug — $20

MudLOVE Mug -- $20

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Handmade up in Warsaw, Indiana, these mugs are a perfect addition for your Father’s Day gift collection. It’s not just a mug, though — MudLOVE donates 20% of all sales to the clean water initiative in the Central African Republic. So fight for the cause of clean water and make your dad happy at the same time; that sounds like a winning combination!

MudLOVE is currently giving free shipping for all online orders over $25 — get it while you can!

2. Carved Phone Cases — $25+

Carved Phone Cases -- $25+

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Is your father always on his iPhone or Samsung Galaxy? Look no further for the perfect Father’s Day gift. Made in Elkhart, Indiana, and handcrafted from durable and beautiful woods, Carved sells wood cases and skins for a more than affordable price. My personal favorites include the World Map Inlay, the United States Flag, and the Monarchs Spade. Your dad’s gonna love it.

3. Indianapolis Colts Sportula — $25

Indianapolis Colts Sportula -- $25

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Back from my last Buzzfeed article, this Sportula is one of the best Indiana products for all of those summer cookouts. Complete with a hard maple handle and a convenient bottle opener at the other end, your Dad can show off his favorite sports team while grilling his world-famous burgers. Not much of a football fan? No worries, they’ve got the Pacers and collegiate Sportulas as well.

4. United State of Indiana T-Shirt — $26

United State of Indiana T-Shirt -- $26

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Nothing makes a Hoosier dad more proud than his state (except for his kids and new Mustang, perhaps), so this is bound to be a favorite. Let your dad show off his Indiana pride with this United State of Indiana shirt, and let everyone know that home is where the heart is: Indiana.

5. United State of Indiana Coozie — $5

United State of Indiana Coozie -- $5

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I also mentioned these on my last Buzzfeed article! Whether getting ready for summer cookouts or keeping drinks stylish, this United State of Indiana Coozie is the perfect budget addition to your Father’s Day gift.

Check it out, you can also use the promo code “FATHERSDAY” now through 6/13 for 20% off everything on USI’s website!

6. The Turntable Shoppe — $50+

The Turntable Shoppe -- $50+

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Does dad have his broken turntable sitting in storage? Give him the gift of music at The Turntable Shoppe in Indianapolis! Specializing in repairing old turntables, these guys would do an amazing job of getting your Dad’s old ‘78 Luxman PX99 back up and running. Don’t worry, they sell vintage record players as well, so what are you waiting for?

7. Neat Neat Neat Records & Music — $20+

Neat Neat Neat Records & Music -- $20+

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Looking for some vinyl to go with that new record player? I’d like to show off the best record store in Northern Indiana — Neat Neat Neat Records & Music. These guys have great tastes and have an amazing selection of records old and new. Looking for something a bit more modern? No worries, they’ve got CD’s, hoodies, speakers, other music memorabilia that your father will love. Stop by Fort Wayne, Indiana and see what they’re all about!

8. James Dant Private Label Kit — $48

James Dant Private Label Kit -- $48

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USI’s own Cate Pickens interviewed Tommy Dant from James Dant: A Store for Men for his Father’s Day recommendations. Tommy suggested the James Dant Private Label Kit, which includes the James Dant Coffee ($16), Beard Balm ($15), and Beard Oil ($26). This kit is bound to make any dad proud to be a father. If you’re interested and would like to learn more, click here for Tommy Dant’s full Father’s Day list!



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Don’t mind taking a roadtrip? Head on over to Huntington to visit ANTIQOLOGY. Sporting the Midwest’s largest craft soda selection and an impressive antique collection, the people at ANTIQOLOGY want to bring class back to Huntington with their unique blend of old and new. They have over 350 different sodas that go well with their award-winning Hard Scooped Ice Cream. Check out their amazing story here, and be sure to check them out this Father’s Day weekend!

10. St. Elmo’s Steak House — $35+

St. Elmo's Steak House -- $35+

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Another great roadtrip destination for Father’s Day: St. Elmo’s Steak House. Voted Indy’s Best Local Restaurant by NUVO last year, St. Elmo’s is the best place in central Indiana to reward your Dad for everything he’s done — being a dad can be hard work! Check out their classic New York Strip, Maple Leaf Farms Duck, or their Indiana Amish Chicken. Sometimes a meal on you is all it takes to show how much you love your good ol’ dad. Make reservations now!

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Terrell Suggs Just Became Your Favorite Football Player

1. After the Ravens beat the Patriots, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had some words for the Patriots.

Quotes via Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel.

3. Terrell, a grateful nation of people sick of Boston sports thanks you.

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

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