TIME Football

Colorado Man Disappears During Denver Broncos Game

Paul Kitterman
A photo from a missing person police flyer shows Paul Kitterman a fan who went missing from the Oct. 23, 2014 Broncos game. AP

(DENVER) — Relatives of a Broncos fan who went missing during last week’s game are wondering how a man with no known health or personal problems could seem to vanish without a trace.

Family and friends of 53-year-old Paul Kitterman have been searching for him since Thursday night’s matchup with the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field.

His stepson, Jarod Tonneson, said he has not been seen since he left his seat to meet friends during halftime. Tonneson filed a missing persons report with Denver police, scoured the sprawling stadium, called local hospitals and detox centers and taped fliers around the city.

“We just don’t know what else to do,” Tonneson told The Associated Press on Monday. “Paul is a simple guy, he doesn’t like technology, he doesn’t get into drama. He’s just an easygoing guy.”

The two went to the game with two of their friends after a day spent working and hunting at another friend’s ranch in Kremmling, a small town in the mountains of northern Colorado.

Kitterman and Tonneson, both construction workers, hurriedly made the 100 mile trip to the stadium after a friend offered tickets. It was Kitterman’s first time there. In their haste, Kitterman forgot his cellphone, took no credit cards and very little cash.

Still, Kitterman had memorized his friends’ phone numbers and would have found ways to reach out if he wanted to leave. He had four or five beers in the course of a four-hour span, not enough to become disoriented, Tonneson said.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said detectives don’t suspect foul play, but he would not elaborate. He said police were trying to support the family in their search.

“They just don’t seem too worried about it being that he is a grown man,” Tonneson said.

His parents live in Arizona and his siblings in Missouri, but Kitterman has few contacts in the Denver area, Tonneson said.

“He wouldn’t just take off, you know?” Tonneson said. “He wouldn’t leave me there.”

MONEY freebies

4 Bizarre Reasons Your Kids Might Not Be Trick-or-Treating on Halloween

kid in polar bear costume
Emma Kim—Getty Images

Free candy may not be in the cards for kids in your neck of the woods on Friday night—for odd reasons ranging from polar bears to high school football.

Strange things are known to happen around Halloween, and this season is no exception. Here are a few weird reasons your child might not be trick-or-treating on October 31 this year:

Polar Bears
The community of Arviat, on the Hudson Bay in far northern Canada, has decided it’s too dangerous for children to go trick-or-treating door to door because of the increased presence of polar bears in the area in late autumn. Kids are welcomed to visit the community hall instead on Halloween for face painting and a haunted house. Before assuming that one Halloween costume must be particularly popular up there, take note that no one in the area dresses in polar bear outfits because patrols on watch are instructed to scare bears off with rubber bullets. “Nobody dresses up as seals” either, one local political leader explained, because they’re what polar bears hunt and eat.

Alleged Cop Killer
Trick or treating has also been cancelled due to safety concerns in Barrett Township, Pa. In this instance, it’s because of worries about Eric Frein, who is suspected of killing one police officer and wounding another in a September ambush, and who is believed to be hiding in the woods outside town.

High School Football
This year, October 31 falls on a Friday—the day of the week that’s dominated by high school football in many parts of the country. To avoid a conflict, communities all over states including Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Mexico have rescheduled trick-or-treating to a day other than Friday. Most towns pushed up trick-or-treating to Thursday, October 30, but some have postponed it until Saturday—meaning trick-or-treating in November.

They’re Too Old
Apparently, the arrival of teens demanding candy at strangers’ doors was enough to scare communities around the U.S.—notably, several in and around Virginia Beach, Va.—to put an age limit on when kids are too old for trick-or-treating. In most cases, laws allow only children ages 12 and under to go door-to-door in costume begging for candy, and it’s a class four misdemeanor if you break the rules.

TIME College football

Army Football Lured Recruits With Alcohol and Women

The Cadets of West Point march on to the field before a game between the Army Black Nights and the Navy Midshipmen on Dec. 14, 2013.
The Cadets of West Point march on to the field before a game between the Army Black Nights and the Navy Midshipmen on Dec. 14, 2013. Hunter Martin—Getty Images

The school acknowledged underage drinking among team members and recruits and “other questionable behavior”

The Army football team lured high school recruits this year with alcohol, cash from boosters and a dinner date with woman cadets, according to a newspaper report. West Point acknowledged misconduct.

The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported that 20 cadets were disciplined and two officers and two coaches reprimanded, but the newspaper reported that punishment stopped short of dismissal or court-martial for the officers.

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., the West Point superintendent, said in a statement that the academy reported infractions to the NCAA, which imposed no penalties beyond the school’s. The statement acknowledged underage drinking among team members…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME

This Map Shows How Big Your Football Team’s Fanbase Really Is

Cowboys fans are EVERYWHERE

Football fandom may seem obvious — Titans fans live in Tennessee, Seahawks fans live in Seattle — but as this interactive map from Twitter shows, the geographic makeup of NFL loyalties is actually pretty complicated.

To create this map, analysts determined which NFL team has the most Twitter followers in each county across the nation. Some of results make perfect sense, but other aspects of the map are pretty surprising. The Cowboys, for example, not only dominate Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, but have pockets of fans just about everywhere.

There are several different ways to compare and contrast fan bases — so if you’re watching a football game right now, we recommend waiting till halftime to play around with the map.

 

TIME

Florida Football Player Accused of Rape Texted Alleged Victim: ‘Don’t Tell Nobody Bout Nothing’

Missouri Florida Football
Florida quarterback Treon Harris warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Gainesville, Fla. on Oct. 18, 2014. John Raoux—AP

The accuser has since withdrawn her complaint

A University of Florida football player who was accused of raping a fellow student on Oct. 6 allegedly texted the accuser “don’t tell nobody bout nothing” after the encounter, according to full police reports released Wednesday.

Treon Harris, the freshman quarterback of the University of Florida team, reportedly sent the text message the morning after the accuser came to his room according to the police report. The female accuser told police that she had gone to Harris’s room to sleep but repeatedly made it clear she did not want to have sex. She said he held her down with his body weight and penetrated her against her will, but has since withdrawn her complaint, reserving the right to press charges in the future.

The alleged rape occurred early in the morning on Oct. 5, and the accuser went to the police on Oct. 6. In a police interview, Harris said he thought the sex was consensual, and that the text message was intended to keep the hookup a secret from another girl, according to the New York Times. Harris was suspended from the team on Oct. 6, but was reinstated after the accuser withdrew her complaint on Oct. 9.

The release of the police reports come after the New York Times published an extensive investigation of police dealings with Florida State football players that brought to light incidents in which it appeared that players are often treated differently by police because of their position on the team. Although Florida State University and University of Florida are not affiliated, the incident coincides with a period of heightened scrutiny about how universities deal with allegations of sexual assault among football players.

TIME NFL

Cowboys Waive Defensive End Michael Sam From Practice Squad

Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas. Fort Worth Star-Telegram—MCT via Getty Images

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam "had a long way to go" as a player

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.

Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, was signed to the team’s practice squad Sept. 3. He never made it to the Cowboys’ active roster.

According to the team’s official website, Sam will be replaced on the practice squad with linebacker Troy Davis, who worked out for Dallas on Monday.

Sam said the following on Twitter after his release was made public:

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.

MORE: BURKE: Cowboys’ Big 3 among big winners of Week 7

Sam made history and received national attention in the spring when he announced he was gay several weeks before the NFL combine. As the reigning SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri, Sam became the highest-profile active gay football player and sought to become the first gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft.

The St. Louis Rams picked Sam in the seventh round of this year’s draft and kept him on their roster until the last round of cuts at the end of training camp. He was picked up by the Cowboys several days later.

At the time of Sam’s signing, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam “had a long way to go” as a player while dismissing concerns that the rookie could be a potential distraction in the locker room due to his sexuality, echoing the sentiments of Rams coach Jeff Fisher from when Sam was with St. Louis.

Jones said Sunday that Sam’s sexual orientation was “a dead issue.”

Sam is now free to sign with any other team or join any other team’s practice squad. The CFL could also be an option, as Sam reportedly received interest from the Montreal Alouettes before he joined the Cowboys’ practice squad.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Football Players Recall Abusive Hazing at New Jersey High School

Football Team Investigation
Residents of Sayreville gather for an anti-bullying rally Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. Mel Evans—AP

One said the backlash from reporting the incident “made me want to shoot myself”

Older players on a New Jersey high school football team that has drawn national headlines for a hazing scandal allegedly pinned younger players to the floor and punched, kicked and sexually groped their bodies, according to a new report.

The New York Times, citing interviews with victims and multiple witnesses, provides new detail to the scandal that has cost Sayreville War Memorial High School its football season and has led seven varsity football players to be arrested. One victim said he was penetrated from behind by a finger. But there are conflicting accounts and some said they didn’t consider the hazing abusive.

The victims told the Times that they continued to suffer from abuse and taunts on social media for reporting the attacks, and one said the backlash “made me want to shoot myself.”

The team’s season was cancelled this month.

Read more at the Times

 

TIME Football

Peyton Manning Throws Touchdown Pass 509 to Set New NFL Record

He beat Brett Favre's record with No. 509

Many quarterbacks have come before. Few, if any, have been better.

Peyton Manning added another record to his collection Sunday night, tossing his 509th career touchdown pass to break Brett Favre’s all-time mark. The historic pass, his third TD of the night, landed in the arms of Demaryius Thomas, who managed to drag his feet near the sideline. Tight end Julius Thomas had a shot to help Manning cement the record two plays earlier, but he was unable to corral Manning’s pass.

A smiling Manning celebrated his latest accomplishment for but a brief moment, hugging head coach John Fox and several teammates as the crowd at Mile High Stadium saluted him with a standing ovation.

Earlier in the game against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning found Emmanuel Sanders for touchdown No. 507. He then tied Favre’s record with a 39-yard scoring pass to Wes Welker. A little of the drama was sapped from the Manning-to-Welker connection because the official nearest the play ruled that Welker had stepped out prior to getting the ball to the pylon. That call was overruled by a second official and stood after a review.

The record-holder before Favre came along was Dan Marino, who finished his career with 420 passing touchdowns. Manning leapfrogged that mark back in 2012, during his first season with the Broncos, leaving only Favre ahead of him.

Touchdowns Nos. 507 and 508 for Manning came 5,887 days after his first career NFL TD pass, a six-yard strike to Marvin Harrison way back in Manning’s NFL debut on Sept. 6, 1998.

He has broken record upon record since then (with a Super Bowl victory to boot), so many in fact that Manning and his teammates swore they had tuned out the noise coinciding with this latest chase.

“What I’ve concentrated on is trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Manning said earlier in the week. “I don’t feel like it’s been a distraction because we’ve handled it and focused on what’s important.”

Among the most prestigious records still in sight for Manning: Favre’s career passing yardage mark of 71,838. Manning entered Sunday’s game 5,344 yards back of that total. Should he finish out this season with good health and return for the 2015 campaign, it’s a virtual certainty that Manning catches Favre there, too.

Favre claimed on NFL GameDay Morning Sunday that he was not paying much attention to Manning’s touchdown total.

“I don’t really care to be honest with you and I mean that with no disrespect,” said Favre, in an interview with the NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci. “I think the world of Peyton. I’m not surprised that he’s going to break it.

As for the NFL’s recent tilt toward offensive prowess, Favre said, “Well, it is a little more prolific today, but I don’t want to take anything away from what he’s done. Drew [Brees], I think, if he continues to play, we know he’ll be prolific. He could put up astronomical numbers as well. But it’s becoming a different era.”

The careers of Favre and Manning overlapped for many seasons — Favre played from 1991-2010; Manning was the No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft.

Three years ago, it appeared that Manning’s days of rewriting the record books might be over. He, of course, missed all of the 2011 season with a neck injury. Indianapolis then cut the future Hall of Famer after that season and replaced him with 2012 No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

Manning signed with Denver and proceeded to put up 37 touchdown passes in 2012 and an NFL record 55 last season.

All told, Manning holds upward of 40 individual NFL passing records. He added another to his collection Sunday night.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME health

Football Players Have More Concussions Than Are Diagnosed, Study Suggests

From left: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the medical staff check out Eric Reid after he received a concussion during the game against the Carolina Panthers on November 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
From left: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the medical staff check out Eric Reid after he received a concussion during the game against the Carolina Panthers on November 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Michael Zagaris—Getty Images

‘Dings,’ ‘bell-ringers’ ... regardless of what they’re called, a new Harvard study reveals that potential concussions are being ignored at the line of scrimmage

The collisions that draw the most attention are usually the ones that happen in the open field: A receiver streaking across the middle gets blindsided by a safety, for instance. In the trenches, the hazards are less obvious but, perhaps, even more prevalent. Offensive linemen engage with an opponent on pretty much every play—when they don’t, it usually means they’re not doing their job.

“We’re backpedaling while someone is coming at us full speed,” Giants right tackle Justin Pugh says. “You use your technique, you try to use your hands as much as possible, but obviously the head gets put into that, and there is a lot of hand-slapping [against the helmet]. A lot of stuff goes on in the trenches you can’t get penalized for, and probably a lot of guys get hit or hurt.”

Part of changing the culture around brain injuries in football is gaining greater understanding of how they’re most likely to occur, and a new research study yielded interesting findings about the number of potential concussions that go unreported, particularly among offensive linemen.

The study, authored by Harvard Ph.D. student Christine Baugh, is based on a 2013 survey of more than 700 college players from 10 Division 1 FCS schools. Players were asked to respond with numeric answers to three questions based on both the previous football season (2012) and their entire playing careers: 1) How many times have you been diagnosed with a concussion by a medical professional? 2) How many times have you sustained an impact that you suspect was a concussion but was never diagnosed? 3) How many times did you get a ding or get your bell rung?

Players reported having about six times more suspected concussions than diagnosed concussions during the 2012 season, and about 21 times more “dings” or “bell ringers.” While offensive linemen didn’t have significantly more diagnosed concussions than the average for all players, they reported about 62% more suspected concussions and 52% more “dings” or “bell ringers” than their peers at other positions. (When providing numbers for their entire football careers, running backs reported significantly more “dings” or “bell ringers” than the average).

Those words—“ding” and “bell ringer”—are often used as code words for hits that may be potentially concussive. Players in this survey were more willing to admit absorbing these kinds of hits, though the words may have different meanings to different players. That highlights a central issue: No two head injuries are the same, yet much of proper treatment and recovery management relies on players self-reporting.

Not all of the suspected concussions reported in this survey would be diagnosed as concussions, nor would all the “dings” or “bell ringers,” but the results show top-level athletes are playing through impacts that may result in brain injuries. “Even in the era of concussion awareness, if we treat the diagnosed concussions properly, will that make a difference in the long-term?” says Chris Nowinski, co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute and co-director of the BU CTE Center. “It also shows, in a sense, no matter how many changes the NFL game makes we’ve still got these potentially unfixable problems at the levels below.”

In recent years, the NFL has employed measures like the “eye in the sky” athletic trainers, who serve as injury spotters from a perch above the field, to catch more potential head injuries. The controversy at the University of Michigan, though, in which Wolverines quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to re-enter a game for one play despite showing signs of a concussion, emphasizes that the process can be better at all levels of the game.

For offensive linemen in particular, the study provides a different perspective on the subconcussive hits—lower impact, but with higher frequency—that players on the front lines absorb. Players were asked to report how often they experience concussion-related symptoms after a hit. Compared to most other position groups, offensive linemen reported more frequently experiencing symptoms that were not likely to be externally observable, such as dizziness, headaches and concentration difficulties. The responses also showed that offensive linemen, on average, returned to play while experiencing symptoms after a hit more frequently than their peers during the 2012 season.

The research paper suggests that many of the hits considered “subconcussive” may in fact be symptomatic impacts left unreported. Perhaps because they are more routine; offensive linemen may also be less likely as a position group to self-report, for any number of reasons, whether it’s less attention being paid to head injuries among their position-mates or a pride that they rarely come out of the game.

“Since there are normally just five guys that play the offensive line position, a lot of times you just don’t want to come out of the game at all,” Pugh says. “As a defensive lineman, you can come out for a few plays, and you rotate, so it is part of the norm. With us, I won’t say it’s frowned upon, but no guy wants to come out of the game and hurt the chemistry of the team or hurt a good drive.”

Pugh was sidelined during his rookie training camp with a concussion after he collided with a teammate while pulling out in space. He now checks himself after every collision, using that experience as his context for what the symptoms of a brain injury feel like. Not every player has that context, though, nor does every concussion feel the same.

Many rule changes have focused on those big open-field hits, but this study suggests a wider lens in making the game safer. Nowinski recalls a visit to the University of Miami last year to discuss head trauma with coach Al Golden, after which the coach had his team wear baseball caps during a non-contact practice to ensure that the linemen were not continuing to knock helmets.

For now, proper technique is one way linemen can lessen the frequency of collisions in the trenches.

“The best way to pass block is to see your opponent,” Giants left tackle Will Beatty says. “Keeping your head up; keeping your eyes on your target. It is physical, but you are not out there head-butting people each play. You want your helmet to be clean. You want to use power from your arms and your chest rather than trying to use your head in a block. Even though you are in the trenches, you can still protect yourself.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Los Angeles Mayor Says It’s ‘Highly Likely’ an NFL Team Comes to City Soon

Key Speakers At The 2014 Milken Conference
The Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaks after an interview at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. on April 28, 2014. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Anschutz Entertainment Group has been working to find a team to relocate and play in its downtown stadium

Mayor Eric Garcetti said it is “highly likely” an NFL team moves to Los Angeles within the next year.

During an interview on radio station KNX, via The Associated Press, Garcetti said he thinks the NFL is “finally interested” in Los Angeles 20 years after the Rams and Raiders left. The Anschutz Entertainment Group has been working to find a team to relocate and play in its downtown stadium. AEG’s proposal for a six-month extension will be reviewed on Friday. Garcetti has said he supports the extension.

The San Diego Chargers are opposed to a team relocating to Los Angeles because they receive 30 percent of their local revenue from the market. The Rams and Raiders have the ability to leave their current stadium leases at the end of this season.

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reported the NFL is planning to have one or two teams move to Los Angeles by 2016. New York Giants co-owner John Mara said he believes a team will move to Los Angeles in the near future. Fellow co-owner Steve Tisch, however, said the situation hasn’t moved forward or backwards.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was hesitant earlier this week to discuss relocation to Los Angeles.

“I’ve always been reluctant until we have a solution to project where we are,” Goodell said. “There are reasons for optimism, but that can change quickly also. What we want to do is make sure we’re doing the work to evaluate those alternatives, understand those alternatives, and if there’s an alternative that makes sense, bring that to the membership.”

Three-quarters of the league’s owners must approve of any team relocating.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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