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And... It's Good!: A Look Into Football On Reddit35:51
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Keith Burchall of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was excited to attend the rally as he dressed in Patriots colors and with his face painted silver. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Keith Burchall of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was excited to attend the rally as he dressed in Patriots colors and with his face painted silver. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

With the Super Bowl (or as many Redditors call it, the Superb Owl) mere days away, we decided to focus on the world of football — everything from how the Chicago Bears affect football stats, to unicycle football (really...and it's exactly what it sounds like).

We've decided to break the episode into four quarters, plus — spoiler alert — overtime. Listen to the episode for all the fun information, come here for the GIFs.

P.S. Go Pats!

First Quarter

We talk to two of the moderators of /r/nfl, Mat Wend and Emily Humphrey. If you like to talk football on the Internet, there's no better place to be. They've got a mega post up with specific topics up for discussion. (Boston, please prove us proud in the Trash Talk Thread).

One of the most interesting posts in /r/nfl was about how you can, with almost complete accuracy, predict the winner of a playoff game by looking at the outcome from the last time each team faced the Chicago Bears.

For what it's worth, the Eagles beat the Bears in their last game by 28 points, in 2017. The Patriots did too -- also by 28 points -- in 2014. So what does this mean for the Eagles-Patriots face-off this weekend? Time will tell...

Second Quarter

Next up: The halftime show. It's had some memorable moments:

Prince:

Left Shark:

Beyonce:

We revisit the hot mess that was the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show. This was in 1992, which is also the last time the Super Bowl was held in Minnesota. Redditor /u/JaguarGator9 explains it all in this epic /r/nfl thread.

The show that year featured, among other oddities, the head of the Statute of Liberty; Christmas songs, about a month too late; and cover version of "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, where every single lyric was changed.

After FOX grabbed viewers by showing an episode of "In Living Color" during halftime, the NFL realized it needed to get serious about its halftime shows. So they got the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, for Super Bowl XXVII. And the rest is history.

Third Quarter

This quarter is a little more serious. A Redditor named Jason posted on /r/changemyview about his decision to not let his 8-year-old son play tackle football.

"I have talked to him about the dangers of the sport, the recent NFL testimony in front of Congress and the need to shift him away from football," wrote Jason. "He is simply too young, in my opinion, to make this potentially life altering decision."

Jason got lots of feedback, from folks both pro- and anti-football.

The research behind CTE is well-established, and potentially devastating — in one study, 110 out of 111 dead NFL players were found to have it.

Jason's son is now 10 and has been playing tackle football for three years.

"And I don't know what the effect is on my son if I just pull his greatest passion away from him. So at this point, it's, let’s put you in the best helmet possible and with the best coaches that I know and keep on going," he says.

Fourth Quarter

The fourth quarter of any football game is when fans start sweating their bets. So we devote our fourth quarter to just that — betting. But in this case, it's betting for a cause.

Rob Anderson runs /r/CharitableBets, a subreddit devoted to betting on major league sports. Except all the money wagered goes to a charity of the winner's choosing.

This year, Rob has put together a comprehensive list of charities in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania for people looking to bet on the Super Bowl.

Overtime

Last, but not least, we bring you unicycle football, introduced to us by the fine folks at /r/theocho, where people post about unusual sports.

And yes, the subreddit's title is a direct nod to this:

Unicycle football is a real thing and it's wild. Check it out:

The league was started by Marcus Garland, aka Larry Gunn (all the players have UFL names), in 2008. He was a street performer as a kid, and would pretend to be on the Houston Oilers with a football and his unicycle — tossing the football to himself and catching it on the unicycle.

A big thanks to Audrey McGlinchy who got the sound at the UFL game last week in San Marcos, Texas.


You can find us on Twitter at @endless_thread and on Reddit as /u/endless_thread. Subscribe to the podcast with Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, RadioPublic or RSS.

Meghan B. Kelly Twitter Digital Producer
Meghan is a digital producer for WBUR.

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