“Dante’s Inferno: Can Pettis Reignite His 49ers Career?”

“For some, failure fuels the fire. 49ers WR Dante Pettis has been accustomed to failure as of late. Dennis Waitley once said, ‘Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.’

“49ers WR Dante Pettis has become accustomed to failure as of late. Though Pettis’ team was incredibly successful in 2019, Pettis’ contributions towards that success were mostly unnoticeable. Once a highly touted 2nd-round draft pick, Pettis found himself slotted to be a starting WR for the 49ers heading into the 2019 season.”   –Gilbert Brink, 49ers Webzone, 2020

Read the full article here.

The 5 Levels of NFL Draft Hell

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“The language of sports is full of jargon used to signal inclusion. Being in on the dialect indicates expertise — being someone who lives in and understands traditions. Jargon can also act as a replacement for original thought and provides a way to anesthetize the speaker and their audience from the human realities and consequences of sports. The conversation around the NFL Draft demonstrates this power of jargon in shaping the idea of football and its athletes: We’ve begun looking at players and their bodies through the cliches and expressions they are confined to.

“Terms like ‘elite,’ ‘draft stock,’ and ‘big board’ are used by experts and fans to signal belonging. Players are reduced to ambiguous descriptors, like ‘gunslinger’ and ‘winner.’ More troublesome, this path of reduction and obscurement leads to whitewashing a history of domestic violence as ‘character concerns,’ homosexuality dismissed as a ‘distraction,’ and black athletes portrayed as monsters and brutes. ‘Freak’ and ‘machine’ are treated as endearing descriptions, and the suspicion that a black quarterback can’t ‘read a defense’ tries to hide the racist idea that black people are not as smart as their white counterparts.

“This corrupted language leads to corrupted thinking. The banality of most jargon, in making sure to hide reality behind doublespeak, inevitably escalates to lightly coded bigotry. Jargon lets old prejudices and racist tropes run amok, disguised as sporting truths. To help untangle these euphemisms, we created a glossary to decode NFL evaluations, separated by levels of nefariousness that even Dante would appreciate. And in that spirit, let us take you on a journey …” [. . .]    –Zito Madu & Charles Mcdonald, Sbnation, 2018

“Will Coronavirus Continue to Hold SEC Football Hostage?”

“A fall without college football sounds like the wickedest episode of the ‘The Twilight Zone’ or maybe even one of Dante’s nine circles of Hell.”    –Terry J. Wood, Fayetteville Flyer, July 28, 2020

Dante’s Inferno Football Camp

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“Becoming recognized as one of the most dynamic football camps in the northwest, Dante’s Inferno will give your child great football skills, incredible encouragement and inspirational life lessons. Special guest, Dante Rosario, University of Oregon standout and current NFL tight end for the Carolina Panthers, helps the “See Ya Later” Foundation bring a football camp to life that kids from all socio-economic scenarios and athletic talent can find great hope in…This camp is available for boys and girls 3rd through 8th grade…”    —SeeYaLater

“Marching Owl Band Drops the D-Bomb on Todd Graham”

marching-owl-band-drops-the-d-bomb-on-todd-graham“TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa has filed a formal complaint with Conference USA over the Rice marching band’s performance of ‘Todd Graham’s Inferno’ during halftime of Saturday’s football game in Houston. Graham left Rice for Tulsa after just one season… The band’s show depicted a search for the former Owls coach through different circles of Hell, based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.” [. . .]    –Matt Hinton, Sunday Morning QB, November 27, 2007

Contributed by George Trone

“Blew Bayou”

michael-lewis-blew-bayou“No one knows that better than Lewis. In less than two years, the 5’8″, 165-pound bayou waterbug has gone from driving a beer truck, schlepping kegs for a Budweiser distributorship two doors down from the Saints practice facility, to leading the NFL with 1,950 total return yards (1,504 kickoff, 446 punt). At the NFL-ancient age of 29, with just a year of JV high school football and no college experience, Lewis began his journey through the darkest recesses of professional football like some kind of Dante character in shoulder pads. Now he’s 31, and fans have made him the leading vote-getter among kick returners in this season’s Pro Bowl balloting.”    –David Fleming, ESPN Magazine, December 10, 2002