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Showing results for tags 'football'.

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  1. For almost 400 years, Americans have gathered around the dinner table on the 26th of November to celebrate Thanksgiving. This day, a federal holiday in the US, is characterised by plenty of food, plenty of football and, of course, the carving of the iconic turkey. While often considered a strictly American holiday, Thanksgiving is also celebrated in countries like Canada, Brazil and Liberia. However, almost all of the traditions that we’ve come to know and love are rooted in American culture. Where it All Began Although sometimes disputed, the general consensus is that the tradition of Thanksgiving began with the sharing of an autumn harvest feast between the English Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans. According to historians, that meal was a far cry from the delicacies found at today’s Thanksgiving table. It is presumed that the feast consisted of an abundance of vegetables, including onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots and possibly peas. Seafood was also likely present at the table, considering the location of Plymouth, New England near the sea. Other food likely served was wild deer and wildfowl. On the 3rd of October 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the 26th of November 1863 a national Thanksgiving Day to celebrate a critical victory for the Union Army at Gettysburg. However, Thanksgiving was officially proclaimed a federal holiday on the 26th of December 1941, following a resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover. What About the Turkey? Despite its legendary status, it’s interesting to note that the turkey only made an appearance at the dinner table more than 240 years after the first Thanksgiving meal took place. According to historians, while turkeys may have been around in 1621, it is far more likely that the pilgrims served wildfowl, probably ducks and geese. Turkeys only became a Thanksgiving staple around 1863, after colonist William Bradford mentioned it in his account of the first Thanksgiving meal. Today, it is safe to say that Thanksgiving is not complete without a delicious turkey in the centre of the table! Football Kicks Into the Thanksgiving Picture Another classic American Thanksgiving tradition involves watching football before tucking into dinner. Football became synonymous with Thanksgiving a few years of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation. Following the Thanksgiving Day game between Yale and Princeton in 1876, the 26th of November soon became the date of the Intercollegiate Football Association championship game. Over the years, many universities built up rivalry games that were specifically played on this date. This soon extended to the National Football League (NFL) games. Thanksgiving’s Pop Culture Effect Although it doesn’t resonate on the same level as Christmas, Thanksgiving still offers some classic pop culture references, both in movies and series. Who can forget Monica dancing with a turkey on her head? Or movie classics like Charlie Brown Thanksgiving? These references have, rightly or wrongly, shaped our view of what a Thanksgiving Day ought to look like. For many people around the world, Thanksgiving is merely a day seen in these films and TV shows. And even if you’ve never seen a turkey in real life, you’ll still have a picture of one being pulled from an oven in all it’s golden glory in your mind when Thanksgiving lunch is mentioned. Slots To Give Thanks For In the spirit of this holiday, it is no surprise to see a plethora of Thanksgiving and holiday-themed slots. Here are three of our favourites: ✓ Gobblers Gold Rival Software’s Gobblers Gold slot is sure to put you in the mood for the holidays. The game’s 5x3 reels tell the story of a 17th century Thanksgiving. Game symbols include pilgrims, colonial ships, pumpkin pie and plenty of other imagery associated with this holiday. Of course, the turkey makes its appearance as the wild symbol. It is against this backdrop that players can win up to 7500 coins. ✓ Wild Turkey Another popular turkey-themed slot is Wild Turkey. Developed by NetEnt, this slot offers players some absolutely wild returns! Wild Turkey introduces us to a band of Aztec-era turkeys. These flightless birds live for the stacked wilds, which bring about greater rewards. With a respectable RTP of 96.6%, this high variance slot is worth checking out. ✓ 1st Down Sticking with all things Thanksgiving, we present 1st Down, a football-themed slot that sure to get fans fired up for the big game. Played out across 5 reels, this casino slot gives players the option of selecting their own slot symbols. These symbols include the helmet, a football and the quarterback. Bonuses can be triggered by landing 5 gold coins anywhere on the reels, leading to big wins. Those wins can be multiplied by up to 6x if your chosen teams scores a touchdown! Unleash Your Animal Instincts Thanksgiving effectively ushers in the start of the holiday period. It is a day filled with family and friends, food and, of course, football. Beyond those things, however, lies an important lesson. Every so often, it’s important to set aside time, count your blessings and give thanks for the good things in your life. In a world that is often filled with hatred, anger and jealously, we all need moments where we are reminded to just be thankful.
  2. As of late August 2020, the NFL will not be flying a BLM flag at its games, marking a significant departure from actions of the MLB. The football establishment is under particular scrutiny, considering the high percentage of Black players as well as the league’s response to Colin Kaepernick’s protests against police brutality and racial inequality starting in March of 2016. The NFL has, however, announced a $250 million commitment to “combat systematic racism,” and Kaepernick’s former team did fly the BLM flag at Levi’s Stadium. So, do people think this is enough? Is it too much? We spoke directly to the fans to find out. More than 1,000 self-described football fans shared their sentiment on the place of the Black Lives Matter movement in and outside of football. They explained how certain decisions would impact their support for the league and even their most beloved teams. Certain teams’ fans were more opposed than others, while actions beyond flying the BLM flag were also considered. Additionally, we took a quick peek at changing opinions since the Colin Kaepernick decision. Read on to see what we found. Fan Opposition and Support for BLM To kick off our study, we presented fans with one simple question: Do you support the Black Lives Matter movement? Although all were fans of the NFL, the question’s intent was to consider the movement as a whole, beyond the league. We separated their answers, however, by the teams they supported, as well as their political affiliation. NFL fans overwhelmingly expressed support for BLM. Sixty-nine percent said yes, they support the movement. Most Republicans supported the movement as well, in spite of a tweet from President Trump’s Twitter account calling a BLM emblem in New York “a symbol of hate.” Overall, the BLM support represents a pretty significant departure for the league’s fans, most of whom previously felt that sports was simply not a place for politics, no matter how pressing. Just a few short years ago, most fans were also in disagreement with Colin Kaepernick’s protests. Flash-forward to today, where just 14.7% of fans say they oppose BLM. There were, however, some teams whose fans were more opposed to BLM than others. The top three BLM-opposing fan bases were those rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Colin K’s team, the San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps the 49ers fans are expressing the highest level of opposition due to the fact that their team has decided to fly the BLM flag, unlike the others. Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has yet to make a comment on the issue, though defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has argued, “The Dallas Cowboys are the most recognized franchise in the world. They can get behind it … it would be great to hear a statement from the Cowboys.” Kansas City Chiefs also have superstar player Patrick Mahomes pushing for his team and the NFL to do more to acknowledge past mistakes. Signs of Solidarity Flying the flag and apologizing to Colin Kaepernick seem to be the two overarching requests (or at least topics of conversation) around BLM support in the NFL. But there have been talks of other signs of solidarity as well. The following chart represents the percentage of fans supporting, opposing, and remaining neutral to various acts of solidarity the NFL could theoretically take. The NFL is still reportedly nearing an agreement to allow players to wear decals on their helmets that would honor the victims of police brutality. The decisions of the names on the decal would then be left up to the player. Sixty-four percent of fans were supportive of players honoring the victims in this way, and roughly the same percentage were supportive of them wearing general BLM decals on the field. Taking a knee during the national anthem, which really started with Colin Kaepernick in 2016, was a concept supported by 62.4% of fans. Though the NFL commissioner released a statement several weeks after the killing of George Floyd claiming, “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong,” Colin Kaepernick’s name was noticeably absent from the apology. Sixty-three percent of fans were supportive of the idea of the NFL issuing an explicit apology to him. Keep reading to see a deep dive into fan sentiment around Kaepernick’s actions. The Kaepernick Conversation The conversation around kneeling and Colin Kaepernick has taken quite a drastic turn since it first began in 2016. Even if he has been vindicated to a certain extent, he still remains uninvited to return and without apology. The next part of our study dives into fan sentiment around these specific issues, as well as how that sentiment has evolved since Kaepernick first started kneeling. In spite of the modern support fans demonstrate for BLM today, Colin Kaepernick’s decision was admittedly resisted among fans at the time. More than a quarter of fans (27.9%) confessed they were opposed to Kaepernicks’ protest when it happened, although nearly half said they have completely changed their opinions since then. The changing of hearts and minds was likely due in large part to the BLM movement itself, which many experts claim is the largest movement in the entirety of the history of the United States. Changing hearts and minds is and was no easy feat, but it did occur across all political parties. Forty-nine percent of Republicans who opposed Kaepernick’s kneel said they now agree with the decision, several years later. Even those who were originally in the middle of the aisle politically felt compelled to change their original opinions: 22.4% of independents who initially opposed Kaepernick’s behavior confessed they were now on board. Maintaining Viewership When a person is getting physically overthrown or crossing the threshold into TD zones, you might not find yourself wondering what their political views are. But many NFL fans just might be. When we asked respondents how important it was that their favorite NFL players share the same views as them, some teams’ fans were pretty adamant that they be similar. In comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic, respondents were also asked to weigh their concern over BLM with that of the coronavirus. In spite of the fact that so many fans demonstrated a likelihood to change their views over time, exactly 51.6% said it was still important that their favorite NFL players share the same views as them in the present. Those identifying as Democrats were the most likely to feel this way, but it was those aligned with Republicans who were the most likely to say they would actually stop watching their favorite teams if they demonstrated any type of support for BLM. But Republicans certainly weren’t the only ones who felt strongly enough about BLM to react this way. Fifty-three percent of respondents overall said they’d too stop watching certain teams if their players protest for BLM. Interestingly, it mattered most to fans of Washington’s Football Team (formerly the Redskins) that the players share their views. Racism against Native Americans has been at the forefront of this team’s discussion as well. Though team owner Dan Snyder had long resisted a name change, FedEx asked them to rebrand, Nike pulled their merchandise, and many investment firms and shareholders also put renewed pressure on the team to change the name in the wake of the current civil rights movement. In comparison to COVID-19, the BLM movement will barely make an impact at all on viewership. Eighty-four percent of fans agreed that they were more concerned about COVID-19 when it came to watching games than a player’s decision to protest. Preliminary studies show that NFL viewership is down roughly 12% this year already, which some attribute to BLM protests but, in reality, may be due to issues with competing against the backdrop of the coronavirus. NFL’s 2020 Season Though we could say their season kicked off with a rocky start, most fans won't be giving up their love of the sport. About half cared if the players shared the same views as themselves. Fans were also likely to be able to change their mind when it came to BLM-related acts of protest, as so many came around on Colin Kaepernick’s actions. In a world where differences of views are not always tolerated, football fans came together. Many changed their minds and came together to support BLM and Colin Kaepernick across all three political parties, despite notoriously different opinions in the past. Perhaps even as the league “gets political,” fans will be more open to it than the world had previously thought. Methodology We surveyed 1,003 NFL fans about their opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement and its impact on the NFL. Respondents were 64.7% men and 35% women. Two respondents identified as nonbinary. The average age of respondents was 37.3 with a standard deviation of 11.9. Respondents had to identify as being fans of the NFL in order to qualify for the study. Respondents were asked to report what teams they were fans of. They were allowed to select as many teams as they wanted. We asked respondents to report whether they oppose or support the Black Lives Matter movement. They were given the following scale of answer options: Strongly oppose Oppose Neither oppose nor support Support Strongly support In our final visualization of the data, we combined these into three groups: oppose, neither oppose nor support, and support. The same answer scale and groupings were used for response about opposition and support for Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protests. Additionally, we asked respondents on the same answer scale to identify their opposition or support for various actions the league could take to show solidarity with the BLM movement that have been discussed for the 2020 season. Respondents were asked to indicate how unimportant or important it is whether their favorite NFL players share the same views as them. Respondents were given the following options: Extremely unimportant Unimportant Neither unimportant nor important Important Extremely important In our final visualization of the data, we combined these into the following groups: unimportant, neither unimportant nor important, and important. Limitations The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration. Fair Use Statement Things are certainly up in the air for the NFL. If you know somebody who is trying to keep their finger on the pulse or someone who would benefit from our data, you are welcome to share it with them. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page for proper attribution.
  3. Whenever angry Yelp reviewers last sat down to share their opinions of NFL stadiums, perhaps they didn’t realize just how hard historic events (COVID-19) would be hitting these same venues. Especially now that football season is here and stadiums attempt to construct various social distancing guidelines, it’s interesting to look back and see some of the reviews mentioning things like the fans or cleanliness on-site. After venues fill back up, will these Yelp reviews look the same? Maybe stadiums will be entirely different this year, but we have a pretty good idea of what reputations they need to overcome. We recently scraped over 9,600 Yelp reviews of each NFL stadium. We categorized these nearly ten thousand by reviews that mentioned the cleanliness, the prices, the traffic, and of course, the fans. What we ultimately found was a list of the best and worst stadiums (based on Yelp reviews) for each of these categories. If you’re curious to see how your hometown or favorite team stadium stacks up, keep scrolling. What's in a Game? The study began with a look at all the 1-star reviews of stadiums. Poor reviews were then flagged each time they mentioned price, traffic, uncleanliness, or the fans. We also considered a simple overall ranking of stadiums by their average star ratings. Stadiums with fewer than 20 1-star reviews were excluded to avoid one person’s opinion overly influencing the data. The overall worst three stadiums, according to their average star reviews on Yelp, were: Washington Football Team’s FedExField - 2.35 stars San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium - 2.67 stars LA Chargers’ Dignity Health Sports Park - 3.12 stars We initially considered that the Washington Football Team’s stadium may have ranked most poorly because of the controversy surrounding the team’s former name, the Washington Redskins. Though the replacement name has not yet been chosen, it may not fix their poor stadium experience. Poor reviews from FedExField attendees were mostly concerned with price (45.5%) and traffic (48.8%). Price also bothered many 1-star reviewers after visiting the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T stadium (40%) and the LA Rams Memorial Stadium (39.4%). Ultimately, price and traffic seemed to be the top two factors that weighed into most 1-star reviews. Things like uncleanliness and fans were mentioned, but not nearly as often in the bad reviews. Fans of the Raiders, however, were one exception to this rule and were mentioned more than a third of the time in all negative reviews about their stadium. According to Rolling Stone Magazine (and apparently Yelp reviewers), Raiders fans are the number one most disrespected in the league. Those who visit the stadium mention the fans quite frequently (35% of the time) in their 1-star reviews. In comparison, the overall top three stadiums rated positively, according to their average star reviews, were: Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field - 4.76 stars Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heinz Field - 4.36 stars Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium - 4.35 stars Sparing Every Expense Since price factored so heavily into 1-star reviews, our study next sorts stadiums by those who had the most mentions of price, whether positive or negative. We then compared the average star ratings of just those reviews that mentioned price and again ranked each stadium by the top and bottom five. FedExField, as you will see, continued to be a troublemaker of sorts in the world of positive stadium experiences. But price was its first major complaint. Reviews of this stadium more often mentioned price than any other venue analyzed, and not in a good way. Though ticket sales themselves average roughly $125 per game, a previous study also showed that their prices for two tickets, two hot dogs, two beers, two soft drinks, and parking was an additional $272.17, more expensive than any other NFL stadium. In this study, reviews sorted by price for FedExField also had the lowest average star rank of any of the 31. And speaking of two hots dogs, food was a category that often went hand in hand with mentions of price. Many of the reviews we sorted through mentioned the food (hotdogs or otherwise) as being too costly. The top stadiums mentioning both food and price were the Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field, and the Bills’ New Era Field. The Falcons have announced a limited capacity seating plan for 2020, which may require those food prices to go up even further. Time and Yelp reviews will tell. The Green Bay Packers, who also plan to play in front of fans at Lambeau Stadium this year, must be doing something right with their stadium experience, as they ranked first for star ratings here as well. This stadium does offer some affordable and delicious crowd favorites, like bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cheese curds on brats. Traffic Troubles Even with a great game lined up, logistics can get in the way. You have to get everyone together, drive, and find parking. If things go smoothly, you’re lucky. The next part of our study filters reviews by their mentions of parking, traffic, and transportation. We also compared average star ratings for each mention of vehicle-related reviews. FedExField also had a major problem with transportation. More than half of all 1-star reviews of the stadium mentioned parking or traffic, and the reviews about it were lower than any other stadium. Reddit threads even offer advice in navigating this notoriously tricky (and expensive) parking space. Evidently, tailgating is also a logistical problem there. One reviewer explained it as follows: That said, there was one stadium for which reviewers mentioned parking even more often (but slightly more positively): Levi’s Stadium. Home to the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium had 57.2% of its reviews mention either parking, transportation, or the traffic. This may have to do more with San Francisco, however, than the stadium itself. San Francisco is ranked fifth worst city in the entire world — world, not country — when it comes to traffic, so Levi’s certainly has its work cut out for it in providing a smooth traffic experience. The Green Bay Packers once again provided a comparatively wonderful experience when it came to parking and transportation. In reviews that mentioned these things, Lambeau Field received an average of 4.7 stars, compared to Levi’s (2.6 stars) and FedExField (2.4 stars). Not-So-Clean Stadiums The cleanliness conversation has taken on new importance in 2020. Hygiene has become a major safety issue. FedExField has a lot of work to do in Yelper’s eyes. Not only did it rank worst for price and parking, but once fans spent all that money and finally found a parking spot, FedExField added insult to injury and didn’t provide fans with a clean stadium. That, or fans took out their dissatisfaction on the stadium itself. Either way, FedExField had a higher percentage of its reviews mentioning uncleanliness (13.5%) than any other. That’s not to say that other venues received a free pass: Though FedEx may have ranked low in this area and others, it wasn’t dead last for cleanliness. Instead, the home of the LA Chargers was the lowest rated stadium when filtered by mentions of cleanliness. LA actually had cleanliness problems in their Rams stadium as well, which had the second highest number of uncleanliness mentions. Previous sanitary studies seem to back up what the fans are noticing in these 1-star reviews: The surfaces are actually quite dirty. This may all well change, however, with newfound emphasis on hygiene following the coronavirus. We’ll keep our pulse on the Yelp reviews once their doors reopen. Fan Feedback What is a stadium, after all, without its fans? The spirit and experience of a stadium is often due to the tailgating, the cheering, and the energy of the fans. The last portion of our study ranks stadiums by the number of Yelp reviews they have mentioning the fans. The fans were mentioned most often at the Buffalo Bills New Era Field. Buffalo Bills fans have ranked as some of the league’s best, according to previous studies. Onlookers appreciate the fans’ passion and dedication, even in the dead of winter. But certainly not all reviews were positive (or without bias). A visiting fan had this to say about New Era Field: FedExField and Lambeau Field fell into their usual two spots once again: FedEx as the worst fan-related field and Lambeau as the best. While the Washington Football Team tries to figure out a new name and new COVID-19 regulations, they may need to add in a third major bullet on their to-do list: fixing up the stadium. Reviews to Look Forward to The pre COVID-19 stadium experience wasn’t necessarily always a positive one. In the spirit of focusing on the positive, we can suggest that COVID-19 be a time when stadiums take time to restock and recommit to the fans. Perhaps with new hygienic practices and an ache for the glory days, stadiums will refresh and be able to turn some of their harshest Yelp reviews into positive ones. At a minimum, we hope to see mentions of “uncleanliness” take a sharp decline. If you are going to a game, make sure to take proper safety precautions and follow the specific stadium’s guidelines. If you’re staying in, however, and wanted to get into the gaming spirit, try heading to GamblersPick.com where you can get started gaming straight away from the comfort of your own home. Methodology and Limitations We collected data from Yelp of NFL stadiums. A total of 9,685 reviews were analyzed. Data was requested on August 26, 2020. The reviews were then categorized by the presence of specific keywords. The category “price” included any reviews that mentioned the words price, cost, expensive, cheap, and money. The category “Uncleanliness” included any reviews that mentioned the words unclean, dirty, gross, nasty, disgusting, filth, smelly, stink, and mess. The category “traffic” included any reviews that mentioned the words traffic, parking, and transport. The category “fans” included any reviews that mentioned the words fans or crowd. No statistical testing was performed, so the claims listed above are based on means alone. As such, this content is exploratory and is presented for informational purposes only. Fair Use Statement It helps to know what you’re getting yourself into if you’re heading to limited or full capacity stadium operations this year. If you know someone who could benefit from the findings of this study, you are welcome to share the information with them. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
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