Articles by Beau Brace

Football

Saint Patrick and the Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern University head football coach Pat Fitzgerald is intense. At least, that’s what his players say. His program is run his way and players are expected to deal with it. From the program’s academic goals (he expects his players to succeed as students at one of the premier academic universities in the United States) to his thoughts on social networking (don’t, ever), Fitzgerald asks that his players make the school proud. Of course, he also…

Football

“These Guys Were Stars”: The fall and rise of USC football

When you think about it, the University of Southern California’s downfall under NCAA sanctions makes some sense. After all, from its extensive coverage in national media to its players’ cardinal and gold uniforms, the program was flashy. What got them noticed most, though, was that they won, often spectacularly, and they didn’t apologize. At times during the Pete Carroll years, USC football seemed to be as untouchable as Bill Belichick’s Patriots. They were a well-oiled…

Football

Undrafted free agents, losers of the lockout?

“Football is back.” With those three words, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in his mind, obliterated the past few months of NFL media coverage. Of course, it was Goodell who insisted on calling the league-initiated lockout a work stoppage, a euphemism remarkable for the disingenuous nonchalance with which it was intended to absolve the league of its creating the situation in the first place. Having in three words, dispensed with history, Goodell and the rest of the NFL could…

Football

The NFL, Twitter and Osama bin Laden

The social media juggernaut that is Twitter has caused a great many NFL headlines of late, but just how many of these headlines have come about solely as a result of the ongoing lockout is debatable. There’s a school of thought that ESPN and other mainstream sports sites are grasping at anything even remotely resembling news to fill the typical offseason void. Another, however, believes that what athletes say in the public sphere is fair game and entertaining news…

Football

The NFL mock draft process revealed

The NFL Draft is one of the strangest spectacles in all of sports. The draft itself is, of course, quite simple: each NFL team picks from the top NCAA players over a series of seven rounds with teams picking in a predetermined order. In the past, the draft was not subject to much speculation and was covered mostly after the fact. Now, with the likes of ESPN and the NFL Network looking to fill a 24-hour cycle with news and stories,…