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Naidu: A(AF) bone-crushing reality

The Alliance of American Football kicked off last Saturday night to what many have called a rousing success from a ratings perspective. The league’s inaugural game between the San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet attracted 2.9 million viewers. This topped the NBA’s marquee game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder (2.5 million), a matchup that features the league’s two most recent MVPs.

Seven Stanford Cardinal invited to NFL Combine

The National Football League announced their invitations to the 2019 Combine today, including seven Stanford football players in their list of 338 total prospects. The Combine, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a yearly event for NFL scouts to evaluate and interview potential draft prospects. The Stanford players invited cover a variety of offensive and defensive positions, including wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside, running back Bryce Love, offensive lineman Nate Herbig, tight end Kaden Smith, linebacker Bobby Okereke, cornerback Alijah Holder and punter Jake Bailey.

Ziperski: Team owners matter

When fans try to pinpoint the reasons behind a team’s success or failure, they most often look to players or coaches. The New England Patriots have been dominant for nearly two decades because of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have soared to the top of the league because of Sean McVay’s play-calling brilliance and Patrick Mahomes’ phenomenal play. Conversely, a team like the Raiders has struggled for so long because they’ve lacked star power both on the field and on the sideline (yes, even Jon Gruden).

Pragada: The ballad of Blake Bortles

If you were to show the last two volumes of this paper to a Stanford outsider (and they had the ability to instantly read all of it) they might notice an unusual number of references to the Jacksonville Jaguars. No, this is not because of the NBC’s The Good Place (although Jason Mendoza’s antics have contributed greatly to the visibility of the Jaguars) but rather because I’ve been in charge of the sports section for the past year. I’ve written on the Jaguars a multitude of times, and my teal fandom has equally inspired my sports writers to take as many shots as possible at my team in their writing. Seriously, I edit a lot of them out, but they get pretty mean sometimes. Thanks guys.

Venkataraman: The No Fun League

In 20 years, we may look back and remember the 2013-2014 NFL season as the moment when everything went to pieces. The biggest and richest sporting association in America, riding high on ballooning cash flows, exorbitant TV deals, a cutthroat collective bargaining agreement that took significant money away from the players and a dubious and yet seemingly irrevocable status as a…