When we started The League in 2008, it was designed to be a daily conversation on the biggest hot topics, most divisive issues and quirky sidenotes from around the NFL. Now, in a slightly different format, we aim to provide the same content through the voices of our diverse, knowledgeable panel of expert contributors from around the country.
The League isn't Roger Goodell's company line or the hype-heavy loop of cliches you see on TV. It's an interactive forum that brings a critical eye — yours and ours — to the latest NFL news, stats, and people.
From current and former journalists, writers, teachers and professionals from a wide variety of fields to former NFL players and staffers, our contributors share their unique perspectives on America’s most popular professional sport. We hope you enjoy reading their takes on the top issues around the league and feel free engage them in discussion in our comments section.
Now, it’s time to meet the contributors...
Dave Goldberg: Dave was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Tuckahoe, N.Y. north of the city and graduated from Williams College. He spent 41 years with the AP, the first part of my career covering politics, including the 1972, 1976 and 1980 presidential elections before switching to sports in 1982. From 1984 until he retired in 2009, he was the main pro football writer, with a minor in jurisprudence and labor, notably the 1986 USFL trial and the 1987 strike. He has covered the last 27 Super Bowls, writing the running game story for 20 of them and columns for seven others. He has also covered baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, boxing and ... he guesses, just about every sport.
After his retirement Dave spent a year and a half as a senior football writer for AOL Fanhouse. Follow him on twitter at @davegoldberg84.
Michael Kun: Michael is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and The University of Virginia School of Law. He is a shareholder in the law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, PC, practicing in labor and employment law. In addition to being the co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia, he is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Locklear Letters and You Poor Monster. The former was a BookSense #1 selection, as well as a highlighted Amazon selection; the latter was selected for Barnes and Noble’s “Discovery Great New Writers” program and Borders’ “Original Voices” program.
Michael has lived in too many places to count, but grew up a fan of the Jets and Cowboys. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Amy and their daughter Paige, neither of whom cares about the Jets, Cowboys or football in general.
Dawn Knight: Dawn is the author of Taliaferro, Foreword Magazine's 2007 Sports Book of the Year. The book chronicles George Taliaferro's career as a trailblazer in the NFL. Dawn lives on a small horse farm in Westfield, Indiana, where she lives with her husband and three kids. An English teacher at Westfield High School, Dawn earned a BS degree in Education/English from Indiana University and a Master's degree in Journalism from Ball State University.
In her meager spare time, Dawn enjoys being active -- anything from riding bikes to playing in volleyball and dodgeball leagues. She reads, writes, and attends her kids' numerous soccer and rugby games. Of course she loves to watch football and is an avid Colts fan.
Anthony Stalter: Anthony was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago but currently resides in St. Louis. He attended Central Michigan University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree while majoring in journalism and minoring in cinematic and broadcast arts. A couple of years out of college, Anthony landed in Detroit where he was a nights and weekends producer at Sports Radio WDFN AM1130. One of the highlights of his time at WDFN was spending many nights at the Palace in Auburn Hills, sitting at media row watching the Pistons (back in their playoff days). During that time he also wrote for Bullz-Eye.com and The Scores Report.com, where he now is a full-time NFL columnist. He also covers some baseball and college football, but his passion is the NFL and he really enjoys discussing the draft. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyStalter.
Jason Maloni: Jason is a crisis communication expert, Senior Vice President with Levick Strategic Communications and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice. Jason has counseled athletes, franchises, universities, sponsors and other entities on a variety of public perception matters including litigation, antitrust, allegations of steroid use, criminal charges, social & digital media practices, and labor relations.
Richard Boadu:Richard is the co-author and editor of 6Magazine.com. an urban-centered gridiron publication on a mission to “satisfy the appetite of the most voracious football fan.” Follow Richard on twitter at @6Magazine.
Brandon Benson: Brandon was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where he developed a life long obsession with the Green Bay Packers. After a brief detour in Chicago, where he attended law school and got that out of his system, he headed west and currently resides in Portland, Oregon where he works as a CPA in a public accounting firm. Brandon is the lead writer and founding editor of Acme Packing Company, the SB Nation blog for the Green Bay Packers, and has been writing online since 2003. Follow him on twitter at @acmepackingco.
Emil Steiner : Emil grew up in Philadelphia, London and Prague. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, in 2001, he worked as an investigative reporter in Europe. In 2005, his first novel, Drunk Driving was published. That same year, Steiner joined the Washington Post where he covered politics, travel and news of the weird. In 2008, he founded the League. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism at Temple University.
Nick Lowery : Nick is a former NFL kicker who played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1980-93 during his 19-year career. When he retired in 1996, Nick ranked first in field goal percentage and total field goals in NFL history. In 2009 the three-time Pro Bowl selection was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Nick grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended St. Albans School. He now helps run the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation and is a motivational speaker.
Aaron Stern: Aaron is a Boston-based writer, reporter, and videographer. A Maryland native, he worked for three years as a reporter at The Potomac Almanac before moving to Chicago to get a Master's Degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. In his spare time, he defies logic by continuing to be a devoted Redskins and Orioles fan. You can follow him on twitter at @aarondstern and you can see more of his work at aarondstern.com.
Matt Loede : Matt has been in the sports media for over 17 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, the NBA and of course, the NFL. He has been co-owner and editor of the Sports Gab Network and NFL Gridiron Gab since its creation back in August of 2006. On NFL Sunday's you can hear Matt on National networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and other stations around the country. He has covered the Cleveland Browns since their return to the league in 1999, and also was on hand covering Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa and Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. Born and raised in Cleveland, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.
Derede McAlpin: Derede McAlpin, Esq. is a Vice President at Levick Strategic Communications and member of the firm’s Sports & Entertainment Practice. Throughout her career working in the media, law, public affairs, marketing and courtrooms, she has established a solid reputation as a leading counselor and strategist on high-stakes litigation, corporate reputation, crisis/issues management and online reputation matters.
Her work forms an essential part of trial strategy in bet-the-company litigation, ensuring that client stories and positions are clearly understood by potential jurors, analysts, the news media, and general public. She has worked with high profile individuals, including celebrities and athletes. Derede received her law degree from the Temple University School of Law and spent time in Rome, Italy studying international law. She covered professional sports, including field, court and locker room coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles, Flyers and Sixers for ABC News (Philadelphia).
Peter Schaffer: Peter Schaffer, Esq. is a sports lawyer and agent going on 25 years. During that quarter century he has represented such elite athletes as Barry Sanders, Joe Thomas, Willie Roaf, Hakeem Nicks, Jerome Bettis amongst others. The total number of athletes represented exceeds 1,000 and encompasses all of the major sports from Major League Baseball to Hockey to Basketball and the PGA Tour. Peter attended the prestigious Hill School, Pottstown, Pa., graduating with honors in 1980 and graduated with honors from Franklin & Marshall College in 1984 where he played varsity lacrosse and also served as the captain of the school’s ice hockey team. In 1987, Peter graduate in the top of his class with honors from Brooklyn Law School. He joined C. Lamont Smith in the development of All-Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc. as principal, shareholder and special counsel in 1988. Later that year he founded the law firm, Smith & Schaffer, a boutique litigation firm specializing in socially conscious litigation.
Nick Houllis : Nick Houllis was born in Chicago but has lived in the Tampa Bay area since he was four. He attended St. Petersburg College in Tarpon Springs, Fla. An avid video collector, Nick has the largest collection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers games on DVD in the world. A die-hard fan since 1979, Houllis runs the Video Fan site www.Bucstop.com for the Bloguin network, and is a guest writer on three other blogs representing both his fanaticism for and historical knowledge of the Bucs. Follow Nick on twitter at @BucStop.
More to come...