New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can suit up for his team’s season opener after a judge erased his four-game suspension for “Deflategate.”

The surprise ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman came Thursday after more than one month of failed settlement talks between the NFL and its players’ union. Many legal experts believed the judge was merely pressuring the sides to settle when he criticized the NFL’s handling of the case at two hearings in August.

But the judge wasn’t posturing.

Judge Lets Brady Play, Ruling Against NFL In 'Deflategate'

Sep 3, 2015

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can suit up for his team's season opener after a judge erased his four-game suspension for "Deflategate."

Durham town administrators and University police are preparing for 5,000 UNH students to flood Durham’s downtown after the Patriots play the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Town Administrator Todd Selig says in years past, inebriated college students have wreaked havoc downtown – especially when local sports teams play in high profile games. 

Most students are responsible, says Selig.

Nevertheless, Durham police have sent letters to local businesses, “encouraging them to bring inside tables, chairs, trash receptacles,” says Selig.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Male-only swimming pools, too few bathrooms, inappropriate sexual comments. On today’s Word of Mouth, the secret --- and not so honorable -- history of including women in the U.S. Senate

Then, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed paid maternity and sick leave. We’ll take an unfiltered look at the state of family leave in America.

Plus, we celebrate Superbowl Sunday with the curious history of one of the sports’ key beverages: Gatorade.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

<a href="" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

The New England Patriots are getting ready for the Superbowl on Sunday, they’ll be playing the Seattle Seahawks for the championship. Eleven years ago they were in a similar position, gearing up for the match against the Carolina Panthers.

From the Archives this week we found this 2004 interview from NHPR’s The Front Porch. Host John Walters spoke with then (and current) State Senator from Manchester, Lou D’Allessandro. John spoke with D’Allessandro about his football career at UNH as well as his 1961 tryout for a new football franchise in Boston.

As a cold rain poured down, the New England Patriots crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 victory.

The Patriots established their lead early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Colts scored one touchdown in the second quarter, but after a Patriots field goal, New England still entered halftime 10 points in the lead.

Via UNH Wildcats website

The top-ranked University of New Hampshire football team is looking to continue its playoff run tonight.

The Wildcats will host the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga tonight at 8 in the quarterfinals of the FCS tournament.

The game will be played under the lights at Cowell Stadium in Durham.

UNH enters the game with an 11-1 record, and the number one seed in the playoffs.

The Wildcats have won 11 in a row, and defeated Fordham University last weekend to advance.

The top-ranked University of New Hampshire football team is set to begin its playoff run this weekend.

The Wildcats will host Fordham University Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA D-1 Football Championship.

Head coach Sean McDonnell joined Morning Edition from Durham to reflect on the season and preview this weekend’s playoff matchup.

After just a single loss in the first game of the season, you ended up with a string of 10 wins. Can you recap this spectacular season?

Via UNH Wildcats website

The University of New Hampshire football team is heading into the playoffs as the number one seed.

UNH clinched the Colonial Athletic Association title this weekend, defeating the University of Maine on Saturday, 20-12.

The title, the school’s first since 1994, earned UNH an automatic bid into the NCAA Division 1 FCS Football Championship.

UNH was awarded the number one seed on Sunday, giving the team a first-round bye. UNH will host either Fordham or Sacred Heart at Cowell Stadium in Durham on Saturday, Dec. 6.

VGo/NHPR Staff

Football faces increasing criticism as mounting evidence shows the dangers of concussions, in particular undiagnosed concussions.

A new telehealth initiative at Dartmouth College aims to eliminate those undiagnosed concussions by bringing neurosurgeons to the sidelines--via robot.

On the sidelines of the Dartmouth/Penn football game, neurosurgeon Robert Singer watches carefully.

"A lot of these hits are shoulder hits. What we’re looking for are direct head to head kind of contact, that type of thing."

Lambeau Field / Flickr/CC

With several players charged with domestic violence, including a shocking video showing the abuse, many are questioning the league’s culture and policies. We’re looking into how widespread the problem is and what it might take to address what some are calling a systemic issue.


West McGowan via flickr Creative Commons

The preseason has already started, and football fans across the country are gearing up for another action-packed season of hard losses, big wins, and epic hits.

On today’s show, a provocative new book makes a case for why not to watch football. Plus, Iraqi cities under siege, Ebola cases climbing, unrest in Ferguson; despite the tough news, your Facebook news feed may look remarkably chipper, we’ll look into Facebook’s carefully orchestrated positive feedback loop.    

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Despite lockouts, replacement referees, and a lawsuit to settle brain trauma-related lawsuits, America's passion for football remains in play. We continues our series Rethink 2014 with America's beloved pastime, football. We begin at the college level, where many professional football careers begin. Critics charge that  that the danger and violence inherent to the game have no place in academic institutions. NPR's program Intelligence Squared U.S.

mutant log via Flickr/CC -

Temperatures are set to reach the single digits this week in Durham, home to the main campus of the University of New Hampshire - but at least one house in town will be plenty hot.

Durham town administrator Todd Selig says he won himself a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce in a friendly wager with Hammond, Louisiana mayor Mayson Foster. The wager was over last weekend's football playoff game between the UNH Wildcats and the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions - a game, it should be noted, that was played in a venue called Strawberry Stadium.

Business Insider

The NFL preseason kicks off this Sunday in Canton, Ohio, when the Cowboys take on the dolphins at the annual hall of fame game.  The game gives fans the first opportunity in months to get together, warm up the couch, and bust out the beer and snacks. Sabra hummus is making a play to sit alongside chicken wings, nachos and salsa in the billion-plus dollar football food market.  And it’s got a big backer. Sabra hummus is now the official dip of the NFL.

chrisinplymouth via Flickr Creative Commons

The best of the best of Word of Mouth's content, rolled up into one awesome program. This week, why your company's rules about social media could be impinging on your rights, how the NFL is dealing with their foray into social media, and our Facebook find: the greatest used car ad we've ever read.

Plus, printmaker Amos Kennedy, the oldest snowshoe race in New Hampshire, and the films that won't get Oscars, yet still deserve a second look.

Increasingly, fans are taking in a second screen NFL experience on social media. The drama of this year’s football season has been echoed, and sometimes fed by the tweets of fans, players, and even players’ wives…leading to more than a few PR scrambles by the league. This is all new territory for the NFL, which only last year began dipping its heavily guarded brand into the fray of social media. Doug Tribou is a producer and reporter for NPR’s Only A Game, and he joins us from WBUR in Boston to talk about football and this season’s biggest social media trends.

Paul Butler is a former football player himself, but says the evidence now shows the game is too dangerous for young people and their developing brains. Butler called for a ban on the sport in his hometown. But many say his concerns go overboard and that it’s a hard sell to interfere with America’s second favorite pastime. We'll hear from both sides of this debate.

Paul Butler is a former football player himself, but says the evidence now shows the game is too dangerous for young people and their developing brains.  Butler called for a ban on the sport in his hometown.  But many say his concerns go overboard and that it’s a hard sell to interfere with America’s second favorite pastime.  We'll hear from both sides of this debate.



N.H. School Board Member Proposes Football Ban

Oct 3, 2012
<a href="">Elvert Barnes</a> / Flickr

A proposal to drop football at one New Hampshire school district has surprised and upset many residents.

thefamousgroup via Flickr Creative Commons

Football fans are rejoicing today at news that the National Football League finally reached a deal with referees… their lockout put replacement refs at the center of a pop culture firestorm.

Too Bad to be True

Feb 2, 2012

Anyone who’s ever said reality is stranger than fiction… hasn’t seen too many movies about football. In football movies, losing your star quarterback doesn’t ruin your team’s season, it just means the backup guy pulls off last-second trick plays… and in the movies, your team’s chances of victory are less tied to players or strategy than to the coach’s inspiring locker room speech. Take Al Pacino’s half time talk, in the movie Any Given Sunday:

50 Yard Line Seats, for the Homeless?

Feb 2, 2012
Photo by Ammar Abd Rabbo via Flickr Creative Commons

If you don’t like the thought of taxpayer money financing sports stadiums, you’ll like this story out of Florida. An obscure law passed 23-years ago says that professional sports facilities built with the help of government funds must serve as homeless shelters on the nights when no events are taking place. Florida lawmakers are now attempting to use this statute to recoup huge sums of money. Is this a Hail Mary?  

Photo by thoughtfuldev, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

This Sunday, the average Super Bowl viewer will consume twelve-hundred calories worth of snacks like chili, chips, chicken wings, and pizza, which besides sounding kind of low for junk food, got us wondering what professional cooks and foodies serve at Super Bowl parties… fois gras nachos?  Home-made Cheetos?  We caught up with cookbook author and educator Kathy Gunst.

The Green Bay Packers are not going to repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. That you surely already know. But it's not because Eli Manning and the New York Giants managed to contain the Packers' offense or outplay the Pack's defense. It's because of some sparkly nail polish and an Aaron Rodgers jersey that sat at home, unworn, during the most important playoff game of the year.

So explains our senior sports analyst, Sad Packer Fan:

Photo by Lockhart Steele, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Political Red Herrings

Absent tight races or sex scandals, pundits, op-eds and media-makers occasionally flirt with tantalizing uncertainties to liven things up. Salon news editor Steve Kornacki wrote about five of the biggest non-stories you’ll hear far too much of during campaign 2012 - none of which (he says) will amount to a hill of beans.

Part 2: Ten Revolutionary Tea-Parties you weren’t invited to

<a href="" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

The University of New Hampshire football team is back in the playoffs. It’s the eighth straight playoff appearance for Wildcat Football.

Allen Lessels has been following the team for the New Hampshire Union Leader. He previews the Wildcats' game against Montana State with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.