Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/5/11

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Shannon Sharpe awaits Hall of Fame call - The Denver Post
"I think it's very stupid, to be honest," said Rod Woodson, a safety who was inducted into football immortality two years ago. "There's never been a tight end who got in his first year. But you have to look at where he was when he retired. He was at the top of every category. So to me, go in the (voting) room and do the right thing. Don't go into the room with another agenda. And if you do that, he's a Hall of Famer.

Q&A: Broncos' Davis faces tough fight for Hall of Fame - The Denver Post
In the last few years, the Broncos have had Gary Zimmerman and Floyd Little elected for enshrinement. But the Broncos are like many teams in the league in that they have many more players deserving of consideration than have been enshrined.

FanHouse TV: Knowshon Moreno Talks Broncos, Super Bowl -- NFL FanHouse
The Broncos had as turbulent a season as a team could have in 2010. Running back Knowshon Moreno was there for all of the bumps and bruises, and he joined Dan Graziano of FanHouse TV to discuss that, and of course, the Super Bowl.

Sharpe: He’ll Be a Hall of Famer, But Maybe Not This Year " MaxDenver
he basic problem for Sharpe is that there might not be enough room this year. Two seniors committee nominees, two likely first-year inductees, plus a contributor with heavy sentiment in his corner (Ed Sabol) and an offensive or defensive lineman could leave Sharpe scrapping for the final spot with Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter, two of whom have been eligible longer than Sharpe.

NFL NEWS: SUPERBOWL

Joe Buck: Voice of Super Bowl talks Summerall, QBs and baseball - The Denver Post
You look at (Steelers quarterback) Ben Roethlisberger and he's this huge-bodied quarterback who can make plays outside the pocket. In talking to the Packers this week, I think that's their big concern — Big Ben hurting them outside the pocket. Overall, I do think the NFL has become more like the college game, with more spread offenses and more wide-open play from the quarterbacks. So yeah, I see a bit of a different style coming in and I think it's exciting for the NFL game.

Packers now "Hoosiers" fans - The Denver Post
Folks in and around the NFL routinely talk about checking the film before they make a move or form an opinion on what just happened. And staring at the first Super Bowl trip for all but three of his Green Bay Packers, coach Mike McCarthy went to some film to help work through that. A little something called "Hoosiers."

Mike Pereira Gets Super Bowl Stage as FOX's Newest Innovation -- NFL FanHouse
"I thought it really set the stage for the role because it, in this case, took the heat off the officials and people thinking the officials were wrong," said Pereira. "It put the heat on the rule and people not liking the rule. That's really what I wanted to do. I wanted to get people to where they would not only understand the rule itself but the interpretation of the rule.

Cold, Hard Football Facts.com: The undrafted combatants of Super Bowl XLV
2. Cullen Jenkins, DE, Green Bay Jenkins is probably the most underrated player on the field this weekend, largely because of the position he plays. A 3-4 defense asks its ends to be tweeners, to stop the run like a tackle but also collapse the pocket in the pass rush. Jenkins did both with great success, and his seven sacks trailed only Justin Smith among 3-4 ends. It was hard to see Jenkins making it to such heights back in the summer of 2003, when he was waived in the first cuts by the Packers after going undrafted out of Central Michigan. But the Packers saw something in Jenkins, the brother of Pro Bowler Kris Jenkins, and after a season in NFL Europe he started seeing time with the varsity.

Advanced NFL Stats: Greatest WPA Plays In Super Bowl History
Super Bowl 36. New England vs. St. Louis. Down 3-0 in the 2nd quarter, Ty Law intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it for a touchdown. The Patriots went from a 0.33 WP to a 0.59 WP for a 0.26 WPA.

Only in Green Bay . . .
Because of the expected rush to greet the Packers at the airport upon their return from Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, the district is closing school early on Monday and canceling most afternoon activities. And, of course, it will be an excused absence if parents wish to pull their children from school Monday morning or Tuesday to attend a celebration, should the team win.

Arizona man accused of putting porn in 2009 Super Bowl broadcast - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
An Arizona man has been arrested on charges that he used a computer to interrupt a local telecast of the 2009 Super Bowl with a 37-second pornography clip.

ProFootballWeekly.com - The Steelers, before the formula
Before that were 10 others, including Joe Bach (twice) and Walt Kiesling (thrice), Kiesling a tough German with a W.C. Fields face. "But no sense of humor," says Art Rooney, Jr., team VP and former Steelers' personnel director. "You know, before Chuck Noll came along, it wasn't like we didn't want to win. We really wanted to do the right things and get the franchise going. Except we didn't know what the right things were!"

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Best, worst uniform matchups in SB history "
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hope to one day be named the Uniform Czar for All of Sports, so I’m not surprised that many people have asked for my opinion on the quality of the combo of the Packers’ glorious home get-ups (green jerseys/gold hats & pants) going up against the Steelers’ road unis (white jerseys/black hats/gold pants).

Hype Central: Ticket Inflation, Musical Quarterbacks and How to Figurine Yourself - NYTimes.com
There are still nearly 2,000 tickets available for the Super Bowl on N.F.L. Ticket Exchange, the league’s official release site, but the average ticket is selling for $4,119. On StubHub, prices hover in the $3,600 range. For $200-$330, Cowboys season ticket holders can watch the game on television from "holding pens" outside the stadium; no word on if they will be drinking beer from a trough.

Joe Posnanski " Posts The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Steelers) "
ou see those black helmets, with the single golden stripe, and the Steelers logo — a white circle, the word "Steelers" and the three asteroid shapes taken from the logo of U.S. Steel — on one side of the helmet, always one side. Now think about something else: Think if you can name a single other team in American sports that has stood for exactly the same thing for the last 40 years.

Vegas Ready to Wave "Terrible Towels" For Super Bowl - NYTimes.com
The point-spread for the February 6 game in Dallas has remained steady over the last week and the Nevada gambling community is clearly backing the Packers, who are 2.5-point favorites. MGM Resorts International, which operates 10 sports books on the Las Vegas Strip, said about 70 percent of the money bet so far in its casinos is for a Packers victory.

3 T's Shape Image of Big D - Tragedy, Triumph, TV - NYTimes.com
Then along came "America's Team," led by the father-figure coach in a fedora and the clean-cut quarterback who served in the Navy, teaming up to win a pair of championships and give Dallas a reason to feel proud about itself again.

Super Bowl XLV - Welcome to Jerry’s World - NYTimes.com
Yet neither Jones nor his Dallas Cowboys will affect the game Sunday. Instead, Jones slipped comfortably into his designated role as the emperor of excess, the omnipresent host who built football’s grandest stadium. He is the rare owner who adds to the spectacle of the Super Bowl, who has boasted of his desire to break the game’s attendance record.

Super Bowl Ad on Religion Rejected - NYTimes.com
That is the verse of choice for Christian spectators at sporting events, and for Christian athletes who paint "John 3:16" in grease paint on their faces — like Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, now with the Denver Broncos.

Gil Brandt Sees Overtime Game for Super Bowl - NYTimes.com
Gil Brandt, the former longtime vice president for player personnel for the Cowboys, has been to 42 of 44 Super Bowls. And he believes Super Bowl XLV is as closely matched as any of them. In fact, when asked for a prediction, Brandt said this would be the first Super Bowl that went to overtime.

Snowy Texas Offers Unlikely Backdrop For Classic Super Bowl - NYTimes.com
But while a blizzard this week forced airport closures and wreaked havoc on travel plans for anxious fans trying to get to North Texas ahead of Sunday's game, it has failed to dampen the hype and excitement about one of the most eagerly-awaited Super Bowls in years.

Super Bowl XLV, Packers vs. Steelers, is as good as it gets - Peter King - SI.com
In the past 50 seasons, these two teams are tied for the most NFL titles, with six. That means a quarter of all NFL championships in the last two generations have been won by the two teams playing Sunday. And one of them will win the 13th, obviously.

Dick LeBeau, Dom Capers and the evolution of defense | Smart Football
While the media storyline for the Super Bowl is Aaron Rogers versus Ben Roethlisberger, or even Packers head coach Mike McCarthy versus Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, the cognoscenti understand that the most interesting pairing involves the defensive coordinators, Steelers’ defensive guru, Dick LeBeau and his former protégé (and boss) Dom Capers.

The League Panelists: Super Bowl XLV our last chance for great football? - Emil Steiner
Advertisers have been gleefully tossing money, $3 million for 30 seconds, at Fox, the network broadcasting the big game. With a CPM (cost per 1,000 views) around 30 bucks it's a deal they'd be crazy to pass up, even with two small market teams playing. The opportunity to reach a captivated audience, the majority of which pay more attention to the commercials than the game, is unique to the Super Bowl. This may be the last one.

Keys to winning Super Bowl XLV | National Football Post
If I had to pick one quarterback to coach in the pressure situation of the Super Bowl stage, I am taking Roethlisberger. His ability to make plays in critical moments of the game—along with the league’s No’1 defense—has me picking the Steelers on Sunday in Dallas. I expect to see one of the best football games of the season and the Pittsburgh QB collecting his third ring.

Several Hurt by Falling Ice at Cowboys Stadium
Six people were hurt by ice falling from the roof of Super Bowl Stadium in Texas on Friday afternoon. According to the Arlington Fire Department, ice and snow fell from the southern portion of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington at about 1:15.

Pouncey, Smith ruled out for Super Bowl | National Football Post
The All Pro center will not play in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers after missing practice for the third consecutive day due to an ankle injury suffered in the AFC Championship game. Backup center Doug Legursky will get the start for the Steelers.

NFL builds Super Bowl into an American phenomenon - latimes.com
The Super Bowl's rise to the zenith of national pop culture events is no accident, but rather due to a savvy marketing strategy that has been amped up over recent years. Through a combination of better cooperation with its television partners, marketing to women and a not-so-subtle linking of football to patriotism, the NFL has managed to expand its reach while most other television properties have shrunk.

NFL has made Super Bowl Sunday into a holiday, is a three-day weekend the next step? | Company Town | Los Angeles Times
Forget the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving or New Year's Day. Super Bowl Sunday has replaced them all as America’s No. 1 holiday. It has become so big that the National Football League is considering giving the game its own three-day weekend. That’s no joke. One scenario making the rounds at the league is that if the NFL gets the green light from the players to expand its regular season from 16 to 18 games, President’s Day weekend will probably become the permanent home of the Super Bowl.

Are you ready for some football, ladies? - The Globe and Mail
The lifestyle info is a 180 from the belly-busting wings and brewskies gleefully foisted on men at this time of year. That and the ditzy taglines ("Who says football isn’t pretty?") has left some wondering if the products aren’t a touch insulting to diehard female fans. Never mind that many of the items have little connection to the actual sport: Nail polish, panties and pendants are a far cry from the footballs, helmets and commemorative plaques peddled to male fans.

 

NFL NEWS GENERAL

How Much Does NFL Seeding Really Matter?
The sixth-seeded Packers are in the Super Bowl, making them the first team since the '05 Steelers to accomplish the feat. And they're not the only squad to outperform their slot — over half of the playoff games thus far have gone to the road team. That has pundits questioning not only the wisdom of the NFL's playoff structure, but also whether seeding itself matters all that much. We can answer the latter, the exact value of an NFL playoff seed.

Handicapping Hall Of Fame Finalists - ESPN Video - ESPN
Adam Schefter talks about the finalists for the 2011 class of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Eagles players do good for bullied teen | ProFootballTalk
Upper Darby, Pa. high school student Nadin Khoury was recently attacked and hung up on an iron fence by seven teenage bullies. Eagles players DeSean Jackson, Jamaal Jackson, and Todd Herremans have Khoury’s back.

Ravens say no truth to rumors about buying out Ray Lewis’ contract | ProFootballTalk
"We just had our personnel meetings this week, and Ray hasn’t told any off our defensive staff he was retiring," G.M. Ozzie Newsome said. "The last I heard from Ray he stood up at the end-of-the-year meeting and told his teammates that he had already begun to prepare for next season."

Goodell: Financing L.A. stadium still very difficult proposition | ProFootballTalk
The issues surrounding a L.A. stadium symbolize the current disagreements between the owners and players. Goodell mentioned the need to recognize the costs associated with building a stadium and the need to incentivize owners. The NFL has mentioned repeatedly that no new stadium projects have started since the last CBA started.

Franchise tag might go to someone other than RB DeAngelo Williams - Reeder's Take - Gaston Gazette
However, a league source told me on Friday that it’s not a lock right now that the tag will go to Williams, meaning the Panthers could tag one of the team’s other potential free agents. My guess is if the Panthers don’t decided to use it on Williams they will consider tagging either DE Charles Johnson or C Ryan Kalil. I don’t see them using it on LB Thomas Davis (coming off two ACL injuries), QB Matt Moore (shaky performance last year) or CB Richard Marshall.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford named top offensive rookie - Super Bowl XLV - SI.com
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford won The Associated Press 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award on Friday.

Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder speaks about suing newspaper - Super Bowl XLV - SI.com
The suit claims the weekly newspaper used "lies, half-truths, innuendo and anti-Semitic imagery to smear, malign, defame and slander" Snyder. On Friday, Snyder said: "I respect the media. My father was a journalist. But don't call me a criminal. Don't lie." He said he wants a personal apology and a correction.

Crime Scene - Haynesworth charged in road incident
Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been charged with simple assault for an alleged road rage incident with another motorist on the Fairfax County Parkway in Reston, Fairfax police said.


NFL DRAFT

Pure Energy? - CBSSports.com
DT Damik Scafe (Boston College); A try-hard tackle prospect, Scafe's lack of athleticism was evident throughout the game -- but so was his effort and ability to stand up to double teams. An NFL team may see him as a potential reserve nose tackle.

What do scouting staffs do between now and the Combine? | National Football Post
The period between the All-Star games and the annual Indianapolis Scouting Combine is hardly a dead time for scouts. Most clubs will have their scouts in for meetings starting next week and going until just before the start of the Combine. What they will do is go over each player scouted, usually by position. This can be a long, tedious process unless the list has already been cut down at an earlier date, but for most clubs it is 10-14 straight days of meetings that last 12-14 hours a day. It’s probably the most grueling part of the scouting calendar but also a very important part.

NFL.com news: Union, agents considering boycott of combine, draft activities
According to several sources familiar with the discussions, central topics included the feasibility of withholding clients from the Feb. 23-March 1 combine in Indianapolis and boycotting draft activities in New York in late April, including the televised event itself at Radio City Music Hall. Several sources characterized the likelihood of a draft boycott as being much more likely or feasible than skipping the combine, but both options are being seriously discussed and considered by the union and agents.

ROCKOUT WITH YOUR MOCKOUT LOCKOUT

Potential NFL lockout threatens small businesses
The players association says if owners cancel the season, the city of Baltimore could be looking at a loss of about $160-million in revenue.

Questions About the Pending NFL Lockout? Bring Them -- and Other Football Questions -- to NFL Players' Union Executive George Atallah - NYTimes.com
The players maintain that one fundamental question needs to be answered in earnest if there is to be an agreement before a lockout: Why is the current deal so bad? If owners had decided to make this a direct business transaction between partners, the players are confident a deal would’ve been struck a long time ago. Business partners get together, sign confidentiality agreements, exchange financials and negotiate. Our repeated requests for detailed financial information that would help us answer the quintessential question have been denied.

Naylor: Is there enough tension to trigger an NFL lockout?
While making no claims of poverty during his pre-Super Bowl address on Friday, Goodell said the pendulum needed to swing back in the owners' direction in order to ensure that owners can continue to invest in the game to ensure its growth. He pointed out that no new stadium deals had been completed since 2006 (although several have opened since that time, including the monstrosity that will host Sunday's Super Bowl here in Dallas) and that part of that was because the league didn't have the capital necessary to help owners finance new buildings.

Owners, players will squabble over millions | Football | Sports | Toronto Sun
The NFL isn't just another business. It's an obscenely successful business. It operates the No. 1 television franchise in the world, not just in sports, in viewership. It pays its players on non-guaranteed contracts, the only major North American sport to get away with this. And on Sunday, it will conclude the most successful financial season in the history of sport. Any sport.

DeMaurice Smith Missed Chance to Make Players Case - NYTimes.com
Smith used the wrong metaphor, but he struck the necessary tone. Instead of uncharacteristically tiptoeing around the issue, Smith should have said — after apologizing to real soldiers — that he wanted to convey the seriousness of the predicament in which 1,900 pro football players find themselves.

NFL willing to bend on 18-game schedule -- and it should be - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
"We have not drawn a line in the sand on 18 games or anything else," Pash said in a private session after the commissioner's annual Super Bowl news conference. "Realistically, it's an easier deal to make, but it is not the only deal to make." "Does that mean 18 games is negotiable?" I asked. "Very much so," Pash said.

NFL lockout could prove costly to Indy economy | Deseret News
Three years ago, he published a study that examined the economic impact of the Super Bowl on host cities from 1969 to 2005. Hicks found the economic boost ranged from $360 million to $450 million. Chris Gahl, spokesman for the Indiana Visitors and Convention Association, said league officials believe Indy will get an infusion of at least $150 million next

Patriots' Bob Kraft: It will be 'criminal' if lockout occurs - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com
Kraft appeared to well up, saying, "It is emotional. Most businesses you're in, you're fixing problems. There's tremendous upside here, the whole digital media opportunities and what our content can drive partnering with the right companies.

Fans just want football, but both sides mean business - The Boston Globe
Said season will be capped by a dream Super Bowl matchup featuring the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. It drips with history and features two truly passionate fan bases. People are predicting it will be the most-watched television program in history. But the feeling is that of Europe in the beginning of 1914.

Baseball providing example of labor peace? - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
So of course the relationship was adversarial – which stood in great contrast to its symbiosis. The owners need the players, their skill unmatched by Triple-A peers. The players need the owners, their ability to pay exorbitant salaries the same. Still, all they did was fight until 2002, when the millionaires and billionaires agreed to stop the collateral damage on the sport, an innocent bystander.

NFL.com news: Time is now to seize 'window of opportunity' on new CBA
Fans couldn't care less right now. The grandest game of the season -- the Super Bowl -- is set to be played Sunday between two of the NFL's keystone franchises: Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. Those are small-market teams that exemplify why the NFL is such a great sport -- because every team has a chance.

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