Charles Robinson

  • Super Bowl XLIX could make TV history thanks to deflate-gate, star power

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 1 hr ago

    PHOENIX – For 32 years, the NFL has waited for television's celestial alignment to repeat itself in the Super Bowl. But Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers came and went. Bill Parcells and the New York Giants faded away. Jimmy Johnson and the Dallas Cowboys divorced. Even Bill Belichick and Tom Brady couldn't make it happen in five previous tries.

    But this year might be as close as the league has gotten to the holy grail: a game that captures both the largest TV viewership and ratings in Super Bowl history.

    The first half of that elusive double – total viewership – has seen a record set four out of the last five years. Last year hit a new high of 112.2 million viewers. The latter half – ratings (also known as the total percentage of households with a television) – hasn't been snapped since 1982, when CBS reeled in 49.1 percent. By comparison, last year's Super Bowl set the viewership record but "only" captured 46.7 percent of households.

    Bottom line: setting both viewership and ratings records is a significant rarity, like winning the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball or thoroughbred racing.

    Pilson's reasoning?

    • The matchup itself is attractive

  • Super Bowl tickets at extremely low inventory; cheap seats rise to $8,500

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 7 hrs ago

    PHOENIX – Forget about Sunday's clash between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. Getting in to the Super Bowl might be the craziest game played this week.

    On Wednesday night an already tight ticket market virtually vanished. The two biggest brokers of seats for Sunday's Super Bowl – StubHub.com and PrimeSport.com – went from a combined offering of 1,400 tickets Wednesday night to around 150 on Thursday morning. And that has sent prices for even the worst seats rocketing higher. The "get-in" nosebleed seats are now starting at $8,500 on StubHub.com, with field-level end-zone seats listed for as much as $21,533.25 each.

    Multiple independent brokers told Yahoo Sports that StubHub is so starved for inventory, it has begun calling other independent brokers and offering to buy entire inventories of Super Bowl tickets.

    But even having availability at this point is rare. PrimeSport, a significant ticket resale partner of the NFL, completely pulled its Super Bowl ticket inventory off its website, leaving visitors this message:

    "Deals like this change the industry forever," one high-level broker said.

  • Super Bowl cheap seats going as high as $5,000 each; 'this market is ready to go nuts'

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – A mad scramble for Super Bowl tickets and a mysterious lack of inventory on the open market have sent prices soaring this week.

    Multiple brokers told Yahoo Sports they are having issues filling pre-sold orders for Super Bowl tickets, due to tight inventory and "worst seat available" prices that have pushed as high as $5,700 per ticket. That's considered an astronomical "get-in" price, a term used for the cheapest face-value tickets offered. As one broker referred to such tickets, "Those are the ones that simply get you into the building." 

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the poorest seats in University of Phoenix Stadium were going for nearly $5,000 each with taxes and fees included. The website TiQiQ.com, which compiles ticket pricing research, said Wednesday that Super Bowl seats are selling for an average of 82 percent more than this time last year, when the Seattle Seahawks faced the Denver Broncos in New Jersey.

    "I think the get-in number by [Thursday] is going to get near $7,000," one high-level broker told Yahoo Sports. "This market is ready to go nuts. Like, real nuts. Like you've never seen before."

     

  • The other Patriots conspiracy theory: LeGarrette Blount's scheme to reunite with Bill Belichick?

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    PHOENIX – It's not the big conspiracy theory that everyone is talking about. There are no footballs, equipment managers or surveillance tape. But it's still a question that New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount can't answer with a straight face.

    Did Blount engineer his release from the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this season because he knew the Patriots wanted him back? Did someone tell him he had a job waiting for him? Is this Super Bowl a reward for a twisted scheme?

    On Tuesday, Blount repeatedly reacted to those questions with little more than Cheshire grins and half-hearted denials. One exchange in particular:

    "Did you know you had a job with New England before you left Pittsburgh?"

    Long pause. Big smile. No answer.

    "Why would you leave if you didn't know in the back of your mind that they were waiting to call you?"

    Big smile. Subtle laugh.

    "I didn't know nothin'," Blount said.

    One more laugh.

    "They supported me through everything that I've been through."

    And when Ridley went down with a season-ending knee injury in mid-October, rendering the Patriots with a hole at running back?

    Smile. Laugh.

     

  • Will Richard Sherman take more unnecessary shots at Patriots, this time at Media Day?

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    CHANDLER, Ariz. – Until Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks had the pole position to Super Bowl perfection. Softball questions … focused practices … and only mild curiosity from the national media. In every possible way, this was coaching bliss.

    No drama. No controversy. Nowhere near the New England Patriots' mess.

    Enter the Godfather of Gab, cornerback Richard Sherman, and his Trash Talking Consigliere, wideout Doug Baldwin. Two guys who had no reason to climb into someone else's fight, but did it anyway. And not by taking a shot at Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the accepted mark for deflate-gate – or even quarterback Tom Brady, whose mouthy history makes him fair game.

    Kraft is the paper billionaire. The guy who got his Super Bowl ring jacked by Russian president Vladimir Putin and said let it slide. A celebrated philanthropist who spent 48 years with his wife Myra, then pressed his fraternity of billionaire owners to donate to cancer research when she passed away from the disease.

    And Baldwin?

  • How Landon Cohen went from parking cars to making Super Bowl roster in less than a month

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Over the years someone would see Landon Cohen in the newspaper, or maybe even on television, and think, "That guy … wait … is that the valet?"

    Yes, sometimes Landon Cohen parks cars. And sometimes he plays in the NFL.

    Cohen, amazingly, did both this month. And now he's one win from parallel parking a Super Bowl ring between his knuckles.

    As most fantasies go, Cohen's January has been the definition of awesome. Four weeks ago, he and two lifelong friends were running their valet service in Spartanburg, S.C. One workout and a few phone calls later, the journeyman defensive tackle landed with the Seattle Seahawks, despite not having been on an NFL roster the entire regular season.

    Seahawks tackle Jordan Hill went down with a knee injury on Jan. 4, and Cohen got a sleepy, midnight call from Seattle the next day.

    "Landon was a very active player," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after bringing Cohen aboard. "We had our eye on him."

    "It's been a nice little ride," Cohen said with a chuckle this week.

    "Some cars I can't even fit in," Cohen said with a laugh.

    Run fast on Sunday. Drive slow on Monday.

    More NFL coverage:

  • Senior Bowl: Best-ever selections and recent finds for every NFL team

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    MOBILE, Ala. – It's the final days of Senior Bowl week. So, just follow the Pittsburgh Steelers and take notes.

    If history has taught us anything about this week, that is the lesson. The Steelers, more than any team in NFL history, have figured out a way to cull talent from this event. Whether it's Hall of Famers, consistent Pro Bowlers, solid starters or niche performers who slide perfectly into a system, a large portion of the Steelers' storied history has taken part in this week's game.

    Among the take? Eight Hall of Famers: defensive tackle Joe Greene, quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Len Dawson, running back Franco Harris, wideouts Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, and centers Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. When wideout Hines Ward becomes Hall of Fame eligible later this decade, that number could swell to nine.

    And all played in the Senior Bowl.

    How about linebackers Joey Porter, LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote and Kendrell Bell? All were in the Senior Bowl. Defensive back Carnell Lake? Yep. Solid Super Bowl building blocks like Antwaan Randle-El and Max Starks? Absolutely.

    NFC NORTH

    DETROIT LIONS

    CHICAGO BEARS

    GREEN BAY PACKERS

    MINNESOTA VIKINGS

     NFC SOUTH

    NFC EAST

  • Disrespected once again, Russell Wilson helps write miracle comeback for Seahawks

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    SEATTLE – The game had been over for a few moments, and Doug Baldwin was heat-seeking, headed straight for his audience. A small throng of media had clotted in the halls of CenturyLink Field, and the Seahawks wideout hit the brakes and wheeled around with a derogatory pitch.

    "You ready? Y'all ready for it?" Baldwin said in blended anger and excitement, as eyeballs honed in.

    "Three-and-three! Remember the beginning of the season when we were 3-3?!"

    Baldwin moved closer.

    No matter who Baldwin is blaming, his mantra is hardly new. Long before Seattle clawed back on Sunday, championship-caliber teams have bathed playoff runs in faux-disrespect. This is a necessary component to accomplish a rare feat in today's NFL: winning it all and then pulling it together and getting back to a Super Bowl one year later.

    "I can't wait until next year," he said to Carroll.

     

  • What changed for Packers' defense since first Beastmode trouncing in Seattle?

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    It was a maligned offseason of re-engineering. Best-laid plans that went very wrong cost the Green Bay Packers dearly against the Seattle Seahawks and ended in a quick scuttling.

    In Green Bay, it's the debacle known as the "Quad" 4-3 alignment. To the rest of the NFL world, it's not really known at all. That's because the Packers orphaned the scheme in October, after watching the designs fail miserably. And it wasn't just orphaned. It was seemingly razed, buried and erased from film. That much was evident to Seattle coach Pete Carroll this week as he digested Green Bay film snippets from the second half of the season.

    "Irrelevant."

    The "Quad" will go down as one of the staples in 2014 when the Packers got worse. Ditching it and sticking with more historically successful 3-4 alignments, that is where Carroll and the Seahawks saw the Packers improve. And not just better, but downright dominant against the run.

    "We thought this is the team we'd be playing," Carroll said of the season opener. "Like [they're playing] right now."

  • Ndamukong Suh’s impending free agency surrounded by questions

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 23 days ago

    Charles Woodson in 2006. Deion Sanders in 1994 (and 1995). Reggie White in 1993. This is the territory that awaits the Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh – who is poised to become one of the most talented defensive free-agent signings in league history. And in the midst of his prime, no less.

    Suitors? They will be plentiful, according to three league sources familiar with teams seeking defensive line tuneups this offseason.

    The sources told Yahoo Sports there could be as many as 10 teams interested in making titanic pitches to Suh. That number includes Suh’s current team, the Lions, which still has the option of restructuring some contracts and retaining the four-time All-Pro via the franchise tag. At a price of $26.7 million for 2015, the weight of that one-year contract would be potentially crippling to the franchise, but the three sources said Detroit is keeping the option on the table. Head coach Jim Caldwell nearly admitted as much Monday, emphasizing that retaining Suh was a top priority for the franchise.

    Asked to outline the primary issues governing who will land Suh, the sources overlapped on three main factors:

    1. Money

    2. Behavior discussion

    3. Motor discussion