- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
It's not often you see a bunch of NFL questions on the game show "Jeopardy!" (fine, it's answers, and you answer in the form of a question) but they recently popped up.
You never know how sports questions will go over on the show, known for much more high-brow categories than guessing quarterbacks' names. The category of "Touchdowns" was going pretty well, until the contestants blanked on the easiest answer.
Of course, Tim Tebow was one of the answers. Of course. How could the history of the NFL be written without Tebow? The question (answer, whatever) in the $400 slot in the category, was "In overtime of a 2012 wild card game, this then-Bronco quarterback threw an 80-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas ... A miracle?" Well, who do you think it was going to be, Brian Griese?
Joe Montana was another answer, asking who threw the game-winning touchdown to John Taylor to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. Regular readers of Shutdown Corner could have gotten that in their sleep, and added when Montana was drafted and with what pick (1979, 82nd overall).
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
Bernie Kosar was removed from the Cleveland Browns' preseason broadcast and he's hitting the NFL and Browns where it hurts most: Claiming the team did so because of his slurred speech caused by concussions.
Concussions and the treatment of former players with health issues are two of the most controversial issues the NFL deals with, and Kosar checked off both boxes with his claim.
Here was Kosar's statement, via the Akron Beacon-Journal:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
Most of us don't think about the gymnastics that go into making the NFL schedule. We just complain that the league will never announce the exact date when it will be announced, then enjoy fantasizing about the matchups once it's released, while finding where our favorite team was slighted.
Peter King of MMQB.com had a great look at how complicated it is to put together the schedule, and it included a few very interesting tidbits, including King speculating that the league made Packers at Seahawks the Thursday night season opener because it was worried that Broncos-Seahawks would be a repeat of the 43-8 blowout in Super Bowl XLVIII.
"The league obviously thought a Denver-Seattle opener was risky—based on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Those are my words, not theirs," King wrote.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Now that the games have been slotted into dates and the 2014 NFL schedule is set, it's time for superlatives.
What's the best game among the 256 regular-season games? What's the worst? What are the best and worst weeks of action? Who won schedule release day? Glad you asked. Here are the awards from the release of the NFL schedule on Wednesday night:
Best game: With all due respect to Seattle and San Francisco, we're not getting too many more Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning games, and there's one scheduled for Foxborough on Nov. 2. And it's not just the novelty of the two greatest quarterbacks of their generation facing off again; their teams might be the two best in the AFC. That was the case last season, and then the Broncos went on an offseason shopping spree and the Patriots added the best player to switch teams this offseason, cornerback Darrelle Revis. The regular-season game last year between the two teams was entertaining. This one should be too.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
It's been a while since every Thanksgiving NFL game was a great matchup. There's always a dud.
Not this year. By making a tweak with the networks, the NFL guaranteed three tremendous matchups, and it will be all NFC teams. The day starts with Chicago at Detroit, followed by Philadelphia at Dallas and capped off by the big one, Seattle at San Francisco, a rematch of the NFC championship game and one of the top few games on the entire NFL regular-season schedule. That is the best Thanksgiving schedule, top to bottom, in many years.
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Not all schedules are equal. The NFL doesn’t play a round robin, so some teams benefit from the good fortune of having much easier opponents than fellow playoff contenders.
The AFC West was the main beneficiary last year. The Chiefs rode the easiest schedule in the NFL to a wild-card spot (the only winning team the Chiefs beat all year was Philadelphia, and even that game was fortunate because Kansas City caught the Eagles before they made the quarterback change to Nick Foles). The Broncos had good fortune too. They got Football Outsiders’ 31st ranked schedule, rode it to a No. 1 seed and a Super Bowl berth. The AFC West played its non-conference games against the NFC East last year, but this year it gets the NFC West, clearly the best division in football. No more easy passes.
It stinks when you go over your alloted amount of texts in a month. Those extra messages really add onto your bill.
And if you're the Buffalo Bills, the cost of those pesky extra text messages is about $3 million.
The problem started when the Bills started sending text alerts in 2012. It was an opt-in service that provided updates on the team. Jerry Wojcik, a Bills fan living in Florida, said the team violated the terms of the service by sending 13 texts in two weeks, when the Bills said they would send no more than five per week, the Buffalo News said. So he sued the team with a class-action lawsuit.
Does that seem like an outrageous lawsuit? Sure does. But the Bills are paying up. They're giving debit cards of either $57.50, $65 or $75 to be used at the team store in Orchard Park, N.Y. or at the online team store. The amount of the debit cards given to the class members is $2,487,745, the Buffalo News said. Another $562,000 went to Wojcik's lawyers and Wojcik got $5,000 in cash.
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone had a cancerous mole removed from his skin but said he's fine, ABC affiliate WKBW first reported.
For a short time Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills website had a story with the headline, "Coach Marrone announces he has cancer," referring to head coach Doug Marrone. Then the story, which was obviously unfinished and left space for the writer to add a quote from Marrone and the specific cancer, was deleted. That led to a lot of speculation.
WKBW sports director Jeff Russo had the news.
#Bills HC Doug Marrone had a cancerous mole on his skin found during a recent doctors visit.
Statement from Doug Marrone "The recent extraction procedure will have no effect on my ability to coach the team moving forward." #Bills
Here's the full statement from Marrone, via the Bills public relations staff:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
If you were armed with the knowledge that an NFL player suffered a stroke on the field because of a hit, you'd figure it would be apparent what happened when you saw the replay. MMQB.com reported that Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen suffered a stroke on the field and is retiring as a result, and the frightening part is the hit in question looks like any other NFL play.
If a hit caused a dead spot on an NFL player's brain, as it did with Allen, it should be clear, right? The kind of hit that looked like it resulted in a bad concussion but turned out to be much worse.
That's not the case with Allen. He never even paused to go down to a knee or had any reaction really.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
The NFL playoffs are coming to cable television.
That's not such a huge deal now, but when ESPN got "Sunday Night Football" back in the stone ages of 1987, it was big news that the league was putting regular-season games on cable. Kids, cable television wasn't as widespread as it is today. We were a little more than a couple decades from getting just about any sporting event you want on your phone, mostly because the few cell phones in circulation were the size of shoeboxes. The idea of a playoff game on cable back then? Nonsense.
Well, it took a while but it will happen. ESPN will broadcast a wild-card playoff game in January of 2015, a first for the network even though it has been showing NFL games for more than 25 years. As part of the NFL's "Monday Night Football" agreement with ESPN it had the option to put a playoff game on the network, and it exercised that option for this season. But why?
It's possible we'll understand that answer better when the NFL regular-season schedule is announced. And the additional news that the NFL added a divisional playoff game to NBC's package probably is related to the ESPN news.