- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner26 mins ago
If New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's voice sounded a bit strange on media day, it wasn't because he's cracking under the deflate-gate pressure. The two-time NFL MVP is battling a cold.
"I've had it for four or five days," he conceded during Wednesday's media availability. "My kids got sick, and then my wife's pretty sick right now, so I brought it, unfortunately, to Phoenix. But I'll be fine. I'll be good."
While folks who wonder why Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl since his blind date with Gisele Bundchen in 2006 can now add this to their list of reasons for believing in the supermodel's curse, the three-time champ doesn't expect his sniffles to hinder his ability to battle the Seattle Seahawks come Sunday.
"I'll be at 100 percent," Brady added. "Yeah, I'll be great. I'm not worried about it all."
Likewise, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels helped quell concerns about his quarterbacks ailment. "I know he's sick," offered McDaniels, "but he's watched more Seahawks tape than anyone."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner37 mins ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's trying-not-to-get-fined Super Bowl week episode, we have:
• Rob Gronkowski sings! (1:00 mark)
• A look at Marshawn Lynch's Media Day performance. Does it matter that he didn't say a word? (3:54 mark)
• The ridiculousness of Media Day. Why does it exist? Why do people dress up in costumes? Why would anyone pay to watch this? (11:30 mark)
All this and more as part of the special Shutdown Corner Podcast's Super Bowl week episodes. Listen up, and while you're listening ...
- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
It turns out that the way to a different Marshawn Lynch Media Day quote is through his stomach.
Peter's secret? He came bearing a special lemon cake baked in Sacramento by Lynch's maternal grandfather Leron Lynch.
"Oh yeah, that's the magic cake," Lynch said. "Thank you."
OK, so the cake didn't spark a long address or interview from Lynch. But the delivery did give us a more personal look at a player that most casual fans only know as a media-averse man of few words.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
It's been 13 years since the New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. Even today, the stunning-at-the-time upset continues to rankle members of the heavily favored Rams. On Tuesday, former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner allowed that, yeah, maybe the whole deflate-gate business has provided fresh fuel to some long-held suspicions.
"I don't want to believe that there was anything outside of his team beat our team," Warner said, per the New York Daily News. "That's what I want to believe. Yeah, there's a sliver of a doubt … Was there any advantage they gained in any game? Not just our Super Bowl game, but maybe a game before that to get to the Super Bowl. All those things enter your mind. It's not because I'm bitter. It's not because I say they cheated, because I have no idea."
Warner noted that quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are clearly all-time talents, but that this latest scandal continues to taint their legacy.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
PHOENIX — Amid the Media Day silliness on Tuesday, we chose instead to play see how well the New England Patriots know one of their quietly important teammates.
Or rather, if they can spell his name.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui might be far from a household name in league circles, and you don't see dudes walking down the street in Everytown, U.S.A. with that name too often.
But still ... his teammates? They should be able to spell his last name, challenging as it is, right?
Watch the video to see how his Patriots teammates fare in Tuesday's spelling bee.
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- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Brett Favre had a responsibility when Aaron Rodgers was his backup on the Green Bay Packers, and it wasn’t to get Rodgers ready to take his job.
The Favre-Rodgers relationship is a story that won’t die, but that happens when one Hall of Famer is backing up another. It happened with Joe Montana and Steve Young too.
Favre famously said it wasn’t his job to get Rodgers ready to play, and years into retirement that stance hasn’t changed, as he said in an interview with InDepth’s Graham Bensinger. But he thinks the entire situation, and his relationship with Rodgers, has been overblown. His acrimonious departure from Green Bay probably didn’t help with the perception.
“Aaron and I, we don’t talk all the time but I don’t talk all the time with family members,” Favre told Bensinger in a wide-ranging interview. “It has nothing to do with him being the starting quarterback of Green Bay in spite of what people may think.
“I got no hard feelings. Why would I have hard feelings for Aaron Rodgers and why would he have hard feelings for me?”
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
This year's Super Bowl takes place in lovely Arizona, with future games slated for the San Francisco and Houston areas. All worthy destinations, yes, but are they the best places to host a Super Bowl? What makes a good Super Bowl city? The view, the amenities, the nightlife? And what about the worst Super Bowl cities? Which towns had their shot and shouldn't get another? We're laying it all out on the table, and we might not be welcome in several cities after this.
Yahoo Sports' Kevin Kaduk (@kevinkaduk) and Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) kick around the best-and-worst Super Bowl cities topic right here, and you can join in. This is the latest of our many Super Bowl Arguments videos, and you're invited to the party. Offer up your thoughts in the comments below and on Twitter at #SBarguments. Your words might end up on a future episode. Get to arguing!
Check out our previous Super Bowl week arguments here:
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The Super Bowl has a point spread that is very close in Las Vegas, but a computer simulator has figured out who will win.
Using an astounding array of analytics, the Predictalator on PredictionMachine.com ran 50,000 simulations of Super Bowl XLIX. And 57.5 percent of the time in its simulations, the Seattle Seahawks beat the New England Patriots.
And from these tens of thousands of simulations, the site has the Seahawks most likely winning by a 24-20 score.
According to the folks who run the Predictalator, the Seahawks are “simply, the team more capable of dominating.”
“ For the second year in a row, we like Seattle when the vast majority of the public – over 70 percent based on available betting information – believes the AFC is going to win. Much of that perception is likely based off of what happened during conference championship weekend,” Paul Bessire, general manager of PredictionMachine.com told Yahoo Sports.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
PHOENIX — One of the more interesting matchups for Super Bowl XLIX could be how and whether the New England Patriots are able to attack the middle of the Seattle Seahawks defense with the power run game.
The Seahawks have looked vulnerable at times up the gut. The Patriots have turned into more of a power-run team over time, especially after the return of running back LeGarrette Blount.
So naturally I wanted to seek out Patriots rookie center Bryan Stork, who struggled early in the season but has improved steadily over the course of the year. That is, until Stork suffered a knee injury against the Baltimore Ravens and missed the AFC championship game.
Stork has been practicing, at least on a limited basis, since then so there's a good chance he'll be able to go Sunday.
Knowing the Patriots' penchant for sidestepping injury talk, I instead wanted to ask Stork about a number of other topics — how the offense has come along since the early-season struggles, how his experience in the national title game with Florida State helped prep him for this moment and how the Seahawks looked defensively inside.
Fairly benign topics, I thought. Boy, was I wrong.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Chris Matthews became an unexpected hero of the Seattle Seahawks’ crazy comeback win in the NFC championship game.
It was so unexpected that his dad missed it while working his job as a police officer.
Matthews hadn’t touched the ball in the NFL until recovering an onside kick in the final minutes of the NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks scored after Matthews’ recovery to take the lead, and eventually won in overtime.
The rookie receiver didn’t log a catch or fumble recovery in the regular season, but his first NFL touch was a big one. So big that his police-officer father got a bit emotional.
“My dad is kind of a serious dude,” Matthews said. “You won’t catch him too many times smiling or having a good laugh. When he does, it’s special.”
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