- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
CHANDLER, Ariz. – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft criticized the NFL, the way deflate-gate has been handled and reported on, said he wanted an apology from the league if its investigation doesn't turn up anything, and basically dropped the mic on the conversation of the entire matter for the rest of the week.
It was surreal. It was an unscheduled statement by Kraft before coach Bill Belichick's first news conference in Arizona for the Super Bowl. He was angry and frustrated and stood completely behind Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady and their claims that they didn't do anything to cause the Patriots' game footballs to be under-inflated in the AFC championship game.
And if the NFL investigation by Ted Wells doesn't provide proof, he wants an apology from the league.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
PHOENIX — By nature, the Seattle Seahawks are who they are defensively. They don't change; they're good enough to do what they do, some man defense but a lot of cover-3, to make you change what you do offensively.
But there might be an exception to that rule. His name is Rob Gronkowski.
Yes, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane wasn't too impressed with Gronk, and perhaps other Seahawks players feel the same way. But Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team has met to discuss just how they'll handle the New England Patriots tight end.
"I was looking real close again to find some approach that we can slow him down," Carroll said. "We're going to work at it. It's something that's very important to us because he's such a key factor on the football team. He's naturally such a good player. Coaches know it and Tom knows it and they use it well.
One option is to stick Chancellor, the Seahawks' 6-3, 232-pound superfreak safety, on Gronk. If that's the case, and the two are singled up together, expect it to be high impact. After all, Gronkowski goes 6-6 and 265.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Since late in the 2012 season, it’s unlikely any NFL team has had more kind words written and said about them as the Seattle Seahawks.
I’d defy anyone to find anything that truly disrespected them. They were a deserving Super Bowl champion last season and have a possible dynasty forming. Everyone knows that. But if anything has been said as a slight to the Seahawks, it’s probably a good bet they’ve heard it and remembered it.
Receiver Doug Baldwin’s rant outside the locker room after the NFC championship game gives a partial window into what motivates the Seahawks. Baldwin talked (passionately) about how he, the receivers and the team had been written off, especially when the team was 6-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. He talked about how everyone wrote the Seahawks off when they were trailing the Packers 16-0 at halftime, and how could he even know such a thing?
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Never before has PSI been talked about this much.
The now overly scrutinized deflate-gate controversy isn't just an issue of the integrity of the game, it is a matter of physics as well. Dr. John Eric Goff, a renowned sports physicist who is a professor at Lynchburg College, wants to set the record straight about some of the recent calculations going around about the New England Patriots and how the under-inflated footballs got that way in last Sunday's AFC championship game.
Goff said there is a very real possibility that a ball can deflate during the course of a game, something that anyone who has played a sport on a schoolyard knows all too well. But other factors come into play, including how much the temperature drops, that can make the pounds per square inch (PSI) drop.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
The NFL might not be talking to Tom Brady until after the Super Bowl, but it apparently has focused in on a New England Patriots locker room attendant who might have illegally tampered with footballs, per Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
The full text of Glazer's report indicates that the league's investigation into the deflate-gate incident has focused on the attendant who allegedly took footballs from the officials' locker room to another area on the way to the field. It's not clear if this was an isolated incident for the AFC title game, or if this was behavior that occured habitually for all games.
Glazer writes that the NFL has interviewed the attendant and, per Glazer's sources, possess video of the attendant's actions. The league is still trying to determine if there was any wrongdoing that happened, but the attendant is considered to be a "strong person of interest" in the investigation.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, in his unique way, put the deflate-gate situation in a different context.
Does NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have a conflict of interest?
Sherman's comment was the result of a photo with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Goodell at Kraft's house before the AFC championship game, but a new GQ article on Goodell brings a lot of new perspective to the forefront.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! It's Super Bowl week, and we're bringing you quick-hit episodes every single day of the week. On today's fully inflated episode, we have: • A look at the Pro Bowl's few highs and many lows; can this game be saved? (1:48 mark) • Richard Sherman arrives in town, talking loud (8:53 mark) • Wrapping up DeflateGate (for now) (11:16 mark) • Enough griping, this is the best game we could have asked for (15:02 mark) All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen up, and while you're listening ...
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Creating a Super Bowl ad that people will talk about years from now is a tough task, yet a handful are always brought up this time of year. The Budweiser frogs. Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Apple's 1984 ad.
In advance of the dozens of ads that will play between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots game this Sunday, Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo Sports each picked out their favorite Super Bowl commercial before listing their top five football pitchmen. Jay went with Reebok's "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker" spot while Kevin preferred the simple comedy genius of Budweiser's "Wassup?" campaign in 2000.
Which Super Bowl ad resonated most with you? Do you agree or disagree with Jay and Kevin? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter with the hashtag #SBArguments.
Jay and Kevin's Previous Super Bowl Debates • • Does Tom Brady need another Super Bowl win to cement his legacy?
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
PHOENIX – The Pro Bowl started with a huge, sellout crowd. Before the fourth quarter even started, there were more than a few pockets of empty seats in University of Phoenix Stadium. It cleared out even more by the end, even though the game came down to the final seconds.
Television ratings also reflected that fans might finally be tuning out the Pro Bowl. The television ratings, usually ahead of any NBA or Major League Baseball playoff game before the championship round, took a big dip for the second straight year according to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily.
The overnight ratings (which aren't official, but just a first glance), according to Karp, were 5.6. That compares to 6.7 last year and 7.7 in 2013. Those are still huge numbers, compared to anything else ESPN was going to have in the Sunday night time slot, but it's still a huge drop.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
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Note to media members covering the Super Bowl: Do not, for the love of Roger Goodell, post a picture of your credential on social media.
That's exactly what one Arizona man did for what was supposed to be his first Super Bowl ever, according to KTVK-3TV. When the NFL caught wind of Russ Knight, who was hired to be an assistant frequency coordinator during Super Bowl week, posting a picture of himself and his newly acquired credential, the league revoked it.
NFL security called him up and delivered the bad news.
"He said, 'Russ, we've got a problem,'" Knight said. "Apparently, on my picture, even though it's far away, they could zoom in and they could read my credential on the bottom."
The league prohibits such things for security measures. It's printed right on the back of the credential: It can't be posted on the Internet, for fear that it could be cloned or copied to duplicate a fake credential.