Shutdown Corner

  • How would the Broncos and Panthers escape from Alcatraz?

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago

    SAN FRANCISCO—A mile and a half into San Francisco Bay from the teeming souvenir-seeking hordes of Super Bowl City sits Alcatraz, the legendary now-shuttered prison. More fearsome than a Denver secondary, more confining than the gridlocked traffic around San Francisco, about as enjoyable as an open-letter writer complaining about Cam Newton, Alcatraz’s very name conjures up images of somber, terrifying imprisonment.

    Over the course of its 30 years as a federal prison, from 1933 to 1963, thousands of prisoners passed through its somber halls. Only 36 tried to escape, and only two—maybe—pulled it off. You’ve got to be tough to get sent to Alcatraz, and you’ve got to be even tougher to try escaping. So we figured, why not check with some of the toughest guys in the NFL and see how they’d escape from one of the world’s most notorious prisons.

    “I’d probably have to do some rewatching of The Rock , see how that went down,” said Owen Daniels, Denver tight end, one of many players to reference a prison-break movie. “I know I’m not swimming through those waters. Maybe I need a little submersible.”

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  • Cam Newton, Todd Gurley, Eric Berry among NFL major award winners

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago

    SAN FRANCISCO — Quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers hope they're as fortunate on Sunday as they were on Saturday night, when the NFL handed out its major awards. 

    On Saturday night the NFL's elite gathered at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to hand out its major awards, and toannounce the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. The Panthers cleaned up, as expected. Newton won his first MVP award and the league's offensive player of the year award. Ron Rivera was named coach of the year. The Panthers couldn't attend the awards ceremony because they're preparing to play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, but they still dominated the night.

    Here are the major award winners from the 2015 season:

    MVP and OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

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    Sun, Feb 7
    3:30 PM PST
    Carolina at Denver
    Preview Game
  • How 'Cam Newton Drive' didn't quite catch on in Atlanta

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago

    UNINCORPORATED SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga.—Driving through the intersection of Scarborough and Welcome All roads just south of Atlanta, it is impossible not to think of Cam Newton.

    Signs from every angle honor Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner, national champion, probable NFL MVP and potential Super Bowl champion. He grew up not far from here, attended Westlake High School right down the road, and one local politician wants to make sure everyone knows it. To that end, there are 25 signs honoring Newton dotted all over the area.

    Bill Edwards, a now-former Fulton County commissioner, spearheaded the placement of the signs, but only after an attempt to get the stretch of road named after Newton himself failed.

    “He’s a hero,” Edwards said. “He’s a role model for young athletes. He’s the son everyone wants, the brother everyone wants. He’s helped put South Fulton County on the map.” 

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  • Super Bowl 50 smack talk round-up

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago

    Oftentimes, when you put a microphone - or Twitter keyboard - in front of someone, you're not quite sure what's going to be said. (Unless, of course, that person is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in which case you'll get words like integrity and London but little else of substance.) Such was the case this week in the San Francisco area, with current and former athletes descending on Super Bowl 50.

    Here are a few of the beefs that cropped up this week:

    Panthers CB Josh Norman and Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders

    This one actually had some back-and-forth to it. On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that Norman had "talked himself into the media," the inference being that the All-Pro and defensive player of the year candidate was not as good as player as he actually is.

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