- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
It'll be a lot harder for Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon and his representatives to come up with excuses for yet another failed test for the league's substances of abuse.
Gordon, the wildly talented 2013 All-Pro receiver, failed yet another test and will be suspended for the 2015 season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. Pro Football Talk said Gordon tested positive for alcohol, which the league can test him for as a result of his DWI arrest last July.
It's almost inconceivable that Gordon would put himself in this position, after having a season-long suspension for a drug test lessened to 10 games last season. After Gordon came back, he was suspended for the season finale for skipping a walk-through practice. That 10-game suspension last year was the result of Gordon's fourth violation of the league's drug policy, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported at the time.
And yet he failed another test.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
There were more than a few sarcastic nicknames that arrived after the impromptu press conference called by the New England Patriots on Saturday, not the least funny of which was "Bill Belichick The Science Guy."
But ABC's "Good Morning America" sought out the real science guy — Bill Nye, a former mechanical engineer at Boeing (in Seattle, we might note) and now host of TV’s “Bill Nye The Science Guy" — for some answers to Belichick's firm prove-it rebuttal to the NFL's investigation of his team's ball handling.
Put straight: Nye refutes Belichick's assertions.
"What he said didn't make any sense," Nye said.
So there you have it?
"Rubbing the football, I don't think, can change the pressure. To really change the pressure, you need one of these," Nye said, holding up a regulation football and a ball pump, "the inflation needle."
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
Usually Super Bowl opponents have no reason to dislike each other.
Maybe there's a former coach or player who was wronged and now facing his old team, but rarely is there any hint of a rivalry. Teams from different conferences play each other only once every four years in the regular season.
But the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are an exception.
Their history was the "U Mad Bro?" Game (oh how I wish the great John Facenda of NFL Films was alive to narrate that title). In 2012 Richard Sherman wasn't a household name and we didn't know yet that the Seahawks were going to be champions. Oh how that would change.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stood up at a surprise news conference on Saturday to say that the team's in-house investigation into allegations that the club deflated footballs improperly led him to say that they "have followed every rule to the letter."
And then he was asked about the 2007 Spygate incident. And Belichick unloaded.
Broaching a subject that he rarely — if ever? — has discussed in such detail since, Belichick issued a fierce defense of his team's actions back then.
"At no time was there any intent whatsoever to try to compromise the integrity of the game or to gain an advantage," Belichick said. "Quite the opposite — we feel we followed the rules of the game to the letter in our preparations, in our procedures, and in the way we handle every game that we competitively played in as it relates to this matter.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided to call a surprise news conference on Saturday to let everyone know that he feels his team did nothing wrong.
He was defiant and frustrated over the entire deflate-gate controversy, in which the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs during the AFC championship game. So in this news conference he described in excruciating detail the experiments the Patriots have done to footballs to determine what happened. And he is convinced that the Patriots did nothing wrong.
"I believe now, 100 percent, that I have personally and we as an organization that we have followed every rule to the letter," Belichick said. "I feel on behalf of everyone in the organization – everyone that is involved in this organization – that we need to say something."
Belichick reiterated his thoughts from Thursday, in which he said he knew nothing of the preparation of footballs or the air pressure of them. So, as we'd expect from Belichick, he threw himself into the subject to figure it out.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Well, this is horrifying: a butcher in Seattle is selling sausage stuffed with Skittles in honor of Seattle Seahawks running back and noted Skittles aficionado Marshawn Lynch. It makes absolutely no sense, but then that's about par for the course with anything involving Lynch.
The creation of Blue Max Meats owners Tommy Marshall and Evan Greco, Beast Mode Sausage has brought people to the store in Puyallup, Washington every day for the past year. The owners estimate they've gone through 1,000 pounds of Skittles.
They claim that the sweet Skittles mixes well with the spicy sausage upon cooking, but we're not entirely sure that's anything more than marketing-speak. Regardless, it's done the job, bringing notoriety to the Blue Max name and drawing big attention now that Seattle's back in the Super Bowl.
Lynch himself hasn't yet sampled the sausage, apparently. But even if he did, we wouldn't count on him to spend a lot of time pontificating on its flavor.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's fully-inflated episode, we have:
• An interview with Tony Gonzalez, in which he discloses whether or not he can tell the difference between an inflated and slightly deflated ball, breaks down the Seattle defense, assesses Rob Gronkowski, and reveals whether he'll take Busbee's offer of $20 to return to the Falcons (26:18 mark)
• A look at the madness of Deflate-Gate, including the farcical press conferences of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (00:35 mark)
• Did Belichick throw Brady under the bus? (16:19 mark)
• Why on earth would the Seahawks taunt Gronkowski? (36:51 mark)
All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen up, and while you're listening ...
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
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.
- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
Will Russell Wilson appear on "Dancing WIth the Stars" when its 20th season kicks off in March?
Despite turning ABC's hit show down after his first championship, it looks like there's a chance WIlson might say "yes" if leads his team to a second straight Super Bowl title. That's according to an Instagram from DWTS star Karina Smirnoff, who relayed a "deal" she made with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback when the two were hanging out last fall.
"So….calling out @dangerusswilson 'if I win this year’s #SuperBowl, I’ll do next season of @dancingabc #DWTS,'" Smirnoff wrote on Instagram. "Ok-Should we hold him to it?!?!"
Messages to Wilson's reps seeking comment were not immediately returned on Friday.
"They made a deal a couple months back that if he wins the 2015 Super Bowl, he would dance as her partner for Season 20 of 'Dancing With the Stars,'" a source tells Yahoo.
Wilson, 25, has previously expressed his desire to appear on the show, but publicly turned down an opportunity to appear on Season 18 after beating the Denver Broncos in last February's Super Bowl.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
Johnny Manziel texted former Cleveland Browns QB coach Dowell Loggains on Draft Day 2014, urging him to draft Manziel so he could "wreck this league."
Instead, Manziel's nightmare rookie season almost wrecked the team. So says an ESPN.com report, which quotes nearly 20 Browns sources, indicating that the divisive rookie has problems that run deep after a mere nine months with the team.
In six quarters as a starter, Manziel failed to impress, and his presence in the locker room helped fracture a team that had some nice moments at time but fell from the playoff race late and now stands with total uncertainty on where it stands at quarterback heading into 2015.
Loggains was fired. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left with two years left on his contract. New offensive coordinator John DiFllippo has said the team must figure out if the Browns' future quarterback is on the roster currently, and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam echoed those uninspiring comments, too.