-- After an extremely disappointing season in which they went 4-12 and ranked 27th in points scored, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally lit up their own scoreboard. Sadly, they did so in the offseason, and it was literally instead of figuratively. According to local reports, several motorists alerted 911 about 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning when they saw that the scoreboard at Raymond James Stadium had caught fire. Apparently, the speaker system above the north scoreboard was getting a bit hot. We now know which joke announcers will overuse through the 2012 season whenever the Bucs actually go into double digits. [CBS Tampa]
-- According to some small sportswear retailers, Nike is already shutting them out of the jersey sales process. The company will take over the official manufacture of official and replica jerseys this year, and from the sound of it, smaller stores would have a better chance of making an NFL team and getting their jerseys that way. Some New York and New Jersey stores, which would really like to sell Giants replicas right about now, are getting this message, instead of the one saying their account will automatically switch over from Reebok: "Thank you for your recent interest in opening a Nike account. ... We determined your business does not fit in Nike's overall development plans." [NJ.com]
-- The question is being asked more and more often -- could increases in concussions, and the lack of anything to truly combat the rise in such injuries from high school through the NFL, eventually take football down as America's No. 1 sport? Add one more name to the list of guys who played football at the highest level, but wouldn't encourage their kids to do so at this point -- Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.
While Aikman says that the NFL is "very concerned about concussions," he also believes that "the long-term viability, to me anyway, is somewhat in question as far as what this game is going to look like 20 years from now." [L.A. Times]
-- Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt believes that Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, both of his potential starting quarterbacks, can be "knuckleheads at times." In truth, the "knucklehead" was the guy who thought Kolb was worth a $60 million deal in the first place. [CSN Philly]
-- Would Seattle be the most attractive destination for a healthy Peyton Manning? In 2011, the Seahawks may have been the most obvious example that the NFL is now a quarterback-driven league. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done an amazing job in rebuilding a team that was decimated by former team president Tim Ruskell, but the lack of an elite quarterback was pretty glaring on the field. The Seahawks would have to trade half their draft to get up high enough to pluck one of the two elite quarterbacks in this year's selection process, and the free-agent market doesn't provide any obvious answers. [National Football Post]
-- Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel recently asked his Twitter followers where they'd like to see him go if his current team traded him. (Note to Asante: Pretty much everyone who covers the league thinks you're going to get cut in a salary purge.) In any case, asking a bunch of Philly sports fans to tell you where to go isn't really a wise move. [Twitter]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers