Dumaguete, Negros Oriental and Siquijor Trip

Pederson and Favre were members of the 1996 Packers team that defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl that year.

Feb
16

On the eve of Super Bowl 52, former NFL quarterback Brett Favre delivered a special message to the Eagles while advising the players about what it’s going to take to hold off the Patriots.

“I congratulated them on the year they’ve had; it’s a wonderful year. And just encouraged them to enjoy the moment,” Favre told NBC Sports Philadelphia of his speech.

“My success as an NFL player is in part because of our connection and friendship. He was kind of like my second eyes, and I trusted him tremendously. So when Doug asked me, I sorta laughed,” Favre said of speaking to the team. “But when I realized he was serious, I was honored.”

According to a report from ESPN, it appears the organization is making moves in their scouting department to ensure they are prepared heading into the draft. Former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan joined the franchise as a personnel consultant to help with this year’s draft, according to unidentified league sources.

McCloughan will help the Browns navigate through the 12 picks they have in the 2018 draft, including the No. 1 and No. 4 overall choices and five picks in the first two rounds.

The report also weighed speculation around whether the Browns will draft a quarterback for their top pick and who it might be. McCloughan has publicly praised Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. However, according to team sources, there’s no clear favorite if the team were to go with a quarterback. It’s still expected Browns general manager John Dorsey will evaluate the top candidates.

Roethlisberger faced sexual assault allegations in 2008 and 2010, the latter of which prompted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to hand down a four-game suspension. As a result, Big Ben inherited another unsavory nickname (you know what it is), and this hasn’t gone away. Cincinnati revived all that with a radio spot that targeted Roethlisberger.bills_032

The Cardinals, who are ranked last in rushing yards and yards per carry, are hoping Peterson is the answer to their rushing woes.

Feb
13

Less than a week after the tape was confiscated, Goodell on Sept. 13 issued an emergency order compelling the Pats to fork over any other tapes. Yet before receiving any of them, he handed down his punishment: taking away the Pats’ first-round draft pick the next year, while fining the team $250,000 and Belichick — who claimed he simply misinterpreted the rulebook and never used video to gain a competitive advantage — the league maximum $500,000.

On Sept. 20, the NFL announced the Pats handed over six tapes and two days later said little about what the recordings contained — only that they had been destroyed.

“When somebody has a hit that looks suspicious, it takes the league three to four days of looking at a tape, then they -issue a fine,” O’Leary said.

Fueled by the stellar play of Pro Bowlers Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara and the timely contributions of Marcus Williams and Ryan Ramczyk, the Saints have emerged as legitimate title contenders in the NFC.

“I’ll be lying to you to say that I didn’t want a change of scenery after four weeks of seeing how things played out,” Peterson told Arizona reporters this week. “So, yeah, it was something that I was praying about … and the prayer was answered.”

Less than five months after the 9/11 attacks, U2 performed the most meaningful halftime show in Super Bowl history. The band’s touching tribute featured the colors of the American flag and the names of those who perished.

One word — theatrics. This show had so much show. Katy Perry entered the stadium on a giant gold tiger, surrounded by glowing orbs on the field. Add pyrotechnics, an incredible digital stage and the now-viral Left Shark, and the mega-pop star’s performance was pure entertainment.

The incredible magic of “Purple Rain” in the purple rain. Prince battled strong winds and heavy rain during his performance at Super Bowl 41 in Miami and didn’t miss a step. With his purple love symbol lighting up the wet field, this halftime show was more than memorable. It was iconic.

Before Michael Jackson, the Super Bowl halftime show was just a long bathroom break. The King of Pop changed that in 1993 with this epic performance.

From a James Earl Jones introduction to MJ stunt doubles popping up above the jumbotrons around the stadium, there is no topping this spectacular show. The moment also marked the first time in Super Bowl history that ratings increased between halves during the game.bills_006

The Packers were heavy favorites in Super Bowl XXXII over John Elway and the Broncos.

Feb
10

Green Bay won seven games against playoff teams, and quarterback Brett Favre had won his third consecutive NFL MVP award. But Elway finally got his first Super Bowl win, beating the Packers in a 31-24 thriller.

NFL MVP Shaun Alexander broke the single-season touchdown record, Matt Hasselbeck led the NFC in passer rating and the defense led the league with 50 sacks. They still lost 21-10 to the wild-card Steelers in Super Bowl XL, which featured multiple controversial calls against Seattle.

“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”

However, some players are concerned that their statements of concern about police brutality and social injustice are becoming muddled. Michael Bennett, who has continued to kneel during the anthem, and Seattle Seahawks teammate Doug Baldwin reminded CNN viewers Wednesday night of the message begun by Kaepernick, one they said was not aimed at the military.

Now they’re doing all the little things, and Pearl sees a team that has bought in, a team that trusts and respects one another.

“You don’t mind sharing the ball,” he said. “You don’t mind sharing minutes. You don’t mind taking a little less to get a little more.”

Hearing Pearl gush about this team — and make no mistake, he’s gushing when he talks about players such as forward Desean Murray, who he says exemplifies the team’s selfless identity — paints a rosy picture of basketball on The Plains.

Like those late-’90s teams, the late-’80s Vikings are an overlooked bunch. Perhaps they’re way less remembered, too, given the time elapsed and the way our memories have been shortened by the salary-cap era. Under Jerry Burns, Minnesota went to the NFC title game in 1987, coming a dropped pass away from the organization’s fifth Super Bowl berth. They would put together stellar ’88 and ’89 seasons, only to fall to the champion 49ers in both years.
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Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky had some good moments Monday night in his first NFL start.

Feb
07

The Chargers went on the road to beat the Giants for their first victory of the season. But after playing in front of opposing teams’ fans at StubHub Center, does it even make a difference where they play?

One of them was not the late interception that he threw to set up the Vikings’ winning FG. No one should have expected any miracles right away. This will be a long process with ups and downs. But Trubisky provided enough glimpses of his talent to believe he just might get there eventually.

The Shrine Game this year will feature multiple second- and third-round picks, including a pair of defensive backs that at one time were considered first-round prospects: the FBS’s all-time sack leader, and a Memphis quarterback with plenty of NFL starting potential.

Reports from Optimum Scouting staff members Dan Matney, Ben Natan, Filip Prus and Christian Page are used in this ranking of the top 20 players at this year’s East-West Shine Game.

A rare senior standout for a usually sophomore- and junior-loaded Ohio State secondary, Webb is a converted cornerback with awesome athleticism and versatility. He is fluid enough to hold up in man coverage at the next level, and he possesses the traits to patrol the middle of the field in a Cover 3 scheme, too.

For as talented as he is in coverage, Webb’s best skills might be as a tackler. He flies downhill and displays good body control when he’s at this top speed. He will look to show that during Shrine Game practices.

The New England Patriots have happier memories, of course, but all they need do is look at the 283 gems (get it?) in their Super Bowl rings. So forgive the Falcons if some Patriots have established residence in the recesses of their minds since February, a situation that only makes the rematch Sunday night in Gillette Stadium more interesting.jaguars_043

The change to having players and coaches on the sideline for the anthem was made in 2009.

Feb
05

“It would certainly have to be considered very strongly,” said an official with an NFL franchise who is familiar with the thinking of that team’s owner on the matter.

The current league policy says that players must be on the sideline for the anthem. It suggests but does not require that players stand for the anthem.

And here’s why you should really appreciate the forthcoming triumph: The Patriots’ core won’t ever be the same again. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is all set to coach the Colts, while defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s in line to take over the Lions. (Both are great hires.) Brady, while still playing at an MVP level, is 40 years old. I’m not sure when the drop-off will come — many a talking head have ended up looking stupid trying to play that game — but it is indeed coming. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was a work of fiction, after all.

It’s natural for many of you to root against this kind of annual superiority. But admit to yourself that the venom is rooted in pure jealously. And after you do that, take the time to respect — and soak in — the greatness we’re all witnessing here. You’re actually going to miss this whenever it ends. So embrace it. Appreciate it.

Military uniforms are the vestments of these priests of freedom. Watch carefully on Thanksgiving Day: Every opening ceremony and commercial break and NFL halftime show will feature iconic clips of military personnel either at the game or in the field; they will be held up as our way of saying “thank you.” To them we owe our warm homes and overflowing tables and all of the consumer goods we’ll pursue with abandon on Black Friday.

But this year, as protests by players continue, the pigskin spectacle will be particularly fraught. Those who don’t worship in just the right way will be scorned, probably by the president himself.

This was the first time Lillard and Allen have spoken in such a capacity, however. The meeting, which sources described as a productive, open forum to share opinions and express concerns, could also lead to more sit-downs in the future.

During the gathering, Allen also sought answers.jaguars_084

The confetti remained on the field hours after the Patriots had gone home and the Jaguars had flown into their offseason.

Feb
02

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that team owners will discuss a plan when they meet next week for dealing with the raging national controversy over players’ protests during the national anthem, adding that while the league respects the right of its players to express their opinions, it believes they should stand during the playing of the anthem.

While stopping short of saying the NFL would require its players to stand, Goodell strongly suggested in a letter to NFL teams that at next week’s meeting the league would propose to owners that players be required to do so, while also providing a platform to recognize their community activism.

I mean, I don’t think anyone can ever take those for granted. These are pretty amazing times for all of us — fans included, players, coaches, everyone. It’s very special.”

So much about the next two weeks will be familiar for the Patriots, providing them an unquestioned advantage over the Philadelphia Eagles, their opponents for Super Bowl LII. They have one more, too: Brady expects to get his stiches out this week.

Baez signed for $3 million in the Padres’ epic July 2 free-agent class, but I don’t think anyone expected the kind of performance the the 6-foot-8 right-hander showed this summer in low-A Fort Wayne. Baez arrived in the Midwest League on July 4 for his first start outside of the Arizona Rookie League and punched out 34 percent of batters he faced while walking just eight men across 10 starts there.

He will hit 98 mph and pitch comfortably in the mid-90s with good angle thanks to his height, showing an above-average to plus changeup and a slurvy curveball that comes and goes start to start. His extension gets him a little extra hop on his fastball in the zone, which so far has allowed him to miss bats with the pitch.

The Padres were cautious about innings in his first pro season, but Baez, who just turned 22, needs to be challenged this year with better competition, as he has No. 2 upside but simply overpowered the younger low-A hitters he faced last year.
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