When you coach in Green Bay, where they name streets and stadiums after those who get the job done, it's not easy and perhaps not even advisable to dream of cracking the pantheon of Lombardi, Lambeau and Holmgren. But Mike McCarthy, head down and grinding away in his trademark no-frills fashion, is working on it.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the NFL's just-released 256-game regular-season schedule ...
It's unlikely helicopters will be involved in the news coverage of where fourth-year Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn lands in free agency, but that doesn't mean the pursuit of the second most sought-after passer in this year's market will lack for significance or intrigue.
As Peyton Manning looks for a new home after 14 years with the Colts, it's important to remember one thing: It rarely ends well for the great ones, especially the quarterbacks.
The first day of NFL free agency -- March 13 -- can't come soon enough for Matt Flynn. The soon-to-be ex-Green Bay Packer backup is expected to be the league's most in-demand free-agent quarterback --once Drew Brees is signed or franchised by the Saints and outside of Peyton Manning being healthy and released by the Colts.
The New York Giants parade through the heart of Manhattan, celebrating a dramatic win in Super Bowl XLVI.
Eli Manning is heading to Disney World. Madison Avenue will be close behind.
In the social media age, you don't need to be at a party to enjoy clever or catty comments about the Super Bowl.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the Giants' impossibly dramatic and gritty 21-17 defeat of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI Sunday night in Lucas Oil Stadium. As it turns out, it was a rematch, and a redux, indeed...
A ticker tape parade awaits the New York Giants this week when the team returns home as Super Bowl champions after defeating the New England Patriots on a last-minute touchdown.
Triumphing in a thriller, quarterback Eli Manning led the New York Giants on Sunday to their second Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in four years.
What's the most important position in football? Who's the guy who we need to watch most closely to determine which way the Super Bowl will swing?
Can the emotional stress among viewers of the Super Bowl lead to fatal cardiovascular events? John Lisk reports.
Watch John Stamos get knocked out and a two-headed singing car buyer in some Super Bowl ads airing on Sunday.
An estimated 111 million U.S. viewers are expected to tune in Sunday for Super Bowl XLVI. It features the scrappy New York Giants against the New England Patriots, who are looking for their fourth NFL title. Kickoff in Indianapolis is 6:30 p.m. ET.
INDIANAPOLIS -- This city's outdone itself. It's been a great game site for the Super Bowl. So much to do downtown, all on foot, and the natives and even the drunks are in great moods. The meteorologists have helped, but there's something to be said for a vibrant downtown hosting everything at a Super Bowl, and holding the Super Bowl in a place where you never have to get in a car.
One of the great myths about the NFL is that the salary cap affords the league much better competitive balance than is possible in the cap-less Major League Baseball. This would not be a good week to be promoting that myth, seeing that the New York Giants and New England Patriots have become what Meryl Streep and George Clooney are to the Oscars. Ho-hum. The Giants and Patriots have filled one-third of the available spots over the past 12 Super Bowls.
The American Football League and National Football League played their World Championship Game in 1967 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Technically, this was Super Bowl I, though no one had thought to title the game, much less give it a numeral, Roman or otherwise. The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in front of something less than a capacity crowd. Don't believe it? Well, you'll have to take our word, because no one thought to keep a tape of the game.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The irony is too rich to miss here this week. The juxtaposition as stark as it could possibly be. Peyton Manning isn't in this Super Bowl, but somehow he still looms over it, with the drama surrounding his future providing a backdrop for a game that's chock full of intriguing storylines.
Like an underachieving student who needs time to register academic success, the Super Bowl took a few decades before establishing itself as a sporting event that was as much about achievement as it was hype.
If you love the passing game, you'll love Super Bowl XLVI. In fact, it's a watershed moment in the evolution of pro football.
Haven't made your plans yet to head to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl? Hope your credit card has some room on it -- tickets are going to cost you thousands of dollars over face value.
It was tongue in cheek, blogger Sophia Brugato said, because let's be honest: Tim Tebow, for all his athletic attributes, isn't the biggest scorer.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from a down-to-the-wire Championship Sunday. We had three-point thrillers, from coast to coast...
The San Francisco 49ers are trying to win the Super Bowl with Alex Smith, and the Baltimore Ravens are trying to win it with Joe Flacco, which seems like trying to shower without using water. The NFL, we have been told 1,000 times, is a quarterback league. You either have a great one or you need a great one. ESPN even declared that 2011 was "The Year of the Quarterback," but sadly couldn't get that confirmed on menus at Chinese restaurants. (Imagine! 2010: Year of the Tiger. 2011: Year of the Quarterback. 2012: Year of the Dragon.)
Looking back, all the fuss was a bit silly. Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked during a radio interview before the season if he thought he was in the same class as Tom Brady, his more heralded counterpart with the Patriots. What was he supposed to say? "No, actually, Tom is much better than I am. He is also more handsome. Everyone knows that!" Of course not. He answered the question the way any proud athlete, with a Super Bowl MVP on his fireplace mantle, would: "I consider myself in that class," he told 1050 ESPN in New York during training camp, back in August. "Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he's a great player and what you've seen with him is he's gotten better every year. He started off winning championships and I think he's a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships. "I think now he's grown up and gotten better every year and that's what I'm trying to do," he said. "I kind of hope these next seven years of my
This weekend's conference championship games bring back the best and worst memories from my NFL management career. That's because I consider this game to be the toughest to win and the most painful to lose. Yes, even worse than losing a Super Bowl, which happened to me twice.
I sure didn't see that coming. Except for a minor blip in Kansas City a month ago, the Packers were an efficient and precise scoring machine all season. Although their defense certainly could be porous, it made enough plays to win when combined with an offense that scored 35 points per game.
Here are two questions for you to start your Championship Week: What would have happened if Ernie Accorsi hadn't had such a backbone on April 24, 2004? And what would have happened if A.J. Smith had played hardball with Accorsi as the clock wound down on the fourth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, with just seven minutes to go and the Giants on the clock?
Some losses are so bad that when you get home, your dog kicks you.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap our brains around the new realities that the divisional playoffs have wrought: The Giants and 49ers move on, and the Packers and Saints don't. There's nothing like the plot twists you get in the NFL's postseason....
Grading out the performances from the New York Giants' impressive 37-20 upset win at Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs.
1. Tom Brady's paper-tiger Patriots need this win more than Tim Tebow's magical Broncos.
1. It's beginning to look a lot like 2007, down to the smallest details.
Sign me up for the notion that the NFL's divisional playoff round typically makes for the best weekend of the season, with the league's elite eight pairing off in four bursts of high-stakes elimination football. Here are eight of the best storylines that provide a backdrop of the action on tap:
There has been no greater National Football League dynasty than the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s.
In the sport of table tennis, the emphasis on neutral playing conditions is a heavy one. So much so that even at low-level tournaments, the organizers will regulate temperature, humidity and the current from the arenas' air conditioning vents. Contrast with the NFL. Teams can play alongside the beach -- under a cloudless sky in 90-degree heat -- on one Sunday; and then play alongside one of the Great Lakes -- in a heartlessly cold blizzard -- the next Sunday.
We're down to the final eight teams in the NFL playoffs, and that means there are only 16 potential matchups remaining for Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium next month in Indianapolis. Don't worry, I did the math so you don't have to. Here's a pregame storyline or reason to care about each and every Super pairing, as we rank them from most intriguing to least appealing. As always, your results may vary...
DENVER -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest a wild-card weekend in the NFL that obviously saved the best for last, Denver's stunning Tebow-led overtime upset of Pittsburgh at a delirious Sports Authority Field...
Passer Rating Differential is so effective at identifying NFL champions that the Cold, Hard Football Facts call it the Mother of All Stats. It simply subtracts a team's Defensive Passer Rating from its Offensive Passer Rating, and it proves that a dominant passing game has always been the key to success in the NFL. Nearly 60 percent of all NFL champions since 1940 ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in Passer Rating Differential; 90 percent ranked in the top 5.
1. Tim Tebow picked the wrong time to slump.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we break down the NFL's 12-team playoff field from as many angles as occur to us...
Football's big game is coming to the small screen.
DENVER -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight in a Week 15 that fairly well turned things upside down in an NFL that officially just stopped making sense, at least for a day....
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium, ending the defending Super Bowl champions' quest for a perfect season.
Perhaps it's a byproduct of the league-wide obsession with all things Tebow, and the remarkable story that just keeps raging on in Denver, consuming more and more oxygen every week. Maybe it's a bit of perfect-season fatigue, with the 2007 Patriots and the 2009 Colts having trod this same parcel of ground so recently. And without a doubt, some of it can be attributed to the Packers themselves, a small-market team almost devoid of drama, with no prima donnas or screaming need to draw attention to itself.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You watch the Green Bay Packers play these days, and the thought keeps occuring to you that only one team might be able to stop them from getting where they want to go. And that team would be the Green Bay Packers themselves.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If perfection comes to pass this season in Green Bay, remember this one. It was as close to defeat as the Packers have come this season, and like an accident narrowly avoided, it sent the adrenaline surging and brought out the best possible reaction from the defending Super Bowl champions.
Madonna will take center stage at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI, flanked by Cirque du Soleil performers in what traditionally is one of the year's most watched shows.
The end for coach Jack Del Rio came sooner than Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver had hoped. The owner, one of the most patient of his ilk in the NFL, had planned to make a decision on Del Rio's future at the end of the season. But the Jags had played so haplessly on offense, and Del Rio couldn't turn the ship around in any tangible way, and there was just no hope in a town that goes week-to-week to sell tickets. So Weaver fired Del Rio today in the midst of his fourth straight non-winning season -- on a day when it was also revealed that Shahid Kahn will buy the franchise and keep it in Jacksonville.
This year's tripleheader slate of Thanksgiving Day games is being hailed as the NFL's best ever, with much of the buzz building on behalf of the Packers-Lions appetizing early showdown in Detroit or the family-style grand finale that will be the highly anticipated Harbaugh Bowl in Baltimore.
CHICAGO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest a Week 11 that looked dreadful on paper but wound up playing out as one of the most entertaining Sundays of the NFL season....
The defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers are planning to sell stock to the public next week, the team's first stock offering since 1997.
The NFL season hits the halfway pole defined by big gaudy passing numbers from the game's elite passers, a historic streak of huge comebacks, the stunning implosion of the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts and the sad loss of pro football icon Al Davis.
With 10 games remaining on their schedule, of course it's way premature and patently ridiculous to start speculating on the Green Bay Packers' chances to go through the regular season a perfect 16-0. And of course we're going to do it anyway. Premature speculation comes with the job when you cover the NFL these days.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh may not be best buddies these days, but they do share one thing in common -- they and their 5-1 teams are far exceeding expectations so far this season.
While questions of succession have naturally arisen in Oakland in the wake of Al Davis' death after decades of leading the franchise, let's not focus so long-term that we overlook the arrival of some long-awaited success to Raiders football, and to the NFL landscape in the Bay Area as a whole.
Every once in a while, we're reminded that maybe the NFL schedule makers really do know what they're doing after all. Week 5 provides us with ample evidence.
CHICAGO -- Dispatches from the Packers' more-impressive-than-it-sounds 27-17 win over the befuddling Bears at Soldier Field ...
The Super Bowl XX champions Chicago Bears -- regarded as one of the most colorful teams in NFL history with players nicknamed "The Fridge," "Da Coach," "Sweetness," and a punk quarterback -- has been invited to the White House next month to make up for a visit that was canceled 25 years ago, a White House official told CNN Thursday.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Dispatches from the Packers' wildly entertaining 42-34 win over the outgunned Saints in Thursday night's NFL regular-season opener at a celebratory Lambeau Field. (Lockout? What lockout?) ...
The Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints Thursday night in a star-studded NFL kickoff game that pits the last two Super Bowl champions.
The prediction business is a foolish and risky game in the ever-changing NFL, but hey, somebody's got to do it. So here goes, 20 bold predictions as we stare down the start of the 2011 regular season:
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to email@example.com)
More than any other month, even April, August in the NFL is all about hope. A new season looms, and the possibilities seem endless, even for the downtrodden teams of the league who perennially pack it in and head home after Week 17 rather than play on into the postseason.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- We'll get to the news of the weekend in a few hundred words, to touchbacks and Starcaps, to playing for now and playing for later, to Colt McCoy taking a big step and Matthew Stafford taking a healthy one, to the first week of the silly season and the panic it induces, to the team trying to figure how the coin toss works and the team trying to figure where to kick off from, and to the NFL player with a tattoo thing for Elizabeth Taylor. In due time. Oh, and reading between the lines, the NFL is not happy with the Bears Wildcatting their own kickoff spot. But more about that later.
A rare sight in Texas, snow and ice is making Super Bowl fans frown.
Mother Nature smiled Saturday on ice-weary metro Dallas residents and Super Bowl visitors, providing sunny skies and snow-melting temperatures in the low 50s.
The future is bright for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
It's official, sports fans: Passer Rating Differential is the most important stat in football. It's the one indicator virtually guaranteed to separate winners from losers and champs from chumps.
The NFL rolled out the 2011 schedule with its usual amount of prime-time fanfare on Tuesday, and yet what do we make of a regular season that has the potential to be anything but regular?
A group of fans were unhappy with Super Bowl ticket situation. CNN's Mark McKay reports.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It probably couldn't have ended any other way for these Green Bay Packers.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area was hit by a winter storm, but temperatures should be in the 40s by Super Bowl Sunday.
Texans battle the winter snow but also manage to have fun in Dallas.
A deep freeze across the South appears to have dampened the pre-Super Bowl fun for fans gathering in the Lone Star State.
It may not be on the minds of hot-wing-chomping sports fans who want to see Clay Matthews clobber Ben Roethlisberger or Hines Ward streak toward the end zone.
Automakers are back in force for this year's Super Bowl -- just two years after the U.S. industry was nearly wiped out -- with nine companies purchasing multi-million dollar spots for the big game.
The teams are in Texas, practicing and mentally preparing for game day. Not the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the dozens of security teams that have been brought in from all over the country to keep the Super Bowl safe.
A Wisconsin neighborhood shows its support for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Affiliate WLUK reports.
Impressionist painting and football are words you don't often hear in the same sentence.
Is a $3 million, 30-second Super Bowl ad really worth it?
A rash of inclement weather shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Tuesday morning, raising questions as to whether Super Bowl fans will face travel problems ahead of Sunday's big game.
If you break down the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl matchup with the eye of a baseball analyst, you will find one team has a major edge this Sunday. I will reveal that important edge in a minute -- not to mention why Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is the new Mel Ott -- but first you have to understand the baseball perspective.
Sports Illustrated's Super Bowl Galleries
From Bart Starr's '67 Packers to Drew Brees' '10 Saints, SI has been covering the Super Bowl since its inception. Here are the game stories for sports' biggest event:
Paying attention to warning signs of a heart attack may mean saving your heart from damage. HLN's Christi Paul reports.
This Sunday's Super Bowl could prove to be a real heartbreaker for some fans of the losing team.
"We canât wait to get it started," Peas lead singer Fergie says of the Dallas party
CHICAGO -- We'll get to the Super Bowl matchup that Doris Kearns Goodwin would love (it's historic, for those not familiar with Ms. Goodwin's work), and to the volcanic Jay Cutler situation, and to one of the greatest predictions in sports history (sort of) soon enough. But I begin this morning with two things -- the Super Bowl XLV Factoid That Will Interest Everyone, and something Packers GM Ted Thompson said, uncharacteristically, in the winning locker room 45 minutes after Green Bay 21, Chicago 14: "I think this game was good for America.''
PITTSBURGH -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from an interesting, but rather uneven Championship Sunday in the NFL ...
Every year now, about this time, the thermometer falls and the Roman numerals rise. Why, the Super Bowl is certified vintage now. Patriotic football fans, plus Tom Brady himself, keep filling the Broadway pews of Lombardi, to solemnly listen to an actor pass on the revealed wisdom of one of the Super Bowl's Founding Fathers . . . as sure as we citizens heard members of Congress read us, less artistically, the profound words of Madison and his sacred brethren.
Quick-hitting insights from the slate of 1 p.m. games.
Related Galleries for the October 4, 2010 issue
Retired quarterback Brian Sipe was speaking at a luncheon for the San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum a couple of years ago when someone asked about playing at San Diego State for Don Coryell, the intense and wildly imaginative coach who loved to throw the football. Sipe smiled and paused. It was as if he were asking himself: How best to describe the offensive genius that was Coryell?
Yes, I am on record saying that every Super Bowl should be in New Orleans. Well ... I love New Orleans Super Bowls. There's something about the city, the people, the history that makes a Super Bowl there feel even bigger than normal. Of course, I'm all for keeping things the same. I think every U.S. Open should be at Pebble Beach, every British Open at St. Andrews, every football "National Championship" game at the Rose Bowl and every Final Four in Indianapolis.
The Super Bowl is coming to the New York City area.
Now that the idea of an outdoor Super Bowl played in the chill of early February is just days shy of making the leap from concept to, uh, cold, hard reality, it's time to take a look at what the 2014 game in the New York area might hold in store, from as many perspectives as we can conjure up.
No sooner had the last flake of confetti fallen in Miami that next year's Super Bowl odds were posted. Not surprisingly, the Colts are the favorite to do what they couldn't achieve this season. Everybody of consequence returns for the Colts next season. Linebacker Gary Brackett is scheduled to be a unrestricted free agent and Antoine Bethea is a restricted free agent, but both are expected to return to Indianapolis. With that in mind, here's a look at the biggest questions that need answered this offseason among the AFC teams.
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