The Week: Most Recent Sports:The NFL recent posts.en-usTue, 05 Feb 2013 14:25:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Sports:The NFL from THE WEEKTue, 05 Feb 2013 14:25:00 -0500Who's favored to win the Super Bowl in 2014?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The Ravens are still celebrating their Super Bowl XLVII win. The champagne is still cold. The parade hasn't even begun.&nbsp;Looking ahead is premature. But it's not prohibited, and it's fun. Besides, what else are we going to do until next season? Here are the five teams that are the biggest threats at this point to win Super Bowl XLVIII: No Broncos, Falcons, Giants, Redskins, or Texans on this list, which undoubtedly will disturb some of you. So read on:</p><p><strong>1. San Francisco 49ers<br /></strong>If you keep coming close, you can find a way to finally break through. Ask the Ravens. They made the playoffs the past...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Clifton BrownTue, 05 Feb 2013 14:25:00 -0500Football as ballet: 11 surprisingly graceful images from the Super Bowl<img src="" /></P><p>Go beyond the bone-crunching tackles and you'll see that football is actually one of America's most elegant sports. In brightly colored, body-baring costumes, exceptionally sure-footed athletes almost resemble dancers as they soar over opponents, reeling in spiraling balls with outstretched arms and seemingly magnetic fingertips, touching down on the sidelines only to implausibly drag their toes across the turf before the rest of their body falls out of bounds. Behold, the hidden ballet of Super Bowl XLVII.</p><p ><br /><strong>Grand Allegro:</strong> Cary Williams of the Baltimore Ravens and Ted Ginn of the San Francisco...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:05:00 -0500Next year's Super Bowl might not have a halftime show<img src="" /></P><p>We hope you liked Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance, because it could be the last one for a couple years. Next year's big game will be played in New Jersey's open-air MetLife stadium, where the temperature is currently a frigid 27 degrees. And with next year's Super Bowl likely to be similarly cold,&nbsp;NFL officials reportedly aren't sure how to plan for the halftime show, as freezing temperatures could make the already-daunting task of quickly setting up and tearing down a massive stage even more difficult.</p><p>"It's not only the acts and the singers but [also] the crews that have to put...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jessica-hullinger" ><span class="byline">Jessica Hullinger</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 12:22:00 -0500WATCH: The 10 best and 5 worst Super Bowl commercials<img src="" /></P><p>If you weren't watching last night's Super Bowl for the game or for Beyonce's halftime show, you were probably watching for the commercials &mdash; and unfortunately, you were probably disappointed. Though there were a few standouts, even this year's very best ads fell short of greatness, with no creative triumphs on par with 2011's Darth Vader Volkswagon spot. What was the best and worst of this year's unspectacular crop? The 10 best &mdash; and 5 worst &mdash; Super Bowl commercials:</p><p><strong><span >THE BEST</span></strong></p><p><strong>1. Got Milk?: "Milk Mustache"<br /></strong>The night's funniest commercial belonged to the "Got Milk?" campaign,...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 12:15:00 -0500Why the Monday after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday<img src="" /></P><p>An estimated 111 million Americans&nbsp;watched the Super Bowl in 2012, the seventh year in a row in which more people watched the big game than the previous one. And in all likelihood, more than 111 million people watched the Baltimore Ravens outlast the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, which means that, at the very least, tens of millions of people (tens of millions!) woke up Monday morning with an affliction that this writer would attempt to describe were he not suffering from it himself. Kingsley Amis expertly captured&nbsp;this self-induced malaise in his comic novel <em>Lucky Jim</em>:</p><p >Consciousness...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 11:50:00 -0500The Super Bowl power outage: 5 conspiracy theories<img src="" /></P><p>If anyone knows what caused the blackout that plummeted New Orleans' Superdome, and Super Bowl XLVII, into near-darkness Sunday night, they aren't being very forthcoming. Entergy Services, the local utility, and SMG, the company that manages the Superdome, jointly blamed the power failure on a mysterious "abnormality in the system" that essentially tripped a giant circuit-breaker, adding that both companies "will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality."</p><p>However, what is pretty clear is that before the blackout, the Baltimore Ravens were cruising to a blowout victory, and after...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 09:32:00 -0500Relive Super Bowl 47 in 70 tweets<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="660" height="397" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Super Bowl XLVII "ended another lifetime after it began," clocking in at "a whopping 4 hours and 14 minutes," says <em>The Associated Press</em>' Tim Dahlberg. And it was "the strangest Super Bowl you will ever see." The showdown between quaterbacks Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers &mdash; and their respective coaches, brothers John and Jim Harbaugh &mdash; was also the most Twittered game in Super Bowl history, with 24.1 million tweets about the game and halftime show, including 231,500 tweets per minute when the lights went out for an extended blackout...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 06:30:00 -0500The eerie similarities between Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady<img src="" /></P><p>A franchise quarterback, taken with the first overall pick in the NFL draft, goes down with an injury. An unheralded second-year QB takes his place. The original starter recovers from injury, but by that time, he's lost his job to the young gun, who miraculously leads his team to the Super Bowl while the healthy veteran sits on the sidelines.</p><p>That's the story of San Francisco 49ers&nbsp;phenom Colin Kaepernick's surprising season. It's also the 2001 story of a once-unheard-of sixth-round-pick named Tom Brady.</p><p>Stylistically, Brady and Kaepernick couldn't be more different. The New England QB is...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:35:00 -0500WATCH: Super Bowl ads, from the best cameos to the most sexist spots<img src="" /></P><p ><iframe width="660" height="397" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p >&nbsp;</p><p ><strong>More from&nbsp;<em>Now This News</em></strong></p><p >*&nbsp;WATCH: <em>New York Times</em> hacked by Chinese hackers</p><p >*&nbsp;WATCH: KnowThis: Monopoly edition</p><p >*&nbsp;WATCH: Baby panda's first check-up</p> <a href="">More</a>By Now This NewsFri, 01 Feb 2013 07:50:00 -0500Why low seeds thrive in the NFL playoffs<img src="" /></P><p>In 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first sixth-seeded team &mdash; the lowest possible seed in the NFL playoffs &mdash; to not only make it to, but win the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers accomplished the same feat in 2011, three years after the New York Giants won the Lombardi Trophy as a number five seed.<br /><br />Those unexpected runs are hardly the exception anymore. Indeed, lower seeds are now routinely advancing deep into the playoffs. Where in years past, top-seeded teams dominated the postseason, the past decade has seen a surge of upstarts crash the party.<br /><br />This phenomenon coincides with...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 31 Jan 2013 13:28:00 -0500Colin Kaepernick and 7 other QBs drafted by baseball teams<img src="" /></P><p>San Francisco 49ers&nbsp;phenom Colin Kaepernick has come from nowhere to become one of the most exciting players in the NFL. The second-year quarterback with a rifle arm and incredible speed set an NFL playoff record for rushing yards by a quarterback in the 49ers' rout of the Green Bay Packers, and now his team is favored heading into a Super Bowl matchup with the gritty, veteran Baltimore Ravens. In a season dominated by rookie sensations Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson, suddenly it's Colin Kaepernick who's the toast of Super Bowl celebrations in New Orleans.</p><p>But Kaepernick...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/danny-groner" ><span class="byline">Danny Groner</span></a>Mon, 28 Jan 2013 06:20:00 -0500The NFL's concussion epidemic: Finally, a major breakthrough?<img src="" /></P><p>The NFL's concussion crisis is a public-relations nightmare&nbsp;for commissioner Roger Goodell. Years of brutal hits can do irreversible damage to the brains of even the toughest athletes, and recent studies have shown that a neurodegenerative&nbsp;disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a major problem for retired football players. But CTE&nbsp;has long been tough to diagnose, as the damaged tissue could only be examined&nbsp;<em>after</em> a player was dead, which, of course, doesn't really help those battling risky symptoms like mood swings and depression. But now, UCLA researchers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:55:00 -0500Why the Patriots don't need Rob Gronkowski<img src="" /></P><p>The New England Patriots will be without injured star tight end Rob Gronkowski for their AFC Championship matchup with the Baltimore Ravens today, seemingly leaving a huge hole in the team's incredibly dominant offense. Yet as they've already proven this year, the Patriots boast a formidable arsenal of weapons &mdash; even without the NFL's best tight end.</p><p>Gronkowski averaged 71.8 yards per game this season, most among tight ends. He caught 11 touchdown passes, also tops among tight ends, despite missing a third of the season with a broken arm.&nbsp;Those contributions helped propel the Patriots...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 20 Jan 2013 08:20:00 -0500WATCH: 7 times athletes fought their teammates<img src="" /></P><p>During Monday's BCS championship game, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was shoved by center Barrett Jones after the Crimson Tide took a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty late in the team's 42-14 trouncing of Notre Dame. But it's not just college kids who are prone to these embarrassing outbursts. Who can forget Washington Redskins receiver Michael Westbrook's fisticuffs with running back Stephen Davis in 1997, or the repeated reports that San Francisco Giants stars Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent were getting into it behind closed doors. Here, a look back at some of the most hostile moments of teammate...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/danny-groner" ><span class="byline">Danny Groner</span></a>Tue, 08 Jan 2013 16:25:00 -0500The Bills milked Buffalo for everything -- and they'll do it again<img src="" /></P><p>The Buffalo Bills got everything they wanted in the new lease deal they signed in December, and they'll likely get a whole lot more in the near future.</p><p>Under the deal's terms, the Bills will receive what has become commonplace for teams demanding new or improved facilities: hefty public financing. While most such deals represent long-term investments by local governments, a provision in the Bills' lease could leave taxpayers shelling out big-time for just seven more years of football. And even if Buffalo retains the Bills after that point, taxpayers will likely have to shell out hundreds of millions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Tue, 01 Jan 2013 09:00:00 -0500Why more NFL teams should start rookie QBs<img src="" /></P><p>If the NFL playoffs started today, a record three rookie quarterbacks would be leading their teams into the postseason. With two weeks left to play, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck, Washington's Robert Griffin III, and Seattle's Russell Wilson all have their teams roaring toward unexpected postseason berths.</p><p>This is no fluke. It's a reflection of the new approach teams have begun to take with their freshman play-callers.</p><p>Teams used to insist that rookie quarterbacks weren't ready to lead a team to victory. When the Cincinnati Bengals selected Carson Palmer with the first overall pick in the 2003 draft...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 20 Dec 2012 07:00:00 -0500