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Thursday, November 23, 2006

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl XXXVIII - Video Of Wining Field Goal; Reaction

I was at this Super Bowl as this happened. Here someone's video of Adam Viniateri's kick giving the New England Patriots the win over the Carolina Panthers in a dramatic game.

Monte Poole - Oakland Tribune Columnist On Randy Moss and Raiders



Marriage between Moss and Raiders just won't work
Column by Monte Poole
Article Last Updated:11/22/2006 08:08:46 AM PST

THEY LIKE to throw the deep pass, so they obtained theleague's superior deep threat.
They embrace the notion of baggage and talent in a single package, so they acquired a touchdown machine with a renegade reputation.
They needed a new start, he needed a new start, and it just made sense, given their apparent compatibility, that they become partners and begin their sprint toward prosperity.
The Raiders' decision 20 months ago to marry Randy Moss was, theoretically, conceived in the lap of logic, a practically perfect match of player and system. Nowhere in the NFL was there a man whose talents better fit his team's schemes and concepts than Randy and the Raiders.
Now, 26 games later, there is no avoiding the evidence branding this union an abject failure. Raiders-Moss has been downright catastrophic, leaving both parties grotesquely disfigured, ruined for the foreseeable future.
Moss came here to collect another 40 or 50 touchdowns, revive a sagging franchise and put an exclamation point on a Hall of Fame career.
Moss will, in all likelihood, leave town at age 30, with signs of midcareer burnout, wondering ifhis highway to Canton was sabotaged by his brief and joyless stay behind the eye patch.
Remember how Moss was welcomed to Oakland after the trade? He arrived at Oakland International, was whisked into a limo and received a police escort to Raiders headquarters.
It was an entrance fit for a savior or a king. Insofar as Moss was generally considered NFL royalty, it was a conspicuous manifestation of the value the team placed in its newest member.
The Raiders had made a bold move, doing whatever was necessary to make themselves matter again, creating significant buzz around the city and the league. The Raider Nation was ecstatic.
Since that day, however, they have won six games, while losing 20. It is the most pathetic 26-game stretch of the 431/2 years they have spent under the spell of Al Davis.
Moreover, Moss has become irrelevant.
He has been, in Oakland, an acutely unexceptional wide receiver. Once drawn to the end zone like a flower to the sun, Moss rarely finds the place and doesn't always look comfortable when he does. His Pro Bowl status is practically rusted over.
As this season has slogged along, Randy's focus has turned foggy, his hands have hardened, and his passion has turned to apathy. It's as if he has cloned the most despised athletic characteristics of so many other talents who came and went, having dumped a pile of unfulfilled promise across local hopes.
Do the names Billy Owens, Rickey Dudley, Jeff George, Ruben Sierra or J.J. Stokes mean anything?
Seeing Moss jog to a stop, arms passively at his sides, witnessing Kansas City safety Jarrad Page intercept Aaron Brooks' pass — intended for Moss — in the end zone Sunday was merely the latest sign of Randy's disgust with his employer.
Even before that, though, you couldn't pitch a dart in the dark without hitting a flashing red light of his displeasure here.
Just last Friday Moss asked, rather politely, to be sent elsewhere, anywhere.
Four days before that, he conceded his formerly reliable hands have become a liability, saying it may be the result of his unhappiness here.
A few weeks before that, he implied knowledge of why the Raiders aren't able to finish off even average opponents — but kept his thoughts to himself.
It was last month when he asked a simple question, the essence of which was: Since the Raiders aren't doing what they can to win, why should I?
It was Moss, you may recall, who warned us during summer that some "fishy" stuff was going on with the Raiders.
After eight losses in 10 games, the fish is old and stinking and visible to the world.
Raiders-Moss wasn't a predictable disaster on the order of Bobby and Whitney, Britney and K-Fed, or O.J. and Fox News. But the result is the same, an ugly breakup to which both parties contributed.
The Raiders should have known what everybody else knew about Moss, that he requires considerable maintenance and does his best work under optimum conditions. That, they have not provided. Not even close.
Yet for a while, Moss was the model teammate, praised for his selflessness, his humor, his efforts to generate esprit de corps.
What did that get him? The man who scored 91 touchdowns in 109 games in Minnesota has scored 11 in 26 games in Oakland. The dynamic tandem of Moss and Jerry Porter never quite materialized.
So this has been a slow erosion of Randy's already fragile mental toughness. As things have splintered and frayed and fractured around him, Moss clearly became demoralized, giving up on his team and, by extension, himself.
No wonder he wants out. It is the best thing for him and for the Raiders. Both parties, easy targets for critics, need to see if they can recapture what they once possessed.
On New Year's Eve night, after the their last game, the Raiders should vow to move Moss. Such an act would acknowledge the obvious: Sometimes marriages seemingly made in heaven sink to a substantially lower place.
Monte Poole can be reached at (510) 208-6461 or by e-mail at mpoole@angnewspapers.com.

Donovan McNabb Out; Terrell Owens Doens't Care - ESPN

Torn ACL ends McNabb's year; swelling delays surgery - ESPN

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb tore a ligament in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season, the third time in five years the Eagles will finish a campaign without their hard-luck quarterback.

No sympathy from T.O.

IRVING, Texas -- Donovan McNabb shouldn't expect a "Get well soon" text message from Terrell Owens.
"Absolutely not," Owens said Tuesday.

But, T.O., don't you remember McNabb sending you one following your reported suicide attempt that turned out to be an accidental overdose?

"I'm not even going there, dude," Owens said, laughing and shaking his head. "I wouldn't even make up a story like that. It's not even worth it. Just not even worth it."

Although McNabb has said he reached out to Owens following his brief hospital stint in September, Owens has maintained he never received anything from McNabb.

The mixup or media ploy -- depending on whose side you're on -- only added to the bitter feelings between the former Philadelphia teammates whose friendship dissolved oh-so-publicly.

McNabb was rolling to his right and was bumped out of bounds after throwing an incomplete pass Sunday when he grabbed his leg in pain early in the second quarter of Philadelphia's 31-13 loss to the Titans.

He was immediately tended to by trainers, carted off the field and later taken to a hospital. The Eagles said McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl selection in the midst of a possible career year, tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

"That's normally an eight-month-to-a-year injury," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, "so he's done for the year."

According to reports on the Eagles Web site, McNabb was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. The famed orthopedic surgeon concluded that swelling in the knee would prevent immediate surgery.

McNabb was officially placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Linebacker Torrance Daniels was promoted from the practice squad to take McNabb's roster spot. Quarterback Omar Jacobs was signed to the practice squad.

McNabb will work with Eagles staff for the next two to three weeks to reduce swelling. Philadelphia head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder updated McNabb's condition on Monday, saying the quarterback also suffered minor meniscus damage.

"[McNabb] accepts that injuries are part of the game. He is disappointed, I know," Burkholder told philadelphiaeagles.com. "The last thing I said to him last night when he was leaving was, 'We'll get you right,' and he said, 'We've got to get these guys right.' His concern was his teammates more than him at the time. I don't think any of us expect anything less out of Donovan."

While Burkholder acknowledged that the recovery time for this kind of injury is almost a year, he also said, "Some depends on what happens when they get in there and look around to see whether there is any other damage."

McNabb came into Sunday's game tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead with 18 touchdown passes and was second in the league with 2,569 yards passing.

Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who bumped McNabb out of bounds on the play, said he was trying to get a hand in the quarterback's face as he was trying to get off the pass.

"I really feel bad for him," Vanden Bosch said. "You know I never play with the intent to get anybody hurt and I've been through two ACL injuries myself and you know my thoughts and prayers go out to him."

McNabb was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Garcia, who finished the game 26-for-48 for 189 yards and threw a touchdown pass to L.J. Smith.

"You never think he's not going to get up and come back on the field," Garcia said. "He's a great player and he was having a great year. And he is a leader on this team and he will be missed in many ways."

Donovan McNabb injured his right knee early in the second quarter against the Titans.
The Eagles fell to 5-5 with the loss, but Reid said he would expect the team to bounce back.

"He's a great player," Reid said. But "we can still win football games with the guys that we have."

McNabb missed the final seven games last season with a sports hernia and Philadelphia finished 6-10, a frustrating follow-up to the Eagles' Super Bowl run. McNabb also sat out the final six regular-season games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle before returning for the playoffs.

The Eagles were 2-5 with Mike McMahon filling in for McNabb last season and went 5-1 with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley starting the last six games in '02.

McNabb was 6-for-13 for 78 yards and threw an interception in the end zone before leaving the game.

Reid said he would determine later whether Garcia would start in place of McNabb against Indianapolis next week. Feeley was re-signed by the Eagles in the preseason and is the team's third quarterback.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys 38 - Tampa Bay 10, Ok Coach Parcells, I Was Wrong



When Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Billl Parcells Benched Drew Bledsoe for Tony Romo, I thought he'd lost it. Ok. I was wrong. Romo's catching on fast with a Thanksgiving Day record five TD passes. Now I think the Cowboys real test will be when they face the NY Giants, because I think they have their number with that defense. We will see if Dallas makes the right adjustments.

Nov. 23, 2006, 10:53PM
Romo lifts Cowboys over Bucs 38-10

By JAIME ARON AP Sports Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — For a three-play stretch Thursday, Tony Romo looked like a guy making only his fifth start after 3 1/2 years on the bench.

He threw low and inside on what could've been a long touchdown pass to Terry Glenn. On the next snap, he held the ball too long and got sacked. Then he came up short on a deep ball to a wide-open Terrell Owens.

He hardly misfired again.

Romo went on to throw five touchdown passes, tying a Dallas Cowboys record and leading them to an easy 38-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I thought it was Aikman out there," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said.

Well, there was one difference: Troy Aikman needed overtime for the only five-TD game of his career. And Roger Staubach, the other Hall of Fame quarterback for the Cowboys, never did it.

While it's tough to lump Romo in with those guys at this point in his career, it is no longer "ludicrous" to consider him being Pro Bowl-caliber, as coach Bill Parcells said earlier this week.

The Cowboys are 7-4, with a half-game lead in the NFC East and the second-most wins in the conference behind Chicago (9-1), and Romo is a major reason for it.

He's 4-1 as a starter, with three straight wins. In the previous two, he outplayed Peyton Manning as Dallas handed Indianapolis its first loss and he earned NFC offensive player of the week honors for his performance against Arizona.

This time, Romo was 22-of-29 for 306 yards, with a stretch of 13 straight completions. He went 9-of-10 in the second half, making him 29-of-31 after halftime over his last three games.

"The sky is the limit for the guy," said Terrell Owens, who for all his antics knows a thing or two about quarterbacks, having played with Steve Young in San Francisco and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. "He's poised back there in the pocket. He makes things happen on the run. He makes great decisions and he's managing the game. He's exceeding expectations right now."

The Buccaneers (3-8) continue living down to their expectations.

After opening the game with an 80-yard touchdown drive, Tampa Bay crossed midfield only once more to lose for the fourth time in five games. Joey Galloway caught three passes for 71 yards in his first game against the Cowboys since they traded him for Keyshawn Johnson, but two of the catches and 59 of the yards came on that opening series.

Romo responded to the early 7-0 deficit by leading Dallas to five touchdowns in a span of six drives. He was at his best right around halftime _ with a 74-yard drive during a 2-minute drill that made it 21-10 at the break, then opening the third quarter with an 82-yard drive that featured a 45-yard pass to Glenn.

Romo's passer rating was 148.9, an incompletion or two from being perfect. Considering he came in 0.5 behind Manning for No. 1 in that category, Peyton is going to need one heck of a game this weekend or the new league leader is going to be Romo, an undrafted former Division I-AA MVP from Eastern Illinois who spent the first six games this season backing up Drew Bledsoe.

"He's managing the game well. And that's what he's supposed to do," Parcells said. "He's a football guy and he's interested in playing well. But we've got a ways to go here. So put the anointing oil away, OK?"

Tell that to the fans who chanted "Ro-mo! Ro-mo!" during Fox's postgame show. Or to the fans who hung his name in the Ring of Honor during warmups; it was taken down before kickoff.

"It'll be the last time they take it down," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said eagerly in the giddy winning locker room.

Romo caught a glimpse of the sign. After denying he saw it, he broke into a smile and called it "pretty funny."

Then came a big dose of humility from a player known more for his confidence.

"That is an injustice to those guys," he said. "Every single one of them have had unbelievable careers. That's something you aspire to one day. If I could play another 15 years, maybe. ... I got things I still have to work on and get better at. Believe me, I haven't arrived yet, by any means."

Parcells keeps saying he's waiting to see how Romo bounces back from a bad game. He's going to have to wait at least 10 days, when Dallas plays on the road against the New York Giants, the first team that Romo will go against a second time. The first meaningful action of his career was against them _ only a month ago Thursday.

At 7-4, the Cowboys have the same record they had coming out of last year's Thanksgiving game. Led by Bledsoe, they won only two more games and missed the playoffs.

Parcells said things are different this time because Dallas lost on the holiday last year. He's also starting to reveal his optimism for this club.

"I think we're going to be in it here for a little while," Parcells said.

Glenn caught Romo's first two TD passes, of 30 and 2 yards. Marion Barber III caught the next two, giving him an NFC-best 11 touchdowns.

The record-tying fifth went to Owens and he capped it in holiday style by depositing the ball into one of the Salvation Army red kettles being used as a prop for the charity's annual holiday fundraising campaign.

"That was my donation," T.O. said. "I hope it's as much as the fine."

Notes:@ The Cowboys hadn't scored a first-quarter touchdown in seven games until Romo's first TD. ... Tampa Bay quarterback Bruce Gradkowski went 10-of-20 for 120 yards with two interceptions. ... LB Derrick Brooks set a Tampa Bay record by starting his 184th game. The mark had been held by OT Paul Gruber. ... This was the ninth time a Cowboys QB threw five TD passes. The last was by Aikman in OT in the 1999 opener; the last in regulation was Danny White in 1983.

Jake Plummer Says Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan Has Not Told Him He Was Benched

Just now on NFL Network, Jake Plummer has said he wasn't told he was benched in favor of rookie Jay Cutler. Stay tuned.

Denny Green - Arizona Cardinals Not Firing Green Now



NFL

Cardinals deny they've decided to fire Green

November 23, 2006

PHOENIX -- The rumor mill is churning about who Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green's replacement will be, even though the team says Green has not been fired.

The Cardinals on Wednesday denied an Internet report that owner Bill Bidwill had decided to fire Green at the end of the season and wants to hire former Lions and 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, the Arizona Republic reported.

A report on HallofFameMagazine.com, citing well-placed NFL sources, claimed the decision to replace Green was made the day after his well-documented explosion following his team's Monday night collapse against the Bears. The site reported the team has held preliminary talks with Mariucci--which Mariucci reportedly denied to a "mutual friend," saying that he's focusing on his work for the NFL Network.

The Cardinals likely wouldn't move that quickly should they decide to fire Green, the Arizona Republic reported. NFL rules require them to interview a minority candidate and Bidwill is known as stickler for following league rules, the paper writes.

NFL WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT -- WEDNESDAY

FOR USE AS DESIRED
NFL-PER-12A 11/22/06
4=1
WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT -- WEDNESDAY
Jacksonville Jaguars Out Byron Leftwich (Ankle)
Miami Dolphins Out Daunte Culpepper (Knee)
Green Bay Packers Questionable Brett Favre (Right Elbow)
Houston Texans Probable David Carr (Right Shoulder)
New England Patriots Probable Tom Brady (Right Shoulder)
New York Jets Probable Chad Pennington (Calf)
Seattle Seahawks Probable Matt Hasselbeck (Knee)
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT DETROIT LIONS on Thursday
Miami Dolphins
OUT QB Daunte Culpepper (Knee); G Jeno James (Knee); S
Travares Tillman (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE CB Will Allen (Groin)
PROBABLE RB Ronnie Brown (Groin); DT Keith Traylor (Knee); WR Wes
Welker (Ankle); CB Michael Lehan (Nose); LB Channing
Crowder (Hip); DE David Bowens (Ankle); TE Randy McMichael
(Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Daunte Culpepper; Jeno James; Travares Tillman; Will Allen
WED No Practice Conducted
Detroit Lions
DOUBTFUL DT Shaun Cody (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE G Blaine Saipaia (Chest); RB Kevin Jones (Ankle); WR Eddie
Drummond (Concussion); WR Devale Ellis (Shoulder); S Kenoy
Kennedy (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Shaun Cody; Kevin Jones; Eddie Drummond; Devale Ellis
WED Shaun Cody; Kevin Jones; Eddie Drummond; Devale Ellis
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT DALLAS COWBOYS on Thursday
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OUT DE Simeon Rice (Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL TE Alex Smith (Ankle); DT Ellis Wyms (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE TE Dave Moore (Illness); RB Michael Pittman (Shoulder); LB
Shelton Quarles (Knee); CB Juran Bolden (Shin); T Anthony
Davis (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Simeon Rice; Alex Smith; Ellis Wyms
WED Simeon Rice; Alex Smith; Ellis Wyms
Dallas Cowboys
No Injuries to Report
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
TUES All Players Participated
WED All Players Participated
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS on Thursday
Denver Broncos
OUT S Nick Ferguson (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB Mike Bell (Thigh); RB Tatum Bell (Toe); G Cooper Carlisle
(Back); DE Kenard Lang (Knee); WR Brandon Marshall (Ankle);
WR Rod Smith (Ankle); CB Darrent Williams (Shoulder)
PROBABLE DE Patrick Chukwurah (Hamstring); RB Kyle Johnson (Ankle);
RB Cedric Cobbs (Ankle); LB Al Wilson (Thumb)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Nick Ferguson; Cooper Carlisle; Kenard Lang; Brandon Marshall;
Rod Smith; Darrent Williams
WED Nick Ferguson; Cooper Carlisle
Kansas City Chiefs
OUT T Kevin Sampson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE TE Tony Gonzalez (Shoulder); LB Derrick Johnson (Ankle)
PROBABLE DE Tamba Hali (Hip); G Brian Waters (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Kevin Sampson; Tony Gonzalez
WED No Practice Conducted
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Arizona Cardinals
OUT DE Bert Berry (Triceps)
PROBABLE TE Fred Wakefield (Groin); P Scott Player (Groin)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Bert Berry; Fred Wakefield; Scott Player
THURS Practice Not Complete
Minnesota Vikings
QUESTIONABLE CB Cedric Griffin (Neck); G Artis Hicks (Ankle); T Marcus
Johnson (Ankle)
PROBABLE RB Chester Taylor (Neck); DT Pat Williams (Knee); LB
Dontarrious Thomas (Hamstring); CB Antoine Winfield
(Concussion); DE Jayme Mitchell (Shoulder); LB Napoleon
Harris (Wrist); WR Marcus Robinson (Back);
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Marcus Robinson; Napoleon Harris; Cedric Griffin; Artis Hicks;
Marcus Johnson; Chester Taylor; Pat Williams’ Dontarrious
Thomas; Antoine Winfield; Jayme Mitchell
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS
San Francisco 49ers
QUESTIONABLE T Jonas Jennings (Ankle); CB Shawntae Spencer (Ankle)
PROBABLE WR Arnaz Battle (Hand); LB Jeff Ulbrich (Thumb)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Jonas Jennings; Shawntae Spencer; Arnaz Battle
St. Louis Rams
QUESTIONABLE G Adam Timmerman (Ribs); RB Paul Smith (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Adam Timmerman; Paul Smith
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS
New Orleans Saints
QUESTIONABLE WR Marques Colston (Ankle); TE Ernie Conwell (Knee); RB
Aaron Stecker (Ankle); CB Fred Thomas (Thumb); S Bryan Scott
(Foot); WR Terrance Copper (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Marques Colston; Aaron Stecker; Fred Thomas; Bryan Scott
Atlanta Falcons
OUT CB Jason Webster (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE DT Grady Jackson (Knee); T Todd Weiner (Knee); CB Jimmy
Williams (Ankle); DT Jonathan Babineaux (Foot); DE John
Abraham (Groin)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Jason Webster; Grady Jackson; Todd Weiner; Jimmy Williams;
Jonathan Babineaux
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS
Pittsburgh Steelers
DOUBTFUL WR Willie Reid (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE RB Najeh Davenport (Groin); WR Hines Ward (Knee)
PROBABLE LB Clark Haggans (Quadricep); LB James Harrison (Ankle); C
Jeff Hartings (Knee); CB Deshea Townsend (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Willie Reid; Najeh Davenport; Hines Ward; Deshea Townsend
Baltimore Ravens
QUESTIONABLE LB Ray Lewis (Back); G Keydrick Vincent (Thigh); TE Daniel
Wilcox (Thigh); LB Adalius Thomas (Ankle)
PROBABLE S Ed Reed (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Ray Lewis; Keydrick Vincent; Daniel Wilcox
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT BUFFALO BILLS
Jacksonville Jaguars
OUT S Donovin Darius (Ankle (on IR)); QB Byron Leftwich (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL CB Terry Cousin (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE WR Cortez Hankton (Hamstring); WR Ernest Wilford (Ankle); CB
Brian Williams (Hamstring)
PROBABLE LB Jorge Cordova (Hamstring); P Chris Hanson (Left
Hamstring); TE George Wrighster (Shoulder); DT John
Henderson (Hamstring); LB Clint Ingram (Shoulder); CB
Rashean Mathis (Ankle); LB Kenneth Pettway (Groin); S Nick
Sorensen (Calf); DT Marcus Stroud (Ankle); RB Fred Taylor
(Groin); RB Derrick Wimbush (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Donovin Darius; Byron Leftwich; Terry Cousin; Cortez Hankton;
Ernest Wilford; Brian Williams; Chris Hanson
Buffalo Bills
DOUBTFUL LB Keith Ellison (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB Willis McGahee (Ribs); WR Josh Reed (Kidney)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Keith Ellison
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS
Cincinnati Bengals
OUT C Rich Braham (Knee); G Bobbie Williams (Appendix)
DOUBTFUL WR Kelley Washington (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE CB Deltha O'Neal (Shoulder); CB Keiwan Ratliff (Ribs); LB Brian
Simmons (Neck); T Levi Jones (Knee); S Dexter Jackson
(Achilles)
PROBABLE WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Ribs); RB Jeremi Johnson (Toe);
DT Sam Adams (Knee); T Willie Anderson (Shoulder); DT John
Thornton (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Rich Braham; Bobbie Williams; Kelley Washington; Deltha
O'Neal; Keiwan Ratliff; Brian Simmons; Levi Jones; Jeremi
Johnson; Sam Adams; Willie Anderson; John Thornton
Cleveland Browns
QUESTIONABLE TE Kellen Winslow (Knee); LB Leon Williams (Ankle); DT Ted
Washington (Elbow); S Brian Russell (Elbow); LB Willie
McGinest (Ankle); S Justin Hamilton (Back); WR Braylon
Edwards (Forearm); CB Leigh Bodden (Ankle); G Cosey
Coleman (Foot); RB Reuben Droughns (Foot)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Brian Russell; Willie McGinest; Justin Hamilton; Leigh Bodden
HOUSTON TEXANS AT NEW YORK JETS
Houston Texans
DOUBTFUL DE Antwan Peek (Knee)
PROBABLE QB David Carr (Right Shoulder); RB Jameel Cook (Knee); WR
Andre Johnson (Thigh); LB DaShon Polk (Knee); T Ephraim
Salaam (Ankle); DE Anthony Weaver (Knee); DE Mario Williams
(Foot)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Antwan Peek; Jameel Cook; Andre Johnson
New York Jets
QUESTIONABLE RB B.J. Askew (Foot); CB David Barrett (Hip); CB Andre Dyson
(Neck); RB Cedric Houston (Knee)
PROBABLE RB Kevan Barlow (Calf); LB Matt Chatham (Foot); WR Tim
Dwight (Thigh); G Pete Kendall (Knee); WR Justin McCareins
(Foot); DT Rashad Moore (Hand); QB Chad Pennington (Calf)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED B.J. Askew; David Barrett; Andre Dyson; Cedric Houston; Tim
Dwight
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Carolina Panthers
OUT C Justin Hartwig (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE CB Ken Lucas (Thigh); RB DeShaun Foster (Elbow); G Mike
Wahle (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Justin Hartwig; Ken Lucas; DeShaun Foster
Washington Redskins
DOUBTFUL WR David Patten (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE S Troy Vincent (Hamstring); WR Santana Moss (Hamstring)
PROBABLE DE Phillip Daniels (Wrist); T Jon Jansen (Calf); T Chris Samuels
(Knee); C Casey Rabach (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED David Patten; Troy Vincent; Santana Moss; Phillip Daniels; Jon
Jansen; Chris Samuels; Casey Rabach
OAKLAND RAIDERS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Oakland Raiders
OUT T Robert Gallery (Elbow); RB LaMont Jordan (Knee)
DOUBTFUL LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (Foot); WR Jerry Porter (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE G Barry Sims (Abdomen)
PROBABLE DE Derrick Burgess (Back); LB Robert Thomas (Heel)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
NEW YORK GIANTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS
New York Giants
OUT T Luke Petitgout (Fibula)
DOUBTFUL CB Sam Madison (Hamstring); DE Michael Strahan (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE DT Barry Cofield (Groin); WR Sinorice Moss (Quadricep); LB
Brandon Short (Quadricep); DE Osi Umenyiora (Hip Flexor)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete
Tennessee Titans
OUT DE Antwan Odom (Knee); TE Ben Troupe (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE CB Reynaldo Hill (Ankle); DE Travis LaBoy (Concussion); DE
Josh Savage (Hamstring); CB Andre Woolfolk (Ankle); TE Ben
Hartsock (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Antwan Odom; Ben Troupe; Travis LaBoy; Josh Savage; Andre
Woolfolk
CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Chicago Bears
QUESTIONABLE CB Dante Wesley (Knee)
PROBABLE TE Desmond Clark (Foot); RB Thomas Jones (Groin)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Desmond Clark; Thomas Jones
New England Patriots
OUT S Rodney Harrison (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE TE Daniel Graham (Ankle); CB Ellis Hobbs (Wrist); LB Corey
Mays (Hamstring); P Josh Miller (Shoulder); CB Asante Samuel
(Knee); CB Chad Scott (Groin); TE David Thomas (Groin); S
Eugene Wilson (Hamstring)
PROBABLE DE Richard Seymour (Elbow); QB Tom Brady (Right Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Rodney Harrison; Daniel Graham; Ellis Hobbs; Corey Mays; Josh
Miller; Asante Samuel; Chad Scott; David Thomas; Eugene
Wilson
WED Rodney Harrison; Daniel Graham; Ellis Hobbs; Corey Mays; Josh
Miller; Asante Samuel; Chad Scott; David Thomas; Eugene
Wilson
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Philadelphia Eagles
DOUBTFUL LB Shawn Barber (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE CB William James (Knee); LB Jason Short (Ankle)
PROBABLE RB Brian Westbrook (Knee); LB Matt McCoy (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Shawn Barber; Jason Short; CB William James
Indianapolis Colts
OUT DT Montae Reagor (Head)
QUESTIONABLE S Bob Sanders (Knee); WR Brandon Stokley (Knee); LB Rocky
Boiman (Upper Arm); LB Gary Brackett (Hamstring); G Dylan
Gandy (Low Back); LB Gilbert Gardner (Rib); CB Matt Giordano
(Calf); CB Nicholas Harper (Hip); LB Freddy Keiaho (Shoulder);
G Ryan Lilja (Knee); LB Keith O'Neil (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Montae Reagor; Bob Sanders; Brandon Stokley; Gilbert Gardner;
Matt Giordano; Nicholas Harper; Keith O'Neil
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS on Monday
Green Bay Packers
DOUBTFUL CB Will Blackmon (Rib); LB Nick Barnett (Hand); T Mark
Tauscher (Groin); LB Ben Taylor (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE CB Charles Woodson (Shoulder); RB Brandon Miree (Elbow);
LB Tracy White (Knee); DT Cullen Jenkins (Ankle); TE David
Martin (Ribs); RB Vernand Morency (Back); QB Brett Favre
(Right Elbow)
PROBABLE RB Ahman Green (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Will Blackmon; Nick Barnett; Mark Tauscher; Ben Taylor; Charles
Woodson; Cullen Jenkins; David Martin; Vernand Morency; Brett
Favre; Ahman Green
Seattle Seahawks
OUT LB D.D. Lewis (Toe)
DOUBTFUL RB Josh Parry (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE DT Rocky Bernard (Foot); T Sean Locklear (Ankle); C Robbie
Tobeck (Hip)
PROBABLE WR Bobby Engram (Illness); QB Matt Hasselbeck (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Complete

NFL WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT -- TUESDAY

FOR USE AS DESIRED
NFL-PER-12 11/21/06
WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT -- TUESDAY
Miami Dolphins Out Daunte Culpepper r (Knee)
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT DETROIT LIONS on Thursday
Miami Dolphins
OUT QB Daunte Culpepper (Knee); G Jeno James (Knee); S
Travares Tillman (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE CB Will Allen (Groin)
PROBABLE RB Ronnie Brown (Groin); DT Keith Traylor (Knee); WR Wes
Welker (Ankle); CB Michael Lehan (Nose); LB Channing
Crowder (Hip); DE David Bowens (Ankle); TE Randy McMichael
(Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Daunte Culpepper; Jeno James; Travares Tillman; Will Allen
Detroit Lions
DOUBTFUL DT Shaun Cody (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE G Blaine Saipaia (Chest); RB Kevin Jones (Ankle); WR Eddie
Drummond (Concussion); WR Devale Ellis (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Shaun Cody; Kevin Jones; Eddie Drummond; Devale Ellis
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT DALLAS COWBOYS on Thursday
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DOUBTFUL DE Simeon Rice (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE CB Juran Bolden (Shin); T Anthony Davis (Ankle); TE Dave
Moore (Illness); RB Michael Pittman (Shoulder); LB Shelton
Quarles (Knee); TE Alex Smith (Ankle); DT Ellis Wyms (Ankle)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Simeon Rice; Juran Bolden; Dave Moore; Shelton Quarles; Alex
Smith; Ellis Wyms
Dallas Cowboys
No Injuries to Report
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
TUES All Players Participated
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS on Thursday
Denver Broncos
OUT S Nick Ferguson (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB Mike Bell (Thigh); RB Tatum Bell (Toe); G Cooper Carlisle
(Back); DE Kenard Lang (Knee); WR Brandon Marshall (Ankle);
WR Rod Smith (Ankle); CB Darrent Williams (Shoulder)
PROBABLE DE Patrick Chukwurah (Hamstring); RB Kyle Johnson (Ankle);
RB Cedric Cobbs (Ankle); LB Al Wilson (Thumb)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Practice Not Complete
Kansas City Chiefs
OUT T Kevin Sampson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE TE Tony Gonzalez (Shoulder); LB Derrick Johnson (Ankle)
PROBABLE DE Tamba Hali (Hip); G Brian Waters (Knee)
Listed players who did not participate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
TUES Kevin Sampson; Tony Gonzalez

Tom Nalen Fined $25,000; Denver Broncos Angry With Punishment - Denver Post

Tom Nalen's $25,000 fine angers teammates
By Tom Kensler
Denver Post Staff Writer

Article Last Updated:11/22/2006 11:34:03 PM MST

News that veteran center Tom Nalen had been fined $25,000 by the NFL for an attempted cut block drew about the same reaction in the Broncos' locker room as that Sunday night loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Shock. Bewilderment. And a chorus of anger.
"I can't believe it; it doesn't seem fair," Broncos tight end Stephen Alexander said Wednesday before the team flew to Kansas City for tonight's game against the Chiefs.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Wednesday that Nalen was fined $25,000 for attempting to cut block an opponent and Chargers defensive tackle Igor Olshansky had been fined $10,000 for clubbing.
Nalen's agent, Brad Blank, said he appealed the fine immediately upon hearing of the suspension Wednesday. The appeal process could take a few months. Blank had no further comment.
With 35 seconds remaining, Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer spiked the ball to stop the clock. Usually there is not much time for contact initiated by either side, but Nalen dived at Ol- shansky's lower legs. The San Diego defensive tackle retaliated by hammering his fist on Nalen's helmet.
"I had surgery four weeks ago," Olshansky told San Diego reporters Wednesday. "Mentally, it affects you when you have surgery on your knee during the season and you have to play with pain and all that other stuff. It's bad enough I have to deal with that and now a guy is trying to dive on my knee, and it's not a football play."
The Broncos have game film showing Olshansky getting physical on several plays previously, including punching offensive linemen and grabbing running back Damien Nash by the face mask. Nalen is expected to argue the fine levied against him was excessive.
Earlier this month, Oakland's Tyler Brayton was fined $25,000 for kneeing Seattle's Jerramy Stevens in the groin. Stevens was fined $15,000 for initiating the fight. This time, the initiator, Nalen, was fined much more than the player who struck back.
Also, Nalen likely will argue that he didn't know the play was going to be a clock killer. Alexander was on the line, three players away from Nalen, when Plummer took the snap from center. Alexander said he couldn't blame Nalen for attempting to execute a block.
"On that (spike) play, there is an option to throw the ball," Alexander said. "It's hard for Tommy to know if the ball is going to be thrown or spiked or whatever.
"I'd hope that the fine will be rescinded or at least talked about (in the NFL office). I don't fault Tommy for what he did."
Olshansky cost the Chargers 15 yards when he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and kicked out of the game.
Alexander differentiated Nalen's action from what Brayton did.
"The difference is, what Tommy did was a legal play," Alexander said. "It was right there on national TV that the other guy (Olshansky) took two swings and hit Tommy with one of them. That was completely uncalled for. To just get a $10,000 (fine) for that? To me, that's just a little strange."
"What Tommy did isn't close to what (Brayton) did," Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams said. "And they get the same fine? That's ridiculous."
Denver offensive linemen have been fined in past years. The team has become sensitive to criticism from those who accuse the Broncos' line of blocking illegally.
"I hope anything that happened in the past didn't enter into this," Alexander said. "The NFL says it takes things on a case-by-case basis."
George Foster, the designated spokesman for the offensive line, declined comment on the advice of Nalen.
Injury report
Running backs Tatum Bell (turf toe injuries) and Mike Bell (thigh) were upgraded Wednesday from questionable to probable, as were defensive end Kenard Lang (knee) and wide receivers Rod Smith (ankle) and Brandon Marshall (ankle).
"I'm just sore, like after every other game," Mike Bell said. "I'll be ready."
Tatum Bell was not active for Sunday's game against San Diego. He has been bothered by turf injuries to both big toes for a month.
"It will be good to have Tatum back in there," Mike Bell said. "He has that big-play ability, that breakaway speed that we need."
Guard Cooper Carlisle (back) and Williams (shoulder) remained listed as questionable. Carlisle was the only player previously listed as questionable who did not participate in all drills Wednesday.
Williams, who returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Chargers, intends to play.
"You'd really like to have more days to heal up," Williams said of the short week. I just have to suck it up and give it a go."
Staff writer Bill Williamson contributed to this report.

Chiefs down Broncos 19-10; Jake Plummer Loses Starting Job To Jay Cutler - Denver Post

NFL Network just annouced that Plummer will not start the December 3rd game against Seattle, rookie Jay Cutler will.

Chiefs down Broncos 19-10
Denver loses second game in five days
By Mike Klis
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:11/23/2006 09:37:01 PM MST

Kansas City, Mo. - For starters, Jake Plummer had benchwarmer burned into his consciousness.

Go get 'em, Jake. Win one for the clipboard and the baseball cap. Oh, and by the way. Mind holding for those Jason Elam extra points?

Prior to the Broncos' 19-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs here Thanksgiving night before a raucous, overflow Arrowhead Stadium crowd and a not-so nationally televised audience, speculation was rampant that win or lose, Good Jake or Bad Jake, Plummer was starting his last game as Broncos quarterback.

The conjecture was hardly surprising given Plummer's erratic play this season and the talent of his apparent successor, rookie Jay Cutler.

A bit baffling, however, was why such speculation was allowed to bump into certainty before such a crucial divisional game. The furor of the inevitable quarterback switch may have initially affected both the quarterback, who was shaky until a 3-minute drive near the end of the first half, and the team, which didn't exactly come out punching the Chiefs in their chinstraps.

Is this the end for Plummer as the Broncos' starting quarterback? If so, he bowed out giving his all, although competitive fire was never his problem. He completed 25 of 39 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception and a few other wayward passes, but considering the immense pressure that came with rumors of his demise, Plummer can head to the bench with his eyes up and his chin firm.

This game will not soon be forgotten for many reasons, beginning with how many people never saw it. This was the first game ever telecast by the NFL Network, much to the dismay of the roughly 60 percent of U.S. homes that don't, or can't, subscribe to the station.

What the majority of the nation missed was the Chiefs and Broncos converging into an AFC wild-card tie with identical 7-4 records. They failed to bear witness to not one, not two, but three defensive penalties that erased third-down stops and allowed the Chiefs to continue drives that led to 10 points.

They did not see Larry Johnson, Kansas City's superb running back, tick down minutes upon minutes, yards after yards until he finished with a 157.

And more than half the country may have missed Plummer's final start. Or they may have missed no such thing.

What no one, not even those with fancy satellite systems, saw was a Plummer surrender. He finished the first half leading the Broncos from his own 18 (yes, Denver's special teams remain abysmal) to the Chiefs' 12, from where Elam punched in a 31-yard field goal.

It was 13-3 Chiefs just inside the second half, when Plummer took advantage of a huge break and led the Broncos on a 64-yard touchdown drive. Attempting a pass down the right seam to Javon Walker, who seemingly failed to turn in time, Plummer was intercepted by Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain. The return went deep into Broncos' territory, but on the far side of the field, ex-Bronco Lenny Walls was flagged for illegal contact.

Given a new set of downs, Plummer made his best pass of the night, connecting with David Kircus on a hitch-and-go for a 36-yard gain. Eventually, the Broncos had first-and-goal from the 1, where they split out tight ends Nate Jackson to the right and Stephen Alexander to the left.

Plummer floated a fade to Alexander, who caught it falling back for a touchdown.

The Broncos were now down, 13-10, and Plummer was not playing like a dead man scrambling. The Chiefs marched back with Johnson, who the Broncos struggled to stop but managed to somewhat contain until their drives stalled for field goals.
Plummer had no such running attack to play-action off, and he also had no game-winning comeback that he apparently could have used to keep his job.

Up next for the Broncos is an answer from coach Mike Shanahan. The question: Who is the team's starting quarterback for its next game Dec. 3 against Seattle.

Staff writer Mike Klis can be reached at 303-954-1055 or mklis@denverpost.com.

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Warren Sapp: Fans Of Eagles, Other Opponents, Tampered With His Food - AP



Warren Sapp insists food was tampered with on road trips
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Warren Sapp is a very picky eater.

The Oakland Raiders' defensive tackle refuses to eat out on team trips for fear of getting sick, and he's not talking about the rare case of food poisoning.

Sapp insisted Wednesday his food was tampered with during his nine-year tenure in Tampa Bay from 1995-2003.

"You get your food poisoned," Sapp said at Raiders headquarters. "They don't want you out there on Sunday. You don't think about it. It just got crazy."

He pointed specifically to three incidents: Before the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia at the end of the 2002 season, which the Bucs won en route to the Super Bowl title; before a divisional playoff game at Green Bay in January 1998; and at New Orleans, where the Bucs played a game during the 1998 season.

"I know it's real, especially in Philly, come on," said Sapp, long an unpopular figure in the NFL for his play and his mouth.

Sapp's comments caught Raiders coach Art Shell by surprise.

"That's the first I ever heard of it," said Shell, who spent five years working for the NFL before the Raiders hired him again in February. "Even being in the league office, I never heard that. That's scary."

Although San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan McCardell said he didn't know of any specific incidents of food poisoning involving Sapp, he understands Sapp's concerns.

"I know what Warren's talking about," said McCardell, teammates with Sapp for his final two seasons in Tampa Bay. "If you were Warren, a lot of people may target you. ... When I was in Jacksonville, Tom [Coughlin] said, 'Don't eat anything outside of what we're served as a team.'"

During his time with Tampa Bay, Sapp even went so far as to book two hotel rooms -- one under an alias -- so he could order room service and not worry about his food.

Sapp, who turns 34 next month, said he requested bottles of water with the cap still on.

"You have to, though," Sapp said of being cautious. "It's either that or feel bad."

For example, Sapp said that about a month after the Bucs won the Super Bowl, he and a friend traveled from Philadelphia to New York to watch Michael Jordan in his retirement tour at Madison Square Garden. First, they had dinner in Philadelphia, trading plates at the restaurant after their orders came. Then, Sapp said, his friend repeatedly threw up all the way to New York.

Sapp, who joined the Raiders before the 2004 season, said he has not had food poisoning after leaving Tampa Bay.

"I've been good out here on the West Coast," he said. "I guess they're more liberal out here."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

New England Patriots' StubHub Lawsuit Stupid; Stubhub Is Not A Brokerage

The New England Patriots' recently announced lawsuit against StubHub is downright stupid. If you don't know about it, the Pats claim that StubHub causes fans to sell tickets over face value. That's the focus of the suit.

It's also wrong, and proves how little an East Coast firm like the Pats understand not just what StubHub.com does, but the nature of the Internet-based secondary ticket market.

StubHub is a medium through which to sell tickets at any price. The fan sets the price, not the company. Thus the tickets can -- and are -- set at below face value levels. The Boston Globe report found tickets that were higher than face, but didn't even bother to look at tickets that are priced at just $70, and there are a lot of them. Moreover, a ticket for a great seat can be found at a low or below face price if the buyer looks around.

StubHub is the wrong legal target and this lawsuit will not hold up in court. indeed, the Patriots have to explain why the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, San Francisco Giants, and other organizations have set up special programs with StubHub, and they have not.

This started because some Bostonian was less than savvy in his or her ticket purchases. They didn't have to spend over $800 on a ticket -- but they did. StubHub didn't put the ticket there, the seller did.

Going after a ticket reseller is not the answer. Going after a ticket broker is. StubHub is not a ticket broker. It's a reseller and that can be at any price.

New England Patriots Sue StubHub - Boston Globe

Ticketmaster sells "scalped" New England Patriots tickets, but Pats don't sue them. Want to know why? Click here!

Patriots sue ticket reseller in effort to fight scalping
By Keith Reed, Globe Staff | November 23, 2006

The New England Patriots have filed suit against one of the nation's largest ticket resellers, StubHub Inc., saying the company encourages fans to flout the state antiscalping law and the team's prohibition against reselling Patriots tickets for a profit by facilitating the sale of tickets on its website, StubHub.com.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, also names as defendants two Bridgewater residents who allegedly resold season tickets on StubHub after the tickets had been revoked by the team, and 50 other unnamed Patriots season ticket holders who, the team says, illegally resold their tickets on StubHub.

By suing StubHub and the other defendants, the Patriots are taking on the resellers -- and their own fans -- to stop scalping. The team seeks an award of three times the revenue StubHub and the other defendants brought in through the online sales, plus an injunction against further resales of Patriots tickets on the StubHub website .

The lawsuit also could play a major role in the efforts of some lawmakers to revisit the state's antiscalping law in the spring.
"It appears that the current law is obviously not working," said state Representative Michael Morrissey, a Democrat from Quincy. "I applaud the actions of the Patriots, but the question is, how does that stop the guy on the corner from reselling the ticket? They'd never know about it if the person didn't list the ticket on StubHub."

Ticket resales have boomed in recent years as the Internet has made it easier to bring buyers and sellers together. Industry sources estimate annual sales of $4 billion to $10 billion in the resale market, with giants such as StubHub, eBay, Craigslist, RazorGator, and Ticket Liquidator and a host of smaller agencies and websites reselling millions of tickets.

With so much money at stake, professional sports teams and companies that once shunned the shadowy world of ticket scalping now want a piece of the action. Ticketmaster, a company that collected $950 million in fees last year selling tickets to concerts, stage shows, and sporting events, is trying to make millions more reselling those same tickets. Major League Baseball has gotten into the resale business with the website Tickets.com. The four major professional teams in the Boston area all provide or will soon offer a resale service for season ticket holders online.

Many states are doing away with their antiscalping laws, prodded by teams and corporations eager to get a piece of the resale market. Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina have scrapped or relaxed many of their regulations this year; Illinois and New York did the same last year.

But scalping is still illegal in Massachusetts , though the law is rarely enforced. The law doesn't prohibit ticket purchases above face value, but it requires anyone in the business of reselling tickets in Massachusetts to obtain a license from the Department of Public Safety and limits markups to $2 above face value, plus certain service charges.

Last night, however, several dozen tickets to the Patriots' home game on Sunday against the Chicago Bears were listed on StubHub.com. Lower sideline seats with a face value of $125 were being offered for $754; upper-level sideline seats, face value $59, were for sale at $205.

In an e-mailed statement, StubHub said last night it could not comment on the suit because it had not yet been served with it. But the company said it has already struck partnership deals with other NFL teams, and it said it has sufficient protections in place to prevent fraud and abuse.

"StubHub is a champion for the rights of fans to be able to gain access to tickets for events they want to see and a platform to sell the tickets they cannot use," the statement said. "Every individual is subject to our user agreement which obligates them to abide by their local and state regulations with respect to ticket resale," the statement read.

Daniel Goldberg, the attorney representing the Patriots, acknowledged that there are many other ways fans and scalpers resell tickets, but he said StubHub as a particularly troublesome offender that encourages ticket holders to resell, often at inflated prices and without warning buyers that the tickets they purchase may not be honored by the club.

"If you're encouraging people to list their tickets for sale, if you're doing that knowing that these tickets have an expressed prohibition against reselling and they're not telling them what the risks are, I think that's an issue," he said.

All sales of Patriots tickets originate with the team, though they can also be bought legally through Ticketmaster, a company that has a deal with the National Football League. Beyond that, the Patriots prohibit resale of any of tickets except through a website it controls, which allows those on the waiting list for season tickets to buy them from existing season-ticket holders at face value.

The Patriots can revoke a fan's season tickets if he or she resells them, or for unruly conduct during the game. When that happens, the bar code on the ticket is deactivated for the rest of the season . Those tickets are supposed to be returned to the Patriots, but in some instances they end up on StubHub without any warning that the purchaser -- who often pays hundreds of dollars above face value -- won't be allowed into the game.

That problem, the Patriots argue, is worsened by a guarantee from StubHub that if tickets turn out to be fraudulent, the website will find alternate accommodations for the buyer.

"Our experience is that as the listings on StubHub have increased, so also have the number of people who show up at the stadium with invalid tickets," Goldberg said.

The Patriots say two defendants , Steven McGrath and Carol McGrath of Bridgewater, sold invalid season tickets through StubHub. A woman who answered a phone listed to Carol McGrath in Bridgewater declined to comment on the lawsuit .
Dorchester resident Colman Herman, who has sued ticket brokers in the past, applauded the Patriots' action against StubHub. "All they have to do is go after one and really whack 'em, and that'll be it," he said.

Field Position Conversations: Wil Mara, Author of "The Draft" - 11/21/2006



Field Position Conversations: Wil Mara 11/21/2006

Bill Chachkes sits down with Wil Mara, author of over 75 books, to talk about his latest release The Draft.

They discuss the many colorful characters, interesting plot lines, and portraits of some of the NFL’s most intriguing myths and realities.

The Draft touches on the worlds of the players, the front-office personnel, player agents, players and even the world of moles and spies. Mara describes the book as a story written for anyone who loves football. Chachkes describes it as riveting.

In this installment of the Field Position Converstations series, Chachkes and Mara talk not only about the book, but about some of the experiences in Mara’s life that inspired some of the plot lines.


I did this interview about 11 days ago, but we wanted to save it as a treat to all of our football fans for Thanksgiving

You can listen to this by clicking on the link on the front page of this blog
Bill

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