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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009 Announced Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith , Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Rod Woodson


For Immediate Release  NFL Media.com
                                                       January 31, 2009

CANTON, OHIO – Wide receiver Bob Hayes, guard Randall McDaniel, defensive end Bruce Smith, linebacker Derrick Thomas, owner Ralph Wilson, and defensive back Rod Woodson make up the Class of 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.
 The six-man class was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee who met today in Tampa, Florida.  The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.
 Hayes, a gold medalist track star in the 1964 Summer Olympics, combined his world class speed with great hands. “Bullet Bob,” a three-time All-Pro pick, caught 371 career passes for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns.
 McDaniel was named All-Pro nine straight seasons and voted to a record 12 consecutive AFC-NFC Pro Bowls during his 14-season career with the Minnesota Vikings (1988-1999) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-01).
 Smith, the first overall pick in the 1985 draft by the Buffalo Bills, is the NFL’s all-time sack leader with 200 career sacks. A member of both the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s, Smith was named first-team All-Pro nine times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
 Thomas amassed more sacks during the 1990s than any other player.  He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, named All-NFL three times, and was All-AFC seven times in an eight-year stretch.
 Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills in 1959 and has watched his team win back-to-back AFL titles in the mid-1960s and become the only team ever to advance to four consecutive Super Bowls. He was an integral part of the AFL’s success and has also served on a number of important NFL committees over the years.
 Woodson, a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994 and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, intercepted 71 passes which he returned for an NFL record 1,483 yards and a record 12 touchdowns. He was named All-Pro six times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
              The 2009 class will increase to 253 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Enshrinement of the Class of 2009 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. ET.  The Enshrinement Ceremony will be televised live by both ESPN and the NFL Network.
 The annual NFL Hall of Fame Game will be played on Sunday, August 9, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. and broadcast live by NBC.  Teams have not yet been announced. 
 The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is a multi-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class.  Held in Canton each year, the festival includes 15 special public events and culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL Hall of Fame Game.  Two other major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, August 7), and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 9).  It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2009 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket.  At the GameDay Roundtable, the members of the Class of 2009 will be featured center stage to share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 
 Individual enshrinement tickets and Festival Fan Packages are on sale now. Ticket information can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website at Profootballhof.com.
Bob Hayes
Wide Receiver. . .5-11, 185. . .Florida A&M. . .1965-1974 Dallas Cowboys, 1975 San Francisco 49ers. . .11  seasons, 132 games. . .Selected as a future pick by Cowboys, seventh round, 1964 NFL Draft (88th player overall) and future choice by Denver, 14th round (105th player overall) 1964 AFL Draft. . .Won a pair of gold medals in the 1964 Olympic Games earning him the title “World’s Fastest Human”. . .As a rookie, his 46 receptions for 1,003 yards led all Cowboys receivers. . .His world class speed was major factor in Cowboys offensive successes. . . “Bullet Bob” terrorized defensive backs and demanded deep double coverage rarely seen in the NFL at that time
. . .Often said that bump and run defense was developed to slow him down. . .Used his speed “in a football sense,” rather than just trying to run fast. . .Four times was named first- or second-team All-NFL. . .. Three times led the Cowboys in receptions, including back-to-back titles in 1965-66 when he caught a total of 110 passes for more than 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns. . .For 11-year career, Hayes accumulated 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns
. . .His 71 career touchdown receptions remain a Cowboys’ club record. . .Born December 20, 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida. . .Died September 18, 2002, at age of 59.
Randall McDaniel
Guard. . .6-3, 276. . .Arizona State. . .1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. . .14 seasons, 222 games. . .Selected by the Vikings in first round (19th player overall) of 1988 NFL Draft. . .Played in all 16 games as rookie, starting 15. . .Earned All-Rookie honors. . .Started in 13 consecutive playoff games  with the Vikings. . .Started in 202 consecutive games before retiring. . .Possessed uncanny ability to either finesse block or overpower opponents. . .Led Vikings offensive line that held opponents to a sack every 22.7 attempts (1994), and every 21.3 attempts in 1998. . .Blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers during career
. . .With McDaniel leading the offensive line, team captured NFC Central Division titles in 1989, 1992, 1994, and 1998. . .Anchored offensive line of explosive Vikings team that led league with then-record 556 points  in 1998. . . Named All-Pro nine consecutive times (1990-98). . .Selected to play in a record 12 consecutive AFC-NFC Pro Bowls (1990-2001). . .Born December 19, 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bruce Smith
Defensive End. . .6-4, 280. . .Virginia Tech. . .1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000-03 Washington Redskins. . .19 playing seasons, 279 games. . .Bills’ first-round draft pick (1st player overall), 1985 NFL Draft. . .All-America choice at Virginia Tech. . .Considered one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history. . .Known as fierce pass rusher who possessed tremendous strength. . .His 200 career sacks is NFL all-time record. . .Recorded 10 or more sacks in an NFL record 13 seasons. . .Most consider 1990 as his finest single season during which he recorded 19 sacks, including four against Colts QB Jeff George in the first 20 minutes of a Week 14 game and sacked Giants QB Jeff Hostetler for a safety in Super Bowl XXV. . .Was a dominant part of Bills championship teams that between 1988-1995 won six AFC Eastern Division crowns (1988-1991, 1993, 1995) and four AFC championships (1990-93) . . .Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1990 and 1996. . .Named to the NFL’s All Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s . .. Named first- or second-team All-Pro 11 times and selected to play in 11 Pro Bowls (1988-1991, 1993-99). . .Born June 18, 1963 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Derrick Thomas
Linebacker. . .6-3, 243. . .Alabama. . .1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs. . .11 seasons, 169 games. . .Selected in the first round (4th player overall) in 1989 NFL Draft. . .Consensus All-America. . .Amassed 10 sacks and 75 tackles to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. . .In 1990 recorded league-leading and team record 20 sacks; including NFL record seven sacks in game vs. Seahawks. . .Also recorded six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 63 tackles, five pass deflections, 35 quarterback pressures. . .Named to nine Pro Bowls. . .No player amassed more sacks during 1990s than 116.5 by Thomas. . .e He HFinished career with 126.5 sacks; fourth highest total by linebacker in NFL history at the time. . .Had 10 or more sacks in a season seven times; recorded multi-sack games 27 times
. . .Forced 45 fumbles, had 19 fumble recoveries, scored four touchdowns on fumble returns and added three safeties during career. . .Lone interception came in final season. . .Member of NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s
. . .All-NFL three times. . .Named first-team All-AFC seven times during eight-year stretch (1989-1996). . .In 11 years Thomas anchored defense, Chiefs finished first or second in AFC West ten times, made seven playoff appearances, won three division titles. . .Born January 1, 1967 in Miami, Florida. . .Died February 8, 2000, at age of 33.
Ralph Wilson, Jr.
Founder/Owner. . .Virginia, Michigan. . .1960-present Buffalo Bills. . .One of original founders of American Football League, Wilson formed Buffalo Bills in 1959. . .During tenure as team owner, Bills won AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965, AFC titles in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 on way to unprecedented four consecutive appearances in Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII, and XXVIII. . .Bills 103 regular season wins, second most in NFL during 1990s. . . Helped lead AFL through early years making tough decisions that were necessary for league’s survival. . . Began talks with Carroll Rosenbloom, then owner of NFL’s Colts in January 1965, that eventually resulted in AFL-NFL merger. . .Considered “voice of reason,” Wilson served as President of AFL, was on AFL’s Expansion Committee and AFL-NFL Negotiations Committee. . .Was prominent in 1977 negotiations between NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association. . .Has served as Chairman of NFL Pension Committee, Labor Committee, Super Bowl Site Committee, NFL Expansion Committee, NFL Realignment Committee. . .Born October 17, 1918 in Columbus, Ohio.
Rod Woodson
Cornerback/Safety. . .6-0, 200. . .Purdue. . .1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders. . .17 playing seasons, 238 games with 229 starts. . .Steelers first-round draft pick (10th player overall), 1987 NFL Draft. . .First-team All-America at Purdue. . .First interception of pro career resulted in 45-yard touchdown return. . . From 1991-94 recorded 12 sacks and 19 interceptions, returning three for TDs. . .In 1995 suffered serious knee injury with recovery time projected to be six to 12 months. . . Returned to action in just four months and played in Super Bowl XXX. . .Member of NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team and NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. . . NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1993. . . Intercepted 71 passes in career; third on NFL all-time list. . . Is NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yardage (1,483). . .Holds NFL record for most interceptions returned for TDs (12). . .Six-time first-team All-Pro choice (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001). . .Earned All-Pro honors as cornerback, kick returner, safety. . .Chosen to play in 11 Pro Bowls – seven with Steelers, three with Ravens, and one with Raiders. . .Born March 10, 1965, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl Party: Playboy Party At American Airlines Arena

I'm not in Tampa, but the 2010 Super Bowl is in -- drumroll -- Miami! That's what I'm looking forward to.

And besides, there's no Playboy Super Bowl Party this year. RATS! The reasons they give are well...

""While we are huge fans of Super Bowl weekend and are participating in the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl event, we will not be hosting a separate party in Tampa,"

But I'll bet they'll be back in Miami and Zennie62 will be there!

SF Bayview Hunter's Point CAC/PAC Lennar Community Meeting

This is a video of the meeting held Wednesday night and regarding the Urban Design plan for the proposed Bayview Hunter's point Lennar development which would include a stadium for the San Francisco 49ers.

The video captures the anger that community members had over the process, expressing a desire to see the committee just approve the plan and build the project, but making sure the site is cleaned up and jobs are provided for them,

It's the second video on this community process and includes the roll call vote. You can hear who voted and how they voted.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mireya Grisales high-fives Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons

Super Bowl Steelers Football, originally uploaded by cmd1084.

All I can say is who's Mireya Grisales? She's a super hot reporter for Telemundo who's wowing them in Tampa. Wish I were there --- sort of.

Kurt Warner: Arizona Cardinals QB At Super Bowl Media Day

warner_3, originally uploaded by crgazette.

This is a great pict of Arizona Cardinals QB holding court at NFL Media Day. I'm not there as I didn't plan to go to Tampa last year. Still, I miss the parties but I don't miss not being able to get into some of them and the weird behavior of some people just because they're there.

Heck, I've been to six Super Bowls.

No Recession At The Tampa Super Bowl

Super Bowl, originally uploaded by Dan B Lee.

And this prove it! That's a sweet car!

Super Bowl T-Shirts Boxes

Just in time for Super Bowl XLIII, shirts! But I've never seen so many and in their boxes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

an open Letter to NFL PLAYER reps and the NFLPA executive Board

Dear NFLPA Executive Committee Members and Player Representatives:
As you know, a class action suit was filed against the NFLPA and a jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff class of retired NFL players who had signed a "Retired Player Group License Agreement". It should be noted that the acting Director of the NFLPA, Richard Berthelson was a key witness for the NFLPA, but despite his testimony, the jury found that the NFLPA had breached its fiduciary responsibility and their duty to market retired players and compensate them for the use of their images. The verdict was for $7.1 million in compensatory damages and $21 million in punitive damages. After the trial, the lawyers for the NFLPA filed a motion to set aside the verdict. After careful consideration of all the facts, Judge Alsup denied all post-trial motions from the NFLPA's lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler.

In Judge Alsup's ruling, he made a few statements that summed up the reason he thinks the jury came to the decision they made. I have highlighted some of the more important conclusions he made. He said "The jury could reasonably have accepted the view of the evidence that defendants undertook a fiduciary duty to promote and to market all retired players who had signed RPGLAs — yet made no effort to do so — and that defendants' true commercial motive was to create an illusion of representation so that no one else would seek to sign up the RPGLA class and to market them. While defendants offered vague verbal testimony of passing attempts to market the RPGLA group as a whole, the jury could have easily rejected those snippets as self-serving "double talk." Not a single offer to market the entire group was ever in writing; nor was there ever any documentary corroboration of any such verbal group offer. To the contrary, the only writings showed the opposite of marketing — for example, that defendants told Electronic Arts to "scramble" the identities of retired players in the lucrative Madden vintage-team game. This game would have been a golden opportunity for defendants to have offered to license the entire group of RPGLA members but, significantly, no such offer was made — or so the jury could reasonably have found. Instead, defendants told EA to "scramble" the names and identities of retired players and the class received zero from this potential bonanza. What is more, the Hall of Fame evidence showed that defendants were willing to "sell out" the RPGLA class members in order to curry favor with EA (by keeping a competitor of EA out of the market) — or so the jury could have reasonably concluded. And, the "escrow account" referenced in the RPGLA (supposedly to be set up to hold revenues for class members) was never even established by defendants, from which it could reasonably have been inferred that the escrow account was never intended to be anything more than an illusion. A monumental fact was never adequately explained by defendants — how could it have been that defendants lobbied thousands of retired players for fourteen years to sign up for defendants' RPGLA "program," yet never paid one cent to any retired player under the program? Put differently, if retired players' images and identities were really the undesirable"dog food" contended by the defense, then why did they try so hard to sign up the RPGLA class members for so long — only to never pay a penny? Given the golden opportunity presented by the Madden vintage-team game, the jury could reasonably have concluded that the true motive was to deter or to head off any competing effort by any third-party promoter (or by the retired players themselves) to license them as a group and to lull the retired players into misbelieving that defendants were out on the hustings trying to generate revenue for them. Instead, defendants gave complete priority in their group efforts to marketing active players. Defendants got to keep a large share of the active player group money (and very little of any retired player group money) so the incentives were skewed to favor marketing the active players to the exclusion of the retired players."

The Judge also made these comments about the amount of money awarded:

"The verdict is sufficiently low in relation to the vast sums negotiated for the active players and was sufficiently close to the ad hoc totals for retired players that by these benchmarks the verdict was reasonable."
"The evidence as a whole supported the conclusion that had defendants tried to market the RPGLA class members rather than letting EA scramble their identifies, a group royalty in the general vicinity of the verdict would have been obtainable. When viewed against the massive amounts paid for active player group rights, the $7.1 million was reserved."
After reading the Judge's analysis and commentary, we would hope that the NFLPA Executive Committee and the Player Representatives would reconsider appealing the verdict. We do not believe that the active players were fully aware of what was being done by the executive staff and the administrators of the NFLPA with regard to the marketing and compensation of retired players that signed GLA's.

Although we do not hold you totally responsible for the actions that led to the filing of the class action lawsuit, we hope you will look closely at the administration of the NFLPA and realize that there are people still working there that put you in the position you are now in. Make no mistake about it. They work for you. You are their employer and you have every right to hold them accountable for the actions that led to this lawsuit, verdict and monetary award. Remember this……the jury, after listening to hours of testimony and looking at all the evidence, came to the conclusion that not only should retired players be compensated for the use of their images, but that the NFLPA should be punished (punitive damages) for their treatment of retired players. If a jury that had no prior knowledge of these issues could come to this conclusion, then it seems to us that it is time for some major housecleaning at the NFLPA. You have the power to make those changes. Change we can believe in! You know the lessons of teamwork…..you are only as strong as your weakest link. If that link to the past isn't removed then eventually the chain will break.
Retired NFL players are a unique fraternity of men. A fraternity that all of you will someday be joining. For most players, that day will come sooner than they want it to, but while you are still an active player we want you to understand the issues that are important to us. When Gene Upshaw and Doug Allen first put forth the idea of helping retired players through a marketing strategy that compensated all retired players, we were thrilled to say the least. The idea was an exact replica of what you and all active players enjoyed by signing a Group Licensing Agreement. Just like active players, all retired players would share equally in the royalties whether we were a perennial bench warmer or the MVP of the Superbowl. As you now know, that never happened. When we complained, no one at the NFLPA would listen to our concerns and as a result we were forced to take legal action.

Now that the Judge and jury have spoken, we want to put the past behind us and begin healing the wounds that have divided active and retired players. The easiest way to do that is for the NFLPA Executive Committee and the Player Reps to instruct their attorney Jeffrey Kessler to end the legal battle that has pit us against each other and has cost the NFLPA millions of dollars in legal fees.

This is not the time for you to sit back and let others make the decisions for you.
"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." Martin Luther King, Jr.


NFL Retired Players

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time Pieces: The return of the veteran NFL QB and what it means for the youth movement at the position

Photo above Via Picapp-"hey Vince, you like Country Music, right?? you know i have an album coming out right? Oh,..we're losing?

Time Pieces: The return of the veteran NFL QB and what it means for the youth movement at the position-By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner-Football Reporters Online

We have recently seen the trend of veteran QB’s who revive NFL teams when and where they arrive as free agents. Currently two players are having success at the QB position.

Kurt Warner took over for 2006 1st round draft pick Matt Leinart in Arizona. Suddenly Arizona wins their division for the first time in 33 years. Is it the success of the new coaching staff? The change in the running game personnel due to the switch from Edgerrin James to rookie Tim Hightower? The two star wide outs who were just wasting away under the last coaches’ system (ok, maybe not “Wasting” away, but surely they we less productive)?

No, it’s a combination of all three, coupled with Warner’s maturity and experience. He gained that experience under four different coaching staffs. First with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis, then briefly with Jim Fassel and Sean Peyton in NY, and now in Arizona through two coaching staffs. Warner seemed lost at first in Arizona under Dennis Green. When Matt Leinart was drafted it was with the understanding that he would be “the QB” of the future. His constant struggles and maturity issues have left Owner Bill Bidwell and GM Rod Graves disenchanted with their high profile #1 Selection. Warner has used that backdrop to resurrect his career and, at 37, looks every bit as good as he did at 29 & 30. Most importantly, his team is hosting the NFC Title game this weekend. So while Leinart ponders a movie career( I hear he and Nick Lachey are remaking Ronald Regans’ Hit Movie “Bedtime for Bonzo”) Kurt Warner will just keep on Throwing the rock to whomever the Cardinals have catching it.

Kerry Collins is also proving father time isn’t always on time so to speak. Many thought his last great throw was the loaf of bread into a basket in the NY United Way commercial several years back. Yet when Vince Young had his meltdown. There was Ol’ Kerry, ready to put down his acoustic guitar and pick up the football again. He led the Titans to the #1 Seed in the AFC and, with the exception of this past weekend’s loss to the Ravens, he had every bit as good a season as he did in 2000 in New York. Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher has already stated that he wants Collins back in Nashville next year. So what happens to Vince Young? Does he wait his turn again (or until Kerry throws 6 int’s in a game)? Or does he seek employment elsewhere? I personally think Vince will wait it out, because Kerry’s got a Country Music album coming out in a few months, and as soon as he sees how much cash he can make without subjecting his body to constant punishment, he’ll pack it in and start touring as the opener for Brooks and Dunn or Billy Ray Cyrus.

(note: I was actually going to put Brett “the Farveulous one(sm)” Farve in this article as well, until he held up true to form, and led the J_E-T-S-S-S into another late season Swan Dive like all those Asian high divers at the summer Olympics)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Indy Colts Coach Tony Dungy Announces Retirement Today

Tony Dungy is my all time favorite NFL head coach. Today, after really about three years of thinking about it, he actually did it. He retired.

Dungy was the modern day Tom Landry, with a stern demenor on the sidelines and a keen football knoweldge. He was first the young star defensive coodinator who's talents were first mentioned by John Madden. Then he became head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had what to many was his signature game in 1998, when his team upset the San Francisco 49ers, sacking quarterback Steve Young eight times.

But an inability to craft an explosive offense there did him in, and he landed with the Colts. There he built the team into the modern force it is and rallied the community behind them.

Tony's unshakable faith in the Lord is a guide for me. I hope one day U get the chance to meet him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tony Dungy reported to be resigning as Colts coach - Los Angeles Times

More at Los Angeles Times: “Tony Dungy reportedly will announce today that he is stepping down as coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

The team has called a news conference for 2 p.m. PST.

Various media outlets, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, say Dungy is ready to call it quits after nearly three decades of NFL and college coaching. He has long indicated an interest in stepping away from the game at some point, in part to devote more time to his Christian ministry.”

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Eric Mangini is the New Cleveland Browns Head Coach

Photo Via Picapp

Eric Mangini Hired as Head Coach Of the Browns

The Mangenius has a new home-He will be the Coach of the Cleveland Browns, according to various wire service reports this evening(1/7). The Ink isn't even dry on his contract yet (If he even signed it) and his Wikipedia page has already been updated! What a country we live in eh? Speaking of people interested in NFL Head Coaching Jobs, the Jets have indirectly caused the firing of Boston College's Head Man, Jeff Jagodzinski. BC's AD Gene DeFlippo warned "Jags" if he Interviewed for the Jets job he would be terminated. Meanwhile he claims he has a "Stack" of interested head coaching candidates from other schools. Isn't that kind of two faced Gene? You fired your "Close Friend" for wanting to see if he could possibly return to the NFL, but you have no problem poaching a coach from somewhere else? What a Country.....

2008 NFL Season Review-From NFLMedia.com

2008 NFL Season Review

Scoring at a 43-year high…teams turning things around and making the playoffs…rookie first-round quarterbacks starting from Week 1 under rookie head coaches and them all going to the playoffs…Tennessee’s streak…the Giants calmly going about their business…DREW BREES putting on a weekly aerial show…rookie running backs taking over offenses…the solid NFC South…dominating, shut-down defenses…and it all coming down to Week 17 with half the divisions still to be clinched!

“You get everybody’s best every week,” says Tennessee Titans head coach JEFF FISHER, whose club opened the season with a 10-game winning streak.

A perfect example of that approach came in Week 17 when Brees’ Saints – out of the playoff race – still fought the Carolina Panthers down to, literally, the last second of the game before a JOHN KASAY 42-yard field goal won the battle 33-31 and earned the Panthers the NFC South title.

It doesn’t matter what the situation, the commitment and character throughout the NFL shows every week.

“That’s why fans love the NFL,” says the 2008 Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year CHAD PENNINGTON of the Miami Dolphins, who made the playoffs with an 11-5 record after finishing 1-15 the year before. “In any given year, your team can be the surprise team in the league.”

The NFL is built on surprises, week after week, and they lead to the kind of performances that took place in the great 2008:

· Scoring per game was the highest it has been in 43 years. Games averaged 44.1 points, the most since 46.1 in 1965.

· There were six new division winners – Arizona, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, the New York Giants and Tennessee -- tying 2003 for the most such clubs since realignment was instituted in 2002. “It feels great,” says Carolina quarterback JAKE DELHOMME. “This division is probably the toughest in football.” Well, the NFC South did have the league’s most combined wins (40).

· For the 13th consecutive season, at least five teams made the playoffs that were not in them the year before. Seven clubs -- Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota and Philadelphia -- accomplished the feat this year, with four of them (Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami and Philadelphia) rebounding from last-place finishes in 2007.

Four of the teams – Atlanta (7-game improvement), Baltimore (6), Carolina (5) and Miami (10) – combined to show a 28-game win-improvement from 2007 to 2008. The Dolphins tied 1999 Indianapolis for the biggest jump in wins (10) in history. “We shocked the world,” says Miami linebacker MATT ROTH. “We shocked ourselves.”

· It was a historic season for rookie head coaches. Three of them – JOHN HARBAUGH in Baltimore, MIKE SMITH in Atlanta and TONY SPARANO in Miami – took their teams to the playoffs. Three rookie coaches doing this in the same season has only happened once before, in 1992 (BILL COWHER, Pittsburgh; DENNIS GREEN, Minnesota; and BOBBY ROSS, San Diego).

· And speaking of rookies: wow, did they do great in ’08!

Nowhere was this more evident than among rookie quarterbacks -- namely, first-round draft choices MATT RYAN of Atlanta and JOE FLACCO of Baltimore. They combined for many singular accomplishments.

First off, they each started all 16 of their teams’ games, the first time two rookies have done that in the same season in the Super Bowl era (1966). They took their clubs to the biggest increase in wins from the season before than any other rookie QBs who started every game (Ryan, plus-7; Flacco, plus-6). Then they became the only 16-game rookies to lead their clubs to the playoffs in the same season. Finally, they will become the first rookie QB duo to start in the same postseason.

“It is unprecedented what they did,” says Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback STEVE YOUNG.

· And the rookie running backs were out there, too! Three of them – STEVE SLATON of Houston (1,282 yards), MATT FORTÉ of Chicago (1,238) and CHRIS JOHNSON of Tennessee (1,228) became the first rookie RB threesome in history to rush for 1,200 yards apiece.

Forté and Slaton also established team rookie rushing records, as did Carolina’s JONATHAN STEWART (836).

· Speaking of rushing, the New York Giants had two teammates become only the fourth running back duo in history to each rush for 1,000 yards. BRANDON JACOBS totaled 1,089 yards and DERRICK WARD 1,025. The Giants led the NFL in rushing with 157.4 yards per game. “Congratulations, we made history,” Jacobs told Ward after the latter reach 1,000 in Week 17.

And “All Day” just kept going. Minnesota Vikings running back ADRIAN “ALL DAY” PETERSON – who led the league in rushing with 1,760 yards -- became only the fifth player in history to rush for 3,000 yards (3,101) in his first two seasons (EARL CAMPBELL, 1978-79; ERIC DICKERSON, 1983-84; EDGERRIN JAMES, 1999-00; and CLINTON PORTIS, 2002-03).

· One of the most vaunted NFL records – season passing yards -- was almost broken, and the man who came close to doing it reacted with typical class when he failed to do so. New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES – whose pregame pep-talk to his teammates became one of the visual benchmarks of the season – fell 16 yards short of breaking DAN MARINO’s NFL season record of 5,084 yards in 1984.

“When I sit back and look at it, that record has stood for a long time,” said Brees. “One of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game owns it.” With his team finishing 8-8, that isn’t “necessarily the way that record deserves to be broken,” said Brees. “That’s why I’m able to accept the fact it didn’t happen.” Brees did become only the second QB in history to throw for 5,000 yards.

· Meanwhile, out in the desert air in Arizona, footballs were filling the sky, as they well might in Hawaii.

The Arizona Cardinals’ passing attack helped the club score its most points ever (424), quarterback KURT WARNER throw for a franchise-record 30 touchdowns, and three receivers match a milestone only reached four times in history.

Cardinals wide receivers LARRY FITZGERALD (1,431 yards) and ANQUAN BOLDIN (1,038) – who will join Warner as the NFC starting QB-WRs tandem in the Pro Bowl on February 8 – and STEVE BREASTON (1,006) became the fifth teammate threesome in history to each post 1,000 receiving yards.

· Through all the offense, defenses were not sleeping! The Baltimore Ravens added to their NFL-best streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, raising that number to 35 consecutive games. They also led the league with an NFL-best 26 interceptions, including 16 over their last eight games…Dallas Cowboys linebacker DE MARCUS WARE (20.0) came within three of breaking MICHAEL STRAHAN’s NFL season sack record (22.5)…and the Pittsburgh Steelers placed two players in the top 10 in sacks (JAMES HARRISON, 16.0 and LA MARR WOODLEY, 11.5) – the only team with two in the top-10.

· “From one week to the next in this league, things can change,” says New England Patriots quarterback MATT CASSEL. Nothing exhibits that more than the tightness of NFL games. In 2008, 14 percent were decided in the last two minutes or overtime. In 32 percent of the games, a potential game-winning/tying drive or actual game-winning drive took place within the 20-yard line with two minutes to go.

Games continued to be thisclose. Nearly half were decided by one score:

8 or Less
117 of 256
7 or Less
114 of 256
3 or Less
50 of 256

· The fans could not get enough of it all. Football fans across America continued to tune their televisions to NFL games in huge numbers in 2008. According to Nielsen Media Research, 225 million Americans watched NFL games this season. That is nearly 100 million more than the record number of Americans who voted in the 2008 presidential election (131.2 million).

A rundown of NFL records set and milestones reached in 2008:



CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
· Moved into third place in NFL history with his 11th touchdown off interceptions and fumble returns, ranking him behind Rod Woodson (13) and Aeneas Williams (12).

WR, Arizona Cardinals
· Notched career reception No. 450, reaching that mark the fastest in NFL history (74 games).

QB, New Orleans Saints
· Became only the second QB in league history with 5,000 passing yards in a season, finishing with 5,069 (DAN MARINO; 5,084).

WR, San Francisco 49ers
· Recorded career reception No. 1,000 and is the fifth player to reach the milestone. Other players to reach 1,000 receptions are: JERRY RICE (1,549), CRIS CARTER (1,101), MARVIN HARRISON (1,102) and TIM BROWN (1,094).

· Passed TIM BROWN for second on the career-yards receiving list. Bruce has 14,944 yards, trailing only JERRY RICE (22,895) in the category.

· Became the 14th player in NFL history with 15,000 scrimmage yards.

RB, New Orleans Saints
· Made 200 catches through his first 34 games, tying him with Arizona receiver ANQUAN BOLDIN as the NFL players to reach 200 catches in the fewest games.

QB, Washington Redskins
· Surpassed 3,000 passing yards in a season for the first time in his career.

QB, New England Patriots
· Became the fifth NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in consecutive games. The others: DAN FOUTS, DAN MARINO, PHIL SIMMS and BILLY VOLEK.

RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
· Became the sixth player in league history with 10,000 rushing yards and 500 catches.

QB, New York Jets
· Notched his 169th victory, extending his NFL quarterback record.

· Made his 269th consecutive regular-season start, also extending his QB record.

· Broke a tie with DAN MARINO for victories in the most NFL stadiums by winning in his 32nd at LP Field. (Week 12)

WR, Arizona Cardinals
· Made his 350th reception in his 64th career game, making him the third fastest to reach that number.

· Caught his 400th career pass. He became the youngest player to do so at 25 years, 119 days. He also reached the mark in 71 games, faster than anyone in league history besides teammate ANQUAN BOLDIN (67 games).

TE, San Diego Chargers
· Reached 50 touchdowns in his 92nd game, the fewest in league history for a tight end. JERRY SMITH held the record (100 games).

TE, Kansas City Chiefs
· Became the first tight end in NFL history with 900 receptions.

· Became the first tight end with four 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

· Surpassed SHANNON SHARPE for NFL receiving-yards record by a tight end with 10,940.

· Moved past KELLEN WINSLOW for the most 100-yard career receiving games (25) for a tight end.

· Moved into 11th place on the career list for receptions with 853. (Week 8)

K, Detroit Lions
· Broke the NFL record for most 50-yard field goals in a career with 41.

· Passed NICK LOWERY for eighth place on the NFL's career scoring list with 1,714 points.

WR, Indianapolis Colts
· Passed CRIS CARTER into sole possession of second place on the NFL’s all-time receptions list with 1,102.

· Moved past WALTER PAYTON and into 10th on the league's career list with his 126th touchdown.

· Passed JIM BROWN for ninth on the NFL touchdowns list (128).

WR, St. Louis Rams
· Moved into 12th place on the NFL career receptions list with 869.

RB, Arizona Cardinals
· Became the 14th player in NFL history to surpass 15,000 career yards from scrimmage.

· Surpassed FRANCO HARRIS to move to 11th on the NFL career list with his 57th 100-yard rushing game. (Week 17)

WR, Houston Texans
· Matched two NFL records by posting at least 130 yards in four consecutive games and 10 or more catches in three games.

· Registered his NFL-record seventh game this season with at least 10 catches and his eighth 100-yard game. His 1,575 yards this season are the most for a receiver since 2003.

RB, Cleveland Browns
· Surpassed 10,000 rushing yards for his career, becoming the 24th player in NFL history to do so.

WR, Baltimore Ravens
· Went over 10,000 receiving yards for his career.

QB, Indianapolis Colts
· Extended his NFL record with his ninth 4,000-yard passing season.

· Became the first player in history to throw 25 touchdown passes in 11 consecutive seasons.

· Tied for sixth with JOE MONTANA with 117 career wins.

· Moved into sixth on the career completions list with 3,839.

· Passed DREW BLEDSOE for seventh place on the NFL's career list for yards passing. Manning has 45,628; Bledsoe had 44,611.

WR, New England Patriots
· Notched his 135th career touchdown reception, passing CRIS CARTER for third all-time.

· Tied MARSHALL FAULK for sixth in NFL history with his 136th touchdown.

· Upped his career total to 13,201 receiving yards, moving into ninth place in the NFL, three yards ahead of ANDRE REED.

· Joined JERRY RICE (14), TIM BROWN (9) and JIMMY SMITH as the only players in history with nine 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

· Tied MARVIN HARRISON for second in history with his 59th career 100-yard game.

WR, Washington Redskins
· Notched his third career 1,000-yard receiving season.

WR, Dallas Cowboys
· Surpassed CRIS CARTER (130) for second place all-time in receiving touchdowns (139).

· Became the eighth player to reach 900 receptions and in the third fewest games (178).

· Surpassed ART MONK for sixth all-time in career receptions (951).

RB, Minnesota Vikings
· Topped 2,000 career rushing yards, becoming the fastest player to reach the milestone in NFL history (21 games).

· Became the fifth player in league history to reach 3,000 rushing yards in his first two years, joining EARL CAMPBELL (Oilers), ERIC DICKERSON (Rams), EDGERRIN JAMES (Colts) and CLINTON PORTIS (Broncos).

RB, Washington Redskins
· Joined O.J. SIMPSON as the only players with 120 yards rushing in five consecutive games on two different occasions.

S, Baltimore Ravens
· Returned an interception an NFL-record 108 yards for a touchdown vs. Philadelphia (11/23).

QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
· Surpassed OTTO GRAHAM, DAN MARINO and TOM BRADY for the most victories in a quarterback’s first five seasons with 61 wins.

K, Baltimore Ravens
· Set an NFL record, kicking his 372nd consecutive point after touchdown.

· Passed BRUCE SMITH for 11th all-time after playing in his 280th game.

· Passed JIM BAKKEN in 13th place with 536 PATs.

· Went over 100 points for the 12th season in a row.

RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
· Passed O.J. SIMPSON and COREY DILLON to move into 16th place on the NFL's career rushing yards list (11,271).

RB, San Diego Chargers
· With 126 rushing touchdowns, moved out of a tie with MARCUS ALLEN and into sole possession of second place on the NFL's career list. EMMITT SMITH is No. 1 with 164.

· Extended his NFL record of consecutive seasons to begin a career with 10 rushing touchdowns to eight.

· Became the fifth player to rush for more than 10,000 yards and have 500 receptions.

· Passed O.J. SIMPSON and COREY DILLON for 15th place on the career rushing list at 11,279 yards.

· Became the 17th player to rush for more than 11,000 career yards.

WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
· Notched his fifth career 1,000 receiving-yards season.

LB, Dallas Cowboys
· Tied an NFL record with a sack in 10 consecutive games, matching the mark set by Denver's SIMON FLETCHER from Nov. 15, 1992 to Sept. 20, 1993

QB, Arizona Cardinals
· Had a perfect 158.3 passer rating for the third time in his career, tying PEYTON MANNING for the NFL record.

· Topped 300 yards for five consecutive games, one shy of the NFL record he shares with STEVE YOUNG and RICH GANNON.

WR, New England Patriots
· Set an NFL record with at least six catches in each of the first 10 games of the season.



· Broke the franchise record for points in a season with 424, one more than in 1984.

· KURT WARNER threw a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive games, a Cardinals’ record. Warner set a club record with four consecutive 300-yard games. He also passed for a franchise-record 30 touchdowns this season.

· ANQUAN BOLDIN, STEVE BREASTON and LARRY FITZGERALD notched 1,000-yard receiving seasons, marking the fifth time in NFL history that three teammates each passed the 1,000-yard mark.

· ANQUAN BOLDIN set a franchise record with his 22nd 100-yard receiving game. He also topped 1,000 yards receiving in a season for a club-record fourth time.

· TIM HIGHTOWER's 10 TDs rushing set a franchise record, breaking the mark of nine set by Ron Moore in 1993.

· NEIL RACKERS became the second player in Cardinals history to score 500 points (JIM BAKKEN; 1,380).

· MICHAEL TURNER scored his club-record 17th rushing touchdown, breaking JAMAL ANDERSON’s franchise record of 14 in 1998.

· RODDY WHITE set the team season record for receiving yards (1,382), breaking ALFRED JENKINS' mark (1,358) in 1981.

· Have gone an NFL-best 35 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.

· Notched their 100th franchise win.

· Scored at least 27 points in a team-record four consecutive games. (Week 10)

· ED REED registered his NFL-high ninth interception, tying his own team record.

· Won their 200th home game. (Week 7)

· LEODIS MC KELVIN surpassed ERIC MOULDS for the most kickoff return yards by a Buffalo rookie (1,468).

· BRIAN MOORMAN became the first Bills punter to throw a touchdown pass.

· Reached 100 regular-season victories.

· Had two running backs with 100 yards in the same game for the first time in team history (JONATHAN STEWART and DE ANGELO WILLIAMS on 11/16.

· JONATHAN STEWART's 836 yards rushing set a season rookie mark for the Panthers.

· DE ANGELO WILLIAMS ended the season with a franchise-record 1,515 rushing yards. Williams scored a Panthers' season record 20 touchdowns. He also set a club record by scoring a touchdown in five consecutive games.

· Became the first team in NFL history with 700 total victories.

· KYLE ORTON threw a franchise-record 206 consecutive passes without an interception.

· MAT FORTÉ rushed for 1,238 yards and caught 63 passes – both Bears rookie season records.

· CHAD JOHNSON has at least one catch in 93 consecutive games, tying the team record set by CARL PICKENS.

· JAMAL LEWIS became the first Browns running back since MIKE PRUITT in 1980-81 to gain 1,000 yards in successive seasons.

· Achieved 450 total victories (Week 5).

· TONY ROMO became the sixth Cowboys quarterback to surpass 10,000 career yards. Romo had his 16th career 300-yard passing game, surpassing TROY AIKMAN for the most in club history. He also became the first Cowboys QB with consecutive 3,000-yard seasons since Aikman did it in three consecutive years from 1995-97.

· Tallied their 400th victory.

· JAY CUTLER tied JOHN ELWAY (1987) for the fewest games (11) in team history to reach 3,000 passing yards (11/23). Cutler broke JAKE PLUMMER's franchise record with 4,210 yards for the season.

· Rookie SPENCER LARSEN became the first player in club history to start on offense and defense (11/16). Larsen lined up at fullback and middle linebacker and also contributed on special teams.

· EDDIE ROYAL set Broncos rookie records with five touchdown receptions and yards receiving for a single season (980).

· CALVIN JOHNSON became the second receiver in team history to record 70 receptions; 1,200 yards; and 10 touchdowns in a single season (HERMAN MOORE in 1995).

· JASON HANSON surpassed MORTEN ANDERSEN's record for most career 50-yard field goals, hitting his 41st on 12/14.

· DONALD DRIVER established a franchise record with a reception in his 104th consecutive game (11/9), besting the mark set by Sterling Sharpe from 1988-94.

· DRIVER and GREG JENNINGS each had 100 receiving yards in Week 17. Combined with RYAN GRANT and DE SHAWN WYNN's 100-yard rushing days, it was the first time in league history that a team has had two 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receivers in the same game.

· Scored touchdowns on their first three possessions for the first time in team history. (Week 7)

· Won four consecutive games in a season for the first time in franchise history.

· ANDRE JOHNSON extended his franchise record by having at least one catch in his 100th consecutive game.

· DUNTA ROBINSON set a Texans record with his 12th career interception.

· STEVE SLATON set the franchise record for yards rushing by a rookie with 1,282 and scored a team rookie-record nine rushing touchdowns.

· Extended their NFL-record club streak to six seasons in a row with 12 or more wins.

· DALLAS CLARK broke his club season record for receptions by a tight end with 77. Clark also broke the Colts' franchise record for season receiving yards by a tight end with 848, surpassing Hall of Famer JOHN MACKEY's 829 in 1966.

· Head coach TONY DUNGY's teams have gone to the playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1999 when he was the head coach at Tampa Bay. It is the best run by a coach in NFL history, topping TOM LANDRY's run with the Cowboys from 1975-83 (9 seasons).

· Jaguars coach JACK DEL RIO posted his 50th regular-season victory.

· LARRY JOHNSON (5.638) passed Christian Okoye (4,897) for second place on the Chiefs' all-time rushing list.

· With an 11-5 record after a 1-15 mark in 2007, tied the 1999 Colts (13-3 after 3-13 the previous season) for the biggest turnaround in NFL history – 10 wins.

· Finished the regular season with 13 turnovers, tying the 2008 New York Giants for the fewest ever in a 16-game season.

· CHAD PENNINGTON connected on his first six passes in Week 15, extending his two-game streak to 17 completions in a row to break DAN MARINO's team record of 15 set in 1992.

· ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for a franchise-record 10 100-yard games. Peterson broke Minnesota's single-season rushing record with 1,760 yards.

· Finished the regular season with 57 penalties, besting the record-low of 59 set by Seattle in 2007.

· STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI set a Patriots single-season record with 34 field goals, breaking the mark of 32 set by TONY FRANKLIN in 1986.

· Set franchise records for scoring (461) and yards (6,571).

· DEUCE MC ALLISTER surpassed DALTON HILLIARD for first on New Orleans' career list with 54 touchdowns.

· DERRICK WARD and BRANDON JACOBS both rushed for 1,000 yards, making the Giants only the fourth team with two 1,000-yard running backs.

· Ended the season with 13 turnovers, tying the 2008 Miami Dolphins for the fewest ever in a 16-game season.

· Finished the season with 427 points and 338 first downs, both second highest in team history (448 points in 1963; 356 first downs in 1985).

· THOMAS JONES broke the team’s season rushing and total touchdowns record (13 rushing, 2 receiving) previously held by CURTIS MARTIN.

· SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (905) broke GEORGE BLANDA's franchise record of 863 career-points.

· Achieved 500 regular-season victories. Scored a franchise-record 416 points.

· ANDY REID won his 100th career game.

· REID and DONOVAN MC NABB earned their 76th career victory together, passing the Joe Montana-Bill Walsh combo for most all-time. (Week 7)

· MC NABB set a franchise record when he passed Ron Jaworski on the club's all-time passing yards list, finishing with 3,916.

· BRIAN WESTBROOK passed TIMMY BROWN for first place on the club's career list with 27 TD catches by a running back. Westbrook (9,330) surpassed HAROLD CARMICHAEL (9,042) as the Eagles career leader in yards.

· BRIAN DAWKINS made his 34th interception, tying the team record shared by ERIC ALLEN and BILL BRADLEY.

· DE SEAN JACKSON set a team rookie record with 912 receiving yards and also became the first rookie to lead the Eagles in catches (62) since 1942.

· DAVID AKERS kicked 33 field goals, setting a season team record.

· MIKE TOMLIN became the first coach in Steelers history to win at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons. He became the sixth NFL coach to win a division title in his first two seasons as a head coach.

· JAMES HARRISON's 16th sack surpassed MIKE MERRIWEATHER's 1984 single-season Steelers record. Harrison and LA MARR WOODLEY set a club record (27.5) for most combined sacks by two players.

· HINES WARD set a team record with his 800 career receptions.

· STEVEN JACKSON became the first Rams running back since ERIC DICKERSON (1983-86) to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons.

· DONNIE JONES established the highest gross punting average in team history – 50.0 yards. It ranks second in NFL history to SAMMY BAUGH’s 51.4 gross average in 1940.

· Became the first team to make the NFL playoffs following a 4-8 start.

· PHILIP RIVERS threw 34 touchdown passes to break Hall of Famer DAN FOUTS' 1981 season team record. Rivers finished the season with 4,009 passing yards, joining Fouts as the only Chargers QBs with 4,000 in a season.

· Notched their 250 regular-season victory.

· Head coach MIKE HOLMGREN earned his 160th career victory, most among active coaches.

· Achieved 200 total victories.

· Started 5-0 at home this season for the first time in franchise history.

· Set team for most total yards in a season with 5,456.

· Tied team record with seven return touchdowns (2000).

· Set a club record with 12 wins in a row.

· CHRIS JOHNSON joined EARL CAMPBELL and EDDIE GEORGE as the only rookies in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards.

· LEN DALE WHITE scored 15 touchdowns for second place in team season annals behind EARL CAMPBELL (19, 1979).

· Compiled a streak of 370 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

· JASON CAMPBELL’s interception percentage of 1.2 was a team record.

· CLINTON PORTIS tied club record with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

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