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What goes well with pancakes?

Bacon.

That matchup will come to Lexington County, South Carolina when Lexington County Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League will change their name for one night to become the Lexington Pancakes.

The Blowfish… er, Pancakes square off against the Macon Bacon, the league’s newest franchise in a contest in Lexington County on Friday, June 8.

Blowfish co-owner Bill Shanahan said that “with the addition of the Savannah Bannanas in 2016 and the Bacon this year, what a great opportunity of enhance the family fun by creating more ‘sizzle.'”

Shananah went on to add, “When the expansion team, the Macon franchise, announced their new name we just thought, ‘Let’s be the Pancakes!’, and it just got out of hand in regards to all the fun we could have with it. One of our University of South Carolina interns came up with the slogan of “Batter Up” and it just keeps getting more creative.”

There will be a slight change to the home team’s uniform that night. While the Blowfish will take the night off, the team’s colors will remain intact, using the Blowfish navy, maroon, strong orange, tan and luminous vivid amber (yellow). The front of the jersey features “Pancakes” and a syrup-dripping spatula, while the backs will have the slogan “Batter Up” where the player’s name typically is and numbers that are dripping syrup as well.

In addition to the CPL logo on the right sleeve, the jersey will feature a special Lexington County Pancakes patch on the left sleeve that also prominently displays the club’s new mascot. The team will also be using the Pancake theme for other games as well in the upcoming 2018 season that got underway on May 31st.

(Bacon logo courtesy the Macon Bacon and the Coastal Plain League)

All the work on the field is done. The game day staff has been hired and trained and come Friday, for the first time since the Pinetoppers came to Macon, Luther Williams Field will have a new resident.

The Macon Bacon of the Coastal Plain League, a college wood-bat Summer league, will take residence in the place that once saw Pete Rose and Chipper Jones play there. The team name was announced at a gathering of invited guests at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in August and by 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, within a few hours, ESPN had picked up on the story and it went national. At the event, the team logo and uniforms were unveiled and mascot, Kevin, was named in February.

The name was chosen from a list of options that included Sould, Heat, Hits and Noise, with the Bacon coming out on top.

The team’s first game will take place Thursday night just down I-16 as they take on the Savannah Bannnas at Grayson Stadium before returning home the following evening to square off against the Lexington County Blowfish. The home opener is sold out and there are fewer than 150 tickets left for Saturday’s contest against Savannah.

Macon becomes the 16th team in the summer college league, which features teams in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Steve DeLay and co-owner Jon Spoelstra combine for more than 60 years of sports franchise operating experience, including leadership roles with teams in the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. They are also minority owners of the Savannah Bananas in the Coastal Plain League. The league will have sixteen teams in four different divisions and it’s a Southern version of the Cape Cod League. The level of play is compared to class A professional baseball but the teams are composed of college level players from various Division 1A programs and will have a first and second half of their season. Each team plays a 52-game sdhedule, 26 at home, 26 on the road and teams will play each other in their dvision with one crossover from another division.

Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, many of the CPL teams play in former minor league stadiums and cities, as well as in newly constructed stadiums that meet Class A standards. Teams in the CPL play in front of large crowds of passionate fans throughout the summer months – as league attendance has averaged above 550,000 fans over the last five seasons. Players come from all over the country to take part in the best summer collegiate baseball experience each year. The teams and league work closely with each player and school to ensure a positive and long-lasting relationship, as well as helping to secure host families and summer employment for our players if desired.

With a schedule (running from late-May to mid-August), annual Pro Scout Day and All-Star Game and championship playoffs system, the Coastal Plain League prides itself in returning players to their respective schools as better, well-rounded individuals who can instantly help their program succeed on and off the field; as well as be successful at the next level of baseball.

Highly ranked and thought of by players, coaches, and baseball publications and scouting notebooks such as Baseball America, Perfect Game Crosschecker, and Ballpark Digest, the Coastal Plain League also ranks high in the eyes of Major League Baseball and its scouts. In fact, heading into the 2018 summer season, the Coastal Plain League has seen over 1,500 alumni drafted by Major League teams; and even more impressive is that there have had 113 alums who have made it to the Majors, with some of the more notable names including former AL MVP, Cy Young winner and 2017 World Series champion Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Chris Taylor, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis and NFL Super Bowl XLVIII champion quarterback Russell Wilson.

“This is what sports is all about,” Spoelstra told the Macon Telegraph and WGXA TV in August. “It’s families. It’s community. It’s having fun at the old ballpark. We’re looking forward to tremendous crowds and entertaining our fans every game.” While some think the name is stupid, others think it’s kind of whimsical if not funny and because the mascot’s name is Kevin, there will be plenty of six degrees of separation jokes flying around.

Several renovations were made to the ballpark, the third oldest still in use in the United States starting in September. The seating bowl had several chairback seats replaced, the wood outfield fence that was knocked down from tropical storm Irma in September has been fixed and other additions include a party deck along the first base line, beer garden-style seating along the third base line, added concessions, bathrooms and a children’s area.

Prior to the Bacon moving in, the ball park was the backdrop for the movies “Bingo Long and the Traveling All Stars,” “42,” “Trouble With The Curve” and the IFC comedy “Brockmeier.” This year, instead of “lights, camera, action,” Friday evening the words “play ball” will fill the air.

(Logo courtesy the Macon Bacon and the Coastal Plain League)

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (All times listed are Eastern)

Tampa Bay (4-6) at ATLANTA (6-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Tampa Bay), 137 (Atlanta); XM: 382 (Tampa Bay), 225 (Atlanta)

Cleveland (0-10) at Cincinnati (4-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 108 (Cleveland), 121 (Cincinnati); XM: 384 (Cleveland), 226 (Cincinnati)

Tennessee (6-3) at Indianapolis (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 706: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 112 (Tennessee), 146 (Indianapolis); XM: 386 (Tennessee), 229 (Indianapolis)

Buffalo (5-5) at Kansas City (6-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 132 (Buffalo), 81 (Kansas City); XM: 380 (Buffalo), 81 (Kansas City)

Miami (4-6) at New England (8-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Miami), 82 (New England); XM: 383 (Miami), 82 (New England)

Carolina (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (Carolina), 133 (New York Jets); XM: 381 (Carolina), 227 (New York Jets)

Chicago (3-7) at Philadelphia (9-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Chicago), 83 (Philadelphia); XM: 385 (Chicago), 83 (Philadelphia)

New Orleans (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (8-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WW1: Tom McCarthy, Brady Poppinga; SIRIUS: 134 (New Orleans), 82 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 382 (New Orleans), 82 (Los Angeles Rams)

Seattle (6-4) at San Francisco (1-9), 4:05 p.m. on FOx and DirecTV 713:  Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Seattle), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 383 (Seattle), 83 (San Francisco)

Jacksonville (7-3) at Arizona (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 132  (Jacksonville), 81 (Arizona); XM: 380 (Jacksonville), 81 (Arizona)

Denver (3-7) at Oakland (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; SIRIUS: 93 (Denver), 137 (Oakland); XM: 381 (Denver), 225 (Oakland)

Green Bay (5-5) at Pittsburgh (8-2), 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 83 (Pittsburgh); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 83 (Pittsburgh)

Houston (4-6) at Baltimore (5-5), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Houston), 83 (Baltimore); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Houston), 83 (Baltimore)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: John Hussey
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Walt Coleman
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: John Parry
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Brad Allen

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams Listed In CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite               Spread        Underdog          O/U
ATLANTA                –  8 1/2      Tampa Bay         48 1/2
CINCINNATI             –  2 1/2      Cleveland         33
PHILADELPHIA           – 13 1/2      Chicago           44
NEW ENGLAND            – 16          Miami             47 1/2
KANSAS CITY            –  9 1/2      Buffalo           45
Carolina               –  5          NEW YORK JETS     40
Tennessee              –  3 1/2      INDIANAPOLIS      44
Seattle                –  6 1/2      SAN FRANCISCO     42
LOS ANGELES RAMS       –  2 1/2      New Orleans       53 1/2
Jacksonville           –  4 1/2      ARIZONA           38
OAKLAND                –  5          Denver            43 1/2
PITTSBURGH             – 14          Green Bay         41 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite               Spread        Underdog          O/U
BALTIMORE              –  7          Houston           38

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
OUT: DE Robert Ayers (Concussion), CB Vernon Hargreaves (Hamstring), G Evan Smith (Concussion), QB Jameis Winston (Right Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: DE William Gholston (Neck)

Atlanta
OUT: T Tyler Sambrailo (Hamstring), RB Devonta Freeman (Concussion)

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m

Cleveland
OUT: WR Sammie Coastes (Knee)
DOUBTFUL: S Derron Smith (Knee)

Cincinnati
OUT: LB Vincent Rey (Hamstring), S Shawn Williams (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Darqueze Dennard (Knee)

Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: WR Rishard Matthews (Hamstring)

Indianapolis
OUT: TE Darrell Daniels (Hamstring), DT Hassan Ridgeway (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: G Kyle Kalis (Knee)

Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: T Cordy Glenn (Foot), G John Miller (Ankle), RB William Tolbert (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Kelvin Benjamin (Knee), TE Charles Clay (Knee), WR Jordan Matthews (Knee), WR Deonte Thompson (Ankle)

Kansas City
OUT: LB Terrance Smith (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Tamba Hali (Knee)

Miami at New England, 1 p.m.

Miami
OUT: G Jermon Bushrod (Foot), DE William Hayes (Back), QB Jay Cutler (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Maurice Smith (Illness), LB Stephone Anthony (Quadricep), T Laremy Tunsil (Illness)

New England
OUT: C Jams Andrews (Illness), T Marcus Cannon (Ankle), WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: TE Martellus Bennett (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (Knee), DT Malcom Brown (Ankle), S Patrick Chung (Ankle), CB Nelson Rowe (Groin), WR Matt Slater (Hamstring)

Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Carolina
QUESTIONABLE: CB Captain Munnerlyn (Illness), C Ryan Kalil (Neck), C Tyler Larsen (Foot)

New York Jets
QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Forte (Knee), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Foot), G Brian Winters (Abdomen)

Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: S DeAndre Houston-Carson (Ankle), DE Roy Robertson-Harris (Hamstring), LB Danny Trevathan (Calf), WR Josh Bellamy (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Akiem Hicks (Knee), CB Bryce Callahan (Knee), T Thomas Compton (Ankle), WR Dontrelle Inman (Groin), G Kyle Long (Ankle), TE Dion Sims (Illness), DE Mitchell Unrein (Knee)

Philadelphia
QUESTIONABLE: DT Beau Allen (Knee), TE Lawrence Burton (Back)

New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: CB Kenneth Crawley (Abdomen), CB Marshon Lattimore (Ankle)

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: RB Malcolm Brown (Knee)

Seattle at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

Seattle
OUT: G Oday Aboushi (Shoulder), S Kameron Chancellor (Neck), CB Shaquill Griffin (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: RB Michael Davis (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Donell Alexander (Shoulder), T Duane Brown (Ankle), DE Dion Jordan (Neck), LB Bobby Wagner (Hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (Ankle),  Luke Joeckel (Knee), DT Jarran Reed (Hamstring), LB Michael Wilhoite (Calf)

San Francisco
OUT: S Adrian Colbert (Thumb)
QUESTIONABLE: T Trenton Brown (Shoulder), RB Dominique Mostert (Shoulder), WR Trent Taylor (Ribs), DE Solomon Thomas (Knee)

Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Allen Hurns (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: G Patrick Omameh (Quadricep), T Jermey Parnell (Knee), LB Donald Payne (Hamstring)

Arizona
OUT: WR John Brown (Toe), DT Corey Peters (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brittan Golden (Groin), DT Josh Mauro (Ankle), RB Elijhaa Penny (Knee), S Johnathan Ford (Knee), QB Drew Stanton (Knee)

Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.

Denver
QUESTIONABLE: DE Adam Gotsis (Ankle), DT Domata Peko (Illness), TE Jeff Heurman (Knee), LB Shane Ray (Wrist), WR Emmanuel Sanders (Ankle)

Oakland
OUT: CB David Amerson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: G Gabriel Jackson (Ankle), LB Cory James (Knee)

Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

Green Bay
QUESTIONABLE: G Lucas Patrick (Hand), CB Kelvin King (Shoulder), RB Devante Mays (Ankle)

Pittsburgh
OUT: CB Joseph Haden (Fibula), TE Vance McDonald (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Mitchell (Ankle) Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. on Monday

Houston
OUT: T Julien Davenport (Shoulder), WR William Fuller (Ribs), C Gregory Mancz (Shoulder)

Baltimore
OUT: G Jermaine Eluemunor (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Clinton Mosley (Ankle), CB James Smith (Achilles), T Austin Howard (Knee), T Ronnie Stanley (Concussion), RB Terrance West (Calf), LB Terrell Suggs (Ankle)

Sunday and Monday Weather Report
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Game Indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 59 degrees
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 45 degrees
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 44 degrees
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 66 degrees
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.:  Partly cloudy and 44 degrees
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 45 degrees
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 46 degrees
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 73 degrees
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Overcast with a 70 percent chance of rain and 64 degrees
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 85 degrees
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast with a 60 percent chance of rain and 61 degrees
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.: Clear and 36 degrees
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Clear and 48 degrees

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel

 

And then there were 10.

NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2017 weekly series concludes Monday, June 26 when players ranked No. 10 through No. 1 are revealed in two, one-hour episodes at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern.

At 10 p.m. Eastern, the Top 100 Players of 2017 Reactions show concludes the seventh season of the annual series which counts down the top 100 players in the NFL as voted on by the players themselves. Amber Theoharis, Ike Taylor and Willie McGinest host the special one-hour edition of the Reactions show, which includes interviews with some of the players revealed in the top 10.

Additional NFL.com content leading up to the series finale includes Ike Taylor’s own Top 100 list (http://tinyurl.com/yb2cugpv), Adam Schein’s own Top 9 players and an All-Top 100 team putting together a roster of the highest-rated players by position.

In advance of series finale, NFL Network announces the Top 10 players listed in alphabetical order, along with some quotes from current NFL players discussing each.

The Top 100 Players of 2017 – Top 10 Players listed in alphabetical order:

Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants, WR
•”He’ll go down as one of the greatest ever.” – Coty Sensabaugh

Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers, RB
•”He’s the best at everything. He’s the best running back all around in this league.” – Malcolm Jenkins

Tom Brady – New England Patriots, QB
•”I don’t know who you can compare him to and say he’s not the best of all time.” – Malcolm Jenkins

Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers, WR
•”He makes it look so effortless. He has such a sense of where he’s at on the field at all times.” – Le’Veon Bell

Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys, RB
•”He’s going to run through you if you’re in his way.” – Mike Daniels

Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons, WR
•”I can’t even imagine having to guard someone like that. It’s not even fair.” – Davante Adams

Khalil Mack – Oakland Raiders, LB
•”He’s a beast. He’s really unstoppable.” – Melvin Gordon

Von Miller – Denver Broncos, LB
•”Von’s like water – he’s fluid. Can’t get your hands on him, can’t touch him.” – Shane Ray

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers, QB
•”He’s a pro’s pro. He’s super slick. He has the confidence – he has the swagger a lot of quarterbacks don’t have.” – Michael Bennett

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons, QB
•”Number one player in the league right now. MVP.” – Shane Ray

Below is complete list of players ranked #100-11:

To see specific segments on each player from the show, please visit http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-top100-2017

100. Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers, DE

99. Malcolm Butler – New England Patriots, CB

98. Adrian Peterson – New Orleans Saints, RB

97. David DeCastro – Pittsburgh Steelers, OG

96. Damon Harrison – New York Giants, DT

95. Kelechi Osemele – Oakland Raiders, OG

94. Dont’a Hightower – New England Patriots, LB

93. Brandon Graham – Philadelphia Eagles, DE

92. Everson Griffen – Minnesota Vikings, DE

91. Lorenzo Alexander – Buffalo Bills, LB

90. Malcolm Jenkins – Philadelphia Eagles, S

89. Thomas Davis – Carolina Panthers, LB

88. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks, WR

87. Travis Frederick – Dallas Cowboys, C

86. Jurell Casey – Tennessee Titans, DT

85. Chandler Jones – Arizona Cardinals, LB

84. Mike Daniels – Green Bay Packers, DT

83. Calais Campbell – Jacksonville Jaguars, DE

82. Clay Matthews – Green Bay Packers, LB

81. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs, QB

80. LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles, RB

79. Sean Lee – Dallas Cowboys, LB

78. Brian Orakpo – Tennessee Titans, LB

77. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Green Bay Packers, S

76. Justin Houston – Kansas City Chiefs, LB

75. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans, TE

74. Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings, S

73. Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers, QB

72. Taylor Lewan – Tennessee Titans, OT

71. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots, WR

70. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins, QB

69. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins, RB

68. Geno Atkins – Cincinnati Bengals, DT

67. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers, TE

66. Xavier Rhodes – Minnesota Vikings, CB

65. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins, TE

64. Casey Hayward – Los Angeles Chargers, CB

63. Chris Harris Jr. – Denver Broncos, CB

62. Cameron Wake – Miami Dolphins, DE

61. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts, WR

60. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys, WR

59. Josh Norman – Washington Redskins, CB

58. Zack Martin – Dallas Cowboys, OG

57. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB

56. Cliff Avril – Seattle Seahawks, DE

55. Ndamukong Suh – Miami Dolphins, DT

54. Janoris Jenkins – New York Giants, CB

53. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders, WR

52. Gerald McCoy – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT

51. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts, QB

50. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans, QB

49. Jadeveon Clowney – Houston Texans, DE

48. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers, WR

47. Trent Williams – Washington Redskins, OT

46. Michael Bennett – Seattle Seahawks, DE

45. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals, WR

44. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers, QB

43. Marshal Yanda – Baltimore Ravens, OG

42. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins, WR

41. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons, RB

40. Vic Beasley – Atlanta Falcons, LB

39. Bobby Wagner – Seattle Seahawks, LB

38. Fletcher Cox – Philadelphia Eagles, DT

37. Aqib Talib – Denver Broncos, CB

36. Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs, WR/PR

35. J.J. Watt – Houston Texans, DE

34. Kam Chancellor – Seattle Seahawks, S

33. DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans, RB

32. Marcus Peters – Kansas City Chiefs, CB

31. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions, QB

30. Earl Thomas – Seattle Seahawks, S

29. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR

28. Landon Collins – New York Giants, S

27. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills, RB

26. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs, TE

25. Joe Thomas – Cleveland Browns, OT

24. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks, QB

23. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots, TE

22. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers, QB

21. Richard Sherman – Seattle Seahawks, CB

20. Luke Kuechly – Carolina Panthers, LB

19. Patrick Peterson – Arizona Cardinals, CB

18. Tyron Smith – Dallas Cowboys, OT

17. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals, WR

16. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints, QB

15. Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams, DT

14. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys, QB

13. Eric Berry – Kansas City Chiefs, S

12. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals, RB

11. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders, QB

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

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Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

 

It’s the second largest day that has food involved next to Thanksgiving. While it’s not a holiday, many have pressed Congress to make it a National holiday. Once an event that took place in the early afternoon after church, it’s now a prime-time event and many watch the commericals but for the most part, there’s a sporting event involved.

For the 51st time since its birth, Super Bowl Sunday will make an appearance, like the swallows at San Juan Capistrano. It signals the end of the football season. The winners get to take home a trophy that looks a lot like a football. The loser will be second guessed right up to kickoff the next season.

Friends, co-workers and families will gather for the big game. Church youth groups will have their get together, while most churches or mosques will move up their services so their parishoners can go home and watch the game. New televsions will be purchased on the day of or before kickoff and most will watch their team either win it all or lose.

A few things you need to know about the Super Bowl.

1. This year’s contest is Super Bowl LI (51 for those that are not familiar with Roman numerals).

2. It is one of the most-watched events in the history of televison or sports for that matter (Last year’s Super Bowl 50 contest between Denver and Carolina had 167,000,000 viewers either watching the game live on CBS or online either in the United States or outside the borders. The game had a 72 share, according to Nielsen, which meant that 72 percent of all televisions in the United States were tuned to the Super Bowl and the game had a 46.6 rating).

3. To date, through last year’s Super Bowl 50 contest in Santa Clara, 3,876,314 have attended Super Bowl games. The largest crowd was 103,985 at Super Bowl XIV, which was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. That’s an average of 77,526. The smallest crowd? The first Super Bowl, which took place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The crowd that day? 61,946. The cost of the cheapest ticket in the first Super Bowl? $5. Today, expect to spend about $3 to 4 thousand for a good seat with the cheap ones coming in at about $2,500.

4. There has never been a shutout in the history of the Super Bowl and while there have been some blowouts, for the most part, every team that has played in a Super Bowl on the winnning and losing side have scored points. There has never been a game go into overtime, either.

5. Remember that food thing we talked about before? There’s going to be a lot of it, which means that there could very well be leftovers. Remember your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a buffet and wiped out your Super Bowl party last year and did not gain a pound. Connie by herself could keep the local grocery store in business for the next three years. Be sure your guests have fun, they’re happy and they don’t drink and drive.

6. There are a lot of prop bets, which don’t always involve the game itself. Bets will be placed on the ammount of time it takes to sing the National Anthem, who scores first, what the halftime performer will be wearing (or not wearing). This year’s National Anthem singer, by the way, is Luke Bryant and Lady Gaga has the Halftime duties, in case you’re wondering.

7. There will be a lot of TVs sold during Super Bowl week. That’s a lot of cable and dish sales going on as well. Just make sure your dish/cable bill and the power bill’s paid.

8. The Super Bowl halftime show is 20 minutes long, instead of the usual 15. Be patient. There’s going to be a lot of moving parts involved, such as getting the players into the locker room, getting the performers set and ready to go and then taking everything down.

9. As a courtesy to their football neighbors, the NBA and NHL have a limited schedule of games and the last ones start at 1 p.m. Eastern, giving their fans a chance to watch the Super Bowl.

10. Lastly, those commercials. They’re not cheap. A 30-second ad will run you about $5.5 million or $183,333.00 a second. That means that you have about five seconds or so to decide if you like the ad or change the channel.

32 teams started the season with one goal in mind. There are four teams that have never gone to the big game in the Super Bowl era (Cleveland, Jacksonville, Detroit and Houston, either as the Oilers or the Texans). At the end of tonight’s contest in Houston, one team will be holding the Lombardi Trophy, while the other 31 will say “that should have been ours.”

Is the Super Bowl a BIG DEAL?

It’s a HUGE deal.

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

Green Bay at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field Reporter). SIRIUS: 81 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta). XM: 225 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta).

Washington at Cincinnati, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) on FOX; Kenny Albert, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field Reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Brady Poppinga. SIRIUS: 108 (WestWood1), 83 (Washington), 93 (Cincinnati). XM: 227 (WestWood1), 226 (Washington), 225 (Cincinnati).

New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon. SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 83 (Cleveland). XM: 386 (New York Jets), 226 (Cleveland).

Seattle at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Holly Sonders (Field Reporter). SIRIUS: 121 (Seattle.), 146 (New Orleans). XM: 383 (Seattle), 229 (New Orleans).

Arizona at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713:Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field Reporter). SIRIUS: 126 (Arizona), 81 (Carolina). XM: 385 (Arizona), 225 (Carolina.).

New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Ian Eagle, Rich Gannon, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 132 (New England), 82 (Buffalo). XM: 380 (New England), 82 (Buffalo).

Oakland at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein (Field Reporter). SIRIUS: 137 (Oakland), 157 (Tampa Bay). XM: 382 (Oakland), 227 (Tampa Bay).

Kansas City at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707 Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots. SIRIUS: 112 (Kansas City), 93 (Indianapolis). XM: 384 (Kansas City), 228 (Indianapolis).

Detroit at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). Westwood One: John Sadak, Ross Tucker. SIRIUS: 135 (Detroit), 84 (Houston). XM: 381 (Detroit), 230 (Houuston).

San Diego at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Lee, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 138 (San Diego), 83 (Denver). XM: 231 (San Diego), 226 (Denver).

Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field Reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 81 (Dallas). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Philadelphia), 225 (Dallas).

Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Minnesota), 81 (Chicago). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Minnesota), 225 (Chicago).

Sunday and Monday Officials
Green Bay at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m. – Walt Anderson
Washington at Cincinnati, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) – Carl Cheffers
New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m. – Pete Morelli
Seattle at New Orleans, 1 p.m. – Ed Hochuli
Arizona at Carolina, 1 p.m. – Walt Coleman
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. – John Parry
Oakland at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. – Terry McAulay
Kansas City at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. – Craig Wrolstad
Detroit at Houston, 1 p.m. – Brad Allen
San Diego at Denver, 4:05 p.m. – Tony Corrente
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. – Jerome Boger
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. on Monday – Gene Steratore

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite          Spread    Underdog            O/U
ATLANTA           –  3      Green Bay           52 1/2
CINCINNATI        –  3      Washington          46 1/2
New England       –  6 1/2  BUFFALO             47 1/2
CAROLINA          –  3      Arizona             48
New York Jets     –  3      CLEVELAND           43 1/2
KANSAS CITY       –  2 1/2  Indianapolis        50
TAMPA BAY         –  1      Oakland             50
HOUSTON           –  3      Detroit             45 1/2
Seattle           –  3      NEW ORLEANS         48
DENVER            –  6      San Diego           44 1/2
DALLAS            –  4 1/2  Philadelphia        43 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite          Spread    Underdog            O/U
Minnesota         –  5 1/2  CHICAGO             41

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Green Bay at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: TE Jared Cook (Ankle), CB Damarious Randall (Groin), CB Quinten Rollins (Groin), RB James Starks (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Randall Cobb (Hamstring), G Thomas Lang (Hip), LB William Matthews (Hamstring), WR Ty Montgomery (Illness)

ATLANTA
OUT: RB Tevin Coleman (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Dwight Freeney (Quadricep)

Washington at Cincinnati, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London)

Washington
OUT: RB Matt Jones (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bashaud Breeland (Ankle), TE Vernon Davis (Groin), C Spencer Long (Chest), WR Jamison Crowder (Groin), LB Terence Garvin (Hip), WR DeSean Jackson (Hamstring), CB Josh Norman (Concussion), TE Jordan Reed (Concussion), G Brandon Scherff (Shoulder), T Trent Williams (Knee)

Cincinnati – Cincinnati reported no injuries.

Arizona at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: TE Darren Fells (Ankle), LB Alex Okafor (Calf), DT Edward Stinson (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE: S Tony Jefferson (Illness), WR John Brown (Hamstring), WR Michael Floyd (Hamstring), T Edwin Veldheer (Finger)

Carolina
OUT: DT Vernon Butler (Ankle), T Michael Oher (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Kony Ealy (Illness), DT Paul Soliai (Foot), CB Daryl Worley (Concussion), CB James Bradberry (Foot), CB Robert McClain (Hamstring)

New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

New England
QUESTIONABLE: TE Martellus Bennett (Ankle), WR Julian Edelman (Foot), DT Woodrow Hamilton (Shoulder), CB Jonathan Jones (Hip), WR Malcolm Mitchell (Hamstring), LB Elandon Roberts (Ankle), DT Vincent Valentine (Back)

Buffalo
OUT: WR Marquise Goodwin (Concussion), S Aaron Williams (Neck)
DOUBTFUL: RB LeSean McCoy (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Corbin Bryant (Shoulder), TE Charles Clay (Knee), DT Marcell Dareus (Hamstring), RB Mike Gillislee (Foot), T Cordy Glenn (Ankle), LB Jerry Hughes (Hand), LB Lerentee McCray (Knee), G John Miller (Shoulder), WR Robert Woods (Foot)

New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: LB Bruce Carter (Quadricep), LB Darron Lee (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: C Nick Mangold (Ankle), T Brent Qvale (Neck), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Ankle), CB Darryl Skrine (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Ryan Clady (Shoulder), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Ankle)

Cleveland
OUT: QB Cody Kessler (Concussion), WR Corey Coleman (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Marcus Burley (Hamstring), CB Joseph Haden (Groin), CB Jamar Taylor (Groin)

Detroit at Houston, 1 p.m.

Detroit
OUT: LB DeAndre Levy (Knee), CB Darius Slay (Hamstring)
QUESTIONALBLE: TE Eric Ebron (Ankle), CB Nevin Lawson (Foot), DT Etuini Ngata (Shoulder), T Riley Reiff (Illness), T Corey Robinson (Ankle), TE Cole Wick (Knee)

Houston
OUT: LB Brian Peters (Quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jadeveon Clowney (Elbow), S Quintin Demps (Calf), RB Jonathan Grimes (Ankle), RB Lamar Miller (Shoulder)

Kansas City at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Kansas City
OUT: RB Jamaal Charles (Knee), G Jordan Devey (Ankle), CB David White (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE: T Mitchell Schwartz (Ankle)

Indianapolis
OUT: TE Dwayne Allen (Ankle), DT Henry Anderson (Knee), DE Kendall Langford (Knee), LB Curt Maggitt (Ankle), G Jack Mewhort (Tricep), WR Chester Rogers (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Donte Moncrief (Shoulder)

Seattle at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Seattle
OUT: DE Michael Bennett (Knee), S Kameron Chancellor (Groin), CB DeAndre Elliott (Hamstring), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Ankle), RB Thomas Rawls (Fibula), TE Luke Willson (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Bradley Sowell (Knee), WR Tyler Lockett (Thigh)

New Orleans
OUT: LB Stephone Anthony (Hamstring), WR Jacob Lampman (Knee), CB Sterling Moore (Abdomen), CB Delvin Breaux (Fibula)
QUESTIONABLE: T Terron Armstead (Knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (Quadricep), C Senio Kelemete (Neck), RB Daniel Lasco (Hamstring), T Andrus Peat (Groin)

Oakland at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Oakland
OUT: T Stacy McGee (Ankle)
QUESTIONALBLE: G Vadal Alexander (Ankle), WR Andre Holmes (Hip), RB Taiwan Jones (Knee), S Brynden Trawick (Shoulder), T Menelik Watson (Calf)

Tampa Bay
OUT: RB Doug Martin (Hamstring), DT Clinton McDonald (Hamstring), DE Robert Ayers (Ankle), C Joseph Hawley (Ankle), DT Gerald McCoy (Calf)

San Diego at Denver, 4:05 p.m.

San Diego
OUT: LB Jeremiah Attaochu (Ankle), CB Craig Mager (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: S Jahleel Addae (Collarbone)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Hunter Henry (Concussion), WR Travis Benjamin (Knee), LB Denzel Perryman (Shoulder), WR Tyrell Williams (Knee)

Denver
OUT: RE Cortrelle Anderson (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: C Matthew Paradis (Hip), LB Brandon Marshall (Hamstring), CB Aqib Talib (Back), LB DeMarcus Ware (Forearm)

Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Philadelphia
OUT: LB Caelan Kamuela Grugier-Hill (Hamstring), DT Bennie Logan (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Taylor Hart (Ankle)

Dallas
OUT: DE Ryan Davis (Hamstring), QB Tony Romo (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: T Charles Green (Foot), CB Morris Claiborne (Concussion), LB Kyle Wilber (Neck), TE Chris Witten (Chest), WR Dez Bryant (Knee), RB Lance Dunbar (Knee), DE David Irving (Ankle), DE Demarcus Lawrence (Back), CB Orlando Scandrick (Hamstring), T Tyron Smith (Back)

Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. on Monday

Minnesota
OUT: DT Sharrif Floyd (Knee), G Zachary Kerin (Hand), RB Jerick McKinnon (Ankle), S Andrew Sendejo (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Concussion), CB Marcus Sherels (Wrist), TE MyCole Pruitt (Knee), WR Jarius Wright (Ankle)

Chicago
OUT: CB Deiondre’ Hall (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: DT Eddie Goldman (Ankle), G Kyle Long (Tricep), WR William Royal (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bryce Callahan (Hamstring), RB Jeremy Langford (Ankle), LB Pernell McPhee (Knee), WR Cameron Meredith (Stomach), CB Tracy Porter (Knee), G Josh Sitton (Ankle)

Sunday and Monday Weather
Green Bay at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m. (Game indoors)
Washington at Cincinnati, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London)(Partly cloudy and 58 degrees)
New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (Overcast with a 50 perecent chance of rain and 55 degrees)
Seattle at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
Arizona at Carolina, 1 p.m. (Sunny and 80 degrees)
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (Overcast with a 50 percent chance of rain and 48 degrees)
Oakland at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (Mostly sunny and 88 degrees)
Kansas City at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, overcast with a 50 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm and 69 degrees)
Detroit at Houston, 1 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, mostly sunny and 81 degrees)
San Diego at Denver, 4:05 p.m. (Mostly cloudy and 75 degrees)
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, clear and 81 degrees)
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. on Monday (Partly cloudy and 53 degrees)

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

With anticipation building as the NFL returns to Los Angeles for the first time in 22 years, HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Los Angeles Rams team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League on the new season of the league’s signature documentary TV program. Debuting this summer, HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE LOS ANGELES RAMS will be there every step of the way as NFL Films cameras follow the organization’s return to Southern California.

The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – kicks off its five-episode 11th season Tuesday, August 9 (10 to 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific), exclusively on HBO. Other hour-long episodes of the 12-time Sports Emmy®-winning series debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the September 6 season finale.

“We are thrilled that the 11th edition of HARD KNOCKS will spotlight a team from the NFC West Division for the first time,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “It’s exciting to chronicle a franchise with so many compelling storylines, highlighted by the team’s return to the Los Angeles market and the enormously warm reception the Rams are experiencing. The series has become a summertime destination for TV viewers, and we can’t wait for the premiere on August 9.”

“From the moment it was announced the Rams would be returning to the Los Angeles market, this franchise felt like a natural for the next season of HARD KNOCKS,” says Ken Rodgers, coordinating producer, NFL Films. “We look forward to capturing the move to Southern California, training camp and everything in-between.”

Cameras are already rolling as HARD KNOCKS is set to document the Rams’ exciting homecoming.  In August, the cinema verité series will focus on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the Los Angeles Rams, who compete in the powerhouse NFC West division, conduct the franchise’s first training camp in Southern California since the team’s 1946-1994 tenure there. HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE LOS ANGELES RAMS will chronicle fifth-year head coach Jeff Fisher and an intriguing mix of Pro Bowl veterans, emerging stars, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason schedule.

Each week, players will experience drills, instruction, meetings and fun, while striving to prove they have what it takes to make the team and leave their mark on the NFL.

“The Rams are proud to partner with NFL Films and HBO Sports to document the Rams’ return to Los Angeles and the preparations for our upcoming season,” says Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ COO. “HARD KNOCKS will give fans an in-depth look into our young team and provide us a unique opportunity to tell the story of this historic season.”

A 30-person NFL Films crew will be at the Rams’ training camp at team headquarters in Southern California, shooting more than 1,500 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will have unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.

“This is an exciting time for our franchise,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told the Los Angeles Times, KCBS-TV and USA Today. “HARD KNOCKS will be an outstanding way to bring our fans into our training camp and preseason, and give a glimpse of the hard work and dedication of our players, coaches and staff as we prepare for the 2016 season.”

No other sports reality series can match the production excellence, critical acclaim, awards and audience numbers posted by HARD KNOCKS, which has produced 52 memorable episodes and one anniversary special in its first ten seasons. The five-part 2015 series on the Houston Texans registered the second-highest viewership level for the show since 2002.  Houston, which went on to win the AFC South championship, averaged 4.4 million viewers per episode, a 20% increase from 2014.

Winner of 12 Sports Emmy® Awards to date, HARD KNOCKS launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002 and resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, subsequently spotlighting the Cowboys (2008), Cincinnati Bengals (2009), New York Jets (2010), Miami Dolphins (2012), Bengals (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014) and Houston Texans (2015).

The last six teams featured on HARD KNOCKS have equaled or improved their win-loss record in the regular season. Teams who have recently earned playoff berths immediately following their appearance on HARD KNOCKS include the Bengals (2009, 2013), Jets (2010) and Houston Texans (2015).

The Washington Post wrote, “Turning football players into people is what HBO’s HARD KNOCKS series does so well. The massive scope, meticulous editing and time-hopping special effects that highlight a production under massive time constraints are all impressive but it’s the film crew’s access to NFL players that makes the program special.” New York’s Daily News termed it “the gold standard of sports reality programming,” while espnW wrote, “The return of the NFL season also means the return of one of the best shows on television, ‘Hard Knocks.’ This [is a] rare look at how any given moment can be the end of a season or even a career.”

The series, created by Marty Callner in 2001 and has been narrated by Liev Schreiber since 2001, with the only exception being the 2007 season which was narrated by Paul Rudd, a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and Washington Redskins each declined to be the show’s featured team for the 2013 season, while the Cincinnati Bengals accepted, marking their second appearance on the show. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell subsequently said that he wanted more teams to be featured on the series, on “some kind of formal rotation.”

Despite the difficulty each year in finding a team willing to participate, NFL Films announced on July 18, 2013, that it had signed a “multiyear” contract extension with HBO to continue producing the show.

In October 2013 the NFL announced that, in the absence of a team volunteering to participate in Hard Knocks, the league could force a team to participate. Teams are exempt from being forced to participate in three circumstances: (1) they have appeared in the past ten years, (2) they have a first-year head coach or (3) they reached the playoffs in either of the two preceding seasons.

Winner of 121 Sports Emmy® Awards, NFL Films remains a gold standard in sports television, providing unprecedented access to and legendary storytelling about the sport of professional football. NFL Films is a part of NFL Media, the owned and operated media division of the National Football League, which comprises NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

NFL content has never been more popular across the media landscape. According to the Nielsen Company, 199 million people tuned into the 2015 NFL regular season, representing 78% of all television homes and 67% of potential viewers in the U.S. NFL games accounted for the top 25 – and 46 of the top 50 – most-watched TV shows among all programming in 2015.

HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE LOS ANGELES RAMS will be narrated by Liev Schreiber.

2001: Baltimore; 10-6 in AFC Central (2nd place, won AFC Wild Card at Miami, lost AFC Divisonal at Pittsburgh)
2002: Dallas; 5-11 in NFC East (4th place, did not make playoffs)
2003: No Show
2004: Jacksonville; 9-7 in AFC South (2nd place, did not make playoffs)
2005 and 2006: No Show
2007: Kansas City; 4-12 in AFC West (Tied for 3rd place, did not make playoffs)
2008: Dallas; 9-7 in NFC East (3rd place, did not make playoffs)
2009: Cincinnati; 10-6 in AFC North (won division, lost AFC Wild Card to New York Jets)
2010: New York Jets; 11-5 in AFC East (2nd place, won AFC Wild Card vs. Indianapolis, won AFC Divisional at New England, lost AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh)
2011: No Show
2012: Miami; 7-9 in AFC East (2nd place, did not make playoffs)
2013: Cincinnati; 11-5 in AFC North (won division, lost AFC Wild Card vs. San Diego)
2014: Atlanta; 6-10 in NFC South (3rd place, did not make playoffs)
2015; Houston; 9-7 in AFC South (Won division, lost AFC Wild Card vs. Kansas City)
Combined Records of all teams that have appeared on Hard Knocks to date: 91-85 (.517 pct)