Archives for posts with tag: NFL

Papa’s out. The Hut is in and we don’t mean Jabba.

The National Football League and Pizza Hut are getting an early start on celebrating the upcoming 2018 NFL season with news that Pizza Hut is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL.

The multi-year agreement will offer Pizza Hut a vast array of exclusive marketing rights, benefits and designations that will unmistakably connect the brand with the NFL and its teams, players, events, partners, properties and the many NFL experiences that capture the passion of consumers and football fans from all over the world.

“We know many of our fans enjoy pizza while watching NFL games and we are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America’s favorite brands, as an official league sponsor,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. “With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans.”

Pizza Hut has a long-standing tradition of connecting with football fans via promotions, experiences and excitement that’s good for the whole family and this partnership will bring more scale and grandeur to the relationship between the company and fans. The NFL partnership will first unfold for Pizza Hut, appropriately, during the 2018 NFL Draft to be held near its global headquarters in North Dallas.

“Pizza Hut has a history of bringing more entertaining food and experiences to the pizza occasion and we plan to continue that through our exclusive partnership with the NFL,” said Artie Starrs, President, Pizza Hut U.S. “NFL stadiums are packed every week but tens of millions of fans are also watching the game at home. We have an unmatched ability to bring those fans closer to the sport thanks to the power of our 7,200 restaurants and 150,000 football-crazed team members. The capacity for what’s possible is endless and that’s going to make this league partnership great fun for Pizza Hut, the NFL and everyone who loves pizza and football.”

The Pizza Hut partnership with the NFL includes collective use of all 32 team marks. It also involves the NFL working closely with Pizza Hut to facilitate local, exclusive team partnerships. Pizza Hut will have the opportunity to leverage game tickets and unique fan experiences to all NFL games in marketing and promotional campaigns throughout each year.

“The opportunity to align in an official capacity with the NFL is a tremendous opening for a brand and product that is so neatly aligned with the football-watching occasion like pizza and Pizza Hut,” said Andy Rosen, Pizza Hut franchise owner and Franchise Board of Directors Chairman. “Our system is aligned behind and thrilled about this partnership. No one better understands the essence of Pizza Hut, including our consumers, than our group of owners and team members.”

Pizza Hut Innovation: From game day to family game night, Pizza Hut is committed to making it easier for consumers to get a better pizza via digital and delivery innovations. Over the last year, Pizza Hut has introduced a number of digital enhancements, including a Delivery Tracker that allows users to track their pizza from order to delivery, and exclusively receive updates via text message. In addition, Pizza Hut fans can take advantage of one-button reorder functionality, visible promise time, and voice ordering through a variety of devices.

More recently, Pizza Hut launched Hut Rewards, the only national pizza loyalty program that offers points for every dollar spent on food online. For delivery, the company developed a new algorithm that drastically improves the accuracy and reliability of deliveries, reimagined its delivery pouches to keep pizzas up to 15 degrees hotter and is currently the first pizza company piloting beer and wine delivery in the U.S. In January, Pizza Hut announced a plan to explore pizza delivery via self-driving vehicles.

Pizza Hut has more than 7,200 restaurants in the U.S. and 16,700 worldwide in over 100 countries.


There were two winners at Super Bowl LII.

Winner number one?

The Philadelphia Eagles, who took home the Lombardi Trophy by holding off the New England Patriots at US Bank Stadium in a Super Bowl that wll be talked about for years.

The second winner?

The environment as well as soup kitchens and youth sports programs.

The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium, SMG and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, scored a zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII, with 91 percent[ii] of all trash generated on gameday from 67,612 fans responsibly recovered through composting, recycling and reuse. The landmark project marks the highest diversion rate achieved at U.S. Bank Stadium and at any previous Super Bowl and aims to serve as the benchmark for future large-scale events.

The results are in following the big game: nearly 63 tons of the 69 tons of gameday waste were recovered through recycling or donation for reuse (62 percent) and composting (29 percent). Recovering waste through composting and recycling reduces waste disposal costs and provides several environmental benefits including reduction of landfill use and reduction of the greenhouse gas generated by the landfill process, gasses which contribute significantly to global warming.

“The zero-waste legacy project is a testament to teamwork, with multiple partners coming together to achieve an ambitious environmental goal,” Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program told USA Today. “The NFL is proud that this program was not only successful at Super Bowl LII but will also serve as a permanent installation at the stadium and leave a lasting impact on the community.”

U.S. Bank Stadium partners, including the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, stadium operator SMG and Aramark, kicked off the effort to achieve a zero-waste operation in 2017 and were joined by the NFL and PepsiCo in the lead-up to Super Bowl LII.

“SMG is always striving to raise industry standards through our operation at U.S. Bank Stadium and our commitment to sustainability is no different. In our first season, we produced a waste diversion rate of 20 percent. Over the course of our second season our team increased that diversion rate to 91 percent,” says Patrick Talty, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium. “Developing a successful and long-term zero-waste program has always been our goal. The diversion improvement we have seen to date is rare in the world of facility management and is a testament to the dedication of all of our stadium partners.”

“U.S. Bank Stadium’s journey to the zero-waste threshold has been demanding and we couldn’t have gotten here without the commitment of our stadium partners,” Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other facilities who are interested in this important sustainability program.”

Ahead of gameday, PepsiCo launched the Rush2Recycle campaign to show fans how to make recycling fun and easy in the stadium and at in-home Super Bowl parties across the country. Fans attending the Super Bowl were greeted by a team of uniformed zero-waste ambassadors who helped identify the correct bins for recycling, composting and waste-to-energy. Super Bowl XL MVP and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Hines Ward helped lucky fans recycle with his own end zone dance, the Rush2Recyle Shuffle, available at, along with tips and resources.

“To tackle waste and boost recycling rates, each of us needs to do our part,” said Roberta Barbieri, PepsiCo’s vice president global environmental sustainability. “While we’re working to make PepsiCo’s packaging increasingly sustainable and investing in recycling programs in communities around the world, we also want to find new ways to make it fun and simple for consumers to participate—like Rush2Recycle.”

Critical to hitting the initiative’s goals was removing items from stadium inventory that could not be either recycled or composted. Aramark, the food and beverage partner for U.S. Bank Stadium, replaced nearly its entire inventory of food vessels, service products and utensils handed to fans with compostable alternatives.

“The successful implementation and results of this historic waste reduction project reflect the partners’ collective commitment to delivering innovative sustainable solutions that will endure beyond Super Bowl LII,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. “Aramark is incredibly proud to have contributed to this milestone and we look forward to utilizing our insights from this effort to further reduce the environmental impact of our operations at U.S. Bank Stadium and across all the venues we serve.”

Other pre-game steps were essential to achieving the zero-waste goal. U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, working with Recycle Across America, designed all illustrated signs for the stadium’s new three-bin waste stations to show fans exactly how to sort items. Recycling and compost bins were made larger and more accessible, while trash bins were made much smaller, encouraging fans to make the right choices for disposing items. In addition, a comprehensive LEED-certification level waste audit was performed in October 2017 to identify specific materials for recovery in the stadium waste stream. A “zero-waste trial run” was performed at a December 2017 Minnesota Vikings home game to encourage fans to properly dispose of waste and to refine gameday practices for Super Bowl LII.

Post-game steps to achieve the 91% resource recovery rate at Super Bowl LII were led by SMG and the NFL. The SMG team sorted all fan-generated waste into the correct waste compactors. The waste hauling partners then collected and provided weight-tickets at each destination including the recycling facility, the composting facility and the waste-to-energy facility. This data was reviewed by SMG and combined with the reuse and donation data collected by the NFL from their community partners. When the recycling, composting and donation/reuse data is combined, the total resource recovery rate for gameday waste is 91%.

For more than 25 years, the NFL has been the leader in sports event sustainability; creating the first significant stadium solid waste recycling project in America at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta in 1994. The NFL and the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee developed a series of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl LII activities and leave a “green” legacy throughout the area. Through the NFL Environmental Program, leftover décor and construction materials from Super Bowl was donated to local organizations for reuse and repurposing. More than 150 thousand pounds of unserved, prepared food and beverages from Super Bowl events was distributed to local shelters and community kitchens. U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LII and several other major NFL Super Bowl event venues were powered using “green energy” to reduce the climate impact of Super Bowl events. A Super Bowl E-waste event held in October 2017, diverted 42,081 pounds of E-waste from the landfill for responsible recycling. The NFL’s Super Bowl urban forestry program planted more than 12,000 trees, 4,000 native plants and 8 pollinator gardens in Minnesota. On Thursday, January 18, more than 100 local schools and YMCAs joined in a community initiative called Super Kids-Super Sharing which put 46,000 donated items (books, sports equipment and school supplies) into the hands of local children in need.

About the NFL Environmental Program: As a leader in the community, the NFL is a responsible steward of the environment in all business areas, using resources efficiently and minimizing waste. The NFL Environmental Program focuses on greening NFL tentpole events and facilities and provides resources for NFL clubs to help them operate their business in sustainable, eco-friendly ways. The NFL was the first professional sports organization to take on full programming for environmental impact at large-scale sporting events such as Super Bowl.

About PepsiCo: PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated approximately $63.5 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit

About U.S. Bank Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium, owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, is a multi-purpose stadium and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The 66,400+ seat stadium is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This state-of-the-art facility hosts prominent national and international programming including the Minnesota Vikings, concerts, family shows, college and high school sporting events, conventions, trade/consumer shows and corporate or private meetings and other community events. U.S. Bank Stadium opened on July 22, 2016 and has been chosen as the site of the Summer X Games (2017 and 2018), Super Bowl LII (2018) and the NCAA Men’s Final Four (2019).

U.S. Bank Stadium is an SMG managed facility. M Hospitality, a division of Aramark, is the official food and beverage provider for U.S. Bank Stadium. For More Information:

About Aramark: Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and Diversity Inc. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

With the close of another NFL season, NFL Network and AT&T AUDIENCE Network personality Rich Eisen begins his preparation for the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, which features top prospects showcasing their athletic skills for a chance to become a part of the league’s next generation of talent.

Since 2004, “The Rich Eisen Show” host has capped off his week at the NFL Scouting Combine by taking his talents from the broadcast booth to the Lucas Oil Stadium field with a 40-yard dash. Clad in a suit, tie and Under Armour cleats, this display of athletic prowess by Eisen has morphed ‘Run Rich Run’ into an entertaining charitable initiative embraced by NFL fans.

In its 14th year, NFL Network will once again partner with NFL PLAY 60 to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Since 2012, NFL PLAY 60 has been the ‘Official Champion of Play’ at St. Jude, helping to give all kids the chance to play.

“We are thankful for the NFL PLAY 60 partnership and Rich Eisen for the continued support of our lifesaving work and commitment to raising awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The NFL PLAY 60 collaboration puts a spotlight on our Child Life program, and Eisen’s broadcasting influence, passionate voice and commitment to the St. Jude kids during the ‘Run Rich Run’ campaign contributes to the success of our mission of finding cures for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

“I’m touched and honored by the chance to do anything on behalf of St. Jude and the terrific partners of Run Rich Run who support it. I want to thank everyone in advance of those who will send in a video and take part to save the lives of children who need the help,” Eisen told NFL Network, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. “If only any of that could make me run faster.”

NFL Network will donate $25,000 to the cause. Fans can show their support, while demonstrating their own athleticism by submitting videos of themselves running the 40-yard dash. Along with their submissions, fans are encouraged to donate money to help support the lifesaving mission and ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

To kick off ‘Run Rich Run’ fundraising, AT&T AUDIENCE Network, Courtyard by Marriott and Under Armour have also pledged $25,000 each to help support play therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As the Official Champion of Play at St. Jude, NFL PLAY 60 has pledged to support the needs of its Child Life program, which helps children cope with the stress of their illness through therapeutic play and other activities, promoting development, self-expression and peer interaction among other benefits. Child Life is an integral part of the medical team at St. Jude and is visible in every clinical arena from patient care to program development.

To submit videos running the 40 and to support NFL PLAY 60’s collaboration along with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, fans can visit:

Fans can also submit ‘Run Rich Run’ videos via YouTube, Twitter and Instagram using the following hashtags: #RunRichRun #StJude.

The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine will air exclusively on NFL Network March 2 through March 5.

The nationally syndicated radio and TV talk show airs Monday-Friday, Noon to 3 p.m. Eastern (9 a.m. to Noon Pacific), on 160+ radio stations, DIRECTV’s AUDIENCE channel 239 and streaming through DIRECTV NOW.

ABOUT NFL MEDIA: NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films,, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

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 such as and through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (, 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

ABOUT ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook ( and following us on Twitter (@stjude).

New England (13-3) vs. Philadelphia (13-3), 6:30 p.m. on NBC

And there were two.

The last two teams standing meet in the Twin Cities.

New England vs. Philadelphia.

The hunter vs. the hunted.

It’s the last football game that will be played until the pre-season (the regular season starts September 6th, so mark those calendars now).

one team will be going home with a trophy, while the otner team will be second-guessed from now until they kick off in the Fall. All the work of OTA’s, mini-camp, preseason and regular season comes to an end.

Sweating, fighting rookies and free agents for your job, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, having a coach or ball boy come to you saying “coach wants to see you and bring your playbook,” which means you’re being cut.

17 weeks and 16 games. Travel, dealing with the media and coaches comes to an end in the Twin Cities in the great indoors. In three hours or so, the 2017 season will draw its final breath.

Super Bowl LII in the Twin Cities. While the other 30 teams will be at home wishing they were preparing to win the Lombardi, the New England Patriots will have a chance to defend their title, while the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their first. A pair of top seeds meet to decide who will win it all.

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 20-10 deficit in the final 15 minutes of play, using a pair of TD passes from Brady to WR Danny Amendola to win the AFC crown by a final of 24-20 over Jacksonville at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The Jaguars led 14-10 at the intermission and could have made it a 14-point game going into the half had they not picked up two penalties that stalled their drive. The Jaguars then took a 17-10 lead into the start of the fourth quarter before Brady and Amendola did their magic, first scoring on a 9-yard pass with 8:44 left and then took the lead with 2:48 when the duo connected on a 4-yard toss with 2:48 left.

Jacksonville then had one last chance to reclaim the lead late in the contest when they got the ball back with 2:48 left at their own 25-yard line. After the two-minute warning, the Jaguars would get as close as New England’s 43-yard line when Blake Bortle’s pass to WR Dede Westbrook was swatted away by Stephon Gilmore. Jacksonville outrushed New England 101-46, with rookie RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 76 yards and a TD, while Bortles threw for 293 yards and a TD, while Brady threw for 290 yards and the two Amendola TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 6 of 15 and kept the ball for 35:08 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down), while New England was 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 24:52.

Philadelphia erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit and scored their 38 points in the NFC Championship Game unchallenged in their 38-7 win over Minnesota at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon. Minnesota opened the scoring and led 7-0 with 10:14 left in the quarter when Case Keenum and WR Kyle Rudolph connected on a 25-yard pass. The Eagles then went to work and tied the contest when Keenum was picked off by CB Patrick Robinson with 6:26 left in the first and things would go downhill from there for Minnesota as the Vikings would go into the intermission, trailing 24-7. Philly would then go on to score two more times in the second half, sealing the Vikings’ fate. Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three TDs, two of them to WR Alshon Jeffery as the Eagles outrushed Minnesota 110-70, while Keenum threw for 271 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Eagles were 10 of 14 on third down tries and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 34:04, while the Vikings were 6 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 25:56.

For New England, it will be their 10th trip to the big game and they’re 5-4, while the Eagles will make their third trip with an 0-2 record under their belts. It will be their first meeting since George Walker Bush was in the White House and John Paul II was on the throne of St. Peter in the Vatican.

The Eagles, led by second-year head coach Doug Pederson, tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002. The Eagles, who completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround, are the first team since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to win its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place and advance to the Super Bowl.

“It’s a tremendous feeling to be going to the Super Bowl,” Pederson told USA Today and ESPN. “I love coaching this football team. I love coaching these players. The thing about this team is that despite all the adversity that surrounds the team, these guys don’t listen to that. I don’t listen to that. They come to work and practice hard every day. They love being around each other. One of our goals was to be the NFC champions and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. And now we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to the Super Bowl and we still have some unfinished business ahead of us.”

Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick and quarterback Tom Brady will be making their eighth Super Bowl appearance together, the most NFL title games for any head coach and starting quarterback duo in league history. Belichick and Brady have won five Super Bowls together, the most by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.

“You cherish these moments and opportunities,” Brady told the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. “I know we’ve had quite a few of them, which we’ve been very blessed to do. It’s just been an unbelievable run and I think everyone should be really proud of what we’ve accomplished. I’m proud of our team. It’s been a great year and it would be really great if we can take care of business in the next game.”

“We have great players and coaches in this locker room and I knew we’d be able to compete for this,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long told ESPN. “We’ve earned this opportunity but that’s all it is. We still have a lot of work to do.”

“We all believe in each other,” says Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “This team is battle tested. We’ve gone through ups and downs. We’ve gone through adversity. You just have to keep playing. When you have a foundation that you can lean on, you don’t panic. You understand and believe in each other and you just give yourself a chance to win.”

In regular season action, the Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting took place in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles wer 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 31-10 in 2003.

Their only post-season meeting took place in 2004 in Super Bowl XXXIX and the Pats came away witt the 24-21 win at what was then Alltel Stadium (now Ever Bank Field). After a scoreless first quarter, the teams took a 7-7 tie with them to the intermission and were tied 14-14 at the end of the third quarter before New England went to work, scoring the first ten points of the period when RB Cory Dillon scored from 2 yards out with 13:44 left in the contest and added a 22-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri with 8:40 left to play. The Eagles would pull to within 3 with 1:48 left when WR Greg Lewis connected with QB Donovan McNabb on a 30 yard TD toss. Dillon led all rushers with 75 yards as the Pats outrushed Phialdelphia 112-45 and McNabb threw for 357 yards and three TDs, while Brady threw for 236 yard and a pair of TDs (McNabb was sacked four times, Brady was sacked twice and McNabb three three interceptions) and each team lost a fumble in the contest. New England on third down tries went 4 of 12 and held on to the ball for 31:37, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 28:23, going 9 of 16 on third down tries.

In the final football game of the 2017 campaign, the oddsmakers in Vegas like the Patriots and the powers that be have made them 5 point favorites with the over/under at 48. Since this is the last game of the season, this is the LAST chance to make THE DRILL a reality until September. With that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Two teams.

One game.

One mission.

It all comes down to this.

Win and you’re World Champions.

Lose and you’ll be second-guessed from now until the start of next season.

Each player on the winning team will get $112,000; as for the losing team, they’ll be getting $56,000 to each member of the losing, which comes out to a little more than $8 million total for the personnel of the two competing clubs. The winners will get rings, be on talk shows and perhaps make a trip to the White House. There’s a lot at stake. There will be winners on the field and winners in the ad battle that will ensue. Could there be overtime? It’s possible. Could there be a shutout? Maybe but there’s never been a shutout in all of the Super Bowls.

While the Pats are the darlings of the football world for now, there’s always a chance for an upset. That chance is coming Sunday in the Twin Cities. Philly pulls off the upset in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and takes the win, even though New England could make things closer than 5 points.

Broadcast Information – 6:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter)WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Mike Holmgren, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England);| XM: 88 (WestW1ood), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England)

Referee: Gene Steratore

Injury Report

New England – New England reports no injuries

Philadelphia – Philadelphia reports no injuries

Weather Information: Game indoors

You might want to tape “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Big Bang Theory” when Fall rolls around.

The National Football League, America’s most popular sports league and home to the most popular programming on television, reached an agreement with FOX Sports, the leader in live sports events, to broadcast the next five seasons of Thursday Night Football beginning with the 2018 season. The announcement was made together by Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner and Peter Rice, President of 21st Century Fox.

“This agreement is the culmination of over 10 years of strategic growth around Thursday Night Football, a period during which this property has grown from a handful of late season games on NFL Network to a full season of games and one of the most popular shows on broadcast television with additional distribution via cable and digital channels,” Goodell told USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. “As one of the leaders in sports television and a recognized innovator of NFL game broadcasts for many years, we’re excited to be extending our partnership with FOX Sports, one of our most trusted and valued partners, to include Thursday Night Football.”

The agreement awards FOX Sports with a five year deal that includes 11 games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on FOX, simulcast via NFL Network, and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. In addition, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games. As home to the Number 1 NFL package for the past 24 seasons, FOX Sports complements its current Sunday NFC package agreement with the addition of Thursday Night Football.

This landmark announcement allows FOX Sports and the NFL to each expand its digital rights, enabling the network to distribute both Thursday Night Football and its Sunday games to FOX subscribers over a wide array of digital platforms including mobile phones for the first time. The agreement also allows the NFL to further develop digital distribution models for Thursday Night Football as well as FOX’s Sunday games.

“Football is in our blood at FOX and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people’s attention,” said Rice. “Our historic relationship with the NFL dates back to the earliest days of FOX and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our deep and enduring partnership to include primetime games on Thursday night.”

The NFL is the most valuable content in all of sports with nine of television’s 10 most-watched programs of the calendar year in 2017. The 2017-18 FOX NFL regular season came to a close with AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK averaging 22,745,000 viewers which ranks as televisions No. 1 show for the ninth straight year. Additionally, FOX NFL KICKOFF at 11 a.m. and FOX NFL SUNDAY at Noon Eastern enter the 2018 season as the No. 1 NFL pregame shows in their respective time slots. The OT, FOX’s postgame show ranks 8th among prime time’s top-20 programs.

Presented by Bud Light, Thursday Night Football is a top-5 show in all of television and the No. 2 show in primetime. In securing the Thursday Night Football package, FOX now has 3 of the 5 most-watched shows in all of television (AGOTW; NFL Sunday singleheader; Thursday Night Football).

The power of an NFL audience is unmatched in television. Live sports programming will be a catalyst in providing a robust promotional platform for FOX’s entertainment programming during the NFL season.

This marks the fifth media rights deal between FOX Sports and the NFL dating back to the landmark agreement struck in December 1993 that essentially solidified FOX as a major broadcast network.

About FOX Sports: FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes and FOX Sports GO. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

About Thursday Night Football: Thursday Night Football started in 2006 with an eight game schedule exclusively on NFL Network. By 2012, Thursday Night Football had grown to a 13-game schedule exclusively on NFL Network, where it remained through the 2013 season. For both the 2014 and 2015 seasons, CBS partnered with NFL Network to present an expanded 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule. For both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, NBC and CBS partnered with NFL Network to present Thursday Night Football with additional digital distribution via Twitter (2016 season) and Amazon Prime Video (2017 season).

The NFL and USAA awarded Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Robets with the 2017 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.

Roberts, whose parents served in the U.S. Army and is widely engaged in military appreciation events with the Falcons, will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally tonight, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at Northrop at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in Roberts’ honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches.

“Andre’s support of the military community is authentic, genuine and greatly appreciated. Having grown up the son of two Army members, he knows the sacrifices military members and their families make,” said Vice Admiral (Retried) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “Giving back to those  who are willing to give all makes Andre a well-deserving recipient of this award.”

Andre Roberts’ passion for the military stems from his childhood, growing up with parents serving in the U.S. Army. Throughout his time in the NFL, Andre has participated in numerous military appreciation activities with his respective teams. In his short time with the Atlanta Falcons, Andre has expressed extreme gratitude to the military with multiple visits to local VA hospitals, spending a day fishing with veterans at ‘Fishing with the Falcons’ and selecting the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) as his organization for My Cause, My Cleats. His coach, Dan Quinn, was the 2016 recipient of the Salute to Service Award.

“True heroism is measured by a person’s willingness to sacrifice themselves for the safety and freedom of others,” said Atlanta Falcons wide receiver and 2017 Salute to Service award recipient Andre Roberts. “The men and women of the U.S. Armed Services are the greatest collection of heroes in our world today. I’m honored to salute their service and I’m forever grateful for the military heritage of my mother and father, both Army veterans, as well as the values of service to country and fellow man I received at the Citadel. May God bless the brave men, women and families of the U.S. military who have sacrificed so much for our great country.”

Andre’s reach goes beyond team-based military community service and well into a deeply diversified off-season travel schedule to military bases across the nation. He volunteers his time to camps offered to youth in grades 1-8 that take place in two three-hour sessions on consecutive days. The camp consists of different stations that include instructional learning and competitive-based games. Andre has also hosted previous camps at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Luke Air Force base in Arizona, Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Fort Lee II in Richmond, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Joint Base in South Carolina, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Yankee Stadium in New York, Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

In October 2017, all 32 NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. The nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year’s award recipient, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Nominees’ credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:
Vice Admiral John Bird (Retired), United States Navy veteran and USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
Rocky Bleier, United States Army veteran and four-time Super Bowl champion
Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy graduate and three-time Super Bowl champion
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons head coach and 2016 Salute to Service Award recipient
Tod Leiweke, NFL Chief Operating Officer
Jim Mora, Sr. – Marine Corps veteran and former NFL head coach
Roger Staubach, Naval Academy graduate, NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award winners. The award is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community.

2016 – Dan Quinn (Head Coach), Atlanta Falcons
2015 – Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 – Jared Allen, Chicago Bears
2013 – John Harbaugh (Head Coach), Baltimore Ravens
2012 – Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
2011 – K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. (Late Owner), Tennessee Titans

The “Salute to Service Award presented by USAA” is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. To read about all 32 nominees, visit

About USAA: The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA) or visit

Building off the tremendous success of the 2016 and 2017 games in Mexico, the NFL will return to Mexico City in 2018 when the Los Angeles Rams host the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell announced at his press conference in Minneapolis in advance of Super Bowl LII.

The date and time of the game will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring. The game in Mexico is the fourth international game confirmed for 2018, adding to the three previously announced games in London and a testament to the NFL’s commitment to growing the game beyond the borders of the United States.

In November, the NFL and Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism announced an agreement to play three NFL regular-season games from 2019 to 2021. The previous agreement covered games from 2016 to 2018.

“Over the past two seasons, we have seen the extraordinary passion that exists for NFL football in Mexico,” Goodell said. “We are excited for another memorable event at Estadio Azteca as the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs head to Mexico City in 2018.”

The Rams and Chiefs will both play their first regular-season game in Mexico next season. The Chiefs played a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys in Monterrey, Mexico on August 5, 1996, earning a 32-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

“Southern California and Mexico share strong historic and cultural ties and this game will provide an opportunity to celebrate the special connection between these two regions,” said Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanely Kroenke. “It is great to be participating in the NFL’s international games again and working with the league to grow the game abroad. Mexico has one of the largest NFL fan bases in the world and we are excited to bring Rams football to the millions of fans there.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the NFL’s international initiatives once again and we are excited to face the Rams at historic Estadio Azteca this fall,” said Kansas C​ity Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt. “The support for the NFL in Mexico has grown significantly since our initial trip in 1996. We look forward to returning to Mexico and connecting with a new generation of fans this season.”

Fans interested in receiving information about tickets for the game, which will go on sale this summer, should register their interest at Season ticket members of the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs will receive information directly from the clubs once tickets are ready for sale.


Aprovechando el tremendo éxito de los juegos 2016 y 2017 en México, la NFL regresará a Ciudad de México en 2018 cuando los Rams de Los Ángeles reciban a los Jefes de Kansas City en el Estadio Azteca, el comisionado de la NFL Rodger Goodell anunció en su conferencia de prensa en Minneapolis por adelantado del Super Bowl LII.

La fecha y hora del juego se determinarán junto con el lanzamiento del calendario de la NFL esta primavera. El juego en México es el cuarto juego internacional confirmado para 2018, que se suma a los tres juegos anunciados previamente en Londres y un testimonio del compromiso de la NFL para hacer crecer el juego más allá de las fronteras de los Estados Unidos.

En noviembre, la NFL y el Ministerio de Turismo de México anunciaron un acuerdo para jugar tres partidos de la temporada regular de la NFL entre 2019 y 2021. El acuerdo anterior cubría los juegos de 2016 a 2018.

“En las últimas dos temporadas, hemos visto la extraordinaria pasión que existe por el fútbol de la NFL en México”, dijo Goodell. “Estamos entusiasmados por otro evento memorable en el Estadio Azteca, ya que los Rams de Los Ángeles y los Jefes de Kansas City se dirigirán a la Ciudad de México en 2018”.

Los Rams y los Chiefs jugarán su primer partido de temporada regular en México la próxima temporada. Los Chiefs jugaron un partido de pretemporada contra los Dallas Cowboys en Monterrey, México el 5 de agosto de 1996, ganando 32-6 a los Dallas Cowboys.

“El sur de California y México comparten fuertes lazos históricos y culturales y este juego brindará la oportunidad de celebrar la conexión especial entre estas dos regiones”, dijo el propietario / presidente de los Rams, E. Stanely Kroenke. “Es genial participar de nuevo en los juegos internacionales de la NFL y trabajar con la liga para hacer crecer el juego en el extranjero. México tiene una de las mayores bases de fanáticos de la NFL en el mundo y estamos muy contentos de llevar el fútbol Rams a los millones de fanáticos allí “.

“Estamos encantados de ser parte de las iniciativas internacionales de la NFL una vez más y estamos entusiasmados de enfrentar a los Rams en el histórico Estadio Azteca este otoño”, dijo el presidente y gerente general de Kansas Ctyy Chiefs, Clark Hunt. “El apoyo a la NFL en México ha crecido significativamente desde nuestro viaje inicial en 1996. Esperamos volver a México y conectarnos con una nueva generación de fanáticos esta temporada”.

Los fanáticos interesados ​​en recibir información sobre boletos para el juego, que saldrá a la venta este verano, deben registrar su interés en Los miembros de los boletos de temporada de Los Angeles Rams y Kansas City Chiefs recibirán información directamente de los clubes una vez que los boletos estén listos para la venta.