Expect the refs to throw a lot of flags during Super Bowl LVII

Carl Cheffers

I don’t watch sporting events for the players or the game. Seeing incredible athletes accomplish phenomenal feats that I wouldn’t dream of doing in a billion years…nope, not for me. Rather, I watch sports because of the officials. To be so close to the action despite having none of the athletic prowess, yet still have a serious impact on the outcome of each game…well that’s a power trip I could really get behind. See, the referees are the true heroes of every sports league’s story. I only wish more attention was given to them each game. I wish they never had to face any accountability for incorrect calls that cost teams, fans, and players their seasons. I’m not the only person who thinks this either.

A few years ago, an entire section of an NHL game between the New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks was filled with fans mimicking the most impactful people on the ice — the referees. They went absolutely berserk for every call. This is the type of respect I believe all officials deserve.

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In case the sarcasm throughout the last two paragraphs didn’t jump off the page at you, I haven’t been too pleased with NFL officiating recently. It feels as though every year, more officials make an effort to stir up drama and ruin a team’s or specific player’s day. Maybe I’m looking too deep into it though. Also, before I get into why I’m not looking forward to the officiating in Super Bowl LVII, I want to make it clear, this isn’t an invitation to disrespect officials at any sporting event. While I do believe there needs to be some sort of accountability at higher levels for atrocious judgments, that’s no reason to make a referee’s life hell. Okay? Glad we can agree on that. Now, without further ado, I can’t stand the guy who’s going to head the officiating crew for the Super Bowl.

Carl Cheffers has called a lot of penalties

Carl Cheffers has been an NFL official since 2000. In that time, he has established himself as one of the league’s most avid flag tossers. Since 2010, Cheffers has only once been below the league average in penalty yards enforced per game (2016). In 2021, games officiated by Cheffers saw penalty yards increase by over 27 compared to the league average. That was the highest mark in the NFL. But he didn’t back down in 2022. Cheffers repeated as the most penalizing ref, although that number did drop from 27 yards over average to just 18. Over the last two years, Cheffers and his crew have called about two more penalties per game than average.

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While these incessant flags haven’t affected the outcome of games — Cheffers only saw home teams win at a .02 percent rate above league average this year — the flags still make the game much less enjoyable for fans. There are absolutely zero people on the planet who love seeing the pace of a game come to a standstill. Whether it’s basketball players fouling their opponents constantly and then pausing for free throws, numerous icing and offsides calls in hockey, or back-to-back-to-back holding penalties in the NFL, slowing the game to a halt sucks, but I guess it should be expected for this upcoming Super Bowl.

It also appears that the officiating has leaned drastically in favor of one specific team. In his last six games officiated — and nine of his last 10 — Cheffers has called at least twice as many penalties on one team than the other. It all started on Nov. 6, 2022, during a game between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks won that game by a final of 31-21. They were penalized six times for 34 yards. The Cardinals were penalized 12 times for 77 yards.

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The next week, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New Orleans Saints 20-10. The Steelers suffered only three penalties. The Saints? Ten. Now, this isn’t to say that the team that faces more penalties is dead in the water. Of those nine instances where one team trudged through twice as many flags, three of those teams wound up winning the game: The New England Patriots in Week 12, the Buffalo Bills in Week 16, and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. In all fairness though, the Bills and Chiefs played the Bears and Texans respectively in those games. It doesn’t matter how many penalties each team racked up in those games, you’d expect them to beat the organizations with the first two picks in the upcoming draft.

Cheffers and the Chiefs

I want to talk about the Chiefs a little bit more though. This season, Cheffers refereed two of Kansas City’s games. The Chiefs were called for 11 and 10 penalties in those games, respectively. This entire season, the Chiefs have suffered 94 penalties. 21 of them came from Cheffers across just two games. The penalty yardage is even worse. On the season, the Chiefs lost 923 yards to these penalties. 201 of those yards came from Cheffers. That’s 21.78 percent of their total penalty yardage coming in just two games. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ opponents in those games suffered only nine penalties for 105 yards. Chiefs’ opponents lost 845 yards this year, meaning only 12.43 percent of all Chiefs’ adversary penalty yards came in those games. It’s still higher than where it should be proportionately (2/17 = 11.76 percent), but it’s much closer than where the Chiefs fall. Oh, and remember that Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers that saw Patrick Mahomes get blown out 31-9? Well, the Chiefs had 11 penalties called against them in that game. The Bucs? Only four. Take a wild guess whether or not Cheffers was on the officiating crew for that game.

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Cheffers and the Eagles

Cheffers did referee one Philadelphia Eagles game this year — their Divisional Round matchup with the New York Giants — but the Birds only suffered four penalties in that game. The Giants suffered eight.

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If you’re a Chiefs fan, this isn’t good news. If you’re an Eagles fan, this is great news. If you’re an NFL fan with no allegiance to either team, this means we’re probably in for a boring championship game. By calling so many penalties, games that Cheffers officiates tend to be very low-scoring.

Cheffers has officiated 12 playoff games since 2010. The under has hit in 11 of those games with the only exception coming in Tom Brady’s miraculous 28-3 comeback during Super Bowl LI. It hasn’t been particularly close either. In those 12 playoff games officiated by Cheffers, the under has hit by an average of almost 13 points.

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It’s not all bad news for Kansas City though. The Eagles are currently favored by 1.5 points, and it seems Cheffers has historically been very kind to underdogs. Since 2019, they’re 42-24-2 against the spread in games officiated by Cheffers. All I’m saying is that if you have an opportunity to parlay the under with the over on penalty yards against the Chiefs…maybe consider it. I know I will.

Hey, Jerry Jones, the Eagles’ and Rams’ Super Bowl formulas are very different

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones is so far into his own head that he’s paralyzed by fear (or the effects of old age). In one of Jones’ many rambling interviews where he talks Dallas football, the Cowboys owner said it’s “pretty impressive” that the L.A. Rams and Philadelphia Eagles have made the Super Bowl after going all in, but he prefers to think “long term.”

Nevermind that Philly is under the cap, has two first-round picks this year, and is primed for success this season and beyond, Jones’ logic was characteristically folksy yet disorienting. So let’s do some story time with Uncle Jerry. (I don’t know what specifically is so off-putting about the term “Uncle Jerry,” and I can’t put my finger on why it’s not politically correct, so I’m going to leave it.)

Jerry Jones according to Jerry Jones

Technically, it’s according to CBS Sports, so let’s give them attribution. Now the full quote.

“Anybody who thinks I won’t take a chance has misread the tea leaves, but I do think longer term, and I’m real hesitant to bet it all for a year. There’s a lot of things that can happen for that year. In essence, we’re seeing a couple of teams [the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles] that have had some real success putting it all out there and paying for it later. Don’t think that doesn’t pop in my head and get my eye as far as doing it, and I know how to do that. It’s part of what you put in that computer and what comes out. We’ll see how it comes, but that’s pretty impressive to have two teams in the last two years empty the bucket and get to the Super Bowl. But if you miss, it’s a long go.

“On the other hand, my general experience has been that if you will stay aggressive, I’m talking whether it’s on the field or off the field, but you pick your shots with risk-taking, and I’ve spent a lot of time in my life doing that. When they cut me open, it will be all those scars, heart attacks, for all those risks I took and the years I spent paying for them. My point is, I do know how to take risks. They are absolutely right. We have been in the middle here for a few years, but I like where we are right now, more in the middle. But given the opportunity, if it would make some sense, I’ve definitely got some risk-taking in me.”

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The All 22 of everything Jerry said

Alright, quick breakdown because there’s a lot going on here, and barely any of it makes sense.

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“Anybody who thinks I won’t take a chance has misread the tea leaves, but I do think longer term, and I’m real hesitant to bet it all for a year.”

Predictable cliche to start, and I would agree that he’s been mostly risk-averse lately. That’s probably why Jason Garrett stayed around five years too many, and why Mike McCarthy got brought on as a full-blown yes-man. (The latter is taking over the playcalling next year, and I couldn’t be more excited.) Still going to need an explanation for those Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott contracts though.

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“There’s a lot of things that can happen for that year. In essence, we’re seeing a couple of teams [the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles] that have had some real success putting it all out there and paying for it later.”

Yes, the Rams have been the standard of immediate gratification since realizing Sean McVay could bring them a title, but the Eagles — and again fuck them — rebuilt as well as possible since the last Super Bowl team crumbled.

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“Don’t think that doesn’t pop in my head and get my eye as far as doing it, and I know how to do that. It’s part of what you put in that computer and what comes out.”

Good lord, Jerry. Phrasing, phrasing, phrasing. Also, it sounds like he’s using the ESPN trade machine to think up deals, which makes a lot of sense.

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“We’ll see how it comes, but that’s pretty impressive to have two teams in the last two years empty the bucket and get to the Super Bowl. But if you miss, it’s a long go.”

You better mortgage Dallas’ future pretty soon because that’s the only way you’re getting back to a Super Bowl much less winning it before Ladera at The Reserve has your retirement suite made up.

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“On the other hand, my general experience has been that if you will stay aggressive, I’m talking whether it’s on the field or off the field, but you pick your shots with risk-taking, and I’ve spent a lot of time in my life doing that.”

OK, that’s just… unintelligible.

“When they cut me open, it will be all those scars, heart attacks, for all those risks I took and the years I spent paying for them.”

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The only thing they’re going to find during your autopsy, if they find anything at all, is a heart resembling that of the Grinch’s. Speaking of paying for things, how long did you pay for attending a pro-segregation rally? A week? Two weeks? People don’t forget.

“My point is, I do know how to take risks. They are absolutely right.”

You covered this. The magical elves in the computer tell you what to do.

“We have been in the middle here for a few years, but I like where we are right now, more in the middle.”

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Ask your fans if they like where the team is. And the fact that you think the middle is a great place to be — for nearly 30 years — is everything that’s wrong with this organization.

“But given the opportunity, if it would make some sense, I’ve definitely got some risk-taking in me.”

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Nothing you said made sense. You sound like Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List. For fuck’s sake. We’re not talking about skydiving, Jerry.

And this has been another edition of storytime with Uncle Jerry. 

A Kelce by any other name is just an offensive lineman

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, left, and his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62), exchange jerseys following an NFL football game

Welcome to Deadspin’s The Sports Nihilist, where all is for naught and we are but accidental jolts of electrified meat stuck to the surface of a rock in an indifferent universe. Fuck you.


What is a sports family if not a contemporary monarchy? One member of a family makes a name for him/herself, and their sons, grandsons, brothers, sisters, daughters, and even nephews are elevated to a higher level of awareness. The Kelce brothers aren’t even sons of Olympic athletes, and I’m good if I never read another Brotherly Love headline for the rest of my life.

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Look, mommy, brothers are playing each other in the Super Bowl

It’s really hard to remove the charisma from Travis and his brother, but every news outlet, sports or otherwise, is making it really difficult to care. It’s not so unbelievable that I need to know their parent’s names, or clap like a happy monkey while reading the ceaseless puff pieces.

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I’m supposed to care about an offensive lineman because he’s related to the best receiving tight end in the NFL? I’m sorry, I thought this was America. We didn’t fight the revolutionary war just to watch hierarchies grow anew.

We need to overthrow the Manning family, or at least force them to skip a generation. Arch, your scholarship is revoked and your playing career is done. Get ready to be a banker or a garbage man because the Mannings’ reign atop ESPN’s newsfeed is over.

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Look at Christian McCaffrey. Did the son of a pro receiver really need to be in the NFL, too? You know who could use the assistance of a man-child? The steelworkers of America or whoever is in charge of digging ditches. I was told that Luke McCaffrey would be Nebraska’s next Heisman quarterback, and he sucks. He’s not even a good college receiver at Rice.

I bet this is how the English felt under King Henry XIII or whatever. This is your new leader, and his only qualification is his last name. Fuck all that.

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Idol worshiping starts with a last name

New rule: If you’re not better than the athlete who made you famous, you have to change your last name. Sorry, Sterling, you have to drop the Sharpe on account of Shannon. Hey, Cole Anthony, your new NBA name is Cole Jones.

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I’m not sure what happens when the son eclipses the father like Steph Curry and Dell. Maybe Dell and Seth have to take their wives’ last names. Wait, that won’t work. Seth is married to Doc Rivers’ daughter, and I don’t think he’s good enough to use that name either.

Perhaps adopting the Brazilian one-name method is a workaround. Pele doesn’t have a last name, and thus we don’t readily know his children.

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From now on, there will be no more nepotism. Guys are going to have to earn it like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. You want glory? Kill a fucking tiger before you bleed out from a knife wound and then bring down the emperor in front of a Colosseum full of people who want to see you gruesomely murdered for sport.

The offspring of pro athletes are born not only with a silver spoon but also with golden genes. (OK, that’s not always the case, but for the sake of this column, it’s gospel.) Bronny James didn’t get all of his dad’s 6-foot-10 frame, yet he’s still tall and athletic enough to get a full ride to the college of his choice.

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End the hegemony. Stop elevating people because of their last names. Am I the only one who remembers Marcus Vick? Haven’t we heard enough from Jackson Mahomes or Andy Reid’s kids? Think first before you roost in the family tree of sports royalty.

A name only matters as much as you want it to, and for the Sports Nihilist, nothing matters.

No love lost between Eagles-Giants

Julian Love discusses Eagles coach Nick Sirianni

Nick Siranni has come a long way from his cringeworthy, double-talk-filled, introductory press conference in 2021. As the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, he has led the team to consecutive playoff appearances. This season they had the best record in the NFC and are playing in the Super Bowl. An accomplishment so impressive even the Empire State Building paid respect to it, at the behest of New York and the Giants’ faithful.

Just because one of the city’s most notable landmarks can’t sustain its distaste for the Eagles, doesn’t mean the rest of the tri-state area will simply follow suit. Giants safety Julian Love made an appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football and made sure to send some shade the Eagles’ way. His target was Sirianni.

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Giants safety Julian Love shades the Eagles

“He’s in for a free ride right now,” Love said on the program. “You guys can coach this team.”

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Clearly Love thinks highly of the roster that eliminated the Giants from the playoffs two weeks ago, but he is not sold on the coach. Siranni spent his entire first season as coach trying to climb himself out of the hole he dug his first day on the job. The Eagles did make the playoffs with a 9-8 record but got drubbed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round.

Love is correct that the Eagles’ front office put together an extremely talented roster in the wake of that defeat. They drafted good players and also made a key draft-day trade to acquire A.J. Brown. The Eagles can dominate both lines of scrimmage, they have a great stable of defensive backs, and their offensive-skill position talent can break for a long touchdown at any moment. Also, Jalen Hurts has played like an MVP candidate this season.

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Brandon Graham fires back

Longtime Eagle Brandon Graham stuck up for his coach on Thursday. His response to the media, when asked about Love’s comments, was, “people always have something to say when they at home.”

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Love and the Giants are at home because the Eagles were the team blowing out their opposition in the playoffs this season. They beat the Giants 38-7 in the Divisional Round.

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Also, as good as they are, the Eagles did more than simply win a lot of games. They started out hot, but then improved after their first loss. Siranni is an offensive-minded coach, and prior to Hurts’ late-season injury, they hung 35-plus points on three consecutive opponents Week 12-14.

It takes a while for a new coaching staff to get their team to seamlessly execute a new offense, and yes the learning curve can be sped up with a loaded roster. However, the most important thing that happened in this back-and-forth is someone from New York showing some backbone.

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Even the Giants’ response to the Empire State Building’s post, “I’m just here for the replies,” was not nearly strong enough. The most important part of a rivalry is an open dislike for your rival. More important even than support for your own team. That’s what keeps a rivalry burning, constant coals of contempt being heaped on the flame.

So maybe Love has a belly full of sour grapes. There is nothing wrong with that. When one of your city’s landmarks applauds your rival, damage control must be pointed out. Being a hater at all times is the only way to keep a rivalry strong.

Don’t expect Dallas to host a Super Bowl any time soon

AT&T Stadium

Jerry Jones championed the construction of Jerry World — AT&T Stadium — to host major sporting events far and wide, not simply for eight or nine Dallas Cowboys home games per year. His building hosted a Super Bowl in 2011 but weather problems in the Metroplex made that one a miserable experience. Now an NBA game between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons, have been affected by weather in that region, which will go further towards making his beautiful facility a less than ideal location for the big game.

The Pistons lost to the Dallas Mavericks 105-111 on Monday, and are still stuck in Dallas. An ice storm has forced thousands of cancellations at both Dallas Fort-Worth and Dallas Love airports, and residents are being advised to stay off of the roads. With it not being safe for the Pistons to travel back home to Detroit, the NBA announced that their Wednesday night matchup against the Washington Wizards will be postponed.

This is not the first time an NBA game has been moved due to weather. A Wizards game was postponed in 2016 due to a winter storm.

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Still, as ugly winter weather can be, it is uncommon for NBA, and even major college basketball, to postpone games due to weather or other water issues. During the legendary 2010 Snowmageddon that dumped up to three feet of snow in the Washington Area, Scottie Reynolds took the subway from the Villanova’s hotel to Georgetown’s home arena. In 1994, pyrotechnics caused fire-fighting water cannons to drench the Alamodome in water. The arena was ready for the game to tip off 50 minutes later.

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Bad weather didn’t force a kickoff delay the night Aaron Rodgers won his only Super Bowl Championship in Arlington, Texas, but that week was a misery for everyone who was in town. Falling ice from the stadium roof injured construction workers. The weather affected events in town, and also customers who paid Super Bowl prices to be in the stadium for the game.

Temporary seats were put in place to sell more tickets for the game. Due to the icy conditions, installation of those seats was put behind schedule. The job wasn’t finished until game day, which didn’t allow the fire marshalls enough time to inspect them. Those seats were deemed unsafe, and 1,250 people had to be relocated. Per an NFL statement, there were 400 people who weren’t able to be reseated and were given a refund at triple-face value.

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A decade later, another ice storm is forcing the postponement of an NBA game 1,000 miles away. That delay of course pales in comparison to what the people of north and central Texas are dealing with at the moment. Hundreds of thousands of homes and other buildings are without power. That can bring back some bad memories of what happened during the Texas power crisis of Feb. 2021 when millions of people lost power during a severe winter storm.

Politics or climate?

Ask Jones why his building hasn’t been awarded a Super Bowl since 2011, and he would blame politics. In Jan. 2022, he said on 105.3 The Fan that new stadiums are being constructed with the promise of receiving a Super Bowl — kind of like how Dallas hosted its first-ever Super Bowl two years after opening its new facility.

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He is correct that Minneapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and New York, all hosted Super Bowls after opening new state of the art stadiums. However, the Super Bowl is in Arizona this year after being there in 2015. The NFL also replayed other hits from the past and went back to Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, and even Houston.

Dallas had its shot to be part of the rotation and it missed badly. With February winter storms again affecting transportation, it’s time to realize that the Metroplex shouldn’t host a worldwide spectacle like the Super Bowl that requires a massive amount of people to travel there during that time of year.

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Plenty of other major events are still out there for Jones’ building to host and keep its elite standing in the public eye.

Tom Brady’s pre-Super Bowl retirement makes things awkward for Fox’s Greg Olsen — but here’s a solution

Former NFL tight end and current color commentator Greg Olsen

The comeback king may finally be done, but Tom Brady’s football obituary should begin with his error of making one comeback too many. The venerable Patriots legend Tampa Bay Buccaneers mercenary-for-hire announced his retirement in a no-frills social media post on Wednesday morning.

Prior to his final season — we hope! — Brady signed a 10-year, $375 million megadeal to become the network’s lead analyst. By leaving the starting spot in Fox’s booth open for a year, he allowed Greg Olsen to cement himself as a broadcasting powerhouse and the timing of his retirement also made things awkward for the former tight end as the fervor for Super Bowl LVII amped up. Suddenly Tom Brady looks like the Drew Bledsoe of color commentary.

Network broadcast A-teams

Serving on the network A-team has been a prestigious honor through the years. John Madden and Pat Summerall set the standard. Olsen and his play-by-play partner in the No. 1 booth, Kevin Burkhardt, replaced former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and Joe Buck after the pair peeled out for bigger money to be the faces of ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

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Olsen’s insights and analysis on Fox’s No. 1 play-by-play team have been a pleasant surprise to viewers and especially to Fox. Super Bowl LVII is his breakthrough moment though. As a veteran tight end in the NFL, Olsen was consistently overlooked. Wide receivers and quarterbacks always stole the limelight from the two-time All-Pro, but as a sportscaster, Olsen was finally the leading man. And he was killing it.

Meanwhile, Tony Romo is getting dragged

Over Championship weekend, Olsen’s CBS counterpart Tony Romo was getting dragged for his wet labrador retriever energy during the riveting Cincinnati Bengals-Kansas City Chiefs game, while the former calmly and professionally supplemented a subpar product over at Fox.

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Olsen knew this day was coming

However, Olsen was always aware of the $375 million meteor heading toward his career Everest. During an appearance this week on ESPN 1000’s “The Waddle and Silvy” radio show, Olsen said it would “suck” if Brady retired, but sounded like he was in good spirits and taking it all in stride.

“We all know the reality,” Olsen said. “I know what I signed up for this year. My goal — and I said this before the season even started — my goal was to try to do the best job that I could. Give people a fun listen. Give people maybe a little bit of a different perspective and insight into the game. Do the best job that I can.”

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Now on the verge of his career apex, Olsen is staring down a demotion. The timing of Brady’s announcement a week and a half before the Super Bowl is a stark departure from his mission to avoid being a distraction before the Big Game. He went in the opposite direction this time around. Is it too late for Brady to pop in and replace Olsen or play an active part in the network’s Super Bowl coverage in some capacity? Possibly in the pre-game show alongside James Brown, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, and Terry Bradshaw? (TMZ reported that Brady is not in the network’s Big Game plans.)

Soon the Fox pregame crew will swallow the earth whole, but at least Brady is familiar with both teams. Brady’s Bucs eliminated Jalen Hurts’ Eagles in the Wild Card round in 2022 and dueled with Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. Olsen’s job is probably safe for two more weeks, but a quarterback controversy is over the horizon. Fox has too much invested in Brady to bench or have him learning the ropes on the B-team. However, there’s also a real possibility his football celebrity doesn’t translate to broadcasting.

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A choice to make

The conventional thinking is that Fox will have to choose between the excellence of the low-key Olsen and the lucrative money they shoveled at Tom Brady — but there is another option. Make the Olsen-Burkhardt duo a trio. It’s been done before successfully. Dick Enberg’s booth with Phil Simms and Paul Maguire is often regarded as one of the great A-teams in broadcasting lore. Maguire eventually formed a new troika with Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann. Before Aikman and Buck were an inseparable pair, they formed a transcendent three-man booth with Cris Collinsworth. It didn’t last long, but their chemistry was undeniable. Brady to a tight end in the booth just feels right. Don’t screw this up, Fox. Do the right thing for yourselves and for the fans.

City of Phoenix’s Super Bowl promo pic goes overboard with Photoshop

Image for article titled City of Phoenix’s Super Bowl promo pic goes overboard with Photoshop

I don’t know why anyone is surprised when a city putting on the Super Bowl goes overboard trying to make sure its streets are clean before hosting thousands of fans and hundreds of media members. There are levels to lengths that they go, and it varies from allegedly euthanizing stray dogs (turns out, that was false), to relocating the unhoused, to getting a little aggressive with Photoshop. So far, Phoenix is only guilty of the last one as the city shared this photo portraying itself as an oasis in the desert.

For the record, I’ve never been to Phoenix, but I have been to Santa Fe and lived near the desert that the Valley of the Sun resides in, and at no point have I seen a city that resembled Wakanda.

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My only other reference point for Arizona’s capital is the opening scene of Sicario where they raid a drug house and find bodies in the walls. While I didn’t see that deep fake on Twitter (golden opportunity missed), the internet predictably had fun with the photo, including Maricopa County.

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That’s nice. It’s good to see those folks have a sense of humor considering the county, in my mind at least, is synonymous with never-ending battles over election results.

Sorry, back to the regularly scheduled aggregation. I’m not going to get mad at somebody getting overzealous and dotting their cityscape with happy trees like a modern-day Bob Ross. It’s basically akin to straightening up the house prior to having company over. As long as there’s not a hitchhiker chained up in the basement, superfluous stuff doesn’t bother me.

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And, hey, what do you want? Some stereotypical picture of cacti and maybe an armadillo? God forbid someone puts a little effort into the promo. 

Details emerge as Philadelphia Eagles’ lineman Josh Sills indicted on rape, kidnapping charges [Updated]

Eagles lineman Josh Sills has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of kidnapping and rape.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Josh Sills, 25, has been indicted on kidnapping and rape charges by an Ohio grand jury less than two weeks before his team is set to play in the Super Bowl, according to reports.

[Update]: According to a Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report obtained by Deadspin, the victim told police that she had known Josh Sills for 7-8 years and went to high school with him. On Dec. 5, 2019, the victim stated Sills dropped her and her cousin off at the cousin’s house. When the cousin got out of the vehicle, Sills grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her back into the truck. The victim alleged that Sills grabbed her by her ponytail and tried to kiss her, though she kept telling him to stop and he continued. Another vehicle pulled up behind the truck the victim and Sills were in, and when Sills saw the lights, he grabbed the victim by the neck and threw her down on the seat, climbing on top of her so no one could see them inside the truck.

The victim further told police that, once the friend in the other car went inside her cousins’s home, Sills tried to take off her pants, unbuttoning them and, “touching me down there.” The victim alleges she kept telling Sills to stop, to leave her alone, and let her go inside. When she was finally able to get Sills off of her, her allegedly grabbed her by the neck and pulled her on top of him when he sat up. According to the victim, Sills said “she was doing this and was not leaving until she did this.” Sills then allegedly took his pants off and shoved her face down on him. The victim told police that, for approximately 20 minutes the male grabbed her by the hair and forced her head up and down until, “he did his thing.” The victim told police she “spit it back on him and asked him to please let her go,” but Sills tried to kiss her again and asked her “Will you talk to me again after his?” When the victim assured Sills she would, he alleged said, “Okay, that’s fine.” The victim said she then got out of the car and ran into the house.

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According to the officer who wrote the incident report, the victim was given a CT scan by a local hospital to check for strangulation injuries, as she stated repeatedly that Sills kept grabbing her by the head and neck. The nurse treating the victim told police that she discovered bruising in the back of the victim’s throat as well as her inner lip and behind her right ear.

Sills has not been convicted of the charges against him. Deadspin reached out to Sills, the Eagles, and the NFL for comment. We will update this story if anyone responds to our inquiries.

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So far, the NFL has not made a statement on Sills’ eligibility for the Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs or whether an NFL investigation into the allegations against Sills is underway or forthcoming. In recent years, the NFL has attempted to combat allegations of domestic abuse and sexual violence by players by educating players about the dynamics of abuse through its heavily-criticized “No More” campaign.

Sills is set to appear in court on Feb. 16, 2023. Sills, an undrafted free agent, only appeared in one game for the Eagles this season.

Details emerge as Philadelphia Eagles’ lineman Josh Sills indicted on rape, kidnapping charges [Updated]

Eagles lineman Josh Sills has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of kidnapping and rape.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Josh Sills, 25, has been indicted on kidnapping and rape charges by an Ohio grand jury less than two weeks before his team is set to play in the Super Bowl, according to reports.

[Update]: According to a Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report obtained by Deadspin, the victim told police that she had known Josh Sills for 7-8 years and went to high school with him. On Dec. 5, 2019, the victim stated Sills dropped her and her cousin off at the cousin’s house. When the cousin got out of the vehicle, Sills grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her back into the truck. The victim alleged that Sills grabbed her by her ponytail and tried to kiss her, though she kept telling him to stop and he continued. Another vehicle pulled up behind the truck the victim and Sills were in, and when Sills saw the lights, he grabbed the victim by the neck and threw her down on the seat, climbing on top of her so no one could see them inside the truck.

The victim further told police that, once the friend in the other car went inside her cousins’s home, Sills tried to take off her pants, unbuttoning them and, “touching me down there.” The victim alleges she kept telling Sills to stop, to leave her alone, and let her go inside. When she was finally able to get Sills off of her, her allegedly grabbed her by the neck and pulled her on top of him when he sat up. According to the victim, Sills said “she was doing this and was not leaving until she did this.” Sills then allegedly took his pants off and shoved her face down on him. The victim told police that, for approximately 20 minutes the male grabbed her by the hair and forced her head up and down until, “he did his thing.” The victim told police she “spit it back on him and asked him to please let her go,” but Sills tried to kiss her again and asked her “Will you talk to me again after his?” When the victim assured Sills she would, he alleged said, “Okay, that’s fine.” The victim said she then got out of the car and ran into the house.

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According to the officer who wrote the incident report, the victim was given a CT scan by a local hospital to check for strangulation injuries, as she stated repeatedly that Sills kept grabbing her by the head and neck. The nurse treating the victim told police that she discovered bruising in the back of the victim’s throat as well as her inner lip and behind her right ear.

Sills has not been convicted of the charges against him. Deadspin reached out to Sills, the Eagles, and the NFL for comment. We will update this story if anyone responds to our inquiries.

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So far, the NFL has not made a statement on Sills’ eligibility for the Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs or whether an NFL investigation into the allegations against Sills is underway or forthcoming. In recent years, the NFL has attempted to combat allegations of domestic abuse and sexual violence by players by educating players about the dynamics of abuse through its heavily-criticized “No More” campaign.

Sills is set to appear in court on Feb. 16, 2023. Sills, an undrafted free agent, only appeared in one game for the Eagles this season.

How long until Tom Brady unretires again?

Image for article titled How long until Tom Brady unretires again?

No team with a shot to win the Super Bowl next season wanted a quarterback who’ll be 46 when he plays his next NFL game. That’s gotta be why Tom Brady is retiring. After a prolific 20-year career with the Patriots and a three-year run with the Buccaneers, Brady said in a video on social media Wednesday morning that he’s retiring “for good” because last year’s hanging up of the cleats lasted less than six weeks.

Brady had a truly disappointing season to end his career, looking like an average NFL quarterback for most of 2022. That happened a year after a phenomenal season where Tampa Bay lost in the NFC Divisional Round to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams. The Buccaneers squeaked into the playoffs this season in the worst division in football at 8-9 and fell in the Wild Card Round to Dallas. Brady’s 2022 was whacko, from rumored appearances on The Masked Singer and a high-profile divorce from ex-wife Gisele Bündchen.

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On to Fox Sports?

Brady’s next stop is likely Fox Sports, who signed him to a 10-year, $375-million contract before he retired to be an on-air analyst. Likely landing spots for Brady, beyond the golf course, were thought to be the Raiders now that Derek Carr is officially moving on, or possibly Brady’s local team, the 49ers, who just lost in the NFC Championship Game for a second straight season and were likely the 45-year-old’s only option for a winning team wanting to acquire his services. Let’s check back in six weeks to see if Brady interrupts Selection Sunday again to say he’ll play in the NFL for one more year.

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