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Super Bowl ad creator wins $1 million bonus

02.07.11 at 1:08 pm ET
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The man who designed the Doritos “pug attack” ad won a $1 million bonus and a contract to create an ad for next year’s game for having the highest-rated commercial on USA Today’s Super Bowl ad meter.

J.R. Burningham, a freelance editor and web designer, entered the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest. He was given $25,000 for having his ad selected, although he still wasn’t sure if it would make it to TV, as only three of the five finalists had their videos aired.

Burningham was invited to the game and watched the commercial from the sponsor’s booth. “We didn’t actually know that the commercial would play,” he told CNBC’s Darren Rovell. “The moment it did, we went crazy. … We saw the first frame and that was it. I don’t remember anything after that.”

The Utah native said he made the commercial for just $500. “We rented a camera and a couple of lenses and food for the crew,” he said. “Everybody worked for free.”

Read More: J.R. Burningham, Rumor Mill, Super Bowl commercial,

Super Bowl TV ratings set record

02.07.11 at 12:35 pm ET
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The Packers‘ victory over the Steelers on Sunday night surpassed last year’s record-setting Super Bowl in the Nielsen Co.’s preliminary ratings measurement of big cities, according to The Associated Press.

Last year’s matchup between the Saints and Colts became the most-watched television program in U.S. history 106.5 million viewers.

Nielsen didn’t immediately have a viewership estimate for this year’s game, but an overnight measurement of the nation’s 56 largest media markets showed a 3 percent increase over last year.

The game also had a 71 share, meaning 71 percent of televisions being watched during that time slot were on the Super Bowl. That’s the highest for the big game since 1982.

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Report: Titans expected to name Mike Munchak coach

02.07.11 at 12:32 pm ET
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The Titans are expected to name Mike Munchak their next coach, possibly as early as Monday, according to The Tennessean.

Munchak has been the Titans’ offensive line coach for the past 14 years. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001 for his 12-year career as an offensive lineman with the Oilers.

The Titans also interviewed offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell during their search for Jeff Fisher‘s replacement.

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Mike Munchak, Rumor Mill,

Report: Jets to use franchise tag on linebacker David Harris

02.07.11 at 11:25 am ET
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The Jets have 17 free agents and only one franchise tag. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they’ve decided to use it on linebacker David Harris.

Harris had 99 tackles and three sacks this season and was voted team MVP by his teammates. He is the last of the team’s “Core Four” players to not get a new contract. Cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold and offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson all got new deals before the season.

The players’ union plans to battle the use of the franchise tag in labor negotiations, but Jeff Pash, the league’s lead negotiator, said last week that he expects the franchise tag to continue to operate in the same way it has.

Other notable free agents for the Jets include wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Read More: braylon edwards, David Harris, Rumor Mill, Santonio Holmes

Cardinals reportedly talk with Larry Fitzgerald about quarterback possibilities

02.07.11 at 11:25 am ET
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With Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald entering the final year of his contract, the Cardinals know they have to keep their star happy if they hope to re-sign him. That road to happiness starts with finding a quarterback.

The team has asked Fitzgerald for his opinion on which quarterback the team should trade for or sign, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter reports that Fitzgerald’s first recommendation was to trade for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb. He also mentioned Ravens backup Marc Bulger, who will be a free agent this offseason.

Read More: Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Marc Bulger, Rumor Mill

Report: Jon Bon Jovi in talks to buy part of Falcons

02.07.11 at 10:21 am ET
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Rock star Jon Bon Jovi has been in negotiations with Falcons owner Arthur Blank to purchase 15 percent of the franchise for $150 million, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Blank acknowledged the talks Sunday, but he said they were unlikely to produce a partnership with Bon Jovi and that he did not think they were newsworthy.

Bon Jovi has previous experience as the owner of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul from 2004-09.

Read More: Arthur Blank, Jon Bon Jovi, Rumor Mill,

Rumor of Jon Gruden to Eagles ‘ridiculous’

02.07.11 at 10:19 am ET
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Sunday night, a wild rumor surfaced claiming that Jon Gruden was going to replace Andy Reid as Eagles coach as early as Tuesday.

Monday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter shot it down, tweeting, Was told last night by 3 separate people, “ridiculous,” “impossible,” “no.”

Reid is still under contract with the Eagles and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Andy Reid, Jon Gruden, Rumor Mill

Saints say Sean Payton is not going anywhere

02.07.11 at 9:39 am ET
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The Saints released a statement Sunday night addressing rumors that coach Sean Payton was set to leave the team to take a position with the Cowboys.

“Sean Payton is the coach of the New Orleans Saints,” team spokesman Greg Bensel said in the statement. “He will not be going to the Dallas Cowboys in any capacity.”

Although the rumors were never reported by any major media outlets, they gained enough momentum on Facebook, Twitter and online message boards to force the Saints to respond, according to

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Report: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees attend negotiating session

02.07.11 at 9:38 am ET
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During the 1987 NFL players strike, several star quarterbacks weakened the players’ union by breaking ranks and signing licensing deals with the league. This year, it looks like the union is getting plenty of support from the league’s top stars.

Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were among several players who attended a negotiating session between the league and the union Sunday, according to Sources told the site that “their presence was considered symbolic, at the very least.” Tom Brady has also been an outspoken representative of the union.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the two-hour meeting “beneficial” and said, “It’s always a positive when both sides are talking.”

Read More: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Roger Goodell, Rumor Mill

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Super Bowl snafus include seating issue, anthem flub

02.07.11 at 7:43 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Celtics at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)


‘™¦ This Super Bowl hardly went off without a hitch. The biggest blunder Sunday was the failure of workers to complete 1,250 temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium that had been sold for $800 apiece. The NFL re-seated most of the affected individuals (taking seats away from Cowboys staff and families), offered three times the price as a refund, and put the remaining people in standing room areas where they had to watch a video screen. At FanHouse, David Whitley writes that the game was doomed by the Curse of Jerry, referring to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose quest to set a Super Bowl attendance record was thwarted by the seating issue. At The New York Times, media critic Richard Sandomir looks at the failure of Fox to report on the ticket problem.

‘™¦ Las Vegas sports books also had a rough day Sunday, as bettors were the big winners despite all efforts by the bookies to catch up.

‘™¦ Christina Aguilera messed up a line in the national anthem (video below), and later said she loved her country and hoped that “the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”

‘™¦ One of the four men featured in a Visa credit card commercial for having attended every Super Bowl had his streak ended Sunday. Robert Cook of Brown Deer, Wis., was hospitalized over the weekend. The 79-year-old Cook was depressed about missing the game, his wife said. His two daughters went in his place.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 7, 1999, which Patriot was named co-MVP of the Pro Bowl after helping the AFC to a 23-10 victory?

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Read More: Christina Aguilera, Jerry Jones, Robert Cook,