|Top Stories of 2012, No. 3: Tom Brady puts together MVP-caliber season||12.31.12 at 7:44 am ET|
Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 3: Tom Brady’s MVP-caliber season.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
No. 5: Celtics’ Eastern Conference finals loss to Heat
No. 4: Red Sox’ megatrade with Dodgers
Only four players in NFL history have won at least three MVP awards. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who on Sunday wrapped up a terrific regular season, has a chance to join that group.
Brady threw for 4,827 yards and 34 touchdowns this season while only being intercepted eight times. He led the Patriots to a 12-4 record and the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs.
In a 42-14 victory over the Texans on Dec. 10, Brady was hearing “MVP” chants from the Gillette Stadium crowd, and in his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan the next day he acknowledged it.
“I heard it. I’m very flattered to even be considered for something like that,” Brady said. “Honestly, the most important thing for me is winning games and enjoying it with my teammates. Everything that I do is dependent on them, on the group of guys that I play with, and the successful years we’ve had with our team has been all about team football. That’s what our team has been built on, and that’s what our team is about.”
Other top candidates for MVP include Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Peterson led the NFL in rushing yards (2,096 — just nine short of the NFL single-season record) and led the Vikings to a 10-6 record and their first playoff berth since 2009. Manning, who already has four MVPs, returned from a year off to pass for 37 touchdowns and lead the Broncos to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankee claims home fans’ booing ‘spooked’ team||10.19.12 at 7:57 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Giants at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-AM)
College football: UConn at Syracuse, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: 76ers at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Warriors at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA finals: Lynx at Fever, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Yankees were swept out of the postseason Thursday night in Detroit, but the beginning of the end came days earlier in the Bronx. An unidentified Yankees player told the New York Daily News that the team was stunned by the way New York fans turned on the offensively inept team last weekend, and the players were unable to regain their composure.
“I really think the booing spooked a lot of guys,” the player said. “A lot of guys hadn’t been booed before, and they couldn’t believe how nasty it got in the stands.
Outfielder Nick Swisher referenced the behavior after Game 2, but now we’ve learned that other players shared his view.
“A lot of guys were talking about it in the clubhouse,” the player said. “I was surprised by how much it bothered them. I really don’t think they ever recovered.”
Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez, who went 0-for-2 in Game 4 to finish his postseason at 3-for-25 (.120) with 12 strikeouts and no RBIs, continues to insist publicly that he wants to remain with the Yanks.
“I’ve never thought about going to another team,” he said. “My focus is to stay here. Let’s make that very, very clear. No. 2, I don’t expect to be mediocre. I expect to do what I’ve done for a long time.”
♦ An eighth-grader in Littleton, Colo., is finding his life is a little different since Peyton Manning joined the Broncos. That’s because the kid’s name also is Peyton Manning.
“People don’t believe me sometimes. They think I’m trying to impersonate,” said the 14-year-old, who was born three days before the quarterback made his NFL debut with the Colts in 1998. “Facebook won’t let me do Manning at all, no matter how many times I try.”
The young Manning does not play football, but he is the captain for his youth hockey team.
♦ The county coroner in Easton, Pa., determined that Eagles coach Andy Reid‘s son, Garrett, died of an accidental heroin overdose. Garrett Reid was found dead in his Lehigh University dorm room at Eagles preseason camp on Aug. 5. Investigators revealed that they found a used syringe and spoon in the room along with a gym bag filled with dozens of syringes and needles, many unopened. The 29-year-old, a recovering drug addict, apparently had a relapse.
“These results sadly confirmed what we had expected all along,” the Reid family said in a statement. “We understood that Garrett’s long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult. He will, however, always have our family’s love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it. In the end, we take comfort in our faith and know that he’s in a better place.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 19, 2004, in Game 6 of the ALCS, Curt Schilling and the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 4-2, in the “bloody sock” game at Yankee Stadium. The game also featured Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of the glove of which Sox pitcher who went to tag him out, causing panic in Sox Nation until the umpires conferred and ruled A-Rod out for interference?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos players visit Colorado shooting survivors||07.23.12 at 7:51 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ New Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning called some of the victims of last week’s movie theater shooting in suburban Denver, and a few other Broncos visited survivors in the hospital Sunday.
“What we were trying to do was go in there, show support and try to put a smile on these people’s faces. But the thing is, they put a smile on our faces,” linebacker Joe Mays said. “They had such positive attitudes. They knew they were blessed to live and they knew they were going to have another chance to walk about with their families.”
Defensive end Ben Garland, one of the Broncos who visited patients, tweeted over the weekend that he could have been a victim himself, as had been planning to attend the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century 16 theater in Aurora “but changed my mind.”
♦ Lions cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested for the second time this offseason and charged with simple assault early Saturday morning after an incident in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pa. Berry also was arrested in Harrisburg a month ago on suspicion of DUI and other counts.
This brings the arrest total for NFL players this offseason to 29. The Lions have been one of the busier teams, with Berry joining defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Mikel Leshoure as having been arrested twice in 2012.
“We are extremely disappointed by the reports involving Aaron Berry,” the team said in a statement. “We are currently gathering more information and will have further comment when appropriate.”
♦ A marathon runner who fled his home country of South Sudan was granted entry into the Olympics as an independent athlete. Guor Marial, who attended high school in Concord, N.H., refused to run under the flag of the Sudan, as he says its security forces killed 28 members of family. South Sudan, a new country, doesn’t have a national organizing committee for the Olympics.
Marial, who ran for Iowa State and lives in Arizona but is not a U.S. citizen, has run an Olympic-qualifying time but is not expected to challenge for a medal.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 23, 2002, which Red Sox player hit three two-run home runs in a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays and tied a major league record with five home runs in two games?
|Tom Brady has staring contest with strangers, acts creepy in candy promotion||07.10.12 at 1:51 pm ET|
Tom Brady may never Peyton Manning when it comes to advertisements, but he’s putting together quite the highlight reel this offseason. After he made headlines with his Under Armour spot on Funny or Die, the Patriots quarterback did some interesting and creepy promotional stuff for Unreal Candy. Check it out below.
|Colts close to signing Andrew Luck according to owner Jim Irsay||06.03.12 at 12:46 pm ET|
The Colts are close to signing quarterback Andrew Luck after snagging him with the NFL draft’s first overall pick, Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
On Saturday Irsay tweeted, Talks with A Luck’s agent,Will Wilson(the brother of Andrew’s mother) have been productive. Team Counsel Dan Emerson n Will r getting close!
According to Scout.com, Luck is looking at a potential four-year contract worth $24 million, a signing bonus of around $16 million with a fifth year option.
|After taking his job, Peyton Manning takes Tim Tebow’s top spot in jersey sales||05.30.12 at 4:57 pm ET|
As if taking over Tim Tebow’s job as Broncos quarterback wasn’t enough, Peyton Manning also has stolen Tebow’s top spot for the best-selling NFL jersey.
According to NFLShop.com sales figures released Tuesday, Manning’s Broncos jersey has sold more than any other between April 1 and May 28. Tebow’s Jets jersey ranks second. Rookies Robert Griffin III of the Redskins and Andrew Luck of the Colts round out the top four.
The Washington Post, however, points out that rookie jerseys did not go on sale until April 26. According to the Post, Griffin owns the NFL’s top selling jersey in May, with Luck close behind.
Either way, the numbers are a confirmation that the NFL is indeed a quarterback-driven league, as QBs made up eight of the top 10 most popular jerseys over the full two-month period. Niners linebacker Patrick Willis (7) and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (10) were the only non-quarterbacks to make the list.
The full list, according to NFLShop.com:
1. Peyton Manning
2. Tim Tebow
3. Robert Griffin III
4. Andrew Luck
5. Eli Manning
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Patrick Willis
8. Tom Brady
9. Cam Newton
10. Troy Polamalu
|Colts GM: Team to work out Andrew Luck||03.26.12 at 4:09 pm ET|
Just a week removed from seeing the face of the franchise for the last 14 years, Peyton Manning, join the Broncos to much fanfare, the Colts are prepared to take a look at what many presume to be the team’s quarterback of the future.
New Colts general manager Ryan Grigson informed reporters in a conference call Monday that the team is planning on bringing in Andrew Luck for a workout sometime in the next few weeks.
While Luck will be making the trip to Indianapolis, one player who will not be doing so is Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Grigson said that team officials did travel to see Griffin work out at Baylor’s pro day but were not able to schedule an individual workout.
Luck, the former Stanford quarterback, is widely presumed to be the Colts’ selection as the first pick in the draft, with Griffin expected to be taken right behind him with the second pick. With Manning sidelined by a series of neck surgeries, the Colts finished 2-14 last season. The team released Manning on March 7.
In his senior season with the Cardinal, Luck completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading his team to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
|Report: Jets intensify interest in Tim Tebow||03.21.12 at 12:41 pm ET|
Since he took over as Jets coach in 2009, Rex Ryan has made his team a constant point of discussion in the NFL, both for his personality and a colorful, outspoken cast of characters he has assembled to play for him.
According to multiple reports, Tim Tebow could be added to that list as the Jets, among other teams, have discussed a trade either internally or with the Broncos to acquire Tebow. Other teams that reportedly have expressed interest in Tebow include the Jaguars, Packers and Dolphins.
ESPN credits a course as saying that the Jets, who were once thought to be a longshot for Tebow, have shown an intensified interest in acquiring the 24-year-old quarterback. The team is said to be intrigued by what Tebow could do in the wildcat offense, especially since new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano helped successfully implement the wildcat while he was the Dolphins coach.
In the ESPN report, there is concern that Tebow could create a distraction for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who recently signed a three-year contract extension.
“I don’t know how he’d handle it,” an undisclosed source told ESPN about Sanchez. “That would be interesting.”
Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reported that the Jaguars have had internal discussions about trading for Tebow but have not reached out to the Broncos. A move to Jacksonville would be a homecoming of sorts for Tebow, who grew up in the area and went on to play college football at Florida, where he won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy.
A tweet from CBS Sports NFL insider Mike Freeman said that the Jets and Jaguars look like the finalists to land Tebow, with a third, unidentified team in the mix, much like it was with Peyton Manning.
The ESPN report said that Denver is determined to trade Tebow and that a trade could be completed by the end of the week, if not sooner.
|Dwyane Wade, LeBron James recruit Peyton Manning||03.08.12 at 12:25 pm ET|
The Manning to Miami movement gained more support Thursday when two of the Miami Heat’s star players voiced their desire for Peyton Manning to take his talents to South Beach.
Heat star LeBron James knows about moving south from the Midwest in a spotlight, as he left the Cavaliers after the 2010 season and announced he would sign with the Heat in a live ESPN special, The Decision. James now wants Manning to do the same, as he told the media after Wednesday night’s win over the Hawks that Manning would fill a void for the Dolphins.
“I’m just sayin’,” James said. “Dolphins need a quarterback, and Peyton’s available. … I gave my pitch, my one and only pitch. We’ll see what happens. … I want Miami sports to be great: The U, the Dolphins, the Marlins, the Heat, of course.”
James’s teammate, Dwyane Wade, was also on board with the idea. On Wednesday night, Wade (@dwyanewade) tweeted: I’m just gonna put it out thr..peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let’s go.. marlins & heat style..All in.
Wade proceeded to reply to tweets suggesting other cities for Manning such as Baltimore and New York with a definitive: that’s OUT. An Illinois native, Wade responded to a tweet wondering about Chicago as a destination for Manning by saying he likes Jay Cutler as a quarterback and that the Bears have other problems.
James, Wade and the rest of the Dolphins fans may get a response from Manning soon. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Manning will make a decision on where he plans to play within a week. Schefter also reported Manning prefers to stay in the AFC, and one of the 12 teams to reach out to Manning was the Dolphins.
|Peyton Manning earns long list of potential suitors among teams, fans, mattress companies||at 9:34 am ET|
In his first day as a free agent, newly unaffiliated Peyton Manning is, not surprisingly, the most popular free agent on the block. According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, 12 of the 32 NFL teams have already contacted Manning’s representatives about his interest in their team. Manning will be able to negotiate and sign with teams starting once he clears waivers on Thursday.
Manning, who will turn 36 on March 24, has not played a down of football in over a year, as a neck injury required three surgeries and a cervical fusion of two of his vertebra. He has yet to throw a pass publicly since the procedures, although his doctor publicly cleared him to resume his NFL career.
Some of Manning’s reported suitors include the Seahawks, Cardinals, Chiefs and, unfortunately for Tim Tebow fans, the Broncos.
Another rumored Manning destination is Miami, who is in need of an experienced starting quarterback after parting ways with former quarterback Chad Henne. Manning increased the rumors about Miami as a possible destination when he flew to south Florida after his news conference with the Colts, as he has a home in the area.
One of Manning’s long-time targets with the Colts, former University of Miami Hurricane Reggie Wayne, is also a free agent and has been eying Miami as a possible destination. When asked on Miami’s WQAM radio about the possibility of teaming up with Manning and Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Wayne was quite enthusiastic.
“It can truly be dangerous, if they put us all together,” Wayne said. “The league might not want that. They might not want that. They might not want to see that. South Florida is already hot out here, baby, so you put us all together, it’ll be burning up.”
Wayne’s comments would please the Miami fans who started a formal campaign to bring Manning to Miami. The group created a website, blog and online store to attempt to convince the Dolphins and Manning to join forces in South Beach. The group even put up a billboard with a digitally altered photo of Manning in a Dolphins jersey to raise support for their campaign.
A mattress shop in Arizona also took out a billboard in an attempt to persuade Manning to come to their city. The red-and-white billboard reads “Peyton Manning please sleep here!” with the company’s logo on the bottom. There is also a Twitter account (@PEYTON2AZ) and a webpage (Peyton2AZ.com) encouraging Manning to join the Cardinals.
For his part, Manning is still attempting to move on from Indianapolis before seriously looking into other options.
“I literally have not had one conversation with anyone about these teams,” Manning said in the ESPN article. “It’s been so hard for me trying to figure out some closure with my situation with the Colts. I haven’t thought about teams, and I don’t know who is interested. I really don’t.”
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