FMIA Super Bowl LVII: The “Corn Dog” That Won It All For Kansas City

GLENDALE, Ariz.—For 47 minutes Sunday night in Super Bowl LVII, Kansas City never led. Their quarterback re-sprained his right ankle just before halftime, and the Eagles led by 10 as Rihanna sung to the world, and though the momentum began to change in the third quarter, everything was a chore for the men of Andy Reid.

Then, with the ball at the Eagles’ five-yard line early in the fourth quarter, on third-and-three, Reid looked at his play sheet and called a play he loved.

“Corn Dog,” Reid said.

Seriously. That’s what the play was called.

Corn Dog, with the formation on one side of the play call, and a run portion (if Patrick Mahomes chose to hand it off) on the other side.

The first Reid-Mahomes Super Bowl title, three years ago this month, produced 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp, the long fourth-quarter pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill that gave the team life in the comeback win over the Niners.

Now, Philadelphia led 27-21 and the most important play of the game was facing Reid and his offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy. A field goal wasn’t good enough here, because KC had already allowed four scoring drives of 60 yards or longer to stoic superstar Jalen Hurts, who played one of the best games of his life in the biggest game of his life. To keep up with Hurts, Mahomes needed touchdowns.

That’s where this weird, very Reid-like formation and stilted motion came into play. Two wide receivers split wide, JuJu Smith-Schuster to the left, Kadarius Toney to the right. Two tight ends sat in the slot, Noah Gray left, Travis Kelce right. Mahomes had all the power in his hands, and Reid trusted him to use it: It was more likely a run call, but depending on how Eagles cornerback Darius Slay played Toney, Mahomes could check to a pass. Reid was pretty sure the check would come, but the reason he loved this play was he knew Mahomes would make the right call. He knew his quarterback wouldn’t be greedy. He’d choose the right variation of the Corn Dog, a smart play given the quirky name by his coaches.

“How many times have you run this play this year?” I asked Reid an hour after the game in his office inside the cigar bar that was the Kansas City locker room.

“Um,” said Reid, “that’s the second time we’ve run it.”

And that wouldn’t be it for a variation of the Corn Dog. The concept actually would win this Super Bowl for Kansas City. In a surprise (if you turned the game off at halftime), Kansas City rallied to beat Philadelphia 38-35 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever.

One day, when the coaching book on Andy Reid is written, there will be chapters about why players like playing for him, and why coaches like sitting in his office suite next to Arrowhead Stadium thinking up new ideas to confound smart defenses—the way they did last week when preparing for an excellent Philadelphia defense. “It is so much fun playing for the man,” Smith-Schuster said Sunday night.

I still didn’t understand one thing: Why name the play Corn Dog?

“Well,” said Bieniemy, “we like to eat.”


In Reid’s office at State Farm Stadium Sunday night was his longtime agent, Bob Lamonte, and his grandson, Maverick. “My good luck guy,” Reid said with pride, nodding to the boy. Maverick, son of Britt Reid, who is imprisoned for an accident that badly injured a young girl in 2020, has been with Andy Reid for the team’s playoff run. The coach seems to enjoy having Maverick by his side.

Reid, who turns 65 next month, was peppered with questions about his future during the week. Jay Glazer reported Sunday on FOX that Reid would have a decision to make about his future after the game. So, post-Corn Dog, I asked him about it.

“Are you gonna retire?” I said.

“I’m not,” Reid said.

“You’re gonna coach again?”

“That’s what I plan on doing. Yeah, God help me.”

This was an emotional game for Reid, because in the last quarter-century, he has fixed both franchises. He coached the Eagles for 14 seasons, laying the groundwork for their long-term respectability and coaching/teaching current GM Howie Roseman. Reid took about 10 minutes off from football before taking the job coaching Kansas City in 2013. What a run he’s had: Reid’s the only coach in NFL history to have more than 100 wins with two different franchises. He’s taken Kansas City to three Super Bowls in the last four seasons, winning two. Reid’s 269th career win—regular- and post-season—here puts him one win behind Tom Landry for fourth place on the all-time list.

But this was also a rollicking and significant win for his quarterback. Think of his three playoff games this season: suffers a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville, grouses at Reid for taking him out to have the ankle examined in a 27-20 win; survives against Cincinnati in the AFC title game 23-20, gritting through the ankle issues; leads his team back from 10 points down (for the second time) to win the Super Bowl after re-injuring the ankle. For the post-season, playing with a bum ankle for 85 percent of the snaps, Mahomes completed 72 percent of his throws with a rating of 114.7.

There’s another guy who had a bunch of narrow playoff and Super Bowl wins in his early NFL life: Tom Brady. Let’s compare the two men when they were 27. That’s how old Mahomes is now.

Brady at 27: 57-14 overall record, three Super Bowl wins, 11-to-3 post-season TD-to-Interception ratio.

Mahomes at 27: 75-19 overall record, two Super Bowl wins, 35-to-7 post-season TD-Pick ratio.

Not so different, is it?

This post-season stamped Mahomes as a player with great talent and a Brady ethos. When middle linebacker T.J. Edwards tackled Mahomes on his last snap of the first half, Edwards rolled Mahomes’ injured right ankle. This game looked very dark for Kansas City. The pain on Mahomes’ face made every fan of the team and the quarterback feel like vomiting.

“I knew it wasn’t good,” Mahomes told me.

But when we spoke 90 minutes after the game, it was apparent Mahomes knew something else.

“Whatever it was, I wasn’t coming out of the game,” he said. “This is the Super Bowl. You think I’m coming out of this game? We got all off-season to get well. We had only two quarters left to play, and we had to find a way to win.”

At halftime, down 10, Reid told his team, “Ten points. Ten points isn’t a lot. We’re just off a tick.” And Reid said the halftime’s so long, it allowed his team to calm down—but not before Mahomes and Travis Kelce lit into the group.

Mahomes said he thought his team was playing tight. “We weren’t playing with our normal joy,” he said. “I said you can’t let the moment overtake you.”

There was 48 minutes of real time between snaps for Mahomes, with the long halftime. Mahomes and the offense came out sharp, driving 10 plays for 75 yards on the opening drive of the second half. Now it was 24-21. After the Eagles chewed up almost eight minutes on the next drive, now came the key drive of the game.

Kansas City churned down the field to the Eagles’ five-yard line. Third down. Twelve minutes left in Super Bowl LVII.

This is what Reid and his coaches and Mahomes thought with two receivers split right and two tight ends in the respective slots: We’ll send Toney in motion from right to left—then, suddenly, he’ll stop and turn back around quickly to go to his wide-right position. The coaches thought the cornerback on Toney, Darius Slay in this case, would follow Toney and never think Toney would cut the motion short and sprint back to his original spot.

They were right. It was easy to see Slay never thought Toney would turn around. Who does that?

Slay followed Toney, never adjusting when Toney turned around. The resulting corner route by Toney gave him an almost-unheard-of 11.2 yards of separation from the nearest defender. In a game this big, that’s an incredible gaffe by the Eagles. “We knew they’d pass off the motion guy, Kadarius,” Mahomes said. Well, fine. But who was going to pick him up on the way back? No one.

“We work hard every day to know the (defensive) personnel,” Toney said, “to know exactly how they’re going to play us. We try to go out there and exploit it.”

But one more thing: Mahomes’ first read was the run to Jerick McKinnon. The play design called for him to switch to pass if the corner kept running across the formation instead of returning to play Toney. When that happened, Mahomes changed to a pass. Maybe the simplest TD throw of his career. “Good play against man coverage,” Reid said. “We had it ranked high (on the play sheet).”

Kansas City 28, Philly 27. Eagles go three-and-out. Then Eagles punter Arryn Siposs clanked a wounded duck of a punt (“He just gave us an ugly punt,” Toney the returner said), and the former Giant returned it 65 yards, to the five-yard line. Again with a huge third down from inside the Eagles’ 10-, Reid chose a similar play to Corn Dog with Skyy Moore on the left side instead of right. Moore jet-motioned from the left inside, then turned quickly and sprinted back.

Incredible. Eagles got fooled again. Another wide-open touchdown. I thought at that moment: Poor Jonathan Gannon. The Philadelphia defensive coordinator, slated for a head-coach interview with the Cardinals early this week, will walk into said interview having given up a 38-spot in the Super Bowl, and having given up the easiest, most wide-open TD passes – two of them! – in the post-season.

“We did a good job of window-dressing it,” said Moore.

I should say so. Moore was as open as Toney. Now Kansas City had a 35-27 lead. The Eagles tied it on Hurts’ amazing third TD run and his subsequent two-point run. With the score 35-all, Kansas City got a huge break with 1:48 left in the game. Mahomes threw a third-down incompletion, setting up a Harrison Butker 33-yard field goal—basically a PAT.

Wait. Flag. James Bradberry was called for a defensive hold. Replays showed it happened, but it wasn’t an egregious hold. No matter. Ref Carl Cheffers, per pool reporter Lindsay Jones, called the flag “a clear case of a jersey grab that caused restriction.” Bradberry admitted he fouled Smith-Schuster—but that didn’t stop Eagles fans everywhere from screaming about the flag.

That gave KC a fresh set of downs, and the clock got whittled down to 11 seconds. Butker’s 27-yard field goal won it with eight seconds left.

Great day for Reid. Great day for Mahomes. One of my lasting memories from this game—other than the acrid cigar smoke that will never come off the clothes of anyone in the Kansas City locker room post-game—will be seeing Patrick Mahomes go to so many guys in the locker room, just saying thanks. He hugged TD-scorer Moore, who’s had some tough moments this year, and said, “Waited till the last game, huh? Love you! Way to get it in there!” I mean, what do you think that means to a rookie like Skyy Moore, having a two-time MVP and Super Bowl MVP look you in the eye, hug you, and tell you that?

This game stamped Mahomes without question as this game’s best and brightest quarterback, leader and franchise linchpin. The Eagles are close, with Hurts. Very close. But Mahomes willed this team to its second Super Bowl in four seasons. I sincerely doubt he’s done.


The XXV things I heard, saw, know or somehow experienced at Super Bowl LVII:

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster made one of the best entrances in Super Bowl history, without a doubt, on Sunday afternoon:

2. Interesting Super Bowl tidbit from Roger Goodell: The NFL is likely to pick two more Super Bowl sites by year’s end. The next two are set: Super Bowl 58 next year in Las Vegas, and SB 59 in February 2025 in New Orleans. I’d bet a lot that one of the two games after that, in 2026 or ’27, will go to Los Angeles. The NFL loved the venue, the city and the facilities last year at SoFi, and the idea when the place was built was to give LA a game once every four or five years.

3. Best news tidbit, nearly hatched: The NFL is working toward playing its two games in Germany on consecutive Sundays next November. I’m told Kansas City and New England, previously announced as host teams, expect to play on Sundays in an eight-day span, and it’s probable but not certain that both games will be in Frankfurt. Last year’s successful Germany debut was at Allianz Arena in Munich. The Frankfurt stadium is Deutsche Bank Park, with a retractable roof, about four miles from the city center. It’ll be pretty amazing to have Patrick Mahomes and Bill Belichick in Germany on back-to-back NFL weekends.

4. Best news tidbit, not yet hatched, but developing: The NFL is working with digital geniuses to develop a low-latency broadcast. Low-latency means a shorter time between a live football play and when you see it on your TV or mobile device. Why is this important, shortening the time between the live play and when it can be shown? Because that would allow viewers to be more able to bet on props involving each play. Seems a little insidious to me, to invite more people to bet more money on more football things, but the NFL is driving to make a jillion on sports betting, and this could be the next addictive frontier.

5. I won’t be surprised if there’s news soon on the Dan Snyder story in Washington. Stuff seems to be percolating.

6. Today is day 360 since the NFL announced that Mary Jo White was leading an investigation into the Snyder ownership. A year seems sufficient. Right?

7. Interview Subject of the Week: Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, in charge of the care and development of the best line in football, and the man who invented a left tackle out of Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata. We spoke during a Wednesday media availability, and I asked him about the Jeff Stoutland University thing—when Mailata, introduced before a Monday night game, said: “Jordan Mailata, Jeff Stoutland University.”

8. Stoutland: “We spent a lot of time working together, after practice, in camp, before practice, all the time, I mean. I really believe that when he had to get up there and speak of where he went to college, it wasn’t a joke now. This wasn’t a joke. He didn’t know what to say. So he didn’t have a college like our guys, and he said to Lane Johnson, ‘Lane, what do I say?’ Lane goes, ‘Just say, Jeff Stoutland University. That’s where you learned how to play this game.’”

9. So Phoenix as a Super Bowl site. It’s spread out, very spread out. But I kind of like that. The weather’s nice, lots of good places to eat and to walk, and downtown is good and big enough to have all the events needed. It’s certainly not a walkable Super Bowl. My hotel in Scottsdale was 32 miles from the stadium, but I don’t care much about that. All in all, it’s a good place to hold the game, at a very good time of year.

10. Tone Deaf Quote of the Week: From Roger Goodell, in his annual Super Bowl press conference, on officiating, in the wake of the fourth-quarter debacle in the AFC Championship Game: “I don’t think it’s ever been better.” Five documented errors in one series (see my column last week), and officiating has never been better? Obviously Goodell wants to back his officials. Understandable. Loyal. But don’t take us for saps, please. A better way to truth-tell to your fans and to back the officials would be to say: “We didn’t reach the highest standards we expect late in the AFC Championship Game. But our officials have an excellent track record, and I believe over the span of the season we had a great season.”

11. This is not in any way scientific, because there aren’t a ton of NFL GMs and personnel people who hang around the Super Bowl. But Aaron Rodgers starts what he called a four-day darkness period in the pitch dark of a home, alone, today, and there was eyebrow-raising among a few league or team people I brought this up with, the reaction being: I can see why the Packers would consider trading him. Seems like a good person, but he might be more trouble than he’s worth. Not to the Jets.

12. Re: Hall of Fame voting, a few thoughts. (I’m one of the 49 voters for the Hall.) Most of you know how the process works. The 15 modern-era finalists get discussed, as do the four total Senior and Contributor candidates. The committee votes, one by one, on the three Senior (Ken Riley, Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley) and one Contributor (Don Coryell) candidates. If they get 80 percent of the private vote, they’re in. All four got in. Then we vote to cut the 15 modern candidates down to 10. When the top 10 get announced, we vote for our top five. After the cut to five is made, we’re asked to vote yes or no on the final five. If they get 80 percent yes votes, they’re in. Overall, this was a more contentious year than usual. Lots of discussion on return specialist Devin Hester, who didn’t make it, and on the three receivers who seem to be cancelling each other out.

13. My cut to five: Andre Johnson, Albert Lewis, Darrelle Revis, Joe Thomas, Zach Thomas. Toughest decision for me was Lewis or Ronde Barber, who I was also bullish on. But I thought Lewis’ all-around game—superb coverage, physicality, special teams, kick-blocking—gave him a microscopic edge. I was happy for Barber, though. Sad for Lewis. And I fully supported Demarcus Ware, who was seventh on my list.

14. Discussion time: six hours, 23 minutes. Slightly less than usual.

15. As for the receiver logjam, the candidacies of Andre Johnson, Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne all have their partisans among the voters. I don’t know how it gets solved, particularly with more receivers with inflated numbers entering the pool in coming seasons. I am partial to Johnson. He’s the biggest (6-3, 230). He’s virtually as fast as the fastest, Holt (4.40 to 4.38 for Holt in the 40-). He didn’t have the advantage of playing with Peyton Manning or on the Greatest Show on Turf. (Though Holt played more than half his career with lesser QBs on lesser offenses.) And he didn’t have a player like Marvin Harrison or Isaac Bruce on the other side to take attention away from him. I think Johnson’s clearly the best of the three, but I’m one of 49 voters.

16. I don’t think there’s a lock next year among first-time-eligibles, but the cases of first-timers Julius Peppers and Antonio Gates will be strong.

17. My theory on why it might take a while for Darren Woodson or any safety to make the Hall of Fame soon: In the 16 years from 2001 to 2016, zero safeties were elected among the 99 enshrinees. In the past seven years, which you might call the Safety Overcorrection Era, 10 safeties have been enshrined among the 52 men voted into the Hall: Kenny Easley, Brian Dawkins, Ed Reed, Johnny Robinson, Steve Atwater, Cliff Harris, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, John Lynch and LeRoy Butler. (I didn’t include Charles Woodson, of course, because he spent only the last four years of his career at safety.)

18. Not-so-strange workout bedfellows: Colts owner Jim Irsay with a toned Paul McCartney in the gym at the Phoenician Resort.

19. House speaker Kevin McCarthy and “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet communing with football power people at the Friday night commissioner’s party. McCarthy’s tight with Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill.

20. Walk of the Week: The 70-minute Sunday morning walk on the Wind Cave Trail up Usery Mountain in Mesa. Made it with Don Van Natta, a hiking vet, just after 7 a.m.

21. Nick Sirianni, with the tears streaming down during the National Anthem. That was a wow.

22. I’m sure you all would be shocked to know that, circa 2007/2008, when I coached a 10U travel softball team in Montclair, N.J., our team song was “Umbrella,” and our girls delighted in singing it, especially the eh-eh-eh-eh-eh part. Other than recognizing the song, and being happy to hear it, I won’t be able to give a review on the Rihanna halftime show.

23. Patrick Mahomes re-sprained his ankle at 6:02 p.m. local time. He did not play for the rest of the half, which ended at 6:16 p.m. The halftime show ended at 6:40 p.m. The third quarter kicked off at 6:49 p.m. Kansas City got the kickoff, and Mahomes trotted on the field and took his first snap of the quarter at 6:50 p.m. Thoughts: Incredible that the field got cleared of the halftime show extravaganza and the game resumed in nine minutes time and I have no idea how Mahomes looked borderline absolutely normal 48 minutes after the world saw him in agony. What a performer.

24. The turf was abominable. How can the Super Bowl be played on an ice rink? That simply has to be addressed at the highest level of the league, and this week. This field was new sod, grown in Arizona, installed two weeks ago, and cost $800,000. And on both the painted areas and the pure grass areas, players slipped all night. Inexcusable.

25. I cannot be more impressed with Jalen Hurts as a player, a leader, a competitor. Think how far Hurts has come, and how high the Eagles have risen with him, in the last six months. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman has a lot of tough decisions to make on his roster, but how good must he feel to know that he invested a low second-round pick in a backup QB in 2020 and what he has now is a long-term quarterback who is the envy of every franchise in football? Listen to Hurts after this crushing loss: “It is a tough feeling to come up short. It’s a very tough feeling. But I know that the only direction is to rise. That’ll be the MO going forward. That is the mentality.” Perfect.


I met with Deion Sanders, the Colorado coach and fierce Hall of Fame critic, at the Super Bowl about the pro football shrine. He thinks the Hall has gotten watered down in recent years; 45 men have been elected to the Hall in the last four years. “We’ve gotten soft,” he told me. “It’s open house, is it not.”

Our discussion:

Sanders: “What do you call the Hall of Fame? A guy who what?”

Me: A guy who was so great that when you watched him play, you knew he was a Hall of Famer.

Sanders: “He changed the game. That’s what I was told, when I was a shortie coming up.”

Me: Wait a second. Guards don’t change the game.

Sanders: Excuse me?

Me: Guards.

Sanders: “Yes they do.”

Me: No they don’t.

Sanders: “They change the way the game is played. Yes they do. If you have a guard that’s dominant, that changes the way you call your game, that changes the game. Larry Allen changed the game.”

Me: How would you separate the Hall of Famers if you had your choice? Would you really want a wing of the Hall …

Sanders: “Yeah, upper room. You gotta have an upper room.”

Me: How do you decide who’s in it?

Sanders: “Shoot, they decide who’s in it. The game decides who’s in it. You know who changed the game. Like, if you just say OK, you’re gonna put LT (Lawrence Taylor) beside some of the guys that you’ve been putting in the last few years, you just gonna have them sit beside LT like it’s cool? You guys (selectors) can’t feel good about this stuff but you have a quota. You shouldn’t have to meet a quota every year to send guys in. If they ain’t that, they ain’t that. Secondly, how can Devin Hester not be in the Hall of Fame?”

Me: I voted for Hester.

Sanders: “Hester changed the game. When you think about returners of anything, Devin Hester. You kicked, he changed the game, seven years straight. That stuff makes me mad, man. Now it’s like haters involved. Hate shouldn’t be involved in this stuff.”

Me: I don’t think hate is involved.

Sanders: “How can Devin Hester not be in there? Give me anything.”

Me: My opinion is the number of snaps he played.

Sanders: “He’s a returner. Did you want him out there every play? He’s unique. He did something that has never been done before. You couldn’t even get up to go pee. You would hold it on fourth down because of Devin Hester. You would hold it because of Devin Hester. Nobody wanted to kick to him.”

Me: How would you decide the upper room?

Sanders: “You know who should decide? We should decide that. Y’all need to get out the way and let us decide the upper room. Y’all have done your thing and I appreciate that. I appreciate it immensely. You earned a right to be on that committee to vote. The upper room, that should be us. Because when we’re together, we know who ain’t got no business in there.”

Me: What do you do with a guy like (Packers Hall of Fame WR) Don Hutson?

Sanders: “In his era—was he totally dominant?”

Me: Yes. Played in the thirties and forties. Caught three times as many balls as anyone who played in the first 25 years of the league.

Sanders: “He should be in the upper room. Don’t compare eras, because eras are different.”

Me: Who do you think is the greatest quarterback of all time?

Sanders: “Brady.”

Me: Longevity? Or greatness?

Sanders: “Just the will that he had. The will. The way. What he brought to the game. And his fire and his passion. I’ve never heard anybody, a player, say anything negative about how he attacked the game. He’s a winner. He’s a darn winner. Once upon a time for me it was Montana. It was Joe. Shoot, it was Joe. But Brady with the Super Bowl wins eclipsed that.”


Hello, Next Gen!


The Chiefs came out on fire in the second half and Patrick Mahomes, visibly impacted by the high ankle sprain that’s dogged him since the divisional round of the postseason, made one of the most important plays of Kansas City’s season with his legs. With the game tied at 35 and just under three minutes to play in the fourth, Mahomes scrambled 26 yards on first down to put the Chiefs well within range for the game-winner from Harrison Butker. Per Next Gen Stats, that scramble increased the Chiefs’ win probability from 69.1 percent to 81.2 percent.

This evasive mobility in clutch moments is a major element of Mahomes’ skillset. Recall his run on third down in the final seconds of the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals, when he had the first down even without an unnecessary roughness penalty. Next Gen Stats tells us that in the post-season, since 2018, Mahomes has picked up 24 first downs on scramble runs, more than double any other quarterback.

A big thanks to the team at Next Gen Stats for helping us tell the deeper stories behind key plays and decisions all season.


Offensive players of the week

Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City. Two Super Bowl victories and three appearances by age 27—not bad for the KC phenom. Almost regardless of the outcome, the Mahomes legend grew Sunday. After re-spraining his right ankle on Kansas City’s last offensive snap of the first half, Mahomes was off the field for 48 minutes before taking his next snap—obviously because of the extra-long halftime show. On his first two possessions of the second half, he went 10 plays-75 yards-touchdown, and nine plays-70 yards-touchdown to give KC a 28-27 lead with 12 minutes to play. The five-yard gift TD on the next drive was Mahomes’ second brilliantly executed fake jet-motion pass for a score on consecutive drives. In all, Mahomes was 21-of-27 for 182 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and he rushed for 44 yards on the bad ankle.

Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia. What a back-and-forth between two great players. Hurts, in his first (of several?) Super Bowl, ran for TDs of one, four and two yards, and threw a lovely rainbow TD pass of 45 yards to A.J. Brown. And when it was needed most, with five minutes left on a two-point conversion try and the Eagles down 35-33, Hurts bulled his way over the left side for the tying points. He finished Super Bowl Sunday 27-of-38 for 304 yards and four total touchdowns, and his 70 rushing yards set the record for most by a quarterback in a Super Bowl.


Defensive player of the week

Nick Bolton, linebacker, Kansas City. What a day for the active linebacker from Missouri, and it was one overturned play from being one of the historic defensive performances in Super Bowl history. He scooped-and-scored from 36 yards out to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter, had another scoop-and-score TD called back by a replay review, and he stone-stopped Kenneth Gainwell from converting a third down late in the third quarter. That forced the Eagles to kick a field goal to go up 27-21 instead of scoring a TD to go up 10. Bolton also had a game-high nine tackles. Not bad for a guy Brett Veach picked 58th overall in 2021.


Special teams player of the week

Kadarius Toney, wide receiver/returner, Kansas City. Toney took a brutally bad Eagles punt (38 yards) and weaved and cut right and ran down the right side, in front of the Philadelphia bench, for 65 yards, returning it to the Eagles’ five-yard line. A fantastic return, with a little bit of risk built in.


Coach of the week

Andy Reid, coach, Kansas City. His fourth Super Bowl appearance and second Super Bowl victory, thanks to some great fourth-quarter play design that outsmarted the Eagles. He now sits one win behind Tom Landry on the all-time victories list, including playoffs, and has a team of players who think he’s some combination of father figure and genius coach. It’s a good time to be Andy Reid.


Goats of the week

Jonathan Gannon, defensive coordinator, Philadelphia. Fool him once on a fake jet motion, fine. Twice? Not good. Not good at all. The two Kansas City touchdowns early in the fourth quarter both were prompted by fake jet motions—first by Kadarius Toney, next by Skyy Moore—and when both men turned back to the sideline, Patrick Mahomes found both for short TD passes. That’s something you’d forgive the Philadelphia play-callers for once. Twice? No way.

Isaac Seumalo, guard, Philadelphia. A piddling false-start 20 minutes into the game wouldn’t seem to be enough to elevate a man to Goat of the Week. But think of the magnitude of that false start. The Eagles were up 14-7, and they were going to sneak Jalen Hurts on fourth-and-one near midfield, and they’re the best sneak team in football. Seumalo jumped, and the loss made it third-and-five-plus, and Hurts tried to run on the next snap and fumbled, and KC’s Nick Bolton ran it back 36 yards for the tying TD. Seumalo had a good game, largely in effectively blocking Chris Jones. But that false start was a big negative for the Eagles.


Hidden person of the week

Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle, Philadelphia. After the Eagles took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter on a Jalen Hurts bomb to A.J. Brown, Kansas City needed to answer right away. On the first snap, Patrick Mahomes gave it to Isiah Pacheco who, as everyone knows, runs hard and angry. Hargrave burst through the KC line and stoned Pacheco for a two-yard loss. Great individual play, and it led to a three-and-out for Kansas City.



I look in the mirror and I’m old. My heart, though, is young. I still enjoy doing what I’m doing.

Andy Reid after his second Super Bowl win as Kansas City’s head coach.



It was like a water park out there.

–Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata on the field conditions that had players slipping and sliding all night.



The two best quarterbacks in the NFL played against each other on the biggest stage under the biggest lights.

Nick Sirianni on Mahomes and Hurts facing off.



It’s always such a stupid conversation to say ‘Brady versus Belichick’ because in my mind that’s not what partnerships are about. Coach couldn’t play quarterback and I couldn’t coach.

Tom Brady, on his post-retirement “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray and Larry Fitzgerald, on his relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.  



There was a point at which she looked at me and she said, ‘When are you getting back to work?’ We all live with this idea that we’re going to work to this golden spot and then we’re going to retire and it’s going to be wonderful. We’re sold that on TV a lot. My prior owner, the late Mr. Benson, used to tell me how overrated retirement was. I kind of feel where he was coming from.

Sean Payton, being introduced as the new Denver coach, on what his wife, Skylene, said to him in his year away from football, and what the late Saints owner, Tom Benson, told him about retirement.



The dome thing, you’re not going to sell me on a dome ever for the Bears. We’re an outside team. Our fans like it. The teams that come play us don’t like it.

Brian Urlacher, to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

You tell ‘em, Urlacher.



There will be 272 regular-season games in the NFL in 2023. The most anticipated one is not up for debate:

Philadelphia at Kansas City.

First meeting between the teams at Arrowhead since week two, 2017, when Alex Smith was KC’s quarterback and Carson Wentz played for the Eagles in Patrick Mahomes’ second game as an NFL player.

Just watch NBC, FOX and ESPN brawl over that one.



You would think a Super Bowl coach from a medium-sized town at the far end of western New York, near the borders of Pennsylvania and Ohio, would be a hugely famous guy. Super Bowl coach Nick Sirianni, of Jamestown, N.Y. (pop.: 28,712), is famous. But if you’re going to make a list of the most famous Jamestownians, he might not be in the top five.

The most famous people born in Jamestown, N.Y.

  1. Lucille Ball, comedian, TV star.
  2. Nick Carter, Backstreet Boys idol.
  3. Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner.
  4. Robert Jackson, former Supreme Court justice.
  5. Natalie Merchant, of 10,000 Maniacs.
  6. Nick Sirianni, Eagles coach.
  7. Charles Goodell, former U.S. senator.
  8. Dan Hoard, radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals and Bearcats.
  9. Roger Tory Peterson, ornithologist, one of the great nature writers of the 20th century.

Wish I had 10. I don’t.

Sirianni’s not beating one of the most famous comedians ever, and a star in one of the biggest boy bands of our lives, and the NFL commish, and a Supreme Court justice.

As for number five, should Sirianni be ahead of Natalie Merchant? She was on SNL four times. She had four top Billboard hits. Is that bigger than making the Super Bowl in the second year of a coaching career? You be the judges.


I went to the WM Phoenix Open at TPC-Scottsdale on Friday. That’s the event with the boisterous fans, the mega-crowds at the 16th hole (I was told there were 22,000 fans ringing the wacky par-3 hole on Friday) and biggest outdoor day-drinking festival I’ve ever seen. I was a bystander on the first hole when Jon Rahm (did you know he takes course notes with a pad with RAHMBO on the cover?) hit one off the fairway and had to walk over the ropes to take his second shot, and he got serenaded with “Rahmbo!” by the bros on hand.

I enjoyed the experience, because it’s good to see events you’ve heard something about. I liked the people-watching most of all, and being warm. But I must say it’s probably smarter to go when you’re 28 or 35 than when you’re me, at 65. Three hours at the course was about my fill.



The former NFL receiver, saying exactly what I think.



The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reporting Bradberry’s take on the crucial fourth-quarter penalty.



Patrick Mahomes’ former right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz, showing concern after Mahomes re-twisted his right ankle late in the first half.



Watt, speaking the eternal truth, after Jalen Hurts opened the scoring by plowing ahead with much, much help.



The Ravens’ vet defensive lineman, as Super Bowl 57 kicked off.


Reach me at, or on Twitter @peter_king.

He hated the holding call on Bradberry. From Grahme Perez: “It’s no surprise that the game was sealed by the refs. They have been overzealous on those defensive holding calls for years and now the officiating that’s ‘never been better’ is the story of the Super Bowl. Seems like subjectivity would be welcome to improve the product.”

The question is, did James Bradberry restrict the receiver? I think he did—not overwhelmingly, but surely in some way. In the middle of the second quarter, nobody would have had a problem with the call. It’s when it happened that infuriated everyone. And my feeling on it is very simple: A foul’s a foul, whenever it happens.

Shame on me for Devin Hester. From Sig Nicia: “Your precious NFL Hall of Fame has shown itself to be a bigger travesty than the baseball Hall of Fame. How can Devin Hester not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Here’s a simple test. Name me the kick returners who were better than Hester. The correct number is zero. A fact that should be talked about more is that when Hester played, kick returns were a bigger factor in the game. With all due respect, shame on you and your fellow Hall of Fame voters.”

I’m with you. Hate to say don’t blame me, but don’t blame me. I voted for Hester and fully support his case. I am one of 49 voters.

He thinks I’m denigrating Dan Marino. From John J. Falenski: “In this day and age where the only thing young folks care about history is changing it, I wish influential people like you would stop with the stat comparisons of today’s athletes versus those of old. I remember Dan Marino quite well. His play was breathtaking. Making the Brady-over-33 comparison to Marino only further dismisses Marino’s greatness to our youth of today. Can you please talk with more respect about the Marino-Montana-Sayers-Payton-Kelly-Rice-type players? Please?”

When I was writing about Brady, I figured out that interesting nugget—that Brady threw more TD passes after turning 33 than Marino did in his career—and thought it was worthy to point out. The point was about Brady’s staying power. It was not to denigrate Marino, or John Elway, or Joe Montana, or any player from a prior generation. Many people including you did take it like that, and it was not my intention. The quarterbacks from 1980-2000 had more difficult jobs, and had to survive far more physical play, than the quarterbacks of today. I appreciate you (and many others) writing to say how it came across to you, because I might be tone-deaf to it.

Some good points about keeping officiating intact for the post-season. From Jason Peters of Kansas City: “Points on all-star officiating crews: Contrary to your suggestion, it seems highly unlikely that a crew with two officials who had poor years would wind up among the three highest-graded officiating teams for the season Even if that’s the case, every year, some of the best players in the NFL sit at home watching the playoffs, often because their teammates didn’t perform well enough to move on. Why should officials be treated differently? There are three teams on the field for every NFL game. In the Super Bowl, two of those teams (ostensibly the best in the league) play with the guys who got them there. The third inexplicably fields a mish-mashed group of men and women who haven’t worked together all year. Football is a team game, and the best teams (right down to their weakest links) should be rewarded.”

Your opinions are noted, Jason. I don’t feel strongly about it either way, though I’d probably side with Dean Blandino, who said in this space last week: “I like crew continuity throughout the season. I like that communication But I also understand not wanting your best officials sitting at home in your biggest games, just because their crew didn’t grade out as well through no fault of their own. I think the league is in a good place.”

Haiku hate. From Andrew Healy, of Asheville, N.C.: “I think you need to up your haiku game! Think we’re mailing some of these in.”

This is my first haiku critique of all time. I agree with you, actually. Sometimes the haiku is the last thing I do, and doing anything with brain power at 3:38 a.m. is not always the smartest thing. I’ll try to do better.

Well, Phil, this is nice. From Phil Orlowski, of Portland, Ore.: “Monday is an awesome day because of the anticipation of reading your column. Each one captures all of the good stuff about being alive on this planet, whether it involves football or not. If I were a professional athlete, I’d be honored to have you write about me. Just never retire, okay?”

Well, I can never retire now. That is an incredibly nice thing to say. Thank you, Phil.

Manohar’s a wordsmith. From Manohar Venkataraman of New York City: “I’ve been intrigued by your expletive word usage and substitutions over time such as for the current column. You use the term ‘batcrap’ as a substitution for ‘batshit’. I’ve never seen the term ‘Batcrap’ outside of your columns. It seems a little polyannaish in the 21st Century to go the lengths of substitution here.”

Maybe it is, Manohar. There’s something about using the F- word or the Sh- word that I don’t like unless I feel it’s significantly important to the story. You’d be surprised. On the rare occasion I quote someone using a curse word, I have gotten an email from someone else telling me that it offends them.


1. I think the Eagles will be back. Often. That is a team with a 41-year-old coach and a 24-year-old low-ego franchise quarterback and a 47-year-old GM, and Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts and Howie Roseman will be sure to build this team to last.

2. I think I wouldn’t forget Cincinnati defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo if I were Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, the last man with a coaching opening—assuming Shane Steichen takes the Colts job.

3. I think New Orleans is the perfect place for Derek Carr.

4. I think it’s impossible to see and hear the telecast of the game in the press box, but I did note something that Andrew Marchand of the New York Post used in his review of the game, and it’s a plus in color man Greg Olsen’s column. When running back Jerick McKinnon sprinted around the left corner for the end zone inside of two minutes, and the Eagles were going to let him score, Olsen called out, “He’s got to get down!” And McKinnon, as if on cue, did. Kansas City was able to bleed most of the clock, kick a chippy field goal and win. Had McKinnon scored, Philly would have had enough time to mount a drive to, perhaps, tie or win.

5. I think in all the years I’ve covered the league, 39 of them, I’ve never seen a better, more sincere speech for winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year than the one Dak Prescott gave Thursday. It was beautiful. The everlasting influence of his late mother and his devotion to do something fruitful to commemorate his brother’s life after he committed suicide both show the kind of person he is. The NFL absolutely got Man of the Year right this year.

6. I think Wright Thompson’s story about Joe Montana is the best thing I’ve read about football in years. It traces his family history back to great-grandfather Giuseppi Montani (yes, with an “i”), born in Italy in 1865, who came over and established roots in Monongahela, Pa., a steel town outside of Pittsburgh. If you have even a passing interest in Montana, Tom Brady, football history, or the Niners, this will be an essential piece for your better understanding of any or all of them.

7. I think the opening and the closing of the story are just so perfect. I will not give away the end; you need to read the story to make it understandable. But the lede, you can read this. It presages so much about Montana and the story, and about the love of family we all want to have till the day we die—which Thompson does a lovely job of documenting. Writes Thompson:

My late father bought me a Joe Montana jersey when I was a boy. Home red with white stripes. I don’t remember when he gave it to me, or why, but I’ll never forget the way the mesh sleeves felt against my arms. The last time I visited my mom, I looked for it in her closets. She said it’d been put away somewhere. On trips home I half expect to still see my dad sitting at the head of the long dining room table, papers strewn, working on a brief or a closing argument. He was an ambitious man who had played quarterback in high school and loved what that detail told people about him — here, friends, was a leader, a winner, a person his peers trusted most in moments when they needed something extraordinary. Lots of young men like my father play high school quarterback, roughly 16,000 starters in America each year. Only 746 men have ever played the position in the modern NFL and just 35 of them are in the Hall of Fame. What my father knew when he gave me that jersey was that only one of them was Joe Montana.

Tom Brady Sr., bought his son, Tommy, a No. 16 jersey once, too. They sat in the upper deck of Candlestick Park together on Sundays. They looked down onto the field and dreamed. Tommy enrolled as a freshman at Michigan the year Joe Montana retired from football. Forced out of the game by injuries, Montana left as the unquestioned greatest of all time. His reputation had been bought in blood and preceded him like rose petals. Everybody knew. But over time the boy who sat in the upper deck idolizing Montana delivered on his own dreams and built his own reputation. Here, friends, was a threat. The boy, of course, went on to win his own Super Bowls. A fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh. Parents now buy their children No. 12 jerseys because there can only be one unquestioned greatest of all time. No. 16 is no longer what it once was. Joe Montana now must be something else.

“Does it bug you?” I ask.

“Not really,” Montana says.

He sits at his desk and taps his fingers on his thumb, counting, keeping track of odds and evens. Placid on the surface, churning beneath the waves.

“You start thinking,” he says, his voice trailing off.

“I wish …”

When I read that, having talked to Montana a number of times over the years, I thought it was just perfect. That end of the lede, that’s him.

Bonus Q&A with Wright Thompson

We spoke Saturday morning by phone, starting with the topic that’s garnered the most media attention—the fact that Montana is not close with the guy, Brady, who grew up loving the Niners and loving him. At one point, Thompson said a very prescient thing—that the story needed to be a profile of the next 30 years of Tom Brady’s life. Meaning: At points over the next decades, Brady’s going to feel some of the same emotions as the Patrick Mahomeses and Whoevers replace him as the biggest stars in the NFL universe.

FMIA: Do you think Joe is hurt by the quasi-chilly relationship with Brady, or bemused?

Thompson: “I think he is 85 percent bemused and 15 percent hurt, probably. I mean, that’s an absurd calculation of course. Mostly, he has a very complicated feeling inside that he had a superpower stripped away. I think he has a very complicated relationship to what he misses about those years in his life and how they manifest themselves. He’s probably looking for shorthand and for simplified boxes to put these complex ideas into and I think Tom Brady is perfect-sized box. I don’t think it’s Brady at all. This isn’t a story about a guy getting passed by another guy. It’s a story about aging and regret and what you get and what you give The only real question that matters to being a human being on planet Earth is about what you build and what you watch get torn down. You know. Ozymandias is real. You know?”

Note: “Ozymandias” is not a term I’ve ever used, and I actually had to look it up. (I’m saving you the work.) It comes from a sonnet written by the English poet Percy Shelley in 1818, about a person once famous and respected who has been forgotten.

FMIA: How do you feel about Joe now, after wearing his jersey as a kid and now after investing all this time in this story?

Thompson: “He is a complex, fascinating dude. I hope when I’m 66, my family looks like his looks like. I don’t care about the money and the travel. I just mean these are a group of human beings who have been through something and not only survived it but come out unbroken and like to be around each other and all. When I’m 66, and have my kids and grandkids circling around, I would like it to feel something like this. Which is a… That’s not how I felt about him when I started working on this story. I mean, when I started, he was Joe F—ing Montana. Capital J, capital F, capital M.”

FMIA: That’s the wonderful part of the story—you got into the humanity of the person. Don’t you think in some ways he’s just like his (Italian) grandparents and great-grandparents, that what gives him the most joy is those meals and trips with his kids and grandkids?

Thompson: “And this idea that he and his wife look at each other like, ‘We did this.’ It’s so cool for them. You know? Since Giuseppe Montani got on that boat, what he wanted was this now. Not the four Super Bowls, but a family with deep roots to carry on the traditions, who still respect and celebrate the old ways, who still put the family at the center of the everyday experience.”

8. I think it’s good to sit with your thoughts sometimes about stories like that, and thoughts of the historical significance of Joe Montana. He’s truly one on the short list of all-time greats, and the incredible success and staying power of Tom Brady cannot erase Montana’s meaning in this game.

9. I think congrats go to A.J. Green on retirement. He had a very good career in Cincinnati and Arizona. Hard for me to think he’s a Hall of Fame player. I’ve sat in Hall of Fame meetings and heard the arguments pro and con for Andre Johnson for two years, for Torry Holt for nine years, for Reggie Wayne for four years, and none have made it. (They all might, but it’s been a slog.) On the outside looking in: Hines Ward, with 273 more catches and 15 more TDs than Green, can’t get much traction, even though he’s the best blocking wide receiver of this century as well as a 1,000-catch player. And Steve Smith is better than Green across the board (304 more catches, 4,217 more yards), and he wasn’t a finalist this year. In Green’s last six years, he had but one 1,000-yard season. Green is likely to be a member of the Hall of Very Good.

10. I think these are my other thoughts of the week:

a. MMQB Alum of the Week: Robert Klemko, now of The Washington Post, found a retired Memphis police officer who theorized why the rogue officers did what they did in the beating death of Tyre Nichols, and wrote a piece on the policing with Emily Davies.

b. Wrote Klemko and Davies:

The former officer described a unit devoid of middle managers who might temper the impulses of inexperienced officers. Instead, the unit was staffed with officers who had less than 10 years on the job, owing to an officer shortage and work schedules that shifted day to day, discouraging older officers from applying. The former officer said officers were asked to police violence-plagued neighborhoods, and given informal permission to engage in car chase scenarios forbidden by department policy.

When the footage of the Nichols beating was released, the former officer said he was sickened by what he saw on the video, not only for its brutality, but because he understood how the officers became capable of it. He said he had been shot at three times in his last 18 months as a member of the Scorpion unit and sought therapy as a result. He had felt the urge in the past to strike a suspect guilty of an egregious crime beyond what was necessary to subdue him, but held back.

His team had the kind of veteran officers who warned one another when they sensed someone was getting tunnel vision and close to losing control. Scorpion Team 1, the team involved in the Nichols beating, did not have that chemistry or proper supervision, the officer said, and it spiraled out of control.

“I believe these guys are 100 percent criminally responsible, but 90 percent personally responsible,” he said of the accused officers. “The department is responsible for that other 10 percent.”

c. On the subject of the Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson children’s books being removed from the shelves of Duval County (Fla.) schools: There’s now some pushback from the school system, saying the books are not being permanently removed but rather are among books being checked that content is suitable for young readers. What isn’t suitable is hiding the truth of the lives of three American sports heroes—that they were subject to discrimination and prejudice in much of their young lives, and then as professional athletes. There is zero sense in sanitizing history by keeping these books from the eyes of young readers. The longer the books are away from kids, the worse it is for the “educators” doing the banning.

d. You’re a good man, Sean Farrell.

e. We should all have such good and lifelong friends.

f. Story of the Week: Tracey Tully of The New York Times on a woman in New Jersey who couldn’t bear the thought of losing the home she grew up in and, well, it got pretty complicated and awful from there.

g. A brilliant person. An Ivy League degree. Financial problems. Desperation. Cancer. Arson. You know, just the usual story in an idyllic New Jersey town. Eve Morawski crumbled as her life did.

h. Wrote Tully:

The day of the fire Ms. Morawski lit five matches at strategic points on the first, second and third floors of the house, according to a police report.

Then she walked to the basement, “laid down on a couch and proceeded to stab herself with a knife four times in the chest,” a detective wrote. Neighbors watched as she was taken out on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital.

i. Paul Giamatti in the hokey Verizon commercials just seems weird?

j. How good is Steve Hartman? I mean, really, how good?

k. The CBS News America-wanderer found an old man in Geraldine, Ala., who did nice things for needy people, anonymously, for years before he died. Tears will fall in this 2.5-minute story.

l. “Do you ever have anybody that can’t pay for their medicine?”

m. “All the time.”

n. Noble NFL Player of the Week: Mike Utley, the Detroit Lions lineman paralyzed a generation ago, is as feisty and optimistic as ever, as Dave Boling of The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reports.

o. Utley was paralyzed in a 1991 game. He doesn’t regret his football life. And he told Boling that in the 31 years since, he has never dreamed about being in a wheelchair—although that’s where he spends his time now. Utley, whose foundation funds research for spinal cord patients, is sanguine about his fate, but he knows he needs a good attitude to live a long life. Wrote Boling:

“I make light of things, but it is hard,” he said. “You need to look in the mirror every day and be yourself, and keep good people around you. People say it’s about the journey and you (have to) enjoy the journey.”

Utley is 57, and has been in a wheelchair longer than he was ambulatory. There’s more gray in his hair, he said, and the trademark cascade of hair down past his shoulders has been trimmed because he can no longer brush it  “All you can do is deal with what’s in front of you, play the cards you were dealt, and then be thankful for what you have. You do what you have to do to get where you want to be, and still be honorable and respectable.”

An admirable code for life. But because he’s Mike Utley, he quickly added a caveat.

“But you don’t have to be a wuss about it.”

p. Beernerdness: During a plane change at the Minnesota airport last Monday, I had a nice Hefeweizen: Ewald the Golden (Utepils Brewing, Minneapolis) came in a 16-ounce golden can and poured golden with a slight head. Nice Hefe taste, with a fruity, clove flavor. Really liked it. Light and easy to drink.

q. Coffee Place of the Week: Essence Bakery Café, on Indian School Road in Phoenix. Excellent espresso, well-formed lattes, and light egg sandwiches. Good place to work, with friendly employees.

r. I like eggs. Really like them. I could eat two sunny-side-up eggs, hash browns and two slices of wheat toast four times a week. But should I? Dani Blum of The New York Times investigates.

s. Wrote Blum:

Eggs contain vitamins B, E and D, and they’re low in saturated fat. “You get high protein for low calories,” said Bethany Doerfler, a researcher and dietitian at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. They also contain nutrients that are beneficial for your eyes and bones, Ms. Heller said.

“There’s really more pros than cons,” said Beth Czerwony, a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition, adding that some eggs are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what hens have been fed.

It’s important to examine your overall nutritional intake, rather than homing in on one component or another, Ms. Doerfler said. A breakfast that features an egg with toast and fresh fruit, for example, is far better for your heart health than a doughnut and sweetened coffee. “Eggs are getting a lot of the spotlight,” she said. “But they’re one small piece of a dietary pattern.”

t. Good in moderation, it sounds like. As so many foods are.

u. Has anyone ever told Kyrie Irving about the Abraham Lincoln quote, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt?”

v. “Irving the victim.” That’s the funniest storyline of this, or any, NBA season.

w. I will say this about the NBA: It’s fun to have a league with owners so desperate to win. Not sure they always make smart decisions—ask the Suns in two years if they’re happy they dealt a mountain of assets for a 34-year-old megastar, Kevin Durant, who, over the last four regular seasons played 129 games and missed 150 in Brooklyn—but they sure do try to win today. The short-termness of the NBA almost demands a team like the Suns win it all this year or next year, or the trade is a failure.

x. Dan Patrick rocks. So cool to see him on the periphery of the Super Bowl last Wednesday when I was a guest on his show on a right-field deck at Scottsdale Stadium, spring training home of the Giants, overlooking the field. Cool because he has had enough of the Super Bowl mayhem at the epicenter of the game. We both must be old men, Eastwoods who are altogether okay with avoiding the noise.

y. Kudos, LeBron James, for being a great player, an all-around player, and a good person to those in need in your native Akron. I have a feeling James will put the scoring record into some other orbit, the way Tom Brady put the passing records into outer space.

z. Happy trails, Kent Somers. The terrific former Cardinals beat guy and current Arizona Republic sports columnist, 63, retires Friday. The Valley, and our business, will miss him.


I really relish

How Andy Reid calls his plays.

“Corn dog.” Just perfect.


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