The Super Bowl party begins Tuesday when the Ravens and 49ers file into the Superdome for Media Day. This year’s festivities are open to fans — for a $25 charge — and will be broadcast on NFL Network starting at 10 a.m.
On Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held an open chat, via Reddit.com, where fans were encouraged to engage the commish. Ironically, the chat happened on the same day a USA Today poll revealed that 61-percent of NFL players do not approve of Goodell. Obviously, this was one of the first questions posed and Goodell sidestepped the issue.
“I continually try to focus on issues that benefit the NFL in the long term, including, and most especially, our players. I truly respect our players and get tremendous feedback from them. They help us make better decisions. I look forward to working more closely with them in the future,” he wrote.
One of the most vocal opponents of Goodell has been Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
“A lot of stuff they’ve done, [such as] fining guys crazy amounts of money for helmet-to-helmet hits and all that and saying you’re doing this for the safety of players. But yet you want to add extra games to the regular season,” Harrison told USA Today. “In the true interest of player safety, I would have no issue with it. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about money.”
Kaepernick cool under pressure
Maybe Jim Harbaugh’s personality is rubbing off on Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has looked unflappable on the field in his short stint as San Francisco’s starting quarterback. And Kaepernick, who has already led the team back from early deficits in two playoff wins, laughed off concerns about him being nervous Sunday night.
“I’ve said this before: Pressure, I feel like, comes from lack of preparation,” he said. “This isn’t going to be a pressure situation, it is going to be a matter of going out there and performing physically.”
Flacco ready to cash in
Legacies aren’t the only things defined in the postseason. Add multi-million dollar contracts to the list.
Ravens starter Joe Flacco, who is due to become a free agent after the season, is ready to cash in to the tune of $20 million a year. Several NFL talking heads, including ESPN’s John Clayton, feel Flacco could command a contract similar to that of Drew Brees, who signed a five-year, $100 million deal.
Flacco has been near-perfect so far this postseason, registering eight touchdown tosses (vs. no interceptions) and a 114.7 QB rating.