"We knew that they were Notre Dame and that they were No. 1, but we tried not to let that intimidate us," said Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, who ran for, like, 37 yards per carry. "We believed we could win even if no one else did."
Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he played up the Tide's underdog status in the weeks before the title game.
"My team saw Notre Dame's No. 1 ranking. They saw what they did to teams like Purdue and Pitt," said Saban. "I saw the concern on their faces. But we pulled together, dug down deep and somehow made it work. I don't know if we could beat Notre Dame more than once if we played them 10 times, but that one time happened tonight."
News Chip Kelly Unsubscribes from Monster.com After It Keeps Sending Him Cleveland Browns Job Opportunities
"I got a Monster account years ago to help me find good jobs," Kelly said. "Of course I can work for the Browns. I don't need Monster to do that for me. I can work for the Browns just like I can work for McDonald's. They're wasting my time and clogging up my e-mail inbox."
A Monster representative says Kelly isn't the first person to complain about being contacted about the Cleveland Browns.
"We are looking to fix the problem," said Monster spokesperson Kevin Papronis. "Obviously, we only want to give our users the best experience, and an experience that includes the Cleveland Browns can't be good for anyone."
"It is true that we have made contact with Chip Kelly and he will be interviewing with us," said Bills general manager r Buddy Nix. "We even conducted an informal, surface interview with him over the phone and he said all the right things."
Nix said he asked Kelly what his greatest weakness is as a head coach and Kelly responded that he "sometimes works too hard and cares too much," completely failing to mention that his trademark offense would be a massive failure in the NFL.
"I don't really follow college football all that closely," said Nix. "But I had overheard someone in our front office voice some concerns about his offense and also that he has no NFL experience and even almost no coaching experience beyond Oregon and New Hampshire. I thought Chip might mention something about that and put a positive spin on it when I asked him about his weakness," said Nix. "But it didn't come up. So I assume that means his offense will work just great in the NFL!"
"Every season of The Wire is like a whole new show, with another angle on life in 21st century America," said Simon, "But we always return to Baltimore, and this was our greatest season yet: a larger-than-life NFL tale built around a character I've been developing since way back in 1996."
Simon credited his writing staff, his go-to sixth season director Steve Sabol (who passed away in September), and The Wire star Idris Elba for making this season's central "Ray Lewis" story arc so memorable.
"Viewers can't get emotionally invested in whole football teams, and certainly not a football team poached from Cleveland," said Simon. "Which is why we used one man to depict the cult of American sports, and American society itself, writ large in a linebacker who pretends he's in Gladiator before every game."
Critics say Simon built the most fascinating ongoing TV project ever for Season 6, incorporating reality TV production techniques, real-life news coverage, and segments where Elba got "mic'd up" and went on the field during actual NFL games. It's such a lifelike creation that fan interest convinced the NFL to turn the fictional "Baltimore Ravens" franchise into an actual team for the 2013-2014 season.
"They're a team built on the shoulders of a magnetic millionaire muscleman, himself forged in the hedonistic baptismal fires of 'The U'," said Simon. "Which is why Ray is my best anti-hero since McNulty, and why 'The Peacemaker' is one of the greatest television hours in the medium's history."
Simon's "The Peacemaker" was an instant classic The Wire episode from 2000, where Lewis's character [SPOILERS] accepts an obstruction of justice conviction for his morally ambiguous role in two inner city stabbing deaths. Lewis then leads the Ravens to a championship and cements his athletic legacy with a Super Bowl MVP award, but still gets snubbed out of a postgame invite to Disneyland. Ray then spends the next 13 years toiling to rebuild his reputation, finally succeeding in the season's penultimate episode "The Visa Ad And The Little Girl".
"We had a bad season but we still think we are close to being a Super Bowl contender," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. "You look around at the coaches available for someone that has a track record of success and the name that keeps popping up is Andy Reid."
Reid say he is excited about the opportunity with the Eagles.
"I am very familiar with that team and that organization and I think they have potential," said Reid. "I think young Nick Foles has a future at quarterback, they have lots of talent at the offensive skill positions, and the offensive line should be better if healthy. The defense has issues, but I know an wide receivers coach who I think would make a great defensive coordinator."
"I think I've seen all I need to see from Mark after this week," said Ryan. "He might not be the answer at quarterback. It's time to maybe give Tim a shot to start."
Ryan said he informed Tebow on the sidelines as the final seconds ticked away on the Jets' season that he would be promoted to starter.
Tebow reportedly responded by saying, "You really make me want to say curse words."
The league's proposal increases limit on player contracts to six years from the previous offer of five years and increases the year-to-year salary variance, among other things. The main sticking point, however, remains when the owners and players will cripple the sport again with another lockout.
"The NHL insists, and will not budge on this, that the next lockout be in 2017-2018," said deputy commissioner Bill Daly. "However, the players want it no earlier than 2021-2022, which is not something we are comfortable with. More than eight years of labor peace? Not on our watch."
Commissioner Gary Bettman insists that any more than seven consecutive full seasons will cause the NHL's revenues, ratings and popularity to grow too large, leaving the league with "difficult decisions on how to share the wealth."
Bettman, and the owners, believe it is better to "essentially shut hockey down every few years to reset our fiscal books and keep everything nice and small."
He was last spotted on I-10 heading west, still carrying the football and running full speed, a few miles from the California border.
"I wish he hadn't decided to run away forever, but I actually expected it to happen a long time ago," said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "The fact he stayed here this long shows what a great guy he is. I wish him nothing but the best. And it can really only get better for him away from here."
Whisenhunt briefly, and weakly, called after Fitzgerald after he ran off the field.
"Wait. Wait, Larry. Don't go," said the head coach in a barely audible monotone. "You can still accomplish a lot here. Ah, hell. Nevermind. Go. Go and be free. You deserve so much more."
Several of Fitzgerald's teammates decided to flee the Cardinals with him, but most tired before they even reached the parking lot and had to defeatedly wander back to the field to continue practicing with their fellow terrible teammates. Quarterbacks John Skelton and Ryan Lindley never made it out of the stadium because they couldn't figure out how to work the door.
"Check it out, guys," said Rodgers, as his teammates gathered around. "My mom got it for me. It's an official NFL ball. The same size and everything used in the NFL. But it's my very own."
Green Bay backup quarterback Graham Harrell said the football was "awesome" and that it made the junior Nerf football he had received from his parents "look lame."
Rodgers said he didn't even ask for the football or put it on his Christmas list, but it turned out to be his favorite gift.
"My mom knows how much I like football," said Rodgers. "I've played on a team for a lot of years now. I guess she just assumed I'd like a real, official ball. And she was right. I love it!"
The quarterback's mom, Sandra Rodgers, said her son's face lit up as soon as he opened tore of the wrapping paper covering the ball Christmas morning.
"He still had half of his presents to open, but he took it out of the box and immediately ran outside to throw it up in the air to himself," said Mrs. Rodgers. "He said, 'Thanks so much, mom! I love football!' It really made me happy to get him a gift he loved."
After Rodgers and his teammates threw the ball around at the team's facility on Wednesday morning, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy eventually had to ask the quarterback to put his football away so the team could start practice.
"I was looking at some ratings numbers at my desk this morning and was shocked and horrified by what I saw," said Bettman. "So I called Mark [Custance] in and asked him to explain the dramatic drop. All he had was excuses, so I let him go. Excuses don't work at this level. This is a professional sports league. For some reason, I have to keep reminding everybody of that."
Due to the NHL lockout that now looks likely to cancel the entire 2012-2013 season, the NHL Network has been forced to fill its schedule with rebroadcasts of old NHL games or live junior and minor league hockey action. Custance said he reminded Bettman of that when they spoke this morning.
"I'm not sure he understands that there are no NHL games right now," said Custance. "I think he thinks they're trying to negotiate a contract but that the games are still being played. Actually, I'm fairly positive that's what he believes. He is easily the dumbest man I have ever met or worked with."