Beyoncé finds a new way to steal Super Bowl week every year

It’s a few days after Beyoncé is accused of lip-syncing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Beyoncé sings the national anthem at the Super Bowl XLVII press conference. She kindly asks attendees, “Would you guys mind standing?” And they do, because who says no to a request from Beyoncé? Unsurprisingly, she kills it, the people cheer, and she winks at her haters by asking “Any questions?”

There’s no telling with Buck and Aikman, but I’m going to take the under on this one. I think it would take a NFC Championship game-caliber blowout for the two broadcasters to mention Matt Ryan so often that they start calling him “Matty Ice.” Who knows, maybe I’m completely wrong here.

Hammering the over on this one. Even though he’s not playing, Rob Gronkowski has been such an integral part of the Patriots’ success, not only in the past but also this season as well. It would be a disservice to Gronk not to at least acknowledge him a few times throughout the game for contributing to New England’s success. Not to mention, J.J. Watt had a good minute-plus of TV time on the sidelines in the Texans’ Wild Card victory over the Raiders. Speaking of…

How many times will J.J. Watt be mentioned on TV during live broadcast?

With the Super Bowl being played in Houston, it’s only common sense to think Watt’s name will come up a couple of times during the broadcast. Taking the over again here, and it’s a no-brainer to me. H-town loves Watt, and let’s face it, he’s one of the faces of the NFL.

Once again, easy money. Like them or not, the Patriots’ overcoming the DeflateGate nonsense was a pretty fun story. It’s a story that dominated media headlines for about a year and will forever remain one of the most bizarre narratives in NFL history. It would be even more bizarre for Buck and Aikman not to mention DeflateGate at least twice during Sunday’s game.

Will “Houston we have a problem” be said on TV during live broadcast?

LeSean McCoy is throwing a party with very specific guest requirements

The start of NFL training camps is quickly approaching, and some players are trying to enjoy their last bit of summer before the grind of the season begins. Bills running back LeSean McCoy is among them and is throwing a party on July 26. He even invited people from social media!

And by people I mean women who are 21 years old or older, have a photo ID and sign a confidentiality agreement without knowing where the party will occur, other than in “Philadelphia/New Jersey” or what will happen at it. McCoy initially posted an advertisement for the party on his Instagram account, before deleting it.

McCoy deleted the Instagram post, possibly because the Bills complained that it included their logo.

Bills spokesperson: “We have reached out to LeSean and informed him that players are not permitted to use team marks for personal use …”

Jacoby Brissett, QB (senior): To date, Brissett has not quite been the sum of his impressive parts. He has NFL size at 6’4 and 235 pounds, and he put together an impressive 23:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio a season ago. But he’s incredibly inconsistent as a passer. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes against Florida State a season ago, and followed it up the next week against Clemson by completing just 22.2 percent. The tools are there – including good athleticism and solid arm strength – but he needs to show more overall development to be considered a legit NFL starter.

Tyriq McCord, OLB (senior): This coming season is going to be a very interesting one for McCord. Al Golden, Mark D’Onofrio and Co. switching him to OLB seems more of an indication of the lack of depth at that spot — as well as the potential emergence of both Chad Thomas and Al-Quadin Muhammad at DE — than it does with McCord being a natural fit. Nonetheless, it could be a blessing in disguise for the senior, in terms of impressing scouts. (More on McCord here.)

Jimmy Butler doesn’t want to hide how bad he has been feeling the past few days

Jimmy Butler doesn’t want to hide how bad he has been feeling the past few days. The Bulls’ All-Star swingman came into Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a fever and body aches, scored just one point in 29 minutes and stayed home for the Bulls’ next two losses on the road to the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. The illness, which has been floating around the Bulls for the past week, got even worse.

“Hell,” Butler said after scoring 28 points, collecting eight rebounds and making six assists in Saturday’s 107-99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. “That’s what it’s been like, man. My body is all type of messed up. … It wasn’t a pretty sight.”

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said before the game that Butler had lost 10 pounds because of his illness.

“My stomach was … oh,” Butler said.

Jimmy Butler scored 28 points as the Bulls beat New Orleans on Saturday.

The 27-year-old loaded up on fluids over the past few days and looked refreshed as he set an aggressive tone early in the game. As has been the case throughout the season, Butler drove to the rim almost at will, racking up 10 free throw attempts. For a Bulls team that came into the game having lost three straight, Butler’s presence was much needed.

“Obviously we’re so much better with him on the floor,” Hoiberg said. “You talk about just a select few in this league that have that type of impact on their overall team. Jimmy, he does everything. The thing that’s most overlooked with Jimmy, I think we’ve talked about this a lot, is a lot of those guys that are putting up these types of numbers are not guarding the other team’s best player. Jimmy goes out every night and takes pride in that role. That’s what makes him one of the top players in this league.”

Frank Zombo’s tip, Eric Berry’s interception erased the Steelers’ latest scoring opportunity

Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to find the end zone early in its playoff showdown with the Chiefs. Frank Zombo and Eric Berry teamed up to make sure the Steelers’ latest trip wouldn’t end up with any points.

Zombo batted Ben Roethlisberger’s pass high into the air, giving Berry enough time to change course and scoop it before it could hit the ground. His diving catch turned a probable Pittsburgh scoring drive into a fresh Kansas City possession at its own 20-yard line.

Berry’s pick erased a rare Alex Smith miscue. The veteran quarterback set the Steelers up in strong position after pressure forced him to throw a wounded duck intercepted by linebacker Ryan Shazier. The Steelers drove 39 yards in the interim, but Roethlisberger’s tipped pass made sure their efficient offensive play was all for naught.

“I don’t feel fatigued,” Bell said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler after the game against Miami. “The offensive line wants to run the ball so we went down there and ran the ball in the end zone.”

His line enjoys it, too. “I’ve loved to block for him. I’ve seen other guys try to do [his patient style] and can’t do it,” guard Ramon Foster said. “Our job is to hold our blocks. He’s by far the best back in the league, no matter what other guys say.”

Defensively, the Steelers have improved. The rugged veteran linebacker James Harrison led the team in sacks this season with five, which isn’t necessarily up there among the league’s elite. But players like linebacker Bud Dupree, who has had five sacks in the past seven games, make a huge difference.

James Harrison needs to quit acting like he earned our respect for doing something hes suppose to do

James Harrison needs to quit acting like he earned our respect for doing something hes suppose to do. This is the problem with our country today- we’ve got “look-at-me” parents who were raised to think that every thing they do is special posting online every time they do the bare minimum by taking away their kids awards.

If I was James Harrisons parents I would make him immedately delete that post and hand over all the likes and shares he got to someone whose really earned them for going above and beyond as a parent like Balloon Boys dad or Chris Kyle. Just sad that in todays America you get a “father of the year” award just for doing the right thing for a change.

Take Gronkowski, for instance. Universally being drafted within the Top 10 of most drafts, Gronk is clearly expected to produce other-wordly numbers in comparison to his tight-end brethren. If for some reason he finishes 2015 with 600 yards and three touchdowns — a total that would’ve ranked him just outside the Top 15 last season — he should decidedly be labeled a bust. It’s that simple and yet it’s not portrayed that way. Having said that, these next few names are players I believe will fail to produce the proper return that coincides with their current ADP (and not fall flat on their face).

Jimmy Graham, SEA
It bodes well for Graham that Seattle tight ends as a whole combined for 16 red zone targets in 2014, four more than their next highest receiver (Doug Baldwin). Unfortunately, the Seattle Seahawks also attempted the fewest red zone passes last season. With his current ADP nestled at the beginning of the third round, drafting Graham assuredly means missing out on a majority of top flight receivers, or that ever-so-important running back depth. He could potentially continue his dominance and post his fifth-consecutive year as a Top 3 TE, but the questions surrounding volume are enough to shy away and lean elsewhere with one of your first four picks.

Wright and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater developed a strong chemistry last season

Sometimes, effort isn’t enough. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you want your dream to come true. Sometimes, life just Goomba stomps all over you.

Fortunately, their stories didn’t end when they received the fateful call from Doug West, the Texans’ very own Angel of Death. There may not be a league MVP award in their future, but for James, Brown and EZ, their shot at an NFL career is still alive.

Wright, who spent four seasons at Arkansas, is coming off his best season in which he set career highs in catches (42) and receiving yards (588). Last year Wright spent most of his time lined up outside. This season, after Minnesota’s acquisition of Mike Wallace and the emergence of Charles Johnson last year, Wright is expected to move into the slot.

“I’m very comfortable in my role. The way we move the ball around to different people, I think I’ll definitely have a chance to make some plays,” Wright said last week, via the Minnesota Pioneer Press. “We have a lot of receivers that can play anywhere. If they need somebody to come in and me to move outside, I can do that. Or vice-versa. It definitely makes it hard to defend and game-plan for, for the simple fact that you just depend or expect this guy to be in the same place every time.”

Wright and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater developed a strong chemistry last season, as evidenced by the 87-yard game-winning touchdown the two connected on in overtime against the Jets. Wright is considered one of the more underrated receivers in the league. Locking him up should help ease Bridgewater’s continued transition into the NFL.

The Vikings open their season Monday night in San Francisco where they’ll face the 49ers.

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