National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Cooney's 33 helps No. 1 Syracuse beat Notre Dame

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Trevor Cooney scored a career-high 33 points, matching a school record with nine 3-pointers, and top-ranked Syracuse beat Notre Dame 61-55 on Monday night in another matchup of former Big East foes.

Syracuse (22-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which moved to No. 1 this week after its scintillating 91-89 overtime victory over Duke on Saturday night, extended its school record for most consecutive wins to start a season. Notre Dame (12-11, 3-7) has lost seven of nine.

Two days after one of the most emotional wins in Boeheim's 38 years as head coach, Syracuse played its first game as the nation's top team since the 2011-12 season. Two years ago, the Orange were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 when they went to South Bend, and Notre Dame upset them 67-58.

It was the eighth time Notre Dame had beaten a No. 1 team and turned out to be Syracuse's lone loss of the regular season.

Cooney made sure there was no repeat, hitting five 3-pointers in the first half as the Orange gained a 13-point halftime advantage and barely held the Irish at bay in the second half.

Cooney, 9 of 12 from long range, matched the record set by Gerry McNamara in the 2004 NCAA tournament and equaled by Andy Rautins in 2008 and James Southerland in 2012.

Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair, who combined for 54 points against Duke, combined for just 15 as Fair struggled, shooting 2 of 13. Tyler Ennis finished with six points and eight assists.

Garrick Sherman led Notre Dame with 16 points, Steve Vasturia had 13 and Pat Connaughton 11, while Eric Atkins had nine on 3-of-10 shooting.

Notre Dame closed within 38-32 on a 3-pointer from Atkins with 14:19 to play, but Syracuse responded with seven straight points. Grant slammed home a dunk after his block on Sherman and Fair followed with a slam off a Grant miss. Cooney completed the run with his seventh 3-pointer, which tied his personal best.

The Irish have four long-range threats in Atkins, Connaughton, Jackson and Vasturia, who had combined for 127 on the season entering the game, and Notre Dame's long-range attack came alive in the second half after going 1 of 6 in the first 20 minutes.

Two 3-pointers by Atkins, Vasturia's three-point play and a slam dunk by Tom Knight moved the Irish back within 43-40 with 8:41 to go.

Grant responded with a spinning drive through the lane and Cooney hit another 3. Grant then fed Cooney for a reverse layup and three-point play and Cooney hit his ninth 3 for a 54-44 lead with 4:14 to play.

Notre Dame refused to wilt, pulling back to 54-49 on Connaughton's three-point play at 2:52.

Grant's layup off a feed from Ennis and two free throws by Ennis boosted the lead back to eight, and the Orange made it interesting when Ennis and Fair each missed the front end of 1-and-1s in the final minute.

Atkins missed a floater and Connaughton was off on a 3-point attack in the final seconds.

Against the Syracuse zone, the 6-foot-11 Sherman was the focus of the Irish attack early, and he responded by hitting a pair of hooks and scoring seven of Notre Dame's first 12 points.

Syracuse attempted only four shots from behind the arc in its win over Duke, preferring to pound it inside. Not on this night, not with Cooney red-hot. He hit four straight 3-pointers in a span of just over six minutes to propel Syracuse to the lead.

Seahawks ready to start work on Super Bowl defense

NEW YORK (AP) Less than 12 hours after winning the Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll already was talking about getting started on next season.

"The first meeting that we'll have will be tomorrow. ... Our guys would be surprised if we didn't," Carroll said Monday morning. "We really have an eye on what's coming, and we don't dwell on what just happened. We'll take this in stride."

He appeared at a news conference at a Manhattan hotel with linebacker Malcolm Smith, the MVP of Seattle's 43-8 victory over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

Carroll oversees a team with the fourth-youngest roster for a Super Bowl champion, with an average age of 26 years, 175 days, according to STATS. The youngest champs ever were the Pittsburgh Steelers who won the 1975 Super Bowl, and they collected a second consecutive title the next year.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson just wrapped up his second season in the league, as did Jermaine Kearse, the receiver who caught one of the QB's two touchdown passes Sunday night. Doug Baldwin, who caught the other, is only three years into his pro career, as are star cornerback Richard Sherman and Smith, who at 24 is the fourth-youngest player to be the Super Bowl MVP.

"We've seen the effort that it takes to get to this point, and, obviously, we'll try to replicate that and do it again," Smith said. "We're looking forward to the next challenges and guys having a target on their back and people trying to come after us."

Smith became the third linebacker to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, thanks to a 69-yard touchdown return off an interception of regular-season MVP Manning in the first half and a fumble recovery in the second half.

He said that during the game, some of his teammates were telling him, "You might be the MVP."

"And I was like, `No way. No way. Not me."'

Carroll said general manager John Schneider has positioned the Seahawks to be able to avoid the problems that can make it hard to repeat as NFL champions. Since Denver repeated in the 1999 game, only one team has won two Super Bowls in a row, the New England Patriots in 2004-05.

There's the need to replace players who leave via free agency. The need to pay other players with new, better-paying contracts.

"John Schneider has done an extraordinary job of structuring this roster contractually, and with the vision of looking ahead, so that we can keep our guys together," Carroll said. "One of the things that happens every so often is teams have a big fallout after they win the Super Bowl. We're not in that situation."

Carroll was reminded during Sunday's game of some of his blowout victories in college football bowl games when he was a championship-winning coach at Southern California.

"It felt like it. It looked like it. The score was like it," he said Monday.

"I really can't tell you exactly what it is, but something's going on, because I sat back there at the end of the first quarter and said, `Shoot, here it goes,"' he said. "Bang, bang, bang, bang, and it's 22-0 at halftime."

Carroll described the lopsided nature of the game as "kind of like an avalanche," an interesting choice of words given the hubbub last week - and, really, for months before that - over whether the first outdoor Super Bowl at a cold-weather site would be affected by snow.

Instead, the weather wasn't a factor Sunday at the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the temperature was 49 degrees at kickoff and only some light rain fell.

On Monday morning, meanwhile, driving snow hit the area and forecasts called for up to 8 inches.

"I don't know how (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) pulled it off, but he pulled off the weather in perfect fashion," Carroll joked. "The NFL is powerful."

Browns hire Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator

CLEVELAND (AP) New Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has his play caller.

Kyle Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator Monday after spending the previous four years in the same role with the Washington Redskins.

Pettine, hired Jan. 23 to replace Rob Chudzinski, is in his first job as an NFL head coach. His experience is as a defensive assistant, so he will rely heavily on Shanahan, who's been a coordinator for the last six seasons and has 10 years as an NFL assistant.

An experienced coordinator is crucial as Cleveland tries to turn around its fortunes. The Browns, who had four offensive players in the Pro Bowl, are expected to select a quarterback early in May's draft and Shanahan will have a hand in his development.

Shanahan, 34, got his first job as a coordinator in 2008 when he was hired by Houston at 28 years old. After two seasons there, he joined his father, Mike, head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Both Shanahans spent four seasons with Washington before being fired Dec. 30 after a 3-13 season. They also clashed with quarterback Robert Griffin III.

But Kyle Shanahan brings a strong resume to the Browns. His offenses have ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yardage four of his six seasons as a coordinator, including the last two in Washington.

Shanahan ran a version of the West Coast Offense, incorporating the pistol formation and read option, and the Redskins in 2012 became the first team in NFL history to pass for 3,400 yards and rush for 2,700. They led the league in yards per play (6.17), won the rushing title and Griffin set league rookie records for passer rating (102.4), interception percentage (1.27) and rushing yards by a quarterback (815).

The record slipped in 2013, but the Redskins ranked ninth in total yards per game (369.7) and fifth in rushing (135.3). Receiver Pierre Garcon set a franchise record and led the NFL with 113 receptions.

The Browns interviewed Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday.

Shanahan replaces veteran coordinator and three-time head coach Norv Turner. The Browns allowed him to explore other jobs after Chudzinski was fired, and Turner was hired as coordinator by new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

The Cleveland offense ranked 27th in scoring (19.3 points per game), 18th in total yardage (338.9), 11th passing (252.5) and tied for 27th rushing (86.4).

Last week, Pettine hired Jim O'Neil as defensive coordinator and retained special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Beckham to discuss effort to bring team to Miami

MIAMI (AP) David Beckham will take part in a news conference Wednesday to discuss his progress in trying to bring a Major League Soccer expansion team to Miami.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also will attend the session, which was announced Monday. The league has discussed placing its next two expansion teams in Miami and Atlanta.

Expansion in Miami is contingent on securing a financing plan and location for a new stadium. Beckham has scouted possible sites and is seeking investors to assist with startup costs such as stadium construction and player acquisitions.

Among those who might become involved is Beckham's friend LeBron James, who has had recent conversations with the retired soccer star about bringing a team to Miami.

"It's looking very promising," James said Monday. "Hopefully they can go in the right direction as we all planned. It's a great place for soccer."

MLS's Miami Fusion played in Fort Lauderdale from 1998-01 before folding because of poor attendance.

Diamondbacks extend contracts for Gibson, Towers

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks have extended the contracts of manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers

Contracts for both had been set to expire after the coming season. The team would not divulge the lengths of the extension or even whether the lengths were the same for both.

Team President Derrick Hall says that Gibson and Towers asked that the length of the deals be kept secret. Towers says he always has thought management deals should not be made public.

Hall says he thought it was important to avoid any speculation about the pair's jobs during the coming season, and says they both deserve the deals.

Last October, the Diamondbacks declined to exercise options to extend the deals for both.

Fans bet record $119M on Super Bowl at NV casinos

LAS VEGAS (AP) Sports fans bet a record $119.4 million at Nevada casinos on the Super Bowl.

The Gaming Control Board says unaudited tallies show sports books made $19.7 million on the action. The Denver Broncos started out as a 2.5-point favorite but the Seattle Seahawks won 43-8.

Odds makers say Peyton Manning fans drove the unprecedented handle, flooding Las Vegas and northern Nevada with wagers on the favored team and its veteran quarterback. Many believed Manning wanted the win more than any other player, and might retire after the game.

The previous Nevada record was set last year, when gamblers wagered $98.9 million.

Some casinos say they lost out on proposition bets, including whether a safety would be the first score of the game.

Ratings: another record for Super Bowl

NEW YORK (AP) For the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl has set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers even though the Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos wasn't really competitive.

The game also set standards for the most-streamed sports event online and, with 24.9 million tweets, the biggest U.S. live TV event on Twitter.

The Seattle victory eclipsed the 111.3 million viewers who watched the 2012 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, according to the Nielsen company. Until last year's game dipped slightly to 108.7 million, the Super Bowl had set ratings records for the previous three years in a row.

"We were a little surprised, absolutely," said Bill Wanger, executive vice president for programming and research at Fox Sports. The blowout had some at Fox worried that enough people would tune out in the fourth quarter to ruin any chance at a ratings record.

So when Percy Harvin ran the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 29-0 lead, "let's just say we weren't popping Champagne bottles," Wanger said.

But initial interest in the game - perhaps fueled by its New York-area setting - was high enough to overcome the lopsided score. Ratings for the opening kickoff were 12 percent higher than they were for last year's game, Fox said. For the New York market, the Super Bowl rating was higher than it was two years ago when the hometown Giants were winning in dramatic fashion.

It is also further evidence of how live events are becoming dependable and valuable properties for broadcast television at a time ratings for regular entertainment shows continue to fall.

"Big-event television is a great way for people to have a communal event, to talk about it socially and to talk about it as a group," Wanger said. "You see that in the Super Bowl numbers of the past four or five years. They've just gone up to a different level."

Fox said an average of 528,000 people watched the live Internet stream of the game, peaking at the end of the third quarter. The number of Super Bowl-related tweets was up from 24.1 million last year.

The moment of peak activity on Twitter came after Harvin's TD jaunt. Harvin's run produced a 381,605 tweet per minute average, the company said. The next biggest peaks of activity came when Jermaine Kearse caught a touchdown pass and Malcolm Smith returned an interception for a touchdown.

There was a big boost in people going to Twitter during particularly memorable parts of the game, said Brian Poliakoff, Twitter spokesman.

Bruno Mars' halftime show came in fourth in most heated Twitter activity. In terms of television, though, an estimated 115.3 million watched Mars and his guests, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That makes it the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever, eclipsing Madonna, Fox said.

The three biggest moments on Twitter were also the three most talked-about events on Facebook, that social media company said. Fifty million people accounted for more than 185 million game-related interactions on Facebook.

PBS turned to social media last week to promote its airing of "Downton Abbey" against the Super Bowl. The public broadcasting service asked on social media sites whether people wanted to watch drama or the game, and an estimated 6.8 million people watched "Downton Abbey" on Sunday. While that's down from the season average of 8.6 million, it was 200,000 more people than the British drama had going against the Super Bowl last year.

Fox said that 25.8 million people stuck around after the game to watch the comedy "New Girl" with Prince as guest. The Golden Globe-winning comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which followed "New Girl," had 14.8 million viewers.

NFL, transit agency review Super Bowl rail logjam

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The head of New Jersey's transit agency on Monday defended the response to delays for thousands of fans leaving the Super Bowl by train, as officials sought to understand how ridership estimates could have been so far off base.

About 33,000 people took the 7-mile ride between MetLife Stadium and the Secaucus rail transfer station, more than double the highest estimates made by organizers and transportation experts before the game. The overcrowding on the platform grew so severe immediately following the game that the stadium scoreboard flashed a sign asking fans to remain inside.

"I think we did an excellent job moving a lot of people to a major event," New Jersey Transit executive director James Weinstein said Monday. "When 82,500 people leave a place at the same time there's going be congestion. There was, and we got through that congestion in what I believe was a realistic time. It would have been nice if we could have done it faster, but we did it as quickly and as efficiently as we could do it."

Those words may come as small comfort for those who stood waiting for trains until well after midnight. The game ended around 10 p.m.

New York native Garrett Vanderbrink, 45, an engineer with Verizon, decided to wait and watch the line rather than get in it. "You either wait here or wait like cattle," he said.

Vanderbrink told The Associated Press that being a New York Giants fan prepared him for delays, but he blamed Sunday night's wait on a decreased number of parking spots, as mandated by security requirements.

"Thank god this was a blowout," he said, referring to the fact that many Denver Broncos left early as their team fell far behind in the Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 win. "Can you imagine if it was a tight game down to the last minute?"

Earlier in the day, trains were delayed temporarily at Secaucus as thousands of fans went through airport-style security screening. Six people were treated by emergency medical services at the station, most for heat-related conditions, according to Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli. Two people who fell at the station were taken to a hospital but their injuries weren't believed to be serious, he said.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said ridership estimates were based on calculations that considered how many parking spots had been paid for by cars, buses and limos and then estimating how many people would be riding in each. No one was allowed to walk to the site or be dropped off. Snyder said NJ Transit even assumed a lower number of people per car than the NFL - 2.5 compared to 3 - to leave more of a cushion.

The Super Bowl host committee also ran buses from nine locations - six in New York City and three in New Jersey - for $51 roundtrip. A roundtrip train ticket cost about $10. Final ridership totals for the bus service weren't available Monday, a spokeswoman for the host committee said.

"What happened is, perhaps fewer people took the bus than was anticipated, and more people took New Jersey Transit," NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said Monday. "So quickly, you get an extra 10,000 people."

Weinstein said that all three rail tracks at the stadium were in use after the game, but that only one train can depart at a time because of the way the line is configured. He said about 30 buses, out of a total of 100 that were waiting in Secaucus to take passengers into New York, ended up taking about 2,000 fans back from the stadium.

Grubman said the delays provided a valuable lesson for future Super Bowls.

"We are getting pretty good at contingency planning," he said. "We need to put more elements into that contingency planning. A week or two ago, we were all talking about weather contingency planning. We had lots of plans for all the things we couldn't control related to weather. Next time, we will have lots of plans for all the things that we can't control, can't anticipate, related to transportation."

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AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich in New York and Associated Press writers Jake Pearson in East Rutherford Katie Zezima in Newark contributed to this story.

'Ultimate dream!' Seattle celebrates Seahawks win

SEATTLE (AP) After waiting decades for a major sports championship, thousands of Seattleites took to the streets as fireworks popped, horns blared and flags waved following the Seahawks' decisive Super Bowl win.

"I was born here, I was raised here! This is my ultimate dream!" shouted John Caro, who, with his wife Corina, both 59, whooped their way down Lake City Way in North Seattle and high-fived passersby. "We have waited so freakin' long for this!"

The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 Sunday. The last time a major Seattle sports franchise won a championship was in 1979 when the Supersonics took the NBA title. The WNBA's Seattle Storm have won two championships, in 2004 and 2010.

Seattle police were out in large numbers in many neighborhoods after the game. The department was investigating two shootings that came amid widespread celebrations over the Seahawks' Super Bowl win, both near the Pioneer Square neighborhood, where thousands of fans gathered.

The separate incidents occurred just before 12 a.m. Monday and left two victims hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds, police spokesman Mark Jamieson said. The suspect in the first shooting was apprehended when officers in the area heard the shots and saw him running. No one has been arrested in the other shooting.

The motives for the shootings remained unclear.

For most of Sunday night the crowd was in a celebratory mood, but later on it turned ugly, with people hurling bottles at police and breaking windows, Jamieson said. Officers in riot gear eventually dispersed the crowd.

The Fire Department reported about a half-dozen bonfires around the city, mostly involving couches and mattresses burned in streets. The biggest blaze was near the University of Washington, where one person was arrested for investigation of reckless burning.

In all, about six people were arrested, including the suspects in the burning and shooting cases, Jamieson said.

In Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, near CenturyLink Field where the Seahawks play, people waving "12th Man" flags took to the streets, and others climbed trees and sculptures.

They broke 17 glass panes and caused other damage to a historic pergola that will cost about $25,000 to repair, Joelle Hammerstad, a Parks Department spokeswoman, said Monday.

People in some neighborhoods blocked traffic, and in downtown a line of cars stretched for blocks as people cheered.

Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said Sunday night the biggest concentrations of people were downtown and in the University District. He said no major disturbances were reported.

By contrast, the mood in Denver was subdued, as expected, with fans downcast and police reporting few problems.

Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement that a Seahawks victory parade would occur Wednesday, with a route through downtown and ending at CenturyLink Field.

Shrieking and waving her Seahawks flags at passing cars on a North Seattle street, Senayet Woldemarian, a 29-year-old physical therapist from suburban Shoreline, said: "We got our first Super Bowl!"

Her friend, wedding photographer Taylor Olcott, 28, said it reminded her a little of being in Boston in 2004, when the Red Sox won baseball's World Series for the first time since 1918.

"This is the first time I've really seen Seattle passionate about anything," she said. "It's, like, East Coast. It's very exciting."

About 30 people watched the game at the Outlander Brewery in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. It was such a blowout that by the fourth quarter, employees had switched one of the three TVs to Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl."

"We're all in euphoria right now," said Steve McVay, a 43-year-old Seattle IT worker. "It's a huge deal for the city. Since the Sonics, we haven't won anything."

Peyton Manning's legacy unchanged by loss

Peyton Manning was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play at the beginning of Super Bowl XLVIII. Three hours (or so) later, he remained one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
 
Nothing really changed in New Jersey on Groundhog Day, 2014.
 
The Broncos got destroyed by Seattle. Manning didn’t play well. It wasn’t all his fault, although he did have a hand in the ugly.
 
The only way Manning’s much-discussed “legacy” could have changed, I suppose, was if the Broncos won and he’d played his ass off.
 
That was the fervent hope of Manning’s True Believers -- that the “one of” would be removed and Manning would be simply -- in their estimation, “the greatest quarterback.”
 
The “one of” sticks. Manning is right where he should be -- up there with Montana, Unitas, Elway, Marino and Brady. But he does not stand alone.
 
And he certainly didn’t stand alone as the reason the Broncos got destroyed in a retro-Super Bowl dud.
 
Manning doesn’t leave the game as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). But he wasn’t the goat, either.
 
Seattle was going to be a difficult defensive matchup for any team, but for the Broncos it was a nightmare. They’d set records because their fleet of receivers -- under Manning’s direction -- were able to exploit mismatches all season. They didn’t have them against a long and physical Seahawks secondary that got in the masks of Julius and Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker.
 
The jams at the line screwed up the timing of the routes. Manning wasn’t able to rid himself of the ball in less than two seconds as he so often did. The speed of the linebackers and safeties lying in wait for the crossing patterns meant that when a receiver did uncover he was getting labeled and/or gang-tackled. And Manning’s lack of arm strength made it impossible for him to rip balls into tight windows.
 
With the plays developing more slowly, the Seahawks' pass rush made Manning jumpy and eventually forced him to throw sideways as often as vertically.
 
Manning doesn’t get off scot-free. The first interception he threw was all on him. With a blitz coming off the right edge, he had room to step up and throw but he rushed his throw and sailed it high and behind Julius Thomas who was actually open for a 17-yard gain.
 
But the Broncos were facing a third-and-7 on that play because Knowshon Moreno got stripped as he was battling for the sticks. A third-and-1 that would have allowed a simpler play call turned into a must-throw down. Doesn’t absolve Manning of an awful throw, just goes to show the backstory that led to the awful throw.
 
The second pick, when the Broncos were down 15-0, was another panic attack. Manning should have taken the sack with pressure in his face but he freaked, got picked and Malcolm Smith took the wobbly blooper back for a pick-six.
 
The Broncos were already in a hole. When a team finds itself in one, the first thing it needs to do is stop digging. Manning put down his shovel and asked for an excavator.
 
If you’re looking for some evidence that Manning was the Bronco most responsible for putting holes in Denver’s shot at winning, I guess that would be it.
 
Their best player couldn’t stop the bleeding. He actually made it worse. And when the going got tough, Manning looked resigned and disgusted rather than looking like a guy with some resolve from whom his teammates could draw a little energy.
 
"It's not embarrassing at all,” Manning said in his postgame interview. “I would never use that word. ... That word embarrassing is an insulting word to tell you the truth."
 
Insult or no, it was an embarrassment.
 
When the first snap of the game goes awry and turns into a safety (there didn’t seem to be consensus in the postgame as to who screwed that up), it’s embarrassing. And when your defense settles for body checks instead of wrap tackles it’s embarrassing. And when your pooch kickoff sets up a touchdown return it’s embarrassing.
 
The Broncos got outhit, out-schemed, out-coached, and didn’t show much fight until after the whistle when it already was, well, embarrassing.
 
In three Super Bowl appearances, Manning is 89-of-131 for 846 yards with three touchdown passes, four interceptions and two lost fumbles. In his last Super Bowl appearance, he threw a pick-six with five minutes left on what could have been a game-tying drive. In this one, it never even got close to that kind of heartbreak.
 
He’s now lost more playoff games (12) than any quarterback in NFL history and he’s been one-and-done more than any quarterback in playoff history.
 
He’s won five MVPs and his regular-season passing statistics are the best ever compiled. He’s been to three Super Bowls. He’s lost two and won one and the one he won, he wasn’t particularly outstanding.
 
But football is the ultimate team game, and Seattle’s team was better than Denver’s. Manning couldn’t change that.
 
And Sunday night didn’t change his legacy either.

Tom E. Curran is the Patriots insider for CSN New England. Follow him on Twitter at @tomecurran.

Transit woes, mild temps mark NJ-NY Super Bowl

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in the nation's most congested region confounded skeptics on the first count, as unseasonably warm temperatures served as a pleasant backdrop for Sunday's NFL title game. But long delays leaving MetLife Stadium for the thousands who heeded organizers' advice and took mass transit left a sour taste.

Organizers had dubbed the game the first mass-transit Super Bowl and spent considerable effort urging fans to take trains or buses to the stadium. The message apparently took hold, as nearly 28,000 rode the rails from nearby Secaucus Junction. That far surpassed New Jersey Transit's previous record of 22,000 riders in 2009 for a U2 concert, and nearly doubled optimistic pre-game estimates of 15,000.

After Sunday's game, fans converged on the rail station for the return trip, clogging the platform as trains loaded and left when full. The agency eventually opened a second platform to accommodate the overflow crowd. It finally took NJ Transit bringing in more than 50 buses to shuttle fans to the Port Authority terminal in New York City - almost two hours after Seattle completed its 43-8 victory over Denver - to eliminate the long delays at the stadium area.

A NJ Transit spokesman told The Associated Press early Monday that nearly 25,000 passengers had been moved to Secaucus by midnight, two hours after the game, and that overall it was a "tremendous success," considering the volume of passengers transported without accident or incident.

When the last train cleared the platform at 12:45 a.m., 32,900 people had been transported by rail and more than 1,100 others taken by bus to Port Authority, a transit spokesman said.

Seattle natives Jeff Chapman, 40, and his childhood friend Willie Whitmore, 39, were caught up in the delay and anxious to get home.

"This is a joke," griped Chapman, an engineer. "We're not even from here and we could've told you this would've happened."

"What do you expect when you don't give people any other option to get home," added Whitmore, a project manager. "It's ridiculous."

At MetLife, an announcement on the scoreboard asked fans to please stay in the stadium due to congestion at the platform. New Jersey State Police urged fans via Twitter to "enjoy the stadium atmosphere until congestion dissipates."

Dan Steidl, 27, from Green Bay, Wis., was waiting for 45 minutes with very little movement.

"This is terrible," he said. "I'm ready to get out of here but I don't know when that'll happen."

The rest of the festivities went off without a hitch. Many fans clad in Seahawks blue and green and Broncos orange shed their winter coats and posed in shirt sleeves next to ice sculptures on the MetLife Stadium grounds before Sunday night's game. It was a scene organizers who convinced enough NFL owners in 2010 to vote to hold the game here likely didn't dare dream would happen.

"This is amazing," said Molly Boyle, 27, a Seattle fan who lives in New York City. "I couldn't wish for a better ending for our team."

Meanwhile, Denver fans were sulking. Many left before the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Seahawks' lead became insurmountable. By the end of the game, there were barely any orange jerseys left in the stadium.

Sean Doyle, 42, an attorney from Denver, left after the third quarter and went shopping for souvenirs with his wife.

"I'm extremely disappointed," he said. "I gave up hope."

Earlier in the day, security was slow at train stations, but by 5:15 p.m., a little more than an hour before kickoff, 80,000 folks had already made it into the stadium. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said it was the earliest arriving Super Bowl crowd in at least 30 years.

Emergency medical personnel told The Associated Press that they had to treat several people who collapsed when the Secaucus station became overcrowded. Lines began moving again after a little more than an hour of delays.

"It was kind of a bottleneck," NJ Transit spokesman William Smith said. "A number of trains arrived at once."

Nearly 100 federal, state and local agencies collaborated on security in and around the stadium, with coverage ranging from state police boats in the Hackensack River to sharpshooters on the roof of the Meadowlands Racetrack to bomb-sniffing dogs checking vehicles as they entered the parking lot.

"There's so much security here and the environment is so controlled that it acts as a deterrent," New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said. "We may end up having fewer incidents than at an average Giants or Jets game."

By late in the game, state police reported four people were arrested during the game, including two arrests for unlicensed vendors, one for drunken disorderly conduct and one for trespassing.

The celebratory mood carried over the nearby Hudson River and onto the streets of New York City, where Seahawks fans were cheering and dancing around the Blarney Rock Pub in midtown Manhattan as the game blared from several television screens. Amanda Schmidt, 37, said she flew in from Seattle to cheer on her hometown team.

"I wanted to be in the city and experience the Super Bowl," she said. "I feel like I'm part of it. We're all connected, so it's really cool."

The 13-block-long Super Bowl Boulevard that ran through Times Square was already almost entirely gone by halftime. Flatbed trucks and forklifts were dismantling the booths and television sets for television networks. The toboggan run was gone, along with the many corporate-sponsored tents that had lined the streets.

Jake Anderson, 22, a college senior at the University of Northern Colorado, was wearing a Peyton Manning jersey and a Super Bowl hat. He said he had an accounting test on Thursday he hadn't studied for and didn't expect to pass.

"This is going to be worth the F I get on Thursday," he said. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. You have to drop everything and do it."

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Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik, Jake Pearson and Tom Canavan contributed to this report.

Seahawks' no-names dominate Broncos

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pity the team that opens a half against the Seattle Seahawks.

Super Bowl XLVIII was a competitive fiasco on the first play from scrimmage, when an errant snap to Peyton Manning sailed into the Denver Broncos’ end zone for a safety.

It was a full-scale farce when Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin took the second-half kickoff and romped 87 yards for a touchdown, bloating Seattle’s already eye-popping lead to 29-0 when a busy Stephen Hauschka added the extra point.

Anyone who figured the No. 1 scoring offense powered by Manning, a five-time MVP, might get the upper hand on the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense was drastically underestimating the ferocity of Seattle’s Legion of Boom.

The Seahawks’ astonishing defense forced four turnovers and absolutely humiliated the Broncos 43-8 at MetLife Stadium, a contest that punched the number 12 in our consciousness over and over:

--The number of seconds the Seahawks needed to score the fastest points in Super Bowl history: 12.

--The number of seconds Harvin required to get into the end zone on his second-half kickoff return: 12.

--The devoted Pacific Northwest fan base sporting Seahawks blue, which motivates this team into a frenzy: The 12th Man.

“It’s unbelievable -- 12th Man, we did it! We brought the Super Bowl back!” said loquacious cornerback Richard Sherman, who left the field on a cart after injuring his right ankle -- not seriously -- in the fourth quarter. “We love you guys, and we’re on our way!”

They got there, to NFL immortality, by leaving their footprints all over the staggering Broncos. And no one felt the brunt of that pressure more than Manning, who never had a chance to get the highest-scoring offense in NFL history out of park, let alone any gear.

“The turnover on the first play of the game to give them a safety is not the way you want to start a game,” Manning said, in the understatement of the year.

“We wanted to keep the game on the field and keep the score even. We got behind early and never could make a run to catch up. From that standpoint, it was a disadvantage for us and an advantage for them.”

Not since the 1985 Chicago Bears or the 2000 Baltimore Ravens has the NFL seen a defense this forceful. The Seahawks, who specialize in delivering crushing hits that somehow stay legal, rushed their intimidating front seven at Manning relentlessly. The regular season MVP managed to set a Super Bowl record for completions with 34, but the Broncos’ offense largely consisted of mid-range passes that were pitifully futile.

Seattle’s defenders stopped harassing Manning and the Denver passing attack long enough to neutralize running back Knowshon Moreno to the tune of 17 rushing yards.

“When you face a quarterback like (Manning), you better be able to affect him,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. “We didn’t talk about the size of hits. We talked about, can we get him off the spot?”

Malcolm Smith certainly did.  One of only three linebackers in NFL history to earn the Super Bowl MVP award, Smith returned a first-half Manning interception 69 yards for a touchdown for a 22-0 lead, and recovered a fumble in the second half to further lock down this thing.

If you didn’t know much about Smith before the 2013 season, you’re forgiven:  He didn’t have an interception in his first 43 career games.

Since then, he’s come up with interceptions in four of his last five contests, including the playoffs.

Smith is the kind of opportunistic player who personifies a Seahawks group built from the ground up by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider: gems in the weeds that other teams have overlooked.

This is a team that bolds the word “unheralded”: 21 of the Seahawks' 53 players were undrafted. Many of them were largely ignored coming out of college. Smith, a speedy seventh-round pick who played for Carroll at USC, was asked after the game to recount his 40-yard dash time at the NFL’s Scouting Combine.

“I didn’t get invited to that Combine,” Smith said simply.

Carroll has pounded a simple mantra into his team: “Always Compete.” It’s been a mindset that helped keep a group of proud underdogs ready to pounce.

“We’re a bunch of misfits, in some ways,” said Sherman, a fourth-round pick who takes pride in touting his defense’s back-of-the-pack pedigree. “I think the world learned how complete a team we are, how complete our defense is.”

The kind of statement the Seahawks made on Sunday ensures the world is now abundantly aware of their presence.

“One hundred years from now,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said, “ya’ll are gonna remember this team.”

Nancy Gay is the Senior Managing Editor of CSNBayArea.com and CSNCalifornia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @NancyGay.

Seahawks' Baldwin blasts analyst, HOFer Carter

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin says ESPN analyst Cris Carter should "stick to playing football because your analytical skills ain't up to par yet."

Baldwin has been fuming because of some comments Carter made about the Seahawks receivers, suggesting they were just average.

Not mentioning the Hall of Fame receiver by name, Baldwin said after Seattle won the Super Bowl on Sunday that Carter said to Google him, "but I didn't see any Super Bowl appearances and I also saw two losses in the conference championships."

Baldwin had five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks' 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos.

Seattle LB Smith earns Super Bowl MVP award

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Standing near his locker, the one where two footballs were tucked away for safekeeping, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith repeated the word "fortunate" over and over again.

The third player at his position in NFL history to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, he spoke about feeling "fortunate to be a part of it" and "fortunate to get opportunities."

Truth is, the Seahawks were the lucky ones.

Because even though Smith was only a seventh-round draft pick, a guy who was not supposed to be a starter this season, he always was ready when called upon. Never more so than Sunday night, when Smith returned an interception of regular-season MVP Peyton Manning 69 yards for a touchdown in the first half, recovered a fumble in the second half, and was part of a dominating defensive performance that helped Seattle beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 for the championship.

"He's one of the guys that plays with a chip on his shoulder," fellow linebacker K.J. Wright said. "He almost didn't get drafted. For him to come in, start from the bottom and work his way up to Super Bowl MVP, it shows how much character he has, how resilient he is."

Sure is. And it was rather appropriate that a member of Seattle's league-leading "D" would be the MVP of the Super Bowl, considering the way the Seahawks shut down Manning and Denver's record-breaking offense, forcing four turnovers and holding the Broncos scoreless until the last play of the third quarter.

Smith joined Ray Lewis of Baltimore in 2001, and Chuck Howley of Dallas in 1971 as the only linebackers to be picked as the top player in a Super Bowl. Only eight of 48 Super Bowls have ended with someone who plays defense getting the honor; the last example was Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Dexter Jackson in 2003.

And Smith, who is 24, is the fourth-youngest Super Bowl MVP.

His older brother, Steve, was a wide receiver on the New York Giants' 2008 Super Bowl title team and was at Sunday's game.

"I just told him to enjoy the moment, go out before pregame and take some pictures and really enjoy it," Steve said, "because you never know when it could end and you could never be back again."

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas were first-team All-Pro selections this season, and both finished among the top five vote-getters for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Safety Kam Chancellor was a second-team All-Pro choice.

That trio of defensive backs is part of a talented secondary known as the "Legion of Boom," and guys such as Smith often get overshadowed.

"You might have been overlooked," Malcolm Smith said, explaining that he's derived motivation from snubs such as not being invited to the NFL draft combine for top prospects coming out of college. "You might feel like you can make plays and never got the opportunity."

But it was Smith who wound up with the victory-sealing interception at the end of Seattle's NFC championship game victory two weeks ago, grabbing the football after Sherman deflected a pass in the end zone.

And then, in the biggest game of all, Smith's pick-6 off a fluttering ball - after teammate Cliff Avril made contact with Manning during the throw - made it 22-0 late in the first half Sunday, and Seattle was on its way.

"I was like, `Again!? No way.' I didn't believe it," Smith said, wearing a gray sweatshirt over his uniform.

He grabbed a fumble in the third quarter, too, as the Seahawks made sure the Broncos never made things interesting.

In many ways, Smith is emblematic of Seattle's success this season.

First and foremost, he plays defense, the unit that is the heart and soul of the team.

He's a young guy on a young roster, in only his third year in the league after playing for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll in college at Southern California.

"When you look at the guys that we have on this team, they're all a bunch of misfits that fit together," special teamer Chris Maragos said. "To see what Malcolm has been able to do is just phenomenal. He's a great worker, he's humble, he plays hard, he studies hard."

Pegged mainly as a special teams guy, Smith's speed and ability to handle both outside linebacker slots earned notice.

When Bruce Irvin was suspended for four games in May for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, it was Smith who filled in as a starter.

When Bobby Wagner was sidelined, and Wright slid over to middle linebacker, Smith got another opportunity to start. And when Wright broke his right foot late in the season, well guess who Seattle called upon? Yep, Smith, of course.

Then suddenly, on Sunday, there he was at the Super Bowl, in the right place and right time, as usual.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Best defense in NFL carries Seattle to title

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Richard Sherman felt the need to apologize.

While the rest of his teammates bounced around in celebration, Sherman hobbled on a pair of crutches, the pain in his right ankle keeping him from enjoying the rain storm of confetti.

"This championship hat, winning, achieving a dream it really numbs the pain a lot. It was really hurting and I was sad I let my teammates down I wasn't able to finish the game," Sherman said. "I knew they would step up for me and do that. This feeling is just unbelievable. It's a dream come true."

Led by its All-Pro cornerback, Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary and the nastiest defense in the NFL proved the strength of the Seahawks was greater than the record-setting arm of Peyton Manning in their stunning 43-8 rout on Sunday night.

Sherman's night was, well, kind of boring. After two weeks of so much attention landing at Sherman's feet for what happened at the end of the NFC championship game, his Super Bowl night was rather uneventful.

That was by design. Manning wasn't about to mess with arguably the best cornerback in the NFL.

Manning carefully tried to avoid throwing at Sherman, leaving the rest of his mates in the secondary to make the plays. Safety Kam Chancellor flattened Demaryius Thomas on Denver's third offensive play, a tone setting moment that epitomized what Seattle was hoping to accomplish against the Broncos talented receivers.

"I definitely think it did. It just sends a message that anytime you come across the middle you have a chance of getting wrecked," Chancellor said. "And that's the way we play on defense. We play physical. We want to instill our will. We want to be a grimy defense."

Chancellor later had an interception on an overthrown pass, cornerback Byron Maxwell forced a fumble in the third quarter and safety Earl Thomas cleaned up everything leftover - which wasn't much.

The result was one of the most lopsided Super Bowl's ever against the most prolific offense the league had even seen.

"You can never expect it but I wasn't really shocked. I expected us to stand up," Sherman said. "I didn't expect us to give up a whole lot of points. It's not our standard to give up a whole lot of points. We haven't done it all year. We knew we would play sound football."

That secondary got plenty of help along with way from a defensive line that got enough pressure to make Manning uncomfortable. They only sacked Manning once, but disrupted the timing of the Broncos pass game regularly. Manning either made an extra pump, or had to take an extra slide step because of the pressure coming at him and the coverage in the secondary.

And when the passes were thrown, there was almost always someone there to make the tackle. As was their approach all season, Seattle was not going get beaten by the big play. Everything was thrown underneath.

Denver's longest pass play was 23 yards.

"Tackling was going to be so important in this game," Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "It was something we stress all the time, but for us when we play our zone coverages how fast can we close and really eliminate the yards after contact."

Sherman was targeted only once in the first half when Manning threw a pass away that floated out of bounds. It came during the only drive of the half where Denver threatened to score, only to get turned away on fourth down.

Sherman was targeted more in the second half and twice had to be tended to by trainers for injuries. The last time finally sent him to the locker room and left Sherman on crutches and in a boot for the celebration.

But Sherman insisted he would be healthy enough for the championship parade coming on Wednesday after the Seahawks gave a performance that showed their success goes beyond their spotlighted secondary.

"It's a lot of guys a lot of people haven't heard of and probably should be in the Pro Bowl and All-Pros and things like that," Sherman said. "I think they learned how complete of a team we are, how complete our defense is.

"It's not just the `Legion of Boom' back there with four guys who play good football."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Sherman suffers high ankle sprain in Super Bowl

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been taken to the locker room on a cart after appearing to hurt his right leg in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Sherman was hit by teammate Earl Thomas as the pair attempted to break up a pass early in the fourth quarter. Sherman had been down earlier in the second half after appearing to get his legs tangled on a block, but he ran off the field after being looked at by trainers.

The second time, trainers again looked at his right leg and he limped off the field with his arm around teammate Walter Thurmond.

The team said Sherman was doubtful to return.

Murray beats Querrey; Brits top US in Davis Cup

SAN DIEGO (AP) Less than five months after having back surgery, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray propelled Britain into the next round of the Davis Cup and earned some time off.

Murray beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 to clinch Britain's opening-round victory against the United States on Sunday at Petco Park.

"I'm proud of the way I'm playing just now, because I had to do a lot of work to get back to where I want to be," Murray said after celebrating with his teammates on the red clay court in a temporary stadium in left field of the downtown home of baseball's San Diego Padres.

"I'm still not quite there yet," said Murray, who beat Donald Young in straight sets on Friday. "Winning matches of that length and quality so soon after the surgery is good. And changing surfaces and stuff. I've done 13 weeks consecutively without a break of training and playing tournaments to try and get myself back. I need a break now to take some days off after I get back home. I deserve it."

Murray won his 18th straight Davis Cup singles match and Britain beat the Americans for the first time since 1935.

Britain advanced to the World Group quarterfinals for the first time since 1986. It will face Italy, which defeated Argentina. The United States is relegated to the World Group playoff in September and will need to win to stay in the World Group.

The last time Great Britain won in the United States was in 1903 in the World Group Challenge Final at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston.

American captain Jim Courier was asked to put that in perspective.

"It feels great to be alive in 2014," Courier said. "We certainly don't feel a lot of kinship to the last team that lost to the Brits on American soil since they've been dead a long time. It has nothing to do with us. We come to play on our own terms."

Murray split tiebreakers with Querrey in the first two sets, breezed through the third set in 29 minutes and won the match when Querrey returned a serve long.

Murray leaned back and pumped both fists, and then swatted the ball into the stands on the opposite end of the court before joining his teammates in a celebration huddle. Later, he had a hot bath, an ice bath and other treatment on his back.

Britain clinched the match at 3-1. The fourth singles match was canceled.

Murray reached matched point on Querrey's serve in the eighth game of the fourth set before the American won three straight points to stay alive.

After falling behind 15-30 in the ninth game, Murray got a new racket. He then double-faulted, giving Querrey break point. Murray won the next three points to clinch the match.

In the first-set tiebreaker, Murray was down a mini-break before rallying to win when Querrey hit a drop volley into the net.

"I tried to do a little too much with it," Querrey said "Every now and then you miss an easy one. It happened to be at a big moment."

Querrey won the second-set tiebreaker on a forehand passing shot and then jumped for joy.

Murray immediately rebounded by breaking Querrey twice to go up 4-0 in the third set. He broke Querrey again to win the set in a seventh game that went to deuce four times, clinching it when Querrey hit into the net.

Murray said it was important to win the first set "because I felt like I was playing the better tennis for the most part of it. Then he started playing better at the end of the set. He probably played a better tiebreak than me as well. Just missed a couple of shots, like the volley on set point was a bad one, but he got himself into a great position.

"If I had lost that it would've been tough after having served for it. Yeah, in these sorts of matches, first set can be crucial."

Although Murray struggled on clay last year, he said he was surprised the Americans chose that surface for this match. He said the clay might have affected Querrey in his five-set loss to James Ward on Friday.

"When we got here the court was pretty slippery and tough to move on," Murray said. "I would say for myself, one of my strengths is my movement on the court. I didn't know if that was something they had done intentionally or just the nature of putting down a temporary clay court.

"Obviously it did have a bearing in the tie, you know, for Sam especially. I think his best surface is hard courts. He will have had all his best results on hard courts."

Kevin Stadler wins Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Kevin Stadler won the Phoenix Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title when playing partner Bubba Watson missed a 5-footer for par on the final hole.

Stadler, the 33-year-old son of PGA Tour winner Craig Stadler, closed with a 3-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Watson and Canadian Graham DeLaet.

Stadler won in his 239th PGA Tour start, earning a spot in the Masters - a tournament his father won in 1982. The Stadlers are the ninth father-son winners in tour history.

Stadler finished at 16-under 268 at TPC Scottsdale, his home course. Raised in Colorado, he played in Denver Broncos colors, wearing an orange shirt and blue pants and hat.

Watson shot a 71, and DeLaet had a 65.

After Stadler and Watson each saved par after hitting into the water on the par-5 15th, Stadler tied Watson for the lead with a par on the par-3 16th hole. Watson hit into the front left bunker on the stadium hole and his 6-footer for par slid by the left side.

They each two-putted for birdie from 90 feet - Watson holing out from 18 feet and Stadler from 5 - after driving the green on the 347-yard hole.

Stadler hit a 344-yard drive on the par-4 18th and hit his 110-yard approach to the back right pin to 10 feet. Watson hit a 342-yard drive into the right rough and hammered his second from 120 yards over the green and into the spectators seated on a hill.

Watson bladed his shot from the trampled rough into the bank next to the green and it ran 5 feet past the hole. After Stadler missed his birdie try and tapped in for par, Watson's par try slid by the left side to end the tournament.

Stadler's previous biggest win was in Australia in the European Tour's 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic. In that event, he hit a 3-iron to a foot for an eagle on the final hole for a two-stroke victory. He also won the Argentine Open that winter and has four Nationwide Tour wins.

Watson, the third-round leader, is winless since the 2012 Masters.

Hunter Mahan and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama tied for fourth at 14 under. Mahan, the 2010 winner, finished with a 68, and Matsuyama shot 69.

Charles Howell III had a 65 to join Brendan Steele (69) and Ryan Moore (70) at 13 under.

Phil Mickelson closed with a 71 to tie for 42nd at 3 under. Lefty was making his 25th appearance in the event he won in 1996, 2005 and 2013.

He showed no signs of the back pain that forced him to withdraw last week at Torrey Pines, and will play next week at Pebble Beach.

The event drew an estimated 563,008 fans, breaking the seven-day record of record of 538,356 set in 2008. The tournament set records the last five days, drawing a golf-record 189,722 on Saturday and 60,232 on Sunday.

Bradshaw off Fox's coverage after father's death

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw did not take part in the network's Super Bowl coverage after the death of his father.

Bill Bradshaw died Thursday after a long illness, Fox said Sunday. He was 86. Terry Bradshaw was with his family in Louisiana.

Fox Sports dedicated the broadcast to the Bradshaws.

Michael Strahan, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame a day earlier, replaced Bradshaw on Sunday's pregame show. Strahan, the former New York Giants defensive end, was originally scheduled to help host Fox's red carpet coverage.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Bill Bradshaw retired as vice president of manufacturing for Riley Beaird.

Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers before going into TV. The Hall of Famer joined Fox's pregame show in 1994.

Ovechkin scores in OT; Capitals top Reds Wings 6-5

WASHINGTON (AP) For the second time in three days, Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 39th goal late against the Detroit Red Wings.

This one won't be taken away.

Ovechkin's one-timer from the left circle on a power play 2:37 into overtime gave the Capitals a 6-5 win Sunday over the Red Wings, earning a split of a home-and-home set and tightening up things even more in the bottlenecked bottom half of the Eastern Conference.

Ovechkin was originally credited with the goal that tied the score with 7 seconds left in regulation on Friday in Detroit - a game the Red Wings eventually won in a shootout. The NHL has since reviewed the play and decided it instead belongs to Joel Ward on a deflection.

Ward kept it up Sunday, getting two goals and an assist as he again benefited from the extra attention paid to Ovechkin, particularly on the power play.

In overtime, however, the power play is 4-on-3, and that left plenty of space for the Russian Olympian to drive home the game-winner after Brendan Smith was sent off for tripping.

"I was pretty much open," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes it's kind of boring when they put one guy close to you and you're basically out of the game, but Wardo and everybody do a great job."

Jason Chimera, John Carlson and Troy Brouwer also scored for the Capitals, who got a touchdown's worth of goals in their fifth consecutive Super Bowl Sunday home matinee. Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves.

The Capitals and Red Wings are tied at 59 points in the standings, in the middle of a six-team pack in which two points separate eighth place from 13th place in the East. Washington had lost seven of nine and three in a row at home.

"It'll go right down to the end," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "That's why you've got to get as healthy as you can. Every point matters. Hopefully your wave will come, and it'll come at the right time."

Ward has 17 goals, matching his career high for a season and making him the unlikely No. 2 scorer on the Capitals.

"I definitely know I've got a role on this team, and that's obviously to try to chip in as much as I can," Ward said. "But by no means I'm not trying to be no superhero or Batman. I'm just trying to help the team win."

Gustav Nyquist had his first career hat trick and added an assist, and Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader also scored for the Red Wings, who at least managed to end a long scoring drought away from home. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots.

Nyquist's goal at 11:40 of the first period ended the Detroit's road scoreless run at 194:14. The Red Wings had been shut out for three consecutive away games, a streak equaled in franchise history only by the 1927-28 Detroit Cougars.

It was one of those games where a trip to the concession stand was a risky proposition. The first period included three power-play goals in just 53 seconds of man-advantage time. In the second period, Tatar and Ward scored 19 seconds apart. Nyquist finished his hat trick just 42 seconds into the third period.

"It was an old-fashioned pond hockey game out there," Howard said. "Every once in a while those games happen. The only thing we've got to take out of this is we found a way to get a point, and a lot of guys played well."

Notes: Capitals D Mike Green missed his second consecutive game. He has been evaluated for concussion-like symptoms since getting hurt against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. ... Capitals F Brooks Laich sat out with a lower-body injury.

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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