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Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan walks to the bus as the team arrive at George Bush Intercontinental Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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  • Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan walks to the bus as the team arrive at George Bush Intercontinental Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    In enemy territory, nary a bad word about Falcons QB Ryan

    BOSTON (AP) — The enemies list is long in New England, and it grows with each tweet that dares to doubt Tom Brady’s supremacy or call coach Bill Belichick a cheater. But there’s one opponent who has escaped the fury of the Foxborough fans, and even has a considerable amount of goodwill in the heart […]
  • FILE - In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank talks about his city's successful bid following a vote at the NFL owner's meeting in Charlotte N.C., that awarded the Super Bowl to Atlanta, which will host the game in 2019, South Florida, (2020) and Los Angeles (2021). The New England Patriots' "Deflategate" was a major story, but the Atlanta Falcons were handed a much-less publicized punishment for pumping fake noise into home games in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Falcons' "Inflategate" was a blip on the news radar, in large part because owner Arthur Blank acknowledged the team's rules violation even before the NFL released its official findings in 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

    Blank’s approach made ‘Inflategate’ a blip on Falcons’ radar

    ATLANTA (AP) — The “Deflategate” scandal has hovered over the Patriots for parts of three seasons, thanks to appeals of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, finally served at the beginning of this season. New England’s Super Bowl opponents had their own scandal — but it was a blip on the news radar that most fans long […]
  • Dallas coach honored as NFL’s top high school coach

    HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the Super Bowl (all times local): 2 p.m. Randy Allen of Highland Park High School in Dallas has been selected as the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. The award was created to honor high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health and […]
  • Workers attach a sign to the front of NRG Stadium as preparations continue for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Column: A preview of things to expect during Super Bowl week

    There have been 50 of these already, making this Super Bowl LI in the roman numerals the NFL uses to make sure no one forgets just how important the game really is. And important it is, at least as a national holiday of sorts to the 100 million Americans who will tune in. People who […]
  • Central Division goalie Devan Dubnyk, right, of the Minnesota Wild, is scored on by Pacific Division forward Johnny Gaudreau, of the Calgary Flames, as forward Bo Horvat, of the Vancouver Canucks, skates by during the first game of an NHL All-Star hockey game at Staples Center, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    NHL luminaries praise All-Star Game’s 3-on-3 format

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it comes to the NHL All-Star Game, less is definitely more. While the NFL’s Pro Bowl spent years struggling with ballooning scores, little defense, a lack of effort and concerns over its long-term viability, the NHL seemingly remedied many of those same issues by changing to a 3-on-3 format last […]
  • Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau yells during the third quarter of the team's NBA basketball against the Brooklyn Nets in Minneapolis, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. The Timberwolves defeated the Nets 129-109. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

    Belichick has quite a fan in Minnesota’s Thibodeau

    Tom Thibodeau has won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics, a gold medal with Team USA and been hired to take over the Minnesota Timberwolves and remake them to fit a vision he has carefully honed over the last two decades. Among all those sporting highs over a long career, one day stands out […]
  • AFC outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) of the Buffalo Bills, and tight end Travis Kelce (87), of the Kansas City Chiefs, raise the MVP trophy following the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. The AFC defeated the NFL 20-13. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    AFC holds on to defeat NFC 20-13 in Pro Bowl

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Pro Bowl has long been more about showmanship than competition. Clearly, that memo missed Lorenzo Alexander. The Buffalo Bills linebacker could have just sat on a late interception for the win, but instead opted to return the ball 20 yards and then lateralled it to Aqib Talib, who came within […]
  • This Nov. 9, 2014 photo shows former NFL player John Lynch on the sideline before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans. The San Francisco 49ers have hired Lynch to be their general manager. After a lengthy search that included interviews with nine other publicly identified candidates, team CEO Jed York settled on a mystery candidate when he gave the job to Lynch on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

    49ers make surprise hire of John Lynch as general manager

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers made a surprise hire to fill their general manager void Sunday, hiring former NFL safety and Fox television analyst John Lynch to replace Trent Baalke. Lynch comes into the job with no front-office experience, having gone straight from the playing field to the broadcast booth. But […]
  • AFC head coach Andy Reid, of the Kansas City Chiefs, talks to AFC running back Jay Ajayi (23), of the Miami Dolphins, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    The Latest: Andy Reid, AFC hang on to win Pro Bowl 20-13

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Pro Bowl (all times local): 11:15 p.m. Andy Reid had a good time leading the AFC to a 20-13 victory over the NFC in a competitive Pro Bowl. Alex Smith and Andy Dalton threw touchdown passes, and Reid reached into his bag of trick plays to entertain […]
  • Colts hire Kansas City’s Ballard as general manager

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is turning to another first-time general manager to get his franchise back on track. Eight days after firing Ryan Grigson and conducting a week of interviews, Irsay hired former Kansas City Chiefs executive Chris Ballard. The announcement came Sunday on the team’s website. “Chris has a solid […]