Ben Roethlisberger

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Posted by bender 03/16/2009 @ 19:10

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Dear Ben: Questions for Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben ... - Bleacher Report
by jonathan staub (Scribe) I have seen 15 different starting quarterbacks under center, two head coaches, seven AFC Championship game appearances and two Super Bowl wins in my 24 years on this planet, and have no doubts that you will provide me with...
Ben Roethlisberger denies cancer Web rumors - Boston Herald
By AP PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is telling a newspaper that social networking Web sites that claim to have news about him are bogus. Roethlisberger says he doesn't have skin cancer, despite an online post by...
The Bell Tolls: Super Bowl wins Steelers hard work with Obama - USA Today
By Jason Reed, Reuters By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW — Back on the South Lawn of the White House on a gorgeous, 80-degree afternoon Thursday, Ben Roethlisberger broke a sweat. They were lured here to collect on the photo op of...
Fake Facebook Account Claims Roethlisberger Has Skin Cancer - Manolith
By Yosef Solomon on May 22, 2009 - 23 views Two-time Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers had Skin Cancer, according to his Facebook profile. The 27 year-old denies any type of cancer disease and holding any...
AFC North Preview: Pittsburgh Poised to Repeat With Makings Of a ... - Bleacher Report
There is an unparalleled amount of talent in the division, highlighted by three Pro-Bowl Quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Anderson and the 2007 Pro-Bowl MVP Carson Palmer. Add in Big Ben's counterpart in last year's AFC Championship game,...
Roethlisberger charity provides Pa. police dog - Philadelphia Inquirer
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is helping a northwestern Pennsylvania police department fight crime. The Cambridge Springs police department used $8000 from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to care for and equip a new 2-year-old...
Steelers focusing on avoiding '06-like letdown - The Associated Press
Similarly, the Steelers started 2-6 in 2006 — the year of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's serious motorcycle accident — and finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs. "Teams come hard at you," Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. "You become a target....
Is Ben Roethlisberger being sacked into an early retirement? - Yahoo! Sports
By MJD "Ben Roethlisberger gets sacked too much, and the Steelers should be concerned about that" was one of the most popular themes of last season. As it turned out, the Steelers survived any problems with their offensive line, and then went on to...
Steelers Playbook 2009: A Model Of Consistency - Bleacher Report
Stability and consistency in the Pittsburgh organization has allowed QB Ben Roethlisberger to blossom and bring two Lombardi Trophies to the Steel City. The success is a function of the front office, the coaches, the players and the playbook....
Ben Roethlisberger to Welcome Tiger Woods at Tiger Jam in Las Vegas - GolfLasVegasNow.com
Tiger is healthy heading into the festivities for 2009, and plans call for him to be welcomed to the Mandalay Bay Events Center stage on Saturday night, May 16, by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Woods will then introduce Grammy...

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger's number being retired before the 2007 Miami-BGSU game. Also pictured Bob Hitchens (far left) and John Pont (2nd from the left)

Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger (born March 2, 1982, in Lima, Ohio), nicknamed Big Ben, is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Steelers 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).

Roethlisberger earned the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004. He became the youngest Super Bowl–winning quarterback in NFL history, helping lead the Steelers, in his second professional season, to a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at the age of 23. He was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2007. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl title in four seasons as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27-23, after he made a game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the final 35 seconds. Roethlisberger currently ranks seventh all-time in NFL passer rating (89.4) and yards per attempt (7.86) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1500 career attempts.

Roethlisberger resided in Van Wert, Ohio until the age of eight. At Findlay High School, in Findlay, Ohio, he played on the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Roethlisberger did not play quarterback until his senior year, giving way to the coach's son, Ryan Hite. Instead, he played wide receiver because coach Cliff Hite explained to the Toledo Blade, "My son throwing to Ben was a better combination." Ryan Hite was named Great Lakes League Offensive Back of the year, and Roethlisberger received a special mention all-Ohio player as a receiver. They led the Trojans to the team's first league title in 15 years.

Roethlisberger threw for 4,041 yards, 54 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his one season as quarterback at Findlay. The younger Hite threw for 1,732 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in the year preceding Roethlisberger's quarterbacking debut.

In a twist of irony, Roethslisberger played college quarterback at Division I Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, while Ryan Hite played college wide receiver at Division III Denison. At Miami, Roethlisberger got a chance to start as a redshirt freshman and started three years of Division I college football after starting just one year as a high-school quarterback. Roethlisberger holds every major passing record at the school and a number of passing records in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) despite playing just three years before joining the NFL.

As a redshirt freshman, Roethlisberger threw for over 3,100 yards. In 2002, he threw more than 3,200 yards, and in 2003, he threw more than 4,400 yards. In 2003, Roethlisberger led the Miami RedHawks to an unbeaten record in the MAC, a no. 10 ranking in the Associated Press poll and a 49-28 victory over Louisville in the 2003 GMAC Bowl. His number was retired by the RedHawks in 91st annual homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, with festivities including the RedHawks football game against Bowling Green; Roethlisberger becoming only the third athlete in Miami football history to have his jersey number retired, joining luminaries John Pont and Bob Hitchens. It is the first time in 34 years Miami has retired a football jersey number.

Roethlisberger was selected 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. On August 4, 2004, Roethlisberger signed a six-year contract worth $22.26 million in salaries and bonuses, with an additional $17.73 million available via incentives. He was touted by then Steelers coach Bill Cowher in a press conference as a franchise quarterback.

On March 3, 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Roethlisberger agreed to an eight-year, $102 million contract. Roethlisberger had two years left on the deal he signed with the team as the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He has stated that he wants to retire as a Steeler.

Roethlisberger did not immediately step in as the starting quarterback for the Steelers. He was the no. 3 QB behind Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch. When Batch was injured in the preseason, however, Roethlisberger moved up to no. 2. Maddox started, and won, the season opener against the Raiders and started versus the Ravens. But after an ineffective outing and third-quarter injury, Roethlisberger stepped in for his first NFL action. Despite spurring a mild comeback, the Steelers were down too much to win the game. Maddox's injury changed the Steelers' original plan for Roethlisberger, which was for him to sit on the bench or play very sparingly during the first season or two in order to learn the team's system. Instead, he was starting the third game of the season.

As a rookie, he went 13–0 in the regular season (14-1 including playoffs) as a starting quarterback, helping the Steelers become the first AFC team to have 15 wins (2-1 under Maddox , 13-0 under Roethlisberger) in a single season, surpassing former Steeler Mike Kruczek for the record for the best start by a rookie (6–0) and exceeding the mark for total wins as a rookie, set by Chris Chandler and Joe Ferguson. On January 5, 2005, Roethlisberger was unanimously selected as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, the first quarterback in 34 years to be so honored.

One of Roethlisberger's biggest games was when he led the Steelers to a 34-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion and previously undefeated New England Patriots, ending their NFL-record 21-game winning streak. He completed 18 of his 24 pass attempts for 196 yards, two TDs and no turnovers. The week after that game, the Steelers defeated the also previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles 27-3. Roethlisberger was 11 of 18 for 183 yards, with two TDs and one interception.

In his first nationally-televised game on Sunday Night Football, he led the Steelers to a 17-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was near perfect on the night, completing 14 of 17 passes for 226 yards and two TDs. A spike to stop the clock on the game-winning field-goal drive he led was the only thing preventing him from a 158.3 rating on the night. Jeff Reed's 37-yard field goal in the final minute gave the Steelers and Roethlisberger their tenth straight win.

Two weeks later, Roethlisberger faced off against the New York Giants and the no. 1 overall pick of the 2004 draft, Eli Manning. Roethlisberger outshined the QB that went 10 spots ahead of him in the draft, posting his first career 300-yard passing game. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 316 yards and a TD. He led his fifth game-winning drive of the season, capping a drive with a Jerome Bettis TD run for a 33-30 victory. Eli Manning threw an interception to seal the game for Pittsburgh.

In the divisional playoffs against the New York Jets, Roethlisberger threw two interceptions. One interception was returned for a touchdown, and the other was thrown with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter, which set up a potential game-winning field goal by Jets kicker Doug Brien. Brien missed the kick as time expired (his second missed kick in the last two minutes of the game), forcing the game into overtime. In overtime, Roethlisberger led the Steelers down the field and put them in position for the game-winning field goal, a 33-yard attempt that was made by Jeff Reed, sending the Steelers into the AFC Championship for the fourth time in 10 years.

On January 23, 2005 in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 226 yards and two TDs, but he also threw three costly interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Rodney Harrison. The Steelers lost the game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, by a score of 41-27.

After losing the 2005 AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger convinced veteran running back Jerome Bettis to delay retirement, with a tearful promise to him that he would get Bettis to his first Super Bowl. He lived up to his promise.

The following year, Roethlisberger led the Steelers on an improbable run, winning three straight playoff games on the road to put Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL. The Steelers won, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21–10. What made the run remarkable was that the Steelers began the postseason as the sixth seed in the AFC. Since the NFL's current playoff format began, no sixth seed had even made it to a conference championship game, let alone the Super Bowl.

In the 2005 regular season, the Steelers finished 11-5. After securing an AFC wild card spot en route to victory in the Super Bowl, the Steelers pulled off upsets at Indianapolis and Denver in the AFC playoffs in addition to wins over higher seeds Cincinnati and Seattle. During the course of the regular season, Roethlisberger generally played well when healthy, but missed four games due to various knee injuries. During the regular season, the Steelers were 9-3 with Roethlisberger at quarterback and 2-2 without him. He led the league in Yards Per Attempt with an 8.90, and finished third in passer rating behind Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer with a 98.6.

The Super Bowl run began on Sunday, January 8, 2006 as Roethlisberger helped lead the Steelers to a playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals—an AFC North rival that had beaten the Steelers by seven points in the regular season to win the division championship. The rematch featured two teams with identical records, having split their regular season series since each team won on the road. Early in the game on Carson Palmer's first throw, a tackle by former Steeler Kimo von Oelhoffen resulted in Palmer's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) being completely torn. The Bengals' backup quarterback, Jon Kitna, came in and led the Bengals to leads of 10-0 and 17-7. However, the 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter would be the last time in the 2005 postseason that the Steelers would trail an opponent by more than three points. After Kitna failed to produce, the Steelers took advantage by taking the next 24 straight points, and the win, in a 31-17 victory in Cincinnati.

Their second road win came on Sunday, January 15, 2006. Roethlisberger led the sixth-seeded Steelers against the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL's top team throughout the season and a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger threw for 197 yards and recorded a game-saving tackle on Colts' defensive back Nick Harper, who had just recovered a Jerome Bettis fumble with less than two minutes left in the game. The tackle saved the season for the Steelers. Pittsburgh led early but had to survive a Colts comeback to win 21-18, after an errant call that the NFL later admitted was a mistake, which overturned a Troy Polamalu interception that would have secured the game for the Steelers. Roethlisberger's tackle on Harper, dubbed by many as The Tackle II or The Immaculate Redemption, was compared by many to "The Immaculate Reception" in 1972, when Franco Harris made a miraculous reception and scored the game-winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. The victory marked the first time in playoff history that a sixth-seeded NFL playoff team defeated the top-seeded team.

On January 22, 2006, the Steelers defeated the Broncos 34-17 in Denver to win the AFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger completed 21 of 29 passes for 275 yards and threw two touchdown passes and scored one TD himself on a four-yard play-action bootleg. His run was the last touchdown of the game, sealing the win for the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit on February 5, 2006. Roethlisberger had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing just nine of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions; his passer rating of 22.6 was the lowest in Super Bowl history by a winning quarterback. Though he did convert eight discrete third-down situations in the game to help the Steelers win, none of them was bigger than his 37-yard pass to Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward on a third-and-28 that set up the Steelers' first TD (a one-yard quarterback sneak by Roethlisberger on third and goal). With the victory, Roethlisberger, at 23 years old, became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl, a record previously held by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

After an off-season motorcycle crash in which he was seriously injured, Roethlisberger missed the opening game of the 2006 season after having an emergency appendectomy on September 3, 2006. Backup Charlie Batch started and led the Steelers to a victory over Miami. Roethlisberger played the following game against Jacksonville on Monday Night Football. His return resulted in a sub-par performance as he threw two interceptions with no touchdowns in a 9-0 loss. In week three, Roethlisberger completed fewer than half of his passes for three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 28-20 loss to the Bengals. The final interception came in the final seconds of the game, in the end zone, ending Pittsburgh's comeback attempt. In a week-five game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football, Roethlisberger looked sharp throughout the first half, leading three scoring drives. However, in the second half, he threw two interceptions, both of which shifted momentum away from the Steelers and led to the Chargers' 23-13 win. In week six against the Kansas City Chiefs, Roethlisberger had his first big game of the season, completing 16 of 19 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns (his first of the year) and no interceptions during a 45-7 rout of the Chiefs.

During week seven in Atlanta, Roethlisberger continued his success, going 16 of 22 for 238 yards and three TDs. But during the third quarter, Roethlisberger was helped off the field after suffering a concussion following a controversial hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney. Roethlisberger was replaced by Charlie Batch, and the Steelers went on to lose 41-38 in overtime. On October 29 against the Oakland Raiders, Roethlisberger threw four interceptions in a 20-13 upset loss. The loss was his fifth of the season—two more than he had in his first two seasons combined as a starter—and gave him a total of 11 INTs, versus just six TDs, on the season. In a week-nine rematch of the 2005 AFC championship game against Denver, Roethlisberger threw a career-high 433 yards but had three of the six Steelers turnovers in a 31-20 loss. Roethlisberger and the Steelers got back on a winning track in a home game a week later against the New Orleans Saints. He passed for 264 yards and three TDs in a 38-31 win.

In week 11, Roethlisberger overcame three first-half INTs by throwing for 224 yards and two TDs in the fourth quarter, leading the Steelers to score 21 points and come back to beat the Cleveland Browns 24-20. The following week, Roethlisberger and the Steelers were held scoreless in a 27-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger finished 21 of 41 for 214 yards and two INTs. He was sacked nine times, including once by Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, which sent him to the sidelines briefly. He also fumbled once, which the Ravens returned for a TD in the second half.

Roethlisberger bounced back the following game, throwing for 198 yards and two TDs in a 20-3 victory over Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh kept their playoff hopes alive in week 14 with a 27-7 victory against the Browns. Roethlisberger went 11 of 21 for 225 yards with one TD, and rushed for one more. In week 15, Roethlisberger threw for 140 yards and a TD in a 37-3 rout of the Carolina Panthers. The following week, Baltimore eliminated Pittsburgh from the playoffs. In the 31-7 defeat, Roethlisberger was intercepted twice and threw for 156 yards. Roethlisberger ended the season on a good note by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17 in overtime in what would be Bill Cowher's final game as Steelers coach. He was 19 for 28 passing with 280 yards, one TD, and one INT. In overtime, Roethlisberger completed a slant pass to rookie Santonio Holmes, who went 67 yards for the game-winning TD. This win eliminated the Bengals from playoff contention.

Due to his sub-par '06–'07 season, many questions surrounded Roethlisberger at the start of the season. In the first game of '07–'08 season, Roethlisberger reached a personal milestone: his first career four-touchdown game. The Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 34-7. The four touchdowns went to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes (a 40-yard strike), Heath Miller, and rookie tight end Matt Spaeth. He followed that up with another solid performance against the Buffalo Bills. Roethlisberger was 21 of 34 passing for 242 yards and a one-yard touchdown pass to Spaeth. He continued his solid season with a decent performance against the 49ers. He was 13 of 20 passing for 160 yards and another touchdown pass to the third TE, Jerame Tuman. In week five, he had a good performance despite having two top wide receivers, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, out due to injury. Roethlisberger completed 18 of 22 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown pass to Heath Miller in the first quarter.

In week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens, Roethlisberger threw for a career-high five touchdowns, which tied a team record held by Terry Bradshaw and Mark Malone in a 38-7 victory over the Ravens on Monday Night Football. All five touchdowns were thrown in the first half, making Roethlisberger one of two quarterbacks in the 2007 season (the other being Tom Brady), and only the fifth quarterback since the 1970 merger, to accomplish such a feat. He also posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating in that game.

The following Sunday, Roethlisberger continued to shine when he erased a 15-point deficit against the Browns. With the Steelers trailing 21-16 in the fourth quarter and facing a third-and-10 from the Cleveland 30-yard line, Roethlisberger scrambled up the middle of the field for a 30-yard TD run (the longest run of his career at that point). He then completed a two-point conversion pass to Hines Ward. After the Browns returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD, Roethlisberger again had to drive the offense with a four-point deficit. This time he made three crucial plays on third down: an 18-yard pass to Santonio Holmes on third-and-six, a 20-yard pass to Heath Miller on a third-and-18, and a 10-yard scramble on third-and-nine. Roethlisberger capped off the drive with a short TD pass to Heath Miller, which proved to be the game winner.

In week 12, Roethlisberger set a Steelers record, completing 85.7% of his passes (18 of 21) as the Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0, a feat made all the more remarkable given the weather conditions. Pittsburgh was hit with a torrential storm, delaying the game 30 minutes due to lightning, while turning the new sod on the field, laid earlier that week, into a soggy mess. In many parts of the field, players sunk several inches with each step.

During the week 15 game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Roethlisberger threw his 29th TD pass of the season, to Nate Washington, breaking the team single-season TD pass record previously held by Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

During week 16 in St. Louis against the Rams, Roethlisberger posted his second perfect passer rating (158.3) of the season. He was 16 of 20 for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It was his third career 158.3 rating game, tying Peyton Manning for the most such regular-season games in NFL history. He also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw two perfect games in a single regular season.

To cap his comeback season, Roethlisberger was named to his first Pro Bowl, joining five other Steelers teammates on the AFC squad. Roethlisberger's 32 touchdown passes ranked third in the NFL, behind Tony Romo and Tom Brady, while his 104.1 passer rating was second only to Brady. On five different occasions during the season, Roethlisberger led the team back from a double-digit deficit to a lead or tie in the fourth quarter. However, the Steelers would lose four of those five games as the defense in the end could not hold off Denver, New York and Jacksonville (twice), respectively. Roethlisberger also set a new Steelers single-season record with 32 touchdown passes in the 2007 season.

In a rematch of the week 15 contest, the Steelers hosted the Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card game on January 5, 2008. With the injury to Willie Parker, the Steelers could never mount a rushing attack; Roethlisberger struggled a great deal in the first half, throwing three interceptions (one being returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis) as the Steelers trailed at the half by a score of 21-7. He pulled himself together and went 17 of 23 for 263 yards and two TDs in the second half alone. The Steelers were trailing 28-10 as the fourth quarter began. When facing a fourth-and-12 at the Jaguar 37, Roethlisberger threw a quick pass against the blitz to Santonio Holmes, who broke one tackle and scored a TD to pull within 11. The Steelers scored two TDs on their next two possessions to take a 29-28 lead, but failed on both attempts at a two-point conversion. That would be costly, as David Garrard would later scramble 32 yards on a fourth-and-two to set up the winning field goal. Jacksonville finally won the game 31-29 after Roethlisberger was sacked for the sixth time that night and fumbled with a drive that started under the 0:30 mark.

Having been sacked 47 times (second most in the NFL), it was speculated that Roethlisberger's performances could have been even better given improved protection. He often showed great skill outside the pocket, as well as being among the top rushing quarterbacks. While the team did not go as far as they would have liked, it was a successful comeback season for Roethlisberger. He finished third in Comeback Player of the Year, behind the Patriots' Randy Moss and the Dallas Cowboys' Greg Ellis, who won the award. In his first Pro Bowl, Roethlisberger played three series in the second quarter, going five of nine for 42 yards and one TD, and he led the AFC team in rushing with an 18-yard scramble. The NFC won the game 42-30.

Week 1 vs. Houston Texans (W 38-17): Completed 13 of 14 passes for a career-high 92.9 completion percentage (min. 10 attempts), and finished with 137 yards passing and two TD passes. Byron Leftwich took over in the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger was on the sideline with a shoulder injury.

Week 2 at Cleveland Browns (W 10-6): Leading the Steelers to their 10th straight win over the Browns on a windy, rainy night in Cleveland, Roethlisberger completed 13 of 20 passes for 179 yards and a TD pass to Hines Ward. He also had the first pass reception of his career, a negative-seven yard completion to himself after a deflected pass in the second quarter. .

Week 3 at Philadelphia Eagles (L 15-6): Behind a relentless pass rush by Philadelphia, Roethlisberger was sacked eight times, fumbled twice, threw one interception, and was called for a safety in the fourth quarter. He did not finish the game, as his throwing hand was injured.

Week 4 vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 23-20 OT): On Monday Night Football against a division rival, the Steelers trailed 13-3 at halftime. Roethlisberger threw a TD pass to Santonio Holmes in the third quarter to start a comeback. He completed two passes Mewelde Moore for 31 yards in overtime, setting up Jeff Reed for the winning 46-yard field goal.

Week 5 at Jacksonville Jaguars (W 26-21): On Sunday Night Football, he completed 26 of 41 passes for 309 yards and three TDs. His 239 yards passing in the first half was a career high. After falling behind 21-20 in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger directed the game-winning drive, passing for an eight-yard TD to Hines Ward to put the Steelers ahead. It was Roethlisberger's 15th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter/overtime. Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.

Week 7 at Cincinnati Bengals (W 38-10): Off the bye, Roethlisberger passed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. It was the Steelers' eighth straight win in Cincinnati, and Roethlisberger was the quarterback for six of those games (it was his overall 11th win in 11 games in the state of Ohio)..

Week 8 vs. New York Giants (L 21-14): Against the defending champions, Roethlisberger was sacked five times and threw one touchdown and four interceptions, ending the game with a Steelers loss.

Week 9 at Washington Redskins (W 23-6): On Monday Night Football, Roethlisberger had one of the worst performances of his career, posting career lows in passer rating (15.1), completions (5), passing yards (50), yards per attempt (2.94) and completion percentage (29.4%). Overall, he was five of 17 for 50 yards, an interception, three sacks. Before halftime, Roethlisberger re-injured his throwing shoulder in the game when he rushed for a one-yard TD that put the Steelers up 10-6. He never returned in the second half. Byron Leftwich and the defense took the Steelers to a 23-6 victory.

Week 11 vs. San Diego Chargers (W 11-10): Roethlisberger completed 31 of 41 passes for 308 yards and no interceptions. He led his third game-winning drive of the season (16th of his career) as Jeff Reed's 32-yard field goal connected with 0:11 left. It was the first 11-10 game in NFL history.

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (W 27-10): Four days later, on Thursday Night Football, Roethlisberger threw for 243 yards and one TD and rushed for his second TD of the season.

Week 13 at New England Patriots (W 33-10): In consistent rain, Roethlisberger completed 17 of 33 passes for 179 yards, two TDs, and one INT. After falling behind 10-3 in the second quarter, Roethlisberger and the fierce Steelers' defense led the Steelers to 30 unanswered points in a 33-10 victory.

Week 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys (W 20-13): Steelers trailed 13-3 in the fourth quarter before tying the game on Roethlisberger's six-yard TD pass to Heath Miller. The Steelers won 20-13 after Deshea Townsend intercepted a Tony Romo pass for a TD. Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and one TD, and he lost a fumble. It was Roethlisberger's 49th victory as a starting QB, breaking the record for the most ever by a QB in their first five NFL seasons.

Week 15 at Baltimore Ravens (W 13-9): Steelers trailed 9-3 in the fourth quarter. After a FG to make it 9-6, the Steelers took over with 3:38 remaining. Roethlisberger led a 92-yard, game-winning TD drive, culminating in a four-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes for the 13-9 victory. The TD was confirmed by instant replay from a booth review. It was Roethlisberger's 50th victory as a starter and fifth game-winning/tying drive in the fourth quarter/OT of the season, and it clinched the second straight AFC North title for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 246 yards and rushed for 21 more in the game. He completed seven passes for 89 yards on the winning drive.

Week 16 at Tennessee Titans (L 31-14): After falling behind 10-0, Roethlisberger threw two TD passes to take a 14-10 lead in the third quarter. Later, an interception ended a streak of 131 passes without an interception, the longest of his career. After 14 unanswered by the Titans, Roethlisberger threw a second interception, which was returned for an 83-yard TD in the final minute. The Steelers' loss clinched the no. 2 seed. Roethlisberger completed 25 of 39 passes for 329 yards, two TDs, two INTs, and four fumbles (lost two).

Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 31-0): Roethlisberger suffered simultaneous hard hits from Willie McGinest and D'Qwell Jackson just after the two-minute warning in the first half. He laid on the field for roughly 15 minutes before being carted off on a stretcher and taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion, but practiced during the week leading up to the playoff opener.

AFC Divisional Round vs. San Diego Chargers (W 35-24): Roethlisberger shook off past demons of returning from injury to lead the Steelers to a 35-24 victory against the Chargers. After a late TD drive to close the first half with a 14-10 lead, Roethlisberger converted three third-and-long passes on a 7:56 TD drive to start the second half, putting the Steelers up by double-digits for the rest of the game. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 181 yards and a TD while being sacked just once, with no turnovers. After the game, it was revealed that his injury suffered against Cleveland in week 17 was a spinal-cord concussion.

AFC Championship vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 23-14): Roethlisberger threw for 255 yards, one TD no turnovers to help the Steelers beat Baltimore for the third time in the '08–'09 season and return to the Super Bowl. It was Roethlisberger's seventh playoff win in his first five seasons, moving him past Troy Aikman for second most all-time (first is Tom Brady with nine).

Super Bowl 43 vs. Arizona Cardinals (W 27-23): Wanting to atone for his performance in Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to one of the more dramatic victories in Super Bowl history. On the first two offensive drives, Roethlisberger passed for 122 yards on seven of eight passing attempts, which is one yard shy of his total amount from his first Super Bowl start. The Steelers led 10-0 and went into halftime up 17-7. The lead grew to 20-7 before Arizona mounted a comeback. Trailing for the first time in the game, 23-20, with 2:30 remaining in the game, Roethlisberger took the field to start the winning drive. After a holding penalty on the first play, Roethlisberger marched the Steelers 88 yards in eight plays, hooking up with game MVP Santonio Holmes four times for 73 yards on the drive, including the six-yard TD pass that put the Steelers ahead with 0:35 remaining. Overall, Roethlisberger finished 21 of 30 for 256 yards, one TD, and one INT. He had a passer rating of 93.2.

In just five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Roethlisberger has become the second most prolific quarterback in franchise history, behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. As of 2008, sports broadcasters in the Pittsburgh region have been praising Roethlisberger as "the second coming of John Elway" due to his late clutch game-winning drives and the repeated sacks he has taken through out his career, similar to Elway's career. For a list of Roethlisberger's rankings in the Steelers record books, see here.

On Monday, June 12, 2006, at 11:17 a.m. EDT (UTC-4), Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident near the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue near downtown Pittsburgh, in which he was not wearing his helmet. KDKA-TV of Pittsburgh has reported that Roethlisberger did not have a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license at the time of the accident, only a temporary permit that he had obtained after moving to Pittsburgh. According to KDKA, his permit had expired in March.

Roethlisberger was traveling east on Second Avenue when a Chrysler New Yorker made a left turn in front of the motorcycle and onto the South Tenth Street Bridge when the accident occurred. According to an eyewitness, Roethlisberger went over the handlebars of his bike, a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa, shattering the windshield of the car with his head. The eyewitness reports claimed Roethlisberger tried to get up but was bleeding from the head. Reports from the scene and news media indicated that the accident was serious but "not life- or career-threatening," though Roethlisberger would later relate in interviews that paramedics on the scene stopped the bleeding in his throat just in time to save his life. After the accident, the shift commander for the Allegheny County emergency service described Roethlisberger as "alert and conscious." He was transported to Mercy Hospital and was described as being in "serious but stable" condition in the operating room.

Upon arriving at Mercy Hospital, he went immediately into surgery, where he remained for more than seven hours. The broken bones in his face were repaired. The subsequent news conference with the Mercy Hospital staff was brief but confirmed early reports that the most serious injuries were to the head and face. There was no neck, spinal, or brain damage found. After surgery, at approximately noon on June 13, 2006, Roethlisberger was upgraded to fair condition.

The most serious injuries to Roethlisberger were a broken upper and lower jaw and a broken nose. Roethlisberger was expected to make a full recovery in time for the opening game of the season.

In the wake of Kellen Winslow II's crashing of his motorcycle in May 2005, Roethlisberger had been criticized by various NFL members and the media for not wearing a helmet while riding. Even Roethlisberger's coach, Bill Cowher, lectured him about motorcycle safety. Former Steeler Terry Bradshaw warned Roethlisberger personally when he visited the Steelers' training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and on television, saying, "Ride it when you retire." In a segment put together by ESPN following Winslow's accident, Roethlisberger had said he didn't wear a helmet because it was not required by law, adding, "You're just more free when you're out there and there's no helmet on." Transcripts of the interview recall Roethlisberger telling Suzy Kolber that he only rides a Harley, or his chopper with friends, not a sport bike (like the one Winslow was on). He also claimed to have his license. Both statements have been proven false since the accident.

On June 19, the Pittsburgh police announced that Roethlisberger would be cited for failure to wear a helmet and failure to operate in his license class. Wearing a helmet is optional in Pennsylvania only for operators who currently possess and have had a motorcycle license for at least two years. The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

Roethlisberger gave his first television interview after the accident on July 13, with ABC's Good Morning America. He said he was told by responding paramedics that he ruptured a major blood vessel in his mouth and was minutes away from dying. Despite the seriousness of the accident, his recovery went so well that he started the first three Steelers 2006 preseason games.

In five seasons, Roethlisberger has many individual accomplishments that are record performances in Steelers history.

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Peyton Manning

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Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. One of only two three-time NFL MVPs, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest quarterback of all time. He was drafted by the Colts as the first overall pick in 1998 after a standout college football career with the Tennessee Volunteers. The son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, he is the older brother of current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning holds NFL records for consecutive seasons with over 4,000 yards passing and the most total seasons with 4,000 or more yards passing in a career. Manning holds the highest career passer rating among active quarterbacks and his 94.7 rating puts him second all-time behind only Steve Young. He is the all-time career passing yards and passing touchdowns leader for the Colts franchise.

Since the Colts drafted Manning in 1998 the team has the highest conversion rate on 3rd down (44.6%) and 4th down (61.1%) plays in the NFL. While leading the Colts to their Super Bowl XLI victory in 2006, Manning helped the team to an NFL record by converting 56.1% of its 3rd downs.

Having become the NFL's most marketable player, Manning has appeared in numerous commercials, was featured on the covers of the NFL Fever games for the Xbox, and hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Manning stunned many when he chose to attend the University of Tennessee instead of Ole Miss, his father's alma mater. He became Tennessee's all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns and won 39 of 45 games as a starter, breaking the Southeastern Conference (SEC) record for career wins.

As a freshman, Manning was the third-string quarterback, but injuries to Todd Helton and Jerry Colquitt forced him to take over the Mississippi State game, a 24–21 loss. In his first start, the following week against Washington State, the Vols won, 10–9, and the Vols won all but one of their remaining games, finishing the season 8–4 with a 45–23 victory over Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

Manning and the Vols started off the 1995 season with victories over East Carolina and Georgia, before heading off to Gainesville to play the Gators. Against Florida, he threw for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the Vols to a 30–21 halftime lead. However, the Gators outscored the Vols 41–7 in the second half, winning 62–37. This would be the Vols' only loss of the season, as they won their remaining 8 regular season games, including a 41–14 win over Alabama and then defeated Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl. The Vols ended the season ranked third and Manning came in sixth in Heisman Trophy voting.

The Vols opened the 1996 season ranked second behind Nebraska and one of the favorites to win the national championship. However, after winning their first two games against UNLV and UCLA, the Vols again lost to Florida, 35–29, with Manning throwing four interceptions. After winning their next four games, the Vols were upset by Memphis, despite Manning passing for 296 yards. The Vols won the remainder of their games, including a 48–28 win in the Citrus Bowl over Northwestern, a game in which Manning passed for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns; he was named the game's MVP.

Manning completed his degree in three years, and was projected to be the top overall pick in the NFL Draft, but returned to Tennessee for his senior year. In his senior season, the Vols opened the season with victories against Texas Tech and UCLA, but for the third time in his career, Manning fell to Florida, 33–20. The Vols won the rest of their regular season games, finishing 10–1, and advanced to the SEC Championship game against Auburn. Down 20–7, Manning led the Vols to a 30–29 victory. Throwing for 4 touchdowns, he was named the game's MVP, but injured himself in the process. The 3rd-ranked Vols were matched-up with 2nd-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl; if Tennessee won and top-ranked Michigan lost to Washington State in the Rose Bowl, the Vols would win the national championship. However, the Vols' defense could not stop Nebraska's rushing attack, giving up over 400 rushing yards in a 42–17 loss. As a senior, Manning won numerous awards; he was a consensus first-team All-American, the Maxwell Award winner, the Davey O'Brien Award winner, the Johnny Unitas Award winner, and the Best College Player ESPY Award winner, among others; however, he did not win the Heisman, finishing runner-up to Charles Woodson. In 2005, Tennessee retired Manning's number (#16). One of the streets leading to Neyland Stadium has been re-named Peyton Manning Pass.

Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his rookie season, he passed for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns, set five different NFL rookie records, including most touchdown passes in a season, and was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team. Manning's first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17–12 over the Chargers. Weeks later, Manning faced off against Steve Young; he threw three touchdowns, tying a Colts rookie record, but the 49ers kicked a late field goal to win, 34–31. In November against the Jets, Manning threw for three touchdowns in a 24–23 win; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. It was the first game-winning drive of Manning's career, as he hit Marcus Pollard with the game-winning TD pass. The Colts lost many close games, including five games in which they had led by double-digits at some point, and finished 3–13.

The Colts opened the 1999 season with a 31–14 victory over Buffalo, but gave up a 28–7 lead the following week against the Patriots and lost. After defeating San Diego 27–19 in a game in which Manning threw for over 400 yards, and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for they lost again, to Miami. The Colts responded by winning 11 of their remaining 12 games, finishing 13–3 and the AFC East champions. The 10 game turnaround from the previous year set an NFL record. As the second seed in the AFC, the Colts earned a first round bye, and faced Tennessee in the play-offs. The Colts lost 19–16 to the Super Bowl bound Titans and Manning was held without a touchdown. Manning finished the year with 4,135 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns, and was named both Second Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl, both firsts for him. In the Pro Bowl, he passed for 270 yards with 2 touchdowns.

The Colts started off the 2000 season inconsistent. Following an opening week victory against Kansas City, they blew a 21–0 lead against the Raiders. The Colts responded with a Monday Night victory against Jacksonville, a 43–14 win in which Manning threw for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns; Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. The Colts won 4 of their next 5 games, including one against New England in which Manning posted the first perfect passer rating of his career, but then lost 4 of the 5 games following that. The Colts regained their momentum, winning their final 3 games, including a 31–10 win over Minnesota on Week 17. Manning threw for 4 touchdowns in the win and was again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and the win gave the Colts a 10-6 record as well as a wild card spot in the play-offs. In the wild card game, the Colts fell to the Dolphins, 23–17 in overtime. Manning passed for 194 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He finished the season with 4,413 passing yards and 33 passing touchdowns and was named Second Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. At the Pro Bowl, Manning threw two touchdown passes.

During the 2001 season, Manning and the Colts introduced the league to their now-signature no-huddle offense, and used it to great effect in a Week 1 rout of the Jets, 45–24. The next week, the Colts advanced to 2–0 with a win over Buffalo, behind Manning's 421 yards passing. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this game. However, the Colts lost the following week to New England, and continued their slide losing their following two games. The Colts briefly rebounded, winning two games, but then lost seven of their last nine, finishing the season 6–10. Despite the poor record, Manning finished the season with 4,131 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns.

The Colts started off the 2002 season 4–1, before a 3 game losing streak sent them to 4–4. The Colts responded by winning all but two of their remaining games, including a 35–13 upset of the Eagles in which Manning had a perfect quarterback rating for the second time in his career, giving them a 10–6 record and a spot in the play-offs. However, the Colts were pummeled by the Jets in the Wild Card game, 41–0, with Manning passing for only 137 yards. He finished the year with 4,200 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl team. In the Pro Bowl, Manning completed five of eleven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

The 2003 Colts began the season 5–0, including a 55–21 blowout of the Saints in which Manning played his third perfect game, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. After an overtime loss to Carolina, the Colts won all but three of their remaining games, finishing 12–4. In a Week 14 win against Atlanta, Manning threw for five touchdowns and was named player of the week a second time. He also earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for the month of October. In the Wild Card playoff round Manning and the Colts defeated the Denver Broncos 41–10, his first playoff win. He passed for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, earning him a perfect passer rating, his second of the season and the fourth of his career. After the game, Manning was awarded Player of the Week honors for the third time that season. In the divisional playoffs, Manning led the Colts to a 38–31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. In the AFC title game Manning was shut down by the New England Patriots defense and posted the third lowest passer rating of his career at 35.5. The Patriots defense intercepted Manning four times and sacked him another four, as the Colts lost the game 24–14. During the season, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September and was named the AP NFL co-MVP along with Titans quarterback Steve McNair. Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best NFL Player. Manning led the league with 4,267 passing yards and threw 29 touchdowns; he was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. He passed for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Pro Bowl, a 55–52 loss.

The 2004 Colts opened the season with a 27–24 loss to the Patriots, after Mike Vanderjagt missed a potentially game tying field goal in the closing seconds of the game. The Colts won their next four games including a 45–31 win over Green Bay in which Manning threw 5 touchdowns, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, but then lost their next two games, to Jacksonville and Kansas City, despite Manning throwing for 840 yards combined in the two games. The Colts responded well, winning their next 8 games before losing their final regular season game to Denver, a game in which Manning played only one series. During the month of November, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice; once for his 5 touchdown performance in a 49–14 blowout of Houston and once for his performance in a 41–9 win at Detroit in which he threw 6 touchdowns in less than three quarters. Due to his performances in November, Manning earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for a fourth time in the week 16 game against San Diego where he led the Colts to a 34–31 victory after trailing by fifteen in the fourth quarter.

During the season, Manning threw for 4,557 yards, had a record 121.1 quarterback rating and 49 touchdowns, which was also a record (since broken)., He was selected as the 2004 NFL MVP drawing 49 of 50 votes, was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Best NFL Player at the ESPY Awards for the second consecutive year; Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for his 49 touchdown passes. The Colts finished the season with a 12–4 record and their second straight AFC South title. They were the third seed in the AFC. Three Colts receivers had 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns that season.

In the Wild Card game against Denver, Manning passed for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, the Colts' 2004 season ended in Foxborough for a second straight year with a 20–3 loss against New England, when Manning recorded a season-low passer rating of 69.3. It was Manning's seventh consecutive loss to the Patriots in Foxborough and the Colts' three points were their lowest single game point total since their opening game of the 2003 season. Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter; in the Pro Bowl, he threw 3 touchdowns in a 38–27 victory and was named the game's MVP. Manning was also a unanimous First Team All-Pro selection.

In 2005, the Colts had a greatly improved defense over that of recent years. Combining this with their offense, they won their first 13 games, including a 40–21 rout of the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions, New England. This was Manning's first road win against the Patriots in 8 attempts, and his 3 touchdowns passes earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. By week 15, the Colts had a perfect 13–0 record, and had secured the AFC South and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Nevertheless, Tony Dungy made the decision to play all of his regular starters against the Chargers. However, the Colts played a sub-par game against the Chargers and fell short of the win; the score was 26–17. Manning finished the season with 3,747 passing yards, the first time he had thrown for under 4,000 yards since his rookie season of 1998, largely due to the fact that Manning sat out much of the final two games with the top AFC seed clinched. His quarterback rating of 104.1 was the highest in the league for the season.

In the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers visited the RCA Dome for the second AFC divisional playoff game of the 2005 season. In the 4th quarter with only a few minutes left in the game, Manning threw what looked to be the game-ending interception to Troy Polamalu, but the interception was overturned (a call the NFL later admitted was incorrect). The Colts went on to score, and were able to get the ball back down three points near the end of the game. On 4th down, Manning was sacked near his own goal line, and the game seemed to be over as the Steelers were one yard from a touchdown. On the next play, the ball was fumbled by Jerome Bettis and picked up by Colts defender Nick Harper who appeared to have a clear path down the sideline for what might have been the game-winning score. However, Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to dive in front of Harper and tackle him by the leg, saving a touchdown. Then the Colts drove down the field to the Steelers 27 yard line, before Mike Vanderjagt missed a field goal as time ran out.

Manning came in second in voting for the MVP award to Shaun Alexander ending his streak at two years. He was named the 2005 winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and nominated for the FedEx Air Player of the Year Award, along with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer. Manning was also named First Team All-Pro for the third consecutive year and named to the Pro Bowl squad; in the Pro Bowl, he threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions.

The Colts started the 2006 season 9–0, including victories against Houston and Washington in weeks 2 and 7 that earned Manning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, and a week 9 victory over New England. Manning was also named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after a week 17 victory against Miami. The Colts finished the season 12–4 and the AFC South Champions, and entered the play-offs as the number 3 seed. Manning ended the regular season with 4,397 passing yards and a league-leading 31 touchdown passes. His quarterback rating (101.0) was the highest in the league for the third year in a row.

Manning's Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs by a score of 23–8, then won their game against the Baltimore Ravens, 15–6. In the AFC Championship game, the Colts trailed 21–3 before coming back to defeat the Patriots for the title by a score of 38–34. Late in the fourth quarter, Manning led an 80 yard touchdown drive to take the lead and finished with 349 passing yards and two touchdowns. The comeback was the largest deficit ever overcome in a conference championship.

Manning led the Colts to a 29–17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted the Super Bowl MVP. Manning, who had been criticized for failing to win big games, exorcised his big-game demons with the win. "In years' past when our team's come up short, it's been disappointing," he told reporters. "Somehow we found a way to have learned from some of those losses and we've been a better team because of it." For his role in the Colts' championship run, Manning was awarded the ESPY for Best Championship Performance. Manning was again named to the Pro Bowl and was also named Second-Team All-Pro; in the Pro Bowl he played only two series, passing for 67 yards. Following the Super Bowl win, Manning agreed to restructure his contract to save the Colts $8.2 million in salary cap space.

Manning's Colts opened the NFL season with 7 wins, pitting them against an undefeated Patriots squad in a match-up that was being called "Super Bowl 41.5". Manning and Addai helped the Colts to a 13–7 half-time lead, and an early fourth quarter touchdown upped the lead to 20–10. However, Brady led the Patriots to two late touchdowns, to hand Manning his first loss of the season, 24–20. Manning finished the game with 225 yards passing, including a passing touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Manning did not bounce back from the loss well. Against the San Diego Chargers he threw for a career-worst and franchise-record 6 interceptions. Despite this, he was able to rally the Colts from a 23–0 deficit to 23–21, and gave Adam Vinatieri an opportunity to take the lead with a 29-yard field goal. Vinatieri's miss sunk the Colts to 7–2. Manning did not play particularly well against the Kansas City Chiefs either, throwing no touchdowns. However, he managed to lead the Colts on a late drive for a game-winning field goal, rushing for two yards on 4th and 1 in the process. Manning finished the game with 163 passing yards, allowing him to overtake 40,000 in his career. The victory was Manning's 100th. The Colts won their next 5 games, securing them with yet another AFC South title, as well as the AFC's number two seed in the play-offs. In the final game of the season, Manning played only two series before being replaced with back-up Jim Sorgi; the Colts lost the game to the Titans, 16–10. Manning finished the season with 4,040 passing yards, 31 touchdown passes, and a quarterback rating of 98.0. In the divisional round of the playoffs, Manning and the Colts lost to the Chargers, 28–24. Manning helped the Colts to 4 different leads but could not lead a final touchdown drive for the win. Manning finished the game with 402 yards passing and 3 passing touchdowns. Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter and passed for 147 yards and a touchdown in three series.

On July 14, 2008, Manning had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his left knee. Manning, who had worn a knee brace due to problems since he was in college, sat out all four preseason games and missed most of training camp.

In the first regular season game at new Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts lost 29–13 to the Chicago Bears. The following week they fell behind 15–0 to the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd half before rallying to win the game on Adam Vinatieri's 47 yard field goal. Manning passed for 311 yards as the Colts avoided their first 0–2 start since Manning's rookie season.

Week 3 matched the Colts with division rival Jacksonville. Manning threw 2 interceptions in the game, including one that was returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis. Jacksonville rushed for 236 yards and held the ball for over 41 minutes. Still, trailing by 6 late in the game Manning led the Colts on a 77-yard TD drive to take a 21-20 lead. Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee made a 51 yard field goal to win the game and drop the Colts to 1–2.

For the third week in a row, Manning used the 4th quarter to bring the Colts back from a 27–10 deficit in the last 5 minutes against the Houston Texans to a 31–27 victory. It was the first time a NFL team had won a game in regulation after trailing by 17 points in the last 5 minutes. Manning threw a 7 yard TD pass on 4th & 6 to rookie tight end Tom Santi to make the deficit 27–17. Houston QB Sage Rosenfels, starting for the injured Matt Schaub, then fumbled the ball on a scramble, and it was returned 68 yards for a TD by Gary Brackett. After another Rosenfels fumble, Manning threw the 5-yard game-winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne. The Colts scored 3 TDs in 2:10.

On October 12 Manning led the Colts to a 31–3 blow out win at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens to avoid their first 0–3 start at home since 1997. The win moved Manning past Terry Bradshaw on the all-time wins list with 108. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 17th time in his career for his effort of 3 TD passes and 271 yards passing. It was revealed during the game by CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms that Manning had a second surgery on his knee before the season started. Colts coach Tony Dungy confirmed this report the day after the Baltimore game.

The Colts suffered their largest margin of defeat, 34–14, in Green Bay the following week. Manning threw 2 interceptions that were returned for touchdowns (2nd time in career; 1st was 9/30/01 vs. New England Patriots). The next week the Colts went into Tennessee on Monday Night Football to face the 6–0 Titans. They led 14–6 in the 3rd quarter, but Tennessee scored 25 unanswered for a 31–21 victory and almost assured the Colts they would not win the AFC South division title for the first time in 6 seasons. At 3–4 the Colts opened up November with their annual showdown against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The game lacked the luster the rivalry has carried, as there was no Tom Brady, no undefeated season on the line, and neither team was in 1st place of their division. Still, the game was close all the way. Tied at 15 in the 4th quarter, Manning set up Adam Vinatieri for a 52 yard field goal that proved to be the winning points in an 18–15 victory. Manning completed 21 of 29 passes for 254 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Colts were 4–4 halfway through the season and still alive in the AFC playoff race.

At San Diego, Manning completed 32 of 44 for 255 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT in a 23-20 victory. The interception snapped his streak of 140 pass attempts without an interception, the longest streak of his career. After the Chargers rallied from a 10 point deficit in the 4th to tie the game at 20, Manning led the game-winning drive by completing a 14 yard pass to Marvin Harrison on 4th and inches at midfield. Adam Vinateri kicked the winning 51 yard field goal three plays later. It was Manning's 5th game-winning drive in the 4th quarter this season. The win snapped a 3-game losing streak to the Chargers. Manning passed for a season-low 125 yards at Cleveland, but the Colts won their 5th straight game, by a final of 10–6.

In a 35-3 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Manning threw 3 TD passes while completing 26 of 32 passes for 277 yards. It marked the 11th straight season Manning had thrown at least 20 TD passes, the 2nd longest streak ever. Against the 0–13 Detroit Lions, the Colts found themselves in a 21–21 game in the 4th quarter. Manning led his 6th game-winning drive of the season and the Colts pulled away 31-21. It marked their 7th straight win, 7th straight season with 10+ wins, and they became the only team in NFL history to have a winning streak of at least 7 games in 5 straight seasons. Manning completed 28 of 37 passes for 318 yards and 1 TD.

Needing a win to clinch the 5th seed in the playoffs, Manning had one of his best career performances in Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football. He completed his first 17 passes of the game. In addition to completing his last 6 against Detroit, Manning's 23 straight completions fell one shy of the NFL record (Donovan McNabb - 24). The Colts trailed 14-0 in the first half and 24-14 to start the 4th quarter. Manning led his 7th 4th quarter comeback of the season and the Colts put the game away with a defensive TD for a 31-24 victory to clinch a 7th consecutive playoff berth. Manning completed 29 of 34 passes (85.7%) for 364 yards and 3 TDs. It increased his NFL record streak of seasons with 25 TD passes to 11. Manning and the Colts tied a NFL record by winning 3 games in a season in which they trailed by at least 14 points. For his efforts Manning won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in 2008. It was the 19th time he has won the award, passing Dan Marino for the most all-time since the award was originated in 1984. With the playoff seed secured, Manning only played the opening drive against the Titans in Week 17. He completed all 7 of his passes for 95 yards and a TD, extending his NFL record to nine seasons with 4000 yards passing, and also extended the record to a sixth straight season he led the Colts to at least 12 wins. At the end of the 2008 season, Manning was named NFL MVP for the 3rd time, tying Brett Favre for the most MVP awards in NFL history.

Manning's pre-snap routine has become one of the most recognizable scenes in the NFL. Prior to each play in a football game, the offensive team generally huddles. In the huddle, the quarterback tells the other players what play they will run. Manning and the Colts skip the huddle, instead choosing to line up without a play called, known as a hurry-up offense. Once the Colts are lined up, Manning examines the opposing team's defense and chooses a play that he believes will be successful. After he makes his decision, Manning communicates this play to the rest of the team through a series of audibles in the form of verbal and hand signals. In order to prevent the other team from determining what each of the signals means, Manning includes numerous fake signals that do not change the play. Under this play-calling system, the Colts have maintained a strong offense.

Manning holds the post season NFL record rating of 145.7 in a 400 yard game.

Manning married his wife Ashley in Memphis on St. Patrick's Day in 2001. Ashley was introduced to him by her parents' next-door neighbor the summer before Manning's freshman year in college.

During the summer, Archie, Peyton, Eli, and Cooper run the Manning Passing Academy, a five day camp which aims to improve the offensive skills of quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. In addition to the Mannings, the camp has included many prominent players from football as coaches, such as Colts wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.

Peyton, along with Archie, authored a book entitled Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy, which was released in 2000. The book covers Archie's and Cooper's lives and careers, and Peyton's life and career up to the time that the book was released, and examines football from both Archie's and Peyton's points-of-view.

Manning has become the NFL's most marketable player, appearing in several television and printed advertisements for some of the NFL's biggest sponsors. Manning is recognized as a pitchman for the following companies: Sprint, Sony, MasterCard, Gatorade, DirecTV, H.H. Gregg, and the American Red Cross. Manning also was the spokesman for Xbox's NFL Fever games, and was featured on the covers of the games.

Manning made an appearance on Satuday Night Live's sports extra in 2008 in which he was in a children's football scene, and a high school basketball scene. An ESPN This is SportsCenter ad from 2006 features the entire Manning family; parents Archie and Olivia, with their sons Peyton, Eli and Cooper, touring the SportCenter studios with Peyton and Eli engaging in horseplay behind everybody.

He was also featured in one of a series of DirecTV commercials where celebrities are seen in their element, then suddenly begin addressing the viewer. In his commercial they parodied his pre-snap audible routine and known delay in calling for the ball by having him pitch NFL Sunday Ticket instead of changing the play during a blowout game against the Tennessee Titans. Manning also appears in advertisements for St. Mary's Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Manning also hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest Carrie Underwood on March 24, 2007, his 31st birthday. The episode earned the show's highest household rating in more than 10 months in the metered markets. During his opening, he alluded to his most-marketable status by joking that he had accomplished two of his life goals: his team, the Colts, winning a Super Bowl and his appearance on over half of America's television commercials. On May 27, 2007 Manning waved the green flag to begin the 91st Indianapolis 500.

Shortly after beginning his NFL career, Manning started his own charity, the Peyback Foundation. The Peyback Foundation's mission is to help disadvantaged kids, and focuses its efforts in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana.

On September , 2007, St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis renamed its children's hospital to "Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent." Manning and his wife made a donation of an undisclosed amount to St. Vincent's and have had a relationship with the hospital since his arrival in Indianapolis.

Additionally, Manning has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month three times (9/2003, 11/2004, 10/2006) and Offensive Player of the Week on 19 occasions (18 AFC, 1 NFL/playoff).

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Dan Marino

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Daniel Constantine (Dan) Marino, Jr. (born September 15, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American Hall of Fame quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League. The last quarterback of the Quarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in league history, holding or having held almost every major NFL passing record. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history. Remembered particularly for having a quick release and a powerful arm, Marino drove the Dolphins into the playoffs on numerous occasions.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of Italian and Polish ancestry. He attended St. Regis Catholic Elementary School before going to Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, where he also started in baseball, and won Parade All-American honors in football. As a high school ball player, Marino hit high school highs by throwing up to 95 mph. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals baseball team in the 1979 amateur draft, but decided to play college football instead.

Marino played college football at the University of Pittsburgh from the 1979 to the 1982 season. As a freshman in 1979, Marino led the Panthers in a 24-17 triumph over West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl with 252 yards and a field goal. Marino threw for 256 yards and also rushed for 40 yards. He led the Panthers to a last-minute triumph over the Georgia Bulldogs in the 1982 Sugar Bowl by throwing the game-winning pass to tight end John Brown with less than a minute remaining, a play that is considered among the greatest in Pittsburgh sports history. The next season (his senior year) was considered a disappointment with regard to the preseason Heisman Trophy and national championship hype. His team lost the 1983 Cotton Bowl 7-3 to Southern Methodist and their "Pony Express" of Eric Dickerson and Craig James. Although he lost the Heisman Race, Marino's Panthers triumphed once again over rival West Virginia with a late touchdown drive to win 16-13 in one of the best games in the rivalry.

Marino's selection status in the 1983 NFL Draft plummeted after a subpar senior season at Pitt, and observations that knee injuries were hampering his mobility. Five other quarterbacks, including Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and John Elway and less successful players Ken O'Brien, Tony Eason and Todd Blackledge, were drafted ahead of him.

On Jan. 4, 1983, the Los Angeles Express made Marino the first draft pick in the history of the United States Football League; Marino might have signed with them had the money been right.

His hometown Pittsburgh Steelers were also rumored to be drafting him as a replacement for an aging Terry Bradshaw, but the team drafted defensive tackle Gabriel Rivera instead, feeling at the time that either Cliff Stoudt or Mark Malone (both already on the roster, with Stoudt eventually named the starter for the 1983 season) would effectively replace Bradshaw.

The defending AFC Champions Miami Dolphins chose Marino with the 27th pick in the NFL draft. After starting the season as a backup to incumbent starter David Woodley and seeing action twice off the bench to relieve an ineffective Woodley, Marino was given his first NFL start in Week 6 versus the Buffalo Bills at the Orange Bowl. Marino and Miami lost that game 38–35 in OT. He posted a 96.0 passer rating- a rookie record until it was broken by Ben Roethlisberger's 98.1. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year and became the first rookie QB to start in a Pro Bowl game. However, Marino's first NFL season ended in disappointment, as the Dolphins were upset by the Seattle Seahawks 27-20 in a rain-soaked game full of Miami turnovers. Marino looked shaky in that game, mostly due to a sprained knee he had suffered three weeks prior versus the Houston Oilers, an injury that caused him to miss the last two regular season games. Those two games would be the last non-strike games he would miss until he tore his Achilles tendon in 1993, a streak of 145 consecutive non-strike games.

The following year, Marino would have one of the greatest seasons in NFL history. In a year where Marino was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, he would break six NFL season passing records including the records for most TD passes (48) in a season (since broken by Peyton Manning in 2004 with 49 and Tom Brady in 2007 with 50) and most passing yards (5,084) in a season. Miami's passing attack would propel the Dolphins to a 14–2 regular season record and secure them home field advantage in the playoffs, where they avenged their playoff loss the previous season to Seattle 31–10 and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC title game 45–28.

In Super Bowl XIX Marino and the Dolphins met Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in a battle of Western Pennsylvania-bred quarterbacks. (The area is known as the "Cradle of Quarterbacks", and many quarterbacks from the region have gone on to success in the NFL). The Dolphins, who had 74 rush attempts in the previous two weeks, called only 8 hand-offs, placing their chances squarely on Marino. He finished the game with 29 out of 50 pass completions for 318 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. The 38–16 loss ended up being Marino's only Super Bowl appearance.

After the Super Bowl loss, Marino's Dolphins went 12–-4. On December 2, 1985 Marino completed 14 of 27 passes for 270 yards and three touchdown passes and triumphed 38–24 over the 12–0 Chicago Bears (thus ensuring that the 1972 Miami Dolphins would remain the only team to go undefeated in a season) in the highest rated Monday Night Football telecast in history. He also brought the Dolphins back to the AFC Championship game the following year, losing in Miami to New England in another game in which wet conditions made the Dolphins turnover prone. New England intercepted Marino twice and recovered four fumbles en route to a 31-14 win over the Dolphins, their first win in the Miami Orange Bowl since 1966.

With Marino at the helm, the Dolphins were perennial playoff contenders, reaching the post-season in 10 of Marino's 17 seasons. In 1992 he made his final appearance in an AFC Championship Game, losing to arch-rival Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills, 29-10. Kelly's Bills knocked Marino out of the playoffs three times between 1990 and 1995.

The following year, 1993, Miami was strongly favored at the start of the year to make it back to the AFC championship game and possibly the Super Bowl. However, disaster struck Marino and the Dolphins in Cleveland. After throwing a swing pass, Marino, who was untouched on the play, crumpled to the ground in pain with a torn Achilles tendon and was out for the season. Marino would say later "I felt like I'd been shot". Complicating matters was that in Marino's absence, backup quarterback Scott Mitchell had an impressive series of starts before suffering an injury of his own. As a result, for the first time in a decade, Miami had a quarterback controversy in the media and amongst fans: keep the younger Mitchell (who was a free agent after the season) or the proven veteran Marino, who it was feared wouldn't be the same after the injury.

In the end, Miami, after losing the last five games of the season and missing the playoffs , decided to cast their lot with Marino. Mitchell signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions and as insurance, Miami signed Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar. Wearing a special shoe and with a right calf that was visibly atrophied, Marino was once again the starting QB at the start of the 1994 season.

In 1994, a season where Marino's viability was very much a question mark from the outset, two of his signature games took place. The first was the opener, a home game versus the New England Patriots and their upstart quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who drew more than a few comparisons to a young Marino. It had rained heavily that day, and the baseball infield used by the Florida Marlins was muddy as a result. Despite the conditions, the two quarterbacks put up a combined 894 yards and nine touchdowns through the air, with Miami winning a 39–35 shootout. The other was the comeback win on the road against the New York Jets, a game famous for Marino's execution of a fake spike for the winning touchdown pass, a stunt known simply as "The Clock Play". Miami went 10–6 that year, winning the division and defeating the Montana-led Kansas City Chiefs at home before losing a heart breaker at the San Diego Chargers 22–21 the following week after leading 21–6 at halftime. That season, Marino passed for 4435 yards and was named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.

Marino went no further than the divisional round of the playoffs through the remainder of his career. Longtime coach Don Shula resigned after the 1995 season. He was replaced by Jimmy Johnson, whose ball-control philosophy had worked to the tune of two championships with the Dallas Cowboys and who guaranteed a Super Bowl win in Miami. Johnson attempted to emphasize Miami's ground game, but in his four seasons as coach of the Dolphins he never found a running back, despite trying several players at the position.

Now more injury prone and less consistent than he had been at the peak of his abilities, Marino's decline became evident at a Thanksgiving game in 1999 versus the Cowboys. In his first game back after missing a month due to injury, Marino threw five interceptions in the Dolphins 20-0 loss. The Dolphins then proceeded to back into the playoffs by losing four out of their next five games to finish the season at 9–7.

Marino's final win was his first playoff road win and his 37th comeback win, as the Dolphins defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20–17 in January 2000 in the final football game ever in the Kingdome. In the next round, also on the road, Marino and the Dolphins were demolished 62–-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marino was replaced by backup Damon Huard in the second half, an ignominious end to a spectacular career. However, he did leave the game on a high note, leading the Dolphins on an 80-yard scoring drive and throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Oronde Gadsden with 20 seconds left in the half.

The Jacksonville loss thus put Marino's playoff record at a mediocre 8–10.

Marino later admitted that he seriously considered the offer from the Vikings, but that he turned it down not because of his arm, but because he wasn't sure that his legs could take another season. He also appreciated the fact that unlike many of his contemporaries, he got to play his entire career with one team.

During Marino's professional career (1983–1999) in Miami, he was one of the most skilled and revered quarterbacks in the game. Marino's release was incredibly quick, one of his most important weapons. Also, despite the fact that he was not known for his scrambling ability (he averaged less than 1 yard per carry on his 301 career rushing attempts), Marino possessed an uncanny awareness in the pocket, often sliding a step or two to avoid the pass rush. He has the third most fourth quarter comebacks (37) in the history of the NFL, and the third most wins by a starting quarterback (147). John Elway and Brett Favre are ahead in both stats.

Marino was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls (1983-87, 1991-92, 1994-95), seven times as a starter, but due to injuries he only played in two of the games (1984, 1992). (Marino usually had knee surgery following every season.) He was named first- or second-team All-Pro eight times and earned All-AFC honors six times.

In 1999, Marino was ranked number 27 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, making him the highest-ranking Dolphins player.

On Sunday, September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game at Pro Player Stadium, Dan Marino’s jersey number, 13, was retired. The only other Dolphins jersey number retired at the time was Bob Griese's #12. Since then #39, Larry Csonka, has been retired as well. Marino joined the Dolphins Honor Roll the same day. In a year of accolades from the franchise he led so long and so well, the Dolphins also installed a life-size bronze statue of Marino at Pro Player Stadium (now Dolphin Stadium) and renamed Stadium Street, Dan Marino Boulevard.

In 2003, Marino was honored for his outstanding NCAA career at Pitt with an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

In early 2004, Dan Marino briefly returned to the Miami Dolphins as Senior Vice President of Football Operations, but resigned from the newly-created position only three weeks later, saying that the role was not in the best interest of either his family or the Dolphin organization.

Marino was a first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005 and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. During his induction speech, Dan threw "one last pass" to former teammate Mark Clayton, who was sitting in the audience (Marino had intended to throw the ball to Clayton as the two had planned the action prior to the event).

During the football season Marino is a commentator for CBS's The NFL Today show. He was formely a studio analyst on HBO's Inside the NFL.

Marino also acted in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective alongside Jim Carrey and Courteney Cox (he played himself) and made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky where he asked Satan for a Super Bowl ring. He even guest-starred as himself in The Simpsons episode Sunday, Cruddy Sunday (first aired January 31, 1999). Marino also had cameo roles in Holy Man and Bad Boys II. He also worked as a project consultant on Any Given Sunday, and some observers noticed a resemblance between him and Dennis Quaid's character, Jack Rooney. In fact, Rooney's house in the film is Marino's house in real life. The music world marked another appearance for Marino, when he was featured in a video by Hootie and the Blowfish.

Marino opened two restaurants in South Florida called Dan Marino's Town Tavern, with one location in Coral Springs and one on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The name changed around 2005 to Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits. By 2006, both original locations had closed, but, as of January, 2007, the restaurant had opened other locations in Miami, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas, NV, and Orlando. The Orlando location was closed and scheduled to re-open sometime in early 2007.

Marino is currently featured in advertisement campaigns for Hooters, NutriSystem weight loss programs , Maroone car dealerships, Papa John's, and Empi Select (a TENS device) . Previously, Marino endorsed Isotoner gloves and FirstPlus Mortgage who he later filed suit against .

In 1998, Marino co-owned a NASCAR Winston Cup racing team with driver Bill Elliott. The team's car number was #13, Marino's uniform number, and had primary sponsorship from FirstPlus Mortgage, whose company colors, coincidentally, were turquoise, orange, and white, the same as the Miami Dophins. The team chose rookie driver Jerry Nadeau to pilot the car at the start of the season; he was later released and the team went through a rotation of drivers. The team failed to qualify for several races, but did post a top-5 finish at Phoenix International Raceway late in the season with Ted Musgrave driving. The team only lasted the 1998 season and closed afterwards.

On April 27, 2008, Marino received an honorary doctorate degree in broadcast journalism from his Alma Mater, The University of Pittsburgh. Marino also delivered the Class of 2008 commencement speech.

Marino's father, Dan Marino Sr., passed away due to cancer on December 7, 2008 at age 71. He died at his home in Weston, Florida.

Dan Marino played in two of the five greatest NFL passing games. Below is a list of every game where two quarterbacks passed for 400 or more yards. Unlike Dan Fouts who won both of his contests, Marino won one and lost one.

The Dan Marino Foundation, was established in 1992 by Marino and his wife, Claire, after their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism. The foundation has distributed over $22 million to research, services and treatment programs serving children with neurodevelopment disabilities. The Dan Marino Center, which opened in 1995 along with the Miami Children's Hospital, is an integrated neurodevelopmental center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children at risk for developmental and psychological problems. The center saw more than 48,000 children last year alone.

Marino has teamed with other celebrities to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorders, including fellow NFL great Doug Flutie, whose son also has an autism diagnosis.

On November 7, 2005, the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat honored Marino's charitable works and recognized his service to South Florida with a halftime tribute, including a large donation to the Marino Foundation. Though a Heat jersey with his name and #13 was unveiled, this did not constitute retirement of his number by the Heat.

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Miami University

Seal of Miami University

Miami University (sometimes called Miami of Ohio by sportswriters) is a coeducational public university founded in 1809 and is one of the eight original Public Ivys. The University is located in the college town of Oxford, Ohio with its primary focus on educating undergraduates.

The tenth public college founded in the United States, Miami University dates back to a grant of land made for its support by the United States Congress and signed by George Washington on May 5, 1792. The university's first president, Robert Hamilton Bishop, envisioned Miami as the "Yale of the West" and planned the first several buildings accordingly. Miami is located in southwestern Ohio approximately thirty miles (50 km) northwest of Cincinnati. The Miami in this school's name refers to the Miami River valley, cut by two medium-sized rivers, the Little Miami River and the Great Miami River, that flow through southwestern Ohio; the rivers were in turn named after the Miami Indians who lived in the area before European settlement.

Miami ranks in the first tier of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings at 66th among 252 "National Universities". In this same report the university ranks, tied with Purdue University, as 26th among public National Universities. BusinessWeek ranks the undergraduate business program for the Farmer School of Business at 19th among U.S. business schools, 8th among public business schools, and 1st among Ohio business schools.

Miami University is reputed to be one of the most beautiful university campuses, as poet Robert Frost described Miami as "the most beautiful college there ever was." The campus features modified Georgian revival red brick buildings on an open, tree-shaded campus void of high rise skyscraper dormitories. Miami is also striking in that the entire campus is consistent in design and appearance except for the buildings on the former Western College campus and the Miami University Art Museum. Parts of the campus can be seen in the 1991 film Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster, which was largely filmed on the Oxford campus.

Miami was named one of eight original "Public Ivys" in Richard Moll's 1985 book, The Public Ivys: America's Flagship Undergraduate Colleges. Miami is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because several prominent football coaches were student/athletes and/or coaches at Miami before achieving greater fame at more prominent college programs or the National Football League. Among these coaches were Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Bo Schembechler, Randy Walker, Ron Zook, Joe Novak, John Pont, Carmen Cozza, and Jim Tressel.

Miami graduated an American President, Benjamin Harrison, placing the school in a prestigious category of Presidential alma maters. Miami is only one of four colleges (Stanford, Michigan, and the U.S. Naval Academy) to produce both a U.S. President and a Super Bowl winning quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger). It is also the alma mater of many U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, U.S. military leaders, State Governors and Fortune 500 business executives.

For many years, the athletic teams at Miami were nicknamed Redskins, but in 1997 the nickname was changed to RedHawks. Some controversy surrounded this change and some aspects of the old identity persist. The RedHawks compete in NCAA Division I in all sports (FBS in football). Miami's primary conference is the Mid-American Conference; its hockey program is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Miami is also known for its School of Education, housed in McGuffey Hall, named for Professor William Holmes McGuffey (called the "Schoolmaster to the Nation"), who was a Miami Classics professor and wrote America's most widely used pioneer text books - the McGuffey Readers - while on faculty at Miami University.

Miami also was the first U.S. public university to have an "Artist-in-Residence" program, with Percy MacKaye as the first poet in residence.

The Miami Student claims to be the oldest university newspaper, tracking its founding to 1826, although Dartmouth College's student newspaper contests this claim.

Training for Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, took place at Western College (which was then a separate campus) in the summer of 1964.

Miami University was first provided for under the Northwest Ordinance, which would regulate the free states of the Midwest. On May 5, 1792, "the President of the United States was authorized to grant letters patent to John Cleves Symmes and his associates . . . provided that the land grant should include one complete township . . . for the purpose of establishing an academy and other public schools and seminaries of learning. After Ohio became a state in 1803, the State legislature assumed responsibility for making sure that John Cleves Symmes would set aside a township of land for the support of an academy. Such a law was passed by the State legislature April 15, 1803. . . . Finally, on February 17, 1809, the State legislature created The Miami University (The article "The" is in the official name of Miami but is not currently used) and provided that one complete township in the State of Ohio in the district of Cincinnati was to be vested in Miami University for its use, benefit, and support." This was known as the "College Township", ultimately Oxford, Ohio which was the first township in North America to bear the name Oxford.

At one point in the 19th century, Miami University was the 4th largest university in the United States after Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. As the East-West national rivalries subsided, the North-South rivalries surged; Miami University split apart at the time of the Civil War. Most graduates volunteered for the Union, more than any other school except the military academies. The majority of those that didn't, primarily from Southern states (such as Jefferson Davis' nephew) volunteered in the Confederate armies. Miami contributed significantly to the leadership of both sides of the war. Of the ten members of Lincoln's Cabinet, two were Miami men: Secretary of the Interior Caleb Blood Smith and Postmaster General William Dennison. When the Civil war began, there were five governors of thirty-three states who were Miami graduates (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi). Also, Ohio would have two and Iowa one civil war governor, California one governor before the war and Missouri two governors just after the war, all from Miami University. Ten Union generals were Miami alumni, including 23rd President of the U.S., Benjamin Harrison (Miami Class of 1852) and three Confederate generals were graduates of Miami. Of the three Admirals in the Union Navy, two were Miami graduates, including Stephen Clegg Rowan.

Because most of its all-male student body had left for and fought in the war (leaving four years with virtually no student fees to sustain the University), because many alumni and professors died in the War, because the West opened up to other universities, and because Southern families no longer sent their sons to the North for an education, "Old Miami" passed on and Miami University nearly died. The university, unable to pay its huge debts, closed in 1873 and did not reopen until 1885 (when the Civil War ended, only 104 out of 516 American colleges would survive).

With the help of alumni and Ohio legislators, "New Miami" was reopened in 1885 and soon began admitting women. Although Ohio State University, then the Ohio Agriculture and Mechanical College, had been launched in the interim, Miami University continued to attract its fair share of Ohio students by the 1890s, and by the 1950s had massively grown.

Over the course of the twentieth century, Miami has absorbed two women's colleges located in Oxford: Oxford College (1854–1929) and Western College for Women (1853–1974, a daughter school of Mount Holyoke. Oxford was also home to Oxford Theological Seminary (1838–1858) and the Oxford Female Institute (1849–1867), which was absorbed into Oxford College in 1867. Miami University was coeducational long before most schools in the Ivy League. Miami has been a non-sectarian school as were other pioneer universities in the Midwest, though its early leaders were often Presbyterians. Miami University's current enrollment on the Oxford campus is approximately 15,000 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students. In addition to its Oxford campus, Miami has additional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio, West Chester, Ohio and a European Center in Differdange, Luxembourg, with approximately 6000 more students.

Miami University is known around the Greek World for the Miami Triad, three fraternities founded in the 19th century that spread throughout the United States, and is called "Mother of Fraternities." These were Beta Theta Pi (1839), Sigma Chi (1855), and Phi Delta Theta (1848). The Delta Zeta sorority was also founded at Miami University in 1902 as was the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity in 1906. Alpha Delta Phi was the first fraternity to arrive on campus in 1833. Phi Delta Theta was founded in Elliott Hall and two of Phi Kappa Tau's four founders lived in the same room at the time of its founding.

In an effort to make college more affordable to Ohio students, Miami offers a varied in-state tuition based on financial need as well as state-identified key areas of study including engineering and mathematics. In 2007-08, the highest tuition paid by Ohioans is $11,643; 60 percent pay less, as low as $8,900. Ohio families earning $35,000 or less annually pay no tuition courtesy of the Miami Access Initiative.

Miami is celebrating its bicentennial in 2009. To commemorate this occasion, Miami University announced the construction of the Bicentennial Student Center which will serve as a focal point for student life and leadership for future generations of Miamians. Students have outgrown the Shriver Student Center, which is limited on space, technology and hours; not accommodating the round-the-clock lifestyles of most college students. The new student center will be a place on campus which is more student focused, with plenty of room to accommodate the more than 350 student organizations on Miami’s campus.

Miami University has six academic divisions—the College of Arts & Science, the Farmer School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Education, Health, and Society, the School of Fine Arts, and the Graduate School.

The College of Arts and Science is the oldest and largest college at Miami, with nearly half of the undergraduate student body enrolled. The college offers 56 majors, 48 minors, and 2 co-majors (Environmental Science and Environmental Principles & Practice). Ten of the eleven doctoral degrees offered by Miami are provided through the College of Arts and Science.

The School of Education, Health, and Society–formerly known as the School of Education & Allied Professions–offers 26 undergraduate degrees spanning areas from teacher education, kinesiology & health, educational psychology, and family studies & social work. As of fall 2007, nearly 2,800 undergraduates were enrolled in the School.

Miami's School of Fine Arts comprises four departments–Architecture & Interior Design, Music, Theater and Art. Each department has its own admission requirements separate from the standard admissions requirements for the University. Art majors choose a concentration in areas such as ceramics, metals, photography, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, and interior design. Music majors specify either music performance or music education..

Miami offers master's degrees in 50 areas of study, and doctoral degrees in 11. In order to enroll in graduate courses, students must first be accepted into The Graduate School, and then into the department through which the degree is offered. For all students (in-state and out-of-state), tuition for the Graduate School is roughly the same as for an undergraduate degree. Out-of-state students still pay approximately $13,000 more than in-state students.

The mission of Miami University is to preserve, add to, evaluate, and transmit the accumulated knowledge of the centuries; to develop critical thinking, extend the frontiers of knowledge, and serve society; and to provide an environment conducive to effective and inspired teaching and learning, promote professional development of faculty, and encourage scholarly research and creativity of faculty and students.

Miami's primary concern is its students. This concern is reflected in a broad array of efforts to develop the potential of each student. The University endeavors to individualize the educational experience. It provides personal and professional guidance; and, it offers opportunities for its students to achieve understanding and appreciation not only of their own culture but of the cultures of others as well. Selected undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs of quality should be offered with the expectation of students achieving a high level of competence and understanding and developing a personal value system. Since the legislation creating Miami University stated that a leading mission of the University was to promote "good education, virtue, religion, and morality", the University has been striving to emphasize the supreme importance of dealing with problems related to values.

Miami is committed to serve the community, state, and nation. It offers access to higher education, including continuing education, for those who can benefit from it, at a reasonable cost, without regard for race, creed, sex, or age. It educates men and women for responsible, informed citizenship, as well as for meaningful employment. It provides both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the pursuit of knowledge and to the solving of problems. It sponsors a wide range of cultural and educational activities which have significance beyond the campus and the local community.

Old Miami from thy hillcrest, Thou hast watched the decades roll, While thy sons have quested from thee, Sturdy hearted, pure of soul.

Aging in thy simple splendor, Thou the calm and they the storm; Thou didst give them joy in conquest, Strength from thee sustained their arm.

Now of late thyself envigored, Larger usefulness awaits; Hosts assemble for thy blessing, Youth and maiden throng thy gate.

Thou shalt stand a constant beacon, Crimson tow'rs against the sky; Men shall ever seek thy guiding, Pow'r like thine shall never die.

Chorus*: Old Miami! New Miami! Days of old and days to be; Weave the story of thy glory, Our Miami, here's to thee!

The Miami Men's Glee Club often performs the alma mater at University events such as convocation, guest lectures, or commencement. A sample of the glee club singing the alma mater can be heard here. In 1989, after consultation of alumni, faculty, students, and staff, four additional verses were added to the alma mater. It is customary to play the first verse and chorus of the alma mater at the end of Miami athletic events, usually when the marching band or pep band is present.

Love and honor to Miami, Our college old and grand, Proudly we shall ever hail thee, Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee, Sing joyfully this lay, Love and honor to Miami, Forever and a day.

Miami University has a rich history of intercollegiate athletics and today fields a Division I (FBS for football) athletic program in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division. The now demolished Miami Field, built in 1895, was the second oldest college football facility in the nation edged only by the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field. There are men's sports teams for baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, swimming and diving, and track and field. For women, Miami offers basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, volleyball, synchronized skating, track and field, and tennis. Though not the proper way to refer to the school, Miami is sometimes referred to as Miami of Ohio or Miami (OH) to distinguish it from the University of Miami in Florida. Miami is well known among the sports world for its reputation as the Cradle of Coaches and is one of only 13 schools in the nation to have a Division I-A football team as well as Division I basketball and ice hockey teams.

Miami historically has had some of the highest graduation rates of student-athletes in the NCAA, second only to Navy. Football and Ice Hockey are the most popular according to the student body. Miami is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Fred C. Yager Stadium is the main football facility on the Oxford campus.

Track and Cross Country have been prominent over the last decade, producing several All-Americans and multiple top 3 conference finishes. Daniel Huling recently placed third in the steeple chase at the US Championships. Previous alumni include Brian Godsey (former world record holder in the backwards 800 m, 3000 m, video confirmation by Assistant T&F Coach Ceith Creekmur), Steve Padgett (a sub 9-minute two-miler in high school), David Mitchell (an All-American in NCAA Cross-country).

Miami and the University of Cincinnati square off each fall for the famed Victory Bell. The original bell hung in Miami's Harrison Hall (Old Main) near the site of the first football game in 1888 and was used to ring in Miami victories. The traveling trophy tradition began in the 1890s when some Cincinnati fans, purportedly led by local gunslinger Jeff Orlick, "borrowed" the bell. The bell went to the winner of the annual game for the next 40 years until it mysteriously disappeared in the 1930s. The original bell reappeared in 1946 and is on display in the lobby of the Murstein Alumni Center in Oxford. The current trophy is a replica of the original bell and is kept in the possession of the winning team each year. One side of the bell is painted red and black and shows Cincinnati's victories while the other side is red and white and shows Miami's victories. Miami leads the series 59-44-7 but has lost three of the last four games to the Bearcats. The Miami-Cincinnati series ranks fifth on the list of the most played rivalries in college football and the oldest rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains. Of the more than 30 rivalries that include at least 89 games, none are older than Miami vs. Cincinnati.

The Battle of the Bricks is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of a pristine campus of red brick buildings. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet, including tournament play, is counted as part of the year's series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to its campus for the following year.

In October 2006 the Goggin Ice Center, a $34 million hockey arena seating 3,642 spectators, was christened. The old arena was opened in 1976, and closed in mid-2006, giving way to the new arena. It is now home to both the Miami University men's Ice Hockey team and the Women's Synchronized Skating team, which is the largest women's sport on campus. The Miami University Senior Synchronized Skating team has earned a spot in the World Synchronized Skating Championships in five of the past seven seasons. The RedHawks have finished among the top four teams at the past two World Championships, including a silver-medal 2nd-place finish at the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships -- the first time a U.S. team has medalled at the event. In its past five appearances at the World Synchronized Skating Championships, Miami has finished no lower than ninth. The collegiate Synchronized Skating team has won an unparalleled 10 U.S. championship titles since the division was created 12 seasons ago. The newly formed junior level team has also won great acclaim, earning a spot to compete internationally as part of Team USA in its first season (2006-2007).

Notable sports alumni include Ben Roethlisberger, two-time Super Bowl winner and current quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ara Parseghian, a former Notre Dame football coach, John Harbaugh, Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens, Milt Stegall, the current all time touchdown leader in the CFL, Weeb Ewbank, a former New York Jets football coach, Paul Brown, the founder of the former Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Mizanin, one half of the WWE World Tag Team Champions, Charlie Leibrandt, a All-Star Major League Baseball pitcher, Ron Harper, a 5-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers, other former NBA basketball players, All-Star Wally Szczerbiak, a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wayne Embry, Ira Newble, Phil Lumpkin and Fred Foster, NHL hockey players and Stanley Cup winners Dan Boyle and Kevyn Adams, Andy Greene and Brian Savage and Bo Schembechler, a former Miami and University of Michigan football coach.

Miami has outstanding athletic facilities in addition to the Goggin Ice Center, such as Yager Stadium, new Softball Stadium and the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. In addition, Miami boasts a state-of-the art Walter L. Gross Jr. Family Student-Athlete Development Center between Millett Hall and Yager Stadium, which includes both physical fitness and academic enrichment centers for the student-athletes.

A July 2006 New York Times article cited Miami University as a "hidden gem" stating the "focus is truly on educating undergraduates. This is a medium-size institution with the advantages that confers but it still has the feel of a small liberal arts college." The Kaplan-Newsweek College Catalog calls Miami a "hidden treasure-terrific schools that deserve more national attention".

A 2004 article from The Education Trust, a non-profit program of the American Association for Higher Education, praised Miami University for its statistically superior graduation rates among both its student body and student athletes.

At the same time, The Princeton Review (of 2009) ranks Miami University 17th for best food on campus, 4th for most homogeneous population, 19th for Greek Life, 11th for alternative lifestyle rejection, and 2nd for little race/class interaction.

In 2009, Business Week released their official rankings of the top undergraduate business schools in the United States and Miami's Farmer School of Business ranked 18th among all American universities, 6th among all public universities and 1st among all Ohio universities. Also, The (October) 2007 Public Accounting Report named Miami's undergraduate accountancy program 11th in the nation The business school is endowed by Richard T. Farmer, founder and chairman of the Cintas Corporation and one of the wealthiest men in Ohio (according to Forbes).

Miami also offers one of the nations largest senior scholarships, the Goldman Prize. The prize is awarded to one graduating senior and is valued at $26,000 for use in a year long independent research study.

On June 23, 2006, the Board of Trustees passed a controversial decision to remove the Western College Program as a separate college within Miami University. Originally founded in the early 19th century as the Western College for Women by westward travelers from Mount Holyoke College, the women's college functioned for more than 100 years until financial difficulties forced the Western College For Women into near bankruptcy. Through a partnership between Miami University and the Western College for Women, Miami agreed to purchase the Western College for Women and promised to preserve its unique character. It operated as the School of Interdisciplinary Studies for more than 30 years until 2006 when it ceased being a separate academic division. The Western Campus, its distinctive stone buildings and bridges providing a contrast to the red brick of the main campus, remains a part of Miami University.

WMSR is Miami University's student run internet radio station. Located in William's Hall on Miami's campus in Oxford, OH, WMSR has been broadcasting since 1981. The station's programming is provided entirely by student volunteers and staff. Playing everything from new indie rock and acoustic world beats to soul, mash-ups, and hip-hop, WMSR is currently accessible from all over the world via their website and on university cable channel 63.

WMSR originated in 1981, when eight students turned a cassette tape deck, two turntables, a microphone, and a used console from WMUB into Miami’s first student-run radio station. The programming were broadcast on an AM wavelength from the student activities wing of Shriver Center and were on-air twelve hours a day, seven days a week. In 1984, news broadcases and live programs were added to the station's schedule; in 1989, the growing station had moved to the old WMUB studios in Sawyer Hall where it received its first CD players.

WMSR moved into three cramped rooms in MacMillian Hall in 1994 as station membership swelled to more than 225 members who broadcast from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. everyday; in 1997, the station moved to its present location on the second floor of Williams Hall on the Miami University campus.

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T. J. Houshmandzadeh

Touraj (T. J.) Houshmandzadeh, Jr. (born September 26, 1977 in Victorville, California) is an American football wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and is of African-American and Iranian descent (father is Iranian, mother is African-American). The name Houshmandzadeh (in Persian characters ﻫﻮﺸﻤﻨﺪﺰﺍﺪﻩ) is a compound name meaning the "son (ﺰﺍﺪﻩ) of wisdom (ﻫﻮﺸﻤﻨﺪ)". He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon State.

Houshmandzadeh dropped out of Barstow High School in Barstow, California, but later earned his GED. After receiving his GED, Houshmandzadeh enrolled at Cerritos College. In his two seasons with the Falcons in 1997 and 1998, he was a two-time 1st Team Mission Conference selection at wide receiver and kickoff returner. He wanted to play as running back his freshman year, but believing he was too tall to play running back, he voluntarily moved to wide receiver. He finished his Falcons career with 1,152 receiving yards on 65 receptions. He also had two 100-yard kickoff returns and an 87-yard punt return.

Based on his junior college performance, Houshmandzadeh was offered an athletic scholarship at Oregon State University by then head coach Dennis Erickson. Oregon State is where he and current Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco first met as Beaver teammates.

In his sole season as a starter for Oregon State, Houshmandzadeh caught 42 passes for 656 yards and 6 touchdowns.

He was a physical education major at OSU.

Houshmandzadeh was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round (204th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft.

Houshmandzadeh had a modest rookie season, recording 21 receptions for 228 yards, while also being used to return punts and kickoffs. His most notable achievement was in a game against the Cleveland Browns, in which he set a franchise record with 126 punt return yards.

After the 2001 season, questions about Houshmandzadeh's speed and quickness led to him slimming down to his current playing weight of about 200 pounds, which increased his on-field performance remarkably. Houshmandzadeh has gained a number of rushing yards on reverse plays. In 2004, he rushed 6 times and gained 51 yards (8.5 yards per attempt); in 2005, he rushed 8 times for 62 yards (7.8 yards per attempt) and scored his first touchdown.

He's been called one of the NFL's most underrated players by many pundits. In fact, ESPN.com analyst K. C. Joyner noted that with only 3 dropped passes in the 2005 season, Houshmandzadeh ranked first in the league with a 2.6 dropped pass percentage.

Houshmandzadeh missed almost all of the 2003 season with a severe hamstring injury. In 2004 he was listed as the team's third receiver behind Peter Warrick and Chad Ocho Cinco. However, Warrick went down with an injury and Houshmandzadeh was promoted to the starting lineup with Johnson.

Houshmandzadeh took advantage of his opportunity to prove himself, recording 73 receptions for 978 yards and 4 touchdowns. With the release of the talented, but troubled, Warrick during the 2005 training camp (he would later sign with the Seattle Seahawks), Houshmandzadeh retained the starting position and he and Johnson soon earned recognition for being among the NFL's most exciting receiving tandems. Houshmandzadeh and the team's high-powered aerial attack is credited as a primary reasons for the Bengals' recent resurgence and he was given a 4-year, $13 million contract and an undisclosed bonus in March 2005.

Early in the 2005 season, Houshmandzadeh suffered an injury to his right hand, which limited his effectiveness for several games. In the 2006 season, he battled a recurring minor foot injury that kept him out of the first two games of the regular season. On September 24, 2006, he made his season debut, catching 9 passes for 94 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns in the Bengals' 28-20 win over their division foe Pittsburgh Steelers. The second of these catches was a tough reception in the end-zone against Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend. Even though he was closely guarded by Townsend, Houshmandzadeh was able to tip Carson Palmer's pass, catch it, and gain possession as he landed on his back. For his performance, he was named the AFC offensive player of the week. In mid 2006, he suffered a mild concussion during the Bengals 49-41 loss to San Diego from an early hit by San Diego Chargers Free Safety Marlon McCree. He started as wide-out in both of Cincinnati's following victories against the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns.

Houshmandzadeh finished the 2006 season with 90 receptions for 1,081 yards and 9 touchdowns, all career highs. His 90 receptions and 9 touchdown catches led his team. He and Chad Ocho Cinco also became the first Bengals teammates ever to each record over 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

Houshmandzadeh opened the 2007 season by scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens and two touchdowns in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. Against the Seattle Seahawks, Houshmandzadeh totaled 141 yards on 12 receptions for one touchdown. By the end of the year, he finished with a franchise record 112 receptions for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 112 catches tied him with Wes Welker for the most in the NFL. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh was signed by the Seattle Seahawks on March 2, 2009 for five years and $40 million dollars with $15 million guaranteed. He had also been courted by the Minnesota Vikings. He also changed his number from 84 to 18.

Andy Furman, a sports commentator on Cincinnati's 700 WLW (700 AM) was fired on November 1, 2006 for calling Houshmandzadeh a racist on the air. On October 5, 2006, Houshmandzadeh failed to appear for a paid appearance on the show the previous evening. The next evening, Furman, a New York City native, alleged that he heard from another source that Houshmandzadeh called him a "punk-ass white boy" for criticizing the no-show. Houshmandzadeh has denied making the comment.

Houshmandzadeh's name is, in practice, pronounced /ˌhʊʃmənˈzɑːdə/ (hoosh-mihn-ZAH'-dah). Correctly, it is pronounced hoosh-man-ZAH-deh.

Houshmandzadeh's name pops up in an NFL fantasy football television commercial where a fantasy player cannot pronounce his surname properly with words like "Houshamazilla", "Houshmazode", "Houshvadilla", and even to "Houshyamomma". Ex-Teammate Chad Ocho Cinco also introduced him as "T. J. Who's-your-momma" on television during an ESPN Monday Night pre-season game on August 28, 2006.

In Electronic Arts' Madden NFL series of games, Houshmandzadeh's surname is truncated to "Houshmandz." It can be expanded to twelve characters by the user, but not the fourteen characters required to spell it correctly. This peculiarity also occurs with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

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Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers 2008.JPG

Philip Rivers (born December 8, 1981 in Decatur, Alabama) is the starting quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. He was drafted by the New York Giants with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. However, Eli Manning stated that he would not sign with the San Diego Chargers if drafted by them and insisted that he be traded to another team after the draft, and the Giants draft-day trade sent Rivers, and first, third, and fifth-round picks, to the Chargers and Eli Manning to the Giants.

Rivers worked as a waterboy at Decatur High School, in Decatur, Alabama, where his father Steve was the head coach of the football team. As part of a fifth-grade project, he had to make a poster about his dreams and aspirations. On the poster, he pasted his face over that of a Minnesota Vikings player who had appeared on a cover of Sports Illustrated. He has worn the number 17 since ninth grade; it is in honor of his father, who wore the same number in high school. Though residing in his hometown of Decatur, Philip played high school ball at Athens High School in nearby Athens, Alabama, where his father was head coach.

After high school, Rivers attended North Carolina State in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he played for coach Chuck Amato. During his collegiate career, Rivers shattered almost every NC State and Atlantic Coast Conference passing record. His career culminated with his record 51st college start, establishing a new benchmark for consistency in college football. Rivers was a reliable quarterback for the Wolfpack, starting all four years. The Wolfpack went to four consecutive bowl games under the leadership of Rivers, winning three of them, including a New Year's Day victory over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the 2002 Gator Bowl.

Rivers was named ACC Athlete of the Year in 2004 and was also named the game MVP of 4 bowl games, two Tangerine Bowls, a Gator Bowl and the 2004 Senior Bowl. Rivers was even named the "Offensive MVP" for NC State in a losing cause to Pittsburgh in 2001's Tangerine Bowl. He was considered a Heisman candidate by some journalists, but he was not invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation. Rivers finished his career with 13,484 passing yards, 4th all-time among Division 1-A quarterbacks (he was 2nd at the end of his collegiate career). He also threw 95 touchdown passes, which ties him for eighth all-time with Kliff Kingsbury and Brady Quinn. His career YPA (yards per attempt) average (9.55) is still the best in college football history. Rivers' number was retired before his final home game at North Carolina State.

Rivers was projected to be an early first-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was viewed by many prognosticators as the best quarterback in a draft that included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. But despite Rivers' record of success in college and remarkable accuracy (72% completion percentage for his senior season), questions about his lack of arm strength and his unorthodox side-arm throwing motion were concerns for some NFL GMs. The pre-draft consensus was that Rivers could be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 11th pick. The Chargers coveted Eli Manning and wanted to select him with their first round pick, which was also the first overall pick of the draft. However, after Eli Manning indicated before the draft that he would not sign with the San Diego Chargers, the Chargers were forced to adjust their plans. Rivers was their first alternative to Manning because the Chargers head coach at the time, Marty Schottenheimer, had coached Rivers at the Senior Bowl and he liked what he saw from Rivers. The Chargers agreed to a trade on draft day with the New York Giants, who possessed the fourth pick of the draft. Manning was selected by the San Diego Chargers then later in the draft traded to the New York Giants for Rivers and the rights to draft picks used to select future Pro Bowlers Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding.

In August 2004, Rivers signed a six-year, $40.5 million contract with the San Diego Chargers that included $14.5 million in signing bonuses. However, due to a protracted contract negotiation with the San Diego Chargers, Rivers reported to the team during the last week of training camp. As a result, the Chargers gave incumbent quarterback Drew Brees the opportunity to retain his starting job at the beginning of the season. With almost no training camp time under his belt, Rivers was unable to wrest the starting position from Drew Brees during the 2004 preseason. Rivers began the season as the Chargers' third QB option, behind Doug Flutie, but ahead of the #4 QB Cleo Lemon, the quarterback of the team NC State was playing in Rivers' first college game. Unfortunately for Rivers, Brees went on to have by far the best season of his career up to that point. By the end of the season, Drew Brees was named to the NFL Pro Bowl and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Rivers received very limited playing time in the 2004 season, playing in only two games. He only threw passes in the second half of the last game of the 2004 season (a win over Kansas City), by which time the Chargers had already clinched a home playoff spot and the AFC West division title.

Rivers was promoted to the #2 on the quarterback depth chart after the Chargers released Doug Flutie, who later signed with the New England Patriots.

Rivers was unable to beat out Drew Brees for the starting quarterback job in the Chargers' 2005 training camp and preseason, thus remaining the backup QB. In the Chargers' final game of the 2005 season, at home in Qualcomm Stadium, Rivers entered the game after Brees dislocated his right shoulder late in the second quarter due to a hit from Denver Broncos safety John Lynch. Rivers completed 12 of 22 passing attempts for 115 yards with one interception and two fumbles. The Chargers lost to Denver, 20–7. However, Rivers led the Chargers on their only scoring drive that game, which culminated in a 4-yard TD run by RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

After the 2005 season, Drew Brees was not re-signed (partly due to the injury suffered in the Denver game) by the Chargers, instead signing a large contract that included sizeable guaranteed money with the New Orleans Saints during the 2006 free agency period. Many doubted the Chargers' decision to change quarterbacks as they were a Super Bowl contender, believing that Rivers' inexperience would hinder them. Rivers was named the Chargers' starter going into training camp. Expectations were high for Rivers due to the large amount of talent on the San Diego Chargers' offense and the performance of his peers from the 2004 draft (Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger) as starters.

Football Outsiders projected that Rivers would become an NFL star before the 2006 season due to his spectacular completion percentage in college (72% as a senior). After just 5 NFL starts, Rivers was named the second best NFL quarterback under 25 years of age by Sports Illustrated and drew numerous comparisons to Dan Marino for his quick release and pocket presence..

On September 11, 2006, Rivers made his NFL start against the Oakland Raiders. Rivers managed the game well despite only passing 11 times, but completed 8 passes as well as one TD in a 27-0 rout of the Raiders. After his first game, Rivers led the NFL in QB rating with 133.9.

On November 12, 2006, Rivers had the best game of his short career and led the San Diego Chargers to an improbable comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals. Down 28–7 at halftime, Rivers led the Chargers on six drives culminating in touchdowns. After driving in for the Chargers first touchdown after halftime, Nick Hardwick, River's center, reminisced about Rivers, mimicking his southern drawl, "He's yelling 'Y'all don't think we're out of this' to the Bengals. When he said that, I said, 'Shoot, I guess we ain't out of this. Right on.'" Rivers himself threw for 337 yards and three touchdown passes, while LaDainian Tomlinson scored three of their four rushing touchdowns. San Diego outscored Cincinnati 42–13 in the second half winning the game 49–41, matching the biggest comeback in 23 years for the Chargers.

Then the very next week against what was considered at the time to be a strong Denver Broncos defense, the Chargers became the first team in history to win back-to-back games after trailing by 17 or more points and also the first team to win four straight when allowing at least 24 points in each game. Rivers led several 4th quarter comebacks in 2006, and posted the league's highest 4th quarter quarterback rating. His performance over the season led to a selection to the 2007 Pro Bowl. After a 14–2 season the Chargers were set to play the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Patriots won 24–21.

Norv Turner took over as the head coach of the Chargers in 2007. After a 1–3 start, the Chargers found their groove finishing 11–5 and winning the AFC West for the second straight year. The Chargers also won their first two playoff games since the 1994 season, beating the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts before falling to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game 21–12.

In 2008, Rivers had the highest quarterback rating in the NFL with a league leading 34 Touchdown passes, 105.5 Passer Rating, and a league best 8.4 yards per pass; however, was not selected to represent the AFC in the 2009 Pro Bowl. On December 28, 2008, Rivers set the Chargers team record for touchdown passes in a season with 34, a record previously held by Dan Fouts, who had 33 in 1981. After a 4-8 start, Rivers threw 11 touchdown passes and only 1 interception to win the final four games of the season, winning the AFC West division against the Denver Broncos with the score 52-21 leading them to the playoff against the Colts. On January 3, 2009, the San Diego Chargers defeated the Indianapolis Colts 23-17 to advance to the AFC Divisional Playoff. Rivers led the Chargers down the field down 3 points with under 2 minutes left. He set up Nate Kaeding for a game-tying field goal that would lead to overtime, where the Chargers would go on to win 23-17, thanks to a Darren Sproles touchdown. In the divisional round versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rivers played well throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns but was sacked 4 times and threw an interception. Despite his efforts, the team fell short and lost to the Steelers 35-24. They possesed the ball for only 17 seconds during the third quarter and had only 15 yards rushing. Jets QB Brett Favre withdrew from the Pro Bowl due to a shoulder injury. Rivers was the #1 alternate but he withdrew due to a sore knee, giving Tennessee Titans QB Kerry Collins, the #2 alternate, the injury fill-in spot.

Rivers and his wife, Tiffany, began dating in the seventh grade. They have three daughters (Halle, Caroline and Grace) and one son (Philip "Gunner"). Rivers is good friends with San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, who is also from Alabama.

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Source : Wikipedia