Tom Brady

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Posted by pompos 04/10/2009 @ 14:09

Tags : tom brady, football players, football, sports

News headlines
Tom Brady, Patriots OTAs a national story - Boston Globe
Quarterback Tom Brady's expected participation in this week's organized team activities is registering on the national scale. The topic is scheduled to be part of ESPN's "First Take" program this morning (10 am). Teams can have up to 14 organized team...
Tom Brady Cherishes Time with His Son - People Magazine
Brady, who married Gisele Bündchen in February, says he also missed football when he was out recovering from a knee injury. "When I was playing every week, I bitched about the little things," says Brady "Like, God, we've got to go outside today?...
Tom Brady throws ball at Gillette Stadium, looks good - Newsday
The biggest national sports news Monday at Gillette Stadium was that Tom Brady was seen throwing around a ball before Cornell and Syracuse took the field for the NCAA lacrosse final. The second-hunkiest quarterback in the AFC East looked pretty good,...
Should Tom Coughlin Let Eli Manning Call His Own Plays? - Bleacher Report
The unorthodox Belichick handed the play-calling reins to his franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, in the 2004 AFC championship game on a first-possession, 4th-and-1 call at their own 44 yard line against a pumped up Colts team. Brady completed the pass,...
Patriots on field, but no Tom Brady - The Associated Press
2 last year when Tom Brady was injured in the season opener and Matt Cassel was promoted to starter. Cassel was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, and now O'Connell will be the one who steps in if Brady is hurt....
Difference makers for 2009: Returning Brady, Merriman top list -
Tom Brady, quarterback, New England: Randy Moss already is on record as saying that "the sky's the limit" for this year's Pats, meaning they could be more explosive and more productive than the 2007 squad. Good luck. All those guys did was throw for an...
A Few Reasons Why You Shouldn't Doubt Tom Brady - Bleacher Report
First and foremost you shouldn't doubt Tom Brady because that's exactly what he thrives on. How else does a guy go from being the 199th player taken in the draft to two time Super Bowl MVP? Dude is driven. He is a leader of men....
Random quotes from around the league - Pro Football Weekly
Patriots WR Randy Moss, very upbeat about the upcoming season with Tom Brady returning from last year's season-ending knee injury, as quoted in the Boston Herald: “The sky's the limit for this offense. I think that we could be a little bit better than...
From Worthless to Worthwhile: Why the AFC Hates the 2009 Miami ... - Bleacher Report
by Wilson Manigat (Contributor) Tom Brady is back, Matt Cassel has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, Terrell Owens inks a deal with the Bills to spark life into a helpless wide receiving corps, the Jets sign Bart Scott, (probably the biggest move...
This week's souvenir: Tom Brady - forever in Maize & Blue - Detroit Free Press
Just for old times' sake, McFarlane Toys is doing action figures of NFL stars in their college days -- including Michigan's Tom Brady, something that might have seemed unlikely back when he really was at Ann Arbor. Completing the set are Miami's Ray...

Tom Brady

Thomas Edward "Tom" Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. After playing college football at Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

Due to his strong performances both in the regular season and the postseason (1 NFL MVP, 2 Super Bowl MVPs), Brady is widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He has played in four Super Bowls, winning three of them (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX). He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards (XXXVI and XXXVIII), has been invited to four Pro Bowls, and holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season. He also owns the fourth-highest career passer rating of all time (92.9). Brady was named as Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, in 2005. He also helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons.

In 2004 and 2007, Brady was named "Sportsman of the Year" by The Sporting News. He was also named the 2007 NFL MVP, as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been honored since Joe Montana won in 1990.

Born near San Francisco in San Mateo, California to Tom Sr. and Galynn, Brady regularly attended 49ers games in the 1980s, where he became a fan of quarterback Joe Montana; since then, Brady has mentioned Montana as one of his inspirations and an idol. A young Tom Brady watched the Montana pass to Dwight Clark known today simply as "The Catch".

Brady graduated from Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, California.

Brady was also drafted as a catcher in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos.

Brady played college football for and graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan. He was a backup his first two years while his teammate and future NFL quarterback Brian Griese led the Wolverines to a share of the national championship in 1997. When he enrolled at Michigan, Brady was seventh on the depth chart and had an intense struggle to get some playing time. At one point, Brady hired a sports psychologist to help him cope with frustration and anxiety and even considered transferring to Cal, frustrated by what seemed like a lack of opportunity. Brady battled for the number one quarterback position with Drew Henson and ultimately started every game in the 1998 and 1999 seasons under Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. During his first full year as starter, he set Michigan records for most pass attempts and completions in a season (214). Brady was All-Big Ten (honorable mention) both seasons and team captain his senior year. The Wolverines won 20 of 25 games when he started and shared the Big Ten Conference title in 1998. Brady capped that season off with a win over Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl. In the 1999 season, Brady led Michigan to an overtime win in the Orange Bowl over Alabama, throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns.

Brady was selected with pick #199, a compensatory pick, of the 2000 NFL Draft. According to Michael Holley's book Patriot Reign, the Patriots were considering Brady and Tim Rattay, both of whom had received positive reviews from then-quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein. Ultimately, the Patriots front office chose Brady, a decision that a 2007 NFL Network special deemed the greatest "steal" in the history of the NFL Draft. Brady worked his way from the fourth string, behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups John Friesz and Michael Bishop; by season's end, he was number two on the depth chart behind Bledsoe. During his rookie season, he was 1-for-3 passing, for 6 yards.

Brady was thrust into the starter's role on September 23, 2001, during a home game against their AFC East rivals, the New York Jets. In that game, which the Patriots lost, Bledsoe suffered internal bleeding after a collision with Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. Later that week, Brady was named the Patriots' starting quarterback. In his first two games, Brady posted unspectacular passer ratings of 79.6 and 58.7, respectively, in a 44–3 victory over the Indianapolis Colts (in their last season in the AFC East) and a 30–10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Brady played much better during the rematch at Indianapolis, with a passer rating of 148.3 in a 38–17 win. The Patriots won 11 of the 14 games Brady started, entering the playoffs with a first-round bye. Brady finished with 2,843 passing yards and 4 more touchdowns than Peyton Manning, his rival, with an invitation to the Pro Bowl.

In Brady's first playoff game, against the Oakland Raiders, Brady threw for 312 yards, and led the Patriots back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to send the game to overtime, where they won on an Adam Vinatieri field goal. The most controversial play of that game came when, trailing by three in the fourth quarter, Brady lost control of the ball after being hit by fellow Wolverine Charles Woodson. Oakland initially recovered the ball, but, citing the "tuck rule," which states that any forward throwing motion by a quarterback begins a pass, referee Walt Coleman overturned that call on instant replay, ruling it an incomplete pass rather than a fumble.

In the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brady injured his knee, and was relieved by Bledsoe. The Patriots won the game and were immediately instituted by Las Vegas oddsmakers as 14-point underdogs against the NFC champion St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

The score was tied with 1:21 left in the Super Bowl and the Patriots were at their own 15—with no timeouts—when sportscaster and Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden said he thought the Patriots should run out the clock and try to win the game in overtime. Instead, Brady drove the Patriots offense down the field to the Rams 31 before spiking the ball with 7 seconds left. The Patriots won the game on another Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expired. Brady was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXVI while throwing for 145 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, becoming the then-youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.

Tom Brady and the Patriots finished the year at 9–7, tied with the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins for the best record in the division. However, the Jets won the division on the third tiebreaker, and the Patriots missed the playoffs.

Although posting a career-low single-season rating of 85.7, Brady threw for a league-leading 28 touchdown passes and 921 more yards than last season, though his 14 interceptions would turn out to be a career high. However, Brady played much of the second half of the season with a shoulder injury, and New England head coach Bill Belichick has since indicated that if the Patriots had made the playoffs, Brady would not have been able to play in the first game due to that injury.

In the 2003 NFL season, after a 2–2 start, Brady led the Patriots to 12 consecutive victories to finish the season and win the AFC East. Statistically, Brady's strongest game of the season was against Buffalo, when he achieved a season-high quarterback rating of 122.9. Brady finished with 3,620 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, and was second in NFL MVP voting. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts. On February 1, 2004, Brady led the Patriots to a 32–29 victory over the NFC champion Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time. During the game, Brady threw for 354 yards with 3 touchdowns and set the record for most completions by a QB in the Super Bowl (32). With 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 29, Brady engineered a drive to put the Patriots in position for the game-winning field goal.

During the 2004 season, Brady helped the Patriots set an NFL record with 21 straight wins dating from the previous year, an accomplishment now memorialized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (officially, though, the NFL considers it an 18-game regular season winning streak; it does not count playoff games). New England's 14–2 record matched that of the 2003 season and equaled the best record ever for a defending champion. The Patriots also won the AFC East divisional title for the third time in four years. Brady threw for 3,692 yards and 28 touchdowns, with a 92.6 passer rating, and was voted to his second Pro Bowl. In the AFC playoffs, Brady led the Patriots to victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady played his best game of the year in Pittsburgh despite requiring IV treatment the previous night when he had a temperature of 103 degrees. Against the NFL's best defensive team, Brady recorded a quarterback passer rating of 130.5, his highest of the season. On February 6, 2005, the Brady-led Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl XXXIX. Brady threw for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, most of which to Deion Branch, while capturing the Patriots' third NFL championship in four years.

During the 2005 season, the Patriots were forced to rely more on Tom Brady's passing due to injuries suffered by running backs Corey Dillon, Patrick Pass, and Kevin Faulk. Brady also had to adjust to a new center and a new running back: Heath Evans. The results were positive; Brady finished first in the league with 4,110 passing yards and third in the league with 26 touchdowns. At 92.3, his 2005 passer rating was the second highest of his career at the time, although he tied his worst interception total (14). He also rushed for 89 yards and fumbled a career-low 4 times. Brady and the injured Patriots finished with a 10–6 record and obtained their third straight AFC East title. Some of the highlights of the season included another game with the Steelers, in which Brady helped lead the team on the game winning drive. When the Patriots visited the Atlanta Falcons, Brady achieved a regular season-high rating of 140.3.

In the playoffs, Brady led the Patriots to a 28–3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card Round. However, on January 14, 2006, the Patriots lost 27–13 against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field. Brady threw for 346 yards in the game and a touchdown with two interceptions. It was the first playoff loss of Brady's career. After the season's end, it was revealed that Brady had been playing with a sports hernia since December. Linebacker Willie McGinest commented on it and said he knew, but Brady continued on playing. This is the main reason Brady did not go to the Pro Bowl when he was invited.

Despite not playing in the game, Brady was present at Super Bowl XL, as the official coin tosser and as part of a celebration of Super Bowl MVP Award winners.

Brady led the Patriots to a 12–4 record and the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs despite having an almost completely new receiving corps. In the regular season Brady threw for 3,529 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was not among the players initially selected to the Pro Bowl, although he was offered an injury-replacement selection when another player withdrew (which he declined).

In the postseason the Patriots first hosted their long time bitter division rivals the New York Jets in the wild-card round. The Patriots defeated the Jets 37–16 and Brady went 22–34 for 212 yards and 2 TDs. In the Divisional Round the Patriots traveled to San Diego to take on the Chargers. This was Brady's first playoff game in his home state of California. Brady and the Patriots struggled against the Chargers, whom many had picked as favorites to win Super Bowl 41. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the Patriots down by 8 points Brady and the Patriots started a key drive that would ultimately decide the game. After a 49 yard pass play to Reche Caldwell, a Gostkowski field goal gave the Patriots a 24–21 win.

In the AFC Championship Game the Patriots faced the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots and Colts had faced each other in the postseason 2 times previously in the last 3 seasons, however this game was played in Indianapolis. The Patriots had a great start and led at halftime 21–6. However, the Colts staged a comeback, resulting in a last minute interception thrown by Brady, and a Patriots loss.

In the Patriots' first playoff game, an AFC Divisional game against Jacksonville, Brady began the game with an NFL postseason record 16 consecutive completed passes, and finished the game with 26 completions in 28 attempts, a completion rate of 92.9%. That mark is the highest single-game completion percentage (for passers with at least 20 attempts) in NFL history, regular season or postseason, bettering both Phil Simms' 22 of 25 performance in Super Bowl XXI and Vinny Testaverde's 21 of 23 mark in 1993 with the Cleveland Browns. With the win, the Patriots matched the Dolphins as the only team to win 17 consecutive games in one season.

Statistically, Brady did not fare as well in the AFC Championship Game against the San Diego Chargers, throwing three interceptions (including his first interception in the red zone since the playoff loss to Denver). Nevertheless, the Patriots won their 18th game of the season, 21–12, to advance to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons. Brady, with the 100th win of his career, also set an NFL record for the fewest games needed by a starting quarterback to do so: his 100–26 record is 16 games better than Joe Montana's. In Super Bowl XLII, Brady was pressured heavily and was sacked five times. The Patriots did manage to take the lead with a Brady touchdown to Moss with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Giants were able to score a last-minute touchdown to upset the Patriots 17–14.

Brady won numerous NFL awards during the season: he was voted FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week (an award for quarterbacks) four times (in Weeks 6, 7, 11, and 17), selected as AFC Offensive Player of the Week five times (in Weeks 3, 6, 7, 14, and 17), and AFC Offensive Player of the Month for both September and October. On 2008-01-05, Brady was named the NFL MVP, garnering a record-tying 49 of 50 possible votes (the only other vote went to Brett Favre), making him the first Patriot to ever win the award. He was also named NFL Offensive Player of the Year, receiving 35.5 of 50 votes.

Brady did not play any of the 2008 preseason due to a right foot injury from the previous AFC Championship game. In the Patriots' 2008 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, Brady's left knee was seriously injured midway through the first quarter on a hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard; he left the game and did not return. The team later confirmed that Brady would need surgery, and that he had been placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. It is believed he tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament. The injury ended Brady's streak of 111 consecutive starts (fourth in the list of most consecutive starts by an NFL quarterback, behind Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Ron Jaworski). Tom was originally expected to be ready for Training Camp in 2009. Tom's recovery has been delayed due to the fact that there have been some post surgery complications. An infection in the wound which resulted in further debridement surgery several times since the original procedure, has left his condition in doubt. Brady is undergoing IV antibiotics for this infection that threatens to seriously delay his rehab.

Brady dated actress Bridget Moynahan from 2004 until late 2006. On February 18, 2007, Moynahan confirmed to People magazine that she was more than three months pregnant with her and Brady's child. Brady and Moynahan ended their relationship sometime in early December 2006, around the time Moynahan became pregnant. Brady was present when the baby, John Edward Thomas Moynahan, was born on August 22, 2007 at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. The baby has Brady's first and middle names as middle names, though in reverse order (Moynahan's father's first name is Edward, however).

Since late 2006, Tom Brady had been dating Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. It has been reported that Brady and Bündchen got engaged on Christmas Eve 2008; however, the couple kept the news unconfirmed. Even Brady's father and Bündchen's twin sister both claimed that the rumors of their engagement were not true. On February 26, 2009, several news agencies reported that Brady and Bündchen had exchanged vows at an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles.

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Tom Brady (film director)

Tom Brady (Not to be confused with NFL superstar, Thomas Edward Brady Jr.) is a director, writer and producer. His movies include The Comebacks and the Rob Schneider vehicles The Hot Chick and The Animal. His television writing credits include work for The Critic, Sports Night, The Simpsons and Home Improvement. He is an alumnus of Harvard and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Super Bowl XXXIX

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (right) lost a friendly football bet to Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. Here Santorum wears a Patriots hat and presents Kennedy and his staff with Philly cheesesteaks.

Super Bowl XXXIX was an American football game played on 6 February 2005, at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 2004 regular season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots (17-2) defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles (15-4), 24–21, and became the first team since the 1997–98 Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls.

New England also became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win three Super Bowls in four years. This was the Patriots' third straight Super Bowl victory in which they won by a margin of three points. They defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20–17, and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32–29. Each of these margins was because of an Adam Vinatieri field goal, two of which (against the Rams and the Panthers) happened in the final seconds of the 4th quarter.

The Patriots, playing in their first-ever outdoor Super Bowl (and first east of the Mississippi River), forced four turnovers, while New England wide receiver Deion Branch, who recorded 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player. Because he recorded 10 catches during the previous year's Super Bowl, he also set the record for the most combined receptions in 2 consecutive Super Bowls (21). Branch was the third offensive player ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors without scoring a touchdown or throwing a touchdown pass. The other 2 players were Joe Namath in Super Bowl III and Fred Biletnikoff in Super Bowl XI.

New England's major acquisition prior to the season was veteran running back Corey Dillon, who joined the team after playing 7 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. In his first 6 seasons in the league, Dillon averaged over 1,250 rushing yards per year, including setting a single-game rushing record (278 yards, but has since been broken) against the Denver Broncos on October 22, 2000. In 2003, however, injuries, conflicts with the Bengals' management and coaching staff, and other off-field problems limited him to just 541 yards during the season. By the end of the 2003 season, Dillon had lost his starting job to running back Rudi Johnson, and thus demanded to be traded. Although many observers questioned how effective the 30-year-old Dillon would be after recovering from his injuries as well as his ability to function in a team environment, the Patriots decided to sign the running back in exchange for a second-round draft pick.

Dillon became a significant offensive weapon for the 2004 Patriots, recording 1,635 rushing yards (franchise record) and 12 touchdowns, both career highs, and was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career. He also caught 15 passes for 103 yards and another touchdown. His contributions helped lead the team to break the NFL record for the most consecutive regular season victories (18), the record for the most consecutive overall victories (21) and earned the second best regular season record during the year at 14–2. The team's only losses during the year were to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who ended up with the league's best regular season record at 15–1, and a 29–28 loss to the Miami Dolphins on ABC's Monday Night Football.

Another weapon in the Patriots' offensive backfield was running back Kevin Faulk, who rushed for 255 yards, recorded 26 receptions for 248 yards, returned 20 punts for 113 yards, returned 4 kickoffs for 73 yards, and scored 3 total touchdowns. Fullback Patrick Pass also emerged as a big contributor, rushing for 141 yards, catching 28 passes for 215 yards, and gaining another 115 yards on kickoff returns.

Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady remained at the helm of the Patriots offense, completing 288 out of 474 (60.8 percent) of his passes for 3,692 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Although wide receiver Deion Branch, New England's major deep threat, missed most of the season because of injuries, he did record 35 receptions for 454 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver David Givens ended up being the team's leading receiver with 56 catches for 874 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver David Patten also contributed with 44 receptions for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns, and tight end Daniel Graham had 30 receptions for 364 yards and 7 touchdowns.

With their patchwork secondary, the Patriots ranked just 17th in passing yards allowed (3,400) and 22nd in completions allowed (315). However, they did rank 7th in interceptions (20) and 10th in fewest passing touchdowns allowed (18). Most importantly, New England continued to win despite the injuries. Brown actually turned out to be very effective playing as a defensive back, ranking second on the team with 3 interceptions. Safety Rodney Harrison was also an impact player, leading the team with 138 tackles while also recording 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.

Up front, the Partriots defensive line was anchored by Pro Bowler Richard Seymour, who recorded 5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. New England also still had their trio of impact veteran linebackers: Pro Bowler Tedy Bruschi (122 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 70 return yards), Willie McGinest (9.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 interception), and Mike Vrabel (71 tackles and 5.5 sacks), along with Ted Johnson. Vrabel also frequently played at the tight end position during offensive plays near the opponent's goal line, recording 2 touchdown receptions.

The Eagles gained the 2004 NFC Super Bowl berth after 3 consecutive defeats in the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles hired Andy Reid as their head coach in 1999 following two straight losing seasons. That same year, they used their first-round pick in the NFL draft (the second overall) to select quarterback Donovan McNabb. Although they finished the 1999 regular season with a 5–11 record, they became a playoff team in 2000, with McNabb throwing for 3,365 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for 629 yards and another 6 touchdowns.

The Eagles achieved the best regular season record in the conference during the combined 2001, 2002, and 2003 seasons with a total of 35 wins out of 48 games, but lost the NFC Championship Game in each of those 3 years. Prior to the 2004 season, the Eagles traded for wide receiver Terrell Owens to be the impact player to help get them to the Super Bowl.

Owens joined the team after 8 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He was considered one of the top receivers in the league, but he was also widely considered a troublemaker because of controversial touchdown celebrations and his tendency to berate his teammates during media interviews. Nevertheless, Owens became the Eagles' deep-ball threat, finishing the season with 77 receptions for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns.

McNabb had the best season of his career in 2004, completing 300 out of 469 (64 percent) passes for 3,875 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, making him the first quarterback to ever throw for more than 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season. He also rushed for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Todd Pinkston was also a reliable target, recording 36 catches for 676 yards.

Philadelphia's running game was not as strong as their passing attack, ranking just 24th in the league in rushing yards (1,639). Running back Brian Westbrook lead the team with 812 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Westbrook also led all NFL running backs in receiving with 73 receptions for 706 yards and 6 touchdowns. Veteran running back Dorsey Levens was also a big contributor with 410 rushing yards. The Eagles' offensive line was led by Pro Bowl tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.

Three of their four starters in the defensive secondary were named to the Pro Bowl: Cornerback Lito Sheppard (1 sack, 5 interceptions, 172 return yards and 2 touchdowns), safety Michael Lewis (88 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception) and safety Brian Dawkins (3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 4 interceptions for 40 return yards). Their defensive line was anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Corey Simon (5.5 sacks) and defensive ends Jevon Kearse (7.5 sacks, Pro Bowl) and Derrick Burgess. Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter recorded 60 tackles and 1 sack.

The Eagles started the 2004 regular season with seven straight wins before suffering a loss to the Steelers. After that, they finished the season with a 13–3 record. Their only other 2 losses were in their last 2 games of the season, when they decided to rest all of their starters because they had already clinched the NFC #1 seed, and thus home-field advantage in the playoffs. However, during a December 19th 12–7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Owens was seriously injured on a "horse-collar tackle" by Cowboys defensive back Roy Williams and had to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs.

Despite the loss of Owens, the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings, 27–14, and the Atlanta Falcons, 27–10, in the playoffs. McNabb recorded 21 out of 33 completions for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver Freddie Mitchell scored two touchdowns in the victory over the Vikings. McNabb then completed 17 out of 26 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Falcons.

Meanwhile, the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 20–3, holding the league's highest scoring team with 522 total points to just one field goal, Indianapolis' lowest point total since their opening game of the 2003 season. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 4,557 yards during the regular season, and set NFL records for most touchdown passes in a regular season (49) and highest quarterback rating (121.4). Running back Edgerrin James gained 2,031 combined rushing and receiving yards and scored 9 touchdowns. Wide receivers Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley each recorded over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. However, the Patriots limited Manning to 238 passing yards with 1 interception and no touchdowns, and James to just 39 rushing yards. The Patriots also held possession of the ball for 37:43, including 21:26 in the second half, and recorded three long scoring drives that each took over 7 minutes off the clock. One reason New England was able to hold the ball so long was because of Dillon's rushing. He finished the game with 23 carries for 144 yards and 5 receptions for 17 yards.

The Patriots then defeated the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, 41–27. Although Pittsburgh had beaten New England, 34–20, during the regular season and led the league in fewest total yards allowed, they could not stop the Patriots. Brady threw for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns; Dillon rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown; and Branch, who was coming off of his injuries, recorded 4 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown, along with 37 rushing yards and another touchdown on 2 carries. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who had struggled the previous week against the New York Jets) was intercepted 3 times, and running back Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh's leading rusher, was held to just 64 yards.

Owens was cleared to play in Super Bowl XXXIX, defying doctors orders by playing on his injured ankle containing 2 screws and a metal plate.

The other major story was the Patriots' potential loss of both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator at the end of the season, and how it might affect the team in 2005. On December 12, 2004, about a month and a half before the game, New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis signed a contract to become the head coach of Notre Dame starting in the 2005 season. Rumors were also circulating that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel would also leave the team to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns (which ended up being true as Crennel and the Browns agreed to a contract a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl).

Due to injuries at the tight end spot, the Eagles were forced to sign Jeff Thomason, a former tight end who was working construction at the time, to a one-game contract for the Super Bowl. Thomason saw time during several plays, although never had a ball thrown his way. This was his third Super Bowl, playing in two with the Green Bay Packers during Andy Reid's days as a Packer assistant.

With this appearance the Patriots became the 8th team to make it to the Super Bowl for the 5th time. They joined the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.

The game was televised in the United States by FOX, with play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and color commentators Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman. This marked the first time since Super Bowl I that none of the network commentators had ever called a Super Bowl game before (although Collinsworth had worked three prior Super Bowl telecasts as a pregame analyst). This was the last game that Cris Collinsworth broadcasted as a member of the NFL on FOX team, as he chose to sign with NBC in the following off-season.

James Brown hosted all the events with help from his fellow FOX NFL Sunday cast members Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson.

After the game, FOX aired a special episode of The Simpsons and the series premiere of American Dad!, except in both Philadelphia and Boston, where local newscasts delayed the premieres by an hour.

Before the game, performances came from the Black Eyed Peas, Earth Wind & Fire, Charlie Daniels, and Gretchen Wilson. Shortly before kickoff, Alicia Keys sang "America the Beautiful," paying tribute to Ray Charles, who died in June 2004. The combined choirs of the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy sang the national anthem accompanied by the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets. It had been more than 30 years since all four service academies sang together—the last time was at the second inauguration of President Richard Nixon in 1973.

In a move which proved somewhat controversial after the broadcast, the traditional military missing man formation flyby was this year performed by a pair of F/A-18 Super Hornets from VFA-106 at NAS Oceana and a pair of the Air Force's newest fighters, the F-22 Raptor, flying from Tyndall AFB, the training base for the Raptor. The earlier military flyby during the veterans' salute was conducted by 2 T-6 Texan trainers and a B-25 Mitchell bomber.

The coin toss ceremony featured youth football players from Jacksonville: Tyler Callahan, Tyler Deal, Lawrence McCauley, and Jacob Santana; and New Orleans NFL Junior Player Development coach Tamaris Jackson.

Taking the concept a step further, for the first time, a theme was tied to the event: Building Bridges, as symbolized by the theme logo, represented by the Main Street Bridge, one of the seven bridges that crosses over the St. Johns River in the host city, and according to the League, symbolized the bridging of a nation under the NFL football umbrella. The theme was also used by Jacksonville-area nonprofit Fresh Ministries in a major event entitled "Bridges of Peace," featuring city officials asking the people to unite for the Super Bowl and heal the wounds of segregation.

On the first drive of the game, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb fumbled while being sacked by New England linebacker Willie McGinest, and the Patriots recovered the ball at Philadelphia's 34 yard line. Fortunately for the Eagles, coach Andy Reid's instant replay challenge overruled the fumble; officials ruled that McNabb had been down by contact before the ball came out of his hands. Later in the quarter after each team had punted twice, McNabb completed a 30-yard pass to Terrell Owens, with a roughing the passer penalty adding 9 yards, moving the ball inside the Patriots 20 yard line. However, linebacker Mike Vrabel sacked McNabb for a 16-yard loss on the next play. On the following play, the Eagles once again appeared to turn the ball over: McNabb's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Patriots defensive back Asante Samuel, but it was nullified by an illegal contact penalty on linebacker Roman Phifer, moving the ball back inside the 20 and giving the Eagles a first down. However, McNabb's second chance was wasted as he threw an interception to safety Rodney Harrison on the next play.

The Eagles defense then forced New England to a three-and-out on their ensuing possession, and Philadelphia got great field position by receiving the punt at the Patriots 45 yard line. But once again, they gave up another turnover: tight end L.J. Smith lost a fumble while being tackled by defensive back Randall Gay, and Samuel recovered the ball at the 38.

The Eagles defense once again forced New England to punt, and got the ball back at their own 19 yard line. Aided by a pair of completions from McNabb to receiver Todd Pinkston for gains of 17 and 40 yards, the Eagles drove 81 yards in 9 plays and scored on McNabb's 6-yard touchdown pass to Smith, taking a 7–0 lead with 9:55 left in the second quarter. It was the first time New England trailed during the entire postseason. On their ensuing drive, the Patriots moved the ball to the Eagles 4-yard line, mainly on plays by Corey Dillon, who caught two screen passes for 29 yards and rushed for 25. But quarterback Tom Brady fumbled the ball on a fake handoff and Philadelphia defender Darwin Walker recovered it. However, the Eagles could not take advantage of the turnover and had to punt after 3 plays. Eagles punter Dirk Johnson's punt went just 29 yards, giving the Patriots the ball at Philadelphia's 37 yard line. The Patriots then drove 37 yards to score on Brady's 4-yard pass to receiver David Givens with 1:10 remaining in the period, tying the game 7–7 by halftime. It was only the second halftime tie in Super Bowl history and the first time both of the game's first 2 quarters ended tied.

On the opening drive of the second half, Patriots receiver Deion Branch caught 4 passes for 71 yards on a drive that ended with Brady's 2-yard pass to Vrabel, who lined up at the tight end spot on the play. The Eagles later tied the game with 3:39 left in the third period with a 74-yard, 10-play drive that was capped by McNabb's 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Brian Westbrook. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game was tied going into the fourth quarter.

Early in the final period, the Patriots put together a 9-play, 66-yard scoring drive that was keyed by 3 plays from running back Kevin Faulk, who caught 2 passes for 27 combined yards and rushed once for 12. Dillon capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 21-14 lead. Then after forcing another Eagles punt, Branch's 19-yard reception and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Philadelphia defensive lineman Corey Simon set up kicker Adam Vinatieri's 22-yard field goal with 8:43 left in the game to increase the score 24–14.

The Eagles responded by advancing to the New England 36-yard line on their next drive, but it ended with no points after linebacker Tedy Bruschi intercepted a pass from McNabb at the Patriots 24-yard line. After forcing New England to punt, Philadelphia got the ball back at their own 21-yard line with 5:40 left in the game.

The Eagles then drove 79 yards in 13 plays to cut their deficit to 24–21 with McNabb's 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis. However, the drive consumed 3:52 of the clock, and only 1:55 remained in the game by the time Lewis scored. Because of this, many sportswriters later criticized the Eagles for not immediately going to a no-huddle offense at the start of the possession.

The Eagles failed to recover their ensuing onside kick attempt. The Patriots then played it safe by running the ball 3 times and forcing Philadelphia to use all of its timeouts. New England punter Josh Miller then pinned the Eagles back at their own 4-yard line with just 46 seconds left in the game. Philadelphia then tried one last desperate drive to win or tie the game. But on first down, McNabb was pressured into making a rushed pass to Westbrook at the line of scrimmage. Instead of dropping the pass to stop the clock, Westbrook made the mistake of catching the ball and was immediately tackled for no gain, keeping the clock running and forcing the Eagles to run back to the line of scrimmage for their next play with no huddle. On second down, McNabb threw an incomplete pass intended for Owens. Finally on third down, McNabb threw a pass that went just over the outstretched fingertips of Smith and into the arms of Harrison for an interception with 9 seconds left, sealing the victory for the Patriots.

McNabb completed 30 out of 51 passes for 357 yards and 3 touchdowns, but threw 3 interceptions and was sacked four times. Westbrook was the Eagles leading rusher with 44 yards, while also catching 6 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and returning 3 punts for 19 yards. Pinkston caught 4 passes for 82 yards. Owens was the Eagles' top receiver with 9 catches for 122 yards.

Brady completed 23 out of 33 passes for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dillon was the top rusher of the game with 75 yards and a touchdown, and had 3 catches for 31 yards. Branch's Super Bowl record 11 catches tied Cincinnati Bengals' Dan Ross in Super Bowl XVI and San Francisco 49ers' Jerry Rice in Super Bowl XXIII. (Coincidentally all 3 would eventually be traded to the Seattle Seahawks: Ross in 1985, Rice in 2004, and Branch in 2006). Running back Kevin Faulk contributed 38 rushing yards and 27 receiving yards.

Branch and Terrell Owens each had 100 yards receiving, marking the third time in Super Bowl history, one player from each team had over 100 yards in a Super Bowl. Michael Irvin and Andre Reed were the first in Super Bowl XXVII, and Branch and Muhsin Muhammad the second a year earlier in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Branch also became the fourth player to have at least 100 yards receiving in back-to-back Super Bowls, joining John Stallworth, Jerry Rice and Antonio Freeman. Also, Mike Vrabel and David Givens became just the 14th and 15th players to score a touchdown in consecutive Super Bowls. Vrabel is the most surprising person on this list because he is a linebacker and he scored his on offense. They also became just the 7th and 8th players to catch a touchdown in back-to-back Super Bowls.

With the victory, Tom Brady became just the fourth quarterback to win at least three Super Bowls. He joined Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Troy Aikman on this exclusive list. Brady also became the fourth quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in three different Super Bowls. Other quarterbacks to do it were Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and John Elway.

As usual, the television coverage of this year's Super Bowl was the showcase for the most expensive commercials in television—both to produce and to buy airtime (at the rate of $2.4 million US for 30 seconds).

One ad that drew the ire of many—including the NFL—was for the internet domain provider Go Daddy, which tweaked the controversial halftime of the previous year's game with a mock censorship hearing featuring a comely woman, Nikki Cappelli (played by WWE Wrestler Candice Michelle), having a "wardrobe malfunction". Fox pulled the second airing of the ad, scheduled for the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, along with a five-second plug, and it was replaced with a promo for The Simpsons. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based World Wide Web domain registration company got a refund on the second ad.

Another popular ad was made by the NFL. It featured players who were not in the Super Bowl, headlined by Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being at a beach resort, depressed he did not make it in. Joe Montana comforted Roethlisberger, and soon both Montana and Roethlisberger joined many other players in different locations in an off-key yet rousing edition of "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie. The commercial ended with the tagline: "Tomorrow, we're all undefeated again." Roethlisberger would go onto lead the Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XL the very next season. The top ad, as chosen by the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter was for Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light featuring a timid skydiver making his first jump getting enticed with a six-pack of the product.

For the first time since the campaign started in Super Bowl XXI, no "I'm Going to Disney World!" ad aired following Super Bowl XXXIX.

Each member of the Patriots team received a payment of $68,000 for winning the game. The Eagles each received $36,500. When adjusted for inflation, the Patriots salary was actually less than the $15,000 paid to members of the Green Bay Packers for winning Super Bowl I in 1967. That amount of money in 1967 equated to approximately $85,000 in 2005.

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Drew Bledsoe

Drew Bledsoe stretching.jpg

Drew McQueen Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League, best known as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1993-2001. During the 1990s and early 2000s, he was perceived to be the face of the Patriots franchise. Bledsoe, an All-American for the Washington State Cougars and former #1 overall draft pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, announced his retirement from the sport on April 11, 2007.

Bledsoe attended Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Washington and was a letterman in football and basketball. In football, he was named a first team All-State selection by the Tacoma News Tribune.

Bledsoe only stayed through his junior season at Washington State University but still managed to put together a record-setting career. In 28 starts he established WSU records in single-game passing yards (476), single-season pass completions (241), and single-season passing yards (3,246). Bledsoe was named Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year as a junior and entered the 1993 NFL Draft.

Bledsoe was drafted first overall in the 1993 draft by the New England Patriots. Bledsoe started for the Patriots in his rookie season, as the Patriots improved from two to five wins. On November 13, 1994 the Patriots had won just three of their first nine games, and were losing 20-3 to the Minnesota Vikings at half-time. Bledsoe led a comeback victory in which the Patriots won 26-20 in overtime, as he set single game records in pass completions (45) and attempts (70). In remaining undefeated throughout the succeeding games, the Patriots earned their first postseason appearance in eight years.. Bledsoe set an NFL record pass attempts (691), became the second NFL quarterback to complete 400 or more passes in a season (400), and led the NFL in passing yards (4555).

During the 1996 season, the Patriots won the AFC championship against the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–6. This led to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXI, where they lost 35-21 against the Green Bay Packers, with Bledsoe completing 25 of 48 passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. During the 1997 season, Bledsoe helped the Patriots win five of their final seven games to once again qualify for the playoffs, the fourth time in eight years as a Patriots starter he would lead the team to a post-season run. The Patriots lost in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bledsoe built a career-high 87.7 passer rating, passed for the second most yards in the NFL, and earned his third Pro Bowl invitation. The following year he became the first NFL quarterback to complete game-winning touchdown passes in the final 30 seconds of two consecutive games. In so doing he propelled New England into the postseason for the third straight year. He completed these come-from-behind efforts while playing with a broken index finger on his throwing hand, an injury that would later sideline him for the postseason.

Bledsoe started the 1999 season very strongly, with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions as the Patriots held a 6–2 mid-season record. However, Bledsoe subsequently threw only six touchdowns against 17 interceptions as the team faltered to an 8–8 record. The slide continued into 2000's 5-11 season. While Bledsoe threw a career low 13 interceptions that year, he was sacked 45 times.

Nonetheless, in March 2001, Bledsoe was signed to a then-record ten-year, $103 million contract. Bledsoe did not, however, finish his career with the Patriots, nor even see the opening of the new Gillette Stadium. During the second game of the 2001 season, Bledsoe was hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis while running upright to make it out of bounds. Replacing Bledsoe at quarterback, soon-to-be All-Pro Tom Brady led the Patriots to an eventual Super Bowl championship. Though he never regained his starting role, Bledsoe nevertheless proved integral to his team's playoff run when he replaced a hobbled Brady in the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh. Bledsoe, starting from the Steelers 40 yard line, capped a scoring drive with an 11 yard touchdown pass to David Patten to seal a 24-17 victory. In gaining the conference title Bledsoe completed 10 of 21 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown against no interceptions.

Appreciative of his lengthy tenure with the team and his role in securing their first league championship, Patriots fans cheered Bledsoe in each of his three returns to Foxborough, Massachusetts as a visiting player.

A change of scenery - by way of a trade - to Bledsoe's former division rival Buffalo seemed to give him a bit of rejuvenation in 2002. He had one of his best seasons ever, passing for 4,359 yards and 24 touchdowns and making his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl. In Week 2 against Minnesota, Bledsoe set a team record with 463 yards passing in an overtime win. He continued his strong play in 2003 as the Bills began the year 2-0. However, a flurry of injuries stymied the Bills offense; they failed to score a touchdown in three consecutive games en route to a 6-10 season. In 2004, they fell one game short of making the playoffs; a late season winning streak went for naught when Bledsoe and the Bills performed poorly against the Pittsburgh Steelers backups in the season finale.

Bledsoe went on to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, where he was reunited with former coach Bill Parcells. During his tenure with the Cowboys, he threw for over 3000 yards in a season for the 9th time in his career, tying Warren Moon for fourth in NFL history. That season, Bledsoe led five 4th quarter/OT game-winning drives to keep the Cowboys’ playoff hopes alive until the final day of the season. Though the team ultimately failed to reach the playoffs, Bledsoe had led them to a 9-7 record, a vast improvement over the 6-10 mark that Vinny Testaverde had finished with in 2004.

However, in 2006, his second season with the Cowboys, Bledsoe's play became erratic, so much so that six games into the season he was replaced by Tony Romo. Shortly after the end of the 2006 season, Bledsoe was released by the Cowboys. Unwilling to be relegated to a backup position, Bledsoe announced his retirement from the NFL on April 11..

When Bledsoe retired in April 2007, he left fifth in NFL history in pass attempts (6,717) and completions (3,839), seventh in passing yards (44,611), and 13th in touchdown passes (251).

Drew and wife Maura Healy live in Bend, Oregon and have four children: sons Stuart McQueen, John Stack and Henry Healy, and daughter Healy Elizabeth. He coaches his sons', Stuart and John's, little league football team named the Patriots.

Since his retirement in 2007, Bledsoe has opened a vineyard, the Flying B Vineyard outside Walla Walla, Washington and owns a coffee roasting company as well. He also works with many philanthropic organizations.

Drew was mentioned in the song "Here Comes the Boom", performed by rap artist Nelly.

While Bledsoe's raw statistics are somewhat impressive, a frequent criticism is that they are based on volume (attempts, completions, yards) rather than efficiency (passer rating, TD-to-INT ratio, yards per attempt) proving only that he has thrown a great number of times, not that he has thrown well. According to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, Bledsoe's large career totals "reveal more about his longevity than about his excellence". However, given that he is 5th in attempts and also 5th in completions, along with 7th in yards, his numbers were on par with the others in the top 10.

Bledsoe's poor post-season statistics (see above) have also caused a good deal of criticism to be leveled against him, though his career playoff record of 3–3 is a better win-loss ratio for playoff games as of the end of the 2007 NFL season than those of Dan Fouts, (3–4), Warren Moon, (3–7), or Dan Marino (8–10). In his last playoff appearance he came off the bench for an injured Tom Brady to win at Pittsburgh (the #1 Defense in the NFL that season), he quickly went 3 for 3 with a TD while Brady had not thrown a TD pass in several games at that point. Bledsoe never lost an AFC Championship (2–0) or a home playoff game (3–0).

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Randy Moss

Randall Gene Moss (born February 13, 1977 in Rand, West Virginia) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings 21st overall in the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Marshall University.

Moss played the first seven years of his career in Minnesota before a trade in 2005 brought him to the Oakland Raiders. On April 29, 2007, Moss was traded to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round draft pick. Moss holds the NFL single season touchdown reception record (23, set in 2007), and the NFL single-season TD reception record for a rookie (17, in 1998).

After originally signing a letter of intent to play college football with Notre Dame in 1995, Moss took part in a racially-charged fight at his high school that left one person hospitalized. He entered a plea of guilty to battery, and received probation along with a 30-day suspended jail sentence. Notre Dame subsequently revoked his scholarship, but this did not stop another high-profile college football program from giving him a chance. Notre Dame officials suggested he attend Florida State due to the reputation of its coach, Bobby Bowden, for handling troubled players. However, because of his signed letter of intent at Notre Dame, the NCAA considered him a transfer student, which made him ineligible to play for the Seminoles in the 1995 football season.

He was red-shirted in his freshman season. While at Florida State, Moss ran a 4.25 40-yard dash, with only Deion Sanders being faster (4.23).

In 1996, while serving his 30-day jail sentence in a work-release program from 1995, Moss tested positive for smoking marijuana, thus violating his probation, and was let go by Florida State. He served an additional 60 days in jail for the probation violation.

Ultimately, Moss transferred to Marshall University, about an hour's drive from his home. Because Marshall was then a Division I-AA school, NCAA rules allowed him to transfer there without losing any further eligibility. In 1996, he set the NCAA Division I-AA records for most games with a touchdown catch in a season (14), most consecutive games with a touchdown catch (13), most touchdown passes caught by a freshman in a season (29), and most receiving yards gained by a freshman in a season (1709 on 78 catches), a record which still stands. Moss was also the leading kickoff returner in Division I-AA on the season, with 484 total yards and a 34.6 yard average. Marshall went undefeated and won the Division I-AA title in its last season before moving to Division I-A.

In the 1997 season, Marshall's first in Division I-A, Moss and current Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington were the centerpiece of an explosive offense that led the Thundering Herd to the Mid-American Conference title. Moss caught 25 touchdown passes that season, at the time a Division I-A record, and was a first-team All-American. For the season, he had 96 receptions for 1820 yards, and 26 touchdowns. He won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's leading wide receiver, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy (finishing fourth in the balloting, behind Ryan Leaf, Peyton Manning, and Charles Woodson, who won the award).

Moss left Marshall with 168 receptions for 3,467 yards and a school record 53 touchdowns.

During the 1998 NFL Draft, Moss, who was projected as a high first-round pick, was taken by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st overall pick after a number of NFL clubs—even those in need of a WR—were concerned with Moss' well-documented legal problems. Before the draft Moss was quoted as saying, "teams that pass on him 'will regret it once they see what kind of a player I am and what kind of guy I really am.'" The team most often cited for passing on Moss, is the Dallas Cowboys. Moss grew up a Cowboys fan and wanted to play for the Cowboys. The Cowboys wanted Moss, but due to many off-field incidents of their own, team owner and GM Jerry Jones, did not feel they could draft Moss. Moss felt that the Cowboys lied to him, because they told him they would draft him. On draft day, Dallas went so far as to have a scout in Charleston, West Virginia, the same town where Moss and his mother were watching the draft. Dallas star receiver Michael Irvin even called to apologize to Moss, because Irvin's own off-field problems were a main reason Moss was not drafted by Dallas. Since that draft, Moss has made a history out of beating the Cowboys.

In 1998, Moss helped the Vikings to become the number one ranked offense that season while they set a record for total points by a team. They finished with a 15–1 winning record and were poised to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. However, the Atlanta Falcons stunned the Vikings by winning the NFC Championship Game 30–27 in overtime. At the end of the 1998 regular season, Moss was named a Pro Bowl starter and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for his rookie record 17 touchdown receptions and the third highest receiving yardage (1,313) total of 1998.

In 1999, Moss had another impressive season, catching 80 passes for 1,413 yards and 11 touchdowns. He went on to record 5 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings 27–10 NFC wildcard playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys. Minnesota lost in the divisional round to the St. Louis Rams 49–37, despite Moss catching 9 passes for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. Moss was fined $40,000, which was later reduced to $25,000, during that game due to squirting an NFL referee with a water bottle. There was a stipulation that he would have to pay the difference in addition to any other fine if he had another run-in with the league.

Moss's fortunes took a better turn on the football field during the 2003 regular season, where he became the second wide receiver in history (behind Jerry Rice in 1995) to play more than 12 games (he played 16) while averaging over 100 yards and one touchdown per contest. He finished with 111 receptions for 1,632 yards and 17 touchdowns. All three of the numbers either tied or became a new personal best.

Randy Moss made the Pro Bowl 5 times in his 7-year career with the Minnesota Vikings (1998–2000, 2002, and 2003).

On March 2, 2005, Moss was traded to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris and the Raiders' 1st round (7th overall, which Minnesota parlayed into WR Troy Williamson) and 7th round picks in the NFL draft. Adding a player of Moss's caliber generated a lot of optimism, but the Raiders' poor play continued after acquiring him. Nagging injuries limited his production, as well as what some saw as his unwillingness to play. Moss's own controversial remarks to the media drew more negative attention.

There were rumors leading up to the 2007 NFL Draft that the Patriots and Green Bay Packers were the two teams most interested in acquiring Moss. On April 29, 2007, the Raiders agreed to a trade with the New England Patriots, sending Moss to Foxborough, Massachusetts in exchange for a fourth-round selection (John Bowie), the 110th overall, in the 2007 NFL Draft (the same selection the Patriots acquired from the San Francisco 49ers during day one of the draft). On November 4, 2007, James Black, NFL Editor for Yahoo! Sports wrote, "Every week, in addition to out-leaping at least one defender for a touchdown, keeps making incredible one-handed grabs that make you mutter, 'How the heck did he come up with that?'". His play with the Patriots has led to his sixth Pro Bowl Selection.

On December 29, the Patriots defeated the New York Giants 38–35, finishing their season with a perfect 16–0 record. Moss caught two touchdown passes for a total of 23 season catches, breaking the single season record of 22 touchdown catches previously set by Jerry Rice (in 12 games in the strike-shortened 1987 season). On the same play, Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning's single season record of 49 touchdowns set in 2004 with his 50th touchdown. Although the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers were rumored to have interest in Moss, Moss decided to return to the Patriots, signing a three-year, $27 million deal on March 3, 2008. The next season, in 2008, Moss had another productive year with the Patriots, hauling in 69 catches for 1,008 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the process, he became the 9th all time leading yardage receiver and the 3rd greatest touchdown receiver.

In 1997, Randy Moss was quoted, in a Sports Illustrated article as saying the 1970 Marshall plane crash "was a tragedy, but it really wasn't nothing big." Moss claimed that the quote was taken out of context.

On September 24, 2002 in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, Moss was driving and was preparing to make an illegal turn. A traffic control officer, noticing what he was about to do, stood in front of his car, ordering him to stop. Eyewitness accounts of the event differ at this point, but Moss did not comply with the officer's order, and she was bumped by his vehicle and fell to the ground. Moss was arrested, and a search of his vehicle revealed a small amount of marijuana. Initially charged with felony Suspicion of Assault with a Deadly Weapon and a misdemeanor marijuana possession, Moss pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor traffic violation and was ordered to pay a $1,200 fine and perform 40 hours of community service.

During the last game of the 2004 regular season against the Washington Redskins and with two seconds remaining on the game clock, Moss walked off the field and into the locker room; critics criticized Moss for quitting on his team. Moss stated afterward that he didn’t think Minnesota, who ended up losing 21-18 to Washington, would recover the onside kick.

On January 9, 2005, the Minnesota Vikings traveled to division rival Green Bay to take on the heavily favored Packers in an NFC wildcard playoff game. Moss finished the game with 4 catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the 31-17 win. After the second score, Moss trotted to the end zone goalpost and, facing away from the crowd, feigned pulling down his pants to moon the Green Bay fans. TV announcer Joe Buck, calling the game, was incensed, calling it "a disgusting act" on-air. Days later, the NFL fined him $10,000, finding it "unsportsmanlike" and "offensive" during the playoffs. However, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, the former Vikings defensive coordinator, explained Moss' action by pointing out that Packers fans are infamous for actually mooning the buses of departing opponents, unlike Moss' fully-clothed imitation.

The next day, in a locker room press conference, Moss claimed the woman was simply looking for money "over an accident," because her lawyer came to his lawyer, threatening a lawsuit, and asking for money to settle before she went public to the media. Moss stated he had known Washington for about eleven years. He also stated in his defense that he has never assaulted a woman in his entire life, and asked that the media and fans "find out the facts" before "rush to judgment." Moreover, Moss' lawyer, in an e-mail to the Boston Globe accused the woman's lawyer of "blatant threats and attempts to extort money" from Moss. On March 3, 2008, Rachelle Washington filed papers with the Broward County Circuit Court clerk's office requesting that the restraining order be dissolved and the case closed. No criminal charges were ever filed in the incident.

His parents are Maxine Moss and Randy Pratt, although Moss does not have much contact with his father. He has a sister named Lutisia and a brother Eric, who had a short stint in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Minnesota Vikings. Moss has four children with his girlfriend, Libby Offutt (two daughters, Sydney and Senali, and two sons, Thaddeus and Montigo).

On April 29th, 2008, Moss announced the formation of Randy Moss Motorsports, an auto racing team intended to begin participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In July 2008 Moss announced that he had bought a 50 percent share in Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, with the team's #46 entry switching to #81.

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Dan Marino


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 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 formerly 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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Source : Wikipedia