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SBD/September 5, 2013/NFL Season Preview
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Published September 5, 2013
PATRIOT GAMES: ESPN's Keith Olbermann examined the Patriots decision to release QB Tim Tebow, saying, "Eleven for 30 with two interceptions are not the Tebow stats you should be looking at." Prior to last season, the "top-selling jerseys were all new models: Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning post-Colts exodus and Tebow Jets." The day the Patriots signed Tebow, they "blasted an e-mail to everybody in the world to advise them they could pre-order Tebow jerseys at $100 apiece before they had even assigned Tebow his own uniform number." The Patriots "wound up paying Tebow about $9,000 for the games he suited up for," and even with a $1,000 per diem, he "made less than" $40,000 as a member of the Patriots. Olbermann: "His salary was covered if they sold only 400 Tebow unis." Tebow jerseys were still available even after he was cut, but "you couldn't find one" of backup QB Ryan Mallett ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 9/3).
QUOTH THE RAVEN: In Baltimore, Childs Walker wrote Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome's ability to "look past the emotion of the moment was the story of the Ravens' offseason." Team Owner Steve Bisciotti said of Newsome, "He's always a calming presence." Walker wrote players, coaches and fans "express little fear that the franchise will lose its way." Bisciotti said he "absolutely" would feel greater anxiety defending the team's Super Bowl title without Newsome calling the shots. Bisciotti added that he talked with Newsome about his future and "came away certain that Newsome planned to stay." Bisciotti: "If I had that fear, I would've been more reluctant to back this purge of these veterans" (Baltimore SUN, 9/4).
GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN': In Detroit, Bill Shea reported the Lions on Sunday will "host an elaborate Bud Light-sponsored pregame tailgate party near the stadium's Gate A entrance on Brush Street, replete with five food trucks, picnic-style eating and music." The team also is "rolling out a tablet app, has installed new turf, has bolstered Wi-Fi connectivity and plans a new game introduction production." Additionally, the Lions "dropped sales of the slick full-color game-day programs and instead will give fans a fold-out roster upon entering the stadium" (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 9/3 issue).
WHAT NOT TO WEAR: ESPN.com's Paul Lukas in his "Uni Watch: 2013 NFL Preview" wrote the Dolphins' new uniform set is "not terrible, but everything about it -- from the helmet logo on down -- feels like a downgrade from the previous set." However, the Jaguars are "now wearing the worst helmet design in NFL history." Lukas: "Half black and half gold, half matte and half glossy, it looks like someone started spray painting it and then wandered off to get a beer halfway through the job." While the Jags' new logo "is actually an improvement," it is "too bad it is stuck on such a laughably bad helmet." Meanwhile, the "upgrade of the year goes to the Vikings" (ESPN.com, 9/4).
LOVE TO HATE YOUR TEAM? The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Rachel Bachman noted Emory Univ. professors Michael Lewis and Manish Tripathi during last season monitored Twitter after regular season games and "logged whether the tweets mentioning an NFL team in that team's hometown were positive or negative." Raiders fans "hate-tweeted their way to the title of most unstable base in the NFL, with an index of 47." The Cowboys had "the most stable fan base, with a score of 4.8." The Steelers and Patriots "weren't far behind Oakland, with volatility ratings of 46.5 and 44, respectively" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/5).