Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Puppies. Gaga. Howie Long's hair. 51 factoids for Super Bowl LI

Happy Super Bowl Sunday. Welcome to big game No. 51. And what better way to celebrate our sports national holiday than by looking at the 51 people and personalities who will make Sunday special? We have Patriots and Falcons. But we have so much more, too. Super Bowl commercials. Halftime shows. Pregame shows. Shows with puppies.

So, enjoy the day and keep an eye out for these 51.

Dion Lewis

Who is New England's secret weapon? Who is the key to New England's success? Is it coach Bill Belichick? Is it quarterback Tom Brady. Well, yeah, those two have something to do with the Pats' dominance. But the MVP just might be all-purpose back Dion Lewis. Consider this: he has played 16 games, including the postseason, over the past two seasons for the Patriots. New England's record in those games: 16-0.

The former Pitt star has been kicked to the curb by three teams, including the lowly Browns. But he has found a home with the Pats, where he has become an X factor by running the ball, catching it out of the backfield and returning kicks. His fingerprints will be all over Super Bowl 51.

Roger Goodell

For someone who is the most powerful man of the biggest sports league in the world and draws an annual salary of $34.1 million, it's not exactly fun to be the NFL commissioner. Put it this way, half the country has strongly disagreed with everything President Trump has said in the past week, but everybody agreed with Trump when he called Goodell "weak," "stupid" and a "dope."

Clearly, Goodell bungled the whole Deflategate flap, making the most intriguing part of Sunday about whether will have to hand the championship trophy to the Patriots. Yeah, it must stink to be Roger. Except for that $34.1 million thing.

Matt Ryan

The Falcons QB likely will be the league MVP and he likely will have to be the MVP on Sunday if the Falcons are going to win. He has been sensational in this postseason with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in victories over Seattle and Green Bay. In his past six games — all victories — he has thrown 18 TDs with no picks

Hard to believe, but this is Ryan's ninth season in the NFL. He's already 31. He has long been on the cusp of being considered an elite athlete, but a victory in Super Bowl 51 will put his name alongside the very best in the game.

Puppies

Puppy Bowl XIII will air at 3 p.m. on Animal Planet. Roman numerals? Animals can't read Roman numerals. None of us can.

Tom Brady

Throw out all the stats you want. Bottom line: the greatest QB in NFL history. No debate.

Joe Buck

Polarizing broadcaster calling his sixth Super Bowl. He was born in St. Petersburg, so we dig the guy.

Carl Cheffers

Refereeing his first Super Bowl. He was the guy that Chiefs' crybaby tight end Travis Kelce said, "(He) shouldn't even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn't even be able to work at (expletive) Foot Locker."

Howie Long

Don't know what's more impressive: his pregame analysis on Fox or the fact that he has had the same haircut for 57 years.

The Falcons 41-year-old kicker is only player in the game older than Tom Brady. Too bad Bucs don't have him instead of Roberto Aguayo. Oh yeah …

Mike Pereira

Fox's referee in the booth. How did we ever get along without this guy?

Chris Hogan

The Pats WR and former lacrosse player who has come out of nowhere to be a star. Once called "7-11" because he's always open.

Adam Driver

The coolest actor we know is starring in live commercial for Snickers. We're betting it's better than the final season of Girls, which hasn't been good since 2013.

Dan Quinn

The Falcons' head coach is in his third Super Bowl in four years. The previous two were as Seattle's defensive coordinator.

Erin Andrews

The most famous sideline reporter in the biz. But she's still ours, seeing as how she grew up here in Tampa Bay.

George H.W. Bush

There's a rumor he could flip the opening coin toss. And, because he still has eligibility, maybe he can take over in Washington again?

Julio Jones

The Falcons' wide receiver is the best player in this game. Well, the best player not named Tom Brady.

Lady Gaga

Might there be a wardrobe malfunction during her halftime show? "Everything's going to be nice and tight for the game," she said, "so I wouldn't worry about that."

Bill Belichick

Do I want to have a beer with him? No. Do I want him to be my head coach? Heck yeah!

Troy Aikman

Former Cowboys great calling his sixth Super Bowl. Here's hoping he calls at least six more.

Kyle Shanahan

This will be the offensive coordinator's last game with Falcons. Poor schmuck, he takes over the 49ers after the game.

Chris Berman

The longtime ESPN NFL Countdown host is going back, back, back into partial retirement. Today could be his last Super Bowl preview hosting job.

Matt Patricia

In charge of the best defense in football. And, the first call producers will make if the Duck Dynasty guys need a sidekick.

Mr. Clean

Normally, a Mr. Clean commercial doesn't excite us. But in this one he wears skinny jeans.

Jake Matthews

The Falcons guard is from Houston. In fact, his dad, Bruce, played 19 seasons in the NFL, most of it with the old Houston Oilers.

Curt Menefee

Fox's pre-game host who went to Coe College in Iowa. Another notable Coe grad: former Bills coach Marv Levy.

Lara Spencer

For those not into the Super Bowl, there's a Flea Market Flip marathon on Great American Country. I know my wife will be watching.

Raheem Morris

Falcons assistant is former Bucs head coach. And, you never know, maybe future Bucs head coach.

Robert Kraft

What would be better: winning a Super Bowl or having ex-best buddy and commissioner Roger Goodell hand him the Lombardi Trophy?

LeGarrette Blount

One of the cast of thousands who decided to get his act together after leaving Tampa Bay. He gets a TD Sunday.

Russell Westbrook

My favorite prop bet of the day. Who will score more points: the Patriots or the OKC star vs. Portland.

Donald Trump

The president will be interviewed before the game. I was going to crack wise, but my e-mail inbox is already full.

Joe Thuney

The Pats' rookie guard just got a haircut. A reverse mohawk. Yikes.

Arthur Blank

Okay, we're supposed to be objective here. But a Falcons victory would mean seeing this 74-year-old owner dance and we're down for that.

Katie Levitre

The baddest mamma there is. The wife of Falcons guard Andy Levitre went into labor before the playoff game against Seattle and waited until the game was over to go the hospital!

Taylor Gabriel

It's easy to overlook this Falcons WR. After all, Abilene Christian standout is the smallest guy in the game at 5-8, 170.

Luke Bryan

The over/under how long it take the country singer to sing the national anthem is two minutes, 15 seconds. It'd better be under!

Malcolm Butler

The Pats' hero from Super Bowl 49 can walk into any bar in New England and drink for free. Forever.

Sylvester Turner

The mayor of host Houston correctly predicted that Houston would beat Oklahoma by at least two touchdowns. Hey, Mr. Mayor, got a tip for this game?

Terry Bradshaw

The Fox analyst hit on Granny Gaga last week. About Schmidt 2?

Bill O'Reilly

The Fox host will interview President Trump during the pre-game. Does he go after the prez or bring his kid gloves?

Deion Jones

Falcons LB is fast. Like crazy fast. Then again, chasing Brady is like chasing a statue.

Gisele Bundchen

If you drop a Brady pass, who would you rather face: Belichick or Brady's wife?

Cam Newton

The Panthers QB is not playing in this year's game. But his performance in an ad for Buick was better than last year's Super Bowl performance.

Miranda Kerr

Speaking of Buick commercials with Newton, he might be the second most-famous person in the ad. First? This supermodel.

Brett Favre

Doing ads for Buffalo Wild Wings. That means he now is tied with Peyton Manning for most products endorsed: 876.

Hamilton

The Schuyler Sisters are singing America the Beautiful. But there's a four-month waiting list to see it.

Stephen Gostkowski

The Pats kicker has been fighting off some sort of stomach bug. As if kicking in the Super Bowl isn't nauseating enough.

Vic Beasley

Cool stat from ESPN: Pats have lost two of three Super Bowls in which Brady was sacked multiple times. Beasley had four multi-sack games this season.

Melissa McCarthy

Her ad for KIA will make you smile. Meantime, is there going to be a Bridesmaids 2 or what?

Martellus Bennett

Pats tight end. He's no Gronk. Then again, when he talks, he's better than Gronk.

Peter Fonda

His Mercedes-Benz ad is directed by the Coen brothers, it's set in a biker bar and has Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild. Are you kidding? This might be the best thing on TV Sunday.

     
   
Comments
Bucsí Ward glad to be back, eager for rematch with brother Terron

Bucsí Ward glad to be back, eager for rematch with brother Terron

Bucs safety T.J. Ward will make a healthy return Monday after missing two games with a concussion, and it's also a chance to face his brother Terron, a running back with the Falcons."Our whole family's going to be there, rooting us on," T.J. said aft...
Updated: 5 hours ago
McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

As if containing Julio Jones and the Falcons offense weren't challenging enough, the Bucs will try to so Monday night without perhaps their top two defensive players in DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David.Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on Saturday ruled bo...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Jones: Tony Dungy didnít leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

Jones: Tony Dungy didnít leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

It is and always will be the greatest debate in Tampa Bay sports history.Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy?You donít even need to say anything more than that. Bucs fans already know what youíre talking about.Gruden or Dungy?Who was most responsible for the on...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

TAMPA — Bucs coach Jon Gruden did not win the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team. Don’t believe me? Ask Dungy. "It wasn’t. They did a great job. They took it and tweaked it," Dungy said. "The same way I got a great (Colts) tea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Staff writers pick sides (kind of) in the Dungy-Gruden debate

Staff writers pick sides (kind of) in the Dungy-Gruden debate

Even with ó perhaps especially with óJon Gruden set to be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor Monday night, Tampa Bayís Great Sports Debate hasnít abated. Who deserves more credit for the biggest moment in Tampa Bay sports history ó the Bucsí Super ...
Published: 12/16/17
Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Friday, saying that reports that Winst...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs journal: Adarius Glantonís experience could come in handy for ailing LB corps

Bucs journal: Adarius Glantonís experience could come in handy for ailing LB corps

TAMPA ó The Bucsí linebacker depth was tested during the first five weeks of the season, when Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander missed a combined six games with injuries.And now, as David is again sidelined by a hamstring injury, the experience gained...
Published: 12/15/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has injury updates on Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy and a nostalgic trip through the Bucsí history on Monday night, including the current three-game win streak and yes, that infamous 2003 Colts game where the Bucs were u...
Published: 12/15/17
Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

TAMPA ó The worst week of Dirk Koetterís life rolls on.Itís Gruden Week, just like Shark Week, only with smaller teeth and a bigger playbook. Itís the big build-up to Grudenís induction into the Buc Ring of Honor this Monday night, with the accompany...
Published: 12/15/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Published: 12/15/17