Hall of Fame Sentiment Changing On Modell?
Pardon me while I interrupt your regularly-scheduled programming.
I do it because late Ravens Owner Art Modell's candidacy for the Hall of Fame is also a big issue in Baltimore leading up to Super Bowl XLVII.
The day before the game, the 2013 Hall of Fame class will be determined. And it may be Modell's best shot at being enshrined, as he is a finalist for just the second time ever and first time since 2002.
There was a strong push for Modell to reach The Hall after his death this past September. And that fight hasn't ended in Baltimore.
Now it looks like there may be a more receptive audience listening.
Cleveland's Tony Grossi, the Cleveland media representative who spoke against Modell's entrance back in 2002, is opening up to ask Clevelanders what they believe he should do when asked to when asked to speak about Modell's candidacy.
"When I spoke against him 11 years ago, I felt it was my responsibility to do so, based on thousands of letters and emails – it was the age before Twitter -- I received in the days before the meeting," Grossi wrote for ESPNCleveland.com.
"So I now ask what is the prevalent feeling in the Cleveland market. Should I speak against Modell's candidacy? Speak for it? Or lay back and let the other 45 selectors make their decision without any input from me?"
People can tweet their feelings using the hashtag #ArtIn or #ArtOut. Grossi warns that that results will be considered a guide and not a mandate (so he can still do whatever he feels like).
"If Grossi speaks in favor of Modell, it would significantly help Modell's chances," ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley wrote. "I'm not holding out much hope for a change of mind or heart."
One factor that may also help is that the Hall of Fame selection committee has changed since 2002. There has been a sort of changing of the guard, with eight more seats (46 compared to 38) and a younger, more diverse makeup. There are only 16 members remaining from the committee that spurned Modell 11 years ago.
It's time for Grossi's mind to be changed. Help do that, Baltimore. Tweet @TonyGrossi, but do it in a respectful way supporting Modell. We're out to change minds, not offend them.
Brady's Fatal Flaw Discovered?
Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee believes he's onto something. And he may just be.
After watching hours of film of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, he insists the 6-foot-4 signal caller has a flaw "significant enough to be fatal, if exploited."
"He throws all of his balls low," McPhee told USA Today's Robert Klemko.
So Klemko asked: How has Brady gotten away with it through three Super Bowl victories?
"He just throws it fast and he always gets good pockets," McPhee said. "But I tried to stay in front of him after watching film and knowing where he likes to go and how he likes to do it. So that was my best advantage, just get my hands up."
Well it paid off considering McPhee got his hands up and tipped a pass in the fourth quarter of Sunday's AFC championship, which was then picked off by linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to help seal the game.
McPhee also got another pass deflection later in the game.
"I just kept thinking, 'You keep throwing the ball low, we win the game,'" he said.
Awkward Reunion For Birk, Moss
Not every meeting in Super Bowl XLVII will be rooted in love like the Harbaugh brothers.
ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert shared some interesting stories about the relationship between Ravens center Matt Birk and wide receiver Randy Moss when they were teammates in Minnesota.
The polar opposite personalities didn't exactly mesh.
"In 1998, the Vikings drafted receiver Randy Moss (No. 21 overall) and center Matt Birk (No. 173)," Seifert wrote. "In 2004, their differences surfaced publicly and helped explain the Vikings' decision to trade Moss to the Oakland Raiders. Eight years later, one of them will be a first-time Super Bowl champion."
The two players apparently had a blow-up argument back on Jan. 2, 2005 after Moss stalked the sideline in the game's final seconds as the Vikings were about to lose. Birk confronted Moss about his attitude.
In interviews later, Birk said his tirade could be repeated only with "a lot of bleeps" and made clear: "I didn't like it. I made sure to get to the locker room quick to talk to him about it. And hopefully, it won't happen again."
I personally can't even picture the cool-headed and witty Birk even doing that. So he must have been really perturbed.
Well, Moss never did it again … because he was only on the team for two more games.
It will be interesting to see if there are any pre-game handshakes between these two former long-time teammates on Feb. 3.
Pollard: NFL Has Double Standard
Defenders get fined all the time for hits. But what about quarterbacks?
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard indicated yesterday that Brady should be fined for his karate kick slide that hit safety Ed Reed's knee.
"He knew what he was doing," Pollard said Monday. "So, I'm the type of player -- it has to go both ways. It really does. It has to go both ways. Hopefully, the NFL will do something about it."
It raises an interesting point debated by Hensley.
"Pollard has a point about the double standard," he wrote. "You know what would have happened if Reed wasn't able to pull up like he did and landed on Brady. Reed likely would've been penalized for making contact with a quarterback after he slid."
Pollard said if the NFL wants to "keep the game clean, if you want to keep this thing going in the right direction, everybody needs to be penalized for their actions."
"But Pollard shouldn't get his hopes up about the NFL fining Brady. I would be surprised if it did," Hensley responded.
Harbs Will Forever Treasure Postgame Belichick Convo
CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe blasted Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick for his postgame blow-off of the network's interview.
Head Coach John Harbaugh was nothing but effusive about the Pats coach, however.
"Coach Belichick after the game was so classy with what he said," Harbaugh said Monday.
Harbaugh broke down the conversation more for Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
"I'll treasure that conversation forever," Harbaugh said.
"Before the game, we talked, and he said maybe we should just skip the postgame handshake because it's such a circus. I said I didn't know; I thought we should do it, it's just the right thing to do. And we did. He was so classy, so gracious. Complimentary about how we played, about our game plan, about how tough it is to play us. I told him how much we pattern our organization around theirs, how much we study them."
Harbaugh also had some other interesting postgame thoughts that you should check out, including how he believes the HarBowl speaks to the "greatness of America."
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- Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick says that while Joe Flacco shouldn't be the first quarterback mentioned when listing the league's best players, "he shouldn't be far behind." [FOX Sports]
- @brendon310 (LB Brendon Ayanbadejo): Saw this posted on a wall in the inner city of Baltimore. He got the city on his back! #hero raylewis#goat [Twitter]
- @RobertMathis98 (Colts DE Robert Mathis): Ravens exorcised all playoff demons to get to the big dance. 1colts team 2. Peyton manning and 3 Tom Brady so they stood up n got it. [Twitter]
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