The Associated Press
Playoff ratings are soaring, the messy concussion lawsuit is all but over, and the only thing the NFL really has to worry about now is keeping a bunch of corporate bigwigs warm at the Super Bowl.
MIAMI (AP) - The first airborne banner calling for Jeff Ireland to be fired flew over the Miami Dolphins' stadium in 2011. Other similar signs followed, most recently in November, and on Tuesday those wanting him out finally got their wish.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady head-butted teammates before his first Super Bowl.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Ever since getting pounded by the Seahawks early last month, the New Orleans Saints have learned to love the idea of going back to Seattle.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - As the newest starter in the Seattle Seahawks secondary, cornerback Byron Maxwell had plenty of time earlier in his career to be an observer.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Growing up, Andrew Luck kept trying to emulate the quarterbacks he watched on Sunday afternoons, guys like Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies have acquired guard Courtney Lee and have sent guard Jerryd Bayless to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team trade that also includes the Oklahoma City Thunder.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Bring on Carolina once more, and another cross-country playoff flight.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Before Pete Carroll turns his full attention to Seattle's playoff opponent, he'll make sure the Seahawks aren't expecting another easy win against New Orleans like in Week 13.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers coach Ron Rivera is expecting a few more big plays from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this time around.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - A defense that allowed 44 points in a playoff game might boost the confidence of its next opponent.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Colts are getting some help from a former Patriot.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Forget the Ravens.
Say these things for Dennis Rodman: He likes going to North Korea, and likes bringing a bit of a side show with him.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The last two times the Kansas City Royals played a postseason game at home, rain fell after the final out. This time, it started well before the first pitch.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers defense got beat early by unfamiliar plays and Austin Davis calling the signals.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Soon after taking over as interim coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tony Sparano had a simple message to deliver to quarterback Derek Carr: This is your team.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals arrived in the Bay Area ballpark they know so well in October and began preparing for the possibility of facing the Giants without star catcher Yadier Molina.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Mix Diskerud is not planning on becoming the next Landon Donovan.
PHOENIX (AP) - Chip Hale spent 10 seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization, the final three as the major league third base coach. He also played at the University of Arizona and still lives in Tucson.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yadier Molina still hopes to contribute in some capacity during the NL Championship Series, if his sore side allows it.
Ned Yost has the revved-up Kansas City Royals on track for their first World Series trip in 29 years. Still, in his first postseason as a manager, every choice he's made has been dissected - and, in many cases, flat-out destroyed.
By RALPH D. RUSSO
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (AP) - Jim Furyk thinks it's time for the Americans to think long term about the Ryder Cup.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - For the first time, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be forced to play without Kevin Durant for more than a handful of games.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks is in a Las Vegas hospital after a second operation for abdominal problems.
SEATTLE (AP) - DeMarco Murray scored on a 15-yard run with 3:16 left and the Dallas Cowboys stunned the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks 30-23 on Sunday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Kolten Wong hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the resilient St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 Sunday night, evening the NL Championship Series at one game apiece.
ONTARIO (AP) - Stephen Curry scored 12 of his 25 points in the first 2 1/2 minutes, helping the Golden State Warriors get off to a fast start and beat the banged-up Los Angeles Lakers 116-75 in a preseason game Sunday night.