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.
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.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Austin Davis has made the most of his improbable shots for the St. Louis Rams, passing for 300 yards each of the last two games.
OAKLAND (AP) - Branden Oliver and Philip Rivers spoiled Oakland's fresh start to the season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Resilience and perseverance are two traits that have come to epitomize the Kansas City Royals, who've turned into a playoff force with their run of late-inning wins.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Matt Kenseth, usually so calm and composed, lost his cool and attacked Brad Keselowski at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, leading a 1-2 finish for Mercedes that clinched its first Formula One constructors' title and stretched his lead in the championship.
MILAN (AP) - Kimberly Hill led the United States to its first major women's volleyball title, scoring 20 points in a 3-1 victory over China on Sunday in the world championships.
OAKLAND (AP) - Before starting his first practice as Oakland Raiders interim coach, Tony Sparano dug a hole and placed a football in it and had the entire team bury it with dirt as a symbol of putting the first four games in the past.
STANFORD (AP) - Kevin Hogan threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns and No. 25 Stanford slowed down Connor Halliday and the Air Raid offense in a 34-17 victory over Washington State on Friday night.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two years later, the sting is still fresh for Mike Matheny.
BALTIMORE (AP) - These Kansas City Royals, and Alex Gordon in particular, are way more than just speed and singles.
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Hours before his final game for the red, white and blue, Landon Donovan made no effort to hide his anger at Jurgen Klinsmann.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says rumors that Adam Wainwright is hurt are overblown.