The Patriots have signed free agent TE Joseph Fauria, who is also Christian's nephew.
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ESPN — Sunday was bittersweet for Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Playing against the Kansas City Chiefs, Manning broke Brett Favre‘s NFL record for most career passing yards [but it] was, statistically, the worst performance of his career … and it ended with Manning benched in the third quarter amid a chorus of boos. …
It was also a tough game for us here at FiveThirtyEight. We’re on record as considering Manning to (probably) be the greatest quarterback in football history … So our jaws were agape as we witnessed the once-great Manning throw incompletion after incompletion, pick after wobbly pick.
But one game does not change a guy’s legacy. Manning has been so good over his career that he’d have to replicate his Sunday performance — a game so bad it ranks among the worst two dozen or so in modern NFL history — every week for nearly an entire season before he ceased to be the top statistical passer ever.
And there you have it. The sap of the Peyton Manning Worship Tree, boiled down into the syrupy goodness of the media’s adulation for him.
We’ve been listening to this dreck for 18 years. The fawning idolatry and shameless supplication at his feet. And now that it’s obvious to all of us he’s not only at the end of the line but that he reached the end last year, got out of the truck and started walking up the dirt path of failure, media folks are doing what they’ve always done: continued with the Heavy Peyton.
Once again, they’ve fired up the Manning Apology Machine, just as they’ve done a million times before. Through all those one-and-outs in the playoffs. All those unforgivable turnovers that cost his team postseason games. His utter futility in bad weather. The media in general and ESPN in particular go right to their playbook, which is excuse, explain, blame others and say the failure won’t affect Peyton Manning’s “legacy.”
I mean, that last phrase says it all. They’re arguing — still — that Manning is “the top statistical passer ever.” Not a word about winning or performing in the clutch. No citing his one record that will never be broken: 13 career postseason losses. Not one mention of how Tom Brady will forever be the Bill Russell to Manning’s Wilt Chamberlain. Or how in their head-to-head matchup Brady owns an 11-5 edge. Just some ragtime about his passing numbers and a cry of anguish coming from the network that has spent more than a decade and a half glorifying the Thumb-Headed Goober while trying to destroy the true G.O.A.T. with lies and false reporting. They’ll probably need grief counselors at the offices in Bristol by the time Manning’s career is officially over while Brady continues to add to his legacy of winning. They call it bittersweet. I just say it’s sweet.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Mavericks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pelicans at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Illinois at Providence, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Wofford at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (NESN) NHL: Capitals at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Central Michigan at Kent State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Western Michigan at Northern Illinois, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
The French soccer team received a warm welcome in London for Tuesday’s game against England.
— A soccer match in Hannover, Germany, was canceled Tuesday after authorities determined that there was a legitimate bomb threat. A first threat turned out to be a false alarm, but a second threat was deemed worthy of calling off the game.
“We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device in the stadium,” Hannover police chief Volker Kluwe said, adding: “We got a tip that had to be taken seriously that an attack was being planned.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the government officials who had planned to attend the match in a show of solidarity against terrorism, although they had not yet arrived at the stadium.
Germany was playing France in an exhibition match in the Stade de France on Friday when terrorists launched simultaneous attacks in Paris, including setting off three suicide bombs outside the stadium.
Tuesday’s match between Belgium and Spain also was canceled following terrorist concerns in Belgium.
France’s exhibition match against England in London went on as scheduled. Fans at Wembley Stadium showed their support by singing along to “La Marseillaise” and waving French flags prior to the game, which was won by England, 2-0.
The United States also played Tuesday, settling for a scoreless draw against Trinidad and Tobago on the South American island.
The 26-year-old signed with the Raiders after being released by the 49ers in early August following his arrest for drunken driving, hit and run and vandalism — the latest of his several run-ins with the law.
Oakland took a chance with a one-year deal despite knowing Smith might be in line for another suspension. He missed the first nine games of the 2014 season for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.
“I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be,” Smith said in a statement. “I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Nov. 18, 1997, the Red Sox acquired Pedro Martinez from the Expos for which two pitchers (one who was a player to be named later)?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t think we’ve got the focus or commitment of the whole group. I’m not saying anything that nobody knows here. I think it’s pretty obvious.” — Bruins coach Claude Julien, after Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Sharks