Fun Fact of the Day: Want to get closer to the Super Bowl LI action? This will be the first Super Bowl available in virtual reality. The Fox Sports VR app will feature 20 game highlights in nearly real time.
The new kids on the block. Yesterday was National Signing Day! That’s when the best high school prospects in the country declare where they will play college football. These days, kids are getting pretty creative with how they make the announcement, for example, linebacker Levi Jones pranked the audience before revealing his selection. Other kids were less successful with the limelight, like defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon, who accidentally said “Miami” when he meant to say “Michigan.” Who has the best incoming class? It’s no surprise that Alabama recruited the best class. Most of the other usual suspects were at the top of the list, but USC took a big jump up in the rankings compared to last year.
Singing the blues. The St. Louis Blues fired their head coach Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock was supposed to retire at the end of this season, when they would hand over the reins to associate coach Mike Yeo (former head coach of the Minnesota Wild). Unfortunately, the team’s underperformed a bit this season, so they decided to make the move sooner than expected. Hitchcock became head coach of the Blues in 2011, and he turned the team into a perennial playoff contender. Last season, the Blues made it all the way to the Western Conference finals, the franchise’s deepest run in the playoffs.
Seen and Heard
Beware of Massh***s. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual Super Bowl press conference. He tried to talk about a bunch of different topics, but everyone just wanted to ask him about Deflategate. Goodell said his relationship with the Pats is “not awkward at all,” but nobody was buying it. That’s because Goodell hasn’t shown his face in the Pats’ stadium since the big Deflategate investigation nearly 2 years ago. It got really obvious that he was avoiding New England, when he chose to go to back-to-back Atlanta Falcons’ playoff games last month. When he was asked about his noticeable absence, Goodell said he’d go to the Pats’ stadium, if he’s “invited back.” To which, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was welcome and suggested that next season’s opening game might be the perfect opportunity. In the meantime, Pats fans are crossing their fingers, toes, and eyes that Goodell will have to hand the Lombardi Trophy over to their team this Sunday.
A difficult year for the Brady Bunch. Even though this is QB Tom Brady’s 7th trip to the Super Bowl, it is extra special. That’s because his mother Galynn has been dealing with an undisclosed health issue for the past 18 months. She’s reportedly doing much better, but this will be the first game that she’s attended all season.