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Texans’ J.J. Watt wins Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who raised more than $37 million in 19 days for a Hurricane Harvey relief fund, won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award on Saturday night.

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“It's an incredible honor to be mentioned in the same breath as Walter Payton, his legacy and everything he meant to football on the field, and, more important, his humanity off the field,” Watt said. “This award goes to so many more people than just myself. It goes out to the City of Houston and everything they've been through. It goes to the hundreds of thousands of people who helped donate. And it goes out to my family and everybody who supported me. It's much bigger than just one man. It's about resiliency and the ability to overcome adversity.”

In his first year as a finalist, Watt joined former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon as the only Houston players to win the Man of the Year Award, The Houston Chronicle reported. The award annually honors a player who makes charitable contributions off the field and combines it with excellence on the field.

Watt is the fourth defensive lineman to win in the 48-year history of the award, the Chronicle reported. The others were Pittsburgh defensive tackle Joe Greene (1979), New York Jets defensive end Marty Lyons (1984) and Miami defensive end Jason Taylor (2007).

“To be able to represent Houston and be able to shine a light on some of the positive things that go on in the NFL all the time – some of the good work that goes on in the community – I think that's just so special,” Watt said during his acceptance speech. “The more we can all do in the community and help each other out the better off we're going to be.”

Massachusetts man with cerebral palsy will realize Super Bowl dream

A Massachusetts man doesn't let personal struggles stand in the way of his dreams. He works as a ticket taker at every New England Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, and on Sunday he'll be at Super Bowl LII when his favorite team takes the field.

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Liz and William Fahey arrived in Minneapolis Thursday night and they are beyond excited to be a part of the entire experience -- made possible by a mother's determination. 

"We have a saying. … where there's a William, there's a way," Liz Fahey said.

Liz Fahey said when it looked like the Patriots were going to another Super Bowl, she had to find a way to get her son there.

William's attachment to the team and quarterback Tom Brady only grew, despite his cerebral palsy, when he joined the ranks at Gillette Stadium five years ago.

"He always wanted to work in professional sports and wanted to be involved with football, which is his favorite sport,” Liz Fahey said. 

"I work the concerts, the soccer games ..." William Fahey said.

"He’s been working for the team for five years, and, every year they go to the Super Bowl, and every year he asks can we go to the Super Bowl," Liz Fahey said.

So as the playoffs began, Liz began laying the groundwork for the big trip, the airfare and a place to stay. After the Patriots defeated Jacksonville in the AFC Championship game, she went on Facebook for help tracking down ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seats for the Super Bowl.

"I came down and I said, 'We're going to the Super Bowl' and he said 'We?'" Liz said.

They had their tickets and were on their way to a dream come true.

"I just feel that there's a purpose that I'm here and able to go," William Fahey said.

All made possible by Mom.

"This is what drives Will and keeps him focused and happy -- and anything that can bring so much joy to him -- I’m just so grateful for the opportunity he’s had," she said.

Brett Favre to Eagles: 'Enjoy the moment'

Brett Favre has been to two Super Bowls as a player, so Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson thought the former quarterback would be a natural to address his team on the eve of Super Bowl LII.

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Favre didn’t disappoint. He talked with the Eagles on Saturday night at the team’s hotel, NBC Sports Philadelphia reported. His advice was simple and direct.

“We know the Patriots. They're a tremendous team. Their quarterback is the greatest to ever play. Bill Belichick is the greatest coach to ever coach. You know what they're about," Favre said, recounting his speech to NBC Sports Philadelphia. "They're going to play the whole game. Don't ever say -- kinda like last year, 'We have it won and we're going to go to the drive-thru.' That's not a good idea."

That was a reference to the Atlanta Falcons, who led the Patriots 28-3 during the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, only to see New England stage the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to win in overtime.

Favre won Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers against the Patriots in 1997 at the Superdome in New Orleans. He lost the following season against Denver. He said that he told the Eagles to savor the success they have had this season.

"I congratulated them on the year they've had; it's a wonderful year," Favre told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "And just encouraged them to enjoy the moment. You think you're always going to come back after you've gotten a chance to go but it's such an honor to play in the Super Bowl. And to just embrace that. And I told them, 'This is probably something I should have told you two weeks ago, but this is the longest two weeks of your life and it's going to be the longest 24 hours plus of your life. The game at this point can not get here quick enough. But it's going to slow down even more.'" 

Is Bill Belichick hinting at retirement?

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd believes New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been dropping hints that he plans on retiring after Super Bowl LII.

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Cowherd went on a rant during his show, “The Herd,” on Thursday saying he believes there’s a 50-50 chance that the five-time Super Bowl-winning coach will retire, especially if the Patriots defeat the Eagles on Sunday.

The host pointed out a quote in which Belichick said he believed quarterback Tom Brady has “earned the right to make the decision to retire,” which he somehow believes gives away the coach’s own plans.

>> Super Bowl LII: Kickoff time, what channel

“That is not a small thing,” Cowherd said, while beaming with pride at his discovery. “The Kraft family is doubling down on Brady over Belichick. They’re doubling down on it. OK, remember the first time, I told you, we saw the ESPN story that Jimmy Garoppolo, a threat, get him out of town. What they were saying is, ‘Mr. Belichick, Tom trumps Belichick.’ The ESPN story reported it, I theorized it before the story came out, everybody’s denying it but now they’re admitting there’s tension. Well why would there be tension? So Jimmy Garoppolo was a threat, out of town.”

Cowherd continued to point out that Belichick, “a legendary grudge-holder,” was forced to trade both Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett for “less than market value,” despite always wanting a succession plan and numerous capable backup quarterbacks.

He also acknowledged that the coach “suddenly” assisted in his coordinators --Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia -- getting head coaching jobs, which he’s “never” done in the past. Additionally, the coach openly helped McDaniels go to the Indianapolis Colts -- an AFC team with Andrew Luck, who the host referred to as the best quarterback in the conference other than Brady -- with “all of the Patriots secrets.”

Finally, Cowherd noted that Belichick has been more “light-hearted” during Super Bowl week by wearing a fedora while walking off of the team plane and smiling more during media sessions, to which the pundit presumed meant that Sunday’s game would be his “swan song.”

So there you have it, folks. Bill Belichick is going to retire because he wore a fedora. Might as well start looking for a new coach now, Bob Kraft!

While there are some valid points made here, it all boils down to Cowherd wanting to hear himself talk during a “hot take,” as is usually the case. Surely, Belichick will still be wearing sleeveless hoodies on the Patriots’ sideline next season, despite the pundit’s conspiracy theories.

Mural in Philadelphia shows eagle carrying Tom Brady away

If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, this mural is a work of art.

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Situated on Bainbridge Street between 8th and 9th streets, an unknown artist painted a mural that would warm the art of a Philly fanatic.

It depicts an eagle soaring in flight, with its talons clutched around a miniature Tom Brady.

The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions, and Brady has led the team to five titles. 

The Eagles are the underdogs for Sunday’s Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t try and keep Brady off the field. This artist in Philadelphia had a unique solution.

Brett Favre visits Minnesota children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald House

Brett Favre spent the final two seasons of his Hall of Fame football career with the Minnesota Vikings.

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The former quarterback returned to Minnesota on Friday for Super Bowl week and stopped at several places to visit with children, KMSP reported.

Favre visited the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House, KMSP reported.

“To think that a visit, a signed picture, a hug or a handshake can go a long ways and brighten someone’s day is -- I don’t even know how to put it in words,” Favre told KMSP. “I know as well as anyone how fortunate I am to have played the game of football and to have made the amount of money I was fortunate enough to make. It had nothing to do with me and had everything to do with God and the people around me, so this is the right thing to do and it sure makes you feel good.”

Favre said he was going to give a pep talk to the Philadelphia Eagles before they meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Sunday in Minneapolis KMSP reported. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is Favre's former teammate; the two played for the Green Bay Packers.

Justin Timberlake goes on Target run in Twin Cities 

Justin Timberlake decided to go on a Target run this week in Minnesota, and the singer tweeted out a surprise to his fans, KARE reported.

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The singer, who will headline the halftime show for Super Bowl LII on Sunday in Minneapolis, filmed himself at a Target store in St. Paul filling his shopping cart with gifts and necessary items.

“I'm doing my Target run. Got socks, got PJ Masks -- my kid loves them, got Fruity Pebbles -- because I love them, got Reese's Pieces -- shout out to ‘E.T.’ the movie,” Timberlake said on the video.

Timberlake, whose latest album is called “Man of the Woods,” signed five copies of a limited vinyl edition of the record, saying he was going to leave it with the store manager. Fans who wanted the disc had to give a special code to the manager, Timberlake said in the video.

“The code word is aardvark, I don't know why, just sounds like a great word,” he said.

The video was posted Friday afternoon, but it could have been filmed earlier in the week, KARE reported.

Justin Timberlake says son 'will never play football'

Singer Justin Timberlake made it very clear during a news conference Thursday. His son will never play football.

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Timberlake, who was promoting his halftime performance for Super Bowl LII, joked that he would dress out as a wide receiver if the New England Patriots needed him, ESPN reported.

But when asked if he would support the idea of his 2-year-old son, Silas, someday running routes in the NFL, Timberlake nixed it.

“Uh, he will never play football,” Timberlake said. “No, no.”

“I mean, yeah, it's kind of like that thing where my main objective is that he become a great person. And if he wants to get into the arts or sports, then yeah, I would fully support that,” Timberlake said. “I think I can hopefully offer him some advice on what to do and what not to do, so yeah, but right now we're working on our manners. That's a big deal in our house right now. It's like, one thing at a time."

During the news conference, Timberlake also scotched rumors that his former band, ’N Sync, or Janet Jackson, whom he appeared with 14 years ago in the now-infamous “wardrobe malfunction” halftime show, would join him onstage. He only would confirm that his band, The Tennessee Kids, would accompany him, ESPN reported.

Timberlake, 37, is releasing his new album, "Man of the Woods," on Friday.

Tom Brady criticized after kissing 11-year-old son on lips during documentary

In an episode of his Facebook documentary series, “Tom vs. Time,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can be seen kissing his 11-year-old son on the lips twice while receiving a massage — and people are really grossed out.

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Jack Brady enters the room where his dad is being massaged, and asks a question about his fantasy team. Tom responds by asking his son for a kiss in return.

“Oh, hello. I was wondering if I could check my fantasy team,” Jack asks.

“What do I get?” Brady replies.

Jack then kisses his father on the lips, but Tom isn’t satisfied and asks for another one.

“That was like a peck,” Tom says.

Jack is Tom’s eldest son from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan. He has two other children, Benjamin, 8, and Vivian, 5, with model Gisele Bündchen.

The quarterback, who is seeking his sixth NFL title with the Patriots at Super Bowl LII on Sunday, received a lot of negative feedback on social media for the video.

Maybe Brady just likes kissing members of his family.

Prior to last year’s Super Bowl, Brady took a moment to share a tribute to his mother who was too ill to attend any of his games this season but made the trek out Houston for the big game.

In the sweet photo, Brady is posed with his mother, Galynn Brady, who received kisses on both cheeks from her son, Tom Brady, and her husband, Tom Brady Sr.

“Sandwich kiss for Mom at Picture Day!!! Go Pats!!!!” he captioned the photo on Instagram.

Patriots' Rob Gronkowski cleared to play in Super Bowl

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol, allowing him to play in Super Bowl LII on Sunday.

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The league announced the update to Gronkowski's status just before 4 p.m. Thursday.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday night after an event promoting the Madden 18 video game, Gronk told reporters he would play in the Super Bowl.

He confirmed that on Thursday, telling reporters in Minneapolis that he was “ready to roll.”

“I officially got the word today that I was cleared, so it is super nice to hear from the doctors going through the whole process,” Gronkowski said.

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church has reportedly been fined more than $24,000 for the hit, which took the Patriots tight end out just before halftime.

“It’s football,” Gronkowski said Thursday when asked about the hit. “It is what it is. It’s a split-second to make a decision.

“It’s running full speed one way -- I’m going the other way. It’s just part of the game. It happens, and (you have) just got to move on.”

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