Mortensen to receive Georgetown Lombardi Award
Longtime NFL reporter and throat cancer survivor Chris Mortensen will be honored later this month with the NFL Players Association's Georgetown Lombardi Award.
The award is presented annually to leaders in the sports community whose lives have been touched by cancer and have faced it publicly with courage. ESPN's Mortensen joins past award recipients Devon Still and his daughter, Leah; Robert Kraft; and Larry Fitzgerald.
''Chris Mortensen is a trusted voice within the media, one who we have come to greatly respect and value over the years for his work rooted in integrity,'' NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said. ''It is my personal honor and privilege to bestow him with this prestigious award at the Lombardi Gala as we help in the fight against a disease that has touched my own family, and to honor the enduring legacy of coach Vincent Lombardi, for whom the center is named.''
The Lombardi Gala celebrates the accomplishments and impact made by members of the Cancer Center's community to eradicate cancer. The event brings together some of Washington's top cancer prevention advocates, philanthropists and cancer survivors to raise awareness and money that directly benefits research taking place at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
SHAKE IT: Brandon Marshall is preparing to show off some new dance moves.
The New York Jets wide receiver isn't about to make any predictions about the game, but says he's got a special celebration planned if he gets into the end zone Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
''I guarantee you if I score, I'm twerking,'' Marshall said with a big smile. ''That's what I'm guaranteeing.''
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has made a reputation of dancing after touchdowns, and drawing the occasional fine. The one-time ''Dancing With The Stars'' contestant was docked $9,115 by the NFL after twerking following a TD in Washington in Week 1.
Marshall said he hasn't actually twerked before, but will get his moves together.
''I know you put your hands on your knees and thrust your butt,'' he said. ''I'll figure it out by Sunday.''
And, no, he won't be asking Brown for any advice.
''I'm trying to win that bet, still,'' Marshall said.
During training camp, Marshall jokingly proposed a bet to Brown that whoever of the two finished with the most yards receiving for the season would win the other receiver's car. So far, it's Brown by a solid margin: 369-249.
Oh, and Marshall believes there should be no fines for NFL players dancing in the end zone. The league, he thinks, should allow for a lot more fun.
''We talk about, we want to grow the business of the NFL and revenues,'' Marshall said. ''We see growth from 10 billion to 20 billion (dollars) by the end of 2022. We need more of that. We need guys to come out of the box. We need Antonio Brown twerking in the end zone. Kids shouldn't be fined for that. Guys should go out there and wear colorful cleats. That's our culture right now. This is this new era, this hip-hop and lifestyle era. We need to embrace that. You can't just put guys in a box.''
NFL'S MUSIC MEN AND WOMEN: Step right up for your limited-edition shirts designed by musicians to celebrate their favorite teams.
Yep, Eminem and the Lions. Fergie and the Dolphins. Dierks Bentley and the Cardinals. Melissa Etheridge and the Chiefs. Frank Sinatra and, naturally, the Giants.
Florida Georgie Line and, uh, the Titans? Well, sure, Tyler and Brian do much of their recording in Nashville, close enough to Nissan Stadium to walk it to a game.
Teespring, an on-demand e-commerce platform, has made the very cool-looking shirts available at http://collabs.teespring.com/NFL/.
''The Denver Broncos have been a longtime favorite of ours, so when Teespring approached us to collaborate on a design we jumped at the idea,'' says Ryan Tedder of One Republic. ''Hope all our fans as well as Broncos fans love it as much as we do.''
Several of the acts are better known locally than nationally, but if the shirts look great, so what. Those bands include All Time Low (Ravens), Trampled By Turtles (Vikings) and Underoath (Buccaneers).
MORE MUSIC: The Pro Football Hall of Fame is letting fans vote.
No, not for who gets inducted next summer, but for who they want to see headline the concert the night before the enshrinements at Canton, Ohio.
The Concert for Legends featured Aerosmith last year and Tim McGraw this year. Both sold out.
The 2017 candidates are Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Def Leppard, Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton, Black Eyed Peas and Blink 182. Fans can vote for any of them, or submit other choices, and are invited to vote as many times as they wish through the hall's website at www.profootballhof.com/2017-concert-for-legend-fan-vote/.
Later this year, the hall will announce the 2017 Concert for Legends performer. A prize for a fan who voted for the performer selected will include an all-expenses paid trip for two to the concert, enshrinements and Hall of Fame game.
MILLER'S MENTOR: If Von Miller spins his way to a sack of Matt Ryan on Sunday, he'll have Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney to thank - and Atlanta's QB will know exactly who to blame.
Miller and Freeney were working out in Southern California a few summers ago and Miller asked Freeney to teach him the ins and outs of his swirl and twirl, and Freeney happily obliged.
Miller appreciated Freeney ''not holding back information and him telling me everything about it.''
''He just didn't tell me when you run to them, you turn around and spin. He really broke it down from an approach standpoint, from a footwork standpoint, from a mental standpoint and he helped me a lot with that. I don't know how many sacks I got off of spin moves, but I think it's a lot,'' Miller said.
Miller pays that forward, not just with fellow Broncos pass rushers Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett but with players on other teams.
''There's a guy on every single team that you can really speak that language with, especially in the AFC West with Justin Houston, Khalil Mack, Melvin Ingram,'' Miller said. ''So, it's a little fraternity there and we all speak the same language.''
Surely, Broncos QB Trevor Siemian and offensive tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson won't like hearing about this pass-rushing kinship in their division.
''A sack is a sack. I'm going to get sacks, they're going to get sacks. You really can't stop that,'' Miller reasoned. ''I think you benefit more from really just sharing that knowledge and being the best players you can be. I remember Justin Houston two years ago when he got 22 sacks, he had like a little jab-step swipe with double hands, and watching film, asking about that move, that was one of my moves back then, as well.
''So, it's a copycat league. If it works, people are going to do it. It's just a small community of pass rushers that speak the same language,'' Miller said. ''It's one of the beautiful things about the National Football League. Guys really don't just try to hold back secrets or moves. Just put the knowledge out there and if it applies to you, you use it. If you can't, you can't.''
AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writer Dennis Waszak Jr., contributed.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL