• Christmas ended seven weeks ago, so for most people the wreaths, garland, and various ornaments began to find their way into boxes and basements for another long hibernation shortly thereafter. The Giants aren’t normal, and at the team’s facilities superstition didn’t allow the reminders of St. Nick’s visit to be taken down until last week.
  • Eli Manning and the Giants are predictably the focal point of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, and King looks back on Manning’s journey from highly-hyped draft prospect to two-time Super Bowl champ that began on a cold fall day in Mississippi just over nine years ago.
  • The Eagles will almost definitely use their franchise tag on DeSean Jackson, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who laid out the options for Jackson and his future in Philly. McLane’s conclusion isn’t remotely surprising, and if a new long-term contract isn’t negotiated, Jackson will be paid roughly $9 million more in base salary next year if he plays under the franchise designation.
  • Billy Cundiff says the support from his teammates and coaches never wavered following his missed kick that ended Baltimore’s season.
  • Donald Driver doesn’t mind taking at pay cut to stay in Green Bay next year and finish out his career with the Packers. His charity is noble, but with Jordy Nelson‘s emergence there likely still won’t be a roster spot for a fading 37-year-old receiver making a minimal contribution.
  • Reggie Wayne‘s phone hasn’t buzzed yet with an offer from the Colts, and the soon-to-be veteran free agent wouldn’t mind spending his twilight years in New England.
  • The slow pace of negotiations with Drew Brees could lead to the Saints quarterback being franchised, and Marques Colston hitting the open market.
  • A former Jersey Shore cast member (is “cast member” the correct term? That seems to imply actual acting talent) thinks Ahmad Bradshaw is a “hot black.”
  • Whitney Houston sang the national anthem prior to the Super Bowl in 1991, and as Jason Keidel writes, it was one of those classic spine-tingling moments.
  • Richard Nixon’s proposal to fortify existing blackout rules surfaced through archived tapes over the weekend, and decades later the league is likely regretting a decision by former commissioner Pete Rozelle.
  • Victor Cruz did his signature salsa dance at the Grammys last night, but the highlight of his appearance alongside Mario Manningham came seconds before the start of the video below, when Pauley Perrette of NCIS introduced the two by awkwardly saying “right? how ’bout these players?” That soundbite should be played immediately after every Manningham or Cruz touchdown catch next year.

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