- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

Call it the golden tones of the guys with gold jackets.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed with SiriusXM satellite radio for a weekly program that will feature many of the game’s all-time greats co-hosting and discussing their careers and the sport that made them famous.

Hall executive vice president Joe Horrigan, perhaps football’s foremost historian, and Hall of Fame selector Howard Balzer are the regular hosts of the Saturday program (2 p.m-4 p.m. ET). Each week, a hall member will co-host the show.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker says. “The Hall is thrilled to team with SiriusXM to spread a message of what the game teaches us to a large audience of devoted fans.”

Hall of Famers who already have regularly scheduled on-air programs on SiriusXM are James Lofton and Bill Polian.


BRADY VS. MANNING: The premier quarterback rivalry of this century, and maybe in all NFL history, now has a book chronicling it.

“Brady Vs Manning” by New York Daily News columnist Gary Myers contrasts the backgrounds of the New England and Indianapolis quarterbacks who at some point will land in the Hall of Fame. You know, Brady the underdog sixth-round draft pick who only became a starter in 2001 for New England when Drew Bledsoe was injured. And Manning, the first overall selection in the 1998 draft and a starter from Day 1 in Indianapolis, and now making his living in Denver.

Myers goes far beyond the stats to show what the two superstar QBs think of each other’s career. That’s when the book is at its very best.

It’s clear that Myers got plenty of access and cooperation from the Brady and Manning camps, which makes the book even more enlightening.

“Peyton and Tom were very helpful during the interview process as I researched the book,” Myers says. “The most interesting time was riding with Brady from Gillette Stadium to downtown Boston. He drove, I asked questions, he gave great answers and, yes, he kept his eyes on the road. When we were done, he was genuinely curious about how I came up with this idea. He asked about the various steps in the writing process and when the book was coming out.

“When he dropped me off at a Boston hotel so I could catch a taxi back to Foxborough, the doorman did a double take when he saw who was in the driver’s seat. It was pretty funny.

“I met a few months later with Manning at the Broncos’ facility. As usual, his answers were insightful and well thought-out.”

As for the title, well, Myers says it was done alphabetically. Or, he jokes, by number of Super Bowl rings.

“The Brady-Manning rivalry is the best in NFL history,” he says, “and this was really a fun project.”

A project worth reading well before they meet again on Nov. 29 in Denver.


SUPER NIGHT OUT: Here’s one not many fans have even dreamed of: sleeping in the host stadium for the Super Bowl.

Courtyard by Marriott is offering the “Suite Stadium Contest,” an overnight stay at Levi’s Stadium the night before Super Bowl 50 in a suite transformed into a guest room. Following the slumber party, the winner and three guests will receive tickets to the game.

The contest winner will be determined in a series of social media challenges before closing in November. The prize also includes flights and full accommodations.

Marriott International has rented the suite. The NFL’s security team will escort the winner and guests into the stadium, which they will tour. A Courtyard representative will be assigned to handle hospitality during their stay, which will include complimentary food and beverage service through the stadium’s catering vendor.

Also, the hotel company will conduct Marriott Rewards’ 50 to 50 sweepstakes, sending a group of 50 friends and family to the Super Bowl. The trip includes flights, hotel and tickets to the game for the entire group.

Members can enter at the Marriott Rewards Facebook page through Nov. 30, and non-members can sign up instantly and join for free.

“The NFL is the powerhouse of professional sports, and our long-standing sponsorship gives us an opportunity to tap into a passionate group of travelers, bringing the breadth and depth of our brand offerings to fans,” says Karin Timpone, global marketing officer for Marriott International.

And yes, they are not shying away from the possibility the winners could come from outside of the United States, as the sweepstakes are available to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United Kingdom.


PLAYERS AND VETERANS: The NFL players’ union has formed a partnership with Got Your 6 (GY6) to show its support for America’s veterans.

The collaborative campaign between the NFLPA and GY6 is designed to change the conversation in America about veterans so that their leadership and skills are recognized and utilized in this country. The initiatives will begin later this season.

“There’s nothing more American than football,” says Robert L. Gordon, president of Got Your 6’s parent organization, Be The Change, Inc. “The NFL has done amazing work with the military, active duty and veterans alike, for decades, but to date Got Your 6 has never had the opportunity to partner with the NFL, or any national sports league for that matter, on this level.

“I believe this partnership (with the NFLPA) is an incredible opportunity to not only celebrate and support our nation’s veterans and their families, but also to inspire veterans to continue their service and be the leaders and civic assets they were trained to be.”

Gordon notes that Got Your 6 provides funding in the form of grants to several veterans organizations that are focused on topics such as education, housing, and jobs.

“This partnership will serve to create jobs for veterans through the great work that our partner organizations like Hiring Our Heroes do in the space,” he says. “Not only will our new engagement with the NFLPA help to strengthen Got Your 6’s grant-making capabilities, it will further Got Your 6’s ability to foster perception shift in America around veterans and how they are viewed in the culture.”


HOT TICKETS: Two terrific matchups on this weekend’s docket - Dallas at Philadelphia and Seattle at Green Bay - are among the hottest ticket on StubHub.

The rematch of the NFC title game, with the Seahawks at Lambeau Field, is going for a $385 average, with prices ranging from $80 to $1,175. The Cowboys’ trip to Philly is drawing a $377 average price, with a range of $88 to $1,250.

New England’s visit to Dallas on Oct. 11 is bringing an average rate on the secondary market at $381. Price tags range from $35 to, gulp, $12,800.

The Steelers, whose fans always travel well, head to San Diego on Oct. 11, and that game is getting an average of $286 on StubHub.

All prices are based on tickets already sold.

“At the beginning of the NFL season, the most sought-after games tend to be those with perennial popular teams visiting: Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers, Packers,” says StubHub spokesman Cameron Papp. “As we move along through the season and as each game gets more important, we’ll start to see higher demand for NFL tickets on StubHub, particularly for those important division rival games with playoff implications.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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