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Super Bowl Match Up, Reggie Bush and more

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 NFL News - Monday, January 21,2008
... Super Bowl Match Up, Reggie Bush and more...
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Road warrior Giants find luck in Green Bay cold

A cold night was no match for a hot team.
Despite temperatures below zero and wind chills of minus 24, 
despite the long odds of a wild-card team traveling for the 
third consecutive week, the New York Giants burned with a 
nasty fury on their weird and wild journey to the Super Bowl.
Three playoff games away from home. Three victories. The last 
earning them one more trip — to Glendale, Ariz., for Super 
Bowl XLII on Feb. 3. The Giants' NFL record 10th consecutive 
road victory came in the most dramatic of fashions. Lawrence 
Tynes, who missed a 36-yard field goal try as the fourth 
quarter ended, converted a 47-yard kick with 2:35 elapsed in 
overtime to lift his club to a 23-20 victory in the NFC 
Championship Game.


Perfect Patriots, improbable Giants headed to Arizona for 
Super Bowl

The New England Patriots' path to perfection has one last 
hurdle: a New York team of road warriors hoping for a Giant 
upset. "We'll try to elevate our game for one last performance," 
said Tom Brady, the Patriots' dimple-chinned, record-setting 
quarterback with the model girlfriend. Brady and the Patriots 
(18-0) will try to match the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only 
teams to complete an undefeated season when they face Eli 
Manning and the Giants on Feb. 3 in the Super Bowl at 
Glendale, Ariz. "I think you enter the season and you're 
hoping to put together a bunch of great wins and you realize 
there's challenges every step of the way," Brady said after 
beating San Diego 21-12 in the AFC championship game Sunday. 
"To not have a letdown like most teams have - we had a few 
letdowns or times where we didn't play our best, but we 
overcame them." Standing in the Patriots' way are the Giants 
(13-6) and Manning - Peyton's little brother, whose moxie and 
leadership abilities no longer can be questioned. "We haven't 
been given a shot, but we're here," Manning said of his Giants, 
who have won 10 straight on the road - including a 23-20 overtime 
win at Green Bay in the NFC title game. "I think we're deserving 
of it." Las Vegas oddsmakers might think differently. They 
installed New England as a 13 1/2-point favorite in the big 
game, in which New York will get another shot at destroying 
the Patriots' path to perfection. New England won 38-35 in 
its final game of the regular season, rallying from a 12-
point second-half deficit against the Giants. The teams also 
played in the preseason finale, when New England won - with 
Brady sitting that one out. Brady and the Patriots are playing 
in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven years. A win 
in this one would rank the Patriots as perhaps the greatest 
champion in NFL history - Spygate a long-forgotten speedbump.

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Bush could lose Heisman

Reggie Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy and USC's 2004 national 
championship could be in jeopardy as evidence continues to 
mount that the former star halfback received illegal benefits 
from a fledgling sports marketing company. Lloyd Lake, a front 
man for New Era Sports and Enter tainment, a sports market ing 
company, provided HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" with 
recordings of telephone conver sations he had with Bush's 
stepfather, Lamar Griffin, that support his claims he gave 
the USC running back cash and a car. "Real Sports" will air 
the segment Tuesday night (10 p.m., HBO). Lake has filed a 
$291,000 suit against Bush and spoken to NCAA officials about
the alleged numerous illegal benefits he provided Bush and his 
family while Bush was at USC. According to Lake, a former 
convict, he directly gave Bush $3,000 a month in a Secret 
Service-style arrangement and was with Bush when the star back 
picked out a $757,000 house for his parents that Lake claims 
New Era paid for. Neither Bush nor any of his family members 
agreed to talk to the show. In the past this has been mostly 
a he said-she said scenario. But the tapes of the telephone 
conversations are the first proof that Lake and Griffin did 
have a relationship. The authenticity of the tapes will have 
to be confirmed. "Whatever you gave Reggie, Reggie is not 
going to turn his back," Griffin says on one recording.
"Reggie said tell Lake if I don't come to this business or 
whatever I'm going to give every penny that he gave me, from 
the car, from the money you've given me before," continues 
Griffin. "He's not going to be like that." Bush already has 
settled out of court with one of Lake's business partners, 
Michael Michaels. According to HBO, Bush settled with Michaels 
for $200,000, including a confidentiality agreement among all 
parties. The Pac 10 Conference and NCAA are investigating the 
allegations. No player has ever been stripped of a Heisman 
Trophy, not even O.J. Simpson.

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Ex-NFL player Stubblefield pleads guilty in BALCO case

Former NFL defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield pleaded guilty 
Friday to lying to investigators in the BALCO steroids case, 
making him the first football player charged in the long-
running federal investigation. Stubblefield, a three-time Pro 
Bowl player who testified before the BALCO grand jury in 
November 2003, was charged with making false statements to 
federal agents about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The charges, unsealed in federal court, allege Stubblefield 
lied to an IRS agent when he said he had not used steroids 
linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and denied 
receiving performance enhancers from BALCO founder Victor 
Conte. The plea deal calls for the 37-year-old Stubblefield 
to spend zero to six months in prison, though U.S. District 
Judge Susan Illston said she is not bound by that agreement 
and can sentence him to up to five years. He is to be sentenced 
April 25. Stubblefield and his attorney, Mike Armstong, 
declined to comment as they left court. Stubblefield is the 
latest target in a federal investigation that has spanned five 
years and ensnared several elite athletes and members of the 
Burlingame-based steroids distribution ring, including Conte, 
who served four months in prison. The biggest name was Barry 
Bonds, the former San Francisco Giant and baseball's career 
home run king. He pleaded not guilty to perjury and obstruction 
of justice charges and is awaiting trial. Stubblefield played 
on the defensive line for the San Francisco 49ers, Washington 
Redskins and Oakland Raiders from 1993-03, and was the NFL 
defensive player of the year in 1997 while with the 49ers.

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