NFL Update For October 17, 2007

October 17, 2007
No. 430

The New York Times Company owns both the Boston Globe and the Boston Red Sox, but even Globe Deputy Sports Editor REID LAYMANCE admits the New England Patriots' undefeated start this season has Boston sports fans excited about their NFL team. "There's still the perception that it's a Red Sox town, but that may not be true anymore," Laymance said this week. The TV ratings support the argument that the Patriots, who have played only six regular-season games, have moved ahead of their baseball counterparts with local fans. The Patriots-Cowboys’ game last Sunday afternoon starting at 4:15 PM ET attracted a 36.0 rating with a 60 share of homes in Boston. That topped the 33.8 rating for the Saturday primetime Red Sox-Indians playoff game. Nationally on CBS, 29.1 million viewers watched the Patriots’ 48-27 victory, making the telecast the most-watched program so far in the 2007-08 television season, and the most-watched NFL regular-season Sunday game since 1996.

He’s two-thirds of the way there! Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER set a goal for himself as a youngster to have his uniform number retired by his high school, college and NFL team. Last Saturday, he completed the second step of his “assignment.” Roethlisberger, who has the Steelers leading the AFC North Division with a 4-1 record, had his No. 7 retired by Miami of Ohio University at its game against Bowling Green (right). He set almost every Miami passing record and led the RedHawks to their last MAC championship in 2003. Roethlisberger already had his No. 7 retired by Findlay (Ohio) High School. “When you think of all the things kids want,” he says, “I don’t know how I got this crazy idea in my head, but I wanted to get that done.” Well, maybe he has a chance for all three. He’s already won a Super Bowl (XL) for the Steelers!

It will be the closest thing to playing in the game. On February 3 at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, some lucky youngster age 6-15 will actually carry the game ball to midfield and hand it off to the player who will kick it off to start the action. That will be in front of more than 70,000 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium and a national TV audience of more than 130 million viewers. Kids who join NFL Play 60: The NFL Movement for an Active Generation on and take the “NFL Play 60” challenge will have the chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The winner will be selected at random. The grand prize includes a trip for three to Super Bowl XLII, three tickets to the NFL Experience and NFL Kids Day, and a hotel room for seven days/six nights. NFL Play 60 focuses on the health and wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.


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