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Patriots fan gets tattoo declaring Super Bowl win

Friday, January 29, 2016

BOSTON — A New England Patriots fan was a bit premature when he got a tattoo declaring the team champions of a game they never reached — yet he says he has no regrets. Thirty-one-year-old Burke O’Connell says he strongly believed the Patriots would win the AFC Championship and advance to the Super Bowl. The Massachusetts native had a friend ink the celebratory tattoo across his calf two days before …

Peyton Manning to Bill Belichick: ‘This might be my last rodeo’

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DENVER — Peyton Manning isn’t saying that Super Bowl 50 is his grand finale. He’s just saying it could be. NFL Network cameras caught an intriguing exchange between Manning and New England coach Bill Belichick after Denver’s 20-18 win over the Patriots in the AFC championship game on Sunday. When they embraced, Manning …

UMass notebook: Donte Clark proud of hometown Panthers

Monday, January 25, 2016

AMHERST — Sophomore guard Donte Clark wore his Carolina Panthers hat around campus Monday. UMass features a high enrollment of New England Patriots fans, most of whom were recovering from Sunday’s AFC Championship loss to Denver on Monday. Clark, a Charlotte, North Carolina, native, was a rare happy football fan, proud of his hometown team. “People probably think I’m a bandwagon fan. I’ve …

Top seed eludes Patriots in Miami

Sunday, January 3, 2016

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A whipsaw hit sent Tom Brady’s legs one direction and his upper body the other, leaving him face down in the turf. Brady rose — slowly — but the hits kept coming from the …

Gap growing between Patriots and Dolphins

Friday, January 1, 2016

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — This year the Miami Dolphins really, truly, sincerely believed they could gain ground on the New England Patriots, and perhaps even catch their longtime AFC East nemesis. Instead the yawning gap only grew. The …

Winter Classic: Canadiens top Bruins 5-1 at home of Patriots

Friday, January 1, 2016

FOXBOROUGH — The Montreal Forum was the Canadiens’ home for one of the most successful dynasties in professional sports. The Bruins and Celtics filled the Boston Garden rafters with championship banners. The Original Six rivals met at the …

Patriots embrace Winter Classic, then head to warm South

Thursday, December 31, 2015

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — Bill Belichick took to the Gillette Stadium ice for a morning skate with Bruins coach Claude Julien on Thursday, then took his team to south Florida for what has become an important football game on …

Bill Belichick voices strong support for Chip Kelly

Thursday, December 31, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — Consider Bill Belichick one of Chip Kelly’s strongest supporters. The four-time Super Bowl champion called Kelly’s firing by the Philadelphia Eagles “really disappointing” and praised his coaching skills. Kelly was dismissed Tuesday with one game remaining in an underwhelming season. The Eagles are 6-9 after going …

Matt Vautour: Gazing into the 2016 crystal ball

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Crystal ball time. Predictions for 2016 that can’t possibly miss. Alabama beats Oklahoma in the College Football Championship — The Sooners will lose in the finals of football and men’s basketball. The Winter Classic is disappointing — Outdoor …

Patriots look to wrap up top seed in AFC against Miami

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — Having failed in New Jersey, the New England Patriots head to Miami this weekend again looking to wrap up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. “I think this game’s really important for us because it’s a great goal for us, to be the No. …

2015: A year of sports scandals with a silver lining

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

PARIS — For the past 12 months, scandals off the field of play eclipsed exploits on it. Beyond the usual cases of doping and cheating that are sadly common in modern sports, shocking corruption in soccer and athletics …

Bill Belichick stands by kicking off to start OT

Monday, December 28, 2015

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — Bill Belichick stood by his decision Monday to kick off to start Sunday’s overtime in New Jersey. The New York Jets scored quickly to win 26-20 and boost their playoff hopes. The loss deprived the …

Week 16 provides more questions, not answers

Monday, December 28, 2015

Just when you thought it was safe to look toward the playoffs, Week 16 of the NFL schedule threw a bunch of stuff out of kilter. Carolina’s unbeaten season ended. New England’s injuries and defensive holes made it …