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Bold TD pass to Nick Foles before halftime stunned Patriots

One reason the Eagles won Super Bowl LII was the innovative play-calling by coach Doug Pederson. And the Philly Special play he called just before halftime halftime had Twitter buzzing. 

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The Eagles led 15-12 against the New England Patriots late in the second quarter when Philadelphia faced a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Eagles executed a reverse throwback from tight end Trey Burton to a wide-open quarterback Nick Foles, catching the Patriots flat-footed and giving Philadelphia a 22-12 halftime lead.

It was a “take that” moment for the Eagles, as they answered a similar play call by the Patriots earlier in the second quarter. On that gadget play, New England quarterback Tom Brady was unable to hang on to a pass from Danny Amendola.

“That was something we’d been working on,” said Foles, who was voted the game’s MVP after the Eagles’ stunning 41-33 victory. “Doug and I were talking, and I was like ‘Let’s just run it. And it was a good time.

“And the end was a little wider than I thought, so I really needed to sell like I’m not doing anything,” Foles said during the postgame news conference. “And it worked: Burton made an amazing throw right on the money. I just looked it in.”

Foles became the first player in NFL history to throw and catch a touchdown pass in the same Super Bowl game, NJ.com reported.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Foles' touchdown reception:

Malcolm Butler says Patriots gave up on him in Super Bowl loss 

New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler was benched Sunday for Super Bowl LII, one of the more curious decisions during the game and especially afterwards, as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns.

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After the game, won 41-33 by Philadelphia, a frustrated Butler pushed back against the Patriots, via ESPN:

“They gave up on me. It is what it is,” Butler said after the game.

“I could have changed that game.”

Butler, who played nearly 98 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season, arrived late in Minneapolis due to illness.

Head coach Bill Belichick called his choice not to play Butler a “football decision.

Butler is a former Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion and has started 16, 16 and 15 games in the last three years, respectively. He also has registered eight interceptions over the last three seasons.

>> Photos: Eagles beat Patriots to win Super Bowl LII

He registered the game-winning interception against Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX.

Butler will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Rob Gronkowski noncommital on return to Patriots after loss

The Patriots fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, and change may be coming in New England.

While there has been plenty of speculation on what the future holds for quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, tight end Rob Gronkowski can be added to the list of uncertain futures in New England.

During his postgame news conference, Gronkowski dropped the stunner:

Gronkowski caught nine passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

Just 28, Gronkowski ranks near the top of the greatest tight ends of all time. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowler, with more than 7,000 yards and 76 touchdowns over his career.

>> Underdog Eagles defeat Patriots to win Super Bowl LII

Despite his elite status, Gronkowski has been one of the more injury-prone athletes in the NFL, suffering a plethora of significant injuries, including concussions, back fractures, forearm fractures, an ACL tear and much more. The beating appears to have taken its toll, and he is expected to re-evaluate things this summer.

Photos: Celebrities at Super Bowl LII

Stars at Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and parties before the big game.

Pink battles flu as she prepares to sing national anthem at Super Bowl

Pop singer Pink is battling the flu, and she said it will make her blue if she is unable to sing the national anthem Sunday at Super Bowl LII.

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But for now, she has every intention of stepping to the microphone before the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles play in Minneapolis.

The singer, an Eagles fan from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, said Friday on her Instagram account that she is “trying to practice the flu away.”

“I’ve been waiting to sing this song since 1991 when I saw my idol, Whitney Houston, own this song,” Pink wrote.

>> PHOTOS: Pink through the years

She said the flu is changing what was one of her dreams into “a sort of nightmare,” adding that singing the national anthem is one of “the biggest honors of my life.”

Pink ended her post with the hashtags #pleasegivememyvoiceback and #ificansingimgonnakillit.

Former Bengals star Chad Johnson leaves large tip for Applebee’s waitress

Former Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Chad Johnson took to Twitter after he tipped an Applebee’s waitress a big-league amount.

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Johnson, who was also known as Chad Ochocinco during his NFL playing career, posted a video on his account Friday night and he appeared to be surprised that he could pay using a tablet at the table.

“Did you guys know they had these machines at Applebee’s?” Johnson said.

Johnson continues to increase his tip as he presses the icon on the screen as the waitress watches.

“When my finger cramps that’s when I’ll stop,” Johnson said in the video.

The final bill? $268.17. That’s including the 342 percent tip.

Super Bowl halftime show had humble beginnings

The Super Bowl halftime show has become an event in itself, with big-name acts commanding center stage before packed stadiums and millions of television viewers.

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It has come a long way from trumpeter Al Hirt, who played in the first Super Bowl halftime show before a stadium that was only filled to two-thirds of its capacity.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyonce and Katy Perry have given memorable performances, but here are some halftime shows you may have forgotten about. 

The first Super Bowl, on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, featured Hirt, the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, the Grambling State Marching Band and the Anaheim High School Drill Team and Flag Girls.

Up With People performed in Super Bowl V, and Hirt returned for Super Bowl VI in 1972 to share the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chorale and the U.S. Marine Corps Drill team.

Ever seen a beauty queen perform at halftime? Judy Mallett, who was Miss Texas in 1973, played the fiddle with the University of Texas Longhorn Band when Super Bowl VIII came to Houston’s Rice Stadium in 1974.

Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, is remembered for Whitney Houston’s rousing rendition of the national anthem, but New Kids on the Block was part of the halftime show.

The Super Bowl in 1992 could be called the last of the modest halftime shows, with Gloria Estefan and members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team the highlights. But when Fox siphoned off halftime viewers with a live episode of “In Living Color,” the NFL switched to big-name concerts, starting with Michael Jackson in 1993 for Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl.

Other big names that followed included Diana Ross (1996), Aerosmith (2001), U2 (2002), Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake in a sequence that became known as for its “wardrobe malfunction” (2004), McCartney (2005), the Rolling Stones (2006), Prince (2007), Springsteen (2009), The Who (2011), Perry (2015) and Beyonce (2017).

Texans’ J.J. Watt wins Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who raised more than $37 million in 19 days for a Hurricane Harvey relief fund, won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award on Saturday night.

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“It's an incredible honor to be mentioned in the same breath as Walter Payton, his legacy and everything he meant to football on the field, and, more important, his humanity off the field,” Watt said. “This award goes to so many more people than just myself. It goes out to the City of Houston and everything they've been through. It goes to the hundreds of thousands of people who helped donate. And it goes out to my family and everybody who supported me. It's much bigger than just one man. It's about resiliency and the ability to overcome adversity.”

In his first year as a finalist, Watt joined former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon as the only Houston players to win the Man of the Year Award, The Houston Chronicle reported. The award annually honors a player who makes charitable contributions off the field and combines it with excellence on the field.

Watt is the fourth defensive lineman to win in the 48-year history of the award, the Chronicle reported. The others were Pittsburgh defensive tackle Joe Greene (1979), New York Jets defensive end Marty Lyons (1984) and Miami defensive end Jason Taylor (2007).

“To be able to represent Houston and be able to shine a light on some of the positive things that go on in the NFL all the time – some of the good work that goes on in the community – I think that's just so special,” Watt said during his acceptance speech. “The more we can all do in the community and help each other out the better off we're going to be.”

Massachusetts man with cerebral palsy will realize Super Bowl dream

A Massachusetts man doesn't let personal struggles stand in the way of his dreams. He works as a ticket taker at every New England Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, and on Sunday he'll be at Super Bowl LII when his favorite team takes the field.

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Liz and William Fahey arrived in Minneapolis Thursday night and they are beyond excited to be a part of the entire experience -- made possible by a mother's determination. 

"We have a saying. … where there's a William, there's a way," Liz Fahey said.

Liz Fahey said when it looked like the Patriots were going to another Super Bowl, she had to find a way to get her son there.

William's attachment to the team and quarterback Tom Brady only grew, despite his cerebral palsy, when he joined the ranks at Gillette Stadium five years ago.

"He always wanted to work in professional sports and wanted to be involved with football, which is his favorite sport,” Liz Fahey said. 

"I work the concerts, the soccer games ..." William Fahey said.

"He’s been working for the team for five years, and, every year they go to the Super Bowl, and every year he asks can we go to the Super Bowl," Liz Fahey said.

So as the playoffs began, Liz began laying the groundwork for the big trip, the airfare and a place to stay. After the Patriots defeated Jacksonville in the AFC Championship game, she went on Facebook for help tracking down ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seats for the Super Bowl.

"I came down and I said, 'We're going to the Super Bowl' and he said 'We?'" Liz said.

They had their tickets and were on their way to a dream come true.

"I just feel that there's a purpose that I'm here and able to go," William Fahey said.

All made possible by Mom.

"This is what drives Will and keeps him focused and happy -- and anything that can bring so much joy to him -- I’m just so grateful for the opportunity he’s had," she said.

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