NFL Nation: New York Yankees
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are still hoping to save their season, and they turned to Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader Monday night to help them.
Mariano Rivera, the legendary closer of the New York Yankees who retired last month, was honored at MetLife Stadium prior to the start of the Giants' game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Shortly before the opening kickoff, after a Rivera highlight video aired on the stadium's giant television screens, Rivera jogged in from one of the end-zone tunnels out to midfield with his customary entrance music, Metallica's "Enter Sandman," playing over the loudspeakers.
Rivera wore an Eli Manning No. 10 jersey and participated in the opening coin toss. He didn't bring the Giants luck, however -- the Vikings won the toss, electing to defer.
Tebow and Wade attended Sunday's baseball game together between the Yankees and Angels in New York. Both players received jeers when shown on the big screen, despite wearing a pair of Yankees hats.
The two high-profile athletes talked throughout and shared some laughs. Wade later told the New York Post he can tell Tebow has what it takes to thrive in the high-pressure situation in New York.
"He's a winner," Wade told The Post. "You can sense it when you speak to him and you’re around him. The confidence that he portrays as a person probably wears off on the guys in the locker room. That’s why they were successful in Denver and that’s why he’ll be successful in his role with the Jets."
Tebow was acquired in an offseason trade with the Denver Broncos. He is the No. 2 quarterback behind embattled starter Mark Sanchez. Tebow will primarily run a Wildcat package. But Tebow also could push for the starting job if Sanchez struggles.
DANA POINT, Calif. -- In a fortuitous bit of corporate synergy, the NFL and ESPN Sports Poll collaborated on a study to determine the nation's most popular individual pro sports franchises.
Owners and team executives viewed the results of the poll this week during their opening gathering at the St. Regis Hotel. NFL teams captured six of the top 10 spots in the poll, including the Black and Blue's own Green Bay Packers at No. 2.
By one measure, the poll means that in 2008, the Packers had the second-highest percentage of supporters among all U.S. pro sports franchises.
"We're a very recognizable brand and I think we still have a national following," Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said. Here's the full list for 2008:
Final Indianapolis 28 Cincinnati 42 Final Atlanta 21 Green Bay 22 Final Cleveland 26 New England 27 Final Oakland 27 New York 37 Final Detroit 20 Philadelphia 34 Final Miami 34 Pittsburgh 28 Final Buffalo 6 Tampa Bay 27 Final Kansas City 45 Washington 10 Final Minnesota 26 Baltimore 29 Final Tennessee 28 Denver 51 Final St. Louis 10 Arizona 30 Final New York 14 San Diego 37 Final Seattle 17 San Francisco 19 Final Carolina 13 New Orleans 31