The fact Rob Gronkowski was able to do some light work in practice Thursday was encouraging, but the injured Patriots tight end says he still doesn't know if he'll be able to play in Super Bowl 46 this Sunday. It says here, he will, but he won't be anywhere near the offensive force (17 regular-season touchdowns) he was before suffering the high ankle sprain. And that's going to make Tom Brady's job against that fierce Giants pass rush all the more challenging.
Speaking of Tom Terrific, his supermodel wife Gisele apparently knows how to cause a stir even when she's hundreds of miles away. Earlier this week, the Brazilian beauty emailed family and friends urging them to pray for her hubby's safety. "I feel Tommy needs our prayers, our support and love at this time,'' she wrote.
Unfortunately for her and her husband the email wound up in the hands of a New York Post reporter and the tabloid had a had a field day with it, running a photo of the New England quarterback with the headline: FRAIDY PAT.
Brady took the tabloid swipe in stride. He said his wife has advised him in the past to "throw the ball quickly. She doesn't like it when I get hit very often."
Hey, cut the lady some slack. Gisele grew up following soccer, you know, the futbol the majority of the world follows, not this crazy, gladiator game her husband plays.
Poor Eli Manning. This was supposed to be his week, but his big brother Peyton continues to hog the headlines. The Indianapolis Colts QB, who missed all of the 2011 season recovering from neck surgeries, apparently has progressed to the point where he will be able to play next season.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said he and the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback will sit down and talk after the Super Bowl leaves town. The sticking point, of course, is that Peyton is due a $28 million signing bonus on March 8, and that the Colts have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which they will use on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who's been compared to a young Peyton Manning.
It's a lock Manning will be released. The teams supposedly that would be interested in him include the Jets, the Tennessee Titans (Peyton played at the University of Tennessee), the Washington Redskins (he likes coach Mike Shanahan) and the Miami Dolphins. But I think a darkhorse would be the Arizona Cardinals. Stay tuned.
Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora apologized for being AWOL the day before, saying he thought only the first media session on Tuesday was mandatory. Nice try, Osi. He was docked $20,000 and admitted that if the fine were only $1,000 many players would skip the sessions.
The NFL and NBC can breathe a sigh of relief. Madonna has assured us there will not be any wardrobe malfunctions. The Material Girl said the Super Bowl halftime show was a gig she had always dreamed about doing. She added that she was feeling more nerves preparing for this show than she had prepping for her numerous worldwide tours.