Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith plans to play in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, even though he learned Wednesday of his father’s death.
According to the Denver Post, Smith got a call from his mother telling him that his father, Marty Christopher Williams, had died in prison of complications from recent heart surgery.
Williams, 55, was convicted of first-degree murder in Oklahoma City in 1991 and was serving life in prison without parole in Lexington, Okla., according to the newspaper.
Smith, a 12-year veteran, joined the Broncos this season after being released by Oakland. He has had 21/2 sacks in the playoffs.
Some people might be bothered by the celebratory dancing of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. It doesn’t bother Denver linebacker Von Miller.
“What is my take on celebrations? I love it,” Miller said. “Whoever is dancing the most is probably going to win the game Sunday. I like to dance. I like to show emotion and celebrate with my teammates. Cam is the same way. I love it. I think it is great for the game.
“You have a younger generation that pays close attention to that and that is what they follow. That is the future of the sport. I think it is great. Whoever is dancing the most will likely win the game on Sunday.”
Taking a toll
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said he has gotten some ominous medical news from time to time relating to the physical toll football has taken on his body, including the possibility of a hip replacement down the road.
“Certainly when you have injuries, when you have surgeries, the doctor sometimes will mention to you, whether you ask him or not, ‘Hey, you are probably heading for a hip replacement at a certain time in your life,’ ” said Manning, who turns 40 in March. “I said ‘Doc, I didn’t ask you if I was going to have a hip replacement. I didn’t need to know that right here at age 37, but thanks for sharing. I look forward to that day when I am 52 and have a hip replacement.”
“Am I going to have some potential neck procedures down the road? I don’t know the answer to that. The hip part was true. I can’t remember which doctor told me that. I have seen a lot of doctors. He was nice enough to share that information with me.”
Cam a lot
Newton appears to be nearing fatigue when it comes to questions from reporters.
When asked, again, what it means to be leading a team in the Super Bowl, Newton answered with a good-natured question.
“You know what’s confusing?” he said. “How can I reword questions I’ve been asked so many times? Golly. Nothing pretty much has changed since I’ve seen you guys 24 hours ago. I had an unbelievable sleep, but yet I’m up here again. It’s cool.”
Asked whether there was a clothing line in his future, Newton said he already had one.
“My main focus right now is the Denver Broncos, specifically [linebackers] Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware,” he said. “I think Versace and everybody else can wait for the time being.”
But Newton was surprised when he was told he had been called the Usain Bolt of the NFL.
“Really?” he said. “I got the opportunity to meet Usain last year. He was a cool guy. He was like real cool, you know? Like internationally cool. I’m just locally cool, you know?”
The fictional Hanson brothers are legendary characters from the movie “Slap Shot,” the 1977 film about a minor league hockey team that starred Paul Newman.
Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott referenced the Hanson brothers when asked about veteran safety Roman Harper.
“He’s my enforcer,” McDermott said. “I don’t know if the movie was ‘Slap Shot,’ but years ago whenever we needed to do something, he comes out like the twins used to come off the bench and go in and lay the wood then go right back into the penalty box. He’s kind of that to us.”