*Donovan McNabb told the NFL Network on Monday that he’s “a fan” of Robert Griffin III and said he was just trying to be a mentor to a younger player when he told The Washington Post that the second-year Washington Redskins quarterback is doing “too much” as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.
“The whole thing about it for me is that I love to talk to the younger guys and just prepare them for what is in front of them,” McNabb said in the telephone interview with the “Total Access” show. He said he hasn’t spoken to Griffin about his comments.
“A lot of them are unaware and when things kind of happen, there is no one to kind of talk to them. I think from my 13 years of experience and watching football all my life, if you can give a helping hand, reach back and give these guys a little bit of guidance if you can, why not do it?”
He said he could “care less” if there is negative reaction to his public advice to Griffin and he “figured it could help him in many ways.”
“I am a fan of his,” he said. “I have watched him, I have watched the young generation that is playing now. I have been a fan and love the game of football. I think anytime anyone can just give you anything. … Deion [Sanders] has been doing it, Michael Irvin has been doing it, so why can’t I sit and talk to the guy?”
In the interview with The Washington Post, McNabb said Griffin’s recent actions may start to become “a circus, a sideshow.”
“It’s too much right now; it’s just too much,” McNabb told the Washington Post from his Arizona home. “I get some of the things he’s doing to draw attention to himself: the adidas commercials, going out and enjoying the life of a young, famous NFL quarterback. I understand RG has a lot of stuff going on.
“But if you’re coming off ACL surgery, you don’t need to be having a press conference at OTAs. Every week? Really? It becomes a circus, a sideshow. It takes away from the focus of what those sessions are supposed to be about: the team.”
*He may be Deion Sanders in disguise, but the Kansas City Chiefs, who will have the first pick in the April 25-27 NFL Draft, have already announced their selection of Leon Sandcastle…at least in a commercial that aired during Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLVII.
The NFL Network spot sees Hall of Famer Sanders – frustrated with the younger generation’s lack of knowledge about his legacy – get back into the NFL as an afro wig-wearing unknown phenom named Leon Sandcastle.
He impresses game team officials with a 4.2-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and the commercial ends with real-life commissioner Roger Goodell uttering those words Chiefs fans are waiting for: “With the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select … Leon Sandcastle.”
*Robert DeNiro’s Philadelphia Eagles-obsessed character in the new film “Silver Linings Playbook” is likely suicidal over his team’s current 6-game losing streak and last place 3-7 standing in the NFC East. But thankfully, he’s just a character from a movie – a concept that’s apparently lost on the real NFL.
Bradley Cooper in a scene from “Silver Linings Playbook”
DeNiro’s co-stars Chris Tucker and Bradley Cooper were supposed to promote the Weinstein Company film on last night’s “Rich Eisen Thanksgiving Special.” The segment was all approved, had finished pre-taping, and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson even tweeted a photo with Cooper at a practice last week and made a video with quarterback Michael Vick about game-day superstitions inspired by De Niro’s character.
But no one got to see any of it, thanks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, whose office abruptly told the NFL Network on Wednesday to scrap the entire segment – all because De Niro’s character is also a part-time bookie.
“The segment was pulled because the movie included content related to gambling on NFL games,” an NFL Media rep confirmed.
Until yesterday, the “Silver Linings” interview was promoted online with the above picture of Cooper, Tucker and Eisen. It was replaced on Thanksgiving by a picture of Eisen and another guest, John Slattery.
Weinstein said, “We are deeply disappointed in the NFL’s decision, and we are quite frankly surprised. Pulling a pretaped interview with our stars is nothing short of censorship . . . [‘Silver Linings’] is not a film about gambling in the NFL. It’s a film about fathers and sons and football bonding a family together.”
He added that he’s a football fan and that his wife, Georgina Chapman, designs clothes for NFL charities and works pro bono.
Robert De Niro in a scene from “Silver Linings Playbook”
In the movie, De Niro’s character, Pat Solitano, Sr., has been banned from the stadium for punching out a Dallas Cowboys fan. He wears the vintage jersey of ruthless linebacker Bill Bergey (No. 66), a star of the “Gang Green” defense in the 1970s. Pat Sr.’s other obsessions: holding a lucky towel and requiring certain player jerseys to be worn during games, believing that individuals sitting in specific chairs bring the team good luck.
Below, director David O’Russell explains what drove De Niro’s character to become a bookie in the first place.
In theaters now, “Silver Linings Playbook” is about the redemption of Pat Solatano Jr. (Cooper), who returns home to live with his parents (De Niro and Jacki Weaver) after being institutionalized for eight months. He has problems controlling his moods; he had brutally punched out the guy who was having an affair with his wife. Pat’s family lives in a blue-collar Philly suburb and, like everyone else in the neighborhood is obsessed with the Eagles. Watch two clips with De Niro below.
DJ Kelly G spins during NFL Network's 'No Huddle' show
*To help kick-off of the 2011-12 pigskin season, BET exec DJ Kelly G joined the hosts of the NFL Network’s “No Huddle” show to bring in football on a high note.
Former NFLers Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp, and Marshall Faulk were on hand to jam to Kelly G’s hot list and make their predictions for the upcoming season during the live broadcast.
“It’s an honor to be asked to come in to mark the beginning of a new football season in such a celebratory fashion,” said Kelly G. “These guys are some of my favorite athletes, and it’s amazing to be able to play music that will get them and the fans amped for the games ahead.”
Correspondent Michelle Beisner introduced the segments to the tunes of Kelly G’s original mixes created with selections from the BET Music Library which he supervises. Irvin, Warner, and Faulk nodded their heads in approval, and Sapp took a moment to get his groove on with a few shoulder rolls as the show went to break.
For more music by DJ Kelly G, tune into his mix show on Foxxhole Sirius 98 every Thursday at 3 pm ET. Follow DJ Kelly G on Twitter @djkellyg.
Warren Sapp, Kurt Warner, DJ Kelly G, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin
DJ Kelly G and 'No Huddle' correspondent Michelle Beisner
Photos: Nichole Lynel/courtesy of The FrontPage Firm.
*The New Orleans Saints have recruited Oscar-nominated actor and humanitarian Brad Pitt to narrate “America’s Game: 2009 New Orleans Saints,” a documentary about the team’s Super Bowl XLIV victory against the Indianapolis Colts.
The film debuts on the NFL Network on Sept. 8, the night before the Saints’ first game of the regular season.
Brad Pitt with son Maddox at a Saints game
Past celebrity narrators for the NFL’s America’s Game series include Jon Hamm, Alec Baldwin, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Martin Sheen, Bruce Willis and James Gandolfini.
Pitt, who owns a home in New Orleans with Angelina Jolie, founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2006 with the goal of building 150 sustainable, affordable new houses in the city’s Katrina-devastated Ninth Ward.