Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Being a professional football player can be a brutal life. Nate Jackson spent six years in the NFL, mostly as a receiver with the Denver Broncos, and while he wasn't a star — or even a starter — he did carve out life in the rarefied air of professional sports, and he got just as banged up as any big-name player. But he learned to play through the pain.
That was certainly an impressive way to open the NFL season wasn't it? Sending an NFL record 7 touchdowns through the air, Peyton Manning and the Broncos beat the defending champion Baltimore Ravens 49-27. Manning was 27-of-42 for 462 yards for the night.
Did Manning exact revenge against the Ravens for the city of Denver? Not completely. There was no tomorrow when the Ravens rallied to beat the Broncos 38-35 in double overtime during a frigid January playoff game in Denver. There are essentially 15 more tomorrows in this 16-game NFL season.
Winning isn't everything but at least you don't have to dance. The mayors of Denver and Baltimore made a friendly wager when their teams met in the NFL playoffs. When Baltimore won in overtime, it was disaster for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who must now dance like Ray Lewis. The soon-to-retire Baltimore star does an awkward but enthusiastic sideline dance before games. And we're going to find out soon how well Mayor Hancock moves.
The NFL playoffs are down to four teams. The 49ers, Patriots, Falcons and Ravens remain alive. Four other teams are gone, including the Denver Broncos, who seemed to have a great shot at a championship until this past weekend when Baltimore scored a last-minute touchdown to tie the game and then won in overtime.
These playoffs, of course, lead up to the Super Bowl, the biggest game in football and surely among the biggest commercial events in all of sports.