This one ranks right up there as far as excessive celebration goes.
The NFL (No Fun League), playing it strictly by the book, fined Saints running back Pierre Thomas $12,500 for a uniform violation and a touchdown celebration in which he placed a bow on a football and gave it to a fan during Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The fine for the celebration is $7,500. Thomas also violated NFL policies by wearing Christmas-themed green and red tape on his black and gold Saints uniform, and his fine for that is $5,000.
Notice of the fines was taped to Thomas' locker by teammates with a big red bow on top as part of a prank. Thomas said he was still happy he "gave a lucky fan a wonderful gift." He said he'd noticed the woman in Saints gear behind the end zone and figured she deserved it.
A super honor
The NFL will honor Hall of Famer Raymond Berry at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
The NFL said that Berry would carry the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the stage and deliver it to commissioner Roger Goodell after the game.
The NFL expanded the trophy ceremony in 2006 to include a top player or coach who went to the Super Bowl. Roger Staubach, Len Dawson, Joe Namath, Doug Williams, Don Shula, and Bart Starr have previously taken part.
Frazier on way out?
Leslie Frazier is finishing his first full season as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and he says he has heard no direct assurances from his bosses that he will be back next year.
Still, Frazier said he's had no reason to question his future even after a 3-12 season that will conclude Sunday against Chicago.
"Not unless you don't have confidence in what you're doing and where you're going and the people that you're working for," Frazier said. "I have confidence in my bosses. I've got great bosses, and they've been very supportive."
Broncos safety Brian Dawkins watched practice from the sideline, unable to participate for a second day because of a neck injury that has left him questionable for Sunday's pivotal matchup against Kansas City. The former Eagle, who spent the open locker room session getting treatment in the training room, has been sorely missed by the Broncos since pinching a nerve in his neck in the third quarter of the Broncos' 16-13 overtime victory over Chicago three weeks ago. . . . Tom Brady participated in practice on a limited basis because of a left shoulder injury. The New England Patriots quarterback had missed Wednesday's session, but the team said his absence was not injury-related. . . . Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, still hobbling on a sore ankle, plans on playing Pittsburgh's regular-season finale Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. He said the ankle, sprained Dec. 8 in Pittsburgh's last meeting with the Browns, was "a little sore." Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he was "much more" confident in Roethlisberger's ability to play Sunday after watching his mobility improve in Thursday's practice. . . . With tape still wrapped around his bruised throwing hand after practice, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo insisted he will be ready to play in what is essentially a playoff game against the New York Giants. The Cowboys go on the road to face the Giants on Sunday night, a matchup that will decide the NFC East and fill the NFC's last playoff spot.
- Inquirer wire services