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Bringing the Super Bowl closer to home with ‘the world’s most popular sporting event program’

01.28.13 at 3:58 pm ET
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They published the 2013 Inauguration Program for President Barack Obama. They publish the program for one of the biggest evens in tennis – The U.S. Open – and they handle publication for baseball’s annual Hall of Induction ceremony. And once again, they will publish the single most popular souvenir of America’s most popular sporting event.

H.O. Zimman, headquartered in Lynn, Mass., publishes the official souvenir program of the Super Bowl.

They bill the $20 program as a publication that has “stories that will indulge the senses” as part of “the world’s most popular sporting event program.”

Among its 264 pages, the best selling feature of the Super Bowl XLVII Official Souvenir Magazine is the high-glossy finish of action photography, popular feature stories from national writers and several features including one on every winning team’s Super Bowl ring.

It’s not quite the $3.8 million for a 30-second TV spot during the big game but Super Bowl program advertisers do reach a captive audience that goes well beyond the 72,003 fans inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, as the program is considered a must-have by hundreds of thousands of football fans worldwide who make it a tradition to collect the program every year.

Those who advertise in the big program receive a complimentary advertisement in the 2013 Pro Bowl Official Magazine, which was played Sunday in Honolulu.

H.O. Zimman is a full-service custom publisher, providing layout, design, editing, printing, production, and delivery services. With a client list that includes the National Football League, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the United States Tennis Association, Zimman produces more than 500 publications annually.

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Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Barack Obama, H.O. Zimman, nfl

Reports: Patriots set to add another CFL pass rusher

01.26.13 at 5:11 pm ET
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Multiple reports now indicate that the Patriots are set to sign former Northeastern University star Jason Vega, who has played the last two seasons in the Canadian Football League with Winnipeg.

The 25-year-old Vega, a Brockton native who checks in at 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds, projects to be either a defensive end or outside linebacker at the NFL level. Vega recorded 12 sacks over the past two seasons for Winnipeg, and as a collegian at Northeastern, he finished with 41 sacks over four seasons. Vega is the second CFL player who has agreed to a deal with the Patriots over the last week — New England has also reached an agreement with former USC defensive lineman Armond Armstead.

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Bernard Pollard fined for hit on Wes Welker

01.25.13 at 4:32 pm ET
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According to the NFL, Ravens safety Bernard Pollard has been fined $15,250 for his third-quarter hit on Patriots’ wide receiver Wes Welker during Baltimore’s win over the Pats in the AFC Championship Game.

Earlier in the day, Pollard had told reporters he wasn’t fined for any of the hits he delivered in last Sunday’s AFC title game against the Patriots.

The controversial defensive back, who has been responsible for tackles that have injured quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski in the past, delivered a nasty shot to the head of New England running back Stevan Ridley in the fourth quarter, one that sidelined Ridley for the rest of the game.

After the game, Pollard explained the hit on Ridley, saying it was just part of the game.

‘€œHe got loose and for me as a safety, and for us as safeties, our job is to take down a guy,” he said. “If you get to our level we have to hit you and I got a chance to kind of unload. In the moment we’€™re competitive, but right now, we have to hope he’€™s OK.’€

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Vote: Which one of their own free agents should Patriots target first this offseason?

01.25.13 at 4:12 pm ET
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We wrote about the free agents the Patriots have to make a decision on this offseason — now, we want to hear from you on who they should prioritize. Vote for who you think New England needs to prioritize, and add your take in the comments section.

Which one of their own free agents should the Patriots target first this offseason?

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Peter King on M&M: Trading Darrelle Revis would be ‘more Jets idiocy’

01.25.13 at 2:05 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday about the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the “idiocy” of a potential Darrelle Revis trade, and Terry Francona‘s book.

King, a lifelong Red Sox fan, said he’d gone to a New York bookstore where Francona was signing copies of the book with the intention of meeting the manager and thanking him for everything he’d done for the team. When he found there would be a 75-minute wait, though, he decided against it.

“I just started to think to myself, this is behind enemy lines and you’ve got an hour-and-15- minute wait in the dead of winter to get Terry Francona’s signature on his book,” King said. “I thought that spoke volumes about Red Sox fans and about their feelings about Terry Francona.”

King also sided with Francona on the issue of Red Sox management trying to bring in players who would draw ratings, regardless of how they fit with the team.

“I’ve been a sportswriter since 1980, and if people’s ratings are down, people always start talking about, let’s get [Tim] Tebow, let’s get that guy, let’s market to the women, let’s do this,” King said. “The bottom line in all of this is the only thing that gets people to watch your games and gets people to sit in the stands is winning. If you want to have great ratings in April, go get Mr. America. but as soon as you go 6-12 and it’s May 1, people say, ‘I have other things to do tonight, I’m not going to watch a game.’ The only way to appeal to a fan base is to win, and then they won’t care if you’ve got 11 schnauzers out there.”

On the topic of the upcoming Super Bowl, King said he thinks the most interesting storyline is the comparison between the styles of Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick.

“Even though they play a lot of no-huddle now in Baltimore, Joe Flacco is not running around very much,” King said. “He’s not the mobile guy. And Colin Kaepernick, he can do anything. He can sit there in the pocket and study you and beat you with a great arm. ‘€¦ Everybody’s talking about his running. Can you see this guy throw, what an incredible arm he has? So I think if you underestimate his arm he’ll kill you throwing it, and everybody’s seen that he can beat you running it, too.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, New York Jets, Peter King

Audio: Latest edition of ‘It Is What It Is’ podcast takes a last look at AFC title game

01.24.13 at 5:52 pm ET
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In the latest edition of the “It Is What It Is Cast,” Chris Price and Mike Petraglia break down the Patriots’ loss in the AFC title game to the Ravens. They also take a quick look at the start of the offseason for New England, and give their thoughts on Super Bowl XLVII. Click here to listen.

Patriots sign seven to future contracts

01.24.13 at 2:34 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday they have signed defensive end Marcus Benard, running back James Develin, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, wide receiver Andre Holmes, quarterback Mike Kafka, defensive lineman Tracy Robertson and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian to future contracts. Develin, Ebert, Holmes, Robertson and Tarpinian ended the season on the New England practice squad.

Benard, 27, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns. The 6-foot-2, 256-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Cleveland out of Jackson State. He has played in 25 NFL games with two starts and has registered 39 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and two passes defensed. Benard began last season on the reserve/non-football injury list and was then released by Cleveland on Oct. 10.

Develin, 24, joined the New England practice squad on Sept. 1, 2012, and was signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 28. He played in his first NFL game vs. San Francisco on Dec. 16. The 6-foot-3, 251-pounder, from Brown University, spent most of the 2010 and all of the 2011 season on the Cincinnati practice squad. He originally entered the NFL in 2010 when he was signed to the Cincinnati practice squad on Nov. 30, 2010 after playing for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. Develin played four seasons as a defensive lineman at Brown.

Ebert, 23, joined the New England practice squad on Nov. 28, 2012. He was originally selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 235th selection overall out of Northwestern. The six-foot, 195-pounder, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31, 2012, and spent one week on the Philadelphia practice squad in early September.

Holmes, 24, was signed to the New England practice squad on Jan. 8, 2013. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Minnesota out of Hillsdale in 2011. The 6-foot-4, 223-pounder was released by Minnesota after training camp and was signed to the Dallas practice squad. Holmes was signed to the Dallas 53-man roster late in the 2011 season but was inactive for the final four games of the season. He made the Dallas 53-man roster out of training camp in 2012 and played seven games, registering two receptions for 11 yards. Holmes was released by Dallas on Nov. 25 and signed back to the practice squad on Nov. 27.
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