In this season of giving, the NFL has gotten into the spirit.
Everyone with access to a TV will now be able to watch the Patriots-Giants game this Saturday. The league announced that its NFL Network broadcast will be simulcast on the NBC and CBS networks.
"We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interests of our fans," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said late Thursday.
"I give the NFL a lot of credit on this one," NFL Network color commentator Chris Collinsworth said in a Newsday story. "It would have been very easy for the NFL to hold out this bargaining chip in the negotiations with the cable companies ... I thought it was a major step for the NFL to come forward and say, 'Hey we understand this is a unique situation.'"
And it appears the fans will see a great game. Giants coach Tom Coughlin revealed that he will not rest his starters as New York prepares for their Wild Card playoff game against Tampa Bay next weekend.
"The janitor went by once, and I grabbed him. I wanted to make sure that I could bounce it off him," Coughlin joked, before getting serious again.
"Our objective is to win," Coughlin told The New York Times. "That's what we work for, that's what we prepare for, that's what we practice for. And it will be no different this week."
As for the Patriots, they've seen a resurgence in their running game of late, as The Providence Journal takes note in a feature today.
"As a competitor, as a running back, you always love the work," RB Kevin Faulk said. "But as a team player — I've been here a long time — the team comes first. In the beginning of the year, we had to throw."
But in the past few weeks, the Pats have turned Laurence Maroney loose and gotten Faulk more carries.
"It's what you try to do as an offense," Faulk observed. "Keep the defense second-guessing."
The Boston Herald takes a look back at how the loss in last year's AFC Championship Game propelled the Pats to their potentially perfect season.
Sports Illustrated has a feature about how the Patriots have become the model franchise in the NFL, and how other teams should follow their paradigm.
By the way, have you seen Bill Belichick's cover photo on *Sports Illustrated* this week? It's definitely worth a look.