The Morning Huddle – February 5, 2017

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, finally! After a long, two week break, America’s new favorite pastime is back for the season’s grand finale. The New England Patriots versus the Atlanta Falcons. But before we get to everything football, here are a few things you need to know to start your day, with the Morning Huddle (okay, fine, most of today’s headlines are centered around the NFL):

Pop Passes Sloan

Longtime San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich won his 1,128th  game yesterday, officially passing former Utah coach Jerry Sloan. With the 121-97 win over the Denver Nuggets, Popovich set the new record for the winningest coach with a single team. Manu Ginobili, who has played in 639 of Pop’s wins, says his coach,didn’t need that record to define what he means for this franchise, the NBA, in the last 20 years. The fact that he’s been the coach of the team for so many years is already an impressive accomplishment.”

Don’t forget he’s also won five championships with the Spurs and was Coach of the Year three times.

Football Hall of Fame Class Announced

The Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was officially announced on Saturday, including five modern-era players. LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Morten Andersen and legendary Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on August 5th.

Who didn’t make the cut? Terrell Owens, who was openly frustrated on Twitter:

 

And the Award Goes to…

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The NFL announced it’s annual awards on Saturday night, including Rookie of the Year, Man (or in this year’s case men) of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

The Cowboy’s franchise took home two of the awards: Head Coach Jason Garrett was awarded Coach of the year and quarterback Dak Prescott won Rookie of the Year. Garrett and Prescott led the Cowboys on a surprising 11 game win streak after Tony Romo injured his back in late August. Saturday was obviously a proud day for the Cowboys, don’t forget it was announced Jerry Jones is part of the 2017 HOF class.

Also awarded last night: The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which this year turned into the Men of the Year Award. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald are co-recipients of the award, for demonstrating excellence on and off the field.

Most Valuable Player

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On the eve of the Super Bowl, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was named the league’s 2016 MVP. The 31-year-old received 25 of the 50 votes from members of media. Others who received votes include Tom Brady, who will face Ryan on Sunday night, Oakland’s Derek Carr and the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott.

Ryan led the Falcons to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1999, led the NFL in passer rating and threw only seven interceptions all season. He also received the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.

But does it really count if he doesn’t win a championship tonight? The ring at the end is a make or break.