NFLers pushing the limit

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 AM ET

For most of the nine Super Bowls I was fortunate enough to cover, one media event stumped me.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how the winning coach and MVP could be a.) awake, b.) standing and c.) coherent at the morning-after press conference.

Turns out I am not alone.

In his new book taking readers through the Super Bowl-winning season, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton admits he tried to skip out on the event after a night of celebrating his team’s upset win over the Indianapolis Colts.

“I’d had a couple of cocktails and some Amstel Light,” Payton wrote in Home Team, which is to be released on Tuesday. “Okay, more than a couple.

“Have you ever seen the movie ‘The Hangover’ where the guy is asking ‘How did this lion get here? Isn’t that Mike Tyson?’ That was Monday for me.”

That wasn’t the only boozy post-Bowl recollection for Payton, who admitted he needed some help from his wife during the Saints’ victory parade in which he was to toast New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.

“I was seven Bud Lights in,” Payton writes. “My wife squeezed my wrist and said ‘Control yourself, honey.’ ”

Pushing the limit

Unlike the allegations facing team president Tom Lewand (who was busted on the weekend for DUI), Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was presumably sober when he talked about the team’s prospects next season.

Regarding about his team’s chances, Mayhew was positively upbeat.

“I think we’re a much better football team,” Mayhew said.

“I think we’re a better organization. I think we’ve come a long way.”

Centre Dominic Raiola took it a step further saying it was “realistic” that the Lions could make the playoffs next year.

Said Mayhew: “I don’t have a take on that. I don’t do predictions.”

Wise move, that.

From Zebra to Fox

NFL broadcasters are so predictable in their zeal to hire the latest ex-coach or ex-quarterback to fill a seat in their ever-growing studio shows.

How refreshing then that Fox has hired former chief official Mike Pereira as part of its crew. Pereira, who retired following the 2009 season, will be in the network’s studios each Sunday watching games and available for rules interpretations as they are needed.

With no more official ties to the league, the key to making Pereira’s role a success is if he is straightforward in both his interpretation of the rules and critique of those who make the call.

Pereira will also write a weekly column for the Fox Sports website and answer fans’ questions via e-mail.

Quick kicks

Hard to imagine that we’ve heard the last of this, but on Monday Eagles quarterback Michael Vick voluntarily spoke with authorities about a shooting that took place after his weekend birthday party. Vick has claimed he wasn’t at the party when the shooting took place ... More bad news for the Steelers. Reports out of Pittsburgh Monday suggest starting offensive tackle Willie Colon has a torn Achilles. That’s a five-six month recovery ... Another great nugget from Payton’s memoir. The coach said that when running back Reggie Bush was coming out of USC, his marketing agent Mike Ornstein, told Payton not to draft him because “This kid doesn’t want to come there.” Payton’s response? Let’s just say, it was x-rated .. For a guy who might be a third-stringer, Bills running back Marshawn Lynch just doesn’t get it. First it was sulking that Buffalo drafted another running back, then it was skipping OTAs. And now this on the division rival Jets: “I’m probably not supposed to say that, but I’m excited to see what the Jets are going to do,” Lynch told ESPN.com. “I’m real excited. Now that’s a team that I’m going to pick and play with on ‘Madden.’ ” .... The NFL said on Monday that it will review the conduct of Lions president Lewand. Of particular concern is the fact that Lewand, who was cited for drunken driving, told police he was a designated driver picking up a friend. Later, he blew twice over Michigan’s legal limit.


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