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Former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap has accidentally killed his three-year-old daughter at his home in Arizona, police say.

Todd Heap, 37, was moving his truck in his driveway in the city of Mesa on April 14 when the accident occurred.

According to police, there were no suspicious circumstances and the former NFL star showed no signs of impairment.

Image source Flickr

Todd Heap was a two-time Pro-Bowler.

The accident occurred at about 16:00 local time on April 14.

The girl was taken to a local hospital after the accident but did not survive.

Todd Heap attended Arizona State University and was a first-round draft pick in 2001 for the Baltimore Ravens and played there for 10 seasons, becoming the team’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

He played two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and retired in 2013.

Todd Heap has raised money for sick and disadvantaged children through a charitable foundation, opening the Todd Heap Family Pediatric Center in Baltimore in 2010.


Ray Rice has won his appeal against an indefinite suspension from the NFL games, and is now eligible to play again immediately.

The 27-year-old NFL running-back was handed an indefinite ban in September when a video emerged of him punching his then-fiancée (now wife) Janay Palmer in the face.

Raymell Mourice Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens, but he is now allowed to play should he sign for a new team.

The appeal, heard on November 5 but announced on November 28, had to decide if the NFL overstepped its authority.

American football’s governing body had modified Ray Rice’s two-game suspension, making it indefinite after the video of the incident went public.

Ray Rice has been eligible to sign for a new team since his ban was put in place, but he had not yet accepted a contract.

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Ray Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer Rice, says she is “hurt beyond words” over how her husband has been treated after the NFL star was sacked for punching her.

Ray Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée.

The CCTV footage shows them in a lift at the Revel casino in Atlantic City.

They hit each other before Ray Rice knocks her “unconscious” with a punch.

The video, released by the Associated Press, was shown to them on Monday night by a law enforcement official. The pair can be heard swearing and shouting at each other and it looks like Janay Palmer spits at Ray Rice just before he hits her.

Janay Palmer falls to the floor, and he then drags her from the lift, where he is met by hotel staff.

One of them can be heard saying: “She’s drunk, right?”

And then: “No cops.”

Ray Rice does not seem to respond.

A video of Ray Rice pulling Janay Palmer from the lift first emerged months ago on TMZ. It didn’t show the full attack.

Janay Palmer and Ray Rice have since married.

In a post on Instagram, Janay Rice says it feels like a “horrible nightmare” and seemingly defends her husband.

She blames the media and public outcry for taking “something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life”.

After suggesting the pair regret the incident she said it has left them feeling hurt, embarrassed, alone and without happiness.

“THIS IS OUR LIFE… Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”

Ray Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer

Ray Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer (photo AP)

Things are continuing to get worse for Ray Rice – Nike have confirmed they have dropped him as one of their sponsored athletes and EA Sports are removing him from their 2015 version of the NFL game Madden.

Meanwhile, local businesses in Baltimore have begun offering discounted goods in return for Ray Rice jerseys.

Hersh’s pizzeria posted their offer on Facebook: “Come trade your Ray Rice Ravens Jersey in for a free pizza at Hersh’s. These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week.”

Their neighbors, the No Idea Tavern responded on Twitter with their own offer – a ten dollar bar tab for every jersey handed to them.

The latest from the Baltimore Ravens came in a one-sentence press release on September 8.

“The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon,” it said.

Earlier in the day the team had claimed to have never seen the video.

“It’s something we saw for the first time today, all of us,” said Coach John Harbaugh.

“It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”

He said he had spoken with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome after they saw the video and they then decided to fire Ray Rice.

Back in July, after the shorter video emerged, Ray Rice was suspended for two games for domestic violence. He said his actions were “inexcusable”.

At the time Ozzie Newsome said: “We respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be.

“That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect.

“We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”

Ray Rice was also arrested over the incident and an Atlantic City police summons stated that he caused “bodily injury to Janay Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious”.

He was charged with felony aggravated assault, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail.

Coach John Harbaugh said at the time: “The thing I appreciate about it is how Ray has handled it afterward by acknowledging it was wrong and he’ll do everything he can do to make it right.

“That’s what you ask for when someone does a wrong thing. So, I’m proud of him for that.”

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that, based on the new video evidence, Ray Rice has been suspended indefinitely.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Monday morning.

“That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

This echoes what Roger Goodell said on August 1 during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, when he claimed they were still “evaluating” the situation.

“I’m not going to go into what he told us or anything or if it matches or if it doesn’t,” Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said.

“That doesn’t matter. What matters is what you see. It wasn’t a pleasant site at all.”

The White House has also released a statement saying: “The President is the father of two daughters.

“And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society.

“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors.”

So far Ray Rice’s lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, has declined to comment

Ray Rice hasn’t spoken often to the media, but on July 31 he said it was “something I have to live with the rest of my life”.

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Beyoncé’s half-time performance at this year Super Bowl failed to pull in more viewers than Madonna’s record breaking 2012 appearance.

In fact, fewer people watched Sunday night’s thrilling Super Bowl than the previous two championship games, according to figures released on Tuesday.

Although Beyoncé, who prepared for five months for the hotly anticipated gig, reunited Destiny’s Child and sung live, viewing figures showed the 31-year-old was watched by 104 million viewers, compared to Madonna’s audience of 112.5 million.

Nielsen, a company that tracks the ratings, reported the actual game drew 108.4 million viewers, which is a drop from last season’s tally of 111.3 million viewers.

Madonna’s performance in 2012, which sparked controversy after M.I.A swore at cameras, was criticized on Twitter but its lavish nature – the slot featured CeeLo Green, Nicki Minaj and LMFAO – meant the show was certainly noticed.

Nearly half of all households that own a television were tuned into Sunday’s game, the company added.

The showdown, where the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, scored a 46.3 rating and 69 share in its overnight ratings.

For the Nielsen measurement, one ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes.

The share means that 71% of TVs that were on at the time were tuned to the Super Bowl.

At CBS’ request the ratings figure from Sunday night did not include a 30-minute period when there was a partial power outage in the Superdome.

But viewership actually increased after the power outage, as the game measured a 52.9 rating during its final moments, CBS noted.

Beyoncé's half-time performance at this year Super Bowl failed to pull in more viewers than Madonna's record breaking 2012 appearance

Beyoncé’s half-time performance at this year Super Bowl failed to pull in more viewers than Madonna’s record breaking 2012 appearance

Not surprisingly, Baltimore ranked first among cities watching the championship game.

The game drew a 59.6 rating and share of 83 there.

In second place was New Orleans, where the game was played. The contest drew a 57.1 rating and a 77 share.

San Francisco did not rank in the top 10 cities for viewership.

The network also drew criticism by the Parents Television Council for not moving quickly enough to edit out a profanity said by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco shortly after the game.

Joe Flacco was caught by microphones describing his team’s victory as “f****** awesome”.

The game also illustrated the explosive growth of second screen activity.

The company Trendrr TV, which tracks activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, estimated there were 47.7 million social media posts during the game.

That compares to 17 million during the 2012 Super Bowl and just 3 million the year before that.

Last year’s Super Bowl, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, drew a Nielsen rating of 47.8 and had a share of 71.

The only non-Super Bowl to have reached the 100-million viewer benchmark was the series finale of MASH in 1983.

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Jacoby Jones scored two of the most spectacular touchdowns in Super Bowl history as Baltimore Ravens beaten San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in a thriller.

First Jacoby Jones, playing in his native New Orleans, caught a long Joe Flacco pass before running into the endzone.

Then, after Beyonce’s stunning half-time show, Jones returned the kick-off 108 yards in barely 11 seconds for the longest ever Super Bowl play.

After a long delay due to a power cut, the 49ers hit back but fell just short.

The third quarter will go down as one of the most crazy and dramatic encounters ever seen in the NFL, let alone in a Super Bowl.

Many of the 70,000-plus crowd at the Superdome were still recovering from a high-octane half-time show performance by Beyonce and her old Destiny’s Child bandmates when Jones received David Akers’ kick-off eight yards deep inside his own endzone.

Rather than take the sensible option of appealing for a fair catch, he elected to run the ball and ghosted past the 49ers defenders without barely a touch.

After Baltimore raced into an early lead courtesy of a pair of Joe Flacco touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones extended Baltimore’s advantage to 21-3 when he caught Flacco’s perfectly floated downfield pass and then, realising he had not been touched by a defender, showed equally quick mental agility to get up and trot into the endzone.

After trailing 21-6 at the break, and then 28-6 following Jones’s kick-off return, San Francisco could have been forgiven for giving up.

But they were inspired by something truly unprecedented – half of the lights going off, and not being fixed fully for 34 minutes.

Jacoby Jones scored two of the most spectacular touchdowns in Super Bowl history as Baltimore Ravens beaten San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in a thriller

Jacoby Jones scored two of the most spectacular touchdowns in Super Bowl history as Baltimore Ravens beaten San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in a thriller

While wags joked that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh may have had something to do with it, the truth was that it was his side – rather than the floodlights – which had a power surge against the Ravens, who are coached by his older brother John Harbaugh.

First they were aided by some comical defending by the Ravens, which let Michael Crabtree turn an already impressive gain into a 31-yard touchdown as two defenders crashed into each other.

Then, after a good punt return, Frank Gore ran unopposed into the right hand corner of the endzone from six yards.

Suddenly the 49ers were only 20-28 down, and things got even worse for the Ravens when San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown stripped the ball out of Ray Rice’s hands and fell on the loose ball himself for a turnover.

Following an exchange of field goals, Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick capped a long drive with a 15-yard run into the endzone down the left sideline.

But his two-point conversion attempt failed, and Justin Tucker’s 38-yard field goal made it 34-29 to Baltimore deep into the fourth quarter.

San Francisco tried to battle back, but ultimately their recovery stalled when Colin Kaepernick’s pass towards Crabtree fell incomplete.

Jim Harbaugh cried foul, arguing his receiver had been held by a defender, but the officials were never going to change their mind and Baltimore were able, just about, to wind down the clock and seal their second Vince Lombardi trophy.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who ended his 17-year career with a second Super Bowl win, said: “How could it end any other way than that. And now I get to ride into the sunset with my second ring.

“It’s no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my team-mates. And you looked around this stadium and … Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!”

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh congratulated his big brother John’s triumph while struggling to come to terms with his side’s loss: “Had several opportunities in the game. Didn’t play our best game. Ravens made a lot of plays. Our guys battled back to get back in it. We competed and battled to win.”

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Super Bowl is the biggest annual sporting event on the planet, but that was not enough to stop the Sunday spectacular being brought to a dramatic and shuddering halt by a huge power cut.

The incident sparked outrage over why, despite staggeringly-expensive advertising slots and record-high ticket prices, “the greatest show on Earth” could not be run without a hitch.

As the clash approached its nerve-tingling climax, the 76,000-seater stadium was suddenly plunged mid-play into near-total darkness for more than half an hour.

Spectators watching from the stands, who had paid an average of $3,000 for the privilege, were in an instant left with no football and no explanation.

Meanwhile, advertisers wondered if the 30-second commercial for which they had shelled out up to $4 million to air during the game’s closing stages would be shown at all.

Indeed, with millions of football fans in Europe and across the world staying up into the early hours of Monday to watch the game, it was unclear how much of their audience been lost to the blackout. With no idea when, if at all, play would resume, many television viewers simply gave up and went to bed.

The Baltimore Ravens had been cruising along with a 28-6 lead when the power to the New Orleans Superdome suddenly shut down early in the third quarter.

For 34 minutes, the players tried to stay loose, the fans milled about in darkened corridors, and stadium officials scrambled to figure out what went wrong.

Finally, after a nervous wait in all camps, the power was switched back on and the Ravens hung on for a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, needing a goal-line stand in the closing minutes to preserve the championship.

“It really hurt us,” Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach said.

“We had lot of momentum.”
About two hours after the game, officials revealed that an ‘abnormality’ in the power system triggered an automatic shutdown, forcing backup systems to kick in. But they weren’t sure about the source of the problem.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the outage “an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans”.

Super Bowl is the biggest annual sporting event on the planet, but that was not enough to stop the Sunday spectacular being brought to a dramatic and shuddering halt by a huge power cut

Super Bowl is the biggest annual sporting event on the planet, but that was not enough to stop the Sunday spectacular being brought to a dramatic and shuddering halt by a huge power cut

The outage provided a major glitch to what has largely been viewed as a smooth week for the city, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.

But there is sure to be some fallout for the city and the 41-year-old Superdome – especially since New Orleans plans to bid for the title game in 2018, in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of its founding.

“In the coming days, I expect a full after-action report from all parties involved,” Mitch Landrieu said.

Escalators stopped working and credit-card machines shut down, though auxiliary power kept the playing field and concourses from going totally dark.

“We sincerely apologize for the incident,” Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan said.

Most fans seemed to take the outage in stride, even starting up the wave to pass the time.

In the absence of any concrete information about the outage, jokes began to pour in on Twitter.

Several fans jokingly blamed the outage on Beyonce’s electric – and electricity-intensive – halftime show.

A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, which apparently started at the spot where Entergy feeds power into the stadium’s lines. The problem occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

“A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system,” the statement said.

“Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. … Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”

The FBI quickly ruled out terrorism, and the New Orleans Fire Department dismissed reports that a fire might have been the cause.

On the CBS broadcast, play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms went silent. Sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced to viewers a “click of the lights” as the problem. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill the time with football analysis.

“We lost all power up here at the press box level,” Jim Nantz said after power was restored. He and Phil Simms were off the air for most of the outage.

The failure occurred shortly after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and pushing the Ravens to a commanding lead. But when play resumed, the momentum totally changed.

The Niners scored two straight touchdowns and nearly pulled off a game-winning drive in the closing minutes. They had first down inside the Ravens 10, but Baltimore kept them out of the end zone to preserve the victory.

The blackout, it turned out, became more of a footnote than a spark to what would have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

“It just took us longer to lose,” moaned San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

No one could remember anything like this happening in the title game, but it wasn’t unprecedented.

Just last season, the Niners endured two power outages during a Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson said.

“I just tried to keep my legs warmed up.”

The Ravens felt the delay turned what looked like a blowout into a close game. Safety Ed Reed said some of his teammates began to fret as the delay dragged on.

“The bad part is we started talking about it,” he said.

“Some of the guys were saying, <<They’re trying to kill our momentum>>. I was like, <<There’s two teams on the field>>. But once we started talking about it, it happened. We talked it up.”

A few of the Ravens threw footballs around to stay loose. Others took a seat on the bench, or sprawled out on the turf.

“I was a little stiff when I got back out there,” Baltimore running back Ray Rice conceded.

“I’m just glad we were able to finish the game and be world champions.”

Finally, the lights came back on throughout the dome and the game resumed.

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