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Country music superstar Tim McGraw doesn't want to explicitly share who he's rooting for to win the Super Bowl. But he gave a pretty big hint.

``It would be nice to see Michael win and see that whole `Blind Side' story come to completion,'' McGraw says.

He's referring to Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, whose life was the subject of the film ``The Blind Side.'' It starred McGraw and Sandra Bullock, who won an Oscar for her role.

McGraw, whose new album, ``Two Lanes of Freedom,'' comes out on Tuesday, was in New Orleans on Friday for a very early performance at the House of Blues broadcast live on ABC's ``Good Morning America.''

- John Carucci -http://twitter.com/jcarucci-ap


EDITOR'S NOTE - ``Super Bowl Watch'' shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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Former Raven Vonta Leach critical of NFL's double-standard in regards to Josh Brown, Ray Rice

Former Raven Vonta Leach critical of NFL's double-standard in regards to Josh Brown, Ray Rice

Former Ravens' fullback Vonta Leach wants to why.

Leach, who paved the way for the Ravens run game from 2011 to 2013, wants to know why Giants kicker Josh Brown remains in the NFL while Ray Rice still struggles to find work.

Brown did not travel with the Giants to England for their Week 7 game against the Rams due after new information related to domestic violence against his then-wife came to light this week. Brown was placed on the commissioner's exempt list, and according to an ESPN source, the Giants are all but done with him.

Rice, who was teammates with Leach for three seasons, was essentially excommunicated from the Ravens and the NFL after a 2014 video tape was leaked showing Rice strike then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Leach wants to know why Brown, who admitted to numerous incidences of domestic violence, has yet to be given the same sort of punishment Rice received.

Rice has made every effort possible to atone for his sin. He has spoken to numerous youth, high school and college teams about the treatment of women, and has shown great sorrow and remorse in the wake of his actions. One would think Rice has done enough to deserve a second chance.

But the issue here is two-fold.

First, Rice is a 5-8 running back who was already nearing a decline at the time of his suspension. Teams don't rely on running backs in the same regard as a few years ago, and while Rice deserves a second chance, he just simple isn't a desired commodity.

Secondly, the video evidence changed the entire perspective. The initial video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator was leaked on February 19. Rice was issued a two-game suspension by the NFL four months later. On September 8, video of Rice striking Palmer was leaked. On the very same day, Rice was released by the Ravens and issued an indefinite suspension by the NFL.

There is no tangible evidence against Brown, although it should not make a difference.

Domestic violence is domestic violence regardless of video evidence. But the swift handling of Rice in wake of the second video set a dangerous precedent.

Leach is right. Brown admitted to abusing his wife several times. The discrepancy between the handling of Rice and the handling of Brown should not be this vast. 

While the NFL is attempting to do due diligence, the precedent they set with Rice has made it nearly impossible for them to do the right thing, and they have only themselves to blame.

They also owe Leach — and all of us — an answer.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick critical of organization's trust in him after Jets' win over Ravens

Ryan Fitzpatrick critical of organization's trust in him after Jets' win over Ravens

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the Jets' Week 7 game against the Ravens with an NFL-high 11 interceptions.

He also entered the game with a firm spot on the bench. Fitzpatrick, who was engaged in a tenuous contract debate in the offseason, was benched after the team's ugly 26-3 loss to the Cardinals in Week 6.

But on Sunday, Fitzpatrick came to the rescue after Geno Smith left the game in with a knee injury, immediately driving the ball down the field for a touchdown. 


Fitzpatrick finished 9-of-14 for 120 yards and one touchdown in the Jets' 24-16 win.

But following the game, Fitzpatrick let it be known that his Week 6 performance was because he believed in himself because the organization and coaching staff didn't.

"The biggest thing in this game, in order to last, is to have belief in yourself," Fitzpatrick said, following the win. "Because when the owner stops believing in you, the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. So, that's kind of something I've had to deal with before, something I'm dealing with now."

When asked if he felt like coach Jeff Bowles, general manager Mike Maccagnan and owner Woody Johnson did not believe in him, Fitzpatrick was blunt. "Yeah, when you get put on the bench," he said, "I think that's the reason why."

The Jets, now 2-5, face the winless Browns in Week 8, and with Smith's status still uncertain, so too is Fitzpatrick's place under center.

"I don't know what decision they're going to make or what Geno's health is going to be like," he said. 

"But, yeah, I think I should start every week."