Luke Kuechly talks Old Spice, arm wrestling Brian Urlacher and tackling Marshawn Lynch

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Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is the kind of impact player that NFL teams envision when they select a player in the top ten of the NFL Draft. Selected ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

What can he do for an encore in year three? Kuechly’s eyes are set on the Super Bowl. Kuechly’s old-school physical style and “Smelf-confidence” lends itself perfectly to a partnership with old-school icon Old Spice.

Talk about the partnership with Old Spice.

“I partnered up with them to talk about the hair product that came out earlier this year. There’s shampoos, conditioners, different gels. The biggest thing behind them is the simplicity to use the product. You can use it real quick and don’t have to take a whole lot of time. We use it quite a bit in the locker room. I passed it out to some of the linebackers and everybody is loving it right now.”

At every level you’ve played, you’ve been a tackling machine. How do you account for this? What do you do differently?

“I’ve always had a great group of guys around me. At Boston College, Bill McGovern (former DC) did a great job and he is the reason why I developed in college. And when I got to Carolina, I had some older guys around like Jon Beason [and] Thomas Davis that taught me a lot, and I learned what it takes to be successful. So I owe a lot to those guys for the success I’m having today.”

What makes the Panthers defense so physical? Every defense in the league tries to be what you guys are. What’s the secret?

“I think it’s a mindest. To play physical and establish the line of scrimmage and make physical tackles and force turnovers. We’ve had a couple meetings in OTA’s this year and that has been the message; to be a physical team, to push guys back and make plays… Our coaches preach being one of 11 for the defense. Do your job, take care of your responsibility on each play and try not to do too much. If each guy does his job and does it correctly, that’s 11 guys doing the same thing and that puts you in a position to win games.”

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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice working to end “overspraying epidemic”

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There’s a war going on that you may not even know about. We hear a lot about world events like missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Syria and the Middle East. But one thing we don’t hear about is the overspraying epidemic that has afflicted over 75% of guys.

Patriots All-Pro linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice have teamed up to teach men how to scent responsibly and stop this epidemic the way Mayo stopped Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta in the 2013 AFC Championship.

“I’m actually on my way now to educate young guys at Boston University to teach them how to scent responsibly,” said Mayo, concern evident in his voice.

“They know how to drive responsibly, and do other things responsibly. It’s all about scenting responsibly in 2014. I’m very excited to help end the overspraying epidemic that’s happening now.”

One reason the problem has reached epidemic levels is ignorance; 68% of guys admit that no one had ever showed them how to apply body spray properly.

The first step is acceptance — realizing that you have an overspraying problem and then taking the necessary steps to move forward.

Mayo, Captain of the Patriots defense, is here to call out your defensive spray audible.

“There’s some rules you have to abide by. First off, it starts with a shower. You have to take a shower with your Old Spice gel. That helps gets the pores open so you can put on the Old Spice Refresh Body Spray. But the thing about Refresh is that you don’t need too much of it.”

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Packers Clay Matthews talks Campbell’s Chunky Soup, his badass DNA and great hair

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Clay Matthews could definitely steal my girlfriend and probably yours too, bud. Upon scheduling this interview, my girlfriend did a quick Google search to put a face with the name.

As images of “The Clay Maker” flipped across her iPhone, she said, “Wow. This guy is a complete stud.” The accompanying far away look in her eyes told me all I needed to know; that if given the chance, she would shed me the way Matthews sheds opposing double teams.

Aside from getting the ladies flustered off the field, Matthews has established himself as the best pass rusher in the NFL, thanks to a successful start to his career that rivals any linebacker in NFL history.

In five seasons, Matthews has made the Pro Bowl four times, been selected as an All-Pro twice, been named NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and won Super Bowl XLV.

I was fortunate to speak with Clay about his career, his lineage and the Campbell’s Chunky “Sacks for Soup” campaign.

Talk about the partnership with Campbell’s Chunky Soup.

For the past year I teamed up with Campbell’s Chunky and created the “Sacks for Soup” campaign. For every sack that I was able to get last year, Campbell’s Chunky donated 2,000 cans of soup; 1,000 to a local Green Bay food bank and another 1,000 to the opposing team’s city. To date, we’ve donated over 40,000 cans of Chunky soup. For every sack, they also donated $1,000, so we were able to get around up to $20,000 for my foundation (CM3 Charitable Fund), so it’s been a fantastic campaign; one that not only provides for myself, but gives back in the process of doing so.

What’s your favorite kind?

My favorite kind thanks to the Green Bay weather and obviously a play on the Packers is the Hearty Cheeseburger. They’re all fantastic, so it’s hard to choose, but just like on the commercial, I like the Clam Chowder and the Spicy Quesadilla as well. They’re all really good, so I have to say all three.

I thought they’d make you a special kind called “Bear Chunks” for the way you’ve annihilated Chicago Bears quarterbacks in your career.

I’m willing to try! I don’t know if it would be a big seller, but I’d be all for it.

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Terry Fator on the NFL’s biggest stories of the year

Now that the NFL season is done and dusted, we thought our readers would get a kick out of this exclusive clip from “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator’s new concert DVD (available February 18th), where the comedian and his puppet, Winston the impersonating turtle, joke about the year’s biggest stories. Check out the clip below:

  

NFL Playoff picture gets more muddled

Same old Lions. Same old Ravens.

It’s been an unpredictable NFL season as many teams have been through wild ups and downs, but some things seem to remain constant. The Detroit Lions find ways to lose, and the Baltimore Ravens find ways to win. Last night’s Ravens victory over the Lions included a 61-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. We also saw Magatron drop several key passes. So the Lions seemed poised to make the post-season and earlier this season the Ravens were toast, but now things are changing. There’s a ton of football left to be played before fans and sharps try to place a winning bet on Super Bowl 2014, and there will be chaos with the NFL playoff picture with two games left.

This NFL weekend started out on Thursday night with the Denver Broncos getting shocked by San Diego. All of a sudden, the New England Patriots, who got a miracle win the previous week courtesy of the Cleveland Browns and the officials, were now in the driver’s seat. But then reality kicked in as the Gronk-less Patriots couldn’t beat the Dolphins. Yes, that’s the same Dolphins team that everyone thought was dead with the hzing fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Bengals now had a great opportunity to solidify their playoff position and possibly get the second seed, but they were literally beaten up by the Pitsburgh Steelers, another team we all left for dead. The AFC playoff picture is a muddled mess at this point, with a bunch of mediocre teams fight for a spot. Meanwhile, the question remains as to whether Broncos peaked too soon. The Chiefs are upping their game, so they still might have a say in things. Also, all the Joe Flacco bashers might have to watch him in the playoffs again.

On the NFC side, Seattle is king, and the Saints are suddenly struggling. Pathetic teams like the Cowboys still have a chance, and Green Bay might sneak in just in time for a healthy Aaron Rodgers to make another run.

This is just how the NFL likes it, though at some point the unredictable nature of the game and the subpar quality of play might start having an effect on fans. Some love it, others see a sub-par product. But betters will always love it.

  

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