We’ve introduced a new feature this year: weekly NFL superlatives. It’s meant to be a fun look at on- and off-field events from Sunday, from best shoes to a “set” that would make Hollywood proud. Here are our Week 14 picks:
Best Accessory: San Francisco 49ers boombox
The Niners have won three of their last four games, including back-to-back road games, the first two starts of Jimmy Garoppolo’s career with the team. Like many teams, they’re using whatever they can to help them keep the good feelings going. For San Francisco, that’s come to mean a massive, new-school boombox carried on the shoulder of Nick Kray, the assistant to the head coach, as they walk onto the field before kickoff. We’re not sure what’s funnier: just how big the boombox is, or the fact that even though “Swag Surfin'” by F.L.Y. is blaring this close to Garoppolo’s head, he remains stone-faced as he led his team onto the field in Houston on Sunday.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) December 10, 2017
Kindest Rival: Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
When it comes to teams being unafraid to hide their disdain for one another, the AFC North might be the fiercest division in the NFL. But some things are bigger than football. After the scary injury to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier last Monday night – he’s undergone spinal surgery and it’s looking more and more like he’ll never play again – even the Steelers’ rivals are reaching out, privately and publicly. Johnson, the third-year Browns running back, dropped to his knees in prayer after his touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday then held up his hands to make a five and zero (Shazier’s jersey number is 50) after.
Best Choreography (Again): Philadelphia Eagles
We’ve praised them before, but no one is having more fun with the new celebration rules than the teams in Pennsylvania. On Sunday, after Brent Celek’s first-quarter touchdown, he and his teammates ran through the end zone in a flying-V formation, flapping their arms like birds. Fly, Eagles, fly indeed.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 10, 2017
Biggest Disney Fan: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton donned a red fez with a great message – “love” – embroidered over his left temple, but the message got a little lost because, well, a red fez is a unique choice. He said his pick was inspired by hip-hop legend Andre 3000 of Outkast, but his own team roasted him after noticing a different resemblance:
"Cam can show you the world" pic.twitter.com/Iv7mAlhy25
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 10, 2017
Best Set Design: New Era Field
It’s hard not to see “Star Wars” referenced almost everywhere these days, especially with the franchise’s newest chapter released in theaters on Friday. So maybe that’s why the epic conditions in Buffalo on Sunday, where there were near white-out conditions and a thick blanket of snow covering the field, had us thinking of Hoth, the ice planet from Star Wars’ fictional universe.
Best Shoes: Jason McCourty, Cleveland
McCourty’s custom cleats on Sunday paid homage to his family: his wife, Melissa, and their three children, Liana, Kaiden and Kai, with a hand-drawn portrait of the five on the outside of his right shoe. A gesture so sweet from one of the league’s good guys, we’re even willing to overlook the grammatical error (it should be McCourtys, plural, not McCourty’s, possessive).
More NFL coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Things turn ugly at end of Seattle-Jacksonville game
• Eric Adelson: No excuse for failure to spot Texans QB’s concussion
• NFL Winners and Losers: Devastating loss for Eagles
• Shazier’s uplifting moment after Steelers’ big win