PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Rallis had his younger brother draped over his shoulders and was set to dump him to the turf — as a roughhousing brother might do — when he took an abrupt blow to his ribs.
In a flash, Nick Rallis was on his feet and had turned the fight around. He spun his brother and dropped Mike with a brutal Stone Cold Stunner in a scene straight out of WWE’s “Raw.” Mike Rallis popped in the air and landed flush on his back. Minnesota Gophers football players that had lined a makeshift wrestling ring roared “finish him!” at Nick. Nick hooked big brother’s left leg, watched the referee count, 1! 2! 3! and stumbled to his feet, his hand raised in victory.
In wrestling parlance, this was a loser-leaves-town match for Mike Rallis. He had finished his career as a Gophers linebacker in 2013 and symbolically passed the torch to fellow linebacker, Nick. That moment at Minnesota’s indoor practice facility also provided a sneak peak into what was ahead for the brothers: Mike Rallis followed his pro wrestling passion and is better known these days as WWE star Madcap Moss. Much like he did in his match against his brother, Nick Rallis knows how to leave a football field a winner. At just 29, he’s in his second season as linebackers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Saturday, Madcap Moss is among the wrestlers in the mix for WWE’s Royal Rumble event, one of the sports entertainment company’s premier events. The next day, the Eagles host San Francisco in the NFC championship game.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Saturday was a fan favorite when he played for the Indianapolis Colts.
Maybe not so much these days.
After going 1-7 as the interim coach and being brought in for a second interview to keep the job next fall, one Colts fans started an online petition to stop Saturday’s candidacy. It had received nearly 3,000 signatures by Thursday night.
“We as Colts fans will always love the memories of the SB XLI team; we love the former players and the people they’ve become, but we don’t want Jeff Saturday as the head coach of this team going forward,” the petition read. “Please hire someone with experience and save your fan base from revolting and losing interest.”
CINCINNATI (AP) — Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams didn't practice Thursday, making it more likely the Bengals will again start three backup offensive linemen in Sunday's AFC championship game against the Chiefs.
Right guard Cappa (ankle) and left tackle Williams (dislocated kneecap) haven't practiced at all this week.
Max Scharping, a free agent signed before the season, started his second game at right guard in Cincinnati's 27-10 win over Buffalo in the divisional round last week, and Jackson Carman, a converted guard, played in place of Williams.
Hakeem Adeniji, a sixth-round pick in 2020, started his third game in place of right tackle La'el Collins, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in a game Dec. 24.