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Te'o and Manziel hit Manhattan with Heisman hopes

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Te'o and Manziel hit Manhattan with Heisman hopes

NEW YORK (AP) Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was looking forward to a break after a five-city-in-five-days tour, during which he has become the most decorated player in college football.

``I'm just trying to get a workout in and get some sleep,'' he said Friday about his plans for the night.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel seemed to have more energy when he arrived at a midtown Manhattan hotel with his fellow Heisman Trophy finalist. In fairness, Johnny Football's week hasn't been nearly as hectic, though this trip to New York city is different from the first time he visited with his family when he was young.

``It's just taking it up a whole `nother level, but happy to be here,'' he said.

Manziel and Te'o spent about 30 minutes getting grilled by dozens of reporters in a cramped conference room, posed for some pictures with the big bronze statue that they are hoping to win and were quickly whisked away for more interviews and photo opportunities.

Manziel, Te'o or Collin Klein, the other finalists who couldn't make it to town Friday, each has a chance to be a Heisman first Saturday night.

Manziel is trying to be the first freshman to win the award. Te'o would be the first winner to play only defense. Klein would be Kansas State's first Heisman winner.

Manziel and Te'o were on the same flight from Orlando, Fla., where several college football awards were handed out last night. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback was just happy the 255-pound linebacker didn't try to record another sack when they met.

``He's a big guy,'' Manziel said, flashing a big smile from under his white Texas A&M baseball cap. ``I thought he might stuff me in locker and beat me up a little bit.''

The two hadn't had much time for sightseeing yet, but they did walk around Times Square some, saying hello to a few fans. They probably weren't too difficult to spot in their team issued warm-up gear.

``We've just been talking about goofy stuff. Playing video games. Playing Galaga. Just some things from back in the day. Messing around with each other,'' Manziel said. ``Kind of seeing who is going to take more pictures. He's definitely taking that award right now.''

Te'o is already going to need a huge trophy case to house his haul from this week. He has won six major awards, including the Maxwell as national player of the year. He'll try to become Notre Dame's eighth Heisman winner and first since Tim Brown in 1987.

``I can only imagine how I would feel if I win the Heisman,'' he said.

Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997 is the closest thing to a true defensive player winning the Heisman. Woodson was a dominant cornerback, but he also returned punts and played a little receiver. That helped burnish his Heisman credentials.

Te'o is all linebacker. He leads the top-ranked Fighting Irish with 103 tackles and seven interceptions.

Klein was the front-runner for the Heisman for a good chunk of the season, but he played his worst game late in the season - in a loss at Baylor - and the momentum Manziel gained by leading Texas A&M to victory at Alabama has been tough to stop.

Manziel's numbers are hard to deny. He set a Southeastern Conference record with 4,600 total yards, throwing for more than 3,000 and rushing for more than 1,000.

Klein, by comparison, averages about 100 fewer total yards per game (383-281) than Manziel.

A freshman has never won the Heisman. Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson came closest in 2004, finishing second by Southern California's Matt Leinart.

Manziel is a redshirt freshman, meaning he attended Texas A&M and practiced with the team but did not play last year. Still, he'd be the most inexperienced college player to win the sport's most prestigious award.

``It's surreal for me to sit here and think about that this early in my career,'' he said. ``With what me and my teammates have gone through, with how they've played and how they've helped me to get to this point, it's just a testament to how good they are and how good they've been this year.

``Without them I wouldn't be here and that's the real story to all this.''

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How to watch NBCSW's 'Predict The Game' broadcast of Redskins vs. Falcons

How to watch NBCSW's 'Predict The Game' broadcast of Redskins vs. Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons play host to the Washington Redskins in their penultimate preseason game.

The Redskins will be looking to solidify their lineup with Trent Williams still holding out over a new contract, and Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Dwayne Haskins competing for the starting quarterback job.

This year during the preseason, Redskins fans can participate in a one-of-a-kind broadcast, Predict The Game, where fans can win cash prizes each quarter. This live viewing experience will be on NBC Sports Washington Plus with the regular game broadcast aired on NBC Sports Washington. 

PREDICT THE GAME HOW TO WATCH

What is this broadcast? Predict The Game is an easy-to-enter, free contest that allows fans to predict various game and player performance outcomes through a series of approximately 30 questions that will appear on screen during the alternate telecast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Predict The Game leaderboards will be displayed at select times, and the winner of the contest will be revealed during NBC Sports Washington’s postgame coverage.

Where can I find it? Contest questions and leaderboards will be displayed on NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder).

Additionally, the broadcast can be streamed on desktopiOS and Android devices. 

How do I win? Fans will earn points for correct predictions, with the top eligible scorer at the end of the game earning or splitting the $500 prize. 

Fans must enter Predict The Game, which is open to join throughout the entire game, and submit their predictions at www.nbcsportswashington.com/predict.

REDSKINS at FALCONS HOW TO WATCH

What:  Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons, 2018-19 NFL Preseason Game 

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

When: Thursday, August 22, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Redskins at Falcons game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder).

Live Stream: You can live stream Redskins at Falcons on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

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Washington D.C.'s XFL team unveiled as the Defenders

Washington D.C.'s XFL team unveiled as the Defenders

It's one of the most exciting components during the beginning of a new franchise or league: finding out the team names.

On Wednesday, the XFL finally revealed the names for their debut franchises.

Within the group is a team that's based out of a nation's capital. Sticking with that theme, they'll be known as the D.C. Defenders.

Whether you like the name or not, one thing is for sure: The defensive side better be stout or the jokes will fly.

In addition to the Defenders, the Seattle Dragons and Dallas Renegades are among the seven other teams in the league.

The XFL is preparing to launch in 2020, with Pep Hamilton in line to be the head coach of the Defenders. Hamilton last spent time at the University of Michigan as an assistant head coach during the 2017-18 season and carries with him a great deal of NFL coaching experience.

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