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College Football Playoff Championship 2017: What time, what channel, who is playing

The College Football Playoff National Championship game is set for Monday night with No. 1-ranked Alabama taking on No. 3-ranked Clemson in what looks to be an exciting match-up.

It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game. Alabama goes into the game undefeated – the same as Clemson did last year. Alabama won last year’s game by five points, 45-40.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game.

Who is playing?

The University of Alabama from the Southeastern Conference plays Clemson University from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

What time does the game start?

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET Monday.

Where is it being played?

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

What channel is it on?

ESPN will broadcast the game.

Can you watch it online?

Of course. You can catch it on WatchESPN.

Who are the coaches?

Nick Saban coaches Alabama, and Dabo Swinney coaches Clemson.

Who is favored to win?

Alabama is favored to win by 6 points.

Have these colleges ever won a National Championship?

Alabama has won 16 of them – Saban has four championships at Alabama; Clemson won one championship in 1981.

How much are tickets going for?

As of Monday morning, tickets on the ticket-selling website Stubhub were listed from $1,750 to $18,691. The $18,000 tickets are for lower-level sideline tickets. 

Fun facts:

  • Clemson’s coach’s name is pronounced Dab-o Swee-nee. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
  • According to The Weather Channel, at game time in Tampa the high will be 67 degrees, the low 50. There is a zero percent chance of rain. Winds will be northeast at 5-10 miles per hour.

  • Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is a freshman at the school.

  • Clemson’s quarterback, Deshaun Watson, has played in three bowl games, including last year’s championship game, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

  • Monday’s game marks the first time two teams will met for a rematch of a Division 1 College Football Championship since the title game was introduced at the start of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) era in 1998.

Pittsburgh's Primanti Bros. declares 'no-fish zone' ahead of Steelers-Dolphins matchup

An iconic restaurant chain in Pittsburgh will be serving up plenty of its signature sandwiches this weekend ahead of the Steelers' wild card playoff game against the Dolphins, but one item will be missing in action: fish.

Primanti Bros. has declared a "no-fish zone" this weekend at its 37 locations, and won't serve fish until the Steelers-Dolphins game is over.

The restaurant posted on Twitter that it realizes that dolphins are not fish, but that it is still banning anything from the sea.

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@primantibros #NoFishFriday #Southside— Mia (@MissinInActionn)

Great news! We DO know that dolphins aren't fish! But this weekend, #TrustNothingFromTheSea #HereWeGo #NoFishFriday #SpiritNotScience— Primanti Bros (@primantibros)

Toni Haggerty, a longtime Primanti Bros. cook, told The Associated Press that she just couldn't bring herself to make a fish sandwich while the Steelers are playing the Dolphins. The NFL wild card game takes place Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with kickoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin suspended for PED use

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and the 27-year-old said Wednesday that he will seek treatment.

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"My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates," Martin said in a statement released by the team. "However, after numerous discussions with people close to me, including Coach (Dirk) Koetter, I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need."

According to, one of the drugs Martin used was Adderall, a stimulant commonly used for treating attention-deficit disorder.

Martin said he learned of the suspension last week. He was benched Saturday for the Bucs' 31-24 loss at New Orleans and will miss Sunday's regular-season finale against the Carolina Panthers in Tampa, Florida.

Martin missed six games after injuring his hamstring in Week 2. He is averaging 2.9 yards per carry this season. Martin signed a five-year, $35.75 million contract, with $15 million guaranteed, in the offseason after finishing second in the NFL in rushing in 2015 with 1,402 yards.

"Doug has been a valued member of our organization for the past five seasons and we respect and support his decision to seek help," Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "Right now, he is working through issues that are much larger than the game of football. Our primary concern is that he takes this time to focus on getting the help that he needs in order to move forward with his personal and professional life."

Former NFL player Keion Carpenter dies at 39

Former NFL player Keion Carpenter died Thursday at the age of 39, according to a family spokesperson.

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Carpenter, who made his NFL debut with the Buffalo Bills in 1999, played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2002 to 2005. He had 14 interceptions in six NFL seasons.

According to the Bills' official website, Carpenter collapsed and suffered a brain aneurysm while he was running. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but fell into a coma. It happened while Carpenter was on vacation with his family.

Carpenter, a Baltimore native, played college football at Virginia Tech.

"He had a heart of gold," former Hokies head coach Frank Beamer said. "His work with The Carpenter House and other charitable organizations to help those in need truly embodied the Virginia Tech spirit."

The Carpenter House was a nonprofit organization that helped underprivileged families find homes.

Fantasy football loss takes viral turn for Mass. man

A tough reality hit one local fantasy football player from Tyngsborough and the results went viral online.

The winner walked away with money, but the last place finisher walked a busy street corner -- in a dress.

Adam Lane had to stand at the entrance to the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, New Hampshire.

“A lot of people were laughing and honking, kind of like that and then some people were yelling kind of more obscene things,” Lane said.

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The dress was chosen for Lane by the other members of his fantasy football league.

“Adam owned it,” Chris Butler said. “He went out there without a shirt underneath.”

The league is made of 12 childhood friends from Tyngsborough. Unfortunately for Adam, public embarrassment is the prize for coming in last place – and we’re doing our part. “He had to go through with it if he didn't, he was out of the league.  It's a rule,” Greg LaForge explained.

At least Lane didn't have to endure the humiliation alone. His friends brought hot chocolate and heckled him from across the street.

Lane knew his get-up would get a laugh from his friends on social media, but he never expected the pictures of him wearing a dress would go viral.

“It makes sense that a lot of people at this time of year are kind of down in the dumps for losing their leagues so it makes sense that it went viral,” Lane said.

But what he lacks in fantasy football skills, he makes up in being a good sport. He's already preparing for next season, in hopes of never having to do this again.

Off-duty firefighters save man in cardiac arrest at Patriots game

Two off-duty firefighters were at Gillette Stadium last weekend for the New England Patriots game when a fan suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed nearby.

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"We could hear (the fan's son) yell to his father, 'Dad, dad, wake up, what's wrong,'" Westford, Massachusetts, firefighter John Tuomi said.

That's when Tuomi and Groton firefighter James Crocker jumped into action.

"We realized there was no pulse and we immediately got him out of the seat, put him on the ground, performed compressions and started CPR,” Crocker said.

The small seats and tight rows, packed by excited Patriots fans, created a less than ideal situation.

"It was a tight space with us being in the aisle at Gillette Stadium. Jimmy was able to get in a row ahead of us and kneel, which was a perfect position for him,” Tuomi said.

The middle aged man's pulse was coming and going, so the off-duty firefighters sent for a defibrillator.

"Once the AED arrived, we were able to apply the AED and use it effectively and it worked well,” Crocker said.

They used it once and then again, until an EMS crew arrived. Crews applied it a third time in the ambulance, but the man was saved due to the quick actions of the off-duty firefighters.

"We thought we had won the Super Bowl or something like that. It was pretty nice,” Crocker said.

The man was taken to a nearby Norwood hospital, where he was treated and released.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> We have an incredible story to share with you!Townsend Fire-EMS member John Tuomi started his Fire-EMS career here in...Posted by Townsend Fire-EMS Department on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Buffalo Bills fire coach Rex Ryan

The Buffalo Bills fired Rex Ryan as its head football coach on Tuesday after the team failed to reach the playoffs for the 17th consecutive season.

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The team announced that Ryan and his twin brother, assistant head coach Rob Ryan, were relieved of their duties, two days after Sunday’s 34-31 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was named the team’s interim coach for the Bills’ season finale against the New York Jets.

"I spoke with Rex earlier today and we mutually agreed that the time to part ways is now. These decisions are never easy. I want to take this opportunity to thank Rex for all his efforts and wish him all the best moving forward," team owner Terry Pegula said in a statement Tuesday.

"Kim and I and our entire Bills organization share in the same disappointment and frustration as our fans, but we remain committed to our goal of bringing a championship to Western New York. Anthony Lynn will serve as our interim head coach to lead us through the Jets game."

Rex Ryan went 15-16 in his nearly two seasons with Buffalo. The Bills went 8-8 in 2015. Rex Ryan is now 61-66 as a head coach over eight seasons. He reached the playoffs during his first two seasons coaching the Jets (2009-2010).

Lynn, who turned 48 on Dec. 21, played in the NFL for six years as a running back (1993-1999) for the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.

NFL QB Kirk Cousins blames festive Christmas jacket on wife

Next time Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has an away game, he may want to take a peek inside his travel bag before leaving home.

After beating the Chicago Bears 41-21 at Soldier Field, Cousins appeared at the post-game news conference wearing a green suit jacket emblazoned with a holiday theme, including lights, candy canes and gingerbread men.

>> Read more trending stories

.@KirkCousins8's jacket game is STRONG.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins)

Cousins said his wife always packs his suit when he travels for games, according to the Sporting News. His wife decided to make a fashion statement with a holiday twist for him, and Cousins was up to the challenge. While he only wore the suit at the post-game conference, saying the matching tie and pants were a bit of overkill, he donned the entire ensemble before heading out of the stadium, while singing, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Cousins went with the tie and pants after his presser. #Redskins— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) December 24, 2016

Third NFL coach hospitalized this season

NFL head coaches have had a rough year, and not just on the field.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles is the third NFL coach to be hospitalized this season. Bowles was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing chest pains, abdominal pains and vomiting, the NFL reported. Bowles has since been released and is returning to the team in New England. He is expected to coach, though it is not known if he will be in the sideline or in the booth.

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Earlier this season, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was hospitalized with a migraine condition and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had an eye condition that required emergency surgery. Both of those coaches had other coaches on the team fill in for them.

The Jets have a 4-10 record this season, leaving Bowles with a 14-16 record during two seasons with the team.

Vikings’ plane skids off runway at Wisconsin airport

When your football team is fighting for a playoff spot, the last thing a coach wants to see is a distraction on the eve of a key game.

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But the Minnesota Vikings were faced with a major distraction on a snowy Friday afternoon, as their plane’s rear wheel slipped off the runway as the Delta flight was approaching its arrival gate at Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin. The incident occurred at 5:15 p.m.

Nobody on the plane was injured, airport officials said. But players, coaches and team officials were stuck for several hours before fire officials at the scene used a truck's extension ladder to help the team off the aircraft, ESPN reported. The flight usually lasts an hour.

The Vikings (7-7) flew to Wisconsin to face Green Bay (8-6) on Saturday in a key NFC game with playoff implications. Minnesota needs a victory to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth, while the Packers need a victory to be no worse than the No. 5 seed in the conference as the teams head toward their final games of the regular season on New Year’s weekend.

For the most part, Vikings players were good-humored about the inconvenience. “How’s your day going?” Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway tweeted as he posted a video from the plane.

Two aerial platform fire trucks were needed to get the 150 passengers off the plane, WBAY reported. The Fox Crossing Fire Department and New London Fire Department worked together to deplane the players and staff.

“We didn’t have equipment large enough for that aircraft here, so we had to call a platform truck to deplane the passengers,” Abe Weber of Appleton International Airport told WBAY.

The team could only leave the plane in small groups; the entire team had disembarked by 11:30 p.m.

The Vikings and Packers meet Saturday in a 1 p.m. game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

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