Ayanbadejo anxious over fires in San Diego
The wildfires that have spread through San Diego County have Bears special-teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo concerned for his family.
His brother, Obafemi, has a house in La Jolla, a northern suburb of San Diego. And his mother, Rita Sanford, has an apartment in the north county of San Diego.
"Everything is fine in their areas, but even the people that are not affected by the fires are affected by the smoke," Ayanbadejo said. "They don't want you to spend too much time outside. Everything's covered in ash."
Ayanbadejo said his brother, a fullback whom the Bears cut last month, is in Chicago and won't return to San Diego until November. Sanford remains in her apartment and was not required to evacuate.
"I'm more worried about the air quality," Ayanbadejo said. "The air is so dry, and there's not enough rain. They just need a good rain to saturate the soil."
The wildfires have caused an estimated $2 billion in property damage, destroying 368,000 acres and forcing thousands of people from their homes.
"It's a Hurricane Katrina-type of problem," Ayanbadejo said.
Lions quarterback Jon Kitna vented to Detroit reporters about a face-mask penalty he believed should have been called on Bears defensive end Alex Brown. It occurred in the first quarter as Brown sacked Kitna for a 7-yard loss.
Kitna complained to referee Pete Morelli immediately, and was hardly mollified. "He said, 'I can't see everything,' " Kitna told the Detroit News.
In the locker room Sunday, Kitna complained he has been hit illegally other times this year with no penalties called. "I'm getting tired of it," he said.
Brown could face a fine once the league reviews the tape.
Bears tight end Greg Olsen is one of five finalists for the NFL rookie of the week honor.
Olsen led the Bears with six catches for 59 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown, in the Bears' 16-7 loss to the Lions.
The other finalists are Dolphins receiver Ted Ginn Jr., Jets linebacker David Harris, Packers receiver James Jones and Chargers safety Eric Weddle. Fans can vote on NFL.com.
Kicker Jay Feely spent much of the week joking about his unusual popularity in England, where the fan base relates better to the guy who kicks the ball than the one who throws it.
Then Feely came out in the first series and promptly disappointed, going wide right on a 48-yard field goal for his first miss of the season. Feely, a former soccer player, had made his previous 12 field goals this season and his last 24.
"Of course I feel bad for letting the team down, and it was against my former team," said Feely, who played for the Giants the previous two seasons. "Or else we tie the game on [Ted Ginn Jr.'s] touchdown."
Feely was one of several players after the game to lament the condition of a soggy Wembley Stadium field, which was ravaged by the end of the game. Players on both sidelines were seen during the game changing out their cleats for longer spikes.
Linebacker Channing Crowder took some grief internationally this week when he said he couldn't locate London on a map. After the game, he was asked by a British reporter if he had any parting words for the British public.
"I'm quite intelligent," Crowder said, laughing. "I got a 1280 on the SATs. I don't know if you take that over here. I'm a pretty smart guy. I was joking. I'm a joker on the team. I guess, internationally they don't know that … I know exactly where London is."
Taylor no terror
After all of the Jason Taylor hype in London this week, the 26-foot animatronic figure of the Dolphins' defensive end turned out to be more menacing than the real thing. Taylor didn't have a tackle against the Giants, and although he recovered a fumble late in the third quarter, he was also responsible for negating Jason Allen's interception with a holding penalty.
Naked came the stranger
Just before the second half began, a British tradition continued: A man streaked onto the field, naked except for what looked like a deflated football covering his genitals. He did a few pushups before the police came.
The streaker drew the loudest ovation of the game, and the loudest jeers when security corralled him and escorted him off. He evidently gained access to the field because he was wearing something that looked like an official's uniform — except that it could be torn off quickly to allow for streaking.
"I thought he was a referee," Dolphins receiver Derek Hagan said. "I wasn't going to go near him. I let the authorities handle it. It was kind of funny."
On their first offensive drive after halftime, the Dolphins committed four penalties in five plays, collecting flags for a little of everything: offensive holding, an illegal formation, a false start and an ineligible downfield pass. They finished the game with seven penalties for 61 yards. … The redone Wembley Stadium had everything for the big occasion Sunday but an actual NFL scoreboard. There were only two small — by American standards — video screens on each end of the field.
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