Patriots LB Darius Fleming rescues woman after car accident

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming didn’t hesitate when he saw a woman trapped in a smoking car: He kicked out the window, enabling her to escape.

But Fleming cut his right leg in the process, and he soon began to worry about how coach Bill Belichick would react.

“The first concern was, like, `Man, Bill’s going to be pissed about my leg,”‘ Fleming said in the Patriots locker room on Wednesday after word of his rescue filtered out. “I explained the story to him and he said, `That was pretty cool. I’m glad you were able to help her.”‘

Fleming, 26, said he was on his way home from practice on Thursday when a truck up ahead slowed down to turn, causing a three-car collision behind it. The former Notre Dame and San Francisco 49er linebacker was behind the third car and pulled over to see if he could help.

What he saw was a woman unable to open her doors or windows as her car began to fill with smoke.

“I saw her panic on her face,” Fleming told reporters.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Chicagoan needed a few kicks to break the passenger side window, cutting his right leg on the glass as he pulled it back out of the car. The woman climbed out safely.

“My adrenaline was going up and I wasn’t thinking much about it. I was just thinking about whether she was safe,” Fleming said. “Once I got her out of the car, she said `Thank you,’ I said `You’re welcome,’ and I saw my leg and I got out of there.”

Fleming, a fifth-round draft pick in 2012, needed 22 stitches to close the gash. He played with the injury Saturday in New England’s 27-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, filling in when starters Jamie Collins and Jerod Mayo were injured.

“I was more worried about just getting out there and playing. I’m glad it didn’t affect my play much,” Fleming said. “The worst thing that could happen is that I would tear them (stitches) open and get re-stitched. It wasn’t like it was a life-threatening injury or anything like that.”

Patriots safety Devin McCourty said on Wednesday that Fleming tried to keep it quiet. “But once the guys on the team got ahold of it, we forced him to give a speech and everything,” McCourty said, calling it “the hero’s speech.”

Roadside heroism is becoming a bit of a playoff tradition for the Patriots.

Last year, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork pulled a woman from a car that had flipped on its side after New England won the AFC championship game.

“We’ve got great guys around here, no matter the time – playoffs, regular season – we’re always out in the community trying to save people,” McCourty said with a laugh.

Like Wilfork before him, Fleming said he didn’t think he did anything special.

“It represents his character,” linebacker Rob Ninkovich said. “He’s a great person. … It’s definitely somebody that you want in a situation like that, to kick in windows and taking stitches.”

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Don Ohlmeyer, longtime network TV executive, dies at 72

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the “Monday Night Football” producer who came up with the phrase “Must See TV” in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.

“It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer,” Ohlmeyer’s family said in a statement. “Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells.”

Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer’s death while broadcasting NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Peabody Awards.

Ohlmeyer became producer of “MNF” in 1972, teaming with director Chet Forte and the on-air crew of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. In 2000 in his second “MNF” stint, Ohlmeyer put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth.

Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967 under Roone Arledge, working on “Wide World of Sports.” Along with his “Monday Night Football” work, he directed the network’s Olympic coverage and created “The Superstars.” Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.

After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with “Must See TV” in the 1990s, when NBC’s rating soared with such hits as “Seinfeld,” ”Friends,” ”ER” and “Frasier.”

Watch Live: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys on NBC

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The Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football.

Despite going 13-3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last year, the Cowboys lost twice to the Giants in 2016, including a loss in Week 1. Dallas hopes to not have a repeat of last year and will rely on sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to carry the load. Don’t be surprised if Elliott gets even more carries in this game because there is a possibility his six-game suspension is upheld and he will have plenty of time to rest up before he sees game action again.

The Giants will rely on their strong defense led by DB Landon Collins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul to try and get after Prescott and bottle up Elliott. On offense, New York is all about Eli Manning and the passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to suit up, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have after injuring his ankle in the preseason. As a result, look for new additions WR Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram, to go along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard to step up for Manning.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Giants vs. Cowboys

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app