Hines Ward could have a serious bone to pick with Michael Irvin -- 'cause "The Playmaker" says Katy Perry made a big mistake wearing a #86 jersey on ESPN last week because "nobody great wears 86."
Irvin was at LAX when he raved about why Katy is the PERFECT choice for the Super Bowl halftime show (pleasant for you ears and for your eyes) ... and then went on to take a shot at #86.
"Next time wear #88," Irvin said to Katy ... "Nobody great wears #86!!"
For the record, here are some famous 86'ers other than Ward:
Todd Heap, Antonio Freeman and Raghib "The Rocket "Ismail.
Yeah, seems like Irvin's got a point ...
DJ Paul to NFL:
You Better Not Charge Katy Perry
... To Perform At Super Bowl!
10/10/2014 10:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katy Perry is getting major support for playing the Super Bowl Halftime show -- with an Oscar winning rapper vouching for the singer and warning the NFL ... you better not charge her to play!
TMZ Sports spoke with Three 6 Mafia's DJ Paul -- who told us he's thrilled for Katy ... claiming she's the perfect fit for the big game -- and hopes it skyrockets her to another level.
"If you play the Super Bowl, that's a lot of money. You're reaching a whole new fan base. It'd be great for her career."
But DJ Paul says he read the reports about the NFL considering charging halftime acts to perform on their stage -- and says in Katy's case, she deserves a pass.
"Let her do it for free! She's a hot chick. Start charging next year."
We also spoke with Sir Mix-a-Lot ... who agrees with Paul -- the NFL would be INSANE to charge Katy a single cent.
"I wish no artists would pay. Do a concert with Katy Perry, Jay Z, Beyonce on an adjacent channel. Everyone would watch that while a boring f**king marching band plays the halftime show."
So far, the NFL has yet to confirm the Katy reports ... but all signs point to Perry taking the big stage.
Jermaine Jackson to NFL:
GET OVER NIPPLEGATE
Janet Jackson Ban Is 'Crazy'
8/20/2014 1:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
How does Jermaine Jackson feel about the NFL blacklisting his sister from performing at the Super Bowl halftime show?
Simple -- "That sucks."
Jermaine was out in L.A. when we broke the news to him that the NFL has only ruled out one person from performing at Super Bowl XLIX ... Janet Jackson.
"Who cares about Nipplegate?" Jermaine said ... calling the league "crazy" for holding a grudge ten years after the infamous wardrobe malfunction.
Jermaine cautioned that the league should be careful about pissing off Janet nowadays -- since she's married to a BILLIONAIRE and has become more powerful than ever!
Check out the clip.
From Super Bowl Halftime Show
8/19/2014 3:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Apparently, the NFL is still upset with Janet Jackson for that whole nipplegate thing back in 2004 -- because league reps tell us she's still on the blacklist when it comes to the Super Bowl Halftime show.
TMZ Sports reached out to the NFL to discuss possible acts at Super Bowl XLIX (49) in Arizona next year -- and while the league wouldn't say who's in the running, they did issue the following statement:
"As for potential acts --- we have only ruled out Janet Jackson."
No word on how Justin Timberlake escaped the ire of the NFL -- considering he played a key role in the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" that day -- but if he's NOT banned, BOOK HIS ASS!!!
M.I.A. to NFL
My Middle Finger Was Tame
Compared to Prince's Penis Guitar
3/17/2014 10:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
M.I.A. says the NFL is overreacting big time in their legal war over the middle finger she flipped during the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime show ... and the proof is in Prince's giant penis guitar.
M.I.A. just filed new legal docs saying the NFL's demand for $16.6 MILLION in restitution and damages over the rapper's live 1-bird salute is completely baseless -- since the league already has a reputation for airing risque halftime performances.
Her proof -- M.I.A. says the reputation was built by Super Bowl legends like Michael Jackson who "repeatedly grabbed or fondled his genitalia" during his famous 1993 performance.
M.I.A. says the "genitalia adjustments" were a well-known part of his act at the time and the NFL reveled in the edginess.
There's more ... M.I.A. also points to Prince -- who, in 2007, stroked his guitar like it was "an erect oversized phallus" in what some people consider the gold standard of Super Bowl Halftime shows.
M.I.A. says the NFL knew Prince was planning to get all strokey before the show ... and green-lit the performance anyway.
M.I.A.'s ultimate point is that there is no harm in airing a middle finger -- it won't damage the league or prevent sponsors from paying top dollar for commercial spots.
So far, no comment from Prince or his giant penis guitar.
I Would've DESTROYED Richard Sherman
3/17/2014 9:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Richard Sherman would've had "no chance" of stopping T.J. Houshmandzadeh when the receiver was in his prime ... so says T.J. himself.
The former Cincinnati Bengals receiver was outside Greystone this weekend when we asked if he thought Sherman could've shut him down ... like he shut down Michael Crabtree in the NFL playoffs.
But T.J. says his route-running abilities were just too strong for Sherman -- who T.J. also PRAISES as a helluva football player.
Watch the clip -- you can tell T.J. respects Sherman ... but still dishes out some quality smacktalk.
Katy Perry's Fired Stripper
Back on the Grind
3/15/2014 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The stripper who was fired for taking photos with Katy Perry -- inside a strip club -- is back in the good graces of the stripper gods ... TMZ has learned, after breaking the cardinal strip club rule she got her job back ... but with one G-string attached.
Sources tell us, Cassidy (her stripper name) received a call from Spearmint Rhino honchos, informing her she could have her job back -- but she's not allowed to work at the Santa Barbara location where she was fired.
Instead, we're told Cassidy is now back working at a nearby Spearmint Rhino location in the decidedly less tony Oxnard.
TMZ broke the story ... Cassidy lost her stripper Santa Barbara job last month after management found out she'd been taking pics with Katy inside the strip club ... A HUGE NO-NO. TMZ later posted the pics.
Ain't nuthin' but a g strang.
QB Pictured On Movie Set
3/14/2014 3:39 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Rob Gronkowski might not be the only athlete with a role in the "Entourage" movie ... 'cause Russell Wilson was spotted on set today and all clues point to cameo.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback posed for photos with members of the cast -- including Jeremy Piven and Kid Cudi, who's reportedly playing Ari Gold's new assistant.
Piers Morgan was also spotted on set -- no word if he's in the flick or just hangin' out. We already told you Gronk's confirmed to be in the flick.
As for Wilson -- it pays to win the Super Bowl ... first Letterman, then kickin' it with Jay Z, now a possible movie role?!
Helluva ride ... right Peyton Manning?
Super Bowl Champs & Nick Cannon
Alleged Con Artist Charged in Miami Heat Scam
3/7/2014 4:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Nick Cannon suddenly has something in common with 2 Super Bowl champs -- they were all targeted for tens of thousands of dollars by an alleged scam artist who just got slapped with multiple felonies.
As TMZ Sports first reported ... ex-Patriots star Jarvis Green was nearly ripped off earlier this year ... by a man who claimed he could hook him up with Miami Heat season tickets AND partial ownership of the team.
According to the California Attorney General's office ... George French Jones made similar offers to Charles Woodson, Warren Moon, and oddly ... Cannon.
Jones was charged today with 11 felonies ... including grand theft, obtaining money by false pretenses, and identity theft.
What's interesting is how much cash he tried to lift from each victim: $50k from Woodson, and $25k from Green.
Clearly he didn't think Nick's pockets were as deep ... because he only asked for, and ultimately got, $15k from Mariah's husband.
But the biggest fish was Moon -- whose rep wired $200,000 to Jones, according to the docs.
Jones faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted. For now ... prosecutors want him held without bail, unless he can prove he's paying it with legit funds, instead of his victims' loot.
My Goatee Is Back!!!!
3/4/2014 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EVIL PEYTON MANNING IS BACK!!!!!
For the first time since 2008, Peyton Manning is rockin' the goatee ... in what appears to be an attempt to find a new identity after that humiliating Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Evil Peyton and his facial hair surfaced at what appears to be a charity event over the weekend ... where he gave a speech, rocked a tux and even posed for pics with fans.
Somewhere, Evil Spock is laughing maniacally.
[H/T Terez Owens]
After Strip Club Photo Leak
2/13/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
One of the strippers who posed with Katy Perry inside a Santa Barbara strip club has been FIRED for violating the Cardinal rule ... taking pics of their encounter and making them public.
Sources tell TMZ ... honchos from Spearmint Rhino's corporate offices marched over to the Santa Barbara location earlier this week and promptly fired Cassidy (her stripper name) in front of all the other girls.
23-year-old Cassidy -- pictured above on the right -- was one of the girls working Super Bowl night, when Katy rolled in with boyfriend John Mayer and dropped stacks all over the place.
Cassidy, Katy, and other dancers posed for several photos ... TMZ obtained the pics and posted them a couple days later -- and management was pissed.
We're told Cassidy -- who has a child -- violated her club's "no cameras" rule by taking the photos and making them public and that's why she got canned.
We're told Cassidy was fired in front of all the other girls to send a clear message ... don't mess with client privacy, or else.
Super Bowl MVP
That Truck I Won??
I'm Giving It to Mom!
2/10/2014 5:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Seattle Seahawks stud Malcolm Smith tells TMZ Sports he won't be taking home the brand new Chevy truck he won for being MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII ... nah, he's giving it to his MOM instead!!
How cool is that?
And it gets better -- mom wants to PIMP OUT her her ride!!!
Smith was leaving P.F. Chang's in L.A. on Sunday along with his MVP celebrity stylist Vick Michel when he told us all about his plans for the $50k vehicle ... "[Mom] says she wants to put black rims on it."
As for Malcolm, don't feel too bad about his driving situation -- he already has a Chevy Tahoe in his garage.
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Raging In Vegas
Ankle Injury Can't Stop Me!
2/9/2014 10:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
DON'T YOU EVER TALK ABOUT RICHARD SHERMAN'S ANKLE ... 'cause less than one week after injuring it in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks star was partying hard on it during a rager in Vegas!!!
Sherman -- along with fellow Legion of Boomer Kam Chancellor -- hit up the Chateau nightclub in Sin City Saturday night ... and cut loose, despite suffering a high ankle sprain during the Feb. 2nd victory.
Seemed like Sherman was feeling "no pain" that night -- we're guessing the gang of hot chicks following him around that night makes a man forget about a freak joint injury.
Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is still sad somewhere ..