The last time the Broncos faced the Steelers, Peyton Manning was a sideline spectator, so he took the opportunity so sign plenty of autographs for fans.

One thing he refused to put his signature on was the Steelers' signature yellow towels.

"I signed for a ton of Pittsburgh fans that day. I just think ... it's wrong for me to be signing their towel. That's their towel," Manning said. "I don't sign Giants hats. I see people that have an Eli signature on Giants hat and I've said, 'Hey, that's his team.' That's what he should be signing for."

Manning has autographed plenty of mementos in his career. Ticket stubs. T-shirts. And yes, towels.

"I'll sign a towel, but it's the Pittsburgh Steeler towel. That's reserved for Bradshaw, Ben, Swann, Franco and Stallworth," Manning said. "That's their towel."

If you want Manning's Sharpie scribble, you have to bring a different color scheme.

"I've signed a lot of orange in my lifetime going back to Tennessee and here with the Broncos. I've signed a lot blue and a little bit of green back in high school," Manning said. "I think the terrible towel is for Pittsburgh Steelers."

He did enjoy mingling with their fans, though.

Usually, he's too busy warming up and preparing for the game to stop and chat with fans on the road.

"I got the chance to do that four years ago when I was injured and I'd go to a lot of the stadiums that I played a lot in and had a chance to interact with the fans," Manning said. "The Pittsburgh Steelers fans were great. They were very respectful and so I enjoyed some of those conversations."


A-ROD ON ICE: Aaron Rodgers might be one of the NFL's highest-paid players, but it didn't stop the Green Bay Packers quarterback from taking a chance on this week's world-record Powerball drawing.

"I do play — I mean, why not," Rodgers said this week. "C'mon. Everybody's got the same opportunity, right?"

Safe to say that Rodgers didn't have one of the winning tickets in Wednesday night's drawing. Lottery officials said the jackpot of $1.6 billion will be split three ways among winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

Had he won, Rodgers would be lacing up a pair of hockey skates. Rodgers said, "I'd buy an NHL team" if he cashed in on the jackpot.

He's in pretty good shape financially without Powerball. Rodgers signed a contract extension before the 2013 season that keeps him in Green Bay through 2019, worth as much as $110 million.


JERSEY REPORT: Judging by jersey sales throughout the NFL season, the Panthers and Patriots seem headed for the Super Bowl in what would be a rematch of the 2004 game.

Tom Brady, Luke Kuechly, Rob Gronkowski and Cam Newton have dominated consumer purchasing since the draft, according to DICK'S Sporting Goods Jersey Report. The New England quarterback ranks first, followed by the Panthers' All-Pro linebacker and the Patriots All-Pro tight end. Newton, Carolina's All-Pro quarterback, is sixth.

But the team of choice this week has been the Steelers. Following their intense wild-card victory over Cincinnati, Steelers jerseys have been the best sellers, with All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown leading the way.

Since mid-December, the Patriots have ranked first overall in jersey sales, followed by the Panthers. Of the other eight teams to reach the divisional round, the Steelers ranked fifth, Seattle sixth, Green Bay seventh, Arizona 10th, Denver 11th and Kansas City 16th.

Carolina also leads in how many states it is getting support through jersey sales, 16. Even in Missouri and Kansas, the Panthers rank ahead of the Chiefs.

Peyton Manning's jersey sales have decreased over the past year, with his jersey at No. 12 for the 2015 season; he was first the previous season.


BACK TO LA: When Pete Carroll made the jump from college to the NFL, the idea of coaching again at the Los Angeles Coliseum seemed far-fetched.

Whenever the Seahawks visit the Rams next season, Carroll likely will be back in the stadium where he had so much success as the coach at USC.

"That'd be fun. It won't quite feel like home, because we'll be in the visitors' locker room, but that'll be fun to be there," Carroll said this week after the Rams relocation to Los Angeles was approved by NFL owners.

USC was football in Los Angeles for most of the two decades the league was without an NFL franchise. And Carroll was at the head of the Trojans' resurgence during the 2000s. Carroll led USC to seven consecutive Pac-10 titles, a pair of national titles, and a 97-19 record during his time with the Trojans.

Carroll said he was thrilled for his current team and NFL fans in the Los Angeles area.

"For us, I think it's great. I love that we're playing in the west, and for all of the California guys, it's fun to have a chance to play down there in our division. We'll enjoy that part of it," Carroll said. "It's been coming for so long, they needed to just get it done. It's been 20 years or something it's been out of there. It's amazing that it's finally come all the way through it."


AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writers Tim Booth and Genaro C. Armas contributed to this notebook.


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