Domestic violence. Questionable discipline. Player safety. Confusing officiating. Deflated footballs. These problems turned the lead-up to Sunday's Super Bowl into a time for damage control, not celebration.
Serena Williams has won her 19th Grand Slam title, continuing her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a commanding 6-3, 7-6 (5) win on Saturday night.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and the streaking Toronto Raptors won in overtime for the second consecutive night after losing a large second-half lead, defeating the Washington Wizards 120-116 on Saturday.
Pete Carroll's Seahawks will face Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in the Super Bowl with a chance to do something that, for many reasons, was thought to be too tall a task in today's NFL: win a second consecutive championship.
Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli became the first all-Italian team to capture a Grand Slam men's doubles title in more than 50 years after beating the French pair of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open final on Saturday.
The 18 New England residents sitting on the jury in the murder trial of former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez will be allowed to watch the home team play in Sunday's Super Bowl, but the judge overseeing the case says they must leave the room if his name is mentioned.
Commissioner Roger Goodell says that even if no competitive advantage was gained, the New England Patriots could face increased penalties if the NFL investigation finds they violated rules by deflating footballs in the AFC championship game.