National Sports | WRHL http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495 National Sports 2014-09-02T06:45:51Z National Sports Your Top Plays for Today Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide Athens Olympics leave mixed legacy, 10 years later ATHENS, Greece (AP) — In an obscure corner of a park sits a forlorn reminder that, 10 years ago, Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. The crumbling miniature theater is inscribed with the words "glory, wealth, wisdom, victory, triumph, hero, labor" — and it is where visiting Olympic officials planted an olive sapling that would bear their names for posterity. Schools invest millions preparing for SEC Network The Southeastern Conference's new network debuts Thursday, promising more than 1,000 live events this year and a reach that includes most major television providers in the South. FCC's Pai supports repeal of NFL TV blackout rules BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ajit Pai called the NFL's television blackout rules "outdated," and urged his fellow Federal Communications Commission representatives to vote in favor of having them repealed to address fan concerns. Mixed martial arts fighter accused of attacking ex LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police are looking for a mixed martial arts fighter and porn actor after his girlfriend posted graphic photos of her swollen and beaten face online and said the man, known as War Machine, beat her and a friend so severely that she feared for her life. Clippers sale to Steve Ballmer goes through LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Ballmer officially became the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Watson still considering Woods for Ryder Cup LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — U.S. captain Tom Watson said he would be foolish not to consider Tiger Woods as one of his three wild-card selections for the Ryder Cup, a decision that ultimately would be based on Woods' words instead of his actions. Ward crafted reputation as wheelman before death PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Ward Jr. was crafting a reputation as a wheelman, the kind of driver who could race vehicles on any track without fear. ITF rules on Israel and Ukraine Davis Cup venues LONDON (AP) — The International Tennis Federation ruled Tuesday that Davis Cup matches will be moved out of Ukraine and Israel because of security issues in both countries. FCC chief supports repeal of NFL TV blackout rules BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission says it's time to repeal NFL television blackout rules. Bradley, Mahan and Simpson get U.S. wildcard Cup picks NEW YORK (Reuters) - United States captain Tom Watson named Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson on Tuesday as his three wildcard selections for this month's Ryder Cup against holders Europe. The trio join automatic qualifiers Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson on the 12-man American team. (Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue) Golf-Bradley, Mahan and Simpson get U.S. wildcard Cup picks NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - United States captain Tom Watson named Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson on Tuesday as his three wildcard selections for this month's Ryder Cup against holders Europe. The trio join automatic qualifiers Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson on the 12-man American team. (Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue) Cowboys interested in Sam for practice squad: report Michael Sam, trying to become the first openly gay player on a National Football League team, will reportedly meet Wednesday with the Dallas Cowboys, hoping to join their practice squad. The 24-year-old defensive end is set to undergo a physical exam and the Cowboys will sign him to the team's practice squad if he passes it, the NFL website said. Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams at the weekend after playing for them in four pre-season games, making 11 tackles and three quarterback sacks but failing to qualify for their 53-man final regular-season roster. Sam also met the Rams on Sunday but was not chosen for the St. Louis practice squad and not claimed on waivers by another NFL club. U.S. and Slovenia advance as Lithuania suffer Holders United States and dark horses Slovenia eased into the basketball World Cup knockout stages with two games to spare but eastern European giants Lithuania left themselves with work to do after a surprise defeat by Australia on Tuesday. Unfancied Ukraine produced the day’s other upset with a 64-58 defeat of Turkey while the Dominican Republic boosted their own hopes after a 74-68 success against Finland. The Americans looked a little fazed as New Zealand’s Tall Blacks performed their traditional pre-game haka, but showed no nerves in a one-sided contest as Anthony Davis led the charge with 21 points and nine rebounds in a 98-71 rout. Cowboys show interest in Sam for practice squad: reports (Reuters) - Defensive end Michael Sam was handed a lifeline in his bid to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL) when the Dallas Cowboys expressed interest on Tuesday in adding him to their practice squad. According to multiple media reports, the Cowboys plan to bring the former University of Missouri standout to Dallas for a physical on Wednesday, with the intention of adding him to their 10-man practice squad. Three days ago, Sam was cut from the St. Louis Rams' final 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season, and on Sunday the 24-year-old Texan went unclaimed on waivers by any other NFL team. Ryder Cup callups for Westwood, Poulter and Gallacher Europe's Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley on Tuesday made his three wildcard picks for Gleneagles, selecting Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher. Already assured of a place in the European team for the September 26-28 showdown with the Americans in Scotland were Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell. Seahawks face tough task to repeat Super Bowl glory The Seattle Seahawks will start the 2014 NFL campaign this week as the bookmakers' favourites to repeat as Super Bowl champions but they they will have a tough task living up to last season’s success. Pete Carroll's team romped to a 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in last season's title game but the division rival San Francisco 49ers, with dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick, offer a formidable challenge in the NFC as do Seattle's opening day opponent, the Green Bay Packers. Five storylines to watch for in the 2014 NFL season (Reuters) - Here are five storylines to watch during the National Football League's 2014 season, which begins Thursday in Seattle. - - JOHNNY MANZIEL The charismatic rookie quarterback was not selected until the 22nd pick of the 2014 Draft by Cleveland but there was no more popular choice than the player known as 'Johnny Football.' A dynamic player on the field and outspoken off it, Manziel set several passing records in his rookie college season in 2012 and went on to become the first freshmen to win the Heisman Trophy as college football's most outstanding player. - - COLIN KAEPERNICK The 26-year-old signed a six-year, $126 million contract during the offseason that annointed him as the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback now and into the future. NFL-Brief profiles of National Football Conference teams (Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the National Football Conference (NFC) ahead of the 2014 National Football League (NFL) season: - - ATLANTA FALCONS Head coach: Mike Smith 2013 record: 4-12 (One year removed from a 13-3 finish and a division title, the Falcons never won consecutive games all season and finished tied for last in the NFC South.) Biggest change for the Falcons this season will be how they use the tight end position giving the offseason retirement of Tony Gonzalez, who was a key target for quarterback Matt Ryan. ... NFL-Brief profiles of American Football Conference teams (Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the American Football Conference (AFC) ahead of the 2014 National Football League season. - - BALTIMORE RAVENS Head coach: John Harbaugh 2013 Record: 8-8 (Finished third in AFC North and missed playoffs for first time since 2007) How well an improved offensive line protects quarterback Joe Flacco could go a long way in determining the kind of season the Ravens and new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak have. New wide receiver Steve Smith should help the offense and linebacker C.J. Mosley boosts the defense. ... NFL-Key dates for the 2014 National Football League season (Reuters) - Key dates for National Football League's 2014 season Sept 4 - Regular season begins with Green Bay at Seattle Sept 21 - Denver at Seattle in Super Bowl rematch Sept 28 - Miami vs Oakland in London's Wembley Stadium Oct 26 - Detroit vs Atlanta in London's Wembley Stadium Nov 9 - Dallas vs Jacksonville in London's Wembley Stadium Dec 28 - Last day of regular season Jan 3-4 - Playoffs begin with wild card weekend Jan 10-11 - Divisional playoffs Jan 18 - AFC and NFC championship games Jan 25 - Pro Bowl, Glendale, Arizona Feb 1 - Super Bowl, Glendale, Arizona (Compiled by Gene Cherry in ... Pioneering Sam has already made impact on the league By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - Michael Sam has already made a significant impact on the National Football League, even though his long cherished dream to become the league's first openly gay player may never materialize. Though the 24-year-old defensive end failed to make the St. Louis Rams' final 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season on Saturday and cleared waivers the following day to remain on the outside looking in, he achieved one of his primary goals. Ever since he ended his 2013 senior season as a University of Missouri standout by being awarded co-defensive player of the year honors in the Southeastern Conference, he has yearned to be judged purely on his merits as a football player. "Mike came in here and did everything we asked him to do," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said after the defensive end was cut amid 21 other roster moves before the NFL deadline. Elite QBs running out of time to claim another Super Bowl They have already tasted the feeling of winning a Super Bowl but if quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees want to win another Vince Lombardi Trophy they better hurry up. The talented trio have long established themselves as elite National Football League quarterbacks with each breaking records and winning plaudits but age is catching up with them. New England Patriots quarterback Brady, 37, has three Super Bowl rings tucked away thanks to his triumphs in the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons but since then his two trips to the title game have ended in defeat to the New York Giants. International teams to play record nine NBA preseason games (Reuters) - Three top international teams will visit the United States and Canada for a combined nine preseason games against nine National Basketball Association teams this October, the league said on Tuesday. The games open with reigning Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel Aviv taking on LeBron James and the hosting Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 5 followed by a visit to the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 7. Flamengo, which plays its home games in Rio de Janeiro and won the 2014 FIBA Americas League championship, will visit the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 8, Orlando Magic on Oct. 15 and Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. ... Durant re-signs with Nike, spurning Under Armour deal Reigning National Basketball Association MVP Kevin Durant has signed a new shoe deal with sports apparel retailer Nike, spurning a deal from rival Under Armour that reportedly was worth as much as $285 million over 10 years. "We are pleased to extend our relationship with Kevin Durant, one of the most exciting players in the game," Nike spokesman Brian Strong said Monday in an e-mail to Reuters. Durant, 25, one of the NBA's top shooters, has averaged 27.4 points per game since coming into the league seven years ago. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward, a five-time All-Star, averaged 32 points a game last season when he ended LeBron James' two-year run as the NBA's most valuable player. New Cavaliers coach Blatt to face ex-club in exhibition New York (AFP) - New Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt will face his former club, reigning Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, to open a record-setting nine-game international pre-season tour announced Tuesday by the NBA. Indianapolis Colts owner pleads guilty to intoxicated driving (Reuters) - James Irsay, owner of the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a deal with prosecutors to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and was suspended by the league for six games. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended and was given two days credit after his arrest, the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said in a statement. Following his guilty plea, the NFL suspended Irsay for the team’s first six regular-season games and fined him the maximum $500,000 for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. In a letter to Irsay, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players. Colts owner Irsay pleads guilty to drink driving Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated for a violation last March and will spend a year on probation. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must now hand down a punishment for one of his bosses. Under the league's deal with its players union, NFL players would receive no suspension and no more than a $50,000 fine from the NFL for a first-time drink driving misdemeanor. 'Lucky' McGinley picks Westwood, Poulter, Gallacher By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Paul McGinley called himself "a very lucky man" after Europe's Ryder Cup captain dipped into an overflowing selection box before opting for Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher as his wildcard picks on Tuesday. The trio join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson and Graeme McDowell in a 12-man team for the Sept. 26-28 matches against the United States. Jacklin thrilled rookie Gallacher proved him wrong By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Former captain Tony Jacklin is delighted Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher made him eat his words by securing a place in Europe's team for the showdown with the United States in Scotland this month. Jacklin, Europe's most successful skipper of all time having won two matches, tied one and lost one, told Reuters at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May that he thought the 39-year-old Scot was "a bit iffy sometimes" and "a bit tender-minded". Gallacher came within a whisker of dislodging Graeme McDowell from the automatic nine Ryder Cup qualifiers and received his reward on Tuesday when he was picked by captain Paul McGinley as a wildcard choice along with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. I didn't mean it in any derogatory way and he has certainly proved he is made of the right stuff and I think he's capable of having a great Ryder Cup." Jacklin's comments provoked an angry response, especially among Gallacher's fellow countrymen, but the 70-year-old Englishman said perhaps it was the gee-up the triple European Tour winner needed. Golf-Jacklin thrilled rookie Gallacher proved him wrong By Tony Jimenez LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Former captain Tony Jacklin is delighted Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher made him eat his words by securing a place in Europe's team for the showdown with the United States in Scotland this month. Jacklin, Europe's most successful skipper of all time having won two matches, tied one and lost one, told Reuters at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May that he thought the 39-year-old Scot was "a bit iffy sometimes" and "a bit tender-minded". Gallacher came within a whisker of dislodging Graeme McDowell from the automatic nine Ryder Cup qualifiers and received his reward on Tuesday when he was picked by captain Paul McGinley as a wildcard choice along with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. I didn't mean it in any derogatory way and he has certainly proved he is made of the right stuff and I think he's capable of having a great Ryder Cup." Jacklin's comments provoked an angry response, especially among Gallacher's fellow countrymen, but the 70-year-old Englishman said perhaps it was the gee-up the triple European Tour winner needed. Target man Poulter relishing Ryder Cup battle Ian Poulter is primed for the Americans who will be gunning for him in next month's Ryder Cup after being chosen as one of Europe captain Paul McGinley's three wildcards on Tuesday. The 38-year-old Englishman, whose pumped-up performance two years ago inspired Europe's "Miracle at Medinah" comeback win, admitted he will be a marked man at this year's event at Gleneagles, Scotland from Sept. 26-28. I'm going to be more than ready." Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher were named by McGinley to join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson and Graeme McDowell in the 12-strong team. Golf-World Rankings Sept 2 (Infostrada Sports) - The World Rankings 1. (1) Rory McIlroy (Britain) 11.27 2. (2) Adam Scott (Australia) 9.13 3. (3) Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 7.89 4. (4) Sergio Garcia (Spain) 7.64 5. (5) Justin Rose (Britain) 7.33 6. (7) Jason Day (Australia) 7.07 7. (6) Jim Furyk (U.S.) 6.95 8. (8) Matt Kuchar (U.S.) 6.68 9. (9) Bubba Watson (U.S.) 6.44 10. (10) Phil Mickelson (U.S.) 5.99 11. (11) Rickie Fowler (U.S.) 5.55 12. (14) Martin Kaymer (Germany) 5.31 13. (12) Tiger Woods (U.S.) 5.28 14. (13) Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 5.19 15. (15) Zach Johnson (U.S.) 4.91 16. (16) Graeme McDowell (Britain) 4. ... Kirk beaming after biggest PGA career win Chris Kirk fired a bogey-free closing-round 66 to win the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship by holding off hard-charging fellow American Billy Horschel. The 29-year-old Kirk posted the biggest win of his career Monday and moved into the top spot in the FedEx Cup playoff standings. Kirk, who jumped to the top of the FedEx Cup playoff points list with two events to play, posted his first victory since last year's McGladrey Classic. Horschel needed a birdie to tie or an eagle to win heading to the par-five last hole. Astros sack manager Porter Houston (AFP) - The Houston Astros have fired team manager Bo Porter in mid-season, general manager Jeff Luhnow announced on Monday. Phillies pitchers combine to no-hit Braves Starter Cole Hamels and his Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen tossed a combined no-hitter with a 7-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves on Monday. The left-handed Hamels struck out seven batters in six innings before the bullpen took over for the first combined no-hitter in the Major League Baseball team's history. Philadelphia ace Hamels had five walks and a high pitch count, forcing manager Ryne Sandberg to remove him for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh inning. Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon preserved the no-hitter, each throwing a solid inning out of the bullpen. American Kirk wins Deutsche Bank title American Chris Kirk broke clear of a tightly bunched leaderboard with two late birdies to clinch his third PGA Tour victory by two shots at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. Labor Day, Kirk fired a flawless five-under-par 66 at the TPC Boston to win the second of four lucrative FedExCup playoff events on the U.S. The 29-year-old birdied the 13th and 16th to pull two strokes clear and narrowly missed another birdie attempt, from nine feet at the last, to post a 15-under total of 269. Kirk not only claimed his second PGA Tour title of the season but he took over at the top of the FedExCup standings and advanced his claims for a late Ryder Cup call-up by U.S. Phillies' Hamels, bullpen combine for no-hitter (Reuters) - Cole Hamels set up a combined no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies as they beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 at Turner Field in Atlanta on Monday. Starter Hamels struck out seven and walked five in six no-hit innings before leaving the game, and the three members of the Phillies bullpen kept the no-hitter intact. It was fun to watch them and create something very special." On a hot afternoon, Hamels threw 108 pitches before Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched one inning in relief to complete the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season. "It seemed like against one guy he (Hamels) couldn't throw a strike, he'd be all over the place, and then against the next guy, he'd be boom, boom, boom and he's dotting up on you," said Atlanta's Phil Gosselin. Golf-American Kirk wins Deutsche Bank title * Closing 66 earns Kirk second win of season * Makes strong case for Ryder Cup call-up * McIlroy ties for fifth place (Adds detail, quotes) NORTON, Massachusetts, Sept 1 (Reuters) - American Chris Kirk broke clear of a tightly bunched leaderboard with two late birdies to clinch his third PGA Tour victory by two shots at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. The 29-year-old birdied the 13th and 16th to pull two strokes clear and narrowly missed another birdie attempt, from nine feet at the last, to post a 15-under total of 269. Kirk not only claimed his second PGA Tour title of the season but he took over at the top of the FedExCup standings and advanced his claims for a late Ryder Cup call-up by U.S. "Just unbelievable," Kirk, who outshot Rory McIlroy by four shots in the final round after being paired with the world number one, told NBC Sports. Sam fails to secure spot on Rams' practice squad (Reuters) - Defensive end Michael Sam's bid to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL) looked even more remote on Monday when he failed to make the St. Louis Rams' 10-man practice squad. Two days after being cut from the Rams' final 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season, and a day after going unclaimed on wavers by any other NFL team, Sam was still on the outside looking in. The 6-feet-2 (1.88 m), 260-pound (118 kg) former University of Missouri standout became the first openly gay player to be selected in an NFL Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the Rams in May. But despite his success at Missouri, talent evaluators have said he might struggle in the NFL, perhaps too small to play regularly on the defensive line and not athletic enough to play in space as a linebacker. Of the 10 players signed up by the Rams on Monday for their practice squad, eight had been members of their preseason squad before being cut in final roster moves. WRHL 2014-09-02T23:45:51Z http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495