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7 NFL-Leading Colts Selected for Pro Bowl (AP)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning sets to throw a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in this Dec. 11, 2005 file photo, in Jacksonville, Fla.. Manning was one of an NFL-high seven Indianapolis Colts who made the group of 42 players from each conference announced Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)AP - There will be only one brother act in the Pro Bowl this season: the Barbers. The Mannings? Only Peyton made it, hardly a surprise because brother Eli has had a very up-and-down second season with the New York Giants.


Bertuzzi Makes Canada Olympic Hockey Team (AP)
Edmonton Oilers' Igor Ulanov grimaces as he is hit along the end boards by Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi (44) during the second period of NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. (AP Photo/CP, Richard Lam)AP - Todd Bertuzzi was a surprise selection for Canada's Olympic hockey team. Sidney Crosby was a stunning omission.


Gradkowski Helps Toledo Capture GMAC Bowl (AP)
Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradkowski fires a pass against Texas-El Paso during the second half of the GMAC Bowl college football game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)AP - Bruce Gradkowski and the Toledo Rockets came up with one big play after another. UTEP came up short in the postseason again.


No. 1 Duke Pulls Away to Beat St. John's (AP)
Duke's Martynas Pocius (5) and St. John's Cedric Jackson (11) battle during the first half of this college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)AP - J.J. Redick didn't play up to his recent standards, and neither did many of his teammates. No problem. Duke still rolled to another lopsided victory.


Red Sox Look at Life After Johnny Damon (AP)
Boston Red Sox's Johnny Damon sits on the second base bag after being tagged out after doubling in two runs during the fifth inning of Boston's 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, in this Sept. 4, 2005 file photo. Johnny Damon and the New York Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement on a $52 million, four-year contract, a baseball official said on condition of anonymity(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)AP - Even before Johnny Damon spurned the Red Sox for the New York Yankees, Boston began looking for his potential replacement.


Rams Place Bulger, Claiborne on IR (AP)
St. Louis Rams starting quarterback Marc Bulger sets to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL football game in St. Louis on Oct. 9, 2005. The Rams have announced that Bulger will be placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)AP - St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was placed on injured reserve Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.


Raptors stomp on Rockets and McGrady (Reuters)
Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady (L) is double teamed by Toronto Raptors' Morris Peterson (C) and Jose Calderon (R) in the fourth quarter of their NBA game in Houston, December 21, 2005. The Raptors beat the Rockets by 94-81. (Tim Johnson/Reuters)Reuters - Mike James scored 19 points and Morris Peterson had 18 points and shut down Tracy McGrady as the Toronto Raptors whipped the battered Houston Rockets 94-81 on Wednesday at the Toyota Center.


Yankees Celebrate, Red Sox Ruminate (AP)
Boston Red Sox' Johnny Damon, right,  is caught in a rundown between New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez (not shown) and second baseman Derek Jeter, left,  during the third inning  at Fenway Park in Boston in this Sept. 30, 2005 file photo. Johnny Damon and the New York Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement on a $52 million, four-year contract, a baseball official said on condition of anonymity (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)AP - While the Yankees celebrated their acquisition of Johnny Damon and the Red Sox ruminated their loss, the St. Louis Cardinals gave troubled pitcher Sidney Ponson a second chance.


Arsenal Reaches League Cup Semifinals (AP)
Arsenal's goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, second from right, celebrates with teammates after making the winning save after penalties to beat Doncaster in their League Cup quarter final soccer match at The Earth Stadium, Doncaster, England, Wednesday Dec. 21, 2005. (AP Photo/Jon Super)AP - Gilberto scored in the final minute of extra time and Arsenal went on to beat third-division Doncaster Rovers on penalties Wednesday night to advance to the semifinals of the English League Cup.


Smyth's Go-Ahead Goal Lifts Oilers 7-6 (AP)
Edmonton Oilers Ryan Smyth is sandwiched between Vancouver Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund and goalie Alex Auld while battling for position during the third period of NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. The Oilers defeated the Canucks 7-6.  (AP Photo/Richard Lam,CP)AP - Ryan Smyth scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, helping the Edmonton Oilers extend their winning streak against the Vancouver Canucks with a 7-6 win on Wednesday night.


NFL's all-snubbed team
Several players with Pro Bowl-worthy resumes aren't headed to Hawaii. Here's the list of the overlooked.

Colts get NFL-high seven Pro Bowlers (AP)
A nervous Lance Briggs spent Tuesday night comparing himself to other linebackers. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris had it on high authority that he would be named to the Pro Bowl. They both were among six Bears selected Wednesday in a vote by fans, players and coaches for the Feb. 12 game in Honolulu.

Collins hopes to return to Raiders (AP)
Kerry Collins realizes returning to the Raiders next season is a long shot. He'll cost too much. Still, Collins says he would welcome another chance to lead Oakland and turn around this frustrated franchise. He hopes coach Norv Turner gets the opportunity, too. There's a realistic chance neither will wear silver and black in 2006, so Collins is determined to do everything in his power during the...

Vikings are Packers fans this week (AP)
In a season so crazy, this makes perfect sense. The Minnesota Vikings have been relegated to cheering for their biggest rivals this weekend when the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers. "I think all the Viking fans in the building will become Packer fans before the game," coach Mike Tice said. With two games remaining, the Vikings are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Colts look to protect Manning better (AP)
Colts left tackle Tarik Glenn showed up early this week to watch the grim footage of the team's first loss. In Glenn's opinion, the videotape could double as a horror movie. Two-time MVP Peyton Manning was constantly picking himself off the ground after being dragged down from behind or clobbered as he threw.

Benson, Tagliabue discuss Saints future (AP)
The NFL remains focused on returning the New Orleans Saints to Louisiana next season, the league said after a Tuesday meeting between team owner Tom Benson and commissioner Paul Tagliabue. A committee of eight owners also met for about an hour to discuss the future of the team, displaced by Hurricane Katrina just before the season began.

Belichick doesn't plan to rest regulars (AP)
Don't expect to see Tom Brady or Tedy Bruschi in street clothes in the New England Patriots' next game. Even though the team has clinched a playoff berth, coach Bill Belichick plans to stick with his regulars against the New York Jets on Monday night. "We're treating this like a regular week," Belichick said.

Favre, Packers look to forget rout (AP)
Frustrated. Disappointed. Embarrassed. And benched, if even for just a quarter. Brett Favre will start his 240th consecutive game including the playoffs on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but his 239th was one to forget. Favre left for what the Packers hope is their future late in the third quarter of Baltimore's 48-3 rout on Monday night when rookie first-round pick Aaron Rodgers entered during the...

Calm Boller leads Ravens to lopsided win (AP)
Inside the Baltimore Ravens huddle Kyle Boller had a completely different demeanor Monday night. He should have. The Baltimore Ravens were blowing out Green Bay, 48-3. Still, this wasn't the erratic, frenzied Boller who committed three turnovers in a 12-10 loss to the Denver Broncos the previous week. In a game that set a franchise record for points scored, touchdowns (six) and margin of victory, the...

Raiders' Jordan doubtful against Broncos (AP)
Oakland Raiders running back LaMont Jordan is listed as doubtful to play in Saturday's game at Denver because of turf toe. Jordan, in his first season with Oakland, injured the big toe on his right foot on a pass play in Oakland's third snap of last Sunday's 9-7 home loss to the Cleveland Browns. He continued to play, then re-aggravated the injury on a long run in the third quarter.

Have ball, will travel
That should be the motto of the NBA with the referees' increasingly lax attitude toward traveling calls.

Granger filling in nicely for Artest (AP)
Indiana's Danny Granger is making the most of his opportunity. Forced into more minutes after the Pacers made Ron Artest inactive, the rookie forward scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help the Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 97-75 on Wednesday night. Granger said he is starting to gain confidence.

Iverson, C-Webb lead Sixers by Warriors (AP)
Allen Iverson carried the 76ers early, Chris Webber put up points late, and the superstar duo continued to keep Philadelphia in first place in the Atlantic Division. With a brutal seven-game road trip next, there's no better place to sit. Iverson scored 38 points, Webber added 27 and the streaking Philadelphia 76ers won for the sixth time in seven games, 111-100 over the Golden State Warriors on...

Wells, Stojakovic to sit out for Kings (AP)
The Sacramento Kings have lost two of their top players to injuries, with Bonzi Wells expected to miss at least three weeks with a groin injury and Peja Stojakovic out a week or more with an injured back. The Kings (10-15) are off to a rough start this season, but hoped to turn things around in a stretch when they'll play six out of seven games at home.

Carter leads Nets to fourth straight win (AP)
Vince Carter is having a big December, and the struggling Orlando Magic certainly couldn't stop him. Carter scored 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 18 to lead the New Jersey Nets over the Orlando Magic 96-85 on Wednesday night. It was New Jersey's fourth straight win and Orlando's third consecutive loss.

Spurs cruise past hapless Knicks (AP)
Already a really good team, the Spurs came to New York as an angry one. The Knicks never had a chance. Michael Finley scored 19 points and San Antonio shot 56 percent Wednesday night in its 109-96 victory over New York, which has lost seven straight games. The Spurs had lost two in a row and were coming off a 109-107 overtime loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday night on Andrew Bogut's basket at the buzzer.

Arenas, Wizards end three-game skid (AP)
It's still December -- far too early to hit the panic button, but certainly not too early to ignore the fact that the Denver Nuggets are a team in trouble. The latest evidence came Wednesday night in a 116-110 home loss to the struggling Washington Wizards, who got 36 points from Gilbert Arenas and a strong, energetic effort from the rest of the team to snap a three-game losing streak.

Gasol lifts Grizzlies over Blazers (AP)
Pau Gasol's renewed confidence is starting to re-energize the Memphis Grizzlies. For the second straight game, the Grizzlies' leading scorer pounded the ball inside, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds Wednesday night to lead Memphis to a 89-79 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Gasol shot 11-of-17 from the field and led a 50-34 Memphis advantage in the paint.

Celtics finally win two in a row (AP)
The Boston Celtics won consecutive games for the first time this season. Now they head out for a five game trip hoping to improve on their 2-8 road record. "It's a step in the right direction. Hopefully it's something we can build on," Paul Pierce said. Pierce scored 30 points and Ricky Davis added 20 to help the Boston Celtics beat the Utah Jazz 101-89 on Wednesday night.

Szczerbiak gets T-Wolves back on track (AP)
The Timberwolves emphatically ended their worst losing streak in nearly a year. Wally Szczerbiak scored 21 points and Minnesota snapped a four-game skid with an easy 88-69 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Kevin Garnett had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Northwest Division-leading Minnesota.

Power rankings
With Marty Turco and Mike Modano playing like Olympians, the Stars have been anything but mediocre.

Bertuzzi on Team Canada, Crosby left off (AP)
Todd Bertuzzi was a surprise selection for Canada's Olympic hockey team. Sidney Crosby was a stunning omission. Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks forward known infamously for the blindside attack that left another player with broken bones in his neck in March 2004, made the cut Wednesday when Canada announced its Olympic squad for the Turin Games.

Crosby not good enough for Olympics (AP)
This may be the first time, and perhaps the last, in Sidney Crosby's hockey career that he was told he wasn't good enough. Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' 18-year-old rookie star, was left off Team Canada for the Turin Olympics -- a decision that disappointed him but didn't totally surprise him. "I'm not going to be thinking about it a whole lot if I don't go," Crosby said before learning...

Boucher, Barnes help Stars rally to win (AP)
Before Dallas put together a decisive three-goal flurry to start the third period, the Stars had to survive a first period dominated by Columbus. Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes each had two goals and Dallas killed seven penalties in the first 20 minutes to beat the Blue Jackets 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Oilers win, tie for first in Northwest (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers won a good old-fashioned Western Conference shootout with Vancouver. Ryan Smyth scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, helping the Oilers extend their winning streak over Vancouver to four games with a 7-6 victory Wednesday night. Marty Reasoner added a power play goal just over two minutes later as Edmonton moved into a tie with the Canucks atop the Northwest...

Giguere reaches milestone in Ducks' win (AP)
Jean-Sebastien Giguere had plenty to overcome to notch his 100th regular-season victory. Mostly, his own unsteady play. Giguere gave up a goal on the first shot he faced Wednesday night against St. Louis and surrendered a couple more after his teammates staked him to an early four-goal lead. But Joe DiPenta stopped the Blues' momentum in the third period with his first goal of the season and the...

York, Blake lift Isles past Devils 4-2 (AP)
If the U.S. Olympic hockey team is looking for another player from the New York Islanders, Mike York is ready to go to Italy. York had a goal and two assists Wednesday night, and American Olympian Jason Blake scored in his return from a concussion to lift the Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils and their Canadian Olympian, goalie Martin Brodeur.

Kariya's two goals help Preds top 'Hawks (AP)
The game plan against Nikolai Khabibulin is to shoot high -- and the Nashville Predators executed it almost perfectly. Steve Sullivan and Yanic Perreault each had a goal and an assist, rookie defenseman Ryan Suter scored his first NHL goal and the Predators chased Khabibulin in the second period of a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Rookie Giuiliano helps Kings top Flames (AP)
Jeff Giuliano's first NHL goal was far more important than it was pretty. Giuliano scored the game-winner and Mike Cammalleri scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings used a four-goal third period to beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Wednesday night. Cammalleri tied it at 2 on the power play, sweeping a low shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.

Blue Jackets put D Berard on IR (AP)
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a sore lower back. The move was retroactive to Dec. 17. Berard is eligible to be activated Sunday. The Blue Jackets recalled forward Steven Goertzen from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Berard has six goals and 13 assists with five-power play goals and one game-winner for the Blue Jackets.

Hiding Mr. Hyde
NASCAR saw a kinder, gentler Tony Stewart in 2006. That doesn't mean Terrible Tony won't someday return.

Auto Racing 2005: Stewart grows up amid youth movement (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - In a season where youth was not only served it was showcased, Tony Stewart topped the auto racing headlines by simply growing up.

Kyle Busch to run full season in NASCAR Busch Series in 2006 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Despite making a splash in his first season on NASCAR's premier series, Kyle Busch has some unfinished business in the Busch Series.

Judge: Speedway lawsuit against NASCAR will stay in Kentucky (AP)
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky Speedway's $400 million antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR will be heard in Kentucky and not moved to a Florida court.

Talladega Superspeedway to get first repaving since 1979 (AP)
Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved next year, the first time since 1979, and several drivers say they're looking forward to a smoother ride.

NASCAR champ to drive midget races under his own name (AP)
Tony Stewart will drive a midget car again, and won't try to fool anybody. The two-time NASCAR champion will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before.

Iowa Speedway project gets more financing (AP)
NEWTON, Iowa - An Iowa-based construction company said it has obtained the financing to complete construction of...

Price of returning racing to North Wilkesboro is $12 million (AP)
A grass-roots group is lobbying to return racing to North Wilkesboro Speedway, but a $12 million price tag might be too steep for Wilkes County. That's the asking price of Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre, who own the former NASCAR track. A group calling itself Save the Speedway, which wants to bring racing back to the .625-mile oval, retired an online petition last week after gathering 4,582 signatures.

NASCAR's Pacific Northwest expansion plan faces tough road (AP)
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Is the land of lattes ready to join NASCAR Nation? The sport's leaders are betting on it with a...

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