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Dungy: Son Was Not Unlike Other Teens (AP)
Indianapolis Colts head football coach Tony Dungy, third from left, and his wife, Lauren, second left, are surrounded by friends after the funeral for their son, James on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 27, 2005, at the Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla. James Dungy, 18, died from an apparent suicide last week. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)AP - Tony Dungy turned to his players and, speaking as a father, issued a challenge far more important than winning football games.


Former Major Leaguer Reardon Freed on Bail (AP)
Former major league pitcher Jeff Reardon, shown in this photo released by the Palm Beach, Fla. Sheriff's Department, was arrested Monday, Dec. 26, 2005 on charges he robbed a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. jewelry store. Reardon, 50, walked into the mall jewelry store, and gave an employee a note saying he had a gun and was robbing the store, police officials reported. Reardon was found in a nearby resturant, with the money and arrested. He played 16 seasons for the Expos, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. (AP Photo/HO, Palm Beach, Fla. County Sheriff Department)AP - Jeff Reardon, one of the top relief pitchers in baseball history, was released on $5,000 bail on Tuesday night after being arrested for a jewelry store robbery.


Report: Gretzky Set to Rejoin Coyotes (AP)
AP - Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, who took a leave of absence on Dec. 17 to return to Canada and be with his dying mother, is expected to rejoin the team Wednesday.

Palmeiro Said Not Sure Why Test Positive (AP)
AP - Free-agent first baseman Rafael Palmeiro still isn't sure why he tested positive for steroids in August, he told The New York Times for a story published Wednesday.

Texas Teams Feel Effects of Players' Moves (AP)
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, drives into Indiana Pacers' Stephen Jackson (1)  during the third quarter of their NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005. San Antonio won 99-86.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)AP - Manu Ginobili came back and Tracy McGrady left early. It shouldn't take long to figure out which of the Texas teams won.


Vermeil Irritable When Asked About Future (AP)
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil, with play charts in hand, works the sideline Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005, against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. As the oldest head coach in the NFL, Vermeil is charting his future, but won't share his thoughts publicly. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)AP - The silver Porsche that Carol Vermeil gave her husband on his 67th birthday doesn't always bring him straight to work. On some mornings, Dick Vermeil drives past his reserved parking place at the Kansas City Chiefs' training facility and takes a leisurely lap around the Truman Sports Complex.


Jefferson paces Nets to victory over Cavaliers (Reuters)
Reuters - Richard Jefferson poured in 28 points and Vince Carter added 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the surging New Jersey Nets to a 96-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-91 in East Rutherford on Tuesday.

Diamondbacks Send Troy Glaus to Blue Jays (AP)
AP - J.P. Ricciardi surprised everyone in baseball when he gave closer B.J. Ryan the most lucrative contract in history for a reliever.

Madrid's Di Stefano Has Bypass Surgery (AP)
The son of Real Madrid soccer club's honorary president and former star Alfredo di Stefano of Argentina, also called Alfredo, arrives at La Fe hospital in Valencia, Spain, Tuesday Dec. 27, 2005  to visit his father. Real Madrid's honorary president and former star Alfredo di Stefano could undergo a bypass surgery on Wednesday if his condition remains stable, doctors said on Tuesday after he suffered a severe heart attack on Christmas Eve.  (AP Photo/Fernando Bustamante)AP - Real Madrid's honorary president and former star Alfredo Di Stefano is undergoing bypass surgery Wednesday, four days after suffering a severe heart attack.


Bruins Dominate Capitals 4-3 in Overtime (AP)
Washington Capitals' Jeff Halpern (11) battles for the puck in front of Boston Bruins goalie Hannu Toivonen (33) of Finland during the third period of a NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005, in Washington. The Bruins won 4-3 in overtime.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)AP - Riding a modest two-game winning streak, the Washington Capitals started targeting the Boston Bruins as a team to catch in the Eastern Conference standings. After Tuesday night, even that goal looks a bit lofty.


Unfinished business
The NFL's elite teams still have something to play for in Week 17 – a place in the rankings' Top 12.

NFL stars past, present at Dungy funeral (AP)
Tony Dungy turned to his players and, speaking as a father, issued a challenge far more important than winning football games. "You're some great guys, you really are," the Indianapolis Colts coach said at the funeral for his son, James, on Tuesday. "I want to urge you to continue being who you are because our young boys in this country, they need to hear from you," he said.

Pats hoping to improve playoff seeding (AP)
The New England Patriots were 4-4 at midseason and battered by injuries. Making the playoffs again appeared to be far from a given, let alone getting a chance to defend their consecutive Super Bowl titles. My, how times have changed. The Patriots are now 10-5, and have a chance to move up in the AFC standings and become the third-seeded team in the playoffs.

Vermeil irritable when asked about future (AP)
The silver Porsche that Carol Vermeil gave her husband on his 67th birthday doesn't always bring him straight to work. On some mornings, Dick Vermeil drives past his reserved parking place at the Kansas City Chiefs' training facility and takes a leisurely lap around the Truman Sports Complex. He watches the sunrise.

Pats top Jets in ABC Monday Night finale (AP)
After all the star pass catchers who graced "Monday Night Football" for 35 years, the final memorable receiving performance was left to -- a linebacker? New England's Mike Vrabel has made a habit of finding the end zone as a temporary tight end, and he did it twice in lifting the Patriots past the New York Jets 31-21.

Four Broncos starters out for Sunday (AP)
Linebacker Al Wilson, defensive lineman Courtney Brown, cornerback Darrent Williams and running back Mike Anderson will all sit out of Denver's regular-season finale in San Diego this weekend to nurse injuries. Wilson had surgery Monday to repair a broken right thumb. Brown has a sore knee and sore shoulder.

Pats LB Bruschi leaves with leg injury (AP)
Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was helped off the field with a left leg injury late in the first quarter of Monday night's game against the New York Jets. Bruschi was hurt on a punt, and tried to walk off on his own. But he winced as he put his leg down, and two trainers escorted him to the sideline.

Jags QB Leftwich clear to practice (AP)
Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich has received medical clearance to return to practice Wednesday and could play in the regular season finale against Tennessee. Leftwich already has declared himself ready to play -- and wants to avoid being rusty for the first round of the AFC playoffs -- but coach Jack Del Rio said Monday he plans to wait until later in the week to decide between Leftwich and...

'Monday Night Football' signs off on ABC (AP)
The lights are out at ABC's "Monday Night Football." And the party, as Don Meredith sang one last time, is over. "Monday Night Football" ended an unprecedented 36-year run on the network with a lackluster game that didn't come close to epitomizing the special place the program has occupied in the American cultural landscape.

Redskins' Brunell says he's 'day-to-day' (AP)
Joe Gibbs interrupted Christmas Day, his only day off in the entire season, to make an anxious phone call about the status of Mark Brunell's knee. "I was concerned," Gibbs said. "I wanted to see what happened overnight. He gave me a good report." Washington Redskins director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer told Gibbs the knee had very little swelling.

The one and only
If there were any doubts about Detroit being the NBA's top team, there aren't anymore after its rout of the Spurs.

Pistons dump Raptors, improve to 23-3 (AP)
The Detroit Pistons forgot about their win over San Antonio, and weren't looking ahead to Miami. They simply improved the best record in the NBA with another strong performance, despite playing the team with the worst mark in the league. Richard Hamilton scored 24, Chauncey Billups had 21 points and 13 assists, and Detroit beat the Toronto Raptors 113-106 Tuesday night.

A.I., 76ers top Carmelo's career-high 45 (AP)
Allen Iverson got the final shot in his shootout with Carmelo Anthony. Iverson scored 36 points, including the game-winning basket, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame Anthony's career-high 45 to beat the Denver Nuggets 108-106 on Tuesday night. Chris Webber added 32 points and 15 rebounds, none bigger than the one in the final minute that set up Iverson's winning shot.

Nets win seventh straight, hold off Cavs (AP)
Richard Jefferson stole the spotlight from Vince Carter and LeBron James. Jefferson scored 28 points in another outstanding shooting performance, and the New Jersey Nets extended their winning streak to seven Tuesday night with a 96-91 victory over James and Cleveland Cavaliers. The focus was on the matchup between Carter, the Eastern Conference player of the week, and James.

Wade's 35 powers Heat past Bucks (AP)
Dwyane Wade got his teammates involved early, then took over late. Wade scored 14 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Miami Heat past the Milwaukee Bucks 109-98 Tuesday night. Wade had five assists in the first quarter, but focused on his scoring later in the game. "I approached the game differently by coming out and focusing on getting my teammates the ball," said Wade, who finished...

Short-handed Kings beat Clippers again (AP)
Despite missing three of their top four scorers because of injuries, the Sacramento Kings again made life miserable for the Los Angeles Clippers. All it took was a healthy Mike Bibby and a determined supporting cast. Bibby scored 17 of his season-high 38 points in the third quarter and added a season-best 10 assists Tuesday night as the Kings snapped a five-game losing streak with a 110-93 victory.

Parker, Ginobili lead Spurs past Pacers (AP)
When he arrived at the SBC Center on Tuesday, Manu Ginobili didn't know if he would be sitting out yet another game. But Ginobili talked coach Gregg Popovich into letting him play, then made his biggest contributions at just the right time. Ginobili, who missed eight games with a sprained right foot, made a free throw and two layups to start the decisive third-quarter run as the San Antonio Spurs...

Jazz take advantage of McGrady's absence (AP)
The Utah Jazz got an assist from Tracy McGrady's fiancee in their win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. McGrady scored 21 points in the first half, then left the arena when he learned his fiancee, Clerenda Harris, was going into labor at a local hospital. The Rockets crumbled without him, and the Jazz snapped a three-game road losing streak by dominating the second half in their 82-74...

Brezec, Knight lift Bobcats by Hawks (AP)
Brevin Knight never doubted that Charlotte would recover after blowing an 11-point lead. Primoz Brezec made the go-ahead basket in the final seconds and Knight scored 22 points as the Bobcats beat the Atlanta Hawks 93-90 on Tuesday night. Knight liked how his team held together without Kareem Rush and Emeka Okafor, two of the Bobcats' top three scorers.

Arenas carries Wizards past Lakers (AP)
Gilbert Arenas outdueled Kobe Bryant and helped the Washington Wizards to their third straight win. Arenas scored 34 and keyed the Wizards' second-half comeback, leading Washington to a 94-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. Bryant finished with 31 points, and hit two key 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to keep the Lakers in the game, but he couldn't get off a potential...

Power rankings
Dallas takes over the top spot as even Buffalo threatens to overtake the struggling Senators.

Report: Gretzky set to rejoin Coyotes (AP)
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, who took a leave of absence on Dec. 17 to return to Canada and be with his dying mother, is expected to rejoin the team Wednesday. The Arizona Republic reported on its Web site that Gretzky flew to San Jose late Tuesday night and could be back coaching in Wednesday night's game against the Sharks.

Osgood leads Red Wings over Stars 4-1 (AP)
Many of the faces have changed on both teams over the last four years, but Chris Osgood and the Detroit Red Wings still own the Stars in Dallas. Osgood stopped 27 shots, and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and two assists to send the Red Wings to their fourth straight victory, 4-1 over the Stars on Tuesday night.

Upshall helps Preds win sixth straight (AP)
Better known as one of the league's leaders in penalty minutes, Nashville Predators winger Darcy Hordichuk is getting attention for his assists lately. Hordichuk had two assists Tuesday night -- giving him a goal and four assists in the last seven games -- and Scottie Upshall scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:47 left as the Predators rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.

Leafs beat struggling Penguins 3-2 in OT (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs came dangerously close to spoiling their perfect record when leading after two periods. After building an 11-0-1 mark when holding that kind of advantage, the Maple Leafs allowed the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins to get even in the third period and have numerous opportunities to go ahead.

Stuart's OT goal rallies Bruins by Caps (AP)
In a game between last-place teams, the Boston Bruins had the better sense of desperation. The Bruins rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period and won on Brad Stuart's goal 2:02 into overtime Tuesday night for a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. "We're at this point right now where we have to get it going," said Sergei Samsonov, who scored the tying goal with 7:14 remaining in...

Blues sign letter of intent for sale (AP)
The owners of the St. Louis Blues, who put the team up for sale this summer, entered into a letter of intent on Tuesday to negotiate exclusively with a group from Detroit. General Sports and Entertainment, LLC was founded by Andrew Appleby, former senior marketing executive of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment.

NHL fines Leafs' Tucker $2,500 (AP)
Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker was fined $2,500 by the NHL on Tuesday for pulling off the helmet of New Jersey's Cam Janssen during a wild fight and twice hitting the winger on the head with it. Tucker escaped further punishment from the league after his ejection from Monday night's game was reviewed by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.

Boyle OT goal lifts Tampa over Canes (AP)
The struggling Tampa Bay Lightning got a much-needed lift from captain Dave Andreychuk and defenseman Dan Boyle. Andreychuk had two goals, and Boyle scored with 33.6 seconds left in overtime as the Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 victory on Monday night. Boyle's goal on his own rebound from in close moved the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning within eight points of the Southeast...

Garnett gets 2nd shutout for Thrashers (AP)
Michael Garnett has made the most of his chance to impress Atlanta Thrashers coach Bob Hartley. Kari Lehtonen's return from injured reserve Monday will probably mean less ice time for Garnett, but the rookie goaltender won't mind. "Everything I achieve is a major step." Garnett said. "From just playing to doing this now, it's pretty crazy." Garnett became the first Atlanta goaltender to post...

Offseason capsules: Wallace, Rudd, Raines
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field – and a couple of guys who are moving on.

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.

Legge completes Champ Car test (AP)
Katherine Legge spent two days this week testing a Champ Car to see if she's ready to become the first female driver in the open-wheel series. The 25-year-old Legge ran a total of 238 laps for PKV Racing on the road course in Sebring, Fla. It was just the second time in a Champ car for the British racer, who ran 70 laps at Sebring in a test for Rocketsports Racing on Dec.

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.

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